Barnum’s Current Job: “Furnace”

Here in rural New England (and I hear, in some of the cities, too), we got whomped by a big snow storm Saturday night. We’re not used to getting one-and-a-half or two feet of very wet, heavy snow in October. That’s a bit much! A lot of trees came down, and with them, the electric and phone lines.

We lost phone and power (which means heat, water, and electric) Saturday night. We have a generator now, but yesterday Betsy tried to get gas, and the roads were impassable due to trees being down everywhere, so we didn’t hook up the generator (and seal off the part of the house next to it, so I don’t get gas fumes) till tonight. We have five hours of generator use tonight. That is how I am able to use the computer and internet. We also have a heater. We need to shut it off in about an hour-and-a-half. We got phone service back this evening, which was thrilling.

I’ve blogged before about the ice storm of December 2008, and how traumatic that was for me. This time it’s much less traumatic because we were much more prepared. I also have more help this time, and Betsy’s here, and I am not unable to move or speak, like last time. There have been some moments of fear and sadness and anxiety, but overall, it’s been not too bad.

Barnum has been great! Gadget was never much of a snuggler, but Barnum prefers to spend most of his time hogging my bed. That works well when I am looking for body heat. He is a little furnace! I have particularly been able to put into action the skill I taught for him pressing up against me and laying his head on me. I taught that to help me when I’m feeling agitated, but it turns out it works well for maximizing body heat, too.

He is, however, extremely bored. We haven’t been able to do much training, and he hasn’t been getting as many walks as usual. When I let him outside, he gets the zoomies, and races around and around the yard. When we do train, he is extremely eager!

This has interrupted my ability to keep track of, and do activism for, the 99-percent movement. However, I’ll do what I can when life returns to (more) normal again.

Hope you all are well.

– Sharon, Gadget (I did not like being on furnace duty!), and Barnum, SDiT and producer of body heat

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4 Responses to “Barnum’s Current Job: “Furnace””


  1. 1 Kathy October 31, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    I’m glad you’re more prepared and less scared this time. I think this applies to activism too. Once you are no longer a *virgin* 😉 you aren’t quite so scared, not wondering what’s going to happen because you have a general idea what is going to happen. I have been told this. I hope it is true. Right now I am so sick and tired of people whining at me about (what I consider) trivial things, that my body is also complaining. Oh well.
    I’m glad Barnum is keeping you warm! Take care of you (and Barnum, of course!).

  2. 2 wendy November 1, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    So glad Barnum could help.
    It’s so early to have this kind of weather. (I’m in NC we just had cold rain, but looking at other places, I’m so glad that’s all we got.)

    Living without power when it’s cold is hard. We had a bad ice storm here about 9 years ago, we were without power for a couple of weeks, luckily we had friends who had power after a couple of days and we stayed with them. I wasn’t as ill then, I can’t imagine how scared I would have been if I had been this sick and that cold and out of control.

    So glad you have help and can get through this with less stress.

  3. 3 Sharon Wachsler November 1, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    Hey Wendy and Kathy,
    Yes, it was not as nightmarish this time. The big difference this time was not so much emotional preparedness as actual, practical preparedness. We had the bathtub and pots and jugs filled with water for drinking, washing hands, flushing toilets (different things for different purposes). We had heat packs. We have a battery pack that we keep charged. Can’t run a heater off it, but can run low-load things like a lamp. And we had a generator, which meant we had a few hours of heat. Also, I had Betsy here to help and a full staff of PCAs who helped and, even tho they were without power, too, they had wood stoves or gas stoves at home and could go and cook some meals for me and bring them back. All this makes a HUGE difference. Also, it only lasted 3 days instead of 7, like the last time.

  4. 4 brilliantmindbrokenbody November 13, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    I’m really glad this nasty little storm was (relatively) easy for you to weather. My fiance’s family was hit pretty hard, and a fellow crip friend was fortunately out of town when it hit (she would have been in very, very bad shape there – the driveway blocked, no power for quite some time, no heat, no water, etc, and no help because her parents were out of the country).

    Had a random question for you – should I be worried about propylene glycol in stuff? My current deodorant, which feels pretty good and works pretty well, has that as the first ingredient. I wasn’t worried about it, but…well, I was looking at the La Vanille stuff (which would be beyond toxic for you – extracts from damn near everything, and essential oil to fragrance it) and it said something about not having PG in it, which made me stop and think about it…blah.

    This whole paying attention to the chemicals in your life thing? It sucks. I am…disgusted and frustrated by how damn CAREFUL I have to be to not poison myself.

    At least I now have those Bon Ami cleaners, which you’re right, you can clean damn near any surface with. The spray even does a decent job on carpet (which I know because poor Foof has an easily-irritated gut). And I’ve got the relatively safe detergent. Next will be fabric softener – we’re leaning towards seventh generation because of availability.

    ~Kali


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