Sunday, November 16, 2008


OK. So the pump is fine, it just blew a fuse, which I grudgingly found out. I say that because accessing the fusebox means mounting a lightweight ladder balanced on the rocks and dirt next to a footing with two-foot rebars sticking out of it, and carefully removing plastic covering and tape. Fortunately, a friend who happened to stop by on her way to a tea in Musquodoboit Harbour (gosh I hope that's the spelling) was willing to hold the ladder for me so I wouldn't fall and be impaled on the rebars.

As soon as the pump started, my joy was detoured, because had to shut it right off again. A pipe split open right over my head and the pump, cascading rusty water on both of us. Only an hour to spare before closing, I made it to Home Hardware, looking absolutely lovely of course, and bought some plastic joints. It was dark and rainy once I got home so I waited until today, when it was gray and rainy, to attempt to repair the break. This meant the ladder straddling the water tank, and using a hack-saw to trim a section of copper tubing - which had broken cross-wise along a copper joint. Then a struggle to reach up and sand the ends smooth so they'd fit into the plastic sleeves, and match them up straight. I didn't have great sandpaper and I should have sawn off an extra millimeter or two, because it was not quite aligned. But it was close enough for jazz, and when it comes to repairs done over the past 100 years, this is a very jazzy house. Extremely jazzy indeed.

Then a prayer and a throw of the switch. Instead of a cascade, this time, a torrent of water from directly under the kitchen soaked everything in all directions - the floorboards, the steel, the cribbing. Great stuff. Took minutes to slow and stop after I shut off the pump. I cried. The break was at a joint with a shut-off valve. I must have been psychic, because yesterday I happened to buy a valve just like it. I moved the ladder over to the spot, and once the water stopped pelting my head, I took a closer look, and soon realized I cannot possibly fix it myself. I can't get it off, for starters. So another day without water. At least there was plenty of it around the footings. I filled one jug for flushing the toilet. It's not pretty in and out of this house, let's face it. Tomorrow I will have to find somebody with plumbing tendencies, if not a plumber, and try it again - I won't be surprised if another waterfall turns up. Then I've got to wrap the pipes with the stuff I bought last week. Loads of excitement.

Meanwhile. I have another serious problem with my laptop. After a period of loosening, the power supply stopped working altogether in early September. A friend took it for repairs as a favor. I haven't seen it since. It's my brain; Brindi's my heart; both gone. Don't even ask what's on it; everything, just everything. There was no way to back it up, since it had no power and the battery was dead, of course, no power to charge it. Last full backup was three months old. Inexplicably, it's been torn apart so much that it might be useless now. If I don't already have an ulcer, this will give me one. I didn't want anything more than the power supply to be fixed but my wishes evidently did not count. I don't know what to do now; I hijacked a Dell from a friend and he needs it back. He will get it because I intensely dislike PC's, no offense, and physical limitations make anything other than the Powerbook feasible for me. Apple no longer makes the one I have (titanium G4), which even Apple salesmen regret. Last I looked, they don't make anything comparable. If I had the money to buy a new one, which I don't. As it is, I have to buy myself a crown to cover my implant, about four thousand. Been walking around with a gap for months. I only mention this - why do I mention it? Not really relevant. Sorry.

Today I wrote to more people about Brindi, and forwarded the letter to Best Friends in Utah with a brief note. We don't have a place lined up for a Facebook meeting yet, but I hope we will soon. Yesterday I spoke to Heather Anderson again; she was so kind to call. She sure has her hands full with her own animals, four or five dogs, six cats, hedgehogs (!), and more, plus running the D.A.I.S.Y? Foundation. It's amazing. She was hoping to call Tom Young's call-in show tomorrow, on 95.7, if her duties permit her. Other radio possibilities: on Friday afternoon I may be a guest on CKDU (88.1 FM at Dalhousie University. The only station left, as WRFL at the University of Kentucky says of its same location on the dial). More on that as and if it develops.

Since this whole thing began, I've heard from two people with dogs that look remarkably like Brindi. It's really something, because I'd never come across anything like her before. I remember that when I dropped Brindi at the kennel last January, there was a dog that looked so much like her, it fooled me for a second. She was paired with another dog owned by the same people. She might even be a puppy of Brindi's, or maybe a littermate - none of Brindi's pups look exactly like her. She and her larger friend, sort of a greyhound, were recent arrivals and the kennel owner put them in an outdoor pen to get Brindi used to being there with other dogs. She was fine, just directed all her attention to me, out there on the icy ground. I hated to go, and I just cringe now when I remember her look of confusion changing to distress as I began to leave; it's so awful. It was a great kennel, new, clean, lots of room, lots of outdoor runs, but she was not thrilled, I can tell you. She didn't spare a second to look back once when I picked her up. That was a ten-day stay. I don't blame her, after being cooped up for two years, she paid her dues in spades. Now her stay at the SPCA is well over three months, going on four. I know she's tough, but inside, she's got to be hurting, and who wouldn't be?