March 26, 2012

A Weekend Without Water

Well, everyone told me it would happen but I chose to ignore them, chose to believe it absolutely couldn't be true, but I was wrong... so very wrong.

This story begins when M. and I turned on our faucet Saturday and were greeted by this:

Just great water pressure, right? To make it worse, the kitchen sink (where this photo was taken with my iPad) was the only place in the house we had any water at all. Knowing it was only a matter of time before we lost water altogether, we promptly filled up every large bowl and pan we had in our home until our kitchen counters looked like this:

We also filled up our distiller, thanked our lucky stars that we had five filled pitchers of water already distilled in the fridge, and ran to the store to buy about 30 bottles of water to keep in reserve.

By Saturday afternoon we were completely without water. With the immediate problem of drinking water addressed, we turned to our next problem that is caused by drinking said water: flushing the toilet.

Luckily, M. and I moved out to Scammon with all of our stuff in 18 gallon Rubbermaid totes. I headed upstairs to grab a few and M. headed outside with a shovel. The next 4 or 5 hours was spent melting snow on our stove and in our oven so that we had totes filled with water to flush the toilet.

Finally, Sunday afternoon caught up with me. To understand what happens next I have to confess something to all of you: I am obsessive about showering, and more specifically about washing my hair. When my hair is not clean I get VERY cranky and moody. By Sunday afternoon I hadn't showered in 48 hours and I was downright Grinch-like. So I grabbed our handy shovel and filled our sink with snow.

I spent the next hour or so melting snow and heating it to a tolerable temperature and M. and I proceeded to wash our hair and faces in the sink. With snow-water. Brrrrr....

I am happy to report that the water is back on, we were worried for a bit that we would be going weeks or even months without water as other villages in our area have done.

I can also honestly call Rosemary Clooney a liar: no one wants to wast their face, their hands, their hair with snow. It's not a great experience, no matter how much you like snow.

March 18, 2012

Things I Did Today Instead of Drinking

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I hope many of you enjoyed your drunken festivities and celebrated this wonderful day with lots of green beer and good music. This was the first year I haven't partaken in any St. Patrick's Day revelry, haven't had a celebratory glass of Guinness, haven't debated whether or not to go camp out for Kegs n Eggs. You see, none of these choices were an option for me this year because almost 8 months ago I moved to a DRY village. (That means no alcohol, whatsoever... not one drop.)

I woke up this morning and was greeted by a message from one of my closest friends. It simply read:

A good portion of the world is celebrating drunkenness and enjoying themselves today....but you are stuck in a location that is "dry" and cold as balls...ready to come back to civilization? 

And it was then that it struck me that not only was I missing St. Patrick's Day, but I was missing St. Patrick's Day on a SATURDAY. Talk about missing an excellent party. Oh well...

Instead, I was determined not to let it get me down and darn it, I was going to have a wonderful, productive day. So, instead of drinking, I accomplished the following things:
  • A walk to the post office and store for some wonderful exercise in the balmy -2 degree sunshine. Not even close to "cold as balls," just a bit chilly.
  • Procurement of Starbucks coffee grounds and some new, yummy non-dairy creamer!
  • Talked to Dad on the phone.
  • Two loads of laundry
  • Shoveled dog poop.
  • Dug out both our storage door and our neighbor's back door. 
  • Moved out the horde of boxes from our crawl space into the exterior storage. 
  • Moved the extra cabinet out of the living room into the crawl space. 
  • Deep cleaned the entire downstairs. Carpet, counters, oven, couches...
  • Deep cleaned the puppy. Bath, nails, pad fur, teeth...
  • Chaperoned St. Patrick's Day dance to raise funds for high school NYO.  
  • Wrote a blog post.

See, I know how to really have fun on St. Patrick's day! Who needs friends, beer, and random drunken Irish and Irish-wannabes having a loud party in the streets of downtown? Okay, maybe I do a little bit.
So, to answer the question that started my day, I am feeling a little ready to go back to civilization and I know in two months I will DEFINITELY be ready to go back. But I did get to watch two middle schoolers dance with the trashcans on wheels while their friend danced with a mop, and three of my students forcibly dragged me onto the dance floor for the final dance.

All in all, not a bad day. I do miss my beer, but I did drink a Mountain Dew today. That's green... ish....

March 16, 2012

The Life of a Sidekick

Oh Hey!
Chelsey hasn't posted in a while and even I'm starting to notice her blogger-laziness so I thought I, as the Sidekick, would give you an update.

This month, my first month as an indoor dog, had already showed me what a dangerous world the inside can be. Chelsey has been fighting many battles and I have been helping her win each battle! I am THE BEST sidekick ever!

The first battle we fought as a team was against the bathtub. Chelsey seemed to think this would be a hard battle to win and came prepared with all kind of stuff to bribe me to stay in the tub. HA! She didn't have to worry, I LOVE the water (there's a strong possibility that my dad is a lab.)

Mornings are another time when I'm not sure how Chelsey could have survived without me by her side. She wrestles the covers every morning, trying to tug them back up the bed and restrain them under the pillows. I, of course, am very helpful and hold them down for her.

Weekends are the toughest battle time of all! Each Saturday, Chelsey takes her dirty clothes downstairs to wash them and that's when it happens... the white plastic triangle monsters assemble and wait. These white plastic triangles are very patient enemies, they wait and wait and wait, sometimes for hours while the clothes get cleaned. When she brings the clothes back upstairs the plastic triangle monsters JUMP out of the closet and attack!!!! Chelsey has to grab them and wrestle them into the clothes so that the clothes can go back to their home in the closet. 
I help by holding them still.

Sometimes she puts off this battle until I remind her it needs to happen by taking her clean clothes out of the basket and dropping them by the closet door. It's better to face the enemy than fear it!

Man, being a Sidekick is tough work....

Stay tuned for more of my blog, I'm sure I'll write more if Chelsey doesn't get over her blogger's block.


March 05, 2012

Life Without A Vet

As some of you may have noticed from the sidebar in my latest blog layout, (I think I'll actually stick with this one for a while!) I have acquired my very own sidekick dog. Our last foster dog, Sookie, was finally able to move back in with her owner and M. and I had enough space in our home that I could adopt a puppy of my own.

The puppy is a sweet little guy. From what I can tell he is part lab and park husky, and judging by his teeth about three or four months old. He's very intelligent and, in true village style, very mischievous!

To illustrate my classification of my puppy, please travel with me back to Saturday night:
M. and I had gone over to a fellow teacher's home for dinner and a movie, we were gone maybe all of two hours, and upon our return we found various contents strewn across our living room floor: Pam cooking spray bottles, cupcake liners, various other baking supplies, and a torn up raisin bag. Riley and Parker, working as a dynamic duo, had infiltrated our lazy Susan and devoured every last raisin we had!

For those of you who don't know (don't worry if you don't, it was news to me too) raisins can be toxic to dogs and cause renal failure within 48 hours of consumption. For the first time in my life, Google failed me. Everything I found about this situation simply said take your dog to an emergency room... uh-huh, sure. Living in a village that barely has medical treatment for humans you can bet your bottom dollar that there is no vet clinic, emergency or otherwise.

After some panicking and a phone call, we found a home remedy from a kind vet who took emergency calls after hours: two tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide and wait for the puppy to start upchucking all the raisins.

. . .

There are no pictures in this blog post to save you all the pain of having to look at the mess that was our Saturday night.

. . .

After two rounds of hydrogen peroxide and about an hour, we had two dogs with empty stomachs and quite the mess to clean up. The home remedy was very effective.

I am happy to report that both dogs seem to be doing just fine and are in good spirits, though they are very leery of any cup that we pick up in case it has more peroxide in it.

Oh Alaska, what will you teach me next?

Please note that if your dog does ingest a toxic substance and you are able to get to an emergency clinic that is always the best option. 

If you are unable to get to an emergency vet, give your dog two tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide (you will have to chuck it to the back of their throat because they DO NOT like it). If your dog does not vomit after five minutes give them two more tablespoons and wait. 

If they still do not vomit do not give them any more and call a vet for further advice.