The usual garden view at noon on Sunday, yesterday, after the ice storm. Not so very much ice for us. This jumble of weeds will still have some seed that will feed birds, mice and voles through the winter and insects in early spring. Then we’ll work it up and plant potatoes here.
The cedar tree at the corner of the lane way just down from the CSA pick up area is leaning in all directions under the weight of the ice and snow. The cedars do this and worse but seldom do the branches break and come spring you’d never know what had happened over winter.
Quite a lot of work was done this past week. The weather was good, and though sometimes cool, we did have some pretty nice days for a late November. I should make more of an effort to take photos of work that we do all through the week rather than just before I publish this blog. That would also help me remember what happened.
The trailer pulled by the Farmall 100 tractor and loaded with wood from along the driveway. Most of this wood is perfectly dry and just needs to be cut to length and split. Some just needs splitting, some just needs cutting. Mostly spruce and maple here.
The Farmall tractor waiting. Snow blade also at the ready.
We spent time again bringing in wood with the pick up truck and with Farmall tractor and trailer. The woodshed is now jammed with a pile of cut to length wood hastily piled in a heap. We’ll work through it as we split with axe, wedge and maul and make neat piles but for now it is in out of the weather.
The wood has mostly been unloaded from the tractor and some of the longer pieces have been cut to length. All this and much more was cut up and put into the woodshed.
We had a load of hay delivered. Just 8 bales with about 26 more to come next week some time. This may get us by until March but much depends on the quality of the hay and we don’t quite know that until we have opened up a bale. Hopefully all cows, sheep and horses will think it fine.
The horses, the two mares with the young stallion at front and way back can be seen, just below the mare to the right, the white miniature horse. A few days before the ice.
Some of the hens of the one heritage chicken flock. They are huddled for warmth on the floor at a comfy spot. I have kept the door closed the last few days. Unless it is calm and the sun is shining then they will not go out anyway and the open door just lets in cold air.
This is the water pump in the house basement. The blue cylinder is the water storage/pressure tank and the white cylinder is the hot water tank. The water pipes from the well come into the house through the basement wall and can be seen at the entry point just to the right of the top of the blue tank. The vertical pipe just to the right of the blue tank is the one inch pipe which has been disconnected at the tee and the white coupler, further to the right has been installed to connect that one inch pipe directly to the house water system, bypassing the pump which is the darker blue piece at lower right. There is a shut off valve, the red handle, in the line to the house system. The vertical pipes extend upwards a bit so as to be sued for putting water in when we prime the pump.
It took us three days this week, including several trips to the hardware store for plumbing bits, to get water running to the house. We have been without running water for a very long time. We replaced the old water pump in our basement but could not get the thing to work properly. We have had 3 water pumps in our 40 plus years in this house and it has been a fairly simple straightforward procedure; remove the old pump, connect up the new, prime it, fiddle a bit and done in an afternoon. This time the new pump just would not run right. We spent days fiddling with it and it did run a bit for a while but also it did not sound right and did not respond to adjustments made. I should have taken it back. Instead we bought another, an expensive but really reliable one, one we should have bought in the first place since when we are in the growing season the pump can run a lot; sometimes the whole day and most all day for days in a row. But then we ran into a new problem. At least we think that it was new and different problem from what we had with the cheaper new pump. It would come on after a short while even when no water was used and the cycle time got shorter. This meant there was a leak somewhere and the leak was getting larger. We couldn’t find it. New foot valve, dug down to the buried pipes running from house to well at both ends looking for a leak. Could find none. All the while we were extraordinarily busy with gardening and all the other usual things and could spend little time working on our plumbing problem. Months passed but with the end of the season we had a bit more time. We decided that there might not be enough time before winter freeze up to do a proper job so decided on a fix. We have two pumps and two separate systems drawing water from this same well. One for the house, located in the house basement and one for the yurt located at the well. The fix was to connect a pipe from the line running from the pump at the well to one of the two lines running from the well to the house and by pass the pump in the house. This would mean the pump at the well would then supply both house and yurt. Easily within it’s capability. This was straight forward but of course plans changed as we did the work and extra trips were made to obtain parts not planned for. In the end it has worked and we now have running water in the house.