How to stay warn in a power outage – or even if your heater just goes out.

I haven’t been looking up much for the past couple of weeks other than how to build a preorder form for book sales for upcoming book signings and recipes. Pretty generic stuff for me, lol.

But today. TODAY. *sigh* I live in Wisconsin. Not too cold normally. Sure we hit below zero once and a while, but I also whisper ‘thank God I’m not in Canada’ lol. I’ve friends there. Snow to the roofs of their cars right now. Butt hole cold. Brrr.

But today. We ran about 8 degrees. Not too bad. But the house was getting colder and colder. I wear faux fur moccasin slippers but they weren’t doing the job. Not even with thermal socks on.

It was just my husband and myself home. The Daughter and Granddaughter (henceforth D and DG in perpetuity) were at her boyfriends for the weekend. Is it only me, but do most 20 somethings live at home? Back to the story.

Now, I like it cold in the house. With the crazy weather changes I’ve been popping migraine pills like candy. But, it’s getting a little too cold. The temperature outside dropped again. Even my husband asked if I was cold because he was.

THEN he says, maybe I forgot to turn the furnace on.


H: Oh, I changed the filter while I was cleaning up downstairs. (washing machine overflowed all over the floor-it’s been a good weekend!) I had to turn it off. Let me see if I forgot to turn it back on.

He moseyed on down to the basement.

I heard a click and the heater kicked in.

H: I turned it back on.

GAH. I never would have thought about the heater being turned off. Never even crossed my mind. Since he was leaving for work in about an hour I would have been home alone with no heat. Temps haven’t warmed up at all. They tend to drop even lower at night.

But then my brain wouldn’t stop asking, what if the heater had gone out? Last time we all shared body heat, lol. Me, H and both my D and son. They were little, in grade school and we had a king size bed. We had the heater replaced in two days. Always in the dead of winter.

But again, I was alone. No body heat. No pets, even. So I started looking up what to do.

  1. Block all drafts from doors and windows with towels. Makes sense.
  2. Keep curtains closed unless the sun is shining to help warm the room. Closed because it’s now night.
  3. Move to one room. Pile blankets and pillows and even a mattress if there’s room. Flashlights, extra clothing, even gloves and hats. Keep the doors closed to keep heat in. Doable.
  4. If you have a tent, sleep in it to protect you from the weather. Yuck, mine are spider and dirt filled, but maybe I should clean them up for future winters. Hmm.
  5. Don’t keep opening the refrigerator & freezer.
  6. Turn on the generator (I don’t have one, but have been thinking about getting one). Keep it outside and well ventilated.
  7. Use the fireplace (Again, I don’t have one)
  8. Use portable heater but keep a window cracked so you don’t kill yourself from the fumes. (This I have! I just don’t know where it was moved to-need to find it)
  9. Go to a hotel, especially if it is a long power outage. That would depend on whether they have power and heat also.

Then I checked out the Urban Survival Site for 17 ways to stay warm.

Layer your clothes, use hand warmers. Close off unneeded rooms. Huddle in one room. Duct tape and plastic up windows. Close curtains, use towels to stop drafts. Invest in solar heater, fireplace and generator. Drink warm liquids, pile on blankets. Use heated water bottle, exercise, put up a tent and drag out your sleeping bags.

Not too different. But how are you supposed to cook? I would imagine I’d have to drag out my grill. But it would have to be outside. But if you didn’t have one? Here’s a handy dandy heater.

An empty never used paint can is best, but who has that? Not in an emergency! You can use a vegetable can. Here are the steps from the Urban Survival Site:

Materials and Tools:

Tin Can Heater Materials And Tools

  • 1 empty 1-quart paint can with lid or empty food can
  • 1 roll of toilet paper
  • 1 bottle of 70% isopropyl alcohol
  • A flathead screwdriver


Tin Can Heater Assembly Process

  1. Use a screwdriver and your hands to remove the cardboard tube from the center of the toilet paper roll.
  2. Once the tube is removed, squeeze the roll so it collapses in on itself.
  3. Slowly insert the toilet paper roll into the can.
  4. As you approach the end of the roll, you might need the screwdriver to get it past the rim.

Tin Can Heater Setup Process

  1. Make sure the toilet paper is below the rim of the can.
  2. A large tile at least 1-foot square should be placed under the can.
  3. Slowly pour the isopropyl alcohol onto the toilet paper wick until it is saturated.
  4. Light the top of the can,f but be careful if you place the can in a bright area. The flame can be difficult to see.

Tin Can Heater Lit

Place the can in a safe location. The can will get very hot, so extinguish it and let it cool before touching. The lid can be slipped over the top to put out the flame. Seal the lid with light taps from a hammer and store where you store other flammable materials like kerosene, gas, oil, and propane. Before using again, top off the can with more isopropyl alcohol.

I bet everyone has those materials at home! But will you remember it? And what if you don’t?

You can build a heater from a clay flower pot. Prop the pot upside down on non flammable materials so you have room to put about 4-6 tea candles underneath. Eventually it will begin to heat the area around it. Easy peasy!

In case of any power outage, make sure you have plenty of water! Start to fill your tubs immediately so you have enough to make it through the outage. Hopefully it won’t be necessary, but you never know.

Here’s a couple of video’s showing how to build them.

Here’s a clay pot heater. From Canada, lol.

And this lead to how to build a 72 day candle. Who doesn’t have a tub of crisco!  8 hours a day for 72 days using a 6 lb can of crisco and a candle or two!

Here is a simple solar furnace. Huh, who knew! I’m still a little unsure of a couple of steps so may hunt out other videos to make sure I have them correct.

But luckily my heater is on. I just always have those ‘what ifs’ that run through my head!

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How to make cheese

This is my quest this week. I think living in the heartland of the Midwest, we’d fare better than the other parts of the country.


Nearby are the Amish who have lived for decades and more without all the technology we surround ourselves with. They are very nice people. If something happened, we already have individuals that know how to survive.

I know people that run a dairy and I looove their cheese. I know someone that runs a strawberry farm. I have friends that have horses. I have friends that farm. If our resources and knowledge were pooled, we’d survive. Okay, they’d survive without me, lol, but extra hands to do work are always welcome.

So, cheese. Living in Wisconsin, I ought to know. But I am a city girl here! I know how to make butter and ice cream. But what is life without cheese????

The first recipe I looked at is from The Milk Maid. The blog gives examples of what you need. I had the first one correct-milk! Go, ahead, roll your eyes. I’m snickering. Click on the name and it will take you there.

It mentions milk, acid, coagulants, curd, harp knife, removing whey, salting and aging the cheese.

Sounds hard! But the directions give you natural, fairly easy to find ingredients and directions. Go ahead! Make your own cheese curds (YUM!) and/or cheese.

So when you get down to it, you need milk, vinegar, sap from a milk thistle, a knife, cheese cloth, salt and patience!

Here’s a video on how to make 10 minute cheese at home!

Here’s how people made cheese in the early 19th century (farm house cheese)

Here’s another one made in the kitchen. It shows how much cheese you’ll get from one gallon of milk, 1/3 cup of vinegar, and one tablespoon of salt. It takes about an hour to do.


There are all sorts of video’s! How to make cheddar and mozzarella, two of my favorites!

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Yes, it seems random! But I am fascinated by Nature’s changes. My dragons live nestled next to volcanoes.

Besides that, the recent eruption of the volcano in New Zealand brought it close to home. My brother scheduled a cruise and he and my sister in law were supposed to be visiting the volcano the day of the eruption. For some reason he changed his reservations for the next week.

Thank goodness! As much as a little brother is a pain growing up, I’d hate to see anything happen to him.

That got us into watching eruptions for the next few days.

Here is the one, not close to home, but too close for comfort for my family!


We also checked out the eruption on Christmas Day in Hawaii. AT least it looks that way, but then is says an update from the May eruption of Kilauea.

Then there is the ominous prediction of which volcanoes might erupt soon.



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Now on to Chickens!

I already knew how to wring a chickens neck or chop it to start preparing one thanks to a neighbor when I was a young girl. Young enough to be fascinated by it running around the yard after the deed was done!

The Ready Store has a quick write up of how to do everything from killing to dressing it for cooking. And not in your Sunday best!

Here’s the link to that article:

If you prefer to see it in action here is a youtube video. Everything is on youtube!

They use a wet pluck method. It seems to be the easiest. This next video uses a dry pluck method for feathers and then a wet pluck for the rest of the feathers. He sells the feathers to help boost the income on his small farm. I enjoyed listening to his accent, lol.

So, since a hot tub of water isn’t ready for my heroine and she’s outside a mine, here’s how she’d do it. Does it.

I should put a disclaimer on my blog! NOT for Vegan use!

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I’m becoming a font of knowledge! #stillwriting

I found out the options of preparing a hide for tanning. Freeze, salt or dry. Sounds like salting or working on the hide immediately is the way to go. But when you have dragons dropping buffalo at your feet, you may not have supplies!

Interesting stuff but not all the research I do.
Like finding out the parts of a dinosaur. Because a dragon has to be one with wings! Just check out this information.

Claws, Jaws and Spikes: The Science of the Dinosaur Arsenal

I’m tired an apparently I’m coming down with my daughter’s cold. Brain dead means nothing is coming to me! Time to stop and sleep because I know the parts of a dragon. I have so many dragonology books. I’ve read (and written!) quite a few.

I didn’t really find what I was looking for, but I ended up finding some interesting dragon descriptions, lol.

Then my brain kicked back in!




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Beware! How to skin a buffalo #Bloodandguts

I was looking at how to skin a buffalo. Just research. I’ve never hunted. Never really needed to. Even though I live in Wisconsin!

This wasn’t exactly what I was looking for, but did give me a few tips I needed. And terms!

Here is one that was more on point for the information I wanted. But it didn’t finish what I was looking for. However my dragons would be very happy to get these parts!

Watching this next one, I don’t think I’d want to do this myself. I really don’t like the sight of blood. Not at all. Yuck.

Here’s what I wanted!

Grace is getting ready to skin a buffalo Hark caught so I wanted to make sure I knew how to do it.

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Apocalypse coming to you! #amwriting

Now isn’t that an eye catcher! Not that I’m having the apocalypse, but my people are going to find an unwelcome surprise.

Imagine exploring a mine for tools and scrap metals and finding a door. Triple locked. Hermetically sealed.

I’d look! Wouldn’t you?

Grace can’t stop herself. Rog is willing to indulge her whether she realizes it or not.

My world in a Dragon’s Fated Heart series takes place AFTER the apocalypse. (BTW, isn’t that the WORST word in the world to spell?) Generations after. Rise of the Dragons introduces you to it. Stealing Hope drops you a couple of centuries into the aftermath. Finding Faith skips along, ignoring it ever happened, lol.

Didn’t mean to do that, but Faith and Crag didn’t seem to care.


Grace and Rog will be slapped in the face with it. Hark, too, since he’s along for the ride. I so want to tell, but just in case something unforeseen happens and it takes another turn, I won’t spill the beans!

I’m using a couple of books to help by Jackson Dean Chase. Writing Apocalypse & Survival (no zombies here though!) and Post-Apocalypse Writers’ Phrase Book.

I’m chomping at the bit because I already purchased the cover for the book. BUT I still don’t have a name for it. It was going to be Saving Grace, but Grace doesn’t need saving. Not really. Hopefully while I’m writing it, a name will come to me. It better. I can’t just call it Book 3!

Other than reading about possible causes and survival methods of an apocalypse, I haven’t looked up anything weird.

However, I’ve been looking at dirty meme’s, lol. And listening to my writing playlist. I don’t change it depending on the book. Most of the songs just dig into my gut, sending stories rattling around in my brain. Here’s a few of them for your listening pleasure.

Maybe they’ll inspire you too!

Gold ~ Imagine Dragons (what a surprise, lol)

Take Me to Church ~ Hozier (amazingly enough, this is the first time I’ve seen the video!)

Good For You ~ Selena Gomez

Worth It ~ Fifth Harmony

Sugar ~ Maroon 5

E.T. ~ Katy Perry

Bleeding Out ~ Imagine Dragons

Moves Like Jagger ~ Maroon 5

I know, my playlist is about 4 years old, lol. But I don’t get out a lot!

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