On the edge of a wildfire

Nothing like being on the edge of a wildfire to make you rethink your priorities.

Flagstaff isn’t threatened by the Slide fire, currently burning in Oak Creek Canyon, between Flagstaff and Sedona. It’s still a good distance away—but not so far that we’re not thinking about evacuation plans. I’ve already made the decision to take the books out of my back seat so I have room to cram three dogs and three cats into the Focus if I need to make a quick getaway.

The blaze is also close enough that we’re getting smoked out. When I left for work Wednesday, the sky was yellow with smoke.

Fire Sky WednesdayThe up side? Forest fire smoke smells like campfire smoke—and it reminded me of the good times I had camping as a kid.

It did nothing for my headache, though. I woke up  at 8:30, which is super-early for me, with a killer headache. Had to take ibuprofen and hope to fall back asleep (which I did. Ended up sleeping until 12:30.) At first, I attributed it to sleeping hard. My shoulders were all bunched up and stiff. But my roommate pointed out that it might have been the smoke, because she had a headache too.

Sure enough, the wind was blowing another direction for most of the day Thursday—and no headache. I do still have a knot in my left shoulder, though. If I had money, I’d get a massage. The skies were clear and blue until about sunset, when I started to smell smoke again.

Fire Sky Thursday night

The orange in this photo is the sun, not flames. You can see the smoke rolling in, though.

Thinking of that gorgeous countryside getting chewed up by fire makes me sick. At least firefighters are starting to get a handle on it. At last report, it had burned 7,500 acres and was 5% contained. (Better than 0% contained.)

It’s been a day of ups and downs.

Woke up at 6-ish. Couldn’t sleep, so I checked the latest fire news and read my Facebook and Instagram feeds. Finally managed to go back to sleep until my alarm went off at 10. Fixed a healthy breakfast: Egg, onion & zucchini omelet with tea. Washed dishes and took a shower.

Then I got locked out of my bedroom, while wearing my robe and with my phone locked inside, so I couldn’t call for help. Tried taking the doorknob out, but it still wouldn’t open (the latch was jammed) … so I threw myself against it until the wood gave way.

Then my proof copies of BLIND DATE BRIDE, which I’m planning to indie publish in June, arrived from Createspace. I was super excited until I looked at the back cover and saw the giant typo:

This is why we order proofs

“Blinde” Date Bride isn’t going to cut it, I’m afraid. I should have seen that one of the dozens of times I looked at the cover flat pdf … but didn’t. Luckily, my cover artist fixed it and sent me a corrected copy in a flash, so I’ll order another proof first thing this morning, when my paycheck is in the bank.

At about 3 p.m., I got my hands on a copy of the not-so-flattering review of SLIDING INTO HOME in RT Book Reviews magazine. 2 stars. Comforted myself with the knowledge that a best-selling author also got 2 stars in the same issue … and with the old saying “any publicity is good publicity.” Sales do seem to have picked up a bit, so …

I managed to avoid comfort eating by picking up a Points-appropriate granola bar at the Maverick station on the way in to the office, instead of buying a big bag of cheddar & sour cream Ruffles. (Yay!) But then I eschewed my veggie burger dinner when one of my coworkers offered to bring back burgers from his grill. (He is a burger master.)

And after work, I ran past New Frontiers to see if it’s made the transition to Whole Foods. (It hasn’t.) While I was on that side of town, I stopped at Sonic for a small order of tots. (Flex Points rule, even though I shouldn’t have succumbed to the urge to eat fatty, salty food after all.)

When I pulled into the drive-in, I saw the sign:

Sonic Shakes on Sale Again

Half-price shakes? I was sorely tempted … until I checked the Points value. There are 12 to 14 Points, depending on the flavor — and that’s in the MINI size.

So not worth it.

Yeah. If I needed proof that tracking works, there it is. Last summer, when I was eating all the things, I’d drive across town a couple times a week and get a small or medium shake. Just knowing how many Points are in one of those things is enough to deter me from indulging. Yikes. No wonder I piled on the pounds.

So, the day had moments good and bad, exciting and draining. Time to go to sleep so I can get up and do it all over again.




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