Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Smoke on the Water

Or the marsh, as the case may be.

We don't live where there are usually wildfires. Swamp wood stays too damp, i always thought. Now i'm wondering.

Monday i started to notice a wheezing in my right lung. It does that, in the area with the scarring from the pneumonia, when i am overtired, working too hard, ill, or exposed to certain smells and pollutants. By Monday evening a scratchiness had been added in the throat. almost felt like paper stuck to the back of my tongue.

Tuesday, walking out the door to walk Hazelnut, i noticed the smell right away. Acrid, like something burning. Very faint, but it was there.

A couple of hours later, as i went out to hang the laundry to dry, the haze became noticeable, and #2 Son pointed out the smell. Because of our wonky electric set up in this house, fire is something i greatly fear. So i went out and circled the house, looking it over, making sure this wasn't a smouldering something in our attic. No sign of smoke from our property or any of the neighbors. Still a haze and smell, and my throat got bad enough that i started gargling the salt water, wondering if i was coming down with an infection.

By noon, everyone around here was smelling it. Sweetie called from work to ask if i had noticed it. It relieved me in one way that it was being noted in other parts of town, but concerned me that no one seemed to know what was going on.

After dinner, the air wasn't just a light haze, it was smoky. When i went to get the clothes in, much later than what i wanted, i tried to breathe as little as possible, it was so irritating to my lung and throat. Apparently everyone was talking about it, and i decided to search the all-informative Google to see what i could find.

Finally, the answer, on the local news website. DEQ is saying it is most likely smoke from a marsh fire in New Orleans East. Apparently the Big Easy has been blanketed in smoke for 3 days, and it is blowing our way. Particulate tests show fire related particles in the air up here, and at points between.

The fire departments and emergency personnel have been peppered with calls about it, too, and are reassuring people it's not local, and that people like me, who are sensitive to this stuff, should not go out for prolonged periods.

If it gets any worse, an air quality alert will be issued.

Meanwhile, Smoke on the Marsh -- i like the other title better.

Today is:

Constitution Day -- Kazakhstan

Day of Solidarity and Freedom -- Poland

Eat Outside Day -- as long as you won't pass out from the heat

Eid al Fitr -- Islam

Festal Day -- Order of the Eastern Star

La Tomatina -- Buñol, Valencia, Spain (annual citywide food fight festival in which around 30,000 people take to the streets to pelt each other with tomatoes)

Limba Noastra -- Moldova (Day of Our Language)

Independence Day -- Kyrgyzstan; Malaysia (Hari Merdeka/Freedom Day); Trinidad & Tobago

International Day of Blogs and Bloggers --

Love Litigating Lawyers Day (Yes, God tells us to love everybody, even litigation attorneys. He never said doing it would be easy.)

National Trail Mix Day

St. Aidan's Day

St. Raymond Nonnatus' Day -- (Patron of childbirth, children, falsely accused people, fever, midwives, newborn babies, obstetricians, and pregnant women)

Usuki Stone Buddhas Fire Festival -- Usuki, Japan (torchlight at twilight lights the regions mysterious Buddha statues)

Willing to Lend a Hand Wednesday -- part of Be Kind to Humankind Week

Birthdays Today:

Jeff Hardy, 1977
Richard Gere, 1949
Itzhak Perlman, 1945
Marva Collins, 1936
Frank Robinson, 1935
James Coburn, 1928
Buddy Hackett, 1924
Alan Jay Lerner, 1918
Arthur Godfrey, 1903
Maria Montessori, 1870

Today in History:

Traditional date upon which Ayonwentah (Haiwatha) and Deganawidah (The Great Peacemaker) assist the Iroquois tribes in establishing the Confederation of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois Confederacy, or League of Five Nations), 1142
Lewis and Clark begin their expedition, 1803
A nuts and bolts machine is patented by Micah Rugg, 1842
The first professional football game is played in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, 1895
Edison patents the Kinetograph, 1897
Mrs. Adolph Landenburg, a horse rider, debuts the split skirt, 1902
Debut of Foghorn Leghorn, 1946
Solidarity Labor Union forms in Poland, 1980
Diana, Princess of Wales, her companion Dodi Al-Fayed and driver Henri Paul die in a car crash in Paris, 1997
Stolen on August 22, 2004, Edvard Munch's famous painting The Scream is recovered in a raid by Norwegian police, 2006

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