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Posts Tagged ‘Survival’

Some folks just don’t like to be touched.

Some trees don’t like it either.

Thorny Tree Trunk in San Diego, California

Thorny Tree Trunk in San Diego, California

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I love snowstorms and I don’t even ski or skate.  I just get so excited at the prospect of the world changing.

And this morning we definitely got a changed world her in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. I call it The BIG Snowstorm, because I suppose it is the largest amount of snowfall we have had this year.  Well, this year is still in its infancy.  But this is definitely a BIG SNOWSTORM!

We have lost power of course.  And how lovely to have the wood stove perking away and a little generator that provides us with the basics – like water when we need it.  I know, winter storms can be burdensome but this one is more like an adventure – for the moment.

Naturally, I had to brave the elements and take photos.  With the wind and snow blowing in my face and the sounds of cracking trees in our adjacent forest, I really did feel brave.  Rozie, the dog, followed me but aimed for home in a run when she thought I was ready.  I also discovered there is a tree down across the road so we can’t even get out until Bill minces it up with his chain saw.

Here’s what it looked like an hour ago and the snow is STILL COMING DOWN!   Oh my.  It’s a whole new world.

Sagging Maple TreeMemories of Summer 1

Sagging Crepe Myrtle Tree

Picnic Anyone

Down the Road

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Your home is on fire.  Grab five items (assume all people and animals are safe).  What did you grab?

I love this Daily Prompt because it made me want to clearly define “essential.”  And here is what I grabbed:

1)      My purse since it is a link to and protection from the world.  Who can do without lipstick, a hairbrush, mirror, hand sanitizer, some cash, a credit card, a cell phone and a camera?  I am assuming a handbag counts as one item to grab.  Maybe I should carry my Kindle in there too, and some daily food and drink.   I think I need a bigger purse now.

2)      The Emergency Fire box containing important documents, even though I have forgotten which documents are in there.

3)      My Computer for all the old family photographs that can be reprinted.  And I think I put photos of all our furniture in a computer file too (in case of a fire).  I can also keep blogging if I have my computer!

4)      My Bag of Chargers to keep all my electronic gadgets going – cell phone, computer, Kindle reader.  Must not forget the charger things.

5)      A Winter Coat, depending on the weather. Or a bathing suit.  Who knows, I could wind up in a motel with a heated pool.  Or I could head south and lounge on a beach whilst waiting for the house to be rebuilt!

This prompt really got me thinking because it is not only a grand writing exercise, but I realize I do need to update things.  For instance, I should add more family photos to my computer files because it would be easier to retrieve one computer than to lug all the albums out.  Besides, this prompt calls for five grab-items and I have at least 40 albums!

I thought of adding a change of clothes to the must have grab list, but I don’t have a change of clothes waiting and ready.  What exactly is in our “fire box” anyway?  I should check that too and add more papers to forget.  And how important is the winter coat or the bathing suit?  I guess I had visions of standing out in the snow watching my house burn.  Talk about a nightmare!  But, I have my purse so I could conceivably buy needed clothing.

Is there something else I should grab that would be more important?  I know we are only supposed to choose five items and the people in my life are assumed safe, but I would definitely grab my husband (and maybe send him back inside) because he could grab five more items!

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“…Water, water, everywhere,

And all the boards did shrink;

Water, water, everywhere,

Nor any drop to drink. …”

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Ah, it’s summertime in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.  A glorious time of year!

But, the summer sun is oddly elusive this season.  There has been so much rain that the normally scorched earth by mid August has stayed verdant green right up to our September Labor Day when it rained “buckets” again.   And tomorrow it will pour since we are now in a so called trough.  And so it will be into the next day and possibly the next.

Yes, we are continually surrounded by driving rain and enough falling water to float Noah for 40 more days and nights.  And yet, there is nothing to drink in our tucked away cottage on the edge of an enchanted forest.   And we must improvise since our water pump just decided to quit.

Wasn’t the Derecho Enough?

Our Enchanted Forest
After the Derecho

Wasn’t it bad enough we went through the Derecho storm just a few weeks ago and were without power for five days? We were waterless then too but a generator magically produced enough for survival.  But wasn’t that evil storm sufficient to remind us of the perils in country living?   Now here we are again hauling in buckets of that life giving fluid.   It didn’t rain enough buckets today for flushing you-know-what.  I suppose I am too old to actually say “toilets.”   There are limits to the tawdry use of language.  I do wonder why “toilet-water” is acceptable though.  I am talking about real toilet-water here of course…. the kind you flush!

Anyway, this fine wet Labor Day morning I scoured our home improvement store for large portable empty containers to hold water at the ready for the above embarrassing purpose.  No one in the store ever heard of large water containers.

I then stumbled around town trying to word my request in an understandable way. “Do you know where I can find large containers to hold water?  Our water pump gave up and we want to bring in water from the rain or the neighbors or a pool.”   Would you believe I got blank looks at this question?  Is there a clearer way to word it?  Eventually I was miraculously led to the camping department in Walmart, where there were exactly two 6-gallon storage containers available.  Hurrah!  They are now sold out.  I suppose I was lucky at that since if the super store ever had any inventory of containers, they probably sold down to these two during the Derecho.

Forget Labor on Labor Day

It’s Labor Day where I live.  My calls to Pump people and the local Farmer’s Cooperative ring and ring even as I yell into the receiver, “Pick Up PLEASE!”  Maybe if I had sent them a Happy Labor Day card, they might have remained open?  I tend to blame myself for failure – anybody’s failure.

There is one good thing to come of all this water loss in the midst of deluge, and that is, we are, at long last, getting used to surviving in the country.  And we have lived here for 24 years.  I actually saved a bunch of survival tips in a book since I expected a pandemic a year or so ago.  If you have any questions, I will be glad to share.   Here are some of my Water Tips.

You can drain your car radiator for water – if you can figure out where the radiator is.

The water in your you-know-what tank is actually clean and can be used for drinking – I think.   I hope.

You can sterilize the you-know-what water or creek water with drops of bleach – I have forgotten how many drops to how much water.  I think it was three drops per gallon.

You can boil creek water – I am not sure for how long or where the creek is.

You should have cans of peaches available for the liquid – why wouldn’t pears do?

There should be a gallon of water for each per person per day for drinking and cleansing.

I have a whole lot of other tips in a book I created to get ready for a pandemic that never arrived.  One tip I do remember is to put a chain across your road and a sign that says “Beware – Flu Here” even if you are perfectly healthy.

I will keep you posted on the water problem at my place and whether or not we resorted to sterilizing the water in the you-know-what!

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