Friday, February 6, 2009

And Then I Rambled On A Bit....

Well, hello there. How are you? I am fine, thanks for asking.

It seems I have some catching up to do, assuming my electricity and internet will stay on long enough for me to type this and get it published.

Due to the horrendous ice storm our electricity went off Tuesday, January 24th at 5:15 pm and was off until Thursday, January, 26th at 11:35 pm. Notice that I remember the times exactly. You try going without electricity for 2.5 days and see if you don't remember exactly how long the power was off.

We were blessed that our power was restored so soon in relation to some who still don't have their power back on 10 days after the ice storm.

We weren't so blessed that a vicious tummy bug has been cutting a swath through my family, friends, church family and our area in general. In particular Lamar spent most of last week doing the ol' heave ho and saluting the porcelain throne. By candlelight. Romantic. NOT.

Since then my sisters CECIL and Sue have had it and so has my daughter JESSICA, but so far I've managed to dodge the bug. My hatred of upchucking is legendary among my family and friends and it's been a long time since I was stricken with a tummy bug. I'd like to keep it that way and I've been praying that the good Lord would let this one pass me by and so far He's answered my prayers, oh praise His name.

With our power being off for so long I had to throw out almost everything in my fridge and upright deep freeze. I didn't have much meat in there but I did have some frozen okra, corn on the cob still in the shucks, green bell pepper and other garden stuff that I had to toss. It nearly broke my heart to throw out good food but I had no way to cook it before it ruined and no way to save it all.

I did manage to save some stuff in my ice chest which I set outside my front door on the sidewalk. It was down in the lower teens at night and and didn't get above freezing until last Friday so my milk and eggs were fine out there and a frozen whole chicken, some frozen turnip greens, tomatoes and a frozen gallon of milk kept well too. I was able to salvage all of that until the power came back on and I was able to put them back in the fridge and freezer.

I guess that's one way to clean out your fridge and freezer but I don't really recommend that method. Since it was the end of the month I didn't lose any meat because I didn't have much in the freezer. I did my first of the month grocery shopping the other day and have restocked a bit so I'm hoping my power will stay on consistently now. I'd hate to lose what I just put in the fridge and freezer.

Our power and internet have been off and on since last Friday, sometimes just flickering and other times it was off for a couple of hours or more. Monday my power was off all day. My internet has been off for several hours every day until today. So far it hasn't been off today.

I tried to put up a post here several times this week but the power and/or the internet kept going off and I'd lose what I'd typed so I just gave up until now. I'm saving this every few paragraphs so that if the power and/or internet goes off I'll have at least that much saved. Hopefully.

Lamar and I never left our apartment although a lot of people went to shelters. We have 2 cats and a bird so I didn't want to leave my furkids and bird, plus I'm just more comfortable here among my own stuff. We made it okay as far as keeping warm. Our apartment is pretty tight and it only got down to about 55F inside our apartment on Wednesday night, the coldest night of last week. We dressed in layers and stayed bundled up.

Another blessing is that our water never went off or froze up so we could still use our toilet and have fresh water. What with Lamar's tummy bug that was indeed a blessing. Nuff said.

We had some non perishable snack foods on hand and Jessica and Jason brought us some more supplies later in the week when the roads were cleared and relatively safe to travel. We had kerosene lamps, candles and flashlights for light and they even put out a little warmth.

We also had several battery powered radios so we could get some news, and our local ABC affiliate made an agreement with a local radio station to simulcast their television news over the radio so people could stay informed on shelters, places to get food and warm meals and the latest news on the power outages and other important news.

I had internet withdrawal and boredom truly was the worst inconvenience, although I did miss my hot coffee and hot meals.

Since so many people have been without power it's been impossible to find D cell batteries, flashlights (torches to my British readers - Hi LINDS!) and lamp oil. I finally managed to stock up again on batteries and bought some more flashlights when I did my shopping Thursday, but there was no lamp oil to be found at Wal*mart. As soon as they get in another shipment of lamp oil I'll be stocking up on that as well.

I bought a case of bottled water and some canned meats and such so I'm as prepared as I can be for another extended power outage. I'm also freezing water in 2 liter drink bottles so that I'll have ice on hand to help keep any frozen food or refrigerated stuff from ruining if necessary. Also, the more you have in your freezer the longer it will stay frozen with the power off, even if it's just ice frozen in bottles.

Just to show the dramatic extremes of Arkansas weather, it was down in the lower teens again Wednesday night and it never got above freezing on Thursday. Today it was almost 70F and it's supposed to be this warm through Monday, when we have a good chance of severe thunderstorms before it gets markedly colder again. Whee!!

I have a couple of memes to do as soon as possible, power and internet outages permitting, and I'll be back on Saturday evening to do my regular Sunday Dinner post, the same conditions applying.

Y'all have a great weekend!

14 comments:

kkryno said...

I'm so glad to hear that things are trying to return to normal.

It's so amazing how many things we ake for granted. I am sure thankful to have a wood stove that keeps us warm. We are very lucky to have that in our home.

Stay safe and warm!

"See" you tommorow night.

Vikki

MightyMom said...

you're braver than I am girl.

55 degrees and I'd be iceskating to that shelter!!

RennyBA said...

Sounds very dramatic - two days without electricity! - but you're really a clever woman, brave and good in dealing with the situation.

Hope things going back to normal soon and that you all can have a nice weekend.

Donna said...

We were that long without power three or four years back. The only source of heat was the four burners on my propane kitchen range. You're right, boredom does set in. I cooked a lot, knowing the meat would spoil if the outage lasted long. Oh yes, I cooked and cooked and cooked. And we ate and ate and ate. What else was there to do?

Linds said...

HI DIANE!!!!

What a roller coaster ride the weather seems to be on at the moment. I am so glad you ahve restocked a little and have made preparations in case it happens again. Good idea re the frozen water if there is room in the freezer. I must remember that. We are still below 0C here, but the sun is shining. The roads are sheet ice when you get off the main road, so I am going nowhere unless it is on foot. But it looks so pretty out at the moment.

Stay warm/cool, depending on what your weather does! Lots of love and have a great weekend!

Jo said...

Glad to see you are up and running again. We had three days of no electric, but was very much more blessed than most because we fdid have the wood stoves for heat and cooking on and we had the well to carry water from. Even after everything blinked back on, I lived several days waiting for it to go out again.

Hugs all around Dear Heart.

Dawn said...

To me, the worst scenario of all of that was poor Lamar and the tummy bug. YUCK! I was reading along, hoping that the water remained.

pedum said...

Hi Diane,

I came across your blog via my RSS news feed reader. One of the news feeds I receive is about Arkansas news and weather related topics.

I live near Pine Bluff, and can relate to what you and others up your way have and are going through. We had two ice storms down my way in December 2000. I was without power about a week, then a couple of weeks later was without power for a few days.

The problem I have being without power, especially when the outage is so widespread you can't go somewhere nearby that has power, is boredom. No TV, no internet, no lights to read, etc.

Another reason for my comment is to let you know I have a weather related web site that might be of interest to you. The name of it is www.weatherinarkansas.com

Also, I admire your faith during your recent ordeal. Great to know we have God to rely on during our troubled times, and the blessings he gives us all the time.

Take care,
Bob

Aunt Jenny said...

Oh Diane...what an ordeal..and a sick husband on top of it...yikes!
I have sure been keeping you guys in my prayers...and feeling like our cold weather and snow is nothing compared to ice storms!!!
Take care!! I sure will keep praying that your power stays on!

Brenda said...

Thanks for keeping us updated on your week. Sorry about losing your food, but it sounds like Lamar wouldn't have been able to eat anyway since he was already losing his cookies!
I'm just glad all of you are safe! Praise God!

Linda said...

I'm glad to see you all came through relatively unscathed. There go all those romantic notions about "the good old days."
We have a well, so if we ever find ourselves without power for that long a period of time we will be in big trouble.
I've been watching the news and thinking of all of you. I'm glad things are thawing out.
Thankful to have you back!

Susie said...

Glad you're back among the blogging!
It sounds like such a rough time.
I don't know which is worse being without electricity or water. We all depend on both so much..
xo

Nancy said...

Those are some pictures! Glad you are back now!!! We don't know how much we miss something until we don't have it, do we? I could do without electricity more than I could without water, I think.

((( HUGS )))

Iowa Gardening Woman said...

Hard to beleive something as beautiful as ice can cause so much horrible damage.

Your Candy looks like a sweetheart.