25 March 2011

Till the Cows Come Home

My part-time job as a landscaper is going okay. Doesn't pay too well, though, and the hours are brutal.

Steve is great on the tiller.

I tried it for about thirty seconds last night and broke it. (However, I was also the one to diagnose the problem -- a belt slipped -- and fix it, so I don't think the incident can be held against me.)

So Steve tills, and I pick up the weeds. It's not the most exciting thing we've ever done, but we are finding some surprises. Like this:

The tiller pulled the lid off. We didn't even know it was there. Digging deeper, there were actually two of those boxes.

They must have been a part of the old house's irrigation system.

Once I knew there were old, defunct pipes and wires under the yard, I couldn't stop until I got them out.

It got kind of out of hand. (We found another box just like these in the front yard. It was dug in pretty deep, so we took out the housing and left the rest in place.)

We put out another sixteen bags of grass, weeds, and mulch, plus three garbage cans of branches, for the city to turn into compost this week. (Fortunately, they took all of it without giving us trouble about it being "dirty.") We're also finding all kinds of construction debris. It's piled up at each porch.

I've been pulling nails and other materials out of the ground since we moved in (especially after it rains, when they seem to come to the surface), but we're finding tons of junk now. Plus a whole lot of rocks.

We've found almost enough nails, tile, siding, and other materials to build another house.

Not really, of course. But there's a lot...and even more in a bucket in the garage.

And surely more still waiting to be found on the second round with the tiller.

We've even found someone on Craigslist to take some of the dirt from the pile in the backyard. Once the dirt pile is gone and I've picked up the weeds from the first round of tilling, we'll spread the ground drywall and be ready for more tilling. Not to mix metaphors, but the tiller is a real workhorse.

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