Yard work

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I’m discovering that I’m no DIY-er – which is unfortunate, given that I’m also not made of money. When I first moved into the Shotgun, I painted a few walls – the first and last act of home improvement to be performed by my own hand. The slop-job of color application has bothered me every day since, and I recently bought a Groupon to have professionals come fix my domestic faux pas.

I used my tax return to have new windows installed – a relatively painless feat, since there are only two (one on the front of the house, one on the back). But the change has made such a difference, it’s given me the itch to upgrade a few other things – namely, the kitchen floors and counters (at some point), and the backyard.

Let me tell you about my backyard. It’s tiny (the size of a parking space), it’s sun-beaten, and it has no water source. Foxy has dug several holes. The ground is dry and the growth patchy, but the plant life that does exist (i.e. weedy grass) grows with enthusiasm. Last summer, I eventually had to have a lawn company come spray the entire plot to kill what had grown to be waist-high – I didn’t know what else to do, given that I didn’t own a lawn mower, and even if I did, I’m sorry, how do you use a lawn mower?

I’m determined to stay on top of the yard this year. So on Saturday, I borrowed Erica’s weed whacker – a tool I previously had zero experience with – and went to town.

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YARD1 collage with text.jpg

Yard2 collage with text.jpg

It’s like a really bad haircut. (And if you’re wondering what’s under that hatch, that’s a horror story for another day.)

Obviously, my best case scenario would be to have a water source, thus have a way to grow grass – so after I weed whacked, I had a plumber come by to tell me what it would take to get a spigot installed in the backyard.

I’ll tell you how much: one THOUSAND dollars. No thank you.

So I’m left without a good solution. Maybe I’ll just remodel my kitchen instead.



  1. Colleen on May 4, 2014 at 10:59 PM

    Give up on the grass. Make it all a patio with a little poop alley on the side for Foxy. Take if from a girl with more dogs than cash.

  2. Perry on May 5, 2014 at 7:22 AM

    Water source: rain. I planted seven trees, three survived (one hacked over by careless lawnmower driving), solely by the grace of God, rain and sunshine. Find somebody with centipede, cut up chunks of it, put it in your yard and watch the magic happen. Also, what about a rain barrel? You know, the big barrels that catch rain, then you can put a spigot on that? They sell for a pretty penny, but if you can find somebody with the know-how, I hear it’s not too hard to do. Best of luck to you, and I personally am in awe of your weedwhacker skills. You whacked the hell out of those weeds!!

    P.S. I feel your spigot pain – ours broke, just to have a dude come here for seven minutes and fix it was $65. It broke again, we didn’t fix it, hence the dismal tree survival rate.

  3. Megan on May 5, 2014 at 10:17 AM

    You might consider an adapter for your kitchen faucet that allows you to attach a hose to it. They are only $5-$10. So long as your backyard is relatively accessible from the kitchen it should be easy peasy. You could buy a pocket hose: they have crappy reviews but I own one and it’s not bad. It would work well for this application of taking on/off and putting away because it weighs nothing. The yard would only need twice a week watering, three if you’re feeling enthusiastic, more if you put down new seed.

  4. Leigh Kramer on May 5, 2014 at 10:30 AM

    I was going to suggest a rain barrel, too. There are lots of how-tos if you can find a friend to make you one or sometimes counties or states have programs to give them away. Worth looking in to!

  5. hootenannie on May 5, 2014 at 10:32 AM

    Unfortunately, rain barrels are against Colorado water laws. Water is for everyone – no hoarding allowed (sighhh).

  6. Kelli on May 5, 2014 at 2:19 PM

    Dale could not resist the brilliant marketing of the Pocket Hose (It’s the hose that grows!) during a recent trip to Big Lots. It was $10, and the functionality and giggles it brings when it’s doing is job is worth it. Might be worth a shot with what Megan described – I’m sure a nice guy at Home Depot would be able to point you in the right direction! :)

  7. miranda on May 6, 2014 at 1:17 PM

    I was thinking the same as above – what about a patio or deck? Skip the grass altogether. And only accept deck builders who submit headshots ahead of time :)

  8. Allison on May 6, 2014 at 6:32 PM

    i don’t know why i suddenly feel the urge to pretend like i know anything about horticulture. but if lawn mowers freak you out (and why wouldn’t they?), you can get a push mower – the kind that doesn’t require any fuel or yanking to make it start. you just…push it. i think it would make sense for a small yard. i was going to give myself points for using the word “horticulture” in a sentence, but then i went and used “yanking” in the very next one. i’ll never be classy.

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