03/15/06 to 03/22/06
If you remember, back to our Canada adventure, Richard's brother Jack was
referred to as "lead foot" in most of my stories.  It's not that he speeds, just that he
always has to be on the move.  Well, Wednesday morning I told Richard his
brother would be arriving that day, even though he had said he would arrive on
Thursday evening.  Sure enough, around 11:00 we got a call that they were only a
couple of hours away.  However, other family members had read my site, and
warned Jack and Barbara that they would be taking all our water, so they wanted
to get a hotel.  We told them we had everything under control, so they did come
out to stay at our ranch, but they showed up with 6 gallon jugs and 12 bottles of
drinking water!!  
Barbara had also been spooked by the pictures of the crapper.  She thought we
had it next to the RV, and that we were using it instead of the RV toilet.  Since she
didn't want to have to go outside in the middle of the night, to the
rattlesnake-infested outhouse, she brought along a little personal port-a-potty.  
She was 'relieved' when she saw that the outhouse was down by the barn, and we
were using the real toilet in the RV.
Thursday morning Richard, Barbara and Jack went to the cemetery 2 miles down
the road to fill up our water jugs.  While they were doing that and driving around
site-seeing, I got a call from the rural water company that they would be here to put
in our water on Friday.  So, we ditched Jack and Barbara for the day, sending
them to Brady to look around, while Richard and I went the other direction to a
plumbing supply house to buy pipe and stuff for our water.  We got the pipe rolled
out and ready for the water guys.  Then Jack, Richard and I loaded up an old tank
that our neighbors gave us to catch water off our barn and got that in place.  
Thursday night we went on a night walk with a spotlight.  We saw 3 deer, a skunk
(eating the three dead rattlesnakes,) a possum, some frogs, and the best part
was we saw little tiny fishes in our pond.  
We thought Jack (lead-foot) would have been leaving by Friday, but we had kept
him well enough entertained so he stuck around.  We were up early Friday to help
our neighbor find his gas line, since we were coming across his field to put in our
water.  We found it, then had to sit around and wait for the water guys to show up
and get to work.  We had to rent the Ditch Witch for them to use (they were only
responsible for running the "main" across our neighbors field in into our corner,
we had to run it the rest of the way.)   We thought they would be done in time for us
to use the Ditch Witch, but it was about 7:30 PM, very dark, and raining when they
finished with it.  Since it had to be back the next day at noon, we strapped the
spotlight on it, but couldn't get it started, or see well enough to run it if we had, so
we were up early again on Saturday to trench our property and lay our line.
It was cold, rainy, miserable, and that stupid machine shook and jostled and
would stall if it hit anything besides dirt, and wouldn't start again, so I had to
watch it real close for all 1,000 feet of trench.  We decided to trench on the
opposite side of one of the electric poles than where we had originally laid the
line.  Of course, we didn't have the rented roll-out trailer that we had returned on
Thursday, so Richard and Jack had to roll up the pipe themselves, and move it
to the other side of the pole.  This is Jack helping.
We got done with the trench and had water running at about 10:00, then had to
split up to return rented tools to two different companies.  Jack said he would
help me fill in the trench, but it was raining and cold, so we put it off.  
Sunday we decided we should try to be good hosts, and take our company
sight-seeing.  First we went to Menard to see the runis of Real Presidio de San
Saba, built in 1751.  Let's see, Jack was how old then?
See how
stands uphill
from his
brother?  I
had alway
he learned
that little trick
with me, but
it seems he
has been
doing that all
his life.
We took them to South Llano State Park, Lost Maples State Park, Medina,
Bandera, Kerrville, and finally to Fredericksburg where we stayed the night.  
Monday morning, we went to Wildseed Farms to see the Texas Bluebonnets.
Then we took them to Enchanted Rock.  They oohed and aahed, but didn't seem
too interested in climbing it.  (Notice Richard put his brother one step down--you
wouldn't have been fooled, right?)
Then we took them through Llano and East to see the Eagles.  (The birds,
not the band.)
We had made a 550 mile loop in two days, and hadn't even put a dent in what
Texas has to offer.  Jack was still entertained, and we thought we might have him
convinced stay even longer, but Tuesday morning was sunny and clear, and we
had talked about filling in the trench, so he loaded up Barbara and away they went.
After they left, we drove down to our dry pond.  After all the rain we got, it has
about 8 inches of water in the bottom.  How is that for excitement?  Then I had to
get busy on the trench.  Filling it in looks so easy.  However, after four long hours, I
only had about 150 feet done.  First of all, the little mounds on either side of the
trench had been rained on for two days, so they are all crusty.  I don't have any
more excuses except that dirt is a lot heavier than it looks.  Richard wasn't helping
me fill in because he was busy shoveling out the spots that the crappy trencher
didn't get.  (No, it was not due to operator error.  There were some spots that
were cactus infested, and one crazy berm we went over where the Ditch Witch just
wouldn't 'cut it.')  So, four long hours on Tuesday, and four long hours Today -
Wednesday 3-22, have only gotten me about 300 feet filled in, with 700 more to
go!!  Where is Jack?