Well, Well, Well: Three Holes in the Ground!

It started with a water heater. I knew something was up the first time I took a shower. I didn't have enough hot water to both shave my legs and wash my hair. My husband even said it runs out of hot water when he's in it, and he showers in the morning before anyone has really run any water. Plus, it's not like he takes very long showers. Me on the other hand, I have very think long hair that takes forever just to get wet. And Oh, I'm not complaining! I love my hair! I realize that many women and almost all men would love to have hair like me. Now I sound like I'm bragging, but trust me I'm not, or at least I don't mean to! I just come from a family of bald men who, as they lost it (in their early 20's), I grew it! It was as if I was sucking the hair right out of their heads. Poor guys! (Tee Hee!) But I digress!

The water heater, right. When we first moved in, right after helping us move all our boxes into the house, the old GM, whom we replaced, informed us that the well is slow and it takes a long time to refill the water heater if you've been running the washer or dishwasher all day. This was never a problem for him as he was a bachelor who was never home all day, but just so we were warned he let us know.  We, on the other hand have 4 kids, two of which are in cloth diapers and all of whom have way too many clothes and use too many dishes!

My husband asked the maintenance manager to check it out. Evidently the heating element in the water heater was broken. So he fixed it. But as soon as we used the hot water again, it broke again. It was fixed again, the wiring was worked on and of course, it broke again. So they ordered a new heating element and replaced it. Finally we had hot water. But as soon as we turned on the water, the pressure started to wain. It wained until it stopped. That is how it all started.

Hole #1
It was at that point when they started looking at the well. First it was the pump. They even took the well pump apart. Then they investigated the well. Hole #1. Apparently it goes dry in the heat of the summer. Well, after hearing me ask the gardener if I could wash the diapers in the irrigation water they hooked us up to one of the other cabin's wells through a hose. We had been without water for 3 days at that point and can I say, storing water in old juice and soda bottles is a very good thing! I didn't have to wash out the dipes by hand. That was also a good thing!

Hole #2

It was decided that they would put in a cistern. So the well would empty into the cistern and hopefully we would have stored enough in it to last us during the dry summers. Sounds good to me! So they dug a nice big hole. Hole #2. And ordered the cistern. And we waited... about a month. And during this time we were using the water from the other well that came through the hose, which was running across the grass in the hot sun. Have you ever drunk out of a hose in the summer and gotten hot water? Well that is what we got. If we let the cold water run long enough, we would get nice warm water! But the hot tap would still start to run cold after I did my dishes. Talk about confusing!

At last the big day came! A flat bed truck came with a cool crane/pulley system thing on the top. I was so excited I ran to get my 3 year old boy to come see but he was watching a Dora video and had a complete meltdown when I turned it off and took him out. He even saw the truck but he couldn't care less! I was so sad! Am I the only one around here who loves large construction vehicles? Evidently! I should have called this blog City Girl Turned Red Neck! Dang, why didn't I think of that? Anyway!

You really just have to see the pictures to see how very cool this was! Check it out!

The truck
Positioning the cistern over the hole!

lowering it down

It's landed! 

Moving the cap

coming down 

It's in place! 
 These last two pictures I took from my kitchen window as it had started to rain. They worked in the mud and rain only taking a lunch break when the real down poor hit. Later that afternoon they worked on turning the water back on which meant the workers came in and out of the laundry room to get to the crawl space. I had gone to town to pick up kids to take them to our biweekly allergy shots. If I had been home I would have removed the throw rug in the laundry room so it wouldn't have been quite so muddy. But I really don't mind as it means water!!! Right?
Now the wiring 

filling in the hole while the wiring is still being done

 Shortly after arriving home my husband came home and announced that we have water! I said, "No we don't." I, of course had checked right away! The workers had gone to clean up for dinner and were done for the day. Scott checked and sure enough there was absolutely no reaction from the plumbing. This was supposed to fix the problem but obviously the well was not the problem. Wait! You mean to say that the ranch just forked over the money for a cistern and that wasn't the problem.  Oh. My. Goodness!

The conclusion to this scenario was simple. There must be a leak in the pipe that goes from the well to the house. So wait! If it's not in the pipe from under the yard, than it would be in the pipe under the house! Oh that would stink worst than last week's diaper pail!

The digging began the next morning. Hole #3. Well first they had to fill in the hole around the cistern, they had to check for wires and mark the wires. Then the holly hocks and grass said good bye. Well, not too many of the holly hocks but most of the grass.

Hole #3
The good news is they found the leak right away! It was under the yard, not the house. Once fixed the water worked without any more problems! The cold is as cold as any good well water should be and the hot... well, the hot still runs cold too fast. The new heating element quite right away and we now think it's the breaker, or

there's a short somewhere. I really have no idea what's going on. I do know that I don't wash my hair any more. This isn't really true, I just don't wash my hair on the days I shave. As long as I don't try and shower while someones washing the dishes I'm fine! But really how often does that happen!?

The real point is that  everyone did an amazing job of closing Pandora's Box!

cleaning up
The End (I hope!)


Bringing in the Sun

Good Morning Big Sky! This was my morning view. Oh yeah, I'm one lucky girl. 

My Kind Of Party

Our Maintenance Manager retired this summer and we wanted to have a farewell party and end of the season party for all our staff. We also wanted to have it in our home. When we moved here last April our youngest child was only a month old and moving with a baby is tough. Having three others adds to the challenges. Having massive postpartum depression doesn’t help. Needless to say, unpacking has been slow. Topped with more laundry than is humanly possible and the desire to actually give my kids a fun summer outside of the house makes for even slower unpacking.  At any rate, we planned on opening our home to all the staff and the few guests who were in-house as well. I didn’t get anything done the night before as I had been in town getting new tires. Scott was picking up and I just had to say, “I’m going to bed so I can have the strength to do it tomorrow!”

I woke bright and early and started the chores. My oldest was an awesome help, cleaning her own room, the cat’s box and the bathrooms. My 8 year old helped the 3 year old pick up toys in his room, interspersed with lots of playtime. She picked up the dirty clothes in her room, but that was about all she could manage with her dwindling attention span.

My plan for me was to clean off the catch all countertop, move the baby pictures to the front of the hall as I had hung them at the end of the hall and my Dear Man wanted all to see them. (It was a good move, everyone commented and enjoyed them!) I needed to sweep, vacuum, and mop as well as move all the unfolded laundry to my room where it would be out of sight. (Dirty little secret!)

My Darling decided he wanted to do ribs for everyone on the BBQ. He comes from a wonderful family, from Santa Maria CA, who has turned the BBQ into a true art form. So he emailed his mom for his cousin’s BBQ ribs recipe (one of the masters).

Scott got started that morning on the sauce. Right away he asked me what “minced” means; it calls for minced garlic. (Laughing to myself) I explained. I proceeded to mince garlic. Now the recipe makes 3 racks of ribs.  We decided to triple the recipe. We were cooking for 30 people and I wish I had counted how many racks we made, but I didn’t! I think it was about 15 or more. We had 3 big pans heaping full of ribs and it was perfect.

The first step was to sauté. I measured the garlic then asked if I should just go ahead and put it all in as I had minced more than needed. Scott’s response was, “No, stick to the recipe!” He was busy rubbing the Suzie Q (The best seasoning ever! Santa Maria Style BBQ seasoning, by Suzie Q. www.susieqbrand.com) into the ribs and clearing out the fridge to store them in. Then he informed me that he needed to do the run to take guests to the airport. He printed up Mom’s email and left.  I should have offered to make the run and left him to get the place and now the sauce ready! But he did get home in time to light the wood chips and have the first racks smelling amazing when the guests started to arrive. So I guess I can’t complain. 

The party was wonderful. Of course it was even better because I didn’t have to cook. The kitchen brought all the food and flat wear and beverages. They even took everything away afterword and the only clean up was to wipe the counter and wash the rib pans. That’s my kind of party!

It was wonderful to have the staff here. One of our wranglers said it was so nice to be in a home again. After a summer of dorm style housing I can imagine. I told her she was welcome anytime. I wish we could have them all over every week! I can’t imagine a more wonderful and talented group. Our kids enjoyed socializing and making everyone laugh. It was said that our 3 year old was definitely an innkeeper’s son!

But the very best part was those ribs! xo


Prayers In the Car

Ever pray in your car? Oh My Gosh! I sure do! Like the time I forgot to fill up the day before and was heading back into little town and the empty bell rings in the car! Boy did we all start praying. The Lord was with us then and we made it to little town and the gas station. Then we all prayed our thanks and that mama wouldn't be so forgetful next time! ;o)

The 18 miles of paved road between us and little town is getting repaved and it's doing a number on everyones tires. My Adventure Man has had 3 flats and finally got new tires, I had one flat and took my car into the place where we bought the tires, just a year ago to have them check the tires out because they looked so bad. (Now this is a long trip as this store doesn't have a branch out here where we live now. I thought it would be worth the 2 hour drive to another branch of this store.... I'm not mentioning the name of said store because I would like to be nice and not bad mouth good people trying to do good work, but...) They told me they were fine and safe to drive on. Oookee Dokee!

Well, last Friday I picked up my ll year old early from school for her first Orthodontist appointment in Big Town. Just before we arrived I started to hear flapping sounds from my tires and thought I had a flat! But the car wasn't cranking one way or the other so I didn't stop. Then I heard a bigger flap-flap and I flipped out and pulled over right on the highway and waited for it to be safe to get out and check. (Rant: Oh MY Gosh!!!! IF you SEE SOME POOR Person on the side of the road with their hazard lights on and their door a jar, GET THE HECK OVER!!!! Especially if the speed limit in your state is 75 miles!!! WTH! ~ Sorry 'bout that.) Well, I jump out and NO FLAT! Not one! So on we go, 3 of my 4 kids and I!

After the Ortho, and groceries we race back to pick up the other child still in school. As I start to speed up on the highway the car starts shaking like the front axel is about to pop off! I pull over, grab my phone and of course the battery is dead. (We don't get cell service where we live so if we leave the phone on it dies really fast.) I plug it in and again pray that the half a second I had it plugged in is enough to get my Adventure Man. It worked! I ask him to call the school and get the 8 year old to get on the bus, and ask him to please pick her up, as it looks like we will not be making it. We decide on trying to make it to Sears because there is no way I can drive all the way home only going 40. (Again, I'm new in town and that was the only place I could think of where I knew right where it was. Plus it's attached to the mall so the kids and I would have something to do while we waited!) The guy at Sears was great. He said it sounded like alinement issues and we went out to look at it. We're talking and walking around the car and all of a sudden he stops cold and says, "Holy Cow!" (Ok, I don't remember what he said, but that's what I said!) The tire had about 6 inches of tread gone. I had been driving on wire! Not only was it about to blow, but it's amazing that I made it as far as I did! Sears set us up with a very nice, very expensive new set of tires that should last us a lot longer this time around.... I hope! And that is why I will always be grateful that the Lord watches over us, even in the car! xo

Oh, and my alinement is fine!