Sometimes it’s like someone took a knife, Baby, edgy and dull and cut a six-inch valley through the middle of my soul.

Jeff: I think I’m going to build a fire.
Meredith: The first fire in the new house!
Harper: Should we have the chimney swept first?
Me: I think we’ll be fine.


Me: It’s weird. I don’t SEE smoke, but I definitely smell smoke.
Harper: I think it smells good.
Meredith: Me, too!
Jeff: Do you think we should crack a window?

Me: A gigantic black butterfly is getting ready to attack me in the kitchen!!! Where did it come from?! WHAT THE HELL?! DO YOU THINK IT’S A BABY BAT?! WHY IS IT HERE IN JANUARY?!?!

(Jeff, using a church bulletin, delivered the butterfly to the back yard, where I’m sure it immediately froze to death. Clearly, the butterfly has nothing to do with anything else that happened on Friday night, but I feel the need to document the sighting, and I’m still feeling guilty about sending it out into the cold.)

Me: Honestly, I think the smoke smell is giving me a headache.
Jeff: It’s not even like a smoke smell anymore. It smells like plastic or chemicals or something.


Fireman: Everything’s checking out down here. I’m going upstairs to check the bedrooms.
Me: Do you think he’s flirting with me?
Jeff: Do you think we should ask him if he’s a fireman AND a lepidopterist?

We have no damage, there is no evidence that anything is structurally wrong, and now we’re looking for this guy.

(The firemen were very nice and they responded very quickly. Most importantly, despite how firemen are often depicted in movies, our firemen kept their shirts on and none of them were carrying a radio cued up to the latest hump music. Stereotype? SHATTERED.) ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

12 thoughts on “Sometimes it’s like someone took a knife, Baby, edgy and dull and cut a six-inch valley through the middle of my soul.”

  1. Uh oh. We have 3 fireplaces, I don’t think that I’ve built a fire in several years. I may need Burt’s contact information.

    If your girls are pulled up onto the roof tops, call me.

    Final thought: I’ve never met a fireman that wasn’t attractive. I’m sure that they’re out there. They just don’t work in South City.

  2. Im embarrased to admit 2 things
    1) we never lit a fire in our old house because we didn’t know how/who to call to “service” our fireplace

    2) I’ve already taught my daughter that firemen are the cutest by teaching her how to subtly gawk at them when they’re doing their grocery shopping at the same time we are.

  3. Oh, the memories!

    Fire department called to our house at 8:AM. Plastic fumes from fire in oven which I had just turned on to pre-heat…where pre-schooler had, unbeknownst to me, stashed all the magnetic letters from the refrigerator. Entire neighborhood very excited! Me? Mighty embarrassed!

  4. I worked at a hospital for a while in an admin division in a small building adjacent, but not connected to the hospital (important). If we had an alarm we and the fire department had to follow hospital protocol, meaning they came, lights and sirens, for burned toast twice. And the toaster was removed from the kitchen.

  5. Oh, and we usually have a bit of a smoke smell when using the fireplace. Burning certain woods does flare up my allergies – I usually rinse with the neti pot before bed.

  6. We had been in our circa-1937-but-new-to-us house only about six months when I volunteered to have an after-party for my work colleagues after the annual holiday dinner. We left the dinner a little before everyone else so we could set out hors d’oeuvres and uncork the wine. While I took care of those things, my husband built a fire in the fireplace. Unbeknownst to him, the damper was closed. When the guests — including the president and the CEO and the CFO of this Fortune 500 company — arrived, all the windows were open, the house was full of smoke, and my husband was carrying the still-burning logs outside in a metal wastebasket. This was in Minneapolis in December; we all crowded into a heated sunporch in our coats for the *party.*

    Just to make the evening perfect, after everyone had gone and we were cleaning up, I discovered the cat had thrown up on the dining room table where the snacks were laid out.

  7. The butterfly and the church bulletin…. I’m picturing a sappy, Lenten devotional book! We’ll make millions off the resurrection of our Lord and Savior!

  8. Okay, because you have no damage and no one was hurt we can laugh. Except for the poor butterfly but, hey, what was it doing there at this time of year? Really?

    Let’s go with it was escaped from prison after some horrible butterfly crime (eating a vegetable garden!) so it shouldn’t have expected leniency. Your conscience can be pretty clear, then.

    In my lifetime, two personal experiences with firemen being called and, yes, every one of those guys were handsome. I have never figured out why that is — we would all adore them for their work no matter what they look like. I thought it was maybe just California firemen, but apparently not.

  9. It probably was not a baby bat, as most species have young in the summer. If more show up, please think about contacting a properly licensed wildlife rehabber and seeing if they can help, instead of releasing them into the cold. I know, I know, rabies, guano, scary, etc., but many species are state and federally protected and need all the help they can get. :)

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