As our hands-on involvement in the landscaping project has grown, it started to make sense for us to invest in some things to make the job easier. So we bought this:
No, no, not the truck. (We borrowed that from our old neighborfriendlord.*) This:
Steve tried out a tiller at an urban gardening workshop we attended last year, so he was comfortable with the prospect of doing the tilling ourselves and first suggested, after the landscaper missed our appointment this week, that we rent a tiller. But when we realized that two weekends of tiller rental would cost close to $300 with delivery, we started searching Craigslist. They seem to go for about $400 used, and the thought of buying it, using it for our yard, and then being able to sell it for about what we paid was really appealing, but there aren't many on Craigslist, and that hello-do-you-still-have-the-x?-oh-no-you've-sold-it-already?-okay-thanks-bye routine gets old quick. So we looked at new ones and settled on this Ariens brand 17" rear-tine tiller from Home Depot. It got great reviews and has a Subaru engine (just like my car!), so it seemed like a winner.
It's costing us more than a used one would have, of course, but we're getting a brand new tiller that's still within the warranty period if anything goes wrong, and when we sell it later this year, we should recoup enough to bring the cost down below what we would have paid for a rental...and having it here whenever we need it is going to be so much more convenient.
So that pretty much answers the question of what we're doing this weekend.
* During the year of construction, we rented a house from an acquaintance of Steve's from grad school, Jeff Mooressell (not his real name, but that's what we call him), who lived in the house next door. Although I guess "friend" would describe him just fine, we love the story of how we got to know his family too much to not want to combine everything they are to us into one fun term. Like landfrienbor.