27 December 2008

Reality Check.

I had a bit of a reality check while we were (are) home for the holidays. I always knew that this Deployment was going to suck. I knew it was going to suck to be apart from Swiss and be a "single" again. I knew we were going to miss out on a lot of things. But I don't think I really thought hard about what that meant.

This Christmas seemed so precious. And sitting amongst our family with presents and food and laughter, I almost cried when I thought about Swiss not being here for this next year. I started to think about all of the missed Birthdays, our first anniversary spent thousands of miles apart, watching the fireworks on the 4th alone, not having Swiss in the stands for our softball games, missed Thanksgivings (which is my favorite), a New Year's without Swiss to kiss at midnight, a hunting season without him, a football season with no one to curse our favorite team, missing the changing of the seasons, missing hot cocoa after shoveling the snow, ... the list goes on, and I am sure you all know what I speak of. But I'll tell you what: all of those realities hit me like a ton of bricks.

We are getting short on time together, the D-date is nearing ever faster. And no matter how hard I try to sear the sight, smell and feel of Swiss, I feel like nothing will stick. And no matter how hard I try to stretch out the moments we have together, time keeps flying by. I don't like it, not one bit. But I will keep on trying, keep on making the most of what time we have left before the big D. Its really the only option.

Anyway, I hope that all of you had a very Merry Christmas and that you are enjoying the holidays with the ones you love. May your New Year's be grand and here's to a safe, swift 2009.

21 December 2008


We made it back home up North. We pulled an all nighter drive to beat an upcoming storm and avoid icy roads. Boy, that sucked. We are so not as young as we used to be! I remember all-nighters being fun in college... anyway, we are back home safe and sound, spending the holidays with the ones we love and enjoying the massive amounts of snow.

I truly hope that each and every one of you and your families have a joyful, warm, loving, wonderful Holiday season. Best wishes from Swiss and I!

PS- LAW, I took lots of photos of the snowy goodness... I'll post them when we get back! :)

19 December 2008

Wish us luck!

We are about to head out.
Due North.
Into Abnominal Snowman Country.

Near as we can tell, we have freezing rain and copious quantities of snow to look forward to. Iowa is listed (yes, the entire state of Iowa) as "Difficult/Dangerous" road conditions and my parents over in Wisconsin got a foot of snow overnight... heck, video footage of my hometown was on the Weather Channel today... that's a lot of snow if you make it to the Weather Channel. If I were a kid I would be giddy... sledding! snowmen! SNOW DAY!!!

But we are hoping to find a seam in the storms and make it home by Sunday. Keep your fingers crossed and hope for good weather! Swiss and I wish you all a very Merry Christmas/Hanukkah and a stellar start to the New Year.

Thanks for all of your support and friendship! Happy Holiday Internets!

18 December 2008


I have none. We may have bought Guitar Hero last night at the PX. And I may have a blister on my thumb and cramps in my other hand. See? No restraint.

Plus it is rainy, cold, damp and foggy out today. I say that is a perfect day to OD on video games. Aah, the joys of not working. But I do get to pack tonight (Yippie!) and we have to get everything in order for the journey north. It is hard to believe we've been down here for 3 weeks already, and D day seems like it is coming faster and faster. Watching Swiss work on his web gear and body armour when he is home on lunch brings a lump to my throat. I'm hoping that this holiday will be stress-free (or at least close to it) and that we can really take some time to enjoy this holiday. Sometimes it feels like certain family members are oblivious to the fact that he is leaving, soon, and will miss next Christmas, next softball season, next hunting season, next Birthdays, next everything. So I am hoping that everyone makes the best of our precious time with him... fingers crossed!

I will be without internet access for most of the jaunt home so here's a heartfelt HAPPY HOLIDAYS and let's all hope for a wonderful, safe, and quick 2009!

17 December 2008

Are you a juggler?

So Friday Swiss and I get to set out on a 1,000+ mile trek back home to see the families for the holidays. My parents- bless their hearts- are packing up the two pups and all things Christmas related and driving a couple of hours in the winter weather up to our house to spend the holidays, sadly this means leaving my almost 91 year-old Grandpa behind. That makes me sad. But I digress, one of Swiss's 5 siblings will also be flying up with his wife to have Christmas with that side of the family. And there is Swiss's son, Swiss's brother- with whom Swiss desperately wants to go hunting, Swiss's sister-in-law, and of course Swiss's parents. Oh yeah, and I want to squeeze in some time with friends too.

All I can say is HOLY HANNAH!

We really haven't had to do the whole family juggling thing yet. So this will be fun. I think. Thankfully Swiss's mom was more than happy to have my uber-fun parents out to their house for Christmas Eve day. And we will have our own little batch of festivities at our home Christmas day. I think it is all going to work out. Heck, how bad can it be? We will be with our family for the holidays, the last one before the big D. So no matter how mad and/or crazy it gets, I am just going to be thankful that we are all together.

But I digress once again, what tips do y'all have for juggling it all at the holidays?

16 December 2008


Does anyone know why the ladies at the Commissary insist on putting your milk into a plastic bag? The big jug of orange juice too? I mean, they come with handles built in for a reason, no?

And does anyone know why there is such an over-abundance of German food products? I am definitely not complaining, just curious.

Also, what is it that makes cable so expensive? Why can't I only pay for the channels we watch? Seriously, there are only ever 12 channels in play at Casa de Tucker & Swiss. And we have like 300 channels.

Finally, why was there freezing rain and ice on the windshield of the truck today when we are in one of the southernmost states of this great union? I THOUGHT IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE WARM HERE!!!

The end.

15 December 2008

Just the basics.

So yesterday, Swiss and I were sitting/laying on our couch/bed/air mattress and I was looking around at our sparse digs. We only have the all-purpose air mattress, a TV, and XBox 360, and our computer... and a couple of chairs too. That's it, other than the necessary kitchen goods. Its a far cry from the cozy comforts of our well stocked and furnished home. Dare I say it's even a little worse than dorm life.

But you know what? It doesn't matter. Not one bit. Because I am so freakin' happy.

Swiss and I are blissfully, disgustingly happy... and I realized, with great clarity, that we don't need any of the superficial stuff to be happy. Just each other. (Don't get me wrong, I like the superficial stuff... I adore my sofa, my KitchenAid mixer, my tchotchkies, all of it. I like my stuff!) Its just that when you boil it all down, all we really need are the basics, everything else is just details. Swiss is what makes my life good (along with a couple of really special folks like my parents), he is what makes it full of fun, comfort, safety, joy. Being together is all that really matters. And that is pretty cool.

Happy Monday internets... I hope your week is off to a good start!

14 December 2008


So, last night we had to go to a holiday party. A party hosted by the folks who weren't all that friendly the week before. Needless to say, Swiss and I weren't all that thrilled about going. We even had our escape planned should we need it. We were prepared for the worst.

You know what? It ended up being a lot of fun and it turns out that a few of the ladies that were so standoffish and cold last week are actually very fun, friendly and nice. I even got a few phone numbers and e-mails of these ladies because they want to stay in touch when I head back up north. And of course, there was some liquor involved so you never know how serious they are, but in the very least it made us feel more welcome and a part of the unit family. Most of the guys were still all Hooah, Hooah and Army this, Army that. But we met a few other who were at least willing to talk about something else, which was a nice surprise.

So all in all it was a good night and we are happy that we finally became insiders (kinda) rather than the ones on the outside looking in. And I think this is a good reminder that things aren't always what they seem... and that second chances can be worth it.

Happy weekend internets!

11 December 2008

I've been tagged... sort of.

Ooh! I've never been tagged before! LAW tagged me, sort of, it was more of a "tag! your it! ...but only if you want to be..."

The rules:
1. Link to the person that tagged you. See above!
2. Post the rules on your blog. Here.
3. Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself. See below.
4. Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs . All of my bloggie friends were already tagged! So if you want to, consider yourself invited!
5. Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website. If any of you want to do this... go for it! Just let me know.
6. Let your tagger know when your entry is up. Done.

So here it goes...
1. I have a deep and abiding love for the Sound of Music. I sing along and dance and am generally obnoxious when I watch it. Thankfully that is usually only once or twice a year.
2. I love shoes. No, really, I love shoes. At last count I had over 70 pairs (if you let me include flip-flops). And Swiss is a shoe horse too. We need bigger closets.
3. Some of you already know this... but I am a painter. I would love nothing more than to go back to school for painting and printmaking and try to make a go of it career-wise. Swiss is all for it, but I am a chicken.
4. I am hopelessly addicted to Top Chef, Project Runway and Sex and the City re-runs. Hopelessly. That is damned good TV.
5. I love Sharpies. Love them. I will use a Sharpie as my writing instrument of choice in just about every situation. My favorites are the classic medium tip black ones. Love them. LOVE!
6. I am a terrible over-packer. No matter how long we go somewhere, I over pack by about 5 days. I can't help it! I'm indecisive and I like options!

There you have it! Happy Friday internets! I will keep y'all posted about the dress situation too!


Okay... I already talked about the pending Ball. And I really feel like if I am going to do this Ball thing, I am going to look damned good. And not just fancy good... sassy good. I don't want to be the Belle of the Ball, but I don't want to look like everyone else there. That said, I am not wearing a chartreuse taffeta monstrosity either. Sassy, kicky and sexy... but classy too. Thing a merging of Carrie and Charlotte... That's what I am going for. Problem: the town outside of post only has a Dillard's. And I'm guessing lots of the ladies will be shopping there... and the mall here is scary.

So enter the wonderful world of Internet Shopping! ...Shall we? (I just ask that you keep in mind the fact that I am no size 6... I'm an athletic girl and I'm not that tall... but I am not afraid of heights or stilettos! That and I'm NOT going to spend a fortune on this thing...)

Option 1: Ralph Lauren one shoulder black dress... Ooh! It has a ruffle!

Option 2: Continuing the one shoulder theme, only this time in red.

Option 3: Now let's stay on the red one shoulder bandwagon. I kinda really like this one!

Option 4: One shoulder again! Only this time in navy. (but it comes in black as well)

I am sensing a theme... but moving on...

Option 5: Its green! And not one shouldered! I am totally mixing it up now! (but this one comes in red and black too)

Option 6: Heh... back to one shouldered and in black. (This is Swiss' favorite)

Option 7: This one is decidedly different. Strapless (meh.) and patterned.

Option 8: Black with two shoulders (!) and this one may make me look like I have a teensey waist.

and finally... what? I can't help it! I'm indecisive!!! Just ask Swiss!

Option 9: Another black number that will aid in the teensey waist department. And it's kind of sassy with the belt, no?

And on one final note... Apaches are REALLY loud when they fly right over your house not too far above tree level. Just thought you'd like to know.

Okay Ladies... I need your input! Help me find something fabulous for the Ball! Cast your votes now!

Having a ball.

No, literally, there is a Ball. A formal Ball, and it is about a month away. I haven't been to anything labeled "formal" since my prom (and no, my wedding doesn't count). And the aforementioned prom? Over 10 years ago. 10!!! But I digress...

What I need to know from you ladies is what to expect. And I need pointers on a dress. I found the sassiest, cutest, sexiest black cocktail dress yesterday and SO wanted to buy it. My dear mum had to confirm what I already knew. Cocktail dresses won't cut it at a formal ball. Ball, SHMALL I say! It was a Carrie dress! It was perfect! But I digress once again... what is standard at these affairs? How schmancy do I have to get? HELP!

I definitely need a Crib sheet on these Military Balls (heh... that sounded dirty even when I didn't mean it to be). Cliff notes... whatever you've got.

I'm expecting some good stories Ladies! So bring 'em on!

10 December 2008


Okay, first the good news. I e-mailed our FRG leader yesterday and introduced myself and gave her the lowdown on our situation. She e-mailed me back almost immediately and seemed super friendly... she invited me to the bake sale they are doing on Monday and I think I will go! I am hoping that the FRG group is waaaaay better than the unit wives. Fingers crossed!

Now, onto my musings. I have never lived on a military installation until now. So much of it is relatively normal. We live in a subdivision (I can hear my friends back home laughing now... I have a thing with subdivisions) and there are barking dogs and the occasional siren. Just like home. But then there are the Apache helicopters flying in formation and doing maneuvers, all of which you can see from our house. Not normal. And I drove past the Division HQ today to see the casing of the colors ceremony as it was happening. I don't get to see ponies or that many flags on a normal day. And I still haven't gotten used to the max 40 mph speed limit. That is SLOW. And the whole trumpets-playing-into-the-PA-system thing twice a day is definitely different too. Oh, yeah, and fumbling to get my ID out as I am approaching the Main Gate. I always seem to forget that I am going to need that!

But things here are good. I don't understand why it is so cold out... we are over 1,000 miles due South of where we live and one would think it would be significantly warmer here. I'm glad I packed a coat! And let me say this too: This is one windy place. Chicago's got nothing on this joint! Swiss and I are going to put up some twee Christmas decorations tonight because I just couldn't stand the bare walls and lack of holiday decor. I think there is some hot cocoa spiked with Bailey's in my future... hooray for that!

Anyway, happy Wednesday internets and thanks to all of you who knew just what to say to lift my spirits yesterday. Y'all did me a world of good! :)

09 December 2008

The other shoe.

Okay, how many of you saw the Sex and the City movie? Do you remember the part where Carrie confronts Charlotte (who recently found out she was pregnant) about not running anymore? And then Charlotte said something that broke my heart (and hit home BIG TIME): She was afraid to run because everything in her life was so good. She had a wonderful husband who loved her dearly, and beautiful family, and knowing that bad things happen to good people all the time, she was afraid to do anything (even the things she loved, like running) that may put her pregnancy in jeopardy. She was waiting for the other shoe to drop. (And yes, that was me, the one sobbing at that point in the movie.)

And I ask you readers: Is this normal? Waiting for the other shoe to drop? Do any of you feel like this? Because let me tell you this: I do.

Honestly, my life is SO much better than I ever thought it would be. Swiss is a truly amazing person... and I am lucky enough to call him my husband and best friend. I cannot imagine being any happier than I am right now. I have a good job, I have an incredible family, I have lovely friends. I have a home, I have my health, I have a comfortable, happy, wonderful life. It makes me acutely aware of how fragile life is, how tenuous our hold on this life can be. Which makes me wonder when the other shoe will drop. And that terrifies me.

I am sure there are some of you who will tell me to not worry about things that may not happen, not to dwell on the unknown, or worry about things I cannot change. And you are right. 100% right. But the thing is that I see so many stories about wonderful, good people who get cancer and die far, far too early, I can't ignore that soldiers are still dying in this war, and I can't get past that fact that sh*tty things happen to good, kind, incredible people all the time.

What makes me immune? What keeps Swiss safe?

What is preventing that other shoe from dropping? Faith? God? Luck? Fate? All of the above?

And then I wonder about tempting the higher power or "fate" or whatever it is... it is hard enough to get through this life unscathed. But what about sending your husband off to war? Doesn't that change the odds? Knowing that a loved one has a history of cancer? Doesn't that too change your odds? At what point are the odds stacked against you? Do we just hope and pray that we are the lucky ones? And how do you find comfort in hoping to be lucky???

Gaw, if you think about this stuff too much you will drive yourself mad. And reading too many stories of families who have lost so much will make you paranoid. I might be there. I promise: I am generally not neurotic, I am not one who loves to create drama that isn't there. But how, dear readers, do you separate yourself from these sad tales? How do you not let them hit home?

How do you not worry that some day, it might be you?

08 December 2008


I just wanted to send a shout-out to Kimba for linking to me on her blog. And I want to say a big Thank You for all of those who stopped by and shared your stories. It is so nice to know there are so many wonderful ladies like each you out there and that we can all support one another through whatever comes our way. Few things in this military life can be counted on, so three cheers to all of you!

Thanks again and Happy Monday!

07 December 2008

Do better.

For those who know me outside of the blogosphere, they are familiar with my favorite go-to phrase for folks who are either lame, incompetent, greatly lacking in a trait deemed necessary or just plain stupid. That phrase is this: Do better. (Generally said in a defeated tone with loads of exasperation in your voice. It's more effective that way.)

It actually works in many situations. Someone cut you off? Do better. Incompetent co-worker? Do better. Get the wrong order from the drive-through? Do better. Dog has an accident in the house? Do better. It works for just about everything and I find it quite handy. Plus it helps me reign in my cursing.

I hear you asking why the dissertation on my catch-phrase of choice? Aaah, because we had our first unit event. It was a Hail and Farewell held at a very classy location. Think wings, cleavage and tight orange spandex shorts. Swiss and I get there early and meet the man of the hour who was more busy programming his new cell phone than talking to people. Do better. Then we meet the guy who Swiss is replacing in a few months. Now that is one squared away guy, he was cordial and inquisitive and very polite. 1-1. Not too bad so far.

Here's where it gets interesting. The fellows with wives start showing up. We all do our polite introductions and everyone knows that Swiss is the new guy, ergo I am the new girl. And you know what? Not a single wife came over to talk to me. Not one. There were 7 of them. Yes, in fact that would be 7 Do Betters. (1-8) Now I certainly wasn't looking for new best friends or even someone to have coffee with, but I did expect some amount of interaction. Maybe I put them off somehow, but honestly I think I am pretty approachable and rather friendly. There were even 2 moments when Swiss went to the restroom... and I sat there by myself and not a one took the opportunity to talk to me. Even the Senior guy's wife didn't even try to strike up a conversation... and she's been to school for this stuff... etiquette courses and all! But I digress.

We lasted all of about 2 hours (which was honestly about 1 1/2 hours too long) and only Swiss's replacement talked to us and seemed to be the only one capable of talking about anything other than riding motorcycles. We don't ride motorcycles and we don't have a Harley-Davidson so we weren't cool enough to participate in any conversations. I wish I was exaggerating. And heaven forbid we talk about anything else. In fact at one point, Swiss's replacement asked him why/how he got into writing. The senior guys says, "You're into riding!?!" Swiss says "No, writing." Response? "Oh, never mind, I don't want to talk about THAT." Do better.

Final tally? 15 Do betters. (out of 16 no less)

I think more than anything, I was a shocked at the complete lack of couth. The lack of social skills, the lack of friendliness, the lack of effort. Swiss and I left and on the way home we talked about how disappointing it all was and how un-welcome it made us feel. How am I supposed to count on these women during the deployment if they wouldn't even talk to me? How are we supposed to form a well-functioning unit at work and in the homes if people aren't even willing to extend basic politeness?

So yes, it looks like as far as an Army based support group for this deployment? I'm going it alone. Thank heavens for my friends, my family, this wonderful thing called the internets, and you dear readers. I know there aren't many of you, but you are very much appreciated!

05 December 2008

The joy of cooking.

Since I am officially not working due to a sabbatical from BigHospital I have felt it necessary to stay relatively busy. And yes, "busy" does include time on the internet, reading home decor and cooking magazines, and most certainly includes quality time with the Food Network. Ina and Alton are my friends... only they don't know me...

Anyway, the best part of not working? The time and energy to cook real, tasty, big meals. I am loving it. And that is saying something since all we have is a tiny galley kitchen. We have an awesome gas range which I am loving and I packed just enough kitchen utensils, pots & pans to keep the dishes coming. It is gooood.

Last night? Killer enchiladas. I used an Emeril recipe but boiled chicken instead of roasting a pork butt. (I said butt.) The night before? Garlic herb pork tenderloin with roasted veggies and quinoa (our new favorite grain- try it, you'll dig it). Next week, my intention is to roll on over to The Pioneer Woman and steal a bunch of recipes for dinner.

Anyway, I've never had so much fun cooking and it's been the second best part of this time off. Of course the first is getting oodles of extra time to hang out with that handsome soldier of mine. Did I mention that said handsome solider has one heck of an appetite? That helps too!

Anyway, have a splendid weekend Internets! Go eat some quinoa!

04 December 2008


Apparently there are many stages of packing when readying for a deployment.

This I did not know.

We just completed one such stage. And I can say with utter certainty that I did not like it. Not one bit.

See, actually buying items and packing them for such a specific reason & purpose has the unwanted side-effect of really hitting the point home. He is leaving. Not yet, but soon. And it makes my heart heavy, it makes my stomach sink, and it makes my tear ducts really, really want to go into overdrive (but I am getting waaay better at controlling that. I swear.).

I know it is inevitable and that there is nothing to be done to stop it. There is a cause and a need greater than me; and my brave, wonderful, amazing husband will answer the call and make this world a better place. That is something that makes me so proud of him and so proud of our country. But Good Lord I am going to miss that man.

So my resolution is this: Make the most of the time we have now. Savor every moment to the fullest. Soak in the things I will miss most... how he smells after a shower, how my hand feels in his, how wonderful it feels to snuggle up with him, his laugh, his smile, heck... everything about him. Sear every moment into my memory so that I can hold them close when I cannot hold him close. And help him pack.

03 December 2008

Life on Post.

HOORAY! I am finally down south with Swiss after two pseudo-Thanksgivings with the families and a real Thanksgiving at a Cracker Barrel somewhere in middle-America.

Life on post is good. Our digs are fine... lots of white walls and odd brown carpeting but they are clean and cozy and life is good with our new HDTV and air mattress bed. It's like posh camping or something. And as you can see... we FINALLY have internet. Double Hooray!

It's been a bit of a trip getting used to living on post. Something I suspect most of you are already familiar with. But it is good. The PX is swell and the Commissary is good too... so many groceries so little time! The things I haven't gotten used to yet? Max speed limits on post of 40 mph. Hundreds of people that look just like Swiss from a distance (ha!). The blaring of "Reveille" throughout the PA systems at 6:30 sharp every weekday and "Retreat" at 5pm sharp every weeknight.

But I will say that I am LOVING all the extra time with Swiss. We get a nice breakfast together after morning PT... generally get to eat lunch together and then all night just hanging out like the normal folks. It is grand.

We got word about the deployment and that is good. Not good that he has to go, but good that we now know details and can make arrangements. His new unit is interesting to say the least and I am sure, like every deployment story I've ever heard, things will change. But I digress, life is good and I'm really liking being a housewife!

Until later... Happy Holiday Season Internets!