Wednesday, October 24, 2007

What to take in an evacuation

Around here, there is often talk about having a kit ready for evacuation with important papers and pictures and such. But when it comes time to evacuate, deciding what you need is really more difficult than you would think. I know this first hand after evacuating my home on Monday. As we were sitting safely at a friend's home I kept thinking about all the things I could have brought. It was intimidating when the notice to evacuate came and it was hard to think at that time what to take. So now, I am trying to think about calmly what I would take if I was evacuate again. Here is my list:

1. My kids and husband
2. Inhalers
3. clothes
4. pictures
5. bank statements/checks/credit cards
6. birth certificates and S.S. cards
7. camera
8. sleeping bags
9. pillows
10. board games/card games
11. a book or two

That is all I can think about right now.
What would you take in an emergency evacuation???

Evacuation Story

Sunday afternoon Ben took the boys out for a geo-cache hike around Poway. They came home about 1:30 and I was out getting Saturday's mail. As we walked back inside I looked to the East and saw haze in the sky and I remarked to Ben that it looked like smoke from a fire. We came inside and turned on the tv to check what was going on. At that point they said there were 2 brush fires. One large 400 acre fire South of us, and one small 100 acre fire to the East of us about 30 miles. Since neither fire was larger than normal we weren't too worried. But we kind of kept an eye on the news. As the day went on it became obvious that these were not "normal" brush fires. The Santa Ana winds were blowing and the fire was moving quickly. Around 6p the fire was hitting the town of Ramona and was growing by the minute. The county assigned Poway High School as an evacuation sight. The water dropping helicopters that could fly couldn't see through the heavy smoke to drop any water. I knew at this point that it was going to be a long night of watching the television. At about 11p the county evacuated the Poway High School evacuation sight and I started getting a little nervous. By this time the fire was about 10 miles East/Northeast. I packed up some clothes and photo albums and bank statements/checks. Then I went back to watching the television. I stayed up most of the night watching television, only dozing now and then. At about 4am, the fire was to the East and North of us. The fire was moving Southwest and neighborhoods within 5 miles of our home were being evacuated and the fire was raging. At 5am Northeast Poway was under Mandatory evacuation. At this point I woke Ben up and told him he needed to be ready to head out if we got the notice to go. I watched and waited some more. About noon the sky around Poway was clear and blue so I thought we would be safe. I sent an email to my parents and sister letting them know that I was safe and probably wouldn't need to evacuate. I then went and started some mac and cheese for Peter and Liam and just as I was stirring in the cheese one of my neightbors knocked on the door and told us that he had just gotten a reverse 911 call to evacuate. We had not received a call, so I called 211 which had a live person to talk to. When I spoke to the woman I asked her if I was supposed to evacuate and she told me that all of Poway was now under mandatory evacuation. I put the mac and cheese in bowls. Ben helped the boys get their shoes on and grabbed a couple of other things. Then we loaded up in the car and ash was blowing all around us. We started calling friends to make sure they were evacuating too. Then we went about trying to figure out where we were going to stay for the night. One of the men that Ben works with offered to let us stay at his home, so we headed to his house and spent the night there. Around 11am on Tuesday we heard that Poway residents could return home, so we packed up and headed home. About halfway home we heard that Poway was NOT open after all, but we decided to try to go home anyway. As we pulled into our parking lot we got the official notice that our address in Poway was clear to come back to. It is pretty smoky around here, but safe. Last night Ben and I went outside and looked towards Mt. Woodson and we could see large flames burning on the mountain. Fire crews were on the mountain and so we weren't very concerned. As long as there are fires anywhere in SanDiego I will be aware of what is going on and ready to evacuate. In another post I am going to post about deciding what to take in an evacuation.

Friday, October 19, 2007


Thank goodness it's Friday. I really am thankful it's Friday. I do not have too much to do today and it is a great feeling. There are lots of things that I COULD do today, but I think maybe I've earned at least a part day break.
I feel like I am really missing family and friends lately. I haven't had much time to connect. Blogging is great for reaching everyone at once, but not so great for a more personal touch.
Last Friday I went to the pumpkin patch with Liam and his preschool class. It was actually really fun!!! There were lots of parents there, so I only had to keep track of Liam and it made it a special day for us.
Here's a couple of pictures, Liam in the pumpkin patch and Liam's preschool class on the hay bales.

Aren't they cute???? Mrs. Kemper (the teacher) is in the second picture.

This was Liam's first field trip ever and his first time on a school bus. He was so excited all week about riding the school bus. Isn't he adorable.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

My week at a glance

I decided to blog about the things I need to do this week not so that people will feel sorry for me, but so that I can have a little back up to my memory. So bear with me and if you don't feel like reading, don't worry I will try to write something more interesting later...maybe Thursday.
Here goes....

Monday: Take Peter to school, workout, go to the bank, pick up surveys from printer, order jacket and blanket, stop by home to pick up a snack for Liam at school, take Liam to school, go to Peter's school to volunteer, call my sister to wish her a happy birthday, go pick up Liam from school, home for 5 minutes to let Peter change into football uniform and then out the door to a Catholic scouting medal meeting, to the football practice, take Jens home and pick up Liam, eat supper and watch a little tv, then finally BED!!!!

Tuesday: Take Peter to school, come home and start laundry, while laundry is going clean out car and then vacumn and wipe out with wet towel, finish laundry, blog, take Liam to speech therapy, pick up Peter from school, come home for 30 minutes so Peter can work on homework, head to CCD, come home and make supper, eat, head out to Poway Pop Warner board meeting, come home and off to bed I go.

Wednesday: Take Peter to school, go to work, take Liam to preschool and stay to volunteer, pick up Peter from friend's house, run home and get Peter to do a little homework and then change for football practice. Drop Liam off at Jens' house and pick up Jens. Take Jens and Peter to football practice. Take Jens home and pick up Liam, come home and make supper, watch tv and go to bed.

Thursday: Take Peter to school,workout, do housework, take Liam to speech therapy, pick up Peter from school, have Peter do homework and then head out to sell popcorn for cub scouts. Go to family fun night at school?? Make supper, watch The Office, and got to bed.

Friday: Take Peter to school, workout, make Liam lunch and snack for school, take Liam to preschool, pick up Peter from school, pick up Liam from preschool, make sure Peter gets changed for football practice, take Liam to Jens' and take Jens and Peter to football, take Jens home and pick up Liam, make supper, go to bed.

Saturday: Up by 6 so that we can be to the high school by 6:45, set up football field for the day, watch Peter's game, volunteer at the board booth for one or more games, watch football on tv, relax, relax, relax!!!!

Sunday: Go to church, workout, ????

So there's a small glimpse of my week. Some of my days don't seem so busy so I'll have to see what else I can get accomplished on those days.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


I woke up this morning thinking about blogging. In my haze of tiredness I was thinking about how my blogs just aren't as thought provoking or entertaining as most of the other blogs I read. So I was thinking about how I could change my blog to better "fit in" to the blogging community. What I finally came up with is that I don't want to change my blog. I started blogging with the purpose of keeping family and friends involved in my life and knowing what I've been up to.
I've never really been one to worry a whole lot about "fitting in" because I feel like I am a good person most of the time and that people who know me and are friends with me know my true self. I have quite a bit of gray hair and I refuse to dye it because I feel that would take away from who I am. I have lots of relatives that went gray early on in life and I figure why fight heredity. I don't want to say that people who dye their hair are less confidant in themselves or shallow in any way. I think that every person needs to do what feels right for them instead of following one group or another. I think it's most important to be true to yourself.
I also don't really "fit in" with many of the mom's at school, because I find it hard to pretend to like someone that I really don't like. I'm not real good at keeping my thoughts to myself and I don't feel comfortable talking to another parent just to get gossip about someone else.
I find myself irritated at people who only pretend to be my friend and talk to me when they want to know something. It makes me feel like I am being used. Part of the reason that I know things others want to know is because I take time to LISTEN to what is going on around me. I also take time to join committees and boards so that I can know what is going on. I want to be one of the people who does something to make a diffence in my community. I get really tired of listening to people complaining about this or that and yet if you ask that person to join a commitee they say something such as, "what good would that do?". The only way to make change is to be INVOLVED.
So, since I am bucking conformism my blog will continue to be about things that are important to me and hopefully my friends and family. Hope you all have a great week.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


Okay, so I'm taking a minute to post to tell everyone that I have NO TIME for blogging as of late. Today was the busiest day that I've had this week, but almost all my days have been busy.
Today I left home at 7:45 and dropped Peter off at school, then headed for work and worked until 11:40. I left work and stopped at a drive thru to pick Liam up some lunch and then took him to preschool. I came home and ate a little lunch and headed to the gym for a quick workout, then to the doctor for a follow up on my bronchitis (all gone...feeling MUCH better). Then back to Peter's school to pick him up and then off to Liam's preschool to pick him up. I am home for a total of a little over an hour right now and then it is off to football practice til about 8p tonight, then home to make dinner and get kids ready for bed.
So, that is a good example of why I have been absent from the blogging world and communicating with my family. Only a little over a month left of football, and then I'll have a little more "free" time.