Archive for September, 2010

Elizabeth City Flooding

First off– I do apologize for my sporadic blogging. I have a series of work deadlines to hit in October and they are keeping me pretty busy. But I do have time for a quick post. This morning, our little neighborhood woke up to flooding. Ryan and I took some pictures.

No Yard
Our entire yard was underwater this morning.

Elizabeth City - Flood - Stuck Car and House (by Ryan Somma)
Front Yard (Photo by Ryan Somma)

Elizabeth City - Flood - Hunter and Tuscarora (by Ryan Somma)
Side Yard (Photo by Ryan Somma)

Elizabeth City - Flood - House from Dawson (by Ryan Somma)
View From Dawson (Photo by Ryan Somma)

Elizabeth City - Flood - Backyard (by Ryan Somma)
Back Yard (Photo by Ryan Somma)

Stuck Car
Unfortunately, a family from Morgan Street discovered their car couldn’t quite handle the high waters. Their vehicle died right in front of our house. Knowing that more rain is on the way, the family came back and pushed their car to drier grounds.

Elizabeth City - Flood - Stuck Car from Porch (by Ryan Somma)
(Photo by Ryan Somma)

Elizabeth City - Flood - Family Retrieves Car

Elizabeth City - Flood - Family Getting Car

Elizabeth City - Flood - Pushing Car

Elizabeth City - Flood - Family Pushes Car

American Chestnuts
I tried not to worry about the Tropical Storm and the American Chestnuts, I really did. But, remembering the two chestnuts I overwatered in June, I just couldn’t quite relax enough to fall asleep last night. Finally I succumbed to my worries (neurosises?) and brought them all in. Like with Hurricane Earl, the chestnuts are spending the storm inside. This time, however, it is a lot more claustrophobic! The chestnuts have grown since the last time they were refuges in the living room.

Elizabeth City - Flood - Wet Jimmie with Chestnuts
Jimmie on Couch. The trees in the background are American Chestnuts on the Floor

Operation So-They-May-Dump-in-Peace
Oh those dogs. They just don’t know what to do when our whole yard is covered in water. At first Ryan tried to entice them to wade through the water to dry, dump-able, land. But they would have none of that.

Elizabeth City - Flood - Ryan Tries to Convince Jimmie to Wade
Uh…. No.

Next up, we decided maybe if we left them on the deck long enough, they would relieve themselves there out of desperation. Alas, the dogs found it beneath their dignity to go to the bathroom there. This irks me.  The dogs have proven on more than one occasion that they are not above going to the bathroom INSIDE the house.  But the deck? No way!  Ryan was already wading taking pictures, so I decided to carry the dogs to dry ground.

Elizabeth City - Flood - So the Dogs May Poop in Peace (by Ryan Somma)
Me (the tiny person in green) Carrying Henry to Dry Ground (Photo by Ryan Somma)

Elizabeth City - Flood - Vicky Carries Henry Back to Porch (by Ryan Somma)
Returning Henry (With Empty Bladdar and Bowels) to the Deck (Photo by Ryan Somma)

Elizabeth City - Flood - Vicky Carries Jimmie to Dry Land (By Ryan Somma)
Carrying Jimmie to Dump-Worthy Grounds (Photo by Ryan Somma)

They did their business and all was well.

Ryan the Hard Worker
Ryan wasn’t deterred by the lack of yard. He rolled up his pants, secured his laptop bag and waded to work!

Elizabeth City - Flood - Ryan Heads to Work
Ryan Wades Across the Yard

Elizabeth City - Flood - Ryan Wades to Work
Ryan Wades to Work

More photos of today’s flooding can be found on my Flickr site.

Stay dry everyone!

September 30, 2010 at 12:50 pm 10 comments

Wedding – Cake

I may be intimidated by the likes of linens and flowers. But there is one thing I can get very enthusiastic about wedding planning– the cake. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE wedding cake. At the same time, I despise fondue. What’s the point of ruining the cake just to make it look pretty? When perusing cake vendors, this paragraph on Merrill’s Desserts caught my eye:

Unlike many wedding cakes – made for looks rather than taste – ours are truly delicious. We bake all cakes fresh right here and frost them with a special buttercream icing. They cut and serve easily, and their moistness will delight you.

That put them in the running immediately. One day in September 2009, Mom, Carolyn, Ryan and I drove to Suffolk Virginia to meet Sandra Merrill. We tasted numerous flavors and unanimously confirmed– they were indeed “truly delicious”.

We flipped through design pictures to get an idea of what we wanted. Mom and Ryan were sharing a book and at once they stumbled upon a promising design.  It was a light blue cake with brown branches over it.  The cake also sported leaves and butterflies.

“I think it’s a home run with our venue,” Ryan noted.

SOLD! We changed the light blue icing to light green and that was that. We could scratch one wedding task off the list!

Wedding Weekend - Reception - Cake (By Deanna Felton)
Wedding Cake (Photo by Deanna Felton)

We did three tiers and picked a different flavor for each tier.  For the largest bottom tier, the “grown up” tier, we picked a yellow almond cake.  Sandra mentioned the raspberry filling makes the almond flavor really pop out, and we took her council.

The next largest tier was geared towards the kids.  Before we had met with Sandra Merrill, I solicited some flavor ideas from them.

One teenage boy didn’t have to think about the matter one bit.  “PEACH!” he declared.

“Uh….” I said, “I don’t think they have peach cake.”

“Yes they do!” the boy insisted.

Lo and behold, I didn’t see Peach on the flavor list.  But I did remember grocery shopping with one of the other boys when I let him pick out a cupcake mix for dessert.  He chose strawberry cake, which Sandra did have.  The second tier was strawberry with Bavarian creme.

The top tier was plain vanilla.

At the wedding, the cake itself seemed to go over well. BUT Ryan and I got booed!!! Apparently some spectators were less than pleased with our gentle manner of feeding each other. 🙂

Wedding Weekend - Reception - Feeding Each Other Cake (By Liza Franco)
An Unpopular Wedding Moment (Photo by Liza Franco)

I heard a surprisingly large number of people lament after the wedding that they “forgot” to get cake.  My sister, little Malena, my new sister-in-law to name a few.  That concept is so foreign to me.  As soon as I enter a wedding reception hall, I am monitoring the cake status.  When it is cut– I’m all over it, man!  You’ve got to have your priorities!

The loss of those guests was Hunter Street’s gain. Ryan and I had a lot of leftover cake. When we got back to our hotel room and decompressed after the day’s events, our appetites returned with a vengeance and we sat together, reveled in the quiet and feasted on wedding cake… with our bare hands! In our neighborhood, one kid was on punishment and had to miss the wedding. Meanwhile a whole other family was thwarted by a flat tire. Thanks to the leftover cake, they all still got to experience a little part of the wedding.

Ryan and I got to have some sizable extra helpings too! Each helping was as moist and as delicious as the first. In fact, one could accurately say, “truly delicious.”

Wedding Vendor – Cake
Merrill’s Desserts, LLC
211 E. Washington Street
Suffolk, VA 23434
Phone: 757-539-0418

September 20, 2010 at 1:00 pm 3 comments

Henry Still Wants Bark for Life Donations…and Costume Ideas

Two more days until Bark for Life! Henry is still fishing for Bark for Life Donations. If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to the American Cancer Society, you can do so through Henry’s donation page. He’ll send you a crochet hat!

Henry Offers You Hats
Henry is Still Offering Hats!

Secondly, the event is going to have an award for “Best Dressed Dog” and “Best Relay for Life Spirited Dog”. I was toying with dressing Henry up as a dinosaur, accompanied by a sign that reads, “Make Cancer Extinct!”. If you have any easy, quick ideas Henry can steal, by all means leave a comment! : )

September 9, 2010 at 9:40 am 1 comment

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