The Weekly Digs #116

by Becky

Cattle Drive

It’s been at least a month or maybe even two since we’ve had an escape from the cows. Cruz has been moving them to a new area each day since Cam has been busy with work this week (and other dramatic events which I’ll explain in a bit). 

Cruz has been doing a great job. Today (Saturday), Cam had some time to do the moving of cows to a new pasture area. I’m not sure how, but they got out. 

Cam thinks because it was an area with full sun that they jumped ship and decided to find some shade. That  is completely understandable since it was 90 degrees today.

We didn’t see them most of the day but Cam closed our gate so they would at least stay on the property. In the evening at around dusk, I was working in the garden and heard some pretty intense mooing. 

I thought maybe it was Nellie, who is looking like she is about to have a calf any day but instead saw her and all the other females save one at our barn. I kept walking and found that one cow and a bull were stuck on the wrong side of the barbed wire and couldn’t get back. It was a very thick area of brush and cedars and I could barely see them.

One was the Mom of our newest calf, Pearl, and she was mooing because Pearl was way far away. I called Cam to see what he thought since he was away from home when this was all happening. 

He was almost home so I decided to wait for him. He ended up getting a wire cutter and snipping the barbed wire to get them out. We couldn’t see where they entered so it was the best option. 

We got them back in and Cam will fix the barbed wire later.

House Progress

First, I’ll start with good things. 

Septic is done! Or at least really close. The health department did come out and do a visual check of the main lines. The lateral lines as I mentioned last week, we were able to take pictures of and get approved that way. The lady said she will check the last of the photos and sign it off this week as long as all is in order.

We got hot water! When we got plumbing hooked up, we were able to take showers but they were very cold. It feels like a luxury to take a warm shower.

And now for the story. So on Wednesday I noticed our fridge seemed sort of warm. I chalked it up to the kids opening the door often and the fridge being in the garage where it was really hot.

On Thursday morning after a night of being cooler and the fridge door closed the food still seemed warm. We put the thermometer in there and it was 55 degrees. This seemed like deja vu since our last fridge did the same thing!

And as a reminder this was the fridge Cam’s parents brought out to us just in the nick of time when our other refrigerator died. It is a Subzero that is old but a full fridge and panel ready door which I wanted in my kitchen.

The used Subzero was a great deal. We had our cabinets designed around this refrigerator and a panel made for it. I was really excited about it!

So we called the repairman to fix the refrigerator and he told me that it had a slow freon leak (it was also leaking oil on the ground). Normally it would be an easy fix to refill the freon, but since the refrigerator is 30 years old the refrigerant it uses is obsolete. 

Cam checked this out when he bought it and was reassured by the used salesperson it had been replaced. The service repairman said if it had been replaced, it should have the correct stickers. It did not. 

For liability reasons he could get in “big trouble” if he filled it with the wrong refrigerant other than what was labeled. 

He then told me that it would be a $1500 charge to switch it over. But we would also still always have a leak in the system and would need to refill the freon every six months. He basically said you’re better off buying a new fridge.

I was really bummed about this because I was so looking forward to using that fridge in our new home. I loaded all the food in a cooler with ice and Cam and I went back and forth all day trying to decide what to do. 

We ended up buying a fridge that matched our ovens in the evening because there was no time to do more research than that without losing all our food. I honestly thought that was really lucky- or really a huge blessing because for most appliances there is a long wait time. 

It was expensive and I’m sad it’s not a full refrigerator like our old one. But I’m glad to know the new one is very unlikely to suddenly stop working or leak like the other did.

So the second half of this story is that when I filled the cooler with ice and food, I forgot to close the drain hole. All day ice had been melting and draining out in our garage.

I didn’t notice because our garage is full of our stuff! Our mattresses and our shelves along with some boxes got soaked with water. Of course we didn’t see it until right before bed and spent the next three hours moving boxes, mattresses, and shelves around the garage to dry spots. 

Along with this we also noticed that with the increased humidity, the concrete floor was sweating out some water or maybe you would call it condensation, in the garage. Anything that was on the floor felt damp, and our couch now looks moldy. 

Needless to say, it was frustrating and a long night. We felt really defeated and are sad a lot of stuff got ruined. 

Thankfully some things still seem dry and in good condition. Also, we were planning on replacing the couch and our mattress too so it wasn’t too bad. 

We are hoping the inspector will come Monday or Tuesday to see if we can pass and get a certificate of occupancy. We need to move the stuff into our house and out of the moist garage soon.

In the Garden

  • Harvested lots more peas this week. Snap and shelling
  • Pulled out more bermuda from the new garden area.
  • Poppies are flowering! (I’ll share some pictures next week) They are so beautiful.
  • Weeded everyday
  • Tied more tomatoes and pruned suckers
  • Also harvesting: basil, celery, arugula, carrots
  • Transplanted cucumbers.
Transplanted cucumbers

In the Kitchen

  • Made a gallon crock of blaukraut (red cabbage kraut)

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Harsha June 14, 2021 - 2:06 am

Oh Becky I feel so sad for you! You guys have been through so many trials recently and I know that the good Lord will carry you all through it and you will come out stronger.
I am praying for you all and I hope the inspection passes so you can move your stuff in to the house.

theseasonalhomestead June 19, 2021 - 11:15 pm

Thank you so much!


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