Monday, March 17, 2014

St. Patty's Day

Well, today is St. Patty's Day.  This is a holiday that most FFs and their families celebrate wholeheartedly!  Many FFs you will meet have some Irish background.  I know this holds true for mine!  My FF is Scott-Irish and German.  Basically, this means he could drink a man three times his size under the table and not bat and eyelash one!  LOL  But it is a deep pride that is carried by the Irish FFs.  So, today, I'm going to post recipes that are used here in our house on this special day!


  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted


  1. Place potatoes in a saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender.
  2. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, reserving drippings, crumble and set aside. In the reserved drippings, saute the cabbage and onion until soft and translucent. Putting a lid on the pan helps the vegetables cook faster.
  3. Drain the cooked potatoes, mash with sour cream and season with salt and pepper. 
  4. Fold in the bacon, cabbage, and onions, then transfer the mixture to a large serving bowl. 
  5. Make a well in the center, and pour in the melted butter. 
  6. Serve immediately. 

Irish Soda Bread 

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 pint sour cream
  • 1 cup raisins 



  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease two 8x4 inch loaf pans.
  2. Mix the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the eggs, sour cream and raisins and mix until just combined. Distribute batter evenly between the two pans.
  3. Bake loaves at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) for 1 hour.

Corned Beef and Cabbage 

  • 3 pounds corned beef brisket with spice packet
  • 10 small red potatoes 
  • 5 carrots, peeled and cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 1 large head cabbage, cut into small wedges


  1. Place corned beef in large pot or Dutch oven and cover with water. Add the spice packet that came with the corned beef. Cover pot and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer approximately 50 minutes per pound or until tender.
  2. Add whole potatoes and carrots, and cook until the vegetables are almost tender. Add cabbage and cook for 15 more minutes. Remove meat and let rest 15 minutes.
  3. Place vegetables in a bowl and cover. Add as much broth (cooking liquid reserved in the Dutch oven or large pot) as you want. Slice meat across the grain.

I hope you all enjoy these recipes!  Make sure to add some Guinness Beer, Green Beer, or your favorite beverage to complete the meal!  Now I shall leave you with an Irish Blessing:

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand!


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Radio Silence

     I'm so sorry for the long radio silence!  I've been so busy with politics (I manage campaigns as well as consult on campaigns).  I was working with 28 campaigns which left little time for anything else.  I have also been dealing with a death in my family.  My grandmother, whom I loved dearly and was very close to, passed away on February 27th.  Needless to say, that has been a difficult issue to deal with in the past couple of weeks.

     So, to catch you up on the fire wife life, my FF was not allowed to return to duty...even light duty.  This did not make us very happy.  So, he has been trying to go back to the doctor to get his shoulder re-evaluated, but his doctor no longer works at the clinic, they don't take worker's comp anymore, and the one place in our area that does take worker's comp denied his case.  Is that even possible????  So, we are trying to figure out who will see him.  Oh the joys!
     There have been several incidences in our fire community here lately.  We had one of our own firefighters and a neighboring department's fire fighter that were burned in a structure fire.  The garage collapsed and the FF from our neighboring department was trapped.  Our guy was one of the RIT guys that was trying to pull him out, but he ended up being pulled out, too.  The guy from our fire department received 2nd and 3rd degree burns on both wrists and forearms.  The guy from our neighboring department received massive 3rd degree burns over 50% of his body.  He was life flighted to Parkland Hospital's burn unit and will remain there for sometime.  He has a wife and daughter that are practically living up at the hospital, now.  Thank you to the Dallas FD for putting them up in a hotel and looking after them!  Also, a special thank you to my wonderful online group of fire wives (Wife Behind The Fire)!  They got together and sent a basket of much needed things to this FF's family!  I must say that I am BURSTING with pride at the sense of sisterhood/brotherhood and community that we share!

The second incident was one in which we never want to deal.  Dallas FD had a FF killed in the line of duty.  He was working the scene of an accident on one of our icy nights when he was struck by a vehicle, knocking him off the bridge he was on and onto the interstate below.  As it turns out, this FF was the cousin to one of my best childhood friends.  This death hit so close to home.  As with any FF LODD, you become overly aware of what a dangerous job our guys and some of our gals have.  It makes you re-evaluate the stupid arguments, the little things that normally irritate you, the time you spend in the same room, but not WITH each other because of our great little electronic devices.  Our time on this Earth is so short...even if you live to be 100+!  I don't ever want to look back and say, "I wish I had spent more quality time with him." or "I wish I hadn't argued about this or that." or "I wish I had thought about how much I'd miss that little annoying habit if it was gone..."  I don't want to ever have any regrets with my FF.  I want him to ALWAYS know how much I love him and how much I appreciate all that he does...not just for me, but for everyone!  Things like this almost make you afraid to let them go out and work another call, but then you remember that this is WHO they are.  It would make them miserable to not be able to do the job they were born to do. 

     That brings this back, full circle, to my FF and how utterly unhappy he has been while not being able to run calls.  It's be 9 months, now...that's much too long for a FF to go without doing what he LOVES to do.  So, he has found another job to occupy his time.  He is currently building websites for fire departments, working with another company that outfits the trucks and police cars with their lights, sirens, and decals.  He is helping them to manufacture LED lights for those vehicles and a few other things.  At least it's making him happy...for now.

     That about brings you up to speed.  I hope you all have stayed busy enough, but relaxed enough, as well!  Keep those guys safe and give them extra hugs, love, kisses, and praise! 


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Tonight's THE Night!

Well, tonight is THE night!  It's meeting night at the fire station and the chief will give his decision on my FF being able to come back to light duty while his shoulder heals or whether he will be told he isn't useful at this time.  PLEASE PLEASE keep my FF in your prayers tonight as he goes to the meeting to hear what the chief has to say.  This is SO important to my FF!!  He needs to feel useful, helpful, something while he is on medical leave.  You can take a FF away from firefighting, but you can never take the firefighter out of the man or woman!  He was born for this job and it kills him not to be able to do it!  So, I'm asking all of my sisters to pray a prayer for him tonight!  Please pray they reinstate him on light duty!!!  He needs this so badly!  I need this almost just as bad!  My FF may drive me insane if he can't go back!  That's all I have for now, I'll update after it's all said and done!


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Time Keeps On Slipping Into The Future...

If you are like me, that title put a song in your head.  I felt it was appropriate for this post, though, since it's been so long since my last.  My firefighter was injured back in June on a structure fire.  He hurt his rotator cuff and got put on medical leave.  He went to the doc and they decided to just try physical therapy for a while, which seemed to be working.  So, in July, he went back to running calls.  The first structure he went on, he re-injured that shoulder...and much worse this time.  He had to have surgery on that shoulder and he has been on medical leave ever since.  So, he's been grumpy and pissy at home since basically June.  There is nothing quite like having a firefighter with "clipped wings"!  He listens to the scanner, still gets the pages, and then gets angry that he can't run calls.  So how do you get his mind off of not being able to run calls??  Well, I got us involved in a couple of political campaigns!  He's been busy, but that hasn't taken his anger away at not being able to run calls.  Because of the campaigns, I have been extremely busy...hence not posting for a while.  I am the campaign manager for a State Senate candidate, Tammy Blair.  You can check out our website, here:  Blair For Senate

We had a Fish Fry fundraiser at the station this past Saturday.  I talked to the chief about letting my firefighter do light duty (running accountability, rehab, or the pumper controls).  He said he would think about it.  I practically BEGGED him to let my firefighter do something useful!  He's miserable just letting time slip into the future at home!!  We will find out tomorrow at the meeting if they will let him come back on light duty!  I'm keeping my fingers crossed and praying with all that I am that they say yes!!  I can't stand to see my firefighter this miserable!

In the time since my last post, I've also changed fire wife groups.  There was too much internal conflict in some of the ones I belonged to, and I just fell out of others.  So now, I belong to Wife Behind the Fire on Facebook.  This is an amazing group of women!!  There is a website you can follow, too.  Check us out here:  Wife Behind The Fire  There are lots of wonderful women in this group!  I can't tell you how awesome it is to belong there.  I've truly found my sisters!

Well, now that I've pretty much caught you up on what's going on here, I'd love to hear from some of you about what's been happening for the last 4 or 5 months!  Stay strong, love your firefighters, and always know that you have sisters that "get it" here!


Friday, June 14, 2013

The Lonely Life of a Fire Wife

I'm sure many of you have felt lonely when your Firefighter was on shift, off on training, taking extra overtime, or even when they are just off on a call (if they are a volunteer).  Well, speaking from the volunteer point of view, life can be very lonely.  I swear I have seen my firefighter only when waking up in the morning, or for a few hours in the evening, if I'm lucky.  He's been so busy with work (we own our own business) and then fire calls, and EMT class.  I sometimes wonder if I even have a husband!  HAHA  Today he will be gone for the majority of the day...possibly into the night.  He's left on a job (computer job) in a nearby town about 45 minutes away.  This job has the potential to take all day and most of the night.  Normally, I would be ok with that, but today it just feels lonely.  I haven't had time with my firefighter in a while.  I'm really starting to miss him.  Don't get me wrong, this is nothing compared to being a military wife.  I was one of those for 10 years.  Let's just say I spent the majority of that marriage alone due to deployments.  So, if your firefighter is in the military, I totally understand that life, too.  I think the difference for me is that this marriage, to my firefighter, is so much different than my military marriage was.  I was almost relieved when my Air Force husband would go on deployment.  LOL  I actually MISS my firefighter, though.  We are very close and used to spending 24/7 together.  It's like a big hole is left when he isn't around...something you can't a huge elephant in the room.  I guess because it is so noticeable, that makes it seem worse.

So what do you do with your time when YOUR firefighter isn't home?  Me, I blog...obviously.  I play Candy Crush...yes, I'm addicted, too!  I clean house...because this is the only time that it can get done without getting undone  Sometimes, I spend time with family if I can.  Sometimes, friends come by and hang out with me.  Today, it's blogging, Facebook, and cleaning.  I might work with the puppies (there are 7 of them) some, today, too.  It's time to start training them to sit, stay, lay down, etc.  They are 2 months old, now.  I wish that I could get together with some of my fellow fire wives today, but I am stuck at home with no truck.  Oh the lonely life of a fire wife!  LOL 

I hope all of you ladies have a wonderful weekend!  Some of my fellow fire wives are taking a trip down to New Braunfels, TX to have a BBQ and a Float (floating down the river in an inner tube)!  I wish like crazy I could go!  What fun it would be!  That would definitely be the way to spend a day away from the FF!  Can you imagine a bunch of us crazy gals together floating down the river drinking?  LOL  Watch out world!  New Braunfels may never be the same!  HAHA

So, if you are a lonely Texas fire wife, maybe you should join our little group of sisters.  You can find us on Facebook!  Our group name is Texas Firefighter Wives.  I'd love to see you there!

Well, off to wash the dishes, I go.  Yo ho!  Yo ho!  Yo ho!  It's the Fire Wife Life For ME!


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

So Much For Sleep...

Well, you gotta love the pager when it goes off in the middle of the night.  My FF is off and rolling on a structure fire in Hideaway (a small community North of our district).  It was an automatic box call (where they page out the department in which district the call is in, and the 2 closest neighboring departments) with Lindale being the primary on the call.  We had only been in bed and asleep for maybe an hour and a half.  This will likely be at least a two hour call...if not longer.  My FF and I have to be up at 5a for a job out of town (our normal job...computers).  At least there are sevral guys from all the departments responding.  That makes me feel better.  Lindale is now on scene and reporting it is indeed a working structure fire.  OH JOY.  I never sleep when he is on a structure fire.  Especially after losing the 4 in Houston.  It makes it all too real.  I always make sure to kiss him and tell him I love him before he leaves on any call, but especially with all the LODDs (Line of Duty Deaths) Texas has had lately.  So I told him as he left, "Please be careful, baby!"  His response, "I always am!  Don't worry!  I'm turning the scanner on for you."  A couple more I love yous and he leaves.  *sigh*

I hate hearing that he is rolling a 1 man crew.  He is driving Brush 2 (out of station 2).  His department (station 1) is also rolling Engine 1 with a 6 man crew, so he isn't alone, thank God.  Now, I start saying prayers for the safety of all the firemen from all 3 departments and of course for the family whose home is burning.  Lord keep them all safe! 

Lindale is asking for more man power on the front lines.  It must be a "good one".  That poor family.  Now they are telling Attack Team 1 to back out.  That isn't good.  *sigh*  I didn't used to worry as much, but here lately with all the LODDs, I just can't seem to help it.  I can hear the "excitement" in the guys voices.  I know  their adrenaline is rushing big time.  I'm glad that they are paying attention...but I'm sure all firefighters in TX are after all the LODDs in the last few months.  I always wonder how many other wives stay awake and listen to the scanner so they know what's going on.  I know I'm not the only one.  I can't be.  With all our departments being mostly volunteer, I can't imagine any of the wives sleeping through a structure fire here lately.  I guess I could be wrong, though.

I wonder what job my FF has on this structure?  I hope he is getting some good hose time.  It sounds like they need as many on the front line as they can get.  That will make him happy that he got to "play".  He hates going on calls like this and not getting to do anything.  He was born to be a firefighter and an EMT.  It's just who he is.  I love that about him.

Other than the guys running accountability and the head of the 2 attack teams, I'm not hearing much, now.  I know they are having a hard time on Attack Team 2 (in the back yard) trying to keep it out of the trees and off the other houses.  Every now and then, I hear someone ask for fresh guys.  It must be a really hot one.  I know suited up with SCBA (self-contained breathing apparatus) they can only breath that air for about 20 minutes.  Attack Team 2 is pulling out to rehab.  I almost wish I was there so I could see, but I know better.  That would be especially hard to just sit back and do nothing.  Unfortunately, I can't ever be a firefighter or even on scene as support on a fire.  I'm allergic to the foam they use to suppress the fire.  Yeah, that would be bad.  So, I get to sit at home and worry, pray, and listen to the scanner.  Such is the life of the Fire Wife.

Wow...while everyone is on the Hideaway fire, Red Springs (another neighboring department we are on mutual aid with) got a structure fire, too!  I wonder if any of our guys are going to peel off to go to the new fire?  Talk about stretching resources!!!  Apparently, tonight gonna be crazy!  Is it a full moon?????  Geesh!  Nope!  They paged out another department because our guys are tied up at the other fire.  Let's hope the other department has a good response of man power and can get there pretty quick.  Well, Red Springs got there and cancelled everyone.  I'm guessing it was a bad blower motor in the A/C.  That will smoke up a house pretty good.  I'm glad it turned out to be nothing!  Now I just wish our guys would clear Hideaway and come home.  I'm so sleepy!!  It's 4a, now.  I started this entry at midnight 45.  UGH!  Tomorrow is going to SUCK!

They finally cleared!  All is well, and my fireman is on his way home.  4 hours on that one...ouch!!  Thank you, Lord for keeping them ALL safe!


Saturday, June 1, 2013

Tough Day

Today was one of those tough days we often deal with as a firefighter's wife.  It started with a report of 2 firemen trapped in a blaze in Houston.  Immediately all the fire wives in my fire wife groups were glued to any news we could find on this blaze.  Being a TX fire wife, made it hit that much closer to home.  By the end of the day it was a 5-alarm fire with 4 dead and 6 injured or critically injured.  Those reports come hard.  Houston Fire Department...our TX Firefighter brothers and sisters lost 4 of their own, today.  It's utterly tragic.  It was the deadliest day HFD has ever seen.  As a fire wife, this kind of news breaks your heart.  You imagine yourself in the shoes of those fire wives that are receiving the dreaded call that their husbands are trapped in a burning building, that they've been taken to the hospital, and ultimately, that they have succumbed to their injuries.  Your heart breaks knowing that it could absolutely be your firefighter on any call he's gotten, any day of the week.  You call them if they are on duty just to tell them that you love them and to be extra careful.  If they are home, you hug them tighter...for just a little longer, and tell them that they are your world and how much you love them.  Mine was home, today working on his truck.  Luckily, I was able to tell him face to face and hug him, kiss him..cherish everything about him.

Me tonight waiting on my firefighter to get home safely.

Being the wife of a volunteer firefighter is a little different that being married to a paid guy that has a set schedule.  We have more time with our firefighters, but you NEVER know when that pager is going to go off and he'll be called away to fight a fire, helps someone that is sick, or rescue someone out of a wrecked vehicle, etc.  Tonight, after all the horrors of the day, around 2am, the pager went off for a structure fire in a neighboring town that we work automatic mutual aid with.  So my firefighter jumps up, grabs the radio, turns on the scanner for me (because I always listen when he is on a call), and jets out the door to the station that is only a mile away.  After everything today, I called out after him to be extra safe...and told him I love him.  He came back, kissed me, said he loved me, too, and ran back out the door.  I love that man.

While on this call, the town they are helping got another call for a fire alarm at one of the schools.  So several guys peeled off the original call to go check that one out.  Now, I have no idea where my firefighter is.  He could have gone to the new call, but there is no way to know for sure.  So as I sit here listening for him on the radio, I get a text from him telling me all is well.  That is an awesome text to read after a day like today.  It will be even better when I get one saying, "On my way home."  I'm praying for the safety of all the firefighters from all 3 departments out there tonight that are fighting the fire.  Lord, PLEASE keep them safe.  I'm not sure that TX can handle much more.

Our thoughts and payers are with Houston Fire Department tonight.  Rest in peace, brothers...we've got it from here.

~ Sparkles