Let it snow! (And keep the lights on)

It snowed for the first real time off and on throughout the day today and while I am usually not the most excited person (read that as I usually slink around cursing it) in the house about snow and winter, I was actually happy to see it.

****Side note: Being I work from home, there is no such thing as a snow day. No excuse for “the power is out” or “there is no heat” as I need to be prepared to work through essentially any disruption.

I think the change is that now that we live at the homestead (and away from the city) it is a real break from the summer projects and chores. I know I am ready for winter (wood shed filled, things are winterized, etc.) and there is no pressure to get remaining things done outside. It is now essentially break time!

That isn’t to say there aren’t plenty of indoor projects on the list, but in true procrastinators form…I have all winter to do them! 🙂

Where we live, we are fairly well off the beaten track. Electricity is pretty reliable, but goes out several times a year anywhere from a few minutes to (to date) a day. During the winter months the biggest concern with a power outage for most homes is heating their home for comfort and to keep it from freezing up. With our wood stove as our primary heat source, power has little to no impact on our home staying nice and toasty.

The wood stove also takes care of another priority that being the ability to cook. We have made many meals on top of the wood stove when we have power, so not having power is again not a big deal. We even have an *oven that will fit on top of our stove should we want to make bread or the like.

Now comes the shameless product endorsement – and with it….I would never recommend a product that I do not own and use myself and also recommend to my friends and family. Also, I am not connected in anyway with the manufacturer. Though if they wanted to hire me and pay my loads of cash to just use their product I would have to put pride aside and accept. 🙂

The biggest inconvenience in our house, and I am sure with most people, when the power is out is not having light in the rooms we use. Amazing how not having light makes even the simplest of things suddenly very challenging. Even with a flashlight things are a pain. 

A friend of mine who was in Puerto Rico during the hurricane last year was lucky enough to be staying with friends that were well use to the power going out. When the hurricane came through, he told me that they had a pretty good system down for dealing with the lack of light in particular. They had several Luci lights and let me tell you these things are fantastic! They are basically a solar charged inflatable LED light. 

You simply blow them up like a small beach ball and turn them on. They have a couple brightness settings and I have used them all night long on the brightest setting without fail. Since they are inflatable, if you drop them or bang them around they just keep going. They stay nice and cool, so we put them wherever we need them and can give them to the kids without worry of anything happening (not the case with our lanterns or candles).

I just leave all of ours in a windowsill year round and grab them when I need them. They have never failed me in the year we have had them.

For the $20 or so they cost, they are one of the best investments I have made for preparing the house for the unexpected. I highly encourage you to check them out.

If you have them or get your hands on one, let me know what you think. I will be shocked if anyone has something bad to say about them.

Off to dinner! Hope you all have a great rest of your day!

*The oven we have for our wood stove is here: Coleman oven

Comments 3

  • Just had someone send me a link to your blog & it sounds like our lifestyles have a lot in common, although we’ve lived on our paid off rural homestead, also off the beaten path, for 34 years. In this time we’ve managed to accumulate numerous ways to handle power outages with the most recent being a whole house auto start generator with a large supply of propane (about 3000 gallons) that we also use for cooking, heating domestic hot water, and home heating. We heat with a gas fired forced air furnace and two ventless propane heaters, with wood backup. Prior to having the generator, we had and still have numerous lanterns like the Aladdin and Coleman mantle lanterns,, both of which also provide a modicum of heat.
    We have numerous LED flashlights and lanterns that have gotten both very efficient and inexpensive along with candles from long ago.
    One way to handle glitches and short term outages (a few hours) is to use an inexpensive UPS unit made for computers. We have our cordless telephone base units as well as satellite receivers and HDTV’s plugged into these; but, the standard 8-9 watt 800 lumen LED light bulbs work well when plugged into the UPS units and since they use little power, they can operate for a long time, giving you mostly normal lighting.
    It never hurts to have additional clothing, blankets, and sleeping bags, so even if you can provide auxiliary heat, you can use less fuel if you keep the place a bit cooler and bundle up. In this case, “more layers of clothing” = “less fuel consumption and longer habitability.”
    I’m new here and frequent a few other forums; but, will be back on occasion to see what’s happening here.

  • Thanks for visiting, OP. Sounds like you have some great experience behind you. Appreciate the comment!

  • Erik,

    Sounds like you have some great experience behind you. Appreciate the comment!

    I grew up in western PA in the 1950’s & 1960’s and our family, as well as most of those in our neighborhood would today be called preppers. Back then however, it was just common sense frugal living. Everyone had gardens, and most had fruit trees. We had cherries; the neighbors had grapes, and others plums and apples. We had a freezer going back as far as I can remember, and it was always filled with beef by the quarter or pork by the half. We purchased our bread and baked goods in bulk at the local bakery outlet, that we kids called the “Day Old Bread Store.” I was in scouting and did camping and wilderness survival training & camping from age 14 on. I move to Ohio for college and stayed here for a series of jobs after getting my engineering degrees, eventually marrying a gal who grew up on a farm. We live on an 8 acre property with a large old house, two old post & beam barns, and a machinery shed we use as a garage.
    We have a creek that runs through the western edge of the property and have our own well & septic. A miniature horse, a goat, and chickens round out the mix. Homesteading & self reliance are something we just live as a lifestyle and love it.
    We’re now retired an in my “spare time” I work with our county EMA (Emergency Management Agency), our local ham radio club, Teach Firearms classes as a Certified instructor, teach Hunter Education classes, and interact with a great group of people on Facebook. OHG (Ohio Homesteaders and Gardeners) are real people that I’ve actually met, and if there’s anyone from Ohio and surrounding areas interested or just want another great people resource, feel free to check out the group.

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