Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Hurricane Ike Chronicles: The Evacuation

Well folks, so sorry it has taken me this long to get back to the blog. We are doing just fine! Power was restored at our house last Thursday, but I missed an entire week of work at my real job, plus we've had tons of post-Ike clean-up, and the closing of the shop (whole separate post coming on that topic alone) I've been in catch-up mode all this week since the hurricane...Thank you SO much for your concern and prayers for me and my family during this ordeal - I sincerely appreciate it!

I have quite a few photos to share from our adventures with Ike, so I broke up the story into two installments: this one, "The Evacuation", and the next post, "The Aftermath".

As I mentioned in a previous update, my Mom and Dad and John and I (and sweet Maddie of course) evacuated on Friday September 12th in advance of Hurricane Ike to Huntsville Texas, about an hour north of the north end of Houston. My brother is a track coach at the university there and he offered to shelter us in the Athletic facilities during the storm. The school had its own backup power source so we were assured to never be without power for the duration of the stay. So for three days, this is where we called home...

(I need to state again that we had it SO very good compared to the folks who rode out the storm closer to the full fury of its impact - in retrospect, our evacuation experience looks silly and frivolous by comparison, but it is our real story nonetheless...)

Maddie, Our Evacuation Mascot

Of course Maddie thought this whole adventure, though confusing at times, was quite fun, and all about HER...

Hanging out with her Daddy is one of her most favorite things to do, no matter where are...

How We Slept

Well....if you take 8 of these....(note the cushy seats) can make one of these...

Not too bad a bed, all things considered...Johnny and I created these Friday night, and by Saturday night, the rest of the family did the exact same thing. It was far better than sleeping on the floor.

Evacuation is All About the Food

Our makeshift kitchen - a card table stocked with the finest in disposable tableware...

A healthy, well-balanced assortment of food is essential for an effective and efficient evacuation, but this is what we had instead....

Maddie is more than willing to do her share to help with the kitchen chores...

My brother reluctantly allows me to to carefully document the making of a grilled ham and cheese sandwich - what decent foodie blog post doesn't include step-by-step pictorial instructions for creating culinary masterpieces...?

And if you've never simply dumped 2 cans of chili in with a pound of Velveeta cheese and heated it in a crock pot....

...then poured it over tortilla chips...well, you haven't lived... that's evacuee epicurean excellence!

How We Passed the Time

Whenever we managed to take a break from eating too much of all the wrong things, we were able to set up information central with 2 laptops, wireless Internet with streaming news of the hurricane's approach, and a stack of Romantic Homes and ME Home Companion magazines...all the essentials for being well informed as well as inspired!

Sometime early Saturday morning, when the storm reached Huntsville, we lost cable (how tragic), but never fear, the university backup power kept all the power on the entire weekend, so we were able to do things like watch DVDs in the plush executive suite at the school's stadium to pass the time...
We were really suffering...

I know Maddie, it was a "tough" weekend....but you were a real trooper!

Seriously, we were so grateful to have had this safe haven to run to from the storm - I am so glad we decided to ride it out there rather than at home. My other brother and his family opted to stay home and they said it was the most terrifying 24 hours of their lives...

Well, what followed this weekend respite was not nearly as fun as we hit the road and travelled back home and faced a real mess. I will tell that tale and share more photos in the next installment of The Hurricane Ike Chronicles: The Aftermath - please stay tuned...
"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty." (Psalm 91:1)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Coffee Shop Connection (Ike Aftermath Update)

Hi friends

Just a really quick check in to say hi and let you know we are OK. We are back home, and our home is still without power, but tonight, we found a coffee shop in town that has power and a wireless connection, so we are soaking in the glory of hot coffee, air conditioning, and the Internet! Aaaahhhhhhh.....

I have SO much to share with you...lots of photos and anecdotes about life as an evacuee and now Ike survivor.... Let me say, we have it so good compared to so many folks further south and east of us who were absolutely devastated. Although we have no power, we have gas appliances so we can cook and we have hot, we have been blessed with unseasonably "cool" weather (for us...80 high, 60 low), so opening the windows at night is actually an OK thing! Yep, we got it pretty good...

I so appreciate all your comments and concern - sorry that I don't have time to visit with you all right now...but soon, hopefully very soon, I will be able to spend some quality time with you all...

Meanwhile, please continue to pray for the folks who are suffering...there are thousands and thousands of them. I can't believe that just three short weeks ago my friends from Colorado were here and we were enjoying Galveston and Kemah together...and now...utter devastation in the very places we very sad....

I'm looking forward to sharing more soon...I miss you all so very much...

Hugs and Blessings,

Saturday, September 13, 2008

We're Hangin' In (Ike Update)

Hello friends!

I'm reporting from a safe, secure spot at a nearby University where my brother is a coach -we decided to flee here yesterday morning and we are VERY GLAD we did. We are very blessed to be able to shelter in the athletic facilities here (showers, bathrooms, towels, etc) - we have an independent electrical power source here and we are still we have air conditioning, lights, internet, ice, etc. Considering the early reports of widespread damage and 3 million people without power, we have it REAL good here...

From all the reports from our friends and family, everyone is one was hurt and everyone's property is faring well so far. THANK YOU LORD!! We have not heard yet from our neighbors about the state of our home and my parent's home next door - but we are believing for the best...

Because I have LOTs of time on my hands, I am keeping a detailed photo journal of our evacuee experience we're sleeping, cooking, making do, and I will share those photos soon. Then later, as we are safely able to venture out, I will document whatever I telling what we will encounter...

Your continued prayers are greatly appreciated - there is going to be quite a bit of work to do in the coming days, weeks and months to clean up, restore ad rebuild....

Thanks all - I'll check back in soon...

Hugs and blessings,

Thursday, September 11, 2008

We're nervous about this one...(and some good news too!)

Wind Forecast: Hurricane Ike
(The circles represent where we live and where most of our friends and family live)

Well friends, this hurricane has everyone around here in Houston and the surrounding area very nervous. Here's a quote from our local weather forecaster's blog, highlighting what we might have in store for our area in north Houston (marked with the arrow above):

"Sustained winds 75-100 mph, 5-10" rain with flooding in poor drainage areas,
isolated tornadoes."

Yikes, Ike, is this really necessary..?? We are doing our best to prepare and plan to hunker down here unless things look dramatically worse as it approaches. I would appreciate your prayers for us and for the whole region - there are plenty of folks east of here who really don't need anymore weather grief! By the way, our kiddos in Louisiana are all doing OK - some have even got power back!

This will likely be my last post for a while...I'll blog again as soon as I'm able. And I will take photos you can be sure....hopefully they will just be of cloudy skies with a rainbow!!


Meanwhile, for a bit of good news, check out this link which should take you to Universal Design's new supplemental catalog for September. I just completed a bunch of new illustrations for them and they are featured throughout the catalog (along with other artists)...and my little teapot/muffin design made it on the catalog cover!!

©BeckySchultea, published by Universal Designs Inc, DeLand , FL - All rights reserved

What's extra special about this batch of illustration work is that all of the pieces are integrated into small collections, which have a lot more visibility than the one-off designs I had done previously that were mixed in randomly in large displays. Here's an example or two - my art is marked with arrows (they even used my itty-bitty flowers to decorate the page!)...

©BeckySchultea, published by Universal Designs Inc, DeLand , FL - All rights reserved

©BeckySchultea, published by Universal Designs Inc, DeLand , FL - All rights reserved

©BeckySchultea, published by Universal Designs Inc, DeLand , FL - All rights reserved

All of this illustration work was a direct result of sending the Universal art director a copy of my calendar. She adapted several of the calendar designs to her products - I really had very little drawing I had to do...there was some, but not too much. It was so fun - and best of all, I have an open invitation to submit artwork throughout the year for all their seasonal and general releases, so I'm hoping to do even more with this fine company in the near future!! Thank You Lord for the opportunity to spread Your Word in such a sweet and unique way!!!


Well, gotta go and start securing all the loose stuff around the house - thanks again for your prayers!!!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Tea for Two-sday! Jill & Susan!

Hello, and welcome back to Tea for Two-sday! Each Tuesday I will invite a couple of my blog buddies, who might otherwise not meet, over to Just Bee 'n Me for a spot of tea and for a chance for me to show off some of their yummy goodies that drew me to them in the first place!

This week, I am so excited to introduce you to two very talented ladies who have captured my heart and imagination with their unique brand of creativity - please say hello to Jill of Bailiwick Designs and Susan of My Sweet Imaginations!!!

Jill is such a wonder with a well as with a needle and thread - she is truly multi-talented! As regular participant in Sadie Olive's Shades of Inspiration, Jill has continued to hone her photographic skills and show off her fabulous color sense and composition - check out her recent "Red & White" and "Turquoise" posts to see some great examples...though there's LOTs more throughout her site! Just GORGEOUS!!! Jill also participated in 30 Days of Photos - see her entire collection here! Simply stunning!
I also mentioned needle and thread - yep, Jill's got it going on in the sewing department too!! Here's a portfolio of her past and current creations - LOVE it all!! I'm sure you will too... Please pay my sweet friend Jill a visit, and head over to her Etsy shop as well - and prepare to be delighted! Oh and Jill, can I move into your L'Atelier, please!??!

(Photos courtesy of Jill Burgess)

And now, it is my pure pleasure to introduce Susan of My Sweet Imaginations!! OK, for you cute junkies out there like me, you may want to sit down...oh wait, you're already sitting down :o) OK, then prepare to be swept up in a sea of glittery sweetness and captivating cuteness as you look through Susan's site!! First off, the off-the-charts adorable clothespin dolls that she fashions are wonderful - I've included only a couple of photos here, but check out some of these others from past posts, most of which have already taken up residence in their new homes...look here and here ...just as a few examples. Didn't I tell you? - CUTE!!

But, like Jill, there are more layers to Susan's talents - her beautiful paintings and lovely fabric/paper collages highlight another aspect of her creativity. The girls that grace her paintings have poignant smiles and wistful glances that capture both the innocence and whimsy of youth.

Please drop by and say hello to Susan - from her website, you can visit her gallery where she has a link to her Flickr gallery as well as a host of photos of past painting projects. You can shop for Susan's treasures at her Etsy shop and you can even inquire about special orders from her website shop link! Oh, and don't miss her blog for keeping up with all the latest cuteness!!

(Photos courtesy of Susan Van Horn)

Well, I know I'm inspired - how about you? I hope you'll stop by and say hello to these fine artists - I know they would appreciate a visit!! And sweet Jill and Susan - enjoy a cup of tea on Just Bee 'n Me - and a BIG HUG and thank you to you both for being my guests on this edition of Tea for Two-sday! Don't miss next week's Tea - YOU just might be the guest of honor!!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Hurricane Gustav Update

The Good News:
All of Johnny's girls and their families are accounted for and safe - Thank You Lord!!! Their homes are OK too...just some slight damage to the skirting on one of the mobile homes and a few downed trees...It's really a miracle considering that two of the girls live in mobile homes and there was roof damage and lots of other property damage all around them, but the mobile homes were still standing strong! Amazing! Daughter # 3 is returning home at the time of this writing and we don't know the condition of their home yet...I'll update this post as soon as I know more... Also - all of my extended family in Beaumont, TX are just fine - there was no damage there!
The Not-So Good News:
The whole region in and around Baton Rouge (the girls all live within 45 minutes of Baton Rouge) is really torn up - LOTS of damage, but thankfully very little if any loss of life and injury. BUT, they are going to be without power for up to a month!! The main power grid that services Plaquemine and the surrounding towns was severely damaged. Two of the girls have generators at their homes and are managing to get by with that. The local authorities passed out LOTs of bottled water and MREs (Meals, Ready-to-Eat), so everyone has food and water rations. Schools are closed indefinitely, businesses are closed, no cable, no internet,'s going to be a long-term clean up and recovery effort.
I would appreciate your continued prayers for these difficult days and weeks ahead....thank you.
Here's a post I did last year on our trip to Louisiana during happier times there...

"The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble."
(Psalm 9:9)

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Introducing Tea for Two-sday!

Welcome to a new weekly feature at Just Bee 'n Me:

Tea for Two-sday!

Here's what I have in mind and how it all came together... I have been blogging since June of 2005, and in those early days I began adding links primarily to Illustrator's blogs...sweet, talented folks I would meet through Illustration Friday and from the blog lists they had, etc. After the hiatus I took from blogging in early 2007, I began to find new inspiration and sweet new friends while perusing cottage decorating and crafting blogs...and checking out their links as well. So before long, I had quite a lengthy list of "old" and "new" blog buddies from a very wide spectrum of interests, talents, style and locations.

"So", thought I, "why don't I begin making some simple introductions of some of my dear friends from across Blogland who might not otherwise cross paths...?" Thus the birth of Tea for Two-sday, where I will weekly (Lord willing) introduce 2 of my blog buddies to each other and to you as well! I love community and connectedness, and I hope this will encourage that, at least to some degree. And hey, one can never have too many blog buddies, right?

For this week, the inaugural week of Tea for Two-sday, it is my great pleasure to introduce Dawn at The Feathered Nest to Geninne at Geninne's Art Blog!
Dawn is a wonderful collage/assemblage artist and seamstress who creates a whimsical world of nostalgia with rich textures and beautiful, sweet imagery. Her work has been featured in some of the Somerset publications including Somerset Life and Somerset Studio. Be sure and check out Dawn's incredible Tutorial Shop, The Little Speckled Egg, where she sells beautiful tutorials of her techniques for some of her most sought-after creations. Oh, and don't miss her Etsy Shop - pure, sweet goodness all around!
(Photos courtesy of Dawn Edmonson)

Geninne is one of the first artists I linked to in my early blogging days - I have always been drawn to her incredible sense of color and gentle, sensitive spirit that comes out in every piece of artwork she produces! She is a master watercolorist, typically capturing images from nature (especially birds....goodness, she paints the most gorgeous birds!), but she also makes exquisite stamps, does beautiful stitchery, and a whole host of other creative endeavors! Geninne will often showcase the artwork creations of her two young sons who definitely have a gift like their mother! I hope you'll pay Geninne a visit - she will make you feel most welcome... And you can head over to her her wonderful Etsy shop where she offers prints as well as originals of her lovely work!

(Images/Photos courtesy of Geninne Zlatkis)

So, Dawn and Geninne- please enjoy your Tea for Two from Just Bee 'n Me - it was an honor to feature you both. And to all my friends, please stop by and say hello to Geninne and Dawn - I'm sure they would appreciate the visit! Please stop by again to see who I'll be inviting next for tea - you never know, it may just be YOU!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Welcome September! (and Happy Labor Day!)

Hi dear friends!

Turned another page of the calendar today...hard to believe! Happy Labor Day to all my pals from the USA...and happy September to you all!!! It's been very nice to have the long weekend... I don't have an update from the folks in Louisiana yet...just as soon as I do, I'll post about that. It doesn't look as though Hurricane Gustav is going to be a major player in our weather here in Houston though....although it is still unpredictable by nature...just wait, and pray and believe for the best...

I just wanted to say a quick hello and welcome another month in this rapidly retreating year of 2008. I will kick off a new Tuesday feature tomorrow that I hope will be fun for everyone, plus I am cooking up a Way Back When-sday as well that I hope to tie into Illustration Friday this week...whew! We'll see if I can pull it off...??

Meanwhile, thanks yet again for your prayers - you, the residents of Blogland are just some of the finest people on the planet!! Love and hugs to you all!
"Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in the truth."
(Psalm 86:11)