Feeling more or less human again in the wake of a cold, I lurched outside to take advantage of an hour or two while Corey took the girls grocery shopping. Results:
Scraggly-ass mockorange removed from the front yard (and without any damage to my face this time)!! Tiger Eyes cutleaf sumac planted in its place - well, a few feet forward from where it stood, actually, because half the reason the mockorange was so scraggly was that it was standing in the deepest part of the drought-shadow of the house. How it managed to survive there at all I have no idea; the soil is powder.
I also planted another lespedeza, this time much bigger and better-established, since the itsy-bitsy one I ordered online keeled over after a few days (note to self: midsummer is SO NOT the time to plant shrubs!!) - hopefully this one will fare better given a few months of cool weather to establish itself.
Took a stab at planting primroses and cleaning up, as well; long way to go on both those tasks yet, but progress is nonetheless encouraging.