Saturday, January 31, 2009


After a little more than 48 hours without power, it came back. Literally *just* as my husband was plugging in a space heater to our new generator. LOL

The house temp was down to 47 on the first day after we left, and down to 38 by the time we broke down and got a generator so that the pipes wouldn't freeze. It took hours for the house to warm up to a modest 66 degrees that we were aiming for.

Power was spotty for awhile but stayed on through the night, and today we got moved back into our home. There was plenty of cleanup to be done from the water in our downstairs, and a mighty pile up of laundry in process. I had boxes of products being delivered and needing to be put away as well. And then there was all of our backpacks and baskets and bags full of the clothes and items we took with us when we left the house. Plenty of work for all of us to do. By now I'm wiped out, so what's left waiting to get done will have to wait until tomorrow.

From the time we left the house on Tuesday until we got back here, I have been constantly reminded about emergency preparedness and all of the things I learned back in 1999 and haven't kept up on since:

-pick up a gallon of bottled water each time I go to the grocery store so that we have plenty in case the water goes out (thankfully, ours didn't go out even though the water dept. said they were going to have to close it down, but we're still on a boil water advisory)

-have plenty of foods on hand that can feed us even without electricity

-I've gotten out of the habit of canning a lot, and have recently preferred freezing both for ease of putting food away for later, and because freezing preserves more of the nutritional value of the foods. This year I plan to can more--maybe half of the stuff I'm putting up. I can tell you that I felt very sad at the thought of losing all of the homemade apple sauce I made this year from our back yard trees!

-I would like to get some emergency backpacks put together so that we could leave the house in 5-10 minutes if needed. I didn't have the house as well organized as would have been ideal, and it took us a pretty long time to get out of here. It was fine this time, but if some other sort of disaster was happening, it took a whole lot longer than it should have. Things I would like to keep in emergency evacuation backpacks include socks, underwear, and a change of clothes for each person, some toothbrushes, individual bottles of water for each person, and some emergency cash. I ran into a situation where bottled water was available at just one store and they could only take cash or check, no debit cards. I only had $5 on hand so wasn't able to get as much bottled water as I would have liked. It turned out ok this time, but I don't want to get caught with only $5 in cash again.

I would love to hear your ideas about other good things to have ready in case of emergency.

We're all enjoying being in our own home, though our wonderful friends and family made it very comfortable to be displaced for a couple of days.

My 16 year old son said that although it's not exactly fun to have this sort of thing happen, he feels like it helps people to slow down, care for one another, and remember what to be thankful for. I agree.

Our street was among the first to get power back in our county, apparently because an important water pump station is on our power line. Most others in our area continue to be without electricity, and apparently it could be many more days or even weeks before it is all fixed. The trees are still icy, we had a little more snow today, and more snow is expected Monday and Tuesday.

Here are some photos of trees in our yard at the time when we were first leaving the house, and then a video taken while I was driving around town the next day.

During this video you just get to see a little of the trees down and snow falling. Also you are treated to me repeating myself because I was having a hard time driving safely and thinking about what I was saying at the same time. :) (Also, I think I may have a tendency to repeat myself anyhow. Might have something to do with having many young children with selective hearing....)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Iced In

We are in the midst of an ice storm here in central KY. Our power went out yesterday afternoon and my husband (who was at work) called to tell me to pack up and get to his parents house. Power wasn't expected back for more than a day, and we have no way to keep the house warm without electricity.

We only got as far as a 3-4 minute drive from our home before we realized that with tons of trees down in the road, power lines down, and more icy rain falling, the 40 minute drive to the in-laws might be too risky. Some friends happened along our path and invited us to stay with them. They still had power plus gas fire places if we needed to use 'em.

We've had a slumber party. I got to go home briefly earlier today to grab some more food out of the fridge and freezer (I hate to see so much stuff going to waste!!) and extra clothes. I found that our downstairs had flooded a little. grrrr.... Just a little extra excitement.

We expect to stay here for another day or 2. Hopefully my friend will still like me after this. :)

The local water is expected to be turned off, thanks to frozen pump stations. Power still isn't working on my side of the town, and it looks like it could be a few more days.

So...I hope you're staying warm wherever you are!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Popping in to say hello

To the dozen of you that actually read this blog, hello! I haven't disappeared, though it may seem like it judging from the very few posts so far this month.

Business has been very, very busy. And that homeschooling thing is rather busy too. Both are good things, just don't leave much time for blogging.

I even have blogable happenings on a regular basis, but don't have the time to get it done.

I did have a great experience yesterday, which was making a longtime dream of mine happen. I hired someone to help me with housework!

I have been dreaming of this for many, many years, and in recent months I had the thought that I need to just make it happen.

The first hurdle was finding someone. I have asked around, but nothing came up until one day my new helper and I were both in the right place at the right time. She was in need of a job, and I was in need of some work. And yesterday she came over and got started. She did cleaning projects for four hours, and boy was it great!

It wasn't easy, though, because I'm kind of a wimp about this sort of thing. My 12 year old daughter even had to give me a pep talk yesterday morning so I could stop feeling guilty or awkward about hiring help. "You have six kids! You homeschool! You run a bunch of businesses! of COURSE you need help! And SHE needs this job! this is a GOOD thing!!"

Smart kid! :)

I'm not to the point where I can hire her full time, or even part time, but it's a start, and I'm excited about that. It was a good step for me and I'm very pleased. :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Psalm 34: 17-20

Psalm 34: 17-20
The LORD hears his people when they call to him for help.
He rescues them from all their troubles.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted;
he rescues those who are crushed in spirit.
The righteous face many troubles,
but the LORD rescues them from each and every one.
For the LORD protects them from harm--
not one of their bones will be broken!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Let Freedom Ring

One of the most powerful speeches in history. It gives me chills every time I hear it.

"...So even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow. I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up... live out the true meaning of its creed. We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will they be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right down in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plains and the crooked places will be made straight and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope.

With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.

With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day, this will be the day when all of God's children be able to sing with new meaning "My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring!"

And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.

Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.

Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.

But not only that, let freedom, ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tenneessee.

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi, from every mountainside.

Let freedom ring,

And when this happens,and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old negro spiritual, "Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last."