Saturday, August 30, 2008

update

I am in hell! My truck broke down on the side of the road. I sat in a hot truck with no air, two smelly dogs, and a dead armadillo on the side of the road. The smell was vomitous. Is that a word? Well it is now. I was scared to death that my kids were going to get sick from the intense heat. I was too far for anyone to come get me. My bathroom situation suddenly didn't seem so bad. Long story short, an Alabama state trooper helped me and I am now at a hotel. Did I mention I am in the ghetto? Yeah! Y'all know I have OCD, I can't even sit down in here. I am sitting on my cooler typing this. Chad is coming to get me to take me to Tupelo where my mom can come get me.I look and feel like shit and I just found out that Gustav is about to be a Cat 5.Other than that I
am pretty fuckin' great! Pardon my French! Oh yeah and we are eating oringles sticks and capri suns for dinner.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Gustav is coming y'all!

Y'all I am having a panic attack...no seriously! I am evacuating tomorrow morning. I cannot believe I am doing this AGAIN! I am completely freaking out. After working 12 1/2 hours today, Chad tells me that the Coast Guard is ordering families to leave Saturday. Chad will be leaving Sunday to a NASA facility in Mississippi. There are NO hotels available in northern LA, MS, or TN. I am still unsure where I am going. Chad is at the store right now getting supplies. I just wanted to say thank you for all your positive thoughts. I get my comments emailed to me on my phone. I will be back on the computer as soon as I can...

Katrina Part Three: New Orleans, The Big Easy...or should I say the Big Hard

August 29, 2005 5:00 am
I watched the TV in silence. This was so surreal. Thankfully when Katrina (click here to see a graphic of the storm) hit she was only a Cat 3. I wondered what had become of our house. Was it even there? Are there trees on it or did we flood? How would we know? We left everything!! Most of the "things" can be replaced. I didn't care about clothes or furniture. I cared about irreplaceable things. Pictures, mementos from my childhood, my kid's things, heirlooms, and my cross that my grandma gave me before she died. I wanted my cross. It was given to her by my grandpa on their wedding day. She had given it to me after I got engaged. I think she knew she wouldn't make it to my wedding. That was precious to me. I couldn't believe I left all these things. But I didn't know...no one did.
Once everyone was up, we ate breakfast as our eyes were glued to the TV. It was like I was afraid to look away. We loaded up the vehicle and headed over to North Carolina to stay with my dad. Every rest area we stopped at there were people wandering around with blank stares. Nobody could believe that this was happening.
When we finally made it to my dad's house, I just wanted a shower.
No one could have planned for this. If you weren't down here for the storm you truly do not understand what the people went through, the events that led up to Katrina and after.
Q: Why didn't you leave sooner? Didn't you know that it was going to hit you?
A: Hurricanes come and go and usually you just ride them out. No big deal. Everyone thought that this was the same old storm. A little wind and rain. An excuse to take the day off work/school. Nobody anticipated a Cat 5 hurricane or the catastrophic catastrophe that was to take place (wink wink Geraldo).

Q: Why didn't you take more clothing and valuables?
A: I am not a fortune teller. How the hell was I supposed to know that I was going to be gone for a MONTH!

Logan's 2nd birthday was two days later and all his presents were at home. My dad took me shopping and we got all new presents. (The toys I had for him at home I donated to a fellow Coastie's son. Their family lost everything.) We had a little party for him and then Chad returned, by CHOICE, to New Orleans. Duty called.
I was worried sick about my house and my husband. I saw on the news that people were looting and there were gangs roaming and since there were barely any cops they were doing whatever they wanted. I was fearful that something would happen. Every now and again he would call or send me an email. He was busy going door to door looking for live bodies, getting medicine and supplies to those in need, and battling the heat and intense odor that loomed. He said the smell was disgusting, it was the stench of rotting flesh, animal and human. The water was disgusting. It was filled with bacteria and if you came in contact with it you were going to get sick. It was nasty. He saw dead bodies in houses, floating, on roof tops and on the side of the road. I cannot even fathom this. What I saw on TV was nothing in comparison to the real thing. And this was just the beginning...



Here are some pictures that we took and some from other USCG guys:


From a chopper






This is how high the water got in some spots


Wendy's...underwater



People loading up their boat


A boat...in the road


The infamous signs on the doors


This is I-10, the bridge between the North and South shore over Lake Pontchartrain


The Red Cross



New Orleans lighthouse

More pictures to come...




Over 1700 people lost their lives along the Gulf Coast. Today we remember them.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Katrina Part Two: Where will we go?

Sunday August 28, 2005 6:30 am

On the road we were still trying to figure out where we were going. My dad lives near Charlotte, NC and my mom lives outside of St. Louis, MO. Those were the two closest places to go. My dad called us and said that he could accommodate us and the dogs. I don't think my mom could have handled all the chaos, so we decided to go to my dad's. After I got off the phone with him, my uncle Jeff called. He lives in Birmingham, AL. He told us to stop at his house for the night so we weren't driving all day long. We stopped at Burger King for breakfast and then it was off to Birmingham.

We arrived in Birmingham and my aunt and uncle were so glad to see us. They had a pool so my uncle kept the kids busy by taking them swimming. They had so much fun with him. My aunt took me to Kohl's and Wal-Mart to get some clothes and toiletries, because remember I packed light! She bought everything. I started to cry. I couldn't believe how generous she was. She not only bought my kids clothes, pj's and toys, she also bought me clothes and then she handed me a wad of cash. I just hugged her and said thank you. We got back to the house and had pizza for dinner and then put the kids to bed. We sat around and watched FOX News, laughed at Geraldo Rivera and watched as people filed into the Superdome right across from Chad's office. Our phones were ringing like crazy. Everyone was calling. I couldn't believe this was happening!
Everyone finally went to bed. I tried to sleep but I couldn't. I ended up turning the TV back on and watched FOX News as hurricane Katrina made landfall on August 29, 2005.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Gustav

Well it appears as though I will be evacuating come Friday, the anniversary of Katrina. It was downgraded to a tropical storm because it went over land and slowed down. The problem is that once it gets passed Cuba it is in open water, warm open water, which is a recipe for disaster. It will pick up speed and get stronger. It is supposed to be a Cat 3 by this weekend and possibly hit us by Monday. I am not jumping the gun, I am just getting prepared.
I am a little stressed out though. I have to lug three kids and two dogs across the South to North Carolina, all.by.myself! Chad has to stay behind and help all the idiots that decide to stay. I am driving the truck so I can haul all of our junk and the dogs. My dilemma is I can't stop to pee because I would have to take everyone in the potty with me and my crap would get stolen. So I think I am going to steal a urinal from work for the boys and hmmmm maybe an adult diaper!?! (kidding of course) Either that or I just will not eat or drink the entire time. What to do, what to do?

Katrina Part One: The evacuation

Saturday August 27, 2005 9:00 am

Three years ago today it was Saturday morning and I was watching The Stepford Wives (the true story of Katie Holmes) on HBO. Chad was at work and I was just sitting around in my pj's and the kids were watching cartoons and playing in their room. There was a knock on the door, it was my next door neighbor Carolyn.

C: Are you leaving?
FF: What?
C: Are you leaving? Katrina is coming.
FF: Katrina?
C: The hurricane! You must leave. Call Chad, you can come with us.
FF: OK, um what should I take? How long do you think we will be gone?
C: Think of it as a little vacation. It will probably only be for two days. I will be packing up the camper, come on over when you are all packed.

I still didn't know what the hell was going on. I heard nothing up until this point. I switched over to the news. Katrina was a Cat 3 hurricane and there were not mandatory evacuations yet. I called Chad. He didn't know that people were starting to evacuate. Now he is in the U.S. Coast Guard in New Orleans, so if he didn't know what was going on how the hell is everyone else supposed to? He said he would call me back. After a bit he called back and said that it was my call if I wanted to go with the neighbors. If I decided to go he would catch up to me when he got off work. They were not released from work as of yet. I was so confused. Should I wait for Chad or go with my neighbors. I truly didn't know what to do. Within my first week or so of moving here we endured hurricane Cindy. It was the loudest, scariest storm I had ever been in and I didn't want to experience that again. I decided to go with my neighbors but first I needed to put gas in the truck for Chad if he were going to meet up with us later. Holy crap! The line at the gas station was ginormous!! I waited and waited. Did that ever test my driving skills (there were cars everywhere!) and my patience! It was not chaotic, everyone was patient and helping others pull up to the pump. I had to back up through a vehicle maze and there was a nice man that helped me maneuver. I eventually filled up and returned home.
I began packing, lightly I might add. I took a few toiletries, pj's and two change of clothes. I basically packed as if I were going camping for a few days. I packed up Logan, he was only one at the time. Hayden, who was five, packed up his clothes and a few favorite toys for him and his brother. I also grabbed some snacks. But that was it.
I was worried about my dogs, but Chad would be home to get them. So off we went in my neighbors RV to Jackson, MS. Just an hour down the road I started crying, thinking I should have stayed behind and waited for Chad. I talked to him on the phone and he still was not released from work. Oh and by this time, around 12 or 1 I think, they finally ordered a mandatory evacuation.
We arrived at the campground, it took us about 3 hours to get there. There was a swimming pool, so I decided to take the kids swimming rather than sit around and worry. After that I visited with my neighbors, Gene and Carolyn, along with their friends Bob and Roxanne. They fed us and we were just sitting around and chatting. It was now after dinner and Chad called and said he was at home. He gathered his things and the dogs and piled into the truck. He was on his way to meet us. Katrina was now a Cat 4 and bearing down on us.
He finally arrived late at night, it took him forever due to all the traffic. We called our parents and decided to try and get some sleep. My neighbors have a small RV enough for 4 adults. Their friends, Bob and Roxanne, had a huge RV bus. My wonderful neighbors stayed with them so we could all stay in their RV for the night. The dogs stayed in the truck with the windows down. We had the TV set on The Weather Channel all night long. Chad laid with Logan and I laid with Hayden on the two beds and we just fixated on the TV. I don't remember what time it was, but it was very, very early on Sunday morning and she was now a Cat 5! I don't think we slept more than an hour that night. The sun was barely up and there was a knock on the door of the RV. It was Carolyn.

C: We need to go. Did you hear? She's a Cat 5. We can't stay here.

We hurried up and showered, exchanged phone numbers and gave everyone a hug goodbye. I think it was about 6:30 am on Sunday. We just started driving...

Monday, August 25, 2008

Fay update

Well Fay was downgraded to a tropical depression. All it did was rain. All.day.long. I felt like an idiot at the store. They probably thought I was stocking my bomb shelter.
Anywho, looks like the next storm is tropical storm Gustav. Who comes up with these names?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I'm trying...I really am

We installed this virus protection in the computer and now for some reason my computer will not let me post comments on some of your blogs. I am so sorry. I am still reading them, and I have been able to post a comment or two but that's it. I hope to have this problem resolved soon. I most likely will not have power tomorrow, at least I am not expecting to, so I will be back on here in a couple days (maybe sooner).

Batten down the hatches!


Fay is on her way! She is going directly over us in about 24 hours. Heading to the store to get water, batteries and food. We will most likely lose power...usually do if the wind blows cross wise.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Kindergartner for a day


Monday was Logan's first day of school. And just as I did with Hayden, I took pictures of him getting on the bus and getting off the bus. (I don't know how I could see, I had tears in my eyes!)
I am sure the people driving past my house thought I was an idiot but I don't care. You only have ONE first day of school! Riding the bus was the highlight of his day.

Tuesday I went in his room to wake him up for school:

Me: Logie, it's time for school.

Logan: But I was just there yesterday!

Me: Yes, and you have to go all week.

Logan: Everyday?!

Apparently he thinks that he is done with the whole kindergarten thing in just one day.

Please sir, may I have another?




Friday, August 15, 2008

Oh those boys are much too much. Those boys are much too much!

I DVR everything, so I rarely see any commercials. I just happened to see this and I loved it. I must have watched it a dozen times. I told Chad that this was him someday with Bryn. : )

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Computer woes

My computer had a virus, again. Instead of taking it to Firedog again we decided to save $130 and do it ourselves. We tried all kinds of anti-virus programs and it still didn't work. We consulted with Firedog and they said that it sounded like spyware. We had to re-install Windows and upgrade to the newest Internet Explorer and Outlook Express. We did that.
I finally have my computer back but I lost everything. I had all my pictures burned onto discs (thank God!) and my iTunes backed up but I lost everything else. All "my favorites" I had stored and all of my email contacts. Now I have to wait until I receive an email so I can save it to my address book. I had all my blogs that I read saved on my favorites too. Bummer!

Always a bridesmaid

So I was super excited to get my new Blackberry. I went into work to show off my cool new toy only to be one-upped by a co-worker.

me: "Yeah I decided to get a new phone, so I got a Blackberry. It's pretty cool, I even have internet."

co-worker: "I just got a new phone too. Check out my new iPhone."

me: "Nice! I have Verizon, they don't offer the iPhone." (crap!)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Saturday, August 9, 2008

It's a penis, it's a candle. It's a penis candle!

The window ledge in my bathroom over the tub is decorated with candles and sea shells. Chad noticed that one candle in particular had melted into, well, an usual shape.





The fact that it's purple makes it even funnier!

Friday, August 8, 2008

My new hobby

I have a love for art. I had an opportunity to go to art and design school on a scholarship but I turned it down. I didn't think there was any money in it. The last time I really painted was when I lived at home in Pickerington. I had a huge drafting table in the basement and I would go down there and paint for hours.
My new hobby is photography. I love taking pictures, especially of my kids. My house is filled with pictures that I have taken myself, (mostly black and white), on my mantle, the walls, shelves, etc. I really enjoy taking pictures of interesting things and places too. I have been taking pictures of New Orleans since we moved here. I love this city. There is so much to do and see. I could spend hours upon hours in the French Quarter taking pictures. My latest project is creating a surname sign with architectural photos. If it turns out well I may make them for family members for Christmas.

Recently we took a trip to the Myrtles Plantation (If you are not familiar with the Myrtles, you must read about it). This place is steeped with mystery and intrigue. It is truly amazing. It was so quiet and serene. I could have sat on the gallery and rocked Bryn all day long. It is so beautiful and peaceful there.

As I was walking around taking photos, I had an eerie feeling that I was being watched. Maybe it was Chloe.


There are statues all over the grounds. This one in particular was haunting. It was almost like she was following me with her eyes.

As you drive up to the house it is almost as if you are going back in time. It is just gorgeous.

One of the owners felt that if she placed cherubs and French crosses around that it would deter evil spirits. The doors are hand painted with French crosses.

This was my favorite picture. I love the iron work on the gallery.

I was drawn to the double dormer in the middle. It was almost as though someone was peeking out of the window at me. The two hundred plus year old oak trees add a bit of creepiness to the photo.

I did take color photos too. But the black and white really add something special. I am planning on returning to take more photos. I love this place. We are actually thinking about staying here for a night. This is my favorite plantation thus far!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A Clockwork Orange

Malcolm McDowell as Alex

Heath Ledger as The Joker

I rented this movie on the basis that Heath Ledger modeled his "Joker" character after the main character in A Clockwork Orange. I read that Heath would watch the movie to help get into character. I was intrigued so I had to see what this movie was all about. I knew it was a Stanley Kubrick movie, so I wasn't quite sure what I was in for. (Remember Eyes Wide Shut? Me either.)

This is a bizarre, satirical, political and metaphorical dramedy. The protagonist is Alex, a delinquent young man in future Britain. He and his three droogs (friends) wreak havoc on people until Alex is caught and jailed. He becomes "rehabilitated", by way of psychological torment, and is released to become a productive member of society. But has he truly changed?

If you like British humor and have a taste for strange and unusual, then this is right up your ally. Add it to your Netflix Queue!

A Clockwork Orange was originally a novel by Anthony Burgess. The movie was nominated for four Oscars in 1972, including Best Picture and Best Director.

Oh and I can definitely see how Alex inspired Heath's "Joker"... genius!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Friday, August 1, 2008

A funny for Friday

If you are in need of a good laugh then click here.

Paxton? Pullman?


Does anyone else get Bill Paxton and Bill Pullman mixed up or is it just me? I know they don't look alike, but I still get them confused.

Project Runway (episode 3)


I was not blown away this week. I still can't pick a front runner. I know who I don't like: Stella, Blayne and Suede. Stella, I'm OVA THA LEATHA! Holla at cha boy Blayne because your 15 minutes is up soon! I can't stand the word/name Suede anymore. I think I will use it as a code word for my dog to attack.

What's with Sandra Bernhardt as guest judge? She looks like a man baby! Ewww.

I thought Leanne's was the cutest and most wearable. I loved her skirt! Kenley's was cute, but I wouldn't wear it. I love, love MK's analogies...looks like toilet paper in a wind storm... 80's Joan Collins kinda power bitch dress... Keep 'em coming MK!



I figured Emily was going home when Nina said that she had no comment, but I think that Stella should have gone home (she wasn't even in the bottom). Wasn't the challenge to create something with NY style that you would wear out on the town for the night? Unless the town was Sturgis, that was awful!



Hop on your Harley and ride off into the sunset, PLEASE!