Friday, August 26, 2011

The Friday Forum - August 26

What a week! The unfortunate part is that "it's not over yet." That was quite an earthquake we had in Virginia. Now officially categorized as a 5.8, it was the strongest quake in our state (commonwealth, actually) since 1897. That means most of us have never felt anything like it.

Not too long ago, we had a small earthquake, which I recognized as one pretty quickly. It freaked out all of us East Coast types. That turned out to be nothing compared to what happened here Tuesday. I was at my desk at home, on the phone placing an order, when the trembling started. As it rolled in, things started to rattle. I thought Charlie was misbehaving (he wasn't, but during the earthquake, he came running into the room to be with me). Within nanoseconds, as everything in my house and my house started to move rather violently, I realized we were having a doozy of an earthquake. I had told the woman on the phone, "Hang on, something is really wrong." She stayed on the phone until I came back, after the earthquake had ended, and I told her what had happened. She told me she had been on the phone with California customers when earthquakes had struck. What are the chances of that?

I was pretty rattled. As I surveyed for damage, I found perfume bottles everywhere. They went flying off shelves. Pictures on the wall were askew. Shampoos and conditioners on the rim of the tub were in the tub. I'm fortunate. I found nothing damaged or broken. There was severe damage elsewhere. You may have read that the National Cathedral suffered major damage, with fallen angels and parts of the spires broken off and smashed on the ground. The Washington Monument was damaged badly. Just up the street at Tysons Corner, part of a building wall came down and smashed cars. In Mineral, Virginia (southwest of here) at the epicenter, the damage is catastrophic. Many homes and businesses in the little town have been condemned.

We have had unsettling aftershocks since then. Why do they keep happening at night? The largest was Thursday at 1:07 am, when we had a 4.5. Charlie felt it first and bolted upright. Then the house started to rattle. The aftershock was more of a severe rattle than a rocking and rolling shock. It was still unnerving. I lost two nights of sleep to aftershocks. It's hard for me to go back to sleep when I've been awakened suddenly.

Now, we are waiting for Hurricane Irene. "She" is expected to reach Virginia on Saturday and Sunday. All coastal areas are being evacuated. I suspect we will have torrential rain and heavy winds, and many will lose power. I lost my power for 10 days after one tropical storm, and those were 10 miserable days. Workers from Florida Power and Light, who had come to help our area, restored my electricity. We cheered the guys! I wanted to hug them.

Let's hope for no major damage from Irene. The trees really suffer from these storms, homes are often damaged, and it seems inevitable that someone is going to get hurt. I'll be out braving the panicked crowds today to get all my essentials, including cat food.

I may also have to make a quick run to Neiman Marcus to see Kathy. As she crossed the parking lot there this week, some jerk almost ran over her (he kept going, so the mall is reviewing security tapes to try to find him). Kathy fell and broke a bone in her hand. She continued to work for five hours before she left to go get an x-ray, and she went in the next day to help all of you who have started shopping with her. That's dedication!

Let's talk about something beautiful. It's time for The Friday Forum, our open chat. What new products did you discover this week? Did you find any deals you couldn't resist this week? Are you using a fabulous product and want to sing its praises? Did you find a beauty product disappointing? Do you have a question others might be able to answer? Want to talk about skin care? What's new in your life? Just use the comments. Don't be shy. Just make sure to ask any question you might have over the weekend. By early the next week, most (not all) readers have moved on.

If you feel like shopping this weekend, Zuneta is offering free shipping from August 26 until midnight August 29 on all orders, wherever you are! Use code FREESHIPAUG. Now's the time to order Rouge Bunny Rouge.

I have a great giveaway underway. If you'd like a chance to win Chanel's Collection Essentielle de Chanel Lumière Romantique, make sure to enter before midnight tomorrow, Saturday, August 27.

If you are in the path of Irene, I hope you stay home, stay safe, and weather the storm well. Good luck!

Photo courtesy of


Charlestongirl said...

I went to Harris Teeter and BJ's Warehouse. At 9:00 am, the stores were packed, and the checkout lines were ridiculously understaffed.

That said, I got plenty of cat food, beer, and blueberries. I'm set for the weekend. :)

I'm just wondering...if the water system is affected, will Charlie and Savvy drink fizzy Pellegrino?

Nemo said...

Hi, Charlestongirl! About the earthquake in Virginia: I was sitting at the defense table morning of the earthquake here in Battle Creek, Michigan, doing a murder trial. All of a sudden I felt the table moving. Everyone thought I was nuts; now I know what it was.

Charlestongirl said...

Isn't it amazing, Nemo, how far away it was felt? The seismologists say that it was because the movements in the fault were relatively shallow.

Many people around here had no idea what it was. They streamed out of buildings, many fearing a terrorist attack.

It was definitely physically and emotionally unsettling.

Hlopushka said...

OMG Charlestongirl,
This week has been really crazy for you. I hope everything will work out and become better soon. We are waiting for "Irene" to come on Saturday to Boston, earthquake wasn't pleasant too on Wednesday, so I perfectly understand:(

Eileen said...

As a SoCal native I've shaked, rattled, and rolled for years and have experienced five 6+ quakes that rocked my world. They don't really frighten me although I sincerely hope to never go through THE BIG ONE (9+) that the experts keep predicting for California. I guess the difference is in knowing what is happening and knowing how to respond. We have literally hundreds of earthquakes every day here, so we are used to the earth constantly moving under our feet. Most of those quakes go unnoticed by all save those wonderful seismologists like Dr. Lucy Jones. We joke that you can always tell the natives from the newbies. The newbie will say, "Did ya feel that?" The native will say, "Huh?"

What made your 5.8 quake so startling was that it occurred where it did. We get quakes like that frequently; especially in our dessert areas, but where you are? Not in over a hundred years. So, of course, it took people by surprise. Newcomers to California will often describe a big quake as a deep rumbling, followed by shaking/rolling, and the sensation that a train is going to come crashing through the house at any moment. So, it's not surprising that your quake had so many people confused and imagining a terrorist attack. After all, you folks had the nightmare of 9/11.

Surveying the aftermath while in shock is also never easy. Many of your beautiful old buildings were never meant to withstand the stress of shifting tectonic plates. Come to think of it, neither is a lot of your more recent construction. Building codes tend to reflect the needs and safety concerns of the area. When my husband first moved to California from another country, he couldn't understand why we would frame our homes with wood given the prevalence of termites--until he experienced his first sizable earthquake! It was a big Ah-ha! moment for him.

Fortunately, the damage and injury back there has been minor and the shock will quickly wear off as the pieces are picked up. People are so wonderfully resilient. (I'm still in awe of the Japanese.) Unfortunately, the aftershocks keep coming for quite awhile, but at least those are expected and everyone will know what they are.

Well, that ramble wasn't about beauty per se, except that there is nothing more beautiful than knowing that those you have come to know and care about are safe and well. And, surely you know, dear Charlestongirl, that it was with a collective sigh of relief, that your readers throughout the country saw your cheery posts popping up on BTiB as usual. You're a trooper :-)

Eileen said...

Did I really say dessert areas instead of desert? I must be hungry! LOL

Unknown said...

Stay safe! I feel terrible for all the stress you have had to endure lately.

Nemo said...

Yes, indeed, emotionally unsettling. Please give my best to Kathy Shoreman!

Sophia1105 said...


I hope you're safe and sound, with plenty of supplies. Fingers crossed no more quakes and that Irene settles down before she comes any closer.

Eastern end of the continent here and apparently it was felt where I am. I work rotating shifts and slept through it (I am a deep sleeper).

Take care and a safe weekend to you,


Charlestongirl said...

Hi Hlopushka!

I hope you are safe too! I don't think Irene is going to be horrible inland, but we'll see.

Take care. Stay home and stay safe. :)

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Eileen,

The SoCal folks have all been making fun of us, but most people here have never experienced an earthquake like that. The people in the Pentagon said it felt just like it felt on 9-11 when the plane slammed into their building. Now that's scary!

Dr. Lucy Jones has been on our TV reports regularly. She's one smart cookie!

You're right - so right - about our building codes. There were no codes in the 1700s and 1800s when some of the damaged buildings were built, brick by brick. Most are fixable, but it is so sad to see the photos.

You know that blogging is a passion for me. I couldn't stop for an earthquake! In fact, the product I was ordering was a beauty product from Apothica!

Thanks for your comment. We need that earthquake wisdom here. :)

Charlestongirl said...

Thanks, PP and Nemo!

Nemo, did you talk to Kathy today? I will call her now and give you her wishes for a speedy recovery. Unfortunately, she has a cast-like thing on her hands. Fortunately, she can type!

Charlestongirl said...

Eileen, that "dessert" vs. "desert" is nothing compared to some of my typos this week. :)

I embarrass myself at times.

Charlestongirl said...

Thanks, Sophia! The grocery stores will make a bundle today. Everyone is acting like we won't have supplies for a month. :)

Hope you are safe wherever you are. Happy weekend!

MickD said...

I live in Delaware and what we felt from the quake was only 2.0. I can't imagine a 5.8, and then what Japan got! This may be a gross comment, but if you lose your water during Irene, I have a good tip. Get as many buckets as you can and fill them with rain water, also fill your bathtub. When you lose water, of course you can't "flush". Pour about a gallon of water into the bowl, not the tank - the bowl itself. When the bowl water level reaches a certain level, it will flush by itself! I had no water for 3 days a couple weeks ago and my ex me about this. It works!

Charlestongirl said...

Good tip, MickD!

I doubt my area will lose water. We never have, and also, they seem to have downgraded Irene to a tropical storm for the DC area. Good that our coastal friends know that!

Pam said...

Hello Charlestongirl. Since I live on the Gulf of Mexico here in Pensacola, Florida, I am more than familiar with hurricanes. I will be praying for you and yours.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say you are in my thoughts. Please take care.

Anonymous said...

Did they catch the creep that almost ran over Kathy?

Unknown said...

Charlestongirl, glad you're tucked in safely with the beer and the cats! It's good to see that they've downgraded Irene. Fingers crossed it will stay that way or that she's downgraded further.

Unknown said...

and best to Kathy when you talk to her.

waftbyCarol said...

My thoughts are with you - glad to here you are OK , though shaken...
keep us updated about the Hurricane . It skimmed by us here on the Fl coast , we only had showers and wind yesterday morning .
Take care !

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Carol,

I'm tweeting updates. It just started raining a tiny bit here. We are ready for strong winds and rain. Inland, in the DC area, we are told to expect tropical storm-strength effects. Closer to the coast, it's a full-fledged hurricane. Raining heavily in southeastern Virginia now.

Thanks much!

lovethescents said...

What a week it's been! Terribly busy for all, it seems, but grateful that it wasn't horribly for most.

I've only experience an earthquake once, last year...I was visiting a friend and when the house started shaking, I asked her if there were train tracks nearby. She said no. We both stared at each other blankly and it stopped. Nothing happened but it was scary!!

On the beauty front, I bought a bottle of Chanel's Peridot. I generally don't like Chanel polishes because they chip so quickly, but that colour was too gorgeous to ignore!

A friend sent me a Paula Dorf Baby Eyes Enhancer for my tired eyes. Can't wait to try it.

Saw the Chanel Fall collection and left it in the dust, aside from the Peridot. Can't see myself wearing any of it.

AND, there's a new, exclusive, LE Guerlain fragrance, made for the Bolshoi Ballet company in Moscow. I'm hot on it's trail. I NEED a bottle! (right). I know, I'm insane, I don't need more fragrance but it sounds so gorgeous with notes of petit grain, bergamote, vanilla, tonka and incense. I've been having trouble getting in touch with the Maison in Moscow, so I contacted the Champs Elysees who've put me in touch with customer service. Now, I wait....13000 rubles for a 50ml bottle. Half the fun is the hunt. Now, the addict must wait.... :-)

lovethescents said...

I hope my loooooooooooong post distracted you from the environmental situation in your area. Sending you scented hugs :-)

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Lovethescents,

I loved Peridot, but then I decided to give it away on the blog. I had bought all three in the collection and really didn't need all three.

I'll ask around here for your LE Guerlain, but you'll probably fare better in NYC than DC.

Thanks for the well wishes. I think we'll be fine. There's a breeze now (not really wind yet), and we had one little shower. We are expected to experience real weather around mid-afternoon. If I don't lose power, I'll tweet updates.

Charlestongirl said...

Thanks, Pam and Anonymous! I think we will be safe. I appreciate your well wishes!

Charlestongirl said...


I don't know. We talked late yesterday, and she didn't tell me that they had caught him. NM Security seemed to think they could, but the more time that goes by, the more I wonder if their tapes caught it.

I'll update here once I can ask her again.

She said it was a sports car with the radio at full blast. He came around a corner at high speed, as so many clueless/thoughtless people do. It's a wonder someone hasn't been killed in a Tysons parking lot.

Another mall worker was outside and went running to help Kathy.

Eileen said...

The first thing I did when I got up this morning (Sat.) was check to see if you had posted! When I saw that you had, I went about my morning routine knowing that you and your menagerie were still doing fine. As I said before, you're a trooper :-)

I hope your mom is going to be OK. I don't remember exactly where she lives in relation to the storm's path, but even those like you who are not in the thick of it are going to be impacted. That's one big, monster-sized storm! The size of Europe, they say. Those satellite pictures are very humbling, aren't they?

Rest assured, no one in California is laughing at you now. Earthquakes strike with a wam-bam and then you pick up the pieces, but hurricanes just keep hammering away with such a protracted fury! Like the rest of the nation, we're glued to our media of choice, following Irene as she slowly but relentlessly moves up the coast.

Keep us posted as to how you're doing. You know we are genuinely concerned.

Charlestongirl said...

Thank you, Eileen! You are a sweetheart. I even went to the 7-11 for ice early. Got 30 pounds and put in coolers on the porch. Decided I might want it if my power goes out.

Mom will be OK. She lives five minutes from me in McLean. She has a 24x7 caregiver with her, so they can get help if needed (unless an ambulance is stranded somewhere). I took over calcium (she takes nine/day because she had no thyroid or parathyroid glands) and prescription meds to her this morning.

Mom loses power more frequently than I do (she lives in a very old wooded section where ALL lines are on poles). I suspect she will lose power at some point. She always refuses to leave, though. She doesn't mind heat, and her food seems to stay cold for a long time in her refrigerator. After the last horrible thunderstorm, her power was out for three days. Remember when I was hopping over live wires to get in to her house this summer?

Irene has been pounding North Carolina and has moved into Virginia. So far, we only have rain here, with a little breeze, but that will change quickly.

Irene's photos on radar are humbling. I think it's amazing that locals are saying, "Oh, it's only a Category 1." You can die just as quickly in a Category 1 as 2 when a tree comes down on you. I think people need to go home and stay home.