Sunday, June 7, 2020

The Anti-Bucket List: “Easy to Install” Irrigation Systems, Sunday evening trencher rentals and more

We have all heard of, or maybe even have, a list of things we want to do before we kick the bucket - a bucket list. After a recent Retro Ranch project I’ve decided that I have the opposite of a bucket list too – the anti-bucket list, things I have done once and will never do again. In addition to drinking yogurt water (served with a meal in Turkey), I can now add operating a trencher.

Last year Beth decided she wanted an irrigation system in the front yard (because Scott likes a green lawn and Beth is the sprinkler handler) so we purchased an “Easy to Install” Rainbird sprinkler kit. It didn’t get installed in 2019 so a couple of weekends ago, on a lovely sunny Sunday, it was time to install it. We needed a warm day so the hose would be flexible. While I sifted more rocks on the side of the hose, Beth followed all of the instructions and set up the system in the front yard, above ground. Everything seemed to work so it was time to bury the lines late Sunday afternoon.

Getting the hose in place, about 4 inches down, required splitting the turf with a straight edge shovel and forcing the line into the opening. Although it didn’t go quickly it was going until we got to the first head which need to be 8 inches down. After fighting the first one for about 30 minutes, and having 5 more to go (and the looming existence of roots the further towards the trees we moved) Beth decided a trencher was in order. I assumed this meant the project would carry into the following weekend. Silly me – it seems The Home Depot rental department is open until 8 pm! So off we go to rent a truck and the trencher. Obviously, it wouldn’t fit in the boot of the Mini. Loading the trencher at The Home Depot using ramps took 3 people. This concerned me, I wasn’t sure if Beth and I would be able to get it back in the truck.

Getting the trencher in place in the yard was no small trick and I fired it up. Holy crap – the vibration and the fact I had to pull it back as it trenched. It also wanted to veer to the right after a few feet so it was a matter of fighting the machine and then trying to reposition its direction. It brought back bad memories of raising teenagers. Fortunately, after an hour from hell and ripping our yard up, the trenching was complete. I then had to clean the trencher and, with the help of our neighbor, Joe, we got it back in the truck. Upon returning it to The Home Depot the rental clerk, who rented it to me about 2 ½ hours earlier, asked me how it went. I said, matter of factly – “it beat the shit out of me.” I also told him that it did its job and that it was both the first and last time I would ever operate a trencher.

While I was dealing with the rental return, Beth finished installing the sprinkler system. With a few adjustments, it appears to be working just fine. (Scott’s deadpan comment to Beth was, “I love what you’ve done with the lawn.”) Beth really is amazing on the things she will jump headlong into. The baby grasses are starting to sprout in the scars where the lines went in. We have a few more things to complete to button up this project but we can add another check mark to the task completed list on the Retro Ranch website.

The other project completed that weekend was clearing the garage floor - dealing with boxes of stuff and getting rid of the pallets they were on. This project finally made it to the must do list because the Kitchen Restoration - Phase II began in May. Scott went through troves of memorabilia and stored, trashed or gave away many things. Beth went through and created a huge donation pile.  If only the donation places were open! The garage was cleaned up just in time for the new kitchen appliances to be delivered!

Stay tuned for the Kitchen Renovation - Phase II, coming soon!