Well, sure enough we lost power in today's windstorm. No surprise there.
The surprise was that the electricity was on for as long as it was, because let me tell you the wind was screaming. I had a day filled with little emergencies - re-staking our young fruit trees (HOW could I have forgotten them during yesterday's preparation?), re-securing the huge double doors on my husband's shop that tore loose from two secure moorings, that kind of thing. I thought the door to Matilda's milking parlor, which I normally prop open with a cinder block so animals can have access to it during the day, was going to rip off its hinges, so I closed it and opened the inside gate to the rest of the barn, giving more room to the other livestock.
And then around 2 pm, the power went off. No problem. The woodstove was warm and toasty and I brought our baby chicks downstairs to stay warm near it. (Oh. Didn't I mention we have some baby chicks? Sorry - photos posted below.) We had just topped off our propane tanks a couple weeks ago, so we could cook and heat water. I had lots of fresh water stored on hand to wash dishes and make tea and flush the toilet. The kerosene lamps were ready to go.
But our neighbors arrived home to a cold house. Worse, they had no way to heat the house, no way to light it, no way to cook any food. We ended up having them over for dinner and pleasant conversation until the power came back on at 7 pm.
And this short interruption in our every day electrical service underscored the importance of preparedness. Of course we can't plan for every contingency, but we sure as heck should be able to plan for short interruptions in our daily comforts without going cold and hungry. Another, more prepared neighbor has what she calls the Rule of Threes - two backups for every critical item of day-to-day comfort. (They didn't even know the power was off because they're off-grid.)
It's not a bad idea. For example, when the power went out, our cordless phone died. I plugged in our second backup - a corded phone, which worked perfectly. I also had a cell phone, our third backup. See? Rule of three.
Once we have our wood cookstove hooked up, we'll have a backup for our propane stove and our woodstove. Rule of three. We're still very, very vulnerable in many areas, but we're trying.
Here are our baby chicks. The yellow ones are meat birds (Cornish crosses) which will be ready to butcher in two months. The rest are layers.
Lydia didn't know what to make of these things.
When the power went out, we brought the chicks downstairs and put their box next to the woodstove to keep warm, with a firescreen around it to keep the dogs out.
This didn't prevent our dog Major from puzzing about the peeping noise coming from the box.
The wind kicked up a lot of blowing dust, which gave the landscape a weird silvery glow.
Lydia lies out in the wind, enjoy a little late afternoon sunshine.