Pinspiration Monday: Magazine clippings binder

“Good morning” doesn’t really seem like the appropriate salutation this morning…It has been an absolutely hellacious weekend – I’m sure those of you in our area can relate. Long story short, a massive thunderstorm and heavy wind system pounded its way through West Virginia and Virginia, killing (at last report) 12 and leaving millions without power, ourselves included.

Last Friday seemed like any other Friday – John and I parked ourselves in the TV room to catch some shows, not really having any plans other than to relax. We were channel surfing (even watched QVC for a couple of minutes, we were so carefree) and happened upon the local channels where an extremely serious meteorologist was talking about a massive system headed our way. After showing the ominous radar, John peeked out the garage door (we were in the basement without windows, so had no way of knowing). He immediately returned with a serious look on HIS face, confirming the reports. The wind had already picked up significantly and we had only enough time to get our patio furniture inside the house before we were slammed with the predicted heavy winds. There wasn’t even that much rain! It only lasted about 30 minutes but it was enough to make the power flicker a few times before going dead completely. We ended up spending the night in the basement with the dog and kitties just to be on the safe side – Little did we know what we would find in the morning…

Let me try to paint you a picture…Even though our neighborhood is fairly young with small trees only, there were branches and leaves littering the sidewalks and road. Some young saplings were pulled up at the roots, siding had been ripped off nearby townhouses and patio furniture lay strewn about everywhere. The patio umbrellas from Subway were found a couple blocks away… Now was time to find the best siding installation contractor in Billerica MA to fix all the damage.

But the damage was much more extensive outside our neighborhood. Gas stations and grocery stores (the ones that still had power or had generators) were swamped – McDonald’s had a line of cars wrapping around it for the drive-thru and a line of people out the door. The first morning, we went to Sheetz for breakfast and had to wait 30 minutes to get our food and ended up trapped in the parking lot as lines of cars cycled slowly through the pumps. HUGE trees were ripped out of the ground and heavy fallen branches closed down roads everywhere. We have tried to stay close to home, leaving only for gas, equipment and food supplies, but we’ve heard and seen photos of houses completely destroyed by trees falling down. Here are a couple of photos snagged from our local newspaper to show a small part of the terrifying damage…

Source for all photos: Parker Michels-Boyce/The News & Advance

What we thought was a one-night stay in our dark, cool basement was far from reality. So far, we are on day three of no power and reports are that it won’t return until Saturday – That’s right, a full week after losing it. I know that John and I will be okay, but being the “mom” of three sweet little animals is enough to keep me up at night with worry. My concern over them has me scrambling to keep them as comfortable as possible, and John’s concern over us as a family unit has him scrambling to keep our supplies well stocked.

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram (user name: dreamgreendiy), then you’ve probably seen my sporadic photo updates of our situation. The first is of our basement sleepover party…

One powerless day and two powerless nights later convinced John that he needed to do something drastic. After getting positive reports from our kind neighbor who had hooked up a generator to cool his home, John set out to track one down for our house. I waited with bated breath at home while John ran out, trying to keep the animal’s spirits up with extra playtime and attention. An hour later, and he returned with this ugly but OH SO BEAUTIFUL piece of equipment.

According to his reports, the generator he was able to snag was only one of about a dozen that were going like crazy at the store. The salesman told John that they’d be staying open overnight to sell more generators off the truck bed as they arrived, and that Lowe’s was doing the same thing (with a line out the door for hours). We were so lucky to get one…It was a huge cut to our savings, costing about $700, but what is a savings account for but to help out in just these types of situations? We consider it an investment and are relieved to know we’ll have it on hand if this ever happens again.

Soon enough, we had extension chords snaking through the house to run fans, the refrigerator and the microwave. As needed, we’ve also been plugging in our cell phones and a lamp or two for nighttime light.

That photo above doesn’t even begin to illustrate my relief at having moving air in the house again…

This morning, I am physically and mentally exhausted. I just feel so drained, but I am simultaneously thankful that we fared so well by comparison to others who lost so much, and also thankful for an INCREDIBLY thoughtful and determined husband who has literally worked from sun-up to sun-down to keep us comfortable. It’s been a rough weekend, but it could have been so much worse…

Amazingly, I was actually able to get a little project done while holding the fort down at home. I had been meaning to tackle some kind of magazine purge for a while and, after seeing the pin below of beautifully organized magazine clippings, I knew I had to give it a shot.

Source: Centsational Girl

(I apologize for my less-than-quality iPhone photos, but I couldn’t use my computer to upload images from the nice camera. Gotta do whatchu gotta do!)

Instead of ripping out pages that stuck out to me and gluing them into canvas scrapbooks like the pin, I bought a $1.99 white binder from Target and simply clipped in some clear sleeve protectors. Then I sat on the floor and began ripping out the images and articles that stuck out to me and wanted to have on hand for future reference.

I won’t bore you with the details of this project since it’s self-explanatory and because this post is long-winded enough, but it was nice to have something to while away the downtime. Plus, I got to distract myself from the heat (did I forget to mention that the power-outage happened during a heat advisory of over 100 degrees??) with photos of lovely homes and delicious looking recipes.

Oh and check out how much paper I got to recycle! The pile below is just HALF of what I was able to purge. So excited to clear out much-needed storage space by paring down my magazines.

And the finished book, complete with pretty scrapbooking paper tucked into the clear cover to give it some pattern and pizzaz…

Well “finished” isn’t really true – I ran out of sheet protectors before finishing going through the stack. But I’ll run out soon for more supplies so that I can OFFICIALLY cross this project off of my to-do’s.

To those of you still without power, my thoughts are with you…And to those who DO have power, never take it for granted…

P.S. Head on over to Bullfrogs and Bulldogs where I’m sharing a tutorial on my framed catch-all! You can find that post here

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