Nothern Indiana Flood 2018

Yes, I am still alive. I have started several entries this way over the past 2 years since I began blogging here. A lot has happened since the start of the year.  The next few posts are likely to be things that already happened that I want to write about.

I will begin with the flooding in Northern Indiana that we experienced in mid February.

In three days, we received 7 inches of rain that fell on top of approximately 2 feet of packed snow.  The snow was already melting from unseasonably warm weather that we got to enjoy for a couple of days before it began to rain.

Below is a photograph of my house approximately two days before the warm up. I took this photo because I was complaining  discussing how I was clearing snow from the street so I could park and the neighbor kept stealing my space.

 

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This was the scene a few days before the warm up and the rain started. Reports stated that the rainfall would have equaled almost 60 inches of snow.

 

The mayor of south Bend, Pete Buttigieg, referred to the event as our 500 year flood.

“When we talk about flooding in an area we don’t have 500 or 1,000 years of records,” said David Call, an associate professor of meteorology at Ball State University in Muncie. “We extrapolate out, we graph it out based on the data we do have. When people say a 500-year flood, it’s what we would expect the magnitude of flooding to be once every 500 years.”

If you have been following me on social media, you have seen my numerous photographs of the St. Joseph River. I love the St. Joe. I live a couple of blocks away and I often hike along it, kayak and of course, photograph it.  The river is a huge part of our community.

I have never seen the St. Joseph River that high or the flooding that it caused. I have also never seen the local ditches spill over the way that they did. It was incredible for our area. A lot of people lost their homes and businesses.  Roads collapsed or washed out, bridges were swept away.  Schools were closed for several day and shelters were created in additions to the locations that were already available.

In addition to the St. Joseph River, I also frequent the area of the Dausman Ditch, located near Bremen, Indiana. I often take my horse down the lane and cross the ditch to ride a trail and along the fences and fields that belong to my friend Chalisa and her family.  There is a wooden bridge they use to cross their equipment to get to the back fields.

The water threatened the bridge but they were able to save it.  If you’re following me on social media, you’ve seen photographs of this bridge several times.  It’s a plan wooden bridge but for whatever reason, I am enamored with it.

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The bridge over the Dausman Ditch. I am amazed that it’s still there!!

Professionally, we handled numerous water rescues from homes and vehicles. It was bad enough that everyone was out of barricades and signs. Marshall County, Indiana was in a state of emergency.  One of my close friends is an officer there and told me that one of the most frustrating things that he was forced to deal with was figuring out how to get to the people that needed help either because he couldn’t get to them or couldn’t get to them without serious risk of getting himself killed in the process.

I am begging you to NOT drive your vehicles through high water. It never looks as deep as it really is. You’re going to stall your motor and become stranded. You can also get swept away.  Not only does this put yourself into a bad situation but you’re also putting the responders into a bad position when we have to come and save you.

If there is a barricade or a road closed sign set up that means that the road is closed. It means that it is closed for you, regardless of who you think you are or where you think you need to go.  It’s closed for a reason.  Turn around and find another way to reach your destination.

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Near Wyatt, Indiana- Someone spray painted “road closed” on this van. This was approx 3 days after the rain stopped.

 

The first morning that the water was really high and covering the roads, I had to get really creative to make my destination and at one point, I was going to simply cancel my reasons for travel. It’s not worth putting yourself at risk.

Below is a small gallery of photo’s from our area. I did my best to add captions since the locations are from different areas with different sources of water.  I wasn’t able to get very many because I didn’t go near the affected areas since the roads were closed.  I took the majority of the photo’s and noted which ones I didn’t.

 

When You Can’t Let Go- Rearrange

Have you ever started a project at home and thirty minutes later asked yourself, “Dear God, what have I done?”

Have you ever had a piece of furniture that you just couldn’t part ways with? I think most people probably have “that old chair” in their life they just don’t want to get rid of. You have an overwhelming emotional attachment with it. It doesn’t match, but you just can’t seem to let it go? It’s just so comfortable, pretty, makes you happy. Whatever?

I have one of those. It’s a solid oak hutch/curio cabinet that I bought from Gypsies who had a little set up on the side of the road. No really. I also bought their oak table and chair set. The only thing that remains from my road side shopping spree is this cabinet.

It’s awesome. Currently though, it doesn’t really go with the decor in the living room and it’s so big that it just got in the way of everything. You would think that this would inspire me to sell it or give it away. Oh no. Instead, I scooted it inch by inch into the den/office just adjacent to my living room.

It’s probably 7 feet tall, 3 feet wide.  I have no idea how much it weighs.A lot.  It’s also not bolted together.  Scooting the piece was my only option and at any moment, it could fall over if I wasn’t careful.

I decided that I wanted to reclaim my office. Part of this project meant that I wanted to hang things on the walls. Except, I can’t because I have this giant cabinet in the way. It took up a ton of space. It had to go. Except, I can’t sell this thing or give it away.

After some thinking, I decided that I would move it into the kitchen and put my pretty dishes in it and set the microwave on it as well. That is, if it would clear the opening and ceiling in the kitchen. I wasn’t sure. I didn’t bother to measure. I just got to scootin’.

I had to take on the task of taking everything out of it that I had stored on the bottom, in the drawers and on the shelves inside.  This turned into me making a huge mess not only in the den/office but also in the living room and in the kitchen. Awful.

It was literally an all day project. I made a huge mess of clutter all over the house. Excuse my mess in the photo’s below as I was rehoming items that were formerly in the cabinet and also the long hutch that is in the photographs below.  I don’t live in squaller, I promise.

The hutch barely fit into the space where I wanted to put it. I mean, there is maybe 2 inches between the top of the piece and the ceiling. The microwave just fit into the space also.  It’s perfect where it is now.  I’m happy with it too.

I’m also really glad that I was able to free up the space in my office. Now I just need to work on getting it put back together and organized. I want to but some shelves and maybe another, larger bookcase.

I am also attached to the mid sized bookcase that is in the photo gallery below. I rescued that from the Habitat For Humanity ReStore maybe two years ago. That thing probably weighs 200 pounds and is also solid oak. I dragged it home and refurbished it.

Easter Weekend: Part One

I got to enjoy a rare weekend off where my son was also at home. It was a bonus that it was Easter weekend. Easter is my favorite religious holiday. I was raised Roman Catholic and Easter was highly celebrated for obvious reasons.

Even if you aren’t a believer in Christ, you have to agree that the drama surrounding his crucifixion is pretty wild and is a fantastic story. It has everything Humans seem to want just short of a cage fight.  With that said, I don’t want to pander to either side of the religious debate. We all have our own ideas so instead, I’m just going to tell you what we did this weekend.

We cleaned up around this place.  How about that for excitement?

Dom didn’t have school on Friday (Good Friday) as it was the end of the school semester.  I was really happy about that because 1. I got to sleep in past 6:30 am. 2. He has spent the last two weekends at his dad’s house. I haven’t gotten to spend a lot of time with him. I got to hog his adorableness all weekend.

The first project I wanted to tackle this weekend was the awful backyard.  I didn’t. I tackled the inside of the house instead. I rearranged the furniture in the kitchen, cleaned the wood floors in the entire house and caught up most of the laundry. I feel so much better.

Yesterday we tackled the awful backyard.  It snowed fairly early in the fall and was consistent enough at first that I didn’t bother raking the remainder of the leaves.  I just let it go. I also let go of cleaning dog waste from the yard. I can’t blame all of that on the snow.  Hilli was also using the deck as a toilet and I didn’t keep up with that as often as I should have either.

I know. Gross.

I only filled up four grocery bags of poo. With three dogs, I expected more. There probably was but it disintegrated over the months with the rain and snow. Gross.  I really hope  my yard doesn’t smell bad to my neighbors. I was pretty embarrassed. It’s done though and it’s supposed to rain tonight and tomorrow so hopefully it washes away the yuck for good.

Dom on stick patrol

Dom on stick patrol

Dom was very helpful and picked up sticks and branches for me. He had a great time wheeling around our yard cart and filling it up. Lu kept bringing him her ball to throw.  I paid him back in tacos and ice cream. Our two favorite things.

I filled up several yard bags with leaves and debris. There are six bags, in case you wondered.. The city does a pick up once a week. My next move is to drag all of this mess to the curb this coming Thursday. Yay me! If you look at the bottom right of the photo you’ll see the dead Boston Fern that I swore ALL summer I was going to bring in and keep alive. Fail.

Anyone need a kiddie pool!?

Anyone need a kiddie pool!?

I never in a million years would’ve posted a before photo of this mess.

Almost done!!

Done for now

I still have to clean up the leaves that are trapped in the bushes in the front yard. After I get that accomplished I won’t do anything for at least another month. I don’t generally buy flowers or put decorations outside until at least mid May.  I’m really anxious to get my deck put together.

Im going to put up little fences along the privacy fence to keep the dogs out of the flower beds. I’m also going to choke the rabbit that keeps eating my hostas with my bare hands.  My neighbor is taking care of the squirrel problem.

The only other big thing I want to do is to replace the red mulch I laid out two years ago. It has faded a bit. I’m going to replace it with more red mulch.

As you can see in the photo, my house is blue. The red mulch looked awesome with the blue house. I suppose I can mulch any time. All of the stores are already selling it.

My house. Taken in early summer after I mulched the the front and side.

My house. Taken in early summer after I mulched the the front and side.

 

Ugh. I really want to pull those bushes out.  Or I need to at least learn how to prune them properly.  One thing at a time.  I enjoy yard work to an extent.  I have a few ideas for the back yard but I think with the exception of those crazy bushes, I like how it is already.

I’m so ready for warmer weather.

 

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

 

Secrets And Lies- Mommy Edition

My son Dominic is ten. For the past couple of years I have had to seriously monitor him when it comes to getting into the refrigerator and helping himself to juice, milk, chocolate milk and ice cream. This child will consume an entire bottle of orange juice in a short amount of time if you let him. There was a time when I thought he would prefer to live on a liquid diet.

However, he is no longer thirsty when you insist he have water.

You haven’t lived until you’ve discovered a pint of melted ice cream hidden inside another bag that was carefully hidden under the bed in your child’s bedroom. He wasn’t grasping that ice cream is frozen and it will melt.  He knows that now.

To combat this, I have a small refrigerator in the basement so that I can take part in sales when apple juice, orange juice etc go on sale without having to totally police my son and his use of the fridge.  I also have root beer and ice cream. Basically, this fridge holds three large bottles of juice I got on sale and a little carton of ice cream.

He’s allowed whatever he wants as long as it’s in moderation.  He knows that he doesn’t have to ask as long as it’s within reason. I keep fruit in a basket on our kitchen table and a very easy to use Britta filter  container of water in the refrigerator.

You can have a banana, but you can’t have four bananas.

Since he’s currently afraid of the basement and won’t go down the steps, this secret shall remain a secret until he’s older and more brave to go down there. Perhaps by then, he’ll have an understanding of self control. For now, he’s a kiddo being a kiddo.

I confess to hiding in the basement to enjoy a bowl of ice cream or a drink of root beer, undetected.  I’m allowed because I am the mommy and this is my time. Hiding in the laundry room, sitting on top of the dryer. Alone. There is no shame.

So, for Valentine’s Day, I made cupcakes and other goodies to give to his grandmother’s. He has two grandma’s and a great grandma.  My mom and his father’s mother and her mother.

I was putting the baskets together, which also included frosting the rest of the cupcakes. Dom asked if he could have one. He had already had three cupcakes by that time. I told him no and that these were for his grandma’s. He stomped off.

As soon as he was gone, I poured a half glass of milk.  I then fled to the basement to sample a freshly frosted cupcake. I laughed at myself because I think this is hilarious and I also don’t think I am the only mother who does this.

 

Secret cupcakes

Secret cupcakes

 

Secret ice cream, secret root beer, secret cupcakes. My basement is full of secrets.

When Your BFF Is a Jerk- Part Two

This blog post is a follow up to another one that I wrote a week or two ago called “When Your BFF Is A Jerk” 

I had a rare weekend off. I spent the majority of my Friday morning cleaning the house and doing laundry.  I washed a mountain of laundry and also managed to wash all of the dog beds.  Between the three dogs, we have at least six beds total and a number of blankets.

I say a “number of blankets” because I am seriously not sure. With Hilli ( the red cattle dog) being elderly, and not able to hold her bladder, you need a few otherwise you would be doing laundry every day.

I have three beds upstairs for each dog. I took Lu’s bed and the cover for Sasha’s up to the side room where I usually keep them and left them on the floor. Hilli’s was still in the dryer. I came back a few minutes later and this is what I saw.

 

Poor sad Sasha

Poor sad Sasha

Lu took her bed and not only put it on top of Sasha’s bed, but she’s also laying on the cover for Sasha’s bed.  Oh Dingo Lu, you’re such a cattle dog. AS you can see,  Sasha is completely milking the pity out of this moment.  Just look at that face!  Look at Lu and the “I don’t care,” look on her face. She’s priceless. She’s such a turd.

Lu is a great dog and all three of them get along really well. They play together and very rarely do they scuffle or growl at each other. You put three women anywhere and you’ll occasionally have some bickering.

Silly girls. I couldn’t imagine life without them.