Friday, September 26, 2008

It's Chilly! Or is it Chili?

  Hello, all!  It's already fall!  And it even feels like it here.  We are having very low humidity and cool, refreshing overnight temps hovering around 60 degrees. Feels downright chilly!

And to match that fall feel, I came home and put on a pot of chili.  I never make it from scratch.  Why should I?  With Wick Fowler's I get the same perfect, tasty chili every single time.  I used to always use his original recipe with ALL the red pepper.  But with Pete's stomach problems and children I started using the mild version.  Every bit as full and flavorful as the original but without all the heat. 

Occasionally I throw a can of Ranch Style beans into it.  Every now and then I cook a pot of rice to go with it and bake a pone of cornbread as a side dish.  But mostly, we like to keep it all meat and eat it with saltines.  Or do what we are tonight, which is to make frito pie's with it.  Sometimes I use the leftover and box of macaroni and cheese and make chili mac.   I love that stuff!

Well, I'm off to enjoy some it now.  And feed the rest of the herd. 

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

We Don't Like Spiders and Snakes!

Last Friday evening, Sept. 12th, Pete and Hannah entered the little bunker in the hill at about 10:30 pm.  Bug was very excited and anxious to stay in the bunker.  So she rushed her daddy down there. 
I hung around in the comfort of the house a while longer with Bubba.  Drowsiness began to overtake me, and I decided that I too would join them.
Bubba wanted to watch a movie and said he'd cut everything off and come to safety then.  The winds were really whipping but not to the potential for any real damage. 
Sometime after midnight, Bubba come to join us in our small little bunker.  The door is on the left hand side, standing and looking at it.  There is about a 4' wide strip of space when you first enter.  Just enough to set up a couple of lawn chairs.  Behind the lawn chairs and against the back wall are two bunk beds.  Sitting in front of the beds and facing the door, there is shelving in the left hand corner.  There Pete had placed an older TV.  On the floor was a cooler with drinks, water, and sandwich material.  Above the cooler in the middle of the front wall Pete had cut a window in the metal, on steel hinges with a bolt action fastener on the inside.  Metal down....solid.  Metal raise up on the inside of the room and you had a window.  Just large enough we could squeeze through if need be.  Chain saw on the floor under the shelving, should any trees block the actual door which opened out. 
So there we are.  Relaxing.  Watching the continuous coverage on KFDM.  By now I am laying on the top bunk by a sleeping Bug.  Bubba dives under us to the bottom bunk.  He lays there a couple of minutes and then he says "Hey, there's a spider web under here!"  Well, Bubba HATES spiders.  Will act plumb silly over them.  So his Daddy hands him his lighter and tells him to burn it.  Then we hear Bubba say, "there's one in there!  I burnt it's legs.  Oh, no, it's a bad one!  Black with a red dot!"  Daddy hands him a screw driver and Bubba smashes the black widow spider.  Then he uses the light to check every nook and cranny for signs of any more.  Satisfied he goes off to sleep.
We hear the wind pick up.  We occasionally hear a tree break and fall down the hill in front of us.  But in our bunker, I felt snug as a bug in a rug!  Judging from how well the kids slept, they did also. 
We lost power about 3:30 am. With no TV on I drifted on off to sleep as well.  Sometime around dawn Pete crept out and turned on the radio coverage in my car at the top of the hill.  He and Bubba had wired a speaker to it earlier on Friday. 
I awaken to daylight and the sound of four-wheelers coming up.  It was two of Pete's nephews who had rode down to check on us from his brother's house.  The time was 8:30 am and still rather gusty, but not threatening. 
Once awake, none of us could stay in there.  We all came out and went about checking things out.  Later that afternoon I told Bug to come with me and let us get out the covers we had left in the shed.  Her and her little Blackie Dog ran on ahead of me.  We get down the hill and turn to go in the bunker and suddenly Bug jumps back and hollers, "Mama, isn't that a snake?!"  Yes, it was.  Dark and solid in color from where we stood.  Right in front of the door, facing it.  Like he was just about to knock and go in.  I didn't stick around to decide if it was a moccasin or a chicken snake. 
The guys went right down with their guns and searched all around outside and all through inside the bunker.  No sign of the snake.  They retrieved my covers.
Needless to say, I decided that we will have to do routine sweeps and exterminations in that thing if we are going to continue to use it when threatening weather approaches.


Friday, September 19, 2008

Ike Didn't Wash Us Away!

Yes!  I am back and we are fine!  Thanks to those who tried to get my message out to everyone.  Absolutely no damage here this time around.  We were high and dry.  The only trees that fell were in the woods...belonged to the park, not us. 

We were out of power and lost our phone late Saturday afternoon until today.  We've been eating well off an old butane stove and the bar-b-que pit.

I worked yesterday and today.  The company is running on a giant generator.  And they are feeding us some excellent lunches! 

God was with us.  This storm barely touched us up here, unlike Rita.  But Ike has reeked havoc in nearby communities. 

My hat's off to Guido, who I see posted some of the REAL story on his journal.  The national news makes me so mad!!!  Yes, dear Houston had some damage.  Yes, because it is a large city the damage may be expensive.  But the real loss was on Galveston Island and especially the peninsula that runs between Galveston and High Island.  Bolivar, Crystal Beach, Gilcrest and points behind the pennisula in the bay.

Also, further East behind Sabine Pass (who took the direct hit from Rita)Bridge City who had no levee suffered much flooding.  Port Arthur, though fearful the storm surge would top or break the levee, faired better. Tip your hats to Jack Brooks for that.

You can see it all in this map.

I am north of Silsbee. (Click image to view larger.) And you can get more detailed information on what really occurred at  And up to the minute news as we progress along with our recovery.  For any local folks who are stranded away from home, KLVI and dear old Al is still your best bet for info.

All in all, Ike was not necessarily any worse than Rita.  But they were very different storms.  With Rita it was the wind speeds that did the damage.  With Ike, the immense size of it and the storm surge was what lay things to waste. I'll be posting some little stories about our experiences in the coming days.  And doing some catching up with you and yours in J-Land. 


Friday, September 12, 2008

Now Let's Get Serious

Okay, now to get serious.  I know many of you will be alarmed and some even worried.  Ike is definitely nothing to play with.  I have shut off my alerts, because I feel fairly certain we will be without electricity for a week or longer. 

Guido has an entry on Ike.  This area will probably see something with Ike they didn't see with Rita:  significant storm surge.  Rita was supposed to have one.  But they way she came in at the last minute weaker, the surge was not what was predicted.  If I lived South of IH-10 I'd quite likely leave.  But I am North of it.  35 miles.  We are at 115 feet above sea level.  We are on the side of a hill.  Even rain water never stands here.  In our county, there is no better place to be water wise. 

We will be in our bunker tonight when Ike comes in.  In the ground is the safest place to be in a tornado.  We have an escape hatch other than the door.  We have supplies and are ready to live like at deer camp for as long as the electricity is out.  We have a better generator than before Rita. 

Remember, no news from me for a while only means I don't have electricity or phone service.  It took a month to get both back after Rita.  The blessing of living in the pines. :op  I will post just as soon as possible from home or work. 

Please pray or send out good vibes for all of Texas.  But don't WORRY.  God says to worry about nothing.  I'll miss you all very much. 

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Here We Go Again!!!!

Well, here we go all over again.  Another hurricane.  Just like that old "rabbit ain't got no tail at all".  Same song, second verse, could get better, but it's gonna get worse. 

Looking like Freeport will get the eye.  Of course things may change.  And we will definitely get plenty of storm weather.  But we are staying.  Still got supplies.  Still have the metal building in the hill. 

But hey, it's our humor that sustains us many times through stressful events.  So, I want to share a little something a friend of mine named Lloyd shared with me:

Houston Hurricane Evacuation Plans

City officials just announced the Houston hurricane evacuation plan
Today for Hurricane Ike:

Cajuns use I-10 East to Lafayette.

Hispanics use I-10West to San Antonio.

Rednecks use 59 North to East Texas.

Republicans fly Continental first class to Washington DC.

Yankees and Democrats use 45 South to Galveston. (very important)

Longhorns use 290 West to Austin.

Aggies use the 610Loop.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A Whole Lot of Nothing


Well, I got up this morning, accessed the situation and called my boss to say I'd be in to work.  Not a drop of rain in Beaumont today.  But Pete & Bug had showers off and on here at home all day.  It was breezy, but nothing as bad as a serious Norther

Things in the office were remarkably calm.  We had worked ahead so much in preparation.  I'd say about 3/4's of our customers were open for business even though the evacuation order was only lifted this morning at 6:00am.  Tomorrow may get a little woolly, what with trying to go back and catch up those that were closed today. 

A skeleton crew on board.  Many had evacuated and hadn't returned home yet.  The company fed us a lovely lunch of sandwiches, some wicked good deviled eggs and chips.  So I can keep my leftover dumplings for tomorrow.  ;o) 

About an hour and half after I got home today we get the hardest rain we have gotten in days!!  Don't that just figure for Texas weather.....let the hurricane move out and THEN it'll get bad.  Even lost the satellite reception right at the end of Maverick.  Now I'll never know who got the real pearls.

You see reruns of Maverick on the Western channel and coffee is how I unwind every day when I get in from work. 

I'm going to predispose this with a disclaimer; I do not want any wishes or cards out of this.  Just noting that birthdays when you get older just suck.  They suck a big toe that has been in open sandals all day.  No cakes.  Very few surprises.  No flashy gifts. 

Aw, but I've got Bug to hug and kiss.  And a lovely note tied here to my computer screen.  Won't open it until she gets inside.  And hubby announced he'd cook us some breakfast for supper tonight. 

And perhaps I'm forgetting that my 48th year could have been spent looking at the remnants of our home strewn from the pond to the woods.  If Gustav had stayed strong and tracked just a little to the west, he'd of plowed right through here.  At the start of the weekend I was thinking, "Gee, thanks Lord.....a hurricane for my birthday."  Now I think, "Thank you Lord for placing your hand upon the storm and telling it to calm down now....for my birthday." 

I'm cool, I'm comfy and I'm content.  Maybe an old 1960 model woman doesn't need flash or fanfare for her birthday?! 


Elizabeth, New Jersey 1,325 miles from Caneyhead.......SALUTE!!!!!!!!!

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Monday, September 1, 2008

Things Looking Up all Around

Well, things are looking up all around weather wise.  For us here in SE Texas but also for those in LA.  Not near as fierce a storm as it could have been.  Coming in at an angle that will soften the blow. 

It's currently 1:35pm here.  Not  a single drop of rain yet.  A little breezy outside, but nothing worrisome.  The local weather keeps improving our forecast.  Less rain and lower wind speeds.  The officials are meeting this afternoon to consider lifting the evacuation order for this area either this evening or tomorrow.  So, I may be expected to work tomorrow.  We'll just have to see.  I won't venture out in driving rain or cross all the bridges and overpasses I have to in winds with strong gusts. 

I thank God for holding back Gustav's furry.  Of course there will still be many adversely effected that will need help and prayers.  But it could have been so many more.  Now we should begin to turn our prayers to the East Coast and whatever Hanna has in store for them.  Hanna the storm, that is.  Not my little, sweet Hannah.   :o)

Been so absorbed by the storm I had forgotten to include a salute in the past couple of

Morocco, Indiana 825 
                                               miles from Caneyhead.................SALUTE!!!!!!!!!!!

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