Packing for Hurricane Irma

hurricane irma floridaWhen Hurricane Irma took a turn towards Tampa Bay on September 9, 2017, she was tracking right over my house. Eventually the area I live in was under a mandatory evacuation, meaning if we were in trouble emergency responders would not come help. Brian was worried about storm surge (high waters flooding into the house) and I was worried about wind damage, so we left. Here’s what I brought with me:

  • Food – A rolling cooler and 2 zip-up coolers filled with food and water from my fridge and freezer. I dumped ice in the cooler and turned off my ice maker. I also bought non-perishables that were not complete junk food (except for two dark chocolate bars), like canned chicken, boxed coconut milk, granola, nuts, raisins, peanut butter and cans of soup.
  • Clothes – I took a large, rolling duffle bag and dumped most of my socks and underwear into it. Then I added a bunch of casual clothes, one cuter outfit, warm PJs, barely there PJs, an old pair of sneakers in case I came home to a mess, a pair of flip flops, and a swim suit because I am a weirdo. I brought one long sleeve tech shirt in case it was steaming hot (it was) and bugs were biting (they weren’t.) Then I took a second suitcase and put a bunch of work clothes in it and put it up high in closet in case water went everywhere in my house. I also took my shoes off the floor of my closet and threw them in a shopping bag and put them up high in a closet.
  • Toiletries from my bathroom in full sizes in case we were gone a long time. Shampoo, hair product, face wash, deodorant, a razor, perfume, sunscreen, bug repellent, eyeliner and lipstick. Then stuff to do my nails because I knew we’d be sitting around bored at some point.
  • Eye care: Glasses, sunglasses, contacts, eye drops.
  • First aid kit + extra ibuprofen
  • A foam roller and yoga mat
  • Keys to everything around my house
  • Laptops, chargers, iPad, phone, little backup battery packs
  • Medical paperwork my kids need to have on hand, passports, birth certificates
  • Journal and pen
  • 2 books
  • Headlamps
  • Rubber gloves for post-storm cleanup
  • Alaska: along with cat food, litter, litter box, treats, toys, leash, cat carrier & id tag
  • Zip drive of family photos and DVDs of my kids when they were little and my wedding. I took 2 actual photos – one my kids when they were little and one from my honeymoon.I also put our photo albums in a large Rubbermaid tub but I left that in our safe room at home. (The guest room has no window.)
  • A special heart necklace Brian gave me years ago that I didn’t remove for days so I knew for sure it was not lost. I also packed some of my good jewelry and threw that in my suitcase
  • My alarm clock that has a sound machine on it
  • A battery powered radio
  • Our pillows to sleep better
  • Some sentimental stuff my kids asked me to grab, like baby blankies and favorite stuffed animals
  • Raincoat and umbrella
  • Homeowners insurance policy
  • Sports bottles full of cold water for the road
  • $500 cash

I put bikes in the shed, tarped a sofa by an old window that I was worried about, and sandbagged our outside doors. I took some favorite paintings off the wall and some breakable lamps and put them all in the safe room on the bed. I did not store anything in my washing machine or dishwasher. I left a cup of ice with a penny on top in both freezers (that way if I came home and the penny had sunk I would know at some point the freezer defrosted. That turned out to be fruitless because my power was off for a few days anyway.) I filled both car tanks with gas.

All of this, along with Brian’s gear didn’t fill my minivan, and we were safe with friends for about 48 hours. We came home to find our house and roof in one piece, our fence in three pieces (oops), and no electricity for about 60 hours. All in all, we were blessed and lucky! #Floridastrong

raffi in a headlamp

Wearing a headlamp to finish reading “The Nightingale”

friends during hurricane irma

Hiding in a closet under the stairs during a tornado that Irma brought

Disney joke

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Cry with Me

I cry. I am an empathetic person, and I’ve learned to keep my distance and cocoon myself for self-preservation. But often, I cry. From TV commercials, Disney music, fabulous theatre, kindergarteners singing, someone receiving $24,000 on “Ellen” or when reading an article in a magazine that renews my faith in humanity.

Sometimes crying embarrasses me. My kids look over to see if my eyes are welling up; they can now sense moments when it may happen. I warn people I’m sitting next to that I cry, and I carry tissues in my purse and camera bag

Here’s the thing. When I’m crying, I’m Present. I’m not rehashing the past, fretting about a future that hasn’t happened yet over which I have no control… there’s no wall or anxiety. I’m just here. It’s just me. And I’m usually really happy. Even when I’m crying over something sad, I’m usually able to find the peace in having at least connected with the moment.

You can offer me a tissue or a hug, or you can cry right along with me. I recommend the latter because then we’ll see each other’s silly tears and it will turns into peals of laughter.

I like laughing too. 🙂

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Currently, June 2016

Current Book – I just read 3 books on vacation: “Who Do you Love” by Jennifer Weiner and “Cherry Money Baby” by John M. Cusick were summer fun easy reads, and “The Country of Ice Cream Star” by Sandra Newman, which was a haunting story written in its own dialect. I’m reading “Whatever Makes You Happy” right now, but I don’t like it as much as either of those other 3 books.

Current Guilty Pleasure – Nutella left over from Wendy’s graduation party – right out of the jar.

Current Drink – water. But I did “invent” an apple pie shot the other day of two parts Siegburg Apfel Apple Schnapps and one part St. George Spiced Pear Liqueur.

Current Favorite Blog – http://www.thehurricaneinheels.com, but she’s mostly on Periscope now.

Current Song – “One Thing Leads to Another” by The Fixx

Current Wish-List – reduced shoulder pain

Current Needs – limes to make Denise’s mojo chicken recipe

Current Triumph – Learned how to use Apple iBooks Author at work, helped DD1 paint a desk for her first apartment

Current Indulgence – calories

Current Outfit – jean shorts and an aqua button down

Current Banes of My Existence – ants in the dishwasher

Current Excitement – Brian got a new car for Father’s Day

Current Mood –it’s all good

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Selfies from January 2016

I love that my iPhone has now automatically created a selfie folder! For “almost Wordless Wednesday”, here are my selfies from January. My inlaws were in town for 3 weeks, so there are a lot of family photos!:

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Currently, Jan 2016

Current Book – I just read “Three Little Words” by Ashley Rhodes-Courter. I probably won’t have time to look for my next book for about 2 weeks.

Current Guilty Pleasure – homemade chocolate mint brownies. But there’s only one left!

Current Drink – water

Current Favorite Blog – Outdoorsy Diva

Current Song – Still into you, Paramore

Current Wish-List – less tension with DD2

Current Needs – a nap

Current Triumph – Got the golf tournament web page live at work

Current Indulgence – dinner dates with my husband

Current Outfit – skirt, sweater, tights, heels

Current Banes of My Existence – my daughter’s girlfriend’s cat scratching Brian’s chair

Current Excitement – it’s a brand new year!

Current Mood – turning wounds into wisdom

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