Pictures are shown in chronological order and a description of what is being shown. An approximate time of day each picture was taken is noted. In other words, this is a photo journal of "a day in the life of me."
Woke up around 5:00 a.m. thinking about last Saturday (May 5th) and the fire that we had here. I thought about all the things in the hobby shed that were destroyed...like books that I used to read to the girls when they were little.
As I went through the rubble on Sunday, May 6th, I came across a lot of art projects that the girls did, journals I had written from high school to the early-2000s, and a lot of things that are irreplaceable.
I reflected on how truly fortunate we were that the fire wasn't worse than it was. We still have a home (even though the siding on the south side is warped from the heat) and the horse barn is standing (though in need of major repair). The animals and all of us are safe and not injured.
What we lost were the two-story hobby shed, playhouse, many trees, and lots of other items (outdoor furniture, garden supplies, power tools, art supplies, etc.). The farm field across the street also had 14.1 acres of it burned because of flying embers in the wind that day
I went downstairs and let the dogs out to go to the bathroom. Put Danny in a coat because it was a bit chilly this morning. Walked him to the mailbox/paperbox and got the Saturday paper; and then walked back inside to have a cup of hot chocolate.
Read the paper in bed and worked more on the content loss list for the insurance company.
Went downstairs about 7:30 a.m. to feed the dogs. Danny and Scooby eat in the kitchen; and Aspen and Cooper eat in the living room. Danny and Scooby have a maze feeder and tray since they eat their food too quickly.
I let the dogs back outside. This was the view looking at the barn - kind of a view to the southeast.
This is a closer look at the horse barn.
This is the view looking west. Sophia and I put up the temporary fence with the woven wire and t-posts. We got some compliments on it from people who were here with various companies doing repair work and from the insurance adjusters.
I plugged the air cleaners back in since I turned them off while I ate breakfast and fed the dogs.
They are very loud, yet they are cleaning the air since we have light smoke damage throughout the first level of the home because of the fire.
Sophia, Olivia, and I left to go the Shepherds Harvest Festival in Lake Elmo. We go there every Mother's Day weekend. We saw an eagle and egrets on the way there.
This year, Olivia and I took a Saori weaving class. We picked out which loom we wanted to work on.
Each one had different colors of yarn.
We did the weaving class last year and enjoyed it, and wanted to take it again. While we were doing that, Sophia walked around and looked at what the vendors were selling in three of the buildings and ended up reading for an hour.
After a refresher about how to use the loom, we began weaving.
I chose to use a combination of purple, green yellow, and orange yarn with my weaving. There was a variety of colors of sheep wool that I added in different spots.
Olivia's style of weaving is much different than mine. She stuck with the same color (black) for her weaving. It highlighted the variety of the yarn that was used in the other direction.
The Saori weaving class ended at noon. Olivia tied the end of her weaving at the class and finished her scarf.
I tied one of the sides of my weaving and left the other to finish at home.
We all had lunch together in the 4-H building. One of the clubs was making and serving food. From the look of the number of people eating there, they probably did very well with raising money for their club.
After lunch, we explored the festival together.
There were brightly-colored skeins of yarn.
Other vendors sold colorful shades of roving.
We saw angora rabbits, and we pet them. They were very soft.
Sophia found some unusual products at the Festival. Since she had a lot of time on her hands while we were taking the class, she clearly looked closely at each booth to find these products.
The girls enjoyed looking at jewelry.
As a mother, what I liked seeing was the girls walking arm-in-arm with one another as they explored the Festival. They have a great relationship which I am thankful for.
We went to visit the young yaks.
We saw a llama who was very friendly.
There were lots of sheep. I especially enjoyed seeing the lambs.
We found a vendor who had a display about flax. I've never seen flax and what it looks like when it is spun and used for weaving into fabric.
Nearby, there was another vendor who had beautiful sheep wool that had been dyed in bright colors.
You could pick and choose what colors you wanted.
We watched someone demonstrate how to take different colors of wool and card them together to create roving/little batting of a new blend of shades of wool.
We came home after the Festival and everyone (except me) left to see a movie. I had some time to relax.
I put outside the two bins holding some charred papers that I was able to save from the fire last week, keeping the lids over them, but ajar. They are still damp from the water from the firemen's hoses, so I am keeping the lid open on the bin and the other one so the papers don't get moldy. I need to either photograph or type what I wrote soon...and then let go of these bins of paper.
Of course, with my luck, the nebulizer didn't work.
To take my mind off my throat, I finished tying the ends of the weaving I made earlier today.
I continued to work on the contents loss list.
The service man for the riding lawn mower came by to see if he was able to fix the mower. This was a new company and I was hoping it was an easy fix. Ended up, he was not able to work on this particular make and model of riding lawn mower.
So, now I have to figure out what to do since there are no mower service people around our area...or at least anyone who works on the type of mower we have. It may be time to invest in another one that is serviced locally.
I fed the dogs dinner and heated up some leftovers for my dinner.
I let them out again, keeping Cooper on a leash since Bailey and Hoss hadn't been fed yet. Bailey, the horse, would tap on the metal gate with her hoof which would get Cooper barking. It was easier to keep him on a leash.
So, we walked around the backyard. The tulips are starting to emerge.
The apple trees have blossoms that are starting to open.
The plum tree has bright, white flowers.
Some of the pine trees have tiny pinecones.
After our walk, we were back by the back door. The girls made stepping stones when they were young, and we have them where we can see them each time we go in and out of the backyard to the driveway and car.
I continued working on the content loss list. This is one of the most time-consuming projects I've had to do. This is just itemizing items lost in the shed, playhouse, barn, yard, and pastures. I can't imagine having to do a content loss list for a home.
Still working on the content loss list. There's not much to look at, so I'll just put a photo here of the hobby shed smoldering last week. Sophia and I were gone at a class about 35 minutes from here. By the time we got back home, this is the view that we saw.
This is a slightly different angle taken during the winter, but the two-story shed and playhouse are to the right in the picture below. They are the buildings that burned in the photo above.
Within 15 minutes of coming home, an ember (or embers), set one of the trees on fire in the pasture.
It ended up re-igniting later in the evening on the 5th along with another fire. Had to call the fire department back to put out those fires.
One of our neighbors called. He was one of our next door neighbors who called in the fire. He also used to be a firefighter and he came here to turn off the propane tank (about ten feet from the shed), get the horses secured in a pasture away from the fire, and moved the car (which was melting). He put out several smaller fires that threatened the house.
We talked tonight about the car. He said that car fires burn a lot hotter, and had the car not been moved, we most likely would have lost our house.
We talked about the weather - how it was nice and warm last Saturday and so much cooler today. Most likely, our neighbors would not have been outside like they were last week when they saw the hobby shed on fire. In fact, he said, they were in Madison yesterday and today. They just got back home.
So, had the fire happened this weekend...a week later...we could have lost the house, barn, and all of our animals.
Needless to say, we have much to be grateful for tonight.