Friday, January 27, 2012

sheep to the rescue!

The beautiful few inches of snow covering the farm last night were demolished in a torrent of rain. It rained all night, nonstop, and in the morning there was a real stream flowing from the crawl space behind the washing machine in the mudroom out onto the floor. Lilly was perched on the dryer, angry and scared. I looked with a flashlight and saw that an overflow/drain pipe was spewing water. I knew it was coming from outside. I grabbed a shovel and pickax and went to dig out a new path for the water to flow (instead of into my home). What I saw was a nonstop funneling of water going under the house, all the water from the driveway was pooling right to the natural whirlpool to Lilly's lair.

I had to divert the flow. I tried using the axe and shovel but the ground was frozen and it would take forever. I realized I needed sandbags and some sort of plug. I didn't have either. Instead I used pieces of firewood to make a dam, and then watched the water flow slow down (a good step). Hmm...what would work as a plug that could fill that space, slow down (but not stop) the natural drainage), and me flexible enough to fit that wonky area?


I grabbed a handful of raw sheep's wool and filled in the hole. It did the trick great. The stream has stopped. The mudroom is drying out. And the cat isn't swimming. Sheep to the rescue!

UPDATE!The fleece worked for about half an hour, but it was a finger in the dam. I needed to line the entire water entry-point with fleece (which you can see in the photo) and then run to the hardware store to buy hose and clamps and run a tube from the pipe spewing water inside to outside the house. It isn't pretty, but I did it. No need to call in rescue rangers! It just took sheep, hose, ducttape, and then more sheep!

P.S. Sorry Wool Workshop friends, this farm will not be covered in snow. It will not be pretty. It will be slush and mud and pools of standing water and wet sheep. But I promise we'll be comfy inside, thanks to the wool.


Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

UPDATE: this didn't actually solve the to the hardware store for tubing and tape!

January 27, 2012 at 9:27 AM  
Blogger Alison said...

Ugh! Dang, I thought you'd gotten all your drainage problems fixed. Good thing you get up early; good thing you've got Fridays off. At least you sound like you know what you need to do to fix this one! Good luck, happy workshopping.

January 27, 2012 at 9:33 AM  
Blogger Tara said...

Sorry to hear that the fleece didn't work, but good on you for trying it out(rather than thinking "I can't __ because I don't have __"). That's how stuff gets done!

January 27, 2012 at 10:00 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

Holy moly, Jenna! Good thinking there. I'm bringing my mud boots and grubby pants as well as my knitting needles! This warm yucky winter is bringing its own set of challenges.

January 27, 2012 at 10:27 AM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

i thnk it is okay now, ran a hose and clamped it down. should move the water where i want it. when i realized i couldnt stop nature, i just directed her where i wanted to go!

January 27, 2012 at 10:30 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

ahhhh.... Jenna. Hang in there, girl. Good job of creative problem solving!

January 27, 2012 at 11:23 AM  
Blogger doglady said...

Gotta love Northeast weather, old farmhouses and their challenges. Congrats on the solution to an aggravation.

January 27, 2012 at 11:40 AM  
Blogger TransFarmer said...

remember this spot come spring and summer so you can fix it

January 27, 2012 at 1:55 PM  
Blogger Buttons Thoughts said...

Wow I understand this one it has been freezing rain here all night and now it is pouring rain. What happened to winter? My animals like the snow much more than the rain. Love reading your everyday problems I can so relate. B

January 27, 2012 at 2:12 PM  
Blogger Meredith A said...

now that you have it...kitty litter!

January 27, 2012 at 2:35 PM  
Blogger Tina - Our Rustic Roots said...

Glad you were able to divert the water. We're going to have to put in a french drain at our house when we get back there, maybe something like that would work for you, too?

January 27, 2012 at 3:34 PM  
Blogger Mountain Walker said...

Oh, honey, I know how you feel. After YEARS of renting (12 to be exact) last year we found just the perfect, most wonderful farm house....but the small price tag, which meant that we could afford it, also meant it came with problems. So though I LOVE living here, every time we encounter a problem I feel a little betrayed by the house and somehow it has to redeem its self. It takes time for me to "trust" it again. But even with all the headaches,I wouldn’t trade it for a mansion in town.

January 29, 2012 at 11:12 AM  

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