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Friendly Fire

Guest blog by Thomas Virany
We were watching CNN at about five p. m. on Thursday, when we heard a loud boom and everything went off. TV, stove, furnace, etc. Oh, well, that happens here sometimes.

But the power didn’t come back on, and I went to see what happened. A friendly Hydro guy came to our house and told me that there would be no power for awhile. How long, oh, maybe two or three hours. Pas de problèmes, as they say here.

He also told me not to go into the backyard, because a hydro pole had fallen and dragged all the wires down. And some more may fall. He asked me to turn off the main switch to prevent damage when the power came back on.

As the house was getting cold, I made a fire in our non-polluting stove we had bought to match our home-made furniture in 2006 instead of a fireplace. We ate what we had, some left-over spareribs, potato chips, fruit, etc. We boiled water on the stove for tea and sat by the fire, as an old (84 and 87) retired couple should.

Meantime, the ground floor and some upstairs bedrooms were warming up nicely. The two-three hours turned into all night. I kept feeding the stove wood. Even after going to bed, I got more wood from outside every two-three hours.  In the morning, still no power but the house was warm.

mar1-blackout3.jpgWe got into our 2003 Prius hybrid car and went out for a wonderful breakfast. We called our children on our ipads and told them, then went home. No power, but a wonderful warm house and I continued adding wood. Lots. We again went out, this time for lunch and more talk with our children on Skype and Facetime.

Back home, we removed the grate off the top and roasted some chestnuts in the stove’s steel pan. Still no electricity, but lots of hydro trucks. School next door closed.

Just about suppertime, the electricity came back on
and we went back to our normal life. TV, cooking, telephone,
etc. Other than some expense of money, we got through
the day conveniently, thanks to the stove and car.

Mar.2018blackout2We felt independent of the government; only deprived of some usual
services for awhile. Pas de problèmes.

Happy Reading by Flashlight & Fire from Cozybookbasics!

How did you cope with a blackout? Please leave a comment; we’d love to hear about it.


With hard work,  being nice to people, modesty– and of course some luck and help from friends — the owner transformed what was left of a century-old coach house into an electrically-equipped workshop/garage. P'house beforeFrom Rundown Shed to Efficient Garage/Workshop (Kindness Eases Expenses) 
  • Window and installation: $500.
  • New door (friend contractor got it on a job site) $100
  • New roof, old roof removed, new tiles, taking refuse to dump: $4,500
  • New electrical feed to garage for safety (there were no lights in the lane) and to provide for an automatic garage door: $3500.00
  • New garage door on the lane with mechanism and touch remote: $2000 (from friend contractor) Hardware store price quote was $6000.00
P's house after1From Neglected Dump to Paradisal Garden (Hard Work Does the Rest)
  • Apply elbow grease. “I pulled out all the weeds when they were four to five feet tall. It took ten days to clear the yard with a shovel and large knives to dig out roots.”
  • Hoe the lawn flat.
  • Plant  a LOT of grass seed.” Thanks go to Grandpa and my parents for teaching me how to plant and hoe.”
  • Buy plants on sale. “I lugged them home on foot, on the TTC and in taxis because I don’t have a car.”

“Oh! And Buy a Mower.”

P's house after2

Happy Reading & Restoring from Cozybookbasics!