I pride myself on being a very DIY sort of fellow. It’s a perverse sort of pride sometimes. Most people, given the right set of five tools, a short, well-designed instruction sheet, and an afternoon free of interruption, can do stuff like replace a toilet tank valve or install a GFCI outlet in their kitchen. I tend to take this crap to extremes, though, like building and installing my own arbor (Try this sometime: lift a 13-foot 2×6″ pressure-treated beam on a ladder fourteen feet in the air by yourself. Now repeat that six more times. Watch out for that high-voltage electrical line), transporting four sheets of drywall on the roof of a Ford Taurus (transporting drywall is hard with two people and a pickup truck) or gutting and rehabbing the only functioning bathroom in my house (that was a smelly month.)
Most of this stuff wouldn’t be necessary if I could afford certain things, like, say, a Toyota Tacoma. Or the day rate of a local plumber. Or even some of the hourly charges at the local rent-a-center. Often times there’s a tradeoff between what it would cost to have somebody come in and do the stuff I need vs. eating, and sometimes it’s even more extreme than that (our kitchen rehab estimate comes to mind here.)
It was a no-brainer, though, to have a fellow come in yesterday and haul away the huge pile of brush we’ve been collecting between the greenhouse and the garage. I normally would have called a friend in and paid him happily to help me haul it away, but I decided that he probably wouldn’t appreciate the poison ivy either. Hopefully I won’t have to do any more radical pruning jobs like I did last fall—which is where the brushpile came from—although the holly tree needs a major haircut and the gnarled fruit tree in the side yard appears to have finally kicked off. (And I’d love to chop that nasty cedar tree right down, too.)
While he was stuffing the back of his truck with my skin-irritating brush, I replaced the first of four panels on the greenhouse with new UV plastic. The job went pretty quickly and easily, which was a relief. I also tested out a few different solutions for the water piping and settled on a row of small drilled holes instead of the misting nozzles; the amount of water released seemed to be steadier and covered more area. When he was ready to leave, I helped him toss one of the old rotten picnic tables on top of the load and waved goodbye. He had bagged up all the leaves and raked the area, so we are left with a patch of empty dirt, ready for grass seed where uneven weeds used to lay. I’d say that was $100 well spent.