Wednesday, January 31, 2007

More Hole Punch Clouds

Theresa from Brookhaven sent me this picture of the hole punch clouds that were seen over the state on Monday. Thanks, Theresa.
The cold, rainy weather continues for tonight and Thursday. North Mississippi is under a Winter Weather Advisory until 6am Thursday. We will be dealing with the rain as our temperatures will be above freezing, although some light sleet could be mixed in with the rain tonight north of Interstate 20.
Take your umbrella and think warm thoughts!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Viewer Fights For Her Life

Today, our Pantene's Beautiful Lengths campaign topped 850 donors! WLBT viewers are always pitching in to help others and this campaign has really shown that effort.

I received an email today from a viewer who had initially signed up to donate her hair, but her circumstances have changed. Read her email:
I have so much admired and respected you. You have shown such great faith and perserverance through your trials, especially the tornado and your miscarriage.
I registered a few months ago to donate my hair. My hair is long and thick and when I heard your appeal on tv, I knew that's what I should do.
My life changed drastically on January 17, 2007. I entered Baptist hospital in Jackson with a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, and had the drastic surgery called the Whipple procedure. Going into the hospital, I knew it would be difficult to maintain my hair and still don't know if I'll be losing it all anyway.
I hope you will understand that I had to go ahead and have some of it cut, so I won't be able to carry out my commitment to Beautiful Lengths.
Thanks for all you do. I enjoy seeing you and enjoy your vivacious personality.

Pat - Meadville, MS


I have been so emotionally moved by the stories that have come forth through this project. And to have one of "our own" donors fighting this disease brings me back to reality.

Life is short and it beckons me to say "thank you" to God that He gets us through the stormy weather that comes into our lives every minute of every day.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Hole Punch Clouds

I studied hole punch clouds, but I had never seen any until today. If you noticed something a little funny in the skies above this afternoon, you weren't alone. Here is picture that WLBT viewer Richard Sheffield emailed to me.

It is believed that airplane interaction with these cloud decks leads to their development. The hot exhaust from airplanes/jets causes evaporation in the center. In this particular shot, you can see streaks of cirrus clouds falling through them. The cirrus ice crystals have formed on the exhaust particles left by the exiting airplane. Cool, huh?

Tonight my friend Taryn Foshee, Miss Mississippi, will compete for Miss America. I was one of Taryn's judges the first time she was chosen as Miss Clinton. She was a 17 year old senior at Hillcrest Christian School, but we knew then she would go on to be Miss Mississippi one day. She certainly had the capability.

Friday, January 26, 2007

The Power of Words

I thoroughly enjoyed my judging experience last night at the Miss Mississippi College pageant. All of the girls were so lovely and articulate. It was tough picking a winner as each girl could've easily walked away with the title.

During dinner, one of my fellow judges thanked me for something I did quite some time ago. She told me how I had judged her step-daughter in the Miss Rankin County pageant several years back. Her step-daughter (Beth) didn't win that night, but she sent me an email asking for a critique. I glady gave Beth some suggestions on what she could work on. I also wrote several paragraphs about how important it was not to take the pageant outcome personally. I suggested she strive for much higher plains, pursue her educational opportunities and to realize the pageant results would not matter in ten years. What will matter is her character and how she decides to serve others.

Truth me told, I had forgotten about my email response to Beth. Her step-mother told me last night, "Thank you for taking the time to tell a young lady to reach for more in her life. She is now singing professionally in Gatlinburg and getting a degree in engineering."

While I was reading the Bible today, I came across Proverbs 12:18 "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing."

You never know the power and blessings that you words have sown into them.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

A Day Off or On?

I'm taking today and Friday off and have a full day planned. Why is it that when we take "vacation" days there really is no vacation to be had?

I loaded up the kids early this morning and drove to the barber shop to get their hair trimmed. Baby Will cried the whole time and doesn't fully appreciate a razor cut. Gracie is happy as long as she gets a sucker afterwards.

After lunch, I'm headed to a board of directors meeting for The Christmas Village. This is a little known organization that will be housing mothers-to-be who do not wish to abort their unplanned pregnancy. We have purchased a home in Canton that will serve as a maternity home. The girls/ladies will be educated and taken care of during their pregnancy as well as taught how to care for their child and/or prepared for the adoption of their child. After they are equipped to make better decisions, they will be released only to open up another space for another mother. We are planning a garden party in May at the home with many celebrity waiters. Our purpose of the meeting today is to get the ball rolling on the event.

This evening, I'll be judging the Miss Mississippi College pageant. The winner will advance to the Miss Mississippi Pageant in July. I haven't been back to my alma mater in several years so I'm looking forward to being back on campus and savoring the memories.

Meteorologist Eric Law will be filling in for me tonight. He will talk more about the cold weather we have on the way for next week.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Picks from Paula's Party

I promised pictures of my day with Paula Deen and her son when they came to Vicksburg a couple of weeks ago and did their first show together as a family. She was as southern as could be and the women (and men) went nuts for her. Her sons, Bobby and Jamie, were such gentlemen and so personable. Above is a picture of Bobby and me along with Paula.
Aren't you ready for some sunshine? Enough with the gloomy days! Looks like the sun will make a return for Thursday and Friday. Don't let your guard down...more cold weather is on the way for next week.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Home, Home on the Farm

Good to see you! I took the second half of last week off to travel to Little Rock for a photo shoot. I took the children with me and enjoyed two days on the family farm.

I decided to travel to Arkansas via the back roads. I drove through Darling where I took my first job---I played the piano for Darling Baptist Church every Sunday morning and was paid $30 each week. It was my high school "job". I passed through rural areas of Quitman County and longed for the days of quiet. I enjoyed the trip through Brinkley and Carlisle, Arkansas. Driving back to Marks, I tried to figure out what kind of job I could take in my hometown and actually make a living! If you've been to the Delta lately, you know our towns are drying up and withering away.

My children thoroughly enjoyed watching the ducks quack and geese honk as they flew over our farm. Their chattering would soon be shattered by gun shots of the hunters nearby.

Friday night, we drove to Sardis and ate at Smokey M's restaurant and visited with the home folk. My mother and I stayed up late and caught up on the happenings in the family and the latest things we've both learned in our spiritual lives.

Going home is always fun for me. It reminds me of where I came from and where I hope to day.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Turn the Heat On!

My gracious! Our high temperature reached 36 degrees today and we had reports of light sleet across the state. At my house around Noon today, it sleeted for about 20 minutes. It bounced on the patio and accumulated on my neighbor's roof. I haven't seen sleet in a while, so it was nice to "feel" like we were in winter. If you haven't enjoyed this winter reminder today, it is on its way out and we will contend with the possibilities of light rain for the next few days. Sunday looks to be wet all around.

Today I was informed that our Pantene's Beautiful Lengths campaign had signed up 735 WLBT viewers to grow their hair with me for cancer survivors. I received a phone call yesterday from an elderly gentleman that touched my heart.

He called to ask if it was ok if he donated his wife's hair. He proceeded to tell me that his wife is in a nursing home in Brandon and is comatose. Her hair is long and silver. He said "Although she won't know about it, I believe it would make her feel so good to give her hair away to someone who has cancer." I thanked him for his sweet gesture. I wondered how it must feel to be at his age and to be thinking of how he can have his wife's legacy live on.

I'm going to be away for the rest of the week. I'm headed to Little Rock for a photo shoot. I'll be back on Monday. In the meantime, keep your sun shining...

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Hello...Anybody Listening?

Yes, tonight it is possible we could experience some light rain mixed with light freezing drizzle and/or light sleet. This could continue through the early morning hours of Wednesday. Because of this, the National Weather Service isssued a Winter Weather Advisory for areas south of Interstate 20. This simply means to take it easy on the bridges and overpasses. This does NOT mean a winter storm, nor are any acculumations expected. We've had several reports today of light sleet mixed with light rain, so the forecast from last night was right on the money. Notice the operative word is "light" in all instances.

Even though I went on the air at 5pm slowly explaining this (once again), the viewers are already getting uneasy and everything I say is blown out of proportion. Read this viewer email for an example:

Hi Barbie, when will the ice and/or snow get here? I saw the winter ice warning map in the corner of the screen this afternoon and am worried about road closings and school closings tomorrow. I'm a sub teacher in Canton. Will there be any road closings? How bad will it get? thanks. BTW, I loved your hair tonight, it looks best long and down. A cute outfit as well, excellent color match but the pants were a tad too loose/big. ----Dianne

Several points to make:
1) We will not have any ice/snow.
2) There is no "winter ice warning". This term doesn't exist. However, a Winter Weather Advisory has been issued.
3) Canton is north of I-20 and is not included.
4) Didn't know my pants were too big. That's a new one!

Sometimes I wonder if viewers are listening to what I say or tuning in to see what I wear...

Monday, January 15, 2007

Artic Weather Returns

If you watched any of my weathercasts last week, you are not surprised as to the possibilities of light sleet for early Tuesday morning. The computer models went back and forth all week and continue to do so. Confidence isn't very high as to the possibilities of light sleet, but I won't rule it out.

Keep in mind there is a warm layer of air above us which could prevent sleet from reaching the ground in it's frozen form. That means it would be mostly rain. The chances for experiencing light sleet along with our light rain Tuesday morning is minimal and no accumulation is expected.

Although I went on WLBT tonight and slowly explained all of the above, I've already had several viewers ask "When are we getting the freezing rain? How much snow is going to fall? Do we need to go ahead and stock up on food?"

Sometimes, I wonder......

Friday, January 12, 2007

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall....

I'm an old pageant queen, so believe me when I say I can pile on some makeup. Apparently, I didn't wear enough to suit one viewer.

Hello Barbie,
I am a long time fan of yours and think you are a beautiful lady who does a good job with the weather forecast. BUT....whoever is doing your makeup is not quite getting it right. On my TV, you come across looking like you do not have on ANY makeup at all. Bert Case has on more than you it appears. Please have the makeup guy add a bit of blush and some color to your lovely face. It will make the weather forecast much more pleasant! ---Maxine Clements

Several points to make:
1) I do my own makeup. There is no "makeup guy".
2) Bert Case doesn't wear makeup
3) I wear more than my share of blush and "color"
4) "It will make the weather forecast much more pleasant!" I just can't comment on that one.

Dear Lord, please help me to remember that you look at the heart of the person and not on the outside.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

A Hairy Question

Viewers are always emailing me about my hair. They either love it or hate it and everyone thinks they need to tell me what their opinion is, whether I want to hear it or not.

I recently got an email from Tracey who asked "Why do you flip your part? At 5pm & 6pm, you part your hair on one side of your head. At 10pm, you part it on another side?"

Flipping the part is actually an old pageant hair trick I learned years ago. Your hair gets trained to fall a certain way and can sometimes lose its body. If you flip the part to the other side, your hair looks as if it has more volume.

Weather permitting, I usually go home between the 6pm & 10pm newscasts to have dinner with my family. Between cooking supper, playing in the floor with the kids and doing baths, my hair can look sorry by the time I come back to the tv station. If I flip my part to the other side, it makes my hair look refreshed and full. Spray some hairspray and I'm ready to go!

I never knew some viewers watch so closely. Better check my teeth before I go on the air, too!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Weather & Weddings

So if you've been watching my weathercasts this week, you know rain is making a come back. Looks like it will be wet this weekend with the possibilities of some thunderstorms. Considering we are over an inch above average for this time of year in the rainfall department, we could use another dry week. I don't control the weather; just report it. So remain weather aware over the next several days and get ready for a BIG cool down next week!

Speaking of rain, last week I told you that I sang at the "Always & Forever" wedding at First Baptist Church in Jackson sponsored by WLBT. Ron Mumgarner did the ceremony. I have never heard a more intimate and personalized wedding ceremony performed. I sat in my chair in awe of his words and quietly wiping away tears.

One particular comment he made was about the word 'submit' and how society has made that word a negative one in the marriage relationship. He said in marriage, submit means to 'stand alongside of'. As husband and wife, we should stand with each other through the various aspects of marriage--the good, bad, and the ugly.

I walked away from that wedding myself vowing to stand alongside my husband more and thus walking together through the valleys and the peaks of matrimony.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

It's Family Time!

Many of you have asked if my family and I look alike. The answer is no. There are four of us and none of us look alike. We can't be adopted because we act too much like each other!

Each Christmas, we gather around my parents' fireplace and take our traditional family picture. This year, baby Will was taking his nap so he missed out in being in the photo.

My dad made the comment "This is the first year I haven't had a baby to hold for the picture" and he is right. Is he hinting at something?

That was followed by Gracie admitting to me what she has been praying for lately---"I'm been praying for a baby sister for you, mommy!"

I don't think we could fit another stocking on the mantle in this picture if I were to have another baby!

Monday, January 8, 2007

A Long Weekend

It was a long weekend for me as I pulled weekend meteorologist Eric Law's shift. There was no sleeping late nor going to bed early on Saturday. NBC carried two football playoffs Saturday night which made our 10pm go on at 25 minutes late. Guess I'll have to catch up on my beauty sleep later.

This coming weekend will be a busy one, too. On Saturday, January 13 I am hosting the Food Network's Paula Deen and sons Jamie and Bobby Deen as they do a 1pm and 7pm show at the Vicksburg Convention Center. These shows are expected to sell out, so contact Ticketmaster for your tickets if you want to be in the audience.

Speaking of, I love Paula. In July, I hosted her show at the Mississippi Coliseum. Both of her shows were sold out and she was a hoot to get to know. We spent time in the green room and shared beauty secrets. She got alittle warm while waiting on our cue to come out and she said, "I'm sweatin' like a fat girl writin' love letters!" Talk about hilariously southern---Paula Deen is truly all of that and more.

Friday, January 5, 2007

Messy Weather

What a night! I left WLBT around 1:30am Friday morning due to tracking the storms. Kemper County, which is not in our viewing area, was hit hard by an F2 tornado. My heart goes out to those who were injured and those who will have to rebuild their lives due to the massive damage.

When our Bert Case interviewed those affected by the tornado, they said they were all asleep and unaware of the inclement weather. When asked if they had a weather radio, they said "no". It's also worth mentioning these victims lived in mobile homes.

It is worth your time, money and trouble to drive to your local electronics store and purchase a NOAA Weather Radio. Make sure it has the S.A.M.E. technology which allows you to program the counties in that you want to be warned for. This will keep you from being alerted during the middle of the night for counties that are 60 miles away.

Every home, business and school should be outfitted with a weather radio. It will certainly save your life during the times you won't be near the television.

Thursday, January 4, 2007


What a mess today has been! The heavy rain arrived on time and hasn't let up since. Several locations across our viewing area have already topped the 2 inch mark and more is yet to come. Another round of rain is expected for Saturday and Sunday, so keep the umbrella close by.

Last night on my 6pm weathercast, I mentioned how we should expect cooler temperatures late next week. When I got off the set, I noticed I had a voice mail. A very irrate lady viewer left me a message saying, "You need to stop acting so happy about cooler weather for next week. Some of us don't have the money to pay the gas bill to keep the heat on. You can join all of the other rich people and burn wood and contribute to global warming!" (click)

Sounds like someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Here Comes the Rain Again

Wasn't that an 80s hit? Truth be told, heavy rain will be possible for Thursday. Flash flooding, gusty winds and some severe thunderstorms won't be out of the question. Prepare to leave early for your destinations because the roads will be wet with ponding on the interstates. Also, if you have a NOAA Weather Radio, you may want to have it up and running, too.

Thursday night, I'll be singing in the Always & Forever Wedding put on at First Baptist Church Jackson and sponsored by WLBT. I hope the bride is wearing waterproof mascara and has hairspray with staying power due to the wet forecast!

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Life Goes On

The computer models are suggesting a heavy rain event on Thursday. Three to five inches of rain won't be out of the question as well as some flooding. If you live in a low-lying area, be watchful to rising waters. We will have a brief break on Friday, just in time for more rain over the weekend.

Today I sang at the funeral for my best friend's father. The family requested an old favorite "His Eye in on the Sparrow". Singing at a funeral is never an easy thing to do. I tried my best to keep my eyes fixed at the back of the chapel and not look at my friend Carolyn. I knew if I did, my voice would start to crack and I would lose it.

While we were making the trip with the funeral procession from the funeral home to the cemetary, I was reminded at how life continues on. The police escort did everything they could to keep us separated from the other traffic, but people needed to travel to their destinations. While at the graveside service I heard a train blowing its horn, a firetruck pass with sirens blasting and birds chirping. It reminded me that life goes on despite the death of a loved one.

Then I thought back to the words in the song I sang:

"Why should I feel discouraged? Why should the shadows come? Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heaven and home? When Jesus is my portion. A constant friend is He. His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me."

He watches over us during our time of grief and loneliness. That's the kind of God we serve--a God that takes action and loves us through it all.

Monday, January 1, 2007

Where Did Christmas Go?

Need some dry weather to recover from Saturday's rain? We ended December '06 with 5.55" of rain. That's 0.21" above average. Not bad considering we went into the Christmas weekend needing 2.75" of rain just to reach our average levels for December. Enjoy a dry Tuesday and Wednesday because Thursday looks to be wet with thunderstorms.

Over the weekend, I had the painstaking task of taking down the Christmas decorations and putting them in their rightful place in the attic. Gracie became very upset and wanted to know why was I taking down the decorations. (Flashback to 'The Grinch the Stole Christmas': "But Santee Claus, why are taking down our Christmas tree?" ---made famous by Cindy Lu Who.) I explained Christmas was over and I would put the decorations up when Christmas returns for next year. Gracie asked a poignant question, "Why can't it be Christmas all of the time, mommy?"

Why do we celebrate Christmas once a year? Why can't we give gifts of ourselves to those around us all year long? Why can't we be alittle more friendly to those in the checkout lines or those at the busy intersections? Why can't we sing "Joy to the World" more than just one month out of the year?

Ah, but we can! We can celebrate God's love coming down to earth through His son Jesus. We can be thankful for the blessings we've been given, even during the tough times of 2007. We can look with wonder at how wide, how deep and how vast is the love of Christ(mas).

Gracie didn't know it, but she lit a fire in her mother to be ever mindful of the traits of Christmas during the other 11 months of the year.