Friday, November 30, 2007


Woo-hoo! I'm off to SpouseBuzz Live to meet my imaginary friends!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

ghost story

This is my 3 year old telling a ghost story:

It was a dark, dark night! A dark, dark night.
There was a dark, dark woods! A dark, dark woods!
In the dark, dark woods there was a dark, dark house!
A dark, dark house. A dark, dark house,
In the dark, dark house there was a dark, dark room!
A dark, dark room.
In the dark, dark room there was a dark, dark box!
A dark, dark box.
In the dark, dark box there was a GHOST!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. It's been so warm lately that, except for the leaves all over my yard, it doesn't really feel like that time of year yet. Plus, Stretch isn't with us this year. So, what to do? Several friends in my neighborhood decided to join forces. We're going to the Club this year. None of us has to cook and it is right around the corner from our neighborhood. We'll be four families with only one dad between us. The others are all deployed. So the kids will outnumber us. But we don't have to cook! And we're hoping the lone dad will entertain the kiddos to a certain degree. I would feel sorry for him, but I'm too tired this year.

Despite the trials of this past year, I am thankful for several things. I'm thankful that everyone in my family is healthy. I'm thankful for great friends and family that are helping to make this year bearable. I'm thankful to Marna Krajeski for including my essays in her upcoming anthology Household Baggage Handlers. And I'm thankful for our military family.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Confession: I prefer the commissary

I was an Army brat before I was a Marine wife. Commissaries have always been a part of my universe. When it comes to grocery shopping, the commissary is my comfort zone. I know that I won't have access to one next year, and I'm already dreading it. Sure, there are all the complaints about commissaries. The produce usually leaves something to be desired. They should be avoided like the plague on paydays. I know this.

But a few weeks ago I had to go into a civilian grocery store. I actually got a bit disoriented. Then I realized that it's always like that when I go to one of those. They seem familiar yet strange at the same time. Almost like an alternate universe.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

"Daddy is a superhero"

Big Sis had a writing assignment for school today. She had to draw a picture of a family member in the military. Then she had to write a story about this person including what their job is, why they are important (to the child and to our country). First, she drew the picture, labeled at the top with "My tall dad" then we set about writing.

I was afraid I was going to have to explain what Stretch's job is. The only problem is that I'm not always sure if I know, let alone trying to explain to a 7 year old. So, I asked her what Daddy's job is. She answered with "His job is to save the world."

Of course, I ruined it by asking if she really thought that was Daddy's job. She ended up writing this: "My dads job is helping peaple. I like that job. [Right] now my dad is saving our country. He is importent to my becase it is an importent job. And also becase he is my dad. I miss him and love him a lot. He is [important] to our country becase he helps America."

Friday, November 09, 2007

Happy 232nd Birthday, Marines!

I realized something recently: This will be the first time in nine years that I won't be attending a Marine Corps Birthday Ball with my husband. We've been apart for birthdays and anniversaries but this is the first year we will miss a Ball. And somehow, that makes me sadder than the birthdays or anniversaries he's missed. It was always the one guaranteed date night of the year where we'd get dressed up and (usually) have a fun evening with friends. And let's face it, these guys clean up really well in their Dress Blues or Mess Dress.

On November 10, 1775, the U.S. Marine Corps was born in Tun Tavern. That's right, they got their start in a bar. Explains a lot, doesn't it? Anyway, since I won't be attending a Ball this year, I decided to celebrate by sharing some of my favorite Marine Corps quotes:

"The Marines have landed and have the situation well in hand!" ~Richard Harding Davis

"Retreat hell! We just got here!" ~Capt. Lloyd Williams, USMC (WWI)

"Teufelhunde! [Devil Dogs]" ~German soldiers, WW I at Belleau Wood

"So they've got us surrounded, good! Now we can fire in any direction, those bastards won't get away this time!" ~Chesty Puller, USMC (Korea)

"The safest place in Korea was right behind a platoon of Marines. Lord, how they could fight!" ~Maj. Gen. Frank Lowe, U.S. Army

"Panic sweeps my men when they are facing the American Marines." ~captured North Korean Major

"I hate for there to be a fight, and me not be in it." ~Marine on CNN's "Devil Dog Diaries"

Excerpts from a speech by RADM J. Stark, USN:
"... it occurred to me that the services could be characterized by different breeds of dogs...
The Air Force reminded me of a French Poodle. The poodle always looks perfect ... sometimes seems a bit pampered ... always travels first class. But don't ever forget that the poodle was bred as a hunting dog and in a fight it's very dangerous.
The Army is kind of like a St. Bernard. It's big and heavy and sometimes seems a bit clumsy. But it's very powerful and has lots of stamina. So you want it for the long haul.
The Navy, God bless us, is a Golden Retriever. They're good natured and great around the house. The kids love 'em. Sometimes their hair is a bit long ... they go wandering off for long periods of time, and they love water.
... Marines I see as two breeds, Rottweilers or Dobermans, because Marines come in two varieties, big and mean, or skinny and mean. ...They're aggressive on the attack and tenacious on defense. They've got really short hair and they always go for the throat. That sounds like a Marine to me!
So what I really like about Marines is that 'first to fight' isn't just a motto, it's a way of life. From the day they were formed at Tun Tavern 224 years ago, Marines have distinguished themselves on battlefields around the world. From the fighting tops of the Bonhomme Richard, to the sands of the Barbary Coast, from the swamps of New Orleans to the halls of Montezuma, from Belleau Wood, to the Argonne Forest, to Guadacanal, and Iwo Jima, and Okinawa and Inchon, and Chosen Reservoir and Hue City and Quang Tri and Dong Ha, and Beirut, and Grenada, and Panama, and Somalia and Bosnia and a thousand unnamed battlefields in godforsaken corners of the globe. Marines have distinguished themselves by their bravery, and stubbornness and aggressive spirit, and sacrifice, and love of country, and loyalty to one another.
They've done it for you and me, and this Country we all love so dearly. And they asked for nothing more than the honor of being a United States Marine.
And that's why I like Marines!"

For some reason, I really like the "We don't promise you a rose garden" recruiting poster (actually I prefer the female version but couldn't find it). Maybe it's the "truth in advertising" aspect of it.
*Thanks to Meredith for finding the female version for me!

Happy Birthday, Marines! And Semper Fi!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Names, names, names...

So the husband isn't too thrilled about being referred to as "Hubs" on the blog. And I don't blame him. As blog-names go, it's pretty lame. I only started using it because it was quick to type and I didn't want to use DH. But clearly, after looking around at some other mil-spouse blogs, I've really fallen short on giving him a blog-name (yes, and also on naming the kids). He hasn't liked any of my ideas so far. So, I'd love to have some suggestions.

Wrong number. Sort of.

The cell phone rang and when I answered, I heard a male voice. But it wasn't my husband. He identified himself as LtCol Somebody and then said, "I'm trying to reach...(um)...Basil." Really? Okay, sure. So, I told him he'd reached a wrong number.

Other than being annoyed that I've been getting several wrong number calls on my cell phone lately, I didn't give it any more thought. Then my husband called later that day. Mid-way through our conversation, he suddenly asked if anyone called looking for "Basil." Well, that's a little weird. How did he know?

He's been traveling lately and had apparently been borrowing someone's cell phone to call me. (No, I didn't ask where he was where a cell phone would even work.) Anyway, the owner of the phone accidentally called me. Afterward, he saw my husband and said, "Hey, Stretch, I think I called your wife. The good news is Basil's not there."

Little things

Communication had been very sporadic the past week and I was missing the contact with my husband. Just when I was really getting lonely for him, he emailed me some pictures of him. It helped.

Sunday, November 04, 2007