Posts Tagged With: Family

~ Tricking The Fireman ~

My Captain had his 48th Birthday yesterday.  We had a small dinner party for him at Goggy and Papa’s house, and Goggy made My Captain’s favorite childhood dish, then dubbed and forevermore thusly known as:   “Chicken in the Black Pot.”

It was yummy.

And I made a cake!  A Chocolate Éclair Cake!

And I made it sugar-free!  I substituted Xylitol for every instance it called for sugar.

It didn’t taste half bad.


But the candles were the part I wanted to share with you.  I got the dorky re-lighting kind.  I love to do stuff like that.  Call me Mephistopheles.


But dagnabbit!  That man knew right away what kind of candles they were just by the way they were burning and sparking.  He didn’t even TRY to blow out the candles. He just started snuffing them out with his fingers.


Which, by the way, OW!

He thought he was foiling my plot!  But ha-ha!  Not so fast, there Skippy!


It ain’t so easy, there Bucko!


Whatsamatta, little boy?  Candles won’t stay out?



That smile on My Captain’s face?  It’s more valuable to me than chocolate.

And THAT is saying something.

Grandma Jane got My Captain something as well……



(It gets re-gifted everywhere)

What?  Doesn’t everyone have one?


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~ Earning A Man Card ~

It has been hotter than a World War II Pin-up Girl here in Dickerson this week.  Though the thermometer reads 95 degrees, with the humidity that comes with the swamp that is the greater Washington DC area, the Humiture is usually around 105 degrees.  Basically, you walk out of any air-conditioned building, and the hot, wet air hits you like a concrete and steel-reinforced, brick wall.  The air is so stifling;  every breath feels used already…. like someone is breathing directly into your face.   It’s nasty.  And gross.  I don’t do well with pre-breathed air.

My Captain, when he wasn’t working this week, has had the unlucky task of digging up the wooden border around Critter and Varmint’s old playground.

The one outside in the back yard.

The one in the sun and pre-breathed air.

The one with all the bugs and yucky mud.

Poor Captain!

Critter watched him from the coolness of the kitchen, and wondered aloud about how long it would take to finish the job.  I eyed him speculatively and answered, “I dunno, but I reckon it would go a lot faster if he had some help.”

“I can’t do anything to help him,” he shrugged.

“How would you know if you don’t ask?”

Man I’m good.  Smoother than 30-year-old Whiskey, and twice as effective.  I lobbed that guilt-grenade right over his head…he never saw it coming.  Dead Bulls-eye.  I’m like a guilt-sniper.  Ka-POW.

He grumbled and went out.  And by ‘grumbled,’ I mean bitched.  Audibly.  Copiously.  He was, as they say, unwilling.

Five minutes later, however, I watched him through the window wielding a hammer, and some other strange device that, while probably originally designed for a different task entirely, looked to me like a Medieval bludgeoning device.

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Apparently My Captain entrusted him with the task of removing screws from 25-year-old pressure treated 6X6s.  This is NOT an easy task…..And certainly not if you are 60lbs, working in the sun when it is over a hundred degrees, and the bugs are eating you alive.

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I was sure there would be more, er, unwillingness being communicated.

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But Mama learned a lesson in Male-ness that day.  Instead of focusing on being too hot, or too bug-bitten, or too frustrated when screws would be difficult, Critter dug in.  He took it as a challenge, not as an undesireble chore.  And I could see that a little bit of discomfort and adversity actually sat well with him.

I’m not saying he would sign up to do it every day, but he wasn’t a tool about it.

I could see My Captain was just as surprised as I was that Critter wasn’t quitting in disgust.  It was obvious he was enjoying being ‘one of the men,’ and doing manly tasks.  You might even go as far as to say he took PRIDE in working with My Captain.

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He didn’t have time to whine.

He was too busying earning his man-card.

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~ Cat Herders ~

See these guys?

These two handsome lugs are Pat and Doug.  Two of the kindest, most patient cat-herders you’d ever meet.
We had our end-of-season basketball potluck today for our 4th grade boys basketball team, and they were giving their speeches.  They took the time to address each team member specifically.
They kept it short and funny for the audience. They gave lots of kudos and high fives to the same boys they have coached for several years now.
But you know what they did that made the biggest impression on me?

Look at Pat’s face here as he gave Critter his award.

He cares.
The cats know this.

That’s the only reason they allow Pat and Doug to herd them in the first place!
God bless the cat-herders of this world!

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~ I Know It, and He Knows It ~

One of my recent ‘husband’s career’ posts entitled “The Cost of Search and Rescue” prompted a reader to ask me if I was ever afraid of other women luring my catch of a husband away from my side.


She asked me if I had considered that by exposing him, and in such a positive light, to the general populace on my blog the way I do, I might be making him a target for aggressive women on the prowl.


She asked me if I worried he might be tempted by the thrill of other women who want the hero in him for themselves.


My answer was, “Well, er, no.  At least, not until NOW!”

And golly, thank you very much for putting that little nugget of hitherto unsought anxiety in my brain.


I was going to see My Captain today to take him lunch at the station.  He was working Over Time for another 24 hours after his normal 24 hour shift, and I had not packed enough food for both days.

And after having the exchange with the reader who wondered if I wasn’t setting myself up for ruining my marriage, I decided to put a little effort into my appearance before I left to go visit him.  You’ll note I didn’t say MORE effort.  I just said effort.  That was intentional.  Some people dress for success.  Some for good first impressions.  I dress for comfort.  Some women dress with the purpose of attracting men’s attention.  I dress with the purpose of avoiding chaffing.

Don’t judge.

But like I said, after that confidence-shattering exchange with the reader, I put effort into my appearance.    I brushed my hair, smelled my armpits, and put on clothes that weren’t made entirely of stretchy cotton knit and had the words “comfort waist” somewhere on the tags.

I think I looked pretty daggum nice, really.  I kind of felt pretty.

I arrived at the station to feed My Captain.  Distracted, as always, he gave me a peck on the cheek without really looking at me, and said he’d be right with me.

20 minutes later, he re-joined me at the kitchen table, long enough to snarf down the food, and wipe his mouth,  when the alarm tones sounded, and he ran off to a high-rise fire without so much as a look back.

This is how his life has been since I’ve known him.  It is one of the things I love about him…being so needed by the world.  I’ve never minded sharing…well, MOSTLY… so today’s visit should not have bothered me so much.

Except that I made an effort, you see, to be, er, attractive.  But since he doesn’t usually find me attractive that way, he wasn’t paying attention, you see.  And at first I was hurt.

But upon reflection, I remembered that he is not attracted to my fine eyes.  Or my above average height.  Or my once fine,  but now slightly saggy, boobies.

He never was.

He fell in love with my intellect.  My wit.  My ability to care deeply for people.   My sensitivity.   My intuition.  These are the things that REALLY mattered to him.

And still do.

I had not been giving him enough credit.  He’s not some 20-year-old whose groin makes his decisions.  He’s a seasoned and wizened 50-year-old, who knew he’d made a lucky catch in the chubby, but hilarious, and seriously loving, me.


Are there women around him with more visually appealing traits? ……uh, YEAH.  Like a kabillion gillion of them.

There are female firefighters he works with quite often who are drop dead gorgeous, physically strong, wickedly courageous, and would therefore be triple threats!

There are women on any given work day who see him in his uniform and give him the ‘Come Hither’ look.   That’s the curse of any man in uniform, I suspect.

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I can’t worry that any one of them would make a single difference to him.

Because,  1) if they did, I’d rather he leave!  And 2) as wonderful as they all are,  they ain’t me.  And I’m the best me there ever was.  Or ever will be.

I know it.

And he knows it.


Categories: Family | Tags: , | 1 Comment

~ A Matter Of Grave Importance ~

We stopped at McDonald’s for a healthful Shamrock Shake, and My Captain brought his Kindle Fire so Critter could show him what the big deal is about MineCraft.

Not really that interested in the game, I sat across from them and watched the male mind work.  Oh, and I took pictures to tease them with later:

2013-03-01 08.11.11The set up. (Explaining game rules).

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Task Force Staging (Designing his fort).

2013-03-01 08.12.55Conflict Strategization.  (Building forts with defense from zombies in mind.)

2013-03-01 08.13.04Crisis Management. (Zombie Attacks.)

2013-03-01 08.13.14Disappointment Mitigation. (The zombies ate him.)

2013-03-01 08.13.58Overcoming Obstacles.  (They started over.)

Look at those faces.  Serious stuff, man.

Add a boatload of paperwork, some lawyers and politicians, and you’ve got a FEMA task force in the making.

Only with Zombies.

Categories: Family | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

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