Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Katrina Update from Bogalusa, Louisiana

I’ve gotten a number of messages from people wondering how things are going around here now. I know my posts are sometimes, if not often, few and far between.

So here goes…. (Smile)

Life is much more normal in Bogalusa than it was even a month ago. Hurricane Katrina left her mark but we are rubbing her out--one blotch at a time. There's much, much less debris around on the sides of the roads, many of the damaged trees that remained standing are being trimmed back or marked for removal, homeowners are putting in lots of elbow grease and cash to get things back to how they were before the storm and in some cases even better than they were, slowly the blue tarps on homes are being replaced with new shingles, most businesses that are going to open back up have and they are keeping more normal-type hours even though many are still begging for employees and offering good pay and even bonuses to get them.

It's also a lot easier to find the common things you need now, or things you still need to replace. Cable is back for those who didn't switch to satellite. As far as I know, it seems everyone has phone and electric services if their homes are livable, and even the cell phones are working like they should again--most of the time. Mail is still a little slow, and the newspaper still only comes out three times a week. It might be months before those things return to their old ways.

Personally: My husband's truck has been repaired and my car has been replaced. I miss my older car, mostly because it was all paid for, but I really like the new one even if I don’t like the monthly notes. (Smile)

Work on the house finally seems to be moving forward. There was a point where we just wanted to throw our hands up and give up, but we can see the light at the end of the tunnel now. We have some more sheetrock to take out and replace, more painting, then we need to replace the floors, and this spring we'll redo the roof, but it feels like there is an end date and I can see the progress of all of our hard work.

We should be able to move back into our master bedroom maybe even by this weekend. It’s twice the size of the tiny little room we have been staying in. The extra room that we use as a workout room, now only needs the flooring put down and the doorway finished, then it’s ready to move my bike, treadmill, and my husband’s weight bench into. I need to get back to working out better and more often. I’ve kind of let that slide and my blood pressure and my blood sugar, as well as my weight, are all telling the tale on me. Having those two rooms completed and usable will make this whole house so much less crowded and jammed. Maybe I’ll have places to put things again, and actually be able to find them once I put them somewhere. It will certainly feel more like the home it used to be.

In a kind of backward twist, we finished rebuilding my husband’s little workshop in the backyard first. With so many of his tools and equipment inside, we were climbing over stuff with almost every step. There really wasn’t room to even work inside the house and there was no where else to put the tools and such, so we did the workshop and all of his stuff is out there now. That was a big help.

I’m not sure what we are going to do next. Almost all of the floors will have to be replaced, but we only have the sheetrock left to redo in the living room, wash room, and the second bathroom--which we can’t even get into right now. And the whole roof to put new shingles on of course. I think when we can get back into our bedroom and get things in the workout room so I can use them again, we might just take a break before we start the next step. If the money doesn’t run out before we wear out. (Smile)

The kids are also doing better. Acting more like they used to. (They are 22 and 17 and hate me calling them kids, but they will always be kids to me.) Their school schedules are back to normal and everything is going fine for them. My daughter will graduate from high school in May and my son will graduate from college with a BA the same month after four long hard years. I’m so proud and happy for them both.

My smaller kids…my dogs…are doing well too. They’ve taken it all as just a little bump in the road. Well, they are all doing well but one. A little over a week ago I lost Red. I spent the last few days of his life with him, petting all of his favorite spots, feeding him chicken and other things he loved that I cooked just for him, and telling him what a great dog he was and how lucky I was to have had him as mine. I sure hope he’s in a special place now. I sure do miss him.

Well, I guess that’s about the end of my update for this time. There’s probably more that I’ll only think of after I send this, but that’s just normal for me and I’ve decided I really like normal just fine. (Smile)

Monday, January 16, 2006

E-Mail H E Double L

I hooked up my first computer ten years ago this year. A few months later I got Juno free e-mail. It was a long distance call for me, so I received and sent mail only once a day. (Talk about seeming like a lifetime ago.) hehehe

If you take the e-mail trouble of each of the nine of those years and add them all together, you wouldn't come up with half the e-mail trouble I've had in the last year alone. In that last year I've lost e-mail from two computer crashes, from an e-mail program failure twice, a virus, from a bad motherboard, and ect....

It’s like some how I offended some god of e-mail and I’ve paid for it over and over. Everything seems fine now—knock on wood! The last few weeks my computer has worked fine, my e-mail program fine, and all seems right with my little e-mail world. (Smile) Knock on wood again!


There’s just one little, tiny, bitty problem. My e-mail.

Talk about a mess! I really don’t even know how or where to start. During all of the trouble, I’ve used different addresses, different e-mail programs, and even different computers. Now that every thing is fixed and I’m trying to catch up, it seems an impossible task. I have messages that I need to reply to scattered between no less than three computers, six e-mail programs, and I’ve lost count of the number of folders. Even worse, some of them are duplicate messages from where I was sending things around trying to save things, especially messages I needed to reply to.

On top of that, I’m a diabetic and my blood sugar counts have been crazy lately. So I’ve been trying my best to spend less time at the computer sitting, and much more time up moving around.

It’s gotten to the point where when I do open some of those e-mail folders, I don’t even know where to begin to try to catch up. Just keeping up with the day-to-day messages from the groups I manage can be an overwhelming job at times.

I am trying though. I know I did lose a lot of messages, so a number of people already think I was too stuck up to reply to them, so I don’t want to miss any that I can answer. I guess all I can do is take my time, answer those that aren’t lost, and hope everyone understands.

So, if you are waiting for a reply from me and it doesn’t come, feel free to resend. If the e-mail god is all through taking revenge on me now for whatever I did wrong, maybe the next nine years of e-mail will work out as well as the first nine. (Smile) I don’t think I could take another one like the last!