Friday, May 27, 2016

Friday Mishmash

Our town had some unfortunate excitement yesterday in the form of a tornado touching down - eek!  I was working at the hospital and had been watching the storms come in thanks to all the windows in the gift shop, when the "tornado warning - take shelter" announcement came over the loudspeaker.  I grabbed my purse, locked the door to the gift shop (no one was in there but me at the time) and booked it to the specified inside hallway, where I was joined by everyone who'd been eating lunch at the cafeteria - workers and patients alike.  Thanks to cell phones, we were all checking various news pages, Facebook, and our local online forum for updates.  I'm not gonna lie, tornadoes scare me.  I grew up with earthquakes, and they just happen - no warning, and usually they are over almost before you decide that it's an earthquake and not an airplane rattling your windows.  But tornadoes are a whole other thing - a warning means that one has been spotted in your area, and you wait to see if it comes your way, or if more form.

As it turns out, it touched down in an area near where we do our long runs on Saturdays, and while we were reading reports on where it had hit, one of the women I was standing near realized that it was in her neighborhood.  I felt bad for her - she was getting more and more agitated, not knowing how bad the damage was.  Finally she got a text from a neighbor saying that her house was OK but other houses were damaged.  Here's one picture from that neighborhood:

Scary times.  I'm grateful that our neighborhood was spared; the thing with tornadoes is that you never know when and where they are going to hit...sometimes you are the lucky ones, and sometimes, you're not.

One more picture - this is just over a tenth of a mile from the entrance to our subdivision - we drive this direction all the time:
There is a (usually) dry creek bed that runs behind our subdivision.  Not so dry now; this is the biggest I've ever seen it flood.


We haven't spent much time working in our yard in a couple of months; either we've been busy traveling on the weekend, or else it's been raining like crazy, which makes the plants grow nicely...along with the weeds.  I guess you take the good with the bad, right?  One good example is the yucca plant - the first year we put it in the ground, it had one stem of pink blooms.  Last year, no blooms.  This year?  Holy cow - not only two stems, but they are taller than me:
The last time it bloomed, it was maybe just three feet high.

And check out the gorgeous pink color of the blooms:
I had to bend it down to get this shot.  Look at the unopened pod - this is the first time I've seen a pod on plant...does this mean it will self-seed, I wonder?

Not only is our yard in need of weeding, but it also looks crazy because an armadillo has been digging around in the front beds:
Can you see the divots in the ground?  Go away, 'dillo!  Also, there are a ton of tiny oak tree seedlings popping up everywhere - this year, the acorns that fell from the huge oaks in our backyard have seeded themselves everywhere.  I feel a little bad pulling them up, especially since we let one volunteer grow to maturity on our front lawn, but there is no need for this many oak trees, especially growing this close to our house.

Here's our volunteer oak tree - for years, Jeff carefully mowed around it so as to not accidentally cut it down.  This was his reward:
It's jumped in height recently - the tree has to be over 10 feet tall now.  All this from a tiny little seedling.

We noticed a nest in the tree when we were taking these pictures:
I suspect this is a mockingbird's nest, simply based on the fact that a mockingbird sits in that tree and yells at me whenever I walk out to the mailbox.

Oh, and of course I have to show you this shot - when I stepped outside to take the plant pictures, I made Paco stay inside.  This is the face of betrayal:

I only went outside for a minute, but you'd think his world was ending with him not going out with me.  Hopefully it won't rain this weekend and we can get out to clear up the front beds - and yes, Paco can come out with us.


I'm still not feeling 100% from my bout with bronchitis, and haven't been inspired to eat much beyond soup and crackers, but I made myself go to the grocery store after my walk on Tuesday and bought salads:
Where were these eight years ago when I started my diet?  It's nice that they're making eating a quick healthy meal so easy nowadays.

This is the height of laziness, I know - but it's better than canned soup.  I also bought some strawberries and cut up watermelon; I still am not super enthused by food, but at least I'm getting some decent nutrition.


Have a great weekend - here's hoping that there's no more severe weather happening anywhere.


  1. Tornadoes are so scary! I'm so glad that you weren't hurt or your home damaged. That must of been very alarming going through that situation even being in a hospital where hopefully you were safe.
    Sorry your not 100% from you bout of bronchitis. Your eats look good.
    Here's hoping you have a nice holiday weekend with good weather, and you get back to feeling better 100%.

  2. So glad you guys are safe and don't have bad damage. When the national news came on last night and YOUR tornado/flooding was mentioned, I think my eyes about popped out of my head.

    I'm laughing out loud right now! Your armadillo issue is my squirrel issue! They have been awful this year and completely destroyed 4 of my patio pots. I'm so irritated, I told Mr. Helen Ima buy a BB gun.

    Do you mulch your beds? I can't tell by the photo but it sure does help with weeds.

    Hope you feel better and the tornados stay away.

    1. We do mulch, but haven't yet this year. I've heard that squirrels eat flowers; luckily ours seem to get enough acorns that they leave our pots and blooms alone.

      And yeah, you know when our town makes the news with weather, it's bad. :(

  3. Wow, those tornadoes are really scary, although I'd be scared of earthquakes too but like you said they happen before you even know what happen. We usually don't get that kin of weather over here in the East but a few years ago we apparently had an earthquake.

  4. I'm with you, girl! Those tornado warnings are scary! Do they have the sirens going off in your town, or are they a thing of the past? And do flash floods always come with tornadoes? The one I went through, the flash flood ended up being the worst part.

    Anyway, so glad you're safe and your house is okay. Your plants look so lush. Awwww, cute little armadillo! Maybe you should put out a little plate of armadillo food, and he'll stop digging in your yard😁

    1. We don't have tornado sirens in town...and I don't think the flash floods go hand-in-hand, but it just POURED so much (plus we've had a lot of rain so the ground was saturated before this started).

      So what you're saying is I should set out a bowl full of grubs for the armadillo? Then he'll never leave!! ;)

  5. Yep, tornados are a whole different animal - whenever it got really stormy out I would be the first one in the basement - Tony would go outside and stand on our deck - crazy!

    I love those salads too - recently found them at Wal-mart and the nutrition stats and price wasn't too bad.

    Hope you have a great weekend - now that it is actually a long weekend :P

    1. Someone took a video while the tornado was hitting and posted it on FB - crazy! I'm a duck and cover kinda girl.

  6. WOAH!!!!!!! Scary stuff. Glad you are ok. LOVE "the face of betrayal" Poor, poor Paco!!! He suffers so! Not... :) Have a great weekend!!

  7. Glad the tornado left you alone! Stay safe!

  8. We actually had a tornado cross the street near our house in NY when I was growing up, if you can believe that. It bounced up and down from the ground and destroyed a mobile home park 1/2 a mile away. We ever paid attention to warning because who would think a tornado would hit in NY?

    Then we moved to IL and it seems there was a tornado warning every 10 minutes. It freaked me out.

    Glad you are OK and hopefully nobody was hurt.

  9. When I was a kid we had a tornado hit our town. It was really bad. I still remember it! We had some bad storms yesterday but no tornados. Glad your house was ok!

  10. That tornado warning must have been so scary. Of course we don't have it here but seen enough of it on the internet/news to know it is scary. Glad you are safe and your neighbourhood wasn't hit.

    Awww poor Paco :) Reminds me of last Thursday. I got home around lunchtime because I had to pick up my neighbour for our workshop. Bella thought I was home and wouldn't go away. So when I left and was waiting at the door of my neighbour I could hear her scream and cry. 6 years old and still crying like a baby when Mom leaves :)

  11. Good for you for getting back to the salads - that is when I know I am feeling better, too! Hope you feel back to yourself this week!

    Do you think tornadoes are scarier to you because of all the anticipation, then? They are definitely something to respect. I know a lot of people who are VERY scared of them though, and... the constant warnings and predictions doesn't seem to help them. Although, we need that so we can prepare! Anyway, I hope that despite all that damage, no one was hurt :(

    What are you going to do to get rid of that Armadillo? Some natural scents/oils to deter it?

    1. Yes, I do think the anticipation makes tornadoes scarier than earthquakes. I guess I'm more of a "surprise me" person, LOL?

      If scented oils work to deter armadillos, I might use them out there. ;)

    2. You know, it actually might. We had peppermint oil recommended to us to keep the squirrels out of our attic. I bet there is something for armadillos... that is a nicer way to keep them out (ha ha, I mean a nicer way than some people would imagine - not you!).

    3. Haha, like my neighbor? I may have to give peppermint oil a try, once it stops raining. Don't want to bother putting it out if it's just going to be washed away, you know?

    4. LOL! I won't ask what his solution is ;)

      Ha ha, most of the articles online are saying the same thing - mothballs, castor oil, or the urine of certain animals - but they all say they don't have a super high success rate :(

  12. So glad to hear that you to made it through the tornado in your town unscathed!!

  13. So glad you made it safely through the tornado. They frighten me, as we have them in MN also. Enjoyed your photos!


Comments are now moderated to prevent spammers from leaving, well, spam - but rest assured that as soon as I read a real comment, I will publish it. So please, comment away, even though the blog is officially closed. Thanks!