Saturday, March 08, 2014

Ice Storm March 2014

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As of 10pm last night there were over 300,000 homes still without power in my corner of North Carolina.

Mine is one of them!

One of the roads that leads from my house toward High Point (Where that 39,967 is in the center of the pink area in this map) has huge trees that have fallen due to the ice and taken down power lines with them as they fell –the power lines are down on the road.

Last evening when I asked if any crews had started into working on them yet, the answer was no – that there were no power and utility trucks to be seen in that area yet, they are all working elsewhere.

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We've lost several trees in our front yard, namely two tall pines that bowed impossibly far over due to the weight of the ice and they finally gave way, one after the other, with ear splitting cracks and booming thuds as they fell to the snow covered ground.

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This morning they lay in frozen heaps ---destined to become next year’s fire wood.

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The Hubster shoving 6 inches of snow-cone like slush.

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The thickness of the ice on this bush adds incredible weight.  no wonder trees are falling!

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This morning we have sunlight and hopefully temps will get into the 50s and start to melt the slush that has now frozen solid due to low overnight temps in the 20s.

We kept warm and busy as best as we could yesterday ---Quilters are a resourceful lot, I like to say – and we proved it!

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We hand-cranked by the light of kerosene lamps!

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I treadled to keep my feet warm!

The one thing we agreed that we missed most was an IRON.  And more light.  When you can’t see to thread the machine needle, or a hand sewing needle –it makes you wonder how they did it, those quilters of long-ago. We missed the convenience of electric irons to press as we sewed…using our fingers to do the job for us…or little wooden pressing tools.  It was okay, but it was not the same.

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The fire place is glowing with warmth, mostly to the living room area ---but it’s flat-fronted, so there is no where to even heat up an old fashioned sad iron.  Now THAT is sad!

Once twilight fell ---we did what all homesteaders without power do.  We piled into the pick up to charge our cell phones as we drove to town to get Mexican food! :cD

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And we realized that when it is indeed too dark to try to sew any longer – shirts can be cut up by the warmth of the wood stove.

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Tonya cutting shirts apart in the last light of the afternoon. 

All it takes is one pair of sharp scissors each, and we could talk and talk and laugh while we de-boned shirts until bed time.

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Photo taken with flash this morning because the room is too dark to take it without.  I hate flash!  But look at these shirt parts all ready to be used as fabric in future quilts!

As soon as we can get Tonya’s car up the frozen driveway incline, she’ll be on her way to the warmth of Augusta, Georgia where she can spend some time with our friend Siobhan.

Since Sunday evening is our projected “power may be on by” time ---I may be packing up the van and heading to the cabin where I can get some work done that needs power ---I need to be able to print invoices and labels for processing book orders that need to go out.  As it is, my little post office here is closed due to no power there either.   

I have paperwork and contracts that also need to be taken care of before leaving on Tuesday ---I can do that at the cabin as I have a printer there.  I have power there.  I have hot water there – but we couldn't go there yesterday because the roads up the mountain were also iced over and treacherous –remember the last ice storm where we couldn't get up those roads?

By this afternoon those roads should be safe to travel as well ---and worse come to worse, I’ll get my work done, I’ll come back on Monday to pack the van, and if the power is still off ---I’ll be leaving on Tuesday morning and heading for Kentucky anyway.  The men folk can handle it.

Life is ALWAYS an adventure!

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  1. That is some definitely yucky weather. No power for that long. I will take inches and even feet of snow over ice storms any day!! I always say I would rather lose water than electricity! Hope things improve in your corner of the world.

  2. Yes, quilters are a resourceful lot! Glad to read that you are safe. It's fun to see all the deboned shirts too. That's a job that gets put in the back of the line frequently isn't it?

    Safe travels to Tonya and then to you for the trip to Quiltvilla.

  3. 2 things I found invaluable in a loose of power. You can get a flashlight called headlights at WalMart. They are on an elastic band to go around your head but I found that you can pull it over your head and as the light is adjustable, point it down at hand stitching. I was a soccer mom and found it great to sew at late practices. Another is a battery powered lantern. It puts out lots of light! I got my 2 at different locations. Mt son's was picked up years ago at Marshall's (he's a Scout) and the recent one at my local commissary but I bet it can be picked up at WalMart too!

  4. Hope you get your electricity soon. You might have to name your Wonky Wishes quilt a new name, Wonky Winter Weather Wishes or Bright Stars In a Land of No Electricity. Keep warm.

  5. You have my sympathy. We wre without power for five days last October here in Suffolk, UK, but it was nothing like as cold as you have it. High winds knocked trees over that took out our power lines when they fell. The romance of candlelight fades quite quickly, doesn't it?! But like you, I was positively humbled by thinking of quilters who only had oil lamps and produced such wonderful work. Hope it comes back soon.

  6. You are a clever resourceful woman Bonnie - this will not defeat you.

    HUGGING SADIE might work to add warmth for you both! My dog loved to sit on my feet, maybe she could do this too.

    Smiles, JulieinTN

  7. Well, you have definitely "kept calm and carried on"...but what a nightmare. We lost two of our lovely cedars in our last icing event -- but luckily for us--no power loss. We are due here in SE CT for another round of slush-ey snow on Wed-Thurs. Will this winter ever end??? Hugs and stay warm--julierose

  8. My brother & his family live in Archdale, just south of High Point. They too have been without power since Thursday night. All their restaurants & stores are closed, as are gas stations. I feel for him since they sleep on water beds ... which are now stone-cold! Good luck NC in getting that power ASAP!

  9. Wow! Bonnie Hunter - Pioneer Girl!!! I smile thinking of you all sewing by kerosene lamps like days of old one minute, and then piling in the truck to charge cell phones and get Mexican the next - talk about culture shock LOL!!! Stay safe & warm and be very careful if you drive up to the cabin :)

  10. I'm glad you can try and get to the Cabin today. I have some more shirts to de-bone. Found a few replacement shirts at our Goodwill so I can sort some older ones out of DH's Shirt Rack. I'm cutting Moth int eh Window Blocks to make him a quilt with them. Shhh don't tell.

  11. We have several Aladdin kerosene lamps. They are brighter than the ordinary lamps.
    Hoping your lights are back on quick.

  12. First of all, with so much power out, you're lucky to have found a Mexican restaurant open!! And that GOOFY Tanya with short sleeves and capris..at least she has some socks finally!! LOL

  13. The longest we been without power was weeks. I was miserable but learned a lot too. We have wood heat now and I grew up with wood heat and my grandparents had a big standing wood stove. My granmother cooked on top of it in the winter. I wanted to tell you that burning pine logs is a big no no. Pine makes great kindling but nothing else. Pine is full of creosote. The creosoat from the pine is very sticky and builds up fast and will cause a chimney fire.

  14. I hope weather conditions are better today.
    You have posted pictures of your cabin and area on Buck Mountain. My home town of Roan Mountain, TN has a small community called Buck Mountain. Is your cabin located at the TN Buck Mountain? If they are one in the same would be amazing. I live in Aurora, CO now but go home to Roan Mountain to visit family an friends often. I too am a quilter, only for 2 years, follow site and bog faithfully. Thank you for the great inspiration.
    Linda Minor Holliday
    Aurora, Co

  15. Anonymous1:04 PM EST

    the sound of trees breaking in the ice is one of the saddest things in the world. I'm glad you and yours are okay.

  16. Yuck! Bring on the heat!

    You ladies sure made the most of it
    and so glad DH was home to shovel:0)

    Happy Sewing, 59 over here in coastal NC

  17. I'm sorry about the loss of your trees. I know it can be heartbreaking. Be careful if you head out - power lines are nothing to mess with;).
    I'm so curious about using old shirts in your quilts. Aren't most men's shirts a poly/cotton blend now? Aren't they thinner than your fabric store cottons? I'm just curious. I know the colors and patterns can be awesome, and the price is certainly right. Do you cover this somewhere on your website?

  18. I have to admit that I would much rather deal with a snowstorm than an ice storm, those just stop everything flat and are so dangerous. I'm so glad everyone is OK, and you are staying upbeat. How nice to have a second home to go to, if you can get there!

  19. Anonymous2:24 PM EST

    Life is an Adventure" - it is true... so lets just enjoy it :)
    Recommended Byrd Brooks Range Hunting

  20. If you have stand mirrors, use them with the kerosene lamps, to magnify the light. I have some battery powered lanterns with LCD lighting. You may want to pick up one or two, as well. My dad made sure we all had some after Sandy. I'm hoping it melts quickly, and the power is restored soon.

  21. What an amazing story. Here in the Netherlands it's just opposite. We will have 15-20C sunday. Normally it can free this time of the year, or snow. Caro

  22. I hope your power is restored soon! We had a lot of ice, too, but luckily the power stayed on b/c I am sewing like crazy on a deadline quilt and the treadle machine was moved to the cabin last week. All is sunny here today and I have the doors open to let the fresh air in. Isn't NC weather fun? Have a super day!

  23. I love your "homesteading" solution for your cell phones! And a Mexican dinner is wonderful whether it's hot or cold outside!

  24. Wow what an adventure! Except for the cold & nasty part I find myself just a touch envious -- no interruptions from your sewing party! I also miss the woodstove that I grew up with. Re: burning pine - the trick is not to use pine overnight or anytime where you will get the long-slow heat. Pine won't gunk up the chimney any more than anything else if you burn it hot. And it smells great!

  25. I just asked where you are, but thanks to the map you posted, I can see--near Greensboro.

  26. Writing from New Zealand where we are having a lovely warm sunny day, such a contrast to the picture you have been painting of your home at present. I am intrigued by all the shirts you have to cut up! I know you have three menfolk in the family but do you buy them at goodwill shops or does everyone donated thir old shirts to you? Trying to imagine how many quilts you will make from your production line of yesterday! Hope it thaws soon and makes your preparations for Kentucky simpler.

  27. So many people are having such a rough winter this year. Snow in places that haven't seen any in years etc. I hope it is over for you and others.


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