Thursday, September 6, 2012

Switching the Cheese

Are you married, been in a long relationship, or just lived with someone that just was picky? The first couple of years that my husband and I were together, was hard. I think everyone has that thought in your mind about how things are going to be and when it's not like that. It's hard to regroup and get on the right track. My thought has always been that we have to make a plan, pretty much for everything. Most important before going to the grocery store, or leave with one of everything! I was looking forward to cooking for my husband. So when Chris started in with the "I will only eat" speech I was about to lose it. Once I took over going to the grocery store, I would try to save money. That means I would buy the store brand of things and shop at Aldi. Chris did not like that, he was stuck up about the name brands. So I got smart. He would HAVE to have Kraft Mac and Cheese and Kraft American Cheese. I would buy one or two of each and then keep the wrappers. I would buy the store brand mac and cheese, throw away all of the wrappers from that. Then I would put the saved brand name mac and cheese on the counter so he would think that's what I had made. It kinda worked with switching sliced cheese also, until he noticed that the wraps around the cheese was different. There were times that I would have to buy the name brand stuff again because Chris would recycle the boxes before I could hide them again. This went on for years until I just got sick of the game and gave in. So now I just make sure I have coupons for them or save enough money in other places to buy the cheese.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

My Beer Thoughts

I don't drink. Well there was a time a couple years ago that every July 4th I would drink. Never enough to get drunk, and I would always stop well before we had to leave. Again, the first time I was in a bar I was 30. So when I was in one I really didn't know what to order. My mom would drink Kahlua and cream. My grandfather was a Manhattan, my step father Pabst Blue ribbon beer, yuck. I was familiar with a Bahama mama from Applebee's and screwdrivers. At a bar I didn't know what would be cool to order so this is when my thoughts on beer started.

I always love watching commercials. That's my part of the Super Bowl. Even though the last few years haven't really been good, I still watch them. Years ago Budweiser had the ants and the aardvark ad with the Bee Gee's song Staying Alive. You know the one and if you are to young to remember, google it!! From that moment I knew that if I ever had to buy a beer or order a beer it would be a Bud. I loved those commercials!! Then they came out with the frogs!! That sealed it. I know that sounds dumb and that's one of the reasons why I never went into a bar or order a beer to drink.

When you go out what do you order? Is it beer, or something different?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Henry the Chicken

For those of you that know me outside of this blog, know I don't like raw meat. It's not my friend. I have had thoughts of going vegan, but then I get my period and NEED a cheeseburger!! Yum. Also I think Chris would consider divorcing me if I cut meat out of our diet all together. So because of my love for him I deal with it.

I was telling my sister about me cooking a whole chicken and she thought that it was funny and that I should blog about it so here it is.

Henry the Chicken was purchased on sale. He was a whole chicken and was not even 5 pounds. A friend of mine cooked her whole chicken in the slow cooker so I figured I could do that also. What I hadn't counted on was getting him to come out of the plastic he was wrapped in. I had a bowl for him to sit in until I could put him in the slow cooker. I started cutting him out and tried to squeeze him out of the wrapper. I hadn't realized until he wouldn't come out that I started cutting at the wrong end. So I tried to cut down one of the seems on the side, all the juices started to come out and there was nothing I could do about it.

This was my personal HELL!!

I had already put a liner in the slow cooker so once he was free I put him in it. I salt and peppered him, turned the cooker on low and walked away. Until my friend that cooked one called and I asked her if she put hers in a bath, water or chicken broth. She used broth. She then had to ruin my day by asking me if I took the "bag" out. I told her that it didn't say anything about having a bag inside him and that I already tried getting the thongs inside of him and to tell you the truth I didn't even know what side I should be looking for it anyway!! This was my hell, I tell you!! She told me that it was in the legs side. She said that I had to spread the legs apart and take the bag out. I told her that was violating the chicken. I think she said something like get over it, the chicken is dead and wouldn't feel it. Well I hadn't washed the thongs yet, so I got two sandwich bags and put them on my hands so I wouldn't have to touch him. I spread his legs apart and got the bag out. It would have been great to know that the bag is open and to be careful when removing or the stuff that is in the bag could come out and get all over the outside of the chicken!! HELL, my hell!! So that was it, I was not going to touch this thing anymore. I put the lid back on and walked away!

Henry stayed in there longer then he should have, gotta love Open House time for school. Whitney and I did eat some, it was dry. I now am looking forward to getting all the bones out and making my own chicken broth. Let's hope that will go smoothly.

Special thanks to Candi, my sister that I think snorted when I told her the part about the sandwich bags on my hands.

Also to my friend, Bethany that also cooked a whole chicken and told me to get over it.

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Fire

The fire was a big turning point in my life and it's very hard for me to talk, or write about it without being right back there. So get comfortable because if you haven't already figured out I have a really good memory and I give a lot of detail.

The day of the fire was May 10th 2010, it was a Monday. The day before just happened to be Mother's Day, and well Mother's Day since I became a mommy has really kinda sucked for me, but that's another story. On Sunday Chris, the girls and I went over to the in-laws then to my sister's house. My sister and brother-in-law had a swing set in the back of their yard for years and since most of the kids were to old to go on it they were going to take it down. Before that happen we wanted to get a couple of pictures of Avery on it. She wasn't even one year old yet, so they put the baby swing back on it for her. It was wonderful, remembering all the fun times the kids had playing on the play set. 

Chris, Whitney, Avery and Me.
The next morning was just any other Monday. Chris took Whitney to school and Avery and I just hung out doing the morning routine. Around 10AM Avery and I were listening to New Kids on The Block and having a little dance party. Avery loved to dance with me, but soon she was asleep. I put her down and normally that would be my time to take a shower, make the bed and clean up the kitchen. That day though, Chris's cousin Heather's husband Jim (did you follow that? *giggle*) sent me a smack talk for a game on Facebook. So instead of getting into the shower I said, "oh it's on!! it's on like Donkey Kong!" Then played the game. I still don't even know if I beat his score that day. I had gotten up to get something to drink and as I was walking back I caught something out of the corner of my eye. I looked through my balcony door and saw flame coming around the wall that divided my balcony from my neighbors. I kept walking into the living room to grab the phone. I dialed 911 while walking into my room to change out of my pj bottoms and put jeans on while the phone was ringing. I then grabbed the quilt from Avery's bedding and picked her up. The 911 dispatcher answered the phone and I told her that there was a fire and gave her my address. She said a what? I repeated a fire. As I was walking down the stairs she asked me if everyone was out of the building. I told her I didn't know and she asked me how I didn't know and I said because I live in an apartment. While I was saying this to her I started walking back upstairs to pull the fire alarm. That after 8 years of living there forgot that it wasn't by the front door, but at the top of the stairs. I pulled the alarm and it didn't go off. As I went back downstairs I hung up on her and called my husband. As I was going through the garage door I could hear the fire trucks coming. I took Avery away from the building and waited for everyone else to come out. My neighbors from unit 1 came out of their garage and moved their car out. I gave them Avery and jumped in my car and moved it out. I parked it on the grass so it wouldn't be in the way of the fire trucks, that had already gotten there. I went back and got Avery and we just waited. Avery had on a onesie and a pink t-shirt. I had a white shirt on, thank you God, I had a bra on, and jeans. Neither of us had socks or shoes on. At one point a firefighter came up to us and asked me to unlock the front door. I got as far as the inside door to the garage and couldn't go any further. I told them that I couldn't go in and that I gave them permission to do it for me. Chris got there soon after that.

Once it was safe to go back in Chris went. He was walked through the apartment with one of the firefighters and was told what happened during the fire. Also what was safe and not safe to save. Anything plastic, not safe. Baby food that boiled while still in it's jars, not safe. Clothes, safe but we couldn't just put it in a regular washer and dryer. We had to have it professionally cleaned. Sealed wood furniture safe but that also would have to be professionally cleaned. Chris was then told that one of the cats had died in the fire, it was Tigger. Chris got him as a kitten in 1996. We were told that one cat ran out of the front door when they opened it and while they were still fighting the fire they had brought me Princess, Whitney's cat. We didn't know where Cleo was but for a few days after the fire I had thought that she was the cat that had ran out of the front door. It wasn't until we went back in to save somethings that Chris and another neighbor found her under my bed. She had also died in the fire. Ms. Cleo was my kitty.

So what was saved?
Princess the cat and not much after that. We got a few pieces of furniture in each room, clothes and everything downstairs in the front closet and garage.

AND the most important myself.

Chris and I were in a good place with our relationship but we had started making compromises with ourselves. We told ourselves that we wouldn't get new furniture until we bought a house but shortly before Avery was born we bought a new living room set. Then less than a month before the fire we got a new bed for ourselves. I knew the place we were at was to small for us but it was going to take a lot to get me out of there. Well maybe only a fire...

The place we are now is another apartment but we are paying less rent so in about a year we will be able to get a house. I was forced to deal with a lot of problems with living here also. The people across the hall and above us smoke and that's what started the fire. So I was faced with my fear of thinking another fire was going to happen. About a year ago my doctor told me that I have PTSD, post traumatic stress disorder. I had heard of it before, so I told him that I wasn't in the military that I couldn't have that. He told me that what I had just told him was PTSD and that I needed to talk to someone about my flash backs and fears of another fire happening. Chris and my relationship at this point had been in a rough spot. We had been fighting a lot and I had thoughts of killing myself. We started going to church and with talking to someone, I have really gotten my life on a better path. I do take happy pills and I think that I will be on them for a while.

I look at this fire happening as a blessing now. I have a better life, we go to church, Chris and I talk more, I can handle a lot more and I have great friends. 

From my front door looking up into the apartment. To the right is a closet and out of the picture is the door to the garage.

I couldn't get myself to go in right away, so I took pictures of what I couldn't see from the front door.
The fire alarm that I pulled, that didn't go off.

The view from the top of the stairs. To the left and behind out of the picture is the kitchen and table. You can just see the desk chair. Living room and to the right at the top of the picture you can see light coming in from the balcony door.  

View from the other side of the living room. Behind me out of the picture, is the bathroom, to the left Whitney's room and to the right Chris, Avery and my room. All out of the picture. In the picture on the left is the desk chair again. The love seat, balcony door, another closet, Avery's toybox, the fixture and the stairs.
A better picture of the area where the fire came in. The white frame on the left side of the picture is what my balcony door was. The whole door melted and that was what was left. Inside the closet was almost all of my scrap books, tools and suplies. Along with Avery's highchair. In front and to the bottom right corner was her swing that was a toddler chair also.
What the ceiling looked like.