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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

My First Experience with 911

We awoke abruptly this morning to an ominous, alien-spaceship-sounding, deep HUM.  And the power in our house surged and flickered.

Thinking immediately of the large tree limb that had landed on the live power lines right in front of our house in the wake of Monday's damaging storm, Scott raced to the window in Sam's bedroom above the porch to see what happened.  

He was greeted by 5 and 6 foot red flames, coursing up from the spot where a now downed live wire danced madly, eight feet from our rotting wood porch.

I cannot describe to you the adrenaline rush created in me at the sound of my husband's voice yelling "Fire!  Fire!  Get Charlotte!" at 7 am in the morning.  It's not a wave I'd like to ride again.

I bolted out of bed, raced into the baby's room, yanked her bleary-eyed from her crib, grabbed the phone and dialed 911 for the first time in my life.

It rings forever, ringing and ringing.  Scott is still running around the house, Sam in his arms, yelling "Fire!" over and over again.  I think he was trying to alert our neighbors?  A nice lady answers and I garble into the receiver, "There's a downed wire in front of our house!  Fire!  Big flames!  Scary!" and helpful information of that nature, as I pound down the stairs.

She asks something repeatedly, and I can't quite hear her over the sound of Scott still yelling "FIRE!"  I think she asks, "MA'AM, is your HOUSE ON FIRE."  

All I can say is "I don't know!  I just hear my husband screaming 'fire'!"  And at this point I'm down the stairs, Charlotte in my arms, out the side door, attempting to peek around the front of our house to see if the flames have actually touched it yet.

Aaaand the flames are just about out.  Maybe 6 inches off the ground at this point.  I come out of my adrenaline stupor enough to answer the woman, "No.  The house is not on fire."  

In a few minutes, police men surround us, fire engines on either side of the block.  I am still in my jammies, hadn't even gone to the bathroom, fully bed-headed and complete with stinky morning breath, holding Charlotte in her mint green sleep sack.  

The neighbors peer at us from their front porch.  And from across the street.  I guess Scott successfully alerted them.  

The police tape off our house.  The whole block.  The firemen stare at it for a while.  And then leave.  Nothing they can do unless our actual house is ON FIRE.

And the wires sizzle.  And we wait for Com Ed.  And wait.  We've been waiting since Monday morning, really, when the branch initially landed on the wires.  And the black scorched patch of ash grows.  And grows.

Still waiting at 5:04 pm.  Not sure if we should be staying here or go.  The woman at ComEd said we should stay and "monitor the situation."  Hmm.

Poor Sam is traumatized for life by all this.  His eyes were the size of saucers and he keeps asking me if the wires will "throw fire again."  We both are looking out the windows every 10 minutes, wondering if "the fire is back."

I hope not, Sam.  I sure hope not.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

The Second Annual Father-Son Campout

Over the 4th of July weekend, Scott decided to run a repeat of his "summer" camp out in our backyard with Sam, this time during the actual summertime vs. October.  

Friday night ended up with a low of a steamy 82 degrees.  Both were still excited though, and made a lovely roaring fire.  It also seemed to help keep away the skunks and our resident coyote.

Sam eyes the new "jumbo" sized marshmallows.  They are truly the size of an apple.  Tough to even get in your mouth.  We managed.

It was 10:15 pm when they finally turned in, after a late night showing of the Disney movie, Tangled.  Sam fell asleep around midnight, Scott said, and was up at 5:15 am that morning with the birds.  

I, am happy to tell you, slept blissfully through the night this year, after a large glass of sangria on the couch and some late night TV.  Win-win for everyone.  

Wednesday, July 06, 2011


Charlotte Grace wanted to share with you what she's into these days...

Dirt facials.

Dining on dirt.

Finger painting with dirt on our (inherited) white couches.

She highly recommends all of it.

P.S. Does anyone want the palm tree?

Friday, July 01, 2011

Fresh Corn Salad with Lime and Nectarines

This was one of those recipes that I attempted to throw together based on the memory of a salad I had long ago, at a party catered by A Movable Feast in Geneva.  It was fresh corn, diced cantaloupe (in theirs), basil I think and lots of fresh lime juice.  The combination of flavors at the height of summer was over the top with deliciousness.

Our salad last night easily rivaled it, enough so that I wanted to share.  You can add or subtract ingredients based on what you have on hand and what is ripe.  Here's what we used:

-4 ears of sweet corn, cooked but still crunchy, cut off the cob
-2 ripe nectarines, chopped small (I also had a ripe apricot that I threw in there, yum)
-1 red bell pepper, chopped small
-about 8 basil leaves, chiffonaded, more or less to taste
-salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
-the juice of one lime, or two if you want a stronger flavor, taste it before adding more
-a handful of feta cheese, to taste
-you could also add a splash of fruity olive oil, although I did not  

This would be the perfect dish to bring to a 4th of July barbecue, just about everything can be bought at Saturday's farmer's market, and it'll stand at room temperature really well.  Hope you enjoy!