Grit Blogs > Muck Boot Diva

Diva in the Dark


 Muck Boot Diva HeadshotA few weeks back, I found out my teenage MWM (Man with Muscles) was going to cost over $7,000 in dental fees.  Did I stress that he was a teenage MWM?????

 I was about to leave for my five hour drive to the farm after work Friday night – and, the bagel and Chobani yogurt I ate that day were still sitting in my stomach like bricks.

Note to self:  Remember, you are a Celiac!  NO BAGELS! 

 Later, after being stuck in two hours of bumper-to-bumper traffic trying to get out of NJ – when I thought life couldn’t get any worse – it started.  One would have thought Zeus and Thor were at war! 

Thunder and lightning bolts with hammering rain suffused my big black pick-up truck making it hopeless to see ANYTHING while wandering the dark country roads. 

Lightning flashes were coming from every imaginable angle and many struck the earth providing at least a little light to guide my way.  There, I was thinking positive.  NOT!

After a few more unexpected flashes, crashes, and a stomach that wanted to reject everything and anything it ate that day, we finally pulled into the driveway of our farm.  I told the MWM (Man with Muscles)  to just open the door and clear the way to the bathroom.  He stood at the door with an exasperated look – of course, no lights.

I ran in, fumbled for a flash light, and hid in the bathroom hoping for the rapture.

After I emerged, the MWM dug out our Lehman’s collection of high quality oil lanterns.  Thank GOD we bought them for cases just like this one.  At least we had some light for the rest of the evening. 

I also stored bottled water for drinking and flushing toilets because REMEMBER without electric, you don’t have a pump to push water through yer pipes! 

I had had it – I was tired.  Let the men handle this one.   I live amongst the Amish, but I am not ready to convert.

It was Sunday.  We won’t go into Saturday.  Saturday was nothing but work, sweat, finding ways to gather water, spending money I didn’t have, and fixing broken tractor parts.  I hoped for a far better day today. 

I rose and flipped the switch and looked up at the heavens for a little mercy.  Still, no lights.  Which meant no refrigerator, no toilets and no shower!  Speaking of toilets…

It was 5AM – the same time I always rose.  I saw no need to change that.  And so, with a smile that would cool the coals of the underworld, I went through my “new” Amish ritual.  I grabbed the large salad basin, shampoo, towel, and soap, turned on my English tea pot, and waited for her train whistle to blow.

I sat in the kitchen making a mental list of things I would be adding to my Lehman’s emergency equipment for farm life.  If you haven’t visited them yet – you may become quickly addicted! 

The two biggest things currently on the list are a few of their durable rain barrels for collecting rain water and some more bottles of Aladdin Lamp Oil for the beautiful lamps we've purchased from them over the years.

I also am in the market for a composting toilet and a portable camping shower.  I saw a number of possibilities at Cabela's, another favorite website of mine.  After watching the MWM (Man with Muscles) bathe in our frigid pond, with the beavers, after a hard day’s work, with his Irish Spring AND a smile – I decided NEVER to take that option. 


The kettle whistle screamed and scared the hell out of me; I scrambled to shut it off.  The angels snickered. 

With my heart still beating through my chest I set my flashlight up on the table to see my shampoo and conditioner and began the Amish process.  Scrub, rinse, scrub, rinse, towel off and then save the water for future toilet flushing if needed.  Thank God the water mix was on the hotter side of warm – some consolation in view of the circumstances.

We dressed and went off to church.  The MWM was doing the singing and music, and I do love to see his talents utilized.  I was praying for a miracle though – I WANTED my power back.  This was my vacation, The Maker of all Things knew I was supposed to be resting, and I had nothing else coming to me this year except holidays that formed long weekends.

After listening to the sermon, which was about how Christians were destined to suffer like Jesus, my spirit was really not in the right place let me tell you.  The angelic popcorn dust was getting thick. 

I couldn’t fault the pastor for stating the truth, so I just sucked it up and trudged through town later picking up some lamp oil.  I was going to get ice and a cooler for the food – but something stopped me.

I told the MWM, “Let’s not waste more money on this yet – let’s go home first and see if we have power.”  I stuck my tongue out at the angels and got in the back of my mother-in-law’s car.  Despite all the garbage that went down this weekend I decided that I could still scrape up enough hope that the lights would be on when we arrived home.


Well, being utterly exhausted, I fell asleep on the ride and awoke to my Mother-in-Law elatedly shouting – “Look, the lights!” 

 I just grinned, wiped the remainder of the popcorn dust from my shoulders, and whispered, “Sorry fella’s – this episode of DE is officially OVER – tune in next week.”

The angels packed in their popcorn again, and The Maker of All Things smiled.

Splashingly Yours!

Muck Boot Diva


muck boot diva
7/30/2011 7:10:01 AM

Mountain Woman — The Diva would LOVE to visit if I ever get any R&R in the future. I’ll even hog tie the MWM and bring him along too. Thanks for the invite and for reading! Please fill me in on that solar shower and the ride sounds nice. Rosie and I have our first date on the trails this morning --- PRAY! MBD

mountain woman
7/29/2011 1:09:04 PM

Hi Diva, It's definitely not fun to lose food due to power outages. Winters you can store it in a snow bank and it will be fine but frozen. Don't have to worry about bears then either. The composting toilets I've seen cost a fortune. We were thinking about getting one for a house we're renovating in the Ozarks but the price was too much for our modest budget. My Mountain Man just rigged up an outdoor solar shower for a customer. Uses gravity to feed water to it and sun to heat it and no need for any kind of pump. If you want some info, let me know. Anyway, I relate to your adventures and I enjoy your blog. Come visit us some time. You're almost our neighbors and perhaps we can venture out riding. Signed, Mountain Woman of Red Pine Mountain blog

muck boot diva
7/26/2011 8:59:31 PM

Dave, The Diva has no real fear of losing electricity -- it is just the problem of the NY/NJ back and forth right now. If I leave with no power -- everything in the fridge goes bad. If it is winter -- all the worse. My hope is to have a generator once we move up for good -- that should help a bit with the fridge and water pump till I have some better energy ideas that pop up! Still like the water tank idea. Victoria -- thanks for reading! MBD

nebraska dave
7/25/2011 9:43:43 PM

Diva, it is amazing how we have become so addicted to electricity and everything that it runs. The electric here seems to be lost more often every year. The grid is nearing 50 years old in my neighborhood so I suspect it's in need of a little TLC. I also suspect it won't happen and the blackouts will get more frequent. I don't have a freezer except for the one in the fridge. All my preservation is in Mason jars. I have a 400 gallon rain water collection tank that I use to water the garden with and most times is has 200 to 300 gallons of water in it. However, the city water doesn't go off when the electric goes off so the toilets continue to flush. It's one of the bennies of living in urban town USA. Have a great East Coast Day.

victoria gazeley
7/25/2011 4:54:13 PM

Oh, how I know that feeling! Living in the woods definitely has its drawbacks, but the benefits far outweigh them - even in the middle of winter with no power. Love your writing - thanks for sharing your adventure!