Posts Tagged ‘Water’

Elsa-the-Dog on Dehydration

My humans seem to think I am a crazy critter, especially when it comes to water.

The first odd thing they did was put two water dishes down.  One is in the kitchen next to my food dish.  And the other is in the bedroom in case I get thirsty at night.

water dissh4

Water Dish Kitchen

I am afraid to drink from the kitchen water.  I will not touch it.  Never.  Ever.

As for the bedroom water, I only drink there when nobody is looking and I hold my thirst for a long time before I try to sneak back into the bedroom.

The Lady thinks I am getting dehydrated.

Water Dishes

Water Dish Bedroom

She also thinks there must have  been a  water trauma in my previous life. Maybe she is right.  What do you think?

One day I got something stuck in my throat and it made me cough and cough.  The Lady decided to put another water dish by the fireplace.  I like it there and it is my favorite place now.

She also put a water bowl out on the deck.  I like that too.

So now there are four water dishes in my home!

water dish3

Water Dish Deck

Water Dish2

I think the humans here are strange, don’t you?

But I have stopped coughing.


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Auntie Acid Bad Day

There are good days for getting out of bed and there are OTHER days.

Friday was An OTHER DAY.   Saturday was no better.  Today I planned to stay immobile.

It started with a new little lamp .

I plugged  it in but then couldn’t find the right bulb.

Then I spent 2 hours trying to get AM on an AM/FM radio

Walked from room to room, plugging and unplugging and waving around the FM antenna.  Went online in a search for accessory antennas.  No luck.  FM is great but the radio was purchased specifically to listen to Kim Komando (AM) for updates on technology.

O.K., then I opened a breakfront cabinet door and the handle fell off.

Went to reattach it but the bottom of the screwdriver fell off too.  Both are reattached but shaky.

Then a little lizard approached me in the living room.

I tried to steer him out the back door but he is now living somewhere in our kitchen.

I forgot to bring in the hummingbird feeder last night.

Thankfully the Three Bears did not return.

Water, Water Every Where

Don’t know why but I was driven to lift the toilet tank lid  in the guest room “loo” to see if all was well but something strange popped up.  I turned the water off (smart huh?) and called handy husband, Bill.

Bill reattached “the valve” and turned the water back on.  But surely because I was standing nearby, there came a gushing geyser of spouting water that flooded towels on the rack, the rugs, the floor, and Bill before we could get the water back off.

Called the plumber but there has been no reply.

Now today a nice neighbor asked me to call the telephone company for him to repair his dead home phones.

I followed through, but politely wished him luck.

He obviously has no idea about “Other Days.”


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A mossy ledge invites the camera’s capture.

Mossy Ledge

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Mist in the Treetops

My friend, Debbie at The Mountain Kitchen  just wrote a great story about a water pump problem at their house.  There are  emotions that come with sudden water loss and she tells a mesmerizing tale.  At the end her post brought back memories of an incident at our house that still makes me laugh.  Country living does have its challenges.

It was a summer weekend when we lost our water.  Isn’t it always?  And to make things worse, our son and family (with three young grandgirls) were visiting and we couldn’t even call a plumber until Monday!

We had lived here long enough to know that several things happen when there is no water :

  • There is nothing to drink.
  • Cooking becomes problematical.
  • Washing up from cooking becomes problematical.
  • There is nothing to wash bodies with.
  • Sanitation becomes problematical.
  • The toilets will not flush.

bucketThere are also steps that can be taken to survive the above crisis:

  • Buy bottled water.
  • Bring in water from the pool to flush toilets.
  • Eat out.
  • Use sanitary wipes to wash bodies.
  • Go to a motel.

But we were facing surviving the weekend (or longer) with a total of seven bodies in the house.

The visiting family had two choices:

  • You will not hurt our feelings if you pack up and go home now, or
  • You can stick it out.
prepforshtf.com Water Storage and Procurement

Water Storage and Procurement

Oddly enough, they decided to stick it out.

  • We trucked buckets of water in from the pool for three bathrooms.
  • We rented a motel room about 2 miles down the road (for showers only).
  • We bought tons of bottled water.
  • We bought tons of paper plates, plastic glasses, and utensils.
  • Don’t ask me what we did for meals!
  • And we stuck it out until Monday.

On Monday morning I drove to town to get more drinking water and Bill called our Farmer’s Co-Op for help.

And when I got home, 30 minutes later,  the water was on!

“What was it?” I asked Bill.

“It was a switch,” he answered with a wry grin.

“A switch!?  But we did check the breaker box!”

“Yep, it was only a switch.”

Evidently the man from our farmer’s cooperative came out right away.  The first (and only) thing he did was to inspect the breaker boxes.  He noticed there was another little box across the room.  We forgot about that one!  It was an emergency box that was installed for a new generator.

And the Co-op Man found it and flipped  the switch that was plainly marked, WATER!

Such is life in the country .

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“…Water, water, everywhere,

And all the boards did shrink;

Water, water, everywhere,

Nor any drop to drink. …”

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Ah, it’s summertime in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.  A glorious time of year!

But, the summer sun is oddly elusive this season.  There has been so much rain that the normally scorched earth by mid August has stayed verdant green right up to our September Labor Day when it rained “buckets” again.   And tomorrow it will pour since we are now in a so called trough.  And so it will be into the next day and possibly the next.

Yes, we are continually surrounded by driving rain and enough falling water to float Noah for 40 more days and nights.  And yet, there is nothing to drink in our tucked away cottage on the edge of an enchanted forest.   And we must improvise since our water pump just decided to quit.

Wasn’t the Derecho Enough?

Our Enchanted Forest
After the Derecho

Wasn’t it bad enough we went through the Derecho storm just a few weeks ago and were without power for five days? We were waterless then too but a generator magically produced enough for survival.  But wasn’t that evil storm sufficient to remind us of the perils in country living?   Now here we are again hauling in buckets of that life giving fluid.   It didn’t rain enough buckets today for flushing you-know-what.  I suppose I am too old to actually say “toilets.”   There are limits to the tawdry use of language.  I do wonder why “toilet-water” is acceptable though.  I am talking about real toilet-water here of course…. the kind you flush!

Anyway, this fine wet Labor Day morning I scoured our home improvement store for large portable empty containers to hold water at the ready for the above embarrassing purpose.  No one in the store ever heard of large water containers.

I then stumbled around town trying to word my request in an understandable way. “Do you know where I can find large containers to hold water?  Our water pump gave up and we want to bring in water from the rain or the neighbors or a pool.”   Would you believe I got blank looks at this question?  Is there a clearer way to word it?  Eventually I was miraculously led to the camping department in Walmart, where there were exactly two 6-gallon storage containers available.  Hurrah!  They are now sold out.  I suppose I was lucky at that since if the super store ever had any inventory of containers, they probably sold down to these two during the Derecho.

Forget Labor on Labor Day

It’s Labor Day where I live.  My calls to Pump people and the local Farmer’s Cooperative ring and ring even as I yell into the receiver, “Pick Up PLEASE!”  Maybe if I had sent them a Happy Labor Day card, they might have remained open?  I tend to blame myself for failure – anybody’s failure.

There is one good thing to come of all this water loss in the midst of deluge, and that is, we are, at long last, getting used to surviving in the country.  And we have lived here for 24 years.  I actually saved a bunch of survival tips in a book since I expected a pandemic a year or so ago.  If you have any questions, I will be glad to share.   Here are some of my Water Tips.

You can drain your car radiator for water – if you can figure out where the radiator is.

The water in your you-know-what tank is actually clean and can be used for drinking – I think.   I hope.

You can sterilize the you-know-what water or creek water with drops of bleach – I have forgotten how many drops to how much water.  I think it was three drops per gallon.

You can boil creek water – I am not sure for how long or where the creek is.

You should have cans of peaches available for the liquid – why wouldn’t pears do?

There should be a gallon of water for each per person per day for drinking and cleansing.

I have a whole lot of other tips in a book I created to get ready for a pandemic that never arrived.  One tip I do remember is to put a chain across your road and a sign that says “Beware – Flu Here” even if you are perfectly healthy.

I will keep you posted on the water problem at my place and whether or not we resorted to sterilizing the water in the you-know-what!

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Does This Rock Look Real?

Water can be a problem when you live “out in the county” like we do. 

We have a well.  No, it’s not the kind where you lower a bucket although I’ve always wanted that kind too.  Ours is buried deep (like 300 feet down) into an aquifer, and requires electricity and a pump to magically provide life-giving water.

Our water is hard (very hard) so we require a softener too. No one told me all this equipment would be necessary just to get a drink of water!

Hiding an Ugly Pipe?

Our well is marked by an unsightly rusting pipe at the driveway entrance.  It was a  brilliant idea to cover it with a hollow fake rock. I like to think the rock looks real, but what if it doesn’t?  No one has ever questioned its authenticity.  Do you suppose people are just being polite and thinking, ” Ha! Look at that plastic rock.  Who do they think they’re kidding?”

As for the story of  the waterless adventure,

There Was Not a Drop to Drink

Over the 24 years we have lived in the “boonies,” as some friends call this remote hideaway, we have gone dry and replaced the pump twice due to lightning strikes or other underground mysteries.  Water also gets down to murky if we leave something running or  there’s a freaky leaky pipe somewhere. The point is, we lose water.  And it always stops running at the most inconvenient times.

The Waterless Weekend

Our son, daughter-in-law, and three grandgirls arrived on a Friday for a nice long visit.  All went well that fateful day, right up to bedtime when everyone was tucked in.  That’s when I tried to take a shower and you guessed it – NO WATER!

OH NO!  With seven people in the house?   Was it the circuit breaker?  Nope – that was in the “on” position.  Was there a burst pipe somewhere?  No.   The house was dry!   Now we faced an entire waterless weekend.  How were we going to flush toilets, drink, shower, cook, clean dishes or wash any clothes?  Talk about losing sleep…..

A Family Conference

Saturday AM.  A family conference to inform adults and children of the problem. 

“If you stay here”,we said,  “You will face the following challenges:  lack of hygiene, deprivation, thirst, dirt, and hard labor.”

I think (no, I know)  I was trying to convince the family to leave us to our waterless wasteland and just go home.  Since it was a weekend we could not call for help, so we gave them two choices:  A) Pack up and leave (Yes!) or B) Stick it out with us for a Water-free Country Life Adventure.

We even formulated a basic Water-free Country Life Adventure Plan that outlined various survival tactics:

  • Buy gallon jugs of water for drinking.
  • Bring up water from streams, ponds, neighbors’ faucets, or our pool, (in a horse trough) for flushing and washing things.
  • Transfer water from the trough into buckets (form a bucket line).
  • Transfer buckets in another bucket line to the bathrooms (for flushing).
  • Eat out (I like that one!).
  • Rent one motel room (a few miles away) for the sole purpose of take-turn showering.

Oddly enough, the vote was unanimous for a Water-free Country Life Adventure! The family decided to stick it out.

Saturday AM and PM went by hauling water into and out of a pick-up truck, filling the trough, hauling it to the front door for transfer into buckets for transfer into bathrooms for use in toilets.  Then, after a hot day of work and play everyone needed to clean up, so we were off to the motel for showers. We ate out or ordered take-out, and brought in gallons of drinking water from local stores. And all went well – considering.

Sunday AM and PM –  the same.  And by Sunday night I was getting snarly and could hardly WAIT until Monday to call someone for help.

On Monday AM we were almost out of drinking water again.

I left at 8AM to buy more gallon jugs –  happy to get out of the house I’ll tell ya’ – dreading the ultimate return to hauling, dipping, and juggling.   The country adventure was growing old.  The family were trying hard to smile in the face of constant survival challenges, but I knew they were as ready to say, “Farewell,” as we were.

I must have looked mighty sad lugging bottles into the house that morning, but my husband was grinning as he helped me carry things in.  “What on earth is there to smile about?” I thought (but did not say). “I know I’m a grouch in the morning and you wake up whistling, but how can you possibly be cheerful under these circumstances?  Have I married a madman?”

“Problem solved,” he said aloud, with that suspiciously guilty looking grin,



“I’ve only been gone an hour! How can this be?”

“Did you call the Farmer’s Co-op?” I asked.

“Yes, I did.”

“Did the guy come out from the Co-op already?”

“Yep, he came right away.”

“What did he do?”

“He flipped the circuit breaker switch.”

“But it was already on.”

“Nope,” he said sheepishly, “I forgot we have a secondary emergency box.  We had it put in months ago for generator connections and Sam the Man found it right away.”

“We have TWO circuit breaker boxes?”

“Right. The switch was off in the second one – probably a power surge.  So, Sam just flipped the switch to On.”

A weekend of insane preparations to provide water for seven people, and we could have had water with a simple flick of a switch?

I started to laugh.  And he laughed too, and we’re still laughing all these years later.  The story is family lore now and we bring it up during “Remember-when” conversations.

“Remember when we rented that awful motel room just to take a shower?”  And we go through the whole adventure again.

Country Tip for City Dudes:

If you run out of water, Stop, Think.  And before you buy bottled water, haul buckets, or rent a motel room, check every switch in the house!

Two Breaker Boxes
One is Now Marked “Emergency”

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