Friday, December 8, 2017
5 for Friday: Edition 4 - Where there is smoke there is fire
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?