Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Day Three

Still no power.  I'm not feeling well this morning.  My stomach's upset, and I have a bit of a headache.  I gather my stuff up for moose hunt anyway.  Smitty and I leave while the house is still quiet and dark.  I figure the boys might as well sleep in, there probably won't be any school today anyway.

I find a nice spot in the woods where I can see four trails converge.  Smitty and I sit and wait.  A few birds and a squirrel entertain us for awhile, but no moose.  My stomach is doing flip flops and I feel nauseous.  The weather is changing too.  What started out as a nice morning is turning dark and cool.  I decide to pack it in and head for home.

Back at the house, I take my stuff in and drop most of it on my bed, then go to the basement to light a fire.  I don't know whether it's really cold, or just some kind of bug that's giving me a chill- either way, I'm freezing.  I get a decent fire going, trudge back upstairs, and put my guns away.

The boys are up, and arguing about what to have for breakfast.  I tell them to make pancakes outside on the firepit.  I go back to bed.

I wake up around noon.  My stomach has settled, but I feel really dragged out.  I can hear the boys arguing again.  Then the dogs start barking.  I hear the door.  I get up to see what's going on.

Husband is home!  He's tired and cranky.  I get him a glass of coke and make him a sandwich.  We're almost out of bread.  He fills us in on his adventure.

The car wouldn't start at work.  Nobody's would.  The power is out across town, although one of the guys did pick up a radio station.  It was a big solar flare, they think the biggest on record.  The power outage is definitely across the country, and assumed to be across the U.S., possibly world wide. Computers are down everywhere, and no one knows how the cars strewn all over the roads are to be repaired.  Old rotary dial phones are supposedly still working, not that it helps us, we don't even have a house line.  News is slow coming, difficult to make contact with anyone who knows what's going on.  People are recommended to get home and stay put for now.  Schools are closed until further notice.  Hospitals are open for emergencies only, all elective surgeries are cancelled, and no ambulances.  The police are to be available at various stations, but obviously there will be few patrols.  He says there were a few reports of stores that would be open on reduced hours for cash sales only.

He slept in the car the first night, hung around work.  Only two guys showed up yesterday, because they lived close by.  They brought him sandwiches and cookies.  He tried to sleep in the car last night, but it was too cold and uncomfortable.  Some time in the middle of the night he decided to walk home.  The streets are filled with cars, but there are almost no people around.  He met up with another guy who decided to walk home to the town before ours, so they walked together.  Everything was eerily quiet. 

So he's home, sore feet and tired, but otherwise no worse for wear.  He finishes his sandwich and goes to bed.

The boys eat their pancakes, I stack the plates.  I really need to wash dishes and clean the kitchen.  I fill a canning pot with bottled water from the spring and get #1 to take it out to the firepit.  It'll take awhile to heat.  I look in the freezer, and decide on steaks for supper.  Everything is still frozen.  The nights are cool, and our freezers are outside- one in the entranceway, the other in the garage.  With the nights dipping down to just below freezing they might be okay until spring.  Spring.  Did I seriously just think that?

Okay, I guess I need to think that way.  I get some paper and start making a to do list.  We don't have enough hay to make it until spring.  Casper, our steer, was supposed to go in the freezer anyway, sooner is better than later.  He can hang in the garage for a week or so, and by then it should be cool enough to freeze the meat outside.  If not, I'll have to smoke or can it.  We have a smoker, but we've never used it.  I did make jerky in the oven once, and I think I can replicate it on the woodstove.  I'll need an oven box to go on the woodstove, for baking too.  I'll need the woodstove in the house, for starters.  Our insurance company didn't like it, and made us take it out awhile ago.  Now I need it back in.  Except, I think I'll have the one my dad made in the house, and leave the manufactured one for the garage.  Dad's has a large flat top which will be better for cooking.  We should go in to town and see if the store has any propane left.  I could can on the propane cooker.  The turkeys need to be butchered.  That'll cut down on our feed needs.  We should really get to the feed store and see if we can get any feed now.

We need to dig the last of the potatoes, carrots and mangels.  The boys can do that now.  After they take the horses out back to graze.  They might as well eat what grass they can now.  The back isn't fenced, but the horses will generally stay within the natural tree line, at worst they'll be back up in the yard.  I tell them to get outside and get started. 

What else?  Starch.  We should dig up the cattails in the pond.  I have crabapples in the basement still waiting to be canned.  I should check the back field for pumpkins.  I know they didn't do well, but a little would be better than nothing.  We need more firewood.  Luckily, we filled all the jerry cans with gas last week for hunting.  We'll have to cut back on quad use and save the gas for chainsaws.

There's lots to do, nothing that wouldn't need to be done before winter anyway, but I suddenly feel like I need to rush.  I go out and check the water.  It's hot enough for dishes.  I take it in, put together another potato packet, and take it and the steaks outside.  It'll be an early supper, but I don't want to waste the wood.

I go inside and wash dishes and clean the kitchen.  The boys bring in buckets of root veggies.  More work to do.  We need sand to store them in.  I'll have to start picking it up on my hunting trips.

I wake Husband up when supper's ready.  We sit and eat and talk about the situation and everything that needs to be done.  He's still really tired, we'll start tomorrow.

He goes back to bed.  I wash dishes.  The boys do chores.  I go to bed with a book and read.


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