Life without power

Do you ever think about how much we take power and running water for granted?


Well, we’re faced with a situation where we have no running water or power.  And right now, the estimate to have it back is 7 to 10 days.


Let me tell you a little about the past two days.


After waking up and seeing the power go out around 6am yesterday, we realized just how dysfunctional our life was going to be.  For starters, we couldn’t make coffee.  Jon and I without any caffeine these days is not a pretty picture.  Since we both have 2-3 cups a day, no coffee doesn’t just mean 2 grumpy parents, it means 2 grumpy parents with withdrawal headaches.


Then there is the matter of food.  Did I ever tell you what a monster I am when I am hungry?  Well, I’m a monster when I’m hungry.  Everything agitates me.  Thankfully, Jon looked ahead and refilled our propane tanks so we’ve been cooking most things on the grill and its burner.  Last night we had grilled chicken in BBQ sauce with some rice.  Tonight we ate some pasta with cheese on top (don’t knock it till you try it).  We also have lots of canned goods, so for lunch we’ve been having tuna sandwiches and some leftover meat that would otherwise go bad (well, really just turkey).


On top of the lack of caffeine and delicious food, our fridge and freezer have begun to defrost.  This isn’t just bad as in, “oh my god the food is going bad,” but more of, “oh my god I pumped extra for the past 7 months to have a stash so I could stop breastfeeding early” bad.  Let me tell you the tears that were forming when I heard 7 to 10 days.  To prepare, Jon and I filled up some zip lock bags with water and lined the deep freezer with those.  We also turned it on the highest setting and promised to never open it until we had power.  We figured this would buy us a day or two and then we’d figure out what to do.


But the silver lining on all this is the lack of running water.  You see, we have well water which means that we have an electric pump.  Which means that, you guessed it, the pump doesn’t work when there is no electricity.  And right now we don’t have electricity.  Hence, no water (are you with me?).  Did you ever consider what it’s like not to have running water?  It’s gross, that’s what it’s like.  We haven’t showered since Saturday (I would urge you to stay as far away from us as possible), we only flush our toilets out of necessity (read: number two), and we have to wash our dishes in a bin and then lightly rinse.  Tonight, I had Jon boil the parts for my pump because I just couldn’t imagine that the washing system we have is sanitary (not that it matters too much since we’re throwing any pumped milk away at this point and I’m mostly just pumping to make sure that my body keeps up and my supply doesn’t go down).


Oh, and I can’t live a single hour without internet.


After spending most of the day yesterday either hiding out from the storm or assessing the damage after the storm, we spent most of today scavenging the area.  After a super short wash-up (thank god for face wipes and deodorant), Jon and I packed up our less smelly kid (why do babies always smell so good?) and most of our necessity electronics (pump, one laptop, the Mifi, and phones), grabbed a power surge and the iPhone dock, and headed out to the nearest Starbucks with power.  We were on the road by 8 am and I called ahead to all the Starbucks around until we found one that was opening within 10 minutes.  To say that the line was out the door would be an understatement, but since we came prepared, we were able to grab some seats and some power (read: we begged two people to switch to our power surge so we could all plug in).  After some coffee (OMG I missed you coffee, let’s never break up again, k?), we powered up, set everything to charge and hung out.  The people around us were mostly from our town or the town next to ours.  We all chatted, shared Irene stories, and let each other in on any insight (hence we know about the 7 to 10 days deal).  Jon and I went next door to CVS to get some baby food (mine resembles mush by now) and some breakfast bars (I don’t think my milk made it through the warm fridge). Then, we sat around and tried to find the nearest store that sold a generator.  We were extremely concerned about the huge milk supply that was surely about to turn into my worst nightmare. Every single store in our area and even those we were willing to make the hike for was sold out.  But, in his moment of geniusness (yup, that’s a word now), Jon called his grandparents who had one.  His brother, who happens to be an electrician, and his mom drove out from Massachusetts to bring it over tonight and hooked it up for us so we could power up the freezer.


To say that we are thankful would be an understatement.  After scavenging the stores for some more supplies like paper plates and goldfish, Jon and I came home, took Peanut for a walk, and then waited for our knights in shining armor his family.  They got there before it got dark out, hooked everything up and left us in our happy place where the freezer was running.  Jon checked the supply and it was miraculously intact!  We also charged up our electronics (hence, I get to bore you guys) and now as we sit by candle light (we only run the generator for a couple of hours and never while our neighbors might be sleeping – that thing is so loud).  Honestly, we’re so freakin’ happy that our freezer can have some power, we could care less about most other things.


HUGE thank you to Jon’s family for coming through in an insane amazing way that only family does.


Tomorrow, our game plan is to find a place to shower.  Because although 2 days is understandable, 3 is just plain gross.


This has zero to do with the post, except to remind us of the happy days when we had power.  And toilets that flushed even when you went number one.


7 months 286


  1. I’m glad you got some power for the freezer! I hope you find a place to shower tomorrow for your own sanity!

  2. Oh man, that all sucks, seriously. I’m so sorry you guys have this going on. I hope power comes on sooner than they’re predicting!

  3. I feel your pain. Back in ’06 we had a huge snow storm and if it hadn’t been for the generator we wouldn’t have been able to shower for 6 days. It was def a learning experience but we made the most of it. We couldn’t get out to the in-laws farm to get their generator (ours ran but didn’t produce energy) for almost 2 days. It was not pleasant!

    You have great inlaws!! They saved the day. Now good luck finding a shower. Remember it could be worse….there could be 5 feet of snow on the ground!

  4. 7 to 10 days? Ugh. I can’t imagine, I’m so sorry! My in-laws went through something similar with the ice storm a couple years ago. We just went 36 hrs without power and I was dying. We have well water as well so I understand where you are coming from about no running water. Went to the store tonight before the power came bacl and the shelves were cleared of all the water. I went to a friend’s house this morning to take a shower before going to work. Felt so good. Hope you guys make it ok and the generator keeps things fresh.

  5. My parents live on the south side of Houston and they decided to ride out Rita when it came through a few years ago and your generator search reminded me of theirs! Their power came back on after 48 hours when they were told a week also, I hope y’all have the same luck and get power back on sooner!!

  6. I hate to laugh at your situation but the way you wrote this made me! Feel free to drive the 1.5 hrs to our house, you can always shower here ;)
    I’m so thankful we didn’t lose power here. Not only would I be smelly and gross by now but we’d still have 5 inches of water in our basement without the electricity to pump it out!

    • It’s ok Gina. I laugh at myself and our situation. I’m super grateful to have my home and all its members that this power outtage is just another one of those “it’ll be funny some day” things. I’m not stressing it too much.

    • Hey – just testing. Do you get this via email?

  7. Yuck! So sorry that you are dealing with that ~ and so admire the sense of humor and sarcasm that you seem to be able to maintain!

  8. I absolutely love that you ended the post with a picture of your Peanut!! Life without Power is definitely different. I did like it though. It was a nice change :)

  9. So sorry! Hope you get power soon!! But if anyone could look good without a shower, it’s you!

  10. OMG. I am so so so happy for you and the generator. I had to throw some of my stash away and it about killed me. I am glad Jon’s family came through. Take care :)

    • I was trying very hard to make peace with it and let it go, but when push came to shove I don’t know if I would be able to get over it. Thankfully, the push didn’t have to come to shove.

  11. That really sucks you guys :( 7-10 days is horrific! I know how you’re feeling though about the lack of water…last winter was crazy cold in Ireland, and the Monday morning before Christmas our water pipes froze…and we didn’t manage to defrost them until the day AFTER Christmas. Worst. Christmas. Ever.

  12. I’m glad you guys are safe and that you didn’t have any flooding. Hopefully they get power back sooner than expected. Thank God you were able to save your stash of breast milk. I couldn’t even imagine having to toss all of that. I would have died.

    Just think- you’ll be able to look back on all of this one day and laugh, right?

  13. I feel so bad for you guys. Thank the Lord for family!! Hang in there!

    ~ GGG

  14. The part about the “milk stash” brought tears to my eyes! I stopped pumping a while ago because it didn’t work out too well – I know the value of that precious liquid! Hope your power is on sooner than expected – we were out for a few hours and that killed me! Although we cook with gas and have public water so I was able to boil water for coffee… Thank goodness for Starbucks! :-)

    • I know right? Once we heard 7-10 days, I looked at Jon with teary eyes and said, I don’t know if I will ever get over this….I tried to think that I could…but I honestly don’t know! Thankfully, I didn’t have to find out!

  15. Oh no! I hope it doesn’t take 7-10 days and they surprise you and have it on sooner! I’m so glad to hear you guys are safe from the storm though. Hope you found a place for a warm shower, I really can’t even imagine being without power for so long. So sorry, friend!

  16. I have been a religious reader since the beginning of the year and LOVE your blog. I am almost at the point of resurrecting my blog that I abandoned.

    I assume you live in Jersey?? I’ve tried to figure it out and can’t. I’m thinking of you guys and the aftermath that you are living. I love your picture of Peanut on this post. You seriously have the most beautiful child!

  17. Jenna Hansen says:

    KAT!!! Ohmygosh girl. So glad you saved the milk! Btw, I’m so impressed with how much milk you get from pumping… With Jax I only got an ounce or two. I basically couldn’t pump and just had to nurse him every 3 hours for a year. Anyway, glad y’all are safe and have some power!

  18. OMG! Sorry for the absence Kat, Reader wasn’t feeding me your newest posts so I had to re-add you and now I’m catching up! And, OMG again! I would have bawled if I had to think about losing my entire stash of milk. You poor thing. I was just thinking you’d have to keep refilling the freezer with ice but I’m sure it’s sold out everywhere! I was so glad to read that you found a way to keep your milk! Whew! Thank God for Jon’s family and generators!

    Still catching up but I hope to read soon that you have power and water back! GL!

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