Camping: Day 3, waiting for water

The water’s still off at the campground. Howie and I wish we’d showered yesterday afternoon, but we didn’t have any way of knowing the water would have to be shut off. I’ll be a lot more inclined to take a walk and meet the neighbors once I can wash my hair and get clean.

Our friend Francie called this morning to see if we knew how bad it was up there. She said they’re without power and probably won’t have it back on until the weekend. School’s been canceled for two days now. She wanted to know if we wanted her to go check on our house for us, which was so nice of her. Our friend Mark called Sunday as he walked around our place checking for damage. It’s so good to have friends. 🙂 From the sound of it, everything’s okay at home. Amazingly, the gazebo’s canopy did not shred — we still can’t believe it. The wind must have been blocked by our neighbor’s mock orange bushes and our house. Thank God the huge sycamore and fir trees didn’t fall.

Our side of the street did not lose power when the storm came through Sunday, but it did go off yesterday afternoon around 4:00pm. Maybe the power company turned it off to work on neighboring areas. My poor mother-in-law Nancy spent the whole weekend “prepping” for a colonoscopy, only to receive a cancelation call Monday morning as she was on her way to have it done. Their power was out! They canceled on her once before, but called on a Saturday morning before she’d started the down-and-dirty part of the cleanse. I know they couldn’t help their power being out, but what awful timing…Spend the whole weekend camped out in the bathroom, and for nothing.

Howie called his mom again this morning to check on her and she said our power finally went off around 4:00pm yesterday and is still out. My only immediate concern is our crayfish. They require circulating water to survive, and when the power goes out, so does the mechanical filtration and circulation. The last time we lost power, I fished her out of there using a metal strainer and put her in a Tupperware pitcher with a little water. They are fine out of water as long as they have about a 1/2″ in the container so they can keep their gills wet, but still raise up above the surface to breathe.

Someone on Crayfish Mates forum said he puts some of that craft plastic in the tank, which allows the crays to climb to the surface and breathe. We don’t have any of that at home, so I told Nancy to drape a towel in the water so it touches the bottom, but to close the tank’s lid so she can’t get out. When Howie talked to Nancy this morning, she said the crayfish was still alive, so she must be able to get to the air. It’s funny how we can get attached to critters, even crayfish. The fish in our pond are also a bit endangered since there are quite a few (they had babies) and the pump is not on. I hope all our aquatic friends survive the outage.

Camping: Day 2, now with power!

The power came back on around 1:00pm, right as we were getting ready to go to the Wal-Mart in Hopkinsville. Woot!

We couldn’t find some things at the little local stores, things like a spatula. Oh, and Sudafed. Not that joke they put on the market called Sudafed PE. That stuff is worthless for sinus pain and my sinuses were bad from the time I got up and nothing helped. So, we had to make a 36-mile drive for the federally-locked-down-stuff-of-meth-labs-near-you kind of sinus decongestant goodness. It was absolutely worth the $16+ in gas (!!) to get some. Darned if I was going to spend the week lying in bed with a pillow over my face!

We also got a 17×23″ dry erase board and some colorful markers. I was going to make a poster for our group shot, but when I saw the dry erase, I thought that would be really cool. This way, if I make a mistake, I can just erase it. We can also use it for playing games with everyone. And when we get home, it can go in the office.

Howie’s made a couple of talkie blogs and posted them – be sure to watch both at his site and mine for those. He’s better at getting them uploaded in a timely fashion.

Ohhh, and I forgot to mention that, though we have electric now, there were two major water line breaks and  the water’s out. It should be restored sometime in the morning, though. We brougt our own drinking water, so that’s no big deal. We’ll just have to wait to shower.

Camping: Day 2

7:42am Monday 9/15

The inverter was not, of course, sufficient for powering the coffee maker! LOL We thought mom and dad had some pots in here, but alas they do not. So, We can’t boil water for coffee. We were able to run the grinder, so the smell is torture. Howie didn’t want to try boiling it in a can and pouring it over the grounds in the maker’s basket. Oh, the tragedy! 😉 *Shrug*

He’s gone to the little market nearby to buy ice if they have power. He’ll also get a pot or a metal camping percolator, providing they stock such things. The Diet Pepsi has caffeine, but it’s just not the same as a steaming mug of coffee. Well, we forgot our mugs, too, so let’s revise that to “steaming coffee in a re-used McDonald’s cup”. 😉

9:58am

Howie bought a saucepan and a few disposable aluminum pans. He also brought back two large coffees. Mmmmm, yeah! He will poke holes in the bottom of one of the smaller pans and use to roast veggies on the grill. We have green and red bell peppers, plus some sweet onions.

Gosh it feels good just to be lazy and not have a dirty house making me feel guilty. =) If I can get the laptop to connect via the phone’s data connection (so far sporadic), I might post some photos. Otherwise, I will post snippets like this from the phone. I wish I’d set up e-mail posts before We left. I might be able to set up moblog entries through Flickr. If not, oh well!

Camping: Day 1

12:16pm, Sunday 9/14

We are in Bardstown right now and the wind is buffeting our van like crazy. Power was out in the first section of town we went through. On the Bluegrass Parkway, Howie had a white-knuckled grip on the steering wheel and we were constantly swaying in the strong gusts of wind.

It is supposed to blow through quickly and Prizer Point should be clear after 4 or 5pm. So far, there is no rain forecast the rest of the week.

We had a great time with our friends in Winchester yesterday and spent the night at the Hampton Inn there. It is beautiful and clean, plus the staff is very friendly. If you ever need to stop in that area, we recommend it!

Postmandug is here in Bardstown, right on our way, and we’re stopping by to pick up some firewood from him. That will save us a bundle (or two or three) this week.

We can’t wait to get camp set up and relax for the week. It will be great to see DG friends start trickling in mid-week.

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5:02pm, Sunday 9/14

I am posting from the phone and have limited time or I will run the battery down. 😉

Well, we at Prizer Point Marinara have something in common with Louisianans, Texans and everyone else who was within Ike’s extended path: Huge trees down and power knocked out. The guy who we first saw here said power’s out for about a 12-mile area. Just before getting here, we saw two trees down on power lines twice in a 1-mile stretch. I am sure this was repeated in many areas and I am glad we were on the W-I-D-E Western KY Pkwy during the high winds and not out here on the point amidst all these trees and right on the water. The wind gets really strong here even if the remnants of a hurricane aren’t blowing through! They don’t call this Hurricane Creek for nothing. 😉 You who have been here during storms know what I mean.

Howie is putting up the camper and I am letting friends and Family know we’re here. I am glad we have a good signal on the phone! We have just enough gas to go get gas tomorrow – stations were without power.

It is cool now, at least, and the stormy gales have passed.

We won’t be on the laptops until power’s back…No gas, no recharging the battery in the van if the inverter drains it. 😉

Unplugged,
Kimberley

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7:33pm, Sunday 9/14

Hi again. Well, we called the Chevron Station on 293 and they were back hereopen again. So, we just got gas. It was still “only” $3.99/gallon. I believe the governor of Kentucky declared a state of emergency so stations can’t gouge consumers.

At least now we can use the inverter with relative impugnity. 😉

The sun broke thru the clouds about an hour ago and we enjoyed that classic golden lit trees against a backdrop of dark gray clouds. Nice sunset here, too. Beautiful. It’s gonna be dark-dark-dark at camp tonight. We love it. Nice folks next to us, from Springfield, IL: Tom and Linda.

G’night.

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9:28pm Sunday 9/14

Until we read at our local paper’s site, we had no idea how severe a storm system it still was.

Ike left a swath of damage in his wake, from the gulf coast clear up through Canada. There is heavy wind damage all throughout the states he blustered through, tens of thousands without power, roofs gone, trees down.

Up in our part of Ohio, the roof was blown off an 84 Lumber store in Pataskala and a church in Granville lost its copper-covered steeple. The International airport in Cincy had to cancel 40 flights and a Delta hanger lost part of its roof.

We are going to recharge the cellphones using the inverter. Nice being able to keep in touch. We’ll try to power the Bunn coffee pot in the morning. LOL Inverter is 300-watt and has override safety. Have to look up Bunn’s wattage.

Gearing up for some downtime

Downtime. What a loaded word that can be. If you’re a business owner, downtime isn’t a good thing, though it’s expected. If you’re looking forward to getting away from your responsibilities and enjoying a vacation, downtime’s as desireable as it is illusive.

We’re in the second camp, looking forward to vacation. It’s time for the annual Kentucky Roundup (aka the KYRU) with our friends at Dave’s Garden, and we can’t wait. For the first time ever, we’re making a vacation out of it. We’ll be staying not three days, but eight!I think the last time we took a real vacation anywhere was nearly ten years ago when we visited Howie’s sister in Montgomery, Alabama.

But about Kentucky. Yes. YES! Our plan all along was to tent camp, but since I went ahead and got my surgery over with early, we were concerned with how it would go with me sleeping on an air mattress in the cold and damp night air. Getting up from ground level, one-armed, in the middle of the night just doesn’t sound that easy.

Parentals to the rescue! My mom and dad are loaning us their neat little 2004 Starcraft 2406 pop-up camper, which has all the comforts of home, including two spacious beds, a toilet, water heater, shower, stove, sink and a heater/AC unit. We may not use it to shower, but it’ll sure be nice not having to hike to the bathhouse for every call of nature. Here’s what the floor plan looks like in this model:

Floorplan of the Starcraft 2406 pop-up camper.

Floor plan of the Starcraft 2406 pop-up camper.

By the way, I am able to sleep in bed now; Sunday night was the first time since my surgery that I could remain comfortable enough to sleep the night in bed. Yay, no more overnights of scattered sleep in the recliner! No more hearing Hattie growl and hiss at Snoopy as she pesters Hattie throughout the night hours. In my own bed, next to my slumbering mate, I have only to deal with the friendly, persistent headbutts of Snoopy or the calm, purring lump of Hattie-Cat by my side. Occasionally, they both morph into meatloaves within mere feet of each other on the comforter. There’s a tenuous peace, in the bedroom at least.

Speaking of bedrooms, Howie deep-cleaned our bedroom tonight. Thanks again, Howie! It needed it, anyway, but we want it to be especially nice for his mom. You see, when grandma watches the four-foots, grandma and the trio snuggle up in our bed.  I mean, grandma can’t babysit and just let one little furkid in bed with her, can she? Anyway, her twin-sized bed downstairs in her apartment is too small for a lady plus three dogs. It’s only fair she should sleep in our king-sized bed, surrounded by snoring lumps of dogflesh.

Ah, but back to the whole V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N thing!

We’re ALSO meeting our friend Tami and her family for the first time! Last year it didn’t work out for us to stop on our way back from the KYRU, but this year we’ve made special plans. Because riding in the car is still not the most comfortable activity for me, we decided to break the drive down into two days of 4-hours’ drive each.  Guess who right at that half way point…How perfect.

This way, we can enjoy a leisurely visit. Saturday afternoon will find us hanging out, kickin’ back at a cookout with Tami, Kevin and Ashley. It’s too bad Andrew and Christina are in Missouri (?). I wonder if we’ll get to meet Tami’s folks — along with tasting her dad’s infamous beer cheese, it would be icing on the cake, you know?  Hint, hint. 😉

I think a combined talky blog would be very cool. *Ahem* And, yes, I still need to post mine. I’ve just put off editing it!

Saturday evening, we’ll head to a campground for the night. Sunday morning we’ll head on down to Prizer Point.

We can’t WAIT. I’d better get to bed or I’ll be up until 5am going on about this trip!