Sunday, October 11, 2009

First Snow of the Season, Day Two

October 11, 2009

Day Two of the first snow.

This morning when I woke up I was stuck flat on my back and thought that I was being held captive in a bed where the sheets were tucked in much too tight! As I cleared the sleep from my head, I realized the "pinned in" feeling was due to one cat curled up tight on my left side, one on my right side and one between my legs. Right away I knew it was another frigid morning. Didn't bother looking at the thermometer, didn't really want to know. As I made my way into the kitchen for my beloved coffee, I glanced outside to see how much snow had fallen. Ugh, it looked like at least 6 more inches. So needless to say, another day of doing chores in the snow.

As I was filling the chicken waters I noticed that the water coming out of the faucet was pretty dirty. Oh no, that almost ALWAYS means WATER PROBLEMS! Great day for water problems. I finished up my chores and went into the house. Question for you: Why do you always have to go to the bathroom when you come inside from being outside in the cold?? Anyway, after I flushed the toilet, the tank did not fill back up again... hummm. I said a quick pray to the Lord, praying that this did not mean water problems. Danny was still outside so I was praying that he was just messing with the water. (We have had major water problems this summer and just got done pouring tons of money into our water system.)

Growing up in the city, I always took water for granted. We never were without it. Since we have moved out here, let me tell you, that I no longer take a simple thing like water for granted. I started thinking of all of the ramifications of not having water. My first thought of course was for myself. No more flushing the toilet, I hadn't had my shower yet, makes for tricky cooking and cleaning up afterward... but those thoughts quickly turned to the more important ones like... no water, no chicken processing tomorrow... no water for the cattle to drink, or for the chickens to drink!!

If you have ever had livestock you know what I am talking about. If you haven't ever had livestock, this is a huge problem. I can't even begin to tell you how many GALLONS of water we require each day for our livestock. Danny says cattle drink about 5 gallons of water each per day and we have about 70 head, so that's approximately 350 gallons for the cattle. The chickens go through 32 gallons a day. So you can see, no water poses a huge problem. It's not like we can haul it from the neighbors!

So needless to say, I was starting to panic a little. Finally, Danny makes it back in from doing his chores and the first thing that I want to know is if he had the water turned off. Of course he did (why didn't he tell me he was going to turn it off?) Big sign of relief!!

We missed church today since it took so long to do the chores. We are normally not in the habit of missing church. Around 3:30 I was finally able to get Danny off the couch to help me with the bathroom remodel. I needed his plumbing expertise since I am putting in a new counter top on the vanity and a new vessel sink. Over the years I have learned that no plumbing job can be an easy plumbing job. We only have one shut off valve for the whole house so Danny's plan is to install shut off valves to our bathroom sink and toilet. I assume this will be an easy task and I believe that Danny thought it would be as well. He turns off the water to the house and cuts all the lines and installs the shut off valves to the sink and toilet then has me turn the water back on to check for leaks.

You guessed it! There were leaks, but these were gushing leaks, not just the dribble kind!! Now I am envisioning no water for the house! Didn't we just go through this earlier this morning? This can't be happening again, can it? Since it is now getting close to chore time, Danny sends me into town (20 miles, by the way) to go to Menards to get parts to fix the leaks. He is convinced that the guy who sold him the valves in the first place, sold him defective ones or the wrong ones. I hate going into town not knowing what I am going for, especially when it involves parts that I don't even know what are called. I always feel so inadequate trying to explain the situation to the parts guy!

So I trudge into Menards with my bag of valves and a sample of the pipe to show the plumbing guy that these valves don't work on our pipe. I find a guy in plumbing, which was an accomplishment in it's self! He can't figure out why the valves won't work. Danny was certain that this would be the case, so he instructed me to tell the guy to put the valve on the pipe and blow through the pipe and he would be able to feel the air that was escaping since the valve did not work. So the guy does this, blows through the pipe and lo and behold, there is NO air escaping! How did he do that?? "Sorry ma'am, don't know what to tell you. They seem to be working just fine for me."

Taking the valves with me, I drive all the way back home to tell Danny that he must not have installed them correctly. Was he sure that he pushed them on all the way? Before I left for town I asked him if he had pushed them on at least 1 1/2" like it said to do in the instructions which I read. Of course he did! So I said, "But honey, it says to measure 1 1/2" on the pipe and mark it to insure that you have the valves pushed on as far as they go." Danny replies, "I don't need to mark it, I know how far 1 1/2" is!"

I go into the house and relay what the guy at Menards said. So, we try again, and lo and behold, they work! Thank the Lord!

Tomorrow is my birthday and the only thing we have planned is to process chickens! I hope that we have no more surprises and all goes without a hitch. This is our last batch of chickens to process for this season. I am so ready to be done with them. The weather has really made it tough these last few days concerning the chickens. Danny's parents are here to help with the processing. I don't know what we would do without their help. We are very blessed that they are so willing to help us when ever we need their help!


  1. Sounds like another one of the "fun family adventures" that we seem to have quite regularly in the Manville family!

  2. sounds like one heck of a day, hope you didnt work to hard on your birthday. no more chickens until spring exept for the layers?

  3. no more chickens until spring except for the layers is correct! YEAH!!