I have an even deeper appreciation for what I see Californians facing during fire season.

My neighbor sent me these photos of Monday's fire near our neighborhood. The pictures I took were of the fire before it swept across the hill. These pictures were taken later after the fire crossed the hill and was ravaging this ridge. I am grateful to the person who keeps the field in this picture mowed. It kept the fire from coming further down the hill.

There was an all out battle - 3 helicopters with buckets , 2 tanker planes dropping water, and a plane dropping retardant.

In all, 600 acres burned. The excitement is over. for us. There are other fires in this region. We are left with a charred hillside but thankfully no lives or houses were lost. amazing.


This isn't California.

An afternoon packed with awe and angst. This 300 acre fire is a little less than a mile from my home as the crow flies. The hill that you see in the last picture is "my" hill. I gazed at it out of the front window of my childhood home, and I enjoy gazing at it out of the front window of the home I own now. I have never seen it burn. I have had the sound of helicopters and 'fire planes' flying low over my home all afternoon. Night is falling and it is still not contained. My camera's battery died soon after I started taking pictures, so I did not catch the worst of it in pictures. The fire quickly swept across the hill. My home is safe as long as it doesn't jump the road and burn the orchard and field that borders 2 sides of my neighborhood.

I am teaching myself to knit with a yarn held in each hand. It is fun teaching my hands new motor skills. Stranded knitting has always been stressful - stressing about the tension of the floats and trying to be perfect to the point that it took the fun out of it. However, I am enjoying this project immensely. I think the shift in my perception of stranded knitting occurred after I read this ...

"A Selbu knitter wouldn't have thrown away a project because it wasn't perfect. She would have made what fix was practical, then continued knitting." Selbuvotter, Biography of a Knitting Tradition

I will be practical in my pursuit of perfection.


Sad and glad.
Sad = a dear friend has to quit knitting due to physical ailments.
Glad = she generously passed along a sweater's worth of yarn to me (part of it knitted). It says it is 100% American Wool. I am not sure what kind that is - maybe a mixture (?). It is not next-to-the-skin-soft wool, but it feels sturdy and will make a nice outer garment. I offered to finish the sweater for my friend, but she said 'no'. She said she got pleasure out of giving the yarn to me, and now I will have pleasure thinking of my friend as I knit with it.


A mushroom tubby.

Mushrooms have a different meaning for me since my adventure in mushroom dyeing (April 15, 2008). There is so much to learn. I think the mushrooms are safe this year, though.

A lot of knitting going on but not much to show for it right now. I am excited about the change in weather. Temperatures have dipped below 50 (F) at night. I get up early and open the patio door to let the cool air into the house.


Today is significant for 2 reasons. One is that it is my mother's birthday. The other is the trauma inflicted on people of several nationalities at the World Trade Center 8 years ago.

I prefer to focus on my mother's birthday today. I do not want to think about the other too much.

But as the day closes I find myself thinking of the people in those buildings this day 8 years ago, and those who rushed to their rescue. Hate and evil is nothing new in this world. It is an old story. It makes the selflessness of those who tried to save others shine like stars in a black night. I can't help but think of those who died trying to save others. in spite of feeling afraid. in spite of the magnitude of the task. rushing towards danger to help others. This is what I choose to contemplate. Hoping it inspires me to be selfless.

I have heard some say that Americans deserved this. I have heard some very likable people echo this sentiment. I feel this says more about the person who says this than the people they choose to devalue. Very sad. America is a large country made up of many different people. Hatred bent towards harming innocent people is a terrible, evil thing.

I will focus instead on the acts of selflessness. American people giving up their lives in order to save others.