Monday, August 10, 2009

The Fragility of So Many Things (and How They All Must Break at the Same Time)

Okay, who cursed me? This weekend I cleaned house. Then last night I clipped the dogs' toenails. Despite being very careful not to cut to the quick, Monty yanked his foot away causing the nail to tear up to the quick. Unfortunately, I didn't see that he was bleeding until after he left a trail of blood throughout the entire house. I stayed up until midnight scrubbing blood out of the carpet after bandaging his toe. This morning I got up early and vacuumed the carpet one more time.

I woke up with a touch of the stomach flu, went to go flush the toilet and no water came up, went to go wash my hands, and no water came out of the faucet. The only standing water I could find was in the horses' water troughs, so I washed my hands in the pasture trough and made a mental note not to let the horses drink out of it until I cleaned it. I started calling around for a well pump expert to come help me out, but no one was answering their phones. Eventually, one guy who had Caller ID called me back, but he was hesitant to come out because he had worked on our well pump 12 years ago and remembered that our dog jumped the fence and attacked him. I assured him that the mean dog passed away and I will keep my other dogs indoors.

He took his sweet time coming out, and could not pinpoint the problem. He thinks we have a broken pipe, so he's going to replace all the piping in the well. I told him to just replace the well pump while he's at it since ours is at the end of it's life. Of course, he can't get our pump and pipes to us until tomorrow, so every time that we have to use the toilet, we have to drive into town. We can't pester the neighbors for various reasons. One neighbor is having plumbing problems, while others are out of town, while still others are people I'd rather not deal with. Once you ask them for a favor, they think they own you.

In all the trips between the well house and our house, we managed to track in a ton of wet grass blades, so now I get to vacuum the floor yet again. That makes three times within one 24-hour period.

I walked outside to go to the market to buy some drinking water for ourselves and the dogs, only to be greeted by a naked driveway. I forgot that we had car trouble and our car was still in the shop. I had to dig my truck out of hibernation and wipe all the dust off the windshield. We'll have to take sponge baths if we want to clean up. I'm praying that the water in the horse troughs in the paddock will hold out until tomorrow night, but if not, I'll hook up a dozen hoses to a neighbor's spigot. After going to the market, my son and I went out to eat and to use a restroom. I drove all the way to the other side of town to my favorite sandwich place, only to be greeted with a sign on the door that they've gone out of business.

When we got home, I got a call from the mechanic who's been working on the car that won't release the key from the ignition. He said we need a new shifter, and that's going to cost $400. The new well pump, piping, and wiring is going to be a few thousand dollars, and if we need to drill the well deeper, a few thousand more. I just paid an $800 dental bill and a $3,000 oral surgery bill. So, it looks like we aren't going to be able to remodel our kitchen after all. Too many things went wrong at once, which always seems to be the case.

I've been trying to get out of my job for years now. I had saved up thousands of dollars to start my own business, and then our plumbing got clogged up and we were informed that we needed to install a whole new leach system for our septic tank. Guess how much it cost us? Thousands. So, here I am still working in a job I don't care for thanks to our basic need to have a toilet at our disposal. Just when I thought our toilet woes were over and done with, now our well system broke and we're back to bumming the use of toilets off other people. It's amazing what people are willing to pay just to get away from their own stink. Maybe I should go into the septic or well repair business.

Despite all of this, I'd still prefer to be on a private well and septic than to be hooked up to the city's water and sewer, because no one can impose their rules on us or make us pay monthly fees that just keep going up and up. We get free water and septic for many years until something goes wrong, and then we have to pay for repairs in one lump sum. My mother lives in the Los Angeles area, and she is being limited to 5-minute showers once a day, watering three days a week for no more than 10-minutes per section, and she is required to have low-flush toilets and low-pressure sprinkler heads due to their drought. She has had to spend a fortune on plumbers due to the low-flush toilets not flushing with enough power and causing her pipes to get clogged. Of course, even though we are on our own well, we still have to ration water because we don't want our well to run dry, but it's just easier when we can choose what to sacrifice instead of having the city decide for us.

13 comments:

Leah Fry said...

Ya know, things have just got to start going your way pretty soon. YUK - nasty time of year to be without water.

Reddunappy said...

Hang in there, sometimes the most mundane things test us LOL At least you have your health and the resources to deal with it all! ; )

manker said...

wow.. we too are on a septic system and have to do quarterly water tests for the inn and when we first moved in had to put in an additional septic tank due to number of potential guests. Pricey but agree with you.. much rather be on this system

better days ahead
gp

Fantastyk Voyager said...

Oh MY!! Hopefully, things will get better for you real soon!

Paint Girl said...

I am so sorry!! What a mess! I hate when things go wrong, everything goes wrong! Being without a toilet has to be the worst thing ever!
I hope things start to look up for you, and real soon!

Cowgirly said...

Hang in there, when it rains it pours but it's bound to clear up...

Sewer just came to our neighborhood, we're still on septic as well... I know how you feel. I wish we were on our own well also but alas, city water.

Shirley said...

I swear you have the worst luck of anyone I know! Things sure do pile up for you. Maybe you should move to Canada! Lots of wide open spaces here, and if your plumbing craters on you there are creeks for water, and you can always dig an outhouse! Seriously, though, I hope things start getting better for you. Try to stay positive, and remember that rock bottom is only a place to turn around.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Ha ha! I told the boys that they can take a bucket to the barn and do their business, but I'm driving to the park. Although our barn is cleaner than the park toilets. We also have the added challenge of the nosy neighbors always peering in our barn windows. If the man next door wasn't always sitting in his window or working in the garage, we could use the backyard like the dogs. Actually, my husband did an ingenious thing... He's taking the old water out of the pasture trough and pouring it into the toilets, which allows us to flush every once in a while. So, we are making due. Our biggest challenge is to keep the horses from dumping their water troughs now that they are low. Once the water gets down below the halfway mark, the horses all grab onto the trough with their teeth and give a big team pull to tip it over. They just take for granted that I will fill it back up. Not the case this time.

Lulu said...

I was going to suggest filling the toilets with water from the troughs!!! Your husband is a genious!

We have a well and septic too, and you are correct. The monthly fees are not there, but the repair costs can be high. We desperately need a new well now....and have been saving for a year!

HorseOfCourse said...

I am so sorry for you, NuzzMuzz. But your luck HAS to turn now!

allhorsestuff said...

Dang..hope that very bad day is over now! Sorry dear...it does all crash at once- I have found!
Keep looking up!

ms martyr said...

Peroxide (the kind for disinfecting, not bleaching) works great for getting blood out of carpet.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

My kids seem to be always stubbing a toe outside and tracking blood inside. I use hydrogen peroxide to remove it easily. Thankfully, all our floors are tile downstairs, so most of the time we don't have any carpets to scrub.

If our toilets weren't working, I'd probably bring in our camp potty and use it in the bathroom instead. When we go camping, and don't have access to much water, we use baby wipes for washing up.

I hope things smooth out soon for you, my friend.

~Lisa