A Dead Computer & The 2 Things That Made The Power Outage Bearable

Finally, the power is back on. You know, it’s amazing how fast our brains adapt to a new situation. I was working on a puzzle and listening to a book on Audible when a loud snap sound happened from the direction of my computer and the lights came on. It felt so weird to have electricity at my fingertips again, to be able to just flip a switch and have light in a room! lol I know that sounds weird but it was kind of like everything was all new again as I walked through my home seeing the rooms enveloped in light!


The Bad News

Though every single thing that was plugged into my high-joule Belkin surge protector is working perfectly fine, and the surge protector shows it’s still operational and “protecting” the items plugged into it, my CPU will not power up. Because of the pandemic, the computer store that built my computer (Vision Computers) isn’t open so I’ll have to wait until Monday to take it to them. Hopefully, they can get it working again. It’s so strange that everything else (monitors, speakers, printer, etc…) are just fine and it’s only the CPU that seems to have been affected by the outage.


Two Items That Saved the Day

Throughout this entire power outage debacle, there were two items that really saved the day and for which I am so grateful: 1. Battery-Operated Lanterns and 2. Blackout Buddies.

I purchased these lanterns a few years back and they are awesome! They will literally light up an entire room! I have several stashed all over the house but last night I went online and ordered another set of 4 so I’d have a few extras. Here’s where I purchased mine: Lanterns for When the Lights Go Out.

I use them all over my home where I need extra light throughout the year–like in closets, pantries, and under-eve storage. I also keep one in my kitchen to use when I need a little help seeing way far back inside one of the lower cabinets. They are inexpensive and perfect for outages. I gave my son and daughter-in-law a set back when I first purchased mine and my daughter-in-law texted me raving about how awesome they were when they experienced a power outage later that year.


The other lifesaver throughout this 36-hour blackout were these guys. I was so shocked to find that almost every single one of these plugin lights stayed lit the entire 36 hours! I had no idea they would last that long. I figured they were good for just a few hours when the lights go out, but amazingly they lasted the entire outage!

I have one in every single room of my home except my downstairs living room and the guest room, so last night I ordered two more so I would have them in every room. Here’s where I always order them: Blackout Buddy.

They are a blessing because when the power goes out, they automatically come on. They offered enough light that I could easily walk from room to room throughout my home to find the lanterns I had stored in various places around my home.

I highly recommend the lanterns above and these plugin lights below. You can set them where they are on all the time (like in a dark hallway) OR just come on in the evening when a room or hallway gets dark. Or you can set them to where they only come on when the power goes out. In my hallway, I have them set as nightlights so they come on when it gets dark outside. Elsewhere in my home, they are set to only come on when the lights go out.

Blackout Buddy Lights


The other item that helped me maintain the little bit of sanity I have left 😉 was this guy below. Did I mention WordPress, the blogging platform I use, got an update in the midst of the blackout that crashed the blog?! It was so much fun calling tech support and troubleshooting the issue via my phone in the dark! Ugh!

I was sooo bored in the evenings with no electricity/internet access. I really, really wanted to work on this puzzle I had started just prior to my last trip to Ohio.


Though the lanterns give out plenty enough light for regular tasks, there was no place to set a lantern behind my chair in my office that was close enough or high enough to shine onto the puzzle board. Then I remembered my little headlight lantern.

I purchased it back when I was building my potting table below. It really helped me to see exactly where I needed to cut when using my circular saw and later, my jigsaw while building the table. I’m a perfectionist about that kind of stuff–I’m sure that comes as no surprise! lol (Read more about how to build this potting table in this previous post: Build a Potting Table, Great for Parties, Too!)


Anyway, it was perfect for working on my puzzle last night, which made having no electricity or internet access a lot more bearable. My son also wears one for his late-night, outdoor grilling sessions. You’ll find the DeWalt one here: DeWalt Headlamp. There are many other styles available here: Headlamp for Task Lighting.

It appears they’ve improved the one I have by adding an extra strap that goes over the top of the head. I like that! I may need to order the new, improved version.

Dewalt Work Light

Since I still can’t access the photos on my CPU, I’ll save the table I was going to post this past week for next week’s Tablescape Thursday. Hopefully, my computer will be back up and running by then.

I hope if you were affected in any way by Hurricane/Tropical Storm Zeta, that your life is moving back toward normal now. I plan to spend the weekend completing my puzzle and vegging for a bit. It’s been a stressful week with storms, power outages, blog-crashing updates, and getting over this yucky cold I caught on my last trip out of town.

By the way, I had an absolutely terrifying thing happen to me a few weeks ago during my visit to the Emergency Room in Dayton, Ohio–where it turned out I had pneumonia. I’ve been trying to decide if I should share it here on the blog. Let me know if you would like to hear about it. I can’t get it out of my mind and I’m still trying to figure out what caused it.

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  1. Yes, we want to hear about it! Your posts are something we have to look forward to in the pandemic and hope you’re doing okay (and also we can only watch so many episodes of Flea Market Flip).

  2. Please share. It’s probably something we all need to hear.

  3. Please do tell about what happened! I cant tell you how much I enjoy all you write about or how many items I have ordered myself after you wrote about them. I’m ordering these little lanterns right now. Than you for all your thoughts and ideas!

  4. Well, now I am curious and need to know! We were fortunate and got our power back in about 14 hours. My son, on the other hand lost 3 trees, one of which took the power lines to his house down with it. Thankfully there, was not damage to the house itself. Still a big mess to clean up. He said every house on his street has at least one tree down. He and his sweet wife are with us until power returns. I know they are glad for a place to stay but driving to work in the Atlanta area is challenging when you are further away.

  5. I ordered the Blackout Buddy after your post couple yrs back. Ours came on for 1st time this hurricane season affecting Atlanta area…amazing how great the light. I’ve given to all our family in their stockings. Love all your ideas, keep them coming.

  6. Please tell about your adventure. Sharing it may help you deal with it some, and may help others if they encounter the same/similar situation.

  7. susan hontalas says

    The one thing I LOVE about power outages is the absolute silence. There is none of those little noises that come from appliances or light timers. I never notice it until the power is out. Glad yours is back on and life can resume like “normal”. Ha, it is 2020…nothing normal about this year!!

  8. Don’t leave us in suspense. Thanks for the recommendations for emergency lighting. I purchased a generator a few years ago after losing power in the middle of the winter. Luckily I have only had to use it a few times but it is worth the peace of mind to have it.

  9. Sharon Rod says

    I am sorry you had a terrifying moment. I would like to hear about it. Was it when you were in the ER? I was in ours a month ago. When they took me back to a room, they put me in a Covid room and it scared me!!! I had to ask them if they thought I had Covid. They said no, it was the room that was open at the time!!

  10. I have those same lanterns and they are awesome! I’ll be ordering some Blackout Buddys. We just went 30 hours without power and the lanterns were so helpful.

  11. Yes, please tell your ER story! I had my first ER visit in May and really would like to hear your experience. And I have added your suggestions to my Amazon list for myself and for Christmas presents. We are in a wildfire area so electricity is now shut down at times “just in case”, and the Blackout Buddy is something I didn’t know about. The headlamp is another brilliant idea, and I completely trust your recommendations – have bought many over the years. 🙂

  12. Of course we all want to know what you’ve been holding back! lol You always have common sense things to tell and it just might be something the rest of us can make use of in the future. I wonder if your computer will fire up after it has been sitting after your first attempt? Electronics mystify me. I could not get our wifi to load on my laptop or computer and yet my husband’s computer was working just fine. Next morning so was mine. Goblins…oh Happy Halloween!

  13. Carol Thompson says

    Susan, though I’ve never met you, I feel close to you through your blogs. A part of me would die if anything ever happened to you. Please share with us about the nightmare incident as we care deeply for your well being and happiness. I often order your suggestions because I trust them. I just ordered the lanterns. We thank you every time our buddy lights come on in power outages. In Charlotte NC our power was only off 7 hours after Zeta, so we were fortunate. We, too, have given the light buddies as gifts to family members after you recommend them. they are the best!

    • Awww, thanks Carol! What a kind thing to say and I appreciate that so, so much!
      They do make great gifts/stocking stuffers. I’m so glad you’ve found them helpful, too. They give me peace of mind, for sure.

  14. Whoa, what a week you’ve had, Susan! I think whatever it is on your mind, that if you feel like sharing it, chances are you might receive some really positive feedback that may help you let go of what it is that’s weighing on your mind. I hope that makes sense.

    Glad you have those little niceties that got you through the power outage. Hopefully your computer vendor can recover your data even if the CPU is history.

  15. Susan, I would love to hear about your terrifying moment. I’m just getting over a case of pneumonia I didn’t realize I had (thought the breathing problems I was experiencing were caused by the weeks of wildfire smoke in which we were enveloped) and I have to say I was more than a little freaked out by my ER experience. I know from experience that writing about a traumatic event will often ease the distress and help to sort out any questions/doubts one may have. I hope you’re soon back on the bright side!

  16. Mary from Virginia says

    Of course I want to hear! I hope you are ok from whatever it was. I’m so sorry about your computer. You’ve had such a hard week! I hope you are truly resting!

  17. Margaret Bergeron says

    Susan, I am in the Atlanta area also and was without power for 36 hours. Some of my friends are still without electricity now going on 48 hours. Amazing how much we appreciate the “necessities” of life when we are without. I have also given the light buddies as gifts, and I will be ordering the lanterns to help me through the next outage. Thanks for all of your wonderful recommendations.

    Please share your ER story!

  18. Happy Halloween! Please do share your ER scare – glad everything worked out well! Hope your computer’s trip to its “emergency room” is successful, too. Guess it would be wise to unplug sensitive electronics when the power goes and wait to plug it back in once it’s been on successfully for a period of time. But then, for what purpose is a surge protector good? Please share what you find here, too! We have a whole house surge protector AND the Belkin surge protectors – guess I shouldn’t rely on them! Thanks for all your product reviews – the lights mentioned here sound like great stocking stuffers!

  19. I live in West Cobb and we didn’t lose our power. We were fortunate. It wavered a number of times and we held our breath, but it stayed on. So thankful. In 2004 we went through hurricane Charlie that tore through Punta Gorda, FL. Being without power, water, and flushing toilets in August for two weeks was challenging, to say the least. I thought when we left Florida and came to Georgia that tropical weather was behind us!

  20. Marilyn the Nurse says

    Yes, I would love to hear your story about the ER
    Love your blog and buy numerous things that you tell us about

  21. Jon Anne Winstead says

    Let us know what happened during your visit to the ER!!

  22. Something you haven’t recommended but I got because of you is the pneumonia shot after your trip to the emergency room. As others have said we learn so much from you. Thanks for everything you do for us we appreciate you. Good or bad we need to hear the story.

  23. Susan, Glad everything is back to almost normal. I have those little lanterns and they are perfect and dependable. Please share your experience from Dayton. If it is still bothering you, then it is probably important. You have many good friends on your blog and they won’t steer astray.

  24. Donna zoltanski says

    Glad you are doing good. Yes please share…we are wondering now!

  25. I love it when you recommend things to us!! I’d much rather buy something I know someone recommends than just doing a shot in the dark.

  26. Thanks for all your recommendations — we don’t have too many outages here in DFW but when it happens, it would be great to have all the nifty gadgets instead of resorting to candles! I love your headlamp — mine is a dollar store find with a clip that I attach to a headband. Time to upgrade!
    We’re curious as to what happened in the emergency room, but share it only if you feel comfortable. Hoping your CPU can be fired back up, too, what an inconvenience.
    Happy Halloween, Susan! Glad you’re safe!

  27. Susan, those look like great recommendations and I’m going to buy some right now. Glad you were equipped enough to survive the dark and keep your sanity. And yes! Of course we want to know. 🙂

  28. I agree with the others who feel whatever your experience was could very well help any one of us who might end up in the ER, and it CERTAINLY will help you. Getting things like that “off your chest” will absolutely ease your mind. We all support you; remember that Susan! And certainly, we are “all in this THING called 2020” together!

  29. Of course, we want to hear! I joking refer to you as my best friend Susan, when telling my DIL something I learned from you. Thank
    You for all of the helpful info. I am so glad your power is back on.

  30. Oh, NO! NO! NO! Please don’t tell us your terrifying story! Please, NO!….er….on the other hand, does it have anything to do with hiding behind chain saws in a dark basement?

  31. Linda S. In NE says

    Yes, please share your experience. You always offer us such good recommendations no matter what you have experienced in your own life. I think of you every time I see a semi-truck in the lanes ahead of me on the local Kennedy Freeway. (Pretty much the only four lane road that I drive on since we still have so many Covid restrictions in place here in NE).
    As others have mentioned, I have purchased several of your recommendations, and will now be looking into the lanterns you are writing about. Take care.

  32. Susan, what an awful experience you had but Praise God, you got through and as always have learned some important lessons which you have graciously shared. I am going to get more of those emerg. lights. I did get one last time you mentioned. Fabulous.
    Now…if you will permit me to share an experience I had today in WalMart where I found the Ninja Foodie Air Fryer you have, however came home without as it was soooo very heavy. I could not even lift the box and cannot imagine it is like yours but criteria seemed to match. Also this one must be very large but the one you pictured on your counter seems not much larger than my Mr Coffee machine. Tell me you can lift yours easily and move it about? I would never be able to move this one without a crane!
    And yes, please share your ER experience. I have had some pips myself.

  33. Susan, so sorry about posting so many times yesterday, but it never showed that anything was posted so I just gave up. I didn’t realize about the outages the south was having until my cousin from NC called and told me about it being out for 3 days it is now on. Sure would love the store I am tired of listening to the tv show about finding gold in Alaska that my husband loves to watch.

  34. We had a tornado 10 years ago. Our power was off so I went outside and got our landscape lights we had about ten. I put then in the bathrooms and hallways . The worked very well

  35. Just a thought for future power outages. There is a product I have seen on TV up here in Canada. It’s called Generac, it’s a alternate power system that hooks up to your gas line. So when there is a power outage it comes on automatically, no more losing food items in the fridge or dark house. Not sure if you have anything like that in your area, but you could check out the website.
    I have listed it below, if this is not allowed please remove it.


    All the Best, Tracy

  36. Cyndi Raines says

    Glad you now have power and had the laterns and power buddies to provide some light. I believe I will be ordering both. We do have a generator, but it is always good to have things like these on hand. Also, great gifts. I like your “head-light”, too! I know your deck looked a mess and will be a job to clean up, but thankful no damage to the house, or downed trees. Glad you are feeling better. Yes, please share as we all care very much for you and hopefully, you will feel better after sharing and also possibly we can learn from it also. Get lots of rest and keep pushing the fluids. Hugs to you sweet lady for waiting out the storm by yourself. ♥️♥️♥️

  37. What happened? I’m glad you’re okay and that things are getting back to normal.

  38. Martha Lander says

    Susan, absolutely do tell us about your experience in the hospital. Yes, we want to know! I have your blackout buddies and they are wonderful. My husband loves them for use when our power goes out, which is all too often these days.

  39. Glad you are up and powered…good luck with your computers. Yes, please – share your ER story…all your posts help someone somewhere figure something out !

  40. Yes Susan, please share your story.
    Been reading your blog for a long time, don’t share often. Happy your feeling well. I also like to do puzzles. It has been difficult finding some Good ones lately, I’m kinda picky. I have been looking for just a fall them one recently.
    Happy Sunday morning.

  41. Thank you so much for showing us this lighting. It was never really significant to me (we have a generator) until recently as we recently purchased a condo in Biloxi, MS and apparently were without power for 3 days! I will be going down the week before Thanksgiving and my main chore prior to all the food prep (I have 5 more people coming) will be to clean out my freezer and fridge. I need to order this backup lighting for sure!

    And yes, please share your story!

  42. Yes! Tell us…

  43. Susan, you are like family to us. We are here for the good, bad, and ugly.
    I have had some questionable things happen in the ER too. Hard to concentrate when you don’t feel well. If you are comfortable sharing, please do so.
    So happy you have lights.

  44. You are a treasure, Susan! I had to read all the comments. I, too, am one of your loyal and caring readers. I also used the lanterns (purchased after your earlier recommendation) during our power outage in south Alabama caused by Zeta. I was thankful to have them! I, too, would love to hear your ER story! Take care!

  45. Please share with us. My husband had a terrible bicycle accident this past summer and his experience in the ER(2 ERs in 2 different cities) was a positive experience in both locations. I was even allowed to be with him in both locations! My daughter is also a surgeon having worked on several trauma cases in the ER. I’d like to give her a heads up too on your experience. Have you had the pneumonia shot?

  46. Thanks to your earlier posts, I also have some of the lanterns and Blackout Buddies and they have come in handy for me. (Thankfully, my power didn’t go off with this storm but plenty in my area were without power.) I gave my mother-in-law some of the lanterns and she keeps one in her walker so she will have it handy if she needs it. She gave them to many family members that Christmas, too.
    I’m sorry you had a terrifying ER experience but maybe if you share it, others can be more prepared in case they have to visit an ER.

  47. So glad that your power is back on. Re the lanterns; upon your recommendation I too purchased some and gave a set to each of my children whom as well as myself, have used them. Actually I keep one stored under my bed within easy reach. Do love the fact that they can light up a room but at the same time aren’t glaring and also have the option of choosing the amount of light you wish. As to your trip to the ER hope you do share. -Brenda-

  48. Maybe just do a write-up of what happened to you. And then let it sit for a couple of days. Then you can decide whether you want to share. The act of writing will help you.

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