BTALD: The House Whisperer

Winter is probably the time we learn the most about whatever structure we live in: Where the rainwater goes, where the snow piles up, which trees looked good but were actually ready to give up the ghost...
We live right next to a drainage creek that only has water in it in the winter. When you wake up in the morning, you can listen for the creek to know whether there was rain the night before.
Houses also seem to get sick like people - a bunch of stuff happens at once. Too bad we can't get flu shots for houses. Oh wait, I guess that's called maintenance. But if you don't know what's gonna blow up, how do you know what to maintain? I have no idea. I just figure if I know how to shut off the water I'll be okay. Always know how to shut off the water.
Oh, and just one little hint - those little valves in back of your toilet? The ones that are supposed to shut off the water supply? They don't work. If they're old. Don't do a darn thing. You've gotta shut off the water to the whole place. Don't ask me how I know this. It involved a lot of yelling and running around outside. But that was the old house - I hope it's being nice to its current owners.