September 2008


We got the power back the other day. We were without power for 10 days, total. I’m a little sad thinking about how much the loss of power simplified our lives, and how I don’t know if I’m ready or willing to jump back into all the old time-suckers.

I had 150 emails in my inbox, and 97 blogs posts on my reader. Some of you have been waaay too prolific.

Cooking has been so simple, with just the gas cook top, no microwave or oven. I also tried to limit the number of pans I used, to make cleanup easier. I couldn’t keep much in the freezer that I packed with ice, so I didn’t have to worry about buying much at the store, just what we would cook and eat. Simple meals, simple preparation, simple cleanup. I did fantasize about cupcakes every single day, though. And I don’t even like cupcakes.

We read books by flashlight, and went to bed when it was dark. We were really, really tired by the time it was dark.

We spent a lot of time outside. All the neighbors were always outside, too, so we did a lot of talking.

We watched the tree guys saw up and remove the giant tree that had cracked the power pole that feeds our block, and we watched the power guys who had been shipped in from New Jersey as they replaced the fallen pole. It was awesome. When they finally restored the power and drove away in their cherry-pickers, everyone on the street went outside into the dark night, with their porch lights on, and cheered the power truck parade. They honked and waved like royalty.

There were no video games, no movies, no canned music, no emails, no news (did the financial market crash or something?). We had hot breakfast every day. Who new that “fried bread” could be so incredible? Or that cold milk could be a delicacy? We also had my kids’ favorite breakfast, “toast with French on it”. If you need the recipe, I can provide it, at no charge.

So I have already spent a couple of hours on the internet today, and I’m feeling it. I just don’t know if I can keep it up. I have also thoroughly scrubbed down my refrigerator and done three gigantic loads of laundry in a washing machine, instead of the bathtub.

I felt so tough, not eating out like everyone else, washing in the tub, hanging stuff out to dry, not using the TV to babysit my kids. Now I’m just back to my old, lazy self. Boo hoo.

Not that I would give my power back.

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We have been out of power since Sunday. That’s 5 days. Yeah, I’m sick of it. It sucks. I can’t wait to be able to use a refrigerator again, but I for sure won’t keep lots of meat in the freezer anymore. I’m internet-ing for the first time since Sunday, at the library, which had it’s power returned today. School is in session tomorrow (praise the Powers That Be!!!), and they’ve told us that we may have power by Sunday. I think that’s a safe bet. We may also have hamburgers falling out of the sky on Sunday, in which case, we won’t be having to eat plain peanut butter for dinner.

So if you were wondering what was up with us, now you know. All the trees in Ohio got blown over last Sunday, and they got blown onto all the power lines in Ohio. And my car started making funny noises and really bad smells while we were trying to get home in the traffic jam that resulted from the combination of the mall emptying out on account of the loss of power, and the people streaming off teh freeway on account of the wind that was threatening to blow them all across teh river. Yeah, it’s been a great week.

When I have a minute, and I’m not in the library, and I have my own power and my own internet restored, I’ll tell you about the neighborhood cookout that happened on Monday, when everyone brought out all the random items in their fridges that were going to spoil, and the mish-mash was a little iffy. And then I’ll tell you about the way all the neighbors helped each other pull all the tree branches out of their backyards, and rake all the smaller bits, and hang out on the street at all hours chatting, and how I was the star of the day, because I had the gas stove, the French Press, and the hand-crank wheat grinder that also grinds coffee. I got applause this morning, during my delivery route.

But for now, Kiki is yelling, “HOME!” and I think it’s bothering the other library patrons.

My friends, Adieu.

I ran downstairs to take the muffins out. From there, I could hear Kiki yelling, “Down! Doooowwwnn!”

I yelled up, “Zeeb, is Kiki on your bed?” The boys have a double loft bed with a ladder that she frequently climbs up, but cannot climb back down.

He replied, “No. She’s in my pants drawer.”

I hate large pieces of lettuce. Like in a salad, especially one in a restaurant. I hate hate hate huge chunks that I can’t fit into my mouth without slathering my cheeks and chin with dressing. I also don’t like trying to cut the lettuce with my fork. What a joke. Whenever I get one of those bagged salad mixes, I tear up the lettuces until they are bite sized. And the ones that are a big lump, I break those up too.

I hate picking things up from the floor. I hate bending over. It hurts, and I always have to rearrange my clothing afterward. And sometimes there’s no point to it, anyway, since the clean floor is a magnet for random items to fling themselves off their tidy resting place. I straightened Kiki’s room this morning. It has had the same collection of about 10 toys, a couple articles of clothing, and a hundred or so baby wipes (her current favorite plaything, called “dah-buh”), and a few books on the floor for a week or so. Seriously, they all remained there for days, without getting shifted, moved, or played with. The instant Kiki came into her newly tidy room, she went for the toys and emptied them back onto the floor. She grabbed just a few books, read a couple of pages of each, and dumped them. Etc. Etc. Etc. She is currently down for a nap, but I expect that upon waking, she will head for the dresser to empty the drawers.

I hate talking politics. Unless it’s with someone who agrees with me and doesn’t think I’m insane or retarded. I hate some of the things going on right now, but I’m sure as heck not going to elaborate on them.

I hate wearing clothes. I’m not going to elaborate on that one, either.

I hate being dirty. I nearly have an aneurysm every time I’m cleaning up a child after dinner, and those grimy hands reach out before I have a chance to attack them with a washcloth, and they smear me with the mixed contents of our meal. Including sauces and drinks, since I have at least two chemists included among my progeny. Both of said chemists are expert in the art of “spreading.”

I hate it when my feet are cold. Which is always. If the air conditioning is on, and is set to anything lower than 78, my feet are frozen. If the indoor temperature is 85, then my feet are fine. In the winter, when the indoor temperature is 60, I use my bean-filled socks several times a day. I microwave them for a couple of minutes, then stick my feet in a cocoon of blanket with the hot packs, and remain until they are warm. This is more convenient than using a tub of hot water, trust me.

I hate water parks. I like water slides, and I like swimming, but water parks make me weary.

I hate cable TV.

I hate road trips. I hate being in a car for long periods of time, especially when there are crazy chickens in the back seat.

I hate how every single time I have ever attempted to type the word “especially,” it has come out “expecially.” I have no explanation for that. I don’t pronounce it that way, heaven forbid. But maybe as a penance for ever judging someone who did pronounce it that way, I am doomed to repeat my typo for eternity, sitting in between the first and second levels of purgatory. Hopefully I won’t go any deeper than that, eh? Or maybe I really will have to suffer the eternities in the river Styx, since judging people for their pronunciation pretty much counts as cruel and vindictive. Oh crap.