understanding what "backyard project" means

This is the story of how Chuck and I had widely different understandings of what this backyard project involved. Good thing I had nothing to do with this project.

It was time to redo the backyard this Spring. I briefly mentioned this a month ago when Thunder came to visit.

Sam needs grass to play on and I need him to have a wildlife cage-pen like area that he can roam free in (once he learns to roam) and our current backyard has no grass. I'd love for Sam to be raised cage-free but it's not going to happen. I would also like him to NOT be grass fed but that dream is also going out the window (it's so tasty, mama!). Moving on from how my baby is not an organic cow...

Chuck has worked tirelessly on this backyard project for the last six weeks, and at a lightning pace that goes against all his genes (Go Chuck Go). I think he's been hoping to finish by Sam's birthday. He works every night from Sam's bedtime to way past dark. And then every weekend from sun up to sun down. I'd help, but I don't want to I'm stuck inside doing the Lord's work and raising the child. Shoot. I'm just dying to get out there.

It's been an insane amount of work and that leads me to why I've asked you to come here today - other than that you love me and are just DYING to know what's going on in The Allison Wonderland.

Let's talk about my understanding of the backyard project vs. Chuck's understanding of the backyard project. Spoiler alert: Nothing I'm about to type should in any way surprise you. If it does, you have some light homework to do on our life by reading this post on the bathroom remodel, this post on using trig to hang a ladder and this post on house painting. This backyard project is just one of many...

Susie's understanding of the project:
1. Pull up deck.
2. Lay down sod.

BAM! Backyard. This sounds simple enough. Heck, I'll help do this. I can pull up a deck. Shocker, I have actually done that before. Hold the baby, get me a drill and a crow bar.

OK. So as it turns out that's not all that goes into building a backyard. If I woke up tomorrow with my head sewn to the carpet.. well, you know.

Chuck's understanding of the project:
1. Pull up deck.
2. Regrade backyard with existing dirt.
3. Dig 100 feet of trenches for a sprinkler system
4. Build a sprinkler system.
5. Spread top soil.
6. Lay down sod.

Alright, so, I mean we weren't that far off from each other. Aside from steps 2-5, I had a complete and total understanding of this project. Probably a good thing I have had nothing to do with it, right? My talents are better served elsewhere like watching and feigning interest in the steps.

Will you look back at steps... well, ok so maybe steps 2-5 are all pretty heavy duty, but note step 4: building a sprinkler system.

So...those things just don't magically appear under grass? I'm so confused. I was sure the water fairy left those under your sod pillow. Apparently, they do not.

But apparently Chuck knows how to build one?

No, but "I'll figure it out."

Really, Chaz? I couldn't figure out how to make gravy from the red wine pot roast, but sprinkler system. Oh you got this. No big deal.

The sub steps for building a sprinkler system in Chuck's project outline would be into the "i" "ii" "iii" range. Think research paper from college. C'mon. You can do it. You can get that joke.

Some gifts for you.
DIAGRAMS WERE MADE for this project.

Hokay. Welcome to diagram-a-polooza: sprinkler system edition.

I don't know what this one means, but it's clearly mathy and number. I see angles. I see psi. It's like a code. Chuck hieroglyphics. I find these diagrams on the table when I come downstairs in the morning like the remnants of an advanced nighttime civilization. I'm currently looking for the Rosetta stone to unlock the meaning of these marks (unless that's in US weekly, I doubt I'll find it).

I know what this one is!!! Woot woot. THIS is a drawing for the valve box that Chuck built. The drawing is of the valve assembly for going into the valve box.
Ok so circle of trust, I had to call Chuck at work to get further understanding than that and good news, I'm more confused now than ever. Something about electrically actuated, signals to open valves, circuits and I went into my happy place where I hear him but I don't hear him. Think adult voices in Charlie Brown.   
I do know that he built this to connect the new system to the existing system and to be able to control both from the box in the garage. Wires were used. More trenches dug. Please do not ask me more.

My favorite drawing. This is a scale drawing of our backyard, for starters. Making this diagram involved the use of a compass, but he didn't have one so he made a make shift one out of a paper clip and a sticky note. Math MacGyver. The dots are where the proposed sprinkler heads would be and the arc is their spray zone based on calculating water pressure and sprinkler head capabilities (definitely made that last part up).

Now I did get a "lecture" from Chuck about how clearly he's cheating the watering system because obviously this isn't enough sprinkler heads but since we live in Seattle and rain is not scares, he could back off on the coverage and save himself from digging another 100 feet of tranches. OBVIOUSLY. I always love how he acts like I'll notice things like this or like it was on the tip of my tongue and he's saving face by saying what I must be thinking. Sure.

So, back to the lists of how this project goes. I feel I was stunningly accurate and I'm assuming you agree. BUT, if we are going off of Chuck's list, then steps 1-4 are done. The top soil comes tonight and the sod comes Thursday. I have lots of pictures, don't worry. We'll share the trench digging, regrading, and sprinkler system building for then. But FYI - of course the system works. Flawlessly. Would you expect anything less?

Hope you wanted a backyard for your birthday Sam because that's what you're getting. Run free Little Sam, run free.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my god. I think that Chuck and David are soulmates. This is exactly how he operates for any project! Diagrams, CAD drawings, hand drawings, boring descriptions... the whole shebang!


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