Monday, May 26, 2014

A Week Of Rain!

       Monday marked the sixth consecutive day of rainfall in Amarillo.  6 DAYS!  The all-time record was 11 days back in June, 1960.  Since I live within a short distance of the TV station I watch for news I assume I got the same amount they received at the TV station .... 5.20 inches this week!  Remember in 2007 we received only 7.02 inches of precipitation (rain, snow) for the entire year!  At my house I have not even had any hail ... that in itself is amazing.  Usually if we get rain likely as not we get hail with it.
      A little more than 200 miles SW of my town is Roswell, NM.  New Mexico has been receiving rain all week as well. I thought I would share this photo (below).  Because the ground in TX & NM is so hard it just can't absorb all the rain so we have lots of areas that look like this cemetery.  God Bless those 4-H'ers for getting the flags out no matter what.  photo on Facebook via NewsChannel10
      This photo was taken in Roswell this weekend as dedicated 4-H students honored our Veterans. Thanks to Chelsey Eoff for sharing the photo.
     I didn't go to any of the numerous Memorial Day activities today.  Because of my severe depression there are some things that I just can't handle.  Hearing Taps, talk of fallen veterans, just seeing the flag, flowers, memorials on TV makes me bawl, in person I just lose it.  I don't mean tears trailing down my cheeks like most everyone else at those type functions, I mean chest heaving sobs.  Hymns effect (or is it affect??) me the same way.  I use to love church so much but I haven't been in years, since that hospital visit of mine.  I  used to be there whenever the doors were open but now I just have to take care of myself and not put myself in the position where I might just fall totally apart.  I am scared I will fall apart that bad again.  I feel bad that I didn't go to any "honor our fallen" events but I would if I could.  A year or two ago when a local soldier died, one that I did not even know, I told my psychiatrist that I had cried and bawled all day for days over his death (as if he were my own child) and asked was that normal (because how would I know what normal is?  as the cartoon says "Normal?? It is just a dryer setting in our house").  She looked at me and said ahh, NO.  So, this is letting you know something that few people know about me.... that I am ashamed to be so weak, and I realize it is an illness I did not ask for, but I wish I could be there putting flags on grave sites, and put my hand over my heart with everyone else, and listen to Taps and just have normal tears like everyone else.  But everybody's got something, right?  Oh, that reminds me, I want to read Robin Roberts new book ... that is the title ... Everybody's Got Something.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

22 Things To Know Before Moving to Amarillo

I saw this on Facebook ... 22 Things You Need To Know Before Moving to Amarillo.  You can click on the link if you like.  I can think of numerous things you really ought to know ... like what to do when the tornado sirens go off, how to keep your car on the road when the wind is blowing 60 mph, or how to avoid being burned by your seat belt & steering wheel in the summer but they didn't mention those.  I will add some comments on some of the things they did list.
       Amarillo has a population of about 200,000 but it is still a small town.  This list was put together by a real estate company in California but they hit most things on the head (got it right).
     Remember a few posts ago I said the drought in the Texas panhandle doesn't have an effect on just us Texans.  If it doesn't rain enough we can't grow hay to feed the cattle so there are fewer cattle, then cattle prices go up and your hamburger is more costly...  item # 1 says "Today, a quarter of the U.S. beef supply is processed in the panhandle."  ("the panhandle" is the top narrow part of Texas consisting of 26 counties and probably more cows than people.  That "more cows than people" is not official, I'm just sayin', but we do have a lot of ranches and feedlots here.  Amarillo is the largest city in the panhandle)    Probably the most famous Amarillo restaurant is "The Big Texan."  I have never been out there. I wanted to take my son there before he moved to Seattle but he said why would he want to do something tourist-y.  Oh-kay.  Anyway, my favorite meal is pinto beans with cornbread, onion & chow-chow but my second favorite meal is a sirloin cooked extra well done.  Beef, it's whats for dinner. That is THE slogan here.   (At my house only sometimes.  I probably have beef maybe twice a week and then it is most likely hamburger)
      Item # 2 .... my daughter-in-law works at Tyler's BBQ and she makes the best potato salad, as well as cole slaw, cobbler, beans, green chili mac & cheese.   That is her boss,Tyler, in the big hat.  Last year Tyler's was named one of the top 50 bbq places in Texas by Texas Monthly Magazine.  In Texas we like having braggin' rights.  I love their chopped brisket sandwiches.  If you ever pass through Amarillo stop and have one.
      Item # 7 ... some time I am going to drive around town and take photos of all the artsy horses to show you.  They add some color to our town.
      Item # 8 ... Hmm, I have never seen a live armadillo.  And not even a dead armadillo in green grass, just on the side of the road.
      Item # 9 ... I don't know where they took that photo of the Osprey but not here....out at the airport it is flat as a pancake and not a tree like those in sight.  Back in March I mentioned being out on the balcony of my daughter's apartment when an Osprey flew over, fairly low.  I love to see them. 
item # 10 ... they wrote this obviously before the National Weather Service named us the windiest city in the country.  
      Item # 11 ... if you have been here very long you will know someone that works at the Pantex plant.  It is a big employer.  Security is very tight so don't expect to go out and get a tour.  You can't even get close.  Bombs and all.
      Item # 12 ... I live on tortilla chips and Tascosa Picante Sauce.  Yummy!
      Item # 16 ... my son was a barista at the 806 before he moved to Seattle.  The 806 is a little coffee shop like no other in the world on the old Route 66 here.  (806 is our area code)
      Item # 19 ... about 25 miles south of town you will be driving along on the flat, bare prairie and all of a sudden the earth drops off into this huge, huge canyon.  Palo Duro Canyon is the prettiest spot in Texas. 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

We Don't Get Flood Advisories Too Often!

     WOW!  I slept through the news last night but I am guessing this week we may have received a total of 2 or 3 inches, just based on the puddles in my yard and the water I can see in the kiddie pool in my neighbor's yard that was empty a few days ago.  This was on Facebook this morning...
A flood advisory for the Amarillo area is in effect until noon and according to NWS the area may experience thunderstorms this evening.
The Amarillo area is soaking up about .31 inches of rain this morning (31/100s not 31 inches!).“We should see this kind of rain carry through till about noon time until it pushes east,” Nicholas Fenner, National Weather Service Amarillo meteorologist, said.
       The problem with Amarillo and when we do get rain is 1) the ground is so hard it can't soak it all up. 2) the city has a horrible street drainage system and areas like railroad underpasses or highway underpasses flood.  We have some intersections that flood with just a little rain.  Did you know it only takes 24 inches of water for a car to float?  We aren't complaining about the rain for sure but on tv & radio they keep warning us of driving hazards in rain since we seldom have conditions like this. 
      To get out of the drought the Texas panhandle experts say we would have to get about 30 inches of precipitation in the next 18 months.  Well, that would be amazing should it happen, even though from the looks of it outside with all the puddles & flooded streets you would think we are well on the way!
     According to  the weather service in 2011 we received 7.01 inches for the year, 2012 we received 12.3, and in 2013 precipitation was 15.2 ... 34.51 inches over three years. To get 30 inches in a year and a half would just be miraculous.
     For those of us who live here the drought means hot temperatures, dust storms, high A/C bills, brown grass or very high water bills for those who can afford to have a lawn,  worry over the underground  Ogallala Aquifer --- our source of water --- which is being depleted at an alarming rate.
    Guess what?  It does not just effect the people of the Texas panhandle.  Corn, wheat, cotton, sorghum, cattle, dairy production are all major agriculture products in the panhandle. Because the drought is having such an adverse effect on our farmers and ranchers prices of beef, wheat, cotton are going to go up for everyone.
     Meanwhile, for today it is raining, thunder is rumbling, skies are gray, and out my window I can see cars splashing up water on highway 287.   Beautiful sight!

Friday, May 23, 2014

It's Official----

Anybody who has ever spent a few days here can tell you why we have always laughed when we heard Chicago was the "windy city."   I have never been to Chicago but I always felt sorry for them if they really were windier than us.  Now the Weather Channel makes it official.... Chicago may be the windy city but we are the Windiest.   I just saw this facebook post:
"Well, it’s official. The Weather Channel says Amarillo is THE windiest city in America, and Lubbock comes in at #3. This really isn’t a surprise to us West Texans though."

This is a photo of Cadillac Ranch, just west of Amarillo,  that The Weather Channel posted on facebook when they posted the news that we are windiest.  Our local millionaire eccentric likes quirky art and funds the Ant Farm (artist group).  If you are interested you can read about it here ....
     Amarillo has also been in the national news this month for the drought.  On the 18th Forbes reported "Three years of relentless and severe drought has made large parts of New Mexico, Colorado and Texas are drier than they were during Dust Bowl in the 1930s.  In the Texas panhandle, Amarillo is about 10% drier now than the 42 months that ended April 30, 1936 and drier than the state’s record drought in the 1950s, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor."   The National Weather Service agreed:  On May 22nd The National Weather Service says the past 43 months in our area have been the driest ever on record.
    Good news though --- we have had rain this week.  Thunderstorms moved in Wednesday night!!!  Wed. night I got 20/100s of an inch (I know because I live real close to the tv station I watch and that is what they got at the station).  Last night we had more rain causing flooding because the ground is so hard it can't soak it all in.  I love to her thunder rumbling, I love to hear rain. Lightning scares me though and Amarillo has a lot of lightning.  I really miss my little schnauzer, Gracie, that passed away in February.  She was very afraid of loud noises and during thunderstorms she would cuddle with me and we would comfort each other through them. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Mish Mash of Thoughts

     The wildfire that started Sunday in the little Texas panhandle community of Fritch has destroyed 225 homes, 143 out buildings and 118 vehicles.  The fire marshall said they were able to save 241 homes - so I guess almost half of the homes in the town are gone.  Thursday evening news reports the fire is 90% contained on day 5.  300 people worked to control the fire.  The photos are devastating.
      One bright spot is that people are donating prom dresses and a florist is donating flowers so the high school Jr & Sr's can still have a prom this coming weekend.
     When my son living in Seattle calls and tells me about the rain up there it just blows my mind.  We just don't get rain very often.  On the way to take care of my grandchildren I pass by this field and I wonder if anyone from Washington state would recognize what this piece of equipment might be....
It is an irrigation system (a giant moving sprinkler).  I pulled over to the side of the road and took the photo out of my car window yesterday (May 14th).  That is a barb wire fence you can see at the bottom of the photo.  To grow any kind of crop here you have to get water to it since we don't get much precipitation.  You can clearly see the difference in this field of watered and unwatered vegetation.   I wish I had some way of getting accurate information but I am going to guess that this irrigation system shown is probably 1,000 feet long, maybe a 100 ft tall.   That may be way off as a guess so let me show you an aerial view.  This field is across from a children's home campus so I went to Mapquest, put in their address and got this satellite map....
If you click on that link the irrigated acreage is the big green circle on the left.  The vertical line in the field would be the irrigation system.  When I took the photo the system has moved to the south portion of the field.   The white vertical line to the right of the field is the road I drive down.  The purple bubble with a white dot is indicating the building to the right.  That building is a two story campus building, almost 7,000 sq ft so in relation  maybe that can help you see what size this field might be.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

What Is This Beautiful Shrub?

My son moved to Seattle last year.  Whoa! What a change of scenery from the  Texas panhandle! When he called me on Mother's Day he told me about this beautiful shrub in the front yard of the house he and his roommates rent.  He doesn't know what it is but he loves it.  When he emailed the photos I could see why, I think it is beautiful too!  Does anyone know what it is? (the photos take a minute to load)

Monday, May 12, 2014

One of the Things That Scare Me the Most

News Channel 10 photo
Scary and Heartbreaking Wildfire on Mother's Day
       Fritch, Texas is a a little town about 34 miles north of my home.  On Sunday afternoon a wildfire broke out and it is not yet contained as of Monday night.  Over 2,500 acres have burned and over 100 homes are gone. On Sunday the wind was blowing horrid and today was much better but still blowing 35-40 mph and of course that is not a good combination with a fire.  God bless the firefighters from all over the Texas panhandle that are fighting the fire.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

I Took The Grandkids Shopping---Caption This Please

What is my grandson telling his sister????

I say "NO! I don't think grandma can parallel park this thing in that spot!"
My sister says  .... "Grandma said to keep BOTH hands on the steering wheel!"
Casey says ... "Are you driving or am I?!"
Carmel says...."Hold on! We don't have seat belts and this is going to get bumpy!"   (nope, they were both buckled in) 
Janet says... Taylor says "See Rhett, to your left are flowers... look at them!"  Rhett says " Another shopping trip with girls! Where are the guys??"
Annie says ... "Pay attention, I'm telling you the one on the left is the brake!"
Patti says... "No, I am not pulling over to ask directions." 
Cindi says..."And on your left you will see the lovely gardens of Lowe's as we complete our tour of Amarillo."

    Betsy says .... I Absolutely LOVE all the responses!  I got tickled over them and have read them over and over.  Thank you for your captions!"  
(and if I get other responses I will add them here so I can copy to put in my grandson's baby book)

Friday, May 9, 2014

I Came Home Dead Tired Tonight...

By the time Friday comes I am always exhausted, but I am glad to have spent the time with my grandkids each week.  I came home dead tired tonight, so I plopped in my big chair, opened my laptop and after reading my email I got on Pinterest.  Here are some things I saw that spoke to me: 

True story.

This granny heart crochet pattern has a twist - a beautiful daisy in the center. Perfect for use as a crochet dishcloth or a beautiful bunting, it's sure to brighten up any room.
If I knew how to crochet I would make these dishcloths



Sunday, May 4, 2014

Long Time Between Posts

     I can't believe it has been this long since I have posted anything, and keep forgetting to post my 7 things.  Now that I am babysitting again I have found myself just running in all different directions.  I love those babies though and love spending time with them.  We are having a great time.
     Taylor and I spend a lot of time coloring, playing with Playdoh, working jigsaw puzzles, digging in the sandbox.  Rhett and I rock and cuddle and wave "hi" at each other.  I will see a lot of my older grandsons this summer.  That will mean lots of games of Chinese Checkers, Chicken Foot, Scrabble, Phase 10 and Uno.  
     When I am not babysitting I am sleeping .... and at every opportunity because I am just exhausted.  I should be cleaning house, packing to move, getting a garage sale put together, figuring out what to do about a car (another thing on the old van has broken ... more things are wrong than right with it).  I have a lot to do and I am tired, overwhelmed, and way behind.  I wish I had some energy.
      I talked to the office staff at the low income apartment complex and they expect several apartments to come open in the next few months.  Actually they had one for me last week but it was a third floor apartment.  I don't think my hips, knees and feet can take walking up that many stairs.  I will of course take my dog, Zoe, with me and since I will need to walk her at least 4 times a day that would be a lot of going up and down stairs.  I can't even imagine carrying groceries up those flights of stairs.  I hate to leave my home but financially it is just stupid for me to continue to try to hold on to it.  I just want to get the move over with and hope things settle down and I have less stress. 
     Tomorrow I am going back to see my primary physician.  At my check-up recently she ran numerous blood tests and some results were not good.  Evidently I am "pre-diabetic."  Also of concern is my liver.  A medication I take can damage your liver but for some reason -- even though my psychiatrist prescribed the highest approved dose of it for me for quite a long time -- she never ordered blood work to watch my liver.  My primary physician did last month and those numbers are not good, so I am going back tomorrow to see what she suggests.  It is always something.
     Nothing exciting going on in my neck of the woods but days are super busy.  I have not even had time to read very much.  By the time I get home and things calm down enough I think I have time to read I am so tired my comprehension is just gone.  I only read 8 books in April.  I make time to read my blogger friends' posts though, even if I don't take time to comment.  Usually by the time I read them my brain is numb from exhaustion and I can't think of a comment.  I love your posts though and look forward to seeing what is going on in your world.