First, a quick update on the little boy that was injured two days ago. Yesterday, he underwent surgery to repair multiple fractures in his face. Plates were put in his chin, jaw, and palate. They also set his broken arm during surgery.
Saturday, they are doing another surgery to do repairs to his nose and eye sockets. That poor child must be absolutely unrecognizable. The good news is that there doesn't appear to be any damage to his brain.
The injuries appear to be worse than first thought, but he seems to be doing as well as can be expected. His parents and grandparents are with him in Denver. Of course they also have to be concerned about the coordination and logistics of getting their horses and stuff back home to Texas.
On with our day.
I had sent an email to Karen's webmaster a couple of weeks ago to see if he could provide a password and instructions on making some minor changes to the Ranch website.
We just got an email back from him basically saying he couldn't do that. That prompted me to throw together my own website for the Ranch.
I sat down with Karen this morning after she got back from town and went over what I had started. I gave her my opinions of the current website, and showed her a few of the emails and comments we had received. They confirmed what I told her and some of my new pages were right on target with many of the suggestions.
Looks like I might get hired as a new webmaster. :)
Remember the plumbing triumph Doug & I had "fixing" the shower house toilets? Well, that lasted about a day. They went back to their old ways the next morning.
Recently, Doug spotted evidence of a broken sewer line from the Ranch House to the septic tank. Today, Glen was working on that. He dug down and found a leak.
Then I got involved. Glen got the backhoe while I went home to put on on my worst clothes and a pair of work boots I brought on the road for just such an occasion.
I guided Glen on the backhoe as he dug a little trench to let the sewage water drain away from the pipe. Then I got in there with a shovel to expose the pipe.
Yikes! There was a huge hole and the pipe was clogged with mud. Further digging showed us a poorly designed connection from the shower house pipe to the Ranch House pipe and then into the septic tank.
We had the ladies hold off on using any water in the Ranch House and I turned the water off at the shower house.
Now I know what those two extra PVC pipes are sticking out of the ground. And no wonder I couldn't find the water shut-off last time - it's like four feet down in that pipe. :)
We then took the whole section apart. The broken pipe is in the middle of this shot. It was a huge break.
We scrounged all the small sewer pipe sections and miscellaneous fittings we could find. We could either rig it all up so it would work temporarily, leave it uncovered, and fix it right next week. Or, one of us could go to town, get the few parts we really needed to fix it right and complete the work today.
I voted that Glen go to town, get what we needed, hustle back, and do it right the first time. So that's what we did.
I hooked up a very temporary solution so Linda could use the Ranch House sink. She started baking first thing this morning and she really needed to wash some dishes.
Also, while Glen was gone, I tested a hunch. I thought that the weird connection from the shower house, the broken pipe, and the clog, might all have something to do with the poor performance of the shower house toilets. I opened a by-pass drain (the other PVC pipe sticking out of the ground in the middle photo above), and flushed the toilets so that it was just the clean water currently in the tanks. Voila! They worked like they were supposed to. :)
Glen got back and we cut pipe and put together fittings to make sure it would all fit together as Glen envisioned. The biggest issue was the old pipe coming from the Ranch House. It was something from "before PVC" and it was larger and a little bit squashed. But we would have to make it work.
After an hour or so, it was all glued together and we added some duct tape to a couple of the spots for a little additional support. We turned the water back on and it all works perfectly. The shower house toilets worked as they should.
I even fixed another issue with one of them. The stem on the toilet tank ball was too short and the rubber thingy at the bottom of the toilet was getting caught on the ball when the tank emptied. Therefore, the drain was remaining open and the toilet would keep running. I found a longer stem in the garage, installed it, and that took care of the problem.
Whew! Three plumbing issues taken care of at once. It was about 7:00 and I was in need of a shower.
But as I tired as I was, Linda had been on her feet all day baking, cleaning, and setting up The Lodge for an evening dessert reception for the riding preachers group.
It was quite a spread. She made chocolate chip cookie bars, banana nut bread, cupcakes, and a big Texas sheet cake.
Plus, we have a big popcorn machine we set up outside that seemed to be quite a hit. :)
After mutual "thank yous" between the Ranch staff and the group. The little party broke up.
I invited Linda and Doug & JoAnn on an evening walk, but they declined. Actually, that didn't bother me in the least. I was ready for a little alone time. :)
The sun was going down as I walked up around Martin Lake.
It was certainly a peaceful scene and I took my time.
I saw a small hawk with some freshly caught prey. I watched the ducks create wakes across the smooth water. I saw a couple of mule deer bouncing through the valley below. And I watched a huge owl fly silently from tree to tree. Ahhh.
I made my way around the end of the lake as the bright colors started to fade away.
Karen often describes the Ranch as a place of serenity. Even with all the cabins full and lots of people around, serenity is just a short walk away. :)