Tuesday, September 6, 2011

That's what weekends are for, right?

It has definitely been a tumultuous weekend for Central Texas, let me tell you! I mean, we finally got a break in the temperatures, seeing the low nineties rather than the triple digits, but... we can't go outside because of all the smoke from wildfires! There are three currently going that I know of around us. First, the Bastrop Fire, which has burned over 30, 000 acres and destroyed close to 600 homes. That one, as I mentioned earlier, is about 30 miles away from us, but is still affecting us, as we are wreathed in smoke and everything smells like ashes. And it's not even close to being contained. The Delhi fire is about 15 miles away, and of course, sending smoke this way, and according to the map, is only 45% contained. The Pettytown fire is supposedly 90% contained, but... well... if the wind picks up again, who knows?

Saturday, when this whole business started, the Husbandly One had gotten the ambition to clean out the garden shed, which needed it badly. Basically, we had pretty much just shoved things in without so much as a "where should this go?" And when we started, it was lovely and windy, and we had no idea what was going on around us. We noticed it was hazy, but figured that after a summer of blasting furnace heat and no rain, soil was being picked up and blown around, plus whatever pollen had survived to this point. And we knew there was a fire warning on, so hearing sirens didn't alarm us unduly. And I figured the breathing problems I was having was due to dust and pollen being blown around.

And when my daughter said, "Hey, look, is that a thunderhead?" we looked and thought, "Oh, thank goodness, rain on the horizon!"

It wasn't. It was this...

That's the smoke cloud from Bastrop, by the way. It was huge.

We didn't find out about it until after 9 o'clock, when I'd gone to sit out on the back deck and saw this weird orange glow on the underside of the "cloud" we had noticed earlier. I was sort of idly checking Facebook on my iPod Touch and saw a post by a friend who lives close by worrying about the fires coming close to her home and thought, "Huh?" So I checked local news and nearly had heart failure!!

She and her family are okay, for now. They live close to the Pettytown fire. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for them and offered a hidey hole for them if they need to bolt. I sincerely hope it isn't needed, not because I don't want them here, but because I don't want them to lose what they've built.

This is what I saw this morning, when I left to pick up the kids...

That's from the front yard.

That's from my back deck.

It's not any better right now. Just... lighter. And everything reeks of burned soil. I'm staying indoors, but I have to tell you, the Asthma Monster is rearing it's ugly little head again, after an absence of nearly eleven months. Major. Suckage.

Oh, by the way, InHumane Care called yesterday. They used a robo-caller, because I guess they didn't want to give me the chance to chew them out. Anyhow, this robot calls and in a happy, cheery little perky voice told me that my prescription request has been denied, and that I should try alternatives and have a nice day!! MAJOR. SUCKAGE.

So, yeah, back to Dr. Tummy and the Pharmacist Who Won't Quit. I hope we can beat this, I really do, because I have to tell you, this is as depressing as hell. And I'm FURIOUS.

SO. That was MY weekend! How was yours?

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