Tuesday, July 31, 2007

When it rains...

A couple of months ago, we had a heavy rainstorm. The next morning, I found that our back wall was literally crumbling away. I contacted the maintenance department (we live in privatized base housing). Several people came by to look at it over the next several weeks (yes, I said "weeks" not "days"), including 2 different sub-contractors. After over 3 weeks of this, I was pretty fed up and physically went to the leasing office. While I was there, they were trying to reach me because the contractor was at my house to do the repairs. No one had bothered to tell me they were coming! So the repairs were made and completed just in time for in-laws to visit. They finished the work in the afternoon. My in-laws arrived at dinner-time. Let's not cut it too close, guys. This wouldn't have been a sticking point except the guest room is right across the hall from the door in the picture!

By the way, the first picture is the baseboard on the wall that needed replacing. See that huge hole in it? I was told they would fix that by filling it with caulk. I replied that wasn't going to do it for me and that the baseboard needed replacing. I said this to at least 2 men. I got another baseboard.

So contractors fixed our back wall near the back door (inside and out) as well as the roof a couple of weeks ago. Well, it rained yesterday. Hard. There was a waterfall where our backdoor is supposed to be. See the picture.

Then the windowsill was completely wet. I took pictures to document it all. Then I printed the pictures and took them down to the leasing office this morning. The ladies there were pretty aghast at the sight. Especially since they knew this was an ongoing problem. One of them remembered me from the last time I was in there about the wall. So, around noon, 2 of the ladies from the leasing office, the work order manager, the area maintenance supervisor, and the contractor all converged on our house to see and discuss.

Later, a maintenance man brought a dehumidifier that is now plugged in and draining into the downstairs shower. It is currently blocking the back door. Hopefully, it will only be here for a couple of days. He also fixed the powder room toilet (again). And looked at the cracked stair (again) and will be ordering a replacement. When that gets here, he'll replace the stair and caulk the others. Is caulk the new duct tape?!

The contractor is supposed to call me tomorrow to let me know when they will be back to do yet more work on the roof and back wall area (on the outside this time). If I don't get that call, I can assure you that I will be making some phone calls of my own! Hell hath no fury as a milspouse in an unsat house with small children and a deployed husband.

I joke that the house is falling down around my ears but sometimes I wonder if the joke isn't on me! But then, hubs is deployed, so, OF COURSE, all this is happening. See all the fun he's missing?

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Coaching (warning: yet another potty story)

Starting July 1, L'il Sis and I got serious about this potty training business. What finally got her over her fear of release? Would you believe a Tinkerbell nightgown? Yes, that's all it took. And she hasn't looked back. Sort of.

L'il Sis has been wearing her big girl underpants (cotton training pants) during the day and doing a fabulous job. She hasn't had an accident during the day in ages. But. Well, let's say, "Houston, we have a problem." This one is more common than her fear of release problem, from what I hear. Girlfriend is constipated. I have plied her with apple juice and anything else that I think will provide her with fiber and kept her hydrated. Yet, she's only managed the deed once in a week's time. And that one time... I sounded like a labor coach. Seriously. There I was, cheering her on, encouraging her to "push, push it out...you can do it." It was just so wrong!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Devil Pup

Claire is a true Devil Pup. Lately, her rendition of "B-I-N-G-O" includes this refrain:

"E- N-C-O...E -N-C-O!"

(*an NCO is a non-commisioned officer such as a sergeant)

movie review

I watched Billy Connolly in "The Man Who Sued God" (2001) last night. It's an Aussie flick and was entertaining with an interesting premise. Connolly plays Steve Myers, a lawyer turned fisherman, whose boat is destroyed by lightning. When the insurance company refuses to pay up, citing the "act of God" clause, Myers decides to go after God, or rather his representatives on Earth, for the money. The churches and synagogues find themselves in an interesting position: either they admit liability and open the flood gates to untold claims or prove that God doesn't exist, making them frauds. At any rate, Myers isn't really attacking the religions; he's really after the shyster insurance companies. The film is witty and well worth the time spent watching it. That said, for those unfamiliar with Billy Connolly, supposedly Robin Williams once said that anyone can swear but only Billy Connolly can make it poetry. I'm not sure I'd go that far, but there you have it.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

warning: rant ahead

Let me preface this by saying that July has been a difficult month for me (yes, I know it's not over yet!). There are several reasons for this. It's our anniversary month and we're not even on the same continent. We are 5 months into this deployment and this is the month I've really hit a wall. Maybe it's because I really want to get into homecoming mode but homecoming is so far away I can't even see it! Even R & R seems a long way away (and will be over much too fast). Maybe it is the anticipation of R & R and how hard it will be when he leaves again to finish the deployment. Maybe I'm just ready for school to start again. Whatever the reason, this is really not the month to try my patience with foolishness. Okay, my family and friends will probably say there's never a good time for that. I admit it; stupidity really gets on my nerves. So you've been forewarned. Proceed at your own risk.

At the end of the month, my sister and her family (including 4 kids, 3 of whom are not yet school-age); my mom and stepfather; my 2 kids and I are all going to a beach house. We're celebrating my mother's birthday and spending time together. As we are so spread out, we don't get the chance to all be together often. Keep this in mind.

A woman at my sister's church overheard her talking about our plans. I'll call her Ima (you can fill in the last name yourself). Later, she contacts my sister and gives her a sob story about losing her mother last year, who was apparently also her babysitter. Ima goes on to say that she and her family will also be at the same beach and that it will be their wedding anniversary. It would be such a blessing if my sister could watch her 2 kids for them so they could get a night to themselves. They haven't had a night out since her mother became sick. Oh, and she'd only expect my sister to watch her kids for 5 hours!

My sister tried a tactful approach by saying that she didn't think it would be a good idea as we'd be taking mom out for dinner one night. Not taking the hint, Ima said another night would work for them as well. The nerve! Ima said it would be such a blessing for her and her husband to get to spend an anniversary just as a couple. My sister pointed out that it was my anniversary month, too, and my husband is deployed to a war zone so I spent it without him. At any rate, Ima kept persisting despite my sister telling her no.

Who does this? I can't imagine intruding into another family's vacation in this way. Or another family's reunion. And the nerve of her, trying to guilt a virtual stranger into babysitting for her by telling her what a blessing it would be. My sister wisely refused to give me Ima's phone number. She knows I'd give Ima an earful of blessings.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


I caught this over at Andi's World. I love how articulate Andi is in addressing the core issue of being a family member of a deployed servicemember, regardless of personal politics. Some Soldier's Mom also addressed the same op-ed piece written by a Marine's mother and was equally eloquent.

Also a great post on perspective.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

title change

I've been trying to come up with a new title for months now. Everything sounded so... well, not quite right. So, let's try "Dragonfly" and see how it fits.

Why did I pick this? The first year we were in Korea, my husband had the opportunity to go to Jeju-do. I couldn't go that year, but he brought back a beautiful dragonfly cell phone fob. It had a curved silver body and purple amythyst-like wings. Unfortunately, I lost it right before we moved from Korea. So I guess it reminds me of him. It also reminds me of our time in Korea and, by extension, my Korean heritage (I'm half). Plus, I just think they're pretty!

The fact that they seem to flit from place to place seems to fit, too. Lately, it seems we are always moving! Yes, even more than is usual for a military family.

Happy Anniversary

We picked Ruth 1:16-17 as our scripture reading for our wedding ceremony. At the time, I thought I knew what those words meant. I'm sure lots of military couples choose this passage. If they don't, they should! Truer words were never spoken: "Where you go, I will go; where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God." Well, we've done that in spades!

In our wedding album, I incorporated a lot of quotes about love. Here are two of my favorites. I think they're pretty appropriate, too:

"Do not think that love, in order to genuine, has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired." ~Mother Teresa

"How lucky that we two should meet and make each other's lives complete." ~Unknown

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

the sound of freedom

Happy Independence Day, everyone!

I clicked over to Jenny ("The Sound of Freedom") and was inspired to write about our family's "sound of freedom."

When Big Sis was just nine months old, we went to our base's parade ground on the 4th of July because my husband's battery was in charge of the gun salute that year. Now, when I say "gun," I should explain that my husband is an artilleryman so these were howitzers. I had Big Sis strapped into her umbrella stroller and we were on the opposite side of the parade ground. Then, as they were readying to fire the guns, I put my hands over her ears in an attempt to protect them. Hey, these things are LOUD!

A round was fired every minute until the 3 guns completed the 21-gun salute. That's over 20 minutes of incredibly loud booms. And Big Sis was getting irritated. Oh, not by the noise of the guns. That didn't faze her a bit. No, it was Mom trying to cover her ears that bothered her. She fussed and pushed my hands away. She was a true Redleg Baby. Those loud, house-shaking booms weren't noise. That was the sound of freedom.