Monday, September 26, 2005

A New Journey

I have just recently embarked on a journey of being a widow. All I can report so far is that it has a most difficult beginning.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

After Rita Report, Sunday 4:30 pm

Now we wait. No power as of yet. Heard a rumor that it might be 7 to 10 days from an unreliable source. More likely, heard from someone else that claimed to have talked to the power company that we're looking at 2 hours to 2 days. Sounds better anyway.

Our house has stayed remarkably cool! It's up in the afternoon and much more comfortable than being outside. Of course, it does continue to lose that cool -- hope it is bearable tonight. I think it will be.

Hear there is no gas or ice in towns either direction from here. Some rumors say the town north of here has power and others say it doesn't.

We lost a big oak tree but it fell about 300 ft from the house. The whole place is lttered with what I call limb tips. Little boquets of leaves snapped from the ends of branches. Nothing big hit the cars or the house so we're glad about that.

We lost phone earlier today but it was back in a matter of hours.

We are using our old computer that Gene had charged up to make this post and to get some news from the world. When we called a friend that has TV yesterday, I told Gene to ask about news outside of the Rita Event -- I told him to ask her if a Beatle died or anything. We are cut off. So was glad when Gene broke this one out so we could check out some world news. The best headline was "Make Levees Not War." Clever.

My family is all safe and all together and camping out at their homes which are all in the same neighborhood until they get power. They had some roof damage but didn't sound too major. All repairable. And my dad's trailer was fine. They are setting up a kitchen in my sister's garage for all 3 families and compiled all their freezer contents into one so they can keep it on the generator. Lots of meat in peril from an extended family of hunters, don't you know.

But that's our news from this corner of the world. We are just waiting ... hope you are fine and happy out there.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

After Rita Report

Battery on laptop just about gone. Still windy with some 30 mph gusts but getting quieter. Supposed to have power again tomorrow. We might go across the road and play dominoes or actually "Mexican Train" with Billy's Beaumont relatives tonight.

Biggest news I've heard on radio was about the dam being damaged in hurricane. Had highest recorded wind gust of 119 mph there. They have begun to release 80,000 cubic feet per second to relieve the stress on the dam. Glad we're on the high side. The river is going to be cresting down south of here at abt 40 feet.

But we are good. Safe and just waiting on power agian.
We can see the sunset and no wind.

After Rita Report

Battery on laptop just about gone. Still windy with some 30 mph gusts but getting quieter. Supposed to have power again tomorrow. We might go across the road and play dominoes or actually "Mexican Train" with Billy's Beaumont relatives tonight.
Biggest news I've heard on radio was about the dam being damaged in hurricane. Had highest recorded wind gust of 119 mph. They have begun to release 80,000 cubic feet per second to relieve the stress on teh dam. Glad we're on the high sidee. The river is going to be cresting own south of here. We are good.'

Just waiting on power agian.

Rita Update 1:18 PM

Much quieter. Like a rainy day with BIG gusts. Gene still asleep. I took a nap. Getting bored and wishing I could go outside but still blustery out there. Can hear some traffic. I can wish it's the electric company getting power back on but most likely just people running the roads and taking a look-see. We're still fine. I'm worried about Martha, Dad and all trying to get back to Silsbee, tho. Later!

Rita Update 12:23 PM

About the same. Less wind and rain but still gusting sometimes. We're okay.

Rita Update 10:20 AM

Heard from Gene's sister in Tomball. They were doing okay. Storm mostly over there. Power trying to come back on there.

Talked to my sister staying inTyler and they were getting ready to go back to Silsbee. Radio reports that the eye is sitting over Jasper and headed to Lufkin. I sure wish they wouldn't try.

The wind is still hammering us here. We are pretty much on the same line as the eye but further east, But decidely not as bad as earlier today.

Gene has gone to bed to get some much needed sleep. I wouldn't mind a nap either. Been a pretty exciting night.

Still no additional damage other than that pesky piece of tin and maybe some limbs down. Will find that out later today.

Rita Update 9:00 AM

Still about the same here. Except for that one piece of tin on our roof that was already loose and is flopping around we seem to be escaping damage. Logged on to hopefully check out the radar. It is mighty windy! Just heard a tree crack out in the woods. We are still okay. Cat is fussy and wants to go outside, or thinks he does.

Rita Update 7:30 AM

We started having problems with the power about 5:13 a.m. The power went off at 5:55. We just hooked up the computer to the phone line so we can make this post. We're doing fine. A little rain. Lots of wind. The wind wouldn't seem quite so bad if we didn't have a loose piece of tin. It was loose going in and we did try to shore it up, but it's been kinda bouncy plus getting smacked by the branches that are right next to it. Makes for lots o'noise.

We are getting some big gusts. We figure it's about 50 or 60 sustained. And gusts of about low to mid 70's. Just poked my head out the door and it was really impressive. The tops of these big oaks were bending over just about. We only have about 3 pines on the place since we had them cut back when we started building. Only one is sorta close to the house.

But all the tree action was up higher than the house. We are surrounded by trees but we are nestled right in the middle of so many that I think it is to our advantage. Stuff in the yard that you would expect to have blown by seeing the wind in the tops of the trees have stayed put. Benefitting from the windbreak I'd say.

While I was looking out the back door, a combination of a gust, air pressure getting sucked out the back door, wind direction change, all that perhaps -- blew the front door open. We never use the front door and that was quite a surprise. And since it is never used and the wind was coming from that direction, it took Gene a little while to get it secured. Had to toss the cat in the cat cage for the moment. He was not happy. But that minor event is over and we are settled back in watching the storm.

We can actually watch it now since it is daylight. Okay, maybe it was better when i couldn't see it? Nah, at least I can see which way to run in the daylight if I had to (*laughing*).

I'll be glad when the "storm" passes so we can open the door. Starting to get warm, especially with candles lit since daylight isn't very bright today.

Well, I'll go ahead and post. We are still doing fine.

Rita Update 2:45 AM

Okay, lights are starting to flicker a little. We are shutting down computers for now! Will check in later!

Rita Update 2:40 AM

We just got a serious pick up in wind. Gene and I both turned and looked at each other and said, "Now that's some wind!" Also a little more rain. Thought I'd post again now in case we lose power.

Rita Update -- Funny Things I've Heard

A reporter was just talking about seeing ducks walking on Interstate 10 in Winnie.

Another funny thing we heard today was from a lady coming out of a Home Depot kind of place. They were interviewing her about her purchases as she brought her buggy out of the store. They were mainly interested in the generator she'd bought. But she first mentions the chaise lounge cushions for her lawn furniture that are piled up on top of her generator and adds "You've got to wait until they're on clearance." The entire line waiting to get into the store cracked up. Then she drawled, "There might be a hurricane but I've still gotta shop."

Rita Update, Saturday 2:15 AM

You can only watch so many hours of hurricane news and just how boring is hurricane fluff? We just started watching one of the 167 new-to-us VHS tapes that Tom and Linda gave us. This morning's selection is Broken Arrow (1996) John Travolta and Christian Slater. The tagline is Prepare to Go Ballistic. Obviously, we still have power. Still can hear some rain which is picking up some and the wind; all sounding like a regular rainy day so far.

We are back to watching news while Gene makes a cup of tea. Seeing the horizontal rain in the reports from Beaumont take me back to Hurricane Alicia. That was a scarey day. Day -- this nighttime hurricane stuff sucks. Much more comfortable seeing what's coming.

Will finish watching this round of reports and back to the movie.

Rita Update, Saturday 1:35 AM

We just got a power surge/dim kind of thing. But coincedentally, just seconds before, we were watching a live report from Beaumont from in front of the Entergy Building which had not lost power up until that moment as we watched, and that was just momentary. Maybe our little momentary dimming was related? Beaumont is 89 miles from here.

Okay, the wind as kicked up a bit. Heard the tin on the roof rattling a little. And sounds like we're getting a bit more rain. But things still mostly the same.

Been a long time since supper and time for a little snack. Gene went to the refrigerator looking for something for us and he looked up at me, slapped his forehead and said, "I could have a V8" which really cracked me up. If you're old enough, this will be funny to you, too, I think.

Rita Update, Saturday 1:05 AM

Just checking in. Still have power. It's still sprinkling and gusting occassionally. (ML, check your email)

Rita Update 12:35 AM

Well, still here and doing the same. However, had a tiny, little flicker on the electricity. But still have power. Was just looking at radar and curiously, the clouds parted and there was nothing right over us.

Rita Update, Saturday 12:20 AM

Okay. Still have power. That's good while it lasts. Earlier today, Barrie sent an email and said that places in Dallas were now starting to run out of gas. Crazy, huh?

Friday, September 23, 2005

Rita Update 11:50 PM

ML just called to check on us. I think she was surprised I was sleeping. I decided to catch some shut eye while I could.

I'm glad she called though, so I can be awake and do what I need to do before the rumored witchin' hour when power is supposed to be cut. Gene said it's been pretty quiet still while I was sleeping. Got in about an hour and a half of sleep.

It's still a toss up if we are going to get the most severe weather. Let me post while I can. We're doing okay -- watching the weather news on tv.

Rita Update 10:05 PM

The radar looks ferocious but we just stepped outside. A light rain and the sound of crickets and frogs. Gene reminded me that we will probably have to unplug our computers before too long. Even though we will unplug everything, as long as we've got a phone connection and the iBook battery holds out, we will be able to add an occasional post.

Rita on the Move! 9:45 PM

Can hear the wind picking up. I'm sleepy. Don't think I'll be sleeping tonight though. Think I'll check the latest radar.

Hurricane -- Getting Closer 9:10 PM

Still pretty quiet but bearing down according to the radar. Still watching TV. Showing 100 mile wind gust effects in Beaumont.
Oh yeah, I talked to Martha a little while ago. She says they are all doing fine. They had a great visit with my aunt who lives in same town. She also said that Cassie and family are changing locations. They were staying in a trailer but the area they evacuated to is going to get some serious weather. So, the neighbors/couple across the street from that trailer have a 5 bedroom, 3 bath brick house and have invited Cassie, Jay and the three boys to stay there. I'm glad they are going to be out of that trailer.

And, the person who was already at that trailer that had the flu -- not the flu. Turned out to be tonsilitis. The emergency room in nearby town gave them a prescription and they had to send someone on a 3 1/2 hr trip to a pharmacy in the next time that was open. The return trip was only 20 minutes which is the normal travel time for that route.

One more thing -- Bush Skips Texas. Surprised he changed his mind? Well, at least he thought about it, right?

Waiting on a Hurricane 7:15 PM

Whoa! That's a gust of wind!

Waiting on a Hurricane 6:50 PM

Well, we are settled in for the storm/evening. Got everything done outside that we're gonna do. Moved the cars to the highest spot on the driveway. Actually, need to go outside once more since I have a load of clothes washing. We're all cleaned up. Clean hair. Dishes washed. Water drawn. All clean and ready as we can be. Having a little supper and watching TV while we can. Heard from Gene's sister, Dr. Kim, and got the rundown on most everyone on Gene's side of the family in the general path of Hurricane Rita. Seems like they are all in good spots. I'm concerned about my family of course. They are in areas where the rain will be so heavy. Up to 2 feet for my niece, I think. Hope it's hilly!

Getting some wind!

Waiting on a Hurricane 2:35 PM

Just checked out the website for my work and see that it won't reopen until Tuesday. Parts of it are being used to house evacuees and they will still be there, plus it is hard to get to work and some say dangerous. People getting desperate for gasoline.

Glad I'm at home and staying put. I did drive the five miles into our little town just to check on things and would have gotten a few extra supplies if the store had been open. But it wasn't. Nothing was. Abandoned cars at empty gas pumps. MAJOR traffic at the intersection. I turned around and came home. I think we've got what we need anyway.

Geeze, the prez is coming down here to check out the hurricane -- in San Antonio. How magnanimous.

We found a box of breadmix we'd forgotten about, so Gene got the bread machine going so we'd have one more loaf of bread. We figure we've got food for 2 weeks or more. And we do live in the country and as Hank Jr so aptly put it, "a country boy can survive." There are plenty of squirrel and deer on our land and Gene's an expert marksman. I've always managed to avoid cleaning fish, but would skin a squirrel if I was hungry. I think I impressed Gene early on in our relationship when I helped him dress a deer.

Also, we've got plenty of fishing gear and we do live walking distance to a major lake. And no, the lake won't flood us. We are on the high side of it. There is a little creek that floods us sometimes but we are quite familiar with what it does and should be fine.

Well, time to do a few more things. I'm so glad my Beaumont area family got out and moved north. Hope their property stands firms. But mostly glad they have a better chance of sitting out this storm having evacuated. And I'm glad that my dad is at the home of my cousin -- a neice that he is especially fond of -- Patsy. She says"I know I'm back home when I get called Patsy."

Waiting on a Hurricane 1:30 PM

Glad the power is back on so we can enjoy the AC a little longer. A friend just told me that power companies are going to cut power off at midnight tonight. It prevents fires when it crashes to the ground and safer to put back up. But my first impression is " Who cares! Keep power going until it's gone." Not everyone can have the resources of a generator and the fuel to keep it going for days. At least I know I'll be saying that when 12:15 rolls around and we are sweltering inside our house. Oh well. Who says hurricanes are comfortable, right?

Waiting on a Hurricane 9:55 AM

7:36 I guess I'd be remiss if I didn't post before Hurricane Rita bears down on us. Just lost power. Heard a transformer blow. No wind and no rain. Maybe we'll be back.
9:55 Power back on. Transformer repaired.

Monday, September 19, 2005


September 19th is "Talk Like a Pirate Day" -- hope you didn't miss it, Matey! Check out this LINK to learn how it all got started -- if ye dare!

Friday, September 16, 2005

Friday Evening

Linda and Tom

Tonight, we went out to eat with Linda and Tom. They introduced us to one of their favorite resturaunts. Really nice people run the place and the food was great. And they had Hurricane Katrina evacuees living in the resturaunt! Okay -- a little misleading, I admit. Some impressive tropical fish found a home in their huge fish tanks.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Shelter From The Storm: A Concert For the Gulf Coast

Gene recorded it for me. Watched it this morning. I really enjoyed Neil Young's "God Made Me." And Chris Rock's pronouncement that "George Bush hates midgets" (which I understand was his attempt to put a scare into producers after someone else's strong comment that made it past the censors). But most poignant to me was the sorrow in the eyes of Dr. John as he sang “Walkin’ to New Orleans.”


Sin City
Movie LINK
(2005) Comic Book Noir. Great to look at. If you don't mind lots of gratuitous sex and violence, it's worth a look. The most accurate representation of comic book to screen so far.

Beauty Shop
Movie LINK
(2005) This morning, I watched a classic old Gunsmoke that was so well written. If only Beauty Shop had gotten some decent writers -- some good gags and raw material for characters, but misses the mark. Maybe a good place to get your hair did, but not to get your laugh on. Trite.

Movie LINK
(2005) Jane Fonda comes off convincingly as a mean spirited Viola Fields wanting to hold on to her baby boy. Kind of a predictable movie but had a few moments.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Gene Says My Blog Takes Too Long to Load

Since my blog is taking too long to load, I modified it to show fewer days on this page. So if it's been a while since you've been here -- be sure to look at the previous archived posts or you might miss something!

Movie LINK
(2005) We watched Sahara tonight. Matthew McConaughey was looking good. And I always enjoy getting to see Steve Zahn. Also in it is William H. Macy; he and Steve Zahn could play relatives. Maybe they will someday. Penélope Cruz -- okay choice, I suppose. Could have been someone else just as well. It was entertaining.

Geeze, I've posted five days in a row. Time for a break I say!

Sunday, September 04, 2005

The Rest of the Weekend

After the birthday shopping excursion, I went to Dad's. That night, we talked while occasionally glancing at a football game on TV -- A&M vs Clemson. Sunday morning, we went to church and met Martha there. That church is looking for a new pastor, but the one that was filling in was in school the same time as Dad. This guy was a good preacher and pretty spry for 76, twelve years my dad's junior.

Dad treated me to lunch for my birthday at the deli at Brookshire's grocery. Our first choice was closed for Labor Day weekend. Got him home after that and he went to nap. I walked over to Martha's to visit and we decided to watch a little HGTV. But since we were both kicked back in recliners to watch TV, we found ourselves watching the back of our eyelids instead in no time.

Here's a picture of Dad putting on his socks, getting ready to go down to the niece's house for a special family event. If you've been around my dad anytime at all, you've seen him doing this. I remember him always taking off his work shoes before coming in the house for one thing and subsequently putting them on to go out. And those three years he spent in the tropics during World War II and contracting Jungle Rot made him very aware of the importance of dry socks. Plus, he's been very careful with his feet since he almost lost a toe to poor circulation.

I headed on home, having to make the dreaded Walmart stop on the way home. Had to get a battery for the phone -- it's insane that a battery costs as much if not more than the phone itself!

Swung by the Movie Gallery before heading home. Nothing to watch but Jerry Lewis telethon. We watched two: Monster-in-Law and Hotel .
Hotel was a bit cerberal or tried to be anyway for what it was. Had it's points, I guess, but I ended up just forwarding through most of it. Now Monster-in-Law, with Jane Fonda and Jennier Lopez, was pretty funny. (Monster-in-Law LINK; Hotel LINK)

Saturday, September 03, 2005

A Good Birthday

I got to spend part of my birthday with my best friend from my high school days. We had a great time "at the mall." I had a trip planned to visit Dad and Martha this weekend and to go to the nearby mall in the next town to shop for an outfit for an upcoming event. Coincidentally, Deb was headed to the same mall to shop for a "Mother of the Bride" dress. When you live in rural Texas, sometimes you have quite a drive to get to a decent mall and our destinations converged this day.


At one point she turned to me and said, "It feels like we do this all the time." We compared notes that it was two years ago that we'd seen each other and not spoken more than ten times if that many since then. And we both agreed that it was if we picked up right where we left off.

She treated me to lunch for my birthday, too. Yum, great lunch!

I'll see her next Saturday, too. Her middle child will be marrying and on the same day, her baby boy turns nineteen. Man, those years flew past, didn't they?

Friday, September 02, 2005

Goodbye, New Orleans

Originally posted by virge. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Go Taaarb!

Yep, I actually went to a football game today. It was fun to go with my coworkers, but I was happy to be leaving during the third quarter. Our team won 77 to 7.

Falling Pryamid

The couch potatoes on their way to the first football game of the season.

Word Scramble.
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