Saturday, September 19, 2015

Well, well, well...

Now you see it

Now you don't
Ah yes, once again the blogger goes missing. Proof that life has gotten even busier. I returned to UIUC full time last fall and now this fall, I am officially a senior senior.  With luck and tons more ink for my printer, I'll graduate with my degree in creative writing in May. Meanwhile back at The Poor Farm, construction on the GBH continues. Much has been accomplished which is indeed Martha, a good thing, since our move in date is still projected for Oct 17.
 I am aware that at one time I said the date would be Oct. 1. I was fully outfitted in rose colored glasses that day. With Keith working here and there for a farmer friend of ours during this harvest season, plus Keith's mishap with the circular saw that required 17 stitches in a finger (he is ok and the finger is healing well)  my school classes and long commute time, we're had some setbacks; but we are barreling forward again. Much gratitude goes to our three sons who continue to help whenever they can even though they all have jobs/lives/families of their own.

To date:
     The second floor is complete (not the whole second story, just the floor)
     All windows are roughly framed in
     The second floor (main interior wall) is framed in.
     The bottom floor is wired and has electrical power.
     The entry door is installed (needs door knob)
     The small water heater (20 gal) has been purchased
     The ancient well has been modified

I'll start first with the last item and cover some of the other items in later blogs this week. The well. You might recall it was the original well probably built in the mid 1860's or so when the house was built. We had the option of leaving it in its crumbling state which was also dangerous due to its large opening at the top and decaying well house or modify it and make it safe. No permit required to keep it treacherous, go figure that logic out,  but $100 permit and inspection by the county health department required to modify it and bring it up to code.

Estimates on a new well were coming in at $16,000 and we couldn't leave the old one in its crumbling condition so we paid to have it modified. At a cost of about $2500 we now have a new cap. We also removed the old well house and secured the area around the well. Keith also managed to remove THREE big bull snakes who were enjoying their cozy life in that well house. No foul no harm, the snakes are beneficial for controlling farm mice and rats, but they were deported to the site of the old crumbling barn where they can work their magic without us having to view their long wriggling, sliminess.

Moving the well house was a creative challenge and the beam rising in the GBH was, and once again we were not sure what it was Keith had in mind to accomplish this feat but accomplish it he did, with help from son Colton. First a basic hay rack had to be maneuvered inside the old well house which was sitting on a very rickety, falling apart foundation of badly poured, thin concrete. To do this Keith cut out sections of the front of the well house and then after pushing the hay wagon in place he and Colton cut out the back side.

 This allowed them to jack up the well house onto several 2 x 4's, 2 x 8's, and 2 by whatevers they could find, to lift the house off its foundation.

Keith standing on the hay rack inside the well house.
 He then hooked up the truck to the hay wagon and began to slowly puuuullllll it forward and away from the well so the company we hired to modify it could get in and do their work.




Dang it if Keith's plan didn't work again. Well house removed! We'll repurpose it into a chicken coop next spring. Or perhaps make our own covered bridge feature for the farm.

Several pieces of metalergic history was uncovered with the well remodel, like this:

Which allowed me the opportunity to practice the very challenging creative writing I've been studying.

I don't have pics of the actual well revision which involved digging down several feet alongside it in order to remove century old tiles (I was in class that day) but the end result was a much safer well. We still must cover the pit that holds our pressure tank but Keith assures me...he has a plan for that as well.

New sleeker, safer, well cap (green and white)
 just in front of pressure tank pit.

The old well with it's killer opening
Rubber pan and cinder blocks on
 top to prevent entire cows from falling in.


  1. A well...that's a mighty deep subject! LOL! Couldn't resist. Glad to hear all is going well, and don't worry about being any bit behind...the best things come to those who wait, right?

    And I LOVE that you saved the old well house building how amazing will that be? Kudos to you!

    1. We think it will be very amazing. After all the little building survived over 100 years already we think it it deserves another go 'round

  2. 17 stitches, on a finger, was there anything left? I've had all these visuals and now im feeling woozy. I love the old shed as well and hope it features on the farm. Pop it up on some poles and have a rustic outdoor entertaining area. Certainly a talking piece.

  3. What an interesting process. I can't wait to see, where the well house ends up living permanently. I can also see "boil" and "oil" can be made from those rusty finds. If you place a short piece on top of the "J", you can also write "Toil". Too much time on my hands. ;)

    I've seen my first brown snake (highly poisonous) of the season, and its decided to camp outside our back door. Just waiting for it to move along!

    1. Dang! DO NOT tell me about poisonous snakes. I have convinced my self all snakes are good here. It keeps from freaking out everytime I use our outhouse at night.

    2. I know - its freaky!! We keep a snake bight kit (several) which is just a bandage and clip to hold the bandage. This is of meagre comfort, but still better than nothing. ;)

  4. What a wonderful project(s)! Live the adventure.

    1. Oh Art, we are so living it. The question is...can we survive it?

  5. You guys have convinced me that a couple hundred guys, some ropes and elbow grease could have built the pyramids if the aliens hadn't insisted on doing it. Um, do you guys have aliens there?

    Glad the well is sorted out. Yep, entropy and decay costs nothing. Bringing something up to code? Don't get me started. Hope Keith is on the mend - you guys be careful!

    1. Been learning about those pyramids in my Wes Civ. class. Seems some of those folks even got PAID to do that job. Wish I had that gig.

  6. You guys are making great progress! I love how the animals were "helping," especially the kitty, as she looks a lot like JoJo would do the same thing.

    1. Later today I will post about our doors and windows and thus the animal reign comes to a immediate close in the GBH!


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