Behind My Red Door

Thursday, July 2, 2009

In the headlines...and beyond.

Storms bring flooding and power outages
An Upton man was injured by a lightning strike this morning during a thunderstorm that dumped heavy rainfall across the county, flooding streets and basements, and prompting the town of Sterling to consider declaring a state of emergency.(Upton and Sterling are towns nearby.)

YIKES - there is not much good in the headlines today and so I decided I had better post something, before we float away here in Central MA!! June 09 was officially the wettest and least sunny June on record in these here parts. Here is another headline from today's morning paper.
Worcester sets June record with 6.5 inches rain.
And July isn't starting out any better. Yesterday and today we have had torrential downpours. Out back, the brook is about as high as I have ever seen it. I snapped this picture of where the brook starts to run behind our backyard. There are mini rapids out there! And out in front, the water was backing up into our driveway when leaves and debris clogged the town's storm drain that just happens to be smack in the middle of the edge of our driveway.
This is after I cleared away some bigger branches. The water was a good 6-8 feet further onto our driveway. I was beginning to think I needed to start building an ark!
That is almost funny. You see we actually ARE in a National flood zone. Even though we don't get water in our house ever - well at least not in 23 years we have lived here. Even though even during hurricanes, the brook doesn't get even close to the house. There is not enough water upstream of the brook to fill an in ground pool usually, never mind rise to the level of flooding our home. The flood zone thing is something that changed after Katrina. Or something that was suddenly enforced after Katrina. We have been told different stories. No one seems to know the real truth. Certainly when we bought this house 23 years ago, we were not in a flood zone. When we refinanced years ago to lower the interest rate, we were not in a flood zone. Then suddenly, about 2 years ago, we got notified that we were required by law to now carry National Flood Insurance on the outstanding principal on our mortgage and if we didn't find it on our own, the bank would find it for us at a ridiculously high price. PERIOD. Luckily our home is all but paid for because even on the very small mortgage balance, it was a few hundred dollars a year. It really is rather silly. Another one of those over reactions to a bad situation some where else. I know someone will ask or comment - why not pay off the mortgage then. We debated whether we should. In fact I suspect most people would just say the heck with it, I'll pay if off and be done with it, but my DH did his magic on a spread sheet and taking income and everything else into consideration, he decided that for now, the tax deductions make it worthwhile to finish paying it off over time. Even with the silly flood insurance. Which leads me to wonder ... is an ark considered appropriate insurance?

And if the flood warnings were not enough, we are now being bombarded with mosquito warnings too!
Mosquito population explosion!

Is yet another headline in the paper today. More from the Telegram... The damp and drizzly June weather will make for more mosquitoes this summer, according to experts. The blood-sucking insects breed in standing water, and after all the recent rainy days, there is plenty of it. The weather has made it harder for people at the Mosquito Control Project to do their jobs. When it's misty or rainy, they have to reschedule routine pesticide sprayings. It takes four to five days for mosquitoes to develop, and another few days before they hatch. The insects can be expected to show up a week to 10 days after a big rain event. “People should continue to search out areas around their homes so no containers are holding water for more than a week,” he said. That means checking birdbaths, wading pools, gutters and unused flowerpots. If you're outside between dawn and dusk, use a repellent that contains DEET or lemon eucalyptus oil. Water is a necessary part of the mosquito's habitat. A mosquito's life starts as an egg. Eggs typically are laid on the surface of water, and most hatch within 48 hours, according to the American Mosquito Control Association.

Yikes! No wonder I can't wait until it is Fall!!!!!!!!!! BTW, did you ever notice the counter that is always on the bottom of my blog?? UGH 82 whole days until Fall!!!! Terry, are you as ready as I am??

We did have a few hours of sun here and there last week. And I mean VERY few hours. Rain for hours and then the sun might peek out long enough to make it steamy at times. I did get one or two chances to sit outside and enjoy the new conversation set we bought for the deck. A comfy love seat, 2 chairs and a coffee table that is not pictured. It hasn't stopped rainy since that got assembled so it was in the family when I snapped these pics the other day. Just in the time it took to snap the pics, the sun went back behind the clouds and hasn't been seen since. And please ignore the water I spilled out of one of the pots. Don't want those mosquitoes to breed!

The cushions are really a darker barn red than they appear and go rather nicely with the summer blocks I got last summer from our talented friend Kindra from 3 guys, a girl and a prim place.
This is the fist time I have seen sunflowers in pots so I bought one for the deck and one for out front. Even with sufficient drainage from a hole in the crock, it doesn't seem to like this weather. Normally by July, my deck is an explosion of color. Not so much this summer.
The plants are very slow growing. They need sun - just like we learned in science class in the 2nd grade!
We got a nice umbrella too. Unfortunately it is not big enough to keep the whole deck dry in these downpours. As much as I hate the heat, I'll take a little as long as it comes with the sun!
Still, there have been some really bright spots Behind My Red Door in the last few days despite the lack of sun. On Monday, we babysat for sweet Liliana for a few hours and it was heaven! DH and I loved every second of it. We know how hard it was for Angela to leave her sweet baby the first time, so we were honored to have been able to help her.

I am always getting asked if my DH is really as sweet as I say he is and I think these pics will answer that for you. You all know that Brady LOVES his Grampy. The kids cover the love seat that is in front of the bay window with old quilts and that is Brady's couch. He loves to nap there and watch the world go by. When we visit, DH always sits with Brady and they have a love fest. Well this time, there was a third party joining the love fest. And Brady was very curious to see who Grampy was giving some of his attention to.

He sniffed her bottom...

Then he sniffed a bit higher....And the gave Grampy a look that said "She's OK. Just don't forget I am here too."
Then Brady settled back on the couch and let Grampy finish feeding our sweet Angel.
I'd say any guy who can put up with me for this long, and keep both puppies and babies happy, has something going for him, wouldn't you?

And there were more rays of sunshine in the form of some packages in the mail. Don't you just love fun mail?

Recently our queen of thrifting bloggy friend, Janene from Primitive Lifestyle had blogged about a whisk broom she found. I mentioned I had been looking for one and she told me if she saw more when she went back, she would get me one. I agreed if we could do it as a swap. Well lookey at what came in the mail the other day! I have something I plan to do with it and I hope by the end of the summer I can show you the finished project! Thanks Janene!! I so appreciate your kindness!! Just when you least expect it, something will show up in YOUR mailbox! And another package came from my friend Laurie Z from CT. Laurie and I have been chatting via email for a few months now and we have a lot of things in commons. New grand babies, DH's who don't necessarily share our love of fixing, painting. tweaking and old things. Still, her home is just gorgeous! She too lives in split level but a very different one from mine. She has a much more open floor plan that I love, PAINTED woodwork, some wonderful antiques, and a summer porch that I covet!! I hope to show you pics of her home at some point once I get her permission and figure out how to get them off the photo storage program her daughter uses. So stay tuned for that. Despite being incredibly busy, Laurie sent Liliana the cutest and softest leather baby shoes you have ever seen! They are made by Audrey Hussey, who is known as Kaboogie Baby Shoes on Etsy. Wait till you see these adorable, soft leather shoes. They are so cute. I want some in my size! looke at the cute flower on the front!! Aren't they the best!!?? Thank you so much Laurie. I can't wait to see these on Liliana. You touched my heart my friend!

And then just today, I came home from dodging rain storms and lunch out with my friend Jenn, and there was another box waiting for me. This one is from Tammy from Country Girl at Home and her adorable and very sweet and kind daughter Joy from Doodlebug. The note said that they couldn't resist buying these for Liliana when they saw them. It is the cutest polka dotted sundress with bloomers underneath and a set matching hair bows! The colors of the bows are the exact same colors and the polka dots. How cute is that - and so girly. I can't wait to see Liliana all dolled up in this with a bow in her head of dark hair.

Thank you so much Tammy and Joy. You are so kind to think of our little Angel. It really means so much to me!

I am still amazed and blown away by the genuine kindness and thoughtfulness of so many wonderful women that I have met through blogging and my love of prims. I hope that someday I can adequately convey to Liliana the outpouring of love, good thoughts, prayers and gifts she received from you all. I promise that I will do my very best. To everyone that has sent her gifts, or left me kind words, well wishes and prayers, or mentioned us on your blog, thank you thank you thank you from the bottom of my heart. Being a Grammy is just the VERY BEST and yet somehow, you made it even sweeter still.

Until Next Time - Hugs, Grammy Linda

PS I know I used sweet at least 50 times, but that is EXACTLY what I meant each and every time! :-)