3:17 a.m.

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That’s the time our power came back on this morning. We were without power for 6 days in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. The winds blew through here at up to 80 mph at times, and left total destruction in their wake. We lost several big trees on our property… Luckily none of them did any major damage.

This one luckly fell away from our house right in front of our garage.

 

This is my hubby standing next to the roots of that tree – he’s 6′ 1″ tall, so you can see how big this was!

 

This big tree cracked in half setting off a chain reaction of sorts…

 

That tree fell into this one…

 

…which then took out this really tall one!

 

We were lucky this was the only damage to our deck!

 

We lost all of the food in our fridge and freezer except for this…

3 bell peppers and a lemon!

 

It got really cold last night – we were all shivering, even my poor dog and cat who have built in fur coats! We finally broke down and lit a fire in the fireplace to try to take some of the chill out of the air. It was 50 degrees in my family room!!

Ahhh…warm fire!

 

The only problem is that the crackling of the wood scares my poor dog, so she was stressed out for most of the evening. I was really glad when the power came back on – even if I found out by having our house alarm system start going off at 3:17 am – thus the title of my post. I heard the noise, the lights came on, and then…the heat. Ahh..the heat! I was finally able to shed one of my layers – I felt kind of like Randy in “A Christmas Story” when he was all dressed up in his snowsuit and couldn’t put his arms down. I had so many layers on – even two layers of socks!

I am still cautiously optimistic about our power staying on. I keep hearing rumblings of a Nor’easter headed in our direction mid-week that could bring unseasonable cold, rain, and more winds – 40-50 mph! Please…that’s the last thing we need! I still have friends and family without power, and that will only hamper the efforts to get them restored.

As I said in my post from Thursday – with all that happened, I am so very thankful that we fared as well as we did. I learned several things from this experience….

1) We need a generator – not one of those little ones, but the big whole house one. Our heat is supplied by electric heat pumps, so one of the little ones really wouldn’t do much other than save the fridge and give us a few lights. If power goes out during the winter when it’s cold for multiple days in a row, we’re screwed.

2) I would not have done well back in the pioneer days. I survived the long, cold, dark nights reading books on my iPad, watching movies on my laptop, and lurking on Facebook on my iPhone. I am a techno-geek. Gotta have my gadgets.

3) My thermos totally rocks – so I bought another one. It stayed hot enough for warm tea for 48 hours. Yup. That’s pretty damned amazing. Here’s the link to Amazon where they have it. Wish their associate program was still legal in CT… Best Thermos On The Planet

4) When a storm like this is coming, fill up the gas tanks in both cars. There have been lines for gas ever since the storm – due to the inability to get trucks here to refill the stations, stations not having power to pump gas, and people using a ton of gas to run generators. I have never seen lines like this before in my life. I remember my dad telling me about the gas shortages in the 70s, and how lucky he was to be able to get gas whenever he needed because he was a volunteer fireman. I’m hoping things ease up in a few days because I’m going back to work again tomorrow…and my commute is about 32 miles a day.

5) Always have extra D batteries. My favorite flashlight uses Ds, and I only had enough to replenish it twice. I also learned that a set of batteries in that flashlight lasts about 4 hours straight (left it on for the pets when we went out).

6) Be patient. Long days with no heat, no sleep, and no hot showers wear on everyone’s nerves. I was doing okay until day 5 – but lots of people around me started losing it after a day or two. I get it…but everyone’s in the same boat. Getting upset with other people isn’t going to help. Throwing eggs at the lineworkers trying to restore your electricity isn’t going to make them work any faster (yes -that actually happened!!). Threatening to kill the mayor of the city you live in if you don’t get power doesn’t work either (yes – that actually happened too!!). People are so used to instant gratification and modern convenience that a few days without wreaks havoc on daily living. Yes, it’s difficult. Yes, it’s annoying. Yes, it’s uncomfortable. But it’s not as bad as all that. Really.

Well – all in all, I’m very thankful to have made it through this, and I’m hoping that this next storm decides to take it easy on us. Hopefully things will slowly but surely get back to normal around here….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thankful Thursday #3

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Ok…so I’ve been MIA for a week! Only because someone named Sandy decided to come pay us a visit and totally upend my life!

We lost power on Monday afternoon, and are still sitting here in the dark – and now it’s starting to get cold… We lost everything in our fridge and freezer except 3 bell peppers and a lemon. Our 150 gallon hot water tank is far from hot. The school district I work for has been closed all week, and it will be a miracle if we open on Monday given all I the downed trees and power lines, not to mention flooding and damage to homes and buildings.

To most, this may sound like a laundry list of complaints. To me, I am thankful that these are the greatest of my worries. Amidst the destruction, my family and friends are safe. My house is still standing. And here are some other things I am thankful for – silly as they may seem…

1) My husband’s crazy habit of buying me Yankee Candles for every occasion known to man. They have kept our house well-lit, however it does smell a bit funky since they are all different scents…

2) My new grill. I bought it a few weeks ago after going the entire summer without one. I contemplated just waiting until the spring, but got this one at an end-of-season tent sale. It has been a lifesaver!

3) My built-in sense of improvisation. I can make just about anything work. I made scrambled eggs on my grill the other morning. I made quesadillas out of chicken burgers. Not sure what tomorrow will be, but it’s looking an awful lot like PB&J for a while.

4) My thermos. Silly? Not at all. I boiled water at my office yesterday afternoon around 3:30. This morning, my assistant burned her finger pouring water out of the darned thing, and tonight it’s still hot enough to make (much needed!) hot tea. She was so impressed that she had me order one from Amazon for her – and I ordered a second one. It’s a Thermos floating insulated bottle – I think model 2595 or something like that. Looks like a grey torpedo. Best $30 I ever spent – on an insulated beverage container anyway.

5) Zumba. Yes, Zumba. Going to class tonight literally saved my sanity. There’s only just so much sitting around in the dark reading on an iPad one person can do! I really needed a pick me up today, and as usual, Eva picked me right up. We had a fun crew tonight, and it was just what I needed.

6) My iPhone – without which I would have had no access to the outside world this week – including the ability to check up on friends and family via Facebook, get emergency notifications from the city, follow Twitter feeds of the local EOC, or write this blog post.

That’s it from here – before my battery goes. I won’t be able to charge it again until I get to work. I really don’t want to have to run my car to charge it given the run on gas around here… I paid $48 for a half a tank before because all they had was premium. I don’t think my 8 year old car with 125,000 miles on it will know what to do with that much octane…

Stay safe, and be thankful.