You know, after 20 hours driving a backhoe, when you get in your car, that has power steering, it feels like you are expending so much effort just to turn.

Okay Sunday! Sunday we hit the ground running and began by yanking out a bunch of trees. We saved one to replant the others are chipper fodder. Yanking out the stumps was a project in itself. I think we ate up much of the morning just digging out stumps. But once we got the hang of it things ran smoothly. While I was pulling out the stumps and Dad was cutting down the trees with the chainsaw, Tara and Erik put up 5 sections of fence. They did a very good job of it too.

We did have one of the neighbors come and complain at 9:00am about the chainsaw. Of course this was when we were done. My Dad says to her, “Oh, we’re all done…. (with that tree). It wasn’t until about an hour or so later that we had to cut another tree down.

Today we started the concrete slabs on the opposite side of the property. We set them up that actual property line which extends our yard about 3 feet into our neighbor’s yard, which is actually our yard. At some later date we’ll have to get a new fence up on that side too. No rush on that, our neighbor on that side is a good one. And on the other side too, its just the back yard, no fence high enough for the backyard. Well actually it wasn’t as bad as I expected, we did meet some nice folks who were interested in what we were doing. One guy on Sunday morning asked my Dad, “Do those people mind that you’re tearing up their yard to make this fence?” Dad was like, “Oh you mean my yard? Yeah, that’s my house.” We really didn’t have too many gawkers either and that kept us on task, because we were burning daylight from the moment we got up that morning.

So I dug a trench across the back to lay the concrete slabs into. With the straps from Richard we had a much better time of moving the slabs into position. We used the scoop to swing the first two slabs into place. That offered some great control in the placement of the slabs. Then after the first two were in place we moved two more over so that I could then move the backhoe, set back up and then swing the next two in place. After that we put the rest of the slabs in with the bucket in the front. I would drop a slab with Dad and Erik guiding it into position then I would either help slide it over to the next slab with either the front bucket or the back scoop. The bucket worked best because I could drive directly into it and move the slab over.

Speaking of moving things with the front bucket. I was having alot of fun moving that dumpster all around. At the end of the night I wanted to move it way over in the corner but that wasn’t happening, instead I moved it behind the trees so at least we wouldn’t have to see it, and hopefully since we wouldn’t be going so far back the smell wouldn’t be as overpowering.

I think we had gotten about 5 slabs in place before we ran into a big obstacle. A root the size and diameter thicker than any of the trees that we took out. Erik tried to chop the root up with the grub ho. Then I tried to scoop around it with the backhoe. Then Dad took the chainsaw to it. Then Erik and Dad took turns driving a wedge through it with the sledgehammer and wedge. Finally Dad took the skill saw too it and a couple more whacks from the grub ho and sledgehammer and the root was out and we had enough room to put down another slab. That little adventure took up about a half hour or more.

Once we got all the slabs into place we cleaned up the parking lot, moved back the dumpster, left 3 5 foot slabs off to the side for the owner of the apartment house to use as he likes. Then I had enough room to drive the backhoe into the back yard. I dug a hole for the replanting of another tree. Moved one pile of rocks over to the far side of the fence for a rock garden, and then Dad pulled out the old Basketball hoop pole, which was all rusted and about 2 feet high at this point. There was about 2 1/2 feet of concrete on the bottom of the pole. So he scooped that up and put it with the other junk that we will bury…. and never have to dig up again. Ha, Ha.

After that was all done Mom took a group shot of the four of us by the backhoe. We had all cracked our beers and looking like a dirty rotten bunch. Then we got the backhoe loaded on the trailer, tied down and we all went off to take showers. Tara cooked us some nice big steaks and we had those and backed potatoes, courtesy of Tara and the new grill. We’ll be getting alot more use out of that once the backyard is completed.

As promised, here are some videos of the adventures in the backyard.

Getting Started

This is Day one with the backhoe.

Transporting the Slabs

This was how we moved each slab before the strap.


This is me doing some scooping.

Scooping 2

Digging a hole for the tree.

Bye Bye

Farewell to the backhoe.

The rest of the pictures will be up later.

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