Thursday, September 24, 2009

And the rain came down, down, down…

“Water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink…”

I was startled awake about 1am Monday morning. Startled is quite the word. The thunder rolled and rolled and rolled. My windows rattled. The house shook. The floors vibrated.

By 2:30 am it was a house party. With everyone awake. Except my husband who could sleep through anything. And does.

The thunder was deafening. But what was scary was the lightning. It felt like the storm was right on top of our house. The lightning strikes were so close. And they were so frequent. And bright. That our light sensitive street lamps went out in a confusion over daylight and the light from the lightning.

The thunder. The lightning. And then the rain. Wow. The rain. Normally when you think about thunderstorms. They are often gone as quickly as they pop-up. The down pour might be torrential. But it’s over pretty quickly. But this rain. Unreal. There was no wind to drive it on. It – again – seemed to sit on top of our house. And sit. And sit. And sit.

For five hours it sat. Sat so loudly no one could sleep. And just when you thought the storm was dissipating. The thunder and lightning seeming to get further apart. It didn’t. And it seemed like a new wave had arrived. But the wind that was non-existent didn’t blow it in. It just kept coming. Down, down, down.

The ferocity must have died down around 5:30. That is the last time I recall looking at the clock. Until 6:45 when Michael woke me up to say that our county had delayed schools by 90 minutes.

When he told me that. I really could not comprehend WHY schools were closed or delayed. It was just a horrid thunderstorm. That kept me up all night. I was curious to see what our creek looked like in the light of day. But school closing did not make sense.

Until I turned on the news. And saw some of the same images you have probably seen by now. Of neighborhoods underwater. Of neighborhoods cut off because of washed out roads. Of amusement parks underwater. Of major highways under water. Disconnecting people in this HUGE metro area.

It even made hummingbirds think that they were moths.My little city in the ‘burbs got almost 12 inches of water in a six hour period. 12 inches! That number is still astounding to me.

So what does 12 inches of water do? Well. Let’s have a little perspective. We live on a pretty big piece of property. And at the border is a creek.

This is what it typically looks like.

And this is what it looks like after a lot of rain.
And this is what it looks like after 12 inches of rain.
The girls have a red playhouse. It is on stilts. Cemented into the ground. With a slide coming out. This is what it looked like after 12 inches of rain.
But those waters. Well. They kept rising. And by the next morning. Well. That inundated playhouse. I actually thought it was washed away. But it was just completely under water.

We have a shed (it's the green building on the left of the above photo). Fine Monday morning. But by Monday night. Had about 5 feet of water inside. With a slight recession this morning. (you can see the flood line on the side of the building)I haven't brought myself to even go in there yet.

And our neighborhood. Well. The creek crosses the main road twice.(see those three figures in the water? Three boys. Playing in the nasty flood waters. MRSA cases in waiting...)Both areas unpassable. Except by boat.(the above picture was taken Tuesday and you can see that the waters had receeded alot already. Look at the mud line on the hedge on the right side of the photo...)

I lived on an island until late Tuesday night. And now the clean up begins. We were fortunate in that we are all fine. Our yard is a big sludgy mud puddle. Our basement is damp. But hopefully with some blowers and dehumidifiers the smell will disapate. I am ready for the drama of this year to be over.

So...what about you? Have you had to deal with flooding? Other natural disasters? General drama??

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Library

For anyone who has been reading my blog. For anyone who knows me. For anyone who did more than take a quick glance around this spot. It's quite obvious that I am a reader. An avid reader. Sometimes even a book a day reader.

I am in two book clubs. Most of my choices are not high brow. I am a huge fan of pop fiction. I love smut. I like to escape with pure entertainment.

But my book reading habit. It wouldn't be a habit without the library. I rarely buy books. I prefer to get them from the library. In fact, even with a gift card, I am hard pressed to purchase a book when I know that I could read it for free. Or rather when I realize that through my tax dollars, I have already purchased the book that I want to read.

We use the library a lot. When the girls were little, we would go to storytime. To movies. Puppet shows. I have gone to neighborhood meetings. Girl scout meeting. And to vote at the library.

We are there often for homeschooling. Katie does research. We use the encyclopedias. We ask questions of the reference librarian. We use the computers.

It's an amazing resource. But. Our local libraries have had to make huge cutbacks. The tax base is just not what it was. The hours are shorter. And now they are only open 5 days a week instead of 7. There is talk of branch closings. And their purchasing department is losing funds. All of these events have led to much whining and complaining from me.

But then I heard last night that the city of Philadelphia is closing ALL of their public libraries. ALL of them. In the city of the very first library - there will no longer be free lending libraries. It is a travesty.

So...what about you? Do you use the library? Have the libraries in your area been affected by the economy? Had you heard about Philadelphia's libraries?

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Saturday, September 5, 2009

Event Chasers

A few weeks ago I told you about signing up with Event Chasers. We got tickets to go and see the Atlanta Falcons vs. The San Diego Chargers for a pre-season game.

Well. Then my plans changed. And I spent the weekend with Lizzy, Angie, Shannon, and Kori.

And I sent Michael off to watch the game. Write about his experience. Without me. Event chasers were very understanding about the change of plans. And the change of correspondent. However, I don't want to be left out all together. So I suggested that Michael and I work as a team. They LOVED the idea. And we are now their first couple chasers! (Does that sound dirty?)

And I am thinking I have had a stroke of genius. Because now I can send him off to watch sporting events. And I can bide my time for some "Wicked" tickets.

Be sure to check out the link - and leave Michael some comment luv!

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Friday, September 4, 2009

Friday Follies

In honor of my camping trip. (Ya'll will pray for me, right?) Let's talk about traveling:

plane, train, or automobile?

East coast or west coast?

Hawaii or Caribbean?

Mountains or beach?

Favorite vacation spot?

Dream vacation spot?

RV or tent?

Lake, pool, or ocean?

Where did you go on your last vacation?

Where will you go on your next vacation?

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Tuesday Ten

I got my Entertainment Weekly today. It is supposed to come on Fridays. But I think that my mailman enjoys it first. Do ya'll get your subscriptions when you are supposed to - or is there a delay?

Anyway...EW has inspired today's blog post. And if I remember. It might become a weekly feature. For me. It's already weekly for them. Unless they are having a double issue. And then you have a week on hold. But I digress. The feature is the MustList. Or the Top 10 things that they love for the week.

So...I thought I'd tell you my top ten things for the week. Although top is a loose word. Maybe it should be just the ten things that happened over the week. Without the top part. Maybe I should just call it a random post. Now my memory is getting foggy. I am not sure how EW inspired me. Except for the 10 part.

1. Friends! Not the tv show. But my friends. And. Most likely. Your friends, too. I had a fabulous weekend with friends. Shannon, Angie, Lizzy (and even Mr. B) got together for a road trip to Alabama. To help Kori celebrate and remember her husband Richard. We laughed. Compared outfits. Admired our pedicures. And had many conversations way too inappropriate for a family blog. Or for a discussion in the house of the Lord. We are lucky that lightning bolts were not involved.

2. Hangover! Nope. Not an alcohol induced one. But the movie version. At least this time all the laughing did not contribute to a kidney stone. Do you think it's possible that Angie, Shannon, and I are the only ones who have seen this movie after coming from a funeral? AND still in our black duds? We laughed. Hard. Stomped our feet in addition to our laughter. Exclaimed disbelief. And laughed so hard we cried. Again.

3. Eight year old girl children. I am not sure where the one that lives in my house came from. And the fact that she keeps Justin Timberlake in her panty drawer should have given me a clue. But tonight she wanted to discuss with me the intricate details about kissing boys. And she flat out refused to listen to my sage advice of no dating or kissing for a very long time. Like college. When I won't have to know about it. Or even high school. When I might be able to accept it. Nope. She is aiming for 8. And next Friday. At the elementary school dance. (And the child even has the nerve to lament the lack of slow dances. Like she even knows how to slow dance!)

4. Do you know where I will be next Friday during said elementary school dance? I will be on the beach. In Panama City. Camping. Did your world come to a halt as well? I am not so sure about this. And my foggy memory is not cooperating. But I believe I heard beach. And am blocking out the camping part.

And my friend Michelle is going to have to take the shotgun to the dance. Or maybe we should be warning the parents of third grade boys to come prepared.

5. Do you know what is going on in my town while I am camping? The Decatur Book festival. Where I will miss the chance to mix and mingle with Sara Gruen (who wrote "Water for Elephants"); Kate DiCamillo (Because of Winn Dixie); my hero Diana Gabaldon (who writes the Outlander series); and Charlaine Harris (of Sookie Stackhouse fame). I need to clone myself.

6. Speaking of Sookie. Do you watch True Blood? I absolutely love the book series. But the HBO show. Wowzers. There are the men.Which is often reason enough. But this show. It's sexy. Campy. And so much fun. There are MANY deviations from the book series. But it works. The changes they have made are great. And the additions. Perfect. Sigh. Eric.7. Let's take a 180 from True Blood. I have been reading a GREAT children's series. It's kinda fun to have the word "JUVENILE" stamped on my books from the library. It's Suzanne Collins' (yep. That Suzanne Collins who wrote "The Hunger Games") series "Gregor the Overlander." I am only on book three of the five part series. But I cannot wait until the library opens tomorrow so that I can my hands on the last two.

8. Many, many thanks to Tressa who kindly agreed to take Madalyn's Flat Stanley on a tour of her Norwegian town. Should I mention that Madalyn wants to be penpals with Tressa's son Dane? Yeah. I thought I should leave that out.

9. When I was in school, I was not a fan of history. It was dry. Boring. And simply a regurgitation of facts. But. When I was in college. I managed to minor in history. Mostly because I had some great professors. Who made history interesting. The homeschool curriculum that we use is history centered. So I have to make sure that Katie has a positive experience with history. And hopefully my enthusiasm will be contagious.

This year we are studying the Middle Ages. I thought it would be fun to throw some movies into the mix. Like: "Monty Python and the Holy Grail." Or "A Knight's Tale." Or "The Lord of the Rings trilogy." But I thought we ought to bring in some nonfiction as well. And I began to scour netflix for shows from the History channel. That hopefully would be interesting.

And I found a gem. Terry Jones of Monty Python fame has done a series called "Medieval Lives." Where he discusses: the monk, the damsel, the peasant, the outlaw, and other characters. The episodes are fun. Hilarious. Cheeky. And most of all - educational. If you have netflix you can watch them online. And I encourage you to check it out!

10. I have been caught up in the train wreck that is the Duggars. I even tivo their show. But mysteriously, it stopped being taped. Genius that I am, I figured it out. I had set "17 kids and counting" to record. But after they had a baby, the name of the show changed to "18 kids and counting." I am going to have to be on my game now, though. Cause they are pregnant again. Again. Child number 19 is on the way. How DOES her bladder still function? Inquiring minds...

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