Used to be a ‘new’ Jersey Girl   : now A Colorado Girl

Monday, October 31, 2011

Live from WEST MILFORD, NJ, the epicenter of the world

The parking lot at the ShopRite.

I wrote this by hand earlier today to save my iPad charge and am now typing it in.

Well, at least from a weather perspective our little town was put on the map for a brief period of time. And we missed it. I am still bummed about that. All we get is the aftermath and none of the excitement and fun of watching that much snow come down in a short period of time. I’m not sure how much snow we actually got here at the house because it was melted quite a bit by the time we got home around 5:30 p.m. last night. My guess is around 15 inches of wet, heavy snow.

Here I sit cozy by the wood stove in the sun room where there is enough late afternoon light to write by. Still no power today. I am writing by hand instead of typing and it’s kind of a pain.

This morning we went to retrieve the dogs as early as possible. On our way, we noticed that the main road further up from the turn off to our street was closed off by a few traffic cones and a hand-written sign that said “lines + trees down.” Sure enough, we could see the line lying across the road (probably the cause of our power outage).

We found the McDonald’s open with power and pulled in for some much needed coffee and a bite of fast food breakfast. The ShopRite (pictured above) had power but was not open. The Walgreen’s was open and we bought some “D” batteries for the lanterns there. On the way to get the dogs we saw many trees on Union Valley Road that were lying across the power lines, barely being held back. One tree was completely across the road, suspended miraculously.

When we got home we took stock of what we had and what we might need before the shelves of the grocery stores were laid bare. We quickly realized after last night’s splurge on dinner of spaghetti where we dirtied a huge array of dishes and pots that we would have to curb our enthusiasm for the time being and cook simpler meals that didn’t require a huge amount of cooking or clean-up.

Paper plates and bottled water for first on the list and not necessarily in that order. Pork chops were added to the list to compliment our can of baked beans already sitting in the pantry as well as hot dogs and good old almost-prepared macaroni & cheese. More batteries. A percolator for making coffee (found at Bed, Bath & Beyond). Ground coffee instead of the beans we already had but could not use because we had no way of grinding them.

It’s amazing how much our daily lives lives depend on flipping that switch for electricity. Just about everything in our house is run by electricity.

Of course, the first thing is that there is no light in the darkness of night. I roam the hallways of my house, my oil lamp raised high in one hand like some character out of a Jane Austen novel. (Where are you Mr. Rochester?) We have three battery-powered lanterns, four old-fashioned oil lamps for which we bought oil today, and various candles. The light from the wood stove provides a cozy ambiance. We are living in just one area of the house. The rest is pretty chilly.

Without electricity there is also NO WATER. Think about it. Without water there is no flushing of toilets, no showers or bathing, no washing of dishes. Conservation is a must since we only have a few large many-galloned jugs that we filled up with water for Hurricane Irene. We filled as many pails and an empty semi-clean garbage can with snow for flushing the toilets with. We brought out coolers and packed them with snow for keeping the thawed meats cool and milk. The coolers are out on the deck where it will reach near freezing tonight.

With our rapidly thawing fridge and freezer we will try to use up the chicken breasts, but the rest will have to be thrown out, like the frozen pizzas and any ice cream. Tonight we will fire up the charcoal grill and do chicken breasts with thawed-out-frozen corn. We bought Black & Whites (an Eastern thing) at the store, but instead of the traditional black and white frosting, in honor of Halloween (of which we have more of the trick than the treat), the cookies are iced in Black & Orange.

And a peek at our high-tech cooling devices for water and wine.

And, our method for melting snow for boiling our thawed corn that was already in a boiling bag. Pretty ingenious I must say.

Our power is due back on possibly midnight on Wednesday so we still have two more days of survival-house-living to contend with. I need to find a way to wash my hair. We have a kettle on the wood stove heating with water to take a “sponge bath” with tonight, but that’s about it.

It’s not really like living at our cabin because there we would not be without electricity unless the sun gave out and there was no wind. Neither scenario is likely at the cabin.

A few shots from the yard today. eBay likes to go out in the snow, so we let her, knowing that she will soon be inside!

Okay, Elizabeth. Thanks for bringing some humor to our situation. Now you have a few pics you can click on!

Click on a picture to enlarge it!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Wow! You guys are having quite the adventure. Depending on how you look at the situation, though.
When we had the big ice storm a few years ago and had no power for several days, at least we had water (cold). I guess that’s because we are on city water, not a well. but you’ve done some pretty ingenious things to get around your “powerless” situation.
Think of how nice it will be to have a nice hot shower, cook normally and watch tv again…soon I hope.

I’m guessing you have “Click on a picture to enlarge it!” built into your signature, ‘cause that’s what I was responding to!  wink  But THANK YOU for the pictures in THIS post!!  Without one flake of snow here, and a power outage of a mere six hours, we sailed through this one… ‘course we have a pretty serious “insurance policy” against snow… a new Tim Allen-worthy snow blower is keeping it away!

So sorry you’re having to camp out at home.  If I didn’t live so far away I’d offer you a hot shower at my house!  Any motels with power?  You might have to rent a room for a few hours and enjoy the amenities.

Elizabeth, yes I knew exactly what you were responding to, and you’re right, it’s in the signature line on BlogPress. Glad you enjoyed the pics!

Carolyn, I think I could find a shower closer than RI! No motels close by. They are offering public showers at the local rec center though. If I get desperate enough I might do that!

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