Happy Friday, Aledan Merfolk! The last time we spoke, I was cleaning up post-hurricane. There’s still one pile of leaves/branches in the backyard that we have to get bagged up, but it hasn’t rained since Matthew and I’m sick of inhaling all that dust (every time I blow my nose it’s black from dust), so we’re waiting until after it rains to get that final pile cleaned up. Despite that final pile, all the animals are super happy that the backyard is once again back to normal.
Look at all those happy animals! And a bonus picture of Modelo looking like a cat instead of a shadow (he’s a Havana Brown, which means he usually looks all-black until the sun hits him just right and you can see he’s actually dark brown).
Aside from hurricane cleanup, it’s been a busy month. My little sister came to Charleston for the weekend and I got to see her tiny baby bump! I bought my niece her first My Little Pony (Princess Twilight Sparkle, of course) <3 And Hubs and I went to see Loreena McKennitt in concert, and I cried through basically the entire thing. The concert was SO good, and we were SO close to the stage. Then we stayed downtown that night to pretend we were on vacation 🙂
Happy Friday, Aledan Merfolk! It’s been an exciting couple of weeks around here, first with birthday excitement, and then with the interruption of Hurricane Matthew. But first, the birthday excitement! It started with a new ‘do:
Purple hair with blonde highlights!
And after Hubs cleaned my car, I was able to put on all my new stickers!
I think the Star Trek one is my favorite, because it’s on the front windshield and I can see it while I’m driving. The rest of the pre-birthday weekend was spent reading and writing and playing WoW…and eating amazing food. Hubs made farrotto (risotto but with farro instead of rice) using the stock from the Littles (remember them? They were delicious) and mushrooms he found while mountain biking (we’ve had them before so we knew they were safe to eat). He also made a blueberry and mint pie!
On my birthday I had pie for breakfast, because that’s how you start off 34 right.
So the birthday started out pretty freaking awesome. Pie for breakfast, pumpkin muffins at coffee break (made by a coworker because I can’t eat processed sugar, so she made them with agave nectar <3), cheese grits and broccolini for lunch. And lunch was when the first grumblings of the hurricane began.
By 3pm, the governor was holding a press conference, talking about evacuating the coast. By 4pm my dayjob was talking about closing (which is UNHEARD OF). By 5pm, gas stations were running out of gas and grocery stores were running out of bottled water. Instead of leaving work early to go out to a fancy birthday dinner, I ended up staying at work late to get things done before the hurricane. I tried to get a cat carrier on the way home in case we needed to evacuate (we have three cats but only two carriers), but they were sold out. I did manage to get gas, and Hubs was able to snag the last crate of bottled water at the grocery store. That night we tried to figure out how to get seven animals and our luggage in one car.
Side note: it’s impossible to get seven animals and our luggage in one car. So we decided to stay.
I will never, EVER, stay during a hurricane that’s stronger than a 1 again.
On Weds I went to work for a couple hours to finish up data and get the instruments ready for the storm. On Weds afternoon, they switched the lanes on the highway so you could only leave Charleston, and the evacuation began. On Thursday and Friday, work was closed, and Hubs and I were scrambling to get the house ready to stay. I cleaned the tub so we could fill it with water just in case the plumbing stopped working. I filled five coolers with water so the animals could drink and we could save the bottled water for ourselves. Hubs cleaned the garage so we could get my car in, and we packed his car in case we needed to get out in the thick of it. We tried to put up the hurricane shutters, but the last folks who lived in our house screwed them into the garage wall and stripped the screws. We were only able to get two shutters up (and thank god we got those up, because we would have lost the living room window otherwise).
And then we waited for the storm to start. And let me tell you something: waiting for a hurricane to hit is far worse than anything I’ve ever experienced. I was so mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausted on Friday night, that I passed out at 11:30 and slept through the worst part of the storm.
I woke up at 8am on Saturday, which is when I thought the worst of the storm was supposed to hit, got the dogs out to potty, and checked on the chickens. They were snug in their coop, and luckily we had moved their coop to a different area of the backyard, because there was a limb down where they had been. The backyard was a mess. Limbs everywhere. Our ten-foot azalea had been squashed by a huge limb. Another was hanging in the tree, just waiting to come down (it’s still there – we’re waiting on a company to have time to come get it). The dogs and I got back inside and the wind started picking up even as the rain stopped.
The wind. Holy Gods, the wind. Thank goodness the tree in the front yard is so bendy, because there were 70mph gusts. Around 11am or so, a huge limb came down in the backyard and split our dogwood tree in two. That dogwood is the only thing that saved our fence – it kept that giant limb hovering two inches above our fence. All over the neighborhood trees uprooted because the soil was so soft from the rain and the gusts were so hard. We were lucky that we didn’t lose any of the trees in the backyard (we have a lot of trees in the backyard).
The power went out several times, but our neighborhood was lucky to keep it for the most part. The plumbing never went out (thank Aleda). We didn’t have any issues with flooding. The house didn’t suffer any major damage. The chickens even laid an egg during the worst of the storm. Overall, Hubs and I were extremely lucky.
We still have a good bit to clean up in the backyard, but Boudin has been helping with the smaller sticks:
I did manage to stab my toe with a rusty pair of chicken-poo covered garden sheers while cleaning up, which lead to a tetanus shot because I’m terrified of needles and haven’t had one in nineteen years. The toe is fine. Four days after getting the shot, my arm is still swollen, itchy, and painful.
And that, Aledans, was my overly-exciting birthday week. We still haven’t made up that birthday dinner yet, but we’ll do that after the swelling in my arm goes down 😉
Last, but not least, tomorrow is the last day to vote in #PonyFest16! Get your vote in before it’s too late.