Wednesday, January 24, 2007

What Silver Lining?

I need finger's crossed for me, prayers, voodoo...whatever works to get me out of the situation I'm in. I've been dealing with this for over a week now...

As everyone knows, the weather all over the nation has been crazy in the past few weeks. Southern Colorado is no exception, and even though we haven't received the cow killing snowstorms like the front range has been having, we have had some seriously low temperatures and wicked wind. Just an idea of how bad it's been: we didn't have school yesterday because the pump at the school went out and half the teachers are gone this week because though they survived last week, they're finding their pipes are frozen this week! Maybe if we had some sort of snow cover to help insulate the ground that would be one thing, but there's nothing here!

I discovered last Monday morning my pipes had frozen, but since I had some water I figured it must have frozen at the pump. I turned on the faucets, jacked up the heat, and opened the cupboards. My landlord was notified and I headed to work. Didn't work. It seems the same night we had some -40 some degree weather, the bulb in the pump house had burned out and the pipes had frozen there. To top it off, the pressure valve broke. Once that was all fixed up and thawed out I discovered I STILL didn't have any water, and neither did the livestock at the paddocks. So I took last Wednesday off work to try and assess the situation and come up with some sort of emergency plan. I did manage to get water out of the pumphouse and ran a hose to a portable water tank for the livestock. Since then I have discovered many things:

1) The water is not frozen under the house nor at the hydrants. Thus it is frozen somewhere UNDERGROUND and nothing can be done since the pipe is PVC and has to thaw out on it's own. Yeah for May. April if I'm lucky.

2) Septic can only stay unfrozen for so long when the pipes are out of use. Therefor, as of Saturday, my septic is now frozen also.

3) My house is unlivable.

4) Obviously the idiot who put the lines in did not bury them deep enough because the line from the pump to the pumphouse has frozen as well, and now I have absolutely NO water anywhere on the property. Supposedly this violates code and this guys can get in some serious trouble. But what good is that going to do me right now? Even if they made him dig it all back up and fix it, he's still have to wait until thaw.

5) My neighbor rocks because he is letting me fill portable water tanks at his pump and hauling it over to my house for the livestock.

6) The septic can probably be thawed out so I can haul water into the house also, but it needs to get a little warmer so it doesn't freeze right back up.

7) This needs to be figured out soon because I start calving and need to be home more than once a day, and my dogs are seriously starting to hate me.

8) I've moved in with Shane temporarily, but he's gone announcing anyway for awhile so it's no big deal.

9) I'm going broke with all the extra driving to the ranch everyday and 30 miles to a home I can stay in. I didn't budget for an extra 180 miles a week. This may break me.

To top it all off, all this stress and running around in the cold weather after dark has left me one sick puppy. I'm feeling a lot better today and don't have to blow my nose every two seconds, but am really run down and extremely tired. Shane's a doll for putting up with me when he has been home, but I really hate this situation and want my own place back. It helps he's gone for the next two weeks, then I don't feel underfoot, but still, it's not my place and I'd love to just be able to do chores and then kick back and relax instead of having to drive 30 miles just to get a shower.

Looking at the somewhat bright side: I do have a place to live until this gets worked out.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Another One for the Archives...

Ok people. I've got another 'moment' for y'all. So I stayed over at a friends house the other night due to inconvenient weather conditions and was the last to leave the next morning. After warming up my truck and making sure the house was locked up, I started to scrape the snow and ice off my truck. While standing in the door frame I must have hit the door lock and, you guessed it, locked myself out of my running truck. To top it off my phone was locked in the truck as well. Since a convenient ranch work truck was parked next to me, I started rifling through the bed for wire or tools that might help me break into my truck since I became an expert at it with the Chevy (I am notorious for locking my keys in my trucks....). Needless to say I discovered this is almost impossible to do with a Ford unless one literally 'breaks' in. BUT! Low and Behold! The work truck is unlocked and has keys in the ignition! Normally I would NEVER borrow somebody else's vehicle without asking, especially on icy roads, but I think this consititutes and emergency. So one spin-out (little truck, no traction, icy roads...forgive me) and 2 hours later I return with a spare key. Fun, Fun!

The spare is now wired to the frame of the truck.

So y'all want to know MORE details!?
I said I wasn't jinxing anything and just taking it as it comes, but to satisfy a few bodies...Shane is 33, about 5'10" or so, has dark hair and eyes, announces rodeo, works a ranch, rides, and occasionally reminds me of a few of my obnoxious students (minus the irresponsibility part). He pretty normal looking but has one hell of a personality (I suppose you have to when you work in front of an audience for a living), and really is adorable once you get to know him. He makes me laugh and seems to genuinly want me around...which I think is a good thing because we're both at an age where drawing things out seem really pointless. I figure, 'get to know a person, if they aren't who you want, move on...' No sense in wasting time. Jump in and have fun! If you aren't having fun...well....

Sorry. I'm not posting a pic specifically of him, but maybe he'll pop up on a future slide show or something ;)

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Details, Details....

In response to the e-mails and comments...Yes, yes I am dating somebody quite regularly again. I'm not jinxing this because I really am just 'living for the moment' concerning this one, but so far it's been a lot of fun. We have a ton in common and enjoy a lot of the same things, plus he actually thinks it's cool I can help out working on his truck or with livestock and isn't intimidated by my independence. We both do our own thing as well and it's kind of nice to be missed and miss in return when he's away for work! He also actually likes having me around and worries when I'm headed home on icy roads or whatnot and asks me to call when I get back. What a nice change of pace! I quite literally forgot what it was like to have somebody truly interested!

He's a rodeo announcer and works on his grandpa's ranch, plus he's getting into breeding bucking stock, which I always thought would be interesting to do if I ever bought my own place. So fun, fun...I have somebody to ride at the arena, help me improve my roping with, hang out with...blah, blah, blah...


Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!

Crazy last few weeks! First off, I have to say I am sooooo sorry I never made it to the GLI Friday night! I did truely miss everyone, but my trip home had been a whirlwind of activity and I had yet to spend one night with my mom. Since my plane left Saturday I decided I needed to stay in. I hope everyone I missed understands and I REALLY appreciated getting phone calls wondering where I was!

As much as I hate to say it: I think this may have been my last winter travel back to Michigan. For starters, it was a LOT of work getting the ranch ready before I left because of the unpredictable weather we've been having, but that wasn't so much the problem. I wanted to stay in Michigan longer but couldn't because of all the work I have left here. Because of this I only spent one night home with my parents, never did get to see some of the people I woud have loved to visit with and pretty much left exhauseted. It also took me a VERY long time to get back into Albuquerque since the airports had been closed, a VERY long time to drive back to Colorado since the highways had been closed, and to top ALL of it off, my New Year's plans were canceled because of the weather and nobody could get to where we were supposed to be! gets better, I arrived home to discover my tack shed had been left open and horses had toppled over all the grain, a cow had found a crack in the shed wall and dismanteled it to get through, a water tank had overflowed and one heater isn't working for some reason...after putting things in some sort of order to take care of in the morning I went to bed and brought in the New Year's asleep with Maverick the Best Boyfriend Ever in my bed that still hadn't been made from when I left. So, winter trips call for some serious return work it seems...

On a good note. It was a good trip home. It was good seeing everyone I did get to see and it was a good Christmas. My mom bought me a sewing machine and a cookbook so I'm going to attempt to be domestic from time to time. It's not that I'm not familiar with it...I usually just choose not to do it! I also got a cool pink gameboy. So I'm also going to attempt to discover what is so great about video games and try and relate a little better to my students (though I will admit it definetely came in handy at the airports!).

Also - I have met a boy...*gasp*! That's all I'm saying. So other than the disaster I was met with yesterday and had to fix this morning...the New Year may be coming in alright afterall!