Usually I am well prepared for temporary power outages. But the other day, the power went out first thing in the morning. We had just gotten up, lit the fires, and made a pot of coffee. Two hours 'til daylight. -32°C outside. Brrr. And that was it. Lights out.
Normally I have an assortment of candles sitting out on the hutch in the living room, one in the bathroom, a couple in the kitchen, and one in my room. I know where they are, easily accessible, not too much stumbling around in the dark.
I love candles. Always have. Like moths to a flame. I love the colours, the warmth, the wet wax pooling up and running away. I told husband not long ago that I should learn how to make candles so that I could be 'the butcher, the baker, the candle stick maker'. lol. And then, one of the blogs I follow posted about making new candles from old candle wax. And then the power went out.
So, after I found the candles, while we sat at the kitchen table playing chess and battleship, warmed by the heat of the wood stoves, I watched the pools of wet wax grow and spread and harden. I kept thinking to myself, I wish I had printed that blog post. I got an empty jar and started collecting the used wax as it dripped away. By the time the hydro came back on I had quite a bit of wax collected. I also trimmed off the uneven tops of some large candles, and emptied the tiny bits at the bottom of some almost finished candles. Then I went in search of that blog post. And I could not find it. I wish I could give credit where credit is due, but I'm at a loss.
Instead, I googled candle making and found a variety of different perspectives. Most of them agreed that the wax should be melted in a double boiler. I used an old pot full of water and inserted my collecting jar and a candle in a jar that had drowned itself long ago. I heated it gently on low heat, the wax melted fine, no broken jars or explosions.
How cool is that?
Other notes on being prepared...
-Lots of board games, cards, books, etc. Zero boredom, short term.
-Short on snow this year. We didn't need to melt any for this short power outage, however we'd be hard pressed to find enough clean snow to last 2-3 days this year. The creek is not frozen, nor the spring, but hauling water from either requires better planning. I need to look into collecting better large jugs, and a sturdy, lightweight sleigh to haul it with.
-Tea pot. I have a lovely little cast iron kettle on the wood stove all the time, to add moisture to the air. However, it's rusting on the inside. Unappealing for tea. Of course, any pot would technically work to heat water for tea, but I'd really like a large stainless steel kettle.
-Breakfast. I haven't really considered wood stove breakfasts before. Low on eggs and bread,breakfast was a couple of apples each. I know I can cook any one pot meal I might need for supper on the wood stove (roast, stew, soup, etc), but I need to pay more attention to simple meals for breakfast and lunch, especially in the event of a long term power outage, or come up with some other cooking methods. The sun room wood stove has a small surface area, allowing for only one pot or frying pan at a time.
It's good to have the power go out at odd hours. Helps jog the brain for future preparedness.