Tuesday, December 30, 2014


How cold was it today? Well, we never saw more than 14F here, at the farmette (so, at the hottest point we were at -10C).

But, the sun is out and that's very heart warming! So much so that you forget about how cold it really is.

The cheepers forgot. They came all the way to the farmhouse door for their morning treat...


...then buried themselves under the bushes, all tightly meshed in a hump to stave off the cold.

Ed and I eat breakfast in the front room, loving the sunshine, feeling its energy, scheming great plans for the day.


To cross off the ordinary chores and errands, I do the weekly grocery shopping. As Ed helps me lug the bags into the kitchen I point out to him that the water pressure in the kitchen is really low.

"Probably the filter..." he tells me. Out come the tools, the coils, the filter. After a few minutes the pressure is even lower.


We're in the basement now. I'm playing my usual clueless assistant role. I turn switches when asked to do so and stare at boxes of wires thinking that maybe one would be frayed and I'll discover it and the problem will be solved.

Ed is gently cursing. A broken water pump at the farmette would be a big deal. A huge deal, in fact.

He takes out the starter, switches the capacitor, cleans the contact points. No luck.

We call Farm&Fleet. They have a new starter. Ed goes down to check one more time if everything else is operational.

It isn't.

"It's not just the starter.  It has to be the pump," he tells me. Shit. 

The pump is, of course, submerged. 50 feet under the ground. In the well. It's heavy. Connected to a pvc pipe.


It takes both of us to pull it out and in the end, it snaps off. Just like that.
"Good thing I had the foresight to connect it to a rope."

One broken pump and snapped pvc later, Ed is on the phone calling Pumps and Equipment. Who even knew that there is a store called Pumps and Equipment?

A bit of luck here: it doesn't close until 4:30 and it is now *only* 3:30. I remind Ed it gets dark early. It is, too, biting cold. The cheepers are still hiding -- they refuse to go back to the barn -- the sun is low, it is just too cold for them.

Was I singing "all is calm, all is bright" not too long ago?

In the middle of the entire operation, the Chicken Mama -- the true owner of our cheeper brood -- stops by to visit with the hens and Oreo. (Yes, Oreo has forgotten her and pecks away at her ankles.) I glance at my watch. Why does the sun go down so fast? Is it a race? Come on, put the brakes on!

Ed is off to pick up a new pump. Well, not so fast. He'd left the ignition on in his car. Battery's dead.

Of course, I can count the ways in which this calamity isn't a true disaster. We have another car -- my trusty red, fender-less Escort. Then, too, Ed can figure out most things that break. And he can fix them (that has its downside: he wont hire help). And the Pumps and Equipment store is open, and it's not their holiday, and it's not our holiday, and I don't have house guests, and my older girl lives 12 minutes away, and she has water. I know all that. But right now it just feels cold and the busted pipe and pump are lying on the frozen ground and we still have to put a new contraption on and work the thing back underground and connect it in some mystical fashion to all the wires dangling at the side.

Hell-kite! (That's straight out of Macbeth and sounds much better than a repetition of the standard shit.)

Ed comes back with various pumps and pipes and starters and all other relevant bits of equipment. It is, by now, dark and so of course, the installation has to be put off until tomorrow.

It will be a night without water. On the upside, the furnace is working magnificently!