Thursday, November 22, 2012

November 22, 2012 - Our Thanksgiving

As it is just the two of us (and Maggie, of course), our holidays are typically low-key.  That does not mean, however, that we don’t do ‘em up right.

Thanksgiving flowers for table

I found this bouquet at the market yesterday when doing last-minute shopping.

There are no crews here today and that means no alarm clock.  Even without that, we were still up by 7:00 AM.  The turkey breast was in the oven not long after that, and Dave set off on a bike ride around eleven o’clock.  My day was spent in the kitchen preparing our holiday dinner.  I did get in my walk while things were in the oven, and Maggie joined me for part of that.

Thanksgiving table

Our table

Thanksgiving dinner


This year I have so much for which to be thankful.  My continued life on this Earth and sharing it with the love of my life and wee Maggie; our home; our lifestyle; our work; my blood family and extended family . . . being physically able to prepare a meal such as the above and being able to partake of it and having the finances to buy the food for such a dinner.

The list goes on and on.

We take this day to share with others what we are grateful for in our lives.

Shouldn’t every day be a day of thanksgiving?

Perhaps not voicing it in our blogs, Facebook or Twitter, but in our own hearts and minds?

I hope you and yours have had a safe and wonderful day filled with love, laughter, the making of sweet memories and, of course, good food!

Thanks for stopping by!


I am a Warrior.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

November 8, 2012 - Hurricane Sandy - Day 11


The Nor’easter was essentially a nonevent here last night.  During the day yesterday we had some rain and sleet which turned to wet snow in the afternoon, lasting overnight.  There was no accumulation.  The winds were a bit gusty and rather chilly today, but overall the temperature was up a bit.

We were alone here at the site today.  I went to the rec center around 11 AM for a much appreciated, long, hot shower.  Even though we are dressed appropriately (Dave and I both have insulated overalls) and our RV is indeed well-insulated, it was simply one of those days yesterday with a damp chill that it was just hard to get warm.  That shower this morning felt darn good.

Between us, Dave and I saw four different gas stations without fuel for sale today.  Things are far from the usual normal in the area at this point.

Shortly after I arrived home from my shower, I saw this.

Power truck convoy

This beautiful convoy of eight power trucks pulled into the driveway of the property!  What a sight to behold!  I went out to meet them and, sure enough, they were here to help us.


Within 30 minutes, they had us lit.  I turned off both generators, rigged the office trailer to hook our RV back in, checked the pump down in the pump house and bingo!  We had power and water!  (Dave was out grabbing some much-needed bike time to maintain what little sanity he had left at this point.) 


Tomorrow I can do laundry and start putting back together our home and the office.  Things have been a’clutter around here during the outage.  My office is how I left it – in hurricane mode – when we evacuated.  With no power (no heat, no lights) there was no sense in trying to mess with it.  Now that we have power, I can see if the cable Internet is working.

Earlier today Dave suggested we go to the Perkins Restaurant for breakfast Saturday as a wee treat.  Yum!  He doesn’t have to ask me twice!

Tonight we are absolutely chilling out.  I can take a shower before bed as is my usual routine.  We can turn in early if we want; no more staying up until 11 PM to refuel the generator.  Tomorrow I can put on fresh clothes.  I have been wearing the same insulated overalls (changing my top and other items) since the Monday Sandy blew through.  I have a second pair but was saving them in case these became totally disgusting and I needed clean ones.  That’s probably TMI, but there ya go; that’s the reality of the situation.

Our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to those still without power and the basic comforts.  So many have lost so much and we keep them close. Even those we work with had a foot of snow overnight, are once again without power and have more trees down on their properties.

Thanks for stopping by!


I am a Warrior.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

November 7, 2012 - Insecure Writers Support Group


It’s time yet once again for a post as part of the Insecure Writers Support Group.

We are wrapping up Day 9 without power and water.  Yes, we have a generator and are fine right now for bottled water.  (Thanks to the volunteers at Wal-Mart distributing free water the other day!)

Our days are focused on maintaining power to our RV, keeping ourselves and our wee doggie Maggie warm.  My writing efforts are limited to updating my blog chronicling our life on the road as full-time RVers.  I invite you to visit and follow along at Phoenix Once Again for a view of life before, during and after the Hurricane Sandy/Nor’easter combo.

Thanks so much for visiting!  Now go write!


I am a Warrior.

Monday, November 5, 2012

November 5, 2012 - Hurricane Sandy - Days 7 and 8 Off the Grid


Our days now revolve around power.  Here’s our daily routine:

7:00 AM:  Turn off generator and refill its tank.  Turn it back on to do breakfast, recharge various devices and get on Internet.

If needed, Dave goes in search of gas to refill our gas cans.

11:30 AM:  Turn off generator.

Around 4:30 PM:  Turn on generator.

10:30 PM:  Turn off generator, refill its tank and turn back on for the overnight shift.  Nights are below freezing, so we must keep the rig warm enough for us, Maggie and for our pipes, etc. 

7:00 AM:  Repeat the cycle.

It’s a juggling act keeping cell phones, laptops, batteries for the industrial-grade flashlights we use and other items charged.  This is charged; plug that in.  Repeat as necessary.

We’re also without water as we’re on a well here, so we’re very conservative with what we do use.

We are trying to stretch our power resources (generator, RV battery, propane) by using this rotation.


Day 7 Off the Grid

Dave left before 7 AM and was lucky to score some gas for our cans.  At Wal-Mart he also got four free cases (three one-gallon jugs per case) of water.  Volunteer workers encouraged him to take more water and some ice, but he declined; there are others who are in more need than us.

Neighbors across the street were so very gracious in allowing me to do a load of laundry – socks, undershirts, thermals and underwear.

Dave went to the Riegel Ridge Fitness Center to take of advantage  of a free shower.

I really don’t remember much else, but I know we stayed pretty busy until evening.


Day 8 (Today) Off the Grid

Day 8 matches our previous record off the grid which occurred during last year’s Nor’easter.  Looks like Dave gets his wish to break our record.

5:30 AM:  Awakened from an extremely deep slumber by a phone call from a power company lineman sitting at the gate needing onto the property.  He was going to begin preliminary steps to restoring power.

I was in a total zombie state all morning after being jolted awake.   Dave resumed clearing the property of fallen branches and larger limbs.  I fielded a few business calls and felt very out of it.

11:45:  It was my turn to boogie up to the fitness center for a luxurious hot shower and I knew I would feel better after showering.  One of the ladies at the reception desk remembered me from last year’s Nor’easter.  It was good to have a wee yap session with other women; that’s what I miss most about our situation here. 

While showering, my phone rang.  I wasn’t about to interrupt my luxuriating under the hot water, so when I checked my voicemail, Dave said there were about five power company trucks on the property.  They were here to continue the process of getting power back online, although we still have no idea when we will be restored.

Nov 5 at Fitness Center

Sunshine greeted me on exiting the fitness center for the first time in over a week!

My next stop was the market, where I picked up a few more provisions in view of the Nor’easter scheduled to blow in here Tuesday night/Wednesday.

The last of the power crew left the property just a few minutes ago.  They were mostly from Virginia, but also from Tennessee and North Carolina.  Told those guys how much we appreciate them coming up to help out.


Tonight is Guy Fawkes Night in Scotland and we wanted to have a campfire, even a wee one for a wee while.  Dave has wood prepared, and at this writing is going to see if the wind has died down enough to do so safely.

I will say that the company we are contracted to is working on a plan so we don’t get caught without power in the future.  I’ll also say that our security company is working to help us out financially a bit in the interim; we are forking out a lot of money right now for gas to keep us with power.

We didn’t plan to boondock, but we are; don’t look for us at Quartzite or on BLM land in Arizona.  We’re coping and very grateful for what we have, but we’re not incorporating boondocking into our RV lifestyle.

This was long and I apologize, but it was two days’ worth and then some. 

Our hearts, thoughts and prayers are with our brothers and sisters who continue to suffer, to cope with losses I dare not attempt to comprehend and to bravely rebuild their lives.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

I am a Warrior.




Friday, November 2, 2012

November 2, 2012 - Hurricane Sandy - Days 4 and 5


Day 4 – Thursday

Gas Lines Day 4

This photo was taken across the street from a large Quick Chek convenience store/gas station in town. The store is behind the blue dump truck and actually even off the photo, a bit to the left.  If you enlarge the photo, you’ll see a long line of cars waiting for gas.  This was taken in the late afternoon on Thursday.  The same scene was being played out at every station in the area that was open.

That’s all I’m going to say about Thursday except that it was a depressing and somewhat scary day, reading about the gas shortages, seeing it firsthand, seeing folks driving foolishly and dangerously,  and wondering if we would be able to keep our generator and ourselves going and, if so, for how long.

Day 5 – Friday

After coffee this morning, I called around to see who had gas.  Our usual local places didn’t even answer the phone and the Quick Chek mentioned above was out.  I called the TA truck stop on I-78 where we get propane.  The guy said they did, but the line was starting to get long.  Dave set out and was successful in filling our empty gas cans and the company truck.  He said it was pretty much a mess with semi’s going in and out of the truck stops and cars waiting in line for gas.

Cell phone service is better, but not yet 100% reliable.

I contacted the company who supplies propane and other gases to the mill; if I let them know about 24 hours beforehand, they can come fill our tanks.

Our main concern is getting gas for the generator.  Now we have enough to get through Monday morning, if we are conservative with our usage.

We then ventured out to the grocery store and were able to get food provisions, mainly soups and other dry types of meals.  I was lucky to find milk, eggs, cheese and some ground meat.  We stocked up pretty well because . . .

There is the possibility – or probability – that we will see the effects of a Nor’easter next week.  Even with a bit of ice, we will most likely lose power.  (Not that we have power right now . . .)   Of course, we lose power here sometimes even when it’s a nice day out!  I wanted to get a preliminary stock of provisions today versus over the weekend or at the last minute when everyone else would be shopping and already limited supplies would be diminished.

Although our onboard tank shows 3/4 full, we stocked up on bottled water today, too.  We are being very frugal.  We both had very quick showers Wednesday night.

Yep, today’s Friday.  We could use a wash.  Thank goodness for Handi Wipes!  That may have been TMI, sorry.

After returning home, there were still things to be done.  Fill the gen, crank it up.  Drain our water hose and disconnect it from the rig in case of freezing.  Check on a couple of things in the mill for the office down in Hamilton.  Things like that.

We did see this today . . .

First JCPL Truck on Property Day 5

This is the first JCPL truck on the property!  What a beautiful sight!  Unfortunately, they were here just to cut off a broken live wire and then had to go down the road to Finesville; there was a hot wire on the ground that had to be taken care of immediately.  I was told we probably will have power tomorrow; I’m thinking realistically that means Sunday or Monday if we’re lucky.

These guys are working hard; one of the linemen said they are provided two hot meals a day but they had been skipping lunch and just having dinner around 8 PM and working until 11 PM.  You bet I expressed our gratitude!  Even if we do not have power yet, they are getting power back to the area in general faster than after the Nor’easter in October of last year and faster than after Hurricane Irene last year.

Last week I had made stew and put some in the freezer.  It survived Sandy, so it thawed yesterday and tonight we had our first “real” hot meal since Monday’s breakfast.

Stew Day 5

Totally yummy with a bit of bread

Now we’re just chilling out; we’re both pretty dang tired.  The community center up the hill is open with free showers, so we will both take advantage of that tomorrow.

Well, hey, we just noticed that lights are back at the park across the street and in surrounding homes.  Our site is always the very last to have power restored.

Maybe tomorrow . . .

Thanks so much for stopping by!


I am a Warrior.