Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Icethon 2010: The Casualties

So many things fell victim to our week-long power outage besides my sanity, personal hygiene, and ability to make money.

*Almost all of my kitchen herb pots are kaput thanks to no sun and indoor temps in the 30s. Thankfully, all of the winter sown plants survived despite the freezing temps.

*My carpets may not be saved with a professional cleaning. Three big dogs+nervous stomachs+being inside all day and night+short, but extremely muddy trips outside=brown, nasty carpets.

*The big beautiful freezer in the garage that was loaded with fruits and veggies became an indoor compost bin. This included several avocados that I bought on sale and froze the day before the storm, the last of my beloved peppers and cauliflower from our own garden, and months worth of saved frozen bananas for smoothies and bread. I managed to save most of the meat by throwing it outside locked in my pressure cooker. The stuff we lost literally filled a wagon:

*Nursing mamas will understand that even though I only lost 2 frozen pouches of breast milk, it is such a painful thing to throw that liquid gold away.

*Our bank account is seriously hurting. Three nights in a hotel and the cost of dining out for the better part of a week stings as it is, but the additional costs of a generator, a heater, and fuel just adds insult to injury. You better believe I'm saving all receipts, including the grocery bill to replace what was lost in the freezer, for my 2010 taxes. We are very fortunate. There are many families out there who weren't able to a) find a hotel with vacancies within driving distance, b) find a generator or means to heat their home (or single room in their homes) due to widespread shortages, or c) couldn't afford such luxuries even if they were available. My employers and clients were gracious and understanding enough to let me have extra time to complete my pending assignments, but there were many in our area whose places of employment were closed and they just didn't get paid. As I said, we were very fortunate.

Lesson learned:

*We will always have a propane heater, 10 1-lb bottles of propane, 2 full 20-lb bottles of propane for the grill, 2 5-gallon cans of gas for the generator, and a GENERATOR. We also splurged on some big flashlights and LED camping lamps, and I grabbed an entire sack full of Hot Hands hand and toe warmers in case our thermostat dips below 50 degrees again. (Bill wants me to add oil lamps to the list.)

*I probably should have baked 2 loaves of bread instead of one, and moved all of the freezer foods into one freezer before we lost power, or immediately after. I wouldn't have lost so much food if we'd been able to find a generator sooner (didn't get ours until Day 5), but in the future the freezer will be the priority for generator power. I also could have frozen jugs of water to keep in the fridge after we lost power, too.

*I was proud of myself that I'd managed to wash and dry a load of cloth diapers before the power went out, but in retrospect I should have added underwear and socks to the priority list, too. We ended up buying both during the week.

*Threats of water shortages came towards the end of the week-long saga, and the power came back on at the water company before it became a crisis. Regardless, it's probably not a bad idea to fill the tubs and all available pots, pitchers, and buckets not just for drinking water, but for flushing toilets and washing, too.

*Always have a favorite movie or tv show downloaded to a rechargeable device. In our case, I downloaded "Finding Nemo" to my laptop because Joe could watch that movie 24 hours a day. It was extremely necessary to keep him occupied and not interested in wandering around the house because of all the new dangers that had been introduced (full bathtubs, propane heaters, candles, sub-freezing bedrooms). I usually don't like for him to veg out in front of the TV too much, but this week was beyond an exception.

1 comment:

  1. Oh! The breast milk really is a painful loss - at least it was only two! A friend of mine lost more than 100 ounces during a power outage. Too bad about losing your food and herbs too....but many valuable lessons learned.