After the Firestorm

I was watching the briefing at a friend’s house Tuesday afternoon when the immediate evacuation of the northwest quadrant was announced.  I stepped out a little while later and took this photo.  The day turned to night under the black plume.

My friend and I finished evacuating our horses to her place late last night. I moved some photos and other stuff at the same time.  My mother and her cat is with us now.  Her place is far too close to the toxic smoke: just across the freeway.  We are preparing to be evacuated, but as of right now, we are not under any pre-evacuation, voluntary evacuation, or mandatory evacuation orders. We are in the next neighborhood north of the Air Force Academy, which evacuated most of their personnel yesterday evening.


Waldo Canyon Fire – Monday

The shot I took on Saturday was misnamed:  it was actually the Waldo Canyon Fire and it took the various agencies concerned a few hours to get the names of this fire sorted out.   Looking south this morning, when it was pleasant with no smell of smoke, I took this next photo.  I believe the reddish cast to the hills is the alpenglow.

Looking south this evening when it was  hot but still no strong smell of smoke, I took this photo:

(I’ve zoomed in less with this one, but it is the identical direction of the one above.) The plume curls up much higher and curves away to the northeast of our house. The fire is now 5% contained, and is the number one fire fighting priority in the country.  We could just have soon done without the honor. We are the next valley north of the Air Force Academy, for locals who may wonder where I took these shots.

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2012-06-24

  • The wind woke me: not surprised to see another red flag warning all day today. #
  • Rion and I are off to do his tricks routine in dog training class to Joe Cocker's Honkeytonk Women. #
  • Very smoky this morning: probably from #SpringerFire #
  • Because it's #TooDamnHot I'm watering the perennials after just three days. Hope they don't die from the shock. #
  • #WaldoCanyonFire at 6:15 pm from north of AFA: #

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Pyrocumulus – Pyramid Mountain Fire

I took this photo from the open door to my garage.  Just saw the first mention on this fire on Twitter and it looks like it just exploded.  It is an extremely rugged area and is probably in a canyon that is acting as a fireplace.  It is close to the major road into the mountains here.  They’ve already posted mandatory evacuations for one community.  I am listening via Internet radio to the authorities deciding where to establish their command post right now.

This is very bad news.

Lily (September 1, 2000 – June 21, 2012)

Lily the Golden Retriever came to live with us three years ago.  We had known her and her buddy the Sheltie Lightning since they were puppies because they belonged to Jack’s sister’s family.  She and Lightning used to stay here a lot when their family was traveling.  Lily was not able to adjust when her family moved to Denver, so she and Lightning came to live with us.

She has had several health crises the past two years.  An autoimmune disease prematurely aged her.  She has had several bouts of pneumonia.  I thought she was dieing in early December but she rallied that night after I restarted the antibiotics. She has been on antibiotics at least half the time for eighteen months. Two months ago I decided to keep her on antibiotics full time because she  tried to cough up a lung every time I stopped.

A couple of weeks ago, she started occasionally ignoring her meals, though she was still keen for people food and dog treats.  She stopped eating her meals completely three days ago, though she would take dog treats from our hands.

This morning, she had her morning dog biscuit, but once again ignored her breakfast.  She went out with the other dogs into the new field when I fed horses. She snatched a slice of bread that Jack offered her.  (This dog used to eat whole loaves when she could steal them.)

At noon today, I went out to find her collapsed on her bed in the mudroom.  She has been spending a lot of time out there the past two weeks.  She did not react when I called her sharply.  We called the vet requesting euthanasia but her vet couldn’t come until tomorrow morning.  I checked her every twenty minutes to make sure she didn’t seem to be in pain.  A little after one, I realized she was very, very still. She looked like she was just peacefully asleep.

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2012-06-17

  • Cool and smoky this morning. #
  • Horses find the sight of children on pogo sticks entrancing. #
  • A moose was spotted this week near where I live: #
  • Strong smell of smoke this morning: probably from #HighParkFire #
  • Helpful hint: when teaching a dog to jump through your arms, turn your face away so you don't get bopped in the nose. #
  • When I went out to the garage I discovered a bird was building a nest on the edge of the open garage door. Sorry to have to discourage it. #

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1751 Kenmore Zigzag Sewing Machine

I enjoy going to the occasional garage sale.  I’ll usually spend less than five to ten dollars, and take home a small trove of what only I would call treasure.  I feel I’ve had a good day when I get home and don’t go:  “why did I buy that?” I keep going because every once in a while I’ll find something like the lateral file that I bought at an estate sale for $5.

Yesterday, Jack called after he got to the golf course to remind me that Gleneagle was having its community day for garage sales.  I made sure I had lots of ones and fives in my wallet and headed out.  I hit several places and my most exciting find was a working electric pencil sharpener for $2.  (The seller plugged it in and demonstrated using a pencil.)

As I pulled up to yet another house, I thought “that looks like a Kenmore.”  I had a hand-me-down Kenmore portable (actually luggable) that I finally passed on to a friend years after I bought a lightweight electronic machine. I still missed the power of that all metal machine. I’d occasionally looked at Craiglist for an older all-mechanical machine in a cabinet, but they always wanted at least $50 for them.

There was a sticker saying “make an offer.”  I turned the hand wheel and it had that soft, smooth heavy feel I remembered, moving the needle up and down.  The manual and accessories were featured right with the machine, which was spotless.  I asked the seller if she would take $25 for it, and she accepted. (This was the second year she tried to sell it.)  Fortunately I had unloaded the station wagon before leaving the house, and the cabinet and machine fit in easily.

I had it threaded and was testing it within an hour of Jack carrying it into the house.  (It is similar enough to my old machine that I could have done it from memory, but I used the manual, just in case.)  I held my breath when I pressed on the pedal, and was happy when I head the quiet power of the motor.  It sewed a straight balanced seam which looks great.

According to a site I found, the model 1751 was made 1971 to 1972.  I am very pleased with my new acquisition.