“There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.”

― Frank Herbert

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Into every life ,a little rain must fall.

I have no idea who said that, but they were right.

We had a massive tree go over earlier this week, doubtless as a result of the soil being so wet from the rain we had this summer.  When it went, the drain field on the septic tank system was heavily damaged and the septic tank is non-operational.

This being so, my wife and I have temporarily displaced to the apartment, which is configured so that it shares no systems except the telephone.  Losing the septic tank temporarily on the house has no impact on the septic system out there. I am in the process of negotiating for repairs on the house system and should have it back on line in a week or two, depending on how soon the septic service guys can get to me.

Although I have been spending a lot of time dealing with that, I pulled some long stored items for re-inventory out of the barn storage.  Although the storage tubs were sealed and were stored in the climate controlled spaces, mice got into them and destroyed about 16 boxes of large wooden matches. I have no idea why they liked the matches, but they certainly did.  They also got into two tubs and ate every single package of seeds stored there. That's all the damage I have discovered so far but I am sure there will be more.

I have relocated the two ferrets, Spike and Jet, to that space and they are currently rooting around in between the stored goods. They don't eat mice (I hope not, anyway) but they will kill them. I am really hoping just the smell of the ferrets will get rid of the mice but if not, the ferrets will handle it. Some ferrets don't hunt at all anymore, it's been bred out of them, but these two young males do. Previously I didn't consider that a positive aspect of their personalities, but now things are different in view of the damage the mice did.

I know I chided people about killing the mice, and I would still like to avoid it, but it's one of those things I won't do unless I have to, and now I feel like I have to.

There's a lot of email to answer. Don't think I am ignoring people, it's just that I have more work to do when I can't use the water system in the house. For instance, this morning I have to go to town to do our laundry at the laundry mat. We are cooking in the apartment kitchen so at least I don't have to haul dirty dishes out there, but they do have to be washed by hand. Lots of little things.

All things considered, it's aggravating and it's going to be very expensive, but at least we had a fall back position. If I had to live for two weeks without using the house water system and didn't have the apartment, I'd have to get a motel room in town for us and then drive out here to do the chores. Now that would be a real pain.

35 comments:

  1. We once trapped a rat / mouse (dunno which, but we lived near a harbour, so I'm guessing the former) in a plastic bucket trap we rigged up i the roof of our town house. The bloody rodent chewed through it no problem - and I'm talking the smooth inner surface of the bucket.

    I don't trust buckets to be rodent proof, and you have just proved it.

    Sorry about the septic tank. Sometimes these things happen to jog us out of our comfort zone/

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    1. Trees are nice to have around, but they present their own set of problems. Falling trees here come down on houses, outbuildings and vehicles. Our power grid is largely above ground and the trees take it out every time there is a heavy storm, particularly a wind storm after long periods of rain.

      Falling trees mess up drain fields when the branches poke down and crush the drain lines, or the root ball pulls up long roots and tear the lines.

      I didn't think mice could bore through thick plastic storage chests, but this one must have wanted the matches pretty badly to work so hard.

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  2. Septic systems... well at least you don't have to toss ash or lye into a whole once in a while. I hope it's cheaper and easier than you are expecting. Quicker too.

    We are dealing with mice at the cabin and have to switch traps. The damn things have soft tongues and are smart about the angles on the current standard traps. It doesn't bother us really, but we don't want in infestation so we feel helping curb the population growth is necessary. Now that it snowed and is freezing outside, it's neck snapping time.

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    1. I've had good luck with my septic systems, largely I think because I stick to a maintenance schedule on them. Nothing you can do about accidents, you just have to repair the damage.

      I'm going to use the ferrets more to ward off rodents than I have. Spike and Jet seem to be enjoying their change of location.

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  3. We trap a mouse in the trunk of my car every day. Summer and winter. Also have discovered pack rats under the house. Rodents are very smart and learn about traps very quickly. Today the big guns come out. Instant mashed potatoes and a bowl of water.

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    1. use grape soda pop. works on regular rats.
      deb h.

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    2. It's kind of like eating pork. I feel uncomfortable about eating an intelligent animal, kind of cannibalistic. But cured hams are an important part of my food storage plans.

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  4. There's always something, I guess. I hope you get your system fixed soon, but good that you have another place to live. Samson killed all the mice and fence lizards that would come into the dog run. We have not seen any signs of mice this entire summer, not in the dog run, not in the shed, nowhere. I wonder if the drought took care of them as it has done with the larger rodents and the snakes that feed on them. Never thought one would miss those critters, but it is a sign of bad times, I think.

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    1. I saw a program on the drought out there, and it does look pretty grim. There have been news articles on the national main stream media that highlighted lots of little towns in your area that are without water and have to have it brought in in tankers. Then everybody lines up with their jugs to get water. I saw that plenty of times overseas but I never expected to see it in the U.S.

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  5. Once "Mickey" and his friends get the smell of food, or what they think is food. the "Y'all Come" sign goes out! Persistent trapping should slow them down some.
    Septic field and tank problems are no fun. I hope the weather holds (No snow,) so the trucks can get up the mountain to get it operating again. Lucky you had the other cabin to go to. Hang in there.

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    1. It's more an inconvenience than anything else. Part of the problem is the paucity of septic service companies in the surrounding area. If you hire someone from outside the county you wind up paying a lot of money for "windshield time" because they go "on the clock" when they leave their business for your place.

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  6. Sorry to hear about all the troubles. You know you can always vent here. Stay safe

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    1. Rob, I try not to sweat the small stuff. Damage from storms is just part of living here. I'd rather it hadn't happened but I also rather have an errant tree hit the septic system than the house.

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  7. Sadly, metal containers aren't even safe, but they ARE much more resistant.

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    1. Where would you find trunk sized metal containers, Gorges? I would like to buy a couple but I don't recall ever seeing anything except surplus military, and I just need some inexpensive metal trunks. Haven't seen those , everything seems to be made out of plastic these days.

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  8. I have not had water for 15 days. Now, it is time for me to beg for money on my blog...sigh. Last Saturday, the plumbers found that someone had cut my septic line into. This is under the house. I don't know what kind of people will fix yours, but my water line and now the sewer line is going to be $2300.

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    1. That's grim. How did somebody get under the house and why would they do that? I hope it wasn't intentional damage.

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  9. Handy having the apartment to move into! I've got a load of work to do on the septic system here as it's not soaking away properly. In fact I don;t think it ever has. We need to dig and install level drains in my orchard so it can soak away instead of just black water sitting in the field. Will be quite an expense but the neighbour will share the cost of the materials and I will do most of the labour. Still a pain though.

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    1. You're lucky you can work on it on your own. It used to be that way here, but now the county prohibits anyone from working on their own septic lines, you have to have a "license." Of course, it's just a scam to make more money in taxes from people, but what can you do? Drain lines are pretty easy to install with a rented line excavator, but no, it's another thing nanny government has decided common people are too stupid to do.

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    2. I'll just get on and do it. I'm sure there's a few things I've done you're meant to have a license for...

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    3. I probably shouldn't worry about it either, but between the possibility of being snitched on and the feelings it might take me forever to get the job done I'll just get the septic tank guys to do it.

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  10. Hey Harry,

    (captaincrunch)


    Sorry about your septic system.

    Sorry about the mice.

    Off topic, I did see something on tv on the History channel on 'Oak Island' where some lost, buried treasure is said to exist, buried.
    I guess its near Nova Scotia????

    On one treasure hunt back in the 60's I think, one team digging for treasure had two men killed by H2S (Hydrogen Sulfide gas) in one hole they dug. Now there is where the real treasure is.
    If you got H2S gas, you may have oil and natural gas/

    Time for Kymber to start digging under her house!

    'Here's a song for ya'

    "Let me tell you a story about a woman named Kymber that was out day shooting at some Polar Bear and up came a bubbling crude"
    "Oil that is, Nova Scotia Nector, Texas Tea"

    Kymber can buy a model 'A' Ford and move to Beverly Hills.

    I outta tell some of the Texas boys down here that they may want to do a 'rig move' and poke a few holes about ten thousand feet down under Kymbers place. It starts in three phases, drilling (exploration) setting up the well and fracking (completion) and then everyone walks away and the well is maintained (production) a gas, oil mix is separated, the gas compressed and sent to the customer and the oil stored into tanks for pickup, or piped to a refinery (and Kymber and her husband make some big bucks)

    Yeah' the price of crude per gallon has dropped but there is talk of it 'doubling' in February of next year so enjoy the cheap fuel why you got it.
    I think the cost of fuel was manipulated for the election, but will go up during a surge in inflation when the dollar declines in value.
    I also heard the 'Saudi's are dumping oil on the market also destabilizing the price per barrel because Texas is a major exporter of oil now.
    On that note too' down here in South Texas. Lots of oil field companies have slowed or stopped operations for the winter (and Tax season) until February when everything should start back up again and go full throttle (when they can raise prices again too)

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    1. Hey Harry.

      (captaincrunch)

      I ment to say "The price of crude per barrel"

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    2. With the Bakken Shale and the Keystone pipeline coming up to scratch we may have a few years of lower oil prices. Without the U.S.buying the Wahabis' oil at grossly inflated prices, the Arabs better start figuratively tightening their belts.

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  11. Longfellow - second to last line. Also a song by the Ink Spots in 1944 (featuring Ella Fitzgerald with Bill Kenney)

    The Rainy Day

    The day is cold, and dark, and dreary;
    It rains, and the wind is never weary;
    The vine still clings to the mouldering wall,
    But at every gust the dead leaves fall,
    And the day is dark and dreary.

    My life is cold, and dark, and dreary;
    It rains, and the wind is never weary;
    My thoughts still cling to the mouldering Past,
    But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast,
    And the days are dark and dreary.

    Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
    Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
    Thy fate is the common fate of all,
    Into each life some rain must fall,
    Some days must be dark and dreary.

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    1. I don't think I would have figured that out. I thought it was from a much earlier period. Thanks for sending the poem.

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  12. That's too bad about the the property damage. Will home insurance cover the septic tank?

    It's good you have another place to stay.

    What a relief it is that the ferrets like to hunt! I've never had a mice or rat problem, but my sister has. She even got a bat in her house once. All we have ever had a problem with is birds up by our chimney. They make a loud, flutter sound for sure. Enough to scare the crap out of the kids.

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    1. No, alas septic tank system systems are not covered by homeowners insurance. Usually work on them runs between 350 and 1000 but I :/ in extreme cases it can be more. I plan to have some fine tuning done while they are out here.
      I put a screen grate on my chimney to keep birds and other creatures out. I've had birds in there before and I know the sound you mentioned.

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  13. I am an American man, and I have decided to boycott American women. In a nutshell, American women are the most likely to cheat on you, to divorce you, to get fat, to steal half of your money in the divorce courts, don’t know how to cook or clean, don’t want to have children, etc. Therefore, what intelligent man would want to get involved with American women?

    American women are generally immature, selfish, extremely arrogant and self-centered, mentally unstable, irresponsible, and highly unchaste. The behavior of most American women is utterly disgusting, to say the least.

    This blog is my attempt to explain why I feel American women are inferior to foreign women (non-American women), and why American men should boycott American women, and date/marry only foreign (non-American) women.

    BOYCOTT AMERICAN WOMEN!

    www.boycottamericanwomen.com

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    1. Hey Harry,

      (captaincrunch)

      That ain't me!

      There are American women that can cook meatloaf and field strip AR-15's.

      Now on the other hand a Russian bride just might know how to work with AK-47's and Mosins, but I don't dig on Borsch and them funny expensive fish egg things. Damn disgusting Russkie diet. I will stick to Armadillo paste and meatloaf.



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    2. Anon, I have a brother who would agree with you. Luckily for me my wife has been the best I could ask for. Our 32 anniversary is next month. You might try Japanese women, they are excellent females.

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  14. Harry, I fear your blog is eating my comments.

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  15. That is not good. Sol told me that it was not publishing hers either. Damned if I know why, I took that protection thing off some time back.
    The last comment I remember seeing was the one about airborne school. Try to reply to this,if you can't, email me and I will put in a trouble ticket were Google help desk. Not that they ever do anything but send you an email saying that they are aware of the issue.

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