Tuesday, July 5, 2011

DIY: Mud Pit Be Gone

As you know, we own a home... or least we probably own the porch swing by now. I think the other 99% of the house is still owned by the bank. But you get the picture. Along with the awesomeness of having our own home means that I can't just call the apartment office when I need a light bulb changed. Those were the good ole days. Seriously. Because right now, I can think of about six DIFFERENT kinds of light bulbs that need to be replaced at my house. This is going to require me personally going and buying said light bulbs and figuring out how to change them. And while that might sound ridiculous, some of them are inside light fixtures. So not only do I have to buy the right size light bulb, I have to figure out how to get it in the fixture. This is a goal of mine for next week. Anyway, I have completely digressed.Bottom line - there's no apartment office to fix things. I am the apartment office.

So, owning a home also means I own the mud pit that has made itself right at home in my backyard. The mud pit that has become the personal playground of Boo, Melvin, and Bella. The mud pit that has made certain that grass has no chance of growing. The mud pit that laughs at me when I fork over money to yet again have Boo groomed because he decided to lay in the mud pit. This is the mud pit:

See that green square? Yes, that's a French drain. Unfortunately, that French drain is just slightly off from the mud pit and the water flows away from the drain, meaning, it's not really helping out. Everyday when our neighbors water their flowers, the mud pit returns.

So, the other day, my hero, Jeff, looked in our yard and was like, "You know, I think I can fix that". I, of course, got really excited because (A.) I clearly have no clue how to fix something like that - I mean, I'm having light bulb anxiety over here, and (B) I really wanted the mud pit gone. In fact, I got so excited that I started bragging to my neighbor - the neighbor with the flower bed and the sprinkler. He was outside, and I was "checking out" some drainage stuff,  because I'm a drainage expert. He inquired about the drainage, and I started making all these proclamations about how my boss Jeff could totally fix the drainage problems easily, and he could do it for like $40. I think I might have even waved my arms around for extra dramatic effect. You could tell my neighbor was skeptical of my proud claims, but I knew it my heart Jeff could do it - so I told him I'd "keep him updated" - code language for "I'll let you know when I prove he can do it".

A couple of days later, the project started. We started digging (okay - mainly Jeff and Mark dug). Our goal was to put in another drain along the same pipe thing so the water wouldn't just pool. After finding the pipe thing, I got out all my fancy pants tools and started digging. myself. Here was my work site:

I love my pink tool kit. It's awesome. Here's what I had to drink while I worked:

Yes - sweet tea - with lip gloss marks. Because if you can't look good while digging a French drain, why do it?

And here I am, glad to be working outside on a beautiful day:

After making it completely through Joni Mitchell's "Blue" record and through most of James Taylor's "New Moon Shine", I had made some seriously impressive progress:

Yes. I dug all the way under the drain pipe thing and around it so that we could fit another drain in. This was pretty much the extent of my expertise. Digging. After that, I needed help. So, I took a break and waited for the expert.

Once the expert came, things started happening really quickly. There was a lot of sweat and grunting - it was like Bob Vila on steroids. Things just magically went into place. I clearly wasn't needed, but I watched and it was amazing. This is what the hole quickly looked like:

After cutting the pipe thing, Jeff stuck the new drain on there. We poured some water in to make sure it worked, and sure enough, it did. Then, I got to pretend like I did something really awesome:

Okay don't judge me. Someone has to put the lid on. And really, who's more qualified than me?

Clearly no one.

So, after the lid was on, we filled in the hole and smoothed the dirt around it, and this is what it now looks like:

Legit, huh?

So, the mud puddle is no longer. We are still watching to see how it holds up and if we need to put in one more. Either way, it's already way better, Mark and I learned a new skill, and I'm basically a professional drain digger. I know you are all so impressed. Might I add, this only cost $16 to fix - less than the originally estimated $40.

I hope everyone had a wonderful fourth of July. Oh, and in case you were wondering, the mommy bunny took the babies and moved them - probably because we were a little too friendly with them. Oh, well. (-:



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