Posts Tagged ‘Weather’


An EF-5 tornado ripped through the town of Moore, Oklahoma on May 20th in the afternoon. Twenty-three people died and hundreds were injured.  Another person died of something related to the tornado.  And as I started writing this, I read in the paper that a 25th person has now died due to injuries related to the tornado.  We are constantly reminded of the tragedies that occurred that day.


Homes and schools were destroyed. But the town and the courage and resiliency of the people live on. Moore is like so many towns in the Midwest. The people are strong. Nothing will beat them down. I knew this from watching the news and seeing the people helping absolute strangers clear their property that had been destroyed by the tornado.  And I saw it in the eyes of the parents, struggling to comfort their children or the children of others as they awaited news of their own.  It was heart-wrenching.


Watching the news reports, I felt that I needed to do something.  Yet, who am I?  I am just a single person…no organizations backing what I choose to do.  And I live over 8 hours away in south Texas.  Yet, I still felt I had to DO something.  I didn’t mean donating money.  I always wonder just how much is actually helping those who need help.  And how much is lining the pockets of those running the organizations.  So, I stewed over it and decided there WAS something I could do.  I could donate Pampered Chef products so the families can start making meals again.  Food is comfort.

So I spoke to my mother.  And she said a friend she has in Oklahoma City has a son who lost his home.  And they know other families who’ve lost everything.  I knew then that I was going to send packages to them.  And then it steamrolled!  My mother placed an order and so did I.  The packages arrived at the home of my mother’s friend and they were thrilled to hand over all the goodies inside to those families.  But then I mentioned to other Pampered Chef consultants I know that I was trying to help 3 families.  And they donated extra products they had…cookware, tools, plates, cookbooks…on and on.  And I remembered a full-size afghan I had.  It was thick and plush.  I donated that.  And I found more products in my cabinets.  Suddenly, I realized it was going to cost a fortune to mail all of that.

My sweet husband suggested we drive up on a Saturday and deliver it, spend the night in a hotel and drive back on Sunday.  He gave up his weekend of relaxation to hit the road with me.  We both felt humbled to be able to take all of the wonderful donations my friends had provided and deliver them to Moore.

On July 6th, we left early in the morning and drove all day.  My mother’s friend called us and asked us to come to dinner at her home.  Although I had never met these people, they made us feel so at home, treating us like family.  And after dinner, they took us on a tour of the devastation in Moore.  They showed us the path of the tornado and the freakish destruction.  Houses were demolished on one side of a street and almost fully intact on the other, with just a few shingles missing from the roof.  Businesses were destroyed.  Memorials to the lives lost were everywhere I looked.

DSC_0115 DSC_0116 DSC_0117

And then we visited the site of the Plaza Towers Elementary School.  My heart broke.

DSC_0097 DSC_0098 DSC_0099 DSC_0100 DSC_0101 DSC_0102 DSC_0103 DSC_0104 DSC_0106 DSC_0108 DSC_0112

The memorial grows and grows with each passing day.  And the townspeople of Moore will rebuild.  And their will remains strong.  God bless Moore and the families who were affected in so many ways.  I still feel the need to do more.  And I will.  It makes my heart feel just a tiny bit less broken.




“Anyone can give up, it’s the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that’s true strength.” – Unknown


Read Full Post »

When I think of the things that make me the happiest, it’s always the little things in life.  When I went out to dinner last night with my hubby, we walked past the Baskin Robbins ice cream shop and memories came rushing back from my days in high school.  My dad loved Baskin Robbins Burgundy Cherry.  My mom’s favorite was Daquiri Ice. I still remember them ordering those over 35 years ago.  It wasn’t an expensive treat or that unusual.  But I remember those trips to BR like it was yesterday.  We all had such a good time looking at those 31 (or more) flavors and trying to decide what we would have…only to go back to the tried and true favorites!  We’d get a scoop (or two) and laugh and talk about whatever was on our minds, enjoying the afternoon together.

Today I went to lunch with a friend.  It wasn’t a special lunch…nothing fancy.  But it was one of those little things in life…time with a friend.  Last night, I worked at commencement and had the chance to help hood the master’s candidates.  All I was doing was making sure their hoods were on correctly before they participated in commencement.  They were wonderfully appreciative for the help.  And it felt great!  The little things.

This morning, my little baby kitty (5 year old baby, that is) curled up with me in bed as my alarm was going off, purring and rubbing his nose on mine and then he licked the tip of my nose.  It’s the little things in life…

Tonight, as I was driving home and the sun was shining and my sunroof was open to let the sunbeams in and the fresh breeze blow across my face, I realized how great it feels.  Little things make me smile.

Fourth of July fireworks, a walk on the beach picking up shells, a beautiful sunrise, snuggled up on the couch with a roaring fire and a glass of wine, a drive in the country down a tree-lined lane or a rainy day curled up in bed reading a good book.

“It’s the sweet simple things in life which are the real ones after all.” ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder

Read Full Post »

I feel like I’ve had such a creative day!  I was looking for something to do this weekend that didn’t involve being outdoors.  South Texas is experiencing a record-breaking number of 100-plus degree days this year and I can’t stand the heat!  So, I decided to look for something fun to do indoors away from home.  I’ve been cooped up too long in the job search (except for the occasional foray out for an interview or for networking sessions) and I came across a website for a business that sounded interesting.  Have you ever heard of a pottery painting place before?  I guess I must be living in a bubble, but I thought this sounded intriguing.  The deal is, you go in, pick out the piece of pottery you want to paint, they supply the brushes, the paint, etc. and you paint away.  There is a basic fee for using their supplies and then you pay for the piece of pottery you choose to paint.  And when you’re finished painting, you leave the mess for them to clean up, you leave your pottery and they will fire it, and you go home…a little poorer, but a lot happier!  I had such a good time (my dear hubby didn’t enjoy it, but he said he had fun watching me having fun–isn’t he sweet), that I want to get some of my friends together for a Pottery Painting Party.  Who wouldn’t love to have wine, appetizers and a private room to party and paint?? 

So, when we got there, I decided to paint a teapot.  I love to drink tea, so what better to paint than my very own teapot.  And Beau decided to paint the smallest item he could find…a ring holder for me.  I thought he’d pick something that could be used in his new office.  Nope.  I think he was afraid it would look like the soap dish he made in grade school.  Anyway, back to the teapot.  Well, I am a transplant from Kansas and really do miss it.  And I’m also a huge fan of the color yellow.  So, I decided to paint sunflowers on my teapot.  I started out sketching a large sunflower on each side and then I put a sunflower on the lid and one on the spout.  Then I put two very small ones on the handle.  I used a small sponge to dab light blue paint all over as a background.  I think it will be pretty nice once it has been glazed and fired.  I hope.  If it turns out okay, I’ll be adding a photo to this post.  If not, well, you’ll never see it.  Now I have the urge to be creative again soon.  I just have to decide what to do next on a miserably hot weekend in San Antonio. 

“The essential part of creativity is not being afraid to fail.” ~ Edwin H. Land

Read Full Post »

The last Saturday of every month, the Houston Street Fair & Market is held.  We have lived in San Antonio for over six years and have never been.  Why is it so hard to remember that it’s the last Saturday of the month?  I mean, I can remember that Gruene Market Days are the 3rd weekend of every month, but Houston Street just slips my mind!  Well, this morning, we got up, got ready and trekked downtown.  Let’s just say, I’ll be forgetting it from now on.  I know that there are lots of activities in town I enjoy.  This wasn’t one of them.  I guess it was geared for the more intrepid (it was a tad warm and there wasn’t a lot of shade–an important commodity in southern TX!) and geared towards families with smaller children (we only have the four-legged variety), but even the crafts left me cold.  And if you know anything about me, you know I like to shop.  I literally found only one booth that intrigued me.  And I wasn’t intrigued enough to buy anything.  I had gone prepared.  Hit the ATM on the way and had my grubby little fingers (yes, they were grubby from sweating in the heat) wrapped around the cash.  Oh, well.  Better off just heading to Gruene next month.  Let’s see, that’s the third weekend of the month, isn’t it?   YEP!  And I’ll be ready.

“Disappointment, when it involves neither shame nor loss, is as good as success; for it supplies as many images to the mind, and as many topics to the tongue.” ~ Samuel Johnson

Read Full Post »

Hello Dolly!

Yep, that’s right…Dolly (tropical storm/hurricane) arrived in town and we have had rain, rain, rain and a tornado! Don’t get me wrong, we definitely needed the rain. But living in south Texas isn’t a good place to be when a tornado hits…we don’t have basements! I remember living in Kansas and thinking that having a basement was just an extra part of the house. Until the first time a tornado came through and I was so glad to have that basement! Then my parents bought a house (we used to live on the military base) and my BEDROOM was in the basement! I thought I was so cool. It was almost like having my own apartment, with my own bathroom and everything. And it was right off the family room, so it was really comfy down there. And I was prepared for a tornado. I had my bed, my clothes, shelter and anything else I might need to be comfortable, just in case I had to stay there for a while.

As I watch the news tonight, I see the devastation across south Texas. I have to be thankful, though. We are far enough away from the coast to avoid most of the damage from hurricanes that hit. And Dolly was a category two that downgraded to a tropical storm fairly quickly. We are just feeling the aftereffects, unlike those on South Padre Island.

We know the risks of living on the gulf and along the lower east coast. The beautiful weather and beaches come at a cost. So, for now, I feel for those who have damaged or demolished homes and businesses and keep my plan fresh in my mind of what I need to do if a stronger hurricane ever does make it this far inland. And I hope I never have to use that plan.

“The tendency of an event to occur varies inversely with one’s preparation for it.” ~ David Searles

Read Full Post »

I keep thinking, as cold as it is in the house, it should be snowing! I think there may be something wrong with the thermostat, furnace or some part of the heating system and I’m freezing. Beau is coming home tomorrow and it can’t be too soon. I had a feeling we were headed for problems with the furnace…it’s over thirteen years old. We’ve been thinking that sooner or later it was going to go. I just hate to think it’s right now…at the coldest time of the year. I have been through something similar. Before we got married, I lived in Kansas City and I spent a night buried in blankets, clothes, down comforters and quilts, because a power failure that for some was over two weeks caused my place to have no heat. Fortunately, we were only out of power a couple of days. I was so relieved the power came back on and I was warm again!

I hope I’m wrong and I’ve just done something stupid and can’t figure out the thermostat. Beau will be able to figure it out tomorrow and maybe we again escape the cost of replacing the heating system. Before it gets any colder, I’m heading for bed and burying myself in blankets (again).

“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.” ~ Anne Bradstreet

Read Full Post »

Erin, go…away!

The rain from tropical depression (once tropical storm) Erin has been inundating San Antonio and the rest of this area since arriving yesterday in the Corpus Christi/Houston area of the Texas coast. Standing in front of the windows at work, I couldn’t see outside. The water was sheeting down the windows in such a waterfall, I could barely make out indistinct outlines of the vehicles in the parking lot 5 feet away. I left work early during a very brief lull in the torrential downpour and actually made it to my car before the rain started up again like Niagara. By the time I was able to get to the highway, it was 25 minutes later (normally a 10 minute drive at most). The highway was a parking lot! With the rain crashing down, no one was able to travel more than 20 mph without endangering themselves or the people who were practically washed away by the large waves being created as they crashed through the temporary lakes that were developing in every small low-lying spot on the road.

White knuckles were a true testament to my stress as I crawled along the frontage road, too frightened to attempt the highway. I finally made it to the major road that leads to our subdivision and there was a power failure, causing the traffic lights and train crossing guards to malfunction. So, I turned around and headed for the other cross-street. I finally pulled into the driveway with such relief flooding through me that I was sure I would burst into tears.

Since I’ve been home, we think the eye of the storm passed over and now we are caught up in the middle of more downpours, high winds and thunder. Hopefully, the lightning and thunder stops and we’ll be able to sleep that deep sleep that comes from the steady drumming of rain on the windowpanes.

“Rain, rain, go away, come again another day.” ~ Unknown (Children’s rhyme)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: