Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Florida, The Snorkel State!

We got power back at 5:35 PM tonight, for which we are very grateful since there was a prediction of 1-3 weeks for some folks.  (We lost it early Sunday morning.)  Minor damage--porch ceilings and soffitt; we were up on ladders during the storm with duct tape to keep the aluminum panels attached.  Lots of branches down; we've started clean-up.  We'll do more when the water goes down.  Driving around today to get more ice there are trees down everywhere--still being removed from roads; we passed crews working.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

She's headed straight for us!

Jeanne's getting closer, and she's a category 3 now.  We're pretty much ready.  I have to fill the tub and washing machine yet and do a few chores in case we lose power later tonight.  The rain bands started this morning though it was just sprinkles then.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Good-bye Ivan. Hello Jeanne.

Ivan's off to the west, and Jeanne may be heading for us.  No one's sure where or if she'll make landfall, but it might be Sunday morning.  I'm not putting everything away yet, but Saturday's scheduled for a work day at the historical society (cleaning up debris from Charley and Frances) and errands, which include shopping.  I'm glad we got another hurricane lamp (battery operated) and batteries, etc. already.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

It's a parade!

Well, Ivan is reforming in the Gulf; Jeanne is still making up her mind; Karl is going north; and Lisa is being followed by what may become Matthew.  It's been a busy season, but I heard on the Weather Channel that there were 19 named storms in 1995.  (I do not want to break any records this year!) We got over a half inch of rain from intermittent showers from Ivan as he moved across the peninsula, btw.

Monday, September 20, 2004


A chunk of Ivan got pushed south and is spinning off the Florida east coast and is giving us rain.  We're safe from all the rest for a while.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Jeanne, et al

Well, Jeanne's in a holding pattern and may make a loop.  Karl is out of the loop, so to speak, and Lisa may be coming off the African coast.  I saw on the news tonight that the damage in Ivan's wake in Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Georgia, ... is catastrophic.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Who's up next?

We're still getting rain bands from Ivan; that is a long ways up north!  Karl will probably stay to the east, and no one is sure about Jeanne's path, but it doesn't look as bad as its predecessors...  A respite would be good so everyone can concentrate on clean up.  Looks like some power outages may last longer in the wake of Ivan.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Frances and/or Charley

I got an e-mail from a friend in Lake Wales yesterday; he lost a lot of roof shingles and had minor water damage, etc.  A palm blew down, and three others are listing.  My mother gave him those palms many years ago, and she always loved to see them because they're so beautiful.

Ivan be gone

I'm very grateful that Ivan missed us; I have friends and relatives along the Gulf coast though, and I hope they're okay, along with everyone else.  And I hope the flooding won't be as bad as predicted.  This respite is helping us dry out, though we get a little rain almost every day--mostly sprinkles and showers.  We just got a shower that looks like (on the online radar) an outer band of Ivan--a loose link of cells, but it lightning and thundered here for a bit.  I actually saw the sun for a short time today, however!  Now I'll keep an eye on Jeanne and Karl.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Sammy's Beautiful Tail

Here's the cover for Sammy's Beautiful Tail; all the illustrations are by Andrea Gradidge; she did the lettering also.

Ivan update

I haven't mentioned Ivan lately because I was waiting to see if he'd made up his mind yet!  Now it seems pretty certain that he's headed for the Florida panhandle or possibly west of that.  'Course Elena in a similar situation turned east...  And here comes Jeanne...

Monday, September 13, 2004

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Why Won't Anyone Play with Me?

This is the cover of Why Won't Anyone Play with Me?  It may or may not be available from ChildrenzBooks.  It's not on a CD yet, as far as I know, but I thought I'd share it.  Thanks to Andrea Gradidge for illustrating this story and Sammy's Beautiful Tail; she also did the lettering.  (I found out that it is not available any more from ChildrenzBooks.)


It's wonderful having a weekend without a hurricane!  Ivan's slowing down and trending west, but that can change, and I remember a hurricane that made a loop.  Still, everyone's catching up with clean-up; and at Ryan's, where we went for lunch Saturday, there were a lot of tree crews and National Guard there.  The parking lot was full of tree removal company trucks.  And we come across them along the road.  We really appreciate everyone's help!

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Sammy's Beautiful Tail

My illustrated children's nature story is available on CD (Vol. II) from: ChildrenzBooks™ Books for you and your child.

Ivan, will you make up your mind?!

Well, Ivan has moved a little more to the west, which is a good thing for us.  Time will tell.  It's still raining here.  (I can remember when a hurricane would go by and suck all the moisture out of the atmosphere for days!)  We did some errands today, which included looking for lantern batteries and a hurricane lamp; we found neither, but a guy at Ace Hardware fixed our old lamp.  This is good!  Driving around we saw downed trees and flooding everywhere and way too many trees crowding power lines.

Friday, September 10, 2004

It's wriggling on the driveway! It's, it's...

On the way to the mailbox this morning, as I walked through the standing water (in just a few places) on the driveway, I saw little wriggling shapes in the water.  I checked them out and saw that they were tadpoles.  I got a little jar, filled it with water, and got a plastic spoon and caught a number of them (not easy; they sure wriggle well) and threw them in the lawn pools.  (It's possible they'll have enough time to mature.)  They must have washed into the driveway from last night's rain.

Thursday, September 9, 2004

House book cover

It's still raining!

Went out this evening and got caught in a torrential rain on the way home; and I do mean torrents.  The roads were flooded.  At this rate, the rivers won't go down before Ivan gets here...

Wednesday, September 8, 2004


Ivan, if it comes, might arrive here Monday.  I saw on the news and weather that some of the rivers that are flooding should start going down Sunday...

Plant inventory after Frances

I'm still wading in a few places, but the water is going down.  Lots of tree debris clean-up and pruning to be done, but the rain lilies are blooming.  Some ornamental grasses aren't looking happy, and the willow tree is looking brown; it got whipped around a lot.  Maybe that's the problem; it shouldn't be the water.  The pond is over its roots; and the river birches are in the pond, but they're water lovers, I thought.  The rosemarys, which hate wet feet, are probably goners.  Time will tell; but the two crape myrtles, recently planted by the patio, are putting out new growth.  We are very fortunate. 

Tuesday, September 7, 2004

Aftermath (Before algebra)

The sun came out today, though we still got some rain bands being sucked out of the Gulf of Mexico by Frances--just sprinkles for us.  We cleaned up debris, including a huge branch from an oak out front by the road.  We lopped off its smaller branches and dragged it off, with a neighbor's help.  A couple other neighbors stopped by as we were finishing up to see if they could help.  Hey, it's a great neighborhood!

Monday, September 6, 2004


I added some links.  Thanks, Shelly, for your help.  Actually, adding them was fun.  I'll try to add my book cover some day...

Hurricane Frances

We're still getting rain bands--wind and rain, with occasional tornadoes.  The pond's way up, but not over its banks yet.  Standing water everywhere.  Branches and small debris.  Intermittent power outages yesterday; we were very fortunate and grateful. 

Saturday, September 4, 2004


Frances has slowed way down.  It should arrive here tomorrow and dawdle for hours, giving us lots of wind and rain.  I'm hoping the pond doesn't flood to the road; it'll be hard to rescue the fishies...

Book cover

Yes.  It's the dreaded red X.  Sorry.  I will try to fix that.



Thank you!  OK, I'll try that, and I guess I'd better slow down with the posts.  I wanted to get some posts up in case I lose power...


My press release

Press Release   August 27, 2004   Joy V. Smith’s new book, Building a Cool House for Hot Times without Scorching the Pocketbook, is scheduled for release October 18, 2004.    This helpful book covers the building process and what’s involved in building your home; it  includes diary excerpts, photos, and advice from planning to punch list and beyond!  She shares what she’s learned about the thousands of decisions needed to build while keeping within a budget.    Paperback, 6" x 9", ISBN 1-4137-3521-5, 61 pp., retail $12.95  PublishAmerica.   For more information, please contact: Joy V. Smith 8925 Selph Road Lakeland, FL 33810 863-853-9472 E-mail: Pagadan@aol.com    


And here's a link to one of my most recent stories:

To The Last Drop! (a story for coffee lovers):


Links!  Yes.  Here's a link for Serenity--the Firefly movie, which I'm really looking forward to: Serenity


Frances has slowed down, but I see a large band getting closer to us (on radar).  Time to put the garbage can in the shed and be sure all the little things are inside.  I got some packages and mail off in time.  Publix (grocery store) is closed, but we got duct tape and batteries at Ace Hardware.  They're out of hurricane lamps (battery operated).  (Our old one is dead.)  Sun is shining through the clouds briefly; it's getting breezy..

Friday, September 3, 2004

My newest book

Today I got my two author's copies of Building a Cool House for Hot Times without Scorching the Pocketbook--a small thing, but mine own.  I continue working on promotion and wondering whether to buy freebies.  (I've read that it's something I should do.  One author even spent his advance on promotional freebies!) 

I've sent out press releases by e-mail and regular mail and flyers and personal notes and stopped strangers on the street...  I've had to take time from focusing on that to prepare for Hurricane Frances; and today I helped a neighbor board up her windows.  I'll finish our preparation tomorrow morning, and I hope to add at least one more entry then.  I'm hoping we don't lose power, the roof, ...