Louisa Enright's Blog

Mainely Tipping Points

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Turkey Tracks: God Bless the Generator!

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Turkey Tracks:  December 27, 2013

God Bless the Generator!

It’s saved me before.  But this time it saved me BIG TIME!

It’s one thing to be without power in the summer when it’s warm.  It’s quite another to be without power and to have no other heat source, like a fireplace or a wood stove, with temps moving toward the teens.

The ice storm started Monday, December 23rd.  And the power went out late afternoon.  The Big Girl kicked in without a moment’s hesitation and ran for 24 hours.  We got power back in that same late afternoon time frame on Christmas Eve and kept it until 4 a.m. Christmas Day.  I know the time because Miss Reynolds Georgia woke me asking to go out, and the power went out just as we were tucking ourselves back into bed.  And, again, the generator ran flawlessly until power came back about 9 a.m. Christmas morning.

I had power, but no phone, internet, or tv.  Fortunately my cell phone worked and, sometimes, took in email.  But, not everyone has my cell number…

I was nervous about the amount of propane the generator was using, and by Christmas Day, my tanks were down to between 40 and 50%.  So I’m going to need a fill-up very soon now, and that’s in the works.

I have been such a beneficiary of so many kindnesses during this Christmas Ice Storm.  Our neighborhood checked back and forth frequently–“how are you,” “do you need anything,” “are you warm,” “the power trucks are on the hill…”  Chris Richmond, just above me on the right, stopped in personally to make sure I was ok.  And he and Susan–they own Golden Brook Farm–invited me for Christmas Dinner (which was fun and delicious).  I especially enjoyed spending time with the Richmond children.

Mark Anderson of Mark’s Appliance drove all the way up here from Warren to make sure I had enough propane when he couldn’t get me on the house phone.  He discovered an outside faucet that was slowly leaking and fixed it. That could have meant an inside burst pipe. And he will make sure that I actually get a propane fill up in the next few days.

The ice is still with us.  Here’s a picture I took Christmas Day, and nothing has changed.

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When you see the bending of the trees, you understand how the weight of the ice breaks off branches and snaps trees as if they were match sticks.

I tried to take pictures of the glitter when the sun hits the trees coated with ice–it all sparkles like spun sugar.  But you can’t get the sun backlighting the ice:  the picture comes out too dark.   So this picture gives you some idea of how everything, everything outside was and is covered with ice–which, except for the firs which present a darker surface in the sun, is not melting.

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It snowed most of yesterday–we got about 5 inches.  BUT, I got cable back this morning–and phones and internet.  AND today is Friday, so Bonnie Hunter has released her next clue.  I just printed it out, but have a quilt on Lucy the long arm and need to finish and bind it before I can work on Clue 5.

I am warm and happy.  It’s amazing how much we have come to depend on all of our technology…

December has been really challenging in Maine:  two back-to-back snow storms, each with about 2 feet of snow; an ice storm that did major damage–many people will not get power back until some time next week–right at Christmas; and snow all yesterday.  What will January and February be like???

Written by louisaenright

December 27, 2013 at 5:09 pm

Turkey Tracks: Coping with Ice and Quilting Clue No. 4

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Turkey Tracks:  December 22, 2013

Coping with Ice

And

Quilting Clue No. Four

My sister Susan, down in Virginia Beach, Virginia, loves to follow the weather.  But, like me, she grew up with ice storms and has a healthy respect for them.

She called today to make sure I was carrying my cell phone when I went outside in the ice.  (I hadn’t been, and that was perhaps foolish).  Friend Giovanna McCarthy just wrote me to urge me to carry it when going out to the chickens, too.  So I promise to from now on.

BUT, here’s the best protection of all:

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With ice cleats on the boots, one doesn’t slide.  Or find oneself upside down on the ice.

I used the cleats and took along John’s cane for extra balance on a trip to the garage for chicken feed.  Not a single slip.  They are really great.  No wonder people use them for winter hiking.

I have two pairs of these really good kind with spikes on the bottom–so I put one pair on the LLBean boots and one pair on the chicken-muck-out-the-coop boots that live upstairs by the back door.

I finished Clue Four of the Bonnie Hunter 2013 Mystery Quilt–120 four-patches in orange and green:

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So, the pile of finished units is growing.  And excitement about how the units will go into the quilt is also growing.

Now I will work on the other quilts  I have in progress and wait for next Friday’s Clue Number 5.

 

Written by louisaenright

December 22, 2013 at 5:02 pm

Turkey Tracks: Ice!

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Turkey Tracks:  December 22, 2013

ICE!

This ice storm has been predicted for days now.

And sure enough, I woke this morning to a layer of ice on every surface that would hold it.  And the temps are hovering around 32 and slated to dip into the teens over the next few days.  Really cold weather means that the ice will hang around until we get a melt.

Here’s a not-so-good picture of ice on the trees:

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The trees will bear this much ice without breaking.  The danger of power outages will come of the ice gets any thicker.  And that’s where the weather reports are unclear as everything depends on exactly where one lives and whether the rain is rain or icy rain.  The further west one lives, the more ice.  Very far west, there will be snow.

I crept out to the chicken coop this morning–throwing chicken scratch feed in front of me for traction.

The thin layer of ice coating everything is invisible, and it’s deeply treacherous.  So I crept along being very careful with each step.

This will be a sewing, blogging, reading day.  I roasted a huge chicken last night, so food is already done.  This will be a winter day where I will drift from one pleasurable project to another and count my blessings.

And Tom Jackson’s snow crew will come and put grit down on the driveway and the boardwalk to the house when the storm is over.

And thank heavens for the generator.  It’s this kind of ice storm I grew up with in the South and that I feared would come to Maine more frequently with a warming planet.

Written by louisaenright

December 22, 2013 at 9:55 am