August 18, 2010

Flood, Fire and Fleas

If you follow my Facebook updates, you may remember my post earlier this summer about The Great Chicago Flood in my basement. For those that don't recall, we had a a series of terrible storms and a blown fuse (unbeknown to us) and dead batteries to our sump pump. The result was a pain in the you-know-what evening of moving everything out of harm's way. The good news, though, was that we were able to salvage all but a storage box (but thankfully, the contents were spared).

Apparently, though, this was only the first disaster in store for my family in 2010...

The Great Chicago Fire (Part 2, I guess... if you count the real one) was a result of mom's superb grilling skills during a backyard barbecue, during which flames threatened to engulf our entire deck. After assessing the situation, I quickly realized that the fire was beyond our control, which led to a slight moment of panic because we, apparently, don't believe in fire extinguishers.

This would probably be a good time to tell you that while I may not outwardly appear to be an anxious person, I am plagued by many anxious (and often far-fetched) thoughts. If dad isn't home from work when I'm getting ready for bed and we haven't from him all night, my inner thoughts have me convinced it's because he's been in a fatal car accident. Certainly, a logical person could conclude that he may be in a meeting (he's in insurance sales), but I never claimed to be completely logical.

So, my mind is immediately convinced that the deck is going to be swallowed in flames and the house will certainly be burnt to the ground. I make a mental list of all the items I need to rescue and accurately assess that while my plasma screen TV can be replaced, I have years of teaching resources that I would be devastated to lose. And then I remember that they are paper... and paper burns! And then I remember that we have neighbors, so I run next door where the more responsible residents loan me their extinguisher, which promptly smothers the flames.

The great news is that not only did we extinguish the fire before my teaching resources could be swallowed by flames, but we didn't even ruin the grill. In fact, after a thorough cleaning and round 2 at the grocery store, we grilled again that same night (sans fire, this time), which was perfect because I really worked up an appetite after all that commotion.

Oh, and I should mention that we are now well-equipped with our very own fire extinguisher, which we purchased when we had to replace the one we used from next door. And we learned a very valuable grilling lesson: just because the meat fits on the grill, it doesn't mean you should cook it all at once!

The Great Flea Infestation was confirmed yesterday when I took Gizmo to the vet after a week of endless scratching. Now, to be fair (and so mom doesn't kill me), it probably isn't the most accurate choice of words to say we had an "infestation," but if I told you this was The-Time-We-Found-One-Flea-On-The-Dog, it wouldn't have the same dramatic effect, right?

So, both dogs have been guarded with their Frontline Plus, and I doubt anything could have survived the eradication that was mom's cleaning spree last night. Bonus: the whole upstairs smells like fresh laundry!

They say bad things happen in threes... so let it be known that we've hit our limit!

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