Wednesday, June 29, 2011

what really matters

How long has it been since my last substatial update?  a month, or 2, or 3?  Anyhow, no matter. 

Last weekend Daniel and I traveled up to Grayson Valley to visit Dad for the day. 

Our goals: 
Daniel:  Help Dad paint the exterior of the house.
Me:  Clean out childhood and college items and memories.

Frankly, I think Daniel got the easy task.  I mean it was close to 100 degrees outside and he had to avoid wasps and mosquitos, but still.  He didn't have to really think to paint.  I had to really think about what was important to me in order to keep.  Unfortunately for me, the lack of space in our attic dictates just how many items can be important to me.  Considering I find all of our year round decorations to be extremely important along with a few of Daniel's items, we just don't have much more room in the attic.  Now before you start thinking that we have an entire attic full of tubs, don't.  According to Daniel (I have never been in the attic before because I freak to go up the unstable ladder to see for myself), we need to purchase more plywood to extend our attic.  So our small area in the attic we have is almost maxed out. 

There were 2 things to consider while I cleaned out:  what is really important to me and remember limited space. 

So I began my quest.  I shuffled through some old school papers that Mom had placed on the hearth.  And I found some interesting items.  First up, a newspaper clipping from the 7th grade (circa de 1997ish).  Check out this classic photo

7th graders across Jefferson County were honored at Bartow Arena for high scholastic honors.  That is me with my big foot and poofy bangs.  Next to me is Blake Burdett, who eventually became my bf that year and the next.  Much later in 2008, he was a part of my wedding party.  ha!

Don't worry.  I definitely kept this clipping because I want to laugh about it in the future when I rediscover it again.  I love refinding things like that. 

After looking over some pre-SAT/pre-ACT test results and still realizing that I am a TERRIBLE test taker, I moved to the basement where the real fun was.  I went through a small stack of items from both childhood and college years.  Why was I hoarding coloring books and my 4th grade subject notebooks?  bye-bye.  And let's face it:  back in the day, Sunday School artwork was no where near the calibar of school artwork.  So bye-bye Jesus and the little children artwork that was half-colored.  Don't judge me because I threw away my Jesus artwork, because I did keep all of my Bibles since birth.  I have my pink baby New Testament Bible, purple Precious Moments children's Bible, and hardback Teen Study Bible.  My navy College Bible and navy "adult" Bible are kicking it at the house already. 

The above were easy toss outs, but the hard part came when I moved to the play area, which is under the front porch.  That is where Sis and I played house.  We couldn't play Barbies in there because it was too narrow and cluttered.  And our Barbies lived in mansions so we needed much more room for that.  In the play area, mounds of stuffed animals could be found.  And we LOVED our stuffed animals.  Too bad we let them get all gross and let rats poop on them.  So bye-bye to my Cabbage Patch Kid, Pinky.  Bye-bye to Sissy's Care Bears.  Bye-bye to My Buddy, who we dressed up in real kid clothes and diapers.  Bye-bye Teddy Ruxpin.  It was a hard moment to let them go.  But when I realized that I was wearing gloves to protect my hands from germs and the grossness, then I didn't feel so bad.  No one can take the memories of those toys away from me.  And isn't that what really matters?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Christmas at ellebeeTee

from ellebeeTee Originals blog:

I have always loved the holiday season. Christmas is by far my most favorite holiday. I think it is my favorite from all of my fond childhood memories. ahh, memories. And I can't wait for Christmas this year.

Because I am so impatient, I decided to celebrate early! ellebeeTee Originals is having a 20% off sale this weekend. And yes, that is an extra 20% off the already low sale prices. Use the code MERRY at the checkout.

Don't wait too long because the sale ends Sunday evening.

and details coming soon about the July 6th giveaway!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

the streets of Tuscaloosa: my April 27th story

My April 27th story is no where near as graphic/exciting/dangerous as the ones who lived it.  I felt like I needed to share as to not forget the ones who experienced and continue to experience the aftermath.

April 27, 2011 will forever be etched in my brain just like September 11, 2001.  However, there was no attack to our nation on our soil, but mother nature destroyed thousands of lives along with killing a few hundred across my state.  Let me start at the beginning...

Close to a week before the 27th, our area meteorologists had warned of the weather severity on that day.  Friday, April 15th had been a bad enough day for Alabama already.  Luckily I was at the beach that day when a handful of tornadoes swept across the state.  On the evening of the 26th, Daniel warned me of how bad the weather might be the following day.  He was watching the nightly news when the meteorologist was talking about the next day's forecast and just how bad it would get.  He had never seen the weather read anything like that before and cautioned all viewers to be prepared for the next day's weather.  Two rounds were headed this way....

Daniel and I were woken up between 5-5:15AM by the hollowing of wind and rain the next morning.  We turned on the tv to see there were possible tornadoes/straight-line winds just minutes north of our house.  Thankfully we dodged the bullet even though it sounded terrible outside.  On the way to work (in Tuscaloosa), I noticed every other tree was snapped along I-20/59.  When I reached the Mercedes plant, there was at least a dozen trees down laying across the interstate.  Multiple trees were down in the median along with light poles.  I didn't realize just how bad straight-line winds could be.

As the day progressed, I watched footage of James Spann on UStream.  I saw the Cullman tornado touchdown and decided it was time for me to leave.  I gathered my stuff to leave at 2:30 and this and that started to come up.  At 3:10, I finally told my boss, Jolly, that I was leaving.  The winds were really picking up and I needed to get home.  He joked around saying that it was going to be fine and gave me a hard time for leaving.  I told him that I wasn't going to stick around to find out. 

It wasn't long after I got home when a couple of tornadoes made their way towards Tuscaloosa.  Then we saw it.  James Spann was freaking out.  I was praying that no one was still at the plant.  The biggest tornado I have ever seen started ripping its way down 35th Street (where I work).  All we could do was watch in awe as the mile wide twister created complete havoc through Tuscaloosa.  I began pacing and hoping that Jolly didn't have a team there still working.  I texted him to make sure everyone was fine.  It wasn't for another couple of hours before I got a repsonse that all was okay.  I had no idea what that meant until I got a call from my co-worker, Greg, later that evening.  Our plant suffered damage:  a few buildings were gone along with our fence.  Debris was everywhere.  Considering that Waste Management across the street from us was completely destroyed and every business up the street from us was nothing but rubble, we were pretty lucky.

I later found out that Jolly along with another man were still at the office when the tornado traveled behind our plant and office building.  He says that he immediately felt the pressure and his ears popped.  He ran to the back and looked at the window.  And he saw it.  He saw the debris and felt the concrete office building shaking.  Then it passed.  Businesses just blocks up the street from our workplace were completely destroyed.  I didn't make it back down to Tuscaloosa until Friday (2 days after the tornadoes hit).  The damage was unlike anything I had ever seen.  Skeletons of buildings were still standing along with pencil trees.  There was no way to find landmarks or to even know where you were standing in the middle of the destruction. 

A few weeks later I drove through the main part of Tuscaloosa that was hardest hit (but who's to say that everywhere in Tuscaloosa wasn't hardest hit?  Devastation was everywhere.).  I drove down 15th Street (aka University) to the intersection of McFarland.  There was nothing.  Nothing but debris and damage.  Debris and damage everywhere.  Those poor people who experienced the wrath of the tornado.  I can't even imagine living through or dying in a tornado of that magnitude. 

Tornados have a different meaning to me now.  Don't get me wrong I was always terrified of their possibilities.  I guess growing up I always knew that their destruction could reach unfathomable levels of destruction, but I never knew just how bad until I drove through the streets of Tuscaloosa.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

getting back on the bandwagon...for a split second

alright.  so I am behind MAJORLY on my updating.  still LOTS happening, which is the reason for the tardiness.  maybe one day I will be able to "ketchup".

until that day comes, my shop (y'know ellebeeTee Originals) is hosting a summer long sale.  it's gonna be HOT!  if you want the scoop and I know you do, then check out the ellebeeTee Originals blog for the event of the summer! 

and don't forget to follow the ellebeeTee Originals blog either.