I am sitting in front of the computer with a ginormous mug of tea. This is, in fact, part of the good news - it has been a very busy day so far, including a meeting with the Administration of the Hospital before work. I have a few minutes now that I have collected J from the bus stop & fixed her a mango lassi before I need to fetch L from Basketball practice.
On arrival home from work, I noted 3 men standing around our cistern manhole. It seems that since the Well Driller has been unable to drill, he has temporarily replaced the pump in our current well (that has always recovered and produced adequately during the winter), so we are once again on line with Poplar Ridge water! (And just in time too...it was my turn to haul water this week!)
The first thing that I did when I came inside was flush the toilets. Although we will lighten the water rationing, I don't think we will abandon our conservation altogether. In fact, when I told JP and J the news, JP said that he wants to continue collecting the shower water (we run it into a bucket until it is warm enough to stand under, and then use that water to flush toilets), and J said that she will probably never take a "regular" shower again. (And then she burst into song, singing "You've made a Mennonite out of me!" to a "Mulan" tune.)
Unfortunately, when I took Stella outside after all of the well water excitement, I noted a dead hen in the chicken yard. Over the past 3 months, I have been systematically checking the hens as we have some very poor layers right now. I have put one hen at a time into solitary confinement (it's actually quite cozy, with nest boxes, roosts and her own food & water - just no outside access for a couple of days) in the other side of the chicken house for up to 4 days. If she lays 3 or more eggs in that time, I band her right leg with a white band, 2 or less gets a black band, and 2 and/or soft/ugly eggs gets a blue band. This one had a black band, which means that she would be one of the half dozen that we planned to butcher and eat yet this winter. I've actually noticed a hen acting strangely - sitting in unusual places - for the past couple of days, so I'm assuming this was the same one, and I'd rather not eat her if she was sick anyway! We will be getting new peeps in the Spring, and the rest of our old hens will "retire" to our freezer by next Fall regardless. It may seem cruel, but it's our way of being self sufficient, and these ladies (although I find them delightful to watch) are by no means pets.
My neck wound is healing up very nicely. I have gotten tired of wearing scarves when I am out in public, and both my patients and the general public have been kind enough not to comment on my uncovered neck. I am still unable to sing, which is a bit frustrating. I sound like an old hound dog if I try to sing along to Pandora or the radio, so what used to be fun is now kinda embarrassing. I think it will improve with time, but I'm not known for my abundant patience.
I don't know if I mentioned that our cooktop died right before Christmas? This one was just a month older than 2 years. JP ordered a new one right away, and that arrived just a couple of days later. Dad helped us figure out that the last 2 cooktops were wired wrong. That may partially explain why we've already gone through 2 in 9 years! Our past induction cooktops have been fabulous and one thing we really liked about them was the rapid heating. This one however, is taking close to 8 minutes to boil a quart of water, when we were used to 2 1/2 minutes in the past. I'm not sure what the issue is, but it's a little disappointing - maybe not bad news, just "meh."
We still have no gas in the house. Luckily we are able to do without for the time being. We are not using the furnace, as the outdoor wood burner is supplying all the heat we need. There are 2 gas burners in the kitchen for "emergencies", but we haven't had any lack of electricity emergencies lately (knock on wood!) The water heater is also fueled by gas, but we have a back up system that is electric. It seems that the gas people will be out in the near future to replace the regulator, so this should also soon be a problem of the past.
And the final bad news is that I have effectively squandered my "free time", and I must close and head out after L. Here's wishing you a January that is not bleak, and filled mostly with good news!