1/16/2012

How Do You Solve a Problem Like a Mud Pit?

Long time readers of this here blog may recall that in November (no, it doesn't take much for me to consider you a long time reader. Make it back this week? You're in like Flynn!) we had a patio put in under our deck. The main purpose of this was to do something with the space that otherwise reverted to the natural state somewhere in the icky-ness factor of the LaBrea Tar Pits, though we never have found our pet saber toothed tiger.

After much digging and engineering (more than they originally banked on when they bid the project - which is sad for them, but we got a steal of a deal on a really awesome patio), we had a lovely stamped concrete patio where previously there was just a tar pit in the making.

Enter the bobcat. No, not this bobcat. Or this bobcat. This bobcat. See, our yard is hilly. And rocky. And apparently a real pain to dig in manually. Thus the bobcat (and really, I don't blame them.) Plus, that way they were able to shovel up all the dirt/mud/clay/tar pit and take it away to wherever they take such things. (Do you think there's a really big carpet somewhere that construction companies use to sweep large piles of dirt under?)

And so, as tracked vehicles are wont to do, the bobcat (despite adequate precautions - they put down boards and such for it to drive on) tore up exactly 99.99999% of living grass-like matter from the part of our yard that was not becoming a patio. Creating, in effect, an even larger version of LaBrea than we had originally been faced with.

For those of you who aren't aware, mid-November is not the time to try and plant grass. And so, we now have a really gorgeous patio and a yard full of, on a good day, hard packed, frozen mud. (On a not so good day, lots and lots of mud.) Couple this with two big dogs who like to run and pounce, both actions creating a bit of a digging motion, and you end up with two rather consistently filthy big dogs. And so we rearranged how they got to come in the house to try and minimize the mud that I have to mop, sweep, scrub, and yell out of the various flooring surfaces of our house and have, essentially, relegated them to the office (and it's lovely, easy to clean, laminate floor.) All would be well in the land if Tim was not allergic to dust.

Dust that you can watch collect on our black desks if you sit still enough.

Apparently, dog + dirt/mud = dust all over the room they're confined in. Who knew?

For now, we're researching options (I'm all about the astroturf and to heck with the HOA, Tim is thinking maybe really deep mulch. We'll probably also see about shade loving grass varieties.) and dusting every day. And mopping every day. Sometimes twice a day.

It leaves me to wonder if the cave people didn't just give up and die off simply to avoid cleaning up after their saber tooth tigers played in the tar pits all day.

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