Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Irene, Thou Art a Heartless Bitch

I wrote this post on the first day of our little modern adventure before the power on my laptop died. For those that don't watch The Big Bang Theory, the title of this post is a play on a Sheldon line...

There are benefits to having been through a blizzard-forced-mid-winter camping trip (here, here). Some of those benefits came in handy this week when Irene in her infinite wisdom decided to knock down a rather huge elm tree right across from my powerlines. I have to tell everyone that when I awoke Sunday morning and there was still power I was so thrilled and thought, woohoo, we had escaped any electrical issues. Well as I turned on the TV in my bedroom to check out the weather report I heard this huge crash.

You can see part of the huge elm branch that took down my lines in the road across the street.

The lines, electric,cable and phone decorating my yard.

You can see all the lines ripped off the side of the house.

At first I refused to contemplate that anything could have actually attacked my little home. It is a nice and sweet place to live, the quintessential abode replete with a white picket fence, two children and a pacel of slobbering four-legged furry creatures. So to think that any part of nature would have felt compelled to pummel my safe haven was just beyond my comprehension, well at least for the moment before the electric went out. I suppose I truly just did not want to deal with the aftermath of a tropical storm.

One of the things we had purchased during our last sojourn was a Coleman camping stove and a camping coffeepot. Hubby dutifully put the stove together on the screened in porch and unpacked the coffeepot. I then loaded up the coffeepot and proceeded to make my very needed morning, ok by now afternoon, coffee. I turned to hubby and told him that there are times when you truly appreciate some things. Someone once said that “Diamonds are a girls best friend” but truthfully at this time, camping equipment and a working coffeepot was worth more to me than any amount of diamonds.

Hubby also remembered that when we bought the house, we had planned to expand the kitchen onto the screened in porch, turning it into one of those modern, updated very chic extravaganzas that you see in any remodeling magazine. Of course we never got around to doing that little bit of renovations; you know medical issues, therapies, lessons and everything else that comes with raising special needs children took precedence. But hubby did remind me as I stood and cooked on the camping equipment on the screened in porch, that he had kept his promise to expand the kitchen. Yes, a sense of humor is necessary in stressful situations; he can be a goof, where do you think the boys get it from?

My porch with all the outside furniture brought in as well. My diamond of a coffeemaker and camping stove to the left.

Luckily we had hooked the router up to a long lasting battery and had Internet access for most of the day. Hubby then hooked the battery up to our moveable generator and recharged it. By five PM he had hooked up the refrigerator and was looking into attaching the microwave to the generator as well. How long we will be without electric, only Con Edison knows. Right now I still have a huge tree on my wires and they have been pulled off my house. I am not sure who is supposed to put them back, an electrician or Con Edison but I am certain I will find out shortly. Oh yeah, we also do not have cable or Internet even after we rehooked up the battery to the router. SO another issue to deal with.

By the way, the boys are supposed to start school his week. That will prove interesting to say the least. So far there is no school tomorrow. Hopefully the Internet will come back on and I will be able to find out what the story is, but if there is power at the school then there will be classes. Honestly as long as I can get them there and back there will not be a problem, unless the para is not available because of issues in his own home, then we will have to improvise. Heck, with car chargers and a small generator we can keep things going for awhile until everything gets sorted out, but it is going to be a different type of adventure. Luckily most of the work at the beginning of the semester is reading or basic writing, not much research or indepth work.

But something tells me it will be another adventure worth writing about….

P.S. Found out it was up to us to get the wires hooked back up to the house. So luckily our air-conditioning repairman had an electrician friend in the neighborhood. So all the lines were up and rearing to go, for when the power would go back on.

UPDATE: 8/31. The electric came on last night and we are once again a happy family hooked up to the modern world. There is still some clean-up to do but all-in-all we did just fine. Hubby even came up with the idea to find a WI-fi hot spot in town (which he did) and was planning to take the boys there after dinner if we were still sans service. While the boys call him Wise Old Sage, I now have added the title Post-Appocalytic-Daddio, here's why:

Listen if it weren't for his good thinking we would have not had the gas generator (which he had to keep running and refilling), he figured out how to hook up the fridge so we did not loose any food and even could switch between the toaster and microwave; 
He figured a way to recharge the phones and laptops (since we do not have a land line, the only contact to the outside was through our cell phones and the laptops we watched dvds) in the cars and later in on errant computer backup battery (after that was recharged off the generator); 
Never mind all the camping equipment he had set up so we could cook and of course I could have coffee in the morning. 
He had organized the house a long time before with fans, batteries, portable lights and even has wood for the fire if it were winter and special blankets for the wintertime too. 
We did order MRE's luckily we didn't need them as they had actually expired. 
Additionally our emergency food supply had also expired as well. The emergency food stuffs I knew about but had been too lazy to replace them. Now I think I will finally get on the stick about replacing that. (Luckily I had heeded the warnings and purchased several days worth of nonperishables at the market days before anyone else had the idea.) 
We do have our list of things to remember for next time, but hey each time we live through these happening we learn and are better prepared for the next one and considering we alwasy loose pwoer at least once a year we know there will be a next time.

Meanwhile, the first day of school was interesting, not so much that the classes were any issue but driving back and forth you were privy to the destruction that Irene wrought across the county. There are still some rather huge trees laying across power lines along the route. Both boys did get through the day OK. CM2 even took some time in between classes to check up on his favorite websites since the college had power and internet.

It is interesting how living without the conveniences of life really does take a toll, no matter how ready you are. I think it will take a few days to recuperate, but we are working on it.

The bichon chilling out on her stuffed Scooby-Doo after the lights came back on.

Until next time,

Less the worse for ware,


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Loyalty and Love to the Very End

Navy Seal Jon Tomlinson was killed in the August 6,  helicopter crash in Afghanistan that took the lives of 29 others. His loyal Labrador, Hawkeye, who was being cared for by one of Tomlinson's friends during his deployment, would not leave the side of the casket throughout the funeral.

Tomllinson's friend has adopted Hawkeye.

Until next time,