Monday, January 23, 2012


In August of 2010, right before our baby girl arrived, we purchased a generator. We even paid an electrician to wire it to the house. I remember that decision well and how it wasn't the most fun way to spend money - particularly when it was 80 degrees outside. But, boy am I glad that we did!! My friend, Gina, recently referred to having a generator as being similar to any other kind of insurance - it is "power outage insurance". I like that!

I already said we don't get much snow here - and definitely not that often. When there is a flake in the sky the news starts calling it a "snow blast" or something equally dramatic. So, we didn't take the forecasts very seriously - but this time we should have paid attention.

Monday night brought several inches of snow. We all still went to work on Tuesday, but they predicted six to twelve additional inches Wednesday. And indeed - it arrived. We got about a foot and a half of snow in places. And that is just at our house, some places got a whole lot more. They closed our office Wednesday and Thursday - with a late start on Friday. I worked remotely.

See, where other areas get a whole lot more snow than we do, we have something they don't - TREES. And a lot of 'em! When it snows and even worse, turns into an ice storm, trees fall, branches break and generally it make things very difficult!

The power went out Thursday morning at 5 a.m. and was out until 8 p.m. Sunday night. Wednesday was the heavy snow storm and Thursday it turned into an ICE storm! There were power lines in the road and fallen trees everywhere. While we were fortunate to have a generator, there was still a lot to contend with! It was quite the adventurous week!

Marcie and her six-month old puppy, Bruce, stayed with us. There was no way she could get up her hill and then when the power went out - that just made it all the more impossible. It has been fun to have her here. She is still having heating issues at home and that driveway is still impossible to get up in her BMW. She's still here - and we don't mind a bit. It has been fun!
Here's some pictures of the snow and ICE. I didn't get any good pictures that show the AMOUNT of snow we got. It was deep and quite difficult to walk in if there wasn't a path.


Here is some of what we were up to. Daddy pulling Elyse on her new sled through the neighborhood. Things got a little topsy-turvy at times.

She was very quiet and stayed very still, but seemed to like it. She was just a little unsure about the whole thing. She was so bundled. She has several layers of clothing on. Might have added to the "staying still" thing!

This was about the closest a smile that we got out of her. I later learned why she didn't enjoy it as much as we thought she would.

We put her in the bathtub when we got home. You can tell by her eyes - she started not feeling well. She had an intermittent fever for the next 36 hours. Poor baby!! I felt bad then we'd taken her outside. But, we had no way of knowing.

We had no landline, no cable, no internet on our cellphones and bad connections for cell calls. We have a generator (praise God). It powered the furnace, blower to the fireplace, the cooktop, several outlets in the family room, kitchen area and we have propane fired hot water tank. This meant we had hot meals from the stovetop and BBQ (just no oven), hot showers, warm house and places to charge devices. We just had to take a lantern down to the other side of the house, but other than that. We were good!

The generator did affect some of the appliances and electrical equipment. On the last day of the outage, the thermostat started having issues and the furnace wouldn't work. We even made a service call, but fortunately the power came on just hours later. The TV would do this weird standby thing and sometimes not come on. We'd just rented a stack of movies and so we improvised with an extension cord to watch a movie upstairs.

There was a lot of neighborhood pitching in to help each other out. Our next-door neighbor had to work through most of the storm so Bill kept both of our generators running. Another neighbor (Tanner) helped us get up Marcie's snowy hill - that was quite the adventure. Tanner and Mallory joined us for dinner a couple of nights, were able to use our hot shower and spent the night in the man room one evening too. In times like these, we are thankful to some of our great neighbors. We have many near us who will help us in a pinch!

We treated ourselves with candy and Starbucks to go with our Redbox. The pleasures in life.

We did have increasing connectivity issues. Like the home phone in the picture below? Yeah, that wasn't functioning after Wednesday. But, Kindles, iPads, blackberries for work and our personal cell phones came in quite handy. It got very busy keeping up with the activities at home and at work.

When I get bored - I ORGANIZE. Here were just some of the areas I tackled (not pictured - junk drawers in laundry room, Elyse's closet, etc.). I worked on two of our junk drawers in the kitchen. Here is one completed.

I made labels for the garbage and recycling cans because they kept getting confused (this was Day One when we still had power to the office!).

We really did eat well this week. We have a Traeger grill. We've always known you could bake on it, but never tried it. I would recommend using different flavored pellets, but we couldn't complain. It was still a darn good chocolate chip cookie with just a hint of mesquite!

Bill made us really good salads each night. Marcie shared her new favorite of ranch and BBQ sauce for dressing - YUM! Elyse helped Marcie eat her avocado.

Cinnamon roll pancakes for breakfast. Bill made eggs each morning and breakfast sandwiches. YUM!

Farellis pizza one night.

We did chicken and dumplings one night with Tanner and Mallory. This night they brought down the fixins' for hamburgers. They were great! Do you like our lamp in the kitchen (the overhead lights aren't wired in)? But, the lamp worked just fine!

Then, there was just the hanging out.

Bruce curled up by the fire.

We eventually brought down the other bed, so they could each have their own. But, before that, they'd sometimes share.

Wilson just wanted to be the "boss" of everyone.

Elyse chomping on one of the little stoppers for hot Starbucks coffee.

We wondered how it would go adding Dude to the mix, but he was such a good boy!

Bruce would tease him with his ball.

Lessons Learned:

No matter what is going on at work - your home and family come first! While our professional responsibilities were paramount last week, things like a sick baby and a failing thermostat can quickly readjust priorities!

Neighborhood relationships = important. Next time, I will do a better job making rounds with the ones we are close to. We had a family around the corner from us with hardly any heat and no hot water! I wished I'd known that earlier!

Buy a new air mattress (ours went flat on Tanner and Mallory).

Buy another gas tank. We could have used an additional tank to stock up on extra fuel, share with a neighbor, etc.

If a storm is predicted: make sure our battery inventory is stocked, get supplies to work on a home or craft project to keep busy, if friends come to stay, make sure they pack more than they need to prepare for the worst. 
All in all, we were very fortunate with our generator and being surrounded by wonderful people. 
Big huge THANK YOU to my husband. He was so good to us and many others. He is a wonderful guy. Love him!

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Something Happened said...

I am extremely grateful to have amazing neighbors. With my husband being gone so much it makes me feel safer knowing I can call anytime for help. Neighborhood relationships ARE important. Thank you Bill!!!

Sue said...

Court, these are some very beautiful photos of the ice and snow. Especially love the red skyline behind the trees! Pretty. Love you.


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