October 21, 2010

Old Man Winter

will be blowing down the necks of our coats and coveralls before we know it! What preparations do you make for winter? For power outages? Water outages?
We have started our winter ritual around here already. I know I mention it on a regular basis but we did go without power for 16 days last winter. We had it pretty good. We had heat, water and even better than that...hot water but by day 16 I was so ready to see my lights come on again. I can't imagine being stuck in a warming shelter with my children for over 2 weeks but many people living here in Kentucky were.

I have stocked up on candles, flashlights and batteries. We don't run the generator at night if the power is out so it's nice to be able to light a candle or grab a flashlight if the boys need something.

The gas company came and filled our 500 gallon propane tank up last week. It's used for back up heat, the kitchen stove and our water heater. We have the main fireplace and 3 wall heaters that use propane and heat the entire house. When we moved here the house only had propane heat. We later had central heat and air put in but kept all the propane heaters for backup heat. Plus it's nice and cozy to use the fireplace from time to time.

We have 2 generators, Big Bertha here and one half her size just for the well pump if we lose county water. We had everything hooked up after the ice storm to a transfer switch. All we have to do now is plug the big cord from the generator into an outlet on the back deck, flip some switches and waaa-laaa...we have electricity!

Plus we can switch over to the well if county water goes out...which it did last year. That's our little pump house.

My husband has started filling the gas tank. We fill it about half full in the Fall to keep through Winter for the generators and then use most of it over the Summer to fill up fresh again in the Fall.

We bought 3 large round bales of hay for the goats. I thought they would last through the winter but seeing how they have already been working on these bales, we'll probably have to buy at least 3 more. We have about 40 square bales in the barn loft for feeding if we have to keep them in their stalls (like this Spring when they have babies! - Dute Dute seems to be getting the job done if you know what I mean).

The pantry is pretty well stocked but I'll buy some more beans/rice/things that will keep for those quick large meals during power outages like chili, soup, etc. It could use some organizing. There are boxes of home canned food stacked under these shelves as well.

Potatoes, onions, herbs and peppers are stored or hanging to dry.

Then there's all my canning.

and more canning. We won't go hungry for jam or jelly! I can guarantee that thanks to my steam juicer addiction over the summer!

The freezers are pretty full. We will add more meat to them before Winter.

We had new tires put on the truck. Not a yearly thing but they needed it this year. Four-wheel drive doesn't do any good when the tires are slick and bald!

What do you think about it Bella?? We have a lot of your milk frozen...just in case! The sugar, flour and meal jars will be filled one more time before it gets cold.

How about you Lucy?? Are you ready for Winter?

Little Red Hen, do you have your cupboards full??

Pretty soon our beautiful Fall colors with be gone

and OLD MAN WINTER will be here for a long visit!
Are you ready??


Dawn said...

16 DAYS!!!!!!! WOW!
I never would have made it!!!!
Looks like you are prepared. I need a generator...Thanks for reminding me:))

(Love the goat pics:)

Farmchick said...

We went for only 7 days in my central KY area without electricity. We used our woodstove for heat and cooking. It was interesting for sure! It looks like you are stocked up!

Peggy said...

Am so ready and waiting for winter(my favorite season).Looks like you are really ready too!

Joe said...

WOW!!! 16 days??? We're really lucky in my area. The longest I can ever remember being without power was for 3 days and that was an ice storm years ago.

Steph said...

We've got gas hot water, gas cooktop, gas logs, and we're looking for a good sale on gas wall heaters!

texwisgirl said...

I am amazed at all the prep work you do (and have already done!) We're SO spoiled in Texas. We always get a few ice storms and occasionally some real snow, but power outages more than one day are rare. And unfortunately, we don't prepare for them well or at all... :)

LindaG said...

We've not prepared like you have, but you have given me a couple ideas for our retirement property.
I've been trying to look into solar power for an alternative energy source for our well.

Thanks for this post!

Elizabeth (blue clear sky) said...

Now that is prepared! I love seeing all the home canning.

Julie Harward said...

I'm ready too...reminds me of the story of the old man that can sleep when the wind roars...he was ready too. Come say hi :D

Nancy@el vigilante said...

We only went 24 hours without electricity last year -- Christmas Eve through Christmas Day due to ice. It was actually fun. But 16 days? That's harsh, girl. Looks like you are ready for another brutal winter. Love it!!

Kent Island Red said...

Looks like you're ready for anything Old Man Winter throws your way! Hope he's not as unforgiving as he was last year tho - that was a doozy!

Gorges Smythe said...

Lot of nice photos on your site!

Masara said...

I know I'm a little late in the game to comment here but I wanted to tell you how much I'm loving your blog. We didn't have power for 3 weeks during an ice storm when I was a kid. Thank goodness my grandparents made all the preparations you did or we would have been in big trouble. The husband and I just moved into a new apartment so we're trying to stock back up on everything, but it takes a while and we have to get really creative space-wise in this little apartment. Wishing we had our own farm (too bad husband will always be a city boy, I'll have to stay a wannabe country girl until I can convince him)


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