Monday, January 31, 2011

Comfortable Clothing Quest

Time to get my panties in a bunch about an issue.  Okay I'm grouchy.  Why am I grouchy?  Well its a few things really but mainly just one, clothing.  I'm wanting some new clothes and shoes but I want comfort to be a factor in my quest.  It is a quest because comfortable clothing is hard to find.

Why can't womens' clothing be made for comfort?  I'd like nothing better than to wear something similar to pajamas all day and even in public if I knew I wasn't going to be judged.  But I have to be realistic, I know other females are going to judge me.  Most men don't care what the female is wearing on her body as long as its a nice face and body to look at.  By no means am I saying men are shallow but they are visual creatures that get turned on usually first by how a woman's body is undress-able in their minds.

So okay with that thought in mind why are the men the main fashion designers?  And if its the women that are designing my clothing then why the heck is it so uncomfortable and unforgiving?

Over the weekend I went shoe shopping with my husband.  We purchased him a new pair of running shoes as his were starting to show wear after six months.  Usually we buy him two pairs at a time so he can switch off on them.  This time he refused the second pair.  Why I don't know?  But any way I'll get to the shoes for women.  Why is it that all the pretty pairs of shoes are so uncomfortable?  I like the look of high heels and how they make my butt look curvier but I don't like how there is never enough room in the toe box, nor enough padding in the toe box.  I mean come on now, if you want me to wear the dang things for hours on end at a party or even at a work place how about adding some padding and a bigger toe box, toes do swell with all the body weight being put on them.

As for the adorable ballet flats, how about adding an arch support?  The comfort factor is almost perfect in them but for the fact that the arches are lacking the necessary support to prevent plantar fasciitis.  At this point I'd rather don an ugly sneaker that I know will support my feet properly when I'm walking for hours on end.

Now lets get to the heart of the matter with the bras and panties.  Why are they using synthetic materials in fabrics that are so close to the skin?  Polyester does not breath.  Nor does the foam lining in the "t-shirt" bras.  In summer time we women do sweat.  So who's stupid idea was it to use fabrics that don't wick away sweat but allow it to just sit there on our skin causing rashes?  Cotton bras are out there but often times they are ugly as sin.  A cotton bra with some natural fiber lace, wide comfort strap and a nice plunging neckline would be a treat to find.  Readers if you know of any shops that sell just that for someone with a DD cup let me know.

As for the panties, get real.  How come mens elastic in their underwear is wider and more often then not, covered with a soft cotton or silk fiber?  Why don't womens underwear have the same feature? We've come a long way since the steel or whale bone corsets and long cotton underwear but has it been for the better?  All-cotton panties can be found but usually the elastic waist band is not comfortable.  Forget thong panties, I used to wear those but they can be quite uncomfortable if your pants have the tendency to ride up or slide down when working.

Socks are a wonderful item.  I love a soft pair of socks.  But I don't like socks that are synthetic fibers.  Our feet do sweat and if you are wearing the same pair of socks for eight plus hours your feet run the risk of catching athlete's foot.  Who wants to stand all day in a pair of sweaty socks and uncomfortable shoes?

Forget the panty hose.  Pantyhose are one of the worst ideas to come to market.  More women have had to experience a yeast infection from wearing a polyester sausage casing in summer time than from wearing cotton tights. Luckily I've never had a yeast infection, TMI yes I know.  I gave up on panty hose years ago.  Women, get yourself a garter belt and your body will thank you.  Plus a garter belt and hose are ever so much more sexy than support top panty hose.

I want comfortable clothing.  I want quality clothing.  Clothing that will last longer than just one season and stay fashionable.  So if you see me in a t-shirt and jeans you'll know that I don't care about looking chic I just want to feel comfortable of which makes me happy.  In the end does anything else really matter but your own happiness when it comes to clothing?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Victory Gardening

Gardening is one of the best ways I have found in which to cut down on the environmental wastes.  Instead of buying those cans of vegetable or frozen poly bags of produce I sow my own seeds for vegetables where ever I live.  Last year I grew green onions, pumpkins, rhubarb, sunflowers, lemon thyme, peppers, Italian and curled leaf parsley, basil, tomatoes, nasturtiums, strawberries, yarrow, marigold (some are edible and used as egg substitutes), lavender, lemon balm and rosemary.  If I had more area in which I was allowed to plant vegetables I would utilize it too.  There are some restrictions to gardening on the military installations.  I'm limited to the two front flower beds and the one in back I got permission to have installed over the old tree stump.

In the next week or so, when the plumbers have finished tearing up my bathroom for the Slab Leak, I'll begin my indoor sowing of seeds in the peet pots I purchased last summer.  Whatever I grow I always share with friends and family.  Its seems as though I have a green thumb when it comes to gardening and what I plant grows like wild fire.

Over the winter season my husband has been compiling compost so that we can work it into the soil of our flower beds this spring.  We don't use pesticides or chemical fertilizers aside from the once a month use of Miracle Grow.  Its my little cheat making it not a totally organic garden but I don't use it very often.  I usually forget to use the stuff and still have an unopened bag of the singles from last year.  I don't think that the nitrogen, pot ash, and ammonium sulfate combination is going to be all that harmful to the vegetables, no more so than  using potting soil that contains a boost to it.  Most smart farmers, even the organic gardeners use items to correct the soil ph and organic fertilizers of which they hope are actually organic to begin with.  But back to the idea of a Victory Garden before I get too far off this environmental post.  I could use Epsom salts to fertilize garden as well as cow manure.

If funds are tight and fresh vegetables seem to be always off your grocery list due to a tight budget, the seed packets are inexpensive enough to purchase.  Our housing service does offer dirt that can be used to grow your plants but you are better off sterilizing it in your oven to ensure there are no extras that you don't want in your garden beds.  Growing your own vegetables is a thing of pride.  I feel a happiness surge whenever I look out on my garden and see how well everything is growing knowing that I'm doing my part to supplement the food on our table.

Enough of my ramblings.  Get yourself some seeds, some dirt and even a broken cup will do for a pot.  Go start your own Victory garden.

Here are some links to sites for more information on the subject:

Victory Gardening with Heirloom Seeds, nothing tastes better than heirloom vegetables!

Grow your own Victory Garden just about anywhere

And a wonderful source with a full color online catalog,

Friday, January 28, 2011

We Now Have A Slab Leak

 sample of what it will look like on Tuesday

It never fails to amaze me that so much can go wrong in such a short period of time.  Just yesterday I finally had someone from Equity in here that could hear the hissing noise I could hear for more than a week.  Please note that this is the second time I called about the noise I could here.  Turns out the hot water is leaking under the foundation. 

So now my husband I have to turn on the hot water water when ever we have need of  it.  I'm annoyed.  I had to remove everything from the bathroom that I could possibly move.

The plumber just arrived and checked with a nifty sensor the floor temps from a standing position.  He found the source of the leak easily enough.  Unfortunately he can't get us scheduled until Tuesday morning.  Its going to be an all day project and he suggested to me that I'll not want to be here.  I don't think I will want to be here either with the only bathroom in the house torn up and the sound of jack hammering.

I can see only one major problem with this on Tuesday, he wants be here between 0800 and 0830 hrs which means my husband is going to have to cut his PT short in order to get home here shower and change for work.  Well that's a problem for him, my problem will be that I might have no transportation.  If I can arrange to take the car from him I'll spend the day at the library where I'll have access to a computer, books, and a bathroom. 

I really hate having to leave my house with no family to monitor the workers.  I just don't like how complete strangers have to come in and touch stuff without my permission.  You know they always snoop and sometimes, not here at least, I've had some of my stuff end up missing.  The place I lived at in NY was rather shady like that.  I even had them try to come in while I was sleeping.  I hadn't requested, nor had my husband requested, a work order on our apartment in NY.  But there they were trying to access our apartment.  Good thing I had put the chain across the door or else they would have been in my apartment.  They never knocked either.  So I'm probably going to be a bit cranky on Tuesday when the plumbing is getting fixed.

I just hope the leak doesn't turn into a sink hole in the time between now and Tuesday.  My husband is a tad worried about a sink hole developing.  I can totally understand his reasoning since I've seen the soil layers near the foundation when he was putting in his drip edge.

I'm not looking forward to the mess I'm going to have to clean up.  No matter how much the workmen tell me that they'll clean up when they are done I'm always having to go behind them and finish up the job.  I was told by Doug yesterday that they'll have to rip out the vanity and possibly the toilet it looks like now to get to the leak.  They'll rip up the tile flooring then jackhammer.  After fixing the leak, hopefully in one day's time, they'll fill the hole up with the concrete again and get to the flooring when possible.  How am I to live with a mess like that in my bathroom?  I like to take my nightly baths and last night I had to skip that because I didn't want to add to the hot water leak.

I think they should put us up in a hotel, here on post would be just fine, for a night while they fix the problem properly.  At this point in time I'd even settle for a barracks room.  I'm just so frustrated with this whole mess.

We've had plumbing issues since the day we moved in.  First it was the kitchen sink of which they still haven't fixed completely as the sprayer doesn't work correctly and the faucet still leaks if you rotate the mount between the two sink basins of which took five repairs to get it to where its usable now.  Next it was the bathroom sink fixture of which they replaced.  Then it was the toilet leaking at the base.  Next it was the hot water heater breaking down on us three times and finally having to be replaced.  I've called three times about the tub not holding water and the faucet leaking.  They fixed that by taking out part of the bell and giving me a rubber stopper.  My husband isn't satisfied by the repair to the faucet as it still drips and doesn't give the full pressure to the shower head.  Now its the slab leak.  Seriously what else is going to happen next with our plumbing?

I'm afraid to mention to the repair crew that the window sill in our bedroom is rotting out.  I cleaned it off of the moisture today and removed the black mold that grows on the windows here in the house.  I do it quite often.  They assure me that the mold is typical of our surroundings.  I have my doubts on that for sure.  But when can I do?  All I can do is call in repairs and complain about my housing unit falling apart.  Military housing is hit or miss.  Our house is really nice compared with other units.  I've seen what they offer on the economy and the walls in the apartments are paper thin.  The rent is also too high for the square footage in the off post housing.  No, I'll stick with this house and just keep calling in the repairs.  They'll be here several times a month but if that has to be than so be it.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sand Castle Dreams

photo by me Sequim, WA

There are days like today when I'm exhausted that I just like to sit back in my chair and stare off into space.  I'll day dream about all the things I could be doing if only I had the energy.  Occasionally I think up something rather interesting and run with it.  Browsing through my photos from last summer's vacation I stumbled upon the one above.  The sandcastle isn't what it seems.  I mean its sand alright but its built over Spackle buckets and glued into place.  Sequim is one of the driest places in Washington state and I guess they wanted to prove just how dry it is by having a sand castle withstand the elements.

So as I stare at the sandcastle I'm thinking about the hopes and dreams I have.  Some are yet to be fulfilled like the dream of starting a family.  I'm waiting on the blood work results as I type this.  Yet again the home pregnancy test was negative.  Full of self pity I wonder why my body is betraying me.  What am I doing wrong since I produced five follicles this month and went with an IUI.

One of my other dreams is to be a writer.  I guess this blog is as good of a place as any to brush up on my writing skills.  I'm not going to brag about having my bachelor of science in English, but I do have one.  Odd as it might seem to have the science and not arts it was because I had quite a few science classes in addition to all my English classes. My grammar skills are sorely lacking.  I forget to use proper punctuation.  Maybe I need an editor to review my blog?

The final dream that floats through my head today is the dream of owning my own home and a nice size piece of acreage to go with it.  I grew up in Upstate New York on fifty-seven acres of woodland.  I'm used to wildlife, trees, and quiet neighbors.  My parents would always tell me how lucky I was to have all that land to play on when I'd beg for a ride to the mall to meet up with friends.  Guilt trip or were they correct?  I'm inclined to think its a bit of both.  They wanted to spend some time at home with one another while we played outside but they also wanted us to appreciate what they gave us with all that space.  I do miss Upstate New York but I don't miss the drugs, crime rate, and strict gun laws.  I will most likely never move back to my hometown no matter how much I long for the fresh air and old faces.  My home now is with my husband where ever the US Army might send us.  One day we'll have our own house, our little castle built on a foundation of love.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Fibromyalgia Course; Let There Be Hope

Hey something cool I just found in the weekly post newspaper yesterday, my installation is now offering a course on Fibromyalgia!  So this morning I called the Tricare  network line and signed up for the class.

Supposedly after signing up for the class and taking the one hour seminar my Primary Care Doctor will then coordinate my care with the Rheumatology clinic.  Well I'm not going to get my hopes too high, yes of course I am and I always do.  But for someone that suffers from chronic pain I think I would crawl the one mile to the lecture place just to hear what they have to say.

I have hope.  Nothing wrong with having some hope.

Maybe I'll finally start getting the care that I was supposed to have according to my EFMP paperwork.  I know I need the sleep study.  I'm really not sure what sleep is these days.  I go to bed after a warm bath and lie there hoping for the sandman to knock me out.  Right now I think my husband would rather take a mallet to my head and knock me out since I'm so restless I keep him sleep deprived.  No he would not hit me, but I do keep him awake.  I've thought about separate bedrooms or beds but who has the space in military housing or the money to purchase more furniture for temporary sleeping arrangements?  Seriously, I'm up every hour during his sleep schedule and I toss and turn and walk the hallways.  Of late this has become a routine for me and the warm baths aren't helping with my sleep factor.  The warm bath before bed was a temporary fix.  Now I need something more to help with the pain.

I have hope that if my care does become coordinated that I'll receive the massages, acupuncture, and physical therapy that really is necessary with this chronic condition.  I can't do the drug therapy, which does help some patients with Fibromyalgia, while trying to conceive a baby.  heck I can't take any pain drug stronger than acetaminophen.

Fingers crossed that I'll now get the program of care that I need so I can have a more days with a lesser degree of pain.

For those of you that don't believe Fibromyalgia is real, well I just hope you never have to learn first hand that it is indeed a real disease.

For more information on Fibromyalgia visit this website:

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia

Well I'm exhausted.  I think the only reason I'm now getting out of bed is to write the daily blog.  Unfortunately my viewings have gone down to just one daily for the past two days.  Maybe I should just throw in the towel on my blog too and stay in bed.  No self pity here is there?

I've been dealing with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia for about fifteen years now, or at least I was diagnosed fifteen years ago.  I want it all to just go away.  Yes, I realize there is no cure, there are only prescriptions that rarely work for me.  Right now with also trying to conceive a child I can't take the fibromyalgia medicines.

Being a research junkie, when I'm alert enough, I've been researching Fibromyalgia and Pregnancy.  I've read some testimonials of women who have the disease and how they've survived their pregnancy.  Its not going to be easy but I just keep telling myself that the reward of having a child will be worth all the discomfort I'll have to go through for forty weeks.  Its not like I can just read about a normal pregnancy on and say okay I can do this or this or that and I'll be just fine. 

What I needed before trying to conceive was a good network of doctors of which I obviously do not have.  Tricare does what it can but it is so overloaded now with special needs children, wounded warriors, and veterans that getting to see a specialist is extremely hard.  I've been at this particular installation for two years.  I've had my EFMP assessment and been told that I need to see specialists but when I broach the subject with my PA or PCM I get told that I don't need to see them.  Okay so how am I to get better?  I realize there is no getting better but there is a way to help lesson a few of the symptoms.  Hey doc how about prescribing me physical therapy, massage and acupuncture since I'm not able to take the drugs you'd like to prescribe to me?

I've also been researching the effects of hypertension on pregnancy.  I'll be going into a pregnancy with high blood pressure.  I take my medicine two times a day but my blood pressure is still hovering around the 140/86 mark.  I'll probably end up on bed rest at some point in the pregnancy, if I can get pregnant at all with high blood pressure.  I'll be high risk for Preeclampsia or so I've been warned by the OB/GYN.  I've been gathering up projects that I can do in bed to keep my mind occupied when I'm actually awake.  I'm prepared mentally now if only my body would agree.

I'm rather disappointed in myself today.  I caved-in this morning and took a home pregnancy test.  I'm supposed to wait until Thursday and get tested at Madigan Army Community Hospital.  I also didn't use the first morning urine.  I'm barely awake when I shuffle off to the bathroom every few hours.  Oh yes having fibromyalgia means I pee a lot more than most folks even when I cut back on my water.  So the test showed negative.  I've been thinking its just PMS symptoms.  Clomid makes my PMS worse.

I informed my husband of my failure to produce a child yet again.  Sure there is still hope that I might indeed be pregnant but its slim.  If my blood pressure stays high its not going to happen.  My high blood pressure is not weight related as I weighed more in my twenties than I do now and I found old records showing my blood pressure was 101/58 when I was 29!  I hit mid thirties and my blood pressure decided to follow my genetics and go high.  I miss the days of being able to eat anything salty I wanted.  But now I can't eat salty foods.  Now I have to show my body more respect so that I can grow a child.  Maybe next cycle I'll be able to conceive the much wanted and already loved child.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Rendering Proper Respect To The US Flag

Recently an article was posted yet again in our local post newspaper entitled, "Take a minute daily to render proper respect to flag".  I say posted again as last year at about this time another article was in our post newspaper on the same subject.  While I'm really happy to see these articles in our newspaper I'm not very happy when I see folks disrespecting our flag by not following those rules.  The post newspaper is free, its delivered once a week to all residences on post and to the AAFES shops on this post.  So why aren't folks following these simple rules?

First off folks if you live on or work on a military installation you should, when retreat is being played, stop what you are doing.

Here is what the paper had listed as the proper respect.
" When the first note of Retreat is sounded, come to attention, face the flag (or the direction from which the music is coming) and render a salute (soldiers) or place the right hand over the heart (civilians).

For those individuals in vehicles, the following courtesy is to be observed: Cars (and motorcycles) are to STOP, and individuals are to DISMOUNT and SALUTE.  sic( civilians are to place hand over heart)

All of the same courtesies apply when wearing civilian clothes except for the placing of the right hand over the heart as opposed to saluting."

For more information on this topic please see Army's Field Manual 7-21.13 Chapter 4.

By the way, if I'm in a vehicle during retreat you can bet I'm going to be pulling over or telling the driver they need to pull over.  Oh, yes I've told someone who had no clue, an Army wife at that, that she needed to pull over now and why.  She, American born and raised, was shocked that we actually had to do this and not just the soldiers.  Its our country too and we should show our respect to the American Flag!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Conserving Resources At Home

Today's Environmental post is about conserving resources in your own home, specifically the utilities of water, gas and electric.  Recently we received our billing statement from Minol which is our provider here on our installation. I was very pleased to see that if we continue on the path of our conservation habits we will be receiving a rebate soon.

I guess the only thing I'm not really pleased about is that we've been here for two years now with no rebate as of yet.  When we signed for this housing we were told about the program with Minol and how we'd be receiving a statement every two months in the mail showing our usage.  If we were going to get a rebate we'd get a check but if we went over we'd get a bill.  This is our first statement.  I'm annoyed.  I'm conserving the utilities as much as possible. 

Our statement was only a mock up.  I'm wanting my rebate.  It showed that in September we had a credit of $27.38 and would have received a check if they had implemented the program.  October we had a credit of $35.22.  November we had a credit of  $32.49.  December we had a credit of $28.49.  Okay where is my money for doing a good job.  We were told two years ago that anything above a five dollar credit we would receive a check.  So far nothing.  I feel like we are being punished for doing  a good job.  I feel as though they owe us for the $123.58 we've saved the government by not using our maximum allowed in utilities.  But what I feel doesn't matter.  The only thing that does matter is that we are helping save the environment through our conservation of utilities.

There was a letter accompanying the statement saying that the mock billing would continue for another two months.  Well that means another two months without us receiving a rebate but my payment is knowing that we are still doing our part to help out our community and our environment by conserving with our utilities.

Utility conservation is quite easy.  Here are some easy things you can do to conserve energy in your housing unit.
1) Turn off the lights as you leave the room.  Turn off the lights in the rooms you aren't using too.

2) If you don't have to do your laundry in the day time switch it out to the night time and you'll save on the cost.

3) Take shorter showers.  Or take a shower with your spouse.  More fun.

4) Unplug all appliance that aren't being used.

5) Use power strips with surge protectors and kill switches on them.

6) Limit the time spent on your computer daily.  The computer does draw quite a bit of energy.

7) Switch to the new energy saving light bulbs.

8)  Replace worn out appliances with energy saving appliances.

9)  Make sure your housing unit is kept in good condition with no drafty windows or doors.

10) Turn your thermostat down to no more than 65 F.  We keep ours at 60-62F at night and 64F during the day.  Warm, dry air is the cause of more colds and sinus infection than you think.  Lower the temperature and turn on a cool mist humidifier. 

11) Turn down the thermostat on your hot water heater.  It shouldn't be at more than 110 F. Higher temperatures than 120 F can cause skin burns.

12) Before running the dishwasher turn on the hot water at the sink to let it run for a minute to make sure the hot water is flowing to the dishwasher.  Make sure the dishwasher is actually full before running it and try to set it on the energy saving wash.

13) Keep your refrigerator at about 3/4 full.  If you are running low on grocery items fill bottles or jugs up with water and put them in the refrigerator as it will help prevent the compressor from running too often.

14) When using the oven, don't just use it for warming up or cooking one small dish, use it more efficiently and bake more than one small item.  Ie: not just one potato but say four to six potatoes at a time at least.  You can always freeze the food you don't intend on eating right now and warm it up in the microwave which takes less energy.

Well those are my suggestions.  As some of you are receiving your statements in the mail this week I hope you realize that you can conserve energy whether you have children or not.  Every little bit we save helps our environment.

Go outside and take a walk rather than sit in front of the television or computer today.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Women In Combat; Fighting A Losing Battle

photo from:

Okay well this just ruined my day.  I had such high hopes that women would finally be treated as fully equal to the males.  I guess not.  Yet again our equality has been put on the back burner.  I thought for sure with the repeal of the DADT (don't ask don't tell) the next logical step would be to allow women to enter into the combat infantry jobs.

Of course, as per usual, it all boils down to the politics.  The squeaky wheel gets the grease and someone isn't squeaking a loudly as they did for the gay population as they should be for equal rights for women in the military.  Yes, I know women are considered to have those equal rights already, but when we are denied certain jobs because of our gender that is far from equality.

Some of you might ask why it bothers me so much since I'm just an Army Wife?  Well its because I think that all women should have equal opportunities in all areas of the military and civilian jobs.  Just because our reproductive parts are on the inside doesn't mean we can't do the job.  Ask a female body builder if she can lift more than the average male soldier and you might find out that she can.  I get tired of hearing that our bodies aren't strong enough.  If our bodies aren't strong enough then how come we can give birth vaginally to eight pound babies without anesthetic?  Not to mention that labor lasts for hours.  So I ask, why are they afraid of us not being able to handle the possibility of being held prisoner and tortured?  Why do they think that we'll cave to our emotions?  Have they never seen an enraged female protecting their loved ones?

Good grief!  To you politicians out there, wise up.  Women are equal to men in every aspect.  We women deserve the chance to prove ourselves.  Oh and don't tell me that we might be risking other lives while trying to prove ourselves in combat.  Males in the infantry combat positions that have yet to prove themselves risk other lives just as much as the untested female counterparts.

Feel free to weigh-in on your opinions.  I'd love to know what my readers are thinking about this post.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I'm A Food Addict

from the

I love food.  Not just any food, but good food.  I'm not the fast food type of eater.  I like to eat food that takes time to prepare, that has flavor and is something that I could create at home for my own family.  I'm what some folks would refer to as a foodie.  So be it.

I have a lot of recipes passed down from the family.  I have plenty of resources on the web in which to turn to when I can't think of what I want to make for dinner on any given night.  I try to keep a well stocked freezer and pantry so that I don't have to run out for say; onions, milk, or garlic.  I have an herb garden and I love cutting my own fresh herbs when I have need of them.  Tonight I'm going to cut some fresh rosemary for a particular dish I saw on television this past Friday.

I love to cook and since I have a problem with digesting tomatoes and tomato products I'm always looking for new recipes in which there is a good substitute.  With that said here is the link to the recipe I'm going to try out for the first time tonight, Cauliflower Sauce with Whole Wheat Penne Pasta.

I love to watch Paula Deen, Martha Stewart, and Rachael Ray do there thing on television.  I don't often get the chance to watch those television programs as I'm not that into television but I can see what they've got cooking on the internet as well as the television.

Cooking at home is not only satisfying but it saves money and ensures that your family is eating healthier foods.  Have you ever noticed that fast food french fries don't biodegrade even days after some kid has dropped them to the floor in your friend's car?  I hate to think of just how hard that is on my stomach.

Being an Army Wife there are times when I just have no choice but to eat food on the run.  We do have the tendency to move every three years so that means traveling and eating out on a very tight budget.  I think, can't remember for sure, that they give the soldier about ten dollars a day for per diem food while traveling.  I want to see someone eat three healthy meals a day, while traveling, for only ten dollars!  Its not going to happen.  Next time we travel I think we are going to fill up a cooler with bread, condiments, cheeses and cold cuts to supplement the eating out.  Maybe even a few hard boiled eggs in the cooler wouldn't be such a bad idea.  I get so sick of fast food when we move, and I mean it makes me ill. 

When we travel we try to stop at places like Subway because we know we can get fresh low fat food choices.  I love deli food lunch when traveling.  My favorite sandwich is the fresh and fit turkey. 

For those of you that travel often what do you end up eating for the majority of your meals?  Is is healthy choices or fast food?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


I think I need this t-shirt.

Okay last night I flipped out on my spouse and got angry just because he was hogging the covers.  I can't take the hormone over load.  This is just one more thing I hate about taking clomid.  There are so very many side effects from the extra horomones that I doubt I'll know if I'm pregnant or not until I get blood work.

I'm grouchy, my skin is drying out and cracking, I'm feeling bloated but yet I got on the scale this morning and have lost 3.6 pounds since Friday, I'm hungry and eat way too much,  I pee way too much for someone that has ditched their hctz/triam, and I think I'm coming down with yet another cold.  I'm sneezing, coughing, and blowing my nose to no end.

I'd like to have a do-over of the extreme.  I want my life back free from the synthetic hormones.  So to anyone that lives near me or is my family this is your warning that I'm very emotional right now.  I can only hope that the pregnancy test I take next week on the 27th will be positive as I can't take much more of these hormones they are giving me.

So folks I'm sorry if I'm acting crazy, cranky, crying and back to crabby the next minute.  Just bear with me.  I don't like it either.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Holiday Weekend Review

 men on sugar high with power tools

Where do I begin?  Friday was the first day of the four day weekend.  My husband has a friend that is soon to leave the US Army so his friend came over and the two of them worked on finishing up a trailer.  Quite a few of the soldiers do what is called a dity move.  It stand for do-it-yourself.  I baked them a red velvet cherry cake.  I've never made this particular creation before but I found the recipe on Friday and figured I'd give it a go.  The guys loved it.  They ended up with a sugar high while using power tools.  More laughing was done then work as it took about seven hours just to put a lid on the trailer.

Saturday we headed out of town for the remainder of the weekend but not before we did our grocery shopping.  I saved only $14.00 in coupons this particular trip but still it wasn't all that bad.  I detest shopping in all forms so even going to a grocery store makes me cringe.  Well alright not all shopping I must admit as I do like to browse for antiques.

We arrive at our destination had dinner and began work on the project we decided was necessary to start first.  Months ago I took a torn pair of my husband's acu's and ripped out the seams.  The uniform has now been re-purposed into an apron for him including the cargo pockets and a riggers belt.  No picture at this time as I forgot to bring my camera with me on this visit.

Sunday we drove around a bit and visited a few antique shops.  I ended up purchasing a crystal salt cellar and a tin recipe box.  I still need to get a silver salt spoon.  I plan on using the items.  Any antique I purchase I use.  Space is precious in military homes and I'm not one to collect stuff that can't be used.

Monday it was time to hit the fabric store for buckles to finish up the apron project.  I purchased the buckles, yarn to make slipper socks, and a Valentines' Day card for my husband.  I can always use more socks and slipper socks especially.  The military housing, for the most part has tile floors which are very cold in winter.  Some of the newer housing areas do have wall to wall carpets but I'm not sure I'd like to have carpet that smells like animal urine in my house.  Accidents do happen when you are a pet owner, I remember that well.

We headed back home but stopped for dinner first at Joy Pho, PQ .  Most excellent Vietnamese cuisine and they have their own website, besides the first link which is the reviews.  I had the chicken Phad Thai and my husband had their beef brisket soup.  Eating here has become a weekly event.  If I don't eat in I'll have my husband go fetch it and come back.  I love their noodles.  The pot stickers are really good too.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Blue Green Algae Blooms and Anoxic Waters

photo of China with blue green algae blooms

Okay sure it might look pretty but what is often pretty isn't so good for us.  Blue-green algae blooms lead to the death of oxygen in water.  What?  No, really it does happen and all too often.

I realize that today is Saturday and I was going to save my environmental posts for Sundays but I'm going to be busy tomorrow and thought I'd better do my post now.  So here it is.

First off I'll explain just what Anoxic Waters are. When too much organic materials are dumped into waters they start to decompose and the bacteria that eats through the organic materials uses up the available oxygen in the water.  So is it the fault of the bacteria that is doing its job?  Nope.  We are at fault for the anoxic waters.  Just one example is the farmers that live on the edge of water systems who often dump their excess fertilizers, organic matter like cow poop and pig poop into the waterways.  Overloading the waterways with the organic matter causes the ecosystem to die off.  No more fish, toxic waters, and bad smells are the end result.  More examples are when we have heavy rainfall that cause run off of organic matter like plants into the waterways. Aquaculture operations and sewage discharge from, boats, yachts, and ships are also the culprits.  We can't do much about the excess rainfall but we can do something about how we dispose of our own organic materials.  If you want clean drinking water think before you discharge your organic materials into a water system.

Okay so that is quite simplistic I realize but I'm trying to reach the masses with these postings.

Now for the blue green algae blooms and how they do the same thing and how we can try to help fix the problem.  First off what exactly are blue green algae blooms?  They are cyanobacteria which is a microscopic bacteria that feeds off of photosynthesis.  Basically they need a good light source in order to grow so that is why you find them on top of water.  They are fast growing and block out the sunlight from reaching to the bottom of the water where other plants and creatures would be seeking out sunlight.  Your beloved catfish is going to die off if you don't clean off the bottom of your fishing boat before you go from water system to water system.  Okay so those of you that like to fish need to be more responsible fishermen/women and check out the boat bottom to make sure there aren't any blue-green algae blooms attached to your outboard or inboard motors.  Mutations occur when the native species to your favorite fishing spot don't get the proper environmental fix.  Just like you want your nutrients in the form of your desired food so do the creatures and plants in their natural habitat.

Here is a bit more from two resources on blue green algae blooms:

If you are swimming in waters that have blue green algae blooms, get out of the water and wash off with clean sourced water.  Don't eat the fish from those waters and don't let your pets drink or swim in those waters either.  The water can be toxic.

"What are the possible health effects related to blue-green algae blooms?

Exposure to blue-green algae can cause rashes, skin and eye irritation, allergic reactions, gastrointestinal upset, and other effects.  At high levels, exposure can result in serious illness or death.
Depending on the particular cyanobacterium, and the amount to which one is exposed,  blue-green algae have the potential to cause a variety of adverse health effects, including liver toxicity (e.g., Microcystis aeruginosa) and neurotoxicity (e.g., Anabaena circinalis).  Microcystin toxins may also promote tumor growth.
Destruction of cyanobacteria cells may release the toxins into surrounding waters, so care must be taken in dealing with blue-green algae blooms."  from the California Department of Public Heath webpage.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Women In Combat; One Step Closer

photo from: Panel To Recommend Allowing Women In Combat

As stated previously in my post, Women In Combat, I feel as though women are capable of holding combat positions with the proper training.  I like the idea of women in combat.

It has been shown that when women are in combat it creates a better unit cohesiveness.  It improves morale.  A properly trained soldier, whether male or female, will do their job without regard to their sex. 

My previous posting of this hot topic showed how many people were for and against women being in combat.  Some of my readers posted on Facebook their support of women in combat.  Other readers posted how they didn't want women in combat and their shallow reasoning as to why.  What are we afraid of?  Are we afraid that our husbands are going to have sex with these female soldiers?  Seriously ladies if they were going to cheat they wouldn't wait for the war zone, they'd cheat at home too. 

Is it because you think a woman can't handle the job?  No soldier is required to lift beyond their capacity as in you aren't going to see a sixty-two inch tall woman hefting over her shoulders a seventy-two inch male and carrying him across the battle zone.  Drag the guy yes, two person carry most likely. All soldiers are trained for their jobs and continue to receive countless hours of training for their job throughout their careers. 

Some readers made comments on how the hygiene would be a big issue for females.  I think females, properly trained on field conditions, know what to do and how to stay clean.  They do train both sexes of soldiers on field hygiene.

There are women in combat roles already, so what is so wrong with changing their job title to that of front line combat?  What are we afraid of?  Women in the military chose the jobs that they want just like their male counterparts do when entering into the service.  Its not like women are going to be forced into the combat positions without proper training.

For those of you against women in combat, well its time to re-think your position.  We will be entering those traditionally male only roles and very soon.

Good luck to the female soldiers.  Thank you for your sacrifices.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Wishful Thinking

A four day weekend is upon us at midnight.  I'm wishing I could be on the beach in the photo above.  I know its not going to happen this weekend.  Sure I could hop a Space-A flight to this destination, however I can't guarantee I'd even get there before the weekend was over or back in time for Tuesday's work call.  One of these days I'll get to this particular place.  I'll take a nap on the beach.

No this weekend's plans seem to be all about what my spouse wants.  He's been a bit greedy of late.  I've brought that particular problem up in counseling.  For the past two or three weekends we haven't had a date night.  We've only done what he wanted.  I'm a little more cranky about it then normal due to the hormones I'm taking to try to conceive a child.  I want to go some where warm.  Some place with sunshine.  I don't care that I'm fat and wouldn't look my best in a bikini.  I just want to go on a vacation.  Trying to conceive is stressful.  I deserve a vacation.

Just this morning I snapped at my husband because he yet again forgot that it was trash day.  I shouldn't have to remind him.  He's been home long enough now and knows where the calendar is to see if its trash only or recycling too.  Some how he usually forgets.  If I remind him he calls it nagging.  If I don't remind him he complains that I didn't remind him.  No winning there.  So I called him up this morning and asked him if he forgot something this morning.  He realized what he forgot.  How could he not see the other trash cans up and down the street at the curb?  The chaplain told me that men forget a lot of stuff.  Well so do I.  I sometimes forget my name, the day, date, year, where I am no thanks to Fibromyalgia.  I don't use it as an excuse as often as my spouse does for his being a man and all men are forgetful. 

Tonight Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows is playing as a second run on post.  I'd like to go see it.  Heck I wanted to see it back in November.  My husband had promised to take me with my free movie tickets back in November but he never did.  After a year of going to the movies alone I'd like to go to the movies with him.  Sure I could take the car and just leave him here to his own devices but I'd like to have some couple time.  I read the Harry Potter collection of books when my husband was stationed in Korea on an isolation tour.  I've been wanting to see all the movies.  I own all the movies that are currently out on dvd.  My husband claims to have been wanting to take me to see the flic but two months have gone by.

I know I'm whining.  I'm lucky to have him home this year.  But I'd like to have my thoughts considered when we have time together.  I'd like to have a date night.  I'd like to plan a romantic vacation before we have a baby.  I don't mind going to see his family that lives nearby but why do we always have to do what he wants?  I cave-in to what he wants all too often because I know that he makes a lot of sacrifices.  There has to be a happy medium somewhere.  I'm going to find it.  I'm going to have that dream vacation to Hawaii eventually.  I have the chance while stationed here.  Oh heck, I'd just love to get stationed in Hawaii and have some sun for a change.  I love pork and pineapple and my husband loves SPAM.  I think we'd have fun in Hawaii.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Today was the IUI.  Now I have to wait fifteen days until I can do a pregnancy test.  They are quite hopeful since the semen analysis was thirty-seven percent better than the minimal needed, and the fact that I have five eggs.  I'm not going to get my hopes up.  When it happens it happens.

The next two weeks are going to drive me crazy.  I was told that for the next fifteen days I'm to be treated as though I'm already pregnant.  Already I'm being restricted. 

Top of my No list I was given verbally are the following:
No Sushi
No raw fish
No new exercise programs
No hot tubs
No alcohol
No caffeine
No heavy lifting (already have some restrictions there anyway)
In general I can't do a thing that a pregnant woman is not allowed to do.

Okay so I ditched the above food and drink a few months back but I do crave sushi from time to time.  I love sushi.  I miss having my tea too.  I think I can understand why pregnant women have the tendency to be grouchy.  The list of what they can't do or have is longer than the list of what is allowed.  Meanwhile the significant other, the one not pregnant, can eat what they want, exercise to the extremes and drink alcohol if they so wish.

Fifteen more days to go until I can get the pregnancy test.  The doctor I saw yesterday told us that we have a twenty percent  chance of having twins while today's technician said that multiples are rare with the IUI.  Okay which is it?  Twenty percent doesn't seem all that rare to me.  I'll take one and if I have two I'll cope just fine.  I have family in the area that knows how to raise twins.  I'm sure the family will have plenty of advice for us when the time comes.

Until I know one way or the other I'll have to be put upon a pedestal.  Sounds easy right?  Not really.  I'm an Army Wife, I usually take care of me.  I take care of everything when he is deployed or gone for training.  I'm used to being able to just do everything when needed.  These restrictions are going to drive me batty.

Right now all I want to do is take a nap.  Not much sleep last night due to the pain in my arm from the flu shot and the ovulation pain.  Hey, you try to ovulate five eggs at once without cramps!

For now I'll be checking out this website,, for more information on what I can expect if I do turn out to be pregnant.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ultrasound Results

Well this morning I got the results of my ultrasound.  Round two of the clomiphene citrate at the lowest dosage of 50 mg.  Last cycle was my first official cycle on the medicine and I had four follicles.  Today I found out I had five follicles.  Yes, five eggs ready for release.  Its just amazing how fertile I am at my age.  The only reason I'm even on the fertility drugs is because of my age. 

Tonight I have to administer a shot of Ovidrel to myself.  This will ensure that the eggs get released.  I've never given myself a shot before but I have been instructed on how to do it.  It really isn't all that difficult, or so I hope.  I had a flu shot today.  Normally I don't get the flu shot, due to my egg allergy, but I was told of how H1N1 kills pregnant women.  I'd rather not die so I got the shot.  So far no side effects. 

Tomorrow is the big deal.  Tomorrow I undergo the IUI at the Seattle Reproductive Clinic.  I have a date with a device.  My husband asked if perhaps we should go out to dinner tonight since I'll be having "fun" with a device tomorrow.  I gave him a look, thinking no with my left eyebrow raised up.  Still going out for dinner tonight might just relax me a bit more, or it could possible give me an upset stomach if the cuisine decides to not like my stomach.

I'm nervous.  I thought I was nervous last month when I was told I had four follicles.  Now that I have five and I'm bypassing the human error with the scientific method I'm really nervous.  The doctor discussed with my husband and I the distinct possibility of multiple babies from this procedure.  We have a 20% chance of having twins with my five eggs.  Okay I can handle twins.  We also discussed options if we have more than that and the birth defects, low birth weight and fetal death with having more than twins.  We know all about reduction of pregnancy size to save the other babies and how there is also a possibility of losing them all to save just two or three if there are more than that number.  But for now I'm not going to think of those decisions.  I can't make those decisions as the eggs have yet to "hatch".

Nine eggs in two cycles is just a big WOW!  I still think about the doctor that told me I was primarily sterile more than ten years ago.  I guess he was wrong.

Wish us luck.  I just want a healthy, normal, uncomplicated pregnancy and a healthy baby.  Sure I have a preference for sex since at my age I'll probably have but the one pregnancy, however I'll be happy with either sex as long as its a healthy baby.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Bird Watching

Photos by me in this blog post

Every day my husband and I make sure the birds have seed, suet and peanuts.  Sometimes we end up feeding the squirrels when the Stellar Jays aren't quick enough to get to the peanuts.  When we have a chance we sit and watch our wild pets from the dining room windows.  Today I took a chance to get some photos of my birdies.  By the off chance I even found a new nesting pair that I've never seen in the almost three years of living here in Washington.

I have no idea what species of bird this is and I'd love to have some help in identifying it.  If you know, please tell me.  Its larger than the Stellar Jays.  It has red on its back behind its head and the wings expanded also have red on them.  Its looking like something in the grouse or quail family to me but I haven't seen one of those since I left Upstate NY.

The two sites I used to try to identify the bird were:

If you have a better site and a thought as to what the bird could be, please let me know.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Recycling, Doing Our Part To Save The Planet

Each Sunday this year I'm going to try to make a post about environmental impact issues, saving our Earth, and how we can help out.  Today's post is about recycling.

Recycling is just a small step that we should take daily in helping out our planet.  Before you go shopping plan your purchases carefully.  Do you really need the item that's on sale that has packaging that can't be recycled?

Take a good look at your bulk store purchases you currently have in your home.  Are you saving money only to have more trash piling up?  Try to make purchases of reusable products not disposables, ie: disposable batteries, non-cloth diapers, paper plates and plastic utensils.

Remember to recycle your newspapers, plastic, glass, aluminum cans, and paper.  Recycling, done properly can save about 2, 400 pounds of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere yearly per household.

If you are unsure of what you can actually recycle, hey even I wonder at some of the codes on the bottom of plastic containers,  go to The EPA website.  Or you can take a look at this particular link on  recycling plastics.  Did you know that PETE plastics, labeled with a 1, are recycled into common day objects like the fiber filling in your winter coats, furniture, car bumpers, rope and bean bag chairs?  Of course they are also remade into plastic bottles again.  So don't forget to take your #1 PETE medicine bottles, water bottles, and soda bottles to the recycling center.  I don't want to find out that my readers are just throwing them into the main trash.

For my beer drinking friends I have a recycling website for you that you can bank recycling points.   Miller Coors  is offering up points that you can cash in for rewards later on.  Now you can get a bit more out of your aluminum beer cans.

Don't forget to recycle your newspapers and other paper products.  Just make sure there is no food residue on the paper when you put it into the recycling bin.  Try to buy products that say that they are made from paper not trees.

Did your computer die and you had to buy a new one?  Now you have no clue what to do with the old one?  Don't just put it to the curb, check with your state laws on computer recycling first.

From: Do The Benefits Of Recycling Outweigh The Costs:
Here is a list of some of the recycling programs and information from various manufacturers:
If you can't recycle try upcycling.  Okay a few of you are probably scratching your heads on the term upcycling.   Upcycling is basically taking an item that can no longer function in its intended purpose and ripping it apart to use as parts for another creation.  Remember WALLE?  Walle's job was to recycle and compact trash from the landfill.  He would find parts from broken items and re-purpose them which is called upcycling. Then of course there are a few of my craftier friends who have told me that they are going to take old computer monitors, those big ones that had tubes in them, gut the monitors, put rug in them and make them outside habitats for feral cats.  I think its a great idea. 

Take a look around your house and go through your "trash", you might find something that can be upcycled. was the first place that clued me into upcycling.  Maybe you could start an account on their site and earn some money for your new creations.  Who wouldn't want to earn money from their trash?

Friday, January 7, 2011

Women In Combat

Photo from news article, Army Mulls Women In Combat Arms Units.

Personally I like the idea of combat jobs in the US Army opening up to women.  Women have been in combat already but still aren't allowed to hold infantry positions which would put them on the front lines.

I also think that we should have a more uniform Army and that women entering BCT, Basic Combat Training, should be required to shave their heads just like their male counterparts.  I'm sure that there are a few that would disagree with the hair cut of my design but its for hygiene reason.  Think about rolling around in the mud with long hair falling down in your eye from your bun or however it has been pulled up with the bobby pins.  Shave it off and you won't have to worry about the hair issue.  Hair does grow back.

I asked my husband a few weeks ago about the issue of women in combat positions.  He believe that for hygiene reason, menstruation, that it just won't happen.  There are medications that can be taken that will just about stop the menstrual cycle completely when administered properly.

What other hygiene reason now?  The hair, maybe, but see above how I feel on that issue.

Is it because we have breasts?  Well I've seen enough guys in their uniform that have breasts that rival mine and I'm far from being flat chested.

Is it that we pee in a squat position?  Well the guys have to squat to defecate and expose their butts so what if we do it  for both.

Is it that they are afraid that we'd get raped?  Um, well hate to tell you guys but you can also get raped and I'm sure its not going to be something you'll enjoy.  Should we take men out of combat because they might get raped?

Is it our hormones?  If you are afraid of our hormone cycles then you shouldn't have a girlfriend, wife, or a female child.  It doesn't matter whether the female is in combat or on the homefront we are still going to have hormone challenges just as is the male counterpart.  Oh wait did I just say that men get hormonal?  Yes I did.  Its called Irritable Man Syndrom, IMS.  Its a proven fact that men also cycle through their hormones and get cravings for particular foods.  Usually its beer and beef but we all know that beer will bloat you too and make you cranky if you can't fit into your pants.  Maybe that is why they started making low calorie beers, too many men complaining about bloat?

But in all seriousness I know of several female soldiers that would love to have the chance to be in combat positions.  Not all of us females are stupid enough to take our rifles into the showers to clean them.  Give women an equal shake in the US Army.  We can do the job.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

DRASH Blunder

Please note this is not an actual photo from the training site, I'm not that stupid to post one.

Okay yesterday went well for the most part.  After my husband I finished our counseling with the Chaplain we were running short on time to get him back to the training site.  He and I both figured that driving right to the site would be a good idea.  I being handicapped, no cell phone, and without a camera am of little threat to a training site.

We arrive and I secure permission to enter the premises.  I did my part.  The DRASH was being taught by civilians and one of the instructors gave me the permission.  Not one NCO objected to my presence.  Or so I thought.

Today my husband gets chewed out by one of the NCO's for having me there.  He said I should have stayed out in the cold car and waited the 1.5 hours until the exercise had finished.  Well okay why didn't this particular NCO tell me to my face yesterday to leave the training area?  Better yet, why didn't he tell my spouse yesterday?  I would have had no problem in driving over to the mini mall and doing some shopping or browsing until I knew they'd be done.  I was already figuring on doing just that when I was allowed entry to the site.

Same NCO yesterday berated a male soldier for getting a cut and wanting to clean out the wound.  He called him several names corresponding to female body parts.  Is this what we are allowing in the military for NCO's?  Sure let the guy get an infection and it will come back to an Article15 for not taking care of military equipment, namely himself.  Yes they do give out Article 15s for getting a sunburn as you are damaging government property.

Yesterday I witnessed a different NCO not doing his job.  I could plainly see, past the two female soldiers who weren't helping out with the set-up but just standing around talking, that there was a trip hazard.  I told the two female enlisted soldiers about the trip hazard.  They told the NCO, who had put the beam directly behind my husband's heels, to let my husband know about it.  The NCO was told twice.  He finally responded when my husband did trip a bit on it.  Luckily the beam was moved and no one was hurt.

NCO are supposed to be professional, there is the NCO CREED, that they are supposed to follow.  I wonder if most of them can remember the words to the NCO Creed.

"No one is more professional than I. I am a Noncommissioned Officer, a leader of soldiers. As a Noncommissioned Officer, I realize that I am a member of a time honored corps, which is known as "The Backbone of the Army". I am proud of the Corps of Noncommissioned Officers and will at all times conduct myself so as to bring credit upon the Corps, the Military Service and my country regardless of the situation in which I find myself. I will not use my grade or position to attain pleasure, profit, or personal safety.
Competence is my watchword. My two basic responsibilities will always be uppermost in my mind -- accomplishment of my mission and the welfare of my soldiers. I will strive to remain tactically and technically proficient. I am aware of my role as a Noncommissioned Officer. I will fulfill my responsibilities inherent in that role. All soldiers are entitled to outstanding leadership; I will provide that leadership. I know my soldiers and I will always place their needs above my own. I will communicate consistently with my soldiers and never leave them uninformed. I will be fair and impartial when recommending both rewards and punishment.
Officers of my unit will have maximum time to accomplish their duties; they will not have to accomplish mine. I will earn their respect and confidence as well as that of my soldiers. I will be loyal to those with whom I serve; seniors, peers, and subordinates alike. I will exercise initiative by taking appropriate action in the absence of orders. I will not compromise my integrity, nor my moral courage. I will not forget, nor will I allow my comrades to forget that we are professionals, Noncommissioned Officers, leaders!"

So there it is.  From what I saw yesterday the NCO's weren't doing their job.  I can only hope it was a bad day of training for them.  I stayed out of their way.  The instructors liked the questions I asked of them during their smoke breaks.  Heck, they liked me enough that even today they were asking about me and if I was ever in the military myself.  Not me, but I've been around enough military for the majority of my life to show the respect that is due to the soldiers.  I'm curious so I ask questions.  But I won't get in the way.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Bearded ARMY?

I kid you not, the US ARMY is now going to allow the growth of facial to certain religious groups while in uniform. I'd like to know why they just can conform to the standards set forth.  See the article: US ARMY: Beard Exception.

I figure that once you sign on that dotted line you have decided that you are willing to conform to all set standards.  Why are some men allowed to have beards just because of their religious principles and others are not?  Is it truly fair?  I think not.  The Orthodox Jews are being denied their right to have beards.  Heck, the rest of the males in the US ARMY aren't allowed to grow beards either.

Do they even realize that if they have a beard the gas mask isn't going to get a tight seal?  Or how about the flammability of the beard?  Years ago when my husband had a beard, it was quite long over the winter, he was trying to get his truck started and the flash from the starter fluid spray can actually caught a small bit of his beard singeing it.  It could have been a lot worse.  What happens to these bearded army men when they get caught in a fire?  I've seen photos of what burnt skin and hair looks like on the face.  Its not pretty.

I wonder if they even thought about the hygienic issues in maintaining  a beard.  I mean seriously food does get caught in the beard.  As the face sweats the bacteria will grow on the hair and if not kept clean it could be a real issue.

I really don't like the thought of a beard on an Army guy.  Okay a five o'clock shadow is sexy but a full beard in uniform just looks so unprofessional. 

This is my opinion.  Please feel free to share with me what you think as well.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

For All The Heroes

So many people give their time daily to try to improve the lives of others around us.  These people are the unsung heroes.

Today I want to take the time to thank all of you out there.  The firefighters that have come to one of my homes when I had a chimney fire, the ambulance crew that picked me up off the floor at one of my work places when I stopped breathing, the rescue squad that used the jaws of life on my car when I rolled it four times,  my husband that signed his life away to the US Army in support of freedom, our ideals and a better life for both of us.  Maybe I'm not wording all this correctly but I think you get the gist of what I'm saying.

To all of you out there that I've yet to meet I want to say in advance thank you.  Yes I realize the video is an Army Tribute but the wording holds true for all of you heroes out there that give up your time with your loved ones to help out others.  Again Thank you.

So this video is for all of you out there.

Without you heroes out there I doubt I'd be where I am today.  I'm a proud Army wife.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Rose Water

Today I was inspired to make my own rose water.  I used two of my red roses but not the white one and the recipe from Patricia Telesco's Kitchen Witch's Cookbook.  It came out great.  It was by no means an over powering scent.

I cooked it down on my stove at a simmer according to instructions.  The petals once filtered out will now go into the compost.

This is a finished picture of the rose water amongst the drying white rose petals.

Now many of you are probably wondering what the heck I'm going to do with rose water, well I'll tell you. 

Rose water can be used in cooking, stop and see this new blogger's site, Why I'll Never Again Stop To Smell Roses to find out what she created with rose water, I find it an absolutely gorgeous creation.

Roses can be used in skin care.  See these articles: Beauty Secrets and Things You Can Do With Rose Water.

So now I have to decide if I want to cook with it or use it on my skin.  I have really dry skin so I'm going to probably opt to use it for a cosmetic purpose though Rachel's Cake does look divine.

Because I also practice Wicca there are numerous things that I can also use my rose water for with the craft.  Maybe I'll use it for cooking, craft, and beauty.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Tearing Down The Tree

The un-decorating of the Winter Season has begun, well at least at my house.  We don't have a real tree.  I'm not sure why we've never bought a live tree that has been cut down.  Are we too ashamed of what it does to the environment?  I'm not sure.  The one year I did have a live tree it was a small potted pine that I purchased because I was living in the hotel for five months and it was over the holiday season.  But I gave the little tree away in the hopes that someone would be able to plant it and it would grow.

The above photo is what often happens to cut Christmas trees.  Sure some of us could burn them in our backyards but then we'd have to get burning permits.  I recently found out that wood smoke is really bad for the humans.  All those chemicals we've let leach into the ground with our carelessness have been absorbed by the trees we now are burning for our fuel in the winter.  I developed asthma symptoms as a child and was diagnosed as an adult.  My parents had a wood stove installed in their house when I was eight years old.  I wonder if that was the cause of my lung problems.  I love the smell of burning wood and I love camp fires but I think I love to breathe a bit more so I doubt I'll ever be having a wood burning fuel source in my home.  Read this article Burning Issues, which is about the hazards of wood burning.

The last of our decorations are now down as of a few minutes ago.  The boxes are taped shut and will again be stored until needed at the end of the year.  We have a four foot artificial tree.  I didn't pay much for it but it suits its purpose as our house is small.  Enlisted Army housing is always small.  I've seen some families packed in like sardines in a can.  But all is good as long as there are rules.  Now I'm getting away from my post again.

I'd like to know what my readers have for trees, that is if you have a tree at all for Winter holidays.  Do you go with a live tree, and if so do you feel guilt at having contributed to the decline of our oxygen supply, or do you feel no guilt at all?  If you have an artificial tree do you feel guilt at the chemicals used in creating your fake tree and the fumes that were expelled into the environment to create the fake tree, or is there no guilt factor at all? 

Yes I know with either option there is no winning.  Maybe we could all opt to just decorate a live potted tree and later plant it in the spring of the year when the soil is ready.

I used recycled paper in the making of my paper chains and snowflakes again this year.  Easy to tear down decorations and easy to recycle again.  All of the paper decorations are now in the recycling bin.  Still I feel some guilt as again some machinery will have to fire up causing more toxins to be expelled into the environment just to make that paper I used into a pulp fiber to be used once again. 

I'm beginning to believe that there is no guilt-free Winter holiday season.  I doubt its even possible.  Think of all the paper wrappings used and wasted.  The bows, boxes, packing materials and not to forget the gas used in getting the gifts to their destinations from the point of purchase.  Why do we do it?  Is it the guilt of not giving or is it blind love with no concern to the environment?

I just read aloud the above to my spouse and he answered back, "its tradition and you can't argue with tradition as its insensitive."  So said the guy with the B.S. in Environmental Science.

However, if you are feeling any guilt about your "traditions" then possibly you should visit the Arbor Day Foundation.   Or check out your National Parks Service.  Make a donation to them or find out how you can give back.