Ice Storm 2014

**Update: SO happy to report that our power came back Wednesday night while we were sleeping – bless those electrical workers who’ve been working 24/7 for the last 5 days! Enjoying all the benefits of electricity in a new way now!**

Ice Storm 2014 - An Oregon Cottage

Pretty snow started falling last Thursday at our house, which turned into ugly freezing rain on Friday and by Saturday morning every branch was coated in ice. Looking at these pictures I took Saturday morning, I remember thinking how beautiful everything looked all icy…until all the tree branches started snapping and the power went out.

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably know that we’re now on our fourth day without power, one of only 5 houses affected by a branch that brought our power line down. Meaning, the electrical crews will take care of all the larger outages before getting to us, sadly. And while I feel like crying, I’m trying to focus on the positive realizing many people have it much worse than our little power outage. The power will come on again, thankfully, but people dealing with indefinite problems like loss of work or health will not see their lives restored to the same place.

So today, I hope you’ll bear with me as I list just a few of the things I’m thankful for in a time and place where I could easily spend all my days moping and complaining.

When the power is out, I’m thankful for:
  • A wood stove insert. I hated the looks of it when we first bought the house – oh, how the tides have turned! Not only does it provide heat (with free wood that we stock up on in the summer), the glass front provides light in the dark evenings and the 10 inches that stick out from the fireplace? That has become our stove top, heating water and milk for coffee, grilling cheese sandwiches and making the best quesadillas ever.
  • Cast iron skillet. Used on top of the wood stove, this pan is nourishing us with sandwiches, quesadillas, and eggs. In fact, it conducts heat so fast you have to be careful not to burn things. Seriously, like in only 30 seconds!
  • Family and friends. Showers, a place to charge our equipment and work, and offers of food. So wonderful, brings tears to my eyes.
  • 5-gallon plastic buckets. We’ve had these catching melting snow and now rain and have been able to use them to flush our toilets (we’re on a well with an electric pump). Yes, I just wrote that – it’s the little things when there’s no power.
  • Insulated ice chests. On day two, we transferred everything over to a cooler and added some snow – the snow hasn’t even melted that cooler is so insulated!
  • Candles, batteries, and lanterns. Duh.
  • iPhone & iPad. Data on the phone allows me to check email and keep in touch with the world and reading on my iPad doesn’t require light, which is getting more and more important as the candles get used up.

But mostly? I am thankful for ELECTRICITY and that we live in a country that has it (mostly) consistently, because I know there are many places in the world that don’t. Right now I’m pretty much in love with it (ha!) and know I will appreciate it that much more when it comes back!

What are you thankful for?



  1. Anna says

    Oh Jami, I so feel for you. And you are right, we probably don’t appreciate the “simpler” things in our lives until we don’t have them. I mean, how much do we take electricity and running water for granted. We had our electric knocked out for around 12 hours several times recently and it was a wake-up call. The heating is fuel but obviously needs electricity to run. We have a fireplace but as I need to get out to go to work by 7 a.m. I didn’t have time for that so it was COLD. And THAT’s when you realize how we take it all for granted. On the positive side, you seem to have people who are there to help you out and I bet you are well stocked up on essentials. But it must also be getting so old right? Anyway, am thinking of you from over here in France and sending you my best wishes. Anna

  2. Glen says

    Hi Jami… enjoy your writings and seeing how you and the family have updated your beautiful place. Yes, the snow and ice are really pretty until something snaps and leaves you without electricity. We live in southern Tennessee and it’s been a few years since we’ve had an ice storm but predictions are for snow and ice beginning tomorrow morning. We’re fortunate to also have a wood heater but have a similar type of water system that you have. Ours is a fresh water spring with an electric well pump submerged in it so no power equals no water.
    Still, we have so much to be thankful for. We will say a little prayer for you and the family to get back on the grid asap. Keep up the good work. We enjoy your site. Wishing you and the family all the best. Glen

  3. Glen says

    Oh, BTW…didn’t notice fried eggs and grilled cheese sandwiches in February Dinner Menu Ideas..?? lol Hopefully, a little something to laugh about.

  4. Kari J. says

    What a wonderful list of thankfulness, Jami. So sorry you’re having to deal with the ice & no power. I’m in Oklahoma, so ice storms are the norm in winter — they are beautiful, but can be such a drag if you lose power. We lost power in Dec. 2007 for only 4 days. We were able to stay in our home as we had city water, gas fire place, gas grill and gas water heater (hot showers!), plus the temps. were in the 40s (I think), so not life-threatening. We had 5 kids back then, with the youngest being just over a year. It really was an adventure at the time and dare I say, kind of fun. Glad it was only 4 days though. :) We’re in the process of looking for a place in the country, so we’ll be having to deal with the electric pump for water from a well eventually (I’m filing away your 5 gallon bucket idea :) ). Here, with so many severe spring/summer storms & the ice in winter wreaking havoc on our power, many folks keep generators to “make do” during the inevitable power outages. So, with all that — I’m thankful for generators, gas fireplaces, gas grills, convenience store coffee in their refillable mugs, wool anything, down comforters, gas water heaters and children who don’t balk at having to eat “adventure” toast that’s been made over the fire of a gas grill. Here’s hoping your electric company is able to move quickly through all the outages & get your power restored quickly. Thanks so much for sharing your story — ice storms certainly don’t come to mind when I think of your part of the country.

  5. says

    I am thankful for you, Jami. Such a nice post today and I am hoping for you, your family and community that power is restored before long. It’s always the little things that we don’t think about often that we miss the most when they are not there. The water from our faucets, the frig, the heat in the winter. Now that you mention candles, I think of the candles I got rid of when we moved. I wish we were there to drop by and ask you guys over for dinner, a hot shower and a few comforts you don’t have right now. So happy you have friends and neighbors there for you. Bless you and may power be restored soon. ~Mary and Dave~

  6. Charlotte Moore says

    We live in North Georgia. Had about 3 inches of snow a couple weeks ago and it caused the most chaotic mess for such a small amount. Never had that happened here with that small amount. Snowed today and the ground was white but it was gone the fastest I ever saw snow disappear. Now they are calling for ice tomorrow. I don’t like to be without power, but I know we are no better than anyone else. Plus we have a gas cook stove and 2 gas wall heaters in the basement. Thank the LORD we do have water and can flush the toilets. No hot water for showers, but can heat some for a sponge bath. We are all spoiled to these things if we have them. We are a BLESSED people to have these luxuries that so many don’t.

    Hope you get your power back on soon.


  7. Jo says

    Right now, I’m really thankful for YOU, Jamie! I just found your website and love the tone and focus on healthy foods/cooking…I think I’ve found my next favorite website!

  8. Julie Pullum says

    Wonderful list, hope the power is on soon and you haven’t lost too much of your freezer food, we all have a lot to be thankful for, bless you and yours and everyone in similar circumstances!

    • says

      Happy to report that NO freezer food was lost from our big freezer, Julie! We plugged it into our neighbors electrical yesterday while everything was still frozen and then our power came back on while we were sleeping – yeah!! Four days is plenty for me and I’m back to enjoying all the wonder that is a house with electricity, ha!!

  9. Pam in IL says

    I think the ice covered trees look so lovely, but like you said, until the wind blows. I love hearing about your woodstove usage because we too have a woodstove. It is our main heat source all winter long and we use the griddle on top for cooking as well. I’d be miserable without the steady, perfect heat our woodstove provides. Sure, the cutting, splitting and stacking firewood is alot of work, but I just look at it as exercise, lol. Thanks for sharing what you’re thankful for and the great posts!

    • says

      We really were surprised how nicely the wood stove worked for cooking, Pam, which it sounds like you already know! Some things, like heating water, took longer, but others were super quick. My daughter popped corn on it the last night we were without and we really enjoyed that. It is the constant ‘gotta go get wood’ though, that made us appreciate the fact that we don’t always HAVE to heat with wood. :)

  10. Frances in OR says

    I’m so glad you got your power back on. I was one of the lucky ones that did not loss any power. The only way it affected me was work. I work at a high school and so I had an extra three days off. But that’s okay. Gave me some reading time :-)
    We also didn’t get much freezing rain. I think it lasted about 15 minutes. But boy was there snow. I’m in Salem and we got hit pretty hard. It started about 8:30am on Thursday and did not stop until sometime Sunday I think. It was fun while it lasted. I myself love snow. But then I didn’t loss power like you lol.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>