Hey friends, thanks for stopping by today. Once again I write with a heavy heart. I’d intended to do a quick post to let y’all know what’s been going on here at my sanctuary after Irma. I find myself still in a bit of a funk posting about the small irritations we face as compared to the thousands who have no water, food or shelter as yet. I hope everyone has donated, given blood or volunteered in small…. or big ways. We can help. It will take more than a village, but we can help. Check out the websites of those areas affected and see what still needs to be done, and if you can…. donate. As always, please use due diligence and check to be sure the charities are legitimate and your donations will actually get to the people and organizations involved in the massive clean up.

I need to take a moment to honor those who lost their lives in Las Vegas. We should be able to attend concerts, picnics or church services without fear. I may never attend an open air concert again….ever.  It is with a heavy heart I offer my condolences to those who lost a loved one. I understand the pain. Truly. I still suffer with a hole in my heart that will never heal. October is a bittersweet month for me. My son was killed in October. My oldest Granddaughter was born in October. We celebrate and we mourn.  I’ learned that great joy and great pain can co-exist peacefully  in the same heart. Life goes on….as it must. One thing I know about that kind of loss, is that you live your life with joy in honor of the one who no longer can.  It will take some time, but my hope is that all who were affected learn to live their lives with joy once more.

Clean up here at the Sanctuary is taking a temporary break so that Mr B can enjoy his annual golf outing. Twelve men from various parts of the country  and our neighborhood, will be spending the next several days in the Orlando area wreaking havoc on unsuspecting golf courses. Those courses will never be the same. It’s a big event now. With its own traveling trophy, professional style pairings and months of pre-planning. I suggested the original outing a few years ago as a 65th birthday celebration for Mr B, but it’s turned into a greatly anticipated annual trip, with much hilarity, eating, playing of poker, a  bit of liquid happiness and a lot of golf. Happy pre-birthday Mr B. You’ve earned some time away from the Honey Do List.

We’ve picked up fallen debris, cleaned the bird cage (the screen enclosure around the pool), raked some of the yard, had trees trimmed, washed some of the windows and done general clean up. We invested the money in having a large oak removed due to its proximity to our house. It was a Water Oak,  one of the weakest oak trees and are frequently one of the first of the oaks to become victim of winds. I don’t miss it and our bedroom benefits from additional light with it gone. We’ll plant a smaller hardier native in that area.

We lost a 40 foot Maple but it wasn’t in close proximity to the house and caused no real damage. I grew this from a seedling and really loved it. But I’m happy it didn’t cause damage to anything important

Our neighbor also allowed us to remove two large limbs that had grown over the roof to offer a semblance of safety in the event of another hurricane. There will be another one. This is Florida, the big thumb state that extends into the Gulf. We’re like a giant storm bulls eye, along with Texas and Louisiana. Harvey and Irma will go down in history along with Andrew and Katrina. I imagine construction rules and codes will again change in the hope of preventing the widespread damage after Irma. Good luck with that I say.


That’s a big tree and our tree guy made me nervous. He’s up there without a harness. Yikes


When I talk about clean up, it goes beyond the normal picking up crap that has blown into the yard or fallen from trees. Something most people don’t think about is the dirt and grime that gets blown onto and into your house. Our windows were covered in a nasty combination of dirt and tree sap that creates a film of gunk. (ugh, that means the house is covered in it too!)  It’s almost impossible to remove without washing the windows multiple times with Krud Kutter. We got a good start but are in no way done with that project.  Mr B cleaned the driveway and sidewalk but the house still needs to be pressure washed, the patio needs to be cleaned and sealed, leaves and debris blown out of every planting bed. Shrubs rinsed off and then, to quote my friend, Dianne……I needed to address “the chaos I created indoors.” WOWZER! I have a lot of crap  treasures! It’s one thing to quickly, but systematically wrap things and box them up for safety. It’s a whole “nother” game to put said crapola  precious artifacts away again.

The screen enclosure (Bird cage) was first in line for attention from Mr B so that we could actually see the yard

I went the extra mile and dusted,  washed and cleaned everything before putting it back. Um…..just where did that vintage Zane Gray book go anyway??? When you can’t remember how you had things styled… might have too much. (Imagine MR B’s eyes rolling about now.) For a few days my home looked like I was getting ready for an estate sale. I  made that comment to my beloved who mumbled; “if only.” Or words to that effect. His office was in the same condition as when we left because he deemed nothing important enough to worry about. His office, while stuffed, is at least an orderly stuffing. Mine, on the other hand, is just stuffed with stuff…, important things. Whatever.

But I have “stuff” put away again, my shelves are once again filled with things that make me smile. Smiles weren’t in abundance for a few days. There was whining about aching backs  and shoulders, complaining about the multiple hot showers needed and many doses of Ibuprofen, but when Mr B ran out of breath I reminded him, “we still have to do………….” then I ran. Or hobbled quickly. Take your pick.

Love that my shelves are once again filled with things I love. Two of my Grandmother’s plates are in this display in the dining room. I just noticed I need to move the white meat plate to the left a bit. Why didn’t I ever see this before???

I also learned a bit about packing the car and I’m now looking for another folding dog crate at a reasonable price.  It takes up a lot less space. And I reminded myself to keep my “go bag” up to date, including a toothbrush. So each time we return from a trip I’ll take some time to restock it.   And at the first announcement that a hurricane will make landfall, I’ll be stocking up on ziplock bags, plastic bins and bubble wrap. Oil for the lamps, (even though I have 5 thousand assorted candles), tuna, bread and peanut butter. Those were in short supply or no supply early on.

I’m hanging fewer wind chimes, but better quality ones. Getting rid of small plants and pots, in favor of statement making larger ones. And I’ve already given away a small wrought iron seating group. Next up for the Goodwill pile is small tables and outdoor knick knacks. Too much trouble to move to safe locations and we don’t need them anyway. Less stuff means quicker prep. I’m all about quicker prep after Irma.

Fewer but larger wind chimes mean quicker storm prep.

Mr B thinks if we wait  until after the storm season is over we may get a better price on hurricane windows and shutters. There is still time left in this year’s storm season tho. I hope his idea turns out to be a wise decision. I do know that if we get a direct hit from another Irma sized storm there isn’t enough bubble wrap in the world to protect us.

I hope you are safe and busy creating your sanctuary, one room at a time. We sure need a sanctuary these days. Blessings and hope to all.

  • Dianne says:

    I remember your October and that special emptiness in your heart spot.

    Oh do I understand where you are coming from (post Irma) on all fronts (back and sides — inside and out!) about stuff, sizes, ready-to-go prep, etc. You have a heap of stuff to do! and have done! After every trip, I restock before storing because there is always another coming before we know it. I had to take some time to rest. You are right, dirt and grime everywhere. Yes, know about the aches and sore muscles. Relax some and enjoy your weekend. Indoor sanctuary isn’t back to normal here and likely won’t be for a while – doing what you are doing, cleaning everything, my therapy: ) Still have to line up some minor repairs and fixes. Considering shutters here too. Love your posts and this one is filled with (as always) your love and much tenderness. My prayers are for victims, homeless, frightened and lost, from hurricanes, volcanos, earthquakes, fires, floods and battles known and unknown, the stressed and heartbroken. Makes my heart sad. We must de-stress. I am thankful for my Blessings. Thankful I have you in my life, beautiful, amazing, strong-willed Crystal. Be good to yourself.
    God Bless you and Mr. B. Keep on holding on. Love.

    • Crystal says:

      You just made me tear up a bit. I appreciate your friendship so much, and your kind words. This world. What can we do but make our little corners of it as beautiful and filed with peace as we can? Donate what we can and speak up when we see injustice. Each and every person in this world deserves a safe place to live, kind words and a loving touch. We’ll do our part in word and deed because that’s who we are! I continue to hold on to each day and to live the best I can.

Tell me what ya think!


Wife, Mother and Grandmother, lover of junking and vintage stuff, photography, music, books, and critters. I heart Hersheys, Barqs Rootbeer and Keds. Join me as I create my own suburban sanctuary and help you create one too.

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