May 30, 2010

Murphey's Law

This week has been rough. I would even go so far as to say this week has been the most difficult since the first week after Joshua left. Mostly, it was just a compilation of frustrating moments but they all came at once. I had to deal with a family member who lied to me, by omission, and saw nothing wrong with it on the same day that I got an unpleasant letter from Joshua. He was having a hard time...most of his letters are really upbeat-don't get me wrong, he's homesick and misses us but he's strong and he's still glad he's there but he found out some difficult news about his Guard Unit's deployment status. (Disclaimer: Yes, I know, deployments change all the time and until they're actually on the plane to leave, anything can and often does happen). That being said, his unit is now listed as leaving a couple months earlier than expected and instead of the 12 months we had (at least on some level) prepared ourselves for, it's slated for an 18 month tour.
Yeah, that sucked.
A lot.
To add insult to injury (literally, for many), I was upset with certain political decisions being made...certain dishonorable, unAmerican, selfish, slap-in-the-face decisions. (I'm desperately trying not to be political on here but given our new understanding of Joshua's upcoming deployment, it's not so easy).
The straw that broke the camel's back for me this week (and sent me to Walmart to get some Smirnoff Triple Black-yes, I drink even though I'm the only adult in the house but I only do so after the boy is in bed and never more than one drink so PLEASE don't lecture me) was my truck. I love my truck-technically it's a Suburban (I'm also not interested in an environmental lecture on how my gas-guzzling truck is killing the environment and forcing more dependence on middle eastern oil...I don't really care right now...I care about politics, I care about the environment but I also really like my truck).
I took the boy to the Zoo and the Science Center yesterday (and a quick trip to Sam's Club) and somewhere along the way, the a/c in my truck died so as I looked out the window to the bank sign across from Sam's Club and saw the time and 102 degree temp, I hit my limit. I'm not a hot weather person (putting it mildly). I grew up in norther wasn't canceled unless it was -60 degrees outside or white out blizzard conditions. I like the cold. You can always add more, you can't always take more off.
Anyway, we bought my truck a year ago (used) and NEVER had a single problem with it until Joshua left. It ran great. It did everything I wanted. It was perfect. So perfect that I've even said, when it's time to get another car it'll just be the updated version of my current truck. That was before Joshua left and Murphey's Law decided to play games with me. The first week Joshua was gone, my back hatch window broke-not the glass itself, just the hinge that held the window to the hatch. The night it broke was also first real thunderstorm of the season. It was highly unpleasant. Then, my brake caliper randomly ripped so my back brake pads and rotors had to be replaced (thanks again Shawn!). The brakes were quickly followed last week by my battery came loose and left me stranded for a bit at the Kingfisher Library (apparently Chevy batteries sometimes just do that). I managed to get to the local shop and one of Joshua's buddies tightened the screw and we were on our way.
Which brings us back to my a/c going out yesterday. Joshua happened to be on a 36 hour pass and got to hear me complain about how much I HATE all things mechanical. He was great. He let me vent about him not being here and me hating to ask for help even more than doing anything mechanical and then he walked me through how to check if the belt had broke. When that didn't pan out, he walked me through how to reset the computer (he said that sometimes when the battery goes out or the cable comes loose like mine did, it can mess up the computer's ability to remember how to do stuff...he actually used much more mechanical terms but that's the gist, I think). Resetting the computer didn't work so Joshua called a friend who came over to the house (on a holiday weekend) and used some sort of gauge which basically said the a/c was broken...yeah, I kind of figured that out yesterday but now we have an appointment at the shop Tuesday afternoon to probably replace some part (the name of which I've already I said, I hate all things mechanical...I married a mechanical man so I wouldn't have to remember car parts).
I'm trusting that this week Murphey's Law will leave me alone and karma (or yin/yang or the law of sowing and reaping or whatever you want to call it) will balance out last week's frustrations.

May 25, 2010

Book Review: I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced

Well, the title pretty much tells the whole depressing story. I think the worst part is that it's not hard to imagine an uneducated, impoverished child being given to a 30 year old pedophile. The true life story took place in 2008 in Yemen and one of the main reasons I borrowed this book from the library was because it's a newer edition with an epilogue updating Nujood's story. She's still not even a teenager yet. To summarize, Nujood's family lived in abject poverty and like two of her sisters before her, she was sacrificed for the family's honor. At least that was one reason given. The truth lies probably closer to the fact that her father was a drug addict who couldn't afford to feed both his wives and his many children. It was easier to get rid of her and all it took was a pervert to "promise" not to touch her until "the year after her first period." How is even that age...13?, 14?, 15? acceptable??? In the two years since this amazing child and I say child, despite Hilary Clinton calling Nujood "one of the greatest women (she's) ever seen" or Glamour Magazine naming her as Woman of the Year, she's still a child. Please, don't misunderstand, I respect and am in AWE of what that little girl did. She knew what was happening to her was wrong and she broke taboos in a country where grown women are killed, legally, for less. She ran away. She took a bus and a taxi by herself and she found the courthouse. She refused to leave until someone heard her...until someone would help her. But in the end, if her husband had said "no" and refused to allow the divorce, she would have had essentially no recourse. She lives in a country where women are often barely more than property. I don't consider myself a feminist but maybe that's because I live in a country where I can vote, I can own property, I can get divorced or sleep with a man who isn't my husband (I won't but I could) without fear of a death sentence. The women who came before me and fought for those rights should be honored just as Nujood should. The epilogue that I was so excited to read (who doesn't love an update) was disappointing at best. Yemen doesn't have a foster care doesn't have a child welfare program. As a result, after her divorce (btw, both her husband and father were released without so much as a slap on the wrists), she was forced to return to her father's home. She did so, in her own words, to "protect" her younger sisters but I wonder how successfully she'll be able to protect them when her older sisters weren't able to save her from their own fate. While several international donations came in and proceeds from her book were supposed to secure an education and a good future, it hasn't worked out that way. Her father became ill and Nujood can still do little more than write her own name. A painful reminder that not all Cinderella stories turn out the way they should.

May 23, 2010


I was never a HUGE fan of the show and I must admit when Charlie was killed off, I started to drift in and out of watching the show but tonight I was sure to watch all FOUR AND A HALF HOURS that they be fair, the first two were just commentary and catch up which I appreciated but the way the show was wrapped up disappointed me. Again, NO SPOILERS HERE. I just feel like it was the easy way out and still have a couple of questions which will never be answered (and as type A as I am, that's a problem). If you're a fan, I hope you enjoyed it more than I and if you're not, well, the show's over so maybe something new will come out that you do enjoy with some of these fantastic actors.

May 21, 2010


I love to read. After having an unusually frustrating morning with the boy and complaining a bit on facebook, a friend recommended I read the book "Dear John" by Nicholas Sparks. So, I decided to take a trip to the library. I picked up "Dear John" as well as "I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced" written by Nujood Ali with Dlphine Minoui (the unbelievable title caught my eye) and Laura Bush's new book "Spoken from the Heart."
The boy's frustrating morning came in part from allergies wreaking havoc on him so I was thankful when he took an exceptionally long nap for two reasons, 1-he was back to his cantankerous, fun self when he woke up and 2-I was able to finish "Dear John" while he napped.
It's not a particularly long book and I also was told it has been made into a movie but as I've never heard of it, I can't tell you how true the movie was to the book or really if it's even out on DVD yet. I can tell you my impressions of the book (keep in mind, that's all it is, my impressions...)
SPOILER ALERT-I don't expect to go into great detail especially about the ending but if you plan to read it or see the movie, just be aware there may be a spoiler or two to follow...
The main character/narrator, John (that's a Captain Obvious) is wonderful but I also saw several similarities between him and my husband so I'm probably biased. The good news for me is that my husband was able to overcome his rebellious ways long before the Army entered our life. My biggest complaint about this book is the object of John's affection, Savannah. I don't like her. I think she's weak and selfish. She reminds me of co-dependant mil-spouse/girlfriends who can't live without their service member and use that pain to justify pouring their heart into someone else. It never makes sense to's not healthy to cry about your boyfriend (or husband) to another guy. I don't understand why this book is considered romantic when in the end (ok, here's a spoiler for sure) the two people who truly love each other aren't together because one chose to stay in the military and the other didn't wait. Savannah's selfishness reminds me of Catherine from "Wuthering Heights." I really just don't like her but perhaps, if the book was from her perspective I could be more empathetic and since I know nothing of the movie, it may be totally different and I sort of hope it is.
The boy is asleep for the night and I'm now really looking forward to diving into the other two books I picked up. I plan to start with "I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced" addition to the title a quote from Hilary Clinton on the cover of the book caught my eye, "One of the greatest women I have ever seen...She set an example with her courage." The word "women" struck me. There is a 10 year old girl in my life whom I love dearly. She's smart and funny and strong but she is not a woman. I'm super curious to read Nujood's story and will be sure to tell you about it as soon as I can.

May 20, 2010


...where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain...

Well, this state that I love has been living up to it's name as tornado alley (I never understood why Dorthy was from Kansas...they don't get half the tornadoes we do but whatever).

Yesterday was an adventure to be sure. We live precisely in the middle of no where and to live in the middle of no where in the middle of Oklahoma, is truly the middle of no where. That being said, our particular corner of no where just so happens to be a rarity-there has never been a tornado (in recorded memory) to touch down within our town limits. One of our neighbors informed me of this great distinction and went on to say that it's because "we're surrounded by water like a horse shoe." I'm not sure if she was suggesting that the water keeps the tornadoes away or if it's because it's in the shape of a horseshoe...she's kind of special like that and since we've only lived here about a year, I have no idea how true the distinction of no touch downs really is. That being said, it wouldn't surprise me, but mostly because of the size of the town than anything else. It's easy to miss even when you're not a violent rotating column of air.

Yesterday nearly changed all that...even before the meteorologists began their 24 hour coverage and while they were still just trying to update people during the commercials, we saw the signs that all Okies know. The temperature was hot all day and even humid and then it quickly changed, the skies got lower and darker and we knew something was coming.

I should say that I have family in California that think I'm crazy and one (of many) reason(s) is that I LOVE living in tornado alley. I love hearing the sirens go off and running outside to see if I can spot, or even better photograph, a wall cloud form a funnel cloud. I love knowing what "hook echo" and "take your tornado precautions" means. Also, I think they're quakes don't give you dark skies to warn you. You can't feel the pressure change and know it's time to take cover with an earth quake. I have to qualify that although I love the power and the excitement tornado season brings, I hope and pray every year that no one will get hurt...that the touchdowns and damage will be in the middle of a field (preferably not rain-wrapped or at night so we can see it). Yesterday, that's nearly what we got. There were some minor injuries and several buildings were damaged but considering 16 tornadoes hit Oklahoma and 8 touched down in Kansas, it was a good day.

By the time our sirens went off (just for those who don't or haven't lived in an area with tornadoes, when storm systems are suspected of coming in and look to have the same conditions as a severe storm with the ability to produce a tornado, we go into Tornado Watch...when a tornado is suspected of either touching down, about to touch down or conditions are prime for a touch down, we go into Tornado Warning) I knew we'd end up in the storm shelter before the night was through. I had already put our emergency bag together and got the dog's collar on him. The sky was spinning before the sirens went off and when they did, I took a couple pictures with my phone and went into the shelter. Thankfully the tornado closest to us touched down a couple miles north (which in tornado language is pretty far...our meteorologists are the BEST!-they can warn people mile by mile, even block by block to take shelter or be assured it has passed your area and you'll be ok). We came out of the storm shelter to discover we had no power. It took about 4 hours for the power to be restored but I can't complain, I love living in tornado alley.

This (not my picture) was the tornado closest to our home...
right where it should the middle of a field (in the day and not rain-wrapped).

May 15, 2010

MilWife Question - Please Help!!!

Sorry about the double posting today but I have a friend, we'll call her N for now (not sure how much info she wants out there) whose husband, we'll call him A, is about to graduate BCT/AIT with my husband but they're regular Army not Guard so they're looking at their first PCS. It looks like A will be stationed in "a foreign country" (I'm not sure if I'm allowed to post specifics although she knows the country) and is likely to deploy at the end of the year. If N goes with her husband oversees, will the Army move her and all her stuff back to the states while A's deployed? I've tried to tell her to wait because she's considering not going oversees at all and I really think if she goes, she might find a great support structure for her and her son but I know how scary the idea of going oversees only to be left shortly there after with a small child and possibly another on the way. N doesn't have a blog or many MilWife friends so whatever advice or information you could give, I would greatly appreciate it and pass it along.

The Truck in the Closet

I'm close to by breaking point with one of Benjamin's favorite toys. It's just a black Dodge truck that has three buttons on top of the makes a loud semi-truck honking makes that backing up beep...and one makes the sound of a diesel engine starting and revving up. Unfortunately, the batteries are dying. Unfortunate first because the batteries are not yet dead but also because now it just randomly and without provocation makes one of those three lovely sounds. To make it even more special, the door to access the batteries is screwed in but not a normal phillips head screw or even one of those alan wrench (???spelling??? know the ones that are hexagonal) screw heads...those I could handle thanks to my darling husband's big purple tool box (yes, he has a big purple tool box but he insists that it's a manly purple, "royal" even...whatever). Instead, this toy from HELL-which btw was purchased by my darling husband, has some sort of weird star screw head and NOTHING I've tried will get the door off. As a result, the truck has spent the last two nights wrapped in one of my bath robes in the back of the spare bedroom's closet...yeah, that's my solution. It's that or hit it with a hammer and I think I might feel a little guilty if I do is one of the boy's favorite toys. I just hope the batteries die soon.

May 13, 2010


The boy will be 2 in just over a month! It's crazy how fast two years has gone and I think my little man is about to go through another growth spurt...he's got the crazy clown feet action going on and he's eating and sleeping all the time. The last little spurt he had, he got much taller but he also lost most of his baby chub at least on his body-he still has cheeks that just scream, "PINCH ME!" I've seen him grow more and more like his father. They have the same shoulders and arms-something I was hoping for but I'm sad to say that the boy also now has Joshua's chicken legs and nubby knees...coupled with the clown feet, it's pretty funny. Right now, he's about 33 1/2 inches tall...pretty average which is what we expected since I'm 5' 2" and Joshua's 6' 2" (I've always said I married Joshua because he can fix things and I want to breed height back in...we'll see if it works). My goal/hope/preference, laugh if you must, is that the boy'll be 35 inches by our vacation in September. If he is, he'll be allowed to ride the toddler roller coaster at Walt Disney World and I think he'll love it. He's a little dare devil and he's very brave...sometimes too brave for his own good. Last week I took him and the triplets to the local skate park. The park was empty so they had the place to themselves and the boy got to run around like a mad man. Here's a couple of the pics from the day...(please ignore the peanut butter still on the child's face...)

May 12, 2010

Good Friends with Great Hearts

I'm not the kind of person who is able to ask for help me independent or just a control freak...I struggle with it. In fact, I laughed when I read a fellow MilWife's blog posts about the top 10 ways to help a MilSpouse during deployment because although we're grateful to not be going through deployment right now, we are separated and while Joshua trains to be his best, I'm learning that my best is pretty far from perfect and one of my biggest imperfections is the misconception that I can do it all or even most of it myself. I can't. As was evidenced this week when my truck's brakes decided to die. Please understand, I know how to change a tire, even change my own oil but I married a man with mechanical skills for a reason...I DON'T LIKE TO DO THOSE THINGS...but regardless, I knew brakes, even just the pads would be FAR outside my capabilities. So I sucked it up and asked a couple guy friends to look at them to confirm my suspicions. One is an Airman with the Oklahoma ANG and the other is a firefighter for Oklahoma City. Good guys. They said it was time for new pads and probably new rear rotors too (apparently that's unusual...who knew) so I arranged with Joshua's help (thank God for a couple extra phone calls this week) to pick up brake pads and rotors. My Airman friend just returned from his annual two week training and is preparing to go on an unrelated trip to Africa so rather than bug him and his wife, I decided to ask my firefighter friend if he could switch them out. I'm a little embarrassed to admit how difficult it was to ask for help but I knew it had to be done (the sounds coming from my truck were quickly getting worse). Boy, am I glad I did because not only were the pads AND rotors bad, but one side's caliper (probably not at all how you spell it but again, that's why I married a man with mechanical skills...I have no interest in anything mechanical whatsoever) was broken (yes folks, that's the technical term) firefighter friend described the problem with a few more details but it all boils down to, yup, it's broken. After a quick run to the parts store and another half an hour of work, my truck is in perfect working order again. YAY!
Knowing you have good friends who will go out of their way for you is probably the best feeling in the world. I can't say how much I appreciate my friends right now. It fills me with joy but it also makes me sad because tomorrow, I have to say goodbye to two other great friends who are PCSing for the very first time. I'm excited to see what God has for them and what new adventures await but they'll be missed...and I think I might try to convince them to meet us at Walt Disney World in the fall... lol...just joking, kind of...

May 9, 2010

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Warning: it's pretty long...I'll try not to be away so long...catching up on the blogs I read on all that's been going on here is a little crazy
It's been about a week and a half and though I've wanted to at least get on here and read some blogs, for the most part I haven''s been crazy and not in the usual sense so here it is in a nut shell, the good, the bad & the ugly (I like to end with the good so yeah, it's out of order)...
The Bad: We (read: I, with my totally clueless almost two year old son) had to put Murray, our husky/lab mix down. Yup, doesn't get much worse than that for our family. He was only 4 years old but he was in kidney failure. The vet said his crankiness (he's been bullying our other dog and I just attributed it to the hubs being gone) was due to being in pain so yeah, now there's guilt too. To top it off, if we had discovered the underlying cause early enough...a heart defect, we could have treated it fairly inexpensively and he would have lived a long, full life. Double guilt. To top it off, the boy and I went back and forth with some sort of stomach flu. It was beyond terrible to be sick and have a sick child with no one in this tiny little town. And to top it off, we missed my step-brother's graduation party/visiting family from Grandma (aka GG), my favorite Aunt (shh, don't tell the other 8 blood Aunts or 5 in-law Aunts) and a cousin who is not only sane (rare on that side) but also pretty cool. My closest friend is PCSing this coming week and this last week she was gone to her husband's OCS graduation. I know we'll stay close thanks to the internet but I'm going to miss midnight movies, Broadway shows, cafe moments and just knowing she's less than an hour away.
The Ugly: My house-between dealing with a sick dog, having visitors (I'll go more into that in "the good"), and then getting sick ourselves, my house is in total disarray. My hair-it's just not at a cute stage in growth and I have pretty much no skill when it comes to hair/ of many reasons I prefer to be behind the camera instead of in front of it. Our yard-how do single moms with jobs and kids and pets and homes keep up with the mowing, the gardening and everything else??? I barely work, I only have one kid but I feel like I have to pick between inside the house or outside the house...what will get done today? The outside rarely wins.
The Good :) We're over the stomach bug!!! YAY! We were able to spend a couple days with the triplets...I'm not sure if I've mentioned them on here before but before getting married I was a nanny and the family I worked for the longest had a set of triplets. They were 4 when I moved in and 6 when I left to get married and I love them all dearly. (They got me a Mother's Day card and I nearly cried because I love those kids so much). Since Joshua's been gone, I haven't seen them as often as usual and I've hated it but it's just tough to bring three ten year olds into our little house with the dog(s), and the toddler and everything else but this visit was wonderful...didn't do much for the state of my house but did wonders for my heart. I met two milwives this week and was really excited to be able to share my heart with someone who understands face to face. The first is an AF Wife (and former DODDS teacher-which ironically enough is what I wanted to do when I was in college) that I met from another friend. The other I didn't meet in person but online but I'm still super excited because she happens to be married to a man who is at Ft Leonard Wood going through BCT with Joshua. We have tons in common beyond that too. Her son is 21 months old, mine's 22 months (I think they even have the same Nemo decor but that's just what Joshua said), I think we graduated high school the same year and they too are Disney people...if you're a Disney person, you understand what that means...we go to Disney World as often as we can which brings me to what I consider to be the best "Good" of this last week or two...we've booked our next trip to Walt Disney World!!! We're staying in the same resort we stayed at on our first trip together (it was Joshua's first trip ever) and I know we're going to have a great time!