The Grass is Greener… On Our Side!

Okay, it seems like my last post wasn’t THAT clear! Let me clarify… and elaborate!

The photo in the previous post is NOT of white feet (yes… a dear reader thought this to be true… she also thought these legs were of my husband’s… which isn’t good for my self-esteem. These legs, sadly, are mine.)

It is a photo of my weary feet after hours and hours hard at work on our backyard.. I took off my shoes and couldn’t believe how dirty my toes and ankle looked while the rest of my socks looked pearly white!

Let’s start all over again and I’ll tell you how our now-green backyard came to be…

February 2009:

  • We were planning for our wedding, just moved in our house, we wanted to put down sod for the backyard immediatelyย and my mom was in town and she volunteered to do it (sweet mommies) but we said don’t worry, we will wait until after the wedding…

March 1, 2009:

  • We are WED!

March 2, 2009:

  • We are DEAD TIRED!

March 15, 2009:

  • Still tired.

April 2009:

  • Still tired.

May 2009:

  • Still tired.

June 2009:

  • We seriously buckle down and start researching on grasses, how to prepare the soil for sod, make calls to various places for pricing, dig up rocks from our backyard when we feel like it, postpone taking the rocks to construction sites all around our house and dumping them. Found a place that would sell sod to us for around $500 (before taxes and delivery costs).

July 2009:

  • Let’s do it.

We set the delivery date (for four pallets of sod) to be delivered to our house on a Saturday morning. We planned to spend the whole Friday the day before digging up all remaining rocks and mixing the soil with peat moss (to make the soil “better” – we bought it from Lowe’s). But we didn’t have time to do it on Friday (translation: didn’t feel like it), so we decided to get up EARLY saturday morning to do all these before the sod arrived.

We woke up 7:00 AM and the sod arrived 7:30 AM, just when we were finally going downstairs… Oh, hi, grass.

Since sod shouldn’t be sitting out in the sun for too long, we knew we had to WORK and work FAST. And this is Texas… in the summer of 2009. In the middle of a drought. Average temperature: 100 degrees.

We attacked the backyard furiously, digging up rocks, leftover weeds, mixing the peat moss with the soil… and suddenly it was 10:00 AM already.

And it was time for Nick to go off to his softball game.

No problem, you know? I exercise. I eat very healthly. I’m young(ish).

After around two hours of backbreaking work, my progress looked like this:


yeah that's all. one strip.

In my defense, I had to lug a piece of sod from the driveway to the backyard and set it down, positioning it just right and cutting it if needed, and then walk back to the driveway to pick another piece up, back to the backyard…etc etc etc etc.

I also did one strip on the other side. And then I almost died.

I was SO tired, all dirty, sweaty…


that's my arm, not my leg

I needed FOOD. A quick avocado salad, to be exact. Slice an avocado in half, mash it, add salt, feta, cherry tomatoes, perfect quick snack/meal.

First, I had to slice it in half.

With a not-so-sharp knife.

With a so-very-tired arm.

I didn’t slice open the avocado. I sliced open my THUMB.

Blood sprayed all over… I looked at my thumb, thinking, “It doesn’t hurt at all. But that’s a lot of blood. A little too much. I’m glad I don’t faint at the sight of too much blood, like my mom…”

And then I thought, “This is TOO much blood.”

And I felt my body going into SHOCK. After pitifully self-taping a band-aid to my thumb, I hobbled to a chair, sat down, tired to blink away the emerging white spots that floated all around my head and teased me by fading away just a little bit before coming back bigger and stronger…

“Calm down, calm down, calm down,” I told myself. I paged Nick, knowing all the while that he wouldn’t check his pager because his pager is schizo.

I moved myself to the sofa and sat there, breathing in and out…

And my husband came into the house! Hallejuah. The first thing I said to him? “I almost died.”

Then he made me an avocado salad and I felt better!

We went back to work.



After a while, we looked great.

that tank top... ruined forever.

that tank top... ruined forever.



We worked and worked until we couldn’t remember what our skins looked like when clean. We called it quits for the day and hoped that our sod that was still sitting on the driveway would survive until the next day. We weren’t even halfway done.

are we done yet?

are we done yet?

We went out for some STEAK. With mushrooms and onions. And slept.

And woke up with SORE muscles. Mom, five more minutes… I mean, five more days.

But we still went back to work…

taking a picture break while shirtless nick grunts

taking a picture break while shirtless nick grunts

And ruined more articles of clothing… And walked around the house in trash bags…

keeping the house clean-ish

keeping the house clean-ish

And took breaks with this:

i understand construction workers and their habits better

i understand construction workers and their habits better

Until the sun was saying, “Quit already. I’m tired and I’m bored of watching Elisa whine.”

seconds before a long, long shower...

seconds before a long, long shower...

We gave all of our leftover sod to a neighbor and then looked at our garage. Tomorrow, we said, and the day ended. I honestly don’t remember what we did after the picture above. Showered, of course (I hope), but I don’t remember what else. We were mentally and physically and spiritually and tearfully EXHAUSTED.

For the next two weeks, we sprayed the backyard with WATER…

the magic of water

the magic of water

and after two weeks of that, our backyard’s “sod-lines” disappeared completely and the grass was as green as emerald. Literally (I wish we had a picture to show you). We loved it so much that we didn’t mow it until a few days ago.

Good excuse, right?

If you have any questions about laying sod, shoot us an email or comment below. After two days of hell, we will gladly give you any advice you might need if you want to experience this.

Reasons why we did this instead of asking our builder (centex) to do it before we moved in? Money. It would have cost us around 2k to pay them, and around $500 to do it ourselves.

I would do it again just because of the money we saved. But, give me 10 years before I can even begin to think about doing it again. Please.


11 Responses

  1. hilarious blog! i’m going to be careful around avocados those days. they can be vicious. one made me cry, and the other made me vomit. house is looking great! you make me want to blog but i will choose to blame my dog and my tiredness ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Cry? Vomit? I want to hear these stories!

    Wait till you graduate from Gallaudet then I’ll be waiting for your blog.. ๐Ÿ™‚ I really can’t wait to be reading your Buff and Blue issues!!

  3. [claps] am proud of you guys, i’ve been hearing about it for months. I bet all of our parents are proud of you, even wanted to visit and witness it. ^_^

    btw, elisa – you look dirtier than nick’s. [he was sweaty instead, as usual]
    I assume you was rolling around the ground time to time? [smirks]

    and….kirin? wow.

  4. haha yeah my face is filthy. probably because I was responsible for lining up the sod pieces to each other.. and also because I kept on wiping my hair away from my face as I worked ๐Ÿ™‚ and remember I was working for several hours when he was hitting softball balls!

    kirin is a yummy beer – you like it?

  5. uh-huh, figures! ๐Ÿ™‚

    yeah, kirin’s top three beers id choose if wines not present. ^_^
    whats next plan tho? painting?

  6. whats the other two? we’re always on the lookout for new beer to try ๐Ÿ™‚

    what’s next? there’s a long answer to that question. short answer: everything.

    • sapporo & asahi black – also japan imported.
      sorry, elisa, its me matthew vita = masshuu. ^_^

      then, good luck w everything. It’ll never be done.
      I learned that from my parents, they’re always adding “what to do” on the house.

      enjoy it as much as you can!

  7. All that work sure paid off! But oh dear i would’ve been there on my knees too helping if i was in the area. This blogsite is a perfect idea. Love it.

  8. umm.. i just realized that you said july 2010. i read this post before, but i never noticed the typo until now, eh.. i’d have helped you out in a heartbeat if only i was closer.. ๐Ÿ™‚ at least it’s done and it’s GREEN

  9. wow that was a weird typo. THANKS. edited it!

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