Monday, June 29, 2015

Whoever said Summertime and the livin is easy?

Every single summer I have these plans to have fun, do some academic activities with Princess Bear (PB) and just have fun and relax.  Every single summer it seems like we're going from activity to activity!  As long as she's having fun, right?  In addition to the regular summer activities of  art classes twice a week, meeting with the tutor twice a week, swimming lessons twice a week and weekly guitar and piano lessons there have been some home improvement issues and a very good family friend's wedding which I did a lot of helping with.

Also I needed some time away from the blogosphere.  Have you noticed how normally nice people will just make judgements without the facts or say things that they'd most likely never say in real life?  Why is it that the keyboard gives such an inflated sense of righteousness and boldness that people would never display in real life?

So last week was the beginning of having our back patio rebricked.  My dad and I tore up 2/3 of the bricks a few years ago when my parents were going to have a deck put in that would fit the requirements so PB could once again have an outdoor pool (we previously had a 15' by 42" pool but had to take it down because our fence was 2" too short).  The guy that my parents hired to build the deck never showed up.  Since they hadn't paid him it wasn't a big deal other than PB really liked having her own pool at home.  We also had a sandbox where the bricks had been.  We had used the bricks to line our garden paths so that part was cool.  The sandbox with mortar chunks that attracted weeds was not so cool.  Part of the problem with the old brick patio is that it was old.  Another part is that there are underground sewer pipes that run along the back of our property.  Apparently as long as my parents have lived in this house (about 40 years now) there has been an issue with the pipes leaking.  Our next door neighbor used to have a truckload of dirt delivered every other year to fill in the sinkhole that these leaking pipes caused.  Another neighbor has had to replace their fence twice because it eroded at the bottom because of this.  As luck would have it the storm drain for this area is in the corner of our yard.  That means whenever there is heavy rains our yard tends to get a lot of water as it makes its way to the storm drain.  The leak has not only caused our patio to raise unevenly and crack but it has caused our foundation to crack.  About 15 years ago the city paid to have our garage floor jacked up after it cracked and went to hell because of what these pipes have done.  Now whenever we have a heavy rain we wind up with the water that should be going to the storm drain winding up in our basement.  This has caused all kinds of cracks in the basement flooring too.  Usually the basement dries up a day or two after a good rain.  Since we've been having days upon days of rain our basement is a hot mess.  Last week a guy from the city game out and looked things over.  Admitted there is a problem and they are supposedly going to install some sort of camera in the pipes to see what is going on.  I really hope this happens soon since I'm damn sick of the damp smell and half expect to find a duck every time I go downstairs to switch out the laundry!

Last week was also really busy too with a good family friend getting married.  I've known Emily  since she was a very little girl.  Her mother, Nancy, was my younger sisters piano teacher and is now PB's piano teacher.  Nancy had 3 kids with her husband.  The youngest was born on a Friday (by C section) and they had just been released and got home.  Nancy and her husband were trying to come up with a middle name for baby Hannah and the dad literally dropped dead in the living room.  So Nancy had 3 kids 8 and under including a newborn to raise on her own.  My family had been close to them before Clark passed but Mom really adopted them after that.  For many years they were with us for Christmas every year. I was always a baby person so when I got out of class for the day if I didn't work I'd call Nancy and tell her I was picking up Hannah.  I used to take Hannah everywhere with me!  A few years ago Nancy had a very good friend who had adopted 5 siblings.  The adoptive mother died of cancer a few years after she'd adopted the kids so Nancy adopted the kids.  Can you imagine raising 8 kids on your own?  PB absolutely loves all of the kids and she spends a lot of time with them.  Emily and her fiancee were engaged in February and married this past weekend.  I offered to help in anyway that I could.  A few weeks ago Nancy called and asked me if I'd do her makeup for the wedding.  She and the girls never ever wear makeup.  Then she called a few days later and asked if I'd also do makeup for Emily and Hannah.  Since they don't normally wear makeup they wanted a very light neutral look.  The girls had gone to a salon and had makeovers done but they felt very "painted".  So in the last 2 weeks I've spent a lot of time in Ulta and Sephora (a real hardship!) getting stuff needed to turn these ladies into a simply, natural made up version of themselves.  It was a lot of fun spending time with them getting ready for the big day.  It was also a beautiful wedding.  The one thing that I noticed repeatedly is how much Emily and Josh were laughing, smiling and just having a great time during the ceremony itself!  Here are a few pics of their big day.

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Sorry that it's fuzzy. It's a cell pic that's been cropped. Don't you just love the smiles? 

 Emily and I have bonded over Hashimoto's disease and she has Grave's disease as well. She was horribly sick for awhile and Josh stood by her through everything. They've been friends for many years and have a great foundation. I hope they have many years of happiness together! I'm kinda hoping they start a family soon so I can get my baby fix on!

Monday, June 22, 2015

You don't get to pick your family!

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 Let's just say that this past weekend included entirely WAY too much family time.  This past Saturday my Dad, sister and brother in law ran in a 4 mile race called the Steamboat classic.  This meant that I was elected to babysit my  nephews.  Now mind you that my sister did not ask me if I minded watching the boys.   In all reality I wouldn't ever say no to my sister but it would just be nice if she extended the courtesy.  There's just something about someone assuming that it's perfectly ok to drop their children off at oh dark early.  Admittedly I AM NOT a morning person.  Frankly if I see 5am it's because I haven't gone to sleep yet.  I'm sure I'm just being a less than nice, charming version of myself but it still rubbed me the wrong way.  Thankfully between Princess Bear (PB) loving being a babysitter and having a smart TV so I could play various versions of Star Wars Dancing with the Stars Hyperspace Hoopla.  Show my nephews anything Star Wars related they're happy kids.  Thank G-d!  The thing that is somewhat interesting is that is that my nephews were very well behaved when it was just the four of us and then my parents got back from the race and they started acting up.  Not completely bad but leaving the little angel realm.  Once my sister and brother in law got here they became little devils.  WTF???????  After we ate breakfast I was  a) ready for my sister and her family to leave and b) ready for a nap.  Stick a fork in me I was done. I'll be the first to admit that I have basically no patience when it has anything to do with my sister and I'm a horribly grumpy person when I'm tired.  It didn't bode well that Fathers day was the next day.

I do need to stop my sister rant and give my Dad props for still running this race at 68 years old! My dad is the one on the left. 

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My sister and I have always had one of those relationships that went from one side of the pendulum to the other side with very little time spent in the middle.  It also didn't help that growing up my parents often compared us to another.  A+ parenting it wasn't.  It most definitely had a lot of influence the way my sister and I deal with each other.  In addition my sister and I are 3 1/2 years apart.  The way that our birthdays fell it meant that we were not in school at the same time once I got out of 8th grade.  I was a freshman in college when my sister was a freshman in high school.  Basically it meant that she was nothing more than an annoyance.  There's a family story that when my sister was an infant I saw the garbage man collecting garbage one day and went booking out the front door to ask them if they would take my sister.  I don't remember this but it wouldn't surprise me!  

My sister decided that her thyroid issues were just making it so she couldn't host Fathers Day (same excuse as Mothers Day).  Now this means that in my mothers mind that they have to come here because she refused to go to restaurants on holidays.  My sister knows this.  She doesn't care that it means my mom and I are then doing a meal that meets my moms standards of a holiday meal.  This also means that my moms ideas of how things need to be play into part of this.  I'm sure in our own way we're all responsible.  Part of me thinks that if we're not going out that maybe ordering dinner in is a better option except my dad wanted a home cooked meal.  OK.  Then let's make this easier and use stuff like paper plates and plastic utensils so we don't have dishes coming out the wazoo.  Nope.  So my mom and I are making a meal that includes appetizers, salad and main meal.  She leaves dessert up to my sister.  A mistake in and of itself since my sister can't bake to save her life but it gave her something to do.  Personally I'm all for playing for some one's strengths.  My sister follows a very green clean eating diet.  It would make sense for her to make the salad, right?  Nope.  We also always have to deal with my sisters time table for meals.  When the kids were very little I understood that but they're 5 and 7 now.  In our house we don't usually eat dinner until 6:30 or 7pm.  I get that wouldn't work for my nephews but I think insisting that we eat by 5 "for the kids" is a bit much.  To add to the fun they all arrived late so we didn't start the pasta until they were here because we didn't want things to get cold.  

So they finally arrive and I'm watching videos on my phone and playing with my nephew.  I figure I've been helping with the prep work and doing dishes all day.  I'm going to keep the kids under control and my sister can help finish up the meal.  There was also discussion about what gifts my youngest nephew wants for his birthday.  We'd been at Walmart earlier that day and bought a ton of stuff.  My mom refuses to give gifts to the boys without my sisters "Ok".  Me- I buy what I want for them and hopefully it's damn noisy and annoying!  I had showed my nephew a video of a Minions fart gun and he thought it was hilarious.  So there's now a fart gun in our den waiting for his birthday.  I digress, the boys, PB and I are in the living room watching videos.  My sister comes in to show me pictures of what toys she has deemed acceptable for my nephews birthday and she has a fit that the kids and I are watching  videos (apparently it wasn't a "screen day").  I start to turn off my phone but that doesn't work for my sister.  She has a fit and goes back into the kitchen.  I decide that buying into her shit isn't worth my time.  My sister then goes into the kitchen and pitches a fit to my mom.  My mom just roles her eyes and motions for me to just chill.  Ok fine.  Gotta keep the peace.  In the mean time my nephews are running completely amok.  I'll be the first to say that my youngest nephew is a bit of a handful.  It doesn't help that my oldest nephew is a very, very, very good and obedient child.  My sister and brother in law thought that's how all kids should be.  So when Luke came along and wasn't willing to conform to exactly what my sister wants things get ugly.  My sister has been at her ropes end dealing with my youngest nephew for awhile.  I'm pretty sure Luke has picked up on this.  I actually think some of his acting out is because he then gets attention from my sister instead of her being all stand offish and I can't deal with this kid anymore.  So Luke is doing things like hitting his brother in the head with a ball.  My oldest nephew doesn't help in that he's a very sensitive but perceptive child.  He's very quick to cry and knows that my sister is not dealing well.  So he comes into the kitchen screaming that Luke hit him in the head with a baseball.  My sister flies into the other room to put Luke in timeout.  What they didn't get is that the baseball Luke threw was a nerf baseball.  After about 3 rounds of putting Luke in time out and to the car for a talking to my mom tells me to take Luke and just watch videos with him one on one so he doesn't get into any trouble.  Dinner itself was a complete fiasco.  Luke kept getting out of his seat and creating havoc.  I get why he's acting out but I also get that if he doesn't stop it's just going to get ugly and probably sooner than later.  

After dinner my mom, sister, PB and I were cleaning up and doing dishes.  At one point I hear my nephew saying something about playing a guitar.  I didn't add up the pieces until later that evening.  After we cleaned up everything we all went to visit in the living room.  There was a perler board with a big project that PB had been working on for the better part of a week.  (A perler board is this board that has little nubs all over it.  You use these little plastic beads to make pictures by places the beads on the nubs and then ironing it together).  I had warned my nephews the day before not to touch it and reminding them on Fathers day as well.  After dinner I see that the entire project is ruined.  My sister says "the kids were told everything they could hurt had been put up".  Um no since I'd told them about this project they knew better.   She never said she was sorry about the fact that the boys fucked it up and that's the part that really pissed me off.  An apology wouldn't put the project back together but it would have meant something.  Somehow my parents decide it's my fault that they project had been left out.  No consideration that moving the project would have screwed it up just as much as the boys had.  It's just easier to blame me.  Then after they left I walk into the family room and see all the toys the boys have played with and not put away.  So if we're keeping score it's 1) the boys screwed up PBs project and 2) they left the house a mess.  PB cleans up everything her cousins left out and we start sorting the beads back out so we can start her project again.  Then I realize that the boys had said something about playing the guitar and I remember the guitar was in my room to keep the boys away from it.  I don't close the door to my room because the cat always hides in there when we have company but her litter box is downstairs and I don't want to cut her off from it.  The boys know that they are not supposed to go into any of the bedrooms.  That way we don't have to worry about what they can harm.  That was about the point when I really lost my shit.  Yes I love my sister.  Yes I love my nephews.  Yes there are times that I just want to not have to deal with them.  Yes I'm perfectly aware that  this post has been one huge rant.  That's why blogging is better and cheaper than therapy. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A bit more on the last post and then Blackhawks!

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Last night my mom, Princess Bear (PB) and I went to check out our favorite birding place on the river and take a quick trip to CVS before a) the weather completely hit the fan and b) we missed more than the first period of the Blackhawks vs Lightning game. Our favorite place to go birding in on the Illinois river about a 1/2 hour from here.  My mom did declare the trip a country music free trip.  Instead she tortured me with Coldplay and had me reliving my youth with Harry Chapin (My mom is a huge fan and used to listen to him CONSTANTLY!).  We were chatting on our way out to Chillicothe and I was telling my mom about a conversation Mason and I had about my feeling joyous after finding out that my ex's 3rd marriage had failed (read prior post for whole story).  It had started out with me asking Mace if it was completely awful of me to feel that way.  He said no but it did seem that maybe I wasn't over it.  Once I explained why I felt the way I did he completely understood where I was coming from and that I was indeed completely over my ex.  My mom's first question is whether Mason was jealous.  I think he was for all of 2 seconds before I explained myself.  After that Mace and I had a good chuckle and talked about other things.  My mom then went into her whole "Navy men are not marriage material....EVER!" speech and why had she figured that out why before I did.  I just loved that my mom's first question was if Mason was jealous.  My mom and Mason have a very interesting relationship.  They get along but they know exactly how to push each others buttons well.  Most of the time it's funny but there are times that I feel like I'm dealing with 2 preschoolers.

When we left the house last night the sky was somewhat overcast.  I will completely admit that I'm SOOOOO very over all the rain we're getting.  Our basement barely has time to dry out before we get another good rain.  Our way out to Chillicothe was just peachy.  Like I said slightly overcast but nothing serious.  On our way back into town my mom wanted to stop at CVS because she had a $5 coupon that was expiring.  We noticed as we pulled into the CVS parking lot that the sky had gotten much darker very quickly.  I grabbed my cell and checked that we had no weather alerts and that we were actually pretty north and since most bad weather comes from the West I figured we'd be ok. Yeah- that wasn't my best call lately.  We were in CVS for less then 15 minutes and when we left the it was like nighttime dark outside, the wind was whipping up big time and it the rain was starting in earnest.  5 minutes into the rest of the ride home I had the windshield wipers on as fast as they could go and I still had almost no visibility.  Have I mentioned that I hate (as in am deathly afraid of) thunderstorms?  I was so not happy.  I was thrilled to finally get home a) to get out of the storm and b) it was time to settle in and watch the Blackhawks game and it was AWESOME! 

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It was a shutout game and the Hawks brought the cup home at home for the first time since 1938!  I love hockey.  The problem is since we live 3 hours from Chicago and we only have basic cable I don't get to actually watch the games until playoff time.  Luckily several of my cousins and one of my Uncles are season ticket holders so I get the scoop from them.  Also one of my favorite local dj's is a huge Blackhawks fan and he talks about the team with regularity during regular season play.  My Uncle and one of my cousins were at the game last night.  I admit it...I'm jealous!  Brian and Mike are the 2 on the right.  

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 HERE is a fun article about about things you might not know about the Stanley Cup.  My favorite is that 2 babies have been baptized in the Stanley Cup!  Too damn funny!

I love the way the Bears congratulated the Blackhawks last night
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One of the great things about living in Illinois and being relatively close to Chicago is that there are tons of teams to follow. In this house we're Chicago Cubs, Bears, Bulls and Blackhawk fans.  I'll never forget when PB was all of 2 1/2 WEEKS old and my dad held her up outside of Wrigley Field and explained to her that this is where her Cubbies played.  We were actually in town to have a consultation with a surgeon for PB but my dad insisted on taking her by Wrigley.  The next summer he sat her in his lap and was explaining play by play what was going on.  When I was working at NTC Great Lakes for the USO I was always able to attend a couple of the Chicago Bears preseason games.  Actually that's the right time to do it!   No chance of becoming a Popsicle during preseason!  I will say that as a family the season we like the most is football.  I'm not quite sure how old PB is in this picture with my dad but isn't it a great pic?

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The Bears training camp is in Bourbonnais, IL.  That is about 2 hours from here.  I'm hoping that there is a very unseasonably cool day so I can take PB to watch a practice.  I think she'd love it! 

Ok, I'm off since it's almost 1:30 am and I have to get up early to babysit. Luke.  We're back on our summer schedule of babysititng him every Wednesday so my sister can caddy for my oldest nephew during his golf lessons. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Nie mój cyrk nie moje małpy!

Have you every experienced something that changed and colored the way you regarded the rest of your life from that point on?  Sometimes it a very deliberate decision and other times it very  subconscious.  In many ways the implosion of my relationship with my now ex fiancee (Wayne) was like that.  It most definitely changed the way I looked at men and how I viewed marriage (never doing it! Thank you very much!).  Now the way my ex went about things was just down right cruel.  Did I react in the best most positive fashion I could have?  Nope.  Water under the bridge though, right?  I remember at one point having a conversation about relationships with my friend Ted.  It was just the 2 of us out to lunch.  We were discussing relationships and he grabbed my hand and said "Sarah- there's a big difference between isolation and insulation!".  At the time I didn't give it much thought (which is saying something since I've spent a good part of my life from the age of about 19 on secretly pining away for Ted!). 

 He's absolutely right though!  After the breakup with my ex I most definitely isolated myself.  I couldn't even fathom the idea of going through emotional pain like that ever again.  I threw myself into raising my daughter.  Since raising her in some ways is kind of like a full time job in and of itself it wasn't hard to do.  I can definitely attribute my aversion to marriage to the demise of my relationship with Wayne.  I'd been in very serious relationships before him and survived them falling apart with a lot more grace and less tears.  At the end of those other relationships I never felt like I'd rather be completely by myself then experience what I was experiencing then.  In a lot of ways I'm very, very optimistic almost to the point that it's a bit scary.  In all honesty I couldn't even begin to explain why the break up with him was so difficult for me.  In some ways I don't understand how it colored my view on marriage as much as it did but it sure did!  While I'm smart enough to never say never I'm also pretty steadfast in my attitude of "who needs this shit" when it comes to marriage.  Maybe if there was a chance that I could have more kids I'd look at it differently but who knows.  What I do know is that he certainly made it so that I wanted nothing to do with marriage.   

Now truth be told he wasn't the only one to try to put a ring on it.  He was just the one that I really wanted to make it work with the most.  I wanted it to work so badly that I didn't even listen to those little worry voices and warning bells going off in my head!  I'd always had reservations about the fact that I'd be wife number 3.  I convinced myself and others that he'd just been really stupid before.  His first marriage was because he was young and dumb and fresh out of boot camp.  Young marriages never work, right?  As far as marriage number 2 it was typical military marriage.  Two people are dating and things are going fairly well.  You're not very serious yet but things are good.  Then the military member of the relationship gets orders to their next post.  Instead of ending things, because hey! Things are good so far!  or trying for a long distance relationship because really who wants to do that?!!? So instead they decide to get married   I know!  I know!  Dumb!  Very, very, very dumb!  Those where the reasons I could attempt to wrap my head around being wife number 3 and convincing myself that we'd be able to work it all out and we'd make it.  Then there was the whole issue of his drinking.  Now I'll be the first to admit that before I had my daughter I was no innocent little thing just going to work and going home.  I damn near lived in a bar called the Anchor that was right outside the back gate of NTC Great Lakes.  It was a complete dive bar but it was fun.  I spent damn near every night there with friends.  Hanging out, listening to music, drinking beer and playing pool.  It doesn't get much better than that, right?  It's just by the time Wayne and I were engaged I wasn't living my life in a bar anymore and he kind of was.  I did talk to him about all these things.  He had the same rationale as far as it being his 3rd try at marriage.  Then as far as going out drinking all the time he reassured me that once we were in the same place that he'd be more than content to stay at home with my and the baby.  I bought it.  Seriously.  Hook, line and sinker. Now there was the fact that he'd been my best guy friend for years at that point and I'd been in love with him forever.  So all of this seemed to work in our favor.  Yeah, I know.  I was an idiot.  I should have listened to those little voices.  At least held off on getting engaged until he was out of the Navy and we were in the same place and I could see how things worked and put those lingering doubts to bed.  

Instead I ran forward without a care or second thought.  Bad mistake.   So as you know things ended with Wayne and ended badly.  Completely fucked me up and scarred me in ways that I didn't even know was possible.  I'm sure you're asking yourself "Why in the bloody hell is she re-visiting this?  What the hell is the point of this post?!!!?".  Ok.  Here you go.  I've finally found the "good" in goodbye.  Are you asking yourself "What the what?" right about now?  Instead of walking away and placing the right amount of blame where it was due I convinced myself that the woman he started dating as we were ending our relationship was the one to blame.  I blamed myself for things that I had absolutely no control over.  I then isolated myself completely.  I convinced myself that putting myself out there where I could experience that kind of pain again was something I wasn't willing to deal with.  I never looked at it as he is someone that is completely incapable of maintaining a real relationship for any amount of time.  None of his marriages have made it to the 10 year mark.  I should have listened to those screaming little voices in my head instead of cutting myself off from life.  I recently found out that his 3rd marriage didn't work.  Now don't get me wrong.  I feel bad for both of them.  Divorce sucks.  No doubt about it.  I also couldn't tell you why for some reason that knowing his 3rd marriage failed was a huge weight lifted for me.  It just made it so much easier for me to find the "good" in his goodbye to me.  I guess there's a part of me that wishes him well and now understands that he is just completely not capable of having a long term monogamous relationship.  It somehow makes me feel better and I'm not second guessing myself anymore.  It really wasn't me.  It really was him.  Not my Circus not my monkeys! 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Summer Kick Off 2015

First of all thank you for the kind comments and emails about my Great Aunt's passing.  It was so very kind of y'all.  I'm not sure why her death was so much harder than my other Great Aunt especially considering I lived with Aunt Celia for awhile.  Part of it is because of how badly this has rocked my dad.

Things have been very, very, very (did I mention very?) crazy around here.  It seems like there is a lot of "stuff" to do to wrap up the school year.  Then we slammed into summer.  No down time for us! Since Princess Bear's last day of school she's had 2 4H trips, twice a week tutor sessions, she's started guitar lessons, resumed swim lessons as well as OT and continued with her piano lessons.  Still to add in is horseback riding and Michael's Passport to Imagination classes twice a week and babysitting my youngest nephew weekly.

We've also had some random things thrown in to the mess. Last week we found out that my dad has synostosis of the spinal column.  This will most likely lead to another surgery for him.  The last surgery he had on his spine he recovered from very quickly.  I'm hoping the same holds true this time.  I'm just pretty scared for him. 

 My sister and brother in law rented a suite for the local farm league games Star Wars night.  They'd done this once before but PB was sick so we didn't get to go.  Before the game we went to Church as a family.  I honestly can't tell you the last time it was all of us.   My youngest nephew knows that Aunt Sarah has an almost impossible time telling him no so he was in rare for during Mass.  I finally promised him that he'd have my undivided attention at the game so he settled down.  The suite was a lot of fun.  The weather was unexpectedly cool so it was nice to have the option to sit inside the suite if we wanted to.  There was also a TV and I was able to catch the Chicago Blackhawks game.  While I like baseball and I really to love watching it live I'm more of a hockey person.  The mascot for the local team is a Dalmatian called Homer.  For Star Wars night he was carrying around a light sabre and my youngest nephew was beyond enthralled.  PB was thrilled when a picture of her with a Snowtrooper, Imperial officer, a Stormtrooper and some character that I DO NOT know (I'm losing Star Wars Cred with my nephews if I admit that!) appeared on the jumbo tron screen.  My dads reaction was also great.  He was outside braving the cold weather with my nephews while the rest of us hung out inside watching that came and the Hawks.  Next thing I know my brother in law says "Sarah!  Sarah!  Outside!"  I look up and sure enough there is PB on the jumbo tron.  My dad stood up and turned around to look at all of us in the suite with this completely dumbfound expression of "how in the bloody hell did my granddaughter wind up on that?!!?".  It was too much fun.  PB was all kinds of excited about it.  For 2 seconds she was sad that school was over and she couldn't tell the guys about it.  It was a really fun evening.

Mother Nature also decided to show a bit of her fury this past weekend.  We were in Pekin for a wedding shower.  I've known Emily since she was 3 or 4 years old and Hannah since she was born.  It seems so unreal that Emily is getting married!  We were about 30 minutes outside of Peoria and it was a pretty significant storm there.  I picked up my phone to take a picture and it started ringing.  My dad had tried to call several other times.  We we live had a serious thunder storm. As in trees down everywhere and lots of people without power for several hours.  We live on a dead end and a tree had fallen across the street.  My dad told me to park near the end of the block and walk home but to be care since wires were down and the other half of the block was without power.  By the time we made it home the guys in the neighborhood had used their saws to break the tree into pieces that could be moved so the road was cleared.  Hannah sent me a message saying that they'd had 2 trees come down in the storm.  I included a photo in the slide show that was taking about 5 minutes from my house.  I'm hoping that Mother Nature decides not to flex her muscles for awhile! 

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