Spring Saturday Random Musings

Thunderstorm from the porch

Thunderstorm from the porch – and yes, this is one of mine, shot by my alter-ego over at Wall 2 Wall Photography.

This is going to be one of those posts that is all over the map, as I have a lot of little thoughts that probably wouldn’t stand on their own, so they lean on their friends for support, because there is safety in numbers, right?

Okay, so yesterday our area was placed under a tornado watch, and you could tell that it was going to storm, simply because of how juicy the air was. It gets humid here during the summer, but spring storm air has a feel all its own.

The hubbage and I sat out on the deck until it started to get a little crazy in the lightning department, so we took the dogs inside until things let up a little bit. We then went out on the front porch and saw where the clouds were headed, which was away from our house. That’s when the hail started. It was pea sized at first and then there were a few marble sized hail stones that just randomly fell here and there. I walked into the yard to look at the clouds, because I love clouds, and weather has always been fascinating to me.

(Side note: when I lived on the plains of Eastern New Mexico I worked for the Emergency Preparedness department at City Hall. Tornadoes and severe weather were fairly commonplace there and I had taken some spotter classes through the National Weather Service. I knew what to look for, what wall clouds were, up drafts, etc. It was fascinating to me. The fact that I got to test the sirens and be the voice on cable interrupt that told everyone that “this is only a test” was a pretty cool perk, as well. That training actually came in handy after I had left that job to be a stay at home mom with Middle Son, who was just a baby. I knew what I was looking at and was able to see the threat and got my kids and friends to a safe place before the first and only actual tornado I’ve ever seen came through. I called in my report to my old employer and probably should have joined everyone in the safe room, but I was glued to the window, because I am THAT idiot. Had it come any closer than it did, I would have been in the bathroom with everyone else, but it was moving away from us. So that is kind of the back story to my weather fascination.)

Okay, back to the present…or at least recent past…I saw what looked to me to be an updraft, so I walked around to the side yard to get a better look. There appeared to be some rotation, so I got out my phone and started to record video. I mentioned that I’m that idiot that won’t take cover until I absolutely have to, so you shouldn’t be surprised that I stood out there in the yard and recorded some snippets of the clouds. The rain started again, so I ran back to the relative shelter of the porch and shot some more. I could hear the alarm system just inside the front door going off and my phone has a couple of weather apps and all were letting us know that there was a tornado warning issued for our county. I thought I saw a funnel or two drop out of what I figure was a wall cloud, but they popped back up before I could restart my camera. I’m pretty sure there is a multi window feature on my phone, but I’m sure not adept enough to figure it out, so I missed the shot. I got a little more footage from the driveway as the storm was moving away from us and compiled them into the little video below.

Disclaimer: I am no videographer, and will not accept responsibility for any motion sickness that you guys might experience while viewing. I also added a soundtrack because…well, dramatic effect, plus it was a cool feature of the editing app I ultimately used.The app is called Splice and I edited from my iPad for those of you who might be curious. This was also the first out of three free apps I downloaded that would let me render more than just the first 30 seconds of video without paying for the full version. See, I am on a super tight budget (The Hartford sucks), and am cheap by nature, and I was not about to pay for an app that I may only use once, because I don’t do much video at all, so, okay. Now you know a little bit more about the crazy woman that writes this blog. She’s cute, she’s funny, she’s cheap and can pinch a penny till Abe squeals. Just sayin’…

**Shifting Gears**

I went out to the veggie garden-to-be this morning and was thrilled to see that the corn and carrots had not washed away, after all. Well, at least the corn didn’t. What is coming up through the dirt is most assuredly corn. I am assuming what I am seeing in the carrot rows isn’t grass. It looks way to delicate, but I have been wrong before. This will be my first carrot growing experience since childhood.

Then I wandered across the yard to check out the grapes. Did I mention that we want to put a couple more vines in? Future home of The Grapes of Wrath mini-vineyard, lol. They (the vines) are thriving and looking terrific! This is our first foray into growing grapes and berries. The hubs said it won’t be long before we will need to start training them. I told him that I was a step ahead of him. He gave me a puzzled look and I told him to watch and be amazed. I looked at the vines and firmly said, “Stay!” Let me tell you, those grapes didn’t budge. Not one bit. The hubs, on the other hand, shook his head and walked away laughing. I think he’s just jealous because I got them to do it first. 😉

**Shifting Gears**

We spent this afternoon at my mom’s place in Raleigh. I hadn’t seen her since the holidays and she asked me if I would mind coming out to help her in the garden. Well, of course I wouldn’t mind because I love to garden, play in the mud and get dirty. Also, her front and back yards are Zen-like to me. I knew we weren’t going to be able to make an entire day of it, but I also wanted to see Skwarl, since she lives in Mom’s neck of the woods. I had some things I wanted to bring her, as well, so we made plans for her to meet me at Mom’s after the yard work was done. I moved a couple of azalea bushes and dug up and removed the dead bushes that didn’t come back after a pretty harsh winter in our neck of the woods. I was ready to do more and Mom said that was it, we were done, sooo…we sat on the deck and visited until Skwarl arrived.

Man, was it good to see her! We sat outside, talked and caught up, then my sister joined us and we talked about our fear and loathing of spiders. Talk about a bonding agent, lol! The weather was amazing, and I wish that I had thought to get a picture of Mom’s yard because it is like a controlled forest! The dogwoods and azaleas are still blooming, the leaves on the trees are green, the gentle breeze was making the chimes sound off musically around the yard. There were bluebirds, a nuthatch, woodpeckers, yellow finches, cardinals, doves, squirrels, and that one lone black spider that kept making an appearance on the trunk of the tree behind the bench we’d been sitting on. Ahhhhhh, girl time in a Zen yard. Just what the doctor ordered!

While I was visiting with Skawrl, Mom dug up a small dogwood sapling and put it in a pot for us to bring home and put in our yard. This tickled me to death and the first words out of my mouth were, “I can has dogwood?” (Yes, I have been know to visit I Can Has Cheezburger from time to time, and this runs in my family, lol…) I have yet to get a dogwood to grow in my front yard, so this little guy is going to live out back, since the neighbor’s dogwood has done really well in their back yard, and I don’t think trees understand property boundaries, so am hoping that this little tree learns from his neighbor.

After Skwarl left, Mom fed us an early supper of ham, baked beans and homemade tater salad. My mom makes the best potato salad I have ever eaten, that’s for sure! We had sliced strawberries and angel food cake for dessert, and honestly? There are very few things that compare to Mom’s cooking and a good visit with family and friends!

**Shifting Gears**

During our visit, I was telling Mom about the fiasco at Walmart a couple weeks ago, and how I refuse to go in there. It only took twelve days and the telling of the story for it to dawn on me. I take bubble baths. Like, a LOT of bubble baths. Usually nightly. They are a part of my decompression ritual and I can bring my tablet with me to feed my online Bingo habit, catch up on emails, draft blogs, and watch the final few seasons of Dexter that I’d missed (although the latter maybe isn’t the best idea right before bed because I had a nightmare that I was being murdered last week after having watched three Doomsday Killer-related episodes back to back). Anyway, my favorite bubble bath is this lavender scented kind that I get at…yeah, you guessed it…Walmart. I ran out of said bubble bath on Thursday and soaked sans bubbles last night. Also, all of our pool chemicals have been purchased at Walmart over the last several years because they are much cheaper than Lowes or the specialty pool stores. Now I can handle paying a few cents more for a bottle of wine or a case of beer at the grocery store, but pool chemicals and bubble bath? I am not so sure that these are negotiable, because I am cheap and on a budget, but mostly because of the budgetary constraints right now. Mom said I may have to suck it up and get the chemicals at Walmart, in spite of being really pissed off at them, ESPECIALLY since those kind folks up there at corporate never bothered to respond to my email. Why should they? They are WALMART and I am just one lone consumer. They aren’t missing me as much as I am missing them. Dammit.

Now, if you will excuse me, there is a bubble bath and adult beverage calling my name to make my day complete. I feel oddly rejuvenated after the few short hours I spent in Raleigh today, and I think I was overdue. 🙂

Until next time…

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28 thoughts on “Spring Saturday Random Musings

  1. Hey Julie! I found your blog through our mutual friend, Robin.
    Yowza! What a great photo! The lightening in that first shot is incredible. I’m in Charlotte, NC and we are due to get that violent weather tonight and tomorrow.
    Is your mother in Raleigh, NC? I hear they are getting hit tonight with storms.
    Be safe!

    1. Hi, Jill! Thank you for the compliment! It took YEARS of standing on the front porch with a tri-pod to finally get that shot, LOL…

      Yes, Mom’s in Raleigh, I’m a little further down east in Goldsboro, and it got a bit stormy yesterday. I understand we are in for a little bit more + flood watches. Weeeee…. 😉

  2. Hi. Julie – discovered you through Robin, via Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award. I love nothing better than a rainy day and your girl time in the Zen garden sounded amazing. I look forward to visiting your blog. Be well. ~Karen~

  3. Oh man…I love storms..I mean, not if they are violent and people get hurt..but just to watch and listen to..awesome.

    Except today. I’m at work and it’s really stormy out and all I want to do is nap.

    1. I love a good “safe” storm, as well! We are forecast for some more storms on the severe side tomorrow and Wednesday. I am hoping to get out and maybe get some good images, but must do so safely… 😉

  4. I need to start using my ‘shifting gears’ comment to break up my long posts! Smiles and glad that you had a good time visiting at your mom’s and all the other news I caught up on today! Smiles, Robin

  5. Sounds like an awesome day at your Mom’s! Great pic of the lighting and video too! (though I did get a bit dizzy there for a minute1 hahaha) Have you checked online for cheaper prices? Sometimes you can find them, sometimes you can’t. I won’t step foot in Wal-mart if I don’t have to, and it has been over a year now! Yea! I used to order my hot tub chemicals online because they were cheaper. Just a thought. 🙂 Carrots are fun to grow, especially when your dog loves them and helps you dig them up and then lays there and eats them! hahaha Have an awesome Sunday!

      1. lol I am rather proud of myself for being able to stay out of that place! I think UPS/FedEx and Amazon.com are my best buddies! Since we travel all over the place, I’ve learned that not everyone carries the same stuff, so I do order loads of stuff online, and I do mean loads. haha

  6. Great job, Julie! The music at first was so ominous and then turned triumphant at the end. Did I catch a glimpse of the infamous neighbors house at about 35 seconds into the video? 😈 That’s really cool to have a sapling of something from your mom’s house. Is it a Kousa? Anyway, enjoy some bubbly in the bubbles and have a great night!

    1. Yes, Rob! That was the infamous neighbors from hell house. Except now we have awesome neighbors. I’m not sure WHAT kind of dogwood it is…will check it out and let you know….Google-Queen punching out for the night, lol!

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