Friday, May 31, 2013

Healing in the Heartland

Having never been to a live show that was on tv, I wasn't sure what to expect. When there were commercials, we were told it was a commercial and how long until we came back. They told us applause as we came back or when we should be using are smart phones to light up the arena.

Vince Gill - simple yet elegant
Before the show Blake Shelton had told us that we would have a concert after the tv portion was over. And it was quite the show. First Team Usher and Team Blake along with their coaches performed a song to be broadcast on I believe Monday's show. The teams had sung the national anthem earlier and they sounded incredible together. Amazing how their voices could blend together so nicely.
Then Blake sang a couple of songs.
Miranda Lambert had put on the tshirt they were selling. The crowd was pretty rocking by this time.

Blake and Reba did Oklahoma Swing and he forgot the words

Usher sang Superstition
By far the loudest the crowd got all night was when Luke Bryan came out in the after portion. Oh my, the women were up dancing and he was working the crowd. I hadn't really lost my hearing until then.

It was a very interesting crowd. The people next to us were all about Reba. The people in front of us were most into Luke Bryan. And then you had us. I only knew a few of the songs. But I enjoyed the music. There were a lot of families and lots of cowboy boots.

The news said they raised $6 million dollars. Thank you to anyone who donated.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Preview Post - Benefit Concert

I forgot my cord to hook my camera to computer and too many pictures and video to do this justice from my iPad. So I'll write a big one up tomorrow.

But concert was awesome. Went for an hour and half longer than tv. They taped a song for next weeks The Voice show.

It was interesting to see a live tv show being done.

I promise that is Blake Shelton on the stage!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Healing in the Heartland

I'm heading to the benefit concert tonight that Blake Shelton is putting together for tornado relief. You can watch it on all of the NBC stations at 9pm Eastern/8pm Central. But I'll be seeing it live so I'm sure it will be a lot longer than the one hour they get on tv. It starts at 7:30 our time. There are three other big events going on downtown and the threat of severe weather. Hopefully no tornadoes around but wouldn't that be ironic?

Hopefully I'll have a full report tomorrow with pictures. Our seats are all the way across from the stage but we'll see what I can do.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Long Weekend - Nothing Done

I was so looking forward to a three day weekend. Unfortunately I got majorly sick Saturday afternoon. At first I thought I had overheated at the big tent they had to store tornado supplies. But after barely making it home without throwing up in the church parking lot and six hours later, Whitney got sick. So I knew it was a virus. I rarely get sick so this was very unusual for me. I almost went to the ER Sunday morning because I couldn't keep anything down and was afraid I was going to dehydrate.  But later on Sunday I just felt tired and the body aches left. Monday I weighed myself and had lost four pounds in two days. Crash diet I guess. I was able to do a little bit around the house yesterday but not a lot. Whitney just had the tiredness yesterday.

Of course after all that sleeping and laying around I couldn't sleep last night. I was late to work because I just couldn't move. I'm actually not sure how long I'll last at work today. Climbing one flight of stairs winded me. But I have some work that absolutely has to be done today so I'll get that done and then see.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Friday Fragments - I Need To Do This

Joining up with Mrs. 4444 for fragment time.

Half-Past Kissin' Time

I debated if I should do this and then I decided I needed to do it.

No stupid criminal this week. Maybe the were some but our radio stations have been all tornadoes all the time so I don't know about the criminals.

The outpouring of assistance from around the country has been huge. My church is coordinating the efforts from Norman since it is only 3 miles from where it hit. Well word got out among lots of churches and everyone is sending huge truckloads of stuff to us. Ryan Seacrest even tweeted about it. 

So I'm going there Saturday afternoon to help unload and load. Whitney has been to the church twice to volunteer and will be going Sunday with her sorority. Dan is trying to hook up with the animal rescue people to help take care of the dogs that have been found so they can be reunited with their owners. 

Well after joining the gym less than two weeks ago I can tell it is working. I bought a new pair of tennis shoes last weekend because all I had was Keds that really aren't workout shoes. Mostly I just walk on the treadmill but I like being able to watch tv while I do that. Better than fighting the weather outside. And it gives me a chance to just get away from things. 

We have had so much rain that I think I can safely say that we are out of the drought. Thank goodness. Here's hoping that over the summer we continue to get some and it not be too darn hot.

In one month I'll be in China. Hard to imagine. I've got my passport and visa back from the consulate, plane ticket is bought, hotel reservations are made. I need to get a power adapter and finalize some things I want to do there, but otherwise I'm getting ready. I think it will hit me in a couple of weeks.

Whitney decided to go visit her roommate over the July 4th weekend. She will be going to San Francisco. She's flown lots with us but this will be her first time by herself. And then she gets to navigate the BART to take the train from the airport out to where her friend lives. But what a fabulous opportunity for her to be able to do this.

Let me end by saying that Memorial Day is set aside to remember those who have served our country to insure our freedom. Thank you to all who have done so. I never forget that this is the greatest country in the world to live in.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Heavy Heart

This is going to be a rambling post but I'm not sorry I'm rambling. I mention often that I live in Oklahoma. Well I live just a few miles from the devastating tornado in Moore. It would take me 15 minutes to drive there from my house. I know that area well. And it breaks my heart to see it like this. I lived here in 1999 when May 3 happened. But I didn't know Moore then like I do now. Moore took the devastation that happened and reenergized their town. They grew exponentionally and they were strong. The number of storm shelters in homes in Moore is probably greater than anywhere else in Oklahoma. I'm sure they will rebuild again.

But it won't be the same. The tornado took lives. It hit two elementary schools. From the air they both look to have taken somewhat similar damage. Yet one was built more recently and all the children were found alive. The other one was older and children died. As a parent, my heart breaks for the parents that still don't know what happened to their children. They are still waiting.

Last night I had a talk with Whitney about this. She is hurting. This is the first time she is old enough to truly understand what is going on and what it all means. I'm trying to help her understand and yet I don't even comprehend it all. I've donated money. I know to avoid the area. I pray for the families. It doesn't seem like enough.

I was awake most of the night with my mind racing on what we can do. We will be going to our church today which is acting as a shelter. I'm working on trying to organize our building's efforts.

I talk often that I work with weather people. We knew it was coming. On Friday they were posting the three day risk area. We were in the severe area for Sunday and Monday. Yesterday morning they said it would hit between 1-7pm. There was 20-30 minutes of lead time before the tornado hit. And once it was on the ground in Newcastle there was 15-20 minutes before it hit the schools. The work that my colleagues does has worked hard to increase that lead time. You will see many people that I work with on tv. I'm proud to work with these people. They ARE making a difference.

I told you this would be rambling. Thank you for reading.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Weekend Excitement

May is tornado season and tomorrow lived up to it. It started around 3 with a tornado about 40 miles north of us. That tracked for awhile and the storm chasers on tv were excited. Frankly I appreciate a calm voice and the normal station I watch just hired a rival stations big chaser who drives me nuts. So much for the calm voice. I can't even watch that channel anymore.

Anyway there was a storm popping up southeast of us but they weren't covering it much because of the bigger tornado on the ground...even though it was over sparsely populated areas. I wasn't too concerned. They even had to drag out morning meteorologists to go chase because all of the other ones were north of us. We kept watching and it was slow moving so we decided to just stay put for awhile. Northwest in town started to get baseball size hail so Dan decided maybe we would go drive away from the storm and pull Whitney's car into the garage. So of course we decide to do that just as it starts to pour. We drove about a mile east and it was clearing. On the radio they were saying a tornado hit our town near the lake which is about seven miles east of our house. We looked that way from the parking lot we were in and could see some rotation.

The big damage from this tornado happened about 30 miles east of us. A mobile home park was destroyed and one person was killed. Mobile homes are the worst place to be. Houses near them weren't heavily damaged.

This was how concerned our dog was before the storm hit. She just got excited to be riding in the car.

There might be another round of storms today.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Friday Fragments

Joining up this week for Friday Fragments by Mrs. 4444.

Half-Past Kissin' Time

Stupid criminal of the week is from Kentucky. Seems as if the manager of a supermarket found 57 empty whipped cream cans in the garbage when he came to open the store. They found the culprit in the ceiling of the store. Seems as if he cooked six steaks, had some beer, shrimp and birthday cake. He had hid in the store as the employees were closing up the night before. Did he not think that someone would notice 57 cans? How in the world can you eat that much whipped cream?

Did you hear about the ice tsunamis? It is crazy. The wind blew up big chunks of ice that enveloped houses.

The world of news is just crazy. Since when does anyone care that Prince Harry wore the same tie twice on his visit to the US? Really...when does this classify as news?

Taco Bell is working on a new product in limited release. It is a breakfast waffle taco. Scrambled eggs and sausage in a waffle folded up to look like a taco shell. Doesn't sound appetizing at all, does it?

Monday, May 13, 2013

Weekend Wrapup

Busy weekend here. First we picked up Whitney on Friday. Poor thing was sick and couldn't help at all. So I packed and Dan moved stuff to the cars. Thank goodness the weather was nice. Then she tried to get a vacuum from the RA and waited an hour and it never was returned. The RA was nice enough to check us out without vacuuming. Then the massive unloading of cars when we got home. We learned our lesson from last year and went in stages. Packed boxes that were just going into the attic. And by Sunday all I had left was to wash her comforter and put the bedding in the attic and we were done. Phew.

Saturday Dan fixed the drip in our shower. That meant we had to have the water turned off for a couple of hours while he took the part across town to make sure he got the right one. It took longer for him to drive than for him to change it out. Good news is the drip is gone.

The neighborhood had a garage sale weekend. While we didn't participate, we did get a note that the Salvation Army was coming through on Monday to pick up things afterwards. So we got all our odds and ends and lots of Whitney tshirts ready for pickup. I had started going through stuff the week before but this saves a trip to the donation place.

Mother's Day was very nice. I had told church that I would be cutting back my volunteering during the summer and I stuck to it. I could tell they needed some extra help but I have made up my mind that I will enjoy the entire service with Whitney each week.

For dinner Dan worked with Whitney to help her learn how to make one of our favorite meals, Pork Milanese. And then for dessert we made s'mores outside in the firepit.

And then I stayed up too late watching the Revenge season finale. Very concerned what will happen to Nolan next year.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Friday Fragments

Joining up for another edition of fragments. You know those little bits that aren't enough to write a whole blog post on. Yeah those things.

Half-Past Kissin' Time

I actually grabbed the new button this week for fragments. Pretty cool right.

I saw someone using a payphone at 7/11 this week. First of all I didn't realize they still existed. Second of all I wonder how much a call costs.

Stupid criminal this week was a lady who was in a small fender bender. She was acting funny when the police arrived. They found a list in her car: chicken breast, milk, Xanax, cocaine, get high. Funny how when making a list, you have to add that. Needless to say the "get high" is what go her in trouble since she was high during the accident. Guess the lesson is don't write that down and don't get high and drive.

Picking up Whitney today at college for her to come home for the whole summer. Where does the time go? The weather at least isn't going to be hot like it was when we took her up in August.

And speaking of Whitney, time for me to brag. She was selected to be a co-Chair for Relay for Life at her college next year. So proud of her and her willingness to serve. She is going to do a great job.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

TV Wrap UP

I just wanted to give a quick tv wrapup since we are coming to the end of many series.

Let's just say that the last ten minutes of Sunday's show were action packed (really a samuri swordfight and the lights going out in NYC) and I can't wait for the two hour finale this Sunday. They still haven't announced if they get a third season but I'm sure it will be around for next year. Although the creator is not going to be working on the show anymore. So I wonder where it will go from here.

The Voice
I keep catching parts of the show. So I'm not really following it, but Adam Levine sure knows how to recognize talent. I'm sure the winner will be someone he picked.

The Chew
Let's just say I watch this every day when I come home from work simply for the dynamics of the hosts. Carla, Michael and Clinton make my day. I could do without Mario and Daphne.

Person of Interest
I'm behind in this one by a couple of weeks. I always tape it because I have bible study that night and then don't watch it right away. But it is a very well made show.

Fashion Star
OK, here's my cheesey show. I only watch it online so as not to take up dvr space. And I skip a lot of it. My prediction is that Hunter wins.

What shows have I given up on this year? These shows have "jumped the shark."

Glee - just can't do it anymore.
Project Runway - I love Tim Gunn and he couldn't save a "team challenge" show.
Once Upon a Time - sorry Whitney, I just lost interest.

What am I looking forward too? Why So You Think You Can Dance of course! It starts up next week and when I saw who the all-stars were, I got really excited. For you see one of my favorite male dancers, Mark Kanemura will be back along with Twitch. I will leave you with previews of two of my favorite dances from the show featuring each of them.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


I wasn't going to do this week's hodgepodge until Whitney sent me a text asking me where it was. So because of that I'm joining Joyce for this week's version.

1. When the children of today grow up, what do you think they'll say about this period in time? What do you most hope they remember?

Well they will look at it just like we do of the time we grew up. It was such a different was so much easier...all those things we say now.

2. National Teacher's Day is celebrated in the US of A on the first Tuesday in May, this year May 7th...share how a particular teacher positively impacted you.

I remember my 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Fontaine. She was very nice. I remember her letting me get ready for recess earlier than anyone else because it would take me forever to get into my snowmobile suit during winter. She felt bad for me missing recess. We had reading before it and I was a fast reader.

3. What's a dish your mama made, that if set in front of you today would whisk you right back to childhood?

Broccoli with cream of mushroom soup. Mom would always make that when we had ham. I make the broccoli now just steamed. It is healthier (sorry Mom).

4. Mother May I was a game we played when I was growing pieces, parts, or plugs required. What games from childhood do you remember loving that were also pieces, parts, and plug-free?

We played a game called Statue. Basically you fling someone else around and then they have to stop moving and pose. The whole neighborhood would play together. Someone was the art dealer and would walk the customer around and describe the different statues.

5. Besides your own mother, tell us about a woman who influenced you as a child?

I have no idea how to answer this question.

6. Mamma Mia! What's the best play or musical you've ever seen?

Well my favorite is A Chorus Line. But I love so many musicals. I always wanted to be in one in high school. But the year they were going to do one at my first high school I moved before it happened. And then the high school I moved to was in the middle of staging one and never did another one while I was there.

7. What are three smells that make you feel nostalgic?

I'm not a big smell person.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Plane ticket to China is bought. Visa application is mailed off. Now the waiting game begins.

Monday, May 6, 2013

What I Learned This Weekend

So in our never ending quest to improve the house, Dan had to fix a drip in our shower. I never pay attention to these type of things. But when he tried to turn the water off inside the house the knob wouldn't turn all the way. So a plumber suggested we get a key and turn off the water outside at the main line. Much cheaper to do it that way.

Lucky for us a friend has one so we borrowed it. When you think of key don't you think of something small? Well wrong. This is what the key looked like.

It is about 3 feet tall and made of metal. It has a hook at one end to take the big heavy lid off the line and then a little thing to turn the line off.

I got to be the turn off and turn on person. It was so easy. I used the speaker phone so I could Dan and I could communicate if he wanted it on and off.

The drip is sort of fixed (he probably needs a different part) but I learned how to turn the water on and off!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Reflections on A-Z

I added the I Survived the A-Z Challenge button to my blog because I feel like a survivor. You know why I'm a survivor? Because I finished it and at least 90 people ahead of me on the original sign up list didn't blog. I was number 599 on the original list and ended up at 511. I don't blame those people because you don't realize what kind of commitment you are getting yourself into.

I'll be honest, I went into this thinking piece of cake. I knew certain letters would be a challenge. I even wrote my X post first. I had a week's worth of posts written even before April started. And then life happened. I felt rushed on some posts. I tried to make them interesting but I just couldn't. I ran out of steam towards the end of the alphabet. Because really my W post about Whitney should have been so much better. And when I'm apologizing in a post about my sucky U-Umbrella you know I've hit the deep end.

I enjoy the randomness of my normal posts. When something strikes me, I write about it. I don't like being forced to a formula. I normally don't post on Saturdays. I don't like posting from my ipad. I felt I needed more photos and just didn't have them.

I did find some new blogs to follow. A lot of the people who signed up are writers and that doesn't interest me. So I was looking for people who blog like me. About life in general. Here's a few that interest me:

New House Girl - she did a month of wine posts!
The Happy Life Blog - she was random like me and I love it!
Tales of the TCKK Family - a month of Disney photos

There were a few others I've followed and I gained some new followers (THANK YOU!) so I guess it did serve a purpose to be a part of this. I'm over a 100 followers now which is huge for me.

So if you are new to my blog welcome. I'll be getting back to my random postings with occasional recipes, television reviews and just general life.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Friday Fragments - Thank Goodness You Are Back

Linking up with Mrs. 4444 (Happy Belated Birthday) for this week's version of fragments. Woohoo! I'm so glad you are back.

Mommy's Idea

So after a month of the A-Z Challenge I get to do these again. I for one am very grateful.

I was checking out my stats for my blog (don't you do that) and found that more people from Russia visit my blog than the USA. What's up with that? Do I have some secret code word that I've listed for my labels that makes me high on Russia's list? And my post-it Tuesdays seem to be the most popular posts. Once again, what's up with that?

Stupid criminal of the week was a man who was arrested while eating lint off the floor at a Burlington Coat Factory. When confronted by police he admitted he was high on crystal meth and he had drugs on his possession. I would think that was pretty obvious by the fact that he was eating LINT off a floor.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Happy May Day - The Hodgepodge Way

Back to my regular blogging so joining Joyce for this week's hodgepodge.

1. This week's Hodgepodge is Volume 123. What's something you've done recently that was as easy as 1-2-3? 
Sending out 30+ individually addressed emails accepting people for a symposium and then another email with logistical information. Really it was just cutting and pasting and then a little typing. This could have been much more complicated. Oh wait, the whole rest of the experience is making up for this easy 1-2-3 part.

2. The Wednesday Hodgepodge also happens to fall on the first day of May ...what is something you may do this month? 
I may tackle another project off the home improvement list. Although right now I don't even know where the list is.

3. The Englishman Horace Walpole is credited as saying, "The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think" How do you see it?
Wrong, wrong, wrong. I feel but don't feel the world is a tragedy. I think there are tragedies but that doesn't mean that everything is one.

4. May is National Hamburger often do you eat a burger? What are your must-haves when it comes to burgers? I assume you vegetarians won't be celebrating so tell us what you'd like instead? 
In the summer we eat a lot of hamburgers, at least once a week. Although we seem to cook them on the George Foreman grill instead of outside. I'm not sure the last time the grill worked and we don't use our smoker as much as we used to. A good hamburger must have catsup and cheese. Anything else is bonus.

5. Pansies, petunias, geraniums, impatiens...of the four mentioned, which is your favorite in a patio pot? Will there be pots on your patio this spring? (Or whenever spring comes to your part of the globe?) Who does the gardening at your house?
I like pansies and impatiens but tend to do impatiens because they like to grow with little light so I used to always plant those in front of a bedroom window that was shady. We don't plant in pots because I would have to attach a water hose to each one to constantly water them. They dry out so fast in Oklahoma because of the heat that if you don't water twice a day plants die in a day.
Image from University of Minnesota

6. When did you last (literally or figuratively) shout "Mayday, Mayday!"
This isn't something that even enters my mind.

7. Say farewell to your April in ten words or less. 
A-Z Challenge...bye, bye, bye.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
The logistics mentioned in number one have to deal with the symposium we are hosting in China in June. So I'm booking 30+ plane tickets from all around the U.S. to get there and visa applications. This is on top of my normal busy May deadlines. Phew.