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4 kittens

If you go out in the woods today, you're in for a big surprise.

Posted on 2015.05.25 at 13:33
On Saturday, I started writing an innocent post of the usual minutia. Here is what I wrote:

Yes, we need rain, but drought really is much more pleasant.  I've gone soft - the mosquitoes are objectively worse in Florida - but I've lost my edge. This is too many of them. If I die, it will be because I was trying to kill mosquitoes in the car.

Drought is awful, but it is awfully abstract. It's nice to have water, but can it stop dumping on our heads? There should be a more civilized way to end a drought.


Hawaii said, "Mama, you're very good at understanding complicated emotions."  That is the best compliment she could pay me, and I doubt she retained the sentiment (given how exasperated she generally is with me.) But for one moment in time she thought I was good at understanding emotions.

"Healthy candy" is Hawaii's go-to fantasy. Occasionally in the morning, when I wake her up, she stretches and says "I was just dreaming of healthy candy." Boy is she my daughter. It can't just be a desire for delicious candy, it has to respect reality. Candy as we know it is not healthy. Boy it would be nice if it were.

(I fantasized a lot about getting hurt and all the attention that would ensue. I got very detail-oriented trying to juggle my distaste for physical pain, and developing scenarios that required a lot of tending without hurting me. Maybe bleeding a lot? If the cut itself isn't hurting, the bleeding itself wouldn't hurt extra. If you didn't stop bleeding, you'd need a lot of attention. Hemophiliacs have it so good. Except you'd want a cast somehow for extended attention.)


I don't understand why our dishwasher has an on/off button. It's stupid. Appliances don't need to be turned on - you're either using the oven or you're not. You're either using the dryer or you're not. You don't turn the dryer off when it's done drying your clothes and just sitting there. It's off.

Jammies doesn't understand why I can't just turn the dishwasher off and keep the lights from blinking forever, but we'll just have to agree to disagree, because I am waging a war of attrition here against unnecessary asshole on/off switches.


At daycare, Hokey Pokey would not cooperate with the assessment tests. His teacher pretended that she herself was trying to take the test on the computer, and kept getting stuck, and needed his help. This teacher is that she never, ever speaks in a jolly kid voice to the kids - it's always this hey-just-hanging-with-my-40-something-colleagues voice. It's amazing to watch her say "hey, I need a favor," to Pokey, and he'll come over and helpfully point out which shape is different, or how many words are in the sentence that she read outloud.

At one point, she needed help identifying the object on some flashcards. It was a leg. Pokey said, "It's a prosthetic leg!" (I'm afraid I'm bragging about my smartie kid, but hey - prosthetic leg!)  His friend Millie said, "YEAH! WHAT'S THAT?" energetically and pumped her fist. Millie's mom and I have a little routine imitating them now. YEAH! WHAT'S THAT!!


Isn't it odd that deer just wander throughout neighborhoods in big packs? Why aren't we constantly in awe and speaking in nature voice-over tones about these surging, gentle mammals?


That is the end of the stuff I wrote on Saturday. I'm going to preserve the real-time-ness of this entry, sort of like last week. Everything below was written on Monday, which happened to be Memorial day.


We had a big adventure on Sunday:

hello backyard, whatcha doing under all that water? (Doesn't it seem quaint that I was complaining about it being drizzly two days ago?)

At 3 am, a friend texted us "Do you guys need help? We're helping friends that live along the Blanco river"
We politely responded that we live on the Heebieville river, not the Blanco river.
At 6 am, a different friend texted us that our neighborhood was being evacuated.  At that point we took it seriously. The water was creeping up our backyard. Visibly. If you returned ten minutes later, you could see that it had risen visibly.

6:29 am:

6:54 am:

Based on the corner of the fence, it looks like the water rose about 4-5" during that 25 minutes.

Our house is about four feet off the ground, on stilts. BUT. Who is to say that the water will stop? I found it very scary not to have any evidence that the water would be stopping.  We got the kids dressed. We needed to leave, at least to save the vehicles. I packed my day planner, my computer, my ipad, my power cords, my toothbrush, and a pair of flip flops. We told each of the kids to bring their blankie and a cuddle item.

I looked at all this furniture from my grandmother's house, and thought about how sad I'd be if it got ruined. I looked at my clothes and shoes and jewelry. I put some boxes of photos up on the kitchen counters. Mostly I had endless dread that I wasn't properly appraising my posessions and saying goodbye to the most sentimental ones.  What about my teddy bear Katy that I keep in my closet so that the kids won't play with her?

We left just as the water reached the driveway:

There were patrol cars on the street, making sure everyone was up and moving. It wasn't raining, though.

We went out for breakfast tacos.

Afterward breakfast, we peeked in our neighborhood to see where the water was. Lo, it had receded.  Our house was a good three feet over the water line, never in any danger. So that was that.  I felt much better.

We let the kids fish off the deck:

The Blanco river runs through town, though, and crested at 41 feet, apparently. It destroyed a lot of homes - about 1000 between Heebieville and Wimberly.  Apparently Heebieville was #trending on twitter. There were helicopters circling overhead all day, conducting search and rescues.

The Blanco river runs through the poor side of town. Presumably a lot of renters, whose posessions are now destroyed and were already living precariously. It's overwhelming - there was already a housing crunch, and now thousands of our most vulnerable residents are going to go...where? Extra homes just don't exist right now. Down the street, they had all their posessions strewn over the front yard in an attempt to air out couches, mattresses, clothing, and so on, but it's supposed to rain more this week.

I'm sad that Big Kitty is gone, but good lord his timing was convenient. It would have been very stressful to load up the elderly cat into the car, and worry how exactly we'd provide him with litter and subcutaneous fluids if the water didn't recede.


We got evacuated! It sounds so serious! It was very serious for a lot of people, just not us. Now the backyard is covered with brown grime. It could use a good rain.

Last night, the town was under curfew from 9 pm to 7 am. I don't think I've ever been under curfew before. And again, tonight. More storms predicted for today.


Before we got evacuated, I had a few things left to write:

Guess who is a shark!

Hawaii announced that her tooth was a little loose - her first wiggly tooth - and hello big tooth. Apparently that is all Jammies - his grown-up teeth would come in, behind his baby teeth, without knocking them loose. His parents spent a lot on braces.

I accompanied the kindergartners to the Thinkery, in Austin. Fun with shadows:

Way more fun in the water room:

It was bizarrely cold that day - a high of 65 degrees. (In May! unheard of.) After Hawaii was nice and soaking wet, they had a picnic lunch across the street and let the kids play in the park for awhile. Hawaii was glued to my side, whimpering and shivering.

Eventually I called it quits, and checked her out and just took her home. We napped, and then nurtured our mutual fondness for Teddy Bear picnic. If you go out in the woods today, you're in for a big surprise. If you go out in the wood today, you'd better wear a disguise.


panisdead at 2015-05-25 22:24 (UTC) (Link)
Oh good, thanks for posting. Are you guys still okay? We're getting more rain up here.
heebie_geebie at 2015-05-26 01:45 (UTC) (Link)
Nearby tornados, a little flooding from backed up storm drains, but basically fine.

Everything okay around you guys? It looks like Austin is really in the thick of it today.
panisdead at 2015-05-26 12:34 (UTC) (Link)
Our neighborhood and general area are fine. Downtown looks NUTS.
Kelly Jennings
Kelly Jennings at 2015-05-25 23:20 (UTC) (Link)


I'm glad the flood waters receded. Is the river going to flood again, with this further rain? :(

My kid's teeth did that as well, bTW. Yes, very expensive braces. Further frowny face.
heebie_geebie at 2015-05-26 01:47 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yikes

It looks like Austin and some other nearby towns - Bastrop, Seguin - are getting pummelled pretty hard right now. There are some tornados that touched down around here, but right now it's very calm.

Shark teeth! Boo.
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