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Posts tagged ‘Southeast Texas’

Tadpoles in the Toilet

My preparations for any hurricane begin in May with the purchase of bottled water, filling up gas cans for lawn mowing, buying non-perishable food stuffs, filling up fuel tank on vehicle, and getting all my prescriptions filled. This is much like preparing for a blizzard in my native Wisconsin but here in Texas we do not have to worry about being cold.

No-one expected Harvey to turn into a sub-tropical storm. We were all prepared for a lot of rain but not 50 inches. We were supposed to be on the ‘clean’ side but Harvey bounced back into the Gulf and became subtropical wich meant our side was the ‘dirty’ side….sheets of water in bands for days. Rain started on Thursday, continued on Friday and then Saturday afternoon became very heavy. Due to the rain I was in my house until Wednesday afternoon–and then in a slicker jacket and snake boots getting soaked.

Toby and Dora–our two rescue puppies and Border collie mixes were very confused–not sure if it was day or night and neither one wanting to get their little tushies wet while taking care of business.

I had power, water, and phone/internet service (amazing for the internet as it is spotty on good days). I don’t have cable so not a lot of updates with the exception of Facebook entries.

The roads in and out of Beaumont are closed–so I truly cannot go anywhere and due to some of the neighbors I have here–reluctant to leave due to the looting probability.

I started hearing helicopters flying overhead very low on Wednesday when it was still raining heavily. Yesterday I heard them all day long–very low over my house—one of our hospitals is being evacuated.

I also woke up to no water in the taps, diminishing selections of food in my pantry, and desperately no more dog treats. Dog Food but no treats for two very spoiled dogs. Fortunately they think pond water is great drinking water especially since it is now full of tadpoles which they can chase about while I fill a bucket to flush my toilets.

Water and supplies are supposed to be on their way but the lines are very long and there is no estimate as to when we will have water again. The Neches River has not crested yet and the estimate thus far is feet above record–not inches. And that is where we draw our water from–those pumps are under water and the wells in the northern part of town are under water and failed as well.

Fortunately, the drainage system put in has worked really well–I had water to the curb several times but the parts of the neighborhood that always flood badly did not.

I don’t have photos of flooding but you can see how close the helicopters are flying over my house–and it is a steady procession from 6 in the morning until 8 at night.

For now, I am safe and dry and with some supplies—hauling water from the garden pond to flush the toilet is not my favorite task—and I wonder how long it takes tadpoles to become toads.

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here is my house..looks like a mansion doesn’t it–two stories with ten foot ceilings on both floors.

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All the lovebugs have been washed on the grill of my truck–it was covered!

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this is looking west toward one of the hospitals. We are in the flight path of Medivac flights but they are rarely this low. Lots of helicopters flying overhead–Coast Guard, National Guard and probably many others–I don’t know types of helicopters well enough to identify all but I could have stood outside all day long taking photos of them.

More photos of helicopters if you are intrigued by them here: https://sylviaweirphotos.smugmug.com/HouseinBeaumont/Hurricane-Harvey/i-sJ67m9j/A

Crawfish boil

Crawfish Boil

 

One of the delightful things about this part of Texas is the crawfish boil. This project is thoughtfully and cleverly always an outside project. Perhaps it is the outgrowth of the separate kitchen to minimize the danger of fire and lessen the heat in the house or maybe it is just the really smart women of the area who have insisted this project be conducted outdoors.

 

The project begins with the purchase of bags of crawfish. They are alive and contained in mesh bags. The crawfish must be purged—to get rid of the sand and dirt they have ingested. A large pot is filled with bags of seasoning—this can be purchased as crawfish boil in the grocery store; traditionally onions, corn on the cob, potatoes, and sausage are also added. At some point the crawfish are added and cooked for about ten minutes, then dumped out onto a large picnic table.

 

If you are a true Cajun, you consume these by shelling off the meat from the back similar to a shrimp—and then—no—I’ve never done this—I think the guys do this just to gross out the girls—suck the heads!

 

Needless to say, your fingers are covered with spices and juices, as is your face and clothing.

 

The best ending is a nice piece of ice cold watermelon—consumed standing up and leaning over. Unfortunately, they are now mostly seedless—so no more seed spitting contests.

 

More photos can be seen here:

http://ysr612.smugmug.com/gallery/5022541_oC6mT#301520217_LaJ3j