So I went back to Lowe's and got a pick axe. That was the right tool for this awful job. Dave hacked at the 'sod' and loaded it in the wheelbarrow, I emptied it in the far vacant lot across the road. Many trips. Eventually we got the depth right and most of the traveling grass roots removed, so we could lay the interlocking bricks. So satisfying, if exhausting. Luckily it wasn't a really hot day. Then we had lunch and a nap. Later, I added soil and flowers and voila!
Today it is supposed to begin raining and continue for several days. Hurray. I need a break. But first. I will get something to put in the long bed in back which lies empty of plants at the moment. Woowoo!