Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Power Outage

Monday after work I stopped at the pool and swam for about 45 minutes. I showered afterward (usually I just rinse and shower at home, but for whatever reason, I decided to do a full shower at the pool this time) and then drove home. As I pulled into the driveway, I could see the candles in the wall sconces in the living room were lit. Is my husband getting all romantic on me? Then I realized that our big overhead light (outdoors) wasn't lit and I could see that the brooder light in the garage was out. I glanced across the street (and across the field) and confirmed that our neighbors were also dark. Power's out.

My first thought was for the chicks. Without power, their brooder will be cold and they are not yet fully feathered and it was unusually cold out, too. Upon opening the door to the house, the first thing I noticed was that the woodstove was lit and that there was a box infront of it. Yep, my husband is one smart cookie! The chicks were soundly sleeping by the warmth of the fire.

My next concern was how I was going to use my Neti pot. I started using one as a way to cleanse the chlorine from my sinuses. I get nasty reactions if I don't use it within a couple of hours of swimming. So I pulled out the tea kettle, filled it with water and set it on the wood stove. Not 3 minutes later and it was already scaldingly hot! I mixed it with some cold water to get the right temp and did my duties. Phew.

Apparently we had a freakish wind storm that afternoon. It actually ripped the front awning off the goat shed and not long after that, knocked out our power. The power company said they'd already received over 800 calls about outages by the time my H contacted them. 800 homes out where we live covers a LOT of territory! This happend at about 4pm, so H hadn't even started dinner. We debated firing up the grill but opted to run out to a not-too-local restaurant (our whole town was dark - we had to go to the next one for food!). On the way back, we could see emergency crews, flood lights and activity on the main road that goes through our town. My guess is that some tree or branch took down the power lines and that was one of the spots. It must have happend in multiple locations because it was so widespread.

When we got back from dinner, we sat around talking by lamplight until it was time for bed. As I was trying to set my cell phone for a wake-up alarm, I noticed a light from under my husband's office door. The power came back! Good thing, I was worried I'd have a hell of a time getting ready for work the next morning with no power.

Anyway, this little incident made us realize a few things. First of all, we are too power dependent. We do conserve pretty well so our bills aren't high, but we still have too many things for which we require power (like laptop computers, clocks and the freezer/fridge). We've got non-electric light and heat covered, but we still need to work on food storage and communications. We also need to do something about the pumps in the basement. Lucky for us, this wind came during a slight dry spell. Had it been raining like the last two days, our basement would have flooded without the sump pumps. That's something else we need to take care of as soon as possible. Secondly, we need to make sure that we have plenty of lamps and candles that are not scented. Nothing is worse that getting stunk out of your own house by too many scented candles all at once! ;-) Lastly, we'll have to make sure to only hatch chicks in the summer so that we won't need a lamp to keep them warm!

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