My Christmas tree looks pretty sparse this year. I just pulled out the musical instrument ornaments I went crazy over last year and put them on, and I’m getting some of those “s’more” figure ones in the mail soon… but I left the colorful plastic multicolored bubbles on hooks in the box. I just didn’t feel up to trying to space out the colors so I didn’t have two blue ones next to each other or whatever. I had enough trouble getting the lights up on the porch. So, just a very sparsely decorated small tree, but I’m good with that. It looks a little cleaner with the white sparkly lights and green with those cute mini guitars all over.
Of course, that’s about the cleanest thing in this place, and maybe the real reason I didn’t want to keep decorating. If I move my eyes too far from it, I notice the mess left behind by that tornado I must’ve been sleepwalking through the past few weeks. That’s the trouble with taking advantage of good weather and being outside, getting all those needed chores and activities done. Well, it is when you suck at remembering to put things back where they come from.
I’m still in “gathering stuff together to reorganize” mode right now. Thanks to the library books for the kids overflowing the bins I had them in, and stacks everywhere to sort (the one thing that drives me nuts about kids books is the sizes are so variable and it’s hard to organize ’em well without them falling over or getting lost). And then there’s the fish tank supplies I need to re-soak and re-clean after the “no water” debacle earlier this week.
Was definitely freakier, but not as cool-looking…
The temperature finally dipped WAY down just a few days ago, and it’s actually been pretty steady at colder temperatures for several days in a row. That surprises me, usually it’s like a roller coaster on the thermometer every other day. Well, that was a major sign that I needed to find my wrap material and start wrapping the well and pipes. My dad taught me to basically get a few metal stakes or lengths of rebar and stake them near the well but not touching all the equipment on the pump and breaker box side. Then, he’d get that thick packing wrap (like saran or cling wrap, but bigger and a bit thicker) and go around the well and those poles several times. A few cut layers to drape and stick over the top of the “wall” to protect the pump and lines from the elements, and you had an area with a bit of heat trapped due to the pump running occasionally that would help the line not freeze and kill water to the house.
All was going well until I–stumbling around on uneven ground–lost my grip on the heavy wrap roll and the heavy cardboard core end dropped right on the PVC pipe with spigot attachment (for garden hoses). I figured it cracked the 25+ year old pipe just wrong because water began to shoot out at immense pressure from the 1″ opening. I freaked and moved the plastic to cut the breaker off quickly, then shut the valve off as quick as I could.
Well, thankfully my neighbor is good with water pipes and such, so I went over and asked if he could check how badly screwed I was and what I needed to get. Turns out he had some PVC and the cement, and just wanted to know what I could do. I figured I wasn’t gonna have any water that night (but I had rainwater barrels that I could fill small buckets with to flush toilets, and that’s about all I needed), and I was looking for the easiest thing. I’d hoped we could reuse the spigot, but dad glued the end of pipe and threaded part to the metal spigot itself, so no go there. I figured since I had a house attachment with this new place, I could skip the spigot. So, didn’t even take half an hour, he cut the bad pipe away, cut new pipe, and cemented everything together.
I waited til he got home the next day after work (giving it a LONG time to set and dry before even turning the valve–which was wiggling and stuck at the same time for me–because it dipped below freezing that night and would take longer to be fully cured), and we checked it all out. Now, I gotta get a new gate valve because this other one’s gonna eventually bite the dust (looked rusty as hell) and I wanna get foam to cover the exposed pipe anyway tomorrow. It’ll be a good idea because I got a doctor’s appointment tomorrow.
At least now I have water back, but other than that bit of excitement (and annoyance) I just spent the past few days trying to think and totally out of it. I did have a sore throat and persistent headache, so I was concerned about that. I think the cold just sapped my energy more than I expected it would. I even went in the closet and got as many layers as I might need out and ready, which worked well the other day when I was putting up Christmas lights on my porch. It was crazy bitter cold because of the shade and the wind. But every 30 minutes it seemed to warm a bit more once the sun came out, and I went from chilly, to perfectly warm, to freaking cooking in less than an hour and a half and I HAD to get inside to shed some layers.
It was a beautiful day, but you had to be out in the sun to enjoy it because the shade was awful. The wind began to die down a bit in mid afternoon, only to come back that evening.
I think that’s the thing that sapped me, that wind, just biting away at exposed surfaces and trying to cut through my layers. I was layered up, and once I got inside, I was done.
Certainly began to feel that way in my bones, and we haven’t even hit late January yet.
And I think the cold’s been messing with my knee all day. I have that weird feeling that I remember calling “growing pains” back when I was a kid, that achy feeling like your bones were stretching or something. I dunno what I could’ve done, or if it’s just the weather making itself known on my more troublesome knee. It just stinks. I did do myself a favor and cooked a new chili recipe I found. Wasn’t bad, and I thought it was interesting and had a “sweet heat” component I’m not used to in my chili dishes. Vegetarian version, but to kick it up a bit, I had a bunch of fresh chopped ham I threw in there and let it cook together a bit for extra protein and give it that ham flavor.
Looking around and knowing that I should clean, but can’t bring myself to do it, that’s kicking my butt. I hate the mess, and yet, there’s so much I have to refigure about storage space and room that I can’t really help it right now. That’s what this still muddy weekend is gonna be about for the most part. After the doctor, dog food, and Home Depot, I’m going to be moving furniture around and finding exactly how many boxes and plastic totes I have that I can use to make things easier. The trouble with totes is they are so wide and don’t fit in my closets well, so I’m re-thinking how to do storage in most of it. Some old furniture isn’t doing the job either, and maybe I could give my neighbor kid a few bucks to help me move stuff out… if it’s not that cold out or that heavy.
Other than cooking, that’s one good thing I did for myself: came up with a room by room game plan. I just wish my knee wasn’t bothering me so badly that I couldn’t start today, but since the dog was trying to kill me going down slick steps earlier, trying to compensate for him running might’ve been what exacerbated the knee’s twinging.
Oh well. Gonna have to sleep soon and think on it a bit more. Maybe I can dream up a clean house and it’ll be all good when I wake up.
… uh, never mind. That would mean a neat-freak intruder came in overnight then. Bad idea.
Though I would NOT say “no” to the Mary Poppins superpowers, should I ever get the chance…
I can live with the mess another half day. At least this mountain of cleaning looks a little more conquerable now. I can sleep with a quieter mind.