The Return of Big Fun!

Last week Big Fun came back for a couple of days!

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We rented the tractor to back fill the leach line trench that passed inspection. We also wanted to finish some mowing. I put one scoop of rocks into the trench, but it’s actually kind of hard. Not hard like shoveling rock, but there are a few levers and you have to position the thing right to get the rock in the trench not on the ground. I let Jason do it! I did do the mowing though. We set the mower high so we wouldn’t kill the wildflowers. There are a lot now and they look very pretty!image

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We’re getting very close to finishing the septic system. It should be done before Jason goes in for his procedure on the 27th. Yesterday Jason back filled the trench for the sewer line so that it falls 1/4 inch per foot. He spent a lot of time measuring the tench depth with a laser. When it was perfect Jason set about 110 feet of pipe and I covered it and filled the trench.

Still smiling! He was working all day and the temperature was about 1,000 degrees.

Still smiling! He was working all day and the temperature was about 1,000 degrees.

I dug this trench with the Ditch Witch, which Jason picked up when he returned Big Fun to Floyd. I also dug a trench from the house site to the septic tank.

That's a big swerve for a tiny tree!

That’s a big swerve for a tiny tree!

Jason dug the small parts near the underground water and electrical lines that he already installed. The sewer line passes over the water pipe and electrical conduit.

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All roads lead to the septic tank!

All roads lead to the septic tank!

 

 

 

We’ve been busy working on all the stuff that will take water and waste away from the Tin Can and garage and house sites ~ but of course we also want nice, clean water to come into these places!

Ta da! Water from our well now comes out of a shower head in the Tin Can. Amazing!

Ta da! Water from our well now comes out of a shower head in the Tin Can. Amazing!

We had a thorough test done on our water and it came back with coliform. (Total coliform ~ not fecal! Yuck!) The tester wasn’t too concerned about this and was even less concerned when Jason told him that the well was dug ten years ago and that he had only run water out of it for about 15 minutes before bottling it for the testing. The guy said, “Well that’s pretty good water then!” He advised pouring six ounces of bleach down the well pipe. Then we had to use a hose to wash the bleach off of the pump wires and pipe. After that we needed to run the water for a 1/2 hour to get rid of the bleach.

It has its own house, but we need a propane tank to make it work.

It has its own house!

Jason installed a water heater. As soon as we get a propane tank we’ll have hot water in the Tin Can. Our electric tea kettle can have a break! The kitchen sink needs a new faucet before it will work. We’re planning to filter the water there, but that’s probably not necessary. I already drank a lot of the well water. It tastes great and nothing bad happened to me.

One day, when it was too hot to work, we drove the Santa Fe Trail to Trinidad, Colorado. We saw some new scenery along the way. On the way there we went through Cimarron.imageIt’s pretty around there, but Cimarron has the creepiest historic jail ever. I stepped in and ran out. I’m not sure if I was more afraid of rats or ghosts! It was hot outside and very chilly in the jail. Not like a nice, air conditioned chill either – more like a cold, clammy chill!

...inside though it feels like something is waiting for customers!

Feels like something is waiting for customers!

Not too bad from the outside...

Not too bad from the outside.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trinidad is an interesting town, with lots of history.

I didn't know there was a woman Buffalo Soldier!

I didn’t know there was a woman Buffalo Soldier!

This pretty house is a museum.

This pretty house is a museum.

Behind the museum.

Behind the museum there’s lots of cool stuff!

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The main street has a lot of banners dedicated to historic figures who lived or worked in the area. I loved this one about Mother Jones. It reads, “In 1913, at the age of 76, Jones was in Colorado helping organize coal miners. She was arrested, imprisoned and escorted from the state…” I bet she was! Way to go Ma!

There’s also a memorial to coal miners on the main street.

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And one for the canaries who died in mines.

And one for the canaries who died in mines.

 

 

 

 

 

Before we left Trinidad we stopped by Kit Carson park to walk Lucky under the trees. This bronze statue of Kit is considered one of the best equestrian statues in the United States. Frederick Roth sculpted the horse and  August Luckeman sculpted Kit Carson. It was dedicated in 1913 – right around the time they were kicking Ms Jones out of the state.

imageWe took a different route home and passed through Wagon Mound.

This is how the town got its name.

This is how the town got its name.

On this drive we saw some pretty little deer, some elk and these other things. They look like antelope, but they’re not. They’re pronghorns! They’re related to giraffes and are indigenous to North America. They’ve been here a long time – like a million years – and they’re beautiful herbivores ~ so naturally people come here to kill them. No comment.

 

imageWe had a fun, carefree day going to Trinidad. At home I have one worry – our trees. Several of them seem to be infested with Bark Beetles, either the Western Pine Beetle or the Mountain Pine Beetle. It’s bad news in either case. We may lose quite a few trees. I felt sad about it for a couple of days, but I’ve decided to love and care for this land no matter what. Tomorrow a young woman from the New Mexico Forestry Division is coming over to assess the situation. Maybe it won’t be that bad. Stay tuned…

Everything else is going very well. I was worried about Lucky in the heat, but he’s been adapting just fine!

He loves the melted ice water in the cooler!

He loves the melted ice water in the cooler!

He hides under the Tin Can!

He hides under the Tin Can!

 

 

 

 

 

He really wanted to ride on the Ditch Witch!

He really wanted to ride on the Ditch Witch!

Jason’s doing well too. There have been some scheduling problems, on the hospital’s side, with his surgery, but they’re going to try to fit him in. Jas has been working hard and eating and sleeping well.

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Even I have to admit this dinner was good!

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He made this sandwich!

 

 

 

 

I'm putting these beautiful things in everything! (Garlic scapes. Yum!)

I’m putting these beautiful things in everything! (Garlic scapes. Yum!)

So remember how I freaked out about the neighbors shooting and possibly selling their place? Right after I published that post the neighbor, Ed, stopped by and invited us over for dinner. About an hour later he came back with his wife, Marilyn, to clarify exactly what we ate since Jason told him we’re vegan. (So my first mistake was thinking that his wife didn’t come with him.) We had dinner with them last Thursday and they’re about the nicest people you’d ever want to meet. It was lovely to visit a clean, pretty house and to chat with a friendly and interesting couple. There was no discussion of them selling their place. (Another mistake! This is why I shouldn’t listen to rumors!) After dinner Ed took us on a ride in his big ATV and told us about all the people who live in the canyon near their house. At one point we passed a property where they have lots of rabbits running around, sheep with big curly horns and two emus! I felt like I was on the little train at the Oakland Zoo. We’re going over there for the 4th of July. Oh and there hasn’t been any shooting for a long time now.

Lately I feel so much tenderness and concern for this land. I’m even more aware of our water usage now that it’s coming from our well instead of a big box in Taos. I’m also more grateful for water! Digging all these trenches – and finding nothing over and over again – has made me think about how pristine this land is. I don’t think anyone lived here before. I had fun with the big machines, but I’m glad we’re almost done with this part of the work. I want to walk gently on the land. You never know who’s there for one thing!

See the frog?

See the toad?

So cute!

So cute!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frog

I think it’s a New Mexico Spadefoot Toad. It didn’t seem to be afraid of me, but it did start using its back legs to dig a hole. Gradually it disappeared into the hole!

So there are still fun things to discover here!

Hello Gorgeous ~

~ Hello Gorgeous ~

P.S. Just a minute ago Jason came in and said, “Depending on how you feel about it, we can use our toilet.” I’m like, “Depending on how I feel about it?” He said, “Well it’s kind of weird in there.” Ha! It’s not that weird. So when I said we were close, I guess we were very close!

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