It’s Sunday, and here I am writing another “Photo of the Week” post. This has been a busy week, and it feels strange that it’s already over. I got the chance to work on several new recipes, and am looking forward to sharing some new things on the blog this week!
This week’s photo actually turned out to be several photos, because I wanted to share a few pictures from when we experienced Hurricane Matthew last fall.
If you’re here just for the smoothie recipe, feel free to skip down to the bottom of the page!
All of these pictures were taken on my iPhone and the quality isn’t the best as the conditions outside were dark due to the clouds and rain, but I decided to share anyway.
I’ve always been a weather watcher. Clouds, wind, rain, thunderstorms, tornadoes, snow, ice…the “hows” and the “whys” are just fascinating to me. I think I got it from my dad and my grandpa.
If you’ve read some of my posts, you may have picked up on the fact that I live in Florida but am not originally from here. I grew up in Arkansas, far away from beaches and palm trees. I heard about hurricanes and read about them, but never thought I would be near one myself. I was, and still am, awed by the sheer power of such storms, as well as the devastation that they can leave behind.
Casey and I live in north Florida, about 45 minutes from the Atlantic coast. When we heard the predictions about the path of Hurricane Matthew, Casey commented on how unusual it was for a hurricane to strike near Jacksonville. We discussed evacuating, but our house is far enough inland and on high enough ground that we decided against it. Our biggest concern was the fact that our property has quite a few large trees, so we decided we would sleep downstairs for a couple of nights to reduce the risk of injury should any trees fall on our house.
The storm was predicted to hit our area around mid-morning on Friday (Oct 7, 2016) and continue through the afternoon until the eye moved past that evening, with high winds continuing through Friday night. I went around the property on Thursday, tying down lighter objects or bringing them inside. All of the gas stations in our area were sold out of gas by Thursday night, and a lot of people in the counties east of us (closer to the coast) had evacuated. Even though we already had some supplies at home, I chose to run to the store one more time on Thursday afternoon and was amazed at how quickly items like bread, milk, and water had sold out. It was a good thing though, to know that people were prepared and taking the storm seriously.
I snapped this photo (I was parked, don’t worry) while waiting in line to top off my gas tank early Thursday afternoon.
We were both able to stay home from work on Friday, which was a blessing. I fixed what we jokingly called our “Pre-hurricane breakfast”. Our pantry was stocked with non-perishable foods, but I knew that it would probably be a couple of days before I would be able to cook again. In light of that, I decided biscuits and eggs would be nice.
We had our candles ready and waiting on the kitchen counter.
As the morning progressed, the wind and rain picked up, and we lost power. Every time another gust of wind hit, I thought for sure one of our trees was going to come down. The tops of some trees were parallel to the ground at times. I tried to take pictures and video through the downstairs window, but they were too blurry and can’t really do the storm justice. I thought about stepping outside for a moment, but decided that would be unwise as there was the definite possibility of being hit by a large branch. Even this far in from the coastline the storm was amazing. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be in the middle of a hurricane right on the coast.
The worst of the storm had passed by Friday evening and Casey and I went outside to survey the damage. Amazingly, all of our trees were still standing, though the tops had been ripped off of two of them. There were branches down all over the yard, and the creek behind our house was actually running for a change (ha!).
We were very thankful that the damage wasn’t any worse. All we had to worry about was loss of power and a bit of a mess to clean up the next day. It was still windy and getting dark, so we headed back inside. The wind gusts continued through Friday night, but by Saturday morning it was sunny and clear as though Matthew was just happily whistling and going on his way like nothing had happened. We spent much of the day chainsawing and cleaning up, and our power was back on by Sunday evening.
When I was a kid, I told my dad that I wanted to “see” a hurricane someday (from a safe distance of course). I guess I got my wish!
This post turned out to be a little longer than I expected, so let’s move on to the Blackberry Blueberry Yogurt Smoothies. I threw these together one day last week and they were delicious, so I thought I would share the recipe. 🙂
Blackberry Blueberry Yogurt Smoothie
- 1/2 cup frozen blackberries
- 1 cup frozen blueberries
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 cup almond milk (or regular milk)
- 1/3 cup honey
- 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 cups ice (or as needed for desired thickness)
Combine all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Garnish with berries if desired and serve!
~K in the Kitchen