Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Ways to save your life...

An outbreak of tornadoes has struck Alabama again.  The video above show the damage in the path of the EF 3 tornado that hit on January 23, 2012.  It was on the ground for approximately 2 hours and followed a very similar track to the April 8, 1998 and April 27, 2011 storms.  This is the second time in less than a year that our great state has suffered loss of life and property from severe weather.  If you live in Alabama, you need to prepare yourself for severe weather.  Any you need to do it now - not when the tornado is bearing down on you.

If you are waiting on the sirens, you won't make it to safety.  Most likely, you won't hear them sound at all.  The wind will blow the the sound waves away from you, or you won't be able to hear it in your house, or you will sleep through it.  There are better ways to protect yourself.  They are listed below.

There is an app available for the iPhone called iMap Weather Radio appSupposedly, they will be adding it to the Android marketplace soon.  It is now available for Android as well, but I don't know what the cost is.  It will alert you only if you are in the polygon warning for a tornado or other severe weather.  $10 is a small price to pay to be able to save your life.  If for some reason you don't care if you die or are seriously injured, please buy it to protect the other people and pets in your house.
Here is a link to the iMap Weather Radio app in the iTunes store.
Here is the link to the iMap Weather Radio app in the Android marketplace.

If you have an iPhone or an Android phone, you should also get Ustream app to be able to view ABC 33/40 during a power outage.  It is free.  However, having this app won't tell you when you need to monitor the weather.  It will only allow you to do so.  By having this app, I was able to watch the track of the tornado and decide whether or not to move my family to our safe room.  We had at least 20 minutes of warning.  Plenty of time to move me, David, Emmeline and three dogs, had the need arisen.
Here is the link to the Ustream free app in the iTunes store.
Here is the link to the Ustream free app in the Android marketplace.

If you cannot bear to spend $10 on an app the could really save your life, here are some other options. 

AL.com weather texts (This will alert county wide, just like the sirens.  The text alerts I got on January 23, 2012 were about 1-2 minutes behind the real warning.)  This with the Ustream is an acceptable alternative to iMap Weather Radio, if you think that you won't need those 1-2 minutes. 

A weather radio.  This one is $30 (plus shipping if you use Amazon).  I think I'll be buying these as gifts for friends and family who don't have smart phones.  Not a very sassy gift, but I think it says "Please stick around here on earth.  I really like you!"
(By the way... you could buy 3 of those $10 apps for that price.  Just sayin'...)
Midland Weather Radio from Amazon
Midland Weather Radio from Walmart

Please take these recommendations to heart, unless you think your house will withstand 150 mile per hour winds.

Personally, I think some of our houses will look like the ones in the video above.  Wouldn't you like to give yourself the time to get to your safe room?

Be wise and get prepared.  Protect yourself and your family.  No excuse. 



Sunday, June 19, 2011

The camp that we love the best of all...

Winnataska is its name!

I'm headed to camp for a week.  So excited!!!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Thrifty Thursday - Cleaning Leather

I thought I'd do a little before and after today on some of the items I've found at the thrift store.  Leather shoes, purses and belts are great buys because they are easy to restore, for the most part.  As you will see in a minute, there are exceptions.  This also applies to leather you already own, but that is showing some wear and tear.

I use Leather CPR restore leather.  You can get it at Tuesday Morning or at Sam's, Walmart, etc.  We have a leather couch, and it removes scratches from our dogs nail marks on it, so I thought I'd try it on some of the more well-loved pieces I've purchased at the thrift store lately.  Use is very simple: wipe on with a soft cloth, let it soak in for a few minutes, wipe of with a different soft cloth.

Let's start with the successes, shall we...
Fossil Brown Leather Purse:
This purse cleaned up really well.  It had some major scuffs and scratches to the leather.  Those all came out.  There was also a dark spot on the front of the purse, but it didn't come out.  I have another trick I want to try on it, so I'll post again if it works.
Purse Back before.
Purse Back after.

Purse Front before.

Purse Front after.
White Leather No-Brand-Name Purse:
I bought this purse only because it was 75% off of $3.  I thought it would be nice to have for summer, but I really didn't expect to have it clean up very well or to use it very much.  Well, I was wrong on both counts.  It cleaned up very well.  You can't tell from these pictures, but it was very dingy.  The picture of the bottom is truer to life, dirt-wise.  Also, I love carrying it because it goes with just about everything!
White Purse before.

White purse after.

Bottom before.

Bottom after.

And now the not-so-successful attempt.

Brown Leather Frye Sandals:
I found these sandals about 4 years ago at the thrift store but never wore them. They were a little too big.  Then I had a baby and they fit perfectly.  (Thanks Emmeline!)  I love these sandals, and I wear them even though they are scuffed.  I thought I'd try to get them to clean up some. 
Frye sandals before

Frye sandals after
Can't tell a difference.  Yeah, me either.  Bummer, right.  Oh well, I do love them, so I wear them even with the scuffs.

I hope this post will give you some encouragement recondition some old leather, either something that you already own, or something that you find at the thrift store on your next adventure!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Emmeline's Manners...

I'm working on getting Emmeline to say please, thank you, you're welcome, etc.   It is really cute when she does, because all of her "courtesy words" are said in this very high pitched, sing-song voice.  She does really well saying them, when she remembers.  The trick it to remind her before she gets too worked up and into the screaming state (hello, Terrible Trying Twos).  I'm sure it frustrates her because just a few months ago, screaming was a completely acceptable way to get what you want.  Now we are asking her to say "milk, please" or "pick me up, please."  Poor thing...

Usually, she starts screaming loudly requesting something; Pee-na (Kung Fu Panda), Elmo, Milk, Os, Dada, Tractuh (tractor).  We then say "Emmeline, how do you ask for that" or "Emmeline, what did you say" and she says what ever it was and then "please."  I'm pretty sure that most parents do the exact same thing, so it's not like we are breaking any new ground here.  Anyway, here are two stories to demonstrate Emmeline's learning curve, or perhaps my learning curve.

A couple weekends ago, she had finished her dinner and wanted a chocolate graham cracker, which she calls "Cha-kat."  The exchange when something like this.

Emmeline: Cha-kat? Cha-kat? Cha-kat?
Elin: (Typing on iPhone to send an email, I think.)
Emmeline: No phone! Cha-kat? (Louder) No phone! No phone! (Louder) No phone! Cha-kat?!?!?!
Elin: Emmeline...
Long pause.
Emmeline: Cha-kat, please...

Atta-girl!  Now we are getting there.

Then there's this story...

The next night, I had moved her high chair onto the front porch for dinner.  I thought it might be a nice change of pace.  When I asked her what she wanted for dinner, she replied "ice cream."  Not my first choice for an entree, but I told her that if she ate all of her chicken and most of her other items, she could have some ice cream.  We had been sitting outside for a while, just enjoying the evening.  She was eating and I was just relaxing.  I looked over and saw her moving her plate around.  She looked up at me, started clapping and said
Emmeline: Yea! Ice cream, please!
(Um, that plate-moving... she was hiding her chicken underneath it.)
Elin: Emmeline, is that chicken under your plate?
Emmeline: Oh, chicken!
Elin: You can have some ice cream, after you finish your chicken.
Emmeline: OK! Chicken!

We are totally in for it.  Sneaky already!  She isn't even two.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Thrifty Thursday - Latest Haul

I went thrifting a couple weekends ago and Emmeline racked up!  And I got a few things as well.

Five pairs of shoes for the girl! Two pairs of canvas tennis shoes (tan and pink), one pair of white leather Keds, one pair of red leather t-straps and a pair of water shoes.  All under $2 a pair.
White purse for me. $3
New shirts, all of which I have worn already. Grey linen Gap, bright pink v-neck, graphic print v-neck and black v-neck. All less than $3 each 
Yahoo for the thrift!