Monday Morning Heart Attack

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap  —  February 4, 2013 — 14 Comments

Y’all. I have had a DAY. You-know-who was up so often last night that we ended up just bringing him into our room, which of course he took as an invitation to partake in an early morning breakfast buffet. Eventually I gave up on getting any more sleep and brought him downstairs for breakfast and a bath. After bathtime I reached into the pile of diapers I’d pulled off the clothesline after dinner last night and shrieked when I saw THIS:

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ZOMG. I about died. What the heck IS that??? I quickly slapped another diaper on the baby and laid him on the floor, then wrapped diaper and bug together up in a towel and took the whole operation outside for a thorough shakedown.

THEN, OMG. I got baby down for his morning nap, started working on this morning’s blog post, and our house alarm went off! False alarms with the wired smoke detectors are not infrequent, so I went upstairs to investigate. Y’all, the bathroom was full of smoke. I couldn’t tell where it was coming from but I worried maybe something was burning inside the walls so when the alarm company called I asked them to send the fire department. And as I hurried around the house trying to wrangle up all my beloved creatures I encountered more smoke in the downstairs bath (directly below the upstairs). I called Nick and he didn’t answer, so I simply texted EMERGENCY. He called back just as I was making my way outside with both cats jammed into a pet carrier together, Juliet on a leash, Jack in his carseat, and my diaper bag and wallet in my arms. I said, “The house is on fire!” then hung up and set up camp on the sidewalk to wait for the fire department. There were these two guys across the street in fluorescent vests making their way over and I was just about to ask them to watch my baby and my pets while I went inside to grab our important files, but this is what happened instead:

“My house is on fire!”

“Your house isn’t on fire.”

“Well it’s full of smoke!”

“Well, actually, we’re smoke testing the sewers, you must have a leak. Where did it start?”

“The upstairs bath!”

“Do you not use it that often?”

“No, I showered yesterday!” (the day before in all honesty but I was not in a place to admit that)

“Well are there any strange pipes or anything?”

“Dude I don’t know but the fire department is on their way so can you just make the smoke go away?”

“Yeah we’ll shut it off.”

Then the fire department came and checked everything out just for good measure.

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I think they were impressed with my rescue operation on the sidewalk. I should’ve taken a picture of everything I value in this world (besides Nick and of course the rest of our families) clustered together on four square feet of concrete.

Can you believe that the sewer company or whoever doesn’t warn people about this sort of thing? “Oh, we’ll just be pumping smoke into your house. No biggie.” The firemen said it happens all the time, but that you can tell the difference because this sort of smoke isn’t irritating. That explains why I felt so confident going back in for stuff we probably should be keeping in a fireproof safe. If it had been difficult to breathe or whatever I wouldn’t have dared.

So I’ll be back tomorrow with a DIY project, but for now I think I’ll spend the rest of my day counting my blessings and trying to get my heart rate back to normal, lol.

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap


14 responses to Monday Morning Heart Attack


  2. OMG what a day! Hope it gets better!

  3. Does that mean you should get someone to come look at your pipes or something?

  4. Oh my! I would have freaked out as well! I love that you were probably screaming and he said no ma’am your house isn’t on fire! Hilarious!
    But I’m glad everything is ok and I hope the rest of your day is a bit more calm!

  5. HAhahahaha!!!! So glad everybody is ok, but that’s Hilarious!

    And that’s just a stinkbug, Char. They come in a bunch of colors and are totally harmless, only eating the juice inside plants and fruits and don’t have an actual mouth, so they don’t bite. Just don’t squish them or handle them roughly when you move them. They release a pungent scent that’s reminiscent of tallow tree sap and exceptionally bitter.

  6. Omg! How scary!! You handled it way better than I would have, that’s for sure. I can’t believe you guys weren’t notified of the testing beforehand.

  7. We had a notice on our door 2 days ago talking about that they were going to smoke test the sewers I guess that is what they did to you. So no notice at all. Crazy. I have never heard of smoke testing.

  8. “Breakfast buffet” made me laugh and that bug just about scared the pants of me.

    Haaaaaate bugs.

  9. Oh my goodness!! What a morning you have had. I hope the rest of your day was a little less interesting.

  10. Thank y’all for all the support! It was quite an ordeal!

  11. Nice stinkbug. They DO stink if you crush them, so you were wise to remove him. Also, I am very surprised that the water company did not inform you – they have done the smoke test in our neighborhood at least three times, and every time, we got a notice on a postcard (stuck to the door? in the mailbox? can’t remember) to let us know they would be testing in the next week, or whatever. Could you have overlooked the postcard perhaps? Maybe it got stuck in an ad flyer? But good job handling the EMERGENCY! My money is on you if a real emergency happens!

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  1. Fireproof | Living Well on the Cheap - February 11, 2013

    [...] the whole debacle last week when I thought my house was on fire, I was feeling pretty good about my ability to handle an emergency. Except for one thing. I [...]

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