The story of a young lady raised in the San Francisco Bay Area who moved to Houston, got married, had 2 boys and moved to a small Southeast Texas town. Read all about it.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Drive Home

It started well enough. We (the boys, animals & I) left my parents house before 6am on Monday. That afternoon we were in Arizona, approaching Phoenix. I had planned to stop east of Phoenix for the night, to avoid the Phoenix morning traffic. I was feeling good, making great time, when all of sudden, BLAM!Down goes a tire. I'll tell you nothing will freak you out more when the tire on your full packed Suburban blows out in the middle of the Arizona desert. And of course you have 2 under 6 boys, a dog, and cat in the truck as well. Then you realize you don't have the doohickey to get the spare tire out from under the truck.
Well, I called my car insurance people, who sent a guy to change the tire. He didn't have a spare doohickey to get the spare out or a tow truck, so I had to call the insurance again to get a guy with a truck to tow my truck to a 24 tire place. By the time he got to us we had been waiting 2 hours. Then we had to drive and hour west to the tire place. When we got there, the tire guy said he couldn't get the spare out either, but he did have a nice used tire he could put on my rim. So 45 minutes and $60 later, we were back on the road to Phoenix again. At 8:30pm. Almost 4 hours later, and 75 miles west of where I had been.
During my wait for the dual tow guys, I figured that I would not be getting to the hotel I was planning on. After multiple phone calls and many route plannings on my Tom Tom (thanks Sis) I had a new hotel on the west side of Phoenix. Which meant I'd have to go through the Phoenix morning traffic. Oh well, I needed sleep.
I got up early on Tuesday, 5am to be exact. I got the truck loaded, animals loaded, kids loaded, checked out, and started the journey east. Then I heard on the radio that a big rig loaded with carpet strips (the wooden sticks with nails) had overturned near downtown and in my path. I was not going to lose another tire. I had to find a different way through Phoenix. After getting off the freeway the Tom Tom went to work. I got through Phoenix in about an hour, not good, but not horrible.
After that, it was uneventful. Tuesday night we ended up in Fort Stockton, TX. One tip, don't get Chinese food in Fort Stockton, TX. We got through San Antonio at the perfect time. After rush hour. After San Antonio, I can drive home easily. We got home about 2:30pm. I passed out around 9pm, after kiddo baths. I needed sleep. I had to be up at 6am to get Big Kid up for school Thursday.
At least life is getting back to normal.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Back Home

It's been a while, but I finally have gotten back to sharing my wonderfully kookie thoughts with anyone who will read them.
First, I know most of you want to see what happened here. So I will put up 2 pictures. First, the before:

As you can see, my fire bugs are enjoying a fire made by the Head Fire Bug. This was the Wednesday night before the storm, so September 10th. We were trying to get the loose stuff on our property burned before the storm, so it wouldn't fly around and cause damage. Plus we figured that the rain would thoroughly extinguish the smoldering pile.
Now the after:
At first, It doesn't look so bad. The majority of trees are still there. Lots of limbs down. We lost about 8 trees. Seven were in the backyard. Our backyard had a lot of shade before the storm. We could see the neighbors on the back of our property, but not very well.
That's the extent of our damage, except for our metal chimney which came off. Oh and the mosquitoes. There are millions, in our yard alone. And my husband sprayed the yard and areas around our decks. I can't even imagine what it would be like with out the spraying.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I want to thank....

As I was driving to Abilene on Thursday, I saw 2 different convoys of emergency personnel heading towards the Houston area. On Sunday as I was heading to Albuquerque by way of Lubbock, I saw power crews headed towards the ravaged areas. These sights made me cry. Not because I was afraid for what had happened to my home, but because these men and women are leaving the security of their homes and families to help people they have never met in situations that are extremely dangerous and uncomfortable. Thank you. I can not say that enough. You are the people who don't want fame or glory, you want to help. You are the people that most of us strive to be. So from this one woman, mother & wife, I say thank you.

Oh What Fun

As most of you know, my family is OK. My husband stayed with his older son & his girlfriend (his son's girlfriend, not my husband's) in the Northwest part of Houston. They rode out the storm in a sturdy brick building, and when they looked outside Saturday morning, the worst damage they saw was huge tree limbs on the ground. On, in fact, fell where my stepson's girlfriend usually parks her car. The night before the storm hit, it was decided to move her car to a safer locations. Thank God for that. Saturday afternoon they went out to our property to see if our home was still there. It was, but there were lots of trees down, blocking the driveway and a few fell in the backyard as well, one within inches of our storage shed. At least they were trees we were going to take down since they didn't look like they could stand up to a strong storm. Ironic. Our neighbors weren't as lucky. A huge tree came down and, according to my husband, split their mobile home in two. They had left before I did, so I don't know if they know yet.
As for the kiddos, animals and I, we are in Sacramento, staying with my sister. After talking to my husband on Saturday, with early estimates on the power being restored at 2 to 4 weeks, it would be a good idea to find a more permanent place to stay. My sister flew to Albuquerque Sunday morning and I drove there to pick her up and continue on to Flagstaff. Monday we drove from Flagstaff to Sacramento. And now I'm exhausted. I'd say I'll never do that again, but I know I'll have to drive back as soon as power is restored.
So as of right now, Husband, Kids and Animals safe. Wife is frazzled. House is OK. I really am glad that we have survived undamaged.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Time to Go

I woke up this morning knowing I was going to evacuate to Abilene with boys this morning. It made it more helpful that Carl's school canceled classes for today & tomorrow. I just thought I'd leave a bit later than I know I will. The news greeted me with a storm path that had shifted to the east, again, and parts of Houston under mandatory evacuation. I now know why they make it sound scary. Because it is scary. I'm officially scared. I guess at least I'll see a new part of the state.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Hurricane is like a Dentist

Ike's starting to look like a basketball player. Fakes left, goes right. Or something like that. Monday the forecast looked as if it was going to hit Corpus Christi. Phew! Yesterday, the track was changed to include a Northward turn before hitting land. But when? I'm sure today I'll be hunkered down in front of the Weather Channel watching every single move by this storm. Of course, I've got everything together so I can get out fast. I hate the waiting. It's like sitting in the waiting room of a dentist. You're already tense about being there, then you hear the sounds, those awful sounds. Then the imagination sets in. I'm already cringing. I guess it's going to be a long 12-24 hours.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Another storm

Again another tropical storm is poised to hit the Gulf Coast. Ike, even though it's far away over Cuba right now, has caused my husband to figure out where I will be taking the boys & animals. He's got a very detailed evacuation route that completely avoids the major roads, and hopefully the other 2 million people who might be leaving as well. "It will be fun, you can see all the town squares and small towns along the way." Yeah, just what I want to do while fleeing a Category 3 or 4 Hurricane is visit a museum dedicated to red cream soda or see the world's largest pecan. I just want to get to a motel with cable TV and a pool, far enough away that I won't be hit by 125+ mph storms. My husband won't be with us though. He's not going to be like our neighbors and stay home ("Ain't no storm gonna hit here.") but he's going to be at his Government job, and most likely will flown out if it gets really bad. But I get the boys, dog and cat on a "fun-filled" road trip. I think I need a Hurricane.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Neverending Song

OK, this morning I've done my typical Saturday morning stuff: clean the litter box, take the trash to the curb, roast coffee, see when I'll have to really prepare for the next storm. Well, this morning I've had a song stuck in my head. The song from "The Neverending Story". I haven't seen or thought of that movie in months. Now I can't get the song or pictures of the flying dragon out of my head. I have the DVD (actually a double DVD, with both movies in it) but I figure that it will be on TV soon. That always seems to happen. I start thinking of an obscure movie and it's on TV. Weird. Now I just have start thinking of "Xanadu" and I'll have a great week.

Friday, September 05, 2008

'Tis the Season....

Well I'm tired from watching the speeches the past few nights. I will say that Sarah Palin rocks. Am I repeating myself? I probably am, but I really don't care. John McCain was OK, but then from what I have seen he does better with a think on your toes environment. I'd rather have a President who can think on his toes than a President who needs to ask 20 people what kind of tie he should wear.
And now the debates will begin. And the television ads. And the phone calls. And direct mail. I don't expect much here, deep in the heart of a Red State, but then I've already made up my mind.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

We've Survived

Granted I won't be driving East on I-10 for a few days, but the family survived the storm. Now my husband is starting to watch Ike. I told him that as soon as that storm get vicious, the media will start the Ike Turner references. So now we uncover the windows, put the chairs back on the deck and crack open a few of the water bottles we got.