January 11, 2014

Well, We Survived

The Great Winter Snow-pocalypse-freezing-cold-storm thingy is over.  Heck, it's almost 40 and raining at 7:20 am at the moment.

It sure as hell got COLD.  My Jeep battery froze, and I tried to warm it up by running a current though it via jumper cables, but that wasn't working.  I added a ceramic heater and a halogen light pointed at the battery, covered the hood with a US Army surplus wool blanket, but it was not happening, so ended up pulling the battery and bringing it inside.  About 24 hours in front of a furnace vent, and I put it back, connected things, and the Jeep started right up.  That's a relief, because we really don't need the expense of a new battery right now (and speaking of.... Holy s__t car batteries have gotten expensive.  Cheapest thing I found was in the $140 range.)

Pipes froze up a bit on Tuesday, so I re-purposed the ceramic heater and pointed it at the pipes where the water supply comes in from the street and enters the house (in the garage.)  Let that sit a while, and eventually we got water flowing again...

... all over the garage floor, where the PVC pipe that feeds into the washing machine broke off.

Shut off the main line, scrounged up a cap for that broken section, thank my lucky stars that I had some PVC pipe cement, and capped it off.  Gently turned the water back on, and it held.


The driveway needed shoveling, of course, since 12 inches of snow and 35 mile per hour winds makes for drifting all week long.  I used up almost all of the 2.5 gallons of gas I had for the snow blower, but it finally stopped blowing and falling, and I now have a clear drive.  It was even dry in a few spots yesterday, until the rain started.

On the positive side, we didn't want for food or drinking water.  I'd decided to fill up a 5 gallon water jug before the storm hit, just in case, and I set another, smaller, jug under the kitchen tap to collect the drip-drip-drip that came from leaving the faucet cracked just a bit.  No sense wasting it, right?  That gave us almost 6.5 gallons of water, which was enough.

I also believe in stocking up on food stuffs, and have made it a habit for some time now to always buy a can of something extra when I'm at the grocery.  Might be a can of green beans, or a can of diced tomatoes, or a can of sloppy joe mix, or corned beef hash, or soup... Whatever.  I buy an extra can of food EVERY time I go to grocery, and we have plenty of food stocked up.  Add in the large volumes of soup that I make and freeze now and then, and we could eat for a couple weeks without making a grocery run.  Sure, we might get tired of the same things after a while, but food is food.

In addition, we never lost power.  I had a supply of flashlights and batteries, and a huge pile of firewood.  We dug out the sleeping bags and extra blankets, just in case we needed them, but we never did.

In the end, it was a couple days stuck inside the house, and a heck of a lot of work to keep us safe and dug out, but that's life.  We are safe and healthy and there are a lot of folks who had it a lot worse off.  If you could direct your thoughts and prayers and positive vibes and mojo in their direction, we'd appreciate it.  All is well at Chateau JB.

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