Posts Tagged With: pond

A walk through Tornado Alley

“If you don’t like the weather in Oklahoma… just wait five minutes.” This is a commonly used phrase describing the extreme changes that can happen within a moments time. I’m here at the end of Spring which means the rain is finishing up and the sun brings on the heat. Combine those two things and you have a humid day that often leaves you feeling sticky and constantly thirsty. This year, another element has shown it’s face earlier than usual and that little monster is called tornado season.

It’s usually the thunder that wakes you up. Sharp cracking is the first sound that alarms your peaceful rest followed by the roll of deep thunder. With the windows rattling and your heart pounding, sleep is now something of the past. As you attempt to drift off, the continuous lightening keeps your room looking like there’s paparazzi outside with dozens of cameras constantly snapping photos. I’m actually writing this post with the sound of the storm as my music and the constant light flicker as a reminder that it’s still dark outside.

With that said, let me take you on a tour of an Oklahoma Spring day. Ours starts as a bright event, with clear skies and happy children chasing butterflies as we gather in my families yard.

My dad is currently building a studio in his backyard for my grandfather who needs assisted living. This perfect sized guest house will also be a great future hide out for my siblings as they grow up and “need space”. I’m not sure if you could pay me enough to go back to those teenage years! Either way, this project has turned into a family effort due to my talented father severely injuring his dominate arm. With cousins, kids and friends… let the construction continue!

What you can’t see here, is the intensity building as we raced against the wind to finish what was necessary. Tornado warnings had been rumoring the town all day!

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With our powers combined, the days work is wrapped up just in time to hear the first city alarm sound. It’s informing us that with the next siren, you must promptly take shelter. Here are the clouds bubbling up on the way back to my grandmas house.

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Photo opportunity! The usual handstand picture before the storm takes over (Thanks for the fun idea Aunt Cindee!) and a “creative” sign displayed by a local.

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My cousin Kaleb captured a few photos on his way home as well. He lives in the other direction and was heading towards the lightening! Notice in the first picture, he’s actually following the storm trackers from the news station.

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As Kaleb gained ground, this was his final photo before putting the camera down and thankfully making it safely to his wife and daughter.

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As the darkness followed him, the clearing left us with birds singing in the light of a rainbow. This was definitely an unexpected sight after going through such aggressive weather.

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To give you an idea of just how separated the sky can be, I took this panoramic as the circulation was beginning. It was like watching day turn to night in seconds.

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Attempting to sleep, a few more violent knocks at the window, tells me that the sky is still dancing and the threat isn’t over. A big day, a longer night and finally the sun welcomes a new start.

The morning arrives with blue sky and a few tree limbs scattered around the damp ground as the only evidence of the vicious night prior. This brings a heart of gratitude and numerous phone calls to check up on loved ones around. I’m thankful to say that my volunteer work for the Oklahoma tornados will not be done in the town of my family… others aren’t so fortunate.

To end this post on a cheerful note, I’ll return to the common phrase, “If you don’t like the weather in Oklahoma, just wait five minutes”. Here’s a recap of the 48 hours that followed the tree snapping, life threatening, heart pounding chaos.

The sun is out, the twisters are gone so now it’s time to play!

Working up a sweat!

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Water balloon games!

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Any excuse to get wet…

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What do you get with a hot day, buckets of water and 6 siblings in a backyard? A classic water fight!

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It took no convincing to finish up the fun with some good ol’ fashion country swimming!

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Kicked out by the neighbors horses, we headed back home with all smiles and more memories to add to the precious family album.

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Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Monkey business in Malaysia

Still floating on my cloud-o-joy from the previous day, I reconnected with Brian. He’s the energetic owner of the Green Forest Cafe.

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I had mentioned my craving for more mental stimulation and active movement. Before I knew it, he closed up shop and set the day ahead full of fun surprises.

Activity #1
A beautiful walk up one of Penang’s hill that brought jungle, ponds, monkeys, trees, orchids, and more!

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A fun sitting pose after finding a great spot for the handstand picture… and a great head stand from Brian too! Did I mention it’s his 43rd birthday today? Happy birthday friend!

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Activity #2
We headed to an outdoor public park that provides a range of free options for all ages.

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A skate park next to a set of graffiti walls. Seriously! Instead of discouraging local artist, they provide a clean canvas and a viewing site.

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These are rocks imbedded into the ground that you walk laps on for foot reflexology. With the different shapes, sizes and sharpness, each stone stimulates points on the bottom of your feet that are supposed to activate nerve points to naturally break up acid build up and rid of body ailments.

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Activity #3
Aerobics in the park! Free instruction for the community to come out and get their heart rate up. This should be offered in every city! The music ranged from authentic Indian beats to North American country, Bon Jovi to gangster rap and my personal favorite of the day… Old school R&B funk!

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Towards the end, the instructor called Brian and I up to the stage to lead the cool down. I didn’t realize I was with a “popular one”, the crowd loved him!

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Activity #4
After all the muscle and mind excitement we head for dinner and a show. This center provides vegetarian meals including rice, egg, tofu, curry sauces, vegetables, pancake breads, and more. Mango milk tea or water with your meal and the only price they ask is a contribution that you feel is necessary.

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The show? A set of traditional music, dance and performance by the locals. If you can imagine the brilliant sounds that mirror the colors and facial expressions of these magnificent people… I’m sure you can understand why tears would often peak from my eyes.

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Three favorite special effects photos of the day! The first is a pond in the jungle followed by a monkey on a telephone wire. The third is looking back at Brian’s cafe from a balcony.

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This sign was at the park. Simply posted and well put.

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Categories: Edibles!, Fitness, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Temple + Cave = Amazing!

Another hidden surprise entered my journey as Kuldip and her family took me to a temple that is hidden away in a cave. Before we entered, I watched this monkey patiently wait for a group of visitors to walk away from their motorbikes. With a flash, this smart little fella checked each bike until he found a tied up bag of fresh food… Jackpot!

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I think this sign is saying please no cats, sad dogs or bunny rabbits on the premises.

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The following photos are from the entrance, through the interior and towards the gardens. Please take notice of the thousands of tourists that are not here. Brilliant!

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These shots are from within the caves so please allow the lack of lighting to add to the mystical feeling of the experience.

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The light from the other side exposed the way to the water and gardens. The walk around this pond encouraged deep breaths and many photos… Here’s just a few.

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Where was your last business meeting?

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We had our own little photo shoot before seeing the mini figurines.

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My favorite picture of the day using a special effect on the camera.

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Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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