Sunday, April 24, 2011

A Normal Life

I've meant to take the time to blog, but I haven't actually done it.  What I have done is work.  I have also had lunch with my parents over the past few weeks, spent time with my family, and tried to stay calm during stressful times.  Basically, I have just been living a normal life.  :) 
Here are some pictures of my normal life over the past few weeks.

Here is a picture Benjamin made by doing some tracings.

Here is one of our Banana Trees.  See the stalk in the middle?  Now look at the next picture.

In just 2 - 3 days, this stalk grew and now there is another sprout coming up the middle.

See, there is the little sprout that is growing.

Jim saw this rainbow a couple weeks ago.

One of our apple trees when it was in bloom.
I like my normal life. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Fun Drive Home

On Monday, April 11th, around 5:15, I was just getting ready to wrap up a small project when I realized it was REALLY windy outside.  About the same time I was thinking that thought, my boss walked up and said, "We're under a tornado warning.  Wanna go downstairs?"  Yes, I did want to go downstairs.  So we walked down 3 flights of stairs and into the interior area of the building and waited the storm out.   After about 10 minutes, we went back upstairs and I finished up my little project and packed up to leave.  It was about 6pm and still raining, but there were no tornado warnings at this time.
I got into my wonderful car and began the journey north to Ridgetop.  About 4 miles from work, I looked up and in the distance, I saw a "tenrdil" from a cloud spinning...well, duh, it was a tornado.  Now, it was WAY up high and I watched it for a few seconds (between peeks at the road so I wouldn't wreck).  It was pretty interesting, especially because it posed no real danger to anyone at that time. 

Not the real tornado I saw, but similar
After about 7 seconds, it swirled back into the cloud that spawned it and was gone.  I thought that was a pretty neat sight and was actually relieved it was gone. 
As I passed under that same cloud a few minutes later, the highway message sign read:
So I tuned to local media on the radio and all I heard was music.  I switched stations 30 times and still just heard music.  So I just kept driving.  It was just raining and the wind was blowing and I really just wanted to get home.  I lucked out and found a semi driving at a decent speed to follow for awhile.  I was really sad when he decided to veer off on I-24 north of town.
So as I am trying not to get killed by driving at a safe speed, my wonderful car hydroplaned!  At 45 MPH!  I really was quite stunned.  I have owned a VW Passat since 2001 and driven in really crappy weather and never hydroplaned, especially going 45MPH.  There was just SO much water on the road that the tires decided to ski!
Shortly after this little situation was corrected, a semi passed me and either the wind blew him too hard or HE hydroplaned, but he started over into my lane and it took a good bit for him to recover.
Luckily, the lane to my right was clear during both of these incidents and I made it home safe and sound. 
Stay tuned - we're supposed to get some more storms on Friday!  I just might have some more exciting tales to tell!  :)

Friday, April 8, 2011

More of Benjamin's Poetry

Here are a couple more poems by Benjamin:

Concrete Poem

I hate you school.  I would rather go to the pool
I know I'd be a fool with out school.  Then again the pool is cool.
But school is where I can learn,
And where I can earn.  School is not cool, opposite for the pool.
School is for fools, and pools are for the cools.

By: Ben

I am very swift
I have gray fur and black stripes
I roam the trash cans

Do you know what his Haiku is about?  

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Benjamin's Poetry

Benjamin's class had to write and perform poetry this year.  I was asked NOT to come to the poetry reading at school by my son, as he would be too nervous.   I respected his wishes, but really wanted to hear his I got a special one at home!  :) 

I have permission to share this poem (actually all of them) with my readers.  I know I am biased, but I think you may enjoy this one:

I Am Poem
I am jumpy
I wonder if I will break my other arm
I hear myself play videogames
I want xbox kinect
I am jumpy
I pretent I'm king of the universe
I feel happy when I eat a doughnut
I touch my ipod touch
I worry about my grades
I cry when I eat spicy food
I am jumpy
I understand math
I say "I scream you scream we all scream for ice cream"
I dream of eclipses
I try to understand social studies
I am jumpy

By Benjamin - Age 9

This week, Benjamin has started reading aloud to me in the car on our drive to and from school.  I have been enjoying this tremendously and we've had some good laughs about how he pronounces words.  For example, the word "thousand" was in a sentence (She was a thousand miles away).  He couldn't figure this out, but he has seen this word many times in a Math book.  He kept saying, "thoo sand" and looking puzzled.  I tried to get him to take it out of "English" and put it in a "Math" context.  When I finally had to pronounce it for him, he laughed really hard about his mistake. 
I hope you enjoy my silly stories about my child.  :)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

April Showers

Yesterday, we had a little more than just April showers...we had some pretty destructive weather.  Tornadoes were in the area and some VERY strong winds were all over middle Tennessee.  Our home sustained minor damage...we were lucky!  Here are some pictures of the wind damage for your "enjoyment":

This was an gazebo type awning that used to be square.  Now it's a twisted heap of metal and cloth.

This awning was pull apart at the seams only!

Our chimney cap is gone.  Nowhere to be found. 
Our pool had 2 more inches of water in it yesterday evening as well.  Thanks, Mother Nature!  ;)

Last night, we also lost power at 8pm while Benjamin was doing homework.  He had to finish studying using an oil lamp and candles and a flashlight.  The house was chilly as the night wore on.  Power came back on around 5:10 this morning, but water pressure was next to nothing, so I washed my hair and face and put on extra deoderant  (ha ha) for today.  So far, no complaints about a strange odor from my cube.  HE HE!
Happy for sun, although it is darn right cold today!  BRR!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Back to reality

What a week back this has been!  Work welcomed me back with smiles from co-workers and a week from hell from our AC unit in our new server room.  This darned thing has not worked completely right since day 1.  This week has been the absolute craziest week in regards to "Sybil", the name I have given our AC unit. 

Monday afternoon, we found the temperature to be 44 degrees F in there...just a tad too cold!  We called for service and they fixed the problem for us.  Tuesday we came in and things were working fine...or so we thought.  My boss called me at 6-ish as I was nearing my exit driving home from work.  The temperature was 102 degrees F in the server room and she was looking for a fan or 12.  I called the service tech and turned the car around and drove back to Franklin (30+ miles one way).  I got home around 10:45 that evening after they once again "fixed" the problem and the breaker that was tripped by the unit.  Wednesday, we had a tech onsite to check the unit to see if he could find anything wrong.  This was after a call from the owner of the company who installed it assuring me he would do whatever it took to gain our confidence back in the unit and his company.  They had even arranged for a technician from the manufacturer to fly in from PA on Friday morning to review and sign off on the installation.
Thursday was quiet - the room stayed a constant 68-69 degrees...but this was with the door open and a "move and cool" on standby waiting to kick on if the AC unit failed again.
Friday, the tech from the manufacturer came out and inspected the unit from head to toe and said it looked great.  We unplugged the "move and cool", but kept it onsite just in case.  We closed the door and went to lunch.  We came back from lunch and checked and all seemed fine - it was 68 degrees in the room and we liked that!
Around 1:30pm, my co-worker said he was in the server room and the thermostat said 67 degrees and the compressor kicked on, which it should not have done.  I walked to the room (less than 30 seconds) and the temperature had dropped to 63 degrees.  (okay - the room is 10'x11' with a 3-TON unit, so this temperature drop really IS doable)  I called our tech back.  He came out, fixed the problem, which was a dip switch setting, and left.  Not 20 minutes later, we were notified that the room was too hot.  I've been sitting here for over 3 hours while the tech has been trying to figure THIS situation out.  Wish me luck and hope I don't have to spend the night here in the office.