Tuesday, June 29, 2010


I have to say that without an ounce of doubt, I am proud, proud, proud of our boys in blue. I am referring to the tireless police officers who have been watching over the city during the G20 and when some of the craziness that ensued. I have friends and loved ones who are with the force and I was dismayed at how the media chose to skew their coverage against the police. Not once did they show police being spit on, hit, or being hurled at by whatever objects the protesters had on hand. I won't even get into the verbal taunts. So what if the coppers pushed a few anarchists around. So what if said anarchists were held in a prison cage. It was probably still cleaner than the places they've been squatting in. And now the anarchists are crying boo hoo police brutality and that their rights were violated and that we're living in a police state of martial law. Sorry guys.... I guarantee no one has your sympathy. You lost us when the first window was smashed and the first match lit. Get a real job, and have a shower. There are other ways you can make a difference.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


I try to stay away from politics on this blog because I fear I might end up ranting for days. But I thought I'd mention the G20 circus only because my husband is gone 16 hours a day now working the thick of it. He says the G20, to put it mildly, is a huge gong show. More of a cluster f*ck really. With federal money being spent like there's no tomorrow and busloads of protesters and police officers being brought in from all corners of the earth it's chaos really. Wish the political dudes could play instruments and sing... at least maybe we could make another Woodstock or something. But alas, businesses within the security perimeter are at a standstill and let's not even get into traffic. Thank goodness I'm off shift this week and can stay in my neck of the woods and really ignore the G20 unless I choose to read the paper or turn on the news. Where we live, we've been practically unaffected by it all.

Until I heard the whirl of chopper blades over my head. Apparently it was the Presidential helicopter in all its glory.

I would have flagged him down and invited him in for tea and introduced him to my kids but I've got laundry to fold and need to wash my hair so maybe next time. It would be cool though if a common person like me could actually sit and talk one on one with the Prez. Oh the things I'd like to ask with my outside voice! ;)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

girl power

I normally despise 'forwarded' email messages and delete them without opening but this one I received from one of the most amazing women I know, who has been like a sister/mother/best friend to me. She is not a firefighter but has worked for the fire service for 30 years and is the glue that holds our fleet together. I dedicate today's post to my friend, the Goddess. xo

This is for some of the strongest women I know

You are the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning, the devil says, "OH SHIT, SHE'S UP"!



Make every day count girls. We know who really rules the world and keeps the peace.

Monday, June 21, 2010

note to self...

...no matter how much in a rush one might be, always, always take the time to make sure you've packed the proper gym attire. I did not and realized all I had were my fave cargo pants that my husband bought for me so I rolled them up and decided to do my workout plan of heavy lift day of front squats.

Bad idea.

Halfway through my workout I literally lost the seat of my pants. A half dozen heads jerked in my direction upon hearing the loud rip. Nonchalantly, I finished my sets even though I was mortified. Thank goodness no one was directly behind me or they would have injured themselves busting a gut laughing. Oh well... it's all in the name of a killer squat. Thank goodness I was wearing my oh-so-modest granny underpants and not a thong.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

puh-lease... enough already

Sigh, I'm not sure if it's because the guys at work regard me as just 'one of the boys' but the locker room banter is starting to get on my nerves. There is only so much I can take when it comes to hearing about their female conquests and what they woulda/coulda/shoulda done with her. And they refer to the 'hers' as if they were a piece of meatloaf. Oddly enough, it's not the young guys who talk like this... it's the guys who are the seniors nearing retirement and it creeps me out. One guy who I actually really respect as a firefighter has gone as far as calling me a 'groundsheet', 'babe' and 'hot' thinking it was funny. Totally pissed me off and I told him so. I guess this is one of the downfalls of being a female firefighter... no matter how much the guys treat me as one, I'm really not one of the guys, nor will I ever completely be. I'm not a prude but there are days I just want to plug my ears and scream 'la la la la la.... I can't hear you!'. A few years ago at one particular fire station the guys were a bit piggish and started putting up scantily clad photos of pin-up girls all over the common areas of the fire station. So while they were down for some shut-eye in the middle of the night I swapped them for poster sized photos of some serious hunky chiseled dudes... ha ha... when they woke and saw the posters they seemed to walk a few inches shorter. Immature I know but made me feel better anyway. Besides... I'm entitled to some eye candy too. ;)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

trouble in paradise

Well, last shift there wasn't a lot of love going around. We were all bickering like an old married couple and I was praying for a huge fire to get us out of the station.

You see, our resident chef decided to go on strike. Seems like he was feeling under appreciated for all the meals he's been cooking.

I don't blame him really even if he can be a kitchen nazi at times (do not ever ever add or alter something to his creations... you will lose your knuckles!). He plans all the meals, makes sure they're healthy and keeps it at a five dollar price point. Some of the guys have been bailing at the last minute and getting Subway Subs or Harvey's. Which means he gets stuck with all the leftover food and then we have to absorb the rest of the cost. Even though I don't blame the chef, I was irked last shift because I was STARVING and looking forward to a great meal and felt like I was being punished even though I have eaten and partaken in every meal without fail. But he said that he couldn't play favourites and had to prove his point this way. We all ended up managing our own meals but it was touch and go for awhile. Hungry troops are not happy people.

I bet you he was feeling like an under appreciated wife. Maybe for tomorrow's shift I will bring him a bouquet of flowers or something to smooth things over. Or at least get him an apron that says "Kiss the Cook".

Monday, June 7, 2010

I know squat

And again the Coach has a quote that totally cracks me up and totally rings true at the same time:

The full squat is a perfectly natural position for the leg to occupy. That’s why there’s a joint in the middle of it, and why humans have been occupying this position, both unloaded and loaded, for millions of years. Much longer, in fact, than quasi-intellectual morons have been telling us that it’s “bad” for the knees.
— Coach Mark Rippetoe

The squat (and all its variations), is my all time favourite workout excercise. In fact, my babies were home-born whilst I was in the squat position. OK... waaaaay too much information. I'll stop right here. ;)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

it's all in the head

I stumbled across this quote by Rosa Parks that I love, love, love:

I have learned over the years that when one's mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.

Although I have certainly been afraid, I don't think I have felt true fear at work where my blood stops cold and I'm unable to move. I have, however, been in situations where the 'holy sh*t' pucker factor came into play. I have experienced that fight or flight response where my body just kicks into high gear and does what it has to do to get me through a call and time moves at warp speed but also stands still. Coming off the high of adrenaline rushes, I have had the shakes so bad in my arms and legs that I could barely drive the truck back to the station. The jolt of the alarm bells waking me in the middle of the night would leave me slightly nauseated because my body would be in shock from sleep state to warp speed emergency mode. And I didn't sleep for three nights straight after a particularly sad and devastating call. I think I was more affected by my work in my rookie years simply because my body and my brain were figuring out how to adapt to these new situations. As I gained more experience over the years, what used to shake me up doesn't make me blink twice these days. The human mind and body are amazing... put them into states of duress and they will find a way to get stronger. Where my initial years were about proving myself outwardly (as in trying to prove to everyone that I was good enough, strong enough... that I belonged), these days it's about improving myself inwardly (through self-reflection and self-actualization). It's nice getting to that place of knowing.... knowing who I am and just allowing me to be exactly what I am in this moment and not being so hard on myself when I think I'm coming up short. It's so simple and true... the biggest fears and challenges are in fact all in our heads... once we realize that there is no monster under the bed, we can set the bar a little higher each day.

Saturday, June 5, 2010


I was at a call this morning and a bystander in the crowd congratulated me for being a feminist. Perhaps this gentleman was paying me a compliment but to be honest I was taken aback.

I've never thought of myself as a feminist. I've never thought that by being a female firefighter I was different or making a social commentary. I became a firefighter because it's what I love and everything that I've ever wanted in a career. I didn't take this job to prove a point.... I simply wanted this job because that little whisper of a voice inside me started to shout and tell me that I can do this because it's what I was made to do. And there wasn't any doubt that I could do it well, female or not. There are days at work that I forget that I am a woman, because the lines have blurred with familiarity and I'm just another one of the hundreds of firefighters on the department.

I've always associated feminists as the long-haired-placard-waving-hippy Gloria Steinam types of the '70's who fought for equality and causes they believed in. Me, I've always just flown by the seat of my pants doing what my heart told me to do along the way without thinking things through too much and as a result forged my own path.

So I'm not sure if I would define myself as a feminist in the traditional sense. But as a child growing up in the seventies, maybe I did pick up on the 'movement' subconsciously because I never thought that there wasn't anything I couldn't do based on my race or gender. And because of these women I have reason to give thanks for being able to hold down the job that I have and raise a family at the same time. And for not having to make a choice between the two. Or being criticized for making the choice. And getting paid exactly the same as the guy sitting next to me on the truck. And I should also give thanks that my beautiful, wide-eyed daughter will have the opportunity to make the same choices and be anything that she wants to be without anyone or anything holding her back and grow to be that fearless warrior that each and every woman has inside of her. xo

Friday, June 4, 2010

ice cream remedy

I have yet to figure out if my relationship with my crew is more akin to roommates or old married couples minus the sex. Just by constantly working and being together, we get to know each other quite well, in a bickery, intimate way. I don't know if it's the humidity but we've all been a bit grumpy with one another. Every call we had seemed to be the farthest from where we happened to be and traffic for some reason had no clue that when a fire engine is coming down the street lights and sirens you must PULL OVER AND STOP. PLEASE!!! That and the fact that we ran 5 calls after 11 pm didn't help.... especially since they were to the same place and all false alarms. I dragged my poor arse home trying not to fall asleep at the wheel.... and I slept my day off away..... from 9 am to 2:30 pm!

We all have our quirks and our moods and our idiosyncracies. Some days what one might find utterly charming, the next day it might be completely annoying. I can be abnormally sensitive to my crewmates moods. The guys know this and if I can't remedy the situation with a smile or a hug, then after the next call, while the truck is out, I'll make a stop for a huge tub of cherries jubilee ice cream. That and a big pot of coffee and us enjoying a break and some conversation gets us back to our cheerful selves in no time.

We had a big rain last night so things have cooled off, and hopefully some of the tempers..... We're back on shift tomorrow. Maybe I'll bring in a tub or two of ice cream for extra insurance. xo