Friday, August 26, 2011

Not the "Rime of the Ancient Mariner"

The window is open and there's a nice, warm breeze coming in - reminding me, a little, of spring days in Alabama. The sky is clear deep blue with high, gauzy clouds here and there.

I have a load of laundry that will go on the line as soon as it's done washing.

All over the news is the story of the approaching storm, but it's hard to imagine that in just a day ... or two ... the wind will be a banshee terrorizing us as we huddle under what may be an inadequate roof and the rain will be battering the Three Sisters out in the yard.

Do I bring in the pumpkins that are already orange? Are they safe outside in what may be torrential rains and unrelenting wind?

Will Deus Ex Machina's recently completed woodshed survive the wind and rain?

What do we secure? What do we leave alone?

I've dealt with tornadoes before, but this is different. With a tornado it's often only minutes of notice - grab what you can and run. This is DAYS, and it would seem like that would be to our advantage, but hurricanes seem to be more fickle, in the sense that it's harder to predict what they're going to do. We could end up with something really awful, like Hurricane Bob, or we could end up with a spit of rain and a rustling breeze.

I'm at a loss of what to do, and so I'm really not doing anything outside of the ordinary, yet. I baked some bread.

But I know that something is going to happen, because while I was washing dishes this morning and baking bread, I looked out the window and my elderly neighbor (the one who told me not to plant my tomatoes in April even though it was in the upper 70s ... and he was right) was filling a garbage can with water.

It's things like that that make me wonder, and if that's what he's doing, then, I definitely need to be doing something. He's just always been someone who knows stuff. He pays attention.

The biggest concern seems to be water. Everyone says "store water." I mentioned that to Deus Ex Machina last night ... after I told him I'd filled up all of our empty, flip-top beer bottles with water. He reminded me that we know how to purify water to make it safe. As long as we can build a fire, to kill any parasites or bacteria, we know how to (and have the supplies for) a filter.

But we also have the rain barrels outside, which always have some water in them. It would need to be filtered and boiled, too, but at least we're confident that it's not contaminated with chemicals or other things that don't easily boil or filter out of water. We're okay for water ... we think.

And food? We're probably okay in that area, too ... except for cooking the food, and if the power goes out during the hurricane, we won't be cooking much. Although we have discovered that roasting marshmallows over a candle is easy, and works nicely for S'Mores (thank goodness for all of those fair-trade, organic chocolate bars, and Lisa Marie's jar of Rite Chocolate :). Once the storm has passed, if we're without power, we can roast some chickens outside over the fire pit or on the grill. In fact, there are a lot of really yummy foods that can be cooked on an open fire, including bread.

The other day, when I was looking for one of our Algebra books, I found this book:

Perhaps, if we can figure out how to get the hydrogen from our stored water using this book, we're set for fuel, too.


  1. I guess with the water you've saved in bottles you won't have to go outside in the downpour to fill a jug from the water butt. When our water supply looks iffy (we're at the end of a dodgy mains pipe) I always fill up a few jugs (pitchers) for the day- it's just easier.

    S'mores over a candle sounds fun!

    I hope it's not too bad when it gets to you.

  2. I'm reminded of something I read in a book by primitive survivalist Cody Lundin. He said he would take groups out into the wilderness, and as evening approached he would send them out to collect wood for the fire. As the group would come back and say "I got plenty!" he would respond with "Go get five times more than what you already got" - and he wouldn't even look at the pile they had already provided. And sure enough, every time, even five times the amount wasn't enough to get through the night.

    It makes me think that you shouldn't depend on the idea that MAYBE you have enough water or maybe you have enough protection. Do what you can to get as much as you can now. I'd rather be sitting there after a hurricane thinking "well, I didn't need all that water" instead of sitting there thinking "well, I should have stored more".

    Do you have a way to board up your windows? It seems annoying to have to do it, but it's better than having to replace the windows and anything in the house that was ruined by water damage.