Want a side of E. Coli with that?

If you follow me on Twitter, you likely saw this update:

Pretty sure I just got over a touch of food poisoning. Blech. Feeling a bit better now. #fb8:15 PM Jun 3rd from TwitterFon

Then I posted the next Friday about it:

Wednesday I got some sort of food poisoning or a strange 8 hour bug or something. Around 1 PM or so, I started feeling like crap, continued to feel like crap while spending lots of time in the bathroom until about 8 PM. Then I miraculously felt better and ate some soup. I’m leaning toward food poisoning.

Then I hear about this: Toll House cookie dough recalled, linked to E. coli

Guess what I was nibbling on the prior Tuesday night and Wednesday morning?
If you guessed Nestle Toll House refrigerated cookie dough… you’re 100% accurate. Jack and Sissa bought a tub of it the day before and we had a few nibbles off it before cookies were baked that night. Wednesday morning I ate a spoonful right out of the tub. As a diabetic I know that’s a no-no but it was only a spoonful. Or maybe it was two? I love chocolate chip cookie dough.

But really? E. Coli?? Did I get a touch of E. Coli? I was sick for about 8 hours… Can someone even get a “touch” of something like that? I was the only one who got sick… and it didn’t last days like many with E. Coli symptoms do.. but still. That’s a weird coincidence.

TGIF … seriously.

This week… can totally kiss my butt.

Started off Monday with some drama. Drama I didn’t ask for, didn’t want, didn’t need. It only caused me stress… and took a few days to shake off and make decisions about, that hopefully will bring a lot less drama and stress in that regard in the future.

Tuesday was pretty OK. Got to spend the day with Lil Miss H at the zoo, ran a few errands afterward, spent some family time together in the evening.

Wednesday I got some sort of food poisoning or a strange 8 hour bug or something. Around 1 PM or so, I started feeling like crap, continued to feel like crap while spending lots of time in the bathroom until about 8 PM. Then I miraculously felt better and ate some soup. I’m leaning toward food poisoning.

Thursday we had this meeting to go to with the State of WA Children Services (adoption red tape stuff), which almost didn’t happen even though we drove clear across town because we brought the younger kids with us. My olders couldn’t babysit because they had rehearsals for both of their choir concerts that were both happening simultaneously at two different schools. Found a solution to the kid situation and had the meeting.

During the meeting we had this freak thunderstorm. The room we were in didn’t have windows but we heard thunder a few times and at one point when the thunder shook the walls in the room we were in, we took a break to watch the lightening from another area in the building with a window.

When the meeting was over Jack drove to one choir concert while I drove to the other. We compared notes via text at all the debris and stuff we saw while we were waiting for the concerts to start. The area looked like it’d be hit by a storm that lasted several days. Not only a few minutes…

When we arrived home I noticed our stone patio table had moved a good two feet and wasn’t straight.

Patio Table Damage June 4 2009 011

While I was marveling at who or what moved our table and cleaned off all the gardening crap we’d left on it from all the yard work we’ve been doing the past few weeks, the corner of my eye was registering another item out of place.

Patio Table Damage June 4 2009 003

It began to sink in that it was more of what moved these items rather than who.

Patio Table Damage June 4 2009 004

The debris here started to paint the picture.

Patio Table Damage June 4 2009 005

It was dark last night as we were investigating what exactly happened, but we could see enough to realize a really strong and extremely powerful wind from the storm caused this.

This morning I took the photos. You can see our gloves that were in a neat pile on the table blown into the BBQ pit and onto the ground. The pop can I was drinking before I left for the meeting and left it on the table, a mysterious black clothing item, (we think one of Cody’s shirts he likes to take them off when he gets hot while playing outside and has a habit of just tossing them wherever), the dog shampoo bottle from the bath the dogs got last weekend, the 20 lb bag of potting soil that was originally on the table too but when we got home it was upside down on one of the chairs. (Jack moved it before I took pictures so none would spill out.)

Last night as we were taking this all in, Cody leaned against the table and it wobbled. This is… er… was… a sturdy table. It probably weighs 200-300 pounds. Jack looked under the table and found this:

Patio Table Damage June 4 2009 002


That’s the leg off the support structure. It was broken clear off the rest of the structure.

This morning I got a better look at what all was under the table:

Patio Table Damage June 4 2009 008

This really boggles my brain. First the planter was on top of the table as well. How did it get blown off, then under the table, through the chairs to rest against the umbrella pole? Same with the towels. Those were folded on top of the table. Now they were under it and wrapped around the pole?

Even more boggling, see the two plastic packages? Those are packages of foam weather stripping. Two different kinds. Both very lightweight and both half empty. Those were also on top of the table as Jack just installed our A/C unit. How did those almost featherweight packages get blown under the table to stay put? While a 20 lb bag of soil gets knocked off? There was a ceramic dish (for the bottom of a flower pot) that was tossed off the table and broken in two. A lighter that was on the table is just gone into the oblivion, along with who-knows-what-else.

And the barbecue? How the heck did it get ripped out of the pit to just lay there hanging by the tubes that connect it to the propane tank?

We’ve had many windstorms but none that could break the heaviest item in our backyard. I’ve been told this was could have been a downdraft of some sort. There were unconfirmed reports of funnel clouds during yesterday’s storm.

We don’t have the money to replace the BBQ and the table. I’m not sure attempting to fix the structure is an option given the table was likely lifted off the ground, then dropped. There’s no other way to explain how it broke. Who knows what other weak spots have been created? The table alone is so heavy I’m not sure I’d trust the supports to just be fixed. I’d want them replaced. I’m not sure you can just replace the structure? The table was purchased at Costco during a seasonal event in 2006. I doubt we’d even be able to find parts for that exact table. We have homeowner’s insurance… but it may not even be worth the claim. I called anyway and have someone coming out in a few days to take a look.

All that said, I actually feel fortunate that’s all the damage we have to deal with. It could have been a lot worse. I’m glad we’re not having to deal with this or this, or this. I’m thankful my dogs were inside as I’m sure that would have freaked them out.

And after the crazy week we’ve had, I’m very thankful it’s Friday.

Update: Here’s a closer look at the damaged legs / support for the table:

Patio Table Damage June 4 2009

Upon closer inspection, the other leg has a crack in it too. 😦

The thing that is no more… hopefully

The surgery to remove THING #1 was Thursday (April 23rd) and how it went is best summed up by Jay:

@SpacyTracie wow, quite the interesting turn of events there for you … who knew surgery could be such a rollercoaster ride?

I arrived at the hospital right on time, filled out the paperwork, and was called back fairly promptly. I had to go in alone initially while the nurse, who coincidentally shared my first and last name, checked my vital signs, asked questions, etc. I told her about my experience with the tape they used on the biopsy last week on THING #2 (I still had a bit of a rash from it), so she put an allergy band on my wrist indicating I was allergic. (Paper tape is OK.) The IV was started (ouch!) then Jack was allowed to come in and sit with me.

A few minutes later my hand where the IV was inserted started to burn and feel itchy. I asked my namesake nurse if that was normal. She kinda shrugged then I started itching my hand around the IV. She told me not to do that as I wouldn’t want the IV to come out and I said I couldn’t help it. It itched BAD. We both realized at the same time it was the tape she used to secure the IV. We were so busy chatting about having the same names when she inserted the IV that we forgot about the tape allergy thing. She quickly took off the tape and secured the IV with one of those ace bandage type things that sticks to itself. Whew.

I was scheduled for “Wire and Dye” at 8:45 AM. The wire is basically a marker to where the lump or growth is to be removed. The wire has a hook on the end of it to keep it in place. They use ultrasound to get the wire placed exactly where it needs to be, then inject a dye in the area around the wire where they want the tissue to be removed. The wire is removed during the surgery.

They came and got me for this procedure around 8:30 AM. Jack and my mother followed as I was wheeled over in a wheelchair to the Breast Care Center. They were instructed to stay in the waiting room while I was taken inside. When we got to the nurses station, they said we were early and they weren’t ready for me. The nurse who wheeled me over explained she was filling in for someone and that’s why she brought me early. They had no rooms available so they parked me in a hallway out of the way and left me there alone.

There I sat in my wheelchair, wearing nothing but a hospital gown, a blanket, an IV, and my iPhone. I twittered about it saying I felt conspicuous sitting there all alone. People would come and go from the doors in that hallway and when they’d see me they seemed surprised I was there. It was awkward.

A doctor-type woman who appeared to have just arrived to the facility carrying her coat and some files walked by, then stopped, and asked if I was comfortable. I replied that I was physically fine but felt a little out of place. She gave me a knowing nod and a smile and asked if I had family or friends in the waiting room. I explained I did and she said she’d go get them and some chairs and they could sit with me. A minute later she returned with my mom and Jack and a couple nurses carrying chairs. What a sweet lady! I still have no idea who she was but that was awesome. Unfortunately it was a little late because only a few minutes later a nurse showed up to get me. At least Jack and my mom were allowed to stay with me during the procedure.

Soon I was on the table and the procedure to insert the wire and dye was about to begin. Just as the radiologist was prepping the site, I heard a noise and saw a flash coming from where my mom and Jack were sitting. The nurse and I both glared at Jack and I started to say, “Oh no you don’t!”. I thought he had just snapped a photo. So did the nurse. But the flashes and noises kept repeating and that’s when we all realized it was the fire alarm going off. The nurse sighed and said the stupid alarms go off all the time and she hoped it’d be turned off soon because the strobe effect (flashing) was annoying. The radiologist agreed but continued his prep work.

As he was about to numb the area there was knock at the door as it opened and a woman’s voice telling us the alarm wasn’t a drill and the building was being evacuated. My nurse and radiologist said they had just got started. The curly-headed woman at the door said that was fine but my mom and Jack had to leave. I was like, “wait, what? There’s a fire and we’re going to stay? REALLY??” I looked at the nurse and radiologist’s faces and they only seemed annoyed, not worried so I just kept my mouth shut.

The procedure was started and I could tell they were moving quicker than normal. Fortunately I wasn’t feeling a thing so I just hoped they wouldn’t miss in their haste. I was also anxious about whatever was going on outside that room that was making the fire alarm go off and people get evacuated. The alarm continued to flash and beep, but only a few minutes later Jack and my mom came back and said it was nothing. Yay!

I relaxed. The procedure was almost over anyway. Now we were all just hoping they’d shut the alarm off. A few minutes later there was another knock on the door and the curly-headed woman’s voice returned saying “Sorry, the fire department is here and they want the building evacuated”. She escorted my mom and Jack out of the room AGAIN then came back a few minutes later saying the facility was now empty and it was just us and we needed to go.

The nurse and radiologist quickly finished and helped me back to the wheelchair. My head was spinning.

The curly-headed woman wheeled me out and as we were going down the hall I felt some intense burning then the serious need to take sandpaper to my boob where they just did the procedure. I mentioned this to her and she said the dye can cause discomfort. I said no, this is on the outside. It itches bad and it feels like I’m being burned. Then I realized they must have put tape on me. I looked down and pulled away the gauze and sure enough, there was surgical tape holding down some more gauze and a wire about 6 inches long hanging out of me. (FREAKY!) The nurse was walking with us and got an alarmed look on her face and said in their haste they forgot about my tape allergy. She apologized and took off in search of paper tape.

At this point people started trickling back into the building.. and there I am in the hall, boob exposed with a wire hanging out of it… me and the curly-headed woman ripping tape off it. To think I had the nerve to feel conspicuous in the hall earlier. Ha!

I joked about how it must have been me setting off the fire alarm because that was TWICE in a short period of time someone put tape on me that felt just like I was being set on fire. There was no fire though. Just steam from a boiler room. All that excitement for just a little steam.

I relaxed again. The burning and itching had subsided and no one was catching on fire. Jack and my mom were instructed again to wait in the waiting room while I went and had mammogram pictures taken to ensure the wire was placed properly. Everything was back to normal and even the alarm had stopped. The relief I felt was short-lived.

A nurse from pre-op arrived at the nurses station looking for me. The nurses pointed me out and she approached me gently, hands clasped behind her back, with a concerned look on her face. She bent over toward me and said my surgeon became ill and/or there was some sort of emergency with her. I asked if she was OK. My surgeon is pregnant so I was immediately concerned for her. The pre-op nurse said they had no information on what was going on with her but it did mean that all her surgery patients were canceled for the day. I stared at her.

The wire and dye nurse told the pre-op nurse that I just had the wire put in and was about to get a quick mammogram. Pre-op nurse said to put everything on hold while she made some calls. I asked what this all meant for me. Curly-head said she wasn’t sure. The wires aren’t meant to come out the way they went in because of the hook. She explained they have taken them out before but it was not something they like to do. She also said they could put a clip in it and secure it real good and I could come back tomorrow but I would be very restricted on movement of that arm.

Curly-head stayed with me while we waited for the pre-op nurse to come back. I have no idea who curly-head was. She seemed to be some sort of head of the department. She was very friendly and comforting and I was grateful she stayed with me so I didn’t have to go back to sitting in the hallway alone. Pre-op nurse came back and said they found a backup surgeon. I asked if I would get to meet him at least before the surgery. They said yes and that I would really like him. He was supposedly a kind and gentle older man close to retirement, and has been a surgeon for many many years. They all seemed to adore him so I was OK with it… Mostly. The biggest hitch was he wasn’t going to be available until three hours after my original surgery was scheduled.

The mammogram was quick and painless and soon as I was back in pre-op. Pre-op is just a big room with a bunch of beds lined up with curtains separating the beds. It’s noisy and the space around each bed is very small. Technically only one relative / friend is allowed at a time to sit with the patients. My mom and Jack followed me back to pre-op and no one said they had to leave. At that point it seemed the staff were bending over backwards to make sure I was comfortable and happy after the crazy morning I had.

My mom had to leave to take care of some obligations. I had a long Care Package from Jackwait ahead of me and there was no reason for all of us to sit there in that tiny space bored out of our minds. I sat on the bed flipping through a magazine and the care package Jack had put together for me in a bright pink mini backpack. (The care package  contained the magazine, new pink Breast Cancer Research Foundation coffee cup and water bottle, a new brush with new hair ties, a words earch puzzle book, chocolates for later, a beanie Panda Bear named Ming, some mints, and some lip balm. Isn’t Jack a sweetie?) Unfortunately the package only side-tracked me for about 20 minutes. I ended up fretting over the whole ordeal, and managed to work myself up into tears. Jack got a nurse and we asked if we could leave. There was no way I wanted us to sit there for several hours. The nurses said they normally never let anyone leave pre-op once admitted but in my case, after all I’d been through, they’d allow it as long as they could reach us on our cell phones, I stayed in my wheelchair, and didn’t move the arm on the side the wire was. We agreed. FREEDOM.

From there Jack wheeled me around the hospital for a while. We went outside for a bit. It was too cold so we went and got Jack some lunch. I drooled. No food or water for me since the night before. (Can you say, “Caffiene Headache”??) Just the IV fluids… Eventually we went back up to pre-op to see if there was any new news. There wasn’t so we went down into the lobby at the Firstenburg Tower and set up ‘camp’ near the gas fireplace and near a good view of the fountain to watch a movie on Jack’s laptop. Just as he was loading up the list of our movie choices, I got a call from pre-op. The backup surgeon was called into a trauma… GRRRRR! But then she said another surgeon was going to do my surgery on his lunch break, RIGHT NOW.

We hurried back to pre-op to find two nurses and the anesthesiologist waiting for me at my bed. The surgeon had gone to eat a half a bowl of soup real quick. I wasn’t thrilled about the surgeon I was getting because it was the same one my sister had for her masectomies and she didn’t like him. I wasn’t sure why though. He seemed OK when I met him, he’s just a no-nonsense type of person. Not that we had a whole lot of time to get to know each other. Everyone seemed in a hurry and he was mostly concerned with confirming the details of the surgery, why I was there, etc. The haste in which all this happened did not do much to easy my anxiety about the whole day, but at least things were going so fast at that point I didn’t really have time to fret much.

They rolled me into the operating room and asked me a few questions. I answered and was waiting for an opportunity to let the anesthesiologist know that I prefer to be told I’m being put under rather than just have them knock me out without warning. (I wake up less disoriented that way.) Unfortunately the next thing I remember is being woke up, feeling pain in my breast, fading back out, waking up, feeling pain, fading out, then waking up again. If there is a next time, I will be sure to ignore any questions until I get a chance to tell them to let me know before they just knock me out.

I recovered pretty quick and headed home about an hour or so after the surgery. They did NOT use tape thankfully. Just some gauze over the incision and this tube top looking thing around my whole chest that velcros closed in the front.

I have a 1.5 inch incision above the nipple. They removed a cluster of clogged ducts along with whatever the lump was. The incision is bigger than I expected and the doc says I may lose some feeling in the area. I have already discovered that there’s definitely a loss of sensation in two places and I really hope it’s temporary. There’s been some pain but the painkillers take care of that for the most part. Unfortunately they also completely wipe me out and make me stupid.

I’m just taking it easy for now until Wednesday when I have my follow up appointment.

The Arsenal

There’s been some questions about how much I really did exaggerate in my post yesterday, War has been declared. I offer you some evidence in the form of photos. After viewing the evidence, you can judge for yourself just how much truth bending occurred yesterday.

Here’s your first photo evidence. This is only part of their arsenal. See the books? I’d like to think my kids are super interested in their education, but those big heavy books make great anchors for their blanket/clothing forts. Also, if you look closely, you’ll catch a glimpse of our youngest soldier.

Nerf Dart Gun Arsenal, that includes the Machine Gun (aka The Vulcan)

Nerf Dart Gun Arsenal, that includes the "Machine Gun" (aka The Vulcan)

While not pictured, Kayla was the target.

Shooting Kayla as she arrived

Shooting Kayla as she arrived

This machine gun is almost as big as Cody.

This "machine gun" is almost as big as Cody.

Note the man on the floor, the dart sticking out of his forehead, the ottoman on its side, the blanket over the couch and ottoman, and the pile of blankets and pillows on the floor.

Note the man on the floor, the dart sticking out of his forehead, the ottoman on its side, the blanket over the couch and ottoman, and the pile of blankets and pillows on the floor.

I rest my case.

Bullet Sunday #16

It’s been a while since I’ve done a Bullet Sunday and there’s so much random stuff going on I figured it was fitting to do one today.

  • Last weekend the sun was shining, it was close to 80 degrees outside and we had a BBQ. This weekend we’re taking pictures of the snow that fell. SNOW. In April. This just isn’t right. It wasn’t a lot of snow and it’s gone now but still. Snow? In April? Unheard of around here.

    Snow that fell April 19, 2008

  • Today’s the day we get to go to JCPenney and to have them correct their mistake. I have to quote Jeff in the comments on that post because he gave an awesome suggestion for how to handle it:

    Jeff on April 20th, 2008 at 7:29 am

    (((RING))) (((RING))) (((RING)))

    Tracie: “Hello, Store Manager? Yes, I’d like you to send someone out to the house to finish the job that your sales clerk didn’t.”

    Store Manager: “Well, Ma’am, I don’t think I can do that.”

    Tracie: “I’ll come to you, then. I’ll be the one with the flock of kids running wild up & down your aisles of nice, light-colored, ladies springtime outfits with triple-scoop chocolate ice cream cones.”

    My kids are usually well-behaved in stores. (I say usually because sometimes when their dad is with them they are less well-behaved because he’s a big dopey kid himself who doesn’t see anything wrong with running up and down the aisles.) But in this case, I think Jeff’s idea is a good one. Don’t you?

  • Today is also the day we will finally replace the stupid vertical blinds that plague our back patio door. I can’t stand them anymore. Though I do think I’ll be in for disappointment. I’m pretty sure the curtain I want will have to be ordered. *sigh* I also want to look at installing some motion sensor lights for our driveway. Our old house had them and I miss being able to turn off the porch light but still have those come on when we came home or when someone comes over.
  • I haven’t updated on my health lately so here’s quickie: I’m doing OK with the Diabetes and my BG levels are pretty under control. I have a doc appointment coming up soon’ish and I’ll find out how my cholesterol levels are. I know he’s going to want to put me back on the Lovastatin and I’m not looking forward to that battle with him. Weight-wise I’m still stuck in the same rut (lost 50 pounds, gained back 10 and have plateaued).
  • I changed up the site design here at spacytracie.com a bit. The basic template is the same but I’ve taken out the colors on the sidebars and changed up the fonts a bit. I also created a graphical logo for the header and a favicon. I think this is easier on the eyes and a bit less busy. What do you think?
  • Who watched Battlestar Galactica? I don’t want to say much … but OMG! Just.. OMG! What a totally messed up episode. OMG! … lol

[tags]bullet sunday,diabetes,living with diabetes,cholesterol,battlestar galactica,vertical blinds,jcpenney,wordpress template,site design[/tags]

Several fooled – two not


There could have been more fooled (like those who didn’t comment) but of the ones who commented either via email or in the comment section of yesterday’s post, several of you were completely fooled, one not fooled at all, and one questioning.

For the record, I am NOT (I repeat: NOT!!!!!) pregnant. It was a joke. My apologies to those who almost fainted. 🙂 Even if I wanted to be pregnant (which I don’t, believe me), my poor diabetic and abused body couldn’t handle it. Not right now. And not ever again. We have been officially done making babies for a long long time now. My “baby” is now seven years old and I believe we have brought enough children into this world. 😉

My little prank gave poor Jack a heart attack. He was completely fooled, totally wigging out, and practically looking for any cheap flights out of town! I can’t really blame him. He had a vasectomy almost seven years ago so he had a few reasons to be concerned. 😉 Sorry honey!

I don’t think I’ve gotten anyone that good since this Big News post four years ago (posted on April 1st, of course) that had several calling us in a panic.

What??? Montana?? NOOOOOO!


There were so many good pranks going around yesterday I just had to join in. A few of my favorites:

Final storm report for Vancouver tornado

From: Weather Underground Email Service
Date: Jan 11, 2008 5:38 PM
Subject: Public Information Statement for Vancouver, WA
To: s***l***@gmail.com

Public Information Statement

540 PM PST Fri Jan 11 2008

…Final storm report for Vancouver/Hazel Dell tornado on Jan 10…

A severe thunderstorm moved through Clark County in southwest
Washington on Thursday January 10 2008 and spawned a tornado. The
tornado touched down approximately 1215 PM near Vancouver Lake then
moved east into Hazel Dell WA. The tornado continued eastward
to Hockinson WA with multiple touchdowns. The tornado was
approximately 1/4 mile wide with a path length of nearly 10
miles…with multiple touchdowns. A Post storm damage survey
revealed there was a touchdown of the tornado near Hockinson
WA around 1240 PM.

The majority of the damage was found near the boat Landing on the
east side of Vancouver Lake…which continued eastward into Hazel
Dell along sluman Road. The storm also produced quite a bit of hail
just north of the path of the tornado. Some reports from trained
weather spotters indicate that the hail was as large as penny sized
or about three-quarters of an inch in diameter. Reports from the
print media also indicated hail was several inches deep in the
vicinity of 2800 block of NW 93rd street in Hazel Dell.

After a damage survey assessment by National Weather Service
staff…the tornado was rated as an EF-1 on the Enhanced Fujita
scale with estimated peak wind speeds of 90 to 110 mph.

Damage reports along the path include the following:

– 200 plus trees down….most of the trees were 12 to 24
inches in diameter that were snapped off. Approximately
6 trees were in excess of 36 inches in diameter. The largest
tree toppled was 50 inches in diameter. Some of the fallen
trees resulted in damage to homes and vehicles.

– 30 to 40 homes damaged…primarily roof damage…though some
broken windows were observed as well as shingle damage.

– 19 power poles were snapped off.

– Damaged 2 hvac systems on a large retail store

– 3 lightly constructed structures were destroyed

– a semi trailer was tipped over.

– Hail several inches deep in a small neighborhood in Hazel Dell

– structure damage to boat club house near Vancouver Lake

– several dozen sculling boats damaged near Vancouver Lake

– damaged awnings and sidings to over two dozen Mobile homes

– damage to farm buildings near Hockinson

– garden/patio building destroyed near Hockinson

This will be the final statement for this event.

[tags]vancouver tornado, tornado in washington, tornado, rare tornado[/tags]

So about that tornado…

Auntie Em, It’s a Twister! There’s been lots of adrenaline flowing through Vancouver today!

I was just near the area the tornado touched down on my way home from Cody’s follow up appt (for his tonsillectomy). I noticed the sky was really really black … so black that it was hard to not keep looking at it. It was just weird-looking to me and I wondered what kind of storm it would bring.

We got home and I logged back into work when I started hearing thunder off in the distance and thought, “here’s the storm…” then my power flickered enough to reboot my computer. I logged back into work and told them sorry… thunderstorm.. power-flicker… rebooted, etc. They were like “whatever”. LOL….

About five minutes later a spark (arc??) went through the kids monitor next to me and it scared the daylights out of me. It made a pop, like when you shock someone (when you touch them) except louder and before I could finish the thought “what the heck was…” KABLAM!!!! The loudest thunder I have ever heard in my life rocked the entire house. I let out a scream… I was still startled from the spark then following it up with the loudest thunder I’ve ever heard… This in turn scared Cody and my dogs, and Cody started whimpering. Then the wind came out of nowhere and hail started falling.

At this point I had no idea what it was and even chastised myself for letting out a scream over a stupid thunderstorm… but I told work I was shutting down my computers (the arc/spark/whatever through the kids monitor is not a good thing, lol) then I called Jack to tell him about the monitor and that I was shutting down all the computers.

The wind was blowing like crazy and I heard garbage cans get knocked over.. then the hail just came barreling down. I opened the door to watch it (still not having any clue what it was) and I was relaying to Jack what was going on. He was amazed because where he was they had pretty much nothing.

Almost as fast as it blew in, it blew right out… so I powered up my computer and logged back into work. I apologized for taking off unexpectedly and explained the spark through the monitor. They were again like “whatever”. Then my email loaded up and I see this:

From: Weather Underground Email Service
Date: Jan 10, 2008 12:27 PM
Subject: Tornado Warning for Vancouver, WA
To: ********@gmail.com

Tornado Warning

1225 PM PST Thu Jan 10 2008

The National Weather Service in Portland has issued a

* Tornado Warning for…
southern Clark County in southwest Washington…
southwestern Skamania County in southwest Washington…

* until 100 PM PST.

* At 1220 PM PST…the public reported a tornado near Hazel Dell…or
about near Vancouver downtown…moving east at 30 mph.

* The tornado will be near…
Sifton…Orchards…Brush Prairie and Evergreen around 1230 PM
PST… Camp Bonneville…Salmon Falls…Lacamas Lake and alpine around
1240 PM PST… Elkhorn Mountain around 1245 PM PST… Larch Mountain around 1250 PM PST…

I live in Orchards… and I was like NO FREAKIN’ WAY!! I saw the time they claimed it was reported (12:20). The time I told work I was shutting down:

(12:20:45 PM) tracie: i have to shut down….

That was right after the spark/arc-monitor-thunder thing.

I turned on the TV and it’s on every channel. I called Jack back and told him and he and his co-workers were all saying “NO WAY!” We just don’t get tornadoes here. It’s been on TV all day. If the state of WA gets tornadoes it’s usually off in a field in the middle of nowhere and it’s very rare.. I think they said about one tornado touches down in this state per year. There was none in 2007. They just said on TV it may have been an F2 … and possibly F3. I also heard F1.. who knows. I know they tend to blow things out of proportion.

Picture of the tornado in Vancouver, WA The tornado touched down about 6.5 miles from where I live and headed this way but dissipated before it got anywhere near here. I am guessing the weather here was from the outer edge of the system that caused the tornado. I tell ya, had I known there was a tornado heading this way I sure as heck would NOT have been going outside. I should have taken the hint from my dogs. When I opened the door to check out the hail coming down, the dogs stopped dead in their tracks at the door. Normally they run right out with me. They knew better. The look on their faces were, “I ain’t going out there… no way lady!”. I thought they were afraid of the hail but come to think of it.. hail has never stopped them before and Randy usually chases it. This time they wanted no part of it.

All the schools went into lock-down. They put all the kids in the hallways with their hands over their heads. Casey said they had to stand there for a half hour like that. I do not think our schools have ever had a tornado drill, let alone follow an actual REAL tornado procedure. But it sounds like they did the right thing.

Here’s a good story with pictures:
Rare tornado sweeps through Clark County, leaving damage in its wake

I especially liked this part:

Sparks fly as lightning strikes next door to Prairie High School in Vancouver, WA. “It sounded like a building collapsed” speaks one student in Mr. Bell’s 5th period computer class. Multiple students claim to have seen sparks fly form computer equipment during the first strike. After the second strike, hail 2cm in diameter falls. Now at 12:29 PM the wind is blowing the hail sideways at the buildings as thunderclap after thunderclap is heard. – Amanda Merrill

Prairie High is only a few blocks from here.

This story has been updated with video footage of the tornado: Tornado touches down in Vancouver area

So.. yeah. Crazy day! (Crazy week actually… but that’s another story..)

[tags]tornado, vancouver, vancouver tornado, hazel dell tornado, tornado in washington[/tags]