Talula’s Barefoot Books Blog

A running commentary on life as an online bookstore owner after 25 years in Early Childhood Education.

Posts Tagged ‘family’

Hurricane Party Time here on the Texas Coast with Ike!

Posted by Talula on September 11, 2008

Edit here on these events Oct. 3, 2008: The Freighter was lashed to tugboats as the eye wall hit Galveston Island to help it ride out the storm, then the disabled ship (with its VERY THANKFUL CREW) was towed to a shipyard for repairs up the coast. However Galveston island and the Bolivar Peninsula were ripped apart as bad as the historic !900 storm, but with less loss of life. They are still trying to account for the missing approx. 350 people with the services of our local Laura Recovery Center. At least 10 whole towns were stripped of 90 % of their homes and businesses and the Gavleston Bay has catastophic damage to its boating and fishing industries. Tourism & resturaunt sites were hit extremely hard in the area; making it a nightmare for those area’s cities to get revenues from an non-existent tax base now. Without revenues – they can’t provide city services – to help the people who live there. it may several years to re-build most of the lost homes. I would venture to say that Hurricane Ike turned out to be a 500-mile-wide tornado, based on the scope & type of destruction left behind. Talula

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OK – OK! The gig is up. It is our turn again to face one of nature’s biggest hissy fits — a Cat 3/4 Hurricane!

 Edited:6pm on 9/11/08 Note: just wanted everyone to know that we aren’t really idiots who actually love hurricanes because it gives us a reason to party — ‘Hurricane Party’ is a self-deprecatory way of telling each other to get ready for a big “blow” , you see the party aspect comes about while you are all boarded up in your home with various aged children who are excited & then scared and you have to plan on keeping them entertained so they are not scared out of their wits (not to mention various relatives who keep telling those ‘way back when’ stories designed to scare EVERYONE out of their minds). You cook lots of food becuase if the power goes out and the roads are flooded, your stored food in Freezers and refrigerators will spoil — cooked food will last longer than raw food, especially if you were able to have lots of coolers full of ice. Then of course just as the worst of the noise, rain, and wind in the storm is at it’s worst — you wish you had decided to evacuate because your house is about to blow away with all of your family in it — You REALLY NEED A STIFF ADULT BEVERAGE. Gulp! I now think I better have a second one! Gulp! OK — that does it and your head begins to clear of all those horrible images and your nerves begin to steady so you go back to being the one everyone in the family can depend on to keep them safe! That is the real origin of the Hurricane Party on the Gulf Coast!  Hope yall fare well in your home as you “Hunker Down!”, Talula.

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Whithin about 48 hours the greater Houston, Texas area will be hit with the eye of a  massive September storm. And it looks like the administration of most of our county & township government people are making the exact same mistakes as they made in the Horrific evacuation of Hurricane Rita (when over a hundred people died as a direct result of the evacuation/not the storm).

As each update brings it one step closer to a direct hit on Houston — the wonderful new plan they had developed to evacuate by zip codes has been thrown to the winds (canceled) after only about 12 hours of attempting it. It is now by the old county-wide version. The new evacuation routes we were told would make it so much smoother — have now been changed as people have begun the voluntary evac. They siad take any road out BUT the state has closed several of the normal ones people use to run west or north away from the coast, they have left open the same ones we were all funneled to drive on during the massive evac which caused so many to die of heat stroke and related traffic fatalities. Meanwhile gas stations are running out of fuel (and plywood to board up prior to leaving) in the coastal areas – some are getting more fuel, some are not.

And you want to hear the most insane thing that could possibly have been said by a city admininstrator of approximately 60,000 people during the updates today. The illustrious ( I once thought to be very smart woman) mayor of the city of Galveston (an island off the coast of Texas and now directly in the path of the worst part of the hurricane) this afternoon stated that evacuation was only voluntary for the island because it was “too late” to order mandatory evacuations with approximately 55 hours prior to landfall. The damn woman ordered mandatory evacuations in Rita with only 24 hours prior to landfall! she has the Governor of Texas ready to give her all the help she needs to accomplish this action, with National Guard troops and transportation placed an hour and a half away in Houston straight up I-45! she blew it and I have the most horrifying feeling that many people will be injured or die due to her “too late” remarks.

This storm may come very close to the wind speed levels of Katrina, with a similar storm surge, and with our being a more flat geography — this means the main water surge (not including massive amounts of rain) will travel many miles further inland. Houston’s ship channel will fill up like a bathtub and spill into the heart of the city. Funny thing — Houston’s emergency management folks have never given scenarios for anything higher than a Category 3 Storm — Folks I know on the planning systems have always said that if a 4 or 5 were to hit here — Houston would be wiped off the map. Well — guess we will find out now won’t we! 

I feel that my own home will stand up to the water and most of the rain; although we have flooded many times in the past, I suspect from my past experiences that this one is probably going to widespread damage to our region.  I’m not so sure with 155 or higher wind or tornadoes spinning off the main storm. There also seems to be much more tornadic activity in this one called IKE, from the reports coming out of Jamaica, Haiti, Cuba, and Florida. I have checked on all my children and their little ones; everybody is prepared and have plans. Other relatives also have checked in. we are all as ready as we can be. I hope that each of you have learned to make disaster plans before you find that you need them. The one thing we recently learned was having cash tucked away for about a week’s worth of food & fuel in case we were stuck without a way to use cc or debit cards. Oh and one more thing — to have a person to all call in a faraway city to report in about each of our status. That person then relayed each persons safe location or problems so we could manage to help them when necessary. That really made a difference when it counted! 

Being the fourth largest American city (and bigger than some states) may mean that we have catastrophic damage to our electrical systems, water & sewage plants, and business/industrial complexes (not to mention the personal homes with major destructionand waiting a month for insurance folks to ‘verify’ damage before we can repair it).

I never thought I would ever again see water in this city where a flooded underpass would hold a firetruck floating on top of an 18-wheeler semi-tractor trailer rig! But my intuition is telling me that we may see that and more this time. I hope I am wrong — I do hope this is calling out ‘wolf’ and it turns out to be nothing. I can hope I am wrong and only time (about 3 days) from now will tell the story.  

We will most likely lose power this weekend – and with all our utility teams still rebuilding Louisiana towns from Gustav’s damage — it may be 2 or 3 weeks before we get it back. guess this may be the last entry here on the blog for a while, since I am on a PC hooked to the cable system here at the house.

I hope that I can report again soon on the effects we have around here at some later date; take care in your lives and hug your children an extra time or two for me while you read a bedtime story to them tonite.

I’m going to have another cup of tea and eat chocolate while I listen to the latest news on the storm; Namaste — Talula.

FYI Update: September 11, 9:45 am. Mayor of Galveston Lyda Ann Thomas’s prozac finally wore off and she has called for a full evactuation of the island, choking up over it – almost crying.

10 zip codes surrounding Galveston Bay have been given mandatory evac notices at 9:30am to leave at 12:00 noon today (including my daughter, her husband and 2 of my grandsons) But most refuse to leave; saying they would rather die in their homes rather than die in a car on the side of the road trying to escape this disaster-in-planning! I can’t blame them — I went through the horrendous attempt to vacate the houston area taking 16 hours to get my mother out of danger from the aspect of a Cat 5 storm in a 120 mile drive that normally takes 2 hours max — we all were in the secondary stages of renal failure from the dehydration & heat stroke. My truck’s transmission locked up from the first 6 hours of trying to go 25 miles and had to be abandoned by the roadside. We threw everything i was carrying into my mom’s truck right in front of me (thank goodness it was a diesel and easily handled the 5-6 miles an hour forward speed for the rest of the day/night’s journey) and i walked away without a second thought about my vehicle. We had to stay away from the area for 7 days (in a weakened physical & mental condition) but we were very lucky in that we had taken the travel trailer to stay in — we were spared the ‘public shelter’ ordeal.

Well — time to go see the new coordinates that should have been announced 10 minutes ago– and see if I have to load up the truck and then beg 7 plead with my 75 year old mother to leave and go northwest. hell maybe we should  just go south — I hear there are lots of empty rooms and beaches in Padre Island down Corpus Christi way! Later, MAYBE! Talula.

Update 12 hours prior to landfall. well the national  hurricane center was right! Galveston Island is going under the water as we speak. almost very road on the island is covered with water and many neighborhoods are starting to flood now. The Sea level is top even with the Galveston Sea Wall; and the real 20 foot surge wave has not even come close to shore yet. The reporters keep saying it is surge but it is just regular coastal flooding in Front of the Storm Surge. (Note the tide is out and due high tide will coincide with landfall of the storm – lucky us!)

One major incident has occurred with a freighter trying to find a bay to shelter in, but its engines became disabled 50 miles out and it is carrying 22 sailors on board.   The Coast Guard attempted but the winds were already too high for their water-rescue attempts — so some behind the scenes government wrangling went on and word is now that the Pentagon is bringing in its deep sea rescue equipment and personnnel. A few more small & medium towns gave mandatory evactuation orders; but the majority of Houston area folks (us included as we bump up to the Houston City Limits) are sheltering in place with our own neighbors and families all checking on each other regularly.  One personal story here — my 75 year old mother is notorius for panic at the last minute so all day yesterday shen insisted to all my adult children that she didn’t need to board up or do anything else but wait for the storm  — guess what — she began to panic this morning — about 7am and all of them had to come over and spend two hours boarding up and moving furniture for her. she was steadfastly refusing to let me help her do anything – so I did all I could to get prepped. Thank Goodness they know her well enough and had finished all their own preparations, and of course they all called and insisted on showing up to help. So we are all buttoned up now and ready to start our cooking a cake, cookies, and pot roast to eat tonite and tommorrow during the worst of the storm. My kids are all back at their own homes and starting their own Kiddo’s Hurricane Parties. I do hope all stay safe in our region as we get ready for this ‘big blow”. Take care; Talula.

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Barefoot Books Gift List

Posted by Talula on January 17, 2008

Barefoot Books Gift List  <Click here for PDF file of Barefoot Books Gift List!

Need a birthday gift? Just remembered your sister’s kid’s party is next week? and you haven’t shopped for it? Dread the trip to the mega-toy store with your kids in tow to pick something out?

How about I save you a trip?

Check out my Barefoot Books Gift List (on the document above) and if you still can’t decide; buy our  Barefoot Books Gift Card!

My link is in  ‘Children’s Books’ (Barefoot Books).  Happy Shopping in your sweats!

There – All Done!  Now you can relax! 🙂

Posted in Barefoot Books, Children & Grandchildren, Children's Books, Fairytales & Faeries, Families, Great Books For Grown-Ups, reading with children, Teacher's Gifts | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »