Monday, May 26, 2008

Summit Fire Update

The fire is now 70% contained reported by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. It's burned almost 4,000 acres, 36 homes, and 18 outbuildings, costing over $9,000,000.00!

The (former) Mountain Art Guild was able to locate Hugo Zazzara I previously wrote about and donate some money to him. There are other families without homes and another artist who I heard lost the home she rented and her studio space. I'm sure when this is all over with more stories will come forth. Sad ones. Thank God for the brave firefighters!! They truly have done an amazing job.

Our home is safe but rather smoky again this morning. Not so bad that it's impossible to breathe though.

I'll be back in a few days with pictures of some of my recent wearable creations and news of a possible workshop at my studio in August.

Saturday, May 24, 2008


Over night the fog came in thick and drippy which would be good to help stave a fire but the winds also changed direction and are now very gusty again, not good. This mean the fire is burning NNW which is our direction. I still think we're far enough away to not be in any danger but it's unsettling in the least.

For 13 years I was part of an art organization in our Loma Prieta Community. That organization has decided to call it quits for many reasons I'll not go into. I bring this up because one of our former members lost his home in this firethat is still raging in the Santa Cruz Mountains.. You can read his story here at the Ssn Jose Mercury News site. Hugo seemed a quiet man, not a big participant in guild functions but he did show his beautiful, finely crafted wooden furniture at our annual show. He is truly talented and now he has lost everything. He was devastated by losing everything he valued (save his life).

I feel compelled to help these people in anyway I can. We've offered to put people up in our home if they need a place. So many people in small communities such as ours bond together when disaster strikes. I know our phone has been ringing off the hook from friends and relatives from all over the country. While it was a bit tedious to repeat our situation it was very heart warming to know we had so many who care about us.

I thank all of those people.

When the fog lifts we'll drive up to the cut again to physically see what's happening with the fire and how close it might be coming our way. As I said I don't think we're in any real danger so I don't want to alarm anyone.

I'll give an update later.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Fire Update

We awoke around 3:00 a.m. to the smell of smoke that had permeated our household. During the night the winds died down and the marine layer came ashore causing the smoke to change directions and swirl back around in our direction. The fierce winds had been blowing from the NNW so yesterday we were spared any of the smoke or ash fall out (and also the fire coming our way). But this morning is very gloomy looking and thick with smoke.

We are very thankful the fire didn't come closer to us and also for the brave firefighters who are battling this blaze. They have done an amazing job! I couldn't imagine having that job.

The fire isn't out but is now 20% contained and the weather is cooperating better so I have faith.

I should add that this is only the beginning of fire season and it's very early to have had a fire. July maybe, but not May!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Sirens at 5:30 this morning

We were awoken with sirens this morning, a foreign sound for these quiet Santa Cruz Mountains. As we donned our bathrobes and trekked outside we saw huge plumes of smoke being gusted by 40 mile an hour winds. A wildfire, burning out of control.

So far over 3000 acres has burned and around 20 homes.

At this time the fires seems to be about 2 1/2 miles from our house. Fortunately for us the wind is blowing away from our house. It is only slowly creeping this way, but if the winds were to change directions things could happen quickly.

The road up to our house is closed, no one can come up so we sit here .

Between the pacing, walking outdoors to see the billowing smoke and the helicopters passing over head to drop water, and a bit of fretting I wonder "if we have to evacuate what do I take with me?" Hhmm, well of course our computers! Then the multitude of photos in suitcases and boxes in the hall closet, the cats, my jewelery box, some of my favorite clothes, water, flashlight, blankets, my Nina Bagley necklace, my DJ Pettit handbag, Lorrie Antony and Alena Byrnes jewelry, the artwork from the walls,(especially ones my children created, oh and of course my Diva Dictionary!. Then from my studio anything I can cram into laundry baskets and haul to the car. My husband says we should only take the stuff that is irreplaceable but to know what that is and where it is off the top of my head is overwhelming. My writing journals, art books (ones I've created and my Joanne Huffman crow book, and drawings. My son said he thought he could get all of his belongings in his car and if he only took the things he couldn't replace they'd probably fit in a shoe box. Remember the days when you were young with so few possessions that you could travel in your car with them?

Have you contemplated being in a disaster where you could lose all your belongings? What would you value most?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Back from Ohio

I just returned from visiting my sister in Ohio today. I first flew to Indiana to visit a very dear friend and his wife who live in a super cool, very large old Indiana farm house with three rottweilers. I got a tour of several old warehouse type buildings in Indianapolis that my friend Jack was instrumental in converting into artists studios. Jack took me half way between Indianapolis and Columbus, Ohio where I met up with my sister and another friend who we both knew from the Diva's online. We antique shopped and then all headed in our separate directions. I stayed several days with Jan but the weather wasn't real cooperative. Rain, wind, and cool weather prevented us from doing a lot of the outdoor activities we wanted. My parents drove up from Missouri and we had Mother's day together. It's too bad we live so far away from each other.

I have no pictures I had forgotten to take my camera.

Now I have to play catch up now from being gone. There are several projects that need immediate attention so I'll be back in a few days with more news.