Even if your area has escaped major damage from the rain and wind that has torn through Central Kentucky in recent days, your life probably has been tossed by the weather in some way. It might range from kids' canceled soccer games to an inability to plant your garden.
Dark and stormy nights
All the noise that comes with a storm can startle kids. You can find a three-point plan to ease worries during storms on Kidshealth.org.
■ Understand what's happening: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration offers a good primer on weather at www.education.NOAA.gov/sweather.html.
■ Know how to be safe: Understanding exactly what to do can help reduce the fear. Introduce your children to the proper place to go during a tornado — the basement, storm cellar or lowest level of the building. Do not open windows.
■ Be calm. Work on finding a way to stem your child's anxiety. This might involve deep breathing, holding a special toy or talking about their fears.
Sounding the sirens
Tornado sirens might sound scary, but they're more of an alert to get inside than to take shelter in the basement. Pat Dugger, director of Lexington's Division of Emergency Management, said sirens in Fayette County's 27 parks go off when the National Weather Service issues a severe thunderstorm warning, or a tornado watch or warning. "They're intended for people in the parks to go indoors," Dugger said.
People inside might not be able to hear them. "We encourage people to get a weather radio for indoor use."Twiddling green thumbs
Ryan Koch, Seedleaf's executive director, oversees nine community gardens, but he hasn't been seeing much of them lately. He works with volunteers on Saturdays and has had to cancel two weeks in a row.
If it's sunny and breezy for even a day, he can get back into the gardens to weed.
Rich Thompson of RW Thompson Landscaping usually has a lot of pre-Kentucky Derby business for folks who want their farms and yards to be perfect for visitors.
"Scheduling is the main issue," Thompson said. "People don't realize how much rain impacts a property ... you don't want to tear up people's yards."
Tree root rot
The good news for tree lovers during this deluge, according to Lexington arborist Dave Leonard, is "if you are on well-drained soil, you don't have a worry."
The problem is manifested in areas developed after World War II, he said, where the top soil was scraped off to build. That means trees in most subdivisions have shallow root systems, and they often get uprooted. Trees also can suffer from root rot or fungal growth. If you see evidence of discolored or dead branches, have the tree checked by a professional, he said. For more information on tree care, go to Leonard's Web site, DLArborist.com.
Hikers, bikers and spikers
The Lexington Youth Soccer Association has had to cancel three weekend days of games due to rain. No big deal, right? They play all spring. Wrong. That's more than 600 games for kids of all ages.
But fields director Gary Fogtman says the bigger worry is the fields themselves at Masterson Station Park, Berea Road and the Farm Bureau off Leestown Road. Imagine soggy fields met with hundreds of small cleated feet.
"If you go out and spend an hour playing on the fields in this condition, it ruins them for a whole year," he said. "It's just insane."
When it comes to hard-core runners, the only thing that can keep them inside is thunder and lightning. During the past two weeks, there's been plenty of both.
John Sensenig, owner of John's Run Walk Shop, said many runners will go to athletics clubs or, in a pinch, head to the nearest parking garage to run.
Believe it or not, Keene land has hardly been affected by the gales that have swept through Central Kentucky (maybe because a lot of the storms have come through at night).
Spokeswoman Julie Balog said numbers for betting and attendance are roughly the same as last year.
"Going into our final week, we are having a very strong meet, despite the weather," she said. "Our handle is up, and our attendance, at 201,000, is on par, almost exactly where we were this time last year."
She said there's heightened awareness of the Spring Meet because of the interest and coverage surrounding the track's 75th anniversary.
At the Kentucky Horse Park, organizers of the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event won't start to worry until late this week when the event actually starts. But thanks to Lexington's topography, the cross-country course can handle a tremendous amount of water without becoming too muddy.
The event's director of competition, Christina Gray, said they're watching the weather, but "I'm very impressed how the water drains off the course because of the limestone."
There's nothing like the sound of angels bowling to rouse you from a deep sleep. Dr. Alexander Tzouanakis, sleep specialist at Central Baptist Hospital's Sleep Diagnostic Center, has these suggestions for a good night's rest:
■ Try for about 20 minutes to relax and go back to sleep. If that doesn't work, get out of bed and go to another room to do something relaxing until you feel tired.
■ Try warm milk. Hot, decaffeinated tea or soy products also can help ease you back to sleep.
■ Use over-the- counter medications sparingly. You can build up a tolerance quickly.
■ You can make up for lost sleep on an hour-to-hour basis — one hour missed, one extra hour later. But it's not advised. Keep a regular sleep schedule when possible.