Thursday, February 5, 2009

Foreshadowing, Farm Style

This is Paul. He is an expert in underground sprinkler installation. He became an expert simply by installing his very own underground sprinkler system in his very own yard. So by default, he was drafted to oversee the installation of our very own undergound sprinkler system in our yard. This past October, Danish Cowboy and I purchased supplies in preparation for installation. I wish I had a video of the crazy salesperson at Lowe's. He was used car salesman crazy. He was the reason that I very rarely ask for assistance when I shop. However, Danish Cowboy has a different philosophy and is much more tolerant and so he asked for help. I excused myself for a large block of time while they were shopping. I still chuckle at the idea of him, the crazy sales guy and one year old twins sifting through PVC fittings while I wandered the lighting fixtures aisle and dreamed about cupboard facelifts.We then enlisted lots of help. Installing underground sprinklers is very hard work. Twins falling in 18" trenches makes the job even worse. I ended up staying inside most of that weekend baking frozen pizzas, mixing lemonade and bringing alcoholic beverages to the hard workers. It took a surprisingly small amount of alcohol to get this thing installed. They were simply too tired for those shenanigans.
We loaned the trencher from my sister-in-law and most of the first morning was spent swearing at it, kicking the wheels, and trying to pull it along with the 4-wheeler. I laughed heartily from my seat at the picture window. I am not sure which foul word was the magic ticket, but they did eventually convince it to work. It probably also helped that my husband and Paul are handy. I had no idea how useful a guy could be until I met Danish Cowboy. He changes the oil in our own "outfits."
The trenching started here.
And continued on behind the house, around the sewer, to the garden, through the power line (well not through the power line as we were responsible enough to call that "one call does it all" utility locator number, but you know what I mean) and on to the west front of the yard. It is hard to know where to end a yard when you are surrounded by many, many acres which you have total control over. And I'm not gloating here -- it just simply takes a lot more acres in this part of the world to survive. Sometimes I wish for a 1/4 acre lot so that my neighbor could tell me where to end. The obsessive-compulsive side of me would not fret over the unclean line between irrigated and non-irrigated. I may have to install a fence to protect myself from insanity.
Let me be clear here lest you think I have abandoned my conservation-minded ways.

I despise yards. I believe they are a wasteful use of resources and cause way too many dangerous chemicals from fertilizers and pesticides to enter into our aquifer and surface water supplies. They require work and are a boring monoculture which does not support a healthy soil or wildlife community. But you know what? Out here, I'd be foolish not to have one that was well-watered and kept green. If you've ever seen a fire sweep across a prairie (a common occurrence), you too would want some protection that the green offers. They call this area of green the wildland-urban interface. Those words are very expensive, I know.

And also I want my kids to be able to play baseball on grass rather than pebbles.

And not get bitten by rattlesnakes hiding in the brush that a non-yard would provide.

And so I've succumbed to the yard philosophy. Grumble. Grumble. Grumble.

Paul, Danish Cowboy and our neighbor friends worked hard so that we might have a much more stress free lawn come summertime. You would not believe the tamping, the digging and the tamping and the digging required to do this sort of thing. And after all of the help left, Danish Cowboy continued with the tamping, digging, gluing of pipe, and some more tamping and digging. And digging. And tamping.
I hope it works. We kind of installed it and left it at that. Oops. But hey, no one wants to run water through these things just before winter. We plan to bring our resident sprinkler system expert Paul back in the spring to get this system working. We hope. Next step: the human free, gas free, exhaust free lawn mower gadget. Is there such a thing?

No comments:

Post a Comment