July 24

Been a couple days since I last wrote—kind of busy.  The visit with my eldest and her two daughters was great.  I haven’t seen them in quite a few years, and those girls have really grown.  They got to bottle feed the babies and we wandered around the ranch a little bit, but because of this newly emergent plague of mosquitoes, the heat, and the humidity, we did not spend a lot of time out side.  Old JVC fired up the grill and fixed hamburgers and hotdogs, we enjoyed some cantaloupe from the garden, and some sweet cherries from the big box store in BW.  Then they were off back to Abilene, and I was back to work.

Yesterday, my job was to pump the water in the catchment basin up to the stock tank.  Now, I have done this a couple of times before without any problem, so figured it would go OK yesterday also.  I had to use some “Aggie engineering” when I put together the coupling between the 2” discharge line (of which I have 100”) to the black “poly pipe” that finishes the run to the tank, and although it would leak slightly, it was not an issue.  Yesterday it was.  Seems that since the outlet end of the discharge line and pipe was under water this go round, it created too much back pressure on the line, and it came apart at the above mentioned coupling.  Since I didn’t notice right off, I also managed to pump a few hundred gals. of precious water out on the ground where it proceeded to run off and/or soak in.  So, I’m off to the Home Depot for other fittings to re-aggie engineer the coupling, but of course, what I really needed they didn’t have, so I picked up a bunch of various 2” and 1-1/2 “ pvc fittings, hoping that I could make it work.  Then I stopped at a plumbing supply place, where they did have the piece I needed.  Suppose I should have just gone there in the first place.  An inch and a half pipe nipple fits snuggly inside the polypipe, but the end coupling of the 2” discharge hose needs to screw onto a 2 inch fitting, so what I needed and finally got was a reducing bushing from 2” male thread to 1-1/2” female thread, and that took care of that.  Made sure that the discharge end would stay above water level, and I was back in business.  I figure by a rough conservative estimate that I was able to move 18,000-20,000 gallons of water to the main tank.

Now my little brain got to working, and I figured that if the main tank was going to keep going dry periodically while this drought hangs on, I don’t really want to stock it with fish again.   Well, I really do and the catfish seemed to thrive, but it is such a waste if (when) it dries up again.  So, little brain thinks that maybe, I should put up an elevated water storage tank near the garden, and keep it full by pumping water from the main tank up to it.  Need to give it some more thought, but it just might be a GOOD IDEA.  Of course, I’d need to get some cash together to do it, but then, that’s only money, and stored water is worth a whole lot more than that.

Made a dump run today and they do have a nice pile of wood chip mulch there–5 bucks a pickup load, or they will deliver in county a 20 yard dump load for $120.00.  Stuff would sure make some nice foot paths around the old Hunker Down, and maybe help keep me from tracking so much mud in after those occasional rains.   More project for down the road.  If I can manage to live long enough to finish up all I’d like to do around here, I’d live forever.

JVC

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