My parents and mother-in-law all came together for a visit this week, so our days have been spent playing board games, weeding the garden, letting them see a bit of the kids homeschooling days, and eating. My mother took one look at me and decided I needed to gain back the weight I lost when we were buying the house. I feel like she is definitely trying to making it happen in the week she is here! LOL.
Really, we have just been here at home most of the time, enjoying the beautiful weather. California has delivered on it’s reputation with sunny days and cool nights. My mother-in-law has also helped identify some of the flowers and trees on the property.
Hello, lovelies! This has been an event filled week.
I said I would write up what happened to the well, so here we go….
Last Saturday, I was in the midst of putting the kids’ new beds together, when there was suddenly no water. Nothing. Nada.
Doug and I went out and started troubleshooting. We ended up in a hard and fast education about our well system. We checked the one thing. It wasn’t that. We checked another. Nope. Not that. And so we worked our way from the tank to the well until we realized that the power to the well had not been turned on! The system had been shut off during the sale because the house has sat empty for a year. We had assumed the system was turned on because the house had water (city-slicker waving!). Hope was high we had found the problem, but no. Doug checked control panels and pressure switches. All of it seemed to be working. the only place we had not checked was down in the well. Replacing a well pump is hard and expensive. We had eliminated everything else.
By this point, we already had a neighbor coming to help us, and were on the hunt for a water truck to come fill our tank so we could function in the meantime. My real estate agent (bless her!) lent us the key to their old house (on the market) and let us shower there. She also got us some extra drinking water.
There were calls made to the sellers. Neighbors offering advice, tools and helping hands. This is when you learn that country living really is about the community.
Finally, Wednesday morning the water truck showed up and filled our tank. The driver was local and super nice.
Then, Doug and I got on our farm clothes, and pulled the well pump and line up 120 feet. No winch (flex pipe, so no need. YAY!). We pulled up the ten feet of PVC, and then I walked that down the vineyard as Doug hauled up the rest of the line. It was hard, intense labor. It felt like a brutal CrossFit WOD, talk about functional fitness.
Finally, we had what we suspected was the culprit, and low and behold…the pump worked! The problem was the water line had come undone. Please note: after we pulled the pump, we had professionals come up with a pump and all the fittings in case the pump was broken. They were the ones who checked the pump and reattached everything. We saved ourselves some labor by pulling it up. They saved us an $800 well pump. We also watched everything they did so if we need to replace the pump in the future we can do it ourselves. Doug is pretty good with electrical systems, but he’s still not a pro.
And here was the problem.
Moving into a new house always exposes problems. Always. This is our third house, we know this. It’s just that country homes expose issues that most people don’t think about.
And it also exposes the community who lives around you, and we are in a great one.
Today was a day of making lists and seeing just how much work has to be done around here. Doug and I walked the property, taking turns pointing out to each other the buds and new leaves on trees and grapevines, wondering where this irrigation line runs to, and whether that section of fence will be easy to repair. It is almost overwhelming when we look at it. Then we take a deep breath and grin at each other like loons.
There is nowhere else we would rather be than looking a years worth of work.
One of the things on my list is to go see what the library has on growing grapes. I’ve grown a vegetable garden before, but wine grapes are totally different. Thankfully, I just need to let the vintner who tends the vines do his job, and then I get to enjoy the fruit of his labor, as it were. People have asked me why I don’t make him pay be, but to have a knowledgeable vintner tend the vines and then give me cases of wine as payment is more than a fair deal. Heaven knows if I had to do it, these vines would be in a sorry stated and there would be no wine! However, I do think I need to educate myself on what grows on my land.
Today I also met a neighbor. I have to say, I have never lived anywhere where the people actually came out to meet you. We have met five neighbors on our road so far, and most of them went out of their way to come welcome us. Despite the fact that we are so close to the city, it really is rural living here. I just love it.
Now we are going to watch a movie together. I hope your Saturday has been as lovely as mine!
Oh, my! This stuff is a menace. And. It. Is. Everywhere.
Every day, I try to get out there with a pair of gloves and I just pull, pull, pull. They have to be pulled out by the roots or they come back. The worst ones are the ones that grow from the cut stumps that were not pulled. Some of those I can’t get out at all.
I am loving doing it though. The day was sunny and warm, the breeze cool. When I pulled the root of the plant out, I could smell the damp earth. Sometimes even tasting the scent in my mouth when I breathed in.
Sun on my skin. My muscles working hard.
I found myself using “deadlift form” when I pulled the big ones out. Flat back, shoulders straight, pushing through my heals. Tomorrow morning my hamstrings are going to feel this.
This morning we had the low of a small panic attack after seeing smoke. I turned the car around and hightailed it back to the house to call it in. Thankfully it was a reported controlled burn, and the kids and I were able to get to their riding lesson on time.
Then, when we got to the stables it was to find the kittens big enough to walk. One of the barn cats (showed up as a stray) managed to get herself pregnant before they could get her spayed. It’s actually lucky for us because we are going to get to bring two of them home!
I’m actually sitting here writing this post on my phone with two of them napping in my lap. The tabby is one of ours and the black one has already been claimed by one of the riding instructors in another barn. Actually, all four kittens have already been claimed.
It’s not even noon and the day has already been pretty eventful.
So we just had our first blackout. It only lasted about half an hour, thank goodness! We have not yet gotten a generator. The giant diesel one on the property was fried long ago. We just lit some candles and the kids decided to make a “prepper” list of things we need to do if this was a serious situation. LOL!
Sitting around talking in the candlelight was a great way to end the day. Here are a few photos I took of our day. Have a great night everyone!