Somebody bring the ark!

We’re settled in, riding out the latest “rain event” to hit Texas. This morning, I got to looking around to make sure nothing was going to channel water into my house since Mr B has been out there reshaping the topography of the property.

As you can see, it had already started raining, with the worst still to come. Water had started pooling frightfully close to our foundation slab, so Sunshine went to Mr B to get the problem corrected.

The heavy rains have set in. We’re binge watching Netflix until it’s safe to go back outside.

This is the current view outside my back door.

Somebody send the ark, please?

Advertisements

Texas weather

The last number of years, Texas weather has been a wild ride.

  • 2009, fall, flooding in Northeast Texas
  • 2010, various flooding events around Texas
  • 2011, draught stricken Texas watches in horror as East Texas burns from Texarkana down to Houston after the dry side of TS Lee enabled countless wildfires. While the Bastrop fire got the media attention, The Northeast Texas Wildfire complex burned far more acreage
  • Also in 2011, ranchers around Texas had to have hay brought in from far-flung places because they couldn’t feed their herds. Because draught.
  • 2011 was a wild ride throughout Texas, with tornados, hail, wildfires, and even some flash flooding in Lubbock
  • 2012 was a good year for tornados and hail all around Texas, and some snow in North Texas that was noteworthy because of the damage to automobiles
  • 2013 was relatively quiet outside of spring storm season
  • 2014 was a big year for flash flooding in Texas
  • 2015 saw more flash flooding, and I remember being shocked at all the water I saw all around me as I traveled back & forth from Caddo Lake to this place
  • 2016 saw more flash flooding, with Caddo Lake rising to levels not seen for over 50 years; the previous record setting floods occurred before flood control was instituted. The 2016 flood actually broke the devices used to monitor the water levels of the lake. Water levels on the Red River in Shreveport/Bossier City LA actually reached into the Louisiana Boardwalk shopping mecca

I was reminded of all of that flooding recently. I drove a pair of cat siblings to a low cost spay & neuter clinic in Oklahoma, and my route crossed the Red River.

Do you see the red-brown staining on the superstructure of the bridge? That bridge sits a good 2 stories above the Red River,

and those stains are tall enough to submerge a fucking semi truck.

It was a sobering reminder of the capricious nature of Mother Nature.

It got more sobering, though. Tornado sirens were a panic-inducing reminder that I live at the intersection of Dixie Alley and traditional Tornado Alley.

All I can do is be grateful we have a safe room AND an underground storm shelter. Now I just have to find a way to get alerts down here in this house that doesn’t receive signal to the weather radio I have. Maybe a different type of weather radio? Anybody know anything about weather radios? Paging Patricia….😉

That was quick

I’ve mentioned that Mr B is building a new pond, right?

Well, we got some moderately heavy rains the last couple days.

It filled up quick, and there’s more rain on the way.

That was quick.

Final note: the time difference between the 1st picture & the last pic? Less than 12 hours. The time it took to get from nothing to the stage of the 1st pic? About 18 hours. Mr B went out & dug a small trench so that it would start draining a little bit and not flood anyone upstream, so that’s as full as it got even though more rain & run off happened.

40+ minute hailstorm

Friday at work, we had some severe weather roll through.

It started hailing, little pea sized shit. Then it quit and we thought we were in the clear.

Until it started hailing again just a moment later.

It hailed for a few minutes, then it seemed like it was winding down.

Turns out, it was just getting a second wind. The hail kept coming in waves like that, with each wave bringing successively larger hail.

By the time it was over, it had been hailing for 40-45 minutes.

The boss and I were astounded. Hailstorms usually pass through fairly quickly, but not this one. I was getting irritated at the duration of it at around the halfway point, but then I started realizing how unusual it was for it to hail that long; at that point I just stood there in awe of nature’s fury until it was finally over.

Storm season

I work in a produce stand. The produce stand is in an old barn. Not exactly the warmest place on cold days, and absolutely not the coolest place on hot days. However, the problems with temperature regulation pale in comparison to the little matter of sturdiness in the face of spring storms.

I work very close to the area in the DFW metroplex that keeps getting those freak hailstorms that involve softball sized hail, so I’ve always been a bit anxious whenever severe weather is possible while I’m at work. That kind of hail would go through the roof like the roof was paper, and even the walk-in cooler wouldn’t offer any REAL protection.

Well, yesterday, I was reminded that I live at the intersection of “Tornado Alley” (the plains states considered the epicenter of tornado activity) and “Dixie Alley” (the southern states that have been hammered by some EF4 & EF5 monsters for the last number of years).

The boss was out on a delivery. He called me to let me know a major thunderstorm was headed my way. At this point, my anxiety decides it’s time to freak the fuck out. My boss is a real chill kind of guy who doesn’t let the big stuff rattle him. So for him to call and warn me a storm was coming was something.

I still didn’t think that much of it until I really thought about where I was. I wasn’t home with an underground storm shelter and an aboveground safe room. I was in a fucking barn with no really good place to hide.

At this point, anxiety kicks in and I start to struggle to breathe. I grabbed my phone, tablet, and vape mod (e-cigarette), and stuffed them into my purse with some snacks, and I headed next door to the bakery (which is in a house with brick veneer). I was anxious (I’ve lived through one tornado, I don’t care for repeating the experience); but mostly I was not falling to pieces..

Until I heard phones start going off. I didn’t even have to look at any of the phones. I knew. The robotic sound of Siri reading the warning to all within earshot confirmed my fear. We were being warned to seek shelter now.

Well, you might as well have put an elephant on my chest at that point because I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t pull up radar on my phone, either. As I thought about the layout of the house that is the bakery, I realized there was no interior room, and the bathroom was on an outside wall. I didn’t let this freak me out too much, since I have survived a very similar situation before. I just told everyone that, if we heard it coming, the hallway was our best bet.

Ultimately, the worst of it passed just to the south of us. My idiot boss drove through it on his way back from some firewood deliveries, which makes something in me want to read him the riot act for being an idiot but I was in too big of a hurry–I wanted to get home where we have real options for surviving a tornado.

The worst of the weather completely bypassed home, so all I had to worry about was covering my herb plants to keep them from freezing overnight.

In an effort to focus on the positive, I’ll give myself credit for holding myself together; in spite of the wind and rain and thunder and phones that were screeching at us to stick our heads between our knees and kiss our asses goodbye. That’s got to count for something, right?

Its gonna be a long storm season, ain’t it?

Humidity

I grew up near Atlanta, Georgia. I thought I knew what humidity was. Then, around the turn of the millennium, I found myself in the northwestern Louisiana area. That gave me a new appreciation for humidity; I thought I knew what humidity really was. Then I traveled to New Orleans the summer after Katrina. Now, I really am starting to get a sense of what humidity can be, because that was some seriously sticky air.

Humidity is one of those things that can affect my breathing; barometric pressure and dewpoint can affect it, too. COPD is a motherbitch like that some days.

It’s been humid and/or rainy here for over a week now, and it isn’t going to stop before the end of the coming weekend. It’s really starring to piss me off. I’m supposed to be exercising to lose weight, and that’s hard to do when it’s cold and rainy outside and one lives in an RV that has no space for any sort of exercising. I’m struggling to breathe BEFORE any exertion. I’m exhausted from the effort, and from the anger at something I can’t fucking change.

I wish I could say that my humidity woes ended there. However, this morning, as I’m tripping through my RV because I’m too fucking lazy to re-tie my slipper lace that keeps trying to kill me, I’m on an epic bleep-fest behind all this never-ending humidity.

The purple wall tile for my shower? Not setting. My clothes that are hanging inside to air dry? Not fucking drying, and it’s been days. I have dirty clothes I need to wash and I have nowhere to hang them to dry because the laundry from several days ago is still hanging to dry.

I call bullshit. I’m over this shit.

NOW that I’ve bitched about it, it’s time to put on my big-girl panties. It’s time to get out of the problem and into the solution. I’m off to deal with the leaky window in the bedroom of the RV. After that, I’m headed down the hill with the laptop and a workout video so that I can take advantage of all that space in my under-constriction house.

Desperate times…

…call for desperate measures.

It started raining earlier today, and by mid-afternoon, the steps to the RVs out here were already coated in ice. It got ugly quick.

It is now only 7:30PM and this

is some bullshit.

I went to the laundry-pantry-room to get a can of kosher salt to ice down my front steps and we didn’t have any more.

Side note: it probably all got dumped in RV holding tanks during the last hard freeze when everybody’s drain lines froze along with their supply lines. We had to quickly thaw those blockages out when water came back because the constant drip in every faucet (to prevent a rezfreeze) filled tanks fast and they had to be dumped.

What I DID have, however, was a rather healthy supply of bags of this

Which is the desperate measure I just employed to ice my front steps.

Y’all stay warm and dry, wherever you are. I’m in for the night, warm and dry with hot cocoa just begging me to drink it; and a backup plan to retreat to the house (where there’s a fireplace) if we lose power.