Life is Smokey, Life is Clear

Picture style.

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On this day the firefighters lit the largest back burn ever attempted in this area. According to information online, it burned a couple square miles. A number of the neighbors didn’t realize this was the back burn, however, and there was Much Panic for a while. This is about a mile and a half away.

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Sunset after the back burn.

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Sunset the next night. Still lots of smoke, but the fire was much more contained.

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Three days after the back burn. Fire mostly contained on the edge nearest to us. I couldn’t tell what was smoke and what was clouds!

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It was still hot, but not so smokey, so we ventured outside for the first time in about a week.

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Helicopters with buckets and boat planes were a regular sight around here for a few days, which was definitely one of LK’s more favorite things about the whole thing.

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And then the rain came. And the fire officially went out. And the smoke disappeared. And things felt fresh again!

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Then yesterday we got more rain (and a rainbow!).

Still waiting to see how the housing situation pans out, but I’m still packing and sorting and downsizing because it’s quite clear something is going to happen very, very soon.

Fire is Contained!

The fire is officially out! Thank God.

Of course, a string of thunderstorms is in the forecast for the next few days with predictions of dry lightning (no rain). So, I’m still kind of nervous. Things are so very dry here…

We’re continuing to move things into town.

Thank you again for all your prayers!


Fire Update

Thank you so much to everyone who has called/ messaged/ come out to help in the last couple days! We are truly blessed and incredibly fortunate that we have been given such loving family and friends. And also, enough time to move things off the mountain.

The northern edge of the fire (the edge closest to us) seems to be under control. Numerous backfires are holding it currently, and as long as the wind doesn’t suddenly change direction on us, the house should be okay. The fire is still about 8 miles away. It has now burned 60,000 acres.

We’re still in a Stage II evacuation area, so we’re still packing things up and moving them into town (the Dearliest was able to procure a large and nice storage space that’s big enough to accommodate both his shop and the household). We figure we’ll keep going until we either run out of time or have it all off the mountain.

I’m very curious to see which happens first.

And if we move everything into town, will we really want to move it all back? Probably not.




We’ve been keeping tabs on a wildfire roaring away on the ridge behind us, and thanking God that the wind has been blowing it more towards the river and NOT towards us. Well, not directly towards us. It’s still advancing and is now about 12 miles away. Our area is now in a Stage II evacuation, which means we need to be ready to leave at a moment’s notice.

So we’re gathering a few valuables, making some preparations, and waiting to see what happens.

Prayers would be appreciated.

Video Share

I’ve encountered some videos over the last month that I made a mental note to post on the blog “later”, but we all know how regular I’ve been with that lately! Here’s two for starters.

We all know I love weather stuff, right? I learned some new things in this one:

My brother-in-law Quark shared this one with me. Apparently Anthony Hopkins once wrote a waltz for orchestra but waited 50 years to tell anyone about it because he didn’t think it was any good. I had no idea he’d been a musician before he took to acting!

Life, Recently

I suppose in the grand scheme of things, little has actually happened. We’ve established a routine over the last few weeks, and it’s been kind of nice having a semblance of predictability. The kids always do better when they know what to expect in a day, and I’m finding I do too.

So, there was this wedding. The bride, my dear sister-in-law, asked to have all the nieces and nephews in the wedding. Very brave of her. All things considered, the kids did smashingly well! Sometimes literally. :-D


I’ll let you try to figure out which four are mine, but in the unlikely event you need some hints, LK is the oldest.


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My parents drove out for the wedding, so we got some good visiting time in with them. They brought some things with them, including a couple new puzzles for the wee folk.


And this is what happens when Pokado builds a “nest”:


We’ve had several strings of thunderstorms over the last couple months, and rainy days often mean tunnels and caves.


Otherwise our weather has been hanging out around 90° F, and in the mornings and evenings the kids get to play on the deck. Well, most of them.


Arc doesn’t always get to go out with them, but he takes it well.

The heat has been wonderful for my new rose, which my MIL gave me for my birthday. I was excited to hear it had purple blossoms, because you know, purple. I’ve gotten three flowers off it so far, and I’m so excited because each shade was DIFFERENT! The first one was almost a pink purple, the second was a true lavender, and the third I actually thought to take a picture of. It’s a bit darker than this, but the lighting was extreme.


I usually only have about an hour of “free” time during any given day, and for the last couple months those hours have all looked like this:


I have a total of 11 of those little notebooks, all full of dreams and story fragments. It’s kind of a mess, actually, but I’m slowly getting the stories more organized. For those of you reading One Rainy Day, the rest of it is all queued up and Pen Wending will release chapters every Sunday. Also, as a point of interest, there are only 7 chapters (well, 6 1/2 really), so I guess technically it’s a short story? My stuff never seem to break 100 pages.

At some point–it’s been long enough now I can’t remember when exactly–Squeaky gave me a little bit of a scare, but what I briefly thought to be a broken arm turned out to be a badly twisted elbow, and for 3 days she looked like this:


She seriously did not move out of the chair (or couch, or wherever we sat her down), and it was super strange to see little miss go-go forever stationery. She became quite possessive about her bag of frozen corn. At the end of the third day she moved the arm without really thinking about it and seemed quite shocked to discover it didn’t hurt anymore. She woke up on day 4, climbed out of her crib herself, and the world returned to normal.

Lastly, music things!

I’ve had opportunity to play around with my new recording microphone, and this was the first result:

I wrote Drop Nocturne when I was 14. It’s kind of choppy in places because I was playing around with the audio software and…well, you can read the video description if you really want to know. :-P

Then I recorded another Harriet Smith Cover:


Harriet’s Original:

I’m alive!

Just a quick note to say I’m alive and have plans for about a dozen blog updates. Sorry I haven’t been around much! I’ve been working on my new short story and music the last month, but the music is just about wrapped up which in theory means I’ll have more time for the regular blog.

We just finished a small adventure here. It’s been a long time since we had a wild thunderstorm, but today we got one! The amount of lightning concerned me, as everything is incredibly dry right now. I got a fluke picture (and lots of video, which might show up here later).


Imagine 1-3 of those every couple seconds. It started a number of lightning fires on our side of the canyon, so for about 10 minutes I prepared for evacuation and the kids freaked out because, you know, BOOM! Another fire!

Then the rain hit and put the fires out, so that was a major relief. Then the 1/2″ hail hit and I had freaked out kids again. But that passed quickly, and now we have blue skies and everything smells fresh and clean.

A search and rescue helicopter just made a pass down our ridge and through the canyon, I assume checking to make the sure all the fires are out.

So, yeah. Adventure!

Real life update coming soon.