Friday, February 4, 2011

Baby, it's Cold Outside!

(This is actually a picture from a year ago, but it gets the point across!)

This past week has been a difficult one for us, but we've also been able to count our blessings through it all. Much of the state has experienced record lows over the last couple of days; yesterday our high here in Los Alamos was 7 degrees F. We've been without hot water for several days and will continue to be without for several more since we discovered a broken pipe this afternoon. As mentioned above, however, we do have much to be thankful for:

Our natural gas has remained on (much of northern New Mexico will be without natural gas--our main heating source--through Sunday)

Our wood stove has helped keep us toasty, and we have plenty of fire wood *just in case*

We have cold water

We have family and friends who have offered us their showers and washing machines

The plumber who was here yesterday installed two valves on our pipes to turn off in case of an emergency--we used them today when we discovered the broken pipe in the attic

I've been heating all of our water on the stove. As I fill sinks for dish-washing and bathing, I feel a bit like Ma from the Little House books (ok, so I know that I still have far more luxuries and conveniences than Ma!) Within two days I've already changed the amount of dishes and clothes we use. We've also been bathing far less frequently. All of this really has me thinking about our luxuries and conveniences. How much do we really need, and what can we do without? How long can one pair of jeans last? How many times a day can I reuse the same cup? How long can I go without a shower? :)

I've also been thinking about worst-case-scenario situations, including all of the "what ifs" of life: what if our electricity went out for a week? What if we had no water? What if we needed to live off of what was in our pantry for several months?

I do not want to live in fear, but I also want to be prepared. I've been interested in self-sufficiency for a while now, but now I want to kick it up a notch.

I once read in a survivalist-type book that the first part of being prepared is living in a clutter-free and organized home. That way, if disaster strikes, you know exactly where everything is and don't have to waste time searching around. So, our first family mission: de-clutter, reduce and organize (my husband loves this)!

I hope all are well and warm,

P.s. If you know of any homesteading/survivalist/self-sufficiency blogs or websites, I would love for you to share them!


  1. I'm sorry to hear about all the cold weather there. Yuck! It has been pretty cold here in OK too, but it is finally starting to warm up and the snow is melting, thank goodness.

  2. I'm so sorry- I didn't even offer a shower or washing machine use! Of course you're welcome anytime.

    I just came across this website: The National Center for Home Food Preservation (it even includes directions on freezing eggs for when you have chickens someday...)

  3. I also just found this:

    Apparently it's where America Goes to Get Ready. And they're having a winter storm preparedness sale...

  4. How nice that you have such generous neighbors close by to help out and that you are so self-sufficient that you are able to have a wood stove for heating. Hope everything is back to normal soon!