How to Dig a Hole, Good News, and Swifts

Hello friends and followers, and welcome to this week’s weekly update.

As I mentioned last time, the next big thing is the septic system, so we will (hopefully sooner than later) be doing soil testing to get an idea of how quickly water can be dispersed into the soil at what depth.  This involves digging some pretty big holes, so that should be as exciting as it will be photogenic.  (Is that sarcasm? Only time will tell).

(If you doubt that digging a hole can be interesting, then you must not have seen one of the best shows on television last year “Going Deep with David Rees”, specifically the episode “How to Dig a Hole” – luckily you can see some clips here and I encourage you to do so.  If the show is on your streaming service of choice, even better.)*

In the mean time, lots of things have still been going on at the ranch:

Andy discovered that the entire house has tongue and groove wood sub-floors. This escaped everyone’s notice until now, because when you pull up the carpet, you see what looks like a particle board sub-floor – but there is actually a whole other layer of wood under the particle board.

Here’s what it looks like with the carpet pulled back, showing pad and particle board:P9050602

But, breaking away the particle board reveals the wood:P9050605

Now, before getting too excited, we need to keep in mind that there was a fire in this house’s history, so its possible these wood floors were (fire or water) damaged beyond saving – but I am looking forward to finding out. I would love to refinish those floors and retain that part of the original house if at all possible. Even if the floors have some character and/or defects that can’t quite pass as “character”, it would be so much better than bringing in new materials – so here’s hoping at least some of the floors can be salvaged.

And in yet more good news:

  • We have finally secured and signed on funding for our project. This is something that, in my role as CFO of Gimpy Dog Ranch, I have been working on/worrying about since May. It has taken much longer and became way more complicated than anticipated – so it is quite a relief to finally have that completed.
  • We learned that we could in fact get broadband internet, and we are up and running without data caps and without the very expensive data plan we were using.
  • We got a grill, which has made a huge difference for us in being able to cook outside of the trailer. We’ve already had several delicious grill-based meals. It also makes shopping at the farmer’s market a lot more fun.
  • Andy has been making lots of progress on building out a cat-safe hangout space in the barn, where we will eventually have a tv, sofa, desk and kitty playground.


And in news that is totally unrelated to the ranch – we saw part of the annual swift migration in Healdsburg, where they stop at a specific chimney (the same one they have been going to for years and years) in mass numbers, flying around in a big group until the right moment comes (around sunset) and they all enter the chimney together. This is my favorite shot:

Swifts are really small birds, and they look like little specks when the image is not full size – but if you click on this pic, you can see it in full size, and if you keep clicking you can zoom in and see the birds more clearly.

*extra credit if you remember David Rees from ‘My New Filing Technique is Unstoppable’ or ‘Get Your War On’

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