Now that my twin brother has returned home (and I sure miss him), it is time to attack the long list of projects to do around the house.
One of the biggest projects for this summer is to control an erosion problem in our side yard. Rainwater coming out of the downspouts had eroded all of the topsoil in the little patch of grass that once was there, and the problem was growing worse.
On Friday morning at the crack of dawn, I rented a “mini-trencher” which is a machine that digs a trench. All well and good. The machine, however, weighed a ton and was quite a struggle to man-handle. In no time, however, a trench of some 12″ (30cm) deep and 100′ (30m) long was dug. My partner helped me get the machine back on my truck and I returned it… all before 9:00am. By then, however, the temperature had already climbed to 90°F (32°C) with 70% relative humidity.
Upon return from HomoDepot, the phone rang. It was AZ! I always enjoy speaking with my best friend. He gave me a good excuse to cool off while catching up.
But the work wouldn’t take care of itself. So I returned to the yard and used a shovel to prepare the trench to accept black plastic pipe that I connected to the downspouts and interconnected together with Y fittings. I had to be careful to avoid cutting underground utility pipes and wires which enter our house, so through what I thought was an ingenious method of using PVC plumber’s piping, I ran the new gutter drainage pipe above ground toward the back yard until I was sure I was clear of any underground natural gas pipe or wires. I then connected it to the black plastic pipe and buried it in the trench.
The underground piping runs to the far back of my property to drain into a stream. The earth covering the pipe will soon sprout new growth in the forest area, and come Autumn, I will sow grass seed in the smaller upper side yard area that should be lawn. (Spring: sod; Fall: seed).
This work took much of the day on Friday, and by 3pm, the temperature had reached 95°F (35°C) and 80% humidity. Yeeccchhhh… I called it “August ugly” though it is typical for this time of year in the DC area. (Wonder why Congress leaves for the whole month? This is why!)
I was just finishing up and smoothing over the dirt when a strong thunderstorm struck. After the storm dissipated, I couldn’t help but go out and check my work. I got my Chippewa Engineer Boots a little muddy (oops), but was assured that the new drainage system worked as intended.
I had been drinking water all day, and sweat like a (insert adjective). I sweat so much that I didn’t have to urinate, despite drinking at least 20 jugs of water (which I had chilled in the fridge the night before.) My partner brought me four clean shirts into which I changed throughout the day.
After completing the work, my partner peeled off my clothes and put them in the wash while I took a nice, cold shower. I felt quite refreshed. I lay down on our couch in the basement while my partner completed his work for the day (he telecommutes on Fridays). Before I knew it, I had fallen asleep. I enjoyed an hour’s nap… I’m such a lazy wuss.
My partner gently woke me and I prepared our evening meal — home-made Maryland crab cakes (using crab I picked from my “birthday bushel” that we enjoyed earlier in the week) and a light salad.
After dinner, the muscle soreness began to set in. In fact, all day on Saturday, I kept asking my partner, “did you get the license plate number of the truck that ran over me?” He would just hand me two more Excedrin and tell me, “no pain, no gain!” Such a caring soul he is (LOL!)
Oh well, it’s done, it works, and I am recovering. I am glad to have this major project scratched off that non-ending “honey-do” list!