I guess being prepared for the unforeseen also means those things you do to yourself. We are expecting very cold temperatures on Monday and Tuesday, then returning to the forties thereafter. At the same time, however, it is forecast to be in the high sixties, perhaps even hitting seventy today. When the temperatures drop tomorrow, they are saying to expect a few inches of snow as well. This would be about right as we have a goat expecting to kid around Tuesday, and Tuesday night is expected to go down to zero.
Now, of course, that alone would present its challenges, but it couldn’t stay that simple. Noooooo, Jon has to up the challenge ante because, well, I don’t know why, I just do. We are putting up a permanent fence around our gardens. The last 3 long beds for potatoes and Asparagus are going in (6 feet wide x 48 feet long) and then it gets buttoned up to keep out rabbits, dogs, the neighbor’s goats, etc., and be able to graze our own goats and chickens in there during the fall to provide fertilizer and weed control.
So I decided, during the nice weather, to get the holes drilled for the wooden posts. Makes sense. Do the outdoor construction stuff when the weather is good. Of course, though, I needed a near brush with death to go along with it all. It didn’t even cross my mind that there might be an issue. At the main corner I dropped the auger to drill the hole and put it right through the main power line to the house! Evidently I was well insulated on the tractor. It could have gone badly right quick. I’m still alive, the solar and batteries kicked in so we still have power where we need it except for the water troughs and if we need a heat lamp should our goat kid in the next day or two. I can move the generator out to the barn to supply the critters should the need arise. All I wanted to do is put in the posts today. Emergencies and mental shocks suck. Fortunately, it wasn’t another kind of shock. Looks like we might have a guy that will fix it. The question, of course, is when?
Ok, yes I feel pretty stupid. He who is without sin and all that. This is why farmers have a high rate of injury. We’ve discovered that potential mis-haps increase proportionately to the amount of work being done. 7 years of projects increases the rate of trips and falls, cuts, bruises, broken things, sick animals, versus having done no projects at all. When we had our barn and greenhouse hydrants installed, the contractor put an auger through our main waterline. Yesterday, I drilled through the power cable. There aren’t any others, so I guess it’s out of our system now. Although, I did go through a pretty good panic attack later when the realization struck that I could have gotten myself pretty dead.
So now we are waiting for a guy to come and dig up and splice the cable. It is Super-bowl Sunday, so no one is coming for awhile. Snow and cold is coming for the next two days, so no one will come then either. As a result of my remarkable post hole placement, we are now completely off grid and will be relying on the solar system and batteries to get us through. Instead of putting in posts, I will now be changing the generator oil and making sure it runs so we have an additional electricity source (After all, solar panels don’t produce if they are covered with snow, or if it’s really cloudy). We are going into town to see if Tractor Supply still has kerosene heaters. If the batteries don’t get charged up for some reason, the furnace won’t come on and then we risk frozen waterlines. The generator can power space heaters as well.
Of course, while all this is going on, it is likely that one of our dairy goats will give birth as well. We also will be hauling water because the trough heaters won’t have power. All this, because the invisible gremlins on the farm decided that Farmer Juan needed to be screwed with yet again. Like there isn’t enough going on right now.
So an SHTF or grid-down situation can come in many forms. Never thought it would be one that was self-inflicted. Oh well, now I get to play with all the secondary outdoor kitchen toys. It’s always something.