Sunday, November 20, 2011

what starts with an "F" and rhymes with truck?( hint it's not "dang" or "golly gee whizz")

'cuz that's what came outta my mouth when i crawled outta the above!!

our anniversary is jan 19th. last year, after just arriving to the Manor in December, i went into town on jan 18th to do some banking and get a pile of groceries and things we needed (and some preps). it was a loooong day and that was the day the flaky sump pump really didn't work right. i had a feeling it would happen, but even though it was raining that day over a bit of ice, we had experienced worse, so i rolled the dice. when i got back, i brought all the anniversary food (we were gonna cook up a storm) and then went to check the basement - it flooded to the max, read more here on "Ted's Seeds".

in the back of the truck was a new sump pump. not technically ironic, just a case of a day late, a dollar short. picture me in flooded boots., 2 and 1 half feet of COLD water holding the new sump pump in my arms until it emptied the basement, kymber on the porch sorting wet treasures...

the flood was bad enough, next day - happy anniversary. it was our 10 year anniverary and we spent it trying to dry out what we could. that was thursday... sunday it got so cold that we turned on the tap and nothing came out... hmmm. at this point, i didn't know a lot about a rural infrastructure... we waited and waited... no water. it got warmer...still no water.

so on a drastic hunch, i went down to look at the jet pump and noticed the cast iron casing had a crack... split because it froze. there was long project after that involving insulation, a kerosene heater and trips to the basement every couple of hours in an *^)^&*^*(^%^!! day to make sure that temps were above zero.

oh yeah, the day of the flood, our phone crapped out. two days AFTER we lost water (tuesday) , and then we lost our power. while we were huddled in our bed BEFORE the power came on, BEFORE we got a generator and a kerosene heater... the phone guy showed up and fixed the wiring by using the blue and white instead of the brown and red. buddy (my polite name for the previous owner of fm) had put in his own phone line which went to the basement and was BURIED IN THE DIRT!! frost heave had caused a short. the technician was classic cape breton, ignored my lunatic look, fixed the problem and left me enough free wire to make a new line... i have wired cat 5 for networks many times, i fixed that mess later...

ANYWAY... after all that i went to Landry on thursday , one of my local saviors.. it they don't have it, they can get it!! never have i got help and service like i have from them!! best supplier ever, that's cape breton for you!! i brought the broken pump and they ordered a new one. based on my description of the well situation, they upgraded from 1/2 hp to 3/4 hp.

so i waited and Landry called the next week - pump is in!! now, i don't know how to install a new one, but step one, go get it. at this point, kymber and i are still in shock since, well, we got here, but we are determined to succeed, off i go.

by now, i have 100 hours total driving under my belt. the day is perfect driving weather. snow MOSTLY cleared, temp at exactly zero, a bit of fluff melting on the road, no salt yet... and i am in a complete daze from it all....

as i get to a small town on the way.. (pop: 10-15 ??) and round the first corner... the truck veers a bit, i try to correct, it goes the other way... etc. i have two choices, 15 feet down or a snowbank... (sorry duke, only 1/2 of a "not so good")... i chose the snowbank - THAT part was lucky:

- i have a cab on the truck, prevented full roll
- there was snow on the side of the road
- the ground wasn't frozen, just wet mossy stuff

there i sat, looking out the windshield sideways, dazed but not confused to realize - "F*(&()&& - i just had an accident!!

i ALWAYS wear a seatbelt and was going no more than 30-40 km an hour (18-24 miles an hour) when i bailed, i was okay, but i couldn't open the driver's seat door - i had to go out the passenger door (do you know how heavy an f-150 door is when you have to push it up??) .

i jumped on the road, two feet apart on solid ground, and called kymber on my iphone (was very handy when i was cap't computer in ottawa) .........

uh, i forgot, no signal at this crash site , so much for the iphone being any good, the camera worked though - small blessing!

i stood there, dressed light for the occasion, listening to crows, waiting for ... ???

after about 10 mins, the woman who drives the local school bus came along and stopped, radioed in my predicament to her dispatch and had them get a tow truck and call kymber. kymber was on the phone at the time and missed the call, BUT, Richmond Transmissions & Towing got the call and after an hour and two other logging trucks who stopped to make sure i was okay, my saviour did arrive:

lowering the boom...

hooking up the truck..

you can see the wire...

over she goes!!!

after the truck was righted, there was a nice dent, the wheels were misaligned and one back tire was almost flat. the driver recommended i drive it back home as opposed to him towing it away. i did and came in the door white-faced, kymber all happy to get the new pump... had to burst THAT bubble. "dang" ;-) ;-)

after a bit of discussion, we called Jimmy who came and took me to Landry and then replaced our pump and helped fix all the burst pipes. what a friend!!

i managed to pump up the tire and get the truck into the dealer in and got it fixed without insurance for a price that would have been triple in the city. Truckdura was none the worse for wear... it did have a chunck of frozen ground struck in the front that i removed a month later, but all's well that ends well!!

it was that kind of a winter, behold Vandura !!!

&%*(^&% happens!!! ;-0 ;-)


  1. What start's with F, and ends in uck. FIRE TRUCK!
    Glad that you are fine. And frozen water pipes are the pits. Now, all you need, is more time behind the wheel. Also, load up some extra gear in your auto's. A coat, gloves, blanket and such.

  2. Flier389 - bahahahahah! you sure are one funny guys!

    jambaloney's gotten much better at driving now since he has been going into town so often getting everything that we have needed over the past 9-10 months. you have to remember that we had just gotten here, had the worst winter known to man, had to insulate this place, had the flood and blah-blah-blah. we were both in a daze until june, just scrambling trying to get everything done. so his Vehicle Bag wasn't even packed. you can be sure that his vehicle bag was packed toute de suite!

  3. way back when, Senior and I moved to Connecticut, we had 2 Ford Mustang 5.0s. the TOTAL muscle car. Here I was a little florida girl, in her hot "stang" in the snow, on the Gold Star Highway Bridge in New London, CT...I did a complete...360... fortuantly for me there was a highway patrol officer, that followed me off the bridge and i got home okay... so that next summer we traded mustang #2 for a 4x4 truck...and wouldnt you know that winder ended up being the mildest in CT in recent history.

  4. ..harrowing!..been in motorcycle accidents but never anything in a 4 wheeled vehicle..between the flooding, freezing and sliding it sounds like you covered all the bases for wintertime issues..nothing will be new now! glad you were ok! I am in your cap't town now..any suggestions as to places I should hit?

  5. Lowers head, say prayer.."God let them get through this next winter without too many problems. Amen"

    When it comes to snow the slower you drive the better.

  6. Nice roll job. :) Glad you walked away and now you have a story to tell for life.

    Glock Mom I had a 5.0 and it was the most unforgiving nose heavy Bish I ever drove but was a sweet ride. You're correct they suck in the snow.

  7. That could have been really bad. Glad you made it okay. After all this stuff happening last winter....this coming one should be a breez!! :)

  8. Down here when things go south or there's a drought, old-timers joke that they must not be paying the preacher enough!

  9. JUGM - oh no. so sorry that you had to experience that in your "hot" mustang. but glad the police officer was there to help you out. and my motto is - always have a 4x4 with all-weather tires. always. stangs and things are hot and sexy but a 4x4 is something you can rely on to take a real beating and keep on kicking!

    Donna - yep. his nerves were shot for days as were mine. stuff just wouldn't stop happening to us, ya know. like we just couldn't seem to catch a break at all to catch our breathe!

    egb - yep - last winter, spring AND summer we feel like we have been through it all. this winter has got to be easier! as for being in the capitol - i hate that place and have no recommendations. jambaloney might have some though! i'll get him to jot some places down in the morning for ya. i hope you enjoy your stay. how long are you there for?

    Rob - that is the sweetest thing that anyone has ever said to us. thank you for that prayer. we had lots of practice last year with a bunch of terrible stuff that we had no experience in dealing with - this year coming will be much easier. and we have so much to be thankful for on this upcoming American Thanksgiving Day. thank you so much for that, sweet friend!

    PioneerP - once i got over the horror and shock of what had happened - i was pretty impressed with the roll job myself. he would have flipped that truck right over if it wasn't for the cab. and he really did only have 2 choices - go down the 15ft embankment into who knows what, or flip the truck in the snowbank. i think he made the best decision!

    Tango - it could have been horribly awful! it has taken this long to even post about it. this happened last January. and it came on top of everything else that went wrong and could have seen us hurting pretty bad. but we have been through a heck of a lot since we have been here - and we are much wiser and more experienced because of it. we are just a little shell-shocked and taking a while to catch up to everything. this winter we should be fine. and hopefully we will be able to relax and enjoy some down time.

    Mr. Smythe - we are going to start paying all 7 preachers in the 3 nearest counties - hopefully that will work. if not - we are coming after you - bahahahahaha!

    thank you all for stopping by.

  10. My friend, you are a very patient and lucky man...

  11. Oh my gosh! All that stuff happening at once must have been awful. Stunning. Shocking. Numbing. It must have been really cold to freeze in the basement. My basement can be the warmest place in the whole house even in freezing weather. Of course, it's not livable, just warmish. I can see why you are insulating. Maybe this winter will be mild and give you a break.

    It's a wonder you did not pack up and leave immediately.

    My Blogger said you had not posted in one day. So, I did not check until just now. I wondered what was going on at your place.

    Now, what was that about the Vandura?

  12. I find it funny that whenever I get a free minute to check some blogs you always have some destruction story up. It reminds me to keep living life, the same way this kind of stuff does when it happens on my end.
    Have a great Thanksgiving!

  13. Flier369:

    no firetruck arrived in time!!

    i have MUCH more time behind the wheel now and piles of gear to cope with disasters – of course, no disaster since, but that’s prepping for ya!


    that sucks – at least you had the excuse of not having the right vehicle, i was in a 4z4 truck ;-) i am hoping that this winter is milder (fingers crossed!!!)


    yep, it looks pretty bad, i used less kind words ;-))))


    yep, covered all the bases in one fell swoop – should be okay this year!! didn’t go out much the last few years i was in the big o, but if you troll around the byward market, you should have an adventure or two, let me know how it goes!!


    MUCH obliged for the prayer – i have been much more careful both on snow and off since – it’s paying off so far!!!


    i can’t really take credit for the roll job, i picked a spot and crossed my fingers!! it does make a good story, i do well telling it in person with gestures, facial expressions and such!!


    you are right, could have been a lot worse – hopefully this winter will be less “eventful” ;-)


    do you think it works? i would hate to be accused of trying to bribe god ;-))


    thanks – i was a little less patient standing there in the freezing cold! lucky for certain – that helps with the patience ;-)


    not what came outa my mouth, you are much more polite than i !!


    it was pretty awful – i can’t say i have had a worse time in my life, good thing kymber was here, we kept each other from the brink. our basement is not so much what most people think of as a basement -posts to follow.

    we thought about packing it in (not really, but things do get said in the heat, i mean cold, of the moment) – it’s kinda hard to bug out from bugging out… so we resolved to keep on keeping on.

    vandura just sat there, covered in snow, all winter. i have to fix it now, think the starter is gone.


    oh yeah – it’s awesome how bad it got, helps you learn a LOT quick ;-))


    lots more to come, ya just gotta roll with the punches (and roll, roll, roll…)
    and laugh a bit!


    we are supposed to get 15-20 cm (7-10 inches) today and overnight. today we got the atv off the truck from being serviced, hooked up the snowplow to it and covered it with a tarp. kerosene heater is working and ready to go, we tested the generator and sump pump, i have done a pile more insulating recently… we are far more ready than last year ;-))

    cheers y’all!

  14. Holy crap ... just saw this post ! Your pics Jamboloney remind me of my winter driving nightmares. Trust me, I've been there too. When suddenly faced with the split second decision between a drop-off to where - ever, or a snow bank, it's the snowbank hands down for me. Although it cushioned the crash somewhat, it still felt like I hit a cement wall. Good thing we weren't hurt ... only our vehicles and our pride ... heh ? Now that we are getting that white stuff again, I'm still not overly confident with my winter driving skills and likely never will. It's black ice that really sucks ! I'll cruise down this mountain where we live in 4x4 at slow speed, like a paranoid granny and piss off others behind me as usual. No one has patience, even in rotten weather I get the five finger salute. I give it back and think ... now how ridiculous is this ! Bahaha !

    Take Care ... Helga :))

  15. Snow??? Seems like you two were just skinny dipping a few weeks ago.

  16. Helga:

    glad you weren't hurt - pride heals fine ;-)

    there is nothing wrong going at your own comfortable pace when conditions are crap. one day you will peeling one of the tailgaters off a pole!


    that was Oct 09 - time flies and now so is the snow!!

  17. WOW! So very thankful you are ok!!!!!

  18. You do have a flair for the dramatic... Wow. I'm very happy you're OK. Honestly, I'm praying for a more boring blog posts from you guys from now on.

  19. Anne:

    thanks - i was none the worse for wear!


    thanks - i had forgotten i took pictures and thought it would make a good story ;-) we are getting through the archives of lunacy and should be boring enough for you soon ;-)