Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Preparing for Storms

Thought it might be timely to repost these tips on emergency preparedness.  We've been hit with some wild storms here in the Pacific Northwest for the past couple of months and they came a little earlier than our usual winter, so it just goes to show you can't be too early in preparing for anything.

From the archives:

Winter / Storm prep tips.

While it's a little early to be thinking about snow here in the Pacific Northwest, it is not too early to prepare for it!
Women on their own must look out for themselves and be prepared for anything - because anything can happen.  I have been through many major storms here and been trapped for weeks, both at home and away from home.

I now have a preparation ritual.  In the Fall (sometimes sooner) I start thinking about what I need to do, from gathering supplies to making preparations.
Supplies always include extra canned and dry goods, anything I can cook or prepare on a camp stove should the power be out.
Preparations include winterizing the house.  Wrapping outside pipes, putting up heavier curtains inside.
I even pack an overnight bag that I keep in my car should I get stuck away from home.

I always make sure I have a flashlight and extra batteries, several small propane tanks, lanterns and oil, matches and ground coffee!  Until they design a battery operated coffee grinder, this is a staple for me!  Of course a small drip coffee one-cupper and cone shaped filters must be included.
[ update:  I found a hand grinder!  No batteries or electricity required!)

Other useful things would be a couple of bags of ice in the freezer, so when the power goes out it keeps the food cold.  One year it was so cold outside that I just put the food out there.
Extra containers of water may be necessary if your water comes from an electric pump,  and did I mention candles?  Lots of them.

Obviously I have a back up heating system that doesn't require electricity.  I have a wonderful wood stove.  It is actually my primary heat source. I get my fire wood in the summer, stacked, cured and covered by Sept.

Keep the gas tank full in the car and the snow shovel by the front door.  Have a corded phone to plug in to the jack should the power go out.  Cordless phones are useless without power.
Up until about a year ago I didn't even have a cell phone, but now that I do, I keep that charged up.  While I don't get service here at my house, at least I can use it in the car if need be.

So these are some of the things we can do to be prepared for a long winter living alone.
If you're on a budget like me, or just like to conserve your resources, we have to think outside of the box a little more, get creative and work with the resources you have.

I'm really quite content with my independent life, and grateful to have a sharp mind and willing spirit.  It just makes life so much more interesting.

If you have any tips you'd like to share on winter preparedness, please leave a comment!  I look forward to hearing from you.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Confessions of an Art Gallery

The walls of the gallery are thin - or - if the art could talk.

I imagine they hold their tongues till the last customer is out the door, till the workers are all gone and the lights go out.  Then the whispers start.

  "Did you hear what that guy said about you?",  pointing down the corridor to a mixed media piece hanging on the wall - and slightly off of it at the same time.

  "What?",  it replied in horror.

  "Something out of my garage!", the watercolor said.

  "Oh what do they know.  Art lovers my foot!", as it shrugged and lost one of its parts.

  "Now look what you've done, the gallery owner shall surely wonder how that happened.", added the watercolor.

  "They all do it", said a lovely delicate mobile hanging from the ceiling. "I see all, nothing gets passed me."
"Art lovers and art critiques alike.  They all think they can paint it or build it or photograph as well as the artists."

  "I could do THAT.",  laughs the sculpture, mocking the customers who didn't buy anything.

  "It's all just a matter of perspective don't you see.", said the blob in the corner. ( No one ever really knew what it was but it had a pretty high price tag on it.)
"People only see themselves in art."

  "What did he say?  It is a he, isn't it?"  The other paintings talked amongst themselves.

  "What I mean is," the blob continued, "is that they see the art subjectively, as they are, and not as it is."

  "I think you have a point.", said the seascape, "It's not really about the art, it's about them, their narrow view of life, right?"

   The blob moved, "Yes, exactly."

  "How do they differ from the people who really love art, then?", came a small voice on a pedestal.

  "You mean our hero's, the real appreciators?  They are more evolved.", boasted an oil painting.

  "I think they are more spiritual, more creative.", said the dainty fairy sculpture.

  The blob spoke again. "I think we are just like them, we all differ in our opinions."
They all laughed together.

Perhaps it is all relative, but next time you're in an art gallery, show a little respect - the walls have ears.

*Contributing Copy Editor, Stacey Smith

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