Tuesday, September 02, 2008

We are all fine here, albeit a bit soggy and very opinionated

We're all soggy but fine, here! Kiddo is home from school, today, due to power outages in the area and it's pouring outside because we ended up on the east side of Gustav (the torrential rain side -- yucky). But, the storm has not been bad, relatively speaking -- just buckets and buckets of rain and a bit gusty, at times. Our power has flickered, but not gone out at all in our neighborhood, which is extremely unusual and something for which we are all grateful. I curled up and read, slept, read some more and just had a relaxing day, yesterday. It's still raining heavily and gusting on occasion -- probably will be for another day and then should begin to clear.

Thanks to all who sent thoughts, wishes and prayers that Gustav would fizzle and turn sharply. The storm held off until we had unloaded the rental truck and sent our eldest off with a couch, yesterday morning. All worked out perfectly! That's hubby with the Budget rental truck, at our first stop in Oklahoma, above. I drove all but the first half-hour or so, thinking that the husband needed to save his strength for unloading.

The drive was quite comfy. Around Lake Village, Arkansas, we began to pass some pretty heavy refugee traffic from Gustav. I found last night's wholly negative news coverage of a few angry, sobbing evacuees really frustrating. Southerners tend to be tough and resourceful and we saw mostly happy families driving past, some tossing balls in hotel parking lots, a few packed campsites full of RVs and trailers. Yesterday, we went to the local mall. Usually not a happening place, it was buzzing with activity and people seemed relaxed. The real news is apparently not good enough. I was kind of stunned to see Katie Couric standing in New Orleans (which didn't receive the worst of the storm) looking, frankly, bored out of her mind. This reminded me, of course, of why I stopped watching the news in the first place. It's not truth; it's slanted -- as it has been for over 100 years (the topic, in fact, of the Civil War book I'm reading: The Words of War).

Here's what it's been like at our house, although we're not quite so pixilated (but that hanging plant really is quite dead and the sound seems to be pretty good) -- this is my first attempt at using the video feature on my new phone and was taken a few hours ago:

video

I finished Talk of the Town by Lisa Wingate, yesterday. Review forthcoming, along with an August wrap-up. This weekend I zipped through Did I Expect Angels? by Kathryn Maughan. I'll be reviewing the latter for a book tour; I'm going to post-date the review so that it will appear around the 14th of the month. Both books were quick reads -- of totally different character but equally engrossing. I didn't read any of The Words of War, this weekend, because it requires too much concentration and I thought the atlas of battles was a bit too heavy to take on a plane, but really . . . if I don't finish it this week, there's just something wrong with me. It's a great book.

My sidebar is stuck, again, so pardon its outdatedness.

I double-checked the batteries on our flashlights before the storm hit. Darned if I didn't let the batteries in one of my Maglites corrode. Crud. There's one for the Christmas wish list. Seriously, I got that Maglite for Christmas. I am so bummed.

Yesterday was my birthday and I asked my husband to please just buy me a birthday cupcake. He's so funny. He was determined to get me that cupcake, come rain or shine. We eventually piled into the car and he said, "Stay here," then trudged into Kroger and bought a 6-pack of colorfully frosted cupcakes. I ate the purple-frosted one and planned to save the green-frosted cupcake for later because it looked just a bit too much like Oobleck and I had to give that green stuff some thought (purple and green being my favorite colors, I bypassed the pink, blue, orange and yellow). Fortunately, the kiddo saved me by eating it before I made it back to the kitchen. Boys are so useful.

Off to curl up and read, some more. Sounds like the rain is letting up a bit. Wahoo!

See you later, alligators!

Bookfool, damp but happy

24 comments:

  1. Happy belated birthday!

    I'm glad you and your family are fine and that people are in high spirits in general. Hopefully the weather will clear completely soon enough.

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  2. I'm glad to hear you're safe and I'm so thrilled that Gustav was relatively mild, especially compared to the dire predictions we were getting.

    The news, especially as on TV is just ridiculous these days. All of a sudden it's horrible for someone to run for high political office if they have kids... oh, wait. That only applies if you're a Republican woman.

    Stay dry down there!

    cjh

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  3. Nymeth,

    Thank you! We're finally getting a break from the rain, so hopefully we're seeing the last of this storm and will just have overcast skies, tomorrow. Hope, hope.

    I'm sure it's always nerve-wracking for people to leave their homes when a hurricane is on the way, but I do think most of them make the best of it and just have a good time after they get the exhausting drive over with. I think they're pretty amazing. :)

    CJ,

    It did sound like Gustav was going to be a whopper, for a while there! I think he wore himself out -- which is great. That's what we hoped for.

    Oh, heavens, don't even get me started on politics. I could become very, very unpleasant! LOL Personally, I think the choice of Palin was a brilliant political maneuver, but man . . . what a crock, immediately zoning in on whether or not she's a decent mother. Is that the point? Really?

    We have to kind of get dry before we can stay that way. ;)

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  4. Glad you're home, safe & sound. Speaking of sounds, I think we have the same wind chimes as the Bookfool abode! They look like they're the same size and they have the same sound. I love mine, although during ferocious storms, I've gone out (in the middle of the night) to take them down so they don't wake the entire neighborhood. ;)

    Again, Happy Birthday. Glad you got your cupcakes. :)

    Les, who doesn't watch the news, but is SO ready for the election to be over!

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  5. Glad you are surviving the storm and that you got your cupcake! Happy Birthday! :)

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  6. So glad all is fine. I'm looking forward to these booktours since I'll be a host next month. I need some of your great ideas!

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  7. Les,

    Very cool! I love our wind chimes. We're a little low on wind, here, so they often serve as an early warning system -- hear the chimes, something's coming. I doubt the neighbors can hear ours; the houses in our little subdivision are set pretty far apart.

    Many thanks. I enjoyed my purple and pink cupcakes. The rest seem to have mysteriously disappeared. Ahem.

    American news sucks. When I want to know what's going on in the U.S., I read The Guardian. My eldest loves politics. He's been told, "Remember your audience. Do not bring up politics when speaking to me. I will zone out."

    Suey,

    Thank you! I highly recommend birthday cupcakes instead of a big cake. Both cupcakes and temptation are quickly gone. ;)

    Tara,

    Thanks, me too! We really did get off easy, this time.

    Book tours are an interesting concept. Too bad I haven't got an entreprenurial bone in my body or I'd try to get in on the other end of the fun. :)

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  8. Happy Belated Birthday Nancy!

    What a time you've been having. Thank goodness you guys didn't get swept away by all the rains.

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  9. Wow. So glad you made it through safely, Nancy! This is Dorothy at Pump Up checking on a review. We've got another one out there and it looks like it's heading toward us. I'm on an island right now and in '33, a category 1 hurricane came through here and put everything under water. Not looking forward to seeing where this hurricane is going. And happy birthday!

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  10. Iliana,

    We may still float away. The tropical depression that is the leftover mess from Gustav is just hovering over us, dumping rain like crazy. I am so sick of rain!!! But, it should be over by tomorrow.

    Thanks for the birthday wishes!

    Dorothy,

    Are you referring to Hanna? I've been watching her since before Gustav became a hurricane. We had a parade of 4 storms coming, for a while there -- haven't looked, lately. I would not want to be on an island during one of these storms. The rain they produce is just astounding. I'll be thinking of you and hope Hanna doesn't do any damage to your island home!

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  11. Happy Belated Birthday! and I'm glad to hear you are OK - I was thinking of you throughout the Gustav coverage. :)

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  12. Care,

    How sweet of you! Thanks! And, thanks for the birthday wishes. I spent my time worrying about Chris from New Orleans (from Stuff as Dreams are Made On) because I knew he'd gone right into the worst of Gustav, but I just checked and he's back and safe. Whew! Those storms are nasty!!

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  13. Happy Happy Birthday!!

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  14. Thank you, Trish!! :)

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  15. I am so relieved to hear you all are safe and sound!!!

    And happy, happy, happy birthday! (A little late, but very sincere!)

    By the way, the title of your post totally cracked me up. :)

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  16. Debi,

    Thank you. :) We really had it pretty easy, here. Baton Rouge was slammed.

    And, thank you, again! It was a good birthday -- a nice day for goofing off and reading.

    Thank you, a third time. LOL

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  17. Oh, Happy Belated Birthday!! :)

    So glad to hear that you were able to get everything unloaded before the rain came, and of course that Gustav lost his umph! :P

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  18. Thanks, Nat!

    We were fortunate. Once the rain arrived, it didn't let up for three days (Gustav still had some umph -- it just wasn't as bad as it could have been!). :)

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  19. Glad you made it through the storm safely.

    Amen to that sista on the slanted news comment. When I first moved here I was so shcoked at how censored and insular your news is here. We only watch BBC America news these days for a fair viewpoint and news from elsewhere is the world.

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  20. So glad you all are fine...and though I am late, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

    Gosh, it feels good to be back and commenting...lol!

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  21. Brit Girl Sarah,

    Thank you. We're now keeping our eye on Hurricane Ike and chanting, "Right turn, right turn, right turn." :)

    You know, I didn't realize that our news is both slanted and insular (good choice of wording) till 1980, when I went to London for the first time. I was shocked, too. We hear very, very little about events outside of the U.S. and the reportage within our country is dramatically skewed. It was an article about a volcano that clued me in. I said something about the volcanic eruption, when I returned home, and my parents had no idea what I was talking about. It was not even mentioned, over here, even though it was reported as big news in England! Wild.

    I usually go to The Guardian to read about what's happening in the U.S., but they're suddenly going downhill. The reports on Gustav were just as slanted; you'd think the state I live in doesn't even exist. We always have a huge influx of refugees and had 6 shelters open in our area alone. No mention about refugees from the MS Gulf Coast was made at all.

    I love the BBC.

    J. Kaye!

    Does this mean your power has been restored? So happy to see you!! Thanks for the late birthday greetings. I've missed your frequent, chatty posts. :)

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  22. It does! Power was restored for us yesterday. There are still residents without though.

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  23. J.Kaye,

    I know how that works, with the power outages. We typically get ours back within about 36 hours, after a big storm, but we're unusual (because we're in a subdivision near town, but most people are rural, around here). I'm so glad you've got your power back and I hope Ike goes far enough east not to effect you. I'll bet you've still got parades of cherry picker trucks in the area, yes? I'm always amazed by the cooperative effort of the electrical companies.

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