Five simple things


I skipped out on posting the "Five simple things" last Friday due to the fact that our older dog, Baz, wasn't feeling well and had to make an emergency trip to the veterinarian. He's doing much better now, but has been having a rough two weeks. He is going on 17-years-old and has his good days and his bad days, but we are taking the best care of him as a senior dog. The veterinarian put him on a few pills, one being a steroid, so we have high hopes that they will help him along. He is loved a lot and he knows it too. We hope he sticks with us another year or so and gets back to his good self before too long.

We've had quite a two weeks here, especially here in the Valley. The wildfires burning here are overwhelming and have really wrecked havoc on the air quality here. Although, they have gotten a few of them within some sort of control, it still hasn't made for the best atmosphere here. We think a few of these smoke clouds have added to Baz's health, and the little bit of rain we've gotten here and there has helped. We did get a bit of a breeze through a few days in a row and that has helped, but we hope they clear out all the way soon. Here are the things that are worth mentioning this week.

1. Smoke (picture heavy)

The smoke within the Valley has been pretty heavy lately. Of course, as I type this out for the "Friday things" the smoke has cleared out a bit, but still a little hangs in the air here and there. The Mr. and I grabbed us some to-go oxygen boost cans and have been desperately trying to water our dry grass as much as we can. We are on city water here where we live and keeping things wet and green gets expensive, so we run the water an hour a day in certain areas just to keep things from becoming too dry.

When the fires were going strong around the Valley, with about 12 burning throughout the state during this time, the smoke and ash was was really bad.

Eagle Creek Fire in the Columbia River Gorge. (source)

These images are from the Eagle Creek Fire in the Columbia River Gorge. This fire was completely preventable because it started with fireworks. Unfortunately, they are still burning and have been burning since the first of September.

The Eagle Creek Fire is one that we've been following here in our house because of the threat to Multnomah Falls and the Bonneville Dam area. 

View of the fire reaching the Multnomah Falls Lodge. (source)

The evacuations continued throughout the night of the fire moving through the Gorge area. It was really surreal seeing all of these evacuation reports coming across on Twitter and some of these people are still displaced as of right now. It's heartbreaking to know that this area will take some time to recover, but it's even more heartbreaking to know these people's lives were turned upside down over kids playing with fireworks. Wildfires can take off quicker than people even realize and this fire is proof of that. Not only were the people in this area displaced, there was issues here and there with removing people's livestock and animals. The Multnomah County Sheriff's Office did a great job with posting information and other ways to help people be prepared with removing animals out of harms way. 

This information they posted is a great resource if you are a pet or livestock owner.  Heed their advice and always be prepared.

The ash levels in different area around the Valley were intense. 

Without taking away from the Eagle Creek Fire, but the Milli Fire is another one. This fire is located about 10 miles outside of Sisters, Oregon. The Mr., The Bean, and I got a first-hand look at this fire when we took a road trip over the Cascades recently.

It is terribly sad seeing something like this in person. It breaks my heart to see such beautiful areas of Oregon going up in flames this summer. I'm a tree-hugger and love nature so much, so seeing something like this is emotionally overwhelming. The Millie Fire was started because of lightning, so nature does have a hand in a lot of these fires on the west coast, but the Eagle Creek Fire and other fires created by man can and are avoidable. We continue to take advantage of Mother Earth and her environment and in turn, she fights back. 

The Mr. spotted this twin rotor Chinook Helicopter sitting at the highway department maintenance yard at Santiam Junction near the base of the Cascade Mountains. It's one of the large pieces of fire fighting gear that they have been putting toward the fires around the area. We really do appreciate every fire fighter, especially ones that have traveled across state lines, that have been working these fires around Oregon.

2. Road trip (Christmas Valley)

We loaded up this past week and headed over to an area called Christmas Valley to get out some land options. We were a bit disappointed with the land in the town, but the road trip was a success. We checked out an area called Fort Rock and also took in the areas great history. Christmas Valley is definitely a place for someone that likes the great outback and complete privacy. The Mr. noted that the stargazing in the area, if we bought land there, would be amazing! We have been weighing the pros and cons of the land options there and we just don't think it's exactly what we are looking for right now.

The drive took us along the National Scenic Byway of Oregon's Outback. We only saw chipmunks running around, but it was fun looking for other animals in the area and seeing how different the area is to the Valley.

The smoke from the Millie Fire was pretty thick on our drive and having the air conditioning on we could smell the smoke coming through the vents. The sun was glowing reddish/pink too. So heartbreaking to know that just beyond the trees there's a fire tearing up the landscape of the forest.

3. This reminder

This little bag was spotted at our local food co-op and I just love the message on it. It's a great reminder for when you are feeling down and out. I didn't buy it, but maybe just posting a picture of it here will help you, or someone else, remember that they are perfect, just the way they are. ♥

4. Our brew

Yes, that's right, we are dipping into the microbrew field. This is the bottles from our wheat ale. It's in the small production phase right now, so more on this later. 

5. End of summer

Gotta love the end of summer here in the Valley-dry grass, changing trees, and yellow jackets. Honestly, we are looking forward to some fall weather and hopefully, we will see some snowfall soon. We love the snow in this house, so bring it on!

Have a great weekend!

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