Chasing Part 2

Apparently, the whole thrill-of-the-hunt theme I had going on in “Chasing” was wrong. It’s not about chasing, it’s about seeing a big tornado. Here is the other side of the story:

All of these pictures are courtesy of my husband Tyler. As far as I know, the tornadoes shown were all in Oklahoma and were not responsible for loss of life.



In meteorologist-ese, “chasing” means storm chasing. As far as I can tell, chasing is the favorite hobby of my meteorologist husband and his friends (well, aside from golfing). Many people are fascinated with storms and if you live in tornado alley, it’s likely you have jaunted off in pursuit of an attractive thunderhead at one point or another, but watching professionals hunt twisters is a totally different ballgame. For one thing, there is ego involved. Lots of ego. They are professionals, after all, and they thumb their nose at all but a few of the casual chasers. (Sometimes they have a point- danger is a concern) Being professionals, they have access to skills and even equipment that the casual chaser does not. This means that when chasing, they often land on the cusp of a storm that has produced or is about to produce tornadoes. So if a car full of these highly trained, extremely eager, egotistical scientists doesn’t witness a tornado on their outing, major pouting ensues. Fortunately, they often do. Or, at the very least, they get to enjoy some good “structure”, whatever that means.

Despite the inherently chancy nature of storms, enthusiasm for chasing runs high. I’ve never quite been able to get on board with concept of driving for 8 hours and going nowhere, but fortunately that does not dampen my husband’s enthusiasm for the pursuit. A handful of images (non-tornadic) from Oklahoma spring 2010: Continue reading

Pottery Barn Ain’t Got Nothin’ On Me – DIY Jewelry Display Frames

A few months ago, I spotted some adorable jewelry “frames” on Pottery Barn’s website and determined to make my own DIY version. With a few coats of white paint and a $0.99 package of cup hooks, I transformed an old picture frame into my own version. It’s true: my jewelry frame doesn’t look just like Pottery Barn’s. The frame (originally bought at Hobby Lobby and used for my wedding) is more substantial and I am not a big fan of antique finishes, so this is pure semi-gloss perfection. I added more hooks (for more storage, duh!), and even considered adding a wire across the bottom for hanging earrings. But, at an investment of less than 1 dollar compared to the $49 large version on, it’s hard to complain with the results. I’m not going to even bother posting a tutorial because this is such a basic project. If you have questions, please ask. I’m happy to help!

I have actually had this project finished and on the wall for several weeks now. It blends in great with our bedroom. We have a small space and I used the same white semi-gloss paint that we used on the trim and on my dresser, so everything is very cohesive. The one surprise that came out of this project? I have a LOT fewer necklaces than I thought! Time for another DIY?

Apricot Abundance

We have apricots coming out our ears, and no, this is not a bad thing. My parents have an apricot tree in their backyard, and after a few years of neglect it has decided to become a fruit-producing machine. At one point my mom lobbied for the tree’s removal, but it is in full glory now. The ground underneath the tree is coated with the slick sludge of decaying apricots, as it’s impossible to gather them quickly enough. The Kansas wind helped take a few down, and I suppose although they are “wasted” on the ground, they do at least provide a feast for the smaller organisms with whom we share our earth.

We’ve been eating them raw, by the half dozen and I whipped up a deliciously simple apple cobbler the other night. These fruits are so ripe and sweet that I only sprinkled a tablespoon of sugar on the entire batch. I also served up a portion of the stewed apricots alongside my morning oatmeal yesterday, then enjoyed cobbler with vanilla frozen yogurt in the evening. This morning, I made pancakes and topped them with sliced apricots and whipped cream and the leftovers are destined to become a sassy apricot stir fry sauce tomorrow night.

It’s rare that we are blessed with such a bounty of fresh, flavorful produce so I am reveling in the pleasure!

Week 3 Day 2 – Apricot Lover’s Delight

Tuesday  – Weight=99.3% of X

When What I Ate / Calories
Breakfast: 9:00 AM Coffee with milk (20), apricots + crackers (80)
Brunch: 11:30 AM 3 small pancakes (170), apricots (100), 1 egg (70), more coffee + milk = (340)
Afternoon Snack: 3:00 PM frozen yogurt + coffee, tostitos (220)
Dinner: 2 naked tenders, sauce, salad with no cheese, no dressing, a few potato wedges (400)

Dessert = cobbler + fro yo (300

Exercise: 80 min walk at 3.8 mph (270)

Total Calories Eaten: 1360, Total Calories Expended: 270

Net Calories for Day: 1090


Stress Relief

I’ve experienced a lot of anxiety lately. Stress, poor quality of sleep, a general feeling of being on edge — all of these things have characterized my recent life. After mentioning my fatigue, problems sleeping, and other “symptoms”, a friend’s comment that it might be stress prompted me to take steps to combat these feelings. This week I have done two things (for 5 nights now): 1

1.) Get everything “done” before bed. Pack lunch, lay out purse, etc. My mind doesn’t need to be troubling over these details as I try to sleep.

2.) Stretch before bed. Good for body and soul.

Whether it is one, both, or the magical combination of these things, I have felt much better this week and have even, at times, felt refreshed.