Tag Archives: Mother Nature

Lunch Bunch


It would be NICE if the Lunch Bunch gruesome threesome actually were this young and were actually at the beach, but we’re grateful for what we can get. :0)

This is closer to what we ACTUALLY look like, but it’s what’s in your heart that counts. :0)

Today will be a special Lunch Bunch because, besides the three of us and my husband – who pretends to preside over his ‘harem,’ sitting at one end of the table, Kay’s daughter, LaDonna, is visiting from Albuquerque, and Kay’s husband is taking the week off from work – a VERY unusual thing – so it will be even more fun that usual!

We’ve had severe weather this week, with our friend Linda the closest to the actual tornado that touched down. I don’t think any of us had any damage, although another friend of mine lost a maple tree in her back yard.

So we’ll celebrate being together, being alive, and feeling feisty today!

I hope that YOU are weathering the storms, tornados, wind damage, flooding, and flying hairballs well, too. My heart goes out to all the people who are having to pick up the pieces, trying to put things back together.

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Aftermath of the Severe Weather

Photo by Fort Smith Police Department

Yesterday, when our weather radio alerted us that we were under a tornado warning and that we should take cover, an as-yet unofficial tornado hit the south side of Fort Smith, one city away from where we live in Greenwood, Arkansas.  This is one of the pics showing the damage.

Reports today are saying 30 to 40 homes were damaged or destroyed, trees downed, roofs of businesses torn off, power out, etc. The good news is that no one seems to have been hurt or killed.  I hope our governor can declare an emergency and release Federal funds for those who need it.

Even though my husband scoffed at the weather alert, I’m really glad we have the radio. We are under tornado ‘watches’ all summer long, so I don’t pay a lot of attention to the run of the mill alerts; but when they say a rotation has been confirmed and is heading toward Greenwood, I DO!. I’m very grateful that we haven’t found any damage.

In fact, today is a gorgeous day – sunshine and 80 degrees. My husband and I laid more bricks on our planter this morning. We should be able to finish it tomorrow. It’s been 30 years since we built the planters and our skills have deteriorated since then. We will be delighted if the planter is sturdy, holds the dirt in, and we can plant beautiful things in it, regardless of how it looks. :0)

After we rested and drank water, I went out to my garden to weed. The weeds really love Mel’s Mix, the soil alternative we use in the raised boxes, so I had a lot to do. I did finish that, though, and after resting again, mixed up a 2-gallon container of KilzAll, the wonderful weed killer that was recommended to me a couple of years ago by a good friend in Tulsa. The container is a pump-up variety, so I can murder a lot of weeds without killing myself as well. I used the whole container on the weeds UNDER my raised boxes in the garden. As soon as I have them under control I’ll get more wood chips to spread over the fabric weed barrier we put down several years ago.

After we finished laying bricks this morning, I came in and washed my hair in the kitchen sink. I came in after weeding really hot, huffing and puffing, my whole head wet. I washed my hair again, hating to walk around with dirty, yucky hair. Now I’ve come in from murdering weeds, my whole head wet again, and I look like I’ve been run over by a truck. I refuse to wash my hair more than twice a day, so my poor husband will have to put up with me the rest of the day. There are more weeds out there calling my name – so I’ll probably go out one more time and spray another container-ful before I call it a day.

I hope that Mother Nature is being kind to you today and that you’re enjoying your Sunday.


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Arrgh! Too Much of a Good Thing

Tail and Fur

We are thankful we live on top of a ridge line. The ‘monsoon season’ continues in Arkansas. The latest forecast says we might have 5 inches total by the end of the day tomorrow.

Last night we were enjoying listening to the rain while watching TV in the living room. There was a lot of lightning and rolling, rumbling thunder. It was pretty impressive. Suddenly we heard a loud CRACK! and both jumped in our chairs. It sounded like the lightning had hit something really close. I’m no judge of these things, but I don’t want it any closer than that!  I wonder if you hear the lightning if it strikes YOU…..?

I haven’t noticed any damage here, thank goodness, but it’s still raining, so I haven’t ventured out far.  I have no idea if my garden veggies have been washed out of their sweet “squares” or not. The greenhouse is still standing, so I think it’s okay.

One things I’m really happy to note – the rose bushes I cut back so viciously are blooming now!  I’ll get some pics if this ‘wonderful’ rain will finally stop…



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“It’s Raining, It’s Pouring….”

Daily Express


“It’s raining.

It’s pouring.

The old man is snoring.

He bumped his head.

and couldn’t get out of bed

in the morning”    – English Limerick


It started to rain late in the evening, storming all night with lots of rumbling and bumbling – really great for sleeping. It’s still raining today, and is supposed to tomorrow, too. A bit too much of a good thing.

This is the equivalent of ‘monsoon season’ in Arkansas. Things are about as lush as they get around here. The trees on either side of our 650+ foot STEEP driveway are trying to grow across the driveway. We don’t have any trouble, but UPS and Fedex truck drivers look a bit wild-eyed when they come up to deliver.

Once the rains stop, we’ll be lucky to get enough to wet the grass during the summer. We have an irrigation system that – once working – waters every day so that flowers don’t completely croak around here. We used to get out each evening and water everything with hoses, but that wasn’t enough to counteract the strong sunshine and over 100 degree F. weather we routinely have. The plants would simply burn up.

We’re enjoying the rain we’re getting now and working on the irrigation system to repair blow-outs before the system is really needed. We’re making good headway on a leak we found in the well house. We think maybe one more session will finish the main system. We still have a problem on the other side of the driveway from the well house, but that can wait a bit.

It strikes me funny that we can’t work on the irrigation system because it’s raining.  :0)

Happy day, everyone!

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Max Rive Photography via Mara Spirig – LinkedIn


Melanie Moses – poet – LinkedIn

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Glorious Day

Inna Kashkovar – LinkedIn

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And the Rains Continue


We had strong storms last night with lots of lightning and thunder. Quite impressive. I was relieved to see that we had no discernible damage this morning. It’s raining now, but a quiet, soaky rain that will benefit everything – though my husband is grumbling because he can see the grass growing and he JUST mowed…

I’ve switched to INSIDE stuff today – regular household chores, but I’m going to make some breakfast and then do a session of yoga this morning so I can add another gold star to my calendar. :0)

I hope that the weather is nice where you are and that you’re enjoying your day, too.


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100 Percent Chance of Rain

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn


Usually, when the forecast says, “100% chance of rain,” they’re pretty sure. And they were right.

The twice-a-year opportunity to take hard-to-get-rid-of ‘stuff’ to either the city recycling center or the rural folks is today until 2 pm. We watch for this in the paper because we ALWAYS have metal scraps or other things the regular trash people refuse to deal with.  I think the city is wonderful to offer this. I think, otherwise, we might see unsightly stuff dropped off beside the roads. I particularly appreciate it this time, when the men are having to work in the rain.

On cue, the minute we started backing up to the shop door, the rain started. It wasn’t a downpour, so we continued. The rain got harder as we went toward town. The city center had a BIG line of trucks with their beds all full, so we decided to drive farther to the rural center. Happily, there wasn’t a line there and we left our stuff quickly. We got our mail on the way home and are now happily in our dry house.


Greenwood is just southeast of Fort Smith. As you can see, we have lots of green, yellow, orange, and red blobs in our future today and tomorrow – about 2 inches total.  I’m hoping that the rain will be steady and reasonably gentle, giving our new flowers and veggies a great drink, but not washing them out of the ground.

I hope the people south and east of us stay safe today. It looks as if they might get more serious weather than we.

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Spring View from our Back Yard

We live on top of a ridge line outside of Greenwood, Arkansas. We basically own part of the top of it. Our property goes all the way down to the street in front and about half way down in the back.

One of my favorite things is to watch the seasons change in the valley below the house. Here you can see things are really beginning to green up. The red buds are enjoying their last hurrah and our purple iris and wisteria are beginning to bloom.

Here you can also see the dog we made, plus the “peacock” hanging onto the leftover ham radio antenna section we mounted on some concrete.


When you own the top part, you can pretend that you own all you can see. I’m moving from right to left across the back yard to give you a feel for our nice view.

There are the loveliest people who put on a 4th of July display each year.  We’ve driven down to see if we can figure out where they are so we can thank them, but so far, haven’t been able to locate them.

You can also see one of the mosaic gazing balls I made a few years ago for the bird bath.

Another view farther to the left. You can also see the ‘weed trees’ with greenery right at the top of each stalk. I carefully negotiate the rocks, brambles, stickers, etc. trying to get rid of these each spring.

To the left a bit farther is our ham radio tower and my greenhouse. There is also three evergreen trees growing together just to the left of this which is the home of lots of cardinals and other birds who frequent the feeders hanging from our deck.

I spend lots of time walking around out here, enjoying the changes as each season progresses.


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Wonder Mountain – Toronto, Canada

Wonder Mountain near Toronto, Canada – Jeff Jett, LinkedIn

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All Wet

Tail and Fur

This is the only rainy day we’ve had this week, and of COURSE we have lots of errands to run and appointments to keep in Fort Smith and Greenwood. It doesn’t seem to matter if I have an umbrella or not in the vehicle we’re in, or whether I actually try to USE it, I drown; so I’m resigned that this will be a wet day for me.

When we get home, though, we will have accomplished a good bit of stuff –

  • teeth checked and super clean
  • tax returns signed and sent
  • lunch out
  • mail retrieved
  • groceries replenished

Our doggies took care of business this morning not even breaking stride as they rushed out into the rain. They are still wet, even though we’ve toweled them off the best we could, but they seem to be smiling as they try to get close to us. There is nothing more loving than a wet dog.

I hope your morning has been enjoyable.

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Welcome Signs of Spring – Redbud Trees

Since 2 of our 8-foot brick planters in the front collapsed and have to be rebuilt, we’re very short on sprouts and blooms this spring. The exception to this, though, is a lovely display of bloom from the redbud trees that Mother Nature dotted around. We love each of them and cut away things around them that might encroach, encouraging them to be healthy and happy.


The tree in the first picture faces the south of our property where we can pretend we own all we can see. :0)  This one is facing in the opposite direction.

Another one on the south.

And a close up of some of the blooms.

I go outside and walk around every day just to enjoy these!

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Spring is Finally Springing

Ar Ali – Linkedin

FINALLY, signs of spring are popping up around here!  I’m delighted, though I feel bad for the people still getting more snow, and the awful flooding in the midsection of the country. I just know my spirits are rising with each passing day.

I still haven’t been able to find spinach plants locally (they said call again Wednesday), so I’m going to see if I can get another batch of seeds started, using another technique and keeping all appendages crossed for success. I would really love to shed my moniker of “Serial Seed Killer” some day soon.

That said, the red onions and head lettuce plants in the garden are doing really well. I’ll see what other wonderful things I can find to plant when we go out for errands today.

I finally reached the bricklayer today, who said he was personally covered up with work, but would ask another good person to give us a call for an estimate on rebuilding the two brick planters that failed recently.

I hope you are enjoying some signs of spring, too!

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Spring MAY Be in the Air

“Simply…White” – Paul Militaru Photography


“Spring is in the Air” – Paul Militaru Photography


“White” – Paul Militaru Photography


“White Flowers” – Paul Militaru Photography


Wim Beunderman – LinkedIn

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“Squirrel in the Snow” – copyright-Kelly Lyon – http://www.nwf.org.PhotoContest – The Nat’l Wildlife Federation Blog


It’s almost noon and it’s still only 17 degrees F. here. I’ve been letting dogs and cats in and out over and over this morning. Everyone says they want to go out, but they don’t want to stay out LONG…

My poor seed starters are still covered up in the greenhouse. I covered my onion sets in my raised bed square foot garden with a sheet, but I’m afraid that won’t be enough to save them.  I’ll probably need to start over on everything once the cold spell is over. We’re dripping water in our utility room bathroom and in my husband’s sink upstairs, trying to avoid pipes freezing. We only got snow flurries, but the diving temperatures have sure gotten our attention. I save a few daffodils in a vase on the table, but the rest are looking really sad outside.

I’m thankful we have a warm, dry house and we don’t HAVE to go outside, unless we choose to today.  My heart goes out to the people in Alabama, Georgia, and the rest of the southeast who had severe weather and tornadoes last night.

Be safe, everyone.

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My Cold Nose is Out of Joint

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn


My cold nose is out of joint because, instead of spring, we’re having a return to winter for the coming days.


As you can see here, we’re in the middle of the ‘weather alert day.” It actually was snowing when we were eating breakfast! I’m NOT a happy camper. We have a 70% chance of ‘precipitation’ today – rain/sleet/ice/snow/flying hairballs. I’ve done all I can do to protect my sweet onion sets in the garden. (I covered them with a king-sized sheet.) I’ve done all I can to protect my seed starters in the greenhouse (covered them with towels.) I may be starting over by the time we get to Wednesday afternoon….

I gathered daffodils yesterday because of the forecast. They were right. They’re all hanging their heads all over the yard. We have some really pretty ones in one vase on the table, and that might be it for the spring daffodils.

We are safe and warm on top of our ridge line in Arkansas. We still have our snow tires on the truck, just in case we need them. We have food for ourselves and our sweet animals.

I wouldn’t feel so resentful if I hadn’t tried to get a head start on my spring garden… I’ll report again on this Wednesday afternoon when I’ve had a chance to assess where we are in the planting season.

I hope that you’re safe and warm wherever you are today.


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Inna Kashkovar – LinkedIn

“I love the rain. I want the feeling of it on my face.” ~ Katherine Mansfield


I love this gif created by Inna Kashkovar on LinkedIn.  Isn’t it beautiful?

Our rain today is a cold one. We thought we might get ice, but it’s JUST warm enough that the precipitation has remained liquid, and for that I’m grateful, even though it’s supposed to be this way through TUESDAY morning!

We had a beautiful show this morning at breakfast. I counted four pairs of cardinals trying to get to seeds in the feeders on our deck while we ate breakfast. My husband went out to fill the main feeder. The birds were momentarily startled, but soon returned to enjoy the bounty. I have a feeder in the shape of a snowman that I’ll fill soon.

This is a wonderful day to walk outside, enjoy the quiet rain under an umbrella, and then come in to enjoy a warm, dry house.

I hope your day is good, too.


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Yvonne Wilder Photography

Yvonne Wilder – LinkedIn

Yvonne said, “Got up early and caught all the birds frolicking together!”


Yvonne Wilder – LinkedIn

“Gorgeous sunset out my back window in CO.” ~ Yvonne Wilder

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Only in Arkansas

Only in Arkansas – Josue Enriquez via Cindy Basnett Thurman

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Grateful It’s RAIN

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

It’s gray today, windy, and cool. The drizzle we’re having now is supposed to turn to a big rain later today and tonight-into-tomorrow with another cold front coming through.

I’m grateful it’s rain today because it will finally get the rest of the snow off our steep driveway. We’re able to get down – and up again – due to our truck and our good snow tires, but delivery people probably wouldn’t try it and I don’t blame them. If we get flurries again tomorrow as is forecast, at least it’ll be a fresh start!

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World of White!

Our weather people were almost completely right this time. We awoke this morning to a world of white in Greenwood, Arkansas. The forecast was that we would get rain last night turning to snow this morning, but that we would get an inch or less from the fast-moving storm. It would be gone by 11 a.m.

By this morning, the Winter Weather Advisory had been moved south to include our area fully, and a ‘heavy band of snow’ had emerged, covering our area! (Now ‘heavy’ for Arkansas is probably a dusting in serious snow areas, but Arkansas doesn’t have snow plows. They have sand trucks – two for Greenwood – but they weren’t going to be used last night due to the rain.  Currently, the advisory now goes to 6 pm tonight. The front is supposed to be gone by about 3 pm.  The temperature started at 43 F. this morning, and is supposed to be 29 F by this afternoon.

This was earlier today. It’s a VERY wet snow, and quite slushy on our driveway pad.  My husband said both doggies came to a screeching halt just as they reached the opening garage door this morning. They looked at each other, then bounded happily into the snow to go take care of things before breakfast. Usually, they are gone exploring all around the yard for about 20 minutes before coming in with hungry stomachs. This morning they leaped out, ran through the snow happily barking, saying, “Here we are, world!” and then came RIGHT back, wanting to get to food and warmth.

We are snowed in up here on top of our ridge line when all of Greenwood has melted off and gone on with life. Our steep driveway is 650+ feet on the north side of our property and is one of the last places in, or outside of Greenwood, to thaw or melt. We love it up here, pretending we own all we can see, loving the privacy, but we DO have to take weather seriously. We filled up the gas tank in our truck yesterday and shopped for groceries, just in case our usual Sunday trip needed to be cancelled.

Happily, we can enjoy our pretty snow – not having to get out in it, or having to negotiate the steep driveway down and up again. We can go outside with the doggies, take pictures, look around and enjoy the unusual weather, enjoy being warm and dry inside, and look forward to warmer temperatures starting tomorrow.


Filed under Mother Nature, Seasons

Weather Forecast

Today in Fort Smith via Cindy Basnett Thurman


Hahahahahahaha!  After Lunch Bunch today, my husband and I filled up on gas and then hit the grocery store in case we get snowed in tonight and tomorrow up on top of our ridge line. It might come to nothing. Actually, this time they’re NOT forecasting much accumulation – but, in case they’re WRONG – and we DO – we want to be prepared to stay up here until further notice.

We were stuck up here for 14 days in 2000 when we had a huge ice storm. It broke off our tree branches, sounding like gunshots as the branches gave up, broke off, and fell to the ground. We had so many trees whose branches broke, or ice-laden evergreens across our driveway, it took us three days with chain saws to hack our way down our 650+ steep driveway to the road that runs in front of the house. We had no public power or water. Our China Diesel generator in the well house blew a gasket. My husband and our son had to rig a barrel of water to keep it from burning up. They had to check things every half hour for the 14 days.

When we finally made it through THAT awful storm and its aftermath, we got serious about being able to survive up here, if we needed to, for however long it took. We can breathe easily now, although I still hate ice storms… I feel lucky to be able to be proactive. We have a warm, dry house. We have geothermal heat and air with a generator. We have a wood-burning fireplace. We have food and water for our pets and ourselves. We have movies and/or books. We have coffee, tea, and hot chocolate.

I feel lucky to be able to be proactive. We have a warm, dry house. We have geothermal heat and air with a generator. We have a wood-burning fireplace. We have food and water for our pets and ourselves. We have movies and/or books. We have coffee, tea, and hot chocolate.

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Idyllic Place

Richard Green – LinkedIn

I feel an especially strong pull toward wherever this idyllic place is because it’s yucky outside here in Greenwood, Arkansas today. It’s cold and rainy. Forecasted for us for the weekend is a ‘wintry mix.” I think I’ve told you before that Arkansas does not do winter well.

I wouldn’t mind if it just turned cold and snowed. We always do ICE first – sometimes really causing almost un-repairable damage – and THEN we might get some snow over it.

In 2001 we got a ‘wintry mix’ that resulted in our being captive in our house, unable to get down our 650+ foot steep driveway until we chain-sawed the trees. That took us three days of really long, hard, cold work. The tree branches were snapping off as we stood on the porch. I still cringe when I hear that awful sound. We have what we call ‘trash trees’ rather than majestic or beautiful ones, but I love them all and it broke my heart when we lost so many.

So as I gaze wistfully at this gorgeous photo by Richard Green, I wish I could escape there and spend the day, at least.

Our worst day is supposed to be Saturday, when we have a 100% chance of rain/sleet/snow and flying hairballs, according to the weather channel. I just have all appendages crossed that whatever happens will be clear for Monday, when we pick up our son at the airport for a much-anticipated visit from Thailand.

“The Climate Is What You Expect; The Weather Is What You Get” – unknown

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Colors and Textures of Nature

“Field Maple” – Paul Militaru Photography


“Gold Leaves” – Paul Militaru Photography


“Grass and Clover” – Paul Militaru Photography


“In Depth Study of Mushrooms” – Paul Militaru Photography


“Spine and Leaves” – Paul Militaru Photography


“Thistles” – Paul Militaru Photography


“Two Shades of Rusty” – Paul Militaru Photography


“Warm Colors at the End of the Fall” – Paul Militaru Photography


“What’s Left – Thorns” – Paul Militaru Photography

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Filed under Awe-Inspiring Photography, Mother Nature, Paul Militaru Photography

A Feast for the Eyes

“A Place of Meditation” – Paul Militaru Photography


“Fog in the Mountains” – Paul Militaru Photography


“In the Mountains Relax and Rest” – Paul Militaru Photography


“Lights and Shadows” – Paul Militaru Photography


“Path” – Paul Militaru Photography

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Beautiful Sight

Hannah Kirk via Morning Coffee With Abba Ltd

We took Amber, our 93 pound lab ‘puppy’ with us in the truck as we did our errands yesterday.


She goes nuts when she hears the words, ‘go,’ or ‘car’, so she followed us out and jumped up into the back seat of the truck as soon as we opened the door for her. She doesn’t care where we’re going, she just wants to go with us.

We were almost home when FOUR does ran across the road in front of the truck. Three went across in a small parade and then one was hesitant. She followed soon after. We’ve passed deer beside the road before, but Amber didn’t notice them because they didn’t move. This time she got all excited, wanting to go out and play with them.  She didn’t bark to scare them.

The deer got safely across the road and we continued on to our driveway, feeling lucky to have shared such a beautiful sight!

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A Friend’s Rain

Doreen Adamson-Liber

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Watching the Glorious Rain!


We finally enjoyed a beautiful rain this morning!

It was overcast when we awoke, and the sky continued to darken as we ate breakfast. By the time we were in the office, it was like night! Of COURSE the doggies wanted to go out. As we did that, we decided that maybe we ought to pay attention and close the garage door for what was coming. It was MUCH cooler, so we opened the front and back doors and went out on the porch to welcome the storm.

We ended up with the doggies out there with us, watching the clouds move past us from west to east, erasing the one band of lighter sky as we watched. Then wave after wave of hard rain followed. It was coming straight down, so we didn’t get wet. Amber played with my husband, trying to drop a really heavy toy on his socked toes in his sandals, then switching to a basketball, then back to the heavy toy over and over. Every once in a while, if lightning flashed or thunder rolled, she would look out the screen, wag her tail, and then continue the joy of her play.

We sat out there about 15 minutes or so. It was WONDERFUL. The weather people say that it should clear sometime this afternoon and then we could get more this evening. HOOORAAAAAAY!

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The Ice Cream Truck Has Melted!

Kathleen Helsel – quotesgram.com

Actual temperature here is 106. Heat index says 111. I say, “UGH.”

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Interesting Day


The weather alert thingie in our bedroom woke me up early this morning – about 2:45 a.m. – flashing red. I got up to see what it was warning us about. A severe thunderstorm. That started about 3 a m.  There was an impressive amount of thunder and lightning, along with a good amount of rain – just perfect for feeling grateful we had a roof over our head, a strong house, and good windows – and then turning over and happily going back to sleep.

It was still raining, or raining again – though without all the fanfare, when we got up for breakfast. The dogs didn’t seem to mind going out to take care of business, but they were barking at the door only moments later. The wind was whipping trees around, so I closed the garage door for at least the morning.

We’re due for severe weather – rain, gusty winds, hail, possible tornadoes, possible flooding, and flying hair balls – this afternoon and evening, so the whole day will be interesting.

Both doggies have been out again and are happily playing.  The cats are curled up in their ‘cube’ beds on top of the woodpile in the garage. The fish are happily swimming in their still-clean water. The people are happy they don’t have to go do a bunch of errands today. We might drive down quickly and get the mail at the bottom of the driveway, but today will be a nice inside day for us.

Hold onto your hats if you’re in our area today. If you aren’t, I hope you’re enjoying the weather where you are.


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Joke on Us


I started mowing the lawn yesterday, in a rush because we were going to have thunderstorms in the afternoon. My husband came out and took over when I had finished about half of the yard. I drank some water and then went out to run the leaf blower to clean up the front porch, sidewalks front and back and the garage pad of all the grass and dirt.

We both came in breathing pretty heavily and drank water again and rested.

Can you hear Mother Nature giggling? She has a cruel sense of humor sometimes. I think she loves seeing us rush around and then NOT send the rain…

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Filed under Funny Signs - Humor, Housekeeping - Maintenance, Mother Nature