Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Funny how you take things for granted

We've had a water softener for over two years.  We didn't buy it; we rent it from Culligan, because our water is extremely hard and someone I know in this area had trouble keeping their water softener functioning because of the water hardness.  I figured if I rent it, it's Culligan's to fix, not ours.  
Yesterday I passed the closet where the water softener is housed and heard a faint grinding noise.  I opened the door, looked at the digital readout, and saw a capital "E" displayed.  
I called Culligan, and a lady told me how to unplug the softener and bypass it.  Someone will contact us when they're ready to fix it, which I hope is soon.  
Cliff and I had forgotten what it's like to take a shower with our hard, calcium-loaded water.  Soap won't foam, and the water feels strange on the skin.  My coffee this morning had calcium scum on it; when you heat our hard water, it brings the calcium to the top.  
We lived like this for thirty-three years, but now I know a better way.  I don't want to go back!
I'm debating whether to use my dishwasher, because I don't know how much hard water can go through it without clogging it up.  The coffee pot will clog, too.  
It's a good little reminder.  Twenty-five bucks monthly is a small price to pay for soft water; if you've never lived with super hard water (it tested over 40 grains, whatever that means), you just can't imagine.  

In other news, Bonnie the cow looks more pregnant every day and is starting to "make bag" as my dad used to say.  In other words, her udder is slowly filling out.  She's due in two weeks, which means she could calve at any time now.  I worry a lot about milk fever; Jerseys are especially prone to it, and I've lost two cows to it in the past.   The main thing is to be around and catch it early if it happens, so the vet can get here in time.
I have really wished for a tablespoon or two of Bonnie's rich cream to put on some sliced, sugared peaches.  Last night a friend of mine came with her son, and he picked what peaches he could.  There was no way I would have gotten to all of them.  Besides, there's another peach tree that will soon be ready.  
I've canned enough tomatoes to last for another year, I think; if the remaining plants perish from blight, I won't feel too bad.  So far the late zucchini I planted seems bug-free, with three tiny zucchinis that should be ready in a day or so.  I won't count my zucchinis before they're ready, though; I hate to have my hopes dashed.  
There are many new eggplants on the vines, so many of them that it's taking them awhile to get up to size.  If I get those zucchinis picked, I'll use two or three little eggplants to go with them in the ratatouille.   Cucumbers are doing great.  Okra is now bearing well.  The late acorn squash I planted a couple of weeks ago is about ready to bloom.  
My peppers this year are mediocre, showing a bit of the same blight that kills my tomato plants.  I'm getting lots of nice peppers, though.  
Potato vines died early, so I don't have the huge potatoes to which I'm accustomed, although they're a nice, usable size.  Again, blight is responsible.  Blight always gets to my potatoes, but not usually so early.  However, I have a nice harvest of potatoes awaiting me, so I won't complain.  I'm sure the excess rainfall accelerated the problems this year.  


CountryDew said...

We have terribly hard water and have gone through numerous washers, dishwashers and coffee pots over the last 20+ years. Even so, my husband won't consider a water softener as he says it makes the water taste bad.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I hope your water is fixed soon. It would be terrible to have your coffee pot and dishwasher break because of it. When I go camping I take water from home for my drinking water and my coffee. Their water has a strange smell to it and I'm used to my city water. I used to can peaches way back when and they were delicious. I think everything fresh from the garden tastes better than what you buy in a can at the grocery store. I'm anxiously awaiting the birth of the newest calf. Hope your Wednesday is a wonderful one.

Donna said...

Country Dew, it does make the water taste bad; we have a buried hydrant just outside the mobile home, and I go out there for drinking water that we keep in the fridge in a gallon pitcher.

FrankandMary said...

I can withstand many things but a clogged coffee pot would make me cry. ~Mary

Astaryth said...

Our water here is a little hard, but not near that. Living in the country we have well water like you do. There is a filter on the well, and we have another filter that we change every few months before the water comes into the house. This makes the water good enough for cooking and showering and things... BUT, I have a Brita pitcher that we run our drinking water thru. Otherwise our water has a little bit of odor (from sulfur I believe) and doesn't taste as good as it does after going thru the Brita pitchers extra filtration. Hope they get you fixed up soon!

Lindie said...

I use a Brita pitcher these days although I think our water tastes ok. Just not sure what is in it! My daughter in TX has a well and has had a water softener the past 2 years and it has been a machine life saver if not a human life saver! Wait until yours is fixed before youuse your washer or dishwasher! I hate this heat!

Milly said...

Catching up in my reading this week, just read about retirement plans (sensible) and all those wonderful veggies! Yum! Yum! Yum! Richmond isn't that far from KC -- and pancakes for Sunday breakfast? I may just drop by (might wait for softer water, though). It sure has been beastly hot this past week. M.

Donna said...

Culligan man called; he'll be here tomorrow morning. So I started loading up the dishwasher! Milly, I'm a few miles east of Buckner, so I'm not far from KC anyhow. And I'd cook pancakes any time; Cliff and I don't need them, but we use the grandkids as an excuse to have them. Let's face it, it's a frugal meal, pancakes from scratch.