December 4, 2016: Hola everyone! Winter has arrived in Milwaukee and there are snow flurries today. Despite several hard freezes remarkably my "spikes" in two of my patio planters have absolutely refused to die. The rosemary and thyme plants I nursed inside the house through last winter spent the summer in their pot outside next to the side stoop off the driveway, where they get plenty of sunshine all day long. I transplanted them into a cozy sheltered spot right next to the stoop in October and they are still green and growing, too! With the delay in getting the drywall patching done in the relatively minor "reconstruction" work I had done in my kitchen, I am way behind my time in getting the house decorated. But yesterday I got my wreath decked out with extra lights and dressed the front door of the house, and my battery-operated traditional candles were put up on the window sills all around the house Friday evening. It becomes a ritual to go around at dusk and turn the tops to the right to turn the candles "on" and at bedtime to go around and turn the tops to the left to turn the candles "off." Today I put some "glittery" throw pillow covers purchased new last month from H&M on three of my sofa pillows to glam things up a bit in the living room and add some sparkle. Later on, after I sufficiently fuel myself up with wine and snacks and probably to distract myself while I listen to the Packers game on the radio, I will huff and puff and pull my artificial tree up from storage in the basement. I will decorate it simply this year. Every year I say that, and every year I end up throwing just about everything except the kitchen sink on the tree. I am very proud of myself this year, though. I did not buy a single new ornament or Christmas doo-dad for the house (throw pillow covers don't count!!!) Happy Holidays to all, with hope and fervent prayers for 2017. I've a feeling we're all going to need a lot of help from Goddess in the coming year. Jan

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Stormy Weather - TONS of Stormy Weather!

Holy Hathor!  No sooner do I get home from my Sunday stroll from the Pick 'n Save than the tornado sirens go off -- all over the county just about simultaneously!  Freanking out scary - I barely got the grocery bags set down on the counter.  I was already wet from walking home in moderate rain; of course it wasn't raining at all when I set out about 40 minutes earlier!

Of course instead of dashing to the basement, I turned on the t.v. in one room and the radio in the kitchen and ran to the patio door to look for - get ready for it - my squirrels -- to make sure they were okay.  I'm steps away from the stairs to the basement and am ready to grab the computer and dash downstairs if necessary.

The storms are blowing up and blowing over quickly, between 55 and 60 miles per hour, and it's the classic tornado pattern, blowing in from the south/southwest toward the north/northeast and heading out across Lake Michigan.  The National Weather Service keeps extending the warning; when the sirens first went off the warning was in effect until 10:30 a.m.  Now it's been extended until 11:30 a.m.  And later today, when a cold front is expected through (starting around 4 p.m. according to latest forecasts) we're going to be under a strong wind advisory!  Great, just great. 

Okay, reports are coming in now of tornado touch-downs and damage to roofs, trees down, large blowing hail damage too.  There was no hail here, thank goodness, and there was more wind when I was walking home from the Pick 'n Save than there is now.  Onimously, there are areas of clear blue sky and the weather people are saying that is bad bad bad because it allows more heat into the clouds and increases the possibility of rotation and formation of tornados.

Now a new warning coming in, there is a second strong storm front coming in with a bullseye on Walworth County (to the southwest of Milwaukee County, where I am), and a report of a funnel cloud in Sturtevant, where my grandparents and aunts and uncles lived for many years.  I think I need to get to the basement now.  Later.

3:09 p.m.

The storms have finally blown over -- for now.  There is no damage around here, thank Goddess!  Everything is soggy but intact.  The sun came out for about 10 minutes and I ran to get photos of patches of blue sky before it disappeared again.  The temperature is beginning to drop.  This morning it was in the low 60's and the dew points were also in the 60's -- positively tropical for this time of year and a rare weather occurrence.  A large swatch of the Great Lakes region, however, was caught under the mega-umbrella of this storm system.

Looking to the southeast.  Cities to the southeast, including Cudahy, South
Milwaukee and Caledonia (in Racine County), got hammered badly by
this storm system.  I have leaves washed down in the curb that I'll have
to clean up -- once things dry out a little.  But maybe the winds that are
forecast to come along later (starting around 4 p.m. today) will blow them all away!
Looking to the south.
Looking to the north/northeast. 

I emerged from the basement after about 30 minutes of not having my ears pop and not having heard the "roaring train" sound that witnesses say accompany a tornado. I've never been in one and I don't ever want to be!  I have nightmares about them, horrible nightmares.  It is still thundering far to the east, out over Lake Michigan.

After I emerged from the basement it had stopped raining, so I quick dashed out to the garage, poured weed and feed into the spreader and headed to the front yard.  I only got in about 30 seconds worth of spread before it started raining - hard - again.  Drat!  But after 10 minutes it stopped raining long enough that I was able to complete doing my final weed and feed of the front lawn for the season.  Now if only I could get to my awfully messed up backyard.  Oh well.  The weather just is not cooperating.  It's difficult to rake wet leaves, let alone chop them up into smithereens with my mulching mower!  I can only hope that next weekend will be more conducive to yard clean-up.  It can be cold, it can be gloomy, but I must have it dry! 

Soggy backyard - lots of icky wet leaves to clean up.

In the time it has taken me to write this, put up the photos, and in-between times taking out a cheeseburger casserole from the oven and swap out two loads of laundry, it's clouded over and gotten dark once again.  Temperature continues to drop and the wind is picking up.  Drat!  It appears the forecast was spot on.  Holy Hathor!  Just hit with a BIG house-rattling windburst -- out of the northwest. Mother Nature has done a 180!  Great, just great.  Now I've got to worry about straight-line winds. 

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