Ok…I could bellyache about dealing with these issues-or I could offer solutions to how we handled this situation that perhaps others could use. Let me also say that I chose to live in the country and we are not a high priority on the grid and will from time to time deal with power outages. All the more likely that Dominion Virginia Power is not maintaining the infrastructure. I have it from an inside source that it is cheaper to call in workers and pay over-time to make band-aid repairs than keep the grid in good working order. Scarey-but we have to prepare. That being said…I love where I live-we chose our property well in that we have some valuable natural resources. We have 100-year-old huge shade trees over our house, barn and chicken coops. We have an 8 acre spring fed pond, we are up on a hill to catch what ever breezes might come our way. All these came to be very valuable in dealing with high heat and no running water (as we get our water by electric pump from our 2 wells.)
First lesson…use your fridge as an ice chest-load ice in the top as cold air falls-and it works-as long as you keep ice in there.Our small fridge worked like a champ as our many drinks were colder than when we do have power. Granted-this will not keep things frozen-but will keep things from spoiling.
Second lesson-Take frequent breaks. As we worked on moving animals closer to the pond and keeping rabbits clipped as close to the skin as possible, watering garden with pond water-we would stop every hour and drink something cold sitting in the shade under our walnut tree. We have these great Adirondack chairs and they became our camp station.
Lesson 3…Pond water is great for plants. We used the tractor and lots of buckets to make runs from the pond to the garden. I finally had resurrected my garden last Spring and I was not going to give it up without a fight. Speaking of water-another lesson is to keep an emergency supply on hand-and we do in these big jugs from an old water cooler I used to have. They each hold 5 gallons and we keep them filled and sealed and stored in a cool place.
Lesson 4-Have a cool meal idea on hand so that you do not have to fire up the stove. Mine is Cold Cucumber Soup. It is rich, comforting and refreshing. Ok-I lucked out in that right before we lost power-I had just made this huge batch as we have a bumper crop of cucumbers-my recipe follows.
Final Lesson…Find time for fun. In our misery as Kevin and I have been sweating through all these tasks-and just when we thought we could do no more-we eyed our pond and saw it through a new lens. What we were looking at was the biggest swimming pool ever. We are lucky in that it is spring fed-very deep and very clean. So we threw on our bathing suites-ok…pulled it on over a sticky sweaty body was a difficult thing-but we will not dwell there…and jumped in with our boogy boards usually reserved for beach trips. We floated in cool bliss for an hour. Never mind I forgot sun block-which I should have remembered as I burn easily-but I was so thankful to be cool and wet not from my own sweat.
We now have finally gotten back power-and the garden has received a proper watering-and I have finally gotten a good nights rest-I head out to the garden with my cup of coffee and it is a pleasure to see happy plants. Sanity can now return. Following are pics of a happy garden. And further down is that promised recipe.