The Grass is Greener

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It is amazing to me what a little bit of dirt and new sod can do to totally transform a home! Recently we took on some of the outside projects because, well we have spring fever and the weather has been downright gorgeous! The old saying, the grass is greener is so incredibly true! Because after a half day of hard (extremely labor intensive) work we could enjoy the immediate results of our labor, that completely transformed this place!

For a couple of weekends now we have had the threat of rain on the weekend so we have been waiting, patiently, to get the dirt work done so we could lay the sod. So with a clear forecast, we decided it was now or never to get the dirt! So we piled in my Dad’s truck and headed for the dirt yard. After 3,000 pounds were added to the trailer we headed home to unload it and begin the transformation process. There was a 4-6 inch drop-off from the driveway to the yard (I am using the term “yard” sparingly because it really was just weeds). So not only was it a hazard if you accidentally drove off the drive (like I have ever done that) or stepped off unexpectedly (nope not done that either), it was also an eyesore. So the teenage boy, my Dad and I all began unloading the dirt from the trailer. My mom was the job supervisor.

So after the 3,000 pounds of dirt were unloaded, we realized that we needed more dirt so we headed back to the dirt yard for more! We had underestimated in a big way! Half to be exact! So we picked up 3,000 more pounds of dirt and headed home to unload! We spent less than $100 on 6,000 pounds of dirt and because we are “those” people we calculated what it would have cost to get the same amount of dirt at the big box home improvement store which is sold in 20-pound bags…you don’t want to know that BIG number people! But you do want to know if you need a LOT of dirt then get it from the dirt yard! You will thank me later!

Even just adding dirt made the place look considerably better than it did before! But being the overly ambitious people that we are, we decided to go ahead and lay some sod! I mean, who would be tired after unloading 6,000 pounds of dirt? Ha! Have you ever been working as hard and fast as you can only to be lapped by your Dad? It is NOT fun people. Not Fun.

So we tasked the teenage boy with finding the best deal on sod! After two calls he determined that the big box home improvement store would match the price of the local hardware store for a pallet of grass! BIG score! Because the local hardware store had already sold out of grass by 10 a.m. Hehehe! But wait, if I used my big box store credit card I could also get 5% off! Really big score!


So we loaded up again and got two pallets of sod! That is only about 400 pieces of sod to lay! And in assembly line fashion we began laying the sod one piece at a time. It was beautiful! I mean bring a tear to your eye, beautiful! It could have been sweat but it might have been tears of joy! I am not sure because I was too tired and dirty to care! But the beautiful green grass made me so incredibly happy!

We are not done with the backyard yet, and probably need another 2-3 pallets of sod to finish the back. But it looks so good! We are outside, backyard people and we will enjoy this probably more than any other thing we have done to this house! Honestly, I am proud to be that person – the one the neighbor’s love (but hate) because of all the changes I have made to my house and yard. I know this to be true because my nosey neighbor told me so! He is beyond honest and actually came over while we were unloading the dirt, and again when we were unloading the sod, and one more time after we had finished, so he could offer his opinions and tell me that I am making the rest of the neighbors look bad by fixing up mine! Mission accomplished!

It is funny to look back at some of the pictures of this neglected farmhouse less than a year ago. I knew the moment I saw it that it had so much potential to be revitalized into a special place. But leveling the yard with dirt, a LOT of dirt mind you, and topping with sod has had almost the same impact as taking the ugly, peeling yellow paint off and topping with fresh, new gray. Almost.