Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Lessons From Hurricane Irene

Every time a Hurricane plows through any Coastline, whether the East Coast or the Gulf Coast, Town Councils and Government Officials  incur the wrath of property owners by ordering them to Evacuate.  Get out of harm's way.  Make a plan.  Be safe. 

Lots and lots of times, these precautionary plans to keep people from dying are met with incredulous disbelief, jeers, anger, and obstinate refusal to obey.  Usually, this comes from seasoned, Born and Bred Coastal residents...they've been through Category One or Two Hurricanes, and know that the winds and storm surges aren't always as life threatening as they're made out to be.  But what they (we) always forget is this:

Photo: Getty Images.

 Those steps are all that's left of Stinson's Ranch -a century-old cottage in Nags Head, NC.  This is what it looked like last year, when it was photographed for an article in Our State magazine:

Photo: Jimmy Williams.
It doesn't matter that this house was built on a fragile Coastline...it lasted over a hundred years, through Hurricane after Hurricane - families saw babies born, grow up and marry, get old and die during its lifetime.  Thankfully, the Stinson family wasn't there when it was swept away...they are sad, but alive.  The Lesson?  Don't be where the Hurricane is.

There was lots of damage in the Outer Banks:

Photo of Hwy. 12 in Nags Head - courtesy Reuters.

Rodanthe, NC.  Photographer: Chuck Liddy/Raleigh News & Observer/MCT/Getty Images
 Same Lesson.  Use your common sense.  Be safe, not Fierce and Independent.  No awards for that.

East Haven, CT.  This is on the shore, but remember that Irene was barely a Category One when it hit here.
Those concrete pilings used to hold up someone's home - probably the house in the background.

One of the most powerful lessons we learned, years ago, from Hurricane Floyd was that sometimes the catastrophic damage, and the deaths, are inland...miles away from the vulnerable coast.  That is exactly what happened this time...

South St. Bridge in Windham, NY, where the Batavia Kill overflowed its banks and roared through the town.  Photo: ABC News.

Rotterdam, NY.  Photo from AP.

But perhaps most shocking is Vermont - they don't even HAVE a Coastline:

Waterbury, Vermont.  Photo: AP.

Over and over, The Weather Channel warned of catastrophic flooding that would occur inland from Hurricane Irene.  When you know there is the possibility of historic flooding in your inland town as a Hurricane or Tropical Storm roars up the coast miles away from you, what is your plan?

Life is all about lessons.  And whether you learn from them, or not.  As my brother, Roger, would say,


Pause, and Think of That.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hurricane Irene Gone From Ocean Isle! However, One More Evacuation...

Hurricane Irene has gathered her skirts and moved on up the Coast, thankfully leaving without too much damage during her visit.  Just when we were breathing a sigh of relief here in Atlanta...Guess What?

Husband was out walking along the Creek Bank in our back yard, and nearly had a stroke when he saw this.  Frantic tapping on my studio window with a long cane pole brought me down the stairs, fast.

Do you remember last month's Saga of the Snapping Turtle ?

And his ugly wife?  And how we worried that they might have made Snapping Turtle Babies in our pond?

 I think this might be Junior:
When we tried to guide him into the bucket with this rake, he struck out at the rake like a cobra striking...ZZZIPPPP!!
We could hear his beak hit the metal of the rake.  Good Lord.  And this guy is only about 18 inches long.  Just a teenager.

Into the bucket he goes...Mandatory Evacuation.

The other two were mad, but this one was violent.  About as mad as a Snapping Turtle can be.  They have a history of amputating fingers, so Husband covered the bucket with another one, nested inside, before he picked the bucket up.  This guy was lightening fast, and could launch himself into the air with those powerful back legs.  With his beak reaching for us.  Not a nice creature.  Not welcome in our pond.

Which, apparently, is a Snapping Turtle Penthouse Pad.

Sorry.  Mandatory Evacuation.  Period.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Uh Oh - Hurricane Warning

I potentially counted chickens and blessings before the chickens hatched.  Southeastern Brunswick County just went under a Hurricane Warning Status.  And it's all my fault for counting those chickens and sleeping blissfully night before last.

Ocean Isle will still be on the backside of the storm, unless Irene does what Hugo did at the last minute, and jigs to the left.  

I still remember THAT with crystal clarity...at noon, everyone could see that Hurricane Hugo was going to pass by us and roar into the Outer Banks.  So we stopped preparations, and Husband went off for a boat ride.  I straightened the house and put on a load of laundry, and was doodling around in the kitchen when I heard a bullhorn echoing off the houses across the canal.  Curious, I opened the kitchen door and leaned out, just in time to see the Ocean Isle Police car do a slow turn in front of our house.  He stopped long enough to point the Bullhorn directly at me and roared, "Everybody off the Island!  Evacuate Immediately!  Hurricane's turned - it's coming in here!!  You got two hours!!"

I remember the sinking sensation in the pit of my stomach, and then standing there frozen in the middle of the silent kitchen for long moments while I tried to get my head around what had to be done.  Husband was gone who knows where, out on the boat, blissfully unaware.  We had undone all the preparations we had started the day before, so nothing was boarded up, nothing was packed safely away. 

We didn't have cellphones in our pockets then - it was 1989, long before the age of instant communication, so I had no way to reach him.  What to do first?  Then it hit me: the pictures were the most important things in the house!  Hundreds of photos of the kids, family, and friends were upstairs...a precious visual journal of all the good times we had enjoyed at Ocean Isle and other Coastal haunts, and the negatives were up there, too.  I remember racing up the stairs, grabbing and stacking pictures.  Some of them framed, some actually tacked to the walls.  While I was fumbling with the pictures, I was trying to think of what was the one other thing I couldn't bear to lose; that was small enough for me to muscle into the car by myself before I turned my attention to securing the house.  And Holy Cow, it was my knitting bag!  Of all the idiotic things to cherish at that moment...a stupid knitting bag.

Everything became a blur; I was dropping things and wondering how much time had passed.  And where was my Husband?!  I was in the master Bathroom, plugging up the tub to fill with water, when I heard the boat engines.  Racing out to the deck, I saw him puttering by, on his way to visit a friend down the canal.  He heard me screaming and hollering, saw me waving my arms, and I still have a perfect picture of him in my mind...hand on steering wheel, weight on left foot, as he turned full face to me and squinted into the sun.  He figured out what I was saying, and Then it was Game On.

We only had two pieces of plywood.  And about 30 windows and big old sliding glass doors.  We were like the 3 Stooges, running around the house with those two plywood boards...should we put one on this set of doors??  That set of doors??  We finally just screwed them into two doors and said the Hell With It.  He took the boat up into a deep canal, and tied it off like a Spiderman web.  I still don't know how he got all those ropes to do all those things.  And time was racing by.  Finally, we could do no more, because the wind had ramped up so hard that the canals had three foot waves in them.  The canals!

When we drove down to the end of the street to head off the island, we glanced back and saw a neighbor's big old cabin cruiser had ripped loose from their dock, and was bashing around in the waves.  We looked at each other and groaned, knowing we had to go back.  The power of the wind and waves was stunning as we tried to haul the boat back to their dock.  We just couldn't do it, no matter how hard we tried, so we tied about a half dozen knots in the one line, knowing it wasn't going to make any difference at all.  We were the next to last car off the island, and going over the bridge was scary...we could feel the wind trying to push the car over the railing.

All that happened in less than three hours.  We went from a bright, sunny day to hellish conditions in less than three hours.  All because the Hurricane jigged Left.  See what I mean?

Wish I hadn't counted those chickens.

Hurricane Irene, Hurricane Parties, and Evacuation

This whole week, Hurricane Irene hasn't been too capricious...until last night.  Sometime during the night, she took a little Westward Shift, which puts the Outer Banks back in the realm of landfall.  And we're going to get more than a stiff breeze, if she doesn't straighten up.

We are still Just Below the Pink Zone, which is the Hurricane Watch area.

The 11:00 AM update from the National Hurricane Center  has nudged the track even more Westward, and keeps it there because of a ridge building out in the Atlantic.  Which means a lot more of the East Coast is going to get torn up, all the way up into New York City, Cape Cod, New Hampshire and Vermont.  New York City is contemplating evacuation of low lying areas - you can read about the plans HERE.

Yesterday, the Town of Ocean Isle Beach hadn't pushed the panic button yet and called for evacuation. Which is a Good Thing.  No one wants to evacuate unless it is absolutely necessary...

Here is the website for Ocean Isle Beach visitors, and what they had to say yesterday afternoon:

Hurricane Irene Expected To Track East Ocean Isle Beach!

August 24, 2011 by  
Filed under Around The Town
There are no mandatory or voluntary evacuations declared at this time.
At 11:00 AM, Hurricane Irene was located at 22.4 degrees North and 73.9 degrees West, or approximately 900 miles south of Brunswick County.
Hurricane Irene is now a Category 3 hurricane and is expected to track to the east of our area.  It is expected that we could feel tropical storm force winds of 30-35 knots beginning around 10:00 PM on Friday night and continuing into midday on Saturday.
High surf and rip currents are also anticipated with rainfall varying from one to two inches.
There are no mandatory or voluntary evacuations declared at this time but with any storm of this category, we urge property owners and guest to continue monitoring the storm as is approaches our area.
This site will be periodically updated as new information is available.

That was the update from Gary, at Ocean Isle Beach website before the Westward Shift. 

Here is a link to the Town of Ocean Isle Beach - that is the site to watch if you are a property owner or renter looking for information online.

Now here is the amazing news...

A local restaurant here on the island is actually planning a Hurricane Party on Friday night, just as the storm approaches our coast - complete with live music by Bailout. You KNOW that Hurricane Drinks will be de rigueur.  Which means a lot of tipsy folks could be trying to Batten the Hatches at 3:00 in the morning if Hurricane Irene DOES decide to get capricious and take a  Westward Waggle.  Everyone will truly be trying to Bail Out, and it will be too late.

Now that is what I call thumbing your nose at Hurricane Irene, and potentially asking for trouble. 

I will keep you posted!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Hurricane Irene Update

Thank You, Thank You.  Thank you very, very much.

Do you see that tiny gray line between South Carolina and North Carolina?  That is us.  And that is where landfall is not going to be.  Yaaay for this!  That means we are on the Backside of the storm, and winds will be breezy, but not horrific.

So I can sleep tonight, with a full pantry of groceries for Jim Cantore, in case he decides to stop by, and Holy Moly, more wine than I can drink in a month.  How lovely is THAT?

However.  Hurricane Irene could still make landfall on the Outer Banks.  So please join hands with me and send a prayer up to the Big Guy that the steering currents take Irene on out to sea...where she belongs.

We don't want to see This Again:
Thank you from the bottom, sides, and top of my heart for your visits and emails...it is always so very lovely and strengthening to know that we have a safety net of friends out there, no matter where on the globe they are.  We will sleep tonight.

Hurricane Irene Gets Our Attention

In the past six years or so, those of us with Beach Cottages located on the Southeastern Coast of North Carolina have gotten a little complacent.  We haven't been hit by a hurricane in years.  Hurricane Irene, however, has gotten our attention.

When you live on the Southeastern Coast, in August and September every year you develop a heightened awareness of  pools of disturbed weather that swarm off the West Coast of Africa and head West.

Sometimes they solidify into Tropical Storms and cross over the Windward Islands, the Dominican Republic and maybe Cuba - with The Weather Channel in hard, constant pursuit - reporting every waggle in full color.

Jim Cantore and all the team at The Weather Channel become a part of your family and set up camp in your living room.

NOAA's National Hurricane Center is bookmarked on your toolbar.  Hours, sometimes days, are spent in front of the TV trying to determine whether you are in the Cone of Certainty.

Erika Santelices/AFP/Getty Images

 For a number of years now, somewhere around Day 3 the storm takes a hard right and loops back out into the Atlantic.  This time, it doesn't look like that is going to happen:

As of right now, we are Dead Center in the Cone of Certainty.
Now Hurricane Irene Has Our Attention.

And we just Renovated the Beach Cottage.

I'm going to check on Jim and the team...I don't think they've had breakfast yet.  And I have to stock in groceries and beer...and lots of wine.  There's a check list around here somewhere...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Gorsuch Dreams - Remnants of The Colorado Rockies

Last night I dreamed I was a size 6.  And was Rich, Really Rich.  And dressed in this shirt from Gorsuch:

Valentina Shirt, made in Austria.  Available at Gorsuch.

And that a banker, who was a dead ringer for Cary Grant, was set on winning me for his own.  And was wining and dining me around the great cities of Europe. Now THAT is the way to dream!

This morning, I find myself still in that fairy-fog, and remembering that fabulous Rocky Mountain shop I spent time in last month.  I knew the name, Gorsuch, but hadn't ever seen one of their shops.  I quickly learned why:  they are only in Colorado~

This is their Vail Shop - doesn't this photo make you want to get in skiing shape??  And go strolling through twinkly snow-draped villages in the Rockies?

Elisa Shirt.  Linen.  Made in Austria, available at Gorsuch.
One of those Pop-Up Rocky Mountain storms came through, right after I entered the shop, so I was Trapped Inside Gorsuch!  Legally.  And met a very knowledgeable and personable shop-lady, who had transplanted from the East Coast to Breckenridge some years ago.  After watching me finger the goods for less than two minutes, she had me pegged and moved forward to steer me to this:

Nikki Shirt  by Brunello Cucinelli.   At Gorsuch

Only problem is, well, this shirt retails for $918.00.  But it is fabulous.

After last night's dream, I've made a pact with myself:  If I get back to eating healthy, swimming every other day, and loose 10 pounds, I can have a shirt from Gorsuch.  Promise.  Maybe not the Nikki Shirt (sigh!), but the Anna Shirt is only $418.00...and gorgeous:

I think this all came about because I was reading through the archives of  To The Manner Born's Blog, and ran across a post that Toad made about clothing from a shop in Charleston, SC called Ben Silver.  When I followed that link I found this Little Black Dress:

Black Cap Sleeve Dress.  By Petrovitch & Robinson, available at Ben Silver.

Which is also going on the Need This list.
After I loose those pounds.
  Time to go swim a mile or two!

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Cinch Binding Tool and The Pomegranate Book

The Pomegranate Book is finally done!

I've had a Doozy of a week; struggling with a printer that is in a pout because I bought a new computer...and My Computer Guru is on vacation.  Hours of time have been spent on the internet in chat rooms, on the phone with HP and various cable adapter companies.  This is an issue All Of You are going to have to deal with when you get a new, souped up computer that is Windows 7 and 64 bit.  And only USB ports to hook equipment into.  I'll post later about the solutions I've found, but right now, I can't stand to think about it anymore.  I could have taken the money I've spent this week on Not Solutions out to the driveway and just set it on fire...would've been easier.

To regain my balance, I just Need To Make Something!

Thankfully, I printed off the Front and Back covers of the Pomegranate Book on my new Ricoh printer before I left Atlanta, so I was ready to jump right to it.  This is The Cinch - the bookbinding tool that I ordered back in May at the Surtex Surface Design Show.

This little guy is a real workhorse...punches right through chipboard and leather, and when you turn him around, he has a presser foot on the back to close up your metal binding rings.  There IS a learning curve, and it's best to watch the video on their website before you start punching away.

I'm using chipboard from our NY Betsy Bag stock - a handbag that we made several years ago, which used this chipboard in the bottoms.  That's why it has holes drilled in the four corners.

It is so important to remember that your pages for the inside must be smaller than the covers...and that when you punch your holes, that they line up with the holes you punched for the covers.

Once you get the hang of punching your holes in the exact right place, everything else just falls into place, and you are off and running.  I like to punch all my holes first, since I'm using my own, custom sized stock.  The last thing I need is to painstakingly glue up my covers and discover that the holes don't line up!

Here is my printed cover - I've already test-positioned my chipboard on the back side and held it up to the light to make sure I'm all lined up.  I made a crease to show me where the edge of the board is...

I need to trim it so that I have about 1" selvage on all four sides.  This is all made So Easy, using the magnetic ruler and mat that We R Memory Keepers offers:

You can buy the mat either at a craft supply store, or direct from We R Memory Keepers.

 Then, just use your favorite Craft Glue to glue the paper stock to your cover boards.  You can punch right through the glued-on cover - just be sure to position it the exact same way you originally did so you don't wind up with a new set of holes - that are now no longer lined up with the back board, like I did on my first try!

I like to make traditional corners and cover the edges of the board, so that the books look truly hand bound:

When you open the book, you get a pleasingly finished look...makes you want to keep opening and closing, just so your eyes can be happy.

Here is the Back of the Pomegranate Book.  Now I feel all better.  Think I'll go make some more!

Monday, August 15, 2011

A Two Year Old's Birthday Party With Lots of Girls and Women

Yesterday was Little GrandSon Brayden's Two Year Old Birthday Party.  Happily attended by lots of girls and women, with their men in tow.  Brayden is the only boy in this family.  Also the only boy in the circle of young friends his parents run with, which makes you wonder if there is something in the water around here.

But Brayden is All Boy - to the extent that I renamed him Crash earlier this year.  Husband calls him Crash, Bamm!  He is fearless, confident, and absolutely enchanted by tools and machinery.  Loves cars, trucks, and screwdrivers.  And gives Great Hugs.  I can hardly wait to see what we get in about 18 years...

The Birthday Party started at Two, because Brayden is Two.

Mommy Amy loaded up the grill...
And directed traffic in the Kitchen, all at the same time.  How does she do that??

The men gathered out on the deck, so they only had to gossip,eat snacks and drink cold beverages while all the work was being done~

But, they did mind all the kids...should I say all the other GIRLS.

This is Steele with his two beauties...

And tiny Blakely just slept on top of her Daddy.
Miss Paisley,  Brayden's cousin.

Cousin Paisley's Daddy is Roger - Amy's brother.  Who is pure mischief, with a reputation throughout the area of being the youngest boy ever in Brunswick County who could curse you out like a full grown man.  But who later on, when he was grown, would also come to your aide the fastest, and make everything right - very neatly, and with a finesse that won you for life.   He is a legend in this area, and we love him.  A lot.

First, Brayden had some yard action with the girls.  Had to hijack the jeep from these two...
Then on to the Jumpee Thingy...which was too much for a Two Year Old with all those Wild Women inside:

So everyone moved back inside for lunch:

And Cake!

Brayden was simply overwhelmed with the cake, the event, and all the accolades.

Take a closer look at this face:

Does that slay you, or what??

He blew out his candle with one try, and then...

After opening presents and destroying a Pinata, it was back inside for gift bags and a group photo.  And Then -you could see it on his face -  this Gig was Over!

What an afternoon, and what a joy to watch.  Turning Two Years Old, with Lots of Girls and Women.  Tomorrow, he'll be back to Crash.  Just wait and see.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...