We survived

Can’t say the same thing for our trees, though. Our neighborhood looks like a bomb hit it. I have lots of photos that I’ll post when I have a chance.

We got around two inches of ice over a 24 hour period and lost power early Tuesday afternoon. Limbs were already crashing to the ground at that point and continued doing so for the remainder of the storm. Some trees are so badly damaged that they will have to be cut down completely. Our electric line was completely severed by either falling branches or ice buildup.

The entire county has been without power since Tuesday. The devastation is all across the area, but Western Kentucky and Arkansas have been declared federal disaster areas by Obama after being hit especially hard. We spent the first night at home with no heat,¬†under multiple layers of clothing and blankets. The temperature in the house was 50 degrees the next morning and had dropped into the 40’s by the next evening. We slept on the floor at our neighbor’s house that night because she has a small kerosene heater. There was no running water when we got up the next morning, but not because of frozen pipes. The water systems had failed for large portions of the city and county due to lack of electricity.

The remainder of this week has been spent running all over the place trying to find kerosene so that we could keep warm. We sat in line three hours to purchase gasoline one day and were finally able to secure some furnace fuel today – from an elderly man in town who has some stored in 55 gallon drums.

Thankfully, a nearby city is starting to come back on line and we have been staying at the home of some gracious church friends who have electricity and water. They opened their home to people they know (us and many others) and even people they didn’t know (our neighbor and her son). They define hospitality.

Although it is expected to take weeks to restore power to our rural area, things are beginning to look up. The sun came out and melted most of the ice today. I am able to access the internet via my mobile phone (go, Verizon!) and through a friend’s computer. We have plenty of food, water, and warmth.

And lots and lots of love…

Fever & chills

I started getting sick yesterday afternoon. Maybe the intense headaches I had every day last week were related, but I didn’t really start feeling bad until we were sitting in Logan’s having an after-church lunch with friends. I was feeling pretty icky by the time we got home and was running a low grade temperature when I went to bed at 9pm.

After a virtually restless night, I awoke this morning with a 101.3 temp and nausea. I managed to down some saltine crackers and ibuprofen before stumbling off to work. The stomach situation worsened as the day wore on, so I called my primary care physician to see if she would call in a prescription – which she did.

Honey went to pick up the meds, and since we are expecting a big winter ice storm with widespread power outages, he decided to swing by a home improvement store to purchase a propane gas heater. Unfortunately, they were sold out.

If the weatherman gets this one right, Red Cross volunteers might stop by here in a few days to discover a couple of frozen-to-death gay guys.

Wii are sore

You know that you’re out of shape when playing virtual bowling and tennis leaves you with sore muscles. Oh, well.

We were officially introduced to the Nintendo Wii last night when our friends Alyson and Jess invited us over. We were hooked almost immediately and I started looking online for a good deal on the gaming system as soon as we got home. Turns out they are not only a little expensive, but also apparently hard to come by. It’s kind of hard to justify dropping that much cash so soon after the holidays, especially with the price of necessary utilities going through the roof.

Anyway, we loved the bowling game and thought it was quite a bit easier on screen than it is in real life. We never get that many strikes at the alley.

Honey had us all cracking up over his complete inability to hit the ball while playing tennis. He would make gutteral noises and wave the remote around wildly before the ball was even within striking distance. Could that mean he’s wii-tarded?

On a related note, check out Alyson’s hilarious¬†wii-make of Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab.” Bet you can’t guess what it’s called…

‘It’s Electric, Boogie Woogie Woogie’

It felt like someone slapped me in the face when I opened my latest electric bill this afternoon. $227. I have never had a utility bill that expensive. Up until now, the record was around $180.

Our home, which was built in 1971, uses electric baseboard heaters to keep us warm in the winter. While they certainly aren’t the most efficient form of heat, I have been grateful for them over the last couple of years when I would hear about the costs of heating with natural/propane gas.

The reason for the price increase is that our local electric company buys their power from TVA, who decided to raise prices 20% this fall. That is the largest increase in their pricing in 35 years. It seems like it wouldn’t have hurt nearly so bad if they had simply increased their prices slowly over that period of time.

Adding insult to injury, the temperature is supposed to be -2 tonight. It’s currently 8 degrees outside, the baseboard heaters are going full blast, and I’m freezing to death – wrapped in a blanket and sitting in front of a portable electric heater.

Even though it feels like giving blood.

Dorothy & dieting

Our neighbor/friend, Dorothy, got to come home from the hospital today – and not a moment too soon. We are both terribly exhausted from the ordeal and thankful that we don’t have to sleep on hospital furniture tonight. Her medical tests that were performed yesterday revealed several intestinal problems, but nothing serious enough that it can’t be treated with medication and diet changes.

Speaking of diets, I’ve decided that I want to lose 25 pounds by May. That’s when Honey will officially walk the aisle and get his bachelor’s degree, and we want to celebrate by going on a nice, long vacation – preferably somewhere with sand and sun. Although most people wouldn’t consider me to be overweight, I don’t like the extra blubber that has accumulated around my midsection over the last four years and I don’t want to wander around the beach looking like a muffin-top.

So far, my attempts at cutting back have consisted of replacing cheeseburgers, fries, and sodas with Subway cold cuts on wheat bread and water. Dinner tonight was some low-fat, high-fiber Campbell’s soup, crackers, and a slice of cheese. I was still starving immediately after eating, so pacified my sweet tooth with a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch (hey, at least it’s whole grain).

This isn’t going to be easy…

Blogbits

Neighbor – She’s in the hospital again. We’ve been staying with her at night and her niece has been sitting with her during the day. She seems to be fine at the moment, but will have some tests ran on Monday to see what is causing problems with her digestive system.

School – Honey starts back to college next week. He’s finally settled on a career choice – teaching math. Since it’s one of my least favorite subjects, maybe there is some truth to the whole “opposites attract” argument.

Facebook – I started using the site a few weeks ago despite my negative feelings about social networking. Although I have enjoyed getting back in touch with one of my old friends from school, I’m already considering deactivating my account. Part of me wants to reunite with former acquaintances, but the other part wants to leave the past behind.