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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

We Live in the &%$!*&%$! Country...

There are moments, however Grand it is out here in this green & beautiful place, when Living in The Country makes you want to slam you head into a wall until you pass out.
And this was one of those weeks. As readers of this blog know, the FIRST post on this blog was
a photo story about how McDowell County PSD screwed our county out of water for 28 days in the dead of winter. Well, kids, they did it again. As all is well now and we have our water back, and happy guests at the Inn, I will now post an (almost) unabridged diary entry from August 15, 2009:

10a.m.: Day 8 of no water, thanks (again) to the McDowell County PSD. We lost $680 in business this weekend, & I am about to pull my hair out by the roots. ONE of our elected officials finally turned up- Cliff Moore- and he seems to care, but he's basically 5 days late & a dollar short. He turned up just as the Roving Rabbis from Chabad Lubavitch pulled into our driveway. And thank G-d the Roving Rabbis came- I needed their visit very badly. (Tweet them @rovingrabbis).
Yesterday- after 6 days w/out water- the McDowell County PSD finally delivered their promised 250 water tank (which we truly believed would Never happen), but no fittings & no pump (& no water either- their promised water truck Never arrived), so it was useless- a giant "redneck joke" sitting in our parking lot. Dan then drove back & forth from the mountain spring on Route 52 & filled our hot tub w/Another 200 gallons of water (having used up the first tub full to make the water run for weekend guests...), & then we stayed up until 5 am trying to work out how to get that water up to the 2nd floor; our sump pump wasn’t strong enough. Dan eventually wound up carrying over 60 gallons of water up 3 flights of stairs in 5-gallon bucket increments, after first carrying the 45 gallon drum up 3 flights, while I walked behind him with my hand in the small of his back. I couldn't even Lift one of the buckets. He then pumped that water into the system and made the showers run and the toilets flush. I am TRULY married to McGuyver.
The next day, Moore finally got us the only pump available in the Region, but it was too small, too- even when attached to our sump pump- to pressurize the building, so last night Dan Again bucketed over 60 gallons of water up 3 flights of stairs- one 5 gal bucket at a time- to make the showers run & the toilets flush.
NOW McDowell County PSD says we will supposedly have water back by 8p.m.; I'll believe it when I see it flowing. I’ll give Moore credit for actually following up & calling us for “status updates”- it’s more than anyone Else in WV has done. For the last 8 days I’ve been “Tweeting” my 500+ followers; I even Facebooked about it. Our losses from the last 2 years of the PSD's "no water" issues- 28 days, 4 days, 2 days, etc., and now 8 days with no end in sight- are now in the thousands of dollars, & the damage it does to McDowell Co. & WV tourism immeasurable.
The "irony" is that this is NOT normal; when Kimball Water had control of our water for the first 5 years of our lives here we had basically no problems. McDowell County PSD raised our rates 300%, & then screwed us- and everyone else in this area- out of water, for days and sometimes weeks at a time.
We are literally Living a giant Jeff Foxworthy redneck joke that is an utter humiliation to WV Tourism and the State of WV.
I’ve made a number of calls to the Charleston, WV PSC (Pubic Service Commission), & it’s literally like pissing into the wind; the nastiness I get slapped with is like urine. I asked Mr. Bocker, the latest "official" I've dealt with: "what are you doing to get water back to this area?" & his Immediate reply was "actually, nothing". At which point I hung up. He had just spent 10 minutes trying to figure out where we were, with NO CLUE about ANYTHING relative to this area or situation. “Shara” at the PSC told me "if you go to Governor Manchin, he'll just send it back to us and I'll tell you the same thing I'm telling you now". Then she called (3 days ago) to leave a message on out answering machine (which I saved), stating that our water would be restored by 8p.m.! While we have the Only business in this area- a nationally & internationally-recognized hospitality business- there is ALSO an entire Community of residents in Kimball, Landgraff, and Eckman, WV, who’ve gone w/out water for 8 days again, too- families with children!- & NO ONE in this state gives a Hoot about them, either. I like to think my Tweeting & Facebooking has helped to get the "Rural Water Commission" people and Charleston poo-bahs down here, & to at least get the McDowell Co. PSD Working on the water lines, but who really knows? I DO know that if we stay silent we can probably forget about having properly running water Ever In Life. As usual, the McDowell Co PSD blamed it all on someone else: this time it's 'a coal company'; they have NEVER taken responsibility for ANY of their water outages. But then Ms. Shara at the Charleston PSC slipped up & told me it was NOT the fault of a coal company... Oops.
Meanwhile, I'm taking reservations hand-over-fist, & so am literally Praying for water restoration: Ultimate Railfan packages, other railfan guests, October Sky/Rocketboys Weekend bookings, Bramwell Oktoberfest bookings, ATV families & couples, Labor Day Weekend & “Romance” packages...
Dan has gone to P’ton to get the bolt he needs for his ATV so maybe we can at least go riding again...
9:03pm: The good news is that the water went on at 5:30p.m. on Day 8. And that the water pressure is excellent.

And now for the Really important stuff: I am up to #40 in the “Huge Lips Skinny Hips” PurpleLabNYC Brickfish contest!
If all our friends from Facebook, Twitter, our website, and this
blog vote for me ever day (and there's only about 10 days left), I may actually have a chance of winning! So Please vote & "share" it with your friends! I'm getting on my entry, too- makes me feel a Whole lot better about turning 50! One of the things I want to prove is that us old "Boomers" know a thing or two about "Social Networking"! The other thing I NEED to prove is that we're still "hot" enough to go 'viral" AND win a beauty/fashion contest!
And while I'm 'personified' by "Red Sole", all of PurpleLab's lipglosses have great
names: Kitty Pole Dancer, Love mY Thighs... check it out! (My entry os on the right, & you can click on that to vote).
And “Lucky”, the black kitten that turned up on our door, waltzed in and Took Over the Elkhorn Inn, is being Loved On by both Tiger (pit bull) & Lady (lab); the two of them are literally fighting over who gets to be "Kitty Mommy"- which is a Royal pain in the neck but pretty hilarious, all the same! Lucky- named such for Obvious reasons- is So overly affectionate & Incredibly Ingratiating that we should have named her “L'il Suckup” or “Baby Brown Nose”! She is curled up behind me in my chair as I write this, & has NO fear: she allows me to hog-tie her, cuddle her like a baby on her back in my arms, dangle her upside down by her feet, etc., & gives both Dan & I a Stupid amount of tiny, raspy “kitty kisses”- all in an almost “dog-like” way…
I am Not a “cat person”- never have been- but this was Way to much affection for for either Dan or I to stand… & so now we Have to come up w/vet $ for shots & such. Watching Tiger gently play with her, lick her like a Mommy Kitty, & slowly ‘chase’ her ‘round the room was a hoot… so I guess “Lucky” gets to stay… Hopefully as an Outdoor ‘mouser’ cat… But I have a sneaking suspicion we will wake up w/her on our head all too soon… @least she's endeavoring to eat dog food! LOL
We went ATVing yesterday, riding up on the mountain in the nice, hot summer sunshine;
we stopped for french fries, found our "secret" waterfall, and had a good afternoon...
And now for a Bath- in one of the Elkhorn Inn's lusciously deep, antique, claw-foot bathtubs...

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