Backyard makeover - Day 2

This morning was perfect for working on the yard;  it was a cool 65 degrees and the ground was still wet, making weed pulling easier.

Speaking of weeds, a funny thing happened on the way to school this morning.

First, I'm gonna backtrack a little.  Last week, Sean wanted the girls to pull the weeds in the front yard, so he had them out there and was telling them how to do it so they get the weed by the root and not just break the stems.

This morning, on the way to school, I was telling D that I was planning to do some more work on the yard, which included pulling all the tall weeds.  So she proceeds to tell me I have to be sure to do it right by grabbing the stem down close to the ground and pulling at an angle.  I laughed so hard.  I had to remind her that we had a vegetable garden every year when I was a kid and I am all to familiar with how to get out of pulling weeds.

I keep reminding them they have no idea how easy they have it.

So, anyway, this was the target spot today:

The first thing that had to go was that hideous cactus plant.  It was in the front when we moved in and I asked Sean to get rid of it because it's so ugly it's embarrassing.  

This was his idea of getting rid of it.

He wanted me to keep it.  I said too late!

I had taken it out of the pot; a bunch of pieces broke off that I tossed in the alley, then I hefted the main part of the cactus with a huge ball of dirt over the wall.  In my attempt to save myself from touching it too much and dragging it across the yard through the back gate, I ended up with some burrs in my right thumb and smashing my left hand between the dirt ball and the wall.

Now I have a scrape and a big bruise on the back of my hand that runs across it up to the first knuckle of my ring finger.  It really hurts like a son of a gun.

Then I set to work on pulling the weeds and digging out the border bricks.  Which wasn't too bad until I got to the area of the border with the big rocks.  Which were on top of the bricks.  There were 3 or 4 of them that were not only stuck into the ground, but had grass roots all wound around them holding them tight into the dirt.  

And to put the cherry on this little adventure cake, as I was digging out the stuck bricks, I ran into an ant hill.

Some of you may not know, but when I get bit by anything, I have an allergic reaction and the bite swells up twice the size it would on a normal person.  As I was trying to dig out the bricks, I was also trying to avoid the ants.  

Like the plague.

But I didn't avoid them well enough.  I got bit FOUR times on my right ankle and TWO times on my left.  I was so sure I was away from the little suckers, but I guess not far enough.  Now I have two itchy, swollen lumpy ankles.

I worked only an hour today (I was afraid if I kept going, I'd chop off a toe with the shovel or something!) and it looks even better than it did yesterday.

Now the hard part is next.  I have to dig out all that grass and give the soil a  good toss.  All while trying to avoid those blasted ants.  It looks pretty good though, not all sandy or hard clay which is typical of Arizona soil.  

Here is the whole length along the wall now:

That rock is staying there as a corner stone because it is heavy and I am not going to try to move it anywhere else!

This is going to be the tougher area.  The soil looks okay, but there are all those blasted stones I hate so much in the dirt.  I dug a bit to see what might be under the soil and hit either I good size piece of concrete or a slab.  I'm hoping it's just a piece and I can pull it. 

I'll find out tomorrow when I start digging.


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