|Sun-seeker Buddy - he asked for a cold one right after this picture was taken|
We have been glued to the television this week following the fate of Ft McMurray and hearing from friends who live there. At this point in time the airport has been saved as well as most of the downtown core and the bridge that connected the two sides of the town. Based on the huge nature of the fire it is almost unbelievable that only 20% of the structures in town have been burned down, over 1600 +. No one has died except in a car crash on the highway during evacuation. Pretty unbelievable and likely one of the largest successful evacuations in history with over 80,000 done in mere hours.
We donated a large sum of money to the Red Cross and Canadians have donated over $30 million to the Red Cross for this relief effort which the government is matching dollar for dollar. We also made a donation to the SPCA there as many pets that were saved have been displaced and more will be found as days go on. I also donated some hotel points to the red cross, we had some that we have had for a few years that were not enough to redeem so this is the perfect opportunity to use them.
People are coming together donating goods, money, offering food and shelter. Corporations are stepping up to the plate - Labatts beer halted beer production temporarily and canned water to be taken to the evacuation centres in Edmonton. Westjet airlines immediately sent all of its spare planes to Fort McMurray on Tuesday, the day of the evacuation and airlifted a lot of the patients out of the hospital as well as evacuees to Calgary and Edmonton. Other smaller local airlines lifted as many humans and pets as they could away from the fire. Trucking firms are offering up their units free of charge to transport donations and supplies. Canada has seen other large natural disasters but never a fire as devastating as this to a major city. I was an insurance underwriter when the last major fire devastated an entire town, Slave Lake which burned everything to the ground. 400 structures were lost in that fire and many of them were seasonal homes.
We have 2 clients with businesses in Ft McMurray and we still have not heard if any of their structures have burned or are still standing, but we know all their employees got out safely. We still have yet to hear from our ambulance friend as he is busy trying to take care of firefighters there now that the hospital was evacuated but do know he is ok.
|Tomatoes, peppers, chives in bloom, rosemary and cilantro|
|Container garden on the sidewalk beside the house - out of sight|
|Cilantro coming up nicely - the butterflies are there to stop the neighbors cat from using it as a litterbox|
I have tried to occupy myself this week to get me away from tv and facebook as cannot watch it 24 hours a day. Ever since we got home we have been working in the yard and bit by bit it is starting to come together. I have planted a container garden as don't want rip out grass/adjust sprinklers just yet until I am sure I want a garden year after year. One of our clients is a potato breeder (yes, that is what they call them) and he sent us some seed potatoes that are bred for containers - earthapples.com is available only in Canada at this point but if you want to order a kit you can do so online or they are available in several garden centres in Alberta at this time. They are specialty potatoes meant to be harvested when they are young and best-tasting. I can't wait, we should be able to eat some the beginning of August as have 80-90 day growing time. We had all of the containers except purchased four on a Facebook bidding site for $8. I also planted a few other things that I had older seeds for, not sure if they will come up or not. I also bought 2 tomato plants and a pepper plant which are in the ground - last year I had good luck with all 3 so let's hope for a bumper tomato crop again.
We spend most of our time at home as it is both a home and a place of work so we spend a lot of time and effort trying to make it look good. I still have a bunch of flowers to plant but they are purchased waiting for a cooler evening to plant them. I got inspired by the amount of flowers in Cordoba so have bought many more than last year for both the front and back yards.
Work is busy again - we have two large contracts pending plus I have agreed to work part-time temporarily at my old job as a long-term employee is leaving them in the lurch. I like the people there and it won't likely be more than 20-30 hours in the next two months so I can do both jobs. All the money will be earmarked for the travel fund. Not so sure I would have done it had it been going to regular bills :) I do not intend to work beyond the time agreed although they have said they would love to have me back - our company is just too busy for that and I enjoy the life we have and the flexibility of self-employment.
In my next post I shall catch up on posting our grocery tallies from the last two months and update the status of the Christmas fund. Have a great weekend everyone!