I’ve got the power!

I know what you’ve all been wondering: How did Nicole survive the Great Power Outage of 2016? Did she have to resort to grinding her own seed wheat in a handheld coffee grinder? Did she have to feed hand-twisted hay sticks into her fireplace just to keep warm? Did she play a song on her fiddle to keep her spirits up?

Answer: none of the above. Her coffee grinder is electric, her fireplace is gas and the pilot light has been unlit since 2005, and she has no fiddle, nor does she know how to play one.

I will tell you this, while switching back into the first person, that a power outage is not all that bad when you know it’s coming. First thing in the morning, I cranked the heat up from its usual 19 degrees to 23 so that by the time I left to take the kids to school, I was sweating. By the time the power went back on the temperature had only dipped to 18, so I call that a win. I spent most of the day running errands, walking the dog, and taking Mark to the orthodontist, so I wasn’t stuck in my dark and cooling-down house all day. My friend Janet (HI JANET) had tipped me off that Jugo Juice makes kale smoothies so I didn’t even have to go without.

The kids and I had lunch at the food court, where I had my smoothie and they enjoyed chicken fingers and fries, and I spent some time surreptitiously eavesdropping on the many teenage conversations around me. I forgot that the mall is essentially a teen hangout, especially at lunch and especially at a mall that is across the street from a high school and two junior highs. MY WORD THE DRAMA. Dylannnnn did you get me a doughnut? Fuck you, Dylannnnn kiss my asssssss I wanted a doughnuttttt. No, I think she still likes you, she’s just mad that you were talking to Jaden. Ugghhhhhh he’s so GROSS don’t talk with your MOUTH FULL GODDDDDD.

The power went back on half an hour before it was scheduled to, which was nice, since the backup battery of the carbon monoxide detector had died and the beeping was making me feel like I was going to lose my mind. I couldn’t figure out how to stop it, so basically every time it went off Barkley and I looked at each other, distressed. But the power was restored before I had completely descended into insanity, so all’s well that ends well.

I was a little worried that all was not well, though; as I was preparing to go to the School Council/ Parent Association meeting – that I was NOT chairing, thank you god – Jake called from downstairs saying that the computer wouldn’t turn on. And it was true; the power bar was plugged in, everything else was working, but the desk top – on which ALL my work, photos, writing, etc., was saved – was not turning on. Nothing, no sound, no fan, nothing.

Cue panic attack.

I called a computer repair company and told the technician my story. He thought it could be a damaged power supply – despite my surge protector – or possibly a fried motherboard. MOTHERFUCKER. I made an appointment with him and then did some deep breathing to calm down. Less than one hour later, the computer magically turned on. I felt like Cousin Eddie: “It’s the damnedest thing. She falls in a well, eyes go cross. A mule kicks her, they go back to normal. I don’t know.” I had to cancel the appointment, citing the “suddenly working and everything’s fine” thing, feeling slightly like I’m a drama queen who just made up a computer issue for fun.

I’m no Ma Ingalls, I’ll tell you that much. But if Ma Ingalls had electricity and access to small appliances, she’d probably love this:


Ice cream!

It all started when we were at a Ukrainian Christmas celebration, and our hostess had made her own ice cream. She pointed out that most “ice cream” is now called “frozen dessert,” and one thing led to another and suddenly my husband ordered me this beauty. I’m especially excited since non-dairy ice cream is ridiculously expensive, and now I can make my own! Today I’m making a classic vanilla for the boys, as a test run. The only issue here is that my family is ridiculously spoiled. I know, I know, pot and kettle, yada yada yada. BUT THEY ARE. Since I make so many things from scratch they won’t even eat certain store bought items. Case in point: a few weeks ago I bought some hummus.

Husband: What is this hummus?

Me: I bought it at Costco.

Husband: It’s terrible!

Me: It’s not bad. I’m eating it.

Husband: Ugh, I can’t eat this stuff. It’s terrible. It’s SWEET or something.

Mark, grabbing a pita, completely oblivious to the conversation: Mom, where’s the hummus?

Me: It’s right there.

Mark: Ew. I don’t want that. Where’s YOUR hummus?

They proceeded to eat their pitas completely dry, rather than eat the non-homemade-hummus.

Do you see where I’m going with this? It’s a slippery slope, but fortunately making one’s own ice cream is a pretty fun slippery slope to be on.


  1. The snow started coming down a couple hours ago. We are charging everything.

  2. This was fun to read. Now please tell us you were kidding and you have all your important folders and photos backed up somewhere else, ideally in the cloud, and not ONLY on your computer.

    If not, here’s my two cents. Picture how much money you would have been willing to pay a technician to fix your computer and retrieve lost files, and then take that money and shop for a backup option that is something in addition to your desktop computer, which are notorious for failing suddenly and at the worst possible time.

  3. I LOVE how your husband enables your small-appliance mania! And considering the cost of non-dairy ice cream, that baby will pay for itself in, like, three days. Also, I need to go back up my hard drive now. And I have to agree with the fam – homemade hummus is so much better than store-bought. Way to survive the great blackout of Sixteen with your customary style and grace.

  4. Sorry. I enabled you to create a monster as Duncan will no longer eat any other ice cream and “reminds” me constantly when he finishes his container. 3x the nagging could lead me to getting the car with a passport and simply driving away.

  5. Mmmmm…ice cream! Now I know what I’m having for lunch :). Do you make your non-dairy ice cream from soy milk or coconut? Coconut milk ice cream is THE BOMB.

  6. that looks amazing ! in the long run I would save money if I made my own ice cream

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