Wednesday, September 08, 2021

Wordless Wednesday ~ truly no words


Thursday, September 02, 2021


 Just a short note to say we are back home.  Everything is knocked out.  No electricity. No running water. Estimated return 5 weeks due to the catastrophic damage. No water is harder than no power.  Cell towers collapsed, so service is intermittent. Everything is closed.  3 hour line for gas and people are traveling 2 hrs to find gas. There’s no medical services because the hospital lost its roof. School is closed indefinitely. I feel like I’m living in a third world country. 

Unfortunately my home received significant damage, but we are better off than most.  My roof lost a lot of shingles and was stripped to the plywood. Gallons of water poured onto my bed.  Somehow my ceiling has not caved in -yet. Water spots on the ceiling of every room. Fence is gone, siding damage, mailbox damaged…

You can search YouTube for hurricane ida, Houma, lafourche Parish to see some of what happened here.  

I’m so glad we left.  

I had service for a few minutes so I wanted to update you all.  

Sunday, August 29, 2021


 We are safe.  We left.  I woke up in the middle of the night and checked the weather.  Earlier the track was trending east, so I thought we’d be okay.  At 2AM I woke up to see this Facebook post and got scared.  

I woke up Clint.  We woke up the kids.  Started frantically searching for a hotel somewhere - anywhere. We threw our things in the car and by 4:45AM we were on our way to Houston, TX.  Yesterday the interstate was a parking lot.  Thankfully at that hour we hit NO traffic at all.  

I’m so glad we left.  The eye passed along where Valerie drives to school.  So close to my house. 150 mph winds, just 7 mph shy of a category 5.

This guy live-streamed near my house for hours:  Storm chaser FB video. And  More here - it picks up at the end

We have no idea about our house yet. My fence is down.  There’s no power or running water. Lots of roof damage all over. Power lines down.  Trees down. It’s still too bad to have anyone go outside to check our house. But we are here in Houston, safe.  I’m exhausted. 

I don’t know when we’ll be able to go back home. 

Oh and….

Happy birthday to me.  

Friday, August 27, 2021

This is not a drill!

Sound the alarm!  For real y'all!!  Hurricane Ida is the real deal... maybe? A category 2? 3? Possibly even a 4??  I saw a comment that a 5 isn't off the table either??  Hype or??  

That faint yellow line is the predicted path as of the time I'm writing this.  The red X is my house.  Yay.  It'll shift though because it's still 48 hours out.  

Our entire parish is under a mandatory evacuation order but we're staying.  It's too much hassle to leave and get back.  And what to do with 3 cats?  It won't flood here so we just have to worry about the wind.  Got the house boarded up.  Moved all my plants from the front where the wind will be to the covered porch in the back.  Got a few days of groceries.  Got the generator ready and lots of gas.  If we actually do get some weather, I'm thinking we might lose our fence and some shingles.  

Today was complete madness in town.  No gas.  No water. No bread!  Lines and people and traffic!!  Maybe Ida will fizzle out. Maybe not.  I'll update again when I can whenever that may be.  

Friday, August 06, 2021

Back to school

 "I don't wanna go to school!" is what they both said...  

First day of 9th grade for Veronica.  First day of 11th grade for Valerie.  

I think their first day went well overall.  Veronica was quite nervous as expected.  New school, new teachers, new everything. She was worried about getting lost. At freshman orientation last week, they would not let us tour the school to locate their classes.  Instead, we had to stand with about 100 people in the small entryway.  The halls were blocked off with tables.  Like forcing people to stand shoulder to shoulder in a small space made any sense in these times!!  Seems like it would have made more sense to let the kids spread out and walk down the hallways. 

Valerie will be driving both of them to school, but Veronica will ride the bus home.  Val is leaving campus at lunch every day to take some college credit classes.  She'll also be staying after school often for marching band.  

These last two weeks of summer were quite busy.  Valerie had marching band camp out in the middle of a heatwave.  The heat index was well over 100 degrees for most of it, but she survived.  I made sure she had lots of water and sunscreen!!  She's got the fairest complexion and burns easily.

Veronica had her two weeks of theater class and three performances of their show, "The Little Mermaid."  It was a huge success and all three shows were sold out.  Roni did awesome of course and had a great time!  Here's a short clip of her as Ursula's Mother, which is the role they completely made up so she could sing 'Poor Unfortunate Souls."

Here's to hoping for a great school year!!  So far, everything is a GO but that could change at any minute....  

Monday, August 02, 2021


 Today marks thirteen years that my Mom died.  It's hard to believe it has been that long since we have seen her or heard her voice.  

Way back when before iPhones were everywhere and unlimited calls/texts, when people still had landlines....  there were chat platforms like ICQ and Yahoo Instant Messenger.  It was long distance to call, and neither one of us wanted to run up our phone bill, so my mom and I did a lot of emailing. Eventually I had the bright idea to set her up with Yahoo IM.  From 2005-2008, we chatted online almost every day.  She would get mad sometimes if I didn't respond right away.  I never could make her understand I was busy with a new baby and Clint was often at work for days/weeks. Val was sick a lot, which meant I was sick a lot. There were several times when she made my Dad jump in the car and drive them to my house because I didn't answer her messages.  She thought for sure something had happened to me.  I had fallen and hit my head or something....  I guess that's what moms do, imagine the worst.  Of course I was just fine walking around Walmart or taking a nap or something.  Then she'd be mad that I was fine and hadn't told her I was leaving the house.  There I was in my 30s and had to report to Mom every time I was going grocery shopping?!

Anyway, I saved all those years of chats.  I don't know why but they randomly crossed my mind the other day and I decided to dig up the PDF and read through it.  It's almost 300 pages, so it's going to take days to read through it all.  Valerie was a newborn when we started and she was four when it ended and my Dad took over.  (I have his chat log saved too.)  It's nice to 'hear' her voice again and I can picture her clear as day sitting off to the side in the kitchen where the computer desk was set up.

Of course I miss my Mom, but reading through all that day to day chit chat, made me miss that part the most.  There's no one to text good morning, what did you do today?  What did you cook for supper?  Did you find the shirt you wanted?  Look what I found on eBay...  Nobody to plan holiday dinners with....  There's nobody to tell look what I found on clearance today...  or say let's go shopping or how did you sleep... or do y'all feel better when we're sick...  On and on.  You  know, the mundane life things that only a Mom would care about.  

So much changes when your Mom is gone.  

Ironically, while taking a break from writing this, I'm at a conversation from November 7, 2007 about holding onto 'stuff.'  My Mom said to keep it, store it away, and "someday you can look at it and cry."

How true that is...  

Thursday, July 29, 2021

The elusive uniforms

Yep, school starts here in South Louisiana on August 5th!  When I was a kid, it was closer to the end of August.  My birthday is August 30, and we usually started the week of my birthday.  I always felt rushed to invite school friends to come to my party.  Slowly over the years summer  has gotten shorter and the start date has moved up.  


Several years after I graduated, the public school system implemented school uniforms.  Gone were the days of wearing jeans and t-shirts to school.  It was supposed to help the kids focus on learning instead of their wardrobe.  I see their point, but it also didn't work.  It seems now they are so focused on what color socks the kids have on, if their shirt is tucked in, and the right color hoodie is worn.  Wear the wrong socks and you get an office referral.  I'm serious.  Friday is spirit shirt day, but only a certain kind of shirt.  They can't even wear school event related shirts like honor band or honor choir.  It makes no sense.  They're representing the school aren't they? and earned that shirt by being an awesome student?  My marching band kid won state grand champions (huge deal) and cannot wear the t-shirt or hoodie to school.  Ever.  

Since Veronica is moving up to high school, her school uniform colors have changed.  She needs hunter green shirts.  (Or white, but nobody wants to wear white and I don't want to deal with washing white shirts either.)  I wanted to find some to try on because she's picky about how they feel and fit.  I can't say I blame her because who wants to be uncomfortable every day?  Guess what there is a supply issue of....   uniforms.  Academy Sports & Outdoors was the place to get them for ages, but this year they are online only.  



Target only has little kid sizes.  JC Penney doesn't carry green shirts in store.  Walmart only had boys shirts, which didn't fit or feel right.  Old Navy is online only. We went to the local uniform shop: 

Plus they are $20.00 per shirt!  Yikes. 

I gave up.  I ended up just ordering from JCP online and here's hoping that they fit and come in on time.  

 But seriously, how are we supposed to buy uniforms when practically no one locally is selling them? 

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

So long summer....

 As predicted in May, summer has flown by!  School starts August 5, so summer isn't officially over but as of yesterday for us it basically is because the days of sleeping in are done. 

Marching band has begun for Valerie.  Since she's a licensed driver now, she's driving herself to and from band practice.  It's still strange saying that she's driving herself around and I will always worry I guess.  I will miss hearing the girly chit-chat driving Val and her friends to/from practice.  It's up early from now until school starts she has band from 8am to 5pm.  And (fingers crossed) marching band is non-stop until November.  Last year was a total bust, so we are hoping for a spectacular marching season to make up for it.    

Veronica's summer theater class has begun also.  She was cast as King Triton and Ursula's Mother in "The Little Mermaid."  Funny story - she originally auditioned for Ursula.  She was cast as King Triton because someone strong was needed for that role.  Ursula's Mother was completely made up and written in just for Veronica.  They want her to sing 'Poor Unfortunate Souls' in the worst way, so they created the mother character and wrote in a flashback scene just for her.  The show is in two weeks and I can't wait to see it!

Yesterday was definitely a Monday. At 6:30am Valerie was getting ready for band practice and lost one of her contacts so she had to open a new pair.  No big deal.  Then Veronica had something stuck in her foot?  Never did see anything so I don't know.  Minutes before we were leaving for theater, Veronica's forsus springs broke.  What's that you ask?  It's this spring and rod appliance she just got on her braces to move her jaw forward.  She's had it a week.  At first it was stuck open (!!!) so she couldn't close her teeth.  Then the darn thing came apart all together.  So I had to tell the theater teacher she was going to be late on the first day, call the orthodontist exactly at 8am and beg them to see her ASAP because she missing theater, get her to the ortho, then to camp which is 30 minutes away...   whew.  Then Valerie texts me that her right contact is bothering her so she had to take them out, which means she cannot see.  I was ready to bring her her glasses.  Luckily we thought to put a pair of her old glasses in her car and she said that was good enough.  And of course it was flooding rain on Val's drive home which had me really worried but she made it safely.    

This is a forsus.  Looks fun, right??  Veronica has 6 months in this thing.

Only 16 days until school starts!

Sunday, July 18, 2021

A visit to the Gulf coast

We're just back from a short trip to Biloxi, Mississippi.  At the beginning of the summer, Veronica was asked to join her dance school's competition team.  She's been working hard all summer perfecting a dance with two other classmates for a trio performance.  This was all new to her so she was "nervous excited."  Friday morning we got up much too early to drive to Biloxi.  We had to be at the Biloxi civic center before noon and Veronica's group was third on the schedule.  It's about a 3 hour trip, but it always takes us longer since we tend to stop a lot because somebody always has to pee.  (Me. I'm somebody.)    You never know what New Orleans traffic is going to be like and that can be a major delay.  And apparently now you have to worry about being shot at while driving through New Orleans East on I-10.  

We did hair and makeup on the fly since there just wasn't time to tackle that before leaving the house.  We stopped at the Mississippi Welcome Center and got Veronica ready.  She changed into her costume when we got to the civic center and was ready to go!

I have to say we've never been to any kind of dance competition, so I was expecting chaos.  It was surprisingly laid back and low key.  It was very long though - almost 5 hours of dances.  Veronica's group did awesome and came in third place!  All I have is a bad iPhone video and the lighting to video was horrible.  Veronica starts and finishes in the middle. 

Saturday and Sunday Veronica spent the day taking many dance workshops.  She loved it and did everything!  Her dance teacher had such nice things to say about how well she did.  Clint, Val, and I had the day to just wander around Biloxi.  We took Valerie to the mall and to the arcade at Margaritaville.  We didn't even go into any of the casinos because Val was with us.  We found a huge Dollar Tree that is way better than ours at home!  Isn't it funny to go on vacation and shop at Dollar Tree?  After dancing was done, we made sure Veronica got to do a few fun things as well.  We ate at Shaggy's on the beach, walked the beach, and hit the souvenir store.  

We lucked out and had this this great Airbnb to stay in.  Have you seen hotel prices lately?  Yikes!  This four bedroom house was perfect and just a short 10 minute drive to the beach.  

On the way home we stopped at the Gulfport Outlets to do a little back to school shopping.  Yep....  it's almost that time....