Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Taking a Page from Jules' and ~D's Blogs....

I saw this thread on Jules' and Danna's blog, and since I'm currently at a loss for words (a rarity), I thought, 'why not?'

7 things I would like to do before I die:
1. Dance at my sons weddings - all 3 sons (and hopefully only 1 wedding each).
2. Lose another 20 lbs.
3. Find my 'art' (am I painter? writer? actress?).
4. Get over my "house-envy"and learn to love the little tiny, dinky box I have that, by the way, stood up admirably to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
5. Find a really good fitting pair of jeans (see previous posts).
6. Learn to read - and understand - the Bible ... or at least parts of it.
7. Quit worrying so much about what 'other people' think.

7 things I cannot do:
1. Cook.
2. Remember shit.
3. Keep my mouth shut (but I'm getting better).
4. Dance. Elaine Benes on 'Seinfeld' (Julia Louis-Dreyfous' character) has *nothing*on me!
5. Speak in public - sweaty palms, knots in the stomach, nausea....
6. See without glasses or contacts (stealing Danna's reply. I'm legally blind.)
7. Let go of the past.

7 things that attract me about other people
1. Sense of humor
2. Honesty
3. Compassion
4. Openness to other peoples' ideas
5. Sense of adventure
6. Intelligence (but not the hoity-toity kind)
7. As old fashioned as it seems, a sense of honor, duty and loyalty (as long as it's not misplaced).

7 things I say most often:
1. Zachary Daniel!!!!!
2. Go to Sleep!!!!
3. I'm sorry.
4. I love you.
5. I don't THINK so!
6. Give Momma a kiss....
7. "Dear God, (fill in the blank)".

7 Favorite Celebrities:
1. Ioan Griffudd
2. Billy Boyd
3. Christopher Meloni
4. Sean Connery
5. This is a hard subject!!!!!

7 Guilty Pleasures
1. Cha-Cha-Chocolate ice cream. Save-1 Grocery's generic brand. It had chocolate brownie chunks, chocolate bits, and a ribbon of cinnamon - I ate a lot of it during my evacuation to Lafayette, LA.
2. Iced Caffe Mocha (decaf and skim)
3. Watching "Dancing with the Stars" - John O'Hurley and Charlotte were robbed!
4. Watching "RockStar INXS" - I can't believe they picked JD over Marty or Mig!
5. Tom & Jerry Cartoons (better yet, The Pink Panther)
6. Bubble Baths
7. Gift-with-Purchase Time at the make up counter of my favorite dept. store

7 people I want to do this list:
1. Jules, who already did
2. Sugar
3. Danna, who already did
4. Renee
5. Lisa
6. Erika
7. Andy (good luck with that one)

Monday, September 26, 2005

Getting a little tired of this....

We were blessed to make it through Hurricane Katrina unscathed and Hurricane Rita wasn't anything more than a little windstorm. Still, it's disconcerting to pack up your kids and pets and leave home not knowing whether you'll have a house to return to. We were very fortunate this year (and last, with Hurricane Ivan). Dear Hubby is ready to throw in the towel and head elsewhere. Where, you ask? Any place that doesn't have any major disasters. Does such a place even exist?

He thought New Mexico sounded pretty good. Hurricanes don't make it that far, lots of land is still available, it doesn't appear to be on the Tornado Belt. But the word "volcano" in the name of one of its national parks gives me pause.

Next, he suggested Maine or Vermont. Hey, I love autumn folliage and snow. But did you know that there are earthquakes in Maine? I didn't. The state apparently isn't on a fault line, but still.... Then again, I look at the real estate listings and see a "charming cottage built in 1700" (in my price range nonetheless!) so the earthquakes can't be that bad if they haven't ripped apart a 300-yr old house, can they? The problem is the parts of the country with the jobs have a million other people so housing is expensive. Find a place with a little space between you and your neighbor and it's a given that there aren't any decent jobs available. Go figure.

Anyway, I think he's just indulging in a little harmless fantasy. And if the fantasy includes me, all the better. At least he's not fantasizing about moving to New Mexico with Jessica Alba or Pamela Anderson, right?

Sunday, September 25, 2005

I'm Baaaacccckkkkkk!

After evacuating from Hurricane Katrina, we returned home on the afternoon of Sept 9th. My sister-in-law, who lives two blocks away from our house (she returned home the day before), called to let us know that electricity had been restored to our homes. We packed up our things, bid adieu to Uncle Harold in Lafayette, and returned home.

First thing I noticed – or rather, didn’t notice - was the patch job Andy did to the roof. We lost a bunch of shingles, which he replaced on one of his day-trips back. You really can’t notice the spot unless you’re looking for it. Our fence is leaning, but it isn’t completely down. We hope to have it fixed this week.

We went through Hurricanes Katrina and Rita for the most part unscathed. Our neighborhood has a lot of trees down – some of them on top of houses. Many other neighborhoods in Mandeville, LA have experienced the same. I see some of the larger homes in our area – the big brick and stucco houses that I envy (heck, I envy anything over 1400 square feet) - and many of them have trees through them. Yet here we are, in our tiny little house, safe and sound. I’ve never been so happy to see my little 1,163 square foot, vinyl siding home in my life. With all the giant trees in our neighborhood, I really didn’t expect to see it intact.

It was soooo nice to take a bubble bath that evening without having someone knock on the door – Uncle Harold’s house has only one bathroom and had eight evacuees. Sleeping in my own bed? Not as great as I imagined. I hoped it would be just Andy and me so I’d have a little room to spead out (rather than Andy, Sam, Zack and me as we slept on Harold's sofa bed) but it was not to be. I thought Zack might have enjoyed being back in his own bed amongst his 20 stuffed animals, but nope, he wanted to cuddle with me instead. He's adjusting to sleeping alone again.

Our old cat, Sebastian (age 16), is doing well. He lives outside and survived the wind and rain by camping out under Andy’s car. The turtle is okay, too. We brought home three geckos that we caught from Anne and Bobby’s house (our cousins – Harold’s daughter and son-in-law). They're also fine.

We’ve been getting settled into our new routine. I’ve been home schooling the older two boys until their public school re-opens on Oct. 3rd.

Our phone service was restored today, Sept. 25, and with it our internet service (yes, I’m still on – GASP! – dial up!). I’ve really missed the internet these past few weeks.

I’m a real web-browsing, emailing fanatic. Email has kept me in touch with people that I might ordinarily not hear from – former co-workers in another state, the friend who lives 15 miles away but is also a busy, busy mom, the sister who lives across the country and keeps farmer’s hours (up at dawn, in bed by dusk – more or less).

Increasingly I’ve come to rely on the internet for information. I think I’m pretty good at figuring out which sites are reputable versus which ones have bogus info. One of my favorites is www.snopes.com, a site devoted to debunking urban myths. You know the emails: “Women: Be on alert! This *really* happened in (insert state here)” or “Deodorant causes cancer!”

I’m also an eBay junkie. I shop sometimes, but I browse way more often than I should. Some of it is funny (a potato chip with the image of Jesus, anyone?), some of it is educational (there are discussion boards devoted to teaching people how to avoid bidding on fake designer items), some of it is a trip down memory lane (I recognize that Holly Hobby doll!)

I also get most of my news online – www.nola.com has my local news, and I visit the Washington Post’s website to catch up on what’s going on in my mother’s part of country.

I missed blogging – I’ve only been at it a month or so prior to Hurricane Katrina, but I've met some really great people.

I’ve missed to miss my daily emails from my mom. I’ve missed the silly jokes I receive from Mom, Uncle Harold and Rick in Virginia. I’ve missed hearing about Lynda’s latest art showing (she did two episodes of “Simply Quilts” on HGTV). I’ve missed hearing from everyone, actually.

It’s great to be back!

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Thank You, Lafayette, Louisiana

I just wanted to take a minute to say thank you to the wonderful folks in Lafayette, La...not only my husband's Uncle Harold who allowed 8 of us (and 2 dogs) move into his home, but the people we encounter everyday during our stay.

Think about it: here's a town that's opened its doors to thousands of evacuees from Hurricane Katrina. We're creating long lines in their groceries, using up all the gas from their stations, causing all sorts of traffic problems, but everyone I've come across so far has been polite, friendly and sympathetic. I appreciate your hospitality, Lafayette.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

My House Seems Okay...

I had a brief phone conversation with Dear Hubby. He's just packing up a few things and will be leaving our Mandeville home to return to us in Lafayette, LA. The call kept disconnecting, but the gist is this:

Our house seems to be missing a bunch of shingles - he went into attic and it's dry, so he put a few buckets in there to catch water in case it rains and put a tarp on the roof. Parts of our fence are leaning, but otherwise most of our street looks good. There are some trees leaning on houses, but they haven't crashed through the roofs. A couple of my neighbors have stayed behind and will keep an eye on things.

Thanks Jules for posting an update that ~D and family are okay and that their house didn't sustain any significant damage, either. I've said it many times, and I'll say it again...We're blessed.

I Can't Watch The News Anymore...

As I sit in Lafayette, LA, I realize how lucky I am. We have family to stay with. A comfortable, albeit crowded, air conditioned home. Access to a washing machine and dryer. Good cooking (thanks, Uncle Harold). A nice hot shower. My dogs are here, although they're not happy about the amount of time they're spending in their crates - at least I know they're safe.

I don't know if I'll have a house to go back to. My area has heavy wind damage but no flooding. But houses can be re-built and things can be replaced. We're safe, we're lucky and we're thankful.

Then I turn on the news and I'm outraged. Disasters tend to bring out the best in many people and the worst in others. There are stories of lootings, people shooting at the helicopters that are trying to evacuate the Superdome (they have no air conditioning, running out of food and the sanity conditions are deplorable) and other mayhem. A vehicle trying to deliver supplies and medicine to a hospital was hijacked. A bus that was to take retirement home residents out of town was carjacked (busjacked?).

And it doesn't end in N.O./Jefferson. There are reports that certain evacuees are causing trouble in Baton Rouge and at the Houston Astrodome (where many Superdome evacuees were transported). Are these people not grateful to be alive? Are they not thankful that someone is trying to help? What in the hell do they think they're entitled to?

I hear that certain stars like Usher, John Cougar Mellencamp, etc. are planning to stage a benefit for the Hurricane Katrina relief effort, much like the one held last year for the tsunami victims. But when I see the mayhem and lawlessness, I can't help but wonder why bother. I know it's only a small percentage of evacuees who are causing problems, but they're certainly not helping to paint a sympathetic picture of our plight.

I'm so disgusted....