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Friday, August 30, 2013

Happy Flammaversary!

Guess what today is?
Our Fourth Flammaversary!
That's right, four years ago, the event that started the blog was crackling away.
So for those of you who are unfamiliar with our beginnings, here's how
it went down.
When you're done reading this, go check your fire alarms.

Sunday morning August 16th 2009 at 9:15 AM our house officially went from being Casa de Redneck to Chateau Inferno. We smelled the smoke, grabbed the kids, and ran out onto the lawn in our pajamas while I frantically dialed 911. I had to go back onto the porch and leash Arwen to convince her to come outside; she's been trained not to run out the front door. The cats? Please. They were on the front lawn staring at us with a look that screamed, "Why were you guys still IN there?!?!?" At this point, I also noticed that Sam was a tad under dressed, and I was wondering how that would affect his Teacher of the Year chances if the media arrived. Then I realized I was in a satin leopard print robe that was better suited to being worn for 2 minutes and then flung aside in a whirl of passion. The neighbors were staring. None of them were coming up with anything for us to wear though. We're still plotting our revenge.
Mid afternoon found us sitting on the lawn in those blue chairs waiting for the Red Cross in front of a house with no electricity that smelled like barbeque. We filled out all of our paperwork and got a $125 Visa gift card to help with expenses and some laundry soap that was guaranteed to kill the smoky scent. After that windfall, we farmed the kids out to friends who had fancy things like walls and air conditioning, and we went out to On The Border for a little Mexican food to discuss exactly what to do next. Big shout out to that fine dining establishment. They took one look at us and comped the check.
Ultimately, we came back to our house and lit some candles and crawled into bed. The windows directly over us had been smashed out. And it rained. On us. 
Sam as I said, is a teacher, and the next day was the first day for him to report to work. And he did. I, however, called in "in flames" and got to work.
In a decorating dilemmas contest, I win.
The fire went up through the floor and walls into the boys' room upstairs as well, and the firemen had chopped out their plaster to get to it.
So, for this project you will need the following:
A cast off or burned out house
Safety goggles
Weapons of mass destruction
Friends with trucks
Beer. Get lots
A serious yelling voice
Kids who don't mind sleeping in the living room for several months
A camera to capture every golden moment
The ability to laugh at how incredibly absurd your life really is right about now

Step one: rip out anything that looks like total crap.
Step two: realize when step one is completed and for God's sake STOP.
Step three: assure your husband you know exactly what you're doing. Lie if necessary.
Go upstairs and repeat steps one through three.
Sit back and admire your work.
Now take any non-essential belongings and stuff them in a 20x8 foot storage pod that is the focal point of your landscaping. Be sure that anything you could possibly need is stuffed in the very back where it will be completely inaccessible. Fill this unit to the rafters with Tetris-like precision. Close the doors and lock them. Realize you hear a meow coming from inside. Unlock the doors and remove idiot cat.
Start framing.
Discover that visqueen adds a chic industrial ambiance to your patio and consider halting progress at this point to fully enjoy your new decorating direction.
Notice all the places in your home that were not formerly entrances.
Take time to evaluate the use of natural light in a setting.
Consider allowing a more organic look instead of cookie cutter finished walls.
Make your flooring and color choices. Ponder how much Ringling Brothers has influenced your direction.
 Stare at the delivery. Second guess yourself. Wonder if you're making too many permanent choices at once. Say, "Screw it." and open the packages. Realize you forgot to buy tile. Use a flooring plank to bludgeon yourself. Momentarily enjoy the sensation.
 At this point, a little normal may occur. Do not panic. This is an illusion, and there's plenty more chaos to come.
In the middle of this, decide that it would be a good idea to move your mother in with you. Because that's really what any sane, rational person would do. Grab her dog, her two cats, and everything she owns while you're at it. Rent a second storage unit for your yard. Ignore your neighbor's glares and reap the benefits when your taxes go down along with your property value. Consider adding old tires and plastic flamingos to your landscaping to emphasize the new motif. Perhaps a rusted out truck up on cinder blocks would truly ice the cake.
Quit whining and get back to work.
 Occasionally, question your sanity. Appreciate the fact that your husband supports you fully in this endeavor and would like to emphatically join you in this activity. He's really the expert, since he's been doing this since you met.
Explore how much you hate high ladders. Convince yourself that creaking noise is nothing, and the obvious list to one side is just perspective and the fact that you're lightheaded from the altitude.
Next, second guess your continued use of pink as a house color choice after you've had it perfectly matched at Home Depot and it's up on the walls. Cry slightly. Do not ask anyone else what they think.
 Prime the smoke damaged walls and decide that's all that's happening until fall when the mercury drops below flambe'.

Grab a bottle of wine, kick back, and enjoy a year's worth of work. We've survived the construction. We have not killed each other. No cats were harmed. Poked here and there, but no lasting damage was inflicted. The dogs are oblivious.



Lisa said...

I'm glad your sense of humor survived the fire. :)
I rather like the pink paint. I'm not really a "neutrals" kind of person.

Heather said...

Wow, Sunny, what a terrible and frightening thing... I am amazed. You have been so busy! I totally know that feeling of fear/nerves with making all the permanent decisions. Do you like your paint now?

Life in Rehab said...

Okay, I'll be honest, I love the pink paint. I'm so into my tropical colors and the Miami vibe that it wasn't even a consideration to go neutral. This suits my house and my style perfectly; sometimes you just have to wonder if the only accessory you're missing is a red rubber nose.

Sherri B. said...

You are so funny and strong at the same time. I admire that you could wipe off the soot and get right to work. The paint color looks great.

Sawdust Girl said...

Scary to have a fire but you are so hilarious!

Amanda said...

This is such a wonderful post. I love the thing about not knowing if you liked the pink paint and not asking for anyone's opinion. I hear ya lady! You are one amaaaaazing woman!

suzieQ said...

Congrats on your anniversary! Maybe a book can come out of this and that would show that fire! You are so funny and have a natural way of communicating.
Typical kitties, always sneaking in and being where they aren't supposed to outside, instead of inside during a fire. And people think animals are stupid.
What doesn't kill us makes us stronger (I always found beating the person who said that to me when the trauma was still to fresh, strengthened my arm) but I'm sure, that in some weird way, you are discovering how strong you are and that you know that you can get through anything. That's what really terrible events do for us, they do make us tougher.
Best wishes to the rehabbing of your home and lives. I'll be back for the next installment.

Chelsea@ThisFreshFossil said...

Wow. Thanks for sharing, Sunny - you and your family are incredible! Look at how much you've done in just one year... I also love that you can look on the bright side of it all with some humor, too - not everyone can do that. :) So kudos to you - and hey, now you have one heck of a fantastic story for the future grandkids!


Carol said...

Congrats on surviving not only the tragedy of a house fire, but also the aftermath. Kudos to you on keeping a sense of humor, because for most of us - ok, for ME - all I would keep is a bottle of tequila.

PS. Is that a Sheltie I see? Gorgeous dog!

Life in Rehab said...

Thanks, Ladies, but really, what else can you do but laugh, because it really does get weird!

Carol, yep, that's Sterling, my mother's AKC registered agility showdog who now has to share digs with Arwen, my North American Hairless Chud. Fortunately, Arwen doesn't judge.

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Add tequila.

Unknown said...

This was such a great post, and it is such a great story! I'm sorry that you had to go through all that, but at the end of the day, you have a LOT to be proud of! You got so many great things accomplished in such a short period of time.

Tara @ Tara Being Tara said...

Your attitude is just so wonderful!!! I don't think you should feel bad for one second about the storage unit in your front yard - maybe if your neighbors had brought you a bathrobe...

Tara @ Tara Being Tara said...

You last comment inspired me... here is a happy flammaversary present!

Christin@Pregnant with power tools said...

Wow Sunny! And I'd say more but the baby just started wailing... happy Flammaversary!

Mel said...

OMG, we saw SAM! :)

Happy Flammaversary.

You crack me up and I just love your tude.

MJ said...

Thanx for your lovely comment on my blog. I thought I'd swing by and check out yours also, and OMG what a disaster happened here! No, not the pink (though I think the bf would give me a disaster if I ever chose that colour) but the fire, OMG... I am so impressed by how you handled everything and how nice everything looks again! My hat off to you with a big gracious bow also, well done!

Heather{Our Life In a Click} said...

IT's amazing to see your journey over the last year and all you've been through. How you hold it together with humor and really should be applauded!! You've got the standing O from me!!

Brandy said...

What a journey!! I know it was a trying time but you made it through. AND you had me rolling on the floor laughing! Some it sounded just like you were in my head..... Happy Flamemaversary!!!

Vonda said...

As I've said before, your energy amazes me. Happy Flamaversary! You've come along way since the fire and I've enjoyed the humorous, creative ride!!
I raise my lemonade and tequilla filled glass to you & your blog & to many more great posts yet to come!

Jane @ The Borrowed Abode said...

I love your ability to laugh at yourself and your situation. Great job so far!!
(And I would have guessed that the cats would be oblivious.)

Anonymous said...

you have a fabu way with words....lurve your great tutorials re decor, but your writing style is outrageously funny.....if you get bored with doing the house thing...write a book....ciao for now....lala2nola

Anonymous said...

I don't know you but I love this and would probably really enjoy you :) I am thankful that there are people like you in this world. Job well done!

Kindra-At Home With K said...

Wow what a year you had! Your house looks great...a lot of work and hard work but so worth it!

Nikki ~ Let's Craft!! said...

You really are an inspiration. No matter what happens in life when we think it it just plain sucks and couldn't get worse. I will refer them to this post and tell them to read and learn! You know just what to do to keep life running and that is to laugh. GOOD JOB!

Aileen said...

Wow, you definitely are an inspiration life goes on and you rolled with the punches it threw at you, kudos to you!


Will and Kay said...

You are a very remarkable person!

Thoughtfully Blended Hearts said...

WOW...If I had an award I'd sure give it to you!!! Just surviving that should give you courage for the rest of your life!!! You're due for some good luck now!!!

Katie said...

Visiting from the Pumpkin Patch -- WOW, I can't begin to imagine how hard it was for you and your family to go through a house fire!! But I just LOVE your sense of humor -- what a great and celebratory post! :)

Debmom4ca said...

I am so glad you can laugh in the misdt of this experience. I have read a few of your posts and have enjoyed them all.

Cass @ That Old House said...

We've been through a flood, but fire scares the poop right outta me. Yikes. As others have said, it didn't destroy your sense of humor -- which is probably the MOST necessary tool in your rehab kit, and one the Red Cross can't provide.

Plus, you can write!
Good luck -- it is looking good. I like the clean painted look much better than the dirty soot look, although some might argue that the dirty soot gives that homey, shabby chic look.

Great post -- and again, good luck!

Ashley said...

Wow! I love your sense of humor and attitude about all you've been thru. The house is looking great and I love the pink color you chose!

Mad in Crafts said...

Thanks for linking up to the Mad Skills party!

Anonymous said...

Really? You win.
You win the decorating challenge,
the best attitude,
and the Life Dumped On Me, But I'll Get Even award.
I thought I was a glamorous badass but you even edged me out there.
Yes, you are the queen.
I just this week ran across your blog somewhere else and thought to myself, "funny lady" I'm a huge fan of humor.
Honey, you had me at the title of your blog. :)
So why am I not following? I guess because I have so many freaking blogs I'm already following that I am learning to edit and be a bit more discerning. That said, I have decided that you are someone I want to get to know better. Love your style, love that you can laugh at the crap that life throws at us. I am a follower.

Jenny Beth said...

oh what an amazing sense of humor you have. my parents next door neighbors were not so lucky to be able to save their home when it went in flames. and arent you happy to still be home?? way to go!!

Shelle @ Dreamy Nest? {not!}* said...

Amazingly hard work. So glad that your sense of humor has stayed intact! I love the pink color! :)
Found you via the All Thingz Related party link.

KimMalk said...

You had me laughing out loud several times. We went through a similar situation minus the flames. I think you kept your sense of humor better than I.

The Redhead Riter said...

Sounds like a nightmare, however, it is nice that you can smile and laugh now. The real question is, how did you get back at the neighbors for not offering you clothes?!

Ginger said...

Oh gosh, how funny...yet sad. Glad you are all alright! And congrats on surviving the year! Thanks for linking up to Mad Skills Monday!

Andi said...

I'm sorry that this happened to you but I'm so glad everyone is okay. I think having a sense of humor is the only way you can make it through things like this! You are a survivor!

Unknown said...

Okay seriously, you crack me up!!!! After kicking some major contractor butt we managed to salvage our basement after a flood... oh the joys of home ownership! Glad you've survived to make us all laugh out loud!

Megan Gunyan said...

Wow...what an ordeal! You had me laughing with your post though! Way to look at the bright side. And now you get to decorate it anyway you want! Score!

Nikki said...

Glad you can laugh about it. One of those things where if you don't laugh you'll cry huh? Thanks so much for linking up to gettin' crafty on hump day :)

Shirley said...

What a terrible ordeal to have to go through!! Loved your story about it though!!

Sommer said...

Your are my hero! I found you at the shabby chic cottage. OMG to keep such a sense of yourself through this ordeal and even to laugh, your awesome!!

Allison Shops said...

I'm glad none of you were hurt! Your sense of humor and go at it attitude are awesome. Followed your link over from Fab Friday. Drop by Atticmag and leave a comment for your chance to win Roxy bedding for Giveaway Friday. Looks like you could use it!


Princess of Everything (and then some) said...

I totally love your sense of humor. WOW! Just think about how you taught your children to handle bad situations! Thank God you were able to save the satin leopard print robe!!

Entertaining Women said...

Oh, I'm so glad that I decided to follow you a week or so ago. First, been there, done that, and you are handling it in just the perfect way. Such an overwhelming situation. I pray that you continue with 'recovery' without too many obstacles. Thank you for sharing your journey. You win any and all awards that are being given for whatever for the next year, at least. Cherry Kay

Entertaining Women said...

PS Went back and realized that Flammaversary means this happened a year ago. Congratulations on surviving! Cherry Kay

AUDRA said...

crazy! I'm sorry you and your family had to go through that. you're amazing.

Its A Blog Party said...

Wow! That's AMAZING!
Thanks for linking up!

Ami Allison said...

WOW!!! It's awesome you can look back at it with humor. Great recovery. We had a house fire too. We lost everything!! I mean EVERYTHING! We all, even the cat made it out fine, but if I heard one more person tell me it's just stuff you can replace it I think I would of slapped them. I know that and I am thankful but nothing can replace some of things I lost. It was 4 years ago and it still hurts!

Lauren {whimsy lane} said...

You are hilarious girl! I was laughing out loud! The world needs more people li8ke you, who don't take life too seriously!
Love it!

Dharma said...

amazing post....laughed and cried right there with ya :) keep on truckin'

Birgit K. said...

Great post! Glad you survived it all and with your sense of humor so much intact!

Bella Grace Home said...

I love you! It's great to read your humor through the horror...the work you've done has been amazing & creative. Can't wait to see what you do this year!


Mikalah said...

You guys are amazing, and you Sunny, are absolutely hilarious. I love your rendition of how things went, it's obvious that your sense of humor carried you through! Everything looks lovely, by the way. And the pink stucco is awesome. =)

Jane @ The Borrowed Abode said...

I just saw this and was reminded, yet again, of why I adore you.
Ryan read it with me and mentioned that he wished welived closer. I agree. We could cause a lot of trouble that way :)

Cindy @The Flipping Couple said...

You, my dear friend, are absolutely incredible. It takes someone special to thrive in those circumstances.

Anathema said...

love it all! what an inspiration you are :)

R.M. Jackson said...

Happy Flammaversary! I'm so glad your sense of humour didn't get razed in the process. You, lady, are an inspiration.

Hats off to you, or - as we say in JA - Nuff Respec'! :D

Shelley said...

Amazing..I went back and re-read the beginning of your and your family are just amazing.

Julie-Ann said...

Out of tragedy come triumph! I love your blog. Thank you for sharing your life with all of us.