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Weathering winter, wells and walls


It's April 8th, and there's about 2.5 inches of snow on the ground. As some wag said on Twitter, it's really January 74th. This is the scene out our front window this morning. At least it's calm.

It's been a busy, slightly nerve-wracking week household-wise down on the farmette. We're getting into spring reno mode and we're looking at tarting up the old place - a fresh lick of paint for the living room and new windows for the east side of the house. We also had a bit of an unwelcome surprise when our water pressure died.

The windows are original - which means they've been in place for 150+ years. Someone in the distant past had the presence of mind to put storms on all of them, or as one of the estimators who trucked through, measuring tape in hand, said, "they would've shattered long ago".

Anyway. They're cracking and the caulking is literally falling off so it's past time to bite the bullet and install new ones. Trouble is, they are so old that they'll need to be custom-made. Of course. We're hoping to get the arch in the tops without breaking the bank. Otherwise, we'll just go with regular double hungs.

The water situation was worse...we don't realize how much we depend on having an ample supply of clean, fresh H2O until we don't have it. Which is what happened on Wednesday.

The old pump finally gave up the ghost, the shower head went to a trickle and we called in JSW, our trusty plumber from Mildmay to replace it on Thursday. All seemed to go well - for the first hour - and then things went awry, with the new pump grinding away while the pressure needle barely budged. So for a night and half the next day, we were waterless.

How many times in that short span did I forget and turn on the tap? About a million. Turns out the valve from the well to the pump was seized, so water wasn't even making it into the house. With the snow gently falling from the sky, down through the new deck (with the nice framing the nephews put in during the reno last year) went the plumber to do the fix.

We're back in action, but now, we're looking at having to sink a new well, the old one having been diagnosed with 'shaky walls'. Cripes. The joys of living in a very, very old house in the country.

On the upside, I'm looking forward to covering the tired old forest green on the walls of the living room with a fresh coat of 'Caribou Lichen'.

It's part of a series of paints Beautitone introduced in conjunction with Parks Canada. Who knew you could get a bit of Glacier National Park inside a wee century home in Grey County? Can hardly wait.

Until next week.

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