Today was supposed to be a day of office work - balancing checkbooks, paying bills, etc. I did get some of that done, but the backhoe and crew from Kotlar plumbing showed up about 10:00 AM, and that was the end of paperwork.
While I was in Missouri, a major leak had developed in my natural gas supply line between the meter and the house. This required Center Point Energy to pull the meter, so when I got home to Ganado, there was no hot water, no gas for the range, and no gas for the dryer. Today was the day the line would be replaced.
The first thirty minutes or so, the crew and I scoped out where the digging would take place, discussed whether there were other water, electrical, phone, or drain lines in the area, and whether we were very lucky to have missed the full force of Hurricane Ike. After agreement was reached on all points, the digging began.
Digging took a couple of hours, as the gentleman from Kotlar took great care not to tear up excessive amounts of the yard, and he had to work between pecan trees, a power line, and a quite narrow spot where the meter would be.
After lunch, the new high tech gas line was set in place. The grey parts are the risers that are on each end, and the small spool of wire is a metal line that is taped to the poly gas line so that it can be located with a metal detector later, if necessary.
After the line was in place and tested, the crew repaired the pecan tree irrigation line that had to be cut in one spot. About that time, a representative from the phone company showed up frothing at the mouth about whether we had cut "his" line. I went in the house, got a dial tone on the hand set and brought it to him. He left.
The backhoe operator then began replacing the dirt. I was incredibly impressed with his skill. He filled and packed and replaced the sod that he'd skimmed off and set aside. He had even set aside the driveway gravel and replaced it carefully. You can see from the next set of pictures that there's not a hump of loose dirt, very little damage to the lawn outside of the ditch, and that he did a wonderful job.
About the time the plumbing crew left, one of my former students, Buck Schoneberg, showed up to look at the fence job we need done. He's going to prepare a bid on replacing the perimeter fence that Dan's father built about fifty years ago. The fence is so bad that the rancher who has had the pasture leased for two years won't put cattle on it for fear that they will get out on the highway. It's definitely time to do something, as he wasn't going to renew the lease. I should hear the amount of the bid in a few days.
As Buck drove away, Dustin came to help for a couple of hours after school. We again picked up sticks for the burn pile, and then, we started cleaning the garage. Unfortunately, Dustin got stung by yellow jackets under the tool rack. We scouted for more wasps, and we found three more nests, which we sprayed before suspending the garage project for today.
Today was a good day, full of varied work and many accomplishments. The only thing that I was hoping to get done that wasn't successful was scheduling the reinstallation of the gas meter. Due to the hurricane recovery, Center Point Energy is being swamped with re-hook up requests that require documentation of the line pressure test. Although Kotlar plumbing faxed the info in at 2:30 this afternoon, the information had not made it into their computer system today by 6:00 PM. I'll call again in the morning to see if we can schedule it.
I'll be looking forward to cooking, showering in hot water in my own home, and being able to fling a load of wet clothes in the dryer.