Tuesday, September 23, 2008


yep, this is totally my post from last october. but i was reminded of it after reading queen b's (one of the blogs i unashamedly stalk) post today. and i just want to add starbucks pumpkin spice lattes to this list. it's a major oversight that it didn't make it on the list last year. what was i thinking?! i guess it's a little early to be dreaming of autumn, since the texas weather didn't get the memo on the first day of the fall solstice. but, a girl can dream. anyway, without further ado... my love affair with autumn.

i. love. autumn.

i love...
  • pumpkins and gourds
  • leaves turning vibrant shades of amazing colors (well, not in texas, but i can still visualize this from when i lived up north)
  • indian corn
  • cooler weather -- those beautiful crisp days when the sun is shining brightly and the sky is so blue without a cloud in sight
  • yummy soups and sandwiches
  • thanksgiving day!
  • cozy fireplaces (okay, once again, notsomuch in texas...)
  • the scent of wood fires burning
  • hay mazes
  • warm, yummy cider
  • fall festivals and craft shows
  • the colors -- orange, yellow, gold, brown, red all melded together to create a kaleidoscope of fantastic proportions.

Friday, September 19, 2008

getting back to "normal"

today i had to finish (okay, start) preparing for jamie's shower. so i ran around the woodlands and tomball checking with la madeleine (i'm hosting it in their back room), gathering materials and a gift. things are starting to come back to normal. though, there were several places still closed because they have no power. and there are a lot of down power lines and trees, pretty much everywhere i went.

klein isd is still closed. most campuses reopen wednesday, except for those without power. well, hildebrandt is without power still. i've heard two conditions for those buildings (seeing as how my administration hasn't contacted me yet, i'm going on rumors). some say we will return 24 hours after power is restored and some say 48 hours after. but, they do have to have time to check the buildings and restore food service after power is up.

interesting thing i overheard at target today. as i'm shopping for jamie's gift, i overhear a woman on a cell phone. the cell phone is an important observation. she's also shopping at target -- there were items in her cart. as she's doing all this, she's complaining to the person on the other end of the line about how FEMA has been removing the POD locations. really? you're talking on your cell phone and shopping at target while whining how your free food, water, and ice is disappearing?! amazing. now, believe me, we (as in my family) were not prepared the way we should have been for hurricane ike. we lost everything in 2 refridgerators and 1.5 freezers. everything. we did have plenty of water and food (maybe not what we wanted to eat, but it was food). ice is a whole other story. we needed ice badly and it was very scarce. we rationed our driving so that we didn't need fuel as much as usual. there are ways to survive without FEMA. especially in our area of houston suburbs. and that's all i'm saying. it just takes some responsiblity and maturity. and if FEMA is your only chance of survival through this... accept it graciously and get on your feet as quickly as possible. and don't whine on your cell phone while shopping about the unfairness of the POD moving on.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


as i catch up with my blog reading, i saw this post from last friday. i think it's still a fitting reminder.

we have power!!

so, after 131 hours without power -- we got it back today!! we are very excited.

we are also very, very grateful to our wonderful neighbors. after 3 full days of yard work on our part, we were still looking at the majority of 2 trees in the front yard and 3 trees in the back yard. then this morning... one of our neighbors showed up. about an hour later, another couple across the street showed up. we cleaned the front yard of ALL tree debris and got most of the backyard done. the tractor needs a new tube in the tire, though, so it's currently out of commission. the stuff left in the backyard needs to be pushed around with the tractor... so... we're done for the day.

i've uploaded more photos to the facebook album. check them out here!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


so... i just realized that it is wednesday, not tuesday. so, that means... we've been without power for 103 hours. i thought my first estimate seemed not as long as it felt!!

and, i posted a few photos on facebook with captions. you can see them here, even if you don't have facebook. (click on the photos for the captions...)

another day...

i'm still alive despite the lack of electricity and running water. let me just say it's been 76 hours since we've had power (and will probably be longer). just throwing that out there. ;)

klein isd (and most other districts) have pushed their start date to monday. i found out that hildebrandt (my building) has sustained a good amount of damage. the covered walkway outside my side of the building is torn up. the roof caved in over one of the computer labs on the other side of the building from me. and the roof leaked pretty badly in the main hallway; so that carpet is probably ruined.

we spent the day yesterday working in the yard. we didn't get very far. there's a lot to clean and, of course, we had problems along the way. one of which was a malfunction of the generator. it blew up our directv receiver. yea.

i went to amanda's to take a shower and use her internet last night. and then i managed to talk her into going to la hacienda for dinner. there was a 20 minute wait! and then the kitchen closed at 8. it's so weird to have a curfew imposed by the counties. i believe 10 pm is the general rule. but one of the main underlying meaning behind many of the city and county officials' decisions -- let's not be like new orleans was in the hurricane katrina aftermath. so far, we've done well. hopefully, we've died down in the national news a bit as well.

today is more fun in the yard (i'm ready to go back to work instead of this! ha).

i'm off to town to get fuel and non-perishables at the store. pray for me. ha. this could be a whole other adventure to post when i get home. or whenever i get internet next...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

hurricane ike part three

i'm really not sure why i started this running timeline of hurricane ike. probably out of sheer boredom sunday evening. but, now that i'm online for a few minutes, i'll post it here for posterity. i'll split the timeline by each day and post them seperately. i started with friday evening / saturday, so keep scrolling until you find part one.

Monday, 6 am
Dad leaves to pick up the tractor from Trinity. I go back to sleep; it is too dark to do anything anyway. Our water is completely gone. Not even a trickle when you turn the faucet.

8 am
It’s a beautiful day. Thank goodness for nice weather during these days without power. Hear on the radio that one particular power company will be down for a minimum of 3 weeks as they have to rebuild their plant (or something). Gee… I hope that isn’t the one that supplies our company.

9 am
It’s time to face the refrigerator... Nothing is remotely cold anymore. We fill up about 5 trash bags from 2 refrigerators and freezers (keep in mind they are not full bags, otherwise they would be too heavy). We do find a handful of salvageable items. Half frozen tamales cooked on the grill becomes our lunch later on.

1 pm
Dad has brought back a generator from a welding machine. It takes a little while to get it running, but finally we are able to plug in one refrigerator, run the septic system, and charge cell phones. Unfortunately, we were unable to save anything in our deep freezers. We’ll let those refreeze once we have power and throw the contents out later. Trash pickup is tomorrow and the load is already heavy without those bags.

5 pm
Find out we are among 5,972 other households in our zip code without power. That puts us in the group of lower outages than most zip codes. Not sure if that’s good or bad. However, it does confirm that we are NOT on the power company grid that is rebuilding. Hallelujah!

5:30 pm
Got to watch a little of the news while the generator ran. Lots of devastation all around us. We’ve also realized that the phone line is out – so no internet access, despite the generator! Talked to my grandma in Chester. Just as the news yesterday suggested, Ike visited them in the form of thunderstorms and power outages Sunday. Of course, all of their power has been restored.

6 pm
Dad brought Arby’s home for supper!! Definitely a highlight of the past couple days.

hurricane ike part two

i'm really not sure why i started this running timeline of hurricane ike. probably out of sheer boredom sunday evening. but, now that i'm online for a few minutes, i'll post it here for posterity. i'll split the timeline by each day and post them seperately. i started with friday evening / saturday, so keep scrolling until you find part one.

Sunday, 6:30 am
My parents start to leave for Trinity. We’re worried that the cows are out and that the RV is turned upside down. Or worse. Dad’s truck gets stuck in the backyard. I try to pull it out with my truck. No such luck.

8 am
My parents leave in my truck. I go back to bed. Not really tired, but what else is there to do?

10 am
Neighbor knocks on the door. We have water! I take a shower.

11 am
I decide to head to Tomball in my mom’s blazer… Again, what else is there to do? I throw my laptop in with me, hoping for power at Starbucks so that I can use their Wi-Fi. Target, Lowes, HEB, and Wal-Mart are the only places open. Water is really high on 2920 just before Tomball – but that’s not unusual when we get a ton of rain. Power seems to be out in most of Tomball. The signal lights are ripped down and hanging at some intersections. Can’t find Wi-Fi; not even in the hotel parking lot. Other than no power, Tomball seems to have fared well. Nothing interesting happening, so I head home the opposite way I came to check things out. Loooong line at the tool rental place; they must have generators left. Or people are renting bulldozers and such to clean up the mess.

Get home. Read some more. Finish my book. Take a nap. Listen to the radio – find out that Klein ISD won’t open until at least Thursday the 18th. I suspect it could be longer, but I guess it depends on how quickly power is restored.

3 pm
My parents get home. Amy and Glenn come over to pull my dad’s truck out of the mud. We stand around and chat. They leave as Kim and the kids pull up. We chat. After they leave, we warm up leftovers on the grill.

7 pm
Sit around and listen to the radio for awhile. I’m jealous of my friends that text and say “we have power!!” We still speculate that it will be a few days for us – there is nothing of priority around us to put us at the top of any “list”. No hospitals, schools, or shopping centers. Our food is definitely at the end of it’s life – even in the fridge and freezer. It’s not really cool in either one of those anymore.

8 pm
Head back to my room and my open window to read. Hoping that “cool” front the weathermen are promising hurries up!

hurricane ike part one

i'm really not sure why i started this running timeline of hurricane ike. probably out of sheer boredom sunday morning. but, now that i'm online for a few minutes, i'll post it here for posterity. i'll split the timeline by each day and post them seperately. i'll start with friday evening / saturday:

Friday Evening
I watch Fox News all evening reporting live from Galveston. Geraldo is the main entertainment as he practically gets blown away by the wind. Finally a little after midnight, I shut down my laptop. I crawl in bed and watch Fox News until I fall asleep.

Saturday, 4 am
We lose electricity. I wake up because my fan turns off. I go back to sleep.

Saturday, 5:10 am
I’m fully awake now. The wind is pretty fierce.

Saturday, 5:20 am
Amanda texts me. We chat back and forth for a few minutes, deciding Hurricane Ike isn’t so great.

Saturday, 5:30 am
A tree falls in the front yard. But, it is way too dark to see exactly what happens. The wind is too fierce to open the door fully and look safely. So, we sit in the living room listening to the radio and the wind. This goes on for another couple hours.

Saturday, 6:30 am
I text Jamie. They are safe and they have electricity! Lucky ducks.

Saturday, 6:45
Daylight starts breaking through the rain and wind. We can see which tree is in the front yard now. It’s extremely close to the house and we’re lucky it didn’t break off further down the trunk. We discover 3 more trees down. Are pretty certain one has taken out part of the back fence.

Saturday, 7:30 am
I go back to bed for a couple hours.

Saturday, 9:30
I pick up a book and read by the window light. The hurricane winds are over. They have slowly ceased over the last few hours.

Saturday, noon
Dad and I decide to take out the Teryx and check out the neighborhood. We’re pretty sure we got the worst on our street. Probably small tornados were touching down around our house. Though one of our neighbors nearly had a tree in their bedroom – it stopped just short of that. Decker Prairie Rosehill Road is a mess. Several power lines down. Most of them have trees sitting on top of them. 2 houses have trees lying on their roofs. Allenwood has several trees uprooted and laid over. Amazingly no one seems to have a tree in their house, though.

The rest of the day:
Play dominoes, warm up fajita meat on the grill, read more, chat with neighbors in the yard, text friends to find out how they fared. My cell phone is not working well; calls in and out only go to voicemail. Texting works better, but I usually have to send the text 6 or 8 times before it goes through.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

never forget...

quotes from president bush's statement in his address to the nation
september 11, 2001, 8:30 pm, edt

"Today, our nation saw evil, the very worst of human nature. And we responded
with the best of America -- with the daring of our rescue workers, with the
caring for strangers and neighbors who came to give blood and help in any way
they could. "

"This is a day when all Americans from every walk of life unite in our resolve for justice and peace. America has stood down enemies before, and we will do so this time. None of us will ever forget this day. Yet, we go forward to defend freedom and all that is good and just in our world. "

timeline and images on the morning of 9/11
9/11 remembrance video

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

love this.

i really enjoy reading the confessions of a pioneer woman blog. i just absolutely love her. love. her. today's post was just a wonderful story. i have to share. i can't be the only one sniffling over here. maybe it's just pms... nah... this one is a great story.