Saturday, September 27, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Late yesterday my landlord called and said he had gotten his hands on a generator to run one a/c (first step in getting some of the water/moisture out of my house) and he'd taken it over and plugged in the a/c and my freezer (maybe I won't lose all of my meat!). He also said that he was trying to secure a roofer to come and tarp the roof and a drywaller to come and look at the walls and ceilings.
Then I got a text message late last night from a neighbor that the electricity was restored to my culdesac!!
And then my landlord called this morning and told me he went back to our house late last night and got both the a/c's up and running. He also had secured a roofer to come over and tarp our roof and a drywall guy to come over and take a look at what needs to be done...TODAY! Bless my landlord, he's been breaking his neck to help us out and I have NO IDEA how he's been able to get these guys so quickly as you know there are MILLIONS of people just like me who need this work done and somehow he's got them at my house already! He also got his hands on 4 tarps in a city that has NONE left (he had someone bring them in from San Antonio). This is by no means meaning that we can go home and safely live tonight, but I really feel uplifted that SOMETHING is happening in a GOOD direction! And since the a/c's are on, we just might not lose all of our stuff!
My landlord also told us that he'd finally gotten to his home late last night. He lives down on the water and we were all so worried that he had NOTHING left, but amazingly his home is still standing. He has three feet of water in his bottom story but luckily his bottom floor is just a garage and a storage room. His biggest issue is that he has the pieces of someone else's obliterated house pushed up twenty feet deep against his house...12x12 pylons and whole pieces of roof and wall. So it will be a BIG job digginig his house out, but at least it's still standing! AND since I don't need that generator, now he can use it cuz it will be LONG while before he has power.
Today is a better day...
Monday, September 15, 2008
Most disappointedly, Ike disrupted one very special little girl's eleventh birthday. I'd quickly made her a cake Friday night in anticipation of losing power, so Saturday, instead of the ice skating party and sleepover with friends that we had planned, we had a garage party with the neighbors who had stayed to weather the storm. Gotta make the best of things, right?!
And what do you do when you have no power after a hurricane and it's way too hot to be inside your house? Well you fly a kite in the lingering hurricane winds...
(Trevor is down in the bottom left of the pic and his kite is up in the top right.)
Saturday night we tried to get to bed, but it was miserable. It was sooo hot and even MORE humid inside of the house. It was about 90 degrees with 95% humidity inside ughhh. The big monkeys seemed to get to sleep but Josh, Carter and I got NONE. Carter cried from being so hot and miserable, it was so sad. We actually contemplated getting up in the middle of the night and leaving but we were under a curfew until 6am Sunday and tickets were being issued at $2000 per offense. Then we considered sleeping in the car with the a/c on, but gas was such a precious commodity we couldn't risk wasting it and not being able to get out when we needed to.
Rain started again about 4am Sunday and we began that horrid battle of the incoming water again. Buckets and towel damms and more shuffling of our belongings to try to save them from the water. The ceiling was starting to come down in Emilee's room and the living room as the drywall couldn't hold it any more. Josh and I finally had it and we decided to pack what we could in the van and leave. We couldn't do any more to save the house or our belongings and we were exhausted and the house was no longer livable. When day broke and we had light, we started packing...clothes, food, baby things that Carter needs, a couple of toys, the dog's stuff. We got the kids in the car to relax in the a/c and watch some George and Josh and I took one last look around the house.
(Pic of Emilee's ceiling beginning to come down)
And that's when we decided we had just enough room in the van left that we could take our wedding pictures and recent kid pictures... taking our pictures off the walls... THAT is the straw that broke the camel's back for us... that we might not be back to save ANY of the rest of our stuff...
So exhausted and terribly stinky we headed to our friend's house and here we are. We really don't know what will happen yet. Our neighbor says there is still not power. He had to move the car out of the garage today cuz that ceiling is coming down from water damage too. Our landlord is trying to get roofers and contractors to come start repairs, and even trying to get a generator to run the a/c to start to dehumidify the house. Our biggest enemy in this is the water/mold issue.
I want to say thank you, we've had many offers to help...but there's not much we need, at least not yet. So thank you for thinking of us and offering your support. This is just the most surreal thing. Yesterday I said to Josh, "So on Wednesday we were just going about our business like normal and now look where we are..."
Oh and one more story to share. We had chinese takeout last night and Emilee's fortune cookie read something like this "Strong winds will change your life..."
This picture is a bit later as the winds were kicking up and that eerie "bad things are coming" red sky. Notice our normally tall and straight tree leaning...
The storm got pretty serious about 10pm, very loud winds and stuff started banging outside. The kids did well and fell asleep. Carter ended up about midnight tho from the racket and got in bed with us.
The big ones stayed snuggled in pretty well, getting up to ask what time it was or if they could potty, but neither of them seemed upset by the storm and got back to sleep.
I thought the first half of the storm was pretty bad. We had a bit of leaking in Emilee's room but weren't surprised as we've had leaks up there before. Then we got "the eye" and it was a very eerie calm after hours of horridly loud racket of wind and crashing, you could hear a pin drop. Somewhere in there we lost power, bye bye a/c. The second half of the storm was horrid. It was much louder and stronger and it switched directions to come in from the front of the house. That's when we lost the larger portion of our roofing which was to become our disaster. So in the second half of the storm, we had leaks start...from everywhere. They started in the attic, then water began to pour thru the upper story ceilings...into Emilee's room, into our bathroom, and into the loft, and when those upper floors were saturated it began to pour into the lower floors. The loft leak poured down into the living room area and the front door and window and roof started to just pour water like a faucet. Then the water started to seep thru the dining room wall (coming from the attic area) and flow into the dining room and make a river than ran into the kitchen. And all of the a/c vents started to pour water like faucets. We had every bucket, bowl and trash can catching water and every towel trying to damm it. It was just nuts. We spent the whole night moving our furniture and belongings, trying to keep them on high ground.
The sun came up and we got to get the first glimpses of the damage.
You can see the roof damaged down to plywood which is our big issue...water flows in between the sheets into the attic. And where it's not down to plywood, there are intermittent shingles missing.
Here are the limbs and shingles that came down littering the backyard.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
So what do you do while you are waiting for a hurricane?? Well, you go over to the neighbors for a swim of course! It sorta seems funny...all this hype and the weather outside is relatively nice. So the kids took a dip (with their friend Sierra).
As of 4oclock here, the winds are picking up, the clouds are coming thru quickly and it's sprinkled a time or two. The eye will be here about midnight or 1am and the "bad weather" is expected to last until about noon tomorrow. We have all of our supplies ready for a power outage (our biggest expected issue), I've done the laundry and basic chores. So we are just waiting...
As power and internet connection allow, I'll post about our adventure, but we are expecting to be down at some eventual point for a while.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
So we've spent the last couple of days contemplating evacuating or not. Should we......shouldn't we........?? How do ya know? Josh was out of town for the week as usual and I didn't really feel like packing up all the kids and the dog and heading out of town for "nothing" so I've been leaning toward the STAY side of the column. Then late yesterday Josh's bosses kicked him out and said "GO HOME NOW" so Josh flew in late last night. Josh started getting emails from his corporate office this morning about evacuating all of their employees and equipment from the Houston area and it made us think a bit...maybe we should go? I called a neighbor for professional hurricane survivor advice and they are staying and boarding up their downstairs to protect from flying debris. We'd heard the nightmares of 24 hrs on the interstate when people evacuated for Katrina and Rita and that didn't sound like much fun. Ughhh which way to go??!!
So about 11 am we decided we were staying and headed to Home Depot (mom said to have fun as the TV news coverage looked horrendous with lines that spanned hours) to pick up what we could of plywood and screws and get ready to batten down the hatches. On our way to Home Depot we run a side road along the interstate and we saw the traffic of people evacuating from south of us. As soon as we caught a glimpse of that parking lot, Josh said "F*** that, we are staying!!" I was on the phone with my mom and just started cracking up at the sheer horror in Josh's voice. LMBO if you know Josh at all, you know he has a severe case of traffic angst and that sight alone made weathering a hurricane seem like a walk in the park, so right then and there our decision to stay was confirmed. It was pretty crazy at Home Depot, you got in one line to pay for your plywood and then you got in your car in line to get it loaded. All total it took about an hour and a half to get our 7 sheets of plywood and screws.
Texan redneck sidenote...So we are driving home with our plywood secured safely inside of our van and we see a small Jeep in front of us with plywood on the roof (many, many TINY cars were succumbing to the torture of having several sheets of plywood strapped to their roof as their owners tried desperately to get wood home to protect their windows despite not owning large pickup trucks). So this Jeep turns a corner in front of us and we notice that two arms are holding the plywood on the roof. That's right, the people were HOLDING the plywood on the roof of the car. It straightened back out and there were the other two arms on the other side of the car valiantly holding on. Josh and I just stared with mouths open and wished we had a camera.
So home we went. It was funny too as once we were out in our back yard, the air was filled with the sounds of circular saws all over the neighborhood cutting plywood...that at least made us feel like we were on the right track (cuz where is that hurricane handbook??...it seems we didn't get that when we drove over the border). We wanted to at least cover the three large windows at the back end of our living room as that's where we'll weather the brunt of the storm. We got those up, finished the back side of the downstairs and had enough to do the back side second story too. Those windows all face east which is the direction that the winds will come from so protecting them (and us inside of them) was first priority. Then we finished up the day with rearranging the garage so we could get both cars in...a feat that we didn't think possible but it WAS accomplished! As any good natural disaster will do, it brought all of us outside, so we spent alot of the afternoon chatting with neighbors, exchanging hurricane stories and offering help. The kids called out "Happy Hurricane Day" to anyone that would wave! So our neighborhood looks ready...cars in garages and wood on windows and bottled water in the cupboards.
Stay tuned for updates on our adventure. We are expecting to lose cell and internet service for a (hopefully short) period of time so I'm not sure how often I'll be able to update, but check back and see. If we have power, we are stuck inside, so I'll have not much else to do but hang out online and share what's going on.
Here are our BEFORE pictures...
This picture was for fun. We were teasing our landlord that we got "ready for the hurricane" by bracing up the trees so that they wouldn't blow over. Notice the little teeny boards we used. He thought that was pretty good!!
Monday, September 8, 2008
I didn't get to blog my CVS last week so this week it's a two fer one!
The top pic is the first week.
Colgate was $2.99
Lipgloss was $5.99
Used a $1 coupon for the colgate and got $2.00 ECB back
Got $5.99 ECB back from the lipgloss
Both items ended up FREE!!
Second pic is this week. The best part of this week is that I desperately needed shampoo and conditioner and I'd been holding out for a great CVS deal and I got one!!
Aussie shampoo $2.49
Aussie conditioner $2.49
Nail polish $3.99
Hershey bar 50c
Used $2/2 Aussie coupon and got $1 ECB each bottle = 49c/bottle!!
Used $2 nail polish coupon and got $3 ECB = $1 profit!!
The candy bars were fillers so I could use my $2/$10 CVS coupon
Used a $2 ECB, paid $2.13 in pocket change and walked out with $5 new ECB!!
CVS paid me 87c to bring all that home tonight!!!