Friday, December 15, 2006


Best Blog Tips Hi, again! I am at work writing this again, because we still don't have power (5 days, now!) Parts of the island have power now--- the downtown, and nearby. My mother (thank goodness, because she's 89 and pretty game, but she was getting fed-up) and my son, who live near the downtown, got power last night, so we went to my mom's and had showers! But, on the next island over, Hornby, where my oldest daughter and her family live, NOBODY has power yet!

Thanks for all your good wishes and prayers! The last two storms did not turn out to be as bad as the first one, thank goodness, but there has been lots of rain, and yesterday it snowed 4 slushy, heavy inches and then rained again (now it's sunny!). We did not get the bad winds, thank heavens (we need a break!). But Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, Victoria and the Washington/Oregon coast got it really badly, as Debbie mentioned, and I really feel for them.

We just might get power tomorrow, but I think that is overly-optimistic. I think maybe Weds. They JUST got the power to the ferry terminal on Denman Is. this morning. There are contracted tree-cutters all over the island and they did cut the trees off our power line this morning, but the Hydro crew has to reconnect everything, and there are still big lines down on many of the major roads. So, I don't think they'll get to us for a long time.

I was getting a bit depressed, because it's hard to feel Christmasy, and everything takes so long, it's so dark (unless we get sun, like today), etc., etc. I should be working on the newsletter and the e-book! But, I decided to be positive and regard it as a holiday from work. I'm getting lots of reading done and catching up on sleep, since we get to bed really early! And, after all, how can we feel sorry for ourselves when we think of all we have compared to so many?

We got head-lamps (like cavers use) and that has been great--free hands! We're warm and dry; we're collecting lots of rain-water, so water's not a problem; we have lots of food and are eating really well. We still have our phone, and now we can even have showers and wash clothes nearby! Fortunately, as you know, we have no meat in our freezer, so there's nothing we can really lose. The freezer is old and heavily-insulated and I hadn't defrosted it recently, so it's actually still got ice in it! We are eating the things as they thaw (reconstituted Soy Curls, veggies, etc.) and have not even had to resort to canned and dried foods yet! We use our deck as an outdoor fridge.

It reminds me of when I was young and was "homesteading" with my late husband Wayne and my kids in the 70's. We lived voluntarily without power or running water for 3 years, and without running water for several more! As I washed my hair in the sink yesterday after heating up the water on the woodstove and using a pitcher to wet my hair, I was reminded of the school mornings when my 3 teenage girls would all be doing this every day! We didn't even have a TV in those days either, but we had lots of fun.

It also has made me very aware of the over-consumption at Christmas time, for some reason. I'm not THAT old, but I can remember feeling so thrilled to get a special doll and a few other things. Parents might get eachother a nice article of clothing, or something like that. But ordinary middle class people didn't buy what would have been the equivilant of these games and other pieces of technology that cost hundreds of dollars that people spend,spend, spend (and feel somehow obliged to spend!) now. Most of us think nothing of buying these things for ourselves, anyway, so why do we need other people to get into debt to buy us something more?

We're keeping it really simple this year. Getting together is the main thing. And our extended family is helping out a family member who really needs it right now instead of getting gifts for all the nieces and nephews, etc..

My daughter-in-law Amber did a really nice thing (now that I'm on the subject). We have homeless on Denman Island, believe it or not. A couple of individuals who have been dealt some hard knocks in life and, though very smart and hard-working, have a problem with alcohol. They live in donated vans. Amber pre-paid for some gas for their vans at the local store. A very kind gesture.

To digress, I've been taking photos, but I can't upload them and resize them, so blogging with photos will have to wait. I got out my Chinese stacking bamboo steamers and they have come in handy for reheating leftovers.

What did we have for dinner last night? Frozen potato-and-onion pyrogies (well-- half-frozen!), boiiled and then sauteed in a little Earth Balance with mushrooms and oniosn and a few Soycurls, topped with leftover brown gravy. Spinach salad on the side. No too shabby! Oh, and by candlelight, of course!

All the best!
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Anonymous said...

I am amazed and impressed with your creativity and ingenuity. I don't honestly know what in the world I would do without power for 24 hours. I don't even know if we have a working flashlight. You have inspired me to get better prepared!

Anonymous said...

yes, its pretty bad all over the place with power all have it worse because of where you live. I agree with the overspending with xmas gifts and wanting to please...but some people do this for reasons unknown to us. it is a physical need or an emotional need that they were deprived of or are still being deprived of so have to fill this need. My ex father in law was a jewish prisoner in a camp, he had no food, nothing. Today he is a wealthy business man in Toronto, he stocks and re- stocks his cupboards, and buys and buys the most food and clothing that he can..for no reason except he is afraid and it causes panic inside of him if he were to NOT do that. It is a deep seated feeling for most of us when we overindulge and by too much for ourselves or others and go into debt. It fills a void...makes us feel good for a your daughter in law trying to make herself feel better by pre paying for someone's gas. (Are the vehicles insured? who pays for that?). Others do it simply out of guilt for what they cannot provide for their children in an emotional or physical sense we do what is the only option left in our own mind...and to some people that is to "spoil", to buy, to give, to take guilt away from one self. To make yourself feel better. People that have a deep seated guilt or bad feeling or a general sense of wanting to be better do that. Its mostly human nature. Hope you all have a Merry Christmas over there..hope you get all your power back on in time for the holidays.

Joni said...

Wow, I hope you write more about your homesteading days. Homesteading was a major dream of many folks in my earlier years but I knew no one who actually did it. Bryanna, you should write your memoirs!

Anonymous said...

We used to camp quite a bit, but i've never homesteaded like you ... dreamed about being off grid though. I guess my gardening and canning, learning how to sew, and making your recipes from scratch is as close as I'm going to get.

Now I'll be teaching others these great skills. I just finished studnet teaching Wednesday and was offered a full-time contract on Thursday, I was pleased with the offer and accepted. A whole new generation of kids will be learning your ways, imagine one of your cookbooks as a required textbook. :)

Anonymous said...

Bryanna, I can't believe how well you are able to cope without power. Our electricity was out for only 17 hours, but we had to go out to eat, because I had no way to cook and cold food on a cold day just wasn't doing it. I'm going to have to take some of your ideas and get prepared for next time. Thanks for sharing!

Heresiarch said...

Many people who know about gadgets and sciences seem to shun exploting them for monetary gain and producing mass consumption "novelties". Those are usually the works of the short sighted and immature. The same people consuming them most insatiably. Ahh, what do I know??

Anonymous said...

I'm so happy to read that you are ok and that you can see this in a positive light ! You are great !
You inspire me a lot, day to day.

I too would love to read more about your homesteading days, how fascinating !

Thinking of you :)