The interesting thing about men is that they are competitive, no matter what age they are. The youngest of the two looked at the concrete and then took my brand new pitchfork to try to get it out *cringe* until Hubby gave him a pry bar. The other young man picked up a pick and made a few attempts to get it under the edge of the concrete. Then Hubby took the pry bar from the youngest and with one hand pounded it into a crack, then took the pick and lifted it out. From then on, there was a contest between the two young men to see which of them could get out a chunk of concrete with less strokes of a tool. So that chore didn't take long at all.
Getting the turf out proved to be the real test of their manliness though. The turf wasn't that hard since it had only been planted last year, but Hubby wanted about four inches of the soil removed also, and it was an area about twenty-two feet by ten feet. Hubby hooked the garden trailer to the golf cart, and being young, they thought it took two of them to empty the cart, but since they had signed on for the day, they probably did need the rest.
Also being young, and being male, they didn't know how to back a trailer and wouldn't ask. I was mowing the front yard after they had dumped a load of dirt and had the front end of the golf cart in a corner. The oldest was driving and he backed and the cart jack-knifed. He went forward to straighten, and backed again with the same result. I let them do that a few times before I stopped the lawnmower and told them to pick up the empty cart to straighten it since it weighs all of ten pounds.
One of our projects is to remove the bridge from the side of the pond and replace with stone steps, and Hubby was very glad to let them pick up a heavy rock and set it in place. I was even happier, because knowing Hubby, if they hadn't been there, he would have moved the rock and I would have to help.
Here are the rocks in place. After Hubby showed it to me, I voiced my disapproval, which is probably why he didn't admire the garden I rescued from the weedville.
At noon, I asked if they were tired and both said no. After lunch, they had both slowed their pace a lot. I was ready to call it a day myself and I had been working in the shade since late morning. An hour later I asked again if they were ready to stop working and they said no, but their body language said yes. At two, they had all the turf out and had more or less gotten the soil down to the level Hubby wanted, so he told them their job was done. They both looked relieved, but sorry they couldn't earn more money, although Hubby paid them for a whole day anyway.
Here's what they did.
The next day, the concrete crew was there bright and early to set up forms. The concrete truck came, and they had the patio raised to the level of the foundation in no time.
Hubby dug a trench in the center of the dry stream area, and laid a French drain pipe. Then I finished the dry stream while Hubby started the deck beside and over it. I need more gravel and I think I want a bridge where those board cross the stream. At this point, I have a Hesperaloe parviflora aka Texas red yucca, Mimosa microphylla aka Sensitive plant, and Calyptocarpus vialis aka Horseherb, all native plants.
Yahoo! Now we don't have to worry about flooding the next time it rains.
It is sooooo nice to walk in the back door without tracking dirt, mud, and grass.
We have the concrete poured for the new room, but hadn't planned on building it now, nor did we plan on a big porch over the deck. But that would work. It would also take all the funds saved for my new used car. I'm not sure I want to give up the car fund. I've been driving the Beastmobile for almost three years and I'm really ready for a car I can count on.
This photo was taken a few days later after large gravel was added from edge to edge (except I ran out of gravel and there are a few bare areas).
Here it is June 7, 2011:
You can see the stream in action here.
Until next time, may you have blessings and someone else to do the digging,