Sunday, September 17, 2017

Hurricane Irma summation Part One

Well, Irma was here and gone. Gone for most of us, some are still cleaning up or bailing out their homes and businesses from the high water left behind. This morning I spoke with a neighbor from the 1st floor, a tenant, who has endured quite a lot since moving in here, most recently, water intrusion from the river during the storm. She told me of the floor being pulled up from her living room and tossed onto her veranda. She told about not being able to access her dishwasher, washer or dryer (I offered the use of mine) due to her patio furniture being in the way. She told about the drips from her ceiling which landed on her TV speakers and entertainment center. And then said, "All in all, not too bad, compared to what others are going through...." Yes, that's pretty much the way we feel here at The Palace. A broad statement, to be sure, but it really could be worse!

Lori and Kerry were scheduled originally to depart from FL on Tuesday, the 12th. With the storm pending and being unable to get their tickets changed or postponed, they came anyway. Once here and looking like the hurricane was going to cause us a problem, they changed their departure flight, at no charge, to Saturday, the 9th. That should work! NOPE!!!  On Friday Lori got an email saying that flight was cancelled and they were rebooked for later in the day. NOPE! Cancelled again. No chance to get out, they were stuck. This is what I so wanted to avoid but here we were. Lori was scared out of her wits, fearing she would die. I knew we would not, our building is so strong and we are up high, but I do/did fear my windows breaking and damage ensuing. I'm all about my stuff!

I had tarps, I had food and drink supplies, buying more to have on hand since my sisters were going to be here, too. Hurricane foods consist generally of non-perishables that will sustain a person for the duration of the expected power outage. Speaking of that, my friends, the Chappell's, don't lose power as freely as we do, and had agreed to take in my houseguests for that reason. Judy checked in with me several times to find out if they were coming or not, eventually deciding to stay with Justin and me. Lori said she'd promise to not whine about the heat. I made a promise to not whine about being cold due to the A/C being set cooler for their comfort. It was a struggle, but with my heated blanket and Packer cover, I was good!

Anyway, back to the prep---I had ordered tarps from Amazon, regular blue tarps you see all over, one for each window on the river side. I knew the sliders would be okay, being newer and stronger. I bought a bladder to put in the bathtub which would hold 100 gallons of drinkable water. Typically we don't lose our water, but I felt comfortable having it. We did not fill it, however. 

Because Lori was so scared and had told people on the phone more than once, "No, they don't board their windows..." I asked Mitch from The Club to bring some plywood for the two windows. He came Saturday, his nephew helping him, but he refused to destroy my lovely woodwork with putting up the wood. He left his tools in case we needed to quickly put up boards but just couldn't justify doing it. He said much that calmed Lori and having the boards at the ready helped, too. Nothing on The Club was boarded up, he told us and it's older than The Palace. God bless him!

After watching both our football teams win their games, Justin and Kerry put up the tarps. Kerry was a willing and able worker, loves to be busy. Justin used the screw gun Mitch left to put up the tarps and then leaned the plywood sheets in front of the windows. Justin made room for me in his bedroom, clearing off his little loveseat and even putting a comforter over the top of it for more cush. Last time we had such a storm I stayed across the hall but that's where Lori was. Kerry had an airbed set up in the living room where the TV was (she is like me). At one point after we lost power we moved her bed into Justin's room so it was more quiet. 

Something woke her up and she moved out to the living room again. It was in there she heard the drip drip drip behind the loveseat. Nuts!  We had the other catch basins in place but didn't go back there. I got Justin up and together we moved the loveseat out and put down a plastic layer plus basins. Kerry had added some more on the other side as they were filling up quickly. Like I said, she was a little fireman running around and taking care of business!

Monday, September 4, 2017

My sisters are coming!

Well, it took a little while, crippled by the fact that Kerry was at work, but the two ladies have decided to come for their visit anyway. Lori and I were talking forth and back, actually talking on the phone while I messaged with Kerry who was working the pm shift. Because of the pending hurricane and the uncertainty as to direction, and so on, Lori wasn't sure they should come. She had purchased trip insurance but it seems that does not cover concern over possible bad weather. I told Lori to please not figure me into this decision at all, I would NOT blame them for not coming. Those WI girls would be miserable if the storm did affect us and we were without power for a period of time. Lori assured me she was not good in emergencies---I think it's brave of her to know that. 

Lori was going to let Kerry decide if they should postpone but Kerry didn't want to be the one to make that decision. She had the most to lose, like her vacation days, etc. since Lori is retired now. Finally, I got the message from Lori that they were going to come and face whatever they had to face. YAY!!!

I had told EVERYONE at the pool for weeks about them coming, some of the ladies remembering Kerry's visit from 2010 and others remembering Lori from my birthday party in early 2016. My other friends knew about it too, plus I joke about standing up on Hwy. 17 with a sign to let people know I was getting company. My two sisters were e-mailed the proposed plan for daily activities, including websites so they could check the venues and the time of day for the events. Lori did write back in acknowledgement saying, "I like you are making plans for us, but not the 9:00 am stuff..." I know that already but I hoped she'd be able to rouse herself on those occasions. Kerry and I are early to bed and Lori is a late to bed/later to rise person. We'll make it work. 

One day a while back I was having lunch with Terri and her sister, Gayle, at Longhorn. I mentioned that I had sent the schedule of events to my sisters for their pending visit. Gayle looked at me quizzically, and said, "I don't know if I have ever visited anywhere, or hosted anyone where there was a schedule..." Of course, there's a schedule! We are packing as much fun into that week as we can endure!! Terri and I laughed a bit since Gayle is quite a planner, too. Perhaps she didn't quite understand what I'd done, but it was funny at the time. 

Justin is still staying over in Mandarin as a house and dog sitter, but has taken time to be here to make sure things are ready for the ladies. I went to the store and got the items they asked to have on hand (I asked them what they wanted) plus I got a few things to have on hand in case the storm does come this way. Justin has the guest room made up, the housekeeper has been here and polished things to within an inch of its life. All that remains is setting up Kerry's airbed in the living room. She needs the TV just like I do. He said he will also drive to get them from the airport tomorrow evening. They land, Lord willing, just be 6:00 pm so our plans are to dine at 4 Rivers, a bit of local flavor for our guests, on the ride home. He'll have to head right back to Mandarin then to let the dogs out to potty and I'm sure the ladies will be tired from a long day of traveling. 

Kerry has to work tonight until 11:00 and then go home to try to sleep. In the morning she is driving an hour and a half to Manty, leave her car at a friend's garage, and then our sister, Jill, will pick her up and take her to Mom's house where Lori and Lynn are. Whew! Why they didn't fly from Green Bay escaped me, closer for Kerry and I think Lori could have gotten a ride up there from Manitowoc. Since Lynn broke her ankle, she cannot take them to the airport so other arrangements needed to be made. Kerry found a private party who knew her father-in-law who will drive them to MKE. Neither lady likes to drive in the big city so other arrangements need to be made. Like I said, a long day of traveling for the ladies. Oh, I sure do hope that storm misses us!!! 

Friday, September 1, 2017

From my friend, Mary

Rules For Our Sons:
1. Never shake a man’s hand while sitting down.
2. There are plenty of ways to enter a pool. The stairs ain’t one.
3. The man at the grill is the closest thing we have to a king.
4. In a negotiation, never make the first offer.
5. Act like you’ve been there before. Especially in the end zone.
6. Request the late check-out.
7. When entrusted with a secret, keep it.
8. Hold your heroes to a higher standard.
9. Return a borrowed car with a full tank of gas.
10. Don’t fill up on bread.
11. When shaking hands, grip firmly and look him in the eye.
12. Don’t let a wishbone grow where a backbone should be.
13. If you need music on the beach, you’re missing the point.
14. Carry two handkerchiefs. The one in your back pocket is for you. The one in your breast pocket is for her.
15. You marry the girl, you marry her whole family.
16. Be like a duck. Remain calm on the surface and paddle like crazy underneath.
17. Experience the serenity of traveling alone.
18. Never be afraid to ask out the best looking girl in the room.
19. Never turn down a breath mint.
20. In a game of HORSE, sometimes a simple free throw will get ’em.
21. A sport coat is worth 1000 words.
22. Try writing your own eulogy. Never stop revising.
23. Thank a veteran. And then make it up to him.
24. If you want to know what makes you unique, sit for a caricature.
25. Eat lunch with the new kid.
26. After writing an angry email, read it carefully. Then delete it.
27. Ask your dad to play. He won’t let you win. You have to earn it.
28. See it on the big screen.
29. Give credit. Take the blame.
30. Write down your dreams.
31. ONLY THE REAL SURVIVE (You dont Work you dont Eat)
32. Look a person in his eyes when you're talking to them.
33. Walk closest to the curb when walking with a female.
34. Love your mother because you won't get another.
35. Say it with your chest all the time!
36. Never break your word.
37. Never use a urinal next to another man.
38. Learn how to cook. Feed yourself.
39. If you walk in your fathers' footsteps, make them bigger!
40. Be a father to your child one day.

Friday, August 18, 2017

It's finally happened...

...not like I was wishing for it, though. My sister, Lynn, who lives in a second floor apartment, has taken a tumble down the stairs. No, not her own stairs, but those at the house in Sheboygan where she takes care of her grands. She said she didn't count the steps as she came back down because Manny and Gabe were behind her and they were talking with her. She had bags of clothes in each hand, no hand on the rail. Oops! Fortunately, she landed on the bag on one side and didn't hit her head. Unfortunately, she did injure her ankle. I have been dreading this for years, fearful of her especially, but all my sisters and Linda who have stairs to deal with. I just hate this!!!

Gabe wanted to get her up right away but Lynn asked to just lie there a bit to access the situation first. I'm not sure how she did get up but she made it to the sofa with a gimpy ankle. Angelo came out of his room and Lynn said to him, "Grandma fell down the steps, Angelo..." He looked at her all sad like, then went to his room. Out he came with a blanket which he sniffed and said, "This doesn't smell too bad..." and covered her up. Then he went back and came out with a stuffed animal for her to hold. I know, I cried, too, when she told me this. 

As she drove home, she wondered if she should see a doctor for her ankle, and decided to go to the "hop" in clinic. It was from there that Jill had to go collect her, crutches and all, as she had a broken ankle. I don't know how in the world she'd have gotten up her stairs so I am glad she decided to stop at the clinic. Mom said Lynn could stay with her so that's where are at present. 

Jill will have two people to watch over now, though Kerry is there today. Kerry likes to cook and can hopefully make some meals ahead. Lynn is having quite a time figuring out the crutches. I know I would be in a fix if it was me. One of my friends who had a foot injury a while back used a kneeling walker that allowed her to get around all over, even down to the pool! I wonder if I could get one of those for Lynn to use instead of the crutches.

When I talked to Mom about her 'sick girlie' (what my Grandma Sickles used to call us when we showed up sick at her house), Mom asked, "Well, when are you coming?" Oh, boy, that's just what they need, another body in that apartment! I offered to send food (Amazon), help find medical equipment, get meals arranged (I do have a long reach, you know!) but those offers were declined. Mom said they'll manage and I am dying to know how, but, oh well, I offered! 

Lynn does have a daughter who lives in town and I do hope that she is helpful to the ladies. Lynn is the one who normally handles the driving and taking of Mom, since she is retired. Jill is still working, running the ice cream parlor, so has less available time. Lynn has to see the ortho doctor next week and find out what needs to be done, if anything, other than the boot she is already sporting. Glad Mom has a fleet of walkers at her disposal!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Gasp! and Longing

We have a new pastor, Newlin Schafer, at our church. He was installed on the 16th of the month and has already preached for us three times, once prior to the official start of his service. This week his doctrinal word to examine was 'longing'. He spoke about the various things people long for, in his case, longing for the birth of their next baby, and so on. Pastor also mentioned about longing for people to come, even standing on one's tip toes to see down the road for the company to arrive. Yes, that's me, alright! I get so excited when company is coming.

A couple weeks ago Mom and I were talking on a Sunday afternoon. I asked her about church and the hymns they sang, etc. and also about Bible study. The subject for summer is taking a walk through the Supplement hymnal, examining the hymns. When I was there in May, we looked at "In Christ Alone", fleshing out the doctrine found in the text of the hymn. The hymn Mom and the class looked at that particular day she declared was from Advent season, but I couldn't find it in the CWS. I did find it later in the next section of the hymnal but that's okay. For our discussion, and theirs, one of the words they fleshed out was 'gasp'. What was something that made a person gasp? Seeing a mouse? No, we're talking about good gasps here. 

I came up with seeing something beautiful, scenery or landscape (the Amalfi coastline came to mind) or a garment that just strikes you right. Mom said looking at a baby, the parents gasp in amazement. All good things. I remember gasping and then bursting into tears when I saw the view from kitchen through the family room and porch to the lake when I toured that home I bought on Doctors Lake. That is a true GASP!!!

Then, I suggested, "Company coming!" and she disputed that. Nope, not gasp-worthy in her book. Of course, I didn't back down and insisted I DO gasp when company comes, that I love to entertain and enjoy people. Mom's answer was, "Well, what if a person doesn't want any company? What if it's not someone you want to visit?" Oh, that just made me so sad to even think that, but she was right---not gasp-worthy if you don't want them to come. 

May I long for the coming of my houseguests and visitors and gasp when they arrive! And may I long for the coming of the Lord to take us all home to Him. I know for sure that is gasp-worthy, with the trumpet sounds and angels and singing and seeing Christ face-to-face. "...what bliss beyond compare..." GASP!!!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Love when my friends meet!

My day began with a last meal with Terri for a long while as she is leaving tomorrow morning for a vacation to Indiana with Charles. His family lives there and other than traveling up for his sister's funeral, they haven't spent 'good' time together. When Terri and I are together, it's also a good time. She brought Justin a funny birthday card about being 30, with a gift card inside. Nice! 

We enjoyed our breakfasts, Justin having his meal and I had my new favorite breakfast sandwich. Terri mixed it up today with a different choice than the Fruity Nutty Waffle she likes to get. She was planning to go see Gretchen one more time before her vacation. She is a doll! We hugged and kissed, then parted company, and headed back home.

I worked at my desk for a while before heading to the pool to have lunch with Debbie and her granddaughter, Violet. Dick is gone on a golf outing so the 'girls' were enjoying a pool day. Debbie has completed her radiation treatments following the lumpectomy and still has to protect the site of the treatment which is raw yet like a sunburn. She and I sat in the shade under the umbrella and watched Violet play in the baby pool. 

Something so cool happened, though. My new 'friend' from the neighborhood, also named Deborah, was talking to me from the pool, telling me that the Chef had hired one of her boys from the school where she teaches 'at risk' boys. I was glad to help facilitate that and glad that she shared the news with me. I, then, introduced the two Deborahs to each other and she joined our table. They had so much to talk about since Debbie runs the Teen Court in Clay County and is always looking for participants and the other Deborah is looking for outlets to help her students. LOVE IT!!! 

They are making plans to get together and see what can be worked out between the school and Teen Court, and Deborah might even get to help Debbie as a volunteer. The students who help with Teen Court can earn their service hours this way and learn much in the process. I am so excited for these ladies, for their efforts on behalf of the kids, and for The Club for extending the opportunity to these kids who are trying to get straightened out. God's blessings abounding!!!

Monday, May 22, 2017

More WI photos from May trip

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Lori drove over to Manitowoc on Mother's Day, arriving barely in time to meet the rest of us for lunch. (Mornings are not her friend.) She brought with her a freshly baked rhubarb pie. She served it to those gathered at Mom's house that afternoon, and ran out of forks, so I got the giant serving fork to eat with! 
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For the duration of our meal at Silver Valley, a buffet for Mother's Day, Mom had all her daughters together. Right after this photo was taken, Kerry had to head for home to get some sleep before going to work that night. Lori and me in the back row, up on the hearth, with Kerry, Lynn, and Jill in the next row, and Mom up front. She never wants to get her picture taken but I insisted. We have so few photos of us all together and time is running short! 
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The day after Mother's Day, some of us went to eat lunch at Late's Drive In, my first time there since remodeling was completed. The food was excellent! Enjoy my perch sandwich greatly!
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Linda had surgery on Monday, had to recuperate at home. Lori needed Internet so she drove us over to see Linda and to tap into her Internet. Linda's cat was guarding her so she didn't move around too much, very territorial! Lori at last got the information she needed to send off Mom's DNA sample to do her Ancestry thing. This should be fun to see how Mom's test comes back. Oddly, two sisters who did the tests did not show much German at all, even when all the family history says Germany...
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Here are Lynn's three grandsons, getting so tall and handsome. Gabe is the oldest, then Manny just a little more than a year younger. Up front, that little cutie pie, is Angelo, who is going into 1st grade this next year. Love their chin dimples!
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Jill and I went to eat at the newer Mexican restaurant in town while Lynn and Mom attended a piano recital in which Gabe and Manny were participating. We had a very nice evening, and saw some customers Jill had taken care of in the parlor earlier in the day, a group of fellows on a trip. That was kind of cool. They were so nice.
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This is one of my favorite pictures of Mom. She was laughing at something Linda said and I caught her without Mom even knowing it. Love the naturalness of it. 
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On my flight back home, I had a sweet little guy sitting next to me. His mom and younger sister were across the aisle. He kept himself busy with a video game but after a while he got sleepy and took a nap. Little by little his shiny little head found my arm and then rested on it. I had my arm somewhat raised to support his head so it wouldn't hurt his neck. The mom looked over and saw this and started to say something but I motioned to her that it was fine. Little did she know how much I was loving this, and how much effort it took on my part to not stroke his hair....