"FAMILY SAID IT" ARCHIVES
October - December, 2003
||Merry Christmas, everybody…I had the wonderful gift of a quiet day (we
were predicting a whole
slew of medical calls, which never happened. A very merry Christmas for all
sorts of people). Hugs
to everybody, including Abs!
Nerd on the Fireline
Hugs to you too, Nerd. Hugs all around. Ab.
||yes! my FFs arrived home safe & sound in time for our Christmas
gatherings, thank God. big plus, is no one had to work, no one burned the
gravy, we didn't run out of snacks, and everyone liked their material gifts.
My best "present" was to have them present at home again.
War stories will be shared when embers burn low; in the meantime I catch
bits & pieces as friends and extended family gather to visit. (I'm not
letting any of them stack logs in my fireplace; *L*)
To all: drive defensively - stay safe on the highways and byways, lots of
idiots on the roads. Best wishes for a good 2004! as others have said, never
miss an opportunity to hug your loved ones or tell them how much they are
||Happy Christmas to All!
||Have a Great Christmas! HO
||Merry Christmas Everyone! Thanks
for your contributions to the community.
||Just dropped by a moment to say hi and wish all of you my friends a
wonderful Christmas season. I have been checking in a few times but this
time of year we just get slammed at work and I am so overwhelmed and tired
at the end of the day I barely eat. (no exaggeration) On top of the
continual crisis I have to be involved in- one of my staff's son got killed
in Iraq so it has been a real poopy couple of months.
I am looking forward to spending a few days with family and enjoy the
sledding and the food. There will be lots of camaraderie among the guys and
I'm sure we will have bragging contests etc. Snowball fights are a must. Two
of my guys are trying to decide on boots for next season so we are all
hearing the saga of new boots. Good grief just call someone and say DITTO
from last year.
So everyone be safe and say prayers for all those away from loved ones this
year. Those that have family members that will never come home, my best
wishes and prayers. The first Christmas, birthday, anniversary or any
significant date after a death is always the worst. Personally I think I
slept thru all the "first" events the year after our son died.
Hope we will all be ready to gather here next summer and continue with our
support and care for each other. Happy Holidays to abs and abbey's !!!
Merry Christmas to you too, Sammi. Happy holidays to all. Ab.
||Thank you all for your kind comments.
I would love to know the author who wrote the second
poem that was posted. That was exceptional!
I have family both in the Fire Fighting community and the
Armed Forces. Please remember to tell your loved ones
you care every day. Treasure each moment as the precious
thing it is. As we have seen to often, they sometimes don't
Here's a link to the guy, Michael Marks, who wrote the soldier poem
||Good poem, Poet. Thanks for remembering and thanking.
It counts for a lot. Here's a poem that I received recently.
THE SOLDIER OUTSIDE MY DOOR
The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree, I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep
in perfect contentment, or so it would seem.
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.
The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eye when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know
Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.
"What are you doing?" I asked without fear
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts,
to the window that danced with a warm fire's light
then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night"
"Its my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at 'Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red white and blue... an American flag.
"I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home,
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat,
I can carry the weight of killing another
or lay down my life with my sisters and brothers
who stand at the front against any and all,
To insure for all time that this flag will not fall."
"So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."
Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone.
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
to know you remember we fought and we bled
is payment enough, and with that we will trust.
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us.
I looked at the familysaid site and it reminded me of all the empty chairs
around the tables this holiday season. I will raise a toast to the fallen
and those they left behind as I gather near the ones I love. I will raise
a special toast to Jeff and Shane and hope those of you still grieving will
find some peace this Christmas.
Familysaid does wind down in the winter when firefighters are home.
Poet's poem is a very nice one. To those who lost loved ones, I wish them
peace as well. Ab.
||Nice job, Poet.
Along the lines of appreciating our military boys and girls, I certainly am
glad that Saddam Hussein has been captured. Here's to catching the rest
of the bad guys.
Best wishes for the holidays, Everyone!
||Best yet, Poet.
Happy Holly-days, all.
Nerd on the Fireline
In this time
Of Holiday cheer
As we gather
Our families near,
Lets not forget
Those loved ones brave
Who gave their lives;
Our homes - forests - WORLD to save.
I wish to thank those Fallen Ones, their families and their friends for
all they have sacrificed to keep us safe from harm.
I also want to thank our beloved Firefighters and all others, both domestic
and Armed Forces, that do their best to protect heart and home.
||Cross posted from theysaid, since the thanks also goes to the families.
As we celebrate Thanksgiving, let's remember to give thanks for all we do
for each other and especially for those who provide extra support for our
Fire Fighting Community. In addition to our "at home" fire
families, let's remember those who have lost loved ones and those who have
helped them in their loss. Special thanks to Vicki Minor and the volunteer
folks at the Wildland Firefighter Foundation, to Bruce S. who helps so much
in R5 -- and to the Abs who provide this forum.
I've been missing out on Family Said lately. Hope everyone's doing well
especially Abs & Abbie) and are looking forward to a Happy Thanksgiving
For those who will be traveling - Please drive safely!
I've been enjoying having my FF at home finally! It's just so good to come
home and find the house not empty and talk with him without static over a
cell phone (ha-ha).
Here's another chocolate recipe to add to the already GREAT contributions...
2 sticks butter or margarine (I've had better success with margarine)
3 1/2 Cups Sugar
2-12 oz. cans Evaporated Milk
2-12 oz. pkgs Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
2 Tsp Vanilla
1-13 oz. Jar Marshmallow Creme
Mix margarine, sugar and evaporated milk in 5-6 qt. pan. Bring to full
rolling boil on high heat, stirring constantly - continue boiling for 16
minutes on medium high heat or until candy thermometer reaches 231 degrees
F. (This will vary depending on humidity level & altitude - I usually go
by look - a golden honey color and the boil should look like the mud pots in
Yellowstone Park - then you'll know you're at the soft-med ball stage)
Remove from heat and slowly stir in chocolate chips and vanilla until well
blended. Add marshmallow creme and mix well. Pour into 13x9 inch pan. Cool
at room temperature. Cut into squares. Also - don't scrape the sides of your
pan while boiling the sugar/milk mixture, if you do your fudge will
crystallize instead of being creamy.
Hope you enjoy - this was the fudge recipe that my Gram always made, it was
always a hit at our home. Between making fudge and divinity for everyone - I
don't know how she ever got anything else done during the holidays.
Take care everyone!
I have not posted for a while and thought I would check in.
My Firefighter and I are doing GREAT, and wish you all a wonderful safe
Thank you for posting those yummy recipes. My family is going to be drowning
in chocolate this Thanksgiving. LOL
Lastly, does anyone go to the chats any more? I have checked on and off
during my work breaks, as I am still working nights, and no one has been
there. Just curious.
(I hope to be posting some CHEERFUL Poetry soon. <G>)
||Ab added some tips for "Smoking Turkey on a Kettle Grill" to
the Familysaid Recipe list. The question about how to barbeque a turkey
comes up every year. Thanks all.
||So, Robbie, you beginning to see the fun of having an androgynous screen
Nerd on the Fireline
I have not been around a while, all the recipes look amazing. We should
compile a cookbook! Anyway, I just am stopping in to wish everyone a HAPPY
THANKSGIVING. We are headed to So. CA. for the Holiday to be with family. I
hope everyone enjoys their turkey day. We have much to be thankful for :)
||A man? <snicker>
||A guy making a series of chocolate desserts. Robbie, you are
quickly becoming the man of my dreams!
Here is a recipe I have used several times, it turns out pretty good, I use
different types of honey, but sage has really good flavor. Make sure you use
indirect heat (put your wood chips on the side of the fire, and the turkey
in the middle. I use my Dads old fashioned Webber grill)
Honey Smoked Turkey
Prep Time: approx. 30 Minutes. Cook Time: approx. 4 Hours .
Ready in: approx. 4 Hours 30 Minutes. Makes 8 pound bird
10 pounds whole turkey
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
2 tablespoons ground black pepper
2 tablespoons celery salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 (12 ounce) jar honey
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Remove neck and giblets from turkey. Rinse the bird and pat dry. Place
in a medium grilling pan.
- In a medium bowl, mix together sage, ground black pepper, celery salt,
basil and vegetable oil. Drizzle mixture over the turkey. Flip turkey
breast side down in the pan.
- Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat. (LIKE I SAID I USE A CHARCOAL
WEBER GRILL AND HAVE EXTRA COALS IN A STARTER TO ADD AS NEEDED)
- Loosely cover turkey with foil, and place the pan on the prepared
grill. Cook approximately 1 hour.
- Place approximately 2 handfuls of smoking chips (SOAKED IN WATER, THIS
MAKES THEM SMOKE INSTEAD OF BURN) on the fire. Drizzle 1/2 the honey
over the bird. Continue cooking covered approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours,
or until internal temperature reaches 180 degrees F (80 degrees C).
- Uncover turkey and carefully flip it breast side up in the baking pan.
Baste with remaining honey. Continue cooking approximately 15 minutes.
The cooked honey will be very dark.
Hope this helps...I have a zillion recipes. LOL... all part of the job.
||OK, I give,
I have gained 20 pounds in the last week making all the different chocolate
delights. My family is moaning and groaning that I should stop! I asked
which one they liked best and they said the first one, because it was new
and exciting and yummy. Now they're calling my parade of deserts
"wildland chocolate torture" in the same category as "Chinese
Here's a question for you. Does anyone know how to smoke a turkey on a
barbeque? My 8 year old nephew challenged me to a turkey cookout. I think
someone paid him to get me out of the kitchen and away from the chocolate
Don't ANY of you understand that CHOCOLATE is in its own FOOD GROUP???
.....here's the ULTIMATE chocolate dessert, There is a demand for this
around our house...Warning though, it is soooooooo Rich that some (non
chocoholics) can only eat a small amount...
(my daughters advice for them....EAT AT YOUR OWN RISK AND LEAVE THE REST FOR
Better than Sex Chocolate Cake (or in the work place due to sexual
harassment policies DEATH BY CHOCOLATE):
1- Chocolate cake mix (I use Betty Crocker Fudge Cake mix)
1-can sweetened condensed milk
1-jar Mrs Richardson's Chocolate Fudge Ice Cream Topping
1-jar Mrs Richardson's Carmel Ice Cream topping
1-LARGE tub Cool Whip thawed
4-6- Score or Heath candy bars -SMASHED into pieces (freeze them it makes it
easier to break up) or you can use the Heath Bites.
Mix and Bake the cake as directed in a DEEP 9x13 aluminum pan.
While the cake is baking, place your Ice Cream sauces on the stove to melt
or you can put the jars in hot water to soften (trust me your gonna want to
do this as Mrs Richardson's is THICK!)
When you remove the baked cake from the oven, Immediately poke holes all
across the top with the back of a wooden spoon.
Pour the milk over the cake covering, then pour on the Fudge sauce, then the
Carmel sauce. Let these all soak into the cake and cool.
Before Serving, Top the cake with the Cool Whip, and top that with the
I serve this to Newbies in small servings. My kids love to have it in the
fridge so they can get a spoonful to eat, they say it is the Ultimate
chocolate fix. All I know is it has about 8 million calories to a bite, so I
eat it with the 2% milk. LOL
||We've cross-posted a few posts from theysaid on the Wildland
Firefighter Foundation. Ab.
||Wildland Firefighter Foundation
I would like to echo the comments regarding the tremendous effort put forth
by the Wildland Firefighter
Foundation. I have personally seen how the foundation has stepped up
immediately when a firefighter has had a major fire line injury requiring
extended hospitalization, been killed in Line Of Duty, or lost a home. To
see and hear how the foundation is constantly helping in areas where the
government cannot help due to various reasons is outstanding. It is my hope
that you will not need their assistance, however if you do, they will be
there. Just because fire season may have indicators to have slowed down or
be over, does not mean we should not continue to support the "Wildland
Firefighter Foundation". "Please Keep up the Great Work".
Maybe in the near future there will be an opportunity to donate directly
from a payroll.
||re: Wildland Firefighter Foundation fundraising:
Jim of The Supply Cache makes some good points on fundraising for the WFF.
This summer I had the opportunity to attend a number public meetings of the
various complexes in the Northern Rockies. At almost every meeting someone
in the crowd would ask what they could do to help firefighters. WFF was
always on my list of options of things they could do to help. We even made a
on the topic for display at meetings and the incident
information officers. There is no reason we cant take this idea home to our
home units. Collectively how many fairs, prevention/education programs do we
do in a year? Lots I would say. It doesn't take much effort to develop a
small poster asking for support. If nothing else it raises the awareness of
Nice looking poster. I did the best I could on saving the word file to
html, but the program jammed it to the left. If anyone wants the original
word document to use as a template, we'll send it. (Update:
this seems to be a popular mini-poster in Word. They're flying out over the
ethers like hot cakes. Let me know if it prints out. If not, maybe we can
modify it. Thanks, Pulaski and All.) Ab.
I want to contribute to the update on the Wildland Firefighter Foundation
and the ideas for fund raising. First a short disclaimer, for those not
aware of it. My wife Diane and I own The Supply Cache, and I serve on the
Board of Directors for the Foundation. The Foundation struggles every year
financially to be able to provide service and assistance to families in time
of tragedy. The wildland firefighting community is tremendously supportive
of the Foundation when the individuals understand what it does. Often people
outside the "wildland firefighting community" are also very
supportive. But getting that message out to as many people as possible is
quite a challenge. So while "thinking outside the box" to help us
raise funds, also think of ways to spread the message of what our mission
is. I know this sounds very basic, but I feel there are hundreds of folks
out there wearing the memorial t-shirts and the ribbon pins or wreath pins
without realizing where they came from and what they support.
Here are some ideas I have used to help raise funds and spread the word:
1) Last year, our company was sponsoring a softball team of wildland
firefighters. When Tanker 123 went down on the Big Elk fire, we dedicated
the season to the pilots and used it to raise funds and awareness. I
requested corporate sponsors from our manufacturers and vendors and the
firefighters chipped in a dollar each for every run we scored. At the
beginning of each game we would let the other team know why we were playing
and request donations. From this experience I learned that the local
community and the industries that exist for supporting wildland firefighters
will get involved and support the Foundation financially. So softball teams,
tournaments, bowling nights, dart tournaments, 5k races, or any activity in
which you may be able to generate local interest, activity and support is
worth the effort. Especially if these activities are already in place, or if
you participate in them for fun and you just need to do a little extra leg
work to generate sponsors.
2) Sales of Wildland Firefighter Foundation merchandise. Not to toot our own
horn, but here is another way to help. Our company sells T-shirts and pins
for the Foundation. We purchase them from the foundation for exactly what we
sell them for. That way the Foundation gets the money immediately and gets
the full proceeds of the items after production costs. This year we have had
people ask to be able to sell the items at a conference, or training they
are attending. So we sent out informational brochures and merchandise
"on consignment" for those folks who wanted to help spread the
word. If you are attending a wildland fire conference or event that we are
not able to get out to ourselves, we can make arrangements for you to be an
ambassador for us.
3) T-shirts. It has been one of my uncompleted goals this year to produce a
new t-shirt for the Foundation. While the memorial shirt has raised a
tremendous amount of money and awareness, and will not be discontinued, I
think the community would respond to a new design and message. If there is
anyone out there who would like to donate their creative talents and ideas
to this project, let me know.
4) Corporate support. I don't know how to express this without sounding
somewhat self serving, but the wildfire community needs to ask for help from
the companies that manufacture and distribute the products that wildland
firefighters use. (I say "we" because I am also a firefighter.) I
have had some response to requests but it is often the smaller companies or
even the reps digging into their own pockets, while the larger companies
tend to ignore the requests. The Foundation has had some success garnering
corporate response, but could do better. So if anyone out there has any
close relationships with the principals of such companies, fill them in on
our needs and ask them to support our efforts to help out in times of
Let me finish with a note of thanks. Thank you to all the firefighters,
businesses, business owners, government agencies and community members who
have supported the Wildland Firefighter Foundation through donations, fund
raisers and purchases.
Also, thank you to everyone who has supported our business over the past 13
years. It is our pleasure and pride to serve you and give back to the
wildland firefighter community that has supported us so much.
Jim, thank you for the many hats you wear and for your support of
wildlandfire.com with your banner on the links page as well. Ab.
||Re: Funding for the Wildland Fighter Foundation
Anyone who does Scouts or a Church group or a School service groups could
use raising funds for the Wildland Firefighter Foundation as an activity.
Combine fundraising with an educational unit on wildland fire, Rx burn, and
firefighting. There are walk-a-thons and ride-a-thons that kids always seem
to be doing in my community. Why not for wildland firefighter families?
Projects don't have to be HUGE to be successful altho getting donations from
business always helps. Kids can do that too.
How about hotshots in nomex with big red cans working the traffic for
donations like the local fire depts do? Get it announced as a community's
public service announcement.
||This was posted on theysaid the other day and we want to keep family
members up to date also. The Wildland Firefighter Foundation does us all a
great service. Ab.
I want to up-date folks on what has been happening at the Wildland
Firefighter Foundation and to ask for some help.
- Early this week we sent a statue and a 1000 pins
to the Steve Rucker memorial service.
- We will be sending funds later this month to Steve's widow. (I used
to send funds the day I heard of the accidents, but have found that
people in grief are usually in an emotional blackout, and do better
with funds received just a little later.)
- We will also be assisting Captain Doug McDonald who was critically
injured in the same incident and who is still recovering in the San
Diego burn center.
- On our web page www.wffoundation.org
we have set up a link to a new donation page to help 4 wildland
firefighters with special needs resulting from the southern California
- Two accounts have been set up. One account will help 2 wildland
firefighter fallers who were injured while working on the southern
California fires. The other account will help 2 wildland firefighters
who lost their homes in those fires.
- We have already sent out some moneys to the firefighters who lost
their homes because their financial need is so immediate.
- We are sending funds to both wildland firefighter fallers. One
faller is still in the hospital. He signed on as a Contract Faller and
will be receiving no benefits to help with medical expenses. The other
faller was an AD Hire who will receive some Workman's Compensation to
help with his bills. My experience with Workman's Comp is that they
are very slow to send funds. In both cases, we are assisting our
fellow firefighters as best we can.
I want you as a community to know that when we send our wildland
firefighter memorial statue to be presented at memorial services, or when we
send funds to a firefighter or their family, we always explain the following
to them in our letters:
"This statue and these funds are from every wildland
firefighter across the nation who cannot get to you and let you
know how much we care about you."
We have many who applaud our efforts, and we have some who reach out and
help with donations. We could use more help.
I would like to see if there are more of you who can give a hand to the
Wildland Firefighter Foundation to help our wildland firefighting community.
It takes donations to help our community members in need.
We invite you to join us in whatever way you can.
- For some of you, it will mean making donations and getting family,
friends and service organizations to donate.
- For some of you, it will mean brainstorming and coming up with a
workable idea for a funding project, maybe something you've seen done
before in a different context, or maybe something entirely new and
"outside of the box".
- For some, it will mean creating an event or project in your community.
Most of us who work here at the Foundation are volunteers. We love what
we do. We'd like more company. What are you willing to do to help our fellow
firefighters in need?
Wildland Firefighter Foundation
For those with ideas and/or a willingness to help, please share your
ideas with us.
For those wishing to help ALL wildland firefighters by making a credit card
donation to the Foundation, click HERE.
To make a credit card donation to help the 4 firefighters Vicki described
above, click HERE.
There are TWO donation buttons on this page. Don't overlook the bottom one.
The donation process is simple and convenient. Thanks for caring and acting
to help our community. Ab.
||Who is CRW(SAC) and what am I looking for? I went back and read all the
posts 2x from the time Captain wrote his VERY controversial post. There are
several posts in rebuttal that make me feel the thing about stupid
"we'll win, no matter what" attitude does still exist in the
leadership, but, we all knew that, just no one would admit it.... other than
that..... what am I missing????? sammi
CRW asked that his email be posted on familysaid as well as theysaid. I
didn't do that, but you can find it in theysaid. Here's how: With theysaid
open, put your cursor at the top of the page. Hold down the control button
(Ctrl) and then simultaneously hit the f button. It's the keystroke
combination for "find". In the find window, type in CRW. Hit
return. If you hit return 3 or 4 times you'll see the post from CRW (SAC) --
if you're interested. Ab.
||UNION HOTEL MUD CAKE
Bah! I see your chocolate, FireWife, and I’ll raise you one! Union Hotel
Source: Union Hotel, Benicia, California
7 squares bitter chocolate
12 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups strong coffee
1/4 cup bourbon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Heat chocolate, butter (yes, that is 12 tablespoons) and coffee to melt.
Stir to blend well. Cool for 10 minutes. Beat in bourbon, eggs and vanilla
extract. Sift dry ingredients together. Add to wet mixture and beat with a
wooden spoon or wire whisk. Divide into 2 greased and floured loaf pans.
Bake at 275 degrees F for 45 to 55 minutes. Cool 10 minutes and turn out.
Topping (make just before serving)
2 cups whipping cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Beat until the mixture just barely stands in peaks. Serve atop cooled cake.
(I lost my copy of this recipe and found it again on www.recipegoldmine.com
Now, does anybody have any ideas for how I can modify it for high altitude?
I live at about 9,000 feet and I’ve just about given up on baking cakes)
Nerd on the Fireline
||Our recipes list is growing. Ab.
||GOT MILK !!!!
Ok I am with Hoosier on chocolate. With these make sure you have milk handy
as they are very rich.
Triple Fudge Brownies
1 pkg 3-4 oz instant chocolate pudding
1 pkg chocolate cake mix ( I use devils food cake)
1 pkg chocolate chips (2cups)
Prepare pudding according to directions on box with 1/4c less milk.
Whisk in cake mix
Stir in chocolate chips
Pour into a greased baking pan
Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes
Dust with powdered sugar and enjoy!!
I like to make these whenever we have to go to a dinner or whatever!!
Everyone inhales them. I love them and make them whenever I need a pick me
||NO ONE has mentioned chocolate as comfort food....here goes
My Mom's brownies
4 squares Bakers UNSWEETENED Chocolate
A stick and 1/2 of margarine/butter
4 cups sugar
2 cups flour more or less
as much vanilla as you want
chopped walnuts if you like
Melt your chocolate and your butter in a double boiler
Mix in sugar
Mix and Mix and Mix and Mix and Mix in those 4 eggs. They make the brownies
moist and break down the sugar. Two or more minutes with electric mixer or
until your hand falls off by spoon.
Mix in flour (sorry about the iffy amount of flour...I go by feel)
Mix in vanilla
Mix in about 1/2 cup chopped walnuts if you like
Bake at 350 for 30-35 min in a 9 X 12 pan
Cool until warm then frost them with BAKERS CHOCOLATE FUDGE FROSTING. Or in
a pinch or for a change just dust them with powdered sugar.
Yummmy. Enjoy....Hope everyone is having a good fall
||CRW (SAC) wants you all to come over to theysaid and read some
rebuttals to Engine Captain's post. Ab.
||Awww, Aaaab! You’re squashing my creativity. Okay:
Brown two pounds of red meat (beef, venison, elk) cut into 1 ½ to 2”
Blanche two cups of pearl onions
Cut four carrots into largish chunks.
Cut ½ pound of pepper bacon into ½ strips, shortwise.
Put all of the above plus 1 cup of mushrooms and 2 cups of red wine in a
large pot, and cover with ½ beef broth and ½ water.
Additional options: Red chile powder, garlic, potatoes, black pepper, a bay
leaf, tarragon, Northwoods seasoning.
Stew until meat falls apart when poked vigorously with a fork (Nerd is a
firm believer in the drama of cooking). Then refrigerate over night, and
remove solidified fat off the top with a slotted spoon, reheat and eat.
Here’s one that actually came into being on the fire line: 100% Slope
1 can hominy
1 can or package whole kernel corn
¼ pound teriyaki beef jerky (trust me!)
Red chile to taste
Put corn and hominy in a GI mug or camp pot, with enough water to keep it
from burning. As it heats over the nearest burning stump-hole, shred jerky
into the pot, then allow to stew until jerky is soft. Add red chili until
guinea pigs (I mean crewmate taste-testers) complain…with good chili, this
should take about four table spoons. When tasty, scarf. It should be
sweet-salty and spicy enough to wipe out the taste of charcoal, and it’s
got the carbs and the protein for long nights…plus whatever crawled into
it while it was cooking.
Nerd on the Fireline
Thanks Dudette. Added them to
||Okay, here’s my favorite comfort stew; it’s good with beef and better
Cut the meat in chunks (how big depends on your taste), and brown; cover
with beef broth or water. In a separate pan, boil some water a drop in a
double handful of pearl onions. Boil them until the skins slide off easily,
then drop them into the pot with the meat. Add carrots, pepper bacon,
mushrooms (if you’ve got wild mushrooms, chanterelles, hedgehogs,
puffballs or candy caps, they’re all great), garlic and red wine to taste.
Extra black pepper, northwoods seasoning, a hit of red chile powder and
tarragon are also really, really good. I like to cook my stew up until the
meat is tender, then refrigerate it over night, skim off the congealed fat,
and eat it on the second day…the flavors work better.
Nerd on the Fireline
Can you make some guesses on quantities, maybe do a little measuring next
time you make it, so we can add your recipe? Ab.
||comfort food recipes? these recent overdue rains prompted a need for
homemade soup. today's was bean soup: few ingredients, set it on back of
stove and forget it for a few hours.
a hint to those ladies who have hunters in their household: tell the guys
regardless how heavy that elk is, bring home the neck & entire upper
legs! neck bones & meat, or shank bones with meat make the best soup.
great way to use up the veggies hiding in back of refrigerator, leftovers,
or those just picked from your garden.
1# dry beans (we prefer pinks or baby limas)
1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
2# ham shank, cut in hunks. (lots more meat than ham hocks)
1-2 cloves garlic, smashed
soak beans overnight; drain & rinse
toss beans, ham shank, onion in pot, add water to cover plus an inch.
cover and bring to simmer; reduce heat to low.
go play in the snow or take a nap.
2 or 3 hrs later; remove bones; taste & season as per your preference.
can substitute with dried peas; add some chopped carrot
||Here's the recipe, Ab and everyone,
Squash Soup, a great squash and curry soup made with a kind of squash i grew
called "red curry squash". I have made this with another sweet
orange meat squash called "buttercup squash". It also works with
acorn squash but is not quite so smooth after blending. I am not a great fan
of pumpkin pie for some reason, but I like the squash soup. Delacotta (sp?)
squash soup made with a chicken broth is fabulous too. Haven't sent that
I'm also including a recipe for Chard Enchiladas. Chard is another vegetable
that I have in great supply right now.
Thanks for letting me share.
Here's the Wildland
Firefighter Recipes list. Ab.
||Cooking.....we all do that even when the fires are not raging so sure,
send it it...then
do we get samples? Ummmmm I'm sure Ab's would pay the postage..... sammi
||I have been cooking up some garden produce this morning and I wondered
what you ladies and gents would think of sharing some favorite recipes? I
have a soup I made this morning from some homegrown squash that is de-lish.
I'd like to share it, if the Abs think that's appropriate for familysaid.
of us having our firefighters home, might be nice to try some other recipes
Sure, Ab likes to cook. Not much time during fire season though. Send in
||Time: Friend or foe?
Time: I don't know
Time: Must wait and see.
Time: Will you be there with me?
Time: It moves so slow.
Time: I hate "I don't know."
Time: Look at the past.
Time: Together goes so fast.
Time: What will the future bring?
Time: Will our hearts sing?
Time: Not friend or foe.
Time: To learn and grow.
Time: What will be, will be.
Time: Will you, can you, spend it with me?
Time: Live in the NOW.
Time: It will work itself out, somehow.
My SO called me yesterday. Still out on his winter job, and MAY be able to
get home in 3 or 4 days. He does not know for sure. *sigh*
Hope all of you are well.
thx for the support. This lifestyle is certainly not for everyone. And I
have seen many, many families torn apart by the fall out of the fire
service. It is very hard to be the one left at home while the people we care
the most about are out in the world coping with life's tragedy's. And that
can be wildland or structure. Even tho I do worry more when it is structure.
My mindset tells me in a forest you have more space to run....just my
I suppose you are full time wildland.....that's cool, she does structure? We
also have daughters involved in fire and it has been a hard battle for them
at times. But they both found their niche and are doing great. Children? It
is really a sight when the grandkids are here with us and g'pa's tones go
off. Everyone of them recognizes his tones and start jumping around
screaming at him to hurry. A couple of them are so young I'm really not sure
they understand where he is going. But they jump around yelling too.
When you are home do you listen to the scanner? I have tried it both
ways-listening and not listening. My nerves handle listening better than not
listening. I am not happy when they switch to a tact channel and are not
close enough to my home I can listen. You'd think I'd have some pull with
the guy in charge but nope......because of the weather turning so cold and
we've had snow......families are using fireplaces. We have had three
complete losses of homes in the past week from wood stoves. And one complete
loss from a dad that was using a torch to thaw out pipes under his house.
That's four families already without homes. So if the start to our winter is
any sign it is going to be a busy, stressful winter in the Northwest.
So sorry about the little ones finger. I remember when my kids got hurt I
always wished it could be me. And as if being hurt isn't enough, they get
terrified about going to the ER. I always hated to have to help hold them
down for various stuff. I would cry right along with the kid. And now we
have a daughter that is mom to three kiddies and she WILL NOT take them for
shots. Guess who gets the job,,,,right me.
Their tough FF G'pa fainted when one of our kids went to the dentist for a
tooth to be pulled. So he is NO help at all in emergencies with the little
kids in the family. Now complete strangers he has no problem. Which by the
way he got his second stork pin last week. Now ask me how he did when HIS
babies made their appearance into the world.
Oh and I picked up his film from one of the Glacier Fires and he managed to
get an awesome picture of a bear cub standing with it's front paws on the
running boards of an Engine. He had told me about it when he called from
Glacier. The cub had been hanging around the area where they had his
"pumpkin" set up. I guess the FF's figured the mom bear had been
killed. I will try to figure out how to send it in.
So Dawn hope that hubby gets back to you soon. Take care of your self and
Now that Calif is winding down I pray everyone makes it home safe and is
able to spend some quality time with their families.
Thought you ladies would appreciate the first cartoon on this page...
Nerd on the Fireline
||Diana and Sammi,
Thanks for the Turkey time invites, it is very nice to know I have good
friends. My husband should be home from So. Ca on Friday! So we are hoping
to join family for Thanksgiving.
We have had a bit of drama here in the last few days. My older daughter shut
my younger daughters pinky finger in our front door and severed the whole
top of it almost completely off, bone and all. They sewed it back on and are
hopeful it will re-attach, but you never know. Of course I had to deal with
it WITHOUT THE HUSBAND! I had good friends to help me through it. Oh well,
life goes on, right? My little one is actually fine, she is such a tough
little girl. Her sister is feeling terribly guilty though, I feel bad for
her, it was just an accident.
Thank you all for checking in with me, I have just not been online much, I
hate missing the husbands phone calls.
Sorry about your daughter's finger. We're glad you're checking in when
you can. Ab.
||Sammi..... Oh my gosh girl you had me in tears reading your post...
Everything you said is so true... I remember when my husband and I were on
the rural in MT, the many nights dinner would congeal on the stove or things
didn't get done around the house because we were busy.
Dawn.... If your husband is gone for Thanksgiving you are always welcome up
here at our house. It will just be my family of four for the dinner. My
husband was on the roster to go to LA and then a boss decided they needed to
burn after sitting around for a couple days so they got taken off it. He was
very angry to say the least
But once again my husband is gone for a week. He was home Friday through
this morning. We went and got firewood on Saturday and then hung out
yesterday and watched it snow all day. We have about 5 inches on the ground
(??) and just let me say it is beautiful.
Anyone gonna chat tonight??
||Gantenbein article: Even though the article is being referenced on They
said I am going to put my thought's on Family because it will be full of
First I am going to assume that Mr. Gantenbein also reads family, and if so
"Sir you are full of crap!!!!!". I am going to address your
article from a structure perspective as that is the arena you have chosen.
if you want to move to wildland that can be addressed also......
Cushy job: step into the turn-outs and boots of a structure FF for a
week and lets see how you do. I am not even going to try and come up with
the number of hours a year that is spent in training. All the drills,
keeping the equipment and stations spotless not to mention in good working
order. The reports and subsequent paperwork, usually a fair share done on
your off time. All the family events you miss. Children's moments, wife's
How much would you expect to be paid for cleaning up someone's daughters
brains off the highway? How much is it worth to have to catch a mom who
arrives at the scene of her son's motorcycle accident and stop her from
seeing her son's body without a head or legs? Have you ever climbed in a
wrecked car and stayed under a tarp holding a mothers hand while they cut
her out of the car. And all the time you know her three children are dead in
the back seat?
How many families have you consoled as the only home they have ever known
burns to the ground? Have you ever handed a child a burnt ceramic angel,
that is the only thing she has left. Have you ever stood on a rain soaked
highway with a hose so if the flames start up again you can put the flames
out on a mans body as it lies there behind his destroyed truck? While you
are standing there by yourself guarding this poor man's body you hear a ring
and look around and it is the man's cell phone laying next to him on the
pavement. Would you have wondered if it was his wife calling to see when he
would be home from work? And you know he will never get home again. (this
one caused nightmares for weeks) (and the nightmares are on your free time)
Have you ever given CPR to a three year old little girl who was accidentally
run over by her mother? And as you do CPR you know the baby is gone, never
to be with her family again. But you keep up the CPR for the sake of the
family, you know they do not need to question that everything possible was
done for their child. Then four days later you go to the funeral with five
other FF to show your respects. (On your day off) Hoopla, naw, just good ole
fashioned decency. (and the mom later wrote the sweetest letter, thanking
the FF for all they did at scene and for their support at the funeral)
Every FF out there has the experiences, the "hard one" as they are
called. No one gets paid enough to do this. How can you justify complaining
because these FF have a couple of hours of down time. They can expend more
energy in 5 minutes than you do in a week. How many meals have you missed
because just as you get your food fixed the tones go off and 6 hrs later you
get back to eat it? I sir have many times cooked Christmas, Thanksgiving or
other holiday dinner, packed up my children, a few new toys and gone to the
Fire Station so they can eat with their dad and guess what? Somebody has a
fire in their house or a car wreck and daddy is off on his engine and the
children and I pack up and go back home. You may have been a mountain rescue
person, and if so it was a needed endeavor. But, I have to add somehow that
does not quite give you credentials to bad mouth firefighters.
Firefighting isn't that dangerous? Of course it is. Just from the
unexpected that can happen (towers, burn overs, explosions) it is very
dangerous. Thank the Gods, the danger level is manageable because of all the
training and safety measures that are drilled and re drilled into those
"little hero heads". And yes there is going to always be those
sneaky problems no one thought of, like communication problems.
Out of all the video I saw when the Towers went down, one interview of a
woman that survived still haunts my thoughts. She said as she was running
down the stairs "all those young, vibrant, strong firefighters were
going UP the stairs." And as I saw that interview I was in tears
because I knew if my sons had been there, they would have been going UP
From my side: have you ever been at home listening to a scanner and hear
that a semi has rammed a car that was involved in a wreck and you know your
spouse and two of your sons are on that scene when the semi hits it? How
would you feel when someone starts asking for more paramedics to be
dispatched to scene? When you hear that three FF are down? And then one of
the FF is so injured they are transporting by Engine? how many cookies can
one mom and wife bake in two hours? About a months worth!!!!! (none of my
family was hurt and one FF had internal injuries but returned to work a few
weeks later, one had broken legs and another a concussion)
Adrenalin junkies, absolutely. Who else would do the job? And they
love their jobs.......
Funerals: yep they are a big deal. And don't you dare presume that
the Washington state families were being tortured by the show of support.
Were you even there? They were tortured but it was from loss of family
members, it's called deep grief. And take it from someone who has been
there. Those families probably do not remember a lot about the services but
they will remember the awesome support they received from all the agencies
who were there to SHOW THEIR RESPECT for their lost ones. All that hoopla is
part of the grieving process and actually helps some people in their
acceptance stage of the grief process.
Idaho had a State Policewoman killed several years ago. Our son was chosen
to go with a crew on one of the EMS rigs from Washington State to the
funeral in Southern Idaho. There was a caravan of seven rigs, fire trucks,
ambulances, etc that made the trip. He took pictures of people on the
interstate overpasses waving American Flags at the crews as they passed on
the way to the town where the funeral was held. Do you feel the same about
the military funerals? So sir it is not just fire that honors their fallen.
I have a problem with young FF who don the hero mantle and then
forget they are not superman and get hurt. You bet!!!! But you know what,
just from reading your article and writing this reply I have decided I am
going to make a special effort this week to thank my husband and my children
for the jobs they do everyday even for people like you.
from one very proud momma,,,,,,,,,, sammi
||Old River: thx for the explanation. The Calif fires are so far out of our
"normal" mindset it is impossible to get our woodsy brains to go
there. Your warning: Oh yea!!!! My guy doesn't even turn the door knob until
he is shucking the smelly duds on the porch. This time he will be a little
chilly. We (me) had about 3 inches of snow last night with more expected
thru Tuesday. I guess I could spray him with Frabreeze and let him in. And
then I have the invasion of the red bags from hell again......Most seasons I
change my mindset from wildland to car wrecks and structure fires by the
time snow flies so my internal mindset is a wee bit confused. pray everyone
is safe and returns home speedily. sammi
||10/31 it rained in Cali southzone; and snow in higher elevations
northzone...... snowboarders @ Boreal on last nite's local news.
most likely, fires in southzone are 100% contained today weather permitting
- unless Santa Ana's return. lots of equipment (saws & dozers) &
personnel many locations with MOP UP.
to Sammi doubtful local gov't structure engine ppl carried
"shelter" for personal protection or left their rig; that is not
their normal expectation for any fire assignment even as part of a strike
team. Considering the sheer enormity of this "mess" no agency was
truly prepared for what would be facing any FF deployed last week. most CA
wildland folk DO carry personal shelters, including inmate crews. these
fires didn't start in inaccessible regions or high elevation country... I'd
bet most fires started in urban areas. since Ridge visited CA fire on Sat,
maybe the WAR focus will return to the US fire problems at a higher gov't
Gals & Guys, enjoy their "war stories" when they return....
expect them to PACE after Sunday dinner, and listen to their tales - they
have the "calling" and do their jobs. warn them: smelly stuff
Most fires started in the wildland interface along roads and moved into
more populated areas.
Wildland firefighting teams under the incident command system (ICS) have the
most efficient and efficacious way to handle multiple incidents. I don't
think there is any other group adept in handling MULTIPLE incidents, not
FEMA for sure. Many groups study how we do it. Not surprising that Ridge
came to check it out. Also, the use of fire teams has been moving more and
more into "all risk" and in the case of a national emergency,
priorities that are now set by the MAC groups would also have direction from
Ridge's Department of Homeland Security. Ab.
||For any interested, here's an issue you could address with your
congressperson, form NMAirbear's post on theysaid:
Heads up, gang! There is a media-driven debate going on here in San Diego
County concerning the use of firefighting aircraft after hours (i.e.
"punkin time"). The issue is the detection of the Cedar Fire last
Saturday at just about punkin time and our lack of aerial response. The
"fingerpointing" and debate that is now front page news will get
us (firefighters) nowhere as the basic issue is the safety of fire aviators
versus protection of wildland/urban interface. The people raising this issue
obviously place aviator safety behind their own agenda. They need to be
silenced (congressmen?) as firefighter safety preempts all other objectives
and agendas. This must remain inviolable.
||California Fires are burning
Colorado and Oregon too.
I watch them and feel for the families
I wish I could help them like you.
Reality is I sit home and wait.
I wait and I worry and I fret.
Wondering as always my firefighter,
Why isn't fire season over yet?
I know your work is important
For this I would not change a thing.
I just get lonely my beloved,
Waiting for the @$*% telephone to ring.
So I am selfish when it comes to you!
Dreading the calls that take you away.
Then waiting for the phone to ring
Telling me you will be home to stay.
It helps so, knowing others are out there
Dealing with the loneliness and pain.
Yes there is that but there's more.
With this life there is much more to gain.
We learn to be independent.
We share and we laugh and we grow
Just think of all the people
We would never have been able to know!
All firefighter families endure this
Together we will survive.
Together we will nurture our families
Endure - Grow - THRIVE.
God speed to all.
Lets get these fires done and over with so we can have our loved ones HOME.
If you’re interested in fundraising, two huge thumbs up. My chief came to
me a while back with a sob story about grants sitting the fire station
un-applied for because none of the firefighters had time to sit down and
write the blasted things up…so yours truly the sucker picked up the job.
It’s not as intimidating as it seems, really; it’s actually amazing how
much money is out there and how easy it really is. I’m taking a grants and
proposals class now to get a better idea how to go after federal and state
money. We bought the department new jackets and extrication gloves by
standing at our town’s one stop light with fire boots; we’re looking to
get equipment to outfit our new (hopefully coming soon) tender with money
from a baile (a dance) and breakfast burritos. We’re co-sponsoring a kid’s
basketball tournament to raise money for new computer hardware and software
for our command unit. I’ve written applications that would make us a
technology development pilot project, a model for mobile government
services, and a national historic preservation act building (hey, whatever
it takes). A local contractor is making us a new sign for our station, a
local bar is donating their space for our baile, a local band is donating
their services…it’s amazing what the community will kick when properly
blackmailed (I mean… um… motivated by family ties).
Nerd on the Fireline
||Well add me into the lonely club. My husband and a son have headed south.
I wish it had been Colorado. I am not going to watch any more of the news.
Like Abs said we are getting a very slanted picture of the real world down
there. I for one do not need to be seeing or hearing the "look at
me" FF bragging about how close he came to eating flames. Makes me
wonder if these idiots will have a job after their superiors see the clips.
If they do.
Do we know how the Engine that got burned over happened? I sure hope it was
not them just waiting too late to get out. I have been squawking for a
couple of years up here to get the shelter covers for the Engines and
tenders. Of course they are way expensive. Maybe in my spare time I could
start a fund raiser.
Maybe Abs can answer.....do these people that work in Calif have shelters
assigned to them? I assume the wildland people do but what about the
structure people when they are involved in a war like this. Up here every FF
on every dept has structure gear and wildland gear, with shelters of course.
My husband has put shelters in every Engine, tender and brush truck. And I
think the ambulances. That is in addition to the ones the FF personally
hey Dawn and anyone else. If our families are still gone Thanksgiving we
will do a Turkey chat.
hang in there, sammi
The wind shifted. Ab.
Well I thought I might be headed to California but Colorado is burning so I
might just be staying home instead. I put my firefighter on a plane back to
Florida on Saturday and it was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. He
doesn't think we well make it apart for 8-9 months so he will be sending for
me sometime this winter unless they start burning and he doesn't get time
off. I'm keeping busy this winter by taking more fire classes. This should
make me more desirable in the fire program besides the dispatch side. I
honestly love dispatching but I want to do more aviation so that's where the
classes come in.
The fires in S. Cal. are just plain scary to me. I can't even think what the
people are going through. I will be praying for all your firefigters that
they will be taken care of.
TazGirl: We have some very reputable Hotshot crews in CO. We have a hotshot
crew in Southern Colorado that has been in place for two years and the rest
have been in place for years. One crew is a BLM crew. Most dispatch centers
would even love for you to be a seasonal if that is your calling. Would love
to talk to you about it if you would like. I think that you would be an
asset to dispatching.
To the mothers on this site: Mercer Mayer books are wonderful. They all have
a good theme to them. I have a collection for all my kids, started one for
my niece and now have started a collection for my firefighters grandson.
Well gals and guys hope to email you soon. Take Care!
||My sister headed to southern CA some days ago. She says they are
busssssy. Wonder when we'll see her again. She's sometimes been gone
Amazing fire pictures on the news. Thanks to the Abs for keeping us up
to date. I am especially interested in the Olds Fire. Thanks Ab for
publicizing the need for a new incident website. Thanks information people
for getting it up. That is invaluable.
||I totally agree Sammi, why are the expensive homes more important? A
home is a home, regardless of the cost.
Well, add my husband to one of the fire fighters down there. He is on his
right now. And he is not with his engine crew, but with a Hot Shot crew,
which makes me more nervous.
Not sure what we are doing for Halloween. I have to finish up the girls
tonight, and we have to decorate our pumpkins. We are not carving this year
because the girls want to keep them through Thanksgiving. Speaking of
Thanksgiving, my FF said that they are expecting to be down there a MINIMUM
of 30 days! HUH? No husband for Thanksgiving?
||Naw, I don't wanna straighten out anyone. I have enough of that stuff- I'm
sure not looking for more. I do trust ya AB...if you say it is legit then
that's good enough for me. Until we hear he needs $$$$ for the plane trip
Another matter: As you all know we have been involved in the fire scene for
a lot of years and I have seen many many Engines and Tenders come and go but
these pictures on the news of the California fires really has me nervous. I
have seen FF on the news telling their stories and what I am hearing scares
the hell out of me. "It was so close and hot all we could do was turn
our backs and cover up our heads!!!" I'm not sure of the town but the
FF were saying "now we are determined, this town is NOT going to
burn!!!!" And then the best statement "these are million dollar
homes and we will save them at all cost" why are million dollar homes
more important than $50,000 homes? and I don't care if they are worth 10
million they are NOT worth a life. I've never been close to a California
fire but are these people serious? I don't think we have seen one butt with
a shelter. We have seen such flagrant disregard of the safety protocols and
they are confessing on the national news. What's up? Seriously are the
structure people the ones we are seeing and the wildland off somewhere else
on the fireline. Or are the departments crosstrained in wildland and
structure like they are in the Northwest? I am not slamming Calif I just
want to know why they seem to be so heroish. I would hope they would be
singing "safety, safety" instead of "look at us, we're
awesome". and how can anyone be thinking clearly after all the hours
and energy expended? really scarey..... sammi
It's the news media that are singing "the hero" and fostering
that in their interviewees. In the news it always helps to be larger than
life or really much smaller than life to warrant their attention. There are
some fine tv people out there and some fine fire journalists, too, but few
who have actually been "embedded" to get the firefighter's
||I admit it sounds a bit suspicious (not from Lynette's point, but of her
husbands actions.) But I have heard that it isn't altogether uncommon for
people to be detailed out (if they are good enough FF's) for smokejumping
details when they are short handed. Who knows what's really going on there.
It will be interesting to see how this story unfolds (if we ever are privey
to the ending.)
I don't think he actually went for or would get on as a smokejumper. I
got this from a reputable source which I had already told her over the
Jumpers don't pick up people in the fall (after the fire season, for
goodness' sake), and certainly not people with only some AD ff experience.
The rookie class is carefully screened and people pretty much never get in
without a few years of good comprehensive firefighting experience backed up
by strong reputable references, and the rookie training is always held in
spring. I bet they're having some laughs about this at the Fairbanks loft.
||Well, we made it through what we thought was the season and look what
happened. So now we have FF repacking gear and making plans. Our weather
here is VERY cold with middle 30's in day and teens at night. So I am
hauling wood in my little wagon and covering up plants. On the way to work
today I passed the ranger station and the fire danger is posted at extreme.
I can see a couple of ski resorts from the highway and they have snow....so
the weather is a bit odd.
I will be hauling around a few kids (and moms) for Halloween that dads went
back out so I have no doubt it will certainly rain if not snow here in the
Dawn: have you heard from your FF/ Hope you and the girls are doing ok. Why
don't you bring them up here and join us for Trick or Treating?
I did hear from Firemomma and she just got back from the West Indies.....so
maybe she will check in soon and tell us her adventures.
As far as Lynnette and the missing husband. I hope all is well there but
this I know for a fact. Around here when someone is applying for a position
whether with FS, DOL or whoever, it is not a 15 minute job to fill out the
paperwork and get the certs copied and all the other stuff we have to
document. Just figuring how much time spent on a fire and how many acres etc
is a pretty in depth undertaking. How long does it take to fill in all those
little circles...so how did she not know if it was a legit application
undertaking...I guess my curiosity wants to know was he just thinking he
could show up on a jumper base and say "howdy, I'm here to fight fire'
if so I know several guys who will be there in a few days. Maybe I am too
much of a skeptic but since when do the jumpers start training in
October.....not that I don't trust Ab's explanation but the investigator in
me says something's just not quite right. sammi
You want I should give you her phone number? I'm sure our momma sammi
would straighten her situation right out. har. Ab.
||I missed Lynnette’s post, but from what I gather from Fire Chica’s
comments and Ab’s…ouch. It’s hard enough for you ladies whose men head
off to fire in “reasonable” and “predictable” (irony intended) ways.
For the record, So.Cal. isn’t the only party running…in my neck of the
woods we should have a foot of snow on the ground right now, but instead it’s
in the seventies and eighties, and the next forest south has been reporting
starts. We’re expecting more fire this year, and there’s talk that my
crew might go back on the board (meaning it might be re-listed as available
for call-out). The scary bit for us is that if this trend (warm and dry)
continues through the winter, we’ll be looking at a 80+% beetle kill with
no spring runoff, and then God help the urban/wildland interface.
Nerd on the Fireline
||Did you guys read the posting by Lynnette (whose husband up and ran off
to join the smokejumpers... Ab) on TheySaid? That is so sad.
Some contact info for the Alaska Smokejumpers just came in for Lynette,
so I took her post down from theysaid. No need for her to have private
contact info on the web, having gotten the next bit of info she needs.
Just so you know, I called and talked with her. Asked a lot of clarifying
questions. She was forthcoming, reasonable, logical, concerned. Her request
was not a hoax. She was/is in need of information on his where'abouts.
Hopefully the email address I forwarded to her will help her get some
resolution on her missing husband. Ab.
I used to live down in SoCal, in fact I was raised in Simi Valley, graduated
high school, was married there, and moved back after living on a Marine
Corps base for 4 years. I remember the last time it burned something fierce
like this back in '81. The problem is the fools who built houses on the
hillsides! DUH, what did they think would happen. I KNOW...I really do feel
bad for all those people who lost homes, but the builders should not have
put them there. I have friends and family there, some have been evacuated,
it is just terrible. My grandma is in Santa Clarita, and is worried sick
that she will be evacuated with no place to go. She is in her 70's, and I am
just sick that I am too far away to help.
I am also rambling tonight, I have No idea where my husband is, and I hate
to watch the news but can not help it.
Thanks for listening, I know you all understand. I know we all like the
money that a good fire season brings, but lets pray for these fires to end.
They are bringing too much suffering.
||I know it's been awhile since I checked in, it's been busy around here
getting ready for the winter season...But right now it's Hell here in So
Calif. I sat dazed Saturday night when we finally turned on the TV (we had
spent a wonderful day doing family things). The devastation we saw was mind
boggling. My Battman is gone to the Simi fire, he called a little bit ago to
say the columns are standing up, which could be both good and bad. Santa
Ana's in the area finally calming down, but then there is the threat of the
onshore flow turning it and running it back into Santa Clarita. I know most
of you are ready for your SO/family to come home, but if you could see what
I see you would be happy he/she his helping.
On the top of the nob closest to my little part of the FS world I work,
To the East Smoke, dark and hazy starting in Sunland.
To the West, Huge columns of smoke rising, and the threat of cresting into
the San Fernando Valley.
And listening to the scanner, I finally gave up and turned it off. I'm
looking forward to going home tonight, and the possibility of getting the
time to pop into chat, but I have lots to do, pick up the kid, get feed for
I know it is hard on everyone being with out their SO, But as of right now,
things are not looking on the bright side here, and We can use all the help
we can get. As for the comment made on shake roofs/clearances, So Calif has
the Best Fire Prevention Programs in all of the states (yes this is My
opinion based on my SO coming home from assignments over the past 12 years
and telling the stories of people just clearing an area to build on and not
having any clearance at all in other states). Many, Many communities here
are involved in the Firewise efforts. And yes there are still people who do
not adequately do a clearance, or still have a shake roof (older homes,
owned by Elderly or people on fixed incomes that cannot afford to have them
re-roofed). I know that there are many citations given every year in
different fire districts for lack of clearances. If they are not done, then
the fire district goes in does the clean up then places a lean on the home.
As for the shake roofs, Maybe the State should step in implement a special
fund (low income, federal grant, something, yeah I know Calif. is already in
money trouble, but it is a thought) to help people re-roof their homes,
especially those in a High Fire danger area.
If the fire in Crestline makes it to the bug kill, it won't matter who has
what clearance or roof, the fire will go to a crown fire and be in Big Bear
before anyone can say , I told you so.
My heart and prayers goes out to everyone in San Bernardino, Simi, Crestline
and San Diego Co that has lost so much. And my prayers are with all the FF's
and their families . Lets all pray for the winds to die, the temps to fall,
and the fog to roll in.
(sorry about the ramble, but I'm a little tired)
Hang in there. And let's pray that the end of the Santa Anas brings
quiescence (and not conflagration) into the mountain communities. Ab.
I have been making noise about mine coming home to but he just says it is
my job... Well so is helping me raise these girls he helped make. *smiles*
I told him that if they call for a crew to go to CA to go because the money
would be nice but that I would like him home if not.
I am all up for a chat tonight if you would like to.
||Dawn, FireWife and all,
Looks like I'm not the only one still hoping fire season will end! Mine is
in No Cal right now. He's supposed to be heading home here in the next day
or so but is already making noises about heading south.
I finally decided to break my vow of silence, and insist he come home. Don't
know if it really had any effect or not but I'd thought I'd give it a try. I
told him he's due to time out in a few days anyway, and he wouldn't be much
use if he had to take time off shortly after getting there. I feel kind of
guilty, wanting him home with me when I know they need help down there, but
on the other hand it's been four months without him and I want him home!
Thanksgiving is right around the corner and the fire season is still
haunting us! I'm going to start doing rain dances or something pretty soon.
We keep having 70+ degree weather here and the fire danger is extreme. I
can't believe how dry it is. Usually I'm bundling up my daughter for
Trick-or-Treating to the point of not being able to see that she's wearing a
costume, this year we'll be worrying if the costume is going to be too hot.
Take care all,
P.S. Anyone doing chat tonight?
Dawn... I am hoping my husband doesn't get that call... He is gone right now
but still I am hoping he stays around here... But if that call comes then he
will go and hey it is extra cash!! I hope the girls are feeling better...
And you to... And I am with you on thinking the season was ending... I hate
fall and spring as well as summer... we only get them for such a short time
period before it starts all over again...
Well I thought our fire season was coming to an end WRONG.. I should have
known being a southern california girl myself. My husband left yesterday, he
JUMPED at the chance to fill in a spot on a hot shot crew! He was headed to
Southern CA, but at the last minute they were diverted to Oregon. My gut
tells me he will end up down south anyway. Our home town is burning, and so
is our former Marine Corps base. It sucks, I remember as a kid, the last
time the hills around my home town burned, it gets real bad because it is a
valley. Everyone gets stuck, either in or out, and now they have developed
many of the mountainsides into track housing. Gotta run, my little one just
got up, and she should be sleeping.
||My husband is down on the fires in So. Cal. I think it is much more nerve
wracking when I can watch the whole thing on T.V. I'll turn it off for
and then I'm in shock when I turn it on again and see how much bigger it's
gotten and how many other fires have started. I feel so sad for everyone
who has lost their homes, but also kind of mad at all those people who don't
have clearances around their home, have wood shake roofs, etc.. I guess
they think that a fire will never get near them or something. It boggles
my mind for sure??.
I hope you come west to San Francisco. You'd be closer to a lot of us.
||Ahhh...the weather has finally changed for good I think. We finally got a
good cold front this weekend and it seems like fall almost. It was 95 the
other day!!! My Alaskan honey was not likin' that...and the humidity too.
Thanks for all the compliments on the roller derby pics. That is so
encouraging. My team came in last this year...but it damn sure wasn't
because I didn't play my hardest. At least I can say I tried my best right?
I just got back from Houston today. Dropped off my FF at the golf course on
the way home...his sixth day to play this week and almost 120 holes!!!
That's a lot of golf. Oh well, if it keeps him happy, fine with me. The two
of us and a friend went to Houston to visit my aunt and uncle. They took us
sailing yesterday on the Galveston Bay. The weather had cleared up for a
while but we had to turn around after finally setting sail. Lightning struck
about 50 yards away with loud CRACK!! We were soaked to the bone by the time
we got in. But it was a fun adventure and my BF had never been sailing
before. Then we had a nice seafood dinner out on the bay and enjoyed a band
on the Kemah Boardwalk. Everyone really enjoyed themselves and I was glad my
girlfriend and my man got to meet my aunt and uncle, who are a lot of fun.
Listen to this, apparently this TV show on ABC called 'Switched' wants a
roller derby girl for their TV show. You literally swap lives with someone
for a few days and they go to your job, live in your house and everything. I
guess the producer saw us in Jane magazine and wants one of us to do it. So
I'm filling out the application today and making a short video to send in.
How funny huh?! I would never apply to something like this otherwise but
since they've already narrowed it down to a derby girl, why not? Oh, and
I've been meaning to tell you all that one of our derby girls will be
featured on the Early Show on CBS...probably sometime this week if you're
interested in checking it out.
I'm really excited that I've decided to apply for this Teach for America
program. I really need a new goal and some structure or I would start to
become adrift I feel like. (bad sentence, sorry) I need a challenge and some
more brain stimulation. I have really slacked since I graduated college. But
not in any way I really regret since I have done a couple of things I have
always really wanted to do. But it is time to get more focused and prove
another side to myself. I have to write two 500-word essays. That is quite
intimidating. Hopefully they will accept me and then I will move to either
Chicago or San Francisco. Haven't decided which yet. We are going to Chicago
this upcoming weekend to visit some friends so I can check it out. And my FF
is willing to move with me so we can decide together. We have a lot to prove
as a couple before then, but planning is still essential and inevitable. The
love is there...now for the more practical part right? The day to day... Now
I just have to figure out what the heck to do with myself for next summer.
Maybe I can still dispatch part of it. That would be awesome.
Any news on Firemomma yet? She said Austin in late October and it is late
October now. I was looking forward to meeting her. Anyone know what
convention she was here for so I can at least look up the dates? Or maybe
Sorry your FF's are gone right now, Poet and FireWife. I know how hard that
must be. Hang in there and you always have us. And good to hear from you too
Robbie. Hi Sammi.
Take care ladies.. and you lurking men out there,
||Robbie..... The one thing that keeps me going, as I stand here and cook
french toast for my 3yr old is, our daughters. That is what I do all day is
take care of them so I don't have alot of time to worry about him or where
he is. I mean that sounds harsh but I actually know where he is and that he
will try to call everynight even if it means he has to stand high on top of
his engine to get cell coverage. He has a set time to call his oldest before
bed so she gets to talk to him. And if he hasn't called then she calls and
leaves him a message on his phone.
But I hate him being gone now!! This is time to be doing things around the
house before the snow flies and he is never home long enough to do it. You
know we still need fire wood and all that but we have none. And with
halloween coming this week I am going to have to be the one to take them out
and who cares if I pass out any candy at home. It is hard when he tells her
he will do something with her or us and then is gone for longer than
Anyway enough of me babbling.
Poet... I loved the painting!! Oh my if I was that talented it would be
wonderful. Keep up the awesome job.
TazGirl... The pictures were so funny!! I am in awe that someone does this.
I wish I had the stamina to walk to the end of the block. *smiles*
I'm still here. Seems like I don't have a lot to say, though. My sister is
home. She got some chuckles out of the Sponge Bob photos on here. She's
following theysaid. The Cali fires are scary. She said when fire behavior
got that extreme on the Hayman Fire all the firefighters were pulled off the
line. I hope they are equally as prudent on these fires.
It would be very hard to have her gone summer and winter if I were her SO. I
don't know how you can stand that. I guess people in the military do from
time to time. Do you ever see a time when you won't be apart for more than
just fire season? Maybe he will choose another wintertime job or you will
find a way to go along. FireWife, your husband is gone again. What keeps you
Nice roller derby photos TazGirl. The expressions on your face are
priceless. Be sure you copy those off and save them for posterity. The
website might disappear and with it, some nice images of your history.
I know, anyone got a good barbeque turkey recipe? I think I'd like to try
that this thanksgiving as a surprise for my sis and random fire friends she
always brings home.
||Does anyone have family on the California fires? I have been watching them
on the news here. Very dramatic pictures on TV and on the web. Hope
everyone's homes and loved ones are safe.
The board has been very quiet lately. I keep checking and no one seems to be
posting. Does it get this quiet all the time? My FF is off doing his winter
job, so he is gone AGAIN. Been 3 weeks since I heard from him. *sigh*
I guess it is time to do more painting and writing.
Great pics of your roller derby games. WOW you must have energy to do that.
I get tired just looking at the pictures. Lots of bruises to go with also,
Take care all!
||Hi Everyone!! I have been off here so long I am having withdrawals!! I
have just become a new auntie!! My sister had a baby girl yesterday morning
so I am really excited. My girls and I went down to their house for a few
days and then came home. Of course as soon as we get home is when she has
I am all alone here in OR again. My husband is out on a burn and won't be
home till next week some time if we are lucky. I am hoping he will make it
home for Halloween since we already bought candy. If he doesn't make it home
then we are stuck with all this candy. Just what I need around the house.
I just needed to get on and read all the new posts. I miss being on here
talking and getting the support we all need. Hope we have a chat soon!!
Thanks for listening.
||Hi everyone. I have not posted much lately but I check in every day. Great
to hear from you Southern. And you too Heligroupie. It is so comforting to
know you are all still out there and checking in.
Sammi, you're outspokenness (sp?) about the safety of FF's is admirable and
inspiring. You are tireless in your campaign for changes to make the FF
world safer and I just wanted to express my gratitude. If I can get involved
in any way, let me know.
Things are pretty good around here. I'm in the process of getting another
job to supplement the one I have, which is gettin' real old because it is so
slow and I just kinda show up. Went to Dallas last weekend and my FF met
both of my grandmothers. That was nice. And we went to the state fair with
my mom. My mom was grateful to have company as well as a man to cook for. My
man's so skinny he has to run around in the shower to get wet. But don't let
that fool you...boy he can eat. So lately the routine is him dropping me off
at work and he goes off to play golf...every day. And he is really enjoying
the golfing let me tell ya. We are going to Chicago next weekend to see some
friends. I've never been there so that should be a lot of fun. Going to see
a Blackhawks game also. Tonight we are driving to Houston to see my aunt
& uncle and go sailing on the Gulf tomorrow. Should be fun.
Watched Bowling for Columbine a couple of nights ago.....YIKES and YIKES!!
Southern, I'm sorry to hear your FF is leaving already. I know that must be
so hard. How come you can't visit him before next summer? Being apart for
extended periods is so difficult. Looks like I'm going to have to endure
another summer of it. We are still debating all of our plans. He wants to do
another year on his Alaskan crew but we've also considered him working on a
lower 48 crew, possibly out of Colorado. But he is afraid he would be at the
bottom again and the pay wouldn't be as good either. Plus he doesn't know
the reputation of any of the crews and wants to make sure he would be on a
good one. So if you know of any solid Colorado HS crews, send the word. We
are considering a summer there so that I could at least see him every couple
of weeks. And I would love to talk to you more about the possibility of
dispatching. Especially if I could do it just for a couple of months because
hopefully if I get into this teaching program, I will be at their training
institute for five weeks starting sometime in mid-June. So let's talk more
about this and thanks for thinking of me.
Does anyone know anything about Fire Momma? I'm thinking she must be on her
trip to the West Indies. I just want to make sure that she gets a hold of me
if and when she comes through Austin.
It's good to talk to you all. Take care and you are all in my thoughts.
||Thank you, new posters! you bring a new perspective. River
Sorry it's been so long for me to get back on. Fire season has come to an
end here in Colorado. Now the only fires are being started by hunters trying
to keep warm. My firefighter has come to see me and hunt for the past week.
He flies out of DIA on Saturday. I just haven't had him long enough. I now
won't see him until maybe next summer unless I get called out South. I
promised myself I would never date a firefighter and this guy just made me
break all my rules when we met in the Summer of 2002. This has been the
hardest relationship I have ever been in and it's not getting any easier (no
I'm not a crazy in love young pup) I keep wondering if this relationship is
worth it but I know it is because I've never felt this way in my 39 years. I
read all about your SO's and wish that I could have him closer. Just be glad
your FF comes home at the end of the season. I'm sorry for going on and on
about my feelings, it's just like the title says your are like family to me.
TazGirl: I will give my e-mail account that I always check to AB at the end
of this. I might have something for you if you are still interested in
dispatching. It would work around your schedule also so you wouldn't have to
give up anything if you just want to do it for a couple of months during the
summer. Well everybody have fun with your FF and I better get back to mine
for as long as I can.
I loved the painting! Your dragon reminded me of the old Godzilla movies in
that it looks like he's marching through the forest knocking things over and
leaving a wake of destruction behind him. You certainly captured the power
of a forest fire!
I know how you about needed to say "ok, its finished". I do it all
time. There's a fine line between a finished painting and "mud' if you
go too far.
Good luck with your distractions. I need to get after it too, I been a
little lacking in the creative department lately.
Have your work hours changed? Maybe we could set up a chat time that would
be convenient for you. I'd love to chat w/you about art. I'm pretty flexible
on time. Email me and let me know.
||Nerdy.....thx for the post about your crew. Really good insight and I
think some very strong indication that maybe the system can stand some
scrutinization from the crews up. Obviously your leaders have a different
opinion of how the crews should be handled than a good deal of the others. I
wonder if they would be up to doing an interview maybe with a wildland
fire publication? I realize safety starts with each individual FF but
the mindset of the crew and the leaders has to be addressed.
Montana mom.......I am very concerned about the safety of our FF's and I am
thinking maybe we should just get some sort of communication out to who ever
will listen. Honestly I have found just writing a letter to the editors of
newspapers will get a lot of attention. It did when we were yelling about
the shelters. Mellie.....ideas???????
We have several issues to address: traveling, substance abuse, ability to
speak up on safety issues and ?????
We need input here folks. What in your opinion is the priority we need to
follow? Obviously they all intertwine but we need a focal point. Let us know
how you feel.
Still here. Still "lurking". Still caring. My son is done
firefighting for the summer and is back in school. So, even though I don't
have an actual connection to the FF world right now, I still care about all
of the posters on FamilySaid. I agree with cog, I have heard tales from my
son that are scary and they aren't all related to firefighting.
I've followed the discussions about having drivers to transport
FF's. When Sammi first mentioned it, I thought that some of us old, former
soccer moms would make good drivers for FF's. There could be one draw-back
though, the poor FF's would be "mothered" to death by the time
they got to
their destinations. I don't mean to be facetious. I think it is a serious
problem. If there is any effort to get something done, please include me. I
would like to help.
Another Montana Mom
So, I'm feeling a little whiny and envious these days. It seems like
everyone has their FF home with them except me (boo-hoo). I'm still trying
really hard to keep my sense of humor about the situation but boy is it
getting hard! I put him on the plane early yesterday a.m. to head back to
another fire. We had a really tough R&R this time because while he was
home he found out their contract got extended again so that means they'll be
out there for a lot longer than anticipated. He said he'll be lucky if he's
home for Thanksgiving.
It's funny, how on They Said they're all talking about the slow fire season
and here I am looking at not seeing my guy home for another month! I'm kind
of leery of finding out what a busy fire season will be like. Maybe I'll be
lucky to have him home for Christmas then, and be thinking Thanksgiving
wasn't so bad.
Anyway, enough of my crying in my beer. Thanks to all of you for being
there. You've all become such an important part of my life, like old friends
that I've known for years. If anyone is doing chat tonight it would be
great, I could use the distraction!
All I can say is I am so happy for you on your transition from the honeymoon
feeling into that "ok, he's here to stay for a while" feeling! Run
with it, enjoy it. At first, it's an alien feeling but it's really sooo much
better in so many ways than the honeymoon! Like Poet said, you'll find
yourself enjoying just watching his funny quirks. For me, one of my most
favorite things is how my guy plays with my fingernails while we're watching
TV or driving. He'll just all of sudden grab my hand and start playing with
my fingernails with his hand. I know this probably sounds weird, but its
become comforting to me now when he does it. As a matter of fact, he doesn't
do it now, I start thinking he's mad at me for something. Funny how little
things will become very important to you. Good luck girl!
Your post about driving accidents was very thought provoking. Early this
fire season, I mentioned to someone that I had gone out to the helibase and
their question to me was, "Oh, are you transporting FF?" I said
"No, they transport themselves." They said, "Really, I
thought they provided drivers to transport the crews?" I guess what my
point is about this conversation (in hindsight) is that the average joe
thinks that drivers to transport crewmembers would be a given, so why does
the FF industry think this concept is so weird and/or unworkable? I think
you're on the right track, and if you need help to start some kind of
grassroots movement here, I'm in! I was thinking maybe some of the FF family
members/friends could maybe get their commercial drivers cert on their
drivers licenses and volunteer to transport FF in their area during fire
season, that way it wouldn't be an added cost for the fire or the agencies.
I know this wouldn't solve all of the problems (ie, transporting engines and
such) but it could be start. Just a thought. Keep the good work and
Love you all,
I am not sure I am eligible to answer your question on the
"honeymoon" syndrome, but I will give my 3 cents worth.
My man has not been around enough for honeymoon feeling to totally wear off.
I DO know when we have spent several days together, we settle into the
"comfortable" feeling. Not as much of the overwhelming "Wow I
LOVE this guy" but more of the "this just feels so right"
feeling. Let me give you an example. I enjoy just watching him shave. He
makes faces, and I tell him to watch it or he will cut himself. Silly stuff.
Another example is we were sitting on the couch, eating popcorn, and it sort
of hit both of us at the same time, that this just felt NICE. Comfortable.
It does not have to be the "WOW" feeling all the time. Although
the wow feeling sure is nice, that is not what a great long term
relationship is built on. It is the day to day stuff. The mundane things.
Appreciating each other for all our unique quirks, without them driving you
nuts. <G> Making each other laugh. Just snuggling and enjoying each
others company. Learning you can belch or pass gas in their presence without
them disowning you. Not having to be on your best behavior. Just being
yourselves. Lastly TALK. A LOT. On every subject. Ask his opinion and be
willing to listen to his answer. This is the time you finally get to learn
about each other. Make the best time you can of it. You know he will have to
go the next fire season, so make those memories NOW.
Oh, and a for a great bonding experience, make sure he has gotten over all
the foot rot from the firefighting, and give each other foot massages. Pure
(Now if I can only get him home long enough to teach him how to give
||Well Taz it has been so long since my wedding I have no idea how to
transition from honeymoon to real life, except. Don't we do that every fall
when the dragon is put to bed and the bearded caveman comes back for the
hibernation. When he comes home between fires he is not here long enough for
me to remember how he stands in front of the TV, does not wash the milk ring
out of his cup. He has never been able to make the bed good enough, and he
always dyes at least 2 loads of white laundry blue-jean blue, every year.
Even after all this time we still have to find our place in the scheme of
things and there are negotiations and down right dog fights but it settles
after a few weeks and we are comfortable again. I always get several calls
from daughters in laws who are also struggling with my "children"
wanting to be "in charge". Of course their dad tells the guys
don't try. It is not worth the pain and humiliation.
I guess my advice is don't be picky. Don't stress, and pick your battles.
Communicate, communicate, communicate!!!!!! It absolutely will not last if
you don't. And if the initial excitement is waning make your own. And that
you will have to figure out for your self.
If he is worth it you will figure it out. I highly recommend the Venus/Mars
book about male/female communication. Men absolutely do not read signals. It
is something in their gene pool and boy does it cause a lot of problems. If
it's getting "boring" enjoy......that's when you can really learn
a lot about each other. Anybody can look good and act decent for the short
spell but to be able to continue to look good and behave ok that is the real
person. And I have no idea if that is even what you were asking.
My SO is pulling a double shift at the FD so it is back to me, the dog and
one fish. Another one died. But, my plants are thriving. (I use to kill all
my plants) sammi
||Hello everyone. How is everyone doing? Busy with their FF's home?
Things are good here. My FF seems to be settling in very well. He plays golf
every day and loves it. He found a place and got a membership and has met
some people on the course also. He is getting along really well with all of
my friends and roommates and even got to see me play a little roller derby
last night. We are driving to Dallas this afternoon to visit my mom, show
him my hometown and go to the State Fair. I'm really looking forward to it
and he is too.
We are starting to make some travel plans for December. I'm getting a little
stressed about the financial aspect of it. I went and applied for a waitress
job yesterday. By the way, you guys remember me debating over whether I
should work at the cheesy place or not? The generic Hooters-type place?
Well, I went in and applied yesterday. Okay, I didn't actually apply. I
filled out the application...and promptly left. I was sitting there waiting
for the manager and I was looking around, scoping it out. They sell t-shirts
that say "Clams...our most popular item isn't even on the menu"
and "Blondes...the other white meat" and finally, "you can't
beat our meat." I WAS OUTTA THERE!!! I was so disgusted. That attitude
from men is just not something I'm willing to overlook so I can take their
money. And my BF supported my decision which felt really good too. Just
thought I'd update you.
Not sure if dispatching is going to work out next summer. I would really
like to, but the logistics of it aren't working out so far. At this point it
looks like my FF will either work for his Alaskan crew one last season or
now we are looking at maybe a Colorado crew. But I'm thinking about this
teaching program for the fall and I would have to train five weeks for that
in the summer, so that throws dispatching out. I dunno, many plans to
resolve and we shouldn't get too far ahead of ourselves anyway for now.
Hope everyone is doing well. I will try, try again to make it this Monday to
***Any thoughts, opinions, advice on the transition from that glowing,
honeymoon period after your man just gets home after a LONG time away,
to...okay, he's going to be around for awhile feeling? It's your basic
honeymoon syndrome right? Like the first couple of days after your vacation
is over? That's normal right?
||Hi guys and welcome to cog.
Sorry I didn't hang around for the fallout to my post but I had to
concentrate on work this week. Seems as if I pushed a few buttons and that
is the point. Getting attention on an issue.
Nerdy, thx for the support. And poet you are an angel.
As far as making changes and reducing the vehicle accidents I really have no
answers. I wish it was as easy as changing a few rules and writing policy.
Unfortunately, we all know the policies are already there. And they are not
working. But, we also know the powers that be feel as long as they have
their --------- covered by having a policy the problem is not going to
really be addressed.
||I have been reading this board since May. Everything about these posts
interests me, and I have been provided an incredible education about
wildland firefighting. I need to speak up and echo Sammi in her call for
sensibility and drastic changes.
My 24 year-old son just finished his 3rd season, having had both private
contractor and USFS employment. I have come to fear and worry MORE about the
irresponsibility of some employees and supervisors than any rational fear of
fire. There have been drugs (private contractor), alcohol, speeding, the
destruction of government property – incidents occurred “on the job”
and some were insane behaviors on days off (which have after-effects to
consider). I’ve heard enough to last a lifetime. My son loves fire work!
He wants to go back!
Has he been well trained for fire? You bet! Does he feel safe on the fire?
Yes, he says. Does he FULLY understand what's at issue? I think Sammi has
profiled young mens' thinking, even the best ones, very clearly.
To Sammi and many others - thank you for your wisdom, strength, and
fortitude. Tell me how I can make a difference now.
||Uh-oh, CW’s started it with Mama Sammi…
(Nerd crams her helmet over her ears, shoves in her earplugs,
and begins to burrow furiously under a rock)
Nerd on the Fireline
||I read Sammi's words on They Said.
Beautifully said, M'Lady!
||The words firefighter and hero are synonymous with each other. The reason
the word "hero" is pasted on every firefighters back is because
the job is dangerous and sometimes it involves saving peoples lives. No one
with any sense is going to argue that. Every time one of my guys is around
me when they are leaving for a fire I say " Don't be a hero!"
Recently I am saying it on the phone with them when they call to say they
are headed home.
Now, my husband and my kids know exactly what I mean. "Don't you do
anything STUPID and get you or anyone else hurt or killed." ...
To read the rest of Sammi's post go to theysaid. Ab.
||Name Withheld to protect the guilty
Well, the large burger part was on the phone. Maybe she said "big
She did not add fries. I don't understand either.
As far as who she is, well, maybe her name is withheld to protect the
guilty too. In this case, the counter-guilty might not be her but one of
Robbie (speaking out of the side of her mouth for her sister, the big
Nope, no images of the bulletin board at the height of the turmoil, I think
that fell into the dumb attack time period, that and the heat was on too
much that they didnt want to risk being caught takin a photo and get accused
of the crime. By the time they started to collect documentation all the
stuff had been taken down in preparation for the meeting.
"Large burgers"??? guess that went over my head.
Name withheld to protect the guilty...wonderin who your sister is.
||Name Withheld to protect the guilty:
Thanks for the story and the photos. I emailed my sister and she said
yepr, that was it. Not at fire camp, but definitely under the auspices of
the "large burgers". She wanted to know if anyone took a picture
bulletin board at the height of the fray.
||We just read the guest editorial in the Sept 2003 volume of Wildland
Firefighter about the road accidents. Brian Ballou is the writer. Page 7 of
the magazine. And he is right on target, except now he needs to address
alcohol in the equation.
Every time there is an accident everyone starts buzzing about needing to
address the issues then something else comes along and the discussion stops.
And we go round and round with no changes.,,,,,it's gotta stop. Sammi
Well, my SO is off again. Not fighting fires, but his winter job. It could
be 4 weeks, could be four months. *sigh* (at least I KNOW that he misses me
as much as I miss him)
Since I am sure you all are probably tired of my poems lamenting my longing
for my man, <G> is there anything else you would like me to write
about? Poems to be written, sonnets to be sung? I need some distractions
here folks. I am working hard on my small business, and STILL working on
those darn painting I had planned on having done a while ago, but I need
more stuff to do.
Suggestions? Comments? Should I serve cheese with my whine? LOL
The Sponge Bob Story was Great, how I hate that guy, too bad he was safely
returned! I won't let my girls see that though, Bob is their favorite :)
My FF is still MIA, still out on the ...can we even call it the Spanish Fire
when there are no real flames to speak of? I think he is just telling the
guys they can stay out there until we are no longer sick at home LOL We are
getting better SLOWLY. He was supposed to be home Tuesday, but I got a
message from him, that it won't be until Wednesday, guess I should not hold
Things seem to be slowing down here, guess most FF are home. I wish you all
the best for a nice winter home with your FF.
||Hello ladies. God did I laugh over the Sponge Bob kidnapping. That is some
funny stuff. I sent the link to my friend who I know will get a kick out of
Things are great on this end. My FF and I are doing well and he has been
meeting a lot of my friends and they all seem to really like him. We have
had a great week, except that leaving to go to work in the morning sucks.
But hey, he drives me to and from so that is a treat. He got new golf clubs
and is all psyched about that. He is real handy around the house too and
tries really hard to help my roommates out. Tonight there is a big party at
my house for their b'days that should be a lot of fun and my FF can meet
more of my friends.
We went and got the soap yesterday. The poison oak is much improving.
Hope everyone is doing great and I'll be checkin' back in this weekend.
||FW: the bob saga for family said. Ab would you please post this and
Ok, this goes back a bit but I just caught word of this topic the other
day. Back on aug 29, Robbie sent in a post regarding an incident
concerning a toy sponge bob square pants being kidnapped...hmmm...well
here is the whole story (abridged version) "as I heard it"
It was late in the day...tired...run down...needed something to fire
things up and create a diversion....
For the whole harrowing, grizzly tale and photos to boot, go to
Kidnapped from FireCamp! The Story
Where I work, ANY safety violation gets you three days off without pay to
think about things, at the discretion of the safety officer. On my crew,
well, like I said, we got the fear put into us…and we’ve had a TOTAL of
three incidents all season: two mild heat stroke and one set of mildly
blistered hands. All First Aid cases. And our specialty is very, very
extreme terrain (I kid you not…we’ve had to rig ropes to get to some of
What’s worked really well for us is that even within our squads, we’ve
got partners: Sawyer and swamper, first Pulaski and first scrape, and so on.
You watch yourself, you watch your partner, and if you see something your
partner doesn’t, you sure better sing out before the crewboss catches it.
At any given time one person in the pair is supposed to have their head up.
We also almost all have radios; only the squad bosses, the lookouts, and the
crewboss transmit, but EVERYBODY listens.
Our crew culture leans heavily toward the smart*ss…we all respect our
leadership, but we show it in the form of near-terminal irreverence. Respect
doesn’t necessarily have to mean fear…fear gets in the way of
communication. We have a healthy fear of our crewboss’s chief; if you
really screw up, you get reported to him, and that’s known as “Getting
called to the principal’s office.” It’s only happened to me once, and
I got a very calm, very detailed, very scathing and very public dressing
down (which, in my opinion, was also very undeserved; it wasn’t a safety
violation). But he isn’t on the line with us; on the line, anybody can and
will say anything (which gets a little too revealing sometimes, but you
know). We all make sure that everybody sees every potential hazard before it
results in stupidity; in our crewboss’ words “Sh*t rolls downhill”, so
if we get him in trouble because of something we saw that he didn’t, it’s
going to make our lives more difficult too.
Hammers: I’ve never had that problem. I also keep my toolkit in my car, so
it’s never very far from me, and I don’t have a male unit to borrow
tools and not return them. My solution would be to get my own hammer and
hide it somewhere; my mother always kept one in the back of her knife drawer
so my dad wouldn’t take it when she needed it. Were you using the meat
cleaver on the ice cream? Oh, and at Baskin and Robbins they keep the scoops
under warm water. If you warm the scoop up it works much better.
Nerd on the Fireline
||I came in here to complain about something else and Nerdy got me
sidetracked. So I still want to gripe.
I have never acknowledged pet peeves, but I confess I do have them. Two of
them so far.
#1..... why can I never find a hammer? and when I need one there is never
one of those guy type people around to tell me where they hid it. So I used
a meat cleaver.
#2.....ice cream. Why is it so hard? I have to use a huge knife to dig it
out of the carton. I have two ice cream scoopers but they are useless. The
Baskin Robbins people make it look so simple.....
So I realize these are petty but what is a gal to do? I feel myself slipping
further into a bad mood so maybe it is a good thing it's just me and the
dog, and one fish. (one died) sammi
||Ok Nerdy, puttim up......not really, I am old and I admit it and I do not
EVER try to outdo younger people. Pain hurts.
I absolutely agree with everything you have posted. My question is: why are
the They Said people still discussing the same "safety" issues
that have been yakked about forever. Everyone knows there is a problem.
Everyone knows the young kids are not likely to speak up. Your crewboss
deserves a medal of some type. That type of acceptance of a youngun speaking
up is VERY rare and we all know it.
I could tell you a lot of examples of real situations where someone spoke up
on a safety issue whether structure or wildland and the guy that had the
guts to speak up was ridiculed, blackballed, forced to quit, or held back on
promotions. There was a situation recently (not in our area) where a guy had
his pay screwed up so bad because he refused a dangerous assignment, he is
still waiting on his August checks. Seems like testosterone toting name
tagged shirts have very long memories. And quite frankly, I really feel the
powers in the shirts are just blowing smoke (sorry) about addressing the
safety issues so strongly. I think they talk the talk but are crippled when
it comes time to walk the walk. if they would put a couple of FF wives, a
couple of FF mothers and a couple of strong FF women in a room and say, give
us a working plan on how to do this. I absolutely guarantee they could do
it. You know the jokes about how many men to dig a hole??????? One in the
ditch and 8 standing around looking in the hole -------------.
Anybody with even a little brain cell would be able to see if year after
year the same type of accidents and deaths are occurring something is NOT
WORKING, folks. What other job would be allowed to have consistently the
same tragedies every year and we are told, "the job is dangerous".
well yea the job is dangerous, but doesn't it look a little odd to anyone
they are filling up the lower end of the food chain with the young
inexperienced people and gradually phasing out the older experienced people.
Why, is it because the more experienced ones will speak up? (just questions)
Well, guess what.....my job is very dangerous. Let me tell you, we have very
specific safety plans and policies and if anyone even the shirts are caught
circumventing those policies they are very sorry. it is a fixable issue, its
just someone is gonna have to have the ------ to stand up and admit there is
a problem and then work for an answer. and my soapbox just
collapsed.......high on ice cream here.........sammi
Hey, I said MOST over 30s…my assistant crewboss is pushing sixty and can
hike me into the ground! But the fact is that you can’t call that a
blanket solution to the problem of cocky young firefighters. As far as
safety goes…I knew I was on a good crew when I heard a rookie call our
crewboss on a safety mistake, and the crewboss stopped, listened, and
modified his plan and behavior. No questions, no ego involved, just thinking
about the good of the crew. That’s the way it’s supposed to work. I’ve
quit one job and declined to work with one crew based on incidents where
people were ridiculed for refusing to do tasks which they viewed as unsafe,
and I have yet to proven wrong in making that kind of decision. I hate it
when people try to tell me that an occupation or activity is “unavoidably
dangerous”. That’s bull; my great-grandfather lost three brothers and
two uncles to the industry I work in; at that time, amputations, crippling
injuries, and deaths were a monthly if not a weekly occurrence. Through
improving technology and a safety mentality based on the idea that no injury
is acceptable, we’re now much, much safer.
I see no reason why we shouldn’t go into fire fighting with the same
attitude. “We risk a lot to save a lot” is not a bad principle; but
wouldn’t it be nice if we could think our way around these problems and
through training, technology, and education save a lot without risking much
at all? Especially in wildland…sorry, but I don’t intend to put myself
in serious risk of death for a forest, a structure, or some undefined
resource goal. I am not a hero; I intend to know my gear, my methods, and my
escape routes well enough that even if my activities appear risky to the
untrained eye, I do not feel I am in danger. A hazard becomes a danger as a
result of poor awareness and deficient preparation; just because our jobs
are hazardous does not mean they need to be dangerous.
Nerd on the Fireline
||Hi guys, I also agree with Nerdy on her safety post, exception might be
the 30+ age not being capable. There are many, many older (50+) that can
work circles around the young people. And we need good older experienced
role models to teach the younguns what they do not learn in the books.
As far as the chief thing, my hubby has reamed many a new---------- for
someone being careless and stupid. he believes in enjoy and like your work
but be serious enough not to get you or someone else hurt. He is usually the
first one to initiate a water fight after a practice burn. I have pictures
of FF's spraying each other over a barn that is really awesome. (It was
August weather) With the engines parked on both sides in the pictures it is
quite a sight but when it was enough he called a truce and everyone, even me
(I was the food commander),, was soaked and laughing. They worked hard,
played hard and then it was time to clean up and they worked hard again. It
was a good full day and the reward was skills, respect for each other and
I still very vividly remember when an officer in another dept ordered one of
our young sons (just going thru Essentials) to do something very dangerous
and when our son refused because of the danger, the officer told him to
remove his turnouts and wait by the engine.
We were not on scene of course, but when my husband got the details from
another captain, he was livid. (and it could have been anyones son, he would
have been just as mad) I was ready to clean that idiots clock myself,
(endanger one of my cubs,,,growlllllllllll) (I know him well and his
reputation, hope he reads this, wherever he is.)
When it comes to FF safety there are no corners to be cut. And the #1 most
important thing to teach them is they CAN refuse to do something out of
their skill level or something they think is too dangerous. Period. No
discussion and no penalty. And I could go on forever on the safety subject.
My poor husband is my therapist when I need to vent and over the years he
has learned to just sit and listen and then don't try to fix it yet. Give me
time to calm down and think awhile and usually I get grounded real soon. But
with the "officer" that was so very dangerous, no way. I think I
would still try to take him out if I saw him again. He sorta had to find
another job........so he moved shortly after the incident. Hope he is not
Nerd- That TecNu stuff is really expensive, and a Doc in a fire camp told my
FF that Dawn dishsoap was just as good, that is why I recommended it. But
really we have been thrilled with the Jewelweed soap, both from Burt's Bees
and also there is one that naturalremedies.com sells that is just called
jewelweed soap. My husband has poison oak at least once a week if not more,
he is sooo allergic to it. I have never got it from him or his clothes, we
just figure I don't react. FUNNY though, once his mom came to visit when he
was still a Marine. He had poison oak something terrible, she thought she
would be helpful and put his uniform in the wash, she reached in his sleeve
to pull them right side out before washing them...BIG MISTAKE! She was
covered in poison oak the next day! I can vouch for the soaps though, I have
fullfilled the wifely duties when he is covered from head to to with poison
oak (after he showered) ,and I have never gotten it :)
Taz- Glad to hear things are good with you FF. How long do you have him for?
Or is he home for the winter?
MIne is still gone :( Looks like at least until the 11, maybe longer. Well
it's 11pm here, I gotta get in bed in a bit, my girls are up bright eyed at
Nice job on the "culture of safety" post on theysaid. I like the
of the broken eggs to make omelet. Crewmembers, NOT. It is so visual.
The role of "wife of the chief" made me think of Sammi.
||Poison Oak is mostly a western state bush or small tree that flourishes in
the foothills usually below major snow line/freeze zone; poison ivy is not
in Cali unless someone recently introduced it.
Many years ago there were few options to combat the itching. the best thing
available then was Fells Naphtha bar soap - bodies and clothing.
Speaking from personal experience, best advice is when out of poison oak
territory, all equipment must be washed clean or neutralized (including
redbags, vehicles, etc if anyone will be "tinkering" with them
later). humans should seek medical intervention to start a series of
inoculations to hopefully prevent future allergic reactions next season.
||I’ll vouch for jewelweed…but there’s also a solvent-soap called
TecNu that’s very effective too. The thing is, TecNu smells awful, so you
may want to apply it outside. Things NOT to try: my great grandma’s
homemade lye soap, straight bleach, or hydrogen peroxide. Just trust me,
this is from experience. The middle one I wasn’t dumb enough to try
myself, but the guy who did screamed like you wouldn’t believe.
HeliGroupie: I was joking, but thanks for the compliment anyway. Sorry I
missed chat last night…I meant to be there, but wound up at the station
until bedtime anyway. But the chief is sending me for the big fancy official
3-day vehicle extrication course! I’m really excited. It’s going to be
so much fun! Of course, there’s like three other places I’m supposed to
be that weekend, but oh well.
Nerd on the Fireline
||I'll try to make this quick...'cuz I'm at work and we're kinda busy. Sorry
I missed chat last night. It occurred to me at one point but there wasn't
really anything in the world that was going to take me off the couch with my
man. We had a wonderful, amazing day yesterday and honestly, I don't think
it could've been better!! We are both just so happy to be back together and
this is really a BIG step for both of us and we are really excited about it.
He is a different person in a lot ways than he was six months or a year
ago...and in a really good way. I think he has done a lot of growing up and
learned a lot. He seems happy. His plane was about half an hour late and I
don't think I've ever been so anxious and impatient. He loves my house. We
hung out and grilled fajitas. And later that night my best friend and her
new man (my friend from Cali that is here to visit again...the guy I was
going to do the music video with) came by for a visit. My friend was anxious
to meet the BF. When he snuck away to get us some beers, she instantly told
me how much she liked him. That made me very happy. I value her opinion more
than most or all of my other friends. So things are good, good, good so far
and I wanted to report.
Thanks soooo much Dawn for the poison oak info. He is all bandaged up and we
will go get that soap tonight. Glad to hear you and your's are starting to
Gotta go and I'll be thinking of you all. And still checking in daily.
||Good morning everyone!
Chat was fun last night. Sorry I was late, but just had to get my CSI fix
before I could log on.
I waited for you last night just in case you came on after work. Don't know
if I missed you or not. I logged off about 12:30 p.m. my time.
My SO called from the fire then. I was surprised to hear from him so late
but happy he called. He is really tired and homesick (he called just to tell
me he loved me! Yippy) There's nothing like a late night phone call with
someone on the other end saying they miss you and love you, to make your day
(or night as it would be).
To the person who logged on to chat late last night,
Sorry I missed you. I had stepped away from the computer for a minute or so
and by the time I realized you were on and tried to respond, you'd already
logged off. Just wanted you to know I didn't mean to be rude. Sorry.
Whazzup girl? Missed you in chat...hum, wonder why?
I meant that in a completely good way. You're beautiful!
If you have the recipe for ribs handy, I could always use some cooking
Take care all,
Hope everyone is good, we are starting to feel a little better here. My
husband will still be out on the Spanish Fire a while, I guess his crew and
a couple more are doing rehab stuff or something.
Tazgirl- if you are still around and not busy with your FF...A CURE FOR
POISON OAK!.. Jewelweed soap. Jewelweed is a plant that grows next to poison
oak and ivy. Anytime there is a poisonous plant, it antidote grows nearby.
Burt's Bees makes a poison Ivy soap that has jewelweed in it, and it works
like a charm. If you can't get that right away, have him scrub with Dawn
dishsoap, it cuts the oils, and it will no longer be contagious. But the
jewelweed actually cuts the oils and clears it up in like 24 hours. However
it is very drying, so I always have my husband wash with dove for the next
week or so.
Thank you to everybody for wishing us well, we are getting better very
slowly. and maybe I will see my husband next week.
ps. Ab's would you please forward the poison Oak cure to Taz, just incase
she is too busy with her FF to come to the boards :)
||Poet, here's the link for the pins from the Wildland Firefighter
||Wow…It’s been a busy weekend, hasn’t it?
Tonya: It sounds like everything is falling into place for you…I’m so
Robbie: I’ll stop fighting my pedantic instincts and say that the “shouts
watchout” comes from the Eighteen
Situations that Shout Watch Out, a list of hazardous fire conditions (I
think Ab has them up somewhere. Ab?) I’ve seen modified lists of Watch
Outs for relationships, drunken nights on the town, and no-brainers. There
are also some good modifications of the FIRE ORDERS (the ten directives for
HeliGroupie: (slightly suspicious look) I dunno if I should be flattered or
not…what were you expecting me to look like? (laughing)
Nerd on the Fireline (hugs to Heli, Dawn, etc…Here’s to mentally pushing
your FF home (smile))
||Hello!!! My FF will be here in two hours!!! Thought I would share the
exciting news. All of the waiting is over. Much, much relieved. Hope the
'transition' will go smoothly enough.
Roller derby championship was last night. We lost!!!!!!!!! But, I will say,
I played a damn good game and since my man is coming today, I don't even
really care. But the loss did leave us in last place for the season.
Sorry to hear you and the kiddies are sick Dawn. I hope you start to feel
better very, very soon. And I hope that man o' your's comes home and takes
care of you. My man is coming here w/ poison oak from the Honeydew/Canoe
fire...in all the wrong places!!! But he's already been to the dr. so
hopefully it will clear up quickly. ;)
Nice pics Nerd. You're a star!
Robbie, you must enjoy your sister being home so much. Good for you. My
brother left for North Carolina last week and it doesn't look like I will
see him for at least a month.
You guys take care and I'll check back in tomorrow and update you about me
and my FF. TODAY!! Can you believe it?!! I can't... I guess he likes me to
come all the way from Alaska huh? :)
Sending many happy warm thoughts out to all of you,
***My FF will be exhausted when he gets here (he's been flying all night) so
I can probably sneak on tonight and do some chatting.
||Good morning everyone!
It's nice to see that the troops are coming home. Mine is still out there.
He's scheduled to be gone again mid month and he still hasn't come home yet.
I can say I'm finally getting tired of this. I'd like to see him for more
than 2 days before he heads out again, but that doesn't look like its going
to happen at this point. I know I should be looking at it with the attitude
that he's still out there making OT but my fire season patience is wearing
thin and that doesn't even seem to be helping. It's so good to have all of
you here to vent to. Ok, enough of me crying in my beer, thanks for
Looks like from a They Said post this weekend you're guy should be coming
home soon. They said the Spanish Fire was contained on Sunday. For your sake
I hope he's not too tired when he gets home so he has some energy to help
with the little ones so you can get well.
I'd wished I'd known you were out and about the other night. I was still up
being the night owl that I am. We could have gone on chat and caught up on
things. Sorry I missed you. How's the painting going? Are you going to be
Did your guy make it? I hope so. Reunions are sooo much fun! I can't tell
you how much I'm looking forward to mine! By the way, FM is fine, she's just
really busy right now.
Loved the pics! It's so fun to see pics of everybody...to put faces on the
people who have come to be such good friends over the fire season. It's also
fun to see how close (or not so close) one's mental image of everyone is.
Have a great day everyone, see you tonight,
PS, I got a new laptop for my b-day from my man! I'm emailing on right now!
It's so cool, I played on it all weekend!
||Hello to all,
I am glad that many of your FF's are home...mine is still out on the Spanish
Fire. The kidlettes and I are still sick, 10 days and counting. I am
miserable, and there is no one to take care of the mommy! I am finding that
having him gone so much, and being so far from family is harder than I
expected. Anyway, enough of my sob story. I am just miserable because we are
all sick. Maybe tomorrow will be a better day.
||G' Evening everyone,
Winding down on a good weekend with my sister home, full of stories. She's
feeling exhausted but satisfied mostly. I saw her dirty laundry and offered
to do some of it. The smoky sweaty smell has permeated my whole place. It's
good to have her home as the days shorten and fall sets in.
Good news about your husband's job, Tonya.
Poet, I am enjoying organizing the low key activities with family more than
going out... She might embarrass herself in a restaurant if she fell asleep
in her dinner plate like she did at my house on Saturday!
I'm hoping that others also are enjoying family and making the transition to
having them back around. And Dawn, I hope your SO gets home to lend a hand
with your children with colds if they and you are not over them yet. I've
been sending some healing thoughts your way. Transition, not an easy time.
The hotshots say it "shouts watchout" whatever that means exactly.
I think it means that transitions are time of greater risk, and so they may
be at homecoming, too.
Have a great week,
||Good morning all!
Here it is, 12:30AM, and I am wide awake. Wish some of you were night owls.
My FF and I have been doing great, what little I get to see of him. His
fall/winter job has him traveling more than his firefighting did. *sigh* Ah
well. They are worth it, right? I think so. LOL
Looks like my hours are changing again. Starting Monday I transfer back to
second shift. That means 3PM to anywhere from 11:30 to 1:30 AM, depending on
the work load. It sure beats overnights. That also means I get to be around
for chats, as I can log on during my breaks. It is only 15 MN or so, but
still, it is something.
So, what is it like for others to have their significant others home? What
do you all do? Do you try to spend as much time together, as possible? Do
you try and go out, see and do everything you wanted to do while they were
gone, or just stay home and get to know each other again?
I am finding it is more enjoyable to sit and watch a video and share a bowl
of popcorn than being on the move, going places, etc. We talk almost
constantly, on anything and everything. It is like we are trying to fit 3
months of conversation and getting to know each other in a few days here, a
few days there.
His birthday is in a few weeks, and I have four days off. HOPEFULLY he will
be in town. Any good suggestions for "quality time?"
Take care everyone, keep your loved ones close and safe.
||Hello again everyone!
I'm glad to hear that so many of you have your FFs home. This time I am not
writing because I'm missing my FF. I want to give all of you the good news.
My FFs dream job was to work for the Virginia Department of Forestry. Well,
just got a job with them! It is great news...he has his own county, an
with his name on the outside of the building, and state truck, a bulldozer,
transport, and a 4-wheeler. All that he is pretty much sole operator for.
bad for a 21 year old. I am so proud of him, he is probably tired of me
telling all of my friends about this news, but he will be ok. The only
is that it is 2.5 hours away. I am going to finish out the school year where
am now, and then I'm going to try to transfer to a school that is closer to
county. This is going to be such a great opportunity for both of us, it puts
me really close to the pharmacy school that I want to attend.
I'll try to be back in touch soon, school is really tough right now. Hope
of you get a long long time to enjoy having your FFs home...
||There's a post up on theysaid about another air tanker that went down. The
losses of these pilots is horrible. I feel so bad for their families and
friends. My sister gets in a funk every time firefighters die. Why does it
happen so often?
||Hello everyone. Big weekend plans? Pleased to report that my FF is back in
Alaska and things have swung back in my direction again and there is a good
chance he will be here SUNDAY after all! Cross your fingers for me. He is
going to talk to his mom and kind of feel her out and see what she thinks
about it. I mean, after all, he would have to pay to change his ticket and
that would cost money. Anyway, we'll see. I'm gettin' pretty excited. He is
in such a better mood now that his season is over and talking to him on the
phone is much more pleasant. He is anxious to get here!!
I came across this article about drowsiness and driving and I thought I
would include the link.
New Jersey just passed a law making it illegal to drive drowsy. My first
thought is how in the heck would they enforce it? But one segment of the
legislation states that anyone who works over 60 hours a week cannot be
driving. What does this mean for wildland FF's? Well, nothing since it's a
NJ law. But does make you think doesn't it?
I gotta run. I'm off to the lake today with five Aussie boys that are in
town and a couple other friends. I'll be checking in this weekend. Wondering
what everyone's up to... Thanks for the encouraging words, Nerd and
Catskilldog. Talk to gals later.
***Where is FireMomma?
||whazzup FFing family,
nerd, thanks for the advice for my EMT course. i had my first class last
night and i'm even more excited about it now. my instructor seems to be very
knowledgeable on the subject and has been teaching for quite a while which
is even better. i'm going to work hard to be one of the best students. i
will take up your advice about getting the encyclopedia and i appreciate any
more advice you have for me.
one not so cool thing about this quarter is that i have to go to class on
two saturdays that kinda throw wrenches into me and my FF hub's plans. this
will be the third halloween that we will not be spending together. our third
anniversary (not our marriage, our meeting) is on november 1, too. we've
been planning to be wayne and garth -- he says i look like garth with my
glasses and when my hairs a little messy -- every year. he has to go to base
for reserve duty that weekend and i have class. then in december, his best
buddy is getting hitched on a monday in miami and i have class the saturday
before and my final exam for the quarter on the tuesday after. whah! the
good thing is that my FF hubbie wants to fly with me (we are elite members
of the mile high club, by the way) even though i told him i'd be fine with
him wanting to go earlier without me. he's the best!
we will be on the military base this weekend. it's family day on saturday --
don't know what's going on there. we are going for a long run sometime over
the weekend -- probably 8-10 miles which will be the longest run i've ever
done, so far the longest has been about 5 miles. i've been running 3 nights
per week for about 2 1/2 to 3 miles each time and it has really helped my
endurance. we went mountain biking last saturday and i was amazed at how
well i was riding (especially on the uphill) since i haven't ridden a bike
in about 2 years. we decided to take up this new sport together and now i've
gotta get a bike. what an awesome high! it satisfies my withdrawals from my
skiing highs which i miss sooooooo much since i moved to the south. can't
wait to get back to the high country!
hey tazgirl, you're going to be a changed woman once you spend the first
day/night with your SO. i bet you'll be grinning from ear to ear and i'm
sure we'll all be cheering you on for hanging in there.
dawn, sorry about your hub being taken away. watch a really good movie -- it
works for me. one of my favorite movies that takes me away is the 'lonesome
dove' series. it's western, but the characters are so good and the stories
make you want more. robert duvall is so good.
over and out........catskilldog
||All, are these pins from Wildland Firefighter Foundation?
WWF is a great organization and has helped many FFs & their families;
recipients have been posted their appreciation in They & Family. check
out the website.
if they receive enough requests, maybe next year they will offer earrings or
a shirt suitable for the workplace. it's listed on the links page near the
bottom. I've been wearing my "purple ribbon" pins for
years...whenever someone comments about it, I tell them about the WFF
organization, maybe give them a pin and order more.
(whenever I hear anything worrisome about my FF family in a super hazardous
situation, I touch my pin)
||Smile, Taz. No amount of genetic serendipity will make you look as cute as
a smile. You’re all over it.
Nerd on the Fireline (smiling)
||Not much goin' on around here these last few days huh? Everyone must be
pretty busy w/ all of their training and work and kids and hubbies. And
where is Firemomma? She's not off to West Indies yet is she?
I'm counting the days friends...counting the days. I believe it's down to
nine. It would've been three darn it. Busy weekend coming up. Championship
roller derby bout on Sunday. Friends in town all weekend. Going to the lake
to wakeboard. Potluck on Saturday. Etc., etc. Going to go apply for the
waitress job today that we had discussed previously. I'm all worried I don't
look cute enough today so they might not hire me. How ridiculous is that?!!
But that kind of is their premise and that was my dilemma before. But I need
to make money fast so I'm trying to overlook my hang-up for the sake of
traveling money that I need so badly.
Not much else going on. My FF flew back to Anchorage last night. He called
me from the Reno airport and the Seattle airport and then didn't call when
he actually and finally arrived. What is up w/ that? I mean, what's the
point? So I was a little perturbed but in a pretty minor way. But if you say
you're gonna call, call. Otherwise, just don't say you're gonna call. I'm
sure he had a big night out w/ the boys on his first night home.
I gotta get back to work. Talk to you chicas later.
I got my pins on Monday. I think I ordered them sometime in August...can't
recall the exact date. Lots of positive comments on them already. I ordered
two so I could wear them as earrings....but the "posts" may be
kind of short, so I don't know how comfortable they will be.
||Ab please add to my post at theysaid and post on familysaid:
Can anyone tell me where the link to finding the pins you have been talking
about? I tried searching the site, and did not have any luck. I would like
see them, and perhaps order one or two.
||PINS: yep I ordered mine 18 Aug and got them late last week......worth the
wait. Oh and it took a long time for the check to go thru....sammi
||So just as we thought fire season might be winding down up here, my
husband is called out TODAY in the middle of his day off no less! He
is back down on the Mendocino Nat'l Forest on the Spanish Fire. I guess
it started sunday, which explains why it was so darn smokey up here. So
2 weeks of being a single mom again!
YES I AM COMPLAINING!