5:41 p.m. - 2005-09-03

I've given half the clothes in our closets away, even though there was a chance we'd be able to wear them again at some point. I figure that if we end up losing enough weight to get back into those smaller sizes, we'll deserve new duds to show off our physiques. That way it's a win/win situation.

I went through the drawers and the closets, gathering whatever blankets and pillows that I could find that weren't in use. It's 100 degrees here, but I imagine a blanket could still come in handy.

It's so frustrating to WANT to do more and not be able. I wish I could open my home up to a family in need, but we're in the midst of some major renovation right now, and with a baby on the way, we simply don't have the room.

Speaking of renovations, we're considering putting the house back up for sale. I have a feeling that we'd be a lot more successful than we were before, especially since nearly every evacuee seems adamant that they have no intention of moving back. Part of me almost feels like that would be taking advantage of a bad situation, though I know that there are plenty of people who will be more than able (and willing) to buy a home once their insurance company comes through. I hate the idea of leaving this house after we've put so much work into it, but the truth is that we're both ready to get out of this town. Don't know where we'd go yet, but I guess we'd figure it out.

My sister and her husband went to the government offices yesterday, and were absolutely shocked at how well they were treated. They got food stamps, unemployment, and WIC without any problem whatsoever, and it took a surprisingly short amount of time. (They're keeping the food stamp office open 24 hrs. now.)Their insurance company is also paying them for "Loss of Use" on their home, so that will be an enormous help. She enrolled her daughter in a local school so that she wouldn't fall even more behind, and plans to leave her there until at least January.

Judging from the news, it looks as though they're finally getting the rest of the people out of NOLA, though it will probably take a few more days. I shudder at the pictures on the television screen--I can't fathom trying to live in that kind of filth for even a moment. Never in a million years would I have thought that I'd see condtions like that in the US. I can't imagine how hard it's going to be to clean up down there, and truth be told, I really question whether it will be possible at all. I keep hearing optimists say that they'll rebuild and it'll be just as good as ever, but I have serious doubts. Much of the architecture and history is completely gone, and those things can't be replaced.

Last night one of the newscasters closed his show with a montage of images set to a Randy Newman song, Louisiana 1927. I'd never heard it before, but my God...the tears wouldn't stop:

What has happened down here is the wind have changed
Clouds roll in from the north and it started to rain
Rained real hard and it rained for a real long time
Six feet of water in the streets of Evangeline

The river rose all day
The river rose all night
Some people got lost in the flood
Some people got away alright
The river have busted through clear down to Plaquemines
Six feet of water in the streets of Evangeline

Louisiana, Louisiana
They're tyrin' to wash us away
They're tryin' to wash us away
Louisiana, Louisiana
They're tryin' to wash us away
They're tryin' to wash us away

President Coolidge came down in a railroad train
With a little fat man with a note-pad in his hand
The President say, Little fat man
Isn't it a shame what the river has done
To this poor farmer's land

Guess that about says it all.

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I am: so very many things. A mother, a wife, a dreamer, a lover of animals and babies, a friend. I've been called a bitch, but if that's what you call someone who stands up for what they believe in and refuses to settle, then I guess the title fits.

loves: my family, horses, a full night's sleep, puppy breath, my daughter's laughter, thunderstorms, bubble baths, makeup, soft sheets, David Sedaris and Augusten Burroughs, wine, massages, the written word, and sour straws.

dislikes: closed minds, depression, pimples, extreme heat, math, panic attacks, black licorice, doing laundry, white chocolate, gin, Bush.