Just taking a moment to let you know that we came through Nicole in pretty good shape. Yes, a THIRD tree (from a neighbor’s yard) DID fall on our property, but this time, it was a small one, and it hit one of our storage sheds instead of the house. (Mark can repair the tin roof. )The storm also blew down the fence again between our house and our next-door neighbor, but it had only been put back temporarily after the last time. It is old and in need of replacement, which will probably happen soon. But today, Mark is out there helping prop it up again in the hopes it will remain vertical until that happens. 

For those who may not have seen the images, while Nicole hit as a Category 1 hurricane and dropped to a tropical storm as soon as it came onshore, there are areas that were severely damaged. Not as widespread or horrific as Ian, but if one of these was your retirement home on Daytona Beach, you’d be pretty unhappy right now.

Having grown up in Florida, one thing I’ve never even considered doing is building a home on a sand dune, though I do feel sad for these folks.  The damage continues much, much farther than what shows in this picture. It was caused by the storm surge breaking down the seawall, then washing away the sand under the homes.  As you can see, these have collapsed, entire patios have been swept away, and empty swimming pools lay tossed all over the place. Truly a terrible sight. 

Our neighborhood has once again held up well. No flooding, though of course, there is some wind damage up and down the block. But nothing that can’t be set right. Speaking of which, it’s back to debris clean-up for me. This will probably take us several more days. I’m doing the easy bits, and doing them at a far slower pace than I’d normally tackle, so my new doctor won’t yell at me when I see him next Thursday.  (So much for getting any writing done this week. 🙄)

Until Next Time, Stay Safe, Everyone!

#HurricaneIan – #Aftermath – #Update

Another Amazing Rescue in Progress!

Hi, Everyone! Just wanted to get out  a quick update in case the internet goes again.  We were incredibly lucky, considering a) what’s happened to the folks in south Florida and b) even parts of our county received a great deal of flooding, leaving several roads still underwater. Here’s the scoop on us:

  1. My son and his family (who live just 2 hours north of us) weren’t hit hard at all, and escaped any damage to their home, so that was the best news of all for us!
  2. Power finally came back on late yesterday, so three days without in this very hot weather. It was not fun, but with the generator, we were able to run ceiling fans, cook on the range, have overhead lights, and run the little a/c in the bedroom for sleeping at night. Compared to so many, many people, we have NOTHING to complain about. Again, we were truly lucky! 
  3. Of course, we spent a LOT of money on gas for the generator, but it’s still the best investment we ever made.  
  4. Internet is still a bit intermittent, but I don’t have time to be online anyway, as we are busy cleaning up heaps and piles of debris all over our yard. But again, we still have a house and a yard, with no major damage, so … LUCKY!
  5. We were able to find a tree service actually still working in our area and not off helping the far more desperate folks down south. They came, got the tree off the house, cut it up and stacked it on the curb for city pickup. They were super fast and efficient, and we were very, very grateful. Cost us $1200, but it could have been much,  much worse.
  6. Only a small patch of shingles were damaged by the tree being on the roof for two days, and Mark is busy replacing them with shingles left over from the new roof we had to get after Hurricane Irma 5 years ago. So happy there was no other damage to the house this time around! (Unlike the $85,000 worth to the house, and $3,500 worth to our car, last time.) Did I mention LUCKY??
  7. And last, we are very, very grateful and appreciative of all the well wishes and prayers from so many of you! I don’t have words enough to tell you what it means to know folks were thinking about, and praying for, all of us here in Florida. Many, many thanks to each of you, and I’ll be checking in through the days ahead as time allows.

NOTE: I have back-to-back guests on TWS again this week that I know you’ll enjoy. Jackie Lambert will be here on Tuesday, and Kassandra Lamb will be here on Wednesday. I may or may not be able to comment much, but I know you’ll make them welcome!

Now, back to debris removal! 

Still Here! #Update

Most of Southwest Florida looks like this picture of Fort Myres

Just wanted to let you know we are still here. While the generator kept us going most of yesterday, we lost internet shortly after my last check in. Without internet, we had no way to keep up with the storm, and it was a long, scary afternoon and evening. Ran out of gas for the generator during the middle of the night, so Mark is gone to see if he can find a gas station with power at the pumps. 

Spectrum is back now, but if we can’t find gas, we’ll be without power again, and I won’t be able to get online. I WILL at least be able to check news on my phone apps as long as internet stays on. It was horrible not knowing what was going on. 

In spite of this, we are SO blessed to have been spared. I’m just seeing the most recent pictures out of south Florida and they are unbelievable. In my LONG life here, I’ve never seen such terrible devastation over such a large area. It breaks my heart! Entire communities of homes are either smashed flat or  COMPLETELY submerged beneath the flood water! 

Will check in later, if we still have power and internet.  I’m hoping it lasts long enough for me to respond to earlier posts, but we’ll see. In the meantime, please stay safe, especially those of you who are still in harm’s way as the storm moves north! 

#HurricaneIan – #Update

Just wanted to let you know we are alive, and mostly well. While Ian had slowed to Tropical Storm speeds when it passed over us, we still got a ton of wind and rain, and for the first time that I can remember, flash flood warnings were issued for our county. We still came through remarkably well, compared to southwest Florida.

We did, however, have a TREE FALL ON OUR HOUSE AGAIN!!!! This time, it was a very tall, spindly live oak that the tree people said didn’t need to come down. It was all the way at the back of our property, and Mark didn’t think it would catch enough wind to fall. But with all the weeks of daily heavy rain, the soil was totally saturated, and it just plan FELL over, roots and all. It is lying across the master bedroom roof, but doesn’t look like it damaged it. We won’t know for sure until the rain and wind gusts finally stop and Mark can take a closer look. He might even be able to cut it in pieces and drop them over the edge himself, thus saving us $800 – $1000, and a LONG wait in line for a tree service. We’ll decide on that as soon as he can get up there and assess the situation.

For now, we have lost power, but the generator is working like a charm.  We also lost internet for about an hour, but it’s back, at least for now. The important thing is WE are safe, our house is safe, and best of all, my son & family is safe, too! (They are two hours north of us, and didn’t get nearly as much wind and rain as we did. YAY!)

With the power not restored, we are having to cope with heat, as the main a/c is too much for the generator, and we have an enormous clean-up job ahead of us, once it finally stops raining. But the bottom line is, we are alive and safe, and our house is still standing! I’m filled with gratitude for that, and praying for those who haven’t fared as well.  Also sending prayers to those still in harm’s way as Ian crawls northward, bringing more storm surges, wind, and rain to others in the path.

I’ll probably be pretty scarce for a couple more days, but I’ll check in with updates when I can.  Stay safe, everyone!

#HurricaneIan – #LatestUpdate

Ian is slamming the holy heck out of southwest Florida, and things are looking grim. Over 1.1 million without power (with more coming), and terrible storm surges. It’s very sad!

For us, a bit of good news. I mistakenly posted the maps for the Tropical Storm winds percentages earlier, instead of the  ones for hurricane force winds. Now that I’ve taken a look at the correct map, I see that our odds for the hurricane winds are lower, plus, the storm will likely decrease as it moves north. So we might be dealing with tropical storm winds here in Seminole County. That’s still a miserable mess with plenty of opportunities for damage, but much less dangerous than a Category 4 hurricane, which is what Ian is right now as it pounds Naples, Cape Coral, and the nearby islands. (We are sitting on the cusp between brown and orange so 60% chance of hurricane strength winds, instead of 90%.)

Again, the worst things about this storm are 1) the astonishing size (it covers the entire width of the Florida peninsula), 2)the flood surges it’s causing along the coastline, and 3) the fact that it is moving so slowly. (That gives it longer to slam the heck out of every mile it covers.

It has rained all day today with some heavier gusts of wind in the last hour or so, and only time will tell what’s ahead. But I’m feeling better that the correct map says we are not as likely to get the full hurricane up here as I’d originally thought. Maybe I’ll get some sleep tonight, after all! 

Quick Update – #HurricaneIan

Looks like a Category 5 now as it comes ashore near Ft. Myers/Cape Coral. That area of the state is being devastated, with flood surges of up to 18′ predicted. This storm looks to be following the same path as Charley (which passed directly over our house), but the difference is, Charley was by us and on the east coast in about 30 minutes. It galloped. Ian is out for a stroll. Much slower passage means more time for damage. PLUS, it is the biggest (widest? tallest?) storm to ever hit the U.S.  So, it’s moving slowly and covering much more ground as it goes, with 155 to 175mph winds.

For us, the slower it moves, the more the chance it will weaken before hitting our area, but it’s still going to be a horrible mess, and I’m afraid there will be loss of lives in addition to damage.  Oh, and we have been getting torrential rainstorms daily for weeks. (Tallahassee records say 40 straight days. Hmmmm. That sounds dire in several ways.) The result of the rain is that the entire state is waterlogged, and that’s when big trees start falling over.

I’ll check back in later if I can, hopefully with better news, but Ian is going to be a record breaker, I’m afraid, and not in any GOOD way.  Please, everyone here in Florida, STAY SAFE!! Don’t go wandering out during the eye of the storm and after the storm has passed, stay inside and let the pros handle the initial clean-up. Be aware of downed lines. (Somebody makes the fatal mistake of trying to move them every time! 😨

That’s It For Now!

#ThankYou & #Update


Raining here this morning, and only gonna get worse as Hurricane Ian makes landfall and marches across the state. We are located directly under the “L” in the updated header image, so we’ll be in the thick of it all. Flood surges from south Florida past Tampa are predicted to be as high as 12 to 16 feet, so  potentially deadly for any in those areas who didn’t heed the evac orders. They are now saying this is going to be worse than Katrina!!

We will have more flooding than usual in central Florida, too, though our area should be okay in that regard. The usual power outages will probably happen, so I don’t know if I’ll be able to remain in contact or not. But, we have done all we can to prepare, and now it’s a question of hunkering down until it’s over, which could be few days.

I want to thank everyone who responded to Jaye Marie’s guest post yesterday! And I want to say thanks in advance to all who respond to Mike Allegra’s #TenThings post today. I’ll be checking in when possible, but doubt I’ll be able to respond to much. 

You guys ROCK!! 


Another Quick #Update – #Evacuation? – #HurricaneIan

Thanks to all of you who are wishing us well here in Florida! It’s greatly appreciated!

Nancy Homlitas mentioned evacuation ahead of Hurricane Ian in her response to my earlier post, and I thought maybe I’d best clarify what’s going on currently. They have just ordered a mandatory evacuation order for Hillsborough County, because it includes Tampa and other communities that are on either the Gulf or Tampa Bay, and they are very likely to have heavy flooding and storm surges there.

Evacuation has never (that I know of) been ordered for Seminole County/Orlando area because we aren’t on the coast, and seldom have major flooding, though we can certainly get plenty of wind. The damage we received during Hurricane Irma was from a tornado spawned by the storm, but those can and do pop up randomly with or without hurricanes, and can’t be predicted.

When it comes to evacuating, it is not a good idea to do so if you aren’t told to, because the roads will already be jammed with those who really NEED to get out of their area. I just heard over 300,000 people are expected to be moving out today. I know the traffic on major northbound highways will be bumper to bumper. Because of that, we will not evacuate unless we are told to. It would just complicate things even more. But we also will NOT IGNORE evac orders for our area, should they tell us to go.

Basically, our best option right now is to lay in supplies (did that yesterday) and hunker down to ride it out. In my life time, I’ve been smack dab in the middle of some of the worst storms in Florida’s history, and being smart about our safety during them is just automatic. So far, in this case, our best bet is to stay here, though of course, there are no guarantees. Hurricanes are fickle, fickle things. 

If the situation changes, and we have to grab the cats and go, I’ll do my best to let everyone know. But I haven’t given up on the storm changing course, or even weakening considerably after crossing Cuba. You just never know with these events.

Thanks again for ALL your well wishes, and rest assured, we will do everything we can (even evacuating if necessary) to stay safe. I’ve still got some things on my To Do list, and I want to be around long after this storm in order to take care of them. 😁

I’ll be sending prayers out to all of you in the potential pathway of this storm. Please stay safe, folks, and don’t ignore any evac orders that might come your way.  We’ll try to do the same!

See You After All the Wind & Rain Dies Down!

#HurricaneIan – #Update

Doesn’t look good for Florida, folks. Latest from NOAA has us in the crosshairs of the center of Hurricane Ian. Still a few more things we need to do to get ready, so I won’t be around much today.

Here’s the latest projection. It could still change drastically, and I’m hoping and praying it will, but we have to prepare for the worst! Last hurricane that came through 5 years ago (Irma) did $85,000 worth of damage to our house, smashed our garage flat, and tore up our roof. Oh, and it did $15,000 worth of damage to our car too! Eeeek. I SO hope this one does NOT follow this latest trajectory! If it does, the center of the storm will come right over us. 😮😮😮

#This&That&TheOtherThing – #Update


Happy Tewe’s Day, Everybody! Hope your week got off to a good start yesterday and your day is off to another of those today! It’s been pretty quiet around here for too long, so I thought I’d better stop by to say hello, and to let you guys know I’m still alive. Just busy, busy, busy with all sorts of things Life threw my way all at one time. 


Saturday’s talk on the American Alligator went great, and I had a lot of fun with a super nice audience. (Definition of Super Nice: They laughed at all of my jokes and oohed and aaahed in all the right places!) 

BTW, I felt great on Saturday from the moment I got up until … well, actually, I’m still feeling pretty good today. Crossing my fingers that means it might be a good while before I have another bad day from you-know-what. Maybe even that it’s over! We’ll see how it goes.


In the meantime, changing insurance and getting set up with all new doctors is keeping me on the go, so it will be slow here on the blog for the rest of this week. I’ll stop by when I can, though, and Granny will definitely be visiting on Friday. Hopefully life will calm down a bit by next week, and things will get back to normal.  I do have another talk next Saturday–don’t ask me how I managed to schedule them for back to back weekends, DOH!– but I’m almost ready for that one. What do you think? Look interesting?

And that’s pretty much where things are for now. I’m off to TWO different, fun-filled medical things today: Some imaging over at the local Radiology clinic, and a quick trip to my new primary care doctor with some paperwork to deliver. Easy-Peasy!

Will check in with you guys later, and hopefully have a few minutes somewhere to stop by a few of my favorite blogs. Yes, I know my Sunday #Twofer fell by the wayside this week, and I apologize for that, but I’m still aiming to get it posted somewhere. Maybe we’ll have a “FOUR-fer” this coming Sunday! That could work. Probably. 😁

And that’s it for my update.
Here’s to a great rest of the week for ALL of us!
As you were, folks, and enjoy this day to the fullest!