First trip to Texas de Brazil. . .


left: Matt &  Carla Nix, Brian & Amanda Coats, Us, and Amy & Dustin Jones.

We have been trying to get this night out scheduled for months now, but something was always going on, or someone (uh,um Jarrod) was always gone! Everyone else had been several times before. I think they go at least a couple times a year, but it was our first time to go. We had reservations at Texas de Brazil in Memphis at 6:30, which seems like the best time to go because by 7pm the line to the salad bar area was insane! I wasn't necessarily looking forward to eating there because I'm just not a "meat" fan. I like some things sometimes, if they are cooked really really well done. But of course I wanted to go to spend times with our friends and Jarrod was really looking forward to it.  I was amazed at the different types of things were at the salad bar. Jarrod tried several new things, including smoked salmon, which he liked a lot!  The meats were pretty good, I didn't eat any steak, because the ones I got were all raw. . .not rare, but raw! Jarrod and the rest of the guys LOVED it. In fact we where there for 3 hrs eating! Then we came back to Jonesboro and had dessert at Cafe Buono. It was a really fun night!  We are really sad that Brian and Amanda will be leaving us soon. Brian got a new job in North Carolina and they will be moving! Brian is actually leaving Monday and Amanda is staying behind for the time being to sell their house. We are really going to miss them. : (


Jarrod is on his way home!

He called me this morning at 6:30 and said they were on the road and headed towards Arkansas! It surprised me since the last thing he told me was they would be coming home on Friday. He said he wasn't 100% sure that they were going to be able to leave this morning so he didn't tell me about it last night. He should be home sometime around 3pm. I think I am going to take off work a little early this afternoon so I can be there when he gets home. I need to go shopping! We have no "real" food in the house. I don't even have bread or milk! I have been living off soup (which I could eat everyday) and crackers and York peppermint patties. So, I guess I need to go restock our pantry with "man-foods" again. . . .


The weekend's over already?

Why do the weekends go by so fast? After staying up late Friday night I slept in on Saturday. . .ahhh, my favorite thing! I spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning and cooking for my "Girls night in" get together with some girlfriends from church. I guess you could also call it "Pie Fest" because I made individual chicken pot pies, mini pecan pies and pumpkin pie. . .YUM-O! It was all good but my pecan pies turned out AWESOME, this my be my new signature dessert! The girls raved about them. I should have thought to take a picture of my potpies, too. They looked pretty great also! I bought some extra large ramekins at Pier One on sale and used those. I will try to post the recipe (with my adjustments, ha!) tomorrow, because it turned out awesome and it was not hard at all! The girls wanted it since they all thought it was so good.




We watched "Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day" and "Baby Mama", both were really good! The last of my guests left around 11:30, so it was another late night! Sunday I got up and went to Hickory Ridge for Church and lunch. Then I took a much needed nap and went to see my Nanny and Papa. BTW if you are thinking about getting a puppy or know someone who is,  it looks like my Papa's Jack Russell is pregnant again! After church I headed back home and I was in bed by 9pm! It was still hard getting out of bed this morning! I was just not ready for it to be Monday already! I don't have any major plans for this week. . . I think I may start getting my fall stuff out, since today is the first day of fall! Yay!! I can't wait for the leaves to start turning and for the temperature to drop!  Time for mums and pumpkins, my favorite time of year!!!

Jarrod told me last night that unless something major happens he should be home Friday! I am not getting my hopes up. . .  well, I am trying not to get my hopes up. I know how easily the "plan" can change. So please pray that this week goes as planned and they can come home SOON!


Worth the wait!!

My new bedroom furniture was delivered this afternoon and it's just as gorgeous as I remembered! I spent this evening putting clothes away in our DRAWERS!! I can't believe we have so many drawers! I should have taken a before and after picture, but if you can imagine. . . we had some wood tv trays for nightstands and a piece (a tall skinny lingerie chest) from my bedroom suite I had growing up with the tv on top of it and the bed just on rails no headboard, the only thing the room had going for it was the lamps, bedding, paint job that Jarrod and I created and the curtains my mom made us. . . . but, now look at this. . . .




Ha! Notice how lost the old, little TV looks? I am sure we will be "investing" in a new flat screen to hang on the wall over this media chest. It's a cool piece. It has all the cable, phone jacks, and a surge protector built in the inside so all of that ugly stuff is hidden. . . I love that feature!


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Much improved if I do say so myself! There is a mirror that hangs over the dresser and it is on backorder (how is it sold as a set but one part is on backorder and the other part isn't?!?!) but it should only be a week or so and we (or I) can pick that up easily when it comes in. The delivery guys moved what was in the room out, and setup all the new stuff. It was well worth the $ considering it took them 45 mins to put the bed together!


I can't wait to curl up here and go to bed tonight! The only thing that is missing now is. . . . my husband! Maybe this time next week he will be here! He was really disappointed that this came in while he was gone. But at least he will have something new and different to look forward to! I don't have any interesting news from him today. They are just working them really hard. I am pretty sure he is completely worn out. He said they are closing the main "staging area" where they have been getting most of their meals. Most of the workers are either gone home or leaving soon. But he isn't too upset about that since the food has been so bad, at least now they will be able to get food from restaurants and maybe get some better tasting food.  That's all for now! Have a great weekend!


Wednesday update. . . .

Jarrod got to Metairie safe and sound Monday night. The trip down there was a lot less dramatic this go around. They are working at the Leeville substation this week since the one in Carlisle is still too flooded to get in and work on anything there.  He said yesterday they saw a dolphin swimming and jumping around in the water just outside of the substation! I told him I bet that dolphin got lost! I didn't know dolphins would swim that far into the swampy areas?  Aren't they afraid of the alligators?!?! He tired to get a picture, but wasn't able to. Too bad that would have been a neat shot!

I am excited about Friday! It's going to be a busy day. We are moving our office. We will be staying in the same place, just moving to down two offices to suite 262, it's a little larger and has more offices. The painters are here today to repaint, it was the most awful shade of mustard yellow-gold and the trim was just a few shades lighter! It was really gross looking! The new paint color is called "Latte" with "Creamy" white trim. . . much better!

Then what I am most excited about is my bedroom furniture is going to be delivered on Friday! We ordered it 2 months ago and it finally came it! Well, all if it except the dresser mirror, which isn't a big deal to go pickup later when it comes in. I am having the delivery guy take the current furniture out of the room, and setup the new furniture for a small fee. I figure it's well worth the $$ not to have to mess with moving all that heavy stuff! You know I will have pictures to show you soon!!

Have a good day, I am headed to Waldenburg to work on a project with Brandy today. . . I am hoping we will get to eat lunch at Checkers in H'burg. . . their rotel chicken pizza is calling my name!!!!


10 more days to go . . .

The weekend went by way to fast! We went to the ASU game Saturday, but other than that we didn't do much. I still wasn't feeling great, so we just took it easy for the most part.


The game was fun, until it started pouring down rain! Luckily we had stashed some emergency ponchos in my purse, just in case. And boy were we glad we had them!  When we got there it was sunny and breezy, and maybe a little cloudy, but then it started getting dark! And before we knew it and faster than we could get our ponchos on it started pouring down rain. But thankfully it only lasted a few minutes and then it stopped for the rest of the game.  ASU didn't win, they lost 24-27. Bummer.

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Saturday night was interesting, as what was left of hurricane Ike was passing by us. It was hard to sleep due to all the wind and hearing things crashing outside. I was sure our windows were going to blow out several times, but finally about 6-ish the winds settled down. We also lost our electricity from around 5am -8am. So, we didn't make it to  early service church. Which would have been interesting, since the church was out of power, too. Jarrod had to drive around after he got up at 7:00 to see who all was out of power.  . . Men?! We we got to church at 10:00 we found out that there were several around town that were still out of power, so we were lucky ours came back on when it did! We didn't have any damage, Just our grill and some things on the back porch were blown into the neighbors yard. The rest of the day was nice, we had lunch at O'Charley's and then I took a nap while Jarrod read the paper, and after church Sunday night my Mom & Dad and Dillon and Brandye came to J'town and we went out to eat at Colton's.  I didn't have to cook at all this weekend! Ha!

Jarrod left this morning around 7:30. They are supposed to be staying in the same hotel and the same room as they were last week. Hopefully,they will only be gone 10 days this time. I hope it is sooner, but I am not holding my breath!

Here is a map of where he is staying [Metairie] and where they will be working [Carlisle] and [Leeville].


Maybe this round will go by as fast as the last one and they will come home for good!


Pictures from Louisiana

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So, these are some picture of one of the places Jarrod has been working this past couple of weeks.  This particular substation in Leeville sees a little water rise on a daily basis when the tide comes in, but it got major damage from the Hurricane waters. They are working in inches of mud, yuky!

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Major source of transportation. . . air boats!


Seriously people live like this??

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Hmmm. . . UPscale living one might say?!?


Jarrod is supposed to be taking more pictures this week while he is there and is going to try to email them to me, so keep checking back.


Good news and bad news

I have mia for two reasons. . . .1.) I had a big meeting at work that I have been working on that was Tuesday and Wednesday and I have been busy with that and 2.) I have had the stomach virus.

I have working really hard in preparation for our annual "Kickoff Meeting" and I even worked Saturday trying to get everything in order. Monday was pretty crazy trying to get all the last minute things done for the meeting and I worked until 7 or so and then mom and dad came to Jonesboro and I went to eat with them. Tuesday I was up early and the meeting went great.  Kelly came to the meeting that morning saying he had been up with Christy all night because she had the stomach virus. But he looked to be feeling fine so I didn't think any more about it . . . . until I started feeling queasy Tuesday night after I got home from the dinner we had after the meeting that night. I just thought it was just indigestion or something since we ate at the Whole Hog and that can be a bit much for me sometimes. But about 11:30 I started getting sick. Ugh. I threw up every half hour from 11:30 till about 5am, when I finally called my mom. . . I hated to call her, but I was desperate!  I was running out of toilet paper at an alarming rate, I didn't have Gatorade, chicken soup or any of the essentials. And I was really sick, I seriously thought I might die! And I really thought I was probably going to have to go to the Dr. to get a shot to make it stop, but luckily it stopped on it's own. Whew. Mom came in the door outfitted for germ fighting, with latex gloves and a mask! She also wasn't ever very far away from her can of Lysol. But I didn't care.  She stayed all day and made me soup, did my dishes, changed my bed sheets, helped me fold some clothes and more! I don't know what I would have done if she hadn't come!

Last night I went to bed and fell asleep around 9:30 and didn't wake up until I heard my phone ringing. I picked up the phone and it was Jarrod calling to check on me. I asked him what time it was, a little perturbed that he was calling me after I specifically asked that he not call me in the morning because I was going to try to sleep as much as possible.  .  . and that's when he informed me it was 11!! Oops. So I guess I needed some sleep?!? Well I am feeling much better today!

So my good news is from Jarrod! He will be home sometime tomorrow evening!

And here's the bad news. . . . they have to go back on Monday for 10 more days. So, I am so happy they are getting to come home, but it's going to be hard for him to leave again. I guess it's better than nothing! The rain from Hurricane Ike is preventing them from being able to work, so they are getting to come for the weekend in instead of staying there with nothing to do.

I will post again when I know more, but don't be surprised if I don't update until Monday. . . I might be a little busy this weekend!!  ; )


Disappointment & frustration

I talked to Jarrod last night and they are telling them that they might be there for another 20 days.

It frustrates me that the story they are being told changes on a daily basis. One day they are coming home tomorrow then the next day they are told it will be a week and then the next day they are told it will be a month??  The idea about them bringing another crew in next week got scratched. It seems they think since the group is down there already, what's another 20 days?? It's like Entergy thinks these guys are robots or something! They can't work 12-16 hour days for a month straight? 

Jarrod said after this trip he didn't care to ever go back to Louisiana. He said that they are in the SWAMPS! Ewww. . . and you know how it's not uncommon to see a dead deer on the side of the road that was hit by a car. . . well down there instead of deer, they see alligators on the side of the road! Scary!

Please keep them in your prayers that they will all come home safe and soon!


Your Thursday "Jarrod" Update

Well, it looks like Jarrod's crew is going to be there for at least another week. Starting tomorrow they will be working on a substation on the ocean (kinda cool!) that was damaged by flooding. There is a lot of damage and Jarrod's crew is going to fix part of it and then they are sending another crew to repair the rest. Hopefully, the damage isn't as extensive as they think and they will be able to come home sooner.

Here is a map of where they will be staying (Metairie) and where they will be working everyday (Leeville). . . .yeah it's a good ways away!

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They are still going to stay in Metairie because there is no where in between there and Leeville to stay besides tents, and they'd rather drive 2-3 hours to get there, and 2-3 hours to get back to the hotel at night to stay in a place with hot water and AC and no mosquitos. Which means they will be on the road A LOT. Nothing new for them I know, but still!!  They only have the hotel rooms booked until the 10th, so hopefully they will be done by then, if not they may be in tents anyway!

Here are some pics Jarrod sent me of a substation in the area that was flooded, this is not one they will be working on. But you can see how it is hard for them to repair the damage when they can't even get to it because of flooding.

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That's all I know for now! Hopefully they will have a better idea of how long it will take to repair things and how long that will take tomorrow when they get to actually get to Leeville and see what's going on there.


Wednesday Morning update

I did get to talk to Jarrod for a while last night around 8:30-9:00pm. He called from the Entergy office in Metairie which is right outside of New Orleans. He sounded really tired and said he was just ready for food and sleep! He took lots of snacks with him, but he said he couldn't eat while driving between the bad weather and traffic. Oh, and did I mention that his van doesn't have cruise control?!?! I can't even imagine!! I talked to him for about 15 mins and he said he'd try to call back if and when they got a place to stay. At that time he said it would be fine with him to sleep at the office in a sleeping bag, so he must have been tired!

We have been texting a lot because he isn't getting good cell reception so he had sent me a text message last night around 11pm that said they were going a hotel with at least running water, but probably no electricity.

He just called me at work a few mins ago and they did get to sleep in a hotel last night with hot water and electricity. They are staying in a hotel in Metairie (a Four Seasons! Nice! Esp. for a utility worker on the job, huh?!).  They will be staying there for at least one more night. He wasn't exactly sure about what they were going to be doing or where they were going today. If they do have to go to Baton Rouge, they will still stay the nights in Metarie because Baton Rouge doesn't have electricity.

That is all I know right now! I want them to come home soon, but I know how frustrating it will be for them if they have to turn around and come home tomorrow without getting to do their job.  Maybe they will be able to so some good while they are there and get to come home in a few days.

By the way, I made it just fine last night, even though we were under a tornado watch and a few warnings in other areas. I was of course sick to my stomach, but that's nothing new! Around 10 pm I took a benedryl so I would sleep and it seemed to do the trick, I don't know if it stormed any last night after I went to sleep or not! But I did not want to get out of bed this morning!! The rain was hitting my bedroom window and it sounded so gooood. . . . so, yeah I was a little late for work this morning!


Update. . .

Jarrod called about an hour ago and said they were right outside of New Orleans. They are pretty much stuck in traffic from all the other utility companies and people who evacuated trying to get back in. Even though we have been hearing officials on the news telling evacuees to stay where they are because there is no electricity and utilities, people are still trying to get back in! Jarrod said there are no active road blocks so even though they are telling people to stay out, they don't have a way to enforce that right now. He said one of their guys in their convoy was run off the road by another utility company truck and they had to call a truck to come pull him out. He said it's pretty much chaos. At one point during their drive today they all had to pull over because of a tornado in the area. And at lunch they stopped for a quick bite at a Wendy's outside of Jackson, only to go in and find the electricity off! So, they drove on to Vicksburg before getting to stop for lunch. After all that and they have been told that they may be coming home tomorrow?? They will either be coming home or going to Baton Rouge, I guess they have enough people working in the New Orleans area already. . . information they could have used yesterday?!?! Anyway he said he'd call when they got there, and that was over an hour ago. I know they are tired of driving in the stormy weather all day and frustrated, so please send a prayer up that at least they'll get a decent place to sleep tonight!! More later. . . .

Jarrod's headed to LA . . .

Jarrod left about 4:30 this morning on this way to New Orleans. Please keep him in your prayers this next week!

He didn't find out for sure he was going to have to go until about 7pm last night! So we were in a mad dash to get everything together! They told him to pack for a week, but hopefully he will be back before then!

Here is a new news release from Entergy. . .

Sept. 2, 2008 @ 11:30 a.m.                                                                               Hurricane Gustav made landfall Sept. 1, at 10 a.m., near Cocodrie, Louisiana. At the peak, 850,000 Entergy customers, primarily in Louisiana and Mississippi, had lost electrical service due to the storm. Hurricane Gustav caused the second largest number of outages in company history, behind only Hurricane Katrina. Gustav restoration rivals the scale and difficulty of Hurricane Katrina restoration.  As of 11 a.m., more than 826,000 customers were still without power throughout the Entergy service territory.  Nearly 24,000 Entergy customers have been restored whose electrical service was disrupted by Hurricane Gustav. Bad weather from the storm continues in the Entergy system, impeding progress to restore service and assess damage. Early assessments indicate extensive damage to Entergy’s system in Louisiana.  The number of outages already known to have been caused by Gustav is the second highest in Entergy’s 95-year history. The only larger number was 1.1 million during Hurricane Katrina, which has been described as one of the worst natural disasters in American history.

I guess he picked a good week to be gone, since I am so busy! There is something planned every night until Saturday, so maybe I won't worry about him as much?!? Maybe, but doubtful!

I will be posting updates as I hear from him!