Saturday, September 20, 2008

Never have children, only grandchildren. ~Gore Vidal

My Cypress/Paris friend Kathy sent me an email today with a picture of her holding her granddaughter Bella. Bella lives in California and just recently met her father for the first time as he just returned from Bagdad. Kathy spent some time in California visiting her son and wife and the baby this last month.

I call Kathy my Cypress/Paris friend because I had really just gotten to know her when she and her husband moved to Paris for what was to be two years. The two years turned into four and she moved back to Cypress this last year. I try not to have regrets......or let me put this another way.....I try not to dwell on decisions long enough to name them regrets... but one of my big regrets is that I didn't get to Paris while Kathy was living there. She went over there not speaking a word of French (well...maybe "bonjour") and became acclimated to the city, the subway system, the markets and restaurants because she became very good at speaking and understanding the language. She learned the stuff you would want to know if you only had a week to visit. So I kick myself now and then when I realize how quickly her time over there flew by for me.

Kathy is a very good friend and I am so glad to have her back in Cypress. She's the kind of friend who can talk about intelligent things and then giggle about the smallest thing moments later. I can tell her anything and it falls upon very non-judgemental ears. And when we both forget what we're talking about mid-sentence with each other, we just change the subject. So I think Kathy will completely understand when I tell her I want to nibble on Bella's cheeks and squeeze her pudgy little legs.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Survivor's Guilt....

Okay, one thing I didn't realize when I posted last was how many millions in the area are still out of electricity. I mean, I was listening to the news but Houston is so huge, that I assumed those without power were far away from me. But I got out today and drove to a nearby Target and Home Depot and the reality hit me. Almost every traffic light is still out and trees are down everywhere. As I was leaving Target this evening it was already dark. That is when I could really tell how many people in my own area are still without power. Schools are closed until Monday...and that could still be extended.

I was fortunate to get my power back fairly soon after the storm. CenterPoint is saying that 75% of their customers should have power back by Tuesday. Tuesday? That will be 11 days after the storm. And that means 25% will still be without it.

So I have a small degree of survivor's guilt. I am having a week off from school, working on my ATC's for Silver Bella, and enjoying all the comforts that electricity provides us. While others are without food, water and a/c.

To punish myself and rid me of some of the guilt, I am going in tomorrow to have the second half of the root know the root canal that was done in June already but had to be REDONE? I will be suffering tomorrow.

And I might add that I have been without my husband since last Friday at 7:00 am. He has come home for about 5 hours each day to sleep.....and then he's gone again. As a CenterPoint employee and assigned to the Emergency Plan Board, he has to be on call through all of this. So I can't really complain.....really.

If there is a silver lining in this cloud, it's that the weather has been absolutely beautiful. In the 70's and low 80's and NO humidity. Emphasis on the NO HUMIDITY. God closed a door but opened a window. He's good like that.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Ike's gone...we're good

The front of our house before Ike....

The front of our house after Ike....

The back of our house before Ike...

The back of our house after Ike.....

Ceiling leak in our bedroom...

The storm blew through Cypress beginning around 1:30 am ...we lost power around 2:00 am. The wind was still blowing hard as late as 10:00 am today and the rain lasted for a few hours after that. So a fence down, lots of leaves and branches and one leak in our master bedroom ceiling seems to be a small price to pay compared to what others are dealing with tonight. Our electricity came back on late this afternoon....but only 3 houses on my side of the street. This happens everytime the neighborhood loses power. The neighbors think it's because Chuck works for CenterPoint.....oh, if he only had that much power (pun intended).

While others chose to get out and start raking and cleaing up the debris, I chose to stay inside and wait until tomorrow. The debris always waits.

PS ..Sunday evening update.....We got the automated call this morning that school has been called off until Thursday. Good news...I can work on my Silver Bella Swaps. Bad news...we will have to make these days up sometime...and on that day there will be alot of complaining.

Will and I spent the entire day raking and bagging up debris. The ENTIRE day. I am very proud of I didn't know he even knew what a rake was. He comes through now and then. Both of us will be downing some Advil before bedtime.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Yikes! It's Ike!

Ike's on his way. Chuck's on call (he serves on an Emergency Board for CenterPoint Energy) and will be gone until Sunday morning. So it's just me and Will and the menagerie of dogs and cats. We are as prepared as we can be. The latest report is that we can expect up to 80 mph winds in Cypress. And we could possibly lose power for several days. Schools are closed so we are home today and Ike is arriving tonite. Although, in Galveston he is already making his appearance.

So what am I doing today? Everything I can think of that uses electricity! I am doing laundry, running the dishwasher, surfing the computer, printing out ideas for my Silver Bella ATC swaps, updating my blog, watching the weather on tv.......and (don't tell Chuck this part) I cranked the AC down to a cool 66'. That's my idea of preparing for no electricity.

We have groceries, batteries, bags of ice, candles and my hormone pills. I should be good for a day or two. But when it starts getting hot in here and I can't turn the fan on... well, I just may show up at your house.

As I sit here and watch the tv reports....I am sending up prayers for safety for all those in Ike's path. But, really, if you are one of those idiots out there on the beach in Galveston right now watching the big waves, I don't think you stand a prayer's chance. You need a brain transplant.

Specifically, I am talking about the lady who just brought her children down to the seawall to show them the power of the ocean. Really lady? Oh, and she told the reporter she couldn't leave because she had dogs...and she would hate to come back and find her home gone. you see what I mean? Brain transplant.

Will's Legacy to CyWoods....

Will had a major project due this week in English. The project was to determine the legacy he was leaving to CyWoods Highschool. Then he had to write a paper about it, make a model to represent it, find a quote on the subject and reflect on 3 of his major influences. By the time he approached me on Sunday afternoon for some help, he had already written the paper, found the quote, written about his 3 influences and sketched off what he wanted the model to look like. Here is the finished product.

"The legacy I am leaving is beauty through my photography"
- Will Hackney -

Click on the picture to enlarge.

A hot chocolate tin can was spray painted black. Then scrap book paper was used to make the roll of film and decorate the can. Will used 3 of his favorite photos on one side and the other side featured his 3 major influences. The quote and his legacy had to appear somewhere on the they are on the can. Turned out pretty darn good. Take a look at all those square holes cut out of the "film".....Will did every single one of them. Chuck spray painted. I cut. Will printed out everything and glued. I only yelled and stormed out once during the whole project. I mean, I was working with an engineer and a teenager......I think one time is almost saintly.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Letter Sounds You Didn't Know About

My partner and I are starting to "test" the kindergarteners to see just how much they know. We pull the students one by one and show them the 26 letters of the alphabet in upper case and lower case. First we ask them if they know the name of the letter. Then we ask them the sound it makes. Today my partner shares this....

My partner, "What sound does this letter make?"

Kindergartener, "G, goat."

My partner, "Yes, that's a G. But what sound does it make?"

Kindergartener, "Baaaaa.......Baaaaaaa."

Laughter, a perk of the job.

Monday, September 1, 2008

A View From My Front Door....

As you can see it is very open......VERY OPEN. So we do keep things picked least in this area. But no matter what we do, we can't keep the Dust Bunnies out of here. They love the wide, open spaces in which to fly around. After 9 years in this house, I am finally used to the openness....but I will never get used to the lack of wallspace on which to hang things. As you can tell, I finally started hanging things on the columns.

Random things....

This is Will on his first day of school.....his senior year. He wouldn't stand still or pose. This is what a brand new pair of $70 jeans look like. I know. I could have run a pair through the paper shredder if I had known that was the look he wanted. I sound "old" don't I?

This is what I did this morning. I'm jumping the gun on Autumn......but I thought I might as well get out a few pumpkins because it will be here before you know it...and I was doing a little dusting. Emphasis on a "little".....I dusted one table then I got distracted and started decorating for fall.

Chuck hasn't taken his eyes off of the Weather Channel....except for the 2 minutes it took him to get my fall box down from the upstairs closet. The Weather Channel......he sounds "old" doesn't he?

This is what $2,700.00 worth of damage looks like. The whole car is only valued at $3,000.00. Do I smell SCAM? We paid the $1,000.00 deductible and Will has wheels again. Of course, I'm thankful he wasn't harmed nor were the other couple.....but really, does that look like $2700?

One last thought....Gustav missed us but hit others. So to the others, I hope you are safe and the damage to your possessions are minimal.