Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Ice Storm Part V

The view off the back porch. Ice as far as the eye can see.

Day six without power, or heat, but the water is back to 'drinkable' status. The horses are safe in the round pen with a round bale of hay. We got the stalls clean yesterday while it was nice. The roosters were crowing under the window this morning. I was up at dawn, hungry, cold and miserable.

Still having problems with green wood that won't burn. Last night was damn cold because the fire kept going out. There are propane heaters around but not the right kind. Either too large to too small, none safe for inside a house. Kerosene and kerosene heaters are not to be found. Propane cook stoves are around, but our grill is on the porch with a burner, and I can bake on the grill if I'm careful.

Cleaned out the freezer and fed it all to the chickens. We should be swimming in eggs, there was an entire dishpan of frozen vegetables and meat. Everything else is frozen in coolers on the porch.

I made pot roast on the grill, in a pot. It was great. The veggies could have been a little more cooked, but the meat was well done, not medium. The solar lights have been wonderful. Amazing how long they run off a single charge, much safer than candles, though not bright enough to read by.

The chaffing dish rack has been a star player. I use it to heat water for washing dishes. The gel fuel tins are impressive for heating water or frying eggs.

Hot food and drink is imperative to keep up the spirits. I can feel my attitude lighten as I eat something hot. Remember Granny saying "get a hot meal in you, you'll be all right" back when you were a kid? She was onto something. "Going to bed with the chickens," is a saying that I thought was idiocy. Try again. No electric, no light, no tv, guess what? Sleep comes on quick.

Survival has taken over the day. I get the early chores done, heat water for dishes. Check the food in the house. Empty out the fireplace and spread the ashes on the ice. Lead the horses out to the round pen, made sure they have water.

Tomorrow I will search for a place to do the laundry. Everything stinks of smoke. I get these coughing fits that are painful. Without propane heat, we are stuck with wood, and it is choking me. Most of E'town has power, water is a bit harder to find. They were talking about shutting down the 62 main drag of restaurants and hotels if they didn't conserve water.

The smoke alarms went off yesterday for about 10 minutes. I would guess, since they aren't battery back up, that meant the electric power was on briefly.

It's going to be a long haul. They are still saying a week to 10 days for full restoration.

I'm not thrilled about this, but I can go another day or so.

PS. Got entered into ABNA just fine. I'm taking the laptop to people's houses, charging the battery and using dial up if nothing else is available.

Ice Storm Musings

Ice Storm Part II

Ice Storm Part III

Ice Storm Part VI

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