Sunday, August 05, 2018

Our New Norm.

I talked to my friend on the phone and that lifted my spirits. She lives south of me, nearer to Sacramento and they are being slammed with smoke from the Mendocino Fires west of her. Just the smoke but they've got it pretty bad as well. So she perfectly understood how gloomy it's been with the ash and all.

I am so looking forward to my visit with my brother in Alabama. A totally different part of the country which to us, is practically like a different country. They all have pretty thick southern accents; the women talk so fast, I can't understand them. I think they think I am hard of hearing because I am always asking them to repeat.

But they are the best people. Good folk - Genuinely nice. They are the types that would give you the shirt off their backs or their last dollar. I really HOPE they decide to come out here next summer. That was the plan. I'd go back one more time, but they have to come to California to stay with me. We talked about that and my sister-in-law said she did not want to come during the summer. Heck, I don't blame her. It's getting to be, that our summers are unpredictable. Jerry said this is our new norm. That means you don't want to "summer in California" anymore.

It is a combination of a lot of things. I'm an old tree-hugger from way back. LOVE trees and forests. When I lived in San Francisco, I really believed that logging was bad and that are forests needed to just be forests without management. Then I moved up here - and slowly I started to see first hand, how forest management would be good and how logging does thin the forest if it is done responsibly and it can be done. When we've been out camping and hiking the forest, we've seen all the dead wood laying all around - and we knew it was just kindling for the next fire. Heck, they won't even let you go in and cut down the fallen wood. In some areas, you need a permit. It has just become so unmanageable. Plus of course, add in the changing of our climate and also the thinking of our Cal Fire and forest service. Jerry likes to boast about our surplus - yeah but it came at a price. He took from other departments and funded others to make it look as if we have a surplus. My son went to college and took forest fire technology and was basically told, you won't get a job because of cutting the budget. So he quit. Now they do not have enough, in the forestry industry. Many are old and fat and waiting for their retirement.

We also don't have enough police in town. That was definitely one of the reasons the Governor called in the California National Guard. They are here indefinitely.

Just like any death or tragedy, you go through five stages. I believe we may just be starting to enter into the anger stage.

Saturday, August 04, 2018


I'm trying to get "happy"...but there is so much sadness around. Everywhere you go, there is sadness. In the afternoon, when the smoke seems to get really bad, it's almost like a ghost town. You sit waiting at a traffic light and glance over to the cars beside you, and wonder..." are they a Carr Fire Evacuee? They look so sad."

Even the children look sad. Their summer has been robbed from them. The pools are closed. You can't get to any of our beautiful lakes. Summer is pretty much GONE from this area. Seems everything is sooty and gritty. They tell us not to water down our walkways, or use blowers - apparently the ash is THAT toxic.

I know my dog is depressed. She follows me around...wants to go outside, but as soon as I let her out, she sniffs the air, turns right back around to come back in. It's darkish in the house all day or has a slight orange tint,  due to the retardant they use.

Things we tend to take for granted - like opening the window for fresh air, feeling the sunshine on your face, the fragrance of our yard after being watered. Just taking a walk...

I've been watching The Andy Griffith Show on Netflix...just so I can escape a little during the day.

Friday, August 03, 2018


The smoke just sits there

The smoke is heavy and toxic. They are telling us, our air is "dangerous for everyone." so that means you wear a mask if you are outside. Honestly, the smell is so bad, I can feel it in my chest. I try NOT to go outside if I don't have to. I feel bad for the wild animals; even my pooch. If she would keep a mask on, I'd have her wear one.

It's good, that many places in town are giving out free masks. You still see people without them; usually the young adults and teens. They might regret it one day. The smoke makes my eyes itch and then they swell.

My plants don't look too good. My vegetable garden has stopped producing.

We're going to Alabama at the end of this month. At first we were going to cancel but decided we need to get out of here.

It's sad what I am seeing and hearing. There are not enough places for people to go. The city says they will try and streamline the process for rebuilding but it's the young couples and families that rent, that are being displaced.

My step-daughter's work is closed. So she picked up some temp work, at the hotels/motels in the area.

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