Tuesday, December 25, 2012


This is the first Christmas in years that I have really been excited and happy about.  Perhaps because I don't feel broken anymore.  Even though my family is 'fractured', I feel we are the better for it in some roundabout way.......

Anyway, just wanted to take a moment and wish everyone a very merry christmas.  xo

Peace and blessings..... xo

Friday, December 21, 2012

bug off christian mingle

Well it was bound to happen. My email account made it to the spam list and now my inbox is being grenaded with eharmony, match.com and Christian mingle dating sites. Not sure what the universe is trying to say but thank you very little I am doing just fine on my own. ;)

Friday, December 14, 2012

boulder holder :)

Entering my first rockclimbing competition tonight, and.... mildly freaking out......................  The funny thing is that I was told I should clean up the category because I will be in the Master's Division.  Which is a polite way of saying Old  Fart's Division.  Ha.  I don't know if I should be flattered or insulted.... lol.  Doesn't matter anyway, it will be a blast cranking it out.  Just horribly nervous because I have been focusing on endurance climbing routes, and have lost a bit of explosive power required for bouldering and comps in general.  I managed to squeeze in a bouldering session last week.... we shall see what tonight brings....  should be loads of fun and a nice time to hang with other climbers I haven't seen in a long time.  If only I can keep my eyes open until then....  ;) xo

a little bit of narcissism goes a long way for the self esteem

I am sad to admit, but I feel it in my bones on more days than not.... the aches, the pain, the slow recovery time from over- exertion that reminds me that I am getting older.  My pack feels heavier, my reactions perhaps not as quick as I'd like them to be.  But I remind myself that steady wins the race and maybe part of being a more mature firefighter is to not waste energy on the little things.  But still, I don't ever remember being this sore.........

So it's nice to participate again this year in the charity calendar.  On the days I am feeling creaky and low energy, I can look at these pictures of me and think perhaps foolishly I am still 25 yrs old.  ;)  They went with the second photo in the calendar but if you want to see the other guys and gals, click on the above link and for a great cause and fantastic Christmas gift, they are available for purchase.

i'm back!

Phew!  It has been a whirlwind the past few months and I do apologize for being so absent in posting.  I hit the ground running once I returned from Vegas on Oct. 30th meeting the kids on their return from England with their Dad.  We did Halloween on the 31st of course and I was back at work the following day.  Between then and now, it's been non-stop catching up on the homefront, dealing with head lice that my children somehow picked up (nasty gross little buggers and for any of you parents such as myself who didn't want to use chemicals call LiceSquad.  Trust me.  These folks are amazing), a gallbladder attack that laid me out for weeks, my daughter's fourth birthday, and a calendar launch........  and climbing of course.  lol

But first things first.  And one thing at a time!

Vegas!  I have to say apart from childbirth, and moments on the job, my experience climbing in Red Rocks was the most profound and challenging, intimate, and life-changing thing I have ever had in my life.  The unpredictable desert climate, the alpine start, the winds, fatigue, long approach, all these factors humbled me to the core.  And I still can't put into words how I felt.  It was exhilarating, difficult, exhausting, frightening, satisfying and beautiful.  I think the best way to explain is to show you the photos........

I trad seconded the right hand crack in the shadows and suffered from hypothermia.  Multipitch is exhilirating but long, long days.  14-16 hour days.......  Then on a following day smartened up and sport climbed the left face in the sun which was much more comfortable even though it was a tougher grade:

On our "rest" days we climbed single pitch on the red rocks.  So beautiful.  You can get the idea of scale looking at my climbing partner in the photo.

Photo shot between my legs from a hanging belay station.  We're probably about 800 feet up with still lots more to go.  I love seeing the climbers below us moving up gingerly with concentration.

More red rocks.  So prehistoric looking......


And the climb that started it all...........  left face.  Which is where I fell in love without even trying.  

Friday, October 19, 2012

big big love

So I've dabbled in the dating world for an iota of a second and quite honestly, it isn't for me. Right now anyway. Perhaps it is because I am newly divorced. Perhaps because my life is so tremendously fulfilling and satisfying regarding my work and my children. And my climbing of course. It would take someone very special who could pry me away from those I love the most.  People ask me if I am lonely. And the thought hasn't crossed my mind. I am surrounded by a crew of stable, strong men at work who I trust with my life. I have my children who I live my life for. And I have me....  This person that I am getting to know again because I no longer have to worry, impress, convince, or be loveable to anyone but myself. Besides, the dating world is weird. There are the cheapskates, the narcissists, the alcoholics, the players......  I can spot them a mile away and I'm like, 'uh, no thanks'.

My mother, who practices Buddhism, has this term she calls 'big, big love'.  It's about because you don't have the 'one', you are able to love and care for the 'many'.  Which at this point in my life, is exactly where I want to be. Because my love isn't channeled and focused into one so-called man, I am instead able to channel and focus all my love into mankind. And this warms my heart. I am able to love all children as if they were my own, take care of patients at work like they were my own family, and just appreciate the lessons, good and bad, that come with people I meet.  It's as simple as that and it gives me peace. I find soon as relationships start to unfold on an intimate level all of a sudden there are expectations which are a set up for disappointment. A friend of mine asked me why I don't allow myself to be loved by a man. To which I replied, 'Because I have something bigger than that'.  I have been blessed with that thing called big big love and there is nothing more powerful than that. XO

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Vegas baby!

I have 10 guilt free mom days coming up next month. Jake and Maiya will be traveling with their dad to England. So it's Vegas for this gal. Not for gambling mind you, but for climbing the big walls of The Red Rock canyon. I have this dream of sleeping in a bivouac a thousand feet up in the air. We shall see what adventures this trip brings.............

Flying out to meet a friend who climbs strong and steady and knows the crag well.  I can't wait to feel the desert sun on my back and kiss the ground and the sandstone and the sky.  And on my rest days I will sleep by the pool and maybe go for a walk along the Vegas strip and watch all the weird freaky gamblers.  In any event, it will be quite the experience because there is nothing like the feeling of free climbing...... Because while I climb, everything washes away... My mind  becomes so still and focused and calm. It is pure joy. Plain and simple.

And whatever happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. Lol

Can't stinking wait.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Funny how emotions can turn on a dime.
I just woke up from a much needed nap and just felt sad all of a sudden. My kids are in school and my home feels empty. And I feel more than slightly alone. I am not ok in this moment. And I guess it's about time I admit that it's ok in not being ok. And that I don't always have to hold it together. I'll allow myself a little cry right now and a two minute pity party. Then I will head out my door and face the world and see what life brings me.....

a bit of elbow grease and a lot of heart

I did something I haven't done in years..........

I decided to do some volunteer work twice a week at a local school's hot lunch program, making sure children were fed a good, healthy meal.

By 12:30 yesterday I was elbow deep in pasta sauce, parmesan cheese and fruit salad.  Then bussed all the tables and washed and organized the never-ending pile of dishes eaten by hungry children.  I was run off my feet.  lol.  The best part of it all was meeting the women behind the program, mostly low income single mothers who wanted to make a difference in the community.  I cannot tell you how much I laughed and smiled with these women who were complete strangers to me up until a few hours when I first stepped into that kitchen.  We shared stories of our lives, of our children, of our hopes and our dreams.  One mom rocked her one-year-old in his stroller while she prepped food.... she also had a 23-year-old and two children in between.  Another mom told me how she left her drug addicted husband and was now piecing her life back together but had the triumph of winning full custody of her children.  Another mom giggled non-stop and asked me a myriad of questions of the firemen I worked with, and if they could come and help out in the kitchen too.  I cannot tell you how safe I felt in that humid little kitchen in the basement of that building.  It reminded me that no matter our background, we were all mothers who loved our children dearly.  And in doing so, in experiencing that fierce, fierce love, it gives us that capacity and strength to make this world a better place in our own special way.  This day reminded me how lucky I am to be a woman.  Because women get to experience the beating of their child's heart beneath their own as it grows inside their belly.  And it continues to do so, on good days and the bad ones, beating steady and strong................

So I will have to remind myself on those sleepless nights when I am tossing and turning worrying about our future, I just have to remember that the future will take care of itself and to just breathe and savour the now.

Friday, September 14, 2012


First day back on the trucks after a marvelous 5 week summer holiday.

I cannot tell you how good it feels to be back in my blues and give hugs to the guys.

Whatever calls we get today, bring it on.

I'm home. xo

Monday, September 10, 2012

holy crap

Just received a text from a crewmate that our colleague from another shift got hit in the face by an exploding tire at a car fire. Ambulance took him away, face black and blue. :(
Thankfully nothing was broken and just has a bunch of stitches on his chin and will be taking some time off till he heals.  So much for his perfect George Clooney face.  I called him up (firefighter mate... not George Clooney lol) and told him glad he's ok and not to worry too much about his good looks since chicks dig scars.

I hate close calls. Sends chills down my spine. To everyone on shift tonight, be safe. I couldn't bear the thought of anything happening to any of you.

unspoken words

As a single woman, the thing I miss the most is saying the words "I love you".  To say "I love you" with every fibre of your body is the sweetest thing of all.  It is a melding of the body, the mind, and the spirit that is quiet yet powerful at the same time.  I feel this love.  And I want to give it to someone.  Because like all humans, we have it to give and share and receive back of course.

I say 'I love you" everyday to my children but that is different of course.

Alas.  Still healing and learning about myself so in due time..............  and I won't settle for anything less so I am willing to wait.....


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

ghost ache

On milestone days like today, being the first day of school, I miss my intact family unit. I do not miss my marriage but I miss what my idea of marriage was supposed to be. However, simply put, it was not, so no point in crying over spilled milk. We still work as a team, because to raise children it takes a village and thankfully, we have the maturity and insight to not let our past hurts and woes play on our kids. After all, they did not choose for their parents to split. So we will do everything in our power to give them the most stable upbringing as possible. I hope Jacob and Maiya know that they are surrounded by love wherever they go and that our adult choices are not a reflection of their self-worth. I truly believe as a result of the marital unit breaking up we are all happier and more at peace with ourselves. We can now create the life we want instead of living the million have to's that we ridiculously seemed to have imposed on each other. I have said this in the past, and I will say it here again, sometimes the best way to love someone is to let them go..... even if vows were spoken.... so that they can follow their heart and catch their bliss.  Even if that means that bliss doesn't include me.  And I am ok with that.  Because my bliss is me.... embracing my life for everything that it is and realizing me and my children are not missing out on anything for what it is not.

Monday, September 3, 2012

a shout out...

... to all the women in my life thank you for giving me insight and wisdom. And to the men in my life thank you for teaching me how to love......

And my quest and journey continues in living with passion and happiness and getting closer and less afraid of my own heart and soul.  To have the courage to push and believe that I am deserving of all my dreams and desires.

So this post is for all my family and friends, and people whom I have yet to meet but who will surely touch my life one way or another.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

love is....

Hot summer nights on a patio with a pal and  the air is so thick with humidity you can cut it with a knife.

Crazy-gluing your fingers together whilst trying to fix your son's toy car. 

Flip flops and tank tops.  Better yet, barefeet and bikini. 

A rock climbing route that you swear Mother Nature designed just for you. 

Fixing childhood bumps and bruises with a Barbie band-aid and a kiss. 

Sharing laughter or tears with friends.

Your daughter sleeping sprawled on your chest all night because she has a fever.

The perfect Americano. 

Being babied and treated preciously. 

A meal cooked just for you....

Skype dates with your best girlfriends across the pond. 

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

fog has lifted

Feeling much much better. Been running like the dickens at work which is how I like it. And everyone seems to feel needed and wanted bonding at these calls. Today is fridge day which means we get to eat all the leftover ice cream in the freezer. Just enjoying a big bowlful with a pot of tea with the guys in the truck bays, doors wide open, and shooting the shit.  Really enjoying this summer night, sharing a big old laugh and tons of stories with the guys, who are not only my crewmates but my guys who I call my family. I always wanted an older brother to protect me and look out for me and teach me things when I was a kid and and now I am surrounded by them. I wish I could tell them how much they mean to me and how much they have influenced my life and changed me for the better but that would be too mushy and they would probably just punch me in the arm and tell me to shut up.  Anyway, just happy and grateful today. xo

Sunday, July 29, 2012

one more thong..... I mean thing....

Add a man wearing a loincloth to share teepee time with in the below post and life would be pretty darn perfect. ;)

my dream home

Ever since I was a little girl I have wanted to live in a teepee.  And I've been dreaming about it these days more and more....

I think I will have to find a little parcel of land so I can live in a tee pee at least part time.  To have my children scamper barefoot through the woods as I stoke the fire in the early morning sun would make me so very, very happy..... Just looking at this photo makes my heart catch in my throat.  xo

Saturday, July 28, 2012

life in a cardboard box

We ran a call for an 'unconscious person'.  Turns out it was the homeless woman we see everyday wandering around the neighbourhood by our station.  Her hair is matted, her feet dirty and bare, and her skin covered in dirt and with what appears to be a combination of scabies and body lice.  And today, she was having a sleep on the boulevard in the afternoon sun.  A passerby thought she was dead which is why they called 911.  I am glad someone cared enough to call because in a city as big as this I am sure people, as they scurry about their daily business, casually step over 'unconscious' people with nary a second thought.  I am still in dismay as to why there are so many homeless people in a country as prosperous as ours.  I don't have the answers.  Except maybe it's  time to reflect on how most of our daily 'problems' are not problems at all.  If I am thirsty, I turn on the tap to get a glass of water.  If I am feeling grimey I head to the showers with a bar of soap for a scrub.  If I am feeling lonely, I have family and friends I can call 24/7 who will drop what they are doing and be there for me.  Who does this woman turn to for help?  Where does she go if she is hungry?  I have witnessed with my own eyes this woman getting mocked as she walks by and it's  incredibly painful to watch actually.  So even if I can't solve her problems, or the myriad of other world problems I'd love to fix with the wave of my arm, the best I can do is to keep her and others in my thoughts and send out some compassionate vibes and hope that they find their way.

peace and blessings.........

Friday, July 27, 2012

somewhat better

I finally allowed myself to have a good cry followed by a pint of Sapporo, sashimi and homemade pistachio ice cream. Headed for a hot bath and early bedtime and I think I will be all sorted out. Back on shift tomorrow so at least I can keep busy enough to stop feeling sorry for myself which is a useless waste of time when I wallow like this. I'll allow it though. It's good to feel even if it feels like shite.

ever wanna say go eff yourself?

I am not sure why people choose to continue to lie to you when they aren't even with you anymore. Trying to be wise here and find some modicum of compassion but frankly I wonder if some people even deserve that. Some people are just plain shitty in their behaviour and I'm just doing my best to stop seething. Breathe, just breathe.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

i want off this train today

I can put a fire out, cut apart a car to extricate a person, and climb a 105ft ladder without flinching..... But then why oh why can't I get my daughter to just.stop.crying. It kills me when I haven't seen her because I've been at work and she is a cranky mess. Early bedtime for everyone tonight. Today is not one of my better days and I keep snapping at the children because they won't stop fighting. Hallmark can shove their mothering-is-the-best-job-in-the-world attitude. Mothering can be thankless and relentless. My patience is stretched thin and I am on the verge of having my own bawl fest except I don't have the energy to make tears. Sigh. I.need.sleep.


I don't normally like to whine since I especially hate whiners and all whining in general, but I am so, so, mentally drained. My brain neurons have been firing like crazy at work, and July, as wonderful as it has been, has been an incredibly busy month. I just got in from from shift a few hours ago and I'm too wound up to sleep. Might have to hit the rock wall and get a good climb in to clear my head.... Today is one of those days when I am envious that I am not a child because I can't crawl into a safe lap and be rocked to sleep.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

all things good

There have been some changes in my life.  Some changes have pushed me out of my comfort zone and it's been good for me.  Truth be told, it's been fantastic. We welcomed a new Captain to the other truck of our station yesterday and he seems to be a great fit with our 'family' dynamic. Anyone who likes to eat as much as I do and laughs at my jokes is a plus in my books. And this Captain is very knowledgeable to boot so it's great that I have another senior firefighter I can learn from and bounce fireground tactics with. My Captain is off on summer holidays for the next month so I get to be Captain for awhile which is always exciting and at times intimidating with the amount of responsibility the position entails.   Luckily, I have a strong and talented crew who know how do their job well. This cohesiveness gives me a sense of security, and everyone seems happy despite trudging around in the summer heat donned in full bunker gear.

Home life continues to ground me and keep me real.  Kids are thriving: Jacob continues to amaze me everyday with his kind, easy-going gentle nature, and Maiya is a very witty little girl talking a blue streak and who keeps me on my toes.  I have lots of extended family in town so it's been nice to reconnect.   In regards to my personal life, it is peaceful and easy and for the first time in years I feel safe to open up my heart and share a part of me that has been closed off for a long time.   I don't have to be afraid anymore because I can just be myself, and trust in all things good.  So yeah,  life is pretty neat right now.  For all the bad days I've had in my past, the present makes up for it so I am going to enjoy this epic time and let the future unfold moment to moment.  And just give thanks and be grateful that I am surrounded by people I adore and make me a better person because they bring out the best in me, and make me want to be a better person.  Here's to life, laughter and all the things and people I love... Cheers.  xo

Thursday, July 5, 2012


Some days I am at a complete loss as to how to parent.  There are moments when my children simply defy me. I suppose this is what children are supposed to do, challenge their mothers once in awhile but I tell you, when it does happen, it can be simply infuriating.  Jacob is usually the model child but when I ask him to do something mundane like take a bath after playing in the dirt all day, or change his shirt after he's wiped his nose or mouth on his sleeve for the umpteenth time, he will shout 'no! never!' and run away knowing I can't catch him. Sigh.  Boys like to be and stay dirty. It's good for them I suppose.  I can't really complain because he rarely gives me any trouble and the former examples are basically the extent of him challenging me which is really no biggie......Maiya on the other hand...... ... upon being challenged, stands square in front of me,  arms by her side slightly flexed as if she were about to quickdraw, looks up at me through her messy bangs with furrowed brows.  I don't know what to do.... except stare her down like an alpha dog. And she will stare back, holding my gaze with barely a waver. I cannot blame her for inheriting this strong-willed gene that has been passed down through the generations of women in my family.  The apple does not fall far from the tree.... Today, when she wouldn't stop messing around and torturing her brother with antics at the dinner table, I locked my gaze on her, giving my best attempt at the 'alpha dog' stare. She wouldn't budge or avert her eyes. I knew I was going to blink or laugh or lose this moment of power play.  So I did what any good mother would do:  I stuck my tongue out at her and walked away.  Maiya was so surprised she finished her food while Jacob was in peals of laughter. I guess I'm not so alpha after all. ;)


Growing up as a Chinese kid in rural Guelph and Ottawa, and being a woman in the fire business,  it seems as if I have, for the majority of my life, been on the periphery of things. I've always been a bit of a misfit.  I knew I didn't fit into the standard 'mould' or perfect Norman Rockwell painting. And for the most part, once I outgrew that horrible period of childhood taunting, i learned being different wasn't so bad. My parents were key in all of this. As barely-english speaking newlyweds, they came  to this country in 1967,  and fully immersed themselves and forged ahead, creating a new way of living from scratch. Despite the racism they endured, they still embraced the opportunities they had and made inroads despite their apparent differences with the rest of rural Ontario. They  were modern pioneers of their time so to speak.   My father became a PHD in biochemistry (he had to quickly learn how to speak in English to do so!) .  My mother was unwavering and steadfast and worked three jobs to put him through school.   Because of her commitment and support, my father is now a name in the science 'history' books for some of the breakthroughs he made in medicine.   They were, and still are a team. Through and through.  That is not to say they didn't have their ups and downs like any couple, but they had a common bond, and they endured.  Even though they are very much a traditional Chinese couple, they are at the same time very modern and Canadian in their thinking. Many Chinese households tend to be autocratic. But my childhood wasn't. I was never told what I could or could not do. I wasn't pushed into any career path.  I was only told that if I chose to do something it was my decision alone to make and to take full responsibility regardless of the outcome. They taught me how to stand on my own two feet and not to judge, or take credit, or give blame. My father lives by example.... he is the happiest man I know. I have never ( and I truly mean never) heard him criticize or gossip about anyone. My mother, for all the normal growing pains that we endured together during my teenage years, has one of the biggest hearts I know. She loves in a quiet way that is steady, and unconditional.  Small in stature, I often wonder if she knows how strong a woman she actually is... so grounded in such a quiet, determined manner.  She is the one who taught me that love is beyond words and descriptions and is as vast and as powerful as the universe we live in.   It is because I was allowed to grow up in a household where I could make my own mistakes, I quickly learned from them.  I was taught that as long as I wasn't hurting anyone along the way, I could become anything I wanted to be.   It took me awhile to figure out who I was. But the journey getting here has been rich with experience and lessons... some painful, some amazing... all of them good.   And here I am today, flabbergasted at how my life has been filled with so many blessings... I am incredibly grateful.  If being different, marching to the beat of your own drum, swimming upstream when everyone else is taking the smoother ride down, makes me a misfit, well then, that is a title I will proudly wear.  Living on the periphery let's you see the world at a different angle, and standing on the edge, is where I feel I most rather be. xo

Monday, July 2, 2012

sugar and spice and everything nice...

Upon finding out what I do for a living, I often hear people ask incredulously: 'You?  You're a fireman?'.  To which I simply answer 'yup'.  There are moments I feel like I want to prove to these people that yes, I am a fireman and a perfectly capable one at that but usually I just let it slide.  If they don't believe my gender, and stature can fill those big boots then there is no point in proving to them that I can. I mean, I know I can so that is all that matters. And I have to admit that I secretly smile inwardly when I am on scene and slugging away doing my job like a badass and I remove my helmet and hear joe public's gasp 'it's a firelady!'.  It's just so satisfying  lol   So what is the difference between a fireman and a firewoman?  Apart from the obvious dude body and chick body thing, I have yet to figure out the inherent difference.   The women hired on the job are females, but not girlie-girls if you know what I mean.   We can keep up with the banter and wit, swear like drunken sailors, and shovel just as much food down as the guys.  We passed the same physical, drive the same trucks, and haul around the same equipment.  We hold steady just like the guys and for those naysayers that think we are all emotional, think again. I think coming into this job you learn to keep your emotions in check.   To show a chink in the armor would be social suicide. But in reality, I think any emotions we may feel as women, be it insecurity or  moments of self-doubt, men feel the exact same thing. It's how we express it might be different. I think women have no problem in saying they made a mistake. We have no problem in saying sorry. And I think we are quicker to drop grudges.  I think it is because the competition or the challenge of the job is with ourselves, the woman, as opposed to proving we are better than all the men we work with.  Truth be told, I've always been my own worst critic, so any criticism received from guys is child's play because I've analyzed and dissected my position from every angle possible.  I do have to say it is a very special feeling forging the path for the next generation of female firefighters. It was unheard of when I was a child.  I was always a bit of a misfit growing up and growing up in rural Ottawa I hated being different. I wanted blond hair and blue eyes and wear twirly dresses like all the girls I went to school with. But now I love being different and standing slightly offset from the rest of the crowd, marching to the beat of my own heart and drum.   This post is for my daughter. Chase your dreams my Maiya.  Be courageous and fierce and loving and kind.  Be different, think laterally, and most of all, don't be swayed by the doubters and the haters, and don't listen to the noise all around you. The only voice you have to listen to is the song in your heart.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

i heart Canada

I hope every Canadian knows that they won the birth lottery. xo And to all the new Canadians to this country, welcome 'home'. I hope you love it here as much as I do.... This fantastic melting lot of people and places.

if music be the food of love...

One of the things I love about work, besides the job itself, is the oftentimes meaningless banter that goes on as we break bread around the dining table, which, as you know,  is the centre of the universe for firefighters.  After a good meal in the belly and post dinner tea and we come up with some great conversations.  For example, the other night we revisited the topic of the top five meatless sandwiches ever known to mankind.  Then we talked about which team was the most deserving of the Euro Cup.  And because my crew consists of many backgrounds, including an Irishman, a Welsh, an Italian/Spaniard, a German, a Cuban/Jamaican, and moi, you can imagine how heated the discussion became.  So I am not exactly sure at what point the conversation switched to matters of the heart.  Perhaps it was somewhere between the apple crumble and that second cup of tea.  But the million dollar question came up:  what is love?  Trust me here folks.  I wasn't the one who brought up the topic.  Seems like I work with some sensitive new age guys which is fascinating in so many ways.  You see, my entire crew is married.  Happily.  Granted, half of them are on their second marriages but they are happy after having sorted out the kinks in their first one.  So since I was the only one who is soon to be un-married, well, I kept my ears open as to what they had to say about this thing called love.  Can it even be defined?  Is it something that you can see, feel, touch, or taste?  Is it absolute?  Conditional or unconditional depending on the circumstances?  Does it tiptoe quietly towards you or does it smack you upside the head?

For me, I think love is or it isn't.  It's there or it's not.  And it's not regulated by time or space.  Simple as that.   It's also very different from that dangerous thing called infatuation.  My mistake with love in marriage was that I think deep down, I believed that I was unworthy of love, thus always sold myself short, believing that I was the fuck up.  But the truth is, I was just with the wrong person, and as such, I could never shine because the best wasn't brought out in me, which is a shame really.  But I digress.... back to the knights of the round table and their ideas on this thing called love:

The guys had various answers, none of which were based on looks surprisingly.  Rather it was how they felt around their other half and in a nutshell, these positive feelings of commonality, similar passions, trust, respect, friendship and physical intimacy were what ranked high among my crewmates.   Out of respect for their privacy, I won't divulge the exact details of their personal experiences of love, but I will leave you with this:  the overall concensus for the perfect firehall meatless sandwich would be the good old peanut butter foldover.  A sliced banana jammed between the former would fall a close second. ;)

Saturday, June 30, 2012

vertical meditiation (aka rock climbing!)

Anyone with children knows how life can be a juggling act.  One becomes extremely adept at time management and becomes picky and choosy as to how to spend those glorious moments called 'spare time'.  For me, living a life where time is precious has been a blessing because it makes me highly aware as to how I want to spend my time, and with whom.  I would rather choose to crush a workout at the gym than go clubbing, and as cruel as it may sound, I have let go of some 'friends' who aren't healthy for me.  I don't have much time for bitching and moaning.  Sorry if that sounds harsh but since time is of the essence, that is the most succinct way I can put it. ;)  Time-wise,  the two things that are non-negotiable in my life is my work, and my children of course.....  My job and my babies are like the air I breathe and bring me great joy, passion, and gratitude.  I am lucky in the fact that I can swing shifts when need be and I make sure I have days that I dedicate to just me because I firmly believe that if I don't nurture myself, everyone around me will suffer.

Lately, all I can think about during my spare time is climbing the wall.... literally.  I have this addiction called rock climbing and it's an addiction in the sweetest of ways.  Everything disappears.... time, space, worries when I'm sending a route or a bouldering problem.  I love how climbing takes over and commands my body.  My brain shuts down and I just get into this rhythm of movement, balance, power, and precision.  Perhaps I love it so because climbing is quiet........ and although powerful, it is also something that is quite still....... and this stillness, even though dangling in space, is what keeps me grounded.

I haven't had much time to go climbing outdoors but when I do, it is pure bliss.  Nature has such a way of calming the mind.  But outside or inside, I will take climbing whenever I can.  I leave you with pictures of my kids (the first pics I've posted of them in ages).  Seems they have caught the bug too.... xo

Friday, June 29, 2012

so this is what they call closure...

Just opened my mailbox and lo and behold, my Marriage Certificate finally arrived, packaged in its very governmental envelope.  You see, in order to get a divorce in this province it seems that you have to prove that you were actually married in the first place.  haha.  Honestly though, I think the ones laughing the loudest are the lawyers.... laughing their way to the bank that is.  But alas, what must be done must be done.  And this process is almost over.  One more signature and c'est fini.  And because I truly believe that I did everything under the sun and the moon to keep this marriage together, I feel clean at heart, even though it didn't work out.  Because like all great dances, it takes two to tango and I simply couldn't hold it up on the dancefloor on my own anymore. My marriage was over a long time ago.... it just took awhile for me swallow my pride and be able to admit it.  And do what was best for my own soul.  Now I am no longer stuck in limbo... no longer stuck between two worlds of legal definition.  Instead of calling it a divorce, I simply look at it as being un-married, which has a nicer ring to it don't you think?  :)

Here I am free as a bird to redefine my life as I know it.  And do my own groundbreaking, making up my own rules as I go...  and promising myself that I won't lose my way ever again.

So as I reread our names on this said official Marriage Certificate, noting the date of our union in bold type, instead of feeling pangs of sadness, I breathe a quiet sigh relief as I close off this door behind me, and for the first time in years, I feel this thing called hope.....

Ok Life, I'm ready for you.   Bring it on baby.   xo ;)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

tough day at the office

There is nothing like a post-shift soak in the bathtub with a bowl of Ben and Jerry's red velvet cake ice cream to wash away the emotions I feel. Which often seem to pop up at work and percolate in my head the rest of the shift and the entire commute back until I can sort these feelings out in the refuge of my own home.  Don't get me wrong, I love my job... it's just that on some days, like yesterday, I am pretty touched and affected by the humanity I feel at calls.  And when I come home, I just yearn to be held tight for as long as it takes until I believe that everything and everyone is ok.... especially me.

I have learned to allow myself to be vulnerable.  Which is scary and terrifying and liberating.  My knee-jerk reaction during times of duress is to act like I'm tough and strong. Invincible.  This has served me well in places such as my work, where command presence is necessary.  But in moments of solitude, with those who I trust and hold dear, I have allowed a bit of my softness to peek through instead of hiding behind a wall of false bravado.  I am learning to let myself be raw and feel everything even though it might be scary to feel it if that makes any sense at all.  I am learning to be ok with stretching myself to grow even if it might feel uncomfortable and not having any tangible or concrete answers I can hold in my hand.  I am able to admit that not knowing what my future holds can be scary as shit but at the same time, I feel calm and poised because I have finally let go of my past need for control, and just see how my life's story will unfold.  As long as I continue to live with my heart wide open, whatever direction the wind decides to take me, it will be the right one.   xo

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


.....  on days like today when I am super tired I wonder if my life will ever be normal again. Or if it was ever normal in the first place. I mean, what the eff IS normal anyway?   I know, I know..... first world problems.   Maybe I just need a big hug. 

i have a confession

I am a bit of  a scoundrel.  From the onset of my firefighting career I haven't been entirely truthful. In fact, I am a liar.   I lied to my crewmates that I'm not much of a cook.  So for almost eleven years now I have gotten away with not cooking at the firehall. It's  not that I can't cook, it's that it stresses me out to cook for ten hungry men. And quite frankly, the guys enjoy cooking the meals more than I ever could so who am I to take that pleasure away from them?  That is not to say I don't like cooking. I do like it very much when I can do it at my leisure, with a glass of wine in hand and some great company.    Today I almost felt guilty of this secret I've been keeping when I walked to the local fishmonger and lovingly carried home shrimp and steamer clams in their parchment bag. I couldnt have been prouder than if i were a child carrying a goldfish in a twist-tied plastic bag won at a fair. I have plans for my little creatures of the sea:  chili tomato shrimp with fresh cilantro, and steamed clams in a white wine and butter sauce.  So for any of my fireman friends reading this blog, I apologize. I have been holding out. I can do more than peel potatoes, make toast, and boil a pot of water.  I promise to pull up my bootstraps and make a meal or two from here on in. Won't be the same without the wine though. ;)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

move over Dear Abby

A dear friend of mine asked me to speak to his son who wasn't having much luck in the dating world.  He wanted me to give him some dating advice and tips which I found quite funny and ironic since I really don't know a thing about the rules of dating in these modern times after being in a relationship for over 11 years, to which, of course you know, fell apart.  I mustered up all the wisdom I had in this area and came up with this.... guys... pay attention now........

Rule number one:  Make her laugh.

Rule number two:  Don't be an asshole.

That's it.  5 cents please.  :)
Every woman wants to be around someone who is happy, and positive, and can find the humour in even the most dire of situations.  And the 'don't be an asshole' encompasses all that icky behaviour that no one in their right mind would put up with....... jealousy, insecurity, unfaithfulness, and any douchebag attitude. Just be honest and up front.  No one should ever fault you for how you feel.  Simple.  :)  Guys, don't go looking for that perfect Barbie doll.  She doesn't exist.  And if she did, I suspect she wouldn't have too much between the ears anyway.  But who am I to say if that is the kind of gal you like.  If that is the case, then no need to read further.   If  you can love your gal even when she is wearing her comfies with nary a stitch of make-up, legs unshaved because she is too damn busy living her life, and her hair  tossed up in a messy ponytail, think about how hot it will be when she does dress up for you.

And girls, after having worked with only men my entire firefighting career I have learned through them the qualities men like so I pass them on here.....

Rule number one:  Laugh at his jokes.

Rule number two:  Don't think you can change who they are.

Again,  there's no room for insecurity, unfaithfuless and bitchy attitude.  If you're having a bad day, call up your girlfriends or your mom.  Don't dump on him.  It ain't fair.  Love a guy for exactly who he is. Hey, we all just want to be accepted for who we are, flaws and all.   Let him hang out with his buddies and crawl into his man cave when he so chooses.  Girls, make sure you have your own life, friends, and activities so you don't drag him down with neediness.  It ain't his job to make your life fulfilling, or happy, or to complete you or to feed you any bullshit lines you hear in those dumb romantic comedies.   Make him your best friend ever, so that you actually have something to talk about years down the line.  And above all, don't beg him to put a ring on your finger.  Who needs that kind of pressure?

I am not sure how I feel about the formality of marriage... this is due to my own bias of a failed marriage.  I think it has served a purpose and a function in history.  As to what, I am not sure.  But for me, my philosophy is to just love and allow yourself to be loved, to be kind to each other in the most respectful of ways.  You can have that without a dj spinning dumb tunes, jordan almonds, and Aunt Bertha doing the macarena.  But I digress........

I guess what I am saying guys and gals, just be your amazing darn good self.  Don't play head games.  But play nice in the sandbox.  And just be happy.  If you aren't happy yourself, you don't stand much of a chance being happy with someone else.

That's it.  That's all I've got.  lol.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

crisis averted

Jacob, in his wise-beyond-5-year-old-years made Maiya a paper dragonfly at school today. He said 'I know it's not real but I did the best I could'. Maiya accepted it reverently and held it in her tiny hands and quietly said in her still lispy baby voice 'fank you Jacob'. So even though it is storming a summer thunder outside, the sun shines once again in our household.

on death....

I am still unsure as to how children perceive death and dying.  I personally don't believe in the concept of heaven where the dead are reunited with their loved ones partying it up on a white cloud somewhere in the ether thus this is not how I explain it to my children.  When they were wee, I would explain it as it's like a time out that lasts forever.  Now that Jake is older he understands the concept of the heart stopping, blood no longer flowing, brain shutting down, blah blah blah.  He sees dead animals on the side of the road and totally understands they 'ain't never coming back'.   Jake, my old soul child, gets it.  Maiya, however, being 3, and perhaps ever hopeful, thinks she can raise the dead.  With dead plants or flowers she believes that if she just sticks them in fresh soil and gives them enough sunlight, water, and love, they will flourish again.  Yesterday when I picked her up from preschool she noticed a huge dragonfly plastered on the grill of our truck.  She started sobbing and for the next hour she was inconsolable.  She kept crying "The dwagonfly.  He is dead!  He wasn't careful and didn't push the cwosswalk button so he got hit by our twuck and now he is deeeeeaaaadd!"  And she continued to wail this heartbroken song and I must say I didn't know what to do when she wanted to put him in a jar and take care of him to make him better.  I suggested we bury Mr. Dragonfly but she just looked at me like I was being ludicrous.  As in why-on-earth-would-you-do-that-when-I-can-fix-him.  I couldn't explain to my Maiya-Mew, that dead is dead and this bug's energy has moved onto someplace else.  As to where? Who the heck knows?  So like all good mothers I suggested ice cream and tv.  No and nope.  She was having none of it.  So into a nice bath we both went to wash away the tears.  It is during these moments I want to reach out and tell all my friends and family how much I love them because there will come a day we won't be part of this realm.  I think about my parents especially, who, like the rest of us, one day will die.  When that day comes I am sure I will be broken, and down on my knees because no matter how 'grown up' I am, I will still and always be their child.  And every child needs reassurance that their parents will always be there for them to make things better.  Especially in times of sorrow and need.  Which is why at bedtime, I welcomed Maiya, her eyes puffy from crying and hair still damp from the work of her tears, into my bed and let her sleep on my chest like she did when she was a newborn.

God help me when I take the kids camping next month.  I don't know how many bugs' lives are going to end up on the windshield......

Saturday, April 28, 2012


Apparently I have been living under a rock. Late last night we had a call where a bunch of teenagers who had taken their mom's minivan for a ride,decided to get stoned on koosh. Now forgive me if I have misspelt that word but up until that call I had no idea what that word meant. I thought koosh was some sort of exotic tobacco. But the way those kids were wigging out and carrying on I assumed it had to be something else. When the police rolled up I asked him if he knew what koosh was. He rolled his eyes and said 'it's marijuana' and gave me the I-can't-believe-you-didn't-know look. Lol. In that moment I totally felt old and out of touch. I was a child of the seventies and while I didn't smoke it back then it was called pot, weed, ganja..... So kids, here's my little public service announcement. If on a Friday night you feel like taking your mom's dodge caravan and getting high on koosh with your teenage buddies......just don't. Because in this case you will wig out, literally pee your pants and your heart will start racing to the point you are asking everyone on scene if you are dying, which of course you are not but you're paranoid so you're freaking out while the cops and the medics are trying to act professional and stop themselves from laughing at this somewhat comical scene.  I do have to admit that much to my chagrin I broke my own professional code of conduct and let out a chuckle..... when the teens asked the coppers to stop by McDonald's before they went the hospital.  Must have been some damn good weed..... uhm... I mean koosh.  ;)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


I am used to them.  Or rather, I have developed somewhat of a tolerance to them.  My children have gone through their challenging moments and I have learned the best way to deal with them is to be calm and remain cool and the eye of the storm and they spin about me.......

So it is without question my children have been good practice for me in dealing with some of the more difficult 'customers' I come across in my work.

There was the combative 85-year-old male who kept trying to hit, bite, kick, and scratch us.  Believe it or not, it took four of us firefighters to hold him down in a manner so he wouldn't be a danger to himself or us.

There was the woman who would not stop yelling obscenities and spitting and us.

There was another woman who was faking her symptoms so poorly we didn't know whether to laugh or roll our eyes.  When my children do the 'fakies' I have to do my best to stifle a big giggle while act concerned.

Some days at work I feel like I should win an Oscar for the roles I have to play with patients.  But maybe it's the patients who are vying for the trophy as they put on quite the production.  Minute fender benders often produce the most comical efforts in pretend neck and back injury.  We just package them up and breathe a sigh of relief when the ambulance arrives to take them off our hands.

The other night I had some huge dude scream at me as I tried to pick him off the floor.  He was yelling to 'get this broad outta here!'.  So I did what any good broad was supposed to do:

I picked him up from under the armpits and strapped him to the stretcher.  If I had a muzzle I might have decided to use it as well.  But I am too much of a lady to do such a thing.  Booyah.

Friday, April 13, 2012


I have a soft spot for rookies.

I was raised in the firehouse culture under the 'old school' style of captains where the rookies were barked at, did not move or make a sound unless told to, and basically weren't worth their weight in the gear they were wearing until they became first class firefighters. My first two years were a struggle of self-doubt and a bundle of nerves. I felt like every move I made was under scrutiny and dissection, every mistake I made was magnified and broadcast. My first captain would have me stand out in the middle of the winter and pump water from the engine till my fingers and toes froze. He would almost make me cry. It actually got so bad that there were moments I questioned my decision to become a firefighter in the first place. I mean, what was I thinking trying to actually fit into this all boys club? I probably would have flourished under a gentler, more understanding captain. But in hindsight, this old crotchety captain did me the biggest favour imaginable: he made a fireman out of me. I would never be the biggest, nor the brawniest, nor the best.... but I learned to be very good at what I do and think things through methodically, and push myself even when I felt like quitting. Those first hard years in the school of hard knocks taught me to dig deep. In some ways, I feel like a rookie all over again. In my new position as Acting Captain, I feel the pressure even more because I have a crew I am responsible for. And if I am first on scene, I am in charge of the call and in command which can be daunting when multiple crews are hanging off your every word waiting to see what you will tell them to do. That's when I pray I don't choke and stutter under the pressure. So I have to remind myself to just breathe and be confident that I know my stuff...... and my command presence will grow with my experience, which you can't gain overnight.

So yes, I have a soft spot for rookies.

Because I know how new beginnings can be daunting. I do not coddle rookies and I am firm when necessary. And I try to be fun. But I will never ever bark at them or make them feel small. Because it is all about team building..... and not ego bashing. And whenever I have the privilege of having a rookie work with me at a fire, I make sure that the more senior guys hand over the nozzle to the rookie. Because there is nothing more priceless than seeing a rookie's eyes light up the first time he puts out his first battle with fire. This is our duty as senior firefighters, to pass on knowledge and skills to others, and I thank those who have taught and shared their knowledge and experience with me so that I may continue to learn and to never stop growing in this incredible career that still humbles me to the core.

Monday, April 9, 2012

warning: graphic

Last shift was brutal. A guy decided to take his life and set himself on fire inside his car. I was first on scene and the words out of my mouth upon seeing him were "oh buddy what did you do?". There was nothing me or my crew could do except declare a Code 5 and wait for the police, fire investigator, and the coroner to arrive. And try to console the family members who found him the best we could.

If you've never seen a burnt body, I hope you never do. It is ghastly. And I didn't sleep very well that night in the dorm. Because every time I shut my eyes I would see him , what was left of him. As odd as it sounds, I was thankful and comforted by eight snoring and farting men around me while I lay awake struck with insomnia. My blissfully asleep crewmates made me feel safe and I reminded myself the images in my mind would fade with time, and counted the hours till shift was over so I could hold my children in my arms and tell them 'I love you' a thousand times over.

Thursday, April 5, 2012


.....of joy.

I was called an angel on earth by a woman regarding the work that I do.

Not sure why I felt this surge of emotion but if this is the work that the Big Guy Upstairs has given me while I walk this planet then I will take it.

So I continue to promise that at every call I will muster up all my courage and give my commitment and compassion to each and everyone I meet. I have no idea really how a small town girl like me ended up in the big city doing what I do but I guess this is where the wind blew me and some huge inner voice told me that this was my calling.

Thank you to everyone who has helped me to get here.

Friday, March 23, 2012


As much as it kills me to work when it's hot and summery out, I love being at work when it's hot and summery out. Especially on those hot humid nights when all is still and quiet. When it's just you and your crew and the firetruck cruising the streets you feel like you own the town. That sweaty feeling we get wearing full bunker gear while doing our job (while joe public in their right minds are wearing shorts and flip flops) makes you feel like you've earned your keep.

We've had unseasonably warm weather this past week and I'm on cloud nine. I can't be unhappy in the heat..... Which is perhaps why I became a firefighter. There is nothing that makes me feel more alive doing what we do. There is no better and crazier feeling than standing in the middle of a fire and feeling like you are somewhere halfway between heaven and hell. Soon as we punch in at the beginning of a shift we hope the alarm sounds and we can feel again what it's like to stand in the middle of a blaze of glory. To touch it for a sec before we put it out.
And wait for the next one so we can feel the heat once again.

Monday, March 19, 2012

keep your mouth shut

One thing that I never ever say at calls is "He/she/it is going to be fine" because that is between that person and their god and the team of doctors or their insurance company to decide. How can I say they will be fine when I don't know their history, their life story, how they deal with things? And what their pain tolerance might be? How can I make a promise like that?  I have seen people walk away without a scratch after  being extricated from a car that looked like a crushed soda can.  And I've also seen people perish from a small bump on their head when they tripped on the sidewalk.

Another thing I never ever say to someone who is grieving is "I understand". Although well intentioned, the only person who can understand the pain is that person.  I'm particularly sensitive lately when I hear these words uttered at calls. In fact I cringe. Partly because it brings me back to the tough time when my husband and I split. As I signed the separation papers my dragon-lady lawyer touched my arm and said "I understand".  I pulled my arm away and said "Oh do you?  Are you a mother?  Do you know what it's like to have to sit your children down and explain why Daddy isn't living here anymore ". I really wanted to tell her to go F herself but my mother raised me better than that and my lawyer was just going through her lawyerly routine and I was just a number and a damn big number if you knew what lawyers charge these days so I didn't want to take up one more moment of her condescending billable hours.  Bollocks. My pain is my lawyer's gain.

I also hate it when men, upon trying to pick me up say "I get it. I am divorced too". Uhm. No.  You have no freaking clue. Get your head out of your narcissistic ass.  Because first of all if you knew me well enough to even make that dumbass comment, you would know that I am separated and not divorced. Even though divorce is pending and imminent.  And what makes you think that your break up is anything remotely similar to mine?  What makes you think you can get close to me because you happen to think we have that horrible common denominator. Sheesh.

Ok. Rant over. Whew.  Glad I got that out of my system.  lol

Thursday, March 15, 2012


One of the most panicky calls I've had so far when acting as Captain was not a raging inferno but a pretty straightforward medical call. And what I mean by straightforward was that the dude was DRD. As in dead-right-there. We walked into the house, police were already present (said officer coolly mumbled to me 'oh yeah he's done' ). My crew assessed the gentleman and although his body was still warm because he was still in bed under the covers, rigor had set in his jaw and he had lividity on his back. So, I called in a code 5 (obvious signs of death) to dispatch saying we wouldn't be performing any defib protocol. You can imagine my horror when the paramedics arrived and examined the body and turned to me saying that the lividity looked like bruising and his jaw wasn't all that stiff. They were glaring at me as they proceeded to hook up the 12 lead. I knew the guy was dead. I mean I thought he was dead. But self doubt had me going and now I was unsure. I was inwardly freaking as the ECG spit out the reading.

As selfish as it sounds, I never wished until this moment for anyone to stay dead.

Because I would never live down the guilt of failing to provide CPR and due care.

Turns out we made the right call. He was dead. Massive heart attack in his sleep. Although never a happy situation, probably one of the better ways to go.

a gift of healing

One of my dearest girlfriends sent me this poem she came across and I had to post it because with all the changes in my life, the words were so powerful and appropriate.......

After a while you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul,
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning 
And company doesn’t mean security,
And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts
And presents aren’t promises,
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes open
With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child,
And you learn to build all your roads on today,
Because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans,
And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.
After a while you learn
That even sunshine burns if you get too much.
So you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul,
Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure...
That you really are strong,
And you really do have worth.
And you learn and learn...
With every goodbye you learn. 

Thank you my Michelle. You have been such a source of strength and one of the most incredible women I know. It is such a joy to be your friend. xo

Sunday, March 11, 2012

uhm excuse me sirs but your place is on fire

Question: How drunk do you have to be to stay inside your one room apartment when your kitchen is on fire?

Scenario: We barrelled through the door to find not one but two men having a little party amongst themselves. Dude 1 was sitting in a chair drinking beer and rockin' the tunes. Dude 2 we thought was dead. But once my crewmate started to drag him out his eyes popped open and he immediately reached for two beers. Meanwhile we were trying to evacuate Dude 1 but he wouldn't leave until he gathered up his 40 of vodka and two more beers.

I have never seen anything as funny and somewhat sad. This place was full of smoke and they wouldn't leave until they saved their booze.

I guess you have to be pretty wasted to sit and watch your kitchen burn and not feel the slightest urge to leave. My next question would be what time do you have to start drinking to be completely bombed by 8 pm?!

Life is always interesting that is for sure. I'm just glad the smoke alarms were working and no one was hurt. It could have been a bad, bad call otherwise.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

just another day on the trucks...

A bit blurry cuz it was taken by phone but how cute are we here? lol.
Just hanging in the back of the truck on the way home from a call... me and one of my favourite crewmates. He's 6"6 and comes in handy when you need someone to get up on a roof without a ladder or something out of the top cupboard.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Surviving! For all the ups and downs I have been going through I am happy to say I am still moving forward and growing, rather than curled up in the fetal position on my couch which is where I would often rather reside. It could be the lack of sunshine this winter that has caused my melancholy blues the past few months but I think I am still recoiling from all the changes in my life. And as such, I have gone into a bit of a hibernation mode with my feelings and need for extreme privacy. Which is why I took down my blog for awhile because I worried that I had become a source of "entertainment' for some. But I realized that I needed to write, and get my thoughts and feelings out, otherwise, they would just keep swirling through my head at 3 am during an attack of insomnia. So here I am. Back. More or less unscathed albeit with a battle scar or two. Sadly, the battle is usually with myself. lol. Like not ok with being single, then knowing the world is my oyster. Feeling like I'm the best mom in the world, feeling like my kids deserve more than I can give..... Feeling like a rockstar at work, feeling like I don't know a thing. Feeling like I understand the word called 'love'. Realizing that I have no clue. But if I am to be honest with myself, I do know love. Perhaps I don't know romantic love, but I do know LOVE. It's all around me and it's in me. And it's unconditional. I didn't understand it until I learned how to love and heal, forgive myself, and really, really take care of my mind, body and soul. Sounds so silly and simple but it's true. I can only love someone as much as I love myself so it's my time now.

Another rambling post but hey..... it's been awhile since I've written so gotta start somewhere.......

Friday, January 13, 2012


It may not get harder but it certainly doesn't get any easier. 

I held a dying woman in my arms last shift.  

To put it into very unpoetic words:  that call sucked ass. 

And as we packed her up onto the stretcher she whispered to her husband :  'good-bye my baby...I love you', a piece of my heart broke off then and there, and dropped right onto the rainy-soaked pavement.

No need to say there were extra hugs and kisses for my children when I got home.

No matter how bad a day I think I might be having, I must remember everyday above ground is better than the alternative. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

courage, my love

I could just cry. 

Maiya wept her  big brown eyes  out last night saying 'I want Daddy to come back and live wif us together'.  I rocked and held her sitting cross legged in the laundry room floor silently praying and hoping one day she would understand.

How was I supposed to explain to a barely three-year-old the intricate workings of two grown ups who are trying to find their way?

So instead of saying anything, I just continued to rock her and murmured softly into her tousled hair that she was ok. And that we were all ok. 

But I think those words weren't  so much for her but for me. 

Courage my little Maiya. Courage, my Love. Mama is here and I love you. 

Monday, January 9, 2012


Oddly these days, there is an ache that took me by surprise and encircles my ring finger. A phantom pain from the wedding band I once wore. It's weird. Because half the time I never wore it anyway because of my job and all the sports I play. Now all of a sudden it aches.

Perhaps it's because the tendons in my hands are messed up from of all the rock climbing and bouldering I've been doing lately. But more likely it's because I was cleaning out a long-forgotten chest of drawers and came across a a jewel encrusted ring of gold that I once called my engagement ring..... a symbol that held so much promise, so much hope. When I saw it, in its perfect Tiffany-blue box, I just about stopped breathing..... not so much out of sadness, or from wanting, but from all the happy memories that came flooding back to me that I had somehow forgotten about as my marriage slowly dissolved over the years. Because I was too caught up in my own misery to remember the beautiful times. Now that I have had time to heal and breathe, I can see how we did love each other, and still do, in our own quiet way, even if it means we aren't together as husband and wife. We've all made mistakes and there is no blame. It is what it is, and I embrace everything that has happened to me as part of my life's story.

shut out

Another shut out yesterday on shift. Pumper went out to a few calls but I was on the ladder truck and we didn't turn a wheel. While some guys love a once-in-awhile shift of not running around, this gal likes to move, and run like the wind............ and feel like she has earned her keep by going to as many emergency calls she can get her hands on.

I'm no altruistic saint and I have to admit, running calls is not necessarily for the satisfaction of helping people or for being tagged with the label rescuer or that ridiculous word 'hero'. Rather, running calls is often a way for me to settle down and quiet my mind on those days that I am not able to attain stillness because the gears are spinning too fast up there. A tough call can snap me back to reality and help me see all the things that are beautiful in my life. This is why I have always said that I am grateful to be of service to the public in any way, shape or form, because as much as they think I am helping them, I wish they could see how much they are helping me..... they take away the raw edges of whatever I happen to be going through in my life, and smooth away the sharpness of any pain or sadness I might be feeling. They help me get outside of that self-centred part of my head..... a place where we all often reside way too much.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

sweet slumber

Oh I need it. Sleep that is. Just dragged my sorry arse into the loft after a long 24 hours at work. Well 25 if you include the commute. I don't like to whine or complain how tired I am because we all lead busy, hectic lives and we are all spent to some degree or another but right now, yes, I must whine and say I am tired. To the bone. It was all I could do to take my gear off the truck at the end of shift.... everything weighed a ton. Shoulders feel like they are going to pop off. Job is still the light of my life but man, wish it were easier on the ol' bod.

I have about half an hour to enjoy a hot shower, a cup of tea and some toast then switch gears and head into mommy mode. Another 12 hours and I get to sleep!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

turned to stone

OMG. What a way to ring in the New Year. 

I just saw an eighty year old snatch.   

And I may have to seek crisis counseling.   Or yell at my rookie for not covering her caboose. 

Why oh why whenever we have to do a lift assist at 3 am people tend to not have their panties on?  I mean, don't they know the cardinal rule is to always wear your nice gitch in case the fire department arrives?  I mean, I am guilty of wearing my fugly Fruit of the Looms instead of Victoria's Secret but who wants to run around in itchy lace all day?  Regardless of the brand, make or style, I am still wearing something  called underpants

God help me.  That old gal's privates are forever  burned in my head. 

They do not pay me enough for this.