Monday, November 21, 2011

It's November *what*?!

I can't believe it's already November 21. I think someone's playing a joke on me and rolled my whole calendar forward a few weeks. It's not almost December! *cries*

But I have a giveaway to give away! This month the randomizer chose Connie! I've contacted via Ravelry.

Here's what I've assembled so far. I'm waiting on one little component so I can make a glow in the dark stitch marker or two. I can assure you through personal experience that it's really annoying to drop a stitch marker in the dark.

The little green packet on the lower left are some silk hankies I dyed last week just for fun. They're not something I plan to have in the shop any time soon. I love playing with hankies, but it's really just play and I figure that something a little different would help for power outage boredom. The delicates wash and lanolizing wool drops are offered up by my friend Cate of Urbbody (her home shop is Urbhome). I think the lanolizing drops are really cool, even if one isn't treating soakers, and I used a bunch of the delicates wash recently to de-smoke all my wool after a week of wood fires.

Meanwhile, I have nothing of substance to talk about today but I do have my Thanksgiving menu planned so I'll put that behind the jump.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The return to civilization (and a belated giveaway)

Um.... *taps microphone* Is this thing on?

If I flatter myself, you may have noticed my conspicuous absence at the start of this month (well, unless you follow my Twitter acct in which case I was jawing my head off). That would be because on Saturday, Oct 29th at about 3pm or a few minutes earlier, a big tree fell across our driveway taking down our power lines and a utility pole and causing the transformer to hit the ground and break open. We were without electricity and running water until Sunday, Nov 6th. The tree blocked egress until the 4th.

The tree in question:

I spent most of my time knitting or trying to knit, so that's the main inspiration for this month's very belated giveaway. This month I'm giving away an emergency preparedness kit. It's not just any emergency preparedness kit, it's a yarny preparedness kit. Inside, you will find one slightly underweight skein of this yarn - Jackrabbit 4oz in the colorway "Implausible". (I spent the whole week telling myself "this is unreal".)

As well as (not pictured) an emergency light source, some emergency calories, something to get the smell of woodsmoke out of your post-emergency FOs, an entirely facetious "pattern" to knit in the dark, and whatever else I can think to add to the box. This is a seriously plump giveaway, if I do say so myself.

I'm going to let this run a full week, through Sat Nov 19th before I let the randomizer pick a winner. To enter, just comment here with an answer to this thought exercise. How long could you survive (without food poisoning or scurvy) off only the food currently present in your home? Added limiters are 1) no electricity for things like refrigerators and freezers, and 2) no running water so all water needs to be carried in by hand from an offsite tap and heated in a pot on a propane stove if you want it hot. Remember to leave me a way to reach you if you win; a Ravelry id is enough!

Friends of the family lost power for days and ended up visiting a different friend's house each day for food and warmth. For us the reality was too much food rather than not enough. When you have a standing freezer as well as an overstuffed side by side, and over 1,000lbs of vegetables gleaned from a local farm that was scheduled for delivery to local food banks, it's a matter of spoilage and no easy way to wash dishes that cause problems. It was cold enough to make washing dishes in unheated water incredibly unpleasant, but not cold enough to keep food from spoiling.

At one point I was tempted to slather everything with barbeque sauce and throw it on the grill. The mess of it was the main deterrent. I did get reasonably good at cooking rice, however. The key was bringing the rice and water to a boil in a heavy pot on the propane burner and then covering it and letting it simmer over a lit sterno canister for about 30min. Our propane burner doesn't produce a low enough flame for cooking rice, but a can of solid fuel is just right for the slow simmer part.

More nattering about the power outage after the jump.