Saturday, October 27, 2007

Saturday Update on Fires

I was wandering around online to check for updates on the San Diego "Witch" fire as well as the Santiago Fire - a fire my friend Ryan is fighting, he's a Firefighter - I'm not sure where's he's stationed. He originally started out fighting the Malibu fires, but once that got contained, he was moved up north to the fire in the Canyon.
The updates on the San Diego's "Witch" fire are as follows:

No change in acreage for the Witch Fire, but it is now 30% contained, with full containment expected on Oct 31st & full control on Nov 5th.
  • The Witch Fire has burned 198,000 acres.
  • There have been 22 injuries to firefighters.
  • It up to $5.3 million in suppression costs.
  • Currently there 325 engines, 45 fire crews, 45 water tenders, 22 dozers and 2,619 firefighters.
From what I'm reading on the Santiago Fire:

Acres burned: Approximately 27,521
Containment: 35 percent
Full containment expected: possibly Tuesday
Full control: unknown.
Firefighters on scene: 1,982 firefighters from the Orange County Fire Authority, California Department of Forestry, U.S. Forest Service, and Brea, Santa Ana, and Orange fire departments; 216 engines/trucks, 33 handcrews, 18 bulldozers. 634 personnel from the Orange County Sheriff's Department. 100-plus officers from California Highway Patrol.

Aircraft: 13 helicopters, 4 air tankers, 13 water tenders
Cost: About $4.5 million to fight fire; about $10 million in damage, a figure which is expected to grow significantly as losses of damaged and destroyed homes are tabulated.
Injuries: 4 firefighters with minor injuries
Structures burned: Eight residential structures were damaged and 14 destroyed. Twelve outbuildings were damaged and 8 destroyed.
Cause: Arson - if you have any information, call OCFA Arson Tip Line at 1-800-540-8282. $285,000 reward offered.

I'm just beside myself with all of this...

My mini pumpkin

This is my mini pumpkin I did last weekend - I just got so caught with the fire news that I forgot to post it on here. Since last Sunday, it disintegrated & I had to throw it out. Neil won't let me get another one. But, it was fun while it lasted. Maybe after Halloween, there will be a discount on them, and I get a gigantic one :)

Well, the Dunns were able to go back home - finally. It looks as if the fires in Fallbrook are controlled - not out, just controlled & where they live, it was safe for them to go back yesterday. Friday. They were out of their homes since Monday night. I just can't imagine.

What can I do to help? Brooke & I sat at work yesterday just itching to get out. We hated just sitting there. We looked online, and all that we saw was how to donate money - not your time. A lot of the evacuation facilities around us were covered on help - they had to turn people away even - doesn't that just warm your heart? I'm proud to be apart of a city that had that type of problem. Too much help.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

"It's the Santa Ana's"....

So - If you live in the Southern parts of California, you've heard us say "It's the Santa Ana's" when you feel that warm air blow through in the middle of October (mid-April). Every year, we feel it. But this year - it showed us its bad side, and proved in the worse way what they can do... I googled "Santa Ana's" and I found this article about it...

The winds, which blow in from the desert, combined with extreme drought conditions have made the fires especially treacherous.

"The air, the fuel, the grass, plants, everything is dry. Then you have this hot blast of wind coming from the north which is nothing but dry weather," said Sam Padilla, a Los Angeles County Fire Department inspector.

"So on top of that, add fire. This is a windstorm with fire. That is why they call it a firestorm. Once the fire starts it gives it that ignition, then it's on, everything around it is dry and ready to go," he said.

"The wind pushes it," he said. "It's a blow torch."

The Santa Ana winds, nicknamed "devil winds," are fairly common in the fall and early spring.
The weather pattern occurs when a cool, high-pressure system forms in the desert east of California, according to the UCLA Meteorology Department's Web site.

As the cool air moves downhill toward the coast it gets warmer and warmer and moves faster and faster.

The winds get even stronger when they flow through the canyons in Southern California.

CNN meteorologist Dave Hennen compared it to the gust of wind you feel when you walk between two tall buildings.

The National Weather Service on Tuesday predicted sustained winds of 15 to 35 miles per hour across the region with gusts of up to 65 mph.

There is some good news for firefighters.

CNN meteorologist Jacqui Jeras said the Santa Ana winds should start calming overnight and would continue weakening over the next few days.

She said lighter winds would be blowing in from the sea by the weekend, and that there was a possibility of rain next week

500,000 People

3:30 came fast today at work - I just couldn't wait to get home & watch the news to get caught up on the Fires that are both north & south of us. Within 5 minutes of watching what
these fires have done, I just wanted to change t
he channel.

Arson + Santa Ana winds = Devastation for Sout
hern California

According to NBC news - 500,000 people have had to evacuate out of San Diego county. That's 1/2 a million people that had to leave the comfort of their homes...the worst is to think they may not come home to anything at all.

These pictures were taken o
n my way home today...

These were taken at around 6 tonight...

Fires all around...

So, I'm sure everyone has heard - we are surrounded. Fires. And to think this all started due to possible arson. Lame.

Here are a few shots that I took
all day, starting w/my drive to
work at 6:30am...

Driving to work was just mind-boggeling. I couldn't take my eyes off of the sky. And this is just an ounce of what is really out there. All that's burning, does not compare to that bit of sky that you see here. For some reason, we have clear skies - the winds are blowing away any smoke or haze that wants to come out way - into our valley.
Our friends, the Dunn's, evacuated last night, out of Fallbrook & are hanging out in Menifee for the next couple of days. From an update I received from Virginia today is: their house is still standing - Jason made a drip up the mountain to check it out - Why? Because he's crazy....but what he discovered was the city of Fallbrook itself is covered in smoke and ash.

According to the news - certain areas are contained - but more are not.



3:30pm After work.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Very long weekend....

Friday: Went in for surgery for the 2nd time on my mouth. Back in August, I had to go into surgery to attach gold chains to the adult teeth that never dropped. My oral surgeon Dr. Izadi went in and opened the roof of my mouth - attached one end to the adult teeth, and tied the other end to my brackets. Every 3 weeks, I go in to see my Orthodontist & he slowly tightens the chains in hopes that it'll pull my very stubborn adult teeth down. Well, about a month ago, one of the chains decided to detach itself from my adult tooth & make it's way down & out of my gums. Painful, yes. But I had a moment of excitement hoping that it was an actual tooth. But that turned to doubt & a lot of tears when I realized it was a flat gold piece that was making it's way out. Bummed.

I went in yesterday to get that one re-attached. Dr. Izadi told me he would be more aggressive with the tooth - he couldn't be positive on whether it was the bond that gave up, or if it was my tooth that was no way wanting to budge. I woke up in a lot more pain. I'm still in pain. Which is weird because the last time, I barely had any pain at all. God please let this work....

I slept a majority of the day, which was nice. :) I haven't been able to sleep in a couple weeks now. The anesthesia was a gift from God, that's for sure. I feel very well rested. Last night, Neil and I went grocery shopping. Which is one of my favorite things to do w/Neil. We love food & love to cook - so it's always fun to shop. We were on a tight budget, but we did very well keeping it under.

Today, we woke up w/cleaning on our minds. We spent 2 hours just busting it out. Our apt looks so spic and span, I love it. We re-arranged our downstairs - slightly, but I like it.

Tonight, on the other hand will be really fun. Date night. Neil and I will be going to the movies. It's been a really long time. We're going to see "We Own The Night" w/Mark Walberg & Joaquin Phoenix. I'm so glad we will be able to do this. Yesterday was not so pleasant. I need a night out, if you know what I'm sayin'! And....Neil has his spaghetti & meatballs simmering on the stove. Very yummy. He hasn't made it in awhile - and he usually makes it for other people...but tonight, it's all for me. :)

Later on tonight - we'll be joining the birthday girl of the weekend - Alyssa at ET's - her favorite hole-in-the-wall bar. Cherry Cokes for me! It should be a good time....

Tomorrow - Church in the A.M. Then Football, all day. Oh, and I have to do laundry - I love doing laundry.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

What a week!

For about a year, the girls and I at work have been scheming together a 40th Birthday party for a supervisor at my work. 40th is big! The last 2 weeks have been pure chaos for us, trying to keep it away from Blake & making sure everyone in the office was involved. Chaos.
Wednesday night we made our way to Party City after work & then rushed back to decorate. That took about an hour or so to do. There was a slight problem - the streamers wouldn't stick. His office - just didn't like them. But we doubled up on tape & just hoped for the best. The turn out wasn't so bad. Take a look:

I actually think we added quite a bit more then what is shown here. This is what we thrive for at work. Keeping secrets from the birthday boy, or girl. And then just wait for them to walk in & have their faces light up. It's so much fun!
We decorated the lunch room as well. For the following day, Thursday, we set up a luncheon & had everyone bring food and desserts. There was so much food, it lasted for Fridays lunch :)
Blake was really, really surprised to walk into an office full of people wearing black & food & a decorated office. He had no idea.
We did it...

Well, it didn't stop their. The owners birthday is this upcoming Monday - but rumor has it, he wasn't coming into work. How were we going to put something together in just a few hours & have it ready by Friday? How is this?!!! Last year, we almost gave him a heart attack. And since we just did a crazy 40th - we were just wanting something low-key. So, this is what we did. We just got together and went shopping...

He loves the Raiders (I don't know why), so there are bowls there...Popcorn, loves popcorn. And we THINK he likes Snickerdoodle cookies. So there you go...Happy Birthday Randy!
Okay, so here is the kicker....the plan: Dawna, get up extra early (I don't sleep anyway) and go decorate the outside of his office...he locks his office doors....sure, why not!
What happened: Woke up at 510am, got ready. Went to Starbucks (yum), then headed to work. As I pull in to our parking lot, who's BMW is parked in it's usual spot? Mr. Randy Baker himself. I almost cried. Cried. What could I do? I walked right in his office, handed him the basket & wished him a Happy Birthday. Oh, I of course informed him who the basket was from...and that I was there so early to decorate - He felt soooo bad. He loves birthdays, and loves what we do for birthdays. It was a straight bust. 1st one ever actually.

Well, then. Friday started off w/a bust, but it ended quite well. I met Neil at his school right after work - it was the night of their Harvest Festival & his class was in charge of the Face Painting Booth....So much fun, right? Yes! 3 hours of non-stop painting little munchkins. Adorable. This little girl - had her hair spray painted (Done at another booth) -I hope that washes out quickly. She's actually one of Mr. Hartman's (Mr.H) students. This was my 1st butterfly of the night, and it's not THAT great - but Neil took the picture & I'll take what I can get.
I did master a couple of things though...Flowers, Spiders, Ghosts...and then Spider webs, with a spider on it. That was the most popular of night. I did a ton!
Neil was very impressed. This kid was the last of the night....

Saturday, October 6, 2007

My first blog!

Well, this is my first blog - I'm pretty excited about it. I love the thought of putting down what my thoughts are, even for the time being. Even if I'm the only one to know this thing exists...I'd be happy with that. My girlfriends Natalie & Shannon each have one - and it looks like a lot of fun...