Friday, January 20, 2012

Cabin Fever Diaries - Dispatch #2

Three days of fairly heavy snow were followed by a day and night of freezing rain. This is very bad news in the land of trees. :(

The snow that has accumulated on trees, power lines, etc., melts just enough to refreeze again as a clinging, solid crust on whatever it is adhered to. It doesn't take long for the weight to become more than the trees and wires can bear, and things start falling and collapsing.

One of two ornamental Japanese(?) willows that were thrashed by the weight of the cumulative snow & ice.

Last night while the power was out and the snow and ice were at the peak of their destructive potential, limbs and whole trees would snap all of a sudden with a crack like a rifle shot, followed by a thunderous rush of snow. Normally wispy evergreen branches and fronds came raining down on houses, cars and power lines. Each pop and crack woke me with a start, wondering if the house (surrounded on all sides by cedar, fir, maple and alder) would take a hit. Going from deep, exhausted sleep to fight-or-flight adrenalized panic a dozen times per night sucks.

Besides the fear of having timber fall on our heads while we slept, we fared just fine. Our wood stove is a beast, and we used it to warm ourselves, cook our food and melt snow for water when the well water ran out.

"White Out Soup" (aka - everything that needed to be cooked before it spoiled), the greatest coffee pot in the world, and tea water for Bill.

Our power is back - for now. And luxuries like flushing the toilet and being able to wash the dishes are back and will not soon be taken for granted, I assure you.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Cabin Fever Diaries

Day 5 of my incarceration being snowbound

The freezing rain has come on top of the snow, weighing down the trees, power lines and rooftops, and making our driveway and road impassable for all but the most fortified of vehicles - the Redneck duelly.

We've managed to keep our wits about us thus far, but the isolation and dwindling food supply weigh heavy on our minds. Just this morning we ran out of cocoa - COCOA! What next, Panda Puffs?!?

The power has cut out and returned a few times already this morning, and the cracking sounds coming from the trees across the street have me all but convinced that our power will be out shortly. We have a small supply of firewood and will set up our sleeping area in the living room, around the wood stove if the heat goes.

As for food and drink- I'll be scouring the basement shortly for our camping supplies to retrieve the most coveted of all power-outage necessities - the camp coffee pot. Pray that I find it, lest I be left in increasingly close quarters with the family and grossly under-caffeinated to boot. NO ONE WANTS THAT.

To be continued....

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Snowed in, Day 3

Here in Western Washington, we're in the thick of what some folks are calling "Snowmageddon" (drama queens!) and our little farm is literally snowed in at the moment, thanks to a driveway that is on a negative grade, and a very diligent snow plow driver who has inadvertently capped our crazy driveway with a three foot wall of ice & snow.

Today is the fifth day that the kids have been home, and the third day of being snowbound. I'm hanging on to my wits by a thread and distracting myself with craft projects, chores and a whole lot of cooking and baking. So far so good, but with the threat of power outages looming, and the likelihood of the girls being home 24/7 until Monday at least, my joy of family togetherness is waning.