This post will take up a couple of days’ time.  If you want to start reading from the beginning, click here first, and then here second, and then here third.  At this point I was feeling pretty low and could not bring myself to touch the keys.  Essentially, Halloween was postponed until Monday, but Monday nobody was out because it was still dangerous outside and now it gets darker an hour earlier.   Gabe was sad…. sigh.  Be forewarned that my language gets a bit colorful right about now and I start sounding like a spoiled child.  Um….

We wanted to keep things status quo and pulled out the ice cream (seeing as it was melting in our freezer and all) with all the extras, caramel topping, Reddi Whip and whatever else, like sprinkles.

10/31/2012, 12:08pm… I’m so pissed right now.  There are no teams out there working on anything. There is power right around the corner from us, but not us and that is SO freaking frustrating.  I concede that there is a senior citizen building around there, so I’m glad that they do have power.  Did I say that I am pissed?  We live on a dead end street and we are always the last block to get anything done, as evidenced every year when we need our street, filled with snow, plowed and sometimes we NEVER get plowed and have to wait for the sun to melt the snow that’s been iced over at night when the temps plummet.  Just had our last meal from our fridge, and not sure what we’ll do tomorrow.  Getting ready for the hour wait out the door at the local Burger King!  Even then, they might not have power.  Good coffee there, at least.  It’s freezing right now and no heat forthcoming any time soon.  So grateful for my CPH and the Noro fingerless arm warmers gifted to me by my friend, Dee…. Thanks, Dee~!

With no power comes anarchy in the streets.  Every driver out there is driving like a maniac let loose from the mental institution.   No traffic lights and these cars do not stop for anything, LEAST of all pedestrians.  (Let it be known that there have been two car accidents and two pedestrians that were hit by cars at intersections without traffic lights.)  Tried to check on some friends in the neighborhood, but failed on both counts.  One didn’t answer her door, but last I heard she was ok; and the other lives in an apartment building and I did  not foresee that I would not be able to ring the bell or get inside without electric.  (Both women fared pretty well.  Both got their power back quickly, but then one woman lost it again and just got it back last night.)… 12:29pm, ipad 32%.

This is a tree around the corner from us I snapped when I went out to check on friends.

11/02/2012, 10:36am… It’s been a while and it’s been very frustrating.  Still have no power, but our Mayor B. has announced that Elizabeth should have power back on by the end of today… or so I’ve heard that his facebook page has announced.  I am now at our library, charging up my ipad and writing this.  Oh so much to write about yet so overwhelming to think about.  I did take a really long hot shower yesterday and it was my only comfort.  The hotness of it relaxed me and eased my arm up a bit, albeit temporary.  I’ve been listening to radio station NJ101.5.  I listen because it’s a Jersey station.  Why would I want to know about NY?  I’ve not heard Elizabeth mentioned anywhere on the radio and it makes me feel like an orphan.  I’m not going to shout out that we got hit hard, too.  I think it’s a given, at least in this state, that we ALL got hit hard.  What I can’t stand about this station, however, is how every other word out of the DJ’s mouth are the name and call letters of the station… Very freaking annoying.  They’ve been asking what is the first thing you’ll reach for when the power goes back on.  As soon as I get power back, I am reaching for the internet, if only to listen to Gov. Christie’s speech from last night.  I caught only some of it on the radio yesterday and I really want to hear the whole thing.  I really never liked how he treated the teachers, but I have always thought he is exactly what we need in this state.  Now, more than ever, I think he is who this country needs to be president.  We might not like his tactics, but he has done an amazing, amazing job so far getting us through this crisis.  Thank you, Gov. Christie.

Shout out to NJ101.5:  First, I want to say that you guys were my lifeline.  Peeps, click on their link for pics of the storms.  I listened to you the whole time, from the beginning of this ordeal…. however… I am in the camp of those who are REALLY frustrated because we’ve not seen anyone out there working in our neighborhoods on the power.  Nada.  Yeah, yeah, we should feel blessed that we are ok and have a roof over our heads (and I do) but I’m sick and tired of getting snowed by PSE&G.  My neighbor called them and they told her that “she HAS power.” Really?  WTF?  Do you think your customers are lying? (For the record, the management over there has lied about their progress all throughout this thing.  I am feeling sorry for their workers, out in the field giving it their all to get the power back on in this state.  Also, tree-workers and linemen have been coming in from out of state, thousands of them, to help out.)  Got me so mad to hear the management give us the biggest snow job since last year’s total snowfall.  NJ101.5, I don’t want to hear you trying to smooth things over for your listeners because your station got back it’s power, like 3 days ago.  Like Christie said, the numbers, the progress, while good to know is happening, means little to those still without power, freezing in their homes.

It was actually a little comforting to know that our landlord also has no power.  I’m bad, I know.  No, I do not wish him ill, but I can’t stop thinking about the division of class in this city.  I believe that for the poorer sections of Elizabeth, it’s way more critical for them to get their power back, and get their lives back together.  The rich have options.  The poor do not.  Those more well off, have the option of going to a hotel, leave the area altogether, go to a summer house, or just plain go for a ride to kill time.  The poor have to remain where they are and once the food gets thrown out, which would have been done yesterday, they need to walk to God knows where to get enough food for just one day.  Thank God it’s not the middle of summer.  I sat vigil last night, waiting for the lights to go on.  I was literally, looking at the ceiling, “willing” them to go on.  Well, that goes to show you the condition of my willpower.  Yes, I felt sort of safe, but there was a bit of insecurity and uncertainty, as well.  (I heard men at our local Dunkin Donuts, a place I don’t go to regularly because of the kind of people that hang out there, not to mention spotting gang bandanas.  I was seriously afraid to whip out my iPad in the free wifi there because I heard cynical, cussing-every-other-word men talking about the rich “whites” and the poor “blacks” of this city, and that they knew “exactly” who had their power back with the insinuation that it was the whites; and they, the blacks, did not have theirs.  Little did these guys know, that I, a white, is essentially one of them, being without power for just as long as they were.  The night before the power got back on, I was terrified that looters were in my alleyway.  The neighbors were not home and there were flashlights being waved back and forth.  Just got me scared.)

Yeah, so yesterday we had to get rid of all the spoiled food.  That was sad, but at least now we have a reason to do one big shop to replace everything we lost.. AND a great opportunity to really clean the fridge without having to juggle around the food. All schools have been closed the whole week and Saturday, we will learn whether they will open on Monday.  The little guy has been doing okay… and CCD is still on for tomorrow as the church’s school has some power back.  I did get out to a different town to get some stew meat.  I’ve been really craving stew lately and the chilly temps pushed me over the edge.  Made a great stew and slurped up every bit of it’s hot, soupy goodness.  Ed enjoyed it, as well, which is probably showing that he’s becoming desperate because he never has seconds.  The boy refused the stew and had one bowl of vegetable alphabet soup and one stalk of celery.  He certainly does NOT know what he’s missed!

Yesterday, I stopped by my friend Kims’ house.  I’ve been trying to check on people in the area.  So, she had just gotten her power back (for good) at 8:00am.  I had a cup of coffee by her and some much needed conversation and sense of normalcy.  That meant so much and really helped me forget.  Thanks, Kim~!  We are definitely coming by your house on Belated Halloween Day.  It was great to see all your decorations! (which, btw, we missed because still being without power sort of clouded my sense of time.)

Yesterday was also the first day that I could make phone calls from my cell phone.  I had service all throughout, but could only send text messages to people to let them know we were okay.  So, everyone is okay.  My brother has power, my sister will not get power back for 28 days, they told her, and my dad has no power but is running a generator.  Also, my nephew in Philadelphia has offered us to come for the weekend if we still don’t have power.  I love my nephew and his new wife.  They are just made for each other and it’s wonderfully heartening to see them together or hear them talk of one another (kissy, kissy!)…. 1:11pm

2:53pm… Was only able to charge the ipad to 56% and somehow when I opened this up, it was down into the forties…. sheesh, what made that happen?  Well, I hear that Kenilworth has gotten most of their power back, but we are STILL without it.  After leaving the library, we went to get something to eat.  For a brief moment, we enjoyed feeling a little bit normal.  When we got to the intersection around the block from us and saw that the traffic light was still out, I knew we didn’t have any juice either.  When we walked in the house and saw that the clock light was still out on the oven, my heart sank lower than I’ve ever felt it go.  The feeling of being abandoned is unshakable.  I’m on the brink of tears.  Bollawage sucks big time!  His only redemption is that he opposes the Board of Education in this city (That group is beyond corrupted.  I’m happy with our mayor now that our power is back on… Sorry, guy.  This is what I was feeling at the time and I remain faithful to that to maintain the integrity of the story.)  At least the kids have CCD instruction tomorrow.  It will be good for them.  There is a special Mass being said for the sick, but the planned reception afterwards, however, has been cancelled.  I need to attend on account of my arm and spirit.

Save the Olives~!

One thing that is positive is that my olives are okay.  Good thing, too, as there is more than $50.00 worth of  homemade Italian olives cooking in my fridge.  The preservation of them is not dependent upon low temps.  The only reason they’re in the fridge is so that the olive oil solidifies, keeping out bacteria and what not.  I didn’t spend $50.00 all at once… It took me three weeks to buy up almost all of what the neighborhood store had and then more for my sister and her efforts; and not to mention the pickles I made with the brine of the delicious garlic dill ones I polished off by McClure’s Pickles, purchased at Kings.  Those pickles are AMAZING and well worth the wait as they make them fresh for you, each time.  Well, taking a break to entertain the boy.  Hopefully when I get back here, I can make a happy paragraph or two or three, and you know what would make that happen…. 3:11pm

6:55pm… Elizabeth, NJ… Still no power.  Very frustrating since the mayor promised that the power would go on today.  Yeah, still early evening, but I don’t have much faith that anything will happen soon.  We have a quarter of a tank of gas in our car, and lines for gas are crazy every single day.  Being able to write here, at this time, is a life saver.

I’ve got to note an observation I’ve made this past week, yes, this was day 5.  I’ve been listening to NJ radio and listening to people’s stories.  Gotta give South Jersey a lot of credit.  They are getting out there and helping people in whatever ways they can.  Nothing like that going on up here, except for a house we passed in Westfield today with a sign that read “Charge your cell phone FREE” and that was really nice to see.  But in South Jersey, people are opening up their homes to families, feeding the linemen working in their area, donating food, clothing to people who are dispensing them, etc.  A woman who works a concession stand at some sports field down there is opening it up to feed people from breakfast for as long as she can keep it going.  She stocked up from Costco from her own resources and also asked for food donations and clothing.  Nothing on the radio going on in mid to northern NJ.  I can’t even volunteer anywhere unless it’s in my immediate area because I don’t have enough gas to get myself around.  Sigh.  I’m still staring at the ceiling, hoping the lights will surprise me and come back on.

Let’s get frivolous.  Throughout the whole week, I did not have the urge to redo my nails.  Last week’s polish held up really, well.  Today that changed and I got the urge when it started getting dark out.  Needless to say, it’s not a neat job at all.

You know, I would have been able to handle this better psychologically, if we had more sunny days.  You know, bright, warm sunlight to make you feel better, but NO.  It’s been dark, dreary and cold with only a few hours of sun peeking through the dense clouds, teasing this end of the country.  (at this point, I realize that I lost more notes as I have been ending a session with the time and here the content was cut off in mid sentence, so I will end this here, but not sure of the time.)

My lovely family trying to play with a Leapfrog “laptop” in the dark. Gotta give them an “A” for effort.
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