Sunday, March 13, 2011


So I didn't tell you the whole story yesterday, but I think this house is trying to break me into being a bomb-proof homeowner. The sump pump adventure was one event, but yesterday we also noticed that the power lines from the pole had pulled off the house, causing the live wires to sag and hang by nothing but the cables support, no screws, dangerous stuff. So I called the emergancy service and within a few hours the road crew from National Grid came to the rescue. They parked their giant truck by the sheep and all eight lifted their heads at once to see the man in the giant grain bucket lift off the ground. I had to smile at that.

So now that the power lines are fixed, I found out my heating unit's ventilation system is down, meaning my furnace can't run without filling the house with CO2. So I turned off the heat, stoked up the wood stove, and chalked that up as a loss until the maintenance guys can come see it tomorrow. With a night in the 40's it's pointless to waste money on an emergency call to come out here. I'll be fine.

So in the last three days this house has lost siding, filled a basement with water, downed power lines, lost heat, and is possibly trying to kill me in my sleep...

You just have to have a sense of humor about it at this point.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Laughing is better than crying. But I'm sure you weren't trying to get a PhD all in one winter in the field of homeownership. Sheesh.

March 13, 2011 at 12:20 PM  
Blogger linda said...

...but it is yours, Jenna, warts and all. And the warts give it character. Who would want perfection? What fun would that be? LOL

(Your words made it was easy to picture all the sheep with heads raised watching the electricians in their "giant grain bucket". I had to smile.)

Hope this week is less stressful. Take care.

March 13, 2011 at 12:23 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Good thing all this is recorded on your blog so when someone buys the film rights to "Cold Antler Farm,the story of a young writer living in Washington County with her fancy dogs, sheep, lots of chickens, fiber & meat rabbits, geese, ducks, turkeys, a hive, a garden, a leaky basement, a funky heater and some of the most amazing friends ever," everything will be easy to turn into a script. I'm thinking someone's gonna want to shorten the title right away.

Seriously, it seems one common thread across rural America is you'll meet some of the most amazing people who's friendship and love is demonstrated by action.

March 13, 2011 at 12:34 PM  
Blogger finsandfeathers said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

March 13, 2011 at 12:36 PM  
Blogger Dancing shepherdess said...

WOW! You HAVE to laugh at this point! What next? Have three things happened? If so, you're good for now!

March 13, 2011 at 12:36 PM  
Blogger Rois said...

When it rains it pours goes the saying but you have had your three so you should be safe for now.
We've been in your shoes and all I could do is think "Really?" and then move on.

March 13, 2011 at 12:41 PM  
Blogger finsandfeathers said...

It's a good thing all of this is captured on your blog because when some rich producer from Hollywood throws millions of dollars at you to buy the film rights for, "Cold Antler Farm, the story of a young writer living in Washington County with her fancy dogs, sheep, lots of chickens, fiber & meat rabbits, geese, ducks, turkeys, a hive, a garden, a leaky basement with a sump pump, a funky heater, and the World's most amazing friends," it will be easier for the script writers. They'll probably want to shorten the title a little.

I love hearing stories about real neighbors whose actions demonstrate what, "do unto others," is really supposed to mean. Who do you think should play the Daughton's?

March 13, 2011 at 12:43 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

Unbelievable! You will have it all done in one year. :)

March 13, 2011 at 1:30 PM  
Blogger shannonstoney said...

I have found that maintenance stuff like this comes in waves. Since February, I have had to spend a lot of money on: (1) de-squirrelifying my house, lest they chew on the wires in the attic and start a fire; (2) do major expensive car repairs; and (3) dig a whole new quarter-mile long water line to the house. I also have to get new siding to keep the squirrels out, sometime this summer. Last summer, the driveway washed out in torrential rain and I had to have major driveway repairs and new gravel. The new water line, of course, will tear some of that new gravel up.

Part of all this is due to climate change: torrential rains, and warmer winters, which caused a spike in squirrel populations. And part of it is just part of having a country home.

March 13, 2011 at 1:38 PM  
Blogger Paula said...

Oh my gosh! What a nightmare! But I'm glad you're finding it first before it finds you!

I hope by getting all this found out and fixed this year that next winter is completely uneventful for you, house-wise.

But it does kind of sound like you own Monster Farmhouse!

March 13, 2011 at 1:46 PM  
Blogger NMPatricia said...

I agree. I had to laugh and said to myself OMG. I so respect what you are doing and admire - that is really the word. Hang in there girl.You have come so far.

March 13, 2011 at 2:31 PM  
Blogger NMPatricia said...

OMG. I just had to laugh. Hang in there girl. I too could picture the sheep all raising their heads at once. I so admire you for all you have done and have gone through.

March 13, 2011 at 2:32 PM  
Blogger daisy g said...

Oh my, Jenna. You're really showing what you're made of! You would have been a great pioneer woman in the early days of our country! Hang in there! Next winter will be so much easier.

March 13, 2011 at 3:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bad things always come in threes, so you are good to go now! LOL!

March 13, 2011 at 3:13 PM  
Blogger Bill said...

I have been reading your writing for some time now. You are quite the gal. I myself having an old home and also farm a bit dont know how you do it all by yourself and hold down a full time job. I so look forward to sitting down after work and chores and reading about your adventures, Keep up the good work

March 13, 2011 at 3:17 PM  
Blogger Charlotte Scott said...

Sure is throwing you in at the deep end! My favourite mantra is "keep calm and carry on!" (said with a plummy UK accent) - surely it must get better soon.

PS - could totally visualise the sheep in unison!

March 13, 2011 at 3:24 PM  
Blogger Kitchen Mama said...

At this rate there won't be anything left to break down next year. Just think how dull and boring it will be...

On the other hand, you now have a wealth of stories to put together into a novel. Or images into poetry. Artistic endeavors would be a nice way to fill in all that free time you'll have next winter.

March 13, 2011 at 3:57 PM  
Blogger Tracy Bruring said...

Really girl...being a homeowner usually isn't this difficult. Wow. Rent a copy of The Money Pit...pop some popcorn and take the afternoon off.

March 13, 2011 at 4:19 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

Be glad you have electric power. I was about to leave a comment in praise of my sump pump yesterday when we lost power. No electric = no sump pump. I got my flash light and went down to the basement to watch the pump well fill and then start to overflow. It looked like I was going to be spending my afternoon bailing out the basement but the power came back on in less than an hour and the pump took care of it. Some standing puddles but they are starting to dry. Just something more to worry about.
Cheers, winter is almost over, right?

March 13, 2011 at 5:16 PM  
Blogger Velma Bolyard said...

i find that living alone in an old (1870s) farmhouse to be, shall we call it, interesting? glad you're ok.

March 13, 2011 at 5:40 PM  
Blogger Maggie said...

what does not kill are getting serious homeowning calluses.

March 13, 2011 at 6:27 PM  
Blogger doglady said...

Sounds like a good time to have a big piece of pig in the oven.

March 13, 2011 at 6:46 PM  
Blogger JenHarper said...

Please tell me you have a Carbon monoxide detector.

March 13, 2011 at 8:11 PM  
Blogger Karen Sue said...

if it is any consolation, which it probably isn't, but in the 15 years I've attending the same church, we've had some water issues, but NONE like we had this week. It was way worse and there was a crew working on it the better part of Fri and Sat. It is finished off with a preschool that meets during the week and ss classes on Sundays...there is carpet on the floor.,,at least there was last week!
You've got it handled. Wood heat is nicer anyway, right!?!?!?

March 13, 2011 at 8:11 PM  
Blogger kippy said...

The first year at a home is always the hardest and feels like one big long excrutiating test. Right now I'd say you are getting straight A's for tolerance and persistence. Your homeownership stories are movie worthy..

March 13, 2011 at 8:28 PM  
Blogger Kris said...

Jenna, I won't even ask what next. I am so glad you found that out before anything bad happened. Sounds like that house needs a total redo.

Time to write another book. About first time homeownership. And everything that could go wrong and does. Sounds like a good book to me!

March 13, 2011 at 8:32 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

I second wanting to know that you have carbon monoxide detectors! We don't want to lose you.
Sheep are much more laid back than horses, aren't they?

March 13, 2011 at 8:37 PM  
Blogger jim said...

jen is absolutely correct-get a carbon monoxide detector-[home depot-not expensive and battery operated] and place it in your bedroom-two is even better-other near your furnace---cheap insurance. Don't put it off-Not debatable-------------jim

March 13, 2011 at 9:04 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Sometimes you just have to laugh, if you don't have sense of humour you don't have anything ;) Wow a crazy couple of days, think of how much you'll have behind you next winter!!!

March 13, 2011 at 9:09 PM  
Blogger Wrenn said...

They say these things come in threes. Maybe you've met your quota for the time being.

March 14, 2011 at 1:13 AM  
Blogger Squirrel Leigh said...

That furnace of yours seems determined to convince you to go off-grid. You have all of us rooting for ya!

March 14, 2011 at 2:38 AM  
Blogger svelteSTUFF said...

NE Winters get boring this time of the year... just something to keep you occupied until Spring ;)

Keep smiling!

March 14, 2011 at 7:11 AM  
Blogger Pat Woginrich said...

Move home now!!!!

March 14, 2011 at 6:55 PM  
Blogger Pat Woginrich said...

Move home now - the force is not with you!!

March 14, 2011 at 6:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That happened to me a month ago (the cable thing). The cable had been pulled outta the wall by an icy branch. Then (I need a new roof) they couldn't nail the cable holder into the wall because it was so rotted.

This really has been a mega bad winter in the northeast though. Even my 85 yr old neighbor told me she burst into tears one day. Keep zee faith--spring's almost here!

March 14, 2011 at 8:08 PM  
Blogger Donna said...

My husband and I have a rule, we never, ever (no matter what) ever ask "what's next?". It's like sending a challenge out into the universe telling it that you can handle more. In fact just writing it out to you makes me a little nervous. ;)

March 15, 2011 at 3:13 PM  
Blogger Kigwit said...

Remember, that which doesn't kill you gives you a really good story for later!

I'm glad you're hanging in there.

March 16, 2011 at 11:35 AM  

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