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Disgusting Field of Brown

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Remember that 20 inches of snow that I told you about last week? Well it has mostly melted at this point. Melted so much that I'm starting to see glimpses of the yards in the neighborhood. And also our... yard. I use the word "yard" for lack of a better word. I probably shouldn't sully the reputation of the word "yard" though. The word "yard" conjures up mental images of nice green grass, a well manicured lawn and an inviting space for kids and dogs to place.

No, at my house the word "yard" means something else entirely. First of all, our front yard is just about evenly split at fifty percent grass and fifty percent various strains of weeds. We have regular crab grass and we have this particularly nasty spiny bloomin' onion looking things. The ones that when you try to pull them out, they stick their little spines right through your gloves into your hand. There is another weird thing about the grass in our front yard. The people who lived here before us did a really odd thing. They must have changed the landscaping my moving trees and flower beds. Because there are large random spots of different types of grass dotting the lawn. It almost looks like a hole at a golf course because there is some long thin grass, some regular grass and then a spot where the grass grows really thick and close together like a putting green. I say it almost looks like a golf course because the grass on a golf course is green.

Our back yard has its own problems. The grass to weed ratio is about 20/80 in favor of the weeds (I know that that most people would understand that sentence with me having to add "in favor of the weeds". But there are some that wouldn't. And those are the ones that send e-mail). But there are also large areas where nothing grows at all. The problem is that we had about a billion too many trees in the back yard. Too many trees for that small of a space. They were just choking each other and the grass underneath. So much so that the roots of the trees were coming above ground. A large area of our back yard is just criss-crossing roots. Just the thing for small kids to run through. We've cleared the trees but the roots remain. I'm thinking of just getting a million square feet of top soil and covering the whole back yard. But then I think again. What I really need to do is take a giant roto-tiller and chop every thing up and turn it all under. Then drop some weapons-grade weed killer down and then finally plant some grass. But I'm kind lazy that way so we'll see what happens

Speaking of lazy, another problem with both the front and back yards is that I don't like to rake leaves. I don't like to use leaf blowers to collect and bag leaves, and I especially don't like to pay other people to collect and bag leaves. Consequently, there is a nice layer of dead leaves all over the place. In some areas, there are larger drifts of leaves where the wind has blown them up against the house or fence. And they are just rotting away. Our next door neighbors are fanatical about raking their leaves in the fall. They are out every weekend raking and bagging. Then, during the week, all the leaves from our yard blow over onto their yard and the cycle starts anew. I think they understand though. They are a bit older than us and their kids have left home - they have time to rake leaves. Having three kids (one an infant) and a wife that works one full weekend a month doesn't leave a lot of Saturdays and Sundays to spend bagging leaves. I think I may have to break down this year and pay someone to do it. Although with so many trees gone from our yard now, we will have less leaves. That should make it easier to keep the pool clean also.