Monday, October 25, 2010

On Being Prepared

This weekend we experienced some bad storms around our area of the woods as you can see from the picture I took out our living room window.  On Sunday evening, it got bad enough for us to start moving a few things into our storm room as a precaution.  When we built our home, we were fortunate enough to be able to add a real storm room in the house.  It is used daily as our food and dish pantry.
As you can see from this photo, it has rather thick walls.  They are made from cinder blocks, filled with rebar and concrete, much like a bank vault.  Even has a concrete ceiling that is actually tied to the foundation.  It was designed by Texas Tech and we have built quite a few of these in homes over the years.  Out of the 7 years we have lived in this house, we haven't even averaged once a year on going in thinking we might be glad we had this room, but the few times we have used it, it sure made me feel safer than without the room.

The main reason for this blog is to get your minds to thinking about what you would take should you have to vacate your home suddenly.  That favorite stuffed animal or blanket your child has to have to sleep!  Your wedding rings or other special jewelry, old pictures (not all of them, but the favorites), documents, keys, passwords to computer, combinations to safes, medicines, whatever you and your family deem as important.  What did I put in the safe room last night?  First was my I-Pad and second was my I-Phone.  I know that is kind of sad isn't it, but they are very important to me and contain a lot of valuable info on both.  Next was make-up and some hair products - mainly because they are so expensive to replace and one of the first things I would need the next morning should a disaster ever occur.  (We weren't in a huge hurry to get to safety either! ha)  Gary suggested I put in a coat for us since we would be wet and cold if the house blew away and I took our NOAA radio in the room.  I did grab the "key" to my drafting program so I would be able to work.  I could reload all programs on a new computer, but without the "key", I would be unable to draw houses.  No, I didn't unhook the computer and take in there because I have everything saved on Carbonite, an outside service that does the saving for me without me even thinking about it.  Gary made sure the flash light was working and brought in fire power.  I know this is a sad commentary on what we thought was important and that is my point totally!

Let me suggest you type a list of what you would want to "grab" in a hurry should the need arise.  List them in order of importance in case you can't save everything on the list.  Think about what you would put these items in whether it be a tote, a bag, a luggage, a crate (let's not get carried away here).  Put the list inside this bag so you will have it at your finger tips and place the bag in a place where it would be easy for you to get.  Hopefully, this is something you will prepare for and never need!  But just in case you do, you will have it.

Another suggestion would be for those of you with children, go over the routine of how to escape from the home in case of a fire.  For older children, discuss where you would meet them in case an emergency happened and you were not at the same location.  Buy a NOAA radio and keep fresh batteries in the case (not in the radio since they will corrode over time).  I suggest buying one that you can crank in case the batteries fail.  You might want to keep it in your bag at all times.  You might also want to consider saving your important documents and pictures on an external drive that you could keep in the bag.  A gun safe works wonders for storing important papers, pictures, etc.  Should your house ever catch on fire, have the fire fighters keep a hose going on the safe.  The things may get smoke damage and some heat damage, but they probably will be worth saving.

Hope this has prompted your brain to working and thinking of precautionary steps you need to take to save things that are important to you should the need arise in a hurry.  Thinking ahead could save you lots of sadness later.  This certainly isn't an exhaustive list, only one to start your mind in the right direction.  And remember, material things are just that - material.  They can be replaced and a whole lot of them, you would probably never replace.  Saving your life is the most important thing. 

Have a Blessed Day!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

On Being Subtle

"Ol' Gair"......I can hear Katie, Amy or Whitney saying that right now.  I have a funny about Gary that you gals will appreciate.  Most of you who follow my blog remember all those weekends at the lake where Gary could be comical - like standing in the boat dancing to "Who Let the Dogs Out" or singing "I'll be gone til November..."  or quoting his favorite line from "Pink Panther" - "Does your dog bite?  That's not my dog".  You girls would endure anything just to get to be on the lake looking for Mr. Right.  Isn't that the truth?  ha 

Most of you never have been in the truck with him while he is driving though.  He has a terrible habit of not holding his foot steadily on the gas pedal.  He presses in, lets off, presses in, lets off, presses get the point.  I attribute this to his career of being what the guys call him, "a drive by builder."  He does most of his driving in the city where he has to let off on the gas pedal a lot.  This action will make the strongest stomach queasy.  Even when you talk him into using the cruise control, he reverts back to using his foot. 

Well a couple of weeks ago, we went to eat fish about 20 minutes away from T-town.  We had another couple in the car and coming back, Gary's very close friend was riding up front with him and he calmly said, "You could use your cruise control."  I cracked up laughing.  The conversation started about how he always drives like that.  Gary's come back after we discussed his bad habit was "You sound like my wife. She b*tchs about my driving all the time."  Of course, I had to defend myself, so I made the remark that I tried to be nice about it and not complain in a rude manner.  Gary's reply was, "Ok, you are a subtle b*tch."  We all had a great laugh.

That weekend we were with Whitney and Matt and I was telling them our story.  Matt said, "Boy, I bet that made you really mad."  I told him that was not the case at all.  We all laughed about it and that is the point of this blog - to let you young couples know not to take things so serious.

Gary and I have been married over 30 years now.  I know his heart.  He didn't say that out of anger.  I have learned over the years that he doesn't like me telling him what to do or how to do it, but sometimes a woman has to do what a woman has to do.  You know the saying, "Behind every great man is a woman pushing."  If we are to train them to be good husbands, we have to subtly let them know how they can improve.  Do NOT nag.  Talk in your sweetest voice when you want to be subtle.  Tell them in that sweet tone that you aren't saying this to be b*tchy, BUT.......  Or, say, darling, would you like to...... (maybe it could be put the cruise control on or whatever you want to complete that sentence.)  Are they going to take this with a smile?  NO, but it won't be as bad as if you sounded like a total nag.  They WILL at least know you aren't mad at them and even if they snap back, they might think next time. 

You know, none of us are perfect.  We all have our quirks, bad habits, things that pester the fool out of our spouse.  Sometimes we don't even realize what we do bothers the other person.  Life can be short.  Don't let the little things cause you to give up, get mad, ruin your relationship, ruin a day together, break up a marriage.  Find ways to work through the tough times.  Talk about it, but be SUBTLE! :)

To quote Gary, "There was only one perfect man and we crucified Him."  Life is not perfect.  It is how you work through it that speaks volumes about your character.  Eventually, if you work hard at your marriage, you too will get to a point that when your spouse says something like that to you, you will laugh and not feel so threatened.

Have a Blessed day!