Weather

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Last night my inlaws (Junior and Linda) evacuated Sarasota with Linda’s daughter and her family. They arrived at our house last night. Hurricane Irma passed over Key West as a Cat 4 storm and entered the Florida penninusla around Marco Island as a Cat 3. At 5 a.m. this morning, she’s a Cat 1 and headed up central Florida.

Hurricane Irma Cone

The wind has been picking-up since about 2 a.m. and is whipping pretty good now. We have a couple of minor leaks, but nothing too serious.

Leak

UPDATE: 8:00 a.m.

Irma is coming through the panhandle now and is somewhere around Lakeland, Florida. It’s still a Cat 1. The wind is really gusting outside, but I’m just sitting here sipping coffee.

Hurricane Irma Cone

UPDATE: 8:00 p.m.

Well, the day is coming to an end. Our evacuees laft after the wind died down (about noon) and headed back to Sarasota. Although we were on the wrong side of the storm, we really dodged a bullet. The original predictions for this storm were pretty bad. As it turns out, we didn’t even lose power. I can’t say the same for a lot of people in NE Florida, though. There are a lot of folks without power and there was a lot of flooding along the river.

Hurricane Irma Cone

Overall, we had very minor damage. A couple of leaks, my pool pump isn’t working (think it might be the capacitor), and the wind pushed over my Big Green Egg…

Big Green Egg

Feeling very fortunate.

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The boys’ first hurricane has come and gone…well technically, I guess it’s their THIRD hurricane, as we had to evacuate for Gustav in 2008 (they were still in utero) and we were in Pennsylvania for Irene in 2011. So, this was the first hurricane of which they were AWARE.

Anyway, I inspected the grounds this morning and it’s pretty much what I expected…

The neighbor’s fence is down.

Fence Down

My fence is leaning pretty badly.

Fence Leaning

The pool is FULL of leaves.

Pool Trash

But, HEY, the boys bird feeders made it through unscathed! 🙂

Bird Feeder Bird Feeder

Pretty much the only thing for me (and Pop) to do today was to repair my section of fence and clean the pool. And of course, move everything out of the garage and storage shed that we had stowed-away for the storm.

Fence fix

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Hurricane season is in full swing in NE Florida. Hurricane Matthew is expected to skirt the coast and bring a lot of wind and rain. In the last 24-hours the projection has changed between a Cat-2, Cat-3, and Cat-4 as it moves past/through Jax. Now, with less than 24-hours to go, it’s projected to be a Cat-3 with the eye just offshore…

Hurricane Matthew

There’s a mandatory evacuation for the coastal areas, but we’re not in an evacuation zone, so we’re going to stay put and ride-out the storm. Nana and Pop, who arrived Monday, are probably asking themselves, “now, why exactly did we come here?” 😉

LATER. October 7, 2016. 5:38 a.m.

In the latest hurricane projection Matthew looks to be just off the east coast of Melbourne. It’s still projected to be a Cat-3 as it passes Jax, but it’s no expected to make landfall. The boys and Nana and Pop, are still in bed sleeping. It’s raining and the wind is picking-up, but otherwise, it’s still pretty calm. More to come.

Hurricane Matthew

The calm before the storm…

Hurricane Matthew

LATER. October 7, 2016. 11:24 a.m.

So, the NOAA has updated the hurricane track and it looks like Matthew is still a Cat-3, but is definitely going to stay offshore as it passes Jax…

Hurricane Matthew

Right now, we’re getting some strong gusts, but it’s still pretty calm. The power is still on and the boys are watching “I Am Legend” with Will Smith.

Hurricane Matthew

In the backyard, with all the rain we’ve gotten the last couple of days, it’s looking like my pool will soon overflow…

Hurricane Matthew

LATER. October 7, 2016. 1:15 p.m.

The wind is really picking-up and the rain is falling horizontally in fits and starts. The hurricane is close now. The boys don’t seem to notice…

Hurricane Matthew

LATER. October 7, 2016. 2:00 p.m.

Well, the hurricane should be passing parallel to the Jax coast for the next 2-3 hours…

Hurricane Matthew

The wind is blowing harder in more sustained bursts, but everyone is holding up well. We lost power for less than a minute, but other than that everything is working fine for now. Except, it looks like I’m going to lose a section of my fence…

Hurricane Matthew

Yep, that section and a little more…

LATER. October 7, 2016. 4:15 p.m.

The eye of the hurricane is now parallel to our home. It’s about 30-miles off the coast at this point and still moving in a NNW direction. The worst of the storm will soon be past and the wind will die down significantly in the next hour. So far, we haven’t lost power and the only visible damage has been to our fence. When things die down a bit, I’ll take a walk outside.

Hurricane Matthew

LATER. October 7, 2016. 5:00 p.m.

Matthew has passed us and is moving north just off the Jacksonville coastline. It’s been downgraded to a Cat-2 hurricane now and there’s been a noticeable decrease in wind and rain. It looks like it’s just about over. Fortunately, it looks to be a non-event.

Hurricane Matthew

LATER. October 7, 2016. 6:30 p.m.

We’re still getting some pretty good wind gusts, but nothing like earlier in the day. It’s time for dinner now, and what better comfort food is there than breakfast? How about some biscuits and sausage gravy? Mmmm. 🙂

Hurricane Matthew

LATER. October 7, 2016. 8:00 p.m.

Well, Hurricane Matthew is on it’s way out. We finished dinner and cleaned the dishes, now we’re watching “Captain America: Civil War.” There’s still some wind and rain, but it’ll soon be gone. Tomorrow is a new day…and I gotta fix my fence.

Hurricane Matthew

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Heading home to Florida for Spring Break with the family. It started snowing before I left Virginia. By the time I reached the North Carolina state line, visibility was greatly diminished and progress had slowed to a crawl. So much so, that it took me almost 5 hours to get through the state! My truck was covered in snow and ice when I got to South Carolina, but by the time I crossed the Georgia line, it was clean!

What a whacky ride!

Driving in Snow

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The summer has been rather hot this year. Don’t get me wrong, mind you, I prefer this summer heat to the bitter cold winter weather we had this year! Anyway, what better way to take advantage of the warm weather than to spend a day at the pool? Well, Cindy and the boys favorite cousin, Katie, did just that…

Here, Alex sits perched atop the frog slide waiting for someone to push him. The other kids were lining up behind him, so his brother ended up giving him a shove.

Alex Slides

Alex, the pseudo-swimmer…

Alex Swims

Adam and Katie take shelter under the water umbrella. Adam was a little timid and shied away at first, until Katie forged ahead…

Adam and Katie

SPLASH-DOWN, Adam! Alex is up next!
Katie and the boys

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It’s nice to venture outside again as the cold, windy, wetness of the past couple of months gives way to increasing warmth and sunshine. Unfortunately, the ground is still pretty damp due to the recent rainfall (not to mention the melting snow), so Cindy takes the boys for a walk around the block. Naturally, when one goes for a walk, it’s good and proper to push a lawnmower.

All goes well until Alex decides to backtrack…

This Way and That

Caring for twins is sometimes like herding cats.

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After more than a month of gloomy, gray, overcast days and cold, snowy, winter weather, God paints a beautiful sunset across the warming Pennsylvania sky…

Winter Sunset

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Okay, so I’m not complaining about the snow anymore!

I’ll take snow any day over ice and freezing rain!! This morning the driveway was pretty much a sheet of ice:

Ice Storm Ice Storm

and my truck was literally encased in it:

Ice Storm Ice Storm

Fortunately, the world famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, did NOT see his shadow this morning, which means we’re going to have an early Spring!

And statistically speaking, Phil has been right about 50% of the time, so you couldn’t do any better if you flipped a coin! 😉

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it’s still cold here!

Cold

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Last night it snowed a couple of inches; this morning I was up shoveling the drive at 5. We needed to be on-the-road by 6:15 for the boys 7:00 surgery appointment at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia–a minor procedure to place tubes in their ears.

The Boys in Preop

Once out of the neighborhood, the roads were in pretty good shape, and we arrived at the hospital a little early. Alex and Adam were the first patients of the day, so we went right in to pre-op and changed the boys into their little yellow hospital gowns. The little yellow booties, dubbed “Big Bird Feet” by the CHOP nurses, didn’t stay on too long, as neither Alex nor Adam took a fancy to them (we swapped ’em out for their own little socks).

After their vitals and a short conversation with the doctor and the anesthesiologist, the nurse gave them some “giggle juice” (Versed) to soften their anxiety over being taken by the nurse for the operating table. It did make them both a little loopy–Alex more so than Adam.

The procedure for both boys was over in about 15-minutes. We joined Alex in the recovery room. He still had the airway in and was sleeping soundly. Adam soon joined us, and was before long, awake and crying–likely due to the disorientation he was experiencing. I stayed with Alex while Mommy consoled Adam. Alex awoke soon after, but wasn’t as upset as Adam was–thankfully.

After the post-op instructions from the nurse, we dressed the boys and were heading home once again.

I can only imagine what it must be like for the boys–especially Alex–to actually be able to hear sounds without it sounding like they’re underwater.

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