Frozen Dinner

I’ve had a miserable week.

Monday morning started with a flat tire on the Jeep. From the time I texted work to let them know I would be late, I have felt like I have been chasing my schedule to catch up.

Tuesday the temps dropped 40 degrees and we got a couple of inches of much needed rain. I met a friend for dinner and we marveled that the storm could seem so intense. I arrived home to find a foot of water in my cellar. I turned off the breaker for the outlets down there and used a broom handle to unplug the dehumidifier that was now under water just in case.

Wednesday I scrambled to find a plumber to root out the cellar drain. It took me all day to find someone who would return my call. I met him at my house and he took one look at the cellar and said he could not work from inside the house with standing. I showed him the end of the drain in the woods some 200 feet from the house. It was brutally cold outside – the windchill was about 12 degrees, but soon my problems would be over…or so I thought. After 45 minutes the plumber called me outside. There would be no opening the drain, the drain was collapsed about 100 feet up the line.

As he put together a list and a schedule that would include a backhoe and about a mile of pipe I started to zone. When I check out like this, the best thing I can do is shoot. It was a cold grey soggy day, no color to be seen. I spotted my platter feeders. They were completely iced over. As I shot I consciously decided to not focus on the birdseed below the surface, I focused on the ice.

20130131-223521.jpg
I was surprised by the depth…

20130131-223602.jpgThe seeds below the surface seemed to be saturated in color…

20130131-223641.jpgThe ice almost magnifies the seeds below…

20130131-223659.jpgHow hungry would a cardinal need to be to try to get at these…

20130131-223733.jpgI’ve been filling a chipped mosaic birdbath with food, I like the color for photographs…

20130131-223810.jpgBut now it takes on a more painterly look…

20130131-223936.jpgThe mix of colors taking me to a warmer place.

The plumber came over and gave me a puzzled look and then dove into the details. There would be no draining the basement. I called a friend with a shop-vac and we hauled about 150 gallons up the stairs five gallons at a time. The water level dropped an inch. We gave up and called it a night.

Today I looked for a sump pump and finally found one late this afternoon. After work I put on my new rain boots and headed down into the cellar/wading pool. I got everything set up and discovered that all my garden hoses are frozen solid, just like the birdseed in those feeders.

Tomorrow at lunch I will buy an unfrozen hose and this week will finally come to a close. Once I empty the cellar I will take an ice pic to my bird feeders.

If this goes on another day perhaps I will open an underground ice skating rink.

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59 thoughts on “Frozen Dinner

  1. Pingback: The Snake Dog and the Great Flood | the eff stop

  2. Sorry about your problems, hope they sort out soon. Love the photos – it amazes me that you can focus on the ice when it is not that far away from the seed. Wow!

    • Oh well – the air is too dry for a dehumidifier anyway. Mostly the cellar is full of old canning supplies and lumber. I hope to get it drained completely tomorrow. I was hoping I might catch some chickadees skating across the the feeders. I wouldn’t let my diners get hungry enough to get through that.

        • We do – I found one yesterday but it only worked with a garden hose and mine were frozen. Today I got a better one and it is doing the job, thankfully. I am confident that by midday I will have relocated all of the water to a location downhill from the house.

          My chickees are pretty demanding. They get vocal if I don’t keep the feeders full. Man those black birds were thick – a cardinal doesn’t stand a chance…

  3. What beautiful textures and colours. Would make an outstanding fabric print. Or framed print…three in a row, each a little more macro than the next, like you’ve done.

  4. You might be able to make an insurance claim on this — we had a bad basement flood years ago in a different house and didn’t know we could claim the damage. So we paid for everything and it never really got cleaned up well — and did damage we didn’t know could happen.

    • The cellar is not really like a basement – it’s a stone and cement “room” but it has always served as a drain so there’s not much damage except for some wood I had stored down there and the dehumidifier. Probably wouldn’t hit my deductible. It’s too bad they wouldn’t cover that stinking drain pipe :)

  5. I’ve had so many days where bad events become horrid events. Like a tidal wave of bad luck. I like how you dealt with it. I wish I had the energy, when in a funk, to create or process in a healthy way besides letting the stress spin in my head and take over my body. Bravo!

  6. Well your shots are awesome, but not your events of the week! We are supposed to wake to 14 degrees, I am guessing you guys may be colder than that. So sorry for all you are dealing with. Sending good thoughts and better days your way. ;)

  7. What a disastrous week, Lorri.
    At least you could get out with the camera and get distracted a wee bit.

    Love the pattern of the ice over the birdseed. Turned out well in the photos. Sometimes its the small things in life that put a smile on our faces.

    Hope the basement & pipes can be fixed without too much expense & drama. Reading about these types of home maintenance issues make me glad to still be a ‘paying tenant’ in my block of flats, but I often wish I could redecorate inside & out.

    (note: in most flats and apartments in Australia, you’re not allowed to put up a nail for a picture, let alone paint the walls if you don’t like the colour. I do dabble a bit in the garden though).

    • Thanks Vicki – my cellar is a root cellar, so the water is not damaging anything as long as I get it out soon. The pipe in the yard is another story. I guess it’s good that this happened during the winter and not during the spring rains. The foot of water was from a 2″ rain. I dread mess a backhoe will leave in my lawn, but not much I can do about that.

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