Today, instead of doing the dishes, I'll tell you about how my life has become a waiting game.
Year before last Fairbanks didn't get to have a summer. It rained virtually all summer. This is the first time I found out that when it rains for 40 days and 40 nights, well, for about 90 days and 90 nights, give or take, the ground becomes so saturated that my septic tank fills up with water. When this happens the toilet tries to flush, but can't. The water will slowly drain, but until the ground dries out, there will be no productive and convenient flushing.
We just had two weeks (or more) of nonstop rain. Again. This has led to Fairbanks being the angriest town in Alaska. We had one week of Fall when we often have as much as three, but it was a lovely week. Pretty colors, nice temperatures (60s during the day) and heart-filling gorgeous blue skies.
And then came the damn rain. Temperatures no higher than 44. It seems like my outside thermometer is stuck, because it's always reading 40. Sometimes 36. But around in there.
Once again, my toilet won't flush. It's not backing up, and it's exactly like the "summer" before last when it rained for three months. No flushage possible. Therefore, no pooping. At least no pooping at home. This is...inconvenient.
Here's the thing: if I have it pumped, and the ground is saturated, then the septic tank might rise up out the the ground just like a very, very stinky submarine. All I can do is wait to see if my doughty little terlet will flush if we ever get enough dry days in a row! It should start to work again if things dry out. But if the tank does need pumping, I need to get it done before Freeze Up! Which could begin happening any time. But usually not fully until October. Still, the weather has gone wacko so who knows? All Alaskans know what it is like to play chicken with the weather. Sigh. Right now I have no choice. Oh, and the cost for pumping? About $400.
This time of year Alaskans are working like crazed beavers as they try to get everything stowed away from the oncoming Big Dark Winter. In just about every field of work that involves the outdoors, such as construction, dirt work, plumbing, and so on, people are frantically trying to get their jobs done, you know, the ones they put off doing all summer? It's near to impossible to build a driveway in the rain, I have that on good authority. So all those outdoor working guys and gals are pissed, and everyone else is pissed because we know it's going to be dark soon enough. Bad enough that it's dark when it's not dark!
It's been cold enough to have my Toyo on for some time. If you read the previous post, you know my Toyo went on strike and is now at the Place That Fixes Little Stoves. From what I can tell it needs a new circuit board. But they can't even look at it for almost two weeks from now. So I'm in house heater limbo before I'll even get a call from them. Circuit boards cost $250, labor for two hours is about $200. I expect at least a $450 bill to get it fixed. (New ones cost about $1500.)
Let's not even think about what three weeks of heating my house with an electric heater is going to cost. (Probably around another $400 or more). I told the Toyo fixer people that they should order their jobs by who has a wood stove and who doesn't. Makes sense to me but not to them, alas!
I have to poop, and I have to be warm. So word to those who romanticize living in Alaska: you have to pay to be warm, and even more to be warm when you poop.