This is a quick and dirty post, pulling up several of what I think are the most useful of my prior posts of being ready for weather related emergencies. For readers living between about North Carolina and Maine, I think you need to think seriously about what will hit late in the weekend up through Tuesday according to the National Weather Service (or whatever weather provider you trust).
If nothing else, I think we can all count on losing the power.
So here are my best thoughts on getting prepared. If nothing else, you’ll get a good laugh with the video. Stay safe, my friends.
No power – cook with your grill
Are you ready
Depending on the age of your home and your location, you might have windows in your basement. Frankly, for most people, windows in the basement are an after-thought unless someone locks himself out of the house or there’s an accident with a baseball or you have a flood and need to get ventilation into the basement to help with drying things out.
THEN, you’ll remember the windows in the basement. (more…)
What you choose to do insulating with depends, to a large extent, on the conditions you’ve got to work with in the area that you are insulating. The DH also wants to do the ‘old/old’ part of the basement, which was built in 1939, has a positive jungle of electric wiring, ductwork, and water pipes in the ceiling. So, there are weird spaces, angles and just sheer ‘stuff’ to get around. For this, he felt that his choices were a) fiberglass insulating batts cut into pieces and b) expandable foam. If we were working in the summer, where we could open every window and door in the house, use fans to pull the chemical vapors out of the space and so on, he might have chosen the expandable foam. But we aren’t and we can’t and between the very little regular visitor who stays with us several days a week and our trying to hold onto every brain cell we still have, we went with the batts. (more…)
No, this is not a post about wool socks (though goodness knows I love ‘em). This is about an odd bit of house anatomy that many times get forgotten in the insulating operation. People at this point are very familiar with insulating attics, walls, around windows and so on, but if you live in an older home (and Chez Siberia has two flavors of older: the original part of the house built in 1939 and the newer part of the house, added in 1987), one place that is often forgotten is the sill. (more…)
OK, folks — we have a window of opportunity here; let’s not waste it. Right now, in a lot of the US, it feels like the picture at the top. Even at Chez Siberia today in Upstate New York, it feels like this. We had taken the awnings (curtains, deck drapes?) down for hurricane Irene and I figured that it would cool down enough so that we would not have to put them back up.
No such luck. Today is breathtakingly hot here, so out came the step ladder and the drapes and up they went…again. (more…)
Well, next month is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, so I’m getting the jump on everyone here to talk about skin cancer. Part of this is that I feel that EVERY month should be one where we remind ourselves that we can get skin cancer, not only during the spring, summer and early fall. Temperature has nothing to do with the risk of skin cancer. As a matter of fact, if you asked a thousand people in this country what states have the highest rates of skin cancer, they’d get them wrong – they’d pick Florida or Texas or California. The highest rates of skin cancer are found in states such as New Jersey, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Vermont. Cancer by state
And don’t ask me why (more…)
Actually, Aunt Toby had a whole program planned out for this weekend. We’d had wonderfully warm temperatures this week, even for Chez Siberia – by Friday it was up to 63 degrees F. About 12-15” of snow cover melted and I was ready to get out there and shovel off one of the garden beds and talk to you about getting ready for spring planting. Unfortunately, overnight, the temperature plummeted down in the low 20s with high winds and snow, so I didn’t deal with that yesterday, and you get ‘housekeeping bits and pieces’ today. Sorry.
At this point in the season, we’re all extremely tired of winter, the snow next to the road is grimy, and we’re all itching for spring. For most of us north of the Mason-Dixon Line, though, we’ve still got several weeks of winter and some of it will be extremely nasty. We also have (and they’ve started already) ‘end of the season sales’ going on not only in our local malls but over the internet. So, at this point, I usually take a serious look at what my family has been wearing this winter, what shape it’s in, and whether or not the item actually performed its function HERE. Now, depending on where YOU live, (more…)
OK, so Aunt Toby just knows that you’ve got this gargantuan pile of seed catalogs next to the chair or on your night stand and the color photos are just amazing. And your list is growing longer and longer and you are just going crazy with the thoughts of the snow off the ground and the plants IN the ground and what the tomatoes are going to taste like this summer and hey, maybe you’ll make salsa!
Slow down, Bucko. Let’s throw a little science on this, ok? (more…)
One of the things the DH and I did this year, was look at our heating situation. We have an old oil furnace at Chez Siberia and even without the issue of ‘buying foreign oil’, the thing is old. But replacing it would not change several issues involved with furnaces in houses:
1) They are all electric started so when we lost our power in the winter time, we also lost the heat.
2) Replacing it with a more efficient oil furnace would only make our burning foreign oil even more efficient. Cleaner, but still foreign.
So, we replaced our major source of heat in the house with a wood pellet stove in the living room with the oil furnace as a back up in case the weather got so horribly cold that we could not keep the house warm enough.
The is just one problem with wood heat – it’s dry. Really really dry. Like dries out your nose and your skin and makes you cough and gives you winter itch dry. So, we needed a source of moisture. (more…)
(Truth in advertising: This is not a shot of any of our sheep; this photo is courtesy of North Devon Farmer)
Everyone cozy? All settled in? (given the amount of snow and cold out there right now, Aunt Toby certainly hopes wherever you are is cozy) Let me tell you a story. (more…)