Working in the great outdoors of our back yard, got my chair, got my cell phone, and the paramedics on speed dial, what could go wrong?

Aneeda72

Senior Member
Yesterday my husband decided it was time to rent the jackhammer. Oh, ok. The very small patio in the backyard was on a large slant due to tree roots under it. When it rains the water collects on the other slab, in front of our back door. A few times water has made it into the laundry so we have to fix that.

Get the small jackhammer, I say. We’ve used it before we know how it works. He comes home with the large jackhammer. Ok. Start at the edge, I say. Yup, he starts a foot in. He uses the small chisel on it. Turns it on pushes it down, and ops. Drill through the cement, into the dirt, goes to pull it out. Yup, stuck. Sigh.

Gets our nail hammer, and starts hammering away at the cement. Hmm. So I say, if you can hammer the cement out, why did we rent the jackhammer? Just, you know, asking, nicely. He stops. Gives me the look. Go get a large hammer. (Can’t think of the name). Nope, I’m calling the guy who rented me the jackhammer. Yup, that will help.

He calls the guy. Yup, doesn't help. So he uses the jackhammer a bit more and now it’s buried as far as it can be buried. And it’s still stuck. I’m calling the guy again. Yup, cause he helped so much last time. And he calls. Doesn’t help.

Next, cause he can’t pull it out, he grabs it, bends over, and does this jerky humping motion and little by little he pulls it out, the jackhammer, he pulls the jackhammer out. Life in the great outdoors. Any backyard stories you’d care to share?
 

Aneeda72

Senior Member
Original Poster
So he is taking the jackhammer back, it’s not entirely finished but to the point where we can stop. We will rent one again next Friday. Now we have a big pile of rubble, from the small slab, of various sizes. Where do you want it?

We have discussed several times where I want it so as usual he has not listened, or forgot, or didn’t hear in the first place or any number of his usual excuses that he uses to explain why he doesn’t know where I want the rubble put. I suggest he bend over. I get the look.

I tell him I want the rubble put in the front yard along the drip line of the house. This makes sense as I was going to rock this area. Now I don’t have to buy rocks as there is cement rubble which includes rocks. He announces he will move the rubble tomorrow. Ok then.

I don’t go because the hardware store, Home Depot, has plants. I can’t buy any plants as the garden along the back fence is not done. It really hasn’t been started. If I buy plants, I’ll just have to take them back. So I can’t go. Besides I lack my stimulus check. Sad.

Hopefully others will join this thread and post about their backyard adventures otherwise I will just be talking to myself. Which is not a huge problem, because since the beginning of the lockdown I’ve become quite adept at talking to myself. I wonder if stopping this behavior will be a problem?

Guess it depends on how much longer we are in lockdown. 🤣
 
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Lee

Member
Location
Chatham, Ontario
You are like me, trying to improve turning a barnyard into a little piece of backyard paradise...and we will get there.

Will take a pic of my barbq sitting atop a pile of garden soil which I bought last fall to keep it out of the snow....that worked but now the snow is gone and neighbors are beginning to wonder at why or how this new hi rise barbq works.

The steps going down are an insurance risk....shhhh....I told them no problem.

More to come
 
Story #1
I bought my last house from a guy who had installed a shed at the back of the yard, complete with electricity.

So deciding to put in a garden, I rented a roto-tiller, and had at it. Everything's going fine when the tiller suddenly grinds to a halt. I look down, and the underground electric cable is wrapped around the tines!!! Bzzzzttt!!!!

I guess the guy just turned the dirt over with a shovel, tucked the cable underneath it, then stomped the sod back down.

Story #2
In that same house...I replaced the electric water heater that was literally sunk in a hole in the crawlspace with a gas one I installed in the living space. I plumber it in myself and then had the propane company come over and hook it up to the tank. I was so proud of myself!!!

I got up the next morning, and had no hot water.
I turned on the stove to make breakfast and I had no gas.
I looked in the crawlspace and it was a steamy sauna under there.

Apparently I did not do the swap properly and the water heater was running all night, heating water, pumping it into the crawlspace, and using up all the propane in the tank. I guess it could have been worse. I could have had the infinite supply of municipal gas.

I fixed it but still don't know how I made such a stupid mistake.
This was perhaps 35 years ago. The memory only stings a bit now.
 

Aneeda72

Senior Member
Original Poster
Story #1
I bought my last house from a guy who had installed a shed at the back of the yard, complete with electricity.

So deciding to put in a garden, I rented a roto-tiller, and had at it. Everything's going fine when the tiller suddenly grinds to a halt. I look down, and the underground electric cable is wrapped around the tines!!! Bzzzzttt!!!!

I guess the guy just turned the dirt over with a shovel, tucked the cable underneath it, then stomped the sod back down.

Story #2
In that same house...I replaced the electric water heater that was literally sunk in a hole in the crawlspace with a gas one I installed in the living space. I plumber it in myself and then had the propane company come over and hook it up to the tank. I was so proud of myself!!!

I got up the next morning, and had no hot water.
I turned on the stove to make breakfast and I had no gas.
I looked in the crawlspace and it was a steamy sauna under there.

Apparently I did not do the swap properly and the water heater was running all night, heating water, pumping it into the crawlspace, and using up all the propane in the tank. I guess it could have been worse. I could have had the infinite supply of municipal gas.

I fixed it but still don't know how I made such a stupid mistake.
This was perhaps 35 years ago. The memory only stings a bit now.
You are probably a distance relative of my husband.
 

Aneeda72

Senior Member
Original Poster
Help me out here.

I don't know your husband. How should I respond? ;)

ps: I got other stories if you need them...
I meant because you ran over an electric cord with a tiller and he ran over a cable tv cord with a
tiller-😂. its just an expression used when people do similar things.

Post as many stories as you would like. I’d like to hear them.
 
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I meant because you ran over an electric cord with a tiller and he ran over a cable tv cord with a
tiller-😂. its just an expression used when people do similar things.

Post as many stories as you would like. I’d like to hear them.
It's not our fault!

Yeh, I think he & I come from a VERY large family!!!

I had a neighbor who is also our kin. I was trimming my hedges with a set of manual clippers, and he walked over his electric hedge trimmers for me to use. Then he says "Let me get the extension cord I use for those." So he brings over this cord that's got a repair in it every 8"...masking tape, electrical tape, bandage tape, every kind of tape.

Yeh, his special hedge trimmer cord.
 

Aneeda72

Senior Member
Original Poster
Today we decided to start on the back garden along the fence. We took some of the broken cement and used it on the end instead of the expensive bricks. Then I cleaned some old dead vines off about 12 feet of fencing. A fairly easy but tiring job.

While he moved some bricks and tilled up the area in front of the raised garden space, I filled the wheelbarrow with dirt. I have to use a child’s shovel so it takes a while. Then he starts laying the bricks. I go into the house to do house stuff and then I go outside.

He says I missed the excitement. What excitement? He did about 2 feet of wall, 7 bricks high, and used glue to hold them together. They fell over. Then he backfilled the space to hold the bricks up, replaced them, added more glue, went to get more bricks, and when he came back, the bricks had fallen over again. Hmm. Very exciting, not.

Then he says he decided to read the instructions on the glue. 🤔. Turns out you can go five bricks high and then the glue has to dry before you add more bricks. Takes about a week. Hmm. So I say let’s just do it five bricks high. He got 6 feet done. This is going to take forever.

Meanwhile, our neighbor is outside and I go to talk to him. He has said give him time and he will clean up his backyard. Really? Cause he’s lived there his entire life, he is 65. I wonder how much time he wants us to give him. But he has a piece of white iron fencing, in the junk pile, that I want.

So, after small talk, I say I noticed that piece of white iron fencing and if you don’t want it, can I have it? Oh, yeah, it’s lovely isn‘t? Old style. I was going to cut it up and use it for this, but if you want it you can have it. I know why you want it, it’s old style, can‘t buy that anymore.

Well, I actually don’t want to buy it now. 😂.

Anyway, after more discussion he decides to give it to me. When do you want it? Not for a while, think about it, let me know. Half hour later he pops it over the fence. YAY. I’ll be weeks before I use it, but now I’ve got it.
 

Aneeda72

Senior Member
Original Poster
I'm so glad I'm not married any more! If any work needs doing, I call in the professionals.
We do that when we can afford if and we never do our own electric or plumbing. But we have spent all our savings, which was little. It cost 7000 to have the tree removed. Then we had electric, still need more, plumbing, still need a lot more.

As for not being married, if wishes were horses. I can’t afford not to be married.
 

Aneeda72

Senior Member
Original Poster
So I felt bad about the iron railing, I think he gave it to me before he thought about it. I think he really didn’t want to part with it even though he will never use it. He’s one of those elderly men that always has a project in mind but no actions.

I put it back into his yard. I’ll find something else somewhere.
 

Em in Ohio

Senior Member
Location
OH HI OH
Story #1
I bought my last house from a guy who had installed a shed at the back of the yard, complete with electricity.

So deciding to put in a garden, I rented a roto-tiller, and had at it. Everything's going fine when the tiller suddenly grinds to a halt. I look down, and the underground electric cable is wrapped around the tines!!! Bzzzzttt!!!!

I guess the guy just turned the dirt over with a shovel, tucked the cable underneath it, then stomped the sod back down.
Same here - must have the same previous owner! Everywhere I dug, I found wiring one-shovel deep - no idea if they are live or not! I was afraid to keep yanking on them (electricity scares the heck out of me), so I just left a small section above ground to know it is there, applied dirt back over the rest, and again stomped it down... creative, right? As my dear father used to say, "Let the next guy fix it!"
 
Same here - must have the same previous owner! Everywhere I dug, I found wiring one-shovel deep - no idea if they are live or not! I was afraid to keep yanking on them (electricity scares the heck out of me), so I just left a small section above ground to know it is there, applied dirt back over the rest, and again stomped it down... creative, right? As my dear father used to say, "Let the next guy fix it!"
This guy had a wife and 3 kids living in this small house. It was built in the 40s (hey, the 40s are coming back 'round!!), so had wonderful hardwood floors they had carpeted over. I decided I wanted hardwood and area rugs. When I pulled up the carpet, I was left with a sea of black foam backing. The guy had glued the carpet to the hardwood floor!!! He must have spread it with a driveway broom...it covered every square inch.
 

Aneeda72

Senior Member
Original Poster
Yesterday our son took husband to Lowe’s and they picked up forty bags of river rocks. it was just enough rocks to fill the 10x10 dog run so the boys can be out of the dirt. Today son came again and we got 30 bags of river rocks for us and 10 of wood chips for so son.

Husband wore his mask in the store, then he gets in the car, takes of his mask, and before he wiped his hands he starts rubbing his mouth and face. “What the heck are you doing I yelled”. Sigh. I swear, he gets dummer every day.
 

Aneeda72

Senior Member
Original Poster
Bigger tools and more power. Hard combination for any red blooded male to resist.

Heck, you are lucky you aren't married to me. I would have brought home a D8 Cat to bust up the concrete.:giggle:
I actually wanted the foundation of the house to remain intact. He rented it again this morning to bust up the rest of the pad. Stayed away from the house by 4-6 inches so he wouldn’t put a hole in it.
 

Aneeda72

Senior Member
Original Poster
In an effort to try and keep Henry our five month old Bordoodle alive, and to keep our Aussie our 7 month old Bordoodle from killing him, we used a tall puppy pen to separate the 10x10 dog run into two 10’ long 5’ wide enclosures.

Aussie, a jealous guy always fights with Henry to try and get to be first out of the gate and into the house or escape to the freedom of the yard. But a couple of days ago, he grabbed Henry from behind by his cloth choke collar, and tried to strangle him. Sigh.

Husband followed my directions, took apart puppy pen, put stakes in the ground, used the puppy pen pieces to separate the boys. Puppy pen comes with a gate. We take Aussie out first, put him in one side.

Take Henry out next, put him in other side. Since husband works nights, currently at home due to virus, I put the boys out in the morning. Imagine my dismay when I realize he put the puppy pen gate facing the wrong way. While he can reach over the fence to lock/and unlock the gate. I am too short. I cannot.

imagine his dismay when he realized his has to get up, after 3 hours sleep, and put the dogs out. He still hasn’t fixed it. Not reminding him, not nagging him, just waking him up every dang morning to put the boys out. 🤔🤣
 

Aneeda72

Senior Member
Original Poster
We continue to work on the yard. Have the back yard partially tilled up, good bye weeds, and are going to plant grass seed back there one once it is done. The planter is finished. We planted the whole thing in veggies for now. Then changed our mind. 😂

So I moved the strawberries into the only small raised flower bed that I have. It has a lot of annuals in it, so next year there will be room for the strawberries to take over. Moved the green peppers into the raspberry garden, along with a yellow squash.

Next year the raspberries will spread, but for now there is room. Everything survived. Can’t moved the cucumbers, these are the only seeds I planted which have come up besides the sunflowers in the raised bed.

I am going to moved all the squash into the front, now nude yard, next to the drive way. Along with a lemon cucumber which isn’t doing well and the orange chard which the snails have enjoyed. Every morning I go out and pluck smalls out of the planter, loads of snails. Moved the rhubarb.

He is planting roses in the planter as I move the veggies. He prepared the bed in the front yard yesterday and I will transfer the rest of the veggies in the morning. It’s a risk as it’s very hot, 95 degrees. But due to the snails from the neighbor’s back yard having the roses there is a better option. Plus the roses will hide the neighbors awful weed filled yard.

Since it is the front veggie bed I will add flowers as I find them on clearance. I found clearance roses at Lowe’s, but they were still pricy. An employee was outside marking down other plants and I asked her if she could mark them down anymore.

Wow, she said since we were buying so many she would. Paid 100 for 400 dollars worth of plants. Didn’t get as many as you might think, but still what a great deal. Bought as many as we could put in our small car though. Keeping so busy I don’t have time to play my computer game, which is a good thing.
 

Lee

Member
Location
Chatham, Ontario
The best laid plans go awry, Murphy's law or whatever you want to call it. I mapped out a design for the back yard, first in my head, then on paper, perennial border along the fence with a cutout area for a park bench, then an area of flagstone and pea stone for a pathway, then a small raised deck allowing easy access from the back door.

The "call before you dig" man is to blame for my addled brain now having to come up with plan B. Turns out a hydro line runs right where the existing steps are. Not advisable to build a deck over a hydro line. Bummer, not happy, I do not like to think too hard.

On the happy happy flip side though, my raised veggie garden is sporting peas, beans, mesclun mix. radishes, onions and of course tomatoes and cukes. And the front yard is a remarkable transformation from what I called a muck mess to something the neighbors no longer have to nudge and giggle at.
 


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