Friday, January 30, 2009

Winter Blunderland

We have power! I never thought about those three words having such great meaning until having spent the better part of a week without. No power means: no heat, no hot water, no clean laundry, no lights, no baking, no email, and no TV. The upside to this (yes, there is always an upside- so far anyways) is that we were reminded of how important other people are to us. Yeah, yeah, here I go getting all Hallmark card-ish, but it's true. I cannot imagine living in the days before electricity, but I can imagine they had a much greater sense of community and much closer relationships.
It all started on Monday, with 40 something degree cloudy weather. A little mist started falling, as did the temperatures, and it all went downhill from there. We closed shop at 4:00pm just as the roads were getting a little bit slick. Tuesday morning, we awoke to iced trees - which was very beautiful. By that afternoon, most of Northwest Arkansas had lost power. And while we now have power, something like 53% of our area still does not and may not until next week or later.
So we reverted to how we lived in this house before heating & air - kerosene heater to heat the living room, multiple layers of clothing & a hat to sleep in, and showering at my in-laws (gas water heater vs. our electric one). Since we rarely get weather like this, most people were pretty unprepared. Generators around here are used for camping trips, not winter survival, and honestly I can't remember the last time we lost power for more than a few hours. I think I must have been in elementary school.
Now for the interesting part...the pictures!

Natalie, who is 2 1/2, did really well, except when we would get in the car. She HATED the tree branches hitting the car, which as you can see was sometimes unavoidable. Now, even though the roads are cleared, she starts saying "no more trees, no more tree branches" as soon as we get in. Coming home tonight to a brightly lit, warm house seemed to make her day. It was bedtime, and she was literally climbing into her crib herself - she was so glad to have things back to normal. She did not enjoy sleeping in her hat and robe, and she greatly missed her nightlight and the fan we run for white noise. And while sleeping with mom and dad seemed like such a novel idea before, she had quickly decided that three was too much of a crowd for her.

We were very lucky, we only had small amounts of damage. Our trees all lost loads of limbs, but no total losses. One limb took out a chunk of our picket fence, but just in a small section. The worst seems to be where the roof leaked a bucketful in the landing, causing the drywall to bulge and paint to peel off in sheets. We managed to move the cars in time to avoid falling limbs and the closest call seems to be where a branch gashed a kitchen window screen on the way down. Other than that, we are unscathed. There will be a heck of a lot of cleanup though - so many tree limbs down. Firewood anyone?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Poor Old Cat

We have two cats - Lily, a Siamese-ish looking one who is skittish, quirky, somewhat strange, but very sweet & gentle cat, and Molly, who is a bossy but sweet Tabby who LOVES our two year old. They are pals, siblings, play buddies, and rivals. Lily, on the other hand, does not like kids in general, but is very tolerant and very gentle with Natalie. Lily will simply run off and hide when she has had enough - a definite delight to the toddler who likes to chase her!

So I'm in the kitchen cooking dinner, and Natalie is pestering Lily. Lily runs into the kitchen with Natalie on her heels - in and out, over and over. The faster Lily goes, the more Natalie howls with laughter. Chris is (FINALLY) taking the boxes of Christmas stuff to the garage. Laughter and squealing is going all through the downstairs - husband and child are both occupied and dinner is just almost ready. Then, the laughter gets louder, the squeals get louder and they are now coming from one place. It sounds like Natalie has cornered the cat. I hustle to the origin of the racket to find CHRIS swinging our very large cat like a pendulum back in forth in front of Natalie, who is beyond hysterics laughing. Lily's eyes were like silver dollars and every muscle was rigid. I have never seen a cat so happy to be locked into the safety of the craft room! Poor Old Cat.
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