Wednesday, December 19, 2018

the county at work

I've woken up the last two mornings to heavy fog. I've been a lazy slug the past two days and all day today so far. The only thing I got accomplished is doing the dishes which took me two days. I don't understand why there is always a mountain of dirty dishes every Monday morning when we are out of town all weekend. Well, yes, we do come home at night and we do have breakfast and dinner and I just shove it all aside before I fall in bed but still, I think someone breaks in the house during the day while we're gone and gleefully adds to the mess.

I did get one other thing done, I finished weeding the flower bed in the back and was planning on starting on the one in front today except it rained last night. Instead, I was out there clearing the culvert of mud and grass that the county so helpfully clogged up this morning in an attempt to improve the drainage in the ditch that drained just fine, thank you very much, at this end of the street. My neighbor at the other end of the street had called them because those culverts are totally clogged up and don't drain so much as the water just eventually subsides. Three weeks ago when we got that 5 1/2” and then a week later almost 2”, the houses at the other end had small lakes in front and we are just a little gun shy around here about having small lakes in our yards. Anyway, the county came out with a backhoe and a dump truck and scooped out dirt mud and grass on either side of every culvert on my side of the street and left. I'm out there clearing the mud and grass they shoved in front of my culvert when my neighbor drove by spitting nails. She was the one who had called and they didn't even do her side of the street! The county was due for a scorching phone call. She called me later to let me know that they had told her they weren't finished and would be back later so she's mollified for now. Depends on what they mean by 'later'.

A before picture! (who are you and what have you done with me?)

what the county considers an improvement

after I got out there with a shovel

The other side wasn't so bad but did require digging away the dirt that obstructed the bottom half of the culvert.

What the county needs to do is get a surveyor out there, find the high point on the street and re-dredge the ditches in each direction even with the bottoms of the culverts but what they really need to do is replace the culverts since they are half filled at least with mud, gravel, and flood debris. What they did was just dug little pits at each end of the culverts. Apparently they plan to get the surveyor out and do it right after the first of the year and this was just a stop-gap measure to try and improve the drainage til then.

All that rain and high wind we had last week caused the pecan trees and the oak trees to drop a lot of dead branches. I'm surprised the trees have any left. Every time I venture outside I pick up an armload and dump it in the back of the truck for eventual carting trucking over to the burn pile at the shop.

Well, the last yoga session of the year is tonight, the perfect reason excuse to not start anything productive today since I'll get interrupted later to head to class. I will go over to the shop though and try and excavate a small reproduction mold that's in one of many possible boxes. I imagine it will be in the last one in which I look. Funny how that works.


  1. We've gotten similar amounts of rain here lately and supposed to start again tomorrow. I see standing water where I've never seen it before. It would be a good time to go property shopping- you'd definitely know what pieces of ground can end up with lakes in them.

  2. Haha, in the last place you'll look. Another of my dad's mystery remarks to ignorant children.
    When I worked for the township, I had nothing but admiration for those guys, and for township government. Our township atty made sure I understood, nothing is closer to the electorate than their township officials. Want something done, call a trustee, call the clerk. And as the fellow in charge of plowing my road said, "always back drag the clerk's drive when you plow; we need her to come to work!" Seriously, those fellows worked hard, cleaned ditches, replaced culverts, on township roads. The county took care of the same on their roads. If you're bored right now, you might want to find who is in charge of your road. The actual breathing person in charge of your roads, and have a conversation. He's probably a reasonable guy and will be happy to have a conversation with someone interested in his roads.

    1. good for your county. everything I've seen done has been half assed. the asphalt they use to fill the same pot holes over and over has about a tablespoon of tar in a bucket of gravel. the first time it rains hard it's all loose and washed out again. they did a decent job of picking up all the debris from people's flooded homes. Wharton country is mostly agricultural and therefore tax poor. I don't see them replacing the culverts unless they have completely caved in, which I will say they did when that happened to a neighbor. If they had just had one guy with a shovel following the backhoe to clear out the mud and grass and weeds that got pushed blocking the actual culverts, I wouldn't have had to do mine, the lot next door, and my disabled neighbor's, two sides of 5 culverts, to make sure the ditch continued to drain. as it was I discovered one end of one of my disabled neighbor's culverts was almost completely crumpled closed as if the backhoe operator misjudged where it was. since I didn't see it happen I can't say for sure. I will ask my neighbor who to call though. she grew up around here and knows everybody and is related to just about everybody too.

  3. You and my neighbor Brenda would get along very well (well maybe not politically, but we avoid that subject, so who knows!). Her current mania is going out into the little bit of woods nearby & clearing brush. Last year's was digging a ditch to help her drainage. She's retired & has her mother living with her - so I think she just needs to get out of the house. Ha!

  4. That drainage job would be tough to do, they are always scraping ditches around here

  5. OK, that county "improvement" is ridiculous, and it sure made a lot of work for you! (Good exercise, though, I imagine. Is that any consolation?) It seems like they ought to have a device which could clear the culverts without having to replace them -- some kind of borer or roto-rooter.

  6. Hope you got paid by the county. They could learn a thing or two from you. I envy your energy! I would like to tap in to just a fraction of it, I would be glad.


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