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!

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!

First Fruits!

We have our first baby beans! They’re still tiny (less than 2 cm) but still… hurray! The first batch of cherry tomatoes have started to produce flower buds so I’m hoping they’ll starting producing soon too. The cucumbers, now that they’re separated, seems to be a lot happier and the herbs are zooming up too.

The plants that are doing the best are the squash and the tomatoes. The spaghetti squash, grown from discarded seeds, is now about 45 centimeters tall and it’s still growing up and out.. I may have to look at adding some structure around the pot that it’s in. The yellow squash is also taking off at an unbelievable pace and is going to force my hand to rehome it very soon. The cherry tomatoes that I first started as an idle curiosity are now about 2-3 feet tall. It blows my mind thinking about the changes that have occured over such a short time frame.

The herbs in the big planter are doing well and, hopefully, the sage and rosemary will pick up the slack soon too. No signs of basil or lavender yet, though the latter has a very long time to germinate I think.

I gave the whole garden a good feed with some plant crack.. I mean, miracle-gro, so I almost expect to walk out into a jungle tomorrow. The difference that stuff makes is amazing!

 

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.

First blossoms

Whoops, left out a few days of babble! Other than poking at Skyrim mods, I’ve been busy doing RL lifeskills… mostly of the un-fun kind (cleaning) but with a bit of baking too.

I tried out two new recipes that were a hit. One was a “miracle no-knead bread which I was very sceptical about, but it was delicous! The other was a no-egg recipe for oatmeal cookies that Flint found (he was in need of cookies, but we didnt have eggs) and they came out great too!

The Beans started producing flower buds this week and, perhaps, the yellow squash too. Most of the garden has bounced back from the hammering it took when the trees were cut down, though some of the peas are looking a bit worse for wear. The tomatoes are all growing well, and I’m sure that the first batch of cherry tomatoes planted are growing at a rate you could watch.. every time I go out, they’re even bigger! The brocolli and chives are pretty much totally gone, but I was expecting that. The cucumbers were getting pretty sad looking but I finally got around to splitting them up.

We’ve had rain over the last three days and it’s made a big difference to the garden. Everything is starting to look a bit more fluffed up and healthy now, though the lawn is still mostly weeds and molehills (bloody moles, making a mess.)

Today I finally caved and tackled my craft room and made it MY craft room. I have a few more things to do, but it’s currently clean and tidy enough to use now. The motivation for this was induced by the knowledge that we were going to be having house guests this weekend and we’re low on spaces to put them that had air conditioning. I’m so sore and stiff from all the bending, pushing, pulling, lugging and hefting of boxes and furniture, but I’m glad I got it done finally.

Once I’ve got it tidy, I then get to clean the walls properly (bleach, as there’s black mold in some spots) and sanitise things (there was cat litter, and other nasties, all through the closet.) After that it’s time to paint the walls and do some proper decorating. I have a colour scheme in mind but I’ll probably have to settle for whatever I can find leftover, or cheap, at thrift stores. Below are the colours I’ve had stuck in my head for a while. I’m obsessed with yellow for walls, probably because that’s what I had as a little girl and it makes me happy!