Mam has this saying "...it never rains unless it pours...". I haven't heard this saying often, mind you (as the course of life goes), because my mam is ever the optimist. She has the wisdom, however, to know that when you are trying to pay one bill (for example), many bills come through your mailbox. Or, when you are busy with one thing, many unexpected tasks pop up - oftentimes for immediate action.
After the Pumpkin Festival, there was much home and garden maintenance, housekeeping to catch up on, as well as lots of paperwork, bookkeeping and general business admin. Our intention was to attempt to accomplish all the backlog within two weeks and then trot off down to the Shop, single file, singing "I owe, I owe, so off to work, I go" - after regular, every-day business as usual, mind you. But this was not to be.
Our septic system has quit working and after Bob, the sh@* man's inspection and professional advice, the verdict is, we need a new absorption trench. Sarah was the first to notice, as she was taking the puppies for their ablutions one crispy morning. "Mam, you've gotta see this, but your not gonna like it..." I could tell by the tone of her voice that it wasn't good. It had to be the tone, because had I checked out her face, I would have seen that she had a massive grin on it, which would have given me mixed messages (not hard). Until, of course, I realised she was speaking of the plumbing...
As serious and annoying problems with septics are, our family has this insane urge to laugh when the words 'septic problems' comes up. (Is that normal?). The Machinist is the one that suffers the most. He's got most septic maintenance tools down-pat (certain type of shovel, hose pipe, black agri-pipe, dead chicken), but still gags every two seconds. He tells me that sometimes, it's not the smell, its the feel and look of it....
There is a problem with heating at the Grand's Cottage, too. When we re-did the cottage, we installed an LPG gas heater, which the Grands could move around, should they so desire. The gas heater, however, needs ventilation, and the vent-holes were blocked in when we insulated and re-cladded the walls. Now the Grands have spent most of their life in England, and are used to cold weather, but they cannot and will not open a window in mid-winter ".. don't you see, Helen - if we open the window, all the hot air will rush out, and the cold air will rush in.."
So for the past three days, we've had discussions, made enquiries, checked out models and have finally come to the conclusion to purchase a slow combustion wood heater, and should it arrive in time (as per the salesman's assurance), we will fit it ourselves - next weekend.
Back at the ranch, I've been researching different aspects of business each night: cafe layout, kitchen layout, paint patinas, pie crusts and fillings, lighting, floor finishes and acid washes, budgets, themes and decor. I cannot even consider looking at the big picture, because for now, I have hundreds of baby ones surrounding me.
Oh, and remember how we had made the decision not to have the miniature pigs? The Machinist was cutting and welding a bumper bar for our friend's truck - the same friend who had offered us the pigs in the first place. I had just returned from town and went into the workshop to have coffee with the Machinist and our friend, Robert. During the course of conversation, Robert turned to me and said ".. hey, good news. Eva may be having piglets..."
Aussie, Aussie Aussie. Oink Oink Oink.