Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Where does the time go?

Rich made it home this past weekend. We got lots accomplished around the homestead. The dogs now are fenced in and have a hot wire running the perimeter. Didn't take them long to figure out what that wire was for! Needless to say, it only took a few zaps and NO DIGGING AND GETTING OUT! Pressure gone for me. I can enjoy them again.

Then we built a chicken cop for the chickies. We also clipped their wings. They roost at night and cluck and scratch all day. Life is good once more.

That was until Rich left again Sunday night. This time it hasn't been as hard. The last trip I thought I was gonna have to check myself in somewhere. My heart literally ached. We have never been apart that far or that long before - 18 yrs! Every night I cried. All day I cried. I stopped eating and pretty much stopped drinking too. Not good. I need to take care of myself for my kids. The stress of the dogs getting out constantly and all the leaks and things breaking around here (why do these things happen when he is gone??) was getting to be too much.

We worked hard in the time we had and it paid off. I'm able to relax, talk on the phone, get on the computer and be happy! Tears are still shed - sorry, cannot help it. When I hear his voice on that phone it sure sounds like he is in the next room. But he's not. He's thousands of miles away from us and he's just as lonely as we are.

Having free mobile to mobile is a blessing! We are able to talk when we want and for as long as we want. Ahhh.. just knowing that is an option puts me at ease. He's learning to use text messaging... at first all his words ran together hehehe. He's so cute.

I'm counting down the days for him to come home. Hopefully he won't have to go to work here in town while he is home. There is still lots to do and see about.

We are still not finish settling with our insurance company. I finally spoke to someone who seems to have some pull. He is the first one to ask me if I was being taken care of by my insurance. Uhm, no. So I let him know my peeves: Don't tell me you are going to call and then you don't. I understand if you cannot. I am aware of the situation. But let me know a time frame or a time when you can speak to me. Don't leave me hanging. Don't let me continually get your voice mail. I've been known to fill up voice mail. Quickly too. Then nobody else will be able to get thru and they will be furious. Be honest with me. It's okay that it will take you three weeks to get to my claim or that you are sorry that my claim has been passed around to 3 different people and now it just landed in your lap. Don't have attitude with me and act like it's MY fault it was just handed to you yesterday. I don't care. I don't. I've been dealing with this since Oct ... I'm tired of waiting. If you cannot handle to load then you need to get some help. Don't try to make me feel bad. I"m all out of sympathy. I'm ready to get my life in motion and I need to know what direction to take. I pay YOU, remember. And I pay good money. I also pay a year in advance..and I've never had a claim until now. So handle up on it, as my husband would say. I'm tempted to tell them it's time to shit or get off the pot!

While Rich was home this weekend he suggested we needed some Christmas cheer in the camper. Cheer? What? HUH? Whatever. I'm NOT cheerful and I don't know if I can GET cheerful. Last year I buried my grandmother right before Christmas and this year I have no house and my husband is headed back to Calfornia and you want me to also pull come cheer out of my hat???

How can I resist when he buys a tree in a burlap sac and says we can use it for our Christmas tree. It's a tabletop decoration haha. But it worked. And we got some icecicle lights to go around the awning.. still not up yet. But it's working. The Christmas spirit is creeping in. Even if I don't have anything wrapped and still have Sarah and Daniel to buy for.. even if I don't have wrapping paper yet and have tons more to get... I cannot forget the reason we celebrate Christmas. If I forget that... then Rita wins. And my God is much bigger than Rita.

Even my phone ringers are singing Christmas music when someone calls. How spiffy is that? Time to slip into bed and have visions of sugerplums dancing in my head... one day closer to my husband returning home!

Gnite, Gracie!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

and again and again...

Our birdie passed away. His name was Itzy and he had been with us for a loong time. He survived the storm and the horrible days after.. but for some reason he just couldn't hold up. He never looked sick. He just seemed to die suddenly. Stress? I don't know.

Then Sarah's hampster died. If you only knew how much Ham-Ham meant to her. That child still played with Hammy almost daily. She never tired of him or hated cleaning his cage. She often reminded her brother to feed/water HIS hampter. She played with him so much and he was such a good lil Hammy. I don't like rodents.. but I liked him. He brought her so much happiness. And I loved to watch her with him. We lost him in the house twice. And each time he came back. Daniel found Hammy when he died and told Sarah. She was pretty upset. I have promised her when we get a house she can have another. She still plays with the dogs and the cats and the chickens.. she is a real animal lover. She never fusses to clean up after then or tend to them.. she finds great joy in her animals. I just hope she continues and uses her love of them in her adult life.

My MIL is doing well. Better than I would, that's for sure! Rich is in California and it has been hell here. You know how things go wrong when someone leaves. Yup. That's here. A water leak here and a leak there.... and bad weather (I don't like bad weather) and making sure the awning is not about to burst under the weight of the rainwater collecting on it. UGH!

I did what I never said I would do. I cried to Rich while he was away. I mean cried. I miss him so terribly much. He's my other half. And I feel so lost. I say I'd never do that to him because he is working and cannot come home to "rescue" me. I don't want him to feel bad.. I don't want him to feel helpless. But gosh, it's HARD. And then the pets dying. and coping with the kids.. and still the coping of my FIL.... and with Rich gone and seeing how things seem to just fall apart.. I cannot help but feel for my MIL. Thankfully nothing has happened at her house.. but in time it will. Will she be able to make it? Will she call us to help? I hope so. I don't want her to feel like this. It's horrible.

I know it wouldn't be so bad if I were IN a house living comfortably and going about my daily normal routine. But I"m not. I'm in a camper with 3 kids who want mom in three different directions, 2 dogs who keep getting out (who are now chained up and bark constantly), a bird that passed, a hammy that passed.. one hammy still around and chickens and cats that need feeding and watering. Oh yah, and I work. Add supper and homework and laundry... ack! The kids do help.. but they ARE kids. They cannot sit and talk to me at the end of a day. They cannot listen to my fears and calm my nerves.

I'm not complaining, really, I just needed to vent. I needed someone to say "It's gonna be a right. I'll be home soon. And I miss you and the kids." But that's not what I got. Instead I got a husband who was frustrated because he cannot fix things for us.. and he's trying to work and run here and do this and that.. and there is a time difference involved. He's frustrated. I am frustrated. And being separated only adds to the frustration.

I tell ya... stress is not a good thing. And I've had my fill. I've had enough to last a lifetime in this one year.

And today? What's so special about today? Today is my Grandmother's Bday. She passed away last year.. 17 days after her birthday. We buried her just before Cmas, and it was a sucky Cmas. This year seems to be a repeater.

So, chin up... I prefer to look on the bright side - always an optimist! But man, sometimes it is hard. Really hard. But I'm trying. Trying really hard. I took the hurricane and losing my home in stride. Many people said my inner strength was incredible. But I think i'm about broken now. I dig deep, but it's empty. I've even used up my reserve.

Surely tomorrow will be better. I cannot image it being worse.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

How much More can we take?

I don't know what is going on or when things will settle down... but I don't know how much more we can take.

My husband's father passed away Monday night. Since then it has been a whirlwind around here. The week zipped by - it was just too fast. Too sudden. Too soon. A life too short. My FIL was 60 yrs old.

After the storm he got really weak and tired and went to the hospital. They found out then that he had MDS and had it for a very long time. He was in the final stages. He used the last weeks of his life to spend time alone with this wife and sons and get everything in order so that when he died everyone would know his wishes and things would be finalized and my MIL would not be left not knowing what to do. He was a very organized man and it really helped all the way around.

My MIL is a bit lost - to be expected. She is doing remarkably well considering. Rich and his brother are rediscovering a lost relationship. THAT is awesome to see. They are 9 yrs apart and basically don't know each other. My MIL and I are working to change that. Family is important to all of us and now we want to be a big family together. It sure is a good feeling.

Needless to say, we have been very busy around here. Still waiting on insurance to get their hiney in gear and let us know what the outcome of our house is going to be. The weather is gloomy and gray and all around icky. I have so much work to do it's unreal! I need to get to typing and yikes! the girls need to clean the camper table and couch. Looks like a whirlwind has hit.

Time to get shaking!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Home Sweet Home



















A few have asked to see the camper in which we are currently living. So here goes! It's 33 feet long and has a slideout living room/dining room. It has a master bedroom in the front, then the living/kitchen/dining area, then the split bathroom with a shower and sink on one side and a toilet on the other, and the 4 bunks at the very end. It's wonderful! Central air and heat, skylights and it even has an awning! It has a stovetop and oven, microwave, freezer, fridge. It even came with a dvd/radio, which the kids and I are really enjoying when watching movies. Hog heaven or what for those of us who love camping!!?? We've moved the porch deck to the front of the camper so when it rains we can still walk outside and not be in a mud puddle. I have awning lights (frogs, imagine!) and we are doing well.

Sarah and I did some arranging of food in storage yesterday after coming back from the store. Shifting and moving stuff to better places seems to be a never ending thing we do around here. The kids play outside until dark and then come in for supper and showers. They are tired at the end of the day and go to bed without a problem.

Time to do laundry. I am able to use the laundry room in my house as it is right at the back door. I just shut the door from it to the rest of the house and wash away!


MOLD MEN

The mold men from our insurance came Saturday. They said we have extensive mold and would rather us stay out of the house as much as possible. He said they will have to cut off the entire roof of our house in order to fix the mold problem i the attic. That does not include the mold remediation in the house. I think we are one stop closer to demo'ing the house. Even the mold guy himself said he would really like to see us get a new house! Wow!

He said to give it to God (it was really nice to speak to a person with a passion for God who is also in charge of the mold situation in my house!).

We shall see!!

I hear laundry calling again! ack! where are my earplugs!!!??


Friday, November 11, 2005

None of your bizness

Why do we worry about what others think of us and our decisions? Why? I mean, didn't we make these decisions after careful thought? Didn't we make the best choice for us at that time?? Then why do we let what others would have done question the choices we made? They are not us and we are not them.

Best advice my friend gave me yesterday:

It's none of your business what others think about you.


I like that. You're right. It is none of my business. So I'm not going to worry about it! I'm happy with my choices and I don't think I need to explain them to anybody.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

HOMECOMING 2005






My beautiful daughter and her handsome boyfriend. Off to the dance!!

special night

Tonight is a very special night. I have lots of errands to run and need to scoot. I'm sure I will have lots of pictures to share! My 6 in 1 printer is fried, so I bought a card reader! Amazing lil gadget. So now I can share lots and lots of pictures!

My froat is all scatchy and it's even itching up into my ears.. ouch! Hopefully I can find something that works. The doctor will just tell me it's a cold and send me on my merry way. Normally this develops into strep for me. Gotta take another dose of Nyquil and hit the shower. Kidlets will be up soon wanting to use the ONE bathroom. Oh well.. it could be worse.. a lot worse.

Check back later!!!!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

below

Below are random pictures of the damage in our town. Just wanted to share now that my cable is up and running.

Time to take a bath and have some red beans and rice :) Good ole southern supper!

See ya laterz - a lil homemade wine does wonders for the soul LOL




Everything leans from the east to the west due to the strong winds. Even trees cannot be pushed back into an upright position!!
this boardwalk went from the river boats to the sea wall (civic center). It's all but gone now!

now for some pictures...


Here are the river boats. They have washed up on shore. And boy does it stink! that ole bayou mudd!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

ahhh, my cable internet is up and running!

Bless the gods! It's soo good to be speedy again!

Once I get back into the swing of having computer access, I should be updating more. Of course, it is nice to do other things besides vegg in front of the computer LOL

Gotta go see about night time routines... this daylights savings time is for the birds!!!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

kthank goodness!

After last nights thunderstorm.. I am soo grateful for my hardsided camper!!!! WHEW! The winds blew and the rain fell..but I was sleeping by 9:30 and only woke up twice. Once when Rich came to bed and once when the alarm went off for him to go to work! It feels good to be able to sleep!

It's cloudy and windy. Gray and icky. Laundry to do this afternoon and a meal to cook for a friend who had surgery recently. Lots to do! With the kids not getting home until 4:15, that gives me a little time to get things down without them underfoot.

gotta go! work is calling!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

little comforts of home...

We are getting better each day. Let's see some updates:

MY FEMA TRAILER WAS DELIVERED ON MONDAY!!! Gorgeous does not even begin to describe it. To have privacy, room to move about and small comforts from home... you forget how much you appreciate the microwave, fridge, 2 sinks and a private bedroom. Oh a private bedroom! Whoo hooo!

The yard is clean. The sides of the road..well... they still have a ways to go. Our regular weekly trash pickup is caught up after being 2 wks late. Poo-wee.

Rich just came in from locking up and I want to go snuggle. It's so nice to have privacy!!! hehehe

Sunday, October 23, 2005

dialup is the pits

I cannot wait for my cable to come back on! I miss my speedy, super-dooper connection. TV is not missed - said by my kids! wow! But the internet connection... man... I really miss that. Uploads pictures takes forever! Or worse, it times out. Soon as I get cable I will up load lots more pictures. Mother nature is amazing.


The kids will start school on Tuesday. I think they are excited. I still get mail sporatically. The limb picker upper crew got about 1/4 of the way down my street today. I'll be so glad when all this garbage is picked up. House garbage is behind 2 weeks now. I am running out of room.

The weather has turned cool and we are having wind gusts. I live out by the airport and it is open space..so you feel it. I'm sure the camper will rock and roll all night and I won't sleep worth a damn!

We have some things in the works as far as housing.. will update more later when it's written in stone. :) Don't wanna jinx it!
This is a tree uprooted next to my parents' outdoor kitchen, taking a few water lines with it!
This is what 120 mph winds can do to metal. Amazing.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

one week later

Things have improved in the week since we have been home but we still have a long way to go. A very long way.

Walmart is open from 8 to 6. And sherriff's are at the doors and lots of employees are standing and watching.

McDonald's has 3 "meals" on the menu. That's it. There are some other fast food places open and they are doing the same thing.

School is supposed to start Oct 25th. I don't know how. Kids are living all over in other districts and don't have a way to get to school other than the bus. And lots of kids are still not back or have no home to live in. I'll have to dig around and find the kids' stuff that was in their backpacks. We have it.. somewhere. We also have uniforms. I wonder how many will not.

We are living in the popup pulled next to the patio. The house has mold and is damaged too back to live in. Fortunately I am able to use the kitchen (after MUCH cleaning), the laundry room, all appliances and our bathroom. Rich pulled a portable building for me to have an office to continue working at home. It's really nice. Sometimes I don't wanna leave the building. It takes me back to the real world. The world that is still in such shambles.

The kids are doing okay. They seem oblivious that a major hurricane came thru. Daniel even asked if he could have a friend spend the night. HUH?? We are living in a camper. LOL kids! I'm glad that it doesn't have them down tho.

Jessica is ready to start school again. Sarah loves being home to help and play with the critters.

We are doing all right. It could be a lot worse. I've seen worse. We are taking it just one day at a time. Slowly. no hopes, no dreams.. they get shattered. Tomorrow is another day and it will get better. It has to.

Time to go heat up supper. Rich BBQ'd yesterday MMMMMM

Tomorrow is the first time I will attend my church since the storm. Each week we say a prayer of protection from storms. Had we not been saying that..i cannot imagine how bad it would be. I'm looking forward to seeing familiar faces..but I know the tears will start and I will be unable to stop them. Maybe i need a good cleansing?

We shall see. I just want to be with family and friends...

Thanks everyone.. I know the prayers are working. Or I would have cracked by now.

Keep them coming.. God is answering your prayers.
Porch is gone!
Home away from home.
No more shingles, no more porch.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

having faith

I feel like my life is going two steps forward and 5 backwards.

God never gives us more than what we can handle. God sure has a lot of faith in us. I know we will get through this. It's a long road. But I really dislike seeing some light, getting excited and then having it snuffed out.

I'm learning there is no easy quick fixes and that I am no in control. And I do not set my own path.

It's hard for me. I don't like not having direction or a plan. I like to know what to expect and where to go.

My husband keeps me strong. I only hope I to do the same for him and the kids.

Life is hell here in the South. But my faith keeps me going. It's all I have at this point.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

updates

Sorry to have waited so long. I've been really busy, as you can imagine.

I think we go through several phases in times of crises.

Shock. Denial. Survival.

I went through this when we evacuated. And I have to go through it again now that I'm home.

The drive home was fine. Hardly anyone on the roads. The damage started as high up as Many, La. The closer we got to home, the worse it was. Even Jessica noticed everything was laying over from East to West...the way the spiral of the hurricane spins. So much wind damage. So much. Overwhelmingly so. You just cannot image. Some of you can. Some would have to see it for themselves to believe it. Trees with half the leaves. Like a line drawn down the center of the tree. Once side looks like a normal tree. The other side is bare. Stripped clean.

It's so bright outside. There are very few treetops. So the sun just burns down.

When I turned on my road..to see my neighbors outside working..trying to put things in some kind of order. Both sides of my street were lined with garbage about 4 feet high. Limbs brown and dry, metal roofs, lumber... all in piles.. and wet carpet, moldy things..and the stench, which was nothing compared to today when the trash finally ran and each time a can was opened.ugh... the smell... worse than the soured milk smell of a school cafeteria.

We have electricity and are living in our popup. Waiting on the insurance man to come on friday. Hopefully he can help us with a place to live. AFterall, I pay out the whazoo for that policy in my insurance. FEMA should be here within a week. So the letter says. Our mail is running on Tuesdays and Thursdays only. Great. And utilities are coming in and I need to sit down and pay bills. But who has the time? I have more important things on my mind at the moment. Slowly but surely we are making progress. I took a nap this afternoon. I don't sleep well at night. The light shines in through the camper, the dogs bark, the birds chirp.. our entire fence is down so the dogs are tied up... and I feel very vurnerable. When Rich returns to nights I will have to sleep at my parents house. I don't think I'll feel safe here.

Lots of neighbors are home..many are not. Some don't have a place to come home to. It's incredible the damage that was done just on my street. Blue roofs are everywhere. And trees are down all over...and lots of them.

Today the mold guy came to look at the house. he said he has not seen anything this bad. Oh great. He has to get his supervisor to come give the quote, he don't know where to begin. Black, green and dark green mold. Keep your fingers crossed that they condemn it! It would be so much easier.

Time to scoot. I'm having NO problem sleeping these days...and I'm dog tired before 10 p.m.. I'm getting good workouts that's for sure!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

a lil light...off in the distance

lets see.... updates:

1. Registered with red cross. Should receive a check. ( a check? in the mail? - just seems strange to me) It will greatly help!

2. Saw Richard for oh...2-3 hours yesterday while running around to get things done. short but ...well..tense. We are so looking forward to getting HOME.

3. Went to see FEMA to speak with the mold guy - rich is doing all the right things.

4. Had some reimbursement from our insurance company for cost of living expenses - thank goodness our agent is as helpful as he is and pushed for the "delux" policy. gotta love him!!!

5. I spoke with a FEMA woman today on the phone and she said she would make a notation that we have someone at home WAITING for the adjustor and he/she would make the notation that our house is not livable and that we would qualify for a trailor or camper to live in while our house is being fixed. Sounds WONDERFUL, but I know it will take some time to get a trailor to us. Thank goodness we have an acre and have room to put it and be close to our house and I can still work from home.

Things are looking up.. it's slow but it will come together.

today my grandmother and I are relaxing and taking a day off. It will be nice to get back to our OWN schedules... it will take time.. but I cannot wait This holiday season will be lots of tears.. lots to be thankful for.

Off to do laundry!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

surviving and limbo

We have been so busy. It takes all day to do the simplest of things. things have come together and are holding. Not moving forward.. just holding.. limbo.

we are trying to plan out where we will live when we go back home. It's hard when the insurance agent hasn't come yet to look at your home nor FEMA. you just wait... wait and clean. clean and wait. and wait some more.

We are hoping my grandmother's house has no damage on the inside. we think we will live there while the house is being worked on. How long with that take? Who knows. there are hundreds of people who need the same. Get in line. If she has damage (water) on the inside..we don't know what we will do.

Do we just get a trailor and move it on the land and live there and doze the house? Do you buy a funky tailor and live there on the land while we rebuild? Do we rebuild? We have family that is going to need help in cleaning up yards. Not to mention iceboxes and freezers that have been sitting for almost 2 weeks turning to funk inside. Can you image the smell?? I don't even want to think about it.

We have water and gas and rich salvaged our freezer and icebox. No funk there. He's spoken to the insurance guy, but it will be 3 weeks before he can come and look at our house. three weeks??? Then we'll have to line up workers. HOW? How long will that take??? rich is doing all the clean up work he can, but he is not allowed to make repairs. Preventing further damage repair is okay. But they don't want you to make repairs until after they look at it. then get over there! He's one of few in the city...go now... get that one knocked out the way! ARGH! I know there is a lot behind the scenes I do not see... and I know it takes time.. but they need to send a bazillion workers to do this and get it done!

I've enrolled the kids in school here. they were not too happy, but I keep telling them to look at it as an adventure... many memories for down the line. They like having a routine and a "job"...they don't like the fact they have homework and having to get up. But it was good to see them smile and have stories to tell from school...and have them be TIRED at night. idles minds are not a good thing.

rich says in a few days we should have electricity. He'll secure things at home and then come up here to see us. I'm counting the days. he's my best friend.. and I miss him. I miss his comforting touch when he walks by.. his smile when he sees me.. his way of talking that makes me feel as tho everything is going to be okay and he will be there to protect us.. and keep us close. I miss his snoring at night.. and I miss his smell. Even tho sometimes it isn't too nice LOL I miss his smell. his hand on my hip when he opens the door or to guide me in the right direction. I miss hearing him joke with the kids and calling me by my pet name. I miss the kids being excited to see him.. I miss the family.

jessica said she wanted it to go back to how it was before the storm. there is no going back. It's only moving forward. Forward with a lot of work ahead.

Robin and I were talking... and askin WHY this happened. what did we "do" to deserve this?? I believe everything happens for a reason and a purpose... and I'm trying to put my finger on it.. and you cannot. There is a much higher power at work. Our lives were laid out from long ago to bring us where we are today. and even today's things are the groundwork for the future. But as we were talking, robin and I, we realized that maybe... people need to stop and help each other. Stop relying on agencies and programs and others... we have to help each other. we have to get back to being kind and respectful and helping each other. We all live in our own little bubbles... our own worlds. We are so afraid to leave our security... but we are all human..and we all should stop and help each other. Nobody is better than others... we are all we have... each other.


Jeanie - I cannot begin to tell you the excitement on my kids' faces... it was like CHRISTMAS! I hope you do not mind..but i passed your letter around the table and all the adults read it.. and we all cried. My grandmother passed it up... she said she wanted to read it in private. We are greatly touched and very much appreciate the time and effort that went into sending those boxes! the kids were just tickled..and it was a great lesson for them to see that people they have never met care... and that will stay with them for a lifetime.

lets all hope that we have started a circle of helping.. and it will continue any time we have the chance.

Now, we are off to meet my sister and her family for lunch at a local soup kitchen. we have met lots of other wonderful people there too and it's nice to see familiar faces :)

See ya later!!!!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

squeeky wheel gets the oil

and sometimes you just cannot squeek...and the oil still gets there because your friends squeek for you.

thank you friends!!!!!! It would be so easy to slip into a depression right now. It really would. I can see how people just say FORGET IT and move it. it just seems like so much work has to be done.

good news... you know that girl.. and her sisters... that blog I link to.. you know... those crazy girls... so far from home... ? yeah, those... from across the country they have managed to get their mom and I in contact. Guess what? Their mom lives 2 or 3 blocks over from where I am staying!

She brought us lots of goodies! oh how nice it is to have some perfume! To feel NORMAL. and sweet smelling soap! And razors!!! and detergent... ahh, the little things in life.

And all my other friends who have called/written to see what they can too can do... I cannot thank you enough!!!! i am so touched... I cannot begin to explain how much it means to me and my family. My kids are learning a valuable lesson abot life... we have to help each other.

Rich gives this update:

today we discovered the land line works!!!! So... if you are able to call.. (ya know, those free cell phones mins!) feel free to call and lift his spirits. It will do him some good. he says he is trying to prepare me for when I go home... but he don't think I will be able to prepare. It's really bad.

He is very proud of the way our city is handling things! Several small towns now have city water.. our town too, but we have a well. one small town nearby even has electricity!

Today a meeting will be held letting us know when we can expect to go back.

Call came in from Insurance adjustor... so hopefully it won't be too much longer to get things going.

We cannot live in our house. It's totally soaked.

he's slowly cleaning the yard. More stores are opening.. slowly.. we have a ship at the port to help with some things...

word of mouth (and now some land lines) is the way to get information to each other. guy across the street comes daily and he and rich work together in the yards.

My bird and two cats are there and fine!!!

My freezers and icebox (fridge for you northerners) is okay. He has the generator running them... he tossed the icebox stuff, but most in the freezers was good.

He has his good days and his bad days. the town is slowly getting cleaned up.

today i am going to red cross to see what they are offering.

We are truly blessed. some have it way worse than us and some will be total losses... I am very thankful ALL my family is okay...

we will survive...I started married life with nothing and worked my way up... i will start again and do the same.

i can see the light... and It's getting brighter!

time to run... got lots to do!

Take care all...keep those prayers coming.. they are working because i have not broken down yet (I think i'm in denial still).

will update when I can!!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

hit and hit hard

Rich is home. It's not looking so good. Extensive damage. Yes, my house is still there - and that is better than lots of people out there - but there is extensive damage. It's just easier to make a list:

Lots of shingles gone and it's down to the wood. Need a new roof.

Water went into the house from the roof.

Living room is soaked.

our beds are soaked.

Ceiling tile down in lots of places.

No tin on the front porch.

Little shed has 3/4 tin missing.

Big shed has major tin missing too.

Fences lying down.

three trees were snapped off right under where the branches started to grow and need to be cut down.

Best part? There is just stuff everyone. he said we have a porch in our yard. An entire porch and he don't recognize it. It's HUGE. He's not sure where it came from. He don't know where the tin for his big shed is. It's kinda pale yellow/tannish and he has looked all over and does not know where it is. Our neighbors mailbox came off the pole and was inside their shed. their rent trailor across the street from them is gone. The neighbor across the street, their trailor is on the ground and off the blocks. rich said there is much stuff just everyone. Looks like a bomb went off. he said it is horrible. the stuff is just... stuff. he said he cannot even begin to explain. I spoke with my neighbor last night and she said they don't even know where to begin. She said it's hot and stinky and horrible and there is so much stuff it lookes like a bomb exploded. Our town has basically no utility poles standing. It's horrible. I don't konw how long before we are able to go back. We had some fruit trees... fruit everyone. I told rich that must have been like missles flying thru the air with 120 mph winds.

In my brain I cannot comprehend this. I don't want to. I cannot imagine having to rebuild my home. it's drenched. I don't WANT to do this. I don't WANT to have to go thru this crap. yesterday i called around to get food - we are fortunate enough to stay with my best friend....but she cannot support us! i've got to do something today. My sister is here in town, maybe we can drive around to churches ... I feel deserted... abandoned... displaced. I know it's not as bad as katrina..and I know we are safe and secure and can stay here as long as we want... but when it's happening to you... it's a whole different story. i already started a claim with my insurance company... and FEMA. I never thought I'd EVER be doing this. my life is on chaos ... my world is shattered. time has stopped for me and yet the rest of the world goes on. I've been forgotten. Or so it feels like.

Diana - i live IN Lake charles. actually I live south of lake charles about 5-7 miles out of the city limits. I live 3 miles north of the cameron parish and Calcasieu Parish lines. I live 1 mile east of the Lake Charles airport. Lots of tornados spun off of that hurricane and did major damage all over our town.

I went with robin to church yesterday... and cried. and cried. It's just to hard to imagine. I saw another evacuee... she was from vinton, la. We just hugged and comforted each other. What else can you do.

keep the prayers coming guys. I have broken down yet and I know that is not good. i'm sure once I go home. Know I know why people just move. It's just too much. It will take a lot of work before our town is back on it's feet.

The national guard is there and there are stations to get water... walmart is opening from 7 to 3 and limited amounts of people can go in at a time. No pharmacy.

My neighbors went back. the women looked around and said there wsa no way they were staying. The men took a window a/c unit from our shed and put in their house window and have a generator to run it and are sleeping in the living room all together. rich has the camper set up and is sleeping there with a generator. We often say we'd like to live in the "good ole days." Welcome to them!

Monday, September 26, 2005

prayers answered!

I made Richard bless our house before we left. glad i did!! I'll write more later.. this is the latest news.

We are still in Shreveport.

our house has wind damage- no broken windows or holes. We do have missing shingles, tin and the fence is laying down.

Rich is on his way home. he can return because he works at a refinery. he is going to clean up some, open windows to air things out (fridge and freezers are icky!) and set up the camper. He has a generator, camper with a/c, gas, food and water to last a week. He'll clean up and then we'll see about going home.

we had a tornado hit the airport and then jump to the road over from us. i'm sure it was ruff. I had 2 neighbors stay.. i cant imagine the fear!

We have MASSIVE wind damage in town. Not as much flooding as they first predicted,,but the wind...trees and power lines down all over. We watched video on line and it don't even look like a town because there are no power lines visible.

It will take weeks and weeks before we get back up and running. Please keep us in prayers. Our town looks like a war zone.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

not going good

i'm watching feed from kplc over the internet. They are doing a wonderful job. winds for 4 hours @ 120 mph.

I don' tthink i will have a house.

i am so glad i am not there. I have two neighbors who stayed.

i'm keeping a written log/timeline of events to relay via text messaging to a cousin who is still in town... she works for the police and had to stay. they have no power...so i'm the source of information.

Airport terminal collapsed. part of roof at st. patricks collapsed.

Friday, September 23, 2005

update

landfall - cameron parish - direct hit.

i don't think i'll have anything left.

i'm gone....

We are in Shreveport... expecting lots of rain here too.

i've gotten in touch with family. Don't know about Rich's family.

notes from back home:

south of town (where i live) has no electricity.

70 mph winds at the present.

Do not drink water.

Expecting 5 feet of water where i live.

will update later.

We are safe and sound for the moment.

keep the prayers coming.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

We keep asking for her name and she won't tell us. Even after a week she has no name! What would you call her?

AND ANOTHER EMAIL!

I received an email last night saying that my friend in Mississippi was safe! Woo hoo! Thank you, Jesus!! I figured she may have left the city - after her last scare with a hurrican - but I wasn't sure.

I'm so glad she is okay!

Just a few more to hear from...

Saturday, September 10, 2005

the email arrived...

I have a friend I met online who lives in New Orleans. I haven't heard from him since before the hurricane. Today I received an email from him. They had gone to Texas well before the storm. I am so relieved!

Now. To hear from friends in Mississippi. I have a feeling they left too. I'll just waiting and praying.


We have been really busy. Between the evaucees, the kids/school and work... I don't know if I'm coming or going. ON top of all this we got a new dog. Those who don't have enough trouble make their own.. or something like that.

Just before the storm we knew the incoming folks would be bringing pets. People and pets crammed into houses already too small would not work. This leads to pets needing homes. It's stressful enough having gone thru Katrina without adding to it with pets and cramped quarters. But, where would this leave pets already in shelters??

Rich started calling around. We discovered that our animal shelters and vets had placed all the pets they could in either foster homes or permanent homes before Katrina evacuees arrived in anticipation of pets needing a place to stay. Smart thinking!!!

Only one vet had a puppy. She must have just been brought in... she stunk!! And was full of fleas... but her spirit.. aww..her lil spirit... she was so tired, but managed to lick us all over when they showed her to us. She had that look in her eye of "I really would be a good dog...if you just give me chance.." I ask you, how can you say no to that????

She has got to be the best dog! Smart as a whip! Cute as a button... spoiled rotten already!

But...she has no name! Nothing seems to fit. It's been 5 days now... nothing.. My Puppy isn't gonna carry her thru adulthood LOL


Tonight I babysat for a friend. Her 14 month old is precious. He is a wonderful baby...but I forget all what having a baby around means!!! He's not a digger - thank goodness because there is lots to dig in around here. My kids are 10,13 and 16... it's no big deal to leave the power drill laying around or the extra screws LOL Clean sweep before he got here and all was fine... he's zzz and I'm just waiting up for my friend.

Guess I better hit the hay. Another day awaits!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Journals

My aunt gave me a journal years ago and I've kept a journal ever since. I also keep one for each my kids. It's much easier to jot down likes/dislikes and happenings on a few lines in a book than finding the corresponding page in a baby book. Granted, I'm not always current in the writing... but I love reading thru the past entries. Funny how much your forget so many things.

Journals...letters... reminds me of The Notebook. I watched the movie a good while back but really wanted to read the book. My neighbor had it and after she was thru with it she loaned it to me. The book was waaay better. I read it today. Very easy read. I forgot how much I love reading. I have to work this weekend or I'd be headed to the library. Oh! I can even reserve books online. Gotta love technology. Gotta go look for the sequel.

I hosted Bonko at the house last night. We had a ball. I cook spaghetti and it was good. Spaghetti, salad with all the fixings, garlic toast, chips, dips, and strawberry cake with cream cheese icing. MMMMMM. We laughed and whooped and hollered and had a great time. Hard to believe I've played with this group for 13+ years.

Time to hit the hay... I worked a 12 hour day and I'm pooped!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Pure Bliss

It is pure bliss when you can have 3 bite-sized butterfingers on your desk and not worry about them when you go to the potty because the kids are in school!

My house is soo quiet.

Freaky! (as the kids say)

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Have you seen it?

Have you seen the Super Sweet 16 show?

It's so worth watching - NOT.

Who comes up with this CRAP? Yes, the rest of us hardworking people want to watch a teen get a brand new car, have a 10,000.00 stylist for her party, have a party that she does not deserve, and basically act like the spoiled brat she is!

Last night some really, really spoiled kid needed her butt whooped! She didn't appreciate anything and was so mean to her mother. Down and out mean! But, mom raised her that way.

Sad. That child is in for a rude awakened in the real world... or mom will be footing her bills the rest of her life!

Monday, August 15, 2005

Almost there

School starts Wednesday! I'm almost ready.

Yes. I'm a procastonator. And I'm okay with that. Apparently, some are not. And I really don't care.

Yes, I"m peeved. And Rich, bless his heart, listened to me moan and groan and then suggested that I Blog about it. He knows that getting it down on paper (the screen) helps me to deal and move on.

What am I so peeved about? I'm feeling used and unappreciated.

You help someone in need, go out of your way to accommodate them and what do they do? They totally don't appreciate you.

I'm running late (as usual) to do the kid swap with my sister and that expected phone call comes. "Why haven't you left yet?"

Uhmm...because i worked late..and have to get dressed, and gather things.. and I'd like to at least pee. Can I pee???

Good grief. If I'm not where ever we are supposed to meet at the EXACT moment, she's calling. It must be so freaking wonderful to be so perfect.

NOT!

I can understand if she had something to do or an appt. to be at - I would have brought the child there.

She had nothing to do. NO-THING! And she's calling me with "Why haven't you left yet?"

HUH?

I did her a favor by taking her child overnight and sending mine to her house. I also met her on the other end of town from where I was going after work... all because it was more convenient for her.

And what do I get? A call wondering why i haven't left yet.

So... i said "if you cannot wait any longer, drive out here and get her."

Suddenly, she had time to spare.

Amazing.

I do feel better now.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

new things

Sarah is never afraid to taste anything new. The other day I stopped at a friend's house to drop off the last of the eggplant from the garden. MMM and they are good! She was cooking down okra with onion and tomoatoe and then she would mix in some cooked ground beef. Ommygosh! The smell was enough to make you go crazy. The taste? It tastes like a rice dressing.

What am I cooking today? You guessed it! Too bad I only got a small amount of okra. I could eat that entire pot just as "samplings". The best part is being able to sit in the kitchen on the computer and cook! MMM. Rich cooked spaghetti. Gonna be good eating. Just right after an afternoon of swimming.

Life is good!

The kids are getting excited about the start of school. Sarah said it will be so fun - the first three days. Then the homework will start. Blah! But, my house will be so quiet during the day to work. ahhh....

Last night I had a dream about my grandmother. She passed away in December and I never had a dream about her. I never wondered why not or even wished to have one. I just let it be. Last night I dreamed we were at her old house in town. And we were sitting outside under the carport like we did when I was a teen. It was early morning and my grandmother's hair was "set". You know, with those tiny black curlers that have the white inside and you can kinda squish them. The ones that havethe pink plastic sticks that go thru them to hold them in place. Those kinda. And her hair was set in them and she had a scarf folded several times that ran around her head along the edge of those curlers and the ends of the scarf were tied in a knot at the top of her forehead with the ends sticking up like little ears.

My grandmother had this wooden swing like a bench that was made in a wooden frame. She had painted it yellow. Bright yellow. We all loved to sit in it. It would rock with little to no effort and was very comfortable for being a wooden swing. The sides of the frame came up high on each end.

In my dream, my grandmother was sitting in that swing with her hair all set and I was sitting in a chair next to the swing. My grandmother was talking in French, as she often did, and I would just answer yes...and nod.. as if I knew what she was saying. I remember looking towards her to see that grin on her face because I do not know much French and could not tell what she was saying. As she turned toward me she continued talking. That's when I noticed the frame from the wooden swing fell just below her eyes. Her soft eyes. Eyes that held so much emotion. I could see she was smiling by the way her eyes were all wrinkled in the corners and she was kinda squinting. But I wanted to see her face. I wanted to see her thin lips and hear her voice and hear her laughing. I got up to peek over the frame of the swing.

That's when I woke up. I'm left with a feeling of longing...

I know she watches over me. I know she hears me when i talk to her. But I wanted to just see her... one more time.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Dreams

Rich and I keep having dreams about my grandfather. I don't know if this is good or bad. The dreams are not the same, but my grandfather is his normal, ornary self in them. Typical.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Irest and relaxation

Hell week is over. Yes! Now to just get everything caught up. That will take the next week to do.

The pool is great. Ahh.. so nice to go in at noon and work on the tan. Finally my legs and arms are close to matching. I tan really fast/easy so hopefully before summer is over I will match.

School is just over a week away. Rich took the kids shoppin today. He went all over town, a neighboring town and just about scratched everything off the list. And he was not stressed! I'm just too anal. The kids whine and cry and beg to go home and "look at this, mom' is repeated over and over too many times. I'm usually grouchy and tired after shopping with them and it usually takes me 3 days!

It's his job from now on. I hate to shop!

I'm fading fast. Last night some girlfriends and i went to the new casino. We had fun, but lost all our money. Oh well. Not like we had much to lose.

Time for bed! I'm pooped. Gnite folks.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

hump day!

My fingers hurt. My shoulder hurts. Every day i work 8 hrs and then a night i usually work 3-4 more. I'm pooped. Tomorrow is a really hectic day. I sure hope the other gal is enjoying her vacation. I'll need one after this.

Just about every afternoon we have thunderstorms. Sometimes it rains, but more than likely it's just a lot of lightening and thunder. Just enough to mess up an afternoon swim. Blah!

I'm sitting here in the bed surfing and hear this horrible noise. At first it sounds as if helicopters are flying really low. I live by an airport so that's not uncommon. Then it sounded as if it was going to land on my roof! By the time i got the blasted remote to work to mute the tv the sound stopped. hmmm... than a few mins later I heard it again. A-ha! I was the washer...off balance. Spinning. hahaha

I'm learning more and more about the laptop. There is this program that shows you how strong your signal is for the wireless. It looks like a radar that they follow planes on. The rings fade to light blue the further out they go. Each time I'd look at it there was my blip going around and another one. I just assumed that it was the "hub" or something or other. Today it dawned on me that if my blip is named...then this person's blip could be named too. ding! Person's blip? My neighbor has wireless! Apparently she has named her blip and I can pick up her signal from my house. I'll have to go over this weekend and ask if i can borrow her signal. I also need to figure out how to block someone from picking up my signal.

My friend's daughter and her husband went out of town and the hotel they stayed at did not have wireless access. They drove around some neighborhoods until they picked up a signal. Voila!

Another friend told me she recently received a flyer in the mail introducing wireless using towers - like cell phones! Can you imagine going anywhere and being able to pick up a signal?? Technology is amazing. I'll be excited to get more wi-fi places here in town.

Yah, i'm a geek, but my husband loves my geekiness!

Gnite!

it just gets better and better...

Work is swamped. I have been so tired from working so much that at night i'm just too tired to even shower. Gotta love a job that you can shower on your lunch break haha.

When I say swamped...i means swamped. The week started off good with a mild surgery schedule and hardly any patients in the hospital. now? who opened the flood gates! I'm sure i'll be working this weekend too, to help with the backlog. ack! I hate having that stuff hanging over my head.

Rich has been working too and every night before coming home calls to see if he needs to pick up something. It's wonderful, but my tastebuds want some home-cooked meals. The kids have really been good about helping more around the house to free me up for work. They make me proud!

I steal a few moments each night on the laptop. It's soo nice to sit in bed and check email. Sure makes it enjoyable. Hopefully soon i can take time to watch a few movies i've been having to put off because Jessica has company over and they don't want to watch tv. Teens!

Oh well, time to hit the grind again. Lightening was bad earlier. Had to unplug the modem quickly. Even the surge protector and battery workup were on guard just in case the lights went out.

Hopefully I'll get semi caught up and can enjoy the new computer tonight because tomorrow is another day of hell with the surgery schedule.

Never a dull moment, that's for sure!

Monday, August 01, 2005

and here i am...

sitting in my bed typing on my new laptop with wireless connection. whoo hooo! Yeah me. Too bad the other gal is of the office this week. This really curtails my online playing. I'll be swamped for a week solid. But after that... i'm FREE.

I cannot tell you how nice it is to be sitting in my bed, next to Richard (even tho his is sleeping) and watching tv. Relaxing and enjoying the computer... my desktop has turned into a work computer and at the end of the day i don't wanna sit there any longer. This? Heaven! I can go outside while the kids swim and still get online. This fall will really be nice. Vacations... ohoo.. how nice! I'm expected to take a trip for work next year and having my own computer in the room will be soo nice. No more withdrawls. yes. my addiction is that bad sometimes. This is my relaxation. And I totally enjoy it. I don't know why i waited so long to do this. Circuit City made it really easy too - free wireless router, free computer bag and free printer with the purchase of a laptop that was already on sale! It was MY day. Bout darn time!

Now Rich can surf all day long when he is off and not have to wait until i get off of the work computer. Often he just wants me to look up something really quick. WE know how that goes!

time for sleep. long day ahead!

Sunday, July 31, 2005

giving it away

I teased my friend tonight that the next time we decided to go to the casino I should just drive up and toss my money to the valet and leave.

We did have a great time though and ran into lots of people we knew. Always good to see old friends.

Rich bought a new jeep and is in hog heaven. Ah, simple pleasures.

The kids were scattered last night so we had the house to ourselves. What did we do? Swam and ordered pizza because we were starving and didn't want leftovers. Right as the pizza was delivered my oldest and her boyfriend showed up. they kept saying they were full...but they sure kept looking at our pizza. Boyfriend left for work and Jessica gave in and ate a piece hahaha.

Today it was work, swim, work, go out to the casino. Now I'm pooped!

School starts soon. Time for back to school shopping and school supplies!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

640 AT A TIME

Richard usually stops at McDonald's when he works nights and picks us up breakfast. Out of curiosity I decided to steal a peek at calories. Normally, I toss the biscuit and just eat the sausage and egg, so maybe it's not as bad as a I think.

Hashbrowns 140 calories
sausage/egg biscuit 500 calories

Just the biscuit is 240 calories! Good heavens!

How healthy are YOU eating?

Last night Daniel and I swam for an hour. Ahhh... it's like a huge bathtub.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Once upon a time...

and all was right again with the world.

I know, you don't understand. And that's okay. I don't expect you to. It's just my way of talking about the past week without telling the world my personal business. Some things are just better kept to yourself.

Continue on!

Sarah is back in Georgia with my parents to bring my niece home. The house is soo quiet. She is so much like me it's freaky!

Rich gets his new jeep today. I'm sure I'll be posting pictures.

Time for work.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

HAS IT BEEN THAT LONG?

Indeed it has! 38 years to be exact. Technically, I was born at 3:15, so I still have a few hours.

The kids and Rich surprised me last night with a cake and presents. They are getting so good at pulling one over on me.

The clock is moving so slow today. My entire family is going out to dinner and I cannot wait!

Time to get moving!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Sarah has another critter. Actually, she has four, but this lucky lil critter has been blessed to be the pick of the clutch. I dunno who loves who more. I can see it now: Sarah, the chicken wants to go outside, she's pecking at the door again. I give it about 2 weeks before all four are following her around the yard like she is the mamma hen. Sarah just has a way with animals.
Sarah with her new critter - Little Foot

Monday, July 18, 2005

That's what it's all about

My kids love to swim and they swim well. Richard decided they needed another pool. Just somethimg to splash around in and get out of the summer heat.

We have been having summer thunderstorms for the past 4 days and it's expected to continue the rest of the week. This interfers with swimming. Well. Maybe not.

You know you really want to swim bad when you are in the pool while it's raining, holding an umbrella. Nuthing like a lil family bonding while huddling beneath the umbrella waiting out the 10 min summer shower to end.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

And for some, it was 20+ years!

Saturday night was the "social" for my 20th High School Reunion. I know, hard to believe. Really hard to believe when you cannot recognize people. We all changed. We grew up. We have families, jobs, divorces, etc. Some have aged nicely. Others. Wow! Who knew 20 years could change a person that much!? Not in a bad way at all. Honestly. I stood there talking with 2 people and never realized who one of them was until I read her name tag 2 times. Even then, listening to her voice, seeing her move... it just would not register that this was HER! She looks good. Heck, we all looked good. Some still looked like they did in elementary school! Some gained weight, some lost weight. Short hair, long hair, more boobs, less boobs... You get the picture.

Four of us rode together. We kinda stood there for a bit looking around and going WHO is that?? AFter a bit the faces starting looking like they did in school. And the smiles and hugs and HOW THE HELL HAVE YA BEEN's were flying. The weather was hot, but being on the lake helped. Lots of pictures, laughing, catching up.

Saturday night was the big dance at the Country Club. Some people came both nights, some could only come to one. I was able to catch up with several more people and Richard even met some old friends from middle school.

A friend of mine got the "Most Unchanged" award and she soo deserved it! She still looks like she did back then! Amazing who married who and who was divorced. The most amazing thing was who had never married - because they never wanted to. Seems like that is the going thing. Getting married very late in life and having 1-2 kids back to back.

Lots of memories and the party ended way too soon. So we carried on over to another place. Or so we thought. SEems the out of towners could not find the place, gave up and went to where they were staying! ack! So my friend and I had a leisurely breakfast (2 hours) at IHOP and swapped stories of the evening like 2 high school teens!

Five more years before we do it all over again! Something tells me a few of us will be seeing each other loong before then. It was great to reconnect with old friends.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Hope ya had a Happy 4th!

I had a wonderful weekend. Especially for a weekend that I had to work!

Saturday I had a hair appointment. Then, Rich and I had breakfast at "The Pitt" (Pitt Grill). It was so nice. After about 20 minutes of sitting there in complete silence I asked, "Do you think it's bad if people have nothing to say to each other? I mean, it could really go both ways. If you don't HAVE anything to say to each other, that could be bad. I'd think after 17 years you'd have lots of stuff to say. Or. You could think of it as we are so comfortable with each other that we can even be comfortable in the silence. Right?"

I should have known better to try to analyze anything with him! His response was:
"I'm sorry, I was just thinking about eating." HAHAHAHA Gotta love that man!

Home from a bit and worked. Then off for an eye appointment. The doctor gave me some wonderful drop for my dry eyes and it seems to be working. Hopefully, soon I will be back into my contacts. If not, that's okay because I picked up some really cute frames. They'll be in later in the week.

Back home and worked a bit more.

Sunday it was church and then worked some. Friends and I went to see Mother in Law. Omgosh, that was so good. Rarely do I laugh out loud at movies, but this one had a few surprised. We had a good time. Then we hung out like teens in the movie parking lot and gabbed.

Monday it was work, coffee with some neighbors, and then out to lunch at the Fire Mountain. It was good for the type of place it is. We had a very leisurely lunch. Then it was home for talking on the phone and doing laundry and a little bit more of work.

Popped fireworks with the kids and then off to bed.

I really had a very good weekend. Hope you did too!

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Good morning!

Last night I informed the kiddos not to stay up too late or there would be hell to pay! Okay, so I said don't stay up too late or you'll be sorry.

They need sleep. They need a schedule. This waking up at noon or after then lounging all day and then at 5 or 7 wanting to go here or have someone over is for the birds!

This morning I was greeted in the kitchen by smiling faces proudly saying they had not gone to bed YET. This was 6 a.m. ack!

What's a mom to do for punishment??

The laundry has been folded, the floors are swept, the windows are clean, the bathroom is clean, the kitchen is clean.... and it wasn't even 8 am!

They will be tired tonight! They have a very looooong day ahead.

They konked out at 10am. Rich will let them sleep and then work them in the yard this afternoon. They are gonna be so grouchy!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Keeping you filled with excitement

It's never a dull moment around here. Between teens coming and going, lawn mowing, garden harvesting and work, sometimes it's just more fun than a person should be allowed to have!

Teens seem to swarm down upon my house, eat my food, drink my cokes and then pile up in the living room or front porch to hang out. I don't mind. Actually, the cokes are for them. We aren't big coke drinkers. And yes, in the south a coke means a carbinated beverage. "You want a coke? What kind?" And no, we don't think that is any stranger than eating off of waxed paper at Rudy's.

The grass is dying is spots due to lack of rain. All the neighbors have huge brown spots in their yards. We need rain bad. We water the garden, but it's just not the same. And even though there is no rain, the grass still needs to be mowed weekly. ack! It's not too bad. The kids like to cut it. So do I. But my sinuses flair up so bad that it's just easier not to cut. I usually wear a mask, but that gets hot and I feel like I can't get enough oxygen. I'm sure I look like Michael Jackson when I wear it. No. I've got more of a tan than he does.

We have harvested the corn and replanted more. We have harvested green beans, replanted more. We have eaten an eggplant from the garden (fried) and it was yummy! My yellow squash was attacked by a weevil. The bell peppers are a'plenty, but very small. The cantelope was delish! The watermelon are growing good. The tomatoes and cukes have overtaken my countertop.

Rich made homemade veggie soup with the tomatoes from our garden. It was delish! And there is no more. He's such a good cook.

Work is busy. Super busy. Speaking of.. time to hit the keyboard!

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Vacations

We have been very busy with laundry and gardening and work. What's with a vacation when you have to work twice as hard when you return??

Well, apparently blogger didn't like the fact that I had a huge post about our trip. I'll give you the run down.

Thursday - Headed to San Antonio (actually in was Gruene, Texas). Found a great hotel and then headed to the River. River is low and supposed to be an easy ride. Nothing is ever easy for me. NEVER put your feet first when about to hit a tree. This caused my ankle to get stuck in roots, and with rushing water and huge rocks that cannot be something good. I was petrified and could only think I'm about to drown. My ankle stuck so high up in the roots and the force of the water would have held me under the water. There is nobody around to help and my wonderfully amazing husband was making his way around the tree roots using one hand to hang one to the root and one to hold the float. I wiggled my ankle free and off we went. Let me tell you, when I heard the next rapids I was having a panic attack. We managed to survive those. The last rapids left us little to no control over which direction we were to go. You just succumb to the force of the current. Again, I hit a tree and this time lifted my feet up. This time I found a flat spot and pushed back. The current moving forward and me pushing back only caused the tube to flip out from beneath me and I was now under water. I was scrambling to get a footing. The rocks are very slippery and then I found myself clawing to find something to hang on to so I could get out of the water. At this point I could Rich talking but because I was under water I couldn't understand him. He grabbed me under my arm and was hollering for me to stand up. In rushing water that is impossible. We finally were pushed to the bank and at this point we just sat there. That's when the full extent of what just happened hit me. The tears and shaking and begging not to get back into the water started. My poor husband didn't know what to do with me but hold me and tell me he'd always be there to catch me and save me. Oh yah..then the tears really started!!

We made it out of the River of Death alive and back to the hotel to shower and grab a bite to eat.

Friday - Breakfast and back to the tubing place. Rich wanted to kayak and there was no way I was getting in that water again. I went shopping. If you know me, you know I hate to shop, that's how scared I was.

I had an appetizer at a place overlooking the river... chatting a bit with friends online (yes, by phone has the web on it), did some shopping at the stores and then headed back to get Rich.

He had a great time on the river and we purchased a photo from a guy with an awesome digital camera who snaps your photo while you come down the river. We'll have the picture in a few weeks and I'll post it.

We drove on down to a Safari.. kinda like a drive through zoo. EEK! The animals love it and they all want you to feed them! Zebras, ostrich, antelope, reindeer, moose, bison, and all kinda critters I had no idea what they were, were all so happy to see us lol Rich had the best time feeding them cashews! And the babies...aww the babies! Bleating and running and playing. Soo sweet. But hot. OMGosh is it ever hot! It's dry... low humidity but you just pour with sweat and think, "Why am I sweating so much?? I'm hot, but I"m not THAT hot." But you are.. 100+ degrees is hot people! Rich had nachos and I ate icecream at the giftshop. I think I ate more icecream that week than I do in a year. Anything to keep cooled off.

Then we checked into our cottage. My husband... he insisted on the cottage. It was just a few more dollars a night and after all, we'd be right there in Gruene and close to everything. It was perfect. The place was perfect. The hospitality... wonderful! The people we so nice I had to catch myself before asking them to stop on by later to visit and have a cup of coffee. We didn't have a kitchen in our cottage - it was just a bedroom and bathroom - it was kinda secluded off to the side and in the back. Big ole brass bed, REAL towels, real furniture, doilies... it was so nice, so romantic.

The food at the Grist Mill was wonderful! No lie, the ribs melt in your mouth.

Saturday - once a month they have venders who come in and set up and sale their stuff. And some mind boggling stuff it was! Lots of jewelry, wooden do-dads, lots of knifes (made from RR spikes!), big ole parrots made from a cut up tire, purses and bath salts, cinnamon/sugar pecans/nuts, etc... We had the best time just walking around and looking. We made a round throughout the booths and then another round to pick up the things we wanted.

Then back to Gruene to the shops to pick out the things I wanted. I spend Friday looking so all I had to do was run in and show Rich the things I was questioned about and purchase what I wanted. And boy did I purchase. Good thing I don't like to shop! Then we had lunch on a deck overlooking the river and just enjoyed the time. A leisurely lunch. How nice! We drove on down to the gift shop at the toobing (tubing) place and found the joint was hopping. Egads! The parking lots were full and they were CHARGING to park! Not only did you pay to ride, now they were charging to park. They don't charge Mon-Fri, but they recoop on the weekend and it wasn't deterring anyone from going either. We bought the kids some shirts and then decided to go swimming in the river. Cept, there is no place to publically swim in the river that was near.

Soo... we drove on up to Canyon Lake - the start of the Guadalupe River. We stopped at a lookout point. We were not prepared for what we saw. The lake is enormous! And beautiful! Rich happened to look down and you could see people swimming... so we grabbed our stuff and headed down! Whoo hoo! The prettiest blue/green clear water you ever did see. And cold! Cold water that felt soo good on such a hot day! I think we swam for 2+ hours. We watched people, watched boats, tubers, skiers, jet skiers, and just relaxed. you could see clearly for about 5-6 feet down. We were pruned and cold.

Made it back to the cottage and showered and back to Rudy's. Rudy's is a down home kinda place. Real simple and good food. BBQ. Texas firmly believes in their BBQ. Every corner has a BBQ joint. Ya eat on wax paper. Yes, they give you a sheet of wax paper and that is your plate. Your food comes in paper or styrofoam, but your plate is wax paper. Don't laugh. Okay, laugh at first, like we did, because everyone considered eating on wax paper the norm! Families would gather round, lay out paper for each person and mom or dad would put a dollop of tater salad or slaw or an ear of corn on their "plate" and the kid didn't complain! They had fountain drinks or drinks in bottles or beer. MMM, cream soda out of a bottle never tasted so good! We loved Rudy's so much we went back three times. We loved it so much, when we got home we invited our inlaws over for BBQ to say thanks for feeding the dog and getting the mail, and we proudly served them on wax paper! hahaha, yes we did! They loved it.

We drove home Sunday and since then we have been non stop. The corn was ready in the garden, the grass needs to be mowed, the clothes washed and then the kids came home 2 days later for Georgia. They had a wonderful time and are dark like coffee beans from all the fun in the sun swimming action they could take.

Now it's back to reality and the trip is another memory. It's good to be home :0)

Monday, June 13, 2005

Georgia Bound

My two youngest left this morning with my parents and are headed for Georgia to my brother's house. My parents will have 5 grandkids in one house for 3 days while my brother and his wife head out to Vegas.

While our kids are gone, Rich and I are headed out too. We are leaving Thursday and won't be back until Sunday. After 17 years, it's time for a vacation alone and a second honeymoon! Whoo hoo.

Jessica will be staying at a friends and they'll take care of work detail. Gotta love kid swaping. I think her and Amie have spent the night with each other every day except 2 in the past 2 weeks. I remember those days well. It's fun to watch them together. Reminds me of all the times me and my best friend spent going back and forth to each others houses. Lots of memories.

The garden is doing well. Lots of cukes and finally some green beans. MMM. Corn and tomatoes are just about ready. The watermellons and cantelopes are getting big. I even have some eggplants that should be ready soon. Lots of bell peppers even though the plants themselves are really small.

Most of my squash plants are gone. Something in the soil. You can see a band of yellow plants in one area all affected. My lone okra plant is producing. Rich has two heads of lettuce and some straggling carrots. I noticed yesterday that my spaghetti squash had flowers. Hope I get a few there. That sure would be nice. Those things are expensive!

Other than that... life is good. No affects from the tropical storm felt here. Keeping everyone else in prayers who comes in the path.

Time to get back to work!

Sunday, June 05, 2005

5-gallon bucket

I guess a 5-gallon bucket full a day of cucumbers isn't too shabby.

Today was three bell peppers.

I saw 3 cantelopes and goobs of watermelons.

When the tomatoes ripen we are in for a flood of them.

My corn has silk- which means there are cobs growing!

Another "mess" of beans tonight MMMM

Fresh is soo good.

I'm pooped. Worked all weekend and watched my sister's kids. I'm too old for late nights.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Updates

Richard - working hard in the garden. I think he picks a 5-gallon bucket a day of cucumers. He worked some overtime and now he's planning a lil trip to the camp.

Me - Gotta work this weekend and it's mumble mouth. Hope all goes well. I'll have my sister's kids Saturday evening for them to go out to eat. I'm sure I'll be exhausted. Sinsus flared up and I'm not feeling too well. I'll make it through. They may have to be duct taped to the chairs... naw. Not really. I'll just feed them sugar all night long :)

Jessica - Really enjoying this job thing. She konked out early last night. She's off this weekend and already planning something to do with her friends. Should be interesting to see how often they all get together with all of them getting jobs this summer. Hopefully she can save up for a car soon!

Daniel - We went to see SW III last night. He was in heaven. I'm sure he'd love to see it again and again. He has watched SW since he was 4 or 5 and has been able to follow it, even knowning that this was the future and this was now explainng the past, etc. Smart cookie! He loves sci-fi. We get the results of his latest EEG today. Keep your fingers crossed.

Sarah - her foot is MUCH better. Last weekend she stuck a piece of wire in her toe while crabbing..and the next morning her foot was horribly infected. It started draining a few days ago and is now back to normal. Guess she will listen when ole mom says GET YOUR SHOES ON AND KEEP THEM ON!

Gearing up for the kids to go to Georgia. Rich and I still have not decided what we are going to do. Better hurry up and decide. Times a ticking.

Hopefully J's schedule won't interfer too mcuh with our getting away for the weekend.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

She works hard for the money....

Jessica called me on her lunch break. She said it was really "cool" and "neat" to be working. Her boss is really nice and patient. Jessica's friend also works there and was coming into work around 11. I'm sure THAT will be fun.

She gets off at 2 and I cannot wait to hear about her day.

When she was getting ready for work this morning I told her what Rich had said: Now when you come home you can get supper started and put some clothes to wash and you can really feel like an adult! LOLOL She dind't like that too much. I'm sure she will crash when she gets home. She has to work again in the morning.

I feel so old, but so very proud. I just hope she gets a car soon! LOL

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

and...and....

She got the job! She starts Thursday! Whoo hooo!

Rain, rain come again!

We finally had rain over the weekend, and from what I'm seeing we are in for more. Yeah! The ground is soo dry. My garden looks soo good today! I just picked about 20 cucumbers. It's cloudy and breezy. Hoping for more rain.

I'll bring some cukes to a friend of mine when I take Jessica for a job interview. Yes, you read that correctly! Jessica has a job interview today! I'm excited for her, but I certainly don't look forward to having to run her here and there! She still has some learning to do with driving and feeling comfy, but she's getting there. She drives us just about eveywhere we need to go. I'm getting spoiled to this.

Yesterday they had good reports from the Orthodontist. Jessica now has rubberbands to align her bite. She looks funny. Her jaw hurts today. First day of actual summer and she was up by 8; couldn't sleep. I think she's nervous about the interview. We'll have to practice answering questions at lunch.

Yesterday we spent the afternoon at my parents. Jessica's boyfriend was able to meet the entire family. His last name is very common - it's also a name in our family- so we were asking who his parents were, etc. Small world. He is kin to a guy who married my sister's best friend's sister. Got that?? They were all at the wedding together and didn't know each other then. Jessica was freaking out telling us to stop digging deeper into the family tree. She didn't want to find out if they were all kin HAHAHA. Her boyfriend made it through the day with us and I think he enjoyed himself listening to us acting like fools.

Time to see if more work has arrived. Bye!

Sunday, May 29, 2005

All in a day

Well, two days really.

Yesterday we started shopping for summer stuff. We only bought Sarah 2 shirts and a pair of shoes. Long day.

Today it was church and then shopping. Finished up with Sarah. Just have Daniel and some shirts for Jessica.

Around 3 we back crabbing. Not nearly as good, but still had a great time. I think we ended up with two dozen.

Now Rich has steamed them for me and I'm off to eat them!!! MMMM

Tomorrow is resting, relaxing, mom/dad's house for BBQ and then I have bonko! Whoo hoo!

Great way to spend a long weekend.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Summertime adventures

I love seafood. I especially love steamed crabs. Living so close to the Gulf, we usually don't have a problem. This day proved it. We crabbed for about 3 hours and got 43 crabs. Not bad for an afternoon of sun, fun, giggles and gooood eating! The kids had so much fun. We are supposed to go back on Sunday.

Click the pictures to enlarge them.
My dad, Rich and Sarah are waiting on the crabs to bite.
How do you know you have a crab? Your string gets pulled like this.
Follow the string to the end and scoop up your crab.
We ended up with 43 crabs.
Daniel waiting for the last crab to bite.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Did you know you can make french fries from potatoes?

We still tease my sister about her grand discovery when she was a child. French fries from potatoes? Ya don't say!

That's kinda how I'm feeling today. My discovery? Syrup. Maple flavored syrup. MMM. Quick, easy, cheap.

Sucks that I restarted Atkins. Oh well. I made a batch using Splenda and voila! Syrup for me and Jessica!

This was a busy weekend. Teens galore overrunnith my house. It was a graduation ceremony, meet everyone's parents, head to the beach for some fun, crash, girlfriends giggling about boys and then the beach again kinda weekend! Even for teens, they are TIRED today. LOL

I thought this whole dating thing was gonna put some major gray hair on my head. But I'm surviving and it's really awesome to see my daughter (who is naturally mature for her age) jump up that much closer to being an adult. She jumped into this whole boyfriend/dating thing with such confidence that I don't think everyone around her realized how nervous she was down inside.

Yes, you are reading this correctly. My oldest went out on her first date.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Garden as of today. MMM
Green beans are coming.
Maters!
Squash! MMM
Yeehaw! What crazy things the kids do on a Sunday afternoon!

Has it been THAT long, really?

Tonight I had dinner with friends I went all through school with. 12 years of school together. Oh the memories and laughter. And funny how you remember something and the other person there has no memory of it. And they were there too!

Of course, we came back here after dinner and cracked open the year books and swapped information on folks we had lost touch with. These people were such a big part of our lives for four years..and we really didn't have much information on many of them.

We cannot wait for our reunion. It's gonna be so much fun. I'm hoping now that we have reunited we will stay in closer contact. Life is much too short to lose friends.

Jessica went out on her first date on Friday. Mom coped very well. Dad? We don't go there. I think he was feeling a little left out because he was at work and wasn't home to worry openly with mom LOL We all survived and can't wait for summer. Did I just say that??

I do remember my teenage years to be very fun and I want the same for my kids. It's nice to see 7-8 of them all gathering and hanging out together. Ahh, 20+ years ago... were were doing the same!

Monday, May 16, 2005

Did you hear?

Diet coke - now made with splenda!

It's okay. Nothing spectacular. The splenda must do something to the carbination. The bottle opens with fizz.. pours with fizz... but when you drink it... it's flat!

Go figure!

SCREECHING HALT!

My fun filled, long-ago-planned weekend came to a screeching halt on Saturday afternoon. I stopped in at Urgent Care to see the doctor (who was fabulous!). My head was pounding, the pressure in my ears was making me want to claw not only my own eyes out but those around me too. I had a sneaky feeling my blood pressure was the culprit.

I have white coat syndrome. Just being around doctors and in a hospital makes me nervous. And to think I work for one! By the time the doctor saw me, my blood pressure was back to normal. Really good normal too. Hmm..

I'm thinking I may need new glasses sooner than I thought.

He told me to take 600-800 mg of Ibuprofen and go to bed.

I slept for 12 hours. I was in such a fog the next day. Rich had the best time laughing at me. My brain and mouth would not work together and my reaction time was so slow.

I had strict instructions from my daddy (Richard) to rest and relax all day. He BBQd and worked in the garden while I yacked long distance on the cell phone all afternoon.

Such is the life.

Today? I feel wonderful! I haven't felt this good in a long time :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

and the darkness takes hold

Headaches. Migraines. That numbing feeling of being in a fog. I've had that for 2 weeks now. Every afternoon. I can't wait to get in my dark, cold room and sleep, hoping the pain will ease up.

At first I thought it was my dry eyes causing eye strain. Don't think so. I've been using TheraTears and that stuff works! Drops in the morning carry me all day through.

Then I thought maybe I needed new glasses. Maybe I do, but I don't think it's eye strain causing my migraines.

Foods? No, nothing new. I do know my triggers and stay clear of them.

Exercise? Okay, I'm slacking, but promise to get that lined up shortly.

Heat? temps have been wonderful. Every day sitting outside and enjoying my banana magnolia. MMM

Medications? Seems I've been forgetting to take my medications! HOW?? I moved them. Out of site, out of mind. I dunno how long I have forgotten to take them, but I made sure to take them today and NO headache!

I think I'll put them back where they were so I don't forget to take them anymore.


And I've made great headway in the laundry department. NOw I need the folding fairies to come and do their job.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

And I thought my addiction with the phone was bad! Rich is on hold with one phone and talking on the other!
Daniel, Jessica, Sarah and my other child, Amie, after they got off the Ring of Fire at Contraband Days.
This is Jessica driving. She's always happy to drive and I'm loving it!
Sarah took this picture of the Amyrillis in the front flower bed.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Spreading the love

I've mailed a package to a friend up north. I'm on pins and needles awaiting its arrival. I think I'm as excited for her to get as as she is! I cannot wait to see how she likes it. I think she will be very happy! Happy indeed!

Funny how you see things here and there it reminds you of people. When I saw this "surprise" I just had to sent it to my friend. Once the cat is out of the bag I'll fill you all in.


For all of you finding my site by searching for "dry eyes", I have a solution for you! TheraTears. It comes in drops and gel. I've used the drops earlier and my eyes haven't felt this good in a long time. I've been poking around for information regarding dry eyes and have discovered that dehydration is a major contributor to dry eyes. Gotta drink that water. Also, taking Omega-3 and flaxseed helps. I use to take it. Why did I stop??? I'm hoping this will help. I'm going crazy from dry eyes!

Time to lay around and watch tv before hubby goes to work.

Saturday, April 30, 2005

daily life...

Yesterday we had the a/c on. Today? It's 63 and windy. 80s to 60s... makes a difference. I don't think I"ll be able to sit on the patio and drink coffee this morning.

I broke down and upgraded my phone. New phone was giving me hell. Couldn't hear - too much echo or muffling sound. I took it back several times. They ran all kinds of tests and found nothing wrong with it. Finally, after much poking around with the functions, I discovered it has a separate control for the mic and earpiece apart from the normal increase/decrease in volume. How come they don't tell you these things??? I'm a happy camper now. Being able to get online while waiting for kids is wonderful! Text messaging - what did I do without it? Even Jessica got in on the action with texting. Seems kids text now at school - what happened to writing notes????

The garden is huge and sprouting all kinds of yummy things. Rich and I sit out there just about evey night and talk and watch the sprinkler water the garden. Life is good in the south!

Yesterday, Sarah had a Louisiana Play at school. They learned all about La. history and music and culture. So cute to see the kids really getting into knowing things about their state. I learned a few things too :)

Time to do the digity-dang laundry! That stuff never stops. I don't think I"ve done but 1-2 loads all week, so you can image the pile i have waiting for me. It wasn't that bad until the girls cleaned their room. Egads! Sarah says she keeps them in her room in a pile so they wont get in my in the laundry room. Uhm. Thanks honey???

i've had an on-and-on again headache for 2 wks now. It's either allergy/sinus related - crazy weather, i need new glasses, my dry eyes or i've got something seriously wrong with me. Guess I"ll need ot finally break down and go to the doctor. Drops in my eyes are not working. IT's like that dry spot in your throat that you have to keep in taking sips of water to wet or you will start coughing up a storm, only it's in my eye and all the blinking won't wet it. ack!

Laundry calls. Mt. Washmore here i come!

Saturday, April 23, 2005

growing up and testing those wings

Our oldest is 16. While still very young at a tender age of 16 (she thinks she knows it all), we still must let her test her wings. If she fails, I'd rather be there at 16 to catch her and redirect her. Who wants to catch and redirect a 21 yr old? (not that I wouldn't, but most people, by the time they are 21, have made a few mistakes and learned by them)

Today is the "big party" for one of her friends. Three 16 yr olds just left my house after raiding the drinks and eating about half of my bananas and getting money for ...McDonald's! haha Oh, to be a teen again.

I can remember Robin and I riding around. We weren't doing anything wrong. Just enjoying life. My teen yrs were some of my best years. I want the same for my daughter. She's level-headed and very mature. Sometimes that's not a good thing - but it works for her and she works it well!

Rich is sleeping after working all night and I"m about to start cleaning. I clean when i'm deep in thought or upset. Must not think often or get upset much by the looks of things around here now!

I'm just worried. She's only 16.

But she has to start sometime!

Off to clean!

Have a wonderful time, Elm!

Friday, April 22, 2005

What are the words?

What words are truly comforting to someone who is in great pain? What could you possibly say to ease the pain? What can you do for them? Be with them? Sit and cry with them? Hold them? And then what? Pray for them. Pray for them and their entire family.

How do you comfort your friends' child? A child who was going to have a child of their and now will not be. A child we all couldn't wait for. A child who was to make this husband and wife a family. Something they had planned for and waited for until it was just right in their lives. A baby that was to be a cousin to another baby recently born into this family. A baby that was soo loved the moment we knew it was here.

Now a baby will not be born and this entire family will have to deal with another loss and gain strength in this and become closer and move on.

Is that possible?

Yes.

And this baby will never be forgotten.

If you are the praying kind. Please say a prayer for this family. God knows who they are.

thanks.