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Where There Is Smoke, There Is Fire

Updated: Sep 18


As I sit and drink my morning coffee, the news is frantically covering the wildfires destroying our western states. My heart goes out to all who are affected. However, back on the farm, there is a battle raging between myself and my bibbed wonder. A battle I am certain I will win when I pull in my secret weapon, The Bean.

You see, The Bibbed Wonder is a smoker. He has been smoking since his teen years. When we met, I had never dated a smoker before and was not interested in doing so…until this bib overall wearing charmer. He has successfully quit smoking several times over the course of our marriage however, he constantly falls off the wagon and inevitably goes back to it. The first attempt at quitting was my first Mother’s Day.

Now, when one reads this, one thinks, “Aww, what a lovely, thoughtful and heart felt gift.” The truth is, my bib overall wearing wonder buns turned into an absolute monster. He experienced a change in mood so severe and unseemly, I actually hoped he would begin smoking again. You see the longer my bibbed wonder goes without nicotine, the more stupid I become…yes, that is a direct quote from my darling while he is going through nicotine withdrawal. He kind of makes me want to eat his face off when he quits. Not the happiest Mother’s Day ever, but the gesture was greatly appreciated.

Over the years he has tried the available medications. He experiences bizarre side effects, like vivid dreams. I once awoke in a headlock with him growling that he will tear my f-ing head off. Note, he claims he was dreaming about wrestling criminals…I’m not sure I believe him. Please refer to previous noted quote about my increasing stupidity when he is off nicotine and my wanting to eat his face off.

Prior to last year, he had been successfully smoke free for almost two years. However, after the difficult year we had, he began smoking again with my blessing just to help control the stress. We were in survival mode and many of you may well know, whatever helps to get one through a difficult time becomes acceptable. However, our difficult year is over, the stress is reduced, and we are again finding our equilibrium. Now, it is time to give up less than desirable coping skills and move forward. This has become my new nagging point…another charming quote from my bibbed wonder. Where is the battle you may ask? How does this tie into wild fires raging you may question?

With my new nagging point, comes backlash from The Bibbed Wonder. You see, he hates it when I burn candles in the house. Not only does he fuss about it, he also goes around and buries my wicks deep inside the melted wax so I can’t light them. At least I can’t light them with ease. I have to take a knife and dig the wicks out, use a long stemmed lighter to burn the wax away and then light them. He is often victorious with these tactics because I just get tired of his nonsense and give up. I just concede to not having the wonderful scent of fresh apples or pumpkin spice wafting through my home. Instead, I have the scent of Buster’s anal gland issue, a reluctant to wash eleven-year-old, and a porcine loving husband…delightful.

My bibbed wearing buddy, is fearful I forget to blow out said candles and end up burning down the house. I must admit, his fears are not without validity. I am rather forgetful these days. However, any footing he gained on the issue dissipated over the weekend. You see, he tries to curb my nagging by not smoking cigarettes. He has smoked cigars and now he is smoking a pipe. I must admit, I do enjoy the scent of aromatic tobacco but I will never tell him. He taps his pipe out over the side of the porch when we are having our evening drink. This past weekend, he accidentally tapped his pipe out in my new DIY metal tub planter that I had planted with cherry tomatoes and oregano. All weekend, when we stepped outside, we said, “I smell smoke and plastic burning. Did you burn something in the fire ring?” The answer from both of us was no. Yesterday, when I stepped off my porch and looked at my planter, the dirt looked like ash, the plant was burnt, and the plastic stake I had used to stake my plant was melted and warped.

I had no idea potting soil would burn. However, like a peat filled moor, burn it did. What is frightening is that it sits at the base of our porch directly below the wooden pillar and the fabric flag waves very closely to the planter. All jokes aside, this could have been disastrous. The Bean and I carried the hot planter up to the middle of the paved driveway, got the hose, and doused out the smolder. We were both a bit unnerved.

Now, The Bibbed Wonder has no leg to stand on. He almost burnt down the house with his willy-nilly smoking practices. The Bean is now on him like flies in August to quit smoking. Anything that little blue-eyed charmer demands of him eventually happens. He too will eventually cave to her tyranny and become submissive. It is all a matter of time now. She has also demanded he cease sabotaging my candles and let the scents of the season waft about freely. He began to argue but when reminded of his remiss behavior he became quickly subdued. Nothing shuts one down like an eleven-year-old armed with facts and evidence.

I have vowed to go on vacation or at least to go stay with GramBarb for two weeks once he quits smoking. With the thought of an afternoon nap not in the cards until October, I very well may eat his face off if I am near him. However, his health and well being are far more important than a few weeks of undesirable behavior and unpleasant comments. We will again get through this. I fully intend to strike while the planter is hot and not lose my leverage over this ongoing battle.

Until then dear reader, stay safe, stay smart, stay smoke free, and of course wash your hands.

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