Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Inches of Hail and Storm Debris

It is good to be in one piece today.
Last night was probably the worse storm I've lived through here in the South.
Wind, rain tornadoes.....and hail ...lots and lots of hail by my house.

This morning....it's easy to see not ever street or neighborhood experienced the same effects of the storm. I live in a small area that was pelted with dime to quarter size hail and lots of it.

The picture above shows my driveway and the neighbor's lawn all white from a layer of hail.

You can see how deep the hail is.....by my footprint. Most of my landscape shrubs were shredded to stubs. Some car damage....my roof is covered with so much debris....I can't figure out of if it's damaged or not yet.

I could scoop the hail off our lawn furniture last night.

This is probably the scariest picture I've seen. It was taken from the 9th floor of a hospital east of me and the photographer is facing west. I live right under the path of that tornado.....it hadn't touched down yet.....but in a few minutes it skipped over the river and leveled a complete town. I imagine the immense amount of hail we got....coincided with that huge funnel passing us by.

I hear there's another storm on the way tonight.....I may be dipping into the dog's "Valium for Storms" stash soon if this keeps up.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Someone got their ride pimped in red red red.......


I rubbed my eyes and came over for a closer look to see if this car was for real.

Red Metallic paint.....red tinted windows......red rims.

Someone got their ride pimped...big time.

I wonder if they see "red" when they drive around?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Wild Kitty update

Well lookey here....guess who's in the house.

From Meowing, hungry, stray cat living in fear in our front bushes....to potential
house cat.

Wild Kitty has gone through a transformation......after her surgery.....we crated her because of her stitches and lo and behold she also became litter box trained.

Then we moved her from crate to laundry room....where she hid in the
cabinet on top of some old soft towels. She snoozed a week there at least....just eating and being shy.

Then...we started letting her into our kitchen/family room area....where we have doors so we can close her out from the rest of the house.

Result: Wild Kitty is having fun....rubbing up against the dogs....hissing at the Old Cat.....(but only 50% of the time) chasing paper balls....carrying a small stick around.....jumping over and under furniture and then collapsing close to you and resting.

That's what she did here....she had just been on a kitten rampage across my family room....and plopped down in the kitchen.....because even a non cook like me has access to food.

So I rewarded her with a
potato chip....so bad....but she loves them.

She not ready to be out all the time....and certainly not unsupervised....but the Wild Baby is having a good time and so far so good.

If something happens and we can't keep her...she can't adjust....she is at least now very adoptable.

So it's time to let the Wild Cat out again.....got to make some new paper mouse-

Monday, April 18, 2011

A beautiful evening

Tonight was the first night of Passover and my hub and I were invited to a friend's home. Silvana is from Argentina and a renowned baker and cook. Wow.

Let me say that again. Wow.

From fish to a carrot and ginger salad.... to rice with pine nuts and onions...... and chicken cooked with apricots and plums...it was heavenly.

Then came dessert......a triple chocolate torte and a plum torte.....obviously this woman has a divine gift.

All of this, accompanied by bottles of Malbec wine from Argentina.

And wonderful company....a family from Israel.....other folks from the community ...I think we were a group of 15.

It was so amazingly pleasant....and sweet.....and it looks like Silvana, who has never made her bat mitzvah wants to be my partner.

We already picked out the dates....October 18 and 19. Amazingly...her husband was born on October 18 and mine on October 19.....so how fitting....we would do our two day ceremony on their birthdays...two years from now. I need to study a lot more than she does....and her mother-in-law is very ill....so this is nothing we can rush. But how wonderful to get it settled.

My tummy is full and happy.....and so is my spirit tonight.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

My book weekend

So our book festival is almost over....a small session tomorrow.....and one major author on Wednesday and we can put a year's worth of work to bed.

I have mixed feelings this year.....everyone says the book industry is in upheaval due to electronic devices but I also think readership is in upheaval too.

I know this is cliche but they are so many things to do and so many ways to amuse ourselves....I'm not sure people are glued to books anymore. I used to think that declining interest in books was a cliche but now I'm beginning to think there's some truth to the matter.

You see books take time....and in a life filled with work and email and so many tugs on us.....it seems more and more of a luxury to read for a long time. Reading is now in short bursts...an article on the net....an excerpt....but who has the hours it takes to commit to read a story?

I'm sounding cliche.....and don't get me wrong....we had good attendance.....we go to schools...we expose folks any every turn we can think of.....to what's happening in the book world....but for the first time.....I wondered....really wondered....if we were making inroads into our community.

Perhaps it's just post project blues......I don't know.

Monday, April 04, 2011

The Start of the Next Phase........

I blew the sawdust off one of the boxes in my garage (hub's woodworking hobby is dusty) and gently slid a knife under the tape. The box opened in a small cloud of dust and 10 folders where neatly packed inside.

My dad was a newspaper-magazine junkie and he just couldn't bare to let thoughtful interesting articles and great pictures find a home in the recycle bin. He saved them....but instead of stacking them in a empty bin or tossing them into a file cabinet.....he took the time to place the articles in plastic sleeves and then into notebooks. I'm not sure how many notebooks I took from the house.....10 here....10 there....perhaps some others wedged in between stuff in the boxes.

Although I still have the lit fest to watch over next weekend, I started the next phase of my life, which should last about two years. I've got three major projects to work on: go through the boxes from my parents and decide what to save, sell or give away// go through and organize the second floor of my house and attic//study for my bat mitzvah.

I've already told folks I'm cutting back on volunteering and doing extra projects. I love helping out but.....whenever I get neck deep into these projects.....I ignore my house and my finances.

I don't necessarily want to dwell on my house, the stuff in it, and my finances. But I've got those 200 boxes in my garage, family history scattered all over, important papers here and there and not much organization.

My parents' death really affected me in many ways.....and hard hit has been my sense of stuff. I don't want clutter....I don't want junk.....I just want the essential and fun stuff around. I want to open my cabinets and find just the stuff I need. I want my art and collectibles out so I can live with them and look at them....and I want to document what I have so the kids can understand what it is gathering dust and then make good decisions about whether to cherish or move on.

It is so easy when you have fun projects or interesting volunteer work to close your eyes to all this...but if I keep doing this....when will organize it? I guess I can say.....oh it's something I can do when I'm older.....but if I wait 10 years.....I'll just have more stuff and more chaos.

So it starts......I went through 5 notebooks. I went through them one by one.....because dad...bless him.....sometimes he would stick an important little piece of family history or a photo at random in one of these books. In Chicago, I found a birth certificate for a relative stuck in the middle of one of these notebooks...with no rhyme or reason I could discern for putting it there.

So....page by page I look........and marvel at what dad saved.....pictures of beautiful women....crazy fun ads.....articles on politics and World War II.....secret health tips....secrets financial tips....gardening ideas .....Chicago history.....Polish cuisine....and tons and tons of recipes....even though I never saw my dad do anything more warm up soup in the microwave.

My goal is to do 1.5 boxes a week....open ....inspect and make decisions....if there are 200 boxes in the garage (I'm hoping there is not more) then it should take me about 18 months to get them all decided on.

I'm ready to do this.......