Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Tinkerbell's change of plans

After our big shopping spree in Spanish Lookout on Tuesday, the Wednesday plan was to for me to drive to the Western Highway west of Georgeville to go to the Pinewood Lumber Co. Ltd. to get pressure treated pine. Tom needed lumber for the second burro, steps for the second cabin so we have easier access to the fridge, and to construct a water tower outside the first cabin so we can stop relying on serendipity to provide pipe water to fill the camper tank when we need it. Tinkerbell and I made it to Mile 6 ½ when the fuel filter light went on. I turned around to head home as soon as the dummy light displayed, but the truck only made it a few feet up the road when it stopped running. I let it drift back to get it to the side and to position it in front of the driveway where I’d turned around so that big trucks could get around it on the narrow road. I then walked the 2 ½ miles home to get Tom. In 2 ½ miles, one BDF truck and one pickup passed, so any thoughts I had of hitching a ride were dashed. Fortunately, my guardian angel had apparently told me to change out of my flip flops and put on my Tevas, so the walk wasn’t too bad. When I got back and explained what happened, Tom loaded a backpack with new fuel filter and tools and took the bike down the road. With the help of a driver of a logging truck, he got the fuel filter installed and the lines bled. It took a couple stops and starts, but he made it home.

Tom had spent the morning getting the fridge installed, and had planned to use the lumber I brought home to build the second burro and start working on the first cabin. However, since I wasn’t able to get any lumber, he and Selwyn took advantage of the supplies they had and got the first window installed in the first cabin. At the end of the workday, Tom took Selwyn home to San Antonio so he could stop and have a mechanic Selwyn recommended check his work. The mechanic said it looked like Tom had successfully repaired the truck, but Tom took advantage of the contact to make an appointment for Friday morning for an oil change, the first since we were in Georgia .

Marta, Olmi, and Zulmi came for lunch and got brown coconuts from the ground. I was really happy that they came over on their own and stayed to socialize, since neither Marta nor Olmi speak much English – they speak about as much English as I do Spanish – and this was the first time they came over without a translator. It helped that Selwyn was here, and he was able to translate a few times when the conversation stalled because neither English nor Spanish speakers knew what the other was saying, but as usual we did quite a bit of laughing and smiling, and Marta and Olmi went home with their coconuts.

I finished cleaning the gutters and dumped all the little end caps, brackets, and connectors in a bucket full of bleach. Some of the gutters are now very white, and some are still a little yellow or grey, but since they’ve all been scrubbed with bleach they should be clean enough for rainwater collection. We’re in the midst of planning the water system, but right now it looks like all water going into the cabins will come from a tank on a stand over the cabin, the tank on the stand will be filled by a pump from a large tank near the road, and the large tank will be filled by gravity fed rainwater from the cabin roofs and from a pump getting water out of the pipe. It’s a lot of water going back and forth, but we figure that if we put a filter system on the big tank’s out pipe, all the water going to the cabins will be drinkable.

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