right now

right now

Aug 27, 2011

If you're reading this...

...it means we are without power, internet or cell phones!  

I planned on stopping this scheduled post if we were still on the grid, so apparently we are officially on
 the Camping Trip From Hell!

who remembers this?

Now seriously... I'll update as soon as I can!  Hope my friends in the Northeast are okay!

Our local guy...

Too funny not to share!  This is our local reporter, he's famous for doing things like running out in the middle of the road to yell at drivers who are running stop signs and breaking laws, he's actually won several Emmy's for his style of reporting, but it doesn't make him seem any less ridiculous at times, although we love him dearly here... enjoy!

Still have power, although things are starting to fly through the air, and we now have another offshore rescue that's underway, people are insane!  The tunnels officially closed just a few minutes ago, so we are effectively separated from mainland now, but we are doing okay!

Good Morning!

The sky last night...

 Good news this morning... the storm has weakened to the point that it looks to be a garden variety normal hurricane!  We'll still be without power for probably a considerable amount of time, since that's the norm, but it sounds like we don't have to worry about things like the actual entire roof flying off this time, great news for us and great news for those in the Northeast.  No cool videos to offer of shingles flying by yet, so still waiting...

Video for you bird lovers...

We have approx 8000 people in our city without power already, just from the relatively light winds so far, so I expect it won't be much longer for us.

Update:  Mama Dove appears to be in the dog crate!  It's not ideal, but it's better than just sitting outside during a 15 inch rainfall!

Aug 26, 2011

A little A.D.D. tonight...

-but I think I can manage a whole bunch of random photos from this afternoon/evening!

Line at the Package Store (military for liquor store)!  I picked up some Spiked Iced Tea... I figure if it's warm it won't be as bad as warm beer LOL.  The store was surprisingly well stocked on base, the only thing they appeared to be sold out of was the fixins' for the standard hurricane prescription, Margaritas.  Of course Jimmy Buffet has been playing on every radio station today in between NOAA updates :)

We have lots of pickles to eat up while they are still cold

Made a bunch of sun dried tomato and pepper hummus to go with cheap Trader Joe's beer :)

This is the last of what I could save from the garden, sadly the hot peppers are loaded out there but I didn't even bring them in since we'll be without power for at least a week I expect so I won't be processing them.

Mama Dove's basket was wedged down on the deck behind some heavy planters... fingers crossed, but at least she had no problem settling down there after I moved the basket.

T.V. for the A.D.D. afflicted: check it out - FOUR crawlers, LOL!

Bored, we then decided to bike to the beach earlier this evening...

Loads of boats headed out of the inlet where they were tied up, nothing like waiting to the last minute to get your boat out of the water!

Across the inlet is where the city is still madly trying to disassemble the Surfing Championship stages and scaffolding, and is where the local news crews and The Weather Channel is set up.

On the residential side of the inlet where we are, things were much more relaxed.  Tourists are gone, surf is up and no sign yet of Irene other than a brisk breeze, it's hot, like 94 and really muggy.

Rare photos of us!

The boys practicing to karate chop Irene into submission...

For those that don't know... these are hurricane shutters.

and these are the roll down kind...

Do they think the gate will keep the water out?!

Poor man's hurricane shutters... just as effective, but a real pain in the butt!

Riding home...

Loch and I took a longer ride and were met by our personal taxi!

I stole this off my next door neighbor's FB page.  She is headed west, but still stuck in city limits with the kid and 2 dogs!  I hope she doesn't drink a bunch of water LOL! I'm hoping she checks in soon and says she's arrived at her destination.

We are sticking to our decision and staying here.  City officials are actually recommending that people that are prepared and confident should stay, a bit of a surprising recommendation I think, but we are already at capacity on all exiting tunnels and bridges, and if they issued a city-wide order there would be chaos.  Even with all this traffic, only about 5-10 % of our area is leaving.  That should give you an idea on how difficult it is to leave our area, the few ways out get backed up quick.

We are back home now and taking turns enjoying showers... every hot shower at this point may be our last for awhile!  It's just now starting to get overcast and breezy, but we are still a good 12 hours or so away from the first outer bands of rain I think.  Well, sorry it's still so boring haha, but I hope to check in again in the a.m.!

Red Sky in Morning...

...Sailors Take Warning!

this was the sky over the beach here early today...

You don't have to go home... but you can't stay here!

The East Coast Surfing Competition was going on here and had to come to an abrupt halt, kind of a shame they have to dismantle all the scaffolding and tents, since for surfers this would be some of the best waves seen this side of Hawaii!

We are still poised to get slammed, even to the old timers in this area this will be the worst storm probably since the one that created many parts of our city back in 1938, as of this morning we are expecting 110-120 mph here on what is basically the Northern "Outer Banks", and expect to see 12-15 inches of rain.  At this point the generator may be a moot point for the well pump since it may be submerged, but short of the comfort of showers, we will still have plenty of drinking H20 available and have some plastic drums of water outside that we'll use and continue to collect that rain in to use for flushing, so basically backcountry camping in the city LOL.  Hopefully by the time it gets further Northeast it will fall down to a manageable Cat 1 storm.  The Cat 1's are what we normally get and other than a real inconvenience they are easily weathered without evacuation unless you have a special circumstance such as prone to severe flooding or a medical situation.  We'll do our best down here to slow it down and break it up!  

Evacuations have started for parts of our city, most of us have been advised to stay put.  They will close the flood gates on the tunnels soon so evacuations have a limited time frame here.  The Naval Hospital has issued an order (yes, they can do that to civilians LOL) for all pregnant spouses over 38 weeks to get to the hospital and stay there until services will be available again in the community.  The Naval Hospital is on the other side of the tunnel, so if one would need them after Saturday at about 3 pm, they'd be out of luck.  I just got word that Navy Relief Society is issuing funds to families with deployed servicemembers to help them get out of town, which is fantastic news for many families for whom funds are a deciding factor in evacuation.  My husband, however, pedaled off to work business as usual today, so I'm left wondering when he'll be home.  This is one of those things where if you are at the wrong place at the wrong time... like if they decide the need a team of "essential personnel" while he's there, he'll get tapped for the job and he'll be confined to the base all weekend!  Just hoping he scoots out of there early today :)

I'll check in a couple of times before it's scheduled to hit tomorrow afternoon, and I will get together a "canned post" to go off at a scheduled time tomorrow afternoon - if I break in and stop it then all is still well, if you see it, then you know we are without power, internet and cell coverage.  I guess that's the best I can do notification-wise!  Now all y'all up the coast further get out to your gardens and get that harvest in, it won't be there after the storm!

Aug 25, 2011

Scenes from today...

Just Random...

Lines at the pumps...

Armored trucks at many of the ATM's to clear them out before possible looting.

Generators everywhere...

Oh, no!  She's on eggs... what am I going to do???

This will be the last time I see these guys for the foreseeable future, I bet!

So calm, right now...

Makes you stop and give thanks for having hubby home for this disaster when some don't have that luxury...

These are just 2 spotted today of the 5000 military members and family at the Oceanfront while I was out that attended a memorial service for the Special Forces that were killed in Afghanistan when their helicopter was shot down.  A huge gathering and reason for silence in spite of all the chaos happening around us today.

Got traffic?

Even the Navy has a traffic jam to get out to sea!

Good times...

Enough of this for now... going to KNIT!  :)

T - 2 days...

There's no scenario where we aren't going to get slammed with Irene, but we are about as ready as it gets.  Most of the hazards are put in the sheds, which will be crushed by the neighbors loose trees no doubt.  A few more things to tie down in the yard Friday evening, but there isn't much else we can do.  Luckily, I didn't even have to go to the store, we are set for food and water, propane, lamp oil and all that stuff, we only had to get fuel for the generator.  Problem is, is cost $60 for fuel that will run it for only about 2 days, so most likely we'll admit defeat on trying to keep freezers going and instead use the generator sparingly for an hour or so each day so everyone here and our next door neighbors can have showers and flush toilets.  We have enough non-perishable food on hand so while losing the freezer contents is sad, it's just a minor inconvenience in the larger picture.  Safety and comfort is more important.  We've been without power for 10 days before, so I don't expect it will be less than that and if it is, then I'll be happy.

Warning: Rant!
I've got 22 years of weathering hurricanes and Nor'easters out here, so at this point I've got the system down, although I believe this time there are going to be a lot of people out there caught off guard.  When did it become "cool" to put people down for preparing and laugh at people stocking up on supplies, roll their eyes when they hear of someone making evacuation plans and make comments like "oh, whatever...it's going to be lame like every other storm"....?  I've overheard stuff like this in stores, random hurricane partiers being interviewed on the news, Facebook, you name it, and it really gets to me.  Did any of these people even live in this country the past year?  Watch any of the horrible weather related events that have taken place?  Were they laughing when watching footage of Katrina or Andrew or any of the other horrible things that have taken place around the world?  Hey, us "preppers" like to party with the best of them, but we just make sure to secure out families first.  So what if we take a few days to tie down our lawn furniture and put away our tomato cages so they won't hit the non-preppers out partying on their deck next door?  So what if we do it for every hurricane, even if it doesn't bring the worst?  It's easy enough to put the yard back together when the threat is gone.  Who do you think the first people are to offer help to others after the storm?  Yep, the ones with propane, chainsaws, the cell phone that is actually charged and ready to go...  and hey - we are the ones with a generator to power that margarita blender!!!

Of course, you all are awesome and never say things like this, but I need to vent!  I'm choosing to vent to you since there's a bit of prepper in each one of you, so you "get it"... no?  - then let go of that canner, LOL!  See?

Look at the amount of tidal water in my area, hence our area's nickname of "Tidewater", VA... if you enlarge it I'm right at about the number "25" to give you an idea...

Another random tip that can only come from having made this mistake before....

...get all that fish and seafood out of your freezer and use it up, losing power certainly won't improve it's quality or make your house smell good LOL...

Completely non-related stuff... dried dill was finally bagged and put away, but I can't really think of anything I use dill seasoning for in winter?  :)

Well, I hope to keep checking in right up until the power goes out, which will be sometime Saturday.  We lose power when you look at the lines sideways, so there isn't a scenario where we will keep it.  The garden is certainly toast, but really does it matter in times like this?  I'll be overjoyed if my car's window aren't broken and my roof is intact and my family is safe.  Right now there have been no evacuation orders so I think we are good to stay, however if things change the officials need to issue the order tomorrow in order to get everyone out.  The roads are a problem here and all the Outer Banks people have to use the same road out that we do, and they definitely have priority, as they will bear the brunt of it.  Wow, this time last year we were in Ocracoke - sure glad we aren't now!

Other tips for new-to-hurricane'ers:  this is learned from my own experiences - get your cash and fuel NOW.  I can't stress this enough.  After the storm, if you can even get out of your street (since power lines and debris will be blocking it), you will find there is no cash left in the ATM's to dispense, fuel tanks at the gas station will be empty (and no trucks coming in to refill them), and there will be no ice to be had (if you are lucky you will get a lottery number for "a" bag once you make it to the one store that has an ice delivery - and it will be melted when you get home).  The worst part is definitely the aftermath of the storm, not the storm itself.  I pulled out what little cash there was in the account, and I will probably bounce the couple of payments that were scheduled to come out on Monday, but hey, desparate times call for desperate measures, right?  You have to secure your family first and foremost, and I can't imagine not being able to have the cash to leave if necessary, the other things can be worked out later.

The Navy here is currently moving all the ships out to sea and flying hundreds of aircraft out to greener pastures, so I imagine hubby's phone will be going off like crazy in the coming days as they enter Hurricane Condition.  There are many military families here that will be left to weather the storm without their spouses due to the deployments and flight schedules, so keep them in your thoughts, but there's nothing like a Navy wife to keep it all together... LOL of course I'm biased, though!

Back to the laundry I go... then to charge up cameras, phones and the Kindle! Hey, I'm a blogger, so you know I need that camera and have a little "stand out in the hurricane like an idiot" in me LOL!

Aug 23, 2011

"Shakey - Shakey....!"

Who doesn't love the Allstate Mayhem guy?  Apparently he was here today, but I never felt a thing!  Must have heard I was up for blogging about random stuff this week not pertaining to the garden :)

Thanks, Apple Pie Gal for checking in to make sure all was well!  I feel kind of gyp'ed, but not really I guess since I did live at the epicenter of the big 7.1 quake in Northern California and that was decidedly not fun, since it caused everyone to live in seedy motels for the better part of a year LOL.  

I didn't even realize there was an earthquake until I got on Facebook.  It's a sad state of affairs when I get my news from Facebook.  They felt it pretty badly just 1/4 mile from me at the base, and apparently everyone around me - everyone's cells were down, the nuke plant was tripped, but me? -  I was busy cleaning the house (in bare feet on a wood floor and still didn't feel it!) to make it pretty for Irene's arrival this weekend! 

Thanks for the concern, but all is well for now!  The other blogger near the quake that many of us follow is Lorie, so check in with us, girlfriend!

The countdown starts...

Well, here we go again...looks like I'm going to be pretty busy the next 5 days or so as we prep and wait for Hurricane Irene.  She's set to hit us darn near directly as of this morning, and not as a wimpy Category 1 storm either, she's expected to make landfall as a Cat 3 or even 4, which would be devastating for anything in her path.  I've been through it before many times, and it's not the storm itself that I worry about, but the aftermath.  The downed trees, no electricity (we've gone up to 9 days here before), no fuel or ice to be had... that's the stuff that I worry about.  I hope you can bear with me the rest of the week as I get behind on reading everyone's posts and blog about random stuff since I probably won't be doing any gardening or fall planting until after she passes.  Hurricanes are like hired help in the fall garden, I've had all my summer stuff not only knocked down, but completely ripped out and blown away so I don't have to do it, LOL!  The important part is to clear the way for her, so I'll be ridding the garden beds of piles of tomato cages, stakes, and anything else that might appear later as jewelry sticking out of house siding or people's limbs.  

Know what's going on here?  

Popcorn popping is a real treat in this house, since the smell of it makes me ill it doesn't happen too frequently, but when I say "ok", it becomes a major event.  As soon as Sprocket hears the air popper start whirring, she takes her place... our popper is known for shooting popcorn all over the kitchen LOL, great fun for neurotic herding dogs with no sheep!

I went outside this morning to try and get all I can harvested before Irene takes them for herself...

I have loads of Ancho Peppers and Butternut squash that is still out there ripening, I figure I can give them until Friday evening before they need to come in to be put up somehow before the storm.  Now I'm off to gather "stuff"... we're good on all things pretty much thanks to my prepper personality, but things need to be organized like putting lamp oil and candles in strategic places and packing the car with camping supplies, water, food, dog food, important papers, fuel, etc should the need arise to leave.  Leaving here is not generally something we do since we essentially live on an island with only tunnels and bridges leading to higher ground, so anyone evacuating will most likely be stuck in traffic and run out of gas before they get anywhere LOL.  Plus, the bridges and tunnels are the first things to close due to high winds, so any evacuation orders are usually made too late, or way too early.  Will be busy doing outside prep this week like hauling out the generator and locking it up with cables, filling as many fuel cans as we can and lashing down things like trash cans and lawn furniture.  

Maybe if one good thing can come from all this, the blighted soil and the insect laden plants will blow away and I can start the 2012 summer garden with nothing evil harboring within LOL!

Aug 21, 2011

Little of this, little of that...

Wrapping up the weekend in photos mostly!

It was back into the 90's again, so not a whole lot of hard work done, mostly quick chores interspersed with fun!

Stuck inside doing laundry, I decided to contract out the potato digging -

We can always look forward to at least one mutant spud!

The kids found a chewed up looking Army guy hiding in with the potatoes...

Not too shabby of a harvest for a plastic piece of culvert and plain straw!

More frozen bell pepper strips -

Dried tomatoes, we use these like crazy in winter on hubby's pizzas and in hummus.

Finally a trip to the blueberry patch...

After that, we were covered in mosquito bites and too hot for work, so what better place to go than the beach?  We rode our bikes just a mile or so Saturday evening to stick our toes in and take in the salt air. 

Betty's bike bag continues to amaze me at the amount of stuff I can cram into it! (besides my stuff, there's 2 pairs of kids shoes and 2 shirts in there!)

Speaking of Betty...

Today was quiet and nice, thanks to hot temps and thunderstorms.  I was able to sneak away to the fabric store all by myself armed with 50% off coupons, an ideal way to spend a rainy day in my book!

This evening everyone is already asleep, except me of course.  Sleep is highly overrated for me, remember LOL?  Perfect time to work on some knitting...

Yes, those are 3 different projects... knitter's A.D.D.!