|This is what we woke up to...Smoke filled air. It got progressively worse throughout the day.|
This is what we woke up to this morning and it just got worse as the day went on. Our air particulate count was beyond the hazard range from the smoke coming in from all the wildfires in Oregon and right here in Washington State. There are still fires burning within about 30 miles from us and firefighters from other states are coming in to help put them out. California, Oregon, Washington and Idaho seem to all be on fire right now. I have never in my life seen it this bad.
Our Chris has been out fighting some of the fires on his days off from his regular police job. He is the fire chief for his small all volunteer community fire department. Most of the small towns around here have all volunteer fire departments and EMTs. Chris does that too and Heather is also back to being an EMT.
Sadly, we have had 2 entire towns near us burn up. The city of Malden, WA made the national news and the town next to it, Pine City, also burned. That fire is now threatening several other towns where we have friends living. So many people lost everything there, as did so many all across the West Coast Region. Tragically, people have not only lost their homes and businesses, but some have also lost their pets and their own lives. My heart aches for all of them.
We are being told to stay inside our homes due to the thick and acrid smoke. I made the mistake of going out twice today to the garage to pull some things out of the freezer. I was out there for about a minute each time and am now paying royally for it. I got the worst headache and my throat and sinuses are now a mess. It also threw me into a Fibro flare. I had no idea that smoke would send me into a flare, but now I know it does. I ended up in bed for a good 3 hours after that.
Our grandkids were supposed to come over with the older two spending Saturday night. The plan was for us, along with Jaysn, Rachel, Steven and my cousin Jeremy to have lunch together on Sunday. We were then going to go up and pick apples at the orchard just over the hill from us. That is not happening now. Chris and Heather were supposed to go hiking up a mountain Sunday in Northern Idaho. That is not happening either with the smoke reaching it's insidious fingers everywhere and choking any living thing that dares to venture out.
I had planned on doing a Frugal Friday Wrap Up post, but I got so busy this week following all the fires around us, trying to get everything I could harvested from the gardens, keeping things watered and getting ready for this influx of smoke. I was able to harvest some plums from our neighbor's tree that hangs over into our yard, get most of the tomatoes in and pick all the ripe blackberries. Now I wait until the smoke clears out to harvest anything more. I can't do much cooking either because we are being advised not to fry anything, vacuum, etc. to try to keep the air quality in the house as good as we possibly can. I can't dehydrate anything either because it will heat up the house, which we have to keep sealed up and I can't do it in the garage either, because it will smell like smoke.
We are using our toaster oven instead of our big oven, to bake things. Luckily I had a homemade frozen lasagna in the freezer that will fit in there. The microwave is also in use quite a bit. We don't dare heat the house up since we have no way of cooling it down quickly since we cannot open windows or use the swamp cooler.
I feel like we are living in the Twilight Zone here. Covid-19 cases exploding, hospitals putting restrictions back in place for visitors, fires burning around us, and now smoke filled skies. Jeff came home from working Friday night and told me how eerie it is at night driving with so much smoke in the air. He had to wear his mask the entire time, even in the truck, so he could breathe. Our world is now literally within the walls of our home. No more going outside until the smoke starts to clear out or until Jeff has to return to work on Monday night. It is not worth the risk to our health or to our fur babies health either.