Friday, December 30, 2016

Merry Post-Op

Here we are on the cusp of the new year, and I am finally getting around to posting about all the happenings on and off the ridge over the past couple of weeks.

My thyroid surgery went well on the 22nd.  I had a drain in immediately after surgery, and they needed to check my calcium serially to determine that I didn't have parathyroid issues, so I stayed overnight.  The surgeon was in bright and early the following morning to pull the drain and report that the calcium levels were ok, so I was able to head home by 10:30 or so.

I didn't have very much pain, but it was uncomfortable to eat and swallow for a couple of days.  We decided to go ahead with Christmas dinner with my parents on Christmas day:  beef tenderloin, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, tossed salad with mandarin oranges and cranberries, and a flaming plum pudding for dessert!  The girls enjoyed opening their presents in the morning.

It took a while to get pictures...

Girls & Stella in their Christmas jammies
 We ventured out on Monday for me to have blood drawn again at the Hospital - still ok.  I see the surgeon back next week.

L turned 11 on Tuesday.  She helped me make the ice cream on Monday (Chocolate Hazelnut), and the cake on Tuesday morning (Tres Leches.)  We went out for Indian food with my parents that evening, and then returned for cake and ice cream (delicious) and presents.  I think she had a good time!

On Wednesday we watched Star Wars episode IV in tribute to the late Carrie Fisher.  Consequently we have watched the next 2 episodes over the next 2 days!  We had our friend, C, out for the day, and the girls spent several hours playing with their new chess set.  Snow was forecasted, so JP put the snow plow and chains on his lawn tractor, and hauled water again.

Speaking of water, the well drilling men were out for a couple of hours on Tuesday afternoon.  Apparently the water pump on the rig had frozen, and they were waiting for parts.  Once they arrived, they fixed the rig, and fired it up momentarily...haven't seen them since...

We got about 3+ inches of snow overnight last night.  The girls, Stella & I spent a couple of hours playing in it this morning. 

J and her Snow Totoro
L and her Snow Fort
It is cozy here in the house, sipping cocoa and watching Star Wars VI.  We have plenty of water, and plenty of wood, so we are set for awhile...not that we are snowed in, the temps are due to rise into the 40's tomorrow!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to you all!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Bring. It. On.

We got freezing rain overnight.  J stayed over at a friends' house, and L had a friend staying here.  Mid-morning we needed to make the switch - drop off  C, and pick up J.  We only had to travel a total of about 2 miles, but getting down the ice slick otherwise known as our driveway was the tricky part!

JP put the chains on the van, but after sliding a few feet down the drive, we decided to go off road, and drove down through our neighbors' field.  No problem.  Dropped off C, picked up J, tried to go up the driveway - no go.  Tried to go up the neighbors' field - no go.  We ended up parking at the bottom of the driveway and hiking up.  Good exercise!

We still didn't get water (due to the ice issue), so no cleaning or laundry happened.  JP caught rain/melting ice water off the barn roof that we are using to flush toilets.  We're managing!

Since we couldn't (and didn't need to) go anywhere today, I thought it was the perfect time to get the Christmas baking done.  For the past couple of years, we've only been making 4 varieties - we each pick one type.  That way we don't get inundated by cookies, plus we have a few to share!

Here is our assortment:

Counter-clockwise from upper left:  L picked Haystacks (peanut butter/butterscotch no bakes), J's choice was Chocolate Chip Mint Cookies, JP likes Chocolate Chip Surprise Cookies (there's a Hershey kiss in the middle), and I tried a new recipe from Cook's Illustrated called "Millionaire's Shortbread".  It might not look like a million bucks, but it tastes pretty doggone good!

So everything is done.  The decorations are up.  The presents (Christmas & Birthday) are wrapped.  The cards have been mailed.  The baking is finished.  The girls get out of school at 1:00 on Wednesday.

My surgery is first thing Thursday morning, and I won't come home until some time Friday.  Then I will have a little over a week to recover and everyone will be around to help out.  It's all good!

Friday, December 16, 2016


I have to confess...I'm bonkers.

To many of you, this will not be a new detail about my life.  What I'm hoping is that talking about it will make it easier to live my day to day life without a breakdown.

I am completely focused on, freaked out about, and obsessed with the water situation here.  Understandably, it's been a huge thing to tackle on many levels.  The financial cost is pretty ginormous, but that doesn't bother me as much as the conserving water or budgeting time to haul said water on a weekly basis.

The well drilling rig came out Monday afternoon, and after the guys spent about 30 minutes setting things up, they disappeared...haven't seen or heard from them since.  In the meantime, it snowed an inch or two, and the temperatures dropped into the single digits.  This means that the snow is staying, and where we've driven up and down the driveway on it repeatedly, it's gotten pretty slick.  Consequently, it is a bit dangerous to drive the non-4WD truck up and down it multiple times to haul water. 

I'm getting really tired of conserving as well.  I'm grossed out by unflushed toilets, and I freeze in the shower where I spend only 3 minutes under hot water, and the rest of the time soaping, shampooing or conditioning & shivering.  It worries me to use extra hot water to thaw the frozen water-ers from the below freezing chicken house.  I finally broke down today and did a load of laundry because I put on my last pair of clean underwear this morning.

It is taking it's toll physically.  I am not sleeping well - I wake multiple times a night and think about what I need to do that uses water, whether I'll be able to do it, and if I might be able to haul a load or two in the upcoming days.  I have a chronic headache, and I'm starting to get a chronic stomachache.

It sucks.

This is how I used to feel every time I saw a forecast for a winter storm for a few winters after the one that left us in the dark and the cold for over a week.  (Oh yeah, there's one coming tonight, so the driveway will not be getting less icy any time soon.)  That anxiety is better now, especially since I have this new obsession to focus on.

I'm not sure how to deal with this.  I'm trying to make use of the nervous energy by tackling all of the end of the year projects I have.  I've tried to distract myself by listening to podcasts or reading, but I can't concentrate.  If I could just SEE someone out here, starting work on the well, it would do a world of good...for a while.  In the meantime, send all of your warm weather this way.  That and some Valium might just do the trick!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Well, Well, Well...

Look what arrived on Poplar Ridge this afternoon:

We are FINALLY on our way to a new well!