February 3rd, 2009

Winter, Renata Snowflake

The Weather

This week's topic over at therealljidol is Blanket and God is busily covering our local area in His fluffy white winter blanket of snow. It's very pretty. And it doesn't stick and drag and destroy the way the ice did.

I think Oskar has a cold. I mean, it sounds like he just sneezed. Twice. He hasn't eaten all the baby carrots yet, poor dear. So much yumm!

I finished Flood's sweater, but I don't think she likes it. She'll let me put it on her, but when she's not wearing it, she doesn't "ask" for it before going outside.

So, the weather. Kentucky got hit by an ice storm last week that left over a quarter of a million customers without power. That might be an interim, after some people got their power back, number. We lost our power on Tuesday night, and according to Tigger's TiVo, it came back on sometime on Saturday.

Critter was in town for a funeral. A coach from his high school died of cancer Friday before the storm, and the funeral was Tuesday. The ice started early early Tuesday morning, and freezing rain lasted for most of the day. Flar drove Critter to the funeral; Critter took Flar's copper walking stick, and using it as an ice-ax for walking in parking lots in his dress shoes.

When the power went out, we switched from watching House before putting in a Bond movie to playing Monopoly in the kitchen by candlelight assisted by the snow/ice ground reflection of Lexington light pollution. I went bankrupt first, then FLar, then Critter. We all went to bed expecting power back on in the morning, since we rarely lose power for long amounts of time.

When the power was still off on Wednesday, we went out in search of power, heat and the internet. I had Cici's gift certificates left over from Christmas, so we ate a late lunch there, and stayed long enough to charge up our laptops and phones. I got caught up on finances, including all our online accounts. Without power, Flar has to do manual dialysis exchanges throughout the day. When we went home for his exchange that afternoon, the boys split all of our firewood. Then we ventured out to gas up the car, look for kindling, and spend the early part of the evening at Panera.

When we got home Wednesday night, Critter went upstairs to pack while Tigger played Phase 10 (cards) with Flar and I. We had a nice warm fire in our bedroom fireplace, and after it got going, Flar even gave permission for the dogs to curl up on the floor beside my side of our bed. I brought in their pillow and a bunch of blanket so they could nest, as well as the big-enough-to-share water bowl. Critter came downstairs before Phase 10 was over, then after Flar and I crawled into bed, Critter and Tigger played Chess on the floor in front of the fireplace, snuggled up in their sleeping bags. Tigger won Phase 10 - he was a phase ahead of Flar and two phases ahead of me - and two out of three chess games against Critter.

Thursday, Flar was all set to try to drive to Louisville to work. That's when he found out that the ice cover over the Tahoe was almost an inch thick. He couldn't even get the door open. My car was (still is) at Powers to get a valve replaced in the turbo system, and the minivan was under its own layer of ice. Since the Audi was our only working car, Flar drove to Kinko's Fedex Office to work until his laptop ran down. He doesn't ordinarily take his work laptop home at all; he had it for an after-work meeting Monday night and hadn't bothered to bring the charger with him.

Flar picked up Chinese for lunch and then came to pick us up. Meanwhile, once the boys and I got up, we started undercovering cars. We got most of the ice off of the minivan and started in on the Tahoe before Flar got home. Then we all bundled into the car and drove over to Ro and Knight's to eat in warm, and get internet and power and even, *gasp* TV!

Critter's much delayed flight was finally departing on Thursday, so we took him to the airport after a couple of hours at Ro and Knight's. Flar and TIgger and I waited in the airport lobby until the flight departed, just in case. Bluegrass airport has free wifi, so I found out then about the Quad C chess tournament getting delayed. Thus, when TT called Tigger, desperate for company, Tigger was free to go over there for the remainder of the week. Fayette County cancelled school all week. Sayre had classes last Monday, but they closed the campus the rest of the week. After we got home from the airport, we drove the Audi and the minivan back to Ro and Knight's. Flar spent the evening with them, while I drove Tigger to TT's and then spend the night at work. I *meant* to quit at 8 hours, but somehow that last hour got away from me. I think I clocked 9.5 hours for my only night of work for the week.

Friday morning, I finished the job of freeing the Tahoe from the ice so that Flar could drive to Louisville. That woke me up thoroughly enough that I spent the rest of the morning bustling in the house to keep warm. I cleaned up the nest we had made in the bedroom and bathroom, and then tackled the jacuzzi top. The house lets in lots of light during the day, and I was determined for it to be a neater place, even if I couldn't wash dishes, run laundry, etc. I got all the non-powered housework done that I could find, and then it was time to go out to lunch with my life group buddies. We had yummy food at Chick-Fil-A and I accepted the offer of a small generator. While I was out, I checked on Scarlett and Bébé. They had power and were able to get in and out of their neighborhood, so they were fine.

That afternoon, I organized paperwork and put together some bills to mail. I picked up a long extension cord at Lowe's, to use with the generator. While I was there, I picked up a bundle of kindling. After a warm dinner at Panera, I went to the Mat. Flar spent the evening at Asuka after he got home from Louisville, and met me at home after the Mat. We decided to put off figuring out the generator until daylight, and then used the kindling to start a fire with the last of our firewood. We brought the dogs into the bedroom again, and had a nice candlelit night by the fire.

Saturday morning, as we could see our breath again, Flar declared that with the last of the firewood gone, we should "move our flag." I called around and found a place for the dogs, then we loaded up the car with Oskar, the dialysis machine, dialysate, toiletries and changes of clothes. We lunched at Waffle House, then moved into Flar's parents house. Before we left for Waffle House, worried by the graphic on the Herald Leader that seemed to imply that we had power, I called KU and re-reported our outage. On our way out of our neighborhood later, we saw KU trucks for the first time.

Scarlett and Bébé were very pleased to have us spend the night with them on Saturday night. I was relieved to not worry about the cold, but it was really too warm for me. My poor body just didn't know what temperature to adapt to. We shared our leftover Chinese with them for dinner, and talked into the evening. It was nice, but I'm afraid I just never feel "at home" there the way that Flar can.

When I got home from church on Sunday afternoon, Flar was just finishing up lunch with Scarlett and Bébé, I got to join them for dessert. After Flar got dressed, we set out to pick up TIgger and check on the house. The power was back on, so we drove back to S&B's and picked up all our stuff. We stopped on the way home at Wal-Mart to get basic foodstuffs.

During half-time, Flar and TIgger helped me clean out the fridge. There were a few things that had obviously turned; other items that we didn't trust on principle (mainly dairy), and lots of stuff that was okay. The freezers had maintained cold enough temperatures that we didn't lose anything out of them. We watched the Superbowl, which offered some pretty neat football this year, in between commercials. It didn't seem like there were as many great commercials this year. I think my favorite was the Budweiser Clydesdale series.

We're back on a normal schedule now, with Flar driving off to Louisville almost every day, Tigger at Sayre, and me at home. K got the house nice and clean yesterday; I got the laundry sorted and running and TIgger got the clean dishes all put away. I worked about three hours last night and expect my normal four days of work this week.

Last week was an unexpected vacation and adventure. I think we're going to take next week's school vacation as an opportunity to kick back and relax in the warm.

Pray for the people who were harder-hit by this storm, who are still struggling to keep warm without power. Pray for the men and women working hard to restore their power.