Monday, September 18, 2017

irma

well looky here I was absent again but I have (sadly) an excuse, Hurricane Irma.

We spent about a week with the maybe it will come this way and then it switched to it is coming this way and then there was all the, Florida folks are all gonna die crap ( I'm going to touch on that again later) and then thankfully for us but not for the West coast, she scooted around the State and made landfall in the Keys as a cat 5 and then re-made landfall in Naples and she just went on and on.

I spent a few days in manic prep mode. Most of you that know me know that I over prep. An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure...or something like that. It can and does take hours to secure for a storm but I will do it over and over again to help to keep us safe.

I went through Andrew and it was a cat 5 but it was fast and dry, this storm was not. We were on what is called the dirty side, the northeast quadrant and even though the bitch was far far away she was ginormous and we took a pounding for approx 18 hours. 6 houses in this development never lost power, we were one of the 6. Some still don't have power! We had no phones and no internet and I know I worried a few people for 15 hours when i just could not contact anyone in any way, shape, or form. By day 3, I remembered that hospitals fire stations and police stations are the first to get restored so I drove close to a police station and walked Lunes in a park and when standing on one leg, whilst reaching for the sky I was able to get enough bars on my mobile to contact England.

Things are ugly, every ones fences are down, trees are down everywhere, and power lines strew the debris. I pulled up to the grocery store on Saturday and it had a sign that said, due to irma we are closed, it was open 2  days before. Gas stations are back to normal with no lines but one day before Irma I spent 2 hours looking for gas for a friend who was stuck in China. Life is nasty, there is a new normal, driving on the wrong side of the street as your side is blocked by a tree, no traffic lights make intersections hell. One is supposed to treat it as a four way stop but only if you aren't one the entitled, as the entitled drive straight through without as much as coming off of the gas.

But it is good, we survived unscathed.

Now back to the old, All OF FLORIDA IS GONG TO DIE, sentiment. Knock it off. It is scary enough being here without people who don't live in the State or country for that matter, telling us we are all gonna die or that we HAVE to evacuate. We have zones, they evacuate by necessity. I know my zone and I know what I am doing. The roads become car parks, 17.5 hours is how long it took a friend to drive a 7 hour trip and lets not forget the gas situation. And of course this storm took up the entire State so unless you hit further north than GA there was no guarantee. I can't fly with my dog and i am not leaving her.

Next. Dade County was hit 25 years ago by Andrew. The southern part of the county was wiped off the map and it was devastating for all. We went through hell. Oddly enough the county manned up and said enough is enough. No more cheap houses they have to be built to withstand a massive storm and with that they imposed some really strict codes and that was that. I have many clients ( weird but true ) in the construction business, some are engineers,  others contractors and the codes were a pain in the arse but they got used to them and they changed everything. So when a storm does come, we are safer than most. Not much can withstand 230 mph winds but we are built tough here. ( that might be the only positive of this town. Hah!)

News stations pick Miami, to report from, I live in Miami but technically I do not as I am 35 miles away and 40 miles from the beach.

Okidoki, some photos.
My little house, all boarded up with thanks to Ed. This was Thursday.
Monday morning......floody.
Trying to walk to a firends house to check on it.
no exit
Florida is only a few feet above sea level and we have have solid coral or limestone so our native trees have a very shallow root bed that spreads out as opposed to going deep. Sadly they topple and take the world with them.
It tore out all the fince and part of their tiled patio
big trees little rootball
trying to get the other side of that.
what a mess
all fall down

Now it's confession time. Of course I am perfectly aware that hurricanes can spurn tornadoes but it isn't something I dwell on. Just in case and compounded by our 2 story house, I emptied the cupboard under the stairs and made it a safe space. I put some semi important documents in it, lots of duvets and  a tonne of pillows. Then we tried to coax Luna in too.
she went in with no bother.
Lunes and Lily.....inseparable
someone decided she loved it there
she rearranged it a bit as apparently there were too many pillows
and she spent the entire storm, calm and unfazed in her new little house.
and when I tried to return it back to " the cupboard under the stairs" she complained, loudly. I am trying to re home my hoover!!!!
As for the tornadoes. We didn't have the incredible social media that we have now during the last storm. My phone started this god awful wailing noise at about 11.30 Saturday night with this flashing banner stating that a hurricane warning had been issued for my area and that meant a hurricane was imminent. It would not be silenced and went off three more times. Holy mother of god...lets give everyone a heart attack. I am sure at this point if you are oblivious to the f act that a storm is coming you must be living under a rock and won't be making it out alive anyway.

As things progressed and the winds and rain picked up we were still able to watch TV to keep an eye on things. I'm not sure if it was morning or afternoon but all of a sudden my phone leaps in to action again and starts to wail. This time it was a tornado warning. and then the report that one had touched down and then another wailing session and OHMYGOD I'm not going to lie it was so terrifying. Was the noise outside the normal noise of a hurricane or was it the tornado sound. The warnings kept coming and I think I posted something of facebook about needing Depends if this kept up. But finally they stopped and so did Irmas carnage to this area and now we start making it normal and hope more than anything that Maria changes her path ~ especially since I took all the boards down.

End note: Lily was a trooper. I ordered everything online from Lowes to have it delivered and was waiting upon the email stating the time. It didn't come and didn't come so I called and was told....all online orders have been cancelled we have switched to first come first served. I understand this philosophy but cannot get my head around not telling anyone their orders were cancelled. Big strike against them. So I grabbed my car and Lily and also all the measurements and we headed to Home Depot. The place was an insane asylum and the shelves bare. I knew what we needed and I know Home Depot like that back of my hand. All they had left, with any substance to it, was much thicker marine grade plywood. I had no choice and took it. 9, 4x8 sheets of 3/4 inch plywood and it weighed a freaking ton. We grabbed a container of Tapcons (masonry screws) and headed to pay. I called Ed and he said, well it's over kill and your house might blow away but your windows will be intact. 😆 Then we needed to get it on the roof of my car and so I called the unhusband, who always claims that this is still his house, and asked him to get to home depot and help us. With that we started loading it up, sheet by heavy sheet but no unhusband. A man watched us and then a really really nice man came over and helped and then he tied it down and told me to drive very very slowly. This part was odd, it was almost as if he knew me cos he wouldn't stop emphasing SLOWLY. I rang Unhusband back and said forget it. He said he would meet us at the house and help unload. He picked up one piece, said and I quote, this is fucking heavy, and with that he let go and it slid down the edge of my car leaving a fabby little  scratch. sigh. Lily and I got the job done and Ed and Richie came over and installed it.

I will say you really find out who your friends are in dire times and when you get divorced. My so called friend list got a lot shorter through this and I am not referring to the unhusband. And I nearly forgot, the opening photo is my before and here is my after even though it was taken from a different angle. The pots were taken indoors they didn't blow away.
No more hibiscus.
I was really bad at taking after photos as I was taking care of Chicken Feets house too and my mind was just on checking up on everything.

Monday, September 4, 2017

5th grade

School started again and robbed us of our laid back, spontaneous days. It does this every single year and by now one would think it would get easier but it doesn't. I simply love being a mum and enjoy all the time I can get with them.

Rosie is still in the same school and will remain there through 8th grade. Why rock the boat when she is in such a fantastic academy and gets treated to so much one on one. Not just her of course, that's just the way it is.


happy as a clam to be heading into 5th grade.
pointing to her very bright sneaks!
yikes!
this child with her love of all things orange.
Lily is homeschooling once again. She is taking all AP and honors course and has a very full load. She is now in 10th grade. Due to her no longer being a Miami Dade County student she will have to take an entrance exam for SAS ( school for advanced studies ) as she cannot apply through the magnet program.

 This was her first day of school.
Nice, said no one ever. 
Laughing at her cool choice of uniforms. We call it her Hobbit outfit
Lily gets a photo with  her classmate!
even the classmate appears horrified by her outfit
her favouritist classmate ever.
10th and 5th
7.30 am and look at those smiles
Both kiddoes are happy with school again this year. phewwwww.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

yes, no, maybe, yes

I find it outrageous that you can get a learners permit to drive a car at 15. FIFTEEN. !!

At fifteen you really can't make a decision about what to eat for breakfast yet you are allowed to get in to a car and make life threatening decisions lawfully. I thought about it a whole lot and decided that for Lily it would be best to keep her feet planted firmly on the ground and let the wheels in her life be from her bike or skateboard but as she approached her birthday she seemed to be showing more maturity. I hummed and hawwed and her birthday came and went with no permit and she certainly didn't seem to concerned about it.

Towards the middle of june she asked if she could get her permit and had already passed drivers ed in school. I agreed.

On recieving her permit she looked at it and said, OMG I look Chinese. Even the lady behind the counter started to laugh. Hey, kiddo you ARE Chinese. She said she never noticed before how Chinese she looked...yeah I'm confused too. Maybe we arent ready to do this driving thing if you have only just sorted out that you are Asian.

Off we went to a large car park at the college and she got behind the wheel. We revisited that car park quite a few times over the coming week and then slowly we introduced the streets and reversing and on and on it went until now. Now she drives pretty much everywhere we go. She said it is much easier than she thought it would be and not as terrifying....she's not in the passenger seat HAH.




well someone has to supervise and she does a good job
scary seeing your child behind the wheel
she is very serious and NEVER mucks about
It's been incredibly hot here, record breaking heat and in the evening the sun is blinding but you have to get used to it. 
The permit is set in stages, for 3 months she can only drive in the day time and has to be out of the drivers seat come sun down. We are about to hit stage 2, driving anytime but she is no rush and won't even drive if it looks like rain yet. I'm all about building confidence and not pushing and well frankly....I'm in no rush !

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

update on "the big"

Lily is soaring once again.

Home schooling her was definitely the right choice  and she loves that she can work at her own speed which is a speed that not many would want to go at, think warped speed.

Finding the balance was hard but again, thanks to her old principal Lily has a volunteer position that she loves and a boss that's fun. Lily really didn't want to go back to her old swim team as she really hated the teenage girl drama and bitchiness that surrounded it. So a position on a swim school was the obvious choice where she would work and get paid to help teach the kids proper stroke technique etc but Lily was more concerned about volunteer hours and so is what she does.




For someone that used to detest small people she has grown in leaps and bounds
Now I can boss you around "legit"
instructor......she seems so big
see, that's a smile on her face!! I try and stay far away from it all but Coach asked me to take photos during tri camp.
the child truned 15 so coach nick bought cupcakes for the gang
Happy birthday Coach
bike troubles? No worries, Lily to the rescue
This kids chain KEPT falling off
I'm one lucky mama this kid is an easy kid to parent as long as the challenge is there for her and with the village we have that. thanks again village. xoxoxoxo

Sunday, August 13, 2017

........but she is mighty

The smallest member of this this family is by far the most sporty and athletic, she loves to ride bikes, to swim, to skateboard well I think you get the picture and doesn't particularly care how hot it is. When Lily's boss asked if she could help every day for 3 weeks straight with a triathlon camp she said yes. After the first couple of days I knew Rosie would love it and signed her up over her objections of, but mum camp, but mum do I have to go without you, but mum, but mum, but mum why am I going to camp, BECAUSE YOU ARE GOING TO LOVE IT. And of course she did. Because mama really does know best.

It wasn't a full day camp it was just a couple of hours in the afternoon. This coach is not like any of the coaches that used to coach the girls to swim he is so much fun. He teaches the fun aspect of sport not the competition. OHMYGOD what a difference. It was hard to get my head around in the beginning cos I am a type A and I get the job done and don't have time for people poncing about but after a little while I could see that ALL the kids were loving it and were having fun and that was what it was about.


Since this is the cliff notes version, straight to pictures it is
Day one: who knew there was such a thing as triathlon laces. lesson learnt.
Listening to the instructor
I LOVE LOVE LOVE this photo
triathlon laces in place which means lace up shoes become slip ons. very important when your feet are wet
runing in the pouring rain. the kids loved it
it poured for 2 hours striaght but no lightening
why yes, she really is this skinny and this long. BUT SHE IS VERY HEALTHLY
but why do I have to go to camp...because you WILL love it!!!
skinny little sprinter
sidewards running
swimming: her favourite part. If this cap looks familiar it is an actual cap from the British Olympic team thanks to Mad uncle Anduy and Crazy Auntie Sally
Looking tired
skill practice
their faces make me laugh. this is her friend that she met at camp. she is another little expat from the UK and they got on like a house on fire.
Im not sure if the circus was in town or if this really was coach Nick!
getting sorted
I loved camp mum and made friends!!! 
as you can tell these photos were in no particular order just random ones from here and there. I just might catch up eventually