Hurricane Harvey continues

IMG_0428Remnants of Hurricane Harvey still continue!

There is a saying, “Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink”

How true is that as we watch the flood waters rising in the Houston area right now.
There are hurricanes and then there are weather events like Harvey that go beyond description!

As I mentioned in my previous weather blog, I am amazed by all things weather related. The devastation is impossible to take in for me, who is watching safely on television…how are those affected people supposed to?

Waiting for the storm to hit gives you time to imagine how strong will it be, how many will be affected and in what way, are the predictions over done? After the Hurricane hits, even with the strength Harvey did, it usually subsides slightly, it still rains, spawns tornadoes etc but for the most part, the clean up can start.
This storm is epic, in the fact it is still pouring and predicted to for days. The ground can only absorb so much.’

Seeing people having to leave their homes, things they have collected over the years, mementos/keepsakes of their families, houses that will be so damaged will be beyond repair and for some less fortunate no insurance to help them. Also their jobs may be flooded out so no income.

The various governments will do the best they can but these folks will be destroyed for years. Where do you start? Extended family members need your help, too, how about the little children, how do you comfort them, explain what is happening, why they had to leave their favorite toys behind.  And the elderly not knowing where to go, no strength to do it. You cannot help but cry along with them.

If anything good does come from something as catastrophic is seeing people helping each other, reaching out to neighbors you do not even know, sharing what you do have with them if your house is safe. Wouldn’t it be nice if we helped each other all the time instead of waiting for a crisis?

Emergency personnel are out helping others knowing that their own places and family need them.

Imagine having to deal with snakes and alligators, too.

It is heartwarming to see the shelters allowing the pets to be brought along. These little creatures are part of your family as well as give you comfort.

Things we take for granted almost no longer available like the simple things of milk, drinking water, even cereal and juice for the hungry tummies.

We are all so connected nowadays with technology but it becomes totally useless in situations like this so you cannot even call for help. If you happen to have a connection, that will go when your battery runs down. Power goes out so no recharging.

Now levees are giving away while Harvey’s rainfall may be on its way to Louisiana.

If ever a warning goes out to evacuate before a storm hits, do so. Better safe than sorry.

Let us all hope that this nightmare passes soon and at least they can start their long, long road to recovery.


Weather and Mother Nature


IMG_0417 (1)weather is both awesome and devastating at the same time.

Personally, I have always been fascinated by the strength of what Mother Nature can deliver. I love all kinds of weather….rain, snow, hail, thunderstorms, hurricanes, tornadoes….all various types of weather have me attached to the television watching all the updates, if not where I live, then whatever Country the storms are forecast for.

Sometimes I think I should be a
storm chaser!!

Some are so much more powerful than even the meteorologists can predict. Even with all the amazing technology that we now have, nothing can predict what nature will deliver.

As I am writing this, Hurricane Harvey is headed to Texas. Although about 10-11 hours to landfall, already the people are being battered with the rain. Some are predicting over 48 inches (about121 cm!!)

A slow moving storm is even worse. Add to that is if people do not pay attention to the warnings, thinking they can ride it out. Sometimes it pays to listen. Leave it too late and you do not decide to leave, you could be regretting it all your life.

Some cannot visualize what or how bad a storm change in direction can be. Potential damage but they think they are prepared with food, flashlites, batteries, candles, windows boarded up and maybe even sandbags. etc. They think this is just likely another “false alarm”. But why not listen and take no chances with those you love. So what if you have to travel away for 3-4 days? Better to have a storm change in direction, have your family safe, home not damaged and just turn around and go home.

Hurricanes do not suddenly “pop” up. You get a lot of notice that it is coming, where it will likely hit and what supplies you should have on hand even if you are fairly far away from the predicted landfall area. When you live in the direct path of that landfall why stay??

And to think some folks are silly enough to not only stay but think it is a great day to surf or stroll the Beach. It is just not responsible, sensible or fair to your loved ones, but if you have children, what are you teaching them? You will never, ever win a battle with Mother Nature.

Lastly, you are also putting the lives of the rescuers in extreme danger, taking them away from those who really need their help.

Once we were eating dinner at a restaurant and suddenly a tornado did “pop” up. Only two doors down the buildings were destroyed, cars turned over etc. That was close enough for me!!!! We were so lucky. With a hurricane you have a chance.

I hope Hurricane Harvey is not as bad as all forecasts think it will be, and that it is not too late for you to find safety. But seeing as it could hit as a Category 4, high Category 3 at least, you just may have to hunker down and prey for the best. Your cell phone will not work. Good luck to all of you.

Kids and Laughter

IMG_0403Kids Laughter

Nothing beats the sound of kids playing, giggling and having fun. It all so innocent, not yet weighted down by responsibility and time restrictions, if they can think of it, they just do it.

There was a song years and years ago from perhaps a movie but the words “Childhood, childhood, beautiful girl and boyhood” were part of the lyrics.

You do not hear that same happy sound outside much anymore. Used to be when school got out, the kids were running around playing tag, hide and seek, throwing a ball around and inventing a new game. If a park was close by, then they were on the swings, seesaw, or slide.

Occasionally a bump or scratch brought a few tears but a run home and Mom would patch them up and off they went again. Natural exercise, learning to share, or even have a bit of a squabble but working it out on their own. Daycare did not exist, Mom was home. The super feeling of security for a child needing a hug.

Depending of how many years ago, if it was a rainy day the coloring books came out, the toys, little cars or dolls to entertain. No television way back when our grandparents were kids. They thoroughly enjoyed what they had. A new toy made by grandparents made them so happy. Maybe granddad showed a young boy how to make a wooden car or gramma showing her granddaughter how to knit put smiles on their faces.

At school, you learned to respect your teacher, do your best to do well and if per chance you did something to annoy the class you were put outside the classroom to stand in the hallway or if you were really naughty a call home to Mom!! You knew that meant a serious reprimand, even telling Dad when he came home from work. You were taught consequences for actions.

Today school kids have to be picked up from school and so often that can even be a bus taking them to a daycare where they have to wait until their parents get home from work. Playtime has to be organized with “play dates”. Cannot just run down the street and knock on a friends door.

Our children are placed into so many activities each day of the week from dance or art class, gymnastics, maybe organized sports like baseball, hockey, maybe tennis or swimming.

Being active is fantastic and if possible should be part of their growing up but…sometimes way too much.

Our kids are overwhelmed with the demands made on them. It is up early and off to school or the wee ones dropped off at daycare with no time for a leisurely breakfast as their parents have to get to work. Other people are bringing them up. A babysitter is likely the person taking them to all these activities. Then back home to handle homework waiting for Mom or Dad to come home. All are tired and so often mealtime suffers as hunger has set in and no one wants to wait to eat. Often comes down to ordering delivery or hopping in the car to go to a fast food restaurant. no time for sharing each persons day,  the TV is on. Parents feel guilty and mentally promise themselves things will change, but can they?

Perhaps to compensate or who knows what, parents have sided with their kids over the complaints of their teachers and are off to the school to file complaints about the teacher instead. If a child is injured in even a minor way that activity gets banned from the school playground.

With the stress we all are under, the television or computer, iPhone etc have become the entertainment. Off to bed and it all starts again very early the next day.  And they cannot relate to anything their grandparents can tell them as it is beyond their imagination.

Although we all do the very best we can, which child had or has a better life? Grown kids today have become insensitive to others feelings. Is that because so many people have been involved in their growing up? The ideals their parents have for them become a mix of so many.

For all our advances, sometimes those simple times may have been right.

Bugs or Insects

IMG_3029Not too many people are fond of bugs.

When I say bugs, I mean all forms or names they are given, regardless of how many legs that may identify them and put them into some other category.

I do realize that all forms are important to the balance of nature but when it comes to people there isn’t anyone who likes to be bitten by a mosquito or being awaken in the nite. Tiny as they are they do make a very loud buzzing sound. Try as you may they are almost impossible to find. Turn on the lite, they are gone, smack at them you miss or even try to whack them with your pillow…not going to get it. You have to lie there wide awake, lite on, not moving and expose your arm hoping it will come to give you a bite. Then hopefully you can get it, your nites sleep wrecked.

At least the mosquito is small and manageable in the house. But they also carry an incredible number of diseases. Spread thru a simple bite, they cause such harm to so many.

Have you ever been on a picnic without ants wanting to share your lunch? At least they are tiny and easily distracted or removed. They are fascinating little things though, extremely hard working as a team. They can carry or drag things way heavier than they are. Interesting to watch when the whole colony seems to be on the move following each other in particular path.

One other amazing insect is the bee. We have to have the bee!! For some reason they are disappearing causing concern. We think of the bee and honey at first but these smart and organized colonies pollinate all day, taking it back home to their hive. If you are not fully aware of how clever they are, you will be amazed from the worker bee to the drone and of course the Queen Bee.

Some of them are so beautiful like a butterfly, so many varieties with such precise markings, the ladybug, even the very interesting preying mantis.

Spiders, are a completely different story at least for me. I will catch any spider under a container and take it outside.

I went on a trail walk at nite once and the tour guide pointed out that the glowing things we saw in the various trees were spider eyes!! Always wondered if that was true or if he was just scaring us. It did make me stay in the centre of the path though. Had been on the same trail during the day and there were pictures of the biggest spiders in that area the size of your hand.

Had a picture from someone today that made me think about this. It was from Australia. A Redback Spider..poisonous but at least big enough to see if you keep a sharp eye out. Mostly found outside but do manage to get indoors also.

Speaking of Australia they have a lot dangerous things wandering about, 10 of the most poisonous snakes, Funnel web spiders that like to hide under the toilet seat or in your pool perhaps that do give a deadly bite. Also being a warm Country there are cockroaches that are way to big for me. Never had a cockroach and seeing one of these inside was more than I needed. As big as they are, bigger ones live in other countries.

Again all these things are on Earth for a reason. No problem, just stay out of the house!!!

We can choose to stay out of the Ocean where sharks, jellyfish etc are but have no choices with the little creepy crawlers.

Some Countries have huge insects. Watching TV reality shows and seeing the large things contestants eat, as wherever they are, is a natural treat for residents of a particular Country.

Makes you stop and think about the fascinating World we live in. Depending on where you live or grew up it is what is normal to you, so although they may annoy you, you accept the fact that it is the bugs land, too. We all live on this interesting planet, it belongs to all of us.

For me, the smaller and less of them suits me just fine. The cold winter and snowy months gives you a break from them for a few months. They have not disappeared but are doing whatever bugs do before they come back the following Spring and they are all back to annoy you.

How do you feel? Or is it just me?