Charlie&Lake

Friday Five

I remembered!

I have book club this weekend! Book Club always makes me happy. We read Sharp Teeth by Toby Barlow. And I won't say anything else.

I was able to do a little more than just walk this week. Trust me, it's nothing like my presurgery workouts...but it's more than a 20 minute walk that is so slow my body can't even consider breaking a sweat. I sweated. Wooohooo!

So this week I am cheating. I am using two spots in the top five for So You Think You Can Dance. I was shocked by the judges decision to send home Jasmine H. But I can't say I was upset about Jade exiting. The following two dances were my favorite. Take a look.




I did some more writing. I officially have 11,000 words. Not sure how that happened, but I will accept it graciously. Can't wait to see 50,000. It's all about baby steps. So, this is my tease of the week...

I smile. I always knew Reece wanted to do better in school. This is proof. I lean back; the warmth from the wood bench presses against me, soothing my aching muscles. Each word I read makes me realize just how much I miss my sister, how much I've missed my sister. Not just over the past two months. No, I've missed her for years, since before--. On these pages, I hear echoes of the Reece I used to know. The one who would sneak into my room because she was scared and then beg me to tell her a ghost story. The one who smiled and laughed recklessly. The one who loved life. The one who looked at our father like he hung the moon each night and set the sun in motion each morning. Yes. Reece before . . . He died. She died . . . slowly. I can see it, now. Clearly. On the pages she is present and in life she is absent.
PinkButterfly

(no subject)

I worked 8 hours everyday this week. (It's exhausting. But I know it will get better with time.)

I started reading a book I've been dying to get to: Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers. It's the second book in the His Heir Assassins series. I mean, how can you NOT love a series that has nuns, who train the heirs of Death to be assassins?

I plan to go to church for the first time in 8 weeks. (I've been watching the services on line.)

So You Think You Can Dance had some really good dances this week. I find myself debating between two for the top spot in my heart. I'm going to go with . . . (Yes, they are blindfolded. The dance is about how love is blind.)




Yep, some more writing on Whispers. I worked on my little ghost stories three days. Read . . .

This is worse.
This is personal.
The elevator stops, and I take a deep breath. It’s hard to believe that less than two minutes ago, I thought this was a good idea but now . . .
The door glides open and I clench my fist, fighting the urge to push the down button. I know I need to talk to Dad. Every fiber in my being vibrates with the need to talk to him. The uncertainty of what to say keeps my tongue heavy and thick in my mouth. This is so not like me. I’m usually the first and last person to speak . . . unless Dad’s around. And I typically know what to say and how to say it. Come on! I convince the dead that the light (or dark) is better than here. I can handle this.
But that’s just it.
It’s never been about me; it’s never been personal.
What happened . . . in my house . . . to me . . . to Mom . . .
I feel like someone abducted me and dumped me in the middle of the desert at high noon. I don’t know how to trudge through this landscape of no words.
I take a deep breath. Just do it.
I step forward.

Hugs & Encouragement and DFTBA...
PinkButterfly

Question?

I heard this asked yesterday on the radio and I was FLOORED by the answers. F.L.O.O.R.E.D!

If an alien came to this planet and said, "For every pound of weight you lose permanently you have to give up one IQ points permanently. Would you do it? If yes, how many points are you willing to sacrifice?"


So...LJ, what is your answer. (I'm saving mine...I don't want to bias people.)
Charlie&Lake

Friday Five

I remembered! (Of course, I meant to do at least one more blog this week and that didn't happen. Oh well! Next week is another opportunity.)

So the five top things of the week . . .

I had dinner with a good friend this week. The dinner was not so good, but the conversation was great.

I was able to work longer hours this week. Still recovering.

Discovered a lovely new recipe: Smore bars. UH-MAZE-ING! (And simple.) And I will drop this little bit of useless information because it involves chocolate and Smores have chocolate. Apparently there was a study that showed that the "females like chocolate" statement is actually backed by biology. If a pregnant woman eats chocolate, her female fetus will become active. Male fetuses show little or no arousal. So . . . this justifies my purchasing of chocolate. Clearly it is a NEED.

It is that time of year again...So You Think You Can Dance. You know what that means! One of my favorite dances this week was the Top Ten Guys...



I added more to my story. Wooohooo! Check it out...

I sit down, hard, knees pulled to my chest, and arms wrapped around myself. A chill has settled over me, seeping into my skin. I know this chill. It speaks of a darker time in my life. A time I with blurry lines and out of focus images.

My thoughts seem . . . slippery. Darkness creeps toward me, expands. I shiver, teeth rattle. I push against this invisible cloak that I know too well.

I’m not crazy.

I can keep it together.

Hugs & Encouragement...DFTBA
Charlie&Lake

Friday Five

I know, I know…I dropped off again. It’s been a crazy few weeks. But we’ll focus on this week.

I returned to work. Part time. I’m glad it’s a slow return. Four hours does me in.

I received my season’s ticket for the theater this past week. The upcoming year I will be seeing Wicked, Chicago, Sister Act, etc. So excited.

My mother sent me a lovely summer dress. (Sure it’s made for someone four inches taller than I. It’s the thought that counts.)

I wrote three days this week. Proof…
I stare at the torn manila envelope on the floor, the carefully written address, my name in capital letters. There’s no return address.
When did she send it? How long did it wait in my school mailbox until it was rescued by my roommate?


Hugs & Encouragement . . . DFTBA
Charlie&Lake

Friday Five

Well, the most obvious great thing is...

I and my friends survived an EF5 tornado. God is great!

I continue to show signs of recovery from my surgery.

My friend made me a fabulous salad that I consumed in rapid speed.

I started watching the Veronica Mars series. (I know...I know. I was in graduate school when it came on television.)

I have decided to start a new story idea. Hopefully next week I will have a teaser for you.

Hugs, Encouragement and DFTBA!
PinkButterfly

Where to Start...

Well, first, I am physically unharmed.

I don't think I can find the words to correctly capture the utter devastation my community feels. The devastation I feel. I will try to capture it in words, but I know that I will fail to capture the overwhelming sadness, devastation, shock, and exhaustion I and many others feel. For those of you unfamiliar with tornadoes, they are a literal force to be reckoned with. Oklahoma is in the middle of Tornado Alley. The University of Oklahoma has a nationally recognized Meteorology program. The National Weather System is two miles west of my home. Oklahoman KNOWS tornadoes. Meteorologist tell us days, often a week, in advance that there will be conditions favorable for tornadoes. They tell you streets, intersections, directions, time lines....anything you need to know to be safe.

Sunday morning, people in my area knew that around 3:00 PM the weather would turn treacherous. We knew. I knew. My friends knew. By 4:30 PM I was taken to my friends house. (I still have not been cleared to drive since my surgery.) My friend has an underground shelter. (You need one if you live in Oklahoma.) By 5:30 PM sirens were going off in my city, warning us that a tornado was either seen or forming in the area. There were TWO. They hovered over our city. Neither touched down...in my city. One continued east to Shawnee, Oklahoma. I have a friend who lives in the area. She and her family are fine. Her town...

As I watched the coverage of the aftermath of the tornado, I felt grateful that my city was spared, but enormous sadness for those who lost so much. When I saw the devastation of a trailer park, I thought about when I helped with clean up a couple of years ago. A trailer park was leveled by a tornado and the owner of the property needed help cleaning up the neighboring field. The pictures you see on television and the internet and the newspaper...SEVERELY FAIL at capturing the significance of the loss. When you are standing in a field and you are surrounded by baby pictures, baby clothes, letters, bills, toys, clothes, family pictures, etc, you KNOW you are seeing people's lives...their memories. It was a humbling experience.

So I went to bed Sunday night feeling sad...grateful...and aware that Monday would be a repeat.

Initially, the thought was the storms would come through around the same time Sunday's storm hit. That changed. And THAT change, made a HUGE difference. It made things VERY SCARY. I want to stress that at 2:00 PM, there were NO storms in the state of Oklahoma. At noon, meteorologists said they would be issuing a Severe Weather Warning at 1:00 PM or 1:30 PM, depending on when the sun appeared and warmed the atmosphere to a point of instability. One of my friends lives in the Newcastle area. The school staff called parents that morning and told parents they either needed to pick up their kids by 1:00 PM or the children would be taken to a storm shelter. The District feared the instability could spin tornadoes similar to Sunday's storms, which by Monday, we knew the tornadoes were EF4 tornadoes. (Tornado scale is EF1 to EF5 based on wind speed and damage). Tornadoes of the EF4 and EF5 variety make up less than 1% of tornadoes. Sunday produced TWO.

At 2:00 PM, shortly after a friend left my house, heading north, (through Moore) meteorologist announced three storms that suddenly popped up on radar. All three storms showed signs of possible rotation. One of the storms was south of my city, one was in west of Newcastle, one was west of North Oklahoma City. By 2:10 it was clear the one near Newcastle was developing RAPIDLY. It was estimated it would hit Moore by 2:50 PM. If you don't know about severe weather, it is extremely rare to go from nothing to a significant storm within 45 minutes. At 2:10 the only thing we knew for sure was that there were strong winds up to 60 mph and hail. There was a hook, suggesting more could develop...I called my friend who just left and told her what to expect. Moore, Oklahoma is 6 miles north of my city. My friend who has a shelter came to get me. By 2:30 PM, the storm had a rotation and it was about to drop on Newcastle. At the time I did not know that my friend, who lives in the Newcastle area had picked up her children and had decided to go to a house with a shelter. I called to tell her about the storm, fearing her children, who attend Newcastle schools, would be in harms way. When I got no response, I was concerned. When I saw the tornado, and the meteorologists described its power, I panicked. My friend did call. She and her children were physically unharmed. The friends who provided shelter were physically unharmed. My friend described her experience and then said, "I will have nightmares. And we are getting a storm shelter. We will have one."

Around 2:45 PM it was believed that the tornado that had hit Newcastle was gaining strength and was headed toward Moore, Oklahoma and the northern part of my city. The meteorologist started mentioning streets and landmarks. Streets and landmarks I see on a regular basis. I just saw Iron Man 3 at Warren Theater on Saturday. Two weeks ago, I spent three days in Moore Medical Center...and I have a doctor's appointment on Thursday in that building. (Correction, just got a phone call. It is cancelled and will be rescheduled. My doctor has to find some place to see patients.) Both places were believed to be in the tornado's path. My friends, SEVERAL friends, live on the streets mentioned. The schools mentioned, are schools I have worked with faculty and children. At 2:45 the sirens in my city sounded. Meteorologists reported the tornado was at least a mile wide. The tornado was being described as a monster. Then we lost power. Four adults and three children without power, knowing that a monstrous storm was headed in our general direction. Three IPhones and none of them could get information.

Fifteen minutes later we got a storm radio working. The information we heard was DEVASTATING.A large portion of Moore, Oklahoma was leveled. At one point, the tornado with its debris band measured 2.25 miles wide. Schools were leveled. Neighborhoods demolished. Businesses gone. Daycares gone. Not just some places. PLACES I KNOW. PLACES I GO. PEOPLE I KNOW. This feels very personal. This is an ache I can't describe. And I didn't lose my house, or my car, or a child. But I know people who experienced loss. And every time they talk about the schools...and the children...I don't have children, but I have spent a large portion of my life working with children. Most of my friends have children. I LOVE children. I cannot even begin to imagine what I would feel if I heard my child's school was leveled by a tornado. I can't....

Understand, at one point the meteorologists said over and over, "You will not survive this storm if you are above ground. You will not survive. This storm is eating up everything in its path."

I just...

I...

At 9:00 PM my power and cable were restored and I finally saw the devastation. I just...

If you want to help...If you can help, text "Redcross' to 90999 and that is a $10 donation.

If you can't donate, pray for Oklahoma. Four of our communities have been devastated. Lives have been forever changed.

If prayer is or is not your thing, send positive energy.

If positive energy is or is not your thing, learn to listen to weather warnings so you can be safe should you be in a similar situation one day.

Take Care!

 
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Charlie&Lake

Friday Five

I know...I know. It's been FOREVER! One word-LIFE.

but I don't want to keep you waiting any longer. Here are my TOP FIVE great things this week.

1) Monday I sat outside on my patio. The sun was beautiful. The temperature perfect. Geese were feeding their young, I did my daily devotional...it was a day that made you appreciate life in all its beauty and simplicity. So often I'm running from one place to the other I don't get so see ALL the great things around me.

2) Though I was trapped inside all day Wednesday because it was raining, I managed to keep myself entertained.

3) Book club meets on Saturday. We read Under the Never Sky by Rossi. It was...nope, I'll show you how I felt about the book.
I grabbed my phone, heart thumping as I dialed A's phone number. I had to tell her. It couldn't wait. "I just finished the book." "That's good," she said. "I was prepared to skip book club this week because I have friends comin in to town. But then I read the book...this book." She laughed. "Oh, I soooo need to talk about this book. I took notes. Notes!" "Wow." She laughed again. "So, I can either bring my friends with me or you and have to meet up to talk about the book. Either way, I need to process. I need to talk."

4) My friends from Texas will be here in...oh, about 4 hours. They are coming to help me as a recover from surgery. (Nothing life threatening. I'm fine. It was a surgery I knew was in my future the minute I turned 30. One word--Genetics.)

5) Okay, this is trypically where I add a writing teaser, but I'm not going to today. (Yes, I wrote some this week.) And sometimes I do a favorite song of the week. But not today. (Though I do have some favorites at the moment.) Today...I'm going shameless. Now, keep in mind, I RARELY watch TV. But since I am stuck at home for one month and can't read and write 24/7...my TV has been on a little more than usual. I saw this commercial and LOVED it. (If you've see it, you may enjoy another look). I actually buy this item...and not because of the commercial. (However, I may keep buying this item BECAUSE of the commercial. *wiggles eyebrows*)



Hugs, Encouragement, and DFTBA (Don't Forget to Be Awesome!)
Charlie&Lake

Friday Five

Work has been a bit...crazy. Temperatures are high and patience is low. BUT...amazingly all the guys on my caseload are keeping it together for the most part. (Oh and one of them promised to buy me a car when he is released. Really? Really?)

The Olympics start!!!! Need I say more? I don't think so.

I love being surprised (in a good way) by a person. (It also means learning something about myself in the process.)

I think my brain is telling me it is time to get back to writing. next week the fun begins. Whispers, here I come.

You guys know I LOVE the Vlogbrothers (John and Hank Green...creaters of DFTBA) Well, Hank is producing a vlog adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. "A" from book club introduced me to this lovely gem. I spent one evening watching all the videos...now I watch them every Monday and Thursday. The first vlog is below.

Charlie&Lake

Friday Five

Red took two independent steps this week. I didn’t see them, his mom told me. But I bet I get to see him walk on Saturday when I spend some time with him and sister Alli (who left me an adorable voicemail this week).

Despite being stressed this week about an issue at work, I did not attempt to find happiness in cupcakes, cake, cookies, or . . . well, anything sweet. I’ll admit that I baked some cookies, but I only ate one. I took the rest to work.

So You Think You Can Dance makes me soooo happy. This was my favorite dance of the week: Amelia and Will (dancers) and Sonia (choreographed) . . .

I don’t have anything to complain about.

I’m itching to get back to Whispers. August 1 is the day I begin. *bites nails* So excited!

Hugs & Encouragement (& DFTBA*)

*Don’t Forget to Be Awesome