Tag Archives: firefighters

Switching Bottles

Well, my friend Jam is back in town, and ready to party.  The last time I partied with her was here and that was a time I will never forget.  I did write it all down so that helps with the not-forgetting part.  Which is why I’m doing it this time too.  Its great catching up with old friends.

Of course some things never change.  For one thing, just like last time, we were having a snow storm and I was trudging up the street with snow that, in some wineplaces, was up to my knees .  I had a half a bottle of my son’s homemade wine in an insulated water bottle and some 7-up to tame it just a bit.  It is a tad wicked.  No stuffed mushrooms though, just a box of Crunch and Munch this time.

I put on makeup before I left, although I don’t know why.  I guess because I haven’t had a picture taken of me in months, not even at selfie jan 2014Christmas, which is fine by me, let me tell ya.  Tonight, though, there are lots of pictures of me that should just be burned.  I can laugh at them though as long as I don’t acknowledge it’s me in the pictures.  Ha.   I did take one selfie that was pretty good.  I was going for a one-chin look and think I did it.  I did have to reach up quite far with the camera to get the effect I wanted. What do you think?  I’m dreading when Jan gets back home and will upload a whole bunch on Facebook.

So I made it to the door and didn’t fall in a snow bank.  There they were, the girls from the block and Sue(p).  God I love them.  We had snacks, drank some wine and remembered the great times we had.  We also realized that things aren’t like they used to be.  We are all so laid back (old) although it could be because of the cold it really limits what one can do.  We weren’t about to get on a bus and go to a restaurant and spend lots of money on food and booze then hop on another bus and yell things at Shelly with the sole purpose of embarrassing her (“Shelly has a boooyfriieeennd!!!”) while on our way to the casino.  Shelly was so easily embarrassed back then, now she just gives it right back at us AND she says really bad words more often.  That’s fun too but not nearly.  Watching and hearing her apologize profusely to whoever she had to sit with on that bus would make everything just get out of control.

Life was so different then.

Memories of a stinky cab ride

Memories of a stinky cab ride

So what did we do?  I laughed so hard the back of my skull hurt so bad I had to make myself stop.  I swear I was having a stroke or my brain was just trying to leak out the back way.  We started posing for pictures but without our Sue as she left a little early.  She did drink a lot of wine before I got there.

Invaded by the teens.

Invaded by the teens.

Shelly and Jan’s kids were there as well as some miscellaneous others that Shelly seems to adopt.  Mine stayed home. They were mostly pushing cars out of the snow outside the house.  A lot of snow and you’d think people would know better.  These kids were so loud I couldn’t believe it but what great human beings.  Shelly would screech their names, demanding they come upstairs and help the neighbours get out of the driveway AGAIN and up they would come.  Except the girls.  They put on fashion shows for us and made us ache for our youth.

My place is so quiet.

That feeling of friendship, which I felt was missing from my life for so long, was as if it never left my heart.  How easy it is to relate to these women, and to laugh and tell stories.

The best story?  Sue was woken up one night by a stranger, who was obviously drunk and in her room looking for “Jordan”.  She kept asking him what the hell he was doing there.  She got out of bed, was in her nightgown (thank goodness) and followed him out to her kitchen.  (Who are you??) There she noticed he had (Who the hell is Jordan???) helped himself to some snacks and tried to open her Crown Royal bottle (which is so stuck but I bet I could open it).  All the while he kept asking her where Jordan was. (How did you get in here??)  He finally realized that he was in the wrong house (Sue has no idea how he got in there or who he was or who the heck was Jordan) and was going to leave.  He was heading for the door and Sue was worried that he didn’t have a jacket but he left anyway.  She found the jacket (he had set up a nice little bed on her couch). She called 911 and told them about the guy  (that poor, poor man is out there without his jacket.  I’m so WORRIED!) and how worried she was about him and could they please come by to get his jacket so he doesn’t freeze to death.  NOTHING about the break and enter.  Our Sue was just worried about the hoodlum’s welfare.  We were all imagining if it were us and we would not be so calm.  I would have been beating the guy over the head and chasing him from my place, screaming at him to get out.  Jan figured she would have stood there and screamed and panicked too.

Legs up and duck face for Shelly.  OMG we are so HOT

Legs up and duck face for Shelly. OMG we are so HOT

We talked about and remembered some recent firefighter stories,  the crazy diet stories, the backyard fire pit stories, some ex-husband stories (mostly good ones that were hilarious and not bashing them too much), the time when Shelly’s cat wasn’t as, umm, fluffy as she is now.  Hell, we were less fluffy back then too. The times when Shelly and Jan would be on the bus with their kids, someone always seemed to scream at them that they were lesbians.   Which led to some dating stories and questions.  Lots and lots of questions.  But not about lesbians.

It was a good way to reconnect with them.  They are my friends.  They were never gone.  I plan on keeping it up but when the weather gets warmer.  I’ll have 2 grandbabies by then and will be wanting to go show off visiting.  I hope Jan will be able to come back again soon.

Now I have to go to Urban Dictionary and look up what my name means.  Sue’s started off nice but ended up with nasty words.

I’m going to try to post every week again.  That’s my goal so hopefully I’ll see you next week!

Everything In It’s Place

This has been a week to end all weeks.  I’m not really sure what that means in a literal sense but I here I go.

It started off okay; I was expecting things to be nuts and it was but, as usual, mostly good.

Sunday there was a smell of paint in the house.  Nothing strong.  I found what I thought was the culprit: a paint can half filled with dried out paint that didn’t have a lid.  I found one and put it on.  Made some supper for Carly and I.  She hated it of course because it was not one of the 5 things she will eat. 

Monday at work was busy.  I finished the last of the current grant applications last week and was looking forward to planning an event for the clients I work with.  The federal grant I applied for our Multiculturalism Day was approved 2 weeks ago.  I had lots to do before June 27.  Clients are on board and doing their part which makes my heart sing.  Funny little headache all day.  Nothing major.   I wasn’t hungry (??) so didn’t eat supper.

Tuesday I put in an 11 hour day.  Our food bank had a good turnout.  People were, and usually are, well-behaved with the exception of a few who try to take food that belong to someone else.  Its food.  Of course they do.  People and food = survival.  We handle it and so do the others.  Nauseous.  Blah.  Long day.

Got home late (after 7).  Carly had come home from school early today.  She was in bed with a migraine and upset tummy.  She had a horrible cough too, one she didn’t have this morning.  My tummy was off all day.  I started coughing and my nose felt raw inside.  For the second night, I didn’t have any supper.  I made Carly eat soup.

Wednesday was busy at work planning the event and getting the day-to-day stuff done.  Good thing I have a volunteer who comes in 3 times a week.  My co-worker, Sarah, calls my volunteer “Marie’s Personal Assistant”  and you can just hear the caps in her tone.  I think she’s just jealous.  I was having a hard time maneuvering the stairs so I stayed upstairs as much as possible.  Coughing worse and nose just hurts so much inside.  Worse in the morning and before I go to bed.

Usually Wednesday I cook dinner and my son, Jason, comes over.  He likes to eat first then torture his sister.  I had to postpone because Carly and I were to go look at a second apartment.  Jason did come over before we left to sign some papers so Carly and I could get the dream apartment we looked at last week.  He reared back when he walked in the door and said how bad it smelled in the house.  Carly was still sick and getting worse.  My stomach was rolling and my eyes were burning.  I couldn’t smell anything.  I checked the paint cans again.  Nothing to see.  My eyes were getting blurry.  Long day, I thought.

We got back from looking at the apartment (awful), both of us still not hungry and feeling really crappy.  I made her eat soup.  I was dizzy and noticed my words were slurring. I kept lurching.   I thought I could smell gas on top of the paint smell.  I got Carly out of bed, she grabbed the cat and sat on the lawn while I called 911 then joined her there, where we laid back on the cool grass with the evening breeze cooling my cheeks and feeling fresh in my nose.

The next thing I knew, a fireman was bent over me.  I must say they look a lot better when their equipment is half off; like in the calendars.  I literally staggered to my feet, I felt drunk.  I explained about the paint smell but couldn’t smell it anymore but we were both sure we could smell gas.  He went to the front door then and reeled back, much like Jason did.  There must have been 6 firetrucks on our street.  All of the firefighters were doing a job, mostly with little metres and gauges.

Meanwhile I noticed not one neighbour came out to see what was happening.  I felt so loved.  Oh wait, there was a woman from across the street, talking to a firefighter.  She spied me and scurried over, rambling about my cat and her ducks.  Apparently the ducks that were on my lawn a few weeks ago had nested in her backyard and laid eggs this very day.  She didn’t ask a thing about us or the house.  I was tired listening to her rantings and deciding not to be accommodating like I usually am.  I saw the ridiculousness of the situation and turned my back on her and went back to my daughter and cat where we huddled together on the lawn, very, very frightened. 


The supervisor came out.  No gas.  He was holding a dripping container of thinner that had been in the basement.  There were six other firefighters with him and they all looked angry.  The supervisor immediately started yelling at me about the collection of  paint cans, sealers and thinner downstairs and how he should just condemn the house right now.  I calmed him down and promised it would all be gone before he came back in 2 weeks and told him the crap came with the house when I moved in.  He couldn’t understand how Carly and I lived with it the fumes for so long.  I sleep with a mask and filtered air so I didn’t get it as bad as poor Carly, who kept coming home because she was so sick and then sucking in more fumes. 

So, still sick but at my grocery store job, I continued with my week.  Got a call from the feds that they want to hire me part-time.  Bye bye grocery store.  Too old for that place.  Jason came over for his belated supper and took one look at us, sniffed the still toxic air and opened all the doors and windows with orders we were to leave them open all night and the next day.  We all ate Tacos.  MMM. 

Wrote an email to my landlord about what happened and that we needed a place to go and the cans removed by Friday.

My landlord had all the cans and containers out today, Friday.  All 209 pounds of them. There was also the offer of a hotel for us and the cat but I didn’t have money for gas with work on Sunday and all next week.   Carly is staying at her friend’s. 

In retrospect, I can see the progression of the symptoms but at the time I really was not able to function properly or think straight.  I almost had 2 car accidents and the stuff that was coming out of my mouth (I mean words) was ridiculous.  Falling over, sounding drunk, coughing, headaches.  The symptoms seem so obvious now.

by ~UmmatimniiPanik

I want all of you to please stop putting off disposing of the hazardous waste in your home.  So what if there is only one can of paint.  That thinner ate through the container it was in. Your judgement and half your senses go out the window; I could have killed my daughter and myself.

From one can of thinner.