Tag Archives: rain

An Open Letter to Mother Nature


From the Boston Area:

In Boston Photo Courtesy of Corriveau family

In Boston
Photo Courtesy of Corriveau family

Dear Mother Nature:



The Lower 48 of the United States.

From Huntsville, Alabama

Huntsville, Alabama Photograph by Kelly Kazek at al.com

Huntsville, Alabama
Photograph by Kelly Kazek at al.com

From the Las Vegas Area:

Las Vegas Suburb Photograph by Jeff Scheid, Law Vegas Review Journal

Las Vegas Suburb
Photograph by Jeff Scheid, Law Vegas Review Journal



Good morning Everyone!

To those of you from North Carolina northwards who have been coping with Hurricane Irene and its aftermath, the thoughts and prayers of many Alabamians (including me) are with you.  I hope the flooding will be much less severe than the experts currently think it will be.

Hurricane Irene when it was over the Bahamas

Sitting through a hurricane, even inland, is never any fun, and the days following the hurricane, at least until the power comes back on, can be very long also.  I found that, even though my brain knew nothing would happen, I still would flip light switches on as I walked into rooms.  I will pass along this tip from my sister:  almost everything can be cooked on a grill, and you might as well go ahead and throw a huge block party once you reach the point where everyone’s meat has thawed in the freezer to the point of no return.  (She lives in Huntsville, where the power was out for over a week following the terrible tornado outbreak in April. )  Also, coffee can be brewed in water you bring to a boil over a grill.  (Very important tip!)

Campfire Coffee Pot

I have been through two hurricanes, both inland, the most recent of which was Hurricane Opal.  Hurricane Opal made landfall on the Gulf Coast as a Category 4 hurricane, and swept on up through the State of Alabama.  At the time, we lived in a small town about five hours driving time away from the Gulf; Opal was still a Category 1 hurricane when it swept through our area.

Satellite view of Hurricane Opal

I don’t know why, but the morning before Hurricane Opal arrived, I happened to catch a weather report and pay attention to it.  (Living that far away from the coast, hurricanes were something we made a note of but they normally didn’t impact us.)  The weather people were saying that this storm was going to be different, and that even in our area, homeowners needed to bring in loose objects, such as lawn chairs and potted plants, which the wind could use as projectiles once the hurricane arrived.  So for the first (and so far last) time ever, I went home at lunch and brought every single potted plant and lawn chair in the house, and got Mark, when he got home, to tie down the porch swing and table.  Then we waited.

Shadow and Woof

 Really, I should say, then I waited, as Mark and both of my faithful protectors at the time, our dogs Shadow and Woof, were fast asleep by 9.  I didn’t get to sleep, and then at 10, before there was any wind or rain, the power went off.  About an hour later, the rain started to pour down.  I started to hear an unusual sound, so I went to check on it, and it turned out that the rain was leaking into the house through the free-standing fireplace we had at the time.  (This was the first house we had ever bought.)  I pulled out towels and cups to catch the rain, and then went back to bed.  I never really did get much sleep; I can remember looking out the bedroom window watching the pine trees outside bending to the point that their tops were horizontal to the ground, and hearing a persistent thumping somewhere against what I thought was the house.  I also remember wondering if the huge sycamore tree we had at the side of the house would hold out.  The dogs never did wake up.  Mark says he did and watched the trees for a while too, but neither one of us said anything. 

Sound sleepers!

Morning finally came, as it always does, and the storm had already blown through.  (At least one saving grace of Opal was that it was a fast mover.)  There was a lot of damage around town; oaks, especially, had been blown over onto houses, as well as many other kinds of trees.  We were fortunate; not only did the sycamore tree stay standing tall, but the thumping turned out to be our tied down outdoor table, which had managed to flip itself over the deck rail during the night.  The thumping was the sound of the table hitting the deck, not the house.  The deck survived just fine.  We were without power for probably five days, but it could have been so much worse.  (I will admit, however, that by day three I was starting to get really frustrated.)  Areas along the gulf, like Panama City Destin, Florida suffered so much more damage.  It would be interesting to know what Kayla had to say about all of it, but Hurricane Opal came through before she was born.  Given her fear of thunderstorms, if she had been there, I don’t know if we ever would have been able to get that child to go to sleep again! 

A boat washed ashore by Hurricane Opal along the coast


So that, y’all, is my big hurricane story.  I hope I never have another one to tell, but you never know.  Have any of you ever been involved in severe weather before or were in Irene this time?  I would love to hear some of your stories if you have time to share. 

Have a great day everyone! 


Closets, Rain and Underwear (An Unlikely Combination!)

Good morning everyone! 

No-no and Bad Dog are off to a flying start this morning.  I just retrieved a red-ink pen from No-No (fortunately before he had pierced through to the ink) and a handkerchief from Bad Dog, both of which they could only have taken directly off my bedside table. 

Bad Dog (Mandy) and No-No (Darwin) Confer on Tactics

I hope you had a great weekend!  We did.  Our big activity for this weekend was going to see the last Harry Potter movie.  Yes, it is as good as the collective “they” say.  For purists, there are differences from the book, but over all, the movie does a fantastic job of conveying the important points.

  • Inmate’s Underwear

    From Print Shop Professional 2.0

Kayla is of an age now where she can (sort of) understand what’s going on when she listens to the news.   Yesterday afternoon late, we had to head into Montgomery to buy a few things, and on the way there, we heard a news report about how the sheriff of Polk County, Arizona has decreed that male inmates must buy their prison underwear or do without.

Kayla thought for a minute, then said reflectively, “You know, I think everyone should have at least one pair of underwear.”  Then she thought some more, and announced that “If I ever go to prison, I will be sure and pack my own underwear.”  We explained that you don’t normally get to take your own stuff to prison.  She said, “Well, then, the underwear they give you might not fit right or be very comfortable; I guess I just won’t ever to go to jail.” 

We told her we thought that was a wise decision. 

  •   Gentle Rain

    Happy to Get Rain (from Print Shop Professional 2.0)

We have had an unexpected break in our summer weather, for just a few days, and it has been nice.  Overcast clouds and summer thunderstorms gave us rain for about four days straight.  The crowning glory was a slow soaking rain on Saturday, followed by a cloud show that was absolutely breathtaking!  The rain clouds broke into huge blankets of dark gray pillowed skies bordered by luminous white clouds, with just one or two patches where the clouds broke completely and the rays came shining though.  How I wished my fellow bloggers over at The Simple Life of a Country Man’s Wife, and Just Rambling Pier  had been here to take pictures.  They both are super photographers.  I, of course, in spite of my three cameras plus one cell phone that takes pictures, had nothing available to capture the moment with.

Our Cloud Show Was Even Better Than This! (From Print Shop Professional 2.0)

Mark volunteered Saturday morning to help Kayla clean her closet, due to a pressing need to find out how many pairs of shoes she had that fit, and so they spent about two hours working on it together.  It now looks really good and they were still speaking to each other when they finished!  I have given him carte blanche on my half of our clothes closet whenever he wants, Kayla’s looked so good when they finished.  The craft closet I have not offered up for cleaning.  🙂 

A Closet That Was Cleaned (from Print Shop Professional 2.0)

Have a great day everyone!


Odds and Ends

Good morning everyone!  It’s hard to believe we have arrived at Wednesday already! 

  • Kayla deprived of her morning fire 

Yesterday morning was another one of those days when I had a very hard time chivvying Kayla out of hibernation and into the cold, cruel world for another day.  Once I got her awake, she came be-bopping into the den to get dressed in front of the fireplace – only to find out that access was blocked because we had put some clothes up there from ironing.  Let’s just say her reaction was not positive; tears and drama were both involved.  When she said she was cold, I pointed out, yet again, that if she would go ahead and get dressed, she would start to warm up.  She wasn’t too thrilled with the logic of that statement!

  • No-No and Bad Dog Strike Again

Once I got Kayla shipped off to school with Mark, I then had the opportunity to start to get ready for work myself, in between retrieving items from No-No (Darwin) and Bad Dog (Mandy).  Darwin is “No-no” because when you tell him “No” about something he at least thinks about listening to you.   Mandy is “Bad Dog” because she really doesn’t care what you think about her activities.  (That laid back basset hound temperament strikes again!)  Yesterday morning’s festivities included rescuing two of Mark’s handkerchiefs, a pair of my hose, and Tyra’s dog bed from our bedroom from the miscreant pair.  Then, just for grins and giggles, the pair gave me the opportunity to rescue one of the two handkerchiefs for a second time last night.  (I also just had to rescue a dish towel from Darwin a second ago.)  We really are putting these things up; Darwin is just tall enough to reach whatever Mandy tells him to get.  The amazing thing is that no socks have been involved in the past 24 hours; I would guess that’s because Mandy has not yet seen a pair suitable for sharing!

  • Floor Decorations

It rained hard on Monday, which has left the back yard still pretty wet and muddy.  We have beautiful dark wood floors in the main part of our house, so we now have the added pleasure of random paw prints scattered on the floor throughout the den.  The most definite, and largest, paw prints are Darwin’s, and the second best prints are made by Mandy.  It adds a certain air of individuality to the floor!  That air will be lost once I am sure that the yard is dry enough to keep any attempts at wiping up the paw prints from being an exercise in futility. 

  • Sunday Night Eating Out

I have mentioned before that Kayla’s imagination is amazing to me.  We ate out Sunday night, and I got some grilled shrimp on a wooden skewer.  Because Kayla got baked potato soup, she was finished well before either Mark or I, so she picked up my skewer and started pretending like it was a pointer that she could use to show pictures of a house to us.  She started out by offering us a four bedroom house with two kitchens and a bonus room for $50.00.  By the time she finished, she was offering us a four bedroom house with two kitchens and five bonus rooms fully furnished (the fifth bonus room was for the dogs and came complete with 18 pairs of socks for Mandy to chew) with a large backyard (location of said house to be determined later) for $0.00.  We told her she drove a hard bargain, but that the last offer was too good to refuse! 

Have a great day everyone!