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We're staying for Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma prep for our back porch

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Today I spent hours cutting up 6'-by-8' wooden fences to make them fit and then set them up to cover the 4' tall windows on our back porch; with the wind expected to hit our house from that direction, those single-paned windows were the house's main structural weakness. Meanwhile Jen and the kids got a bunch of things ready indoors.
It's also worth noting that we have a cement brick house with almost all of the main windows rated to be able to cope with hurricane-force winds. Oh, and the roof was replaced this past March. So the house is in good shape.


With (Hurricane) Irma threatening a visit, we were looking all week trying to work out what to do. Should we bail at the first sign of it heading inland, or just hold on and wait through it?
We decided to wait until this evening if we were going to bail; with South Florida doing an official evacuation I was already hearing on Tuesday from coworkers in Atlanta that hotels were filling up. By the time we decided a hotel room might be worthwhile the closest we could find to accept us (with our pets) was in Virginia, 750 miles away; this would be 750 miles of bumper-to-bumper traffic which would balloon its normal 12 hour drive into 20 or 24 hours. At night. With two adults, three kids, three cats and a dog. This meant just running to a hotel wasn't such an easy decision.
Anyway, on Thursday evening the 5pm weather update suggested 90mph winds with gusts to 115mph because the eye was estimated to walk right over us. This obviously scared us quite a bit. But we didn't want to panic, especially when the alternative was the possible 24 hour, 750 mile drive.
The 11pm weather update had the storm starting to move west, which would save us from the full strength of the storm, and then this morning (Friday) the estimates put the eye fifty-ish miles west, leaving us with bare tropical storm winds.
So we're staying. We have a load of supplies, a BBQ grill to cook food if we loose power (which we expect to) and plenty of water. And a bunch of books to read. We'll be fine.

Three positive things, day sixty three

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Back on a normal schedule again, today was the first work day of my week, and Tuesday.

The first positive thing was something that happened with #awewsomewife when she took Aidan to his apple-picking job. There were so many apples on the ground that she went from walking around with Kian to helping Aidan pick apples. She also asked Kian to help, and he'd walk around, see an apple and then say "apple - peekabo, I found you!" I wish I could have seen it, but it was quite the story :)

The second positive thing was Liam and Kian doing their "I'm Batman!" / "I'm Groo!" duet at lunchtime - it helped perk the day's mood up a bit.

The third positive thing was.. being Tuesday - my ukulele class of course :) Tonight we focused a little bit on some tunes that the instructor's hoping to have us join him in playing at a local community event ran by a local church this weekend; I'm not sure we'll be going, but it was good practice.

Three positive things, day sixty two

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Today was Labor Day, a Federal holiday in the US.

The first positive thing was going for a hike with the whole family. While I wrote about it earlier, I didn't mention the funniest thing that happened. At one point, about 1/3rd of the way up the hill, we arrived at a pond and took a break to look at the fish & skip some stones. Liam threw a small rock into the lake, because he doesn't quite know how to skip stones yet, when out of nowhere a black labrador came running over and jumped into the pond right in front of us, splashing water all over us! The dog's human came over and was very apologetic, but we just had to laugh, it was too funny :) I only got splashed a little bit, and Kian was on my back so wasn't splashed at all, but the other three did get a good splashing. Thankfully it was a fairly warm day so everyone dried off after an hour or two.

The second thing was going to a petting zoo / farm just down the road from the hill we hiked, and seeing the largest bovine I'd ever seen. This guy, named Carlos, stood six foot tall at his back - the same height as me! I asked a worker there how heavy he was, and he explained that he was over 2,500 lbs - they used a measuring tape and a formula to guess his weight, but he'd gotten so large that the tape was about 2 - 2 1/2 feet too short to go around him anymore! He was huge and amazing. He'd stick his head out through the gap / window in the wall and rub his head against the side by way of asking for some hay, so I had to oblige :) There were a bunch of other animals there, including an incredibly friendly smaller cow, and we all had a lovely time.

The third positive thing was finally catching up on posting my Three Positive Things for the past week, and uploading some photos from our adventures today :)

Three positive things, day sixty one (catching up)

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(posting a day late)

After the busy Saturday we had a quieter Sunday.

The first positive thing was having a cup of Starbucks for the first time in... ages. And it was their Pumpkin Spice Latte. And it was definitely better than previous years - not as sickeningly sweet, so thanks for the improvement, Starbucks.

The second positive thing was having #awesomewife's homemade pizza for lunch. It doesn't take too long to put together, especially when using pre-made dough, and being able to control the sauce (home made, from the last time she made a pot of spaghetti sauce) & toppings lets us make it exactly the way we want. And this one was delicious.

The third positive thing was watching the movie Home with our kids. Their mom had taken them to see it when it first came out, so it was nice to watch with them. It's a fun movie.

Three positive things, day sixty (catching up)

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(posting a few days late)

Le weekend!

The first positive thing today was .. hitting the beach! As with last weekend, we decided to head to the coast, so we drove the 2 1/2 hours to just inside the Maine border. We took a bit more precaution this time than last, so there weren't any sunburns, and we had some good fun.

The second positive thing was sharing a blueberry muffin with Kian while the rest had some extra time at the beach. By the time we decided how to unload the gang to get to the beach we had two problems - all of the parking spots everywhere were full, and Kian was asleep. So I dropped the three others off at a nearby parking lot, and took Kian to another parking lot just over a mile down the road so he could nap. As these things happen, he woke up just as we were pulling out of the parking lot, so I headed off anyway and hung around for an hour, including stopping off at a small chocolatier 'n bakery for said muffin to share with Kian. Then I bundled him up in the stroller and headed off to join the others.

The third positive thing was keeping the kids awake on the drive home so that they'd all sleep well - it took a bit of coaxing, as Kian really wanted to fall asleep, but we made it. And, oh goodness, but did Kodiak need to go potty when we got home :-)

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