Wow, it feels like I have been gone a really long time. I was teleported to another dimension over the weekend. In other words, we went to my mother-in-law's where there is no internet service (well, the rest of the street and the entire city of Buffalo surely have wireless capabilities, just not her house). My recent stash of preparedness skills told me to make sure I brought something productive to do, as I would need strong sedatives to be able to just lounge on her couch the last full weekend before a holiday. I packed up all of the supplies I needed to dip oreos in chocolate for the husband's coworkers. As our sleigh made it's first return trip of the 2011 holiday odyssey (in our Honda Odyssey, no less), I was feeling pretty swell about the seventy snazzy chocolatey delights that just needed to be packaged up in festive wrap.
I was upstairs gathering laundry when I heard some sighing coming from the husband who was downstairs. Then I heard some sort of low key exclamation that sounded slightly more serious, so I peeked my head around the corner to ask what was going on. He was making his way, slowly, up the stairs to tell me that I'd have to redip the cookies I had made as he had accidentally turned on the burner of the stove that the container was sitting on. As I started to head down the stairs, I heard my daughter whimpering a bit, and asked what the problem was (since he had seemed so nonchalant). Well, I raced towards the kitchen to smell the nastiness of burning rubbermaid and saran wrap, see major much smoke billowing from the stove, and notice that the smoldering ring of fire was not getting any better because the burner was STILL ON! Holy Cannoli! Things improved quickly, as far as the stove was concerned, as soon as I turned it off. I got the kids outside, as the smoke was traveling everywhere fast. Once we were on the porch, I realized that my son was barefoot in boxers and a t-shirt, and the daughter had on better clothing but was barefoot as well. I ran back inside to gather whatever blankets I could find quickly. I also tried to convince the husband that he should take a break from the smoke as well, but to no use.
My daughter was rattled, so I put on my big girl undies and reassured her basically that the house would be fine, and I would not harm daddy. For all of the folks who think we keep our house cold, they have no idea that the heat really does come on...especially when every window is open! I tried to accept that accidents do happen, and was grateful that nobody was hurt. However, I just had a hard time accepting how a grown man could think that he should try to boil water even on a burner next to a container of chocolate covered anything. It really wasn't just a matter of turning the wrong burner on.
Full disclosure...I called 911 because I needed someone to tell me that if the smoke detector had stopped going off, it was okay to let my children and dog (yes, he was evacuated as well) back into the house. Yes, I am an idiot. I did not have her send the firefighters to check us out. I just took her word for it...from the absolutely nothing she could see or smell over the phone.
Once we were all back in the house, I carried on with pretending nothing had happened. The husband had been cleaning up some stuff and sweeping. That is the way the cookie crumbles, ignites and scorches!I worked on seeing if there were any survivors in cookie land, and putting away some things from our travels. As I tried to close the silverware drawer, something caught, and I let out a decent degree of frustration by slamming it...Apparently you can only boss around cabinetry for so long before it just falls apart! The sounds of whatever crap that drawer front was holding in falling to the floor were just the little push I needed to completely lose my shit (sorry, there is no more pleasant word to describe myself at that point). I asked anyone who was listening if they were f*cking kidding me, then proceeded to hide in the basement crying for my time out. I phoned a friend for that reality check, put things into perspective and carried on with my evening.
The house still smells a little funky today. I have been to Home Depot where I got a new burner and drip pans, and fell in love. As I loaded my drawer into the car, complete with my feeble attempts to hold it together, I knew where I needed to go. I knew that I did not have shirts cut low enough to possibly get me any attention at Loews, and I am not even sure that gets a woman helped there. I was going to need the orange team! Upon entering the store, I was immediately approached by an orange smocked fellow who got right to work checking over the drawer. Another man (who was actually a cabinet maker) soon joined us, and they talked a little bit the way doctors and nurses might in front of a patient...not disrespectful, more in a reassuring manner that things were going to be okay and fixable. I was following their plan, and then told them that the catch was that I had screwdrivers, hammers and a drill, and nothing fancier at my house. They told me they were going to fix it, would I mind coming back and it would cost about $10.00 if that was going to work for me. I told them it would cost me far more than that in aggravation if I tried any further on my own.
A huge than you to the two elves - David and Bill - at the Cicero Home Depot! I didn't have to cry to get them to help me, but will admit to a couple of tears when I got back to my car.