Homemade bug bite relief

The goop:

1 Tbl bentonite clay
2 drops lavender essential oil
2 drops frankincense essential oil
aloe vera gel
coconut oil

In a small glass bowl, add bentonite clay and essential oils. Using a fork mix it up. Pour some coconut oil and aloe vera; stir. You want the consistency to be a spreadable paste. Continue to add desired liquid until you reach this consistency. If you end up adding too much liquid, add in bentonite clay to come back to the consistency you want.

To apply: Using clean and dry hands, scoop a bit of clay with your finger and apply a nice even coat on bug bite. Allow to dry and then wipe off gently with a warm wash cloth. Apply as needed.

You can keep the extra paste in the refrigerator until you need to use it again. Allow to come to room temperature before applying.

It works! It’s not magic but I get about a 50% reduction in itch right away. For serious bits like a spider or horse fly bite that leave a hole the itch goes away much faster than left alone- like one or two days instead of a week of nasty itching that leaves an open wound.

Mid-Atlantic Waterproofing

https://www.basements.com/
https://www.basements.com/waterproofing/delaware/

This post will track our experience with Mid-Atlantic Waterproofing

We finally decided to have a basement system installed after we had a catastrophy with our sewer and underground spring https://blog.homlish.net/blog/2018/11/29/alders-water-woes/.

We received 5 quotes for the work and decided to go with Mid-Atlantic for several reasons. Their price was actually the highest, but we liked

  • Guarantee of the entire wall and the floor up to 3′ from the wall.  Every other company only guaranteed where the wall meets the floor, if they offered  a guarantee at all
  • Only company to grade the collection pipe down to the sump pit
  • Only company that didn’t want to hide the wall after the work.  Instead they recommended we don’t use Dry Lok to seal the wall but instead allow it to breath.  They also would install ports at the top of the wall to facilitate air flow
  • They use a patented self cleaning collection pipe

 

Alders water woes

After an entire summer dealing with a wet mess in the backyard to install our Fence it’s time to fix the basement.

At first I thought it was the sewer, but now I’m pretty sure it has to do with the 70 year old basement draining system.  Notice the water comes from the left and goes down to I don’t know where.  I don’t see any ‘pipes’ in the sump pit which is about 15 feet away.

As far as I can tell the old ‘system’ is not really a french drain system.  It’s simply a floating concrete floor with a slight gap between the wall and the floor.  I’m not even sure how it gets from there to the sump pit.  I’m creating about 120 gallons per day even during a drought and more when it rains.  The Iron Ochre  creates a real mess and I need a new pump and check valve every couple of years.

Estimates to install a new french drain system for 1/2 the basement (the unfinished part) is about $7,000 but I’d love to just fix this if possible.

About Blue Rock Manor, Jim Durborow says:
“I used to trap Muskrats where you live in the FIfties, From the back of the houses on Alders to the othrer side of the tree just passed the basketball court was a swamp, It started where the last ranch is near thebasketball court. The stream,that runs through the woods, started somewhere near the church. It ran through the swamp. The area at the corner Median and Alders was swampy too.”

Update Friday December 7, 2018
The hole got clogged. Still no idea where the water comes from or where it goes. I’m using a camping shower pump to pump a gallon of water every 73 seconds out of the hole. It’s not really taking the level down but is keeping it from overflowing. A new one will be delivered Saturday, perhaps two pumps will get the level down a bit.

pumping the water
out it comes, a gallon every 73 seconds

The fact that the water is so clean still leads me to believe it’s spring water. Not sure how the builder tapped into the spring and I have a pipe discharging into this hole.

nice clean water

For 20 years this system has somehow worked. Last year I had a whole house humidifier installed which creates a lot of water which dumps into this hole. Perhaps the added amount of water did something to cause the spring discharge here to become more active. Perhaps the debris from the humidifier filter helped clog wherever this hole leads. Either way I hate the humidifier design.

I have plumbers and wet basement people coming early next week to let me know what they think about all of this.

Fence Timeline

From this before we started, an overgrown mess (May 7, 2018):

North West Side
North West side, & Bestsy
North Side
East Side
East Side

After we cleared the overgrowth (August 25, 2018):

west side facing east
south facing east->west
east side facing south (single gate)
se corner facing west
center facing se
center facing south

Trying to deal with the wet mucky mess I rented a tractor and took a week off of work (September 13, 2018):

I got stuck

Paco helped (September 21, 2018):

The fence was wet work (September 21, 2018)




I thought it was done (November 2, 2018) but the water came back. A cracked pipe from the sump pump helped add to the water

We got it done (September 22, 2018) and I finally spread some grass seed (November 9, 2018) just in time for the cold snap. The seed is sitting out there just waiting for some warm weather








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2018-08-24 Fence Preparation

We’ve decided to have a fence installed in the backyard.  Here are some shots before we started:

East Side
East Side
East Side
West Side
North West side, & Bestsy
North West Side
North Side

After cleaning out the overgrowth and massive ivy patch we are able to inspect the area.
2 main issues are the river running along the back of the property when it rains and the sump pump discharge receiving 120 gallons of water per day during dry times due to natural springs.  Much more is produced during wet weather.

Our current idea is to dig a trench along the back of the property and force the river along this path.  The fence would be directly over this river.  Line the trench with fabric and fill with gravel.  Add 12″x6″ brick along our side of the fence to separate the river from the yard.  Everything on the fence side of the brick would be treated regularly with weed and grass killer.

The sump pump discharge would be moved from the se corner 20′ from the corner running west through perforated pipe.  This would run about 30′, and angle towards the river with a final discharge into a gravel pit at the river 3′ from the river. 

east side facing south (single gate)
center facing east
north side @ house facing south
west side facing south (double gate)
west side facing north (double gate)
center facing east
center facing se
south facing sw
center facing south
sw corner (single gate)

About 2′ from the corner the neighbor is dumping his storm water onto our property.  The idea here is to add gravel and river stone to guide the water to the river.  Images below show the new river.  Testing shows this trench shows no standing water after about an hour of rain.

se facing west
se corner facing nw
se corner facing north

+5 years ago we were draining the sump discharge into underground perforated pipe along this side.  There is a spring in that area as even now it is always damp and squishy to walk.  The discharge made the area even worse.  Eventually the lawn service’s riding mower crushed the buried pipe and I came up with the ‘tank’ idea.

se corner showing corner post location
se corner showing corner post location and sump discharge

The existing tank is constantly full and when the pump runs overflows into constantly standing water.  During the winter this becomes a 20′ diameter ice pond.  Notice the hose: an experiment to pump the 120 gallons from the tank to various locations on the property to evaluate that location’s ability to drain the water.

east side facing south (single gate)
east side facing north (single gate)
se corner facing nw
south center facing nw
south center facing nw
south center facing ne
se corner
se corner
se corner facing west
south center facing east
south center facing sw
center facing se
center facing south
center facing sw
center facing south
west side facing south (single gate)
west side facing south (single gate)
west side facing south (single gate)

Survey:

Survey