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Water, Water, Everywhere. . .

7 Feb

. . .And not a drop to drink.

For the last week or so, the pump has kicked in just about every hour, on the hour, whether we were using water or not, and run for about five minutes. Today, the pump ran for over half an hour before either of us caught on. The Squire turned off everything, and waited until the pump casing had cooled down.

Tuned it back on, and still no pressure. The pump has lost its prime. We will be using jugs of water we have to haul from the well to wash dishes and our hands. Water from the pond will suffice for flushing. This is serious business. He called the plumber and they will be out tomorrow around noon.

I don’t want to think about what this is going to cost.


Life in a Swamp

6 Feb

One of my readers asked me if we really live in a swamp. It’s not (yet) an actual swamp; I suppose a bog is more like it.

You’ve hear the song We Got Married in a Fever. Well, we bought this place in a fever. It was do-or-die.

I was living in a two bedroom place in Section 8 housing, and I would lose my certification when we got married, as our combined income would be well over the limit.  I was, essentially, going to be evicted; nicely, mind you, but evicted, none the less.  We had to find a place to live – and soon.

We had three girls between us, so we really needed three bedrooms. The two younger girls were the same age (eight), so they could share, but the older one, who was twelve,  needed her own space – and so did we! We spent a lot of time looking at townhomes and condos, but none of them really suited. (God was looking out for us, as two of the places we looked went downhill in a hurry!)  A friend from the bank found this house, and we decided to take it. We had absolutely no money for a down payment, but the price was W-A-Y below market value (That should have been a warning!) and the bank gave us a really good deal. I had recently left the bank (dating an auditor is a no-no when you are a teller) and The Squire was a long term employee who was not looking to leave any time soon.  A small loan from my brother-in-law and we were on our way. We settled and moved in the early winter.

The ground was frozen. When it thawed out, we were in for a big surprise! There were six – count ’em! six – springs in the front yard. It is not possible to walk from the house to the mailbox without treading water. We ended up having a pond dug, which encompassed three of the springs. There are two others near the house – one is the well we use, and the other is a sort of “reserve”; the overflow from both of those wells goes into the pond. We have a flow from the pond of three gallons a minute.  Another spring is in the middle of the front yard. There is one more spring in the middle of the flower bed outside the window.  This is a new development.

We live in a valley, and very, very close to sea level. The water is rising, whether Trump believes it or not, and this newest spring is probably due to that. There are also a number of soft spots in the front, where water simply pools.  These are also new.  I have become a bit of an expert on bog plants. Bog plants that like shade. Bog plants that like shade and the deer don’t like.

The back yard is a bit higher in elevation, and tends to stay dry, but when it rains, we get everybody’s water. There is a ditch between our property and the electric company’s right of way (what we call the Back Forty) and two people run their sump pumps down there. Nothing to be done about it, as water does tend to flow downhill, and technically it’s not on our land.

We call our home “The Rice Paddy”. I’ll let you figure it out!

Baby, it’s Cold Outside!

2 Feb

At the moment, it is 24°, and sunny. Much nicer than the wind chill in the minus range we’ve been having. The birds have been sailing through the seed we put out, and the foxes have been coming closer to the house in the evening, looking for food. It snowed yesterday and Thursday, so I put corn in the back forty (the area behind the barn) for the deer, but this morning I saw a gazillion blackbirds out there, instead. Better there than down here.



Singin’ the Blues

31 Jan

It was 3°F when we got up this morning, and this poor fellow was standing in our yard, greatblue4 all hunched up and looking as if he was freezing to death.  He  picked up first one foot and then the other, trying to tuck his poor toes under his feathers.  I told The Squire I felt as if I ought to go throw a blanket over him, or something.

He was poking around near the well, apparently looking for something to eat. This place is a swamp, but goodness!, are there fish out there in the grass? As a matter of fact, that wouldn’t surprise me one bit. We get seed and peanuts for the birds and the squirrels, corn for the deer, and cheap dogfood for the foxes and racoons. What do you provide for a Great Blue? And No, scattering Gold Fish Crackers®, as somebody suggested, probably won’t work.

And yes, I do believe we spend as much on animal food as we do groceries. Why do you ask?


How To Husband

24 Jan

My friend Peggy has often said The Squire could make a nice sum by offering classes on how to be a Good Husband.

I’m still fighting whatever bug I picked up over the weekend, but I am gaining on it ~ slowly. We don’t have a washing machine, so Wednesday morning my husband “made” me stay home while he took the baskets up to the laundromat. I got started on the put-and-take routine that is using the electric dryer, while he went off to repair a computer for a friend. When he got home I handed him a pile of stuff to take to the bedroom. All of the sheets, plus most of his things. When I went upstairs later with my own clothing, I discovered that the dear man had made “my” bed, as well as his own. (We’ve been sleeping in separate rooms until this plague has passed.)

A couple of weeks ago, we were sitting in the laundry, reading books, when the washer stopped. The Squire handed me his book and went off the dump the wet clothes into baskets. The woman sitting next to me asked if that was my husband. “And he comes and help you with the wash?” The Squire came back just then, and replied, “Well, why not. They’re my clothes, too.”

I’m on Altar Guild this month, so this morning he drove me over to church and helped me set up. He’s a dab hand at filling candles and putting up numbers, and I got the rest of it sorted out. He jokes that he’s our Token Male.

I am so very, very lucky.


Little Children, Come Out and Play. . .

21 Jan

. . .The moon is shining bright as day.

Last night was the Super Blood Wolf Lunar Eclipse – or whatever – and I desperately wanted to see it. The next one won’t be until 2037, and I seriously doubt either of us will be around then. It started at 10:30 PM and ended around midnight. It was bitterly cold – 11° – and blowing a gale so the wind chill was 5 below (-20 C). Even on a good day, standing around outside in those temps would not be wise, but I have a dreadful sore throat. The Squire wouldn’t have allowed me to go out, and I’m smart enough to not have seriously considered it.

Fortunately, we could watch the entire business from one of the upstairs windows. It really was spectacular and well worth staying up for. Show over, we pulled the shades and fell into bed. I woke up a little after 2 AM with so much light coming around the shade that I thought I’d slept until midday.  The moon really was shining, bright as day.

I’m sitting in the den, watching the birds at the feeders. Because there is a spring close to the house, our sidewalks are frequently wet and/or icy. One cardinal flies up the feeder, grabs a seed, and then lands on the walk to eat. The walk is a sheet of ice, and her little feet go out from under her. She’s done it three times, so far.

Bird brain!

The Funeral

20 Jan

Yesterday was unusual. Not bad, not exceptionally good, just unusual.

I have not felt up to snuff the last couple of days. I’ve been very, very tired – a sort of “hitting the wall” exhaustion – and had a scratchy throat all day yesterday. This morning I have a full-fledged catarrh of the throat – swallowing hurts, my ears hurt, the whole nine yards. Today was the Annual Meeting at church, so I was just as glad to have a reason not to slog through the rain and wind.

The deceased and her mom had been estranged for many, many years, and even though the daughter had cancer they had never patched things up. When her wheelchair was pushed up to the coffin, Mom spent quite a while apologizing to her daughter. Public displays always make me “itchy” and while I certainly should have been more sympathetic, I couldn’t help wondering why all this wasn’t done when the poor girl was still alive. Cancer does give you plenty of time to set thing in order.

The fellow in front of us during the service played with his cell phone the entire time. Even when we all stood and put our hands over our hearts when the military Honor Guard  folded the flag and presented it to the wife, he didn’t get to his feet until his wife poked him, and only transferred his phone to the other hand so he could continue his texting.

I wonder why people like that even show up.

You know, every year, my Lenten discipline is to try to be less judgmental.  I am not making much progress.