Sunday, January 18, 2015

2015 is a jerk.

This is not what I had in mind when I said I wanted to start 2015 off with a fresh start.

Not even a little bit.

I have a lot of feelings on the matter. I feel like I blinked and everything changed. Jan 5th started normal. I had Julia to get off to school, so I was up early. Showered. Brushed my teeth. Checking the weather on my phone so that I could make clothing choices.

I was confused about how the furnace suddenly smelled.

"Get out of the house NOW! It's on FIRE!!!"

Everything blurred. I was throwing clothes on. Informing Mike, who was on his way to work. Ordering Julia to dress, grab her school bag and get out. She did not hesitate for even a second. Spur of the millisecond decisions happened. Next thing I knew, I was on the porch barefoot with Julia and no coats or car keys. I had my socks and boots in my hands. We urgently put our socks and boots on.

Mike had arrived and went in for our kitties. Our little, pain in the ass, furball kids. No fire gear at all. He just went right in. I fully intended to follow him in to get coats and keys when he shoved me back out the door and handed me cats. I protested about car keys and he got them for me. I had no clue how bad it already was in those 2 minutes. That the fire was a blow torch coming out of our heat and cold air return vents.

I sat in my car shivering. Numb. Scared. Informing people. Just like that it was gone. Four years of rebuilding my life. I was watching it vanish in to smoke. A neighbor let us come inside. A good friend came to visit and give me moral support. People talked to me and asked me questions. I cried. Julia cried.

"Stuff is just stuff," I told her. "I have insurance. We can get new stuff."

That does not prepare you for what happens when you walk back in to your home after a fire. It's the worst smell ever on the planet. It clings to you and saturates everything that didn't burn. Every window smashed, broken. Much of what is left is broken, knocked over, wrecked or water soaked. There is no heat, water or power because the basement is burnt crispy. Appliances melted. Food inside them, cooked.

Julia's room didn't fully burn, but the heat and burning Christmas tree ruined almost all she had. I barely recognize her room because it looked like a bomb exploded. Complete with holes in the walls. It's the stuff that is not replaceable that moves me to tears.

It has been over 10 days now. Living in a hotel. Digging through the wreckage of our lives in single digit temps. Trying to figure out what the fire recovery service has, because the house is a war zone. Trying to function when all I want to do is cry. Breathing through anxiety attacks because I have to hold it together. Feeling immensely lucky and grateful for all the friends and strangers helping us. Knowing that I can't replace my family. They are all safe.

All I did was blink.

The emotions rise and fall. Julia's birthday party went well, and she was so happy. I had a moment of tearful joy at her happiness despite all that has happened.

We are all going to get through this. Because of all the amazing people in our lives. and because we have each other. The non replaceable items will live on in our hearts. We will make a new home. New memories.

So, even though 2015 has started off like a complete jerk, it can only get better this year. Right?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

I know EVERYONE really cares about my list

It is still not a bucket list, Mike.
I know these posts are terribly interesting and exactly what you were hoping to see today. I'll even show you pictures. So, you might care a little.

In a fun twist for the month of October, I've gotten to check off stuff that wasn't even ON the list.

I saw Falling Water:

Ignore the tourist.

This was a beautiful place to visit. Everyone should spend a whole day to go and visit the Frank Lloyd Wright houses.  

I used blackmail to get this pic

I wonder what he would have created with today's technology. The man was a visionary.

I got to see Kentuck Knob:

Here is the 50 mile view from the top of the knob where the house sits. My battery was toast for the most part by the time we got up there after, Falling Water.

3 states can be seen here

More blackmail

There was an art meadow at Kentuck Knob, which featured an art piece of something like 500 red metal dancers in a grid. It was slightly creepy and neat looking at the same time. (not pictured, obviously)

The Heinz History Center!

Kid loves the roller coasters.

This is also a place you should spend an entire afternoon visiting. It is a pretty amazing place.

I used to ride one of these with my mom

Shit I wanna do list: Running out of Stuff Edition:
  • Go to Kennywood for phantom fright nights
  • The PGH Glass Center
  • Go to the Frick Art & Historical Center
  • Take Julia to the ocean
  • Just Ducky Tour (I just want to take mike on it once)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

I challenge you to stop it.

I am a little cranky today. It happens.
I will probably offend people here today.
Sorry in advance.
I need to blow off some steam.

I am sick of the "challenges." Just when everyone stopped trying to shame everyone else in to dumping cold water on their head,  in the middle of summer, for a charity that they may or may not have donated to, who uses their money mainly for research.... A new "challenge" has popped up all over my facebook feed this morning.

MATH. Subtraction something or other.

It is a challenge to LIVE YOUR DAMN LIFE.

I get annoyed by the need for some people to tell everyone that they are better than others because they are doing this challenge, or that challenge. There is a challenge for 17 different exercises, dieting, for cleaning out email,  for donating to charities, for dumping toilet water on your head, for volunteering and I'm sure there are more.

How about you just do it and not try to harass everyone else to do it.

I love social media. I tweet about the most mundane stuff and people tweet back sometimes. But I am not challenging people "to do the same things I am or you suck" stuff either. Just do it. When someone specifically asks why you are so happy (or soaked with toilet water?) you can say, "Oh, I took the 'life is more than 100 million social challenges' challenge and just spent time not on the electronic stuff for a bit each day.

So, I challenge the general public and media, to stop with all the ridiculous "I am better than you because I did this challenge and so I'm going to post it everywhere 50 times to prove it!" crap.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Unexpected List Update!

Shit I wanna do list: Tired Of Putting a Year Here Edition

  • Go to see Falling Water or Falling Water AFTER DARK TOUR
  • Go to Kennywood for phantom fright nights
  • Heinz History Center
  • The PGH Glass Center
  • Go to the Frick Art & Historical Center
  • DONE: Sandcastle
  • Just Ducky Tour (I just want to take mike on it once)

Wait. Do you see it?

I took Julia to sandcastle for the first time!!

When I lost my job and all vacation plans were tossed in the garbage, I had to think very local. The happy new job has a happy fund to cover things like amusement park tickets. Which is GREAT. Because: Do I really need to point it out? Also because happy new job doesn't pay as much as torture terrible job did. ( I'm ok with that. I like my sanity and everyone else does too.) I got to do something fun with her since there was no trip anywhere this summer.

There is also a rumor that I might get to check something else off this list in September. See if you can guess what it might be!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Hello? Again.


Are you there? Are you?

Yeah, I'm here. The blog has been refreshed, and I intend to make an effort to post again.

Things got crazy. 
I got laid off. I got a new job. My head was slightly explody (yes, I made it up) from shoving unix into it for the new job. I starting singing semi professionally in my BFF's variety show every couple of months. I have jumped in to the black hair color again, this time with the red/black and the results are much better. (I LOVE IT.)

I would update my (not a bucket) list of shit to do. But I haz no vacation time now. So, I am probably not checking anything off of it.

Keep an eye out for updates. :-)