A Little Test

About the time I’m feeling pretty smug about my prepping skills, I get slapped down a notch. Today I was finally making the tamales that will last us til about this time next year.  I made 13 dozen! The first batch was done and all spread out on cookie sheets in the freezers to flash freeze and as soon as they were frozen solid, I was going to vacuum seal them in bags of 5 (3 for Vince and 2 for me).

The second batch of tamales was in the steamer and just beginning it’s 1 hour cycle. Then they would cool down and I’d put them on cookie sheets, and take out one cookie sheet at a time of the already frozen tamales and get those vacuum sealed. By bed time, all the tamales would be vacuum sealed, the kitchen would be clean and life would be grand.

Til . . the storms got a little worse and the lightning was a little too close and BAM! I knew it had struck somewhere way too close . . the power went out. It seemed so close that I kept expecting to smell smoke coming from my attic.

The power was out and all my plans were screwed up. The tamales on the stove kept cooking but . . what was I going to do with them. Vince said “Don’t worry . . the power will be back on soon!”  He went ahead and got the generator set up in case we needed to run the freezers for a while. When the power is out, the main well pump is out and we only have water so long as the pressure tank has pressure. I had not even had a shower yet so I ran and jumped in the shower real quick . . and it was quick. I didn’t want to use all the water. Vince could turn on the generator that we have for the well but I didn’t want to go to that much trouble. Vince got out a couple of lanterns and I sat and knitted; he read his Kindle.

One hour led to two . . to three . . all that tamales from the second batch needed to go into a fridge or freezer but I didn’t want to open any of those.

Vince went out to take care of the chickens and he came in and said “I can hear the power company’s truck radio. They’re really close.” So, we went investigating. They were right at the end of the neighbor’s driveway. This is from our driveway looking south and the vehicle on the hill is the power company truck.

Electric Company

Electric Company

Lightning had struck a line, caused it to burn, fall to the ground and it had burned a line along where it fell. Thank goodness it wasn’t terribly dry or we could have had a big fire! What’s weird is that the only other time our power has been out for several hours was a couple of years ago when lightning struck just over that same hill, caused a grass fire and burned down an electric pole. The sky didn’t look too threatening to our south but it looked pretty scary to the north.

Weather

Weather

They got the power back on and within 10 minutes, another round of storms moved through and the electricity blinked . . I gasped but it didn’t go off.

I was telling Vince . . no matter how prepared we think we are, if we’re ever without power for an extended period of time, life is going to be really tough!

By the way, the next driveway you see to the right is ours. I never go this direction but looks like the trucks working on the shoulder have been cutting donuts over in the grass.  :)

Just Like Grandma

The other day I was out gathering eggs and as I walk from coop to coop, memories surface of gathering eggs at my grandmas. I still remember the configuration of her coop and chicken yard. I loved spending time with the chickens when I was a kid. As I gathered eggs, I thought . . my grandma would be smiling . . knowing how much I love living in the country and remembering the times I spent on their farm.

I looked down at my egg basket and thought . . my grandma’s egg basket never looked like this:

Egg Basket

Egg Basket

Two cell phones. Mine and Vince’s. We were waiting on a delivery and Vince didn’t remember which cell phone number he gave them and he was off too far from the house for the phone to work so I was minding both our phones.

My grandparents didn’t even have a home phone for many years and never dreamed of an invention such as a cell phone. Some days, I wish there was still no such thing.

Anyway . . I do have a pretty basket of eggs, right?

Sunsets

There have been two sunset photos I’ve taken that have stuck with me and I think of them often. Both this photo and the bottom one from the next two were printed and framed.

This photo was taken from a dirty, scratched airplane window in 2006. Those are just clouds and patterns in the sky. There are no buildings or structures on the horizon.

Sunset

In MO, we lived smack dab in the middle of town but we had gorgeous sunsets there. Here’s one that I photographed in 2008:

Nevada Sunset

I remember standing at the back door, which was just off my sewing room, and watching the colors change, going from a muted gold to a brilliant, glowing orange.

Sunset

As the sun set and the colors changed from their brilliance to the muted gray and then darkness fell, I sat down at the computer and did my best to design a quilt to memorialize this gorgeous sunset. The photo was printed and framed

Nevada Sunset

Nevada Sunset

You may recognize it as being very similar to the current Tell it to the Stars project.