In the WFN #23 post I let you all in on our current home improvement project repair issue.

I thought you might like an update on how things have gone!!

Above Ground Plumbing - the new craze in home aesthetics!

This repair job took much longer than anticipated. When the plumber came out and said, “Oh just dig here and here, and then trench around the tree, then run a new line…” we were thinking, “Ok….2 days of work.” That was more like TWO WEEKS of work.

See how the line is rigged up in this photo? That’s how it stayed for a few days while we were dealing with everyday life. I really love this. Most wives would probably be so annoyed about their front yard looking like this – but I personally thought it was clever. Royce is the most resourceful man I’ve ever met. Next to my Grampa and my Dad. I come from a long line of men who know how to get things done without actually doing them the way the Home Repair 101 book says to do it! My future daughter-in-laws are going to have a love/hate relationship with this aspect of their new husbands but at least I will be able to say to them, “I know, I know. But this too shall pass….and you will move on to other home repair jobs that will be much more frustrating to your sense of style and ‘DO IT BY THE BOOK’ mentality. Let’s go get a pedicure while the men work to help ease our stress.” HAHAHHA No. Seriously. I’m not that much of a squirrelly girl!

1001 Uses for Bicycle Inner Tubes!
Future Blog Post Coming: 1001 Uses for Bicycle Inner Tubes!

I do have to stop and mention the best part of that photo above….which would be the used bicycle inner tube that Royce has incorporated into the plumbing project. In the past 15 yrs of being in a relationship with this man, I have learned that bicycle inner tubes have about 1001 uses!!

So we dug and we dug and we found the line. That is….THE OLD LINE that has already been repaired once. So then we had to dig and dig and dig again to find the “present but broken” line. And we did. And it was then that we realized had we just dug down about 1″ under the top of the dirt where the leak was coming from…we’d have found the line. (The plumber had advised NOT doing that for several reasons which seemed logical, but after the fact are entirely dumb.) The tree root that the line had been installed above, 13 yrs ago, had grown so much that it had pushed the plumbing line up to w/in 1″ of the surface of the earth. This was really no surprise when one stops to consider where they put the “new” line 13 yrs ago. Which would have been at the very base of the tree right over the 3 main roots that were extending around the tree base.

Now I know I have high expectations of people – but I really don’t consider it brain science to stop and think through ALL your logical options in a case such as this:

  • Option A: Run new line next to base of tree which will continue to grow and will eventually ruin the water line.
  • Option B: Run new line out and AROUND the base of tree AWAY from the root system and where you run a good chance of never having to fix this again.
  • Option C: Run the line where you want to but remove the tree because no one should have ever planted a HUGE OAK TREE directly over the water lines (running into the house AND coming out of the house!) and while it’s a shame to lose such a great tree – in doing so – you are protecting your plumbing and actually the foundational integrity of the house.
Volunteer Plumber (That's actually his soccer coaching tshirt!)

Thanks to my handy dandy volunteer, we did in fact eventually get the line fixed. We also did, in fact, have to buy a chainsaw to cut through the 3 main tree roots on the left half of the tree. This will, in fact, eventually cause the tree to “fail to thrive” and we are, in fact, planning on using that same chainsaw to cut the tree down. I have been saying, for 2 years now, that the tree was going to have to come out eventually anyway because you aren’t supposed to plant such large trees SO CLOSE to your house. And especially not directly over your main water lines. Again, this isn’t brain science. It’s just that some idiot however many years ago didn’t really consider logic when landscaping.

In some relatively funny news, and this is totally a “God you are so hilarious!” moment of truth – this past winter we ran out of firewood. We don’t purchase firewood because we think that’s completely stupid. Royce’s parents have a ravine on their property and it’s full of good wood that can be collected for firewood. So a few years ago we took the trailer and loaded up on firewood. The boys chop it up and we have a place for stacking the wood in the backyard. We also use the wood for smoking briskets and stuff like that. We just don’t buy firewood. So when we ran out this winter we were kind of bummed and wondering when we’d have time to go to Waco and gather firewood. Now I’m sure there are places around here we could gather firewood – but you know – it’s sort of this Walston Boy Adventure thing to go traipsing around in Grangy and Paw-paw’s Ravine with Dad and Paw-paw and gather wood.

Well. God does provide in funny ways. Because while we have lost our big, beautiful but in serious need of pruning anyway, Oak Tree in the front yard….guess what will be used to restock our wood pile???

The Before Picture.
The Before Picture. Check back for updates on our new landscaping project that we would have considered tackling this fall!! Homeownership is the best!!! (Note the sarcasm folks.)

So the water project is finished and out of that necessary repair we are now facing the obligatory task of removing the oak tree before it dies (3 of it’s 6 main arteries have been severed) and becomes a hazard. Which means we might as well just go ahead and start tackling the landscaping issue. I’ll lay the groundwork out for that in another post though! But at least the boys (Royce included) are going to have a lot of fun cutting down that tree!  And I’m so thankful for the firewood. OAK firewood. Now THAT is super cool. I wonder if we should bundle it up and sell it??? That might be a good source of income for the boys this winter!  🙂