"On the plains of Oklahoma, with a windshield sunset in your eyes like a watercolor painted sky, you'd think heavens doors have opened."
Fly Over States

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

On the Hunt

Oklahoma is Storm Chasing Central. The weather bugs have been anxiously looking forward to March 7 – 8 because they believed it was their first good shot at getting some twister action. They were especially eager because February was just about as flat a month for stormy spring weather as we’ve had since they started keeping records. That may sound crazy to people not from around these parts (or those with a brain some would say) but once bitten, you understand the thrill. The “sport” appeals to folks who enjoy weather, nature, photography, the science of meteorology and just your everyday average thrill junkie. There are a gazillion weather blogs and message boards where the storm chasers post while on the run. I am sure they also twitter or tweet or something but I am not all into that (yet). Husband and I aren’t storm chasers but that doesn’t mean we don’t get excited and on high alert when the air starts spinning up mixtures of cool and warm and the clouds turn green. Makes you feel alive.

We are now in a spring weather pattern and that means Winter’s back is broken. Cause to celebrate. The Storm Chasers are thrilled that about three twisters touched down in western Oklahoma, as predicted, and that they were there to see them. They got some fabulous footage and even saw a mobile home get trashed (the occupants were safely in a storm shelter). I am not sure it gets any better than that, although last year when a twister hit a pig farm northwest of the city, there was jubilation in the streets. I suspect they just got caught up in the emotion and really weren’t thinking of the poor pigs.

As for me, I can’t wait to see some decent Cumulonimbus clouds and feel the air that produces them. Those are the huge, mushroom like clouds that spring up when the air is unstable. They are also known as Anvil clouds because the tops are frequently flat where straight winds at the higher altitudes blow. On a summer afternoon, you can stand out and watch ‘em boil. During seasons of drought, you hope the darn things will drop some water on you, and when it is hot, you pray they will cool things down a bit.  Nothing smells better than the hot raindrops first hitting the pavement and grass (except maybe fresh popcorn at the movie theater), especially when the heat is so oppressive you feel like you are past the risk of melting and on the verge of burning up.  I love watching them at night when the lightning is flashing, illuminating them against the sky. 

There is something so primal about a respectable thunderstorm. It reminds you that Nature can knock you flat if you get too uppity. And will. The closest thing I can think of to rival the sheer power of a serious thunderstorm would be the Ocean. I guess it is no mystery why the main Greek Gods ruled the Sky, the Ocean and Death. But the Goddess in me is still a bit smug that, overall, Mother Nature is deemed female. The Earth is and always has been feminine – which does not mean the same thing as dainty. She’s a hag.  The older I get, the more I appreciate that.
We were scheduled to have our countertops installed, today. The sinks are dismantled, as is the stove.  We rearranged dinner plans with friends from out of town because we weren’t sure how late the installers would be here and we’d need to redo the plumbing after they finished. 

Just got a call from the countertop boys who had a question. As it turns out, their schedule has them coming out, tomorrow. Grrr

Yeech.  Can you blame me for wanting to replace this ghastly tile?
It is 85% grout and surely 100% germs because it is next to impossible to keep clean. 
I really like the arch between the den and the kitchen. 
We are going to get rid of that dropped ceiling in the kitchen after the countertops are installed.  Probably not right away, but it WILL happen.
I want to change out the door handles because I don't like the brass.  Since the hinges are brass, I may be stuck because I don't dislike them enough to spend much time and money to swap them out.  I'm cheap.  Ask my kids. 

I also dislike the picture over the sink.  Why anyone would want to look at a head of lettuce while they are washing dishes escapes me.   Husband keeps suggesting that I can hang a picture over it but I'm skeptical that would work.  I am less skeptical than I was because I was online this morning and saw where someone had done something like that and it actually looked good.  We'll see.  We aren't sure what we are going to do on the backsplash - we'll see how much damage the countertop boys do when they install the top.
I had fun watching the girls outside, yesterday, before the rains came through.  Evelyn's back feet crack me up.  I think I've mentioned that.  Repeatedly.
Pearl is such a flirt.
Lord, she is a cutie.
She carried their waterdish out into the yard and played with it for awhile.
Her nose is dished like an Arabian.  That is not a rude remark.  An Arabian is a horse.
If there is a stick or a twig to be found, she'll find it, poor deprived creature.
We are passing through the ugly season when the weeds sprout but the yard and trees are still dead looking. 
Pearl has such a nice Samoyed profile.  And look how their feet intertwine.
She adores Evelyn.
The girls have been making attempts to steal my chair.  I was really surprised to see Pearl do this. 
What a face.
Don't you just want to hug the little stuffed animal thing?
Evelyn finally is beginning to blow her coat starting - I kid you not - on her muzzle and ears.  She is shaggy looking as a result.
Flowers from Hobby Lobby, my midlife hangout:
I've decided that one of the reasons Evelyn takes such good pictures is that she "smiles" all the time. Pearl tends to keep her mouth closed and it really does change their expression. Flip back up and look at the shots where Pearl is smiling. It makes all the difference. I'm thinking I need to smile more.

While the storm chasers were west of here on the Wild Hunt (in truth, the tornado was probably the one on the Wild Hunt which they could discover in short order), about all we got was a heavy spring rain with a few rumbles of thunder. It didn’t feel remotely tornadoey, to me, although you could feel and smell that it was spring. Pearl looks like she is going to have a hard time with the storms because she gets frightened at loud noises, even the hammering of a nail. She hid under her dad’s desk and trembled. I think we may end up having to give her some Benadryl to soothe her if she doesn’t learn that it isn’t dangerous. Evelyn, thankfully, doesn’t raise an eyebrow.
I swear, give her some curly horns and a beard and, except for the tail, nose and paws, she'd look just like a little white buffalo sitting on my chair. 

Since the guys aren’t coming out with my countertops, I think I will go out to the barn and fire up the longarm to see how she survived the move. It is way too pretty to stay inside, anyway.

Happy Quilting,

Penny, Evelyn and Pearl


Elaine said...

Penny, just love your posts and pictures of Pearl and Evelyn. Not looking forward to any tornadoes here, but I agree the weather is fun to watch in OK.

Have fun quilting in the barn!


Penny said...

Thanks, Elaine. I fired up the longarm and was delighted that she purred like a kitten.

Twister said...

Nothing says "Okie" like a good tornado party! I spent many an hour in my youth on the apartment baloney watching the tornadoes come through.
Last year's Feb. tornado through Edmond was a thrill. Soren was just 2 minutes behind it on Kelly after it trashed Oak Tree Golf Course. And I was at home just a half-mile from it on the phone with him, as he described the destruction and trash all over the streets. We are just northeast of Broadway and Waterloo Rd. It never occurred to me to get in the shelter! Just proves I am an Okie!

Kerry said...

Love your pics of the girls, and of OK. Can't imagine why you wanted to change out that countertop in your kitchen, LOL. Evelyn does smile all the time, maybe Pearl will smile more as she gets older; give the little flirt a hug for me.
Kerry in TX