Thursday, October 6, 2011

Counting Chickens...

No, I haven't decided to add farm animals to my adventures... yet. But if I do, it would not be chickens. In fact, llamas seem to be the farm animal of choice around here: a friend has even reported seeing them -- repeatedly! -- in the Target parking lot.

Don't ask. Sometimes things are too good to ask questions. As my grandfather used to love to say: "Ours is not to reason why, ours is but to do and die." I've often chosen to "edit" that a bit: "Ours is not to reason why, ours is but to enjoy and die." So in this case, llamas in a Target parking lot? Enjoy and die...

But I digress.

What I started out on was chickens. Well, not exactly. What I started out on was "counting chickens" -- as in, Don't Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch.

And yes, that deserved capitalization.

So this morning started wonderfully. I had the chance to have a lovely phone conversation with TWFKAMA -- that is, The Woman Formerly Known As My Aunt. She decided at one point that she didn't like "Aunt" so, like Prince, she thought she'd take on.... Well, let's just say "like Prince."

Even better? As I was talking to her, I looked out my window and saw.... dirt. This was AWESOME.

Why you ask? Because there was a storm due to hit just west of me with 6 to 12 inches of snow predicted above 9,000 feet. I'm at 10,000 feet. And unlike weather forecasters, I don't believe that storms know to "stop" and not snow past a certain line. So I went to sleep with my fingers crossed.

And woke up to sleet, falling snow -- but no sticking snow. I hooted. I cheered. I celebrated. And, of course, I immediately went to Facebook to post my excitement.

And mid post... the power went out.

~ sigh ~

Now, why is this such a big deal? Because when you live on well water, you require a little thing called a "well pump". This handy-dandy thing actually gets the water from the bottom of your well (in my case, nearly 300 feet deep) and pushes it up to the surface and into your home. Since the handy-dandy well pump requires electricity to work -- well, that means in a power outage, in short order you are not just out of power, but you are out of water. IE, no going to the bathroom in the toilet once you've exhausted the water in the tank behind it.

Now for those of you who know me -- I may newly be a "mountain woman", but I am still a firm believer in indoor plumbing. FIRM believer.

This was going to be a problem....

So. What is the proper response to a power outage?
a) Call the utility company and complain;
b) Go back to bed because what else can you do;
c) Walk your dog.

Being in the mountains, the proper response is "c".

So I put on my bright yellow jacket -- after all, presently it's still hunting season. I don't care if it's rabbit season or duck season (more like deer, elk, bear or moose season) -- I don't have it high on my bucket list to get shot. Tankyehvurrymuch.

And, bundled up against the sleet and snow mix, off we went to walk the power lines and see if this time (yes, this has happened before, and yes, that time the line actually came down across my property) a power line had collapsed again.

After a thorough inspection along the half mile down and up from my property, and no down power lines spotted, I figured it was time to go home.

So what else does one do when the power is out and your left without much you can get done in terms of work (ie, paying jobs) or fun (ie, checking Facebook)?

a) Drink, because what else is there to do;
b) Go to bed, because yet again, what else is there to do;
c) Do outside chores.

Yep. Proper response once again is "c". Be damned the sleet and snow. Chores it is.

So the water system needed all of its filters checked and either cleaned or replaced. This means using all of one's upper body strength to open the filter casings, removing the filters, and then dragging a hose and bucket outside and spending an hour washing the filters and filter casings out. Then putting the filters back in their casings, and installing the casings back into the water system.

I have three filters -- two at a lower filtration level and one at a really high level. These filters help to remove the very very very high iron sediment in my water. Did I mention it was high? After all, my property is a former mining claim, where they were hunting for silver. Silver tends to be found surrounded by iron. Ergo, whatever.

Cleaning the filters is messy, wet work no matter when you do it. In the middle of a sleet/snow storm, it's particularly bad. But I was already 6 days late on checking them, so.... Filters it was.

An hour later, soaked through to the bone, flecks of red iron sediment dotting my pants and jacket, the filter system was done. All three filters had been thoroughly cleaned and reinstalled.

This meant it was time to check the power, and then start doing laundry.

Did I mention it was a chore day?

Inside, as was hoped, the power was indeed back on. And just in time.

I re-set all the clocks, went upstairs and turned on the bathroom heater, and took a hot shower. I then walked into my little office and looked outside. It was no longer sleeting with snow mixed in, and nothing sticking or accumulating. Nope. Now it was snowing.

And not just snowing -- sticking, accumulating, blowing wildly, SNOW.

~ sigh ~

Did I mention that perhaps I should not have celebrated so quickly this morning? Did I mention that it's not smart to count your chickens before they're hatched?

Yeah. Good stuff those sayings....

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