Sunday, December 25, 2011

'Tis CHRISTmas 2011

This is Tom and my first attempt at making a post here. Be gentle with me...LOL.

Christmas Eve, December 24th - This afternoon and evening turned out to be trying, at best. We still have winds, rain, and cold temperatures.
 The day? Woke up to only 40 gallons of diesel left for the generator and 20 gallons of water left in the big tank. I called 2 days ago asking for refills before the holidays. Our 'field supervisor' dropped the ball, as usual, so I had to call the company man on the rig. Within 2 hours I had 550 gallons of water and 200 gallons of diesel fuel...PTL.
  • A little later the main water pump went out so I switched over to our pump and 100 gallons of onboard water. Tech came out around 7 pm and got the pump working with a new pressure switch.
  • At 10:15pm the main generator just shuts down. Say what? I called the tech and he said check the oil. Dip stick says NO oil, just black, runny residue. I got lucky and found a new case of diesel engine oil on the trailer so added 3 quarts just to get a mid-level stick reading. After tromping around in the mud some more I tried to start the generator and it started...back to 115vac on their nickel.

 I had to endure all of this in the rain and mud...I need a shower just as soon as Donna gets up, which is almost NOW. It's been a trying day but I kept my cools, if anyone can believe that. It's CHRISTmas eve, for only another 38 minutes, and then we celebrate the birth day of our saviour Jesus Christ, so to ALL a wonderful day of celebrations. I love and miss you all...special hugs and kisses to my wonderful children and grandchildren. :)
Christmas Day, December 25th - I woke up this morning at 10 am to sunshine, a beautiful blue sky, and 15-20 mph winds. You can see my 'streamer' in the picture here, blowing straight out of the north. The temperature right now is 39°F. with a mighty windchill...brrrrrr, it's cold.

 The awning is tied down really well so the frame doesn't move an inch. My concerns are always with the awning material itself, whipping around, even with 2 straps on each side. I have found that unless the NOAA weatherman predicts 25 mph winds I don't need to worry about it. Our Gate Guard Services field tech, David, was busy working on the generator, doing oil and filter changes as well as releveling the trailer after the tongue support cratered with the soft earth underneath plus they had just added said diesel and water mentioned above (lots of weight there).
  Use local materials laying around but get it Level!! Mission accomplished. He's a great guy with morals and a conscious. He didn't feel comfortable leaving things undone that could cause a bigger problem in a short time. So, he did what he felt was right and he came out to do the service work and repairs. My hat is off to him today.

 He also replaced about 75 feet of the air hose, for the incoming traffic, which is for the pressure bell that lets us know that someone is coming in or out. The previous length of hose was in really bad shape and sometimes it didn't signal us at all.

 Traffic is very slow today and it actually gave Donna and I some quiet chat time. I made my world famous waffles and eggs for breakfast/brunch. It is now 2:30pm and she has gone to bed to read herself to sleep since she comes back on shift at midnight.

  DW was able to have a video conference with all the kids and grandkids on SKYPE before I got up this morning. She commented on how much fun it was to watch them open their gifts even if it was on an intermittent streaming video.
  We hope that you all have had a wonderful Christmas or as best as you could under whatever your situation is currently. We miss our family and this is the first Christmas in 42 years that we have not been around any family for the's sad but acceptable at this point in our adventure. So, to you all, Merry CHRISTmas and I wish you all a very healthy, happy, and prosperous New Year in 2012.

Until again, Happy Traill's to you all.


  1. Great post... you did well Tom :D

    Sorry to hear about all the problems you had. But glad people responded quickly to get you up & running. Out in this remote countryside we need our creature comforts without interruption! For sure!!!

  2. Tom - you did a great job!
    Donna - I love your About page!:D
    How did I not know you guys have a blog? It's super! I've been reading your back posts and your question page. So well done!
    I'm adding you to the blog roll @ Fork. Hope that's OK?
    Sorry about Christmas Eve. Wow! But I think you accomplished your goal: you honor our Savior with wit and humor and love!
    Like you guys, I find it heart-wrenching to be away from my kids and my 4 sweet grand babies - every day- but especially on the holidays. Our internet isn't strong enough to Skype right now, so we have to settle for phone calls.
    Happy New Year and God bless you both!

  3. Happy New Year, Tom and Donna!