cheloneDecember 14, 2008

We lost the juice about 11:30 Thursday night, I was watching the weather forecast. I woke up to no power and went back to sleep. No juice=no work. There were a lot of things down but we slept through it.

It's good to be warm. And not have to worry about the pipes freezing.

We had potable water. But how to wash up and how to flush the commode? (this is KEY) Like this:

A gas stove is very handy when the power is out. And it takes a fair piece of time to have hot water for two in the morning. Use the Boy Scout Handbook to learn about boiling water for washing up.

Note the oil lamp on the counter to the left, it was my Christmas gift in 1999. Easy to use and safer than candles, they provide plenty of light.

Refrigeration is not a big problem, either. We packed stuff in a recycling box and put it on the deck when the 'frig. began to "lose the cool". Recycle marginal food items through the resident canid.

And that's how we deal with 2 1/2 days without electricity at Frontierland. :)

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Wowie. Wonder if the 'rich folk' all took off to Florida? Looks like you got yourself some additional firewood for next year. Always a benefit when they avoid falling on the house. Glad you checked in - I somehow knew you would have the situation under conrol to whatever degree possible-our very own pioneer woman !

Kathy in Napa, looking out the window at just plain old PNW rain.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2008 at 4:49PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

So glad to hear from you, Chelone. Is the broken tree an 'important' tree? Shade or yard?
I have stocked up and we are awaiting our turn with the ice storms. :-(
Predicted to arrive after midnight tonight.
I hope to have enough potable water, in case our local community source runs out. I have lots of bottles of water frozen in the side by side out in the utility room.
I have brought in several large buckets (like in your pics) of rain water, for plants and other uses.
I just checked the 5 oil lamps, and they all have oil in them, and plenty more in the hall closet.
I find that if I am well prepared, we frequently do not have the predicted problem! That is fine with me. :-)

Marian (another pioneer woman) :-)

    Bookmark   December 14, 2008 at 5:30PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I imagine you have seen these, but I found them very interesting:

Here is a link that might be useful: ice

    Bookmark   December 14, 2008 at 5:56PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Hey there Chelone! Glad to hear from you! Do you have your power back yet? So glad you have the wood stove but what a bummer that you don't have water. Yikes that's tough. Doug's sister in Pembroke has no power or water and has horses to take care of so has had to go a couple miles down to her Dad's house to get water.

We still have no power here and according to PSNH it doesn't look like we will have service for another few days. What a drama. At least everyone is OK and we are warm.

Thanks for checking in!

    Bookmark   December 14, 2008 at 5:59PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Chelone - I figured the pioneer spirit was alive and well at your place! I hope there was no serious damage to anything... I couldn't see the lamp details clearly - is it an Aladdin lamp? Do you have those Marian? I remember them from my grandparents place - they gave much better light than the regular oil lamps.

Deanne - you guys were so well prepared - has something like this happened to you before? Is that why you have the generator?

    Bookmark   December 14, 2008 at 6:47PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Woody, my oil lamps are just the regular old fashioned type (used to be called kerosene lamps), some of mine 'are' antiques.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2008 at 9:01PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Woody, yes, we lost electricity for a week back in the ice storm of 1998 and had water damage from frozen pipes, not to mention it was terribly cold! The house got down to 40 degrees or so and we had nowhere to go for the first few nights. I froze my bippy off! After that we decided to get the generator. This is the first time we've had to run it for this long.


    Bookmark   December 14, 2008 at 9:06PM
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Really enjoyed the pictures, but this is one adventure I'm glad I didn't participate in. Good job Chelone, and hope the rest of the winter is easier! Hey, I have an oil lamp for storms and the light is good but the odor is horrid. Am I doing something wrong?

    Bookmark   December 14, 2008 at 9:19PM
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Good to hear from Chelone and Deanne and to hear that you are both surviving nicely. It does pay to be prepared. We have a generator that powers the whole farm run by a tractor left over from the days when this place was a dairy farm and electricity was essential. We haven't had to use it much luckily.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2008 at 9:24PM
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If your lamp smokes and gives off a lot of fumes I'd say you need to trim the wick and you're probably turning it up too far. I don't know if kerosene smells more than lamp oil, maybe Marian could speak to that.

Yes, Woody, the lamp in the picture is an Aladdin (we actually have two of them). It is outfitted with mantle that provides the incandescent glow, equal to a 60 watt bulb. I had to change the wick on on one of them and that required reading the directions and a little head scratching. It was nice to be able to settle in and read comfortably.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 6:39AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I haven't used kerosene in years, but lamp oil does give off an odor, but I do not find if offensive...but then, my smeller is not as active as most people's. :-)

    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 8:21AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

I feel the need to acquire an Aladdin lamp....

    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 8:24AM
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In the ice storm of 2004, I was without electric and thus water for nine days - over Christmas too. I moved a cot into the kitchen where my old Magic Chef gas stove kept the room warm, did a big no-no by leaving the oven door open but hey, it was cozy in there. I hung a blanket over the inside kitchen door to block out the cold form the rest of the house. Melted snow on the stove for water for flushing, my mom and stepdad who had electric brought me drinking and cooking water. The garage door I had at the time did not have a release on the door, so without electricity I couldn't get the door up and use my vehicle to go get groceries, ect. Had to rely on the kindness of friends and strangers.

But it was one of the most peaceful Christmas Eves I've ever experienced. Listening to public radio playing Christmas music, by the light of oil lamps, with my three dogs huddled on the cot around me, nothing but blue darkness and shiny ice outside.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 11:36AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Chelone...I hope your birch tree comes back up after it warms up. Looks like your Magnolia came through fine. Glad you made it through. New England Yankee spirit is alive and well, thankfully. :-)

It is so early in the season to be having such weather challenges, I hope it is not a sign of more to come. That is a long time to be without power glad you had a generator.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 4:17PM
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Gheesh! Sorry to see you guys go through these power outages and ice damage. We experienced that winter before last, and while we managed just fine, the ambiance wore off about the fifth day. There are a lot of school closings here today because of icy roads.
Chelone I am noticing the floor cloths you made. I remember your doing that. I am thinking of making a runner to catch the wet and any dirt Rebel tracks in on his way to his bed. How do you clean yours?

    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 4:23PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Pm2, I have 3 birch trees, and they always bow down like that in an ice storm. So far there has been no breakage, but I fear for them every time we have such a storm. I did see a large one, in town one winter, that snapped off not far above the roots. One of my trees has four trunks, the next largest has one, and the third has two that branch off low on the trunk.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 5:44PM
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No lasting damage to the birch, ladies. Within 36 hrs. it was pretty much back to normal. The branch from the maple was a big and important one, but you can see the rotten area at the crotch area of it. When it came down it tore a alot of the trunk and I suspect we'll have that trunk taken down, leaving the other one if possible. There will be less shade this summer!

Norma, floorcloths wear like iron IF you make the time to do multiple coats of polyurethane when you finish them off. I use 5 coats and I used oil-based poly., too. The first 3 coats were high gloss because it dries the hardest. Then I put two coats of satin finish on top of that. The floorcloth in our "gourmet" kitchen is pushing 8 yrs. old and it's a "high traffic area". You can see that it's starting to wear thin, but I can always scrub it down well and paint over it again.

It gets mopped with spic'n'span whenever we get around to it. It's had everything spilled on it and it's held up really well. They're fun to do, you'll get a kick out of it, I'll bet.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 6:20PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

The ice from the creek has broken up a good deal and huge chunks are stuck under our bridge. DH made it home from work this evening, but our drive is the worst stretch of the trip. Tomorrow I must get to the doctor's office. I'm hoping DH can help me out. Meanwhile Phoebe is fascinated by it all, but the noises are scary. Now though it is very cold again. High of 21F tomorrow, but 12F tonight.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 7:18PM
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Now I'm reminded of Frost's 'Birches'

Excerpt only 'cause it's long...
"When I see birches bend to left and right
Across the lines of straighter darker trees,
I like to think some boy's been swinging them.
But swinging doesn't bend them down to stay.
Ice-storms do that. Often you must have seen them
Loaded with ice a sunny winter morning
After a rain. They click upon themselves
As the breeze rises, and turn many-coloured
As the stir cracks and crazes their enamel.
Soon the sun's warmth makes them shed crystal shells
Shattering and avalanching on the snow-crust
Such heaps of broken glass to sweep away
You'd think the inner dome of heaven had fallen."

And of course the memorable line:
One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 7:44PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Cynthia how beautiful, I need to read Frost again.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 7:51PM
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