Thursday, November 30, 2006

I had to attend a meeting this week about a possible something.
Two things struck me during the brief:

I am an American Soldier.
I am a Warrior and a member of a team. I serve the people of the United States and live the Army Values.
I will always place the mission first.
I will never accept defeat.
I will never quit.
I will never leave a fallen comrade.
I am disciplined, physically and mentally tough, trained and proficient in my warrior tasks and drills. I always maintain my arms, my equipment and myself.
I am an expert and I am a professional.
I stand ready to deploy, engage, and destroy the enemies of the United States of America in close combat.
I am a guardian of freedom and the American way of life.
I am an American Soldier.

Note the sentences in bold. I take this seriously. Reading the words sometimes leaves a lump in throat. Tens of thousands of people will never be the same after September 11, 2001.

The other thing… the arrogance of the officer speaking. It was amazing. Granted he might be one bad ass in combat and I respect that. But, at one part I wanted to just say… We believe you Sir, just be humble.
Ohhh…The great joy in cube life in America.
Yesterday, I worked from home due to bad weather.
On Tuesday, I had brought two items for lunch ideally to last a few days.
This morning while getting ready for work, I made note to myself that I did not need to bring anything for lunch because I had left my bowl of leek soup in the refrigerator.
About 40 minutes ago, I went over to claim my homemade soup, nothing. The cleaning crew tossed out my lunch and my collapsible Tupperware I paid $12.00 for 3 bowls. In most cases I have the utmost respect for the crew. They do a good job and in all respect, it is not that glamorous. So, I walked back to cube, really not wanting to spend $5.00 on lunch today. I dug out my emergency lunch from the back of my filing drawer.- “Dora the Explorer Spaghetti-Os”. I made sure there was no one in the kitchen to watch me “a grown woman” open up a can of Dora pasta.
On a scale from 1-10, lunch was a 2.5.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Since I was traveling over the weekend I limited my shopping.
I did not want lug bags through the airport.

I did take a look at a few online places yesterday.

Art Store Dick blick
I am still on the hunt for a few very specific items.

And I last night I made 25 of the 50 Christmas Cards I need.
I had great intentions of finishing this in November, early November, but things just happen and I get side tracked.
I love a real tree, so decorations will not start coming from the basement until next week.

One of the fun things about being a manager at work is that I can schedule fun things. Yesterday we headed off to our local food shelter distribution center to volunteer for a few hours.

We had seven folks out there and it was a lot of fun. We laughed and 20 minutes into our jobs we naturally joined teams and began a little friendly competition. It was nice. Our company will allow us to volunteer four hours a month to give back to our community. We have another event scheduled in December. It was nice to help out!

This weekend is my last drill of 2006. We have briefings and a Christmas Party, so it should be very low key.

The same girl that makes Orange Chicken with Rice for her friends as an afterschool snack, is the same girl that wants this KitchenAid for Christmas.

Note the new cool color -

Two hour School Delay

Sunday, November 26, 2006

talking turkey

Two weekends ago our church assembled over 600 shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child!

Friday, November 24, 2006

We had twenty seven for dinner yesterday.
I spent 7 am until 6 pm in the kitchen yesterday.
The spread was diverse and filling.
We made a mere five trips to the grocery store.
My husband made a "to die" for standing rib roast on the grill
My brother deep fried a turkey and I baked a baked a turkey. We mashed and cooked a plethora of other food.
Last minute we made this thanks to AWTM. Recipe
I think we used every dishtowel and serving spoon in my mom’s cabinet. It was nice to search through all of her items. She has not used her kitchen in over eight years. Her Jello molds and pans were yearning for touch.
After finishing up in the kitchen I met with my girlfriend to plan the black Friday trip. I woke up at 3:45 this morning. We arrived at Kohls bright and early. We shopped, laughed and visited. Her children are younger than my daughter love things that are perfect for eight year old boys and five year old girls. All worth the early wake up. I have 24 hours left here at home and then we fly. I will post pictures and more later.

If for nothing else I came home just in time to prevent any food disasters at grandpa’s house.
I found mayonnaise that had expired January 2006 and a half gallon orange juice that expired May 2006.
I always check expiration dates now after we discovered a bottle of ranch salad dressing that had expired two years prior at my in-laws house.

I guess I need to come home at least once a year to perform kitchen inspections.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Shopping and eating.
Ann Arbor is a great place for both.

La Shish is AMAZING.
We need one in Colorado.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Opening Day, December 1, 2006

I am sitting in the gate area.
A young couple with a small child is saying goodbye.
The dad has a short haircut
Inevitably on his way.
She is doing her best to keep it together and she is obviously at least five months pregnant.
They are cleaving to one another, swaying back and forth.
My eyes are full. My throat is constricting.
Mom and daughter are now pressed against the glass trying to catch one more glance at one another. She sits on the floor and waits.
She waits until the plane pushes away before pushing the stroller down the carpeted hallway. Her forward motion is completely forced and labored.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

When I have nervous energy I eat.
I cannot help it.
So, tomorrow I travel back home.
I am going to catch up with people I have not seen in awhile.
And all I can keep thinking is that they will recognize I have gained three pounds.
I swear. I need to vaporize three pounds before I Iand at DTW tomorrow.


Akeelah and the Bee, loved it.
Even shed a few tears. This is a great family movie.
The husband even pretended to watch it.
I eat pumpkin pie for breakfast between November and December. (sometimes)
According to this article = I am ok. I am even being healthy.
A single slice of ordinary pumpkin pie offers half the calories and more fiber and calcium than pecan, and has nearly two-thirds of your daily vitamin A needs.

Vitamin A helps form and maintain healthy teeth, skeletal and soft tissue, mucous membranes, and skin. It is also known as retinol because it generates the pigments in the retina.

Vitamin A promotes good vision, especially in dim light.
To be ready..

This week was entirely out of the norm.
With my brother in town I met him lunch, we had dinner and visited. IT was very nice.
My daughter left to fly to Michigan on Thursday.
She is becoming acquainted with her cousin.
This week I became an Aunt again.
But in a very strange almost unannounced manner. I ran up to the hospital to see the new little one and he is adorable. Only 6lbs 9 ounces. Very sweet and a dark head of hair.

I am looking forward to next week and the time off.
We plan to visit family and friends.
Of course shopping and eating are at the top of the lists as well. At the top of the lists are bookstores, antique stores and thrift stores. Yeah - (I am packing very light so I can fill up on the way home!)

We plan on being with the other crazy shoppers at 5 am on Friday morning.
We do not have a ton of things to buy. But we just want to be in the mix of the chaos. My girlfriend and I are going to comb the papers on Thursday night and plan our route. It will do us good to laugh and chat. I miss her and her children.

My lists are getting more detailed. I have packages to mail and items to wrap. Cards to write. Welcome to the holidays!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Sometimes I leave for work with a heavy heart.
Our oldest lab has trouble getting up.
The dogs are supposed to be in the garage while we are at work.
There is a nice comfy dog bed, water and food. It is safe and out of the weather.
But there are days I just cannot force him out there. He looks at me with his big brown eyes and whimpers a bit when I nudge him.
His muzzle and paws are grey now and he spends most of the day sleeping.
He is an old man now.
I keep telling him to stay strong for me.
I make homemade peanut butter biscuits and an occasional peanut butter sandwich to make sure he gets the extra protein.
He growled at me on Monday when I tried to make go in the garage. He gave me the look… I cannot go out there today, I am too tired.
I left for work looking over my shoulder making sure he was still watching me.
The last two mornings I have been working from home to accommodate early conference calls.
He is pleased. He rests and then changes and positions and rests some more.
We do not know how old he is; we rescued him from the pound in Feb 1999.
He was maybe 3-5 years when we picked him up, so we live with the unknown.
How much time does he have………..

I cleaned and rearranged my pantry in 10 minutes today before 7am.


At 0650 my daughter announces, “Mom, I need twenty (20) canned goods to take to first hour.”
My husband suggested that she should have thought about that last night!
I opened up the pantry and began sorting.
She is now taking to school: beans, buckwheat pancake mix, tuna, noodles and sauces.
My shelves are now tidy and spruced up!
Looks like I will be stocking up next commissary trip.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

a few baby shower pics.

My niece is amazing- She is 8 months pregnant and has gained a whopping 17 pounds.
No comment... She looks radiant. It's a boy! Nathan should be here at the end of December.

Deja Vu

Army Wife has sibling company this week and the are playing a few games of Scrabble!
We both are treasuring the brief moments.

She is very concerned about General Blum's recent announcement of redeploying National Gaurd Brigades back to Iraq. The implications of this are significant.

General Blum's comments

Blum also said defense officials have been discussing whether they need to adjust their policy that limits the deployment of reserves in the war to 24 months.

"When that policy was originally formulated, I seriously doubt anyone thought we would be where we are today, at the level of commitment that is necessary today," he said.

Just last month, defense officials said the Marines are drawing up similar plans that, for the first time, would send some reserve combat battalions back to Iraq for a second tour.

Under the authority by which Bush ordered a call-up of the Guard and Reserve after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, troops could be mobilized an unlimited number of times as long as each mobilization is no longer than 24 consecutive months.

A quick trip to the mountains

The canopy of the Pikes Peak National Forest is amazing. We are less than 30 minutes from this and we hardly make any time to enjoy it. We need to do it more often.

I was a tomboy growing up - I couldnot help but take us through the mudd puddles over and over! Our pants were dirty and my ribs felt good from laughing.

She had her iPod and waited for her turn on the four wheeler.

She is eligible for her driving permit. But, I am not ready!
Yesterday was really nice.
I met my brother for a quick lunch.
It seemed strange to be able to have lunch with him here.
Last night we went to Vietnamese Food. My brother had been looking forward to Spring Rolls and a Noodle bowl ever since he found out he was coming out!
We visited at the house and the daughter brought her little friend over.
We played a game of Scrabble and laughed.
My daughter asked her uncle who was smarter. He or I. I said my brother, He scored very well on the SAT, ACT and the ASVAB. I explained that he was so smart that the Marine Corps needed him to be a linguist and the Army only needed me for Supply.
And out of the mouth of babes, the daughter announces: Uncle you may be book smart, but my mom is street smart. That is the biggest difference.
Silence was observed for thirty long seconds.
We laughed later.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Happy Veterans Day to all.

We celebrated by taking advantage of the Lowe’s 10% for Military weekend.

We broke down and bought a new washer. It was time. I could have hired a repairman to fix it, maybe,
Certain things make me feel like I am horrible house cleaner - one is the dirt and things that accumulate behind the washer and dryer.
We had to move them both out connect the new washer.
It was not horrific, but dirty enough. I did find 35 cents! It felt good to wipe it all down.
We also switched out the furnace filter, NOW that was disgusting. I can only imagine putting a slice of those particles under a microscope.

This week will be busy. My brother is in town for a conference. It worked very nicely that his corporate job brought him to my town for a week.
The daughter is headed out at the end of the week. Her school has the entire week off for Thanksgiving.

We are traveling back to Michigan for Thanksgiving.

A weekend of books, baklava and baby showers.
We are having my niece’s baby shower this weekend.
She is having a little boy, it has been fun helping pull everything together for the event. And is an event.
We have decorations, party favors, crystal vases for prizes, and enough food and drink for about 100.
The menu is eclectic pasta
I am making the last thing I was assigned this morning - Baklava.

I am using this recipe…

2 pounds phyllo dough (approx. 40 sheets)

6 ½ cups finely chopped walnuts
1 ½ cup sugar
1 ½ tablespoon ground cinnamon
¾ pound unsalted butter (melted)
2 ½ cups honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice


Grease a 13×9 pan (bottom & sides) and set aside.
Mix well the walnuts (I add a cup of almonds in mix and add nutmeg) sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Set aside one full-size sheet of phyllo dough. Cover with plastic wrap.
Cut remaining phyllo sheets into 13×9 sheets. Actually, measure your pan and cut the sheets to match the actual inside dimensions. On my pan it is
Carefully lay the full-size phyllo sheet into the greased pan, folding over the pan edges. With a pastry brush, liberally apply melted butter.
Lay a cut sheet of phyllo into the bottom of the pan, and with a pastry brush liberally apply melted butter. Repeat 9 more times, so that you have the one full sheet and 10 smaller sheets as your bottom layer.
Sprinkle 2 cups of the walnut mixture into the pan. Lay 6 more sheets of phyllo on top, making sure to liberally apply the melted butter between each sheet. Repeat this 3 more times, so that you have 4 separate layers of the walnut mixture. For the top layer place as many phyllo sheets on top as you have remaining, again making sure to liberally butter between each sheet.
Bake for 2 ½ to 3 hours at 300 degrees until nice and brown.
About 5 minutes before removing the baklava from the oven, combine the honey and lemon juice and heat over a medium heat until runny. Do not boil it, just heat it well so it has a consistency more like water.
Set the baklava on a cooling rack, and pour the honey mixture completely over it.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Random thoughts of the day

Postcard stamps are 24 cents, I am not sure where I have been but for reason I thought they 20 cents. -I bought a book.
The Christmas Madonna stamp is available - I bought two books – They are pretty and good even for the electric bill.
I have received 5 packages of address mailing labels in the last two weeks. I really do not need them. Any great ideas on uses for these labels? Seriously, how much can one person label their personal property/envelopes? And for the record, they need to stop sending me the Ziggy labels. I am not a fan.
I do use the Breast Examine reminders to seal important correspondence. Just to get the message across.

I am having eggplant parmesan for lunch.
A microwave dinner.
This package contains two servings (good grief).
I am eating it as one serving. Oink oink oink.
I might be getting generous portions of iron, protein and calcium but that fat content I cannot even type. High Calorie delicous lunch

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


First time since 1958 that Colorado has had a Democratic governor.
So, I have a new State Commander in Chief. I will probably write a letter of introduction over the Christmas holidays.
From last night… The results are poring in.
I am cuddled up on the couch with a blanket switching to all news stations looking for percentages.

As I do all of this I read…
Read blogs about today’s experiences and life experiences.


By 10 pm I was too tired to stay up any longer, I know, how sad is that?
This morning I Watched the summaries with a shaking head. The voters have sent a message and that is how Democracies work. I just hope they “work” for the next two years and not fight.

Someone on Fox and Friends said, “Well, one thing we know for sure Bin laden is dancing in his cave this mornig.” How sad is that thought.

It is going to be in the 70s today – so I am off.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

This year has gone by incredibly fast.
I have one drill weekend left for 2006.
If I retire right at 20 years, which I am not planning to, I have 18 drills left.
This will prove to be a busy for the family.
Yesterday I had the honor to attend a welcome home ceremony on Fort Carson. Our close friend made it home.
It was nice to see him safe and in person. We stood with his parents and his mom was overwhelmed when he was able to run over and hug her. It was emotional. I left with a heavy heart because I understood that not everyone was reuniting and I completely understand that for some families something horrific is just beginning. Right before he left we all chipped in and bought him an iPod. He was reduced to tears it was a special moment. He did not know what to say. I think military communities and friends have a special bond. My husband has only known Brian for two years, but I would say he loves and respects him more than his blood brother (which is a whole set of different issues). I wrote to Brian maybe 20 times and sent him 4-5 Care Packages. But the first thing he told me is that he loved me and appreciated my support.
I began to think about support. How can do more? I have plenty of opportunities!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Tomorrow is your day... exercise your right

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Military Discounts Available to Celebrate Veteran’s Day: Two restaurant chains are offering special deals to military service members, retirees, veterans, and their families in appreciation of Veteran’s Day. Golden Corral is offering a free dinner with beverage for its Veterans and Military Appreciation Dinner Buffet on Monday November 13, from 5-9 PM. The chain sets aside the first Monday after Veteran’s Day as its Military Appreciation Monday, which honors all active duty military personnel and veterans with a free "thank you" dinner and beverage at any Golden Corral restaurant. No identification is required. Since 2001, Golden Corral has served 1,230,960 FREE meals to active duty and retired military personnel and has raised $1,393,883 for the Disabled Veterans Organization. For more information, go to:

On November 5, McCormick and Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants will "pay tribute to our veterans with a complimentary entrée from a special menu." Veterans should call the local restaurant for reservations and show the server a VA card, VFW card, discharge papers or DD-214, according to the restaurant chain’s website:

National Parks Offer Free Admission for Military Families: Beginning this Veterans Day (November 11), U.S. veterans, members of the U.S. armed forces, and their families will be admitted free-of-charge on Veterans Day to most public lands managed by the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture. The administrative fee waiver of entrance and/or standard amenity fees will apply annually on Veterans Day at public recreation lands managed by Interior’s National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation and Agriculture’s U.S. Forest Service.
The Veterans Day waiver of fees will apply annually to veterans and members of the U.S. armed forces. (Source:

Yesterday was a very unsettling day for me.

If you ever noticed the links to the right of the blog there is a link that says New Life.
This is not my home church but a church that I have tons of respect for and if I lived 20 minutes closer would probably regularly attend. They give back to this community and the world.
Yesterday the church was all over the news. The situation regarding Ted will be fully revealed and the facts hope will speak louder than the scandal. The timing of this is politically motivated and sickens me. I keep thinking about his wife Gayle. When I first moved back here six years ago I heard her speak several times. She is a very loving wife, I know this is hurting their family. It is one thing to have indiscretions but another to have it exposed to world with thousands of words and images. They have five children. One has just started pastoring a church of his own and one is handicapped. Two of them are in high school and I can only imagine how this is impacting their lives.

I will be standing in line on Tuesday Morning casting my vote, my mind was made up on these issues long before this event, but I will make sure my ovals are completely filled in and I will keep praying for the Haggard family.

This week I completely devoured a book.
It is the type of book you cannot put down and then once you read a few chapters you think about what happened to the author for hours.
The author is Stephanie Klein. Her memoir.
Her book is a memoir focusing on her divorce and her life immediately after.
I did not want it to end.
The great thing is that she has a blog. I spent a good hour reading her recent posts and have added a link to her. The blog

Friday, November 03, 2006

Yesterday I received a 4GB Nano iPod as a gift.
I could hardly wait to tell the daughter.
I called her on the way home from school and made the announcement.
She started screaming, just like one of the ladies from the Price is Right meeting Bob Barker for the first time. She was giddy.
I had class last night and did not make it home until after 9:00. She was waiting for me at the door.
Let me see, Let me see…
She quickly unveils the prize.
We make a concession, she can have the new one, only if she loads old iPod shuffle with a list of songs requested by me.
She is keeping her other iPod because she is attached to it.
Any fun music ideas?

It means so much.

IT is means spending time with family for Thanksgiving, eating and laughing.
We celebrate Election Day and Veteran’s Day. November usually ushers in cold weather and the five month retirement of the lawn mower.
You can start to listen to Christmas music. Wear warm sweaters.
I begin to write the Christmas Cards, Finish Christmas lists and organize the decorations.

But most of all Starbucks introduces the Egg Nog Latte! – Yep, I could not get there on the first, but yesterday I indulged in the first of many for the season.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Overheard –
I had discovered a fun size M&M packet that only housed one M&M.
Daughter announces, “I am calling the company.”
Boyfriend looks at her weird.
She promptly dials the 1-800 consumer hotline on the package.
She speaks with an unenthusiastic customer service rep.
He takes her name and details and announces that she will receive a new product in 3-4 weeks.
So, the question is, will it be one packet or a bag of them?
I will update once we receive the package.
Boyfriend still looks at her with a questioning eye but amused she actually called!
Ok –
This is a bit hard to swallow.
I no longer have a trick or treat’er.
This year she hung out with her friend, played Monopoly and Scrabble and helped hand out candy.
No exciting costumes, no mounds of chocolate and candy loot.
Crap – I am old.