Out here in rural south Salem, Oregon, we've been without electricity for two days after a big ice storm caused trees to topple and electrical lines to crumple.
My wife and I sleep in different bedrooms. We have a wood stove, but the heat from it doesn't reach to where I sleep.
I toughed out the first night without electricity, though naturally my room was much colder than usual, Last night I decided that I'd sleep on a blow-up bed. I put it in the living room, which is close to the wood stove in our open-plan house.
Our Husky mix, Mooka, greeted me in the morning. (She sleeps in an area close to my wife, so Mooka gets up when Laurel does.) It took our dog about three seconds to decide that the best greeting would be to jump on the blow-up bed, with me in it.
Since, Mooka has rarely left the bed. It's her new favorite place. So at least our dog is enjoying what comes with no electricity. Me, not so much.
After we get up, Laurel brings in firewood from outside to keep the wood stove going that day. Then she makes a fire with newspaper, kindling, and small pieces of wood. After that, she tends the fire until it is going nicely and starts to heat the house.
Me, I go out to the carport and turn the start key on our generator. Then I make my breakfast and relax, having done my part to keep our household running smoothly. Like I said, Laurel and I share household chores equitably.
Oh, forgot to mention that last night Laurel found the box in our garage that the blow-up bed was in, brought it inside, plugged in the pump, filled up the bed with air, and made the bed with sheets and two blankets.
I then turned down the bed coverings before I went to sleep. Again, we have a 50-50 marriage.
However, when it comes to outside work, I do 100% of the tasks when it comes to using our Stihl backpack blower and chainsaw -- both of which came in handy the past few days given how many tree limbs came down in our large yard during the ice storm.
Yesterday I saw that the quart of chainsaw bar oil was almost gone. So this morning I set out on a mission to drive into Salem and get more bar oil, along with filling up two empty five gallon gasoline cans in case we need to use our generator for another few days.
There was a bit of a line at the south Salem Shell gas station I always go to. The attendant said that people had seen on the news last night that a long line had formed at a Woodburn gas station after the ice storm.
He added, "There's plenty of gas, though." I noted that the same thing happened with toilet paper last year when Covid lockdowns led to panic buying, quickly adding that I really did need gasoline for our generator. He agreed.
I neglected to mention that when toilet paper became available again last spring, or maybe it was early summer, I went overboard and bought so much that we're still using it up. The attendant made fun of someone he knows who acquired such a supple of toilet paper, it had to be stored in their garage.
Which is where we keep some of our supply -- another thing I didn't mention.
When I went to Ace Hardware for the bar oil, I immediately noted that the parking lot was unusually full. When I got inside, a line of people waiting to check out extended almost all of the way to the back of the store.
Soon I found myself at the end of it, clutching a gallon of chainsaw bar oil.
This wasn't panic buying. It was people getting what they needed to cope with the ice storm. The guy in front of me with the baby carriage had bought a chain saw. I heard him tell a salesman that he needed one long enough to cope with a large tree that had fallen down.
When I got home, I did some additional driveway blowing, branch hauling, and chainsawing of branches. Well, until the chain fell off my saw, which not surprisingly put an end to my chainsawing.
I'm pretty clueless about chainsaw maintenance, so my plan is to take it in to Ace Hardware tomorrow, a Stihl dealer, and hope that even though chainsaw sales have been brisk, chainsaw repair and tuneups won't take all that long.
Regarding tonight, I'm going to do my best to avoid having to sleep on the dog bed while Mooka sleeps on the blow-up bed. A handful of dog treats should do the trick at luring her off my bed -- my go-to dog training device.