Tuesday, February 21, 2012

What a long day

It was such a long day that I never even made it out to the chicken coop to collect the eggs.  I got up this morning, got the kids off to school, and tried to open the garage door to get the truck out.  The door wouldn't open.  No power.  I tried the mud room light.  No power.  I went into the kitchen and looked at the microwave.  The clock wasn't lit.  Hum.  I wonder how long the power has been off?  I didn't even notice. 

It was on when I made the kids their breakfast because the kitchen light was turned on.  It got turned off as soon as they got away from the table so it had to have been sometime not long after that.   I think it's kind of nice that I didn't notice the electricity was off.  It would have been different in a house with the TV blaring or the music on.  We must not have used much water because unless it's in the pressure tank we won't get water with the power out.  I guess if I wanted to throw in a load of laundry I would have been out of luck.  (I can set up the handpump if needed though so a forever power outage won't stop our water supply.)

Anyway, I needed to head off to work even though the thought of no power always makes me wonder how large of an area is affected?  My street?  My town?  The entire Great Central Valley?  The state?  And for how long will the power be out?  I climbed onto the bumper of the pickup and reached for the cord to unhitch the garage door from the electric opener.  I pulled up the door and pulled out the truck.  I then had to get a ladder to reach the handle to close the door.  Why'd I open it all the way?  That was dumb.  I got the door closed, then flipped the latch to hook it back into the system.  If I didn't do that then anyone could just slide something under the door and roll it up.  No, I needed to lock it up.  I then had to go back into the house and go out through the back door. 

I was wondering where the power was out as I was driving down the street.  During the night a power outage is easy to spot.  It's dark.  During the day it's harder to tell.  I turned on the local news on the radio.  It came on so I knew there was power in the city.  They were talking about all the evils in the world and didn't focus on anything local.  As I drove by the corner gas stations I noticed that neither place was pumping gas.  That's a good indicator that the power was out there too.  I'd be able to tell if there were signals but the closest signal is 10 miles away.  At that point I was in the city.  They had power. 

I stopped by oldest daughter's house.  She wanted to show me their handiwork.  This included replumbing the shower, doing some drywall, painting, and her most prized work...having planted five fruit trees in her front yard.  This I had to inspect.  She got three of them planted perfectly.  The other two I started digging through her soil.  You need to get a shovel under these two trees and pull them up another six inches.  You did a beautiful job planting them BUT...you see this graft?  It has to be several inches above the soil line not below.  Otherwise you will have suckers growing up from them.  In fact, they will probably grow so vigorously that they will kill off the grafted tree and you will have something growing that you don't want to have growing.  Not too often do I give advice without being asked.  But in this case, she knew that I was the expert and she wasn't and I knew that she'd do exactly as I said.  So the advice, or rather the order was given.  I'm sure the next time I'm over there I'll see five perfectly planted fruit trees.

Then I headed to the office.  The kids didn't have religious school this afternoon.  Their teacher is out of state.  I let the kids stay for the after school day care program.  This meant I could work at the office for a full day.  And I did.  I got to the office at 8:30 and I left at 5:30.  I didn't take a lunch break; I just worked.  It was just one of those days.  At least it wasn't like the other day when I had three "emergencies" in a row.  The worst was "I remember a burial was right in your project area but I can't quite remember where."  Nothing like a needle in a haystack, or in that case a few bones in a 1000 acre project. 

I made it home a few minutes before the kids got home.  As I was driving in the dark I wondered if the electricity had come back on.  If not, no big deal.   I would have to open the garage from the inside instead of pushing the garage door opener on the sun visor in my truck.  I just wouldn't be running the dishwasher or doing a load of laundry before heading off to bed.  Dinner would be easy.  My stove is propane.  The lights came on, the garage door opened. 

We ate dinner and I got the kids off to bed.  I don't like days that they stay after school.  Supposedly they get their homework done there.  They get home, eat dinner, and head off to bed.  Not a good way to nurture a family...but it seems that's the way the schools like it...they want to be the family and the home is just the place that you sleep.  Around here the schools feed breakfast, lunch, and after school snack.  There's a couple schools in town that feed dinner too.  Who needs families??? 

During dinner I asked the kids what special vegetables they wanted to grow in the garden this year.  They both voted down radishes.  I think I'll plant Japanese radish rather than the little round red radishes.  Boy wanted lots of cabbage.  Girl wanted carrots.  Isn't it great that kids sit around and discuss what vegetables they like the best?  Can't get that out of too many city kids.

When I put Boy to bed he always says the same questions.  1.  Do I have to still work?  2.  What time am I going to bed?  3.  See you in the morning, God willing.  He's so sweet. 

Yes I had to work some more.  Even though it was a long day, Boy has his doctor appointment tomorrow to take the brace off which means less working for me.  I'm sure glad at times I'm able to work a flexible schedule except sometimes all it seems that I do is work.  I'd rather be out in the garden.  I can't wait for the weekend!


  1. Sounds like the big western storm hit ya and knocked out the power. I won't say you were without a clue but how cool it was it just didn't matter much to you. A few extra steps perhaps putting a couple things off. No freak out and no panic is totally awesome.
    I have prepared for the storm that is supposed to be a bit windy. Batteries charged up, cleaning that takes power done, generator and power cords ready to go and anything that can fly around put in the shop or tied down.
    I find myself kind of looking forward to a storm as it gives me a chance to practice and try out new stuff.
    The new captcha for blogger really sucks!

  2. I too would rather garden, fix fence, feed the livestock, gather eggs, can and bake...I'm not liking this WORK stuff.

  3. It may sound crazy, but I love it when the power goes out. I simply plug into the back up solar DC system I have, fire up the inverter and watch TV. We have backup solar lights (DC) throughout the house. Until the solar pump is installed, I just fire the generator for all services. I have neighbors that have a "solar system" on there home. For some reason it doesn't work when the powers off....They drive to Fresno and get a motel room when the power is out long term. I guess I won't have to worry about them when TSHTF.........They will go to town, most likely to NEVER return!! Sad, but true......

    All I have to say is get in touch with your camping side !!

    G.I. JIM