Friday, September 26, 2008

New Resource: Paper Protocol Blog Gives Great Tips

While waiting for a client to call me back today, I started looking at blogs and searching on topics that I'm interested in. I found this cool blog called Paper Protocol that has good tips on paper, invitations, stationery, etc. (Check out the cute princess invites.) I have a BS in journalism and write for a living so it's a natural extension. Paper Protocol is cool because it talks about trends and the blogger's favorite paper goods. Plus, it has good Houston recommendations. It's off to a great start. I'll be back for sure. Now if only there was a blog on how to run a business, raise a family and stay sane!

Until the next nap time....

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Where to Go When You Have No Power

With no power at our house, we continue the wait for power from my parents' home. At least they have a generator. We've spent more time than I care to admit in front of the TV, watching "The Jungle Book". However, we've ventured out for a few fun trips.

PaPa treated all of us to ice cream the other night after dinner. What a welcome treat that cold dessert was. My butter-pecan ice cream brought back memories of my Grandfather taking us out for ice cream after dinner at the cafeteria years ago. Butter-pecan was Grandfather's favorite flavor.
On Sunday, after checking out our own house and trying to nap there in the afternoon heat, we gave up. With no circulation, it was not worth the attempt. Our house was built in the 1930s and the windows have been nailed and painted shut. There's NO circulation. Trent, Little K and I ventured to Memorial City Mall for a ride on the carousel. For $1 per ride, it's one of the simplest ways to please a child and stay cool. I love all the colors and lights.

If you have any fun ways to stay cool while CenterPoint (& others) restore power in Houston, add your comments to this blog for others to see and try. Thanks!

Until the next nap time...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Recovering After Hurricane Ike

Well, Hurricane Ike proved to be "the storm" that was predicted. We evacuated to my parents' home in Houston because they had boarded up and didn't have as many tall, old trees as we did in central Houston. It proved to be a wise decision.

When people ask me tomorrow why I still don't have electricity at my house, I think I'll just show them these photos. Apparently, our zip code (77018) was one of the hardest hit areas in Houston according to CenterPoint Energy.
The storm that hit Houston early Saturday, Sept. 13, brought 100+ mph winds, flooding and tornados. Our next-door neighbors' property was hit by a tornado (Tree Toppers - they're called). It "shared" my neighbors' trees by landing them in our yard and pool. How nice to share.
When we went to our house late on Saturday to check things out, I absolutely could not believe my eyes. We're blessed, really, because our house was not damaged, minus the laundry room taking on some water since it's the lowest point on our property. (That's what you get when you live in an old house, right?) At least a tree didn't fall on our house like it did my Grandmother's house down the street.

I couldn't even take photos of my Grandmother's house. Two trees that once held together a swing -- that my father swung on decades ago, followed by me years later -- lay on the ground. Another tree from the neighbor's yard landed on Grandmother's kitchen, bedroom and upstairs game room. The roof is now tarped. Another tree that carefully bordered the driveway toppled over, stretching across the street and reaching into another neighbor's yard. (How many times did my Grandfather warn my Grandmother not to back out of the driveway and hit that tree?)My dad had to get a Loader to push the tree across the street and into my Grandmother's yard so that traffic could get through. Thank God my Grandmother was not home when the trees came tumbling. That would have been so frightening. I'll try to get the photos that my husband took of all this to give some perspective. It certainly made me recognize the power and seriousness of these storms.
Still, I've been amazed and encouraged at how neighbors and friends have come together. People who have lived across the street since I was a child opened their doors to watch my property when I evacuated. Others brought dinner to my next-door neighbor. Even the constables in our neighborhood brought the older neighbors bags of ice. The community spirit through it all has been a good reminder to me about how our neighborhoods could be... should be. Kids play ball in the street and ride bikes as many adults clean up the branches and debris. Everyone stays close to home. Even after local restaurants gain generator power, many people just felt more comfortable being at home with family and friends that have taken refuge.
I think about the Hurricane Katrina evacuees and remind myself that I'm so lucky that I have a home and neighborhood to return to. I just hope that this camaraderie, this sincere care for people beyond my doorstep will continue.
As Judge Ed Emmett said in one of the press conferences, this storm can bring out the very best in people. Bring out the best.
Until the next nap time...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Preparing for Hurricane Ike

So after a nice -- albeit rainy -- vacation in Puerto Rico for our 10th wedding anniversary, we're back in Houston preparing for Hurricane Ike. I'll continue posting whenever I can. My husband is bound and determined that we'll be leaving our house. I want to stay as long as the electricity (let me clarify -- Air Conditioning) is running. Little K knows a big storm is coming but doesn't understand the gravity of a category 3 or 4 hurricane hitting the Gulf Coast. We've decided to only explain the basics and try to have some fun with our daughter since no one in Houston is working on Friday.

I'm off to the pharmacy for allergy meds and then to pick up Little K from nursery school. "Take a Hike, Ike" is our new mantra. Who knew I should have included a generator on my Christmas wish list last year? Ugh.

Until the next nap time...