Show me your funnel!

My brother and I yelled that….”show me your funnel”. After what happened in Joplin recently it isn’t nearly as funny sounding now. Two years ago Adam, Jesse and I went storm chasing and periodically Jesse would stick his head out of our suv and scream “show me your funnel!” to the wall clouds as we were driving through the tornado warnings. We were crazy stupid, yeah.

Where we live has a high water level so not many homes have basements and the ones that do tend to pay for it….big-time when it rains with a flooded basement. This was one requirement when we were shopping for a home. No basement. Being in tornado alley however we wanted a nice crawl space. We just didn’t want to use it twice in two days in what I am told is an unusual stormy season for Cozad. This past bad storm the sirens hadn’t gone off yet but our weather radio had. It said our county was in a tornado warning but I don’t think our city sirens go off until there is a sighting. Adam and I were upstairs in his office looking out the windows. The rain was sideways, hail too. All of a sudden the main set of windows in his office started making a sucking noise and literally was sucking in and out a little. These are good windows, folks. Promise ya-the real deal and all~Pella. He went over and leaned on the windows and re-locked them even tighter and said he thought even though they hadn’t sounded the sirens we should go to the crawl space on our own.

Right then, the sirens went off.

Everything is fine. No damage just everything is filthy dirty with a fine layer of dirt but check these pictures out! I had heard that afternoon that there were a bunch of “storm chasers” heading to Cozad and hanging out all over I-80 but check out this picture! This is on a friends’s property.

I casually mentioned this to Adam last night about how this TIV car thing with some guy named Sean was at her house and he got all worked up and said “NO WAY! STOP TEASING ME!” Apparently this guy is big time. His is the funky looking grey car on the end and has red bars on each side of the car that anchor the car down so that he can stay in the middle of a tornado and capture film. He has just recently released an IMAX film from this I guess and he is the one on Storm Chasers on the Discovery Channel and Adam saw the IMAX film while he was in Pittsburgh on business and and and….just kidding. I’m just sooooo out of the loop. Obviously.

These next pictures are cool, too. They were taken from our neighborhood. If we had to guess they were taken before the sirens sounded probably right when we felt that suction-like feeling upstairs as that is when the rotation was starting.

Apparently this is the start of a rotation....

The main house you see there is our neighbors house (we are to the left of them). Immediately to the left of their garage you can see the rotation coming down.

There are too many trees in the way to really get a good view of our house but you CAN see our roof so this is to just put things into perspective. Adam took this picture yesterday evening when it was nice out of course!

And, this is down the road further where it continued to develop and strengthen....not sure that it ever completely touched down! A very good thing!!

Oh, and for the record…our crawl space isn’t scary. I told my sister we’d been there twice this week and I think she had envisioned something scary. There is a built-in metal ladder, cement floor and brick walls. I can stand up pretty much-Adam has to duck. There is electricity of course and lighting, outlets, etc. Our water softener and heater are down there and we have  other things stored down there (like our emergency kit). The biggest pain is getting the animals down there-the dogs especially. Adam is working on making a ramp that they can just go up and down and we can just store the wood in the garage because that is where we access the crawl space by the way, in the garage. We’ll need the ramp thingy if we get hit and it happens to land on a Thursday or Friday when Adam is always in Lincoln for work because I cannot handle the dogs myself. All in all, good practice runs. AND, glad we have our own weather radio.

The ins and outs-catching up

I want to write a post about the talk I gave at the Women’s Health Luncheon….it ended up being wonderful, although I hyperventilated the morning of, nearly vomited…to be continued in another post. Instead I thought I’d just write a few other tid-bits as I haven’t posted in awhile.

In honor of Mama’s Day: 2011 has been a huge year of change for my Mother. A year of positive change, I think. Some may view it as selfish. I do not. She is living in Florida taking care of my elderly Pepe but at the same time for the first time since I’ve known her (heh heh) is taking care of herself. For those of you that do not know about my childhood, that was never allowed….never a possibility. She has joined a gym and has a trainer. Apparently I would NOT recognize her as she has lost all of her extra weight (this according to my relatives). Because of the cancer scare and emergency surgery she had to have in late fall, she has quit smoking~the biggest blessing, I believe. She went to the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston a few weeks ago for a thorough exam to be sure and is doing well. She has done very basic things that most women take advantage of…our hair, our skin, our make-up. She is enjoying these luxuries at last. She is sitting at the ocean each day (not tanning!!!!) but reflecting. She has found God, I believe. And someone else….I cannot speak any further on that. Oh, and she’s taken up golfing…with a PGA tour instructor (I know, strange huh? but it has a bit to do with the part I will not speak about) But…here’s to her taking care of herself!

That royal wedding! Wasn’t that a hoot? As a friend wrote on her blog~I, too, cannot even think about it without my thoughts sounding British. Ha! Just one brief story: I have a wonderful patient from London. She has a sister still there and a bunch of family in Illinois. Although she has lived here forever her accent is thick, thick, thick. She took time off for the wedding and went to Illinois to celebrate the wedding with her fam. They actually had her niece wear a wedding gown in honor of the event and held their own reception! Not. Kidding. They wore the hats and everything! She said the cake was quite delicious.

Zumba: I. Love. It.

Adam and I did a 5K last Saturday-we walked (duh)… for the Teal Lotus Project. This project was started last fall by a woman who took years to finally come out with her story of being raped. She now wants everyone to know her story and she wants to go around speaking it to help others. She is starting a counseling fund for other women to be able to get free counseling, etc. She has gotten tons of press already, etc. I know her a little and from what I do know of her she is an amazing woman. Being a brand-spankin’ new project this, of course was the first 5k so only 115 people signed up and another 20 came the day of. She asked on the form that if you were a victim of sexual assault of any kind to please let her know as you would be anonymously acknowledged at the event. I am SURE not every woman let her know because they were not for sure what she was going to do, ya know? There were men there, too…of course. Which they thanked over the loud system as they said you obviously love your mothers, sisters, wives, daughters, etc…that is why you are here today supporting this project. So. Subtract however many men were there. I don’t know how many. But in glancing around I’d say at least 25. That takes us down from the 115 pre-registered to 90 in my pea-brained figuring. Then came the anonymous acknowledment part, which as I already said I am SURE not every one that was sexually assaulted in the past told her. Several people came out of the building carrying large bouquets of teal colored balloons and handed them out all around to people to hold. She then asked us to hold them up high and told us that there were 26 balloons because 26 women anonymously told her that they had been sexually assaulted. She said let us let these balloons go and help these women heal today…if even just a little. I looked around at all of the faces that I almost know all of. Our little community. 26 out of 90. I cried. I held onto Adam’s arm. I selfishly thanked God I am not one of those 26 but cried for those 26 and for the ones that have yet to tell.

My partner that lives behind us, the same one that does the ice rink in the winter also loves to hunt turkeys. He and his son, I should say. In fact, his office is covered in turkey feathers. Well, I am sure they are professionally mounted or whatever but to me there are just feathers everywhere. Yesterday morning the dogs were barking like nuts and I walked out and there was a beautiful turkey hanging upside down on their clothes rack in there back yard. Our yards our separated only by a really thin alley. I walked over and it was completely intact except for a little bloody around the neck. Adam came over and I commented on this. He of course laughed at me. I mean, come on people…like I should know these things. I guess it is important that they drain all of the blood out of a turkeys neck right away after killing it. Anyways, as sad/sick as it may sound I did pet it’s feathers a little and they were very soft and beautiful and I now know why they have a clothes rack there. I always wondered. Now I’m wondering if someday we are going to wake up and they’ll be a bunch of ’em there. 

I’d rather have their turkey. I had a person (I will just refer to them as that) that works at a poultry plant tell me a story. They were learning how to cut the turkey breasts and a breast came by with black bumpy warty like things on them and she was taught how to cut them off in one quick sweep and she asked what it was. She was told, skin cancer. The breast went on its way to be packaged and sold to us lay folk. After its skin cancer was removed, thank GOODNESS (I type with sarcasm)!!! The stuff she cut off went into a barrel that was put in with the other stuff that was ground together to make the ground turkey that is packaged together that is sold to us lay folk. OMG. We are, as we have been for awhile but have now rapidly up’d our speed, looking for an au natural poultry person.

My baby brother. Quick braggin’ session. He has his own Edward Jones office in Kalispell, MT and has for a year and a half. He worked in Stamford, CT for the Bank of Ireland before this and I know he is tremendous at what he does. I know little about numbers and money other than I have none and owe too much and he will definitely vouch for that. But. I do know this. Edward Jones works on a point system of sorts I believe and it all depends on how many new accounts you get, how much money your office is carrying, etc. He must be doing well because in his short time as being an Edward Jones wealth analyst he has already been awarded two trips for he and his wife. They recently spent 10 days in Hawaii and in the end of July they will be going to Dublin, Ireland. Yes, I HAVE already asked if there is a discount for family members to come. There isn’t but children can but I’d have to go to the children’s activities and stuff and stay in their room so I’ve opted out. I’m jealous but proud. And as I wasn’t completely impressed with his Hawaii pictures I encouraged him to get a better camera for Ireland because I’ve always dreamed of going and I cannot wait to see those pics!

Never park your boat in a field and eating pizza should never be so hard: Adventures in moving

This morning Adam went to get “The Heartland”. This bad girl is none other than the 1962 Whitehouse boat that my baby brother and Adam purchased at a very fine price off of Ebay a few years back. Let me be honest with you, people…the thing was a junker and my Mother and I looked at each other and then back at the boat and then back at each other~well, you get my drift. But the boys spent all summer fixing it up and by August she was a beaut! A bass boat, she was and we took her to Minnesota on vacation~all of us. The great thing is that it was Adam and Jesse’s thing ya know? It is neither one of their boats…it is both of theirs. I’m being honest here, too….it really did turn out nice. Complete with mood lighting, sound system, etc. Many hours of enjoyment have been gained from The Heartland. Here are before and after photos. I cannot find an after photo right now other than this one of the two of them at sunset bass fishing. But the tranquil feeling that you get from just looking at that picture…..yep, that is just how good the boat looks too.

The problem though is that we have had her stored out on a friend’s property. Adam tells me this afternoon that he made a mental “note to self” to not park the boat next to a field next time. Apparently a mouse (this is what Adam says it was….who knows I thinking it could have been anything with teeth!!) ate anything that was of any relation to paper in the boat and left it in pieces. Grrrrrr.

Lastly, who ever knew eating pizza could be so difficult. Once again I struck out on the food front. I have some plastic spoons and forks but that is it and thought, hmmm….frozen pizza; nice and easy, quick too! Until Adam carried them in and literally set them down in front of me like this and then asked if I had any ideas on how we were to cut them!

As you can see my desk is still a MESS so I am sorting through papers like a mad woman to get as much done as possible. Heck, who am I kidding~it’ll be done TONITE as the carnival workers will be here at 8am to take this exact desk away from me so I have NO choice!