Has the world lost it's mind and I'm just slow on the Uptake?

I have had the worst week. I feel like I have walked into the twilight zone.

I had this bizarro person in my life pull stunt of a life time over the weekend, after having another one in my past pull one last month.....I won't touch either of them, not worth the time or energy to type about it much less even devote time to thinking of them.

Then we move onto my friend who well....read my last post.....that left me wondering about the world tilting on it's axis......and then today I had a Medical Company call me and argue that I mail ordered prescriptions from them and my credit card company rejected the charge.....I sat here and laughed. The woman got angry at me because I was laughing at her.....I wasn't laughing at her, I was just laughing, because I wanted to cry.

After I composed myself, I asked her who she wanted to talk to since she never asked me my name and when she gave me the name I explained to her she had the wrong number and she no I don't......I tried to make her understand that I was not the person she wanted to talk to.....she was determined I was Mrs. ******. I then asked her what number she was dialing, she gave me the right number, however, she dialed the wrong area code. She acted like it was my fault that I was in the wrong state, then hung up on me.

I held the phone in my hand and just sat there..... I knew I should not have answered that UNKNOWN NUMBER. I could hear my husband in the background telling me, "that is what caller ID is for". But it could have been him......today I should have taken the risk that it could have been and not answered it. But then what would I have to write about?


Kung Fu ~ web cam

My husband and I had a web cam thingy yesterday....what do you call it, call, session, something along those lines, right? Anyway, the call through Yahoo was really off from the webcam. It usually isn't so bad, but yesterday, like our phone calls of late, there was a really bad delay. I had actually gotten up and left the room to give something to one of my children in the hall and he said it was as if I'd never left, until I finally got up and was gone, yet I was still talking to him....so I guess it was a picture delay not voice. This continued as the children spoke to him as well, my photo, their voice, then another child on the line, different child on camera.....so my son shows him some moves he's been working on (not sure what they were, at his age, anything is possible) and they too were accompained by the narration of my daughter talking about school.

Nonetheless, I said to him that it was like a bad Kung Fu movie, where the actors are moving and talking, but none of it matches the words they are saying. He agreed but said that I was much cuter then they were. Aww, what a nice thing for him to say. I thought later that I was glad I was cuter then they are, I'm much taller and have better hair. :D

I sure like the webcam thingy, even if its uncooperative at times, just closes the distance for us all a little bit more......Yay for technology!


This post got me thinking......

A new vice of mine is a blog called The Life and Times of a Butterfly Wife. She made a post today that I think often about.

The things, that during a deployment, fade in our minds about the closest person to us in life. Our husbands.

I made a comment to him when he got home from Iraq the last time about how I felt on this subject. How much I seemed to forget about him. It wasn't just the general being of him, but the things that I fear that should something ever happen to him, that I would forget. The things that would slowly make me lose my mind.

I talked with Butterfly Wife in one of her posts about Anticipatory Grief and I think this kind of goes along with that. During my husband's last deployment to Iraq, I had been so wrapped around the sadness I experienced during that time, that getting through a day without worrying about him, I had convinced myself that he was not going to come home safely.

So as part of my road towards getting over that fear, I made a list of the things that would haunt me should this occur......the first thing and probably the most important on the list would of course be not having him with me.....to grow old with.

But as my list went on, it became about the things I'd miss in upcoming deployments, the things now that with him gone, seem so distant....like his touch. He loves to hold my hand. No matter where we are, he holds my hand. He is Mr. PDA in Uniform....he will kiss me goodbye in his office, he will walk me out to my car and say goodbye to me. But when he holds my hand, I stare at his hands. He has such strong wonderful hands. I tell him they are beautiful, but that is my interpretation of them.....not the best adjective to use for a Ranger, but to me they are. They are rugged, yet gentle. Masculine, yet they soothe. And just the touch of his hand, calms me.......I miss that so much.

I miss his laughter, not just his smile, but his laughter. It's contagious. I can be mad as heck and he can laugh at something, trying to break the silence in me and it isn't a minute later I am laughing with him, my anger forgotten and the world is right once again.......how can you live without that in your life for so long?

I miss watching him sleep, he shuts down completely. Its like watching a child sleep, as if the world does not exist past his dreams. Baby, do you dream in Iraq? Are you able to shut it down and turn it off at all? I hope you do, I pray you do.....

I miss watching him with our children. He is such a wonderful father. He can take any situation and find a way to teach them a life lesson from it and in such a way that enables them to take so much from it, things I would never have imagined. I wish that I had that ability, he has taught me how to be a better mother......

and I miss his presence.......when he leaves for work in the morning, it's like the house knows he's gone. It too, is sad. There is almost an electricity that you feel when he enters a room, a vibe if you will.....maybe it's me, but people are drawn to him....

There are so many other things about my husband I miss, I could write novels about it. I think I probably did and then shared them with him.

Before he left he made a video of he and I just talking one day and in it he tells me all the things he tells me in person. Afterwards he told me that on my worst days, when I was scared and lonely, to watch it.

There have not been many bad days that have made me pull it out and watch it, but on those few bad days, the sight of us together just being us, lightens my lonely heart and does ease that pain enough for me to smile and thank God for my blessings in life, whatever form they may be in right now.

I know that someday, the two of us will watch that video together, look back and laugh at the silliness of making it, but for now, it does what he intended for it to do, to remind me of what it feels like to be loved by my husband and until he is home......that short video is just about the most precious possession I own.....

Turning of the Tide?

Article Link

Iraqi Killed Saving U.S. Troops
Military.com | August 23, 2007
An Iraqi man saved the lives of four U.S. Soldiers and eight civilians when he intercepted a suicide bomber during a Concerned Citizens meeting in the town of al-Arafia Aug. 18.

The incident occurred while Soldiers from 3rd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, were talking with members of the al-Arafia Concerned Citizens, a volunteer community group, at a member’s house.

"I was about 12 feet away when the bomber came around the corner," said Staff Sgt. Sean Kane, of Los Altos, Calif., acting platoon sergeant of Troop B, 3-1 Cav. "I was about to engage when he jumped in front of us and intercepted the bomber as he ran toward us. As he pushed him away, the bomb went off."

The citizen’s actions saved the lives of four U.S. Soldiers and eight civilians.

Kane felt the loss personally because he had met and interacted with his rescuer many times before the incident.

"He was high-spirited and really believed what the group (Concerned Citizens) was doing," Kane said. "I have no doubt the bomber was trying to kill American Soldiers. It was very calculated the way the bomber tried to do it. If he hadn’t intercepted him, there is no telling how bad it could have been."

Kane believes the citizen is a hero.

"He could have run behind us or away from us, but he made the decision to sacrifice himself to protect everyone. Having talked with his father, I was told that even if he would have known the outcome before hand, he wouldn’t have acted differently."

Capt. Brian Gilbert, of Boise, Idaho, the commander of Company D, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, currently attached to 3-1 Cavalry, echoed Kane’s sentiment.

"I spoke with the father," Gilbert said. "He said he has no remorse in his son’s death because he died saving American Soldiers."

Later that night, the Concerned Citizens group contacted the local National Police director, Lt. Col. Samir, with the location of the al-Qaeda cell believed to be responsible for the attack. The National Police immediately conducted a raid that resulted in four arrests.

Despite the citizen’s death, Gilbert is encouraged by the cooperation between citizens and the Iraqi National Police.

"The effort of the Concerned Citizens group has made the area much safer," he said. "They are proud of who they are and their area, and want to get rid of the terrorists in their area."

Gilbert also praised the Iraqi National Police’s role in eliminating insurgents in the area.

"The cooperation between them and the Concerned Citizens has been key," Gilbert said. "The NP has done a great job of responding to the tips they have been given by the group."

Gilbert said he believes the area is improving because of the efforts of local citizens. The death, while unfortunate, demonstrated how close many in the area have become with the American Soldiers operating there.

"I consider many in the town friends, and I know they feel the same," Gilbert said. "This is a tough situation, but we’ll move on and try to prevent things like this from happening again. I’ve talked with his family and told them how brave their son was. This is a huge loss for everyone involved."


So I have the donut.....the donut of misery.

and many of us don't admit it often that we use the donut....do you know what the donut is......?

If not let me explain it to you.  The donut of misery is an excel program that will calculate the amount of time you have left of your deployment.......or any other important day.......I've had the donut for a long time. I used it for the last deployment. Before I discovered the Donut, I used Karen's Power Tools ~ Karen's Countdown Timer II. I used it during my husband's deployment to Kosovo and his first deployment to Iraq. I still have this one, because it sends me notices for my kids appointments online so I don't forget them...of course I need to make sure it's running first.....

I have a love/hate relationship with the Donut. I mocks me, laughs at me and taunts me....even though I have changed all of it's colors to make it cuter, when I open it for it's tap dance across my heart....the bottom line is, the DONUT SUCKS, or it did until today!

The Donut of Misery, for those out there who have no clue what it is, is an excel program that calculates the deployment time based on the information you enter. It will give you the percent done and the percent to go before the end of your deployment in a circular graph that has a hole in it's center. I have two of them running right now...one until R&R and the other to the end of the Deployment (based on 15 months). Of course it was based on 12, and at extension time, I had to basically begin again.....but atleast I did not go back to the beginning, I think it went down like 12%, because of the time it calculated in that we had already completed, but it sure felt like we had started over.....

So my husband, smart man he is, around oh, say month 4, says to me, "Babe, they have this excel program, called the donut of....." at which point, I of course stifle a giggle.....he pauses and says, ..."so how late am I on this topic?" My response was "oh about 16 or 17 months.......and I informed him of where we stood on our percent complete. I think that kind of depressed him.....he never asked again.

So then I found a new program that runs on my computer.....have we all gotten that I am really a person who is wrapped around knowing how much longer her husband is going to be gone? Cause I am, I hate it....I miss him and anything that reminds me of how close we are to him coming home is wonderful. So this one is called Time Left 3. I don't leave it up all the time. I run it when I need an exact amount of days to give him until R&R or when he comes home. The date for homecoming is of course a guess.....who knows when it really will be. I take the date he left and found out exactly, according to days, when 15 months is, because it's not really the date of one month and 15 months later on the same day that month. It is actually off set somehow......

So back to my Donut...which I had not opened in over 9 weeks.....well today, I opened it....and it was even. A complete line separating my yellow side of my Donut from my pink.....we have hit the top......WE HIT 50%......I can finally say, It's all downhill now.

I don't know what to do with myself or the donut, except to hug and kiss my donut, which is gross because my laptop is in need of a cleaning....but I was happy......and so I then opened up my R&R one, cause I am sure that one was going to make me even more ELATED, but it still said 14%.....and I thought to myself, puzzled, how can that be? And then I realized it is based on a whole......and that whole is only 9 months long, where as the other is 15...so the difference would be markedly noticeable......but I just look at the days and I'm good with that. Still ELATED with the Donut!

So check out the Donut, download yourself one. Even if you are not into keeping up with the days now, you maybe as the time goes on. It also calculates separation pay, per diem, the months, weeks, days, hours, minutes and seconds since they left and until they come home.......and on days you need to be mad at something, blame the DONUT!



2 out of 4

So the lost items list goes up one and down by two.....

I realized this morning that I am missing my favorite pair of Brighton sunglasses......I have lost a pair of these already thanks to the Atlantic Ocean and a wave plus my stupidity of wearing them in to begin with....so I replaced them last fall....and they too are now missing. Last known where abouts was last week, I wore them, took them off and have no idea where that was........

So add those to the list of ......I can't find.

But......on the good side, I found my cd-r discs....and....MY CELL PHONE.

So thank you St. Anthony, patron saint of lost items (and souls) my soul is in tact as is my faith...but I really could use some help in finding the keys to my car!!!!

I guess that will take a bit more looking and hoping and praying.....and lighting of more candles......I better go make a phone call.


If I were Catholic, which I'm not......

Sorry Jane : )

I would be praying to St. Anthony, patron saint of Lost Things.....for now in addition to my keys and cell phone, I can not locate my discs. How do you lose a case of 100 cd-r's? I had them last night! So now I am just looking through my house for nothing, because if I were looking for something, I would not actually find it, so if I just go through my house and search for nothing in particular, I may find it all.....or at least one can hope, right? Its gonna be a long day.


Lost things thief is on expert mode today....I found NOTHING! Ugh! My catholic friend lit a candle for me and said a prayer to St. Tony that I may find my lost things....I told her to add my sanity to the list.......


I awoke to this in my email this morning as many awoke to it on the news...something I don't make it a habit to watch.......please pray for the families being awakened to the knocks on the door today......

14 US soldiers killed in Iraq helicopter crash

August 22, 2007 - 7:23PM

A helicopter has crashed in northern Iraq, killing all 14 US soldiers aboard in the deadliest such crash since January 2005.

The US military said initial indications showed the aircraft experienced a mechanical problem and was not brought down by hostile fire, but the cause of the crash was still under investigation.

The UH-60 Black Hawk was one of two helicopters on a nighttime operation when the crash happened.

"There were no indications of hostile fire," the military said in a statement.

"Two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters were on a night operation when one of the aircraft crashed.

"That helicopter had been carrying four crew members and 10 passengers."

The US military relies heavily on helicopters to avoid the threat of ambushes and roadside bombs - the deadliest weapon in the militants' arsenal. Dozens of choppers have crashed in accidents or been shot down.

The deadliest crash occurred on January 26, 2005 when a CH-53 Sea Stallion transport helicopter went down in a sandstorm in western Iraq, killing 31 US troops.

On January 20, a Black Hawk was apparently shot down in Diyala province northeast of Baghdad, killing 12 soldiers aboard.

The deaths raised to at least 3,721 members of the US military who have died since the Iraq war started in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.



I have lost my cell phone...which was proceeded by losing my keys before our trip in July. I still have not found them. This weekend we clean house....not just because it, like needs it, but because these are two things I need to find. (although finding my cell phone before then would be nice, it is apparently either on vibrate or dead)

I wish I could get my thoughts together tonight to actually put together something that resembles intelligence, but I spent 5 hours doing research for a spouse who lost her husband a couple weeks ago and it has left me drained and angry. I will elaborate more when the issue is resolved, hopefully it will be resolved in the manner in which it will never be an issue again.....if not I believe it will spark a firestorm of which I've never taken on before.....but cart before horse....lets see how it plays out for now.

So it's way past my bedtime and if I don't make my way to bed I may crash on the floor, and that never works out well in the morning. And so I bid the night Adieu.


.......and yet

So today I sit and listen to the distant sound of TAPS being played, another quiet moment..... I am left thinking about how much my husband has missed so far since he has been gone and what he will have missed when he comes home for good.....the birthdays, Easter, Mother's Day, last day of school, Father's Day, Prom, 4th of July, our trip to the beach, first day of school, and he will miss Thanksgiving and Christmas, New Years and then the birthdays again because of the extension. You know I was in denial on that for the longest time, yet from the first day of his first tour I was the one that told spouses to never get wrapped around a number. He'd been extended before and that return date is never something you can count on......and yet you cant help it, and so I have to admit even with four back to back deployments with less then a year between any of them, I was not willing to own up to the fact that he was going to be gone 15-16 months. But will say that recently I came to terms with my denial and owned up to the fact when he changed his leave dates......that the fact that he was coming home at 9 months instead of 6 just meant that the amount of time left after he returns is still going to be the same.....

I think one of the hardest parts in all of it is thinking about my son and that when you add up the time his Dad has been gone, it will amount to more then half of his life.......and there are so many children just like him. And yet.....they are the resilient ones in all of this. I guess we could all take a page from their books. He is NOT in denial....

Looking at the lives of military children and think about the sacrifice they give unknowingly, it's not like they had a choice in it....and they don't know any different.....they are the real unsung heroes in the War right now. My son had just turned 4 when his father left for Kosovo in 2002 and since then his father has been deployed more then home, sometimes with as little as 4 months in between his rotations......he is such a trooper about the whole thing. He misses him alot, but he hugs Daddy goodbye and tells him to be safe. As he has gotten older he has gotten to be quite affectionate with his mother, always there to help out....going from little guy, to young man and I try to think back to when he started growing up and I can't quite put my finger on it.....and my daughters, well they grew up too. I thank God that I captured it in pictures because without them, I would have no memory of any of them growing up, it seemed to have happened over night......does a life in the military that is affected by War make you grow up faster?

I think my husband and I have reached that stage in our lives at almost 40, where we are ready to move on to the next stage in our lives......the one where he needs to step into a position with the Army where there is less deployment. Either that or bid it a fond farewell and go ahead and retire. Our children have lived this life and only this life. I think it's time we offer them some something more......maybe a little peace and stability....and yet it is the only life any of us have really ever known. But now it's a life filled with web cams and long distance phone calls, instead of good night kisses and hugs. Constant moves and deployments, instead of the same school for two years and Dad coaching the football team. Fear of the unknown and what ifs instead of knowing that in two months both of their parents will be attending a school program.......what kind of life are we giving our children? Sure, we are all proud to be the wife or child of a hero in today's military, but at what cost? When do we say that we have had our children sacrifice enough?

But how do you just walk away? I'd love to hear how others out there, that are facing the same decision feel about it........What do you do? How do you leave the only life you have ever known as an adult, the only one you have ever been exposed to? How do you walk away as a soldier and as a leader and join the civilian world? How do you, as a spouse leave the families you have spent 20 some years with laughing and crying, supporting and helping, leaning on and growing up with and just move on to a life that has nothing to do with the them, this life or the Army?

I feel a little lost here.....my life and identity and that of my husband as well, has been shaped and defined entirely by the Army. Both of us are who we are because of, and when you think of about it, in spite of it too.....how do we both give up what has made us who we are? But at some point you have to weigh the pros against the cons, justify the means by the end.....so when I look at my children and see the hint of sadness in their eyes and their father hears the hint of fear in their voices, both of us knowing what the right thing to do is........ at the end of the day there is still that, AND YET.......


The Beginning and yet....its the middle

I guess I finally got around to creating this online account of my thoughts. I have been so busy I have been unable to keep an accounting of how I have been living my life over the past months since my husband has left...it has been a busy 8 months. We have been through half a school year and a summer. The children are all back in school. My younger daughter is now in high school and my older one is a Junior. My son has moved up to 4th grade and they have all gotten a little older and grown up so much....it's hard to believe they went from who they were to who they are now. I wonder whether or not their father will recognize them when he comes home on leave in October. It will be 9 months since he has seen them, seen me. Or us having seen him. And yet.....with time passing it feels like yesterday when he left, and yet it feels like forever since I held him. And time goes on.

Favorite Love Poems.......... for my Husband

Mine is by EE Cummings.....I read this in High School....we don't discuss exactly how long ago THAT was....but I know it by my soul.....and it speaks to me about all love is.......and today before my husband hung up the phone with me, he did not tell me he loved me....he said "I'm so IN LOVE with you." I started to cry.....and so my love, as you endure your deployment, know that .....

I Carry Your Heart, I Carry It In My Heart......

I carry your heart with me (I carry it in my heart) I am never without it (anywhere I go you go, my dear; and whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling)

I fear no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) I want no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true) and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant and whatever a sun will
always sing is you

Here is the deepest secret nobody knows (here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows higher than soul can hope or mind can hide) and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

I carry your heart (I carry it in my heart)