Monday, January 29, 2007


OK, I'm a slacker who hasn't felt like taking the time to write anything lately. :) First off, it took Jeff looking at my blog (amazing enough!) to let me know that I spelled picture wrong in the title of my last post. Sometimes my fingers move faster than my brain tells them to... :)

Now .. it seems that every time I schedule a day off to make some progress with my "to-do" list, one or both of my kids get sick. It's like they know I'm going to be off from work anyway, so I might as well have to care for them and not get anything accomplished.

Back in December, I scheduled a day off (Monday) so that I could go shopping. Conor got sick on Friday and was not better by Monday, then Allie got sick on Monday, and I got sick on that Tuesday. I ended up having to take off more than that one day! And I had to do my shopping on other days/nights because I didn't have any more time to take unless I wanted to give up my day after Christmas (I didn't).

So, now.. this month. I have accomplished quite a lot, I believe, in my goals. I finally got all the Christmas stuff taken down and out to the shed. I organized my "spare" bedroom and set up a computer in there for some misc. uses. I got a rug for my living room that makes it look so much better. So, I scheduled another day off on a Friday so that I could have a 3 day weekend and get some other things accomplished. This was for Friday, the 19th. Well, Allie got Strep. Off to the doctor...

I began writing this post in January, on the 29th... I never finished it, thus it was not published until now. Now.. I tried again. Scheduled vacation days for Friday, Feb. 2 and Monday, Feb. 5th. I'm cursed. Thursday night, I discovered our furnace was not working. I'm not sure when it went out as I have electric heaters going to try to keep the gas part of the electric bill down. The house just got colder and colder each day until on Thursday I went out to check on it (once it reached 62 degrees in the house) to find it not running.

So I called Jack (my step-dad). He asked if I saw a reset button on the furnace - I did not. Since it is a gas furnace, and he feared my blowing up the house, he and mom came over to assist me. (Oh! I should mention that Jeff is back to overnights at his work, and has been for 2 weeks, so he was not there.)

So, Jack and I read through the manual to try to figure it out, and we do get it to reset and it started up and looked like it was going to work. We got all the panels back on and I was relieved to have heat coming into the house.... they were preparing to leave when there was this horrible high pitched whine coming from the furnace and it had shut down. Dang it!

We tried resetting it again, got the same results and Jack said to call a service guy. I called him Thursday night and he said he would be out sometime before 11am on Friday.

I got the kids off to school, took Conor to the sitters, and returned home. I started to do some minor things around the house when he showed up. The motor was out on the furnace. A 2 1/2 year old furnace.... joy. So, he set about taking the motor out and installing a new one (thank goodness he has them on hand!). It took about an hour or so..

During the installation I asked him... "Hey, do you happen to work on refrigerators and garbage disposals?" He did. So... "If you have time, and don't have to rush off.. my ice maker doesn't work and neither does my garbage disposal..." So he fixed both of those, too.

As it became extremely cold over the weekend, I was glad that the furnace was working again. It made a big difference!

I watched the Super Bowl by myself on Sunday night, then I watched the show afterwards, and the news following that. I pretty much just vegged out on the couch. :) I played Candyland with Conor during the game, too. Nothing like multi-tasking!

There was an hour delay already announced for the following morning for school, but I still had the girls go to bed at their regular time figuring they needed the extra sleep. Jeff had gone to bed earlier (about half-time) since he had to go to work at 2AM.

The news had warnings about the cold on it.. frostbite warnings, all that. So I went and dug out a hat and scarf for Jeff so he could cover his face with the scarf when making the deliveries. Since he has to go in and out of a refrigerated truck, I figured he could use all the help he could get. I set my alarm so that I could get up in the morning and take the girls to school, and I went to bed.

Monday morning I got up, got ready, started my car so it would warm up, then got Conor ready. The girls were ready and we were walking out the door when Allie piped up, "Did anyone check to see if school was cancelled?"

Me: "It's not cancelled. Get your things, let's go..."

Allie: "What if it is?"

Me: "Then no one would be there when I got to drop you off and it will be obvious. But you have school, they are not going to close it because it is cold."

I have Conor's coat on and I hear the TV... then... "School is closed! Yeah!"

Me: "No! You are going to school, it is NOT closed!"

Allie: (laughing at me) "You're just jealous! Call your work, maybe they are closed today, too!"

Me: "I am not jealous, I don't need to call my work because I am off today anyway. I just wanted some peace and quiet.." lol

(I still can't believe they close school for "extreme cold" - that never happened when I was in school! And ... as my boss pointed out... kids were outside playing instead of being in a warm school building learning!)

So, I take Conor to the sitter's house.. then return home and get a lot accomplished anyway, but not as much as I had hoped for. Monday night I was so worn out ... I had thought I would just take a shower at night instead of having cold wet hair in the morning.. but my tiredness wore out and I went to bed. School was already on an hour delay, again, for Tuesday.

Tuesday morning my alarm clock went off and right about that time Allie came in my room and said, "Mom, there is no water. Ceara got up to use the bathroom and there is no water. And school is closed again today."

Ugh. Groan... No... "Are you serious?" I get up to go to my bathroom to check. Absolutely nothing. Dang it! There is no crawl space under my house, there is no basement. There is a slab of concrete and our pipes are either under it, or in it. I have no clue what to do. So I call my sister. She answers the phone, half asleep.

"Hey, what are you doing?"


"Really? I thought you'd be up by now... sorry." (it's 6:30am) "Do you have water? Or is it just me?"

She wakes her husband up and asks him if they had water when he got home from work.. they did. I tell her I do not. They tell me that there is no way I have frozen pipes under my house, that it has to be in the line coming in my house, or in the lines to our subdivision... so, I call the water department, to see if anyone else has reported anything.

I get a recording, of course, and instructions to call the police department if it is outside their normal business hours. So, I call the police department. She said that the workers start work at around 7am and she would have them call me when they got in, or have them come to my house. No one else in my area had reported anything, so she was sure it was in my house.

I call my boss and get his voice mail. Then I called my co-worker to let her know what was going on. To let her know that I would work from home and maybe come in after I get it resolved. Then I wait. And think how much I take running water for granted.. lol I could not stand not being able to brush my teeth. That is the first thing I do in the mornings.

The water department guys come finally, and my pipes are frozen at the meter - in my garage "closet" with the furnace and the hot water heater. You would think that those two appliances would put off enough heat in that small space to keep them from freezing. NOT! I was thinking that I would have to call a plumber, I didn't think the water department did work on the inside of houses like that. But they got out a torch and thawed it out. They told me to let it run for about 20 - 30 minutes from multiple faucets to make sure all the ice got out of the line and to get some heat tape for the pipes in that closet. Also, to run the water at a drip at night so they didn't freeze again.

OK. They leave and I go in and turn on the water in the kitchen and the bathroom. The hot water. Yeah, I wasn't thinking. I should have just put on the cold. So.. after 20-30 min, I turn them off. Then I go to take a shower and get ready for work. No hot water. Dumb, dumb. So, I go to my computer to do some work. At least 10 interruptions by either Conor or Allie. Conor runs in and says, "Allie's being mean to me!"

Allie yells from the living room, "I am not! He keeps bothering me!"

This, or alternate versions of it continue until I feel as if I'm going insane! lol I put some clothes on, get Conor ready, and take him to the sitters. Then I return home and get some work done for a little while. I finally get to take a shower and get dressed, and I call my boss. By this time, the snow had begun to fall. Huh.. the weathermen were right about that. Just not right about the time it would come. He says because of the snow moving in that I should just stay home and work. They would be closing early anyway if it kept going.

So, I continued to work from home.... didn't pay much attention to the snow coming down until about 3PM - I looked out and noticed how much had accumulated. I went out and started my car to go to get Conor - kicking myself thinking I should have gone earlier. I called Jeff to see how he was doing and how far he was from home. He said he was about an hour away from his work but with the slow traffic, he wasn't sure what time he would get home.

I got ready to go and told the girls to find some warm clothes because if they were good sisters they would be helping their little brother build a snowman when he got home. I left my house at 3:20ish to get Conor, went very, very slow, and got to the sitter's at 4PM to pick him up. (Normal drive time is 10 minutes) Conor was so excited to build a snowman! We got home at 4:30 and the girls were actually ready and waiting for him. I was a little shocked... but pleasantly surprised.

They went to the back yard and attempted to start a snowman, but the snow would not pack. So they were just throwing snow at one another and laughing and playing. I got in the shed to get the snow shovels out and got the sleds out for them. So they went sled riding down what little hill we have in our back yard. I took pictures and a little video of them, so if I figure out how to put a video on my site, I will put that on here.

Jeff got home around 8PM after fighting traffic. So once we were all home, everyone was relieved. The kids are off school again today, for more legitimate reasons anyway. I was the only one forced up and out of the house this morning, and everyone else stayed home, warm in bed. :) I didn't have many problems, though. And from what I can see of the roads from my lunch break, school should resume tomorrow - unless it snows more tonight!

So, that is all the excitement that has been going on lately. Hope you are all safe and warm!


Barb said...

I remember being a young mom. I remember having a husband who was gone most of the time. I remember plumbing emergencies. I remember treacherous driving to get kids. Ahh those were the good ol' days!

Poor Katie!! Hang in there Kid, it's all over before you know it!

Misty said...

Good gracious girl, no wonder you never have time to blog! I enjoyed reading this "huge" post so it was worth every minute that it took you to type it.

Take care and stay warm!

Work Bud said...

I'm jealous, you got your heat fixed so quickly? Mines been out since last Saturday and still not fixed! The parts finally came in today, guy came this morning to "fix" it, came home from work tonight and the house was a toasty 55 degrees. Argh!

A good free and easy thing to use for posting videos to your blog can be found at