Friday, July 29, 2011

Fire Week #2

With my dad leaving Denver to go back to work, I, M, felt quite sad.  I spent the first few days on the couch with CS.
I, M, lacked a responsible authority figure in my life.  Needless to say, I soon went a little crazy.  Here I am test-driving a Tesla sportscar.  That went on my dad's credit card...

I took a cue from Iron Mike and got a face tattoo.  

I went to the Denver Science Museum and blew bubbles out of this without disinfecting it first!

Uncle B and Aunt K cured my degenerate lifestyle, though.  The carrot?  A trip to the Denver zoo.  They thought it would get me back on track and restore my equilibrium.  Here is JC jumping the equivalent of a bullfrog or flea.

 And here is my jump.  Go ahead and guess how far I jumped!

Ah!  The regal tigers inspired me.  No more rebellious M.  Just nice, responsible M.  My equilibrium had been restored.

However, someone else's equilibrium had been upset.  Guess why SM got to buy a new outfit?  For those of you old enough to remember go ahead and read the post from 27 April 2008 entitled "Feeling Zooper".  The more things change, the more things stay the same...

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Fire Week #1

Hi there!  My brother, JC, carefully collected all the photos from all the relatives and we are now ready to share our first week of activities after escaping the flames.  Everyone reacts differently in stressful situations and I, SM, chose to spend most of the week awake.  Here I am at the Residence Inn North in ABQ thanks to their manager, Clyde.  Their mattresses were serviceable.  And as luck would have it, Gram flew in to ABQ the next day!
 Here is how M and JC handled the stress...
 Right outside our window was the truck for a race car driver with the best name in sports - Will Power.  It's his name, he drives in the Indy Car Circuit, and you can look it up on Alta Vista.  B saw him at the pool - she says that he could have been taller.
After Will Power left, the lab closed for the rest of the week. With that news, we packed up Mini and headed for the verdant hills of Denver where Uncle B and Aunt K live.  Guess who showed up for the weekend!  Pops!  He made an appearance, but not really an inspired one...

Uncle B and Aunt K took us to Fun Fest - a celebration of Buckley Air Force Base, America, and inflatable jump houses.  Here we are eating our lunch catered by Qdoba!  Someone teach my dad how to smile.

 They had bouncy horses...

 and a long slide...

What a fun week!  Next time is Fire Week #2.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

More crazy photos...

Not to obsess about it or anything but the pictures are really so incredible we can't help it.

 This is the far western part of the lab and J's office is about 1/4 mile to the left of this picture.
 Another one of the hospital...
Silent amidst the chaos!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Lessons Learned from a Wildfire Evacuation...

Wow...what a couple of weeks we've had!  I'll update everyone on all of our adventures during our unexpected two week vacation in the coming posts. For now, mom is taking over at the request of some family and friends to share some of the things we learned.
In case anyone missed it, we've been away from our home for 2 weeks because of this...the Las Conchas Fire.
The Los Alamos National Lab is in the foreground. The lab closed Monday and didn't open until the following Wednesday.  We left on Sunday, June 26th with the voluntary evacuation and stayed in ABQ for a couple of days.  Once the mandatory evacuation for Los Alamos was called and it was obvious that we wouldn't be going home anytime soon we headed up to Denver to stay with Uncle B and Aunt K.  Just to keep you interested, below is a picture of the hospital where baby S was born. CRAZY!
 Anyways...onto the lessons learned...
1.  Plan ahead of time what is most important to everyone and have a written list so when an evacuation or emergency is called, you can just go to your list and check it off as it's loaded in the car. We joked about it when we first saw and smelled the smoke. I wrote the list anyways and threw it in the desk. Four hours later I was pulling it out because once the reality set in, I didn't have to stress about what to take. Think about the things that cannot be replaced. I took blankets that my grandma made for my children and J took a couple of his West Point regalia.
2. Plan to be gone longer than you think you will be. I packed for 3 days...not 2 weeks! Yes, we could buy a lot of things but you're already stressed, it's just easier if you have it (ie--diapers, formula, swimsuits)
3. Everyone talked about the 6 P's -- people, pets, paperwork, pictures, personal electronics (and chargers), prescriptions.  Will any of your bills be due soon?
4. Make sure everything fits in your car comfortably and have it easily accessible so it doesn't take long to gather

5.  Laundry--Monday is  my laundry day and the fire started Sunday. In the midst of all the madness, I had to do a load of laundry so that we'd all have a few "essentials". If there is even a hint at evacuation, do laundry!
6.  Toys, Toys, Toys!!! The kids needed something to do other than cartoons in the hotel room.

And hopefully, you'll be as fortunate as we were and eventually be able to come home to a home and a few extra surprises...  

 Baby birds in the nest outside our kitchen window...
 Singed leaves and ash in our yard...
And veggies growing in the garden! date the fire is still only 50% contained, has burned over 150,000 acres, and depending on how the wind blows, we can still smell smoke!  Thanks for listening and perhaps this might help someone in the future.  M will be back soon with her witty and entertaining posts.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Holy Cow! High dive and all!

Frustrated by the lack of large puddles and lakes to swim in, the LOE C clan purchased a pool membership at the stately Canyon Vista Pool Club.  There is no canyon vista, though.  I even had my dad hold me up really high to make sure.

My beautiful momma signed me up for swim lessons.  Here I am paddling away with my feet.

The pool doesn't have a Canyon Vista, but it does have a diving board...

And even a high dive!

Check out this video!
If anyone is going cliff-diving, I am game!