Sunday, January 31, 2016

stormpalooza 2016

we knew earlier last week that "stormpalooza 2016" was gonna blow up on most of atlantic canada this past friday. we went about our normal chores each day and got set up to enjoy stormpalooza and make sure we got everything ready for an extended power outage. we have a tried and true list that works for us in our surroundings. which is why we don't panic.

ryobi lanterns and all flashlights - check. all 12 batteries charged - check.

generator filled up, in fine working condition, extra gas handy - check. 10 million candles - check. two big bins of water in the bathtub - check. four 5-gallon jugs of berkey-filtered rainwater - check (in fact we always have the 4 jugs filled - jambaloney is pretty fastidious about that!). and as we were expecting a ton of snow - we could have used melted snow (quick fact - our first winter here, our pipes froze and for 2 weeks we had no running we melted snow for bathing, for cleaning dishes and general cleaning and used filtered rainwater for drinking. no biggee. we made it just fine!).

extra blankets - check. several pairs of warm socks, sweaters, pants - check. first aid kit checked and ready - check. kerosene lanterns filled and on the ready - check. kerosene heater in the basement filled and on the ready -check. the usual. we don't lose power often but we do get snowed in for extended periods of time, so we are kind of used to this.

on thursday we woke up to almost bare ground.

looking down the road to the river:

on thursday i made a steak and kidney pie:

delicious when hot, but also delicious eaten cold as leftovers during a power outage.

we wanted to have some food on hand for the storm that didn't require much effort. i also made a giant pot of chili.

easily re-heated on our butane stove during the power outage (note: that is some of the chili out of the big pot and put in a little pot).

on friday, we filled our cooler and put whatever refrigerated food that we thought we would enjoy during the power outage in it. and because we live where we live, we just threw the cooler out in the snow. can't do better than that for refrigeration. the reason for doing so is so that during a power outage we won't open the freezer or refrigerator and that will save any food inside of either for several days. if we had an extended power outage, we would take all of the frozen food from the freezer and bury it in snow. but that has never happened. however, it is something that we have thought about and planned for.

when we woke up friday morning waiting for the storm to start, it looked like this.

all the little goldfinches came to get a good meal before the storm started.

and then it started. it was quite magical.

friday night we lost our power at about 8:30pm. no worries - we busted out the big guns - sweaters, socks - no need for the generator just yet as we had turned up the heat full-tilt-boogie during late afternoon so that the house was really warm.

the we busted out the bigger guns - cards and hangman. we are easily entertained when we have no power.

we woke up on saturday to this majesty:

we didn't get very much snow at all! birds were fed and cat paths all around the house were promptly cleared.

because it was so sunny, it melted the cat paths down to the dirt. and also kept the house warm. no need for the generator.

then jam jumped on the atv and plowed the driveway.

the sun slowly going down on saturday evening - beautiful!

now kids - here is a prepping topic that never gets raised on other prepper/survivalist blogs. and it is an important topic that no one ever seems to touch on - not rawles, not Harry Flashman, not PioneerP - in fact none of them have ever done a single post about a very important part of being prepared during a snowstorm/power outage situation!!! i felt it was time that someone finally touched on this topic!!!

you may be out of power and buried in a pile of white stuff and can't out for 3-5-9-11 or whatever days - but please kids - be fashionable.

that's me wearing my minnie mouse onsie and furry pink and black boots - jam got it for me and i finally had the perfect opportunity to use it!!! bahahahahah! it has ears and a pink bow on the hood! (quick fact: my father called me "Mini" right up until the day he died).

on saturday evening we turned on the generator and ran two small heaters for a little while and then busted out the scrabble board.

as you can see, we are mavens of word creation!

then we grabbed some of our Harrowsmith magazines - they are the canadian version of Mother Earth News and these magazines - some of which are 30 yrs old still contain information that helps us, teaches us and makes us remember things we may have forgotten!!! we re-read these magazines every winter! jam's mom and stepdad gave them to us before we even left the city. we love those magazines and we have at least 10yrs worth of them - of the earliest years when the magazine was best in my opinion.

and then at 7:30pm...BLINK - the power was back. Nova Scotia Power is the best power company on the planet with 30 minute updates during all power outages - you just call in to get your update.

which brings me to another important prepping for a power outage point: have an unpowered, push-button phone (and a back and a backup)! because we have this kind of phone (and the backups), we can call in for updates all day and all night.

anyway - we partied because we had our power back. but we didn't get our internet back until today at about noon.

today when we got up, it looked like this.

so we had our morning juice, fed and pet cats, fed the birds, cat paths were cleared again, and jambaloney cleared the driveway lickety-split. tomorrow is supposed to be 7C (about 45F) and that will get the driveway and cat paths down to bare ground again. and then we just wait for the next snowfall.

we had a great experience during this power outage in the sense of practice for another one. we don't get a lot of power outages here - which is amazing! but we never panic when we do. we always know about them in advance and get ready for it. there was no driving in to town in the middle of the week in order to stock up. there was no panic at all. the only panic was when i though jambaloney was going to beat me at scrabble - bahahahahah!

after jam finished his shoveling/plowing, and i finished making some food for us - we sat down and had a nice dinner of "kymberz version of tabouleh salad adding extra stuff and leaving other stuff out" salad and some "just-fresh-boiled-and-then-put-in-the-snow-boiled-eggs".

i plan on doing a post about the importance of sprouts in your diet and what better way to introduce that upcoming post than this:

Frankie-Blue-Eyes sleeping on the sprouter. i have received many compliments on how fresh our sprouts look and i guess now - you all know my secret! bahahahahah!

we had a great weekend, power or no power, and we hope that you enjoyed yours too!


  1. Lumber - I didn't recognise you in clothes bwahahaha. You look very fetching in your Minnie Mouse outfit. You're quite right, why do none of the survival blogs touch on this topic?

    1. Damn auto correct - that was meant to start kymber lololol

    2. Damn auto correct - that was meant to start kymber lololol

    3. bahahahah! i have been called many things in my life Dani - but i have never been called lumber - bahahahahah! and yes- fashion should play a larger role in survival world! sending love. can't believe you called me Lumber - bahahahahahah! xox

  2. You make me excited for snow just reading all about your storm. Your preparedness is awesome, I can see why you've no need to panic. Minnie suits you too! x

    1. thanks Kirsty! we had some serious scares here during our first winter here - pipes blowing up, pipes freezing, the whole house shaking in the wind - but we learned a lot from that winter and learned what worked for us. everyone is in a different locale, and everyone needs to figure out what works best for them. i love my Minnie onsie - thanks hon! sending much love to you and yours! xoxo

  3. Glad to see you survived intact. That's quite an outfit. You should get something in a contrasting color for HIM. lol

  4. Cute pic of you. I have 2 jars of sprouts going right now. gives winter a bit of zing! keep warm

  5. Heh. Sounds like you guys were prepared!!! Good for you!!!

    Now....A couple of questions and/or observations...

    10 million candles really?

    What or who is JEK?

    Those are some stylin jammies.

    Aren't all push button phones powered? I thought you had to have a rotary phone if there is no power in the line?

    Who or what is JEK?

    How much snow do you have to melt to fill a bath tub? And did ya share?

    Who or what is JEK?

    What ever happened to your duck?

    Thank you that is all

  6. Glad your safe and warm. Our winter this year is mild, no complaints from me. As a suggestion on placing food in the snow, would it be safer to put the snow into the coolers outside so critters don't get to any of it??

    Have a good week, my depression is in over drive do to many issues. hugs to you both.

  7. There is no reason for fashion sense to go out the window in a snow storm is there! ou will have started a trend! Oh I still have my Harrowsmith magazines...did you ever get Equinox as well? Great Canadian Mags!

  8. Hey Gurlie...
    everyone needs a onsie. I love the way you rock

    thanks for the great post, and another reason why we prep. right when I think we have everything covered, I read someone elses blog about things they have done or stocked, and I am like " oh yea....good idea"
    I find the biggest thing people forget is toiletries.

    The pics are gorgeous, and all the food looked good, I hope JEK loved his or her kidney pie.. : )

    Much love to you and Jam and hugs sent to you both

  9. i have read and heard of steak and kidney pie but have no idea where to get kidneys. figure they go into dog food here.
    we had been married about two years when my husband challenged my word. you lose 50 points if you challenge and are wrong.
    he asked what it meant and i told him look it up.
    he did, it was a real word!
    i asked what it meant and he read the definition.
    he was not going to subtract the 50 from his score.
    i made him do it.
    just because i made it up but it turned out to be real doesn't mean he wasn't wrong when he challenged!

    sorry about caps. stray little finger.

  10. Kymber! What a great preparedness tip! LOL

    I'm glad you didn't get the worst of the storm and were no worse for the wear. You two did an extremely good job of staying comfortable!

  11. Great review on how to prepare...for whatever, Kymber. Thanks! Fern

  12. I'm always amazed at the panic around here when they are forecasting a big storm (and they are tonight for us) and all the racing around to stock up on bread and milk. I never understood why bread and milk when I'm pretty sure I can go weeks without either and the longest I've ever been without power here is about 10 hours. Perhaps if more people got mini mouse onsies, they would be more relaxed!

  13. You would laugh yourself silly here. The mere threat of something terrible like an inch of snow promotes every sort of foolishness known to man.

    The kidney pie looks good. Is there a comparable taste?

    Much love, TB

  14. I'm honored to be included in such distinguished company. You're quite right, I never considered any protocols for dressing. I like your mouse outfit. I think I will get me a ferret suit and get my wife something like a hedgehog, and spin off on your idea. You make one great looking mouse, I must say.

    The games are a great idea. I never really gave much thought to entertainment, but that's a lot more calming than spending all the time listening to the scanners and local radio. This was a really good post, Kymber. Not just some good ideas to ponder but fun to read as well.

  15. Sweet Kymber,
    I so understand why your Father called you Mini, you look so adorable in your onsie. Thank you for posting on surviving a snow storm. One must have something to keep themselves busy when you lose power, and it's down right cold outside. Like games, reading a good book, making something crafty with our hands. Backup power and light are essential, along with keeping warm and having a full belly.

    I love your snow pictures, I can vicariously live through you in the cold up there.
    Sending hugs, and love to you both.
    Your Friend,