Water pump

I was going to write about how we finally got water down to our barn. I was going to explain that when we had a plumber here for another problem my husband and he decided to figure out where an unidentified pipe from the back of our house actually travelled. The plumber hooked something to it and he said it went all the way to our barn! All it needed was the pump part that come up out of the ground to deliver water. We had been hauling water for four years down to our barn bc we didn’t know about this pipe! We arranged to have the work done. My mom decided to pay for it and the pump/hydrant will be named in her honor. I was going to show you a picture of the pump right next to our horse trough which is next to our barn and chicken enclosure. It would be a thing or beauty to behold. At least to us. Well I am going to show you some pictures of the water pump but as always what I pictured in my mind and what actually occurred were vastly different.

Here is what really happened : Our first issue occurred when the plumber realized he had followed an electric line to our barn. This was after he dug a very deep hole only to find an electric conduit. He left that day without telling us this fact and returned the following day and did alert us — then only after we saw him poking around the yard. He had to come in and hook a sensor to the pipe again so he could try to use his sensor wand thing outside to detect the line. His mistake the first time was that he did not follow the line right from the back of the house. He went right to the barn w his sensor thing ergo why it up picked the electric line.

So he began walking all over our back yard again and then he stopped and began digging another deep hole. And he dug and dug to…nothing. He can dig areally nice deep hole though. I know he thought this job was going to be easy and the price did not reflect him digging multiple holes. And he dug not one, not two, but three holes that morning. All three feet deep. The second one was in the right spot bc he decided to turn the pipe on and see if water came out someplace. And it did-a geyser! Smack dab in the middle of our dry lot! This is not where you would put a pump. It would be too dangerous for the horses. Why it ended there I have no idea. There was even electric wire running w it bc I think someone planned on putting a pump in with an outlet to plug in heated tanks or something. We weren’t interested in pursuing the electric part and were now worried with what to do about the end of the pipe being in the wrong place. Kevin and he pondered this for quite a while. It was not in the budget to have our plumber rent equipment to dig the rest of the way to the barn.

So it was decided that he would dig another hole about six feet back from hole number two and set the pump next to our back fence. It was not where I wanted it at all. It would still mean hauling water to the trough in the winter as the trough has to be near an outlet. (Maybe we can try solar next year it’s not in the the budget this year.) but it was saving time by avoiding going into the backyard and going through the chicken enclosure and over to the trough. It was better -much better -than it had been but it was not what I had pictured. I was rather deflated.

So the plumber dug his third hole and found the pipe and he then installed the pump and the boys and Kevin filled the hole with rocks and they filled all three holes back in for the plumber. That in itself was a big job. This plumber was a strong dude. If you live in Maryland you know we have a lot of clay and the ground is hard and it had been frozen on top. He dug three feet x 3! Technically four if you count the one he dug the night before.

The plumber needed to get to another job and briefly told me about the pump and how to keep it from freezing. I listened but didn’t take good mental notes. I had worked with pumps before at the farm where my horses were once boarded. So I knew already -right? No apparently not. I decided just this past weekend – when my husband was out doing the grocery shopping – that my son and I would hook the hose we had running from the back of the house to the barn to the new pump. We wouldn’t be able to use the hose all winter but we could that day and we would just leave it hooked onto the pump with a double hose hookup thing ( I’m sure it has a name). And I thought this was a great idea. We could use the hose on warmer days in lieu of filling buckets and carrying them to the heated trough. (In the winter the heated trough needs to be by the barn because it has to be plugged in to keep the water from freezing). I have no idea what the heck I did with my brain that day. Well I’ve written about my brain issues before so i shouldn’t be surprised. Anyway on Monday I was all proud about the hose being hooked up and the boys came in and said it was frozen. I said “of course the hose is frozen it’s freezing out”  No it was the pump that was frozen. What? Holy crap, I forgot that you are not supposed to leave the hose connected to the darn pump. It doesn’t allow the pump to drain back the right way and it will freeze. Even at our old boarding barn we would hook up a hose winter and summer and would turn on the pump, water the horses and then turn off the pump, bleed the hose, and hang it back up. We did this out in the pasture too where they were lucky enough to have the a pump and trough. Why did I not remember this!? The plumber told me too. I knew going in that the hose we would have to use would be too long to drain properly to keep it from freezing bc the line was still too far from the chickens and the horses. So I thought it would be fine just laying it out along the fence to be used on warmer days. But I forgot about the need to unhook it. So now the pump isn’t working.  I am thinking of trying to blame this on my husband somehow.

I’m hoping it warms up enough that it will thaw. I have read up on hydrants now (the top part of the pump ) and how one can cover them with a bucket to help keep the hydrant parts from freezing. I also read how to unfreeze the pump manually but am hoping the warmer weather in the next couple days helps thaw it. I am learning!

This is not the story I was going to tell but it is the reality of our lives and life on a little farm. Rarely does anything go as planned- every job is more expensive, and takes longer, and turns out different than I expected. The pump will work fine eventually and we can have a good laugh at my expense. Until the thaw, though, my boys have to haul water from inside the house they aren’t too pleased with me now. Oh well I can consider this payback for some thing’s I will not bring up here ( clogging the toilet and
Flooding the basement Twice) ok I won’t list any more. They won’t break carrying water anyway.
Thanks for reading..

PS- the pump is thawed the boys just alerted me! They are happy campers.


Can you see the plumbers feet? He’s halfway down the hole! I am taking this photo from where the pump was supposed to be.



Men pondering…. so the hole to the right of them? That is the second hole he dug.



Hole three – w/ pump…



All Done (the KFXston honorary Pump)- the lone pump..in the summer we will put the horse trough next to it- blocking the gate that we don’t use bc there is an invisible dog fence all around the fence – another long story.. See the wood? The dogs get under the fence- ergo the installation of the invisible fence.



It’s coming.(key ominous music) Even after much argument and protest from the people of quiet Monrovia ,MD it looks like the new Town Center is still coming. Where beautiful farmland once stood soon there will be a sea of stores and homes. It makes me sad. Maryland is a small state and a good amount of it borders cities so growth is inevitable I suppose. But I don’t like it.

Monrovia borders the town where I live but my home is pretty far from this new development. But growth is happening all around us and I realize it’s inevitable. I’ve seen too many farms swallowed up by development. I have lived in Maryland my entire life except for a stint in Boston, Massachusetts in 1985. So Maryland is in my heart. I went to school in western Maryland which is part of Appalachia. The beauty in that part of state is phenomenal and it enjoys beautiful farmland and it is slower to grow in the areas around the cities. At least those areas remain pristine. It used to be mostly farmland here in Central Maryland where I live. As populations grew, and small urban centers have been developed, we see the farmland slowly being pushed away and replaced by concrete.

It makes me sad when I know that kids just 15 -20 miles from here may have never been near a live chicken or don’t get to see horses or cows or sheep on regular basis. One of the prettiest things about where I live is the vast fields of beautiful crops and even in the winter they carry so much character and beauty. I’m sad to see them go. But a flat field doesn’t bring money like a flat field with homes and stores on it. Where one cities suburban edge touches another cities suburban edge-leaving no farmland in between.

I’m not against growth. I’m just for smart growth and sometimes the growth I see isn’t smart. I actually majored in Urban Planning in college and my professors took us on tours of areas in Maryland where they felt growth was smart and to others where they thought it was just sprawl which lacked a smart plan.  I wonder what they think of the changes in Maryland since 1985.

I consider myself spoiled because I wake up each day and can look out my window at open space. I can see my horses grazing. For some people that wouldn’t be exciting – they may find views of skyscrapers beautiful. We all have our ideas of beauty. But I bet many would agree that urban/suburban encroachment can get out of hand. I hate seeing the farmland leave us.

I’m hoping in my future my husband and I are able to live at the beach. And obviously we will give up the space we have here in the country in order to be close to the ocean. But I surely hope that open space won’t be hours away. I hope people in cities and suburbs don’t have to fly to Iowa to see farmland.

For now I will feel blessed that my backyard joins preservation land and I will hope that maybe someday builders and the powers that be realize that just because you can build homes and businesses all over beautiful farmland doesn’t mean you should. Sadly ,I think the almighty dollar speaks more than a field full of dirt and corn. But I can still hope.

Thanks for reading…

Short article about the approval:



The farm in the backrgound was one of my favorites on Rt 80 in Monrovia. It looks as if they will remain for a while but look in the right side of the photo -can you see the houses being built?





The farm in the pictures above is part of the left side of the map above in the area marked PUD.


My son Ozzy has his struggles as I have written about before and we are facing some new issues and are constantly trying to help him and get him help. Ozzy is a many things. I’m not sure I’ll ever figure him out. But one wonderful thing about him is the little kid in him. Don’t get me wrong I complain that he is immature and he is. Very. And that has not played well for him when making choices. But with this side there is a better side bc Ozzy isn’t afraid to like things a teen might feel is too uncool. He loves puzzles. He loves joke books. He still loves Legos. He loves Rubiks cubes. He embraces his inner nerd and loves Robotics. He’s in the robotics club at school and his first competition is this weekend. He is stoked. When we pick him up from club he talks non-stop.

Maybe it hasn’t occurred to Ozzy that some of this isn’t “cool” to other teens or maybe he doesn’t care. I hope he never loses this part of himself. His inner child. For all the issues he has he is very real when he is doing these things. Yes sometimes he gets mad at a puzzle and I worry he might annoy others in robotics bc he thinks he’s always right. But I am glad he holds onto these pleasures in life. He’s always the one to want to jump in and play a board game. And this year he is the only kid of mine that wanted to help decorate the house for Christmas.

When my mom was here last week for thanksgiving we got the tree out (our Walmart special) and decided we would decorate the tree. I was looking forward to this because my mom and I hadn’t decorated a tree together for many many years. We spent many years together when I was young decorating the tree and I still have some of the ornaments from way back then. My parents divorced so at some point in my early adulthood I was given all the ornaments from my kid years. Many have fallen apart but there are still some great ones and I looked forward to sharing these with my mom.

My two “cool” teens didn’t seem interested in helping us decorate but Ozzy was up for it. So my mom and I and Ozzy set out putting ornaments on our small tree. Ozzy would have discussed each one if he could and he spends much time digging way down into the too full bins to find forgotten ornaments. He would find maimed ones and want to adorn the tree with them. God love him. When we finished the tree we sat down to rest and I never got to the rest of the decorating in the house until yesterday. When I began to go through the boxes who jumped up and asked to help? Not the cool ones. I did get L to put out a few Santas. But it was Ozzy who wanted to really help. He began digging in the bins again and took so much joy in finding things.

I can only smile though. Such a troubled kid sometimes – who has this side of himself- is so endearing. If you just watched that scene yesterday you would never know he has issues. It’s that part of him that keeps me digging to get help for the other parts. You realize that people aren’t all one thing or another. We are like diamonds- multi-faceted. Flaws and beauty. I keep thinking that we can polish Ozzy’s flaws. We will keep trying -everyday- but even a flawed diamond has beauty and value. That’s when I realize that I’m finally learning to appreciate Ozzy for who he is now. I spent so much time focusing on the issues that I forgot about the shiny parts. Now I’m trying to focus on the shiny while still trying polish the flaws. It’s a journey I am just beginning to understand. God gave us this child for a reason and if anything maybe this journey of helping him is actually helping me to grow.

Thanks for Reading…