Post Tornado. Skeleton Trees.

November 17, 2013 at 5:29 pm (Autumn, Big Sky, Clouds, Day to Day, Nature, Skeleton Trees, Weather, Winter) (, , , , , , , , , , )

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Lots of noise. A strange, continuous roaring sound to the north of our location. Sirens everywhere. No actual sighting in my town. Confirmed visuals in Coal City to the South and Frankfort to the west. And as everyone knows by now, Washington, IL, out in the middle there. It is VERY windy now. If you turn on the TV to the Bears game in Chicago, you can see that our wind is extra windy. In case we forgot that our weather patterns here in the Midwest don’t just stroll in all leisurely-like, changing over the course of a few days or even hours; but prefer to burst out of the atmosphere like fireworks in the sky. Boom, flash, done. It’s dark. It’s light. It’s dark again. One minute you are outside just milling around and taking pictures, marveling at nature in all its raw beauty,  and the next minute a powerful gust of wind crackles through the high branches of your fragile, breaking trees, pushing you, the garbage cans, and one of the plastic chairs you are standing next to, across the patio, almost giving you a heart attack. I literally covered my head because I thought a limb was coming down. I know the sound. So you decide you should probably go inside and close all the windows because it was 65 degrees mere minutes ago and now its 50 with all your blinds blowing inside the windows trying to come off the hinges. I have work to start and finish because I wasted my day on all this weather and I may slip in a drink or two to count my blessings tonight with my family. Say a quick prayer, send a thought, or help if you can, for our neighbors to the south. It’s getting dark now and the weather looks like it’s staying. Good luck. Stay safe. Winter is pretty much here. Only four or five more months until it’s spring. Cold hands, warm hearts. I think we say something like that. Later.

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And Meanwhile, Driving Down To Kentucky…

June 29, 2013 at 5:32 pm (Big Sky, Clouds, Day to Day, Family, For Stevie, Holiday, Nature, Road Trip, Stevie Pics, Summer, Thank You, Vacation, Weather) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

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This was about 2 pm, Saturday, driving down, what I assume to be, I57, near the town of Mattoon. The kids are on their way to grandma’s with their dad. No one confirmed location for me, but the fastest way south is 57 from here. My daughter took this picture while it was happening. It’s a really good picture. Especially from a moving vehicle. She said it was only a funnel cloud when they saw it and she got a picture of it going back up. But I like this one. Very impressive. Then it hailed and rained so hard they couldn’t see and then it cleared. She texted, word for word, “It’s done now. Clear as a bell perfect now!” She sent a picture of the blind windshield but it’s just a grey square that kind of looks like smeary, foggy rain. This is the next picture she sent:

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The girl takes good pictures. I almost feel bad that while the kids are driving through weather and tornadoes, me and the BF are at the liquor store buying all kinds of alcohol for the BBQ we are going to later, and then something for the rest of the weekend. Without children. Eh. Life. I took equally stunning pictures of the new wines I just bought to try out, and then later, post and share my opinions with you, good people. Let me end this with the last two pictures she sent me, because they are also really good, and she knows that I LOVE pictures of the sky and clouds. And you probably, secretly, like them too or you wouldn’t have kept reading!  It’s OK. I thank you! Thank you thank you every day! It’s a peculiar world, this blogging, internet place; big and diverse, the way I like most things, but still managing to feel close and intimate, like we are all sharing this life through our words and images, the way we are taught that we could, if we lived in an ideal world. Hmm. Not one drop to drink yet, I swear it. Anyway, the sky…I’ll take the pics (or my daughter will), and you can look and move on. No one ever has to know. But we’ll know. Here is the first, with her comment, also word for word, “Look at that fat ass cloud.”:

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And the last, below, is just one of the sky. I assume it’s off to the side. It’s very pretty for some reason. Good color/contrast and lighting I think. If I don’t get back here tonight, be careful all. Weather or not, Saturday in the summer can be tricky. Stay safe. Later.

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My Last Few Hours With An 8th Grader!

May 30, 2013 at 6:17 pm (Day to Day, Family, For Stevie, Graduation, School News, Weather) (, , , , , , , , , )

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We are only a few short hours away from 8th grade graduation! After the girl got home from school/graduation rehearsal, we went back to the school, to get the extra ticket we needed, but that didn’t get included in the packet she brought home. Then we drove around in the pouring rain—torrential, tornadic, blinding downfall—that I basically asked for with my previous post—(so far all tree parts have remained on the tree) and got Chinese Food and lottery tickets. I spent all my cash on those stupid things. But look! Look how colorful they are! All that money just waiting to be won under those little silver scratch offs. Then we came home and ate and watched Sex and The City 2 until my son called for a ride home from b-ball practice. Then we dropped off the tickets for the dad and got gas. Then it rained more, the sun came out, and a rainbow appeared. Really.

I have the picture proof. But it will have to wait. I have exactly 16 minutes on the stove timer to get my ass up and dressed and out of this house with the girl and family. Did I mention we have a graduation to go to? Suspense and excitement ahead. The girl is giving a speech and everything! So proud. So happy. So old. Two in high school. Almost. Later.

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I Call It: Green; With Branches. 24 Hour Rainfall.

April 18, 2013 at 12:53 pm (Day to Day, Picture Posts, Posts In Pictures, Weather) (, , , , , , , , , )

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I could also call it: We Pay For Spring In This City. 24 hours of rainfall. Really. I drove home last night through many flooded areas. Standing water up past the bottom of my car. It’s the deepest water I have ever driven through in a car. I was scared. But if you just keep going and don’t stop you have a fighting chance. Besides I could see ahead from 2 other cars that attempted it, how deep it really was. They gave up and turned out of it. Not me. Now I know why people get stuck. I did the same damn thing, and thought the same damn thing, “Pshh. I can make it.” I luckily did. There was even a police officer sitting off to the side in a parking lot watching all of us idiots trying to go through, probably just waiting for someone to get stuck and then he could shut the intersection down. Anyway, it’s still raining, and I hear worse weather is on the way. My daughters school just called to say they’ve canceled all after-school activities due to the impending weather predicted. I think I heard tornadoes and what not. I guess we are going to find out.

Which brings me to my other working title for this piece: Hurry Up Because You Have To Go To Work. Dummy. I really do. This was going to be quick. Ever the dreamer I am. Be careful and stay on the ground today. Later

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May 29, 2011 at 9:12 am (Holiday, Pictures, Weather) (, , , , , )

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So I guess it’s winter again

May 26, 2011 at 2:50 pm (Day to Day, Weather) (, , , , , , , )

This weather is very confusing. It was tornadic, (It’s a word. I’m sure I saw it somewhere else in a descriptive forecast on a reputable organizations site) yesterday. Literally. We did have one touch here in Illinois. And then another in Indiana nearby. The stories from southwest of here just keep getting worse. Luckily, the area I live in gets kind of side swiped by bad weather. We are rarely the target of a direct hit, but we do get the residual stuff like high winds and debris. If you have been reading this blog for any time, you know that I am constantly having trees fall on my house. It’s really annoying. And since it’s almost the end of May, it’s overdue. NOT that I am jinxing my spring luck so far. Please please please every tree stay where you are. I won’t complain about anything because I do get do sit here in my house and post stupid things for everyone to read. And believe me I have some really stupid stuff I am about to launch into. But, for the moment, our weather. Re-capped exclusively for you! The 24 hour + loop!

8 am. Tornadic. (Like that? Used it twice!) Dark, straight rain, kind of heavy. 12 pm. Sunny and warming up. 1 pm. Rainy again but still warming up. 3pm. Sunny and really warm. Humid. Like summer. 5pm. Aww, getting colder, windier. 8 pm Lightning, thunder. Temp dropped. Rain  starting to fall, but light and steady. All night long.  8 am. Rain. And brisk temp. 11am Still raining, but windy, blustery they say, like winter, about  46 degrees or so. 2 pm. Same rain/wind mix that can’t decide what it wants to do. Stop, or knock one of my limbs down. (I should prob go look outside really quick, it always happens when I don’t check every other minute). 2:30 pm. I would not be surprised if I saw ice pieces or snow flakes.

And that’s my hour by hour, updated, description. Real groundbreaking, gripping journalism there huh?  Maybe I should delete that whole last paragraph? This may be why these posts get really long. What I meant to say was, “We do run the rail here concerning our weather. Goes up and down. And it’s annoying” (I’m just going to continue writing now).

Of course it doesn’t compare to having my house flattened by a tornado proper and having my children swept away. That really sucks. One day I hope to be part of a team that travels to natural disasters to help as needed. That’s a future goal. At the moment I have nothing useful to offer, except this ridiculous website. I still need my license, for one thing. And a bit more experience than “NONE”. Anyway, get involved if you can, however you can. The name of the state  has a link to info that you can use: Alabama, Missouri, Oklahoma.

Kids are on the way home so I am going to take a break and let that post sit for a bit. Then, I promise, all the stupid you can handle!

Oh wait, I almost forgot the reason I started talking about the weather to begin with: Tom Skilling! He’s our Chicago weather guy for WGN, TV 9, like, all day. He’s kind of popular and funny, but weird and strange at the same time. They give him like 20 minutes of the news to talk about all kinds of weather and related things. He really loves his job. You can tell. Anyway, I was reading his weather forecast for today and I thought it was worded in such a way that it would be a pity not to share it with more people. (Well that’s kind of dumb I guess, seeing as how it was on the actual WGN site and prob got read by thousands, but hey, an extra 3 or 4 people can’t hurt). I copied and pasted it, directly from WGN TV’s, Chicago Weather Center:

Tom Skilling’s 7-day forecast:

“March-level chill with potentially record- breaking cool daytime temperatures close to 30 degrees below normal! Wind-driven light rain from a thick overcast. Blustery, chilly and raw. Rain becomes more sporadic in time, diminishing to passing sprinkles or drizzle this afternoon and evening. Powerful NE winds 16 to 28 mph, 35-40 mph gusts. Daytime highs likely to hold below the record low max temp for May 26 of 48-degrees set in 1961. Cloudy and sprinkly through evening.”

That’s word-for-word with all his punctuation and terms. The part I think is funny is how many different ways he comes up with to say the same thing. I LOVE it! Chill, cool, wind-driven, thick, overcast, blustery, raw, sprinkles, drizzles, cloudy, powerful. My favorite though is right at the end and the sole reason for all of my, long, drawn-out, round-about words and paragraphs above:

“Sprinkly”. “Cloudy and sprinkly”.

Come on now. Say it out loud:

“Sprinkly”.

THAT is entertainment! (And that is really taking the long way to one lame-ass, let-down of a destination) You are welcome.

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I guess we’re next

May 25, 2011 at 8:41 am (Day to Day, School News, Weather) (, , , , , , , , )

Tornado’s just rolling across America. Here in the midwest we are waiting. I live in Chicago and I can tell you that it’s raining now. We are under watch until 1 pm central time. It’s dark, it’s raining pretty steady and I have no TV. The satellite has been lost. Obviously I have internet, but that usually blinks out too.

The rain is not coming down really hard so I may be ok for awhile. The kids are at school. It’s pretty safe there. I had to remind them that tornado sirens mean you stay IN the building and cover your head. Fire drills are the one you run outside for! Makes a big difference! That’s kind of a running joke we have because when they were little, the daycare used to do drills with the kids. It was to help them learn the different emergencies and sirens and what to do. On one particular test day, the FIRE drill went off and almost all the kids ran into the safety room and kneeled against the wall covering their heads. Except my son, who was trying to get people/kids to run OUT of the building, knowing it was a fire drill, not a tornado. Needless to say many children perished in this fake fire, except my son and daughter and a few others.

ALERT: just in case this is not absolutely clear…this was a fire drill. No actual fire occurred. No children were hurt or ever in danger of being hurt. It was only a practice drill!!

The teacher praised him for being so smart and not falling for the doubt, that most likely crossed his mind, thinking he might have been wrong. Especially since most of the kids refused to leave with him. Anyway, I was proud that day. He knew what the situation was, he tried to help the others, and he didn’t back down from what he knew to be true. My little hero! That was a long time ago and it’s funny to remember, because I haven’t thought about it in a long time.

Anyway, I will try and get some pics. Everybody loves to run outside in tornado weather and take pictures! Apparently I am no different! But I am ready, just in case. All showered, dressed, house contained and prepped if I have to hide in the closet or get the hell out of here. Luckily my son just bought a bunch of flashlights and lanterns for camping this weekend, but they will come in handy if we lose power later. I have enough coffee for the morning and a way to heat it if needed. Priorities.

I’ll be taking a break from the school stuff for a few days, at least one or two, because I am a bit burnt out. Those two days of extra classes didn’t make me feel better. I thought I had a pretty good grasp on what I know, but when I left yesterday, I felt less than confident, especially when I started getting some of the answers wrong. Without a bunch of boring, endless details, let’s just say there is a method that this class teaches and I am not really good at method learning. But I am withholding judgement, because this just may not have been the best week to jump right back in. And I did pay for it. Voluntarily. And they say it does help. I think I just need some time between classes over and new classes starting. More than three days. So we shall see.

Ok it’s quiet again here and the TV is back. Still under tornado warning. Still 1 pm. I hear birds! Crazy birds out there chirping all around, hopping in that wet grass and drinking up those puddles of water. Now is a good time to go survey the yard and take out some garbage. Be back later.

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Severe Weather Wednesday

August 20, 2009 at 1:23 am (Day to Day, Pictures, School News, Zoo) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

It’s all about tornado’s, fierce lightning strikes and those crackling, rumbling, low-in-the-throat, crashing, thunder rolls. And what’s worse is when the wind picks up out of nowhere, a leaf here and there, a branch on the roof, another branch…a limb…holy hell! And your BF’s friend is trying to do you a favor and fix your WW II, rooftop, chimney pipe that is crumbling to shit, but it’s pouring down rain and the clouds are moving fast across the sky looking like they are taking aim directly at the soaking wet guy kneeling on a high roof holding sheet metal pieces, a screwdriver and a drill. Not good. Pretty damn scary actually.

I appreciate the attempt, for real, but I can’t have him being killed in the effort. Rain is one thing, this was another.

And the day started out so…semi-sunny. Storms were predicted. I went to school. Got the final info before the real work begins. Have some assignments. Reading. The usual. I feel good though. It’s the same at school, semi-sunny then storms. (To definitely mix metaphors. See Zero Effect) Mind set is what they talked about today. (And by “they”, I mean all our teachers that we met today, the speeches, the handouts, and the rundown of the schedule and how the classes are actually coordinated. All the good stuff before you are bumping around in the halls looking lost and feeling like a failure. Graduation will never come.) “They” said, “Think of yourself as the nurse. In all future questions, studies, clinicals, tests…you will be referred to as the nurse. The program doesn’t ask what you will do in two years when you become a nurse, it asks what you will do right now as the nurse. That’s a tough mind game. But not as tough as this, also told in a story, (from my memory to the page):

“An evil wizard was always trying to get rid of the beloved prince. The wizard was always thinking of ways to outsmart the prince and show him for a fool to the rest of the kingdom. But the prince was smart and he knew the wizard was always tricking. One day the wizard had a plan that couldn’t fail. He would hold a bird in his hand and ask the prince if it was dead or alive. If the prince answered alive, the wizard would crush the bird to death and show the dead bird proving that the prince was wrong. And if the prince said dead, the wizard would let the bird fly away to prove his error. The plan could not fail. So the wizard, in front of all the kingdom, said, “Prince, is the bird in my hand dead or alive?” And the prince thought about it, knowing he was being tricked somehow, and answered the wizard finally, “It is what you make it.”

“This adventure, and it is an adventure, you are about to embark on, is only what you make it. You hold in your hand the power to make it anything you want. To give and take what you will from the next few years. How much effort or how little effort you devote to this goal. It’s all up to you. No one can force you to participate or not. You will have in your hands the power to care and to comfort, and the power to heal the sick. But you will also have the power to make someone even sicker and to possibly even kill them if you are not very careful.  Is it scary? It should be. But it is worth all the sweat, every drop of blood, and every shed tear”

So they say.

Truly.

I may not have it written word for word, but that was the basic story and summary. The woman who spoke it is very powerful, but quiet to listen to. She is very calming, while at the same time, managing to scare the poop out of you. But I feel that it’s all true. Why would they lie? It’s hard. But the reward is great. That’s what they say. That’s all and that should be enough. Everything else after is extra. I believe it. I worried about the whole life/death, mistake/error, kill the patient thing, and the teacher said that we should be worried. We should always be a tiny bit wary and prepared for what could happen, because anything can happen at any moment and at any place. Now isn’t that comforting? Luckily, amazingly, and more miraculously, it’s a wonder things don’t go bad more often than they do. It’s a fine line.

But I think that is enough for tonight. It’s late, and my kids have their first day of school, and I need to get up to be with them. My daughter is fine. Same school, same friends, same schedule. She’s the top class now! But my son is in Jr. High. New school, the bus (again), new classes, new schedules, new teachers, new students. Small fish in the big pond!

So, the weather is calm right now, the storm has passed for the next few hours. They say the morning might be rough, but then smooth sailing through all next week. Is this a weather report or a damn soul-searching, reflection-on-a-life-yet-lived, or what? I need to lighten it up with some kind of image. This is just the thing to restore your faith in my (ill-advised representation) sense of humor and shallow/callous self.

When we went to the zoo, so many days ago, (more pictures, I swear.) we got a few pictures of the lions. The animals were really animated that day. Like, ALL of them. It was weird. I have video of the apes and they were acting crazy. (You Tube soon, I swear.) Usually they just lay around looking like they all want to commit suicide, but for some reason, everyone was jacked up and pacing or jumping or chasing or playing…whatever the various species to do to get us humans close enough to attack. And the lion was working it! He was walking back and forth in front of this “viewing” window. Right against the glass. Stopping, looking, staring (evilly and maliciously) most likely devising some way to get from where he was to where we were. Well, not us, exactly. We were waa-aayyy in the back, trying to figure out what the lion was up to. The lady lion was trying to get a ball out of the water. But the man lion had something cooking. You could just tell. Stevie would barely let me take the pictures I took because she was sure that the lion was about to chuck it all, go for broke and try to bust out of that glass and kill us all.

At any rate, when you think about it like that, these pictures are kind of funny. The people are so colorfully dressed and so interested and amazed by the lion being so close, that I have no doubt, any one of them would say they were completely surprised and shocked that the nice little kitty would try to hurt them, even while he was chewing on one of their legs or ripping out their intestines. But you judge for yourself.

Curious animal/performer/vegetarian, aka, Alex from Madagascar OR bored/angry/ bloodthirsty, carnivorous lion, hell-bent for destruction?

Look into his eyes and then decide.

Oh!! Isn't he cute?!?!

Oh!! Isn't he cute?!?!

All I see is: lunch, lunch and more lunch!

All I see is: lunch, lunch and more lunch!

Won't all those colorful clothes, torn to shreds, covered in blood and scattered all over the ground, add that extra oomph to the news story later when they pan the scene 500 times for our sick sense of viewing enjoyment??

Won't all those colorful clothes, torn to shreds, covered in blood and scattered all over the ground, add that extra oomph! to the news story later when they pan the scene 50 times for our sick sense of viewing enjoyment??

Snack time! You know that lion is NOT posing for a picture. He's thinking, "I could get a head AND an arm."

Snack time! You know that lion is NOT posing for a picture. He's thinking, "I could get a head AND an arm."

The picture BELOW ↓,  was taken after he walked away from the window to go take the ball away from the lady lion, in between canvassing for people. She would get it out of the water and he would roll it back in. But not that last time. He finally quit that bitch and took the ball and rolled it right off the rock wall, into the protective moat that separates the people from the lions. Then he went and laid on a rock. Playtime was over. That’s when I took my picture.

Dumb-ass, crazy humans. I'll kill them all as soon as I get big enough.

Dumb-ass, crazy humans. I'll kill them all as soon as I get big enough.

Feel better? Me too!!

Sweet dreams! Goodnight! Don’t let the man-eating lion bite!

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