Monday, October 24, 2016

Fall Begins - the last of the Garden and flowers

Flowers, Veggies, and the Fall NFB Blind Convention

I will start with the last of the Garden and flowers for this season. Then I will talk about the Fall National Federation of the Blind Convention for Washington State

Whatever flowers are growing my daughter always picks a few for my little vase in my bedroom
The last of the Bachelor Buttons
Purple Mums from last October bloomed again this year!
Blueberry bush. Not sure when it will bear fruit.
The last of the Herbs
The last of the chili peppers
The chili peppers in doors now because of the colder weather. 
The last of the red/orange bell peppers
Outside in the front yard. Our neighbors all have the same decorative bush and trees
The decorative bush in its red glory!
My indoor succulents looking good.
The 2nd of my succulents
The third of my succulents
One of the Orange Bell peppers as green
The tag from the Orange Bell peppers
Spinach from our garden added to the pot of soup I make for myself every week.
Yellow crookneck squash 
The remainder of the tomatoes and herbs to finish ripening indoors. The weather turned rainy and cooler now. The fall leaves are so pretty.  I love all the colors of the fall. We noted that our garden in pots did not yield a very large amount and the fruits and Veggies were all pretty small. Our plans will be different for next summer with the garden.  The flowers were all awesome. 


The National Federation of the Blind Convention for the State of Washington 

Selfie of Me at the convention in my hotel room, I just had taken a shower and my hair was still wet.  We flew from Spokane to SEATAC airport.  Me , Maria and Cody and his guide dog Vern.  We then took a Paratransit shuttle bus to the King county line to the bus station. There we took a shuttle from Pierce County Paratransit. Then we arrived about 2:30 PM at our Tacoma Dome Hotel. It was right next to the Tacoma Dome.  We had meetings and dinner at the restaurant. Satuday Oct 15 the the main day for the convention ending with a Banquet and our keynote speaker mentioned below.  It was a very long day and I got pretty tired.  I was helping Maria a lot who was in a wheelchair.  Diane helped when I needed a break.  It was raining cats and dogs when we got off the plane as there was not overhead exit off the plane.  It continued to storm all Saturday so we had lunch in the Hotel. The banquet was very nice and I had a Vegetarian mean as shown below and the others had Steak.  Sunday we left at 11:00 am the same bus schedule as above when we arrived.  Thankfully the storm was gone and so it was not raining hard when we flew back.  My daughter and son in law met us at the airport and drove Maria back home before we went home.  It was a very fun event and great to see a lot of people I knew from when I lived in Washington before.  

Tables at the convention 
Convention attendees
Mike is our past President on the left and right is our current president Marci
Our chapter president Maria. She is now the vice President 
Me taken by Craig our Secretary whom I asked to take photos for us. This one came out blurry. Because of three of my eye diseases I need to wear sunglasses with the brightness of the lights. I have cataracts, Glaucoma and my high myopia and iris's that do not close down with bright light are my issues. 

I had the vegetarian mean of veggies with a Provolone cheese topping. The others had steak which I is too difficult for my tummy.
Cody from our Local Chapter
Gary and Connie 

Our Keynote speaker from the NFB National Chapter was Ever Lee Hairston.  I just love her talk for this convention. Ever Lee is such a great motivational speaker.   She wrote her autobiography. I got it from Kindle at Amazon and it is awesome. I have listened to half of it so far. Here is the link for her book:  

Ever Lee Hairston
Born to Arizona and Clarence Hairston on the Coolemee plantation in Mocksville, North Carolina, Ever Lee is the third of seven children. She grew up and attended schools in the segregated South. “I felt like a second-class citizen, using hand-me-down books in school; and, due to unexplained vision problems, I had to struggle to read from the bulletin board,” Ever Lee noted. In spite of the challenges of growing up in the segregated South and continuing visual problems, Ever Lee had a strong desire to become a nurse. Ever Lee’s parents simply could not afford to send her to college; so after high school, Ever Lee went to New York City to earn money for college by working as a live-in maid. She returned to North Carolina at the end of the summer anxious to pursue a nursing career. However, she failed the required eye examination and was told that she would not be suitable for admission to Duke University Nursing School. “I was heartbroken but refused to be defeated,” she said. She was accepted at North Carolina Central University, where she earned a teaching degree.
Ever Lee Hairston was unanimously elected to the Board of Directors at the 2010 National Federation of the Blind (NFB) convention on July 6, 2010, in Dallas, Texas. She brings considerable experience to this position, having served in various capacities with the NFB over the years—including nineteen consecutive years of service on the NFB Scholarship Committee and a fourteen-year stint as first vice president of the NFB of New Jersey. 


While I was at the convention my daughter Suz and her family went to a local place, Beck's Harvest House, to get fruit and pumpkins 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Travel time again - Just say Hello

"17 inches"

There is no way to get around it. 17 inches is about the width of an average seat on a commercial airline. I think my laptop is 17 inches wide...
Ultimately your seat is in a row of two or three for a flight less than 3 hours.
Part of you is touching the person next to you at some point, more often is you are an average adult, or full time if you are larger like me.
When I fly I am usually alone. Whoever sits next to me I always say Howdy, when they sit down next to me. Most reply to me. I do not say anything else unless they say more.  I get it if you do not want to talk to me.
What ever happened to common courtesy?
So I flew back from my weekend convention. I got the window seat of a two seat row.
I am not Marilyn Monroe, but at one time I did have a great figure like her. Most will at least say hello back to me.
Yesterday I said hello but there was no response.
The whole time our thighs were touching. This man looked like he was over 6 feet tall.  He had a large brief case in his lap so I assumed he was a businessman. He did not have a suit on so it was casual as most fly very casual these days.
So I crammed myself against the window and had to move every 10 minutes because I had not taken any pain pills in 12 hours and it was getting to be a 7 on the 1 to 10 scale of pain.
My brain kept thinking what ever happened to caring and compassion with common decency in Common courtesy???

I will champion you

I am the type of person who would champion anyone who shared a small space with me for an hour or more where there was no option to move especially when the seat-belt sign is on the whole flight like it was for us this flight.
I would hold your hand if you were ill or sad or, heaven forbid, had a stroke or became seriously ill during a flight.
That is just who I am.
No matter if you are green, polka dot, from Mars or what ever religion you are or not.
I care about people.
I get it after we say Hello if you want your space and no talking. I am fine with that.
There were three in our travel group this weekend.
One was to left of me me across the aisle. The other was behind me.
I could hear him behind me as his "seat mate" asked if it was OK for her to pet his guide dog. He said: not at this time as he is "working."  They passed pleasantries and at the end she asked if there was anything she could help him with deplaning.  He thanked her and told her that the steward would assist him. They parted and the three of us in our group were assisted into wheelchairs with our adaptive equipment until we got with our rides to our homes. The airlines always treat us with dignity and courtesy.

To my "seatmate":

You will never know how funny and passionate I am. You will never have my compassion to validate you.
You have lost out because you did not say Hello.
I will never know much about you because you had your reasons not to even say Hello to me.
A smile and a Hello for people who travel and are crammed into a 17 inch seat for the greedy airlines, bus, train or whatever mode of transportation in this world is really a nice way for all of us to at least put up with the stress of travel day and other life's demise.
For us who are multi-disabled just a Hello can really make a difference on our sometimes very painful lives. Whether we have a mental or physically malady.
Everyone has issues, some of us more than others.
So next time you fly/travel and your body is touching someone else's on a "crammed in like sardines flight", just say Hello. Please!
It takes only a moment and can make a pleasant ride for everyone for many hours. <3
End of Rant.
Permission to share and re-post.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Fires in California August 2016 - 4 blocks from my Daughter in Lower Lake

Fire!!!!!! #Claytonfire

Again this year there has been too many fires. Again my daughter Melissa, her BF Earl, my son Martin and his step brother Jacob had to leave the apartment and evacuate somewhere else. 
A man was caught in the act of arson and he is suspected of some 24 fires in Lake County California for the last 14 months. 

Twice the kids were evacuated August 9th and August 13th 2016. Both times the fires got with in 4 blocks, once south and once to the West.

The second time the fire was called the #Claytonfire.
After a week she could go back not knowing if her apartment was burned or flooded by the built in sprinkler system.

When they returned they found that all the food in the refrigerator was rotten after the power was out for more than 36 hours. Some of the freezer food was no good as well as the top foods in the chest freezer. 
Her plants pretty much died that were outside from the heat over 110 degrees and no water.  

So my daughter and her BF have moved with some friends near the college in Santa Rosa so they can both go to college and work. My son and his step brother are in the apartment and they are taking care of the 3 cats.  My daughter will stay at the apartment when they need to visit Earl's Mom and sisters. Melissa will need to pack things and sort things for a more permanent move in the future. 
Thank God that the apartment did not burn.

There is sad news though one of my best friends Susan lost her entire home. She and her 4 children, [two are adults, one is a quadriplegic], all had live in different places.    I pray things will get better for her and all those who lost homes and businesses.  
I was there visiting my daughter when one of the fires happened that was listed as arson. It was a smaller fire of just a few acres.  
Here are photos of the Lower Lake fire. [see below for detailed information on the arsonist who is charged.]

The track/oval from Lower Lake High School. Thank goodness the fire did not burn the high school, only some out buildings near the school. 

Map showing the three large fires from last year 2015 and the beginning of the Clayton fire
Final of the area burned from the Clayton fire 2016 four blocks away from my daughters apartment.  
Main Street and the museum was spared!
The fire pattern as the fire progressed north
From the Lake County News online view from the Lake 

This was a thank you to all firefighters fighting our fire in Lower Lake as well as other fires

From DP 15 it is 4 blocks to my old Apartment where my kids live. map of the beginnings of the Clayton fire

Another overlay map of the three largest fires of 2015 and the Clayton fire

8 Businesses are destroyed in the #Claytonfire


Clayton Fire Incident Information:
Last Updated: August 26, 2016 6:00 pm  
Date/Time Started: August 13, 2016 6:03 pm  
Administrative Unit: CALFIRE Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit 
County: Lake County  
Location: off Hwy 29 and Clayton Creek south of Lower Lake  
Acres Burned - Containment: 3,929 acres - 100% contained  
Estimated - Containment: 8/21/2016  
Structures Destroyed: 300 destroyed / 28 damaged  
Cause: Arson 
Cooperating Agencies: CAL FIRE, Multiple local government fire departments, USFS, Department of Fish & Game, CA State Parks, Lake County Sheriffs, CHP, PG&E, CDCR and BLM.  
Total Fire Personnel: 32  
Total Fire Engines: 2  
Total Helicopters: 1  
Long/Lat: -122.60664/38.89741  
Conditions: The cause of the Clayton Fire was determined to be arson. 
Lower Lake Residents Returning Home

Control lines continue to be strengthened and improved. Firefighters are concentrating on fire suppression repair and are assisting returning homeowners. Damage Inspection Teams continue to survey the fire area to determine how many structures have been damaged or destroyed. Current data indicates that the fire has destroyed 299 structures; including 189 single-family homes, 8 commercial structures, and 102 other structures such as sheds and smaller outbuildings. As surveys are completed and additional data is confirmed, the number of structures damaged or destroyed may change.

CAL FIRE Incident Management Team 3 will transition command of the Clayton Fire to the CAL FIRE/Sonoma Lake Napa Unit on August 21, 2016. Beginning on August 20, 2016 at 6:00 PM, the St. Helena Call Center will become the primary source for further fire information. They can be reached at (707) 967-4207.
California Fire Data - Clayton fire final

Fire in Olympic Mountains

So while I was visiting in Sequim a fire started in Clallam County on the Olympic Mountains, Washington state.  I was in Sequim from August 15 to September 4, 2016. Below is a summary of the fires. All four fires were started by lightning on July 21, 2016.

Godkin Fire: 521 acres
Hayes Fire: 2310 acres
Cox Valley Fire: 57 acres

Ignar Creek Fire: 35 acres
Olympic Mountains Fire incidents

I took this photo a week after the fire started. Thank goodness the smoke was going towards the west and the ocean side rather than the Juan de Fuca side. 

From the link shown below

From the link
From the link

Map of the beginning of one of the fires

Final map of the fires

History of the fires in the Olympic Forrest areas

It was good that the smoke was not too bad only the first day was it bad. 
Photos I took plus the first one with the red arrow. 

From Linda's mobile park the first day of the fire. 
Another view of the smoke from the fire the first day
Another day the smoke was bad but not as bad as the first day

Smokey sunset

From Lake County News about the Clayton Fire and the Arsonist who was charged.

I was in Lower Lake just one block north of town visiting at my daughter's apartment between July 7 and July 19, 2016.  I put an asterisk * by the fires that occurred at this time set by the accused arsonist. 
The first two fires on the list with the two asterisk's ** I was living at the lower lake apartment. I moved July 15, 2015.

Four new arson counts filed against Clearlake man accused of setting Clayton fire; not guilty plea entered

LAKEPORT, Calif. – The Clearlake man who authorities say set last month's Clayton fire and numerous other fires going back to July 2015 was in court on Wednesday to enter a plea, with four more charges added to his case.

Damin Anthony Pashilk, 40, entered a not guilty plea to all of the 23 charges – and three special allegations – against him, according to Chief Deputy District Attorney Richard Hinchcliff, who is handling the case.

The Clayton fire began Aug. 13 near Lower Lake, burning a total of 3,929 acres. It was fully contained on Aug. 26.

Cal Fire's estimated suppression costs to date total approximately $18,580,412, according to Suzie Blankenship, a Cal Fire fire prevention specialist.

Blankenship cautioned that the number could change as Cal Fire continues to compile information.

Lake County Board of Supervisors Chair Rob Brown said the county's latest Clayton fire damage assessment has recorded 203 homes destroyed. He said the county doesn't yet have a full dollar valuation on the destruction the fire caused.

Cal Fire's damage assessments said an additional 100 structures burned, including eight commercial structures, as well as sheds and outbuildings.

The fire also damaged facilities at Konocti Unified School District and delayed the start of the new school year by over a week, according to Superintendent Donna Becnel.

Pashilk was arrested on Aug. 15. Originally, the District Attorney's Office charged Pashilk with 19 counts, including 15 for felony arson with special allegations of causing multiple structures to burn and committing a crime in a disaster area.

However, Hinchcliff told Lake County News that he has filed an amended complaint that adds four more arson counts to Pashilk's case.

Hinchcliff said that since the original filing, Cal Fire has submitted information on those additional incidents.

The four additional charges are for fires that authorities say Pashilk set on Aug. 8, 2015, in Clearlake Oaks and this past July – July 26, 27 and 29 – in Clearlake.

Altogether, Pashilk is accused of setting 16 fires plus making an attempt to set another that self-extinguished on Aug. 9 along Clayton Creek Road, where authorities say he returned four days later to set the Clayton fire, according to case records.

In that Aug. 9 attempt, Cal Fire investigators located a burned matchbook and a small area of burned grass.

Cal Fire investigators used video surveillance, GPS tracking devices and surveillance officers to connect Pashilk to the scenes of the 16 fires and one unsuccessful start from July 2015 through early last month, according to the case files.

When Pashilk was interviewed on Aug. 15, “he could not provide an explanation to being at the ignition sites of the fires,” the documents stated.

The amended filing against Pashilk charges him with the following fires, in chronological order, with each incident's corresponding count in the criminal filing:

**• July 2, 2015, 7:32 a.m.: Highway 20 at Judge Davis Trail (“Judge” fire No. 1), Clearlake Oaks (Count IV).
**• July 2, 2015, 7:50 a.m.: Highway 20 at Walker Ridge Road (“Judge” fire No. 2), Clearlake Oaks (Count V).
• July 29, 2015, 8:30 p.m.: Highway 20 east of New Long Valley Road (the “Long” fire), Clearlake Oaks (Count VI).
• Aug. 8, 2015, 2:27 p.m.: High Valley Road and Cerrito Road, Clearlake Oaks (Count VII).
• Aug. 13, 2015, 11 a.m. : Woodland Drive, Clearlake (Count VIII).
• Aug. 14, 2015, 8:18 p.m.: Sulphur Bank Road, south of North Drive, Clearlake (Count IX).
• Aug. 25, 2015, 3:47 p.m.: East Lake Drive, Clearlake (Count X).
* • July 17, 2016, 5:08 p.m.: Crestview Drive and North Drive, Clearlake (Count XI).
• July 21, 2016, 5:08 p.m.: 18000 block of Morgan Valley Road near Staehle Lane, Lower Lake (Count XII).
• July 23, 2016, 7:03 p.m.: Western Mine Road, Middletown (Count XIII).
• July 26, 2016, 6:48 p.m.: Sulphur Bank Road, north of North Drive, Clearlake (Count XIV).
• July 27, 2016, 7:23 p.m.: Lakeshore Drive and San Joaquin Drive, Clearlake (Count XV).
• July 29, 2016, 2:47 p.m.: Ogulin Canyon Road, east of Highway 53, Clearlake (Count XVI).
• Aug. 7, 2016 (start time not listed): Highway 29 near mile post marker 16.29, Lower Lake (Count XVII).
• Aug. 9, 2016, 5 p.m.: Seigler Canyon Road, Lower Lake (Count XVIII).
• Aug. 9, 2016, 5:25 p.m.: Clayton Creek Road, Lower Lake (Count XIX).
• Aug. 13, 2016, 5:01 p.m.: Clayton fire, Clayton Creek Road, Lower Lake (Counts I, II and III)

Special allegations include causing multiple structures to burn in the Clayton fire, and setting the Clayton fire and another fire on Highway 29 near Lower Lake this past Aug. 7, because both of those fire were in an area Gov. Jerry Brown has declared to be in a state of emergency.

In addition to the arson counts, Pashilk is charged with misdemeanors including methamphetamine possession at the time of his arrest, attempting to conceal the evidence of the methamphetamine, and two counts of driving on a suspended license with three prior convictions for that charge.

Pashilk remains in the Lake County Jail on an enhanced $5 million bail, according to jail records.

Hinchcliff said Pashilk will return to court for further proceedings on Oct. 25, at which time his preliminary hearing date may be set.

On Wednesday, Hinchcliff said there were no new details of the case that he could discuss outside of the additional counts.

He said he and his staff are now moving ahead on the extensive followup investigation that's part of building the case against Pashilk.

“There's a lot to do,” Hinchcliff said.

Email Elizabeth Larson at . Follow her on Twitter, @ERLarson, or Lake County News, @LakeCoNews.