Thursday, January 30, 2014

Southerners & Snow, What's The Big Deal?

Snow & South.  Two words that aren't usually used in the same sentence.  But I'm going to explain the recent hullabaloo down here.

If you need more than that:

I was born and raised outside New Orleans.  When I was nineteen, I moved to South Dakota.  I admit it was the first time I'd ever been above the Mason-Dixon, y'all.  What a shock to my Southern sensibilities!!

Driving across the state, I thought my brand spankin' new sports car was out of alignment because I was driving with the wheel cocked fifteen degrees.  I stopped at a rest area and when I opened the door and stood up, the wind took my waist length naturally curly auburn locks like a kite and nearly whipped me back to Nebraska!  A hurricane in the North?  No, just everyday wind in the Plains I was told.

(NOT fancy oil rigs...)

Then Winter hit.  First it came gently and I called everyone I knew back home to describe the baseball sized flakes falling gently to the ground.  I put on a coat and ran outside to make snow angels and play like a child, full of wonder, while the people in my dorm looked on like I was a crazy person.

That was the teaser, a few hours later the snow came in horizontally.  It stung when it hit like tiny shards of glass in a tornado.  Remember that wind?  This was October.

In December the snow was knee deep  Temps were nearing -90 with the wind chill.  I had to go buy clothing I didn't know existed, a parka with a fur-lined hood, fur-lined mittens that came to your elbows, and boots that were lined in what felt like lead when you walked in them, those boots came up to the bottom of this parka (which sort of resembled a sleeping bag folded in half and zipped up).  The hood was not only worn, but apparently you needed to draw the string attached so that only one eye at a time peeked out into a blinding white sheet and you had to wear your keys around your neck because if you did happen to actually find your precious little sports car, forget finding your keys easily in a fashionable clutch.  You couldn't actually grip anything with these mittens that were also like sleeping bags wrapped around your arms.   And it was still cold.  Plus, who doesn't love a rousing game of Where-The-Heck-Is-My-Car?

I had to actually keep a snow shovel in my trunk!!  So I could dig my way out of parking lots!!

Florida was a welcome reprieve after several years of that!  Skip ahead a few more years and I was living in Northern Utah.  My son being raised there.  Snow was different there.  In a "good" winter, it would be thigh deep, we dug tunnels to the neighbor's house in case of emergencies, but it was a dry cold....

Roads were icy, but salted and plowed, sometimes the wind blew, but mostly the snow just fell.  I loved it there and the four seasons were fantastic!  It snowed as early as September and always the first week of June, with warming in between, but it was a wondrous thing to experience.  Not the shoveling.  That part sucked.

School was cancelled only once in the six years I lived there and that was because a water main busted.  It snowed and life moved along, the trucks were out salting before it started and they continued plowing until it stopped.

But it was gorgeous and I could have lived there forever...

Now we're back in (sort of) the South: North Carolina.  The first time school was cancelled because it was too cold, my son pitched an ever-lovin' fit!  Snow days?  What's that?

"Too cold?  They closed the"
"They call this snow?!?"
"Seriously?  They cancelled school because it's icy?!?"
"This isn't snow!"

So once again, like I did for him, I'm explaining to the world what happens here compared to up North. They don't have plows here because they aren't needed.  They don't have a salt reserve because it doesn't get icy enough here to warrant the budget for it.  They don't have contingency plans for snow because they don't ever really have snow, not like what I've seen.  We had a foot of snow here once and the power was out for two days because trucks couldn't get to the lines to repair them.  Granted, that was five years ago and this time we only got two inches.  I also live in a hilly region, like Atlanta and Birmingham.  Icy roads and hills are trouble.

This bus accident (driver and six kids) happened near our home and even though my son goes to West Henderson, not North Henderson, because it was so close to us, people panicked that it was my son and they were calling or texting non-stop.

I was out driving in this, running errands, and even with all of my years of experience, I was fish-tailing all over the road, going 20 mph.  The main roads were slick, but the secondary roads were borderline scary. We're not all idiots that don't know how to drive on ice, we're just drivers on ice because we don't have the necessary tools to treat it.

So go ahead and mock us, because we surely did when y'all were panicking over Hurricane Sandy!

Shoot, hurricane's are just another excuse for us to throw a party down here.  It's BYOB... Batteries, Booze, and Board Games!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Healing A Broken Heart

After losing the love of my life, suddenly, unexpectedly, I went into a deep depression. I was a medicated zombie who slept with a red blanket I refused to give up because it was covered in his hair.

Many months had passed and my husband and I were in Petsmart buying things for our other furbabies. It was a habit to go look at the cats as we used to do even when my heart was still alive. My husband thought it a bad idea, but I went anyway....and there he was. Looking directly in my eyes, I was immediately drawn to him.

It was a battle of wills at home with my family, everyone saying I wasn't ready, but eventually I won and we went back and adopted him.

With the new name of Brady, we learned many things about him very quickly, but mostly he was going to be a lot of work. Afraid of the broom, if I tried to sweep he'd hide for hours. Even if I was cooking with a spatula, a knife, or wearing heavy shoes, he'd disappear. Obviously he'd been hurt by someone, so I didn't sweep or vacuum for six weeks.

Then there was something in his side, a bump he wouldn't let us see, he'd bite us if we tried to look too close.  That warranted a trip to the vet, followed by surgery to remove the buckshot imbedded in his side.

He has a deviated septum from a blow and he sounds like a cartoon bumble bee when he snores.  This breaks our heart and at the same time makes us smile because it's so cute.

He has night terrors.  Sometimes he will be sleeping and takes off so fast he doesn't know where he's going.  He ran into a window and nearly shattered it.  He's run away so fast he's left gouges where he laid, but I say his name and he easily melts into my arms seeking the safety I offer.

The most important thing about this wonderful creature of life is that he could still love unconditionally. He trusted easily, he snuggled with me in bed, he was interested in everything I was doing and without falter he slept with the dog and got along with our other cat like he'd always been here.

He had been shot, beaten, abused, abandoned, and now he had been adopted. Not a replacement for my original love, but a new addition to our family.  A new budding love inside my heart and I'll never let him be hurt by anyone again.  I even washed that blanket.

Together, we have healed each other's broken heart.

Share my story from here and help feed shelter pets:

Monday, January 27, 2014

My Name Is Daisy

I was found in a feral colony as a kitten.  Then I was with a rescue group for a very long time.  They called me Sassy even though I wasn't very.  I was unwanted, unloved, overlooked, and thought to be ugly by everyone.  

I was also in pain, I had a broken tooth with the root exposed that nobody had caught.  My sisters were adopted.  My roommates were adopted.  My neighbors were adopted.  Month after month, everyone had found a home except me.  I had given up hope...

One day, a lady came to take pictures of me for the rescue group's website.  I stole her toy mouse and with it, I stole her heart.

She didn't think she had room for another animal.  She didn't think she had enough time or love for another baby in her house.  She didn't think her house was big enough for just one more, no matter how small I was.  But one day she came back.  She put her hand to the glass, I put my paw to her hand as I looked into her sympathetic eyes...and she took me home.

She called me Daisy because she said I brought sunny joy into her home with my big golden eyes and my heart-shaped nose.  I have my own toys, plenty of sunshine in windows with bird feeders outside to entertain me.  She had my broken tooth removed and I'm no longer in pain.  I have three brothers to play with and three humans who adore me.  

Turns out she did have room.  Room in her house and room in her heart.

I get treats and rubs and she gave me my own bed that I don't have to share.  I was even Miss June in a calendar.

She calls me her Pretty Princess and for once in my life I believe it to be true.  My message to all the kitties out there is this:  Don't ever give up hope.  

One day someone will take a chance and make room for just one more...

Share my story from here and help feed shelter pets:

When I met Sassy, before becoming Daisy, she looked like this:

You can actually see the lack of hope inside of her.  This hidden gem now sparkles from within.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

What Happened To The Weather?

For starters...for many years we've heard both sides of the Global Warming issue:

Global Warming = Global catastrophe
Global Warming leads to Global Cooling = Global catastrosphe

Didn't a team just go to the pole to study the effects of Global Warming and get stranded by ice for two weeks?  In 1974, Time Magazine blamed the cold on polar vortex and global cooling.  Now Global warming is blamed for the polar vortex.  Oops.  I'm sure in another thirty years they may get it right.

Personally, I don't care.  As a former meteorologist, what bothers me is the new style of disseminating the weather to the masses.  Every week I hear how some part of the country has been hit by "a 100 year storm".  I'm only in my mid 40's and I can tell you we've had quite a lot of hundred year storms!  How is that even possible?  Where's the count start?

What happened to the Weather Channel?  I turned it on to get an update and Weather Nation is now on that channel.  Didn't Sam Champion just quit Good Morning America to join that team?  How are people along the coastlines supposed to know where hurricanes are going to make landfall if Jim Cantore isn't standing on that particular beach?!?

What the Hell is a Polar Vortex?  It was an Arctic Low or Polar Low in my day.  Is a Low Pressure system not sexy enough for news?  We have to call it a vortex now? Are we trying not to offend the storm or is using the term "low" too depressing?  What happened to the term (short wave) trough?  Did we get rid of that because it reminds people we're an overweight Nation?  Now it's a just a "wave"?  Ugh!

And naming winter storms?  What the Hell is that all about?  That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard of and I'm surrounded by stupid.  And the names they chose...!!  The Weather Channel stated, "Our goal is to better communicate the threat and the timing of the significant impacts that accompany these events. The fact is, a storm with a name is easier to follow, which will mean fewer surprises and more preparation."

Seriously?  You can't prepare for a slow moving system coming from thousands of miles away?  It's not a tornado!

The entire hemisphere is run by the jet stream.  Along it (predominantly) is a High-Low-High-Low system.  They alternate and depending on the strength, the jet stream just keeps pushing them around the globe.  It's not a vortex, it's just a low pressure system.  It's not a winter hurricane, stop naming them!

Superstorm Sandy? Give me a break.  Hurricane Andrew wiped out Florida and half the Gulf Coast.  Nobody called him a Superstorm.  Just because a hurricane hits New England, now's it's SUPER?  Katrina caused wide spread damage.  They were both a category three, they both caused the same amount of widespread damage, but Sandy is a Superstorm?  Seriously?  JUST because it hit colder air before making landfall?  This is where I roll my eyes.

(I take a tangent because I'm so fired up)

As Albert Einstein once said to me: “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity.” But what is much more widespread than the actual stupidity is the playing stupid, turning off your ear, not listening, not seeing.

~Frederick S. Perls

Sensationalism in the news and television in general, ticks me off.  I turn on the History Channel and it's all reality shows.  The Discovery Channel, National Geographic...  History International!  Holy cow!  I watched that show America Unearthed and that guy is an idiot!!  He twists reality and makes it all about conspiracy theories fueling further idiocracy among people who watch these shows and take them at face value.

Our kids aren't taught a real education, they idolize the morons on television, and this is our future?  Look at the new words added to the dictionary yearly.  Selfie?  Twerking?  The world is dumbed down daily and paranoia is served up on a silver spoon with a side of drama.  

Eat it up people.  This is our last meal.

My Zimbio
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