Friday, February 27, 2015

Ice Storm No. 2 and Just a Bit of Doodling

With ice from the previous storm was still on the trees, ice storm number two rolled in last Friday night through Saturday morning, showing us absolutely no mercy. In addition to the weight of the ice from both storms, we were simultaneously hit with a massive windstorm. These two things coupled together caused more destruction than I have ever seen in my entire life! Here is a slideshow of some pics that I took from my back and front porches Saturday morning as the storm was happening:

And here is a description of the slides:
  • Slide 1: The view from my back porch.
  • Slide 2: As I am standing on my back porch in awe of the destruction, I hear a “snap, crackle and crunch” and all of a sudden I saw one of the trees behind hubby’s shop break in have and fall to the ground! This was about the scaredest I can remember feeling. It was like being in a war zone, not knowing where the next hit would be from, or how close to you it would be.
  • Slide 3: From my front porch….you can see my internet wire running across my yard in the middle of the pic.
  • Slide 4: The weight of the ice alone was too much for the trees to bear. Here you can see how the limbs of the big tree in front of our house is bending over as if it were a Weeping Willow tree….I assure you, it is not. If you look to the right side of the pic, you will see that the limbs and branches are laying on my house.
  • Slide 5: Here is a better view of how the limbs and branches of our front tree is laying on the roof of our home
  • Slide 6: If you look at the top of the largest trees here, you will see that the limbs at the top are bent over. What you can’t see clearly, is that they are actually broke and hanging by just a big of bark and that they are ready to come plummeting to the ground.
  • Slide 7: When I took the first pic, only the branch closest to the house was there. I no sooner took that pic when the second one (closest to the vehicle) broke off, hit my suburban, bounced off and landed beside it (right in front of me)!
  • Slide 8: This is a piece of one of the branches from the big tree in the back yard. Notice it is laying on the floor inside of my house….
  • Slide 9: This is how the hunk of branch (from the previous image) made it’s grand entry into our house. It perfectly pierced through our roof, the insulation and then finally our ceiling in one fail swooft! It sounded like it took out the whole end of the house, but thankfully, this was all the damage that was done to the house through this whole ordeal, but it just about scared the life out of me, that’s for sure!

The views from my porches show such a small part of the destruction of this storm. If you'd like to get a better view of what the storm did in our area, please visit the following pages:

With related deaths reaching 22 (as of Saturday, 02-21-2015), Tennessee's state of emergency went from a level 3 to a level 2 (where 1 is the worst conditions). Our power went out around 3:30am Saturday morning and our home was only one of about 38,000 without power in our area, according to VEC (our local energy cooperative). As of last night, that number has been reduced to 7,500 still without power, including us. 

Although our home is still without power, I have so much appreciation and respect for our area linemen who have been working so hard to restore power to our area. There has not been once that I have been out and about over this week that I have not seen guys re-lining and putting up new poles...even when more snow came in Wednesday night. The crews from our phone/internet provider, Ben Lomand, were out first thing Saturday morning also, helping the electric crews as well as working on our phone/internet lines. The way these guys have pulled together is nothing short of amazing! Our phones and internet went down about an hour after our electricity did on Saturday morning, but Ben Lomand had us back online before Monday afternoon. WoW! 

While there are so many still without power, and most of us with a lot of work ahead of us as we work to get our homes repaired, our land cleaned up and our lives back to something that resembles "normal," please keep our area and those affected by this storm in your thoughts and prayers. Thank you!

Keep warm, stay safe and have a blessed day!

He says to the snow, 'Fall on the earth,' and to the rain shower, 'Be a mighty downpour.'
Job 37:6

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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Ice Storms and Crochet

Yep, you read that title right. We've had ourselves an ice storm and Tennessee has declared a state of emergency. It started Sunday evening and we woke up yesterday to ice-covered everything...including the road in front of our house being a solid sheet of ice. There have been countless wrecks, trees down all over the place and the majority of the area has been out of electricity for various amounts of time...and still out in some places. 

Here is a slideshow of pics from my front and back porches as well as a few from hubby's trek out earlier today....

Of course, this is perfect "curl up with some yarn and needles/hook" weather and it would be just plain wrong for me to not take advantage of it! I have three different projects going now and just finished blocking these sweeties...

The pattern is Be My Valentine Dishcloth by Lily / Sugar 'n Cream
found on Ravelry here or directly from the Yarnspirations website here

Yarn Used: Lily Sugar 'n Cream in Red, White and Robin's Egg
Hook Size: US H

This was a sweet little pattern and was very easy to follow. Just to note, the bobbles on Round 4 don't puff out, at least not for me. For the pic I actually had to push them out from behind and pinch them up so that they would be visible. Otherwise, they just pretty much lay flat. Regardless, I really love how they turned out...especially in these beautiful, bright colors!

I was a bit concerned about the red bleeding and ruining my pretty cloths, as well as anything else that might be in the wash with them, so I did myself a little Google search to see if I could find some tips. The general census is to soak the item(s) in a vinegar water bath to set the colors, drain and pat the excess water out (don't wring it out or you'll mess up the fabric) and then block as usual. I have done all of the above and, while I haven't washed them yet, there is not a pink/red spot on the white of the cloth, nor the white towel that I blocked them on, so it looks very promising! I'll let you know if there is an epic fail after washing. 

Not only did my search results lead me to what appears to be a great tip, I also found a really great blog in the process! Hands Occupied by Heidi is, in her own words, "a blog primarily focused on knitting and crochet patterns & tutorials, yarn craft project ideas, and inspiration. Whether it’s a first time knitting project or how to knit your a sweater from start to finish, Hands Occupied is here to help you make it, knit it & own it." In my words, it is a beautifully laid out site with a wealth of information and inspiration! Heidi's posts are easy to read and her personality shines through with a spunky, girl-next-door tone that makes you want to get to know her as she sparks a desire to be creative. If you haven't already stumbled upon this gem yourself, I highly recommend you check Hands Occupied out!

Now, I'm off to work on a gift I've started for one of my nieces. 
Stay safe and warm and I'll talk to you soon!

“Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem! Praise your God, O Zion!… He gives snow like wool; He scatters the frost like ashes. He casts forth His ice as fragments, Who can stand before His cold? He sends forth His word and melts them He causes His wind to blow and the waters to flow.” 
Psalm 147:12-18

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Saturday, February 14, 2015

A Pencil Cup Cozy To Make a Friend Smile

A wonderful lady who has been volunteering at the pregnancy center for quite a while was just brought on as staff. We got her a few desk supplies in colors that she wanted and helped her really make her desk her own. One thing that we didn't get her was a new pencil cup. The one she had was the perfect size and she really liked it...except for the ugly brown color. Yuck! So this Tuesday while I was off I snuck into the office and while she was busy, I stealthily put all of her pencil cup items in a mason jar and snuck her pencil cup home with me to create a cozy for it that would match her new desk supplies. When I was looking for yarn at The Yarn Patch, our LYS, I came across the perfect color - Lily Sugar 'n Cream Batik Ombre. Here's what I came up with...

I had her pencil cup back on her desk with her items placed back in it and waiting for her when she got to work Wednesday. She was so surprised and happy! Which totally made my heart smile. I got the biggest hug as a 'thank you' to boot! I just love making others smile!

Thanks for visiting with me today. 
I hope that you are having a day full of love and smiles. 

 We love because he first loved us.
1 John 4:19