Promise

I promised myself that I would add one of these stories here every time I told one. I tell them at one point or another throughout the summer. There will be no chronology - not yet anyway - nor will there be much of a schedule. You never know; I might add a story every day and I might not. This is my life. Every day is an adventure.

Anna

Friday, November 19, 2010

Miscalculation

As some of my Facebook friends already know, I made a miscalculation on how much gas we would need to get us through freeze-up. Normally, I bring home pretty much as much fuel as I can throughout the summer - ordering one or two barrels every time the barge comes to Riversong. This year we planned to go to Eagle River for much of the winter and I didn't want a bunch of fuel left here unattended; we are well off the river and out of sight, but why tempt fate if I didn't have to? When we went to Fairbanks to get my book published, we came back to our diesel fuel having gone all milky, and diesel, as far as I know, doesn't go bad in a few months. I'm still using that fuel in lamps and such.

Where I wanted only enough to get us through until we left, thinking we'd order more sometime during the winter, my husband had different thoughts. He wants enough here to also get us through break-up next spring - a commendable thought, but he could have said something. You see, we discovered that it's cheaper to have our fuel flown in in the winter than it is to get it off the barge. It's tons easier to manage too. Like everything else done in the winter, load the sled with eight or ten gas cans and away to the house we go. In the summer it's pump the gas out of the boat into another barrel and then tip that barrel on its side and roll it to somewhere off the immediate bank; standing it up again is a two-man job, especially for us old folks. Then it can be hauled to the house about four to six cans at a time provided the four-wheeler doesn't have any flat tires (our latest obstacle).

Now granted, we leave some gas down by the boats because of the boats, and sometimes we leave all of it there and only bring it up to the house as needed, but it still needs to be moved around multiple times in the summer. If we had enough barrels, I'd buy all our fuel in the winter. I'm going to be doing the math for that this year. I'd much rather get all our fuel in here in one fell shot and be done with worrying about it.

So, as it stands, we're down to less than a barrel of diesel, which is plenty, and less than a five gallon can of gas, which is the biggest problem. The miscalculation came about because of our newest toy - the internet. Where before, one tank of gas in our little generator was enough to fuel our entertainment devices and the battery charger, now, with the addition of a modem and a router to our power drain, the little generator barely breaks even with a little to spare for the charger with a tank and a half or even two tanks, depending on how late my husband stays up. He loves to play WoW and it seems the best connection is well after midnight. Me, I'm solar powered, and I run out of energy shortly after the sun goes down most nights. I last longer if I take a nap during the day.

The last couple of days, it has been hovering around zero Fahrenheit, and since our diesel generator is kinda old, it doesn't have a glow-plug. For those of you who don't know, a glow-plug heats up the cylinder making the explosion of the diesel more efficient and thus the motor starts easier. Once was the time we had a blower heater to heat the monster, but the igniter on that thing went belly-up. Getting a new heater is on the list (you should see my list. Some things have been on my list for years.) Now we are reduced to using a small propane heater. It's very small, and though it works, it barely competes with the cold temperatures.

So, since we're so short on fuel, our computers and the internet goes off for the bulk of the afternoon. What do we do with ourselves? you ask. I get that question a lot with no thought of the fuel it takes to keep us entertained. Lately we've managed to get mostly caught up on the Smallville episodes, now we just need season nine to be up to date. Yesterday, we just started watching Dark Angel. Do any of you remember that one? And when we wade through that one, maybe I'll get Don to listen to my Harry Potter books again, I have all of them. Eh, we'll see. I invested hundreds of dollars up in Fairbanks Barns & Nobel book store on audio books and we haven't listened to half of them. Maybe it'll be Dune. Any votes. Well, time to turn things off. Talk to you all later.

3 comments:

sojo said...

Fascinating. Have you read Mary Doria Russell's, "The Sparrow" and "The Children of God?" Great reads! The only books I reread immediately after finishing - I just couldn't let go of the wonderful characterizations so soon.

Anna L. Walls said...

Hello Sojo. Thanks for stopping by. I can't say I've read those books. Perhaps I'll have to add them to my list.

Jansen Family said...

I can't imagine getting a whole winters worth of gas during the summer! I really love reading your posts!

I'd like to give you the Stylish Blogger Award!! Check out my blog for all the details! Have a great week!

~Carla

www.jollyjansen.blogspot.com
http://HoustonParentsMagazine.com