Wednesday, July 31, 2013
WARNING: You might be grossed out by this, but if you have kids or pets, you'll understand. And it is a true story. It just happened a few minutes ago.
First of all, Bad Leroy Brown is the four-legged love of our life.
He loves to ride and often is our traveling companion. He's also a therapy dog, having worked with me with the elderly for several years. But most of all, he is a constant source of joy and laughter in our home.
I thought I'd share an example of that with you by relating something that just happened, just a few minutes ago.
It wasn't long after I'd come back inside after taking Leroy out for a few minutes to enjoy his sunbeam.
I had just sat down to check in with SparkPeople when I heard Leroy making his cute little chirpy chattering sound somewhere in the house. Which is weird because normally, he's right by my side.
So, I got up and headed towards the kitchen. Usually when he makes that cute little chirpy sound, I'll find him standing next to the cabinet where I keep his treat jar. But he wasn't there.
So I started down the hallway, thinking maybe he was in the bedroom wanting up on the bed to take a nap.
Then I heard him . . . .down the stairs. His chirping was coming from his indoor/outdoor kennel area downstairs where he goes to take care of 'business' when he's inside.
So I went down the stairs, walking towards his kennel area when I noticed he was standing next to where he had deposited a couple 'tootsie rolls'. But he was still just standing there, looking up at me with this helpless look on his face that clearly said "Mom, help me!"
I reached over to pick him up. That's when I saw he had a 'tootsie roll' caught in his fur a couple of inches from . . . well, you know from where.
I grabbed the roll of toilet paper I always keep handy and began to remove the offending thing, thinking I'd have to give him a bath immediately to clean him up.
But to my surprise, the 'tootsie roll' was not caught in his fur at all . . . it was just dangling there.
So, I began to remove it only to find that it was securely attached to something.
As I moved it away from him, it became clear that it WAS indeed connected - - - - by a very long silver hair.
Apparently he had somehow swallowed the hair and it had run the course along with his dinner.
(My hair is about 3 inches long, but my DH has a long ponytail.)
So that is the story of the Dangling Tootsie Roll.
Just another adventure in the life of Bad Leroy Brown.
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Of the six fires burning in Southern Oregon, only two of them are 2% contained. The others are growing rapidly every day with no hope for containment in the near future.
The Labrador fire which is nearest us is 15 miles away, partially in a severely rugged wilderness area which is hampering access by firefighters.
Officials are telling us that it is likely to burn until the rains come (maybe September, October).
The entire area is under warning for high winds and dry lightning storms starting tonight through Thursday, with little or no rain expected.
Different times during of the day, when the winds blow from the right (wrong?) direction, our air quality becomes extremely hazardous. People with breathing problems are advised to stay inside and use masks if venturing outdoors.
If you've ever gone camping and doused the campfire with water, which caused a lot of steam, ash and smoke, and that awful, sickening smell . . . . well, quite often that's exactly what we are dealing with.
Unless the lightning storms cause another fire, closer to us, we are not anticipating having to evacuate. However, we have a plan ready to put into action and will not delay. . . . . cause ya just never know.
Monday, July 29, 2013
So far, the closest fires are still about 15 miles away from us.
The DEQ has determined that our air quality is hazardous, so me and Bad Leroy Brown are staying inside with all doors and windows closed. He wants so badly to go outside and sit in his sunbeam (one of our daily rituals) but there's no sunshine today.
Our county has been declared in a state of emergency which will bring in more ground fire fighters.
There are so many fires going right now. The one nearest us is #2. The access is through rugged, rocky terrain which makes it hard to access by ground. The smoke is so bad that the helicopters (to drop in the fire crews) and fire retardant planes cannot be used at this time.
I am so thankful that we have only smoke and ashes . . . . rather than fiery hot fire brands falling from the sky.
I tried to post a link to a video of the smoke from the fires but it won't allow me to post it . . .
Sunday, July 28, 2013
This is a picture of the lightening storm that cause so many fires. If you look at the circle at the bottom . . . that's where we live.
Presently, the nearest fire is about 15 miles from us. On the danger list, it's #2 because it is in such rugged, unaccessible territory.
The wind is playing havoc . . . one minute it's driving from the south (a good thing as that pushes it back on itself) and half an hour later, the wind is driving it down the gorge towards a tiny secluded community on the Illinois River.
When the wind blows down from the North, the smoke from the big fire on the other end of the county lays a dark blanket over us.
But it makes for some interesting pictures
Anyway, that's the big fire scene.
On the local front, there's a farmer about a mile from us that has a big field of barley that he's been trying to harvest. Since we are in extreme fire conditions, activities involving mowers and motorized equipment are heavily restricted and only during certain hours. Well, this guy is in a panic to get his grain harvested. So far, the Fire Department has been called out 5 times - yes, FIVE TIMES - in three days after his field caught fire due to his harvesting efforts. Needless to say, the neighborhood is ablaze with indignation!
Yesterday DH and I decided we'd do what we could on home front before shut down hours went into effect, so we got up early and got it done, and then we took off. We rode South, over the hills and to the coast. 62 degrees was certainly a nice change from the 97 to 103 we had last week. We put on about 350 miles. It was a good ride and by the time we got home, we both had a real good case of TB (tired butt)!
PS Thank you to those who have left messages about our getting out safely if called to evacuate.
To illustrate my point, there is a dear couple I met since I started the neighborhood watch groups in my area. On Friday morning, we woke up to the news that their home had caught fire (caused by an electrical fire due to an overload on an extension cord). The husband made sure his wife (she has limited mobility) was safe outside, then went back in to get their cat or something. He never made it out.
DH and I have discussed many times what we would do if we had time to prepare (ie if we were on evacuation alert). We actually have a list of what to load in the car hanging on our frig.
However, with that being said, as prepared as we think we may be, when awaken out of a dead sleep in the middle of the night by fire (or whatever disaster), the best we can hope is that we'd go into 'auto pilot' and run with our game plan.
But one thing we agree on, that there is nothing in this house or on this property that is worth risking our lives for.
I hope each of my SparkFriends have given thought to what you need to do in case of emergency. Sorry to end this on a downer, but most of us have lived enough years to realize that stuff does happen.
So, get out there and make the best out of today.
Friday, July 26, 2013
A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they'd be asked the "half empty or half full" question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: "How heavy is this glass of water?"
Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.
She replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it's not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn't change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes."
She continued, "The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything."
Remember to put the glass down.
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