31 March 2009

2 months.

59 days down. Only 306-ish to go.

Ugh. That still sounds like a lot of days.

These past 2 months have been... well... interesting. There have been emotional struggles, additions to our family (hey Fletch!), creative endeavors, family drama, new projects, and the small matter of figuring out what my (our) "new normal" is. There have been weeks and days that have flown by and there have been ones that slowly creep along like cold molasses. There are good day and there are bad, there are also just ho-hum neither-nor days. But the best thing? The days apart are getting less and less.

Swiss has been in country for a while now, the unit has finally joined him and the rest of the advance party. Their accommodations are sparse and their access to basics are variable, but he is in good spirits (and I will be too once they get the phones installed!) and doing well. His missions have all been inside the wire, mostly involving getting things up and running for the rest of the unit's arrival. This knowledge helps me sleep at night and not be completely neurotic more than you could ever know. It remains to be seen what he will be tasked with once things are finished at their base, but I'm holding out hope for more of the same. We've been able to talk/e-mail quite frequently, though we are on a phone hiatus right now (don't ask unless you want to hear a rant!), and it has gone a long way in making this doable. We are doing our best to keep connected and get through this together- it seems to be working so far!

I have tried to stay busy, from adopting a dog to taking art classes, blogging, planning a kitchen remodel and helping out with the FRG. Things have really taken off with our liberal group of MilSpouses- LeftFace is our pride and joy and I am constantly amazed by how incredible those women are. I am also beyond thankful for finding them and for their friendship- I can't imagine how different these two months could have been without them. I've already sent 4 care packages to Swiss, which I probably like putting together and shopping for a bit too much, and have elaborate plans for home-made granola bars this weekend.

So all in all, these past 2 months aren't at all what I expected them to be like, but that pretty much sums up every military/Army related experience I've had so far. It has been hard at times, borderline unbearable even, but it has also been okay. Most of the time, actually, it is fine (I won't say it is good though because nothing is actually good when Swiss isn't around). I miss him more than I can explain, but the support I've gotten from friends and family have helped me stay afloat, stay positive, and stay focused on our future.

We are 1/6th done. Hooah.

30 March 2009

10 more things.

Okay... so here are 10 more random things about me. I'm not posting these because I think y'all lay awake at night wondering what my favorite cereal is, but mostly because I have nothing else exciting to share. Aren't you lucky?

1. Speaking of cereal, my favorite is Quaker Oatmeal Squares. They ain't sexy, but they taste real good.
2. I am an only child and Swiss is the youngest of 6. SIX!
3. My favorite band is Coldplay. The old stuff is just as amazing as the new stuff, but Viva la Vida is my favorite album (followed closely by X&Y)
4. When I was little I called macaroni & cheese "Monkey Cheese"
5. My favorite phrases are "Do better" and "Woosh Go" (Topped only by when Swiss says "I love you")
6. My 3 favorite movies are: Almost Famous, Amelie and The Sound of Music. (But on any given day About a Boy might sneak in there... I know, I know, it's a soft 3)
7. I have hazel eyes. Green one day, brown the next... sometimes they even get blueish.
8. I like to put "ish" on the end of lots of things. (See above and below)
9. The color of my hallway paint is called Gertrude. (It is a peachy-pinkish and Swiss doesn't mind it.)
10. Our favorite take-out is Chipotle. Hands down.

Don't you feel better knowing these things about me? (It's okay to say no.)

29 March 2009


So, funny story: I dropped Fletcher off at the kennel on Friday night. I got into the car and had to do everything I could to not cry. And it didn't work. It is official, the Army has made me even worse at goodbyes than I was before... because you know it is all the Army's fault. (I never said the story was funny ha-ha... more like funny odd.)

27 March 2009

Outie like a bellybutton.

So I am off to the land of Beer and Cheese... otherwise known as home. I'm off for a weekend of March Madness (Rock Chalk Jayhawk!), great conversations, wedding cake samples and shopping for home decor items. Also known as a weekend with my best friend Beth (who is super amazing, crazy smart, pithy and insanely fun).

Have a super weekend everyone! See you on Monday!

Aw heck... here it is: PTSD and Grey's Anatomy?

So last night I was watching TV because my husband is deployed and that is what I do. Grey’s Anatomy came on and I’ll admit that I’ve gotten sucked back into the show this season. Izzy is dying and McDreamy is thinking of quitting and will he propose to Meredith?… good drama! But, the character I have been most intrigued by is Dr. Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd). See, Owen is a former Major in the Army, a trauma surgeon for the past 3 years in Iraq (I don’t know how that happens but we are going with it because it is TV and not reality). He’s got some issues and he has just started a relationship with a fellow doctor, Cristina Yang ( Sandra Oh).

The show has been building up to a crescendo with these two for some time. About a month ago there was a story-line with Owen where his fiance shows up to the hospital and is aghast when she sees him because she didn’t know he was back from Iraq. It seems he cut and run on the life he had before his tour(s) in Iraq- not even his mom knows he is home. Two weeks ago Cristina awoke him from a nap and his reaction was violent- he shoved her across the room and she cut her arm. Ever since he showed up on Grey’s there have been glimmers and glimpses into the mental and emotional turmoil he is trying to wade though. Last night however, things came to a head and really cemented his diagnosis of PTSD. (See there is a point to this!)

The show began with Cristina asleep in bed and Owen resting next to her, clearly he adores her and he tenderly covers her up with the blanket as she sleeps. He tries to fall asleep by staring at the rotating blades of the ceiling fan… and he finally does. But moments later we see him straddling Cristina with his hands around her neck, violently choking her, she is trying to scream but she can’t breathe and is gasping for air while clawing at him to get him off of her. His strength is overwhelming and she can’t get his attention- his eyes are glassy and vacant- he doesn’t even flinch when she is hitting him in the face. Finally a roommate breaks in the room and her shouting snaps him out of it. Cristina runs for cover in the bathroom and Owen first looks bewildered but then starts crying, terrified of what he has done.

Later that day, Cristina is confronted by a friend (Dr. Meredith Grey) about needing to get out of this relationship, that is isn’t okay that he hurt her. Her reply was simple: There is something medically wrong with him, she can’t leave him just because he is sick. What if he broke his leg or had a heart attack? Would you ask me to leave him then? Meanwhile Dr. McDreamy tries to talk to Owen after he has a freezing bout on the helipad (seems the rotation of blades- ceiling fan or helicopter- is his trigger), Owen turns into a jerk, though McDreamy (a neurosurgeon) mentions that he can help him with his PTSD, there are new treatments and brain imaging that can help him get over this. Owen said that he managed to come home with no real injuries, he has all his limbs and there are so many who were so much more injured than him. McDreamy tries to tell him that his PTSD is a real injury and that he needs treatment. Owen walks out.

Later, Cristina confronts Owen in the stairwell, he knows there is something really wrong and he is terrified of hurting her, he worries what would have happened if he hadn’t snapped out of it. She is determined to stand by his side, she says that she knows her limits and she can handle this. But the most touching, gut-wrenching and hard to watch scene was at the end of the episode. Cristina and Owen meet in a quiet room, he asks if he can hold her. She says yes and they embrace, they end up make love and afterwords we see her laying in his arms. She is wide awake and Owen is drifting off to sleep. She wakes him by announcing that she was wrong, she can’t do this, she can’t be with him anymore because she is laying in his arms afraid to fall asleep. Afraid of what he might do.

The show ends with Owen on a CT bed getting ready for a brain scan with Dr. McDreamy at his side…

Did any of you see this episode? What do you think of this depiction of PTSD? Will this raise awareness or does it vilify a veteran? What does it mean that war related PTSD is making it into our pop culture and showing up in living rooms on network TV? Where do you think this story-line will go and how will things end for Owen… or more importantly where would you like to see it go? I would love to hear your thoughts on this!

PS- You can watch this episode online at abc, it is under ‘free episodes’ this one was titled “Elevator Love Letter” from 26 March. I think it will be available to watch after 7pm Central.

UPDATE: Here’s some of the buzz online in the entertainment world about this episode… This
from ew.com:
"For starters, I was heaving sobs in under three minutes, despite the fact that I was
well-prepared for Owen’s post-traumatic-stress-disorder-induced sleep-choking of
. Callie heard the commotion and broke it up, otherwise things
could’ve gone much worse. And that’s just the point. At the risk of getting all
public service announcement here, I truly believe this is a fantastic story line
to tackle — the phenomenon of post-war night terrors that can endanger your bed
partner is very, very real (my Vietnam-vet dad went through this for years, when
I was too young to appreciate the strain on both him and my mom), and few people
realize (or really want to think about) what soldiers go through once they get
home. It helps, in this case, to have a pair of sublime actors handling this
sensitive topic. As good as they’ve been at amping up the romance crackling
between Owen and Cristina, Kevin McKidd and Sandra Oh brought the Emmy
consideration tonight from scene 1."

PTSD and Grey's Anatomy?

I wrote a long post over at LeftFace about last night's episode of Grey's Anatomy where they not only show the violence that can result from PTSD, but also the personal fallout that too often accompanies it. Please go check it out, otherwise I will have to re-post it here and that just seems redundant... no?

Happy Friday all and I'm really glad that other people have weird fruit eating dogs too.

25 March 2009

Fletcher learns to eat an apple.

What else is there to say? My dog eats apples and it is hilarious. The end.

Spring is in the air.

Honeybee, originally uploaded by Tucker&Swiss.

Despite the overcast days and freezing misty rain (and dropping temperatures too) it is Spring here in the upper Midwest. It is good.

I have started my Spring cleaning and am anxiously awaiting what grass is left in the backyard (thanks Fletch) to turn green. I also made up some Spring resolutions (I've never been one for the New Year's kind): I am going to learn how to knit. I am taking a figure & portrait drawing class. And I hope to help coach a U12 fastpicth softball team (I've played ball since I was in first grade and played all though college- and no, none of the softball stereotypes fit me). I am going to get this kitchen project done. And I am going to try to find Swiss a Literary Agent.

That's a good list to start with I think. I'm hoping the busy-bee mentality will help these days go by faster and faster because it is going to be another 6 months until we get some R&R time. Wow. It will be fall by then...

24 March 2009


Missing - Miss"ing\, a. [From Miss, v. i.]
Absent from the place where it was expected to be found; lost; wanting; not present when called or looked for.
That is me, missing Swiss. Today was one of those days when I miss him so much it hurts. And of course it never helps when things aren't going right with everything else. But I love how just talking to him seems to make everything better. One of the million reasons why I love him.

Oh, and keep checking out LeftFace... lots of good stuff over there from some pretty amazing ladies!

23 March 2009

My, how time flies.

A new friend of mine is getting ready to head into her first deployment with her boyfriend. It seems like ages ago that I first started to deal with what she is going through now, though it was less than a year ago... so much has happened since then. But I remember. I remember how I felt, I remember how insurmountable it all seemed, I remember the fear and the worry, I remember not knowing how I was going to do this.

I went back and read the post about when we found out. I got misty as I read it because all of those emotions came flooding back. I was in that van again, staring out into the rain, scared, worried, unsure, and trying to be brave. I remember sitting there dumbfounded as to how I was going to do this... how I would make it through 12 months of war, separation and fear.

And here I am, almost a year after that truly crap day and nearly 2 months into the deployment. Certainly not through it yet, but well on our way. I am doing fine, I am coping well, I am doing this. WE are doing this. Does it feel like I am just going through the motions at times? Yes. Are there days when I just can't hold it together anymore? Absolutely. But am I cracking under the loneliness, worry and pressure? Nope. Am I crippled by the fear? No. Do I miss Swiss more than anything? You bet. Does this suck? Yes, and then some. But the most important thing is that we are doing this. We are getting through this and we are doing fine.

So to any of you who have yet to embark on this journey- be honest, communicate, take care of yourself, and know that you will get through it too. Because after all, our guys (and gals!) aren't the only ones who are Army Strong.*

*Navy, Marine, Air Force and Coastie Strong too!

PS: We totally had to watch that Army Strong video at the unit's pre-deployment breifing. I confess that I got choked up- I think it was the mix of my husband deploying, pride, and a good soundtrack. Apparently I am highly susceptable to propaganda. Sigh...
UPDATE: I went back and watched that video again this morning and it still got me choked up. I am weak in the face of good propaganda... but damnit I am proud of my husband and I am proud of what he does, what he stands for and that he is all that is right with the Army. So I am allowing myself to get choked up by it. The end.

Moltes gràcies.

That's Thank You in Catalan*. Thank you for listening to my rant. Thank you for not telling me the things I already know (like... "it could be worse" or "he isn't on vacation" or "I know a guy who's at so-and-so and he didn't shower for months!"). And thank you for understanding. Ooh! And thank you to you new folks for stopping by and commenting... I really appreciate it!

It is another cold, windy, rainy spring day here and I am working on a post about suicides in the military, especially the Army. I will be posting it as soon as I can wrap my brain around the issues. In the meantime... please go check out this new MilSpouse site: LeftFace. It is a new, 'alternative' MilSpouse site for those of us who think a bit more outside of the box, or at least left of the box. It just got up and running this weekend, and I will be posting there quasi-regularly, so go on over and check it out. There are a lot of amazing, smart, witty, and generally speaking great ladies who are posting (or will be posting) over there so go see what they have to say... we'd love your 2 cents too!

UPDATE: I put up my post about Suicides and the Military over at LeftFace... please go check it out and I really want to hear people's opinions and ideas about this topic and I really want y'all to check out the new site. Thanks!

*I have a secret love for Catalonia. You see in my fantasy, Swiss and I would move to Barcelona (or at least have a vacation home there), eat a lot of seafood, get season tickets to see Barça, and stroll up and down Las Ramblas sipping lattes and people watching. Then we would settle in for the night curled up on a balcony overlooking the Mediterranean sipping delicious red wine chatting until we couldn't keep our eyes open. Sleep and repeat. Can you tell this is where our first big post-Army trip is going to be to?

22 March 2009


Did y'all know that for the past 3 weeks my husband hasn't had a proper shower? Did you know that he's been using bottles of water to rinse off... not bathe, mind you, just rinse off? Did you know that there are only 16 Port-a-Potties for over 100 troops, none of which have been emptied in the past week? (I mean, can you imagine the stench? Can you fathom how disgusting that is? I have no words, but I am gagging at the thought of it.) Did you know that Swiss and his unit have spent the past 3 weeks cleaning up trash and human waste from their new location so everyone else can move in?

I'm guessing you know that I am giving the Army a BIG FAT DO BETTER. And of course I know it isn't the "Army" that is at fault... it's the asshats back at the shiny new FOB with all the cushy amenities who aren't bothering to do their jobs, and the commanding officers who aren't making them do their jobs. All while my husband uses bathrooms that are in danger of overflowing with human waste.

Thanks for taking such good care of my husband... and by that I mean not. Jerks.

The kitchen saga

New Countertop Samples, originally uploaded by Tucker&Swiss.

Okay... so the kitchen. We all agree that dark counter tops are our favorites- so dark counters it will be. Think #11.

Sinks, stainless it is... you guys are awesome... I never even thought about all the stains on the white ones (I thought mine was just old so it stained more readily).

And here is where it gets interesting. The faucet. Y'all picked #3 (which is secretly the one I wanted y'all to pick because I loved it). I went to Lowe's yesterday to pick up said faucet. Dude. The thing is HUGE. The actual faucet is probably about a foot tall. It would look ridiculous in my kitchen... or most kitchens for that matter. Stank.

So back to the drawing board on the faucet. I will post more options later for your excellent opinions. Hopefully the ones I pick out this time will not be better suited to the home of a NBA star.

I am off to eat some Berry, Berry Kix (2nd favorite cereal) and hang with the mutt before I head out to tromp through the woods with my MIL and SIL looking for shed antlers.

Happy Sunday all!

PS- I finished my painting in art class! I posted it over at my other blog, check it out if you want to!

20 March 2009

10 things...

So I got sucked into VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of the 90's tonight before all the March Madness began. Man, we had some great tunes to grow up to. Seriously.

Anyway, that inspired this 10 things, it is the song version: My 10 favoritest songs. Ever. (Which started out as 15 because I am waaaay too sentimental. Hey, at least I was able to reign it in, right?) Oh, and these are in a loose top 10 order... but number 1 is solid... That song will always be number 1 in my heart.

1. "One" - U2
I think this may be the best, most beautiful, soulful song ever written and performed. Perfection.
2. "Lost!/Lost?" - Coldplay
A beautiful song with great lyrics and done in two ways, what more could you ask for? I heart you Coldplay.
3. "Omaha" - Counting Crows
Ugh, having to pick one Crows song... but this one found its way into my heart in 8th grade and never left. I'm still not sick of it. And please, go see this band in concert, they are amazing.
4. "Breathe" - Sia
This song is so haunting and ethereal and even though it is sad, I can't get enough.
5. "Angel of Harlem" - U2
I still remember the very first time I heard this song and truly fell in love with U2. It will always be a favorite.
6. "What Can I Say?" - Brandi Carlyle
She is one of my absolute favorite artists. Too few have heard of her and all of her music is raw and I love her singer-songwriter style. Please, please check her out and buy her albums so she keeps making amazing music. I adore her. And I adore this song. Oh, and her music always hits exactly the right emotional chord with me, she can make me cry with alarming precision.
7. "Le Belle et le Bad Boy" - Mc Solaar
If you are a Sex and the City fan you will recognize this one, but there is something about it, maybe the images that I have linked to it from the show, but there is such a great story there and even in French you can appreciate it and get caught up in it.
8. "Strong Enough" - Sheryl Crow
I always loved this song, it is so honest and the melody is simply beautiful. And then I met someone who was strong enough and it got even better.
9. "Sweet Child 'O Mine" - Guns 'n Roses
I do love me some GnR, and this one is the best. Great guitar (oh Slash, how oddly wonderful you are) and I can't help but sing along every time it is on- at the top of my lungs- and do the Axl sway with the microphone stand. You know what I am talking about.
10. "That's How Strong my Love is" - Otis Redding
So sentimental, we played this at our wedding. It makes me all mushy inside... so sweet and sentimental and romantic. What's not to love? (All I could find for clips are covers, but you still get the gist of it.)

Now that I have spilled my musical beans (that sounds like there should be a fart joke somewhere in there), what are your favorites? Please share!!!

Round up.

Love, originally uploaded by Tucker&Swiss.

I am missing Swiss so very, very much today so just because I can I'm giving him so blog Love. This was taken on our visit to Duluth last summer and that is Lake Superior in the background. Oh, how I miss him... it creeps its way into every part of my day, even my dreams. At least we are close to another week down. Is this thing over with yet???

I am generally swamped today and don't have much mojo so I will post the kitchen choices this weekend. I'm really excited and all of your input has been tons of help! (And Hooray for keeping the dark counters!)

Here's wishing all of you a super weekend and enjoy the Spring weather!

19 March 2009

The kitchen: part 4

Here they are folks! The faucets! Hooray! Number 'em 1-4 like yesterday and let me know what you love!

Tomorrow I will post everything together and we'll see if it looks fabulous! :)

18 March 2009


US Army will end extended tours for soldiers.

Now we just have to hope that this actually applies to Swiss when he goes to Retire next year. Please, please, please!!! The release said that the active duty Army was to phase out the stop-loss process by January 2010. Hell yeah. Swiss will be home in February 2010. Sweet-ass-sweet!

This would be huge. HUGE.

Cross your fingers folks. Cross them hard.

I heart Lily.

I know some of you, loyal wonderful readers, have heard of this woman: Lily Burana. She is a military (Army) wife and a burlesque dancer and an author and a generally kick ass lady. She blogs over here.

Anyway, a friend passed along this nugget of wisdom that Lily wrote for the Los Angeles Times. It's about the whole Dover ordeal and she really summed it up quite well. Better than I ever could, but then again, she is the published author, not me. Anyway, go check it out, The military privacy debate.

Image from lilyburana.typepad.com

The kitchen: part 3

Sinks. Sexy, sultry sinks. Okay. I don't know of ANY sinks that would qualify as sexy or sultry, but I am trying to make this post exciting! Ooh! Sinks!

Is it working?

Hmm. Didn't think so. Anyway, here they are. Stainless vs. white? Boring or quasi interesting? These are the four or so I have narrowed it down to...

Consider them numbered 1-4 and give me your takes. Remember, this is a 1927 home with original white and somewhat plain cabinets. The knobs are simple and a twee bit modern... I got them at Ikea.

And look on the bright side. Once we decide this... we get to pick a faucet! Woot!

17 March 2009

The kitchen: part 2

First off, of course I want your opinions! You all are smart, witty and clever ladies who have had more than your fair share of kitchens to deal with... why wouldn't I? Thank you for all the great input yesterday- y'all rock!

Second, in regards to the market here. It is good. Better than the average because our town is home to a 'destination medical center' (talk about marketing terms, right?) so there is always an influx of new residents and employees. Plus, our house is within walking distance of said hospital and in a historic neighborhood... 2 big items that we hope will go a long way in selling this house.

We currently have... wait for it... parquet wood flooring tiles as our counters. Niiiiice. (I know you are all SO jealous!) My mom and I got all crafty on it when I moved in (back when I was single) and sanded it down, wood-filled the heck out of it, and painted it a faux black marble. I love the dark counter tops, they look so good with all the white and the lighter floors! But again, pretty taste specific... I can't imagine that they are everybody's cup of tea. So, with that in mind I've picked out some black options to stay with what we have, or some beigey tannishness options to lighten things up.

So, without further adeui, here are our choices... (all are laminate, we just aren't in a Corian or stone price bracket).

New Countertop Samples, originally uploaded by Tucker&Swiss.

Note- the black ones will be in another post because I am not smart enough to figure out the blogger/flickr issues I am having...

The kitchen: part 2.5

New Countertop Samples, originally uploaded by Tucker&Swiss.

Here are the black options...

I can't wait to hear what y'all think! And I promise I will post pictures of the current counters & cabinets when I get home tonight. Happy Tuesday!

16 March 2009

Muwah-ha-ha Monday.

Confession: I read the military news on yahoo.com.

Promise to Self: I will no longer read the military news on yahoo.com until Swiss is home safe and sound.

Yeah, I might have self-induced some panic this afternoon at work. I read an article about our forces shooting down an Iranian drone in Iraqi air space and buried at the bottom was a bit about how a US soldier died in the capital today. Swiss didn't call this morning like he usually does... and cue internal freak-out. Thankfully, about an hour later Swiss called. Turns out he was booked in meetings all day, hence the no call this morning. Big, deep, sigh. Phew... that sucked hard. So I am definitely not playing that game anymore. Fo sho!

But on the plus side, it is B-E-A-Utiful here today. 62 and sunny and I am loving it. Every window in the house is open, I took Fletcher on a nice long walk (he is blissfully wiped out on the floor as I type this), saw my first 6 Robins and got loads of fresh air- no jacket required!

So I am off to eat some dinner, pay some bills, watch Dancing with the Stars and Castle. I heart the television. Happy Monday all!

The kitchen: part 1

Okay... welcome to Kitchen Makeover week here at Tucker & Swiss. It'll be like HGTV, only without the commercials and all the special effects.

Thanks to a hearty tax refund, we are updating the kitchen post haste (partly for me, partly for resale- either way Hooray!). This week I will enlist your help in making some decisions that will help with resale, which shouldn't be too hard for y'all because I know how opinionated you are! See, I know what I like... but what I like is odd, so I don't want to do anything too crazy, I want it to look uber-great when it goes up for sale next year. So that is where you ladies come in!

First things first. Here is the kitchen.

It looks kinda patriotic now that I look at it, but it was never intended to be that way. I fell in love with my red KitchenAid and all my kitchen utensils/accents are red. And there was this insanely bright blue paint that I adored. So it went in the kitchen. But I digress. We need new counter tops, a new sink, new faucet and a new dishwasher.

My first question to you, dear readers, is this: MUST I repaint? Is the blue too much?

I really, really don't want to since it is less than 2 years old and frankly, I think it looks great with the white cabinets and honey floors. But be honest, do I have to bite the bullet?

Tomorrow: Counter tops!!!!

15 March 2009

Busy bee.

In a rare burst of both motivation and energy I've been a whirlwind of activity today... and it is only 1430! This is not how I usually spend my Sundays (think PJ's all day, marathons of America's Next Top Model and trying to teach Fletcher to roll over).

Speaking of Fletcher... here he is. Anyway, I got to talk to Swiss (swoon!) which was awesome, then I hit up SuperTarget (I love me some Target), I mopped the floors, vacuumed and made chili. I. Can't. Wait. For. Dinner. Nom.

Then I embarked the MONUMENTAL task of organizing, de-cluttering, and purging the dreaded Back Room. (You know you have one too!) Can I just say that the sheer volume of Army manuals that reside downstairs is enough to completely train all of my neighbors in the ways of the Infantry... I could produce some serious E7's or better here. (We also likely have enough equipment down there to outfit the neighborhood too!) Anyway, now they are all in a confined, contained area and I am not moving them for fear of a thrown out back.

Here they are in all their glory...
So that has been my Sunday. I am back in lounge clothes (I had to chase Fletcher through my neighbor's muddy yard in bare feet. Awesome.) and will be settling in to do my taxes here soon. But don't you worry, there is plenty of telly watching and lounging in my future. That's just how I roll.

14 March 2009

10 things...

It is officially waaaaaay to early to be up on a Saturday. But dogs must pee and I haven't yet mastered Swiss's talent of falling back to sleep after ANY disturbance (then again I don't have 18 years of Infantry experience learning to sleep whenever and wherever).

So, because I am bored and the good cooking shows don't come on for another hour I've decided that y'all need to know random things about me (and because, well, you've earned something light & fun loyal readers... all 8 of you... because you put up with my rants, like yesterday, and I love you for it). I am starting out with 10 things but be warned: They are not profound, nor are they fascinating. They are just 10 little things that make me, well, me.

Here goes...

1. I love Orbit’s Minty Mojito gum. It's so tangy and fresh and it's the closest I can get to drinking on the job.
2. Given the choice (and snow/ice is not involved) I will always choose to wear flip flops.
3. I secretly want to be Posh Spice. Seriously. I love her and she is hilarious (it is totally worth the 3:47 to watch this video, it always makes me giggle and she is so fabulously fun, and she can stop a soccer ball in heels. Okay, I will stop gushing now.).
4. My dog is named after archery equipment.
5. I adore Sharpies. They are quite simply the best writing tool ever invented. Check this out. No average pen could do that!
6. I can’t imagine a life without Diet Coke. Honestly.
7. The only time I ever got stood up for a date was in Venice, Italy.
8. I love folding laundry and ironing. Once I heard that Martha Stewart loved to iron too and it made me sad because she is MARTHA and I will never be as good at it as she is. Party pooper.
9. I loathe doing dishes. Something about floating food bits... grody.
10. I grab my husband’s butt every chance I get. *I cannot help this, nor can I stop it (though I will admit that I never really tried). It is like my hand is solid iron and his butt is a powerful magnet. A force of nature that cannot be denied... or at least that is the story I am sticking with. Aren't you glad you know that?

Now don't you feel better knowing all that about me? No? Oh. Okay. Anwhoodles, I am off to watch some cooking shows and then head to class to paint some more. Hooray for painting! Happy Saturday all!

13 March 2009

Have I been in a coma?*

*The asterisk is because there is swearing in this post. If you aren't game, stop reading now. Sorry.

Mmmkay. I just saw this over at cnn.com: "After 6 years fighting in Iraq, Americans' interest wanes" and all I can say is, Huh?

This is news NOW? Last I checked, I am pretty sure that the American public lost interest in this war about 2 years ago (if not more). But seriously, you should read this. It is full of really great insight into the 'American public'.

Like this little gem: "...based on recent polling and exit polling from the November presidential elections, the war isn't a big concern to Americans." Well, then, by all means bring my husband home and close up shop. I'm glad none of you are concerned about our troops. I am glad none of you lay awake at night worrying about your husband's safety (in the shower or otherwise) or if he will even come home. Awesome. Oh, and you are welcome. Asshats.

Ooh, and this one slayed me: " 'And obviously after six years, Americans are going to be a little sick of it,' said Michael O'Hanlon, a national security expert at the Brookings Institution." You know, I feel for you American public, I really do. Because guess what? We military families are just so NOT sick of it. We love this! Honest! Actually, we want MORE! More deployments! More PTSD! More Purple Hearts! HOORAY FOR WAR! I am SO fucking sorry that YOU are sick of it poor, poor American public. Asshats squared.

BAAH! *breathe* Okay. Rant over. I know I was a bit harsh, but really people? Really???

It has been one of those days... I am stuck late at work (after coming in early- fantastic!) and I work with a bunch of morons. But, the silver lining is that I get to go out to dinner with a great friend and eat yummy Indian food (I'm hoping for booze too! Does that make me a lush?) Hope I wasn't too much of a Debbie Downer for your Friday afternoon... here's wishing y'all a super weekend with lots of sunny, warm weather! And no stupid 'American public'.

P.S: Glad y'all like the new header too! :)

12 March 2009

Shiny newness.

What do y'all think? Do you like it? (I am referencing mah shiny new header up there. I think it is quite schmancy!)

I am trying to spice things up to get me out of this weather induced blah-dom. It doesn't help though that Swiss and I are suffering through an Army induced radio(phone) silence. It sucks. But I digress. I am using caffeine, flickr, Community Ed classes, my iPod and enchiladas to get me out of the funk. God, if enchiladas don't work I have no idea what to do next except add margaritas!

Anyway, things here are fine. I am anxiously awaiting Spring like a junkie awaiting their next fix. Seriously, this winter is killing me and I was only here for 6 weeks of it. (I think that is a clear indication that we need to move south-ish, no?) But I am really pumped about this weekend... I have a birthday celebration with a friend on Friday and more oil painting on Saturday (with bonus wine-counter time at Val's place). So all we need do is get through the next 2 days... work is such an inconvenience! Gaw!

11 March 2009

Change is gonna do me good.

So, being here, at home in the upper Midwest, working and going on with life like nothing has changed in the last year and a half is getting tedious. Maybe it has something to do with knowing that I am leaving in 10 months. Maybe I am just ready to not be in transition (Ha! *Snort* Who am I kidding?) Maybe I am just ready to get on with the life that is waiting for me, for us back at Fort X.

I am tired of my job. Not that it isn't a great one and not that some of the folks I work with aren't amazing, because it is and they are. I am just tired of being here. I am tired of cleaning a house I know I won’t be in a year from now. I am tired of pretending to everyone who knows me that once Swiss comes back I won’t be leaving. (Heck, my bosses have actually told me I can’t leave and I've had to lie my ass off so far. Awesome.) I am tired of going through the motions of the life Swiss and I used to have. God, I sound so melodramatic... get a grip girl!

I think I am just really ready for the changes that await us. And perhaps some of this has to do with how this deployment is playing out. Not on Swiss’s end, on mine. I dealt with all of the pre-deployment anxiety, the anticipatory grief, the crying jags and the practically numbing fear when we first learned of it in May. (I blogged about that super fun day too if you care to read.) I didn't really know what to expect to feel like when he actually left. I didn't know how well I would handle it (I had high hopes but you never know…). Surprisingly, I don’t feel even remotely like I did last summer. I am okay, still a bit scared and worried, but dealing with all of this just fine, thank you very much.

See, it was the fear of how I would cope, how I would handle this is why I decided to come back here to our home and not move to Fort X for the duration of the deployment. This way I would be near friends, near family, keeping as much the same as I could… like our house and my job. But now I just feel out of place. I know none of our/my life here is permanent like I thought it might be. Not my job, my house, or my surroundings. It has been kind of liberating to know that I don’t NEED any of this. Just Swiss and my family (and dear Val who I can’t bear the thought of leaving). But this lag time between the now and the future is awkward at best.

There is no solution. This is just me venting. The end.

09 March 2009

Because one blog isn't enough.

So, since one blog isn't enough (clearly my husband is deployed and I have nothing better to fill my time with) I have started up a new twee little blog: Tucker & Swiss Part 2: Art Supplies & ACU's.

I'll be using this blog to post photographs I've taken and paintings I've done and inspirations I find along the way... Its all about the arty, not the Army. So anyway, feel free to swing by when you get bored... it isn't anything too thrilling but it is my new pet project that will hopefully keep my creative juices flowing while Swiss is away.

Okay, that's all! Hope everybody's week is off to a good start!

08 March 2009


It is snowing. Again. BAH!

Oh, and we even had a rainstorm this morning that wasn't so much rain as it was tiny frozen pellets of ice falling to earth. Aren't we done with this yet??? (Oh, and just a little post script here: it is 84 at Fort X. 84!!!!)

Anyway, I will stop my complaining now. My oil painting class yesterday was pretty awesome. I am pumped about this new medium and the teacher was pretty good (though he totally squashed my attempt at a non-conventional framing of the subject... where's the fun in that??). I'm just bummed that I have to wait another week to do it again!

So, I am off to make some meatballs and hang out with my mutt. Happy Sunday and enjoy the warm weather wherever you are (and if you feel like shoveling, just call me!)

07 March 2009

Happy little trees.

Today is my first oil painting class. I am just a twee bit giddy!

I have wanted to take this class (through Community Ed) for ages and it always filled up or conflicted with my schedule. But now I get to go! Even Swiss is stoked. He has a million ideas for me to paint... now I just need to know how to do it! I'm hoping it goes well and that I really like it.
So, I am going to chanel Bob Ross and am off I go to paint happy little trees, happy little streams, and happy little clouds. Wish me luck!

PS: I've been putzing around with a second blog with my paintings and photos... check it out if you like, it still needs tweeking... Tucker & Swiss Part 2: Art Supplies and ACU's.

I don't think this is what they meant by packing.

I was going through all the pictures I took from when we were in Fort X and I came across this one... I couldn't not post it.

This is my husband people... trying to pack himself into his duffle. (I think it was a test run to see if he could fit, because then I would fit and he could pack me with his gear. aww)

Anyway, happy weekend Internets!

06 March 2009


Oh Friday, how I do love thee!

This work week has sapped my brain like, well I don't know, but I do know that right now I have the IQ of toast. (mmm. toast!)

Swiss is struggling with his role over in theatre right now. And I am struggling to not be insanely happy about it. No, not happy that he is struggling, happy about his role. See, Swiss is used to being the tip of the sword. He is used to being the one in charge. He is used to doing things the right way. And none of those things are happening right now.

He is in an office and slated to be the 'mayor' of their new FOB. I am happy as a clam because I know he will be safer. I can rest much easier at night not worrying about him out on foot patrols and conducting raids. But I am doing my best to be supportive and understanding of his wish to be doing more.

I honestly think that he would be happy just doing more in his current assignment, and I suppose the 'boredom' of being in transition isn't helping anything. He is frustrated that there is little for them to do... frustrated that he is thousands of miles away from home with no discern able task to do. I, on the other hand, am pleased as punch that he is tucked away in a safe place. But I suppose this is a good problem to have, so I will cease and desist.

I am off to enjoy a glass or two of wine, draw and watch silly TV. I hope everyone has a great weekend!

05 March 2009


We officially have an address!

And now those monster cookies will stop taunting me because they will be far, far away... Aah, the little things in life.

03 March 2009

Reality check.

So now that Swiss is officially “in theatre” I have been oscillating between calm logic, moderate anxiety and fear. This first month was such an odd one; he was never in danger, he was safe in Kuwait, nowhere near danger or risk or, well, war. I got used to it. But things are different now… it has taken a few days for it to sink it. He isn't ‘safe’ anymore. I don’t get to not worry anymore.

This whole deployment thing feels very different nowadays. There is a weight and legitimacy that this deployment hasn't had yet. This is very real.

I know that sounds lame. Of course it is real. 4,252+ is REAL.

But this past month was so easy, so worry-free, so easy to manage… I just missed him, I didn't fret over his safety or the dreaded knock on the door. Now, everything is different. There are real threats, there are IED's, there is a war. And Swiss is in the middle of it.

I know that his new job is one that is ‘safer’. I know that he isn't on foot patrol every day like last time. I know that he will be able to stay on the FOB for the most part. But I also know that this, really, means nothing. Accidents happen, surprise attacks happen, and at some point he will have to go off FOB and there is no controlling what happens out there. He is not immune. He is not invincible. He is at war.

Holy shit.

Anyway, I am still coming to grips with this. I was prepared for this, but the extended stint in Kuwait snuck in and washed away the preparation, the fear, the nervousness, the harsh reality that he isn't just away at Warrior Forge or Ranger Challenge or FTX. It feels like I am starting all over again and the stark realities of the situation are like blows to the gut.

02 March 2009

Starbucks wisdom.

I was hesitant to post this… solely because it would bump Daniel Craig further down the page. But I found a nugget of wisdom that was printed on my Chai 2% Latte this morning:

“I have faith. Faith in our wondrous capacity for hope and good, love and trust, healing and forgiveness. Faith in the blessing of our infinite ability to wonder, question, pray, feel, think and learn. I have faith. Faith in the infinite possibilities of the human spirit.”
James Brown (Emmy-winning sportscaster and co-host of FOX NFL Sunday)
And you know what? James Brown is right. And good for you Starbucks for putting such nice messages out into the universe with every cup of joe.

But, then again they also told me on my cup insulator that “Your next ‘Action Item’: Do as little as possible.”

Methinks that might offset the all the good ju-ju they put out there on the cups. Either way, the Chai Latte was super yummy. Oh, Swiss and I just marked 1 month down this weekend... only 11 more to go! Happy Monday All!

01 March 2009


Swiss is in his new location. I think I can finally send him mail (!). Which means I will be making Val's excellent Snicker doodle recipe post haste. Yum. Nix that, Swiss just requested Monster cookies. I told him I couldn't possibly chop up the dog and put him into cookies. heh.

Actually,Fletcher is doing fine and he let me sleep until my alarm went off this morning. And he hasn't peed anywhere he shouldn't yet (though it is early). Hallelujah!

I am SO over this cold, bitter, snowy, icy winter thing. Ask my why I live in the upper Midwest and I honestly couldn't tell you. Fort X is looking like Daniel Craig about now.

You are welcome for that, BTW.

Swiss and I have decided to take a second Honeymoon when he gets back... and talk of this makes me positively giddy. Where should we go? What should we do? Stay near or travel far? Tropical? Woodsy? Beachy? Lodgy? Such decisions!!!

Anyway, that is all I have to share. Nothing too exciting here... but I did get new slippers! Woot!