Thursday, October 09, 2014

Autumn Rainstorm, Windstorm and Power Outage Preparedness

Camping LED Lantern, on Amazon

Tonight I'm taking a class on chocolate truffle making, so my project for the day will have to be very quick. The class runs from 6:30 to 9:30 and I'm sure when I get home I'll be tired from all the new tasty things I learned. So, I'm shooting for a half hour emergency preparedness project I can do right after dinner and before I leave for the class.

QUICK THINGS TO DO TODAY:

  • Kitchen floor need sweeping or mopping? Counters clean?
  • How is everybody in your house doing for fresh, clean pajamas to wear tonight?
  • Do you have a fall wreath on your front door? I haven't yet gotten mine out and put it up, which surprises me. If you own an autumn-themed or Halloween doormat, have you swapped it out so it's on your doorstep? My autumn doormat is a pair of ruby slippers worn by someone wearing red-and-white striped stockings, that says "DING DONG!" It always makes people laugh when they see it.
  • Have you baked any delicious muffins or quick breads lately, if that's something you enjoy doing, and if your family enjoys helping you eat them up?
  • Need to buy tickets for any upcoming shows or films? I am so excited to see Interstellar, I bought tickets a few weeks early. I'm also eyeing "Beauty and the Beast" the Musical tickets and trying to figure out if they work within my budget or not.

TODAY'S PROJECT: Windstorm Preparedness

100 Hour Emergency Candle, on Amazon

I'll never forget what happened after Seattle's worst windstorm, back in 2006. I live out in the countryside past the suburbs, where power lines are still above ground. The wind knocked over countless trees, knocking over power lines. We lost power for eight long days. We toughed it out for a few days, but then went to stay with the first set of friends whose power finally came back on. During the four nights we spent without power, we were extremely lucky that the outside temperatures didn't dip below 30. Inside the house, the temperature dropped to a chilly 40 degrees.

Those four dark cold days, we were able to be relatively comfortable because I was well prepared. We were better off because I'd planned ahead. We had three nights worth of firewood, canned food we could heat over our outdoor fire pit (thank goodness it wasn't raining!), plenty of candles and matches, and extra comforters.

Right before the windstorm had hit, hearing about it ahead of time on the news, I'd fortunately done two loads of laundry. Luckily we still had hot water due to the gas water heater, so we could wash dishes in the dark cold kitchen and take hot showers.

Now every year as autumn approaches, I start hoarding firewood, candles, and emergency supplies. I have a big garage to store things in, and I don't let my hoard take over the indoors of my house! In Spring, once the danger of windstorms is mostly over, I start burning up my hoard, lighting cheery fires in the morning.

I do have to laugh because the first night of a power outage is always sort of a fun adventure. Cooking over the fire, reading by firelight, playing board games by flashlight, chatting by a wood fire, is all really fun... The first night. It sure gets old fast though doesn't it?

Cyalume Snaplights, on Amazon

Today I'm taking inventory of my flashlights, batteries, candles, firewood, matches, Cyalume light sticks (they're great for tossing in a dark bathtub to help a scared kid still want to take a bath), canned soup, the pan I cook with outdoors, and other emergency supplies. I'm also making sure I could get ahold of those things quickly in an emergency. And I'll check my first aid kit, of course. I've just remembered, writing this, that I don't have a first aid kit in my car. I need to remedy that!

I'm also remembering during our power outage, driving to various locations to charge up my laptop and cell phone batteries. Are you able to locate your chargers and any power-related accessories, should you have to go elsewhere to recharge everything?

RELATED LINKS:

Blackouts (Ready.Gov)

Cooking, Surviving and Thriving During a Long Term Power Outage (Off the Grid News)

Power Outage Safety (Red Cross)

Prepping for a Two Week Power Outage (The Organic Prepper)

Family Emergency Supply Checklist (Ready.Gov)

Emergency Supply Checklist (FEMA)

http://takewinterbystorm.org/

LOVELY BLOGS: Party Wagon

I love party blogs! This one is full of fun and inventive party ideas, such as an autumn Go Jump in the Lake camping/fishing birthday party; a Go Fly a Kite birthday party; and instructions for a cute clown hat party favor. Browse this site for inspiration next time you get to throw someone a birthday party (even if they're a grownup!)

http://party-wagon.com/

LOVELY BOOKS: The House That Jack Built

Another fun vintage read from Frederick Warne & Co. This one is a Randolph Caldecott book from 1912. As always, the retro pictures are adorable.

The House that Jack Built, at The Internet Archive

LOVELY BOOKS: My Prairie Cookbook

Is anybody else here old enough to remember the Little House on the Prairie TV series from the 1970s? I was totally obsessed with it as a kid. Now I'm delighted to see that the actress who played Laura, Melissa Gilbert, has come out with "My Prairie Cookbook Memories and Frontier Food from My Little House to Yours." It just came out last month. I'll definitely get on a waitlist for it at my library, and if I enjoy it as much as I think I will, I will want to buy my own copy to keep in my collection. Not just full of recipes, it also includes scrapbook photos from her time on the set of the show, and her reminiscences of her time filming.

My Prairie Cookbook, by Melissa Gilbert, on Amazon

LOVELY COSMETICS: Fall Into Luxury

Sephora's new eyeshadow palette for Fall 2014 twelve eye shadows, a bronzer, a blush, and an eyeliner pencil. I'm really tempted by this - the eyeshadows are colors that would be flattering on me, and I just threw out two several-year-old palettes. Now that I'm traveling and going out more, I think I will prioritize new cosmetics into my budget.

Fall Into Luxury Palette, at Sephora

LOVELY FASHION: Posh at the Party Dress

I love this retro styled dress soooo much! Teal is my current favorite color, too. I'm really nervous to order this from ModCloth though - I'm not sure it would fit and flatter me, and I'm reluctant to waste resources shipping it back for a return if it doesn't fit. Still, it's so gorgeous, I am tempted to take the chance. It's not inexpensive, but if it does look good on me, I'd wear it on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's! (With some dry cleaning in between of course!) Love this!

Posh at the Party Dress, from ModCloth

LOVELY LINKS FOR TODAY:

Acorn Brownie Pops (Pint Sized Baker)

Boozy Plum Clafoutis (Super Nummy Yo!)

Butternut Squash, Arugula and Roasted Garlic Goat Cheese Tartine (Blogging Over Thyme)

Coconut Pistachio Gateau with Marzipan Filling (Cakespy)

Green Soup Recipe (Thumb in Plum)

How to Wash and Dry Your Tartlet Pans (Sunset.com)

Italian Plum Jam (Orangette)

Marzipan Cake Pops (The Clean Dish)

Not Your Mother's Library (The Atlantic)

Plum and Marzipan Cake (Julian the Thinker)

Plum Marzipan Tartlet (Baking With Marianne)

Recycled Book Wreath (Made by Marzipan)

Spicy Lentil Stew with Butternut Squash (Hungry Girl Por Vida)

Why Don't Boom Times Make People Happier? (The Atlantic)


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