Joys of Acreage Living

It’s early afternoon when I trundle to the basement with a basket of laundry on my hip, and see water on the cement floor near the washing machine. Oh oh. I give the sump pump a gentle nudge and it powers up and empties the hole it stands in. Maybe that’s all it is, I think, and now it’s going to run properly. But is there something else I should do?

Why yes. Call My Hero, who is working in town, and let him know, just in case he’ll need to bring home something from the hardware store.

“The pump-out’s probably froze up,” he says. “Go outside and separate the hoses on the south side of the house, and let it pump into the garden. ”

Five minutes of struggling-with-the-hose later, it’s done and Sadie Sue has been warned not to chew on it. (We turned down the offers of many a dog because we didn’t want a pup, and ended up with a pup anyway. Fooled by her size.)

Fifteen minutes later, My Hero pulls into the yard and stomps down the basement to find out what’s what. It’s not the sump pump after all, but the septic tank pump that isn’t working. Out he goes and gets a shovel to move snow off the tank’s lid, and the next thing I hear is that the pump mustn’t have been working for a while, as the tank’s full.

The pump-out truck is called and is here within an hour, and once that’s gone, Scott spends an hour or two in the basement, figuring out what’s wrong with the pump and then fixing it.

Acreage living. It can be a real pain in the ass, but when things are operating as they ought, there’s no beating it. It doesn’t hurt to have a farm boy around, either; most of them are extremely handy. This one sure is, and I thank my lucky stars.

It’s a Cabbage Wind

I’ve been cleaning up my act in recent months: letting go of old habits, forming some new and better ones, observing the difference this makes to my state of mind and my everyday experience. It’s all good.

As this goes on, it’s almost as if the universe is giving me guidance. For instance, first my iMac abruptly quit. I moved to my laptop for about a week and one morning this weekend I turned it on and it refused to accept my password. I couldn’t do a damn thing with it. Following instructions to fix this, found online with my cellphone, didn’t work. Scott did everything he could, but no luck. This morning I turned the laptop off and put it away. Maybe it wouldn’t hurt to spend even less time on computers than I already have, since quitting my office job in September. I’ve suspected this for a long time, but I don’t always act on such things as soon as would be wise. Maybe the message has to be more forceful.

We’ll see what tomorrow brings.



PS there’s a purple cabbage on the kitchen counter, and there is a scary spring wind, and that is why the title of this post. No good reason.

PPS even this entry does not want to save or publish right now; nothing computery is working correctly. See what I mean?


A Bit o’ the Blarney

This St. Patrick’s Day I’m aware of having Irish genes — strange as that may sound with a maternal ancestry including the surname Bartley, which has to be Irish or Scottish, doesn’t it? For some reason no one in the family has told me or knows who to ask about that, now that most all our oldsters have gone.

What I did discover is a great-great-great grandmother on the maternal side who was born in Ireland. I know nothing about her and had no luck when I searched for her on (it’s free to use at the local library), but it wouldn’t be a shock to learn that a certain great-aunt was named after her. Of course I may be wildly wrong about that; the lines reaching into the past do get blurry and confusing as I try to place people and make the connections from one to another.

In her honour and to that of her parents and grandparents and the Irish line into infinity, I’ll lift a glass of cold beer this evening and remember that a part of her (and all of them) lives on, buried somewhere in my DNA. My “Irish intellect” (according to one meditation I had) would have come from her/them.

When I tried to picture that ggg-grandmother I got a clear image, a powerful resemblance to physical traits of my grandmother and photos I’ve seen of her mother. Different and yet clearly related! A spitfire, she seemed — bold and outspoken. Perhaps the physical similarity is too obvious, but it surprised me because it was unexpected. Just my imagination? You bet. But I take imagination seriously. It’s provided me with reliable information too many times to be discounted.

Rapping on the living room window didn’t scare it off. Calling the dog didn’t; any other time she’d chase a cat, but today? Hell no, didn’t have a clue what I was on about, just looked at me all puzzled. Finally I ran out myself and the moment the cat saw me come around the corner of the house, it vamoosed. Damn cats.