My Blog List

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Here we go again.

Last night I had to work until 2:30am, the first of three late nights to complete our holiday set. The next two "overnights" will be Sunday and Monday of next week. It's a lot of hard work, and every year by the last night everyone is exhausted and desperate to finish. Our regional manager comes the day after the 300 or so projects are supposed to be completed, to tour the store and critique everything.  There are only four of us working on this and responsible for it all.  It's just the worst!

I promised myself last October that Christmas 2015 would be my last in retail, and that I wouldn't ever have to do another holiday set again. So much for that. In fact, I'm losing hope that a new beginning on the job front is destined to be part of 2016 for me. I'm still looking, but there's been nothing to even apply for lately. With the travesty of a presidential election going on, everyone (including employers, I'm sure) has been on edge. Whatever the reason, job openings seem to have dried right up for the time being. All I can do is continue to wait and try to be patient.

    But I don't have to like it!!

Sunday, October 16, 2016


Everyone should have a special spot all their own to escape to when they want to be alone. For Ginger, that spot is under an overgrown jasmine hedge in the back yard. It's her favorite place.

Go away.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


Well! That was an adventure!

My area got hit unexpectedly hard by the hurricane. Last night, on what would have been our 4th night without electricity, the lights finally came back on. Many people in the area still don't have power and won't for some days yet. The widespread flooding combined with high winds meant that an incredible number of trees uprooted and came crashing down on lines. Linemen from all over South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia are working around the clock (often with the help of tree removal crews) to try to restore power and I'm grateful for their hard work. The flooding over the weekend rivaled last year's historic flooding and a lot of people lost everything

A home sits in flood water in Nichols, S.C., Monday.
Aerial shot of a tiny little community called Nichols,
maybe 15 miles from my parents' house.

So I won't complain about being inconvenienced for a few days and losing all the food in our refrigerator and freezer. We were extremely fortunate. No big trees fell on our house (although so many were down in our neighborhood getting out was like running a maze at first), the flooding was minimal and nothing is water damaged, our freezer stayed cold enough to keep water and soda chilled, and maybe most importantly, it's turned cool outside. If this hurricane had happened a month earlier we would have been miserable with sweltering temperatures and high humidity. Instead, we are having some of the most beautiful weather of the whole year, gloriously blue skies, warm days, slightly chilly nights....just wonderful. The first two days after the storm, our water pressure was down to a trickle, but then it re-pressurized and never had to be shut completely off. And on top of that, we always have hot water when the power goes out thanks to our gas powered hot water heater.

Yes, all in all we were lucky. We were slightly inconvenienced, having to do without tv and limited internet access (as our phones had to be charged in our car and we didn't want to drain the batteries by using them too much), and cooking outside on the grill and Coleman camping stove, but all in all it was ok. I'll count my blessings.

And what a change it was to hang out by candlelight for three days, with almost no screen time. We sat outside each night and watched the sun go down, and marveled at how dark and serene the neighborhood was without street lights and well-lit houses. We walked the dogs with flashlights (that we didn't really need thanks to the moonlight) and the crisp autumn air felt great. The hurricane really seemed to usher in fall for us! So it wasn't all bad. Not at all.

Today has been busy, catching up with laundry and doing a final cleaning out of the refrigerator and freezers. Now I'm getting ready to head out grocery shopping. It's going to be expensive, stocking everything back up, but then we should be back to normal at my house. Thanks for all the comments and good wishes everyone left here for me during the ordeal! I really appreciated them all!

Monday, October 10, 2016


The hurricane hit us hard. No power now for 3 days and counting. Four main water lines in the city are broken so no water. I'm typing this on my phone which I have to charge in my car which will soon be out of gas. It may be a few days before I can update again, but we are ok. Thanks to all for your concern.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

We may be in trouble..

I had intended to blog today about the book club party I hosted at my house on Sunday (we read The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson) or the one night camping trip we took with the dogs to Lynches River on Monday, but the really big news over here in my little corner of the world is hurricane Matthew. It's a big, bad, scary storm and it might be headed straight for us. Last night the forecast track put it making landfall around the NC/SC border...I live about 20 miles away from the border.

Our governor has already declared a state of emergency and an evacuation is underway for all coastal areas. Everyone is urged to leave if they live within 100 miles of the ocean. My town is right on the edge of that--we're about 90 miles from Myrtle Beach. As of today, all the local schools are closed and so are government offices. My store will probably close tomorrow afternoon and will not reopen until Sunday, unless the storm dramatically changes track before tomorrow. Which is, of course, entirely possible. Hurricanes are notoriously unpredictable. The bad thing about a storm the size and strength of Matthew is that you don't have to be all that close to the precise landfall area to be impacted. There will be tropical storm force winds and rain all around the main part of the storm, and states all up and down the eastern seaboard have to be prepared for danger.

Smaller hurricanes don't worry me too much. They're a common occurrence and usually just cause some minor inconveniences and damage. Once a storm reaches category 3 or larger, though, that's a whole other ballgame. Matthew has had sustained winds of 150 mph, and combined with massive rainfall and storm surge it has the potential for massive destruction. I'll never forget hurricane Hugo back in 1989. Charleston was devastated. Myrtle Beach had to be evacuated, and it was a month or more before the residents were allowed back in (National Guard were stationed there) and even at my house 30 miles inland we were without power and water for over a week. Even Charlotte, NC was in terrible shape and that's way on the other side of the state. I remember feeling our whole house shaking and the continuous roar of the wind, and when it was all over a small dogwood tree was uprooted and had been hurled against our front door. We were lucky to have water and power again in less than 2 weeks, some people we knew who lived in more rural areas went without for almost a month. It was a bad time.

So instead of blogging about fun stuff today, I'm leaving for work early so I can look for bottled water on the way in and top off the gas in my car. I'm sure the stores' shelves are bare of water and non-perishable foods already so I hope I can find some. Thank goodness we have plenty of canned food, batteries, candles, and other emergency supplies already (we try to keep that stuff on hand all the time) and we have plenty of 5 gallon buckets around we can fill with water for flushing the toilets if need be. I'll try to keep you all updated, but if the storm hits here hard I may not have power for awhile. Keep your fingers crossed for us!