Wednesday, January 8, 2014

my day off

Today was my day off. Dean woke at 5am to go to work. I’m not good at going back to sleep so I also woke at 5am. Luckily I didn’t have to “do” anything till 7 when it was time for the kids to get up for school.
 After the kids left at 8, I started my workout. I’m trying to get back into shape after falling off the Wagon or rather the treadmill months ago. So my start to the day usually involves an hour or so of a running/working out. Other than the 5am wakeup, my day started pretty good. Because it was my day off, I offered to drive my dad to morden to visit a relative who is in the hospital. My dad has MS and can’t walk, so it’s a bit of work loading and unloading the scooter. But I was glad to be able to spend the afternoon with him.
When we got back home, I dropped him off, picked the kids up from school and quickly came home to start supper and return to town so Miranda could go to curling. While Miranda was curling, I decided that I might as well spend some time on the walking track, which overlooks the curling rink. I did a hard hour walking/running and had a really great talk with a client that I met while on the track. The hour flew by as we talked and talked. I felt like I could have talked for another hour straight, But Miranda and supper were waiting for me.

When we got home, Colton had just finished up supper and it was great to fill my plate and sit down for the evening. Just as I picked up my grapefruit for dessert, the phone rang. It was one of our tenants back in town. The doorknob of the apartment building was frozen up and she was locked outside the building. NOOOO!!!
But YES, I would be right there. So off to town I headed for the 3rd time today. YAY. NOT
I had 2 choices for stopping for de-icer, either Co-op or the gas bar in town. I quickly drove to Co-op hoping they would have some lock de-icer. But as luck would have it, they were out. Ugg! So, I next went to Domo, Yes, they had some. Perfect! This should be quick then. I carefully drove the icy roads to the apartment where the tenant was waiting in her warm car. The temp was hovering around -27. Very chilly.
I told her to stay where she was as I tried to turn the door handle. The lock of the deadbolt was fine. It was actually the door handle that was frozen up so that it wouldn’t turn at all. What do I do?? I did what I thought Dean would do. I kicked the door handle with my foot, banged on the door around the handle with my elbow. Nothing!I went back to the van for something hard and pounded on the handle with it to try to loosen it up. Nope, that tactic didn’t work either. Shoot!  I called Dean on his cell to ask his opinion. He wasn’t sure. It needed to warm up. But how? We decided maybe a blow dryer. I ran back to my running warm van. Made some calls and drove a few streets away to borrow a blow drier. Oh please let this work!!

So now I had the blow drier but the nearest plug was 50 ft away. So I trudged through 3 foot snowbanks to collect multiple cords and plugged them all together so that the blow drier would work. I aimed the drier at the knob and cupped my freezing hands around it to create a nice warm area. The heat felt good in the -27 weather. After lots of heat and a bit more pounding YAHOO! The door opened! So happy! So, then I figured I had better try to find the root of the problem. Why would this door freeze up like this? It didn’t take much to tell why. There was an ice build-up all around the door. The door hadn’t been closing properly because snow had gotten in between the door and the jam and created a gap, which must have iced up and gotten bigger and bigger so that the door couldn’t seal anymore and now it had finally froze the knob. So I borrowed a knife from the tenant who was now safely in her apartment and chopped all the ice off the door till it sealed properly again. On further inspection I realized that there was ice and frost around a bit of the entrance base. So I went back outside and shoveled a whole bunch of snow up against the outside of the building to help insulate the base of the entrance. Snow is a wonderful insulator and it sure was looking like the exterior of the building was really not insulated to accommodate -40 temps.

I also realized that the entrance was not warm enough. Because of the last month and a half of -30 to -40 weather, the heater was not keeping up. So I borrowed a screwdriver from the tenant and took the heater apart and got it working again. Then I also realized the de-humidifier was running, but there was no water being collected. No wonder the entrance was so humid. The windows were all fogged up and dripping. SO I took that apart and hopefully got that fixed. I’ll have to go back tomorrow and see if I fixed it. If not, I will go buy a new one. After my second trudge through the snow banks to replace the cords I had borrowed from all the neighbors cars, I was now ready to go back home so I could finish my grapefruit and sit down to tell you all about my day off!!
I hope my next day off will not involve spending time outside in -27. Yuck! 

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