Sunday, March 30, 2014

Square of Fire

Yesterday was quite a difficult day here.  We woke up and it was a "normal" day - as most days typically start when the least expected actually happens.  But, yes, yesterday was indeed a "normal" Saturday.  Like most days, I did wake up with a headache and when I went back to bed, I was abnormally sleepy because I had taken one of my rather strong migraine pills.  By the time I got back up, it was a little after 11 in the morning, and John and Olivia had left to go help a family member move.
I decided that since it was raining and kind of a dreary day, I would do one or two loads of laundry.  Washed the first load and put in the dryer, then proceeded to make lunch for myself.
As I was just finishing up my delicious lunch, I had started to "smell" something weird.
I immediately looked at the candle that was lit on the coffee table, thinking that maybe a tissue had caught it's flame, but had realized that wasn't where the smell was coming from.  I looked out at the kitchen stove to see if I had left one of the burners on.  As I stood up to look at the stove, the smell instantly got stronger and I could actually see smoke rising to the ceiling in the kitchen.
That's when my heart started to pound.  My throat went insanely dry and my eyes were darting around everywhere looking for the source of the smoke and the smell.

Then it hit me.

The dryer had stopped running.  I couldn't hear it anymore.
I started back the hallway and almost passed out from the smoke!  It was so thick back the hallway!  I walked further back to where the laundry area was, and found the source of the troubles.  There was smoke literally pouring out of the top of the dryer.  Just billowing out of it!  I was mortified!

We always joked about burning the place down for a nice big fat insurance check, but never in a million years would I want to lose everything we owned!  I mean, we may live in a house that is a genuine P.O.S. and it may be falling apart around us, but it's also where all of our home videos are.  It's also where 13 years of memories were made.  It's also the place that we come home to every night and wake up to every morning.  So, sure the grass can always be greener, but I really didn't want to find out how green it was yesterday.

So, I picked up my cell, dialed 911 and as calmly as possible, explained to the nice lady on the other end what was going on.  She asked all the normal questions.
"Did I see any flames?"  No.
"Is there anyone else in the house?"  No, well, yes.  I have a Siamese cat that has suddenly went AWOL.
"Can you safely leave the home?"  Yes.

As I stepped outside, I ended up dropping my phone and it shattered the case around the actual phone.  The phone itself wasn't damaged, so I picked it back up and realized the 911 wasn't there anymore.  I just started hearing the sirens so I called John.  For some reason, as soon as John picked up and I heard his voice, I started to cry.  I mean, I started bawling!   I had a very difficult time telling my husband that all of our worldly possessions might be a large, heaping, smoking pile of ash in a few minutes.
Against the 911's dispatcher's advise, I decided to take one last look in the house for Apollo after I had hung up from John and he assured me that he was on his way home.
I still couldn't find my cat!  I was so worried for him!  I mean, we had just lost Molson a few weeks ago and I couldn't bear the thought of saying good bye to the last remaining Olley household pet, especially to a fire!


Anyhow, the firetrucks had finally arrived.  I was standing outside, shivering from the rain, being held up by my walking cane, and I flagged them down.  About 4 or 5 trucks and 30 firemen had showed up.  I spoke with the first one, explained to him where the fire was, where the laundry area was and that I had a cat inside.

He and his partner entered the house and I stood there and watched my neighbors all pile out of the homes to stare at the shut in from down the road.  Yes, me...

I couldn't help but wipe a few tears from my eyes, as I listened to the firemen bang on things, and walk in and out of my house, sometimes one at a time, sometimes 3.  They would come out and ask me a few things, like how could they open up the back door, to which I sarcastically replied (and I don't know why I found it odd that a fireman couldn't figure out how to unlock a simple door) "Uh, you just unlock it and push out."
One other fireman came out and asked me where the power box was, and I had to explain to another man that he had to go into the master bedroom and look to the left of the closet and he'll find the case.
A few minutes later, Olivia was standing right in front of me!  I started crying and grabbed her and hugged her so tightly that she told me she couldn't breathe.  I saw John and did the exact same thing to him.
We got to a point in this whole ordeal that we just had to stand there and watch what was happening.
John and I just stayed there, his arms wrapped around me, and I had a hold of Olivia.

About 20 or so minutes later, the chief of Ladder 49 walked over and told us we could safely go back in the house.  We were to turn the "investigation" over to our insurance company.  And that the fire had actually started inside the dryer.  The way he talked about it led us to believe that there must have been a short in one of the fuses and that it wasn't from lint or anything like that.

I won't know the full story to we get a hold of our insurance company tomorrow.  Until then, we have to do our laundry elsewhere and try to fix what was damaged.  Most of it was minimal damage, but the emotional scars will take some time to heal.

I hope that God has nothing else in store for us to deal with.  Between all of us getting so sick, Molson dying, the fire that almost took out our home, I am not sure if I can deal with much more drama.  I have so many health issues and just know that all of this catastrophe that seems to love us is making me feel so much worse...
Tomorrow, first thing, I am going to call State Farm and find out what the next step is regarding a new washer and dryer.
Thanks for reading and take care!

ps - Apollo was hiding under our bed in the master bedroom.  He was freaked out, but otherwise unscathed...

(I don't have an actual photo of the dryer as it was burning up, but I googled searched for a dryer fire image and found one that will show you what the firemen had encountered but were able to put out in time)

This is NOT our dryer, ours is actually an over/under washer dryer set...

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Brief Post.

I apologize for my absence and would like to thank you all for continuing to read my blog, even if I'm not always posting.
I know many of you are on Facebook with me and know what has been going on, but for the rest, I will just say that life has gotten a little busy and slightly scary - medically speaking, for me anyhow.
I think in April alone, between Olivia and myself, we have 6 different doctor's appointments lined up.  Starting April 1st, I will have a really nice Medicare Assurance plan that will help pay for everything that my original Medicare wouldn't pay.  So, I am going to take advantage of that and get myself to the eye doctor to get new glasses, and to have my retinopathy looked at.  I also have two sleep studies to go to in April.  My first one is two weeks into the month.  I can't wait to see the looks on their faces (I probably won't, but I can imagine) while they look over the brain wave activity when I'm having one of my night terrors... LOL!

Family wise - John and Olivia are doing well.  We are still trying to get over losing our buddy Molson.  But, with each new day comes a little bit more of "normalcy".  Which is always a good thing.  We do still hear him thought.  Throughout the house.  For instance, I know I woke up the other night and heard him lapping up water from his bowl.  And we both hear him walking across the kitchen floor.  Sure, he's gone.  But, how gone is he if we still continue to hear him?  (I put a video link that I made in honor of our  Molson in this post)

As far as other "family" goes... Well, let's just say that aside from "unread and quickly deleted" texts that someone tried to send to John, it's been quiet on that front too.  Which is really refreshing!   I think that they may be getting a little antsy because it's been so long since they have had a real conversation with any of us.  Although it doesn't have to be that way, they certainly make it hard to have it any other way...  It's ashame.  It truly is.  But, I guess it's best that it's this way, at least for now.  Emotions are pretty raw on both sides and something might get said that shouldn't have been said and then things will go backwards instead of forwards.  And nobody wants that.

So, aside from some medical issues and some doctor's appointments, life has been generally quiet around here.  Nothing much to report.  So, nothing much to blog about.  I will however, post a blog after my first sleep study is over.  Apparently, it'll be like staying in a hotel.  Differences being, of course, that this particular hotel lacks in room service, there's no pool, and I can forget about any sort of concierge service as well.  I can look forward to being hooked up to loads of electrodes, having my whole night recorded, both audio and video, and I will be getting my own nurse to tuck me in and wake me up at 5:30 AM.

So, until then, thanks for reading and take care!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Can't Wait for Spring!!!!

The last few weeks have been so hard for us.  Here at home, we are still (sort of) getting over some illnesses, still mourning the loss of our Molson, and still trying to do the everyday things - that at times, seems like an impossible task for the day.
While we continue to fight some of these uphill battles, we have are continuing to lean on each other though.  Olivia is pitching in when it comes to the household chores, and John is continually making dinners and working every day.  Since my help is limited - meaning, I can't be as able to help out physically - I'm always there to talk to, cry to, and lend my listening ears.  I always carry a pack of clean tissues or facial wipes in my purse, and lately, both John and Olivia have needed them.  Of course, I'd be lying if I didn't tell you that I too have had to dig around my purse for them as well.

So, you see, things have been a little "abnormal" around here.  

This fine Saturday morning, I just sat down with my first cup of coffee and am sipping it while I listen to Apollo eat his morning meal and Olivia in her room singing along with a song (that I'm sure only teenagers enjoy).  John is just now stirring and I have a feeling that he too will be pouring a cup of coffee.

We have no real big plans for the weekend.  Although, I have recruited verbal promises from the two of them to help out with some light cleaning today.  Nothing too strenuous, but the house could definitely use a 
"tidying" up.  I am going to run (hmmm.... scratch that.  I'm going to drive instead) to the store for some Lysol antibacterial spray and then thoroughly douse the house in it.  None of us wants the sicknesses that we have been fighting to ever come back!  

The weather is improving somewhat, and we might see our first 60 degree day for the year... Alas, it will be a short lived warm up, as John and I have heard about an impending winter storm in the forecast for Sunday into Monday.  UGH!  Go away snow!  Nobody wants you!!!!

Anyway, as the weather improves, so does our anticipation of going camping again this year!  I, for one, cannot wait to get back into the hammock and sleep the night away!  Hammock sleeping is truly the only time I get a good 8-9 hours of sleep - like EVER!  So, yes, I'm quite excited about getting back out there and enjoying nature at it's finest again!  John is constantly looking over our supplies - some of them new, some new-ish, and some we have had for some time.  We enjoy camping on the river, and I know that John is really anxious to get out the canoes again.  Last summer, I spent many weekends on some of the islands with John.  And, each time we went, we had such fun!  So, yeah, I cannot wait to get back out there.  

*(FYI - I really miss our Molson.  But, if there was a silver lining in his passing, it's the fact that we don't have to worry about finding a sitter for him or running home to let him out or feed him anymore.  He always hated camping, so bringing him along was always out of the question)*

Well, I suppose that is it for now.  I will try to get back on and blog again real soon.

As always, thanks for reading.  

John captured a rare moment, me actually sleeping.  HA!  But, only because hammock sleeping is the best sleeping ever!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

May You Truly Rest In Peace Our Beloved Molson

What a difficult morning it is here in our household.

When I finally opened up my eyes this morning, the sun was shining, I could hear birds singing, and I could feel Apollo at my side still slumbering away.

What a false sense of a good morning that the bright sunshine brings.

Those words will probably not escape my lips today.  I am unsure as to how many mornings I will feel this way.

I do know that this morning may be the toughest.  Just like coming home last night, and not seeing him greet us with his wagging tail and (smiling) happy face.  

Oh!  What a hole there is in my heart!  He was such a great companion!  Even at the end, as he lay in his chair just staring at us from across the room with his big innocent eyes - he'd patiently wait for us to finish with our slice of pizza or he'd just sit and wait for us to become full from what was on our plates. 

Yes, our Molson was a great companion.  He really did bring lots of joy and laughter to our otherwise boring lives.

There are a million different memories that I could pluck from right now - trips to the Homestead as he ran after the stick, ball, or rope.  Trips to Monacacy Hill as he begrudgingly followed us up the unending hill anxious to get back to the jeep to rest his legs, but stayed happy because he was out and about with his family.  The many times when our own cat would get bored with that red laser and he would just chase that thing around, bumping into everything in his path so he could just kill it.  The countless number of people he was willing to kill for us just because they were knocking on our front door.  The few times we had him camping with us that he completely just wimped out on.  (LOL!  He really hated tent camping)  The amount of family and friends who told us just how cute he was despite how big his head was and how mean he might look to a complete stranger.  The many kisses on my face that I have absentmindedly wiped off.  The white spot he left on the chair in our living room.  

There are many many more memories that I have with him... That we have with him.  

Coping with the loss of our Mol Mol will not be something I will enjoy doing.  As I type this, I cry.  As I tired to sleep last night, I cried.  As there is nobody begging to be let out to go to the bathroom, I will cry.  

My John and my Olivia will be joining me as I cry.  And that makes it hurt that much worse.

The Olley's have suffered a great loss yesterday.  

Our Molson will not be forgotten.  He was a loved buddy.  He was the world's awesomest pizza lover.  
I will miss that big head of his.  I will forever miss that bark of his.  

Molson, may you rest in the most peaceful of peace's.  Run around in your Dog Heaven.  Tell Shy-Anne, Mary, Jasmine, Midnight, Hawthorne, Chopper - and every other good dog up there "hi" for us.  

We love you Molson...