Thursday, February 3, 2011

Still No Water

Yeoldfurt posted Wednesday morning about us waking up to no water in the house. He emailed me at work mid-morning to say the rural company that supplies our water had an issue overnight that they expected to have resolved by noon. We were both hoping our lack of water was due to the water company's issue. But when I got home mid-afternoon, there was still no water. It was too late to call the water company for an update. But my best guess is they fixed their problem and we could now assume our lack of water was our problem. Guess we won't know until at least Saturday since the daytime and nighttime temperatures will remain at or below freezing until then. The prediction right now is mid-50's for Saturday. By the time we hit 40 degrees, it will be pretty obvious if we have a busted pipe. We're still hoping for the best though.

The day before yesterday, we were rudely awakened fifteen minutes before the alarm went off to a big crash outside. The wind was howling when we went to bed the night before and I knew right away what had happened.

Do you remember this tree? 

It was dead as a doornail after last year's drought and had been slowly shedding it's bark and smaller limbs.  You can see how close it is to the chain link fence and stalls on the right.  What you can't see in this pictures is our house about twelve feet to the left of the tree.  Every time I walked by it, I would try to knock a few more limbs off and offer a little prayer that it would miss the house and the fence when it finally came down.  That was the sound that awakened us fifteen minutes before the alarm on Tuesday ...the sound of an answered prayer.

This is what the tree looks like now.  
It missed the house AND the chain link fence.  If we had cut it down ourselves, we could not have laid it so perfectly in that narrow space.  It will be a lot of work to get it all cleaned up, but at least it's down and no longer a threat to the other structures.  

We lost several trees in last year's drought, included these tall pines along the driveway. 

That picture was taken at the end of last summer.  They look like dead soldiers, all lined up along the driveway.  A few months later, we paid a contractor to take the tops off to make them more manageable.  They were all sixty to seventy feet tall and would have either blocked the driveway or taken down the power line on the opposite of the driveway if we tried to fell them without topping them first.

This is what they look like now, decapitated sentries. 

This picture doesn't show you the seemingly endless piles of brush created by the decapitating.  We're still working on cleaning those up and then we'll cut what's left of the trees down to the ground.  They were pretty when they were alive and healthy.  But I would rather have them gone entirely than still standing in their present state.

Such is the country life.  There are always going to be fences to be built or repaired, animals that need feeding or doctoring, gardens that need to be planted or harvested.  Rain or shine, there are always chores to be done.  It's a labor-intensive life and it's not for everyone.  Sometimes my city-dwelling co-workers see pictures or hear me talk about things we're doing out here.  Then they tell me how much they wish they could live out in the country, have horses, raise a garden, enjoy a simpler life.  They might even really believe it when they say it.  But I just smile because I know better.  They would enjoy it like they would enjoy a vacation.  They'd have fun for a while and then be ready to go back to the city.  They would be missing their Starbuck's and their movie theaters.  


  1. You have about had enough this week, I would say !

    You know, your co-workers could start in their current homes and take baby steps...then when they tripped and fell on their noggins, it wouldn't be such a trauma !!!

  2. A sleepless night for you too, Kris?

    We're okay. We have plenty of water in storage until the Big Thaw on Saturday. I just hope we actually get the snow they're predicting for Friday. Snow is rare enough down here, it's still a fun thing!

  3. I really enjoy your posts! I've been following you for awhile, since the hubby and I bought some property last year, and have spent every spare minute we have clearing, fencing, and gardening. It's not for the faint of heart. My family and friends come to help on occassion, and by occassion I mean once a quarter. They get their fill a half a day on Saturday and then head back to get their manicures, and watch TV in their recliners. They don't understand the fulfillment we get. But to each their own.

    Thanks again.

  4. Mrs. YOF

    I got lucky this year no real issues with frozen pipes or well, I looked from heaven to high heck for a insulating blanket for my well.

    Luckily one of my sleeping bags in my preps did the job just fine it fit like a glove ( oversized sleeping bag I used as a matt beneath the bag I use ).

    I noticed in your pictures you are using corral panels on your place, I just bought ten of them @ Lowe's, I am sure I paid too much, I am using them for a pig pen, we attached hog wire panels to the inside of the panels and built a partial cover roof.

    I need to buy more of the corral panels, I paid 70 bucks ea. for the 12' long ones at Lowe's, any idea of where I can get them cheaper, already tried Tractor Supply, they were outrageous.

    We will be picking up the piglets this weekend, we are getting Hamps, 4 sows and one boar.

    We will be expanding the hog pens in the near future, I had the dickens of a time trying to find any feeder pigs to raise.

    I do think as things continue to get worse having many piglets available for barter and selling will be wise, I also raised 25 Rhode Island Red chicks for the very same reason, lots of fertile eggs everyday.

    I got lucky and one of the pullets turned out to be a Rooster.

    Make sure to tell YOF I am in the pig business as of this upcoming weekend, as soon as the sows take, when they get old enough I will let you know.

    I can't wait for the first litters to be born.

  5. What a blessing that tree missed your home and your fence! pretty good odds, in your favor.

    You spoke of piles of brush/ branches, just a reminder they work great( it's a bit time consuming but..) if you cut them into kindling lengths for your stove and bundle them to dry( if they aren't already). It's just so.... handy to grab a bundle of kindling and you don't have to split up your good cord wood. Mike used to me grief about keeping the branches, that is until he saw how convient it is to run out and grab a bundle*wink*

    Praying that your lack of water issue is nothing to entailed or expensive to fix. Glad you have your water preps and if you get snow, remember you can melt it down for the animals.*wink*

    Bundle up and stay warm, our weather is taking it's turn for the better today. Although it's still sub zero temps with windchill it's only -12F verses yesterdays all time low windchill of -56F, NOT fun!

  6. How amazing was that tree!
    I hate to hear about your water issue and if you weren't 4 hours away I would bring yall some. We have been lucky on that aspect so far. Others down the road have been having a heck of a time this week though. You watch, now our well will go out because of the over use we are putting it through by keeping the water running in the house.

  7. @Kelle
    I appreciate the prayers. We were truly blessed with where that tree landed. Good point on firewood. The wood from the tree that fell on Tuesday is good for the fireplace, but the brush piles I was referring to are from the pine trees. We don't like to burn pine in fireplace because of creosote buildup. But we have two or three massive oaks on the property that are long dead and very dry. They will keep us in firewood for a long time!

    You keep warm too. Our temps are nothing compared to what you're dealing with!

  8. @Redneck...
    Now that's just neighborly of you, offering to bring water if we lived closer. I keep telling you to move down here! Think how much gas you could save visiting the youngun at A&M for the next few years!

    If we were close enough to take you up on the water, we'd be sending you home with all the oak firewood you could carry.

    : )

  9. Have YOF check at ground level where the water comes into your house. If you get it running leave a little dripping to keep it from freezing. FK

  10. Hello, I found you through another blog....I have been browsing this morning and can't remember exactly where!

    That one paragraph about how people don't really know what living in the country is like (the good, the bad, and the ugly!) really caught my eye.

    I have been trying to express that in my blog by showing all the hoops we have to jump through daily for the good life.

    I love every minute of it (well, not the big power outage of 07), but it isn't for everyone.

  11. Hey, Fatkat! We got a little trickle going this morning, but it petered out after about 20 minutes. He was heating the pipe where water comes into the house but at the top, not the bottom. I'll tell him what you said. Maybe we thawed the top part, but there's still an ice plug between the ground and the spigot. The whole pipe (about 30 inches tall) is wrapped in foam pipe insulation with pvc cut to fit over that (dog defense) so I am surprised it froze. I miss having running water!

  12. Welcome, gld! You probably came here by way of Simply Living or Granny Mountain. I follow them both and I think they follow me.

    I was raised in the suburbs but always knew this was the life for me. I wasn't able to make it a reality until about 12 years ago but I have never regretted it. The city slickers as we affectionately refer to them can be very entertaining. They want to come visit, they want to ride a horse, they want to sit on the tractor. Then they show up in their sandals or flip flops. Ummm...can you cay inappropriate footwear? I offer tham a pair of mud boots which we have in a variety of sizes and if they turn up their nose at the thought, I take them on a walking tour of the pasture. Before we get 10 feet from the gate, they are begging to go back and borrow a pair of boots. LOL

    Thanks for the visit, gld. Glad you found your way here.

    : )