Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Worst Birthday Yet.

Let me start by saying that we are all fine.  And I'm trying to face this with humor.   And Jeffrey sent me flowers for my birthday.

Last Friday night/Saturday morning, about 45 minutes after Ryan and Mark went to bed, they heard noises in the attic, as if someone were throwing things around.  And then they smelled smoke.

"The house is on fire!  The f**ing house is on fire!"  The terror in Ryan's voice chilled me far worse than the words.  I can't fix terror in my kids; everything else can be handled.

I ordered the boys outside, walked to the phone, called 911, gathered my purse, keys and lockbox (why lose the house deed and birth certificates?), and coats for everyone.  Within 4 minutes, our cop was on the scene (we only have 3 cops in town, so we think of them as "ours"), 5 minutes later the first ladder truck arrived, and the party started.  All told, we had 8 companies, one ladder truck with a 5" line, 3 running 3" lines, and about 50 people.

We lost part of the attic.

The fire fighters moved most of our things out of the line of fire and water.  They tarped what they couldn't move.  There are 3 bedrooms upstairs which look like this:

The ground floor is half soaked and blackened; the rest is clean.  There's a lot of extra stuff in the room where my daughter was married just 3 weeks earlier.  Stuff I don't have to replace.  Score one for us good guys.

We have a seasonally appropriate "Haunted House" look.

The things we lost in the fire are corralled in a seasonally appropriately colored dumpster.

Some surprises came from the attic, like these people from our Christmas train set.  They will be scattered around in the playroom for decoration, as a reminder of what we could have lost.

I spent last Saturday and Sunday cleaning my kitchen, sweeping away the 2" of standing water, throwing away that which got soaked, cleaning all of my surfaces a hundred times each (gotta love those disposable wipes; I've used about a case of them), laundering dish towels and cloths dozens of times, and getting ready to feed us.  One of our neighbors brought us coffee and donuts at 9AM Saturday; another brought us dinner late Saturday afternoon.  I was very touched.

My dearly beloved already had a demolition crew arranged to start on Monday morning; they put the tarps on the roof (keeping out the 3" of rain we got Wednesday), and they have the attic cleared, the undamaged section cleaned and repainted, and we are ready for the framing crew to come in and start next Monday.

So I'll only be around sporadically.  But please know that we are all a little shaken, but physically just fine, and recovering.  The things we lost in the fire?  Not much.  The things which were saved from the fire?  Priceless.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Library Book Sale!

There was a book sale the day of the wedding.  Despite the pleas of the relative from Denver, I didn't go.  I just didn't want to get up at 7AM to go trotting off on an adventure.  But today....well, it's my very favorite library, and Ryan and I just had to go.

It was a pretty morning here.  A little sunshine, a lot of clouds, a stiff breeze, and pretty cold - 40 degrees.

Ryan was enthused about getting books...Mark, not so much.  He's playing football this afternoon, and just went along for the ride.

 I got a few books, and a bunch to ship off to Denver.  I'm a sucker for giving people books.

They sell baked goods at these book sales, too.  I usually donate something, and I always buy things I didn't bake.  The boys pick out some for themselves and some for their father (who enjoys them, and then wails about being fat).

Happy Saturday, everyone!  I hope you're having a day of relaxation, maybe with a good book!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Critters Who Attended The Wedding

So, naturally, when my kids came home for Shannon's wedding, they brought their dogs.

Jeffrey's girlfriend brought her dog Lily, also known as Tank's sidekick, Adventure Beagle.
Lest anyone be confused as to whether beagles are pack animals, Shannon's friend's 6 month old baby is here to clarify the situation.  (This baby got passed around endlessly.  She was delightfully cheerful.)

 Adventure Beagle laid claim to the oriental rug Tank usually occupies.  He spent the weekend looking for food.
 Shannon's sister found this kitten abandoned. He was too little to leave home alone.
 The kitten's name is Flea.  Tank offered to help Flea finish his food.  Flea was not frightened.
 My tea cup had to go into the dishwasher immediately after I took this picture.  You just can't resist such an adorable little face, even when he's doing something strictly forbidden, like walking on my table.
 Before the wedding, Natasha helped Shannon and the baby's mother spray roses.  The baby stayed indoors and played with me and my dearly beloved.  She really liked him; I've always said he's a charmer.
 After I took this picture, Natasha growled at me.  That's her modus operandi.
 And, even though she's not a critter, I couldn't resist this picture of the visiting relative from Denver with some of my sons.  They wanted her to know just how short she is.

Happy weekending, everyone!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Here Comes The Bride!

The moment you've all been waiting for....the bride!
 (I stood behind/beside the real photographer to take these pictures.  I'm not that good an arranger.)

 And, of course, we had an inch of rain between 6AM and noon, so the wedding had to be indoors.  Here's one of the bride's best friends (who came up from Mexico for the weekend) making sure the site of the ceremony was perfect, less than 30 minutes before guests arrived.
 The bride demonstrating how a truly high-powered lawyer would be preparing for her wedding.
 "Just get it done, d***it!"
 The bride and her proud parents (taken from someone else's camera)
 The whole family.
 Doesn't the groom look pleased as punch?

The bride's father and sister...they both look wonderful!

Excerpts from the ceremony...
 (There were about 100 people in attendance, but only about 40 seats.  It looked nice and crowded.  I was in the front row.)
So there you "at home" wedding!  I hope you all enjoyed it!

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Monday, October 5, 2015

The Rehearsal

Yep, you're gonna have to wait another day to see the bride.  Hey, I've just finished sorting the rehearsal pictures I took or stole from the cameras of others!

The actual rehearsal took place outside, despite the fact that we'd had 3" of rain the night before.  I was not happy about tromping through mud.  No one else seemed to mind.
 The officiant made some sort of speech about what he intended to say, and then, as a stand-in for the vows he'd read on Saturday, the groom pronounced to his beautiful bride, "You're so pretty!"

Someone else took this picture, obviously.  The garden did look pretty good.
 Then the groom carried off the howling bride, announcing, "Hey, better today than tomorrow!  You knew I was gonna do this!"
 Better to have fun than to be sour and serious, right?
The rehearsal dinner was at a winery 7 miles from our house.  It's a beautiful locale.  You can still sort of see the vista out the windows, although it was 6:30PM and nearing dark by this time.  (Obviously, I'm not related to any of these people.)

There were about 50 people at the rehearsal dinner.  And I thought those were supposed to be quiet, intimate events.

 I told you this baby was really popular!  And she was a cheerful little darling!

 (I got this picture from someone else, obviously.)  Doesn't my beloved look handsome?
 My girls are the prettiest around!
 The dark haired girl has been best friends with Shannon since 3rd grade, is currently in medical school in Mexico, and flew all the way up here Thursday night for this event.  I love that girl.
 And where will you find a more dapper and handsome quintet of men than right here? 

So, later tonight or tomorrow I'll start previewing the 47 million wedding snapshots I have, and get some up here for you.  The weather was terrible, the ceremony was wonderful, and the bride was the prettiest all year!  See you soon!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Sneak Preview

Well, we all lived through the wedding, despite the rain, and it was beautiful.

I don't have the energy to start posting, but I do have a few pictures of the flower arranging festivities in my computer, since we did all of the flowers ourselves, so here's a preview of the fun.

 The bouquet was made by the bride's best college friend!
 This is the bouquet maker, with her little helper.  Said helper was very popular all weekend.

 Another look at the bouquet.
See you when I get my brain fully organized and the last million loads of towels finished!