Monday, September 29, 2008


Ok, so the flood waters have receded...we're just within inches of havin a bit of beach back. The main road is completely open, as of today. We're runnin on our own water pump and we have hot water back. We didn't have anything that could be considered "major" damage to the house or our possessions. Da Zigster spent most of the weekend cleanin up/throwin away the few things that were soaked in the nasty water. And it rained this morning, washin away most of the gray, dried sludge that was stuck on...well...everything.

The only inconvenience left is that we still hafta boil any water we use for drinkin, as the well might be contaminated. I'll do the test today and mail it in, but it can take 10 days to get the results.

In other words, in less than two weeks, things are pretty much back to normal here at the River Rat Retreat.

So why are the Zigster and I still in a funk? Both of us are complainin if it. Neither of us feels really good. We're both tired and just...draggy. Not that either of us are whatcha might call balls of fire to begin with, but now...we're more like...a match lit on a windy day, maybe.

Last night, he laughingly suggested that maybe we might have stress disorder. I laughed, too. But then I got to thinkin maybe he's right.

Granted, our situation was really nothing compared to somethin like...oh...the hurricaine victims, fer example. Or what our brave soldiers are going through in the Middle East. And I feel a little ashamed about even comparin those situations. But, for us, I guess it was stressful. Way more stress than we're used to, anyway.

And I guess stress is subjective, isn't it? What might stress one person out is merely routine for another.

I didn't feel that stressed while it was happening. Well, except for that Thursday, when I thought we might be in big trouble. In fact, for most of the time, I felt like it was a bit of an adventure.

But I guess havin your home...the place that you love...the place where you feel safe and secure...the place where so much of you is...threatened is stressful.

I'll tell ya, though. I'll be glad when this little trip to Funkytown is over.


Friday, September 26, 2008

I'm in hot water, now

Literally. YAHOOO!

The plumbers brought the hot water heater back today and installed it.

Ya's a little thing....miniscule really, in the greater scheme of things. But damn! I can't even begin to tell ya how much I missed bein able to turn on the faucet and...presto! water.

We still hafta boil any water we use for drinkin until we get the well tested next week. But hey...dat ain't no biggie. At least I can have a nice hot shower...or a nice hot bubble bath...or wash my face....hell, even wash my dishes.

Ooooo...and to wash my warm the shower.

Yea. Life's good.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I'm such a dork

I love sunglasses.

Unfortunately, I can no longer wear contacts, so I hafta wear glasses all the time. I've tried prescription sunglasses, but it's a pain in the ass to keep switchin back and forth. My script is also a tough one, and "tough" translates as "expensive", so I can't feed my cheap fashion sunglasses jones. I finally found some clip-ons that fit my glasses reasonably well, but they can be a pain, too...especially if you're tryin to drive and clip 'em on at the same time. They're also really easy to lose.

I'd seen the ad on TV for those
  • wrap around sunglasses
  • ...they fit right over your regular glasses. Sounded like a good idea, but I thought they kinda looked like those cataract sunglasses that the old farts in Boca wear.

    I ain't quite there. Yet.

    So, the other day, I was in Walgreen's and stumbled on somethin similar. Except these looked a bit more....ah...fashionable. And they fit over my glasses without makin me look too much like Grandma Berniece from Boca.
    So I snagged 'em.

    Me, being me, decided that they could do with a little more...bling, so I visited my friendly craft store and found some rhinestone stickers. They're meant to be used on scrapbook pages, but what the hell? Who made that a rule?

    Whatta ya think? Are they me?

    High, dry and stinky

    Well, almost dry, anyway.

    Quite a contrast, eh?





    Once the river crested on Saturday, the 20th, it started droppin. Fast. Well, it seemed fast, anyway. Faster that we expected. We're still an "island", so to speak...can't drive in yet. And the yard, while lookin relatively dry, is actually pretty...squishy.

    I waded out yesterday morning to go back to work and the water, at it's deepest point, still hit me...oh...upper thigh, I guess. Dangerously close to the crotchal area, in fact. Wasn't sure I'd make it without gettin some of my girly parts wet. And cold? Whooooo! I drove all the way to work with the car heater on "high". But wadin back in last night at about 5, the highest was right about knee level. I reckon we'll be able to drive back in along about this weekend. I'm hopin we'll be able to get the hot water heater back in this weekend, too.

    I was suprised...the yard really doesn't look bad. Not a lotta...crap...left behind. Ya know? Logs and other junk that gets swept up in floods. And I'm thinkin that ole stinky river mud/sludge makes for some fine fertilizer. Hell, if the weather stays warm, I bet we'll have some dandy tomatoes, yet.

    It's definitely been a learning experience. We learned that, if ya live along the river, a boat of some description isn't just a's a necessity. And the river-worthy inflatable was just the thing. We've longed for a pontoon ever since we've lived here. It'd still be nice to have one, but frankly, it wouldn't have done us a damn bitta good this past week. Oh, and we now have a little paddle boat, too. One of our other neighbors dragged it over yesterday and asked Zig if he wanted to buy it. So we're set for next time as far as flood transportation is concerned.

    We also learned that if the river ever does crest at Henry at 32 feet, like they first predicted...we're screwed. That woulda put probably close to a foot of water in the house. As it was, we had about 2 inches to go before it got in.

    Yea, it's been a learning experience, and I'm glad for it. I just don't wanna do it again any time soon.

    Da Zigster just got the cars in! Wheeeeee!

    Monday, September 22, 2008

    How to take a cold shower

    Take a deep breath...and just do it. Very, very fast.

    So, we've been without hot water for nearly a week now. Hell, we wouldn't have had any water at all, if not for the quick thinkin of Da Zigster. Last Wednesday, before the water got too high, he ran a hose from our neighbor's outside spigot to our outside spigot. When the water got high enough that it kicked out our water pump, he just turned both on. Voila! The water came from our neighbor's spigot, filled all our pipes and...ta da! We had water.

    I have a humongous lobster pot and a big dutch oven we've been boilin water in for drinkin, dishes and baths, so it's not been a big deal, really. Everything just takes a little longer. But I did miss my shower. Bad. Just didn't feel really clean takin a bath, ya know? So this morning, I decided I'd take one, come hell or high water. heh (Pun intended.)

    I heated some water and washed my hair in the sink, first. Whatta pain in the ass. My hair's so thick that it takes gallons to get it wet and then rinse it.
    But I got'er done.

    Then I decided if I was gonna have a shower, I'd it and get it over with.


    I bet it didn't take me 2 minutes, start to finish. Gawd damn was that water cold. But I do feel cleaner.

    Thankfully, the lack of hot water has really been the biggest problem we've had. We've been soooo lucky. Waaay luckier than some of our neighbors...I don't know 'em , but bless their hearts. They hadda move out completely and their house had probably a couple feet of water in it.

    We've been lucky, too, because we haven't had any rain...and none is predicted for another week. And we haven't had any wind to speak of. If it'd have been really windy, we definitely woulda had the river in the house.

    We probably won't have hot water for...oh...I dunno...I'm bettin at least another week. But the river's dropped like a rock today...probably more'n a foot. We'll still hafta wade/boat out for another couple of days, but it looks like the worst is over. The basement'll be a mess, of course...and the back door landing. But we didn't have anything at all stored in the basement, so basically, it'll be just hosin it out good after the water gets all pumped out. Oh, and we'll hafta do somethin about the smell. It's startin to get pretty mildew-y smellin.

    Yea, it's been a pain in the ass. But ya know what? We still love it here.

    If a major inconvenience like this every few years is the cost of livin on the river...we'll take that chance. The good times here have far and away paid for the bad. I don't wanna live anywhere else.

    Sunday, September 21, 2008

    The "beach" tree

    Kinda a cool comparison, I thought. The last one, taken yesterday evening, was actually after the water had come down abour 3-4 inches. At it's highest point, that trimmed stub there on the right was almost covered.

    9/16 - 8 pm

    9/17 - 11 am

    9/17 - 2 pm

    9/17 - 7 pm

    9/21 - 7pm

    Those damned cats

    Simon has chosen...of all places...the bathroom sink as a favorite napping spot. Screwball.

    He's such a good helper. He helps me dust. He helps me make the bed. He helps me sweep the kitchen. And he loooves to help Ziggy with those pesky little home maintenance projects.

    Yea...I know. We first named him "Rudy". But it just didn't seem to fit him, so I changed it. Because he looks...and Simon's cat.

    Because I'm sick of "flood blogging"

    I'm sure you are, too.

    1.My uncle once: belonged to a nudist colony and drove a 1964 pink Cadillac with HUGE tailfins.

    2.Never in my life: will I skydive.

    3.When I was five: my parents took me to a zoo. I was wearing a red shirt and a buffalo charged me, hit the fence and startled me so bad I fell down.

    4.High school was: the funnest time in my life.

    5.I will never forget: my wedding day. The...uh...third one.

    6.Once I met: Todd Rundgren, up close and personal. Well really, he ran into me (literally) at a downtown St. Louis hotel.

    7.There’s this girl I know: who won't eat spaghetti or cheesecake, but loves beef tongue.

    8.Once, at a bar: my ex husband and I did the nasty on the beer cooler. Hey...the bar was closed.

    9.By noon, I’m usually: ready for lunch...or a nap...or both.

    10.Last night: I fished off the deck and made cookies.

    11.If only I had: a million bucks.

    12.Next time I go to church: it'll probably spontaneously combust.

    13.What worries me most: is centipedes in my bed.

    14.When I turn my head left I see: the wall with a shelf and a Chat Noir poster.

    15.When I turn my head right I see: the living room.

    16.You know I’m lying when: oh, mon won't know.

    17.What I miss most about the Eighties is: absolutely fuckin nothin. The Eighties had no redeeming qualities, whatsoever. The music sucked. Styles sucked. The economy sucked. It was sucky.

    18.If I were a character in Shakespeare I’d be: Audrey in As You Like It.

    19.By this time next year: I'll be another year older.

    20.A better name for me would be: Countess Aerola Fritattapopolous.

    21.I have a hard time understanding: why people argue about religion or politics. There's never been a "right" answer to either subject...and there never will be.

    22.If I ever go back to school: I'd become a sex therapist. Or a veterinarian.

    23.You know I like you if: you're not a pompous ass, you don't brag about all your posessions and you're not a whiner.

    24.If I ever won an award, the first person I would thank would be: the person bestowing the award.

    25.Take my advice: never, ever stick your fingers in a meat grinder. Not that I've ever done it. It just doesn't sound like a fun thing to do.

    26.My ideal breakfast is: eggs, sausage links, hash browns, grits with salt, pepper and butter and biscuits and gravy. Burp!

    27.A song I love but do not have is: I have all the songs I love. Because I love 'em.

    28.If you visit my hometown, I suggest you: drive a big, ole four-wheel drive truck with loud mufflers and a "piss on Ford/Chevy" sticker in the winder and a cooler fulla beer in the bed, know where the best huntin/fishin spots are, getcher hair cut in a mullet and become a NASCAR fan. You'll blend right in with the locals.

    29.Why won’t people: stop walkin and drivin around with a cell phone stuck to the side of their head? Why in the hell does anyone wanna be that accessible, 24/7? And I'll letcha in on a little secret. It doesn't make ya look important.

    30.If you spend a night at my house: you'll never wanna go home.

    31.I’d stop my wedding so: I could start it all over again. It was the funnest wedding I've ever been to. Or in. heh

    32.The world could do without: rap music, spiders and diarrhea.

    33.I’d rather lick the belly of a cockroach than: lick the belly of Michael Moore.

    34.My favorite blonde(s) is/are: me.

    35.Paper clips are more useful than: nose boogers.

    36.If I do anything well it’s: procrastinate.

    37.I can’t help but: lovin dat man o'mine.

    38.I usually cry: when I have an orgasm. Scared the shit outa Ziggy the first time. heh

    39.My advice to my child/nephew/niece: don't sweat the small shit.

    40.And by the way: I once drove a pickup truck and pulled a U-haul right through downtown rush hour...while smokin a cigarette, drinkin coffee and fuckin wit' da radio. The ex husband was cowering in the passenger seat, hiding his eyes with his hands. Pussy.

    Swiped from
  • House of Zathras
  • .

    Saturday, September 20, 2008

    The view from the other side

    Made a supply run today. I wish we'd had a video cam of me gettin into the boat. Oh. My. Gawd. I was laughin so hard I almost peed my pants.

    So yesterday, Da Zigster waded up to the car, went into town and came home with an 11' Seahawk raft. It's just the thing for gettin around the 'hood and back and forth to the cars. But after rowin it back and forth a couple times, he decided he really needed a trollin motor. I needed some things from the grocery store, so he donned his chest waders, I wallered my way into the boat, and he hauled my ass up to the cars.

    Which, if I'd had an umbrella and a fruity drink, woulda been just alright...

    Here's the view lookin East, towards the river and our house.

    Just call me "Cleopatra"...hehe

    Our street.

    Our little blue house.

    Aaaanywho, we got back to the house, got the "SS Minnow" (hehe) unloaded and Da Zigster got the trollin motor rigged and fired 'er up.

    As I was watchin him putt-putt-putt around the front yard, I noticed this buncha

    "misery gawkers" out on the closed to all recreational vehicles river. Anybody know these assholes?

    I'll skip the double entendres and sexual metaphors


    We lost an inch!

    Of water, that is.

    The river crested sometime late yesterday afternoon and it's on it's way down.

    As if all the worry and inconvenience wasn't enough, the rising water has had another, decidedly unpleasant side effect. Ever thought about where all the creepie crawlies go during a flood? Ya know? Those icky things that crawl around on the ground and usually only come out in the night?

    Well, I'll tell ya...they seek higher, drier ground.

    I went to bed last night at about 11. Da Zigster, having injured himself whilst doing some flood management, was asleep in the recliner, heating pad wrapped firmly around his left arm. So I left him there.

    Somewhere around 12:30, I was shocked out of a sound sleep by the feel of somethin crawlin on my face. Not sure if I was dreamin or not, I thought it was just a stray strand of hair. I brushed it aside, rolled over and headed back into slumberland.

    A few minutes later, I was most assured it wasn't a dream when I felt that same....something...crawl across my chest.

    Holy fuckin shit!!

    I bolted upright, slappin furiously at my chest and leaped outa bed. (Not a pretty sight, I assure you.) I switched on the bedside light just in time to see a fuckin shiny, black two inch long centipede!! scurry across my side of the bed, down the side of the mattress and disappear...somewhere.

    As I stood there, eyeballs buggin outa my head, I noticed a burning itch (no snarky comments, please) on my left forearm.

    Did you know centipedes bite? Oh, sure...the great big African bastards that ya see on the Discovery Channel. But their smaller cousins? They do.

    Thankfully, it didn't seem to be really poisonous. It just swelled a little and burned/itched like hell for a few minutes. Today, you can barely see it.

    Needless to say, there I was, strippin the bed at 1 am, tryin to find that sneaky bastard, but I never did. I tried to go back to sleep, but it was useless. Every time I'd feel anything, I was sure it was him...back to kill me in my sleep. I finally got back up and was up until 5:30 or so.

    By that time, I didn't much care if a fuckin snake was in bed with me. Hell, I've had snakes in bed with me before. (Ok, so I hadda sneak one double entendre in there.) heh

    Just as long as he stayed on his own side of the bed.

    Friday, September 19, 2008

    This seems appropriate...

    ...considering our present circumstances. heh

    My pirate name is:

    Red Mary Flint

    Passion is a big part of your life, which makes sense for a pirate. Like the rock flint, you're hard and sharp. But, also like flint, you're easily chipped, and sparky. Arr!

    Get your own pirate name from
    part of the network

    Cabin fever

    Da Zigster's on his way into town to buy a boat. heh Actually, it's a big-ass inflatable raft that'll hold a trollin motor. He could barely get out today wearin his chest waders, so if the water comes up any more (gawd forbid!) he won't make it at all. I'm so short, I couldn't get out even if I did have chest waders. Though the neighbors have been great, offering to take us out, it's just not the same as bein able to go when you want or need to. And we're gonna need more supplies along about tomorrow.

    I'm sure our escapades in a rubber raft will be great blog fodder, too. heh

    Thankfully, the river's supposed to crest later today. It only took it about three days to get this high, but it's gonna take it a lot longer to go down.

    Zig checks out the neighborhood.

    Da Zigster in our front yard this morning.

    Me & Stewie, watchin the water.

    Think they'll deliver the PJStar today?

    Floatin picnic table...lends a whole, new meaning to the phrase "a movable feast", huh?

    Some of the neighbors, boatin in last night (9/18)

    Thursday, September 18, 2008

    When life gives ya lemons...

    ...go fishin! heh
    I did, indeed, fish right from our deck today. Didn't catch a thing, but there's definitely fish in the yard...the water's about 3 feet deep.

    Gotta admit...I got a little panicked this morning when I saw how much it'd raised overnight. I rushed around here, packin clothes and necessities. Started pilin stuff I didn't want ruined on the spare bed. I finally calmed down when they revised the crest forecast down...even though it's just about 2-3 inches, that'll keep it from gettin in the main floor of the house. We hope.

    This is the front of the house. There are 4 steps up to the deck...the first two are covered.

    Zig wades through the yard to check on the neighbor's house.

    Our other neighbor, takin her dog, Harley, for a potty break.

    Lazy gulls, hitchin a ride.

    Ya know, this could have been so much worse. It really has been kind of an adventure. The only real inconvenience...besides not being able to get in the car and go using cold water to wash my hair with. Let's just say it was...refreshing.

    We might be in trouble

    When I got up this morning, I discovered that our water pump is no longer working. The plumbers took out the hot water heater yesterday morning, but said the water pump should be high enough. Evidently they were wrong. Thankfully, da Zigster thought ahead yesterday and ran a garden hose from our neighbors, just in case. Bless him wittle heart.
    We now have about a foot of water in the yard and I could fish from the deck.
    That's the good news.

    The bad news, is that the water's s'posed to raise another 18 inches. That means that we'll no longer be able to wade out...we'll hafta boat. And we don't have a boat. The neighbors do, so that isn't really a worry. But it also means that it'll come dangerously close to the main floor of the house. Dangerously. As in fractions of an inch.

    The question of us movin stuff up is no longer an issue. We'll hafta, just to be safe. I imagine we'll also be busy packin up the important things and makin arrangements to stay somewhere, board the cats (oooo, I don't even wanna think about tryin to take them out in a boat) and doin a helluva lotta finger crossin.

    We wanna stay just as long as we possibly can, of course. But we hafta plan for the alternative.

    About 4 pm yesterday (9/17)

    About 7 pm last night (9/17)

    At about 9 am this morning (9/18)

    Wednesday, September 17, 2008

    Wired, but not wet...yet

    It's after 10:30 and it's been a long...loooong ass day. I'm not really nervous or upset about the flooding. Hell...whattaya gonna do? I'm exhausted, but I'm...wired. Earler, I'd pace from the front yard to the back, watchin the water slowly rise from both directions. Now that it's dark, I'm pacin from the front door to the back, out on the deck (where I really can't see much of anything) and back again. I'll sit down, but jump up again in 2 minutes, just...pacin around.

    I'll admit...I'm gettin a little concerned. The basement's already more'n half full. The water's just at the back door...another 1/2 inch, and it'll be comin in the landing, which we fully expected anyway. Just four steps up and it'll hit the main floor of the house. I dont' know whether to try to stay up all night to see if we need to start haulin stuff up off the floor and up into the loft and on every available, raised surface, or just try to turn it off for the night and go to bed. What will be, will be. Que sera, sera, right?

    I'm thinkin about where we'll go if we hafta leave. How long we'll hafta be gone, if we do hafta evacuate. How we'll haul these damned cats out. If I should go ahead and pack some "necessities"...just in case. I feel like I should get off my damn ass and do somethin. But what? I dunno. I dunno. I dunno. I think that's the worst part...the uncertainty. And it's not like we haven't already thought and talked about these things...we have.

    After going through this, I can understand why people are hesitant to evacuate in a natural disaster. I can. It's home. It's supposed to be your safe place...your haven. Nothin bad can happen to you at home, right? It's where all your stuff is. And I don't just mean stuff as in posessions. I's like...part of you. I know this situation really pales in comparison to somethin like a hurricaine. But now I understand.

    All our neighbors say that the water won't...or shouldn't...get into the main floor. They oughta know. They've all lived through some record floods around here. But...I dunno.

    I think the quietness is gettin to me, too. I mean, it's always quiet down here. But tonight it's...hushed. Except for the crickets and tree frogs, there ain't a sound...anywhere. Kinda spooky...but kinda nice, too.

    I dunno. Dammit.

    No man is an island

    But we are. We're officially "stranded" as of about 2 pm.

    (Click to enlarge)

    Da Zigster, takin my car out for the last time at about 11 this morning.

    Stating the obvious.

    Our 5 ft. seawall at about 11 am....

    ...and at 2 pm.

    Words fail me. heh

    Lakeview, looking North.

    Lakeview, looking South.

    Our driveway, looking West.

    And just for comparison...

    The "beach tree" at about 7 last night (9/16/08)...

    ...and at 2 pm today (9/17/08)

    Tomorrow, I'm pretty sure I will get the chance to fish right off our deck. I'm just hopin it stops there. If not...well...we're screwed.