Sunday, September 28, 2008

11 ways hurricane season is like Christmas

Sometimes you just have to laugh.

Top Eleven reasons hurricane season is like Christmas:

Number Eleven:

When it is over, you are exhausted and have a big mess to clean up.

Number Ten:

Decorating the house (with plywood).

Number Nine:

Dragging out boxes that haven't been used since last season.

Number Eight:

Last minute shopping in crowded stores.

Number Seven:

Regular TV shows pre-empted for 'Specials'.

Number Six:

Family coming to stay with you.

Number Five:

Family and friends from out of state calling you.

Number Four:

Buying food you don't normally buy . . . and in large quantities.

Number Three:

Days off from work.

Number Two:


And the number One reason Hurricane Season is like Christmas:

At some point you're probably going to have a tree in your house.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Homeschool Freebie of the Day

What an amazing resource ! ! !

They find or produce a freebie for every day of the week, some are audio, I have seen some videos, and many, many ebooks. Its well worth the time to stop by every day, but you can also sign up for their "heads-up" mailer where you get an extra freebie each week. Don't wait till the end of the week though because then it's gone.

This week they have an Emergency Preparedness ebook which is on our minds with the aftermath of Ike.

Check it out here.

They are also offering the freebies missed last week to people who lost power due to Ike. How cool is that ! ? !

Sunday, September 21, 2008

hurricanes and appliances

Well, we were threatened with Gustav and survived Ike.

We did a little learning about hurricanes, and tried making an anemometer. It wouldn't spin in the hurricane force winds, then again it was pretty poorly made.

I have a more complete post about the hurricane at this blog. We could have done school after we got power, (ok, we could have done school even with the power out) but we just took the week off. The local public schools were off for that week and we did spend a large amount of time helping our neighbor out.

Tomorrow we start back up and I am almost tempted to start whining "Do we have to do school." I am afraid this break has given me a case of the don'ts. I have revamped (again) our schedule so hopefully it will be even better than before. I think I was trying to cram too much into our school day. and now I have gotten it pared down even more, but we are getting more subjects.


Rita had killed our fridge and our freezer. During the pre-Ike washing, my washing machine started leaking. I had forgotten and put a load on to wash today so now the floor is wet. Thankfully DH is the handy type. We have figured out the pump is what is leaking. So that will be a $40ish part instead of a $300 washer. I could blame it on Ike (insurance won't pay for it or anything) but it isn't really Ike's fault.


I loved my planner but since I am changing the format of how I schedule out each day, I may be changing some of the pages in it. If I ever get one, I am mostly happy about I will post pictures.

Unfortunately at our back-to-school homeschool meeting, I slipped and fell and spilled tea all over my beautiful clean planner. I fully expected it to get worn, but not that quickly LOL.

wheat free and gluten free eaing

My sister used to get alot of headaches. ALOT of headaches. She went to eating gluten free (or at least mostly gluten/wheat free) and has stopped having as many headaches.

Even though I was thinking it would be absolute torture to go gluten/wheat free, it hasn't been too bad. I allow myself one splurge a day (although most days I don't eat any) so I still get the occasional pasta dinner, roll or muffin. If I cook it at home, it is usually wheat free. I have my own pasta, but have been doing rice alot. I can make a decent cream gravy with masa harina (corn flour for tortillas). Its been difficult since my favorite food is pasta of just about any sort and I used to use it in alot of my cooking.

Has the change been worth it?

Oh yes!! The payoff has been much fewer headaches. I was averaging about 3-4 a week, some really bad and some just annoying. I have gotten rid of 90-95% of those headaches! ! I do still get the occasional one, but not anywhere near like I was.

Am I sure that is what it is? Yep, if I start to cheat too much, (I pretty much quit following it after Ike) the headaches come back.

I don't think it is so much the gluten as it is the wheat that gives me problems. I don't seem to have a problem with oatmeal (which contains gluten). OTOH, I don't really eat oatmeal often enough for it to cause a problem.

Is this a pain in the neck? Yes, but I am not getting pains in my head and so it is well worth it.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Hurricane Season and Ike's Aftermath

Living about 160 miles north of Galveston, we are sometimes effected by the hurricanes. We were in part of the area that was declared a disaster area from Rita (Sept 24, 2005), although we were very blessed to only lose our freezer and refrigerator. We also did not have power for a week, and being without electricity for that long was a definite learning experience.

For some reason, Gustav didn't concern me. My only guess is that it was a peace from God that we wouldn't be effected. I did the preparations (bought bottled water, made sure we had canned food that could be eaten cold etc.) but wasn't very concerned.

Ike was different. I don't know if it was a combination of the date (9-11) and that my mom's surprise birthday party down in Houston (on 9-13) was going to be cancelled, but I was down and worried. We made more intensive preparations (charge portable DVD players for kiddos, bought ice for the cooler, even brought the rabbits inside so they could go through the storm in their carrier cages in the bathtub). We were as prepared as we thought we could be for a week without power.

Before the kids went to bed, we pulled the mattresses off their twin beds and used them as an extra headboard to block any potential glass from the large window over our bed and then had the kids sleep with us. Mr. Duck and I waited up to see what was going to happen, but finally went to sleep at 3 am. There were some wind gusts but the amazing thing was watching the clouds move across the moon. I don't think I have ever seen them move that fast.

7 am the winds had picked up alot, but we still had power. The lights went out at 8:30 but then came back on about 9:30. They were on for about an hour and then went back out. We had gathered all the flashlights into one place and all the oil lamps into one place. Nerves were too on edge for a good game of cards, so we taught Daisy how to play solitaire (which we saw her play several times the next few days).

We were incredibly blessed to have no damage, just a mess in the yard from the limbs and leaves. After the storm, we went for a walk around our neighborhood. Most didn't have alot of damage, but one of our neighbors had a tree fall on the back side of her house. She is an older lady (71) with her 91 yo mom staying with her. She has a son in the Houston area, but his area was damaged much worse than ours. We have been helping her out any way we can, cleaning up her yard, bringing her a carafe of coffee (with our gas grill I can cook just about anything) and Mr. Duck checked out her electricity to be sure it was safe to have power in all her rooms (the tree and rain could have caused problems). I even "accidentally" made too much supper one night so that I could bring her and her mom some so they could have a hot meal (that they didn't go out to buy.)

We ended up getting power back on the 4th afternoon so we were able to have our lives mostly back to normal but our hurricane prep list has had some things added to it. We do not have a generator so for us no power is no power.

Our Hurricane List

(in no particular order)

  • Fill containers with water (now adding filling at least 1 cooler with ice)
  • Fill propane tanks
  • Plug in corded phone (cordless phones do not work with no power)
  • Make sure there is plenty of food for the animals
  • Freeze stuff like milk, cheese ect because it will last longer if the power is out
  • Top off gas tanks (don't want to have to wait in line, and prices may go up)
  • Print out an easy to read county map so when on the radio we hear the eye is over _____ county we know how far that is from us (easy-to-read because of the power outage)
  • Plenty of canned food, easy to eat stuff ie. peanut butter sandwiches. On the other hand only get stuff that your family will eat anyway. If the hurricane doesn't come, you don't want to be left with 20 cans of tuna when your family hates tuna.
  • Bottled water, both the drink bottles and gallon bottles. If you remove some of the water from the gallon bottles and freeze, they will help keep fridge and freezer cold longer.
  • Gather flashlights, and know where replacement batteries are. Gather oil lamps and fill them all. Get matches or lighters and put them where you can find them (up out of kids reach if you have small children).
  • Find a portable radio to listen to the reports, and extra batteries. A hand crank radio/ flashlight like this one is very handy
  • An inverter (one of those things you plug into the cig lighter and then can plug in a normal plug like this) allowed us to recharge the DVD's as well as plug in the router so we could access the internet and weather radar using the laptop.
  • Fully charge cell phones, and anything else that uses batteries.
  • A week (or more) supply of any med you take regularly

This is by no means a complete list, I am sure I have forgotten something. In addition, being this far from the coast, we don't need to plan as much as someone on the coast.

I would also like to thank all the linemen and their families who put in many, many hours to restore power as quickly as you did. We are so grateful to you.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What Next ! ? !

My son will be the death of me.

I never know what is going to come next, he thinks of things I would never think of forbidding. Why would I need to say "don't try to see if the seam ripper will hurt the wall."

So I found the damaged wall and called him in to talk about it. Luckily for him and us, all he did was lightly scratch the paint.

Me: What happened here?

Junior : you know that thing that pokes holes and is red? I wanted to see what would happen.

Me: HUH?

Junior: I wanted to see what that red thing would do on the wall.

Me: You do know we will have to show Daddy.

Junior: No please!! He will kill me and I will be dead and I won't get to go to heaven and I will have to go into the pit!!!!

Me (struggling not to laugh at this extreme reaction): Your Daddy won't kill you. He will be dissapointed but he won't kill you.

Junior: No, he will !! He will kill me and I won't get to go to heaven and I will have to go into the pit!!!!

So then he cried for about an hour and nothing Daisy or I could say could convince him that he wouldn't die.

Sigh, I really don't know what is next with him.