Friday, July 30, 2010

Fire Update 4:30 pm PST 7/30/10

Update 5:35pm: We were NOT evacuated, and it looks like the DC-10 that was brought in to drop massive amounts of fire retardant really did its job. We were in the middle of what was meant to be a nap, after last night's exhausting fire vigil, when the amount of fire-fighting air power overhead woke us up, making that nap a 20-minute descent into what sounded like Viet Nam. The California Aqueduct is just on the other side of the hill behind us, and those pilots were zooming in and out of there like race car drivers with wings.

So, we're fine, but now we know that until they get this fire fully under control, the vicissitudes of the famous Antelope Valley wind is a game changer that no one can predict.

Joshua: Enduring Symbol of High Desert

The iconic Joshua Tree against the backdrop of a water-dropping helicopter and smoke covered Sun, during yesterday's Antelope Valley fire, captures the drama of the event.

Photograph By Brian van de Brug of The Los Angeles Times.

We're OK, But Lazy T Ranch Is Not!

The morning after (right) Mop-up crews begin to arrive in front of our house. You can still see the smoke in the background from the smoldering embers.

All Fire Photos: AP Photos/Dave Mills

Oh, Noes! Not the Lazy T Ranch! Most of it is actually still standing, but I thought this would be a great name for a new blog....The Lazy T! (No, not planning another blog right now! Besides, I'm not lazy; I'm a professional napper. There's a difference.)

Dave Mills, AP photographer, took some dramatic shots of the fire that covered many of the western ridges surrounding Leona Valley and Rancho Vista areas of Palmdale. This morning the mop-up crews are cleaning up some of the hot spots, while the fixed wing tankers and water-dropping helicopters put the remaining flames down.

So...we're exhausted, but safe and sound, and the home is intact. The pugs are disoriented, and the hill behind us is still smoking. But another fire truck just pulled up in front of the house, so the mop ups begin. They begin in the house, too, as the ash fell for 18 hours yesterday, and we managed to drag 10 hours of it inside. There's a path from the garage, through the house to the back yard patio where we wore a trail throughout the night as we ran back and forth for different vantage points. The bottom of the pool is covered in black ash, the surface home to a billion floating pieces of charred...everything.

2 A.M. Update: All Safe From Fire

The first photo is the hill right to the west of our house, the second shows one of many Joshua tree groves that dot the hillside back lit by flames, and the third shot is one of four LA Fire Department engine trucks parked at the end of our driveway. Sorry about the quality of my pictures, but the real cameras were already packed in the getaway vehicle and the iPhone is not so good at night.

All safe so far, the firemen will spend the night in front of the house, we're hoping the winds lay down, and our nerves are shot from more adrenalin rush than I knew was possible! Thanks to all the family and friends who called, or tried to, and the offers of places to stay. We love you all but hope we won't be visiting any time in the next few hours!!!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Video of Fire Near Us

Fire within a half mile...see it at link below. We're fine. Two huge fire engines parked outside our house (we have a fire hydrant across the street). They started to evacuate us, then said wait, and now we're concerned because the winds are picking up. We'll report more if able. Sorry the quality of this video isn't very good---it's my first! ttt

SoCal Fire Report: Raining Smoke

It's not close to us---at least 10 miles---but you can see our sky is saturated with smoke and sun, and then it just began looking like smoke rain. That's our screened-in sun room, and that's our 'smokey' pink Oleander. We could use a good would be perfect!

Saturday, July 03, 2010

New Staff Photographer: Meet Kimberly

The newly designed Opinionhead features a headliner photo taken at The Huntington Library, a couple weeks ago, by the ever popular sister, sister-in-law and recent house guest to the Opinionhead household. I refer here to the Grand Partaker, Mrs. Kimberly M. Cecchini of San Francisco. An accomplished interior designer, and amazing photographer, Kimberly has exquisite taste, and we can only hope that she concurs with our choice of color palette to showcase her gorgeous photography. Watch for more soon!

Summer Redecorating

I'm fairly certain that Architectural Digest will not mind that I'm celebrating the new look of Opinonhead by pinching their cover, but, just in case, go here for a subscription. And heaven knows Cher probably doesn't need any more publicity--I mean if you were Cher would you rather be on the cover of AD or the cover of Opinionhead? Thought so. But Cher is a fave, so she stays (unless the attorneys say, uh, no). But here's a link to Cher, anyway.