I love when Mondays come around and I feel like I was productive over the weekend. Well this weekend was exceptional. When AJ and I take projects on, they usually are pretty big tasks. For example, when we bought our house we decided to buy a foreclosure and take the time to remodel it the way we wanted. It was not a move-in ready house by any means. If you have ever tried to remodel a room then you know the kind of dedication it takes. But since we did a whole house makeover, it was a large undertaking. Anyway, since last year we spent our time and money on doing things for the inside of the house. But 2009 is a year for doing things to the outside of our house.
There is a pond in our backyard with an overwhelming amount of cattails that continue to take over our awesome view. Well since the homeowners association wouldn't do anything about the existing dead ones, they gave us permission to deal with them on our own. These are not plants you can just pull out of the ground, and they are not plants that just go away after they die. They grow, die, stay there, and wait to multiply the next year around the old ones from the year before. So long story short...we decided to excavate them. (The picture above does not depict the amount of cattails we had before the project). Our plan was to dig the old ones out, then treat the new growth with chemicals so they are easier to maintain. We have the greatest friends in the world who just happen to own an excavator and dedicated all their time to helping us get these things out. We had called at the beginning of the week for our utilities to get marked so we wouldn't be held liable if we dug and hit anything. They came out and marked our yard and we were approved for digging on Friday. Friday evening comes and we are making huge progress. All the neighbors around the pond had come out to see what we were doing and were extremely happy that we were taking care of the cattails. (Huge relief to us).
Anyway, we were going to bury some of the cattails in our yard so we started digging a hole. Low and behold, there is a huge pop and all our power goes out. Well, not just our power but about 15 houses around us! As we're trying to figure out what went wrong, all the neighbors come out to see what we did. (Not a relief to us). Thankfully, they were all understanding. We even had one older man come out to say he was watching too much TV anyway. Haha. Power eventually came back on, but our project for Friday was over. The electric company had to come out to investigate and temporarily repair the line. AT&T also had to come out on Saturday to investigate and repair their line as well. Saturday we finished excavating and decided to rent a dump trailer to put the cattails in. Fortunately, there is a dump about a block away from our neighborhood and the owner allowed us put all the cattails there free of charge. It took three large loads to get rid of all the cattails we could reach with the excavator. I wish I had a picture of what a full trailer looked like. Just imagine a heap so large that it is overflowing the trailer.
We were also in need of getting rid of our old dock. It was destroyed last June in the flood. For several reasons we had not gotten around to that yet, but Saturday it was finally hauled away. Our friend who owned the excavator loaded it on his trailer and took it away. These two pictures combined is all the wood that came from the dock.
Overall, the project this weekend went well despite the fact that our yard still looks like a crime scene investigation. Just to clear things up, we don't know why our yard wasn't marked out by our pond. But the electric company did say that the cables were buried too close to the pond and that they weren't buried deep enough. I am so happy that we had our lines marked in the first place. I can't imagine the bill that would have come with this mishap.
I am eternally thankful to Mark for spending his time excavating all weekend and for hauling away our wood pile. He has no idea how big of a deal this was to us. We definitely wouldn't have been able to accomplish this task without his resources. THANK YOU!!