New Jersey is breathtaking

Rendered Powerless by Hurricane Sandy

I’ve been a little cut off from civilization, but I assume everyone has heard about the storm that rocked the Northeast earlier this week.

Hurricane Sandy.


Peppermeister (Husband-For-Now) and I got lucky, and so did our friends and family.

For us, this was the worst of it:

The trees landed in our driveway, but didn’t hit anything but more trees.

We were able to clear the driveway pretty quickly, thanks to chainsaws, brute strength and the kindness of strangers neighbors.

Our neighborhood seems the worst hit in town, as far as trees going down, but luckily none of them hit houses.

It’s hard to tell, but this is just dangling in the power lines, unattached to its base.

So this is our life now. No heat, no running water, no internet, no TV. Rotting food. Mile-long gas station lines. Headlamps.

We expect to be without power for two weeks or more. Here’s a shot fromΒ 10:30am Wednesday (Halloween). You can’t see the vodka, but it’s there.

Cancel Halloween? Over my dead ‘doodle body.

Exactly.Β It could be a lot worse.

How are you Chipmunks doing?Β If you’re looking for somethin’ cool to read, Hey! What the hell is cooler than a headlamp? Marlene over at My Parents Are Crazier Than Yours posted an update on her pilot web series. I’ll be blogging about the amazing filming experience next week. With or without power!

107 thoughts on “Rendered Powerless by Hurricane Sandy”

  1. I’m so glad you’re holding up and retaining some of your wonderful sense of humour…..but holy shit my little chipmunk, that is still some pretty messy devastation and no power is nothing to laugh about – take care xx

    1. Thanks so much! It’s definitely lifting my spirits to be back online with my chipmunk-a-licious blog buds.

      Speaking of spirits, though, I hope the vodka holds out this weekend…

  2. Gives some perspective as my friend has been moaning on about their new phone not working for two weeks, replacing batteries and just got the phone replaced, it’s all I have heard about, like their life is on hold because of their mobile phone failing or so you’d be led to believe. I should remind of him of the varying scales of real hardships people are dealing with.

    Fallen trees aside, what a gorgeous setting to live in.

    1. It really does affect how you do EVERYTHING, but I’m trying not to complain too much, considering we didn’t suffer any house damage. It could have been so much worse!

      Tell your friend to call me if his phone starts working. Oh wait. Our phone doesn’t work at all. πŸ˜‰

      And thank you – we just love it out here in western NJ, even if we’re last on the ‘power restoration’ priority list!

  3. Glad to see you have retained your sanity and sense of humor in all of this. Perspective is everything, but alcohol does help. My family took a decidedly feline approach and tried to sleep for an many hours as possible while we had no power. But there is nothing like blinding boredom and a crank radio to bring a family together during time of crisis.

    1. “Perspective is everything, but alcohol does help.” I think I just found my new blog tag line! (Probably better than “For blinding boredom and a crank radio,” although that has a certain ring to it, too.)

      I would say I’ve slept 11-12 hours for the past 4 nights. I refuse to get out of bed until it’s light out. That may not fly next week, when everyone else has power back (except us) and I’m expected to actually work…

  4. I’m so glad it wasn’t worse at your little homestead, but you’re clearly not out of the woods yet if you’ve got 2 more weeks to go without services! I’m so glad to read your (always humorous, even in aftermath of Frankenstorm) blog as I’ve been thinking and thinking about you and all the other friends I’ve made up and down the east coast through this blogosphere. (Family, I’ve already heard from, so I know they’re safe.) Well, if nothing else, now that you are on the other side of the storm and all is (kind of, sort of) well, you’ll have lots of blogging material and perhaps even an endorsement for that mining light.
    (And, as a supportive fellow blogger, I think you should send that darling doodle out here to Colorado. For safety, you know.)

    1. Susie Lindau (also in CO) just said she made beef stew, which means ya’ll are going to get more than a darling doodle! πŸ™‚

      Thank you so much for your kind words and concern; we really got lucky. I was so glad to get back online and check in with my bloggy buddies! There’s a work office close to home where I can charge things up and get online, and hopefully my parents will have power by next week and we can stay with them!

    1. Thanks, Louise! We really did get lucky. Uncle Jesse tried to hide in the closet the whole night of the storm, not that we could blame him. (We hunkered down on the first floor to ride out the storm, in case any trees fell on the house.)

      And it really is beautiful out here in western NJ, with or without power!

  5. Super YAY that you guys are ok. “You can’t see the vodka, but it’s there”… Also glad you stocked up like a champ. All those people buying bread and purified water and clearly missing out on the good stuff!

    1. Thank you so much, Tori! The first night without power, Peppermeister went to the liquor store, and he said there was a line to the door! He tried to get a picture, but it didn’t come out. They didn’t have power and were only taking cash, but it was heart-warming to see some people still had their priorities straight.

  6. Despite everything, you’re handling it like a trooper! At least you’re all okay. Thank goodness trees didn’t land on any houses or cars. Hopefully you’ll be surprised and get your power back well before two weeks. Ugh the whole gas thing, ridiculous! Stay warm and safe. πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks, Lilykins! There is a tiny unchipmunky part of me that’s looking at all of these people like, “Oh, 4 days without power, get a grip – that’s nothin’!!!”

      But it is awful. And cold. We so need to invest in a serious back-up generator system.

      I hope you’re okay on gas for the next few days! We might go out to PA this weekend, since we’re not too far from the NJ/PA border, and supposedly there’s no shortage in PA.

      1. Definitely, I think everyone is considering getting a good generator after this storm! Yup, I heard the same thing about PA. I’m glad you’re close! Right now we’re down to one car, bf is using MINE…I’m sure it’s low but oh well, trying not to freak out about it. Hopefully he sucked it up and found a place to fill up today! πŸ˜‰ Sending positive thoughts your way. Over here, street lights are coming back and my parents got power before they thought they would, so you never know, you may have it soon! πŸ˜€

    1. Thank you so much – we really WERE lucky! I still can’t believe I didn’t see more property damage. The night of the storm was REALLY scary, because it was pitch black and you just heard the cracking of trees falling, not sure where they’d land!

    1. Thanks so much, Ryan! You definitely get to know someone on a special level when you live together without running water.

      And by “special” I mean anything but special.

    1. So glad you’ve got power back! It really does make my day to hear that. And I think part of the problem is so many people do want to help, but aren’t sure how. It’s hard to communicate information when people don’t have power.

        1. Aw shucks, I’m trying to comment on the post, but it’s making it look like it doesn’t exist when I click on the actual post (but I can read it on your home page)!

  7. I had absolutely no doubt that there was a plethora of vodka present, even if not in the picture. I mean, camera phone in one hand, bottle in the other, amiright? πŸ˜‰

    That pole leaning on those lines is no joke! You guys were super lucky that none of those trees landed on the houses. SUPER lucky.

    So, let’s see . . . activities while stuck in a cold, lightless house. Hmmm . . . dart playing (obviously), drinking, eating all the food that’s going bad, board games, dance competition, naked twister, baby making. Wait, what?

    Have fun! πŸ˜‰ Think of it like an adventure. And I hope the power gods shine upon you soon. Take care, Jules.

    1. You know that’s right, Misty! CHEERS! And yes, I can’t BELIEVE we didn’t see any trees on houses. Although, I should amend that, because I just saw one on my parents’ neighbor’s house (3 doors down) last night. But no one got hurt. I’m sad to say these pictures were just the tip of the iceberg, in terms of trees and power lines down!

      The baby-making idea in these conditions is so hilarious to me. My bloodline would have been especially screwed if I lived in ye olden days. “Get ye filthy paws off me, Madman! I know you haven’t washed them in …forever…years.”

  8. Glad you’re safe and sound. We were luckily bypassed here in Nova Scotia but we had a similar storm like that nearly 2 years ago. Trees were uprooted, Community mailboxes were blown over, my neighbor had someone else’s baby barn end up in his backyard. It was so bad, in fact, that my grandmother’s funeral had to be held somewhere else because the roof of her church collapsed.
    Again, glad you’re safe and my prayers go out to anyone reading affected by the storm.

    1. Thanks, Sandy! So glad you’re safe and sound up there. And I’m sorry to hear about your grandmother / the church! We did see some shingles blown off of roofs, but luckily nothing too devestating in this area, as far as property damage.

  9. Those photos tell it all. Unreal. I certainly hope you can get the power on soon. It’s awful when your food all spoils. No showers and no flushing toilets are THE WORST. I’ve been there before. Stay safe, warm, drink vodka (ration it if you have to….) Please keep in touch, I worry about you guys.

    1. DP! I think I was just emailing you when you commented. We’ll definitely see civilization really start to break down if I have to ration my vodka. Flushing toilets with creek water I can handle.

  10. Wow! Without power for that long??? The storm was so massive and devastating…hang in there Jules and Peppermeister! I am glad that you are okay!
    You should take a trip to Colorado!

    1. Thanks, Susie! That sounds awfully tempting… what are you guys having for dinner? (Note: If it’s anything other than peanut butter sandwiches, we’ll be right over.)

  11. HUGS! So glad you are safe and sound! It’s terrible the devastation left behind by Sandy. =( We were very lucky here in Maine! Some minor flooding and a few branches….but we were still able to have Halloween! Last year was the crazy snow storm that postponed/cancelled Halloween in the Northeast and then this year, a hurricane! Those poor kids.

    1. Thanks, Cassy! I was so glad when I heard from Darla (She’s a Maineiac) that you guys weren’t hit too badly up there!

      I know. Supposedly trick-or-treating was postponed until Monday in NJ, but I’m not sure I see that happening… Which meant Peppermeister and I had to “take care” of all of my parents’ Halloween candy. Sigh. Roughing it here, yeah…

      1. I am so glad we weren’t hit hard… being on a liquid diet really restricts what you can eat that wouldn’t require a blender or a fridge, so if we lost power, I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do. =/

        Bummer. Having all that candy. That sucks.

  12. I’m glad you are alive & well. This is the time you really get to know your neighbors. Please tell me you’ve all brought out your charcoal grills and had a big meatfest.

  13. Glad all’s well,,,least now you got lots of firewood to keep warm! Quick go buy the rest of the makings for smores! And when you have some time invest in pampers stock,,I’m sure there’s going to be a baby boom 9 months from now on the east coast!

  14. When we go out, it’s not running water, too. That’s fine for a few days but then things start to get VERY icky! I’m happy you at least live near people who can help. We don’t. It’s a 26mi drive to BUY water to drink. I can’t even fathom the lines you must have to wait in since it hit everybody. I’m thinking of Uncle Jesse! I mean you and Pep.

    1. Oy, it could definitely be a lot worse – you’ve got that right! Uncle Jesse is only thinking of Uncle Jesse, too. He just wants to hide in the closet and be left alone, untli the fridge is working again and he can go back to eating his raw, organic beef.

  15. I’m concerned for you! No jokes here. Seriously concerned. Should I drive to Jersey and bring you a can of Delaware gas? Batteries for your head lamp? A casserole?

    P.S. – Uncle Jesse is such a star.

  16. Glad you’re okay, Jules! We just got our power back last night, and the electric company is finally setting estimates for restoration for other areas near us, so hopefully that 2-week timetable ends up being much shorter. We got off lucky, too. No trees on or near the house, and we are on high ground, so no flooding issues. A tree hit our neighbor’s house but it was small and didn’t do any major damage. It also didn’t rain very much up here north of NYC. It was more about the wind. We had a few roads get some spots of melted asphalt from downed power lines, and my school was closed for 3 days because a tree fell on the tech building, but so far, no major catastrophes!

    Good to hear an update from you!

    1. Thanks so much, Leonore! I’m so glad you guys are okay and have your power back; what a relief. The wind really was terrifying. And not being able to see what was happening as you heard the “CRACK” of trees, gahhh!

      Peppermeister isn’t sure if he’ll have school (he’s a teacher) even this coming week!!

  17. Those were some amazing pictures. While I’m so happy you’re safe, I am so sorry that you will be without power for so long. I hope you get back online sooner than expected! And your dog is really cute!

    1. Thanks so much, El! I hope you’re doing well. At this point we’re just banking on my parents getting power back soon so we can stay with them!

      I’d tell Uncle Jesse you said so, but his ego is already out of hand. πŸ˜‰

  18. Wow, that’s really impressive ! Strange, when all of a sudden you realize that these “people of cyberspace” (i.e. bloggers) actually live in real life too…
    Good luck to you guys, hope the vodka keeps flowing !

    1. It’s all a front! Those are stock pictures from Google. I’m actually a hologram, coming to you from the future.

      Actually, if I was coming to you from the future, I’d probably be crying, because the vodka would be all gone.

  19. Yikes! Thanks so much for the update. I’ve been really worried about all of the east coast bloggers I “know”, and I’m sure it was no mean feat to put up a blog post (with pictures!) without having any power in your house. (Was blogging secretly a priority for you, once you knew that you/Pep/Uncle Jesse were safe and that you had sustained no property damage? If I were in your situation, I’d be bursting to find the first opportunity to post and let people know the score… does that make me a bad human being?)

    1. Thanks, Dana! I was definitely excited to get back online and blog from one of the work offices that still had power (that’s where I am today, too, to charge all of my stuff)!

      Blogging is up there with vodka and peanut butter cups and I’m not ashamed to admit it!!! πŸ˜‰

      Although I haven’t watched TV since Monday afternoon. I might go postal soon. Especially if I miss any new episodes of Glee.

  20. Glad you came through the storm all right! Sorry for the power-outage of forever :/ At least this is an excuse to not shower and be smelly right?? Yay for living like you’re at camp again! πŸ™‚

    1. I even got to make up this really fun game called “Is her hair greasier than mine?” I get a point every time the answer is yes. If I get enough points, I heard I can cash them in for gas.

  21. You can never have enough Grey Goose! We feel so bad that you got hit by Sandy, and being without power has to be the worst. Well, since we are all chipmunks here, we could stuff our cheeks and have enough food for awhile, eh? We live in Cleveland, OH and we could not believe how even we got affected by the storm and how strong the winds and rain were. It rained here for over a week! We had fence damage as the winds snapped those huge posts in the ground. Glad you are all doing ok!

    1. I’m raising my vodka in chipmunk salute to you! Not having power / running water is the PITS, but, we really got soooo lucky with the trees not landing on anything.

    1. It’s so true. Plus I feel like it downplays the storm. “Oh look! Sandy’s coming over to play! This’ll be fun. Probably best to put away the fine china, though.”

      P.S. – I ALMOST drew a circle around the tiny remote control basket in the back of the last picture [behind Uncle Jesse]. It really deserves to be called out.

  22. Damn, sorry! That sounds awful. I rode out the storm and the worst I had to deal with was personal drama. Well, and a $110 cab ride to get from Queens to my new place in Brooklyn…

    1. I’m glad to hear you’re doing okay, too, even if your wallet is a little lighter and your personal life a little heavier!

      And I hope this whole looting business isn’t as bad as it sounds… I haven’t gotten to watch the news all week!

      1. Hrm, if there was looting here it was in southern Manhattan, which, with the power outages and traffic congestion above ground, I haven’t even tried to get into. I haven’t heard anything too dire on that front, though.

  23. Glad you’re doing all right over there. My neighborhood in Brooklyn was spared the worst of it except for some major trees falling on cars. But Red Hook and Coney Island and the Rockaways didn’t fare well at all. Heart breaking.

    1. Thanks, Jackie! I was just saying to clemarchives that I hope this looting business isn’t as bad as it sounds…

      It really is heartbreaking. Part of me doesn’t even want to see all of the pictures just yet…

  24. suffice it to say i ran out of gas while searching for gas on 22 just east of 523 on thursday. i never knew hiking on 22 was so much fun ….gag:>P

      1. we have power (come on over!) – i work with a couple people in your vicinity that also are still powerless…and now it’s snowing….what’s next? locusts?

        1. HA – that’s EXACTLY what I’ve been saying all day (“locusts”)!

          SO glad you have power back, and thank you! We’re holding down the fort at my parents’ house, and they have cable and internet…and vodka…so we are feeling pretty good.

    1. Thanks so much, Thoughtsy! My parents finally got internet back, so hopefully I can catch up with my bloggy friends… if the power survives today’s nor’easter! LOL

    1. Peggles, that’s exactly how I feel! Peppermeister and I must have been such a sight, that by the time some guy at 7-Eleven passed us on Saturday, he just went, “Having fun yet?”

      I’m just praying today’s snowstorm doesn’t cause more damage, but I don’t see how it CAN’T.

  25. Hey Jules! I’m very glad that you and your family are doing ok! I’ve been a nervous-wrecked the last few days due to AJ’s Dad being in NJ as well and not being able to speak to him for a day or two was just horrible! But all seems to be good right now and they’ve got power, he’s even at work!
    Always take care Jules! And say hello to Mr Pep, Uncle J and the chipmunks brigade! xx Donah

    1. Thank you so much, Donah! And oh my gosh, that must have been just gut-wrenching! I’m so glad he’s okay and back at work. Our office finally reopened yesterday, and my parents got internet back (we’re still staying with them because we don’t have power at our house), so a little bit of normalcy has been restored! Hugs to you and your sweet li’l jellybean!

  26. Glad you and yours are OK, Jules. It’s a bummer to be without power, for sure. But I’m thankful those trees didn’t fall onto any homes or any one. Hugs! Hope it’s not too cold where you are.

    1. Exactly – so, so, SO many people got lucky with the tree situation, because there were so many near misses. We just have to hope today’s nor’easter doesn’t cause any more damage…

      Thank you πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you so much, Rian! Now we’re just holding our breath re: today’s nor’easter. My parents got internet back yesterday, so I’m feeling a bit more sane. And work reopened yesterday. Who’d have ever thought going to work would be the highlight of my week?? Terrifying.

  27. I heard that one of the reasons the power is taking so long to come back is because they ran out of telephone poles. When I told my friend this, he pointed out that there were plenty of downed trees around and couldn’t they just use those?

    Maybe they’re all rotted or something. The trees, I mean. Not the power people.

  28. I don’t want to brag but if you would’ve entered and won DarDar’s most embarrassing story contest (ahem, clearing my throat…) you would’ve won an LL Bean hat with battery-operated lights that my husband just might wear on walks in the morning to light the sidewalk. Although, sure, your headlamp is cool too.

    I’m sorry 😦

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