Thursday, December 18, 2008

December Flashback

What an afternoon! I have some updates.

I tried to go for a walk in the snow today, but the biting wind and falling snow kept my walk short. I didn't even make it to the local coffee shop.

Later, I went back out to snap some scenic photos and while standing on the sidewalk in front of my house, I noticed water pooling on the sidewalk in front of the neighbor's garage. Hmmm. Within seconds, a flashback of December a few years ago ran through my head.

About two years ago (or maybe three, post traumatic stress syndrome will do that to you) we had a bad round of weather around here. A plethora of rain saturated the ground with run-off. Then we had snow and a freeze, then it began to unthaw. And one morning Pony Girl stepped into the living room at 6:30 a.m. before work and her socks went squish, squish on the carpet.

The lower part of my apartment was filling up with water. Even after furniture was moved and carpet was torn up, they couldn't pump it out without it filling back up. Where was the water coming from? Later that afternoon, my upstairs neighbor and I discovered water gushing out of the exterior wall of the house next door. A-ha! A broken water pipe. Nobody was at the house so we called the water company and they came out and turned the water off at the street. But not before I had my flooring torn up and place in disarray. I spent that Christmas living on concrete, giant dryers in my house, furniture moved all over and up on blocks. It was a month before I got new drywall and carpet.

So this time, I knew exactly where to look first. I ran around to the neighbor's fence and peered at the backside of their house. Sure enough, water was pouring out of the wall of the house, in the exact same spot as two years ago!!! I mean, really? I ran and knocked on the door of the house. No answer, and it looked abandoned. I then ran and knocked on my landlord's door (she lives above me.) She promptly called the water company, who said they'd be there in an hour. An hour? I was wringing my hands and already donning my wading galoshes. Lo and behold they showed up in 20 minutes. Even on snowy roads. I practically hugged them and baked them a batch of cookies I was so relieved. They shut off the water with a simple wrench and screwdriver. They showed me how to do it. Not that I'll remember. I'll probably turn it the wrong way and turn the water pressure up or something.

Then it became a waiting game. Was there already enough groundwater saturation to cause this flooding problem in my place again? It has only happened that one time previously, in the nearly five years I've lived here. That was a particularly wet year and combined with the broken pipe, kind of a freak occurrence.

So far tonight, my carpet is dry. I have spent the afternoon moving things that could get damaged up off the floor, just in case. And walking around in socks, waiting to feel water. And let me tell you, an angel must have been watching out for me. If I hadn't randomly stepped out to take a few pictures, I never would have seen that water on the sidewalk and not discovered the broken pipe, until possibly my place flooded again! I definitely owe the big man upstairs something for this one!

Now, why is this pipe breaking? Well. Well. apparently, the man who lives there is out of the country most of the year. At times, someone appears to be staying there, perhaps friends or family. Strange situation. Currently it seems the home is empty again. Maybe the heat is turned off in the house. There was no outside water spigot where the pipe burst. It was an interior pipe in the kitchen wall. The water ran down the wall and cement back porch steps, into the basement, out the garage door, as well as into our yard, since my house is the lowest point on the hill sloping from that house. My landlord and I tried to get in contact with the owner, his number is disconnected. At this point, whomever ever shows up there next will simply discover the water has been shut-off. But I can't live in fear of my apartment flooding again. If nobody is going to be there in the winter, the home at least needs to be winter-proofed!

In other news, Paint Girl sent me more pictures of My Boy in the snow. Look at the snow on his hitching post!

They are feeding him right by the water tough now. They want to keep all of the horses close to their water as they travel less in this kind of weather. We all do, come to think of it!

My mom sent me pictures of the snowman my papa and my cousin H built. Personally, I think he has the same freaked out expression on his face that I had when I realized the pipe was busted and my place could fill with water again. And where are his stick arms? He just has little stumpies!

Little man G had fun in the snow, too! Is it wrong of me to say it's kind of endearing when little kid's feet turn out slightly like that? Kind of like when they speak with cute speech impediments until they are seven? I'm a teacher, I can say these things, right?

Here are Sadie's legs after an afternoon romp in the snow at horsey feeding time last night.

Is this for real? She looks loaded and ready for the canine snowball fight of the century! Amazing how they formed in nearly perfectly round balls.

Poor Sadie Girl. It must be tough to to be an Aussie and have all that fur hanging down your legs, dragging in nearly 15 inches of snow. And she wasn't even outside very long! Paint Girl, maybe you can put a small long-sleeved sweatshirt on her to keep her leg protected from the snow. Any other ideas out there?

Hang in there, Sadie! I have some bad news for you though. Winter hasn't even officially started yet!


  1. My brother has a chow mix with the same problem. She loves snow too. The groomer clips some of her feathering off which helps. Of course she isn't as cute and fluffy then, but she doesn't mind it. good luck :)

  2. I had a show English setter when I lived in Maryland, full feathers on his coat. They formed the same balls, and they are just like mats, you can't brush them out. I'm sure they were painful so I'd bring him inside and blow dry them off. It's either that or cut off their hair. I loved his coat and loved grooming him so I opted for the blow dryer.

  3. lol my Golden Retreiver used to have the same problem! Luckily Tika with her short hair, doesnt.

  4. Must be rough carrying around all those snowballs on your coat!! She has a sad pout on her face too - poor girl. This snow is really something huh?? We had about 5", but today it has warmed up and most of it is melted. They say we might have another "arctic blast" (don't you just love their drama?) this weekend, so, we'll see. The lumpy frozen pastures do create havoc with the horse's hooves. This time of year at the clinic we typically see many more colics and abscesses. To prevent these, encourage water intake by being creative like a little sugar and peppermint in warm water for example and keeping horses inside when ground is totally frozen. Just in case I don't get the chance later, I wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas PG!!

  5. The snow and ice are moving into Nebraska right now. Makes me cold just thinking about it!

  6. My Schnauzers do that also. I usually have to put them in a slightly warm sink of water to get it out! I love to see them playing in the snow...
    Merry Christmas!

  7. Oh thanks for that guffa laugh you gave to me over the "little stumpies" for arms! hope history does not soggily repeat!

  8. We haven’t done a snow man yet here, but we have done some mushing... No animals or humans were harmed in the antics, thankfully. We did almost have a close call with the horse trailer as you can tell. The screams were shrieks of joy, I promise!

  9. Flooding is no fun at all!~ I am so jealous of the snow~ I would like some!

  10. Your Boy doesn't look any worse for the wear. That can't be said about poor Sadie.

    Glad you are flooded!

  11. Sweet pictures. I love the stubby arms on the snowman.

  12. Glad to hear you were lucky enough to spot the water debacle early enough to head off a disaster.
    Your horse doesn't look like he minds the snow a bit.
    Sadie is low to the ground like our three Aussies. For bad weather,snow/rain, we actually bought blankets for them from SmartPak, they just velcro on and are weather proof. It's worth a look.

  13. Flooding right now would just send me over the!!! Glad that you have that psychology degree so you can manage your PTSD (wink, wink!!).

    I took pictures of my Aussie's paws last night too!!! How funny. :)
    Stay warm!

  14. Holy smokes!! You guys sure do get a lot of snow up there!! Yikes!! Your Boy sure does look like he is staying warm. We always add some water to the buckets in the winter time. Just in case the horses don't drink enough.

    And how scary abou the water!! Good thing you went outside to take some picutres!! And thank Goodness for quick responding water company men. I bet they enjoyed your cookies!! That was nice!!

    And Holy Snowballs Batman!! That is so crazy the amount of snowballs on Paint Girl's dog!! Crazy!!

  15. Amen that you found the problem before you got flooded!!! Geesh...they gotta get a clue!

    The snow sure is piling up over there! That must be a record...the thaw is going to be a mess...I feel for you there.

    My Boy looks good though...happy as usual!

  16. I woke up to flooding in my house once. It turned out to be a broken hose to the washing machine. We had four inches of standing water throughout the entire house. It was a mess.....just like you described. It was weeks before the fans were gone and new carpets laid. I can sure understand you not wanting to go through that again.

  17. Sheez-when it snows there, it REALLY snows!! No thanks! The only time I like to see that much snow is when I am on the ski slope, which is where Megan and I hope to get to when we are in Colorado. It has been so long, I see the bunny slope in my future-LOL.

  18. Well, I made it through the night without flooding, so all is good for now. Let's just hope the next series of cold air and storms doesn't cause problems with pipes in my own house! Luckily, my landlord lives right upstairs. Wait- maybe that's not such a good thing, LOL! I might have to tone down my numerous wild parties...

  19. how about sending some of that snow this way. in return i will send you 65 degree weather!

    if it snows here, my dane, Bree, tells me, "mom, spring works for me! do you know how hard it is to push a 120# dog outside? she comes back in runs at full speed and gets on my bed, paws the covers back and gets comfy. snorts her disgust at me!

  20. Whew! I'm so glad that you figured out what was going on there before it got worse. And I'm glad that it was nipped in the bud. Flooding in the winter must be the worst thing!
    Cold...and wet!

    Poor snowball Sadie! hehe

    New Mexico

  21. My gosh look at the snow packed on Sadie!!! I always enjoy your pictures so much.


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