Monday, June 10, 2013

Huge Eyesore Eliminated!

Dear friends,

Ever since we bought our Two Sisters Cottage, there has been a huge eyesore that I saw every time I looked out the back windows, every time I walked out the back door or onto the porch.  Namely, the old well pump cover that has been there probably since this house was built back in 1930.  It's an ugly mass of old rotted wood, corrugated metal and rusty rivets.

Here's a BEFORE photo.  We've taken down the greenhouse, and started to paint the garage (to the right).  Notice the hulking White Thing  beside the door?  Yep, that's the eyesore I'm speaking of.  I looked at it daily for two years.

And here's an in-between photo.  Here, we've painted part of the cottage and the door but the eyesore still remains.  It wasn't easy painting behind it, either, let me tell you!  LOL.  The left-hand door inset in there leads to the studio/future plant shed/who-knows-what area.

First step--convince Husband that it was time to get rid of the thing.  Since he had been scraping wood and painting, he welcomed (sort of) another project---one where he could tear up something and play with something electrical. :-)

Believe me, we waffled back and forth over the last year, trying to decide if we really wanted to dismantle a water well.  Here in Texas, where there's major drought, people are begging to drill new wells.  However, after a plumber looked at it twice and couldn't get the thing to pump, we decided to at least remove as much as we could, then decide later on what to do with the actual well.

So, we removed the casing.  The Big Eyesore was gone!  It was actually easy since the builders had added handles to the bottom. 

Step two--assess the situation.  Lots of red rusty water and a soaked Husband!  Slowly unhooking the rat's nest of old wires and pipes.

 Yay!  The pump and pressure tank are removed with a little help from the amazing reciprocating saw.  The pipe (that goes down into the water---we aren't sure how deep) and the cement lip around the edge of the opening, and the wooden platform is all that's left.

Being curious sorts, we HAD to peer into it.  And could see---nothing. Lots of black.  A big ol' black hole.  Our plumber told us that they ALWAYS find snakes in these. Luckily, we didn't.

Next, also using the reciprocating saw, we cut off the crazy faucet that sat in front of the base.

After the faucet was removed, I felt a huge case of Puttering Fever come upon me.  So I moved the bench back over the base.  It was nice to get it out of the way.  Husband still wasn't sure it was worth all that work, but I was!

After a little more puttering, removing the old plastic shelf, rearranging the plants, we now have a nice little seating area in front of the cottage window, and it's not blocking the door.  (Note, replace above head light with small ceiling fan/light.)

From this view, you can't even see the base of the well.

 Mission accomplished!  Now, I'm pondering what to do with the well.  We can leave it as is, remove the covering and bust up the cement and fill it in (although we don't have any clue how deep it is right now) OR add a hand or solar-pump of some kind and build a little garden sink there.  Since I have no other place to put a potting bench, I'm considering that.  I hate to give up the little secluded sitting area, though.

We also have no idea how good the water well is, assuming there is some there.  With the little rain we've had, there should be some, but the quality is questionable given that we're surrounded by conventional agriculture.  So that's a project for the future.

For now, I'm happy because the Huge Eyesore is gone, baby gone!

Happy trails,

bobbi c.


indigogarden said...

I love what you've done to the porch area. That is a sweet little sitting area now. I hope you consider keeping the well. Even if the water quality is not up to drinking standards, it could be a source of water for your plants one day. Better to leave it fallow and reclaim it later when you have the time. For now, outta sight, outta mind. :)

Bobbi Chukran, Author/Illustrator & Award-Winning Playwright said...

Thanks! We will consider keeping it. Thing is, we'd rather have a rainwater collection system where we can filter the water if we have to. If there's no rain, the well will be dry anyway. Before we use any of it on our organic garden, the water would have to be thoroughly tested. As far as we know, the recent former residents just used it for watering the grass, not for drinking.

Paul Smith said...

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Freezing Tomatoes

Bobbi Chukran, Author of Mysterious Stories, Playwright, Indie Publisher said...

Thank you, Paul!