Sunday, December 26, 2010

A New Year Approaches...

according to the calendar at least.  Don't know about you, but my ever increasing sense of "whoa, wait a minute there bud" is...well, ever increasing.  Having spent the last few months in a slightly further removed from the rest of it bubble (physically at least) and sort of watching the downward spiral from a different view, then proceeding to allow my love of history and a modern culture ADD-fueled comparison to take over...things are most definitely ticking toward BOOM vs crash.  Implosion of the loudest kind, I do believe.  No, I do not look forward to German is not good enough just yet and that skill is one that is necessary for surviving in a land where German is the language spoken.

Of course, one collapse will string along others in this modern interconnected world of ours.  Who will be left standing unscathed?  None.  Even the most closed countries rely on some other country for something, not a one is self-sufficient.  It's the domino effect in full force...I wonder if it would look similar from space...a bunch of countries tilting one after another until the last one clatters to a halt.  That would be a design worth looking at.  Frightening, yet still intriguing.

As it stands, I've decided that no one is ever fully prepared.  No one.  While our stocks and supplies will last a goodly time and my sketchy German is enough to squeak by, we will never be fully prepared for the unpredictability of the future...that's why it's called unpredictable.  Heck, even the meteorologists (once pretty good at predicting weather) are getting a workout lately.  Ma Nature is showing them all who is boss and refuses to fall in line with what is "average" lately.

Example:  The lovely European snowfall that tangled up Holiday travelers.  Yeah, light snow expected my ass!  (see previous post for "light snow" pictures)

Further Example of the unpredictability of the future:  Last night a sewage line burst in our building at about 10 p.m., flooding over half the basement and community laundry room with raw sewage.  Storage for each apartment in the building is located...can you guess it? the basement.  No fewer than 8 of our neighbor families have spent some part of today trying salvage what can be salvaged from the poo.  We got lucky...the pipe was at the other end of the building.

Now, as one that makes some sort of an attempt at learning from the past, Further Example has prompted me to do what I had merely talked about doing all spring/summer.  Fork over cash for the purchase of shelving units for our storage area.  Will it keep stuff from being damaged in the event of another poo-fall or (as I've found out recently) spring thaw flooding?  No, not all of it...but it'll buy us time.  Time to get to the non-poo covered items and bring them to safety.

Any recent events in your day-to-day prompt you to action lately?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Hey...look at THAT!!!!

We got a little snow.  A very you can tell. (Yes, that's me and my foot...I'm 5' 4 3/4" tall for a little comparison)

Happy Holidays All!!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving...

and safe travels to those traveling.

Personally, we're sitting tight and entertaining a gaggle (or is it passel?) of friends and neighbors with my uber fattening cooking. Yeah baby!

If you get bored with football during Turkey these...should get you good and fired up.

TSA idiots Blog #1

TSA idiots Blog #2

Small Rant Regarding the "Stepping in It" Post...

Did what needed to be done and while the situation will eventually be dealt with (hopefully sooner rather than later) I'm still dealing with control freak and the issues. So here is the rant:

Dear You (if you found this, you know who you are),

I do not have time for your paranoid psychosis and controlling manners. There is a fine line that divides what we as leaders can and cannot consistently cross that line into the area in which you do not belong. There are only so many times I can say "you can't do that" or "this is how we have to go about it" before it becomes robotic sounding and starts to piss me off. We are co-, which means equal...not me playing "yes ma'am" to your "do this." That being said...your husband wears the rank, not you. You want the rank, enlist. And finally, until you have the PhD in your hand and are cleared to counsel people, please do not counsel people on their personal problems. It's not your job. There are people that get paid to do that already.



P.S. Read the damn handbook and regs...they're there for a reason.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Stepping in it...

at some point this evening, I will be "stepping in it." Anyone on the outside of the situation looking in would call it a power struggle...I call it "teaching a young officer's wife her position in the world (or at least in this Company)."

Hence the stepping in it. My usual laid back self paired with a high strung (self admitted) control freak in charge of assisting a Company of wives, passing along info to them and keeping them fairly happy is not working well. You see, I realize that there are certain rules and regulations put into place for very good reasons (don't believe me...Google "Leslie Drinkwine") partner, not so much (again...Leslie Drinkwine).

And the time has come (the Walrus said) to slap a little reality on the plate...either choke it down or step away from the table. I've been really, super incredibly good the past few months and put a tether on my opinionated mouth...nice even. But when it comes to a (volunteer) work environment that is rapidly turning hostile, well...I'm done. Unlike my partner, I'm not in for the glory or the title...there is enough life and military experience under this belt to know that the whole point of this group is support, not so much a popularity contest when it really comes down to it. You want to be popular, popular.

So, tonight...I'm stepping in it. Wish me luck and hope I come out with the use of both legs!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Well...I can think of a few cuts myself....

have you read this little gem (straight to the .pdf) from the "Fiscal Commission" yet? You should. It's their lovely little proposal on where and how to make cuts, set to be delivered to the POTUS ASAP. Nice. Like I said, reading through it, I can think of a few slices and dices I'd like to make.

Read it? Opine away.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Whoa There...

No, no, no...I've not disappeared off the face of the Earth, just been buried knee deep in being the crazy volunteer and building my own support network of like-minded folk around me here in Deutschland. It's been an interesting few months, to say the very least...having been out of the "living in super cramped housing" loop for so long, I had forgotten how many people are certifiable crazy. I've met and discarded a few the past bit and have discovered that is possible to live pretty much drama free while living in cramped quarters with a bunch of nutters.

Note that I said pretty much...there has been more than a far share of the crap called drama dumped on my doorstep in the past 6 months. Add to that the responsibilities that I (stupidly) volunteered for with the Family Readiness Group and the pending deployment which seems to draw out the crazy in every milspouse. in Germany hasn't been perfect but hey...I'm alive.

Monday, September 6, 2010

This Caught My Eye...

and I find it to ring all too true:

Servitude debases men to the point where they end up liking it.
- Vauvenargues

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Super Busy...

in these parts as I gear up for several things...the Soldier's eventual departure, winter (pretty bad in these parts they say), school for both screamers (oh my, where did my baby go?) and my own new busy, busy schedule of school, being mom and now an FRG leader (don't ask, it's a military family thing that will time suck me). Sigh.

But that doesn't mean that I'm not keeping an eye on the world around me, taking note of the signs and preparing my little heart out. Every payday is a day of cash withdrawl, dollars and Euro, to build on that stash because let's face it...there will be a day when the card won't work in the little machine. Then what?

Anyway, other than letting you know I'm alive and kicking (im Deutschland), I thought I'd share this one with you...nice article, to the point and upfront as far as MSM articles go...I particularly like the ending.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I just gotta say...

that I have a solution to the problem...and it isn't this:

"Obama will also request $500 million to hire more border patrol agents and buy more equipment, according to lawmakers and administration officials."

Why hire more? I ask. The solution is to use the security forces we have already (i.e. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, etc)....wait, wait...that's right, most of them are busy fighting wars on the other side of the world that were caused (in part) by lax security at home in the first place...aaahhh, circle of blame how you torment me!

But hey, since we can't do that then let's just run up more debt, print more paper money that has no backing and let everyone think we're on top of the problem so we can get re-elected. Then something (not saying what) will happen that will cause a huge public panic that will allow for us to declare ourselves "rulers for life" in order to restore order and maintain the illusion of security. Yes!! It's a plan! (bring in the coffee, donuts and arugala)

There is so much wrong with the US of A right now that I feel a saving grace is not going to save it. Need proof? Research the rise and fall of every other great "empire" and see how well they fared. You don't have to dig to deep...really, you don't. Just look around. How many of the following empires do you see as a major power these days? Romans, Grecian, Egyptian, Huns, Mayan...heck even the British Empire is a mere has-been. Enjoy the ride of the spiralling suck America, it's sure to be the last bit of fun you have for a long while.

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Final Word?

So I'm doing a little research, again...into dehydrating lean hamburger meat, again....

Aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh! For crying out loud!! What's the final word? Safe, not safe, aliens will abduct me, what!?!

So far, what I've gotten is that it's perfectly safe...but not because of the possibility of spoilage depending on storage...don't do it at all...freeze it after and all is fine.

So I turn to you, dear readers....advice, suggestions, what have you...I welcome your input.

For what it's worth, the reasoning is this...I have no desire to try to make it to the Commissary with two (possibly three...don't ask) screamers in 10 below snowbound weather at any point this coming winter. And being that my kids and myself are serious carnivores...well, we like our chili, spaghetti and all that good stuff to contain meat.

The What Ifs...

we all have them. What if I had done this instead of that...blah, blah, blah.

The what ifs are really bugging me right now. This week we take the oldest screamer to the ENT to get a second opinion/final diagnosis. I don't even know yet if the hearing loss is genetic or birth trauma...but I have a sinking feeling it's the latter. His entrance into this world was wild and quick....once the doctor got there and the nurse stopped pushing him BACK IN....that's right, you read that right. Ten minutes of my body trying to push him out with the nurse pushing him back in. So I'm left to wonder, exactly what the f**k she was thinking...just catch, that's all you had to do...catch.

Anyway, you can see (I hope) why the what ifs are bugging me. What if I had just gone with my initial reaction and kicked the b***h in the face and delivered the boy myself? What if the doc had taken longer to get there? If it isn't birth trauma, what if it's genetic? What if the youngest screamer starts having issues? (I know the answer to the last two...but they run around my brain all the same)

What ifs more ways than one.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Cut off your nose...

to spite your face...seems the tattered remains of the entity we call the U.S. Government is doing that at a rather quick pace as of late.

Obama saves the unemployed...for a little while, until that money also runs out and no jobs are available...which will continue to be the case according to Bernanke...but that's okay because Frank has a plan to cut Defense spending and the saved money will save us all!! And thank goodness too since debt collectors have found a loophole in the law that can get you some time in a pretty orange jumpsuit! Aren't you excited? I know I am! (Please note the super intense sarcasm here folks.)

Gee, it's a miracle so many of us have managed to survive...why without Big Brother looking over our shoulders and telling us what was best for us, we may never have made it those first few steps out of our parents'/guardians' sights when we struck out on our own! Wowzers Big sure have done a bang up job making us into a debt-free, self-sufficient, self-reliant, not nosing in anyone elses' business nation...kudoz to you. (OMG, I think I just threw up a little in my mouth.)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Just a Little Reminder...

to our President, Congress and the rest of the Federal Government.

The Civil War wasn't fought over just slavery. It was also fought over States' Rights, persistently high taxes and tariffs, representation and the voice of the public not being heard (listened to maybe, heard not).

What's that saying? Those that don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Just a thought.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Adding a New Dimension...

to the preps...ladies and gentlemen, I am now the parent of a "special needs" child. Funny how one little visit to the doc and one little test can take you from being the parent of a somewhat normal, happy, healthy kid into a googling the medical terms maniac.

The oldest screamer was diagnosed with bilateral permanent hearing loss (lower decible levels) a couple of days ago. Meaning: Hearing aides for the rest of his life as the condition (whether genetic or caused by birth trauma, at this time unknown) is irreversible by medication and/or surgery. Oldest screamer is 6. We do not yet know what kind of hearing aides (digital or analog) Tricare will pay for, or the full extent of the loss...have to get into the ENT for a consult and go from there.

But this means a whole new level for prepping. Specialized batteries, cleaning and care of stuff, etc. On top of that, I've pulled out the ASL book for a restart in lessons for the whole family this time. Basic signs for youngsters and us adults for now, then onto more intense stuff. Why? Well, because the condition MAY be progressive/degenerative, because I want to be able to talk to my child should the worst happen and finally, because it's the smart thing to do. Silent communication. Why not.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

What a Man Wants....

according to the Soldier/Spouse is a good single person netting do-dad, a tomahawk (traditional style for my Native man) and a good survival style knife that will do some serious damage in hand to hand (note: the above links are examples only, not certain).

So we hunt, read reviews and now ask for suggestions...give me pros, give me cons, give me links!!

(and yes, I can totally blog it here because someone might stumble on this post and find a survival item they've been missing!!)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Learning a new skill...

yeah baby!

The Spousal Unit wants lanyards, the clothing and sales NEVER has what's a wife to do? She learns a new skill so her sweetie (who has no crafting skills) can have what he wants. Yep, I'm learning how to make lanyards, lol.

Enter Stormdrane. With all the 550 cord we have around here, Stormdrane's is the perfect place for me! Knots is knots you might think, but nope...some of these babies are a bit on the difficult side, lol. So I'm looking at getting this (along with some others that have caught my eye) to have on hand and will be most assuredly keeping Stormdrane's place in the bookmarks.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Next Major Purchase...

for the household is something similar to this (link in English 'cause I like ya). Along with some totes and such...why? Because we have a serious lack of storage for the oodles of canned goods that I "hoard" here. Oh and the cases of shelf stable milk (not exactly the same, but close enough...and not half & half) I keep buying. Hey, it's only 41 cents (Euro) on the economy per carton...can't pass that one up.

After that a new bed for the Spousal Unit and myself may be in order but I'm thinking that new mattresses and slats would be way, way cheaper (and I'm right there). Of course there is always the continued purchasing of food items and other such things as would be needed to make it through several months of no fundage in the event of an extreme I've been keeping an eye on the ever flucuating pay (thanks non-stable COLA rate) and have decided that the most logical turn for a budget would be not to include said COLA. We're also going local (sorta) and switching our spot for main pay deposit...our little bank back in MO makes it a little bit of a pain in the rear to work with ATMs (fees and whatnot) which drives me batty as hell.

Just a little update from across the pond...a little trivial in light of current events, but an update none-the-less.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Watching CNN...

International (of course)...not so much controlled, imo.

I don't know what's top news there, but here the headlines are insane. Israel, Egypt, Gaza, the Koreas, China, Japan, the Euro and the German Presidental resignation and of course, BP and the Gulf...I'm exhausted just trying to keep up with that. Throw two little wild men into the mix along with school work (papers, presentations, etc) and the house...yeah, I'm tired.

But enough of my exhaustion...I want to know how your gardens grow? As I have no yard, no balcony and no place but some fairly narrow window sills in which to grow veggies, I am having garden withdrawals. I could totally grow tomatoes or something in the window sills, but the weather around here has been so freakish that I don't know how well they'd do. Very wet and pretty doggone cold for late May-going into June. So the sills are filled with petunias (bonus of having a ground floor).

Of course, all this really means is that I won't be canning this year unless the fruit/veg at the local market is so spectacular that I simply cannot pass up buying bushels of it (I have yet to be impressed but know I could be so if I took the trip to Frankfurt). Okay, fine...give me more time to explore the local locale and get to know the locals better, lol.

So, go on...brag on your gardens!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Free Pass...

I'm going to venture a wild guess and say that Israel will get one. If you haven't been splattered with the headlines yet, here's just one...

Concerning the flotilla carrying aid to Gaza through the blockade.

Of course, depending on which article you read, reports are varying from 2 to 10 people killed and dozens injured. Israel is saying that there was no attack and point out that the flotilla could deliver cargo through one of their ports (uh would have totally gotten there).

Now, let's look at it this way...let's just look at this situation like it should be looked at. Pretend Israel isn't Israel in this case, that it is some other country...say Iran...what kind of actions would be taken then, I wonder. Not a little "shame, shame" finger wagging...not a shake of the head with the "you're a bad boy" look on the face. Hell no. It would be loud, worldwide reprimands with calls for some sort of serious action to be made. But alas, it is Israel...there will be no serious consequences.

No wonder these people got punished by God so often in the Old Testament, no wonder that the New Testament focuses on spreading God's love to the rest of the world...someone up there knew that this particular leopard wouldn't really ever change its spots. There would be calls of foul play and war if the situation were reversed and Israel the one under a blockade that denies aid. Yup, sure would.

Since it is Israel that is doing the blockading, I'm guessing free pass. No big surpise there.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tick, Tick, Tick....

That is the sound of the clock...if you couldn't guess. The clock on what? Who knows! There is soooo much that could go wrong right now, so many things making headlines, that it's virtually impossible to choose.

It could be the clock ticking on world currencies (not just the Dollar and the Euro, btw).

It could be the clock ticking on yet another North and South war that we (the U.S.) will naturally have to dabble in.

It could be the clock ticking on the slow, oily death that is the BP mess.

It could be the clock ticking on a North v. South war of our own...or pro v. anti...or gov't v. the people...whatever the hell it gets called.

Tick, tick, tick...wonder which alarm will sound first. Doesn't matter, I don't think there are too many more that will wake up. Most will just hit snooze and drift right on back to sleep. Those of us that have been awake since 10 minutes before the alarm will be the ones to watch the scramble once the others realize just how late they've slept.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A Good a Time as Any...

to post the mid-year goals. The Spousal Unit is having screamer issues this morning and I'm tired of the volume so I'm escaping here, lol.

On a slightly more serious note, I'm feeling this particular article (h/t to ol' remus) so my sudden desire to have a set of short and longer term goals works well. I know it's coming, it always Empire, no matter how big or small, has ever gone untouched. No Empire has ever completely survived, they mutate and change, dropping into oblivion or becoming something entirely new. It's just the way things work. This Empire is no different.

So, I have some incredibly short term goals and a few longer term ones. Let's start with the short.

1. Have $1k in Euro on hand (cash, not in the bank) by mid June. Doable? Yes, it is. Sure, it is a lot...but no where near what we'd really need should something untoward happen to military pay (like a gov't IOU in the bank instead of cash).

2. Get all the credit cards paid off by end of June (assuming the crash doesn't do that for me). Not much to pay off (less than $500), but want it all paid and not sitting there.

3. Have all the little nagging, annoying things that are bugging me on the car fixed by the end of August. It passed inspection, but there are still a few small things that need to be fixed so that I'm totally comfortable with the whole long distance trip.

4. Be done with furniture purchase/replacement by November. We got rid of A LOT of stuff before the trek overseas...stuff that shouldn't have been hanging around because it was costing more to keep usable than it was worth. So, being that we are soooooo close to IKEA (don't start, it's good stuff) we are rebuilding the house. The only thing really left to get is a dining set, but since I'm making all the above plans and they take precedence the table will wait.

5. LONG term...since a deployment is forthcoming, so is some extra $$ (once again provided any upcoming crash doesn't mean an IOU in the bank). The plan is to stash all of the extra...all of it. If all of the above plans are complete, then there is no reason to need any of that extra for anything. Spousal Unit makes enough without the extra for us to get by and pay bills, so the extra will be just that.

See, simple and easy to achieve...without a market crash that affects the pay. Should there be a crash, well...just like everyone else the struggle will be a big one.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Mid-year goals...

since I don't do real New Year's resolutions, I'm going to take stock of where we sit over the next month and set some goals to have accomplished by year end. I know for sure a few monetary goals and such but will wait to post them all in one spot (for my tired brain to reference easily later on when I accidently delete my file or the screamers color up the print out).

Which leads me to this: did you set goals for yourself this year? Where are you sitting with them now?

Monday, May 17, 2010


Wow...there's actually a few good posts buried (as in John Wayne style of saying..."burreed") in here somewhere too...but this one is #200. Wouldn't have noticed if I hadn't been smacking a little hand away from the screen as I was clicking. Go figure.

Enough drivel...on to some chatter!

Made some nice purchases this weekend, danke to the bi-annual case lot sales that make their way around the military. Grabbed up some extra shampoo and the likes along with laundry detergent and tp...and for the oldest a case of his weakness...Cheez-its. I know, oh so healthy but now I can go grocery shopping begging for Cheez-its!! The sale was semi-decent...lots of diapering stuff like those new Cruisers that have been in the news (which we don't need), paper goods (Charmin, Small Steps, etc.), bathtime stuff (V05 and St. Ives) and detergent (Tide, Gain, Purex, etc)...not much else that we are into though. I think when the next sale rolls around in September I'll make the drive to a bigger post to see what they've got...maybe. I do have to say that I miss the Statesides sales when compared with ours here. As it is, we added to the preps quite well with this sale and will hopefully continue to stumble on some rocking deals.

I do have to give our post Thrift Store some props though. We've picked up a good chunk of "new to us" furniture lately...'tis the season for PCS and everyone is trying to make a little extra $$ with the selling of extra stuff. So we win with great deals on gently used for me as I have no issues with perfectly good furniture that's been a little loved. Besides, we picked up two vintage pieces for practically nothing. Call it Shabby Chic, lol.

And last but not least, you'll be pleased to know that my not-so-obsessive fabric and yarn hoarding will come to good use. I don't have THAT much, but dang it...I've got enough to do a little self-decorating. Self as in making curtains (since they cost an arm and a leg at the PX and I've not yet made an IKEA run) and later this spring/summer the knitting of hats, gloves and neck sweaters (aka scarves) for the screamer and myself. Not that I need them but dang if these kids just won't quit growing on me. I knew saving all that stuff would come in handy, as did buying off-cuts and such from the sale bins at JoAnn's and Wally World (when Wally World still had a semi-decent fabric section). My only downfall is the closest fabric store to me right now is a quilt shop with killer high end fabrics...heaven help the pocketbook if I ever get the guts to go in.

But then, if the Euro continues to tank...I may not need so much help!

Thursday, May 13, 2010


article prompted this:

Dear Afghanistan,

I am unwillingly sending you my husband soon. I would like to ask you to care for him but I know you won't. Instead you will make his day to day life miserable and dangerous. You will ask so much from him and give so little in return. Your people with both welcome and condemn him for being there to do what he has been ordered to do. He will be there to help, when you refuse to help yourselves.

You will continue to allow the Taliban bullies to push you to submission while my husband fights back against an enemy you aide. You will continue to complain about the loss of business and the failure of the U.S. (and other NATO countries) to help you build/re-build. You will do little to nothing in order to stand up for yourself, but never man is one of thousands that will and are trying make something more for your children and your future. All the while, we...his family...his wife, his children, his loved ones....will wait to see what our future will be. I do not relish the thought of my husband being in your hands, but I realize that is his job. And until the day it is no longer his job, he will do his best. Because that's the kind of man he is.

Now, there is soooooo much more that I would love to say but I've got a bee in my bonnet on another subject. Cars. Have mercy on my ever-loving opinionated soul but I am sick to death of being screwed around with via car buying.

Honestly, the few people that we've made attempts to purchase from either get us to the point of going to registration then back out or suddenly change their minds/demands/wtf ever and the whole deal falls through. I am sooooooooooo (there aren't enough o's) pissed at this whole situation.

First the prices are horrible for cars that are on their last f'ing want me to pay what for a used, barely working BMW that dates to the '90s? Why, pray tell? Because it's a Beemer and I'm American and you think way more of the car than what it's really worth? Sorry, wrong American...not a sucker thank you very much. I do know how to check the value on the GERMAN market...not the AMERICAN market. Afterall, little soldier we are not in America (though it does feel like it if you don't bother to wander afar from post) and if you would bother to do the same, you would realize that you are asking about $400-600 way too much.

Never fear though, some sap will come along and snap up the car thinking they got a fantastic deal. But that sap won't be me. You see, I'm not afraid of the bus/train system and damn it I'll use it. Might mean an overnighter when appointment time comes for the oldest screamer but so be it. That will still be cheaper than being taken to the cleaners by a crazy soldier selling a junker for twice it's worth.

Okay, crazy rant over for the to put dinner in the oven for the screamers. Apparently I'm starving them to death (p.s. it's only 3:30 p.m. here).

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


we totally thought we'd be able to swing it without a car. And we were!! came to light that the oldest has some pretty big hearing issues which will require treatment at a medical facility that our post no longer has a shuttle to...go figure! Alas, we are now absolutely going to have to do the whole car purchase thing.

Yes, the public transit rocks it...but with the oldest screamer now in DoD school (and loving it, totally thriving) the extreme timing between buses and trains will make it a bit ugly on days that treatment is scheduled. So, I am studying up for the test since I can't just renew my now expired license because it's been expired for over a year. Not stressing though, the test is pretty doggone easy in my previous experience.

Speaking of dogs...we broke down and got the youngest screamer a dog. But nobody tell her that, she's under the impression she belongs to me. English Cocker that now goes by the name Brownie. I wanted to name her Snack but the Spouse nixed that. Oh well...she's here and doing really well.

Oh my dear flooded friends, I am sorry...we have your weather and you have ours. The sun was stunning all week last week here...but never fear, the usual clouds have moved back in and it's been raining off and on the past few days (more off than on). Hope you dry out very soon and the damage is repairable.

Now, I'm off to fix some lunch...since I totally skipped breakfast in my hurried need to get stuff unpacked (yay for finally getting our stuff) and my bed put together!!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Hallo, Hallo...

my dear neglected readers! I swear, I've not abandoned's just been too incredibly sunny and beautiful here to not be out and about getting to know our surroundings better. No adventures on the bahnhof to report, yet, but I'm sure they are soon to be forthcoming. Especially as the oldest screamer is all agog over the prospect. Castle sightings were planned for the weekend, until the Tanker pulled Staff Duty and the weatherman declared that our long lost rain will be once again making an appearance.

The usual super rainy spring here has been anything but for the past week or so. Seems we're getting the weather that my Ozarks are supposed to have and they are getting ours. Not a bad trade for me!

We still await the mail getting back to normal and caught up due to the volcanic delays. Should be good by the end of the week, so "they" say...I don't care, I want my friggin' shoes that I ordered before the volcano went ape-shit. Soon enough I suppose, but it's getting mighty tiresome to actually have to tie on tennis shoes every time I need to step out the door (which translates into every time I do laundry).

The oldest screamer is now a DoD student and thriving. Loving it. Still ahead of the curve, but fitting in well with his new peers. Sigh of relief. Littlest screamer has made a few friends his own age too, something that was pretty much out when we were still Stateside consider there were no kids his age in the neighborhood. I noticed this morning though that when littlest screamer starts pre-K (or Sure Start as they call it here) the largest majority of his classmates will be of the female persuasion...heaven help me and my little flirt.

Depsite the horrid exchange rate, I've been finding some killer deals on everyday use items (i.e. shelf stable milk, toilet paper, etc) on the economy...another sigh, this time of me further excuse to explore the lovely little town outside the gates. On foot. That's right, we've pretty much decided that we won't be getting a car. Why bother? We have buses, trains and taxis that can be used for far less than the cost of gasing up a car. The Tanker isn't overly thrilled about this, but he'll live. He can get a new bicycle and be fine. Besides, all the walking is doing wonders for lifting my slowly sagging rear.

Hope all is well in reader to brew me some tea and rip into my vanilla sugar packs...mmmmmmmm.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Slowly Settling...

we're in our new digs...and waiting on our own goods to get here.

Been interesting in these parts the past few days, what with the sudden lack of planes/chem trails in the sky. Nice to look up and see blue sky with not a trace of any of that mess. Had a chat with the taxi driver that dragged me and the groceries home this a.m. about it...his brother in Frankfurt thinks it's eerie. No planes, no noise, no chem trails. Being that he shuttles from the airport up there he's anxious to see flights going again and worried about the whole continuing erruption. His bread and butter afterall.

Oh, forgot to drop this one on ya...the eldest screamer has decided he wants to give "school in a building" a shot again. Fine, 6 weeks left in the year so we'll see how he does. The youngest on the other hand has NO desire to go because "girls might kiss" him and he'll "have to marry them all." I'm not really sure where that kid came from.

Ah...the bed calls since I'll have to be alive and somewhat human for tomorrow's adventure at the school with teacher and counselors (I swear it takes less paperwork to get a license than to enroll a kid in school).

Much love to ya'll weathering the storms (in more ways than one) in the States.

Monday, April 5, 2010


totally. And at last adjusted to the time difference. Not much to say about our little area here except that the lovely hills have knocked 8lbs off my rear and have given me a bit more tone to the legs (not that they were shabby...just sayin'). We await housing and are holed up in the post hotel at the moment. The screamers are adjusting pretty well, I think. Excited, whiny when we walk to the Com/PX but liking it thus far.

I did learn something on my time SHOULD NOT read "The Stand" while they are battling a severe case of bronchitis. SHOULD NOT. As usual, the book is way better than the movie (yes, I hadn't yet read the is on my re-read list, while NOT sick).

Hope all is well in reader land and yes, I do get the news...I'm well aware of the goings on in the world...just don't have the time to jump in the fray at the moment.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Slim Pickins'...

around here lately...not that there isn't anything to blog about, but let's be honest...what can I say about current events that hasn't yet been said in one blog or another on the web.

Besides, I'm a bit on the busy side here. Packing is finito as of tomorrow, plane is a callin' as of next week and Germany will be home for a bit. Good or bad.

Naturally, with all things owned in boxes and making way across the ocean I will find myself with a bit o' time on my hands. Mayhap to blog, mayhap to explore...either way, I'll be trying (note that...trying) to keep up with the blog when I've got a connection. No promises...I'll try.

As it stands, there will be nada in the way of connection after the end of the week and likely less inspiration as I spend the next week doing the mad rush of those that only have a week left until there is a cross world move.

So I bid a short farewell (at least a week and a half, lol) until we are landed, slightly settled and ready to reconnect with the blogosphere.

Keep your heads up and eyes never ever know when the perfect opportunity will present.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


the boys, the Spouse and myself indulged last night in a pleasure we so rarely get to experience...we hit the Barnes & Noble in E-town for a little hands on book shopping.

It was fun, we all found something we wanted and the screamers played at the train table whilst Mommy shopped around for some books to add to our "learning to read" list. Mommy was quite happy thumbing along until she ran up on this monstrousity: D is for Democracy

Yes, ladies and gentlemen...the ugly you can't guess what T is of in that book. You got it! Taxation and according to that particular book (paraphrasing here but it's damn close to what it says) "no longer the fees of kings, they help us pay for many things." Yak, gag, gross...okay, so even the Spouse curled his nose when I said something about it and said he'd rather read the screamers "Too Purply"...which means you know it's bad.

I'm not really surprised...honestly. When Sid the Science Kid starts rambling on about the importance of vaccines and flu shots, it's hard to be surprised about the level to which "they" will stoop in order to reign in young minds.

On a side note, Missouri just changed their homeschooling laws. Parents are now required to keep a log, use the same school year AND hours (1000 w/ 650 being IN HOME)...gone are the send a letter to the school saying you're homeschooling days. Hello control. It's all politics, of course. But then, it pops up just as this happens...interesting, no?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

It has been asked....

how I got started on this prep/survival trip. I haven't really shared that here but figured "what the hey"...may as well.

Back in 2006, shortly after the youngest screamer was born, the Spouse and myself decided it was time to put down some roots and buy a house. Being incredibly unversed in the process, we got screwed with some shady lending practices (oh, shock and disbelief) and ended up being reemed by a surprise tax and insurance bill the following year. We were under the impression that said taxes and insurance were escrowed into the mortgage...they were not...we were actually told by the lawyer rep'ing the mortgage company AT THE SIGNING that they were...they were not...the ORIGINAL loan docs said they were....the company that bought the loan chose not to honor that particular point in the contract and did not inform us of the change. Said taxes did eventually get escrowed into the mortgage BUT doubled the mortgage payment (nice, eh?). What would have been a non-issue the previous year was a serious issue. You see, about 5 months after purchasing, the Spouse lost his job on a technicality (which the same company used to release several of its long time, higher paid employees and hire lower paid temps...nice, eh?). The Spouse was making less than half of what he had been making at home purchase time and we were on a less than shoestring budget when the tax bomb dropped.

We fell behind...a lot. Long story short, the house went into forclosure and we jingle mailed the mortgage company. No way we were going to pay what would end up being 3x's the actual value of a house that was killing our youngest child without us knowing (different story, another time). We were essentially homeless. Everything went into a Uhaul and we moved from KY to MO, staying with my parents for 3 months before the Spouse became gainfully employed and we got our own place. Sounds like current events doesn't it? Only way it a foretelling of the future, lol. In the end the mortgage company got their money via short sell and then, we did not see the extra because they loopholed (wow, another shocker) by selling the house BACK to themselves then selling it to someone else. Just shows on the credit report as a closed account with late payments in 2008...go figure.

At any rate, that particular snafu in our lives led me to finding a way to pad our meager means. It became a slight obsession at first, the quest to keep us fed, clothed and no longer living paycheck to paycheck (not easy to do on $8hr for a family of four). To be honest, it took a very long me at least. We're darn near longer relying on the system to supplement our food needs, no debt other than fairly minor student loans and no longer living paycheck to paycheck. We have enough foodstuffs put by to last us quite a while if needed (though they will soon enough be on a boat to Germany) and I know that if I have to I can make the clothing we need in addition to other household stuff.

It's a nice place to be, this small comfort zone. But it's not complete, meaning I haven't relaxed. There is always something else that can be done to further the comfort, something else that can increase the self-reliance. This is a journey, a quest per can X be done in a better way for example?

So there you have it...the story of how one "things" obsessed family became drawn to this lifestyle...or at least a part of it. The biggest part of it.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Preaching to the Choir...

in hopes that a non-Choir member may stumble here and find something sorta worthwhile.

Many (many, many, many) Americans are just now waking up. Many are still sleeping but I have to say I've given up on them. There are only so many times a person can try to make a difference to those that refuse to see any other way. We'll ignore them for now...though they will become "the problem" later when things start getting really rough. Right now the focus is on the newly awakened (I'm pretty sure that's not the proper bit o' English but don't particularly care).

Welcome. Sucks to see all that hard earned cash/junk/wanted stuff slowly disappear, don't it? Be honest. Now, you want more gut punches? What could you have gotten instead of that 46" flat screen LCD TV that would actually help you in the event of a full systemic crash or even local emergency? Ouch...yeah, it hurts.

Let's break it down, shall we?

Flour Mill
Dehydrated Foods
Water Filter
Emergency Shelter

I could really go on and on. But I won't because I know...I am preaching to the choir. If you've recently joined the choir you still have a little time left to get yourself fixed up with goods before it gets too awful bad. TEOTWAWKI doesn't always mean huge, massive upheaval in a global sense ya know. It means "as we know it"...and what my generation knows is time of plenty where one could buy what they want/need when they wanted/needed for the most part. Times are a changin' my fellow X and Y'ers if you haven't noticed. The dollar isn't worth much and frankly the good ol' USA is following the dollar's path in the rest of the world's view. Do you honestly think that the (s)elected officals in your city/county/state/federal governments are going to have your back? Um, not likely.

The time has come (the Walrus said) grow up. Seriously. We are a spoiled country for the most part. Take responsibility and grow the heck up. Do something to provide for yourself and your loved ones in time of need/crisis. In other words, don't stand there scratching your rearend in the middle of the train track while the 5:30 Express comes barreling in your direction.

Put aside something tangible AND useful, learn a skill that you thought only "poor" people needed to know, plant something that you can eat eventually and learn to NOT run to the store when you run out of X,Y or Z...figure out a substitute or do without. You'll be amazed at how much money you save (that's the green stuff that you find less and less of in your wallet nowadays, btw) and how much better you feel about yourself. Take a little pride in getting your hands dirty with manual labor (heaven forbid) and providing something you made/raised/grew to your family. Get your rear in gear folks...or be prepared to relive the standing in soup lines stories you heard from older relatives in a firsthand version.

***The above rant was brought to you by entirely too much coffee while working on getting things organized so that the movers coming on the 16th do NOT pack up a bag of trash/potatoes/or anything else that I wouldn't want sitting on a boat for 6+ weeks***

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


First Haiti, then Chile (or Chill-ay, if you are so trying to go native) Missouri....well, kinda but not really. No damage lives lost. Has to make you wonder though if we aren't ignoring a "sleeping giant" in our own backyard. Wait, I know they are. Have you seen Sikeston? Sprawled out all over and not really earthquake friendly.

Did I feel it being that they felt it in Lexington, KY which is way further away? Nope. I peacefully napping away at 1:37 p.m. Hey, I get to nap too if I want. Stay-at-home mom privilage. Besides, we're fighting some sort of stealth bug that is playing ninja strike. Coming and going as it dang well pleases. No fevers, so no real worries other than the damn thing has been around a few days and I'm so tired of it already.

Now, I'm off to figure out what's for dinner...not that anyone is really hungry.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Waiting Game....Part II

For those that aren't, have never been or ever had anyone remotely related or close to them in the Service...I apologize. This is the part that those outside rarely hear about or if they do they sort of brush it off as a "no big deal" kinda thing. But this part, the part where you as a spouse/servicemember must let it go and wait, is a biggie. The part where you have all of your paper ducks in a row but you now have to wait on the overproccessed bureaucracy of the military.

The Waiting Game.

If you didn't already know, the Army's real motto is not "Army Strong" (or whatever it is this week)'s "Hurry up and wait" (p.s. I liked the name of the group, lol)...seriously.

You bust your hump, pulling DD forms out of thin air that must be filled out and turned in by 0830 yesterday, kissing butt of unhappy workers (usually civilian contractors) that think you are taking up too much of their Bejeweled time (a game, if you don't know) just to be sure that your end of the deal is upheld in a timely manner. Then you....wait. Wait on order changes, wait on passports, wait on flight dates, wait on transportation, wait....and wait some more.

During all of this waiting you get a half million gazillion phone calls that are updates with nothing new to report. You also make a half million gazillion phone calls to make sure that the hold up isn't caused by you and one measely little form that states you aren't infected with the Southeast Mid-Atlantic Seafoam Bluegrass Orange disease or blind. Because heaven forbid you forget to initial that 1mm line that says so. Then you wait some more.

I am not a patient person by nature. It does not bring out the sweetness in me to be kept waiting. It also does not bring out the sweetness in me to be spoken to like an idiot because I interrupted your Solitaire game in order to ask you to do your job (hello lady @ FLW transportation).

So though we have orders and a fly date...we still wait.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


~~Warning: the following post is chock full of intense sarcasm and downright snarkiness. No apologies are made for hurt feelings or trite comments.~~

We got our "money's worth" did we?  Whatever VP.

Glad you think so in your bunker hidden beneath...wait, we aren't supposed to know, remember. Open mouth, insert foot do that incredibly well. Be sure to say that line again when the estimated 5 million folks currently depending on unemployment get cut off in a few months. We got our money's worth alright...wonder how all those that voted FOR you and the Prez are feeling right about now...wonder how many of them are set to get cut off come June?

This year is shaping up to be a doozy. A big fat wake up call for millions of folks that have been happily floating along in a daze of sublime bullshit. It's not yet too late to do a little something that will help in the lean times to come (maybe a few months), but seriously at this point how many are going to listen...after all, the government will save them. Oops, forgot about Katrina, Ike and Haiti (which really isn't our responsibility but there is that whole damned if you do, damned if you don't thing) already haven't they? Yep, government will save you you right into non-being. How many less mouths to feed is that now? (I can see them asking one another over their lattes in a bunker filled with everything they themselves need to survive.)

Keep right on believing that folks, keep floating along on your lazy dazy river of are safe, secure and nothing can touch your serene little lives that are wrapped up in bubble wrap. Yep, believe it.

For those that are just waking up...welcome to the real world. You know, the one were a big chunk of us have been living for quite some time now. Paycheck to paycheck sucks...having one doesn't. No credit cards sucks...but no credit card bills doesn't. Take that $$ that you would spend on some new gadget (coming from a self-professed gadget lover whose last purchase of that sort was MONTHS ago...aka the laptop) and buy some long lasting staples (beans, rice, flour, sugar, yeast, etc). Oh, and do try to learn to cook with them...or don't if you feel like having food that you don't know how to use. Or buy a bunch of overprocessed, packaged crap with instructions on the outside of the box then enjoy the chemicals coursing through your ever clogging arteries and veins. Up to you.

Frankly, watching the oncoming train wreck is giving me a migraine. Worse is watching so many that refuse to see what's coming. "More things, must have more useless things" I can practically hear them chanting as they checkout at Big Box store. Go on, go ahead...I give you permission...more things. After all, it is the American consumers' fault that we are still in a slacking economy and the jobless rate is going to stay high. Spend, spend, spend your way out of obviously works.

This is tiring and disheartening. This watching the ever spiraling swirl as the whole mess circles the drain. We've come so far in the past 100 years, but we are no better off now (as a country/nation/species) because many know how to do for themselves (aka grow food, cook food from scratch, survive on the real basics, etc)?

Watching the train/swirl is like watching history repeat in slow see it coming, you know it's on its way but seriously there is nothing that you as one person can do other than shout "don't you see it" to people who refuse to listen. I feel like a tornado warning siren in a trailer park...letting you know it's there, it's coming but watching as you seek shelter in the worst possible place. Disheartening.

Sunday, February 7, 2010


You know the saying, "The best laid plans....."

I am faced with a dilemma...a problem.  And yes, it involves the preps.  While I am quite content that what we have on hand is enough to see us through a fairly good amount of time (not years, maybe a year) I am faced with the undeniable fact that I can't take it with me.  Weight limits et al put a stop to that thought.  So I am left standing over the preps, trying to decide what comes with and what says with the folks.

I also have to think on the possibility that our "household" goods will be delayed (sometimes it happens...months of happening).  Which means stuff sitting in port with all the port related creatures (bugs, rats, mice, thieves, etc).  Sure, it's covered under "insurance" but that doesn't keep the mind to secure, insurance doesn't always pay.  You see the dilemma, I hope.

What to take, what to isn't as if I can't rebuild, but that takes months.  It isn't as if I can take everything (some items prohibited) but I hate to leave so much behind.

The problem plagues me.

So I pose this question to you, dear readers...what would you do (and no, staying is not an option...sorry)?  What essentials would you take on a 3300+ mile trek, halfway across the world, to start anew?

(I also thought it would be an interesting study of comparisons...old time 1800's pioneers vs modern...responses should be intriguing I think.)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

This should be Interesting....

orders came down...we are off to the EU...interesting, no?

I now get to play "run around like a mad woman" in order to have all the proper paper ducks in a happy little quacking row so the screamers and myself can actually fly WITH the Spouse vs. sitting here waiting for the process to start from over "there", right?

So the blog morphs again in a fashion...American prepping for those sometimes super harsh German winters in Germany.  And that haven't been overseas will be in for a treat.  I plan on putting up perfect examples of the fantastic gardens that I grew to love on our first tour.  True square foot gardening.  Beautiful.

My own garden will be a complete experiment and completely depends on the possibility of a yards where we'll be so far as I can tell.  At least not for a low ranking peon like the Spouse, lol.

There ya have it.  Ozark Momma will be leaving the Ozarks soon...with a little luck mid-March.  I can't tell you how thrilled (really, seriously, no joking thrilled) we are to be going.  Even the screamers are excited.

Monday, February 1, 2010


I had a birthday.  Yep, another year added to the been there, done that list.  Some time during all the wild celebrating (we sat around in jammies all day...but I did actually get a full cup of coffee in me before it got cold...woot) I thought about how once upon a time in human development I would have been considered a senior citizen at the ripe old age of 33.  Then I pondered the implications of that and decided that if I lived in a more open-minded and humor-filled area I may try for a senior discount at McD's using the Neanderthal excuse.

Alas, I do not live in such an area.  Do not even speak the words evolution here...the eyes kinda glaze over et al.  The standard 'round here is that we are pretty much now just as we have always been and always will be.  So that thought being thought and nipped in the bud, I began to ponder how many useful calories were in my coffee from which I moved on to thinking about lunch plans for today with my little men.  After that, I thought about going out to play in the snow, but it was nap time.

You see how my day went.  And a brief look into how my mind tends to jump about thinking on random/useless things...I wonder if this is a sign of aging?

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.
The true danger is when liberty is nibbled away, for expedience, and by parts. --Edmund Burke