Thursday, November 3, 2011

The October Storm

I spoke too soon.  I told a friend on Saturday, October 29 that I was ready for a big power outage and that I secretly hoped we would get a good one so I could test my skills.

Be careful what you wish for.

We got it.  Three days plus a few hours with no power.  Living on a main road in suburbia, I'd gotten pretty almost ten years, we'd only experienced a few blinks and one evening without power.  I figured that, living on the busy road near the bigger shopping centers in town, power would always be restored quickly.

Not this time.  The storm was too devastating.  Thick, wet, sticky snow landing on heavily leafed trees created major destruction all over, with breaking limbs and falling leaves taking power lines with them.

Some damage on our property:

All in all, we did ok.  I'd insisted on a more efficient woodstove last year and argued against a pellet stove, which relies on purchased fuel and electricity to run.  I also switched our cookstove from electric to gas specifically so we could still cook in a power the benefits of cooking with a flame.  Add to that a nice stash of candles and a crank flashlight, and we did just fine.

We did add a small generator to our future wish list, though.  The thought of losing the contents of three freezers would be too much to bear, especially considering all the work that is involved in raising one's own food.  Warm weather outages put us at risk of a basement flood as well, so running the sump pump is a high priority.   During this storm, however, a snowbank on the north side of the house served as a fridge and a fine place to chill the daily gallon of milk from the goats.  The pigs have not yet made the trip to freezer camp.

The girls considered the storm damage to be the most wonderful thing that happened in their world in a while.  Ginger, my big huggable goof:

Mya next to the crushed hoophouse (portable hawk-proof shelter for raising chicks on pasture):

Peach searching for acorns:

And my sweet Plum stuffing her delicate face, forgetting her table manners:

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