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Monday, September 24, 2018

No real progress today

While we didn't gain anything today, we're learning. We put sand from the arroyo on the pad and it was obvious that it wouldn't work. So we're going to remove it and level the pad first, and then put dirt on it and not use dirt or sand to level it. I worry that the dirt and sand would squish down under the weight of the water while the part that doesn't need dirt and sand would not. So the tank would tilt. Can't have that. Gotta use my head here.

And the loader is leaking hydraulic fluid so that needs fixing. But it takes a long time to get stuff fixed in Alpine so we're going to just keep adding fluid and try to get the pad done. My son is going down this weekend with his tractor to help. We'll see.

Still don't have enough donations for the installation and now it seems gonna have to buy sand for the topcoat, like more sand than I can sift. I can't believe 2" of sand would be that much, but I'm still looking into it. The online calculator said 12 yards of sand, which is a large dump truck load. So I think it'll be doable to get a load hauled in.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Work in progress

There's an unbelievable amount of work involved in just getting things ready for the tank. I finally got the brush all cleaned up. Now tomorrow my husband is going to come back down and hopefully level the new parking areas. I cleared two because it seems there's never enough parking space. Then we need to make a berm around the new tank area so rain runoff doesn't undermine the tank. And he needs to get all the sand from the arroyo that he can get.

One of two piles of sand from yesterday. Much more to come.
We also need some gravel. I have some stored a couple of blocks from the oasis but that means getting a dump truck down here. My son has access to one but it needs some work done. I have to push him, push my husband, and probably sift some of the sand too. I'm willing if my body will hold up.

Here's a Ruby-throated Hummingbird all fattened up for its migration. Maybe across the Gulf of Mexico, don't know.

Everything seems to be blooming. Words can't describe the wonder! Here are a couple of favorites of mine. I call them Indian Rouge Plant. Some people call them Pigeonberries. (Rivina humilis)

Saturday, September 22, 2018

CMO under construction

Since the tank will take up all the space in the current parking area, it's necessary to make a new parking area. Right now with the tank not installed and the additional parking area, it looks like an obscenely huge parking area. But it'll shrink soon enough when the tank gets installed, hopefully around Oct. 15.

A parking area doesn't seem like it should be priority right now, but the trucks that install the tank and maybe deliver sand have to have room to maneuver. It's so frustrating when there's no place down there to park or turn around or anything. So that has to be part of the process. I hauled about 10 loads of brush off today and shouldn't have more than 5 to do tomorrow. I'm exhausted. Loading, unloading, loading.....  That prickly pear is the worst. I have stickers all over my body, and they are so heavy. The majority of what we took out was creosote. Just a few prickly pears.

Hugh's going to come back Monday after I have all the brush picked up and haul sand/gravel out of the arroyo to pad the parking area. Otherwise, it gets real muddy. He also needs to level one section of the parking area.

I usually can work 4 hours a day and Hugh can make it 3 hours. Today he made it 3½ hrs, and I did 10 hours. May not be able to move tomorrow, but I'm really motivated to get this done.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Another big step toward a tank

Today CA Martin and his lovely wife, Sandy, came to the oasis to lay out the tank area and I took the big, giant leap of writing a check for the tank. I still lack the $6000 for delivery and installation, so I'm going on faith here. Now CMO is on the install list and the tank should get installed in 3-4 weeks. That'll give us time to raise that last amount of funds needed.

After  abundant September rains, everything is blooming. It's amazing! Pictures can't do it justice, but here are a few.

Wavyleaf Twinevine (funastrum crispum)

Blue Dayflower

Thursday, September 20, 2018

New tank gonna happen!

The tank company's agent had to postpone coming to CMO until tomorrow, so I stayed in town another day. My husband loaded his bobcat to take to CMO Saturday. He's going to clear the land for the new parking area since the tank is going in the current parking area. The board on the trailer floor is patching a hole. He was going to put new boards in the trailer, but that would take him weeks to do, so this is a temporary patch.

Later I'll have my son, Eric, come to level and help me clean up. He doesn't have a bobcat, just a tractor with a bucket, so I need to get the bobcat work done first. Also hope to have Hugh take the gravel that we'll need out of the arroyo, but doubt that I can keep him there more than 3 hours. He has a very bad back and knee. I'll just have to see how it goes. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2018


Still in town. Things are lovely, but noisy here. Antsy to get to CMO tomorrow. A representative from the tank company is going to hopefully visit tomorrow to help me assess the pad requirements and logistics. Ever since I bought the land in 1977 every bit of improvements have been cobbled together in a homemade rustic way. This tank will be the first state-of -the-art structure on the place and will surely stand out as an eyesore. But has to be done.

My son gave me an old wobbly bench from his rental trailer yard. My husband repaired it so that it's now very solid. We put it out in the habitat here.

With the cooler weather and recent rains, our vines are abloom.

Trans-Pecos Morning Glory

Silver Lace Vine

Donations to my gofundme campaign are slowing way down, but I have enough to buy the smaller 65,000 tank. Just need to raise the installation charge (about $5000) now. Today my husband bought lumber to repair the floor of his trailer so he can haul the bobcat down to the oasis and clear the area that needs to be cleared. I really hate tearing up precious vegetation, but it has to be done. So the wheels are in motion. No going back. Failure is not an option!