Friday, April 23, 2010

The Summit

Not Everest - the Congressional Military Family Caucus Summit! A meeting of military spouses from all over the country, from Oregon and Washington State to the DC area, the Carolinas, Texas, brought together to discuss topics that are important to all of us. Marine wives sat with AirForce and Army Spouses, discussing Deployment stress with Navy wives - finding that we had more in common than differences. Every table had a Senior wife sitting at it, anonymously. May I say that I really enjoyed discussing mental health with Deborah Mullen! I recognized her, but no one else at our table did, and I think the whole point of them staying incognito was perfectly illustrated when one of the other ladies at the table realized who she was as we were going to lunch, and was hoping she hadn't said anything "wrong". NO - these ladies needed to hear what we had to say, without anyone worrying about "will this hurt my spouse's career"!

My usual problems with the Capital Security folks continued - my little spray hand sanitizer was confiscated - along with another wife's Nilla wafers. jeez louise!

The discussions - there was one overriding common thread. INFORMATION! or the lack thereof, the lack of one place to get the information we need, whether it's where to find a doctor that takes TriCare, which program is there to help children trying to cope with deployment, where the training is available for a milspouse trying to get a new job - INFORMATION.

The ideas we cam e up with, and refined, are being given to the members of the Caucus. We need to keep talking to our representatives, we need to make sure that these issues stay on their desks, stay on their radar.

I met so many wonderful spouses, so many women (I didn't meet the guys)who were ready to roll up their sleeves and get to work, who had ideas and were willing to work together to make a difference. It was an honour and pleasure to spend the day with all of them.


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Milblogs -

Xposted at LeftFace Blog.

We really did enjoy ourselves! does that sound "surprised"? yeah... we were... this is my third, my husband's second, and Snarky's first. Some of the speakers were amazing, the Best By Far - SSG Hatch (later Major Hatch) who was a camera man at the battle for Tarawa (which IS pronounced TAR - a - wah... the moderator needed to be corrected... which SSG Hatch did, with great kindness). When SSG Hatch spoke of one of the bloodiest days in the war - he called it, "a little rough".. he could really teach the present day testosterone cowboys, the gunga Dan's of this era, the ones Snarky calls "dickswingers"... one hell of a lesson. To be there and listen to the man who took this film, a film I have seen for years, actually narrating it, was such a fantastic moment.

The Charitable Landscape - Vivian from BSF and the rest of the panelists were great. Michael Yon - the quality of the sound was awful, and the OPSEC violations - well, lets just say Chief isn't terribly surprised that his imbed was canceled! Lunch - not TOO liquid, lots of fun, new friends but really, when you ask for no cheese - is it really that hard??? The panel that tried to keep us awake during the post luncheon hour - did a good job. The View from the Top. A full bird Marine, eclipsed by a 4 star Admiral (no Jamie McIntyre, it's NOT General) and the Principal Deputy Assistant SecDef for Public Affairs - all talking about social media from the top. One of the bloggers there - was wearing a T shirt from IVAW and got up to ask a question. Everyone on the dais tensed - and she asked a very good question about how to get the mid range officers to understand the benefits of Social Media... chins all hit the ground! As she said to me later, we aren't all screaming nutjobs. I think everyone was waiting, nay, hoping, that she would go ballistic. she never did, and I think many people were disappointed that she didn't so they could jump down her throat. Amazingly, I found out that a panelist from a major veterans group invited her, and while he thinks she is wrong in her views was saddened by the attitudes of some at the conference. I think she's a very brave woman, a brave veteran, to come to that conference and ask her questions.

The final panel on legislation - very dense! One of the panelists who had a passing resemblance to a favourite TV childrens host of a military marsupial nature, told us he thought Facebook and Twitter were, I quote "crap" - made quite an impression, lemme tell ya! We met up with him later - after a few adult beverages at PF Changs, and with the assistance of a few more libations, we spent a fun hour or so with him at dinner. He and Vivian spoke Public Policy jargon for a while... interspersed with snarky remarks about award winners, and ending with a lesson (by another friend) and a pictorial (drawing, folks) of the mechanics of "teabagging"... yeah, you had to be there.

All in all, a good time was had by all. So - next year - y'all coming? Hope so!


Thursday, April 08, 2010

Almost Milblogs!

I am really looking forward to this conference - Chief is home and will be coming, and one of my best imaginary friends, Snarky Navy Wife, is going to be arriving tomorrow! This is going to be a blast, we plan to meet up with some other bloggers and attend the milblog conference. There are some good speakers scheduled, and there is sure to be some lively discussion!

I'll try to blog from there, or twitter... I'll see!


Sunday, April 04, 2010

been a while, huh?

Nana here! We had a wonderful time with our granddaughter, who is growing up so fast! She's almost terrifyingly smart, has the memory of an elephant and is a budding fashionista. I don't get to shop with her very often, but we had a great time at a children's store, and what really impressed me, was not ONE screaming fit, not one tantrum even when we said no to a toy purchase or anything else.

We went to the Denver Children's Museum again, and she had a great time, again. There's an area with a mirror and music, tap shoes, tutus and costumes - I see a drama major here ,y'all. Grandma Deb was very kind and let us stay at her house, so granddaughter stayed with us for two nights - we even made breakfast together one morning, she mixes pancake batter very neatly. The 'Quarium was fun, sharks are ok on THAT side of the glass and Nemo was a big favourite.

On our last day, we went to her school and had lunch with her, some of her little friends and her lovely teacher Miss Kayla. Great pre-school, and I'm so happy she is able to go there. The newest addition to the family, the Corgi Peanut - very happy puppy, about a year old, and the usual bundle of energy! but Cesar Milan is right - long walks do wear them out and get all that energy out in sniffing, walking, sniffing, marking, sniffing...


Left Face didn't make it to the Milbloggies finals... ah well. We'll do it next year!


Friday, April 02, 2010


Nope, I'm not asking you to vote for this blog. I'm asking you to go and nominate LEFT FACE. It's a group effort, that I'm proud to be a part of, with a bunch of great Liberal Military Spouses.

Go nominate!