Craig was kind enough to lend me his Bobcat for the weekend. So I spent most of Saturday and Sunday prowling the lawn in this 10,000-lb. contraption, at first getting used to the controls and practicing digging/leveling, but later making adjustments to the grade of our property, getting rid of lawn features I didn't like and spreading topsoil. The side yard where we have our new extension had a rather aggressive slope to it, and it was washing out from all the rain. No longer. It's now quite level. And that stupid planter in the front yard with the bushes surrounding the bird bath? Gone. I used the 4-in-1 bucket on the Bobcat to pluck out all the bushes and put them in the street, then I leveled it off and spread some topsoil on top of it.
I also ripped out everything in the old vegetable garden out back. It no longer gets enough sun to be garden again, but it definitely has possibilities. I was thinking of surprising Rob by turning it into a putting green, but we'll see how much time I have in the coming weeks.