It was "back to school" week after the holidays, so it already promised to be a little more of a struggle which was to be expected. As expected my kids did have a hard time focusing on doing their work. It is just hard to get back in the groove after several weeks off. Temperatures dropped outdoors severely for our area and being that a huge part of our home is on blocks an only a small portion is on a slab that means when the temp drops we have to drain our pipes. That is fine... we just made sure we had several pitchers of water ready for emergencies and went with it. That, of course, means that showers and baths have to well planned or even skipped. Skipping one is not too bad because when it is freezing cold no one is sweating and no one is getting dirty from playing outside either.
The water stayed frozen until close to noon. Wow! Not the best thing. No way to wash dishes or laundry. That is okay. I had laundry caught up pretty well and decided to just wait it out a few days to do more rather than stress about that. Dishes could be done when we did have water during the warmer part of the day. No big deal.
My husband went to work on Monday feeling normal and came home feeling "not so good".
Caden is excited about the ice he found! Brrrrr cold!!!
Water pipes drained for the freeze, again.
The dishwasher quit working a few days before and we scheduled someone to come look at that for repairs. This was our special splurge dishwasher. It is a KitchenAid and our feeling is that with our large family we might not splurge on many things but this was something we wanted to get the best we could get. Apparently, the best is not truly that great either and $900 later we probably should have just planned to buy a cheap one and have it replaced more often... or ditch the dishwasher completely. So, at least, we bought the warranty plan. Anyway, we scheduled for the service technician to come out. It really had not been working since before Thanksgiving well, so we were getting used to handwashing dishes. No big deal. He called that morning to confirm the appointment. He would arrive shortly, we hung up the phone, then, I realized my water was off. When he arrived I told him I was sorry that I had forgotten the water was off due to the freeze and he scheduled to come back that afternoon.
My husband came home about and hour early around 4:PM which was not normal since it was the first day back to school for students. He was a officially "not feeling good" and wanted to go to bed like right then. My husband never sleeps... so this is a huge red flag that all is not well.
The dishwasher repairman came back, found the problem, ordered the parts, and planned to come back in one week.
Sienna is enjoying the cold all bundled up in many layers. Brrrr...
Meanwhile, throughout the day I noticed it was really cold in the house. Of course, with temps in the teens you kind of expect that, right? I turned the heat up and that seemed to do the trick to make us feel warmer. After the dishwasher repairman left my husband crawled in bed. I washed dishes, cooked dinner, and the usual stuff. At some point after all that I walked into my little kids room and it was pretty cold. Uh-oh, I knew instantly that something was not right. The heat was blowing non-stop so this should mean that the room would be warm. No, the AIR was blowing non-stop, but that AIR was not warm at all. It was rather cool and the temp on the end of the house was around 60 degrees. I stood on a chair and felt the air coming out of the vent to confirm my suspicions. Not good. Not good at all. I immediately knew I had to turn that off and block off that end of the house. Fortunately, we have two units so if you know what to do you can make due with the circumstances you have. I grew up with relatives that always blocked off parts of their house so they could afford their bills. I know that hanging quilts or blankets will do the trick. I had to wake my husband to help me hang the quilts because it is just too heavy for me to do easily while trying to nail them up. Also, the unit did not kick off like it should have so he had to go out to the breaker to switch off the breaker.
Thankful raggedy old quilts that can still serve a purpose. The top one was a store bought quilt I got at a yard sale many years ago for $10 that I have patched in the past and is in dire need of re-patching. The bottom is a quilt my husband found on the side of the road that someone had lost. It has served many useful years here. The back has a sunset beach scenery on it while the other front of the quilt is a patchwork design of beautiful little triangles. Many people would have not have brought that quilt home but we just washed it and it has been a treasure here. I often wonder about who might have lost this precious treasure and I wish they, at least, knew that it has been well loved.
By this point my husband was simple "out of commission"... he was curled up in the bed in the fetal position most of the day. The original plan for this day was that my oldest had a dental appointment early, so I had planned to take everyone to that appointment. Instead, I decided that just the two of us would go and that would be so much better than getting everyone out in the freezing weather. When I left everyone was up having a simple breakfast of cereal in the interest of making it easy. All was well. Three hours later I returned to my sick husband sitting in the recliner, my toddler saying, "I hungry." as she decided to try to solve this problem herself since Daddy clearly was not hearing her and it was just past lunch time. I asked him if he had taken her potty to which he said he had not as she spilled an entire bag of cereal in the floor. As I went to sweep up that huge mess she peed all over herself since I guess she heard me ask the potty question which apparently triggered her bladder to respond. I called out for my husband to help her since I was cleaning up the floor... to which he did not move for few minutes. In total frustration I told him how I knew he was sick but I had this same thing a couple weeks before and you still have to carry on and function to some degree. While I feel bad for anyone that is sick there are some things that simple must still be done. Fifteen minutes later I am cleaning up messes (the spill and the pee) and she is still begging for a snack even though I told him to make it simple and give her the peaches out of the refrigerator. Sigh.
I get up to find puddles of liquid around the stand up freezer. Things are thawing out. Not good. Not good at all. We realized the breaker to the heat must also be the breaker to the freezer, so we had to turn it back on. Which meant that the freezer could work, but it also meant that we had cold air blowing through the house. Not good. But, at least, it was the day the repairman was coming for that. And it was a warmer day, so as it became warmer outside I opened the doors and on both ends of the house and pulled back the quilts hoping the airflow through the house might warm it some. That worked for a little while. Then, the temp outside starting dropping a little. But the repairman came and showed us another small breaker box under the heating unit that switched the unit off, as well. He also surveyed the issue and said he would check to see if he could get the parts (since our unit is pretty old... ugh... ). Fortunately, he was able to get the part and he ordered it. That will be about $314. Yeah, for after-holiday repairs needing to be done. :( But for real... yippee for not having to replace the unit, ... yet.
I think this is the day we also realized we had a big rabbit problem... their pipes had frozen and since all their cages were covered with tarps no one noticed this when they checked on the rabbits. Each day my older two girls were going out to break up the ice in the water for all the animals. All of our animals are set up with feed containers that will last about 3 days, so there was no need to raise the tarps. The water is a 5 gallon bucket that is suspended in the air hanging from a tree branch and it is piped into all the rabbit cages (10) and each cage has nipplers for the rabbits to drink from. The pipes burst. And either by dehydration or wetness from the pipes we had a dead rabbit, also. Not good. Miracle our miracle rabbit that was from our first litter of babies was the one that died. She had a rough little life, but was the sweetest rabbit. It was a sad moment. She was dropped twice as a newborn and never fully recovered the damage. She was blind and deaf and was prone to ear mites for some reason. She could not birth babies due to her mental abilities... ummmm... no details, but she could not see to know what she was doing when cleaning her babies, so it did not end well, so we were not able to use her as a breeder rabbit. Basically, we kept her strictly as a pet out of mercy.
Sierra is somewhat bundled up... with no jacket... these kids!!! Honestly, they would try to go barefoot and naked if they could get away with it even when it is freezing outside. Brrr.....
Thursday night (I think) the phone rings with some weird recording from Sears about rescheduling our repair service. I only heard part of that message, so I was not sure what the recording said. Sigh. I miss the days of real people on the other end of the phone.
Husband goes to Minor Care, gets tested for flu and strep (negative), but gets Tamiflu as a precaution since people have been dying in our area from flu. He is still really sick which continues the whole weekend.
Long story short (maybe... and I can't remember days anymore... ha!):
Monday comes and the dishwasher repairmen does not arrive on time... in fact, not at all. Apparently, I missed something on that recording. I called and was told there was another part coming and it is now schedule for repair for the 20th. Parts have all arrived here. Yippee! There is hope.
The heater repairmen came back with the part he had ordered, needed another part, got it, installed it, and left. Two hours later. No heat. Not AIR blowing at all. Called them back. He came back. Found the issue and we have heat!!! Yippee!
Husband improves some, goes to work on Monday out of necessity. Returns well enough to, at least, take the two to basketball practice that need to go.
These are the weeks you really have to laugh about to maintain sanity, right?...