Friday, August 12, 2016

crisis averted

 And here is my reward--cappuccino and chocolate almond biscotti for brunch on vintage china. 

  Today's potential crisis started a couple of weeks ago.  I live in the country and so I do  not have city water or sewer.  I have a well and a septic system and both are frequently in need of my attention at best and at worst, the plumber's attention when it is something that is beyond DIY and requires the professionals.  

One evening as I was finishing up outside and putting out dog food for my three big dogs, one of my dogs, Codie, did not come to eat.  She is usually the first one so I started to call her and look for her.  As I went past the well I noticed that the lid to the well room was ajar.  Our well is below ground in a cement 'room' with an opening at the top.  With a feeling of dread I peeked into the well and there she was standing at the bottom of the well.  Thankfully she did not look to have been injured in her fall but I was not sure how I would get a 100 pound dog up out of there.  The only way to access the well is to drop a ladder down the opening  and climb into the room.  It was nearing dusk and once it was dark it would be much more difficult to get her out.  I knew that I couldn't do it alone so I called Robb, my daughter Caitlin's boyfriend, who lives about 15 miles away.  He said that he would be right over and I set about gathering equipment that might come in handy and called my parents, who also live about 15 miles away to see if they could come in case we needed more than the two of us to hoist her out.  

Robb made really good time, it turns out he was kind of in the area, and showed up as I was bringing the last of the potential rescue equipment.  Prior to dropping the ladder into the opening I pulled up the sump pump to get it out of the way and noticed that there was damage to the power cords.  We have a sump pump in place because the room is below grade and when the surrounding ground is wet, water will seep into the room.  The well pump and pressure tank is positioned about three feet up from the floor but when it is really wet, like in the spring when there is a lot of snow melt or during particularly wet summers the level of water can climb and short out the well pump.We pump the water out to prevent damage. Once the ladder was in place Robb climbed down and fastened Holly's (the horse) halter around Codie's upper chest and belly and  attached the lead rope. He boosted her from below and I pulled on the rope from above and we were able to drag her out.  There was several inches of water in the bottom of the well so Robb and Codie were both wet.  We had her out before my parents arrived so I quickly called them to let them know that she was safe and that they could turn around and return home.  Codie was without any apparent injuries but she is an older dog with a heavy coat so I am sure that she had some stiffness and some bruising that wasn't apparent due to her very thick black coat.  

The next day Dad hauled the sump pump to town to work on the power cords and a day or two later he returned it and  I dropped it into the well room to pump the water out and it did not work.  Back to town it went and Dad discovered that the switch was damaged and that we cannot replace just the switch as the design has changed and the switch is no longer available.  In the meantime there is a ton of stuff going on and it is not raining so replacing the sump pump kind of moves farther down on the to do list.  Every few days I would check the level of water in the bottom of the well room, knowing that if it started to climb to the height that could damage the well I had the option to move the sump pump from the septic system and pump it out.  

All of that changed yesterday when it started to rain.  We had  a storm move thru in the early morning that deposited 4/10ths.  A second storm moved thru in the afternoon bringing another 7/10ths and when it started raining again during the evening and night I knew that I would need to do something.  We received five inches of rain during the night.  It could have been worse.  A town 35 miles to the east is reported to have received over eight inches and a town about 45 miles to the south is reported to have received 13 inches.  Some water standing in my yard and ditches is nothing compared to the flooding in those communities.  

At first light the rain had stopped so I immediately checked the water level in the well.  It was higher but not to the point yet that it would damage the well.  I hurried to town and my parents and I headed out to buy a new pump and the extra parts needed.  Once I got home I was able to glue the pvc plumbing parts together and get the pumping going.  So far so good.  I pumped a lot of water out and I am sure that for days it will seep back in but at least for now it is keeping the level down.  Potential crisis averted.  

Back to my brunch, the china is new to me and I write about it on an entertaining blog called A Dozen for Dinner.  Since I started that blog I have been bitten by the thrifting bug and am in the process of amassing new collections and expanding my white collection.  I am adding a new tab at the top called The Thrifty Table and the first post is about these dishes and can be found here..

The cappuccino was made with espresso made in my moka pot and hot milk that was frothed with my immersion blender.  

I have another blog called The Bakery At Mom's Hobby Farm.  The biscotti recipe can be found on that blog here.

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