You are currently browsing the daily archive for January 25, 2010.

Hairer and hairier…with “UP-doos” today.

No, we are not at ALL crazy.  😉

Except preceded by “stir”-  — because this was Day #6 of the power outage up here in The Woods.

NEWSFLASH: The power finally came back on at 5:30 this afternoon. But I will keep what I wrote about it earlier today:

Monday noon: James called the utility company hotline again last night. A woman assured us in pleasant tones that we were amongst 156 other people without power at this point, after the worst of the storm earlier this week. Is this supposed to be reassuring?

We are a select group. It is a dubious honor at best.

She told James the same thing that he heard the day before — that the power was scheduled to be restored by 11 p.m. on Sunday night.

It’s still off now, in the early afternoon on Monday. James remarked that the utility company hotline folks should simply admit that they don’t know when the power will be restored, so we don’t get false hopes.

We are discovering, as we experience our fourth winter out here in The Woods, that during power outages we have every amenity for a number of days (with a small generator), but that WATER is always the first to go.

It’s because we have a well which runs on electricity. It requires a LOT of juice. We would have to buy a huge generator in order to operate the well pump.

So we’ve been getting by on filling the 20-gallon tank in the Airstream trailer, which lasts us a few days with judicious use. But after five days we’ve had to fill this tank (from the well) a second time, and now the tank is empty.

We’ve been using the toilet in the bathroom off the barn, which is hooked up to the well tank by a garden hose! Now that the pressure is almost gone, today James had the idea of filling the toilet tank with a bucket of water from a small “pond” which forms whenever it rains. This is a temporary body of water which disappears once the dry season starts in late Spring.

This water is crystal-clear. If this power outage continues for a few more days, we’ll probably be filling a lot of buckets!

Whenever we get impatient about the power being out, we bring ourselves back to reality by remembering that we have everything we need, and that this outage is actually just a minor inconvenience.

We’ve come a LONG way since that first winter of ’07-’08 when the power was out for nine days and we didn’t have a generator! Luckily we had heat from the woodstove. We did end up running out of water after five days, and reluctantly went down to my brother’s house in Sacramento.

But this time we are better-prepared, and will be even MORE so in the future. We plan to set up an elevated water tank in the barn (there used to be one when the previous occupants tapped into a spring) which will alleviate the water problem during an outage.

There is another spring which one of our neighbors uses, and we’ve discussed the idea of hooking into it. There is a lot of black plastic PVC pipe still on the property.

We will also install the new woodstove (in the Music Room) that we’d bought the first year but couldn’t get running properly, because we tried to use a combination of six- and eight-inch stovepipe. This did NOT work, and the stove smoked horribly. We ended up putting back the ancient Franklin stove with the original 8-inch stovepipe, which served us very well that winter before it finally died (the rusty bottom part dropped out).

We need to look at our living experience out here in The Woods as a process of evolution. The rustic nature of our existence can be daunting. But it gets a little better each day. As a friend recently observed, “Cameron, you are living the dream.”

I hope I never wake up.