Saturday, July 31, 2010

in the window

Yes, I'm going to be one of THOSE cat people for a while. JJ and Emma (that seems to be sticking) were having a good day yesterday - and since the weather was so nice and coolish, we had the windows open.

1, 2, 3 awwwwwwww. JJ in the chair, Emma in the window - tired out from all the tumbling, chasing, pouncing earlier!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Monique - now Emma

We were fostering a cat from the shelter group I volunteer with, and after a rocky start, things have progressed well. JJcat, the elder statesman who rules the house, has gradually taken to her, and is playing/chasing with her. There was no way in hell we were returning her to the cages, so decided to finalize her adoption.

Her name WAS Monique - hate the name... we are trying out other names for her. She answers to nothing at all - but what do we feel she looks like. She's a very plain cat, a Domestic Short Hair blue grey tabby - we thought a good simple name would work. I liked either Emily or Emma.. so we'll see.

She's still a little spooked by loud noises, tends to play bite when she gets riled up which is NOT allowed on people and learning that the spray bottle or a loud "ah ah" means stop that NOW. She has her room, with box, tower, scratching pad for nights to separate her from JJcat (we like sleeping, and the herd of elephant running up and down the stairs isn't conducive to snoozing) and for eating. JJ is a snacker, Emma is a vacuum cleaner, so for meal times with wet food, they have to be separated. She needs to lose some weight, after all she was in the cages for 6 months, without a lot of exercise and was pretty depressed - stress eater (like me!)

The newest member of the family!


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Happy birthday trip

Since it's Chief's birthday today, and although he hates to celebrate it, we are going on a little trip. Yeah, on a day it's going to be hotter than the hinges of hell or as he puts it "Baghdad weather", we are setting out for a day in Richmond. Maybe.

It's been a helluva week, hasn't it? The whole MyCAA thing blowing up again, dividing us by rank and wish list for our futures. Some feelings were hurt that those trying to get a different degree said they didn't want a cosmetology or realtor certification, as if we were saying "it's not worthy". That, of course, isn't what we were saying, but that's the general gist of many conversations and denunciations. When I talked to someone on the Hill about it, he asked me which other Fortune 500 company offered this. I told him I didn't give a rip if AT&T or IBM offered it, this was a PROMISE made to us. A promise that was broken in February, and again and again. It would have been far better if they had simply said - those who are already in, will get the $$, the rest of you, sorry, try something else. This cobbled together version - no, not a good compromise at all.

So, heading out, water bottles are filled. wish us luck.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

GI Bill tranferability

Weeeelllll..... there seem to be discussions about ending that transferability which, the last time I looked, is one of those "options" DoD is telling us to use instead of MyCAA! Let's hope like hell the panel doesn't go for this.

One of the more notable options in the bill is transferability. It gives career servicemembers who’ve served on active duty or in the selected reserve on or after Aug. 1, 2009, the option to transfer their education benefits to family members, Clark said. Transferability was approved in the Post-9/11 Veterans Education Assistance Improvement Act of 2008, which became law in June 2008.

Panel members are debating that option for the 2010 bill. Some say transferability shouldn’t be available for every servicemember, because of budget constraints. Rather, the option should be reserved for specific military specialties that are difficult to fill, they said.

“We had concerns about the generous benefit being more of a draw for first-term members to leave [the military] in order to use this benefit,” Clark said. “[But] we were very pleased to see the transferability … to share this benefit that [servicemembers] have earned with their family members.

“We did not believe this benefit for family members was to be limited to any specific targeting,” he continued. “We believe that every soldier, sailor, airmen and Marine who chooses to stay should have the same opportunity to share their earned benefits with their family members.”

Something we'll have to keep an eye on.


MyCAA - DoD wants us to be cosmetologists

Do you love this... Dr. Stanley wants to empower us by cosmetology... No disrespect to anyone who has trained to make the rest of us look good... but is this what we all want to be???

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

MyCAA - screwed up again

Portable careers - or is that a portable "job"? Social workers - need at the very least, a bachelors. Teachers, nurses, mental health providers, counselors - yup, you need at least a Bachelors. Now, if you need a counselor, would you rather have a milspouse who understands exactly what you are going through? would you rather have a teacher for your kids, who understands what deployments do to the family? So why the HELL isn't DoD working with us, investing in US!!! We are there, we want to work, we want to study, we want to help our military families - so why the HELL doesn't DoD take advantage of the workforce they have, instead of hiring those expensive contractors??? WHY????

Now, for those of you who haven't seen the newest incarnation of the MyCAA Program, the latest "promise" from DoD who holds some pretty awesome power over our lives, here's the link.
Here's portions of the announcement at MilitaryOneSource...

With a focus on the original intent of the program, the Defense Department’s financial assistance program will:
  • Be available to spouses of active duty service members in pay grades E1-E5, W1-W2, and O1-O2
  • Offer a maximum financial benefit of $4,000 with a fiscal year cap of $2,000. Waivers will be available for spouses pursuing licensure or certification up to the total maximum assistance of $4,000
  • Require military spouses to finish their program of study within three years from the start date of the first course
  • Be limited to associate degrees, certification, and licensures

These new guidelines reflect a return to the original purpose of the program — to assist spouses of service members in achieving portable careers. These changes also align the program with responsible fiscal planning by the Defense Department to help sustain the program

DoD maintains that:
Military spouses are the backbone for military families, displaying strength of character to be admired by this nation. The Department of Defense remains committed to investing in military families, and appreciates the sacrifice of those who also serve

Now, supposedly, we also will be able to use MilitaryOneSource for more career counseling.

Starting 8 a.m. (EDT) Monday October 25, 2010, Military OneSource career and education counselors will have a much more active role in supporting military spouses. In addition to understanding resources available via DoD’s financial aid support, they will provide support and assistance to identify and gain access to other federal, state, and local programs. All military spouses of active duty service members will be eligible for career counseling and support.

What will happen to the Guard and Reserve spouses? well.....

Additionally, the review revealed that National Guard and Reserve members must be on active duty for their spouses to receive the MyCAA benefit. Spouses may no longer use the MyCAA benefit when the service member is in an alert or demobilization period. The new eligibility rule takes effect immediately.

Lovely, isn't it? The Guard gets used and used and used... and this is what they get... if you are in the middle of the program and your Guard spouse is demobed... I guess you are SOL.

Great. Promises made, should be kept.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Pretty awesome

or as my friend Tucker says "awesomesauce". Rachel Maddow's show, with her last 9 minutes about Afghanistand, was just awesomesauce. Watching this on that evening, with Chief sitting there as well (and he's not a liberal, also not a conservative...he's just him) was ""different". We don't usually watch political shows together... the disagreements can get heated. But even he was impressed by this.

I loved this segment. Found it online, and still love it. Around minute 4, is when Rachel really gets going. Yes, I wanted to stand up and cheer, but the rest of the house is asleep! (as always, Blogger and YouTube don't seem to want to cooperate, so I can't imbed this, hit the link, sit back and enjoy)


Friday, July 16, 2010

Strange Stuff

There was an earthquake in Gaithersburg, Md.. not far from us, but we slept right through it. only a small one, although from the local news you would think the end was at hand. Slightly skewed, reporters searching searching for any damage at all, and interviewing folks who either say what I did this morning - huh? what? or the "omg, it was terrible"..

but the really really really strange shit? I was Facebook invited to join in the Glenn Beck Bike thing, which culminates in some "save the constitution" convocation of the faithful Beckians at the Lincoln Memorial. ME? MEE?? I know, I know, it was the "invite all friends" button from someone, but seriously - it was such a "say whuuut" moment for me this morning. After spending last night watching Rachel Maddow with such a fantastic segment about Afghanistan, to have Beck intruding - oh gag. The man is a true true douchenozzle, a waste of space, time, air... I find him an even more objectionable, vile and disgusting influence than even Rash Lamebrain.... well, ok, maybe not!

Have a great day, everyone.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

life as an LLC

Now that I'm not working full time in an office, I'm finding life - different! I go in once a week and get work from the part time data entry job, and bring it home. Monday, the trip was fraught with delays, heat and cranky commuters, which just reinforced my decision to quit the rat race. I got my first client on Friday thanks to the connections of a good friend (thank you, Kristy!), and have been pretty busy getting into a routine, data entry and online research! I have a meeting next week for, hopefully, another client. After the initial few weeks of sending out resumes with mixed results (mostly phone calls for interviews for full time jobs) I am no longer in total despair, second guessing myself and worrying that I had screwed up big time! To all those friends who told me it would be ok, thank you.

It's interesting being at home, the foster cat and established cat have more time together since they are only allowed out together when someone is home! I do have to stop myself from cleaning, or shopping etc... I've given myself one morning a week to take care of things like grocery shopping and vet appointments. A friend who has worked from home for years, reminded me that I cannot be the "person at home" for the neighbours, but in this street, there are a lot of people at home, so that won't be a problem. I''d still like to find some work as a part time paralegal, ideally for an attorney who does VA appeals... but that's harder to find.

The biggest benefit, besides the lack of stress from the previous job, is the enjoyment! I enjoy what I do (the data entry not so much, perhaps) but definitely the internet related work, and I love love love not having a long commute (usually an hour or so, but longer in the summer). I think I am much more productive, and certainly less stressed out when I get home.

so, friends, a little from me, how about you?


Saturday, July 10, 2010


Today, our son graduated, with his Associates in IT, with Honors. A virtual graduation ceremony - so I can't hug him (he's in Colorado). He's right back to work on his Bachelors, no break - with a full time job and a pre-schooler. Can we say PROUD? oh, hell yeah.


Saturday, July 03, 2010

celebrating freedom - kittie style

Hoooray! an adoption today! freedom for Tabasco, a sweet little ginger cat, with a love of water - he'll play in the sink, even. Told his new mama not to leave the toilet seat up, he'll go fishing. whew. One down, a few hundred more to go.


Friday, July 02, 2010

Fourth of July - happy birthday, USA

a four day weekend - whoo hooo! and in case I'd forgotten that it's PCS season I went on post to see the Dr. and go to the commissary - yes, I KNOW, it's Payday, 4 day weekend... I KNOW!! every moving company in the area - on Belvoir! jeez. and the commissary? they are redoing it, they have moved absolutely everything and haven't restocked - yeah momma... NOT fun. All the retirees were in, had to wait for a freakin' cart! sigh.

Farmers Market Kingstowne - stocked up on buffalo, the great great great bratwurst and italian sausage at Cibola farms - some fruit, veg, bread.. OK - got everything except mangos for the fruit salad.

Now - the neighbour with all the noisy toys is out.. ran his mower, and his edger, and his weed whip, and his compressor for the hose... he hasn't hauled out the leaf blower yet - I'm waiting for it...

now, going to watch Crazy Heart - good first day of the four day weekend. ttyl.