Tuesday, February 8, 2011


So the city of Gate (7 miles to the east, pop. 70) has a few businesses. There is a well known cafe that is open from 6 am to 2:30 pm 5 days a week. Good food cooked from scratch. There is an upscale western razzmatazz store (want a $5000 sculpture? find it there!) and if you walk into the back room, waalaa! a tiny grocery store! And there is a museum.

Gateway Museum is partially funded by state and federal groups. It is in the old depot and there is lots of train stuff (you know that makes me happy) and the baggage room is a library of new and OLD books. If there were more windows it would be a wonderful place, but that is just my problem. A back room has items from the farms around the town and is a wonderful collection of turn of the century stuff, plus mastodon bones, Indian arrowheads and meteorites.

Why, you say, am I telling you this? Well, the museum board has decided that they need me to work there. I warned them that I would leave to visit California on occasion, and that I would be leaving for good in July, and they still want me. It is a 20 hour a week job, and unfortunately, as the new kid, I get Monday, Friday and half of Saturday. But the best part (not really, but still nice) is the fact that they had talked about it for a while and no one had the nerve to ask me how old I am because you have to be over 55 and they weren't sure I would qualify. Mwhahahaha!

Anyway, I said yes and now the guy from the fed program has to come out from Enid (150 miles east) to talk to me but he is excited because this is supposed to be a job training job and when I leave to work it will make their stats look better.

I attended the board meeting last night to be inspected, and they were brainstorming ideas to advertise Gate. I had been thinking of a project that involved the museum and I guess I am forming a Stitch n Bitch group in Gate. I had already volunteered to work with a church group to teach knitting and crocheting so they could make prayer shawls, so now I have a classroom. It may just be me that shows up, but if I am going to be sitting there for hours at a time, I may as well be knitting. Of course, I can't call it Stitch n Bitch, because that isn't part of the language here in the church belt. Every time I say those words, people actually physically pull back. Kind of makes me want to call it that.

Anyway, looks like I am going to be making minimum wage for a while, but that is more than I am making now.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Thanks John for inspiring me to write

Winter has set in. People are arguing about whether this storm is a blizzard. Apparently, according to dictionary.com, a snow storm is not a blizzard unless it is a storm with dry, driving snow, strong winds, and intense cold. I think we qualify this last week. Piffle on those naysayers.

Last week, we set a record for cold in Beaver County with a low wind chill of -36 caused by 0 degree temps and 50 mile an hour winds. That is cold. Walking to the car with one glove on, I realized the other hand was beginning to get numb. That was a walk of about 50 feet. Brrr. I worry about the homeless, what must their lives be like in this weather.

I have been learning about ways to combat freezing weather and pipes. I hear another storm is on the way but I have mastered the art of crawling into the well pit to heat the pipes so ...

Fortunately I have power, but that is another story. I sort of finagled a heating device. I was told that a simple light bulb in an enclosed space could prevent freezing. Since the house apparently has been converted to coil bulbs, I started with an old floor lamp from the basement with two old 100 watt bulbs and that warmed up the pit. When it warmed up enough to thaw the pipes one pipe had burst so the pit flooded and the floor lamp was standing in 8 inches of water.

Lamp in water didn't seem like a good idea so I went to town 65 miles away and bought a tiny ceramic heater and a shop drop light with a 200 watt bulb. I hauled the floor lamp out by lassoing it with rope, and I hung the heater and drop light from the edge of the pit.

Every time I check, the pit is warmish, but another storm is expected Tuesday night. We will see if my jury rig works.

They have electric heat tape to wrap pipes but I am limiting my trips into the 8 foot deep pit. Especially since the water is still standing in the pit and electric tape in the 8 inches of water doesn't seem any better than a floor lamp.