Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Wednesday, Some grocery bargains, finally and Fire gear!

 When Hubs first started fighting fire, you supplied your own gear.  The only thing we made sure of was that all clothing was 100% cotton.  Cotton has a slow burn ratio.  You also made sure to have leather soled boots as anything with plastic would melt as you walked across the land on which you were fighting. The government then arrived on a uniform of fire retardant clothing.  A yellow, shirt and green pants, with an orange pack and red helmet. Every state had its logo on the front of the helmet.  You were usually issued two sets of clothing. Full timers were issued permanent clothing.  If you were just in for the season you gave the clothing back.  Firefighting is a filthy business and clothes were worn for days at a time.  Those that fought on a regular basis would pack at least 10 pairs of underclothing and hope to get in a wash at least every ten days, but even that was not possible.  There was a lot of creek washing and hanging to dry where ever you were camped.

Hubs always had 10 pairs of socks and under clothes in his pack.  If the fire was close enough for me to drive to which most often was not the case, I would go and get his gear and wash it in a laundry mat.  Often I would take the gear of several men and spend the day just washing at what ever laundry was close.  The men would be sleeping as much as possible.

 I remember one fire camps in Grangeville Idaho the men were put up in a huge potato cellar type building.  It was so hot and that building provided some relief from the heat.  I had driven up with the girls and told the camp boss I needed to speak to Hubs.  Soon this bleary eyed man came out into the sunlight in his underwear and barefoot. (hubs) I remember him taking me into the dark building and my eyes adjusting to the lack of light.  There was row after row of sleeping men on cots.  Most softly snoring and oblivious to the world. The cellar smelled  musty but was much cooler than the outdoors. We packed out duffel bags of laundry and then other firefighters who were awake helped load it into our trunk.  The girls and I washed clothes most of the day.  We had no idea whose was whose, but they could figure that out themselves.  It was almost impossible to get whites clean, they just turned an awful grey, but at least they were clean enough to be comfortable. When hubs retired and cleaned out his fire pack those underthings were thrown away, he just kept them for fire fighting.

Because bathing, and water were sometimes not overly available on fire, you were given enough to drink and then you lived in dirty clothes.  Heat rash, foot fungus were rampant.  Due to sweat, and wet feet from hose drip off, you were often hot as he!! but had wet socks all day. Experienced fire fighters, carried dry socks, and fungus spray, lip balm, burn ointment, lots of band aids, aspirin, sunscreen when it became available. You had to be able to treat yourself. It was a rough life, and small creature comforts were a must.   As hubs would tell his crew, sleep in the raw TMI on top of your bag inside your pup tent when you did get sleep.  Expose your skin to dry air whenever you could.  Hubs always carried a pair of thongs so he could get out of his boots when in camp to air out your feet.  This reduced fungus and blisters and infection.

In order to fight fire you have to pass a very strenuous pack test.  Come January every forester was thinking about passing the test.  It consisted of walking three miles in less than 45 minutes with a 40 lb pack on your back.  This is a tough test for most and hubs was able to pass it until his 63 year.  I think he could probably still pass it now, but with his hearing going so bad he was just done with fire.

Hubs fire hat issued and worn for at least 28 years.  IT hangs in our back room as a reminder of the old days.

After fighting fire for several years, you were given a crew of your own.  These were usually younger state employees, or civilians and students or more recently prisoners from local prisons.  Hubs had crews for several years.  You were then a crew boss and you were responsible for your crew.

More tomorrow.

Since this week is the 4th we  have planned a big potluck BBQ at our place.  It is a great place to view the city fireworks as it over looks the river valley. I thought that they were going to cancel the annual works because of the heat, but they are not.  SO I have some major cooking ahead of me.  If this heat holds I don't think it will be that well attended.

Yesterday it got to 118 here although they reported 115 at the airport.  My car registered 116 at 7 o clock last night and that thermometer is very accurate.  It is supposed to be hotter today.  We will see.  Hubs and I went out to Taco time with a gift card last night.  We ate inside and their air unit could not keep up and it was hot in the restaurant. The employees were all melting.  The kids could not play outside but they were happy to be with us and were very easy to care for.  I was able to get a bit of ripping done.

Today I need to take in 6 pair of missionary pants I got ripped yesterday and I need to alter 2 bridesmaid dresses.  I already altered one dress this morning for someone out of town who wanted a same day pick up.

There are some decent sales for 4th of July but they have limits on them. I can get 2 butters for 1.77, 8 ears of corn 4/100, hamburger and hot dog buns .89 no limit, I have some coupons for crackers, that will triple with in store, cut out of paper and ibotta making them more than free, so I will stock up.

I need to sit down and plan a menu for SUNDAY AND MAKE SURE I have what I need. I should have most things on hand for pies, blueberry,apple, cherry, strawberry rhubarb.  Will have to buy strawberries. One of the stores has ice cream 2/4.00 so I will go there and get several boxes, as that is a killer deal. I will be making several salads, shrimp pasta, potato,broccoli slaw, acini d peppi fruit salad, hubs wants to make his tabbouleh salad.  We will have hamburgers and  hot dogs with the fixings, I am also going to make up some crock pot BBQ just to get rid of a large bag of chicken quarters that need to be used. Then others are bring in chips and who knows what else. Later in the evening we will have smores!

Are any of you doing anything fun for the 4th?  DO you cook special things? Or do you have any traditions?

I need to go water my flowers and get into the shop.  

Have a great and productive day staying positive while you are in the negative.



  1. We've always done the 4th of July at the beach, so this will be our last hurrah. We are having: hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, baked beans, & fruit pizza (topped with berries, to hit the color scheme) for dessert. Oh, and my husband always makes margaritas. There are probably s'mores in our future as well

    1. Oh I loved our 4th's at Netarts. We went there for over 20 summer's with our kids.

  2. Nothing planned here. I actually hate the 4th - the local idiots doing fireworks are horrible and inconsiderate. So many people and animals traumatized.
    cool salads and grilling sounds like the way to go.

    I can not fathom what those poor firefighters go through. Bless them all.

    1. I am actually not big on fireworks either. Having my house burn and losing everything as a teenager from a sparkler kind of ruined my take on it. I do love the celebration of the countries birthday. I don't like the animals traumatized either.

  3. What a brutal thing to do! I am filled with admiration!
    TheHub will pick up a slab of ribs from a grocery store near his office. They grill every bbq holiday. It will just be the two of us so we will eat and swim!

    1. FUD, I can't wait until Lil sis's pool is finished so we can go over a cool off.

  4. At first my addled brain could not figure out how thongs helped his feet get out of his boots. Of course, I tried not to picture a man in thong underwear! I would think camp footwear would almost be a must for most firefighters. That sounds like a brutal job.
    We are going to a 4th potluck. I suppose I will take brownies and maybe beans and franks.

    1. Yes thongs are things we wear on our feet unless you are one of my daughters.

  5. Enjoy your 4th of July get together.

    Thanks to your Hubby for all his years in the fire service.

    God bless.

  6. We have some family coming for the 4th. This year we are grilling ribs and chicken with a lot of veggies and side dishes. We actually have a cool front coming today so the next 4 days are low humidity and in the low 80's. Stay cool where you are.