MBS strikes again

It’s been rainy today.

Not the kind of steady rain that makes me long to curl up with a book and a blanket and a nice cup of tea, but the kind of deluge that makes me begin a mental inventory of everything in the basement that might possibly be damaged if the sump pump breaks down and the water begins to rise. It’s not been the kind of thunderstorm that me long to sit and watch roll by from the comfort of a swing on my front porch, but the kind of thunderstorm that makes me turn on the TV so I can catch the latest weather updates, even as I compulsively check my phone for the same thing.

The power flashed here, but didn’t completely go out. The wind howled as if a blizzard were on the way. The rain hit my windows with such force that I wondered if it wasn’t hail instead. And in under an hour…

The wilds of Iowa

You may recall that last weekend, we had some wild weather.  It’s actually been a wild couple of weeks, weatherwise.  Between floods and tornadoes, we’ve had all we can do to keep up with the effects of the storms leveled at us.  Last week’s storms knocked down two of our trees, and left branches dangling from a couple of others.  Seymour and I spent Sunday afternoon trying to clean up the yard, only to have more storms roll through that night.

My hometown was too close for comfort to one of Sunday evening’s passing tornadoes.  Apparently, our new house was also fairly close, but I didn’t know that till Monday morning.

I’ve just about had it…

Tornado monsoon

June 29

2014-06-29 10.16.03I went upstairs to put the boys to bed a little after 8:00 p.m. and the sky was dark.  Like middle-of-the-night dark.  Given that it’s been staying light till somewhere around 9:00 p.m. lately, this was odd.  But it had been raining, so I didn’t worry too much about it.  I had just started reading Fox in Socks when the emergency alert went off on my phone – a tornado warning had just been issued.  I hollered down to Seymour to find out what was going on and he said he’d check the radar, so I went back to reading.  A couple minutes later, Bubbles thundered up the stairs and said we were supposed to head down to the basement.

After yesterday’s monsoon, we woke up to find our basement submerged beneath three inches of water.  We managed to drain it eventually, thanks to our cousins – they came to Cricket’s birthday party this afternoon packing a pump.  The basement is once more flooded in places, but that’s fodder for another post.

I may even write it one day.

2014-06-29 21.57.54 Anyway, the boys were happy…

Love rocks

IMG_20140624_153931We’ve been doing a lot of work on houses lately.  Last weekend (not this past weekend, but the one before it, the weekend of Father’s Day) we painted our old house because our deal fell through and people who’d looked at it before thought it was too much work to fix (although what’s so hard about hiring someone to side it once you’ve bought it is beyond me).

Anyway, it’s a three-story house.  We painted it in a single day.

Now you know why I’ve been so tired lately and so behind on so many things.  I have a whole post (complete with pictures!) that I want to write on the topic, and maybe I’ll get it done in the next couple of days.  But this isn’t about that.

This is actually about all the work we’ve been doing on our new house.

We haven’t done as much to the new place as we’d hoped to have done by now, primarily because we haven’t sold our old house yet.  So far, we’ve connected to rural water (No more smelly well water!  Yay!), we’ve replaced the water heater that crapped out on us at the end of April, we’ve installed a new washer and dryer, and Seymour has built a new bathroom down in our basement.  It’s not quite functional yet, but we’ve been so busy that he hasn’t had time to finish working on it.

We also filled in an old well and two cisterns last fall, something we thought was a great idea.  Now the kids can play in the yard without us worrying that they’ll fall through rotting boards and drown (seriously, that well was so deep that it took three full dump trucks full of sand to fill it up, and even then there was a dip in the yard that we had to fill with dirt).

There’s just one problem.

¡Hace calor!

Well, it’s late and I’m exhausted after a long day.  I hope you’ve all been enjoying the poetry!  Most of them were written on our last camping trip.  We spent two hours waiting for our boat to get fixed and, after my phone battery died, I whipped out my handy little purse notebook and started writing.  (If I’d have had The Lokana Chronicles with me, I’d have started revising, but that didn’t work out.)

Anyway, I’ve got loads to tell when I’m less tired and more coherent, so for tonight, I’ll just leave you with this.  It hit 105° today at work, and in Des Moines, apparently it hit 108°.  I heard that was a record, but I don’t know for sure.

What I do know for sure is that when it’s this flippin’ hot out,  there’s only one thought that runs through my mind, and it goes like this:

Water, water, everywhere…


Photo courtesy of the Marshalltown Times-Republican

If you follow me anywhere else online, you’ll have seen by now the various flood pictures I’ve been sharing (seriously, much like the water, they’re all over – both my personal and public Facebook accounts, Flickr, Instagram, and soon Pinterest as well).  Despite that, I’m going to post some more here anyway.  The extent of the damage won’t likely be truly realized for a long time yet, and the recovery will probably take years if this turns out to be anything like previous floods have been.

I know I’ve mentioned the Flood of ’93 several times already, but we had another major flood just five years ago that I had forgotten about until a friend mentioned it on Facebook.  I mean, I didn’t really forget, but I had forgotten that some of the severe flooding had been so close to us.  All you seemed to hear about was what happened in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City, but there was plenty of severe flooding in the Waterloo-Cedar Falls area, too, and I had forgotten that.  I think the reason that ’93 is stuck in my head has to do with my mom; seeing all the photos she took of the local damage really imprinted the severity of the disaster on my tender little psyche.  The flooding in 2008, while devastating, just didn’t have the same personal connection for me that the floods of ’93 and ’13 have.

Anyway, we drove through quite a bity of flooding again on Monday as we tried to get home.

Where’s an ark when you need one?

I shot this picture of a submerged field through the window of our truck as we were heading down to visit Seymour’s parents for the weekend. The rain bands on the window blurred the image and gave it the neat effect; the only processing I did to this was adding Instagram’s Lo-Fi filter to make the blue of the water pop out a little more. Even without it, the grass still glowed that green.

I love this image, but…

Foggy Trees

Foggy Trees

Here’s a little experimental photography for you.  Something tells me the sky will look a lot like this a little later today (read: on my drive home). *sigh*

Stupid weather.  I’m supposed to go to the park for a play date!  Go rain elsewhere!

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the picture.  Let me know what you think below!

(c) 2013.  All rights reserved.

Winter in Iowa

Snow Cat

Snow Cat (Photo credit: clickclique)

I’ve had it with winter.  Specifically, I’ve had it with all the white crap Mother Nature keeps dumping on us.  I nearly got stuck at work yesterday because the city does such a lousy job clearing the streets, and the same thing happened again today.  After narrowly avoiding the embarrassment of having to ask my boss to give me a push, what happened?  I came home and promptly got stuck in the mouth of my driveway, with the back end of my van sticking out into our very narrow street.

I was stuck so tight that after the kids and I tried to get out for about ten minutes, I went across the street and asked the neighbor for help (Seymour wasn’t home yet).  It took the two of us a good half hour and maybe a little more to get my van free.  The city I live in (yes, I know, it’s a small town, but that’s how we refer to our municipal government) doesn’t do any better when it comes to cleaning streets than the city I work in.  So in short, I’ve had it with winter.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  When the sun shines on newly fallen snow and it sparkles like a thousand diamonds, I love it as much as the next person.  I appreciate the beauty of snow.  However, I hate dealing with it.  I hate driving in it.  I hate shoveling it.  I hate cleaning it off of my car.

But at times like these, I often think of a joke my dad shared with me once.  It’s about winter in Iowa and, given the trials I’ve had with the snow today and the fact that it was three years ago today that I lost him, this seems like a good time to share it again.  I’ve posted it before, but here it is again in all its snowy glory:

Dear Diary. . .