‘Da Farm Redux


I’m on the farm, awake in the night, typing with one finger, and wearing a filter mask. No. I am not painting.

The land is lush; we’ve had a lot of rain. I came up to check on the basement, and yup,  a small lake. Ergo, sump pump duty, or in my case, a submersible pump.

You can find a post regarding my introduction to submursible pumps somewhere in last summer posts, maybe two summers ago, but typing on my phone with one finger does not easily lead to finding and linking it. Sorry.

The reason I’m awake in the night, other than entertaining you, is because I woke with my throat closing and not wanting to breathe. Ah. Mold.

So l got up and turned on the air conditioner to filter air and flipped on the bathroom exhaust fan, took a Zirtec,  and put on the mask. Now I’m really awake. But I’m fine. And I’m breathing

I love the farm.

Last evening I arrived early enough to run the pump three hours before dark, and then, since said pump is attached to a hose that has to trail out the door, and since I’m alone, husband teaching summer school, I shut off the pump, coiled the hose on the basement steps, and locked the door for the night.

So okay. I can repeat the process and finish pumping once it’s daylight. That’s easy. It’s the bathing the basement in Clorox water that I’m not looking forward to.

But I will. I will. And when I leave, I will feel virtuous.

I love the farm.





21 thoughts on “‘Da Farm Redux

  1. Oh, my. I remember water in the basement from my days in Iowa. I was a kid, and not much interested in the details of dealing with it, but I do remember a pump. And yes, I remember just a few of “those” words from my dad. He informed me it was “technical vocabulary.”

    My first experience with mold came after tropical storm Allison, when we got four feet of water in the house. What a mess that was. And yes, there was Chlorox applied, although there also was a good bit of wet carpet/wet sheetrock removed.

    For someone in such circumstances, you certainly wrote a wonderful, evocative post. I’m glad you’re at the farm, too — at least, those times that you are.

    1. Well, the most I’ve had to contend with is eight inches. On a concrete floor. That’s not exactly pulling up carpet and drywall stuff although I did have to toss some extraneous stuff from down there which needed tossing anyway. So I think I won’t be so frustrated with the minor lakes I pump out. Thanks!!
      I’ll be going up again in a couple of weeks, hoping for no water but prepared if there is.
      I’m glad to be on the farm too (mostly) the times that I am. It’s one of those small, quiet, unsullied pieces of land yet remaining with stray birds and beast tracking across the road, an original land grant homestead from the late 1800s.

    1. I certainly do when I’m on the farm. In early mornings over coffee, we see pheasants or wild turkey strolling through the grass at yard’s edge. At night, the sky is ablaze with stars. And it’s so quiet up there, six miles from the nearest paved road as it is. So, yes, close to the elements is what we do. There’s a window by our bed, and I can watch the stars at night wheel above us. It is glorious…well, not the mold or the submersible pump or water in the basement…but seeing in ten miles all directions with only birds and fields is pretty glorious.

  2. Janet – I feel your pain. Two years ago my entire sewer line fell apart and I had to have it completely replaced. My basement was a mess so I called a company who specializes in this type of cleanup. My basement has never been so clean! Hope you and Cliff are doing well. I so miss everyone. Love to you both. Sheila

    1. I remember when that all went on! Whew. Well, a composting toilet and gray lines for water do relieve some of that, but the water seeps in anyway. And will continue to do so until it dries up enough that I can fill that hole in the corner with cement. It will not be an easy job either!! I miss you too, Sheila. Life has taken us on an odd journey.

    1. Well, what else is one to do at 3 a.m. after taking Zirtec? The good news is I got it done and came back to the city safely without hurting myself. The other news is that another big thunderstorm is chasing across northern Kansas. Ah. Well. At least the water in basement will now be tinged with Clorox. And WordPress linked the previous cleaning out the basement post to this. Miracles come in various forms.

  3. Hooray for sump pumps. Mold can make you very ill. I’ve lived amid mold for many years and it surely can make you feel very sick.

    I have worked to eliminate the mold but it filters in from outdoors. I run 3 air purifiers night and day. You might want to get some or not. The best ones are Whisper Pure with Hepa filters and I got mine from Sears but they can be ordered from the net.

    1. Thanks. Yes, I know the challenge with mold all too well. I never had any allergies, didn’t know what they were like, until I moved back here and one summer, early on, spent the summer cleaning up the old basement (this was a stand alone building before we reconstructed it into the little house) of pack rat nests and moldy walls…with a mask…and thereby managed to develop allergies…to all kinds of things, but not bad bad. We only have one room and the air conditioner filters inside the house do a good job of sweeping out the pollen and mold spores, I just have to remember to clean them every time I go up. And actually, the mold stuff started in the first apartment I had here, so yeah, I got Hepa filter machines and taking one to the little house would also help. thanks!!

    1. I got it done and am back in KC again, but I don’t think this is the last of it. I won’t go in to all the grisly details, but somehow, this summer, I’ve got to clean out that perfectly round hole Dad, for some reason, left in the floor, and fill it with cement. Slurry, my son says. When the ground’s dry. Ugh.

  4. I didn’t need the link to last year’s – the scene you described back then, Janet, of you wading into the water, when your son had said you shouldn’t!, is still as vivid in my mind as the first time I read it. Wishing you success with the pump and the Clorox. Lucky you love the farm.

    1. LOL!! Thanks for remembering, Jill. Yeah, I’ve got the wear rubber boots and rubber gloves and stand on wooden stepladder steps down, so I haven’t died yet. And yes, it is lucky I love it. But a second home…what was I thinking. I told someone that it must have been “unrecognized senility.” But I did it. For now.

    1. Thanks, Dan. One of these days, though, one of you grandkids is going to have to take the keys out of my hand!! At least, that’s my hope and why I keep doing this. Well, that’s not exactly true. I keep doing it because I love being up there.

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