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Friday, July 29, 2011


When we first bought our house, taped onto and inside almost half of the cabinet doors of the kitchen were notes on what to do if there was no water.  Since we completely renovated the house and replaced the holding tank for the well, we never were particularly concerned.  Our only apprehension was that the well itself was drilled adjacent to the house and incorporated into the basement structure of our house.  Along the driveway, there is a large concrete surface about 18 inches above the ground and in the basement (which is actually a cellar) you skirt through the parts that would be behind the house and in the back is where all the gear for our well is.  It's a damp, dark, desolate room that I try to avoid as much as possible.  In fact, I think I've managed to only visit that area two or three times in the eight years we've lived here.

Most places we've been or looked at tend to have the well drilled away from the house.   In the "old" days, people used to put those sweet little rounded stone walls with a roof on their wells so that they could draw water from it with a bucket.  In fact, there's a farm near us that has a beautiful field stone well wall in their yard from days of yore.

We were not so lucky.  All we got was a white and green, aluminum clad, falling down, double seater, faux outhouse.
(this is not a picture of our faux outhouse but is quite close except our roof was dark green)

Yes, that's right, I referred to an outhouse as faux.  Why might I do this? Because although the outhouse was equipped with everything from the half moon door to the double seats inside,

 there was no ditch for the "function" portion of the outhouse.  We attempted to move the outhouse several years ago to use it as a shed near our now non-existent garden, but as soon as Erik lifted it with the skid loader bucket, it fell apart.

Anyway, the well is located basically beneath our house.  In the almost eight years we've lived here, it's never given us a lick of trouble other than our holding tank at times not being able to keep up with our demand  and that is usually only when an animal has knocked the automatic waterer off the base and caused the trough to overflow or if the kids have decided to crack open one of the frost free's

and make mud puddles, mud pies, or cover each other in mud.

That is, until now.  

The last few months have been abnormally dry around here.  About three weeks ago, we started having problems with water.  Our first fear was that our well was running dry.  We'd have periodic spells where we'd be running water and then all of a sudden, the water would stop.  Not good.  We immediately implemented our best conservation practices; doing a few loads of laundry at the laundry mat, restricting showers (the kids take a nightly bath in the pool except Saturday when we wash them in the shower and wash their hair), unplugging our commercial icemaker (I'm sure this seems frivolous to many people, but having a limitless supply of ice for Erik to take to work daily, especially during this recent heat, is almost essential), not running the dishwasher, etc.  When you think about what is required of our well daily, just on the human population alone, you can see the well is really put to the test. I am so grateful we have a well and don't have to pay for water!  Add in our barnyard critters, which the goats, alpacas, and donkey alone drink at least a gallon a day draining about 75 gallons of water daily!

Erik would hustle down to the well-room and wiggle the pressure gauge on the tank and he would hear water start trickling in the holding tank again.   After about a week of this stop and go water, Erik finally had the time to run to the plumbing supply company that we frequent and was able to buy the replacement parts and fix the gauge.  So far, the water has not run out like it was doing before, but there are times, on days when I really push the well to its limits, that we have very low pressure for a few minutes.

All of this background story is to tell you about the adventure Walker and I had on Thursday afternoon during a BIG storm!

But that story is for another day.

For now, please whether you have city water or a well, please conserve your water.  When you are running your water while brushing your teeth, or waiting for the hot water to come through the pipe,  think about the portion of the USA that is in a severe heat and drought crisis and pray for them.  I've read in farming publications that portions of the Southwest haven't seen a drop of rain since September 2010!  Many farmers/ranchers are selling their cattle at a HUGE loss because they no longer can feed or water them.  The heat is especially bad for our crops too.  Many of you know sweet corn was behind schedule (and supplies are limited as evidenced by Ambrose's selling out of corn by 11 am most days) because the heat and lack of rain is horribly detrimental to our crops.  While you may think this only affects the farmers and ranchers, it does not.  If corn harvests are bad, prices will rise yet again.  If you think the oil industry caused trouble because of the prices rising, imagine what the impact will be if food AND fuel cannot meet demand!  If you're not really a praying person, now would be the time to pray not just for rain, but for those folks depending on the rain, not just for relief, but for their lives.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

You Might Be a Farmer's Wife . . .

I found this and am reposting.  So funny!  I highlighted the ones most applicable to my current life, although, several others apply to me as well.  Kudos to all you farm wives out there - especially the ones that work WAY harder than I have to.

You Might be a Farmer's Wife . . .

  • If your name is taped to the side of a cakepan:
  • If you call the implement dealer and he recognizes your voice:
  • If the vet’s number is on the speed dial of your phone:
  • If you know how to change the flat on your car, but can’t because the spare is on a flatbed:
  • If your second vehicle is still a pickup:
  • If the folks in the Emergency Room have a pool going for your kids and it involves the type of injury and when it will occur:
  • If your husband has ever used field equipment to maintain your yard:
  • If you’re in the habit of buying foodstuffs in bulk:
  • If a "night out" involves the local 4-H club:
  • If the word "auction" makes you tingle:
  • If you’ve ever washed your kids or the dishes with a pressure washer:
  • If "picking rock" is considered a chance to get out of the house:
  • If "wild game" reminds you of dinner and not the bedroom:
  • If "a little bit of lunch" involves 6 courses and a dessert made from scratch:
  • If the "fresh ingredients" your recipe calls for reminds you to do the chores:
  • If taking lunch to the field is as close as you get to a picnic:
  • If that pail with a hole in it is a flowerpot in the making:
  • If your rock garden was hand-picked:
  • If you can mend a pair of pants and the fence that ripped them:
  • If you’re on the lookout for new uses for "Jell-O":
  • If the shopping list in your purse includes the sizes of filters, tires, overalls, chains, belts, lights, cables, spark plugs or shotgun shells:
  • If "Farm", "Ranch", "Country", "Cowboy" or "Antique" is in the name of your favorite magazine:
  • If your tan lines are somewhere below your shoulder and above your elbow:
  • If "Lacey" or "Frilly" refers to a farm animal but not your nightgown:
  • If you ever went on a date to the rodeo:
  • If you’ve ever been grateful for fingernail polish, because it hides the dirt under your nails:
  • If you’ve ever called your husband to supper, using a radio: (cell phone)
  • If you buy antiques because they match the rest of your furniture:
  • If being taken out to dinner has ever included a talk by a seed corn dealer:
  • If your driveway is longer than a stone’s throw:
  • If your mailbox looks like a piece of farm machinery:
  • If your kids’ wading pool has ever doubled as a stock tank, or vice versa:
  • If the daily paper is always a day late:
  • If you have a yard, but not a lawn:
  • If you have lots of machinery and each piece is worth more than your house:
  • If the leaky barn roof gets fixed, before the leaky house roof:
  • If duct tape is always on your shopping list:
  • If the neighbor’s house is best viewed with binoculars:
  • If the directions to your house include the words, "miles," "silos," "last," or "gravel road":
  • If the tractor and the combine have air conditioning and an FM radio but your car doesn’t:
  • If your storage shed is a barn:
  • If you measure travel in miles not minutes:
  • If your farm equipment has the latest global positioning technology and you still can’t find your husband:
  • If you consider "hot dish" a food group:
  • If your husband says, "Can you help me for a few minutes?" and you know that might be anywhere from a few minutes to six hours:
  • If you plan your vacations around farm shows:
  • If Zaa Zaa Gabor is on your list of "Most Admired Persons":
  • If grass stains are the least of your laundry problems:
  • If your refrigerator contains medicine, livestock medicine:
  • If your car’s color is two-toned and one color is gravel road brown:
  • If you knew everyone in your high school:
  • If you’ve ever grown your own wall decorations:
  • If you’ve entertained the romantic notion of living in an old, country farmhouse with a fireplace, but gave it up because firsthand experience tells you that it’s cold, drafty, smoky and sooty:
  • If you use newspapers to help keep the kitchen floor clean:
  • If you’ve ever said, "Oh, it’s only a little mud.":
  • If you need a pair of vice grips to run a household appliance:
  • If your husband gave you flowers, but you had to plant the seeds yourself:
  • If you've used the loader to reach the windows when they needed washing:
  • If you’ve ever used a broom to shoo a critter:
  • If you’ve ever discovered a batch of kittens in your laundry basket:
  • If dinner is at noon and lunch is before and after dinner:
  • If you don't need the recipe to make Rice Krispies bars:
  • If you shovel the sidewalk, with a skidsteer loader:
  • If you can find a use for that old tractor seat:
  • If you've ever found mice in the underwear drawer:
  • If quality time with your hubby means you'll have a flashlight in one hand and a wrench in the other:
  • If you know the difference between field corn and sweet corn:
  • If you buy your husband's "dress" socks at Campbell's Supply:
  • If family "pets" include deer, coons, squirrels, foxes or birds:
  • If you can make a meal that can be ready in six minutes and will still be ready in two hours:
  • If your basement is really a cellar:
  • If "sharing a cab" has nothing to do with a taxi and everything to do with getting across the field:
  • If your job in town is considered a farm subsidy: