Lost Arts studio

A lot of the fiber arts I enjoy are things like tatting, netmaking, chair caning, and even weaving, where people will come up to me when I demonstrate and solemnly tell me, "That's a lost art."

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Location: SW Outer Nowhere, Michigan, United States

On the Internet, nobody knows you're a chicken. (With apologies to Peter Steiner.)

27 August 2007

We Have the Power

Several years ago our electric company changed its name from "Consumers Power" to "Consumers Energy".

I thought the change was dumb.

If I say to someone, "We don't have power," usually they understand that to mean electric power. But if I say, "We don't have energy," they are more likely to start suggesting vitamin supplements or commenting on our advancing ages.

Anyway, our power is finally back on, and our telephone is working again.

We were pretty lucky. Although our property has a lot of large old trees, mostly maples, this is the only significant branch that came down. I ratchet-lopped the side branches off and rolled the thick part off the fence. I don't know if we are going to be able to get the smaller second branch down from where it is hanging up in the tree.

When I was a kid, my parents did a lot of primitive camping, coincidentally up in Luce County in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, the site of this summer's forest fire. And when we were first married, my husband and I did quite a bit of primitive camping. That means in a tent, in campgrounds with maybe a fire ring, pit latrines, and a hand-pump for water.

So while the power was out, it was like camping in our house. We got out the Coleman stove and had hot water and hot meals. We lit the house, especially the windowless bathroom, with tea-light candles and oil candles.

Thursday night's storm also brought rain, so we put the big, heavy-duty plastic calf-watering tub under the downspout and caught enough rain for flushing the toilet and (after filtering and boiling) cleaning dishes or washing hair.

Since my husband had to work Friday, he brought home a huge cooler full of ice from the National Guard armory where he works, as well as drinking water. I put the perishable refrigerator stuff in our cooler, and put bags of ice in the freezer.

We have a habit of making "pop ice" in our small chest freezer, using clean, empty soda-pop bottles: you nearly fill the bottle with water, squeeze the air out, put the top on tight, and let it freeze. (After a while you figure out how much to squeeze out so the expanding ice doesn't rupture the bottle.) This makes a big block of ice that doesn't (unless it ruptures) melt all over your cooler, plus as it does melt you have drinkable water.

We had a good amount of these frozen ice blocks in the freezer, so the meat at the very bottom never thawed. We did lose the ice cream I just bought (except for what we drank for breakfast Saturday morning), and I think we'll be eating those thawed and re-frozen pizzas this week, but at least it wasn't hundreds of dollars worth of anything. And everything at least stayed at refrigerator temperatures, so it didn't spoil.

This is about all I knitted on. I finished the snowflake graph from the Orenburg class, knitted an "X" for a spacer, and started on a graph called "bowtie".

In the photos, the first thing I noticed about Orenburg gossamer shawls was how geometric the patterns were, all lines and angles. In real life the first thing I noticed was how light and shimmery they were, and how hard it was to notice the relatively stiff lines of the patterns.

(Then there was the shawl where the basic Orenburg lace knitting elements were used to create flowing stems, leaves, and flowers: that was the one with the $1500.00 price tag. Usually I can tell which item is the most expensive in a vendor's booth: that would be the one I notice from a distance and instantly love.)

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Blogger tatt3r said...

Glad to see you had only a little storm damage. I've never lost power for more than a day (knock on wood); I know I've been very lucky.

1:18 PM  
Blogger amy said...

So glad you made it through okay, and thanks for some helpful tips. We're in New England 4 miles from the Atlantic, and no, we have no good emergency hurricane plan, and I KNOW we're supposed to, because we're not out of line for big hurricanes (see: 9/21/1938), but...well, I have no good excuse. Thanks for some helpful tips!

1:57 PM  
Blogger Marguerite said...

We got our power back at 2:30 this afternoon. I'm thinking there's hot water now and I'm about ready to sign off and go hop in the shower.

3:39 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Hey, Happy Friday!

I still write Con Pow on my checks sometimes.

I'm so jealous of your parents! My parents would never have even consider such a thing. Well, Mom would consider it but she won't sleep on the ground. (Can't blame her, she does have arthritis after all.) I'm not too jealous though, I saw them this morning when we went dog walking! :-) Did you know your mom is taking a spinning wheel with her this weekend? See, you really can't help being a wild woman, you come from a long line of similarly inclined females! LOL!

But I'm really writing to say yes, that's the one thing I have always secretly enjoyed about power failures, the whole "almost camping" thing. I love getting out the candles and lighting the house with them. Then I enjoy the fact that I have a gas water heater so I never run out of hot water! (Wonder if I could go solar on that? Hmmm?)

Why did you feel you needed to filter and boil the rain water for washing hair? Just curious. My understanding is that after ten minutes of rainfall it's actually quite pure.

Have you considered putting in a gray water system? That's a system where you reclaim certain types of waste water, like dishwasher, washing machine and sink water to reuse in flushing toilets. Since we waste a whole lot of clean water flushing it down the toilet it really makes alot of sense to me. But of course I'm in the burbs so I'm sure I could never get a permit for that. See, I need to buy a little farm somewhere...

12:23 PM  
Blogger Dora Renee' Wilkerson said...

You do such wondering knitting. I so so so wish I could knit with needles..

Dora Renee' Wilkerson

9:26 AM  

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