Saturday, January 31, 2009

Electric Tea Kettle Unplugged!!!

I have owned and used a variety of electric tea kettles since my first trip to England in 1995. I completely gave up stove top tea kettles for the purpose of heating water for making tea because the electric ones heat water more quickly. Except for unusual circumstances like the past 4 days here in our home without electric power. So how did I prepare many cups of tea for the family and neighbors the last four days?

The "old fashioned" way using a pot for the water and a mug for a dipper. Thank goodness for a gas cooking stove at times like this.


We kept warm with 3 sets of natural gas logs in the house. We kept our tea warm too!

Each day we carried hot water and food to two different elderly neighbors who had gas logs, would not leave their homes but had no way to heat food or water. (These hot water carafes were purchased on trips to Denmark and are my favorites.)

Important lessons I learned from a four-day winter power outage:

1. Our natural gas logs, cooking stove and water heater kept us in our home and very comfortable.

2. A battery radio, a supply of candles, several flashlights, a lighter for the candles and gas stove, burners and a supply of batteries helped us make it through the ice storm. Especially when numerous fallen trees and power lines prevented us from being able to drive off our dead end street for several hours.

3. Every home needs at least one telephone in the house that does not require electricity. We have one upstairs and one downstairs.

4. Cell phones are great to have to use as long as you are able to charge them. We kept them charged in GJs Suburban. My new iphone kept me in touch with the world because I could check most of my email and text the out of state daughter. (Thanks, GJ for the Christmas gift.)

5. Refrigerated and frozen food spoils very quickly. I was able to keep some perishables longer by putting them outside in the cold, but not very long. Keep canned and packaged "prepared" food on hand. And, ALWAYS keep bottled water. My biggest disappointment was the large amount of "tea party" food in the freezer downstairs that had to be thrown out.

6. We live in a community of caring and sharing people. I knew that already, but it is nice to be reminded every once in a while. Our entire town was without power with the exception of one small area of 3 restaurants and one grocery store. Neighbors, friends and church members were there to help others in need.

7. A nine year old boy can entertain himself without a TV and electronic games!!!
Our city officials and employees have worked day and night to bring us through the worst of this storm. The clean-up has yet to begin. Many trees are down throughout the community. Power is yet to be restored to homes on two streets. The sun is shining this morning and the electric tea kettle is plugged up and the water is heating. GJ is out in the yard picking up broken tree limbs. Gotta get to the grocery store and re-stock the refrigerator before the next predicted snow and extreme cold comes on Monday.
By the way, I don't often mention the name of south-central Kentucky town where I live. This is the place where GJ and I were both born, left after college, and chose to move back to when the #1 daughter was 4 yrs. old.
Berea, "the Folk Arts and Crafts Capital of Kentucky" and the home of Berea College. the city of Berea is located where the Bluegrass meets the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Come visit sometime!
There are many homes in our county and in our beautiful state without power and they may be that way until mid-February. All those folks, and others around the country in the same situation, are in our thoughts and prayers.
 

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