I saved the house and Mr. Foresterman saved me...

this doesnt work so good no more.

my boots from that night - Ariat makes fire fighting boots unintentionally.

 this is my growing pile of cooked rattlesnakes to bury the heads later...

so far I have had one baby bullsnake and one baby racer come visit me at the house.
I like them as they eat rattlesnakes. but they have to get a little bigger...

Dr. Randy made a feral woman cry again. This is the round bale he delivered to me the next day that was donated by Charlie Russelll...Thanks Charlie & Dr. Randy ; I love you guys!!!!!!

 This is the shed roof that blew off ...

 That covered the shed that we built when we first moved here...Eb really misses it.

this is hard.

but the good news is, I saved the house.

after I helped our neighbors who live 6 miles down the road evacuate and mr. foresterman was out fighting the first initial attack, i came home and I removed all the curtains, bamboo shades, and furniture away from the windows. 
All of it.
And piled it in the middle of each room.
EVERY room. 

As we watched from the hayfield down below, the fire blew hot on the sides of the house and made the house breathe in and out and cracked the closed windows and slip in hot ash,
but not one thing inside caught fire.
not one thing.

I had to live like this for a week until today, 
because the insurance company wouldnt send their adjuster out in a fire zone, 
and they told us to leave everything AS IS.

it made me very sad and made me face reality that not everything is like an Allstate commercial.

This is the wood ash on my piano...

That matches the cracked window and ash upstairs in my wonderful bathroom...
(i still took baths because they made me calm down so I could sleep.
so take that, insurance peoples)

That matches the cracked window and ash downstairs...

that matches the ash everywhere. 


and the 8 cracked windows.

we also lost four garbage cans and numerous tubs that we had filled with water and put around the house - 
This also saved the house because after the main blow of the fire went past, we drove from the hayfield to the house to put out the trees, poles, everything that was burning all around the perimter of the house.
 there was no power and no phone and no water pressure

so mr. foresterman and I used buckets and dipped into these filled containers, at 12:30 at night, along with  two filled metal horse troughs, to put everything out.

it was tiring. but it worked. by 4:30 am we were very dirty. 
we laid down on the deck we saved and tried to sleep because the house was too smokey. 
we still didnt sleep.

even though it was a brick home, the windows and doors took the brunt of it.

my new bird feeder did too. 
I bought this one to keep the blackbirds away.
now it keeps everything away.

this is a temporary fix to our power - they said they will come back.
I hope so.

these were firewood piles for heat this year. it burned too soon.

this was our aluminum canoe.

incredible heat.

but no more river rides.
This is  the canoe my babies rode in, then steered on their own when they got bigger.

this makes me cry again. So I look at things that need to be fixed.

our propane tank needs to be replaced, along with the line to the house. 
this is something someone else will do and it makes me feel better. because i got a lot to do.

a lot.

And thank you EVERYONE for the offers of help - yes, I do not like help most of the time because Im one of those two year old toddler type of peoples who want to try to pull up their pants on their own throughout life...and basically I dont know what I need right now because the insurance adjuster just came through today. We have to make lists. and jump through hoops. We will let you know as soon as we know. The forest service donated t-posts and we have been mending fence daily as there are still very healthy cows out there who need to be kept in and kept out. The red cross did one night hand out bagged sandwiches somewhere but i was too busy throwing up - the side effects of too much smoke...And our neighbors to the far east gave us eggs for making bread (yes i know, me. the bread machine is being held at gunpoint to produce because right now Im not a feral woman to mess with) and drinking water (our tap is high sodium, so we dont drink it due to high blood pressure. which ours is now high, but not due to the water) and then the new bride and groom came and dropped off endless cleaning supplies and some small bales of hay - they will be back next weekend to help wash walls etc. And the wonderful DNRC and the fire guys have been sheepishly stopping by each day to ask what fire issues we might have, although the unspoken word here is that there is no fire danger now for us personally - unless we use gasoline and a match...so we give them a root beer, chat a bit, and they go back to the lines to wait to be called up next to fight this beast of a fire that wont die. And tonight they are predicting more dry strikes by a passing thunderstorm. I live on a hill - I can see pretty far now so we will be watching the skies again tomorrow inbetween cleaning for that first wispy narrow plume that makes you grabbed the phone to call the nearest neighbor to it to warn them...

But your prayers and good thoughts keep everything to me in perspective. 
Goodness knows, you are the ones who keep my mind sane and give me something to give thanks for. you carry me with your words.

thank you from the deepest part of my soul for your wishes...


one last prayer (i know, im being needy) 

even though I could be considered one of the most strongest feral women around in all aspects, 

that or Im a curse,

as a precaution ~

I am going to the doctors a little earlier then August for my latest scan ~

wildfire does that to people.



  1. i gasped (with relief!) when i saw the photo of the round bale!!! i LOVE YOUR VET!

    thank you for explaining how you managed to save the house. i am amazed. so smart. i knew you had put the containers of water all around the house where you could. thank GOD for them!

    so glad to hear the insurance adjuster has come so now you can start putting things back in order and cleaning EVERYTHING. oh my.

    thank you, feral, for sharing this horrible chapter of your life with us so we can send prayers, money, more prayers...

  2. Yoohray for hay delivery.

  3. Your pictures really bring the reality of it all into perspective. Such devestation everywhere. You have made us take a second look around our home - we have plenty of things we need to change. Thank you so much for sharinig at this most difficult time.

    As I write this, it has gone dark here with storm clouds setting up another evening of thunder and lightning. Like you, we are on a hill and can watch the storms approach - we have also watched fires start in the distance during past storms.

    Wishing you safety and peace...

  4. I'm so glad you were able to save the house although not being from the west I don't quite understand how a house breathes but I do understand that if the curtains had been at the windows they would have caught fire.

    I'm just so sorry you are having to go through all of this. I hope you can soon put your house and life back in order.

    Thoughts and prayers going out to you.


  5. I have been watching my feed so carefully to make sure that you are as ok as possible. so glad that you have that hay bale and know that more will come as you need it. so grateful that you were able to save your home, and what quick thinking you did to move everything to the center of the house. I know that this is going to be an event that you will never forget, and so fortunate that your home is still standing ( maybe not in the beautiful forested area it was in, but eventually that will come back. I was wondering how your kitty is doing? and your horses? Are they going to be ok? Your vet is truly amazing and so grateful that you have had that help and knowlege that he is there. Bet your kids are so relieved!!! As bad as this is, it could have been so much worse. Keep us posted on what your needs are as you know them. Blessings from Texas!

  6. Having never lived through anything like this, I feel humbled to have so many good, small things in life. Bravo to you for your resilience, but no-one would blame you for crying.

  7. Thank you so much for filling us in! I am so grateful that your house is still standing. You sure have good neighbors and a strong heart! Hope you can start getting some sleep.

  8. Oh you have the best vet in the whole world.
    I cry as I read this I can feel the pain in your heart, my heart is breaking knowing there is not much I can do from here. I worry every day about your health you are dealing with so much. I was happy to hear you are going to get that checkup early. No one should have to deal with all this.
    Your Foresterman is a hero and so are you. You saved your house, your neighbours and you still have those memories in your heart that were burned, or melted.
    I do hope the insurance comes through quickly and you can concentrate on getting yourself put back together and take care of yourself. I am truly praying things will get better and the rains will come and the tests will be good.
    I surely wish you could feel this big hug. xxoo B

  9. It is hard to breath as I read this and view all of the devastation you have endured. Then my heart swells reading of the hay and other items being dropped off for you. God Bless all those that have helped.
    It was interesting to learn how you saved your home. Brilliant. I would not have known that.

    I will be sending daily prayers, for healing, emotionally, financially and physically.

  10. By the way YOU ARE THE STRONGEST WOMAN I KNOW.Strong women need to cry too.Hugs. B

  11. You all did very well - scenes like yours are what we experienced hear in Australia recently, so there is heaps of empathy.

    Hold in there and best wishes!

  12. Oh, girl. It still hits me in the gut and I can't imagine its effect on you and the Mister. You are a remarkable woman. Hold tight, it'll get better.

  13. Wow! I'm so glad to have an update. You have been in my prayers and will continue to be.

    Your vet rocks!I wanted SO badly to get you some hay- only 2000 miles away! Awesome vet...

    I hope your animals are healing well. I'm praying for them too.

    I'm SO glad you saved your house(your beautiful, beautiful house). All the cracked windows and such are so minor compared to what could have happened. You were so smart to move everything to the center of the room. I don't think I'd have come up with that.

    I hope the doctor visit is totally uneventful.

  14. I've only recently begun following your blog...I am so sorry for all that you've gone through. It's amazing how you thought ahead to be able to save your house!! I think I'd cry too, seeing a bale of hay arrive just in time to feed my animals...bless your vet!

  15. You are one strong, amazing feral woman! I'm in awe of the feat you and Mr. Foresterman pulled off to save your house and your lives! Incredible! I will be praying for your continued strength, and for your good health!!!

  16. Thank you for the update . . . I have thought of you constantly in the past days. Each thought was sent with caring . . .

    Saving the house left me so happy for you! I wonder if the insurance adjustor needs some empathy education . . .

    Fire destruction like you are enduring is unfathomable for me. Thank goodness you are alive and that you and Mr. Forestman are looking out for one another.

  17. I would never have thought of moving everything in the middle of the room or taking the curtains down and opening the windows so they don't blow out. Amazing! I was glad to see the hay for your animals. Bad things even happen to good people, but a lot of good things are gonna happen now. So many blessings are coming your way. I just know it! Have faith, even though it may be hard to right now! You are in my prayers and in my thoughts!God bless you!

  18. No words, except to be thankful you are here & making it, slowly.
    God Bless You!

  19. I don't know what to say. I can't imagine going through what you have been through. Sending prayers your way.

  20. So glad you still have a house, and your animals. You could give us all a lesson in being prepared. Never would have thought of taking down curtains and blinds or putting out cans / tubs of water. Had to deal with a grass fire few years ago but fire dept is close by so they got it out before it got to anything but the grass. Started by someone towing a catapillar tractor thru tall dry grass. Take care, hugs to you and yours and your vet. Good planning on living in a brick house. Hope your insurance company settles everything quickly. Take care and take it a day at a time.

    I thought when I saw your pictures of the fire thru your windshield that some day 10 or 20 years form now you will look back and chuckle that you took photos while driving thru fire so you could update your blog. Blogging is changing our lives and it is a way to have friends we will never meet but that does not mean we don't want to.

  21. Prayers for you and all that are around you struggling with these fires and the devastation left behind. And dang it extra prayers for you you wonderful heroic lady ! (yes I said lady , gracious ,tough and someone I so wish to meet one day , you are a hero to me ! )

  22. Thanks for the update, apart from doing an amazing job saving your home, you have somehow managed to record it all ( those photos of your escape will haunt me forever) for yourselves in the future, when you can remind yoursleves that what doesn't kill us makes us stronger, and for your followers, close friends and strangers like me, who have got to know you a little. For those of us that have never met you, we feel we know you, and certainly care for and about you. With fondest wishes for a speedy sort out of all that now needs to be done, Janice xxx

  23. I'm relieved for you that you managed to save your home. What a horrible experience. Continued best thoughts for you and yours.

  24. Scary pictures you have posted!!
    Iam so very pleased that your house is intact.
    Well done to you for your smart thinking in taking the actions that you did. You obviously didn't panic - which is what I would have been guilty of in your position.
    You have a wonderful vet but you know that already.
    I hope everything starts to get back to some kind of normality for you soon.
    Take care of yourself and I hope you visit to the doctor is uneventful for you.
    Still sending many hugs to you.

  25. We are from across the pond suffering endless rain and then we stop and realise just how lucky we are. We feel for all of you and wish you good things. Keep us updated.
    Very best wishes Molly

  26. Bush fires ....I hate them. Thank God you're ok and you've managed to save your house. Devastating pictures. Hugs Maa

  27. Oh my goodness. My heart is in my mouth just reading that. When we heard of these fires (I'm in Scotland, so a long way away from you), I didn't know anyone who was personally affected, so I was praying for those the LORD knew were affected... I didn't need to know them by name - HE knew them! So, you were in my prayers, even unknown to me.
    Soooo thankful you are safe. Such an awful, awful thing to go through...
    Blessings, Anne x

  28. Hi! Thanks for letting us know how it is over there. Tank Good your house is ok, you did a great work saving it. Intersting to see on your pictures how terrible it must have been...hope you will get help from the insurance to build everything up.
    We have in my part of Sweden large floodings not since 70 years and its nothing compared to you. We had only little of it at home. Will link you on my blog so we can see the disaster after the fires than on TV.
    Keep the strength and take care all of you, keep us posted how you are doing.
    Hugs from Sweden

  29. Take care of yourself and count your blessings. If you were not the person you are, you could not survive this emotionally or physically. I just love the insurance shit. God only help you if you are late paying them but they may pay for the help YOU pay for next year....only if they cannot get away with NOT paying. We are all crooks unless proven otherwise.

  30. You are an inspiration to us all, Janice. Not many of us have been through anything like this, but for the grace of God. If there is anything, ANYTHING, you need, I hope you will let us know. I'll do all I can for you, I hope you know that.

    FYI -- a donation of $300, the first of many I hope, has been made to the MT American Red Cross, in your honor today, thanks to many kind folks from around the blogosphere that care about you and others affected by the wildfires.

    Bless you and your hubby -- we are here for you. xoxo

  31. What a absolutely brilliant idea about moving stuff off and away from the windows. Plus, the water in the various tubs, great idea. In time of crisis, we can do amazing things if we just keep our heads on straight. Still sending prayers and {{{HUGS}}}, wish I could do more. Does Fed-Ex ship hay?

  32. You are an amazing strong woman. Crying is okay!
    The things you did beforehand to save your house, well I wouldn't have thought of pulling things away from the windows and taking curtains down. And preparing the tubs of water beforehand too- strong and smart! Thank God you live in a brick house; did you have it built from brick because of the possibility of forest fire?
    Your vet is a gem. I sure hope the insurance company comes through soon.
    I will keep you in my prayers and pray that your check up will give you a clean bill of health.

  33. I am so glad you were able to save your house! Taking down all the curtains and blinds and having the water all around the house is a valuable lesson for all of us rural people in the west.
    Your vet is truly wonderful for bringing the hay!
    Let's hope the insurance process moves along quickly so that you can get things cleaned up and outbuildings replaced.

  34. What a splendid idea! I would never have thought of doing what you did! The pictures you shared are totally devistating! Keeping you in my prayers, and sending hugs! Stay STRONG!

  35. I can't even imagine what you have gone through. I am so glad you were able to save your house and yourselves. Stay strong, but it's ok cry if you want to. Sending lots of prayers your way.

  36. Hi, I'm new here. Just wanted to say thanks for posting through all of this trauma. We had our own wildfire scare earlier this spring, and I don't know what we would have done if it had caught us at home. Luckily for us, the wind shifted, and it never got to us. Thank you for telling your tale, and making me more fire smart. Wishing you well and good luck!

  37. Oh, my goodness! What a nightmare; Struggling to save what you have and not sure of the future. I can't imagine what its like for you and your family and neighbors. My heart goes out to you and also my prayers go up. I pray for good health for you and restoration for your home.
    Stay strong; find the blessings in the little things each day.

  38. Thank you so much for sharing this with the blogging community. I am in Arizona and we too suffer wildfires. Most people do not understand the devastation. Many prayers for you and glad to see that big round bale of hay. Sometimes it is the small things that mean the most.

  39. I'll have to come back later, cuz reading this has wet stuff coming out of my eyes... I can't imagine, unbelievable... I'm shocked at the pics you've posted that your house was actually saved! My gosh, that's truly incredible... I'm so happy for you, but I'm so shocked... God bless you for working sooo hard to save it.

  40. This was a frightening, horrible situation you just lived through! I have never visited before, but am coming over from Lazy J Bar C Farm, and Rural Thursdays. When I read what you went through to save your house, I was so moved. I had a house fire once, but it wasn't a wildfire, and my house and property weren't devastated like this! I know you are thankful for every blessing...for your lives, for the fact that the house was saved! God continue to be with you as you rebuild everything....I will be praying for you!

  41. I was so relieved to see the house standing strong among the ruins.

  42. You and Mr. Forestman are so strong and brave. You saved your house! Amazing!

  43. You are one amazing person. So glad to see that your home was spared, even though there is damage to fix and that alone is very stressful. Prayers going up for you.

  44. You were brave and stayed, and you saved your home. Thank God you knew what to do and did everything you could. I hope your animals are healing, and I think you should give that vet of yours an extra hug or two- he sounds like an extremely kind-hearted man!

  45. You're an amazing woman, obviously knew what needed to be done and did it. So thankful your house is still standing, as are you. May you have all you need.

  46. So glad that your house is still standing but the devastion around you is mind boggling.
    You are amazing, bless you,

  47. This just breaks my heart to see all the destruction and suffering. I'm glad you were able to get some hay and your vet was able to come. Prayers for you and the many others suffering through this.

  48. Thank you for sharing with your pictures and comments. So glad you and your husband came through safely, and you did a good thing posting measures you took to save as much as possible. We all need a little education in such things. May God continue to bless you and all your neighbors as you workk through this devastation. - Karen

  49. Woohoo! Your vet really is a hero in every sense of the word. I am relieved to know you don't have to worry about feed. I'll bet that's a huge relief.

    You have been in my thoughts ever since I first heard. So glad to see your home survived and that not all your cattle were lost.

    I thought about your posts on the bathroom remodel and the tender loving care you had taken in every detail and wondered how heartbreaking it would be to have lost all of that knowing you had put your heart and soul into each room just as you had the bathroom. I'm so glad you don't have to feel that loss too. So many little mementos of your life sucked up so savagely, I can't even imagine. Let alone what it will take to put it all back together.

    If there is anything I can do, please let me know. I have a big shoulder, if you need one of those and the prayers will keep coming.

    You and Mr Foresterman are pretty amazing people.

  50. Janice, I've been so remiss in keeping up with blogs and I'm sorry I've not been on here to send you our support and encouragment. I'm so in awe of your experience and pictures. As we spent out last days at home on our last break we had so much smoke in the air that had drifted in from the Ash Creek fire, it was over whelming and so many have been on my mind througout this ordeal! We will continue to be thinking and praying for everyone affected. Our friends near Roundup lost their home and barns, so it was a lift to the spirits to hear that your home came through so well, though clearly a very close call! My heart cries for southeasternn Montana and so many parts of our state and country these past weeks with all the flames eating away at the dryness. Your in our thoughts and prayers!

  51. I hope your sharing is part of your healing. Know it is definitely a helpful perspective to many but honestly, it is more important that it is part of what YOU need. You and all the others dealing with these terrible fires across the state are in our hearts and prayers and rain (not lightening) dances.

  52. I thought about you quite a bit hoping your world would escape the carnage of the fires. I'm in awe of how you saved the house! That is truly awesome. I know it has to be hard to see everything you lost. Praying you will bounce back quickly and your world will be right again.

  53. There isn't more I can say...prayers that your lives and house were saved, that people are there to help, prayers for strength.

  54. Sad to say I only discovered your blog in the midst of this incredible crisis.

    My sincerest hopes that all issues will resolve quickly and positively, so that you can get on with living. (vs recovering, restoring, reliving).

    Thank you for your poignant reminder to be thankful every day for what we have, and for every day that we have.


  55. I am so thankful that you and your house escaped... your vet and friends sound like a wonderful blessing... I too only found you in the midst of this crisis and I stand in awe of your strength and pray for you...

  56. ahhhh!!!!! as if life isn't stressful enough already. we would have helped if we were closer. glad it wasn't worse.

  57. Poor Tomez. I think of all the animals that died a tortuous death in the fires.

    I'm glad you were able to save your house. If I lived nearby, I'd help you and the others.

  58. WELL DONE YOU! That you knew exactly what to do, and that you and mr. foresterman were able to wet down the hot spots and keep things under control.

    Though it is terribly scary, rescuing your home from fire can be strangely rewarding.

    Most of all, glad you survive.

  59. The one thing that amazes me is that the propane tank didn't blow.

  60. my god, i'm so glad you stayed safe while saving your house!!!
    - The Equestrian Vagabond

  61. I've just started reading your blog, I'm so sorry for everything thats happened recently you will be in my thoughts and prayers!

  62. I've just found your blog through another and after reading your last post I am simply stunned that you got through what you have ......I simply can't imagine the scary situation you have been through. I am sitting here in New Zealand by my fire ....wet and cold outside.....very muddy and damp .......I can only send you best wishes and support through thoughts.......stay safe


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