When the power went off yesterday at exactly 2:46 PM I tried to be all *hair flip* coy about it. I was all WHATEVER, I don’t NEED you MR. POWER COMPANY. You’re The Man and I don’t need to SELL OUT to The Man any more than I ALREADY DO.

By 2:48 I was sweating and on my knees praying to The Power Company Gods that the power be restored already, can’t you SEE that I’ve SUFFERED enough?? I NEED my TWITTER BACK! THE INTERNET MAY BE HAVING A SCANDAL THAT I DON’T KNOW ABOUT!

Now, I was born into a family of stinky hippies. I don’t mean the kind that shops at Whole Foods and occasionally recycles their plastics when they feel like it. No, my parents were hippies long past when it was cool to be a hippie and well before it was trendy to be organic. We had to drive all over town in our ancient VW Bug to go to the health food store, we grew our own sad, pathetic produce, and we made as much of our own food as possible.

That’s probably why I’m jubilantly happy that my rose food is made by Bayer, the same company that makes my aspirin. You cannot be TOO not organic when you live in Aunt Becky’s world.

Along with making our own food, we made our own maple syrup in the winter after we painstakingly gathered the sap from maple trees, we picked our own apples and strawberries from local (pesticide free) orchards, and my mother canned stuff. CREEPY, I know.

Also, she churned butter.

Oh yes, Pranksters, my mom churned our butter. I’ll let you take a moment to let that sink in, or allow you to compose yourself, perhaps to run to the bathroom to wipe the pee from your pants.

Ready? (ASS)

Yeah, my mom churned butter. Sometimes, when I was a kid, I helped. Also, I should add, I was born in 1980, not 1880.

But to me, I’m really not into that whole lifestyle. I mean, I love Classic Rock fiercely…but I also love Bubble Gum Pop. Whole Foods is awesome…but I also call it Whole PAYCHECK. I have a garden which I love…but I don’t grow food in it. I don’t cook, if I can help it. I appreciate the organic lifestyle, but I lived it before most people and I am willing to admit that it has it’s drawbacks…like BUGS.

You can spare me the organic is better lecture because really, I HAVE been there.

Last night, after about 30 minutes with no power, the 3-year old hysterical because things! were! different! I realized that my iPhone was nearly dead and my house phone, well, that runs off The Internet, the stove and microwave both not working, I was pretty much ready to pull my graying hair out.

Luckily, the pizza guy came (thank you The Daver) and saved the day for the kids and 4 mother-humping hours later, the power came on to great fanfare in my house. Turns out, no one in my house–all of whom are used to sleeping with white noise–can sleep if there’s no power.

I’m pretty sure I would have been eaten by a large bear if I’d been a pioneer.

120 thoughts on “Because My Idea of ‘Roughing It’ Involves Staying in a Hotel With No Room Service

  1. You are definitely a power outage lightweight. Me? I once was without power for six days. In February. With no running water (we were on a well), toilets, heat or microwave goodness.

    The amazing part it, we all made it out alive.

    Barely, but we did. And when we did? I almost cried with relief and begged the Man never to leave me again.

  2. The thing is, the Whole Fooders all had childhoods where the hardest thing they ever had to do was Fur Elise at piano lessons. I can guarantee you none of them churned butter. Hard word loses its romance when one realizes it’s actually HARD WORK…

    (OTOH, kids whose parents churned butter grew up eating TastyCakes and Eggos.)

  3. The thing is, the Whole Fooders all had childhoods where the hardest thing they ever had to do was Fur Elise at piano lessons. I can guarantee you none of them churned butter. Hard word loses its romance when one realizes it’s actually HARD WORK…

    (OTOH, kids whose parents churned butter grew up eating TastyCakes and Eggos.)

  4. I’m with you. Although now that my friends have property with a permanent 5th wheel (beds, heat and power) and a potty (with running water), I’ve decided that ‘camping’ isn’t so bad. For no more than 2-3 nights at a time. We only have the internet through our phones. That’s what I call roughing it.

      1. And it has the side benefit of totally pissing my ex-husband off. He was all into camping and stuff, and I wouldn’t go. Then we get divorced and now I “camp”. Of course I haven’t explained to him how I camp as it’s none of his goddamn business, but he’s heard through mutual friends that I take MY dog (supposedly his dog he never took care of so it became mine) camping. We ran into each other at some event and he made a little comment about me camping. I just smiled and said that getting out into nature has really agreed with me! I’ve lost like 30 lbs since the divorce. He and his whore have found them, with reinforcements. Looking awesome anytime I may run into them is the BEST revenge!

  5. Churned. Butter. Butter… The kind you buy in a neat little paper wrapper and box. Churned. Huh.

    You SURE you’re not 130 years old?

  6. Holy crap that’s some Little House on the Prairie! I would not have expected that of you Aunt Becky. I can’t imagine life without electricity. We had a storm pass through a couple weeks ago so we turned off the tvs (big screen+lightning=no bueno). Yeah….and the air. That lasted all of about 20 minutes and when the thunder was not screaming holy hell all over us, that was the end of that.

    At least there was pizza.

  7. Anytime our power goes out, it never fails to go out right before I have attempted to start anything for dinner. It also is always night time, and dark. For some reason, our house and the 2 other houses around us are the last in our neighborhood to get turned back on, EVER. It’s very annoying.

    Whenever our TV is just off, you know that setting other then on, Mea asks if the power is out. This is a sign that our TV is on way. too. much. I’m mother of the year.

    1. Granted I live alone, but if my tv is off, that means the power is off.

      And the thing is, that is while I read, Internet. I just get a googly if it’s quiet and I can hear NOISES. (I do turn it off to go to bed tho)

  8. my stove, oven and microwave don’t work either, but it has nothing to do with a power outage.

    i kinda wish my parents had been organic, butter-churning hippies too then i wouldn’t have been such a fat ass.

    nah, i take back, that’s too rough.

  9. Two and a half weeks. That’s how long I went without ‘lectricity back in 1994. After an Ice Storm. In January. I was in college and had to study by the light from an oil lamp. An OIL LAMP, Becky. Do you know how little light those fuckers put off? I have no idea why Abe Lincoln wasn’t blind as a bat.

  10. Did she actually CHURN it? I mean, I have made butter before, its way easy. But you do it with an electric mixer.

    I too, itch badly when the power goes out. Fortunately or (un) it usually happens while I am sleeping, but then fucks up my alarm clock and I dont wake up for work until like… NOON

  11. Dude. My parents civil-rights-marched and all that, but at the end of the day, my mom is a butter ENJOYER but not so much a CHURNER. It’s work-ish and she’s not much of a “kitchen person.” (Nor am I – I’m more of a “dine out” person, not that anyone at my casa gives a crap.) Furthermore, if *I* had been a pioneer, I would have had no contact lenses, and would have died as a small child after wandering into a wolf den. Yay contacts!

  12. Not long after Not-So-Ex and I got married (the first time), his family rented a cabin in a national forest to vacation in and asked if we wanted to use it one weekend. Having been to several awesome cabins in my lifetime, we were like “Sure.” We got there and realized it was quite rustic (read as hellhole). We still thought we could make the best of it and unpacked everything and got into the cabin about the time a huge storm started and the power went out.

    I made it 3 hours. Then we loaded up and went home. My only regret was waiting 3 hours.

  13. I love you Aunt Becky.
    I was at Whole Paycheck yesterday (only place to get Horizon Vanilla Milk by the case). The 3 yo cried the entire time…no donuts.
    I worked for Bayer for 10 years so can’t get more non-organic that that but because my life is full-on irony, this particular Bayer site was in Berkeley. California.

  14. Hell, my great grandmothers embraced corporate food in the 1910s and I have followed in their footsteps. I come from a long line of women willing to pay someone else to do the growing, canning & preparing of food.

    I wake up when the power goes out at night because the house suddenly gets silent and I can’t sleep in silence

  15. Yeah I dont think I could of done it either. The unfortunate part is that everything now-a-days is all electronic and that can cause a real problem

    Glad to hear the day wasnt a total loss.

  16. Yeah, my parents were the same way. Our garden was stupid huge and they always joked with the neighbors about “We had kids for the slave labor.”

    Those days are gone. I do like to grow a few tomato plants every year, but the days of the root cellar will never return.

    Damn dirty hippies.

    1. Dirty hippies, indeed. I have a garden, but with the exception of my middle son, I never, EVER would insist that my children help me in it because I am so scarred by my family.

  17. My mom didn’t do stuff like that because it was good for us, but because it was “fun” to eat turnips right out of the ground and sew your clothes.

    I can tent camp with the best of them, but I want convenience damn it!

  18. I have been kicking around the idea of designing a whole suite of inorganic food stuffs. You know the kind of food that has had absolutely no relation to actual food in any way shape or form.

    1. I would be your financial backer. We’d laugh at the organic people who would come running to us once they’d gotten sick of picking bug carcasses out of their food.

  19. I like to romanticize about the pioneer lifestyle, until that show on PBS actually put families in the middle of no where and made them live off of the land. The best part about the show was at the end, when they told them if they would have survived through the winter, based on the amount of work they had done/prepared for. NO ONE EVER had enough to live.

    However, with the current oil crisis along the gulf coast – it does make you think twice about where your food is coming from.

  20. Did you get your Snap! on and sing that “I’ve Got The Power” song at the top of your lungs while doing the running man? (please say yes. please!)

  21. I remember after Brent left for the Army, I had a bad power outtage. I had to call the power company and wait for HOURS. I took a nap, hung out on my porch, walked around, cried a little…it totally sucked. Although NOW, it’s funny, lol.

  22. Ok, now I’m all for going green and organic, but churning your own butter? Okay, that’s lay-off-the-crack kinda crazy. I will happily camp and can live without power for weeks if it were just me (because I live in Miami and don’t get cold). But to do it with 2 little kids, don’t know about that.
    Oh, and Whole Paycheck… nice one. 🙂

  23. Our power went out earlier this year (read February) and was off for almost 8 whole hours. I woke up at 2am to complete silence and pitch blackness, which is awful by the way!!

    I have to say after it got light out, I was ok, huddled under a blanket reading a book. My kiddos on the other hand, OMG!!! You’d have thought they woke up in hell or something.

    And, I love Wholefoods. If I ever have another tax refund again I swear that’s the first place I’m going, LOL!!

  24. We had a big ice storm 2 years ago and I had to camp out in the library for the wifi. Yes, we went out in an ice storm so I could have internet access. I would not have been a good/living pioneer.

    PS My brother makes his own maple syrup, cans vegetables, and cures his own bacon (which sounds kind of perverted). He’s single again (go figure) so if you and the Daver ever split up, I can totally fix you guys up. He could make a mountain woman out of you.

  25. I lost power last week on a RAINY AFTERNOON with two children under the age of four and plans to watch MOVIES for HOURS. I frantically called the power company (my cell was still alive) and begged them to turn it BACK ON. Or come over and babysit. No one called back so I finally packed the kids in the car to find civilization. We barely survived. I’m glad to hear you made it.

  26. Girl I understand. I would die without my power. A couple of winters ago we had no power for FIVE DAYS. I thought the world had ended. Within the first few hours I had the kids packed and moved over to my moms. There was no way I could have made it without her power, I mean her, I mean her power, I mean her, I mean her power.

    1. Bwahahahahaha! Yes! It was the KIDS that had issues without the power. THE KIDS! Not me! I was FINE! Churning butter and singing hymns on the front porch! Yuppers! 

  27. ‘Whole Paycheck’, ack, I am so stealing that!!!
    I can not sleep if the tv isn’t on. It’s just way too damn quiet. I’m a city girl at heart and find trains, cars and other things that go bump or wooo woooo(makes train sounds as typing) oddly comforting to sleep to. Besides, I don’t want to hear the serial killer coming to get me. I prefer an ambush.

    1. RIGHT!! That is why my tv is on all the time.

      And when my cat looks at the door to my apartment with pointy ears that all falls apart anyway. So I try not to look at my cat either.

  28. Becks – I’m with you. I hate power outages. In the BIG new york city blackout 5 years ago, I didn’t even have running water. The world completely falls apart without electricity!
    (I guess I should have taken that time to churn my butter properly though – in candle light).

  29. There was a winter ice storm that knocked out power for us and it lasted FOUR DAYS. FOUR DAYS…let that one sink in. It was horrible and I had to pack up some stuff after about two hours and move in with my mother in law.

    That following summer there was a hail storm that knocked out power for …..you guessed it FOUR DAYS. My crappy husband wouldn’t let me move in with his mom again so I had to rough it out with my newly turned one daughter. Seriously, I thought I was going to die. I may have died a little.

  30. It just would have been waaaaay too easy for that bear to find you what with all the hollering and yelling you’d be doing cause your hair was frizzing in the heat and humidity.
    Glad you got your power back. We did without it for two weeks after hurricane Rita. It do suck.

  31. The last major power outage I remember resulted in my best friend’s house burning down (she had three boys between the ages of 7 and 9 at the time). And she was at MY apt doing laundry, because my power had come back on that morning, when she got the call from her neighbor. I can’t help but think of that every time our power goes out for a while now.

    That’s not to say that I don’t whine and complain when I have no internet, no microwave, no light 😉

  32. My total lack of a green thumb would pretty much ensure that I’d never make it as a pioneer. I would have to live near you and hope that your success with orchids transfers over to growing vegetables. On the plus side, we could yoke Alex and Cenzo to a plow and have them till the field for us. They’d get it done in no time, and be tired enough for naps! Win-win!

  33. Honey, I’m right there with you! I am a decendant of men who were longhunters with Daniel Boone, and Native Americans. I was even a Girl Scout for heavens sake, but I am certain that I would have perished if I had lived in the pioneer days.

  34. I get that sick, “OH NO, WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO?!?!” feeling whenever there is no power. Conversely, when I looked this week’s Target ad and saw this really cute tent with this happy family camping on astro turf, I thought that that looked like fun. Until the no power part. And the no running water part. Which is why hotels are far superior to any camping experience.

  35. I hate power outages, because ours always happen at night, so all I can do is go to bed. We’re about to have a tornado or horrible thunderstorm right now, so I should probably unplug the computer…

  36. I made butter by accident. We were trying to make a resortative chocolate mousse, after I’d had a breakup of some sort of proportions, and we made butter instead of mousse. Oops.

  37. Oh. My. God. The world ENDS when the power goes out around here. My husband alone has three computers. Not to mention my laptop, iPhone, and the family desktop. If I ever get stranded while hiking I am screwed. That is why I don’t hike. That, and hiking involves a whole lotta effort and the result is generally bug bites and mud.

  38. Oh. My. God. The world ENDS when the power goes out around here. My husband alone has three computers. Not to mention my laptop, iPhone, and the family desktop. If I ever get stranded while hiking I am screwed. That is why I don’t hike. That, and hiking involves a whole lotta effort and the result is generally bug bites and mud.

  39. The whole born in 1980 thing is screwing with me. I know, not the point of the post, but damn. 1980, I remember that year vividly.

    I am not supposed to be ten thousand years older than everyone.

  40. Having been in the employ of Whole Foods for 15 years, I’ll tell you that I sure miss my employee discount! (of course there isn’t one for me to shop in up here in the wilds of Vermont, but that’s a moot point I guess)
    It’s amazing, when you lose power how much you realize that you have taken for granted.

  41. You must have been like my friend Renee I had when I was 6 years old. The one thing I remember is that her mom would always give us carob chips instead of chocolate chips. Yuck! I’m TRYING to live a more organic lifestyle. I found a worm on my locally grown corn and you would have thought I’d been bitten by a snake. Hope your power comes back on! You’re so funny by the way, one of my favorite blogs.

  42. I don’t mind when the power goes out, except that it always seems to go out when I’m in the middle of cooking a huge turkey dinner.

    I do miss the internet, but it’s the only time Darin will play Scrabble with me, which I don’t understand, because he always wins. I may get fired because of it.

  43. I’m nodding here. My mom wasn’t that bad, but I’ll never forget the dark, damp “natural foods” store that smelled like carob and vitamins. I don’t remember the clerk, but my imagination is making her out to be Carol Kane’s character from “The Princess Bride.”

  44. I know I am super late here- but give me a break it was finals- anyhow- I have damn hippy parents too- long, long after it was cool- and they even made it full circle because now they are cool again. But the same rules do not apply to their grandchildren. My mom wouldn’t let us have sugar! I know I was abused!! but when she comes to visit she gives my daughter juice that has never seen a fruit but has about a pound of sugar. WTF mom?

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