Bald Guys Are Often Hot

Bald tires, not so much. Bald tires in the snow, even less so.

They can leave your car looking like this
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Sigh. I hate winter.Y’all can keep this frozen stuff up north, alright?

Read more on the current automotive woes over at EvylRobot’s place.

Resilience of Neighbors

As most of my readers are aware, it’s been very interesting in Oklahoma lately. (Side note: all of you that emailed, messaged, Facebooked, Tweeted-Thank you! Your concern is heart-warming and humbling. Those of you that sent the messenger pigeons; I’m afraid they were blown off course.) We’ve been lucky. We’ve had friends’ homes struck by lightening, blown away by one of the tornadoes, battered by hail, and many without power. Somehow, we’ve escaped pretty much unscathed. We are blessed.

Friday night was touch and go with the storm meandering through the city cloaked in rain. We did what Okies do and got out of the front porch to check out the storm. Yes, there is something in that red dirt of ours that triggers a certain level of insanity. We also took a laptop out there with us so we could run the live feed from KOCO, with a slight deviation to see if the red sparkly tie had been deployed. Locals understand that when Mike Morgan breaks out the sparkly tie, shit’s about to get real. We didn’t have enough booze to play the Gary England drinking game, so we went with Damon Lane. Besides, I met that guy the other day. That was before he watched the May 20th tornado barrel through his own neighborhood. Yes, we give the weathermen a hard time, but these guys save lives around here every spring. When we can’t afford for them to be wrong, they get it right. Oklahoma requires the best of the best in meteorologists.

The storm swung south of us and only delivered buckets and buckets of rain. Not going to call it ark worthy, but I believe there were animals lining up two by two. Teenbot, however, was spending the evening with his grandparents who just happened to be right in the path of the storm. Thankfully, it hopped over their heads and the worst he has to report is that it was hot and crowded in the storm shelter. Again, very blessed.

Once we had confirmed that the flood-waters had cleared on Saturday, we headed out to retrieve Teenbot and have lunch with my parents. We were a little early and so decided to check out the neighborhood garage sale nearby. At every house it was the same, we greeted the homeowners with the typical, “Hi! How are you?” which was answered with a grateful and relieved, “Still here.” There’s a tremendous amount of resilience in that. Most had stories of how they’d spent the previous night in shelters glued to whatever broadcast they could pick up clinging to what was most important, each other. And often the stories included what provisions were thrown out of the shelter to accommodate a neighbor without a shelter of their own. Dogs, kids, and strangers huddled down not knowing what the world would look like when they unlatched the heavy door.

Still here. Two words containing the most eloquent prayer of gratitude and hope that man can utter. Each day is a gift. Sometimes it’s easy to forget. Not right now. I’m still here.

Enjoy Whatever Comforts Life Allows

Staring up at storm clouds today. They say these bring only rain.

I am so very thankful that my household, close friends, and family were all spared. I am touched by the sheer volume of text messages, emails, Facebook messages, phone calls I received from all over the world from people genuinely concerned about us. We are well and truly blessed.

Lord, help me to focus on my blessings, for everything can change in a moment. And even in after that moment, to rest in your comfort when all else seems lost.

I don’t know who this guy is, but I saw his picture come over the news this morning.

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When all else is gone, there’s still a rocking chair after the storm. Who knows how many children and grandchildren have been comforted by the gentle swaying of this chair. May this man have the same comfort and peace in the midst of such chaos and devastation.

ETA: The gentleman in question in Gene Tripp the picture is on CNN

We Are Not In Oz

Yes, today’s tornadoes were bad. They were also south of the Evyl Empyre. We are just fine. Those of you in the path of the storm, please do check in. Thoughts and prayers are with you.

When You Don’t Have Anything To Talk About

You talk about the weather. And hey, it’s May and I live in Oklahoma. You know, the extra special seedy part of tornado alley. The weather should be exciting, right?

Except, it’s not.

The USA in the past 12 months has seen the fewest number of tornadoes since at least 1954, and the death tolls from the dangerous storms have dropped dramatically since 2011.

I’m totally okay with that. Even if local meteorologist, Damon Lane has to come visit me at work because there’s nothing to do in his office.
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Storm Damage

Had a pretty good storm come through last night. Knocked the power out for a couple of hours and did this to the tree out front.

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One of them was a decent sized branch.

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Here’s where it broke off

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Another view

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Yes, that is a refrigerator on my front porch. Among other things. It doesn’t work. I tried to get the city to haul it off, but they won’t if the compressor is attached due to ‘environmental concerns.’ They will take it if I pull the compressor and just release the freon all willy nilly though. I stand amazed at the bureaucratic logic of that.

Anyway. We were talking about the tree.

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Oh well. The pear wood will be nice in the smoker.

Open Letter To A Groundhog

Dear Punxsutawney Phil,

Greetings and salutations! I hope this letter reaches you prior to your 126th shadow investigation. You may be wondering why it has taken so long to receive a letter from me.

Well, you see.  I live in Oklahoma.  You know, the place that gets the weather.  All of it. This time last year, blizzard. After that, tornadoes. And then we had the summer of sweat, sweat, and more sweat.  Somewhere in there was some kind of strange hail storm of Biblical proportions.

And then it came time for winter.

We waited.

And we waited.

No ice.  It snowed one evening and melted off before lunch the following day. It’s 61 degrees as I write this.

So if this is what the winter weather is going to look like this year, I have a favor to ask.  Could you please, pretty please, see your shadow tomorrow?  I could totally go for 6 more weeks of this.

Sincerely,

Jennifer

This Occupy Stuff Has Gotten Out Of Hand

Here in Oklahoma, we’ve had our share of natural disasters.  We don’t really need any more redistributed from other parts of the world.

I’ve lived here my whole life and have now experienced more earthquakes and blizzards and apocalyptic hail storms than tornadoes. It’s time to kick the hippies out of Mount Olympus and get on with our lives.