What a difference a week makes! This has truly been the longest week of my life. As we speak the Thomas fire has burned 235,000 acres and destroyed 800 structures. We were given the ok to come back home over the weekend. Here's what happened...
As the fires burned, our sheep, Linen, Paisley and Cashmere, were safely hanging out at the Earl Warren Show Grounds in Santa Barbara. They were well cared for by the selfless team of volunteers from the Santa Barbara Equine Evac. I had never heard of this organization before now, but they are going to be getting a whole bunch of love (and a fat donation) from me and Steve for the holidays!
We packed our goats, Thelma, Louise, and Dottie, into the back of the wagon...
Our sheep made themselves at home in the back of our neighbor's SUV.
It isn't every day that you see this in your rear view mirror!
Everyone made it safely home. Check out my videos on Instagram to see everyone in action... so much happiness! Look at those smiles...
With the sheep and goats home again, it was time to bring home the donkeys. Daisy, Buttercup, Blossom, and Huckleberry weathered the fire just a few blocks from our home at the Ventura County Humane Society. Steve and I have always been supporters of this amazing non-profit organization, knowing that they have provided wonderful animal programs for our community over the last 85 years. We never imagined that we would need them to care for our donkeys during such a devastating disaster.
Because of the donkeys' close proximity to our home and the Humane Society, and their hatred of trailers, Steve decided to try walking them home. Apparently, they made some friends along the way!
We are so blessed to live Ojai. These two lovely ladies were at the Humane Society and offered to help Steve get the donks home.
I had to take a group photo to document the moment they arrived home.
We had an uneventful, but very smoky night at Patina Farm. This morning a lot of the smoke had cleared and everyone was back to grazing and running around.
Although the evacuation has been lifted, we are still staying alert. Small fires continued to pop up behind our home and in other areas around the valley over the weekend.
The presence of thousands of brave firefighters allows us to be cautiously optimistic that we are safe.
We had to have faith in them as they did a controlled burn of the mountains behind our home.
We spent the weekend watching and praying.
It is now Wednesday morning, and there are still fires to be contained. The air quality is terrible. We wear masks when outside and try to stay inside as much as possible. We pray that the animals will be ok.
We have a new perspective on the holiday season this year. Steve and I have decided that this year we will be donating to a variety of charities connected to the firefighting effort. Several charities have been suggested on my Instagram account by people who have firefighters in their family. These include:
And the animal support:
If you are local and have a charity to add, please do so in the comment section of this post.
Thank you to all of you who have sent prayers our way. I have read every single email and comment on my posts as well as on Instagram. I know that our home is still standing because of your love and prayers!