Sunday, September 19, 2010

And We are STILL HERE - Life with Aftershocks, a Week of It!

What a week! 
It was busy from start to finish and theres a sense of accomplishment when you get to the end and you look back and see what youve done.
Mr Butterfly is A*W*E*S*O*M*E - he has spent the past week helping a friend (S) shift whose house was red-stickered, meaning it was condemned for removal/demolition. What a long confusing and tiring process when dealing with the Landlord, the EQC people, the Council and other various bodies - just to get one household out to be somewhere safe!
Fortunately, S has found somewhere safe, and in a city where the After shocks are still between 3-4.5 on the richter scale, there ARENT alot of  rental properties available, it looks likely that rents will soar, seeing the need is there.
We have been looking after S's dog Finn. He is her constant companion, and I know she will have missed him, and he certainly missed her... but we loved spending some time being his loyal subjects :)

Hes a Conundrum, Wrapped Up in a Riddle!
Mr E.B's Adopted Furr-baby
 Finn, is a mixture of all sorts - Papillion and more, hes such a little guy compared to our Romper Stomper -Toffee - a big male Golden Labrador, yet what he lacks in size, he makes up for in attitude and noise. He has a constant *talk* that kinda grates after a while, and is only happy when he is on a knee, a bed with his legs in the air, and you attending to him.
Waiting at the door for *Dad*

Both he and Toffee get very jealous, and we have had to separate them on several occasions - not a pleasant thing, but separately, theyre both delightful...

The children thought it was great having a new *toy*, but it took Finn a while to accept them, being traumatised by the EQ, Missing his Mum, and of course, by the time the wee guy left, he had us all missing him.

He slept between us every night - on the bed - no complaints from Mr E Butterfly, even though he was heard mentioning that *I dont let dogs on the bed*

... Right Dear!

Magnolia Flowers look like Candles on the Branches

The Earthquake in Christchurch and the surrounding districts has taught our family that -

* Greed has no morals, and no compassion. - Prices for neccessary items soared, and at our local supermarket (they were heroes!) we got 10 pillar packs of water for $1.99 --- next suburb over, it sold for 75 cents PER pillar pack!!  -- GRRR!  Some dairies sold 2litres of milk for $5 on the Sunday after the big quake... THAT speaks volumes about them.

*You also will find generosity, compassion and empathy where you least expect it, amongst those who have suffered most.
All over CHCH there have been offers of help, of items to help others, of people opening their houses to others who have lost everything --- even from all over NZ there have been offers of holidays - a bed - come and stay.
Such a nice thing to hear!! New friends have been made, and there doesnt appear to be that feeling of debt amongst those who took others up on their kind offers.
Our cat returned, many did not :(

Makes my heart sing when I hear of people helping others out of nothing but kindness.
Helping neighbours that are by themselves fill water tanks/bottles, making sure walls or chimneys are removed so there is no danger while we wait for further after shocks... So much to do. Busy-ness everywhere!
Sitting with children and keeping them happy while Mum and Dad fill out paperwork for insurance or EQC. Childcare offered  from kindly strangers, for Parents who have lost businesses/places of work, but still have to turn up to turn away Staff, or monitor the removal of their stock so their buildings can be demolished.
Even the dog knows where to sit to be safe!

WE HAVE HAD IT ALL this month and it is only the 20th day of September!
Our families lives may never be the same, but hopefully we endure, and we learn, and we progress, because of that awful experience.
One thing - theres a lot more people in Canterbury who WILL endure, because now, we are better prepared, should this EVER happen again.
Bricks from our Chimney

*Neighbours are often your best Allies. Dont wait til you have an Earthquake or similar to make a connection! Our neighbour came to check on us after the big quake. He left us a torch, bless him! I met all my neighbours in the street, in my Pjs :-)  whilst we waited to hear what was going on - it was frrrreezing that morning!  It was six days before we got power, and our street were in the last 5% in Christchurch to have power restored... I think that says something, Id say TYPICAL me ... doesnt it? We fortunately never lost our water, but it did need to be used carefully after being boiled. Apart from Chimneys and fences, cracks and holes in drives and plaster, we were very fortunate in our Street. And ours is an older suburb too!

*Fresh drinking water and having Power and the ability to cook on *something* IS a luxury you realise during/after an Earthquake - never mind any other luxuries!
Pigs In Blankets!

*Doing the usual ablutions and housework takes a lot longer when you dont have modern convieniences - and when everyone helps, it makes things very pleasant for all... We actually ENJOYED doing things together - Shock! Horror!... Cooking on the bbq is a challenge we all enjoyed. Washing up after boiling the water took so long you almost fell asleep... but it got done in good humour.

*There is only so many things you can do when it gets dark if you dont have candles! *Adds a pack of cards to the Bug Out Bag!!* Yeah... and ghost stories? They arent appropriate when youve just encountered an Earthquake *glares at kids* :-)

*You get real tired when youre under constant stress, and sleep is welcome! Especially when you lie awake listening and feeling for the next aftershock, or maybe another biggie - the media kept telling us it was coming!!
Or maybe your children are scared and over tired and cant sleep, so you lie with them in your bed til they sleep...
There are a lot of people finding it difficult to sleep. The elderly, the people who live alone, the Parents who have to watch their children deal with the Aftershocks, the Dads who worry about the Mums and vice versa. I have to say - if theres a god - God Bless the Teachers in Canterbury, because handling up to 30 children EVERY TIME theres an Aftershock, would do my very head in. Im hoping for better things this week, not so many After Shocks PLEASE - BUT - those teachers DESERVE a raise!!

*RESCUE REMEDY IS THE BOMB! Keep some in your bug-out bag.... Even the Rescue Remedy pastilles, we found them this week, awesome for kids!! They taste good! - LOOK HERE
If you dont know about RESCUE REMEDIES take a look HERE!
Arnica is great for bringing out the bruising if youve taken knocks - our son was hit by a falling picture, on the shoulder, the night of the earthquake.  Hes fine now, but he said it was the suddeness of the hit that gave him a fright, because he was confused as to why there was rumbling and shaking. Both our children said they heard music just before waking. Now Im wondering where on earth they were before they woke :)

****BE PREPARED**** I cant stipulate how important that is now - Get some supplies, have a bag organized, know where things that are important are, but dont wait for another disaster - DO IT NOW. In hindsight, we didnt suffer as much as others, and for that Im eternally grateful.

We are getting prepared. Not with the biggest whizzy gismos. I figure basics are good. We have some food organized, some water, torches, batteries, first aid, candles - DONT FORGET IF YOU NEED THEM -  FORMULA FOR YOUR BABY, NAPPIES, TOILET PAPER, - Have your phone charged, Your torch handy and some change for phones or groceries. You also need some way of cooking food - gas is easy, secondhand camping equipment is really easy to get and store...
I have the bbq and some gas in the bottle in the garage. If we had no gas available, then dammit, I would just cook on a fire outside... I was a good Girl Guide years ago, I know about these things ... but y'know, if Ive learnt one thing - its all good *thinkin' ya know* until you NEED to know... and that is your measure.
Special Clouds Adorn our Bluest of Blue Sky

Another Monday has rolled around.
We are still here.
STILL HERE and we are FINE.

Nature has decided it is now having a wee break, and has burst into Spring here in Canterbury. High puffy white clouds and the bluest of blue in the sky, makes it seem unbelievable that Invercargill city to the South of the Island is having torrents of thick white snow. It saddens me, to see the sheep covered, the daffodils covered, and people getting stuck in their cars in ditches and the like.
Daffodil in Invercargill 

It is Mother Earth, telling us she needs a break.

Every Mother needs some time away from it all.
Walk Lightly People, on our Earth.
She needs a Break!

Til Next Time,
Flying By with Love,
    from My Hearth to Yours,
~*E Butterfly*~

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