Saturday, October 01, 2005

Katrina - The Hurricane

About a month after moving into my trailer in the wilderness, Hurricane Katrina happened. I don't get TV where I live, so I relied on NPR giving me the details, and I caught glimpses of distraction on the Internet.

Seeing and hearing about all the devastation in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast really put things into perspective for me.

I thought about all the people who lost everything during the hurricane. One can learn very quickly what really matters to you. I could do without just about everything, as long as I have the people I love near me. I don't even care about the material things. If our storage bin was destroyed, I don't think I'd be very upset. It's just stuff.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Raising kids is difficult. You first have to dig a hole big enough. Here is one of my wild kids, growing like a weed. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Big Storm: Monday, September 19th 2005

Sleeping in a metal trailer during a thunderstorm in a forest is a little scary.

I had a “horror movie” experience before the storm: I woke up and heard the storm in the distance. It wasn’t raining yet, but the wind was picking up. I laid there for a minute and remembered all the things that were sitting out that could blow away or get wet. So, in my nightgown, I threw on my shoes and the headlamp so that I could see. The headlamp straps around your head and has a flashlight that looks like it’s sticking out of your forehead. It’s a way of having light and being able to use both your hands.

So I went outside in the dark and wind, scurrying around, trying to get everything taken care of. It was REALLY dark. There were a lot of leaves blowing around. There were also hickory nuts and walnuts flying off of the trees making very loud noises as they hit the ground or roof. I was hoping not to get hit by one. First, I got the toys out of the little tent we set up. I then put the cover on the tent so that the inside wouldn’t get wet. I was going really fast, but I was able to do it. I then gathered all the newspaper we’ve been using to start fires and put them in a container under the trailer. Then I found all the cooking stuff and put them into the grill. I also put our rugs on the closeline—hopefully the rain would wash the mud off of them. I also found Michaels boots. I put everything into the trailer.

Good thing we don’t have a dog or cat—I could just hear my son saying, “Don’t leave Sparky outside!” and just as I got the dog into the trailer, a gust of wind would blow me away.

Last but not least, both boys needed to go pee. Luckily for them, all they had to do was stick their dingers out the door and go.

The storm was brief but loud, but nothing happened, thank goodness.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Camp shower attached to side of trailer. People driving by could only see your naked feet.

Our lovely outdoor kitchen.

The Crappy Crapper. Notice the Lysol? Need I say more?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Testing to see if we have water!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Voodoo Baby - We offer it bones that we find on the property. Hopefully, our house will not look like this when we're done!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Living in a Construction Trailer

Because our house was not in a livable condition, we had decided to rent a construction trailer to live in for a couple of months. It was summer, and it had air-conditioning. We would at least have some place to sleep. Since we had a 5-year-old and a 6-month-old, my main concern was making it as cozy as possible.

Our trailer had two and ½ rooms. The ½ room was a “bathroom”. I put quotes around it because it wasn’t really usable. The toilet was missing and instead there was a hole in the floor. The sink required that we run plumbing, which we decided wasn’t worth it. So, basically, it became a closet for the diaper genie and other items we didn’t need on a daily basis. The back room wasn’t very big, so we declared it the Walk In Closet. I used laundry baskets to divide the clothing—one for each person. I also stored some food items and basic food-prep items in this room as well.

The front room was our main living space. We had put our mattress on top of the futon and this was our bed. The baby had her Pack-N-Play to sleep in, and the boy got an air mattress and his twin mattress to sleep on. We also set up a lamp since there wasn’t any other lights, and we had a TV and DVD/VCR player set up—quite essential! I also set up the high chair for the baby. Needless to say, there wasn’t much room left to move around.

We did many things on the queen-sized bed. If we weren’t eating dinner outside, we were eating on our bed. We watched videos on the bed. We played on the bed.

Our only decoration was a Napoleon Dynamite poster.

For the most part, our experience was good. The air conditioner did a great job. The windows could open to let in fresh air. When it got a little chilly, we had space heaters that would make it too hot.

But during storms, I was really scared. For one thing, the trailer was supported by 16 cement blocks precariously placed at each corner. Secondly, it’s a trailer in the forest. What if the wind was strong enough to blow the whole thing over? What if the wind blew a tree over onto us? We’re in a big metal box during a thunderstorm. Not very comforting!

We survived. We lived exclusively in the trailer from the first week of August until the first week of November. In fact, the trailer is still there and still standing fine. Now, if we could just get the guy who rented us the trailer to take it away, we’d feel a lot better.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Names and places have been changed to protect the "innocent"

In posting my blog, I am going to change the names and places. We don't live in Creekistan, but that's what we're calling it.

My family consists of four total people and one cat (so far):

Me: Amy the Black
My Husband: Zeb
My 5 1/2 yr. old Son: John
My 1 yr old Daughter: Olivia

Cat: Nearly Tailess Nick (Nicky)

Other cat that comes around occasionally but we don't get to pet: Noodles

For those of you who know me, you'll know our real names and places.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Jump, and the net will appear

There is a saying that I've adopted lately: "Jump, and the net will appear." That seems to sum up me and my family's move to the Creekistan area. In July of 2005, my husband and I purchased a house that had been neglected and left abandoned for a couple of years. It needed a lot of work to make it livable and to make improvements to it. Originally, we were going to work on the house in our "spare" time over the summer and during the holidays, as well as hire work to be done. Then, when it became ready for us to live in, we would look into moving. However, a job became available for me near Creekistan that was too good to pass up. So, we leaped.

When we moved, the house was not livable. In fact, I could hardly stand even being inside of the house! Things were strewn everywhere. Faulty construction plagued the structure. Small animals and insects had started to take over. It was a mess! So, we rented a two-room construction trailer to live in for a couple of months while we get the house fixed. The construction trailer wasn't much better, actually. But it at least had air conditioning and a door. We had to run electric to it from the house. Therefore, we couldn't watch TV and run the air conditioner at the same time. Not that it mattered much, we can't receive any channels anyway!

Both the trailer and the house lacked a usable bathroom. With two males and a baby wearing diapers, it wasn't much of a problem. I become proficient with using the outdoor "ladies room" at a secluded area near some tall plants. In other words, "squat by the bamboo." It wasn't so bad: when I used the ladies room in the morning, I was sharing it with beautiful butterflies and hummingbirds. If you needed to do "number two," however, we had rigged up an old swing set, covered it with tarp, and included a "bucket seat" to do your business. My 5 year-old actually had fun using this contraption, but I seemed to have developed selective constipation.

Showers were a problem. Since we didn't have a hot-water heater, we had to make our own hot water. We set up a camp shower that warmed up water using the sun. That worked for both my husband and I, but my son wasn't very thrilled. The baby, on the other had, loved taking baths outside in a little tub. I lucked out by having a shower here at my new job, and utilized it on a daily basis. In fact, I would bring the kids here to wash them up too! Especially when it started getting colder and darker outside.

Cooking was a problem, too. I was a Girl Scout, and was proficient with making campfires and cooking on them. But day after day, it became tedious. We had a grill, but that too became a problem. Especially when it got dark earlier in the evening. It's just too difficult to cook in the dark. So, we ate out a lot!

Work on the house progressed. In fact, we finished the bathroom and the master bedroom the first week of November. Just in time, too, since it started getting cold outside. Recently The kitchen is almost done, too, except for the floor. But the rest of the house is quite undone. Hopefully by spring we will have made a lot more progress. By summer, I hope to start having parties!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Greeting from Creekistan!

When me and my family moved from an urban apartment into a rural "wilderness" house, we didn't quite know what we were getting into. We knew it would be rough, but what adventures would we have in store for us?

Join me in reliving our adventures and hearing about our trials, tests, fun, and adjustments to this new way of living.

All in all, we are enjoying our adventure. Having our own house and our own piece of beautiful forest land is well worth all the trials and tribulations. We have lots of stories to tell and adventures to share. Eventually, we hope to have a welcoming place where our friends and family can come to stay, whether its to camp on our 10 acres of land, or to stay in our house.