Well, I am feeling a lot better, so got a lot accomplished today.  I got all 3 kids sceduled for their end-of-year testing, got the dog scheduled to be groomed (and not a moment too soon, I might add!), got ear candles for Faith (she’s been suffering from an earache, the candles seem to have helped some) got my checkbook balanced, look into an SAT Prep class for Kendall, renewed our membership to North Carolinians for Home Education. . . on and on!  And I still have a ton of stuff to do tomorrow, but I think I’m on a roll now, LOL!

I am finally going to order blinds for Alex’s and Kendall’s rooms and for their bathroom.  After three years of being here, I guess it’s way overdue.  At least Kendall tells me it is!  He seems to have developed some weird aversion to early morning sunlight.  Best I can tell, it’s hereditary, because I don’t care for it, either!

I am disappointed that I forgot about the scrapbooking class at the church tonight.  It totally slipped my mind!  But I’ve got the next one scheduled in my PDA, complete with alarm, so I should be good.

Took Kendall and his girlfriend to the concert Sunday night.  I wasn’t all that impressed, but they really enjoyed it.  I think I might have been happier about it if I hadn’t had to stand in the rain for almost an hour before we could get in, because they were running metal detectors over every single person who went in!  That was new to me.

Victoria managed to get ahold of some food coloring this morning while I was out with Faith, and she got it all over the carpet in the Great Room and Faith’s bedroom.  I haven’t gotten it all out yet, but I am determined, and I will!

Only about three more weeks until Michael moves out, and then Amber will be moving downstairs.  So, Faith and I are going to be going wallpaper shopping for her bedroom.  She is really looking forward to having her room back to herself, and we are going to really decorate it nicely for her.  We are going to paint Alex’s room, too, and re-do Kendall’s room.  Hopefully by the end of the year we will be able to get them all new bedroom furniture.  Kendall wants a futon, and Alex wants this bed-desk combo thing (it really does look very cool) and Faith wants a daybed.  One thing at a time!

Well, I’ve got a few other things to tend to tonight before I go to bed, so I guess I’ll close for now.  The weather was fantastic today, almost 70 degrees, and sunny!  I could really use more days like this!

A lot of people have emailed and asked who Amber and Victoria are.  Well, Amber is Gaylon’s niece, and Victoria is her one-year-old daughter.  They moved in with us right after Thanksgiving.  Amber is 25 years old, and she has two sons who live with her ex down in Florida.  One of the main reasons she moved out here from Midland, TX, was so she could be closer to her boys.

Our basement creature, Michael, is moving out on the 15th of March, and Amber will be moving in down there.  She and Victoria have been living in Faith’s room, and Faith has been bunking with Alex.  That was his idea.  I think he felt sorry for Faith having to share a room with a baby! LOL

And no, I’m no saint.  My favorite fantasty is that I will wake up some morning to find myself alone on a desserted tropical island. (One that is NOT in the Bahamas!!!!)  Amber is great with helping out with the housework, kids, buying groceries, etc.  And of course, it is really wonderful to have another member of the female species living in the house.  I was drowning in testosterone!  It just gets a little difficult to find private, quiet time for myself these days.

Anyway, I hope that explains who Amber and Victoria are!  We are all feeling better today, although I am still not up to speed yet.  I am hoping that I will feel well enough by tomorrow morning to make it to church. (I suspect they may not even recognize me, I’ve been home sick myself or tending to sick people for so long!)  I also promised to take Kendall and his girlfriend to a concert tomorrow night down in Greenville.  We bought the tickets over two months ago. . . hope we make it!

Well, I think that’s it for now.  Gaylon’s about to start grilling steaks, so dinner is imminent!

Amber is feeling better, but Victoria spent most of the day crying and demanding to be held.  And now, Lisa called me a little bit ago to tell me she was bringing Faith home, because Faith is sick now!  Faith has been doing great, and was thrilled to get to spend the day over at Anamarie’s house (where nobody is sick, and there are not any crying babies LOL) But about an hour ago she started coughing and that hurt, and she told Lisa her throat hurt really bad.  By the time Lisa got her home (and she got her here right away) she was running a 102.4 fever!  Poor little thing!

I am really desperate to start feeling better again.  Not just me, but ALL of us.  It’s really getting ridiculous.  Gaylon seems to be feeling a bit better, which is good, because he’s got lots of work to finish.

I am soooooo ready for summer time!  I need some warm weather and flowers!!!

Well, today is going to be very busy, and I didn’t get much sleep last night.  Coughing again.  The doctor did call in a Rx for me for Singulair, so that should help me breathe a lot better.  He also called in a Rx for Alexander for antibiotics, because it looks like Alex has strep throat.  *sigh* I just want everyone to be well again.

Amber wrecked her car yesterday.  She was really upset, but I think once she is not so sick, she will be able to look at things more objectively.  I guess our insurance will go up now.  If I hadn’t been so sick, I could have gotten her on her own insurance last week.  Then she probably wouldn’t have even had the wreck!!

I’ve gotta go in a few minutes to take Faith to the dentist.  One of her crowns came off a few days ago, and it’s really hurting her.  She has an appointment for a check-up next week, but this couldn’t wait.

Still working on the website, making great progress!  I am hoping to be mostly done with the main framework today, then I can play around with other ideas, like photo pages and stuff like that.  I’ve also thought about putting some of my poetry up, but not sure about that.

Amber and Victoria are sick again, and so is Alex now.  I am hoping it will all go away soon.  I have still been working on my website. . . always something new to learn!

Gaylon fell prey to an online web scam today.  He got an email saying there had been ‘unusual activity’ with our account at our bank, and it looked really legit, so he clicked the link and gave them his debit card account number and PIN!  Luckily, he told me right away what he had done, so I was able to call the bank within minutes and get them to freeze his debit card and issue a new one.  But it could have been really bad.  Sooo. . . beware!  These guys are tricky.

Anyway, I just wanted to write something.  Maybe someday someone will read this and be interested, LOL.

Also, a friend sent me an online quiz that I thought was sort of fun.  I scored 86% Southern.  Here is the link:  http://www.angelfire.com/ak2/intelligencerreport/yankee_dixie_quiz.html

Today most of us are still recovering from the flu, or some variation of it. Seems like we’ve all been sick forever. However, I’ve used the downtime to get my website up and running again. I still have quite a few things I’d like to add, but it’s at least at a point where I don’t mind letting folks know the web address now. . . LOL.

Gaylon and I have decided not to go out tonight for Valentine’s Day, since neither of us is feeling all that great yet, and Faith and Kendall are not really well, either. We’re thinking we’ll watch a movie and eat popcorn and just chill out. We rented “Little Black Book”. . . sounds like a good one for tonight.

This is my journal entry from when I was in the Bahamas with my father, who was undergoing alternative treatments for his lung cancer.  However, his brain cancer continued to grow, and he died October 23rd.

Saturday, Sept. 25th  1:48 pm – I am sitting here watching Jeanne roar through.  I thank God that it is daylight, so I can see what is going on – this would be beyond terrifying at night.  We lost power and water at 10:00 am (although we’d heard rumors that it would be cut off at 7:00 pm last night).  The phone has been sporadic, but Gaylon (my husband) called 2X, and Kendall (my son) called once.  I last spoke to Gaylon about an hour ago, and he said the eye was moving onto the east end of the island.  At 10:00 am it was on top of Great Abaco – so it’s moving pretty fast.  It had aslo intensified from a 106 mph Category 2 to a 115 mph Category 3 storm.  It’s moving 15 mph, due West.  It is blowing like nothing I’ve ever seen before, but I’m guessing it will get worse before it gets better.  I don’t know if the eye will hit us dead-on or not, but I hope not.  Best I can calculate, by 8 or 9 o’clock tonight we should be through the biggest and worst part of it.

There is a big blue tarp on the apartment building across from us, and miraculously it has not completely blown off – although I did see one piece break free and blow away.  I can also see, from my bedroom window, pieces of our roof blowing off.  So far, the sound of that tarp blowing around has been the most frightening sound.  Every now and then I hear a loud crash, and know something has blown into one of the buildings. (As I write, some of that tarp has blown off – I expect it to be completely gone in an hour).

I am not as terrfied as I thought I would be, the waiting was terrible!  However, as the wind intensifies, I may not feel so calm.  And it does keep getting worse, no doubt about it.  The fronds on the palm trees will occasionally blow straight up in the air – that is really freaky!

I can hear more things crashing around outside, so I can only guess the eye must be very near to us now.  Daddy has taken his hearing aids out and laid down for a nap.  He really can’t hear much, so that is a blessing for him.  I know that if we have any water start coming in, it will be totally up to me to deal with it.  he is still way too weak to be of any help at all, except moral support.  I am praying that nothing blows in through a window.  The wind just keeps getting stronger, even though that doesn’t seem possible.

I went to the store two days ago, and bought 11 gallons of water, so that’s a comfort to me.  I also bought lots of canned foods like soup, tuna and beans – should be enough to get us through.  They were 3 weeks without power after Frances – I just hope my sister can get in here Thursday, as scheduled, and that I can get out Friday.  Florida is next on Jeanne’s hit list, so I hope to God that Gaylon will be able to get down there to pick me up.  I am supposed to fly into Miami, but I’m sure that will be contingent on the damage sustained at both the Freeport airport and the Miami airport.  And of course, I don’t know what I-95 will be like if this thing moves up the Florida coast.  Today I will just try to not worry about anything but getting through this storm.

The wind is getting stronger still – I can’t begin to imagine a Category 4 or 5 storm!  I had hoped that writing would distract me enough, but as the wind keeps getting stronger and fiercer, it is harder and harder to concentrate on this journal.

We have the back sliding glass door open about 9 inchess, and the windows in my bedroom cracked, lest it become a sauna in here, but I may have to close them any minute. —-Well, I just closed the glass door – the gusts are getting to be terrifying!  I thank God again that it is daytime – I think this would be unbearable at night.  It is 2:25 pm now – and the rain and wind are so fierce I no longer have much visibility, & can hear lots more stuff crashing around outside. This building is built of cement, & we are on the 2nd floor, so we should be fairly protected from flooding and roof damage – but it is still completely terrifying – and the noise is getting worse.

My consolation at this point is that it will not last forever – I keep reminding myself that on Grand Abaco they are surely already done with it. (I just saw a huge piece of plywood fly across the courtyard!)  God is my strength & hope – I know that no matter how powerful this storm is – He is still more powerful & in control.

9:30 p.m. It has begun to seem to me that the wind will never quit howling – that the whole world is consumed by the monster fury of Jeanne.  I found out around 4pm what those crashing sounds were that I kept hearing:  windows exploding on the 3rd & 4th floors above us from the pressure!  Some time around 4pm, Larry (another cancer patient staying in these apts.) beat on our door to tell us they were rescuing people from our building.  Then I understood why the firetruck was here!

Around 3pm, I laid on my bed, exhausted, and dozed off, to be awakened by a horrendous crash, & I thought I felt the building shudder.  Then a HUGE piece of tar paper blew down from the roof, & caught on the power line.  Moments later, I thought I heard a helicopter, but knew that was impossible in such fierce winds.  It turned out to be a firetruck.

Apparently, part of the roof had blown off of our bldg.  Not a few shingles, mind you – the whole freaking roof!  Then I understood what that white stuff was I’d been seeing blowing around – pieces of ceiling and wall!  It was sheet rock!  The police were here, & firemen, & a man in camo, who I assumed was military.  Anyone who wanted to leave, could.  A very nice man named Nathan, who lives here, came in & checked our windows to see if they had too much pressure, & if they were in danger of exploding.  He said we were probably safe here, so we stayed.  Daddy really didn’t want to leave.  Nathan said that the worst of the storm was yet to come, & that it wasn’t supposed to blow out until around midnight.  And it did indeed get much worse – and I hadn’t thought it was possible!  It was terrifying beyond my ability to describe.  It does seem to be abating, although there are still a lot of fierce gusts, and the howling never completely lets up.  I am waiting for midnight, and praying to God that the worst will have passed by then.

We have a lot of water on the balcony, and a ton has come under the front door.  I lost count of how many buckets I filled, & my hands ache from wringing out towels.  It has gotten very muggy – and I sure as hell don’t look as fresh as Lauren Bacall did in "Key Largo"!

Daddy has taken a Melatonin, removed his hearing aids and gone to bed.  I am waiting for midnight.  The phone has been out since around 2pm – and I’ve used the water in the bucket to flush the toilet.  I have my headphones ready – and my flashlight.  I am using a Coleman lantern to write by.

All I know for sure is that I desperately want the wind to stop.  If this thing has kept up its speed of 14 mph, it should have travelled at least 180 miles since 10:00 a.m. this morning, so surely it is almost gone now!  So, by my best calculations (with the storm being 310 miles in diameter – according to the news before the power went out) there really should only be a couple of hours left, and it is now about 10:00 p.m.  Twelve hours since the power went out – undoubtedly the longest day of my life.

Daddy has remained very calm- he is convinced God will take care of us.  I believe that, too, but it is still terrifying.  It is totally dark now – so I can’t see what’s flying around out there making all the crashing sounds.  So I must trust in God!  Or go crazy.

Daddy and I have had wonderful fellowship today – and that has been great – it really helped to keep me calm, too.  But now, again, I am alone, and that is not good for me.  I pray the power will come back on soon, but I doubt that I will happen before I leave on Friday.  I definitely shoould have told my sister to come first! LOL 

I won’t feel safe, though, until the wind quits blowing – I worry that something will come flying through one of the windows.  Which is why I am afraid to sleep yet.  I read in the Bible last night the verse where Jesus said "Who of you, by worrying, can add one minute to his life?"  I know that’s true, and I know that if it is "my time" it won’t matter where I am or what I’m doing.  God is still God, & He is in control.  I must trust Him!

I am going to lay on the couch, and wait for midnight.

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