Sunday, December 8, 2013

At Least It's Warm in the House

The pipes in the house froze again last night despite Brett wrapping every pipe he could find between the house and the well. We had the space heater on in the bathroom where we think water comes into the house. I packed the wood stove full of wood before we went to bed and it was still warm this morning.

However, outside it was 11F this morning when we did chores. The animals were all fine, with their heavy winter coats (and blankets for the horses). The dogs prefer to be outside and I have to coax them in with doggy treat bribes. They get hot in the house, even in the freezing cold laundry room. So, their beds are on the side porch next to the door. Inside the door, is the wood stove. Outside the door is the wood pile. They get some heat from the wood stove - I suppose that is a benefit of a poorly insulated house. I watch them sleep, stretched out across their beds, snoring softly. If they curled into tight balls, or tried to come in the house when I go out for wood, we would bring them in. Instead, they lift their heads for me to pet and then go back to sleep. Sedona has fur like those wolves in Yellowstone. Kersey has a thick layer of blubber.

I took hay to the horses, donkeys and goats using a method I remembered from Lori Skoog's blog: a sled. It works great. Brett refuses to use the sled and instead pushes, shoves and swears at the hay cart as he plows it through the snow. The price of being macho; heaven forbid he should be seen by the neighbors pulling a girly green sled.

I wanted to take hot water to the goats, but we have no water. Brett used his hammer to break the ice on all the water buckets and troughs but we couldn't do more than that.

We decided to go out to breakfast so Brett scraped the snow and ice off of the truck windows. The driver's side door lock was frozen shut so he used my blow dryer to melt the ice. We needed 4-wheel drive to get out the driveway and onto the icy road. The snow plow had come through last night so it was like driving on a skating rink. Slow going.

Back home, the pipes were still frozen. All of our planned activities for the day were cancelled. No water = no shower = no church. The contractor was going to come by and work on the kitchen but decided to play in the snow with his family instead; which was the right choice. Riding lessons were impossible with the arena frozen and buried in snow. Not to mention the fact that Katy couldn't have driven here in her small car. There was a function at one of our favorite wineries this afternoon, but they cancelled due to the road being inaccessible.

Brett watched football. I did some yoga. We checked the faucet every hour or so. The water never started running. We never got out of the 30s so the snow didn't melt much at all; just some dripping off of the eaves.

But, we had a gorgeous day with the sunlight glinting off the snow. Quail scurried across the drifts, falling into the holes left by our footprints. The sky was bright blue and the pine trees stood tall with heavy white frosting on their boughs. The oaks look like pieces of sculpture with snow accentuating their twisting limbs. The power didn't go out. Snow slid off the satellite dish so Brett could watch football and the internet didn't go down so I could read blogs and download a yoga class.

Tonight is supposed to be just as cold. It may be awhile before we have water. And I may be working from home tomorrow.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


  1. so sorry about the water situation. i hope no pipes burst. always a danger here in texas when we get low freezes. it sure is pretty, though.

  2. It's sure pretty but a lot of trouble . . . hope everything unfreezes soon.

  3. Ugh, we had the water out here too today with a burst pipe. Of course my husband was out of town, bonus! Fortunately it got above freezing here and we were able to get everything fixed. Living in old homes with iffy plumbing is no fun in the winter. I hope everything thaws out at your place soon!

  4. oh no! I hope that you can get the pipe freezing sorted out. however the photo of your house will make a great Christmas Card!

  5. Gorgeous photos Annette, but very sorry to read that your water pipes are frozen. With those temperatures it must be a pain keeping water availble for the animals. Do you ever warm water on your wood stove? It is supposed to be 41here tomorrow and no snow.

  6. Hope that the water problem is solved quickly , and let me say those photos are wonderful

  7. That is a lot of extra work.
    Those photos sure are gorgeous though.

  8. Hope the water will work out. It must be hard with the animals. We never have any water either when it's cold but it's the pump house, not the pipes, so it comes back on around 10 or 11 in the morning.

    That first picture of the oaks and your header photo are magnificent. You are so blessed to have found this house and this land with those trees all around. I just hope you get the water situation fixed.

  9. We're having the same cold weather here. Inside water troughs are all freezing overnight in the barn, but we boil water on a camp stove that we have set up and that enables the horses to drink throughout at least part of the night. We also drain our hose leading to the water trough and have a tank heater going at all times. Inside the house, it's helpful to leave faucets running at a trickle at all times, and leave cabinet doors open to let some cold air out. Our house is old too, and we don't have much insulation either, but thankfully we've not had any frozen pipes yet. I sure hope your pipes don't break and start leaking when they defrost...but you sure do have some beautiful scenery to enjoy, if nothing else. So pretty!!

  10. Gorgeous photos in the snow

    My biggest fear is always whether the horses can get water or not. We she lost water several times when we lost power. I hope all is working again soon. It sounds like you are keeping busy.


Thanks so much for commenting! I love the conversation.