We have 3.5 bathrooms out there, you’d think ONE of them would be fully functional

I’m pretty sure by this point that if you put all three and a half bathrooms together, you’d get one single working one.

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This is the master bath. Both sinks work. The toilet works. The shower shoots water straight out at you from the faucet handles, at about chest level, and there’s a crack in the pan — fortunately Tim helped some friends tile in a new shower in their mobile home a couple of years ago, so once we have one complete working bathroom we’re going to do that here. The water in the tub works but at this point I’m reluctant to fill it and get in, lest I plunge through the floor.

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This is the guest bath. The toilet doesn’t work (we’ve bought a new one, just haven’t had time to install it yet). The sink works… I think? And the tub shoots water out of the handles all the way to the back of the shower. Tim’s turned the water off for that tub because nothing we could do would stop it, and we don’t have time to mess with it.

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This is the half bath. The toilet works. The sink does not.

Pretend there's a sink here

This is the bathroom in the studio. I don’t even know (or care, let’s be honest, I’m beyond caring) if the shower works. The toilet leaks. There’s no sink (but we have one to install).

At this point all I can really do is giggle a lot and say, “really? REALLY?”

Them’s the pits

Have we told you about the clay pit? About why this property was up for sale in the first place?

As near as we can tell – and a LOT of this is guessing and conjecture and putting things together that we’ve heard through the grapevine, so, take this with a grain of salt.

A family with three or four kids used to live there. What they did for a living (the parents, not the kids) is anyone’s guess (although we do think we’ve finally figured out what the studio was for, but that’s a different story) but allegedly at one point in time they started a clay pit without necessarily getting any sort of permits for it first.

That there is a clay pit is not a question; it’s definitely there. When we originally looked at the property, the listing was for 18 of 35 acres, with the rest parceled off to a different listing.

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Gilda Radner was right; it’s always something.

If you read this post, about a month ago, you know that the water was an issue/non-issue (in that it wasn’t on the first time we had the place inspected, so he didn’t inspect the water, and then the first appraisal was deemed “materially insufficient” because the water wasn’t tested, so they sent out another inspector, who deemed it fine, and everything was hunky dory). HAHAHAHAHAHA sob.

So, let’s see…. obviously we had to get the electricity turned on, and we thought they would fix a leaning guy (guide?) wire (no such luck, turns out that is our responsibility). They turned the electric on (or, over to our name, as it was already on)… uh… Monday, the 23rd, I think. We went out that night (or was it Tuesday? Everything is blending together now) and turned everything on. I was especially excited to see how the new AC unit worked. And it seemed… loud. Like, really loud. Like, we won’t be able to hear the TV when that thing is running. And while I’m walking around trying to figure out why that sound would be coming from near the closet with the hot water heater (maybe there’s some sort of air exchange thing happening?), Tim is walking around trying out all the faucets and bemoaning the fact that the water pressure is terrible.

It may be obvious to you, reading this, what was happening, but it took us about ten or fifteen minutes to figure it out.

When Tim decided to walk outside to see if there was a vent or something, having issues, he discovered water pouring out from underneath the house.

It was getting late, so we decided the best thing we could do was turn off the water at the pump, turn off the electricity at the main breaker, and come back tomorrow. We didn’t even have a flashlight with us, so it wouldn’t have done any good for Tim to crawl around under the house in the dark. Tomorrow, then!

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Maybe we should name the place “Tortuga Haven”

One thing I was ecstatic to see the first time we went out to look at the property was that there were gopher tortoise holes. I’ve been a fan of gopher tortoises since I lived on the farm; we had them out there. I just love the slow, steady, “ah-yup” feel to them. They are terrestrial (land-living, as opposed to water-living) tortoises whose ancestors go back more than 60 million years. I feel like a babe in the woods compared to them, and love them for a lot of the same reasons I love alligators. Well, I love alligators from a safe distance.

So like I said, I was glad to see burrows; gopher tortoises are unique in that they build large burrows which go down for anywhere from 6 to 10 feet below the surface and while usually the runs are about 15 feet long they can go as long as 40+. You can tell if the burrow is a tortoise one because the entrance will be shaped, well, like a tortoise. Some people call them bread-shaped.

Signs of life Signs of life

I was also glad to see that some of these looked like shared burrows, in that there was more than one kind of animal track at the head. Gopher tortoises are what’s called a “keystone species“. That means that they’re a species that while they take up little space and resources, they’re so important to the ecosystem of their location that without them, the ecosystem might change or even cease to exist. They share their burrows with up to 350 different species of animals (not all at once). This can include rabbits, burrowing owls, and foxes – and we have seen both fox prints and scat out at the property, which just makes me squee with delight.

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Works-in-Progress Wednesday (03/25/15)

(Cross-posted from my work blog)

There’s very little work-work going on at HaldeCraft this week (again, I thank all y’all for bearing with me while we fix the place up, pack, and move).

Today's Daily Deal item is a small green tumbler decorated with a ball of yarn and knitting needles. Oh, and, good morning, y'all! #ceramics #hcdailydealIn ceramics, I’m trying desperately to carve out time to clean some greenware so I can fill and fire the kiln. I’m also still trying to figure out this decal thing; I think I’ve got it worked out and will actually be throwing a few pieces in with the bisque firing to see if that’s the right temperature. And of course I’m doing the Daily Deal! What do you think of this so far? Today is 15 out of 36 items… If this is the kind of thing that everyone really likes, I might do it again closer to Thanksgiving.

In soap, I need to have some dryer weather so I can wrap just a few bars that I made for restocks. I’ve been waiting for the humidity to go down and have not had my whispers to Mother Nature answered… but as soon as it does, I’ll have a couple of restocks. That’ll be it until we get settled in the new place; I believe the next week I’ll be making soap is the week of May 17-23. Am I out of your favorite? You can either, on the product page, sign up to be notified via email when I get it back in stock (look for the green “NOTIFY ME” button on the left side of the page) or I’ll be taking custom orders again after May 3rd, so you can contact me then with a wish list.

Did I mention the small yarn update? Including a couple of One-hit Wonders.  Coming tomorrow morning to the shop! #handdyedyarnIn yarn, I had a small update the week before last, and that’ll be all I do in yarn until after we move. Next time I work on yarn it’ll be in my new studio, dyeing yarn club! Eeep! I can hardly believe it! I’ll have enough space then to get at least two more crock pots, potentially almost doubling the output of what I can do now (of course, then it still all needs to be wound, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it).

Sixteen rows until the bind-off of the front of this sweater. Then it's the arms, and seaming. On the needles since 2010? 2011? I might even finish this year! (PS. This is my worsted yarn, Tepper, in the Weathered Wood colorway.)  #HCtepper #knittersofins In knitting, I’m working on a couple of things. Mostly just a pair of stockinette socks (passenger knitting when That Poor Man and I drive out to the new property a few times a week) but also my Oakleaf Sweater that I cast on in January of 2006, and knit the back of… and then just sat on. Lately I’ve been wanting to work on it (inspired, maybe, by all the oak trees on our new property?) and as a result I’m almost done with the front. Then it’ll just be knitting the arms (a cake walk, after the front and back!) and seaming. Whooooo! I may get to wear it by the time the weather cools down this Fall!

TreefallIn moving, like I said above, we go out there every couple of days. That Poor Man has been taking Thursdays and Fridays off from work, and he’s got a whole weekend planned for “projects” in the days coming up. We now have electricity on out there, which means we also have running water (it’s an electric pump). Tomorrow we’ll get a quote on the driveway (did I tell y’all about the driveway? It’s a limerock road. The first 50 or so feet of our driveway is solid sand. Well, not so solid sand. And it’s erratic, lumpy limerock with runoff damage until about 200 feet into the driveway. So we’re getting a quote to take off the top four inches for about the first 250 feet of the driveway, and to replace it with concrete millings. Right now you can only come see the place if you have a four-wheel drive!). And That Poor Man is putting together a materials list for the house back deck, the fenced in yard for the dogs, and the studio front porch. We hope Lowe’s can deliver out to our house… after we get the driveway worked on!

That’s about it for my week. How is your week going?

Sugar Feet

Holy cow, y’all. I knew I hadn’t blogged my knitting in a while? But I didn’t realize I hadn’t blogged it since February. Of 2014. Expect a lot of catching up….! (Edited to add: I’ve pre-blogged a little under half of what I’ve knit since I last posted, and doing one a week, I’m already up to June 15th. Remind me to blog my knitting more often!)

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Yarn: HaldeCraft HandDyed Andre
Pattern: Maeva by Stefanie Bold
Started: 01/03/14
Completed: 01/29/14
Notes: The short story is that these socks made me insane.

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