welcome to the organic green doctor blog

i am a family physician who was diagnosed with
early mild cognitive impairment(mci) amnestic type on december 21, 2010
this is a precursor to alzheimers disease
because of this diagnosis i have opted to stop practicing medicine
this blog will be about my journey with this disease
please feel free to follow me along this path
i will continue blogging on organic gardening, green living,
solar power, rainwater collection, and healthy living
i will blog on these plus other things noted to be interesting

Thursday, February 18, 2021

deep freeze


in the picture above is some of the rainwater tanks we had at the country n when we lived about 30 miles north of austin in the upper edge of the hill country 
we had approximately 30,000 gallons of rainwater collection tanks

the next picture is of the filter system we used to purify our water
just below these filters sat a well pump that would pump the water out of the tanks through these filters with the last one being an ultraviolet light to sterilize the water
the water then went out of the pump room in the barn to the house when we turned on the water

we also had a well that we had turned off but reactivated it a few weeks before we moved

so the country n had two water sources 
rainwater and well water

we also had solar power that provided us with about 60-70% of our electricity 
it was grid tied so if we overproduced what we needed it would run back into the power lines for the grid to use
we would get credit for the amount of electricity we produced

if the power lines from the grid shut down then our solar power production would shut off
this was a safety feature so that power wouldnt be going back through the line when the power company workers were working on the lines

some people chose to be off the grid and use a battery system to store the electricity 
it easier to be just tied to the grid
a big ole once in a century or maybe once in a five hundred freeze reaches texas

well this week thats what happened there

in texas the power grid is run by ercot or electric reliability council of texas
maybe it will now be called the unreliability council
it the grid is not tied to the national grid
its nice to be independent but not so nice when things go wrong
there is no tie to the grids outside of texas
note el paso is not on the ercot system and has had no electric issues

folks say its so the texas power grid doesnt have to follow rules and guidelines
you know 
like make sure this doesnt happen to your grid

despite what you hear from politicians what happened was the grid froze because precautions were not taken to prevent equipment and gas lines from freezing
things required in other parts of the country under federal regulations

it was like building a house safely at the edge of a 100 year flood plain but then you get hit with a five hundred year flood
your house gets swept away

thats what happened this week 
texas electric grid got swept away by inept management 

costing texas millions and millions of dollars and sadly a lot of lives

heads need to roll but sadly again probably the wrong ones will get blamed
you might look at the people that got all the votes who made the bad decisions

now back to the country n
i have thought a lot of what it would be like to be at our beloved country n during this latest disaster

now it got down to the lowest when we lived there to 8 degrees one night
but this week these temps went on for days and days plus they got ice and they got snow
not only did the grid get frozen but trees fell on power lines making it all worse
water is not available to thousands of folks
neither is heat
theres no food either
theres not much traveling going on 
a true disaster

at the country n here is what we would have probably experienced

the rainwater system filter system and pumps were kept warm with three nice heating lamps
our barn cats use to sleep under them in the winter
those would have not been working since the grid was down even with the solar since the solar shuts off automatically 
the water in the tanks because of its mass doesnt freeze but most likely the pipes going from the tanks to the ground would freeze even though they were wrapped
i also would in the winter pile up bags of leaves over the pipes for extra insulation
you could always pull water out of the top of the tanks with a  bucket like they use to do with a rope and bucket in the old wells

the well house for the well would have a heating lamp on it but again that light would be out since the grid was down
the pipes would be frozen

there would be no way to protect the garden even with heavy row covers since the temps were just too low
the garden would have been mostly wiped out
this time of year i grew potatoes onions garlic kale lettuce spinach bok choy cabbage
its not likely that most of it would have survived if any
i am interested to see what the organic farm i follow in austin called jbg organics says this week in their blog about how much damage was done
a true disaster for them im sure

so there would be no water or electricity to our lovely country n

but luckily we had a nice wood burning stove put in years before we moved
our large living room had limestone walls and Saltillo tile floors
after a few days of use this stove would heat up the walls and the floors and radiated heat like you were in an oven
this heat would radiate out to other room and especially would travel up the stairs to our large upstairs bedroom

on the stove you could heat water and cook things
my wife she had accumulated old cooking gear for that purpose like you would use for campfire cooking or like your ancestors used

your could also melt snow if needed

it only snowed twice when we lived there
it was melted by noon 

there also was a fireplace in the dining room and kitchen to heat that part of the house

the house was normally heated and cooled with individual units of a ductless samsung system
it of course wouldnt be operating without electricity

my guess is we could have protected the pipes inside from freezing as long as we had plenty of firewood which we usually did

im sure when this all thaws this weekend that what froze inside and out will be quite evident
after the 8 degree cold there that one time i had outside lines freeze
i super insulated them and protected them so hopefully the damage wasnt too bad there
it will be devastating though for most of the state

if we were living back at the country n we probably would have survived this natural disaster that has overtaken the state of texas

most people werent ready for this 
definitely the powers that be were not
heads need to roll for sure
maybe even a few politicians

make sure texans that those folks who are to blame dont divert the blame to someone else
thats what they do you know

this im afraid is a texas katrina

today i will guiltily have to get dressed soon to go work in my garden
i have to decide between wearing shorts or wearing jeans

i hope all my family and friends and old neighbors and former patients are safe

the organicgreen doctor

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