Saturday, April 22, 2017

Water Line Repaired!

Back in January, the water district sent me a letter saying they had identified a leak in my city water line, and that I needed to fix the leak immediately, or my water would be shut off on February 11. Standing on the rise to the west of the JayBee, I could see hundreds of feet into the woods to where the leak was.

I could not imagine that I would be able to find someone who could get equipment into the woods to fix this problem in the middle of winter...

Many inches of snow later, after negotiating with and updating the water district multiple times, and after early spring had finally melted the snow...

I had a plan for fixing the water line. First, I needed to cut a path through the trees for an excavator to make its way in to the leak.

From down in the valley, looking back at the house...

There is a LOT of water running through the valley in multiple streams, especially this time of year.

Both George and Bear came through the woods with me. George quickly found a cushy pile of leaves, curled up, and fell asleep. Bear spent more time hanging out with me.

Here's the leak identified by the water district with some blue flags. It doesn't show in the photo, but there is quite a stream of water running down the hill--and it has eroded a deep trench in the hillside.

Above the leak, it is hundreds of feet to the upper road where the excavator would need to travel. I spent hours clearing a path...

Finally, fix day arrived. Walking the repair guys through the woods in to where the leak was, we startled a family of six deer. They bounded away too quickly to get a photo. Here is the excavator at the site of the leak.

After the excavator found the leak and the pipe was cut for the fix...

Hours later--after two trips for more parts, and coordinating with the water district for water shut off and on--the excavator filled in the hole and left.

Unfortunately, below the fix, there is still a long, deep trench that I should fill in to protect the water line from freezing in future winters. I mentioned my concern about this to the guy doing the repair, but he really didn't want to deal with it. I guess I have some heavy-duty shoveling in my future!

My biggest concern about this project was my worry that, once the water was turned back on after the fix, the plumbing in my old house (the one I want to tear down) would burst left and right from the increase in water pressure. (After I did work on the water line in 2004, the water pressure rose above 100 psi and the shower head blew off!) Luckily, this time, no plumbing has burst in the house (yet). A couple of the fixtures act a bit stressed with the high water pressure (even though I have to say that taking a high-pressure shower is quite nice) but, so far, they are holding.

It is exciting to have a repaired water line and to know that I will have great water supply for the JayBee!

In other spring news...

George on a walk with me along the river.

There is so much water in the river right now, with all the spring run-off, that it can be hard to see the difference between high and low tide. In the photo below, it is an hour and a half before high tide, but the gully between the road and the river is filling up with water.

The spring flood tides pick up all kinds of debris. Below, near the near shore is a huge tree floating down the river.

This can't be good. Directly in front of my house along the railroad tracks is a cement box. It always had a metal lid secured on it, and I assumed it held stuff related to the railroad crossing of the road a short ways away. Recently, the lid suddenly went missing. Who does this stuff? Vandalize things for no reason. Was it really enough metal to salvage for money? Anyway, I peered in the box the other day. Old batteries submerged in water. This cannot be good.

New Adventure to Follow

Many of my followers know that my son hiked the Appalachian Trail twice--in 2012 and 2014. This year, he is embarking on a new adventure--hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. He has a permit to begin hiking on April 30. He has a 6-month leave from his job, has his ticket to fly out to the trailhead, has all of his gear, and he's busily dehydrating food. I dehydrated, assembled, and vacuum-packed 40 meals for him to pack into his supply shipments. Also, he has cut his hair and beard--both of which will be quite long by the time he's done!

Sporting his pre-hike look, here is Arlen holding (not strangling, even though it may look like it!) brand-new kitty Jill, who will be old enough to move into her new household in June.

Anyone who would like to follow along with Arlen's hike...
Arlen's Adventures blog
Pacific Crest Trail Overview Map--Part 1
Pacific Crest Trail Overview Map--Part 2
Pacific Crest Trail sectional hiking maps

Monday, April 3, 2017

Progress Amidst the Snow (also Entry/Office Cupboard 4)

And the snow keeps on coming!

This was Saturday. Snowed all day. [To you-know-who who plans to leave Hawaii and return to Maine this month: Are you sure you want to come back to this?]

Even with the snow, I kept busy with JayBee projects. I have these stainless steel racks I'm going to use to help me store plates. I decided I didn't want them to be shiny.

So I applied oil-rubbed bronze paint to them.

Remember this cabinet?

I was worried I was going to ruin it as I moved around the JayBee installing insulation, so I took it inside the house. I drilled a couple of extra holes for cables, and I started painting.

The beadboard in the back of the cabinet is now painted barn red. I love milk paint and no-VOC finish!

Most of the new snow melted on Sunday. It may not be easy to see all of the ducks that are out on the river in this shot...

All of those white dots stretched out in a line are ducks.