houston

Tips for Dealing with Flood Damage

Although we were spared from Hurricane Harvey, we know many who were not. I wrote this email to a friend who’s mom is overwhelmed with all that must be done when the rain and flooding finally stop. It is in NO WAY a comprehensive list, but it is a starting point. When my mom was flooded last year in the Tax Day Floods, it would have been nice to have a list like this to help us make a game plan so I’m passing it along in the hopes that it might help someone else too.


TIPS FOR DEALING WITH FLOOD DAMAGE

Top Priority
-Call your flood insurance (if you have it) and FEMA (the faster you get an agent, the faster you get your money to buy new stuff)
-Do not turn on electricity until it has been deemed safe by authorities or an electrician
-Once water recedes, open up the walls, rip out the insulation and put fans out to dry the house (this prevents mold growth)
-if carpeted, rip it out ASAP to prevent mold growth
-Do not attempt to start or plug in any appliances – they must be checked out by a professional
-TAKE PICTURES OF EVERYTHING BEFORE YOU THROW IT AWAY (insurance needs this)

Regular Tips
-Things that can’t be washed (like mattresses, rugs, couches, books, etc) or things that absorb water (like drywall and some wood depending on type and how long it was in the water) which have come into contact with flood water must be thrown out. Put them on the curb for heavy trash pick up. Take pictures!
-load up trash bags of clothes/fabric/pillows (anything that can be washed) and send them to friends and family to wash and dry. Using original Pine Sol and hot water in the washer disinfects the clothes.
-Tile floor can usually be cleaned with disinfectant and kept. My mom didn’t have hardwood, but I assume it would have to be removed as it absorbs water
-Make a pile of things that can be cleaned with disinfectant instead of thrown out (ex: pots & pans, plastics, etc – anything that doesn’t absorb water). Set up a disinfecting and drying station or send them with family & friends to be cleaned at their homes and then brought back
-If you decide to use a contractor to rebuild, choose carefully. There are a lot of scammers and half-assers out there. Ask for recommendations from friends and family.

Misc Tips
-This is a marathon, not a sprint. Take time to rest & recharge.
-There are Houston Flood Groups on Facebook that have advice, suggestions, recommendations, etc.
-Don’t be afraid to ask for help. My mom worked for two or three days with me and a handful of friends before she asked for help on Facebook. A huge church group of moms, dads, & teens showed up and finished demo-ing everything in one day – it would have taken us another week without their help.
-You cannot eat anything that grows in soil that has been flooded. You have to wait at least 6 months.

Mostly, stay strong and know that one day it will end and things will be back to normal. The pile on the curb of things that have to be thrown out will be huge, but it’s going to be ok. You will get through this.

Sending you lots of love,
Angelle

THE LOVE SERIES #9: Houston Love

If you’ve been living under a rock and don’t know by now, Houston and all of Southeast Texas and parts of Louisiana have been ravaged by Hurricane and then Tropical Storm Harvey. It has been a harrowing experience for many and the areas that were affected will be recovering for months if not years to come.

Amidst all the flooding, rain, and chaos, Houston and it’s surrounding areas as well as many across the nation have united to help those who have suffered the most during this record-breaking storm. As I watch the news and social media and see the stories of citizens and first responders saving and caring for one another, my heart breaks open again and again. I’ve essentially been crying for the past 4 days.

So this 9th installment of The Love Series goes out to Houston, it’s surrounding areas and all the citizens, civilians, officers, fire fighters and first responders who are spreading the love any way they can.

HOUSTON LOVE. #HoustonStrong © 2017. Angelle Conant. All Rights Reserved.

If you’d like to give a little love to Houston, there are many ways to do so. Here are just a few:
1. JJ Watt of the Houston Texans is raising money to get direct aid to the victims of Hurricane Harvey. You can donate HERE.
2. Over 160 police officers have had their homes flooded but have still been working. To help officers whose homes have been damaged, consider donating to Assist the Officer HERE.
3. Brene Brown, author, UH professor and all around badass, has suggested donating to Undies for Everyone on her Facebook page. It’s an often overlooked area. You can donate HERE.
4. Lastly, if you are here locally, consider volunteering your time, your washing machine (so much needs to be washed), or resources to shelters, neighbors, family and friends in need. So, essentially, keep doing what you’re doing Houston. #HoustonStrong

THE LOVE SERIES #7: L’Amour Art Car

Well, she’s finally done. The L’Amour Art Car is complete!

C’est fini! (Translation: It’s finished!)

There is a reason it’s been a while since my last Love Series post – this baby took me a month and a half to complete and was a serious undertaking. Now she gets her very own Love Series post.

The L’Amour art car is fully electric and covered in over 250 (!) quotes, lyrics, and poems all about love. Here’s just a little taste:

Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that. -Martin Luther King Jr

We accept the love we think we deserve.- Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being A Wallflower

“I love you.”
“I know.” – Leia & Han, Star Wars

There are moments that cry out to be fulfilled.
Like, telling someone you love them. – Mary Oliver, Moments

At last my love has come along
My lonely days are over and life is like a song. – Etta James, At Last

For a full list of all quotes included on the car and more pictures and information, visit the L’Amour Art Car page which can be found HERE.

This car is my daily driver, so if you’re ever driving around Houston, be on the lookout – you might just spot me driving my kiddo around and jamming to some love songs! 🙂

[UPDATE: I just got word that I’ve been accepted to be in the 30th Annual Houston Art Car Parade! 🙂 It’s April 8th at 2pm – Hope to see you there!]

 

Simple Lightweight #Pussyhat

Final Product

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I’ll be marching in the Houston Women’s March, Sister March to the Women’s March in DC this Saturday. Many of the women in both marches will be wearing ‘pussyhats,’ an idea crafted by the Pussyhat Project. As the Houston march will be in the mid to upper 70s, I’ve created a simple, lightweight pussyhat tutorial for any warm weather marches. For those who don’t sew, there is also my Super Easy Paper #Pussyhat.

SIMPLE, LIGHTWEIGHT #PUSSYHAT

Disclaimer: I am a sewing novice. If you see areas that could be improved or mistakes, please let me know! 🙂

What you’ll need: Lightweight rib knit fabric in pink, matching thread, scissors, sewing machine

1. Cut a rectangle 18 inches x 7 inches – if you’d like bigger ‘ears’ go to 19 or 20 inches. MAKE SURE the fabric ‘ribs’ are running parallel with the longest side. 

The ribs of the fabric are running vertically in this photo.

2. Fold the fabric in half, hamburger style, with the ‘right side’ of the fabric facing in and pin the sides together in preparation for sewing. 

3. Sew the sides of the hat up using a zigzag stitch. I used #4 on my machine.

4. Trim any excess from the sides. 

5. Turn the hat right side out and roll up the bottom two times. Pin it in place in preparation for sewing. 

6. Sew the roll of the hat all the way around the bottom using a zigzag stitch. Make sure not to sew the bottom shut! 😉

If you’d like, this can be your final product! I tried it on at this stage and it was a perfectly acceptable #pussyhat. 😉

 

7. Cut up some fabric scraps into ‘confetti’ – these will be the stuffing for our cat ears. 

8. Use your confetti stuffing to stuff your ‘cat ears’ and then pin them in place. Make sure to use enough stuffing so they ‘stand up.’

9. Switch to a straight stitch on your machine and sew your cat ears shut. 

10. For added texture and to help your ears stand up, use a straight stitch to sew a little ‘pinch’ into the backs of each ear. I did this by folding the cat ear in half and sewing there. Mine were about a centimeter in length. 

11. And that’s it – your final product should be pink, stretchy, and have realistic-ish cat ears!

2016 Houston Art Car Parade: A Phoenix Rises

Please forgive the pretentious title, but I sure am proud of my costume for this year’s local Art Car Parade. My friend Sarah Gish has a beautiful art car called Phoenix Rising (which I’ve mentioned before) and she was kind enough to let me skate alongside. Here’s the Phoenix costume I created for the occasion:

The finished product - ready to roll!

The finished product – ready to roll!

I had a freaking blast! The best part definitely had to be the kids’ faces when they’d see me coming and the smiles and waves I got from them as I ‘flew’ by.

If you’re curious how I made my costume, it was heavily influenced by this very impressive Phoenix costume. I didn’t have the time or resources to be quite that elaborate, but I think my thrift store body suit, Amazon Isis wings and $30 Michael’s trip did it justice. Of course, I wasn’t without my share of hiccups:

No mannequin = paint in all sorts of places.

No mannequin = paint in all sorts of places.

No mannequin means I paint with the body suit on and that fabric paint does not wash off easily.

It's a good thing she's a David Bowie fan.

It’s a good thing she’s a David Bowie fan.

Also, my impatient, walking 10 month old didn’t wait for paint to dry before resting against Mom’s leg.

One last note: we were in a car accident a few weekends ago (a lady ran a red light – we’re all okay). That’s not the exciting part though – the exciting part was that we had to get a new car and we got a fully electric 2013 Nissan Leaf. And it’s WHITE.

Look at the beautiful blank canvas.

Look at the beautiful blank canvas.

Which means it’s just begging to be turned into an art car. Who knows where I’ll be at the next Art Car Parade. 😉

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