no one said it would be easy

Establishing our utilities at the ranch hasn’t always been easy. I’ve described a few times where things went haywire. This week, a slow subbing week, we’ve run out of water completely because our line froze again on the one day I have worked this week.

Now, I mentioned that we had a frozen line about a week ago. Over the weekend Bryan spent nearly a whole day dealing with the water line, digging a two foot trench for it. I insulated the line and we covered it back up. We added a shut off valve and a drain right outside the cabin so that section above ground can’t freeze. Success! Then when we flushed the line, we accidentally left the line facing up at the end, allowing it to keep water in it and it froze. Suffice it to say, there was a lot of swearing when we discovered that our water was out and we had no way to replenish it. We had a little crisis mode there, but we’ve problem solved once again. We had to cut that section off and bring it inside to thaw. It was full of ice. So yesterday after school we reattached it and pumped water, just in time to do all the dishes from the previous day and cook a meal for friends we had invited over!

Now I think we’ve got the system down. When we need to pump, I turn the shut off valve off outside the cabin, go down to the creek, put the line in the water (which is now covered with a perforated water bottle with a sock over it to cut down the debris the filter has to work out) and set the switches to pumping formation and turn the water on. Then I wait until it is mostly full (we know just the spot), walk down to the creek and remove the line from the water, letting it pump the remaining water out of the line. Then we turn both shut off valves on so both above-ground sections drain any remaining water. Now we have water again, which we need because we INSTALLED A REGULAR TOILET.

It’s a Niagara Stealth low flow toilet. It uses less than a gallon of water per flush (.8gpf) and works great! Bryan is much-relieved that he will no longer have to lift the composter out of the cabin and deal with it.

In other news, we hosted our largest get together at the homestead yet last weekend. We had 3 adults over (as opposed to Elsa, Matt, and their little guy). We only have four plates and four forks here,  but we had a nice meal and had a good time bullshitting around the fire. This week I added some coat hooks in the yurt and am working on adding shelves to the a-frame walls. I also added hooks to the back of the cubby for hanging gloves and hats in the next few months.


DSC_0020We also had some generator trouble on Monday, requiring Bryan to work on the wiring a little. Evidently some water got into the outside gfci box, so the generator wasn’t powering anything in the buildings. He worked his magic and we were up and running in less than an hour. It’s pretty impressive how much he has mastered all the electric stuff that he was a little intimidated by a few months ago!