As I’ve said over on my ShrimpTank blog, one of my favourite plugins on WordPress is the Visitor Maps.
I’m getting a lot of visits from countries I never thought I’d get hits from, so I’d like to say a big Howdy to all of you!
I expected a few Aussie’s and Germans to be visiting, but it’s always interesting to see hits from places like Libya, Mexico and Japan. It also shows how many times someone has visited as well as where they were before coming to my site. So I can see what search they performed or what forum has linked to my site. I know I can do all this with google analytics, (and I do) but the visitor map is much more fun. It’s right there in my dashboard and I can see instantly when I’ve sent out a tweet and it’s bringing people back to my site.
I guess most of the American hits I get on my site are either other Aussie expats or twitter bugs. The Germans all seem to come from Hey Dad..! searches and the Aussie’s are obvious. I can only guess who the 100 hits from Singapore are from…. But who’s the person in Japan who’s visited me almost 200 times and why the sudden interest from Libya? Was Hey Dad..! ever shown there? I remember in one episode we made a reference to Gadafi. “The despot, not the duck.”
Anyway, I’m fascinated by all of you and why you’ve chosen to spend a couple of minutes checking me out. So leave me a message. Ask me a question. Just say hi!
Don’t just cyberstalk me, feel free to communicate with me. As long as it’s not about the case, which I can’t comment on for legal reasons, I’ll talk back. I’ll answer your questions. Whether you want to know about the weather in Texas or my favourite dessert, just ask!
Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.
Yesterday, the news said that there was a HUGE storm rolling in to San Antonio. It was ridiculously hot and we had just finished cleaning out the motorhome getting ready to sell it. We came home and were cooling off in the pool when the skies got really dark and the wind kicked up.
We headed inside and for once, we headed upstairs to relax and enjoy the cool breeze with the windows open. We had the TV on to watch the weather, but of course, the dish went out, so we turned it off. We had our baby girl, Maya, (not a human baby, she’s a chihuahua) with us and we were watching as the lightning started striking around us. I walked around and pulled everything out of the plugs, making sure our computers wouldn’t get hit by a surge. I also went through the camping gear and got a light in case the power went out.
Walking up the stairs, there was a hit really close. I saw Matt and Maya jump, but we discussed how lucky we were to have a dog that was so calm in storms and never freaks out. She sat there with us, looking out the window at all the lightning. I watched the neighbour drive in to the circle, and then BANG! There was a huge loud noise. So loud, it hurt my ears. We immediately thought of the neighbour, wondering if he got hit. We turned around to go downstairs to check, and we realized our wall was on fire. WE got hit by lightning. There was a Texas flag blanket hanging on the wall, and it was in flames. Matt grabbed the blanket, and threw it out the already open window. He grabbed wet towels and put them on the wall. We didn’t want to throw water at it, since the flames had come from an electrical socket and hit the blanket a foot above it. Thankfully, we also had out iphones next to us, since we don’t have a home phone. Matt called 911. For some reason, it went to San Antonio, not our local Windcrest dispatch. Matt just kept saying Windcrest Fire. After the 3rd time, they put him through.
So far, the fire seems out and I’m running around the house, up and down, checking all the other rooms seeing if anything else is on fire. It looks ok, and I hear the fire trucks coming, and I’m wearing nothing but a silk robe. So I grab some pajama pants and a singlet and am pulling them on as I run around. Matt runs outside in nothing but shorts and flags down the Fire Trucks. Here’s the best part, Wednesday night is the FD meeting night, so everyone was at the fire house. So when we called, the sent everyone! We got 4 trucks, two police cars. They went through the house and let us know there was a heat signature behind that first wall. They were aplogetic, but they wanted to cut the wall down to check. We had no problem with that. I’d much rather they cut it down and find something smoldering than go to sleep and then the house reignites and burns down.
So, they cut a hole in the wall. The walked through the whole house. I had put Maya in the master bedroom out of the way, and she was so scared, she didn’t even bark at them. The Fire Department cut the power to the house and I saw the hoses going in. By this stage, all our neighbours were outside, coming to check if we were ok. Everyone wanted to give us an umbrella, but there was still major lightning going on, and I wasn’t thrilled about holding a metal rod. We got plenty of offers to sleep at people’s houses if we needed it.
The FD didn’t need to hose anything down, but they were so considerate, they wanted to clean up the mess from the wall. I had had a large tub of sewing gear up there, which they dumped out on the couch and used to drag all the debris outside. They were going to move the trucks so they could put up a ladder to see if there was anything smoldering where the lightning struck, but then decided that in the current storm, maybe that wasn’t a great idea. I flinched evertytime lighting lit up the sky, but they laughed and reminded me if I could see it, it wasn’t hitting me! They were so apologetic about the wall. Neither Matt or I cared. It’s just a wall. They said most people were really upset with them when they did that. Really? It’s just a wall!
So even though it sucked that we got hit by lightning, we looked at everything that went right. We had originally planned to go out to dinner with friends. Thankfully, we had cancelled earlier in the week. We were actually in the room that caught fire. If we had been downstairs, we wouldn’t have seen the fire till it was BIG. The windows were already open for Matt to throw the blanket out of. Our phones were right there. The fire department was in the middle of a meeting and were ready to get to out house in less than 90 seconds. They were there in under 2 minutes! The dog was calm and didn’t get in the way. We don’t care about anything in the house, it could have all burnt to the ground, but if we had been at dinner, Maya would have been inside and gone with the house. That I couldn’t have lived with.
So, they determine the fire is out, but there’s no power. The FD offer to find us a place to stay, but by this time, I’ve already called my mother in law and let her know we were headed that way. She had no power after the storm, but that was ok.
All the neighbours go home. We grab a change of clothes and pack up the dog in the jeep. Thankfully I had that camplight to see since there was no power! We get on the highway, and there’s still major flashes of light. Several of them emerald green. The highway is shut down for roadworks, so we get off and as we’re sitting there at the light; WHAM! We get rear ended! Matt gets out, goes to look, and thankfully, since we’re in the jeep, which has a big lift kit and big bumpers and the guy was in a little car, he didn’t do any damage, so Matt just said have a nice night and we went on our way…. By this stage I’m just laughing, wondering what else could possibly happen to us. Would we hit a deer next?
But, we got to Matt’s mom’s house safely. She had no power, but we didn’t care. The dog was whimpering and she snuggled between us. The power was still off this morning, but Matt dropped me off at work on his way back to the house.
Thankfully, last week I had just gone ahead and paid off the home owners insurance for the entire year instead of paying in installments…. So, while it could have been a really bad day, everything had happened just right so that nobody was hurt. We were home, the windows were open, the fire department was all together, ready to go. All our neighbours were great and we weren’t hurt in the fender bender afterwards.