Water Woes

updates and setbacks

First some updates

  • Hand/wrist update: After a second round of steroids and occupational hand therapy we decided I need to have the carpel tunnel surgery. The question now is timing. I’m not allowed to lift more than 10 pounds for 3-4 months and with horse chores that is going to be a challenge. Particularly for someone like me who can’t seem to recognize my body’s limits (see this post for a prime example). This means Nate will have to do most (all?) the horse chores for 3-4 months, so it has to be a time that is compatible with both our jobs, which right now looks like late spring or early summer.
  • Barn update: Hansen Pole Buildings sells just the materials to build a pole barn and I have been getting quotes for them for the roughly the same building since 2019 which has been an interesting way to track how insane prices have been the last few years. In 2019 we got a quote for x dollars, in 2020 the cost was 3*x , in 2021 it was 5*x, and now, it’s only 1.5*x! We might actually be able to afford this barn! There are still lots of other things we need numbers for, like labor and foundation work, but before this the cost of  materials alone exceeded our budget and now the materials are at least within our budget so there is a small ray of hope.
  • Mental health update: Overall I am doing better, but this week demonstrated that I’m still not fully back to where I would like to be. I was slightly busier this week than the previous two weeks and those fairly minor tasks used way more mental and emotional energy than they would have in the past so I didn’t get nearly as much done this week as I had planned (and would have been able to do in the past). That being said, I am still doing better than I was at the end of December/early January and am heading in the right direction. I am also trying to get my sleep back to a solid uninterrupted eight hours every night, which will hopefully help with everything. I don’t have insomnia, but I wake up several times a night every night. I usually fall back to sleep quickly but if it happens too close to my normal wakeup time it takes me much longer to fall back asleep and then when my alarm does go off, I feel like I didn’t get any sleep at all. I’m trying to be better about wearing my blue-light blocking glasses at night and attempting to end all screen time by 9:00 PM. Hopefully this will help get me sleeping through the night again and sleeping better helps with everything else.

Now the water woes.

We placed the water tank where it is so we could use the spigot on the front of the house to fill it and plug the tank heater into the outlet on the porch. We know spigots and water and freezing temperatures don’t always mix well so we have an expandable hose that we hook up and unhook every time we have to fill the tank and we shut the water off to the spigot inside the house every time. When they built our house the siding people did not place the framed cutout around the spigot correctly and the spigot is too close to the frame making it extremely difficult to get a hose on or off in the best of weather. Nate and I thought it would be better if we put a quick-disconnect hose attachment on it to get the hose on and off more easily while wearing winter gear. It had been working relatively well, though once we had to use the hairdryer to thaw the quick-disconnect piece. The same thing seemed to have happened this week. I used the hairdryer to get it warm enough that the quick-disconnect moved again then attached the hose, turned the water on and…. water came out of all parts of the spigot. Water everywhere in negative everything degree weather is not good. We got that water all turned off and started trouble shooting. We could try the spigot on the back of the house, but we would need to use our two long hoses. The long hoses did not like negative everything degree weather and refused to uncoil. After what felt like hours wrestling with uncooperative hoses I finally got them all hooked up (or so I thought) and turned on the water. I had to go into the house to turn the water on to the spigot and saw water shooting out from everywhere as soon as I stepped outside so I immediately ran back in and tuned the water off to the spigot and assumed I simply hadn’t gotten the hose attached correctly in this stupid weather and decided I needed to get a hose that could handle the cold and another quick-disconnect attachment. After a trip to Fleet Farm for a new 150-foot super special winter proof hose (that discount comes in super handy!) and another quick-disconnect we hooked everything up again, ran the hose from the back of the house out to the water (the new hose is FAR more cooperative in this weather), turned the water on and…. water came out of all parts of the spigot. Insert your expletive of choice.

The girls of course need water, so we’ve been hauling buckets of water to the water tank every day. Though annoying, this option works fine for Leeloo, it doesn’t work for picky miss Juniper. Juniper demonstrated in that previous terrible cold snap that she doesn’t like the taste of the water from inside the house. We got her to drink that time by adding molasses to her water, but I’m not dumping molasses into all of their drinking water, also having PPID means added sugar isn’t good for her (added sugar isn’t good for any of us!). This time I tried some apple cider vinegar and that seems to be working, which is good, but I don’t want to pour that into our already rusty and not in great condition water tank either. The result is that we’ve been hauling individual buckets of water out to Juniper, which means we’re also hauling individual buckets of water out to Leeloo because if Juniper gets something Leeloo wants it too. Leeloo drinks at a normal rate of speed for a horse and usually downs her bucket very quickly.

Here is a video of Leeloo drinking (which also involves a certain amount of playing):

Juniper, of course, takes forever to drink. FOREVER. You would think we could just leave it there for her to finish in her own sweet time but Leeloo, having finished her water ages ago, gets bored and decides Juniper’s bucket looks like a great toy and will promptly dumps the water out everywhere and start playing with the bucket unless we stand there and guard it.

Remind me again why I wanted to have my horse at home with me?!

Here is a video of Juniper drinking and if you turn the sound on you can hear my conversation with Leeloo as I try to keep her distracted.

We have contacted a plumber who can come out next Tuesday and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that (a) we didn’t do any actual damage to the house and (b) he can figure out some sort of winter solution so we can stop with the buckets.

Hoping that next year we have a barn with winter safe water supplies!