Wednesday, August 31, 2011


As you all probably know, here on the east coast, Mother Nature presented us with a pretty eventful week last week.  

Last Tuesday we had our first relatively strong earthquake in like a hundred years.  We didn't have any damage like areas near the epicenter, but it was a little weird feeling the earth literally ripple beneath your feet.  It was a gorgeous that day, and me and Son No. 3, Owen, were hanging out at the pool.  The pool water was sloshing back in forth, and the umbrellas were swaying.  It was pretty crazy.  

Then along came Irene.  Boy, talk about panicking!  Watching and listening to reports on her progress throughout the week created a bit of concern for those of us here on the east coast.  We actually live about 60 miles from the closest beach, but as you all know by now, the threat of Irene coming so far inland had many worried. 

By the end of last week, I figured I better get a little better prepared.  I made sure I had lots of bags of ice in the both freezers (we have two frigs ~ one in the kitchen, and one in the garage).  I also bagged up ice from the ice maker for clean ice, and filled empty milk jugs and juice bottles with water and put them in freezer.  We weren't so worried about flooding where we are, and not too many large mature trees to worry about with the high winds.  Our main concern was power outages.  The power company even had automated calls go out the Friday before (the storm was set to hit here late Saturday night), alerting their customers to be ready for possible long-term power outages.

I ended up at Costco that Friday, not necessarily to stock up on water like every other person in the state.  Good thing, I guess, cause they ran out.  Or so it seemed.  On my way to the registers, they were just hauling in another pallet.  It was like a free-for-all people grabbing cases.  Anyway . . . it was a regular Costco day for me, and I was dreading going knowing it would be mob scene.  And that it was.   Funny though,  I was in and out quicker that day then I ever have.  Crazy, huh?!  

Then I spent a good portion of the afternoon Friday bringing all the outdoor furniture, pots and planters.  Basically anything that could become a projectile in the high wind. What a job!   

The deck, before, with all the furniture and plants:

And after completely cleared off:

Let me tell you, THAT was a workout!

Having all my pots and planters grouped in one area really made me realize just how many flowers I have. 

They all looked so pretty smooshed together on tables in the garage. 

Saturday morning I started cooking - meatballs and sauce, Sante Fe chicken salad, potato salad.  I chopped and minced veges for pico de gallo and bruschetta.  I figured if we were going to loose power, I had lots of ice for coolers to store cold food, and the grill for cooking up all the stuff in the freezers.  

Son No 2., Colin, and his GF Shannon, stayed over.  We weathered the storm watching movies and munching.  And just in case we lost power, we had board games ready and I put together a basket of candles, a lighter and flashlights.

Well, for us the storm brought lots of rain and some pretty gusty winds.  We fared well by comparison from a lot of reports after the storm.  The worst thing for us was my garden was mowed down by the winds.  I have yet to get out there and clean up and start yanking stuff out, but I did find some sunflowers blooming.  Little survivors they are.  

The day before the storm:

The day after:

I couldn't resist cutting a little bouquet of those last surviving sunflowers, and putting them in salt glaze crock.  I placed them on the table of my new bistro set on the deck.

Isn't it adorable??!!!  

AWalmart deal.  I couldn't resist it the other day when I was there.  On clearance for $198 from $329.  

The back pillows didn't come with the set.  They're ones I bought earlier in the season when I was trying to match the other deck set.  The back pillows for the bistro set were too big and puffy and the same color as the seat cushions.  Kinda boring.

These pillows look so much better, are more comfy when sitting in the chairs.  And see how nicely they coordinate with the pillows from the other lounge set?  

Every time I walk by the door, I have to pause and look at my cute new furniture out there.  The weather's been just fabulous here since Sunday night, which has allowed me to keep all the cushions and pillows out everyday.  Before we know it, though, "deck weather" will be over and everything will be put away.  But I'm going to savor enjoying my outdoor room as long as possible.

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ONG said...

Went through the same prep here in NJ. Just wish that prep included a generator! But can't complain, we mad it unscathed for the most part. Great post!

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

Your days sound like my days were, Carla! I did the same Friday afternoon {my last day at work so I was home early}. I stuck everything in the shed from the patio, which still has to come back out. Saturday I was cooking, too! I made chicken, meatloaf, mashed potatoes and red potatoes. All ready to be warmed up if we needed to use the BBQ. We lucked out power-wise. My sister in the next county was not so lucky. Glad you got to cut some of those sunflowers. I wonder if they will perk up again or are the stems actually damaged now?

Hopemore Studio said...

Carla, Your empty deck was a real eye opener. You did a great job preparing. Your poor garden though, that will be a bit of work to clean up. As for your new patio is stunning...yeah I'd stop and stare at it too ;-)

Paula ~ castleandcottagesigns said...

Carla, your week sounds exactly like mine! I spent Friday at Sams club, only what they were out of wasn't water, there wasn't a slice of bread or a d battery to be found. It was nuts! For all that panick we definately faired well, no matter what, I'm always going with better safe than sorry!
Glad you made out okay, your flowers all 'smooshed' together are so pretty!!


M.L. @ The House of Whimsy said...

Wow! So glad you were kept safe and sound during Irene. And I loved your survivor flowers. A sweet reminder of endurance. : )
Take care,

Becky Shander said...

Your sunflowers and new furniture look lovely...enjoy these last deck days. And I hope your garden is all fixed up by now.

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