Friday, June 29, 2007

married in 1941

I, Lou, take you Joe, for my husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.
Rest in peace Grandpa Joe. Be encouraged Grandma Lou.

last weekend

practice makes perfect

this is fitting for the time

It was just an old hand-me-down Ford
With a three-speed on the column and a dent in the door
A young boy two honds on the wheel
I can¡¦t replace the way it mode me feel
And I would press that clutch
And I would keep it right
And he'd say, "a little slower son you're doing just fine"
Just a dirt rood with trash on each side
But I was Mario Andretti
When daddy let me drive

Driving the backroads - we ran into a few friends

You just cannot beat it.
Today's drama has been brought to you by the letter V.
The vacuum died. I took it down to the vacuum cemetery (aka basement) to join the other fallen comrades (this makes three broken in the basement).
So, I went overstock and bought this.
It was on sale.

Free shipping and no sales tax.
I the accrued frequent flier miles on two different airlines.
It will arrive next week and until then, I will use the shop vac. We are heading for an overnight in the mountains, so I will not use that until Sunday evening.
I would like the ever popular Dyson - but that is not in the cards!
So, this is a great way to spend $40.00 another fun way is to fill up the car, which happen in a bit.

Thursday, June 28, 2007


I read Girl with Glasses last night.

It is short and sweet and gives you a personal glimpse about Marissa Walsh's detailed experiences wearing glasses from the third grade. I laughed as she told her stories of middle school and her first slow dance with Madonna's "Crazy for You". She is apparently similar in age and we were experiencing similar events in very different situations. If you need something to read grab it.

I am even contemplating buying two copies. Two of my friends from school had glasses and it made me think of them. My friend Jamie had contacts and there are few chapters of the details about contacts and all of the needed items one must have (the solution, the tiny cups, the floating and lost lens). My friends Amy had the coolest contacts ever. She had bold green contacts that immediately gave her the edge on coolness. They were very cool. I am missing both friends today. We have grown apart for lots of reason, but life more generally. It stinks to get old sometimes! I have just experienced the four-eyed process


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

novel idea

so.. I really enjoy listening to the daily briefing from the State Department. I think it is educational and amusing all wrapped up in about thirty minutes. I found this on Monday's brief...
QUESTION: Yesterday he and Congressman Ackerman sent a letter to Deputy Secretary Negroponte imploring the State Department to make use or to hire some of the 300 or so Arabic, Farsi and Urdu, I think, language military people -- people with those skills who have been discharged from the military under "Don’t ask, don't tell." Do you have any idea what, if (a) if there's been a response or what the Department's position is on hiring or would be hiring some of these people?
MR. CASEY: Well, a couple of things, Matt. My understanding is we just received that letter this morning and I'll certainly want to allow the Deputy Secretary's staff as well as our legislative affairs folks an opportunity to take a look at it. Certainly, we'll give an appropriate response to Congressman Lantos and Ackerman.
In terms of hiring, as you know, the Department is very much interested in recruiting Foreign Service Officers and folks for Civil Service and other appropriate positions who possess what we call critical language skills and that does include Arabic and Chinese and a variety of other languages out there. And we are certainly open to any individuals possessing those kinds of skills to come and apply for work with us. We do actively look for individuals who have those kinds of skills and we certainly do not discriminate in our hiring practices has been our longstanding policy.
I will make sure that we, you know, give you a response in more detail specifically to the issues raised in the letter once people have had a chance here to look at it. But again, we would certainly welcome any Americans with talent and skill and interest to contact us if they are interested in employment. And we do, as I said, spend a good deal of effort trying to recruit individuals who represent the diversity of America as well as individuals who have certain critical skills, among them included being Arabic language.
QUESTION: Maybe you don't know the answer to this because it hasn't been fully gone through -- the letter. But you are open to the possibility of recruiting them or you would actually actively go out and seek them or do they have to come to you?
MR. CASEY: Well, again, all I'm talking about, Matt, is just the general principle we have of we are actively looking for individuals with these kinds of skills. We also are certainly open to individuals coming to us to seek employment with those kinds of skills or qualifications. So you know, as far as I know, there has been no active recruitment campaign related to these specific individuals, although there is a general effort to recruit individuals that have these kinds of skills.
Again, in terms of what our response will be to the Congressmen, we just received the letter, and I want to let our folks take a look at it first and then determine what the response ought to be.
This is a great idea - we could recycle their training and use them at the State Department. I hope this idea catches on. It would be a benefit and a cost savings since they received top notch training at DLI.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I pride myself on being conscientious and conservative.
I try use what we have and use it wisely.
Yes, we splurge occasionally and I will buy things based on brand and trend.
But, I hang my head in shame this morning.
I left the damn sprinkler on all night. I just wasted gallons of water and raised our bill by a couple of bucks.
There is a stream of water from our yard all the way down the street. How embarassing.

Monday, June 25, 2007

A Girl in the Cafe - from Netflix

A May-December romance blooms -- not without roadblocks -- in this Emmy winner for Best Made-for-TV Movie. Not long after meeting Gina (Kelly Macdonald in an Emmy-winning role) in a café, lonely civil servant Lawrence (Bill Nighy) asks her to accompany him to the G8 Summit in Iceland. The shy outsiders hit it off, but their attraction to each other is tested when Gina's personal convictions contradict Lawrence's professional duties.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Hours in the car allowed me to read Promise Not to Tell

We arrived home last night.
The trip was safe and went well. The funeral was very nice and all of the family enjoyed one another.
We bunked up at the hotel together and the kids jumped into the pool for a few hours on Friday. My daughter had a toddler or infant with her at all times, it was very sweet.
I met some nice people and reunited with a few I have met over the years.

I drove over the pass yesterday which always makes me nervous, I just keep imagining us tumbling over the edge, so much I just keep taking deep breaths!
Today I have a short agenda..

Retrieve the dogs from the kennel, church, laundry and yard work.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Well, no trip to Aspen.
We are caravanning to a funeral with my husbands entire family.
His paternal grandfather passed away. He was amazing man.
He served in WWII and worked in the coal mines for the majority of his life.
I spent about an hour trying to wrack my brain to remember when my paternal grandpa died. It was 1979 or 1980.
My maternal grandpa died when we were stationed in Hawaii. So, I did not fly home.
We have a six hour drive tomorrow. The dogs are going to the "spa" and the bunny and cat will fend for themselves.
Thank good thoughts.

Monday, June 18, 2007

New blogs I am reading

In the next two weeks I have four simple goals:
Attend this market

Make resevations for this or somewhere close

Eat/make this dessert - Warm Berries & Peaches with Shortcake Biscuits & Whipped Cream

Try to watch this in person
June 30 - July 3: USA Cycling Junior Track Championships - Colorado Springs, Colo. **Event will serve as U.S. Paralympics Track Cycling National Championships

Sunday, June 17, 2007

I look around and notice that I keep busy, but the progress is barely recognizable. The cupboards and cabinets are full from the trip to the Commissary. I see two full pitchers of sun-tea and clean laundry sitting in the baskets. But if I turn the other way I still see dust and things unkept. That is the cyclic behavior here. We made a trip to the local zoo this week and it was very nice. My dearest friend had a 19 hour layover here on Wednesday and I took a full days vacation to just relax and enjoy. It was lovely. I have decided to take one mid-week vacation day every other week during the summer to just hang out with the daughter and others. There are so many amazing things for us to see and do within just an hour or two, we need to take advantage of it. I had a pretty neat surprise too. My friend from Chicago will be in Aspen next weekend, she used to work with us for many years. So, a few of us are taking the day off to meet with her on Friday.
I am looking forward to it. My daughter took the truck out to the eastern plains and practiced driving. It was fun and I took a few pretty cool shots of farms. I will post them later. We live in such an amazing area. The rain has greened the country side and it is beautiful. Today is an uneventful Father's Day. We will stay around the house and BBQ. He requested chicken and will be perfecting his beer-can chicken recipe, I requested grilled eggplant. Like a little piggy, I can devour an entire eggplant myself. The mixed greens are at a perfect harvesting stage, so I will make a salad from the garden using the herbs, spinach and greens.
I am off to church this morning loaded up with things. We are planning a huge 4th of July celebration for our entire community. Lots of preparation and it is all FREE! A simple way to give back.
We have been watching Chase and the Padres play this weekend. It is weird to actually watch someone you know on TV! Very nice. The daughter is headed to the Circus. We love the circus, but she is going with friends. My brother-in-law said if I stayed at his house for 20 minutes I would get plenty of circus activity! Ha... Always an adventure connected to this family.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Need an easy idea for a Care package? Cheryl and Company
have several red, white and blue boxes and they are offer free shipping to APO and APE addresses.

I ordered one for my cousin today. It will take about two weeks to get there, maybe even close to July 4th.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Chase Headley called up to San Diego Padres

Our friend has been called to MLB.
Go Chase

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

holy gooseberries!

I have three on the bush!
More of the same from yesterday. I was hard to get up this morning...
I have seven mosquito bites that are driving me whacky. Scratch, scratch. Ever since I was a kid I would get bites and scratch then until they welted and bled. I just cannot stop scratching them.

I am at new stage in motherhood. It is the summer and the curfew has been changed to midnight, and when she is a "closer" she does not get off until 10 or 1030. Now, for most this is not too late. But, it take a bit to get used to. I have no idea how my mother slept for three years....

Last night I joined a few people from the church to serve dinner at the Rescue Mission. It was crowded and the mission served about 45 people. God has a funny way of challenging you to step outside your comfort zone. springs rescue mission We were scheduled to provide chapel, music and help serve. At about 5 minutes to 5:00 we were getting a little worried about the gentleman that was going to lead worship. We even prayed that God would bless Jim as he sang (which was we knew we would be in trouble if we were to lead the worship!) Thankfully, he showed up with his guitar. He works at the Fort Carson hospital and was just in time. As he was getting settled, he looked straight at me and says, "Can you sing next to me?" I wanted to run, I cannot sing. BUT, I could not let the guy down! So, in front of God and everyone I am singing very close to the microphone..... I guess it is all about being available and being stretched. God placed an Army Captain, a former Marine Major, me and others to minister and just serve these people. Several of them were veterans, One gentleman server three tours in Vietnam. very humbling.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Two great books in one week!

Two great books in one week!

Driving with Dead People

Small wonder that, at nine years old, Monica Holloway develops a fascination with the local funeral home. With a father who drives his Ford pickup with a Kodak movie camera sitting shotgun just in case he sees an accident, and whose home movies feature more footage of disasters than of his children, Monica is primed to become a morbid child.

Yet in spite of her father’s bouts of violence and abuse, her mother’s selfishness and prim denial, and her siblings’ personal battles and betrayals, Monica never succumbs to despair. Instead, she forges her own way, thriving at school and becoming fast friends with Julie Kilner, whose father is the town mortician.

She and Julie preferred the casket showroom to the parks and grassy backyards in her hometown of Elk Grove, Ohio, where they would take turns lying in their favorite coffins. In time, Monica and Julie get a job driving the company hearse to pick up bodies at the airport, yet even Monica’s growing independence can’t protect her from her parents’ irresponsibility, and from the feeling that she simply does not deserve to be safe. Little does she know, as she finally strikes out on her own, that her parents’ biggest betrayal has yet to be revealed.

Throughout this remarkable memoir of her dysfunctional, eccentric, and wholly unforgettable family, Monica Holloway’s prose shines with humor, clear-eyed grace, and an uncommon sense of resilience. Driving with Dead People is an extraordinary tale with a wonderfully observant and resourceful heroine—a story all the more astonishing for being true.

good news

President George W Bush has become the first US leader to visit Albania, where he has enjoyed a hero's welcome. welcome
What a great Saturday.
A little bit of everything. Yard work, house work, laundry, shopping, pampered chef party, reading and writing.
Now of course I skipped grocery shopping and I could have scrubbed the bathrooms, but that can wait for tomorrow.
I wish I could just be more efficient inside the house as I am outside the house. ;) My arms and nose are little pink from yesterday.
Our youth pastor and his wife had a baby boy on Friday. It was fun picking out a few cute things for him. I love to find things for little one's.

Fresh figs are in season and I have successfully spent $20 in the last two weeks. They are so delicious. Hands down they are my favorite next to any color of berry. They are only available for such a short window, I have to over indulge. It is my law.
I finally ordered new tennis shoes. They have been at the top of list for many months. I love the Sierra Trading Company, I can always find something for the entire family. I cannot wait for the UPS man to deliver so I can spring open the box!

I missed a huge celebration in Michigan this weekend. It was my Mama's 80th birthday party. They were expecting about 100 people. My best friend growing up Melissa and her boys were in town from Florida. My niece was sure to be dressed up. I hope to post pictures later. (So, hint if you were at that party and you are reading this, this is a reminder to send the pictures).

Friday, June 08, 2007

Send our Friends some support!Posted By Blackfive
Packages and Letters to our allies - I keep hearing that our allies don't receive the same level of support that our troops get from us. Let's change that today, of all days, the anniversary of D-Day.

For a British Soldier in Iraq:
British Soldier
c/o G1 Branch
HQ MultiNational Div (SE)
Basra, BFPO 641

And for a British soldier in Afghanistan:
British Soldier
c/o G1 Branch
HQ Helmand Province Task Force
Camp Bastion, BFPO 792.t

If you would like to send a postcard or letter of support to Canadian Troops in Afghanistan, please use these addresses (the first is Kabul and the second is Kandahar):

Any Canadian Soldier

Any Canadian Soldier
PO Box 5058 Stn Forces
Belleville ON K8N 5W6

Thursday, June 07, 2007

The raised beds are filled to the brim with the vegetables, herbs and the weeds trying to carve out their space. I have plenty of fresh dill that tastes awesome in salads and in scrambled eggs. The lettuce is making good progress this week thanks to the rain and warm sunshine.

cross pollination

I have red roses growing on my yellow rose bush.
I guess it happens.

If only I could teach him to weed the garden

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

ok - marketing guru's..

I want to know why the sudden use the love ballads of Air Supply in marketing ads everywhere.
In the eighties I had an enormous affection for the band. Seriously, I had the posters, albums, t-shirts and the the ticket stubs to prove it. I loved the two lead singers. I went to the State Theatre in Ann Arbor and rushed the stage to give them a rose.
I called the local radio station so much that automatically new I wanted to hear Air Supply and I have a Westward One Special edition album that one of the disc jockeys gave me as a gift. I know bizarre. I am glad I am beyond that and have moved on to slightly more mature things.... Maybe.
I did some investigation.
I am not kidding, they are on tour.

I will not be close to any of these venues.
But it did bring a strange smile/sensation to me this morning. ;)
Just in case you have not bought your tickets...
Air Supply Selena Auditorium
Corpus Christi, TX June 22, 2007

Air Supply Westbury Music Fair
Westbury, NY July 20, 2007

Air Supply Penns Peak
Jim Thorpe, PA July 21, 2007

Air Supply Horny Toad
Lake Ozark, MO August 5, 2007

Air Supply Canyon Dinner Theater
Agoura Hills, CA August 24, 2007

Air Supply Humphreys Concerts by the Bay
San Diego, CA October 5, 2007

Air Supply BB King Blues Club
New York, NY December 8, 2007

Air Supply BB King Blues Club
New York, NY December 9, 2007
A short work week and a long guard weekend. My new unit seems to like MUTA 5 & 6's. That means we work and additional period on the Friday before.
Which I am ok with, if you do not have to drive 90 minutes in rush hour traffic to get there on Friday. I stayed the night on Friday Night at the Marriott. And drove on Saturday and Sunday. I am complete for another 6 weeks.

I have been thinking that we have no real plans for the summer. I have plenty of vacation and plenty of opportunities but no plans. I need to make some.

I missed the premiere of Army Wives - I will try to catch up with it this week.
I was able to get a few Father's Day Cards out the mail to some friends in Iraq. It is hard to find a good card for a casual friend for Father's Day! My niece is in Iraq and I just dropped a package in the mail to her! I ordered from alazing for my a bbq gift.

I stayed up way too last night finishing up a book. I had not attended on staying up til midnight, but I could not stop reading. I have done the same thing all of my life. If I dive into a book, it at times becomes unstoppable. Many years ago I read the book Jarhead. I even sent it to my brother when he was in Horn of Africa. I was excited when they made into a movie and my daughter and I went to go see it on on the Marine Corps birthday. Yes, I was the only mother that brought her daughter, but we both loved it. I guess she can explain that to her therapist later. Anthony Swofford has just published his second book Exit A. Fantastic, some might find it strangely disturbing. It is not a summer beach read with young love tangled in sheets, it is much deeper.
publisher info


This boy is an American, born on the third of July, 1972. While his mother spat and screamed through the life-endangering birth, his father and the orderlies and janitors lit illegal fireworks in the hospital parking lot. The men drank from bottles of bourbon and beer while leaning down to light Bottle Rockets and Flaming Marys and Wailing Jennys. His father supplied the armament and the devil's milk, and the matches, and most of the boisterous ranting and raving about God and Country and the Founding Fathers and the Mayflower and Plymouth Rock and the Salem witch trials and the Red Threat, that ungainly, bloody bear from the East.
The doctor held the boy upside down, and the safety of the womb became history. The room above the mother spun one hundred times, and she went under.
No one found the father, not even the orderly sent to look. So they slapped the boy's bottom and placed him in a crib, where he waited for someone with his same blood to come to consciousness. His aunt Mirtha was the first to appear at the hospital, and after cursing the father's name, she picked up the boy and performed an auntly show for him, baby talk and ego stroking and burp and bowel sounds. Because his aunt was present and cogent, and the nurses wanted to get down to the parade grounds for the base general's midnight fireworks display, they asked her to name the boy, and she did. This boy's name is Severin Boxx.
This girl's name is Virginia Sachiko Kindwall. She is the daughter of General Oliver Kindwall and Mrs. Oliver Kindwall, once known as Olive, though that was not her given name but simply a shortening of her husband's. Her given name was Nakashima Sachiko. Olive died on the birthing table at Travis Air Force Base in California, in July 1972. While she died giving birth to Virginia Sachiko, her husband, a major at the time, paced the base morgue while overseeing the identification and shipment home of the newest dead boys from Vietnam, some of the last. Later, Kindwall would tell his daughter that on the day of her mother's death and her own birth, the dead boys from Vietnam seemed much more dead than usual. He spent that night wide awake with his back ramrod straight, flat against the gray concrete floor of the hospital morgue, while his daughter, a few buildings away, slept with other military babies, some born to mothers whose husbands had died in Vietnam.
The maternity nurses that night paid extra attention to Baby Kindwall, Baby and not yet Virginia Sachiko Kindwall, because her father had been too distraught to remember what name he and his deceased wife had decided to call the child if the ball of love entered the world as a girl. The nurses rocked Baby Kindwall in their laps and called her "sweetheart" and "precious" and "lamb," and the nurses wept and cursed God and Vietnam, as they did every night.
On the floor of the hospital morgue, Kindwall dreamed of his wife in twenty years, in a church dressing room, preparing their daughter for marriage. The women's faces were made of shattered glass, and they could not find the wedding dress, so the daughter decided to be married in the nude. The dream ended with Kindwall walking his naked daughter up the church aisle, but the altar was absent priest and groom. Flames shot from the tabernacle. Kindwall awoke in the morning without recalling the dream.
The next day he volunteered for his third tour in Vietnam.
The day he left, he noticed a yellow piece of paper affixed to the refrigerator door with a watermelon-shaped magnet, these words written on it in his wife's penmanship: Girl=Virginia Sachiko. So his daughter had a name now, but no mother, and a father back at war.