Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Day Two With The Well Diggers

Looks like this will be a Two Blog Day. Like a Three Dog Night? I only have Four Dog Nights.
It is almost 5:00 PM and I am still cold, I still have no water, and I am becoming increasingly "witchy".

I have started asking when I will get water, so I can respond to my tenants when they call. Believe me, I am just as impatient for running water as they are. I have finally come out of my chilly bedroom. My fingers are stiff and cold  and the tip of my nose feels like it has been under refrigeration.

In case you may be wondering if I took advantage of the fact that I was in bed and could easily nap. I promise you, that did not happen. Between the phone, the dogs and HeWho likes to "check" on me and how I am doing, I might have gotten a 10 minute respite.

Sunday night, realizing that my back yard would be wide open for dog escapes, I reminded HeWho where the portable fence was and that he would need to set it up before the panel of privacy fence came down to accommodate the big truck. Reminded him again as he was pacing this morning waiting for the "well people" to arrive. Often late himself, I found it to be ironic that he was pointing out how late they were. The told him between 8 and 8:30 and did not arrive until 8:50ish. 

I gathered my canines and we joined Martha, the enormous boy cat in my bed. Martha was not in a sharing mood and refused to move from the part of the bed my feet normally took up. Not a big problem since I was sitting up. He was warm, too. I kept inching my toes under him. 

While Well Digger Helper and HeWho were staring at the TV to keep from saying unkind words about my appearance, Well Digger #1  created the bid for the job. Not long after that HeWho loves errands came in to tell me that he had to take the well digger to  (I honestly can't remember where, as this is the point that most conversations with him all start sounding alike). I just knew that they did not have what they needed and were going to get it. I nodded that I heard him and kept right on reading.

They had been gone quite some time when Eddie started whining and I knew he needed to pee. So, I put them all on the floor and started out to the gate. Big surprise ….. Well Digger Helper was ensconced in the big recliner that belongs to HeWho, watching TV! I thought I was alone in my own house. He had a sandwich in his hand, but I couldn't tell you if he brought it with him or helped himself to HeWho's wonder bread.

Turns out that finding a stranger sitting in my husband's chair was a minor irritation. I scooped Cujo up into my arms and assured the stranger that I had the biter in my arms, but that the other three might just hop into his lap. I head to the back door, prepared to let them all out when I notice that HeWho had failed to put the temporary fence up! Annoyed does not begin to describe what I was feeling. Did he expect them all to just hold it until the fence went back up?

Cujo at my heels, I go out and try to move the temporary fence, but it is stuck in ice. Now, I could grab a hammer and free it, but Well Digger has his trailer with pipes jutting into the area where the fence would go. I call HeWho and bend his ear about my situation and he calmly tells me to put each dog on a lead and take them out. A calm voice was not what I wanted at that moment and I pretty much just hung up on him. Had he just put the stupid fence up when I told him to, all this could be avoided.

My dogs do not like wearing their harnesses when not on a lead. So, when we are at home, they run around naked. I gathered harnesses and leads and took them all back into my bedroom to dress them, as I doubted that Well Digger Helper would want to assist me. At this point in time, he had yet to utter one syllable. When I was putting Cujo's harness on, I heard him talk to the other three dogs, so I know he had the ability to speak.

Have you ever tried to harness 4 dogs when they are excited about going out and also excited that a stranger was in their masters chair …… and he has food!? I took them out 2 at a time and carried out household trash while I was at it. 

You will recall the 2 pairs of socks stuck on my feet? Well, they wouldn't fit in a shoe, so I went out in my too big slippers and they got wet. But, since they were already wet, I took the next duo of dogs and carried another bag of trash to the dumpster. This time I shoved a wool cap on and an extra heavy coat. 

During all this, Well Digger helper sat mute in front of the TV. I lifted the doxies over the gate and proceeded to my bed to unleash them, then went back for the other two. I wasn't worried about Wall-E, as he is a gentleman and likes to meet people. Toni Louise is another story. She is very friendly and not afraid to get in your face and sniff your eyeballs. She is pushy and sure of herself and will put herself out there. If you rebuff her, she cares not and takes it as a challenge, as she will try many tactics to get in your face. 

I am not sure, but I think she may have taken most of his sandwich. Guess he should have waited in the truck and eaten his lunch there if he was looking for privacy. 

And this is when the computer locked up and refused all my efforts to free my post into the land of blog. We had water last night and I threw a meal together, then stood in the shower for quite some time. Then I collapsed into my chair. I was tired after sitting in my bed all day in between potty breaks on leashes. Must be stress.

Well Digger and Well Digger helper are back today to finish the job. I am back in my bed with my dogs. The fence has been restored and the canines are relieved of their harnesses. Well Digger commented that he had not experienced Cujo's rabid barking and snarling yesterday. This is why we are again confined to this room. Cujo absolutely HATED that man. I have no doubt he would have attacked the man if I had not had him in my arms. Why do people try to pet a dog that is snarling at them? As much as I was tempted to let Cujo go, I knew that one swift kick from the booted man would end my little guy and I would end up in jail for killing the man ……..                                   

Monday, January 21, 2019

Colder Than A Well-Diggers A$$

You have heard that saying, haven't you? The well people (as HeWho refers to them) are here. I confess that I have no idea how cold that part of their anatomy is, but I can tell you this: I am freezing!

I volunteered to bring the furry five into the bedroom with me and keep them from barking and being underfoot while the men dithered over the demise of the well pump. I did this for several reasons. The dishes are piled and dirty. I suppose I could have hidden them in the oven, but what do you expect when I have not had water for 2 days? Mainly, though, is my own appearance. Short hair is not easy to arrange when it is dirty. It is literally standing on end, as I have a habit of running my fingers through it while I am watching TV at night.

I closed the door to my bedroom to control the barkers. This means I have closed off the heat. It is 17 outside according to the read out on my phone and not much warmer in here! The sun is shining, so I opened the curtain hoping it would offer a meager amount of heat. I have fleece-lined leggings under sweatpants and two pairs of socks, a long tunic and a lightweight jacket, all topped with an artfully styled scarf wrapping my head and cold ears up. Nothing really matches, patterns or colors. I don't care. 

I venture out to heat some drinking water and make a hot beverage to consume while I am confined to my room. A blast of nicely heated air hits me and I see that HeWho and the well digger are ensconced in the sitting room watching TV. All warm and toasty. What the what! I am freezing! To make matters worse, they both stare at my attire and I can see they both want to laugh. Really, I will cut someone!

HeWho is full of sage wisdom, inquiring why I had closed the door. He has to raise his voice over the barking dogs now standing at the gate that separates the sleeping part of our abode from the awake part. I point at the dogs in answer to his question and ask if he wanted to hear them bark.

I prepare my hot drink and spy a McDonald's wrapper on the counter with a plain biscuit in it. Camper Stacy delivered breakfast! And this is mine, all mine. Well, mine and Cujo's and Eddie's and a very small crumb for Martha, the overweight boy cat. The other two are barking at the sitting room that is now empty. They have the ability to jump down from the bed.

Cujo is keeping my right leg warm under the covers. Eddie and Martha are having a cleaning each other session. I love it when Martha grabs Eddie's head and holds it down to thoroughly clean every inch of his face and then his ears. Just a throaty mewl will warn him to stay put!

Martha has completed his task and Eddie is paying him back, licking Martha's face. I can only imagine hair on my tongue and how I would be gagging as I watch. They really do love each other. Martha only tolerates Toni Louise and she has similar feelings towards him. 

Toni Louise manages to annoy all the other pets, but is jealous of the affection they get from me. She and Cujo hate each other immensely. She is forever trying to grab his treat or push him out of the favored position on my lap. Toni and I have our own special time together right after we all get settled in bed. The rest of the time she belongs to HeWho rescued her from the pound. I am good with that.

The new pump will be installed soon and I will be able to shower and wash dishes and mop the floor. Sad to be so excited about mundane chores. I find it hard to sleep when my house is in chaos. Can't wait to cook a decent meal tonight. Warm air is finally seeping into my room and the men are outside excavating, so all the dogs are in my bed, except for Toni Louise sitting by the gate pining for her master.

The price was a bit staggering, but it's not like we can delay installation and get quotes. I made sure to tell HeWho to get a warranty, in writing and not assume anything. Hoping this new pump will outlive me! 

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Just A Little Sip Will Do

Just when you think things are going ……. not great, but okay. I had resolved the issue of the cold weather in my mind and decided to hunker down and use the time to watch every Hallmark and Lifetime movie ever made while twiddling away with my paintbrush. Told myself it could be worse. I was warm (really, too warm) and I had all the amenities of modern life available to me. I could shower at will, cook whatever I might desire and nap whenever I wanted. 

Not much going on in a campground when the temperature is in the single digits. Just an occasional customer for a propane refill, or a tenant to pay rent or buy quarters for the laundry. So, here I sat yesterday, hot cereal and coffee close by and a movie on the TV. HeWho was lounging in his chair next to me and several dogs were in my lap, stalking the spoon of oatmeal as it made it's way to my mouth. Eddie had his little head on my chest, hoping for spillage, while Toni Louise stood with her paws on the arm of my chair, no doubt plotting to overturn the entire bowl. 

This is when it happened. The power went out. I looked at HeWho as HeWho looked at me. It came back on and I was annoyed as I waited for the TV to reboot so I could find out who the murderer was in my Hailey Dean mystery. I settled down to watch and about 20 minutes later the phone rang. One of my tenants telling me she only had a trickle of water. I assured her that HeWho would get back to her, thinking that maybe her pipes might be frozen and just starting a thaw. I told HeWho plumbs and digs. He said the same thing and I un-paused my movie.

Toni Louise discovered my empty bowl and was licking it and jangling the spoon until I snatched it away and took it to the sink. Perhaps I should have turned the water on then and I would have known …..

Shortly after that the power went out and stayed out. I alerted camper Kevin, since my tenants will call him, too. We notified our power company and were informed that the outage should be resolved by 6:45. It was 2:30. It was a dull and dreary day and the meager light from outside was insufficient to brighten anything inside. And quiet. Very quiet.

There is very little you can do without power. No water, the pump needs power. No propane filling, that also needs power. I thought a nap would be an excellent idea, but it was TOO QUIET. After almost 45 years of sleeping with a fan on, thanks to my husband, I cannot sleep without background noise. Our cell phones were alive with messages from tenants alerting us to the no water/no power situation. 

At about 4:30 HeWho decided to make a Chinese food run, lest we starve. He wanted to be here when the power was restored, he said, in case there was an issue with the water. What issue, I thought to myself, could there be? The electricity comes on, the pump draws the water from the well and fills the holding tanks, then disperses it throughout the park. Simple. 

I swear he tempted fate with those words, because the pump did not pump and we still have no water. He checked all the systems and found that even though the pump was getting power, it was still not working. For the first 12 years we were here, the only problem we had with the water was the high mineral content and the sulphur odor. We are required to send a water sample to the department of natural resources monthly since we provide drinking water to make sure it is okay to drink. So, smelly though it was, nothing was wrong with the water.

Then our pump (who knows how old it was) died. They came out and dug it up and replaced it and while doing that, went deeper with the well. After that the water was crystal clear with no odor. It even tasted good. It made the mess in my back yard easier to deal with. I had the haul dirt to fill in the ruts left from the tires of the truck hauling the equipment and I even scraped up sod in areas of the park to get grass going again. I was so happy with my sweet tasting water.

A little over a year later, the motor went out in the pump. Again with the excavation and the tearing up of my yard to replace it and be told it was not under warranty. We did not choose the pump they put in. We were only concerned that it was large enough to serve the park. Figured the well people knew what they were doing. HeWho argued with them about the warranty and I am quite certain they sent the defective pump back and were compensated. Well, here we are less that 3 years later and the motor has crapped out again.

No, we are not calling the same company. Doubt they would respond, since HeWho would only pay for the labor involved with the last excavation. Besides, they apparently buy defective pumps …..

So, now we wait for the well people to call us back. Doubt we will get a call back today. I can just imagine how messy the excavation will be this time. The ground is soggy wet and there is still snow piled up. 

The good news is that I can harvest that snow in buckets and bring it inside to melt so I can flush the toilet! And water the plants. Today is watering day. I will be scooping lots of snow to get 12 gallons of water. Maybe I will just give each plant a little sip to tide them over ……..

Thursday, January 17, 2019

An Answer to my Complaint!

Good news. O'Cedar sent an e-mail to announce that they are sending a replacement mop that will be tested and inspected to the nth degree!

While this news made me smile, the weather forecast did not. They make it sound like we should rush out tomorrow morning and stock pile toilet paper and perishables, then hunker down to be encased in ice. As I posted before, I already stocked up on staples and necessities. I am not opposed to stocking up on some non-essential junk food!! I do have two prescriptions I am running low on and this will be a good opportunity to grab some really unhealthy food!

The snow continues to slide off the roof and there is an avalanche right outside the back door. Almost waist high to me. My short legged babies have to detour around it, then run to the edges under the eaves where they can see the ground and do their business. 

Eddie is sometimes  hard to convince to come inside. If you yell "TREAT" he will run faster that one would think possible. He even scaled the avalanche this afternoon. Like a conquering hero, he hurled his tiny long body at me from the top of the snow mound. Reminds me, I need to pick up more dog treats, too. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

How HeWho Got His Ride Back

You will recall the picture of the thick layer of snow atop the roof, slowly sliding down that I posted yesterday. That was on the front of the building. The back of the building has a roof change. The building is an "L" shape. The main part of the building houses the store/office and our living quarters. The bathrooms, and laundry room form the "L". The utility room and my kitchen are part of that "L".

So, this morning, upon opening the door to let the furry ones out to pee, what did my wandering eyes see? The smokestack and the wi-fi enhancing antennae, normally in an upright position, were both not where they were supposed to be. The smokestack is completely broken and no longer connected to the part coming out of the house. The supports holding the antennae have broken away, but the ice is holding the antennae upright.

In any event, there will be no fire blazing today. This could be a good thing for my sinuses. The wood smoke tends to irritate my delicate senses. A day without my eyes and nose being irritated does not make me sad. The heater works, people. We will not freeze if HeWho is not allowed to poke wood into a blaze!

But, this was not what was on my mind when I awoke with a post title floating in my head. Yesterday, when I returned from my trip to the grocery, I found my husband and my wife awaiting my return. They were both frozen after repairing a faux pas from another helper.

We awoke yesterday at 4 am. Camp worker Scott was using the bobcat to clear the roads and make them passable for my tenants. Are you wondering why he was doing this in the middle of the night? Because that is when the machine was available. Despite the fact that HeWho would love to own one, his wife (me) has forbidden it. Have to draw the line somewhere!

Why did he call, you ask? To tell HeWho keeps his cell phone next to his bed, that he hit the water line. He wouldn't have called me, anyway. He is scared of me. I like to impose a little fear into all my tenants. Keeps them in line, knowing that I hold the future of their living quarters in my rather intimidating hands. My hands are not intimidating, it is my will that is intimidating. I am no pushover.

Everyone makes mistakes and I don't hold this against him. After all he was doing the bidding of He-Who prefers to delegate. He did tell him to get down to the gravel to keep ice from forming on the driveway. But this created a bit of a problem. My tenants expect water to flow from the spigots. And this is why the men in my life were frozen. 

After unloading the stash in my car, I made some hot chocolate for the men and went about the task of putting away the groceries. I was exposed to some sticker shock while out and about. The prices seemed to have sky-rocketed in my two week absence of shopping! I picked only what was urgent! I was going to add a gallon of bleach to my cart, but the wanted $5.99 for it!!!! Even the lowly store brand was $3.19 for a smaller amount. 

I decided to just wait until I made the long trek to Walmart for that. In the meantime, while I was repackaging meat for my freezer and getting a decent dinner prepped, HeWho left with a mechanic who managed to get the truck out of gear to start it up. Off they went to the garage that has heat to tinker while I enjoyed some peace and quiet. 

HeWho sleeps and I write this morning. Upon awakening, I will give him the bad news about the smokestack and he will be off to McDonalds and on to obtain parts yet to be decided for his heroic reassembling of the beloved smokestack. And, just like that, his world is back in place!!

Monday, January 14, 2019


The snow finally stopped yesterday afternoon. As you can see, it has started to slide off the roof. Camper Kevin keeps adding to the wood pile to keep HeWho warm.

See my car over there. I am planning to layer on some clothes and go out to unbury it later on for a trip to the grocery. The situation here in my pantry is not good. Coffee. I am out of coffee. And HeWho is out of hearing aid batteries. He is making a huge dent in the diet coke in the store stock. Might as well get some bread and milk while I am there.

I used the broom handle to perforate the snow overhang, because ……. because I wanted to and it looks cool. I will continue until it falls. Another camper's car stuck in place and the unmoving truck of HeWho drives a lot. It is in gear and he can't get it out of gear to start it. So, there it sits, bereft of it's faithful master.

It is beautiful, this white fluffy stuff. I love to look at it. Now I wish we had not sold the snow mobiles. We were told that it never accumulated enough to ride. The first few years found that to be correct, but the weather pattern is definitely changing here. 

I still have all my gear. My snowsuit has a drop bottom for those times you have to use the woods as a bathroom. I could deliver mail and check on campers if I still had my machine! In a pinch I could ride the ditches to town and get groceries. Oh, who am I kidding. HeWho loves to go would be doing that. I would be here holding down the fort, sipping hot tea while waiting for my coffee.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

A Little Boredom Comes My Way

Looks like we got about 2 feet of heavy wet snow. We measured the accumulation on the top of the picnic table. Some of the drifts are a lot higher. It is not currently falling and the temperature is dropping.

You would think I could lock the door and just sit in front of the TV and sip hot drinks wound tightly in a throw with dogs atop my lap, getting up only to empty my bladder or the dogs' bladders and refresh my beverage. Who would be out in this weather? Just because I have cabin fever doesn't mean everybody else does ….. or does it?

HeWho has been without his morning trip to McDonalds for 3 days! His truck is pretty much stuck and he can't cruise around the park or run any useless errands. The situation is near critical.

A Fed-X semi with double trailers was stuck in our parking lot most of the day yesterday waiting for a tow. My "no turn around" sign was buried in snow. Won't know if he damaged anything until the meltdown occurs.

The dogs are not happy to venture out. Toni Louise spent a very long time diving into the snow searching for a bone she thought she had left in the yard. She managed to plow down a considerable path for our little guys with short legs. She had icy fur when she came in and was delighted to discover her bone was inside all along. Cujo ventures two steps from the back door and relieves himself quickly before turning to come right back in. Yellow snow at the door step. Eddie is not sure about this. The snow is deep enough to completely cover him if he veers off the path plowed by Toni Louise. He peed in the kitchen floor while defiantly looking up at me this morning. Like he was challenging me to say a word to him. I always have the last word.

Wall-E is the funny one. He will dance at door to let me know he needs to go out. I will open the door. He will sniff the air and start out, then back up several times before running back into warm confines of his home. He will pace awhile, then we do it all again before he will finally high step into snow and take care of business. I wait patiently at the window to be ready to open the door. He is a good boy. Eddie …. not so much.

I need to make a trip for groceries. Camper Craig was kind enough to bring bread when he ventured out on the road. I doubt I would be able to get my car out. It is almost buried in snow. The forecast is not great. Another storm front will be heading our way and it will be "bitterly cold". Soup and stew weather. I am running out of some ingredients, though. In the meantime, we will be having some interesting combinations appearing on the dinner table. A good way to clear out the pantry.

I am a little bored.