Chapter 113: COVID Chronicles

July 27, 2020

By Karen

Day 138

Cats are BAACCKK! & More TV Time

The humidity is still terrible in Richmond. I’ve lost count of how many weeks straight it’s been feeling over 100o with only occasional violent thunderstorms. No end in sight.

Confederate statues continue to disappear. One night last week they spirited away a bunch of busts and figures from the state Capitol (including a Robert E. Lee), while a court battle still rages over the the huge Lee statue on horseback standing on Monument Avenue.

Virginia has yet another Lee statue at the Washington, D.C., Capitol and wants to remove it but hasn’t decided what to replace it with.

In the meantime, our only daily newspaper, the Richmond Times-Dispatch, must delight in having Civil War “news” for the front page every day.

Tony Rubberband Update: It’s been 10 days since I think Tony swallowed the rubberband and so far we have had no “outcome.” I wonder if having that much indigestible elastic in his tummy will work like stomach stapling to lower his capacity and he’ll lose some weight. So far he seems fine. He got right up in my face to say “Hi”…


Max and Roc have finally reached an amicable sharing arrangement on the couch, and mostly take orderly turns. Max even returned to the rocker for a spell…

And Roc, lying in the path of a fan as always, says “Howdy!”…

Movie Recommendation: I don’t know what made me DVR it, but I caught this absolute confection of a movie last week from 2008 called Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, a light, lavish 1930s-style Art Deco screwball comedy, complete with Cole Porter music.

To top it off, the cast included a few actors I love, like Stephanie Cole (Waiting for God, Doc Martin) and Tom Payne of Prodigal Son on Fox.

Prodigal Son is in the second half of its first season, and I’d liken it to a less gory Dexter. Payne plays Malcolm Bright, the son of a serial killer known as “The Surgeon,” a real-life surgeon with a family who committed at least 23 murders on the side. Payne grew up unwittingly learning the ropes from his father and now works as a profiler with the NYPD.

The show would be your typical murder of the week police procedural except that Malcolm has mysteries from his past to unravel. While trying to do that and solve crimes, Malcolm often has to consult with his father, who’s now in prison, crazy-brilliant and still homicidal.

Michael Sheen (Masters of Sex) plays The Surgeon. In the few scenes he gets, he always steals the show and keeps drawing the other characters to him like an evil magnetic force. Anyway, I love it.

BONUS: Randy Rainbow raided West Side Story to compose “Gee, Anthony Fauci!”…

DOUBLE BONUS: Trump’s in his last 99 days of playing a tyrant, and comedian Sarah Cooper shows how he mastered “person, woman, man, camera TV”…

PS: As Mary Trump’s been making the talk show rounds to promote her book, Too Much and Never Enough, I’d like just one journalist to ask her why she thinks Trump became a Republican to run for president. I feel sure the answer would be a real sock in the jaw to his supporters.

PPS: I’m now on a twice-weekly schedule, planning posts for Mondays and Thursdays.


Chapter 111: COVID Chronicles

July 17, 2020

By Karen

Day 128

Cats Having a Heat Wave & Trump’s Probably Having a Hissy

Richmond’s seven-day forecast is 90os every day and, thanks to humidity, feeling like 102-108o. Afternoon thunderstorms will keep that steam rising.

Despite being indoors with air conditioning and fans, we’re all feeling lethargic. Last night Max neatly pushed aside the fleece blanket on his bed in the Man Cave to sleep on acrylic, which must feel cooler…

BACKSTORY: I knitted that little blanket at least 50 years ago for my first guinea pig, Guinevere. I had just learned how to purl and did a basket weave pattern. The fringe was also a new skill. The yarn is indestructible and you can see it’s still in pristine condition.

Here’s Roc just now, lying on the floor behind me, directly in the path of the fan…

I caught Tony last night in his usual routine, sacked out for a few hours after dinner to get his second wind. He’ll hate me posting this because he says it makes him look like he’s fat and has big feet…

Well, he’s not fat.

Rachel Maddow has been on vacation all week. When I saw that Mary Trump was on her show last night, I feared the second-stringer would get the interview, but Rachel hopped back in the saddle.

They’re probably repainting walls in the White House today from Trump banging his tiny burger-greased fists all over them.

Watch how Rachel so carefully leads Mary to state she heard Trump say the N-word and anti-Semitic slurs, like the rest of his family…

This should be a big deal because no journalist has found such a credible witness to confirm this before. The White House responded to Rachel’s request for comment by calling “the book” a bunch of lies. But Rachel says that claim isn’t in the book. (I’m still reading it.)

But let’s face it. In the epic saga of Trump’s corruption and crime, we know he’s a racist, and that he calls people foul names is the least of it. In every book I’ve read about Trump’s reign, his normal conversation has F-bombs in every sentence. It’s a wonder he cleans it up as much as he does in public, given the growing holes in his brain.

What we should be terrified about is that Mary confirms that Trump not only doesn’t care how many Americans and immigrants his policies (or lack of) kill. He enjoys it. The more people he destroys, the more he gets off on it. He’s a sadist.

Yet, we’re supposed to wait until November to destroy him unless his own health takes him down first. There’s not one soul in our government with the guts to initiate Trump’s immediate removal, indictment and imprisonment, despite having an avalanche of charges to be brought against him.

Oops, a thunderstorm is rolling in. Got to wrap this up quick.


Chapter 102: COVID Chronicles

July 8, 2020

By Karen

Day 119

Robert E. Lee Stands Alone & Catching Up With the Kitties

Yesterday the statue of General J.E.B. Stuart came down…

Photo James H. Wallace, Richmond Times-Dispatch

Now the only Confederate left standing on Monument Avenue is Robert E. Lee, and he’s probably feeling like it’s Appomattox all over again.

There’s still no word on where the statues are hidden or what’s going to be done with them.

Next up on the Virginia To-Do list should be banning the Confederate Flag, which promises to raise an even bigger stink than the statues. I’m surprised Trump isn’t flying one over the White House right now, just for spite.

Speaking of Trump, the publication date of his niece Mary’s book, Too Much and Never Enough, has been moved up to July 14. I’ll be downloading the e-book as soon as I get the green light. Fingers crossed that hearing every cable news talking head laughing at him and swapping anecdotes about what a fucked-up little demon-child Trump was will accelerate his meltdown.

Richmond has had several straight weeks of humid weather over 90o. Even with central air and fans, we feel it and I’m more often drenched in sweat than not. Roc finds it cooler to nap on my recycle paper than in his comfy bed…

Yesterday, new collars for Roc and Tony arrived. Yes, I still hope Tony will one day accept wearing a collar so he doesn’t look like a stray.

As it turns out, that day has not yet arrived. As soon as Tony was in his new collar, he deflated. He kept scratching at his neck and shuffling around with his head down. His usual joie de vivre was gone. He’s already a virtuoso when it comes to playing me. So, Max got the new collar instead and he seems very satisfied with it…

Tony checked out Roc’s handsome new look…

Tony is obsessed by shadows. This morning he thought he saw something on the wall and we had this brief exchange (listen carefully) about it, but he finally agreed it was nothing…

BONUS: Did you happen to catch Trump saying he’d wear a mask if he had to? He wore a black one once and thought it made him look “like the Lone Ranger.” Comedian Sarah Cooper shows us how effective that would be…

PS: In case you’re unfamiliar with The Lone Ranger, here’s what his mask looked like…

And yet Trumpers are still out there believing Trump’s just fine.


Chapter 97: COVID Chronicles

July 3, 2020

By Karen

Day 114

Apropos of Nothing & July 4th Family Drama

I don’t spend all my time watching TV. I also read. It took a few weeks to finish Woody Allen’s memoir, Apropos of Nothing, but I really loved it. It’s funny, self-deprecating, and the stories he shares about growing up, falling in love with movies, and how he became a director are delicious.

Woody heaps praise on virtually all the actors he’s ever worked with, even the ones who now claim to regret it and say they’ll NEVER work with him again, because that’s the cool #MeToo thing to do. He even extols Mia Farrow’s acting ability.

For the record, I’ve always believed Woody on the molestation accusations because his side of the story makes total sense. Also, he was exonerated in two thorough police investigations, and he was later cleared to adopt children after he married Soon-Yi.

Mia Farrow, on the other hand, I vividly remember as a flaky wack job since she became famous on the nighttime soap opera Peyton Place in the ‘60s, which I used to watch.

When Woody met Mia, she’d already begun hoarding orphans (eventually 10 total) like a turbo-charged Joan Crawford. Mia already had three boys by her second husband André Previn, yet insisted she and Woody have a child together unmarried. When she finally got pregnant, she told Woody the baby might be Frank Sinatra’s (Mia’s first husband, 30 years her senior, marriage lasted a year).

Look closely at Ronan Farrow and see if you don’t detect any young Sinatra. Ronan is apparently uninterested in learning the truth, which seems an odd attitude for a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist.

Anyway, Woody dating Soon-Yi sent Mia over the edge, and a lot of people got hurt in Mia’s quest for revenge.

Woody and Soon-Yi have now been married 24 years and have two adopted daughters in college.

Three of Mia’s adopted children died young, at least one by suicide.

On the home front, I learned this morning that my parents are going ahead with a July 4th cookout that I’ve been hoping wouldn’t happen. Humidity’s going to make it feel like 100o, with a storm in the forecast. That means everybody will be talking and eating in the house without masks.

When my mother called to tell me, I told her I’m not coming. To persuade me, she said she’d just met with clients and nobody was wearing masks.

Then she accused me of calling her ignorant, which I certainly did. Now she’s mad at me.

That’s how most of our phone calls devolve, so this is nothing unusual.

I’m 65 years old, I have high blood pressure and excess weight. I also don’t have a husband or boyfriend to help out around here if I’m too sick to function. The LAST thing I’m going to do, after holing up in the house for nearly four months, is throw it all away by exposing myself now for a fucking hot dog.

To end the week on a more cheery note, Max was very happy to have the sunny spot on the couch this morning…

He looks a bit grouchy when he first wakes up…

And Tony is practicing to be a portrait model, posing for these two great pics atop the blue kitty perch…


Chapter 79: COVID Chronicles

June 15, 2020

By Karen

Day 96

Meatloaf Results & Trump’s Dirt About to Become an Avalanche

It’s a gloomy, drizzly Monday. After owning the couch again last night, Max is spending today upstairs. The temperature is in the low 60os, so I opened windows to air the place out, which immediately had my office crawling with cats…

Last night I made the meatloaf from yesterday’s video recipe. I used the same amounts of everything despite being four ounces short on ground turkey. I was afraid that was a mistake when the raw loaf looked more like mushroom laced with meat than meatloaf. But I forged ahead. Here it is before I baked it (left) and after 50 minutes in a 400o oven, which was long enough to cook it thoroughly…

You can see how it expanded and cracked, but there wasn’t any grease. Two thin slices I cut off broke in half, but it didn’t totally crumble. And it was the moistest meatloaf I’ve ever eaten. Although it didn’t taste like mushrooms, it was a little bland. Prepping is a lot more work with cooking onions, garlic and mushrooms, but I’d definitely make it this way again. Can anyone suggest an herb or spice that might jazz up the flavor while keeping it meatloafy?

It was too loose to move, so I lifted it foil and all from the baking tray into my storage container…

The upside: no cleanup!

Maybe you’ve heard that Trump’s former national security adviser John Bolton’s tell-all book about Trump comes out on June 23 despite Trump’s threats to sue. The Room Where it Happened is full of misdeeds Bolton should have told Congress during the impeachment when he could have helped get Trump removed.

Since COVID-19 blasted Bolton right out of the news, I hope his belated bombshells result in poor sales and be greeted with, “You call this news? Trump’s killed 117,000 people (and counting) since he pulled this stupid shit. Get a life.”

Bolton flogging dead horses for fame and profit feels like the MAGA crowd still going on and on about Hillary’s emails. It’s pointless and meaningless.

But ANOTHER book called Too Much and Never Enough comes out August 11. The author is Trump’s 55-year-old niece who has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, Mary Trump.

Mary is the daughter of Trump’s older brother Fred Jr., who died prematurely in 1981, when Mary was about 16. Fred Jr. was an alcoholic whom Trump claims turned him off booze forever (so instead Donny snorts drugs, whose dust is sometimes sprinkled on his lapel).

Mary is purportedly the family insider who helped The New York Times on their Pulitzer Prize-winning exposé of Trump’s finances.

Her main beef with Trump probably began in 2000. Details about that are in this Business Insider article. But it boils down to Trump and his siblings’ indulging their greed by cruelly trying to block health care for their late brother’s children, Mary and Fred III, when Fred III had an infant son with cerebral palsy. They were all fighting over Fred Sr.’s will, which omitted Fred Jr.’s portion of the inheritance.

If any book might bury Trump under more damning personal dirt than even he can lie his way out of before November, this knife in the guts from a member of his own family has a shot.

BONUS: Brilliant Sarah Cooper, using Trump’s own words, shows us “How to Lincoln”…


Chapter 73: COVID Chronicles

June 9, 2020

By Karen

Day 90

Harry and Meghan & Roc In a Box

Officially three months — 90 days in lock-down. I enjoy all the comforts of home and cats, but am beginning to understand how prisoners must feel. Nothing to look forward to, nowhere to go. Just make do with what you’ve got and take life one day at a time.

Many states, including Virginia, are steadily reopening even as cases spike and hospital beds max out. Virginia has surpassed 51,000 cases. I have no plans to rejoin the world until we get definitive word that the coast is (relatively) clear.

Meanwhile, the long, hot summer is here. Temps in the 80s and 90s, with afternoon thunderstorms to keep it steamy. Here’s Max and Roc last night hanging out…

…waiting for their Chewy.com delivery. When it came, Roc wasted no time checking out his new digs and fresh paper…

Why do Prince Harry and Meghan Markle keep popping up on my radar? Aren’t we done with them?

In March, when they seceded from royal life by posting it on social media before they personally told Harry’s family, I was surprised at the positive reaction: “Good for them! Screw the royals!”

I was initially sad for Harry, but then he and Meghan became our problem by moving to Los Angeles.

Not before trying to snooker the Queen into letting them have it all their way. They’d do her the favor of dropping in for “some” duties when they weren’t hawking their “Sussex Royal brand” for a buck. The Queen said, “Hell, no.”

So now they say they want to earn an honest living, but still use their ex-royal status as leverage. I’m sorry, but that’s cheating if commoners are in line for the same work.

Of course, every story has two sides. We heard rumors that the family was beastly, even racist, toward Meghan. And also that Meghan’s a diva whose demands made staff quit.

What I always saw was an ambitious actress I’d never heard of whose family (except her mom) clamored like trailer trash for 15 minutes of fame as soon as she latched onto Harry.

Meghan gave up “all” her cable TV fame for instant international recognition with a royal wedding. Then she spent nine months with her hand on her tummy whenever a camera was present lest we forget for a second she was Harry’s baby-mama.

Then all went quiet (supposedly to give Archie a “normal” life). Until the Big Split.

It’s reported that William and Harry, always close, grew distant over Meghan. She even managed to piss off unflappable Kate.

I always knew Meghan wouldn’t stay in Kate’s shadow. Her wish was to eclipse Kate, never to play second banana.

When obliterating Kate with her own brilliance failed, Meghan yanked Harry away from his family, schoolmates and old army buddies. Now they’re both looking for work where Meghan feels most comfortable and Harry is a curiosity.

But I don’t think this phase will last, either. When time goes on and Meghan discovers being a nonfunctioning duchess opens fewer and fewer doors, she’ll dump Harry and use Archie to bargain a fine royal settlement for herself. The royals will welcome Harry and his broken heart back into the fold.

I love Harry and hate to see him go through this, but these are his choices.

This has always been my favorite Meghan photo because Kate wouldn’t be caught dead tying her coat like that…

New York Times


Chapter 68: COVID Chronicles

June 4, 2020

By Karen

Day 85

Egg Foo Yung for Breakfast & Robert E. Lee’s Going Down — AGAIN

Another sweltering day in the 90s. Roc and Tony are pissed I won’t open windows. Despite air conditioning and fans, this heat does funny things to cats. Max just gave me a scare.

You know how you get used to seeing a cat in his regular hangouts? Well, Roc was asleep in my office when I took my lunch dish down to the kitchen. Tony was in his living room perch by the window. But Max’s bed by the sliding door was empty. Max wasn’t on the kitchen table, either. Hmm…

Back upstairs, I double-checked the Man Cave. Empty. So, back downstairs. Max NEVER goes into my bedroom during the day, but I looked in anyway. No one on the the bed. Could he be under it? No. In my closet? No.

This is the last place I’d look because Max has NEVER been here before …

Under the TV. That little shag rug was a 1981 wedding present. After decades in the linen closet, now it’s a cat bed. The only one who ever goes there is Roc. Max is giving tit for tat to Roc for stealing the rocker.

Last night I finally got my China Taste takeout. Boneless spareribs, hot and spicy beef, hot and sour soup, and chicken egg foo yung. I’ll be living large on Chinese into next week.

China Taste is tiny. It had three bare-bones tables, a walk-up counter, and the kitchen. Now you can’t go past the front door. They’ve gone contactless.

The new door is plexiglass on top with a ledge and a little sliding drawer for passing payment through. They place your food in a big pullout drawer in the bottom. The lady who rang me out put on a fresh glove first so she wouldn’t touch my credit card. We were both wearing masks. The only thing I touched was the pen chained to the ledge to sign my slip and the pullout drawer handle. I was impressed.

So I started today with egg foo yung. It’s an omelet. With gravy. And rice. The breakfast of champions — because I didn’t have to cook it.

Governor Northam is taking down the statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee on Monument Avenue and putting it in storage until they figure out what to do with it. Lee is the only statue the state has clear title to…

Four other Confederate statues on Monument Avenue aren’t state-owned and remain in limbo — Gens. Stonewall Jackson and J.E.B. Stuart, Matthew Fontaine Maury (a naval officer I know zip about), and President Jefferson Davis.

I was born and educated up North, so I never got to marinate in the grudge some Southerners still nurse over losing the Civil War. I always thought erecting statues of losers was stupid, but watching for 48 years how Richmond simply could not, would not, let go of the Civil War, I get it. But it’s still sick.

Five years ago, after the Charleston church massacre, I advocated keeping the statues and banning the Confederate flag.

But now that Trump has made racism cool again, I agree it’s time for the statues to go to museums, where they can’t be any group’s centerpiece for hate.

I’m sorry Lee is going first. He was conflicted about fighting against the Union, so I’ll give him that. However, since he ultimately put misplaced loyalty to the South above his U.S. citizenship, he does deserve a downgrade.

Jefferson Davis is the one I can’t stand. A chicken-fried wannabe Lincoln, that incompetent prick was a Trump-like coward who abandoned Richmond when the Yankees showed up. He was found hiding in Danville. So Richmond proudly erected this huge statue to honor such a small, small man…

Today, if our military seriously pushes back on Trump’s intention to make it his personal guard who will keep him in the White House for life, it wouldn’t surprise me if  Trump lams out of D.C. to escape indictment and arrest as Biden is sworn in next January. The question is, who would take him?


Chapter 67: COVID Chronicles

June 3, 2020

By Karen

Day 84

Trump’s End One Day Closer & Women’s Ugly Pants

The tree guys next door didn’t leave until nearly 7 p.m. One large tree between our houses is gone. Now I have a clear view into their kitchen and my car’s rear end gets sun all day. I think at least one other tree came down on the other side, and maybe one in back. Their backyard’s still such a shithole, it’s hard to tell.

I was surprised by the cats’ sang-froid during the tree massacre. Max stayed downstairs, and the chainsaws didn’t cut into Roc and Tony’s nap time. It’s disturbing that they’ve become that used to the sound of deforestation.

Meanwhile, I couldn’t do transcription because of the noise, and I wanted to scream and punch somebody every time the house shook as a trunk hit the ground.

Today’s in the mid-90s. Our cold, rainy spring is over — and I completely missed it. I’m glad I opened the windows while I could. It may be a long time before the kitties get a good breeze on their whiskers again.

Richmonders are still protesting, but more peacefully. I was glad tens of thousands of protesters across the country, particularly in D.C., defied curfews last night. Trump’s “total domination” threats — on top of killing 107,000 people with COVID — may have FINALLY gone too far.

Governor Ralph Northam refused to send Virginia National Guard troops to D.C. to help Trump swing his dick around.

Commentator Rachel Maddow thinks Trump summoned National Guard to D.C. from all over the country because D.C. is a district with no governor. By law, he can only send active troops into a state if its governor requests them. His threat Monday to override “weak” governors is pure bullshit.

It’s one thing for Trump to strut around pretending he’s supreme leader of some banana republic, but entirely something else for him to line American streets with armed troops under orders to shoot and gas civilians “as needed.”

Our 2nd Amendment reads:

“A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

It would be fitting to see Trump’s love of the 2nd Amendment backfire on him spectacularly. His supporters are supposed to bear arms to “secure a FREE State,” not to help a dictator impose martial law and revoke all their other freedoms.

If the MAGA morons ever manage to connect the dots, they could turn out in force — shooting AT Trump, not FOR Trump.

Yesterday, good old conservative Iowa may have fired a shot across Trump’s bow. Their nine-term misogynist, racist, Trump-enabling congressional representative, Steve King, LOST his primary election. They may still give another Republican his seat in November, but at least King is done. One GOP toady down.

To end on a fashion note, here’s a dumb photo from Monday of Trump with some henchmen and his latest bimbo spokesperson, Kayleigh McEnany…

Are her cropped pants the epitome of fugly or what? Cropped pants are as heinous as capris. Neither style flatters ANY woman. OK, one. Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina, wearing cropped skinny pants and flats. But Audrey would look gorgeous in a grocery bag…

Next to men in suits and sensible shoes, Kayleigh in cutesy cutoffs with her ankles hanging out and heels not made for streetwear reveal her as another inept blonde ditz aspiring to be Ivanka’s Mini-Me.

Try to imagine Hillary or Angela Merkel in such a feckless getup. You can’t. They wouldn’t be caught dead.


One Inch of Snow, Richmond Paralyzed

January 27, 2015

By Cole

It’s noon and I’m sitting on my cozy kitty perch watching snowflakes meander down, even though our local weather gurus said the snowfall would end by 9-10 a.m., tops.

Their inaccuracy aside, I’m kind of embarrassed to be a Southern domestic shorthair today.

Richmond must have really, really, REALLY wanted to be part of the “big snow event” that just whumped the Northeast. When we woke up this morning, local meteorologists on the 3 major networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) refused to cede to the national morning shows, which were, presumably, discussing actual blizzard conditions north of here.

Instead, our guys stood steadfastly in front of maps showing puny and fast-dwindling snowstorms across the area, trying to whip us all into a frenzy that there was something life-threatening afoot.

They had reporters in thick parkas and knit caps posted all over town with little rulers, futilely trying to find somewhere to measure an inch of snow.

Even the school districts embraced the madness and canceled school at the last minute so the little darlings could stay curled up with their toasty Xboxes, rather than battle “treacherous conditions” in some feckless pursuit of an education.

Richmond “International” Airport canceled some flights. Morning commuters were urged to stay off the roads unless they absolutely had to go out, so many vacation days were probably called in for nothing.

I say “nothing” because, by 11 a.m., our residential backstreet had no trace of snow. Karen didn’t shovel because the driveway was already clean, too.

People, get a grip. We got less than an inch. OK, maybe an inch in some spots. But a blizzard?

Adele calls this a classic “head up our own ass” moment. There’s nothing more embarrassing than watching fellow Southerners throw a hissy fit over a mere dusting, while those who are seriously butt-deep in snow aren’t whining.


We Survived Hurricane Irene

August 28, 2011

By Adele

Cole and Max thought Karen was a crazy when she packed Sam’s freezer with old vodka and soda bottles filled with water, started charging every little gadget that took a charge, and put fresh batteries in 2 radios and some flashlights.

Then she brought in an old kitty litter pail and ran a full tub. She said it was for “flushing the toilet.” Helpful Hint: Loosen the screw on the overflow thingy under the tub faucet and turn it upside down so the tub will hold a few more inches. It buys you extra flushes.

I’m the only cat here who remembers Hurricane Isabel in 2003, so I knew what Karen was up to. We lost electricity for 2 days, along with a freezer full of meat, and had to drink water with a dash of bleach in it for a week. This time, she wasn’t taking any chances.

Irene’s rain started Friday night, and the wind kicked in hard Saturday morning. For us kitties, it was biz as usual. Max acted like he’s in hurricanes every day. He even tried to play with the rain beating against the sliding glass door. But Karen kept looking nervously out the windows and up at the skylights.

Our 30 trees are mostly oaks, and sometimes they seemed to go sideways when 40+ mph gusts hit them.

Occasionally, a big branch would Thump! as it hit the roof.

At 2 p.m., what Karen feared worst happened. The lights flicked, Sam beeped like a maniac, and the power went out.

But only for about 20 seconds. A miracle! Around Richmond, more than 300K people weren’t so lucky, including Karen’s parents.

It was still half-heartedly raining and gusting when we went to bed, but this morning, everything is calm and sunny. The yard is strewn with branches, with wet green leaves slapped across everything.

But all our trees are vertical, and nothing huge fell on Karen’s car or the house. The whole neighborhood seems OK. We totally lucked out.


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