Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Prize! Blog Contest #3

Remember those iolite earrings I described for Katie, Blog Contest #3 winner? Well, here they are...lucky 7, ink-blue iolite stones on each leverback earring, clustered on a linear chain. Stunning! I hope Katie likes them...

Stay tuned for the next Blog Contest, coming soon.

Blog Contest #4...and the Winner is...

The random number generator chose lucky 13 as the winner for blog contest #4! It just so happens that Vanessa left comment #13 on the blog contest post, so she wins! Vanessa will get her choice of 2 soap bars, and a surprise soap dish. Congratulations, Vanessa! I'll be contacting you shortly to see what kind of soap you want.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Hurricane Ike: Before, During, & After (Part III)

Sunday Morning, 9/14 thru Friday, 9/19

Power came on late Saturday. Thankfully so, because the hurricane breeze was completely gone and a humid, stagnant air was settling over the neighborhood. Only those in the Gulf Coast states know what true humidity is, and it is nearly impossible to sleep without A/C. You pretty much just lay there all night and sweat.

There were some problems in the city getting FEMA supplies to the PODs (Points of Distribution). Our own governor, Rick Perry, said something like he hoped Texas would be treated as well by FEMA as those who were in the aftermath of Katrina (paraphrasing). What?!? You must be joking. There was significant political BS going on as FEMA pointed fingers at the state and local officials pointed fingers at both for the failures. In the meantime, miles and miles of cars were queueing up at the PODs and gas stations. Houston's mayor, Bill White, was quite peeved when assistance started off on the wrong foot. Local officials had to go sort out the FEMA logistics for delivering water, ice, and food so things could run smoothly. Apparently, they did not have a federal person who could handle it. Pitiful. Later, we learned that the first day of ice wasn't even provided by FEMA, but rather as a donation by the local HEB grocery store! Needless to say, there are many governmental handoffs, responsibilities, and issues that still need resolution BEFORE the next hurricane strikes.

I think this is where I'll end my Hurricane Ike journal. School has been out for a week due to power outages that are still quite noticeable. I have tons of sympathy for those who have been without power at their homes for 7 days now. But grocery stores and service stations are now opening up again. Galveston and other coastal areas can be rebuilt. The loss of life was not nearly as bad as it could have been. We will survive.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hurricane Ike: Before, During, & After (Part II)

(See Part I of my Hurricane Ike Journal)

Saturday Afternoon, 9/13

It was about noon before the rain and wind settled down enough so we could get outside. We took a few boards off the house to let some light in, and removed enough items from the garage so we could get to the generator. The power had been out for about 15 hrs., and I wanted to save my refrigerator and freezer contents from spoiling.

We inspected our house more closely, and thankfully, no damage except a leaning section of fence, and a few strange objects that had landed on our roof. Leaves and branches were just everywhere…they were piled six inches deep up against the curb, and scattered throughout the yard. With so many leaves on the ground, it was amazing that the trees still had leaves on them!

Some of our neighbors were not so lucky. Trees had fallen on houses doing roof and window damage. The oak and maple trees faired the best during the storm. The elms, pecans, and other varieties had more damage. Gutters were dangling and street lights were broken. The only sounds in the neighborhood were chain saws, generators, and sirens.

It is difficult to clean things up in rainy, wet conditions…even though the entire neighborhood was anxious to get going; it was going to take days, maybe weeks, to clean-up what happened overnight.

Sunday and the days to come in my next post…

Don't Forget - Join in the Giveaway Contest!

Don't forget, join in the soap and soap dish giveaway contest, Blog Contest #4. It's never to late to join the fun since the winner will be chosen by random number generator!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Hurricane Ike: Before, During, & After (Part I)

We have emerged from the other side of Hurricane Ike in Sugar Land, Texas. As I begin to write this on Sunday morning, I am a bit sleepless and somewhat emotionally and physically tired. The force and destructive capability of Mother Nature is tremendous, and should make any individual human being feel very small. Yet the human spirit has endurance, and an ongoing ability to look on the bright side. Despite the preparation, prolonged storm experience, and aftermath…we look immediately around us now and say, “It could have been worse,” and “thank goodness no one was hurt.” However, we now know that the same is not true for Galveston and other southeastern coastal areas. Day by day, it went something like this…

Thursday, 9/11

Those of us in southeast Texas didn’t have our minds on the infamous 9/11. We were checking hurricane supplies, buying last minute groceries, and topping off our gas tanks. Grocery stores were an absolute zoo with “mile long” checkout lines, and gas stations were backed up 5-6 cars deep at every pump. There was a general frenzy developing, as the storm had taken a more northern track than originally anticipated.

School was still in session so I made my way to my classroom, but my husband stayed home from work to start boarding up the windows. We have 20 windows, but it doesn’t seem like that many until you move and carry 20 heavy boards around the house, climb the ladder for many of them, and screw in 60 screws or more.

We worked until dark, finishing as much boarding up as possible, and bringing in lawn furniture, potted plants, bird feeders, and other miscellaneous yard items so they would not later turn in to flying missiles.

Friday, 9/12 & Saturday, 9/13

The alarm went off as usual around 5:00 A.M. We knew there was work to finish outside, so we were thankful to find that the winds and rain had not yet started. A quick check with the local television station confirmed we were still directly in the path of Hurricane Ike. It was still only a category 2 storm, but the winds had increased to 110 mph, and it was so broad that it filled the Gulf of Mexico in size. Some who are uninformed about hurricanes wanted to minimize its intensity. But by comparison, would you ride on the roof of a car going 110 mph? I don’t think so!

Around 6:30 P.M., the wind started to get a bit gusty, and we decided to bring our outside cat into her “apartment” for the night. She was very well behaved, and only let out a mournful meow every once in awhile. It also occurred to me that I might want photos of all my household possessions...just in case. So I went around and snapped some hurried photos of various rooms.

We lost electrical power at 9:00 P.M., and decided to try and get some rest for a few hours, anticipating that the night might be a little long and sleepless. Around 10:00 P.M. the wind was roaring so loudly that it was impossible to sleep. Within a few hours, the roaring wind was joined by loud thrashing sounds up against the house (later, we discovered it was probably fence boards that had turned into projectiles), and cracks, moans, and thuds (which were probably the trees twisting in half and falling on rooftops). We had setup camp in the closet and spent about 3 hrs. in there, in the pitch dark, just hoping we weren’t going to do a Dorothy and Oz kind of adventure.

The eye of Ike had crossed Galveston Island around 2:00 A.M. We were on the “clean” side of the storm which means we did not have the worst wind and rain that this storm had to offer, and we did not have a storm surge since we are about 50 miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico. It was still bad enough for me.

Around 6:00 A.M., the whole thing began to let up a bit, and we called parents to let them know we were still alive – fortunately, cell phones worked! Eight hours is a long time to sit through all that, especially at night, when all you have is a flashlight and transistor radio.

At first light around 7:00 A.M. the view outdoors was amazing. The back door, which was the only glass not boarded up, had about 500 maple leaves stuck to it like plaster. The patio was covered with shredded, green leaves. My manicured flowerbed was mangled. I looked up at the roof…the shingles were still there…my neighbor’s house was still there, and our focus shifted to the anticipation of the clean-up.

Saturday afternoon and the days to come in my next post…

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Winner! - Blog Contest #3

Katie was the winner of blog contest #3. She has chosen some linear, chained dangles from iolite stones. Can't wait to see how they turn out! Stay tuned...

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Blog Contest #4 - Comment Commotion

This time it is all about the soap! Leave a comment (up to 1 comment per day) on this blog sure to tell me something interesting for the day -- an observation, musing, or current event comment will do nicely. Comments with no words will be deleted!

Contest ends September 20, 2008...and on September 21, I will use this Random Number Generator to pick the winner. If your comment number matches the first number from the Random Number Generator, YOU WIN! Retail value approximately $25!

...hmmm, so what do you win? Well, remember I said it's all about the soap? You will win any two bars of soap (you pick) currently listed in my Etsy shop, Soap Sense. You will also win one of my large, upcycled soap dishes (I pick)!

One small must leave a way for me to contact you via your comment... through your blog or Etsy shop is fine, as long as I can find you!

I think that covers it. Start the comment commotion!

Saturday, September 6, 2008


...and here are my 6 nominees for Brilliant Blogger -- a 7th one just didn't pop out at me:

Prairie Fibers
The Funky Felter
Simply Sentimental
Dulces Creations

I'm off to notify them, so they can pass along the Brilliant Blogger to 7 others!

Friday, September 5, 2008

DLPom is a Brilliant Blogger!

Thanks to Boxing Day for nominating me as a Brilliant Blogger! It is fantastic when someone else recognizes your efforts. I'll be looking for my seven blog nominees tomorrow...when my brain is not so tired. I want to give it careful, check back tomorrow.