Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Gibbs-smack From The Universe

It's funny how the Universe will slap us upside the head sometimes to reset our priorities. Wether we listen though... that's up to us.  I swore this recent move wouldn't be done hastily and haphazardly, everything would go smoothly.
There things left behind, the truck was too small, but I couldn't afford a bigger truck. Without going into all the details, let's just say I wasn't happy with the way the move went. But I was damn glad when it was over. For a couple of days I bitched and moaned about it.
And then the water taps spit air....

We thought we were out of water. When Dad and I opened the lid, there was water. A neighbor came over and lowered his ladder down and took a peek. (It's only a shallow well.) We had water, and good flow, so it wasn't that. So the same neighbor went downstairs to the pump and gave that a once over. He did whatever he did, and came up scratching his head. He was stumped, he said, he couldn't figure out why we weren't getting water. Then we hired someone to come and dredge the well. Even they said we had good flow. We got one load of laundry done, and one shower in and then...air again.
First one thing was tried, then another and the neighbor came over again. He started the pump again, I watched carefully so that I might learn how to prime it, since it's next to impossible for Dad. He's not a contortionist, and I felt frustrated that I couldn't do anything. All through this experience, I still hadn't learned the lesson the Universe was trying to teach me. I did learn about the pressure switch, where the points are, I learned too that we don't need a check valve on the pump in the basement, I learned it was installed stupidly and in a bad corner and that only a small strong man can take it apart in three places to prime it. With a torch.

So the pump was primed, the neighbor left for Manitoulin Island and we celebrated having water. I even sent the youngest son in for a shower.
He came out saying there was no water.
So now we are making trips to a local spring to get water suitable for drinking and using what's in the water barrel outside for washing of dishes. Yes, after it's boiled. Super-Neighbor is supposed to be back on Sunday (tomorrow) and replacement parts for something on the pump down in well have been purchased.

This morning I was the first one up, not counting Dad at 4 am because he made coffee and went back to bed, and I was sitting outside with my sweater and coffee when it hit me...
This is the Universe teaching me to let go of the "stuff" in my life and focus on what's important.
Like running water.
Like showers and clean clothes.
I sat there letting the lesson sink in with the rising sun, humbled by how stupid I've been.
Regardless, today the family and I, minus the parental units because they aren't spring chickens anymore, bushwhacked a path back to the spring that I remembered from 12 years ago. It's just at the back of the property, we just needed to get to it. It was an enjoyable way to get the kids out of doors, and they were each given a job they liked. I was a little disappointed to find not a spring, but a small waterhole. Stagnant water was not what I was hoping for.
But on the bright side, it's enough to flush the toilet with, so I wasn't complaining! And as an added bonus, I made acquaintance with a small green frog.

Of course, all of us here are glued to the Olympics. None of us here are very spry to be sporting, but we do enjoy the world stage for others to compete. Are you following the Olympics? Who are you rooting for?

So, I would say that all in all, it wasn't too bad a day...I suppose. It could have been worse.
It can always get worse, and this too shall pass.

(Btw, for anyone wondering...The Gibbs-smack in the title is a nod to Leroy Jethro Gibbs, of NCIS fame)

Monday, July 23, 2012

We're Not So Urban Anymore

I'm very pleased to report we all made it safe and sound! We're now Northerners! This isn't the first time for me, or the 16 yr old, but for the rest of the family, this is new. I'm relieved that everyone seems to be settling in well. The youngest has even expanded his palette of acceptable foods! The dog also seems to have found himself.  He's become quite the explorer, if only of his own yard.
We made crabapple jelly today, albeit a very, very small batch. But we learned some things and it apparently turned out tasty, so it was not a complete waste of time. First thing I learned; ignore the recipe when it tells you to put the jelly juice on to boil before the jars. Get the jars warming first, otherwise the jelly is ready before the jars. Bad. Also learned; no matter how often you think you have enough, it isn't. Keep picking. But above all, look for the beauty in your day. Today it was in a sunbeam through a full jar of crabapple jelly. Can't wait to make more!

There's a lot of work to do here, but I expected that. There's garden beds to lay out and make. Lots of space to do that in though. There's a few piles of junk that can be sorted through, reclaimed and re-purposed. The composter needs to be emptied, repaired and moved. There's lots of weeding, lots of trimming and bush-whacking to do. It seems as if the woods have been pretty determined over the past 12 years to take back the yard. I shall prevail. I have to learn about pumps since the one we have is like a cranky old man determined to ruin everyone's day. I don't think it's big enough, but then again, I doubt I'm qualified enough to have an opinion. It seems all we ever do is cook and do dishes.  You would think that at some point we'd get ahead of it, but no.
I have visited a website once or twice that's written by Amish women (I think), and they share recipes they've enjoyed when they've cooked for crowds of 15 or 20. I think perhaps it's time to revisit that website! I need to re-learn how to cook for a crowd!

So in the spirit of Sharon Astyk's Independence Days Challenge:

Plant something: not yet, but tomorrow is peas, mesclun and lettuce
Harvest something: beets the other day
Preserve something: made crabapple jelly today
Waste not: well, nothing to report there I'm afraid

Not much else to report for this week. It's been so hot that just thinking about working outdoors has made me break into a sweat!