Monday, November 16, 2015


Friday, I spent the end of my second hour and all of my third hour class in the basement cafeteria of our school. I was there with the entire fourth floor. We had no idea, aside from rumors, as to what was going on. Because of the looks on the faces of staff, the kids knew this wasn't a drill. They were beautiful, in spite of the fear. I was so very proud of how they handled it. I was one of a handful of people that had any cell service in the depths of our centenarian fortress. So, I texted the FireMan to find out that he could. He gave me info about what was on the outside, but that TEMS had not been called in. Eventually, we got the all clear.

All of this came about from a threat on social media. Stupid teenage drama on social media.

From our freshmen.

It was a week of "She said that you said" on some bogus student created FB page. THOTs is an acronym I wish they would toss out of their minds. Focus own building themselves up as females, instead of tearing each other down for the attention of an adolescent male...seems to be insanity to this old mind of mine. But that was the root of the whole week's drama.

And from our babies.

Being a junior teacher, I am really out of the loop. BUT, I could feel it in the air. I had said something to admin the day before.

Anyway, Friday after our debriefing meeting I walked out with another teacher...just beaten down from the week. I am stretched so frickin' thin. I was/am so dang tired.  And I looked back at the building as we were being grumpy and miserable together and saw the evening sunset lighting up my building.  That moment reminded me that there was a reason I was doing all of this.

And I went home a smidge less grumpy.

There was our first fire waiting for me in the fireplace. Chili to warm my insides by that lovely fire. 

And the news was on.

And the blood.

And the fear.

And the panic.

Suddenly, I wasn't sure I could really keep going with this. I have not even shared this insecurity with my husband as of yet.  It just seems that it is everywhere. That it is surrounding me. 

But, in the vaults of my damaged brain, I am aware that these 129 lives lost cannot be in vain. That is must make our resolve stronger to make this world less broken...starting with me. Starting with my muppets. Starting with my kids at school.

I am aware of that.

But, am I strong enough to make that happen?? You know, while I am setting aside my curriculum to focus on literacy since our kids are going off to college unable write a coherent essay or read a college textbook. How can I address literacy and peace in society when neither are truly valued and both can be construed as signs of weakness?

I am still processing. I don't know where to start. I know that this is not about being married to a firefighter and I will get nastygrams pertaining to that. Instead of wasting your time and mine, move along. I am a firewife. This is who I am. This is my blog. From there very beginning I have fought with people to remind them that I am the sum of ALL my parts and I do not fit into any one pigeon hole. And, I am human - with all the human failings and glories. I am a teacher. I am lost on this journey right now. But, I have kids all around me that I need to help find their way on this journey. No time to be lost. Only time to find our way through this. Violence and hatred never end well.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Making a House a Home, Again

I feel like a military family. Like we are always moving. I think we may have finally found our forever home. I won't bore you with the details, but it was an insane, unexpected turn of events. It happened very quickly and my husband is now on top of the world.

All of which is good. 

He LOVES the house. We finally have enough room to have all our family over and not feel like we are on top of each other.

We have a family room and a living room. We have a game room - in process. We have a two car garage and a real fireplace.  We have a legit dining room. Not a living room we turned into a dining room. Not a heated breezeway that we put our china cabinet in. Not a bedroom that we opted to use instead of jamming into a tiny kitchen. A real life dining room. All so good. We have a 2nd FULL bathroom, which we have never had before. We have an amazing fenced in yard and entire neighborhood of truly amazing people. The kids LOVE this house, even though they are still sharing rooms. I have my own office, in the most amazing of purples.

But I am not feeling like I am at home, yet.

I don't completely relax when I come home. My shoes are not unpacked, yet. I know - first world problem for sure. My closet still has the clothes just tossed in there. I hate the color of my bedroom - but he liked it, so we had to give it a try. I HATE IT. Dungeony and dreary and belch. So, now I have to find a day to paint. The carpeting was horribly stained and needs to come out - in the living room/dining room and game room carpeting smells like you would not believe. I know these are all minor. I will get my hardwood and laminate. I know  that. But I am letting all of these things get in the way of making this a home for us.

I just need to let me self relax and accept it as home. I will get my bathroom unpacked, some day. I will find my shoes and organize my closet, over Christmas break. I will have the rest of my life to make it my own. I will. I started with our menu board. It is my mark on this kitchen. It ties our family to this house and forces us to stop unpacking and running around so we can eat together.
I hoped that the Halloween decorations would pull me in. They definitely pulled the neighbors in, all so very nice. But I felt like I was decorating a store front. 

I wish I had the answer. Maybe the Christmas trees going up will light up my heart. Maybe it will just take time. Maybe it is just that all of the work obligations I have found myself carrying around are just not allowing me to love it like the rest of the crew. Maybe it is just some combination thereof.

Anyway, after all my grumping, here's my favorite room of the house. I can't wait to have a fire in it. I can't wait to get the tree up in here.  I can't wait to enjoy it.

I need to take a new picture without the 2nd TV in there and with all the turn of the
century canvases up!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Context of the TIme

Image: FoxNews
As I tried to watch the debates last night, I finally had to concede defeat. Not because of pandering or disagreement with any one of the speakers. Not because I had a ton to do. Nope, it was simply because my polar bears did not like the sound of the 'Time's Up' ding dong thingy.  The barking session would last 3-4 minutes...and mind you, I was up in my bedroom so the boys could watch TV down in the family room (since the game room is really not ready). You know, the bedroom that shares a wall with the sleeping girls' bedroom.

So, I have it DVR'd. But, sadly, I am rarely without a dog. AND I doubt I will have time to sit down and watch it before it becomes irrelevant.

And so I move on.

These debates were held here. Literally 12 minutes from my house. We got to see the Trumpo Jet pull in to the airport and the media circus taking images of itself. 

I was thankful the FireMan was not on shift. 

I have no idea if their services were warranted through any of this, but I was grateful to not have to worry about it, with him helping my boys get some stuff put away in the garage we are digging out. (I still hate moving!)

I fell asleep to a very Trump heavy, politically filled SNL episode from the weekend.

And life was good.

11200636_1070955672916249_3658267464395682453_nUntil this morning, when I saw the flag burning pictures and free speech rhetoric. The veiled and not so veiled racism was abhorrent. And the history teacher in my wept.

Some things that I need to clarify...and I do this with the right to bear arms as well. BUT, I am going to focus on the Freedom of Speech tidbits, I keep reading/hearing.

First Amendment - Religion and Expression. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Some things to notice - it does not say Freedom of Expression, that has become our interpretation of this amendment. 

Notice, it does not say that you have the right to break other laws while you express yourself. (Insert Madonna earworm here.)  This is a FIREWIFE's blog - YOU CAN'T BURN ANYTHING IN PUBLIC PLACES AND HAVE IT BE OKAY!  All materials being burned need to be in the proper receptacles and NOT in public thoroughfares. 

It also may be legal to burn a flag, but that does not mean it is not a jerkface move. 

There are many things that you CAN do, but that doesn't make it right or nice or good or non-jerkface to do them. It just means that you can't be cited or jailed for being that jerk.  But, burning the flag (or anything, really) in the middle of the public street while there are a ton of people in that general vicinity for an NBA game, the presidential debates and general downtown businesses is really not legal, safe, get the idea.

So, instead of me focusing on the jerkface who decided to break the law while invoking amendments in the most convenient context of our time, I am going to focus on MPD. Kudos to Milwaukee Police Department, you made this city and this FireWife proud in your handling of said flag.  Media reported tear gas, it was actually extinguishers. People of Milwaukee should be proud. I know I am. 

Jedidiah Thompson, Jutiki X and Joel Rossman - thank you and be safe!

 There are more images that can be seen at jsonline, as well.  

So, morale of the story, legal does not equal right. And, if you are going to tell me that the Constitution guarantees you the Freedom of Expression, be able to defend that statement. AND, finally, don't break the law and get upset when the police arrest you for it and yammer about they are infringing on you Constitutional rights...because breaking the law is not protected.

Okay, I need to I am tired and about to start preaching on other topics as tangents pop into my head.

Be safe. Come home. Hug your family.

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