Friday, December 23, 2022

The Best Pre-Christmas Presents EVER

I stayed home Thursday. No trip to town, due to a forecast of snow and 30-mph winds starting around 11:00, and temps falling into single digits with wind chills of 35 below zero. Val likes her scratchers, but not at the expense of becoming a Valcicle.

Hick was not so fortunate. He had two lab tests scheduled, to get approval for his back surgery to repair discs that are pressing on nerves in his lower back, giving him a stumbly gait and pain. One was a stress test, because the tech saw an irregularity on his EKG. She also commented that it might have been due to his chest hair, which prevented a good connection with the sensor thingies. You'd think she might have shaved his chest, if she knew this could cause an inaccurate reading. Then again, I think the medical establishment views Hick as a cash cow/six million dollar man. I think he has had every test and procedure known to man at this point.

Anyhoo... Hick had to get out in the weather for a 6:00 a.m. appointment at the hospital. He had told them had can't walk well enough for a regular stress test, so they said they'd do a chemical stress test. Then nobody could advise him on which of his meds to take or not. Took three people to finally get an answer the night before. 

Anyhoo... Hick passed his chemical stress test with no problems. The tech asked if he'd been having chest pains, and he said no, that he needed surgery approval. Once the test was complete, the tech said he'd have no issue with surgery, that there was nothing wrong with Hick's heart (though I sometimes suspect it to be two sizes two small when it comes to my requests for home improvements).

This was great news, and Hick was home by 10:00 a.m., before the bad weather started.

The Pony sent me a text at 4:05 saying: "Clocked out. Didn't freeze or crash." 

Which was GREAT news, except that at 4:06, our power went off! We are all-electric! Our generator needs the carburetor rebuilt, which Hick has known for months now, and neglected to complete. So no power of any kind for us! With temps dropping into single digits, winds at 30 mph, and about 1.5 inches of snow on the ground. 

Of course I was just getting out my pans to bake two Oreo Cakes for HOS (Hick's Oldest Son) and The Veteran, which Hick was going to deliver on Friday. Plus I had put off my shower until I had the cakes out of the oven. In case you don't realize the realities of country living, when we don't have electricity, we don't have water (due to the well pump), and we only have one toilet flush (because the water won't refill in the tank).

At least we still had 45 minutes of daylight left to get ourselves situated with candles. Hick had a little lantern he had charged the day before. I found my tiny flashlight to carry around. I was pretty sure we were going to die. Ameren sent us an email that they had determined a power outage in our area. No estimate of the reason, or a restore time.

I took to my bed, shrouded myself like a corpse, and waited to expire. Hick said we could drive to town, and stay at Pony House, but I liked my odds better of staying at home. Home, where we might freeze to death in 24 hours, rather than slide off the rural unkempt roads on the way to town, and die within an hour since I can't walk through snow and 30 mph winds at -35 Farhenheit.

The Pony said it was fine to stay with him. He said he had ice on the INSIDE of his kitchen window. It's a single-pane, possibly as old as the 1920 house, which Hick has known he needs to replace. The Pony was doing laundry, which at least vents the dryer hot air underneath the house, to help keep the pipes from freezing.

Anyhoo... while The Pony was texting about our welfare, asking to keep abreast (heh, heh, my 13-year-old self likes that I said A BREAST) of our situation, the power came back on at 6:44. WOOHOO!

Best pre-Christmas presents ever: Hick with a good heart and home before the storm, The Pony safe after a route through the bomb cyclone, and a HOUSE WITH HEAT AND WATER!


  1. I was worrying for you! All that moist air under the house can ruin the house, but you knew that! Right?

    1. Something else ruined that 1920s-era house before we bought it! Hick tore out the floor down to the dirt. He had to put in new supports, and replace the floor joists at that end of the house, then put in the subfloor and whatever other stuff is involved. I'm certainly no carpenter, but Hick likes to tell me in detail about his accomplishments, heh, heh! He used treated wood, I think it was Wohlmanized lumber. So it should be good.

  2. That is good news :) times three.

    1. Yes! My worries have now switched to Genius and Friend driving in safely from Pittsburgh on Christmas Eve. They were in Columbus, Ohio, going 25 mph when last heard from at 11:20 a.m.

  3. When we lived in a campground for almost 20 years, I can count on one hand the number of times we lost power. Here in the mountains, it happens quite often. We have a propane heater as a back up and the stove is gas. I am planting seed of solar panels in the mind of the man. W had a few at the campground that powered the lights on the billboard. They were very efficient. Maybe you should get a small heater that can be powered by those small camping propane bottles.

    1. After the Great Icepocalypse of '06, when we were without power for about 10 days, Hick bought a generator, and three electric fireplaces. The generator will power lights, TV, refrigerator, and a fireplace. We have used it many times, summer AND winter. By selectively turning off breakers, I can use the stove, and the well pump.

      However... that generator needs its carburetor rebuilt. Every time the power goes off now, Hick tries to talk me into a whole-house generator that automatically kicks on and runs on propane. The cost has been my complaint, but every time I'm without power, and without a time for it to be restored, I weaken a little bit.