Blog, Simple Things

My Bullet Journal

Scrolling through Pinterest seems to be my electronic pastime while relaxing in the evening and watching TV. Last year I came across Bullet Journals. or BUJO for short, and thought WOW this is a great idea!

(I know….I know….get with the times! BUJOs are nothing new. Ha!)

This year a major goal for me is to become more organized and to develop better time management skills. Over the years I have “used” planners, calendars, notebooks, and the like to try to keep myself organized. “Used” is a loose term because I would start using these tools for a very brief time and then never open them again.

I saved soooo many pins to use as a reference when creating my own BUJO. I am learning that you do not have to be an artist nor do you need to have endless supplies of special markers, highlighters, pens, stencils, washi tape and more. All you need is a notebook you like and whatever writing and coloring utensils you have on have on hand. For me, I had pens and colored pencils. I just needed a notebook and I did want to buy highlighters.

I wanted to have my BUJO be more than a planner/calendar. I wanted my BUJO to include other unique things not found in a typical store bought planner. Things like habit trackers for exercise, mood, sleep, self care, spending/no spending, budget/savings, etc. I could create an individualized layout to my calendar section, as well as, get my artsy on. The margins need some fun art…..ideas?

My plan was to start my BUJO last year, but I did not stick to my plan. I bought a hardback lined notebook because I loved the cover design. My eye kept being drawn to the lined pages instead of the meaningful information I was putting on the page. Needless to say, my motivation dissipated quickly.

Even though my first attempt at a BUJO did not go as planned, I kept searching for a cost-effective notebook. Every time I was in Walmart, Target, or wherever I could find office supplies I would look at the available notebook and art supply options. It took awhile before I found a notebook and I love it! My notebook is from Walmart. The other item I did buy was Zebra Mildliner markers. At my local store, I found one color pallet.

My BUJO is in its infancy and hope to use it as an organization tool. Have you tried creating your own bullet journal?

Talk to you soon!

Blog, Simple Things

My Beauty and The Beast

If you saw my Instagram post yesterday I mentioned that I took my cats, The Beast Spanky and The Beauty Missy to the veterinarian for a wellness check. Both hadn’t been to the vet in a few years and I thought it was time to see if both were healthy, especially after events over the last couple years. And if you feel the same way about your pets as I feel about mine, they are part of the family and you want them healthy and happy.

Missy was my mom’s cat and she has had some behavioral issues since my mom passed away. The worst behavior is not always using the litter box. Sometimes she will go on the basement floor….thank goodness it isn’t finished! I’m working on correcting this behavior and I use an enzymatic cleaner to remove her messes. She does eat, but I noticed she was showing weight loss. She had a poochy belly before, so no harm in losing a little weight. However, she was looking thinner along the spine and I hoped nothing serious was wrong.

Spanky has been with me since he was 3 months old and has grown into a very large-build cat. Back in 2011, he had become very ill. He had been vomiting for a couple days and not eating, not even tuna. Off to the vet we went. Many tests were done, blood work, x-rays, and x-rays with contrast to see if he had string or something lodged in his digestive tract. The only thing noted was his blood work showed liver enzyme issues. Luckily, he improved and was fine afterward.

Then it all happened again in 2013! The same symptoms, blood work, and test results. His veterinarian noted it was probably pancreatitis and he would deal with this the remainder of his life. He may get better at times, then have a relapse. The recurrences would more than likely be unpredictable. I felt so bad for Spanky and thought I would lose him at a young age. Good news isS that he has not had any episodes since 2013! He does leave me lovely hairballs from time to time, but he doesn’t get sick like he had in the past.

Needless to say, I was nervous about Spanky going to the vet even though he wasn’t behaving differently. Roonie, another cat I had, got sick late last year and passed away after a couple months of medical intervention. Spanky and Roonie were related….uncle/nephew. I was nervous about Missy too because of her weight loss.

Roonie ❤

Well, both Spanky and Missy survived the trip to the veterinarian! Spanky was not happy and it was nice that he didn’t put up too much of a fuss. Missy on the other hand……WOW…she was not a happy camper!!! For them to draw blood, they had to muzzle her because of how much she was fighting. So next time she will need to have something to relax her.

Spanky is 20 lbs and his blood work was perfect!!!!! He is a VERY large cat and I think he has Maine Coon characteristics. Although, he could stand to lose a little weight. Missy is 6.9 lbs and her blood work was perfect too!!!!! She just needs to gain some weight. I’m increasing the amount of wet food both receive, while reducing the amount of dry food I give them. This gives them more hydration and aids with their digestive systems. Both are in their elder years and hoping to keep my beauty and my beast healthy and happy for many years to come!

My Beauty and The Beast….I just took this picture and Spanky looks like he wants to scream “HEY, QUIT DISTURBING MY NAP!!!!” LOL

Do you have pets? Please tell me about them!

Blog

Blog Relaunch

Hello there! Hope all of you have been doing well. It has been so long since I published a post here that you may have been wondering what I have been doing lately. Well, I’ve been working a full-time job with ALOT of mandatory overtime from January through April. Then mowing season began and with all the rain Ohio has received this spring/summer the grass and native flowering plants (ok mostly weeds….HA!) have been growing so fast! With several acres of land to take care of, I’m spending much of my time just trying to keep up!

That being said, I’ve been thinking about blogging and what posts to write. When I first started blogging, I thought it would be easy to write daily and publish. Very quickly I found out that it takes a HUGE amount of discipline to make yourself sit down at your computer and work at home. It is very easy to say to yourself that you can write at the end of the day when you get done with work or finish chores. Well, by the end of the day you are exhausted and don’t feel like doing anything else. Would you agree? Another thing I discovered with blogging, that it’s best to have SEVERAL posts ready to go when you take your blog live. You can schedule posts to publish on specific dates and times, which allows you to focus on upcoming material without panicking about not having a post done in a week or longer. Now I could’ve just ended this blog and started a new one, but I realized I wasn’t changing the subject matter to something completely different. So, I only needed to modify my purpose for the blog and relaunch it.

My original blog purpose was to talk about weather features/events, forecasting weather, gardening, and whatever else comes to mind. I got to thinking about forecasting and how challenging it is to forecast for a small area, let alone an entire state or even multiple states. A friend was a broadcast meteorologist and had to forecast for about 100 counties that covered three states. He said it was difficult to put together a good forecast before going on air. Plus it’s really easy just to listen to your local weather station…radio, television, or app.

The weather today in Ohio is absolutely gorgeous! Gosh, temperatures have been in the upper 80s to upper 90s with high humidity for so long that this week will feel like spring. It’s wonderful to have my windows open and have the fresh air breeze come through. I will close now and wish you could join me listening to my neighbor serenading me with the whirs and hums of a gas weed trimmer as I try to write this post. I hope you follow along on my journey!

Take care my friends!

Blog, Forecasts

Dusting Off Forecasting Skills

This has been sitting in my draft folder for quite some time now. I keep thinking about further developing my forecasting skills, but haven’t put my thoughts into action. Part of my idea for this blog was to post forecasts to help you plan your gardening (or any other) activities. I’ll be honest…..my biggest fear is making a mistake (me being a perfectionist).

When I was in college, one of my meteorology classes required participation in a Weather Challenge. This was a forecasting competition with other meteorology students, educators, and others who chose to take part. The cities we had to forecast were predetermined and participants had to forecast daily the low/high temperature, precipitation total, and highest wind speed for two weeks. It was a difficult competition, and I was lucky enough to forecast Tampa FL very well.

Initially, the forecasts will be for Ohio starting with Central Ohio and expanding from there. I will post the weekly forecast on Sundays so you can make your plans.

No matter whether it’s sunny, cloudy, rainy, or even snowy, I would love to hear what you are working on in your garden!

Tammy

Blog, Forecasts

Hurricane Florence Update 9/14/18

Good afternoon! I hope everyone impacted by Hurricane Florence is safe. I want to give you another update with information from the latest advisory and discussion. Images I will be using are for informational purposes from the National Hurricane Center.  Also, there will not be any affiliate links in this post.

Hurricane Florence made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. The latest data indicates the storm is moving West at a very slow pace of 5 miles per hour. This slow movement is expected through Saturday because of weak steering upper air currents. A trough is expected to move through the Great Lakes region and eventually pick up the remnants of Hurricane Florence and move North and Northeast.

Hurricane Florence Path Cone 09.14.18 2pm

Maximum sustained winds are at 75 miles per hour with hurricane force winds extending 35 miles from the storm’s center and tropical storm force winds extending 170 miles from the storm’s center. Storm surge flooding along the coast will slowly subside through tomorrow. However, freshwater flooding from heavy rainfall continues.

Hurricane Florence Rainfall Prediction 09.14.18 2pm

Areas closest to the center of Hurricane Florence will experience at a minimum of 20 inches of rainfall. Some areas have already measured as much and will receive more – possibly as much as 40 inches of rainfall. Even though the coastal flooding storm surge will be subsiding, it will take several hours. Storm surge was pushed up into the Pamlico River and Neuse River, where rainfall will flow into and flood the region further.

Hurricane Florence Public Advisory 09.14.18

Not much movement is expected over the next 24-48 hours, so catastrophic flooding from heavy rainfall will continue. Please stay safe.

Take care,

Tammy

Blog, Forecasts

Hurricane Florence Update 9/13/18

Good morning! I want to give you an update on Hurricane Florence with information from the latest advisory and discussion. Images I will be using are for informational purposes from the National Hurricane Center.  Also, there will not be any affiliate links in this post.

Beginning late yesterday, Florence started to weaken slightly from vertical wind shear near the southern part of the storm. The wind shear is from a system over Florida and Florence is expected to move away from the wind shear today into warmer waters. Hurricane Florence is presently a Category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale with maximum sustained winds of 110 miles per hour. Keep in mind the tropical storm force wind field extends 195 miles out from the center of this hurricane.

Hurricane Florence Wind Arrival Times 09.13.18 8am

Storm surge and heavy rainfall forecasts have not changed and still present tremendous danger to the coast and most of North Carolina and South Carolina. As of the 8:00AM advisory, Florence is moving Northwest and has slowed to 12 miles per hour. It is expected to slow further as it approaches land.

Hurricane Florence Rainfall Prediction 09.13.18 8am

Hurricane Florence is currently forecast to move more westward later today/tonight and eventually move slightly southward along part of the northern coast of South Carolina before moving inland.

Hurricane Florence Path Cone 09.13.18 8am

North Carolina’s Outer Banks and South Carolina coast are experiencing the outer rain bands from Florence. Conditions will continue to worsen throughout the day into tomorrow for North Carolina and South Carolina.

Continental US - Longwave Window - IR

Hopefully your hurricane evacuation or provision plans are complete. During the next 24-48 hours, conditions will deteriorate to hurricane force winds, storm surge, and rain. Please keep yourself and your family safe, including pets.

Take care,

Tammy

Blog, Forecasts

Hurricane Florence Update 9/12/18

Good afternoon! I want to give you an update on Hurricane Florence and what to expect in the next day or so. Images I will be using are for informational purposes from the National Hurricane Center.  Also, there will not be any affiliate links in this post.

As of the 2:00pm Eastern Time advisory, Hurricane Florence has weakened slightly to a Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale with maximum sustained winds of 125 miles per hour. Hurricane Florence has gone through at least two Eyewall Replacement Cycles (ERC) which temporarily weakened the storm, but the wind field expanded. The expanded wind field will lead to a significant storm surge event.

Hurricane force winds (in brown) now extend 70 miles out from the center of the hurricane. Tropical storm force winds (in yellow) now extend 175 miles out from the center of the hurricane.

Hurricane Florence Path Cone 09.12.18 2pm

You can see that hurricane force and tropical storm force winds extend will beyond the probable path cone of the eye of the storm. The strongest winds will be in the Northeast quadrant of the storm, along with the highest storm surge. However, that does not mean that anyone outside of that area is safe. The winds of Hurricane Florence will cause catastrophic damage, plus there will be significant rainfall with this system.

Hurricane Florence Rainfall Prediction 09.12.18 2pm

Based on the current predicted path, the North Carolina coast will receive over 20 inches of rain. These estimates may change dependent upon storm track and speed. Currently, Hurricane Florence is expected to slow down as it gets closer to the coast and could potentially dump well in excess of 20 inches of rain along the coast. Hurricane Florence is now moving Northwest, changing from its previous course of West Northwest. Any further shift in the storm’s track will change the rainfall location and possibly rainfall totals. Anyone within the range of Hurricane Florence’s path should prepare to evacuate (if in the direct path of this storm along the coast) or have provisions in the event of a long-term power outage further inland. Flash flooding is expected inland and driving into a flooded roadway is way too dangerous.

What to expect over the next 12-24 hours?

Hurricane Florence Wind Arrival Times 09.12.18 2pm

Tropical storm force winds could reach the North Carolina coast by Thursday 8:00AM. As you can see from the above graphic, these winds will be constant through about Wednesday 2:00PM before hurricane force winds reach land. Plans for evacuation for those of you along the coast and near the coast, need to be complete today. Plans for provisions for those of you further inland should be complete today or very early tomorrow. I will provide another update tomorrow morning.

Take care,

Tammy

Blog, Forecasts, Weather

Hurricane Florence

As of this morning, Hurricane Florence is a Category 4 hurricane with the potential to strengthen to a Category 5 storm. The most recent air reconnaissance data indicates Florence has the potential to further strengthen.

So what does this mean? The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale rates hurricanes on a scale of 1-5 based on sustained wind speed. From the National Hurricane Center’s website, here is a breakdown of the scale and potential destruction:

Cat 1     74-95 mph winds     “Very dangerous winds will produce some damage”

Cat 2     96-110 mph winds   “Extremely dangerous winds will cause extensive damage”

Cat 3    111-129 mph winds  “Devastating damage will occur”

Cat 4    130-156 mph winds  “Catastrophic damage will occur”

Cat 5    157 mph or more      “Catastrophic damage will occur”

 

Hurricane Florence is still too far away to determine exactly where the eye will make landfall. However, anyone in the storm’s path will experience hurricane winds and extremely heavy rainfall.

From a meteorologist’s point of view, this is a gorgeous storm and the satellite imagery is breathtaking. Also, the advisories and warnings should be followed. Please do not put yourself or your family in danger. This is a powerful storm and nature’s force should be respected. This is short and I will post later when more information is available.

Take care,

Tammy

 

 

Blog, Plants, Weather

Snow, Thunderstorms, & Forsythia

HELLO APRIL!!!!! In the Midwest, especially Ohio, we can experience many types of weather within a few days when the seasons are changing.

Last week I spotted a couple dandelions blooming by the sidewalk (and I didn’t think to take a picture at the time) and now that it’s been cooler the last few days and cloudy today, I don’t see them.

Yesterday morning I woke up to snow.

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It didn’t stay long and was melted by afternoon. Yesterday was cool and today’s high temperature is supposed to be almost 70 degrees with thunderstorms. Yep, this is spring in Ohio.

Ahh, I hear rumbles of thunder – my favorite sound. I used to get into trouble as a kid because I would hear thunder and go outside to watch the storm roll in. My parents would be yelling at me to get inside, which I did once the gust front hit and it was lightning and raining. But it didn’t stop there. I would go into my bedroom and watch the storm from my window. Also, I always seem to get my best sleep when it storms at night.

We have gotten quite a bit of rain today. Currently, the National Weather Service has issued Flood Watches and Flood Warnings in my region because the ground was already saturated before the heavy rain today. I even noticed some puddling of water in my yard.

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After I took this picture, I was shutting the door when I noticed yellow. I thought, Oh My Gosh, Did I just see the Forsythia blooming? I opened the door again and was pleased to see it was blooming!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Have you heard the tale about Forsythia? Well, the story goes that once you see it blooming there will be only three more snow falls and winter will be over. The snow fall may accumulate or it may just be flurries. Either way, Forsythia blooming is a very welcomed sign of spring! Here’s a thought….let’s test this old wives tale and see how many times it snows after today!

Tammy

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Blog, Weather

Mother Nature’s Humor

Yesterday, March 20th, was the first day of Spring. Wouldn’t you think Mother Nature knows when this season begins? I would think so!!! Mother Nature has a sense of humor, as the Midwest has experienced a late season snowfall. BUT, I can’t complain too much because I feel for those that live on the east coast dealing with another N’oreaster.

Well, part of me really (and I mean REALLY) wants to have warmer weather. I want to open the windows, feel the warm breeze, and let fresh air all through the house. Of course, my cats would appreciate open windows too!

The other part of me thinks nice weather can wait a little longer….WHAT?! My spring cleaning isn’t finished. My inside projects aren’t finished. I’m not ready for mowing….flowerbeds will need weeded….I have to pick out flowers….plant them….water them….mow….mow….mow. I think I’m okay with a couple more weeks of cooler weather. At least I can get my spring cleaning done (fingers crossed, wink-wink).

Tammy