This past July 1 marked a full five months here at my new place. It’s not quite so new anymore, but I’m still settling and getting to know the property, house, local flora and fauna, and the surrounding area. I’ve lived in the region for most of my life, but not in this town, not this far out, or east or north. So the commute is a wee bit longer and the demographics are a little different; it’s not that much of a change overall, but enough to know I’m in a new place. Kind of the best of both worlds – a comfortable change, if you will.
I am learning a lot about the property and its needs, and what I need to do to keep up with things – the pasture growth, the trees and underbrush (it’s a jungle out there!) and how my desires fit in with the natural tendencies of the land. I am bonding with it more and more each day, and love so many things about my little parcel. There are some minor drawbacks, mostly related to the old saw “location, location, location” (see my post Holiday Rain for more on this). And while today’s fireworks noise isn’t at the levels of downtown Fall City (bleh), it’s still more/closer than I’d like. Still, things are good here.
My to do list seems to grow as fast as I whittle it down. This weekend I decided to work on the well. The water here is from a private well, which I was hoping to get when I was looking for a place, for a variety of reasons. I’m finding out, though, that it’s not as cheap as municipal water. There have been a couple of minor issues with the water and I’ve been researching ways to rectify: a mildly elevated arsenic level and the presence of hydrogen sulfide – basically a harmless off-gas, but not too pleasant an odor. One of the cheaper, low tech solutions was to shock the well and pipes with chlorine. So I added a calculated guesstimate amount of chlorine pellets at the well, then charged the lines – emptying the hot water tank and flushing out all the spigots inside and out until I could detect the (fainter than expected) smell of chlorine. I don’t think I used enough of the chlorine, but will see how it goes in the coming days and weeks. As it is, my water is kind of cloudy this morning – disconcerting but to be expected, and hopefully it will dissipate with more line flushing.
To take care of the arsenic I decided to go with a point of use (POU) water filter. Since the majority of my drinking water is from the kitchen tap, I’m installing an under cabinet system from Custom Pure water in Seattle. The fellow there talked my ear off and had my head spinning, but I think I got what I need to remove the arsenic from the water, and for quite a bit less than the point of entry (POE) systems I looked into (was quoted all the way from $3,500 to $5,700, with no guarantees they would remove the arsenic AND which would require home construction to build a home for the filtration systems – more $$). So now the challenge is to get the filtration system installed. No small challenge, but I think I’m up for it. Gulp.
The other project on the docket for the weekend is building a chicken run. The coop went up in April, and has been a great success. The hens love it and it’s roomy and cute. I still need to figure out a permanent system for nest boxes, but since the old gals don’t lay much any more, it’s not exactly a priority. The run, though, is, mainly because the youngsters – 10 new pullets – are growing up fast, and need to get moved out of the chicken tractor. I have the area laid out, and much of the material ready (have a feeling I’ll need more chicken wire) and just need to start digging.
And of course there are the weekend chores – laundry, sweeping and mopping the grungy floors, cleaning up clutter and dusting. And the seemingly never-ending unpacking and organizing. It seems I should be closer to getting done than I am, but five months has flown by, and it’s not exactly like I’ve been twiddling my thumbs in all that time – I’m going to itemize the progress on my next post, for sure!