Archive for October 24th, 2007

Take a Book Walk with Cay

October 24, 2007 @ 7:07 pm | Filed under:

Bookwalkmd_2 What’s a Book Walk?

Something fun Cay Gibson is hosting
. Last week she offered a free copy of her book, Literature Alive!, to the 17th person who emailed her.

Tomorrow, she’s doing it again. This time, the lucky winner will receive a copy of her new book, Christmas Mosaic.

Make sure to drop by her blog tomorrow and throw your name into the cake bowl!

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For My Non-Fire-Obsessed Readers: Something a Little Lighter

October 24, 2007 @ 6:57 pm | Filed under:

I’ve had this post sitting in drafts since the sunscreen post. In the comments, responding to my question about what’s worse, sunscreen or sun exposure, Becky offered this very sensible suggestion:


Our eldest first went to the West Indies to visit her grandparents
when she was five months old, and we went with all three to live there
for seven months when our youngest was not quite two. So sunscreens
were pretty much out of the question.

Not to mention that with all that inning and outing with the pool
and the beach, and my husband’s and my sweat making the sunscreen drip
off, you spend more time reapplying than actually protected.

My husband and I each have Tilley hats with broad brims, and the
kids have a collection of baseball caps and also Tilley-style hats. The
key seems to have been starting them out young, so they are used to
having hats on in the sun 🙂

I know you’re right. Alice said the same thing. You are wise women.

I wish I liked hats.

I like them on other people. Just not on me.

Of course, part of the reason is because I’ve been toting a baby in a sling pretty much nonstop for 12 years now, and I’ve never yet known a baby who could resist the delights of whipping a hat off mom’s head over and over and over.

But I’m probably using that as an excuse because I just don’t like wearing hats.

Maybe I’ve just never found the right one.

I do love the look of an old-fashioned wide-brimmed straw hat with a ribbon around it…I guess I never really thought of wearing one myself, but maybe I could pull it off? (Or the baby could…ba dum bum.)

Something like this?


Of course, it’s sort of summery. For cold weather, there’s this little number:


Or one of these?


In for a penny, in for a pound?


San Diego Fire Update: Wednesday Afternoon

October 24, 2007 @ 3:11 pm | Filed under:


A Martin Mars Water Bomber is flying in from Canada to assist SoCal firefighting teams. This flying tanker plane can dump 7500 gallons of water at once, enough to cover a three-acre area.

Some fire updates:

Witch Fire (now merged with Poomacha Fire), 10% contained, 12 firefighters injured, 2 civilians injured, has burned 225,000 acres. The quaint little mountain town of Julian, known for its fall apple-picking opportunities, is in serious danger. It has been evacuated and has lost power, and firefighters are working to redirect the blaze that threatens it.

Scott had actually planned to take yesterday off work and take the family for a drive up to Julian. Does not sound like we’ll be making that trip this fall after all.

The Poomacha fire is burning its way up Palomar Mountain now.

Horno Fire at Camp Pendleton, 10% contained, 800 evacuees, has burned 6000 acres. This one shut down traffic on the I-5 earlier today, but I think it has reopened now.

Harris Fire, the one south/southeast of us, has caused widespread evacuations but seems to have been somewhat redirected away from heavily populated residential areas. It has also burned its way eastward toward the Cleveland National Forest.

Some repopulating is occurring today in scattered communities now deemed to be out of harm’s way. But this is only a small percentage of the evacuees; thousands of people remain in shelters around the county. New evac orders have come through all day today as the fires

Schools are closed, the courts are closed, and people like us in non-threatened zones are laying low, keeping the roads clear and avoiding the smoke. We had to cancel Shakespeare Club today, which crushed the kids. A small sacrifice compared to others’ losses, though! The footage of destroyed homes is devastating.

Up in Orange County, St. Michael’s Abbey had a narrow escape (and is still not entirely out of danger). Fr. John Caronan writes:

"Please keep us in your prayers as the fires around 2pm this
(Tuesday) were just 200-300 yards away. The abbey is completely empty.
We all
evacuated by 4pm. We hope that the abbey will be spared as firetrucks
the abbey as we have about 4-5 fire hydrants. We took refuge at St.
John the Baptist parish in Costa Mesa. We don’t know when we’ll be able
to return to the abbey."

(HT: Michelle Bru of Regina Caeli Academy Independent Study Program.)

This aerial map image from DailyKos shows the smoke of all these fires swirling out over the Pacific. But I think now the winds are blowing mostly east? It’s the west-blowing winds, the Santa Anas, that have created this inferno.


(Click to enlarge.)

Mayor Sanders is trying to decide whether the Chargers will be able to play their Sunday afternoon game at Qualcomm Stadium as scheduled. I’m a little surprised there’s any question about it at all. Over 11,000 people are living at Qualcomm right now. Are they really going to be able to return home by Sunday? I would love to think so, but it seems like these fires are a long way from being under control.

One of the Steele Canyon High evacuees I wrote about this morning has suffered a stroke and was taken to the hospital.

Five people have died in connection with the fires: one in the Harris blaze, and four others during or after evacuation.

Snowing Here, Flaming There

October 24, 2007 @ 2:22 pm | Filed under:

I’ve been doing all my wildfire-blogging over at Lilting House. Somehow I felt too tender about the Robert’s Snow post to pile a bunch of fire gloom on top of it.

Be sure to visit the other snowflake posts for some beautiful artwork and fun illustrator interviews. Here are links to yesterday and today’s posts:

Tuesday, October 23

Wednesday, October 24

I’m not the only member of the kidlitosphere to be affected by the fires…Sondra of Kane/Miller Books had to evacuate. Here’s her post about it. I hope she and all the other Kane/Miller folks are staying safe and don’t suffer any damages in the fires.

UPDATE: The Kane/Miller newsletter hit my in-box today, with this note about how the staff is weathering the firestorm:

As most of you know, Kane/Miller’s main office is located within San
Diego County. Luckily, our office has not been affected by the fires


While the employees of K/M
have been lucky enough to all have homes still standing, the areas in
which we reside are filled with smoke and ash and
the schools which
our children attend have closed for the week as have most businesses to
help conserve resources.





As our books are housed in New York and we have the availability to connect through the internet remotely, we ARE processing orders
although there may be delays in responding to your emails and phone calls. We truly appreciate your patience during this time.

I’m so glad to hear their homes are safe so far!


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San Diego Fire Update: Wednesday Morning

October 24, 2007 @ 7:39 am | Filed under:

Here’s a good update from the SignonSanDiego fireblog:

Witch Fire:
About 196,420 acres in northern San Diego County from Witch Creek to
Rancho Santa Fe. One percent contained; 500 homes, 100 businesses and
50 outbuildings destroyed; 375 other structures damaged, including 250
homes and 75 businesses. Two civilians and 12 firefighters injured.

This is the really big one north of us. Last night it merged with the Poomacha fire to create a giant nightmare of a blaze.

  Harris Fire:
About 72,000 acres 70 miles southeast of San Diego north of the border
town of Tecate. 10 percent contained; 200 homes destroyed; 2,000 homes
and 500 commercial properties threatened. One civilian killed,
21 civilians and five firefighters injured.

This is the one south of us that has spread steadily north, marching over Mt. Miguel and threatening homes in Rancho San Diego and Spring Valley. It started way down south near the border and for a while was moving northwest, threatening Chula Vista, but then shifted northeast toward Mt. Miguel and beyond. Although its northern edge is now less than ten miles from our house, we remain safe here and still don’t expect to have to evacuate.

  Rice Fire: At
least 7,500 acres in Fallbrook in northern San Diego County. 10 percent
containment; 206 homes and 2 commercial properties destroyed. One
firefighter injured.

  Poomacha Fire:
20,000 acres on the La Jolla Indian Reservation and in northeastern San
Diego County. No containment; 50 homes destroyed and 2,000 homes
threatened. Ten firefighters injured.

This is the one that merged with the Witch Creek fire in the night. It is moving toward Palomar Mountain in one direction and Cleveland National Forest in the other.

  Camp Pendleton Fire: 6,000 acres on the Marine base north of San Diego. 10 percent contained. 

One of the newer fires. It shut down traffic on I-5 for a while, but I’m now reading that the highway is open again.

Today’s firemap (updates every hour, in theory).

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