Tuesday, September 19, 2023


The final frontier in home improvements here at Five Acres was to raise the well pump above ground. It's not a project you want to tackle until you have money to burn, because there's no way of predicting what it's going to cost until the job is, basically, completed. It's also surprisingly difficult to find a well company to do the work according to government regulations. It was a piece of luck that brought me to Art. One day in the library I was talking to a former colleague. She also lives on a farm property. I mentioned my well and the fact that I was looking for a reliable well company to raise the well pump. She mentioned a female police officer who occasionally drops by the library, and said that the officer's husband had taken over his family's well company. "Talk to Art", she said. "You'll get the straight goods from Art." So I called Art, and he came over. I instantly liked him and felt confident that I wasn't going to be another woman being talked down to by a man. After all, his wife wears a firearm! It took several months until Art's schedule and my finances lined up, but that day came last Wednesday. A section of the metal roof on the well shed had to be removed temporarily to get the old well pump out of there: it was eight or nine feet below ground level. It took a whole day for Art and his Dad to get the old well pump up. Once the pump was above ground, there was good news and bad news: first, it was steel, so it hadn't rusted. That was fairly essential to getting it out of the well. But it was covered in sulphur, and underneath all that sulphur was a 30 year old pump that could fail at any minute. The warranty on a new well pump is three years, so my old pump was living on borrowed time. Further, the underground cable that connects the well pump to the electrical panel in the house had been mended twice, so it made good sense to replace the cable at the same time.
So Art added "replace electrical cable" to his to-do list. (It wasn't easy). With the addition of a new above-ground well pump, my home improvements are now concluded. Big thanks to Art Holyoake and his Dad for putting this final piece of the puzzle in place.

Saturday, September 9, 2023


One thing that never shows up on real estate photos or videos of my property is the gigantic array of solar panels to heat the swimming pool. No need to explain why. When you see the picture, you'll understand. "Derelict" is the most diplomatic adjective I can think of. Luckily, it's hidden behind a stand of Brandon cedars - a favourite tree of mine - so I don't have to look at it unless I'm feeling self-destructive. That doesn't happen often, which explains why it's still there, four and a half years after I moved here. Two years ago, I was persuaded by the staff of the local pool company that for an investment of a few hundred dollars I could have it restored. That was my first mistake. One of my biggest character flaws is, and always has been, that I believe if I just try long enough and hard enough, I can get anything to work. This belief explains my first motorbike, my first husband, my Camaro, my Cadillac Seville, several chainsaws, and recently, my tractor. I have a nephew who also has this belief. In his case, he actually can get things to work. With me, the odds are about one in four. I should invite him over more often, eh? But I digress.
I'm sure I blogged about the solar array a couple of years back. The restoration was a failure - and I only wish it cost me a measly few hundred dollars. I've tried to move on. Swimming in a bracingly cold pool for two years has refreshed my memory. So last Wednesday I decided that I'd be using climate change to my advantage. From now on, global warming would heat the pool. I texted Casey, a guy from Orangeville who installed my farm gates last year. He was willing to come by on Friday with his tools and do the demolition. Early Friday morning, I called a dumpster rental company and ordered a 10 yard bin. I thought it would be way too big, but what the heck. I have another nephew who is an airline pilot. He had a day off yesterday, and what do airline pilots do in their days off? They go flying with their friends. Sometimes they fly over their auntie's property. Just between Casey leaving and the dumpster arriving, I heard a small plane flying low overhead. Shortly after, I got a text from the pilot nephew with this photo attached.
I've identified the scene of the demolition, so you can get a sense of how big a job it was. Thanks, nephew! I figured it would be a day's work but Casey is one of those nose-to-the grindstone type of guys. Two hours later, it was a pile of rubble.
This morning, Casey came by. Two hours later, the dumpster was full and the demolition site was pristine. And we needed every one of those 10 yards.