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Just when I thought I knew everything about him…



Posted by on Feb 15, 2012 | 8 comments

In November, my husband and I will celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary, which makes a recent revelation about him all the more surprising:

He's very German and must've been switched at birth unbeknownst to his mother, father or an entire hospital staff in small town Nevada, circa 1963.

We learned this about him while attending cultural training prior to our temporary move to Germany, and I must say, this explains a lot.

Christian Höferle (Höferle Consulting, highly recommended for inter-cultural training in the tri-state area) conducted the content-rich sessions, and early on we made the remarkable discovery based on Herr Höferle's characterization of German values:

  • efficiency
  • punctuality
  • organization
  • thoroughness
  • method
  • logic
  • consistency

Hello???  Is this not Tad Dance to a "T"???

So, it makes perfect sense that he would quickly experience a breakthough, and acclimate to a new job, culture and country with relative ease. 

What I didn't anticipate (but in retrospect, should have given his newly-discovered German descent) was how committed he would be to The German Way.  Since we arrived two weeks ago, the temperature has languished in single digits like it forgot how to count past ten!  Since his first day at work, Tad has ridden a bike about 5K to his office. 

Below-freezing temperatures aside, it also snowed last Tuesday; that snow was still on the ground when it began snowing yesterday, and though there have been brief respites, it has continued through today. 

Only today we have freezing temps, a wet, sometimes heavy snowfall…and 30 mph 50 kph wind gusts!

A year from now I might just be married to a hard body….


Can you hear the howl of the wind?

Blustery snow




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My favorite things (I’m betting you’ll be writing your own version as you’re reading mine!)



Posted by on Dec 6, 2011 | 17 comments

{sung to the tune of My Favorite Things, of course!}


Rain boots on Robin and soft fuzz of kittens

White lights on Christmas trees, soft chenille mittens

Coffee with friends, when my tea kettle sings,

These are a few of my favorite things.


Romantic comedies, cozy pajamas

Dark chocolate (with nuts), snowfall and tall llamas

Fluttering, fairy-like butterfly wings

These are a few of my favorite things.


God's lavish grace, lion's roar of the ocean

Bike rides and beaches and smelly-good lotion

My children's laughter and flowers in Spring

These are a few of my favorite things!


When I can't sleep, when my heart stings

When I'm feeling sad.

I simply remember my favorite things

And then I don't feel so bad.


Inspired by a rainy day and the need to wear my rain boots; everything I've mentioned really is a favorite thing!!  Come on…you know you have a stanza or two waiting to be written!  Let's make this a sing-a-long!


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Drought, Flood and the Big, Bad Wolf



Posted by on Sep 5, 2011 | 5 comments

It started Christmas Day 2010 and it's been going on for nine months now–this is the craziest weather year I ever remember.  In Chattanooga:

  • We had our first ever White Christmas.
  • Multiple super cell tornados in April crushed a path of destruction…and sometimes death–in our corner of the world and the entire Southeast.
  • An early Summer heatwave, a beginning of record breaking temps.
  • August marked the driest month on recordever.  
  • And today, two weather records were broken:  the airport is citing 8.16" rainfall (so far, it's still raining), the most rainfall on any September 5 (obliterating the previous record of a paltry 1.84" in 1959); and today's rainfall total is also setting a new all time 24-hour record; the previous record, more than 100 years old, was 7.61" on March 29-30, 1886 (source:  WTVC-TV News Channel 9)

Wolftever Creek winds its way near our neighborhood, and it typically overflows its banks during a heavy rain.  Below, I captured some cell shots around 9:30 this morning then again around 5:30.  I can't imagine what it'll look like tomorrow after rains have continued throughout the evening…. Forgive the poor quality in some; I was shooting through glass at times.

334919_2346780435292_1423472386_2655306_2597978_o  Road flooded in Chattanooga, September 2011




This road is the first to go in our neighborhood; as soon as the creek rises, you need a boat to get across….


Flooding in Hamilton County   Flooding in Chattanooga September 2011




On the left, the cement picnic table is the marker; on the right, it's hidden under water.  The trees on the left and right mark an approximate boundary.


Wolftever Creek beginning to rise   Wolftever Creek overflowing its banks



In the left shot, the water has barely left its banks; on the right, it's 25 yards in front of the treeline….

Anybody not see this on Gunbarrel Road today (lifted from the Times Free Press Facebook page)??

Flooding on Gunbarrel Road in Chattanooga

How are things in your neck of the wood?  Everybody okay out there?? 

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Subtle and unexpected, a change after the storm



Posted by on Jun 1, 2011 | 2 comments

Beyond the obvious–uprooted trees, damaged homes and property, and demolished businesses–I've noticed an unexpected change in the way meteorologists report the weather:

Where previously they'd magnify the potential for "severe" weather, now they downplay thunderstorms, assuming the role of grandfatherly friend, assuring us there's no need to be concerned.

Because we've learned there IS a time to be concerned.

I'm over at (in)courage today talking about the storm's aftermath (both in the Southeast and Midwest), God's mysterious ways, and how you can continue to help.

Because people will be rebuilding for years; and those who've suffered unimaginable personal losses will be hurting forever.

I hope you'll take time to read "Gone with the (200 mph) winds."

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Diametrically opposed



Posted by on Jan 8, 2011 | 6 comments

I'm buzzing around my kitchen exaggerating every move as if each is of Some Great Importance, but mostly I'm just irritated. My two oldest are attending a concert tonight and their convoluted and confusing "plans" do not make sense At All to me–or anyone over the age of 18.  

This is one of the things I've had to get over as a parent:  that my kids (and kids in general) do not make plans the way we did…the way we had to because there was no such thing as smart phones or cell phones or any manner of phone not corded to a base or hanging on the wall.  

It almost sounds medieval, n'est pas?

So I spew questions at my daughter–"Do you even know how to get there?"  "Who is riding with you?"  "Do you know where to park?"–while she's waiting on my son to return with the car. He had to pick up a friend across town, take him and another friend already with him to meet someone else, then return home to drop off the car for his sister, then catch a ride with yet another friend to meet the Adult Driver who was carting them all to the concert.  

See?  Did anyone just track with me on that???

I remind them both just because they're among the first in their grades to drive does not mean they're everyone's taxi service. I'm sure their eyes are rolling but they're careful not to let me see.

Good gracious I am such a m o t h e r …!

I glance through the window that opens to our front yard when I notice skies have darkened, obsidian bully waiting to unleash liquid fury.  Ominous and menacing, these are the things that give me reason to fear:  

rain-slick roads…

distracted teenage drivers

everyone else on the road,

and my babies not understanding Things Happen.  

View through window ominous, dark, cloudy sky




For a second I remembered my own father's warnings whenever I drove in what he considered dangerous conditions (the kind I rolled my eyes at…) and realized my children won't understand completely until they are parents of teenagers.  That doesn't stop me from trying.

Attempting to communicate the potential danger from the storm about to descend, I say, "Wow…the bottom of the sky is about to fall out…"

And Rachel, sitting at our kitchen table over-looking our backyard, begins "Well all I see are blue skies and puffy white clouds…."

I thought she was just playing the opposite game until I turned my head and looked her direction–

kitchen window view of backyard blue sky and puffy white clouds






I'm standing in the center of these two rooms, looking back and forth and shaking my head in disbelief–to my right, our front yard and charcoal sky, to my left, our backyard and white and baby blues.  A second has passed…

Without missing a beat Rachel finishes her thought, "…I guess it's just a matter of perspective."

And it suddenly occurred to me:  I don't even know if we're still talking about the weather…. 

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Imaginatives will see a snowman’s light saber or Yeti’s toothpick



Posted by on Dec 28, 2010 | 4 comments

As a snow-deprived Southerner who finds kittenish delight in even the slightest of dustings, I understand mine is a short-sided view.  Where I see beauty and wonder and fun, friends north and west of me see dread and danger and imposition.  

I suppose it's a frosty bleached version of "the grass is always greener…."

Our celebrated, much-anticipated first EVAH White Christmas sent me on a photowalk around my yard and I discovered extraordinary coolness had been hanging just outside my bedroom window– 

snowy rooftop

Maybe it's the nerdy kid in me, but I would love to see time-lapsed photography of the icicles forming.  

They're gorgeous…

snow and ice on rooftop


And haunting…

Icicles on house


And stabbity…

icicles on house


Remember that scene in Lovely Bones where the very bad guy got his due?  When an icicle broke off a building and impaled him?  That's what I thought of when I took this picture–


…it would've been pretty funny for someone to have taken a shot of me hanging outside my window upside down, but for ego's sake, I'm glad no one saw me!


For perspective, I did break off one…


And with hat hair, no make-up on and 12 layers of clothes, I kinda look like the Abominable Snowman from Rudolph holding an icy scepter.  

It doesn't take much to make me happy, does it?  Weather?!  While some find it pedestrian or unworthy of conversation, apparently I had plenty to say about it in 2010 ~

Please tell me I'm not the only one–if you've got a weather-related post in 2010, do share!



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