Thursday, December 27, 2007

White Christmas and a little deer

The foundation guys seemed to prefer working in the snow rather than the rain. They like our project because they are all outdoors men and enjoy driving past elk herds in the fields on our street. Plus, our little deer family come to check them out during the day. Yesterday when the crew got here they found the place where the deer had spent the night. There were steaming indentations where they had been sleeping until the truck pulled down the drive. One of the little ones came back later for a nibble under the trees.

It's official

I have made it through all the red tape and am on the rosters as a substitute rural mail carrier. I will be going in for training in January. Just like old times.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Pics from Kathy

Kathy took some pictures on the day of the move. I have posted them on Flickr. If you want to see more, click here.

The house is up on it's cribbing waiting for the foundation. The foundation crew is scheduled to start building the forms today but it is pouring rain so I don't know if/when we will see them. (Oh! They are arriving as I write this!)

As you can see in the above pic, it is MUDDY! And guess what? Russell seems to really like mud. Yesterday Matt went into the house to check on things and try to shut some of the windows that came open during the move. There were little muddy cat prints all over the floor. There are also little muddy cat prints all over the shop. We tried to clean his paws last night but he has managed to get mud into every last nook and cranny.

Here is a picture of our little mudskipper POST paw cleaning!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Moving Video

This is a huge, 8:30 minute video. I hope it doesn't bog your systems down too much. Also, let's face it, I'm no Andy. This is a dark, blurry, choppy mess that only a mother could love. Except mine. Mom, cover your ears around the 4:00 minute mark.

Love, -M

Mood of the Day: RELIEVED!!!!!

I have had a BIG SLEEP and I feel much, much better! Many of the pictures of the move came out dark so I have put descriptions with everything on Flickr and hopefully your imagination can fill in the rest. You can view the whole set of photos here.

I am going to work on the video clips sometime today and hope to have them posted later this evening or tomorrow morning.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

It finally happened!

Same house, new lot! I will post more pictures and video later, once I have had some food and a nap.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Winds of Change

Last Sunday came and went without a house move. This was no surprise to anyone in the area. It truly has been an ugly mess for those in the flood zone and the utility companies have been scrambling to get everything put back together.

This coming Sunday is a different story. I am asking you all to cross your fingers and send some positive energy our way.

Here is the way things stand: The permit is still not a done deal but could possibly be approved today. The weather for Sunday is iffy but not potentially calamitous. The utility companies should finally have some crews available. And best of all, Matt's business trip has been postponed so he will be here. It seems like this Sunday should work find for many reasons, least of all my sanity. I thought I was handling the delays and stresses fairly well until my face started breaking out and every joint and muscle began to ache from unconscious clenching (too much info?)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Quick Update

It is very unlikely that the house will be moved this weekend for a number of reasons. First, the office from which we were waiting for the permit (Washington DOT) is in Chehalis (currently underwater) so we are no longer on the top of the list of priorities. Also, both utility crews we need would be traveling from the north and I-5 is still closed. There is no way for them to get to the site. That means the move will probably happen on Dec 16 and that sucks big time because Matt will miss it. He will be back in Los Angeles and absolutely cannot change his trip due to work constraints.

Here are some pictures of the flood taken on Tuesday. I can't credit them because I don't know who took them. Tom emailed the link to me. Anyway, to clarify, we are on one side of the water, the utility crews are on the other side of the water and the permit office is in the water.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


Well, Matt got home from Los Angeles last night and arrived under clear, starry skies. It was too dark for him to see the extra high water in the rivers and standing water in places where there shouldn't be water so he is skeptical about our ferocious rain and flooding. He keeps teasing me that we are all just a bunch of excitable sissies. But I will just show him this associated press article that I found on the internet this morning and he will have to believe me. Here are some excerpts about the places near to us (in red):

The drenching rains and howling winds were gone but flooding concerns persisted Wednesday, as anxious residents waited for waters to recede so they could see what was left after this week's fierce storm.

The storm, which killed at least seven people, battered the Pacific Northwest before moving on Tuesday, leaving behind flooded homes, fallen trees and washed-out roads, including the region's largest highway.

Some were spending Wednesday looking for the lost. In the Lewis County town of Winlock (That's us!!), a dive team planned to search normally tiny Wallers Creek for Richard Hiatt, 81, believed to have been swept away when a bank gave outfrom underneath him.

"It happened so quickly," daughter-in-law Sharon Hiatt said Tuesday as searches continued. "That's the only possibility, that he fell into the creek.". . .

. . . National Guard troops were summoned early Wednesday morning to help evacuate a 20-unit trailer park near Elma threatened by the flooding Chehalis River, Kelly said.. . .

. . . As the water started to rise outside their Lewis County home, Terry Roberts moved his cars to higher ground, shepherded his wife and two children into their RV and hit the road.

They didn't get far.

"We were on dry road and all of a sudden, the water started swirling around," Roberts said, standing with his wife in a temporary shelter in Chehalis after being rescued by a Coast Guard helicopter. "That's when we got on the CB and called for help."

Roberts, 64, was among the hundreds who fled their homes after the storm.

Gov. Chris Gregoire, who toured the ravaged region by helicopter Tuesday, touched down at a high school shelter in Chehalis and offered encouragement to the roughly 40 people staying there.

She also ordered a plane to deliver food and emergency supplies to the high school in Pe Ell, about 25 miles to the west, because the roads were blocked by water.

"It's hard to comprehend 5- to 10-feet under until you see those houses," Gregoire said.

The governor also flew to the water's edge on Interstate 5, which has been shut down since Monday at Centralia because of flooding. At one point Tuesday, officials said a three-mile section of the road was under as much as 10 feet of water from the surging Chehalis River.

The interstate, which is the main north-south route between Portland, Ore., and Seattle, was expected to be closed at least through Thursday.. . .

. . . With I-5 closed, state officials were recommending a lengthy detour -- Interstate 90 across the Cascade mountains and down U.S. 97 through central Washington to the Oregon border -- a route that roughly doubles the three-hour trip from Seattle to Portland.

David Dye, Washington state's deputy transportation secretary, said workers were cleaning up lots of debris -- "garbage, tires, dead rats everywhere" -- while they waited for the water to recede.

On the edge of downtown Centralia, waist-high water the color of chocolate milk covered streets as police used small boats to get to houses in flooded neighborhoods.

More than 300 people had to be rescued in Lewis County, many being plucked off their rooftops by helicopter, Sheriff Steve Mansfield said.

Chehalis City Manager Merlin MacReynold said between 70 and 80 people had to be rescued in the city limits alone. He called the flooding worse than the 1996 deluge, which is still legendary in the area.

So it is still a bit messy here. There is no going north for at least another day. The freeway closure is from mile marker 68 to 88. Our exit is 63. We are really lucky we are not 5 miles north. When we were looking for land one of the main requirements was that it be as high and dry as possible. So we are fortunate that the only water we have to deal with is what falls from the sky, not what spills over from nearby rivers or dikes. On our property the standing pools of water are gradually seeping into the saturated ground. As far as we know the rest of the family made it through OK too. Ben is in Olympia and I don't think he has to worry about flooding in his place, Andy is in Bellingham and they got hit but not as hard as Lewis County apparently. Tom and Kathy are dry too. So, yeah! Today I will be looking around to see if I can find out what we can do to help the people who were affected by the floods. It's a crappy time of year to have your house under water.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Maybe my time and energy would be better spent building an ark rather than building a house. I haven't lived here long enough to know if this is normal or if we are having above-average, continuous, torrential downpours.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Bad mojo is contagious!

So yesterday after I wrote my Jonah Day post I headed off into the snow to see a movie and do some shopping with a semi-confident feeling that my blue mood and black luck was over. Meanwhile, it seems I had infected Ben, Tom & Kathy w/ my bad mojo. The three of them had planned to go Christmas tree shopping but before they left, Tom sliced a chunk of finger with an axe!! After a trip to the doctor to get stitched up they left to get the trees. By this time Nathan had come up from Portland so the four of them headed out. The trees were selected and Ben & Nathan headed north in 2 cars while Tom and Kathy headed south in one. Not too long after, in the wild mess of snow and sleet, Ben spun his car and crashed into the median. The weather was so bad that Nathan, traveling behind, didn't even see the accident happen. Ben is OK and Tom still has his finger so everyone was pretty lucky in the face of bad luck! ha ha ha.

Today Tom, Kathy and I were at the sister house stapling plastic to the open doorways. It's not a big deal to have them open when the rain and snow fall straight down but we are expecting high winds so we sealed it off. While we were there we spoke to the owner of the property about unexpected bad luck. He said that yesterday his son split his bottom lip open and his dog jumped up, hit his wife in the face and gave her a black eye! Great Googeley Moogeley!!! What in tarnation is going on up here?

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Jonah Day

So, yesterday was kind of a Jonah Day. Things were going along fine until the house mover called to say that the permit wasn't going to be ready in time for a Sunday move. So I scrambled to cancel all the utility crews that were lined up. Then I called the various other people who would be affected by the change. Matt had planned to come home from Los Angeles on Saturday night to be here for the move but moved his ticket until Tuesday since they really need him down there. So I am husbandless for a few more days - frown. And, to top it all off, the power went off at 3:30. It stayed off for 2 hours. I gave up, lit my candles and lantern, crawled into bed and read a book with the help of my flashlight. Then Ben txt'd me that he was coming down to Toledo for dinner and did I want to come? Truthfully I was having a pretty good wallow in self pity and considered keeping my head under the covers for the rest of the day. But I pulled myself up and had a really nice evening w/ Ben, Tom & Kathy. I still continued to spread a little bad mojo around though. Tom had prepared a piece of fish for dinner. He took it outside to grill it but before he got it on the grill the fish and platter crashed to the ground so the three of them had to eat ham instead. After dinner we watched the end of Polar Express and put up a few Christmas decorations. But I had one more crappy moment before I got back to the sanctuary of my cat filled bed. As I was driving home I came upon two trucks stopped in opposing lanes on a narrow country road. The truck in front of me pulled ahead as I approached and I noticed a large deer on the side of the road. Her legs were collapsed but her head was up and her eyes were bright. I am certain that she had been hit by one of the trucks and had broken legs. I knew she was going to die, either by the effects of the accident or by a mercy shot from one of the trucks. My eyes pricked and my chest hurt all the way home. I hope I never hit a deer or elk. I can't imagine that the damage to me or my car would hurt as bad as watching such a beautiful, elegant creature die.

Today I am going to go see a movie. I think it is best if I borrow someone else's life for a few hours. Cheers.