March 31, 2023

So Far So Good

The weathermen and women have the hardest job in the world and probably face as much criticism as a coach, or politician. This photo is a screen shot of the current radar at 6:50pm CT ... a day or two ago they said we would experience a day of winds and rain, building up to the severe weather between 4pm - 9pm. Then the range last night was between 7pm-11pm. That time has not arrived yet and anything can change quickly in Midwestern weather but so far ... I like my chances of severe weather blowing right past our location. (the blue marker).

I'll back up a couple of days because most of this week we have had fantastic weather, where the hounds got their walks, meet new people on their walks and even have cars that are passing by, stop and want to see them. A couple of people asked me if it was okay if they took a video of them to pass out to their friends.

So their popularity grows in this neighborhood area. I pulled out the 20 some year old 25' retractable leash I use to walk Sadie with, recently to use. I found it did not work with Watson that well but is perfect for Henry. It's like he is trotting and walking leash free plus he will come back to me as I retract the leash when I car is approaching. For Watson I use the two 6' leashes connected, where I can pull the loose leash as he walks on his own path. He doesn't need more than 12' of freedom anyway while walking along the side of the street on the edges of people's front yards.

This photo was taken Tuesday afternoon after I had set the lawn mower blade to 3" and only cut the places that had tall grass. The bare spots are filling in nice, better than I expected. I did some research in my private blog to find out I did not plant any new seed last year until May 10th on the bare spots in the yard.

I wish the whole yard looked this good. This is some grass I planted two years ago on a bare spot in the backyard. Kentucky bluegrass and fescue. 

The temperatures were not that hot but Henry enjoyed spending most of his day outside laying in the sunshine, moving from different spots in the yard up to the patio deck. Watson did the same while Walter spent his days inside because they were not up to his standards for outdoor lounging. He did try one time sleeping on the patio deck in the sunshine but stood up and ran back to the computer room. 

I've read that zoysia grass is the intrusive grass and will take over. That is the brown grass you see. All of that green grass was the yard shaded by the large Bradford Pear Tree that stood in front of the sidewalk. I did reseed that area last fall, so things may change over the next couple of springs as far a better front yard.

The narrow patch of green grass along the street, was hard packed gravel two years ago when I moved in. I need to do some final steps to that area but all the time I spent the past two summers trying to grow grass there has worked. Once the zoysia grass turns green, it looks much better than when it did with the parking lot out front. I just need to spread some top soil in the low areas.

By Wednesday morning we had a lot of rain as predicted. That was one reason I mowed on Tuesday and not waiting until Thursday. I also trimmed grass around the base of the fence, inside and outside, edged the driveway and trimmed along the flowerbed stones and did not run out of battery on my weed eater.

Thursday night after midnight I heard the thunder, saw the lightning and heard the rain pounding against the windows. I could hear the trees blowing in the wind. Glancing at my Apple Watch, the wind was only 17mph from south/southwest. I guess sometime last night the wind was strong from the south to blow the two chairs on their back. They cover those to mud puddles to keep Watson from drinking the water and digging deeper. 

One thing I have noticed this year, all that top soil and grass seed I added in this area last summer and fall has decreased the amount of standing water this year. I will add more soil and seed in May. That is what two different landscaping companies told me to do or that they would do to get ride of the low spots in the yard and prevent the flooding.

When the hounds and the dog went out early this morning I thought it was just lucky timing because it was suppose to rain all day today. It rained a little off and on but not what I expected. The hounds and dog were able to spend more time outside today because of the lack of rain.

I saw the tornado damage in Little Rock AR, and saw the other tornado band was further north of us by a couple hundred miles. Just now checking that radar map again and the bad weather is moving north and south of us in an easterly direction. Nothing to the west so we are almost back to having good weather.

That is Watson's look after I have caught him pulling grass out of the yard to eat it. He will drop it when I tell him to and so far all of those small patches of grass I find have grown back after I put them root down and step on them. I have no idea why he has that habit but I wish it would stop.

Henry is not a grass eater, he is not a barker ... he's just laidback, sniffs the yard and enjoys life.

We went back outside a little past noon today. It was 71°, windy but nothing looking too bad in the sky. 

This shows you that hard clay does not absorb rain water well. 

When I heard the tv weather man say there was a chance of hail on Friday night, I parked the FJ inside on Thursday night. Plus the 65" tv that Samson nipped at and destroyed the picture, is loaded in the back of the FJ for my Saturday morning drive downtown for the annual electronics recycling. Some have asked about not trading cars lately ... well those two I have are my all-time favorite models of car ... the Z4 and FJ ... plus I only drove 148 miles in March. That is an increase from the 98 total miles I dove in February ... not sure that justifies newer cars.

With the first range of time passed and no rain I went outside to check out the skies. This looking SSW. 

Looking due west and nothing major as far as signs of severe weather anywhere.

The small amount of rain from last night and today has already been absorbed into the yard.

For those wondering, yes eventually both the hounds come and stand at the patio door wanting back inside. They do NOT bark to come inside, they just stand there. Now Walter, different story ... he barks anytime he needs anything. There are a lot of nights I wonder if they would stay outside all night but all of my dogs for 37 years have been house dogs. Besides, Watson would not do well outside all night. There are too many squirrels, rabbits and one big raccoon he would bay at no matter what time it was.

MLB games started yesterday. My Reds started the season with a loss, 5-4 with a 161 games left to prove they won't lose a 100 of them this year. 

Some Directv humor .... on my annual call in February after they raise my price I call the "loyalty department" and they give me the best deal they can. This year it was $30 off for the next 12 months. That was $10 less than last year. 

With Bally Sports declaring bankruptcy I wasn't sure if they would stop showing Reds/Cardinal games so I had planned to "pause" my tv service on March 26 ... once I found out they were not going to stop showing games I called Directv back to have them take off the request for pausing my service until football season started in the fall.

Today I get my bill and notice it is $20 lower than I expected to pay. I go to their website and look at my bill in detail and see they gave me another $20 off per month for the next 12 months starting on that date I was going to pause my service. I am happy with that decrease.

Those insurance apps that follow you when you drive, knowing when you slam on your brakes to avoid idiots, or talk on your phone and can tell the difference if it is in your hands to your ear or touchless .... I've never liked them but in my fight against inflation I agreed last fall to install the USAA app on my phone and use it. It would let them watch me drive in hopes of getting a 30% discount on my rate after driving a certain number of times or miles or months, not sure which.

I clicked on that app the other day to see what my progress was. I saw they caught me talking on my phone while driving one time, I was on speaker phone in the FJ .. that cost me a point. Another time I had pulled into an empty parking lot to look at my map to see where I was because I had missed a turn. Since my phone was on and I was using my map on the phone for directions, that cost me 2 points.

So with that result I was shocked to see that this week they were giving me a 30% discount starting on my renewal day in May ... a dollar here and there adds up over 12 months. Or am I that frugal as I get older?? Or just bored ??

It looks like the two days of tv weather drama has passed and our severe weather never showed up. The hounds, dog and I will sleep well tonight ... after some movies or baseball on tv. Walter is snoring loudly as I typed this.

It was a good day today in "the tropics" of Southern Indiana.


  1. Hi Steve, it's about 10:30 in Dayton - watching for storms coming here in next 3 to 4 hours. And, I see a nasty cell getting ready to hit Evansville soon. Watch your alert dog, Walter - to see if he makes his danger face. It might be a rough night for all of us. Enjoy the final 4 and championship this weekend.

    1. That nasty cell did interesting things .. went two directions and bypassed me .. south of the Ohio River and on the East side of town near I-69 about 9 miles away. I did pay attention to Walter knowing if he got panting and excited we might have wind issues ... but HE SLEPT THROUGH IT ALL while I watched the local tv weather and played mahjong. LOL

      The coach at FAU is from the area I lived in before moving to AZ. Pretty amazing considering where he went to high school there really isn't a real town. It was east of Bloomfield about 8 miles.

  2. Check out Ryan Hall Y'all on YouTube. He really goes into detail during bad storms. Very interesting.

    1. I did check him out last night & he could barely talk cause he had been on the air all day. The storms were really popping in Tennessee.! Very interesting coverage - I subscribed.

    2. I will check him out, thanks.

  3. Hoping you, the hounds and the dog have a safe and quiet night. Enjoyed seeing the gang and loved seeing the green grass. We had another 8 inches of snow Wednesday into Thursday. Plow was here this morning and my shovel fellow this afternoon. We are all hoping this is the end of the snow. Since February 22nd we have had over 12 feet and I say enough already. Take care.

    1. We all survived although it got pretty interesting about an hour after I posted last night. I can't believe you got another 8" of snow. Good to hear your plow and shovel man are able to get up there to clear out around your house. I read the other day that some ski areas will stay open until June due to the large amount of snow out west.

  4. I have USAA insurance too but have resisted the app… My premiums are pretty low anyway with an older car, liability and towing. I did take an online safe driving course they recommended a while back and that helped a bit with the cost. Bethers

    1. Sorry I missed your comment until today. I didn't see it in the list of comments on the dashboard at the time you posted. My app gave me a $42 decrease per month but that was soaked up by new 2023 rates. I think I will pay 87 cents per month less. HA HA. But they are a good insurance company.