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Cleanliness is next to impossible.  ~Author Unknown

Most of the people of Louisiana have begun the process of putting homes, businesses and lives back together.  Hurricane Isaac really seemed to take his own sweet time passing through, creating torrential rains, flash floods and general misery as he inched across the state.  I say misery because there are still homes without electricity and that’s not pleasant with 100% humidity.  Many have generators for just such an eventuality (one of those lessons we learn) but the price of fuel these days make it expensive to keep the fridge, freezer and a fan or two operating.

Road closures, cancelled flights and flash floods caused me some aggravation as I was scheduled to attend a CZT Retreat in Dallas this Labor Day weekend.  After more than three hours on the road to travel a grand total of ten miles (with more than sixty left) I admitted defeat and began the long process of trying to go back home.  Flash floods had closed several roads on the way back home along with the only open route to the airport.  I was looking forward to meeting so many of the CZT’s in other certification classes and feeding off the collective creativity of these talented ladies.  They did some amazing stuff.  Here’s hoping there is another retreat in the near future – maybe after hurricane season?  On the positive side, I did get to enjoy watching my LSU Tigers win their first game of the season.  Coach Miles had invited my granddaughter to attend his radio show and I got to share her excitement on Thursday night.  The two seem to have developed a mutual admiration society after he heard her story and saw her dance at a fundraiser for the OLOL Children’s Hospital.

We were quite lucky with no real damage and only intermittent loss of electricity thanks to the fact that our power lines are underground.  My house was a total mess from all the extra people and I am still trying to figure out how my floors got so filthy.  I spent all day Sunday putting things in order and cleaning floors so I could relax on Labor Day and enjoy some tangle time.  I have been following a new blog, The Bright Owl.  Erin has been posting some really nice challenges using Zendalas though I haven’t taken up the challenge till this week.  She even shares the templates – how nice is that?  I took some time today to play with her latest challenge template.  I had a couple of ideas, so why not do two?  One was completed on a regular tile (with very subtle watercolor background) and the other on a Zendala tile.  If you are looking for some inspiration, scoot on over to The Bright Owl and take a look at some of the amazing work there.

My mother-in-law’s first Zentangle. She only has use of her left hand after suffering a stroke several years ago.

“How long a minute is, depends on which side of the bathroom door you’re on. “ ~Zall’s Second Law

The past few days have been filled with preparations in advance of Hurricane Isaac.  We have been through many storms and have learned a few lessons over the years.  A big aha for me with Hurricane Andrew was the purpose behind filling the bathtubs with water.  I always did it because you are supposed to do that, but never knew why.  I knew I wouldn’t drink any water from the bathtub no matter how clean it was.   It’s not for drinking, it’s for flushing!  When the power goes out it can affect the power to the pumps that bring water to the house.  Thank goodness Andrew brought a lot of rain because two bathtubs for a family with three women doesn’t last very long.  We ended up capturing the rain in garbage cans to “keep the waters flowing.”  My family was the envy of the neighborhood after about three days.

One of the first priorities for my husband and his sister is to get his mom out of harm’s way.  She lives in a nursing home in a coastal area of the state that is vulnerable to flooding.  We make a point of getting her early and bringing her north to the Baton Rouge area.  Since my home is friendlier for her wheelchair, it makes sense to have her stay with us.  She had a stroke about 6 years ago and has no use of her right side, but likes to stay busy.  I’ve been doing laundry – you don’t want dirty clothes when the power goes – and she has been folding for me today.  Slow going, but she gets the job done.

Chores and prep are finished and now we wait.  It’s a bit surreal, waiting for a hurricane.   Time seems to stop, but you are on edge watching and waiting.  Perfect conditions to enjoy a little tangle time.  I have been working on some pumpkins I will be sharing later.  My mother-in-law has been fascinated with the Zentangle process as she has watched the transformation of these discount store pumpkins.  This evening she told me she thought she would like to give it a try.  “I like that you can’t make mistakes.”  We used regular cardstock and a Sharpie pen.  I demonstrated and then held her paper as she tangled away.  In the end she decided it didn’t look anything like what I showed her, but she loves it.  Seventy-plus years old, working with only with her non-dominant hand and still ready for a challenge, I’m always impressed by her spirit.  So I share with you her first Zentangle, created while we wait for Isaac, in the hope you will be inspired to try something new.

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