Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Spoke too soon.

Well, the tank wasn't full when we got home from work today, it was empty again. But I found what is likely the reason: I had left a faucet running, more than a drip, but not wide open, in the old house. What little had managed to accumulate in the tank was used by Gab when she took a shower when she got in from work today. Arrrrrggggghhhhhh! Bad enough that it is STILL not good, but worse that it was because of my own mistake. I am so tired of learning from my mistakes. Hopefully it will be better in the morning.

All is Good

The water is now back to normal here at the house, even upstairs in the bathroom. Last night we still didn't have enough pressure, but this morning there must finally be enough water in the tank to give us normal pressure at the house.

I'm getting ready to head out to work. The floors are now done in the kitchen, bathroom downstairs and the utility room. The interior doors will be delivered on Friday, and the next thing on the schedule are the doors and walls in the living room. I also still have to paint the bathroom and upstairs. The next item after that is baseboards, and last will be the cabinets. Hard to imagine, but it almost feels like I'm almost finished.

Forgot about the stairs - still need a more efficient way of reaching the upstairs than the ladder I'm currently using!

Monday, July 27, 2009

The problem

Okay, found the source of the problem. The blackberry bushes by the tank and over the line from the spring got so heavy that they snapped it off at the tank. So now I have to go buy the connector that broke, and go back up the mountain with a ditch blade to take care of the bushes. And there's such a layer of silt and algae that I might as well flush the tank while I'm at it too. At least the problem is something I can repair on my own. I was worried it might be more than I could handle. Garrison has been my helper this morning, too.


It's 1:30pm now, and I hopefully have the tank repaired. While cutting the briars away from the line, I inadvertently also cut the line. But I had extra connectors with me, and extra pipe clamps, and soon had that blunder repaired, too. Water was going in when I left, but it's not coming out at the other end yet. The other end is about 200' down the hill at the faucet behind the house. I hope that once enough head pressure builds up, if there's a slug of algae or sediment in the lines, it will blow that out. Not sure I can make another hike up there - that's a hard climb! Water is such a precious resource and living out here where my entire water storage depends on our own ability to conserve, repair, and harvest the water is a good lesson in preparedness. When I bought new fittings for the part that broke, I bought extra connectors, too. If not for that, I would have been in a real bind when I accidentally cut the line I was trying to repair.

It's 2:40pm now and we have water! it's nasty dirty water full of bleach, but at least there is flow. We'll continue to flush this out and soon we'll be back online. I had shut off the valve to the house so that none of this nasty water makes it into those lines. But we had drained the tank last night with showers and washing clothes, so I probably need a new filter inside.

This morning I woke up and turned on the faucet to wash my face. The moment I heard the hiss, I knew there was trouble. No water. It's a long hike up the mountain to the tank, but hopefully, the tank is just empty. And if it's empty, then I have to know whether it all leaked out, or someone left a line open, or if we just used it all. If we used it all, that's easy enough to remedy; we will just begin our later summer water rationing. It takes about 24 hours to fill the tank and from there we will will know to only use what we really need, wash only one or two loads a day, and no tub filling for hot soaks. If it's broken somewhere, well, this will be my first time figuring out how to fix it on my own. I'll let you know how it goes, and I sure wish my horse was ready for riding. If it wouldn't be more trouble to lead him up there than it's worth, I'd tie things onto his saddle, but I'm worried it will be more tiresome to coax him up there than to just hoof it on my own two feet. First I have to figure out what kind of repair items to bring with me.

At least I had a gallon of water so I could make some coffee this morning while thinking about my game plan to fix this issue.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Lowe's delivered the stove and refrigerator on Wed. last week. They brought it in a huge delivery truck and I was worried they wouldn't be able to get up to the house in it, but somehow they managed to get in AND out. Getting back out was harder than getting in. It feels so good to have a gas stove again. It was hard to find the one I wanted that fit my budget, though. I wanted gas, because I love cooking on gas ranges - it's easier to adjust the temp to simmer when you want to simmer or sautee without burning your dish. Also, I like to use a lot of cast iron and most of the ranges had small burner grating. But I finally found one that had heavy cast iron grates and the burner in the middle that I wanted for the griddle or oval dutch oven that I have.
The fridge is just a basic white freezer-on-top refrigerator. The 21cf one cost a bit more than the 18cf, but the operating cost per year was significantly less for the larger one, so I went with the larger one. In a few years, the energy savings should pay the difference for the upgrade.
Today's plans include moving Sallie's old glass door cabinet to the porch so I can refinish it. We are also laying the first course of rocks for a retaining wall in front of the house to help with erosion around the porch piers. We also need to move all the stuff from the living room into the kitchen so Eric (our contractor and neighbor) can begin working on the paint in there.
On thing is sure. I will never run out of things to keep me busy, and I should never get bored with life. This place is a lifetime project, and it's a good thing the work is something that makes me feel a sense of accomplisment and satisfaction. Without that, it is punishing to live out here. I guess that is how my husband looked at it and one of the reasons he left; punishing and enslaving. The experience here is quite the opposite for me; rewarding and liberating. Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Okay, I didn't get the pictures taken or posted last night. When I got home from work, the kids informed me that the computer was crashed - again - so I scratched the whole thing. This morning, though, I got a couple pics, and even though the quality is bad (not enough light) you can see the colors on the wall and the floors. The tiles are rough on the edges, so it's not clean lines, but that is the way I wanted them to look. I'm still mopping grout haze from them; hopefully I'll be able to finish that up and get them sealed this weekend. You can also see my messy kitchen workstations, lol. I'm taking the old cabinets from the old house and refinishing them. They're good quality cabinets, just been painted over one too many times, and the hardware is outdated on them... in other words, I think they're ugly. But a little time and attention will fix that. To buy new ones is just too expensive to justify right now. Today, I'll look at some curtains during lunch.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Just updating...

Tonight I will try to get some pictures posted. So, the kitchen floors are finished and they look great. Wednesday my stove and refrigerator should be delivered. I hope the truck can make it all the way up to the house with them - the driveway is in pretty bad shape. The bathroom floors are underway, and the utility room will be next. Then onward to the living room...and it's a big job with lots to be done. After that, I'll be focused on getting the old house torn down.

Last week I had to make a run to West Virginia for work, so I was afraid I wouldn't get home in time this weekend to get much done with the house. But I did get the kitchen moved back into the kitchen. Everything has been in the living room while the floors in the kitchen were getting done, but the refrigerator would not have been able to make it through the maze with it like it was, so my priority was clearing the path.

On my way down the county road as I headed out to W.Va, I spied a Joe-pye weed growing. It's the first one I've seen out here, so that was interesting to see. The entire WV trip was so fast, I didn't get any scenic pictures.

Tonight I'll post a pic of the kitchen.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Riding Comanche

I didn't take pictures again, but this weekend was an exceptionally good one for me. First, I finished painting the kitchen (with some help from a friend). Then I finally found a stove I liked and bought the refrigerator and the stove yesterday; they're scheduled to be delivered next week. To cap off all the good progress of the weekend, I finally 'officially' rode my horse Comanche for the first time. We've sat on him a good bit, and he has taken voluntary steps around with someone on him, but this is the first actual ride and I'm so thrilled to be the one to actually have gotten to do it. Gab rode Snippy and I rode Comanche, with his new bit and bridle. Rode bareback because I don't have a saddle for him, yet, for one, but also because the ride was spontaneous. We were worming, cleaning hooves, and brushing them and then decided to just go for it. We did great, considering that I have never really ridden bareback and considering that he has never really ridden anyone with a goal in mind. I didn't hit the ground, at least - and that's saying a lot! We went past the burn pit, down through the creek, up to the field on the other side. Rode around on that side for a little while and then headed back to the house, me begging the whole time for Gab not to break into a run with Snip because I knew there was no way I could handle anything more than a fast walk with Comanche yet. He goes downhill really really fast, so it was scary, but he stayed upright and I stayed on. He just turned three in May and I was waiting until he plateaued a little on his growth before beginning his (and my) training. It was exhilarating.

Thursday, July 09, 2009


I didn't get around to taking a picture, but for the last few nights the moon has been shining so bright that it was making good moonshadows everywhere. I have a hard time sleeping during full moon to begin with, but with it so bright that it lights up my room it's even harder. But it was beautiful and I got to enjoy sitting on the balcony in the chilly moonlight, listening to whippoorwills and frogs.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Kitchen Floors

Thought I'd post a pic of the new floors going down in the kitchen. I've always wanted terra cotta tiles and can't wait to see how this all turns out. So far it looks really nice. The walls have the first coat of paint but they'll need a second. This weekend it looks like I'll be painting, again. Next week I should be able to get some appliances, so I can cook some real food for a change - can't wait.