Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Productivity is for losers.

Chocolate chip cookies at 5:30 in the morning? Why yes, I think so. And they taste just as fabulous as I thought they would.

I had the most lovely 3-day holiday weekend, which included a trip to the theater to see "Bridesmaids" (a movie that was exactly what I needed at the moment and I'd love to go see again and again), a night spent ripping drywall and flooring out of the house (well, mostly I watched and played with our favorite stray kitty), house hunting, and a wonderful amount of time spent with that husband of mine.

Of course since this was such an active, busy weekend for us the temperature decided that it was time to stop fucking around already and we spent the whole time sweating balls. This led me to reiterate my rule that our next house needs to have central air. Please. I'm tired of having one liveable room, with the rest being a sauna in the summer and an icebox in the winter. I'd try and include fall and spring, but fall and spring here are a joke. I think we had some nice spring-like days in February, before the temps dropped back down to "icicles hanging from your eyebrows," then swung back up to "Don't you DARE sit next to me, it's too hot for that shit!", and then back down to frigid.

In any case, I didn't work  last night, but went to bed "early" because we have an appointment at 3:15 to see what kind of home loan we can qualify for, so we can start narrowing down our search for a house and get serious about it. Unfortunately, despite having taken a sleeping pill to hopefully help me sleep through the night, I still woke up on our rapidly-deflating air mattress, my left side actually touching the floor, and forced the hubby to instinctively cover his junk in his sleep as I stepped over him to head to the bathroom at 2:30 A.M, only about 4 hours later. After the quick pee, I tossed and turned on the floor/sad excuse for an air mattress trying to get back to sleep, but as I now look at the clock it says it's 6:25 and I'm blogging.  This is only a little bit by choice... If I could choose, I'd be drooling on my memory foam pillow right now, but if I'm cursed with insomnia like this I'll gladly share my misery with any poor fool bored enough to read about it. I think this week we'll be taking the little bit of money we have saved up and will buy an actual mattress. If THAT deflates we'll know it's time to re-think our diets, and possible contact an exorcist.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

30 days out.

Today marks the one-month anniversary of our "homelessness." Yay. I figured I'd use this opportunity to fill in some of the gaps between that first day and today.

Like I mentioned here, that first day was craziness, we ended up staying at a friend's house and I went to work that night. That kicked off a few solid days of almost no sleep. Although The Princess (our dog) had a blast at my friend's house, he also caused a few problems... including an opportunity for one of my friend's dogs to escape! He did return quickly (apparently he does that often!), but still, I was quite stressed since I was there by myself at the time. The Hubby had gone to help move some of his parents' stuff to higher ground in case the water reached their house, my friend was working, and her fiance was running around helping friends/family members and checking out the damage. So at some point The Hubby returned, said "We borrowed a boat. I'm going to rescue the kitties. I'll be back," and then he left again. I was speechless, and thrilled. He took them and The Princess to stay with some of his family until we could get settled. The bad news was that he had to "dock" the boat on our front porch, as the water was pretty deep and was about 6 inches deep in our house in some spots, and about a foot deep in the laundry room (which is ground level). But they were able to get some more of our stuff out of the house, and the kitties were now safe and secure. Meanwhile, rather than sleeping after a full night of work, I was moving the few belongings we had at that point into a hotel room, where we would be staying for the next three nights. Hotels are usually creepy, but the door to our room appeared to have been broken down at some point. It wouldn't lock right. After that, we transferred to a different hotel, which was way worse than that one. We only had to stay there one night, since the next day The In-Laws decided that their house was safe from floodwaters and they were going to move back in there. Still, this led to a few more sleepless "nights" (days, really, since I was still going to work every night) due to dogs barking and my nephew crying (his default setting, it seems) whenever The Sister-In-Law was over or dropped him off with her parents. And that's pretty much where we are now.

My phone has never been as busy as it was the first couple of weeks after our house flooded. Between concerned calls from family and friends, trying to get things figured out, and hearing about the rumor mill working over time in our town, I was seriously doing some networking. Information was gold. There was a town meeting (which was crap), rumors of riots (crap), drunken idiots from my town crammed into one hotel (the police were called at one point), and all kinds of people either complaining or doing what needed to be done. Most of the loudest complainers were the ones who were the least affected. It made me hate my town even more than I already did, hearing people complain about a little water in their yard, or in their crawl space under their house, and getting pissed that they weren't going to get the same amount of money as people who had water almost up to their windows. I quickly adopted the attitude regarding my own situation of "It's just stuff, we're okay, and hell, we wanted to move anyway!" At the same time, however, I feel so badly for those who aren't as lucky as we are. But I am still dreading the idea of having to completely furnish a new house. *shudder*  The Hubby sticks firmly to the idea of bean bag chairs, but he elaborated by saying they'll be all black. We'll call the look "Flood Chic."

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


...Or not.

You know how when something is supposed to happen, and then it doesn't happen like they said it would, and you feel stupid for listening to rumors about it? Harold Camping's followers do (HA!), but I didn't even realize the similarity between their plight and mine until I just now typed that out. It makes me feel even MORE stupid for making such a mountain out of a molehill when their mountain out of a molehill was a much bigger deal, for them AND for pop "cult-ure" history. Here I am worrying about a job-related change, when they were all worried (actually they seemed pretty damn excited) about the end of the world. Probably excited at the demise of us heathens.

Anyhoo, hooray for positive sorts of letdowns! As in "Hey, that wasn't as bad as I was being led to believe it was!" Am I being vague enough for you about the job-related non-change? Because it doesn't really matter. It's THAT MUCH not a big deal. It's only a big deal when you build things up in your head before you know what the hell's going on. This is normally not even something I do, but with everything going on in my life right now it's my first instinct to jump to the worst-case scenario. Now I'm lookin' like a fool with those beliefs on the ground.

That's really all I have to say for now. Actually, I have lots to say--as always--but I'm going to try to keep these things more topic-focused when a specific topic is indicated in the title. (See? This post is all about "Change." Or a lack of it. But see, even "lack of change" still fits the general topic becau... *stopthatnow*)

Now I'm going to go to bed, because it's starting to seem like that "third wind" of energy I caught may have had a hint of nitrous oxide, causing a headache and a serious case of the sillies.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Motivation is something I've been seriously struggling with lately. I'm just not finding the energy to do much anymore, and don't really feel much like trying. (And before you ask, yes, I DID go back to the doctor and got that prescription refilled!) I've been working pretty much nonstop, and when I'm not at work I'm asleep. Somewhere in all that I may eat something, and occasionally I even get to spend some time with The Hubby.

On the good news front (and there's quite a bit of it!):
  • We are still safe and secure, currently living with The In-Laws, and our animals are still with us. And they're loving the new digs.
  • Since we've been able to get back to the house, we've been able to slowly start getting some of our stuff out. Not the big stuff like furniture and major appliances, because most of those are done for, but some of the little stuff and some of the stuff with sentimental value. We were able to save most of our pictures, wedding bands (with both of us working in factories we can't really wear them day-to-day), The Hubby's collection of Ninja Turtles (sigh), guitars/amps, the TV and the Wii (but not the cords), the lockbox that holds most of our important documents (And some of those documents were even salvageable. The lockbox floated the best it could, but alas, it was under the bed... It would have been fine otherwise!), and a bunch of other miscellaneous stuff. 
  • As soon as our county was declared a disaster area, FEMA stepped in. We applied online for assistance, our house was inspected, and within two or three business days we got some money in the bank--enough to pay off what we owed on the house.
  • Everyone has been so amazing through all of this. Offers of help have come in from all directions, and sometimes from totally unexpected sources. So many offered to share their homes with us, or have been willing to donate items, or to store stuff for us, or were willing to provide the work or tools needed to move belongings or work on the house. And of course all the "let me know if you need anything"s. We've been amazed at the outpouring of support we've received, and are so grateful. We are truly lucky to have the friends and family that we do.  
Although this whole situation really, really, REALLY sucks, I'm (we're) handling it really well , especially thanks to our friends and family members. Things could have been so much worse for us. Now we're able to be cautiously excited. Worried and stressed, but excited at this opportunity to make changes in our lives.  Now we "get" to buy a new house, with new furniture, all on our own. It'll take a while, and we'll probably be sleeping on our recently-purchased air mattress for quite some time and, once we get into a new place, investing in some bean bag chairs for a while until we can afford *real* furniture, but we'll get there. Slowly but surely we will get there.

Thank you all so much for being patient with me on my total slacking regarding posting! Although it didn't help that Blogger was down for a few days, either... I know I still have quite a few stories to tell from the past couple weeks, so I promise I'll be back to posting more regularly again soon. Also, note the new "the title may be a *bit* misleading" label. I'm sure this will not be the last time it will be used, but it is indeed the first. Maybe I'll go back through older posts and see if it applies elsewhere. Meh.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Flood Extravaganza, Day 1.

Here’s Day 1 of our story.
Around 12:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 28th I was sitting in the break room at work. It had been raining off and on for about a week, and Thursday was supposed to be a pretty, clear day with no rain. When I had gone into work the night before, it was sprinkling a little bit but the drainage ditch that runs next to our house only had a trickle of water in it. That was not unusual, even though we had received massive amounts of rain over the past week. Rivers were flooding, and things were really bad for a lot of people, but the drainage ditch had always prevented our yard from getting too bad. It never held a lot of water for very long. So I was more than a little bit surprised when one of the guys I work with called me over to his table and told me that they were going door-to-door evacuating my town because of flooding. (Note: I'm not watching a lot of TV these days, so I've been relying a LOT on word-of-mouth and news apps on my phone for my news, especially since my computer stopped connecting to our wifi. And no, that's not a priority right now.) I called The Hubby, waking him up, and told him what was up, asked if anything was going on. During that conversation I learned that yep, the drainage ditch and all the ditches around our house were about full. One neighbor near us had hitched his camper up to his truck and was packing everything up, ready to go anytime. They had evacuated the nursing home down the street from us. I asked The Hubby if he wanted me to come home, and after discussing it I ended up staying at work with the understanding that he would keep me posted via text and let me know if I needed to leave. I let my supervisor know what was up in case I had to leave early, but I never heard anything. 

I checked my messages again when I was leaving work and had just received a text from him a half hour before saying that there were two or three inches covering the yard, and that he had taken the dog over to his parents’ house (they live in the same town but farther east, which was not flooded yet) because he won’t use the bathroom in water like that. He told me to be careful if I came back to the house, but after talking with him on the way home we decided it would be safer for me to head straight over to his parents’ house while he went on to work. I had doubted my car would even make it through the driveway with that much standing water. Once I got to the In-Laws’ house, I went immediately into the room where they were going to let me sleep. I burst into tears, thinking about my house, the cats, and having nothing but the clothes on my back, my purse, and my lunch box. Shut up, it's totally a grown-up lunch box. How had all this happened in just a few hours? And I stressed over the fact that I was seriously in need of sleep, because I hadn’t been sleeping very well the past few days. After a few minutes I was able to make my way into the living room with his parents to discuss what was going on and figure out a plan of action. Around 7 or 7:30 we hopped in the car and headed over to my house to pack up some of our things. We couldn’t even safely get onto the road in front of my house to get to the driveway so we parked the car on the road beside my house instead (I live on a corner), giving us that much farther to walk in the water to get to the side door that we use to get into the house (the front door won’t open). The water was almost to the top of my rain boots in some spots as I walked through the driveway, or our closest estimation of where the driveway is supposed to be anyway. It covered the bottom porch step. 

I kept running around in circles inside, thinking of all the things that I should get. I decided to pack a few days’ worth of stuff, just enough to get us through. I thought I was probably packing too much stuff. Still, I filled our three bags with clothes, toiletries, and “essential” electronics and accessories-phones, chargers, laptop, and my Kindle. I didn’t take the kitties, since I didn’t think we'd be gone that long, and I didn't think they’d appreciate me carrying them across such a large body of water. It didn’t even cross my mind that we did still have one pet carrier hidden away somewhere. I loved on them for a while before we left, but my heart still broke. I told myself that this probably wasn’t a big deal, we’d be able to go back and get more stuff later if we needed to, and the kitties’ food was at least on the counter up off the ground. We’d be back home before we knew it. 

We waded back to the car, arms full of stuff, and went back to their house. Now Hubby’s sister, her boyfriend, and her baby were staying at the In-Law’s as well… They live down the street from us, and were getting flooded as well. I know it’s hard to sleep in a house with a baby, and this was a full house, with a lot of stuff going on, but after an hour or so I tried to get some sleep anyway. While I was down for a nap (all too short of one…) they went back to my house and SIL’s house to check on the situation and move things up higher just in case the water did get into the house. My MIL went to help her parents (who live across the street from us) by bringing their dog to her house, then working on getting her parents into a wheelchair-accessible hotel room. When I woke up I learned that the water had risen almost a foot since that morning when I was there, was now up to the porch itself, and was still rising. Still, I thought we’d be able to go back for the lock box with our important documents and other SUPER-IMPORTANT things like that which I had of course forgotten. I hadn’t even grabbed the sentimental-value stuff, because I wasn’t thinking about it being that serious. Also, maybe on some level I didn't want to get yelled at for grabbing pictures but no socks, pajamas, or our toothbrushes. My mind was in a total fog of denial. I simply could not comprehend this, and still can’t.

So when The Hubby got home from work that day (he did end up leaving early) we put on our boots and started walking, not wanting to bother with a vehicle down the streets clogged with people and other vehicles, including emergency vehicles and the National Guard. We made it to about 3 or 4 blocks away from our house before we stopped. We could see where our street was supposed to be, but the water was just too deep. Someone even came down that street driving a big SUV, and the water was up to the tops of their tires. We stood there for a moment, then turned around. 

We didn't know what to do, since we didn't know whether his parents' house would get flooded too, or if we were supposed to evacuate, or anything. All we had to go on was the rumor mill, and it was working full time cranking out more bullshit than facts. We heard that a local organization backed by FEMA was providing free hotel stays for up to 3 nights, so we contacted them to hook that up for ourselves. Then we just had to wait to hear back from them. In the meantime, we wanted to go ahead and leave town, so we went to stay with a friend of mine until we heard about the hotel. Not knowing anything about what was going to happen, how things were going to work out, or what kind of condition my house (and my kitties!) were in, and having had almost no sleep, I went on to work that night. There was nothing I could do anywhere else, and I figured I needed the distraction, and I was definitely going to be needing the paycheck. To say that night at work was "rough" would be a dramatic understatement, even when I got the call back about the hotel stay. We decided we (Hubby, really) would go on and stay at my friend's house that night, then we'd go to the hotel the next day. And so ended Day 1.

I won't split the rest of it into Day 2 and 3, etc., but this will have to be continued in another post for now... 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

No title describes this well enough.

*Written April 29th, 2011, in a hotel room... by me, of course*

A week or so ago a bunch of dangerous storms started rolling through our area. I started working on a blog post about my absolute terror regarding tornados, joking about some of the low-priority things I worry about should a tornado sweep through my tiny town. Mind you, I truly am terrified of tornados, but find it much easier to wonder about the little details that don’t matter.  I chose not to post that one, because it just didn’t feel right. Even though I wrote that I knew none of that piddly stuff would even come close to mattering in the event of an actual tornado destroying my house, it did still seem selfish, shallow, and insulting. Since that wasn’t my intention, I chose not to post it and deleted it. Note: This was also before the tornados that devastated the South, after which it became a significantly less amusing topic for me to discuss lightly. Then disaster really did strike us, from a direction I totally didn’t expect.

You see, tornados happen around here all the time. They are by no means an uncommon occurrence. So that fact coupled with my fear of them makes it reasonable for me to think and worry about that often. If you’ve been paying any attention to the tremendous amount of damage and devastation caused by the record-breaking outbreak of tornados in Alabama and throughout the South the past week, you know that they are not something to take lightly. I can only sit in silence when staring at the pictures and videos of the magnitude of the destruction down there. I feel so badly for what has happened to them. But still, that’s not why I’m writing this post.

It wasn’t a tornado that took my house, it was a massive flood. And I was right—I don’t care that there were dirty dishes in the sink, that the floor hadn’t been vacuumed in a few days, that there were dirty clothes all over the place because I was slowly getting through the laundry. I don’t care that anyone opening my fridge would most likely only find sodas, expired milk, and 3 kinds of hot sauce. And some Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce, because that stuff’s amazing! It tastes great with The Hubby’s grilled chicken. I don’t care that our cabinets and freezers are filled with junk food, or that there’s probably piles of cat puke hidden in strange places throughout the house, from the times when we weren’t there to hear them horking it up and hadn’t come across it yet. I didn’t and still don’t care about any of that. I’ll tell the whole story in another post, but truly all I care about is that The Hubby is laying next to me in our hotel room (paid for by a local organization), the animals are safely tucked away with one of his relatives, and we have some clothes to wear, phones (and chargers!) and the laptop computer to stay connected to those we love.* We have so much love for everyone that’s been supporting us and reaching out, willing to do anything they can to help us get through this difficult time.

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Written May 5, 2011
* - Totally didn't work out that way... We've been having trouble with our laptop. It no longer feels it needs to connect to the internet anywhere. So I've been sitting on this post until I had access to a computer that WILL access the internet, and had to save the document to my phone then email it to myself in order for that to happen, and had to have the time and energy to do all that plus whatever editing would be necessary. See how dedicated I am?

And just to make sure everyone's up-to-date regarding our status, we are safe, we're now living with The Hubby's parents, the animals are back with us, we're both still working, our insurance is NOT going to cover the damage, and we are NOT going to be able to live in our house again. Looking for new digs. Just like all the other flood victims. Again, I will tell more of the story later. Please wish us luck, and if you're aware of any decent places for rent in our area please email me/call/whatever!