Six Months of Change

It's been brought to my attention that it has been a full 6 months since I have done a blog post. I can tell you a LOT has changed in that 6 months. My Temp folder is over full and I need to purge it. So, instead of putting everything into one LONG post I've divided it out into several posts with links below to each story.

But first I'm going to show you some odds and ends that don't really fit elsewhere.

Mike's brainchild. I've wanted a pergola for quite a while and the aftermath of Hurricane Irma brought that opportunity. This is made from the the sub-flooring of my old garden shed that was destroyed during the hurricane.

A fire pit overlooking the pond.

And yes, it is great for cooking, too.

Mike only like to have killed me twice while were trying to get these heavy slabs of wood up. I think it was well worth the effort. We spent maybe $30 in some good screws and lumber.

Another Mike brainchild. This is a wishing well to hide the well pipes after we lost the water pump shed. All of the materials were stuff we already had on hand.

Mike's creation with a little help from me. These are old wooden bed slats we got at the junk store for cheap. Mike cut up some dead wood and pieced this together, add some fish and leaves. Nice!

You'll notice a recurring theme here. Almost everything in these posts was bought at the junk store for cheap, scavenged from the nieghbors trash, pieces and parts reclaimed from the hurricane destruction or we already had it on hand. 
This a very nice cabinet we scavenged and painted. The palm pictures were found at the junk store.

Mike has gotten pretty good at painting, too.
Arrrr, matey!

Two recliners we bought for about $35. A huge lamp (repainted) for $8.

Mike made a couple of these solar lanterns to hang at the front gate. The wood and light was scavenged.

I can't believe anyone would throw this perfectly good Tiki umbrella in the trash. But they did and I got it!

This was made from more of those wooden bed slats. I believe it is teak.
Fills up the blank space on the wall very nicely.

And now the links to the rest...

Irma's Destruction

Irma's Construction

It's a Craft Inspiration

The Lanai Redo

Irma's Destruction

It was Sept 10, 2017 and it's taken this long for me to blog about it. It was truly disheartening at time but in the end it was just what we needed.

We had plenty of time to prepare, a full week before we knew for sure it was headed for us and I can tell you that you really get tired of it. We should have been terrified but we were more exhauseted and immune by the time it actually came through.

We were never under an evacuation order and we probably wouldn't have gone even if there were one. A lot of people got stuck on the highways heading north and by that time there was no gas to be found anyway.

Thar she blows. Although the eye didn't come through until after dark we lost power at about 11:00 that day. It was windy as hell for a very long time. We watched the property fill up, we watched trees fall we watched the roof come off my shed.

We did not board up which seemed like a good idea until the last day or so when the news said it was going to hit as a Cat5. By that time you couldn't find a piece of plywood anywhere. This is our last minute redneck solution: the mattress againsr the french doors.

I couldn't keep Mike inside.

About 4:00 we closed ourselves up in our little hidey hole. We made a nice comfy bed in the bathtub, brought in the animals, food and water, and bug out bag and settled in to listen to the wind blow.

We watched the news on a little battery powered TV and listened as they reported the hurricane coming through Marco Island. It was dark by then. At about 8:00 it was heading inland over Lehigh Acres and we knew we were next in line.

We're glued to that little TV set waiting for updates....
and waiting for updates....
Nope! There's a fence down on Marco. That was what they were reporting! Thanks goodness I still had cell reception and my son in Kansas City was sending me updates and radar pics so we weren't completely in the blind.

We were able to go out later that night and get a glimpse of the damage with a flashlight. Later we learned there were 3 tornados reported in the Labelle area, one came right through our area. We never heard it.

The neighbors from 6 acres over donated us a Carolina carport. That will come in handy later... once the water receeds.

That was my garden shop. I threw away so much stuff that was waterlogged and battered.

Here's the flag pole, snapped off at the base and the flag shredded to nothing.

This is where our well pump was....

This is where it ended up.

I can't count the trees we lost but we were just fine and ready to start the cleanup. All of our neighbors came through, too. There was supposed to be 12 foot water surge on the coast but that never happened so over all there was less damage than was expected.

Taking a bath in the pond, hauling in water to slosh the toilets, cooking and eating by candlelight is fun for about 3 days. It was hot but we did have a generator. This old window air conditioner, brought when we moved here from Arkansas and sat in the shed for 12 years, fired right up. 
A lifesaver!

Ah, there's a rainbow. It gets better, it really does.
Read on about Irma's Construction.

Irma's Construction

After the destruction comes the re-construction. 

There's  a lot of work to do, alot of clean up. We need some power!

I was very excited to see these guys show up on the third day. I thought, "Wow, we're going to get electric back in no time!" But no, these are the tree trimming guys. They made a run through clearing the street and getting the big big trees out of the way for when the electric guys do come through. 

It wasn't until day 10 that I spooted the most lovely thing in the world. Yes, the electric guys are my road!

They had been working non-stop for over two weeks away from home but still pu their all into it.
We have a pole on the back of the property that's never been hooked but they insisted on getting the line back up... out of the water. I suggested that they float out dock over to the wire. This was hilarious. I love these guys. 

One of them had to take my kayak over a fence and paddle the wire back to get it hooked up. Above and beyond!

Later that night the lights came on! And then went off again! And then came on again, YES! We were finally able to sleep without the constant blaring of that generator. What a relief.

It took 2 more days before Mike could get the pumps relocated, dug in, hooked up and rewired. Hot showers and working toilets are luxuries indeed.

Now for some construction. These are the poles from that Carolina carport that flew in as a donation. Can you imagind the wind that twisted these up?

So we separated out the stuff good enough to reuse and....

Wallah! We have a new lean-to!

This was our biggest expense and it arrived within a week. My brand spanking new shed/shop. 

But first we needed totear the old one out. Mike got a broken saw blade right between the eyes.

But he's back at it building my shelves. The wood is from the floor of the water pump shed.

Oh my! Lets fill it up with stuff!

The fishing corner.

My work bench. 
I can't tell you how much I love this shop. it has everything I need and more. This is the kind of shop that inspires crafts as you'll in this post!

Eventually Mike got jealous of my new craft shop and started woking on his own. He built himself this rolling lilghted bench. The wood is reused or salvaged, the light was a steal at the junk store and the base is a heavy duty roller that was given to us. 
And look closely on that bench. It's a Craftsman belt sander we took out of the trash and it works!

He had enough wood for some shelves, too.

He cleaned the walls, repainted the floor and it looks brand new again!

All of these things were something we had on our long list of replacing or improving and thanks to Irma we got it!

It's a Craft Inspiration

Ya'll know I love to paint and now you know I have a new craft shop. Well it's time for the inspiration.

Cindy came to visit me in August before Irma. And when she visits we end up doing massive crafts.

We started with my love frond and paint and added her glitter and emelishments. We came up with these two Mardi Gras masks inspired fronds.

WE went searching for more projects to do on the cheap. These dollar store wood crafts fit the bill.

More dollar store crafts.

Even after she left I bought more.

And here we go. With the new craft shop the ideas are coming in fast/

The small wood projects were fun so I stepped it up a notch.

And it became an obsession.
Here are the ones I have done in no particular order.