Wednesday, August 31, 2011

This Picture Says it All

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Monday, August 29, 2011

Jarvis Landing

Jarvis Landing is a community of about 35 vacation homes on the Pamlico River near Aurora, NC (although a few residents do live here permanently). Every home on the street suffered a fate similar to ours.

From what we can tell, the river flooded its banks as a 6 to 7 foot storm surge swept through the community.

Here's the video I shot as we were first arriving at Jarvis Landing:


Nothing can prepare you for a sight like that.

As we assessed the damage it was clear what we had lost: everything. And what was salvageable: nothing.

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The only thing we really could do was try to take it all in, remarking at the items left scattered in the yard, and the things that we had no idea where they might have gone.

This was a brand new queen-size mattress:

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Can you image how powerful that water must have been to reduce it to this?

Where the pump house used to sit:

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And the sun room:

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Flat-screen TV anyone?

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This tree that's laying down in the yard is not ours (we actually didn't lose any trees). Our theory is that it floated into the yard from Indian Island across the river.

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Some festive 4th of July leftovers:

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And of course pictures:

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Snapshots scattered all up and down the road.

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A few lighthouses left somewhat intact and a jar of pickles:

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The amount of stuff that we can't locate at all is unbelievable. The refrigerator? Gone. The entire barn? No clue. The oversized picnic table where we've shared so many wonderful meals? Vanished.

We did spot some of our furniture in the marsh and woods across the street.

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Can you make out the plaid in the middle? That's our couch.

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We've lost our pier in hurricanes past, so when we rebuilt it, we built it in sections that could be taken up in the event of a storm. Dad went down last week and removed the sections and tied them up in the yard. The pieces are nowhere to be found now.

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Here's a short tour of the property (sorry that I get loud at the end!):


But all of these things are just "stuff" that can be replaced. But there were some things that are irreplaceable:
  • Dad's "river journals" -- where every weekend he meticulously documented who was down there that weekend, the activities and events of the weekend and how and where the fish were biting.
  • His pride and joy 8+ lb trout , stuffed and mounted on the wall.
  • Two paintings by my great-grandmother, recently framed and hung in the dining room.
The trout and paintings might still be hanging on the walls, if only we knew where the walls were. But they are nowhere to be found.

All up and down the street the scene was the same:

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But again, everyone is safe at that is what matters.

We had insurance and we will rebuild.

It will take time but we'll be back. Slowly but surely Jarvis Landing will clean up, dust off and get to the hard work of rebuilding this community from the ground up.

And we will forever be stronger because of it.

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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hurricane Irene

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This is all that's left of my family's vacation home on the Pamlico River in Aurora, NC.

After all of the good times we've shared here as a family, nothing is left but a shell of a house and its contents scattered as far as the eye can see. Twelve years we've owned this property, and after 12 years of furnishing, decorating, repairing and upgrading, we hauled everything that was salvageable (and some stuff that wasn't) out in a few trash bags.

It's a total loss, but we still have all of the memories. No storm can take those away from us.

We know that we're fortunate to have a vacation home in the first place, and we're counting our blessings that everyone is healthy and safe, and the damage to my family's primary homes is minimal.

Once I can wrap my head around everything, I'll be back to share more details and pictures tomorrow.

Although all the pictures in the world can never truly capture the devastation, both physical and emotional, that this community is facing right now.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday Thoughts

Some of this and that heading into the weekend:
  • A coworker of mine started a blog called I Was the Coolest Kid Ever. You might recognize today's coolest kid.
  • You should probably NOT talk to me about Big Brother today. I'm totally over it. No one left in the house at this point deserves to win and the show is not worth watching without Jeff. I'll follow along just to see what happens to my girl Jordan and then I'm out.
  • As for real life (because let's face it, that's a bit more important than reality TV) -- we were planning on going to the beach this weekend but of course that's not happening. Preparations have been made at the beach and the river and we're crossing our fingers that Irene takes it easy on us and praying that everyone stays safe.
  • And just because I need a little pick-me-up this afternoon, a gorgeous bouquet from the farmer's market a few weekends back (only $5!):
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Have a good weekend (well, as good as possible with Irene bearing down) and stay safe!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Office Wrap-Up

I'm officially ready to declare my office done. And I'm in L-O-V-E. Couldn't be happier with how everything turned out (well, taking my budget and resources into account).

As a refresher, here are some "before" shots:

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And here's how she turned out:

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You can visit previous posts to find out more about what I wanted out of this space, how I brought the old farm table back to life, my leaning bookcase storage, my DIY pinboard frames and how I turned Ikea duvets into curtains.

And now for some more details of what's going on up in here.

A big piece of the puzzle in this room was storage. Storage for office supplies, party supplies, wrapping supplies and crafting/scrapbooking supplies. And for all of that, I turned to Ikea.

Up first, a traditional Expedit bookcase.

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The baskets house miscellaneous scrapbooking, stamping and party supplies and the open shelves hold finished scrapbooks, camera gear and my market totes.

This is also the site of my "wrapping station" with a basket for rolls of paper, a ribbon box and a vintage metal locker basket for tissue paper and gift tags.

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Up next is another bookcase, this one housing actual books.

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(I didn't say they were intellectual books.)

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Lee bought me this bookcase for my birthday one year and stained it himself.

A fan is a must because it gets hot up here in the summer (we don't use the upstairs much so we intentionally set the thermostat high), and I love this little brushed nickel Hunter number from Target.

Beside the fan is my little stationery area, filled with a variety of cards and my address and bookplate stampers.

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Beside my desk is another Ikea storage unit for all of my office-type supplies. It's not the prettiest thing ever but it serves its purpose.

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Comparmentalized inserts for the top drawer are perfect for little doo-dads.

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On my worktable, a 3-drawer box holds even more supplies and an empty paint can corrals various writing utensils.

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And finally, a peek into the closet. This loft has a nice walk-in closet, but since clothes and shoes weren't what I was storing, I needed to add some vertical shelving. Ikea fit the bill yet again.

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From top to bottom: tubs, trays and tablecloths for entertaining; acrylic trays of ribbon and crafting embellishments; more party trays/buckets and tins for fabric and hardware; and two shelves of candles, vases and frames.

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I store extra gift bags on a hanger in the closet as well.

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And here's a better peek into the acrylic trays, just because they're pretty (if you haven't seen a pattern forming yet, I kind of have a thing for ribbon).

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Finally, I added some additional seating (chair and throw are from Ikea) and a new light fixture (barn light from Lowe's).

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I'm super happy with how it turned out and ready to get up there and be inspired!

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