Sunday, June 24, 2012

Better Safe than Sorry - HURRICANE PREP - 'cause now it's ISAAC!

Re-posting this as ISAAC keeps the Gulf Coast guessing.   

If you live in a large metropolitan area, the most important piece of information I can personally offer is this: EVACUATE SOONER RATHER THAN LATER. You will not be the only smart person hoping to avoid traffic gridlock by an early departure and the roads will be packed far earlier than you think. So, leave a day, or even two, earlier than you think is reasonable.
A special thanks to Congressman Jeff Miller, of Florida, for providing the following detailed information, reprinted here with permission.
  • Move quickly without panicking.
  • Start Monitoring the news.
  • DON'T be misled by landfall predictions; strong winds could arrive hours before official landfall.
  • DON'T heed or spread rumors.
  • Review emergency plans with your family.
  • Practice where to go in the house as the hurricane intensifies.
  • Get supplies.
  • Follow instructions in this guide for food and water.
  • If you plan to leave, start packing.
  • Limit traveling to necessary trips.
  • Refill any special medications.
  • Fill up your car's fuel tank.
  • Make sure you have a spare tire; buy aerosol kits that fix and inflate flats.
  • DON'T fill gasoline cans; they are a fire hazard.
  • Check battery, water, and oil.
  • Check flashlight and radio batteries and have extra on hand.
  • Charge rechargeable cellular phones, drills, flashlights, lanterns, batteries.
  • Get cash.
  • If time allows, get key important documents - passports, wills, contracts, insurance papers, car titles, deeds, leases and tax information -- into safe deposit box. If not, put them in a home safe or other safe, dry place.

  • Get shutters, siding or plywood in place on windows.
  • If you haven't sunk sockets, nail wood in with masonry nails.
  • Move vehicles out of flood-prone areas and into garages if possible. If not, park cars away from trees and close to homes or buildings.
  • Move grills, patio furniture and potted plants into house or garage.
  • Clear yard of loose objects.
  • If you want to do any last-minute pruning, you must take the clippings inside; trash pickup will have been suspended and you'll be creating a nice pile of missiles.
  • Remove swings, and tarps from swing sets.
  • Tie down anything you can't bring in.
  • Check again for loose rain gutters, or moldings.
  • Prepare patio screening. It is built to sustain 75 mph winds but as it fills with wind it can separate from the frame. Officials recommend you remove a 6-foot panel on each side to let wind pass through. Pull out the tubing that holds screening in frame to remove screen.
  • Remove roof antenna; unplug antenna wire from set first.
  • Remove roof turbines and cap the holes with screw-on turbine caps. Unsecured turbines can fly off and create large hole for rain to pour through.
  • Secure anything inside your home that can be thrown around.
  • Tape or tie cabinets.
  • Remove items from counter and table tops.
  • Close closet doors.
  • DON'T turn off your natural gas at the main meter. Only emergency or utility people should do that.

It is now too late to do most of what needs to be done. There is still time to:
  • Put on your medic-alert tag.
  • Fill your tub and bottles with water.
  • Prepare food and water according to rules in this guide.instructions provided in this guide.
  • Shut your water at the meter to prevent contamination.
  • Secure and brace external doors, especially double doors.
  • Move as many valuables as possible off the floor to limit flooding damage.
  • Move furniture away from windows or cover with plastic.
  • Continue to listen to radio and television for instructions.
  • Stay off the roads. It's too late to get supplies, and you'll be competing with people trying to flee unsafe homes.
  • Stay inside. Conditions will deteriorate rapidly, sometimes hours before landfall and often at night.

  • Stay inside!
  • Stay away from windows and doors.
  • DON'T use telephone or electrical appliances.
  • If storm becomes intense, retreat to designated interior hurricane safe room.
  • If you fear your house will come down around you, get into a bathtub and place a mattress over you.

  • DON'T leave your home or shelter until emergency officials tell you it's safe.
  • You may only be in the eye, with half the storm -- sometimes the stronger half -- still to come.
  • If you're not at home, don't return until you get the all-clear.
  • Roads may be blocked by debris.
  • Wait to learn from broadcast reports or shelter officials which roads are passable. Driving will be treacherous. Traffic lights will be out and streets filled with debris and downed power lines.
  • If your neighborhood floods during the storm, listen to the radio for instructions. Rising water may require you to leave even after the storm has passed.
  • Watch and listen for reports of storm-spawned tornadoes.
  • DON'T call police, emergency or utility officials unless you have a life-threatening emergency.
  • If you must call loved ones to let them know you're all right, be brief to free lines for others.
  • DON'T touch power lines. Watch for downed lines. Assume all lines are live unless told otherwise.
  • Watch your step. The area will be covered with broken glass and other debris.
  • Parts of your home, your porch, tree limbs and bridges may be weakened and could collapse.
  • Watch for insects, snakes and other animals - even alligators - driven out by high water. Puddles may conceal dangerous debris or contain sewage or chemicals.

  • DON'T sightsee. Roads will be clogged.
  • You may have to show proof of residency before being allowed back into your neighborhood.
  • Use cell phones sparingly; they may be the only working phones, and only a limited number of cells will be operating.
  • Battery use is limited.
  • Also, Many cellular phone towers may be down and cell phones may not work.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Shabby Chic - Old, Older & New

I love my new, little old table.  The look is perfect in my living room for now and the color picks up the slightly aqua blue in some of my paintings.  Eventually, the table will live in my studio...if I ever get that finished.
The table started out like this, a mess of a find at a yard sale that I got for only $3.  Remembering that I had one 18"x18" unpolished marble tile, I immediately measured the top and was excited that it fit - almost.  As you can see, I needed to trim the ends of the table top along with those little "wing" thingys that stuck out from the legs.  No idea shat they were for.  A good washing and a little sanding and it was ready for paint.  I started with a couple coats of white and let them dry well before adding a coat of the blue.  After the blue dried, I began sanding lightly with a coarse paper.  For the most part, I only wanted the white to come through.  Thought in a few places, I sanded more vigorously to bring out some of the underlying brown.  It ended up looking legitimately old and well worn while the seamless marble top gave it a clean, crisp look.
I was inspired to make this rustic, twiggy candle holder by something I saw on a Pinterest board.  I thought it would be a breeze and if I had used hot glue, it might have been.  But I don't like all the glue strings so I went with my old standby, E-6000.  Because it doesn't dry on contact, it took a little longer and the whole project was not as easy as I thought I would be.  Still, I'd do it again because I love the look.  It reminds me of a campfire with the light flickering inside.  Just a fun, rainy day project and the cost was $0.
This is another Pinterest inspired adventure.  In case you don't recognize the location, it's the toilet tank (just under the lid) and I thought my grand kids would get a kick out of the little critter when they visit in a few weeks.  The one on Pinterest is actually a decal by Decal Village that you can order from the blog "Rare Bird Finds".  Click HERE to link.  I was in too much of a hurry to wait for shipping and only want the little critter in place for a few weeks so I made my own with a strip of electrical tape and a used a white paint pen for the eyes and a black one for the hands and pupils.  It only took a few minutes and it makes me smile every time I enter the room.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Save $$ & Have Fun Summer Shopping for Kids

 Save money on children's wardrobes while including them in the selection process.
All set for Summer!
 My daughter came up with a great idea for shopping with/for her children's seasonal clothing that is fun, provides great one-on-one time, satisfies their individuality and saves a ton of money.  She avoided dragging her children, one by one or in a group, through store after store.  She never had to say, "That's too expensive", or "They don't have it in your size", to a disappointed little one.  She simply stepped into the technology age and spent quality time with each of her children individually.

First, she made a list of the items to be bought: the number of pants, shirts, shorts, dresses, shoes, etc.  Then, with the list in hand, she sat down at the computer with her daughter and together, they did online "window" shopping.  Photographs and links of everything mother and daughter selected on the computer were captured and "pinned" to her "Daughter's Summer Wardrobe" bulletin Board on Pinterest* and then she printed it out.  With the printed page of photographs in her purse, she went shopping - at her leisure and alone!  For the more generic items like t-shirts and shoes, she went to discount thrift stores and shopped only sales at a the major department stores.  Shopping went quickly because she knew exactly what she was looking for and what price she wanted to beat.  Then she did price-comparison shopping online for the more specific, specialty items, looking for sales and discount codes.  When all was said and done, she had the entire wardrobe in hand FOR LESS THAN HALF THE COST of purchasing everything online as they came across each item.
Happy mommy.  Happy daughter.  Happy pocketbook.

*Pinterest in an online user site where you join for free and establish your own individualized bulletin Boards for your own reference and to share.  I'm computer stupid and it was easy, even for me.  
Anyway, when you are online and find something of interest to you, you have the ability to click a "Pin It" button (provided by Pinterest) to save the article, (via photo and link) to your appropriate bulletin Board so you can check it out in depth later or refer to it as often as you'd like. (great for saving recipes)  It's way too cool for me do do justice trying to describe it but I do heartily recommend it.  So click on the link above...see what my little granddaughter will be wearing this summer and introduce yourself to Pinterest.