June 2012 Newsletter

MOUNTAIN TALK

News From Them Thar Hills!

Volume 3, Issue 6, June 2012

Dost Thou Cup Runneth Over?

Whilst one’s cup running over is generally viewed as a positive aspect of financial well-being, what about your bowl? Toilet bowl, that is.

When you flush your toilet, do you have to jiggle the handle to get the water to stop running? This is a sign of a potentially serious problem. Case(s) in point: A client reported a rather large water bill and asked had we noticed any leaks or wet spots in or around the house. We had not. Upon their next visit they discovered the toilet was running. They turned the water to the offending toilet off and requested a repair, which was effected right away. The bad thing was their water bill reflected an increase in water usage… to the tune of several thousand gallons!!!!

Another client had scheduled a whole house pressure wash. The wash could not be started because the water pressure was almost non-existent. The crew also reported hearing water running somewhere in the crawl space under the house. Upon inspection I discovered the upstairs toilet had been running, evidently for some time. The toilet repair was done but the water pressure was still bad. Since they were on a well, the well service folks came out and determined that a new pump was needed. The pump was replaced just two years earlier!!! The well company said that a running toilet could easily burn a pump up in 2 to 4 weeks. The running was probably occurring for a bit longer than that as the client had not come up in a while.

Some facts to consider regarding water leaks (from the EPA):

The amount of water leaked from U.S. homes could exceed more than 1 trillion gallons per year. That’s equivalent to the annual water use of Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami combined.

Ten percent of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day.

Common types of leaks found in the home include leaking toilet flappers, dripping faucets, and other leaking valves. All are easily correctable.

A leaky faucet that drips at the rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons per year.

A showerhead leaking at 10 drips per minute wastes more than 500 gallons per year. That’s enough water to wash 60 loads of dishes in your dishwasher.

If your toilet is running constantly, you could be wasting 200 gallons of water or more every day.

Of course this doesn’t even begin to cover the unknown leakage due to crumbling infrastructure!

Even though over 70% of the earth’s surface is covered with water, less than 1% of it is available for human consumption!

Technological Challenges!

As technology advances, the inevitability of apparatus conflict is a given. Every software update I do elicits a wince.

Here at Complete Home Services we are not immune to this discord. We have noticed that email sent from a phone or other mobile device doesn’t always come through as intended. We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause but it is the gods of  technology who are to blame.

If you send an email from a mobile device and don’t receive a timely response, please give a call or email from your computer. We either didn’t receive it or I’ve fallen and can’t get up. Either way, we don’t want to miss a single missive from you, our most valued of clients!

Another Cog in the Wheel!

In 2011, and this year as well, Complete Home Services has added several employees. In order to ensure the continuing quality of service you have come to expect, we have been through even more.

This year we had to break down and bring in someone to do some data entry and accounting for us. She seems like a nice lady and does a pretty good job. She usually does most of our billing, so if you get 6 copies of your invoice, you know who to call! Actually, she’s pretty good at what she does. She has run several offices, has some skills and has a pleasant phone voice to boot. Her name is Patti… and did I mention she is also  my bride?

If you have issues with or questions about your invoice you can email her at patti@gahomeservices.com .

Mountian Goins-On

The North Georgia mountain area has been experiencing some gorgeous weather for sure! The temps here at the beginning of summer are unusually nice. Moderate temps during the day and a tad bit of cool in the evening. Weather like this helps the garden grow well. Be sure and get up here and enjoy it before it turns too hot.

The birds have been singing like it’s one big springtime day. The murder of crows that live on the lower part of our land has a couple of new additions this year. They are so very cute as they hop about begging to be fed. I know that crows have a bad reputation for eating corn and bean plantings but they don’t cause any problems in our garden. The trick is to provide a designated spot in away from your garden where you throw non-meat scraps so they can scratch though the pile and get a few tasty morsels. And I talk to them. Crows have a very complex social structure and language as well. Whenever I put some scarps on our woodland pile I always use the “come and check this out” call. They answer back and are at the pile a few minutes later. If they do get out of hand I can always fall back on my .22 caliber “thunderstick” and scope!

Our garden is looking especially nice! The seven varieties of seed garlic we purchased and planted last year are nearly ready for harvest. We won’t be selling any this year and eating very little. We will be using the largest bulbs for re-planting in the fall and begin selling garlic next year. Our potatoes’ top growth is huge and the ground is beginning to swell at the base of the plants indicating the potato growth is well underway. We have many heirloom strains of tomatoes, some of which we have been saving seed for a number of years. We will be growing them in our new greenhouse while participating in a season extension study in partnership with the FSA and USDA. I’m about to set out the last of our pepper sauce peppers so we can have enough stock to make our warm, not hot, pepper sauce.

We are also working to complete our second year obligations to satisfy a NRCS grant we were awarded to improve our pasture and put in several engineered water accesses. We still have a lot of fence work to complete along with some over-seeding in the fall. We hope to secure management rights to another sweet piece of pasture owned by one of our clients. It’s a little further from the house and might primarily be used for the cutting of hay at first. Then, who knows?

The cattle herd is moving along nicely as well. All the adults are as fat as ticks on a sleeping dog! Last years’ calf crop are all weaned and growing nicely. The bull calves have all been relieved of their testicular burden and are getting along nicely with each other. (Maybe that could be the secret to world peace. Whenever the leader of some backwater nation decides to invade their neighbor, I could head over with my Calicrate bander and… voila! Everyone would be back to playing nice.)

We will be evaluating the female calves during this year to see if they have what it takes to become a momma cow. We have to be quite strict about this as it will determine the productivity of our herd for the future. Those that fail to make the grade will be headed for the freezer, as most of the calf crop will each year. With record high live cattle prices at the sale barn it might be just as profitable to sell them there. But then that would deny  our customers that tender, tasty beef they love so much.

I’ll leave you with a picture I took yesterday with my cell phone (not the best quality) of my two best momma cows and a heifer that we will be keeping as well. The middle cow is Blackie and she is the mother of both the others. The one to the right is Bella. Most of you probably remember the epistle I wrote regarding Bella’s abandonment of her first calf, Norman. If she abandons her second then it’s off the sale barn, where she is sure to fetch a sweet bounty. The heifer on the left is sweet Maggie. Maggie is the third calf Blackie has given us, each one a winner! We have high hopes for Maggie as she is the heaviest birth-weight calf we have ever had (85 lbs.) She is structurally sound and her body type is correct for producing beautiful calves. The rest is up to the bull!

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