Thursday, December 06, 2007

Let it snow, let it snow...wait! NO! Stop!

Snow is in the forecast again. Let me clarify. Snow is in the forecast for everyone around our region. We'll get sleet and freezing rain. Such is the beauty of living in the Mississippi Valley region. That river holds warm air over the region and the valley stays a few degrees warmer than the plains, so snow is rare. Ice is more common.

I hate ice. I hate freezing rain. I'd take four feet of snow over a slick, slippery coating of ice covering everything. Making driving treacherous and snapping power lines. Sounds fun, yes? Last year around this time we got a massive ice storm. Thousands of people were without power for not just hours, but WEEKS. Yes, weeks. Fortunately for us we were only without power for about 18 hours, and fully employed the fireplace and camp stove. Critters got water from the creek or pond and we flushed toilets with water dipped out of the swimming pool. Pioneer living at its finest! Ha!

Because we live on a back, back, back road and down a nearly half-mile driveway, we aren't exactly on the road crew's priority list. We could be stuck in the house for DAYS.

So, when the ice hits tonight, we'll be ready. We chopped, split and stacked a huge pile of firewood last weekend and we have gallon jugs of water. I have enough canned soup and food to keep us well fed for a few days and even have a few canisters of propane for the camp stove all ready to go.

But the biggest challenge of all is keeping those kids entertained during a power outage. What do you do when there's no TV? No radio? No computer or Internet? Board games keep them occupied for oh, half an hour, but what about the endless hours that follow?

So, I came up with a list of "things to do in an ice storm power outage:"

1. Encourage the kids to slide down the ice hill in a pair of cowboy boots. Laugh hysterically when they reach the bottom and realize they can't get back to the top of the hill in their slippery-soled boots.

2. Make a game of trying to pick all the frozen red berries off the bushes, one at a time. This is quite a challenge as most of the berries are frozen in a giant berry-cube.

3. Give each a roll of masking tape and have them "vacuum" the carpets with the tape. The one with the most dog hair wins!

4. Send one outside for firewood then complain they got the wrong logs. Send them back out for more. Complain again.

5. Let the dogs outside and watch them slide around the yard for awhile.

6. Play 52-card pickup with four decks of cards.

7. Play Monopoly. After about half an hour, leave for a potty break and come back wearing a ski mask. Rob the Monopoly bank and get away by sliding down the ice hill.

8. Watch the chickens skitter across the ice. Ever since a chicken ice skate? OMG! HOURS of amusement!

9. Pick the icicles off the horses.

10. Watch the songbirds try to peck at the suet block through and inch of ice. Endless laughs.

I think I'm ready! Bring it on!


goat roper said...

Excellent. I think I can see teen eyes 'rolling' now. The youn 'un will think all are great ideas.

A. Di said...

how fun getting iced in would be!

Jeff said...

#7 was my favorite. I still laughing as I type

Lynnette Labelle said...

I know what you mean. We have had snow upon snow upon snow dump here. That's enough already. We can have our white Christmas with this. We don't need anymore of the white stuff.

amy said...

Oh goodness...number 1! I remember way back in my teens in that area a particularly icky ice storm hit. We had some sinkhole ponds around the house, and I just HAD to go ice skating (in shoes) and could not get back up that dang hill. I think I tried to get the dog to haul me out, then tried using patches of taller weeds to get my feet into. I was cracking up at myself the whole time. Or maybe I wasn't, but I am now!
Ahhhh, the memories....

Joeprah said...

Jeff's right about #7, but #4 was strong also...great LOL stuff! Thanks and best wishes with the ice!

lov grma ox said...

No Fire place here, so no heat. So please, NO ice storm, please. Ice can be fun, I remember as kid, all the fun, ice skating, in street and no school, BUT, having to get ice off sidewalk, with ice scraper, wasn't fun at all.

Just a couple of hours, of no heat, today was enough, thanks. and it didn't even go below mid 60s, in house. I like it warm, really like it hot, 72 at least in house.

You sure are ready for any thing, emergency supply all set. Good for you. Could add reading books to each other also, good pass time.

Sona said...

Gosh that all sounds like winters in New England I lived through as a kid.

We made it - so will you.

Have you considered this old fashioned thing that some people still do now and then? It's a stack of papers all pressed together with words printed on them. I think they call it a "book"?

Slackermommy said...

I love this list! I may have to use a few of your ideas today as I am home with all my kids today because of some stupid teacher inservice.

Jenn said...

Goat Roper...ahhh..the eye roll has been perfected!

a. di...yeah, for about a day! Then I've had enough. We got ice, but not enough to be iced in, thank goodness!

Jeff...:P Glad I made you laugh!

Lynette...I'd be thrilled with just snow...I can do without the ice/freezing rain.

Amy...ROFL!! I remember that particular ice storm! Fun fun.

Joe...Thank you! I tried to use #4 last night, but they weren't biting. *sigh* I think they've caught on to my wily ways.

lov grma...after last year's snow storm we decided we'd be ready for Armageddon if necessary. Being so far out, when we run out of bread, it really is an excursion for more!

Sona...yup, we always make it, every year. Doesn't mean I like ice storms, but we make it. The storms always take down some of our trees, wreak havoc on my fencing and general knock out the electric. Books? Yeah, we have 'em. Lots of 'em. More than I can count. We have one entire room devoted to all the books. But you can't entertain a 6-year-old on books for much more than an hour or so.

Slackermommy... it's not a bad day to be stuck home! A three-day weekend is such a rare treat, at least it is for me. By the time I got to work this morning all the ice was already melting.

MP said... everything drive home though last night was an hour and a half..lets see what happens this weekend!

Wendy said...

I like #8, but add take video of it and upload to youtube.

You forgot assign roles and act out Harry Potter's latest.

Carla said...

Just a bit of popcorn popped over the fireplace and you're all set. Be safe!

Diesel said...

I used to love freezing rain as a kid. No school for sure. Not so much any more. Of course, now I live in CA... :)

Lisa said...

Holy cow! Yup. You're ready.

I can bring you a 5-year-old boy. He and your youngest could keep each other busy....

Marriage-101 said...

Ah, to have been a kid in your house! :)