Goings on

Windowgate 2011 continues. We have a new company lined up to remove the existing windows and install replacements as soon as the windows are ready. We currently have plastic over the two windows that leaked. It keeps the rain out, but also makes us look a little like “white trash.” Seeing how this is Kentucky, I’m sure most people don’t even notice.

Speaking of rain, we have had more of the wet stuff than you can imagine. We missed most of the bad storms here, although we spent plenty of time in the storm shelter due to an onslaught of tornado warnings. Several inches of rain fell last week and more is falling now. The area rivers are spilling over their banks, but most of them haven’t even crested yet. Homes in and around the flood plains are either sandbagged or flooded, so I am very happy to be living on a hill in a dry home… even if there is plastic on the windows.

We went to see Beth Hart in Nashville on Thursday night, where she was performing her first of two sold-out shows at 3rd & Lindsley. We got there just before 5pm, and were surprised to see people already in line since the doors didn’t open until six. Once inside, we headed straight for the balcony and grabbed an excellent spot right in front of the stage. The place is rather small, so our vantage point was probably 20 feet from Beth’s piano. Three hours later, she was belting out songs over a very enthusiastic crowd. I didn’t know I could become more of a fan, but somehow I did.

Saturday marked six years together for Honey and me. I found a dozen roses and a beautiful card on the counter when I got home from work – and immediately burst into tears. I love that out of all of the possible contenders in the world, he has chosen to spend his life with me.

2009 in review

This year has been both terrible and wonderful at the same time. That’s probably typical of every year, but this one had some exceptionally low lows; the kind where you know you’ll be a changed person when you finally recover. On the other hand, I’m blessed beyond measure. I have a wonderful partner, a great job, a comfortable home, friends who love me, and three fluffy kitties to cuddle up with on cold winter nights.

Here are some of the highlights from my life over the last year:

  • We finally had central heating and air conditioning installed in our home.
  • Michael Jackson died, which was one of the hardest things I’ve ever experienced. I cried practically every day for a month and still tear up occasionally when I listen to him or watch videos. I wish so badly that he was still with us, but I’m also thankful to have been alive during the time that he made history and for having the chance to see him perform live.
  • We gave the inside of our home quite a makeover, which included ripping out the old doors and trim, painting, and a completely new color scheme in the living room and bathroom.
  • We upgraded to HDTV and bought a 46″ Samsung that is beyond amazing.
  • We joined our church – over three years after we started attending.
  • We met Barb.
  • I cooked my first Thanksgiving meal.
  • I moved my blog from WordPress.com to self-hosted.
  • I stopped keeping up with the news.
  • I bought a new car.
  • We went to Florida on vacation.
  • Honey graduated from college and I met his parents for the first time.
  • An ice storm disrupted our lives for eight days.
  • We got a Wii.
  • We went to see Kathy Griffin in concert.
  • Finally made it to Holiday World and thoroughly enjoyed the Voyage roller coaster.

All in all, a pretty good year. Here’s hoping our next trip around the sun is filled with joy, prosperity, and love. Happy New Year, kiddos.

What’s so good about it?

Good Friday. I’ve often wondered about the person that came up with that name. It seems rather morbid to call the day that Christ was murdered “good,” but I assume that is a reference to the the reason behind why he died – good news for all of us.

Anyway, other than being off from work today, there hasn’t been much positive about it so far. The weather has been atrocious, with two tornado warnings for our county this morning before lunch. Since we don’t have any real form of protection from such weather events at our home (basement/storm shelter), we drove to the local hospital before the storm hit. The staff ushered everyone into interior hallways and we huddled together as sirens wailed outside. One lady grabbed her husband’s hand and muttered prayers while clutching her chest. My anxiety was increased by a text message from my sister telling me that Mom had abandoned the mobile home that she lives in and was out in the storm trying to get somewhere safe. Thankfully, she managed to get to a more substantial building quickly.

Although we were completely isolated from the outside world while at the hospital, my cell phone was continually receiving important weather-related updates from The Weather Channel. I just signed up for their free text/email service last night and have been pleasantly surprised with its effectiveness so far. It even alerted me before my weather radio did on one occasion. Go here to sign up.

Eight days

I am delighted to report that power was restored to our home yesterday morning around 9:30, eight days after we lost it due to an ice storm. My joy is somewhat bittersweet since there are still so many across my state without power, including some people that I know personally. Great progress has been made though, mainly due to the influx of line workers from surrounding states. Our area has also been swarmed by the National Guard, who are handing out much-needed living essentials like water, food, and fuel.

Since this marks the second extended power outage in our area in the last six months and both were weather-related, I can’t help but feel a little apprehensive about the future. I keep asking myself, “What’s next?” Hopefully, no matter what happens, we are a little more prepared than we were a year ago.

Pretty please

As I sit here on my generator-powered laptop, there is an electric truck parked in the street in front of my house. Its flashing lights are teasing me like the music from an ice cream truck on a hot summer day. Thing is, this feels nothing like summer. Tomorrow night is supposed to have a wind chill below zero.

Keeping my fingers crossed and tossing little prayers towards heaven…

We survived

Can’t say the same thing for our trees, though. Our neighborhood looks like a bomb hit it. I have lots of photos that I’ll post when I have a chance.

We got around two inches of ice over a 24 hour period and lost power early Tuesday afternoon. Limbs were already crashing to the ground at that point and continued doing so for the remainder of the storm. Some trees are so badly damaged that they will have to be cut down completely. Our electric line was completely severed by either falling branches or ice buildup.

The entire county has been without power since Tuesday. The devastation is all across the area, but Western Kentucky and Arkansas have been declared federal disaster areas by Obama after being hit especially hard. We spent the first night at home with no heat, under multiple layers of clothing and blankets. The temperature in the house was 50 degrees the next morning and had dropped into the 40’s by the next evening. We slept on the floor at our neighbor’s house that night because she has a small kerosene heater. There was no running water when we got up the next morning, but not because of frozen pipes. The water systems had failed for large portions of the city and county due to lack of electricity.

The remainder of this week has been spent running all over the place trying to find kerosene so that we could keep warm. We sat in line three hours to purchase gasoline one day and were finally able to secure some furnace fuel today – from an elderly man in town who has some stored in 55 gallon drums.

Thankfully, a nearby city is starting to come back on line and we have been staying at the home of some gracious church friends who have electricity and water. They opened their home to people they know (us and many others) and even people they didn’t know (our neighbor and her son). They define hospitality.

Although it is expected to take weeks to restore power to our rural area, things are beginning to look up. The sun came out and melted most of the ice today. I am able to access the internet via my mobile phone (go, Verizon!) and through a friend’s computer. We have plenty of food, water, and warmth.

And lots and lots of love…