What Harvey Taught Me

21 days ago Hurricane Harvey roared into Texas and made an almost direct hit on our home.  I’ve lived in Corpus Christi since 2006 and this was my very first hurricane.  Heck, we haven’t even had a really good tropical storm since I’ve lived here.  Let’s just say it was a very educational experience.21078422_10155691736360909_1941226860496814658_n
As late as the Wednesday before the storm, when it was supposed to be only a strong tropical storm or a category 1 hurricane, we had given exactly zero thought to evacuating.  There were several phone calls that evening from other family members discussing if they should board up and the decision was made that on Thursday we would know what needed to be done. We were scheduled to leave for vacation on Sunday so that evening I packed all of the groceries in our travel trailer and made sure our clothes were packed since it would certainly be rainy for a few days.
Thursday morning I put steaks in a marinade to cook for dinner and went to work.  From there on it started to go downhill.  At 10:15 Edward sent me an email at work that said:  Category 3.  I’m going home to move the trailer into the street and board up the windows.  We are leaving tonight for Utopia.
Wait…..what?  Thursday was a blur of activity.  My office closed at 4 and I raced home to help get everything done.  Thankfully we had plywood in our garage from Hurricane Ike 9 years earlier but it was a chore to get it pulled out from the remote corner behind everything.  Boarding up (especially when the boards haven’t been cut to fit the windows) is a HOT, Sweaty and awkward mess.  Did I mention HOT?????  Thankfully Edward was sooooo patient with me and we did manage to get everything done.  We had our dear neighbors Phil and Ginger who chose to stay through the storm and they were keeping an eye on the house and keeping Rascal with them for the duration.  We wisely left them with a key to our house.
Then all that was left was to shower and load three cats and a kitten into carrier and into the truck and head out.  First, by some miracle we had enough carriers for everyone and since we were going on vacation I had purchased enough cat food and kitty litter to last for a couple of weeks.    So we strapped everyone in, said farewell to our house and started our trip west.21149916_10155694367450909_9004439926712773304_n
I swear the cats had a contest for most of the trip on who could make the most annoying noises non stop for the ENTIRE trip.  After a while it became almost funny. But since I had managed to not eat anything for the entire day by the time we hit Hondo I was starving and quite frankly desperate for food.  Thankfully we found a Whataburger that was still open and packed with people.  The person who checked us our said that it had been like that all day and I’m sure that it was.  I got food and we headed for our final destination….Garner State Park where we had reservations starting on Sunday.
We were exhausted when we collapsed into the trailer and bed about 1:30.  However, it was not a restful night….the cats were all upset and in a tizzy most of the night.  Plus we didn’t have any electricity so it was warmer than we would have liked and we quickly learned that a queen bed was not large enough for us and four cats.
Edward was up by 7 am to get on the list for a camping spot but he came by to the trailer by 9 and said there were so many people ahead of us he wasn’t sure we would get a spot and certainly we wouldn’t get the spots we wanted.  He suggested that the cabin in Utopia would be a good choice for a couple of days and I gave an enthusiastic YES.  We headed to Utopia, got the cats settled in the bunk room and went to Lost Maples Cafe for breakfast.
While we were there we got a couple of phone calls….one from Rosie asking is we were at the cabin and if she and the kids could join us and another from Edward saying that he had heard from Vanessa and she hadn’t left Corpus yet.  That was frustrating since she was supposed to leave with us.  But we finished breakfast and went back to the cabin for some much needed sleep.
About 4 pm Rosie arrived and Vanessa was (thankfully) with her.  We moved the cats to the trailer, settled everyone in and started watching the Weather Channel.  I wish there was a way to explain what the next 18 hours were like.  It was  blur of children, the weather channel, checking Facebook and hoping for the best.
Thankfully we got news early on Saturday from our neighbors that our house was fine except for losing a satellite dish and some sections of fence.  That was a relief.  Finally everyone could start to breath.  I made everyone pancakes for breakfast and we got the day started.  Saturday night we lit the fire pit and cracked open a box of wine and everyone finally started to relax.
By Sunday Rosie and Vanessa both had power at home.  (We didn’t get power back until Tuesday) We loaded up to head to Garner to get our vacation started with our menagerie in tow.  We got our favorite spot with our favorite neighbors and tried to get into the swing of vacation.IMG_1279.jpg
So there you go….our Hurricane Harvey Story.  What did I learn?

  1.  If you live in an area at risk for hurricanes you must plan ahead.  Have the things you need at home to board up your home, tarps and any other items you will want when a storm is coming.  When crunch time happens you do not want to be scrambling and it is your responsibility to take care of yourself.
  2. Make lists now of things that will need to be done in the event of a storm.  Make lists of items to take with you and items to store away.
  3. Have plans in place for your pets.  Do not leave them.  Have enough carriers, collars and leashes on hand to safely transport them.
  4. Have a plan for where you will go including back up locations.  If the storm changes directions you might need another place to go.
  5. If possible leave a key to your home with a trusted neighbor who is staying.  That way they can check on your home and if they need something inside of it they can get it.  Our neighbor ran short on dry cat food and we could tell her where our emergency stash was.  Ed’s son wanted to borrow our generator after the storm and he could get in to get it.

So there you go….our hurricane story.  I hope we never get to have another one but for us we are safe and sound.

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Family Picture Night

We had to try to squeeze in some pictures of everyone before Derrick, Amanda and Ryan leave for Spain and last night was the night.

Of course some people were late and Ryan wasn’t in a great mood…….but I worked with what we had and got some okay pictures out of the deal.

There were a million tiny fish right by shore that were swarming and being attacked by larger fish and the kids thought it was awesome fun to watch.  And it was a gorgeous evening.  Simply beautiful.

 

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And I’m Back………

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No….really…..I’m not even joking this time.  Well, at least I don’t think so.

So what have I been up to the last 6 months?  Oh it’s been awesome!!  I’ve spent tons of time at home, cleaned and organized my house, scrubbed my kitchen from bottom to top, stayed up late, snuggled, slept in late, cut the grass, spoiled my cats, watched a ton of Netflix, went on road trips, traveled to Garner twice among other things.

The only real downside of the last six months?  My bank account which wasn’t so fond of my life of leisure.  And when your bank account isn’t happy then you generally aren’t so happy.

So eventually I rolled up my sleeves and got a teeny bit serious about finding a job and luckily found one before my checks from the state stopped.  I’m back working and so far it’s okay.  Much less stress, a bit less money for now but it’s something at least.

So it’s back to life as usual………And I promise to get back to blogging again at least semi-regularlly.  But here are a few pictures from my time away!

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The Easter Bunny Loves Me!

18879164-Cute-rabbit-with-easter-egg-Stock-Vector-easter-bunny-cartoonThe old adage that all appliances break at the same time certainly seems to be true in our case. Last month I made a list of everything that wasn’t working at all or not properly and it was as follows:
Dishwasher
Stove
Oven
Microwave
Lawn Mower
Washing Machine
Dryer
In case you are curious that means we were working around almost everything. I replaced the microwave a few weeks ago but this weekend we hit the mother load!
New stove and oven (Self cleaning at that!!!)
New Dishwasher
Washing Machine
Dryer
Lawnmower
That means for the first time in longer than I care to think about everything in the house is working!!! O M G!!!!!!!!

While Edward is most excited about his fancy new lawnmower–I’m torn, I can’t decide which I am most excited about but I know I will use all of them!

Pretty awesome Easter!    Hope your Easter was great!

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PTL Spring Break Is Over!

12494922_10156688134770191_516888708057009414_nYeah I know that sounds weird but I had three of the grandkids hanging with me all last week. Oh my goodness……….they ran me utterly ragged! By Friday we finally started to find a routine but of course by then spring break was finished.


The cats of course hid out while they were around and didn’t emerge until everyone had left. We played games, read books and watched a while bunch of Netflix movies. (Thank God for Netflix!)

In other exciting news Rascal got his stitches out on Friday! Woohoooo! The vet thinks were are through the biggest risk and he should be fine but in the meantime we are keeping him close to home.

Sunday was Emily’s 3rd birthday party! We bought her the Paw Patrol shirt to wear.

This week we are back to our regular schedule which includes lots of naps……Unfortunately it is also allergy season which has me feeling pretty yucky thanks to itchy eyes, scratchy throat, stuff nose among other fun things. And all the wind we have been having isn’t helping at all either.

In some fun news we are getting a new stove and dishwasher this weekend!  Yay for having more than 1 burner that works and not having to hand wash everything so the dishwasher won’t leak all over the floor.  🙂

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Another Bluebonnet Trip

I struggled through a stomach bug last Thursday and Friday…..ugh….I haven’t had a flu like that in years and years and years and years. I can’t say I have missed it.

Adding insure to injury I managed to throw out my back while being sick.  (Or is that adding injury to insult……..)  So in addition to a upset stomach I got to have a very painful back.  Not fun.  So very not fun.

Even though I had to miss Edward’s Friday night football game I was thankfully recovered by Saturday morning. (Well except for my back which is still giving me issues) Just in time for another trip to look for flowers.

First stop was Goliad for market days and the weather was perfect.  FAR better than our last trip in December when it drizzled the whole time.  After lunch it was the the long way home looking for wildflowers.  Out best score was at a remote cemetary loaded with blooms.  I spent a long time on my knees taking pictures while we enjoyed the day.  Topped it off with stops at a couple of antique stores and it was pretty close to a perfect day!

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Now it’s time for Spring Break!!!!

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Ok Vacation Is Over

I took a bit of break the early part of the year from blogging.  Not sure exactly why but I did–but I kind of miss having the record of what we have been up to, even when it isn’t very much so I guess it’s time to get back into it.

Last weekend was Edward’s secret trip weekend.  He loves to plan things and not fill me in on exactly what we are doing.  It used to drive me crazy but now I know that he likes to surprise me so I have learned to relax and enjoy the ride!

So we loaded up the truck and headed out on a road trip.  We ended Friday in Gonzales Texas and then spent Saturday working our way down to Corpus Christi State Park for the evening.  Thank goodness Edward is happy to stop the truck many times so I can take pretty pictures!


The flowers are blooming and we had a great weekend together!

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The Best Part Of My Christmas

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Merry Christmas everyone! I hope that you had enough time with the people you love and enough time of serenity to enjoy the holiday!

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I’m going to write about the best part of the holiday for me and it’s a bit surprising. It’s not the wonderful gift my babe gave me (although I am feeling kind of spoiled), or the candlelight church service or the fun and excitement of having everyone here Christmas morning (Although that was awesome) or how grownup Lillyanna looked on Christmas day in her dress and new boots.   Nope….mine happened on Christmas Eve in a non-discript strip mall packed with holiday traffic.

Wednesday evening I was at the grocery store about 10 pm buying the provisions we needed for brunch….trying to beat the crowd by shopping in off peak times.  I was also making a long list of things that had to be done in the next 18 hours.   There was a lot!  Overwhelming amount of work even. 

While I was there I got a text from Vanessa asking if we could watch the kids the next day.

I’ll be honest…..my reaction wasn’t a happy one. I had WAY too much to do on Thursday and the kids would make a mess and I wanted to get a pedicure and……..darn it that would mess up my plans.  I mean, forget about relaxing! 

I considered pretending I hadn’t seen the text at all.  I mean it’s possible………I have forgotten my phone at work at least twice the last couple of weeks. 

But then I remembered…..I remembered the clerk at WalMart a couple of weeks ago who commented when I was buying stuff to make cookies. I told her the grandkids were coming over to help bake and she said I was so lucky. That her grandkids lived far away and always had and she didn’t really ‘know’ them. And I remembered that it wasn’t so many years ago that I would have given my right arm (and probably a leg) to get to spend time with them on Christmas Eve.

So I said yes.  

Christmas eve was chaotic at the house but between getting up early and with the kids help (cough, cough) I got everything pretty much done  (there may have been bribes) and then I told the girls we could go get mani/pedi’s. (David stayed home with Grandpa)

It was amazing!

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Giulianna was especially so excited and enthusiastic about everything! From the water bubbles on her toes to it changing colors to picking out her colors (I gave them free reign) so just everything……..so just a bubbly, excited, well behaved and just a joy to watch. 

Lillyanna was pretty excited too but she is older and a bit more reserved.


I just sat and watched them. And it wasn’t just me, other ladies getting their nails done were as entranced watching them as I was.  The guy who worked with Giuli was so good with her and made it a really great experience.

As the young ones say…it gave me the feels.

And in the end that is what the season is really about and my favorite gift. Spending time and creating special moments with the ones we love. Thank you to Lilly and Giuli for giving me that wonderful gift.  And thank you to that Wal-Mart clerk for reminding me what a blessing it is to get to be an active part of their lives.  I couldn’t really ask for more. Who knows, maybe it will be a new tradition!

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David stayed with grandpa while we had our nails done. What grandpa didn’t know was David had found the old Halloween candy in the cabinet in the kitchen. He said David kept disappearing and coming back and saying his hands were sticky. Well, they were sticky because he was stuffing himself with candy……lol.

  Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

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Christmas Time

The biggest reason I keep up with this blog at all is that it helps remember the funny, sweet, exciting and even boring things in our life. I enjoy being able to go back and review things. It’s nice to have.

So I’ll catch up on a few things from the past weeks…..

One evening we had Lilly, Giuli and David over to watch the Flour Bluff Santa come through our neighborhood and make Christmas cookies. As always it was chaos with sprinkles and and flour everywhere but the kids had a blast.

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After the cookies were finished the kids start scoping out the gifts under the tree and trying to guess what was in each one. Giuli shook one of hers and yelled “I GOT AN I PAD”!!!! David shook his and yelled “I GOT SOMETHING”!!!!! Hahahahah those crazy kids.

Then Giuli pointed at the angel on top of the tree and said “Grandma how did you get that tooth fairy way up there?” We all about died laughing….silly girl!

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Then one weekend we took a trip to Goliad for market days and Patsy, Vanessa and the kids joined us. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t great but it was still a nice day.
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We stopped at the Mission La Bahia on the way home and it was so lovely. The kids enjoyed the chapel and it was a nice end to the day.
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Then I had the opportunity of taking the girls to see The Nutcracker………It was so fun to get to experience it with them. Giuli sat on my lap so she could see and once the Sugar Plum Fairies started coming out she leaned back and whispered “How many Tooth Fairies are there????” Hahahahaha!

Then this weekend Edward and I took an evening and went and look at the Christmas lights. What a fun evening!
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I’m sure there is more that I have missed but that catches you up. Christmas shopping is done, almost everything has been delivered and we are ready for Christmas to arrive.

Merry Christmas!

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Hello December!

The most wonderful month of the year!    

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