Yesterday the house was spick and span and shining like a new English Penny. So what could possibly go wrong that would make this house look anything less than sparkling? Well, an ice storm? Freezing rain? A power cut?
Huffle went out this morning and tried too scrape the ice from his window. It was thick and hard and well stuck! We don't have any de-icer so he chipped away at it until he had enough small holes to drive to work. All the trees were fully encased in ice, the trunk, the branches, everything.
The basketball net had fallen over and the basketball had got half way down the drive and was completely covered in ice. I have never seen anything like it before. The electric and telephone wires were all full of little icicles which whenever the wind blew, the icicles fell to the ground precariously.
The first thing I checked was whether the bus was running today. It wasn't. All school buses North of Highway 7 (well that's us then!) were cancelled but all schools were still open. The kids had their breakfast and went up to get changed. I made lunch for Small and told Smallest to get changed so we could walk Small to school. Then we had a power cut just as the kids started to okay on the computer (how inconsiderate!), it came back on and then went off again. I rang Huffle and he panicked about the sump pump not working. I told him I would drive the kids to school and ring him back at home if the power was still off.
When I got to school, the Secretary told me there was no need to stay because the kids wouldn't be able to use the washroom (her words! Because the pump wouldn't work) and there was no heating, computers etc etc. so I decided to take them home. We took Cog (Small's friend) home with us too to play.
The power was still off and Huffle decided to come home and buy a generator on the way. The three boys and I went down to the basement and started filling buckets. The sump wasn't working because it is electrical, the hole the pump sits in was filling quickly and starting to overflow into the basement. The hole isn't very big and I could only fit a large yoghurt pot in there to fill the buckets. The boys were fabulous and carried the water through the basement and up the stairs to the kitchen to empty them into the kitchen snk (which empties in the Cess pit further away. I ended up sitting on the floor on a couple of inches of icy cold water, socks and jeans wet through. The boys kept dripping and splashing water all the way to the sink.
Huffle got home and tried to get the generator working but couldn't. Cog rang his Dad (an engineer) and he came to help us. He said 1) it's a good job we couldn't get it started because we should have put oil in and we would have ruined it for good had it got going! 2) the CO2 would have been too much for inside the house as it should be housed outside. Anyway, we had flooded it, so he took it away and got it working and brought it back and helped Huffle store it in the barn for future use. By now the power was back on and the sump cleared all the water. Huffle set about making a better trench for the water pipe outside so it didn't put so much pressure on the pump. Then he came inside and started clearing while we spoke to HB on Skype. The Secretary rang to say the power was back and I asked her if I should bring the boys back? She said it was up to me. I told her how helpful the kids had been with the basement and that I had told them they didn't have to go back to school. She said that was fine. To be fair, when I shouted up to the boys "you can go back to school now, the power is back on!" There was complete silence. I tried again but they completely ignored me!
We cleared the rest of the debris in the basement, called the boys for lunch (they were playing upstairs) and sat and ate. The boys were bored and wanted to go to Cog's house. His Dad was out but he came over later and picked them up. Smallest was upset because he wanted to go too. Huffle and I played Mousetrap in front of the fire with him and then a card game.
I had a walk down the garden and took some photos.
Huffle went off to the airport to get Grandma and Grandad - we didn't tell them he was going to meet them and he thought it would be a nice surprise.
Smallest and I got the swimming stuff together and went and fetched Small from Cogs house. The boys both swam well. They like their new teachers. I chatted to Small's teacher there - there were only six kids in her class today.
When we got home Huffle wasn't back but it wasn't long before the car arrived. Smallest shouted, I see someone, I see someone and then he started to giggle and ran to the door and shouted "Grandma, guess what, you smell of poo!" Well that was a nice welcome. There was a lot of hugs, a cup of tea and then an emptying of bags.
We had got Grandma and Grandad some presents too.
There was a lot of catching up this evening. Some table tennis, Lots of tea drinking. A bit of chocolate eating. Much reminiscing.