Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Preparing for Hurricane Matthew's Arrival ~ Wednesday 10/5/16

We're in the corner of the "L" in "FL". It's definitely inching more to the West and it looks like our East Coast is pretty much going to be decimated.  And also I just heard a national weather caster saying that after it goes along the East coast of the US, some models show it coming back towards Florida!  Say it isn't so...
People, I don't know what I'm doing with this blog. Bear with me!  I felt that I should post an update today and tomorrow then the rest of the week might have to be just one big recap on Sunday if we don't lose internet.

Thanks again to all of you wonderful people who reached out in the comments and via email yesterday, to express their condolences.  Greg and I truly appreciate this. And even if you didn't but took a moment to think of Greg and his family, thank you.

He went to work today.  Part of me wishes he had stayed home to help me put stuff from the backyard away and think about a plan in case the hurricane hits us directly, but he does have work responsibilities!

As for me, I feel a little paralyzed this morning. It's close to 11 a.m. and I really haven't done much to get us ready. I did the dishes. I blogged about my groceries. I emailed some people.  I checked the news.  Almost none of this is helpful or particularly productive!

On my list of things to get done today for hurricane preparations:

  • Put away things that could fly and do damage in the backyard:
    • Put bird feeders and poles away in the small shed -Done
    • Put wheelbarrow in large shed -Done
    • Move rebar plant covers to the side of the shed -Done
    • Move potted plants from the berm and put them against the house (somehow I'm hoping that will keep them from flying around too much, life was easier when I wasn't into gardening at all!). - I won't be able to do anything with the self-watering bins though. But strong winds will probably just destroy them anyway. -Done
    • Put patio furniture in large shed -Done
    • Put barbecue in small shed (if will fit) -Done
    • Put barbecue side table against the house 
    • Fold small metallic barbecue table and put in small shed -Done
    • Move bench and put it against the house 
    • Put away front yard flag pole and pots -Done
    • Put trash cans on front covered porch (a little futile but maybe they won't go flying down the street that way) -Done
    • Bring nursery shelves back into the Cat Room. -Done
  • Inside the house:
    • Fold the laundry and put it away in drawers and closets where it will hopefully stay dry
    • Figure out what to do with all the glass containers of pineapple plants. Scratch that, I was thinking that they're all on a couple of South facing window sills and if they were to be thrown to the ground, then we'd have glass all over the breezeway that connects the older part to the newer part of the house. But if the jars get broken it's because the windows are broken so we'd have glass all over the breezeway anyway. One less thing to figure out, then.
    • Film the contents of the house
    • Secure my external drives
    • Move camping stove and small propane tanks back into the house -Done
    • Do whatever laundry needs to be done (tomorrow)
    • Put (we interrupt our programming to go bathe a kitten who just dumped my thankfully cold mug of coffee all over himself, the futon and the floor!) - now I've lost my train of thought!
    • Put the car keys in my purse and keep my purse with me (Thursday night and Friday)
    • Put shoes on (Thursday night and Friday) and remind kids to do the same (to avoid getting hurt by broken glass)
    • Put flashlights throughout the house
    • Put the bins of pictures away in the breezeway cabinets
    • Place checkbook and current tax documents in our safe
    • Charge lanterns and extra phone battery -Done
I just heard back from Middle Son that he is planning on driving to his dad's house on Thursday afternoon, sooner if his classes end up getting cancelled. I'm worried that he will get stuck in evacuation traffic but there's not much I can do other than urge him to leave today.  Oldest Son will be at my ex's as well.  Daughter and Younger Son will be with us. Update: all schools will be closed tomorrow and Friday. I urged Middle Son to get to his dad's tonight.  Update #2: he texted me at 2:30 p.m. that he was loading his car and heading out.  Update #3: only now it's 6:30 p.m. and he's still in Daytona Beach.  He's driving me nuts with anxiety. I want him out of there.  The roads are going to be full of people evacuating and it's dangerous enough to drive in those conditions!  His dad's house is only about an hour away from his apartment so he won't be much safer there but it'll be something.

The kittens are darlings who are driving me nuts right now.  They're constantly on the move as long as the move is within 3 feet of me.  If I sit down, they swarm.  And they bite (each other or me) and scratch (each other or me) and cuddle and lick (each other or me).  They won't stay in the playpen anymore!  Last night I ended up taking them upstairs to my bedroom with me.  Thankfully, as soon as I turned off the lights and turned on the fan, they just huddled in their bed and went to sleep.

The alarm rang this morning and they were quiet so I thought I'd sleep another 15 minutes, but as soon as I put the phone down, I heard a pip and Tabby Kitty was up and looking for me :)

I've switched them to completely dry kibbles now.  My babies are growing!

My daughter texted me (and woke me up!) at midnight last night and asked which one of my ex or I would be paying for college applications. I had told her me and to let me go back to sleep!  So this morning I asked if she had done this because she'd been processing her college applications and she said that she had written a new essay and was ready to apply to colleges.  She's probably going to apply at UF, UCF and USF.  If she gets into UF, she might major in History, with the goal to go on to grad school to study to be a librarian.  If she gets into UCF, then she's thinking about doing Web Design (not available at UF). She hasn't thought of USF yet, but that's one of the two universities in our state that offer Masters in Library Science.  And I think that the USF program can be done 100 % online.  She seems happy and relieved that that she has a new direction that doesn't involve complex math classes, lol. And I'm relieved that she's not aimless.

I spent a couple of hours this afternoon clearing out the front yard, back patio and berm as much as I could.

I put stuff away in Greg's shed (we'll see if building it to hurricane code specifications was actually useful!) and moved the generator to the very front of it, along with most of our gas tanks.  Hopefully we won't need to use any of it.

Now would be a really good time to pressure wash the patio pavers, wouldn't it?!  I moved all the pots alongside the south-facing wall. They said the worst of the winds would be coming from the NE.

The only thing remaining on the berm is the sweet potato vine!

I also hit pots in the bushes, thinking that maybe it'll be a little harder for them to fly around?  Yeah
I know, that's probably dumb thinking.
Tomorrow I'll cook dinner in the crockpot  and I'll also cook a bunch of tuna patties (Greg's suggestion) for Friday, in case we lose power and the storm makes it impossible for us to cook indoors safely.  Tuna patties will be easy to store and we can eat them cold with chips.
000000000000000000000000000000 (kitten steps across my keyboard, sorry, they want to help!)

  • I brewed a pot of free coffee with ground coffee that had been gifted to me.

  • I packed leftovers for Greg (the same ones as yesterday since he ended up having a business lunch yesterday).

  • My son packed himself a lunch and rode the school bus.

  • I ran a full load of dishes in the dishwasher.

  • Dinner tonight won't be Chicken Marsala after all since I have a lot of leftovers from last night.

  • I totalled my grocery shopping receipts from yesterday and reported on them. It wasn't as bad as I thought!

  • Last night, I checked our Discover accounts again and Greg's had the $10 off $30 deal from Kohl's.  I uploaded it to my Kohl's app and I got $10 in Kohl's cash, woohoo!  (Saryn, check your Discover account!).  I now have $15 in Kohl's cash to spend in October since they credited me with $5 in Yes2You Rewards even though I still needed 9 points to earn the $5. Woohoo!  I don't have anything on my Kohl's wishlist for now but the holidays are coming.

  • Lunch was eaten while I was biking: a small turkey 6s9ad999999999999 (sorry, kittens on the keyboard++++++++++!) sandwich on a roll baked yesterday, a piece of string cheese, and a bunch of grapes.

  • It's hard to get anything done when kittens decide to take a nap on you...

This lasted several hours...
  • I unlocked new offers in MobiSave. I have the offer for the free container of Goya gazpacho again, but I haven't been able to find it at my local stores :( I should check Walmart.  I emailed the Goya Customer Service department.

  • RaceTrac added a coupon for a free medium fountain drink to our apps.  Greg is pretty happy about that!

  • My son walked to the library (he couldn't take the bike because I crammed a bunch of things in the little shed, where I keep the bike!) to attend his teen program. I just texted him to ask him to check for donated coupon inserts.  There weren't any, though.

  • I received several packages of Christmas presents that I had ordered and also the latest Bath & Body Works scented candles that I had ordered, including this one that smells exactly like chocolate pistacchio!  They also included several coupons, including one for a free full-size item with a $10 purchase.

  • It started raining at about 4:30 p.m.  The garden will be happy, although it's also bound to get pretty sick of all the rain we're expecting to have over the next few days...  I shouldn't have a problem getting my rain barrel filled up now!  I'm happy that I didn't plant a garden this season, though, because any seedlings would get battered by the storms headed our way. I have a couple of tomato seedlings that had grown on their own in my outdoor bins and they'll probably die :(  I should have harvested my roselles but I'm not in the mood to make roselle jelly right now nor do I have the room in my freezer for it!

  • I really didn't do anything this afternoon after I came in from putting stuff away outside, because it seemed that I always had at least one kitten comfortably taking a nap on my chest or my shoulder!  They're never going to sleep tonight!  So I just read blogs (but couldn't comment or I'd wake up the kitten(s)!) and kind of had started falling asleep myself when Greg called at 6 p.m. to say that he was heading home.

  • Dinner was the leftover Black Eyed Pea soup and the last 4 homemade rolls.  My daughter ate at her BFF's so technically there is still one serving of soup and a roll left. I'll need to pack them back up into the fridge since I thought she'd be back for dinner.

  • None. I didn't go anywhere and didn't shop online either.

  • Greg didn't gas up this morning as I had suggested so now he's down to half a tank of gas with all the gas stations out of gas.

  • Kitten feeding
  • Cooked breakfast for Greg
  • Packed his lunch
  • Texted Middle Son asking him to let me know of his hurricane plans
  • Emailed my ex asking him if he had heard from Middle and Oldest Son's plans and letting him know our Daughter would not be going to his house
  • Replied to my mom's email
  • Replied to blog comments
  • Replied to reader emails
  • Recorded my receipts into my spreadsheets
  • Wrote and posted my Grocery Shopping recap
  • Continued working on a hurricane To-Do List
  • Gave a kitten a bath and mopped up a coffee spill
  • Visited with my daughter and her BFF who came to see the kittens
  • Exercised
  • Prepared the backyard and front yard for the hurricane
  • Charged the lanterns and my extra phone battery
  • Provided nap support for kittens
  • Fed my human family
  • Texted with my ex and Middle Son
  • Replied to my mom's email
  • Played with the kittens
  • Replied to blog comments

  • I got on the scale this morning and my weight was back down to 215 lbs, which honestly really surprised me. I have been biking 45 minutes to an hour every day since last Wednesday (although it's almost noon and I haven't done it yet today) but I haven't been logging my food since Saturday.  I didn't expect to have lost much at all but this is a loss of 6.2 lbs, which I found, quite frankly, untrustworthy.  But I'm not complaining!

  • I biked for 46 minutes (7.85 miles).  I wanted to get into the backyard to start clearing things out since we're already under a tropical storm warning so I didn't bike longer.

  • For all my wonderful readers' solicitude
  • For Middle Son making it to his dad's safely
  • For my daughter having made new plans for her future studies and written a college application essay

Here are some cute kitten photos to distract ourselves from the looming hurricane...


  1. I haven't read your entire post, but just switched on the TV to watch news and they were talking about the hurricane and I saw the governor of Florida urging residents along the coast to evacuate! So, immediately thought of you and your family - I hope you are well inland and won't get too badly impacted. My prayers are with you as you ride out this one. Hoping all will be well and you won't lose power or have any damage. Please keep us posted if you can.

    1. Thanks, Bless. I posted a map showing where we are and where my sons are in the next post (or the next one to that, sorry, I'm on my phone right now!). The east coast is going to have "catastrophic" damage with power outings what will last several weeks, according to the National Hurricane Center. We are inland but we will still get Tropical Storm winds and rain, but we don't expect it to be as bad as Orlando, which is going to be in the hurricane zone for sure as it's supposed to hit as a cat 4 just east of it, near Cape Carnaveral. The high tide is at midnight for Volusia Co (Daytona Beach), which is really really bad because that will coincide with the arrival of the 11 foot storm surge.

      I'm worried about my sons who are in East Orlando at their dad's and my reader Laura who is in Jacksonville. She comments on your blog too, I think.

  2. Hi Natalie thanks for the reminder, I checked and still no go for this month...maybe next month...


    1. Gotta keep hoping! I'm not sure why I stopped getting them on my card after getting them for several months but Greg is still getting them on his...

  3. Is it just me, or do you think, too, that an oncoming hurricane is a great motivator to get things straightened out and in order? Luckily, we don't have much outdoor furniture/stuff, but I scrambled around to make sure we had flashlights where we would find them, along with new batteries for them.

    Congratulations on the weight loss! I think stressing and worrying burns a lot of calories.

    1. It's not just you... I even hand washed the few dishes that were dirty on Thursday night because we couldn't possibly have dirty dishes flying around the kitchen but clean ones would have been ok!


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