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I thought I would start you off with a picture of my new back yard. I can’t tell you how much I enjoy looking at my backyard. I can see the neighbor’s house, but it is through the bushes. I have lots of birds and squirrels to keep Mitzi entertained. We thought about putting up a bird feeder or two, but the squirrels would just eat it all. I don’t want to encourage them. The leaves are beginning to change. We are going to have quite the mess to clean up when they fall, but I don’t care. I love trees so much, and I am so happy to have them right out my window.

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The other thing I wanted to show you was my newest piece of furniture. It is sitting in my new dining room. My dining room that isn’t being used for dining because I do not have a dining room table. But I have a buffet! We bought this one weekend before Scott’s retirement. It was an impulsive purchase. We shouldn’t have bought it. It was what I like to call “retail therapy”. I love it. Some day when I can find a dining room table, I will love having people over for dinner. Maybe. Entertaining is hard for me, but that is a different subject.

Freckle Face and I went to our first debate tournament over the weekend. I was dreading the drive, and honestly, I didn’t want to go. I thought that since my son wasn’t feeling the whole debate thing, I could blow if off and be no worse for wear. Instead, he loved it. I enjoyed myself and the women were very welcoming. We are both looking forward to the next one.  I have a lot more I am going to say about this later. I learned a hard lesson this weekend. One that I should have learned a long time ago.

As far as the actual debate tournament goes, I was completely dumbfounded listening to my first debate. How old did you say these kids were? Are you sure? I was so impressed by the kids. They were very mature and well-spoken. All of the debates are based on the same resolution, but the kids chose different avenues to take within the resolution. I only observed the Team Policy debates, but there were also Lincoln Douglas debates as well as different speeches at the tournament. Definitely something I would recommend looking into for your high school aged student if they have any interest. Maybe even if they don’t. I made my son take the class, and now he is excited about it. Who knew?

I am sure that you have heard about the horrible storm that passed through South Carolina last weekend. We made it through safe and dry. Many families in my city can’t say the same. It is pretty terrible here, and it is going to take a long time to recover. Because so many streets were washed out, the traffic is heavy along the main routes that are open. We had been under a boil water advisory until last night. I just heard on the news that 73,000 people still have to boil their water. While it was inconvenient, there are so many people without water that I can’t complain. We had 15″ of rain in 24 hours. Honestly, I can’t believe that we didn’t have more problems. Our lawn is waterlogged. We aren’t sure if it is left over from the storm, or if one of our irrigation lines is leaking. Our lawn is watered from a well. We just need to shut off the pump, but we are trying to keep from doing that until we can shut it off for the season. Many lawns are still draining, so we are trying to wait it out a bit. That seems to be our biggest issue. Well, the roof leaked a little bit in one spot, but the roof is under warranty. I just need to make a call. We are waiting that out a bit too because these services are swamped right now. I am so thankful to God for keeping us safe and dry. My prayers remain with those families who lost it all.

Edited to add: Twitter was the best way to stay on top of the news during the storm. Sometimes the news media tweeted information before they were able to report it on television. I learned of closures, boil water advisories, shelter openings, city services announcements, curfews, and more on Twitter. If you do not use Twitter now, you may want to make a note in the back of your mind that it was very helpful in this situation. Something to think about.

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