Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Wind Map

My sister Sparkle posted this site – and she is right, it is amazing. Just look at how the hugeness of Isaac is still drawing wind and power from the Gulf states, well into the heartland of the US:

When you go to the website, Wind Map, it is actually animated, and you can watch the winds flow over the nation. Wow. Thanks, Sparkle.

September 1, 2012 Posted by | Geography / Maps, Hurricanes, Weather | Leave a comment

Trial Run: Lessons Learned

We have most everything put away now, a real pain in the neck, but we keep in mind that it is not as much a pain in the neck as losing everything, or having to hack a hole in your own roof to escape a flood which completely ruins a house so you have to rebuild and live somewhere else while you are rebuilding. It’s even a lot easier than having a window or roof or garage breached, and the resulting damage from wind-driven rain, or just sheets of rain.

Today has had higher gusts of wind and frequent showers, and an occasional breakthrough of Pensacola sunshine.

We know how long it takes to put on our window protection – and take it off. We know how long it takes to clear all the potential flying objects out of our backyard. We know a couple vulnerable points, and that it’s going to be expensive to get a fix big enough to give us complete protection. It’s a gamble.

Here is something else I know, very valuable.

I know that I can keep hot coffee and hot water HOT for five days.

This great thermal jug from Qatar had coffee still warm after five days – not hot, but warm.

This little thermos from Starbucks kept coffee very warm, but not hot:

And this is a large thermos/ server I found in Kuwait and used for three years for large groups of ladies. Six years later, it is still working great. I poured boiling water into it on Sunday night, and on Thursday afternoon, it was still almost boiling hot. It was hot enough you can use it to make soup, which is just what you need to be able to do when you have no electricity and need to fix something that can warm you up.

The WINNER!

August 31, 2012 Posted by | ExPat Life, Experiment, Food, Hot drinks, Hurricanes, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Pensacola, Qatar | 2 Comments

Wind Advisory, High Surf Advisory for Pensacola

Woke up this morning to more wind and grey skies, occasional rain, more of the same. We are still in an outer band – as is South Carolina, LOL. This storm is going to effect a lot of states before it finally clears out.

These warnings are from Weather Underground, my favorite weather site.

High Wind Advisory

High Surf Advisory

August 30, 2012 Posted by | Adventure, Hurricanes, Weather | Leave a comment

Hurricane Isaac Hanging Around

Hurricane Isaac – for Pensacola – has turned out to be not so much. Yes, there has been high water, due to the ceaseless winds pushing water onshore. Yes, there are some bursts of high winds. Yes there are some heavy showers.

We’ve seen worse, we’ve had worse storms. The think about Hurricane Isaac is that while there is nothing you can put your finger on, he is like that annoying guest who stays too long. He is hanging around, and we would like to get on with our lives.

Example: Our grandson’s school is still closed, and our son and his wife need to go to work today. Fortunately, AdventureMan and the Happy Toddler have a great relationship, and AdventureMan has made a plan to introduce him today to the public library, it’s treasure trove of childrens’ books, and that you can take them home – but you have to take them back. We hope the library is open today! We don’t know! It’s just annoying and inconvenient, these are minor things, not the great huge overwhelming problems that Plaquemines Parish is facing with their huge guest who insists on hanging around. Huge and slow, just the size and duration is causing expensive and life-threatening problems.

My plan for today is to put the heavy things back on the walls, mirrors I didn’t want to replace, framed art-work and hangings I didn’t want damaged if we were hit by the hurricane or tornado. Yes, there are still tornado warnings. No, I am not so worried.

At 6:30 this morning it was hot and humid. At 0900, it is still hot and humid, with occasional showers of warm rain. Aargh. Thanks be to God, no flooding in our house, no breeches in our defenses. We’re ready to move on. We’re ready for this to be over.

August 29, 2012 Posted by | Adventure, Books, Bureaucracy, Community, Cultural, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Hurricanes, Living Conditions, Pensacola, Weather | 3 Comments

Noon 28 August 2012, and Isaac Becomes a Hurricane

We’ve had some squalls, wind and rain, but at noon the skies are blue with some clouds, the wind has dropped, and we decide to see how things look. Many are closed and boarded up, few are open. Our favorite lunch spot is open:

The sun is shining, but it is weird:

As we are eating, we learn that Isaac has now been declared a hurricane. We decide not to drive over the two bridges to the beach, but we take a look downtown and take the Bayshore Route home. The downtown marina is almost entirely empty:

The pelicans are enjoying a little surf:

Over on Bayou Texar, you can see that the water level is very high. The piers in the park have totally disappeared, and our favorite restaurant, the Oyster Barn, is underwater – oh NO!

This heron is happy to have the pier all to himself, until a local fisherman comes along and scares him away:

These people have temporarily lost their dock on the Bayou:

Now back home, the sun is hidden by the thickening clouds, rain falls in flurries and we can hear the wind whistling down our chimney. We are glued to our TV’s, keeping up with what is going on in New Orleans and Louisiana. It looks like the eye may be heading west of New Orleans, more toward New Iberia.

August 28, 2012 Posted by | Adventure, Beauty, Community, Cultural, ExPat Life, Hurricanes, Living Conditions, Local Lore, Pensacola, Weather | Leave a comment

Hurricane Preparations: Isaac

As we were out last night, we saw this gathering of trucks. They are not Gulf Power trucks, or at least they don’t say Gulf Power, but they sure look like trucks pre-positioned to take care of wind-driven electrical outaages. It’s very reassuring.

The weather is very warm – lows in the high 70’s, highs in the low 80’s – and the air is drenched with humidity. An electrical outage is hard on an Alaska girl like me, who hates stale warm air. It’s also hard because this weather is ideal for mosquito breeding, and mosquitos head my way when given any access. Let’s keep the electricity flowing and the air conditioning running!

August 28, 2012 Posted by | Adventure, Community, Hurricanes, Pensacola, Safety | 4 Comments

0800, 27 August Isaac Stalls

In Pensacola this morning, there is some wind, there are some half-hearted showers. So far, so good.

We continued our preparations yesterday, bringing in the plants, bird feeders, and assorted watering cans and my potting bench. I boiled water for our large Qatar coffee thermos, and filled the freezer with more water containers. I took some of the heavier things off the walls and cleared my desk of anything which could fly around, then, in a flurry of compulsive activity, polished the desktop, since it’s been a while since I have seen it empty.

Now . . . we wait.

Last week, I was telling a friend that we’ve been in Pensacola two years now, and I am starting to get edgy. We’ve moved so often, that at the two year point, I feel the need to start packing up. I find myself looking at houses online. At the very least, I think about moving the furniture around. (AdventureMan hates it when I move the furniture. He takes it personally. He thinks I am mad at him, LOL! No! I am just restless.)

We have been asking God’s mercy on the Gulf communities, and now New Orleans. If you have the eyes to see, the Weather Channel has been talking about the dry winds that have been disrupting Isaac’s efforts to organize into a full fledged hurricane. The storm in huge, but the center is disperse. They are saying that it will mean a lot of wind, a lot of rain and a surge in the water level. None of this is new to Pensacola, nor to most communities on the Gulf. God is merciful. We can weather this slow storm, God willing.

Here are some photos from last night, as clouds and rain move in. So far, no where near as threatening as the normal Pensacola heavy rains and thunderstorms.

August 28, 2012 Posted by | Adventure, ExPat Life, Hurricanes, Living Conditions, Pensacola, Satire, Weather | 2 Comments

Isaac Headed Away From Pensacola

Just another little shift, but the cone of probability now excludes Pensacola!

August 27, 2012 Posted by | Geography / Maps, Hurricanes, Pensacola, Weather | Leave a comment

5 M Sunday 26 Aug and Isaac Wobbles A Little More to the Left

. . . and straight into poor Louisiana, who surely needs no more hurricanes. Oh, poor Louisiana!

August 26, 2012 Posted by | Adventure, Hurricanes, Pensacola, Weather | Leave a comment

Tap Tap Whiiiiiinnnneee Screech in Pensacola

Pensacola is a Job kind of city, circumstances keep sending lethal blows and Pensacola keeps bouncing back, but not without pain. Already, we have had floods this year, record rains, and several of the places who were flooded, Waterfront Mission, Manna Food Pantry, Loaves and Fishes, etc. were charities on which the poorest of the poor, the jobless, the homeless and the transients, rely.

And now Isaac.

Sunday mornings, as in many towns in the South, the people go to church. The biggest churches are Baptist and then maybe Methodist. Then comes the rest of us, the Presbyterians, the Episcopalians, the Congregationalists, the Unitarians, the Mormons, so many different kinds of Christians!

We hit the early service, which, for one of the last Sundays in August, was relatively well attended. After church, while it was still relatively cool outside (in the 80’s F. not the 90’s F.) we put up our window shields and brought all our outside furnishings inside. Tomorrow we will bring the plants into the garage. Anything that can be picked up by a high wind can become a missile; we want to give the high winds as little ammunition as possible.

All aroound us we can hear the tap tap of hammers hammering in plywood slabs (those who were lucky enough to buy plywood early; rumor has it that there is no more plywood to be found) and the whiiiiinnnee of electric drills screwing window coverings on and the Sccrrreeeeech of window coverings being drawn closed. We are also exchanging phone numbers, so we can help one another if the worst happens, and we suffer a direct hit.

Today, Father Tim reminded us in the midst of all our self-absorption and survival-oriented errands that we are to be a blessing to others. I saw that happen when Hurricane Ivan hit Pensacola, and our son stayed. He met another fellow living nearby and they have become fast friends. Out of the worst circumstances, can come great blessings.

We trust God has this all in his hands. And we also continue our preparations against the coming of Isaac.

The newest 5 day forecast shows Isaac has wobbled to the West:

August 26, 2012 Posted by | Circle of Life and Death, Community, Cultural, ExPat Life, Hurricanes, Living Conditions, Local Lore, Pensacola | 4 Comments