Getting My Exercise


See my car? At the bottom of the driveway? It’s a long, muddy hike back and forth. I got spoiled last week with our unseasonably warm weather. The driveway was almost dried up. I was parking at the top. No hiking! It was a beautiful dream!!!! Or so it seems now that, while our temps this week are still going to be mostly mild (what a bizarre February we’re having!), we’ve got rain. And rain means mud. Perhaps Spring decided to come early to the party. Too bad she forgot to bring the wildflowers with her. Just the showers. I don’t like slip -n- slide on the driveway, even though I have 4WD. So, it’s back to hiking.

And what’s more, hiking back and forth this morning after taking the kids to the bus (and then getting to hike back and forth later when I pick them up), wasn’t enough for today. An outdoor faucet was left running just a little bit, causing our water to run out. Unless I wanted to go all day without water waiting for the tank at the house to fill back up on the auto setting, I’d have to hike down to the well and run the pump manually to fill us back up at the house.

I explained our whole brilliant yet slightly odd water setup here. In short, water from the well (which is located in the meadow bottom) goes directly into a 120-gallon tank in the house, then from there to another 50-gallon tank and so on through the house, which keeps our water pressure steady. It’s controlled by an automated timer at the well that pumps water to the 120-gallon tank on regular intervals. (It’s set to run one minute every other hour.) The intervals are based on normal usage, and there’s an overflow valve that takes care of any excess water. If there’s excess use (or a “spillage” from a faucet left on), we have to go down and run the pump manually to force more water to the house to make up for the excess use.

This isn’t such a big deal when I can make it a quick 5-minute trip to drive down, run the pump a few minutes, then drive back up. It’s more like a 30-40 minute expedition if I have to hike it.

Dogs come with me, of course.

Dogs love a good outing.

It gets them all excited.

Boomer: “I’m as tall as you, Casper. See?”

I didn’t feel like sloshing through the creek, so I didn’t go over to the sheep.

But that didn’t stop Casper.

Miss Jacob and the babies came out to say hello.

Mr. Pibb is doing well, settled in happily with his buck buddies. He’s part of the boys club now. He’s learned how to play poker and he never has to put the toilet seat down.

Then I ran the pump.

And hiked back to the house, turned on the dishwasher, heard a funny noise about 15 minutes later, turned off the dishwasher, checked the water–none!–and investigated, discovering that the other outdoor faucet had also not been shut off properly (or the goats nudged it, which they do sometimes because they can just barely reach this one).

See ya in about 30-40 minutes….


  1. texwisgirl says:

    Oh joys for you!!! At least the critters keep you company!

  2. Jennifer Robin says:

    Oh my, do I ever know what you mean. Our set up here is a little different than yours (both the well and the driveway), but no easier in the end. The simplest of tasks can be a real workout. I can’t complain though, no gym required here!

  3. Julia says:

    Bless your heart. I see know how you stay in shape. At least you have the dogs to keep you company as you hike.

  4. Journey11 says:

    Glad it wasn’t raining! :help: I guess this is why gyms are scarce in rural areas, lol.

  5. Sandra daniels says:

    I have to have something like this to “make” me exercise. Our piped in water supply comes from a small nearby reservoir. We have no control over when it’s off or on (it’s mostly on) so we have 3 large tanks with a very efficient catchment system of guttering all around the house. When it’s off, we merely have to open the tap on the tanks and fill 5 gallon jugs for use in the house. During the drought of 2009, the reservoir ran dry and water was off for almost a month. Although it was definitely a challenge, we were grateful to have water right at our front door at a time when many were completely doing without.

  6. Eve Davis says:

    I laugh when ever the Doctor asks me if I exercise, let me see going to the chicken coop taking care of the chickens, food, water, nests, then onto the peacocks, then onto the parrots, oh do not let me forget to feed the 7 cats, then it is off the walk the dog, and of course for me walking is in question, do you walk as if you are a mall walker or do you hike? I hike,thru the woods over and under trees, over creek beds, full or not. That is all with my first cup of coffee, then onto my second cup of coffee is when I start on the inside. So no Doctor I do not exercise, I find that too easy to do in a gym, come do what I do in a day!

  7. kellyb says:


    Why do these things always happen when we least expect them? Have another cinnamon bun. You deserve it.

  8. CherShots says:

    Your driveway bought back memories of visiting my Aunt and Uncle when I was young. Their drive was much like yours. Curved, steep and muddy! It was a rush if we actually made it up and down without getting stuck, let alone sliding around the corners!
    ‘hugs from afar’

  9. Carmen at Old House Kitchen says:

    Look on the bright side…at least your wanderings are in peace and quiet! 8)

  10. rileysmom says:

    Ah yes, I am very familiar with the drive way/ road part!
    And mud!

  11. Gem says:

    Now I KNOW YOUR SECRET (how you bake all those goodies and still stay thin!)

  12. lavenderblue says:

    You NEED a pony! Or a mule, a donkey. Something to ride down to the pump when you are too tired to hoof it. I’d also make it something that could help plow the garden. :happyflower:

  13. Yankee Gal says:

    Oh bother! But it gave us all an opportunity to see your wonderful photos of land and the critters. And the ground – you actually have mud and slightly greenish things growing!!! Wow – I’ve forgotten what dirt looks like up here! Can’t wait! 😆

  14. Patti Jarrett says:

    I don’t need to exercise today…you’ve done enough for both of us!

  15. catslady says:

    That’s why you get to eat all that scrumptious food that you make because you exercise so much!!! I would weigh a thousand pounds by now lol.

  16. Courtney says:

    I’m with lavenderblue, you need a pony … but one that comes when you whistle and that you can ride bareback, otherwise catching it and tacking up would take longer than the walk 🙂

  17. Linda Goble says:

    Wow how you can still have such a sense of humor. I would be yelling an throwing a little tizzy must say :hissyfit: . You can’t drive the four wheeler back and forth without going in the mud? I hope you have water now. :happyflower:

  18. Tina Manley says:

    All future wars will be fought over water! Be sure you maintain your access to the water on your property. Seems like you have it organized for now!


  19. Brenda E says:

    Okay now I need a snack and a drink. That just wore me out.

  20. MaryB says:

    Ah, Suzanne, I love all your animals, farm and photos, and how you take us along on your days travels.
    What a lovely site this is!

  21. Sandra says:

    I’m thinking zip line than you only have to walk back ;-}
    I’ve had my share of carrying buckets of water to the house from the spring over the hill…

  22. holstein woman says:

    I hate to say it but you could use a Quad. They are really good when you need to go and can’t get to the work quick enough.
    I do lots of walking also though. Good exercise!

  23. Karo says:

    That Casper has grown to be such a handsome dog.

  24. Lyz says:

    Reading your blog helps me reset my perspective. Thanks!

  25. Amy Buchanan says:

    You are a far better woman than I! I would have already thrown a temper tantrum or two and moved it back to civilization! :hissyfit: I applaud your persistence and determination.

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