Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Not Just Another Birthday

Nope, at this time in life - birthdays are a celebration.  Tuesday (Jan 29th) was house mate's 72nd birthday.

I fixed the dinner he wanted - tacos.  I slow cooked a roast seasoned with chili (Machaca) for our meat filling; and, had the usual lettuce, tomato, shredded cheese, etc for additional filling.  We had Mexican potatoes with Poblano Pepper where I got the recipe from my favorite Mexican food recipe site.  I had guacamole and a layered cracker dip.  I attempted margaritas but the mix wasn't very good, not my usual.  And, then we had a delicious chocolate cake for desert.  I learned years ago, when using a packaged cake mix to whip up the liquids into a froth before adding the cake mix - cake turns out light as a feather.

Daughter came over to help us eat the creation and her dog Buster got a little for his effort of being so cute.

And, have started my spring cleaning list . . . Yep, have started my spring to-do list.  I cleaned the kitchen exhaust fan last week.  On my developing list: clean oven (I use an ammonia soak overnight), file away last year's receipts after completing income tax (no filing for us, not enough income), pull the washer & dryer out from the wall to clean the accumulated lint (plus the vent), finish the trailer's black out window covers (insulation covers now), start pricing items for the citywide garage sale activity in early June, make more ribbon windsocks.  I have a lot of other projects in the back of my mind that will wait until warmer weather.

Oh my green chile gummies - they are almost gone.  My son sent some to my brother and he just LOVES them too.  Daughter tried one last night and she didn't really like it, not quite what she expected.

I have been rationing myself to one-a-day.  I have enough for a week - NOT.  I forget if I  had one that day, so I have another gummy just to make sure I get my daily ration!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

I am in Heaven with my Green Chile Gummies

My son sent them to me and they were made by a friend of his.  He brought me a few when he was here at Christmas time and I LOVED them.  No am not going to share!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

I Gotta Clean That Sump Pump Pit Out. . . . .

Why?  I don't know. The only time the pump has run in the previous two years is when I emptied water into the pit to make sure the pump still worked (and to make sure the rubber gaskets were not drying out)! The two years before this winter, the pump was pumping water out every 90 to 120 seconds - and I was going to panic if it should quit on me. The two years before that it was pumping water out of the pit about every 30 minutes in the winter.  It starts working towards the end of October and ends around mid/late March.

I live on the very edge of a Zone A flood plain - yup have that expensive FEMA flood insurance. We are just 2 blocks from the main stream channel of Big Creek - i.e. in our location the city's lake that has a very old dam.

In the past the lake has been relatively full - 3 and 4 years ago the lake was extremely full; now its virtually empty, except down by the dam. Three/four years ago, out west experienced a lot of rain as well as the watershed between WaKeeney and here resulting in an over-abundance of water.

Fortunately, I had a new sump pump installed when I purchased this house 7 years ago.  During the winter months, I learned that when the vegetation - mainly trees - cease to need water, the water from the fullish lake seeps somewhere as the ground is porous and it is usually not frozen down that far. So anyone that has a basement/cellar in the vicinity of the lake, needs a sump pump.
Trap door to get down to the cellar.

In the spring, when the trees and vegetation with deep roots start their annual "wake-up", they start soaking up the water that is seeping through the ground from the lake; and, this continues all summer in to the fall time. Once again the water has to go somewhere.

If one has a basement/cellar, unless you have put waterproofing means around your walls, the water is going to come in through those walls - mine are large limestone rock squares that has had cement applied to the surface.
Stairs down to cellar w/sump pump pit.
My cellar, is just that - a cellar that probably many decades ago was a root cellar, a storm shelter as it use to have an outside entrance (the house was built in 1919 and we are in Kansas and we have tornadoes). Now just the water heater and furnace are down there and up on blocks.

Three and four years ago, I experienced a constantly flooded cellar in the winter months.  I could see the water coming through the walls and bubbling up through cracks in the floor. If those 2 appliances hadn't been up on blocks, they would have had 1-2 inches of water inside them. And, since they were up on blocks when I bought the house, the cellar has obviously been flooded in the past too.

Cleaned out and checked - it works! Isn't this exciting?
For the past two winters, the sump pump has not come on and suddenly I wake up Saturday morning with the thought I needed to get down there and clean the pebbles, sand, dead crickets out of that sump pump's pit so it won't get stopped up? I did clean it out, but I'd rather not listen to that thing coming on at all.

Yes, there have been two major floodings - the last one in 1993 and one in 1957. Do you suppose . . . .