Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I am Still Reeling!

I got home from an absolute whirl wind with my brother,
a little more than a week ago.
I took some time for 
to regroup, decompress and try to steer myself in the closest direction of 
as I could manage, 
for me.

Medi Jet

Nice to know that brother Pauly, can find the strength to make his attendants pose for snapshots.
He is such a ham!

UNC Bound

Brother Paul was flown to UNC hospital to repair the collapsed lung and meet with oncologists to decide on a new round of treatment for his cancer.
The good news is...
the cancer is not what caused the lung to collapse.
Unfortunately, they did find cancer nodes in the other lung.
He will be starting a new treatment soon.

My husband Bill, met me in Chapel Hill and picked me up.
He was leaving for an out of state job in Roanoke, Virginia and decided to come by and swoop me up.
I LOVE that man!
We decided to take some VERY back roads to Roanoke.
We found our way through the town of Floyd, Virginia.

The Long Way Home

Then we stumbled across a few for sale signs...
this was my favorite along the way.

It is right on the ...

Little River

After a LONG nap...
I dusted myself off and left Roanoke to pick my daughter up in Charlottsville, Virginia (Keswick, really).
Then headed back to the beach.

Finding My Way Home

Once I got "home"
I started looking online for some properties for sale anywhere in rural Virginia.
I ran across the property above.
I absolutely LOVE it!
I have been wanting to get off the grid for some time and this Amish home could very well be the jumping off point.  I don't know if I can get the rest of the family on board or not.  I think Bill was hoping to ween himself off the grid.
However, I think that solar panels and maybe a wind mill might help with the transition.

What do ya'll think?
Getting Organized

More Organizing

I See the Light

So, the first several days were spent finishing up what I had started before my brother got sick.
My studio had really fallen into a very sad state.
So, I gave it a complete spring cleaning.
Only to get the phone call from my brother's "wife" that he was in the ER.
I dropped everything!
Once I got back, I started re-organizing...
I am almost done!
I just have my desk to finish and my ...

Let's Try Again

The other thing that I had dropped was Mary's Test preparations.
I don't think Mary was too upset with this though.
Unfortunately for her ...
"This too shall pass"

So once again it is back to the grind.


Back to the Barn

We even made it back out to the barn.  Wow, did we miss our boy Phoenix!

Next thing I know...
I am sitting in my chair folding laundry while Mary is making us some lunch.
When the house begins to shake.
I don't really  think much about it...
Living on a barrier island (a sand island),
we feel shimmys and shakes all the time.
We feel it when a jet breaks the sound barrier, or practicing at the bombing range in Stumpy Point, or someone is putting in pilings for a bulkhead or pier.

Except this lasted a little longer than "normal"
I turn around and ask my daughter...
"did you put anything in the washing machine?"
Thinking that maybe the washer was majorly off balance.

"NOPE" she replies.
So, we shrug...
and get back to work.

I found out later when my girlfriend called from Virginia,
where my husband is working to tell me that
everyone is ok,
We had an earthquake.


I shake my head and then get on with my day.
Next thing I know I am in the bank cracking jokes about burring my money in mason jars in the back yard when one of the tellers says...
"I don't think that would be such a great idea with this storm coming in this weekend, it's lible to wash all yer money away."
"Huh, what storm?"

"That tropical storm down by the Bahamas."


See what happens when you don't subscribe to TV.

Hurricane Irene

Ok, ya'll, I have been through many hurricanes in my 26 years on this island but I have to say that going through this one really took an emotional toll on me.

First of all,
my husband is still in Virginia working and secondly the media really sensationalizes the HELL out of these storms.

It is so hard to simply find the

But they are out there...
you just need to wade through all the hype to get to it.

This is one that my Aunt turned me on to ...


thanks, Aunt Angela!
that is Aunt

I guess that some of those media folks think that they are doing a public service,
But I am here to tell you otherwise!

It is "these" folks who will ultimately get a lot of people killed.
This is not Reality TV
these are peoples lives, homes, memories and lively hoods... it is everything they know and love.
It is
It isn't about ratings or awards it is about surviving and trying to not loose everything you have.
Choosing to
is not an easy decision to make when you live on the coast.
It is IMPORTANT that we are informed and ready, regardless if we stay or go.

And let me say...
a lot of these storms are no worse than nor'easters that batter our coast in the fall and winter.

Ya know that famous picture of a house being swept away in the surf used in the promo to the "Hurricane Update" on the weather channel....

That was a home in Kitty Hawk, just a few miles north of me during one of our winter nor'easter NOT a hurricane.
However sometimes they are Bad.
I kept a watch on things and did my research...
I looked at the historical records of storms and tracts they took and compared this storm to them.  Some of which I weathered and some of which were way before my time.

I looked at the
veered away form the hype
and ultimately listened to my instincts and that of my husband's who was miles away.
I decided to stay.

I will say that the one thing that frightened me the most was the storm surge.
And not from the ocean side...
but the sound side.

Fortunately I have the "Nags Head Woods" directly behind me with 30 foot dunes blocking any surge that may come my way.
 I felt somewhat safe.

Mary and I made an attempt to clean up the yard,
picking up loose items,
turning over lawn furniture and putting it up against the house.
Putting cushions, bikes, and other items we didn't want blown down the road or lost... into the garage.
Pushed big pot against the house and brought some of my "outdoor" houseplants inside.

I made my obligatory trip to the grocery store, Dollar Tree and Wal-mart to pick up extra batteries, bug spray, matches, charcoal, animal food ( let us not forget the raw hide bones for the dogs), canned food and dry goods.

After I got all the things done that I felt I could do ...
Mary and I went to see what the ocean looked like just as the first rain bands began to come onshore.

Avalon Fishing Pier
Friday, August 26th

All boarded up and ready to go...

surfs not to bad...

then it was back to the house to ride out the storm.

It was a long 2 days...

Saturday night was the worst.  The weird part was,
just when we thought things were starting to get better they got worse.
The backside of that storm was a whopper.
We had power, phone and internet up until 1am Sunday morning.

The worst part of not having power was just not knowing what was going on.
The clock radio that I thought was battery powered ...
(the battery came with the clock and it had long since died,wasn't a kind that I could be replace)
I should have checked prior to the storm.

But the sun came up and it was a beautiful calm day.
My father in law loaned me a radio when I went over to his house in Nags Head.
He still had power.

We drove around a little but not to far from home.  I really wasn't in the mindset to rubber neck the flooding.
The power was back on by 6pm Sunday evening.
Way to go Dominion Power!
And when it did...
I was absolutely awestruck by the pictures and video I was seeing via

I am still trying to process all the information and
sadness that I feel ...
for my friends that didn't make out as well as I did.
It is all very overwhelming.

I am just now getting word from some of my friends in Colington Harbor...
The power was restored late this afternoon there, I suppose we will start getting some pretty sad stories now as well as some hopeful ones.
Fortunately, there were no lives lost locally that I am aware of.
Check it out for yourself...

Hatteras Island

Roanoke Island

This is just a gimps of some to the damage.
Most of the videos on youtube are rental homes or businesses but
 there are are many"homes" that have been destroyed...
Not just Vacation Homes...
But homes that families live in.  A lot of the damage is water damage...
not as visually exciting or dramatic as the wind and surf damage shots
however this is more devastating.  Structural damage can be rebuilt.
However water damage is final...
 very few locals on the island actually posses "FLOOD" coverage.
Wind, and Fire yes but not Flood.
But, even for the few lucky one who could get flood insurance there are some things that just can not be replaced.

I do apologize for not having any of my own storm photos here.
My digital cameras took a crap a while back and for some reason my phone stopped uploading pictures after the Avalon Pier photos pre Irene.
I don't know if it is an overload on the wireless providers or what ...
but hopefully I will have a way to put some shots on my blog.

The folks on the Outer Banks are a hardy group and we will all bounce back from this...
I am just grateful to only have some leaves and limbs to rake up.

I am leaving the fence for the neighbor, it belongs to them ...
We have fixed it the last two storms because it was more of a prioriety to us than to them.

Bill isn't here and the animals pretty much go where they want to go, regardless if the fence is standing or leaning.
They will find a way out regardless.

So we will walk them more and let them hang with us outside and then bring them back in.  Which is all they really want anyway.
Not to mention there is another storm brewing out there...
Tropical Depression #12

I am ready to move.
I think we are going to make an offer soon on a house...
contingent on the sale of
 our property.

We have found a few places we are interested in,
this is one of them.

Floyd Co. VA

I did make some homemade liquid laundry soap yesterday,
I will share
another post another day.

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