Submitted by Kaare Askildt, former Preeceville area farmer in training. This is the first of a series on getting settled in Hazel Dell.
Here we are! As the new owners of the Ponderosa! But wait! Something is afoul! It appears that there might be a leak in the drain pipes somewhere, as sewer gases accumulate in my office! Trust me; I don’t produce enough methane gas during the day to have it linger in my office overnight!
Cliff Russell of VLR Services, a plumber that moved to Nut Mountain last year came to investigate. He found a number of places where the sewer gases could leak into the house, and set about to fix those problems. The sewer smell seems to have gone away, but now my wife smells something fishy in the entry way. I suggested that perhaps our friendly spirit Stella might have cooked herself a dinner! My wife didn’t think that was funny! I thought it was hilarious until I was working late in the office one night and heard footsteps in the entry way, but when I checked there was nobody there! I made a deal with myself not to joke about these things again! I mean, we have to keep Stella happy and on our side!
We are cleaning up the yard now that the snow and frost have gone. The previous owner obviously did not believe in taking his used auto parts and other garbage to the dump. My wife also found a few brand new auto parts in their original packaging, which we will take to the Preeceville consignment auction in June. We have arranged three sections of our yard, one for garbage, another for the auction and the third for building supplies. It appears that we will not only save ourselves a few dollars, but also make some with the stuff that was left behind.
Our time is divided between yard work and making new pens for the animals. After a scrumptious Norwegian style breakfast with soft boiled eggs, we set about to fix Annie’s escape hatch. The old square fencing had to come off, a couple of posts had to be pushed in and new barbed wires strung. It had warmed up causing us to shed our jackets and when we finished I looked at my watch and declared the time to be about 3:30 in the afternoon.
We don’t want to tire ourselves out, so we decided that we would quit at 5:00 p.m. Marion wanted to make a meatloaf for supper, and wanted me to tell her when it was four o’clock so she could start the preparation. We pushed in a few posts to enlarge the current pen. However, there are a lot of swampy areas so the new fence will block those areas off. I looked at my watch, and oops its five o’clock already. My wife hurried inside to make the meatloaf. She came to the window and was wondering if the sun was bothering me, perhaps playing with my mind or something. When I inquired as to how she would think that, she told me it was only three o’clock according to all the clocks in the house as well as the TV! I checked my wrist watch, and to our chagrin found that I had not turned off the stop watch feature that I timed the eggs with. Oops, ha-ha, silly me! But we decided to call it quits anyway!
The fencing reminded me about the two sheep that kept getting out at night. The first time it happened the farmer led them back in the morning, and added another strand of wire. The next morning they were out again.
The farmer leads them back in and adds another strand of wire. After the fourth time, one sheep says to the other: “How many strands of wire do you think the farmer will do?” “I don’t know’” replied the other sheep, “it depends when he realizes that he’s not closing the gate!”