Monday, August 1, 2011

A Close Call and Things are Looking Up

This morning I was up before 6am to get the morning chores done before the plumbers arrived to work on the septic lines.  Actually, the goal was to get the chores done so I could get back into the house and have my coffee before they told me I couldn't run water.  Coffee is the focus of my morning.  As the sign in my kitchen says:

The plumbers arrived at 7 am and got to work digging in my garden.  This is what it looked like before their arrival:

Looking out

Looking in
I went back down to the barn at 7:30 to ride Jackson.  While I was tacking him up, I saw a coyote running up the road.  Then I saw the neighbor's dog, Suzie, in hot pursuit.  Suzie chased the coyote up the road, around the corner, and to the top of the hill.  Good girl!  Then I got worried, Suzie lives on the property next to us and the goat pen is right up against the fence on our shared property line.  So if Suzie was chasing the coyote, that means she saw the coyote from her home turf, and the coyote was probably scoping out the goats.

I hopped on Jackson and we rode up the road to the property line.  I could see the goats, all five of them, racing around like they were possessed.  They were running from one end of their area to other, bounding and bouncing off of boulders as they went.  Bella and Bear yelled at me from the top of the biggest boulder as I rode by. 

Jackson and I went back to our property, up the back driveway, around the barn and into the arena.  It was hot and slightly humid but Jackson was a trooper.  I'm trying to build our fitness - his muscle strength and my cardiovascular - with sets of trot work.  Today we did 8 minutes, short break, 8 minutes, short break, 6 minutes.  The first set I focused on letting him stretch and warm up.  I asked him to lift his back and he got there but it took most of the eight minutes.  The second set, he was working in a very nice frame so we worked on transitions within trot, some leg yield and 10m circles to help with his balance, and a little bit of canter to keep us happy and forward thinking.  The last set I planned to trot for four minutes but he was going so nicely that we kept going for six.  We worked on sitting trot, transitions from my seat, and some canter.  We were both sweaty when we finished.  I iced his hocks while giving him a liniment rub down, then washed his tail and put him back in his stall.

Meanwhile, the plumbers had made a run for supplies (including a jackhammer to break out my beautiful brick path).  There were two guys and one of them was up to his armpits digging the hole.  They finally found the pipe.  I asked the digging guy if I could take his picture in the hole and he said okay but he wouldn't show his face.  He was embarrassed at being dirty.  Seriously!  Like anybody stays clean for more than five minutes up here.

At 2 pm, when the temperature had reached 93F, they cut out the sewer pipe connecting to the septic tank and found the problem.  The pipe had a good fall going to the tank, but then it bent at the connection, and there was a big crack in the coupling.  The head plumber knocked on the door and asked me to take a picture of it for my blog.  He also asked me to put a picture up of the back of his teeshirt.  I'm happy to oblige.  They did an awesome job for a fair price.

Mission accomplished.  "All" they had left to do was install the new pipe, fill in the hole, and install risers on the septic tanks so we can find them next time we need to have the tanks pumped out.  My garden looked like this: 
 I expect that the artichoke plant is not going to survive this assault to its root system.  If that's the biggest collateral damage, I'll be pleased. 


  1. Plumbing is just one of those things that you need to be able to depend on. I am willing to pay to have my toilets work when I need them. I guess that's why plumbers can charge what they do.

  2. Is the rhubarb safe? How was the pie?

  3. The photos didn't appear for me but the description was very compelling anyway. Glad your goats are O.K.

  4. Keep a look out for that coyote Anette! Poor goats... I hope your sewerage trial is over now...not a nice one. High five to those guys for a job well done!

  5. Good job!.......Rather have a working sewage system, than not!

  6. Ugh! But I guess it was for the best. Still...ugh.

    I hope the coyote doesn't bother your goats. We have lots of them around here and they've never bothered ours--but they have killed our cats. :/

  7. SO glad for you that they found and repaired the problem, finally! LOVE the t-shirt advertising! :)

  8. That's sad about the garden but I'm glad the problem is fixed finally. :)


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