Last spring, when the drywallers finished up, the construction waste guys came by to take away all of leftover materials for recycling. Our builder had them grind up some of the drywall for us to work into the ground (the gypsum is supposed to be good for loosening up our clay soil). There it is on the left side of this picture during construction:
(The chain-link fence along the street was for security, and the fenced-off bin in the middle of the picture was where they threw everything for the recycling guys to deal with. In accordance with the green building requirements to obtain the maximum five stars, we recycled everything possible and sent very little to the landfill.)
It was too cold the weekend after they ground the drywall for us to work on spreading it, and then we were so busy, and then it was too hot, and then I was running my legs off in marathon training...and, well, long story short, the pile lingered. Here it is again around Christmas (we spread small amounts as we felt inspired, so the pile did shrink bit by bit):
Now, exactly a year after the pile arrived, it's finally gone. We distributed it around the lot and already started tilling it into the soil in the front yard:
Although there's still a whole lotta nothing out there, I think the neighbors are getting pretty excited about the progress. (Have I mentioned that we recently learned that some of them have been talking amongst themselves about the sad state of our yard? Apparently there was a bit of a collective sigh of relief when we let everyone know we were starting to work on it.)
Being outside this weekend was great. The weather was fantastic (even in the long sleeves that I've started wearing so I don't get eaten alive by bugs), and the little girls across the street were fun to watch as they tended to their own garden. (The littlest of them has apparently decided I'm pretty exciting and calls out to me every time she sees me. On a full work day, this amounts to three or four sightings and heaps of cuteness.) Another highlight was when someone we didn't know slowed as she drove by, asked it if was our house, and exclaimed, "it's gorgeous!" But my favorite moment of the weekend was when a real estate agent who had brought clients to see a neighbor's house stopped to ask if ours was for sale because his clients were interested. (Um, no.) The agent commented that it had great "curb appeal," which I told him was overly generous given the landscaping situation, and he responded that he could imagine how great it was going to look like with a yard...which is nice, as I'm still not entirely able to envision it.... All in all, I put in about 12 hours of work this weekend, and these drive-by compliments really help me to stay focused on the end result that we're working toward.