5th day into the Fire

Not to jinx anything, but the fire may finally be a thing of the past.   Started on Thursday, trucks and fire fighters have gone out every day since,  and there are still smoldering hot spots today. 

burkett fire 8-28-09001Ernie and Jackie drove the area this afternoon…these photos don’t show the amount of devastation.   They found a few spots that needed water and one area that was actually flaming again.   It’s the trees that are causing the issues now.  They are still smoldering, then the trunk burns through, falls over and suddenly, there is a stump with burning embers.  Doesn’t take much to keep the fires going.

burkett fire 8-28-09003

As you can see, it’s just acres and acres of oak and hackberry trees. These little thickets where they can’t get into with  trucks or equipment are always a problem.

They didn’t see any wildlife, even during the fire.  We have deer, coyote, fox, bobcat, raccoons, skunks, and all manner of flying  and crawling critters in our area.   What are we thankful for today?  For the winds that dropped off each day when the fires were going their strongest.   The lack of winds is what allowed the fire fighters and earth moving equipment to establish a perimeter and get the fires under control.  We’re still praying for rain.


Stashbusting Report

threaded pinwheelsYardage purchased  this week – 0  yds 

Yardage used this week – 4.5 yds

Year to date purchased – 17.25 yds

Year to date used – 198 yds
play that funky music
I cut up another large box of scraps for the scrappy quilts I’m hoping to have done by Christmas.   I’ll post photos when I complete a few more blocks.   It was great to have time to stitch today.  
The fire from Thursday rekindled in a few spots today.  Fortunately,  we didn’t have to go out.  The Fire Chief and his son went out with one of our smaller trucks.  This seems to be the fire that just won’t quit.  We’re all tired of messing with it.
That number just keeps movin’ on up!   Here’s what I worked on today.  The HQ Dealer came to visit and we had a little class in using the rulers.  What fun!  I drew pinwheels in the large open areas and they look pretty darned good for a beginner.

Have we seen the last flame???

Friday night saw us on scene with the fire until midnight.  I made sandwiches for about 45 fire fighters from 6 or 7 different stations.  These are all volunteer fire fighters who give up their home time to keep us safe.  There was equipment (doziers) called in from Granbury, TX (about a 2 hr drive away) and air attack planes dropping fire retardant and water.  It was a real hub-bub of activity with trucks coming and going.  I was most interested in this fire as it was only a mile of so north of our house…and we had wind blowing.   Anyhow,  according to the Coleman Fire dept,  this one has consumed about 2000 acres with no loss of structures.   The terrain north of us is really rugged.  The stuff that it’s almost impossible to get equipment into.   I’m proud of our Volunteer Fire Dept.! 

dirty guysThis morning saw the crew out again.  We had 3 of our 5 trucks on scene about 8AM.  They fought fire until about 4PM, came in long enough to fill trucks and then had to go right back out and fight some hot spots.  They finally turned everyone loose about 8PM.   Here is a picture of Kenneth and Ernie…very tired and certainly very dirty!  They’re both hoping for hot showers and a hot dinner tonight…and no more fire calls!

burkett fire 8-27-29011

A few minutes relaxation before they head for home… steve, jackie, Tim (hiding behind Jackie), me, Deanna who is behind her hubby, Randy, Kenneth and Wayne.  Not in the photo is Ernie (who is behind the camera), Travis, and Landon who had already left.

Wish I could say “and a good time was had by all”, but that’s really NOT the case!


I’m busily stirring the roux for cheesy broccoli rice…the salmon is grilling…and the alarm goes off :(   Ernie hollers we have a fire,  I love you,  I’ve got to go…and off he goes to the Fire Station.   I finish making dinner, load it into the microwave to await his return. 

Cut to the sewing studio…I have the two way radio for the Fire Dept and the NOAA radio going (we’re under severe storm warnings), the telephone at my side.  I’ve disconnected all the important stuff.   The fire is right up the road from my Boss Lady’s place, so I call and tell them to be watchful…fires move fast.

I plugged in my trusty FW and started on the last row of the last Wedding Quilt.  In the course of the evening,  I finished the quilt top EXCEPT for deciding on a border…and I finished umpteen jillion blocks for kid quilts. 

At 11:30,  I give it up,  go package all the food for the refrigerator, unset my side of the table, clean up the kitchen and get ready for bed (today’s still a work day for me).  

A little after 1:00AM,  my sweet volunteer fire fighter shows up.   He and the kitties wash up a little, rustle some dinner and come to bed.    And that danged alarm went off at 6:45AM.   Guess who’s draggin’ today.

Such is the exciting life in the household of a volunteer fire fighter.    At least he didn’t have to get up and go to work today…I’m thankful everytime the guys come home safely.   This was a grass fire that might’ve been sparked from lightening .   Burkett sent 3 trucks and 8 people, and there were trucks from 3 surrounding towns…Don’t know yet how much area the fire consumed, but it was a bunch.   

Oh…and after all that,  we didn’t get a drop of rain.  Again.

Figs, anyone?

The neighbor brought me about 4 cups (after I chopped them up) of figs from their trees.   Anyhow,  not being a figgy person,   I consulted an old pickle and preserve type book and figured out what to do with them.  Added crushed pineapple, sugar, 2 lemons+ the zest, cinnamon, allspice and cloves.   The house smelled wonderful while it was cooking.   Mashed and cooked the whole mess to the jelly stage and ended up with 2 little jars of fig and lemon conserves.   YUMMMMM!   We’ve already eaten most of the first container on biscuits and toast.   I think it would be lovely spooned over a pound cake.   Who says I can’t be domestic when need be????

I’ve tried 2 different times to get watermelon rind preserves made…and both times,  the rinds have gotten soft before I’ve gotten to them.  Maybe I wasn’t meant to make those preserves.   Someday….

Apatche Kat went to the vet last week.  I think she’s ready to go back outside fulltime now.   She’s been making little forays outside and on Saturday, we left her out for about 6 hours while we were gone.   We need to put Bear and Blondie out with her and let them start adapting to life in the great outdoors.   Of course,  we worry about all the bad things…hawks, the owl, coyotes, possum, the wild dogs and tom cats…the things that prey on little kittens.   Putting them out will be hard.   Keeping them out, probably harder, lol.   Anyone who loves kitties will know where we’re coming from.  They can sure worm their way into your heart.

Sunday Stashbusting okay…so I’m late :)

As I see it,  better late than never, lol.  Life has been moving fast here in Burkett.  Garden has pretty much dried up, DH has been clearing woods, chopping trees (can we say “Paul Bunyon”!) and I’m up to my ears in finishing a mini quilt that is due in several weeks. 

DH spotted the rubber anti-fatigue mats that I’ve wanted to put in front of the HQ16 to help with the feet and leg issues from standing hours at a time.  He put them together last night…will be Heavenly to stand on while quilting!!!

I’ve also managed to start cutting scraps and using my 1.5″ strips to make 2 of these adorable quilts…except in larger college girl sizes! 

http://redpepperquilts.blogspot.com/  scroll down to “Scrap-a-Licious”

Before we moved from El Paso,  Ernie and I sat in the dining room surrounded by bags of scraps.  We sorted them out by color and stored them in plastic storage containers for the move.   This is the first time I’ve had the desire to even pop the tops…and boy!  Am I making a dent in the yellows.  If the piece or strip was long enough for a 4.5 x 1.5″ strip…I took it.   And I’ve sewn up every strip I cut.  Probably have enough yellow blocks for about 6 quilts!  Tonight, I hope to put another row on the wedding quilt, then I’m going to start cutting purple strips.   

I had to cut more blocks for the wedding quilt on Sunday and only lack 3 rows to having all that part done.  It has a pieced border, but not sure I want anything that busy as the quilt top already looks pretty busy.  We’ll see when that one is done.  It goes together like a jigsaw puzzle, so I can only work on it for awhile before I”m mentally defunct.

For this past week,  I’m happy to report

Yardage purchased  this week – 0  yds 

Yardage used this week – 6 yds

Year to date purchased – 17.25 yds

Year to date used – 193.50 yds
I’m getting close to my goal for the year of 300 yds used….and so far, other than almost emptying one scrap bin,  I can’t really see that I’ve made much of a dent in the stash.  But,  I * AM * using the stash 100% .   I swear this stuff multiplies when I shut off the lights at night! 
Since I’m hoping to complete 11 (OMG!!! what am I thinking???) twin size quilts before Christmas,  I’m sure I’ll get much closer to my goal. 
Susan ~ Patchkat 


Just can’t get started

on what I need to be doing on my “free day off”.   I started a load of laundry, it’s still sitting in the washer.   I chopped cucumbers, black olives, fire roasted peppers and onions for tonight’s salad…mixed in salt, pepper, dill, mayo, miracle whip and a little lemon juice.   Oh…and that package of bread ends and hot dog buns has now become a bread pudding breadpudding It’ full of yummy raisins, dried cranberries and cinnamon.  I’m thinking I need to check it out while it’s warm to be sure it’s fit for Ernie to eat, ROFLOL!!!

What I * NEED * to be doing is cleaning my bathroom, changing the sheets on our bed and sewing on that puzzle of a wedding quilt.

Ernie is outside widening a gate and moving the dead trees he’s cut down this past week.   Need to get stuff moved, split and stacked for drying.   Winter will be coming and seems like it’s just around the corner…along with that comes CHRISTMAS!   Time to start thinking about what I would like to gift the family with this year.


Here’s my wide eyed helper this morning.  His brother is attached to Mom by a teat.  She goes to the vet tomorrow to be spayed.  Then a few days in the house to recover and she’s outside again!!!   I’m sooo ready to have my sewing room back for just ME.   We’re still discussing whether the kittens are going out before they’ve had shots.   We’ll miss their antics in the house, but not their kittenhood destructiveness.