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Our backyard: a brief history

Whoever said "dirt don't hurt" never had to move a ton of the stuff using only a shovel and wheelbarrow. That's what I spent the last several weeks doing, slowly transferring it into our backyard, where I plan on using the dirt to fill in all the uneven spots in the ground. Apologies to our neighbors that had to deal with a small mountain of topsoil in our front yard for longer than took us longer than it should have to move the dirt because we have a baby and we kept leaving town on the weekends. The plan is to eventually level out the backyard and lay down some pea gravel and pavers. Our backyard wasn't always such an ugly and dusty dirty lot though. In fact, it was verdant and inviting when we first looked at the house, long before the California drought was something that affected our everyday lives. The drought has heavily influenced our landscaping decisions. I once had a very prolific vegetable garden along the left side of the yard for a

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