Sunday Homestead Update – Sleeping Wildfire

Time change again already?  AND November!?  Those seriously snuck up on us this year.  The wildfire has consumed all our attention and we didn’t see it coming.  Yeesh.  Where has fall gone?

Wildfires

The wildfire update is constantly changing – daily, sometimes hourly.  Just when we think we know what is going on, something changes.  It has made for quite the emotional rollercoaster over the last 10 days, and it isn’t over yet.  As of now, the snow is melting and almost gone and we are watching and waiting to see what the fire does.  It is still burning, but they don’t expect it to move for a few days.  There is definitely potential that later this week, or next week, it could move again and we would be evacuated again.  We are anxious to get our animals back home, but we don’t want to bring them back and then have to remove them again.  It is a strange limbo to be living in, at home trying to somewhat live normal life, with no animals to care for, while the fire kind of hangs over our heads and we need to be prepared to leave at any moment.  An emotional rollercoaster of waiting and watching.

When we got home, our very old and leaky windows all had ashes all over the window sills from the fire.

This reminded me that it is time to seal the windows for the winter using that plastic that you heat with a hair dryer.  We got half of them done this week, and will finish the rest soon.  Someday, we really need to replace these super inefficient old windows.  Just think how much cold is coming in if that much ash can come in!?

We decided to get the barn and coops all cleaned out and ready for animals to come home – whenever that may be.  They were due for a cleaning, and then the rush of getting everyone out in such a hurry caused a lot of mess too.  It is now all clean and just awaiting the day we can bring our critters home to it.

It was interesting cleaning without them there.  We have never done that before.  On one hand, it was kind of nice to clean without them underfoot and in the way.  But stronger than that was the sadness and empty feeling of not having them there.  We stop to pet them and love on them while we clean usually, and their absence was very obvious as we worked.  We miss them so much.  We are blessed that they are all well taken care of in the places they are staying.  We got this photo from where the goats and the LGD are staying.  It was nice to see them, even if it is just in a photo.

Fire Mitigation

Our property is pretty well fire-mitigated, but there is always a little extra here or there that can be done.  And when a wildfire is headed for you, it brings to mind all the little things you can do extra.  So we decided to use yesterday to do some more fire mitigation around the buildings, making sure everything was as safe as we could make it.  We moved the firewood splitting area and firewood pile farther away from the structures.  We took down one of a few trees that are probably too close to our house and are contemplating the other three.  We made sure that all the trees within 100 feet of the structures are limbed up 10 feet on their trunks (or 1/3 of the way for smaller trees).  All this in hopes that if a fire does come through, our home and structures might be able to survive it.  Apparently, if you can keep the fire from going up the trees, having it stay down on the ground level in grasses etc, then you have a much better chance of your buildings surviving.

Garden?

Our garden season is long over.  However…we have an accidental pepper plant indoors that has ripening peppers on it.  In the spring, we start many of our plants under grow lights since our growing season outdoors is oh-so-short.  Then we move them outdoors when it is safe.  Somehow, this pepper plant stayed inside.  I don’t know if it wasn’t mature enough, or if we didn’t have space, or probably both…but it stayed indoors.  I didn’t even know it existed, but the kids have been keeping it under the grow light and watering it.  And here we are with a mature pepper plant.  The first pepper to ripen was very small, but a beautiful chocolate-colored sweet pepper.

Heritage Arts

Mtn Man finished another rug order.  This was a first for him in two ways: #1 it was his first circle, and #2 it was his first time dyeing roving and using color (other than natural fleece colors) in a rug.  It is a 5-foot diameter, alpaca fiber rug.  It turned out great!  He was glad the customer wanted color and a circle because it challenged him to try new things and see the results.

I finally finished the poncho I have been working on for over a year now.  It has been set aside over and over again for other knitting projects.  Well, it is done now and I love it.  The pattern is called Match Play Poncho and the yarn is Haiku Sueno.

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