Rescue Rover

Red rover, red rover send… Rescue Rover right over.  I’ll get back to Rescue Rover in a moment.   First, I want to wish you a happy Thorsday, little friday and thankful thursday.  It’s a super-hectic time in the Woods, and we’re all pouting a little because we only had one day of fall and we nearly missed it.   I did get one photo and it’s up on the fur-girls’ blog.

34465-1So, back to Rescue Rover.  PetFlow has a special on the pet alert decals and we wanted to share it with you.   I love it when my passions collide, and when the fire service and my pets meet in a safe place, it’s all good.  I do suggest that you check with your local fire department before you just slap the sticker up somewhere though.  I have seen the stickers melted, taken out during initial ventilation efforts, etc., so you want to be sure that your good intentions are actually useful in a very  real emergency.

And hold on to your hats… I’m thankful for the interaction the fur-girls had with Chloe, the young adult JRT up the road.  On our walk Wednesday evening, Chloe charged down her driveway and followed us up the road a bit.  When I realized she and Gg were all bark and no bite and Chloe wasn’t heeding her owner’s commands to come back to him, we turned around and walked her to her mailbox, where she further demonstrated the well-known Jack Russell “You’re not the boss of me!” refusal to obey.  Thankfully, she followed my girls up the embankment when I announced “Car’s coming; out of the road!” and it was a non-incident.  It also gave Chloe’s owner the opportunity he needed to get his hands on one distracted, loose, wild JRT gal.  Sissy had a ball yelling at both little dogs, and at some point, Gg stopped being traumatized and resorted to being just plain mouthy with the other two dogs.  Hooray!

What are you thankful for today?

Fred Immortalized

MRM Fred Sit up

The inspiration photo from 2007

Last night, the Knight received a truly remarkable gift.   One of the firefighters is a talented artist, and he used a photo of the Knight and Fred to create the sketch, which was then signed by a significant portion of the brigade (members).

(Yes, that’s a baby Shadow in the lower right corner.   I’ve always loved this photo, so it was fun to revisit it.)


Isn’t that stunning?!  The Knight and I spent our lunch break trying to sort out all the signatures, and a couple still elude us.

Now, to make a special place for this and the things that came home from his chief’s office…


Awkward Normalcy

Two fire captains keeping Santa's chair warm

Two fire captains keeping Santa’s chair warm

Like the rest of the country, we’ve been moved by the Sandy Hook tragedy.   But the Knight still had duty crew all weekend, and yesterday was photos with Santa at the firehouse.   (Sorry…  I don’t post photos of kiddos without permission, so enjoy these BIG kids instead.)

My heart breaks for everyone who has been touched by the deaths of those innocents.  I don’t mean to appear insensitive, but those of us not actively grieving do need to carry on…

I am hopeful that some good will come from this.   Several of you know that I’ve long bemoaned the secret shame associated with mental health/illness, and as one of my former co-workers posted on Facebook, it is up to ALL of  to assure children – all children, everywhere – are safe wherever they might be.  It takes a village, and these days, we’re a global community.

So hug your own children close for me.   Send your children’s teachers and school administrators a thank you note, cookies… something to let them know how much you appreciate their dedication.  And I sincerely am moved that a few of you have already expressed your concerns for the first responders (emergency service workers if you prefer).  I promise, cards and cookies are welcomed at any fire/rescue/police station, anywhere.

Be extra kind to each other.  ‘Tis the season, after all.

Never Forget… 11 years later

DSC01065I’ve heard rumors that we are forgetting what happened 11 years ago today.  I must have friends of a different calibre, because in my world, EVERYONE still remembers. 

September 2010 003

Of course, most of you know the Knight is a fire chief, I am a former paid firefighter and we are both life members of our station, where both of our fathers also served as chief.

September 2010 001

343 flags for the members of FDNY 9-11-10

And both of our fathers served in the military as well.  Mine, as a Marine, my father inlaw, in the Navy.  So maybe my perspective is skewed… but I hope not. 

Freedom isn’t free.  Thank those who serve – military, fire, rescue and law enforcement – today and every day.


Worth Celebrating

Seems I’m late celebrating a lot of things these days.  Thanks to Monica, I’m only a day late honoring International Women’s Day.   Monica celebrated female literary characters.  The theme for the year was Equal access to education, training and science and technology: Pathway to decent work for women


Future female firefighters? 2009

Wish I’d been prepared…  I could have scanned photos from my fire service days.  I embodied that theme for those 12+ years.  At the start of my career, I focused heavily on training; I first took every single class I could find, including enough fire science classes to have a minor in said area of study, and then I became an instructor.  Technically, I still AM certified as an instructor, but I haven’t taught in at least 10 years.  Then, near the end of my career, I was very involved in equal opportunity issues.

Of course, now I’m passionate about the Junior League, where women harness their power, develop their potential and change the world through action in their own communities.   I can’t mention the League without noting that our own Kids in the Kitchen event takes place NEXT SATURDAY!  

Feel free to click over and see if there’s an event in your area.  If not, click back to the home page and poke around for lots of information about the program and nutrition. 

Do other women inspire you?

Fire Season

February 2011 018

I can strike a pose too!

If you’re here for Dogs on Thursday, visit the girls’ blog.  Sissy is perhaps abusing her power – or at least over-stating her authority – but she’s declared that those of us who failed to honor Dog Biscuit Day yesterday can celebrate with our pooches over the weekend.   While you’re there, scroll back one post for a link to a contest for owners with anxious dogs…

How is it little friday already?!  I had big plans for this week, what with no big meetings or such, and whoosh!  It’s gone.  The good news is, I’ve gotten some great workouts in, but honestly, that’s about it.

Thankful Thursday has never been more celebrated.  I am SO thankful for so much.  The Knight and I played hookie yesterday afternoon, and on our way home, we toured the brush fire (wildfire for those of you to the west) damaged area where he spent his Saturday while I was living it up with my girlfriends.  I didn’t take photos, but there were no fewer than five homes that literally had the fire stopped just feet from their walls.  I cannot imagine…

So thankfully, some of our favorite customers were safe and sound.  It’s fascinating to  remind myself that even those whose views are blackened and bleak now will have lush green soon enough.  I’ll have to remind the Knight to take me back in a few months to see Mother Nature thriving after her own not-so-urban renewal.


Car fire training... one of the few "fire" photos I have on Flickr!

Even though the Knight was there in the thick of it all, he too marvelled at where the fire went, or specifically, why it stopped just feet away from a broomsage field or a tender young pine plantation.  Sure, wind, firefighting, yeah, yeah, but those same forces didn’t prevail in other spots. 

In our part of the country, this is fire season.  There are outdoor burn bans and we had three red-flag (conditions favorable for a wildfire) days last week, the first week of the season.   I hope our whole community is thankful for the firefighters and their families.  For instance, while one friend was on duty – all friggin’ weekend – his wife had to deal with a water leak that basically destroyed her kitchen.  Makes me thankful I handled being dateless as gracefully as I did…  Hem.

I’m also thankful for the cool, damp air and the rain that’s coming.  What are you thankful for today?

Raspberry to WordPress

I had a post.  For the umpteenth time of late, the formatting went haywire, and this time, it was easier to delete it and start over.  I think.

Santa's 2008 visit

There’s a meme at the end of this post if all goes well.  Otherwise, how go your holiday preparations?  I’m getting there, but I’ll be taking time out tomorrow for photos with Santa at the firehouse.  If you’re local, they’re free.  Stop by from 1-4.  

(On a side note, I love that chair.  It’s an antique someone gave to the station when I was a very little girl.  It has a “matching” rocker.  I had the cushions re-done years ago by the now Assistant Chief’s mom, with the undersanding that  if they ever got rid of the chairs, I have first refusal.  I REALLY want them, but they look great outside the chief’s office.)

So, about that meme…

1.  What are four television shows that you watch?

  • House
  • NCIS
  • Anything on the Food Network

2.  Four Things That You Are Passionate About?

  • My husband
  • My dogs
  • The fire service – especially the local company, founded in part by my father.
  • The Junior League – we’re not white gloves and pearls!  We’re women changing our communities, changing the world.

3.  Four Phrases You Say A lot

  • Hem.  I don’t even really know what it means…  I say it when I’m stating the obvious, I guess?
  • DammitSissyNo
  • Love you to the moon and back – usually in a sing-songy voice to the dogs.
  • Please and thank you?  I picked this up from my favorite aunt and cousin, I believe.

4.  Four Things You’ve Learned From The Past

  • Make sure the snow shovel is indoors when it snows.  Metal freezes to really cold, wet ground.
  • You can’t say “I love you” too much.  I’m proud to say that with all the loss in my life the last few years, I know they knew, and they knew I knew too.
  • Never trust Sissy with cooling/rising baked goods.
  • Have gloves in every jacket. 

5.  Four Places You Would Like To Go

  • Back to the beach, OBX specifically
  • Back to Sedona, AZ
  • To Colonial Williamsburg for the Grand Illumination
  • To a gingerbread house display.  Is there one in podunk I don’t know about?!

6.  Four Things You Did Yesterday

  • Rode around in the snow with the Knight
  • Trimmed the tree
  • Listened to Sugarland’s Green & Gold
  • Hunted for dog treat gifts that I’d hidden in the linen closet.  (I remembered that this morning.)

7.  Four Things You Are Looking Forward To

  • More snow!
  • Finishing the tree, once I get more ornament hooks.
  • Singing “Nuttin’ For Christmas” to Sissy again.
  • Meeting Amy – who tagged me for this meme – for lunch!

8.  Four Things You Love About Winter

  • Handknit socks
  • SNOW!!
  • Sweaters
  • Snow days

9.  Four Bloggers Who You Would Like To Share Their List Of Fours

  • I can only hope four of you will want to join in…
  • Please?
  • … and thank you!



My apologies for not getting this post up sooner.  We had a full weekend…

 Saturday morning, we were up early for the local 9/11 remembrance ceremony.

September 2010 001

Some local Boy Scouts were up even earlier to set out 343 flags on the front lawn of the County Office building, representing the 343 fire fighters killed on 9/11/01.

September 2010 004

My favorite photo of the day was of Crozet Fire’s Honor Guard, after the ceremony, standing amid the flags.  The flags were intended to be keepsakes for those in attendance.

September 2010 003

This one shows the Honor Guard retreating after the close of the ceremony.  On the right is the bugler and the piper.  The bugler is the son of a Board member from our station, and the piper is a retired police officer AND volunteer fire fighter.  After this coming Saturday, he’ll be tied to our station too; his daughter is marrying one of our captains.  The Knight asked if he’d be wearing that dashing uniform, and I noted that it would almost match the wedding party’s colors… but it seems the bride desires a more traditional tux for her dad!

September 2010 005

There’s Chief Knight, looking mean serious.  He doesn’t care to have his photo taken, but that doesn’t slow me down!  He’s also no morning person, so being up so early on a Saturday was a real personal sacrifice…

The plans have already started for next year’s ceremony.  The keynote speaker had to back out at the last minute (a FDNY firefighter who was promoted last week, so it’s a good thing!), so the two local career chiefs spoke instead.  The city Chief, my old boss, shared quite a few numbers relating to the day.  I also received an email with even more information.  It’s quite a lot, so if you’re interested, say so in the comments and I’ll send it on, but it’s sad to hear that nearly a half million New Yorkers are still suffering.

It was a quiet, somber weekend for us.  Friday night, we watched Stand Up 2 Cancer, which is a very personal, raw issue for me.  I did a lot of reading and knitting.  I’ll do another post later today or tomorrow on the books and my sweater in progress.  Yesterday, we had a birthday dinner for the Knight’s maternal uncle and my brother inlaw.  There were 17 of us, and in case you don’t know, Topeka’s has yummy mac ‘n cheese.  It’s not quite Panera’s, and most certainly pales to the X Lounge’s truffle version that will likely forever be the standard by which all mac ‘n cheeses are judged for me…

The Knight saved some of his mac ‘n cheese for me, so tonight, I’ll be having that and onion straws…

How was your weekend?

Can You Woo Woo Woo?

Happy Dogs on Thursday!  Even though it is threatening to rain, it’s still a great little friday here.   It’s been a REALLY long week for me, but it’s all been good stuff. 

Today’s series of photos was taken on Sunday.  Sis was all jacked up!  She loved having all the extra people around for the sharn – thanks, Robin!  It’s too big to be a shed, but isn’t quite a barn – and she was just leaping around, “Mooing” as we call it.

You see, dearly as I love her, beautiful as she is, Sis has no basset dulcet tones.  Her voice is strident and raspy, and while she loves to shout when she’s happy, it’s a far cry from Fred’s stellar basset “ahwoo”.

Hey guys! Come play with ME!

This is also my Thankful Thursday post.  I don’t have photos from Tuesday night’s annual meeting at the firehouse, but I really am thankful for those folks.   They are more like family than friends.  They pet and house sit for us, they’ve helped bury our dogs, they’re building our sharn…  I can only hope that each of you knows such a strong sense of community in your lives. 

What defines your sense of community?

Looking Over My Shoulder

Okay, I can’t help it.  I like history.  I am accountable by nature.  So, trying to avoid a year in review of some sort is making me crazy.  I’m not going to revisit my goals; I missed some by a mile, and I’m cool with that.  I know why I came up short, but I’m not going to hash it out here.  I am going to flip back through Flickr and grab one photo from each month and wax poetic though, so hunker down, or scroll right on…

January 21

Not even the first time we saw this pose in 2009, I’m sure, but here we are a year later, and it still melts me every single time.  These two beautiful fur-girls are very real blessings in my life.

February 14

Okay, so I had a fit of compassion and cropped all the people out of this photo, because I knew none of them would love this candid of them on a Saturday afternoon.  I mean… frankly, none of us showered until that evening, for the dance…  But I know it represents the hard and fast friendships that are more like a family bond.   No review of any year of my adult life would be complete without some reference to the fire department.

March 29

Those ugly buggahs are very special socks, thanks much.  My sock mojo might have flown the coop in 2009 (okay, flew out in 2008, made a brief attempt to reconcile in 2009, then took off again), but something quite shocking happened…  I wrote a sock pattern.

April 8th

Evidently, April was boring.  (Remember?  This look back only allows me to look at what made it into Flickr.)  Probably had something to do with the Knight’s new duties as fire chief…

May 24th

In May, we met Rudy and his people.  My girls didn’t embarass me too much, and as I recall, it was Gretchen’s first ride of any consequence without getting sick.

June 28th

Obviously, the only picture of me I really liked from 2009, because I’ve flashed it about 100 times…  It also captures that fire department thing again.   (I love Facebook and how easy it is to share photos.)

Photo altered by Anita on July 1

July 1

Clearly, I’m okay with being 40.  Yeah, I’d like to be thinner, richer, a true lady of leisure and so much more, but all in all?  Looking back is proving that 2009 was a pretty good year after all.  I have great friends, a fabulous husband – with a wicked sense of humor – and those awesome fur-girls.

August 29

The wee one, Gretchen Greer, celebrated her first birthday, in style. 

September 20

Anita was here.  September was a memorable month, with our 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony and more, but Anita’s visit was the highlight.   That’s not the best photo of us by any means (taken with her camera), but it sums it all up pretty well.  Sissy kept us laughing the whole time.

October 24th

This was another hard month to choose from!  Gretchen’s Gotcha’ anniversary, Sissy’s second birthday, our anniversary… but meeting Kathy and Ed and splashing through the fiber festival together gets the nod, soggy heads, silly smiles and the Knight’s photographic creativity aside…

November 24th

I don’t think this year in review Flickr style would be complete without some handspun.  Never mind that I haven’t touched my wheel yet this year    Reconnecting with my wheel in 2009 was a big deal for me, and once I hit “publish” I’m going to spin a bit tonight.  Spinning centers and soothes me in a way knitting cannot.  Thanks to Anita, Kathy, Jessi, Ann and Rosanne for making sure I did indeed spin again.

December 5th

In case you didn’t see it on Facebook, Ravelry, here, the card, Flickr…  I love that photo.  Silly Sis, model Gretch, and I’m sure someone is thinking something rude about Santa and the spirit of Christmas…  And yet, I think this will go down as one of the nicest Christmases ever. 

It wasn’t easy to pick one photo each month.  There are milestones I glossed over; some intentionally, while others have already begun to fade with time.  I’m not really sure a new year is any more significant than a new day, but there you go… 2009 in the books, so to speak.  Thanks to each of you for being a part of this part of my life.