I planted a row of Leyland Cypress Trees. I rented a Genie 4x4 lift to take down the 2 walnut and ash trees.
With the trees removed and the swing set gone, I started removing the grass.
Lesson learned - Don't try to save money by renting a backhoe from a friend of a friend. A 5 gallon bucket of hydraulic fluid, and 3 burst hoses later, the broken hoe left with the bucket stuck in the air.
First load of materials, 2 tons of block, 2A, and screening.
With backhoe out of the way, my trusty shovel and wheel barrow finished the excavation.