Friday, January 26

Some pictures from Ice Storm '07

We now have our electricity back. I am glad in some ways, but in another sense the time we had without power really brought our family even closer and we spent more time enjoying each others company. I learned how to cook almost everything we ate on a barbeque and I learned first-hand about delivering baby goats at night using a flashlight. There are many neat stories that I want to share but I don't have time now. I will have to do a more in depth post later about our Ice Storm 2007 but for now enjoy some of the pictures and know that life on Vita Bella Ranch is back to normal (if there is such thing as "normal" around here).

Here is a picture for those who are partial (and that includes me) to our beautiful Pyreneese "pups" : Caelo and Terra.

Monday, January 15

Oklahoma Ice Storm - January 2007

Hey Everybody, I don't know if you have heard that this part of Oklahoma is going through a big ice storm. My family is doing well considering we have no running water (we are back to bringing water to and fro by hand) and no electricity ... it reminds me a little of our first winter here when our well did not work. I don't have much time since I am on my Grandparent's computer so let me share two emails that were sent by my Granddad that sum up what life around here has been like that past few days. I have some really awesome pictures of the ice storm to share once we get electricity back. Take care until then.

Excerpts from a letter from my Granddad ....

Sunday A.M:

It's an incredible storm that is currently gripping eastern Oklahoma. We're at the end of the first wave with temperatures in the 20's, massive icing everywhere. Nighttime lows to be 2 degrees Tuesday with daytime highs in the 20's. There are massive power outages all over the region. By last night over 45000 homes lost power. Must be much worse today. The very heavy ice is snapping power lines and trees all over. We lost power in this area yesterday afternoon. Mike and the kids rounded up the cows, and led them int the barn. But no electricity, so no heat or pumped water. They have stocked up a lot of water however. So Mike has no phone, but we communicate by walkie-talkie. Mom and I are fine. We have heat and electricity (and Internet. Apparently we're the only ones on line, because we don't have electric service) with our little Honda generators, which I am using carefully to conserve fuel but to mainly charge up the batteries, etc. Trying to keep it down to well less than a gallon a day until we make it through next Wednesday when the weather starts becomming normal. Tune in later for more info.


We all had a good day yesterday. Mike and Joey and I went to Tim's in Mike's big Excursion van complete with his large chain saw and Joey muscles to clear the road when necessary. And indeed, we did stop 6 or 7 times to cut and clear fallen trees and branches. And they were mostly on the paved roads. Many fallen logs had already been cleared earlier by others, but the heavily weighted limbs keep falling at such a fast rate.We found a gas station with one out of four pumps still active with a line of cars. But we got all our gas cans filled. And we brought lots of jugs of water. Tim and I worked on his generator while Mike went back on the dirt roads to look for a neighbor roumered to be stranded. Nobody around here has electricity around here for miles and therefore no water as well for most. And also, even though most have propane tanks, the furnaces won't run without the electric blower. And another widespread problem is telephone service for those with cordless or hightech phones, which don't work without electricity. Mike and I got back after checking on some vulnerable friends and chain saw sessions along the way, and we did get his backup generator going. Mike just finished installing a new wood stove in his main room just last week. It's super efficient and he has no shortage of fire wood. And with the great number of fallen trees and limbs, ther is no shortage in sight for the next couple of years. Today the weather is in the teens and will be single digits tonight and tomorrow night with a low of 2 degrees. According to the local TV there are 122,000 homes statewide without power. So many involve downed power poles, especially in this part of the state, which may take up to 2 weeks or more to restore because of the sheer workloads. So we are hunkered down for now. The ice is incredible yet beautiful out here. So it is all a very unique experience, and should begin to improve after Wednesday.