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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Stray Dogs, Ticks, and Drinking Bleach

Living in the country is a curious thing.  For the suburban born and raised, it is an eye opening experience.  I'll give you three examples.

In the country, especially on our road, stray dogs are a fact of life. The dog catcher doesn't even exist out here.  If you are able, and a softie, you adopt the ones you can.  If not, you call the sheriff and the dog will be taken to the shelter where the life expectancy is very short.  The humane animal organization only accepts puppies, and those are shipped to the Northeast, where there is a market.  It is a tough choice.  We are softies, so we now have three dogs.  Sadie is learning some manners, and we learned a country lesson.

Pest control out here only goes so far.  I knew, intellectually, that there would be more bugs that in the 'burbs, and I generally have a Live and Let Live attitude where bugs are concerned.  Well, as long as they are outside.  In my house, though all bets are off.  The kids often alert me when, "there is a bug in your house, mom!"  But it isn't working so well.  There are flies everywhere!  I remember that from my grandmother's farm, but hadn't really thought about it for my home.  I hate flies.

More than flies, though, I hate ticks!  I have a thing about creatures that suck blood.  I don't like them.  And ticks are small, perfidious, and look like moles.  I have moles; so ticks look like normal parts of me and it freaks me out!  The ticks are like secret, blood-sucking, disease-carrying ninjas.  I hate them.  (I scream like a little girl when I find a tick and then flail around and it gets lost in the house.  Which guarantees another episode within the hour.  So embarrassing.)

The third example unfortunately is going on right now.  We are on a well.  I like well water.  I like knowing where are water comes from, and where it is going.  I like that connection with our environment, and the life lesson it gives the kids towards water conservation.  What I don't like is when part of our well pump suddenly cracks in half and the entire pump is left dangling from the electrical wires.  Even more, I don't like when this happens 30 minutes before old friends arrive for lunch.

That happened on Saturday.  Luckily, the husband and our dear friend were about to secure the well parts, and replace the broken piece.  Unluckily, it isn't a permanent fix.  And perhaps worst, we know that some ground water got into the well.  Couple that with the fact that whenever there is work done on a well you need to sterilize the water, and we have been left boiling our drinking water for 5 days.

We haven't been able to get in touch with the local well service company, so we are taking matters into our own hands.  Since the husband has the well functioning again, we have done our research and found that the way to sterilize a well is, like most things, with bleach.  Yup, we have to pour a lot of bleach into our well and then let it sit for about 12 hours.

So, for the next 12-24 hours we will be washing our hands with bottled water, drinking boiled water, and making certain not to water any plants.  Fun times.

I love it here.  Most of the time.


  1. No wonder I haven't heard from you in a fortnight! Ya'll are welcome to come up here - our water is clean and our household bug is huge-ant.

    Also, where are the crafts? You're behind my friend - unless water sanitation counts!

  2. Thanks for the stress, Mel! Geez.

    I am definitely behind on the projects - I have a few other things cooking right now and I just let that slide. I am going to catch up soon.

    (The phone works both ways, babes. Call me!)


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