Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Weather, Symphony and QC Progress

Very long post. Lots of pictures.

Around this great country, we have been having all kinds of weather. Our area has not missed out on it. Last Wednesday, the 11th, tornadoes did significant damage to Chapman, Kansas, a community of about 1300. About 60% of the town was destroyed including all schools and 2 churches. That same tornado also hit Manhattan, home to Kansas State University, my Alma mater. The campus sustained significant damage to at least 10 buildings. This was an older campus with lots of old trees. Lots of trees were totally uprooted. It also hit a housing development or two, plus a small area of businesses. The campus estimated $20 million in damage. They cancelled classes for the next day. One person was killed in Chapman and another person in a small community north of Topeka where I live.

All but 1 of the last 10 Thursdays we have had some kind of storms. This past Thursday was no exception. Remember I work at the LNS on Thursday. Just before time to close I heard them announce a Severe Storm Watch for the area. Hurried around and did the closeout of the drawer and headed home. Did not want hail on my car. I got about 2 miles from the shop and probably still at least 8-9 miles from home, the tornado sirens went off. Was listening to the weather reporter on the radio and could tell it was still far enough away that I could get home. As I was leaving the shop it was raining hard but as I got closer to my house it started to be less. However, I had not been home only a few minutes and the heavens opened up for maybe 30-45 minutes. The following photos are the result of torrential downpour. In a couple of the pictures you can see that it is still raining.
Backyard that is now a river. Drains from the yard to the right across our yard to the yard on the left.
Front ditch full and over flowing into the street. The drain tube under the driveway could not handle all the water.

This is our underwater driveway.

In my last post, I mentioned that we were going to Symphony in the Flint Hills. I told Martha that I would show pictures of the Flint Hills. She used to live in Kansas and knew all about the Flint Hills. The concert was awesome. It was held out in the middle of 160 acre pasture.
It was a 3/4 mile walk from the ticket taking area to the concert area. Below you can see the walkway was lined with hay bales and the white things in the distance were the various tents set up for food and the concert. This was supposed to be a get together of some of my college friends. It ended up being just 3 of us with spouses and a friend of one of the gals.

We decided to walk it. 3/4 of a mile did not sound like a long way. However, we forgot that it was in the low to mid 80s (I don't do any kind of hot) and that we were all carrying fold-up camp chairs. This photo was taken by Morris showing us girls walking in. We are that little cluster in the middle of the picture. Clicking on the picture makes it bigger.
Photo of pond that we walked by on our way into the concert. You can see the people walking on the trail. The trail sort of meandered around and you can see this here too. Click to make bigger.
This is the concert stage and you can see all the people gathered on the slope down towards the stage. The speaker were hung on big booms. Was not sure how well we would be able to hear. We sat near the back of the seating area and could not see the stage and musicians very well. I told everyone all we needed to do was hear. And it was awesome.
This part of the Flint Hills is very rich in history. The nearest town to this location is Council Grove and they were on the Santa Fe Trail and the early home of the Kaw Indians. The Flint Hills is considered to be tall grass prairie and makes of 95% of the tall grass prairie in the United States. The area is still used to graze cattle from late spring to early fall.

Not sure what part this played in the concert, but before it started there was this covered wagon train that moved across the area behind the concert stage. Very much in keeping with the history of the area.The coolest part of the concert partially happened by accident. Right after the intermission, they played a piece that was used as the them for the TV show "Big Valley". Maybe some of you remember that. We had been watching that they had a herd of cattle up on the slope behind the stage. Once that big music started the cattle bolted off towards the right. It was like it was choreographed to be that way. They managed to get them all back together and then they moved slowly like a cattle drive across up behind the stage. This picture is a little dark, but click on it and you can see things better. As we were walking out, we heard some people talking to some people on horses and they said the bolting of the cattle when that music started was not planned.
I forgot to mentioned that volunteers mounted on horseback we stationed along the walking trail to get assistance for those that might need it. For children seeing the horses was quite fun.

All in all everyone had a great time. The last thing I heard was " Kathy, you need to get us tickets for next year". That in itself is quite a feat. The tickets sellout within about 3 hours of when they go on sale. This year I called for 11/2 hours before I even got in.

Bear with me. I am about done. Blogger did not want to cooperate too much tonight. It took me forever to upload the pictures. And now that I have them uploaded I am going to use them all.

Daisies are one of my favorite flowers and I have tried for a long time to get them to grow in this perennial bed I have. Last year I transplanted some from Morris's aunt in South Dakota. I guess they like Kansas alright because they are doing well. Morris took this photo after our big rain storm. See the sun is out already.

Now for Quaker Christmas progress. There has been good progress this week. I thought last week it might be done in 3 weeks. Well, I still think it will be 3 weeks, but I have gotten a lot done.
Forgot to take a picture of my progress on my crocheted shopping bag. Will leave that for another time. Have made good progress on it too. But the sewing of the dress for the wedding has taken a turn for the worse. Actually, I have gone to plan B and am wearing something else. After I got it all sewn together to the point I could try it on, it was too snug in places that I don't need it to be snug. Made a few adjustments and then I decided I did not like it at all. It made me look like a walking sign board. I am short, but not a small around person and it just was not working. Oh well, I have something else to wear and now I can do more stitching instead of sewing.

Sorry for making this so long. Thanks to all that have stuck with me the entire way. Your visits and comments are special and appreciated. Still have not gotten caught up on my blog reading from our trip to South Dakota. I think I am gaining on the numbers.

Looks like it is about time to hit the hay. Should have a couple of wedding pictures in the next post.

Until next time, keep those needles flying.


TinaTx said...

Wow - that was a lot of rain! Glad you made it home before it got too bad.

Vonna said...

Well look at the phenomenal time you had! All the green rolling pasture ;) I bet that was a lot of fun!
And Quaker close!

Daisies and Black-eyed Susan's are my favorites and I've not had much luck at all with them....Your bed looks pretty!

Dr. Bill ;-) said...

Really enjoyed your stories and photos. Thanks for sharing!

Dr. Bill ;-)
Personal Blog:

William L. (Bill) Smith, Ph. D.
President, Flint Hills Tourism Coalition, Inc.
Representing the 22 counties of the Kansas Flint Hills

Julie said...

Lovely pictures and description! Thanks for taking us along on the concert!
Well, we've had a nice long break from the bad weather. I imagine it won't be long and we'll be talking about how hot and dry it is here and how much we wish it would rain!

Michelle said...

Hi Kathy,
What a great post.. I SO MISS those severe weather storms..your home looks beautiful, by the way!

That concert looks like it was a lot of fun..

Happy stitching,

Janice said...

You almost needed a boat! Sorry for all the storm damage, that is so sad. I have been to Kansas twice and it is beautiful there. Progress on Quaker Christmas is great, not too much left now until you will have a finish!
Stay dry and safe!

Meari said...

WOW, that's quite a storm you had. We have lots of flooding in these parts, too.

Miokka said...

Oh wow! Thanks for the pictures! I can almost hear it! Years ago, after we moved to Michigan. (Now to get the full affect of this message, get out a map of Kansas and look how not close all the dots for towns/cities are, then get out a map of Michigan and look how close all the dots are for the towns/cities..) We made a trip back home to the Wichita area. We are driving down the Kansas turnpike in the middle of the Flint Hills. I suddenly say to my husband who is driving... "Quick, pull over, stop the car"... He does. I jump out run to the fence line as he is yelling at me "what is wrong with you.... why did you yell at me to stop the car.... what are you doing???!!!" I put my finger to my lip to shush him... put my arms out from my sides and spun in circles and said... "for as far as you can see,, there is nothing taller than a fence post, isn't this wonderful???" He walked away shaking his head from side to side. I stood there for another 10-15 minutes just taking in the site of the rolling hills, the grass, the cows, the sky and no homes/people/signs... I miss that!
QC looks awesome! I may have to add that to my stash...
Love the daisies! They can be prolific little flowers! Too bad they don't grow here either.
Now I'm home sick!!!
I'm going to go read Dr Bill's blog...
Thanks for sharing! Stay safe!