The Disastrous Catastrophes in 2017

pulling_hair_out

Pulling my hair out!

I know…we’re just 6 days in and the Robertsons have already experienced 3 catastrophes in 2017! 

Most on them occurred on Monday, a gloomy, rainy day.

Lefty calls it “the water day.”

For a few days, the hot water heater had been leaking. Fix-it guy that he is, Lefty set out to work on it but soon learned that we would need a new hot water heater.

The good news is that our house is still under warranty. The bad news is that we couldn’t get the repair guy in because it was January 2 and a holiday. Boo!

The next day, we found out that the repair guy couldn’t be here until Friday…and it was supposed to snow. In our part of the nation, snow shuts everything down!

Princess Buttercup and I went to the mall (which always leaves me beat), and I dropped her off with Lefty while I went on some more errands.

I was so tired when I got back to the house. I opened the door and Princess Buttercup was in hysterics! I held her close while Lefty brought grim news:

Her 30-gallon fish tank had completely leaked out all over her bedroom floor, soaking the carpet and killing her 5 fish.

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Craft room/aquarium room/kid’s room.

We got the tank from a friend who found it in their attic when they moved into their new house. Bad idea on our part–we didn’t test it for leaks when our friend passed it on to us! Lesson learned, right?

Princess Buttercup was beyond consolation.

But then a bright spot: Lefty saw that all 5 fish were moving around on the gravel, panting for air. Immediately, he put the fish in a bucket of water, and all but 1 made it!!!

The carpet, not so much. Can you imagine a carpet soaking up 30 gallons of water?

wet_carpet

Dirty fan–wet carpet.

Once again, Lefty to the rescue. We soaked up as much water as we could with towels. Lefty used his shop-vac, and then we had to buy a dehumidifier.

On a side note, I can’t say enough good about the dehumidifier. PB’s room feels like a sauna. When we’re done in her room, I’m thinking about bringing it into the other rooms. Alabama has a really wet cold in winter, and I’m sure a dehumidifier would help.

We also used the leaf-blower and a fan to help out.

Lefty put PB’s mattress (which fortunately didn’t get wet) into the craft room until we can get her room back up to snuff.

Final disaster (which really wasn’t all that bad): I decided to take Spike up on one of our mountains for a nice hike. We’re supposed to get about 30 minutes of exercise per day, right? Well, I had about 45 minutes to spare before picking up PB from school–which resumed yesterday.

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I loooooooooove to climb!

I was on Rainbow Loop Trail, half-way down, when I decided that we should get back in time to pick up Princess Buttercup.

For some reason, I got off on a trail marked “Wild Trail.” Not a good sign. Spike and I walked and walked. At one point, the path was a narrow 2′ wide or so with a straight drop down. Spike looked over the edge and I was thinking, “Oh, Dog, please don’t jump!” No worries…he was just being his usual black Lab curious self.

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What’s that down there? Huh? Huh?

I felt that if I could climb to the top, there would be the rows of familiar houses and the place where I’d parked the car. We climbed up.

To my surprise, there was nothing there except for all the Land Trust land and the city hundreds (or thousands?) of feet below.

I consulted my Google Maps but was completely confused with its little icons. Was I the little guy icon? Was he facing left or right from my perspective? (Shrug!)

I just kept walking and eventually found the water tower. I knew my car was parked there. And I made it back! Thankfully!

love_to_climb

“I wasn’t one bit worried,” says Spike.

I carefully drove off the mountain. I should have picked up PB 10 minutes ago. I was the last person in car line, something you never want to be. My poor, deserted child.

Fortunately, I found out that PB had color guard practice, and all was as it should be.

I drove around to the band room, and PB got to show off her beautiful black Spike to a gaggle of adoring girls. Spike basked in the attention.

Well, today we got the water heater fixed. The carpet is drying out. And school was cancelled, even though we barely got a few flurries.

Big thanks to Mom and Dad for allowing us to drive to their place to use their shower!

Let’s hope the rest of 2017 is less eventful!

newest_addition_to_our_house

Brand, spankin’ new hot water heater.

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Weekend at the Highlands

The creek.

The creek.

Lefty, Princess Buttercup, the pups, and I all spent the weekend at my parents’ cabin in south Tennessee. It was Memorial Day weekend, so we decided to head out of town.

This was Spike’s first visit, and it was the first time that our family has been back since poor Samson lost his life on the road in front of the cabin.

People learn from their mistakes, so we were extra careful watching that the dogs didn’t go near the road…even though the road is about 300 yards from the cabin.

We had a great time enjoying hamburgers, hotdogs, s’mores, and the great outdoors.

A view from the hill.

A view from the hill.

My mom calls the place “the Highlands” after our ancestral home. I mean…not that we ever lived in Scotland or Ireland, but it’s where everyone in our family started from according to documentation.

Headed up the ridge on the ATV.

Headed up the ridge on the ATV.

The place has a gurgling creek, hay fields, and a very steep incline that leads to part of Chestnut Ridge.

My dad rents the place out to a local guy, who uses it as a hay field. That’s why the grass looks so tall over Spike’s head.

Spike in the hay field.

Spike in the hay field.

It rained part of the time, so we hung out on the back porch and played cards. Lefty was off riding the ATV, and Princess Buttercup and I were playing “War.” We heard a sound in the trees nearby and watched as a big water snake fell from a tree. (Shiver!) It was so creepy. Back at home, Lefty looked it up and read that it was a non-venomous variety that could climb trees. According to the website, cottonmouths can’t climb trees.

I don’t care what kind of snake it is. They all creep me out!

Hey, Snuggles!

Hey, Snuggles!

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Our gear.

Our gear.


Tennessee farmhouses.

Tennessee farmhouses.

Snow Much Fun Outside

Spike likes the snow.

Spike likes the snow.

Princess Buttercup’s school was cancelled for the entire day, and Lefty came home early because of the icy conditions outside.

Snow on our rooftops.

Snow on our rooftops.

There’s hardly anyone out on the roads, but there is an occasional car that creeps by. Because we live in an area where people come from all over the U.S. to live and work, we often hear people say that they know how to drive in the snow. They are just worried about the “other guy.” Well, those are the people who you have to look out for. In other parts of the country, the roads can be salted/sanded/scraped or whatever. Not so much, here. That’s what “they” are forgetting. And I’m not really worried about someone trying to drive in the snow…I’m worried about those who try to drive and then have to brake!

Diagonal lines.

Diagonal lines.


Anyway, Lefty, Princess Buttercup, and I went outside to take advantage of the snow and ice. Our road is covered in about a half-inch of ice. Our weather people are like, “Don’t drive if you don’t have to. Stay home!” And we will.

Lefty pulls Princess Buttercup and me on the sled.

Lefty pulls Princess Buttercup and me on the sled.

Snuggles and Spike play in the snow.

Snuggles and Spike play in the snow.

Crunchy snow.

Crunchy snow.

Princess Buttercup froze this bubble in the snow.

Princess Buttercup froze this bubble in the snow.

This big, fat little bird likes the snow...maybe.

This big, fat little bird likes the snow…maybe.

Icy road to our south.

Icy road to our south.

Icy roads to our north.

Icy roads to our north.