Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Who Knew?

Last Christmas my niece gave me tubes of silver and gold glitter glue. Very sweet. I really had no intention of using them. But wait!

Used the gold. Loved it. Who knew?

I'd post a picture but it's for a gift. So that might take a little creative editing. Anybody want to hazard a guess which paper loved gold glitter glue?

Monday, March 26, 2007

What Are We Going to Do with Uncle Arthur?

Meet Sam.

This weekend I finally put two and two together with ye old cat. Sam gets 1 tablespoon of canned food per day, and all of the dry food he wants.
He is 12, and he has been losing a lot of weight. Sam also has STINKY breath. Anybody guess where we're going here? I think Sam has bad teeth. As far as I can tell, they're pretty discolored, but, he's a cat and he isn't too willing to have his mouth examined.

So I've started Sam on a canned catfood diet. He seems to like that just fine.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Robins, Hope and Spring

I took the dogs for a walk yesterday, and I was pleased to see an old friend:

Not sure exactly when he got back into town, but yesterday was the first day I noticed him. Only fitting for the first full day of spring, I guess.

With spring in Minnesota, there are a lot of feelings of hope and anticipation, I think. A lot of firsts as the world wakes up after the winter. One of my favorite books from my childhood, and still today, is "The Secret Garden". Our friend, the cheeky robin, plays an important role in that story too; although Mistress Mary's robin is not quite the same as my American version.

I'm torn today about feelings of hope. It seems all of nature is conspiring to bring that sense of hope to the world. But I don't want to feel hope, because I have been disappointed again. Dave had seemed so confident that he could come home for Easter, but yesterday he found out that he cannot. So all of the plans that I made with the carefully placed caveats; all need to be revised. Harumph.

How am I supposed to properly say harumph when it is such a nice day outside?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


WARNING: The following post contains whiny and unappreciative content. Viewer discretion advised.

My brain still hasn't fully adjusted to the fact that Dave is "here" instead of "there". I think the thing I notice most is that I can call him, instead of having to wait for him to call me. And it's exciting to look at the calendar and see that Easter is only 2 1/2 weeks away, the next time he may come home. It's an entire hemisphere better than being in Iraq.

But he's not home.

A friend said to me last night, "oh, I'm so happy that he's home now!". She, in fact, repeated that throughout the evening. And actually I've heard that so many times in the last week, I've lost track.

Really? If your spouse or loved one was 1280 miles away from you, would you say he or she was home?

If the only thing that matters is the time that they spend in Iraq, then what was the time spent at Camp Shelby? Didn't we miss our loved ones then? Didn't we feel gaping hole in our hearts then? Camp Shelby was only 1120 miles away. Almost home, right?

Yes, Iraq is a war zone. Yes, Iraq is dangerous. A lot of really bad stuff happens there every day. People are trying to kill our soldiers every day. That is true. And Georgia is better than Iraq. But it's not home.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

36 Hours

Dave didn't get back in time to attend the funeral. He arrived at Ft. McCoy on Monday evening. Tuesday morning, he called me and asked if I could come to La Crosse and see him. He thought he would probably have free time Tuesday and Wednesday before he needed to leave. So I made some calls, rearranged my schedule a bit, and headed to Too to pull the items I need for my page kits. Once I finished that, I was totally free until work on Wednesday afternoon. Then I thought, maybe it might be difficult to make it back in time for work, so I started calling around to see if somebody could cover for me at the store.

My phone rang, it was Dave. Change of plans. They approved him, and another guy, Mike, to drive to Georgia. So instead of staying in La Crosse, I was now going to pick him up so that they could drive me back to the cities and then leave for Georgia. It sounded like they had to leave immediately. I was mad.

As I headed to La Crosse, I got a clarification on the plans. Although they were "leaving for Georgia", they actually were going to stay in the Cities for a bit. Whew. We got back to Rosemount at about 9, changed clothes and went to Rudy's. Good stuff. The waitress gave us (Dave)free appetizers when she heard that he had just come back from Iraq.

Wednesday, DH spent a long time (too much time!) fixing my laptop. It's not 100% yet, but it's on the mend. I really appreciate all of the time he put into it. Then we went to Herkimer pub with Scott, Minda & Andrew. We had a really great time. I'm glad it worked out for them to meet each other. After we left the pub, we stopped into a little bike shop a few doors down. Dave got himself a nice hybrid bike. Although he has his truck to take him to school in Georgia, since it's 2 miles between school and home, he's looking forward to taking his bike a lot of the time.

This morning, he packed up his truck and the boat, filled with military gear, civilian clothes, camping equipment, fishing equipment, a bike and golf clubs. I wonder if he will have time to miss me. ;) We said goodbye and he was on his way. He was only home for 36 hours, but it was wonderful.

Sincere thank yous to the following people: Leigh B. and Sue T. for the time off, and all of the great people (Susan!) who covered for me; Scott & Minda, thank you for dinner, and Andrew, thank you for the picture and the jealous affection; and Col. Elicerio, thank you for (begrudgingly) sending Dave back.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

What to say....

I know a few people have been checking here for news about Dave. But there is not much to say on that front... he's still in Kuwait. And that shouldn't really surprise me, because the original plan was for him to leave Kuwait sometime on Sunday.

But since my last post, Dave's grandpa passed away. We knew that the end was coming, so Dave had asked if the Red Cross would allow him to get a flight to the US sooner to try to attend the funeral. His commander said yes. So I contacted the Red Cross, and waited to hear from Dave. Unfortunately, his commander was incorrect. Grandparents do not qualify for relief flight status.

Before grandpa passed, Dave's dad had called and told me that grandma wanted Dave to be a pallbearer. I thought, that's very nice, but they shouldn't count on Dave getting there. Fast forward a day, and multiple phone calls, now it sounds like Dave will arrive in La Crosse around 9 AM, need to go to Ft. McCoy for processing, and then somehow get to the funeral, 170 miles away. Funeral mass is at Noon. Doesn't sound realistic, does it? Then Dave's dad tells me he's thinking of driving down (3 hours) and back (3 hours) to bring Dave to the funeral. Wow. With that plan, not only is it likely that Dave will miss it, Dave's dad will miss it too. I can only say that he is grieving, and maybe not thinking so clearly.

Yesterday I heard from Dave again, and now his flight is pushed back an additional 18 hours. At this point, they may not even go to Ft. McCoy, they may go directly to Ft. Gordon. He has to be there no later than Friday morning. But he didn't know for certain. (It's the army, there isn't much that is for certain when it comes to making plans.)

This afternoon, I'm riding with Dave's older brother and his wife & kids to the visitation today and the funeral tomorrow. I'm going to stick with them, since I'm going stag.... I'm not all that big on funerals, and I'd never met Dave's grandparents. But oh well. It's family.

Dave met my parents (and my extended family) for the first time at my uncle's funeral... But that's another story.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


I got this done a couple of days ago, but I remembered today that I hadn't said so on my blog yet... And just in time, too!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


OK, Here it is:

Wednesday March 7 at 5 AM Minnesota time, Dave will be leaving Iraq.

He'll spend a few days in Kuwait and then he's off to Georgia by way of Wisconsin for a couple of days. He'll be in Georgia until August. He will finish the deployment at a school at Fort Gordon.

With any luck, I'll be able to see him before he goes to Georgia. Right now, it's one of those many unknown things.

Friday, March 02, 2007

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

I'm pretty sure in a week I'll know so many things! For now, I'm impatiently waiting. Deployment changes, job changes, friends relocating, tentative vacation plans. Ah, possibilities.

Last night I nearly finished my stepson's album, now known as the little album that could. This will be the third time it's been nearly finished, but each time I have been blessed with more pictures. It has gone from a meagre 40 pages to a much more robust 130 pages. I have to blow up one picture and add a title page, and it will be done.

The majority of people (all 5 of you!) that read my blog live in Minnesota, so this picture probably doesn't impress you. But since there are a few on the eastern hemisphere who have been known to check it out on occasion, here it is: The snow in the front yard is knee deep, with another inch or so predicted today.

They've been having pretty nasty sandstorms in Iraq as we're having snowstorms here in Minnesota. I can definitely say I'll take the snow.