Thursday, April 29, 2010

Trying to Figure This Whole Blog Thing Out

I use to publish this blog. I publish via FTP because I use my own domain name, and not a blogger domain.   About a month ago I was informed that I need to migrate to a blogger domain because FTP publishing will no longer be available. So, that’s annoying. I don’t want a blogger domain. I have a perfectly good one, and see no reason why I have to switch to blogger, other than to improve their brand recognition.

So, Todd and I have to figure out how to keep a blog on in the next few days, as the end of the FTP publishing world will come to blogger on May 1.

I ask you, Internet, what do you think we should do?


Friday, April 23, 2010


Well, lonely and jealous I guess. Todd and his dad are currently in a plane bound for The Bahamas. The Fricken Bahamas. I am stuck in Rhode Island, doing pesky things like going to work, and he’s on his way to the Bahamas. Their plane departed Boston this morning, and after a three hour flight they’ll be having lunch and fruity umbrella drinks on a white sand beach. I am sure you’ll excuse my jealousy.

He goes on a trip with each of his parents once a year. In February he had a conference in Vegas and took his mom along for the week. Concerned that she’d be bored while he was at the conference, he arranged for his cousin—a close friend of my mother-in-law—to join them. Of course, he did not tell his mom about this arrangement, and surprised her on that Sunday. And of course they all had an amazing time. He arranged for a day in the spa for the two of them, they went to something like 3 dozen Cirque du Soleil shows. He won gobs of money at three card poker, and turned it all over to his mom so she could have some mad money while he was in class during the day.

Now he’s off to The Bahamas with his dad, where I am sure they’ll do fabulous things like renting a sailboat, snorkeling, and drinking lots of rum.

More than jealous, I am lonely. Before I met Todd, I lived alone. I liked living alone. I enjoy having my own space. I used to look forward to Todd’s trips just so I could have the joint to myself for a few days. Last night I made a very disgusting and disappointing dinner. Of the two of us, Todd’s the cook. So, I lamented his absence as I dumped the chicken fried rice into the trash. I had found the recipe in the Providence Journal, and in my incapable hands it turned out entirely inedible. Relieved, I discovered both cereal and milk in the kitchen—a rarity—and polished off the quiet night with a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

But this morning I woke up and the house felt empty, despite the beagle hogging the bed. Even though I lived alone, and quite enjoyed it, I find myself enjoying an empty house less and less. I never wanted to be one of those married people who couldn’t exist without her spouse, and I am scared that I am turning into that person.

While he’s away, I am filling the time. Tomorrow night I am dragging some friends along to see Willy Porter in concert. Then on Sunday I am going to a cook-out.

But it’s just not the same without Todd.

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Circle of Life, Disrupted

A few weeks ago our driveway, along with our entire state, flooded. The entire driveway was one large ankle deep puddle. The weekend after the flood, the sun came out and the weather teased us with a taste of early summer. Our waterlogged lawn kept on flowing water off to the side, and the driveway dried out a bit except for a large network of puddles on the far side.

That summery weekend frogs took up residence in the puddle and proceeded to throw a froggy orgy. Frogs left their little keys in the bowl and proceeded to pair up all over the driveway. It was to the point where we couldn’t drive in without having to get up and interrupt the action so we could move them all to the side. I joked about blasting some Barry White out the living room window. But it didn’t look like we didn’t need to do that. They were getting on just fine without our help.

Last weekend I was near the puddles getting some firewood. I looked down and saw millions of squirming black tadpoles. Millions of them. I ran into the house to get Todd, and we excitedly watched them all squirm. We speculated as to how many frogs we’d have hopping all over the place.

Todd went inside and researched on the web about raising tadpoles into frogs. We learned that we cannot fill the puddles with the hose, because the copper from the pipes in the house would kill them. The puddles were still several inches deep, so we didn’t think it would be a problem.

On Monday the sun came out, and the temperature rose to the high 60’s-low 70’s. When we got home from work, the puddle was a bit smaller. Then on Tuesday we had another nice day. When we returned home the puddle had disappeared. Left in its place were oily looking black splotches. We looked closer and saw that the millions of little tadpoles had died when their home dried out.

And I wonder how long it’ll take for Nemo to roll in it.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My Shitty Dog

Todd took Griffen and Nemo to work today, as he often does. They’d rather hang in his office, or in the back of the truck all day long than stay at home. Todd likes having them in the office as a fun stress reliever. It’s a win-win situation.

Tonight I met up with Todd at our friends’ yacht rigging shop. The owners of the shop, Maggie and Charlie, have become good friends of ours. We agreed to meet up at their house for a drink. Todd had the dogs in the back of the truck, which is fine because Maggie and Charlie are dog people; they love Griffen and Nemo.

We sat on Maggie and Charlie’s deck (or Chaggie and Marlie, as I call them if I’ve been drinking) and had a drink and some cheese and crackers. Griffen and Nemo romped around in the back yard until Griffen stopped and squatted in the middle of the yard. Of course, he dropped a bomb of epic proportions. I offered to shovel it into the woods and Charlie told me not to bother.

Big mistake.

Nemo rolled in the ground near the bomb. I figured that there was no way he was actually rolling in the pile of poo. (And what, based on my experience with Nemo would make me think that?  I don't know.)  Then we turned around just in time to see him eat the pile of poo. Todd grabbed a shovel and flung the remainder into the woods, then joined the rest of us on the deck.

Nemo joined us too. And so did the poo ground into his ears and smeared around his neck. Todd quickly put the dogs into the back of the truck and returned to the deck. Minutes later Nemo turned up on the deck again. We puzzled over how he got out of the truck, while Maggie and I lured him back to the truck again. I put him in the back and saw that the window that leads into the cab was open. I got behind the wheel and went to put the key into the ignition so I could close the window.

By the time I got behind the wheel, Nemo had already jumped through the window into the cab. I reached back and pinned him against the top of the seat. I tried to coax (read shove) him back through the window into the bed of the truck. No dice. I called out to Todd, not realizing that Maggie was still standing there. I could barely reach Nemo from the front seat, and would not be able to put the key into the ignition to close the window.

She may have laughed, I am not sure. But she opened the door to the back seat and helped me shove my poo smeared dog into the back of the truck. (A testament of true friendship!) We closed the window, crisis averted.

Just as we were leaving Maggie and Charlie’s house, an hour or so later, Charlie called out “And get your shitty dog out of here!”

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Where I Was

This morning I heard on NPR that it was 15 years ago today that the bombing in Oklahoma City happened. It was the kind of event that demonstrated to Americans that we are not even safe from ourselves. It’s easier to be outraged at a foreign entity bombing something on our soil than it is when one of our own does it. We ask ourselves how something like this could happen, and how one of our own citizens can build a bomb and destroy the lives of other Americans with it.  And we never seem to come up with a good enough answer.

I was 21 when it happened. I hadn’t given much thought to anything in Oklahoma City. I’d never been there. I didn't know anyone who lived there.  It’s one of those cities in a part of the country that I hadn’t spent any time in. It's the kind of place that is far away, and that I'd end up reading about in the paper.

I was in Tasmania on the day that it happened. I had just returned to the city of Hobart after spending a few days at Mt. Field National Park, just outside of Hobart. The night before I’d spent the night in a picnic shelter in the park, on a mattress I’d borrowed from the ranger’s station. I was out of money, and woefully unprepared for the fact that the hostel I’d stayed in the night before didn’t accept Visa. I paid cash for the one night in the hostel, assuming that I’d find an ATM in the morning. The closest ATM was 16 km away, I’d learned the next day. I had $8 in my pocket, precisely enough to get the bus back to Hobart on the day after that.

I decided that I’d rather spend the day exploring the park and figure out my accommodation situation later on, than walking the 16 km to the bank. I’d met the park ranger, who allowed me to borrow the mattress. Just before sunset I made camp in the picnic shelter, and turned down a ride back to Hobart from people who may or may not have been perfectly normal people. I made a fire. I ate some food I had in my pack. I set my travel alarm clock for 7 so that I would have plenty of time to wake up, clean up and catch my bus.  I was woken up in the middle of the night by a wallaby plundering the nearby trash can.  Other than that I slept peacefully. 

When I returned to Hobart the next morning, I wandered into a café for breakfast. It was over a bagel and hot chocolate that I learned the news of the bombing. Another patron had left a copy of a newspaper behind and I read it while I ate. The picture of the Murrah Building stretched over the front page, a cut away view revealing all of the building’s floors. I stared at it in awe, and then read the article. While I was exploring a beautiful park, a bomb had exploded in my country.

Oklahoma City was ten thousand miles away from Hobart. Even though I didn’t know anyone who lived there, I numbly shuffled through the streets anyway with a feeling like my country had just changed for the worse.

Later on, in the hostel, I met a German woman who had asked me what I thought about the bombing. I asked her “Well, what would anyone think? It was a horrible thing that happened.” She nodded and said that it was a silly question, and she apologized for asking it.  Even though it didn’t impact my life directly, I felt very cold-hearted when I thought of it that way.  Almost as if I was thinking "Well, it has nothing to do with me... la de da."  Well, what did I think of it?  A silly, yet loaded question.

To a lot of people I’ve never met, today is the anniversary of the day they lost a loved one in a senseless act of violence and stupidity. To those people it was the end of a life.  But now I look at this event and all I can think is “Now, what the hell was that for?”

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Saturday, April 17, 2010

This Burrito Will Self Destruct in 4.... 3..... 2.....

I love Mexican food.  A lot.  It's to the point where if I have Mexican food for lunch on a Saturday, the remainder of my day is thrown out the window.

My "off" switch in my stomach and my brain somehow become disabled.  Then it's chipssalsachipssalsa chipschipschipssalsaaaaaa.

Then the refried beans come out, and those are eaten with more chips.  Then the entree, and the gooey vat of queso.  And the burrito, or the tacos, or the empanadas, or the flautas.  It's all good. 

Eventually the water I am drinking and the chips meet up in my stomach.  Chip hits water, and the expansion occurs.  But the flavors still play on my tongue, and they are oh so good.  Chomp chomp chomp goes the remainder of the entree.  Stomach strains against jeans, and I look around to see if anyone in the restaurant would notice if I unbuttoned them.

The energy I started the day with has been doused by queso and refried beans.  Todd drives the car home while I recline in the passenger seat and groan.  Once home I flop on to the couch, clutch my belly and say, "I cannot believe I ate the whole thing."  My "off" switch re-engages and shouts "I told you so!"

But the thing is, once I am back in On the Border, I'll probably do it all again. 

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Monday, April 12, 2010

An Abrupt Goodbye

On Sunday we received some bad news; an old friend of ours passed away. Dick was the owner of Chipman Point Marina, in Orwell, VT—which was where we kept our first boat, Sugar Magnolia.

It was 10 years ago when we first tied up to the dock at Chipman Point and met Dick. He was sitting on the patio at the head of the dock. The patio is still one of my favorite spots in the world; it’s where you can always strike up a conversation with someone, and Dick was always going in and out of the ship’s store. He used to chime into the conversation whenever he walked by.

Dick was an older gentleman. He had a weather-beaten face, bright white hair and matching beard. But he always had a smile on that face. As his health declined later in his life, he tooled around on the marina grounds in a golf cart with artificial sunflowers stuck to the back of it.

From Dick we learned a great deal about boat restoration and about sailing. His tool shop was always open to us, as was his ear when we needed advice. With Dick there were no stupid questions, though he couldn’t promise not to provide a tongue-in-cheek answer. I vividly remember the first time Todd and I sailed to a marina on Lake Champlain and picked up a mooring instead of tying to a dock. At the time Todd was on the foredeck, and reached out to grab the pick up stick floating in the water. He pulled on the stick and retrieved the mooring line. Then he tied some ridiculously complicated Eagle Scout knot, and we slept at mooring for the first time aboard Sugar Magnolia.

The next morning we returned to Chipman Point, and excitedly told Dick about our first night on a mooring. “The only thing that was bad about it was the pick up stick kept smacking into the side of the boat while we slept.”

Dick lowered his voice and said, “You’re supposed to pull the stick onto the deck of the boat to keep that from happening.” And that was so Dick. Sure, he liked to joke around; but he never sought to make you feel stupid.

There are things I didn’t know about Dick until I read the obituary. He was pretty low key about his accomplishments. I knew that he was a machinist, like my father, and that he made tools that violin makers use. What I didn’t know was that he and another man designed and built the world’s first teleprompter. Because of Dick’s ingenuity, public speakers and politicians use that device every single day. Yet, he was so modest and never talked about it.  He was so cool like that.

Thank you, Dick, for all that you’ve taught us. Even though we haven’t been fixtures there for quite a few summers now, thank you for always making us feel welcome. I am trying hard not to be sad, because you wouldn’t want that. But it’s hard not to be. You made Chipman Point one of my favorite places in the world, and without you it’ll never be the same.

We’ll miss you.

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Friday, April 09, 2010

It Just Worked, Somehow

My blog pal Crisitunity had just written the other day about changes in her fiancé’s work schedule. He’s putting in later nights these days, and spending time together is getting harder and harder because of it. It got me thinking about how normal that sort of thing has always been in my life. Yet, I sympathize.

My dad started his machine shop the same year I was born. At the time my parents had five children ranging from newborn to age 14. Eventually they put all those kids through college without taking a single student loan. When I graduated college, 22 years after Dad started the shop, I had no student loan debt at all. I was blessed and thankful. Still am.

But I know it wasn’t easy. Dad went to work well before I woke up; I can still remember the sound the old blue pick up truck made on cold mornings as it wheezed to life and he pulled it out of the driveway. He came home after I went to bed. He worked Saturdays. He loves his work, and borders on obsessed with it. He still works long days, at age 72. He’s tops at what he does. It never fails to amaze me when he glances at a blueprint and a piece of steel and knows exactly to make that piece of steel look like what’s in the drawing. I struggle with basic things like recipes and furniture assembly, but Dad makes big metal things from scratch—things like parts on the engine of an F-14, or parts of machines that paper companies use, or hinges on submarine missile silos.

When I was a kid, Mom fed us all dinner at home. Then she’d pack up a plate for Dad in a sauce pan. These were the days before she had a cabinet full of Tupperware, and she probably would not have spent the money on something like that anyway. She put a lid on the saucepan and put it into a paper grocery bag that she’d rolled shut. The bag was set on the floor of the passenger seat in the light blue Chevy Impala wagon, she piled all of us in there and didn’t take any crap from us when we argued about who got to sit in the front.

Dad ate his dinner at his workbench. Between bites he made adjustments to the machine nearby cutting or drilling away at some hunk of metal. He and Mom talked while he worked and ate, me and my sibs played. Sometimes we did the sweeping up, but mostly we played. There was an office on the other side of his space that Dad never used, preferring to use a desk in the corner of the shop floor rather than a far flung office on the other side of the building. The office was empty, but he’d stuck 2 desks in there that he’d probably picked up from somewhere. The desks were also empty and they didn’t have chairs. We eventually stocked the drawers with things like paper, markers, crayons, and small toys. But mostly we climbed on top of them and slid across their slick surfaces on our bellies.

In the office there were two glass brick windows on the east wall. There were deep ledges under those windows. Of course we climbed onto the ledges and marked up with walls with our dirty sneakers on the way up and down. It was a big deal when I was finally big enough to climb that wall to the ledge. I felt like I’d graduated to the big kids club. My brother Kaz could jump up there and land perfectly seated without having to use his hands. (I would love to see how high that ledge is now.  In my mind's eye it's somewhere up in the stratosphere.)  When I wasn’t trying to climb up to the ledge, my sister and I made a Barbie house in the gigantic safe in the corner opposite the ledge. On nice days we roamed the neighborhood, or walked to the pharmacy where I had once shoplifted a candy bar.

Then Mom piled us all into the wagon again and got us home on time for bed. Dad stayed at work and came home at some point after I’d already fallen asleep. Just to do it all over before I ever woke up in the morning. Dad didn’t work that way because he didn’t love his family. It was quite the opposite. He worked that way because he loved us all so very much and wanted something better for us. Sure, he worked a lot of hours, but he was still very present in my life as I was growing up. He went to the band concerts; he went to the basketball games. He went to the really big track meets on Saturdays, but had to miss the week day ones. I don’t think he ever saw me play field hockey, because those games were always in the afternoon. With Dad there were no excuses for bad grades, and he sat up late with my sister and her algebra homework, and the tutoring session didn’t stop until her answers were perfect. (And for that reason I avoided him when it came to homework. I liked to get my sleep.)

My mom was exceedingly patient with the way Dad worked. She always had her eye on the future. That future was all about sending her kids to college because she and Dad hadn’t gone. It was all about buying us things like musical instruments because she’d never learned to play anything. Mom crunched the numbers and she made it happen. After Mom died, when I was 27, Dad and I were sitting up late in a hotel room in Poland. With tears in his eyes he said, “She knew what needed to be done and she never complained.” And it was true, and it’s what I admired the most about her. She took the team mentality of a marriage to a whole other level that I cannot even comprehend.

And it’s that quality from my mom that I try to bring to my own marriage. My husband works hard, and is often home late. I don’t complain because I also have my eye on the future. He works hard, but he makes sure that we take plenty of time to play. He doesn’t work Saturdays like Dad did (and still does). But if I had half of my mom’s energy, then I know that the future we’re working for is going to be great.

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Thursday, April 08, 2010

Healthy Fear

Today my stint as a grand juror was supposed to end. It’s been six months, and we’ve been extended for another six months because we have three cases pending indictment that we haven’t finished yet.  Obviously I cannot write about the cases I’ve heard here. I wish I could. It’s been a fascinating experience, and I would love to share the stories I've heard in the deliberation room. Every other week I was told a story. Some of them made me cry after hearing them and some of them left my mouth hanging open in awe.

The thing I am in awe about the most is the lack of a healthy fear, which is something I've experienced on more than one occasion.  It’s the butterflies in the stomach, the mouth gone dry, the adrenaline surging through my body that causes my palms to sweat. I’ve felt it when having a near miss with another car while speeding in my car. I’ve felt it the time I broke Mom’s vase when I was a kid, or at work when something happened that was entirely fault. It’s the healthy fear that makes me fess up because I am afraid of what would happen if I didn’t. It’s this healthy fear that keeps me, and other normal people, from doing something like knocking over a 7-11. However, observing some of the witnesses I’ve heard in the last six months has taught me that not everyone has this healthy fear.

We mostly hear from witnesses that work in law enforcement, however on occasion we hear from civilian witnesses. We never get to hear from the person who is accused of the crime, or is the target of the investigation. But we hear about them from other people, and it’s the stories of these other people that help me and the rest of the jurors decide if they have to go to trial later on.  The civilian witnesses amaze me. It's not that they don’t dress up for their testimony like the law enforcement witnesses do. It isn't even that they aren’t prepared like the law enforcement witnesses are. It's in the way they speak.  They answer “Yup” and “Yeah” instead of “Yes.” Some of them nod or shake their head, and then the court reporter has to tell them to answer verbally so she can type it into the stenotype machine. The last two sessions I’ve heard from witnesses who, in addition to not being prepared, they just don’t have the healthy fear. Yesterday I listened to a witness tell us that something confiscated from her desk at her workplace in a search and seizure “might” be hers. She wouldn’t not say the word yes, but knew she couldn’t say no either. She stuck with “might be.”  The prosecutor pressed the question "Yes or no, is this yours?"  And she answered "it might be" every time without batting an eye.

My mouth hung open as she answered that way over and over. She was on the edge of lying, and yet she appeared calm. She testified for nearly three hours, and did not “crack” under the pressure of the prosecutor. She answered that she “didn’t recall” to questions that we knew that she knew the answer to.

If it were me on the stand, I’d be shaking in my boots. I would be singing like a canary because I’d be too afraid of what might happen if I didn’t tell them exactly what I knew about the situation. The healthy fear would take over, and the sense of right or wrong would kick in and would compel me to say something other than it “might have” been my fault.

But if there’s anything I’ve learned in the last six months of being part of the greatest judicial system in the world, it’s that I will never ever do anything illegal because I never want to find myself in that seat.

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Monday, April 05, 2010

It’s All Coming Together

The Great Hudson River Trip 2010 is quickly coming together. I’ve mentioned a few things we need to do to Sabine to make this trip a reality. We have a list, we’re already checking things off of it and we’ve barely scratched April’s surface.

1. We built the plywood templates for the new fuel tanks. We fit them into the space and then marked where the fittings are supposed to go for the filling hose, the feed and return lines to the engine and generator, the sender for the fuel gauge and the vents. On Saturday morning we drove the plywood templates across the bay to Bristol, RI where we met with the welder.

Going to the welder's shop was a nostalgia trip for me. I practically grew up in a machine shop much like the one we visited on Saturday morning. The smell of the machine oil, the sound of metal chips crunching under my feet as I walked, and the sight of the grease streaked walls were entirely comforting and familiar. I inhaled deeply and was instantly brought home. Normal people are brought home by the smell of baking bread, or cookies, or whatever Mom’s specialty was. Not me. It’s eau d’machine oil for me, my friends.

We’ll have brand new aluminum tanks in about two weeks. Better still, my boat will carry more fuel than the jeep for the first time in seven years.

2. Last weekend we installed a brand new alternator, pulley system and belt to Sabine’s Yanmar diesel engine. Last season the diesel, less than 10 years old, chewed through fan belts at an alarming rate. The smell of burning rubber singed our nostrils when under power, and a fine layer of shredded rubber coated every inch of the engine. A normal engine wears out a belt every few years. We were burning 3-5 belts a season, more of them as the years wore on.

When we pulled the pulleys off the engine, we noticed that they were precariously rusted to the point where the jagged edges caused Sabine’s increased appetite for fan belts. The rust was caused by an elaborate system of leaks remedied by the Great Paint Job of 2009.  We cleaned the layer of grimy rubber powder off the engine, installed a higher output alternator, pretty blue pulleys and a wider belt that is less likely to slip. The alternator will power our house bank of batteries so we can do things like turn on the lights indoors when we’re at anchor, and we’ll be able to do that for longer periods of time without fear of running down the batteries.

3. “But I thought you had radar aboard,” is something we hear from our boating friends. They point to the radar dome perched on the mizzen mast. I reply, cheekily, “Yeah, our radar dome is decorative. Sure is purty, eh?” But the lack of radar is becoming more and more of a problem. There have been many times where we’ve been stuck somewhere due to foggy conditions. A functional radar is a necessity that we’ve never had.

We’ve tried to make the radar functional, without success. Last week I spent an obnoxious amount of time on the phone with Raymarine tech support to determine what we need to get the radar functioning. We are currently waiting for just one more cable, and then we’ll be able to wire up the radar properly and hopefully check it off the list.

4. On Easter we cleaned out the gear room in our house in preparation of the Beej and Todd adventure season. In the ungodly mess that the gear room had become, we found bits and parts that we’ll need to work our way through the list for the remainder of April and May.

5. I’ve gotten ALL of my vacation time off approved. It’s marked on my Outlook calendar, and I keep staring at it longingly. We’ll be on the water for 2 weeks in July and then another week in August. I have the signed PTO forms in my desk at work, and I feel like jumping up and down every time I look at those as well. Just today, Todd emailed me and told me he was having a bad day. I took screen shots of my Outlook calendar and emailed them to him and said “Yeah, today you might be having a bad day. But look at this, we have a possible 25 days on the water coming up. Keep your eye on the prize!”

Now we just need to plan the trip… find amenities along the Hudson to make sure we can get things like fuel and fresh water. We’ve been reading guides and researching on the Internet on our spare time. More importantly, we also need to find a place where Todd and I will maintain one of our favorite vacation traditions: the buying of my vacation bling.

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Sunday, April 04, 2010

The Aftermath

What a week.  And what a mess.  The rain finally stopped on Wednesday, and the sun began to show up from behind the clouds.  But it only did that after the flooding closed interstate 95 right smack in the middle of the state.  It wreaked havoc for commuters all coming from all directions.  Normally the closure wouldn't have affected me, because I live and work south of the closed portion.  However traffic was backed up for miles, and I would have been screwed if I had to go to work on that day.  I had to go to jury duty on Wednesday in Providence, but knew enough to take the backroads and circumnavigate half the state to get there.  (And that only took 45 minutes.  Because we're such a small state.)  Todd had slept at his office on Tuesday night, and fortunately didn't have to commute through the insanity either.

He took much of Wednesday off to help people he knew whose houses had been flooded.  He waded in waist deep water to get to a Home Depot so that he could get a pump.  Luckily he didn't have to go to the Warwick Mall, photo below.  (I do not know who took these photos.  I'd love to give you credit, because they are amazing.)

The Warwick Mall is right near where the highway was closed.  According to NPR, there was 20" of water in some of the stores.  Just to the left of the trees in the bottom left of the picture is where the water is supposed to be.  It extended all the way across the parking lot, and completely flooded the buildings right in the center and toward the bottom of the picture.  Not in this shot is the apartment complex off the left side of the photos.  The complex has since been condemned. 

This is about 10 miles south of where we live.  No, a bomb did not go off in the middle of the street, it was the rushing water.

The town of West Warwick was one of the baddest hit.  This is an evacuation of some old mill buildings in that town.

This is on the other side of the Warwick Mall, presumably taken on Tuesday during the height of the rain.

We still have the large puddles in our driveway, and that's the only real hassle we've sustained through all this.  On Saturday I noticed frogs playing in the puddles.  At first I saw only one when we were leaving to go somewhere.  Then later on there were two when we left to go to Home Depot.  When we got back from dinner on Saturday night, there were roughly 8-10 frogs lounging in this puddle and singing to each other.  On Sunday I captured this shot of two of them doing it.  Be advised, if you get it on in my driveway, I WILL take a photo and I will post it to my blog. 

Overall, we've been very lucky and extremely fortunate.  There are so many people who have been forced from their homes.  I am still seeing hoses extend out from basements and pouring into streets when I drive around.  I see piles of dirty carpets piled on the side of roads I ride on.  I have heard the horror stories, and I am so thankful not to be a part of that.

The water is receeding, and the frog population is growing.

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