Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hurricane Irene

Well, we survived Hurricane Irene. After we got our electric back, the computer was very slow for three nights. So slow that I couldn't even upload photos. I guess everyone was excited to get back online after the break.

I realize the newspapers have been full of photos of downed trees, but since this blog is my family diary, I'm going to post a few more. The above 3 pictures show part of our mile-long dirt road. We figure we lost about 30 trees all told. We were so fortunate that this tree fell next to the beehives!

We lost several tall trees. This tree left a big gap in the treeline. I am amazed how much sunlight shines through now.

We lost a bunch of shingles. I got a good laugh today when I was up in Charlotte Hall and saw a similiar shingle lying on the road up there. I tell everyone they probably saw our shingles blowing around all over the county.

All our orchard trees are leaning badly. So much work to be done outside now.

I enjoyed watching our neighbors work together. They don't normally get this warmed my heart.

This is our driveway...after we picked up the sticks and branches.

I was glad to see my special area safe from trees. I would've moved the furniture had I remembered.

Our third beehive also survived.

My neighbor, Lloyd, had his truck totaled when a tree fell in it. Lizzie and Ruthie are pouring tea and water for the workers.

We were able to see what was causing our electric to be out. Oops...I uploaded the wrong picture. I meant to show the transformer lying on the highway. Three poles had to be replaced.

The lad in this picture is my neighbor, Harry. His Momma and I were expecting our babies within 4 weeks of each other...but Ruthie was born on Harry's due date, and Harry was born on Ruthie's due date! Yes, Ruthie was born 4 weeks early. What a winter that was!
You can see our ridge vent here. The shingles that blew away were holding down the ridge vent. The rainwater seeped through the ceiling, and through the insulation, to my bedroom ceiling. My ceiling looks like it has brown mud puddles all over it. Like I much work to be done! After we helped the men work on the road, I dropped Anna, Allen and Lizzie off to see how their treeforts held up. They didn't. Mike and I were amazed that these huge trees only had 12" of shallow roots! Scare!

This is what's left of Anna's fort. She was heartbroken. Losing her truck (thanks to a deer) and her treefort in one year was sad. She's already making plans to rebuild. And Anna had wanted to wait out the hurricane in her fort!

Bad Lizzie for laughing. Evidently Ruthie's treefort was situated between the two trees. Perfect aim!

After the storm was over and the electric was still out, we were sitting in the kitchen enjoying the breeze blowing through the kitchen window. With every breeze was a cracking sound! So our good neighbor, Chip, came over and chopped down this tree that was leaning badly. What a tricky cut this was...between another large tree and the house. Thanks so much, Chip.
Both my parents' piers were underwater.

My parents' road had this bunch of trees lying across the road. That didn't stop traffic!

We know of several folks who lost their homes because of trees. We still have folks without electric. The three things I am most thankful about this storm are: the weather was beautiful for the whole week after the storm, no trees touched our home or our beehives, and our generator kept our freezers running.

I found this photo on facebook last week before the hurricane. I guess the Californians think we easterners are wimps when it comes to earthquakes. I'm just glad we're able to laugh about it!

Each day we work trying to clean up the mess. Our burnpile is getting high so our thoughts are starting to turn to bonfires. First we have to get through the heat and humidity of this weekend.

I have used the hurricane as a chance to talk to folks while standing in line while shopping. I was surprised how many folks agreed with me that God is still in control. I need to find a tract that is written for post-hurricane folks. If you know of one, please send me the info.

Enjoy this last holiday season of the summer. Many blessings ~ Kathie

Monday, August 29, 2011

We have electric again!

This past weekend, Hurricane Irene paid us a visit. When she came by our neck of the woods, around 2 am Sunday morning, she was a category 1 hurricane with 50 mph winds and 75 mph gusts. We lost our electric around Saturday at 8 pm. Today (Monday), our electric was restored around 6 pm. I have lots of pictures and stories, but after madly running the dishwashers and washing machines, scrubbing down the inside of the refrigerator, and putting away oil lamps and coolers, I have just taken a shower and feel human again. But I am tired and I'm off to watch a video. I'll definitely post again tomorrow. Many blessings ~ Kathie

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Allen had his first banjo lesson today! This has been a dream of Allen's for several years, so he was excited. Afterwards, we invited his teacher for dinner. It was fun getting to know him.

Lizzie has been teaching Allen the guitar as well, so he is a busy guy...and sounding great!

Okay, time to play catch up. This photo was taken when we went to the outdoor concert series on the St. Mary's River located at St. Mary's College. This was the Friday evening before July 4th. We were looking forward to some patriotic music and fireworks. However, after enduring the first song that was rock music, the second song was no better.

Here you can see the orchestra down under the pavillion. After the second song we left. Allen said the only good thing about that trip was our chicken salad sandwiches made with my homemade bread. I agree!

I found this photo leftover from our July 4th picnic. My Aunt Jeanie is quite the quilter and always brings some quilts for us to be amazed at. This little quilt is made with 1/2" squares...that end up being 1/4" finished. Wow! (The fork is to give you an idea of the size.)

In July, we also had a church fellowship evening. I had so much fun that night! I wish we did it more often. Allen always tries to find someone to play chess.
The rowdy gang played Rumikub. My favorite story from that evening involved Mr. Owen, Mr. Roy, and myself. I served chili dogs and everyone else brought desserts and side dishes. Mr. Owen commented that he loved the chili for the hotdogs. I told him it was Hormel chili that I bought in a restaurant-size can. It contains no beans...which is handy for chili dogs. Well, Mr. Owen went over to Mr. Roy and said, "You like the chili? It has no meat!" Mr. Roy said he did like the chili, and that it was amazing that it had no meat. Even when I corrected Mr. Owen and told him the chili does have meat just no beans...he still said, "I just can't believe it has no meat!" My girls and I were laughing too hard at we three hard-of-hearing people. At that point, Mr. Roy was too confused, and Mr. Owen was still grinning about the chili. Oh well. At least when he reads this, Mr. Owen will finally know that the chili had meat but no beans. We love you, Mr. Owen :-)

Note to self: Be sure to cook 2 large cans of chili sauce when serving chili dogs. I kept adding little cans as we got to the bottom of the pot.

That night I received three lovely gifts. My friend Susan gave me a beautiful pot of purple petunias that are now growing nicely in my planters out front. Unfortunately our turkeys keep eating the flowers, so I will be sure to get a picture after we send them off to the butcher. My friend Lyn gave me a lovely prayer journal that one of my daughters has claimed. The third gift came from my friend Bonnie (as in Bonnie and Mr. Owen). I thought this was a creative gift bag, so I'll share it with you. I'm always looking for different ideas for hostess gifts.A chicken rub...complete with the ingredients recipe on the side, a ball of yarn that matched the notecard, And a homemade crocheted washcloth that I love! She even included the directions so I can make my own with the above yarn. I enjoy fast projects like this, so I've got it tucked away for a rainy day when I can sit in my bedroom recliner and enjoy every stitch. Thanks for your gifts, dear friends. I never think about receiving gifts, so it is always a double surprise when I am given one. My hubby just loved the Chicken Rub. He loves to tease and say, "I keep rubbing the lid but no chicken appears!" I've already used up the rub (very delicious btw) but thanks to the recipe, I've already refilled it. Clever idea!

Chicken Rub
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
Early in the summer, we went to visit Nanny and Billy at their new farm. It's heaven on earth for goats. We took plenty of townhouse crackers which they gobbled up. Lizzie was thrilled that Nanny remembered how to shake. Billy was just as clueless as ever. I am so glad we made the trip since we found out later that Nanny went to another farm that was just for nanny goats. No billy goats to boss you around and steal your food. We sure loved you goats!

Well, all 6 children are again over at my parents' home, so it is very quiet. Last night my children camped out...and it was actually cool. Temps got into the 60s!

Our big news for today was the earthquake located in Richmond, VA, but felt from NC to NY! I have lived through a 6.3 and a 6.1, but I have to say...this 5.9 was impressive! I was in town, so I immediately tried to call home. Right away the phones were overwhelmed and not working. So far we haven't felt any aftershocks, PTL.

Local schools start tomorrow, so it's bus season again. Many blessings ~ Kathie