Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

Evacuation orders & warnings for Arnold & Murphys California have been eased. Northern California is on fire in every direction around us, and this morning we woke up to smoke so thick we cannot see the sun. We know it is shinning up above the smoke because where it comes in our windows, it is orange.

The patches of orange inside and outside are disturbing. They make me think I am seeing reflections from fire. I have to remind myself that I am seeing reflections from the particles floating in the air.

Even the forest animals are sheltering in place. It’s been a week since we watched deer (or rabbits, turkeys, foxes, etc.) grazing in the forest. Our dog has become skittish and anxious. She dashes around the house, then stops in her tracks and stares at us, as if to ask, “Why are we still here?”

Out of the corner of your eye you notice something floating down from the sky. You wish it were snow, however, it is ash. It blankets the ground and everything on it. It gets into the house even when the windows are shut. It covers my car that is parked in the garage. I try not to dwell on the fact that we are breathing this crud. I am back on my asthma medication and I need a refill. My voice is getting deep and raspy. Not in a sensual way, mind you, but more likely to frighten little kids.

I count my blessings every day that my house will be a pain to clean and my car is filthy. My house remains intact and I still have a car to run errands (like going to the pharmacy.) Those two things are major up here and many have lost them. We have power today, so I can communicate by phone, text, this blog.

I have so many things on my indoor to-do list that I can work on, a couple quilts in the works and a crochet project to learn. My office, kitchen & cupboards need organizing badly. My fault for tossing things willy-nilly into places they should go in a haphazard way, to “get to later”. Later is now. I am a homebody at heart, so I feel right in my element. My problem is what to do first?

California is Burning

Man, our state is on fire! I thought I would share the latest report on the fire closest to us…

[BTW-I am reporting from my little office at home, sheltering in place, by order of my doctor. The Pine Tree is our local online newspaper]

The Donnell Fire

LOCATION: Stanislaus National Forest
DATE STARTED: August 1, 2018
ACRES: 27,769

Donnell Fire Update

Posted by: thepinetree on 08/14/2018 12:07 PM
Bear Valley, CA…We normally don’t publish the heat maps of the fires because they can be inaccurate and show heated air aloft etc. We thought this recent one of the Donnell Fire was illustrative though. It shows they are making good progress taking the heat out of the fire for much of the perimeter. On the south side of Spicer Reservoir you can see where the bulk of the fire’s energy is today. Luckily there is plenty of water in the area for helicopter drops and Spicer should offer a barrier to growth to the north. Let’s just hope firefighters can keep it from spotting or making turns around the lake.

Aug 14th Heat Map

As you can see from the graphic above, Hubby and I are not in the path of this fire (we are way south). The danger to us is the smoke – day in and day out, 24/7. Until sometime in September when they estimate they will have 100% containment.

We have had to run our A/C so much that I shudder to see the next bill. I am so happy we decided to have it installed when they built the house!  We did not expect smoke, or the 100+ degree heat in the summers, so we are grateful that we did that, despite the poo-pooing we got from people – people who now wish they had A/C, no doubt!

We have firefighting personnel from surrounding states, and some from other countries, like Canada and, I heard this from someone in town, Australia!

With 3 fires in the Yosemite National Forest, and numerous others popping up, we see fire trucks all the time in town. It does not matter what day or time you grocery shop – you will see many Firemen in there.

I have to confess…

I consider this fact the only perk among all this tragic destruction. Does that make me an optimist? I don’t know. Maybe it’s the uniforms, along with that old saying, which seems to be true:

“No such thing as an ugly Fireman”

♥ TTFN! ♥



A Citizen’s Request

Daily Prompt: The New York Times is going to feature your blog on its home page, and you’ve been asked to publish a new post — it’ll be the first thing tens of thousands of new readers see. Write it.

The United States sends Federal aid to any foreign country, battling natural or man-made issues. Not only in $$$, but troops.

This week I am in the middle of a real-time disaster that desperately needs some aid from the Feds now. Both $$$ and troops.

In case you haven’t heard – The state of California is on fire. Not just wildfires in the No. CA Sierra, or the usual Santa Anna induced fires in So. CA, but those PLUS SEVEN other raging fires. Massive evacuations are being calculated and carried out. The places in central CA that are (currently) not on fire, are being choked by smoke and ashes. There are road closures, and wasting millions of dollars worth of electricity to run air-conditioners because they dare not open a window. There isn’t any fresh air left to let in.


Our firefighting budget is almost gone and we don’t employ enough fire-fighters to be spread out over the entire state at the same time. I would like to see the President send those F-18’s – you know, the ones on hold for Egypt, out here to help with airdrops.

And those troops that Mr. Obama promised to start bringing home? Have them stop in CA for a few days to help out the National Guard. I’m sure that compared to where they are, this will be seem like a vacation. At the very least they shouldn’t get shot at or blown up.

I would like to make an official Citizen’s Request of the Federal Government: Californian’s pay more taxes than any other state. Can we have some of it back?  One point three million would really help a lot.


CA Citizen