As luck would have it, the absolute hottest day of the year - today - also happened to be the day Dan and I had set aside to finally work on the backyard. So, with water and gatorade in hand we started out bright and early this morning with Dan tearing up the yard with the rented roto-tiller from Home Depot. In his words "the thing is a beast"... which pretty clearly illustrates how little help I was with it. Thankfully, after awhile I was able to help out by going through the yard with the rake to try and even everything out. Two full rounds of tilling and several hours of raking later, Dan put grass seed down and we're on our way to having a yard before there's snow on the ground!
Here's a great picture to show the uneven and weed-covered yard before:
Here's Dan taming the "beast":
And our beautiful raked and seeded after picture!:
Of course as soon as we finished all of the hard work today the garage company called to schedule the electrical work for tomorrow morning, so we'll have to do a bit more work after they come through to redo the areas that will inevitably get messed up. And, with the sudden heat wave through Chicago (finally! It feels like summer!) we'll have to water twice a day to get our fresh new grass to grow.
We decided against a patio for this year - we may decide to put one in next year if we're feeling bold - and I'm also going to save the major gardening for the spring, but for now I'm excited to have grass and hopefully we'll still be able to grab a nap in the hammock before it's too late!