Jan 10

I still have no idea who got into my house but I’m pretty much over it.

I mean, here in my town, this doesn’t happen very often at all.  And when it does, it happens to other people too.  One lady had her checkbook stolen out of her car and another guy had his cabin broken into as well.

We think it was an “out-of-towner” who was wandering aimlessly through the village half-drunk for a few days.  He’s now gone back to his own village.  Things have settled down.

Except that my pipes are all busted underneath my house, I’m still rattled and paranoid about someone else coming in to my home, and I’m ready to move somewhere warm.

Which is huge for me.  Because we all know how much I love winter.  In spite of all the problems that can occur.

My dear friend Dusty doesn’t want me to move.  I don’t want to leave him.  He’s the brother I’ve always wanted, one of my best friends in the world.  He’s lovingly carted me and Howard around for the past few days, talking up the experience, trying to find the positive in everything.  I like to think I’m adaptable.  But God damn it, I hate it when everything gets thrown at me at once.

For now, the house is warm, we’re making due without water, and taking showers at Brian’s parents’ house.
I’ve yet to break down in to tears.  Oddly enough.  Ya’ll know what a crybaby I am.  I love me some hot raging tears.

Tomorrow is Howard’s birthday.  Only the second birthday in which we’ve had running water since moving to this state.  I’m growing tired of this lifestyle.  I love this place but I don’t know how much more I can honestly take.  I want to be able to make a really nice dinner for my husband.  My husband who has loved me deeply and unconditionally for over fifteen years.  Who has been my strength and my rock of gibraltor when I needed it the most.  But I can’t.  Because God just had to throw one more wrench in 2007:  I’m out of propane.  My stove won’t run without it.  I’m not going to be able to get another tank until tomorrow night.  If we had restaurants that served dinner, I’d take him out.  And I just feel terrible.  I dragged him up here and now look at where we are.

Chances are; the wonderful people who share my village will help me anyway they can.  Because they love Howard as much as I do.  I mean, who wouldn’t?  Those dimples alone could make your heart melt. I’m so amazingly grateful for all of that.  I think if it weren’t for all these fabulous people, I’d have chucked this gig a long time ago.
But I’m still tired.  And I feel bad.

And I hope that Howard still loves me after I feed him some canned chili beans heated up in the microwave.

Jan 8

I don’t know what I did in 2006, but I think I might have been jumping the gun when it came to talking about what a wonderful year, 2007 would be.

Because so far, it’s been bad.

And you know what?  Howard and I were still smiling and laughing.  I think it was because secretly, we were thanking our lucky stars that as far as our house goes, nothing’s gone wrong.

I should have never even gotten excited.

Sometime today, someone broke into our house.  They didn’t take anything but they made the mistake of leaving my door wide open.  (we think that when they broke in, the dogs probably barked, especially Lucky, and they were scared off)
It was -52 today.  52 degrees BELOW zero.  When Dusty drove me home tonight (because the truck isn’t running), he begged me to let him help me with the space heater (we were going to try to warm up my truck so I could run to the gas pump and fill it up so I could leave it running all night and not bum a ride tomorrow).  He persisted even against my rebuffs of being able to do it all on my own.

He was the one who immediately noticed the door was ajar.  I ran into my house, afraid that my dogs and cat had run away.  I needn’t have worried because they were huddled on the couch shivering and my poor cat had frost on her whiskers.  Lucky, my 14 year old dog, could barely move.  My indoor thermometer read -2.  Even with the furnace working desperately to warm the house.  Everything in my house was frozen.  I firmly believe one more hour would have meant death to my animals.

Dusty took me to the public works operator’s house so he could shut off my water.  My pipes are no doubt busted.  Tonight, we will wait for them to thaw and begin releasing the water trapped in the pipes, saturating carpets, weakening the wood planks underneath, no doubt entailing lots of repairwork.  Brian has offered up his parents’ house to us to live while the repairs are made, we can even bring our animals.  (his parents primary home is in Texas)  For that, I’m grateful, I really am.  I told Dusty tonight as I hugged him, “I don’t know what we would do without you…”  I’m grateful that Brian is so generous as to lend us his parents’ empty house so that we can have running water, warmth, even satellite and internet, and mainly bring our babies with us.

But I’m telling you now:  Tonight when I saw my critters nearly hypothermic, I stopped laughing.  This whole adventure wasn’t fun anymore.  What I didn’t tell my boss in an email notifying him of what happened, is that if I’d have come home and my animals were dead or gone, I wouldn’t have rested until the motherfucker that broke into my house had a bullet in his brain.  Truth be told?  He or she better hope I NEVER find out who they are, because even now, I swear I could do them great harm.
Call me harsh.  You might sit there and say something like “my god, it’s ONLY a dog.”  or “It’s ONLY a cat.”  But these dogs and this cat are my family.  Someone came into MY HOME and compromised their safety.

Forget the water, forget the frozen pipes, my babies almost died tonight.

And I’m really fucking pissed off right now.

Jan 6

My God in Heaven.

You guys just don’t even know.

So far, 2007?  Has sucked big sweaty elephant balls (do they really sweat?).

Okay, so you know about the hot water heater going out right?

And you know about the block heater on the truck not working? (actually that was due to the stupidity of a certain relief guy who covered for us while on vacation last year. Great job, just pull right out of the driveway with that thing plugged in and short everything out, why don’t you? and how about next time you fuck up like that?  be honest with us, because chances are, I’m going to blab about it to the person who tried to fix it and he will say “Oh hell no, that’s not what happened, dumbass just pulled out of the driveway with it plugged in!”)

And then you know about the space heater which heats the block heater which allows the truck to start absolutely conking out too right?

Yep.  I thought I covered all of it.  Then you would also know that we pretty much got things under control and life was good again and I was all smug about paybacks.

Okay.  Maybe next time I’ll lay off on the smug because oh.my.god.

Late Thursday night, I told Howard to crank up the boiler at the store because it was supposed to dip down to -50.  You know, I was planning ahead because we didn’t want anything to freeze up.  I was being a good little manager.

So, yesterday morning we walk in to work and immediately realize that the heat had gone off during the night.  We figure a breaker must have kicked off and Howard goes to investigate while I go ahead and begin my conference call and morning paperwork.

He was gone for about ten minutes when he comes up and tells me we have a major problem going on in the boiler room.  I hang up from my conference call so we can call someone to look at it.  Now the fact that I just said that?  Means that we’re lucky enough to have someone locally who knows something about boilers.  This isn’t like living on a roadsystem where you just scan the yellow pages and find someone.

So the guy gets there and disappears for a while then comes back up and pretty much tells us we’re fucked.  We get on the phone with our company maintenance coordinator and realize that with the extreme cold outside, we’re rapidly losing temperature in the store.  An executive decision is made to at least close the store early because with people going in and out, we’re letting out the heat.

When we closed the store we were just below 40 degrees.

The day was spent over the phone with a technician who talked to our local guy who pretty much just got things prepped for the tech because he couldn’t just pull a new boiler out of his ass.

I took my first look at the boiler room and there were sheets of ice.  Whole sheets.  Burst pipes everywhere with frozen sprays of water.

We had space heaters going which was okay but the diesel fumes were making us loopy.

Loooong story short, we had to charter a technician out here and he arrived around 6:30pm last night.  He went to work straight away and between shifts going to the store checking the heaters thawing the pipes, the tech, myself, and Howard are going on pretty much no sleep.

And it’s not even over yet. No where near.  The store is still closed (due to the diesel fumes and the big mess from the ceiling tiles being ripped down to expose more copper piping), we’re downright batty from very little sleep, but you know what the weird thing is?  Howard and I haven’t had a meltdown yet.  And let me tell  you, Howard and I honestly don’t do well with each other in a crisis.  There’s lots of blaming, lots of screaming of obscenities, etc.  Oddly enough, that hasn’t happened.  Maybe it’s because we did get just a little bit of sleep because we worked out a better schedule, maybe it’s just the diesel fumes.  But who knows?  The day’s not over yet.

We still don’t know what caused all of this.

Also, I don’t think I’ll ever get the smell of diesel off of me, so what do you say I patent it as a perfume?  It could serve as a mood enhancer and could possibly keep husband and wife from otherwise killing each other.

Think on that while I go back to work and get back to me, would you?

Jan 4

Eh well.

So far this year:

The hot water heater broke down.

The block heater on the truck went out.

The space heater that usually substitutes for said block heater stopped working.

So far?  2007 is kicking my ass.

But it’s okay because, the hot water heater is now fixed and now that we’ve started the truck, we’re just not going to turn it off until the temps rise above -20.  Which right now?  It’s -38.  So the company can thank mother nature for the excessive gas bill because this girl isn’t going to hoof it to work in this weather even though it is only a mile and a half away. (which is far in “bush” terms)

And you know what else is okay?  In less than two months, I’ll be Morocco.  And in less than a year, I’ll be painting my town with one of my very best friends.

So take that 2007.  Payback’s a bitch.

Jan 1

It is 12:48pm my time and I just crawled out of bed and walked the dogs.

I’d say last night’s attempts at ringing in the new year with a bang was successful.

We (me, Howard and Dusty’s whole family) met down at the cafe’ around 9pm and then we walked down to the boat slip and watched a spectacular fireworks show.  Granted we were all freezing because it was 30 below but it was no less a blast (literally!).

Then we all went back to Susie’s (the cafe’) socialize with each other and get acquainted with Dusty’s uncle and family who just moved here from Oregon.  They’re going to fit in just fine which I think is so awesome.

When the midnight hour was looming, we all walked over to the bar, and did the countdown and I have to say right now:  The people of this town, are by far the best people in the world to ring in the New Year with.  I know I hugged everyone there, and have officially kissed more people on the lips than I have in my lifetime.  (Apparantly that’s how you do it here because everyone was like “No Chrissy! on the lips!”)  But it was all in good humor and good taste and was nothing short of one of the best New Year’s ever.

Afterwards, Dusty and I lost Howard and Brian when we went to find them, they were sitting in our truck talking and cutting up.  Brian rolled down the window and handed me his keys so I could drive his truck home and we all ended up at Dusty’s.  Where Brian and Howard could not tear themselves away from each other (they’re both history buffs and oh my god do they love to talk about it) and Dusty and I heckled them, popped popcorn,  and gossiped until 4am this morning.

When you ring in the New Year with such good friends and such good people, how can 2007 be anything but wonderful?

Happy New Year to all of you and I wish you nothing but love, peace, happiness, and health.

Next Entries »