Is date night harmful to the collective health of Josh and me?

Date Night Log

Date Night Log

 Date Night 03:  Romantic Fire Outside (Saturday)

Date Night 03 Re-do:  Movie in Bed (Sunday)

 In reading Simply Modern Mom’s Project 52, she lists several lessons she learns throughout the course of a year of date nights.  To the best of my knowledge, however, none of the bloggers who blogged about married dating have mentioned anything about calling 911 during the course of the date.

 Although, technically, since Muffin was still awake, it was “pre-date.”

 Let me begin at the beginning.  Saturday night I did not keep the contents of date night a surprise from Josh.  I had told him we would have a cookout using the fire pit in the backyard with Muffin (hot dogs and toasted marshmallows) and then continue to sit by the fire after Muffin went to bed (star gazing, etc.).

 So, Josh got the fire started.  Once it was started and going pretty well (after several smoky moments), I went in to get the hot dogs, marshmallows, condiments, drinks, and buns.  I had brought out the hot dogs and was back in the kitchen to gather the condiments and the buns when I looked out the window.  And saw…blazing inferno…outside of the safety of the fire pit. 

 Lesson #1:  Make sure that the ground around the fire pit is wet. Especially if it is winter and there is a lot of tall dry grass around said fire pit.  Lesson #2:  Don’t think “stomping it out” is going to completely fix the problem if you did not take the precaution of the contents of Lesson #1.  Lesson #3:  Make sure (test) the hose is properly connected to the outside spigot.  Lesson #4:  Pull everything out of range of where the fire could possibly go (not just a few feet from the outer rim).  Lesson #5:  Call 911. Keep calling 911 until fire fighters show up.  Continue fighting the fire when the fire fighters who (at the speed limit or slightly below) are less than a minute and a half away (yet five minutes later have not arrived—nor is the sound of a siren evident.  That aspect was very worrisome.

 I did not take any photos of the damage from the inferno.  The fire made it all the way to the fence line…rapidly…although we saved the fence.  Josh the firefighter extreme saved the fence.  Casualties included the almost full two packages of hot dogs, two plastic Adirondack chairs, Muffin’s picnic table, and, oddly enough, a pen. Josh, Muffin, Daisy, and me remained harm free (although Josh suffered from smoke inhalation that he swore happened before the fire leaped out of the fire pit).

 A few odd things happened (or at least I thought they were odd) in the calling for help from parish authorities.  When I called 911 (after two failed tries dialing 941), a bored dispatcher’s voice answered, and once she ascertained that it was a grass fire out of control, said that she would send someone out.  And hung up.  Maybe I’m wrong, readers, but aren’t they supposed to keep people on the line until help arrives?  When my dad had a heart attack a few years ago (gosh, has it really been nine years?), they made sure to keep me on the line until EMS vehicles arrived.  Second, I pass by the building that houses the fire truck every morning.  I do not speed through my neighborhood (and especially not down the street the fire station is on).  It takes me (on a slow day) a minute and a half to pass by the fire station.  So, in the five minutes that it took to get outside and WAIT for them with no sign of a siren or a truck while Josh bravely put out the flames until I finally called and politely told them their services were no longer required (I stopped short of saying so more rudely), I had a lot of time to get angry.  Almost forty-eight hours later I’m still somewhat steamed.

 We tried to make an effort of date night still, however.  We ate a hot dog with Muffin (scared out of his wits and unsure as to what happened) asking questions about the “broken” chairs and picnic table.  (Our next patio furniture will be at least flameproof—or at least it won’t melt into an abstract sculpture so easily.)  Even after Muffin went to bed, we still tried…valiantly in my opinion…to have date night.  But Josh was coughing and wet from fighting the fire (and unnerved).  So, I proposed that we go inside and do a re-do of date night for Sunday.

 Sunday started out rocky.  Neither Josh nor I had gotten much sleep.  We went through much of the day, eating corn dog muffins (with shredded cheese in the batter and one third of a hot dog divided in half inside each muffin and a pickled jalapeno slice on top of each of my muffins) served with ketchup and mustard, frankly exhausted.  For supper, we ate grilled turkey burgers (I put blue cheese crumbles on mine!) and fried cheese sticks (made using the following method).

Fried Cheese Sticks (heavily adapted from Raining Hot Coupons)

string cheese sticks, cut in half

¼ cup flour

2 cups seasoned breadcrumbs mixed with crushed cracker crumbs (saltines)

1 cup milk

2 eggs, beaten

vegetable oil, for frying

marinara sauce or commercial pasta sauce, warmed, for dipping

 Combine milk and eggs in a bowl.  Place crumbs in a shallow oblong bowl/dish. Heat a small skillet holding oil about 1 centimeter up the sides of the skillet over medium heat.  Roll cheese stick in flour until no longer slick and shiny.  Immediately dunk (and coat) in milk/egg mixture.  Roll in crumbs until completely coated.  Immediately place in the hot oil.  Repeat.  Once the bottom is browned, use tongs to turn over until the desired brown-ness is achieved.  Some cheese may ooze out which is okay.  If it turns into a big blob of whiteness in the pan, scrape it out and make sure the next piece is completely coated in flour before dunking in the liquid.  Repeat with remaining pieces.  Serve warm with the sauce for dipping.

For a printable version of the recipe, please see my recipe page.

 Note: Muffin loved this!  He asked for some for breakfast this morning (although they were all eaten the evening before).  In fact, the evening before, Josh took the last one before I could get it!

 The movie selection for Sunday was My Big Fat Greek Wedding, a movie both Josh and I had seen before, but that I had checked out from the library (along with Ratatouille for Muffin, who is presently watching it for at least the eighth time since Saturday morning when we checked it out).  Most blogs don’t recommend movie night as an option for date night, but if it’s one you both have seen before and can laugh and joke about all the way through, especially while laying in bed, I think it counts as okay. Plus, after the blazing inferno of Saturday, we needed something low key.

 Today, Rene and I made cupcakes using Kittencal’s recipe from the-site-formerly-known-as-Recipezaar (  We used her “Easy One-Bowl Milk Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes” topped with her “Chocolate Frosting Recipe” prepared “light” with blue sprinkles and rainbow jimmies on top.  We did omit the chocolate chips and the nuts from the cupcakes because I wanted the smooth cake cupcake experience, but that’s the only alteration I made.  This will probably be my new go-to chocolate cupcake recipe and chocolate frosting recipe.  I like how she makes the frosting easily adaptable from light to dark chocolate.  Rene ate two in short order.

 Since I’ve blabbed quite a bit, I will go now.  (Plus, I have to go make jambalaya for tomorrow and Wednesday’s supper.)

Muffin Approved


2 thoughts on “Is date night harmful to the collective health of Josh and me?

  1. Pingback: Tip Tuesday: A Source for Date Night Ideas (and a List of Possible Date Night Ideas) | Full Happy Muffin and Mama: The Blog

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