Sunday, May 21, 2017

Pioneer Cats - Behind the Scenes of the BIG Snow

KATIE:  Many of our friends and readers heard about the big spring snowstorm we had here in Colorado last week. It was so bad in fact, that we had to enlist the help of Faraday from A Tonk's Tail to post a snow update for us on our blog Friday. 

WAFFLES:  You mean on account of we were too busy laying around by the fire to do our own blog?

KATIE:  Not exactly.

WAFFLES:  You mean on account of there was no electricity or internet or TV or Netflix or anything and all we could do was lay around by the fire and look at these weird paper things with words on them?

KATIE:  You mean books? 


KATIE:  Waffles, I think the heat of the fire is impairing your–

WAFFLES:  What, the thermometer thingy says it's only 81 degrees by the fire. 

KATIE:  Exactly.

Roughing It
We're not afraid of a little snow. We're not even afraid of 3 feet of snow, which is how much fell on us in just a day and a half last Wednesday and Thursday. But it was heavy, wet and apparently did a number on our power company and their equipment.

Nearly our entire canyon was without power for anywhere from 12-24 hours. We never realized just how many things were tied to power up here up in the mountains. Although our heating source is propane gas, we need power to run the boiler. All of our water comes from our own well and in order to get it running in the house, we have a well pump that guessed it, power.

To make matters worse, when the power first came back on it only lasted about 60 seconds. Then there was huge BOOM. A nearby transformer had blown and we experienced a power surge that fried our boiler (our heat source), our well pump (our access to water) and even our kitchen cooktop. Two months ago, Glogirly had the power company install a whole-house surge protector so nothing like this would ever happen, but something went wrong.

We have a fireplace with a heating insert, so as long as we have wood, we can keep relatively warm. Right by the fire, it's super toasty. The rest of the house dipped down to about 55 degrees at it's coldest.

REALLY Roughing It
When you don't have running water though, it's like taking a step back in time to the days of pioneer cats.

Ok, sort of pioneer days. Glogirly couldn't take a shower, so she heated up water in the microwave (because the cooktop doesn't work) in order to take sponge baths without freezing. She had to do the same to clean our food dishes.

But then came the toilet.

Without running water, there's no flushing. You have to add water manually. And would you believe it takes about a whole gallon of water to flush the toilet just once?

We only had 7 one-gallon jugs of drinking and distilled water on hand. And we had no idea how long we'd be in this predicament, so in order to conserve water, Glogirly filled big plastic storage bins with snow to melt for water to flush the toilets. FYI - It takes a LOT of snow to yield just a teensy bit of water, so we had bins of snow all over the place. 

WAFFLES:  What's with all the snow, Boss?

KATIE:  It's so Glogirly can use the bathroom.

WAFFLES:  You mean like a LITTER BOX??? Won't that be really cold on her–

KATIE:  NO, Waffles. She's melting the snow so she can pour it into the toilet and have enough water to flush.

WAFFLES:  That's crazy. She should just use our box.

KATIE:  Trust me, I'm sure that thought has crossed her mind.

Back in Business, Almost
It was touch and go for awhile, but as of Sunday afternoon we had heat and water once again. It's going to be a couple of weeks on the cooktop though. Fortunately, the microwave and convection ovens are working just fine, so it's frozen TV dinners and Digiorno for the time being.

Scenes from the Big Snow
At the risk of making this the longest blog post in recorded history, we though you might enjoy a few photos of the aftermath.
WAFFLES:  Are you going to touch it, Boss? 

KATIE:  Of course I'm going to touch it. Aren't you going to touch it?

WAFFLES:  But it''s cold on my delicate toes.

KATIE:  Seriously, Waffles. Do I have to do everything around here?

Katie has left her mark.

The Deer Family stopped by for dinner.

The morning after.

Let the melting begin!

P.S.  Not to worry, the snow melts FAST here in the mountains. In fact, about half of it is already gone. With temperatures climbing to the 60s and even 70 by mid week, this soon will all be just a distant memory.


  1. I hope you have a warranty for that surge protector. Glad to hear you guys are safe and sound.

    1. We hope so too! Waiting to hear from the power company. ; )

  2. Your view has taken away my breath! Why would you ever leave your deck? Did you say this is the Colorado Springs area?

    1. Northwest of there. Near Golden and Boulder. : )

  3. We are having high 80's here in Texas with high 90's in the south of the state. Glad you are keeping warm.

  4. Well, that was an adventure for all you guys! And as beautiful as it is there, my human has sworn to never, ever live in the mountains. She's a city girl through and through and not much of a cold weather person, so she is sticking to coastal cities. Except maybe, someday, Santa Fe.

  5. Been there, done that. As you know. But - now you have had a taste when it's easy to learn so that when it happens in the below freezing temps you will know how to really deal.

  6. Wow! What an adventure! Glad things are improving!

  7. Wow! What an adventure you had! I'm so glad all of you are safe.

  8. Wow - now that IS an adventure and GO KATIE GO!!! Love the paw print!

  9. Holy moly....glad you are all safe and hope everything can be fixed quickly

  10. What beautiful pictures!! You 3 are true snow survivors 😜

  11. What an experience all of you had!!! Even though it was a bit much snow for May, it really was pretty. Now you just have to get everything fixed and you'll be singing songs again. You do have amazing views and you have each other. I bet Gloman was sorry he missed out on all the fun!!
    Stereo purrs............Hemingway and Steinbeck
    Big hugs........Pam

  12. That is crazy! Glad you did ok and had a fire for warmth.

  13. Yikes! Nasty about that surge protector! Hopefully all will be well and this won't happen again.

  14. OMC you poor thing! I am so glad you posted this (it wasn't long at all and it was super interested!) Hmmm....I think I see another blog in your future "Mountain Living" perhaps???? Your photos are just spectacular, loved this! catchatwithcarenandcody

  15. Goodness what an adventure and you didn't even need to leave home. Sort of good this happened while your mum was home. That way things got fixed quick! Imagine if you had still been visiting Gloman.

    Mum recommends you get a permanent backup source of power.
    This is in addition to the whole house surge protector.

  16. PS. Keep us posted with pictures as the snow melts!

  17. Oh my God! What a nightmare. Glogirly could have done pee in your litter box or outside. Such drama
    Lily & Edward

  18. What an adventure ! We're glad everything is almost back to normal. The view around your home is beautiful ! Purrs

  19. Holy moly! That's a lotta snow! You guys really are roughing it...just like in old times.

  20. Well, you sure do have a great view - snow or no snow. Our mom's pawrents used to live in Vermont, and they had lots of power outages. They had an emergency generator, and it really did the trick. Their neighbors all knew about it, and would sometimes come over to stash things in their refrigerator. At least you have a fireplace. Glad it's over.Get a generator!

  21. Yikes!
    We can understand a bit.
    WE live outside the city and have well water with a pump.
    WE don't like when the power goes off either.
    Mum keeps a big water cooler bottle in the bathroom for emergencies ;)

    Purrs Georgia,Julie and JJ

  22. that is one impressive view. Almost makes everything else worth it :)


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