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Posts Tagged ‘#365Ways2022’

“It’s really a wonder that I haven’t dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.”

― Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl

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Photo by Jordan Whitt on Unsplash

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Sososososososohappy right now!

/ahem

After 60+ hours without power we are back online. So happy about that, and feeling very appreciative of all the electricians and other workers who made it happen, and the first responders who kept us safe in the meantime.

We spent most of the storm sensibly safe indoors but if you’re interested in images of the derecho that affected almost half of this country’s population, check out these links:

The Weather Network – Schools close, local state of emergency declared after deadly weekend storm

The day after: Post-storm photos

#OnStorm – Twitter

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I’m thankful for the friends and neighbors who offered to help, and for now knowing how to use a generator and rebuild a fence. 

Aside from items like a BBQ, water heater that runs without electricity, and fireplace, I’d say the most valuable storm supply awards go to:

  • rechargeable power packs, 
  • long heavy-duty extension cords, 
  • shelf-stable snack and other foods, 
  • ice packs, 
  • good neighbors,
  • backlit e-readers and 
  • a good data plan. 

We also have a bunch of nightlight/emergency lights, the kind you leave plugged in but can also work as a flashlight. Those were invaluable (not least because our only real flashlight runs on (currently dead) C batteries which we don’t have). Our lantern crapped out on us, but pro tip: a flashlight under an opaque white container or lampshade works surprisingly well. 

The experience certainly gives me added appreciation for what’s “normal,” and the fact that we’re able to get back to it after just a couple of days.

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Photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash

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Still no grid power; we’re some of the 175,000+ people in the area who lost power during Saturday’s major storm. About 165k of us have yet to get it back. No standard internet, of course, and cell data is hard to come by as well (some day I will have enough data access for blog photos but that day is not today… or yesterday… or maybe tomorrow?). Trees, light posts and and power lines came down here, there and everywhere. We lost several major transmission towers and lines as well, which is complicating the recovery process.

And yet, life without (much) power continues. 

On the down side:

  • Opening the fridge and/or freezers has become a process in advanced risk assessment.
  • It’s Monday, and my internet-based, data-intensive day job is calling (not literally, because, you know, no power, but you get the picture). We’ll see what I can do here from the Land of Olde Time.
  • Mr Man is very tired of grinding coffee in a mortar and pestle. He is currently measuring the progress of civilization in terms of how long it takes to do simple (yet obviously critical) tasks like this one.
  • I reallllllllly wish I’d downloaded the next Murderbot book before all this happened. Note to self: stop putting things off, just in case. Also, keep your batteries charged and your backups up to date.
  • No estimated time for return to normality except that this will be “a multi-day process.” We’ve decided to remain optimistic, because why not.

On the plus side:

  • The city and power company folks are working very hard. Go them.
  • We’ve been talking about replacing that fence anyway, and its current level of horizontality is a persuasive argument on the side of yes.
  • A generous neighbor has a generator we’ve been able to use here and there, and hope to keep our food storage safe* and battery packs charged. 
  • We still have hot water, a BBQ, fireplace and our lives. Feeling very fortunate in that regard.

* To my brother with expertise in this area, I remember your warnings about spikes in food-borne illness after disasters. We’re being careful!

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Power cut out about 30 seconds after yesterday’s post, followed by biblical rain and winds like a freight train. Fences are down, ham radio towers folded in half, chainsaws are buzzing. Many big trees are down in the neighborhood, including a beautiful cherry that will be mourned by all, but no injuries that we know of. Cell service is spotty, power lines and light posts are down in the road, neighbors are out checking on each other. Hopefully, power will be back on some time today. We’ll have some serious cleanup but we were lucky. It could have been much worse.

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This is a placeholder post to keep my daily streak alive, in case the very dramatic storm currently overhead cuts the power. Crazy wind! Giant raindrops! Emergency notifications! Flickering lights!

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Photo by Andre Furtado on Pexels.com

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I took a little time today to test out a recipe for baked milk.

Sounds funny? A little, but I’m hoping it will also be good. Baked milk is one of those niche products that spark my culinary curiosity. We had some a couple of years ago (thanks, Costco!) but haven’t been able to find it since. It’s both fermented and naturally sweet, somewhere between milk and yogurt in thickness, with an interesting caramelized depth and slight tang.

I’m using this recipe via The New York Times as a springboard, but it will be a couple of days before I know if it works. Fingers crossed!

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My Day So Far

Photo by Louis Dupressoir on Unsplash

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Funny how things stick with you. Like most people, I think, I tend to make mental notes about tasks to complete, ideas to develop, or things to add to the shopping list. Apparently that process knows no temporal bounds. 

While prepping a list for Costco today I scrolled past a Lite-Brite and immediately thought, “I want one of those.” I don’t actually need one, or you know, not really. But I do remember wanting one as a child. My neighbor had one and I loved all the brightly-colored bulbs and the sheer imaginative flexibility. Like an Etch-a-Sketch, creatively speaking, only with dots instead of lines.

Apparently some part of me never forgot.

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Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

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Friends gave us a batch of chili this weekend and I thought:

1) Thank you! So kind. And spicy, delightfully spicy!

Also:

2) Fantastic, an excuse to make my favorite cornbread recipe.

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My Favorite Cornbread

(adapted from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything)

Ingredients

  • 275g / 1¼ C kefir (or yogurt, buttermilk, or 1¼ C milk warmed with 1 T white vinegar)
  • 50g / ~3.5 T butter
  • 183g / 1½ C medium-grind cornmeal
  • 62g / ¼ C all-purpose flour
  • 7.5g / 1½ t baking powder
  • 6g / 1 t salt
  • 50g / ~3 T sugar
  • 2 eggs

Instructions

  • preheat oven to 375F
  • add butter to an 8×8” pan, put it in the oven to melt*
  • whisk together dry ingredients in a bowl
  • whisk together kefir and eggs, add to dry ingredients and mix well
  • pour the batter into the pan with preheated butter
  • bake 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean
  • serve with more butter, because delicious.

* Alternately, melt butter and add to pan right before baking but why make more dishes? Getting it hot but not burnt is the goal.

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This is not my cornbread. It may be cake, for all I know, but it looks about right. The important thing is that this is not my cornbread because my cornbread smelled delicious and we ate it before I remembered that I might want a photo. Photo by Jose luis on Unsplash

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I forgot to mention yesterday’s Super Flower Blood Moon eclipse. Hopefully you saw at least some of it, but if you missed it NASA has a number of livestreams, including this one from Georgia in the US:

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