Thursday, January 28, 2010

My Kids Rock...

rather the youngest does...the oldest just stares.  Please forgive the poor video quality...the phone camera is not the greatest.  And yes, I did film this whilst have no idea how hard it was but I managed to stay where I should have and not laugh.

My baby totally loves his music...seriously.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Trip to the Grocery....

and a revelation.

Someone, around here at least, is listening. Watching, learning and buying. The area has always been big on gardening, for the most part. Nearly everyone puts in a summer garden. But this year...this year, someone (or somebodies) is doing more.

You know those packest of seeds that are 10 cents? The ones that are black and white and look old timey? The local grocery (literally local...locally owned...the only major competitor here with Tram-Law) was putting them out last week, earlier than usual I might add, and this week...poof! There are barely any left in the stand. Out of curiousity I chatted up one of the stockboys that's been there for years. "Faster than I've ever seen them go" he says. "Don't know when more are coming in. There weren't any on the truck this week but I'm sure they'll get more in."

Looks like gardens around here will be more than just the usual tomatoes and cucumbers this year. I'm looking forward to my seed order from Baker coming in, even if I don't get to plant as early as I'd like. Oh and Big Lots is stocked way, way, way up on canning jars and the likes I guess not every big business isn't seeing the light...they know what is going to make money for them in just a few months at least. I would sure love to go grab a huge bunch of them, but lets face it...they'd be broke in the move most likely. I'll wait to see where we are headed, then think logistics.

On another note, Tram-Law here is already putting out the gardening seeds yet though. Interesting that this wasn't the case last year. That stuff didn't show until late February.

So, what's the gardening forcast for your area?

Friday, January 22, 2010

We Ask Too Much...

We is general here...don't get your knickers in a twist.

We ask too much of our children. We thrust them into learning/school younger and younger. Pre-school, Pre-K, Kindergarten...all before they are even 6 years old. We take the joy out of childhood, eliminate the ability to learn as they please by forcing them into rule-laden mini societies that put further pressure on them to conform, befriend and become something that they are not.

They must keep up or be labeled and put in special classes which labels them further in the eyes of their peers. They are relegated to small desks and tables, expected to contain their boundless child energy and spoken to as if they are dirt or stupid if they don't. They are molded into mini-adults well before a time when they are mentally or physically ready to be adults.

We ask too much of our children when we micro-manage their childhoods. Overscheduling of team and individual sports, extra classes in whatever to help them "get ahead", scores and scores of activities to keep them busy so that we don't have to parent. TV, video games, computer access become babysitters with no emotional warmth or parental love.

We ask our children to be more than they are...children. Childhood is supposed to be a time of encouragement, growth and exploration. One where the rules are simple, not complex and in direct violation with everything it means to be a child.

A child will learn when they are ready to learn, they will play and learn at the same time if given the chance. Who cares really that "your baby can read" or whatever skill it may be that you feel they MUST know? I don't. Mine can't...not full books. And I'm not upset or disappointed or calling a tutor in for help. They will learn, when they are ready to learn. Focus on them being children. Let them play, let them get dirty, let them be and they will constantly surprise you with the information that they absorb and release.

What prompted this minor outburst? Children feel and understand far more than they are given credit for. They are capable of complex emotions and thoughts. Their world is not regulated to only what you see. Take the time to get to know your may be surprised at what you find.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Feeling a bit Retro....

and thought I would re-visit a couple of posts that, if I must say, are my best. Not ranty, not bitchy...informative and sorta in your face.

Avert your Eyes Fellas
This one is for you

All about female related prepping and stuff. Just feeling it's a little important to put them back up there, for the newbies and such. Reminders don't hurt, do they?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Waiting Game....

Patience is not my virtue. Just ask the screamers. I only ask twice. Third time gets the look, the change in tone of voice and either timeout or a butt whoopin' (usually the butt whoopin'). I tried that whole "be nice, no spanking, compromise" thing...I'm a fairly "crunchy" parent with the exception of the fact that I have no desire to compromise and/or negotiate with a three year old. I am the parent, what I say goes until you are old enough to move out and live on your own legally. This is not a democracy...this is a dictatorship.

That being said...I am now in the position of waiting. Waiting for orders to come down (still) as to where the spring will find us. Waiting for some overpaid bureaucrat to decide to push a button in some office somewhere that will send this information...oh, and change the Soldier's records (apparently he's still retired...imagine that) I can move forward. I don't like this spot, this being held in limbo.

True, it does have a few minor advantages. I can unload all of my unwanted crap onto strangers that will remain strange since there is no need to further try to integrate myself into a town that hasn't exactly welcomed us with open arms (really funny since my family has lived here in one form or another for generations). I do get to spend the time left here, however long that may be, working out ways to minimize the crud further so that there is less to worry about when moving day approaches. I have the time to let the littles spend more time with my parents...though I'm sure we will see more of them than the in-laws regardless of where orders take us (in-laws do NOT travel/visit...nice, eh?).

I also find myself doing something that I wouldn't have the chance to do if we weren't still waiting on bureaucratic monkeys. I am exploring the possibilities of each potential assignment. Learning via maps/blogs/news articles/research what to expect of the area around it. Not just to feed the hiking (see other blog) but for peace of mind. Desert, mountain, dense populations...I'm learning what I can about each and working on plans of action. While I wait...I gather in more ways than one. I also purge (see link to

I think this wait will be good for me...teach me to not expect accuracy in orders. Teach me that a little patience might be a good thing, though not the best.

Monday, January 18, 2010

I've Got a Laundry List...

of gripes, rants and other to do's...but I'll save them for phone calls with the Soldier Spouse...since they fall in his area.

Today (rather tonight) I want to say my bit on something that's been triffling at my mind for the past day or so. Now, don't think me a heartless bitch...I'm not. I sympathize, I feel and I'm downright heartbroken for the horrific scenes occuring in Haiti. I wish I had the skills to be useful there, I would go. I wish I did have the money to send...but unfortunately I do not.

"Just send your cash."

You've seen that, right? Well, that has me a bit wrung out. You see, Mr. Bush (W) cash is a little tied up right now in a huge list of taxes and bailouts. I pay school taxes on a school that we don't use/support. I pay sales taxes on everything from fast food to toilet paper (easy to confuse one for the other I might add). I pay city, county, state and federal taxes that show me little to no return for my investment. I bailout huge corporations and banks with my measly dollars and cents. Corporations and banks that have been practicing shady transactions for decades and now find themselves floundering.

I'm miffed at your statement, Mr. Bush (W) because...well...if it were me (and it has been) I would have had to stand in front of a bankruptcy judge and explain how the hell I got myself into such a dismal state of affairs. But then, if it were me...I'd be ashamed of the fact I was there at all. You see, I have that...shame. I'm not "too big to fail"...I do it all the time, then pick myself up and brush myself off and take the first step in a new direction. There in lies the key of the situation...a new direction. Not hope...not always change...making a new choice and recognizing what put you in the dirt in the first place is the way to go.

I'm also miffed because I know (because I've seen) that all those dollars and cents that get donated...well...they don't always make it to the places that they should and the people that need them most. They get tied up in bureaucratic policies and politician's interests. I have the feeling that "we" will be in Haiti for a very long time...not because President O says so...but because it will take years for the money to trickle down to those that need it most...years to make a difference. Reminder: Katrina and Ike

So I'm sorry that I cannot just send my cash. It is tied up in so many places that I can't even count them all. What little that remains will go to a charity that can use it household. You see, I have two little boys that like to eat and outgrow clothing and shoes. And even though my Soldier works hard and believes that he's doing what is best for us (and he is) his pay is not much more than what he was making before re-enlistment. We, Mr. Bush (W), are your standard not quite middle class but not quite lower class family. We get by on little, save enough for when it's needed most in more ways than one and cringe when it's a week from payday but the car is broke down...we don't have the cash to send. Ask for anything, water, blankets, clothing (I have lots that have been outgrown) but do not ask me for cash. You have enough of ours already.

Now, ya'll go click an ad or something!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Be Proud...

of me...I am. I spent a nice, BIG chunk of the day tinkering around under the Blazer with Dad. Okay, we weren't tinkering. It seemed, at first glance, to be a simple job. Shimmy the starter. Sure, simple. NOT!

For some reason, GM decided sometime back to make the engines of its vehicles something akin to a bajillion piece jigsaw puzzle. Now Pop's worked on GM cars (for GM) my whole life up until about 12yrs or so ago when he retired. So neither of us was expecting the challenge that faced us today.

Out came the first bolt...feel free to stop here if you've done this before, because I'm sure you know what's coming next....loosened bolt two...couldn't get the shimmy in because of the angle of the starter to the other hunks of metal and exhaust. Stand back, take a look...we both shook our heads. Yep, you got it. Off came the wheel and wheel well (hey, firewall and parts of the wheel well are crumbling). Which of course meant out came the battery, off came the computer and coolant tank. Finally, enough wiggle room to get the damn shimmy in. 20 minutes of shimmy shamming later...kaboom! Hook up the battery and test it out.

Shimmy is good, but the solenoid is bad. Go figure. Funny that it took way less time to put back together than it took to take it apart. I think the Blazer lost about 5lbs of weight from the amount of sand that came spilling out from the wheel well though...wonder exactly what the previous owners did with this thing, but I'm pretty damn sure that taking care of it was not on the list.

So, here we more thing on the to fix list for the Blazer. One more thing that Pops and myself will not be doing. I'm taking the beast to a mechanic, soon as I gather enough $$ to be sure I can cover the massive bill. Have mercy...wonder what I did to piss of the Fates?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Lesson...

I was taught a lesson last night, by my own child. The eldest screamer was assisting in the pare down of toys. I was asking him to put away things that he didn't play with often, packing them up for future rotation. Nothing overly demanding like "we're giving these away" but he insisted that we do just that.

"I don't play with these and they just take up room."

I think...I might just have done something right raising this boy afterall.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


the little guy does win.  It may take years but sometimes they win.

Woman single-handedly beats IRS in court

She is my new hero. Determined to keep/get what is rightfully her's, even according to "their" laws. One woman, no lawyers...just determination. My hat is off to you Lori Singleton-Clarke.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Holy Crap...two in one day!!

Only 'cause I want to sell you something, lol.

Over there ------> at the top there is now a section called cleaning house.  It contains (at the moment) a link to my spot where all the VHS, CD's and books I can live without will/are being listed.  Not a lot up right now, but with approximately 5 more boxes of movies, one large box of CD's and 3 bookshelves of books...I've got plenty to list.

I haven't even gotten through the first layer of a 3 layer box of VHS...oh mercy.  Plus there are like a gazillion that don't have sleeves or # that will be listed as a batch on the evilBay.  sigh...I am lost to the world of "get it out of my"  Links will be added as things are posted at various other places that allow me to dump my unwanted goods...trash to treasure I suppose.

A Little Randomness...again

not post holiday...technically it is but dang...the first month of the new year is very nearly halfway done.  And the list of things to do around here continues to grow at a much more rapid rate.  Packing, paring down, planning and stocking up.  It is very difficult to pare down to the bare minimum for packing while still managing to keep stocking up.

Everything that gets bought causes me to cringe...I have to pack that now, my mind says.  Not now, my other mind retorts.  Well, before we move it has to be packed, mind says.  I cringe at the conversation but also cringe at the thought of not buying that extra few cans of chicken or pouches of tuna or whatnot.  I'd love dearly to raise my own meat, but let's face current landlord is a dog hater so I'm pretty sure chickens would be out of the question.  My future landlord (military housing) will most definately not allow for the I tend to stock up on the canned variety when I see it.  Tuna...well, I don't live on the ocean so raising it is a no-go.  Alas, the packing and buying cycle, vicious though it is, continues.  Let it be said here that I've not bought anything since before Christmas that is not vital or necessary.  Yes, new jeans and sweatpants for me are necessary...especially while they're on clearance.

I've yet to decide what to do with the VHS...they remain boxed.  Ditto with the record collection that has been passed from the parental units along to us (yes, vinyl...ya know those black disks).  I love it dearly but no longer have a working player.  The 'rents said to bring it back if we don't want to keep it, but they don't have a player either...silly people.  Don't really think there is much in there that is of any value to collectors...Dad's part is mostly Jim Neighbors if that gives you any idea.  A few Beatles and Beach Boys (mine and the sis') are mixed in the randomness.  They will probably find their way to storage to be dealt with at a later date.  Provided the later date ever comes around for me to be digging through storage.

Things is hairy folks.  Scary hairy.  Numbers are not matching up in the jobless/claims sector and the explaination of shrinking work force is a farce.  It's almost too late for those just waking up to the world...the time to stock up and prepare for anything major runs short.  Really, even if you don't believe or have the same fears you should be prepared for something.  Face it...there was NO real reason besides lazy that most folks got caught by surprise with the weather lately. 

Winter=cold in most parts...even if it doesn't usually get cold you should, in theory, be ready for it just in case.  And newsflash...winter is only just beginning...we aren't even a month in.  It's still cold, it can get colder and watch might snow, ice, sleet, etc more.  Just a heads up in case you weren't sure of the season or are firmly entrenched in the whole Global Warming belief system...we aren't warm here.  It'd down right colder than a well diggers ass, literally.  Get some real winter clothes, get some decent boots, get an alternative source of heat and know how to use it.  Get thineself prepared.

Rattle, rattle, rattle...blah, blah, blah...I know, pretty much preaching to the choir but someone out there might stumble on this and find something useful.  If you're the labels below for previous stuff (if you don't know how to work blogger).  I don't have a goldmine like others, but I do have a few things you don't see on the usual.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A few things...

on my mind as I begin (rather re-start) the arduous task of packing up our things in preparation for "the move."  Even though we don't know where we'll be, we've been told it is going to most likely be Stateside (one of two TX posts or one in GA) so the move will be our job.  I've found as we pack that even though I somehow manage to rid us of some things, I've not gotten rid of nearly enough.

I've tried (pretty much unsuccessfully) to freecycle some stuff on a local group and only managed to give away one small box of the boys outgrown clothes.  Still have a big box of old women's sweatshirts/sweaters/maternity and a car seat (all in dang good condition)...I get that initial email then nothing else.  These are the same people that are forever posting wanteds..."I NEED this" or "I'm desperate"....really, if you are so desperate, then take what I'm offering without asking for specifics and be glad that someone is posting something that you NEED.  Okay, that was a little ranty...but now I remember why I stopped freecycling for a while.

I'm also a little perplexed at what to do with the 300+ VHS we've accumulated over the past 14 years.  All three VCR's we have eat tapes, so we don't use them (alas, this revelation came too late for my Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade VHS).  Sis will inherit the child-friendly ones for the nephew but what to do with the rest.  There are so many, I'd hate to just give them away when I could sell them for 50 cents a piece and have a little extra $$ (even if it just amounts to $20 or less).  Ebay is an option, but do I want to mess with that?  Yard sale?  Another do I really want to mess with it thing.  No local shop to buy them (matter of fact the only movie store in town just went out of business).  I have to decide what to do with them because I don't really feel like dragging them cross country...again.

The obscene toy collection will be taking a nosedive soon, with a chunk of them being donated or whatever.  There are just too many despite previous cullings of the flock and that's more I don't want to move. 

We will not discuss the book will not be culled.  No negotiation.  There is nothing in there that won't be read again (several times) or useful for something...though I'm pretty sure I don't need 15 cookbooks...I think...nah, I'll keep them.  I don't care that when the whole shebang is packed up it equals anywhere from 6 to 8 boxes...these are invaluable.

So here I sit...wondering how to rid the house of things that we don't need/want when I am trapped in the dilemma of sale/giveaway/trash...not a life changing decision really but one that puzzles all the same.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


I don't know WHERE I'll be but pretty much what the housing situation will be come planting time (okay, so maybe not this year...but I do know I'll be in the same place next year) I've been eyeballing some stuff to make on-the-go gardening a little easier.

I'm diggin' this Worm Factory 360 and checking out the smaller (ie less expensive) models they have too.  Reviews seem pretty well on the positive side, so it's on the wishlist but not a definate buy.  Seems that it would travel well...just what to do with it should we be station not Stateside in say 4 years....since it's not a definate buy, I won't worry.  I also like the idea of the EarthBox system, but have the stuff on hand to do that already.  Some window boxes that I've had for a good long while, some twine and dow rods...simple, effective and cheap.  And I totally see a Mini-Garden Stacker hanging/sitting in my kitchen window, loaded with herbs...yeah.

My list from Baker Creek is complete and I'm ready to put in that soon as the "put away" fund is large enough to handle it.  Should be alright soon enough, then I play the sit and wait game...trying to decide if I should start them and risk damage in a long move or just hold them for next year...oh, the decisions.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Christmas in the Mail....

I got the bestest Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds!  Happy Christmas to me!  Been thumbing through, picking out new additions to the seed pile.  Not knowing exactly where I'll be come planting time (GA, TX or TX...oh, and there is always the possibility of Germany still) does put a small damper on my picking and choosing.

I adore Baker Creek for many being they are here, in MO.  Another being that there is a family, a real live family behind it all. A third being that these seeds are real, not messed with hybrids that really produce.  Can't beat that, now can you?

So my list is made, the funds are being allocated and I ponder the joys of a garden of my own...if we get moved in time.  I've scrubbed my big pots and have them ready for sproutlets because I know I'll be transporting the ones that need early planting.  It's actually a bit of an interesting dilemma at the moment...what to start and when...because of the current lack of knowledge concerning our summer/fall location.  I'm actually rooting for GA...hoping to snag one of the renovated historicals on-post...a yard...a real live yard...sigh.  I may not have an in-ground garden this year, but by golly...I got pots and they travel!
The true danger is when liberty is nibbled away, for expedience, and by parts. --Edmund Burke