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Whee! We have Power!


Previous Entry Whee! We have Power! Feb. 14th, 2010 @ 10:44 am Next Entry
After 38 hours of coldness, we finally got our power back! I now know where my preps are lacking....so it was a good thing, yes?

Thursday morning, we woke up to this:

Before I go any further, you have to realize that we live in Texas. THIS? Is NOT normal!!! This is the 4th snowfall we've seen this year.....usually? We might get a small smattering of flakes, 1 time. Maybe. This? Is EPIC. And record-breaking..but I digress.

Here's a few more photos so you can see what we were getting:

(Remember the swingset, OK?)

I took the kids to school, and went on in to work. I knew my boss would freak if I called in stuck, so.....it was a good thing, too. She decided we would NOT go in Friday, and paychecks were signed. She then told us to leave at 1....it wasn't bad out, but it had been steadily snowing since 3:30 AM.

Here's what the house looked like at 2 when I got home:

We picked up the kids (Sweet Geek has been getting home about 2 anyway, since Mom's surgery, so he can pick up the kids. Hard on us, yes, but what else can we do?)...and came back to the house. The kids were all kinds of excited - I mean, c'mon, SNOW!!! They were a bit upset that school was still scheduled for Friday, but hey - SNOW!!

At 7, Mom called - she had no power. I wasn't worried - we've NEVER been without power for more than 4 or 5 hours. You see what's coming, yes?

At 1:47 AM Friday morning, the power went out. No biggie - I mean, we're OK. I have a camp stove (AND propane!), I have candles/oil lamps - we're good. They'll get the power back on and we'll be fine. School had been cancelled at this point (they texted my phone at 7 Thursday evening).

Here's what the kids woke up to:

(SAME swingset. At this point, it had been snowing over 24 hours. That is VERY unusual for us!)

The kids were excited, but a little nervous - no power! I hadn't gotten the stove out....and couldn't find it. (This WILL be rectified. I know it's in the garage somewhere.....still in the box. :sigh:) We called town - Denny's had power, so...after 20 minutes of nerve-breaking driving, we got out of the driveway and headed in. (Seriously - it was drifted and the Jeep couldn't make it out of the garage. The truck finally made it to the street - one of our neighbors was bored, so had tramped the street clear enough to drive down.)

See that? That is a yardstick, and it's on our pool deck. See the measurement? *11* inches. That..is unheard of around these parts! We measured a few other places around the house and barn - looks like we got about 11.5" total - maybe a wee bit more. I heard that the airport got 13", but don't know if that was official or not. (11", people! In TEXAS. Whee! We didn't quite know what to do with it!)

Since we had made it into town (all of 2 miles..:lol:), we had a confab at Denny's. We needed horse feed - we had planned on getting it Friday afternoon anyway. So....the freeway looked clear, we had no power, so...we headed out. The roads were NOT that bad - Sweet Geek had lived in Chicago for a while, so he can drive in this slop, and he said it was good. :shrug:

On the way to the feed store, we decided what the hell - Himself needed new glasses, my prescription was never right from last year, we'd be near the mall, AND we're on Sweet Geek's insurance now...AND my paycheck was already in the bank.....why not? It took 5 hours, but all 4 of us got eye exams, and Himself and I got new glasses (LOVE Lenscrafters. 1 hour turnaround, AND they take our insurance! $50 for Himself's new pair...$182 for mine. Last year? His were right at $200, and mine was $480 something. :shudder:) Herself has 20/20 vision, and Sweet Geek will get his next paycheck.

We grabbed a late lunch, then headed for feed...and home. We thought we'd have power.......NOPE. :shudder: It was COLD Friday evening. The house was 57*.....Saturday AM it was 53*. Too cold for me...and no showers.

We had lunch plans for Saturday anyway, so we headed to the Aunt's house early. She had power - and a gas water heater. Mmmmmm, lovely hot water. Lunch was good....we made it home at 4. No power. I had just turned to tell Sweet Geek to call a hotel - I could NOT take another cold night - when *pop*! The power came up.

Seems our next door neighbor's tree hadn't been trimmed...and a limb fell on the line.

Today we are heading out to pick up more lamp oil and wicks. I have 2 hurricane lamps - they HAVE oil, but I have no extra, now. Ditto on the wicks. I think we might buy a few more - later - the 2 give out light, but when you take 1 to go into the bedrooms/bathrooms, it makes the family room very dark.

Prep-wise, I suck. The heat issue has been addressed - I sent off a check for the wood stove Thursday on our way home. We should have the stove in a couple of weeks - but that didn't help *now*. Still, it's being rectified. The stove will also take care of cooking and light - to a point. I need to dig out the Coleman stove (although Sweet Geek brought his over yesterday, so we HAVE a stove now, easily accessible. Need more propane, though.) Need to buy firewood - but in a pinch I can to the pasture and grab some dead wood. Not as good as seasoned stuff, maybe - but it's wood, and it'll burn. The stove will also take care of hot bath water - it'll be sponge-baths, but still - Bath. I have my dyepots I could use in a pinch (1 is a 5-gallon pot, so...we're good.)

Food-wise, I'm good. The house was cold enough that nothing in the fridge/freezers spoiled....but I need to can some meat for if this happens in the summer.

The animals weathered it well - Dusty was shivering because the dumbass destroyed his "undestroyable" rug. In a week. :bangs head: The goats/chickens/other horses were all fine...we had iced milk Friday morning, as LaDue ran out into the snow to see what was in the bucket - the snow was OVER her udders. :snicker:

We had plenty of warm clothes, thanks to my knitting. Himself lost his hat at the mall....Sweet Geek is more upset than I am. It was handspun/handknit, yes, but it was also 4 years old. He's never lost a hat before (mittens..oh, yes! But a hat? Never), and this one was getting a bit small. And, he had another one..so...:shrug: I'll be knitting another one soon - but probably out of commercial yarn. I've mellowed - everything doesn't HAVE to be handspun. (Wallyworld hats are NOT acceptable substitutes - which is what Sweet Geek wanted me to do - they're acrylic, and nowhere near as warm. He'll be getting another handknit hat this Spring/Summer)

Here's a few more photos of Snowcapalypse:

That is my clothesline. :lol:

The top of the swingset. You can just see the pool in the background - the water? Was all slushy. It never froze completely, but the slush was thick enough that toys didn't sink (don't ask. No, I don't know WHY they were putting toys in the slush.)

It certainly has been a learning experience!
Current Location: command center
Current Mood: relievedrelieved
spin a yarn
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Date:February 14th, 2010 08:05 pm (UTC)
I have a 2-burner Coleman stove which I use for camping. It takes those little green propane cylinders which are a horribly expensive and wasteful way to buy propane (the cylinders aren't recyclable). So I bought at tree, gas line, and converter for one of the40lb(?) grey cylinders and run the stove off that. I put a Coleman propane lantern on the top of the tree which gives me a good cooking light.
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Date:February 14th, 2010 09:56 pm (UTC)
Yeah - the little propane tanks suck! That's why we went with the dual-fuel lantern (that we fail at lighting. At one point, we had FLAMES coming out of the top...we did eventually get it to light, but after about 30 minutes it started flickering. It probably needs more fuel at this point - we've tried and failed to light it SO many times it isn't funny. Next payday, I'm going to bite the bullet and get one that's got "insta-start".....$40 more, but no more matches!)

We'll probably do what you did for the coleman stove as well. The woodstove can be cooked on...but in the summer? Not so much fun. :grin:
Date:February 15th, 2010 04:59 pm (UTC)
I know we are awful people for going to the beach - but last year we had over 3 feet of snow here. In the So Cal desert. It was ridiculous. We never lost power though, so you got us beat in that department.
Californians in 3 feet of snow is just a receipe for disaster.
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Date:February 15th, 2010 05:43 pm (UTC)
Why are you awful for going to the beach? If we lived near the coast, we'd be down there all the time! Cold or not! :brrrrrrr:

I can imagine the destruction 3 feet of snow would cause *here*. The 11" caused all sorts of wrecks and spin-outs.....3'? Would be HORRID. I'd stay home....:grin:
(spin a yarn)
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