Monday, April 20, 2009

Plumbing and Water Levels

We got a lot of rain the middle of April. We got 5 inches. The pond raised over 2 feet. We are still shy about 20 inches from the overflow pipe. We had so much rain, the wet weather spring under the back deck steps started flowing good. This spring runs into the driveway. Right now it misses the pond. But Saturday I tried to shove a water hose up into the spring and I put the other end near the pond. Nothing happened. Then we got the bright idea to go buy some 4 inch drain pipe, dig a trench, and bury it. I put a PVC shower drain in the inlet and secured it with screws. Then I put broke up concrete around it and covered it with some old shingles, then dirt. By this time the spring fizzled out. I had concerns while hoeing the ditch out when I hit gravel. I thought my washing machine grey water line was deeper. I meant to cover it all with clay, but I forgot and pushed the top soil back in the ditch. This ran under where Luke parks his car, so I ran over it to pack it down some and spread it all out there. I thought all was fine and washed some clothes that night. The next morning I saw some standing water where the night before no water was. It was right over the grey water line. It was a little sand covered volcano. Yep, it was grey water. I got a sick feeling in my stomach as I thought about soapy water going into the pond. That is when I got the Big RED Beast out and dug the wet weather spring drain line up and filled it all in with clay. All that time and money gone down the drain instead!

I also have some sewer drain problems. I was all set to work on the line and even dug up the line between the house and the septic tank with the 6520's backhoe. Then I realized the tank just needed pumping out! Then I realized the phone and my computer's ISP connection was dead. Then I realized my phone line didn't run around the septic tank, but over the septic line I just dug up. Again, my stomach felt sick.

The phone line cost $147 to repair. Then I found out my neighbor had environmental splices and could have done it for free. Oh well. I finally got feed up with all my rain water just running past the pond. I took the time one morning after work to make a diversion levee with my 6520. I made it by dumping a bucket load of clay every 7 feet. Then I packed it down. This runs about 100 feet from up in the woods down to the pond on an angle. It catches that wet weather spring and most of the rain run off behind the house. Now I need to spread topsoil on it and it will be part of the yard. Right now it looks rough and red. It also runs under my truck's parking space. So when I park the right rear tire is up higher than the rest.The pond is now full, but I want to close off the end of the overflow pipe and cut out the top to raise the water level about 12 inches. I uploaded some nice photos of the pond filling up from our April showers. You can view them here. Stop back later to see what is different with the pond.
hugs, Brandi

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Lawyers Again

Now that my brother is evicted out of my Dad's house, I have the pleasant task of cleaning it up to sell it. Plus, hire an attorney to make sure I don't do something stupid to jeopardize Dad's Medicaid payments to the nursing home. I spoke with the lawyer last week. It cost big bucks just to talk about what I wanted to do. I am glad I did this as I was told I was doing a no-no with Dad's money and to stop it! I was told that I need a small estate affidavit. This affidavit involves the lawyer and more of his high fees, but you can't get money without spending some money. With this affidavit, I can claim half of the house sale proceeds. I need to do this to pay off the loan I took out for Mom's funeral. Otherwise it goes into Dad's estate and according to the lawyer, can't pay off the loan I made for Mom's funeral. This loan is slowly taking my financial nose under water and it hurts to go there!

I signed an agreement with a realtor to sell the house so I would not be bothered with phone calls during the day if I tried to sell it myself. Remember I work nights. While over at the house last weekend, I was approached by two different neighbors that want the house, but want to make payments to me. One neighbor wants to pay me $1500 a month to buy the house in 18 months! But I can't do this as the state (Medicaid) would view this as Dad's income, which would disallow him from Medicaid benefits. So we have to sell outright with one lump sum payment.

I took the Big RED Beast and my zero turn mower over to Dad's house. Christina and I spent two full days just cleaning the front and back yard enough to mow. My adopted brother and his wife, along with his girlfriend had turned the yard and house into a junk yard.

Literally, it was all white trash. I dug two 11 foot deep holes with my backhoe to dump the trash in. I still need to dig one more hole as I haven't started cleaning up Dad's workshop and sheds. The yard beside the sheds is also a white trash jungle. So I will need to bring my Mahindra back at least one more time. All the neighbors are very happy that my brother is out and the place is looking respectable again.

While I have been over working at Dad's house, I have been carrying my Kimber 45 on my hip concealed under a jacket or shirt. Last week I got my Ruger LCP back from Ruger because of a technical glitch. So I carried it in my pocket instead of the big Kimber on my hip. Getting on and off the 6520 all day and doing physical labor had the big Kimber's paddle holster digging into my waist. So I was relieved when the Ruger came back home. I also have my cell phone on my belt and my bluetooth headset in. All this because I don't trust my brother and will not be a victim again. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

While burning tree limbs and old firewood at Dad's last Saturday, I got a call from Rebecca. She said she was coming home for the weekend to pick up Sammy, her cat.
Sammy has been staying with me while Rebecca went into the hospital and recovery. I told her to come over to Dad's house first. She stayed a few hours and we talked and she even swept the front and back porches. The next day after visiting with Dad, Rebecca and I went back to swept and mop out the house as it looked and smelled like my brother kept some of his dogs in the house after he moved out.

Rebecca had a job interview with Travis County Health Department, over in Austin, last week. It really looked promising for her to get the position. She found out Monday that Travis County just instituted a hiring freeze. So she continues to look for a job that she can turn into a career. She hasn't worked since working 6 days for the state before she went into the hospital last January. I pray she gets hired soon as I am fronting her bills (minus her rent) until she gets on her feet. That is putting me under each month. So far I have juggled everything around to get everything paid.

I will have to break down and work overtime soon. I hate to do this right now as Dad's place needs more attention to sell it,..........and my place has several big projects for the Big RED Beast. The most urgent project is place the spoils from digging the pond in berms across my property to direct rain run off into the pond. The next big project is to move the remainder of the spoils pile and the top soil pile to the back of the property to fill in low spots. I need to have this done before I buy more Bermuda grass seed. This weekend we are forecast to have major rain storms come through. So this weekend is ruined for any dirt work. Instead I will be troubleshooting why my Hustler Fastrac is not starting without a full charge on the battery. I thought, after 4 years, that the battery may be bad. So I took it to O'reilly Auto Supply to have the battery tested. They said the battery is good. So now I will have to trouble shoot all the safety switches on the mower. Since it is a zero turn mower, it has two neutral switches. The local Hustler mechanic also told me that the starting circuit also includes the PTO switch. So along with these three switches and the ignition switch, I will have to figure out which switch out of 4 is intermittent. So it will be a fun day in the barn while it storms!

I have mowed my place twice this spring. Now the local Red Tailed Hawks are hunting the crawfish that live in the low wet spot on the property.

It sure is a delight to see that swoop down and snatch a snack. This drives Booger up the wall and he runs after the hawk, barking as he stops, as the hawk flys away.

Check out the new photos I uploaded here. Stop back later to see if Dad's house sold.

hug, Brandi