Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Post-Irma post

Wow, it's been a long couple of weeks. First, Harvey hit Texas. Our grandparents live in Texas, not far from Corpus Christi. Fortunately, they were out of town when it hit. Their house did not have any damage although they lost power and had to toss everything in the fridge and freezer. So they were blessed. 
As Harvey was destroying Texas, we started to ramp up our emergency preparations. It was a horrible reminder. Our house in Norfolk finally sold and closed the last week of August. That gave us the financial cushion to buy things we couldn't afford before. 
Then Irma became more of a problem for Florida. 
Mom is a government employee and part of the FEMA team for documenting damage. That means she couldn't evacuate before the storm. So we prepped for a week without power and water. 
As Irma kept shifting west, storm surge flooding became more of a danger. So mom packed bags in case we had to leave our duplex due to flooding. 
Then it seemed like we were going to be on the western side of the eye which is the bad side. Then mom had to prep a safe room for us. Our safe room was the master bathroom. It was the most interior room and had no windows. It was small. From the information we had, it seemed like we would be in that bathroom for several hours. Mom did her best to figure out what we would need to be comfortable and safe for that long. 

Pug crates stacked in the shower. Litter box on top to keep it away from the pugs.

Kitty carrier on the other side of the shower. She didn't want to be in it, but it was there for when we needed it.

Here we all are on the floor. Mom used the cushions from the love seat plus the chaise lounge cushion  to make a soft spot to sit. We had several pillows and blankets for more cushion. 

We had water, potty pads, distraction chews, calming meds (Rescue Remedy, Sileo and Feliway spray), snacks for mom. Laptop, phone, crank radio, lantern. Plus a bunch more stuff. 
Fortunately, we were only in there for five hours. 

It could have been a lot worse for us. God definitely had his hand over us. More than 70% of our county lost power. Our little neighborhood looked like an island of light surrounded by darkness last night. We can hear generators going all around us. We are incredibly blessed to have never lost power or internet. The internet is almost as important as other utilities now because it is how we communicate and get information. It's not just blogs and funny videos. It's how we know what is going on outside our doors, how we get messages to friends and family. 

We were pretty prepared for this, more than most people we know who have lived in Florida for years. Even so, we learned some lessons on what to do, what not to do, what else we need to prepare. 

If you are not prepared for an emergency in your house, please make a plan. It will be overwhelming at first, but you have to start somewhere. You do not want to be in a situation like thousands of people are here. Post-Katrina, emergency managers got a lot smarter about pets, but as pet people, we still need to be better prepared ourselves. Shelters give you just that, shelter. A roof over your head. They aren't designed for comfort. It's up to us to make things comfortable for ourselves. It's possible, if we plan ahead. 

Although we aren't experts in emergency management, if anyone wants a post or two on how to plan for emergencies, please comment. We are happy to walk through our plans, supply lists, to-do lists with you and answer questions.

Monday, September 11, 2017

We're ok

will do a longer post later, but we are ok. No damage to the duplex.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Irma update

SFP mom at the keyboard. 
I'm not going to lie or put on a brave front. I am scared. As Irma shifts west, it looks like we are right in the path of some of the worst part. I'm scared for me and the pugs and kitty. I'm more scared for what will happen to the rest of the county and the state. There are so many mobile homes here. More than I've ever seen anywhere I've lived. And I've lived all over the south. 
I thank God that many people have evacuated. That will certainly reduce casualties. 
When the winds get dangerous, we'll be hunkered down in the bathroom. It's the most interior room and has no windows. I'm moving the crates into the shower. It will not be fun, crammed into a small room with two pugs and a cat, but it's the safest space for us. 

I may not be able to update the blog as I'd hoped. I've registered with the Red Cross, Safe and Well. I will update that first. To see my message, click the Search Registrants button. Put in Allyzabethe Ramsey and either my phone number or address. I've kept my 757 phone number so you can use that or 4812 27th St W Bradenton address. 

I am doing my best to not freak out. One, panicking never helps. Two, the more anxiety I have, the more anxious the pugs and kitty will be. Three, I still have a lot of little things to do before tomorrow when the winds are expected to get bad. I'm going to try to focus on getting stuff done and turn off the news. 

God help us all.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Irma :(

So, you know we moved to Florida. And long time readers know that Mom is a nerd about being prepared for emergencies. Even though we've only been here seven months, we are ready for Irma to show up. 
We have a generator, portable air conditioner, camp stove and propane, camping coffee pot, food, water jugs (32 gallon capacity), manual can opener, etc. We are as ready as we can possibly be. 
Mom works for the local government which means we don't get to evacuate normally. Just like Norfolk. However, we are ready to leave town if we have to. 

We're in Bradenton, where the red squiggle is. If you're watching TV and see Tampa, look south and that's where we are. 

We will do our best to update the blog throughout the week and after the storm passes. Paws crossed we don't lose internet!

Seriously though, please pray and send good juju for all of Florida. 
It's highly unlikely that we won't see some kind of bad weather from this. How much and how bad remains to be seen. We're praying that it isn't as bad as it could be. 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Moving In

Gosh, it's been a month since our last post! Time is just zooming on. 

This is the only Before picture. This is our living/dining room before we moved in. We have a little patio out those sliding glass doors. 

Now comes the boxes. 

The wall to the left is the kitchen. This is on the opposite side of the room from the patio.

Look, the pile shrank a little!

The "guest" room or storage for now.

Did we mention the boxes?

This is our bedroom. See the mattresses? 

More boxes

These were taken two days after we moved in. Slowly unpacking.

Our patio is on the western side of the house so it gets ALL the afternoon sun. 
Mom put up a pop up tent for some shade. 
The patio is completely fenced in which is good.

It's been a challenge to fit our stuff in this house, that's for sure. Although we donated and sold and gave away oodles of stuff, it's still been tricky to find a place for the stuff we kept. Mom would really love one more room, but this will have to do for now. 

Honestly, after two months, we still aren't completely moved in. However, we won't unpack every box anyway. The plan is to sell our Norfolk house, rent for a year then buy a place. So no need to unpack the Christmas china when we'd just have to pack it back up again. Besides that, the china cabinet is too full of the stuff that won't fit in the kitchen to hold the Christmas dishes. 

Eventually, she'll sort through all the remaining boxes and decide what can stay packed. We need to get the room set up as a guest room because we know we will be having guests before the year is over. Plus, mom really wants to start sewing again. She's got to find a place to put all the stuff first!

Next time (hopefully not a month later), we'll show you the Sarasota Small Dog Meet up!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Our journey begins

After a chaotic six weeks of packing and cleaning and purging and more packing, we left Virginia on January 28. Mom cried as she said goodbye to the house. She'd been there for 12 years. Many pets had come and gone in that house. We were raised in that house for 9 years. If mom could have moved the house with us, she would have.
All our stuff was crammed into this trailer. It was packed up and picked up on January 23, almost a week before we left. Mom had an air mattress and coffee pot, stuff she could pack in the car. It was a fun week (not really). The trailer is 28' long, but we only used 17'.

Our house was about 1900 square feet, plus a mechanical room and a big shed and a huge yard. Our rental is 1000 sf with a 10'x10' fenced patio and a teeny patch of grass. We had to get to rid of so much stuff. Mom made big donations to Dress for Success and Eggleston Services (local non-profit) plus many trips to the dump. Some of the stuff we were sad to let to, but mom was thrilled to donate all her heavy sweaters and coats! 

So that Saturday, we left. Two pugs, one kitty and one human, off to a new adventure! 
We stayed outside of Savannah the first night and made it to Florida the next day. 
Required dorky picture with the sign. 

We stayed in a hotel Sunday night, so mom checked in and took Marmalade (our kitty) inside. Marmie does ok in the car, but she'd rather not be in the car. Then we took off to explore. 
This is the outside of our rental. It's a duplex (they call them villas here).  

There's a palmetto shrub (we think) on the corner. 

Mom then drove from our villa to her job, just to see where it was. Amazingly, her job is blocks from the Manatee River and the Riverwalk! So we decided to take a walk!

 This is the eastern end of the Riverwalk.
 The Manatee River and one of the bridges.
Look at all the palm trees! 

Lounge chairs and sun shades.

The city across the river is Palmetto. 

Look at this plant! Isn't that gorgeous? So vibrant in January!

Another picture of the plant. This was outside our hotel in Bradenton. As a plant nerd, mom is in heaven with all the new ones to identify. 

Next post, moving in !

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Loving it here!

It's warm! The sun shines every day! Mom is so much happier here. That's a big deal for sensitive dogs like us. We are happier and more relaxed because she is! 
Here's a few teaser pictures to whet your appetite!