Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Snow Update

Today is day 5 with no power and day 4 with no phone. We have water - temporarily.

Here's what we know about the water: most of our town gets its water from a giant tank up in Snow Canyon above Spring Street. An avalanche took out the main line from the tank. We have a backup system, which we normally use during the summer if the previous winter wasn't wet enough. It utilizes a pump that draws water from an underground river. That pump needs electricity - there is none. So, we had no water while they searched for a mega-generator to run the pump. Last night around 9 pm we discovered we had water again. The pump is running. Now they need to fix the main line from the tank.

Our neighbor John came over around 8, excitedly telling us we had phone again - that is, until he remembered in mid-sentence that our phone line had been knocked down. So while most of the town has phone service again, Verizon says they won't come up to fix our line until February 2.

We still have no power, either. No telling how long that will take. No power means:
- eating your meals in the recliner so you can be close to the fireplace
- sleeping in sweatpants, sweatshirts, hats, and gloves (isn't that from a Dar Williams song? !)
- ice on the inside of the bathroom window
- making toast in a skillet

I'll be adding more as I think of them.

Monday, January 25, 2010


Today is day 4 with no power. It's day 3 with no phone, and day 1 with no water.

It started snowing last Tuesday; it didn't stop until Friday evening. The first few days were no big deal - we'd shovel the pathways to the woodshed and the street, and I'd parked my Jeep under the carport next door (my friend's house - he lives in the valley). But Friday morning we woke up to several more feet of snow.

I got a call from the District at about 6:15 saying school in Yucaipa was cancelled due to snow - they got several inches and the roads were slick, so it was a safety issue. (Yucaipa is about 2600' - we're at 6000'). I was on the phone with my friend Patrick at 6:30 when the power went out.

Okay, we can deal with the power being out - we have 2 generators. One is now hooked up to the light in the kitchen, the lamp in the living room, the fan in the fireplace stove box, the regrigerator, and the tv/satellite. (We actually got to watch the playoff games yesterday.) The other, smaller generator is hooked up to the freezer downstairs in the basement. We run each one a few hours at a time in order to keep the food cold and the living room above 60˚. We've gone through tons of wood, and eat our meals in the recliners since they're next to the fireplace. We sleep under several comforters, and I"m wearing gloves to bed since it's so cold in there.

On Saturday morning, we woke up to no phone service. No land line, no cell. Then around noon, while we were outside with our neighbors, the next little disaster happened. Don and John were in the street - John was using the snow blower - we all heard a loud c-r-a-c-k, and a giant limb (1.5 feet in diameter) fell off the huge cedar in our front yard. The two men were directly underneath it, and they ran for their lives. It landed in a cloud of snow and branches right behind them. As it fell, it took out our power and phone lines - stripped them off the main pole. They're still connected to the house, so they're dead lines. Later Saturday afternoon, after the road was plowed and we'd cleared the tree branch from the road, we drove down the mountain for food and gasoline for the generators. I called Verizon - who gave us an estimate of February 2 for the phone line. I called Edison, and we're on their list - there are dozens of power lines down all over town - some they can't get to until the 15-foot-high berms are cleared. It's like those old-time Christmas tree lights - every single line has to be connected in order for all the power to be turned back on. We'll probably be without power at least another week if not more.

So, I'm okay with no power, and I'm okay with no phone, since I can come to the office now and use my cell and the office phone.

But this morning we woke up to no water. The initial guess from our neighbor is that an avalanche took out the main pipe from the tank above Spring Drive. When we had water, we could cook, and wash dishes, and even take showers - we have propane to heat it up - but now we have no water. We'll use our fresh water supply from our earthquake supplies to drink and cook, and we have a few hundred gallons in the spa we can use to flush the toilet - but we're going to have to call upon friends down the mountain for showers.

The weather people on TV say this is the most snow in over 50 years. It's definitely the most we've seen in 20. The Big Bear Valley, further up Highway 38, is closed. All 3 highways in and out are shut down; the gas stations are running out of gas, and the stores are running out of supplies. Apparently thousands of ski/snowboard yahoos from LA went running up there midweek, and when the last storm dumped 2 more feet on top of the 3 already there, everyone got stuck. There are avalanches on Highway 18 at the Arctic Circle, and stuck cars all over the place blocking other sections of the roads. (Flatlanders....)

Well, here are the best of the pics I've taken the past few days:

This is a red Chevy Blazer. Really. It's across the street from our house.

This is our street - I'm standing at the bottom, on Valley of the Falls Drive, looking up Snowdrift. This was taken Friday around noon, about 10 hours before the plows came. The snow is about thigh deep - this was Thursday night's snow, since the road was clear before that.

This was Saturday morning, after the plow had come the night before.

This is our house. See the snow on the deck to the left?

This is my husband's truck, before he started to dig it out.

Yeay! We found the front bumper!

This is the branch that came down and almost killed Don and John, and took out our power and phone lines. That's our neighbor Barbara.

Our phone and power lines.

Don and John getting ready to cut the branch up.

This is looking out our sliding glass doors to the deck. The snow is up to my nose.

Signing off for now - powerless, phoneless, and waterless.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Mini received from Cindy

My January partner for the "anything goes" theme in STUD (Swap Til' You Drop) was Cindy from Texas. She made this delightful quilt - really unique fabric, don't you think? The little cog/wheel in the lower right hand corner is cut out and attached with velcro. She signed her name and the date around the edges of it.


The package from Cindy included all kinds of goodies - a note pad, a bookmark, a cute quilt-themed card, and the fabric left over from making the quilt! I will have fun making another mini from that fabric.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Yours Truly Round Robin, Step 2

As I stated in the previous post, this is a do-it-yourself round robin. Carol posted the second set of directions today: use only 2 colors, and if you use a pattern, it must be a Carol Doak pattern. So - I used only the red and blue from the initial center block, and made the four corner blocks from her book 300 Paper Pieced Blocks. It's block number 103. I then added 4 more blocks with a narrow red edge. The block is now 12.5". We have to wait a while now for the next set of directions, so I'll put this away.

Cathy in MD is also doing this - go HERE to see her progress.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Yours Truly Round Robin, Step 1

My Carol Doak Yahoo group is beginning a round robin - but this is more like a do-it-yourself mystery. Carol gives us instructions, and we decide how to follow them. The first step was to create a center block - and we got to choose which one and how large it would be. She'll then tell us what to do next - adding layers and borders and using more of her designs as we go along, till we end up with a quilt.

Since I don't want to make a quilt that's too large, I started with a small block - 4 inches - from her book Easy Machine Paper Piecing. I was able to use scraps from my batiks basket, as I plan to use all batiks for this little project.

Swap Received from Ryan

Ryan is also known as I'mjustaguywhoquilts in my Flickr swap group, Swap Till You Drop (STUD). We were partners for the "anything goes" theme, and he sent me this cool blue-green tree.

Take a look at the stars he embroidered, and the rays of quilting. This is a really nicely done quilt.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Cool Giveaway on Alderwood Quilts

Of course, I would like to win, but you can have a chance or two as well. Go HERE.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A Cooking Stashbusting Challenge

I'm challenging myself to cook and eat only from what I have now. Details on Cookin' with Cyndi. Join me!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Batiks or Prints?

This is the New Year 2010 block from Carol Doak - and I did it first in batiks, and then in prints. Which do YOU like best?

December STUD mini received

This is a mini I received from QuiltyBee, my partner for the "go green" theme for the December swap on STUD. She had read my blogs, and knew that I lived in the mountains and loved to travel in my trailer. The picture in the middle is of the back - and I wanted to show it because I live the fabric she used!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Christmas Day 2009 Pics

This is me, getting ready to retire a 30-year old spatter screen, showing off its replacement. Don got me a new one so Theresa and I went outside to take pics.

Cash for Christmas!

Kenny gave us a Tivo - we're definitely going to use it a lot, along with the BlueRay Disc player he also gave us.