Friday, May 7, 2010

Reed Timmer is in Ohio.

Why would this be a big deal? Oh, because if anyone can catch a tornado out of nothing, Reed can. His blog states that they drove overnight. Y'all, he lives in Norman, Oklahoma.

So Reed, what's the CAPE value? My guess is that it has to be high for you to drive all this way. They've talked about us being a dry line situation. I know that is not good. You would be proud of me. The neighbor asked today if I thought that we were actually going to get something. (They've been predicting Armageddon all week.) "Well, if you look at the clouds up there, you can see that they are tall. That means that there is lift in the atmosphere and while it looks pretty right now, it means we're going to get nailed." See, aren't you impressed that I've learned so much from Storm Chasers?

Reed, if you are in my neighborhood I'll have a slight heart attack. My husband would be more than excited to have the TVN Dominator parked in the drive. Come on in. I'll bake you some brownies.

Stay safe, Reed. No offense, but I hope that you are wrong! In the very least, stay on the west side of the state, please!

If you want to see where Reed is, feel free to click here to see his live feed.

Even the house rattled.

Well, we can't say that they didn't warn us. We were under a severe thunderstorm watch until 10:00 PM Wednesday night. At 9:50 PM, we saw lightning in the distance. It seemed to die down and Hubs decided to watch some TV.

I went to bed to watch the news. I fell asleep and woke up to the most enormous crack of lightning. Wow! My heart was beating in my chest. The house shook. I jumped up out of bed and ran for K-. Hubs had fallen asleep on the couch and he jumped up and started shutting windows. (They were open from the top, so rain wasn't coming in. He wanted to shut out the loudness.) I decided that it was going to be a noisy night and invited K- to hop in with us.

She hopped in on my side. She respected Daddy's bed boundaries and made the two of us share only my side.

Y'all, I clung to the edge of the bed all night long. Between the cracks of lightning, the sound of K- sucking her thumb, the occasional whisper of "Sorry Daddy" (will explain later) and Hubs making this weird noise for an hour until I poked him, I did not sleep that well.

When Hubs woke up, he asked how I slept. I laughed. He told me that every single time he managed to fall asleep, K- would kick him squarely in the behind. "Sorry Daddy." I don't know if she was dreaming of soccer or what!

It turns out that the crack of lightning heard 'round my city blocks was the top 5 feet of a telephone pole being blown away by a bolt of lightning. That bolt of lightning struck 6 blocks up. (Not following the rule of the shortest distance between two places being a straight line. It is just a couple of blocks from K-'s school.) If it was that loud here, how loud was it there?!

Nature is an amazing thing, isn't it?

Our hail anniversary is coming up soon. I'll have to post pictures. Now that we've become Storm Chaser addicts, our little hail storm doesn't hold a candle to what people get in the midwest, but it's a good story to tell.

Right now, the robins are doing their "tooting." The neighbor is calling in their dog. A car is driving up the street. The night is quiet. We get one evening off, then we're back to it again.

How's the weather near you? Anything interesting?

Smiles in my day:
- Line dried sheets!
- Meeting with the principal regarding the final building meeting. He ended up seeking me out, giving me some further information and I will write a rough draft letter tonight to have him read. His suggestion was to send the letter to all of the school board members and to cc it to the local paper. I believe I'll be adding the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Councilman on there, as well. We're 75 children over their new building projection now. A new housing project is going up, due to be complete in October and we look to gain MORE! kids from that. If that is true, we may gain at least 30 new children. (30 units going up and figuring a rough estimate of 1 child per town home.) That would put us over projection by 100 children. Where are we going to put all of these bodies in a new school building under built from the beginning?
- Celebrating Mother's Day with my mom this evening. We'll both be in different directions on Sunday.
- Zantac. The spicy black bean burgers that I had two days in a row? H.e.a.r.t.b.u.r.n. Wow. It has thrown my acid reflux into high gear and I must take Zantac every day right now to pull everything back around.

Tuckered. I still have a school letter to write. Have a great day!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The neighbors thought we didn't care.

You have to love neighbors. Need a cup of sugar? They are right there. Your schedule is off and you flip the lights on 10 minutes earlier than normal? They notice. You don't have a chance to mow your lawn for a few weeks? They get irritated, especially if they are partnered and keep their lawn meticulously mowed.

Y'all, they thought we didn't care. The body builder boy of the two came over and asked Hubs if he just didn't want to mow it.

"Uh, no. I have been busy."

Had they been keeping up on their neighborly duties such as watching every move we make any other time (including probably knowing when we use the bathroom), they would have known that Hubs has had long and early days, sometimes starting at 4:30 AM.

I don't live in a housing development. We don't have laws, bylaws and all that. We just live in a city on a postage stamp sized lot and happened to have had longish grass. It's not like the lawn was up to my knees. It wasn't mid-shin either.

Poor Hubs!

So, have you ever had a neighbor complain about lawn length? In our 10 years here, this is the first complaint about the unwritten violation. I suppose that isn't so bad!

Smiles in my day:
- Having a nice chat with Mrs. H- this morning about all of the end of the year things that she needs help with.
- My pants are loose. Me thinks that the walking is helping. :)
- The in-law's bought me supper!
- The lady who was in multiple times today. She was probably in her 60's trying to rock pleather pants. All I could think of was the episode of friends where Ross decided to wear the leather pants and got stuck. The lotion and baby powder? "It appears to be making a paste!" Oh, I still laugh!

Storms are coming our way. I must bid farewell so as to turn the box off. Don't want to cook it.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I didn't feel so wordless today.

I have things on my mind.

Yesterday was the Abdullah "Eli" return deadline. Since I haven't heard of Eli's miraculous return, I know that Sara was planning on contacting news authorities. Oh, my heart aches.

Dawn at Because I Said So is divorcing. She has 6 children. Her ex-husband was having no involvement with the children and there are a host of other issues that were going on. Here's the bit that she shared. (It's a couple down on her list.)

I have a friend with a potentially serious health issue coming to the surface in her family. I've only communicated via e-mail and don't feel that I should share details until formerly given permission to do so, but my heart aches.

There is someone in our family who is facing foreclosure for the third time in about 2 1/2 years. I found this out on accident last year, but it appears as though they got details straightened out. The issue resurfaced again. This is not family that we could talk with about this. My heart breaks, as there are children involved and whatnot. We know, but we can't even ask if there is anything that we can do. They are not those kind of people.

Would you consider keeping these folks in your prayers? Don't worry about not knowing names. God'll know who you are talking about.

Smiles in my day:
- The spicy black bean burger and baked sweet potato fries I had for dinner.
- Hubs was able to come home early on Tuesday to take a nap. The fishing derby marathon really wore him out.
- Sleeping with the windows open.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

40 years

The 40th anniversary of the Kent State shootings is today. Let's not have this happen again.

This photo was taken from an online source.

This is my second post for the day. I kind of felt like it needed its own post.

Tales from the Trenches: Name stamping photos

Because my blog counter is so kind as to give me a traffic listing of where everyone comes from, I've found some of my photos on many sites on our lovely internet. The photos, when clicked, spin back to the original post that I plunked them in on.

I fear that isn't always the case, though.

Since I'm an artist and can take a decent picture or two, I've decided to start name stamping my photos. I take a lot of nature shots that I'd like to include on my blog. One I would love to have as a blog header. I've held back because of photo lifting. When name stamping through Picasa, I've tried to put the name to where you couldn't conveniently and quickly just crop it out.

I hate that I've had to come to this point, though.

How about all of you? Have you found your pictures located in other places without your permission? No one has ever asked me my permission with the photos. (I was contacted about my chili recipe, though.) I thought it was an unwritten rule. I thought it would be kind for folks to ask. Maybe I'm wrong.


Smiles in my day:
- After a few weeks of major programs, weird work hours, rain in fits and allergy issues Hubs got the lawn mowed. One neighbor asked, "Did you just not want to mow it?" [argh] "Uh, no. I was very busy."
- The soapwort is blooming!
- Leona is back from Switzerland, finally. She only went for a week and was delayed because of volcanic ash.
- When I was in the bath, the phone rang. K- answered it and I asked if it was someone calling about voting. "Mommy, they want you to vote on issue 1." She hung up and she said, "But all you are going to vote on is for President Obama, right?" "Nope. We already voted him in. There's other stuff to vote about." "Oh."

Have a great day!

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Fishing Derby

On Saturday, my husband had another Fishing Derby scheduled. What is a fishing derby? Basically, it is where you stock a pond with fish, encourage kids to come out with their parents and give prizes for a variety of categories.

Hubs was sweating the derby all week. He didn't feel as if he had enough help. He was to have a staff member, but that was taken since someone else called off sick.

I volunteered to help. K- was stuck. She involuntarily volunteered.

We got her all excited. She took the name tag and lanyard that Hubs brought home for her to school for show and tell. (We sent her binoculars, too.) I also told her that if she was a good helper, she was only $1.00 off from purchasing the Polly Pocket Glamper (yes, glamper) that she had saved a few weeks for and I would spring for that extra buck and tax.

Hubs left at 4:30 AM. I never really did fall totally back to sleep. K- and I were up and out at 6:45 AM. When we arrived, I told Hubs that I would take the people who hadn't registered or were on the waiting list. I figured that they might give the biggest problem.

By and large, they were the nicest folks. I ended up with about 15 people total who hadn't registered. I had to put them in a waiting area until 8:15 AM. The program was scaled for 200 children. On top of the 200 that registered, we had 20 on a waiting list and we had to give priority to people in a certain order.

I had one lady, though. She started giving me a hard time because the "City didn't have the forms." "I'm so sorry, when did you go to register?" "Just a couple of days ago." "The registration ended on April 23, so my guess was at the point that you went to register, the paperwork had already been passed on." "BUT the city didn't have the papers!"

Hubs came over. He told her nearly the same thing, but we both told her that we were happy to register her then and while we were putting non-registered people on hold, it probably wasn't going to be a problem to let them through.

I was filling out registration information and people kept rambling off the names of roads, but I had no idea what they were saying. I had them spell them and finally had to explain that I came from about 40 minutes south and was just here to help.

She kept coming back and forth complaining about certain things. There was the complaint about parking. "We knew that it would be a concern, so the volunteers were asked to park somewhere else." "WELL JUST WHERE ARE YOU PARKED?" "Right over there [insert finger pointed at my vehicle] on the maintenance drive. We didn't want to take even 10 spots away from participants." "Oh."

She was the one to tell my husband that there was no law enforcement. He was thankful that she told him that, as he had begged for days and his requests fell on deaf ears. For a program to be done on city park land by the county and expecting 200 children + chaperones, we were looking at 500 people. We needed at least a police presence somehow. Thankfully, one of Hubs' volunteers was a council person or something and made a call.

The mayor of the city showed up. He was thrilled that the derby was being held, handled in such an organized way and hung out for quite some time.

When time came to start awarding prizes, K- came over to me and gave me a poke. "Mommy, I don't feel very good." [oh no] "K-, are you going to puke?" [insert sound of a dry heave and burp combined] I grabbed her up and ran her around the side of the van. Typical reflux moment. She had drank pop too fast. She didn't end up vomiting, but the sound scared us all. :(!

We got ourselves back around, handed out prizes and the kids were so thrilled. We had many very generous sponsors that in total, handed out for the two fishing derby events over $6000.00 in prizes. Also, unlike the city run version of the same derby of years past, we didn't charge for participation, there were 4 different baits to choose from that were free, one of the sponsors had embroidered hats for every child and a bag full of fishing givies went to each child.

People left happy. They were very thankful. Even the crabby lady made a point to come talk to K- and me. She thanked us for driving in to help. Part of her crabbiness? She had come, felt that she needed to battle to have the kids participate, we allowed them and then they were late, missing probably about 1/3 of the ability to win a prize. I could tell that she felt like an idiot. Hey, passion gets in everyones way sometimes. I completely get it.

We had people arrive late all morning. We're not talking even just 10 minutes late, either. (Hubs started exactly on time.) The program started at 8:30 AM. There were some who arrived even AFTER the derby ended. Hubs was driving away and they said, "Oh! We're here for the derby!" "So sorry. It's already ended."

In the end, we had a great time. We all walked away exhausted. We went to bed early last night. We felt accomplished, though. We did it together-- as a family. That's the way it should be.

Smiles in my day:
- The 3 hours of church meetings for Sunday night were CANCELED! I don't know why, but I think it was God smiling down on all of us.
- We had a great time at the church pot luck. I ate so many lovely things. Baptist women sure can cook!
- I've been invited to help with a graduation party. This is the same family that had the party where the husband accidentally rocked my 3 month old RAV with a weed eater and blew out the passenger window. The wife ask that I take a bus in [laughing all the way] and I told her that I would just park at the neighbors. Her poor husband is scarred for life.
- Hubs brought home 5 more solar powered lights for our back beds. We had 5 from last year that I had pulled and stored over the winter. Gives us a little bit of light, but not too much. It's nice to look out in the evening and see them glowing away.
- Right now, K- is taking a much needed nap. I might curl up with her. I'm not a napper, but it is a drizzly Sunday afternoon.

Have a great day!