29 September 2005

Getting back in the swing

Well, I went back to work on Monday. Not that we had much to sell, several areas of the store were big empty spaces. The boards had been removed from one door on each side of the store. The rest was not down until late Wednesday. It was strange not being able to see out.

I cannot tell you how often I answered the phone and said "Yes, we are open." One lady asked and laughed when I answered yes. She said " You must be since you answered the phone." I replied "I didn't get dressed up to come here just to answer the phone." She laughed even harder and asked how many times I had answered that particular question. I told her I hadn't kept count.

Most of our customers are understanding of the absence of some of our products as they were here for the storm. I did have one lady today who didn't understand why we had run out of things last week. Once I got her to understand that she wanted to know how come we hadn't gotten everything re-stocked yet. Some people just don't live in the real world.

For the most part life has returned to it's normal rhythm.

24 September 2005


I was resting in the car with the AC on and charging my phone when the carport lights flashed into life. Hallelujah! I was never so glad to be caught outside in my jammies!

Today has been a myriad of happenings. After the rain let up I went out into the parking lot to check my car and survey the damage. The car is o.k. and the damage outside seemed to be limited to fallen limbs from trees. It was then I discovered I live on the wrong side of the street. Just across the street they had not lost power at all.

Later in the day we walked the block. There was an older woman across the street who asked if she could help. She told us if we needed anything to come over to her house and gave us her apartment number. This is yet another example of why I am glad to live in Texas. Here is a woman who is willing to open her home to total strangers just because they have a need. Folks here are fantastic.

We waited until the last available moment before we emptied the fridge into two coolers this afternoon. Fortunately we were able to save almost everything. Good planning and preparation go a long way toward comfort in a crisis. I'll admit our meals may have been a little unusual (like pudding for breakfast) but they were nutritional and didn't need heating.

We never lost the land line or DSL at the house. If we had just had power for the modem it would have been hunky dory. That is why the two posts below were audio in nature.

I'll admit that two tired and hot women with warped senses of humor can find many things to laugh about and keep themselves well entertained. I'll not go into details as I think Sharon is and most of it you just had to be here for.

We are so blessed. This entire situation could have been much worse. From the turning of the storm, the sheer generosity of many kind people, to the well thought out plans of the city, county, and state; this has been an example in how to survive with grace.

If you ever find trouble headed your way, be sure you are in Texas. Here is where the best help is found.

Still no power

this is an audio post - click to play

No power

this is an audio post - click to play

23 September 2005


So far it's just been wind and smatterings of rain. We have seen some very beautiful clouds in the swirls circling over our house. We've watched Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban complete with popcorn and snacks. We check the news from time to time but don't have it on all the time. It can be tiresome.

Got to get back to the kitchen, I'm making dinner and some rolls.

Finishing up

We took a walk again this morning. It was strange to see the streets so quiet. There was one man who seemed a bit peeved because he found the 24 hour fitness closed. Guess he needs his work-out to face the storm.

The grocery store parking lot was empty. A woman who had come to see if it was open stopped and talked to us. She wanted to make sure we had some place to go. I will say that if you have to ride out a major disaster it is surely nice to do so in a city full of kind people. Over and over again we have seen many acts of kindness. This is what Texans do best!

I did get out on the road for a bit to check on a hospice patient who elected to stay at home. That sweet woman told me she was glad to see me. While I was there her daughter called. She was yelling at here mother for being so stupid to stay in town. She said "Mom you are nuts, this storm could kill you". At this point her mother just laughed and replied " I'm dying anyway, do you think I should fear the weather". When she hung up she turned to me and said " I just don't understand that girl, what part of hospice care doesn't she get." While the situation may seem surreal it is great she was able to laugh. She's got it all figured out.

I did go by the store on my way home and it was intriguing to see it all boarded up.

We are still eating out of the freezer and it's getting fairly empty save for the ice we have stashed for the duration. The laundry is almost finished and I have done a lot of baking. The only thing left to do is to complete taping the windows.

The blue sky of this morning is now all covered in clouds and the wind is picking up. Nothing drastic yet, just a good stiff breeze. All the stuff on the roof is falling on the back porch the roomie had swept clean yesterday. The satellite dish hasn't budged an inch. We may leave it bungeed up. I will post periodically as long as I am able.

22 September 2005

Ready moments

We are ready for the storm. The satellite dish is bungeed to the wall. The plants are in. Furniture is moved away from the glass doors. We have eaten almost all of the food in the freezer.

Caught up with my favorite gals and they have successfully made the journey to Nana's house. It may never be the same again after their visit. The grown-ups outnumber the children. That's a good thing when one of the children is as lively as Julia is.

Checking out the transtar pictures from the roadways tonight you can still see thousands of cars making their way out of town. As I was looking at the different views I noticed the lighting caused some of the taillights to appear white. This made it look like everyone was trying to back out of town. No wonder traffic is going so slowly.

"The exodus from the Texas coast, and 60 miles north through Houston, was breathtaking in size. In essence, a coastal suburban area of two million people was being ordered to evacuate through the Houston metropolitan area of four million." The Times Roomie and I decided we liked this description best. The British have a way with words.

I have also been thinking who Pat Robertson was going to blame this storm on. In case you missed it he stated that Hurricane Katrina was all the fault of Ellen Degeneres. I know she has visited and performed in this city, I caught her act once and had a blast. Still I don't think we can blame this on her. Things happen, God is in charge. We don't know why things happen the way they do. If God did want to punish all who fell short of His Will, the whole world would suffer. Mr. Robertson needs to spend more time helping God's creations than trying to explain the mind of God. It's not something he should attempt to do on even his best day.

We will finish pulling up a few rugs and securing windows tomorrow. Hope to take another walk in the morning before the rain starts. Going to bed now, probably won't get much sleep tomorrow night.


It was nice to sleep in this morning, until someone called and wanted to know why I hadn't left town. This someone left early this morn and had not gotten but a few miles in her hours on the road. Since I was awake and we need to use up all the perishables in the fridge, I fixed a pre-hurricane brunch. Pancakes, egg and bacon make breakfast seem like a special affair.

Knowing we are going to be house bound soon I urged the roomie to go walking with me. I wanted to get out and see how things are in town. It is hot but dry. As we would be covering less than a mile I knew it would be o.k.

Many stores had closed, two were still open as they could help folks get ready for the storm. We were going to pick up some batteries for the keyboard but vetoed that idea when the cost would be sixteen dollars. (no price gouging, just top of the line in a small privately owned pharmacy)

I have had e-mail and phone calls from my sisters wanting to check in and make sure I was alright. They are all inland, one all the way to Utah. Caught up with my favorite family of girls and found them all packing to go to Nana's house to either wait out the storm or caravan out of town together. Right now there is a hundred mile back-up heading north from town. Things aren't much better going west. TexDot is making arrangements to do contraflow traffic. All lanes of I-45 would run outbound. They hope to be able to do the same with I-10 and Highway 290 sometime today.

We intend to stay here, we will keep an eye on things and re-evaluate as the time goes on. I really don't want to spend the storm in my car stuck on a highway. Check back later.

21 September 2005

Free time

Well, we are closing for Thursday and Friday. My first act will be to turn off the alarm and sleep in. Don't know what else the days will bring. All of those e-mailing me should know I live no where near the flood zone or the evacuation zone. I may not have power at the end of the week to post up-dates but will be just fine. Relax. I plan to.

What to do about Rita?

Today was a most unusual day. By noon we had sold out of every large plastic box. People hit the store trying to find ways to protect and move their belongings. Our goal was to stay calm and to help our customers find calm as well. Evacuations are mandatory close to the coast but still voluntary here in Houston.

While I don't think I'll have to worry about the water, wind will be a my biggest concern. I considered going to stay with my sister in Austin. After our last disaster here, I was able to use my nursing skills to help out. I am staying for that reason now. Some of my hospice patients will be leaving soon and will need some assistance.

Unless the evacuation becomes mandatory, you'll find me listening to the wind in my own home.

Take care.

12 September 2005

Too much to catch up

Your Blogging Type is Artistic and Passionate
You see your blog as the ultimate personal expression - and work hard to make it great.One moment you may be working on a new dramatic design for your blog...And the next, you're passionately writing about your pet causes.Your blog is very important - and you're careful about who you share it with.

I have not been regular in my blogging of late. Suffice it to say that a lot of my time these past couple of weeks has been tied up doing a variety of things in the relief efforts ongoing here in Houston.

On a personal level, I had to make decisions regarding moving and what to do about my job. The moving is solved, the job is still under advisement. It seems trite to be struggling with these issues when so many are facing so much more. I am grateful that I do have these things to struggle with.

Today my sister had a run-in with an SUV. When I heard the news my first thought was "thank God she is alright." Life is precious, anything else can be replaced.