Tropical Storm Hanna

Well, the good news is that we are dry. The bad news? Tropical Storm Hanna hit our neighborhood hard. There is nothing quite like seeing your street on the news, or hearing that the news of what happened in your neighborhood was broadcast around the country. We are lucky enough to live by a lake. Lake Royal is a man-made lake that was created by a flood control dam. It's really lovely - a couple of miles around - and is a nice part of our neighborhood. Well, yesterday's storm (and over 7 inches of rain) was more than it could handle. The lake flooded, the dam didn't totally hold, and the county rushed in and created emergency spillways which saved the bottom part of our neighborhood. There was a voluntary evacuation of the bottom section (we live at the top of the hill), but the country spokesman said on the news that they were very close to a mandatory evacuation, which may have included us. What an adventure! Chris and I went for a walk today to see what it looks like, and it was incredible. I'm posting some of the pictures below, along with a screenshot of an aerial image of our neighborhood from google maps (with some labels from me) to give you some perspective. It's very very strange to see the fitness trail and path that I like to walk on under several feet of water. But we are dry and thankful to be so.A view of the new waterline from the path in our neighborhood (the old waterline used to be beyond the trees):The "big tree" (see the map above to see where it is!):

And see where the old spillway and the tractor is on the map? This is the spillway now - full of water!

9 Days

Well, in what seems to be record time, the CCAA has sent out another batch of referrals! And...they cover 9 days of LIDS! Now, before you go jumping out of your seats, it's really only 4 business days, but I'm pretty pleased. I was worried that there would be no referrals at all this month, as the CCAA was closed for at least a day or two because of the Olympics (and work was likely slowed for more than that). The speed with which they arrived is also encouraging - 22 days in between batches means that even if they continue with small batches, an extra batch or two for the year would be a bit of a speed-up. And 4 business days certainly isn't the smallest batch we've seen. So, not such horrible news.

Other than worrying a little if they would impact our already slow adoption process, I loved every second of the Olympics. Chris and I stayed up way too late to watch the live events the first week (yes, it was 2 am before I went to bed more than one night!). And thanks to the magic of tivo (and a day of temping at an office that had MSNBC on next to my desk all day), I watched it ALL the time. I saw nearly every sport, watched every preliminary heat of the swimming events, and am still humming the music they played while they handed out the medals. (a side note - did you notice how the girls holding the medals looked the same at every site? They practiced for SIX months to look like that!) I was fascinated by the fact that Michael Phelps was front page news here every day while he was swimming, but in China he was a secondary news story. (and yes, I became an even bigger "Phelps Phan" than I was before!) It was amazing to see the different venues in China, and it was really nice for me to see the beauty of China without thinking about the excruciatingly long wait. (especially during the road races - I can't wait to see all those sites!) I'm sad that they are over, but glad to be getting back to a normal sleep schedule, and hope that the CCAA gets back to normal too.