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C. Stroup – ONLY ON MY WATCH!

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It was just one of those weeks…nothing life changing…just frustrating.  My husband had gone to St. Louis to visit his dad.  So I was left in charge.  The “in charge” this week included some extras I knew would be no problem, at least I thought I knew.

For starters the recent rains had made the grass grow nice and high and the mowing guys, who come bi-monthly, would have their mowing cut out for them.  (Ken mows on the weeks they don’t.)  Two weeks prior, I had to postpone the company that sprays for weeds and fertilizes as they were scheduled to come the same day as the mowers.  Rain had messed with their schedule, too.  You have to leave the yard alone for 24 hours after the spraying in order for the weed killer to work properly and then the fertilizer has to be watered in.  I go into all this detail to let you know what I was dealing with.

Of course, rain kept the lawn sprayers from coming out on any other day than a Tuesday and of course, Tuesday was mower day again.  I was able to change the lawn spraying to Wednesday which worked out swell, well almost.

Two weeks earlier I’d arranged for the tree/shrub trimmer guy to come out on Thursday.  He was supposed to finish in one day.  The job ended up being bigger than he had anticipated so end of day Thursday all the clippings and branches from the trees remained all over the yard.  It took the better half of Friday to finally finish up on the shrubs and while doing so the guys managed to break a pipe down by the well.  Well water is what we use to irrigate, i.e. water the lawn.

The break in the pipe was above ground so the guy fixed that with pieces parts we found in my hubby’s workshop.  And coincidentally a second leak appeared and it was coming from underground.  I had to shut the well off until Ken got home and that meant at least another two days of not watering.  I hate to pay good money to have someone come out and fertilize only to have it wasted.  That’s why I was in panic mode over getting the grass watered.

I was also concerned about my two rather large flowerbeds.  The zinnias were wilting.  There are soaker hoses in both beds that get their fuel from the well.  And there are no hoses hooked up to the house long enough to water them. 

These problems would have been quite enough were it not for the pool.  The pump decided to run but not move water.  I did all the things you’re supposed to do to correct that problem; cleaned out the skimmers, made sure nothing was caught in the pool sweeps throat, cleaned out the pump basket, checked for broken hoses, etc, but with no success.  I was afraid the pump was going to burn up so I shut the pool off, as well as the well.  The well has nothing to do with the pool but it started to seem like everything was going awry at once…and they were all water related.  This would mean plumbing for Ken when he got home and plumbing is the thing he dreads most.  This would also mean six trips to Lowe’s instead of three.

We spoke on the phone everyday and I would always say things are just fine.  I didn’t want to rain on his parade and spoil the time he was spending with his dad.  Instead I waited until I picked him up at the airport and dumped the bad news on him on the ride home.  Probably not the best idea I’ve ever had but that’s what I did.  He began asking me questions (I knew that would happen immediately) and I knew I wouldn’t be able to answer many of them.  Like for instance, “Where exactly did the pipe break down by the well?”  And, “Are you sure there’s a second underground leak?”  And, “Where did the guy get the parts to fix it?”  (No man likes another man messing with his man stuff.)

As things turned out it took one afternoon to fix the well leak.  And it was underground and entirely separate from the pipe that broke upstairs.  Ken had to saw through some big old root from a tree to get to the break but only had to make one trip to Lowe’s.  Imagine that!  The grass all got watered and I just keep telling myself that the five-day delay and all the raking the trimmer guys did didn’t hurt anything.

One of the soaker hoses sprung a huge leak once pressure was applied and it about flooded one of the flowerbeds.  It had to be replaced.

The trimmer guys did do an excellent job on the trees and shrubs and that’s saying a lot for an acre’s worth.

The diagnosis on the pool was that some air was getting in where it didn’t belong and apparently the pump is okay.  However, it’s still not moving water all the time like it should.  I think Ken is fooling himself into believing it doesn’t need to be replaced, but far be it from me to suggest there might still be a problem.  So far he hasn’t had to go to Lowe’s one time to fix it.

 

 

Originally published in the June 2011 issue of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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