Sunday, September 3, 2017


We went to the farm yesterday to check things out.  Two roads still impassable but it's just high water not any raging torrent, and it's slowly receding so that's good news.

Trees were all leaning over.  Sigh. So I pulled them (gently) back upright and tied them to stakes until we can do something more permanent. They all survived, so good news there.  The citrus trees (forgot to get a picture) have really done well and we might even have some fruit soon.  

Needless to say, I didn't have to water.  

Same can't be said for the lantana.  Sigh.  We were so happy they were doing well.  I guess they truly were over watered, it could even be that at some point the flowerbeds were completely submerged.  Of course, just off to the side you can see one of the pentas and they are just as happy as can be. Go figure. We just hope the lantana will bounce back as there are a few green leaves on all of them, and the big one looked fine. Hope springs eternal. 

The barn was fine and dry inside. The mower shed was dry but it looks like some water started coming in at some point.  It appears to be a leak around the door as opposed to flooding.  They both sit on the highest side of the yard.  I saw a slight gap in the door when I closed it so I need to work on that.  Hasn't been a problem with our other rains the last couple of years so it is possible it was just this extraordinary event.

I wish this photo could convey what was there.  Besides the grass needing to be mowed (hoping to do that tomorrow), there were mosquitoes.


You stepped in the grass and they swarmed up like clouds of smoke.  It was like a movie where mosquitoes are out to drain the blood of all mankind, ha. "J" from 2nd Family said night was so horrendous with mosquitoes, you can't even go outside. 

Speaking of 2nd Family, they are fine.  They said the water got high in their yard (it all runs from our end of the property toward theirs and the road beyond) but they were never in danger of flooding.  Of course, ALL the roads around the farm were cut off for days but they were stocked with supplies.  Another reason we will need to be prepared out there in the future! 

We're still trying to decide if we want flood insurance at the farm.  It's outside the 500 year flood zone.  Now they say this is a 1000 year flood event.  Seems like every few years we had two or three once in 100 year floods, then they call them a once if a 500 year flood.  Then we have one or two of those over a few years and then they call it a 1000 year flood. 

Things are definitely changing...

The storage unit had a bit of water on the backside.  Our unit has a roll up door on each end, it's an interior unit in a building, climate controlled.  They did not have ground flooding (though the flooding from one of the reservoirs was only about half a mile away, if that).  This was, instead, from a roof leak.  The wind and 40-50 inches of rain for several days was just more than the building could handle. A reason we need to do something with all the stuff in storage before NEXT hurricane season.   

This was the extent for us there, we put down a few towels and soaked up whatever was left. Very minor.  

We are experiencing what many in the Houston area odd sense of survivors guilt. We don't have damage, we didn't lose our cars or other property. It's a weird feeling.  I saw this online, not sure who wrote it as it is making the rounds everywhere locally, but it kind of sums things up:

If you are in Houston or an area affected by Harvey, even if you are "OK", you are likely not OK.  Your nervous system is likely shot from anticipating your house would flood - even if you ended up being lucky and it didn't.  Your sleep has likely been spotty, fitful and interrupted by hyper-vigilance.  The 24/7 nature of the news has caused you to have spent days and nights worried sick not just about your safety, but the safety of your friends and family.  If you did flood and managed to evacuate, you are in a house that is not your own, wondering when and if you can ever return to your home. You likely have encountered days of eating things you are not accustomed to, trapped between four walls that you feel could be invaded by water at any time.  You may have been in more constant conflict with loved ones, due to heightened anxiety.  If your home is intact, you may feel forced to say "great, I am lucky" because you are, in many respects, but please remember that we all have gone through a collective traumatic experience. Your body, nervous system, spirit and heart are likely a kind of tired and overwhelmed that is different - and that is to be expected.  You are not alone.  You are OK and you are not OK.  Both things are true.  It's OK to seek help.  We are indeed all in this together. #houstonstrong


  1. I'm very happy to hear that you are all safe and your farm is not too much worse for the weather, what an appropriate saying huh? As the climate worsens...maybe the cost of flood insurance will bring nothing else but peace of mind?

  2. Good to hear that the farm is okay. A person wouldn't wish this flooding disaster on anyone.

  3. Funny hearing an insurance man pondering the necessity of insurance, but, then again, perhaps that's the perfect person to do so. The written piece really finds the heart of the situation and I could see how it would provide comfort.

  4. Glad that your damage was minimal, with an aching heart for those who lost everything. That is a beautifully expressed piece on survivor guilt.

  5. So happy you had such minimal damage. Putting a mild plug in right now. If anyone wants to donate to the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, every dollar donated through UMCOR goes directly to relief and rebuilding. Several people from my church are already signed up with them to begin helping with cleanup and many more will help with repair and construction

  6. good to hear! I think I would go for the flood insurance.

  7. 17 refugees from Houston to here wound up in the hospital due to CO2 (Carbon Monoxide ) Shelter had a misaligned vent pipe and no CO2 detector. PLEASE everyone get one or six for your home/garage.. They (CO2 detector) are both cheap and priceless!

    1. Peg is right. Home Depot and Lowes sells them and they are battery operated. We hung our 2 with the 3 m hooks that have strips that do not leave marks on the walls. Took less than 5 minutes to put up.

  8. You must have gotten some pretty strong winds at the Farm to have your fruit trees leaning like that. Their deeper roots are still developing, but they should recover fine. I think your lantanas will recover also, especially with those green leaves - they are quite hardy. I’m so glad that the damage you received was minor. And that 2nd Family is alright also.
    Yes, we have an absolute plague of mosquitoes now - an added misery.

    I’m not in the flood plain either but after a 17” rain here about a decade ago where the water came up about 1/3 into my yard (but not into my house), I became concerned and got flood insurance. I got 15” of rain during this storm - if I would have gotten 50 inches like Houston, there would have been water in my house. I can’t afford to start all over. The climate is definitely changing, so I think that flood insurance is a wise investment.

    The survivor’s-guilt written piece was an excellent summation. My heart breaks for all those who lost so much. Donating to some of the reputable funds helps me to feel that I am helping in some small way.

  9. go to the pet store and get wondercide.
    it is cedar oil so don't breathe it. you may be sensitive.
    kills bugs.
    we put it on bare arms and legs when walking. daughter had only one mosquito bite last year because it kills them when they touch it.
    as you have to mow it will save you agony and maybe disease.
    west nile virus was found here, n e ohio, so spraying was done at a school near ponds which were also sprayed.

  10. I'm glad there was no serious damage. I try to keep supplies on hand, just because the weather is unpredictable.

  11. A smear of Vicks Vaporub will keep mosquitoes at bay. I would rather smell like Vicks salve than scratch mosquito bites.

    I felt horrible as I watched too many hours or horror in floods. Remember, if you had no problems, you are in a position to donate anything because you have something. My friends yelled at me and refused to talk to me when I had electricity and was warm during the 1993 storm. I thought that very unfair as I just happened to live near municipal buildings and hospital, Red Cross, and all sorts of places that will never be long without power. For a week my friends froze. Well, one friend talked to me for hours. He wanted me to put the phone in front of the tv so he could hear news....for hours. I am donating school supplies to this relief effort.

  12. Now Hurricane Irma may impact us. Keeping fingers crossed that it doesn't and saying prayers. Glad your farm came up reasonably ok.

  13. we are so happy that you all are safe, 2nd Family included. it was harrowing to see the destruction all around and we were very glad for your updates. thank both of you for doing your part and volunteering. and i just read your post about all of the different groups that are helping.

    we are sending love and prayers to you both, as well as to all of the people who were affected by hurricane harvey!

    your friends,
    kymber and jambaloney

  14. Looks like all you would need for your shed doors is weather stripping put on. We have weather stripping on my new shed as well as hubby's shed. All you need to do is decide what thickness you will need to go around the inside of your door frame. On my door frame, one side took thicker thickness than the other side.

    1. Oh, the Best mosquitoe spray that I have found is Repel -Sportsmen MAX; 40% Deet; comes in green spray can and is normally found in sporting goods dept.

  15. It looks as if you've come out of this disaster pretty well, but I understand that it's been traumatic for everyone. What will the next storm bring? I bet everyone affected in any way by Harvey is emotionally exhausted.



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