Friday, May 23, 2008

Another wild day

Okay, another windy day! Today the storm got closer to me than it did yesterday. We had what is called a "gustnado" ... Sounds weird, but they say it is a wind storm that gets up to 70 mph. One came blowing through here at about 3:25 this afternoon. I went out to the porch to see if it was a tornado forming, and had to hold on to the post. When I saw a racoon running from the barn area right past me on the porch and kept on heading north, I knew he was trying to outrun the storm, and that if he was that concerned I'd better be. It passed in a total of maybe 10 minutes. I have debris everywhere, but there was no damage. The noise I heard was next door though, and the wind took off the entire west side of his barn/shop. Plastered it up against the east side of the barn next door to him. The barn is probably 85' long, and two storys high, so that is a lot of siding to put back up.
They had just gotten full bore into the project of cleaning up the area and practically gutting their house to renovate it. This is going to set them back. Right after the wind there was a complete calm which almost rattled me more, I thought, "Oh gosh, is this the eye of the storm?" But over two hours later, it is still calm.

I hope it stays that way.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

This was one wild and woolly day ...

Like I said, wild and woolly ... I spent the day with computer troubles ... during a rare large tornado. We had very unusual conditions. The wind was cold and out of the south east. Traveling at 30 to 52 mph, it rushed up against the front range causing an updraft forcing the air to circle around back on itself. The tornado was from 3/4 to a mile wide and traveled 35 miles. Then either formed again, or skipped over to Laramie, Wyoming and formed again. Windsor, Colorado got the worst of the storm. The photo on the right is someones house. Or was ... At the left is a photo of the tornado. You can see how wide it was, and when you think of it traveling at 30 to 52 mph, you could hardly get out of the way. I mean we're talking speed limit speed here! On the west side of Greeley it took out a dairy. They lost about 25 cows, and had a time rounding up the other 375. They had trucks come in and transport them to safer ground. But think of their mess. They are milk cows that have to be milked twice a day. They have no barn. And that is a lot of cows to deal with without the proper setup. I wouldn't want to hand milk 375 cows. The tornado took out several new housing developments in Windsor, but also some of the old historic section of the small town. It is estimated that over 100 homes were lost. This photo is from the old section of town. I don't know what business, but it might have been a mill at one time. And then there was the assorted vehicles turned over on the road. The storm also turned over five tanker railroad cars, and there was at least one grain train car that was upended. Over turned vehicles littered the highway along the tornado's full path. The most poignant picture I saw while watching the news was a young boy, maybe 10, and he was standing at what looked like curbside. He had a hold of his dogs leash, and he was hugging his pillow to his chest. His eyes were full of shock and disbelief. At least I only have to re-rake and not rebuild. I am counting my blessings.

As for my computer troubles ... thinking about how to tell you the story, it is so complicated. All I wanted to do was install software to connect two computers together for the purpose of transferring files. Sounds slick and simple. Well, it wasn't. And when I finally got to the point of printing out the instructions so I had them right there in my face, the computer froze up on me. The monitor went blank and stayed blank. It had a sort of glow in the background, and the on/off button wouldn't turn it off. Nothing worked, and my daughter and her husband are telling me it is dead. Dead Jim. Possibly there was a surge during the storm, and even though I have a surge protector, it killed my lovely new flat panel monitor. I'm told that is a problem with them. Or can be. It is new enough to be under warranty, but I so hate the hassle. At least I do have my laptop, (I haven't killed that yet), and I was able to unplug the satellite cable from the desk top and plug it right in. So far that is working perfectly for me.

It is midnight thirty and after the day today I think I'd best shut down and go to bed.

I hope you all had a much better day!

Be well and take care.

Credits: These photos were taken from the news coverage of CBS 4 The photo of the tornado, specifically was an Ullmann photo.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Two in a row by golly

I was reading from Ted Kooser's book, "Local Wonders, Seasons in the Bohemian Alps," and got to thinking about how much I remember from my days in Kansas as he talked about the osage orange hedges, and then about garage sales. This brought me to remember a poem I wrote about 22 years ago to a boy I went to grade school with. Kindergarten specifically. I shared this with a friend, and then shared it on so thought I really should share it with everyone. Someday I'll meet this boy again, and can let him know in person.

"His First Love"

I remember the heavy round wooden tables
Built low to the ground,
Just right for kindergartners.
He would always sit close.

I didn't notice.

Out-of-doors on the playground was a giant oak.
He made me an acorn pipe, then taught me how.
I made lots of acorn pipes, giving them all away;
Even his.

He stood quiet with little fists pushed deep in his pockets.
But I didn't notice.

The sun was goldenShining through high windows
Down on the low round table,
Particles of dust dancing merrily on the beams.

He handed me a present,
And as the royal blue paper with tiny pin stripes
Crossed the sun's raysThe stripes lit up like diamonds.

Gently opening the paper,
Careful not to lose the sparkles,
I could feel the whole class watch.
I was embarrassed.

Inside was a book about a velveteen kitten.
She was black and feminine.
She wore a pink bow,
And she was fuzzy to the touch.

I treasured that book.
As time went by I rubbed the kitty's fur
Until she was loved slick and smooth.

I don't remember saying thank you.
I'm sure I did.
Surely the teacher would have reminded me;
There in front of the whole class.

Over four decades ago - yet -
The memory of that special gift is as clear and bright
As was the sun beam that day.
And I would like you to know Jimmy Wilson;

That I noticed.

All art, poetry and writings are copyright & cannot be reproduced in any form without written permission from Judith Angell Meyer -- PoetrySoup: The FREE International Poetry Web Site

Saturday, May 17, 2008

I'm back!

Well, I don't know how back I am, but time to at least say hello. I am finally through all the illustrations for the third adoption book. The name of the books has been revamped to "Without a Home." This made a major improvement on the books apprearance. This book is for little furry critters. There is a hamster, chinchilla, rat, (Reggie), bunny and ferret. This set was a bit more challenging, but enjoyed the work. Here is a preview on one of the illustrations:

This is Bonnie and her new friend. Or she thought it was a new friend, and then realized that she was a friend from way before. She ended up with a very special new home.

I am going to be looking into making a few prints of the illustrations so the author has something else to offer when advertising/selling the books. Also, and this is pretty scary for me, I have entered Reggie the rat into the annual Society of Animal Artists show. I certainly didn't think a domestic rat would be subject matter for that show, but was strongly encouraged to enter ... so ... I actually did. I won't hear until the end of May if the drawing was accepted or not, but it's getting to be "nervous time" already! I'll be sure to let you all know how that goes. Very prestigeous show, and I have not entered any of my art work in it for years. Mostly because I hadn't been doing much art work. So, we shall see. It has been so long since I made an entry for this annual show, I'll bet they have to look up to see if I am actually a member!! (Sad isn't it!) I have an old commission on my drawing table now, and one I want to do for the next SAA show. Wish me good luck. I'll need it.

I have been enjoying my PoetrySoup web site. It is so good to be surrounded by supportive like minded people. I have some poetry going around in my mind and looking forward to writing more again soon. But ... there is the spring raking to get done first, darn the luck.

I got a new little trailer to help me out with the yard work. Now I won't have to beg a boy to help me get the camper shell on and off the pickup just to do the work around the yard. And with the trailer being a lot lower to the ground, it will be easier for me to fill and empty it back on the burn pile. Plus, it has a ramp on the back so I can get my lawn mower to repair if I need to, or haul a few bales of hay. I'm pleased and lucky to have the new good tool.
The weather here has been pretty crazy. Wind, cold and a little bit of rain one day, and then sunny and hot the next. I really don't want to look like I'm complaining though. The cool/cold is nicer for me than the hot, and we need all the moisture we can get. It is soooo dry here. The pasture is almost to the point that it will feed the horses and I won't have to. Soon I'll be free to take care of all the medical maintenance I want to get done, and then the motor home trips I want to take. There are three. To visit my artist friend in Boulder, Wyoming, my quilter friend in Story, Wyoming, and the valley where Hans' ashes are. It is a beautiful area, and I can't wait to just hike and photo and sketch to my hearts content. Of course the trips wouldn't be right if I didn't have my Gizmo along to keep me company.
Until next time ... enjoy your spring.

"We are all different expressions of one reality, different songs of one singer,different dances of one dancer, different paintings - but the painter is one." -- Osho, Indian Spiritual Leader