Tag Archives: dirt

Water is life… part 2.

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Thursday morning saw our plumbers back for round 3.

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The new submersible pump was fitted, hooked up and sunk in the well.

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And the 90 odd feet of water line stuffed back in the hole.

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🎶 Whole lotta stuffing going on. 🎶

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The end was found and the cover fitted.

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With a little sledgehammer persuasion.

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The idea of electric wire and water in such close proximity gave me the heebie jeebies, but I’m assured that’s how it’s done.

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A new type of filter called a sand trap was installed and purged. We were told our water would be sandy and sediment filled for a few days until the tank and lines clear completely. That filter turned black quickly, so you know what I’ll be doing for a while.

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Anyone thirsty?

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How about a nice warm bath?

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After the plumbers left with $2,500 in their pockets, there was a hole to fill.

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The husband, being stubborn, thought he could do it by hand. It was pure mud and weighed a ton.. so I texted our neighbor.

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Good neighbors are worth their weight in gold.

And while they were doing that?

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I was doing this. Sweeping muddy water into the drain hole…

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And dumping purged buckets of nasty brown sediment.

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Looks like I’ll be brushing my teeth with bottled water for a while longer.

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But… yay!

We have running water again, even if it isn’t potable quite yet. I won’t lie… that first shower was a little strange. But things are clearer today, and by tomorrow we might be able to drink it again.

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So let me leave you with a few words of wisdom:

Never underestimate the joy of a flushing toilet.

After 3 days without water? It’s the stuff dreams are made of….

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Water is life.

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And if you doubt the veracity of that statement, try living without it for a few days like we are.

Bright and early Wednesday morning, 3 men were in deep thought.

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The man on the ground is our wonderful neighbor who brought over his toy to dig a hole.

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A hole was dug.

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A wet and muddy hole filled with water from a broken pipe.

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More deep thinking was called for.

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The ‘let’s put wood in the hole filled with water so we can stand on it‘ idea did not work out as planned. Color me surprised.

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Youngest member of the team was sent down in hole anyway. (Please note he is a master plumber who planned ahead for the avoidance of butt crack photos, for which I was quite thankful.)

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The broken pipe was found and luckily it was right next to the well access so we didn’t have to tear up more lawn or the house foundation.

Solution to the problem? Bypass the existing two pipe configuration, get rid of our not that old damn it! interior water pump system…

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And install an exterior submersible pump made of stainless steel. This meant pulling up the existing water line that runs down into the well… and since that cover hadn’t been opened since 1974?

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It was not an easy job. And when things don’t come apart easily?

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It’s time for the sledgehammer.

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A whole lotta pulling followed.

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I never knew how far down our well was before this.

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But apparently it’s slightly over 90 feet.

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Young guy was sent down into the hole again.

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And of course because this is a job at our house, nothing went right or smoothly.

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Since the old pipe was cracked, it had sucked in copious amounts of dirt and sand that had to be flushed before the wire to the new pump could be pushed through to the house. Nothing worked. Trips were taken back and forth to the plumber’s shop for different tools. Trips were taken to hardware stores for extra supplies and finally… after an entire afternoon of battling… they broke through. Only to move on to the next step and realize a different size pump needed to be ordered.

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To be honest, I wasn’t either. Welcome to my world … please bring alcohol.

So a less than wonderful Wednesday ended like this: open water lines actively pissing muddy water from the flooded hole into our cellar.

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And notes like this pasted all around our house.

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No drinking water, no toilet flushing water, no using dishes and glasses you have to wash… and worst of all, no shower.

Still don’t think water is life? Try not showering for 3 days and get back to me.

To be continued…

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This is not what you want to find when rebuilding….

 

Our old baby barn/shed has a dirt floor with heavy duty rubber mats on top. Due to numerous woodchuck holes and tunnels, we had to drag all the mats out. That sounded easy enough until I realized each one of them weighed the equivalent of an African elephant…

 

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Seriously.

A pregnant, morbidly obese African elephant carrying a suitcase I packed for an overnight trip.

 

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Did I mention they were all covered in pounds of dirt as well?

 

 

So as we’re moving the next to last mat…..

 

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This.

 

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A chipmunk burrow with tiny scraps of paper, plastic and leaves.

Upon further examination…

 

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A maze of tunnels, which I thought was pretty cool, until… it moved.

 

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Do you see the leg?

 

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Yeah.

 

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Not a tunnel.

A nursery…

 

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Which means we had to find the other end of the tunnel and relocate them. Not an easy task.

Five minutes after we found them?

Momma found us.

 

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And she wasn’t happy.

She ran around squawking and chirping and looking for her babies.

 

 

After a while I think she found them, because she stopped searching and started stuffing.

Stuffing her little cheek pouches full of all those little scraps of paper….

 

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And scurrying back for more.

Within minutes she’d cleaned up the whole lot.

Watch her cram a dried leaf that’s almost bigger than she is below.

(And please pardon my husband’s cursing. Things were not going well with the rebuild at this point…)

 

 

After we wasted time relocating chipmunks, we realized we had to relocate a bird’s nest as well.

 

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So many evictions.

I felt like an evil slumlord.

 

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Back to work…. and things did not go well.

Which was completely the husband’s fault.

 

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He had the crazy idea he could square the building properly  (After 40 plus years of Maine frost heaves? Madness!)  and changed the original footprint….. which in turn threw everything off kilter.

More good times.

 

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Did I mention he uses tools from the 1950’s picked up at a yard sale or the dump?

This little jewel feels like it weighs 50 lbs.

 

But he has the original box… and vintage lube.

So it’s special.

 

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P.S.  For those of you who pay attention, this post is actually out of sequence. That back wall is gone now. Apparently my blog scheduling has run amok.

 

 

 

And so it goes….

 

Work on the baby barn continues, albeit slowly.

 

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My husband’s master plan involves a serious amount of temporary screwing, refitting, removing and replacing. He’s not a huge fan of measuring… but he’s a man.

This is not surprising.

 

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Of course this means 3 times as much work.

 

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I think one planned demolition and rebuild would suffice…. but I’m a woman.

What do I know?

 

 

There’s also a good deal of shifting the husband’s  crap we don’t need now, nor will we ever need again   stuff from one place to another. Like the hurricane generator we bought in 1992 when we lived down south and haven’t used since.

 

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Or the wheel weights for the tractor we no longer own.

 

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Or the numerous tires for the cars we no longer own.

 

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Or the table that went with the chairs we no longer own….

 

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Right beside the small refrigerator I had no earthly idea we owned.

All of these things are heavy and filthy and must be moved over and over again because he can’t be convinced to throw them out.

Good times.

 

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There was hammering.

 

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And crowbar-ing …. and yes. A good deal of cursing because the structure is 45 years old and not exactly plumb.

There was also a good deal of displaced dirt.

 

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Thanks to numerous woodchuck tunnels…

 

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Which undermined our attempt to simply re-side and re-shingle the damned thing.

 

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Now we have to completely dig up the hard packed floor and smooth it all out.

 

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Doesn’t that sound like fun?

 

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