Inspired by a little-known picture book from the pen of Bethany Tudor, this is a diary, of sorts, where I document some of my thoughts, activities, and ideas as I explore the challenges met by the characters in the story: hard work, the care and nurture of others, housekeeping skills, life changes, charity, community, and cooperation, among others. Like Samuel and Samantha, the ducks in the tale, I struggle and succeed, cope and celebrate, work and play, handling the tasks that come my way. I invite you to join me on my journey.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

As Ready As Possible (I Think)

Yesterday, I posted my Hurricane Irene preparation list.  Today, I thought I would take stock of that list to see if I am ready for this unprecedented (we'll see) weather event.

- stake corn plants:  DONE
- harvest produce:  DONE
- store empty planters:  DONE
- take down & store trellis after harvest beans:  DONE

My husband created a "frame" for the corn plants, hoping that they might have a better chance of remaining upright as a group rather than being staked individually.  The produce harvest from our garden consisted of turnips and a small bowl of beans from the vines that were disentangled form the trellises before they were packed into the playhouse.  The neighbors across the street, Mr. & Mrs. Clayton, gave us some tomatoes and cucumbers from their excess harvest.  Per the planter storage, I stowed two EarthBoxes, some terra cotta pots, and a few small wooden barrels in the shed.

- clean up driveway & yard clutter:  DONE
- dump run (if needed):  ELIMINATED FROM LIST
- take down hanging bird feeders:  DONE
- store trash cans in garage:  DONE
- install new hasp for garage lock:  ELIMINATED FROM LIST
- strap garden shed for additional structural support (if needed):  DONE
- board up garage windows (if needed):  DONE

Stashing the tube feeders in a safe space was a bit more difficult than initially anticipated as one of them contained an active yellow jacket nets.  The solution:  enclose the offending feeder in a contractor trash bag, shut it securely with a zip tie, and take it to the playhouse.  My husband braced the garage door instead of messing with the hasp.  He also strapped the shed, and he strapped the sawhorses, the wheelbarrow, and the step ladder to the shed.  The single side window, the open soffit, and the front windows of the garage were boarded.

- remove awning hardware:  DONE
- disassemble scaffolding (for remodeling project):  DONE
- check status of oil lamps & lamp supplies:  DONE
- purchase hurricane lamp & candle for kitchen table:  DONE
- purchase batteries:  DONE
- check operational status of all flashlights & transistor radio:  PARTIAL COMPLETION
- strap chimney for additional support (if needed):  ELIMINATED FROM LIST
- board up windows (if needed):  DONE
- check operational status of sump pump:  DONE

The decision to (possibly) board the windows was discussed and made on Wednesday (8/24/2011).  This was the first time I ever felt the need to board up anything.  At first, the plan was to board only the south and southeast facing windows.  This morning, however, when Hurricane Irene looked as though she would remain quite strong well into Connecticut, my husband decided to board everything.  Only two windows remain uncovered, one in the bathroom and one in the kitchen.  They are vinyl clad and difficult to board without ruining the entire frame.  Of course, the doors are uncovered for obvious safety reasons.

- purchase cat food & bird seed:  DONE
- get pet carriers down from attic:  PARTIAL COMPLETION
- change cat litter:  DONE
- clean bird cage:  ELIMINATED FROM LIST

The cat carriers are right next to the attic door, so I have located them and know exactly where to get them should I need them.

- bake bread, quick bread, & snacks for storm:  DONE
- cook soups, stews, & pasta dishes to reheat on camp stove:  DONE
- stock up on water & non-perishable supplies:  DONE
- locate, set up, & test camp stove:  DONE
- make ice packs for use in refrigerator:  DONE

- makes sure all laundry is washed, folded, & put away:  PARTIAL COMPLETION
- locate all raincoats & waterproof footwear;  stage near back door:  DONE

The laundry is all washed but not all of it is folded and put away.  I figured preparing the exterior of my house should be the focus of activity.  I can always fold once I am trapped inside during the storm.

- fill car & truck with gas:  PARTIAL COMPLETION
- get some cash for short-term purchases after storm:  DONE
- take pictures of house exterior for insurance purposes:  DONE

My husband decided he had a sufficient amount of gas in his truck.

So, given that most items on my preparation list were finished, I guess I am as prepared as I can be and, even if I am not, I am out of time.  As I write this, I can hear the wind building outside my home.  Goodnight and stay safe.

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