November 25, 2008 at 9:44 pm (Uncategorized)

(as published in the Horsefly)

Winter was fast approaching, and my “Oil Rig Dude” Boyfriend and I had talked about going “down-under” this November. There is a 2 day training school in Sydney, Australia that is put on by a manufacturer of equipment they use on the oil rig. My boyfriend, James, had offered to take me along with him for a short vacation to a part of the world where they are entering summer as we here in Oregon are entering winter. Well, this little vacation idea fell through, as the school filled up too quickly, but this did not stop us from going “down-under”. So together, the two of us ventured down-under the ol’ farmhouse to winterize the pipes. The underside of our house is creepy, dark, and dirty; not full of pubs, beaches and friendly people like one would expect to find “Down-under”.

getattachment The night time temps had been dropping down into the low 20’s and it was time to wrap the pipes in heat tape and foam insulation to prevent freezing water and lovely cracking pipes. When we first moved into this ol’ house this past summer, James, had repaired a few pipes that had froze and cracked the previous winter. And I am oh so fearful of being without running water again in this house, especially in the winter that I had put this winterizing project on high priority.

         All the nagging in the world did not seem to be inspiring James to go under that house again anytime soon. And to his credit, he truly had spent a lot of time down there already, fixing broken pipes and improving our water pressure. Ultimately, I had to pony up, put on my boots and offer to join him so we could just get the darn job done. For the most part, the underside of our house provides quite a bit of standing room. The house itself does not have a concrete foundation, and has sloped quite a bit over the years.  It stands on what I think they call a post pier foundation, meaning it is supported by rocks and tree trunks that were put there a long time ago.

An infamous local “Doc” lived in our house a good many years before recently passing away. It seems everyone has a good story to tell of him and he was a respected and loved animal vet for just about everyone in the county. Under our house we found what we believe was his old operating table. We could be wrong in our assumption, but there is a long table with suturing equipment like little scissors and clamps, various leather collars and tack hanging on the walls, and a few animal bones can be found lying around. To me this makes the underside of our house even creepier, while no doubt adding some character. Also, adding to the creepy character are black widows and other big ugly spiders, mice (who sneak up into our kitchen at times where Marbles the “best mouser of the west” devours them), and I can’t forget to mention the perfect snake habitat that the underside of our house also provides. All of the snakes are currently hibernating (thank goodness), which is quite nice as I haven’t seen any around the house in the past month, but in this past summer I was finding snakes everywhere around our old place, even in the kitchen, again creepy!

James and I make quite a team.  I pulled and ripped strips of tape and offered him moral support as he contorted his body under and in-between the old plumbing that makes up our house. As winter makes her way in, we will see how great or lousy of a job we did winterizing this year. Let’s just cross our fingers this gal has access to running water through the winter, because it’s just too darn cold to use the creek water for bathing this time of year!


1 Comment

  1. miss xmas said,

    finally got my fix of the gal with 750 acres. Out of town & craft bazaaring myself so I just got caught up with all your goings-on.

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