Trump Visit, $4,000 Bra, Leaky Roof, and My Thoughts on Corona Virus

Yesterday’s day off was a piece of bliss sliced off from heaven. I must have needed the unstructured time. That is exactly it. Unstructured time, which there is very little of. We are little robots that fit into segments of the week with little to no “free time” – it’s all filled with work and responsibilities, and moments of snuck in time here and there to get personal things taken care of.

And yesterday flew by. I sit here and try to recall where it went. As I recall, I got up around the time George did and took Maisy out, fixed coffee, and fed the doggies, watched the news, started the laundry, folded laundry, and subsequently washed several more loads. I planned dinner, with a quick search on Pinterest and started a “Air Fryer Recipe Board” where I placed “air fried chicken thighs”, a recipe with the skin ON.

I cleaned the kitchen by emptying the dishwasher, rebooting it, and washing any leftover dishes. Cleaned and dusted the pub table in the kitchen. I fixed boiled eggs (steamed eggs) in the egg steamer.

I began gathering things for my trip next week and made the decision how to get to the airport Thursday – I’m driving myself and parking in long term parking.

I watched some of the breaking news stories from our area. Where Trump visited.

He boarded helicopters which took him to the tornado impacted areas. His helicopters flew directly over our neighborhood. They were fairly low to the ground as we had cloud cover around that time and I could hear them coming and looked out the window for them. I texted George and within 20 minutes or so, George said they were seeing/hearing them there in Gordonsville. There was also damage there as well, which hasn’t really made much of the news.

I began shopping on line as my intentions were to place a hurried Target order so I could get my makeup in before my trip. However, Target did not have my shade in stock – well – they DID – but I’d have to go pick it up – they wouldn’t ship it. So nehhhh, not going past the tornado zones to get makeup in a two hour segment of time. So I ended up with “old faithful” (Amazon) who had it in stock and would bring it today if I wanted. Or tomorrow. But I chose “fewest packages” on Sunday for delivery. And it was free with Amazon Prime. I also decided to search for tunics (some comfy transitional types versatile for the weather we tend to have in spring, winter, fall). I found two on sale and reasonable.

I also began searching for bras. Having been a bit too cheap on some former purchases and ended up throwing one in the trash and “dealing with” the other (hurtful straps – not a good fit), I decided to pay more and buy better ones. So I started with the most expensive. I still could not fathom paying $60 or more for a bra and personally think that you can find excellent ones for $29.99 and up if you look for a deal and watch what you buy. I was going for $40’s though to buy a good one, if a deal couldn’t be found. But when I sorted by price, I was shocked to find that there was one for $4,000. I laughed and said “wow, it must do the dishes too”.

Needless to say, I did not purchase this one, but I was entertained by it. Surely it’s a joke or a mistype of some kind. I should have read the 13 views to see what it said, but didn’t. I quickly got rid of that one.

While I spent time shopping on line the doggies were happy and curled up nearby and that made me happy.

Then I spent some time creating an Instagram Story of the doggies. Why? Because I had time and I love doing Instagram stories. I just seem to not ever have the time or focus anymore because so many things distract me in so many ways. Or too much going on or too much to do.

Spring is trying to pop.

Our house needs some TLC, both inside and out. In big ways too. I found a leak yesterday in the house up above the TV. I think we had hail damage to the roof. George says he is getting up there today on the roof to see and to also inspect the sunroom area that is prone to leaking as it leaked horribly in there by the fireplace in the sunroom. There is an area that it leaks where the sunroom was built up next to the bricks/fireplace and it does not sit perfectly together and allows water in. We’ve had to keep a pan by the fireplace to keep the occasional drips in, but it was a huge leak now and the pan spilled over – not good. They epoxy it around the roof but has to be done about every two years. I’m sure it’s been about 4.

I’ve asked to have a professional person come in and do this. I just don’t think George needs to be climbing up there on the roof. He wants me to hold the latter which tilts at an angle where he has to place it to get up. The last time this happened I was not strong enough to hold him up. He says he wants me to lean my body against it and not use my arms. I’ve told him I’m not doing this again. I’m older now and I realize what it was like last time. He’s always thought I was stronger than I am when moving things. I’ve had to say numerous times “no” to moving or picking things up b/c I know my limits. My back hurts if I pick up 4 – 2 liters of cokes (I remember that from having to carry drinks back and forth at work for events). I had to start carrying 2 at a time instead of 4. So NO, I will not be holding the ladder. I told him I would call a neighbor. He didn’t want me to schedule that b/c he didn’t know what time he wanted to do it. So – I would say “whatever time the neighbor has”. I’ve drawn the line and I am not holding the ladder because I want someone to hold it that can actually have the strength to do it so he is safe. He swears he will get up alone and do it. If he does that will be his own stubbornness to not ask for proper help. It’s not going to be on me. I’ve offered to call for help. He should let the professionals do it as they are the ones that need to be climbing up there anyway and will have to inspect it. I am shaking as I type this b/c this just all makes me nervous. But he has to do it his way or no way. You all know what that is like. No man likes to take ideas or advice from a woman. Or be told what to do by a woman. I guess they think it is a sign of weakness. The strongest men I know appreciate the help and ideas from women and use their talents.

Little Bit enjoyed coming in and hanging out with us for an hour or two.

I rebooted and folded laundry through the day.

Katy called and we discussed our trip. She was excited to be out for spring break.

I also began working on a iMovie of the night the storm hit. I had totally forgot to look at the video to see if you could see anything, or how bad it got in our area. That took a lot of time watching that and also took some time editing the video and clipping the uninteresting parts out. I left most of the lightning in where there were big flashes and as the storm approached, hail, sirens, and finally the wind. Then it was suddenly gone and just rain, which I did not include. I am posting the video below. Keep in mind that this is from Nest cam segments so it records Noise, Motion, and people. There was an orb in there before the storm came and I think it was edited out. I should have kept it in there. Anyway – Here was the night of the tornado. You can’t see any funnels but you can tell the skies are angry. It’s eerie watching it because you know in these moments lives are being lost and people’s worlds are literally being ripped. We were in the basement, having been woken up by the weather alarm on our iPhones.

And after this, I realized WOW, my afternoon is gone. I began to prepare for dinner and wanted to set the mood for George coming home from work to start his weekend. He called on the way home and said traffic was bad and wanted to see if I needed anything from the store. But I needed nothing. He made it home quicker than I thought. I lit a candle, put some “energy/wellness” essential oils in the diffuser of sweet orange, clove, and frankincense. A someone pleasant aroma, yet cleansing of the air.

I clipped this photo out from a video so it’s not perfect, lol. But this was the mood setting.

Once he got home and saw the leak, we had the “roof/ladder discussion” so I’m not sure any of it was really mood lifting, lol. But at least he was home for the weekend and kicking it off. He’s doing taxes and wanting to do yard work today and look at the roof thing. You can see the leak below next to where the roof meets the wall. Yes we have ugly popcorn ceilings. You think I’ll get to do anything about that ever? lol NOPE. I still have blue linoleum remember? (Grr). Maybe one day.

I’m going to be working on the house today and working on my to do list. I have mega ironing to do as well. I’d really like to finish up some things on my list which I have mostly ignored as it’s been crazy and with up to 3 hour commutes and alternate schedules- there is no time to do anything during the week.

Well, I am glad we have no plans this weekend. I’m just glad to be home for three days. We were not here much all of last weekend and so there is a lot to do.

Oh our chicken dinner was good! I will fix it again.

Please pray for us and the roof situation – both with George’s determination to get up on the shaky ladder and roof and that someone can/will help him as it needs to be someone that can actually do something if he starts to fall. I cannot hold his weight. It’s unsafe for both of us for him to assume that I can. It scares me and I don’t even want to be watching.

Anyway, I’ll pop in tomorrow hopefully and report out what all we did today. Hopefully it’ll be fruitful.

Oh I should mention something about the Corona virus. It’s kinda taken a back seat in our community with all the tornado relief efforts. However, cases are popping up everywhere. Right before Katy and I are to take our flights to Tulsa. I just don’t even know what to think but as of right now we are still going. I’m not sure what to do or if we should consider cancelling. I try not to let the media scare me. I’ve spent most of my life scared of something. It’s hard to know what to believe. So yeah if the “flu” got the attention would we be doing that with that? What if it is just this year’s flu? Were the Chinese conspiracy theories really true? Were they reporting real numbers? Is it any more of a threat that normal flu? The hype of it is really going to mess us all up. It’s like when snow is announced and you can’t find milk and bread in the stores. I made a list of things that I thought we might need to store up on, but with our week we’ve had, I have not had a chance to get anything but bleach and toilet paper – we needed them anyways.

I noticed how bad the virus was and getting all the media reportings and then the stocks started to crash and then I noticed everyone starting to play it down – but is that for real or just everyone wants the stocks to come back up so they are calming fears? I don’t know what to believe and there is really no way to know for sure.

However, here’s my plan. I do think that we were given the talents to be prepared, but not over do it. It’s wise to be ready and someone responsible to have supplies on hand for any type of emergency. Much like deer fed from humans, we become used to our current habitat and immediate conveniences and we become accustomed to that. For generations before us, our predecessors learned to handle crises and adapt from whatever crises were at hand. Yes many of our problems and situations are different than they were in the past but we still have God and we still have the ability to cope and to figure things out as humans. We are resilient and very creative and build upon one another’s ideas. Where one is weak another is strong. To panic would not be the thing to do. To plan is prudent. To be prepared is prudent. Like anything you do in life. If you are afraid of something, have a plan for how you will handle it and follow that plan. If it happens you know what to do, if it doesn’t then great!

In this life we all kinda just go from one change, an event, or situation – to the next one. There are fears of many kinds, sadness, anxieties, and while we want every day to be happy and perfect it’s just not. Still we all strive for it and are there for each other to make it as good as we can make it be. Pray, seek God, deal with today before you can deal with tomorrow, but do the best you can. One day there will be no more sickness or pain or strife or stress or death for those that BELIEVE.

May God be with us all in the coming days/weeks/months/year/forever! Amen.

Tornado Aftermath and Traffic Tie Ups

The week has gone by fast but yet it seems this morning, it’s not going by fast enough. I’m grateful that our home was spared and trying to have patience as I understand fully the reasons why it is hard to get to work and get home. But the facts remain, it still DOES hurt when you have to pee after being in the car for over 3 hours and nothing is open. There is not one iota of patience and understanding that can fix that for ya.

So getting up this morning and sipping coffee, I really don’t want to go into work. I want to have the evening I didn’t get last night and get some things done I need to get done here. When I did get home, I had to wash George’s shirts, and fold two loads of clothes, and iron some pants for tomorrow.

I’m strongly considering taking a vacation day tomorrow just to give our community time to get the roads back open again.

I was considering joining the volunteers for a part of time on Saturday, and how that would work. As I did that George sent me an email of all he wanted us to do this weekend – mainly yard work. I wasn’t sure anyway about the volunteer thing as I can’t lift heavy things and had thought maybe we should donate money and supplies and be encouragers instead, so I think we will do that. And I’m trying to think of ways to do something different. We were not home last weekend and I have a trip coming up next week, so I need to at least have time to get ready for that.

I have to get gas this morning in case I get stuck again. I only have about 1/8 of a tank. So I noticed that the gas stations were at least open and operating *some* pumps. So I will stop at BP this morning and then stop at Shell next door if BP not functioning. If that doesn’t work I can make it in to work I think since 40 and Briley are not the problems. Worst case scenario – I run out and have to ask for help, lol. Which is not an option for me that is acceptable. lol But I do have enough to get to work as long as there is not a huge traffic tie up going in. I think going in now, is ok. But one never knows. Coming home was ok on Wed but yesterday a nightmare. I think the interstate was closed mid afternoon to get power lines back up west of us and then I think there were several wrecks everywhere that complicated things. And so it was 7:30 to 8 before most people around here got home from work. We inched home.

It’s interesting that the WAZE app showed the tornado zones. Letting people traveling through know what was going on. I guess that could be good or bad. Bad in the way of the fact that the gawkers have to go see. They need to stay away until we have infrastructure – roads open and power back on at least. And use the news media to see. It’s not fun to be stuck in traffic and not have a way to communicate, so they should keep that in mind.

I’m proud of our police department here. They are doing a great job to help the owners protect property from looters. Can you believe people would do such a thing? Of course they would. Thieves don’t care where they get their source and thievery at one place is just as bad as thievery in another – to them the doors aren’t locked and they go for it to support their drug habits. So the police have curfews on the roads where there are issues. No one can work after dark to protect everyone and no one allowed in the neighborhoods and police car blocking the streets. I’m sure there are those that will try to sneak through wooded areas and go in the back routes on foot from other streets so I hope they are considering that possibility.

Ok so I’m getting off of here and trying to get a head start today. I think I might try to leave earlier. And I’ll consider whether to use a PTO day tomorrow. I had some rolled over from last year I’d forgotten about so I may use that and just let our town have the 3 days to get things done and the main roads fully open. I’m behind at home anyway and could use the day. My nerves have been shot this week. But certainly mindful of those that lost everything. I feel guilty at any pleasure filled moment – such as hot coffee, sitting here typing with robe on, having power and TV and internet. Grateful to be alive really. In those somber moments waiting for the cell to pass over us in the basement, I had no idea at the time this big tornado wedge was actually doing so much destruction. They usually just fly over, knock some trees down here and there and a roof off somewhere. But an elderly couple in their 80’s are gone here and a security guard – a young girl working. And then there was a lot of children and some young families lost in Cookeville. So as I sit and ponder traffic difficulties and where to get gas and whether to take PTO times, I’m mindful of those who don’t even get to make those choices this morning and I’m praying for those families. Will you also pray for them? It’s going to be very difficult for a lot of people to get over this, where such young ones have lost lives.

And that is all I have for today.

Tornado on the Ground

We were woken up – thank goodness – by the phone’s emergency alert.

See where that Blue Dot is? That is where we were. Right in the path. About a mile south of us (and that blue dot) is where the devastation was.

I got up turned on Danielle Breezy on WKRN Channel 2 news and saw it was headed straight for us, I told George “tornado on the ground” and then Maisy and I went to the basement. George always has to decide if he is going or not. He finally came down with Roger. Maisy went behind the sofa upstairs and I couldn’t get her out until I opened the fridge and got out treats for her (sandwich meat) and she followed me downstairs. We hung out in the basement for 30 to 45 minutes in a concreted block area of our basement just under our porch. We could hear the chairs moving around on our porch and we could hear hail, and some thunder -but were not able to hear wind so much down there. I remembered the cat was on the front porch and I hoped for the best. I remember thinking this could be a bad thing and was embracing for the fact that our house could be hit. But everything I really needed was right there with me in the basement. We waited until the red blob moved away from us on the radar and emerged. As of now we don’t have damage and no debris in our neighborhood. I imagine at some point, we will determine if necessary to have roof checked out.

So there is this “debri ball” tracker which can detect where things are flying through the air. They switched to debri tracking often and could locate where the rotation was and used that to determine if it was on the ground. We stayed up to try to see if there was any damage, but reports were slow to come in. There was damage in Germantown area of Nashville and we heard that there was some in our area but didn’t know what as we finally went to bed.

When we got up we didn’t really hear much of anything other than there was damage and teams would be out at daylight to begin showing the damage. Usually a roof is off somewhere and a tree falling here and there and that is what I expected the damage to be. So as time went on we began seeing there was more extensive damage to certain areas where there were touchdowns. And more and more information came in. I could hear some things on the radio after I finally found a station that was covering it. It was late into my drive to work which took over 3 hours.

So, once I saw that I-40 was opening up again, I began making my way toward it from the main road but due to damage near I-40 that was closed and I took another route as directed by Waze. Waze left me as there was no cell coverage so I couldn’t get road information as I was out there trying to get to work. Every access point to I-40 seemed to be shut down. But I was SO stuck in traffic in the middle of chaos in Hermitage (b/w Mount Juliet and Nashville). We inched forward, car by car, as one car fell out and went back home. None of us going anywhere unless someone fell out of the line and headed home. Two hours on Old Lebanon Dirt Road was all I needed to stay committed to my efforts at getting to work. I thought I may as well keep trying as it would probably take 2 hours to go back. Finally I turned a direction no one else was, which usually means it’s not a good option. But I found a way to get out of the construction zones once I went that way and obtained cell coverage again. Then I could use google maps and Waze to get to work. I needed to potty though after the 2.5 hours of being in the car with coffee and water. What was I thinking? Why was I drinking those things while stuck?

Anyway, finally found a McDonalds that was open. All things were closed near the impacted areas. But on the route to “get out” of the disaster area, I, along with everyone else, found a McDonalds open. I went to potty there. The first stall was closed. The 2nd was not. Yay! Then I headed to work rather quickly from there. My drive would not have been so long had I known not to get on Old Lebanon Dirt Rd.

Lessons learned during driving in disaster zones:

  1. Know your route before you leave if you can, because you cannot assume that cell service will be available for navigation.
  2. Keep bottled water in the car and some type of crackers or food for the drive in. A normal 30 min drive might turn into 3 or 4 hours.
  3. Keep a magazine or something entertaining. If you have to stop.
  4. Drink your coffee/water sparingly and slowly to delay bathroom stops, lol as there may not be any.
  5. Be patient and help out your fellow drivers – let people go
  6. Remember to treat all non working traffic lights as a 4 way stop when the power goes out.
  7. Let work or family know that you are about to leave if you can and that it might be a while and let them know when you arrived. You might not be able to text while you are on the road. Against the law in TN anyway but some of us have hands off ability to text. But often the texts won’t go through in a disaster zone area as cell service is hard to get.

We also texted to let people know we were ok, if they hadn’t already texted. I finally made it to work and began setting in for the payrolls and in a hurry. I got them all closed but stayed late to do it. Getting home was a breeze. No problem at all.

I had an awesome Greek lunch yesterday. But my heart rate was beating fast most all day yesterday. I figure my blood pressure was high from a combination of eating a lot of red meat lately, lots of creamy cheeses and sauces, including this below. And also from the stress from the tornado, lack of sleep, and the drive in.

The part I failed to mention was the sounds of emergency sirens during my drive in. So many vehicles trying to get past us on this curvy 2 lane road, with all of us trying to get over. The urgency of everything and the noise just sent tears spilling because I knew someone was needing help and here we were in the way. We all found a way to get over by pulling into driveways, and creating a middle lane for them somehow. In those moments stuck on this road, I realized how bad things were.

So Nashville, Mount Juliet, and Cookeville were hit hard. As of now twenty something have lost lives. Seventy seven missing in the Cookeville/Putnam County area.

Katy’s former high school was hit hard. Several schools in the area were.

Trump is coming to visit Friday, I think. And here is a YouTube of the some of the destruction. I didn’t get to watch TV or spend time on social media much b/c of payroll so family texted this to me so I could get a grasp of what was going on.

I feel like I’ve ignored my community by leaving and going to work, but I also felt it equally bad not to get payroll done for our 4 plants, so one does the most responsible thing they can. We will figure out a way to donate time or money or whatever needed in the coming days.

We were indeed lucky. No…God kept us safe! A very close call. I had a conversation with God about all this and why he allows these things to happen. He reminded me of the good that will ultimately come out of it which is hard to see right now or to explain to those that have lost loved ones. But it is true that people are showing love and compassion where it was missing before. Sad to take a twister to bring that out of folks. Here on this earth we face peril and death and there is really only one way to escape that, through Him. We all have our time, too. And while we all still do it, God says not to store up treasures for ourselves in this life but invest in the next one. So true.

Hope you all have a great rest of the week. I’ll pop in again as I can. Better try and get ready and get into work. I hope it doesn’t take as long. I don’t think it will.

Thanks to those who reached out to us yesterday to see if we were ok!