The drizzle started in heavier right as we pulled up to our house. I got the hens settled into the hen house. The cages have to be turned sideways to get them in or out of the back seat, so the hens have to be taken out of the cage, one by one, and carried across the yard to our make-shift-shed-turned-into-hen house.
It’s amazing how early it starts getting dark at our house in the Ozarks. We are in the ‘holler’ so the sun sets behind the hills sooner for those of us on the ‘bottom land’, than for those on the top.
That there’s bottom land soil, ain’t it? Queer how the folks on the bottom looks down on the folks on the top. T’were always that way. Ain’t no changin’ it!” – Mother York from the movie, “Sergeant York.”
(By the way, if you have never seen the movie, “Sergeant York,” I highly recommend it! The movie is based on the life of a real person, Alvin York, who lived in the Valley of the Three Forks of the Wolf near ‘Jim-Town’ Tennessee. He was one of the most decorated American soldiers in WWI. He was a Christian Man who held to his convictions in spite of the obstacles he faced, and the movie is about how he lived his Christian Faith. There is also a love story thrown in there for us chicks, along with all of the war stuff. 😉 I love the way the movie portrays Alvin York’s backwoods upbringing, his family life, and their dialect.)
Now, for the rest of the story…
Though it wasn’t cold enough to leave the heat lamp in the hen house on all night, I did leave it on for a while so that hens could see to eat and drink. They settled right in to their old home.
I also unloaded Simba, who went immediately to the litter box. (Poor little guy has a bladder of STEEL! Though it pains me to think of it, I’m so impressed with that!)
With the relief clearly washing over him, he gingerly stepped out of the litterbox, then he did a circle of the interior of the house about three times trying to get acclimated to the old place. I gave him some food and water, and put the comforter we use for his bedding down in an out-of-the-way corner for him, and he settled right in.
One of the first things we noticed as we walked into the house, was that the flowers Bud had delivered to me when were at the house over Thanksgiving still looked good! We hadn’t taken them with us when we left because we didn’t think there would be any way they would make the trip in decent shape without spilling, or the petals falling off. They had been sitting there for a month! We were amazed!
Bud unloaded the trailer, while I swept the bedroom and made up the air mattress.
When we first tried the kitchen faucet, it didn’t work. The plumber was supposed to have finished his work before we got back this time. We could see that the tub, water heater and pressure tank had all been installed.
Bud found a valve that needed to be opened, and when he let the water flow, he saw a small leak underneath the floor by way of the hole in the floor. Thankfully, the leak wasn’t bad enough that we couldn’t use the kitchen faucet.
Here are some pictures of the bathroom, proper, with blue tarp for privacy, since we did not yet have walls up:
(The door to the bathroom will eventually be in the front when the floor is repaired, and the lavatory will be outside of the toilet area where that white pipe is to the right. A wall will be built around it to enclose that area.)
We did not get to use the tub the first night because we still did not have our propane tank installed, and our water heater is propane, rather than electric. That bathtub sure did look inviting, though, to a couple of weary travelers.
When Bud finally got the water running to the kitchen faucet, the water was orange! We didn’t know if it was some sediment in the line from the plumber’s work, or something to do with the spring. They’d had a lot of rain in our area before we arrived. The stream coming from the spring house had a bigger flow than we had seen since we bought the place, so we are thinking that maybe the orange water could have something to do with the spring, and the heavy rain. It cleared up sometime in the next day or two. Thankfully, we had our Berkey Water Filter, and will continue to use it for our drinking and cooking water until we get our water tested.
Meanwhile, I realized that I had forgotten to pack the pots and pans to cook with. We had a camp stove and food, but nothing to cook it in. Think about that. It’s really more complicated than you think. You can’t cook if you don’t have anything to cook in. You can’t even make toast! You have a lovely, convenient, fire– but there ain’t a blasted thing you can do with it. I felt really bad that I had done something so stupid. One of my main jobs is too cook, and I had blown it!
We debated whether or not to go to Walmart that night (which would mean a 40 minute drive there and a 40 minute drive back). Neither of us wanted to do it. We didn’t have any breakfast food that could be eaten without being cooked. We don’t eat much packaged or processed food, like cereal, pop-tarts, or granola bars. I had not baked any ‘chick muffins’ this time, either. I had brought some ham and bread, so we decided that if starvation set in, we could have ham sandwiches for breakfast if we were desperate before we could get out to get something to cook on.
We got ready for bed (skipping the sponge bath) and just decided to go to bed dirty. It had only been about 15 hours since our last shower, and we had just been riding in the car (though I have to say, that riding in a car all day has the uncanny ability to make one feel really grungy.)
When we went to bed it was not very cold. I had expected to be as cold as I was last time. We did have our little space heaters. It just wasn’t as cold outside as it was over the Thanksgiving break. I took off some of the layers I had put on to sleep in, and put them to the side of the air mattress.
Finally…we were all were nestled and snug in our bed, while visions of chickens danced in our heads.