The Horrible, Terrible, Awful Purge

So, when the Bean and her crew of family movers pitched in to transport the remaining stuff from one house to another, our 3rd floor suddenly became a huge storage pile of boxes and such, and pretty much took over the bulk of the space.  It’s really only one huge room with a couple of auxiliary rooms for storage and a bathroom.  There are two large worktables, a bunch of chairs, a bed, and a TV up there as well as some organized sewing space, but… well, now there also is a heap of stuff that reminds us of a hoarder’s nest, though it didn’t start here and is at least contained.  It’s possibly junk-ish stuff, at least in part, and we expect that a lot of it will be donated or literally trashed.  It certainly can’t stay here if she is ever to use the space again.

So the boxes and bins have all been piled rather haphazardly up there since late June, passively waiting for the Bean to attend to all of them.  The clever transporters did leave walking spaces around the heap of boxes, so it’s somewhat maneuverable. The Bean, having made it through two summer trips (one a convention, one a carving), a serious illness, two separate house guests, and most recently hosted Hitty Club, is now free to do something about this pile of stuff.  And she has a plan.

She says, where there’s a will, there’s a way, though both of us (she has enlisted Smidge  to help her) have some doubts.  It’s a LOT of stuff, and she’s only one handicapped old woman.  I suspect Smidge is there to offer moral support and encouragement. This is going to be a long-term process.  However, in addition to a daily scheduled plan of attack, Bean has a pecking order and sorting method laid out in her mind, if not on paper.

And Bean’s new motto is, “It may just be trash.”

She will move into the disaster zone, poor Smidge in tow, on Monday, October 2.  Let’s just say that if you don’t hear from either of them on Facebook within a reasonable amount of time, there’s every possibility that one or more of them have been buried under the heap.  Smidge plans to have her Pinkmost Cell strapped to her little person so she can call for back-up if needed.

But in any case, if you don’t hear from them, please send help…with shovels.


Moving onward…

In Virginia, we escaped the wrath of Irma, but so many in the southeast and in the islands did not.  We are sad for them – the mess we see on television is truly terrible.  I think it’s one of those things where you wonder how the people there will begin to cope with the cleanup, and then you realize that they will probably operate on auto-pilot to simply do what has to be done.  When anything bad happens, Happy tells me to not think about how hard it’s going to be to fix it, but to just do it.  I think that’s probably what they will do.  But I’m sorry for them.  Consider giving to the Red Cross – they do great work.

On a lighter note, Monday is Hitty Club.  They are a bit off schedule (normally meeting in November, February, May, and August) in order to accommodate a member who was out of town for quite a while, and they adjusted two meetings to catch themselves back up.  This meeting is special – it’s the end of their 5th year as a club, so they are celebrating their 5th anniversary with gifts for Hitty and a party-like atmosphere, without an activity.  I’m sure they will think of something to do – like talk each other’s heads off!

The temps are finally cooler, signaling the end of true summer and time to enter the autumnal realm in a week.  These are the final days of summer, folks.  Get in one last dip at the pool, have a picnic, take a boat ride, romp in the grass, look for any lingering fireflies, enjoy the final blooming flowers, and gather up any remaining veggies from your garden.  Summer 2017 is about to end.  Autumn is in session…but can winter be far behind.

But good news –  Spring and summer will both reappear next year! I say, enjoy each season for what it has to bring.  Moving onward…


Irma’s eye of destruction

OK, that’s hopefully an exaggeration, but we small dollies tend to get seriously worried about major storms and threats of major storms that might be headed in our direction.  We watched TV and saw all that Harvey did to TX and LA, so when Irma became an Atlantic threat, we took her seriously.  We still do.

We have family who lives in Charleston, SC, and extended family and friends in FL.  Here in VA, we have weathered several serious tropical storms and hurricane remnants ourselves, so we know what it’s like.  We don’t want it, but instead of worrying, we are prepping.  A FB friend of the Bean posted a great list of things to do, in case a hurricane heads your way.  We think it’s worth repeating, so thanks to Bean’s friend and to her friend.

1. Start running your ice makers now and bagging the ice in freezer bags. Fill as much space in between your freezer items as you can.

2. Freeze regular tap water for pets, cleaning or drinking in tupperware-type containers. REMEMBER to leave a small bit of space between the top of the water & the lids so the ice expands but doesn’t crack the container.

3. Start using up your perishables to make more room for ice in the freezer.

4. Fill up all vehicles & check tires & oil. Fill up any gas containers you may have.

5. Cash from ATM, at least enough to get you through tolls and gas out of town. Call your bank if you plan on leaving the state so they don’t freeze your card for out-of-area “suspicious” transactions.

6. All important docs screenshot & send to your email. Take originals in sealed bags or plastic bins.

7. Pet & livestock food & supplies. Vet records in case you need to shelter them at a storm-safe facility.

8. Evacuation plans and share with family members so they know where you’re headed.

9. Consider putting heirlooms & photos in plastic bins in a high place, second floor, or safe room if you don’t plan on taking them with you.


11. Old rags & beach towels on your windowsills. Even with the best windows & shutters, water seeping from the wind pressure happens. A few damp towels is better than soaked drywall or floors!

12. Shutter windows and doors and bring everything outside into your garage or house NOW. Do not wait until the day before. Better to get done early and relax than wait until its too late, ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE MANDATORY PERSONNEL (hospital employee or first responder).

13. If you don’t already have your hurricane supplies, you might want to get them now. Shelves are already empty in most places.

14. Stock up on dry goods, bottles of water.

15. If you have a grill, stock up on propane.

16. Fill your tubs with water to flush your toilets with.

17. Lower your pool water to prevent flooding from that.

Although we are nervous – after all, Bean can’t save us all – we will rely on our instincts, our preparedness, our generator (Rumbles), and make it through Irma’s wrath.  It’s not going to be all that severe here, but may all others who read this and those about whom they care weather the storm and emerge safely on the other side.


Predicting Our Future: Almond cake

Sorry about being away so long.  I presume you all followed our Orlando adventures on Smidge Herbert’s Facebook page while we were away.  She travels in a special see-through pouch around our Bean’s neck and reports by cell to me in our hotel room where I type up all the stuff.  They give me photos to add when they are back in the room.  We had a whale of a good time, despite tropical storm Emily’s appearance.

We got home the evening of the 7th, and the following day at 7:30 pm, all was well, but by 9:30 pm, our Bean was totally down for the count with fever, chills, and THE WORST COUGH ever.  I heard her wish (out loud between the deep horrid coughs) that had Mr. Bean been there she’d have begged to be taken to the ER.  The next morning, she managed to slowly drag herself downstairs and drive herself to the doctor who told her she had infectious bronchitis and fluid in her lungs.  She did a terrible job of parking the car once home, and probably should not have been behind the wheel.  She was so out of it she didn’t even realize she had pneumonia until she had been off the antibiotics for many days. It was ugly.  Then this week, she managed to get a wee virus, just to complicate things.  Sigh.  That melody is not one we wish to continue humming.

It’s the end of the summer, at least in our minds.  The two grands who live here don’t start back to school until the day after labor day, one as a sophomore in a Specialty Center HS for visual arts, and the other a middle school 6th grader, a math whiz like her grandpa and uncle.  The three grands in SC started school over a week ago, two in college classes, and their baby sister in Kindergarten.  Happy says that makes her feel really old. Of course Bean works at a University as a writing consultant and writing tutor.  She started class on Monday, so she’s also back to class…sort of.

Labor Day, the first Monday in September in the US, is supposed to be a national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.  To Bean, it signals that it’s time for her birthday.  She hated that it always happened either just before school started in the fall or immediately after school began.  It meant no party, no recognition, since all the kids and parents were getting ready for school, and they had no time for parties or else had been out of touch since the prior school year ended.  It was pretty dismal back then, and rather sad for an only child.  Now turning 71 (yes, you read that right – seventy-one) she doesn’t care that she’s old and not having a party.  She says it’s fine to be old since the alternative is…well, even more dismal, although the side effects of old age do stink at times.  She and Mr. Bean are going to whip up an almond cake together this year and celebrate old age quietly, knowing that school will begin the following day.

So happy back to school to those who go to school, and happy birthday to all those who have those poorly timed events now or on other holidays.  We celebrate you anyway.

And a big welcome to all the new dolls in our house as a result of UFDC.  Such a pleasant but dangerous event.  I will post about them in a few weeks, but we are keeping them under wraps until after the doll club meeting so as to surprise all the locals who might read this and have their surprise spoiled.  But it was grand, as you will soon see.