Still not in the clear

As I write this, it’s coming up on 2pm, and the septic guy has not made it out yet.

I’m happy to say that we did not get any additional flooding in the basement during the night. So far, we can get away with flushing the toilet now and then, and washing our hands, but showers, laundry and doing the dishes are all out. If we do use water, that drain opening in the basement floor does fill a bit, but it’s not overflowing and slowly drains back into the tank again. The septic pump continues to run as usual.

We had a cold night, and the winds were bitterly cold this morning.

It was cold enough to freeze the mud from when the front end loader went through the softer areas. Solid enough that, when I had to drive over it later on, the van didn’t break through the ice at all.

My husband, sweetheart that his is, offered to cover the costs of getting prepared food. His tax return came in yesterday, thankfully. So this morning, I headed into town to pick up a bucket of chicken or something like that, only to find the chicken place wasn’t open yet. In fact, none of the restaurants with take out were open yet. So I went to the grocery store and picked up a bunch of prepared and quick heat foods for the day. The problem right now not being able to do the dishes. We do still have pots and pans to cook with, but nowhere to put dirty dishes anymore.

Note for future: not only do we need an outdoor bathroom in a different location – one that doesn’t collect a lake of meltwater in front of it – but when we build our outdoor kitchen, we need to make sure to have the supplies needed to wash up, then collect and dispose of the dirty water. We do have a few things we can use, if we really get desperate, but they would be quite awkward to work with. Hopefully, it won’t come to that!

After I got back, my daughters took over putting things away and preparing the food while I headed back to the septic tank. I wanted to get the insulated tarp loose, so when the septic guy arrived, he would just need to pull it back and go.

That, of course, turned out to be a much bigger job than anticipated.

We were really, really thorough about making sure that tarp couldn’t get blown away.

I ended up having to dig out the far corner as well, which still had a drift of hard packed snow on top.

I forgot we’d used old fence posts across the fold, to weigh it down.

I finally got it so that the tarp can be pulled back to access the cover. Then I returned it and weighed it down with one of the fence posts, until we need to lift it, since we do still need to keep this area insulated!

It would have been much better if it could have been lifted from the other end, away from the house, but it was easier get the tarp out from under the things weighing it down along the house, and breaking up the snow on it, than trying to chip through that layer of ice.

There is a downspout at the corner of the sun room that we put the rain barrel under. The barrel blocks access into the garden quite a bit, so I’ve been thinking of turning the down spout towards the garden, so that the rain barrel can be put around the corner, instead of on the sidewalk in front of the sun room. If we put a high enough platform under it, we’ll also have room for a tap to fill watering cans from the bottom, too. The diverter we use when the barrel is full currently drains near a rose bush in front of the steps to the laundry platform at the clothes line. If we redirect the down spout, it will instead drain into the old kitchen garden. What I want to do is attach a collapsible overflow pipe to the rain barrel, instead, so we don’t have to worry about using the diverter at all. The whole set up will still be in the way of traffic zones, but not as much as it is now.

Now I’m thinking we need to do the same thing with the downspout on the opposite corner, by the septic tank. The ground slopes downwards to the west, but the downspout runs to the north. If we turn it, yes, it’ll be in the way, since it’ll be running across the path we’ve made along the side of the house, but I’m sure we can work around that. Another rain barrel certainly wouldn’t be a bad idea, either. In fact, we could use three more, just for around the house. We will have to make sure they all have overflow drains. I’d like to have a couple more rain barrels at the garage, too, since we have garden beds that way already, and there will be trees and shrubs planted beyond the garage, too. So we’re looking at at least 5 rain barrels, though if we could get a couple of those big water tanks instead, that would be even better.

One of these days, I need to snag my brother and his trailer, and make a trip to the salvage yard in the city. Along with rain barrels, we want to pick up bricks, blocks and pavers, too.

But that’s something to do in the summer, perhaps. Right now, I just want to be able to take a shower and not flood our basement.

The Re-Farmer

One thought on “Still not in the clear

  1. Pingback: Giving up for now | The Re-Farmer

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