Posted in Anxiety, Disaster, Fire

One challenge down, another waiting in the wind

Last Monday the Crazy mattress nightmare was solved and actually worked in my favor. Robbed together, squishing a kingsize mattress out of the tiny abode didn’t seemed like a one man job, but was actually accomplished by one man. I was so skeptical and just couldn’t see it happen, but miraculously it did happen. Soon the mattress was loaded on a U-haul trailer and transported to my storage facility. The eminent problem appeared that there was no replacement mattress on order yet and both mattresses, the old one and the new one were gone, leaving behind a hard plywood platform for the new mattress. But that wasn’t even the problem and during the morning we received a fire evacuation warning for the area. Winds had shifted over the weekend and the fire was heading my way. Driving back it felt like I was driving into the belly of a monster that loomed high into the sky, threatening to choke off my breath with every passing mile. Cinnamon was riding co-pilot to me and I know she could pick up the vibe and worry. I actually made it a point to set my own fears to the side, to stay calm and comfort her by telling her that everything was going to be ok and that she’d always be safe with me. I wasn’t going to let anything bad happen to her.

Arrived at the tiny abode, the fire was awfully close and only a few miles away. People were starting to evacuate although it wasn’t mandatory yet and I couldn’t blame them. I quickly unloaded the car and made another trip to the local post office, hoping to intercept a few important parcels from Wales, England. My Luck continued and had I arrived one day later I would have missed my parcels and they would have gone back. Yeah, it’s a long story and quite the circumstances, but I got beyond emotional about everything working out during such a stressful time.

For the past week we’ve been under a close watch with the fire so close. We didn’t have to evacuate but conditions are checked throughout the day, especially when it comes to the wind. I want to say that we are out of the woods but I believe it when the flames are extinguished and no old threat remains. I need gentle rain and no lightening. Water reserves from a mild winter are beyond low after fighting these fires and although I am not praying for a harsh, strict winter, I know it is needed desperately. But first, lets hurry up and let my new mattress get here so I can get some well deserved rest.

Posted in Disaster, Life, Luck

Crazy mattress nightmare

Not the best picture but you’ll get the idea

What a crazy few days it has been and I’m hanging on by the seat of my pants. Last week I finally did it and ordered a new short queen mattress for the Tiny Abode. Over the past three month’s I just couldn’t get comfortable. Partially it is due to the RA, but it has grown increasingly more uncomfortable and painful. There was only so much I could do with the old RV mattress and in the end after a quilted mattress pad later and memory foam, I had achieved “plush” but still no support and it was sagging in the middle. Let’s just say it was unforgiving, almost like camping on the ground. After doing extended research, reading reviews and watching videos, I quickly learned that this new mattress would not come cheap, especially if you have a chronic condition. I was hitting a point where a good night of sleep seemed it’s weight worth in gold, so I finally ordered it and disposed of the old mattress the day the new one arrived. The poor delivery guy offloaded it in front of the tiny abode and I couldn’t even budge it. Well, I should say I couldn’t pick it up but I could roll it a few inches to either side and let it roll back to it’s original position once I let go of it. So I had no choice as to leave it sit outside until late at night when help was available. Little did I know that this was only the beginning of the nightmare.

A Galliniper had snug into the house that night and I was frantically trying to locate it so it wouldn’t suck me dry over night. The wooden cabinets made this task almost impossible but he gave me 5 tries of spotting it, missing and having to wait, until I was finally successful. It was like finding a needle in the haystack and I still can’t believe I actually found him…5 times. Nevertheless was I getting worried of trying to drag the rolled up mattress that looked like a giant roll of carpet into the house. Mom always cautioned to turn off the lights so no pesky friends would sneak in. How was this mattress suppose to get into the house during the darkness! Low and behold it was rather quick, despite the heavy load, a two person lift done by one person only, and keeping the pests outside. Finally it was laying rolled up on the bed platform and it looked awfully long. Ah, it’s just because it’s compressed and once it expands to size, which could take up 72 hours, it should be fine. Okay, hopefully, although I wasn’t fully convinced.

Soon we found ourselves cutting away the protective clothes covering. It would be impossible to get the mattress out any other way. Task completed, what remained was heavy duty plastic wrap that kept the tightly wound and compressed mattress in place. Slowly inch by inch we cut away until the last bit ripped under the enormous pressure. The mattress immediately sprung into shape and covered not only the bed platform but also half the nightstand on either side which makes up the entire room (Picture above). Speechless we stood, mouth agape, unable to talk and shaking our heads. Long story short, what had arrived was a king size mattress with a short queen label that obviously was placed on the wrong product. Two hours later the shock still hadn’t completely subsided, but there wasn’t anything anyone could do at midnight and we crammed onto the couch for the most uncomfortable and longest night, dog included. Not only had we received the wrong mattress, but I was extremely worried and couldn’t see how we would get it out of the Tiny Abode, now that it had completely unfurled.

The next morning a call to customer service went extremely well and better than expected. No help was available for pick up or to wrangle the mattress out of here. In fact they didn’t even want the unfurled, pillow top, kingsize mattress back and extended a full refund plus a few hundred dollars for the inconvenience, having to rent a U-Haul truck to transport it and whatever else help was required. So in the end everything worked out in our favor, minus now waiting for a new mattress from a different company and still sleeping on the couch. Luckily I had room to store the kingsize in my storage unit and hope to sleep on it at some other time.

Posted in Anxiety, Disaster, Fire

Fire warning watch

We have been under a fire warning watch for a couple of days when the evacuation notice came through. The national forests have been closed and as previously mentioned air qualities has been the worst in the world. There has been no shortage of full moments this week and it’s been filled with stress, worries and anxiety, keeping a careful watch on the ominous plume that rises to the sky only a few miles from me. Again, the winds have saved me so far and I’m beyond grateful. While most have evacuated despite the watch and not mandatory notice yet, I am still staying put in place as the danger and red flag warnings are fewer with each day. But make no mistake and know that everything is prepped to bail out quickly should it be required. The backyard is mostly taken down and The Tiny Abode is a mess. So please bare with me as I keep you posted.

Posted in Disaster, Fire

Dixie Fire

Each year California literally goes up in smoke and is ravaged by wildfires. I’ve lived on the Californian border for many years, but I don’t recall it ever being so bad like it has been over the last two years. I don’t remember the air quality index to ever reach the highest recording at 500 which is hazardous. Until now. By now the blue sky has turned a dark gray, thick mess with Lee’s than a quarter mile visibility. The mountains have disappeared and the sun is hanging a fiery red in the sky. Many have some sort of problem, from burning eyes, trouble breathing, scratchy throats and much more. Even Cinnamon seems to show signs of struggle although we are not outside and are trying to entertain the pooch in small confines. Thank goodness for a stuffed marrowbone.

The Dixie fire started too close to home for me and is threatening endless structures while wiping out entire towns. It has grown to 446,723 acres and is only 21% contained. It has become California’s 3rd largest fire in history so far and will perhaps set a new record. It’s hard to see the good in the devastation, people losing everything, precious animals burning alive and beautiful landscapes such as National Parks disappearing to never be the same in our lifetime. What used to be an occasional scare distant, never too close to home, has turned into a definite and just a matter of time before you will become the target of these super fires, these monsters that are capable to produce their own fire-nado’s and spread at dizzying speeds. It has turned into a constant fear. A fear of threatening weather and human error such as campfires not being dead out. The margin has become too large to invest in the future and build a custom tiny abode here. I had my eyes on a beautiful piece of property for sale, high up, surrounded by mountains with a killer view, but the risk is just too great. I pray that the brave firefighters who fight this monster and don’t even know if their own houses are still standing, gain control of the fire very soon. Blessed be…🙏🏼

Posted in Disaster, Earth, Fear, Fire

Sadly it’s that time again

Wildfire season has started here in the states. Especially in California. A dream/ state to many with beautiful scenery, the ocean and it’s beaches, the mountains and it’s breathtaking wilderness trails. California, idolized by TV shows such as “Streets of San Francisco or Baywatch” it’s a must visit tourist destination. But there is also another side to this gorgeous state bordering Nevada my home state, and some of us have battled these monster fires last year, perhaps way too close to home, making it very personal. It definitely brings a different meaning to the table when one ignites in your own backyard. A meaning of fear and terror, of helplessness and times you involuntarily hold your breath, praying for the best, for the winds to shift, to be spared and lucky enough to walk away with a giant scare.

The biggest fire in California is burning and has started only a few miles from me. Called the Beckwourth Complex, by Thursday good progress was made with a 68% containment. So far 100,531 acres of land have burned and have turned into a dark, ominous wasteland. And yet new life will sprout once more, even though we will never see it’s glory and beauty of how it was in our lifetime again.

Lucky in an unlucky situation I call myself, and thank the winds for not turning on me, blowing the flames away from me vs. into my direction. As much as I love to listen to thunder and lightening, the consequences and chances of a wildfire starting are just too great and last year was awful. Many predict this year to be even worse since it is so dry and we are well on our way. For me it really puts into perspective where I want to settle down and perhaps build my home in the future. Fire insurance for a home is through the roof here, understandably why and I can see myself wanting to live with such a huge threat every summer. In an instance all could go up in smoke, and perhaps this is a state I will always love and visit but most likely will not put my roots down.

Once again I bow my hat to all the brave souls, our fire fighters and volunteers that fight these monster fires, risking their life to keep ours safe. May everyone stay safe and protected, may all the animals escape unharmed and find lusher meadows to graze on. Blessed be…

Posted in Disaster, Inspiration

A prayer for Oregon 

This picture was taken of a beautiful sunset in Lassen Volcanic Park. I must have taken a thousand within a short time, (ok, I’m slightly exaggerating, but truly one right after the other), mesmerized by the beauty of it, in an effort to capture the disappearing light of color in the sky. While starring into the heavens, the miracle was reflecting in the calm waters right in front of me. The silhouette of it was equally stunning. 

I came across this picture tonight and even though this one is peaceful and serene, the colors remind me of the wildfires that are raging through Oregon right now. Threatening and burning so many wonderful places such as the Columbia River Gorge known for it’s lush beauty and Multnomah Falls and well known and often photographed waterfall. The lodge is threatened and evacuations are taking place. Wildfire season is devastating in our area and each year many lose their livelihood and all that they have worked for. Animals lose their habitat and even though some fires are necessary for regeneration, it remains to be the ones caused by carelessness that hurt the most. 

Oregon needs rain, and may a little prayer find you tonight, for those in harms way find comfort and to stay safe. 

Posted in Disaster, Loss

Too close for comfort

Today had some scary moments that definitely came too close for comfort. Whatever my system was fighting, was still making me feel less than a 100%, but it was better than the day before and off to work I went. I struggled a few times and honestly, I wished I could have called in sick. But I couldn’t and to offset my nausea, I drank more water than usual in the hopes of staying hydrated and help with the dizziness. I made it by and soon I would learn that there were even bigger worries to be concerned about. Around 4PM I found out that yet another wildfire had started, the ninth one within the last ten days. Although it is wildfire season for us, I don’t remember ever seeing so many right after another. People are beginning to speculate if someone is setting these fires on purpose, as it is hard to believe and what are the chances that a wildfire erupts every day as a part of our daily routine. 

What was different about this one, was that it was dangerously close to my house. The freeway was closed already and there was no way getting to the house unless I was going to drive a giant loop, trying to circle the fire and come back to the house through another state, California. I contemplated getting back into the house one last time, as I was thinking about what I would take. Strangely very little came to mind as most things would be replaceable or had reached a point of where I wouldn’t want to replace them. I felt a strange combination of emotions wash over me as I couldn’t pinpoint exactly what I was feeling. A bit nervousness, sure, it’s not every day that your house is threatened to go up in flames and there was a little sadness as my mind had no problems countering up images of a past life gone up in smoke. Reduced to ashes with nothing left, gone. Of course this was exaggerated as there was plenty left, even if that would have happened, but our minds are powerful and the ego always love to portray the worst case scenario. For a moment I wondered if this was God’s way of helping me dissolve a household and clear the path for Germany. In a way, it was in that moment that I stopped worrying and once again found trust in my beliefs of that everything would find it’s way and would unfold how it was meant to be. I wouldn’t even try to interfere. 

I continued to check the phone periodically for updates and at one point learned that people within a couple of blocks from my house got evacuated. The fire was creeping closer, but eventually changed directions and was moving away from my house. I was sure I was amongst the 4000 people without power. I could sense it without knowing. I was off at 7PM and by 8:30PM the freeway finally opened up again and residents were allowed back to their houses. It was light enough driving home to see the charred up hill and how close the fire came to doing even worse destruction, messing with people’s livelihood. In the end 250 houses, 7 businesses and 10,000 residents were affected. It felt like a devastated area, driving through the black vegetation and the roads covered with red fire retardant. But those are minor things compared to what could have been and I have no complaints. I’m tired from not feeling well and I’m grateful that I can rest in my own bed, without further stress. Even the power was back on once I came into the house, as all electronics greeted me with flashing numbers to have their time reset. They are still flashing…

This was only the beginning