Thursday, April 19, 2012

My friend Scott's birthday at my house and the clean-up after the tornado

Last Saturday was my friend Scott's birthday. Since he had to work on the 14th, I invited him to spend his belated birthday with me on Sunday. I didn't bother picking up the mess in the yard left by the tornado the night before, instead enjoying him on his one day off in two weeks.


I planned a big meal for us, and we started with spring mix salads. You can see Scott's size 14 shoes and his long legs (he's a bit over 6'5") as he inspects


his steak (bacon wrapped filet) and our mushrooms that are nearly ready to eat.


After the meal, which also included a green bean casserole, the portabella mushrooms, and


an Indian bread I bought that was supposed to be good on the grill (and which I completely forgot its name), we let our meals settle as the chiminea fire got hot enough to cook marshmallows for S'mores. Yep, I had all my outdoor fire places going for this meal.


Remember me showing my porch after I finished painting the railings? I also had a new-to-me storm door. I had planned to use it on my back door, since the screen back there leaves a LOT to be desired.


However, the storm door was not the right size, and there was no way I could expand the back entry to make it fit.

Note also (those who were here on Sunday) my neighbor's two wheel trailer is also gone, as is all that trash and debris he found when he removed a shed on his property. I'm SO thankful the trailer was gone when the storm came.


Since I couldn't use the storm door, I gave it to Scott and got it off my front porch. Win-win!!


Now I have to finish my S'mores and wish Scott a happy birthday.


I spent nearly three days cleaning the entire yard and outdoor spaces after the devastation from the tornado that hit the night of the 14th and early the 15th. I hope these storms (97 documented tornadoes over the course of about 12 hours) didn't travel your way.


I had every piece of lawn equipment I own out, including the mower, chain saw, weed eater, trimmer, and edger. I also had the hand tools out removing little trees that had cropped up in the front garden over the winter.


I'm glad I don't have to clean my neighbor's yard! Mine was bad enough with all the small limbs, debris, and someone's roofing tiles which means


I have enough work to clean my own yard. The fact I didn't clean up the garden last winter, hoping to keep as much moisture in the soil as possible after the devastating summer, means I'm now having to clean it, edge it, and get it into shape this year! It's almost like starting from scratch, combined with the aftermath of the storm.

Note the dirt in my neighbor's driveway.


The area between our two driveways was flooded with water as late as yesterday afternoon. It is a low lying area, and I wonder if that dirt is going in some of these depressions.


After I finished with the front yard, I headed to the back, where I mowed, then set out to trim, edge, and pick up the debris. Yes, those are my bird cages I suspect my friend Kathy would love to have, although they are a bit large for her studio. You can see the damage that is still in my neighbor's yard.


Oh wow, look what popped up as I was about to clean this area!


Although this pup is a bit camera shy, I was finally able to pet it. I didn't notice its gender, but will the next time it stands up on the fence.


Most everything is picked up and all I have left is a bit of edging, trimming, and weeding to do.


Back in front after I finished in the back, I was busy sweeping the front walk and driveway, when a robin decided to join me. It seemed to follow me everywhere I went and I didn't want to spook it because I was in the process of sweeping the drive. Can you see the little bird to the back left in the photo? I tried to get to the porch unnoticed, but


that little bird was quite nimble and not a bit camera shy. It looks like it's a young bird, so I hope it doesn't get in any trouble. After all, Bleubeard is quite territorial. Thankfully, I've been keeping him inside.

Sorry I missed WOYWW this week, and I know I haven't been around to some blogs like I should, but this has been a not-so-fun experience and a clean-up I had to do without help (which is par for the course, for me). Although I've been trying to get to a few blogs to let people know what is going on, obviously, this clean-up took me away from computer, blogging, and art time. Thankfully, it wasn't any worse than it was at my place. There could have been a whole lot more devastation. After all, there was just a few miles south (in the south east part of the city), where entire homes were destroyed. Thankfully, unlike my Oklahoma neighbors, there were NO fatalities in Kansas, even though we experienced so many tornadoes (97 as mentioned above), many of them EF 3, last weekend.

I hope the rest of your week is lovely and peaceful and I will visit you, my loyal friends, when I can. I'm still working on parts of the clean-up I didn't show you, like the veggie garden.

_________________

31 thoughtful remarks:

kimmie said...

well, I guess since you do live in Kansas - like Dorothy did - you might get a tornado once in a while :) .... sheesh .... I am so glad you were out of the direct hit of that one! I think of you and a few other people in the midwest when your weather is on the news! so glad you're ok - and your dog Toto - and cat Bleubeard too :)

PetraB said...

Glad that you and your 'little' ones are ok, take care.

~*~Patty S said...

gosh not sure one would ever get used to that kind of storm activity along with the major clean up afterwards...

so glad you and yours are safe and that you had a nice birthday celebration for Scott (pretty soon it will be party time again pour vous!)

take care Elizabeth!
oxo

Helen said...

Gosh, you've had to work like a Trojan to clear up. No wonder you had no time for WOYWW, art or blogging! Take a rest! glad you are safe.

elle said...

Be safe, Elizabeth.

sandee said...

All I can think of is glad you are safe and how lucky you are that it wasn't worse! Also glad you had some relaxing time with your friend celebrating his birthday! waving hi from the hills of North Carolina :)

okienurse said...

Looking good! I wondered where you were this week at WOYWW and I am glad to hear you are okay! I still have some pick up work to do, need to buy and new storage locker for the back porch and clean it up then I will be done. The tornado that hit Norman was rated an F1 and did a lot of messing up but relatively few injuries to speak of. It quit a block from my house and around here it just broke already damaged limbs and blew stuff around. Check out my metal flowers this week! Vickie

Jacqueline said...

Holy cow!! So glad i didn't get caught up in all that. I would have been scared witless !!

Glad you are safe and what a lovely looking day you had with your giant of a friend! ( I'm 5ft 1" small) so anything over that is giant to me lol.

Your garden is looking lovely and certainly showing all the hard work you have done.

Take care and stay safe.

Jackie x

Lynn said...

Glad it wasn't worse. Sorry you had such a mess to clean up. Yes, be safe!!! Happy birthday Scott.

sandee said...

Thank you for the comments you left on my blog, and I would be honored to be on your sidebar! ::big smiles:: and waving hi from the hills of North Carolina :)

505whimsygirl said...

Oh Elizabeth,

I didn't realize you were in Kansas. I am glad that you've made it through the storms so far. Your home looks so cute and quaint. I love all the chimes I see on the porch; your yards look so loved and green! Things are starting to green up here but the rule is not to plant anything until after Mother's Day.

It looks like you had a great birthday celebration with your friend. There's one photo that I couldn't see.

Hugs,
Kay

Dandelion and Daisy said...

I'm sorry you had to go through that, tho' I'm sure it wasn't the first time. I cannot imagine anything more frightening. Do you move down to your basement? Looks like your moving on and wasn't it a good thing the neighbor had gotten rid of the trailer full of deadly, flying objects. Hopefully, the weather will settle down soon and you have a wonderful spring!

Sue from Oregon said...

Your home is lovely! I always wanted to have a great front porch like yours(green eyed here) I did yardwork this weekend(not from a tornado though) Was slow moving after that LOL! Your Scott should be thankful to have such a friend!

Dianne said...

wow, so glad you are ok, and your yard is looking terrific! also looks like you had a lovely dinner for the birthday boy...you have been a very busy gal! do take care!

hilda dada said...

Sounds very interesting! I will check this out! house painter phoenix

Hands to Work, Hearts to God said...

TORNADOS are sooo scary! When i see the news on TV about your tornados I just can't imagine the terror I'd feel seeing them so huge and powerful! And all that devastation afterwards! We don't get tornados here, but we do get typhoons and floods.
I missed WOYWW too for the first time since I joined! But I didn't miss it because of anything bad- my family (16 of us) including Peggy went on a vacation to a remote place here in the Philippines called Caramoan. It was beautiful, we went island hopping. Glad you're OK!! Didn't know you counted cooking too as one of your many talents! Patsy from
HeARTworks

Sherry Edwards said...

Oh Elizabeth, you have done a grand clean up job and the main thing is that you're safe. Your house looks really pretty and I'm glad you enjoyed the birthday celebration for your friend x

Karen said...

I am so plesed that you are safe my lovely. oooo I love your little house, I have always wanted a porch like that but its not practical with our weather haha!!! xxx

Caterina Giglio said...

oh gosh E, so glad you are alright... a little clean up is nothing compared to no house or worse... xo

Corrine at sparkledaysstudio.com said...

Yard is looking good, luckily you, your home are okay and looks like you and your friend had a lavish time and lovely meal. Cute pup in the neighbor's yard. xox

Craftymoose Crafts said...

Glad to hear that you stayed safe! I can't even imagine how scary multiple, let alone 97 tornadoes must be. Hope you enjoy the weekend!

Redanne said...

Missed seeing you on WOYWW, now I can see why! How awful for you but glad you are safe and you enjoyed your friend's birthday.

see you there! said...

Happy to know you are ok. I like a nice looking yard but I admit working on it isn't one of my favorite activities. I'd join you for an outdoors grilled dinner tho :-)

Darla

Ann B said...

Didn't know you live in Kansas and so glad that you and family are safe. Your house and yard ( I keep wanting to say garden like in England) are beautiful and well worth the hard work. The indian bread is Naan and delicious it it to, as was your meal if the clean plates are an indication.

Lunch Lady Jan said...

I'm so glad that you're ok and that you escaped with your house intact - I can't imagine what it must be like to have a tornado go through. Were you in your cellar when it passed by? We complain if we get more than a mild breeze in this country...
Sending love, hugs and positive vibes.
LLJ xxxx

Halle said...

I bet you were awfully sore after all that outside work! Thanks for the tour around the yard. :)

steph said...

phew haven't been around for a while......so glad you are ok....
the indian bread is called naan.
love the collage...

kay said...

pleased that you are safe and in one peace,you have done a fab job of clearing up,x

Lesley Edmonds said...

I saw some of those tornados on the news over here in England and it looked so scary! I am so thankful that you are ok and that you suffered not too badly. Looks like you had a fun time with your Friend's birthday.

Stephanie Mealor Corder said...

Wow, I thought of you when we saw that forecast, but seeing the reality of the mess left behind in your yard really brings it home! So glad you and Bleubeard were safe! But you did an amazing clean up and the garden looks beautiful once again- I love the bed pieces best of all!

Jan McC said...

I thought of you often during all the storms and hoped in were not in any real danger during them. Glad to hear you only have yard work to clean up and no real devastation. I grew up in the midwest and remember many evenings spent in the basement, but always lucky to be avoided. Take care.