February 01, 2011

Hunkering Down for a Blizzard

Well here in our household we are ones of thousands or should I say millions of people who are in the middle of a blizzard right now.  Everytime we go through extreme weather I always wonder about those pioneers of 150 years ago who lived in this area of the country.  I can't imagine first of all travelling in a covered wagon for weeks or months to get somewhere.  Then to have to live in a sod house, or if you're lucky a cabin, and have the wind blow through the walls and deal with the cold or the heat.  Well, I would have never made it.

As I sit and write this post I can hear the wind blowing outside - eerily, cold wind.  The snow is deep and drifting.  Our son took our 11 year old black lab for a walk around the block so the poor dog could get some exercise.  They were both covered in snow when they got back.

For supper tonight it was chili that had simmered on the stove for an hour along with grilled cheese sandwiches.  Perfect meal for an evening such as this. 

Our wind chills are to go to minus 30 degrees on Thursday.  When it gets that cold I am constantly checking the water pipes to make sure they don't freeze.  It has happened twice before and I always get out my hair dryer and turn it on high and point it towards the pipes.  After a few minutes you can hear the ice melting in the pipes and then the water flows freely.

I also do a couple of loads of laundry on those days as in the winter time we have the dryer vent the heat directly into the basement.  By drying a few loads of laundry it helps to warm the basement which also keeps the pipes from freezing.

I keep my laptop and cell phone plugged in just in case the power goes out.  And I have oil lanterns and plenty of batteries for the flash lights.  We don't have a fireplace but I have a plan in case the power does go out and it starts to get cold.  We close the pocket doors so that the diningroom and the kitchen are entirely closed off from the rest of the house.  Then I turn on the gas stove (we can light ours with a match when the electricity goes off), and I start baking and cooking.  The heat from the oven will warm up those two rooms without a problem.  Also the aroma of fresh baked bread makes everyone feel a lot better too.  I never just turn the burners on and let them burn.  I will put a pot of water on to boil or cook something. 

As to the contents of the freezer and the fridge, if anything would start to thaw, we can stick them in plastic bins on the back porch.

School was cancelled today and it has been cancelled for tomorrow.  Many businesses closed early today and many are not going to open until at least noon tomorrow. 

So, it is a hot chocolate and pop corn kind of winter night here in Iowa.  Tomorrow we will start to dig out from what mother nature has left us. 


Anonymous said...

Hope you guys remain safe and warm ! Sounds like you have the bases covered.

Is it absolutely idiotic that I envy you? We just ended a three week fog blizzard, but that's about all the excitement to be had in Central California. To give some perspective as to the use of the word "excitement", before I had kids I wanted to be a storm chaser. So, there you go.

Anonymous said...

I hope you don't get hit too hard! We're supposed to get a doozie of a storm tonight too.. it's starting now! We shall see... we already had one in December that almost shut our city down for 3 days. Hoping it's not like that again!

Jamie said...

I just posted scene's from our blizzard. Here in SW Wisconsin it's pretty hairy.