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OK, I am so glad to be back and will go immediately to read everyone as soon as I throw this miserable excuse for a post up!  You might want to wear a neck brace while reading… it jumps around a bit.

First of all I would like to thank my brother, Cam for updating everyone during my absence.  I really hope he only chokes a little on the vino he’s going to be drinking in beautiful Italy this weekend.  heh heh heh

Love ya Cam!

Today is September 27 and we just got internet up and working as of yesterday.  Two weeks after the stupid storm!  I started transcribing a post from a pile of scraps of paper onto Word Friday of last week, (when we got electricity back), and am keeping my fingers crossed that I will be able to successfully copy and paste it to the WordPress thingy which acts strangely at best due to the fact that I am cursed with Vista.

Here goes nothing!

Hello there, interwebs! I am back, finally, and I missed you all! I am starting this on Friday, September 19, 2008 and am a bit flummoxed at the thought of trying to get caught up. Luckily, I jotted down notes here and there during the last few days. Following this paragraph is a fairly random collection of them starting Friday afternoon, Sept. 12, the day hurricane Ike laid us out. We just got electricity back at about 12:30 in the afternoon, yesterday. Six days after it went out. And while I know we have so very much to be grateful for and are truly blessed to have survived virtually unscathed, I can’t help but point out that living in this humidity and heat, without floor to ceiling windows on all the exterior walls, is a gruesome ordeal that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. Well, OK, maybe that would be the perfect kinda conditions for my worst enemy, but my point remains that I can’t imagine hating anyone with that much intensity…you get my drift?

6:00pm Friday evening– the power company cuts the electricity. Winds are starting to pick up just a bit and we all know the big ones are coming. The preemptive electric outage is to keep people from injury, (and certain death), when the lines fall.

The following night is harrowing. H is given an Adivan and sleeps through the entire thing. (Thank you God, for Adivan.)

Apparently I will take anyone or anything in to shelter through a hurricane including, but not limited to, stray dogs and a 6 ½ foot red tailed boa.

The poor dog was left here when his crumby owners evacuated. They left the gate open and left. Just like that. The other neighbors and I were talking about it and the fact that one sweet lady down the street had taken him in. This was Friday afternoon and Ike was due to show up that night. She was saying that her chocolate Labrador was trying to tear down the door to the room where she had the dog, so I offered to take him off her hands until after the whole dealy-o blew over. He really was sweet and well behaved, just scared to death of everybody AS IF HE HAD BEEN ABUSED. The deal was that the house next to us on the corner with the trio of sweet little girls was going to take him in when it was over. Of course the next day my daughter’s boyfriend left the gate open and the dog went in the backyard via the doggy door and promptly left. So, in the rain, John and I drove around the neighborhood until we found him and I got out IN THE RAIN AND CHASED AND BEGGED AND PLEADED AND CONJOLED, and yes, cursed, that dog into letting me catch him and haul him into the car, (where anybody would want a wet dog).

I then took him to the little girls and dumped him on them. They were delighted and I still haven’t gotten any evil looks from their mother so, here’s hoping…

Keelan has a friend of some standing…with her at least. Anyway, this kid has a large family with three cars between them and other pets involved and he claimed that there wasn’t room for the tank that accommodates the huge ass snake and, of course, not the snake either. Am I easy or what? NO. Don’t answer that!

Saturday AM– It is rapidly becoming evident that I will be requiring a shower every 15 to 20 minutes. The temperature is hovering in the low 90’s with 110% humidity. From our front yard the neighborhood looks like….Bosnia. A total war zone. I turned to John and said, “Honey, I don’t think you’ll make it into work today…”

Big Mess! Hot, so very hot. The power lines are all underground in our neighborhood, but the one next to us has huge trees snapped off halfway up and just flipped up with gigantic root balls sticking up in the air. They are all laid over on the power lines. We can’t get into it for all the debris so we just drive by looking in from the road betweenus.

All we could hear was the constant chainsaw and generator noise backed by the incessant drone of emergency vehicle sirens and low flying news choppers with the occasional med-a-vac , Army and Coast Guard helicopter thrown in for good measure. All the windows are open and there is hardly a breath of air moving through this house. It is stifling.

Last night we had hurricane and, of course all the windows were closed tight and most were boarded up.I set the thermostat extremely low in the house during the day so it would be a cool as possible when we lost the lights. The cool air lasted partially through the night.

Well, when Henrietta said she was ready to go to bed I rolled her in there and got her ready and she said, “Oh, close the window, Krissa.” I said, no, we really would have to leave them open because it was too hot in the house with it closed. “Oh Noooo! I’m fine! Really! I’ll be all right. Just close the window. “ No, Henrietta. You’re room is directly across from ours and in order for us to have any kind of ventilation at all we need your window open. Then, (very pointedly ignoring what I have explained and attempting to act as if it is beyond her comprehension), “Oh no, Krissa. I CANNOT HAVE THE WINDOW OPEN. No, no… I never have and I don’t want it open.” By this time John showed up and backed me with the whole argument. She see’s that she’s not going to get her way….at least not easily, so she turns on the tears. We both stand firm and she shuts them off. I swear it’s like flipping a damn switch. I left the tacky venetian blinds she insists on having drawn at all times down and closed and had to sneak back in and open them when she was asleep.

I am told by my mother on my cell phone that we are supposed to be boiling our drinking water for 1 minute. So I am boiling huge pots of water on the stove to pour in the sink and wash dishes in. Thank God, we have a gas stove.

The entire house gets significantly hotter when you are boiling huge pots of water on the stove with no A/C.

You really can make coffee by pouring boiling water into a carafe with coffee and letting it sit for a bit and then pouring this disgusting looking sludge through a filter into a cup. I found that using a paper towel worked even better than a filter because it would conform to the shape of the cup better.

I would kill for an old fashioned board game of some kind. As of two garage sales ago, we got rid of all of ours.

By the time there was enough trees moved for us to make it off of our block, (a day later) we decided to try to make it to our friends house a few neighborhoods over. They had evacuated and had asked us if we could check on their house the first chance we got.

Our neighborhood has all the electrical and phone lines underground, but the one next to ours has even more mature trees and it’s all above ground. At least every other house had a huge tree either broken in two and lying on the lines and/or house or the trees were just lying over with a gigantic root ball pulled up and sticking in the air. It was crazy. We weren’t able to make it by our friend’s house that day or the next as there was no way to get there. The streets were impassable immediately around it. John finally got by a few days later on his way to work. Thankfully, they had no flooding and no trees on their house.

ALMOST OUT OF COFFEE.

You CAN read trashy novels by candlelight. NO, it doesn’t make sweating your body weight romantic.

My neighbors really are wonderful people and we all pull together really well when there is an emergency.

One really bizarre, other worldly experience was realizing that even three days after it was all over, there were still no birds/bird sounds or flying bugs. Saturday afternoon I went with John up to the grocery store he manages to see how bad it was or wasn’t and as we were driving through the parking lot I saw a baby egret sitting on one of those big metal grid storm drains. It just sat there as we passed by it and had one leg down in the hole and the other one clutching the grate. I thought it was stuck and had John stop and I got out and went over to it, picked it up and the poor thing just looked at me. It was clearly in shock. I believe it was thinking something to the tune of, “What the hell. Of course the human lady will pick me up. After the night I’ve had, what else could I expect? This is nothing”. I carried it over and put it in some bushes and it immediately scrambled under them better.

What is it with me and strange baby birds? Owls, Egrets, what next?

Sunday – John goes back to work and it’s a hell hole. Everything was wiped out, pretty much before he left on Thursday. The benevolent souls at the top of the corporate ladder, (or whoever), decided to actually close the store on the Friday of the storm. I must say that this surprised me somewhat as the storm was due to show up fairly late that evening. Believe me when I say that if Walmart or Target had stayed open, they would have, also. The thought was that they wouldn’t let the managers go in time for them to evacuate their families, so they would give them a few hours head start on getting their houses boarded up before the wind got there. And that, my friends, is as much as can ever be expected of these people. John had worked 12 hour day’s everyday that week in preparation for the storm, as had the other managers at all the stores on the gulf coast in the chain. When they got back to work on Sunday, they spent the greatest part of the day throwing out every last parcel of meat, frozen and refrigerated food. I came to find out the generator only runs a few lights and the registers if the power goes out and that’s all it did. They reopened with virtually empty shelves and zero meat, dairy and frozen foods.

People were understanding and patient, helpful to each other about information and standing in line.

Over the next few days things really went downhill fast. Trucks arrived as often as they could possibly get there and it became harder and harder to explain why WHEN EVERYONE RUNS OUT OF THEIR REFRIGERATED ITEMS AT THE SAME TIME IT IS VIRTUALLY IMPOSSIBLE TO SUPPLY THE DEMAND. Not to mention the bread everyone was going through, along with chips and snack items, etc.

Sunday night- Henrietta apparently has given some thought to the window situation and feels she did not put on her best performance last night. Tonight, she pulls out all the stops. She announces that she can’t sleep like that and she woke up afraid over and over last night. Bullshit. Not a chance. She NEVER wakes up when she’s taken an Adivan and she would have rung her bell if she was the least bit afraid. She argues with us both about it and continues to insist the window has to be down. She apparently has absolutely no regard for how anyone else might feel or how much sleep her own son may or may not get before he trudges off to work like a dog for 12 to 14 hours. Finally she tells us that we are abusing her by leaving her window open and I have had it. I got in her face and John looked l at her like he was going to explode. I unloaded a bit and she started to dry up some. There really is no end to her selfishness when it comes to her own little wants and paranoia’s. Needless to say her window stayed open. She told me to “Pleeeeease keep me blinds down, Krissa!” I certainly will. Until you are asleep…

Monday- There is not a word from her about the window or the blinds or anything else at bedtime. Halleluiah!

And the rest of the time until the lights are back on, (Friday), she doesn’t say another word about it.

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I will post the rest of the… story tomorrow and add the missing pictures.  Come to find out they are riding around in John’s pocket on his jump drive and he is at work, (where else).  I’ll get them when he gets home.  Things are still very disorganized around here and I’m having a hard time getting back in the normal groove.  Sorry.