Sunday, August 28, 2011

After the Eye, and Hammy's Misadventure

We are now waiting for the backside of the rain bands to come through--still under lots of flood watches, and we're seeing pictures come in from all over the tri-state area with water-covered roadways and other scary things.

Following my last post, both John and I went to get some sleep since the tornado watches had been lifted, and we were pretty much zonked out until about 8:00 this morning. We got up, resumed our vigil of Weather Channel, ABC News, and NBC news while we ate breakfast (we were absolutely starving from the hours and hours of severe anxiety).

Here we are in our cozy little bunker:

We were fortunate, though. We woke to a little wind and light rain, but our TV was also still on, as was everything else. We hope the power will remain on as the threat of more wind and rain approaches. Outside, there are a few small downed branches, but no major damage from what we can tell. John went out a little while ago to check on our cars--no damage, just a few bamboo trees that had snapped and were laying across our rooves.

Our main excitement came this morning, after breakfast, and after I had showered. Before I did, we decided to open a few windows to let in the fresh rain-cooled air while there was a lull in the storm. Yesterday morning we had taken out the window AC unit in our room for fear of winds ripping it right out of the sill. Guess which window I chose to open in there this morning. We hadn't replaced the screen. I sauntered into the shower, eager to feel refreshed. When I had gotten out and dressed and came into the living room, John was heading for his turn in the shower. I looked out the living room windows, and saw a cat on Jon and Marisa's porch. My first thought was, "Hey! Look, a kitty!" That immediately turned into "Wait...THAT'S MY KITTY!!!!!!!!!!" I shouted to John, "Hammy got out...he's outside!" When I opened the window, I had no idea the screen was missing--it totally slipped my mind. I slipped on my galoshes and tore outside to try and coax him to me.

When I got out there and started calling for him, he was behind the bushes and was yowling a terrified kitten yowl. I called and called, and I was sobbing like a lunatic, but he was just too scared--he was muddy and getting rained on. He kept running between Jon and Marisa's door and the door to the adjacent building, following the little path behind the bushes. John came out around back hoping to chase him into my path so I could grab him, but of course no luck. Panicked to my core, and feeling certain that if we continued this charade he'd bolt someplace we couldn't find or follow him, I had an idea. He had huddled up behind a bush under Jon and Marisa's windows. I was on their porch, John crouched somewhat insanely in the bushes. I layed on the doorbell til Marisa came to the door. I blubbered what I assume was a sufficient explanation of the situation, and she held open the door. As I hoped, he recognized the alcove as a safe place that led to home and darted inside.

He, of course, ran upstairs rather than into their apartment, but he was an easy catch once he was inside. We all piled into Jon and Marisa's and I blubbered a thank you and a few incoherent words about my fear and how I was glad the plan worked. Hammy explored their place for a bit, even snuggling into their bed for a few minutes, and we eventually wrangled him into the carrier, which John had come home to retrieve.

Here are two pics of Hammy after we got him home. He didn't look terrible, but was surely wet and a bit muddy:

So we're all back home now, hours and some naps later. Hammy has been bathed (using what are essentially baby wipes for cats) and brushed. John found his collar, which had popped off, under our window by some dig marks where he had tried to burrow his way back into the basement. So for the moment, all is well at the Eagn-Riggi household. We checked in with our parents this morning, and they had fared well. John's parents, who had gone to upstate NY to camp out with friends, are kinda stuck for now because all the roads leading out are flooded or blocked from downed trees, so we're staying in touch with them.

No idea what it's really like out there or what tomorrow will bring as far as venturing out of the homefront, but I'll be back with updates as I'm able.

I hope everyone in Irene's path is safe and sound, and if you're sitting in the dark, I hope that is the worst trouble you have.

Until next time,
Maureen, John, and Hamlet the wanna-be wild animal

Top O' the Mornin...

I know the tag says John, but this is Maureen writing.

It's currently 3:47am, and John and I have spent about 3 hours total hunkered down in our basement. We set up a pretty cozy bunker (will post pics later) with my laptop, some flameless candles, water, blankets, and of course, Hammy tucked safely in his carrier. While he wasn't happy, he seems to know that something is different, and he's been sticking close by us and has even been borderline cooperative in getting him into his carrier.

Jon and Marisa joined us in the basement for about an hour around midnight as much of their basement is underwater. Our upstairs neighbors were down with us around 9:30 (gosh, that feels so far away now...), too.

We're currently upstairs watching various news channels as we wait for the eye to move over the beaches of South Jersey.

Hoping everyone is doing well with the storm and with nerves--we're pretty much running on 100% adrenaline--and we will catch up with you again soon. Been keeping up with updates on Facebook as well (in times like this, social media seems like the best invention on the face of the planet).

Love love love,

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Come on, Irene, too loo rah eh...

Well, folks, we've done our best here to prepare for Irene's arrival in New Jersey. We have water and flashlights and crank radio and flashlights, and board games and books and magazines; we've secured the basement should it flood, and have food and water for kitten as well.

Some of John's family has evacuated to friends' or other family members' homes, and our coastal friends have migrated inland as well. We've encouraged the trees to be strong and to not fall over--we like them just as, and where, they are.

Now the agonizing waiting game as we watch Irene's impact on areas south of us and try to estimate how bad things will get here. We're relying on TV and internet as long as we are able to spare our (power-sucking smart) phones for use once we lose electricity.

And so we wish you all common sense and safety, and we'll check back in on the other side of the storm. Cameras are charged up and ready to go, so I'll hope to post some documentation of our area as best I can.

Lots of love,
Maureen, John, and Hamlet

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Office Check-Up

In case anyone cares, here are some before-and-during shots of my office construction. I hope the ledge behind my desk will be completed this week, and I won't get my overhead cabinets until October (gasp!), but things are coming along quite nicely.

In other fun furniture news, the piece John and I ordered for the dining room is ready for pickup! We hope to get it tomorrow after work from The Furniture Mill, and will post pics once it's all settled in its new home.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Firstly, I want to extend a humungous thank you to our wonderful friends and family who attended my bridal shower yesterday. It was a wonderful surprise full of good times, good food, and people we haven't seen in a while. Even the weather held out--it was mercifully overcast, and didn't start to rain until most of the guests had left. I couldn't have asked for more.

John and our friends packed his car full of goodies, and we trucked it all home safely, if not a little more slowly than usual with all that added weight. Once shuffled inside and piled in the dining room, we kind of stepped back and took it all in. I'm actually still processing it all now, I think. It made it all seem more real: in addition to crafts, there is hard evidence here that a wedding will indeed happen in 80-some days. Whew!

It's been wonderful to receive RSVPs in the mail not only with yesses checked off, but with happy notes jotted in the margin. This has been a long time in the making--John and I are actually "celebrating" our 6.5 year anniversary today. Amazing.

Here are a few pics from the shower. Since I was kind of the guest of honor, I didn't take many, so I'm hoping friends and family will post their pics on Facebook soon. (I also hope they'll exercise discretion and will omit any where I look too awkward!)

In other news of progress, my office is undergoing construction as I get a new desk, new cabinetry, and a new printing and coolating station. New furniture arrives on Tuesday, and I'm hoping most of it will be done before I leave on Wednesday since I'm home on a staycation Thursday and Friday of this week.

Wednesday is Longaberger bingo (an annual tradition where Tara and I have an anxiety attack and fend off the old ladies and housewives), then Tara's visiting here on Friday and Sunday is my first dress fitting--I can't wait to put it on again. It's been 7 months since I bought it, and I'm of course anxious about how it will fit.

In closing for now, here are some pics of my office, pre-reno: