Thursday, August 28, 2008


There has been a lot going on this week. Things that are deep and make me reflect on life and what this really is all about. I've always liked Alanis Morisette. She was there for with her "Jagged Little Pill" CD right about the time I felt like I swallowed 100 jagged little pills when my engagement to Jim ended in 1994. I was young and blinded by (what I thought was) love. Jim needed someone to take care of him and, at first, I was willing to do be that person. I KNEW I could save him from bi-polar disorder. Wow. Who was I kidding? I couldn't. We broke up. He moved out of state to run from the pain. My friends took me out a lot and I drank loads of Long Island Ice Teas (thanks, Michele!) He came back a couple of years later, visited me at work, and asked me to put the ring back on my finger. His exact words were "lets pretend nothing happened." I said no thanks. We hugged and parted company and didn't see each other again. In July 2002, he died of a massive heart attack. I always think of him when I hear Alanis so when I heard her song, "Ironic," this week it was not surprising that my first flash was of Jim. I started really listening to the lyrics and found my mind going in all sorts of weird directions. Alanis sings, "Well life has a funny way of sneaking up on you When you think everything's okay and everything's going right. And life has a funny way of helping you out when You think everything's gone wrong and everything blows up In your face." For me that last line is so true. I thought life had ended when Jim and I broke up. Of course it didn't. I moved on, dated the "Dans" (not at the same time, they just happened to share a name.) I won't rehash the details of the "Dans", but lets just say it was interesting 5 years. Then, about 10 years ago I realized that I was falling in love with the really wonderful guy I was trying to pair off with my friends. And the rest, as they say, is history. My mind then wandered to two very major, life altering events happening to friends of ours at this moment. One pertains to the first line of Ironic, and the other, the second. One friend is battling cancer and we can hope for a miracle. It's the same cancer that took my Dad from me at a young age and it is so hard to watch another family go through this at an even younger age. The other friends are downsizing a house, a lifetime of memories and stuff. It seems unthinkable at this time, but I'm hopeful that a new lifestyle will open many paths and bring happiness in ways they can't imagine right now. Both situations have made me reflect on the fragility of life and the path we think our life is going to take. A moment, a breath, a wrong turn can change so much about that course. We all walk a tenuous path. I know I do. I take things around me for granted all the time. Relationships, money, health. Thinking about these situations are two big whacks upside the head for me. Now, I just need to focus on not taking things and people around me for granted. I've got two big reminders pulling at my pant legs right now.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Finding My Will

A post I did in June, Who Would You Google, about Bill's long-lost friend Will getting in touch with him, has lead to some interesting results for me. If you recall, I mentioned my dear friend from 1st grade, Beatrice. She and I were really good friends for a couple of years and then boom, nothing. Maybe we were in separate classrooms after 1st grade and we just drifted apart. That will remain a mystery.

After I wrote the post about how she is the one person from my past that I'd like to be back in touch with, I googled her......again. For perhaps the 20th time in 10 years. WHAM-O! A hit. A lead. She joined a club and her name appeared in a .pdf of the clubs meeting minutes. I emailed the club's president and explained the situation. He said he knew her parents and would email her mom a note. I waited and waited and waited.

Well, not really.

Within 24 hours her mom emailed me!! I was excited to see her mom's name on that email. She said they often think of my family. She called Beatrice first thing after reading my email and forwarded her my info.

That night, after exchanging several emails during the day, I was on the phone with Beatrice.

It was surreal in a way because I remember her as an 8 or 9 year old child and hearing an adult voice on the phone was hard to process at first. I kept picturing this little girl with long pigtails.

Turns out, she actually lived back in Cleveland for almost 9 years in the late 90's-early 2000's. She even drove down my old street once to see if she could remember my house. Here is the irony: we moved out of that house in July 1986. Beatrice moved to California in June 1986. She and I had been going to the same school until 8th grade yet our memories of each other basically end long before that. She didn't know I had moved so she would have never found me on that old street. She couldn't even find the house (heck, even I can't tell it is my old house) because the people that bought it turned a 1 floor ranch into a 2-story colonial! We moved two streets over from the house she just moved out of. She tried to google me, but guess what, nothing comes up under my maiden name.

We caught up for over an hour. Giving the highlights and lowlights of the past 25 years. She didn't know about my Dad, so that was hard. She talked about how she remembered him coming home from work when she used to eat dinner over. She remembers him always wearing a baseball cap. Yep, that was Dad. More like the trucker style hats that were so cool a few years ago. She remembers visiting my Grandparents in PA. They are both long gone. We talked about how much fun our summers were in her pool. She told me the pool is now filled in. So sad, our giggles and splashes buried under 12 ft. of concrete. We found things out about each other that we didn't even know when we were kids or maybe we knew, but just don't remember. Like our love of reading and researching and how that lead us down similar career paths for a while.

Knowing where she hung out when she lived back here, it is safe to say that we were probably in some of the same places at the same time, like the E185th St Festival. Like ships passing in the night. Most likely, I was sailing with Captain Morgan at the festiva,l so my ship would have been tipsy. She said she would have recognized me and would have said something. Would I have known her? Maybe, maybe not since my memories is of an 8 year old girl. I do think that deep down I would have sensed something familiar about her and asked. We were very close for several years and I think I might have just known it was her without really knowing.

I feel like my childhood past is kind of complete now. There are no more question marks out there. I have a new perspective on memories I had long since locked away and some I didn't even remember.

I have a new "old" friend. I found my Will.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Weekend Wrap

It has, once again, been a busy weekend for the Pchaks.
I've got a lot running around in my head; some really cool stuff and some not. I'll be doing my therapy and spilling my guts here in a couple of days. For now pictures will have to suffice.
Story time at the Metroparks. The theme was "Bats!"
Nolan doing his best impersonation
Bringing up the rear of the hiking pack
Windy on the bridge for Reagan and Nolan dusting off after a fall on the trail
Hanging out with Daddy
Chase's 1st Birthday party, looking a lot like his Daddy, Ed, in this pic
Nolan and a serious case of road rage
The Elmo theme made Nolan happy!
Reagan and the most phallic looking popsicle ever
Nolan helping Uncle Ed with the grill
Nolan helping himself to Uncle Ed's (empty) wine glass
Reagan did this over and over....slide down, crab crawl around the perimeter of the pool and then back up on the slide

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Life's A Beach

Aunt Deb and I took the kids to Fairport Harbor Beach yesterday. What a fun time! SO much nicer than the Headlands. Nolan loved the water, Reagan didn't. Reagan loved playing in the sand, Nolan was so-so about it. They both loved the jungle gym and slide. Reagan contemplating the water, fingers went right in the mouth. If I would have let him go, he would have been running into the water I packed some snacks for a picnic and Reagan came right over and dug in. She sat on the blanket with Aunt Deb and ate blueberries and crackers. All Nolan cared about was his juice box, a special treat they don't get too often. Everyone was tired, but teething pains woke both the kids up last night. Reagan went right back to sleep, but Nolan couldn't so he watched Dinner Impossible with me and then he went back to bed. No better way to end the day then watching Cleveland chef, Michael Symon, kick some butt serving up an awesome meal on Alcatraz while cuddling with my baby boy.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Nice Can(ning)s

My mom and Connie came over this evening for dinner and to see the kids. They ended up staying to help with bath & bed time since I am single mommy for a few days. On the way out, my mom said, "Well, now your day is over, go relax." Yeah. That is funny. After cleaning high chairs, putting away some toys, sweeping the floor, and folding two baskets of clothes, I started canning. It was my first try and, of 6 jars, I've only heard the "pop" indicating the jar sealed properly twice from the kitchen. Maybe the others popped and I didn't hear it (please let that be the case), we shall find out tomorrow when I test the seals.
I just did pickles today. Of the 6 jars, I did 4 different styles. Bread & Butter, Garlic2, X-tra Dill, Crushed Red Pepper, and Schezuan Pepper.
The canning process is pretty easy, but I need to do it a couple of times to get a work flow down.
I sure wish my Grandma was around to help me! Ican just hear her. She'd be saying, "Hey kid, now you put this do-hickey on there, add a pinch of that and you ring around that rosie, then you are done." She was a character for sure.
Post (crushed red pep & Schezuan in front on right)
Couple pictures for Daddy. Can you guess what Nolan was saying? Reagan was being stubborn (imagine that) and wouldn't look up.

Monday, August 18, 2008


No, not a sheep! We don't get to spend nearly enough time with Uncle Bob (UB), or BA as Reagan calls him. He was in town this past week to take care of some issues going on with my Grandpa and we got to see him for a couple of hours. The kids haven't seen him since their birthday party in May, so I kept talking about him last week in hopes that Nolan wouldn't have his "stranger" anxiety working in overdrive when he arrived. When UB got here, Reagan warmed up quickly, as usual, and Nolan soon followed. Reagan brought him books to read and soon everyone was on the couch reading Hola, Jalapeno! UB was craving some Lake Erie perch so we headed to our favorite lunch/dinner spot, Trader Jacks, on the river. Nolan's girlfriend was our server so he was preoccupied with impressing her. Reagan and UB sat next to each other so he got to help her eat her lunch and bond with her. They behaved as they usually do in a restaurant, very well. The next morning Reagan woke up and the first thing she said was "Ba?" No honey, no Ba today. Guess Reagan will be following in her Mommy's footsteps and spending lots of time in Dallas someday with "Ba." I talked to UB on Friday night. He told me he was very impressed with the kids and that I am "an excellent mother and doing a good job with them." You know what, I am an excellent mother [Bill adds: we all know it's the truth.]. I think I do a darn good job with these kids. At least I try my best. It sure was nice to hear it.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

When Reading Makes Me Mad

I've always been a reader. When I was in 3nd grade I was written about in the paper because I read 127 books for my local libraries summer reading club. When I turned 16 I got a job at said library so I could have first crack at new stuff (and it was cleaner than working in fast food.) Not that I have much free time to read these days, but when I do I want to relax and enjoy the book, not get worked up about it. Les Roberts is one of the authors on my "list." I've read all his stuff and anxiously await new material. If you live in Cleveland and don't know about Les, shame on you! His Milan Jacovich character is a P.I. in our fair city and it is fun to read about places you've been. Les lives in Cleveland and I've had the pleasure of meeting him about a year ago. He is a character himself! I picked up the latest Milan book from the library, The King Of The Holly Hop, recently. When I got to page 2, I had to stop reading and email my equally as geeky (in regards to books) friend, Kathy, since one of the characters shares her maiden name. Her Dad quickly went out and bought the book. (You are welcome, Les!) Anyway, I settle in to tag along on the latest Milan adventure when I turn the page and stumble upon handwriting on the page. The librarian in me got irritated right away. Once I read what was written in regards to what the characters were talking about I was downright fuming.
In case you can't read it, one of the characters in the book is telling Milan about when he "came out of the closet." Milan answered "That's nothing to be ashamed of." Next to that sentence in faint pencil is written, "Yes it is." Red. I saw RED. What a coward!!!! First of all to hide behind the anonymity of defacing a library book to spew your utter stupidity is ridiculous, but to not even have the balls to do it IN PEN!! If you are going to be that full of hate, you might as well go all the way and commit to it because as soon as I calmed down enough to think straight I found my trusty No. 2 pencil and erased your yellow-bellied attempt at spreading your cheer and good will toward ALL. After blowing off the erasing shavings (what do you call those bits that hang onto the paper after erasing?), I settled back down and picked back up with Milan......... all was well until I turned the page!
The quote is "As long as you are happy, that's what counts." In thin pencil "WRONG" ARGH "Minds are like parachutes. They only function when they are open.” James Dewer, Sr.

Friday, August 15, 2008

My Sweet Babies

"Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” -Elizabeth Stone I have never felt so much love than when I look at my children. While they are typical 15 month-olds and have their stubborn moments, they are also incredibly sweet kids. Recently, there have been some moments that just make me laugh and cry at the same time. Reagan, Bunny, Babycakes. We'll start with Reagan since, after all, she is the oldest. That 60 seconds will come into play in a few years, I suspect. Reagan can shoot you a look that puts chills up and down your spine when she doesn't want to do something. She also enjoys taking away the toy Nolan has, just because she can. But most other times she is a sweet and caring child. Reagan has become a morning cuddler. After breakfast we watch Sesame Street and Super Why! and play. During Super Why! she gets up in my lap, puts her two fingers in her mouth and rests her head on my shoulder. There is nothing more soft than those wisps of hair under my nostrils. On the car ride home after the car accident, Nolan was very upset. They were seat-belted (cops suggestion, not mine) in the back of the 911 for the short ride home. It was pouring rain and Bill got them out of the van and ran them to the car. It was wet, noisy, and scary back there for the kids. Even though Reagan was upset too, she tried to comfort her brother by rubbing his arm as they both put their heads together on the hump between the seats. It was the most pitiful sight to see, knowing I couldn't hold them and comfort them at that moment, but amazing to see their connection with each other. I cried the whole way home. Reagan gives big kisses. She will stop playing to come over and give me a smack on the lips just because she feels like it. Reagan, you will be the leader and be in charge as you shown us at your young age, but you will always stop to give your brother a helping hand as you have done so many times already. Like Mother, like daughter....falling asleep reading. Nolan, Nolinski, Bubaloo. Nolan is the sweetest boy I have ever met. He is kind, patient, soft-spoken, and gentle. He reminds me so much of my Dad. He always has a smile and a laugh for you. Daddy calls him joker-boy and he gives a great laugh a la Spanky from the Little Rascals. He is shy around strangers at first, but warms up after a while. Wednesday after dinner, I picked up him and he was facing me, looking into my eyes, and he took his hands and tapped my chest and said, "My momma!" Oh.My.Gosh. Talk about melting. Bill was on the phone and he looked at me with a stunned look as the tears ran down my face. Never were words spoken so sweetly, at least to my ears. Thursday morning after getting his diaper changed, I stood him up on the changing table and he leaned into my arms, kissed my shoulder while saying "awww." We have been working on saying "grammy" or "grandma" with no luck until Thursday. All of a sudden, in his sing-song soft voice came "graaannnnmmmaa" from the back seat when we picked my mom up. Now, not only was I in tears, but my mom too. Nolan likes to blow kisses. he puts both hands to his mouth and says "mmmmmm" and blows the kiss over and over. Nolan, you are a sweet, funny, kind-hearted, lovable boy with the patience of Job. You get upset when your sister takes something from you, but you don't fight back. You bring a smile to so many people, like the lady that saw you through the window when we were having lunch yesterday. She said she just had to stop to look because you looked adorable slurping up a spaghetti noodle. Nolan and his favorites, blankie & monk.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

15 Month Update

The kids had their 15 month appointment and got a good once over to check for any hidden injuries from the car accident. We were there for over 2 hours and Reagan and Nolan did really well. They first saw a resident and they warmed up to her quickly. Nolan even picked her pocket and she never knew it. Reagan put on a show for everyone....doing ring around the rosy, body parts, talking, pointing, laughing. Nolan did well too. She is not concerned that he doesn't talk as much yet since, obviously he has someone else to do that for him! They are both in fine health. I don't think the doctor was too happy that I (yet again) delayed the MMR vaccine. I told her at 18 months I would consider breaking it up and doing 1 shot every 6 weeks or so. I'm not sure I'll even do that, but I need to research more. Here are the stats: Reagan 22lbs, 8ozs, 2' 6 3/4" Nolan 22lbs, 3oz, 2' 7" We are sure their height calculation is off. We measure them once a month on a growth chart and Reagan is always taller. When they stand next to each other, she is taller. Maybe it is an illusion since she is so long-legged and he is longer in the torso. They are hitting all the milestones.....kicking & throwing a ball, stacking blocks, holding a spoon, naming body parts, etc. Their vocabulary is supposed to be 4-10 words at this point. Nolan is right there (momma, papa, circle, moon, what'sthat, ball, done). Reagan is off the chart (ball, boat, plane, momma, dad, papa, cat, kitty, jeepy, b (for boxster), circle, fan, done, blue (for blueberry), swing.) On the car front, all is quiet. We got the kids new carseats and just have to wait for someone to pick the old ones up so they can be destroyed. The rental car is a Dodge Charger. It is fast. I've never driven a car with a hemi so I have to watch the speed. I'm picking up some canning supplies from various people through Craigslist so I'll probably be having canning adventures soon. I've already done 3 batches of refrigerator pickles and they are so good. This last batch is all for Bill since I did a dill/red pepper version. We had dinner at Bar Cento last night and they had some beer vinegar for the frites. It got me thinking about doing something with a beer vinegar and the pickles, garlic, and onions idea I have in my head. Here are some pictures from the last week. Picnic at the lake with Grammy. We caught up with Bill's cousin Jim and his wife Kelly last Thursday night. They were in town for his high school reunion. The kids took to them quickly and enjoyed making some music together. We walked down to the lake and watched a storm blow in. It was cool because the sun was setting and it was orange, but to the east you could see rain storms and behind them it was pink. Very pretty. Party at Mike & Amy's last Saturday. A big storm blew in and instead of keeping the kids contained to the garage I decided a little water wouldn't do any harm so we played in the rain. I haven't done that in years. It is pretty fun to stomp in puddles and splash. Aunt Deb and I had fun out there with the kids. They sure do love her. When Reagan saw her she grabbed her hand and put her face on it and said "awww." That is a Reagan kiss. Our bucket-head Another bucket-head!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Pigeon-Toed Big Blue

Let's see.....what part of my day was not spent doing something regarding the car accident.
I was either on the phone, going to the tow company, going to the body shop, police station, a visit to urgent care, Enterprise car rental, replacing car seats, blah, blah, blah.
Bill worked from home so I could do some of these things while the kids slept. My knee bothered me on and off through the night so I decided to go have it looked at. The verdict: sprained ligaments of the left knee and pulled back muscles. He recommended I follow up with my PCP (who I have only seen once in 3 years so can I really consider her my PCP!?) and do some physical therapy.
After talking with my insurance company and consulting Britax, we decided we should replace the car seats to the tune of $594. Of course they won't pick up the whole thing since they were "used." Yeah, for about 4 months. Just sick about that.
My mom said her neck and shoulder were bothering her, but, she didn't want to go have it looked at. I tried to talk her into it, just in case something develops, but so far she is not agreeing. At least I have control over the other two passengers! They are going to the pediatrician tomorrow.
What a complete pain in the ass being in an accident is. I just hope the other insurance company doesn't drag this out.
On the way home tonight, we stopped to see the pretty sky. A good reminder that despite the crap, it could have been worse and thankfully no one was seriously hurt.
Tomorrow is a new day, and as an added bonus, my UB (Uncle Bob) is in town so we get to see him this week.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

We Interrupt This Blog.....

for a car accident. Yep, the kids, my mom and I were hit. No hit is not the proper word, plowed into is better by an idiot going WAY fast IN THE RAIN to try and beat the light and make a right hand turn into the shopping center where I was sitting at the light minding my own business. Of course I saw her coming and braced for it, so I'm sore, but at least that is the only physical injury anyone sustained. The van, however, had to be taken away on flat-bed since the drivers side wheel was pushed so far into the engine compartment that it might as well have been the passenger wheel. The kids were freaking out when I had to get into the police car for the report. Luckily we had just taken my mom grocery shopping so there was like $200 worth of groceries in the car melting away, so she was able to placate them with snacks. Until it came time to ride home in Daddy's car. Nolan SCREAMED like I have never heard him scream the whole way home. Reagan would chime in every once in a while, but she mainly tried to comfort him by rubbing his arm. It was so pitiful. My cousin Jim came up in his van and loaded up with all the kids stuff and my mom since, obviously, the five of us, double stroller, 2 booster seats, diaper bags, and groceries were not going to fit in the 911. Oh yeah, while all this was going on it was raining, no not just raining, pouring buckets. It could be worse, but this is still kind of high up on the sucky scale anyway. I'll probably stop by the towing company tomorrow to get more stuff and take pictures.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Cow! (aka “…This is Not a Test")

[Posted by Bill] As you can gather from Shelley’s previous post, last night was somewhat interesting. My dream simply absorbed the "air-raid siren" going off (no surprise to me) in the dream, so I kept snoozing a little longer until it finally clicked. When I jolted out of my dream and read the crawl on the TV saying “tornado NE of Euclid heading SE”, I envisioned the duck’s eye view of a shotgun blast. In all the years that I followed storms, I never had a warning issued for my immediate area, and I don't even think the siren system has ever been fired in anger. If it was just Shel and me, I probably would have opened a window to listen, tracked the storm on-line, and ran to the basement at the last minute. Since that's no longer the case, I pulled on shorts and T, grabbed my phone, and went for one of the kids. That’s about the time the hail started falling.
After going to the basement, I had to go back for my laptop, since I have yet to replace the basement TV (my plan was to swap out our living room TV with a new one, and put it in the basement, but I haven’t gotten that far yet). By the time my laptop booted, the NWS issued a cancellation. As would be expected with this type of storm, it hit land and fell apart (somewhat the same as a waterspout, but this was still a strong storm cell. Waterspouts are usually caused by the temperature differential between the very warm lake and the cool autumn ambient temperature, which is why they happen frequently here in the fall. Our cooler forecast for this weekend actually calls for them). After coming upstairs, I pretty much figured it out. No real tornado sighted. grr. While I respect the effort to get out an early warning in order to save lives, it usually means that the talking weatherheads are hyping this thing as a ratings grabber. I’m getting pretty damn tired of these nudniks going on-camera and doing the equivalent of shouting “fire” in a crowded movie theater. Once, during a baseball playoff game on Fox 8 (during the Solon tornado that Nancy H. commented on in Shelley’s post?), I watched A.J. Colby lose his mind (and eventually his job) over people calling to complain about interrupting the game (“it’s my JOB, people!”) with his yammering. I thought he was gonna have an apoplexy. While it sometimes make sense to“go live” to provide important information, haven’t you people ever heard of PIP? Leave your sense of smug, self-importance off-camera. Not that we had to worry about any of this last night. When we turned on the TV, all we found on local TV were infomercials. Each station (eventually) had a simple crawl for a warning (I guess even Dick Goddard needs his beauty rest). Anyway, I figure that at 2 a.m., the NWS has the low guy on the totem pole working graveyard shift, who saw his shot at being a hero. Therefore, Ken Dorsey hit the panic button, and set off the warnings. Luckily, they retracted the warning as fast as they released it. It’s pretty evident that the “rotational echoes associated with tornadic activity” (the NUMBER ONE justification they use for needlessly scaring the bejeezus out of people-including us last night) are viable predictor of tornadoes. If anything, this phenomena, when observed on the “dual double dipper doppelganger radar", should justify the creation of a new warning level between “watch” and “warning” (“alert”, if you will). Yes, a tornado needs this rotation to occur, but it does not guarrantee a tornado will form. It's like a car must be running in order for someone to get run over by it, but it doesn't happen everytime some turns the key and starts the thing. In spite of all this, I'm somewhat chagrined at not having some things readily at hand last night. I even own a hand-powered flashlight and radio (let alone a Victoreen model 715 survey meter-$39.99, catalogue sales only), but not that they were handy. It seems that I let the "Bataan Death March", otherwise known as the home renovation project that consumed the past nine months of my life, get in the way of our normal preparedness level. In our old house, I knew where things were: our finished basement was normally stocked with things that we’d need at a moment’s notice (including TV), and our bug-out bags were packed (Shelley even had one packed for the cats). While we are a far cry more prepared for disasters than most people I know, it is more geared for TEOTWAWKI*, than a tornado. Having lived near the Lake Erie shoreline and adjacent hilly topography (pretty much kryptonite to twisters) for the past 25 years, I haven’t had to give too much thought to them, at least since I stopped dating Helen Hunt. At any rate, I need to get our preparedness level back to at least DEFCON3. We certainly have all the “stuff” handy, it’s just a matter of organizing it in our new house. The only additions to the plan are our new additions (no, I’m not referring to Ronny, Bobby, Ricky, and Mike). I’ll leave the Nolan and Reagan’s bug-out bag to Shel. For those more curious about preparedness, this Red Cross link is a good start. For more “complicated” situations, this blog has some great resource links (take some of it with a grain of salt). I guess getting a new TV is a matter of utmost national security!
* The End Of The World As We Know It

3am Wake-Up Call

I'm dreaming I'm at a pool with a bunch of friends and the kids and they have the radio on very loud. It is very annoying. It keeps getting louder and louder until it is wailing like a siren. Oh wait. That is a siren. I pop up in bed and look out the window. Now, I'm not completely sure what I thought that was going to do since it is pitch black. I do figure out that it is windy and raining. Bill is still dreaming that he hears a siren and is not moving. I turn the TV on, yell to him to wake up. I go to the phone to call my mom, no dial tone. Odd since we have power. Thinking back now if I would have stayed on the line I would have figured out that the city was broadcasting the tornado warning over the reverse 911 system. Dick, Andre, or any of the other weather guessers in town are no where to be found. It can't be that serious then, right? I race around pulling on odd clothes..... a bra under my PJ top, a pair of khaki capris, and sandals. All I can think later is that if all I was left with were the clothes on my back, why didn't I pick something different! I tell Bill to put the cats in the closet (2 of the 3 were in bed with us). He says no, if something weird is going to happen they will run to the basement. Before I can turn around Bill has Reagan and is heading downstairs. I go in and grab Nolan, his blanket and an extra paci. He was just sitting there as if to say, what the hell is going on! I grab my cell and call my mom, who is (not oddly) wide awake and tell her to go to the basement. The four of us hang out on the couch downstairs for, what seems like, an hour. It was really only 10 minutes. We were joined by all three cats, which made me even more nervous. Bill ran up to get the kids milk and our computer since we don't have a TV downstairs. By the time we logged on, NOAA had cancelled the tornado warning. They said there was one spotted NE of Euclid, putting it out over the lake. I'm not expert, but I think tornados that form over the water are called water spouts. In the 10 minutes we were downstairs I kept thinking about things I'd like to grab and save, but there was no way I was leaving Bill and the kids. I also thought about how unprepared we are for a natural disaster. We didn't used to be. Come on, I married a man who took survivalist 101 for pre-k. In the near future I'll be packing a box with some necessities for the family....water, diapers, powdered milk, captain morgan. You know, the basics. I'm sure everyone and their brother is doing the same in Eastlake this morning so I'll wait a week or so. So we woke up two sleeping 15 month olds, 3 cats and hauled ass downstairs for a water spout. Oh well. Better safe than sorry. Here's what happened.... Sirens sound for overnight tornado warning A tornado warning was issued for western Lake County and northeastern Cuyahoga County early Wednesday morning, according to the National Weather Service.The warning was issued at 2:46 a.m. and later canceled at 3:10, said Will Kubina, a meteorologist with the NWS at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.No tornados actually touched down, Kubina said.“The reason for the warning was a very strong thunderstorm about 10 miles offshore,” he said, explaining the storm was exhibiting characteristics like “hook echoes,” which are specific to tornadic storms.“When the storm came on shore, it got ripped apart and diminished,” Kubina said.Locally, emergency sirens were sounded at 2:52 a.m. by the Lake County Emergency Management Agency, according to a release issued by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.Spotters reported penny-size hail in Eastlake and Willowick, Kubina said.

Monday, August 4, 2008

All's Faire

Blogger had been giving me fits for two days trying to upload pictures so my witty post has gone out of my mind and here is the abbreviated version....

We trekked out to the Great Lakes Medieval Faire this past Sunday. It is always a good time and this year we got to enjoy some of the shows geared towards the kiddies. Ironically, the fair lady telling the story of "The Frog Prince" went to high school with Bill. You just never know where you'll get a blast from your past.

Here's some photos from last year and this year. I just can't believe how fast my babies have turned into little kids!