Smokey Summer Daybook :: August 7, 2013

by | Aug 8, 2013 | Field Trips, Latin Mass, Puzzles, Wildfire | 7 comments

Outside my window… 
Smoke… Way too much smoke.  We have been dealing with a thick choking layer of smoke in our area, due to severe wildfire smoke, which has been causing unhealthy to extremely hazardous air quality.  We had a very short break from the smoke last Friday, and it wasn’t nearly as bad as it had been over the weekend, but it is back.  All the local outdoor activities for summer, including the swimming lessons the kids were taking, have all been cancelled or postponed indefinitely.  We have dealt with smoke from wildfires before, but it has never been this bad. Please continue to pray, especially for the safety of the firefighters, including my husband.

August 6th – Not as bad as before, but still “very unhealthy”
July 30 – Hazardous (Highest Level, the most dangerous/harmful on the Air Quality Index) 

I am thinking…        
it is going to get worse before it gets better.  Thunderstorms are on the forecast all week, and the last couple days/nights we had hundreds of lightning strikes in our country which have ignited some new wildfires.  We currently have a “Red Flag Warning” for our area, which means that “critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now, or will shortly.”  Hopefully the storms will at least clear up the smoke for a little while.  I am so ready for fall.

I am thankful… 
for our air conditioner, which helps filter the air in the house, and for respirator masks, which make it a little safer to go out and water the garden and complete other outdoor chores when the smoke is really bad.  Fun times.

Learning all the time 
The kids have been finding lots of ways to stay busy inside, despite the fact that I sold the television and have been busy selling truckloads of books…  It only took the older boys a few days to complete the 1,000 piece puzzle Captain received for his birthday!

Celebrating the liturgical year 
We had our 3rd quarterly Latin Mass this past Sunday!  Despite summer schedules, a date change, a time change, and all the smoke, we still had nearly 100 people in attendance.  These masses have been such a blessing!

From the kitchen… 
I haven’t had much energy left to spend much time in the kitchen lately, and with my husband not eating any meals at home, I’ve been even less motivated.  It’s time to put together a meal plan and start creating some “real” meals again.

I am working on…
redecorating and organizing the girls’ bedrooms!

I am creating… 
check-lists for next year.  I do plan on finishing them as soon as I have a chance, but I’m starting to get a little nervous after hearing stories of a couple friends losing their finished documents (due to various computer issues) and then running across this last night.  Oh, that would be so frustrating!

I am going… 
to continue working on shipping out books!  I took the first batch to the post office earlier this week and will be making one more trip with the rest of the books just as soon as I can get my hands on some more boxes and envelopes.  Hopefully this afternoon!

I wasn’t exactly the person you wanted to be in line behind at the post office 😉 

I am hoping… 

that I can wrap up the books sales quickly so we can take a few little trips out of town.  The smoke has been taking it’s toll on all of us and we have been dealing with sore throats, headaches, and runny noses, despite our efforts to keep out of it as much as possible.  

I am praying… 
for the soul of a a 19 year old who died fighting our local fires this week… May he rest in peace.

I am reading… 
pictures books to the little ones at bedtime.  They miss their Daddy, especially on the nights he gets home after they are asleep.

Pondering these words…
from Padre Pio:

“In all the events of life, you must recognize the divine will.  Adore and bless it, especially in the things which are the hardest for you.”

I am listening…  
to the washing machine.  My husband usually does his own laundry, but he is nearly out of socks so I am chancing the possibility of coming down with poison oak again (I am highly allergic and he works in it everyday, especially now on the fire) and catching it up for him.  It was either that or go buy a couple packs of new socks, which I actually considered! 😉

Around the house… 
I wasn’t expecting the new bunk beds until next week, but they arrived, in five large boxes, on August 1st, just after posting the Book Sale link up!  With the fire, and my husband getting home at 9 or 10 each night and leaving early in the morning, I wasn’t sure when we’d be able to get them assembled… Thankfully he was able to take off this past Sunday for our Latin Mass and we tackled the project in just a couple hours that day. The beds are so beautiful and I’ll take pictures to share soon!

One of my the boys’ favorite things…  
new t-shirts from the fires their Dad fights!

This week’s plans…

Monday-Friday: Summer Camp for Captain!
Monday-Saturday: Stay Indoors… Complete Book Sales and try to finalize school plans.
Sunday: Annual St. Anthony’s Festa (I was informed at Mass last Sunday that Father Carmelo expects the boys to be there to serve, and to bring the cassocks and surplices.  I can pull it off without Sean’s help, right? I hope so!) 

A little peek at my day…
I wrote this post earlier this morning, but before finishing received an email from a friend saying that it was free admission day at the Science Museum!  We were needing a break from the house so we dropped everything and went out for the afternoon/evening.   The kids had a blast! 


  1. 9peasMom

    I'm so worried about you guys and all that smoke. I know all the precautions have been put into place and God is good, he will care for you all but wow those pictures really tell how bad the air quality is. It is a blessing no one has asthma!
    I loved reading all the updates etc.. Still praying for all the fire fighters, especially your husband!

  2. mel

    Wow, that's such a trial for you all. I pray life is back to normal soon for all of you!

  3. Erin

    Praying for your firefighter:( So what does poor air quality in America mean? Intrigued by Rascal's mask. A suggestion you may find useful, so you don't worry about losing your lesson plans. You could have a learning blog, that way if your computer dies, no worries. I love mine
    and you could make it private, or semi private, I don't normally advertise mine, don't link from my blog, so not often found.

  4. Jessica Gordon

    Each category corresponds to a different level of health concern. The six levels of health concern and what they mean are:

    "Good" AQI is 0 – 50. Air quality is considered satisfactory, and air pollution poses little or no risk.

    "Moderate" AQI is 51 – 100. Air quality is acceptable; however, for some pollutants there may be a moderate health concern for a very small number of people. For example, people who are unusually sensitive to ozone may experience respiratory symptoms.

    "Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups" AQI is 101 – 150. Although general public is not likely to be affected at this AQI range, people with lung disease, older adults and children are at a greater risk from exposure to ozone, whereas persons with heart and lung disease, older adults and children are at greater risk from the presence of particles in the air. .

    "Unhealthy" AQI is 151 – 200. Everyone may begin to experience some adverse health effects, and members of the sensitive groups may experience more serious effects. .

    "Very Unhealthy" AQI is 201 – 300. This would trigger a health alert signifying that everyone may experience more serious health effects.

    "Hazardous" AQI greater than 300. This would trigger a health warnings of emergency conditions. The entire population is more likely to be affected.

    Right now the index is registering at 190, and the forecast for tomorrow is the same. It actually hit 800+ about 30 minutes north of us last week, which is off the charts in the hazardous category.. by a lot.

    Thank you so much for the prayers!

    And I like your idea! I might have to have a private page for that. I do upload documents to Scribd, but they are always in pdf form. Hmmm. I really need to get better about backing things up. Thanks!

  5. Anita

    I LOVE the girls new bunkbeds! Where did you get them from? So pretty!

  6. Mom2Seven

    Continued prayers for Sean and all the fire fighters! +JMJ+
    (And, for the repose of the soul of the young man who died.)

  7. Anonymous

    That shirt is awesome! Oh goodness! I need to get one of those masks. I got so sick today! And it isn't even that bad now. I can't wait for fall and the fires to be gone.


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