Thursday, June 18, 2009

stuck like chuck

Well, I still don't have grass. Everyone that knows me knows I'm a magnet for having things go wrong.

When I hired Alan's Lawn Care, he quoted me a great price. However, when he was ready to start, the dump truck he wanted wasn't available. He was then going to use his own pick-up truck to grab all the soil, but his pick-up truck died the night before and he had to buy another one. He found a cheap car for $3500 from Ottawa, but he had to drive there to pick it up. Fortunately it helped that he's from Ottawa and his folks still have a home there. What didn't help however was that he was so tired from the drive that he didn't wake up until I called him at 9:30am, and he got to my place at 11:15am, with the first load of top soil.

I say "the first load" because without a dump truck, he needed to haul 4 loads of soil back and forth to my house, and that was before having to move all of it (4 cubic yard worth, if anyone cares) to my backyard.

When he finally came here to start work, the tiller broke on him. He wanted to find the nut that popped off so he went and rented a metal detector, which didn't find it. He then drove off to Home Steep-o to find a replacement nut. When he came back, he realized the washer that went with the nut was misplaced, so again he had to spend time looking for it.

We dumped two pick-up-truck-ful of soil to the backyard, one wheelbarrow load at a time. Luckily, we had two wheelbarrows going so it wasn't terribly slow. I did probably as much work as him. Remember, I hired him so I wouldn't have to do it myself. Oh well, there goes that idea.

Finally we started tilling, and of course after 2 months of barren ground, my dirt was now clay. I didn't realize just how difficult that was to till. Even the heavy-duty tiller he had would skip over the ground and not, well, till. So I had to use a hoe to pre-break-up the ground. 1200 square feet of hoeing isn't fun. It really isn't. And quite honestly, if I was going to hoe all my ground, I don't know if I really needed to till anymore.

Anyway, by the time we finish spreading the 2 cubic yards of dirt, I had to go for dinner, and he had to leave once more for Ottawa. (He's based in Toronto, but just our luck that he had to go back to Ottawa on that evening.)

To make a long story short, here's my backyard right now:
backyard sodding landscape topsoil


Having typed all that, I still heartily recommend Alan. He's a great guy, studying at Tindale for Religious Studies, has a passion for youth ministries. Anytime I can help out a university student who has a passion in doing something as noble as being a youth pastor will get my hard-saved dollar all day, every day.

It's been raining for 2 days now, and will continue to rain until Saturday. I told him not to work on Sundays (I don't, so why should I make him?) but to start on the coming Monday morning. Hopefully I'll have pictures Monday night of my grass.

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