Where to begin? After not writing for a month and my last post stating that I was traveling to tornado alley, I'm wondering if some may have thought we were some of the 5 who perished during the storms. We didn't. So I'll start my new post with a telling of the past month.
We got on our plane just fine. Oldest daughter did everything she could to make the kid nervous before her first flight. Fortunately I was able to dispel some of the anxiety. We took pictures of her standing under the sign with our flight information. Then she got to touch the outside of the plane while boarding. She had a window seat, which I had assigned to her on purpose. I wanted her to see what was happening. We were near the wing so she could watch the movement of the wing when the plane would make an assent or descent. I told her about the noise the landing gear makes when it goes back into the plane. I pointed out where her house was when we took off. She was a little nervous but excited!
Of course I had to tell her the story of Great Grandpa and the plane that broke into 3 pieces when landing. I also explained turbulence. And all with a smile and an air of excitement. When we hit turbulence we decided to put our hands up in the air like we were on a rollercoaster. We had fun, although I'm not sure the rest of the passengers appreciated the turbulence!
Right after we landed a huge thunderstorm hit. Lightning cracked pretty close by. Where we live thunderstorms only happen at night. This meant that even the rainstorm was a new experience. We got the rental car and headed to my OK friend's ranch. We made it right at dusk which was good. I hadn't been there in 3 1/2 years and didn't want to try to find my way in the dark.
Once we got to the friends she was off helping feed the pigs and milk the goats. In the morning we headed to Ft. Sill. It was family day! Grandson was very happy to see us. We got a tour of the fort, including where he climbed the ropes and walls, the gas house, the grenade throwing area, and much more. Then we headed back to the ranch. There was a large storm that followed us from Ft. Sill back to the ranch. Two hours of staying five minutes ahead of the storm. It was good luck for us because the creeks were flooding and many roads got closed. I didn't know my way around well enough to have to make a lot of detours. On the other hand, I would have figured it out since I brought my GPS...just in case.
Friday, the second day it was back to Ft. Sill for graduation. In the afternoon the soldiers were supposed to get leave. They didn't have to return 48 hours. Unfortunately for us our plane was leaving in 48 hours. We said that we'd change our plans and not hit the Bush Library in Dallas on Saturday in order to stay there for Friday night into Saturday. But we'd have to leave Saturday night since the plane was leaving at O dark 30! No, that won't work according to the Drill Sergeant. He said if grandson couldn't be gone until Sunday then he couldn't have any leave at all. We didn't know this until after we got the hotel room for Friday night right by Ft. Sill.
Granddaughter and I toured some museums. Then we went back to the hotel for some swimming in the indoor pool. In the middle of the swimming the sky turned black and the rain and thunder hit. We got out and went back to our room. (Yes, prior to checking into the hotel I made sure it had a shelter in case of tornadoes.) We turned on the TV to watch the news.
I learned a lot about tornadoes. We learned how they formed and for the most part people had notice they would be hit. "In 2 hours the weather will hit" "In one hour" "In 30 minutes". It was amazing the amount of notice people had. Of course it's not always like that. Sometimes its a surprise. In this case it wasn't. What did people do? Instead of getting into shelter thousands of people decided they were going to leave the area. They jammed into their cars right at rush hour and jammed up the freeway. They weren't going anywhere. Granddaughter and I watched in amazement how stupid those people were! We also were doing a bunch of praying that storm that was tracking directly over Interstate 35 would not produce a tornado right there. If it did, they'd all be dead. Fortunately the F5 bounced around enough that they were spared. 5 people did die. They were all either sucked out of their vehicles or when the vehicles were thrown 200 feet down the road got smashed inside.
On Saturday granddaughter and I headed to Dallas where we went to the new Bush Library. It was really interesting to bring a kid who wasn't even born and really knows very little about 9/11 into the museum. She learned a lot. After a night in Dallas we headed home on an uneventful flight. She wants to know when I'm going to take her on another trip.
We got back and all was well at home. It hadn't been too hot so nothing died. I went back to work and at the end of the week my mother fell and broke her leg. Actually, her leg broke then she fell. She found out she had a stress fracture and was scheduled for surgery. Three days before surgery the stress fracture fractured. She spent a week in the hospital and the rest of the time in a rehab hospital. This meant every weekend Girl, Boy, and I spent my three days off hanging out in the hospital. Mom is home as of today. But we are going down to spend my 4 days off hanging out to make sure she's getting along well enough at home that she doesn't need any in-home care.
Then to top it off, son-in-law's mother ended up in the hospital due to diabetes complications. She had a couple of toes amputated. They all headed upstate for that and I had double duty of taking care of my garden and animals and running to her house in town to take care of her garden and animals. I didn't get much sleep at all this past week. They are now home but we are heading out in the morning! I'm sleeping in tomorrow...maybe until 7!
All of this got me to thinking about preparedness and this blog. I started it as a way to document what I am doing at home and with the property to prepare for future uncertainties. Do I have anything more to say? Of course I do. I don't think I'll ever not have anything to say! That led me to think about what I could share about my last month. There were so many preparedness issues that I covered. I taught a non-traveler how to travel. This included making many last minute changes to the schedule. It also meant dealing with weather conditions you aren't used to. We also got to see part of the country that she's never been to. OK, she's never left the state except to go about 10 miles into Arizona. We discussed choosing where you live when you grow up. Yes you can choose, you aren't glued to the place you are raised but if you don't experience other places you won't be able to choose wisely.
Even once I got home Girl and Boy then got thrown into the same hectic schedule I experienced. Complete changes of plans at the last minute. All with a good attitude. Why not? It isn't worth getting angry or worked up about the change. I pointed out it wasn't about them, it was about their great grandmother. But they are kids, so I threw in an extra cookie or ice cream and all was fine.
If things get bad, what do you do with someone who has broken their leg? As long as you don't have to be mobile it could heal without surgery, although it would have taken a long time and may have made walking very painful. Do I know a surgeon for my group? No. Fortunately we live in times where she was able to have surgery in a hospital. The doctor said that he doesn't expect her other leg to break just because this one did. She injured this leg even though she can't remember how she initially caused the stress fracture. Her rehab is something that we could have handled at home if needed.
What about daughter's mother-in-law? That woman has a disease because she eats poorly, she doesn't exercise, and she is a chain smoker. On top of that she has a horrible attitude. She would not be welcome at my home to recover. She's not really welcome at my home at all.
My garden is growing just fine. My next door neighbors turn the water on when I'm not here. Their grandson is visiting and he comes over and takes care of all the animals...even when we are here. (I walked into the chicken coop today and could tell he had been in, collected the eggs, and thrown scratch all over.)
I haven't bought anything from the store, except two gallons of milk, since I returned from Oklahoma at the end of May. I ordered more mylar bags which should come in the mail soon. I also bought an extra rubber gasket for my pressure cooker. I'm thinking about buying the type of pressure cooker that just clamps and doesn't use gaskets. Less parts = more reliability. I want to put up more rice and beans. With everything going on with our Federal government, between court decisions and spying on not only our citizens but also our allies, I'm just in the mood to put up more food. I have dried much of the fruit from the trees and really only lost the fruit off two plum trees due to my not being around enough.
So with everything that is going on, our attitudes are good. The stress test tried to get us. We won.