Wednesday, April 27, 2011

More Weather

According to everyone from the people in town to the Weather Channel, this spring has been a record-setter.  And not just in Kentucky, but throughout the whole South.  My sister is blaming me for it.  LOL.  The last three nights neither one of us has slept very well due to:  (1) wind, (2) hail, (3) the town sirens going off, and (4) the NOAA radios ... both upstairs and down.  You don't dare turn them off or turn the volume down 'cause it's their job to wake you up to take cover.  So it's quite a conundrum ... sleep or die.

The whole area has been under a lot of weather "stress".  The link below is to a regional TV station that covers the weather for the "tri-state" area - Illinois, Indiana & Kentucky.  Anyway, yesterday was an intense weather day as the pictures at the link will show.

Also, here is a link to CNN about the kind of records that are being broken with this weather.

The worst storm started late yesterday afternoon and continued through the evening into the wee small hours of this morning (did I mention the problem sleeping??)  I cannot personally remember EVER hearing hail hit so hard.  I actually worried that it would break the windows on the west side of the house.  Most of our storms come from the SW and this house is set squarely east-west on the lot.  Anyway, along about 10 pm yesterday the hail started pounding and I snuck outside to take the following pictures.  Remember, I am coming from inside the basement.  My front door comes out under the deck upstairs (and I'm sure all the shade will come in very handy in the summer).  Take a look at the hail:

See the accumulation of hail in the bottom right corner???

In California when you get a storm, it just kind of sits overhead and rains ... sometimes a little and sometimes a lot.  Pretty much that's it ... rain.  The strange thing about storms here is that the worst part is what I'd call the "squall" line (coming from California I think in nautical terms).  This line is where the wind, rain and hail all get together and decide to form a tornado.  Once the "squall" line has moved through, things quiet down; and these "squalls" or bands do move quickly, sometimes 40 or 50 miles per hour or higher.  Once they are past your town, then you generally just get some rain and it's over.  However, in the last 10 days we keep getting band, after band, after band of these "squalls".  One right after the other.  Each band also holds an insane amount of water.  So when they continue to come and come and come with perhaps 1-3 hours in between it causes the NOAA radio to alert you time after time after time.  The potential for damaging winds, flooding and tornadoes goes on and on.

Today we just had a nice, steady, California-type rain for most of the day, which was such a pleasant change.  I understand it's supposed to start clearing up tomorrow and Friday, however there is more rain in the forecast for the week-end.

I've always said I love the rain, and I still do.  It's the other scary stuff that comes with it that I'm not so sure about.  GW & MB, you'd LOVE it here  :-)

Say good night, Gracie.


Saturday, April 23, 2011

It was a dark and stormy ... day?

Today I had a bunch of errands to run and my sister wanted to go to the movies ("Water for Elephants").  I slept in a little late today due to a very hectic Friday AND being awakened at 1 a.m. this morning by my NOAA alarm.  Since I had set it to "tone" instead of "voice" I have no idea why I was awakened early this morning, but  by golly it worked and got my attention, yes siiirrreee.

Anyway, back to today.  After the movie my sis and I went our separate ways.  I spent several hours in our local mall attending to my errands as well as getting a much-needed pedicure ... my first since leaving California, so you KNOW how much I needed it. 

The weather people have been predicting gloom and doom and rain for days now.  Oh, and add flash flooding to their predictions too.  It seems we are having a wetter-than-normal spring, along with the most active beginning to tornado season in YEARS (welcome to Kentucky!)  And they have been right about every other day.  However, I've learned quickly that you don't mess with the weather back here ... ever.

Today was a little overcast and warmish ... mid-70's is my guess.  After my pedicure I decided to go get an early dinner at Denny's; I just love their "Superbird" sandwich and since it was now 4 pm and I had not eaten since 10 am it was sounding better than ever.  As I left the mall I noticed that dark rain clouds were rolling our way.  Most all of the storms come from the west, and those of you who watch the Weather Channel at all will confirm that.  By the time I got to Denny's (not more than 1.5 miles from the mall) the dark clouds were covering one-half of the sky.  Nothing to worry about, I thought.  Ya, right.

I was escorted to my booth and given a menu, even though I knew what I wanted.  By the way, back here, when you sit down at Denny's the VERY FIRST THING they do, before drinks or taking your order, the very first thing they do is sit down a plate of biscuits and butter.  I'm not kidding!  They are fresh-baked, still-warm yeast biscuits.  I need some prayers for abstinence here people!

I'm in Denny's, in my booth waiting to give my order when the folks behind me start talking about how bad the sky looks.  I look out the window and it was the darkest daytime sky I've ever seen back here.  And as I am looking at it, suddenly the wind whips up  and it starts raining ... HARD!  Between the blowing wind and the deluge it actually looked like fog for a couple of minutes.  I mean it poured buckets, there was thunder and lightening.  And oh ya, about then the town sirens for off.  They sound the sirens when weather conditions warrant a "Tornado Watch".  The folks behind me are starting to say things like, "Boy, this sure looks bad.", and the folks in the booth in front of me are talking about  how many people can get under a table ... when the tornado comes.  Yep, the weather conditions described above are classic pre-tornado weather.  And then my food came.

Sooooooooo, I'm trying to read my Kindel (thank you again to the AAM Team and all those Amazon gift cards!), and eat my lunch-dinner.  But I can't help staring out the window ... it looks like the end of the world, and the folks on both sides of me are continuing to talk about how bad it looks, and how many people can fit under a table at Denny's.  And they are not laughing and punching each other in the shoulder, either.  After about one-quarter of my sandwich I call over the waitress and ask for a box.  When she inquires what the problem was I told her I was from California and I was SCARED and wanted to go home!  She understood immediately and I got my box and packed my food and took off, feeling like I was 10 years old.

The drive home, which takes about 10 mins., was uneventful AND by the looks of things, it had barely rained on our street.  Kinda of anti-climactic, I know.  However, I felt so much better in the house with the basement just steps away. 

The NOAA weather station has been going off periodically all evening and I have to wonder how many times I will be awakened tonight with warnings and watches.  It's going to be a long night ... *sigh*.

On another note, may you and yours experience the joy and blessing of Easter.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Such a Frustrating Day!

Today was the day to get some of those pesky "have to" things done, so after breakfast we hopped in my car and I got my first taste of finding my way around town.  Yep, up until today my sister has driven us around.  Let me just explain that my sister is eleven years older than I am and has been driving for ... well, it seems like forever.  She is a good driver and loves cars and knows a lot about them.  She also thinks that everyone else behind the wheel is an idiot.  Needless to say, when she suggested we take my car,  and that I drive, I was very nervous.

First stop ~~ the Kentucky Farm Bureau.  It seems this is the only "acceptable" kind of car insurance to have ... actually, it is the only kind of insurance to have.  We went to the office and met with her agent, Mr. Rose (a very kind southern gentlemen).  Side Bar ~~ everyone I have met so far has been MORE than kind.  Anyway it took us about 30 mins. to talk, fill out the application and finalize the deal.  Hold on to your nickers ... Kentucky car insurance costs MORE than California insurance.  Pretty much it is because there are some state and local taxes on insurance that we don't have in California.  I got a quote from the national insurance carrier I used in California before I left and their figures were just about the same as Mr. Rose's.  So I signed up.

After the KFB we moved on to one of several clerk's offices in and around the court house. My new town, "M", is the county seat. There is a very impressive court house downtown but I can't find a picture of it right now. Anyway, we went in to get my license changed only to find out they require some very specific documentation that I did not bring with me. OK, so I'm 1 for 2.

We then went to another clerk's office to register my vehicle ... and guess what?  Not only did I not bring the correct documentation, BUT I have to have the local sheriff INSPECT MY CAR!  Oh, cr*%!

Now I'm 1 for 3, and these three errands took about 2+ hours.  So what does a girl do when she's down?  Why, go shopping of course!! :-)   We stopped at the local furniture store to begin my search for a suitable living room ensemble.  It's going to have to be small and compact due to the size of the room, but that's OK.  Have I said how much I LOVE my space and what a great job my sis did in fixing it up???  Well, I do, and she did!  I saw a couple of likely possibilities in the furniture store and the prices are not bad.  The only other things I need are a computer desk and a desk chair.

The shopping expedition improved my mood, so once we got home I decided to put my computer together and GET ON THE 'NET!  The modem came yesterday while we were on a days' excursion (more about that at a later time).  Sooooooooo down to my new home I went full of hope, optimism and enthusiasm!

Shall I just end here and say I am 1 for 4 today??  OK, here's the story.  I got the computer back together in record time, pushed the button, retrieved some files, printed a page and all was well.  Then I turned to the modem installation and started looking for the phone jack.  And I looked, and looked, and looked.  I SWEAR that when I moved in last week-end there was a phone jack in this room.  I SWEAR THERE WAS!  I'm a capable, intlligent woman and I know a phone jack when I see one.  But today I could NOT find it.  The nearest phone jack is across the apartment, through the living room and on the FARTHEST WALL AWAY FROM MY OFFICE!!  Of course it is.  **sigh*

Soooooooooooooo I decided there was no point in frustrating myself further and about 4:30 p.m. I came upstairs in defeat.  Oprah was on TV and she was talking to this woman who broke out of prison and had been on the lamb for 35 years and finally got re-arrested, served 1-1/2 years and is back "outside".  So I guess compared to her I could have had a worse day.

Oh, and my driving ... my sister only said I went too slow and left too much room between myself and car ahead.  I think that means I passed my driving test, so it wasn't such a bad day after all.  :-)

AND, more "severe" weather is expected Sunday into Monday.  Oh boy ..........

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Welcome to Kentucky ... now GO HOME!

Monday, 4/5/11, my first Monday in Kentucky.  I've been in the state 4 days.  The day before had been very warm - upwards to 85 degrees and more humid as the day wore on.  When we woke up on Monday, it was very humid and overcast and rain/thunderstorms were predicted.  My sister has a NOAA Weather Radio/Alert System and it started going off about every 15 minutes starting at about 9 am. reporting thunderstorms and possible hail coming our way.  About 10:30 the alert changed to include a tornado watch.

Sometime between 11-11:30 am I was in the bathroom taking a shower.  Just as I stepped into the shower there was a BIG clap of thunder and the house shook!!!  Clearly the storm was right over us.  I started wondering if I should get OUT of the shower what with water being such a fine conductor of electricity and all ... not to mention the metal fixtures and shower rod.  However, being the brave California girl I am I said "nahhhhhhhhhh".

I continued with my shower, go out, dryed my hair and was putting on my make up when my sister pounded on the bathroom door and said the "watch" had changed to a "warning" and it was time to go to the basement.  MY FOURTH DAY IN THIS SILLY STATE!!!! and here I am naked as the day I was born and told to get in the basement.  Since I have never participated in any kind of an emergency of this nature before, I took off like a shot down the stairs ... naked.

Now I did have the presence of mind to grab my pajamas and my purse and my car keys, so when I arrived in the basement I got dressed, found some shoes ... but realized I forgot my glasses in the bathroom.  Sooooooooooooo ... I put on my sunglasses to watch the weather station on the TV in the basement.  Now there is a fashion statement if ever I saw one ... pajamas and sunglasses  :-)  Yep, I'm from CALIFORNIA!

About 45 minutes later we got the "all clear" and went back upstairs.

Welcome to Kentucky!


Disclaimer:  So it's been 2-1/2 months since I started this blog.  Too much to do in too little time.  I intended to blog frequently to keep you up-to-date with my journey.  So much for that idea.  I'm going to start here and fill you in on the last 2-1/2 months as I go along.  Please bear with me!