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Mudder Lover

My yard has been a construction zone for over a year. Since the morning of April 27, 2012 when the first backhoe of many arrived in my yard to dig what seemed then, a giant gate to hell.

If only I knew. 

When the cement was poured, the doors hung and the snow starting to fly, I remember giving a great big sigh of thanks. 

"Thank GOD that's over and it's done," I thought as I watched our new garage doors close for the first time. My husband's dream, his Zeppelin Hangar was now in business.

It didn't take long for a blanket of snow to cover all evidence of construction, covering uneven ground, abandoned pieces of scaffolding, and remnants of six months of toil and trouble. 

I have to admit; Bruce's big beautiful barn sure does strike a pretty picture when surrounded by six feet of snow for half (or more) of our year. 

Eventually, however, snow melts and it didn't take long to realize what a complete disaster my yard was. 

That's wife code for "You broke my yard, now you better fix it." My husband took that as an invitation for fun and didn't look back. 

I should have realized I was in for a rough ride when I woke up to find this on my front lawn a few weeks ago and a husband with a grin so big his face threatened to split in two.

But I'm a big girl. I knew what had to be done. I could handle this. 

I handled it for approximately less time than it took for the first bucket of dirt to be dumped and then I fled the premises. Sometimes it's easier to deal with the carnage if you don't have to witness the proverbial killing.

I made Bruce swear he wouldn't tear my entire lawn up. "Don't dig up past the cherry tree! Leave me some grass! Promise you'll won't kill all the grass I worked so hard to grow!"

My husband always keeps his promises.

Sort of. 

I would have been mad about the entire destruction of my front lawn and my tiny patch of grass but I was too busy being horrified by the giant pit of doom I almost fell into when I walked out of the barn to get to the house.

I promise you all, it only looks like my husband was trying to kill me.


Everywhere I looked there was dirt. I couldn't get to my house, let alone SEE my house; there was so much dirt. 

Apparently, when you dig a big hole, you get a big dirt pile. 

I'm told it's basic science. Science sucks.

Once the hole was dug the fun began. And by fun I mean, full blown anxiety attack. We had to hire a crane to lift our cement water cistern and move it ten feet to the left.

That's right. TEN FEET. 


I would have killed my husband but I couldn't reach him.

Luckily for us (and our bank account,) the cistern moved with no problem and the hole was filled back in. 

And yet, I was still surrounded by mounds of dirt. 

And it was starting to rain.

I was not happy. 

Abbott, however, was THRILLED. Guess who just found out her dog loves to dig? 

*Raises hand.*

It rained for over two weeks. Northern Alberta flooded, then southern Alberta flooded and my yard turned into one big mud wrestler's delight. The dogs, the cats, the kids, my floors, everything was covered in mud. 

Mud everywhere. 

Which lead to this:

A very broken toe.

This is what happens when one is trying to prevent an itty-bitty dog with muddy paws from running across the living room floor and diving onto your furniture. You chase after the dirty mongrel only to smash your foot against the coffee table and the dog still gets the furniture filthy.

I've since learned mud makes the ugly leather couch look much better. 

Muddy paws are only slightly more acceptable than broken toes.

Slowly the yard started to dry out and the arduous process of trying to grade the yard began. 

Translation: My husband moved dirt from one location to the next. He swears he has a plan, but I'm pretty sure his plan is trying to drive me to madness.

It wasn't so bad. I only had to carry Knox up and down this hill several times a day, like a sure-footed mountain goat, because there was no way to access the house with his wheelchair. 

Not every plan is perfect. And I only almost dropped Knox once. Mostly because after I almost dropped him and fell on my face I refused to carry him over that hill of dirt without someone walking alongside me. You know. Someone I could pull down with us if I tripped.

Because if Knox and I go down, I'm taking as many people with me as I can. 

Thankfully, the rain stopped, the sun came out and my husband moved most of the dirt off to the side. That's a problem for another day. In the meantime, I almost have a front yard again.

Kind of. 

It doesn't look like much to the casual eye, but to me it's the glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel and the bones of what will one day soon be a beautiful end to what has been a very long construction season.

I'll have my yard back.

Just in time for the snow to fly once again.


Reader Comments (12)

Your yard is going to be spectacular. I can totally see it.

You have the patience of a saint. Truly.

June 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTarasview

Keep your eye on the (far) future prize Tanis - what will be a nice lawn ;)

June 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKat

oh dear! good luck with all of that!! I've often wondered what dog owners do when their dogs get muddy/dirty feet outside to keep their house from getting totally trashed... apparently they break their toes?

June 24, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkate C.

Holy shit! Epic dirt move! LOL

A cistern? No rural water in your neck of the woods? How often do you have to fill it? Just curious.

June 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKellie

Oh my - you didn't know that mastiffs like to dig? He must be in heaven right now!

June 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChris

i love how lawn projects with husbands always end up making us filthy and making the yard look like the pit from parks and recreation on NBC.

June 25, 2013 | Unregistered Commentertricia

Tanis your heart is big, but please don't carry anyone in the mud unless you want more surgery.

June 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterShauna

I screamed OMG! when I saw that second picture, and alternately exclaimed and laughed my way through the article. It's going to look beautiful, but the process - ugh. I sometimes think men *like* to play in the dirt. Then they say, "What mess?"

June 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMarie

Oh mud. Just think of the mud the flood vitctims in your home province of Alberta are dealing with. Mud left behind from overflowing rivers and backed up sewers (that's mud mixed with poop y'all). I was drudging through 2' of mud/backed up sewer that was left behind inside my Dad's home that was impated by the floods. Just days before that it had 6' of water in it. Just a little perspective...

July 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnnoymous in AB

Oh, Tanis! The mud, rain, kids, animals and a demented husband! I would of been in some kind of restraints by now!

July 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAunt Bea

Give us boys a break;-) If we're not making something we're breaking something. Loved the photos as part of the story!

July 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKyle

I re-read this post out loud to my husband last night. He has dreams of making construction messes. Last time he said "it will be two weeks" to remodel the bathroom. We were out of a bathroom for months! Thanks Tanis, I think he's been warned.
Ok I read your 3 posts back to back, going to bed a happy lady.

July 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlma
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