Never ready for winter. What are we still doing in Canada?
I am writing this section from a motel room in Kamloops, BC early Saturday morning, November 20.
Last week we went to my brother-in-law's funeral in Powell River, BC. That was a week ago. It has taken us since then to get a day's travel from Powell River. A few mudslides happened and we spent a quiet week in a motel in Hope, BC. We read a bit we went for walks. There was no wi-fi and no hot water, but we stayed warm and dry. We had cell phone data up to 1.5 Mbps at 4 in the morning but down to 67 Kbps during the day. Amazing what an extra 1,000 people with nothing to do but check their phones will do to the bandwidth in a tiny town.
I read part of a book about habits but haven't adopted any of its good advice.
You can be better!
We discovered a wonderful book store with every used book priced at $2.
There are five highways into and out of Hope, BC. All five were closed. A couple maybe for months. Wednesday night most of the stranded drove to Vancouver when one of the highways was opened one-way for a few hours. A passenger train took another 320 to Vancouver.
Bandwidth returned to 2 Mbps on my cell phone on Thursday morning. I puttered a bit on my phone while Juanita got caught up on the laptop for the first time this week. Then I spent 3 hours taking an online safety course that might be required someday and submitted the paperwork (are .pdf files "paperwork"?) for reimbursement by the union.
Yesterday, Friday, there were hints that highway 3 might open up. Around 2:30 there was a reply to a tweet on the DriveBC twitter feed that they thought the road to Princeton might open at 3:00. We packed up. I talked to the motel owner and said we might be back, but I hoped not and paid a token fee for the late check-out. We rolled up to the entrance of the Hope-Princeton. The driver of a service truck said he had a couple of signs to take down but to go ahead and he would catch up to us. Didn't need to be told that twice.
We saw few cars and trucks at first, but the numbers increased coming toward us as news of the opening spread to the interior. It's a long way to Kamloops to go to Princeton and then cut back to Merritt on a winding two lane road. If that is the only route for trucks to and from the coast it's going to be a long ugly winter for all those involved and affected.
As we got close to Merritt we decided to stop at Mickey Dee's for some wraps and a bathroom break and book a motel in Kamloops. Nope. Merritt has been flooded but rumours of people returning doesn't mean you can go to McD's. McD's was dark. Most businesses on the high ground were lit up but not accessible. A roadblock attendant sent us back to the highway. The road between Merritt and Kamloops was in good winter condition and we made good time, stopped for gas on the edge of town and booked a motel and crashed for the night.
We plan to head for Alberta just before dawn on the Yellowhead highway. Yesterday it was mostly clear and dry but it snowed there overnight. Time to shower and dress and eat breakfast before venturing forth into the darkness and white knuckle the white stuff.
Two feet of snow await us on our loooong driveway back home.
Our other plan is to leave for Texas on December 2nd. I'll leave this here and maybe add some more polished prose below in the weeks to come but I wouldn't count on it. I'm not very reliable. Bad habits, I am told.
We got home the looong way round. Made it time for 4th birthday cake at granddaughter's birthday party in Edmonton on the way.
Back home we were greeted with a pile of snow. The grid road was plowed (including plowing a pile of snow across the end of our driveway). Juanota dropped me off and went to Debbie's house and I schlepped into the house through the drifts and dug out the snow blower which starts on the first pull. Well, it does if its been run recently. This was this winter's first time. After pulling until I was breathless I ran the longest extension cord in the pile and three electric cranks later it started. We had a parking spot and a walking path to the house. Enough for that day.
Subsequent days were full and busy getting ready to leave for Texas on the 30th.
The longest journey starts with a single step…
Nowadays it starts with shopping for travel medical insurance. Especially as a Canadian if you are planning on travel in the U.S. Theoretically you are covered by your provincial health care plan but only to the limit of what they charge themselves within their system. Medical travel insurance covers the huge gap in possible charges. It also focuses on stabilizing the patient and getting them back to the home province where costs become not the insurance company’s. If they fail in that endeavour, they will bring your body home. Not sure what the point of that is except make it convenient for the survivors to visit your grave in the brief span of the rest of your lives and then there is nobody who will remember you. Well, maybe not you, but me for sure. Maybe you are the .001 % that future generations will venerate. Cheery thought isn’t it? Have been reading a book “4,000 Weeks” whose premise is that if we live to 80, we only have 4,000 weeks. No matter how efficient we get we are not going to get it all done and the sooner we accept that and pick the few things we can and should do the better off we’ll be.
But I digress.
Back to travel insurance. Stability is a big thing with insurance companies. They want to stabilize you so they can drag and drop you into somebody else’s responsibility. They also want you to be stable. At least as far as your medications. Any change is bad whether you think it is good or bad. “We think we will reduce your medication a bit” may be something you are hoping to hear from your doctor. It’s not what insurance companies want to hear.
I don’t blame them. Juanita’s sister went from “we will reduce your heart meds a bit” to a couple of days later to “I’m not feeling well” to a collapse minutes after that and a medivac helicopter and a DOA. “We” may be plural in the doctor’s office, but it is singular in the morgue.
Juanita had a stent put in an artery in April and was put on five medications. All at or near the minimum dosages except one. On June 1st the doctor reduced that one to the minimum dosage. That is the date from which the stability window is measured. We got a quote for travel medical insurance with a departure date of November 18th and a return of April 15th. That should get us away from the worst of winter with only a few weak swipes from the snowy monster. The broker came back with a quote around $6,300. Talk about sticker shock. Only a few short pre-Covid years ago we paid around $800 for the winter away insurance.
“What if we leave on December 1st?”
“Try December 2nd.”
Dropped the quote to about $3,500 with a departure of December 2 and a return of April 7. Ugly but it might be the last time we can go south and that was a good job this summer and other rationalizations.
We bought it.
They e-mailed the documents.
My brother-in-law in BC died with brief warning.
We went to his funeral and got stuck in Hope, BC along with a lot of other people. There was no bandwidth and no printer. The fine print could wait.
Back home. The Thursday evening before leaving I printed out our travel insurance wallet cards and pages of fine print. I ran across an exclusion that would basically void all coverage if we did what we planned to do. We could sit in lawn chairs and watch the traffic but if we did anything to stay active and help others we would not be covered. I sent voice and e-mails to our broker that we had to fix this. She checked with the company and yes indeed. If you have a heart attack while standing there handing out food at the food bank you are not covered. She found another company that doesn’t have that exclusion. For only an additional $400. Embracing the sunk cost fallacy we paid, printed out new wallet cards and more pages of new fine print. Couldn’t find any weasel words that set off alarm bells and went back to prepping to leave.
The Month That Was
Let’s start over from the beginning of November.
We carried on from October in a leisurely fashion getting ready to go to Texas for the winter. Trying to leave things in an orderly state for the winter and to come home to. Closest to tidy our homes get is before we leave for an extended period. Funny that. We can live in a mess but don’t like to come back to one. Discouraging, I guess.
The last couple of years I worked full time in a career type job I seldom took vacations. Any benefits of two weeks away was scrapped off in the chirp of hitting the runway again when I arrived back at work and was explaining why something broke thirteen days before and what we doing to prevent it happening again. The only vacation I took the year before I retired was the week to go to truck driving school to get a license that would cover towing over ten thousand pounds. Early this month I got the letter from SGI that they had received my medical report and I was good for another year with my truck driving license.
Working in such a leisurely fashion we had time for reading and web browsing. I was reading about shortages on line and ordered summer tires when I was in town one day. As the tire dealer said, “It makes sense. We can’t get winter tires right now. It will probably be the same thing in the spring.” He said he’d call when they came in and I could bring in my rims with the baldish summer tires.
On November 3rd I got a text from my sister in BC that her husband, Joe, was in the hospital and to pray for him. November 5th he was moved to ICU and on the sixth they took him off the machines. He only lasted a couple of hours after that. The funeral was scheduled for Saturday, November 13. We left for Powell River scheduling for an extra day of travel just in case of winter road delays, but we made good time on good roads through the mountains.
It was an uneventful trip.
Just the kind we like.
The closest thing to excitement came near Valemount, BC.
Juanita was driving.
There was a cop car parked on the shoulder of the oncoming lane. He had cars lined up on the shoulder behind him. He motioned the truck in front of us to pull over and for us to pull in behind it. One more car came and pulled over behind us. Then a police car with flashing lights pulled in behind that car. The cop got out and pulled the driver out of the car behind us, wrestled him to the ground and handcuffed him. The first cop ran over to assist and then went back, removed the spike strip belt from across the highway and got traffic moving again. Good thing we didn’t ignore the pull-over gestures.
We stopped in Valemount for lunch at the Subway, but it was shuttered so we went across the highway to the A&W. There were signs on the door that you could only order through their online app. I started to load the app but was gestured inside. We masked up and went in. We ordered our lunch and sat at one of the widely separated tables. Each table had a sign that it has been sanitized. When they bring your food they take that sign away. When somebody finishes eating and leaves the table they sanitize it and put the sign back. One way traffic through restaurant and out through the convenience store.
We arrived in Kamloops close to dusk on Wednesday. We gassed up the car for tomorrow and went to a Subway for salads. On the way back to the hotel I bought new windshield wiper blades and installed them in the Canadian Tire parking lot. Another travel south chore off the list!
Thursday, we were up early and hit a drive thru on our way south on the Coquihalla highway then through the Fraser Valley and Vancouver to the ferry line-up at Horseshoe Bay. There was some tension whether we would get on the desired ferry, but we did. You don’t want to miss that ferry. It would mean you hit a gap in the schedule in the afternoon and spend hours more waiting at the second ferry on the road to Powell River.
When we arrived we put our luggage in niece Kelli’s trailer parked in Judi’s driveway. We visited with Judi then the three of us went over to niece Sherry’s and visited with family ate supper. My sister, Sydney, and her husband, Dan, were there and Sydney’s granddaughters and Judi’s son and daughters except Janice.
Friday, we visited with the best man from our wedding. After meeting for coffee, we drove out to Lund and had more coffee at a café and bakery overlooking the harbor. Friday evening, we went to niece Janice’s for supper and then we went to the church to help set things up for Saturday’s funeral. There were some teary moments when the local funeral director arrived to bring the box with the ashes of “the guest of honour” but all in all it went well. The display had highlights of a diverse life of a talented and sometimes troubled individual.
The funeral went well. Lots of people showed up. Joe’s life was celebrated. The pastor gave a good gospel message and people met in the fellowship hall to eat and visit. I had some good visits and missed talking to some people I saw across the hall, but you can’t get to everyone before it’s all over and the crowd shrinks.
The family congregated at Judi’s for a visit and more food. Afterward I went off for a visit with my childhood friend, Claudio. He was best man at our wedding. When he retired, he moved back to Powell River to help care for his parents who are now both gone.
We were up in time to be second in line for the first ferry of the day from Saltery Bay to Earl’s Cove on the Sechelt Peninsula. The ferry loadmaster directed us to a side pocket on the main deck and then filled the other lanes with latecomers. We were the second to last car to be directed off the ferry. We made up some time by aggressive driving and the use of a shortcut around Gibsons. Unlike our last time at Langdale we had a zero sailing wait and loaded at our hoped-for departure time.
We met up with Guenter and Anita Salchert for lunch at the Boathouse on Kitsilano Beach in Vancouver. Guenter was the best boss I ever had. Long reins, loosely held, but held, nevertheless. After good food and a better visit we walked out to our car together and they carried on walking home tucked under their umbrella. Did I mention it was raining? It was. All day, so far.
Back in the car I got a text from niece Sherry that Highway 1 (Trans-Canada) was closed between Chilliwack and Hope and that Highway 5 (Coquihalla) between Hope and Merritt was closed. We had experienced the Hope-Chilliwack mudslide scenario on a previous trip. Hope was a zoo that day. The alternate route from Chilliwack, through Agassi to Hope was bumper to bumper that day. We despaired at making it to our hotel in Kamloops at a reasonable hour today. We looked online at hotels in Princeton. No good choices. We cancelled our hotel in Kamloops and booked one in Hope.
Rather than go past Chilliwack on the Trans-Canada we turned off the TC in Abbotsford and crossed the river to Mission on highway 11. The next day, the highway just east of that interchange flooded for a mile or so. That’s what happens when you drain lakes to get the good soil and then build highways across the lake bottom. Sooner or later the rivers that used to fill the lake find their way around whatever you built to stop them. But that’s Monday. Everybody hates Monday. Back to our Sunday drive. Before we got to the bridge across the Fraser we could see emergency workers off to the right dealing with side roads that were already under water. Highway 11 would soon be closed as well.
In Mission we turned right and headed up valley on highway 7 (Lougheed Highway). It is narrow and winding and “it was a dark and stormy night”. Traffic was steady, but not heavy. Windshield wipers mostly on high. Occasionally, water pooling by the side of the road would snag the right front wheel. Not the most pleasant drive, but we managed to make it to Agassi where we joined traffic headed to Hope from Chilliwack. There was heavy traffic coming from Hope as well. We stopped for gas about half an hour from Hope. When we came out of the station ten minutes later there was no traffic coming from the direction we had come. I guess the mudslide that cut off the road in a few places happened shortly after we passed. People had to abandon their cars between mudslides and be rescued by helicopter. If I understand things correctly somebody died in one of those mudslides. About twenty minutes from Hope the hotel called. “Are you still coming?” “Yes, in twenty minutes.” “We have no power.” “That’s okay.”
We arrived and checked in by flashlight. The hotel had no power, no hot water, cable TV or Wi-Fi. We were happy to be there, safe, warm and dry and not sleeping in our car like hundreds of others. Sometime in this period the Highway 3 (Hope-Princeton) had mudslides and Highway 1 (Trans-Canada) had a bridge swept away in the Fraser Canyon.
Resting in Hope
I didn’t take notes. Wasn’t planning on writing about the week. We took it day by day and weren’t hyper focussed on being productive. It was a relaxing week with not much to do after a few months that had more than could be done. The timeline of this section may be a bit jumbled. We read between activities. Texting mostly worked. The time passed.
The lights came on a little before five. I ordered breakfast on my McDonald’s app. When I got to the restaurant the line for the drive thru snaked through the parking lot. I found one of the last parking spots and selected “pick up from front counter” as the delivery option and walked to the restaurant door. Locked. They weren’t letting anybody in. I stood in the rain with all the other people hoping for food. Occasionally somebody would open the backdoor, the employees’ entrance, and yell a name. Brandon is a popular name to be yelled in public these days, but whoever Brandon was that morning he never picked up his order. We fellow stranded strangers discussed maybe assuming the name just long enough to get his food, but nobody did. Finally, they brought my order to the door, yelled my name and I grabbed it. The power had failed again, and it was one of the last orders they handed out.
I returned to the room with my bounty. The hunter home from the fast-food joint. With over a thousand extra people in a small crossroads town the cellular data bogged down to dial up speeds. It wasn’t bad around 4 or 5 in the morning but plummeted once everybody was awake and checking the DriveBC website for highway information or just killing the time.
The power stayed off most of the day. It was stormy out but not that cold. We stayed warm and dry in our room. We had a large window for light and a view of the trees whipping around in the park across the street. There was a public washroom there so there was steady stream of cars pulling up staying for a while and then leaving.
A plumber came to look at the motel water heater and went away. The Chinese owner seemed to think it could be brought back to life. I looked at it. I know a bit about controls 😉. Controls can’t help a leaking 80 gallon gas-fired hot water tank. Although the controls were quite accessible with the covers off and wires sticking out everywhere. Nobody in town would stock a replacement. A new one had been ordered from Vancouver many mudslides away. We remained all week without hot water. Anybody who says they enjoy a cold shower in the morning will lie about other things.
We managed to stay clean through it all with little perceived hardship. Living off the grid for several years lowers expectations considerably. Expectations drive our attitudes so much. We expect things will be a certain way and can react poorly when they fail to meet our expectations. Take a step back and consider that the average middle-class person today has better physical conditions than a millionaire of a hundred and fifty years ago. Not to mention better than most of historic and modern humanity. Things haven’t been as comfy as they have been in recent decades. It isn’t a given they will stay comfy.
Somebody came back to the hotel with a box of pizza from Panago Pizza across the road from the other side of the park. Close enough for a walk if there wasn’t horizontal rain happening. I drove. They had a generator running on the sidewalk. The owner handed me a box of pizza and wouldn’t take any money. If you are ever in Hope, buy a Panago pizza. I plan to.
Pizza for lunch, leftover pizza for supper. The room had a fridge.
You have to feel for the local business owners who pitched in to help people when a greedy person like me would try to profiteer. I fear for their financial well-being after the locusts are gone and with the traffic through town diminished for months to come.
When the power came back on, I checked the TV in the room and the motel internet again. Nope. Shaw was down for the count. It stayed down for the rest of the week. Our room had a coffee maker. If you skipped placing the coffee packet it made hot water. No need for a cold-water shampoo. Luxury!
Tuesday the rain let up a bit. Businesses were open with the power on. Our daughter mentioned a good bookstore in town. It was in the next block next to a health food store that sold keto bars. Yay! Skinny man does not live by pizza alone. We checked out both stores. The health food store owner was on the phone and getting the good news that the flood waters in Merritt had stopped short of her store there. She seemed happy. The bookstore was jam packed with used books for $2 each. They also had a few new books for sale for list price. Mostly current local authors or local history etc. The town was busy with people milling around. Mostly cheerful after two nights sleeping in their cars.
I topped up the gas tank at a station with an attached 7-11 and used the Scotiabank ATM to get some cash. Lunch at the Blue Moose Café was cash only. I guess numerous local businesses rely on Shaw. The soup was good. We had stopped here for breakfast a few years ago. It had okay food and good ambience. It’s still okay. The plexiglass shields everywhere take the edge off the ambience. Could have been plywood like my summer workplace. That would downgrade the ambience.
I bought breakfasts at the McDonald’s drive thru and brought it back to the room. This came to be our daily routine. Eventually they ran out of cheese and only had small coffee cups, but they never totally ran out of food by our last day, Friday.
Mostly read. Finished a book from the $2 book store. Started on book by Mao’s physician. Thick book. Slow going. Might never finish it. Read a bit of Atomic Habits on Kindle.
We went to the bigger of the two grocery stores. The line was across the parking lot. They were only letting so many people in at a time. We balked. The local Dollarama was packed and had reasonably good supplies. We had lunch one day at the A&W. The next day it was closed. Probably ran out of food.
Our daughter mentioned they were looking for volunteers to help at the local high school. It hadn’t occurred to me before that nudge from her. Warm. Dry. Books. I was in my happy bubble. Juanita not so much. We went there on Wednesday. The volunteers were hustling around humping cases of water. Somewhere in the building they were preparing meals. Meanwhile, able bodied people were laying on mattresses in the hallway staring at their cell phones. Why weren’t they helping themselves? Their only problem was they were stuck somewhere until the roads opened. Why weren’t they the ones bustling about? They currently needed volunteers at night but were good for the day. We left our names as future daytime helpers.
The perceived need for volunteers waned when most of the stranded people left that evening. Highway 7 opened for convoys of one-way, Vancouver bound traffic. They had partially cleared the mudslides and towed the stranded cars of the helicopter evacuated people to a community center. If not picked up by some designated date they would be towed to a long-term storage and the owners' charged a storage fee. Can’t imagine getting your car back won’t be without hassle.
Hundreds of others left by passenger train to Vancouver. A more comfortable ride at the time, but post dating a cheque to have to come back and get their cars.
We drove around town intermittently during the week. There were cars parked under an overpass. There was a stack of wood and a bonfire going under the overpass. Camping in a gravel pit. Newfie style. Wonder if they had Screech!
Thursday, the town seemed comparatively empty. No cars or bonfire under the overpass. The only people left were ones headed to the BC interior and the locals, of course. I can’t help but think they are in for some hard days ahead. A friend who had worked at the local supermarket on his path up the chain’s management ladder said the local motto was “Live in Hope, die in despair.” Until the Pemberton highway opened, Hope was on the only routes into the interior. In all my trips through it with my parents and on my own as a young adult I can not remember when it wasn’t raining. Steve Lord told me once that the managed forest on nearby Herrling Island has the highest unit of fibre growth per year of any forest in Canada. Mild winters, lots of rain.
If you’re a conifer.
We went through both grocery stores. No produce or dairy. Not much meat. Few baked goods. Lots of junk food. Signs, saying “Only two of any items”. We bought a couple of items, including a loaf of Carbonaut low carb bread. I guess things were not bad enough for people other than the odd keto freak to pay $8 for a loaf of bread.
Friday there were rumours of the highway to Princeton opening. We kept checking DriveBC for updates. The updates became more frequent but kept saying that things had not changed and kicking the can down the road to the time for the next announcement. Finally on the DriveBC twitter feed they said they had heard that the highway would open at 3. We got to the entrance at 2:45. That trip is covered at the top of the page.
We travelled from Hope to Princeton to Merritt to Kamloops in two or three times the time it usually took to go from Hope to Kamloops before the Coquihalla got washed out (five bridges gone at last report). The next day we went on pretty good roads from Kamloops to Edmonton. The Yellowhead had a blizzard happening that day. We went another route.
When the Yellowhead has good road conditions that trip takes about eight hours even stopping for gas and lunch. Pedal to the metal the trip took us twelve hours on the Trans Canada highway with a detour through Radium Hot Springs because the highway was closed at Golden for planned construction work. We lost a couple of minutes due to construction work in Calgary. Google Maps told us to exit on an exit that had been moved back a few hundred feet while they worked on the ramp. I guess Calgary has no money for temporary signs having spent it all on hideous virtue signalling sculptures. You get who you vote for.
We arrived at Becky and Nick’s house in Edmonton just in time to watch Amadea blow out the candles on her fourth-birthday cake and to open her gifts.
Home at Last
After a run to Costco on Sunday morning we drove home. Roads were clear and dry. The latest blizzard had been cleared away. Not so at our house.
Juanita dropped me at the end of our driveway and went to visit at Debbie’s until I had a parking spot cleared. I climbed over the drift left by the snowplow and went to the house and suited up. The snowblower usually starts with a single pull but not the first time it is used in a winter. You don’t usually need the electric start unless the temperatures are really cold and they weren’t particularly by Meadow Lake standards. It took three tries with the electric start. The next day it started with one pull.
The snow was heavy, coastal-style cardiac arrest stuff not our normal fluffy variety. The snowblower bogged down quite a bit with a burning rubber smell coming off the drive belt. A lot of the time I just drove it forward a bit and waited until the snow stopped coming out of the chute. Rinse, repeat.
I cleared a path from the house to the grid road. Then I cleared a parking spot at the grid road. The pile left by the RM snowplow was full of rocks. That was exciting. Once a path was cleared I could blow snow continuously by taking only a half the width of the snowblower. After the essential areas had been cleared I started to clear the loop. I got half way around the loop and the drive belt gave up the ghost.
Enough plowing for one day. I parked the snow blower in the heated workshop. Tomorrow.
Juanita arrived. We carried in essential luggage from the car.
The next day, a couple of drive belts later, the snow was cleared and the second replacement was better adjusted and not slipping. It should last better. Time will tell. Maybe we can keep going away early each winter and I’ll never know. Dream on.
Over the next couple of days I cleared wider areas and a few paths including a path to a friend’s quad. His brother is coming to pick it up in a few days.
We worked at getting ready to head south. Choosing what to take and what to leave and what chores to do here now and which to leave to the spring. We did manage to knock a few things off the summer, fall list but passed a few onto next spring’s list. In the sawmill I worked as a summer student we had never-never piles. You shovelled them every day, but they were back the next day. The unplanned travel didn’t help the schedule. Next year!
Went to church one last Sunday at our church home.
I had next year’s summer tires mounted on their rims and stowed them in the sea can.
I took the car for its scheduled oil change. I have new low-profile ramps but had no ambition to lay in the snow to change the oil on the car. I decided the truck can wait. It has over six months since the last oil change but has less than a thousand klicks on the clock since the last oil change and it is synthetic oil.
When they changed the oil on the car, they checked the tires. All tires were good but one. They added air. A couple of days later it was low again. I called the tire shop. Can’t fit in until next week. If I bring in the loose tire they can look at it.
I pulled the tire, got one of the new summer tires out of the sea can and mounted it. I checked the winter tire for leaks and found a staple. Got bubbles there with soapy water. Marked the leak location. Took the tire to town and left it at the tire store. Reversed the procedure after it was repaired.
I put any library book requests on hold until next year but was too late for two. I read all of one and part of the other and bought a Kindle edition of the partly read one.
Buddy’s brother showed up for the quad. We dug it out and between us figured out how it was supposed to start. It wouldn’t. We strung three extension cords and hooked up the battery charger. After a half hour visit back at the house we went back. It cranked over and fired up. We let it warm up as we coiled up the extension cords.
I looked at his steep ramps and suggested he borrow mine to load the quad on his truck. He and his wife left. He and his wife own a couple of businesses, including a dollar store in Laronge. They are experiencing significant shortages due to supply chain issues and are having to pay ocean freight surcharges for stuff from China.
I went into the crawl space to winterize the water lines. The smoke/CO alarm was bleating intermittently. It's ten-year lithium battery that you never have to change and can’t change was dying. That was a good five-year run. I’m so glad I spent the $70 so I don’t have to change the battery every year. Don’t need to use my MBA analytical skills to know that was a bad deal.
After we removed the annoying bleep from the crawl space, we took out the water filters and left the housings to dry. We drained the waterlines, then flushed them all with plumbing anti-freeze. Took about two hours.
Before winterizing the water lines we had filled a plastic garbage can in the bathtub for water to flush the toilet Nica style. About the last thing we do before we leave for the winter is to pour plumbing anti-freeze down the drains. It’s probably all unnecessary. Unless the heat shuts off during some extended power failure.
After doing the waterlines I drove to town and bought a new smoke/CO alarm. Opening the package at home, I realized I had not bought one that would network with the others. Too late in the day to return it. Oh well, there’s nobody here to hear it anyway. We’ll have to go through the winter with no smoke alarm in the crawl space.
Books of this Month
Mini-Reviews and Links someday:
Movie Club Mysteries 1-3 by Zara Keane
The Defender of Rebel Falls: A Medieval Fantasy Adventure (The William Whitehall Adventure Book 1) by Erik Christensen
Blackbird Fly: a novel of suspense, loss, and discovery (Bennett Sisters Book 1) by Lise McClendon
Atomic Habits by James Clear (Started but not finished)
Whiteout by Ken Follett
Four Thousand Weeks by Oliver Burkeman (library book, started but returned and ordered a Kindle copy)