Thursday, July 29, 2010

"Warning: could not send message for the last 24 hours"

I hate it when e-mail goes down on the ship. Really.

It is the only way I have of communicating with the love of my life and they have taken it away.

Not that I put any big important news in it. Not that there is any urgency to it. Not that it is life or death for goodness sake.

Just the simple fact that I cannot communicate with him when I want to irritates me.

No phone call from him during the work day. No chatting about nothing important when he gets home. No sitting quietly together, watching tv or reading.

Just nothing. Just a big empty hole where no words or anything gets through.

Grumpy now and working on cranky.

Time served...

Time served... those are two words police officers and District Attorneys do not like to hear spoken in court. It simply means that yes, this person is guilty but they have been sitting in jail for a bit (mostly because they couldn't make bond) and we are going to let them go. As a former police officer I can tell you, it does kind of make you wonder why you arrested the guy/gal in the first place.

Yesterday or the day before, in Yorktown VA a whacko man assaulted and stabbed his former girlfriend and took her hostage in the WalMart. Now, normally I would pass over this as I just flat out hate the news but it caught my attention for several reasons.

First, this is my favorite WalMart - nice, fairly new, clean - and I shop there a good bit. How dare someone shut it down for several hours because they do not know how to resolve an argument peacefully? Really?!? Do they not teach proper conflict resolution these days? And don't give me that crap about his bad upbringing and being poor - I know plenty of poor people that don't stab the one they are arguing with.

Second, the guy got out of jail on the 23rd of this month. Yep - you heard me right, just 4/5 days before this he was sentenced to "time served". Guess what his crime was? Assaulting the same woman in a domestic disturbance. Time served - yep - hate those two words.

We, as a population, really need to think about this type of thing. If someone assaults me do I want them getting out on time served so they can come back and do it again? I get that jails are full, I get that housing these people is expensive but there are alternatives.

We could all do what that sheriff out west is doing - house them in tents and make them work the chain gang... he even has female prisoners doing it because he wants to be "fair". No TV either. And he feeds them what the kids eat in public schools.... who is going to say that the food isn't adequate?

We could make them have prison farms that pay for themselves... bad year farming = lean winter of eating. Seems reasonable to me.

We could fence off Utah and put them all there. They would be responsible for everything - food, water, electricity.... it could be a penal colony like Georgia was and Australia.... if they kill each other oh well.... yeah, I have no sympathy and saw "Escape from New York" too many times.

We have to think of something. This type of thing happens every day and gets closer to home with every occurrence. Just saying "you were bad and we made you sit in jail for a week or two" isn't cutting it. Not anymore.

Okay - that's all I've got on that, for now. It just riles me up and gets me cranky to dwell on it and I don't need to be riled or craned any more than I already am.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

proud? of me?

You may or may not know.... I went to see The VIllage People and KC and the Sunshine Band on Saturday. It was a fantastic concert and we had a blast. By we I mean me and my friend MJ (short for Messy Jessy). I took some video (against the rules) and got a great little video of her doing the Y-M-C-A "dance". It was totally fun. At intermission she handed me her phone and said "Ask for Marth."

Back up - her parents are WIllie and Marth. He is a retired Navy Captain about whom I have MANY stories and she is just Marth - stoic Navy wife and mother. Librarian extraordinaire. Punisher of great talent.

Anyway, I talked to Marth and told her that I had posted video of MJ to Facebook if they wanted to watch it - yes, we are friends on FB. SHe said great and then said "WIllie wants to talk to you." Now, WIllie is quite imposing. He is a great guy, don't get me wrong, but he definitely carries and aura of leadership and "he who must be obeyed" - comes with that whole Navy O-6 thing I guess. Add in that I haven't seen him for about 30 years and I was right back to being a teen again.

He asked me how I liked Navy life, how was I doing with it, what was my husband like, what rank was he, what did he do and what was his current job.... then he said he was proud of me. He was proud of me.... wow. He said he knew how hard it was to be good at it and that he was proud of me. Then he said he was proud of my husband, a man he had never met. That is the whole brothers-in-arms thing that service members have going.

My mind, so used to being proud of my husband, could wrap around that. He rocks. He is excellent at his job. His peers respect him. The people that work for him respect him. His bosses respect him. Others wives say things like "have your husband teach my husband how to do that" when talking about the gentlemanly behavior he exhibits at functions or the way he holds me during a Homecoming. He is so deserving of the respect.... I get that.

Me? Someone besides my mom proud of me? I mean, my son is proud of me mostly 'cause I am his mom and his friends like me, I am smart blah blah blah.... My sisters are proud, I suppose, to a point. I am pretty sure my husband is proud - I have always striven to be a good wife and support him and his Command.

But someone else? Someone I haven't seen in forever? Proud? Wow. It meant so much. I got choked up. He talked about how hard it is and that it takes someone special to love a service member. He said that I and my husband were in his prayers. It was fantastic, that feeling I had. I have been pulling it up for a few minutes every day and reliving that moment. I feel like a kid who has brought home A's on their report card and told "good job, I knew you could do it".

The whole point of this one is to tell someone you are proud of them. Mean it. Tell them why. You will really make their day!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Dog Days of Summer

So, it is July and I am in SC for a few weeks. It is hot. By hot, I mean heat index of 117. Hot. Mama is kind of getting up there in age so she thinks it is comfortable. Ha. It is hot. We were no the porch yesterday, about 9 in the morning, just sitting and rocking and talking. She was comfortable. I had sweat pouring down my body.

It is so hot that you take a cool shower and when you cut the water off you are still sweating. Hot. Burning in hell must be something like this - of course, hell is probably a dry heat so "it isn't as bad".

My dogs are hot. Mom's, um, dog (?) is hot. The cats, both indoor and outdoor, are hot. The inside cats are staying off the porch and the outside cats are trying to find relief by laying on the concrete. This creates a minor problem for the dogs.... well, for Helga. She has been traumatized by the cats.... inside and outside. Last week one of the inside cats chased her into the shower stall.... now, this wouldn't be a tremendous thing except I was actually in the shower at the time and Helga hates and fears water. Mama's cats stare at her. Glare really, in that totally evil way that cats have. The solid black one, the one that chased her into the shower, truly does look evil. He will glare, and stretch, and push out his claws.... kind of scares me so I can only imagine how terrified she is.

The outside cats have figured out her fear - they will drape over the stairs so when I let the dogs out I have to go down first and shoo all the cats... really annoying. Otto has figured out how to go around but Helga, oh no, she isn't getting anywhere near them without me be her side. Kind of a pain in the butt but I can handle it.

So it is hot. The dogs are developing phobias about cats and water. As we speak Helga is poised about two feet form the black cat, growling (as if that has any effect). I will hear her scream shortly and we will have drama - not that he will actually make contact with her but all it takes is a hiss and a swipe and she is off and screaming as if her leg has been cut off - drama queen is her new title. I will then put them out (the dogs), which means I will be out, sitting and trying not to move, sweating and wondering why I even bothered to shower. Hot. Dog Days.

Maybe I'll just go nap.

Monday, July 26, 2010

E-mail is a beautiful thing

I've been getting regular e-mails from The Hubster - this is a wonderful thing.... sometimes they are just one liners, but I worry when I don't get them.

Ah, the life of a Navy wife - I have already talked about our phone and such... now some about e-mail. We love to get them from our service members. It can make your whole day. It is even better when we can trade them back and forth almost like a chat. Those instances are rare - so rare that when they do happen, no matter when, we do not leave our computers until it is done.... even if the house is on fire. We want, no, we need that contact.

I am old enough that I remember no e-mail. I remember no satellite phones. I remember going through my buddies pregnancy and attending the birth as the "acting father" because her hubby had been out to sea since her 2nd month. He got back when the baby was almost two weeks old. The only things we could send were family grams.... one letter or punctuation mark per square and not very many squares.... we, needless to say, did not use spaces, ever. There would be phone calls during port calls but this was also the Cold War so the port calls were few and far between. There was so little communication between military coupes then....

I giggle now.... so many of these new "baby Navy wives" just don't get it. So the ship is RIver City or your sailor is busy so you don't get e-mail for a few days... they freak out. Really. They get angry and hurt and upset.... some of them send off mean e-mails, sad e-mails, "don't you love me anymore" e-mails.... really?!? He is working. He is working hard. Depending on what kind of ship he is on his schedule might be 6's - six hours on, six off. And in that six he has to shower, sleep, take care of any other tasks like getting a haircut, and probably has training as well. He is tired and working hard. If he doesn't have access to a computer that is set up for e-mail then he has to go use one of the ones in the library - and he isn't the only guy trying to get on there.

So, e-mail is a beautiful thing. And, if your sailor has time to send you a fairly long chatty one it is even better. But I take the one liners too - and love them just as much. It might just say "tired... heading to bed" but it tells me he thought about me, and that is a beautiful thing.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I have Scriptus Interuptis

I do, I really, really do. Writer's block. It sucks. Normally I just sit and write - all kinds of stuff comes out and I separate the wheat from the chaff later. I can sit and write this.... mostly because it is just me complaining... but a story? Are you kidding? I don't even think I could talk one through....

I have lots of them. They are rolling around in my head and refusing to come out. I can't even think how to start one. I have some that are half done but I sit to work on them and.... nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

Yesterday I tried just letting my fingers hit keys. Gobbledy gook. That's what I got. Crap. Nothing.

I'm not distracted. I told The Hubster in an e-mail that I am just unenthused.

I'm thinking about publishing the first book to The Nook. Waiting on their software to be up and running...

I'm thinking about the cover for the new book.

I'm thinking about TeenDream and his life.

I'm thinking about all kinds of things.

The words are stuck somewhere.

Oh well.... guess I will just hang out and wait for htem to come back.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My Sis#2 says I am a Masochist

So..... last night Sis#2 and I were talking about dating military men, being married to them, and some of the obligations that come along with it... this is a continuation of a talk we had a few weeks ago regarding military people and some behaviors you might see before they deploy. We also touched on thing like "when the drunk service member calls at 2 in the morning"....

My husband, God love him, has called me several times at 2 in the morning... a few of those times just a wee bit more than tipsy. Usually I take it with good humor - he misses me and wants to let me know he loves me. Every now and then (post-typhoon with raging double ear infections, no water, no power, and high temperatures...) yeah, not so happy about it. Then I cuss him. Rudely.

I don't know if female service members do this, but I can definitely state that many of the men do... regardless of the branch of the service they are in. Other men with jobs that take them away from home do it too.

My Sis#2 was appalled. She just doesn't get it - military wives can't be high maintenance.... if we are our marriages tend to fail. We have to have different expectations of our spouses.... they can't be home for dinner every night... military life doesn't work that way. They can't call/e-mail every day when they are gone.... military life doesn't work like that either. We love the phone calls... even the drunken ones. Maybe not at the time, but in retrospect those calls make a pretty good story at parties.

Are we masochists? Maybe to the outside eye, but to those of us married to service members.... we just understand. We get it. The extreme pressure they are under can do two things to a marriage - it can break it, and in some cases it does. Or it can make it - which is the case with strong spouses.... we don't have to be babied and coddled, although sometimes our service members do that. We don't need to be catered to. We don't need constant reinforcement. We are strong, capable, able.... our love is strong enough to weather the separations, storms, and issues that crop up.

Masochists? Hardly. Loving, forgiving, supportive military spouse. You betcha.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sorry I missed the last few days...

Let me tell you about it....

Friday I drove to SC from Tidewater VA (where I live). I was doing the drive alone with both beasties... they were surprisingly well behaved on the drive down. I left early, a little before eight and did the drive in about 7.5 hours. My right leg was really hurting by the time I got here but it wasn't so bad. Just wanted to relax and we did. Mama and I had dinner out - fried shrimp, squash casserole, fried green tomatoes and I brought home a piece of key lime pie. I went to bed early.... I was tired.

I woke up at 2. I thought the clock said 4:30... definitely not thinking straight. The only good thing is that I didn't make my tea. I did have a horrible headache so I took .5 a vicodin and went back to bed. Got up, fed the beasties, hung out with Mama, had a bowl of cereal, took a nap. Got up, took a shower (which is its own story), put my jammies back on, had some lunch, and when I went to get up my back did this strange thing all up and down the right side. PAIN. Just tried to take it for a bit. Then it radiated out my arms, down into my hands, down my legs and into my feet.... Mama brought me a flexoril (muscle relaxer) and helped me get into the bed, then she rubbed a little and I went back to sleep.

Got up, pain wasn't as bad but it was still there - up the back and in the hands and feet more than anything else - ate dinner. Mama made pizza and it was fantastically yummy. Then I had a double dipped ice cream cone, definitely not on the diet. Then I went back to bed and took another muscle relaxer as well as half a vicodin.

Woke up at 4:30 this morning... the real 4:30. drank tea, read, checked e-mail and wondered why my back still hurt. I haven't taken any pills today - don't like feeling muzzy - but still in pain. Hands and feet are killing me so typing this is taking longer than usual... I have napped twice. Missed church and feel like a total slug. Lots of water today and hoping the back is better tomorrow. I become a little emotional when the pain is like this and sometimes "my eyes leak." I really don't want them to leak today - don't think I could handle it.

I know I didn't do anything to pull a muscle. This is what we call a flare in fibro-speak. You can be totally fine one day and wake up totally messed up the next. There isn't much you can do except suffer through it and hope it goes soon.

I really hope it goes soon....

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Why do you even care?

I drove TeenDream to the airport yesterday. He was heading off to visit family. We stopped to get him some food before his flight and had some light conversation - mostly about travel etc. he hasn't flown in a while and did NOT want me to go into the airport with him to get him checked in. No big surprise there.

Anyway, we came to a stop light and i noticed my forehead in the rearview mirror and made the comment "Hey, I've almost come to terms with my forehead. Check it out, my wrinkles are going away and I didn't even need Botox."

Small explanation: I have worn bangs for the last 30 years and decided to grow them out. I have two brow wrinkles that really bother me and I have been concentrating on not furrowing my brown and using good anti-aging stuff on my face... battling age 'til the end!! ANd I wouldn't think of Botox as an alternative.

TD: "Why do you care Mom?"

Me: "What do you mean why do I care?"

TD: "Mom. You're married and almost 50, why do you care what you look like?"

(I wanted to pop him but I laughed instead)

Me: "Why shouldn't I care about whether or not I am attractive?"

TD: "You are vain."

Me: "When you are married and your wife is 'almost 50' do you want her to be a fat wrinkled slob or would you rather she care about her appearance?"

TD: "Well. if we are almost 50 then we are supposed to look old. Anyway, you already look lots younger than you are. You're just vain. And you are judgmental."

Me: "Judgmental?"

TD: "Yeah. You should record yourself when you are talking to people and then listen back... you are judgmental. Judgmental and vain."

Me: "Really." Said with great sarcasm that I think TeenDream missed. I'm judgmental - this from a boy who just told me I was vain because I don't want to look old and wrinkled.

TD: "Yeah. You should have a gavel and long black robes."

Me: "I think I would make a great judge."

TD: "No, you need a scepter. You are the Queen of Judgmentalism." (I haven't looked that up but I am sure he is following in the fine family tradition of making up words to suit the situation.)

Me: "Well, I have a scepter. And several tiara's. Maybe I should start wearing them around."

TD: "That's not funny." (I think he was scared I would actually start doing it.) (And I just might!)

Me: "You give me all this grey hair - you know, the grey hair I cover with dye because I am so vain."

TD: "Well, dyeing your hair is not as bad as Botox. Relatively speaking."

Me: "I am thinking of getting one of those chin and neck exercises though." (Said for effect although I have honestly considered it.)

TD: "Mom, you have issues."

By now we are at the airport and I am stopping to let him out.

Me: "Give your issue laden, vain, judgmental Mom and hug and get out. I love you."

TD: "I love you too."

I will remember that conversation for the rest of my life. When he is 50 or "almost 50" and working out or dieting or worried about losing his hair and his wife is worried about weight gain and wrinkles I will remind him. i will tell him he is vain. I will let him know he is judgmental.

And I will laugh until I wet my pants and he has to change my adult diaper.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Racism has been a political thorn in the side of the United States basically since our inception. Georgia was a penal colony, we utilized indentured servants, and we had slaves. Of course, most people like to think that slavery is the province of the US... it isn't there were slaves all over Europe and in the Caribbean Islands... many had slaves far longer than we did but people refuse to remember that. I personally think that the reason for this is that so many people, in our own country, that want us to be the bad guy.....

Anyway, racism is, according to Webster:

Main Entry: rac·ism
Pronunciation: \ˈrā-ˌsi-zəm also -ˌshi-\
Function: noun
Date: 1933
1 : a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race
2 : racial prejudice or discrimination
— rac·ist \-sist also -shist\ noun or adjective

(Yes, I copied and pasted the definition.)

Now, that is not what I believe. I believe that anyone, regardless of race, can work hard to achieve success. pay special attention to the words "work hard to achieve success." Those are important words. People who choose to work hard are not people who say "I did not get promoted because of my race", they say "he/she worked harder and has more experience, that is why they were promoted over me." People who work hard don't say "they should hire me because I am white/black" they say "they should hire me because I will work hard".

The people I don't like, regardless of the color of their skin, are the ones that stand around with their hands out and blame their lack of success and happiness on other people or on their race.

My family always had housekeepers. We didn't call them maids because they did so much more than that - to call them a maid would have been a disservice to them and the job they did. Were they women of color? Yes. Did I treat them differently because of that? Heck no - I would have been punished and there was no reason. with one exception they were all members of the family. the one exception - well, she stole from my Mama so no, I didn't like or respect her - it was because she was a thief, not because she wasn't white.

So now, politically speaking, we have a black president in office. I didn't vote for him... not because he was black, but because I didn't think he could or would do a good job. He hasn't and he isn't but not because he is black... because he isn't prepared, he doesn't know how to lead, and his decisions are influenced by all kinds of other idiots whose race makes absolutely no difference.

I don't think the president is hard working.... but I do think he is a racist. He has surrounded himself with sycophants... and when everyone is telling you how right you are it is kind of hard to see that you are wrong. his wife is busy today, giving the opening speech at the NAACP National Convention - decrying Tea Party Members as racist - I'm pretty sure this is a surprise to the Tea Party members that aren't white. She can "get away" with it because she is black. If a white person were to say that all blacks were violent based on the threatening behavior of the Black panthers - well, guess what would happen?

When I disagree with something the president says or does, I have the right to voice it without being accused of being a racist. People seem to forget that. We all need to go a step further in our quest for a better country - reward the elected officials who truly represent their constituencies - whether they be white, black, native America, whatever - by re-electing them and punish those who do not represent their constituencies.

Don't let race play a part in your choice... that is what got us here. Let the abilities, choices, doctrines, beliefs, and actions of people play a part in your choices - not their race.

i guess that's all I've got on this for now.


in a military marriage your relationship revolves around two major things... departures and homecomings.

Departures are weird. Ours aren't too bad... when The Hubster is getting ready to leave he "gets busy". he works long hours anyway, but he will come home from work and do more work... usually til he is exhausted... in an attempt to make sure there are no projects etc that need to be done when he is gone. He will sometimes give me a list of instructions, particular things he wants done and/or the way he wants them done. Sometimes we have little pop quizzes on what I will do if this or that happens. I don't laugh... it just wouldn't be fair. He is very serious about it and I find it quite endearing.

Homecomings are different. I try to keep things at home pretty much the same when he is gone. No major purchases, no rearranging the furniture. Returning to life at home can be a shock to the system, why make it worse.

I always ask my honey what he wants for dinner that first day - he always picks a comfort food dinner.... bleu cheese burgers and tater tots, London Broil and potato casserole, spaghetti... it depends on the weather and his mood but I fix basic home cooking. I know lots of spouses that make a big production out of it - one gal always had a full Thanksgiving type dinner on Homecoming day with all the family. She was exhausted and had no time to enjoy her sailor. He had no one on one time with his wife and kids, and they usually had a fight within a day or two. Not my idea of a good time.

The first day home is for us.... sometimes a parent but usually just us. We get to the house, he walks around, greets pets, kids... touches all his stuff. He makes some calls to family - siblings and parents if they aren't there and we just relax. He get some time to adjust being off the ship. That can be hard... the motion, the smell, the noise, the constant flow of people for 6 or more months - just being off the ship can cause some stress. Sleeping in a comfortable bed takes some adjusting as well. I tell young spouses (wives particularly) that all the sailor wants to do is come home, touch his stuff, eat food that isn't ship food, have sex and go to bed. Not necessarily in that order either. They are so tired, no matter how much sleep they got the night before, that sleep often happens right after food.

I got a bad case of the giggles once when a fairly new wife (I call them Baby Navy Wives) told me she had homecoming all figured out. She would see him on the deck of the ship - we're talking air craft carrier here so they all look alike from the pier - and their eyes would meet. She would walk to the foot of the brow as he walked to the top of it and he would descend to her open arms... the breeze would be gently blowing her hair and he would sweep her into a passionate embrace. They would then walk arm in arm to the car, talking "love nonsense" (her words) and go home where they would make passionate love for hours.

Okay - what is wrong with this picture? Everything.... First, the pier is packed on an aircraft carrier Homecoming day - usually around 25,000 people including kids, grandparents.... and that is before the 5,000 or so sailors get off the ship. Second, the brow attaches to the elevators on the hangar deck.... not from the flight deck. Third.... is is either hot as hades on the pier or freezing cold, just a fact. Most passionate embrace do not occur on the pier - lots of hugging, maybe some of the really young ones kiss deeply, but most of the sailors are in a hurry to get out of there... No romantic walk to the car, did you miss the part about 25,000 people? It is a madhouse... people screaming and crying happy tears, sailors saying good bye to each other, people bringing their spouses/parents over to meet you or your spouse.... craziness. last - those hours of passionate lovemaking? Well, sometimes it happens for the young people but more often than not the sailor is so exhausted that if you even have sex it is quick and the sailor then drops immediately to sleep... That is all normal and okay.

People get their expectations up so high and are focussed on their needs that they sometimes forget about the sailor's needs. The sailor needs calm, comforting behavior. The sailor needs to relax... he or she shouldn't come home to a crazy frenetic atmosphere - they just left that.

So, Homecoming is what you make it. I do my best to make home a place he wants to be... comfort food, comforting behavior, and comfortable conversation.

Let's face it - he has been working pretty much 24/7 for the last 6 months.... he deserves a break.

Monday, July 12, 2010

If I win the Lottery.....

Do you ever wonder what you would do if you won the Lottery? I do. I was thinking about it just today. I have a list and everything. Of course, this list goes through minor alterations every time I fantasize about it.....

1. get an On Demand hot water heater for everyone in my family - those things rock

2. put a third floor on Mama's house.... with a deck and a sliding glass door and I want the deck to be half grass for my beasties

3. pay off everyone's student loans.. everyone I am related to that is

4. pay off my mortgage

5. buy property out in the middle of nowhere and build a log cabin

6. put a butt ton in trust for each boy

7. buy a new car

8. set up a scholarship program to my youngest son's alma mater

9. Settle a big chunk on my Church

Not necessarily in that order.

And that is basically it. I'm a pretty happy person and have most everything I need. Of course, it will be great to be able to buy shoes whenever I want and self publish my books as actual books as well as put them on Kindle but those are not things required for my happiness.

My happiness, even in the toughest of times, comes from a fairly positive attitude and self-respect. I have friends, a good relationship with my mother and kids, a husband I love to distraction even when he makes me angry.... food and shelter. What else do I need?

ANyway, think about it. What would you do?

Marriage - wow

So, I am married. Married to a man who is gone abut 50% of the time, but married nonetheless. I am faithful. I am pretty darn devoted to him and our life together. It is hard. So many people say things like how do you do it, is it worth it, what are you guys going to do when he retires? People call us "the power couple" and they do it for lots o reasons. I am always active in the military side of our life - I have been an Ombudsman and and FRG President.... both things took a great deal of my free time and both things are done on a volunteer basis. I go to pretty much every function and social that is held. I try to always meet his boss and the people he works with. I try to meet the people that work for him and their wives.

It is hard. Sometimes I don't like his job very much - it takes him away from me. Sometimes i don't like his bosses - especially if I feel he is being treated unfairly. He is superb at his job and always goes above and beyond the call.... qualifying for two duty rosters which keeps him away from home more is just one example.

But here's the deal.... so many of the young people I know are all about 50/50 - marriages should always be 50/50 they say. I just laugh at them. Then I explain:

A true marriage, one based on love and trust, has to be 100/100. If you do not put 100% of your self into a marriage then what are you doing? You are holding yourself back. You are not fully committing to the relationship nor are you setting yourself up for success.

Now, it isn't always 100/100. Things happen. Sometimes it is 120/80, sometimes 50/150. The point is that one has to take up slack for the other all the time when things aren't perfect. When things are perfect guess what? There is no slack to pick up. You can just enjoy being with each other. Those times make the rest of them all worth it.

And it takes work.... no fighting over e-mail... that has to be the stupidest thing ever. And no being angry because he has to do his job. I had a young sailor ask me to talk to his wife once because she had said "If you love me you won't go" in reference to a deployment to the Gulf. Now, that was stupid. Her saying that, not him asking me to talk to her. I mean really?!? You marry a sailor and then say "If you loved me you wouldn't go to sea?" Well, if you really loved him you would understand that his job is going to sea. You wouldn't ask an account to not use math or a lawyer to not go to court, would you?

Whatever your spouse does for a living, support him... even if you hate it. And always support your spouse publicly. My husband and I have gone to functions totally angry with each other, but while there we let go of the anger.... sometimes we pick it back up but it is easier if it just stays gone.

We also fight fair. Bringing up old stuff is taboo when we argue. It really should be like that for everyone. I mean, why comment on things that are already resolved.... if they aren't resolved then talk it out, don't bring it up in a different argument.

We try to avoid using words like always and never - they usually aren't true and do nothing but hurt the other person.

We avoid name calling... that should be obvious.

We try to avoid yelling. Note the word try - that is more for me than him... I am loud anyway, get me angry and I either get really loud or very quiet. Very quiet is bad... just saying.

Forgiveness.... that is key. Forgiving each other and also forgiving ourselves. I am better at that than he is - maybe I have had more practice at it. Actually, I read that "one cannot begin to heal until one has forgiven" when I was dealing with some old things from my past and I realized that by not forgiving people that had done me wrong I was giving up control. i like nothing better than to be in control so I forgave people... it took a while and lots of prayer, but it happened.

No boundaries or requirements on the love - that is priority... once you make people start jumping through hoops then you have a trained dog, not a loving spouse.

Okay - I have wandered all over and I am sure I will have lots more to say about marriage in the future but the wee hours writing is kicking my butt... it is only 6 a.m. but I am definitely in need of a nap (up since 3:30). I'm pretty sure I have been babbling...

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Wading into Politics

So, I am politically conservative. I don't pretend to have great knowledge of politics, I do, however, know what I feel is right and/or wrong. I am also fairly astute and have common sense (which, as we all know is NOT common). So, for our first political foray lets talk about the new Healthcare BIll. Not about projections or spending or anything like that, we all now realize it is going to cost us a great deal of money as a country and as individuals. Lets get a little more basic than those trillions.

So, with a show of hands lets see how many have read the law. Hmmm, I thought so. Now let's see how many read any of the man, many bills that were proposed beforehand. Hmmm, I though so. I read the Congressional Bill... downloaded that huge thing to my computer and it took weeks. I still don't understand about half of what it said... it was written in seriously obscure language. What I did understand i didn't like.

Mow that it is law I really need to get in there and read it but I just don't seem to have the heart. I will get there eventually.

But it evolves down to this.... very simplistic terms here.... I am required to pay for other people to receive health care. I don't particularly like this. If I refuse to pay for other people's health care then I have to pay a fine, which will be used to pay for other peoples healthcare. And it won't be great healthcare either, it will be mediocre at best, horrible at worst, and we will have to wait for "elective" surgeries. I'm not talking about breast augmentation or face lifts, I am talking about appendectomies, adenoidectomies, benign tumor removal.... I don't like this. I receive military health insurance (yes, we pay for it) and already have to wait for some things.

I have a friend who was all for the Health Care bill - she has a chronic disease and no Health Insurance. I love her but I do not want to assume responsibility for her bills. I don't want to assume the responsibility for the bills of illegal aliens. I want to pay my bills and leave it at that.

Now, you may say something like "She is married to a military guy, what does she have to worry about?" The answer... I was uninsured for several years. I had to pay for office visits but often did not have the $$'s needed for prescription medication. I have high blood pressure.... have to take medication that is quite expensive. My doctor often gave me samples if she had them but otherwise I had to find that money on my own or not take the medication.

I know what it is like to be terrified that something big will happen. I also know that hospitals HAVE to treat you and will work out a payment plan if they need to.

So, it isn't that I don't have empathy, but I don't really understand how anyone thinks this is okay. This bill isn't going to make anything more affordable and will make everything more expensive.... just look at it. Look at the articles that are coming out on it... of course, mainstream media is putting them deep in the paper - definitely not the front page.

So that's a shortened version of my take on the whole thing. It is crap and we need to get rid of it.

Some states already are - Virginia passed a new law that says "no resident of Virginia shall be forced to purchase Health Insurance." Can't wait to see how long it takes the Federal Government to file a lawsuit.....

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Do you really pray when someone asks you?

Really, do you? Or do you just say you will or smile and nod... give the impression that you will pray and then don't, for whatever reason?

I do. I pray all the time. I have lists of people that I pray for. My Mama and I are always exchanging prayer requests, so are me and the besties. I get e-mails and FB requests for prayer. I don't ask for specifics, but if someone says "I need some prayers" I am there, praying. And I tell them I am praying.

I think it is important to let people know that you are praying for them.

I pray for people whether or not I like them or know them well. I put particular effort into those because it can sometimes be more difficult to approach with an open heart, but I still do it.

See, my take is that people don't ask for prayers unless they really need them. I find that praying for others lightens my personal burdens.... approaching prayer with an open heart can lift me up higher than most other things.

God doesn't care about your religion, or the religion of the person you are praying for... he cares that you are praying. I approach casually, God and I have an understanding... I think that ritual is great for Church, but I want God to be a part of my daily life, my friend and mentor, so I speak to him like a friend. It makes praying so much easier and normal for me - and I want an attitude of prayer to be normal for me.

Believe it or not I was criticized for the way I pray a few times.

One person told me that I should always address the Lord as "Father God". When I asked her where it said that she kind of spluttered at me and said that was just the way it was supposed to be.

One person told me that God wouldn't listen to prayers that weren't written in the Book of Common Prayer used by the Episcopal Church. I laughed at her. Then I told her that I was Episcopalian and had never been taught that. She never spoke to me again. I pray for her every day.

Yet a third person asked me if I really thought God was listening to me as I wasn't approaching humbly and penitent.... I gave the only response I could... God knows what is in my heart and makes that decision, no one else should presume to know the state of my soul.

Prayer should be open communication between the individual and God, regardless of religion or the form in which the prayer takes. Prayer should be uplifting. Prayers are answered - with a feeling, an accidental meeting with someone that needs to be in your life, or more obvious signs and signals... you can only "see" them if your heart is open to the working of the Lord. Just facts.... having had several prayers answered I know this to be true. Of course, many go unanswered which is an answer within itself.

Anyway.... do you pray? Do you mean it? I hope so.

Anger, Rage, Discontent

So, what do you do when you are angry? Me? I usually yell and get it out of my system. Or, I keep my mouth shut and chew the inside of it. Or, i just let it go. That last doesn't happen to often but it does happen. This is not the way I used to deal with it - I held it close and loved that feeling, that burn of righteous anger.... not a nice way to be.

Now, what do you do when someone else is angry? I usually try to diffuse it or side track it.... make them see a funny side to it, deflect it... anything to not be around it. I am often successful.

I also try to get people to see the roots of their anger. It usually isn't what set them off and can sometimes be something that they didn't even realize made them angry in the first place. Often we "push down" what we think others will find to be inappropriate anger or if we personally feel that the anger isn't "right".

Here's the problem with that - anger is a feeling - there is no right or wrong to it... feelings can only be controlled to a point - you cannot control what you feel, only how you express it. That is fact.

Now, what do you do when someone is unreasonably angry and hates everyone and everything, including themselves? When they don't even know why they are angry?

Yeah, that is a tough one. Stumped you didn't I? Well, the way I see it is if you love them you just tough it out with them. I know, I wrote about this just the other day but it is really on my mind right now.

Someone I love is angry like this. No matter what I say or do this person is lashing out - cruelly at times. It hurts on so many levels, but mostly I am hurting FOR this person, not because of them. Don't get me wrong, I am hurt by this behavior, but I know it isn't necessarily personal. I also know that we always hurt the ones we love so at this point anger is far better than indifference.

Life sucks when you wake up at 3 am to a nasty e-mail. Now it is almost 5 and the e-mail is still in the front of my brain. No more sleep for this weary soul.

Off to ruminate.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Old Friends and Lots of Laughs....

So while I was home I got together for lunch with some old friends.... not that we are old, we are all definitely young at heart, but we have all known each other for "almost ever" as one of them says.... i like that phrase and will steal it for use whenever I need it.

Anyway, when I think of them I think of good times... we had fun, and lots of it. I can't even remember when I first met two of them... as one of them put it when asked, "you were just always there". One drifted in in first grade, two in 7th.... but these are people I know.

I might not know everything about their lives, but there was a deep, bone deep, sense of familiarity in being with them. I remember when one of them had a crush on a Jackson brother in 4th grade... can't remember which Jackson but I remember the crush.

I remember when another lost her virginity. When one experienced her parent's divorce and how hard that was, when another went to lunch at the Country Club with me and my Grandmother.... lots of memories, lots of good times.

It had been almost 30 years since I had seen some of them, less time for others... but they were still those same girls... still the women that I had giggled with, broken curfew with, scoped boys with, misbehaved with.... bonds that last forever when you think about it.

The strange thing is that we all connected through FaceBook.... weirdness.... total weirdness. Add in the fact that we all truly wanted to have that lunch, reforge those connections and you have friendship, support, guidance... knowing that these women are out there, that they want to be my friends again/still.. well, that was pretty amazing. And fun.

And I can't wait to see them all again.

The Why's and How's of life, friendship, and love

I am forever asking why and how. I really want to know. How do people manage to do horrible things? Why would they want to hurt other people? How do they look themselves in the mirror?

People get hurt everyday - usually because someone was thoughtless or inconsiderate, but often it is from a directed emotional attack. How can people do this - blast someone who cares for them as if they were nothing. Better yet, blast someone they loved once, and maybe still do.

I get that most of it comes from their personal insecurity or some issue or problem they are having, but why not reach for comfort? Why choose to cause someone else to suffer a similar pain to what they are suffering? Who does that? Really, what kind of person does it take to do that?

I have definitely been thinking on this long and hard... it has to be someone who holds trust for no man (or woman). They must have been hurt and violated in some way, some horrible way, before. They must be insecure and feel unlovable. Maybe they even feel unloved... how horrible would that be? They certainly wouldn't love themselves, or even like themselves very much.

I wouldn't like to be that person. I was once... I hated the world and everyone on it. I felt nothing but anger. I had been hurt, repeatedly. I felt unloved and unlovable. I was a horrible person to be around. I pushed everyone away... it didn't make me feel any better to ruin those relationships but I was slowly putting myself in the place I felt that I deserved to be.

It took a while to crawl out and see the destruction I had wrought. It took a long while to make all the apologies that needed to be made. I was hurt that no one had noticed and cared enough to try to stop me from going down that path, and I was doubly hurt that no one walked it with me. No one stayed... everyone gave up.

I promised myself that if ever a friend or loved one headed down that same path I would stay by them... no matter what. I would love them, continue to love them, forgive them any and every thing. I would love them through it no matter how mean, hateful, rude, boorish or nasty they were. They would know they were loved.

So, I'm doing that now. I understand why so many of my friends walked away from me. I get how hard it is. I have two things I hold on to every day - I love this person and this will pass. I have no doubt it will get uglier, nastier, meaner before it does, and then it will pass.

I have no idea what our relationship will be after... but I will have done what I promised myself so long ago - loved this person through it. Loved with all my heart, prayed with all my soul, and spoken carefully, lovingly, and non-judgmentally.

See, that is what love is all about - not judging and being full of expectations rather loving and kind and helpful. We, as a species have, quite simply, forgotten that.

And, even though my pajamas say "it's all about me" it really isn't - right now it is all about this person, getting through this crisis and heading toward true healing.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Topsy Turvy

My life is topsy turvy. I came home from my trip to find that two people I trusted broke my trust. Hmmm, what to do about that? Obviously a conversation is in order but I am not sure how to start it. Maybe with "you broke my trust".

TeenDream is off at school doing his placement testing. College. Wow. Still trying to deal with the fact hat he is out of high school and 18, I'm not ready for college just yet.

The Hubster has lost his mind... not too sure what to do about that one. Being so far apart for so long is going to take a toll, and we volunteered for this. The good thing is that I can do what I need to do to hopefully become more that "Almost Successful". Still hoping to travel and do some public readings of the books (yep - number two is coming right along). But, since it is on Kindle, bookstores are not really the best place to do readings.... Sigh.

The Beasties... oh, The Beasties.... she vomited all over the bed last night and neither one ate breakfast. Sheesh.. I think it might be the heat - the heat index has been over 100 for days now.... and he has a delicate stomach. Travel makes them both nervous for different reasons... her because she gets car sick and him because he is so excited to be going places. ANyway, now they just want to be al over me - not a huge problem but they are little heat pumps so it gets uncomfortably warm - unless they are on my left leg which is flaring like there is no tomorrow - hurts and not working so well.

The fibro flare - mentioned above - is more than just the leg... the back, under the shoulder blades, the hands.... the headache, the feet, every muscle in the body, and the fact that I want nothing more than to lie down and sleep.....

The laundry that isn't going to do itself (or be done by anyone else).

The grocery shopping that needs to happen.

The bathroom stuff that needs to be unpacked and put away.....

everything except caring for the flaring is on hold until tomorrow.... if I can do it from the bed I will, otherwise tough.

It is days like this that I am thankful I can work from home.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Independence Day

So, I sit here on the 4th of July, the day upon which we celebrate the birth of our nation, and miss my sailor.

He is in Guam now, headed to Diego Garcia for a year. I had a pretty good day.... got an e-mail from The Hubster, went to church and cried (so many reasons that is okay), had a great brunch with the family, visited with a favored Uncle, and went to the beach... now, the beach was special today.

Today the Air Force sent a C-17 down South Carolina's coast to film us for the troops. They flew from Myrtle Beach to Hilton Head.... they waggled their wings and flew at 50 feet..... very close to the water. About 5 minutes before they got to us our section of the beach stood up and faced toward the North East... we were all waiting patiently. The first we saw was just a little black dot, but we could hear the roar from dow the beach and it grew louder - the roar of people whistling and yelling was a bit louder than the plane.

It was amazing, this feeling of being surrounded by patriots, people who support the troops, people who in some small way, waving and whistling on the beach, honored our service members. It was awesome. It was awe inspiring. It definitely brought tears to my eyes.

Every lonely night, every day we are apart, every missed phone call, every agony I personally go through to support my sailor, it is all worth it. What he does is more than worthwhile - it is something that has to be done. The men and women who volunteer to this and the families that support them -well, the beach thing might have been fun for some, a lark for others, and just something to do for yet others, but to us, it meant more than you will ever know.

Thanks South Carolina and all other states that did something special for the troops today. Happy Independence Day.

Friday, July 2, 2010

We love and hate our phones

There are many things military spouses do when their service members are deployed.... two of the most notable are checking e-mail and social networking sites constantly and having our phones with us at all times.... you never know when your heart might e-mail or call.... and you don't want to miss it.... the feelings when that happens are extreme and horrible.

Many of us set our phones to receive e-mail just in case we have the chance to catch them "live" and get to have an e-mail conversation with them.... like chatting. Even getting a one line "I am really exhausted and am going to bed" e-mail can light up our day - heck, it can light up our week if the have been "River City" (no communication).

People don't get that. They say things like "I could never be apart from my wife/husband like that" and "How do you stand it?" - not one of these things is helpful.... but it does have the benefit of having us re-evaluate our lives and marriages on a fairly constant basis.

We see our spouses as they truly are - no rose colored glasses for us. And we love them any way or in spite of it.... Laugh if you want, but if you haven't spent 1/2 of your married life away from your spouse then your marriage hasn't truly been tested.

Some people view a marriage as being tested by going through the day to day grind and surviving. Military spouses view being tested as finding out your spouse had an affair right before he /she goes out to sea and trying to fix things by e-mail.

Some people view a marriage as being tested when their spouse gets home late from work and dinner is ruined. Military spouses view being tested as your spouse being in rotating shift work so you can't plan your week, much less your day.

Some people view a marriage as being tested if they are a different faith than their spouse. Military spouses pray to God every day to keep their service member safe, regardless of what religion they follow.

We keep things running smoothly, choose not to share bad news that our service members can't fix because it would just increase their already stressful situation, know that the written word is open to interpretation by the reader so try not to develop hurt feelings because our sailor/soldier/ marine/airman wrote something really stupid..... we hold them close in our hearts because we love them and we love being able to support them.

So... we love our phones, especially when they ring and we get to hear the voice of our heart.