Chipping away

Got a handful of jobs taken care of over the last few days. The big ones being getting the fence back upright and tarps up on the roof.

The fence was a pain in the butt. I thought it wouldn’t take too long, but we had to pull panels down and screw in every paling before replacing the panels. It’s less aesthetically pleasing but more secure now, so we’re happy with that. A lot of the wood was rotted and soaked through so we’re hoping it’ll hold up. We may just have to add more bracing.

Yesterday hubby and a brother-in-law got up on the roof and got a couple of tarps nailed down. It’s a huge relief to have that done and it’ll prevent more damage from occurring in our ceilings. Of course, the next 10 days are forecast to be dry but we do have a good 5-6 weeks left of hurricane season.

Less essential was tidying up the yard, but I tackled that yesterday since the guys had done the roof. The tree that broke has been cut up (yay for getting a chance to use the chainsaw) and the hedges no longer look like troll dolls. In general the garden got a good trim and is looking much nicer now. I still have a lot to do, but it’s a start.

Still waiting to hear from FEMA about when they’ll be visiting us for a damage assessment, but we know they’re slammed at the moment so we’re doing the best we can to be prepared for any intervening stuff.

Think I might give myself some time to game this afternoon, it’ll be good to beat up monsters and have a laugh.

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Home again

We’re back home! We didn’t expect the power to be back on so soon since it took 5 days for it to come back on after hurricane Matthew. Very thankful for electricity since the weather is heading back into “normal” summer temps of 90F+.

Our home did get some damage, most of it relatively minor and easy to patch up. The big issue is that we have a hole in the roof above my mum-in-law’s closet and the ceiling is now a big gaping maw of damp itchy nasty. You can see the underside of a shingle through the hole and, from up top, we can see where the hole is as there’s a big dip in the roof.

We’ve already applied for some assistance since we have a few other leaks and our roof is beyond repair. I honestly expected to not have a roof left at all! Thankfully, my hubby and brother-in-law we’re able to get up on the roof (rather gingerly) and get some moisture barrier nailed up as a temporary fix until we can get some tarps. While I really want to clean up inside, we’ve been told to leave things alone for the FEMA inspectors.

I’m going to take advantage of the fence being down to cut back some of the garden that I couldn’t reach before. It’ll need to be done before we repair it, and I’ve been wanting to clear that area of yard for a while now.

We’re lucky that our neighbours are lovely and the dad came over and braced some of the fencing up for us when we were gone. He also propped up some of the broken fence to try to keep people out of our back yard. He’s such a sweetie.

The rest of our neighbours fared well with only one having any damage, and that was just a tree falling on their fence.

We were also thankful that we were able to evacuate to my brother-in-law’s home for the duration of the storm. I definitely would not want to be in a mobile home for a big storm like Irma.

I’m going to try to keep positive while dealing with all this stuff and attempt to see the good side of things. In regards to my garden, I’m thinking of it as a way to reboot/reroll with the benefit of a bit more experience!

Here comes the rain

We’re lurking at the in-laws in Orange Park for the duration of hurricane Irma. It’s been raining all day and the hurricane hasn’t even reached central Florida yet.

We should be getting the big stuff overnight tonight so we’ll find out tomorrow if we’ve had any damage.

Fingers, toes and eyes crossed that hurricane Irma weakens!

Incoming!

It looks like this beastie is heading our way so we’re going to be heading to a, hopefully, safe place for the duration of the storm. My brother in law has kindly offered sanctuary in his home which will be a lot more stable and secure than our mobile home. If it starts to look worse (heading more west) we’ll be bailing out of state to Mississippi.

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This is the first major hurricane that I’ll be experiencing and I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m quite scared about it. We’re desperately hoping that it’ll weaken before it hits us here in Jacksonville so that we’ll have a home to come back to once it’s passed.

We’ve spent the last few days trying to prepare, but it’s kinda hard to wrap you head around something this scale. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve moved boxes and bags from one place to a “better” place, and back again. At this point, there’s not much left to do other than waiting.

So.. we’re waiting!

 

 

Update!

With an abundance of real life kerfuffle, I let this go by the wayside. After letting it slide for a while, I then felt guilty and reluctant to even visit… talk about silly!

At some point, I need to go through and update and missing images from this blog. I was using photobucket to host them and they just randomly pulled the rug out from the majority of their users and decided to charge them for basic services. It wasn’t until after the change that I had an email from them, offering information and pricing. Given how the managed the whole thing, and my inability to use them any more, I removed all my date and closed my account. I slowly started uploading stuff to Imgur instead, so I’ll have to update links once that is done.

Flint and I have hopped about a bit with gaming, messing around with offline and online ones to try to find something that catches our attention. I was enjoying SimCity 5 and Civilisation VI for a while, and probably would have leaned back towards Sims 4 if my gaming momentum had carried on at that pace.

At the moment, we’re dabbling with SW:TOR and I’m really enjoying the story telling. It’s the first game in a very long time that I haven’t skipped ANY dialogue in at all. The player character gets put into situations where they have to make decisions based around “good or bad” and it adds an intriguing dimension to the game. Considering how old SW:TOR is, it holds up very well!

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The game Wildstar is still on my gaming radar as it’s releasing a new content update based around player housing. It’s a game that we played a while back but RL intervened before we could really get stuck into it. We’ve been meaning to jump back in, but something else crops up. There seems to be a stigma about it that deters people from playing, based on the publishers habit of stripping resources from devs and/or shutting games down without much thought. I’m hoping this keeps ticking along as I’d love to jump in again with both pixel feet!

Well then.. the garden.. with the exception of a herbs and a few tomatoes, it didn’t work well. A combination of factors were to blame I think, primarily the crazy heat we’ve been having (days of 127F heat index), ridiculously heavy rain, and lack of experience. The oregano and parsley grew so well that I’m considering planting some oregano in the front garden, as an aromatic ground cover thingy. Inside, I have basil and some other herb (I think it’s Sage) growing in the one sunny spot. Everything else, I pulled up a couple of weeks ago, except for the spaghetti squash which is still throwing up flowers. We’ve had some squash start, but they’re either being cooked or eaten by bugs.

I did however, pick up on a few things that I will change before I try again. I do want to try again, but it’s going to have to wait until it cools down and the weather gets a bit more settled. We have a hurricane or two heading our way which interferes with gardening plans a bit.

Hurricane Irma is causing a great deal of anxiety for all, understandably. With the recent news from Texas with Hurricane Harvey, people here in Florida are for once not being complacent about this storm. There is a bloody good chance that this hurricane is going to mess stuff up pretty badly. We’re in the north of Florida so we wont be feeling the effects until the weekend, and yet stores are already out of stock or rationing water. We’re keeping a close watch on the forecast and hoping we won’t have to evacuate. I’ll be packing bags and supplies tomorrow, just in case we do need to get out in a hurry.

If it sticks to tropical force winds, we plan on staying here. If it looks to be full on though, we’re going to have to leave and that is going to royally suck. With my normal anxiety about leaving the front door, compounded with the threat of evacuation, my brain is in full on freak out mode. We don’t have a vehicle so it’ll be on the grace of other’s for us to be able to get out. Hurricane Matthew last year gave us a bit of practice as to how to manage certain things so, assuming it’s not much worse, we’ll be fine. I’m hoping that we’ll be able to make our own call about it, rather than being railroaded (I Hate when guilt is used to try to control others!) The main concern where we are is wind damage rather than flooding. Mobile homes aren’t the most robust, especially not old ones that are already a bit bedraggled.

Of course, this has to happen in the middle of working with my immigration lawyer, so it’s fantastic timing all round. After a couple of years of not being able to get in touch with him, we’ve got the ball rolling again for permits and stuff. It’s a relief, though also incredibly stressful.

Since it’s 5.30 in the morning, I guess I should try again to get some sleep. I switched my sleep around to be awake overnight so that I would be available to help out a family member if needed, which I was more than happy to do. Now I can change back to normal patterns and it’s a nightmare to do with anxiety induced insomnia. Rawr!

Treats!

Yesterday was another one of “those days” where you do not-much but end up exhausted at the end of it. Flint spent the morning pottering around in the yard as our internet connection was too flaky to use.. Im not entirely sure what I did, other than shop for fixings to make sushi and go thrift shopping, and swing by the dollar store, in the evening.

At the local goodwill I picked up an ice cream maker, which I was looking forward to trying. I love homemade ice cream and I’m constantly on the hunt for a potential replacement for when I have to retire my trusty, old, churn (which is older than I am!) As soon as I got home, I popped the basin into the freezer as the store only gives you 24 hours to test and return electronics. I gave it a go this afternoon and, sad to say, it didn’t work at all so it was returned. It made the milk cold and a bit bubbly, but that was it. I ended up using the old one to finish the job, so we do have some fresh vanilla ice cream now. A win, anyway you look at it!

On the way home from thrift shopping we stopped in to the dollar store, a required stop to stock up on frozen orangeade and various knick-knacks. I grabbed a few more packets of seeds as back up. The rain seems to have washed away my basil, and the cucumber is still looking a bit sad. If nothing else, I’ll get some herbs to grow inside too, if I’m lucky. Flint found a special treat for me there, too. He found Maltesers! They’re like whoppers but better… yummy malty chocolatey goodness, that had me jumping up and down like a toddler when I saw them.

This morning we went poking about at yard sales after running an errand, and I got myself a few things which were absolutely not needed.. but they came home with me anyway. We found one yard sale where the seller had a bunch of lovely, lush potted plants for sale. I picked up a spider plant that had a nice shape to it, with lotsĀ of runners which I can trim and plant in turn. I also picked up a case of 24 energy drinks for $5 and some table place markers that are little blackboards on stands… perfect for plant labels.

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I’ve not yet finished filling holes in the dry wall, so its very rough looking at the moment!

 

Rest…ish

Having a somewhat rest day today. We got a lot done yesterday and we’re both paying for it today with old-person aches and groans. Flint was up and down ladders checking the sheds for roof holes, and patching the main roof. Lots of stuff was moved in/out of the sheds and in/out of the house. I desperately wanted to put it off, but I got the lawns and weedeating done too. I ended up caving when I saw it was going to top 90F for the rest of the week and that’s gross to do yard work in.

After all the outside stuff was done, I spent the evening poking around in my room.. undecided if its going to be my room, the craft room, or something else. There’s a huuuge, very heavy, cabinet that I moved from spot A to spot B, then back to spot A when I decided I didnt like the way it looked. I got the furniture settled where it feels right and I keep poking my head in the door to admire the result.

There’s a bunch of nail and screw holes that need to be filled, and a small bookshelf to be built but I’m not sure if I’ll do that today or tomorrow. I was going to try to paint the walls before my dad in law arrives, but at this point it will be too smelly if I do that now.

I feel like I need to at least get a little nap in there before it has a houseguest in, as a subtle territorial marking.

The rain that we had helped the plants along a bit and there’s a heap of new flower buds all over the beans. The spaghetti squash is grabbing savagely at every stake I put down for it to grow around. This morning I was surprised to see that there are 5 more yellow squash sprouts that popped up, but still no zuchinni. The cucumber seems a bit more happy now that it’s separated, but it’s a bit water logged I think (the leaves are a bit yellow.) The tomatoes are growing like crazy, as always, and I’m checking every day for signs of flowering.