Saturday, August 22, 2009

Up Close to Nature
Too Up Close!

I spent yesterday (Friday) in the Bolt Hole basement moving electrical wires, installing temporary support posts, and removing an old and rotten wooded plank floor from the dirt. Today it's time to move some plumbing which requires I cut perfectly good pipes and install replacements. Luckily it's PVC work and no soldering is required. Light a torch down there and the whole place is likely to burn to the ground!

Any who...I got up early this morning and was at the kitchen table when the sun came up. Three does walked through the Phase One Apple Orchard cropping the tall grass/weeds in a leisurely fashion at 6:30 AM. Nice to see the deer using the orchard as we had planned, but I'd prefer to see some horns as you can't shoot does during the hunting season. Then again, when the rut starts, where the does are, the bucks are sure to follow so let's hope the girls stick around.

At 7 AM I went into the basement again to check the adjustable lolly columns I put up and to make sure I knew exactly what and how much plumbing materials I needed to purchase. While I was down there, I saw a movement off in the corner and saw, to my dismay, that I was not alone. There was a sleepy, skinny skunk probably just awakened from its sleep by my coming down the steps and turning on the lights. I kept a close eye on the tail and tried to make enough noise to get it to go back out the way it had come in all to no avail as it moved off deeper into the crawl space. *sigh*

At least a skunk that isn't frightened (or hasn't been recently) doesn't smell. And if that tail doesn't go up, it can't go off half cocked. Right? But, come on! The thing's got the whole forest to play in and there are still some brush piles out there for it to hide in during the day, why pick my cabin?

I left the lights on while I went for supplies and checked again when I got back but, while I didn't spot the polecat, I can't be sure if it left while I was out. I guess I'll just have to make even more noise as I work down there this afternoon and try to watch my back. Maybe I should have gotten a gallon of tomato or lemon juice while I was out.

It took me longer than I thought it would (and another trip to the hardware store) to finish the plumbing work but it is done and does not leak--always a plus. The electrical wiring will have to wait for another day.

What did I learn?

That drain pipes, even those coming from the kitchen sink and supposedly empty of water, may still contain water--smelly, stinky water that made me pine for my skunk friend. Luckily I had a bucket standing by for just such an emergency and I managed to catch 80% of the gray water. I'm afraid the rest went into the earthen floor. Can you say "eeeewwww!" I knew you could.

PVC pipes bend and are flexible, but they begin to lose that flexibility when they are over 1 inch in diameter. Drain pipes are 1-1/2 inches in diameter. Curse them! Still, there was a little bit of give that allowed me to rearrange the slope of the pipe juuuusssst enough.

A small project (realigning the drain pipe from the kitchen sink) can grow quickly. While I had the water turned off, I (1)altered the length of the hot and cold water lines to the kitchen sink so the drain pipe could go above them rather than below, (2)shortened a vertical section of the drain pipe so the slope could be altered to carry all the crude to the "outside" rather than pool in the line and possibly freeze, (3)installed two replacement drain valves in the hot and cold lines (One of the old ones had a stripped faucet handle and I could not open or shut it easily and I could see the other going the same way. That's the reason for the second trip to the hardware store. Luckily, the local had the materials and I didn't have to make the trek to Lowe's where I had gone earlier.)

I started the day by taking my Sawzall to two steel oil drums (50-gal?) that were in the basement. They were too large to make it up the stairs and through the door and the ribs in their sides made it impossible to squeeze them into an oval that would fit, so I cut them in half down the sides. How they got into the basement will forever remain a mystery. They were there when I bought the place in the mid-'80s.) If that noise (yeah, I wore ear plugs!) did not get the skunk to vacate the basement and crawl space, I'm in trouble. I blocked what I think was the entrance hole when I finished the plumbing work.

1 comment:

JihadGene said...

It may not be a skunk but rather a democrat congressman hiding out from any Town Hall meetings! Chicken bastids!