Yesterday I drove with the kids back from Idaho where we delivered the horses and did a few repairs. The weather up there is quite a bit cooler this time of year, but we adapted, and we had my mom and grandparents to visit with and keep us always too busy to worry about weather! I’ll sum up each day to say what happened.
We drove up on Saturday, so on Sunday we did a lot of assessing where things were and what we were getting ourselves into! We also checked the horses were doing well in their new half acre pasture, and unloaded the truck, especially of feed and watering gear, and filled up more water than the horses should need for quite some time! We also cleared up some stuff from Granny’s room downstairs and brought down a bed from upstairs. That gave them a room to sleep in together, and eliminated the need for them to be hiking up and down the stairs every day. It also put them into a room where there was a bathroom attached, rather than having to hike down in the night to use to loo. Finally, we verified the chimney was clear because granny thought she had heard a bird in it, and did not want to kill it if there was one.
The work began today! We cleared out almost everything from the floor of the garage, and loaded it into the truck to take to the dump. This mostly consisted of a cache of old items that David believed would have some value, saving him in the future from having to buy it as a repair part. Of course, the first problem is that most of the cache consisted of rusted, rotted, or broken goods that really were nothing more than saved garbage! The second problem is that to a large degree, Davis still believed that it was valuable property, and kept coming out to see what good stuff we were throwing away. That slowed the job from time to time! While this was going on, Dylan also took on the job of connecting the TV and a hard drive and printer so the grandparents would have al their technical work sorted for them.
We took the load to the dump that we had dug out of the garage, and with granny able to park her car inside the garage, we turned our focus next to the very leaky frost free hydrant next to the garage. The big task for the day was digging a big enough five foot deep hole that we could get into it and work, pump out the water, and get the level of the water below the joint where the frost free attached to an elbow which sparred from the main line. In our free time we also rearranged hinges on the horse pasture and replaced the gate. The whole family met at Arctic Circle for lunch where we were eventually questioned by the police regarding my daughter, as someone reported that they thought she might have been a missing little girl from northern Utah. Of course she was not the missing girl, and while I was a bit taken back by such a line of questioning, I felt so much pain for the parents who have lost their child! We went home to repair some barbed wire on the horse pasture as best we could, and cleaned up in the yard!
Today was Jordan’s 16th birthday!
We went to get a new hydrant to replace the broken one, and we bought a new thermostat for the hot water heater in the morning. Both got repaired, but naturally when my 16 year old jumped into the hole saying “I can do it! I can do it!” I let him try and thread the new hydrant onto the the line. He cross threaded it, and we could not get it to go on for quite some time, which included us verifying we had actually bought the right size. Finally we went out to see if the next door neighbor, Ross Bird, had a tap and die set. He did not, and he asked us to move several bags of concrete for him. We did, then went home because it was too late to find a shop open in town. Ross came by and pointed us to a house about a mile up the road where a man named Justin lived. Justin works electrical and plumbing for a living, and might be able to help. Upon going there, Justin could not find his tap and die set, so he found a pipe the same size, and ran slits down the thread crossways, and made his own cutter out of it, and worked it right in with no problem, clearing our threads and our problems. Hours wasted, we put the hydrant in only to find that it would not shut off, so we had to take it out and clear some mud that had got into it.
We also went to Carl’s Jr. today, and discovered C-A-L Ranch! While there I bought concrete and a post for the receiving end of the gate on the horse pasture so we could assure the horses would not escape as the old post was a t-bar that would not stay in the ground, and was a bad replacement for a broken post that had been there before.
Finally it was time to clean the barn out, a job I was looking forward to, and one that promised to equal the garage times two! When we finally finished it, we took a load to the dump of the same sorts of thing that had gone there from the garage. We also prepared a second load to take the next day, as well as a load of scrap iron for recycling. The barn also involved cleaning a room that is being used as a chicken coop, and putting up a roost for them, and a few racks for horse tack and saddles in the barn. We set the gate post on the pasture, and talked my mom into trimming the lilac bush for us.
First thing after breakfast Jordan and I took that second load to the dump from the barn, and stopped at IFA to get a new lead rope for one of our goats. We then loaded the truck with all the scrap iron, including hand lifting from the ground to the bed a 300 or so pound electric motor. The iron recycling center paid at $160 per ton of unprepared metal, and we collected $83 from him. We also moved a bench, worked on the garage door so it would open more smoothly, and Moved the horse tack, cleared clogged lines to the kitchen sink for better water pressure, replaced the thermostat on the hot water heater at last, and did a lot of cleaning up after ourselves.
Finally we attached the mesh fence to new gate pole, completing that job, and loaded our stuff to get ready to go. We took a four gen photo, and got in the truck and drove home to Nevada! And the rest, as they say, is history!
Joan Hansen, Kiry Bacon, Kelsey Bacon, Carrie Hansen (Who collected her last name from a different Hansen!)
The house needs work, but it has got a lot of potential!