Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Is Upon Us

With a new year just around the corner I know I need to sit down and evaluate all that has passed in the year.  I've accomplished quite a bit I think but I probably could have done a whole lot more.  So this is my year in review.

January:
I was alone this month.   I was diligently working on finishing up the last of the Deaconry Training Program updates.  I had finished the main body of the course work the previous month but still had two updates to finish and I did.  I would apply for my certificate.  I still had another seven months before my husband would redeploy and three more until he would come home for just a visit.  What was I to do with so much time on my hands?

February
The time was drawing ever closer to when my husband would be home on leave, only about eight more weeks to go.  How could I stand it?  I'm not sure I got through it all but more likely just existed.  I decided I would learn an instrument since I was now done with my course work.  But what instrument would I choose and how much did I want to put into it knowing I'd most likely be terrible.  So I researched, I'm a research junkie, and finally found something inexpensive to play.  I decided upon the Scottish Tin Whistle, but I found it for much less than the link and with only two left I had to make the purchase quickly.

March
Now I was only down to a few more weeks.  With him leaving Iraq in just a matter of weeks to visit me I felt the pressure.  I wanted everything to be perfect here.  I had yet to learn enough on my new instrument to impress a baby so there was none of me even thinking of playing a decent solo for him. It would have sounded more like a squeak.  I played the clarinet as a child and actually quiet well but for some reason there was just one note on this blasted tin whistle that wasn't coming out right. I was worrying that I hadn't lost enough weight just yet.  Only twenty pounds.  Would he notice?

April
My spouse left again to head back to the desert.  I was again alone.  How much longer did I have to put up with this crap?  Having him home was just a tease.  Vacation went by in a blurr and I can hardly remember what we got done.  I know we got my garden planted.  Next year I'm going to purchase from Burpee or so I told myself and I ordered their catalog.  Just after my husband left the hail started.  I lost ten of the sunflowers, all of my pumpkins and a few marigolds.  I would have to start from seed again this month.  My precious plants, I felt so bad.

May
Big tease from my spouse.  He didn't like hearing either that they were sending home some of the troops from his camp but he wouldn't be one of them.  He still had a while longer.  I watched as a new neighbor welcomed home her husband.  I later cried.  Why can't mine come home now?  More fighting in the province shortly after they left.  I was scared.  Sure this time around they lost less but they still lost soldiers.

June
Wow where did the time go?  I helped out the end of June with setting up the barracks for the soldiers that were soon to come home.  Did I say soon?  How could this be?  Yes, some had to start filtering home.  It isn't as easy as hoping on a plane and flying home.  Dust storms, canceled flights, insurgent activity all prevented the easy transport home.

July
All I could think of is how much longer.  He's been gone almost a year now.  Will he make it home for my birthday?  Okay fifty weeks down and that means they have to have him home in the next two weeks or I'll...what?  What could I do?  Complain?  Have a hissy fit?  No that wouldn't work.  Okay so I finally get that call.  Not the dreaded he's been injured call but the call that tells me how much longer.  I'm elated.  I couldn't sleep for two days.  I arrive early at the location.  I wait as there are more delays.  One homecoming group comes and goes.  Second, third and then I wonder what is the problem?  Where is mine?  I want mine.  Finally I get to see him disembark from the plane.  All is well.  He doesn't even know he is on camera.  I can see him sitting in the airport waiting area for the bus.  He is doing his chain maille unaware of the live feed camera.  I keep hoping he'll notice it and wave.  I wait more and more.  What's the delay now?  Oh the buses aren't back there yet.  Grrr...I'm so impatient.  Yay!  He's finally walking into the gym.  I want to grab him right then and there but I've been instructed that we aren't to touch them until they are released.  First they have to form up and hear their final instructions and reporting time.  Come on now get with it I want my man.  Oh the hug feels so good.  Its been so long since I've held him in my arms.

August
Almost my husband's birthday.  What should I get him?  What does he want.  He's changed.  I've changed.  He's been gone off and on now since April 2007 with the longest home being 6 months.  Maybe a vacation is in order.  Okay that's an idea.  We head out on the Olympic loop because that is where the Twilight books were based on. We'd just watched the first two movies on youtube together and he wants to see what inspired the writer.  Funny but Stephenie Meyer had never even visited Forks, WA before she began writing her series of novels.  On our first leg we stayed in a caboose up in Sequim, WA.  Rather nice place.

September
We are still vacationing.  Almost done the Olympic Loop.  My husband and I go with a friend of his to a gun show in Port Angeles.  Its not so bad going back there.  Just prior to the weekend with the gun show and his friend we were in Port Angeles again.  Wow three times in less than a month.  The Tall Ships, http://www.historicalseaport.org/ , were worth the trip.    For that particular trip we stayed at a cozy B& B Clark's Chambers.

October
Our plans for another trip failed when his training ran over.  I had to cancel our reservations.  Its part of the Army life.  I have to be ready for almost everything.  Luckily I wasn't charged for the late cancellation.   Leavenworth, the cute Bavarian town, would have to wait.

Novemeber
Well I started a blog last month and it seems to be going quite well now.  I wasn't sure I would even keep up with the writing.  At least the blog is keeping my writing skills active and I'm trying to improve them but we'll just see where this takes me.  Thanksgiving was spent with my husband's family on the West Coast, maybe next year we'll be somewhere else.

December
Where did the year go?  I'm still not pregnant.  Yes, even though I had four follicles ripe with four assured eggs it just didn't happen.  Maybe next cycle with the IUI I'll have better luck.  I'm just so confounded as to why its not working.  I'm fertile my husband is fertile its just not taking.  Every time I get a negative home pregnancy test I want to cry and I usually do.  I keep wanting to just give up.  Five more cycles left to try.  This bring me to the present time.  I'm about to head out for the New Year's Eve grocery run.  We are staying in tonight.  There is a marathon of the Three Stooges on tonight. We don't want to miss it.  We haven't have a New Year's Eve together in two years.  I'll take what I can get for holidays.  Even if tonight isn't spectacular its still a whole lot better than last year when we had to be apart.

J, I love you.  Thank you for being with me this year.



Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Dental Check Up

Okay in just a few hours I have to go to the dentist.  This is not a doctor that I like to see at all.  Usually the dentist makes me cry with the pain they inflict.  As a child my mother would not let us get Novocain or any other anesthetic when we had our teeth drilled and filled.  My mom still does not get Novocain when she has dental work done.  Sick person!

I've been to a dentist in the local area here once.  I had a good review from my dentist who said I had several cracked fillings but that it were old and would hold for a while.  I figured that I'd call back, I had seen them in June, to get it done before my husband came home this past July.  But I never did call them back because I'm a big chicken when it comes to dental pain.

Time has passed and I got a notice in the mail that I need to have my next check up.  This time my husband will be with me when I go to the appointment.

My teeth are fine thank you very much.  I brush two times daily, I floss and use a mouthwash.  I also use the Sonicare toothbrush so that I know my teeth are getting cleaned properly.  Oh and besides using the manual floss I also have a Waterpik flosser.  I take care of my teeth because there are so very many diseases related to poor dental hygiene.

In my mind I'm a little child cringing in fear, curled up in the corner with my head down afraid of what is to come.  How do I get out of this one?  Its too late to cancel now as I'd get charged as a no-show.  Oh well, I just hope that they aren't brutal.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Don't Knock The Romance Novels!

I'm wondering just how many of my readers also read romance novels.  I fully admit to curling up with a romance novel and a blanket on a cold night or taking one to the bath with me to read while soaking in the tub.  Romance novels get a bad reputation for being trash reading.  What folks don't realize is that the authors of the books take a lot of time and effort into doing research.  I in particular like period pieces when I indulge in reading this particular genre.  I read basically whatever I can get my mitts on and in fact have even read a manual on how to repack bearings for an Army vehicle.

While in college I took a class on Chaucer, specifically his Canterbury Tales in the original English which isn't as easy to read as one might think.  I noticed that while reading these tales my previous choices of genre, especially books by Jude Deveraux, Johanna Lindsey, and a few by Catherine Coulter all helped with my understand of Chaucer's works.

Maybe you wonder what one has to do with the other as Chaucer is a classic while the others are modern novelists?  Well it helped me to imagine how the people of Chaucer's time period lived.  How they ate, what they wore, and how they traveled were well described by the above three aforementioned authors.  Those romance novelist took the time to do their research so that my job was easier.  I not only understood the courtly ways of the character the Knight in Chaucer's Tales but I knew that he shared a trencher of bread filled with meats and vegetables with his maiden fair.  He would also serve her first.  I was able to answer questions by other students in class because of my reading choices.  Okay I'm also a research junkie but then again most avid readers are fact checkers.

Bringing this topic back to present day we have some folks out there that also knock the works of Stephenie Meyer.  Some critics have even had the audacity to compare her to J. K. Rowling who isn't even in the same style of writing.  Why?  Well those that can't write often complain about those that can and how they are lacking in qualities.  I loved both of the above authors.  I have read their works and find them equally enchanting.  Rowling wrote mainly for the younger child while Meyer wrote for the older teenager and young adult of which I am neither but it didn't stop me from reading the works.

If you want to read in public, don't hide your book behind a newspaper just because you are afraid of being judged by what you read.  I read classics, I read modern works, I read pulp fiction and sci-fi.  If someone is going to judge you by what you read then so be it but don't let it stop you from enjoying the adventure of reading.

I dare you to be seen in public reading a book that you would otherwise hide from others.  Well, okay within reason as there are some laws restricting what one should read in public because of public lewdness but I think you get the gist of my dare.

Go forth and read.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Dog Bowl

image from Claydesign

This Christmas I was waiting for a very important package to arrive via UPS, Tracking The Last Package.  It finally arrived at 1900hrs but its late arrival made going to the party a no go for us at it was a long drive to get to the party destination.

After reading an excerpt from Stephenie Meyer's Breaking Dawn to my husband, I decided to get him a dog bowl.  I looked at dog bowls from several different web sites.  Should I go with stainless steel or ceramic or should I just get him a hard plastic one were a few of the decisions I had to make.  I ended up getting him a microwavable, dishwasher safe ceramic bowl from Clay Design.  I'm sure that had I gotten him a stainless steel bowl with the word Fido on it he would have loved the joke.  But I decided that a ceramic one with the US Army crest and his last name on it would be a bit more practical.  My husband can eat as much as the character Jacob Black.  This dog bowl is just perfect.

So we brought the unopened carton with us.  He had no clue what was inside the box delivered by UPS except that he was going to like it.  He'd better like it after what I paid in shipping to get it here on time.

His family on this coast opens their gifts on Christmas Eve with all the friends invited who also exchange gifts.  The next day is family only gifts and a brunch.  We decided to exchange our gifts on Christmas Eve.  My husband opened up the box and everything got really quiet.  They knew we had missed one party they were having just because of this package.  Packing peanuts went flying as the box was tightly filled and compressed with them.  I'm rather glad they were in there even though they weren't rice but Styrofoam as the dish made it safely to its destination, my husband's hands.  He loved the gift.  I was happy.

The next day he brought  it over to the other side of the house for the family unwrapping to show those that didn't see it before what I had got him.  The black lab saw the dish and thought it was for him.  Perfect.  Now that a dog has approved of the gift my husband is sure to use it more.  In fact he stated he'd bring it into work just to eat his lunch out of the dog bowl.  I made a joke that if he's bad I'll get him a dog house next.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Here Birdy Birdy Birdy

Just got home from grocery shopping.  I bought more suet cakes, un-salted peanuts in the shell and wild bird feed for my feathered wild friend.  No sooner had I started to make lunch when I heard two thunks to my sliding glass door window in the dining room.  I look out and see two bird are stunned.

I go outside to take care of them when in swoops in a split second the reason for them hitting the window.  I have a raptor bird preying on my feeder friends.  Its just Nature but still it rather sucks.  The raptor was spotted and not much more than a blur as it did a touch landing on a little Junco and took off with it in its grasp.

I was able to get the other bird to relative safety.  Alas I couldn't save this little guy.  It was a male.  I held it in my hand as it died.  Massive concussion was my guess as one eye shut slowly in its death and the other stayed open.  It did shudder a little.  I felt so bad.  What could I do?  I've seen Juncos hit the glass before and I have stickers on the window so they don't hit it.  I've sat by them before in warmer weather watching to make sure they rouse themselves.  This little guy just didn't make it.

We placed him in a box after I let my husband hold him gently.  He's never held a bird before and wondered at how soft the are the feathers.  He said it feels more like fur.  I've held birds before because I once had a parakeet as a pet.  I miss Topper.  My mom named  the parakeet after the character from the old TV show called TOPPER.  There were also two movies about that character.

So now my husband has now put the Junco under the Fur tree with a few leaves covering it in the weak hope that it will somehow still recover.  Poor thing.  I still held out some hope for him but it just wasn't to be.  We made sure our hands were well washed as I know that some birds can carry diseases.  Not sure if lice is from birds but I'd rather not get it in any case.

I have a soft heart.  At times I think I love animals more than humans.

Well its time to go feed the Stellar Jays as the Juncos, Wrens, and Chickadees have plenty to still eat.  I guess the raptor does too right now.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

The skies are grey with clouds and I have my doubts that Rudolph will be able to find his way tonight unless it clears soon.  Maybe Old Saint Nick will refuse to deliver in the rain as he prefers the white fluffy snow.  He is an older fellow and the cold rain probably hurts his arthritic joints.  But some how he always leaves a gift or two under the tree for me and if I'm really good something in my stocking to make me feel like a kid once again.  Must be he does have a lot of elves helping him out.

Every year I wonder how the children of the poor, the children that are still waiting to get adopted, or the children that are abused and neglected fair at this time of year.  Would a toy give them more joy than say a warm coat or a hot meal when they've gone without either?

No I'm not trying to put a damper on our buying binges as it is good for the economy and therefore might just present to the parents of children currently without a job a possible job in the coming new year.  What I am thinking is that maybe some of us could learn to pare down our closets a bit.

Being married to the military I have learned that with each new move I must go through all my possessions and clean out.  I've given away to the needy more than one winter coat in good condition.  I don't need a lot though, I some how always collect a lot.  Not to pat myself on the back, but one year I did make a blanket for an auction to benefit the VA Home.  It took me about four months to complete, all hand crocheted.  I shipped it off to North Carolina so that my mom could present it for a fund raiser.  If only my carpal tunnel would behave for a bit I could get back to my charity work.

Maybe this year, since we are headed into what would be our last year, if there is a normal length to a duty station tour, I'll once again start thinning out my closet and my husband's too.  I have plenty of yarn to start another afghan, we'll just see how my hands hold out.

If my readers have extra think about giving some away.  You might find that last minute tax deduction by donating.

If my readers have time, think about helping out someone in need.

Above all, I wish you a very Merry Christmas tonight.  May you all know joy and happiness.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tracking The Last Package

Ever notice how annoying it is to wait for something?  I swear waiting for this last gift to show up today is driving me crazy.  The parcel was scanned out for delivery from Fife, Wa at 3:36 A. M.  Yes early this morning.  Its now 1645 hrs.  Still no package.  Its like waiting for the cable guy to show up and install the cable.  I keep looking out the window every so often when I hear a heavy truck lumbering down the road.  I get fooled every time with so many moving vans going up and down my road this past week.

I ordered this particular item for my spouse on the 2nd of December and was informed it would take about 14 days to process the order and create it.  Okay I can deal with that.  After the 14 days were up I finally notified via my email that they were going to ship it.  What I didn't expect is that they said it would take 10 days to get here.  Its coming via UPS.  Normally I'm quite fine with that and have never had a problem with their service until I moved to this state.  My first Christmas season here we had snow and UPS refused to deliver the flowers my husband had sent to me on the day stated.  They arrived dead.  The amount of snow we had was next to nothing compared to what I'm used to NY.

So here I sit and wait, all day mind you, for this particular package.  Its a really important gift.  I ordered it well before the deadline for shipping.  I keep checking to make sure they didn't just bring it back to the warehouse and sign it back in.  That would really tick me off if they did considering I have places to be today still and might have to cancel my plans for the evening.  I'm not a party animal but there is a holiday party that we were supposed to go to this evening.

Its raining here, as per usual, there should be no delays in the package reaching its final destination.  But I'm having my doubts about this particular UPS crew.  With any luck it will be here in the next hour.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Handfasting Anniversary

photo above is where we ate

Yesterday was the seventh anniversary of the day my husband and I handfasted.  Its an ancient Scottish tradition.  One of our friends acted as High Priestess for the ritual while our friends gathered around our altar to help light the four main candles while wishing us well for the coming year.  Our hands were bound together with my clan's plaid, Stewart, and we lit our candles which were bound together with ribbon.  After we served up scotch, soda, meats and cheeses as it was an after dinner ceremony.

Seven years later we are still together having made our marriage official  just after Mabon started a little over five years ago.  Even though the ship's captain lost our Wiccan ceremony we had typed out for him on paper we still were married with a Native American Blessing.  All four elements were again present as we married directly on the water, well we married on a large boat on the lake.

My husband brought home, after signing out on leave, yesterday a bouquet of red and white roses, baby's breath, pine branches and star gazer lilies.  They smell so wonderful.  We exchanged one gift each from under the tree.

For dinner we drove to the East.  There is a quiet small town called Roy just off post out the east gate.  We looked up placed to eat online as my husband wanted a steak house and I wanted a place that served more than just steak.  We found a wonderful hidden gem called The Old General Store Steakhouse and Saloon.  The prices are reasonable and the service is fast.  My husband ordered the ribeye steak and I had the fish platter.  I used our $25.00 restaurant coupon and our two meals with drinks only came to a little under $35.00 with the tip after the coupon was applied.

This place has character.  They have live bands every weekend and they hold dancing classes.  The portion sizes are nothing to sneeze at.  We had so much left over food that we ended up with two carry out trays.  I'm eating slow to make sure my brain tells me that I'm full so I don't over eat.

Well worth the drive across post to get to the other side.  Hmmm...makes me sound like the chicken crossing the road.  Well at least I know the chicken made a smart move by heading out to that particular restaurant.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Gifting; Is It Better To Receive?

Well last night I received a gift from someone that I had not bought a gift for.  My husband knew an hour before his friend arrived that the guy was going to give us each a gift.  Fair warning would have been nice.  I hate to receive any gift without the chance to give one back because that is how I was taught.

What makes this worse is that the guy giving the gift was the one I mentioned in my blog, He's Not My Friend, and well I felt bad about receiving the gift for two reason.  First reason is that I did blog about him and second is because he gave me something without me giving back.  I graciously accepted the gift, a dvd, How To Train Your Dragon

I do love this particular movie and I watched it at the post theater while my husband was deployed.  My husband has yet to see the movie so we'll end up watching it together.

Now I have a question or two for you readers.

1) If you are given an unexpected gift do you graciously accept it and tell the person you didn't get them one but will get them one later?
        or
2)  Do you just accept the gift and think that in this case its a small repayment for the damage he's done to the furniture?  I guess you'll have to read that blog page to understand what I'm thinking.

I gave the guy a hug and thanked him.  He thought I'd never seen the movie.  I said that I have and I enjoyed it.

After my husband's friend left, must have been at least an hour, I asked my husband if he knew about the gifts before hand.  He said "yes".  I'm wondering if he was so absent minded to not realize that I give gifts back and I would feel awful receiving anything from this friend of his.  He knows how I feel about his friend.  Why did he not warn me?  I asked him that very question.  His reply was, "I didn't think".  I've been hearing that excuse a lot from him lately.  Its not going to fly with me.  I detest being put on the spot like this with my shields down, totally unprepared for a gift from this particular individual.

So to anyone that is reading this, if you are planning on gifting to me this year and I don't know about it you'd best tell me now if you are expecting a gift back.  I've been on the opposite end before and gifted to other people with nothing in return, it can cause hurt feelings on both sides.  I love to give and don't really care if I get in return but I learned my lesson  Christmas 1995.

Ah yes, another typical Christmas horror story told by yet another person.  Picture it, Northern New York 1995 its -40 F that day.  Due to the events that happened I ended up with frost bite on my ear.  A day before Christmas I arrived from Texas with my ex.  All things considered it was a decent 36 hour almost non-stop drive.  I had done my shopping in San Marcos, TX and I shopped well.  There used to be a day when I was younger that I could out shop anyone but no longer as I detest shopping.  I had gifts for everyone that year.  Really nice gifts too.  One was for my persnickety sibling under the tree.  I knew he'd like it.  He's a clothes horse and usually very well dressed.

Christmas morning arrived.  We all opened our gifts.  Everyone was pleased.  One gift was left under the tree.  The one from me to my brother.  He refused to open it.  But why?  He said he had nothing to give back to me.  I didn't care.  My ex did care.  My ex wanted to fight.  My ex had been drinking.  My ex felt insulted. I  decided it was okay I would keep the gift and I'd wear it instead since I liked the gift. 

Because of the fight my brother left the house to not come back as long as we were in residence.  He stayed at my cousin's house.  Tensions were high that year.  My ex floored the gas pedal and fishtailed out of my parents driveway leaving me there to deal with the aftermath.  I don't like dealing with angry, crying parents.  I left on foot walking the mile down the road to where my ex was at his family's house.  I ended up with frost bite on my right ear.  High winds whipping across the snow covered fields and the temps were registering  a negative 40 F.  Yes well below zero and I with no hat or scarf to cover my face, just my thin wool coat and a body used to the Texas heat.

Since that day gift giving for me has changed.  I'm careful to only gift to those that understand I'm giving without the thought of getting back but if they gift me too its okay. I think its truly the only thing I don't like about the holiday season.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Religious Inspiration; Tis The Season

I have friends from around the globe of varying religions.  Some have no faith while others have faith in abundance.  Has any one ever noticed how religion comes to the forefront at this time of year?  Growing up Roman Catholic we went to religious classes each weekend and mass each week.  We were far from the norm.  Usually the church was packed to standing room only twice a year, Christmas and Easter.  I never did understand why those "good" Catholics decided to only go once or twice a year and still pass judgment on their fellow humans.

I'm far from being a Roman Catholic these days.  I list myself as being a Unitarian Universalist, but with a Pagan flare.  It doesn't mean that I don't believe in the Roman Catholic, Orthodox Jew, Islamic, Hindu, etc...god, but it means that I believe in the possibility of all of them existing just with different names.  Please forgive me if I left out your religion.

Today's blog entry was inspired by a high school friend of mine.  She is a devout Christian.  I'm very happy to see that she believes in her god.  I'm glad to know that she is finding her true bliss in the worship of him.  Does it make her any better than say the atheist with a penchant for charity work?  I don't know.  I guess it all depends on if either holds to their on values of life.   

Religion is really a personal belief.  No one person is correct.  I'm sure that my ideas differ greatly from my husband just on the very fact that we had different childhoods not to forget that we both grew up in different religions.

I'd like to wish all of my readers a very Merry and a Happy whatever they are celebrating this year.  Today I'll be celebrating Yule.  So Merry Yule to all my Pagan friends that celebrate the renewal of the sun.

Hopefully no will take offense at the video below.  Its just humorous how far we in the US have gone to make sure everything is politically correct these days.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Werewolf or Vampire

Photo by me taken at La Push, WA

What team would you chose to be on?  If I were a betting person I'd put odds on most of my readers having read the Twilight Series.

What prompted this particular posting?  Well this morning there was something on my fridge spelled out in my words magnets, "Rabies: Why a vampire wouldn't do everything to the big werewolf".  My husband has been playing with my word magnets again.  I bought this particular set of Twilight magnets at Dazzled By Twilight in the town of Forks, WA.

He hasn't read the books yet.  I had yet to read even one before  we went on the Olympic Loop for vacation this past summer.  It was after we stayed, totally by accident at the Cullen House also known as the Miller Tree Inn in Forks, WA that I decided to start reading the series when I got back home.

My husband and I watched the first two movies before going on our vacation. We watched the third movie in Port Angeles, WA while on vacation.  He really enjoyed the movies as did I.  See he's a werewolf fan.  For him it goes back to his earlier gaming days and the White Wolf system.  I just love my vampires.  For me it goes back to the old Cliffhangers Show I'd watch as a child along with the old black and white movies I'd watch with my dad on Sundays, you know the Bela Lugosi Dracula movies.  The uber scary, haunting music and flying vampire bat flics of the 1940's were the best and still are in my opinion.

Twilight has its moments I'll give you that.  Its romantic, its sad, its mostly meant for teens, however while traveling the Olympic Loop this summer I met several adult females that were big fans of the movies and books.  So with their prompting I ate at Bella Italia and I don't regret that one bit. I love and have always loved mushroom ravioli to the disgust of my husband.  He swears he's allergic to mushrooms as he runs from them when offered a bite.  To make my husband happy we went for burger at The Lodge, Forks, WA.  They serve generous portions and the food is very tasty.  I had the Nakey Jakey Patty Melt.  My husband had the Big Bad Wolf Burger.

I can honestly say that I have now read all the books in the series.  I even purchased the novella, The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner of which helps out the American Red Cross with its purchase.  Rather a good thing I think since the Cullens' need so much blood for their newest family member.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Episodic Vertigo With Leg Paralysis

I'm back and up to my normal routine as of this moment however I can't say the same for the wee hours of the morning.  It was rather scary for my spouse at 0100hrs.  I had to get up to relieve myself but my head was spinning so bad I needed him to go get my cane so I could walk.  I know I didn't eat too much sodium last night but it had to be an episode of Meniere's Disease.  I lay back down and my head swam like I was drunk.  I haven't had a drink in a few months, and I rarely drink.

He comes back to the bedroom with my cane.  He helps me up to a sitting position and I try to stand.  I failed there. My legs had gone numb.  Its happened before.  I have an injured back and if the sciatic nerve is being pinched my legs go numb.  I don't want a wheel chair or a walker.  I try not to use my cane.  I do use the handicapped parking spots when needed as it hurts to walk far.

Maybe I'm crazy for wanting to still have kids but just this past month I've seen a woman with a cane and a young child.  I also saw a woman with a a walker and a young child.  It inspired me to know that if they can do it so can I.

I know that I have enough friends locally that would be willing to help me out if I was out flat for a few hours.  For now my spouse is home with me to help.  My best bet is that I just did way too much yesterday and I paid for it later.  I want to live as normal of a life as anyone my age does and can.  Sometimes I forget that I am injured and can't do what other people do so I try to do the task and end up getting hurt.  I never forget about the constant pain I'm in but I don't let it get to me.  I'm still a cheerful person, well usually.  LOL

I have to remember, when the pain gets really bad, that there are plenty of others in the world that are suffering way more than me.  I'm lucky.  I have a support system.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Say Goodbye

Today we say goodbye to our friend Jesse.  He ETS'd from the Army today and is going back to his home state.  For now he is stopping bye to visit with us before he starts his journey home.  He and my husband have been friends since early 2008 when they met in Korea.  I've only known him for about two years myself and mostly through my husband.

Earlier this week another dear friend made his journey south.  I'll miss Bryan and his cat too.  All 25 pounds of orange tabby.

I always hate goodbyes.  Saying goodbye to Bryan made me cry.  Jesse is still in our house and I hope the water works won't start as soon as he hugs me goodbye for the last time.  I always hope to see our friends in the future but I have to be a realist.  So many people enter our lives and leave again, making impressions of which we always hope will be good ones.  Its hard to say goodbye to those that mean so much.

Bryan and Jesse if you read this remember I care about you guys.  I want to see you guys again.  Remember to stay in contact with my husband and I.  Okay I'm already choking up, thanks for sneaking up on me Jesse to read over my shoulder.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Joys of Baking

Photo of our creations

Wednesdays have become a tradition of baking in our house.  Every Thursday my husband shares with his co-workers, and any other soldiers that happen to drop by his work place, the home baked goods he brings in that day.  Today he brought in a large pan filled with decorated sugar cookies.

I baked three dozen cookies of various shapes yesterday.  I swear working that dough was rougher on my muscles then the bread dough I usually make for the house.  Speaking of which I'm going to get to work on making some more bread.

My husband helped me in the frosting and decorating of the cookies.  We used Skittles, jaw breakers, sprinkles and gum drops to go with the colored frosting.  I know for a fact that the cookies are delicious even without the frosting, one broke on the way to the cooling rack.  It happens occasionally.  So I ate the star shape.

I love to bake.  Its a labor of love for me.  I end up in a lot of pain for standing for the hours it takes to mix the ingredients, knead them, bake them and decorate them.  By the time the last cookie is frosted I'm ready to sit with the leg and back pain.  The pay off is hearing from my husband how much the soldiers are enjoying the treats each week.  Thursdays they now look for the baked goods when he arrives.  I'm smiling thinking of how happy it makes them.

Good news on the repairs, Chad from Equity is here to fix my bathtub this morning.  I might actually be able to take a bath at night without having to refill the tub three times. 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Finishing Touches

This week is only half done and I'm already exhausted.  Since Monday I've been trying to get repairs done on this house.  The repairs were promised to be completed on Monday, its now Wednesday and they are still yet to be finished.

I called Equity on Monday morning, they sent out a repair guy on Monday afternoon.  He looked at what had to be done and said he was here only for the door and I couldn't add on any other repairs.  Funny but I had called in the bathroom door and tub for repairs.  After the guy left, he only measured the door, I called Equity up again and asked why the tech refused to do the job.  It was explained to me that they didn't know why he did what he did including leaving my front door wide open and the lights on in all the rooms he was in.  So I'm now set up for Thursday morning to have the door and tub fixed.  Well I thought I was.

This morning Equity called me and explained that they could repair my bathtub on Thursday in the morning but they couldn't fix the door issue until Friday morning.  Really?  I wonder why.  The door is being fully replaced and should take only about 15 minutes to replace as the former tech took measurements.  Since Friday last week I've had duct tape holding the two sides of the hollow door together.  The glue I guess let go with the humidity that builds in the bathroom, even with the fan on and the door open.  At first the tech was talking about charging me for the door but realized it wasn't my fault.  I'd better not be charged for a thirty year old hollow door.  There are no signs of damage to the door and it could be glued back together but that is not my job. I don't have the clamps for that job in my possession.  I'm starting to think I should go buy a set.

Since I was awoken early this morning by Equity I got a jump on my cookie making.  The dough for the sugar cookies is now chilling in my refrigerator.  After lunch break I'll begin rolling out the cookie dough and doing the cut outs.  This evening, with my spouse's help we'll get the cookies frosted and decorated.  I'm making them for his co-workers.  Thursdays are now known as bake goods day and the soldiers look forward to what my husband has to bring in to share.  I really don't mind at all.  I keep none for myself because I am trying to lose weight.  Baking is rather relaxing and it makes others happy.

Now that the drama has dissipated from my week I'm relaxing once again.  Not a peep out of my neighbor in two days.  Fingers crossed it stays that way.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Got Eggs?

Got Eggs?  I do.  After three years of eating primarily organic foods I am fertile.  I knew that I was ovulating on my own each cycle for the past two years as my cycles were regular.  However, I'm not a spring chicken and my eggs are getting old. So to improve our chances of conceiving we decided to seek out the help of a fertility specialist. The results are outstanding!

As of the ultrasound at 0930 hrs I have a success.  I have not one but four possible eggs for fertilization in the next two days.  The nurse was surprised when the doctor gave us the go ahead for intercourse and the time we should do the deed.  She said normally with four eggs they'll not let you have sex.  

I'm still astounded to find more than one egg ready for release with only 50 mg of clomid in my first cycle.  Well sure two cycles ago I did do clomid on my own as I've used it in the past.  Three eggs were in the 30 size zone, not sure if it was microns they were talking or what, and one at 19 I have a better than twenty percent chance of conceiving this cycle.  I just hope the fertile mucus stays thin enough now.

Ten years ago I was told by the German fertility specialist in Germany that I was primarily sterile.   I had no hopes of ever conceiving.  What can I say?  Eating right does help make a healthy body and can reverse some problems.

My husband is a little shocked to know that if we are overly successful we might end up with more than one baby.  I've been pregnant with twins before and lost them.  Fingers crossed we'll conceive this cycle with one baby.  I wouldn't mind two babies and I told him I'd handle three as well.  I also explained to him about low birth weight with more than one baby and that they'll need extra care.  I'm not going into this with my eyes closed.  I know what could happen.  I'll just take precautions and make arrangements as the time draws closer.

Until I do conceive I'll not count my babies until the eggs hatch. They do have to hatch from my ovaries and get fertilized.

Wish us luck.

Monday, December 13, 2010

And The Award For Drama Queen Goes To....

Wow did I get into some serious trouble yesterday for my post about dog poop.  Its seems that we have a Drama Queen in our neighborhood.  No, not me though the neighbor who is did Facebook me with messages calling me one and telling me to stay away from them.  Oh geez!  I even got called immature.  So today's blog post is being dedicated to the Drama Queen in my neighborhood.

Yes, I have better things I could be doing.  Oh wait I already did four loads of laundry, had breakfast, lunch, checked my email, went over the bills, played a game online, did dishes up and that left me a lot of time to create trouble right?  Nope.  But I will state that I did block that person who was harassing me and I did report that person.

For my friends on Facebook who commented there, thank you so very much for your support.  Many of you know that I follow the rules.  I'm a rules girl, well sort of, I didn't buy a book to capture a guy but I do follow the rules set forth in our community to make every one's life just that much easier.

Have to be careful here so I'm not naming names.  Dude is nice, the Ragu not so much.    I'm substituting names here, get the jest with spaghetti sauce names.  Ragu is a saucy wench.

My neighbor has, ahem shall I say psychological issues that are undiagnosed.  The spouse has told me that Ragu  has Munchhausen's Syndrome.  Well that would explain a lot.  The spouse, Dude, told me just last week with the baby alarm of "oh no cramps" that "she would pick now".  Poor Dude had to go to class and Ragu again set off false alarms.  Note that  Ragu claimed to be prego once before and it was a false prego.  But Ragu believed so much that it was a real baby that she had to miscarry it and so she did with all the pains that a real miscarriage would go through and I fell for it.  I've miscarried before and have a soft heart.  Dude told me that the doctor said it was a false pregnancy and basically it was all in her head.

I've been nice.  I've answered the emails begging me to bring over food and laundry detergent and pregnancy tests.  All with the "I'll pay you back on payday".  Same goes with dinner invites.  I've yet to see one of those promises fulfilled since the spouse came home and Ragu's "borrowing" started.

Yesterday Ragu got upset with my post and threatened me.  Ragu told me to stay away from her and Dude.  I'm fine with that.  However, if she threatens me again, this time face-to-face I'll have to report Ragu to the MP's.

Love how Ragu woke me up this morning by letting her dogs run over here under my window barking.  I know Ragu's dogs well enough by their bark now.  Do I have evidence that they were under my window?  Nope.  So I'm not calling it in.  If Ragu wants to be petty so be it.  I'm not going to hit the puree' button and ruin my life.

Ragu if you are reading this, well I truly feel sorry for someone like you.  There are services here on post that are more than willing to deal with your psychiatric issues but I am not one of them.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Oh Poop!




Okay dog owners I'm getting rather sick and tired of your shit.  If you own a dog keep it on a leash.  I don't care if you are offended while reading this blog post or not.  You are violating the rules.

I'm pissed.  Darn right I'm really pissed off.  Two days ago my husband decided to add the outside decorations to the front of our house.  We don't have a dog.  We have leash laws on post for a good reason.   

My husband grabs an antique chair from inside the house, its over 200 years old and very sturdy.  I've had the particular chair for more than twenty years myself and my grandmother gave it to me.  I repainted the chair and took good care of it.  Sure its a child's chair and not an adult chair but sturdy none the less.

What happened next should not have happened.

So my husband brings it outside to stand upon but not before he first accidentally steps in dog feces on our front lawn.  It was a dry day but the dog excrement was yellow, fresh and near some leaves so it was camouflaged.  Need I tell you that the dog poo ended up on my antique chair before he noticed it was on his boot tread?  It also ended up on his uniform.

The chair and uniform are now cleaned up but the the fact remains that some low life trash in the neighborhood has been too lazy to take their pooch out for a walk on a leash and clean up after said pooch.  I picked up the excrement with a plastic bag and disposed of it properly in the trash.


Just this past week a responsible  dog owner was taking their dog for a turn about the neighborhood on a leash, mind you like they should, when someone else's dogs, running loose, pursued the responsible owner and his dog.

Here is your warning:  If I see any dog loose in the neighborhood I will call Animal Control.

I've mentioned my discontent in my blog before on this particular matter.  I've given fair warning, now I will follow through.


I'm only looking out for those I love.  What if my spouse had slipped in the dog excrement while mounting the chair and broken a limb to extent of having it go through the skin.  Exposed to dog excrement it would be an almost assured amputation.  Yes, its possible.  So I in my right when you violate the rules.  If you wanted to be so neighborly you would have followed the rules too and cleaned up after your dog and kept it on a leash in the first part.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Enjoying Precious Moments With My Spouse

photo by me of course..Dungeoness Spit, WA

I think that too often we busy Americans rush through our lives and don't take the time to remember all the small joys, like a shared sunset with a loved one.

Why are we in such a rush to get to retirement?

Why not just stop and enjoy our surroundings and those that are dear to us? 

How about not rushing through our meals?

To all my Fellow Americans I give you this one task today before you rest your head for sleep, take an hour away from your normal hurried routines to enjoy time with your family, your pets, or your neighbors.  Relax for once.  Take note of how you enjoyed taking some time off.

Today I took the lunch time allotted to my spouse and stayed near him the entire time.  We chatted while he ate.  We made plans for later tonight when he gets home from work.  I've been making time for us daily.  Last night we made our first gingerbread house together.  I've never made one before and he claims the same.

I hope that all you will be able to find time today to just relax.  I'm about to go do the same myself but for some alone time.  The pain killers aren't killing my headache.  The antibiotics have been done for more than a day and that second round didn't do the trick either.  So if this post doesn't seem to make much sense its because it hurts to think.

Good luck on the little task.  Maybe you'll even take a few photos of your sunsets.

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Healthier Options In The DFAC

The Army is going to start offering healthier options in its DFACs (Dining Facilities).  Its about time.  The two main complaints I hear from the soldiers, married and single are the food and housing.  Our troops need healthier options.  When my spouse was gone for the past three years he complained about the terrible food.  Sure they put labels on the dishes showing how much fat and sodium content but it didn't stop them from being served and eaten.  Our troops are getting fat.

We all need some healthy fats in our foods, mostly omega-3's but sometimes a nice piece of cake with all its sugar will also help boost our moods.  Just not a huge chunk of cake!

Sodium seems to be the real problem in the foods.  I have to watch my sodium intake.  I've noticed that when I stick closely to that 1000 mgs a day of sodium that I am allowed I'll drop weight rather quickly.  If I go over it, which always happens on the weekends and holidays I'll gain weight quickly.  Sodium raises blood pressure narrowing the arteries causing the bad fats to stick to your artery walls.  Well that is my theory at least.  Not sure if its true as I don't have a degree in nutrition.

The Army is not only going to add more nutritious foods but they are going to implement a healthier routine to basic training workouts.  Its about time.  I know growing up I learned some terrible eating habits at home.  I have two obese parents, no wonder I turned out obese.  I try to lose the weight but I eat when I'm upset.  Sugar, full of the serotonin, makes me feel good until I eat that last bite and realize I just ruined my weight loss for the day.

I'm really happy to know that our soldiers will start getting better treatment at meal times with Drill Sgt's watching over them to help them make the better food choices.  Now if only we could get better housing for the military we'd all be happier.  I won't hold my breath on that last one.

Here is the link to the article on the Army Fighting Fat: http://www.military.com/news/article/army-fighting-fat-embracing-health-foods.html?ESRC=army-a.nl

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Elves Working Overtime

The elves are working overtime in preparation for the upcoming 24th of December.  I say make it easy and just drop coal from the sky.  Those little black, shiny, carbon crystals will become fast destroyers of the bad.  I have holiday spirit but I'd also like to see Karma in action.

The above photo is two of my favorite people hard at work wrapping stuff for last week's party.  It went over well but I did not like the responses of some of the younger crowd.  It annoys me no end how the youth will take for granted a gift of any type or amount.  Can't they just be happy that someone gave them a gift?  These gifts aren't bought without someone in mind.  A lot of thought goes into making the list, finding the perfect gift if one does exist, wrapping it securely and waiting for that moment for the receiver to have some sort of joy on their face.

Too often we all take for granted the little gifts we are given through out the year.  A close miss in traffic, a destructive storm passing by our house and taking the next one out, extra time with out kids or spouse.  We forget to stop and enjoy ourselves too.

Sure Christmas was moved to December 25th because the Roman Catholic Church wanted to stamp out Mithraism.  Christ's birthday by the actual time line should be celebrated between 5 Sept and 5 Oct.  But it is celebrated on 25 December now and what better time of year to show the love of our fellow man and woman!  I'm not saying that we should bankrupt ourselves in the pursuit of that perfect gift.  What I am saying is that we should give of ourselves to those around us.

Inexpensive ideas:

Give the gift of babysitting to that couple that can't afford one but would like to go to the grocery store without the kids grabbing at everything in the aisles.

Offer to help out your neighbor with a project.

Offer to take a friend to the grocery store or mall next time you are planning a trip.  Maybe a lonely neighbor would like to go with you for craft supplies or groceries.

If you have borrowed from someone this year that also doesn't have a lot of money, IE: same pay grade, Pay Them Back.  Even if its just a few bucks at a time. Friendship is precious and you don't want to lose that friend just because you were the one borrowing.

Remember the neighbor and friends that have made you hot meals and home baked goods with similar return.  They might like to be remembered too.  Especially those that now have deployed spouses.  I can think of one gal that has several young kids at home now with a deployed spouse.  She might just love to get a home cooked meal or baked good.  Time away from meal preparation is nice to have.

Just give what you can give when possible and not just at this time of year.  It builds good Karma and all of us could use the cheer.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tis Season To Pack On Ten Pounds, Fa La La La La

This holiday season, carpal tunnel permitting, I'd like to try my hand at making Schneeballen.  I have a few recipes for the delicious treat I fell in love with while abroad.  If anyone has made it at home and has some advice for me feel free to help me out.

This week my spouse and I are going to build our first ever gingerbread house.  I've never made one before, and if he has it will still be our first as a couple.  My mother always figured they were a waste of food.  Well I still plan on eating this house that I helped to build.

The weekly treats for work will be made tomorrow.  I've made rice crispy treats a few times before, but not for his unit, this time I'm going to use fruity pebbles.  I think it will be a bit more festive than the rather plain yellowish ones.  Last week I made them gingerbread cake with lemon icing.

I can already feel the strain on my jeans waistline.  I'm on day two of my second round of clomid, the fertility drug.  I need a warning label attached someplace visible to my person, "warning hormonal female".  My ultrasound is scheduled for the 14th.  I have no idea when they will do the first of the IUI's.  I'd like the doctors to start on that this cycle but with the ob/gyn clinic still being under construction the fertility clinic is still on the third floor which means that they can't do the IUI's on site right now.  Ugh.

So I'm trying to keep calm about everything crazy in my life right now.  I'm taking an hour long soak at night with a book in hand.  Its the me time that I need so bad.

My husband passed his PFT this morning with 65 PU, 61 SU, and a 15:04 run time.  He was a little disappointed on his run and thought he could do better on the SU. (SU is situps and PU is push ups).  I think its great.  I mean I couldn't do that many in two minutes!  He has gained a bit back.  We'll have to watch his weight over the holidays.  He is now at 163 and prefers to stay in the 150's.  I won't mention how much I weigh except to say that I've put on about ten pounds since he got home almost five months ago.  Some of its from the fertility drugs two cycles ago which is unavoidable.

I keep reaching for my mouse on the right side of my computer today.  I switched it to the left.  Years ago while in college I put it on the left side so that I could type, click and take notes since I write with the right hand.  Today I switched it back because I had to put my right brace back on my right wrist.  Darn carpal tunnel.  I just hope my left one doesn't start acting up, I do have a brace for the left wrist too.  Crafting, cooking, baking, and typing tend to cause my flare ups.  I'm not giving up any of it so I'll just wear the braces as needed.  The swelling will go down again.

Two days left to this second round of antibiotics.  Hopefully soon my sinus infection will go away.  I'm not contagious, well maybe my crankiness is contagious but I get such horrid headaches I can't help but be cranky.  If anyone has ever had a sinus infection that is antibiotic resistant they'll understand the crankiness.  My teeth ache from the pressure.  On that note I have my six month check up at the dentist on the 29th.  So I'll be making sure its just the sinuses and not a cavity or cracked filling.  I'm taking care of me.  No one else is offering up the job of nurse and I have to get stuff done around here so its slow but steady until I'm back to normal, whatever normal might be.

Back to the baking ideas.  If any of you have suggestions for holiday dishes, including the main meal, I'd love to hear them.  If you have recipes and are willing to share, even better.

Monday, December 6, 2010

A Parasite Amongst The Decorations Or A Memento Of Love?

Oh no, not the mistletoe!  Yup its a parasitic plant.  European Mistletoe is a poisonous plant that can cause severe abdominal cramps, low pulse and diarrhea.  Mistletoe can be spread in the feces of birds because it is a parasite that affects trees.  Do you really want to kiss under the thing now?  I still do and will continue the loving tradition.  Read on to find out why at the link below. 

http://www.candlegrove.com/mistletoe.html

Here is an excerpt: 

"Now for the kissing part.

Although many sources say that kissing under the mistletoe is a purely English custom, there's another, more charming explanation for its origin that extends back into Norse mythology. It's the story of a loving, if overprotective, mother.

The Norse god Balder was the best loved of all the gods. His mother was Frigga, goddess of love and beauty. She loved her son so much that she wanted to make sure no harm would come to him. So she went through the world, securing promises from everything that sprang from the four elements--fire, water, air, and earth--that they would not harm her beloved Balder. Leave it to Loki, a sly, evil spirit, to find the loophole. The loophole was mistletoe. He made an arrow from its wood. To make the prank even nastier, he took the arrow to Hoder, Balder's brother, who was blind. Guiding Holder's hand, Loki directed the arrow at Balder's heart, and he fell dead.
Frigga's tears became the mistletoe's white berries. In the version of the story with a happy ending, Balder is restored to life, and Frigga is so grateful that she reverses the reputation of the offending plant--making it a symbol of love and promising to bestow a kiss upon anyone who passes under it."

Just the thought of being a symbol of a mother's love for her son and her tears are what became the white berries rather choke me up, in a good way.  I know that some of you might be "bah humbug" on the plant but as long as I can purchase or harvest the plant, every Yule it will be found somewhere in my house hanging.  Even last year with my spouse deployed I hung the plant up thinking of my love for him and hoping that he'd stay safe. This year I'll be kissing him under the mistletoe after I get him to hang it up.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sourdough Starter

My husband will sometimes have me purchase him food that he doesn't always get too.  There are times I wish I had a dog to share his leftovers with as they just hit the trash after a few days.  The milk went bad earlier last week.  So what do I do with sour milk?  I make sourdough starter.  Thank you Mr. Howard.

In eighth grade I had a wonderful science teacher by the name of Mr. Howard.  One of our science labs was about culturing healthy and beneficial bacterias, in this case an edible yeast.  Yeast in the blood is a bad thing, yeast on the body also is bad.  Yeast created by soured milk and flour gives you sourdough starter.

I now have a nice spongy culture of which I just fed, called doubling.  All you need to start your own sourdough starter is a single cup of milk left out in a container, covered to prevent bugs getting in it, for two days.  After two days of staying out in a warm area you should have it soured.  Add in one cup of flour.  Let it sit with the flour mixed in for another couple of days until it resembles the above photograph, it will be rather spongy in texture.

I added one more cup of flour and one more cup of soured milk to the mixture.  Twelve hours later I will have the option of using some of the sourdough yeast to start my batches of bread or refrigerate it to prohibit the growth of bacteria.  If mold grows on top it has to be thrown out.  If it starts to separate I have to stir it back up.  I has to be loosely covered so it can breathe.  We don't want the organism to die.  It can be kept in the refrigerator for one to two months without using it.  After two months its best to flush it down the toilet.  Oh yes, its also great for the septic system.

After using one cup of it I have to add back in another cup of flour and one of milk to keep it fed.  Quite simple really.  Rather amazing that I still have my lab papers from the eighth grade too.

If any of you remember Mr. Howard and want to try his recipes out let me know I have those too.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

UnChristmas

Rather interesting day today.  I had my first White Elephant party.  I have never had to take a number for a gift then risk having it taken back from me or stolen as someone would put it.  Its in the rules.  I was able to keep my gift without a problem.  My husband had his gift stolen and thus was able to get another gift, a wrapped one, from under the tree.  Later they went reverse through the numbers and again we risked losing our gift in a one sided trade.  Its one sided because if you were holding onto a gift you wanted to keep and someone wanted it who's number it was to be their turn to trade you'd lose your gift.  My husband started out with a huge cocoa mug and a cake of some sort.  Someone else wanted it so his next gift was a glass butter dish.  When it came time for him to trade off he was able to get some marinades.  He loves to grill beef so he was very pleased to have his turn comes up.  No one else was able to get the marinades from him because of the rule that if a gift has been stolen three times it has to stay put where it is.  I was gifted a set of Mary Kay Satin Hands lotions.  Never used the stuff before and I'm thinking not just my hands but my feet as well would benefit from the lotions.  I have such dry skin.

After the White Elephant we had the Elf Ornaments.  My husband's eldest cousin, first cousin at that, purchases I swear about one hundred ornaments, wraps them and puts our names on them.  My husband got a dragon ornament this year.  He was very pleased with it.  I think my ornament is a plaster one with an angel on it.  I'll have to look more closely at it later.  Right now traffic is still pretty high in the house and I'd rather not risk taking it out of its box again until it gets put on our own tree.

Funny note with the Elf Ornaments is that my husband was conversing with one of his younger cousins today, she is all of eleven and very bright, about maps, globes and spelling words along with their definitions.  Well she had this cute hat on her head all day and tore off one braided strap by accident.  I took the hat from her and sewed the strap back into place then gave it back to her.  My husband grabs it when she is out of the room and hides it inside one hollow santa.  She finds it.  They playfully argue.  He then gets the bright idea to hide her hat yet again since she went to another room leaving it behind.  Being all of eleven she gets distracted easily enough to not notice that it was again gone.  She actually watched my husband finish wrapping up her hat in a peanut can and put it in the Elf Ornament basket.

So when it came time to distribute the Elf Ornaments to their tagged owners she exclaimed that she was not to get two ornaments this year.   I told her that she might want to open this particular ornament this year.  She was a little ticked at my spouse that she again got pranked.  But it was all in fun and she laughed about it swearing she'd get him somehow.  Maybe I should have her gift wrap some of my husband's chain maille and have it given back to him next time?

Well this is what constitutes my husband's West Coast Family UnChristmas.  We ate lots of food just like on Thanksgiving.  We played, we talked, we laughed.  No food fight this time.  I have to say I am a little disappointed with that little fact but there is always hope for the actual Christmas celebration still to come.  Who knows what the 24th will hold.  Maybe I should be prepared and wear a raincoat in the house?

I hope that all my readers are doing well this holiday season.  Hang in there its almost over.  Enjoy your families.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Race Against Time

I had my fertility appointment this morning.  The doctor was over forty minutes late in getting to us.  I was early because we actually found a parking spot without having to drive around for fifteen minutes.


My eggs aren't getting any younger.  At this point we are racing against time.  The specialist informed that though we are both fertile and even though I am far from hitting menopause my eggs are getting older.  He suggested right off the bat that we go IVF.  Tricare does not cover IVF.  So I asked him how much is the going cost per treatment now.  He said six to eight thousand per procedure.  Okay right now I could afford possibly one procedure.  There is also a one year waiting list at the present time.

I asked about the IUI.  He said that we could try a few rounds of that and it does have a good success rate.  The cost per IUI is two hundred dollars USD.  Its more in my price range.  Again Tricare does not cover that either.  Big problem is that our hospital is no longer allowed to do the IUI's at their clinic until the new clinic downstairs opens up.  Always something to impede the process.

The nurse gave me an instruction sheet and a business card with their phone number on it so that I can do the instructions properly.

Step 1- Call on start day of your cycle if this falls on a weekend leave a message on the nurse line or call the following business day.  (Basically you are screwed if it starts after their business hours on Friday as they aren't going to pick up until Monday.  0800-1600 M-F)

Step 2- An order will be placed  in the lab for a pregnancy test and your medication prescription will be available for pick up in the Pharmacy.  You must call the clinic and obtain your pregnancy test results before starting your prescription.  A home pregnancy test is not sufficient.

Step 3- Call 2 hours after taking your pregnancy test.  AT this time an ultrasound appointment will be made.  This is to monitor your response to the medication.  You must make your ultrasound appointment at the same time you call to obtain your pregnancy test results.  Do not start the script without this step.

Step 4- Start script on : Day 3 of your cycle unless otherwise directed by your physician.  Take __ tablet(s) each day for 5 days.

Step 5- After your UltraSound, depending on your response you may be instructed to use Ovulation Prediction Kits.  These may be purchased at any local drug store.  At this appointment you will be given further instructions by your doctor.

Step 6- Call the nurses line with a missed period or day 1 of next cycle for the next steps.  Your doctor will tell you if the script dose needs to be adjusted.


So if all goes well I'll get pregnant.

We are now taking the sex part out of making the baby with the IUI.  I'm going to get even more cranky with that fact.

Just remind me its worth it in the end, okay?  Please?  I really want a child of my own.  I want to be able to look into my child's face and try to figure out which parent it looks more like.  I realize having a child is truly a selfish act with so many babies out there needing to be adopted.  But I really want a baby.  This might be my last year being able to try.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Ready, Aim, Need Firearm First

Some of you might know who Kimber is and why I'd love Kimber.  For those of you who don't I'll have to tell you why.

My hands shake at times when I'm trying to get my aim on a target while using a lighter weight hand gun.  I need a heavier weapon.  I love the Kimber models.  Especially the Raptor II.  Its heavy which makes it easier to get lock on my target.  Sure, like my mom said to me just this morning, I could just go and buy a sawed off shotgun and it would take care of most situations but what fun is that?  I like to target shoot.

One of these days I'll have the money to buy a Kimber, over a grand for the Raptor II, which will hold its value unlike a Taurus or Glock.  I'm thinking ahead to being a collector.  I'd also like to get a Belgium Browning Trap gun.  My taste in weapons run to the expensive side.

Now that I have in my possession my concealed carry permit, it came in yesterday's mail, I feel no urge to go out and buy a gun just to have it on me.  I'm sure that some folks after receiving their permit in the mail do run out and go buy a gun but I'm rather selective about what I want to own.  I'm selective about a lot of things I'd like to possess.  I also don't like to let a lot of other people handle something that is mine and mine alone.  Its all that negative energy that people let flow freely from themselves.  Bugs the crap out of me when someone just grabs something of mine and starts playing with, tossing around, or mistreating in general one of my possessions.

I know that the athame in Wicca can be constituted as a weapon to some folks in certain states because it has two edges.  Big deal.  I could sharpen a piece of plastic and use it as a weapon too.  The point is I don't want anyone touching my athame nor my gun without prior permission from me.

Enough said?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Housework and Repairs

Today the repairman showed up in the A.M.  to work on the dishwasher.  I was doing laundry.  By the time the guy finished with my dishwasher the third load was in the washer.  My husband was home for lunch, the repairman still here and I was working on the bills for the month.

Right now I am just getting around to making some food for myself.  I need to break my fast.  Last load of laundry is now in the dryer.  I'm now waiting for the P.M. repairman to show up and finish the work on the hot water heater.  The bills are now finished and I've shredded all of the old receipts from months ago.

My head is killing me.  My teeth hurt too.  The non-asprin isn't helping.  I really detest having a sinus infection.  This one is seeming to be resistant to antibiotics.  Three days into the new antibiotic and no sign of relief yet except for a nose that drips more.

I'm tired.  I need sleep.  I don't need the DPW knocking on my door first thing in the morning asking about the pot hole in the street that they can't find.  The pot hole that flattened a tire on my suv during the last storm.  My husband was driving as I told the guy from the Department of Public Works.  I have no idea where he hit the pot hole.  A clip board was thrust at me and I was forced to sign an orange sheet of paper with the work order on it.  I told him I didn't want to sign it.  Some people are really rude.

One person in the repair department I can usually depend on for good service was here this A.M.  He doesn't work the P.M. shift.  Oh P.M and A.M. don't stand for the parts of the day according to the work crew.  P.M.  is primary maintenance.  I have no clue what the A.M. stands for according to them.  Well maybe acute maintenance?  Not that I care all that much as long as the job gets done correctly the first time.

Okay I need to go get food.  Folks, thanks for listening to me yet again complain.  I just need to get well soon.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Never A Quick Fix

Have you ever noticed that there is never a quick fix for a problem when you need one?  Everything always takes a lot longer to get done then you'd like.

The economy is going to take a long time to recover.  I don't think that all these budget cuts that they are trying to impose are the correct ones.  I don't think that we do have a quick fix to our deficit.  I really wish that we could just close our doors to the world for one day and get a reset to zero.  I can dream right?

I wish there was a better solution to my sinus infection.  I'm on my second round of antibiotics.  The first antibiotic, Levaquin, started on the 17th and taken for five days failed.  Yesterday I was at the doctor's office, I actually got to see my doctor for the first time in a year, and after taking my vitals I was noted to have a fever.  My blood pressure was great at 124/70.  But the fever showed proof that I still had the infection.  I now have a script of Cefdinir 300mg twice a day for ten days.  Its a relative of Penicillin, of which I'm allergic to so I'm hoping that I won't have any of the dangerous side effects.  So far I'm in the clear.

My marriage is working well enough.  We discussed the wall.  The chaplain and my husband agreed that there is indeed a wall and that the wall has to stay there as long as he has a chance to deploy.  The wall might always be there.  We are now exploring ways in which he can feel comfortable enough to have a middle ground with me.  I have PTSD and my spouse is experiencing PTS without the D or so the Chaplain said.  It hasn't been diagnosed by any means but it is what most soldiers experience when they re-deploy to their stateside assignments.  The culture shock, responsibilities, and roles change when they aren't in a combat zone.  The families just have to accept and encourage.

So we have to work on his socializing.  He can't be pressured into doing too much socializing but he can't be allowed to just sit there and not interact when visiting his family.  I have to encourage him.  I know him best.  But if he says that he'd rather read, watch tv, or play with the computer I'll have to accept his choice.  However, when dinner is being served he has to come to the table and socialize.

I've never been deployed but I have PTSD and I can understand the not wanting to be around crowds.  I have to force myself to socialize.  Usually I find that I can enjoy myself.  My husband will learn to do the same.  Socializing with family, other than me, is entirely different than socializing with the soldiers.  The soldiers know what my husband is going through, most of his family can only guess.  Nothing against you folks, the family that might read this, but unless you are living in the household of a soldier that was deployed you'll not fully understand no matter how much you read on the subject, it has to be experienced.

Maybe if we get that promised two years at home we'll be able to fix most of the problems that arise in our relationship.   For now we deal with situations and feelings as they crop up.  The weeds get pulled and the flowers cultivated.  Unfortunately some weeds will come back, like the dandelion with its long root system you pull and you break it off only to have it sprout back up.  Some problems run deep and will have to be explored to find the source and work from there.

Its not going to be a quick fix.  I'd love a quick fix.

Monday, November 29, 2010

A Wall Divides Us

Photo by me

Right now life for me is like this photograph.  The large path in front of me is blocked by a wall and I have to chose which set of stairs to take in order to get around that wall.  I'd love to blast my way through the stone wall but it is impenetrable to my devices, only he can remove parts of his wall. 

My vision leans more towards the right path.  I want to do the right thing.  I want to promote happiness in my marriage.  The wall is my husband's bad habits.  He could, if he wanted to, remove the stones and make a pathway.  For three years he's been building this fortified wall.  This wall of bad habits has kept many a person from getting close to him.  Now, after three years, he likes this wall.  It protects him.  I want the wall to go away, to disappear.  I'm not understanding of why that wall has to be there between us.  I'm not going to hurt him.

I realize that many a soldier builds similar walls so that they don't have to deal with the family while deployed.  Its better to concentrate on the mission without the distractions of family life.  The wall doesn't mean that they don't love us but it does mean that they refuse to see who we are when they don't want to deal with us.  They hide behind their wall.

So, like the above photo, I have to chose a path to get behind that wall.  He's worked hard at creating that wall and its not going to come down all by itself.  I have to magically get around it to help him remove a few blocks.  I can't expect him to remove all of them.  I know he'll deployed again.  He needs that wall.  But I need him too.

While he is home I need him to be there with me to experience love, joy, and the pain that life gives us.  Of late, I've been angry at him.  I hate his wall.  I don't want it to be there.  I'm at fault for not wanting to understand that its still needed there.  But he has made two paths to get behind that wall.  Now I just need to find the correct path.  I don't want to hurt him.  I can't baby him either as its not productive.  Recently I was not to act like the Drill Sgt nor to act like his mommy. He seems to respond to only one or the other.  I'm trying to be the lover, the wife, the best friend type but that wall looms over us.  Its not going to be easy and I'm not a pole vaulter by no means.

Other soldiers have walls that are one completely smooth surface, they let no one in and their relationships fail.  My guy has blocks.  He'll let me see through the chinks in the mortar from time to time.  Last night for two hours I got to see through a small crack.  He has happiness behind that wall.  His wall holds it in.  He also holds in check his rage.  I'm not sure how he can contain all those emotions that I so freely express.  I'd burst.