Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Ice Storm Part VII

Icicles hang from the porch.


It was bitterly cold last night. The outside temp is below zero. The den is still 60, we woke up warm today. The dogs are playful, as pleased to be warm as I am.

There is no way to heat the rest of the house with this heater. It would burn up all the fuel and leave us back at square one. I'm tempted to start another fire, to augment the heat in the house. But my throat and sinuses are irritated and I'm still coughing. I think I need to heal up, more than the rest of the house needs heat.

This has been exhausting.

For some reason, I can't eat, when I need to eat more now than ever. But my stomach roils at the thought of food, and I have no energy to cook. I suspect that I have been exposed to more carbon monoxide than is good for me. All that smoldering wood and thick smoke can't be healthy.

The master bathroom is frozen solid, we have icicles from the taps to the bottom of the sinks. The need for clean clothing is critical. I will put the propane heater on the lowest setting and trust that it will keep the den warm while I'm gone. I'll stop by hubby's office and catch a couple of minutes on the internet.

At 4:15 p.m. we have heat, light and water!

It took 2 hours to put the house back together from all the makeshift changes. Well worth it, it feels so good to be warm again!

This was exhausting. I'm sure this ordeal will find it's way into a story or two.

Lessons learned and greatest hits:

Wind up flashlights and solar lanterns are hits.

Amazon.com was a sleeper hit. We finally found the heaters we needed online, while not a single brick and mortar store had them in stock. If we would have ordered the day the lights went out, we would have had the heater in the house by Saturday.

Buying green and/or wet wood was a lesson learned. We are lucky that I just got sick from the carbon monoxide. It made me paranoid, so we had the propane heater on the coldest night of our ordeal. It could have killed both of us as we slept.

Baking food on the gas grill was a hit. I made a great pot roast in an hour and a half on medium heat. Light one side of the grill and put the pot on the other side. The heat will cook the food, not the flames. The meat loaf was the same way. I used a meat thermometer to make sure that everything was cooked completely.

Chafing dish fuel was a hit. I could heat water to wash dishes, me, or even make coffee. I used an old metal coffee can with holes punched in the bottom for a stove. Make lots of holes in the bottom and a few on the top. I used a wok rack for a stove top. One can will boil one quart of water, or cook scrambled eggs.

We will have a propane fireplace installed this summer. Every person I spoke with who had one stayed warm through this ordeal. (Well, except the lady who didn't get her tank refilled this summer. She ran out of propane the 3rd day.) With a small propane heater from Amazon.com, we should be snug and warm no matter what the weather throws at us.

I'm going to put the horses to bed, then I'm going to take a hot bath.

Ice Storm Musings

Ice Storm Part III

Ice Storm Part V

Ice Storm Part VI

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