Tuesday, June 30, 2009


very good.

I just finished reading
I Love a Man in Uniform: A Memoir of Love, War, and Other Battles
by Lily Burana
An all-American love story about a former punk-rock stripper and her unlikely marriage to an officer in the U.S. Army.

I love it, hands down. I could relate to much of the candid memoir.

I loved her honesty and descriptive tones. I recommend this to anyone remotely related to the military. Yeah, it is about the life of an officer's wife, but has much more to do with Army life in general. Her story can be heart wrenching to read and I found myself rooting her along the way. What is pretty funny... I tried to visit her blog to leave a comment about my experiences reading it, the Army has it blocked. I guess it has to do with the face that she used to be a stripper in her twenties long before she became an Army wife.

Monday, June 29, 2009

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

I ordered this YA novel purely based on the details online. Frankly, I like it that way sometimes. I am up for the chance of stumbling upon a realy great book. Last week I realized that I had better finish my hard cover book so that I would have more room and flexibility in my carry on (some soldiers load up on PSP and external hard drives, I have books)

I devoured the book. It is well written and engaging. The story is very sweet and has love wrapped throughout the plot, both love for family and love in relationships.
I kept thinking that my daughter and her friends Kara and Savannah would love it.
This would have been a book that my friends from high school would have passed back and forth.

A few reviews
book review

For some reason I cannot reach the publsiher site, but it is published by Penguin and you can read all of the details on that site. I read on a few sites they might consider making this into a movie. I could understand the attraction

The synopsis from the publisher:
Well, We have made it to the first stop. So, far so good. The heat feels good and with sunglasses the swirling sand is not even that bothersome. We have clean living conditions and the fact that we only have 18 females with us, allows us to have plenty of living space. I am using one cot to sleep on and the other as my dresser/table. I am not going to give a ton of details but this entire base is totally geared towards providing basic comforts to soldiers. It really makes me feel proud. The USO provided free coffee, snacks, books and etc before we left Texas and then again when we picked up our new crew.
One of the coolest things is that we flew Northwest. Made me feel close to home and close to friends that have years of dedicated service to that company.
I had to buy a cheap watch. I always use my cell phone as my time piece and I never wear a watch. I have a box full of them, but had not wanted to bring along. Thankfully, a nice Kuwaiti man sold me one for $10. Cannot beat that!
The Mess hall was great just like I had assumed. I basically just had veggies today, but they were fresh and a large variety. The salad was very tasty. They even had kale and asparagus on the line! The cool thing is that they have real swiss cheese. Have a few ounces of cheese is great because I can keep up the dairy intake and it has protein. No complaints here
I have finished two good books - I will post seperately on the details.
I spoke with the daughter at basic. She had rifle skills all week and struggled a little bit. Now that they have her tracking as a left handed firer she should have a better week.

-all the best

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Another day.
I packed all my stuff today for a dry run. It is going to be pretty tight, but I think I am going to make it without sending anything back to CO or ahead to the APO. I have inches of room left if that. My bags are amazingly heavy. I cam imagine the pools of sweat it is going to take for me to lug those in KU. We will be in staying in AC holding tents for a few days one we get there and move on. Looking forward to moving on part.
I have been sharing emails with many of you making you sure you know the particulars and latest infor about the girl in basic. She is doing well. She is enjoying all of the mail and doing her fair share of writing herself. I think she has suprised a few people with letters. She gets that from her mother, I agree that there is nothing better than a good handwritten letter.
Handwriting... you know I sometimes long to see my moms handwriting and I will dig up something she wrote over ten years and go and just look at the letters. Just makes me feel still connected sometimes. I have a few of my grand mothers last letters as well and it makes me smirk. Shees.
Sadly, I have no real idea what my dad's handwriting really looked like. I have older letters that he wrote my mom when they were courting, but nothing from his final years. Not even sure if there is anything in my Aunt's things that may have the script.
I splurged today and had more Tangerine juice, blueberries, eggplant parm and spumonti ice cream. There is a local italian place that delivers to the mob area and they have been busy for weeks... I am sure they will be sad to see us go. It is pretty good Italian for central Texas.
I will attempt to keep up the blog, but might be sporadic the next few weeks. I will post quick snips on facebook.

Many people have asked when they can begin to send me packages, I would wait until after the Independence Day weekend. As far as my needs... my personal needs are few, but since I am traveling with 400 of my newest and closest friends we always have a need or two...

I have been using Amazon and drugstore.com since both of them offer free shipping over $25. Chelsea has loved all over her packages. Do you know how hard it is to send a care pack without foor or anything else that would get a young private in trouble? shish... The last one was cough drops, q-tips, shower gel and baby wipes. :)
Take care all.
We have much to pray about with the increased issues in Iran, the DC metro accident, poverty and increased violence. My prayer journal is being filled.


Friday, June 19, 2009

Coop: A Year of Poultry, Pigs, and Parenting
by Michael Perry (Harper)
“Our favorite, home-spun memoirist is back with his heartfelt, moving, and always hilarious recollections of his new life on 'the farm,' with a brand-new baby, and, of course, his long-awaited coop of chickens. A delight.”


Has anyone read this?
Love in Condition Yellow
A Memoir of an Unlikely Marriage

By Sophia Raday
(Beacon Press, Hardcover, 9780807072837, 216pp.)

Selected by Indie Booksellers for the June 2009 Indie Notables
“When an Army reservist and Oakland police officer meets a Northern California peace activist, sparks fly. The tension between the two drastically different world views gives birth to a deeper and greater understanding of not only what love is, but what it requires of us.”
-- Elizabethe Plante & Dan Chartrand, Water Street Books, Exeter, NH

I kid you not

The small Gatesville Walmart had fressh Lychee yesterday.
So, for dinner I had lychee, raspberries, a small salad and a Tangerine juice.
It is funny. When we pull up with a van full of soldiers to Walmart, most head to the Tech section to buy dvds, ipods, hard drives and etc... or to buy products for hair, nails and face.
I head straight to the fruit and berries, then to the juice and sometimes past the cheese and bread.
If I had a small refrig it would be filled with cheeses and the like.
I just looked up two small "salons" in Gatesville, one of them will get my business very soon. Hope for the best, it is only hair and it grows fast.

good summer reading

The Mighty Queens of Freeville
A Mother, a Daughter, and the Town That Raised Them
By Amy Dickinson (Hyperion Books, Hardcover, 9781401322854, 225pp.)

Very enjoyable, easy to read.
It is my theme for the last few months. Women that have stories to tell. We all have stories.

My daughter is capturing her own story of basic training. I am enjoying every letter and call and cannot wait for the next.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009


Another great author, Izzy Rose

I stumbled across this on Amazon and I loved it.

I really recommend this book. It makes you think, makes you smile.

You can relate from many directions even it is not a direction to your life, you will relate.
Check it out.

Book synopsis:
A true tale of imperfect love, adult beverages and searching for meaning in Bed, Bath and Beyond.

Meet Izzy Rose—a hilarious and chic new stepmom trying to come to terms with. the package deal. A single “middle-class socialite” living in San Francisco, Izzy loved her career as a successful, Emmy Award-winning TV producer and she was fine with the fact that she was unmarried and kid-less at thirty-five. But, then she fell in love with an irresistible Southern man named Hank and her Izzy-centric lifestyle turned upside down.

In short order, Izzy finds herself saying I DO to becoming a wife and “instant mom” to Hank’s two sons and packing her bags for a new life in Austin, Texas. There, Izzy struggles to hold on to a bit of her professional identity while reinventing the stepmother role in her sassy, stylish, but also loving and vulnerable way. Honest and daring, The Package Deal is a toast to the richness of her new life and a tribute to any woman whose ever fallen in love and then asked, What exactly did I get myself into?

I found myself relating. Not as a step mom- but found myself shaking my head, smiling and nodding. I will follow her while I am deployed I am sure. I am going to share this with the right person
Cheers and more books to come.
I am thankful for the chance to read, serve, and figure this all out.

Not sure if I have mentioned this Juice before

I found it in Michigan at the Kroger and now I have found it here in Texas. The tangerine juice is fantastic.

It is great. It you find it give it a try. I am enjoying it when I can.
Noble juices are made from the finest tangerines and organic oranges squeezed at the perfect ripeness to create the most delicious all-natural juices. Now you can enjoy the rich full flavor of our premium and organic juices in a bottle made from nature. Our new bottle is made from 100% corn, which means it’s better for you, our juice, and our envitonment.

up and set and hot

Seems like lately things are usually up, hot or set.
In briefings people, batteries and companies are SET.
Things are up.
People are rolled up.
Something's are tits up (which is not a good thing).
Area's are hot.
We need to get hot on something.

Just every day lingo. Makes me laugh.

Today was actually one of the best days since I have been here. I was designated to attend an 8 hour class with the Four. I have a feeling I was chosen as the lesser of the evils, and it turned out to be very valuable information. The class size was small, the presentation was engaging and the instructors were smart. A combination not often found here on the mob site.
Last night I walked 4 miles and I hope to walk more tonight.

I made a trip to Walmart on Sunday... I bought Sugar snap peas, black berries, blue berries, tangerine juice and swiss cheese. It made me smile for two days. Simplicity at best.

Friday, June 05, 2009


I must admit this has been a slow week. But I am happy it is Friday.

I am reading a new book ( of course ) and I have two great qoutes from it.
One puts a spin on both my situation and my daughter's experience on Basic Training.

Izzy Pose, "My new not-so-fun status was leaving a bad taste in my mouth like two percent milk in your coffee when you are used to half and half!" True that.

also from Pose..."You have to build a nest, you cannot just fly into one."

I am enjoying her writing. It has been my bright spot the last few days.

Being the foodie that I like to think I am, I can say that I am already sick of the Mess Hall here in Texas, everyone promises it is better in country. For that I wait.

Monday, June 01, 2009

June 1

Today was a day.. by 9 am I know I needed Chocolate for lunch. It worked that they had drumsticks at the mess hall.
Nothing major happening, just watching everyone attempt at working together and "playing well with one another!"
If you get a chance read this article. They are like family. A Sister and Brother. New article on the Major fundraiser
Much to pray about. Life is short, so enjoy when you can.

The daughter is doing better at Basic. She had a hard day yesterday, but her voice was better now.
She got her ACUs today. :) I cannot wait to see her, beaming with pride and a small tear in my eye.