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General information: We live in North Florida after moving from the Florida Keys a year ago.

For my own therapeutic reasons, I have decided to chronicle our experiences leading up to Irma. Depending on what happens, I may continue through and beyond.


Hurricane Irma 09.09.17

Quite the busy day. The goal was to secure the outside of the house. First, my greenhouse. We went to Tractor Supply and bought some garden netting that felt quite stiff and sturdy on the roll…not so much when we unwrapped it. Heh. But the roll was 100′ long so we cut it into long strips, doubled it up and ran the strips along the roof (we are trying to keep the roof panels from blowing away) then secured them to the frame.

After that, big clean up of all the loose stuff outside. Various tools, strips of wood, my patio chairs, etc.

I googled NOAA hurricane and it came up with this. Thanks Google!

Google NOAA Hurricane search

We still have not decided if we will evacuate or not. Tomorrow morning after we see the latest forecast we will make the choice. We spoke with several locals today in our travels-also our neighbors-nobody is evacuating. They’re all understandably nervous but still staying put.

I am super tired and the brain is fuzzy (the two glasses of blueberry wine may have contributed to that) so will write more tomorrow.


Hurricane Irma Sep 8 2017

It seems like every morning Irma has shifted just a little more west.

Kaito Voyager Pro KA600 Digital Solar/Dynamo AM/FM/LW/SW & NOAA Weather Emergency Radio with Alert & RDS, SilverKaito Voyager Pro KA600 Digital Solar/Dynamo AM/FM/LW/SW & NOAA Weather Emergency Radio with Alert & RDS, SilverWe are having challenges sleeping so were awake by 4:30 this morning.

I was told today we may get up to Cat. 2 winds here now so am doing everything I can to mitigate the water flow. Luckily (in this case – not so much for gardening), our ground is basically all sand. We are six miles from the gulf, have pine trees, oak, poplar, etc but still all sand. The benefit? We don’t really flood here. Of course I say this BEFORE Irma visits…

We have a spot on our roof where the rain just pours down on to our yard. I follow a Permaculturist who had the same problem and dug a small trench in front of her house and filled it up with river rocks in order to better control the water flow and splashing. So, last night I dug my own small trench and put down several bags of river rocks.

We are beginning to clean up all of the loose tools, etc outside.

Kevin is going to buy chicken wire to cover my greenhouse with the hopes that the panels will not blow off and be lost for good. He is also buying cement so we can properly secure our pole barn.

Oh, the NOAA emergency radio we ordered from Amazon came yesterday. Super nifty! Kevin set it up and we got NOAA alerts right away. Yeah!

Getting down to the wire now. Monday will be here before we know it!

Kevin went into town. The gas stations are out of gas and the stores are out of gas cans and propane. Luckily, we filled up and bought those supplies early, early! I did just read that the county is not expecting any storm surge in our area-as of right now anyway. I hope it stays that way. At this point, I think we will ride Irma out at home.


NOAA Projections of Irma

9/7/17 11:00AM Updates from NOAA’s website

I did not post this up last night as by the EOD I was feeling quite overwhelmed by life itself. Stomach was fried, etc. Better this morning though. There is something about a new day that always improves the psyche!

Update on Mariah: She has decided to hunker down and stay in Ft Lauderdale. She is a few miles inland, the landlord boarded up the house and her BF is with her. And as of now anyway, they have not issued evacuation orders for Broward County west of Hwy 1. I have prayed and handed her over to the Lord. That helps me stay sane. She is registered with the Salvation Army and will be called after the hurricane is over so she can help with recovery efforts.

It does look like Irma is heading farther East so at this point, it looks like we only will get the outskirts of her wrath. More to come. In the meantime, I am as prepared as I can be. My greenhouse needs some serious tidying but that’s about it. Today, I stay in and try to get some work done.

9/6/2017 – I am up early. Kevin woke up at 5:30 thus I woke up at 5:30. Hate that part of my midlifeness!

Lots of time spent in prayer this morning. My mind is troubled. Naturally.

Kevin is having a tree removed from our yard this morning. It is a 50′ scrub oak that leans toward the house in a way he does not like. I want to say we’re paying a huge amount of money for it and have a mini melt but in reality, the price is very fair given the difficulty they will have taking it down without crushing my greenhouse. I am certain in my hometown of Phoenix, this would cost us double.

Tree removal collage

Tree guys cut the tree down in record time. Before and after pics.

Latest forecasts show that Irma’s path is veering more toward the Atlantic (vs Gulf). Did we dodge a bullet? IDK. I am still going to plan like we have not.

Oh, Walmart cancelled my online grocery order. Why Walmart? Why? <sigh>. Actually, their email to me states “We’re confirming that you canceled your order.” which I did NOT do. I suspect they have all hands on deck restocking shelves but I am going to call this morning anyway and find out. I feel the cancellation could be handled in a better way vs coming to me in the middle of the night hours after I put in the order. If I had known, I would have shopped yesterday when I was out.

Kevin and I are pondering buying plywood for the windows. Since that is also costly, we will wait to confirm which direction Irma decides to take.

I can see this being a multi coffee pot kinda day.

Just saw this from the local Cuban restaurant who was offering to sell water at cost to anybody who needed it.

Out of water Irma Hurricane

I talked to Walmart too. Called the store directly. They are so low on supplies they cancelled all orders until they could reevaluate what they had. They too are out of water and she couldn’t tell me when more was coming. EEK! So, I am printing my grocery list off and heading to the local Winn-Dixie to stock up on canned goods. We actually have a decent amount of water. A case of single bottles and 7 1-gallon containers.

The poor Walmart girl was telling me people are yelling at her for cancelling their order. It is always all about US isn’t it?

I am particularly amused by some of the gifs showing up on Facebook. My two favorites are at the bottom of the page.

Two small funnies from shopping this morning. I had to leave my cart in a different aisle as the batteries were right next to where they were unloading the water. They didn’t have my batteries. I had been hashing out where to find them with another shopper. Walked over to my cart, rolled it to the self-checkout line, scanned the TP and paper towels which were on top then looked into the cart and realized I hadtakenthewrongcart! UGH! So, I hurriedly put everything back into the cart, told the cashier to cancel my order I would be right back, ran that cart back to where I pilfered it from, took my cart (which was sitting right next to it!) and went back to checkout. Phew. Crisis averted.

Water hoarders

The pic on the left is of some eager water purchasers. It is blurry because I was trying to be sneaky. When I called them the water hoarders, Kevin suggested they could be buying for their church (which I buy as there is one on e.v.e.r.y. corner here). Why does he have to be so nice ALL the time? Hmmm?

Then, drove next door to the Ace Hardware. Went in. Bought my batteries. Walked out and tried to get into the wrong truck. Looked just like mine. Seriously.

That was when I decided I need to go home as I am clearly a menace to society in this state.


Hurricane Irma and where we live

The arrow is where we now live. Approx 6 miles from the Gulf.

For therapy’s sake (my own-I am writing this while drinking <chugging might be a better term> blueberry wine), I have decided to chronicle Hurricane Irma from our perspective.

Irma became very real for us this morning when it was announced at 11am she was a Cat. 5. I am trying not to get too obsessed about this but that is a difficult thing. How do you ignore the Mastodon sitting in the middle of the room AND try to create pins for one’s website?!? Seriously. How?

My daughter Mariah lives in Ft Lauderdale. She is struggling with what to do too. Part of her wants to evacuate and part of her wants to stay in case she can be of help (she too has been watching the devastation of Hurricane Harvey on TV). But Irma is a CATEGORY 5 I tell her as I also tell her how proud I am of her service oriented spirit that wants to minister. I love her for that. The mom in me wants her to just submit to my will tho and come up here where I can smother her with motherness!

Small backtrack. A year ago last week, we moved from the Florida Keys to a little town south of Tallahassee called Crawfordville. We actually left Key Largo a week or so early because we were trying to escape Hermine. Funny enough, she followed us and went right through our little town the day after we signed the papers on our house. Yep. We were without power for 3 1/2 days. Some were without power for 10 days.

The day after Hermine we drove to Gainesville and bought a generator. <pictured below> I feel very fortunate in getting it as there was a LONG line of people waiting for them.

What are we doing to prepare for Irma? We bought this emergency weather radio on Amazon because we realized the one we had was not getting radio signals very well. Hopefully it gets here in time <novel idea>.

Hold plz. Need another glass of wine.

Okay. Back. SO much going on!

We bought 25 gallons of gas and our generator holds 8.5 gallons. We calculate the generator will run 11 hours on one tank of gas. Kevin actually called a propane gas company today. We may convert to propane so our generator will last longer on less money… We do lose power up here at least once a month for at least a couple hours so the benefit is definitely there.

My Facebook feed is on fire with updates and well wishers. Trying to keep up.


Our generator

I went to the local Ace Hardware and picked up a 15′ locking cable and padlock to protect our gas cans. Even though we feel really safe in this area, cannot leave too much to chance. Generators are darn noisy. Cannot miss their existence too much.

Our normally sleepy traffic is quite insane. Everybody heading north. Saw a guy pulling his boat. A truck went by with a Texas plate even. I wonder how long they have been here as they drive by.

The cashier at Ace is panicking. She is leaving in the morning. Spent $550 on flood insurance for her house and is taking her 3 kids to Alabama where she has family.

Another guy and I talk about the Keys (they are all being evacuated as I write this). Where will they all go? There is one highway in and out. That is actually one of the reasons we left. Kevin was nervous about the lack of options when evacuating. Funny. At the time I thought he was making something out of nothing. The Keys are such a wonderful place! When you go, you never want to leave. I miss it terribly.

Most of the people at Ace were buying survival type supplies. Propane, tarps ,etc. While I am standing in line, a guy calls looking for generators. They’re out but assure him (while looking at me) that a “hurricane truck” was arriving tomorrow with more supplies.

I made a huge order with Walmart’s grocery order service. I can only imagine what the crowd will be like there. Why put myself through that? I order more water, canned good, tp, etc.

Small update at 5:55PM EST: They still cannot tell us which way the hurricane is tracking in FL. UGH!

6:39pm: Governor Scott just told a reporter the hurricane may hit the east coast, the west coast or down the middle. Haha. Methinketh think we have run out of options.

I am worried about my little greenhouse. Just put it up in Spring. More tomorrow.

The Edible Terrace Greenhouse

The Edible Terrace Greenhouse


My Food Preservation Articles

Canning Food For Beginners: A Simple How To Tutorial
Eating Healthy Year Round With Traditional Food Processing Preservation Methods
The Benefits Of Pickling Food From Your Garden
The Best Way To Store Fruits & Vegetables So They Will Last Longer
How To Decide What To Can, What To Freeze And What To Dehydrate
The Best Way To Preserve Fresh Fruit Is By Making Jelly and Jam
Dehydrating Food Tips – What You Need to Know
Can I Freeze Fresh Vegetables And Fruit? Yes You Can!
Where To Find Great Deals On Produce To Preserve
Five Common Methods of Processing & Preserving Food
5 Pinteresting People Teach Us How To Harvest and Dry Herbs