Wednesday, June 26, 2019

New Stories, New Funnies, and Such

 Happy Hump Day

The disaster recovery work continues and I won't get those wedding pictures until the end of the week, so this week I give you a couple BSPs (blatant self promotions), a couple funnies, and a belated Father's Day aw.  

First, the BSPs... 

I had a couple short stories published last month that I missed mentioning in the chaos of weddings, tornadoes, and such.  The first was released at Malice Domestic, which sadly I was unable to attend. MYSTERY MOST EDIBLE is a fabulous collection of "36 original tales with a culinary bent", including my "Sticky Fingers" - a story of murder, revenge, and cupcakes.  You can find it here.

The second is THE BEST LAID PLANS, edited by Judy Penz Sheluk.  This collection of 21 stories has something for any fan of mystery and suspense and I'm delighted my story, "Deadly Dinner", is sharing these pages with so many talented writers. It's available here.

 Now your hump day funnies. They're all visual this week...

Well, they got it half right.  Sort of. 


 The next one is for all you mystery/crime writers.

 Just move on. Nothing to see here. 

I'm a little late on a Father's Day "aw", But when I saw this picture, I couldn't resist.

Did you say it? 

That's it for today. I hope you found a chuckle or a smile to help you over the mid-week hump and sailing toward a fantastic weekend. Did you have a favorite? 

Have a great week. 

Thought for Today:

Common sense is a flower that doesn't grow in everyone's garden. 

(Boy, ain't that the truth?)

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

The Big Wind...No, Not Me.

Happy Hump Day

I know I promised my next post would be about weddings and big winds, but the wonderful photographer who took pictures at our happy event left for a cruise a week later so I don't have those to share. Rather than subject you to fuzzy cell phone snapshots, I'm going to save the wedding news till next time.

Well...okay, one cell phone shot.

My grandson and his bride.

Now, on to big winds...

Late in the evening on Memorial Day, May 27, our local TV weather broke in on regular programming to announce a tornado warning. To be honest, this was a bit of a ho-hum event. We get warnings all the time, especially in the surrounding counties which are mostly flat farm country. But this wasn't for those counties. This was for us.

For those of you who've never dealt with tornadoes, daylight is better than night. You can see a funnel cloud coming during the day.  At night you pretty much have to trust the nice lady on the TV who's telling you to seek shelter NOW!  I'll admit I dragged my feet a little but when the most recent sighting put the tornado at the intersection where I do my grocery shopping and heading our way, I scooped up the dog and headed for the basement.

I hate riding out a storm in the basement, not knowing what's going on above. We sat there listening to the wind, rain, and hail pound the house, and to the latest radio updates via my cell phone. Finally, they sounded the all clear. The tornado that was heading for us had lifted back into the clouds. I gathered up Sophie and started to head upstairs when the alert sounded again. A second tornado had touched down and was following a path very close to the first. And so went the night.

When the National Weather Service finished their investigation a few days later, they confirmed 18 tornadoes hit our area that night, ranging from EF0 to EF4. The one that passed closest to us was an EF4.

As I mentioned in my mini-post last week, we were incredibly blessed. Our home sustained no damage.  Others were not so lucky. Many homes and businesses in several towns were destroyed or severely damaged.  Whole neighborhoods wiped out. Cars were tossed about and trees uprooted or broken off. Many people lost everything they had.

There are lots of pictures online of these storms if you care to Google them (Memorial Day tornadoes Dayton, OH). I find them too sad to post. I'd rather tell you about:

 The quirky...

We visited a lady from our church whose roof was perfectly intact, and sitting on top of her neighbor's house. The rest of the roofless house had only minor damage.

A car dealership that wasn't hit directly had the rear window of every vehicle blown out by the extreme change in air pressure (evidently the glass in rear windows is weaker than in the others). 

A local resturant had been impaled by numerous branches driven by the wind into the concrete wall like iron spikes.

And the heartwarming...

In addition to the hundreds of volunteers who came out to chain saw downed trees, clear away debris, and distribute water and food to victims and other volunteers, many people - and especially local churches - started donation drives and set up distribution points for clothing, personal care items, diapers and baby food, etc.

Some combed through the debris scattered in their neighborhood, looking for items of personal value (i.e. photo albums), then posted pictures and descriptions online hoping someone would know the owner and the items could be returned.

Many people took in pets who had been separated from their families and, again, shared pictures online so the families could be reunited.  Nothing made me happier than to see one of those posts updated with "Family found. Fluffy is home." 

It is said that disaster and tragedy brings our the best in people, and the worst. Sure, we had some that tried to profit off someone else's misery, but I'm happy to say the spirit of 'love and take of care your neighbor' is alive and well in and around Dayton, Ohio.

Sadly, one of the hardest hit neighborhoods was one where the residents were less likely to have  insurance or the financial means to recover what they've lost. Please continue to pray from them, for all those affected by the storms, and for all those who are working to help. Thanks.

And since it's hump day - though a little late in the day - here are a couple quick funnies.

 What do you think? Did he deserve it?

Every parent will relate to this one.

 But I'd still like to see her try.

 And here's your "aw"...

Now that's just flat out beautiful.

I'd like to say I'm going to be back on my regular schedule next week but there's still so much disaster work to be done, I can't promise. Have a great week. I'll try to visit when I can.

Quote for Today:

You can always give something, even if it's only kindness.  ~ Anne Frank

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Quick post - I'm Gone With the Wind

Just checking in.

You may have noticed my one week break has lasted a month. I never should have planned to post in the weeks before the wedding, I was way too wrapped up in the preparations.

I planned to do a post all about the wedding, which was on May 26, but everything changed on the 27th when our area was hit by multiple tornadoes. (I just got back online yesterday.) 

Our home escaped damage but many of our neighbors were not so blessed. I'm the volunteer coordinator for our church disaster response team, so my time has been focused in that direction, but I hope to get a post up soon. It should be an interesting mixture of wedding and tornado recovery.

I hope you'll come by then.

Prayers for all those effected are greatly appreciated.