Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Gettin' down and dirty.

I'd hoped the humongous black cloud in front of our house would turn into a nice, 2-hour downpour. But, it did nothing as it passed over head and out into the mountains.

That's ok. That just means I found myself watering our newly acquired patch of dirt under a star-and-moon-lit sky, with the cool night breeze gently blowing around me and the sounds of children shouting to each other in Spanish as the played... and a neighbor's mariachi music: A man singing gustily and with exaggerated undulation about "MEH-heee-coOOOoooOOO!". :)

We are watering using the old "put-your-thumb-over-the-hose-opening" technique. I think my thumb has a permanent cramp. I've found I can really only do it with my right thumb--the left one doesn't really get it. Anyone else have that issue?

WARNING: This paragraph is a rabbit trail. I was talking to Rey about the neighborhood music deal here. In Mexico, everyone does each other the favor of turning up their radios as loud as they go and placing them in their windows--so, literally wherever you walk, you have music. I kinda like it, actually. But, I was saying to Rey that in the US we could totally nab these people on noise violations. Ahh, we picky Americans.

Back on track--the dirt patch track. That's what this post is about: Our yard.

I formerly referred to it as our jungle. When we first arrived, it was a knee-high (and in some places waist-high) jumble of weeds, grass and garbage. Rey bravely mowed and weed-whacked away for several days until we uncovered the house. Haha.

Since then, the yard is navigable--just not pretty. Much of it is brown, there is alot of stubble of whatever weedy plant was growing there before. Not nice to look at or walk through. AND, the yard is infested with THE WEED. The horrible, creeping weed whose name I do not know. It has this long, reachy growing habit--choking out all in its way. (Believe me: This picture doesn't do it justice. It is truly evil. I have heard it hiss at me. Really!) ;)

I've been yanking out patches of this stuff whenever I'd had a chance since we got here. I was working at pulling the stuff out of the front yard, when I decided it would be easier to just dig up the whole front yard and plant grass seed than to be picking at this stuff for the rest of our days here.

Famous last words ("easier"). Nah, I knew it would be back-breaking work. But, the picture of Aleni rolling around in her glorious chubbiness on a bed of soft, green grass was all I needed.

Yesterday we started hacking... and today we finished half of the front yard. It already looks better--and it's just dirt. We were able to do some leveling and edging to the garden area, so that adds to the affect. I am literally in pain in every joint in my body. Even typing is hard since my hands feel stiff/swollen/blistered. I tried to bring Rey in on the "achey" conversation... but he said he isn't feeling anything. Guess that's why I married a bodybuilder. Haha.

(You don't wanna see what I looked like at this point in the day)

Another benefit of this work: It has been getting me some good "face-time" with the neighbors. It can be hard to break the ice in a new neighborhood, especially as an American. The first couple weeks here, I've felt the reception to be rather cold. But, as I've been out working and playing with the kids in the street in front of our house (just act like that's what you do with your kids too--play in the street)... people have started saying "hi", starting conversations. So, that's great.

WARNING: Rabbit trail #2: Two ladies have asked me if I was renting the house. "Yes..." "How much will you rent it to me for??" "Ohh, noo, no. I am renting, as in I am PAYING rent." The first lady just said "Ok" and walked away. The second lady hung around, talking about the size of the house, how much she liked it, etc. She asked if I was paying alot for it. I thought that was a "none of your business" kind of question and just said, "Not too bad." She hung around a little more and said, "So, how much are you paying??" Really? Why would she want to know that??

Back to the yard. So, yes. I am dreaming of green softness, and trying to not be overwhelmed as I see those evil, creepy weeds all over the place in the "undone" spaces.


  1. That is quite the undertaking! But it sounds like you'll be glad you put in all the work when you are weed free. The weeds and crabgrass have been slowly but surely taking over more and more of our lawn so I feel your pain. We may need to take drastic measures soon!

  2. Wow! That's a lot of hard work! Hope your grass seed grows for you...ours didn't here. : ( Nick wheelbarrowed 2 tons of dirt along the front of the house, so it finally looks nice where we dug out those shrubs. It's so nice to get landscaping done!

  3. Sarah--make sure you add some weight lifting routines into your gym visits before attacking your yard...wish I had! :-P

    Rach--DON'T tell me your grass seed didn't grow!! boohoooo!! I'll hold onto the hope of nightly watering yielding a miracle. :)


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