Monday, April 22, 2019

Well, well, well...

We recently learned more about our well. We didn't learn about it the easy way either, but it really wasn't as bad as it might have been.

It started when the pump - down in the basement - wouldn't shut off. I wandered around the house and couldn't find anything, but thought we might have water running somewhere. I was assuming a toilet tank that was leaking and needed a new gasket. I'm still not walking up and down stairs confidently, so I waited for Brad to get home and check it out. That wasn't the problem. We found a big puddle in the back yard. Uh-oh.

In the morning, we called our usual plumber - they also do well and septic! - and they said that as we had water in the house and the pump still had water going through it, we'd be alright (ie. not burn out the pump) and the soonest they could get to us was early the next morning. They showed up bright and early and looked things over. That's when we found the new 'water feature' in the back yard.

This was a job that called for excavating. They made a bunch of calls and, having other customers with emergencies going on, told us they'd have a machine delivered to the house and perhaps they'd be able to get to work first thing the next day. Well, maybe an hour later, I look out the window and see this... 

And not long afterwards, the work van was back as well. In case the photo doesn't show up, that's Zepp Plumbing and Heating, Inc. We recommend them! 

Even with the digger and all, they still had to coordinate the work to be done (and fit in issues going on with other customers too) but they stayed, called for representatives from the utilities companies to come out and mark our power and cable lines, and got right to work. 

It didn't take long for the well cap to be exposed and the cracked pipe found - a plastic elbow. It was a surprise to us because we believed the well was much further away from the house, not right out by the back walk. They got the pipe fixed right away. We also learned that a buried well was not up to code (it was dug in 1960) and new code requires the well cap to extend at least 8" above the surface to protect against ground water contamination. While the ground was already opened up, we decided to go ahead and bring it up to code. Only certified workers are allowed to work on welding on well systems but fortunately Zepp Plumbing knows a guy and they were able to come out the very next day to extend the casing. 

It's possible to see the two pipes going from the well towards the house here. 

This is similar to our system. The jet pump and storage tank are in the basement, the pipes extend out to the well. (I'm not sure who to credit this image to, it was copied in multiple locations)

We now have a capped pipe out behind the house and a perfectly repaired well system. Found out that the well is 80ft deep and the water line is about 13ft below the surface. We've had to wait a week to drink the water again - due to the addition of chlorine to cleanse the well after repairs - but have been able to use the water for washing and showering etc. When I saw the water bubbling up from the ground I thought we were in for a terrible ordeal, but it really wasn't all that bad, and I found the experience interesting and educational too. 

We have some nice rocks surrounding the well pipe, but decided it needed some flowers too. 

Honor and I put the plants in. This was actually a pretty big accomplishment for me. Getting up and down from a low chair on uneven ground was a test of my 'repaired' leg. Honor had to bring me my cane at one point, but I'm getting better! We chose a random assortment of bedding plants as we have no idea what will thrive in our soil and we'll see how these do.

The large greenish-black rock was Honor's "Birthday Boulder" from 3(?) years ago. We'd asked her what she wanted for her birthday, and jokingly, she said she wanted a boulder. So, Brad and I got the wheelbarrow and went back up into the back 1/2 acre and dug up this big rock to present to her. We told her it was just a baby boulder but with love and attention it will grow big and strong. When we were moving it around to set it back in place, Brad said that it might be slightly heavier now.  

Speaking of flowers, our lawn has been full of wild flowers this year! Pretty little 'weeds' all over the yard. 

Rather than a random cat photo to wrap things up, how about a random chicken? 

Megalord wants to know where the treats are.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Ah. Spring.

I have been looking forward to the end of winter, although I am not sure how we got into April so fast? Admittedly, I lost quite a bit of time due to being broken, but April?? Time flies...

My favorite first sign of Spring are the green fronds of the daffodil plants emerging. The whole yard will be brown and dormant, but these brilliant dark green shoots start appearing and the bold color is so refreshing after all the dreary winter tones. I love the flowers too. Shortly after the daffodils bloom, the trees begin flowering and even the 'weeds' in the grass get colorful. Much of our back lawn had wild violets and we have solid purple and white with purple flowers all over the ground.

First the lawn starts showing 'green' a bit...

Look at the green!

There are three deer here. I took this from a distance as, with the bum leg, I'm not too sneaky or quick

And then, of course, the flowers go wild!! 

You can see the door on the run starting to break :( 
With the changing of the seasons, comes the shifting (expanding and contracting) of the earth and other elements. The door into the chicken's run got into the spirit and warped. The slats in the upper section have started to shift and fall. We will need to replace the whole door. It already needed replacing anyway, seeing as the fox ate some of the bottom half of it earlier(!) but now it's really a mess. My first time back in the shed since January was to fetch some materials to fix the door temporarily. It's not perfect, but chicken wire will hold it together for a bit. Enough slats had fallen out that the smaller birds could have flown right on out of there!!
 We gotta keep our birds safe.



Speaking of saving things and Spring... Now that the weather is warmer, we like to keep the patio door open. The patio is screened in, but it's not completely secure from small critters. The cats can't get out, but they can catch what comes in. The other day, Ninja found a mouse and she brought it INSIDE to us. We heard her calling and when Honor went to see what she wanted, Ninja took off with the mouse to the basement!! Honor chased after. I heard a bit of yelling, but soon enough Honor came back with the mouse trapped in a small box. She took it out into the woods and let it go. Ninja was not a happy cat. She spent the next half hour or so yowling about the loss of her toy. We hope the mouse learned its lesson and stays away.

Honor captured a beautiful photo of the lucky little thing...

Another sign of Spring is rain. Of course, because it's been raining since last May, it's not exactly much of an omen this year. The ground in front has not dried our since last year's flood and we've had mud everywhere on the property, so we really didn't get alarmed when the bit behind the carport was wet. Until it REALLY got soaked two days ago and the water pump wouldn't turn off!! It might have just been naturally wet from rain before, but this new 'water feature' is due to a pipe bursting between the house and the well. Sigh. The plumbers are out there now with an excavator to take care of it. But hey, look at our lovely little 'spring-fed' pond (or, you know, burst pipe fed pond... )

The growling noise in the background is a big woodchipper. A neighbor had a tree chopped down yesterday and they are cleaning up today.

Ah well... Welcome to the season of re-birth and new growth. Here's your random cat photo...

Regal Pumpkin