Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Power Outage

This is a great picture, but most of our power around here is underground, even here on the farm.

     I awoke this morning at 3:40 am, to the sense that the bedroom was very cold.  I have a rather large filling in one of my back upper molars and when it gets cold, the new polymer filling does not insulate the nerve root as well as amalgam did, and it hurts.  Therefore, my molar alarm for cold was throbbing. In my sleepy haze I fell out of the bed (yes, the mattresses are all too high now unless you are 5'11 or taller) and wandered out
                    This is the coldest it has been in three years. It was ten degrees.  We are in better shape than most families in this area.  We have a diesel military village generator,  gas logs with a tank of propane, and most importantly, the Simple Pump, which allows us periodically to pump water, pressurize the house, and have water inside and in the barn and kennel, even if the generator stays off.  This was a good investment, and seems to work very well.  We also have a commercial gas stove in the kitchen with a griddle, which will work as long as my husband has trucked the right about of propane here to the farm.  As careful as we were to set all of this up well, it doesn't always work.   The diesel military village gennie is on a trailer and must be driven to the building in which you need it's help.  This could be a garage or barn should you need to weld something, but it is most often the house itself.   All of these devices need maintenance and checking, and frankly power outage emergencies seem to occur here when it's 108F more often than when it's cold.  It turns out that the gas logs can only run until noon because my husband had not traded out the gas tank in a very long time.
                     According to our power company, this started as a small local outage which would be corrected quickly.    By 6 am, the power returned long enough for us to heat up the house, flush some toilets, water alpacas, dogs, ducks, chickens and the cats before the power went out again.   This time, the power company says it's a widespread outage with power to be restored before noon.  How is that infrastructure maintenance going ?    Did you know that I went my entire childhood only having the power off for 15 minute increments, and I lived in the Northeast.
                      A call to my daughter's house revealed that she still has power and therefore heat, but that following her shower, she found that her kitchen sink hot faucet will not work this morning.  We told her to open both her bathroom undersink cabinets and her kitchen cabinets to allow the heat from the house to prevent them from freezing.  My son and I will head over there later in the morning to see that they have unfrozen and that there are no leaks.  She has those Qwest fittings and so there should be some flexibility with regard to freezing without pipe rupture.  We have the Qwest tools, even though our present home does not use them, our first farm out here did.

The power is still on at my daughter's house.  This is really a picture of part of her great room. The table used to be in the Jefferson Hotel in Richmond, until it was sold to someone else, and she bought it from them.

                      Remind me to have my husband check my mother's house too.  We have been trying to sell it for four years.  Yes, four years. She died in 2007.
                      Welcome to the United States in 2013.   Many houses never sell, and people are afraid to rent them to people as damage is common and eviction can be hard.    Power outages last a long time now, and power is fairly expensive. The animals here all look good and are fairly comfortable this morning, unlike me. Fortunately, the sun still comes up.  God is still doing his part, and thank Heaven !

UPDATE:   Shortly after the initial post, the internet went out.  The electricity stayed out until after three pm.  My cell didn't work until four.   In all, a frustrating and very cold day.  Where is the hot chocolate when it's needed ?



Dani said...

I feel for you. Our power supplier, Escom, is apparently supplying half of Africa with electricity, and thus there isn't enough for us South Africans.

Thank goodness (and our solar panels) that we don't have to rely on Escom for our power :)

But - isn't it always the case - it's when you forget to fill up that you realize you should've. And it ALWAYS happens at the most inopportune moment.

I wish you warmth.

JaneofVirginia said...

Thanks, Dani. We have solar panels for the farm gates which open as we enter and depart. Later this year, the outbuildings, the barn, the kennel, the garage and the studio will all be powered with solar. The power requirements for the main house require more of a capital outlay than we can make now, and I am told we would still need another type of power supplementally.
Geothermal power is big here, but the capital outlay is quite large. We have considered it, but if anything goes wrong in the buried portion of the unit, it could cost thousands to repair or replace.
You are absolutely correct in that life continues to happen, and it's easy to get caught with not having filled up !

Matt said...

I have a small propane "Mr. Heater" that I could use if needed, but thankfully we've had great service up to the point.

Hope things get fixed soon for you and the family there. Hang in there.

JaneofVirginia said...

Thanks Matt, It all came back around 3 pm. First electricity, and then finally internet. I can deal without electricity but I don't like not having internet especially when I am paying to run a gennie !

Ian Holland said...

Welcome to my world!