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The Grass is Greener

It's been, LJ, is the nicest way I can put it. I've tolerated most of this madness, but the last three months leading up to the "oh no you dih-ent" moments have pushed me away. This will be my final post to you, probably likely. I move to greener pastures today, and over time, my history will move there as well. If you ever feel lonely in the dark and cold night, you are certainly welcome to give me a call. I may or may not answer.

K. Thx. Bye.

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GD Bee Bears

Noes! I lost my post due to a browser crash!!! BOOO!!!

Guess I'll just start over.

This week has been the week of finishing. I have finished at least 5 projects (one I started on Sunday.) This is great! Especially since I probably win the award for most UFOs ever (at least 50, most aren't even listed on Ravelry!) I was originally going to do a WIP post, but then I finished the two projects I was going to rant about between paragraphs --- I take a long time.

First up is a hook case I started eons ago. I ran out of yellow & was disheartened to finish. I picked it back up and stitched it closed with white yarn, giving it ruffled edges. Can't say I like it that much, but it works.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket


Next, a formerly for me turned gift project: fingerless mitts. Like I said, I was making them for me, but then we were invited to a birthday party and I was standing there with no gift. Can't go to a party and not bring a gift! Not if you're not hosting!

Photobucket


Third! And fourth! Two cozies for my Etsy shop. There are more in the works, and I had plans of finishing them all and posting them Monday, but then I decided to spread things out a bit --- to increase my odds of being seen. Post all at once and you quickly disappear into the fray of "recently listed" items. (Click the photo to see the listing, which has more photos!)





Fifth! Though I guess it counts as 7 micro projects... I finished the Rainbow Mooses project! Again, I meant to finish these before... Christmas... last year... but I didn't. Doesn't matter. They're done now! And I get to share!!!

Rainbow Mooses

Rainbow Mooses


And, last but not least, and the source for the subject, a bear. From Triple Town. One of the first games for Amazon Kindle. Yes. Kindle. Bet you didn't know you could play games on a Kindle. There are 2 types of bears on Triple Town. Regular bears (as shown below) and God Damned Bee Bears! That make me curse! They're actually Ninja Bears, but the yellow strip around their midsection makes me think they're bees. Damn bee bears.

GD Bee Bears


I'm going to make a second bear for my Hub's friend at work who is also addicted to Triple Town. After that, I'll write the pattern up and possibly share it with everyone.

And that's that! What bits of my day were not spent sewing things together were spent wondering when UPS would arrive with our copy of KoA:Reckoning. It's here, by the way. But I'm spent, and it's off to bed with me. With any luck, the Hubs will be home before midnight today. Though it's more likely I won't see him until tomorrow.

K.Thx.Bye.

It's V-Day!

Well, it's not Valentine's Day just yet. But today marks the first day of a 14 day special wherein I offer FREE SHIPPING on every order placed by February 14, 2012. Normally, shipping costs $4.95. I do 2-day Priority Mail shipping with those fancy flat rate envelope/box thingies. Keeps things simple. And, in the event that I have a zillion orders, I can order the boxes off the internet, have them delivered, and then picked up in the comfort of my pajam-jams.

Running a business is hard work. Especially when you don't know what you're doing. I discovered a few days ago "taxes". And these "taxes" have all sorts of crazy clauses and addendums and paperwork. But I don't qualify to pay "taxes" this year. :( This is actually really really sad. I have to make a minimum of $400 of profit in order to qualify to pay "taxes". I didn't make any profit. At all. I would like to pay "taxes". I would like to pay $400 in "taxes". Or more. A wise man once told me, "Your goal in life should be to pay $1,000,000.00 in taxes". And he's right. Because, at the point you're paying one million dollars in "taxes", you're probably doing pretty good. (I write "taxes" because what I'd really be paying is Social Security & Medicare/Medicaid, which are "taxes" but are marketed otherwise on all the paperwork. Gov't should just call them what they are and stop with the marketing bull of "ensures money & protection for when you retire".)

I've decided a Kindle or some sort of e-reader would be nice. I've found myself reading a lot of stuff on the computer lately. Etsy tips. Works of HP Lovecraft. Etc. Reading on a computer is lacking. And I dislike reading on the phone --- turn the page after every 5 words (or syllables.) Both are undesirable.

I got all the crochet work done on the new cozies. Unfortunately, I didn't get them done in time to take photos and list them for today. I still need to block, assemble, photograph, and cleanse them. I did a photo shoot over the weekend (Jan 28-29). Two days. I spent HOURS photographing cozies. I ran out of daylight on Saturday after working through only half the cozies. Fortunately, by Sunday I had a good idea what kind of shots I wanted and only took those ones instead of photographing each cozy in a variety of "possibilities" only to throw out 4-5 scenes in favor of the ones that I've posted. And blurry photos. Oh my goodness. Taking close-ups is hard. I think 90% of everything I took was out of focus or blurry. Or, it wasn't blurry. It just focused on something NOT the cozy. I certainly have a lot to learn about photography and stillness. I move too much when I breathe. In the end, though, it was totally worth all the time.

Before:

Deep Sea Dark Lord


After:

Deep Sea Dark Lord


Much nicer in my opinion. And the colors are truer to real life than before. The old pictures were yellow. And a bit overexposed in a way. They also didn't have anything in them for scale. I inserted my phone into half the photos. Hopefull, this will give people a better idea of how large the cozies are:

Small Cozy
Spunky


Large Cozy
Autumn Lurker


We'll see what happens from here. In the mean time, I got some cozies to steam! And, with any luck, a few trips to make to the post office. :D

K.Thx.Bye.

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The World of Click-Throughs

Thanks to some A.W.E.S.O.M.E. friends (you know who you are), I got a ton of traffic to my shop yesterday. With any luck, the mass of click-throughs will result in at least one or two people passing the word on to their friends, who will then share it with their friends, who will share it with their friends, and so on and so fourth. Eventually, this will result in a sale. And that, my friends, is totally what I want.

Today is painting class! And it's wet outside. Last week I MISSED MY PAINTING CLASS due to involuntary vomiting the night prior. I didn't get very good sleep. I was achy all over. I could have gone to class, but I was just totally wiped out. The good news is that I only threw up *twice* last Thursday, gracefully, without getting it everywhere. I hate it when it goes everywhere. I was totally bummed, though, as last Friday's class was going to be the abstract watercolor class. AND I MISSED IT!!! Sad panda of 10,000 tears. At least I can do a makeup class sometime next week so I'm not paying for 8 classes and only getting 7.

I posted up a Facebook page for Cozy Rhody by TheSmitchell. That's not actually the name of my business. The name of my business is Sarah Mitchell. Due to lack of inspiration at the time, that's what I named it. In the end, though, that's probably the smartest thing I did. No hassle at the bank when I attempt to cash checks made out to "Sarah Mitchell".

I've been busy this week crocheting. My most popular model...

Springly Dark Lord


...is going to sell out soon. I can feel it. I just know these things. So I'm working on getting 6 more done and out there for the shop. I'm also dancing around Valentine's Day (hence forth known as V-Day) promotions --- stitching hearts on their backs, including a hand made card by moi, stuffed heart, mini plushy Cthulhu key chain? Not that I really need to do anything. They're Lovecraftian cozies. It's got love in name. It's THE PERFECT GIFT!

I'm currently promoting all my pink Lovecraftian Phone Cozies to the top of the list. They're on the "A list", so to say. Here's one of them:

Spunky


Isn't it cute? Doesn't your head just WANT TO EXPLODE! I think it does. This cozy, along with its doppelganger friends, are roomy enough for devices as large as 4.55" x 2.45" x 0.5". A few of them will stretch a bit more, but not much. They run a bit smaller than my cotton cozies because that's how they were made. The yarn used is wool, a thinner gauge than the cotton, but stretchy --- SPROING. The yarn is also incredibly sexy. We're talking, like, $20 for a ball of this stuff. And I got enough to make 4. So $30 is theft once you factor in all the time I spent crocheting, assembling, finding & adding buttons, etc etc etc, on top of the cost of materials. It's a great deal!

Don't buy just any phone cozy for V-Day. Get a Lovecraftian Phone Cozy in shades of pink, purple, & red. And soon. I don't know how much longer they're going to sit there waiting for you to make that critical decision before someone else comes along (possibly of lesser character) and takes them home.

K.Thx.Bye.

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Shops! I has them!

Last month I let my Esty shop go live! Hooray! Yay! Wahoo!

I listed everything that didn't move at the craft fair (you know, that one way back at the beginning of December.) The craft fair went well, awesome in fact. Which is why I did that big long blog post about it. Remember? No? Well that's because I didn't actually post it. But, in spirit, I did! And that's what matters.

Cozy Rhody is up and running! I've started pushing hard on marketing myself this week. Well, starting today. I've been joining groups up on Etsy and Flickr (because that's where I keep a set of my products that I post for sale.) I'll probably poke around LiveJournal and Facebook for additional groups to ping. And probably set up a new Twitter feed and Facebook page for the shop.

I'm in the middle of getting my PayPal account verified so people don't FREAK OUT when they see the "not verified" notice on my PayPal. Seriously, people. It's OK. I exist and am more than happy to take your monies and send you one of these:

Deep Sea Dark Lord


OR...

One of these:

Stony


Who wouldn't want one of these?!

Spunky


Seriously, folks. You're missing out. You really should get one.

The power of SQUIRREL commands you!

IMG_1736


K.Thx.Bye.

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It's a question that's been burning in my mind for several weeks now. Actually, many months. And today I finally felt enough burning in the frontal lobe to do something about it.

The Question


Grover Norquist. This man is talked about pretty much non-stop when "REPUBLICANS" and "TAXES" are presented in the same sentence.

"Who is this Norquist guy all these GEE OH PEE congresspersons are signing pledges for?" I asked.


Norquist is a lobbyist. And after a bit of research, I've come to the conclusion that what Norquist lobbies for is stupid and dangerous. On the surface, Americans for Tax Reform's goal seems like a GREAT idea. Wonderful Happiness! Let's all pay less taxes! Sounds like a good idea! However, NOW is absolutely not the time to be hard core anti-tax increases because of some whimsical idealistic future America where people only pay income tax and said income tax has properties of being small and little more beyond that. We have a large problem with our budget and a giant deficit that is accumulating out of control. Raking in considerably less income also would result in the federal government laying off a significant portion of its workforce. Though, I assume that Americans for Tax Reform think entitlement programs are bullshit and should be flushed along side all those taxes they have to pay. Dirty, rotten government taxing me to build roads and feed starving children. The audacity!

Debt


It would seem reasonable to expect our government to pay its debts. After all, I'm expected to pay my debts. To date, we've accumulated 15 trillion dollars in debt. That number is so huge, no one on this planet can fathom it. Hell. I can't even fathom paying three hundred thousand dollars for a house. And $300,000.00 is a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of $15,000,000,000,000.00. You could buy 50,000,000 houses at $300,000 a pop with $15,000,000,000,000.00. Fifty. Million. Houses. NICE houses at that price. As of the 2010 Census, there are 131,704,730 homes in this country. The dollar value of our debt would buy more than half of those houses at current housing rates (somewhere between $100,000 and $300,000/house.) No loans. No mortgages. No wrestling with budgets and bankers. Just drop that 15 trillion dollar suitcase there and collect your 265 TONS[1] worth of housing deeds here. Our debt is humongous.

So! How are we going to pay off our unfathomable debt? For starters, it would make sense to trim the fat and tighten up our spending policies. That is quite the reasonable expectation. HOWEVER, spending cuts alone are not going to get us through this debt problem. A significant portion of the debt equation stems from the gaping hole left by the Bush Era tax cuts. The United States lost several trillion dollars in revenue over the last couple of years when it cut taxes. The USA also did nothing to curb additional spending when those tax cuts went into effect. We did quite the opposite. We launched the world's most expensive campaign against "Terror". I find this somewhat... terrifying.

The lost revenue tax hole only grows larger as the years go on. I viewed the tax cuts as a sort of "bonus" from our country: "Hey! We're doing well right now so here's a nice kick back! Go buy yourself some donuts and a coffee." They were temporary. They were set to expire. But the United States has tasted of the crazy cup and opted to continue running their 60% off everything store wide sale forever into the future until the end of time. We can't afford to do that. Not right now. We're living beyond our means and nothing is going to improve until the government sorts out its budget. You can't very well seek to create new jobs when you're own company is running at a loss and you've completely tapped out your favors at the bank. And I consider the federal government foolish to think that relying on spending cuts alone in the midst of record low tax rates is going to enable us to pay off our debts.

Americans for Tax Reform has a "pledge" that has been circulating in the government for decades, and it hasn't really garnered much attention until the recent debacle(s) with our country's debt "crisis". Do you know what that pledge is? Have you seen it? It's quite simple and straight to the point:

"I, _____, pledge to the taxpayers of the (____ district of the) state of ______ and to the American people that I will: ONE, oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rate for individuals and business; and TWO, oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates."


Our congress, the one sitting up on Capitol Hill right now, probably eating Dunkin Donuts and sipping Starbucks coffee, contains 238 Representatives and 41 Senators that have signed that pledge and have sworn to uphold that pledge to their dying days.

I'm sure everyone in this country is all for tax reform. Tax reform would be great. However, that pledge is NOT tax reform. That pledge is a pledge to NEVER RAISE TAXES FOR ANYONE EVER. All tax increases proposed so far ONLY increase taxes on the rich. "Oh. Sorry guys. I can't vote for this. You eliminated oil subsidies but didn't cut any taxes! And I promised Grover Norquist I wouldn't do that."

SINCE WHEN DID GROVER NORQUIST BECOME MORE IMPORTANT THAN OUR COUNTRY'S SUCCESS AND WELL BEING?!

[1]: CEILING[((50,000,000 home deeds * 2.4 kg/ream) / 500 sheets/ream) converted to tons]. Calculation assumes one sheet of A4 paper per deed.

The Crisis


I've come to the conclusion that the issue at hand is not our debt. It is not our "out of control spending", the economy. It is not Greece or Spain or Italy or China. It is not our Godlessness, our free love and rampant abortions, our homosexual unions and marriages. It is our Federal Government, our Congress, our President, our political leaders. And we all elected those people sitting in those seats. We've put a bunch of polarized idealists with personal agendas in charge of running this country who are completely incapable of doing the job that needs to be done. Hear my plea, America: Fire your congressmen.

And, now, for your viewing pleasure, a list of everyone in Congress who will neither raise taxes on any individual or business in this country nor eliminate deductions and credits (*cough*OIL SUBSIDIES*cough*) without matching lost deductions and credits with additional tax reductions, ever. Note, this list includes Republicans AND Democrats:
A very long listCollapse )

K.Thx.Bye.

Yard work in pictures

Ahhh. Fall. The season of panicked yard work. Snow is knocking on the door and the tree still hasn't dropped any leaves! What is a girl to do?! They MUST BE RAKED before the snow covers the world. Otherwise, you'll have an utterly disgusting mess to deal with come spring. Yuck.

Lucky us! The tree has finally turned in the last two weeks. Maybe we'll get them all before it permasnows out there. Maybe not. Either way, the yard is a bit of a mess.

We raked the yard! No! Really!

Keep in mind, we've raked the yard 2 times in the last 5 days. The trash people were awfully nice to take away 5 sacks of leaves today! I figured since it stopped raining for an hour or so, I'd take advantage of the "nice weather" and clean up this mess. Life is not easy. It's never easy, in fact. So to think that I'd get away with this task without anything to worry about is laughable. There were only two leaf bags left! Not wanting to make any treks anywhere to acquire additional leaf sacks, I put the whole of the yard in the remaining two using little more beyond sheer force and intimidating grunts (leaves fear grunting.)

A tale of two leaf bags...Collapse )

K.Thx.Bye.

I Lovecraft

A week or two ago, I embarked on a mission. I discovered something I loved. And I loved making it. And it loved me. And I loved it. And Frank loved it. And I love money. So, with great enthusiasm, I have created something that is very much a labor of love for the means of making more love for me. And by love, I mean money.



This is my first pass at the project. There are aspects of the design I dislike. For example, the body is pretty darn rigid and doesn't give very much. PERFECT for the model I used (iPhone 4.) It fits the model PERFECTLY. That's GREAT, if every phone in the world was exactly the same size. But they're not! So I find the body to be too rigid to be fitting enough to list as strictly a "phone case".



I LOVE the tentacles. They came out perfect. And it wasn't by accident. I didn't get them perfect the first time. Do you know how hard it is to get the damned yarn to curl the OPPOSITE direction?! Pretty damned hard! I had to use a secret technique that I just developed. Sarah's secret curling technique. It's super secret.



My next order of business is to try out a different body using a different technique. I'm thinking of something stretchy that holds its form well despite being tugged and pulled for days on end. It rhymes with Bitch Switch. Ha ha!!!

K.Thx.Bye.

Honeycomb Beanies!

It's pattern day! Posting something I've had written since last December but have been dragging my feet because I really wanted to implement instructions for 2 colors as well as provide a handy chart. Chart was a pain in the ass. And the 2 colored hat model was never finished. Maybe some day I'll just post it as a project using my pattern up on Ravelry with notes for others to follow. Woo?


Exciting things are in the works for the near future. I'm hosting a craft booth at a craft fair in December. And I was inspired recently to make something so incredibly awesome, I'm going to charge MONEY for it. In lieu of this money making scheme, I'm posting PDFs for all my patterns on Ravelry! I'll provide links in my patterns when I get around to it.


In the mean time, enjoy another free pattern. Sorry. No gauge. If you find that the hat is coming out too big, use a smaller hook. Likewise, if it's too small, get a bigger hook. Good luck.


UPDATE ERRATA!!! (Dec 23, 2011): There was a typo (or a bad maths) in Round 4. The number of stitches you should have at the end of Round 4 is 50. Many thanks to Annoymous for leaving a note pointing this out! I have updated the instructions here to reflect the changes. The PDF on Ravelry will be updated as soon as I can get to it. Many thanks to everyone who has and is crocheting this pattern up! Merry Wintereenmas!




Honeycomb Beanie


Materials

  • 250 yds of Worsted Weight Yarn
  • Size US H / 5.00 mm hook

Terminology

BLO
Back Loop Only

BPHDC
Back Post Half Double Crochet

Ch
Chain

DC
Double Crochet

FPHDC
Front Post Half Double Crochet

FPDC
Front Post Double Crochet

HDC
Half Double Crochet

YO
Yarn Over

st(s)
stitch(es)

DC 2 TOG
Double Crochet two Together: YO. Insert hook through stitch and pull up loop. Insert hook through next stitch and pull up loop. YO and pull through three loops on hook. YO and pull through remaining 2 loops on hook.

FPDC 2 FPDC TOG
Front Post Double Crochet two Front Post Double Crochet Together: YO. Insert hook around FPDC in previous row to the right. YO and pull up a loop. YO and pull through two loops on hook. YO. Insert hook through FPDC in previous round to the left. YO and pull up a loop. YO and pull through two loops on hook. YO and pull through remaining 3 loops on hook.

Notes

  • The Ch 2 at the beginning of each round never counts as a stitch.
  • This hat is worked in joined rounds.

Instructions


Start: Make a magic loop: wrap the yarn around your fingers twice. Insert the hook through the loop towards the side where the working yarn hangs. YO, and pull up a loop. Ch 2. Do not tighten loop.


R1: 10 DC in loop. Sl st in first DC made. Pull loop tight. (10 sts)


R2: Ch 2. DC & FPDC same st as join. DC & FPDC each st around. Sl st in first DC made. (20 sts)


R3: Ch 2. DC & FPDC same st as join. DC & FPDC each st around. Sl st in first DC made. (40 sts)


R4: Ch 2. 2 DC in same st as join. * FPDC next FPDC. DC next DC. FPDC next FPDC. 2 DC next DC.* Repeat from * to * around ending with FPDC in last FPDC. Sl st in first DC made. (60 sts There are 50 stitches!)


R5: Ch 2. DC in same st as join. *FPDC 2 FPDC TOG. DC in st behind the FPDC 2 FPDC TOG just made. DC in top of FPDC. DC in next st. FPDC 2 FPDC TOG. DC in top of FPDC. DC next st.* Repeat from * to * around ending with a DC in last FPDC. Sl st in first DC made. (70 sts)


R6: Ch 2. 2 DC in same st as join. *FPDC next FPDC 2 FPDC TOG. DC next 3 sts. FPDC next FPDC 2 FPDC TOG. DC next st. 2 DC next st.* Repeat from * to * around ending with a DC in the last st. Sl st in first DC made. (80 sts)


R7: Ch 2. For this round only, the st you joined with from the previous round is crocheted last. FPDC 2 FPDC TOG. * DC st behind FPDC 2 FPDC TOG just made. DC in top of FPDC. DC 2 TOG. FPDC 2 FPDC TOG.* Repeat from * to * around ending with a DC 2 TOG with the last DC made from previous round and the same st as join. Sl st in first FPDC 2 FPDC TOG made. (80 sts)


R8: Ch 2. FPDC same st as join. *DC next 3 sts. FPDC next st.* Repeat from * to * around ending with a DC in the last 3 sts. Sl st in first FPDC made. (80 sts)


R9: Ch 2. DC in same st as join. * DC 2 TOG. FPDC 2 FPDC TOG. DC in st behind FPDC 2 FPDC TOG just made. DC in top of FPDC.* Repeat from * to * around ending on DC in st behind the final FPDC 2 FPDC TOG made. Sl st in first DC made. (80 sts)


R10: Ch 2. DC same st as join. DC next st. *FPDC next st. DC next 3 sts.* Repeat from * to * around ending with a DC in the last st. Sl st in first DC made. (80 sts)


R11+: Repeat R7 through R10 until hat reaches desired length (long enough to sit on or just above your eyebrows.) End on R7 or R9 before proceeding to Brim.


Brim


R1: Ch 2. HDC through BLO around. Sl st in first HDC made. (80 sts)


R2: Ch 2. FPHDC same sts as join and Ch 2 below. *BPHDC next sts. FPHDC next st.* Repeat from * to * around, ending on BPHDC. Sl st in first FPHDC made. (80 sts)


R3: Ch 2. FPHDC same sts as join and Ch 2 below. *BPHDC next BPHDC. FPHDC next FPHDC.* Repeat from * to * around, ending on BPHDC. Sl st in first FPHDC made. (80 sts)


R4+: Repeat R3 until brim is 1.5 inches wide. Proceed to edging.


Edging: Ch 1. Crab stitch in last stitch made in previous round: insert hook through stitch to the right (crochet backwards) of current position. YO and pull up a loop. YO and pull through all loops on hook. The end result is a twisted single crochet. Crab stitch around. Sl st in first crab stitch made. Finish off. (80 sts)



Honeycomb Beanie by Sarah Mitchell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.




Update: Siiiiiiigh. The only thing MORE AWESOME than re-editing this post 10 times prior to the first posting because some god-awful unicode character (invisible at that) was in the text somewhere is having to re-edit it AGAIN because I decided it was a good idea to add the project count from Ravelry to the pattern from my iPhone. Never. Again.

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Irene

Irene came and went. Boy. Did we get lucky. She degraded into a low-quality category 1/Tropical Storm as she made landfall in New England (again? Does Virgina count?) out over in the NY/CT area. Whew. Instead of having sustained winds in the 75 - 80 mph range with 100+ mph gusts, we had 40 - 60 mph sustained winds with gusts up to 90 mph (at the worst in some places.) Pawtucket saw lower speeds. The largest gust, I think, was 60 mph. But I wouldn't be surprised if areas saw 80 - 90. Wind funnels and speeds up down hills and between buildings.

And we dodged the rain bullet big time! Forecasts of 5 - 15 inches! We got maybe 3? Oh so lucky.

And we only lost power for 28 hours. National Grid has my eternal gratitude for working so hard and for restoring power so quickly.

And SWEET HOLY COW-COATED FRIED BUTTER STICKS! I HAS INTERNET! Freaking miracle!

And I never lost cell phone service! I surfed the Internet pretty much every day! Holy cow! What an awesome age we live in.

Unfortunately, Irene still caused immense damage all over the place.

Trees.

So many dead trees.

Trees across roads.

Trees across railroad tracks.

Trees across cars.

Trees across houses.

Trees across power lines.

Trees across rivers.

Trees across lawns, parks, walkways, beaches, bridges.

Trees across everything.

Trees are one of the major dangers of a hurricane out here in New England. Big leafy trees do not withstand high winds at all. They have broad leaves and shallow roots. Shallow roots don't exactly "hold on" well to the earth. So, all those little leaves just pull the whole tree down in high winds.

Branches the size of trees broke and fell down everywhere! One killed the rear window of my neighbor's classic vehicle project car (doesn't run, but boy was he pissed the rear window was smashed out.) A neighbor down the street lost, like, 6 trees. He has 40+ 50 gallon sacks of tree debris sitting on the curbside for pickup on Thursday. My trees all suffered damage, big and small. They all look terrible. I'm disappointed, but what can I do? I just raked my yard and stacked my tree carnage on the curbside. Gotta replace that fence now.

Saw a tree across someone's house and their 2 cars. One tree. Everything destroyed.

Saw lots of trees down in people's front yards... very close calls. Just some damaged landscaping & power lines.

Speaking of power lines! Down everywhere! We drove a 1 mile stretch of road yesterday half a mile from the house and the power lines were broken in at least 5 places. No wonder it's going to take 7 - 10 days to restore power to some people.

Flooding is another horrible problem Irene left behind. Rain fall in excess of 10 to 16 inches in so many places. Instant flood. Houses have been washed away. Roads are gone. This is making it impossible for National Grid to get out there and fix broken power lines. It's also making it impossible for other EMT services to help people. So, people are trapped by flooding rivers with no power, no help, and no escape.

Blackstone river crested at 9.3 feet less than 12 hours after a flood warning was issued. Blackstone river was at 5.6 feet before the hurricane.

I'm listening to the radio. Hearing what's being reporting. This is what is happening and has happened to people who live down the street or one street over from me. It's very real. Nothing funny or dramatized about this situation at all.

There is one reoccurring dramaz topic, however: the drama of people who cry havoc because they don't have Internet or TV. Jesus Christ, people. You have power! And you clearly must have access to the Internet somewhere because you posted these complaints on Twitter. Get your ass outside and help your neighbor get their car out from under a tree and stop your bellyachin'! Cripes.

Schools in the area were supposed to start this week. They have since been postponed until next week. Or later. Yeah. I know.

In the mean time, I'm helping the neighbors clean trees out of their yards and businesses and trying to keep the streets free of as much debris as I can remove. If you feel so inclined, you can donate to The American Red Cross to help out. Please don't fly out here to help. Airports are completely clogged (because so many flights were canceled.) Plus, there are plenty of us still alive to clean up the mess. ;)

...

The strongest winds ever measured were recorded in a hurricane. They're still trying to clean up post-Katrina. Category 5 hurricanes level everything.

Puts things in perspective.

We got lucky.

K.Thx.Bye.

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