Cold, Water, and Bathrooms

Sorry, it’s been a while. It has been so cold the last couple months. It’s been in the single digits during the day and below zero as the lows. Because of this, we’ve been having water issues. It started with forgetting to put heat tape on the pipe that goes to the septic. It froze. Which came as a big surprise when the sewage starting backing up into the downstairs bathtub, sink, toilet, and the kitchen sink. YUCK!

I crawled under the house and found the problem. I added heat tape to the pipe and re-insulated it. In a few hours the kitchen sink drained, only to find out that the water to the kitchen had frozen (face smack). Turns out all of the water pipes were completely frozen. NO WATER!!!

There was still a frozen spot of sewage pipe blocking the bathroom drainage. Dad went under and discovered that some of the heat tape had failed. So, Dad had to replace them and re-insulate the pipe. Unfortunately, one of the new heat tapes was not working. Dad had to return it. Turns out it was not just us having problems with their water. It hasn’t been this cold in a long time and it caught everyone off guard. All of a sudden, all the heat tape in town had been bought out. Dad had to drive to Kenai to find more heat tape. He found one. The last one in this little city. We were thankful to get the one.

Dad installed the new heat tape and it started to finally defrost the sewage pipe. This might seem to be a short story of our fight with water, but this was a month of fighting the frozen water and sewage.

You are probably wondering how were we showering and more importantly how were we going to the bathroom! Well, men are lucky to be able to pee where ever they want. Women not so lucky. I had a bucket. Nothing like living in the 17th century with a wash basin and pitcher. We melted snow on the wood stove to use for various things like washing hands, dishes, and we filtered the water for coffee, tooth brushing, etc. We also watered the geese and ducks with the water as well. Thank goodness we had power.

I am so lucky that I have a boyfriend that is so understanding and thoughtful. Dad and I have been showering at Dan’s house to this day and I had also been using his toilet for my “morning constitutional”. Tonight we will be going to Dan’s for our showers. He lives close and I am so grateful for the use of his bathroom and it’s always nice to spend time with him.

We have got some of the pipes defrosted and the upstairs bathroom works as well as the sink. But still no shower. A week and a half ago Dad and I were standing in the kitchen discussing this frustrating predicament we are in. I had a great idea! Screw the downstairs bathroom! We can revisit it in the spring after breakup. We have everything we need to go ahead and renovate the upstairs half bath and create a full bath. Let’s just make a new bathroom.

Dad thought it was a great idea, of course. So, the last week and a half we’ve been knocking down walls, plumbing, running new power and ordering hard surface panels for the shower enclosure. Since the bathroom is now in a dormer. The bathroom is taking over one small bedroom that is really too small for anything but storage. Now there will be a bath, a vanity for all my girly stuff with plenty of electrical outlets. It’s going to be wonderful!

Yesterday while I was at work, Dad finished the plumbing and installed the sheet rock. We are so close to having a new shower. All we will have to do is wait for the shower panels to be installed by Dan. It’s going to be so nice to be able to shower in my own home. No more dragging my toiletries and clothing to Dan’s for my shower. I can’t wait!

During all this water mess, before the heat tape trip, I was getting ready to go to Kenai with Dad for a few things and I sat on my little bench that decided to give way and I fell through it. Nails dug into my butt and left a long gash with lots of bruising and bleeding. This sucked because we were about to drive an hour and a half on bumpy icy roads. Sitting hurt!

I was so mad at the bench I was threatening to burn it in the wood stove. He said he could fix it, so I brought it to him. He said it would be easier to make a new one. And that is just what he did. It’s beautiful, functional, and sturdy. I bought nice foam for it and covered the cushion with what I had. I think the printed fabric doesn’t do it justice. And so, I got revenge on my old bench by smashing it up and throwing it into the fire.

These past few months have been so cold. I walk dogs for a living so no matter what the weather is doing I’m out there braving it with a group of dogs. I got to experience for the first time being frosty. My hair, eye lashes, and face mask were all frozen. It was pretty cool! Good thing I have great gear!

And so, I think I’ve caught you up on what’s been happening. So I will leave you with two toasty dogs looking out into the frozen landscape at my house. Thanks for reading!

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