Santa and the Angels

Tonight I lay my buggies down and watch them try to sleep,
I rub their arms and kiss their cheeks, yet quietly I weep.

Tonight’s the night that Santa comes, I’m sure he’s on his way.
For all who may believe in him, are presents on his sleigh.

I think of children near and far who only have one dream
That Santa bring their loved ones back, amongst his faithful team.

The reindeer flying high and strong, no obstacles in sight
may be toting passengers, on Christmas’ magic night.

Santa flies escorted, without a doubt in mind
by those who’ve gone before us, and those who’ve been so kind.

The ones who’ve lived right here on earth and sadly had to go
find comfort in the effort, of guiding Santa through the snow.

Magic fills our hearts tonight, a night we all believe
nothing is impossible and nothing shall we grieve.

I think of little girls, who lost their Daddy on this day
in an act of tragedy, yet in the most heroic way.

Santa’s been across the world, and now their town is near
and in the morning magic’s come, and Daddy has been here.

Angels Wear Turn-out Gear

west webster

I see many friends reflecting tonight, and rightfully so. Tomorrow will turn the calendar on one year. One year since our community and our brotherhood, past present and future was forever changed. Reflection varies from person to person, and by definition alone, it should. Christmas Eve shall forever be a day of mourning for many, a day to “pay it forward” for others, and for most of us, a day that our ears will be tweaked to the airwaves, listening to and analyzing every call for help. While statistically there must be a handful of people out there, I can say in certainty that I don’t personally know a single person who won’t be “remembering” tomorrow.

We hear of tragedy on the news nearly daily. Line of duty deaths across the board. Police, Fire, EMS. Soldiers killed overseas. Sadly, it’s almost at the point where we EXPECT it. We anticipate tragedy, and we are hardened to it. Every life is valued and mourned, yet it is common to “move on” and return to business as usual when they are “other peoples” tragedies. Christmas Eve in West Webster, NY 2012 was OUR tragedy. They were OUR people, our brothers, friends, co-workers and family. Perspective defined.

For me, I’ll never forget tossing and turning that morning, half asleep, and hearing dispatch directing units to stage for the “West Webster Incident”. It sounded odd, but I was half asleep after all. I distinctly remember blindly grabbing for my phone on the nightstand to check the time and finding that I had numerous text messages. Things such as “Are you up?”, “Are you listening to the scanner?”, “Do you know what’s going on?”. Immediately my heart sank, knowing in my gut that the world as I and “we” knew it must have shifted on it’s axis.

It didn’t take long to figure out the gist of what was going on, although it was still early and details were uncertain. Statistically, in communities such as Rochester and it’s suburbs, the odds are good that most first responders know each other, or at the very least know OF each other. Minutes felt like hours, and hours felt like days. The moments of wondering who was down and the moment of reality when it hit you that the WHO wasn’t the point. Loved ones were down. That’s the truth in public service. Whether the macho want to admit it or not, there is love. Blind and unconditional love.

I’ve never been so grateful for a return text from Big in my life, even the short “can’t talk,call later, I’m okay”. It was a relief. “My person” was okay. But the truth is, they were and are all “my people” in one way or another. Chip and Tomasz were “our people”. Joe and Ted are “our people”.

That afternoon my family was scheduled to ring the bell for the Salvation Army at our local supermarket. I was determined to follow through despite the random onslaught of tears that continually plagued me throughout the day. Being a small community, it was inevitable to run into firefighters I knew, and tears flowed each time I met eyes with any of them. Both mine and theirs. Words unspoken, grief shared.

As we all remember and choose to reflect on that unspeakable tragedy in different and unique ways, I force myself to focus on the positive energy I have seen born from the flames of a horrific day. I do that because in knowing what I know of Chip and Tomasz, I think that is what they would want. They lived and died serving the community they loved, and doing a job they felt “called” to do.

Not only the citizens of West Webster, but people across the WORLD rallied to show support both to their families and their department. Communities continue to do so. Every time a fire department places a West Webster sticker on a piece of new apparatus, Chip and Tomasz are remembered. At ceremonies, banquets, concerts, and parades, they are remembered. Most importantly they are and will be remembered amongst friends and family. Always talked about, never forgotten, and more than likely riding along in one way or another to every call, looking over their brothers and sisters in West Webster. They have earned their angels wings, and wear them under their turn-out gear in Heaven, I have no doubt. God Bless.

ff prayer2

A little 9/11 reflection


I was asked this morning what I might be planning to post in my semi-regular, always sarcastic, guaranteed to make myself look like an idiot ‘So What Wednesday’ post. Truth is, I can’t bring myself to participate today, as it all seems somewhat trivial when the events of September 11, 2001 weigh so heavily on my mind. That’s not to say that I didn’t have some pretty epic failures this week which I am fully prepared to vent about, so definitely tune back in another time.

Today, I don’t feel sarcastic, or funny, or really much of anything other than sad. I want to cry watching 9/11 videos that friends have posted on facebook, and I want to throat-punch the people posting pinterest cartoons, goofy pics of themselves, and about their dirt-bag boyfriends. Guess what? If he’s a dirt-bag today, I’m willing to bet he’ll still be one tomorrow. As far as I’m concerned, today should be a day of reflection.

It saddens me to hear radio stations carry on as though today is just another day, playing that stupid Miley Cyrus twerking song every 20 minutes, rather than toning it down and showing some respect. Kudos to WBEE in Rochester for their thoughtful coverage and moments of silence during the morning show. Classy as always.

I realize that at some point life continues, people forget, memories dull, and sadness fades. I’m not there yet and quite frankly, I pray I never am. I want to remember. As painful as 9/11 was for our nation, the people lost that day or consequently because of that day, deserve our remembrance as reverently now just as much as they always have.

Without addressing politics or even voicing my opinions, what I will say is that in the weeks and months following September 11th, I felt an indelible pride in our country. I sat watching then President Bush address our nation time after time, offering us reassurance and I truly could FEEL such pride and emotion in my heart. I think it’s safe to say that most of us did, whether you’re a fan of Bush or not. During those first few months, race mattered less, social class seemed unimportant, and we were all truly bonded. I’m sad that I no longer have that feeling.

To this day, I hate randomly looking at the clock and seeing that it’s 9:11, or 3:43. I hate receiving text messages at those times and immediately delete them, no matter who they’re from.
While attending a 9/11 memorial ceremony this morning, I even had to turn and walk away from the display that was playing dispatch feed of firefighters responding to Ground Zero. I’m still so incredibly overwhelmed with memories, fear, and sadness.

This has become lengthier than I had planned, so I leave you with this:

This morning my 7 year old honey-badger came downstairs and was asking questions about 9/11. She wanted to know why I was sad, and caught me watching a memorial video on youtube. We’ve briefly discussed it before, but I’m never quite sure how much is appropriate to say, so I typically wait for her questions and answer as honestly and gently as I can. This morning’s convo went as follows:

HB: “Mommy, is today the day that makes you sad? You think about the day the planes flew into the buildings?”
Me: “Yes. It makes Mommy sad, but YOU make me happy!”
HB: “Was it an accident that they flew into the buildings?”
Me: “Well, no. People from another country who don’t like Americans did it on purpose”
HB: (looking broken hearted and gently shaking her head, quietly whispers:) “Those assholes”

A Letter To My Daughter’s Teachers on the First Day of School!


Dear Teachers,

As yet another school year commences, I feel the need to touch base with you both, wish you a $hit-ton of good luck (which has been established as an actual unit of measurement in my world), and let you know how appreciative I am of all that you do for my daughters!

Allow me to predict how today MAY go down. First off, it’s Faith’s birthday. Poor kiddo. Having a birthday on the first day of school? It almost seems cruel. You may notice that she did not bring cupcakes and organic juice pouches with cute little napkins that cost me $47.00 at Target. Long about noon you’ll realize that I’m not dropping anything off either! She may feign sadness at the travesty, however don’t let Scammer fool you. She is insistent that only ‘certain’ cupcakes will do, and they are ‘certain cupcakes’ that are made by a baker in Buffalo! With your permission, she would like to bring the cupcakes of gold (or oreo, depending on how you look at it!) in on Friday which is the soonest said treasure can be delivered!

Emily is going to arrive and tell you that she doesn’t have her Summer homework with her because she left it on vacation. Cough…. cough…. bull$hit! She doesn’t have her Summer homework because she’s nervous to turn in the work she’s done. She’s nervous to share the thoughts and feelings expressed in her essays, and she is afraid to set herself up for failure and judgement on the first day of school. Please go easy on her. Please allow her to spend the day getting to know you better and realize on her own that she has nothing to worry about. My best pep-talks and encouragement were not producing nearly the result that I’m sure she’ll achieve today just by being in your classroom! And what the heck kind of 5th grade homework was that anyway?!? Write about your feelings!? Feelings, shmeelings. I’m 34 and uncomfortable talking about my feelings. Although I joke, I do thank you. Thank you for making my daughter stop and think this Summer about who she wants to be and how she wants to be remembered by her classmates. I’m grateful for a teacher who desires my daughter to grow as a person and not just as a student.

Faith may or may not remind you that she’s ‘The Honey Badger’. PLEASE DON’T for ANY reason ask her WHY she is called the honey badger. Despite a Summer’s worth of conditioning, you STILL may hear that it’s because honey-badgers don’t “give a $hit”. She doesn’t. Which is probably why she’d tell you that. For your viewing pleasure, you can check out the Honey-Badger below. Hence my 7 year old. ;)



Both girls packed their own lunches, so I’ll give you the run-down of what you “may” see. Pickles, radishes, left-over sauerkraut, cold pulled pork, rolls with butter, quinoa, and I’m willing to bet that Faith has a gigantic piece of tiramisu. She probably also has grapes in her pocket. Not only is she a scammer, but also a pack-rat. ;)

I’d like to apologize for the shoes Faith is wearing. Despite having new “back to school” shoes, she is still hooked on her Summer sandals. If she takes them off to change into sneakers for the playground, please be forewarned. The coroner is NOT needed. Cadaver dogs are not required. It’s just those God-awful sandals. They smell like a dead animal, mixed in manure, rolled around in the aviary at the zoo. Sorry for that! Cheers!

In all seriousness, I realize that these silly little stories are magnified for each of you times 20 or so. I could NEVER do your jobs and I want you to know how grateful I am for the care and love you show my children for more than half their waking hours 5 days a week. I realize that your job is not done when school is out at 3:30 and that you’re often to school far ahead of the children. I realize that other people’s kids are brats, as my own can occasionally be at times, and I admire the patience and fairness you exhibit even when you want to throat punch a kid. I’d have whiny little Johnny crying so fast and his head spinning like a Chucky Doll if I were a teacher. You’re both stronger people than I am.




With that said, I can promise you this: I promise to show my children the love and guidance at home that will allow them to be strong in school. I promise to instill strong values and raise them to be kind and outgoing. On the same token, if for some reason they are UNKIND, I vow to deal with them accordingly. I promise to support your rulings and decisions at home and if I have a question, to bring it up with you privately. As far as my children are concerned, you’ll have my unconditional support and backing. I promise to be patient with you if you don’t respond to me immediately, and to remind myself that you have 20 minions and not just two!

Have a great first day with Petey and The Honey-Badger, and again, I’m super sorry about those sandals!



So WHAT! Wednesday 9/4/2013



Typically I team up with Shannon at ‘Life After I Dew’ and participate in her ‘So What Wednesday’ post! I’m not sure if she’s doing that today, as she appears to be way too busy for all of us. Having a new baby and all. AS IF!!!! Shannon, I’m totally kidding! Little man is adorable! ;) Today I’m chiming in with ‘SWW’ and hoping Shannon gets a laugh whether she’s able to post or not!! This week I’m saying “SO WHAT” to the following:

So WHAT that it’s Wednesday and I say “Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike” too much?!? I LOVE that commercial and it’s still new to me! I only discovered it a few weeks ago. With that said, “Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike! What day is it, Mike?” ;)

So what that Wegmans dropped their Seasonal Price Freeze lists. Are you effing $hitting me Danny?!?!? Where the EFF am I supposed to find chicken at a $1.99/lb NOW?!?!?! This sounds like a job for Alec Baldwin. After that little performance with the Paparazzi last week and his clear support of his Mother’s favorite store, I think this would be a great cause for him to advocate!! Let’s hear it, Alec. Wegmans customers want $1.99/lb chicken back! How about a little boxing match? Alec Baldwin vs. Danny Wegman? Alec wins, we get $1.99/lb chicken for life. Danny wins and he can raise the prices right meow! Chicken f*cker! (sorry Mom, it’s a Super Troopers reference). We could sell tickets to the event and buy chicken with the profits! Only at the sale price though. Ain’t nobody got time to pay market value for chicken. I can’t be the only one who has thought of this? Bueller? Bueller?




raw chicken


So WHAT that I almost punched someone in the throat at Target yesterday and it wasn’t a Thursday. Listen lady, 10 items or less means 10 items or less. I don’t care how thick your glasses were or how cute your dog wearing the “help vest” was. If he was so helpful, he would have let you know you had 43 items in the fast lane! Move it or lose it, we’ve all got places to be!

So WHAT that I was called racist in my last blog post about Brenda Hardaway, Rochester NY’s most recent a$$-ache. Listen. The bottom line is this: I love and I hate equally. I don’t judge people! Also, when I judge people the last thing I think about is the color of their skin. I am basically only wondering if there is any chance their story will make my friends laugh. Brenda made it easy. I would have posted the same exact blog if she were white and THEN what would people be complaining about? It amuses me that the negative feedback I received was nearly 100% related to race. Yet I’M the racist? Ohhhhhhh kay.

So WHAT that “eminent domain” is part of the Fifth Amendment??? It’s government condoned theft is what it is. You think I’m playing around? Research it….. then click this link and read about what is happening to a local farm right here in Rochester NY! No Farms, no food. It’s a simple concept. We’ve got Rochester churches up in arms about the “mistreatment” (BS) of Ms. Hardaway, while instead maybe a few of those churches should rally for the Krenzer Farm! Funny to think of the amendments that have been “amended” (ie: TAKEN AWAY) over the years, yet eminent domain remains.

So WHAT that my daughter told me today that I never take her anywhere fun! THAT is complete and total nonsense! Just this past weekend we went to a great lunch at a local brewery! I even let her order off the adult menu. I guess Pumpkin Ale just isn’t her thing. Good thing we got this great picture that she can share with her therapist someday:





So What that I allowed my daughter to take my camera with her when she visited a farm with her Grandpa this weekend and THIS is what she came back with?!?!? I will keep this photo forever and put it into every album as the last photo, titled “The End”. ;)



With that said, until next time my friends,
The End.

RPD “abuses pregnant woman” and other various fabricated stories in trending Rochester news!

As someone who tends to have a lot to say, I have been relatively quiet this Summer. Scratch that. I have been INCREDIBLY quiet this Summer. Perhaps life got the best of me, perhaps I’ve been busy, or perhaps I just haven’t had the heart to involve myself in the losing battles that so many topics seem to be these days. Let’s face it: No one likes to lose, and seemingly everyday our society dips just a little further into the toilet. Not quite ready for a massive swirly, but dangerously close. Who knows, maybe that’s what this country needs to WAKE UP, smell the draino and put some emphasis on the things that actually matter in the grand scheme of life.

You know what DOESN’T matter? You know what ISN’T going to make our country safer, debt-free, or well-respected? Miley Cyrus twerking. Which incidentally I had to look up. MTV’s Teen Mom’s, while strong girls in their own rights, don’t matter to our country as a whole. Honey Boo-Boo doesn’t matter. Shark week, although entertaining, doesn’t MATTER!! Yet what topics do I constantly see flood my social media newsfeeds? All of the above. Now before everyone gets all nervous and jerky on me, I will go one step further and say that I’m equally as guilty in getting wrapped up with at least half of the things I just mentioned. And by half I mean all, but who’s really counting?

With that said, I also pay attention. Not only do I watch and read current events, but I seek them. I always desire every piece of a puzzle. If I’m not happy with a news story, I follow up, I inquire, I make phone calls. No one else can or should be faulted if they’re NOT that way, it’s just how I am. It’s the same damned genetics that gave me a short temper and a long nose. Red hair and a voice like Marge Simpson. Listen, we win some, we lose some. We can’t all be perfect like my sister, it’s just life. (KIDDING Libs)

Along with that short temper of mine comes the inclination to occasionally fly off the handle. While I love flying just as much as the next guy, I prefer to do it safely and under the watchful and restrictive eye of the FAA! SO, I’ve been a bit more careful in my old age. Thirty four was the ticket for me. No more effing around! I’m old now. Pretty soon I’ll have a bed at the Shorewinds and they probably won’t even let me blog. Or text. Or TWEET!!! Oh the horror! All I have to say is the jello better be good and they better serve strawberry! ;)

Okay, enough playing around because the bottom line is that I’m actually very angry right now, and I’m trying to use my 34 year old wisdom to restrain myself from flying off the handle without FAA supervision, or at the very least, a parachute.

Within the last few days, a video has surfaced on youtube that depicts a Rochester N.Y. police officer making an arrest. I warn you that this video is graphic and you may not want to watch it in front of children. HOWEVER it is not graphic due to the conduct of an officer. It just shows a lot of butt crack, and has a really loud lady screaming a bunch of stuff you might not want your kids to hear. This is the video:

Okay. So you watched it. Now watch it again. Maybe even again if you need to. I know it’s hard to stomach the voice of the woman in the blue dress, but just watch again and make sure you understand.

Okay class….. let’s break this down. I’ll go slowly so even Davy Vara can understand.

The video begins with the officer CLEARLY telling the perp to put her hands behind her back. Rather than simply COMPLY, she informs him that someone is video-taping and that she’ll “Call a Sergeant!” “I’ll call a Sergeant! I’ll call a Sergeant!”. RED FLAG. Who, while being questioned OR arrested, thinks to “one up” a police officer? Wouldn’t you be so distressed that you would just want to explain your situation? She IMMEDIATELY pulls the “Sergeant Card”. Right outta the gate. Seabiscuit didn’t even have a CHANCE. She’s callin’ a sergeant!!! One might think she’s danced this dance before.

Am I the ONLY one who at 15 seconds sees her continually reach for the officers weapon and him CLEARLY tell her “Do not touch that!”?!?!? She STILL didn’t immediately stop! How can the media have missed that?!? It is BLATANT!!! Quite frankly, she SHOULD have been floored at THAT point, yet the officer showed extreme restraint. I feel safe in assuming based on my own personal knowledge that she probably made out pretty well for someone pulling her shenanigans. Must be because “she pregnant”.

The woman continues to scream and babble and tell the officer that he’s being video’d. He moves her from behind the car to the front of the house where two OTHER officers were dealing with her brother. I’m no cop, but I’m thinking to myself: “Good call!” Whether he did it so that he had witnesses, or back-up, or someone to smoke a cigar with after the fact, it was a smart call.

YET, the perp CONTINUES to run her mouth and RESIST his instructions. I myself am a parent. How many times do you ask before enough is enough? That chick wasn’t even his CHILD yet he gave her more chances than would have been okay in MY house. No ice cream for Brenda Hardaway!!!

She did nothing but continue to give the officer problems and RESIST the entire time! As evidenced by the fact that even as more officers became involved, she CONTINUED to resist! She didn’t give a $hit! She was Brenda-Badger. They eat scorpions and jackals for snack time. What’s an officer to do?

So he whacked her in the back of the head? Did she deserve it? Abso-freakin-lutely. Will she be out of jail and pulling her BS forthwith? Abso-freakin-lutely! Maybe next time she’ll get lucky and get her Sergeant!

Did the officer pop her with a closed fist like I would have? NOPE! He showed extreme restraint. Again, his instructions were clear the entire time!!! At ANY point, she could have given up, let him cuff her, and sorted it out afterwards. Had she not been an A-hole, she probably wouldn’t have even been arrested! I understand the desire to stand up for your little brother, but if you’re TRULY pregnant(I’ve got my doubts), you have your own child to worry about!

How about we address the fact that although I did not see it in the video, Chief Sheppard reports that she pulled PEPPER SPRAY on the officers?!?! Despite the fact that I probably WAS a jerk during both my pregnancies, pregnancy is not a LICENSE to be a jerk. That is her reasoning?!?! “Whoopsie! Lost my self control, grabbed for your gun, pulled out pepper spray, but I’m pregnant so don’t touch me!!” THAT really makes sense!!! Maybe in Elmo’s world, but this is real life.

Should we talk about the lady in the blue dress? Yes? Okay, good. Within ALL rights, THAT woman should have been arrested too!!! Between her mouth and her erratic behavior, she was definitely hindering the officers job, and her instability EASILY could have justified her being held in cuffs. YET she pranced around screeching like a hyena during the ENTIRE video. Where is the praise to RPD for not arresting and or BEATING the stuffing out of her? I know I would have had to try hard not to punch her in the face! Screw it. Who am I kidding? Id’a punched her in the face.

Really quickly, before I wrap this up, I just need to touch on the videographer?!?! Again, WHO thinks haphazardly that they should just pick up their phone and start video-taping an arrest? I think to myself: “Okay, if this were happening next door to me, what would I do? Ummmm, make sure my kids are safe. Without a doubt. I can’t lie, I’d definitely probably WATCH. I might even LAUGH. If I thought the officer was in danger, MAYBE I’d think to video-tape, but only as a benefit to the law, not the opposite. MAYBE I’d poke the bull a little bit and throw out some comments about how I love my neighbors new jewelry, depending on whether or not I liked her.”

You’ve definitely gotta wonder why this was taped in the first place? To provide a shred of defense? To have a trial dismissed? CLEARLY these are people with experience. That’s my opinion. Jump all over me, I’m off all day so I’ve got nothing but time to field the hate mail.

Is this honestly the day and age we’re in that the media will turn anything into a news piece? Shut it, I realize that is IS, yet irregardless I can’t help but hope for better. I find it awfully ironic and even interesting that most news stations only aired clips of that video. They can hardly claim to not have SEEN the entire thing, as I found it on youtube with one hand while I knitted with the other AND ate an ice cream sandwich. It was NOT hard. They made a conscious choice to air a story that would stir the most pots. How sad is that? And how sad are all the people playing into it?

BOTTOM LINE: Stay on the right side of the law and this crap won’t happen. Show some respect and this won’t happen. Protect your alleged unborn fetus and this won’t happen. Pull up your pants and don’t show your butt-crack on youtube. Mainly because that was disgusting. Amen.

NYS Old Fashioned Firematic Championship, August 10, 2013, hosted by the Spencerport Red Onions

Today we attended the Old Fashioned Drill Team tournament hosted by the Spencerport Red Onions! Our regional “regular teams”:

The Point Pleasant Pea Pickers
The Main Transit Slo Pokes
The Henrietta Ol’ Henries
The North Greece Little Squirts
The Spencerport Red Onions

were joined by two visiting teams from Long Island, The Miller Place Extinguishers and The Rocky Point Rum Runners. Always a great time! ;)

Results were as follows:

NYS Old fashioned results:
1: Miller Place
2: Point Pleasant
3: Main-Transit
4: Rock-Point
5: Henrietta