Friday, December 08, 2006

The Camel's Back

Temperatures plunged to a low of 24 degrees here last night, and even though I dripped them, some of my pipes froze.

Because I seem to have a superhuman resistance to Ambien, I had run the dish washer at midnight, and then I woke up and ran hot water through all the downstairs faucets at 4:00 am. and again at 6:30. But when I tried to run the bathroom faucet at 8:00, the pipes rattled and sputtered and spit out a few spurts of nasty brown water. Same with the bathtub. So I did what anyone in my position would do: I curled up in fetal position beneath a pile of quilts and wept.

And miraculously, the Goddess had mercy on me: by 8:20 the water was running at full force, clean again. The pipes had only frozen but not burst. I was very very lucky.

We're expecting a low of 21 tonight, so I'll have to be even more aggressive about letting the water run freely. Most of the rooms in my drafty old Victorian won't go above 45 degrees today.

Anyway, here's the big scary truth that collided with me head on this morning: my normal healthy mature coping skills have been strained to the breaking point. I have maxed out on troubles. One more tiny tribulation could send me sailing straight through the windshield of reality.

A tiny insulated cottage next door to Mr. Man and his advanced plumbing skills is looking better and better by the minute.

Lulu glares indignantly at the solid iceberg in her water dish.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ambien doesn't work for my husband, either. I'm not sure what you're allowed to take, but I use a natural sleep aid called Aluna. It works every single time.

1:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, Elizabeth. I think about you every day. I even have a gift box with Buddha and sushi soap and several bottles of miraculously curative hot sauce awaiting the moment when i finally get up off my ass and look up your mailing address.

Hang in there.

1:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

going through the windshield is not the end, its part of the journey... warmth sounds good, damn cold here these days.

3:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Letting a cold-water tap trickle should be sufficent. The idea is to keep the water in the pipes in the ground outside your house moving. The inside pipes will be OK, so no need to run hot water.

4:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Liz,

I was thinking about you, caught a couple of your comments over at Twisty's, and then clicked the link to your name.

It is SO good to see you writing again, I cannot tell you.

Wishing you all the luck in the world with the ongoing struggle, and right now, I'm off to fly a kite on a beach in New Zealand in your honour.

Big tumour-killing wishes flung in your direction.


9:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

omg your cat looks just like mine, and i left mine out all night - although he seems none the worse for wear. glad to see you back.

3:38 PM  
Blogger Lymphopo said...

Hey there, Professor Z! A funny thing happened a few months ago: Lulu started acting really weird and skittish, she wouldn't let me come near her. But only sometimes. Other times she was her usual affectionate outgoing self. I couldn't figure out what was up until one day I finally realized: there were two cats, Lulu and a shy stray that looked exactly like her.

I started calling the stray Lulu Two, which got shortened to Tutu, and now Tutu is a regular around my back porch and they seem to be good buddies. Tutu eats our food, but still won't let me approach him/her. Otherwise it'a almost impossible to tell them apart.

But I think you live at least 40 miles away from me.

8:27 PM  
Blogger slfisher said...

Do you know where the pipes are freezing? My well house has this tiny 1/4" pipe that comes up out of the well, and that's always where it freezes, and so there's a light bulb there that burns constantly and keeps it warm enough not to freeze. If there's a similar spot in your house, and it's accessible, perhaps you could do something with it?

As far as being cold in the house, I have an electric throw and it absolutely rocks.

4:32 PM  

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