Saturday, March 31, 2007

Rain, rain, puddles everywhere

It's been raining for days. Literally... days. The driveway is mud. The ponds are full, and the road is full of muddy potholes. Spring in the upper midwest. We are under a flash food watch!

Sewing my first Soldier's Angel blanket, 2 pieces of fleece with carpet stitch. ow ow ow. I need a thimble or three... This is the Marine one, one piece has Marine pattern, the other piece is dark blue and I'm doing Blanket Stitch in red. The Army pattern one is backed in black.. and the stitching will be gold/yellow. A friend of mine just called, she found sterling silver angels at a craft show for me. So it's all coming together!

The funeral for the latest soldier in our National Guard is this week. Please hold his family and those of the soldiers who were wounded in the same incident in your thoughts.


Saturday, March 24, 2007

Spring! yup, it's sprung

I just heard the first harbinger of spring. No, not a bird, not a robin trilling or the bluebird, or the geese honking their way home. Nope. Around here the first harbinger is.... a Harley or even a herd of Harleys. There they were tooling down the highway, never thought I would be so happy to hear that sound.

The first load of laundry is hanging on the line, the windows are open, the dog is shedding like mad (I brushed a Pomeranian worth of hair off her yesterday) and the cat is kvetching at the window. Spring has sprung.

I haven't posted for a week, because I was having a little minor surgery. and DH got very very miffed (nicer than saying pissed) because I didn't tell him before I did it. I thought about it. This was not just a "wild hair" type of thing. They had a cancellation and instead of waiting for two weeks, I could get it done the next day. It was a very quick thing, I sat around for longer waiting and answering the same questions "when did you eat last"... "what meds do you take" over and over and over. The anaethesiologist was an Air Force Reservist.. and he made sure to keep me hydrated and made sure that he gave me something to head off the migraine I was sure I would get. No migraine. That was what I was dreading the most. Instead, I got a cold!

I honestly thought that he has enough to worry about, working those long hours and all the rest of it. But he didn't see it that way. so, I'm in the dog house right now.

Today I went to post office to mail a package to DH and to a guy in Afghanistan. The postal clerk has a daughter and a son in the reserves. So she starts talking about how awful it will be if Hillary gets in, "she'll just screw it all up". I'm usually very polite and nice, but I am SICK AND TIRED of being put into that little cubbyhole (right wing, conservative, republican, Bushie) So.... I snapped at her that ShrubBoy had screwed it up very well all by his little self, and that thanks to his latest great idea, I would be at the post office mailing for another 4+ months... Getting tagged with that "you are Army, so you MUST be right wing, republican etc" is making me crazy! She looked at me... I honestly thought she was going to burst into tears! Tough. Her kids are safe and sound here, one is AirForce Reserve and one is Navy Reserve.

Yesterday, it was the driveway guy... not ONE member of his family in the service, but boy, he was just gung ho. Amazing to me, those gung ho types never actually do anything.. lots of hot air but that's about it. But when I or one of those who think like me, say something like that, they just can't believe it... Well, I don't have to "prove my loyalty" to anyone any more. They don't like it, tough.

update: We just heard that we lost another soldier from the Guard. This hurts so much, since our units were supposed to be home this week. There were also 3 wounded in the same incident. Hold these families in your thoughts.


Saturday, March 17, 2007

Where would I have stood today?

Today were the protest marches in DC. I keep wondering which group I would have stood with? I am, as my name implies, a Liberal. I don't agree with the invasion of Iraq, and I never have. But the military is my family, I am immersed in it right now, with the Brigade being in the Sand. I could NOT have stood by and watched peace protestors showing any disrespect to the wounded veterans that I know were at the Wall, but reading what the posters "The Eagles" were holding said about Liberals being pro AlQuaeda would have been close to impossible to take.

There are military bloggers out there, whose pages I have read and commented on, who are telling me that I am not really supporting my husband and the other members of the Brigade, if I don't support the mission, that I am, in effect, a traitor to my husband and the rest of the Brigade. Now supporting the mission... what does that mean? Do I support my husband in his mission of trying to make sure that the convoys go through safely? of course. Do I support Pat, Ashley, Phil, Todd and Nick in their missions to keep our people safe?? of course. Do I support the Brigade members who are riding convoys, building schools, hunting the men who plant IEDs? of course. BUT, do I support our continuing involvement in a civil war between two sets of religious morons?? no. Do I support the thinking that got us into that mess in the first place?? no. This entire war was mishandled from the beginning, full of the lack of planning, arrogance, and self imposed blindness that I have come to expect from this administration.

I try to show my support with care packages, planning all kinds of surprises for my husband and his troops, blankets for Soldiers Angels, try to help the families back here who slipped through the FRG cracks like me. I try to show it by making people remember that our troops are there, that the families are here and hurting so badly right now.

So where would I have stood today. I honestly don't know. Am I a traitor? that, my friends and posters, I will leave up to each of you to decide... But I have to tell you, there's only one person who's opinion matters. and no, it's not mine.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

It's Pledge Week... Again

I truly truly hate pledge week. This is Public TV pledge week. a couple of weeks ago, it was Public Radio pledge week.

I just want to watch Lehrer! SHUT UP already about the wonderful radio gift and the mug and the DVDs.

We have had lovely warm weather for a few days, the snow is almost all gone (30 inches in a week) the mud is everywhere. As always, we have rivers overflowing and people in a small town being flooded out. But what amazes me, is that most of the people in that town... don't have flood insurance! excuse me, you live next to a river.. why do you NOT have flood insurance? These towns sprang up next to a river, and the only reason for the town being there, was because the river traffic stopped there. but you don't think it's going to flood??? the word "floodplain" is used for a reason, folks. I'll help people who also try to help themselves.

Have to say I'm a real downer this week. This is the week they were supposed to be leaving the litterbox. So I'm cranky, pissed off, and sad.


Monday, March 12, 2007

Yes, Virginia, some one had some sense today

Lt Gen. Kiley is gone. Not just gone, but gone as in clean out your desk today, retire today, now, immediately, don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out, gone. He, I assume, will have 30 days to move out of that lovely home across the road from Building 18. Now, my children, if there was poetic justice, they'd make him move in there as temporary quarters! YES, that would be truly a righteous outcome.

Ah well, at least the man is outa there, and the Army. We don't need people like him, the old "circle the wagons, deny deny, blame someone else" type. This is something that has always made me angry, this need to pull up the drawbridge and NOT to admit that there is something wrong. Ok, now don't get me wrong. I wear those ARMY T shirts with great pride, I am incredibly proud of my husband and most of his troops (yes, there are oxygen thieves in the Army as there are everywhere) But sometimes I just want to scream at those who insist on saying "no, there's nothing wrong here, the media is slanted, you are all agin us" and stuff their heads up their 5th point of contact. NO. sometimes there really are things wrong. If we don't point them out, if we don't fix them, they just get worse. Don't you remember when you didn't 'fess up to your mom that something had broken, the punishment at the end was worse when she found out about it?

There are days my Army really pisses me off, and I wish my husband was doing anything else but this. And there are days they make so proud I want to cry.

I don't know how many civilians read this. I want you to understand a little how we feel. But sometimes I don't think you ever will, nor do you want to.


Sunday, March 11, 2007

And it's not just Our soldiers

Seems the Brit soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan are also being mistreated by THEIR health system. Folks, this whole damned thing needs to stop.

Enough, damnit. Enough. It's bad enough that we are in a war that is questionable, but to now treat the wounded like this, treating them without any regard, making their lives more miserable, is unconscionable. But I suppose that's what we should expect. After all, for most Americans and now it seems, most Brits, out of sight, out of mind. And to most, their support is limited to slapping a yellow ribbon magnet from WalMart or Woolworths to their SUV and slapping themselves on the chest! What is it going to take to wake you civilians out there up??? I know, it needs to be one of YOUR children, YOUR husband or wife, YOUR cousin or neighbour. Well, if we keep this level up, you might have to wake up and realize that it may be your family member.


Saturday, March 10, 2007

one down, a bunch more to go.

In all the excitement about finally getting orders, and spending a bunch of time chasing them down, I didn't get to gloat! Let's see... "Scooter" is off to prison soon (but I'm sure Shrub will pardon him..... after all he got to fall on his sword for Dead Eye Deferment Dickhead) Gingrich proves that "morals" are not their strong point after all... The girl is enjoying this. As the Times said, "Gingrich had affair while hounding Clinton. "

Yup, I'm enjoying this.

Then I read from a whole bunch of military bloggers, that they are 'upset' that the Dems are making noises about Walter Reed. OK.. so I'm trying to figure out why it upsets ANYONE that the Army is getting spanked for the digraceful conditions, not just the mould (which is the skim coat) but the insane bureaucracy and the 18 month waits for their discharge or retention paperwork, their disability ratings (which were undervalued, you would THINK they were private insurance companies....). This is true, it's something that veterans and military families have been screaming about for years, doing it the proper Army way, going up the chain. And folks, it didn't work!!

I grant you, there is a lot of talk, there are way too many commissions and reports and too much babbling and posturing, but this is the piss poor way our government does things. If we can actually change this screwed up system, I could give a damn HOW we do it. Let's get off the "Dems hate the Army" "Neo-cons hate democracy" bandwagon. Let's fix this. FAST!

Till then... support and

By the way, the Hospital in Landstuhl needs size 9 - 13 shoes, mens. Preferably sneakers. Here's the address:

Landstuhl Army Medical Center
Attn: Chaplains
APO AE 09180


Friday, March 09, 2007

Ta Daaaaah!

Orders............. are in! Well, in the system at any rate. This is a great relief to all of us. Planning for the BBQ they are having over in the Litterbox, actually two of them. One on each base that troops from our unit call home. Silly decorations, Rice Krispy treats and chocolate crispies are the favourite sweet treat, then we'll send some salty stuff too. Any of you have any ideas?

Not much else new, the snow is melting rapidly, all 30 inches! By Sunday all the sunny spots will be clear, and the mud will be everywhere. My dog, who is a real twit, hates mud. Finicky! and she's fun to watch when she picks her way across the gravel/mud driveway.

stay warm and dry.


Wednesday, March 07, 2007


Orders... still no damned orders. I have heard 5 different stories, from 5 different people. Why do the powers that be think that they can keep treating us with this level of disdain. We keep hearing that they are supporting the troops and their families. Is this how they show their high regard for us? the frustration level here is high. I find myself sniping at DH, very short tempered with others... and I want off this hamster wheel. We are all exhausted, angry, sick at heart, frustrated and furious that we are being swept under the rug again. This "surge" has done a great deal of damage to us all, the National Guard, the Army in total, the families trying to survive back here. At a recent seminar, I was told by one woman that her husband is glad to be staying there to accomplish the mission. I fail to understand why any man would say that to his family, he'd rather be there than with them. DH said he'd like to meet the guy, no one he knows is saying anything like that. They are working 14 hour days, and are so tired. This is a bad month, they were supposed to begin leaving in the next couple of weeks. So the Governor goes over and makes speeches and gets his picture taken with them, helmet on!! whoopdeedoo.

It's been a bad day.


Saturday, March 03, 2007

Why does it matter!

I have been doing a lot of reading online about the Walter Reed debacle, as well as the mainstream media. What has amazed me is the anxiety and anger among some in the military and the families at WHO released the news. Alright, it was the Washington Post! so WHAT!! Can we get angry about what was reported, not who reported it? I wish they had published it sooner, that they hadn't waited 4 months to do so. But they did it. Yes, Andi, you are right, this information has been reported and reported, and told and retold to the chain of command. nothing happened! Same old, same old. Those of us in the military family know that we will often hear "we've always done it this way"..."it's someone else's fault"... "not in my purview".... "not my responsibilty".... To get rid of something bad, you need to put a bright light on it, a bit like getting rid of mould! Bleach, sunshine and fresh air. In this country, the media is used to shed light.

I honestly don't care if it was the Washington Post, Lehrer, or Letterman. I'm glad that the great American public finally is getting some idea of what is going on.

UPDATE: now the venerable Times of London has reported on the Walter Reed matter. Does this make it better? or is that paper also too "liberal" "anti military"...? Again. I don't care, as long as the problems are addressed

Secretary Harvey should have been gone a long time ago, but I assume the former SecDef liked his Yes man attitude. His decision to put General Kiley back in command... absolutely ridiculous ! This is the man who was in charge of the place for over 3 years, I could not believe his head up the butt statement that there are rats there because the soldiers brought food in. Blame the victims, that's just way too "raise the drawbridge and hunker down". I am relieved that he will not be back. His attitude was symbolic of the old Army way, that we have been told is no longer SOP. Of course I know that this is going to take a hell of a long time to fix, that the mould and such were the easy fixes. I'm not so foolish as to think that the sea of bureaucracy and forms and boards of review are just going to go away. But just maybe, this is a first step.

Let's forget about who gave us the news, let's try to fix the problem.


p.s. No orders yet....

Thursday, March 01, 2007


It's snowing again, but this time it's sideways! blowing like crazy and piling up quickly I'm very glad I stayed home today. Brought work home, thinking ahead for a change. Just went out for some wood for the little woodstove, and was really glad I had the guy dump it just outside the back door. Almost got blown off my feet.

otherwise... not much. trying my new glasses, and I feel like my eyes are being rotated! this is the second pair, the first were completely wrong, and I'm beginning to think these are too. getting a bit cranky about this.

JJ the cat (full name: J. Bertram Feline... hey, not my idea! ) has discovered cat nip. Last night he was stoned! I am trying to get him to use a new scratching pad, and put a little bit of catnip on it. He hasn't scratched it just rubbed himself over it, and licked it... and is just goofy. Even the dog is staring at him, she can't believe it either.

stay safe, stay warm, and if you are in this area... Stay Home!