“Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat. In our mad rush for progress and modern improvements let's be sure we take along with us all the old-fashioned things worth while.” Laura Ingalls Wilder

Saturday, January 19, 2013

In The Middle

of the month already.  WOW!

January is a good month to get back on track .. and review the previous year's spending habits.

We are ever grateful to have an emergency fund and didn't have to charge for this repair!  Our home had a plumbing fiasco that lasted nearly three full days ... WITHOUT WATER!  All I can say is, 'thank the Lord that we have 18 inches of snow on our property!  What started out to be a simple 'fix' .. by adding a whole house water filter to help reduce the high mineral content of our well water, turned out not so quick .. and a BIG FIX.  We had so much mineral buildup on plumbing connections that the shutoff valves in the basement failed.  Leaving us to dig and tap our way through snow, under cover of starlight, in a vague area, we tried to locate the main shut off meter some 200 feet from our home.  Not fun!  Hubby was on bucket patrol while the plumber and I dug.  Thank goodness the ground was well insulated from the snow and not frozen.  We finally found the meter and shut off the water.  No flooding inside .. a good thing. (Note to self and hubby .. have meter well flagged for winter.)

Day one without water .. was OK.  We had stores of gallon and five gallon jugs of water that got used sparingly.

Day two ... still OK .. but now I thought I'd try my Big Berkey water filter with melted and filtered snow that had been treated with the recommended drops of bleach.  We just got it for Christmas for such emergencies as this ... followed all the directions .. except we hadn't tried the test adding red food coloring to see if the filters are really working.  We had initially primed the unit when we got it (by soaking the filters in water for a specified time) and began using tap water .. Hum .. well .. before I want to drink minimally treated melted snow water, I thought we'd better do the food coloring test.  And it failed!  So .. we were without drinking water. (BTW .. we have new filters in route).  We had about 5 gallons of drinking water left by day two .. after using much of it to flush toilets once in a while.  By afternoon .. I was melting snow in my canning pots on the wood stove AND kitchen stove.  This water was used for bathing, washing hair, boiled to wash dishes, flushing toilets .. everything but drinking.

Day three .. water was not restored until midnight or later.  What a glorious sound .. the rushing of gurgling water recharging the pipes.  Melting snow throughout the day for dishes, etc.  by now was getting old .. but it worked out fine.  Our main emergency 'hole' was not having the Berkey water filter up and running ... AND not having some paper plates .. dishes piled up quickly .. I'm not a big paper user .. but for emergencies, I think it's a good thing to have.

By the end of this trial, I had a greater respect for the Neanderthals and how they survived in cave dwellings .. hunting .. gathering .. all without the aid of crippling modern conveniences.  We are such a weak people in all reality .. even with our modern ways.

We are ordering a VERY LARGE water storage tank for the garage. 


Anonymous said...

OMGosh, Cathy! You have had quite a time! You could have called me. If there is a silver lining, it's probably a good thing you had a trial run with the water filter. Neanderthals only lived to be 25!

Diane said...

I so agree, we are weak. My bio sisters and I often speak of how Momma and Daddy were weaker than our grandparents and how we are weaker than our parents. By the time these little ones grow up, I'm not sure they'll be able to handle a one day discomfort, much less a three day life changing situation. This I say as I sit in my very well-heated and water-supplied home with a natural gas powered generator that keeps me up and running for as long as necessary. (Note the sarcasm!) You, my friend, are a true pioneer woman and I admire you!

Corner Gardener Sue said...

Oh, my! What a deal! I'm glad you have that fixed, and you have running water.

We have some repairs around the house that we need to hire someone to fix. I am wondering how extensive some of those fixes are going to be, and how much they are going to cost.

Felisol - Elise Ljung said...

Mr. can be lucky he married a true pioneer woman. You did fine.
Water shortage and water leaks make me go bananas and call upon every possible
official helper, even the fire department.
(Oh, yeah, been there, done that. Gunnar handled it pretty well.)
In our little family shed in the mountain we always malt snow for drinking water, also for tea and coffee. I never even thought of measuring anything.
This summer we were warned against hare pestilence, and didn't drink unfiltered water.
We have tap water filter in our kitchen, mostly because the municipality of Haugesund has such dirty old main water pipelines.They also add chlorine to the water.
We change filter once a year and yeaks...,it is really full.
Water and heating, how vital they are.
Glad you survived the drama.

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

What a job and experience, especially n the middle of winter. It's good that you two work so well together.

Enjoy having running water once again.


Jada's Gigi said...

What an adventure! Don't know what we would do in such a circumstance...probably buy it by the gallon!

Star said...

Oh my! your disaster sounds worse than mine. Is that your house? It's beautiful...!
I hope that's the last of disasters for this winter Mrs. Mac.
Our builders came today and replaced the flooring in the kitchen. They're coming back on Friday to put the new linoleum down, then I should be back to normal.