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Friday, December 8, 2017

5 for Friday: Edition 4 - Where there is smoke there is fire

There is certainly a lot of smoke and fire in our area right now. I'm sure you are hearing about all of the horrible wildfires in the Los Angeles area. Ours is the Ventura one (Thomas fire) but it is not endangering our community.

My heart goes out to everyone with losses and to the animals suffering now and later as their habitat is destroyed. My heartfelt thanks to all the firefighters and volunteers helping the evacuated humans and animals. May the winds end soon so the fires can be put out.

1. We have seen flames at the top of a mountain ridge one night while driving home from dinner out (3rd Thai restaurant was a winner!). We also have smelled smoke and greeted people who are sheltering with neighbors while evacuated from their homes in the fire area.

2. Yesterday was the first day I was really concerned for our home and health but fortunately it turned out to not be a problem. I was finally taking a walk as the winds had died down so the air quality was better and I really needed some exercise. A bit into my walk I saw a smoke plume rising nearer to us than before. By the time I got home from my short one mile walk there was a huge black smoke cloud.

We finally learned where this flare up was and were able to pull back on our personal concern. I did sleep with the cell phone by bed though so if an alert came through I would hear it. Instead email updating woke me up at 3:30am LOL.

3. My emergency preparedness now that we are back in California had been focusing on earthquake readiness. Now we are talking about potential fire evacuation routes and what we would try to take if we had to leave very quickly vs having time to pack.

We are so fortunate that we have places to stay with family if we even need a break from smokey air or just from concern. Not everyone is being as fortunate as these fires have devastated over 100,000 acres so far and displaced hundreds of thousands of  people.

4. 2018 will be our first year on Federal retiree benefits and Medicare. We took the time to research our Federal health insurance options as it will be secondary to Medicare. We changed to a different health plan with lower costs but our same doctors. Since the combined insurance and Medicare will eliminate copays and annual deductibles, it looks like we will be able to keep total health care costs about the same for another year even with adding dental insurance. That is a huge accomplishment I think. Even better? Hubby took care of the registration/insurance change while I was out.

5. On a more cheerful note, I sold tickets for the Pet Club holiday dinner and bought tickets for a holiday brass band concert.

How was your week?

10 comments:

  1. That map is really interesting, Juhli. We live in that little triangle of clear sky to the south, just behind Catalina Island, and it explains why our skies have been clear thus far.

    Wildfires are simply a way of life here. I remember living in Ventura County during one terrible fire season, and at age 7 going into our kitchen to start packing because I was so scared. No one was home at the time, and for some reason I started packing up our spice cupboard, which is where my parents found me when they returned home.

    I would never, ever, ever live in one of our remote areas here for just that reason. I won't even go hiking in them during wind driven periods. Simply too scary to contemplate should a fire pop up.

    I hope the smokey skies clear out for you soon, and my continued thoughts go out to all those currently being affected.

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    1. We knew that wildfires are a part of California life but this one is so huge. We used to be able to periodically see fires burning in the hills of Glendale or in the foothills when we lived in Glendale 21 years ago.

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  2. Horrible fires and I am praying for all. As a fellow Californian, I know how fires are here. Practically a season of their own. I'm way up north now, surrounded by 3 national forests and we get them in the summer. We used to keep our motorhome stocked and ready to go at a moments notice.

    Stay safe.

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    1. It sounds like you know how to prepare to evacuate. We are safe - just adjusting to preparing for different natural disasters than we had in Atlanta.

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  3. I am thinking of all the people in califiornia-stay safe. While I have had no emergencies this year, I have had some expensive tests because of my family history (sonograms for thyroid and fibroids and such) and with Geha as my secondary, I received my first bill for a copay this year yesterday (admittedly I have reasonably priced prescriptions). They should send you a form allowing Medicare to directly bill whoever your secondary is, if they have not.

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    1. Nope, we haven't received that form yet but probably will after the first of the year. I'm looking forward to no copays and hopefully no deductibles.

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  4. I remember reading about your emergency preparedness efforts when we first "met". I cannot imagine the horror the poor victims of these fires are experiencing at watching their lives literally go up in smoke. Glad you are safe and hope you remain so.

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  5. I seen some footage of the fires ... absolutely frightening. And so my heart, too, goes out to everyone with losses or threatened with losses.

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    1. They are indeed scary and we are very fortunate to not be in the path.

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