Friday, November 19, 2010

Crazy weather

My apologies for not posting this week.  We had some crazy, wicked weather roll through Monday night - 85mph gusts of wind (class I hurricane range!), thunder, lightning, pouring rain. I woke in the middle of the night to watch and listen to it - it was something to behold!   It knocked out our power at 1:20am Tuesday.  We found out later that the highway that runs by our house was closed just north of us - they had 9 power poles topple.

So, Tuesday morning, after stumbling around in the dark I finally found the one remaining, semi-working flashlight (kids are really rough on them). My husband headed in to see if he had power at his office in town.  On his way out he found that a good-sized tree had snapped on the side of our driveway, thankfully not blocking it.  I hauled in the box of candles and a kerosene lantern so we'd have light and then went on a quest for a radio that could be battery powered to see if the boys had school.  No such luck - the two radios we have that can run on batteries require, respectively, 10 D batteries and 8 C batteries.  Had one walkman with AM/FM which would have been great, but I discovered the downfall to our switch to rechargeable batteries - we had no charged AA batteries.  How could that be?  So, feeling quite foolish, I started the car to charge my cell phone (which also died in the night) and catch the news on the radio.  Got my phone charged and touched base with my husband - spotty power in town and he didn't get power at his office until about 7:30 or 8:00am (he starts work at 6am).

Thankfully, school was canceled, so the boys and I had a long, quiet (albeit chilly) day.  We read and read and read until my voice was hoarse and throat was raw - we've been reading the Little House on the Prairie series and just started the Rose Years.  We played games.  Didn't get do much in the way of meals - thankfully I had a couple loaves of bread so we had sandwiches for lunch and dinner.  Kept hoping the power would come on before the next meal.  The boys were intrigued and a bit befuddled by the lack of power.  My youngest asked a couple times to play on the computer.  They enjoyed eating by candle/lamp light, although they kept complaining about how dim it was.  I rather enjoyed it - I grew up without electricity, so for much of my childhood we used lanterns, wood heat and hauled water.  It was nice slowing down and having a quiet day.

The only downfalls were that we don't have a non-electric source of water (I'd love to get a manual pump for our well or a rain barrel system).  And, our non-electric heat source is very limited - we have a fireplace insert that we use for most of our heat, but it uses a blower.  Without the blower working, it doesn't produce much heat since the firebox is so well insulated.  Thankfully, it wasn't any colder (it was in the 30's).

Wednesday was much the same - lots more reading, games and time hiking around our property to see if there was any damage.  One son had school, the other did not (two big trees fell at his school, blocking the road, but thankfully didn't hit the school).  We lucked out that only two trees had fallen on our property, neither of which caused any damage.  The cold weather was a bonus in one respect - the fridge and freezer were able to maintain temps okay.  I did add a couple frozen jugs of water to the fridge Tuesday morning and finally moved stuff to a cooler with ice in the garage Wednesday mid-day.  But, the big chest freezer stayed frozen.  My husband kept relaying information from the power company's website throughout the day to keep us posted of their progress.  The estimate was that we'd have power by 4pm.  Around 3pm we ran out of water from the holding tank.  Hmmph.  Of course, 4:00 came and went with no power.  Cooked dinner outside, in the dark, on the grill.  Shortly after finishing dinner, the power finally came on at 7pm.  Boy were those lights brilliant!

So, that concludes our saga.  If you followed along, I'll mention that I'll try to actually get some food posts on here over the weekend to gear up for Thanksgiving.  I love Thanksgiving.  I was a little intimidated the first year we were gluten, dairy and soy free (and to add to it, we join our extended family for the holiday, so it's more than just our family that has to enjoy the meal.)  So far, I've had only rave reviews, though, so I think I'm onto something.  If anyone has any holiday challenges they'd like help with, please let me know!

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