Thursday, April 30, 2009


Even if there were 30 hours in a day I still wouldn't be able to do all the things I need/want to do.

But I sure as heck am trying.

I have become a master multitasker. I'm not one of those people that puts on makeup with the rearview mirror while driving... I'm more of a wolf down my breakfast while breastfeeding kinda gal. I catch up on the phone while folding laundry, pay bills while cooking, push the stroller while running to the grocery store to get some cardio in, and even when jogging I am making up a mental list of what needs to be done around the house. The Saturday paper takes me all week to read and this I do in the bathtub.... I still haven't figured out how to fold it so it doesn't become a sopping mess. I can pee while holding a baby on my lap, dress my son and brush my hair, and manage to kiss my husband good-bye somewhat passionately (depends if I've brushed my teeth yet) as he heads off to work and also give him a pleading look of 'please stay home today and be superdad'. I have forgotten what it's like to have the house entirely to myself. The closest thing I get is when everyone is tucked in and asleep:

That is when I do my happy dance and sing Hallelujah... not too loudly though.... don't want to wake them up and spoil the peace. ;)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


With basically having two babies back to back, my workouts have waned a bit. So, this week I enrolled myself in bootcamp and did my first Crossfit workout. I love their workouts because they maximize output in minimal time. And time these days, I have very little of. Workouts average 20 minutes and are wicked intense (the basics being deadlift, clean, squat, presses, clean and jerk, and snatch, plus elements of gymnastics such as pull-ups, dips, rope climb, push-ups, sit-ups etc.... plus cardio hard between sets.... and... remember burpees from high school? lots of those). For the record, in case there is any confusion, that gal in the video isn't me........ yet. ;) Pretty rad eh?! Hopefully I can get my post-partum butt that hard core soon. I am so stoked.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

bloody brilliant

On a slow evening at the firehall we've been known to gather 'round the telly and watch American Idol. It's fun. And let's face it, we all secretly want to be rockstars. I think I could get on the show if they allowed me to sing nursery rhymes...because those are the only songs I know these days. I do a stellar rendition of Itsy Bitsy Spider that would bring even Simon Cowell to tears. Literally. I love him. There would be no American Idol or Britain's Got Talent if it weren't for him. He's what makes the show appealing to me. A lot of people think he's mean but I think he is forthright and upfront and honest and can show great compassion.

Anyway, I was catching up on some Britain's Got Talent on You Tube and there were a few performances that were so good I laughed until I nearly peed.

I loved these fellows for their sheer skill and athleticism. And this one was so original. And I could not believe this father and son duo. I was trying to picture my husband doing that with Jacob one day and I nearly gave myself a hernia I was laughing so hard.

But this, was my all time fave. She's no Susan Boyle in terms of talent but oh my goodness has she got moxy. The fact that she was ok showing off the girls that were made by God instead of by Goodyear was an indication of a woman who is really comfortable with being who she is au naturelle.

Just goes to show you that no matter your age, weight or boob length, it is never too late to go after your dreams and hold your head up high even if your girls can't.

Monday, April 27, 2009

this will only hurt for a second

Being a firefighter I have seen things that can be quite disturbing and have made my skin crawl. But I guess over the years I've become a bit desensitized and now I'm hard pressed to find too many things that make me squeamish. However, I have to admit that researching this on behalf of my husband made me squirm and whimper out loud. And I don't even own them parts. Well, ok, I do own them parts if you know what I mean. They say the procedure is safe but it seems so invasive. What if the doctor is in a bad mood that day and feels like taking it out on Bob and Bill? What is he has too many espressos that morning and has the shakes? What if it's allergy season and he sneezes? I like the timber of my husband's voice.... I don't think soprano suits him. I don't know if I can go through with it.

We had a dog that we had neutered and although it's not quite the same procedure it gives me a general idea of what to expect: My husband will be a bit grumpy and I'll have to invest in a few bags of frozen peas. But on a good note, at least he won't have to wear that crazy cone around his neck.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

yummy mummy?

What's with this term? I hate it.

I think the term more realistically applies as to how your baby feels about you if you're breastfeeding. Like, Maiya, if she could speak, would say after a nursing session "Thanks for the snack, that was so yummy, mummy." But all this talk about being a glamorous yummy mummy is just rubbish. It's nice to look nice after having a baby but there is enough media pressure on being the perfect mom as it is without having even more pressure to look like one. And then they say this is the epitome of a yummy mummy?:

I found this old article on yummy mummies and good ol' Vicky seems to top the list. Now my cat claws are coming out cuz I have to say how does anyone find her yummy? There's no meat on her. Those boobs, while magnificent, didn't come from nursing 3 boys. But I could be wrong and if I am so, dear Victoria, please give me a call because I'm nursing my second child and mine don't look anything like that. I'm sure you're nice and all Mrs. Beckham and I'd like to get to know you better so come on over to my place and you can share your beauty tips and I'll feed you a meal cuz it looks like you could use a sandwich and a chocolate milkshake or three.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

all done

Well, we decided we aren't going to have any more kids.

On the one hand I am sad because I love big families (my paternal and maternal grandmothers had 14 and 6 children respectively) but on the other hand I am quite relieved that we can focus on moving forward. Raising infants and toddlers is busy non-stop time. And pregnancy, although exciting, is nine months of anticipation. We were fortunate to have conceived our children both on the first try and I had wonderful unmedicated and natural planned homebirths. We didn't care what sex the children were but we were blessed with a boy and then a girl...both happy and healthy and that is all I could ever ask for. We didn't care if their hair was curly or straight or what colour their eyes were... for they are both perfect to me in every way. They are my children... and their little beating hearts grew under my own for nine months and they are the new generation of hope that all parents have for their kids. I don't care if they are straight A students or top athletes... I just want them to grow to be responsible and kind. I am excited to see what the future brings for us and for them. I will miss this time when Jacob is a teenager and too cool to hang out with me. And my beautiful gentle Maiya.... I hope that we don't fight like the way I did with my mother when I was growing up. And still do.

So. If I am sounding a bit misty-eyed it's because I am sitting here and it is raining a warm spring rain outside and my baby girl is sound asleep and my son is cuddled with my husband. And when I gripe and complain about the mundane things I need to give myself a wake up call and remind myself that I am the luckiest woman in the world.

Friday, April 24, 2009

my love affair

I'm in trouble.

I'm in love with a guy named Ed. He has ruined me.

He opened up an ice cream parlour and I am finding it hard not to see him everyday. He taunts and teases me with melting batches of chocolate and hand made waffle cones I become weak at the knees. His ice creams are made from 100% all natural ingredients and makes 80 flavours like pumpkin pie, spicy chilli chocolate, creme brulee, raspberry white chocolate and green tea. And his gelato is to die for. Green apple is my fave... no... make that hazlenut... no... lemon..... see my problem?

I will never be able to seat ice cream without being a bit of a snob now.... Haagen Daaz and Ben and Jerry now seem so................... vanilla.

So my pocketbook and my waistline may suffer a bit this season...... but since I am breastfeeding I think I deserve the extra calories anyway. They say nursing requires you to consume an extra 500 calories a day so that is equivalent to an ice cream cone right?

I may have to nurse Maiya forever. ;)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

cleaning house

After the birth of our first child I was a sweaty mess and could barely find the time to tidy up the household let alone run a comb through my hair. I had zero interest in becoming a Stepford wife. Perhaps it was due to my dishevelled look and hearing me constantly complain about the piles of dishes sitting in the sink that my frustrated husband brought home another woman. A cleaning lady. And I love her more than you can imagine. She comes over once a week to clean the home top to bottom including stripping down the beds and washing and folding laundry.

But I am breaking up with her.

Last week my son was making a mess of his toys and I asked him to tidy up. He said B..... will do it. I realized at that moment that the luxury of having someone to help us clean was sending the wrong message to my young child: that he doesn't need to be responsible for his things because someone else will take care of it for him. Jacob will be 3 this summer and I don't want him growing up with this sense of entitlement.

So this week I told him that as a family we are now tidying up the house ourselves and his job was to help. The chores he likes to do are parking his toy trucks against the wall, wiping down the table, filling the front loader washer, finding and matching his socks and putting his clothes away. And this kid believe it or not loves to vacuum. I have regained the sense of satisfaction that I am taking care of my own home without having to pay someone to do it and I am finding the house is neater because we are staying on top of cleaning everyday instead of leaving it all to the one day a week. And Jacob is learning lifelong skills, the concept of family teamwork and responsibility... and that is worth more than spotless floors and streak-free mirrors.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

fancy pants

So it was my birthday this month and I am admitting to the world out there that I am pushing 40! Does this mean I am middle aged? Next year I will be turning the big Four-Oh. But in Asian years that means I am really 30 right?

I don't feel my age... well, I guess I do after a sleepless night and when I look really closely in the mirror and see my wrinkles forming and the grey hairs that seem to keep coming in. Birthdays depress me a bit. Not because I am getting older but because there is this tiny bit of expectation that this day should be more special than the other 364 days. I do, however, love celebrating my kids' birthdays. They are milestones. Because I had such amazing planned home births with them I am actually celebrating my 'birth' days. One year when I was on shift for my birthday my husband and some friends came by the firehall. They brought a cake to share with the crew and a little joke gift for moi. Of course I had to try it on to see if it fit.
My birthday suit...
We took lots of pictures to commemorate the day and of course I can't find the others but when I do I will post them. Chief, if you're reading this I did take the outfit off before I ran the next call. Promise.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

family ties

One the greatest privileges to being a firefighter is getting an 'instant' family. We bond simply through the work that we do. It is impossible not to be close to the men and women you work with when you depend on each other for your safety. We celebrate each other's weddings, the birth of children, retirements, lend a helping hand with a renovation, and offer a shoulder to cry on at funerals.

This family isn't just limited to my crew, but extends beyond to all faculties of the department, from administration, to those in dispatch, building maintenance, the mechanics, the kind folks in human resources, and the equipment managers. Firefighters tend to get all the glory but we could not do the work that we do if it weren't for all the support people who help run the show behind the scene.

Becoming a firefighter helped me grow up and take responsibility... not just for myself... but for others including strangers I don't know but assist because they have called 911. It is nice to help people. But the truth is, the people I help are the ones who are actually helping me. They teach me compassion, and patience, and fortitude. They teach me to face my biggest fears and make my weaknesses my strength... and to not hide behind false bravado but to ask for help and guidance when needed. I am finding it is ok to give a hug to a just-new widow who has lost her husband of 60 years. I can look at a person who is in pain or in mourning square in the eye and say, without words, that I care... and that I hope that everything will be alright... even if I know that it won't be for a long time... if ever.

My 'fire' family has enriched my own little family at home. My husband knows that there are days that I am not so tough and I feel afraid and doubt my abilities but he supports me and loves me just the same. I love that I am a firemama to my son who just adores firemen and the shiny red trucks. And I hope that by simply having this job, my daughter who is still too young to understand what I do, will grow to learn that you can achieve at any profession beyond your wildest dreams.

Simply put, I love and trust the people that I work with, and the community that I serve. And I know that each and every firefighter, whether it be in New York, New York, or Osaka, Japan, feels exactly the same way.

Monday, April 20, 2009


I just stumbled upon this book. It was a castoff from a neighbour's garage sale. I don't describe myself as the happiest person alive. I am content and have a satisfying life but I am not Miss Little Suzy Sunshine. In fact, I am more on the grumpy side these days due to lack of rest/shower/time. So, figuring I could use a happy lesson, I decided to thumb through a few dozen things because who the heck has time to read, (let alone write!) 14, 000 things to be happy about?!
Some I could see making me happy due to their practicality like solar heating and homemade blueberry pancakes, Frank Sinatra Records, J & B Scotch.
Others were downright weird: sleeping gerbils? waxing floors? naugahyde? aluminum foil? tar shampoo?
But maybe the author has a point.... it's the million little things that add up to form the equation of happiness.... laughing children, a home-cooked meal, spring leaves.... But thank you anyway, I am still going to pass on the sleeping gerbils.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

mirror, mirror

I wrote a few posts back about being criticized for wearing lipstick at work. I do have to admit that it's habit, but moreover, it's about my vanity... I'm spooky looking if I don't have a touch of make-up on. But if I look around at the guys on the fire department, a lot of them aren't strangers either to trying to look pretty. I have seen more than one bottle of Grecian Hair Formula for Men hiding out in the locker room. Many guys outright highlight or dye their hair. Some have gone as far as getting hair transplants. Unibrows are plucked, arms and chests waxed, teeth whitened, bodies bronzed a la tanning booth or bronzing lotion. A guy on my shift gets his shirts tailored so they taper at the waist to make him look slimmer. I think it's nice the guys want to look good. Except often they look so good they make me look bad. I really should add eyeliner and blush along with the lipstick.

I heard that we might get issued stationwear shorts for the summer. We'll look like the posties but at least we won't boil in the summer heat. So that means I will have to make sure my legs are shaved before heading off to work. But if I do happen to forget or simply just don't have the time, at least there will be plenty of Nair or leg wax lying around in the lockeroom.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

lofty idea

Loft living is interesting and not for the faint of heart.... especially when you have kids. Sure, you can do laps on your bicycle here but there is very little privacy... so.. we converted the huge storage room into our master bedroom and these are the doors that you enter into.

Looks nice eh? They are made from 100 year old lead glass and a grand way to enter the bedroom.

Except this is really the correct proportion and perspective.

See how tiny the opening is? And how the heck do we get up there?

For years the only way into the bedroom was via a ladder propped up against the wall and crawling in on all fours. Good thing I am used to climbing ladders and entering confined spaces. A bit tricky... especially when you're tired and it's in the middle of the night. Coming down is even dicier. As you can see there is no longer a ladder because ever since Jacob was old enough to walk he would make his way up the ladder lightning fast if my back was turned one second. I didn't feel the need to practice my medical skills at home... so, bye bye ladder.

Enter.... spiral staircase:

I love this staircase.... a bit safer but only 3 feet wide so you have to go up sideways. I still worry about Jacob going up there thus the industrial safety gate at the bottom.

Again, going down is dicey because it's steep and narrow. I have thought of putting a fireman's pole at the opening of the other 'entrance'. It would be a fast way to get down and I would be able to 'play' firefighter at home.

Except everyone coming over to visit would think I was a stripper.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


If you want to win the heart of any firefighter make a batch of these and bring it over to your local firehouse. I make these at work for the guys if they're being nice to me. ;) I am a bit of an ingredient snob so I only use Fry's cocoa.

1 1/3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter (do not use margarine!)
1 cup fry's cocoa
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons real vanilla
(I add a cup of chopped walnuts... make sure they're super fresh!)

Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt in small bowl.
Melt butter in a large saucepan. Remove from heat. Stir in cocoa.
Blend in sugar, eggs, and vanilla.
Blend in dry ingredients.
Pour batter into greased baking pan. I highly recommend this pan because boys will be boys and the guys fight over the corner pieces cuz the chewy edges are scrumptious.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until done. Cool.

I serve with ice cold milk

Then I make the guys do my station chores for the rest of the shift. ;)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

F*#% it

I was once criticized by a fellow firefighter for wearing lipstick at work. Now, if I were a guy wearing Bonne Belle lispsmacker gloss I would understand the commotion but I'm female and I've worn lipstick since I was old enough to wear make-up. Just because I am in a male-dominated industry doesn't mean I am ready to give up my feminine ways to fit in with the guys. In fact, I'll do stuff on purpose to bug the guys because I'm mean that way. ;)

I have pink Martha Stewart Egyptian cotton bedsheets on my bunk and bring in fresh-cut daisies for the kitchen table. I leave Oprah magazines lying around and make sure the tv is on when there is a chick flick playing like Beaches or Dirty Dancing. I'll pop in Pat Benetar or Celine Dion in the CD player in the workout room.... it's so funny watching the guys trying to pump iron while Celine is hitting her high notes.

But what I didn't realize is that it works both ways... I brought my feminine touch to work but somehow took some 'maleness' back home. I am ashamed to admit that somewhere along the way, through the science of osmosis, I developed a real locker room potty mouth. I have caught myself more than once using four-letter words in front of the little ones. This of course doesn't impress my very proper English husband.

Just this morning I heard Jacob say' F*#% it' oh so quietly.... as if he was testing the power of those words....It's funny how instinctively he knows it's not something you should be caught saying. I am going to be more conscientious about my language because it's not ladylike to swear. The Queen would not be amused.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

in the driver's seat

It took me awhile before I got used to being an engine operator. On our department, everyone except the Captains rotate into the driver's seat. My first assignment was on an aerial truck. In the U.S. they are called ladder trucks. However you call them, they are big. And heavy. And a wee bit intimidating to drive.... especially when you're driving lights and sirens through busy traffic. Depending on the make and model, aerial trucks have a ten foot span mirror to mirror and average forty feet long. Needless to say when I got the job I was a little bit freaked out driving the rig. Fortunately my Captain and crew were really understanding and they would set up water filled drums in an obstacle course in an empty lot for me to practice navigating through. The beauty about being the driver is that, as the engine operator, you're in charge of getting the water to the supply lines. You miss out on the fun of going into the fire but at the risk of sounding cliche, it's poetry in motion getting water to where it needs to go and disproving the theory that water runs downhill when you're getting water to the top floor of a highrise. I love pumping water. Hitting the hydrant, pulling lines, listening for that perfect sound of the engine speed as it changes over, calculating pump pressure... not enough pressure means fire is not going out and too much could cause the hoseline to blow out of your crewmate's hands causing the line to snake. I have been on the end of an overpressurized line and ended up with nine staples in my head. I am grateful for my helmet that took the brunt of the impact and for not getting hit in the face or in the back of my neck.

Pumping is one part theory, one part physics and the rest is instinct developed from experience and knowing your truck like the back of your hand.

And I still can't believe that I get paid to have this much fun.

Monday, April 13, 2009


Living with a toddler I am used to monkey business but even my son is no match against the pranks the guys at the firehall can pull.

The line you do not cross is making fun of someone's spouse or kids and you never ever touch someone's personal protective equipment. Bunker gear, helmet, boots, hood, facepiece and gloves are completely off-limits. It is life-threatening to have gear tampered with. How funny would it be to find out something is wrong with your gear while standing in the middle of a housefire? But most of the pranks are all pretty benign:

There's the old hot sauce on your toothbrush, a dinner plate inside your pillow, flour in your bunk, hidden car keys, vinegar in your water glass, a cup of salt in your porridge, tin cans tied to your car bumper, large post-it-notes with lewd sayings on your back, hiding in your locker at shift change then jumping out and yelling like a madman, prank calls to your cellphone, dutch ovens....... oh the laughs and giggles we share. Pranks are pulled to bond together. Or initiate the rookies. Or to bring levity to the day after a tough call.

Because I am deemed either a sucker or someone who can take it, I have had a lion's share of pranks pulled on me.

Two that come to mind are:

The human-sized dummy that was placed in my bunk that made me scream like a girl when I went to crawl in. That was funny.

My brand new SUV wrapped in silver duct tape. Not funny. And I know who did it and for the record you're an idiot.

Remember. You can pull a prank but if you dish it you had also better take it. And so, to the dude who taped up my truck, we have at least 20 years left on the job and isn't payback is a bitch?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

a moment of peace

I am pooped.

Weekends, especially long weekends, are always a bit crazy. Our routine somehow goes by the wayside. My husband is working again so I am on my own with the two kids. And because I would eventually regret selling them, I instead stick the baby in the Circle of Neglect and tell Jacob to go play with his trucks when things get chaotic and I need to catch my breath.

As you can see:

Maiya is happy.
Jacob is happier.(and creative!)
And me? I am happiest for I was able to have a moment to myself and pee in peace.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter shmeester

Am I a bunny boiler if I say I am not into Easter or holidays for that matter? This weekend I kinda wish I was at work. I love working on holidays and will go as far as swinging shifts so that I can purposely work a holiday... traffic is light, people are especially grateful to see you at a call, and the guys are always in a festive mood. Perhaps it's for reasons like my own... I prefer to be with the guys than deal with all the crazy family holiday stuff which usually ends up being more stressful trying to be polite to relatives I don't like or who just plain creep me out. But at the firehall, my refuge and home away from home, be it Christmas, or Thanksgiving and even Halloween, it's nice to just hang out and cook a good meal and share banter without the pressure of having to be all smiley and nice. But I'm sure as the kids get older, holidays will be more fun for me. It's not that I am a total Grinch or Scrooge, I just feel that holidays are so commercial and materialistic and that just bugs me. But just to prove that once in awhile I do get into the spirit of things, here's a pic of last Halloween with Jacob and Maiya who was still a bump. See? I am wearing wings AND I am smiling.

Don't get me wrong, my intention is there... I bought the stuff to colour Easter eggs but I'm kinda nervous putting food dye into my son's hands... he's still a bit too young and as far as the egg hunt goes, he doesn't like chocolate. Jacob would rather eat cheese over chocolate but I can't exactly go around hiding that under my couch. Maiya is barely a new hatchling herself so she blissfully doesn't know what's going on.

I think the next time Easter rolls around and I am at the firehall I may just surprise the guys and hide chocolate eggs in the middle of the night. Oh the places I could hide them! They would think I was being a nerd but I know they would secretly love it. It would be cute to see the looks on their faces as they act all cool trying not to care but really vying to nab more treats than the guy next to them. I might even get them bunny ears but that might be pushing it.

Anyway, Happy Easter everyone! There. I said it.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

purl two

So at the firehall, when we aren't running calls and all the chores, station duties, training, truck maintenance, and inspections are done, we get to enjoy some downtime. We have sudoku and crossword wizards, woodworkers, chrome polishers and knitters. Well, knitter. Singular. As in me. I still remember the look on my Captain's face when I was just a few months on the job.... I pulled out my knitting needles and pink yarn. He promptly told me to put it away. Imagine. Big tough firefighter intimidated by a little bit of pink wool. Wonder what he would have thought if I had brought in my sewing machine.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

tripped out

Lots of neat things have been happening lately but I am too tripped out on cloud nine right now to put a coherent sentence together. Every busy professional or frazzled mother or someone who wants to feel great sans Prozac, crantinis, or weed read on.....

I went for my first acupuncture session today and oh my goodness..... when Dr. D put that needle into my right wrist my mind went totally blank and whatever thoughts I was holding onto vanished. Just like that. I was mid-sentence and then suddenly I was elsewhere. Neat and trippy without the munchies.

I should have tried acupuncture years ago.... after all, it was my ancestors who figured this out by poking needles into their body parts until it felt good somewhere. And for this, my dear Chinese brethren I thank you.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

bunker gear delight

I am sooooo excited!!! The equipment manager from work called today. She said that we are getting measured for new bunker gear at the end of the month. Our current gear is nice looking but it is so bulky and heavy I feel like a toddler stuffed in a snowsuit. It's hard to bend my knees and elbows which is not the most conducive thing when climbing ladders or fighting fires. This new gear is uber high-tech and thinner and the manufacturer has a pattern for women. Our old gear had a tan turnout coat with black pants, and lime reflective striping. I loved the black pants but besides boiling in the summer they were a bit of a health hazard since you couldn't tell if you had any contaminants on you. This new gear will be all tan I believe. With our last names across the bum. I've got eleven letters in my name so somehow it's gonna have to fit cuz my arse isn't that wide. Not too sure how I feel about having my last name out there for all to see but most departments have that and it is a safety benefit.... when we're call geared up with our masks and hoods and breathing apparatus we look the same so it's good to know who you're standing beside.

I know I sound like a total girl ooohing and aaaahing over these new clothes but to get gear made to fit my body is such a bonus. Work is tough enough without having to fight against gear that is made for a man's shape. And when you wear the same uniforms day in and day out at work it's nice to have something new and shiny. Although after one house fire it won't be shiny any more. Can't wait!!!

Monday, April 6, 2009

tv junkie

I have to admit I love all those emergency services tv shows. Always have, always will. Do you remember watching Emergency and Chips from the good old days? Didn't you just love Eric Estrada on that motorcycle? Ok... I am really dating myself with those shows.... fast forward some 30 years where sideburns aren't so huge.....Remember Third Watch when it still aired? Bosco was reckless in such an endearing way and Faye was just my kind of gal. ER was ok and now thankfully over because it just got sooooo boring after 15 seasons. It was never the same after George Clooney left. I watched the series finale and I was like 'just end this already'. Nothing spectacular. Flashpoint is pretty darn exciting and slick and I just love the fact that it's an unabashedly Canadian show and just makes us look sooooo cool. I do have to say that my favourite emergency show of all times is Grey's Anatomy. Something about McDreamy gets me right where it counts. Something about the sad eyes and rumpled hair and the fact that he lives in an airstream trailer out in the woods is kinda sexy. And the fact that he is a neurosurgeon has something to do with it I'm sure. But the thing is, we don't even have a television here at home. So most shows I download or just wait it out and watch on dvd. Rescue Me is airing a new episode tomorrow night after 18 months because of the US writer's strike and it's killing me that I won't be able to see it until who knows when. I love all those characters... they're so extreme but I think that's what makes them so funny and reminds me in some ways of the guys I work with.... thankfully the characters on my department are spread out over all the different shifts and stations because I couldn't imagine what it would be like to work with them all at once. It would be entertaining... that's for sure.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

food for thought

There are some mornings when I just throw my arms up in the air and say 'I give'. Those are the mornings when my husband is already off to work, my kids have me up at 5:30 am, there are piles of laundry to fold, and the fridge is empty. The other morning I caved and gave Jacob a vanilla ice cream cone for breakfast. Hey, before you call me a bad mom, ice cream breakfast is good for everyone's morale.
On better mornings when I am feeling energetic I will make a batch of crepes. Jacob is my little helper.

He's still too small to crack the eggs but he's a terrific milk pourer and blender button pusher. To make a batch, crack 8 large eggs right into the blender, add a few inches of flour, lots of butter, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and fill to the top with milk. Blend. Let sit for 10 minutes. It should be the consistency of a runny milkshake. Pour onto hot well-buttered non-stick fry-pans. I do 2 pans at a time and flip when bubbly. Serve hot with real Canadian maple syrup... no fake stuff!!! (sorry Aunt Jemima). These are a hit at home and at the firehall except there I will make 3 or 4 batches and cook them on the griddle. And when the fireguys are feeling frisky, they'll buy different flavours of ice cream, chocolate sauce, mixed berries, whipping cream, and we'll all chow down to a crepe dinner...... So ice cream for my son's breakfast isn't so bad.

But because I care about the health of the guys in my life, Jacob, your ice cream was really mixed with plain yogurt, and fireguys, your crepes were made with flax seed oil and whole wheat flour.

Wait till you find out what's in my spaghetti sauce. ;)

Thursday, April 2, 2009


I can't believe how much money is in the gossip magazine industry. I was waiting in line at the grocery checkout and there were half a dozen of those Enquirer type rags. Headline: ALIEN BABY RECITES SHAKESPEARE and that kind of crap. I don't read that particular print because aliens and Elvis sightings don't really interest me. But once in awhile I'll find a dog-eared copy of People magazine or Star Weekly and slyly pick it up to thumb through... always entertaining seeing what Pamela Anderson is up to these days... whether it's her cup size or number of husbands.

But if you really want to know what's going on, and all the juicy details, come hang out at the firehall over a cup of java. Don't know why, but firefighters can natter with the best of the quilting bees. We know the happenings of all the guys on all the shifts... we can tell you who, what, where, when, why and how. There are no secrets. And if you have some juicy bit of gossip, don't waste your time calling the press... Instead, telephone, telegraph, tell a firefighter. We'll get the word out before tomorrow's daily is printed. Promise.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

real hero

I remember the moment clear as day when I finally understood the true meaning of what it takes to be a firefighter.

I attended a medical call that was for an elderly gentleman who had a heart attack at the nursing home he resided in. We did CPR and defribrillated to no avail. He didn't make it. The gentleman had no friends or surviving family. And in times like this I think of the people I love and how I don't ever want them to die alone. And since big girls don't cry my skin grew another millimetre thicker. But then the big tough firefighter I did CPR with did something that took me by surprise. When the doctor arrived to pronounce, this firefighter gave the gentleman a pat on the shoulder and with a quiet smile, whispered 'have a safe journey home'. And even though no one knew or cared that this gentleman had passed away, this one firefighter did. And humbled by the compassion of my colleague, I let myself shed a quiet tear on the ride back to the fire station because in that moment I saw a hero perform an action so great even though it would never make the front page news.