Wednesday, June 23, 2010

There Are No Words

There are no words right now.
This little kitty was my frist pet.
My first cat.
I named her Theresea.
Everyone who met her can vouch for how picky she is.
She wouldn't let anyone pick her up.
Except me.
She was a grouch most of the time.
She loved to lick my face to wake me up.
She liked to be let outside, only to be let in 15 minutes later.
She hated to be brushed, but would sit there and let me do it.
She would follow me around everywhere I went.
She liked Spaghetii O's.
She absolutely loved stinky shoes.
She would be in my shoes the second I took them off.
She had the attitude of a 15 year old.
Theresea was a best friend and a great cuddler.
She has left us today so she may not be in pain any longer. She has lived a very great life. She is the first pet I've ever had to have lost this way. It is hard to imagine her not here but I am strong in knowing she is in a better place and not in pain any more.

Theresea was 20 years old in human years. She's been with me since the first day of school when I was 5 years old.
There are no words right now.
Except, I miss you.
I love you.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Canyon Trip - Rock Climbing & Cliff Jumping

First off I have to say what an amazing day we had yesterday! Starting off we didn't know exactly what we were getting into. We were told via email what to bring and what not to bring, however being the photo-freak I am I still brought my NON-waterproof camera :). We were also informed that we would be "hiking through/down into a canyon and be going through some water". Now from reading this, I would have guessed we would be going on a moderate hike, maybe trek through a creek or river MAYBE knee to waist deep in parts but mostly just out for the day and enjoy the sights. Well, I was partly right. In our group of 10, 3 people had been there before. Man oh man what a day! It turned out better than I had expected and I was already excited to get out of town for the day. While we didn't get to spend Father's day with our fathers, being out of state, we spent the day together and with a great group of people I am now proud to call our friends.

From the pictures I do have, taking turns Josh and I taking pictures, they just don't do justice. The water in parts had to be 20+ feet deep and according to Ariel who had been here many, many times there are places where no one has ever touched the bottom. It was amazing to me just how deep parts were. Trekking through the water there were huge bolders under the water that you couldn't see. Literally the only thing you could wear that you wouldn't have to carry anything was a swimming suit, shoes and shorts. I even ditched my shirt near the beginning so I wouldn't have to carry it. Like I said, we did bring a camera. We had a dry bag, that didn't completely stay dry. My camera did get wet. Soaked actually. I started the day with the thought "If I don't come home with a camera or a working camera, I can handle that". So the disappointment wouldn't be so rough. But, here I am a day later with pictures to tell and a camera that functions.

The canyon was so beautiful. The sides towered tall enough to hear your voice echo at some places. The rocks were smooth in places; smooth enough to slide on. The climb back out was more difficult than the hike in. There were at least 3 places where it took great body strength to pull yourself up, with very little to no foot or hand holds. I am proud of myself for being able to do that, it was fun! I walked out with a rip in my shorts, luckily didn't rip my swimsuit bottoms, two very impressive bruises which hurt pretty bad that day and more so the next day, an overall sore body with close to every single muscle worked & a sense of ambition, adventure, adrenaline and accomplishment for an overall epic day.

Keep in mind with the pictures, especially the video (to be posted later) of me jumping off the cliff, I am ok. With some bruises on the back of my leg and a few "dotted" purple bruises here and there I am ok. I do bruise easily. With the amount of pictures I have, I am going to link to them here on my Photo page Look for the June 20th bunch. Here is a sneak peak:

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Southwest Forecast

I love it when I can put to use the skills I've learned. Growing up in Colorado I've come to know how the weather sets up, works and falls apart pretty well. Now that I'm in a different location, different climate it is a bit more of a challenge to learn how the weather behaves down here. It is exciting nonetheless. I'm very excited for what the Monsoon Season brings.

With that being said, I'm looking ahead to the end of this week. There is a nice high pressure system building over much of Texas and Louisiana. With another low coming off the Oregon/Washington coast some good southwesterly flow will be present. Not much in the way of moisture for this area as the low pushes eastward to our north. Insert high pressure here. With a high pressure building in there is a chance for more moisture to come into play. I've never seen a high pressure system set up like they do here before. I've always known low's to move through with their cyclonic motion and push on out. With a high pressure system and the clockwise motion, here is where the warm air and moisture from the Gulf aid in thunderstorm build-up. The terrian here is a bit backwards to that of Colorado, at least I think so. In Colorado the mountains are to the west. Enough said. Here in Arizona, there are "mountains" all around. I use the term mountains loosely because to me they aren't as tall. Though some are pretty tall! Regardless, there is a large mountain range to the East and Northeast of Phoenix. With a high building in, there are great conditions setting up for some upslope flow. Add a little moisture, a pinch of daytime heating...Sha-bam we have thunderstorms!

Keeping an eye out for the latter part of this week. There may not be any thunderstorms that develop, but it is a start. And there is a flux of moisture into the area. Monsoon Season officially started June 15 and lasts until September 30. From what I've been told around the office, we should be getting some thunderstorms the first part of July. Bring on the severe weather :)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Italian Enchiladas

Another cooking recap. I have been on a pasta kick for a while, actually a lot longer than you'd think, as I love pasta and have deemed the nick name "Pastatarian" long ago when I was younger. Lately I've been trying to mix it up and make something other than just spaghetii. I'm sure Josh doesn't appreciate or want spaghetii every single night, while I on the other hand could actually live on it for a while. I was in the mood for mexican food the other night and while we didn't have any tortilla's to make burritos I remembered having enchilada sauce in the cupboard. But still no tortillas you say? No problem. I've had these no-boil/no-cook lasagna noodles for a while and never made lasagna, mainly due to the fact that I can't have cheese. So I thought, why not use them as tortilla-substitutes and make enchiladas. Wa-la! Came up with my own recipe and it was Ahh-mazing :)

Enchilada's Italian Style
1 lb ground beef (or turkey as I used)
1 can (10 oz) red enchilada sauce
1/4 teaspoon oregano (I eye balled most of the spices to taste)
1/4 teaspoon basil
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon dried minced onion (fresh chopped, sauted onion might have been better)
About 6-8 no-boil lasagna noodles

I used a smaller pan for these, I believe it was 8x6 inch? It was the next smallest to the 13x9 inch pan. If you use more meat then a bigger pan would work, but I just made enough for us two.

Brown the meat, then add the enchilada sauce. Heat for a few min; add spices. Layer in pan with meat sauce first, then noodles; repeat until you top with a layer of meat sauce. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes, check to make sure the noodles are cooked and soft. Take out and top with cheese; bake for another 5 minutes until cheese is melted. I must say, the no-cheese enchiladas are pretty good as well! I also added come salsa. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Weather - Arizona 12 June 2010

With all of the severe weather happening around the country deep into tornado and severe weather season, Arizona was able to get a little taste of that Saturday. Now Arizona doesn't see too much "severe" weather during this season, there is a whole other season for that known as the Monsoon. Approaching Monsoon Season, a couple of thunderstorms popped up Saturday just Northwest of Phoenix. It was great to finally see something on the radar other than just ground clutter. I will post some more on the Monsoon as I learn more about it. From the sounds of it, it should be a great season to see some lightning, thunderstorms, dust storms and a ton of rain!

Saturday's storms were pretty minimal, but there were a few Significant Weather Advisories issued:

As of 11:45am a line of thunderstorms were approaching the Phoenix Metro area with another developing storm system out Northwest of the area, just crossing into our warning area.

Throughout the day a few more of these were issued, totalling 7 in all. The accumulated precipitation was only a trace in some areas, including Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport and up to 0.02 inches 4 miles out of the city of Maricopa. So while this wasn't a very big rain event, it was a lot of fun to see the storms moving and developing and falling apart on radar. I imagine there will be a lot more to see when we are in full swing of the Monsoon. Nothing like the severe weather out on the plains, but I'll take what I can get here in the desert!
At 2:51pm a velocity image showing the outflow and inflow of winds of the storm system approaching from the Northwest

3:00pm 12 June 2010. The storm was moving Southeast, just crossing I-10 (blue line) passing through Tonopah, AZ

More exciting weather events to come...

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Kitchen Time

Yep, more food posting. If you're hungry right now, you may want to turn your head away....or you can read on and let your mouth water and then go stir up some of this goodness! First off is my homemade ravioli's with homemade spaghetti sauce. I've always wanted to make my own noodles and found a recipe in my Pasta Cookbook from my mommy, I've had it for years and can't wait to make everything in there! I must say, I am a "Pastatarian". I decided to make whole wheat pasta, and made ravioli's out of the dough. I stuffed them with a spinach-beef mixture. The sauce is homemade too, with some veggies added in. Yumm-o! I made this earlier this week.
The Ravioli's:
5 large eggs
1 tablespoon olive oil or vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups whole wheat flour

I mixed by hand, no electric mixer or food processor. Beat eggs, oil and salt in large bowl with a wire whisk until smooth. Add flour. Mix thouroughly with fork until dough forms. If it is too dry, add a small amount of water. Knead dough on lightly floured surface 5 - 10 minutes until smooth and elastic, cover and let stand about 15 minutes. This is the generic way to make noodles, how you make ravioli's is just a process of making a pocket and filling with whatever you want to fill it with. Make sure to roll out the dough thin enough and don't put too much stuffing in them! Wet edges with water and press firmly to close. Boil all of the ravioli's in water for atleast 10 minutes until tender. Wa-la!

Spinach and Beef Filling:
3/4 pound ground beef (I used a full pound)
1 small onion, chopped
1 can (small) spinach, drained
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Cook beef and onion for about 10 minutes until meat is cooked. Stir in remaining ingredients; cook until heated through. Fill the ravioli's.

The Sauce:
I admit, I didn't follow any recipe or write down what I did! I used a couple cans of crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce. I added chopped red and yellow bell peppers and zucchini squash (in love with these veggies!). I also added minced garlic, to taste of course, and some spices. Home grown parsley and basil. Simmer until all is well blended and veggies are cooked where you want them. Spice to your liking.


Road Trip to California

On Tuesday I got to take a road trip with my brother Jim back to California to help him finish moving. He is now Colorado bound and safely made it back there by mid week. I was so excited to have him stay with us for a few days. We got to spend some good time together. The road trip was pretty fun, short but fun. We drove to California and back all in one day, but still got to see the ocean! We cruised around on base for a while so he could do some final paperwork and then we stopped at the beach in Oceanside. Enjoyed our ride back home while listening to some funny movie clips and great songs that made us both smile and laugh. He is my best friend.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Every Girl Needs...

...Every girl needs a good friend and a glass of wine.

every now and then, every girls needs this.

I miss my good friends.

10 and 11 June 2010 Severe Weather

The storm reports from Thursday 10 June 2010 for Colorado. There was a moderate risk for severe weather, the bullseye was just over Northerneastern Colorado. I've never seen a risk this high, and especially not in Colorado. The risk for tornado was pretty high too.
Probability of Severe Weather
Probability for Tornadoes

With these forecasts out, it looked like it would be a pretty epic day. However, that isn't how it played out. I would have loved to have chased these storms yesterday, and would have chased all over waiting for them to initiate and develop. Of course, looking at the storm report map, there were tornadoes and hail reports all over the place. However, none of the tornadoes that happened, were in the moderate risk "bullseye". So, technically a bust on that part. I'm not pointing fingers, just saying what I observed. Of course I was "chasing" these storms via radar and computer about 800 miles away or so.

Today, on the other hand was a pretty good forecast day. I won't post reports or maps yet, as today is still occurring and there will be more storms through the night.

Images found from Storm Prediciton Center

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Weather as a passion

Heading East-Southeast towards Limon, CO

I was looking through some older posts and remembered my very first storm chase, and what a chase it was! Didn't actually get to see any real severe weather but still came across nice cloud formations and ran into some rain. You can read the post here from April 16, 2009. It was a blast. Spent the day with Kim Insana and Tony Laubach as we drove all over Southeastern Colorado. Since that chase over a year ago, I've chased a few other times and actually bagged my very first tornado last year on June 5, 2009 in La Grange, WY. What an adrenaline rush! Since then I've been hooked, actually before then but after that first chase I knew I wanted to find that rush again.

Kim and I :)
Kim and Tony checking out the radar
Being a meteorologist has its ups and downs. When you forcast for rain or snow and it doesn't happen or the amounts are way off, you get that gut feeling that you busted and people can doubt you. After all, so many people rely on the weather! But those moments when you can forecast for a storm to initiate and drop rain or even hail and when you know exactly where it will track, and better yet why it will move that direction and it actually verifys, those are the moments we all hope for. Those are the moments we as meteorologist strive for. It is what we study and why we look at those crazy maps all day long for. It is why we get excited about 55 dBz and 78 degrees over 55 degree dewpoints, moisture advection and converging low-level wind shear and wall clouds. Meteorology is not a perfect science. It is just that, a science. Those of us that study it are studying it so we gain a better understanding of it and can better forecast conditions.

That's my soap box for the weekend. Bottom line, I love meteorology and all the "How's" and "Why's" to it. I'm off to go to a Colorado Rockies baseball game here in Phoenix. Can't wait to watch them beat the crap out of the Arizona Diamond backs. Sense just a little hostility? I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
Kim walking back towards the van, after we played speed bumps on the road :)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Memorial Day

I was lucky enough to have Memorial Day off. Josh had to work. I decided to take a small road trip up to Flagstaff (320 miles round trip). It was gorgeous up there! Reminded me so much of Colorado. The drive was beautiful going up and coming down. You could definitely tell where the elevation began to affect the plants, where the cactus stopped and the pine trees started. I'll admit I was enjoying the ride up maybe a bit too much, singing in the car and just having a lot of fun. I enjoy road trips! You would think I might be sick of them, having driven all the way to Atlanta, GA in January and back but I don't mind them really. Enables me to see more scenery and more places I may not have seen. It's also just nice to get out. I did most of my picture taking while driving, though I did get out a few times and take some pictures. It was windy so I only got one of myself! Never thought I would see an Elk Crossing sign in Arizona! The city/town of Bumblebee...haha...NOT!

Later on that afternoon back at home.....
New curtains, posted just for Mom! And Lucy was being pretty cute too...:)