Cold. Snow. Cold.
It's only -3°C, but it feels much colder. I was really hoping the snow would have melted over night. No such luck. I light a fire in the basement as well as the sunroom. I start a pot of tea and a pot of coffee. I pour more water through the filter, and start another pot to boil.
I want to go and play my stupid game on my stupid computer, but you know that's not going to happen. I used to really enjoy the quiet time in the morning, before everyone else got up. Relaxing with my cup of tea, blogs, email, and the game. Now I sit at the table and think. Which I suppose isn't really a bad thing, but maybe I shouldn't be alone with my thoughts this much.
I miss milk in my tea. I could probably milk Dorie a little, but I'm not sure it would be worthwhile. Her calf is 5 months old already, but going in to winter would mean extra feed, and who knows when we're going to get more feed. Better to go without and hope the critters manage to sustain themselves on hay. What hay we have, which isn't a lot.
I do have some milk in the freezer, but if I defrost it, I'll only get a couple of cups of tea, and then I'll have to let the boys drink it, or it'll go bad. For now I drink my tea black.
I decide I'll do crabapples today, maybe a crabapple catsup tomorrow. I still have a few tomatoes on the shelves in the sunroom. They need to be dealt with anyway, and my back is tender from cutting firewood yesterday. The Bigs have the hole to finish digging today, and the Littles can tidy up the house a bit. They really need to stop leaving stuff all over the place. They should probably find and clean up their toys outside and bring them in too. It'll be a really long winter if they have nothing to play with.
I hear a rumbling down the road and look out the window to see the neighbour on his tractor. Well that gives me hope. He's not mechanical at all, so if his tractor is running, Mom and Dad's should probably start too.
Brother and Sil were supposed to go home tomorrow. Their truck won't start either, so they're stranded here for the time being. That wouldn't be so bad, except the girls are at home, and of course we have no way to contact them here. They're going to go to the payphone in town and try calling today. Maybe the girls will have heard that rotary phones are working and plug one in.
Mom's also worried about my sister in Saskatchewan. There's no telling how things are going there.
It's six days without power. I can only imagine what things are like in the cities. People are probably rioting and killing each other by now.
The boys get up and I tell them my plan. When husband gets up, I tell him about Ron, and ask if he can go over today to see if he and Dad can get the tractor started.
I make pancakes for breakfast with blueberry syrop. They're a little flat without milk, but everyone eats their fill. I put water on to heat and start trimming crabapples. The Bigs go out to dig. The Littles start tidying the livingroom. Husband walks over to my parents.
Everyone comes in around lunch time, and I make sandwiches. Mayonnaise is another thing I miss. There are a few jars in the basement, but like the milk, it needs to be refrigerated after opening. I miss my fridge. If I put a cooler in the cold room, and freeze a bottle of water, it should work as well as when we go camping. Maybe better. I ask #2 to take the cooler down to the cold room. I take one of the creek filled pop bottles (it doesn't have to be clean water) and set it outside on the barbecue. Hopefully it'll freeze overnight. Brr. Maybe it'll freeze through the day.
The Bigs go out after lunch to keep digging. Husband and I discuss my parents. The tractor started with no problem. Dad's really mad about his truck. Mom's cranky (go figure), but they're both in denial about how long the black out could last. Dad's tired of sleeping in the workshop with the woodstove though, so he and Husband are going to install another woodstove in the house trailer. It's not the way they had planned it. The woodstove was supposed to go in the add-a-room, which isn't finished yet. They don't want to put in extra holes that'll need to be filled later though, so Dad decides to take out a window and run the pipe through there. Husband heads back to their place. The Littles go out to pick up toys.
I finish trimming the crabapples, then wash them in a bowl. The water's not really dirty, so I'll save it for washing dishes. Throughout the day I continuously boil water and run it through the PVC filter. This is my life now- water and food. I put the crabapples on to boil, then I look through the freezer for something for supper. I pull out a small ham, and put it in a pot on the stove top. I go down to the cold room for potatoes. There aren't that many there. I look around at my well stocked larder, all of the canned goods I was so proud of, the squash and pumpkins on the shelves, the empty bins that I haven't refilled with flour and rice. I should really take inventory of what's here, and how long it'll last. I get potatoes and take them upstairs.
Once the potatoes are peeled and in a pot, I take the crab apples off the stove and strain them into another pot. They'll drip over night.
I think of Mom, and her freezers. Brother and Sil. I walk over to talk to Mom. She's been feeding Brother and Sil, since they can't refrigerate any leftovers. They have coolers on the porch, filled with fridge stuff, no ice. Some of it freezes a bit overnight though. They took all of the food out of the freezer in the house and moved it to the freezer in the shed, and it's keeping well. They're out of fresh veggies, and on their last loaf of bread. Brother and Sil have a few days worth of food in their cooler. No storage here- it's all back at their house down south. Mom says not to worry about it though, they'll be fine.
Dad, Brother and Husband have the woodstove installed, and are lighting up the first fire. It won't be long before the house trailer is warm again. We visit and chat a bit. Brother and Sil went to town to try calling home, but no answer. We're all worried about the girls.
Husband and I walk back home. He'll see about getting the tractor tomorrow to move some compost. I tell him I want to hang Casper too. We might as well do it all at once.
The Bigs have dug the hole about 6 feet deep, and 4 foot square. We decide to frame it in with logs- like a miniature greenhouse. Then we'll see what we have to cover the walls with. The boys start digging holes, while Husband and I cut a few trees across the road. They drag them over and put them in place. We cut more trees, for the roof, and soon have a wooden shell built over a big hole. That's enough for today.
The Littles have a collection of toys in the side yard beside the garden hose. I tell them to get the turkey tub, and we put some rain water in to wash them up.
We go inside and eat ham, potatoes and beets for supper. I wash dishes. The boys go out and do chores, then play Monopoly for awhile. I go to bed with a book and a candle. To my surprise, I find Husband there reading.