Saturday, August 30, 2008

Hurricane Gustav

I am asking for some prayers for my friends still in Slidell who may be having to deal with an incoming hurricane by tomorrow night. My beloved former next-door neighbors have decided not to evacuate for various reasons, most of which I agree with. But I am very concerned about them in the aftermath. We were lucky not to get flooding on our street during Katrina, but it was only right down the street where it did. The slightest change in variables could flood where it didn't before.

It's hard to believe it's been almost 3 years to the day since Hurricane Katrina. Some things in my old hometown will never be the same since then.

Anyway, I hope I am worrying for nothing. I probably am. But just in case, I am sending up a few prayers for everyone there. Please help me out.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Here's where to find me !

OK, so you thought this blog was dead. But it still gets some traffic, so I figure I better point you to the pages that I am actually updating regularly! Please visit me here:

More websites I'd love for you to visit and enjoy:

If you're looking for more of my Hurricane Katrina experiences, I have an article on my main website about evacuating with kids!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Another Year. Final Update.

It's been a year since I posted. I have not been back to New Orleans or our home in Slidell since we moved here. We have kept up with many of our friends who are still there, and I miss them terribly.

We finally sold our Slidell home in Slidell last December, and we have moved out of the rental home here and into a permanent one in a friendly neighborhood. The kids are enjoying their schools, and they've made lots of friends. They enjoyed some sledding and fun experiences with snow this winter.

Having a little deja vu at the moment. You see, we had a severe hail storm here a couple of months ago and people are still working on repairs. Listening to the roofing contractors on the neighbor's homes all around me during the past month or so has been very reminiscent of our days in Slidell after the storm. I'm looking forward to having our roof repaired in the next week, so we can nestle in for winter again.

Life goes on.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Our New Kentucky Home

Well, about a week after we put the house up for sale by owner last May, we took it down again because we postponed our moving date until the end of summer. We just listed with an agent in the middle of August and have finally moved to Kentucky. The market has cooled quite a bit and there have been very few people to even look at the house this month. Timing is not good with the start of the school year and with the difficulties that new homebuyers are now having with getting insurance. We have a feeling it will pick up again soon. Homes in our neighborhood have sold on an average of 18 days this year.

We are currently renting a townhouse in the neighborhood where we would most like to buy a permanent home once we sell the old one. It's actually a duplex. We live on the left half. The public library is in walking distance and we have already taken full advantage of that.

The neighbors are all very nice and the kids love their new schools. They could hardly get over how clean and shiny everything is here. I can hardly believe it myself. What a joy it is to be where things are functional and people expect them to work!

Compared to our old town, this place looks like the Garden of Eden. ....Green grass, beautiful trees, strong well maintained buildings everywhere, and friendly people who don't have that exhausted just-trying-to-make-it-through-the-day look in their eyes.

Despite the potential of our new hometown, it was really hard for me to leave the old house. I walked around in the big emptry rooms in our house one last time and had a goodbye cry. It was a good house, and for 7 years I poured my heart and soul and sweat equity into it. It's a better home than when we bought it. Over the years, I laid the sunroom tile myself, and re-tiled the fireplace and the upstairs bathroom. We landscaped the whole yard ourselves. I am really going to miss the big rose hedge I planted. For many years, I tucked my babies to bed in those rooms and had Thanksgiving dinners and Christmas mornings there. It stood up to Hurricane Katrina. It survived and is now stronger than ever. Oh, and the AC conked out on the day we were moving out, so now it has a brand new AC unit too! I wish I could have packed up the entire house and taken it here with me. I REALLY miss my neighbors there too. It was so hard to leave them behind.

I hope the next owners will love that house (and my neighbors) as much as I do.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

For Sale By Owner

Our house is for sale. The market is hot because of the shortage of homes, so we are going to do the for-sale-by-owner thing for a few weeks and see how it goes. A friend who just sold hers by owner has given us a few tips, so we put our our sign and now we'll see what happens. It's been a couple of days, and I've shown it once already.

We have talked to an agent in case we decided to list it. The longest any home in our neighborhood has been on the market before it went under contract recently has been 11 days. With its new roof and new fence, we hope it looks good to buyers. Our house should be pretty popular since it was not damaged by flooding, whic is is one of the first questions most people ask after the price.

It's been a good home. I love it most for being strong for us when we needed it to be.

Here's another home in Slidell that has been "for sale" since right after the hurricane. I drove by it a few days ago and took this picture. They are not having as much luck selling this home even though they've had it marked "half off" for some time now. I guess that would be the bottom half that's off.

At least they have a sense of humor. ;-)

Monday, May 22, 2006

Greener Pastures

I hinted a while back (in this post) that some changes were in the works for our family. Now it's official -- We are moving away to greener pastures. Other than the most obvious, there are many other reasons why we feel it's best to raise our family somewhere else. I have so many emotions running through me that I don't even know where to begin. I hate the thought of leaving here, but I dread staying even more. My heartstrings are being tugged in many directions.

We will be going to beautiful Kentucky where my husband was offered a great job, he won't have to commute anymore, and we will be much closer to my family. Moving date will be sometime in July.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Ceiling Repair

My next door neighbors invited us in for a tour of their home repair job this weekend. They have the outside of their house all fixed up, and they are now able to repair all the ceilings that were damaged by rain water during the storm. What a mess, but I know they are relieved to finally have it underway!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Election results

Well, I'm sad to say that my sister was defeated. She was running against an incumbent, which is a very difficult thing to do. Voter turnout was also at an all time low (about 8% of registered voters) which also usually favors the incumbent since only the most loyal voters turn out to vote, and they are the ones who are long time voters that never miss an election and who have voted for the incumbent for many years. Her opponent had planned to retire and then changed his mind at the last minute (He is currently 72 years old). It also POURED down rain for most of the day during election day. I stood outside for 13 hours with completely soaked shoes and socks, as did many of her other poll tenders. One poll worker for another candidate at a different location from me was struck by lightning - actually, his umbrella was struck and it knocked him to the ground. He was ok.

My sister did get almost 9000 votes, which was more votes than several other judge candidates got in races that they won. She has an enormous amount of support to get that many votes against an incumbent. Even the evening news put her in a favorable light regarding her "spirited" and "aggressive" campaign, and the news reporter himself seemed dissapointed that she did not win.

She's dissapointed of course, but she's not discouraged and she is going to get there next time. She's very young and has plenty ahead of her in this career. I am so proud of her!!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Election Day at Last

Election Day in Nashville is tomorrow on May 2nd! I'm in Nashville at the moment to help out. My sister has been amazing. If hard work and dedication mean anything, then she is certain to be victorious. We are all so proud of her.

Last night we had a meeting downtown with over 75 volunteers who have come forward and offered to help on election day by working at the polls to ask people to vote in suport of Tonette. It was wonderful to see such a huge mix of people from the entire community who are all so excited about getting her elected that they are personally willing to donate their time to make it happen.

Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers throughout the day tomorrow. And of course, if you know anyone who lives in Davidson County in Nashville, please give them a call TODAY and ask them to go vote for WELCH tomorrow!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Blow Out

Hubby ran in the Crescent City Classic 10k race on Saturday. I went down to City Park in New Orleans to see if I could watch him cross the finish line. I never did find him in the crowd, but it was fun to watch all the folks in this race that is traditionally run on Easter weekend. Many of them ran with bunny ears on their heads, and all the politicians running for mayor were out in full force.

I parked in the Lakeview neighborhood near City Park so I could walk over to the stadium. Only a few months ago, all of it was under water. Most of the houses were empty. Almost all of them had been gutted already, and the majority of the debris picked up, but there was still plenty left. The watermarks still stained the buildings (you can see it in the picture here), weeds were growing 2 feet high, windows were broken, and everything made of metal was rusting. Flooded out cars sat decaying in driveways. I could distinctly smell mold all around.

Despite the obvious disaster, there were quite a few people living in primitive conditions in the neighborhood and plenty of folks living in travel trailers in the driveways while they rebuilt their homes.

I took this picture because I was happy to see the little island of hope that someone had planted in the street median --- new flowers and landscaping... something pretty amid all the watermarks, trash and decay.

Anyway, I had a bad feeling driving in this area, and sure enough I picked up a nail in my tire. I decided that since it wasn't losing any air, that I would keep going and change it at home. Big mistake. As I crossed the Industrial Canal on I-10 over what is locally known as the "Highrise" bridge, the tire blew out.

A worse place for a blowout does not exist. There is ZERO shoulder on that bridge and it's a looong way down to the water, and a long way down the the other side of the bridge to get off. Black smoke started to come from the tire and I struggled to keep control as I slowed way down, turned on my hazard lights and prayed that no one would slam into the back of me as they came careening over the crest of the bridge while I was wobbling down the other side on my wheel rim. A man in a white car saw what happened and pulled over at the bottom of the bridge to wait for me.

I made it to the bottom and was able to pull out of the traffic. You don't really realize how fast 60mph really is until you are standing 3 feet from a thousand cars, semi-trucks and city busses whizzing by at that speed. The kind stranger helped me change the tire and I was on my way home in no time.

::deep breath::