Saturday, September 9, 2017

IRMA - SATURDAY MORNING

Bert and I got to moving early this morning. We ran over to Bert's home, grabbed her cats and brought them to the hotel. It is breezy but not raining yet.

When we arrived at the hotel, Bert enlisted a store customer and well-known local, to help haul the cats and their paraphernalia to the room. Upon leaving, he said he was bringing food and will see if they could use the kitchen. If not.... he has duct tape! He is quite a force to deal with. I'm sure he can make it happen.

Looking in Bert's refrigerator one more time before our exit, we see ginger beer. She looks at me and says, "you brought the rum...". We can make our own Dark and Stormy drinks tonight! Yes Amy, I grabbed your rum. It will be put to good use!

I don't know how long we will have power. There is a generator out back, but not hooked up yet. We will see how that all plays out! I am feeling confident that we chose the right hotel, and we will be okay during the storm. The aftermath is the real bummer, and we have to do the cleanup if we stay or if we go. If we stay, at least we can get that started sooner.

Friday, September 8, 2017

DARK AND STORMY


I had never heard of this drink... but it seemed fitting to have one ... or three, on the eve of hurricane IRMA.



While sitting having our cocktail, a customer of the store stopped at our table and thanked us for staying open today. It feels good to be appreciated for what you do at work. As they left, he put money on the table and said the next round it on me. THIS IS WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO. We helped out a lot of our neighbors this week, getting them the products they need.

And we had another round!!!!!

IRMA - FRIDAY 9/8/17


We kept the hardware store open until noon today. There were nine of us that stayed until the end, helping our neighbors get things they needed to secure their homes and get them through the electrical outage that will follow. Our customers were very thankful that we were there for them. It was a good feeling to know we made a difference to a lot of people.

What flew off the shelves? Generators, gas cans, sandbags, wing nuts, wing nut drivers, batteries, flash lights, peel & seal, plywood.... and the list goes on. 

After we left the store, Bert (co-worker) and I had our ice cream topped with Bailey's to start our hurricane party. It was very good!

We got settled into our room at the hotel, and finally sat and rested after several days of working and then going home and stowing belongings. We both are getting lots of texts and well wishes... okay, it's more like "why the hell didn't you leave" texts. I want to just turn off my phone and not turn on the TV until tomorrow. I know you guys mean well.

Okay, I am off to explore the hotel. I have never been here before, and I'm going to the top for the view. Later!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

IRMA - THURSDAY MORNING



In years past, I have sat in the safety of my living, and watched the news reports of rescues after a hurricane. My thoughts were always, "Idiots, why didn't they leave!" I get it now. But,I am surrounded by people that have lived here for years and been through hurricane after hurricane here. I am prepared for the storm, and know how to get by after it passes. It's not that I want to "protect my stuff", I don't really have anything that I can't live without.

I feel I, and many of my friends, are being harassed for staying. They are begging us to leave. STOP IT!  We know you care for our safety, we have made the decision to stay. So, just sit back and enjoy/or gasp at the reports that we will get to you after the storm has passed. Who know, it might turn north sooner than expected and there won't be much to report.

I will climb down off my soapbox now, and get back to work. Yes, I will work as long as our doors are open. We are a hardware store, and provide much needed supplies to our neighbors. We are open after THE OTHER big box hardware store has locked their doors.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

IRMA - WEDNESDAY


This morning, I pulled onto the street, looked up and saw a rainbow. It was beautiful. I made the turn to pull into work, looked up and saw a double rainbow. For some reason, I felt it was put there just for me, maybe as a sign. Strange all the things that go through your head when you are in this type of situation.

I get to my desk and turn on Pandora. The first song to play... Praise You in This Storm.
 So many of you have sent messages to leave. It feels good that so many people care about my well being, but I will be okay. The kids are leaving today, so I don't have to worry about them.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

IRMA- The Countdown Begins


I've given it a lot of thought, lost sleep over thinking about it. I decided to stay. A coworker and I don't want to stay in our homes, because they will probably be flooded. And I'm not sure if my home will hold up through this storm. So, we made reservations at the La Concha Hotel in downtown Key West. I believe it to be a strong building, and it is about the highest spot on the island. I made this decision for many reasons. And yes, it could be a while before our utilities are working again. I look at it like this... how would I prepare for a week long trip in my boat on the Texas coast? Okay, that puts into perspective. Now I know how to prepare for the aftermath. That my sound silly and confusing to a lot of you, but my Texas 200 friends know what I'm talking about.

Now that I have a plan, maybe I can get some sleep tonight.

Monday, September 4, 2017

IRMA


It's Monday, the experts are still not sure where hurricane Irma will land. But it's looking like the Keys will get hit. If not the full force, a really bad storm.

I work in a hardware store in Key West, FL. We were out of generators by 11 am. By the late afternoon, we were out of 5 gallon gas cans, sandbags, wing nut drivers, and many more items. It was almost 9 years to the day when hurricane Ike hit the Houston area. I lived in Northwest Houston at the time. Ike was 1 mph shy of a Cat 3. This is the only reference I have for hurricanes. Irma will probably be worse.

Okay, the question is... do I go, or do I stay? I will continue to watch the path she is taking. Until then, I am gathering things I don't want to sit in standing water, moving them to my high shelf. My boat is going under the house. Furniture is going upstairs and outside stuff is going in my downstairs room. At least my boat is on a trailer and not in the water. I'm tired just thinking about it. I think I will put a movie on to get my mind off of all this for a while. After all, tomorrow is another day!


Sunday, September 3, 2017

NOTHING LASTS FOREVER

Milk, electronics and relationships all have an expiration date. A few days ago, I picked up my iPod Nano and the screen has a brown "burn" area now. Yesterday, the touch screen on my monogram sewing machine quit working. Okay, yes, they are both a little long in the tooth. Financially, this has not been a good month for repairs. 

Yoshi, my outboard, went to the shop a couple weeks ago. When I was told what was wrong and what it would take to fix it, I just saw dollar sign after dollar sign. I have to fix it, otherwise, it would just be an expensive doorstop. I heard that little voice in my head say, "What did you expect. It has "marine" written on the parts, and labor."

My eight year old grandson has come to realize that everything costs money. I came back with, "Except air, that's free." That reminded me of the day my teenage son and I stopped at a gas station to air up my low tire. The free air had been replaced with a coin operated air hose. It had obviously been a stressful day. I threw a fit and shouted that I would NOT pay for AIR. My son thought it was funny. So, I guess not all air is free!


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

BLESSED


Basking in the moonlight, warm water caressing my skin, and relaxing music from across the way... I think how blessed I am. Just two months ago, I lived in what is now a crisis area. Was it good timing, or was there Devine intervention? Either way, I'm glad I am not knee deep in dirty flood water. God has always seemed to have a protective hand on me. Sometimes protecting me from myself.

To all my Houston area friends, my prayers are with you.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

HOW MANY IS TOO MANY?

I know... I said I would never build another boat. Unfortunately, one boat will not fill all your boating needs. A kayak is great for navigating small water with physical effort. The 16 foot sailboat is good for bigger open water. But what about the in-between?

I want a boat that is quick to get on the water, and small enough to go down the small canal with bridges. But I want the option of a small sail for when I reach a small bay. Here is a list of requirements:
  • Must be small and light enough to pull on dolly behind bicycle.
  • Must have mast that will fold down.
  • Sail must furl for quick adjustments and neat storage when folded down
I don't even pretend to be a boat designer. Everything I have made, I bought the plans. Here are some questions I have:
  1. How narrow can you go and still be fairly stable with a sail, and without out-riggers?
  2. Could I use a little balast with a more narrow boat to make more stable?
  3. Is there a formula for length, width, sail area?
Duckworks was the first place I went to look at plans. What about the Rodent? Or the OZracer? 

If anyone has experience with these specs, or can point me in a direction for research, I welcome all suggestions. Like my friend always told me... you can never have too many boats.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Positive or Negative?

We never know how we are going to touch people’s lives, and what memories we will leave them with. Every one of my possessions has a memory attached to it that includes a person. I have a small shell that puts a smile on my face, remembering my first open water dive. My driftwood shelves remind me of scouring the Texas beach with my pirate friend. 

I once knew someone that taught me about triggers. A trigger is something that sets off a memory tape or flashback transporting the person back to the event of her/his original trauma. For 10 years, I was condemned to a life of regret and sadness. I felt like I was walking on eggshells, trying to avoid triggering memories of an unfortunate event that haunted this other person.

Lately, I have been toying with the idea of getting a tattoo. I shared this with a friend, and it was suggested that I get a tattoo of a jellyfish or octopus, with hearts on the tentacles… the kind with cracks. Was not sure how to take that, but it did get me thinking. With all my failed relationships, I concluded that “I” am the common denominator, so I must be the problem, hurting them. I’m tired. Tired of hurting others and tired of being hurt. My heart can’t take it anymore. So I’ve gently packed it away in my set of luggage located in back of my closet.




Now I live a life of singledom and I’m okay with that. I do what I want, when I want. I can turn on the TV and watch what ever I want. I can wear sandals in cold weather and nobody will hassle me about it. This life does have draw backs, but it’s a peaceful life. And peace is what I need now. 

How are you impacting the lives of others? Are you a positive influence, or a negative influence? Are you leaving others with a good memory or heartache? 



Sunday, July 16, 2017

AN AFTERNOON OF EXPLORING

Today, there was not enough wind to take the sailboat out. Instead, I borrowed my daughter's kayak to go exploring. I live only two blocks from a canal that runs through the middle of Key West. I wanted to see what I could see, so off I went. 


I headed north and in the distance I saw this wooden boat anchored. I've not seen this boat before, so I paddled over to get a closer look. 




I circled the boat and headed over by the mangroves where the water was like glass. Little fish darting in and out of the sea grass entertained me while I ate my packed lunch. I then headed back to the canal. Not ready to pull out and go home, I passed my street and kept heading south. I wasn't sure exactly where it would take me, but I did know that there were at least two bridges I would come to. The first one is a foot bridge that was not a problem. The second, was a four lane road. In fact, when you are driving over this bridge, there is no incline, and you can't see the water from the road, so it's not obvious that it is a bridge. And that means there is not a big clearance on the water. I stopped and thought it through before continuing on. It was so low, I could not use my kayak paddle, so I pulled myself through.

The canal got smaller and smaller, and seemingly secluded. A few minutes later, the thunder and lightning started, so I thought it was a good time to head back. As I reached my street, the rain started. It's a tough life, but somebody has to live it!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

HOME SWEET HOME

I finally got me and all my stuff back in Key West. It wasn't easy. I drove a total of 3816 miles: hauled all my stuff in a rental truck, flew back to Houston, took my Explorer and boat to Lubbock, TX to visit family, welcomed the new grandson into the family, then headed back to Key West. I'm plum wore out!

Now I have the challenge of efficiently stuffing my things into a smaller space. I will eventually figure it out. But Sunday... I rested, enjoyed the company of family and had an exceptional meal by my son-in-law. Life is good!

Started my new/old job on Monday. Today was Day 3. The lady that took my place at the hardware store, moved at the same time I was looking for employment. Funny how things work out.  





Sunday, June 11, 2017

Yoshi

IDRIS here again.
There are a lot of people that like to admire me. Yesterday, I had visitors that asked about the numbers on my side. They asked what the "RC" stood for.  I believe it means "Really Cute". 






Yoshi is my little friend that stays with me. He is pretty quiet, but once he's warmed up, he's a real motor-mouth.  He follows me everywhere.


I will try to post a couple times a week. Subscribe so you won't miss anything.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

MY NAME IS IDRIS

After many debates, and out right begging, Lezlie finally gave in and let me have a voice. Let me introduce myself: my name is Idris. I am 14 months old, born in Key West, FL. Lezlie drug me to Kemah, Tx right after I was born, but not before I felt the clear blue waters of Florida. I went out on Galveston Bay, but I longed for my birth place...home.






Several weeks ago, I shed that ugly blue tarp and was given a cover made of Sunbrella. The blue tarp leaked and my cockpit would have to be bailed out after every rain.


It made me feel neglected and unappreciated. But now, I have a cover of Sunbrella. I feel so pretty.

A few weeks ago, I received news that I was going HOME! Dreams do come true. It is a long road to my new home though. I am traveling to see family members for the first time. these are exciting times. I heard there is a new family member due to arrive any day now. I can't wait to see him.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS


After I moved back to Texas, people would ask where I moved from. When I told them I moved here from Key West, with a puzzled looked they would always ask, "WHY?" As of late, I have wondered the same thing. Why did I leave my friends and family? Why did I leave that clear blue water? Why did I leave that laid-back atmosphere? WHY? I tried to explain my reasons for leaving Key West, but I think I was trying to convince myself more than everyone else that it was a good decision.

I left Paradise ( Key West ) more because of an emotional need than financial. Sometimes you have to distance yourself from a situation, or location, to learn about yourself. Texas has done that for me. The Israelites spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness before they reached the Promised Land. Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness. I have spent more than 40 weeks in what has felt like the wilderness. Feeling lost, but hopefully wandering toward peace in my soul. I guess you could say that I "found myself" or "got my head together". I learned life lessons.

A few years ago, when I was at my daughter's home, on the chalk board was a list of Pros and Cons to living in Key West vs Texas. That stuck in my brain, and so I did the same. Needless to say, there was only one item on the Cons of Key West... expensive rent.

Last December, I flew back to Key West for a visit. It felt like I was home. With a lot of thought and soul searching, I have decided to go HOME. It will be a financial challenge, but I have had that here too. I have worked as many as three jobs trying to make ends meet... and most months they didn't.

"IF YOU DON'T LIKE WHERE YOU ARE, MOVE. YOU ARE NOT A TREE."


Easier said than done. In the past year, I have accumulated THINGS. It takes money to move these THINGS. The alternative is to get rid of said THINGS. But, I don't want to. I like my bed, I like my table, I like my couch. My last move, I was able to load everything I owned in my Ford and boat. I can't do that anymore. A rental truck has been reserved, and I have started to accumulate boxes. I will get there, and have my things with me.



Monday, April 24, 2017

THINGS I'VE LEARNED....

from watching Game of Thrones.





I just finished watching season six. I feel I've learned many life lessons through my journey with the Starks, Lannisters and all the other families in the Seven Kingdoms. Jimmy Kimmel said it best with this list:


  •  Don't ever follow a creepy child into the basement.
  • Holding the door for someone can get you killed.
  •  If a guy is shooting arrows at you, you should zig zag a little.
  •  It's important to feed your dogs on a regular schedule.
  •  Don't take off your necklace until you're definitely ready for bed.
  •  Women will eventually run everything.


I think my favorite character is Tyrion Lannister. 
Who is your favorite?




Sunday, April 9, 2017

THINGS I HATE....

... about being a cashier in a retail chain.

Seems that every retail store has a credit card. And they want all their customers to have their card. I'm sure it's a money maker. This means that the cashiers have to try to get "credits". In other words, the cashier is suppose to talk every customer into applying for the credit card. Once, my manager told me, "It's like not taking "no" from that girl that won't go out with you. You just keep on until they say yes."

Here are a few of the responses I have gotten when I ask if they would like to apply for a credit card:

  1. My husband would KILL me!
  2. Oh, that would be dangerous.
  3. I only use THIS card to get my miles.
  4. I only use THIS card because I get cash back.
  5. Not for 20% interest!
  6. I do not want anymore credit cards.
  7. I only pay cash.
  8. I want to "own" it when I walk out the store.
Some of my customer are a lot of fun, and then their are the others. For the most part, our customers are patient with us. But, you will get those people that are in a bad mood before they ever darken our doors. Last week, I did have an elderly lady get so mad at me that her lips started to quiver. It was hard not to laugh. 


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

DINNER IS READY!!!!

This is what I do when my pantry is bare: make a meal from whatever I can find. I love one pan meals... easy clean up! And delicious!

Tonight I cooked russet potatoes, carrots, onions in coconut oil and butter, seasoned with a secret combination that a friend mixed for me. I found a sausage patties in the freezer, then cooked two eggs. Half a tomato on the side and I have another tasty meal!