Schmidt Homestead

Our new home in Woodburn, IL

Monday, April 16, 2007

We’re making progress! We spent the night at the property Friday night. It started raining late Friday night and continued ALL DAY Saturday. It was 38 degrees and muddy – miserable. We worked as best we could, but there were some things that just weren’t possible in the weather. We have some serious drainage issues that need to be dealt with soon, but for now, we’re just dealing with them. The dogs were soaked all day. We have a curve in our driveway, and it looks like there should be a culvert under the driveway because there appears to be a ditch that goes nowhere on the upstream side. Saturday, Steve was walking by there while it was raining, and he noticed a place downstream of the ‘ditch to nowhere’ where water was bubbling up in a puddle. We spent some time digging around the bubbling water and downstream to give it a path to flow, and eventually we found a pipe. It’s only about 10” diameter, and it was buried by a good foot of dirt. The ditch on the other side of the driveway was still holding water, so the pipe was obviously plugged up. It’s about half-full with mud on the downstream end, and we prodded and dug at the upstream end but never found anything. At least we know there’s a pipe there now – we just have to find the other end and clean it out. When we finished ‘playing’ in the mud, we stole some insulation that was falling from the ceiling in the house and used it in the new wall that Steve put up for the electrical panel in the barn. We hooked up the electrical in the trailer, and we headed back to SL in time for dinner, showers and a warm bed.

We got up early Sunday morning and packed up a load of stuff in the trailer. The weather was much nicer, but the mud was still bad at the property. We got the water line hooked up and flushed out. With the high water table and so much rain, the water meter and shut-off were about 8” under water, so Steve had to use a bucket to empty some water before he could shut it off. He managed to cut the electrical wires to the house without frying himself – I got it on video just in case. We moved the breaker box from the house into the barn and the meter from the front of the house to the pole that we set a few weeks ago. Somehow, Steve lost one of the lug nuts from the meter. We spent a while looking for it, but eventually deemed it lost. Steve hooked up everything that he could without the lug nut, and we finally went home. It was after 10 by the time we got home, and I think I passed out almost immediately.

Steve got up early and came to work with me this morning. He picked up a replacement lug nut at the local hardware store, finished the job, and called the power company to have them come out and move the main wires from the house to the new pole. They’re scheduled to come out tomorrow morning. We should have working power and water by tomorrow afternoon. A septic tank is the last thing that we HAVE to have before we can live there. I talked to the installer last week, and he said that he can install our tank anytime. He can’t install the laterals until the ground dries out some. If he goes ahead and puts in the tank, we can at least have flush toilets. He recommended not using the showers or doing laundry because without laterals to outlet the water, once the tank fills up, it’s full. I told him to go ahead with the tank, and come back for the laterals as soon as he can.

The St. Louis house goes on the market this Sunday, the 22nd, so our focus this week is getting it ready. I’ll be home tomorrow, and Steve will probably take several half-days this week. Our to-do list is very long, and it seems to be getting longer, rather than shorter. Hopefully we’ll make a good dent in it by the end of the weekend. We’re both pretty stressed out right now. We have our fingers crossed that the SL house will sell quickly, so all of our attention can go to the property.