I quit smoking on March 22, 2011 with Electronic Cigarettes

Friday, September 19, 2008

back to normal. or at least as normal as we normally have.

well, I wrote that stuff on Monday, and had to wait till we got landlines back to post it.

I am sorry to have left y'all hangin, I have just been kinda lazy. The kids were supposed to go back to school on Wend. BUT, they called and cancled it again. saying they had too many staff still out of town, and couldnt get in food. They would come back on Monday. oh joy.

Tuesday we had to have gas. We loaded the drum and into town we went. 200.00 later we were safe for a few more days. We didnt have to stay in line long. And luckily we got a store that was not rationing it. Once we got home and unloaded the drum we went over to the old folks road and cut a hickory tree. It was leaning over the road and was low enough I could barely get my truck under it, we were worried it would fall. Plus it makes great BBQ wood. BR went down on the tractor and I went in the truck. It was a cool day so I parked on the lane to my grandfathers, left the kids in the truck with the windows down and a movie going (remember, we live in the COUNTRY. PLUS, this is down a dirt road, you turn OFF the dirt road to go to my grandfathers, or come strait and hit us cutting up the tree. AND noone could get in with out me seeing them.)

I unloaded the loggin chain cause BR had left it in my truck and toted it down the lane. That sucker is HEAVY. BR cut the tree and it fell smack into the road, liek we knew it would. BUT the end of it fell BEHIND a stump, so he got on the tractor and tried to pull it. Instead he tore up the road. So he is trying to decide where to cut it and I see a HUGE line truck coming down the lane. THis is literly a ONE car lane. Tree's and drop offs and no room to pull over. I have had to back smooth out of this sucker MORE than one time cause I met someone going in or coming out. I ran down to talk to them. The guy asked me "what in the world have y'all screwed up now?" I just laughed and told him that we were cutting it up and skidding it out so it didnt fall. Plus they couldnt have went under it. He asked if any poles were broken down past it, I told him no. we talked for a few minutes and he told me that they would have our lights back on that night or the next day.

I just looked at him like he was crazy. I couldnt belive it would be that soon. and told him so. I also thanked him, told them how much we appriciated them and that I was impressed. He couldnt belive I wasnt mad.

Seriously. I went over a month during Rita with out electric. less than a week is... amazing.

BR skidded the tree out and we commenced to cutting it up. Less than 2 hours and we had the trailer loaded down, all the branches piled up and were ready to go. The kids helped ALOT. I was impressed. I did get to play on the tractor some. Of course I also had to be the one throwin the chain when ever he needed it picked up by the bucket. I did have a owie moment. I had just unwrapped the chain and he was lifting the bucket, he turned it a little, and the chain came sliding out of the bucket and the hook hit me right on top of my foot followed by 20 feet of chain. I dont know how it didnt break it. That sucker still hurts 3 days later.

In the meantime my grandfathers generator quit. BR said we would bring ours over there in the morning and hook up his freezers, and we would trade out until he could get it fixed. I could handle that. As long as I got it at night to watch TV. Our other one was still at my inlaws.

Once we got it all loaded we had to come home and get cleaned up. Our water hadnt went out this time. but there still was NO hot water. BR took a shower first. Then I got in. I told him before I ever got in to just ignore me. From the second I steped under the water until I was finaly able to get all the soap off me I screamed, I cussed, I hollered, I cried. The kids actually came running into the bathroom to make sure I was okay. Then they all laughed.

You cant wash soap out of your hair with ice cold water. I promise.

It was still daylight and the kids have not spent a single minute inside since all this started. They went out and disapeared into the woods. We went out and got supper started. A little while later BR came in and asked me if I knew where my kids were. I said I didnt. He said they were out and had found the french mulberrys. They had painted themselves and each other with them. They were SOOO not going to like the cold shower..

And they didnt. We told them and told them. But they wouldnt listen.

They cried, they whined, they kept jumping out and still were stained red. I'd just make them get right back in.

Once it got dark we decided to watch a little TV. We were already waisting gas in the generator. May as well enjoy a creature comfort or two. So we watched the news. Nothing about Ike. a few side notes, but the local channels were off and he was already out of the national spotlight. I couldnt get online yet and so we were still in the dark about alot of things. We decided to switch over to a show we watch. The kids were still sleeping here in the living room and it was around midnight. It was nice and cool outside (THANK GOD!) and we got about 1/2 way through the show and the generator quit. It wasnt out of gas, so we went out. We fought with it, we drained it, the gas had water in it. It had fouled out the spark plug. BR cleaned it up the best he could, it took for freakin ever to drain 5 gallons of gas out of it. Then we filled it up and tried again. After 2 hours of sitting outside with a flashlight and trying to fix the dang thing we gave up.

Its VERY hard for us to sleep with no noise. no fan, no fish tank bubbles, no TV. nothing. around 3:30 we finally fell asleep. I had set my phone alarm for 7. My grandfather was going to town and I wanted him to pick up a spark plug. I stumbled out of bed, came in and picked up the phone to call him. I asked him to pick me up a spark plug. HE said he would and we talked for a few minutes. My uncle had let him borrow his generator since they had already gotten lights back, so he wouldnt need ours. Then it dawned on us, we were talking on the land line! I didnt even realize I was on it. I was still in a stupor from no sleep.

The kids woke up and there was no going back to sleep. BR was able to sleep for a few more hours. My grandfather showed up at 10 with a new spark plug. and BR went out to try and fix the generator. His hand was literly with out feeling. I bet he pulled that cord at least 300 times the night before. He couldnt even make a fist.

It started right off. I called and spoke to my sister in law, she wanted to have a "we survived the hurricane' party. Just hamburgers and such, and since BR still couldnt work he was going to cook them.

about 2 hours later the generator went back off again. BR went out and worked on it. The new spark plug was all fouled up. he cleaned it, and tried to get it restarted. he redrained all the gas. 5 more gallons wasted. well not totaly. I found a fire ant pile and relished in the fact that they would die. It was just NOT going to work. at all. I called my sister in law ad asked her to pick me up a few more spark plugs. The gas was good. We had gotten rid of all the bad gas. We just couldnt fiqure out what was wrong. mechanics we AINT.

I was out and was helping BR tear apart the carburator, trying to find SOME reason for it to not work. The kids were in the house watching Bow and playing. Then Brett came runing around the side of the house. He was screaming that the lights were on. BR and I just looked at each other funny. Then we told him to make sure everything was unplugged and we went back to working on the generator. Lights this soon was way too good to be true and we needed the back up. After another hour we gave up. the lights hadnt flickered and we needed a break.

I called Suzie and told her that we had lights. She switched to us having beef tips, gravey, rice and biscuts. Cause we could actually cook on a stove. BR told her he still wanted those spark plugs, we didnt trust something that was too good to be true. And he was NOT going to let that engine whoop him.

I started laundry, and gathered up everything to make biscuts. And did more laundry, and MORE.

My mother in law called me when she got home. She said that she had just had the scare of her life. I asked what happened. She said that she went in to use the bathroom and heard water running. At first she didnt realize what it was (they are on a well, and hadnt had water since the lights went out), then it dawned on her. And she jumped up, ran outside and saw the porch light was on. She couldnt belive it! She had been home for an hour.

We went over to my mother in laws and all the daughter in laws started cooking.
We had a good night. The kids played outside and Rayley convinced her uncle Luke to catch one of the old nags so she could ride her. She came in and asked if she could ride Blondie and we sent her to find her uncle Luke. He came in and she asked him if she could ride. he told her "I cant catch that horse, she will think I want to ride her and run" Rayley told him "silly, I could show you how you do it. You hid the lead rope behind your back and dont let her know you are going to ride her." He told her that that old horse was smarter than that. She said "well, I reckon she aint" and he asked just what made her think that. He had known that horse for longer than she had been alive and that she was a smart old horse.

Rayley said "well, I dont know who is dumber, you or the horse, but Matt is standing in the pasture right now holding her waitin on me to get you to get me up on her. I bet he's been there for 10 minutes"

Sure enough, There stood Matt, holding the horse. Luke took her out to ride. 99% of the time you really dont catch these horses. Luckily they aint mean. Just lazy. They dont want to be ridden!

while we were there my MIL cleaned out the fridge in the kitchen and then started putting all the food back in it. They had stoped trying to run 2 fridges and a freezer, plus fans, TV's and other essentials, so they were trasnfering food back to the inside fridge. Every time I opened it I would say it wasnt cooling. But kept being told it would take a while. Then about 4 hours later I went to the other one and got out a coke. They were hot. Since theyhad been cold when I put them in there I commented on it. It dawned on my sister in law that noone had plugged it back in.

We visited for a few hours and then came home. The kids fell into bed, I didnt even try to get them to take a bath. It was just too late.

The next morning they got up and went strait outside. back to playing. I set about cleaning the house, doing more laundry and trying to pick up all the extension cords. Putting the surge protectors back where they came from and returning all the phone calls that I had on my voice mail.

BR was able to go back to work, and although he didnt pull but one load it was at least some money to go on the paycheck.

Once they came back in I told Rayley to go and take a bath. She looked at me crazy. then she said "is there hot water yet?" I told her yes, and she gladly went and got clean. The boys too.

I havent went to town again, so I dont know if its slowed down up there much at all. the day we went I couldnt belive how awful it was. Everyone was scrambiling to get what supplies they still needed to live, grocery stores were trying to keep things on the shelves, only staying open for short periods, and gas stations were awful.

Things here at home are getting back to normal. They cut the hay yesterday, I will have to go and load it tomorrow or the next day, I am starting to see the bottom of the laundry room floor, or I was until the kids had to clean their rooms, and I cooked a roast today.
The generator is still sitting otu there needing fixed. BR has already forgotten about it. I think in a few weeks (praying we dont get another hurricane) I will take it into the shop and get it fixed. I am starting to run low on supplies so I will have to go in and get groceries soon. we are down to 2 cases of water. ANd the freezer is getting low.

The kids have eaten me out of house and home. Not to mention, all this 'at home' time is eating into my 'school year quiet time'. I rely on the 5 days a week that I am down to 2 kids to keep my sanity. BR is back to work. partly. there is still problems hauling oil. he isnt working as long of hours, and is home alot more. home and awake.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Nothing like a little hurricane to keep you on your toes.

Well, the sent the kids home early from school on Thursday.
Then they were out on Friday. BR finally turned the TV off of the news and put it on Rambo. So I went in the bedroom to watch the news.

Boredom and agervation set in right around 7. So we headed over to my inlaws.

BR’s two brothers and their wives were there, plus the parents.
We just went over to visit. They have a front porch and we sit out there and talk. We waited till the lovebugs had went to roost. Sitting outside when they are at their peak and its 95* is miserable. And since they don’t have AC in the living room that was NOT an option.

The kids eventually fell asleep, but we were still talking. Eventually the wind picked up some. Nothing bad, but by then it was nigh on 2am. We spent the evening alternating between sitting out and talking, and coming in to catch the news. Galveston was getting hit badly. At 3:30 the lights went out. We had till about 6:30 for daylight.

For the most part we just watched the wind blow. And blow it did. It was laying the trees down pretty good, and snapping off branches all over. But the porch was situated so the wind was coming from the back of the house.

Bow woke up around 2:30 and never went back to sleep. We alternated holding him, playing with him and entertaining him. Rayley woke up around 4. She wanted to go out in the yard and try to fly. She was NOT happy when we wouldn’t let her. The inlaws do have a HUGE old Oak tree that has quite a few dead parts, and we did worry about it falling and hitting the house.

My sister in law and Brother in law went upstairs to get some sleep. About 30 minutes later their was the most GOD AWFUL bursts of wind. Suzie came back down the stairs right quick. About 5 BR went to one of the bedrooms and went to sleep. He slept till 9:30. He missed all the good parts.

Where we were sitting on the porch, we look out over a pasture, then there is a line of tree’s. Around 4:30 I was sitting on the porch, feeding Bow dry cereal, My father in law and sister in law were sitting there. BR had just gotten up to walk out to the back porch and get a coke. Luke my other brother in law was sitting behind us, in the dog trot playing with his cell phone.

I started to hear a loud noise. It was louder than the roar of wind through the trees, and somehow struck a chord with me. We could see green flashes behind the trees’ and fiqured these were transformers blowing. Finally I turned to Elray and asked him, “is that what a frieght train sounds like?”
“yep, I reckon it is”
and there we sat. For a full 30 seconds. Then it dawned on us. Suzie, Elray and I all jumped up like our pants were on fire and we vacated that porch right quick and in a hurry. We ran past Luke, who looked at us kinda funny, and into the living room. BR came off the back porch asking if we were crazy.

It dawned on Luke what we had done.
Finally Elray went back out and said it must have just been the wind going down the Roederville Road.

So we all took up our positions on the porch again.

When Daylight came we were more able to see the wind. There were times when you had to hold on to an upright to stay standing. But the wind felt good. The house was still in the 90’s.

Around 7 I got ahold of family, and started texting friends to make sure they made it. I fiqured noone was sleeping through this anyway. Everyone was fine. No major damage. Just lights out, branches all over and lots of tree’s topped.

I also started texting friends in other states to let them know I was alive. They were in turn writing me with updates about the rest of the world. Which was so needed. And letting me know just how much more wind we would be subject to. Hours was the general concensus.

There wasn’t much rain. It was constant wind. It was still a cat 2 when it hit us. The kids woke up and then ALL of them wanted to go out and play in the wind. They were not happy about having NOTHIN to do. Brett wanted me to go and wake up his daddy in Mason’s room. I asked him why. He said “so he could at least watch a movie on that TV.”

We told him to just sit and stare at the one in the living room. Something would happen on it eventually.

We went and checked on our house as soon as BR woke up. The wind was still whipping, but we hadn’t planned on staying over there and the dogs needed out badly. If Duke didn’t have a heart attack. We drove over and everything was fine. Duke was already outside. The door was open. Not the screen door, but the real door and the screen was shut. Darla was glad to see us. She was in her cage so she wanted out.

Unfortunatly Ike didn’t get rid of our lovebugs. He didn’t come in till after dark, and they were back in full force.

We went and got our other generator to take to Elray and Martha, I got some bread and lunch meat and we went back over. It was WAY too hot to sit in our house. Even with a fan going. So we opted for the porch, where Ike was still coming through with a few decent gusts.

We stuck around till about dark, then came home and got our generator going. The kids didn’t understand why on earth they couldn’t go and play in the mud. Since there was NO water and our community water has a problem with going out, we didn’t want them getting filthy.

Once we got here, we had no more cell service, and the phones had went out completely. Which is typical. We took showers (there was still hot water) and turned on the TV. The kids got to sleep in the living room and we all sweated. It was awful. I did get to sleep eventually, then Matt woke me up. They had all been watching Movies and BR had fallen alseep. They wanted me to change the channel, cause the show coming on “wasn’t appropriate for kids”. It was some scary movie.

When we woke up on Sunday I asked BR if he wanted to drive and get a newspaper. We did. Lights were out 40 miles up the road. The gas station was open, but the paper was a double edition put out on Friday night. They were running on generators and had nothing left on the shelves.

We were able to catch the radio and it seems like Jasper didn’t get hid badly. Since we actually live closer to Tyler County than Jasper we got what Woodville got and they are in pretty bad shape over there.

They lifted our mandatory evacuation on Monday morning. But are telling people that if you come back its at your own risk. Some stores in Jasper are opening. Walmart is opening for like 8 hours a day. Letting a few people in at a time. And most of our stores are able to get gas, but the lines are LONG and its limited.

We were lucky that I filled up that 55 gallon drum before Gustav. My grandfather, inlaws, and great aunt plus us are all using it. The generators use about 7 gallons every 10-12 hours. Making it very expensive to use them.

BR has been home since Friday night. There was no sense in him trying to haul oil when there were so many cars on the road.

And now he cant do it cause there is no electric to pump the oil off their trucks, and there is noone allowed in Tyler County unless you live there. That’s where most of their wells are.

They cancelled school for Monday and Tuesday. So BR and the kids are watching Movies. I would prefer to watch the news. At least on Friday I could go in the bedroom and watch TV, while they watched Rambo in here. I am considering hooking up the other TV to the generator. They are watching Airplane II right now and its all I can do to not scream. They keep having to rewind it cause they are laughing so hard they cant hear what is happening.

They cant go outside. The skeeters and lovebugs are TOOO bad. Yesterday BR and I went out on the tractor and cut a pine tree off our power line. Between the skeeters and the lovebugs you couldn’t do anything. Our lines are not down, but there are hundreds down, plus all the transformers that have blown. Its going to be a long process. And since we are still paying out the rear for Rita on our electric bills I dread seeing what happens here.
We actually pay for electric, and then half as much again for the ‘recovery effort’ from Rita. Now they will double that for the recovery effort from Ike.

I got about 9 text messages around 3:40 this morning. They had been sent yesterday. I swear, if I ever see Bill Curtis in person I am going to knock the HELL out of him. If they can get AT&T service and ‘find’ the internet at Amelia Airharts plane, surely they can find it here in the middle of Texas.

Its time to fiqure out something for supper. I guess I will get out some chicken to BBQ. Funny how when you don’t have choices, you end up craving something that you cant get.

I reckon I could pull the microwave out of the wall, and then heat up stuff like that. But that’s such a PITA.

Right now we are very lucky, we have a fan going. Can watch the TV, I am alternating between the fish tanks (expect when I plug in the computer) and the fridge and freezer are going. I have a few cases of water, loafs of bread and powdered milk.

This time the Red Cross and FEMA are not in my area handing out food, water, and ice. So its all coming directly out of your house. If you didn’t have it before hand you are hurting for it. I feel sorry for those that were relying on them to come down here.

Of course the laundry is PILEING up. And I am SOOO not into a wash board and creek. I have done that before, and I hope I don’t have to do it again.

THis was written on MOnday, I dont have enough battery power to write my update through today. But will get on later and get it done.