Personal Things: Tulsa Wind Events – Vacations – Shrinking iPhoto Images for a Blog

Recently two bloggers linked to my “About” page. I hadn’t visited ‘there’ for close to forever, usually never unless someone leaves a comment. I was a little surprised to see the photo that has been there too long, so decided it was time to update my personal profile.

Hey, remember I'm at the beach!

Hey, give me a break – I’m at the beach!

As most of you know I live in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Moore, Oklahoma was in the path of the ferocious F-5 tornado while we were in Mexico this Spring. So many blog friends emailed, tweeted and left messages on Facebook asking if we were affected. The people in Mexico were asking too. Fortunately for us, we were on the opposite side of the state to the East.

While Tulsa has been hit numerous times, we’ve never had the equivalent of what Moore suffered or Joplin, Missouri which is just up the ‘pike’ north of us. This week, however, we’ve had unusually heavy summer rains. On day one, the blossoms on our Dynamite Crepe Myrtles were so heavy that we lost a large branch on one and the tree was literally bent to the ground. These trees are not bushes. They are multi-trunks, about 3 years old and stand about 15+ feet tall.

Dynamite_Crepe_Myrtles_101

Dynamite_Crepe_Myrtles_103

Our Natchez Crepe Myrtles were also loaded and heavy but fortunately held up under the weight of the rain. Until the rain, they were perfectly groomed. We have some heavy trimming to do.

Natchez_Crepe_Myrtles_108

The next day we had an unusual ‘wind event’ here. Winds were clocked at up to 90 miles an hour at Tulsa International Airport. The wind came from the North and slightly East – odd for this time of the year. My office is on the north side of the house. Our lights were blinking and there was a lot of lightning but no not much thunder. I put a flashlight on my desk then heard a rushing noise, looked out my north window and knew I should get away from anything glass. Our front door ‘popped’ – didn’t break, stayed locked but the force of the wind pushed it in slightly. My computer and office television were off, but in the bedroom we did have cable…with no color. Weird. Over and over local weather told us there was no rotation and that we were having straight-line winds at low hurricane levels, at that time they said about 71 mph but found later it was more like 80-85 mph and maybe more.

Next morning we found our 20′ tall Weeping Yaupon lying on the ground. They have a very shallow root ball so it didn’t break. It’s standing tall now but numerous in our neighborhood had serious damage. Next door to us received wooden fencing from across the street into one of her front windows. The same wooden fence sent its gate flying high and hit the roof of the house two doors east of us. Rain poured in from the second floor down to their dining room. By lunchtime, their dining room table was warped. One neighbor’s roof lifted, two sides of her fence were completely down along with a large oak tree that snapped into two pieces. She has a very large, deep lot. Her quality, heavy wrought iron patio furniture was at the back fence, some with legs broken off. Her next door neighbor’s new grill went flying through her yard and into the next. Another neighbor’s trampoline impaled their bedroom window. He retrieved patio furniture a block away. All this in just the 6 houses to the east of us. We had slight roof damage from a flying object but nothing needing immediate attention. If you live in this area, T-Town Roofing was out and about in our neighborhood by dawn. They have really stepped-up to help those affected in this area. Much damage including gaping roofs throughout the neighborhood. Hubby and I were most fortunate. The ferns in our little Charleston Sideyard didn’t even blow over and the basil and rosemary are doing great.

Charleston Side Yard

Speaking of basil, along with the usual sweet basil, I bought what I thought was a variety of oregano, and discovered that it’s actually boxwood basil – very pretty rounded plant with tiny leaves and the same beautiful scent of it’s bigger sister. Anyone out there familiar with boxwood basil (see it in the photo to the left, the rounded mound).

We have been vacationing in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico since 1995. It’s a short trip for us – 45 minutes to Dallas, and 2:30 mins from there. We arrive by noon for margaritas. We have always stayed at the same place, American-owned by a fabulous family. The Dad was a well-known architect and designed the resort. It’s like no other vacation spot we’ve visited, and we’ve visited a few. It’s a bit like going home each year. The above profile photo was taken there while I was trying unsuccessfully to connect to the Internet, which I can do in the cafe or on the beach, neither conducive to productive blogging, but the weather was perfect, the beach beautiful  – looking out on to the Sea of Cortez/Sea of California.

Lands End from Medano Beach

Lands End from Medano Beach

The Arch at Lands End is directly across from our beach palapa. This marks the end of the Baja. The Pacific Ocean is through the Arch, so we have a great expansive view of the Pacific and the Sea of Cortez.

I missed out on a lot of blogging over the last 16 months. Spring 2012 began with a pinched nerve in my neck that I thought was a lower back problem. I’m not as tall as I need to be some times, and while gardening, I made a move I shouldn’t have made – I think it’s called a ‘lurch,’ to catch a falling object. No blogging for a few weeks. In the Fall of 2012 we were blessed with a number of unexpected vacations in Miami, the Tampa area, Palm Desert, California and events that allowed us to spend time with family, including visiting our son in Los Angeles for Thanksgiving and again in New York Spring 2013. I’m not sure we’ve done quite that much traveling in a 12-month period without work requiring it.

Abruptly being in a position where you cannot blog after years of doing so regularly is unsettling. When life returns to normal, and you can’t wait to get back into it, it’s not always seamless. Contributor Findalis stepped in and posted here each time I was gone, even though she was having health issues. This evening I see a notice at her place, Monkey in the Middle, saying she is under the weather, so I will be posting there along with other friends, like Gary Fouse at Fousesquawk – another great patriot who is particularly diligent in the fight against California universities and their fondness for protecting Muslims rights but not so much the rights of Jewish students.

Here’s a closing tip for any Mac users who, like I, haven’t a clue how to shrink the photos in your iPhoto library to insert into a blog. I spent hours cropping every which way, trying to figure out how to get the photos above into this article and eventually found a site that explained exactly what I needed to do and it did NOT involve my talents to guess at a custom size. Good thing. I know close to nothing about pixels or whatever. I followed author Carol Manser’s instructions (as I did others that did not work) and like magic, my photos uploaded to WordPress just as I hoped they would. For my site, I chose “width” and put inserted 500 in the blank box. She has a website full of tips – a good resource for a newbie blogger. Visit her at My Second Million.  Reaganite Republican has a video of an amazing solution for any kind of “wind event,” – the latest technology. See it here.

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  • I loved this post and all the pretty pictures. I am so sick of all the crap going on. It exhausts me!

  • Thanks Adrienne, I know the feeling. It’s exhausting both emotionally and physically. Sometimes I just have to walk away for awhile, particularly when writing about immigration. Thanks for coming and reading the story of my life for about the last year and and a few months 🙂

  • Carl Middleton

    Hi Maggie … LOVE your new picture. Sorry for all the wind and rain damage. You have a beautiful yard. You have said before how much you love Cabo. But I do have a question.

    I think it would be a little difficult to see the Atlantic from there, wouldn’t it? You can slap me the first time you see me if you want. But which ever ocean it is, it looks beautiful and I’m so glad you get to go down there each year.

    Still love me?

    • Carl – LOL, thank you so much! I did it twice! Still love you absolutely. I am so grateful for friends who spot things like this. Maybe my mind was on Hilton Head, where we are going on September.

  • Richard

    Your yard is beautiful inspite of the wind damage. Mother nature reminds us from time to time how powerful she is. You ought do more posts of this type which match your true nature. Time is too short and there are many nice things going on in this world your readers would appreciate reading and seeing. Maybe a weekly thing? Just a thought.

    • Thanks Richard. I really appreciate that. I’ve often thought of doing photos – so many amazing ones out there that make your heart sing.

      Our yard is fairly small, which we wanted and we consider it an extension of our home. We enjoy spending time out there, but once September comes, it’s over till the next Spring.

  • Hi Maggie! Thanks for the rave review! It’s appreciated. And your photos look great!

    • Thanks Carol, your tips were so helpful. Generally I see something like “and here insert the size you want.” Well, if I knew the size I needed to make it work, I wouldn’t be looking for info. Your tip took care of it all.

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  • Loved your post….hope you do more like this one in the future!

    • Thanks Rachel. Maybe I can think of a way to do it.

  • Jennifer J.

    Maggie, I love your posts and this one was a beautiful surprise! Gorgeous yard. I am in SC, 1.5-2 hours from Charleston (depending on rate of travel…), so I definitely appreciate your courtyard. 🙂 Thank you for sharing all of these great pictures and experiences, and especially the link to iPhoto tips!! Wow… can’t wait to get on that!

    • Jennifer, what a lovely comment. I have to give my Georgia born friend who later moved to S.C. and then here credit for the Charleston sideyard. We had one at another house and I didn’t know it – hadn’t heard the term, so when we built this, I had to have one another. Thanks so much for reading and also glad the iPhoto tips helped. I was going crazy!

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