Here it is Friday February 19th, this week has been full of anything but quilting.
Right now the Handi Quilter Moxie is covered with a tarp just in case there is a problem with the roof. I’m waiting until Monday to take that off so that the ice on the roof has a chance to melt off and I can be certain there are no leaks above the sewing room, and/or library. While on my rounds one morning I moved my desk from it’s place to another spot in the room so that if we needed access to the tankless water heater and or heating system we’d have it. With these sub-freezing temps this was a concern. My Sweetie went to check at my insistence because the hatch seemed to be dipping on one side. He assured me that’s just the way it sits but he went up there anyway to look around. Everything is dry and warm. I’m being cautious until we’re out of this and the ice is gone.
When there are rolling blackouts there is little to do but roll with them. When the power was off I was either on the sofa or in bed under blankets. I would at some point wander around the house with the flashlight checking the ceilings and the taps. When the power came back on I’d make the rounds again turning on the hot water with particular focus on the taps connected to outside walls. This included occasionally running a load of laundry with hot water to make sure that line wasn’t freezing. The power outages were effecting the cellular phones as well. This part was a little disconcerting as that was the way to check in with neighbors and get updates on what was happening. There is a very active fb page for the area where we live, and our local officials were doing their best to keep people informed. Of course there were some areas for improvement however I think overall they did a good job.
On that local fb page I posted tips for dealing with this weather. Having grown up in Maine, and lived in NY and NJ for the last 30 years I have some experience that made sense to share. Our homes here in Texas are not ready for this level of cold. For so many there are frozen lines, busted pipes, no way to make hot food. In a bit of a rare fluke we have no matches or candle lighters around the house so I kept jarred candles lit in the kitchen, rotating them so none would get too hot. This allowed me to light the gas stove and prepare food. I talked a local friend through lighting her gas stove so that she could make hot water and cook. That does make a tremendous difference. Some of our neighborhoods are without water and/or are under a boil water order. I know in our town lines are repaired, allowing the process of making the water drinkable again is working. There boil water order will remain in place for a while and with good reason, a friend got sick from drinking tap water without knowing about the boil water order. She’s fine now but, ooph that had to be rough.
My Sweetie was watching the heating system at work as the temperatures dropped. He was trying from here to keep the buildings warm. At some point I said, “go, just go!” confirming for him that he needed to get to the Priory. I packed up a sleeping bag, blanket and something else because if he was staying there he needed to be warm and with the roads being slick, well if he got stuck somewhere… He returned home Monday afternoon slept for a few hours. In the morning he spoke with a couple of people to get a better understanding of how to run the system in this weather that’s allowed him to go to work and come home. Yep the roads have been slick, he’s been taking a truck back and forth until yesterday when he brought our car home.
As a total aside, but with some gratitude I share this. When we purchased our home there was an electric stove, behind the stove is a fitting for natural gas. When we had to replace the refrigerator we decided to get a gas stove at the same time, though the deliveries were weeks apart. I’m glad we didn’t wait until there was a problem with the electric stove to replace it.
Warming centers are open still, with places to recharge oxygen tanks, get food and water for drinking and cooking. I know our local police department responded to calls for residence with oxygen to make sure their unit were working. Thank you! From what I saw on the fb page the local hotels filled up pretty quickly with people in need of adequate shelter.
I’ve also been able to check in with a friend in the Houston area who’s had water damage from burst pipes. And see other friends around the area with the same situation. We’ve got a mess to clean up and it will get done. Quilts Inc delayed enrollment for the Spring Quilt Market online event they’re doing because most of the employees are dealing with busted pipes, no power etc. They’ll get back up and running as soon as possible.
Our local Bishop dispensed with the obligations we normally have for fasting and abstinence from meat for this week. Normally Ash Wednesday is a day of fasting (one less than regular meal and perhaps 2 small meals) and Fridays are no meat days. He essentially said eat what you have, this is a difficult enough situation without keeping the fast. Our local parish is closed until sometime Saturday. There’s a list of parishes that have water damage, this is going to take some time to repair and recover. Last night my faith sharing group met over Zoom, oh good grief did we need to talk and pray together. 2020 and 2021 have confirmed for me what I experienced on the road in 2019 driving all over NY and NJ – a need for community to talk with and interact with people on a regular basis.
Today I will be wandering around the house inside and out to make sure there are no roof leaks that potentially lead to water damage. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers, and check ins through this major winter weather we’re having here in TX. It’s been something of a wild ride.