Wednesday, February 07, 2007


It started with the cold snap, during which the water pipes into our RV froze. The first day (Monday) we had no water at all, but with an electric heater got the kitchen pipes thawed in the afternoon. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting But no water in the bathroom. Brushing our teeth in the kitchen sink. Not taking showers. Pouring water from the kitchen, down the toilet.

This was the first $h!t event, the water situation. With no break in the sub-freezing temperatures expected for days and days.

Then yesterday, Steve left work early, apparently not feeling well. When I got home myself, he was asleep in bed, evidently either quite ill or milking it for all it was worth. $h!t.

The other thing I noticed as soon as I walked in was a powerful smell like a porta-pot without a deodorizer. We'd been living for 2 days pouring water from the kitchen down the toilet. The underpinnings UNDER the toilet better by-gosh-all-hemlock not be frozen... $H!T!! I lit some incense, left my husband sleeping and headed out to the liquor store.

When I got home, the odor was gone and my husband was up. I casually asked if our drain pipes were frozen. He said they were not and that we just needed to empty our holding tank, which he went out and presumably did. I watched American Idol and drank a couple hot toddies, which must have been the ticket, because the water in the bathroom came back on and we could finally flush the toilet properly.

During the night Steve bolted out of bed, dashed to the bathroom and barfed prodigiously. $hit. Now I'll probably get it. $hit.

Next morning (this morning) he was up. Said he felt better. I had a headache. Asked him how his bug started. "With a headache." $h!t. And here I am planning on a speed-interval workout a little later, going to the gym to the dreadmill, and now I'm probably getting sick. $h!t.

He put on his quilted coveralls and boots and started to go outside. He was not scheduled to work so my curiosity was up. Where was he going? "To thaw out the holding tank drain pipes." $H!T!!! Why hadn't he said last night they were frozen, instead of letting me think everything had been emptied, while I continued to pour liquid stuff down the drains? $H!T! He came back in, went into the bathroom and barfed, and went back to bed.

Little while later, to me: "Can you go up to the campground office and ask to borrow the heat gun?" Me: "Uh.... you didn't get it thawed, eh?" Him: "Unh-uh." Doze. $h!t. This is going to be a major production. He's sick. Guess I won't be going to the gym. Guess I'll be aiming the heat gun at the sewer pipes. $h!t.

Which I did. Put on Steve's quilted coveralls (he's 9 inches taller than me, with correspondingly longer legs and arms, and outweighs me by 70 pounds... nice fit, these coveralls.) And I squeeze under the RV, crawl to the appropriate area on my belly, and start blowing hot air at the sewer hose and drain pipes.Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting The hose is frozen solid where it joins the pipe. There's a transparent section of pipe (in case we want to watch the action when dumping our holding tank, most edifying) which also is obviously ice-packed. I blow hot air. After a while I notice that there's something dripping from under the sewer hose. This is not supposed to be. I look closely. There are a couple thin spots in the hose where I've been blowing, and a little hole, from which drips thawing $h!t. $H!T!!!! I've melted a hole in the damn thing!!! CRAP!! SHIT!!! And it's DRIPPING!!! BLEAH!!!

I stop the heat gun and go indoors for the duct tape. And warmer socks and my heavy boots. The running shoes and socks in which I was preparing for the gym aren't cutting the wind chill under the RV as I lie on the cold ground in the quilted coveralls. So I go back under the RV, wrap many layers of duct tape around the hole in the hose, mentally rehearse telling Steve we're going to be needing a new sewer hose, and start blowing the heat gun again, a little farther away and moving it around a little more. I'm thinking the PBJ sandwich I ate an hour earlier isn't sitting well. I'm probably getting the bug. $h!t. I should have gone to the gym as soon as I got up, before I started getting sick. Then I'd have that done now. Or maybe I'm not getting the bug... Photobucket - Video and Image Hostingmaybe my sandwich is trying to crawl out because it doesn't like that I'm blowing hot air on a frozen $h!t pipe which dripped a little puddle which smells like the aforementioned un-deodorized porta pot.

Blow and blow and blow the hot air. Photobucket - Video and Image HostingI can see liquid $h!t now in the transparent section. The slinky-type hose is getting a little more flexible. Progress is being made. At least right there. I think about the 10 feet of pipe, 4 inches in diameter, and wonder if it's frozen solid the whole length, and my sandwich tries to crawl out again.

This is way fun. This is possibly even more fun than when we were coming down out of the Colorado Rockies in 60+ mph wind and our awning blew loose and we had to stop, get out a ladder, try to catch the damn thing, which was 10 X 20 feet and flapping like a sail, stop the flapping by holding it tight, which took all our strength, then re-roll it and tether it down. Him on top of the trailer and me on the ladder, in 60+ mph wind. But this is way more fun than that was.

I'm thinking, Maybe if I take a break for a couple hours, enough headway has been made for the liquid portions to thaw out the remaining frozen ones. Maybe I can go to the gym and do my intervals on the dreadmill real sneaky-like before I actually do get sick. Maybe it will raise my body temperature and kill the bug. So I go indoors, take off the coveralls, and announce my intentions. I wash up and leave for the gym.

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2-mile slow warmup, 8 X 1/4-mile in 2:06 - 2:09 each with 1/4-mile recovery jogs, plus a cool-down, are planned. It goes well. Except that I've been having sore Achilles tendons and they protest mildly at the changes in pace. Just mildly. I'm OK and doing well. Until I hit 45 minutes and the dreadmill, which is apparently pre-set although I have it on "manual," becomes concerned for my health or thinks there's someone waiting and shuts off. $H!T!! Right in the minute of a segment and I lose my momentum and my recollection of what the distance screen said and have to reset the whole damn thing. This pisses me off. I don't remember whether I'd done 5 or 6 of the planned 8 intervals. $h!t. Well, I'll do 3 more.

Except suddenly my Achilles heels start yelling, "We've done enough now, didn't the treadmill shutting off tell you anything???" Just all of a sudden, both of them really hurt. $h!t. So I decide this is my last interval, I'll call it 6, and watch the digital distance readout crawl up per hundredth of a mile and finally I hit the Cooldown button and jog, then walk it in. My tendons hurt and I can hardly limp off the treadmill. $h!t. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I've been reading about sore Achilles and how it's the calf muscles that are really the problem. So I do calf stretches off the treadmill. Against the wall, then on the floor. I hold the floor stretch for 2 whole minutes. And when I get up.... NO PAIN!!!! WOW!!! I am IMPRESSED!!

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So, about 5 miles total, with probably 6 faster 1/4's, that's 3 miles at a minute faster per mile than the marathon pace I'll need in the fall. Maybe I can do this. I'm happy.

Head for the shower, since I can't take one at home, since, although we now have water, we have no place for it to go once it exits the shower. The locker room is FULL OF TINY CHILDREN, of both sexes, Photobucket - Video and Image Hostingfresh from the pool, in various degrees of nudity as their mommies dry and dress them. $h!t. How am I supposed to take off my sweaty clothes and get in the public shower with the whole place full of pre-schoolers? Ooh... the handicap shower. It has a curtained "vestibule" and curtained private shower stall and is empty. If someone in a wheelchair comes in, well, they'll just have to wait, because I'm using this shower.

I get back home. Steve is up but dozing in the recliner. He opens an eye. I say, "So, how's things?" "What things?" "Well... how are you feeling?" "Wiped out." "Are you still puking?" "No." "I guess I'll get back to working on the pipes." "Oh. After you left I tried it. You must have just about gotten it freed up because after just a couple minutes it started running." Just like me.

I dread hearing about my duct-taped hose once it became a conduit for the liquid $h!t. "Any leaks?" "Nope."

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No $h!t !! Things are looking up.

And so far, I am not sick.....


Flo said...

Well, it sounds like you've had a crappy day (hahahahaha) but things are looking up. You got your run in, the pipes are thawed, life is good, eh??

Favorite Apron said...

Oh Ellie. Tears are running down my face. As the owner of an RV, I don't know whether to laugh or cry. As soon as you mentioned the heat gun I was gripped with fear for your plastic pipes.

Vickie said...

This weather certainly mucks up a lot of stuff, doesn't it? At least you got your workout in and hopefully you won't get sick. As for the locker room thing with kids, it was my biggest complaint at the Y. No matter how much I complained or protested, it happened every day. I sometimes have to wonder about the common sense of some of these mothers--especially when it involves boys 9-13 years old in the locker room, not only with other undressed gilrs but women. And they see nothing wrong with that!

TxSkatemom said...

so sorry to hear of the trials today! but I'm impressed that you got the workout done anyway -- go you! and I hope you avoided the yucky bug.