30 April 2009


63:365 aaaaahhhhhhh, originally uploaded by jess elle.

My latest addictions are Chamomile tea and blogging pictures from flickr. Hey, at least it ain't drugs, right? The tea for now is Tazo Calm and I am on the hunt for other brands. The photos? What can I say... I'm a photo junkie always looking for inspiration and well, cooler people with cooler photographs than me. Anyway, that is all. I have nothing else of consequence to share other than the Vet is in love with my dog. Ignorance is bliss I suppose...

29 April 2009

Work it out.

working out, originally uploaded by tongueinchic.

I am pumped. Why? Because ArmyWife and I are going to be workout buddies! No, I suppose you are right, that isn't Earth-shattering news. BUT, it is super cool because we live just over 1,000 miles apart. God Bless teh Internetz!

Our plan? To report back to each other when we finish workouts, talk about our progress and work through this awesome book: The New Rules of Lifting for Women. Oh, and that other pesky thing necessary for workouts: Motivation. As she said, "...it is going to be GLORIOUS!" and I agree. Of course I also have to give a shout out to Alternative Army Wife because a) she is way cooler than I am and b) she got me all kinds of geared up to get back into my workout groove (she's going to be a fitness guru, just you wait!). So yeah, that is the plan.

Go Team!

28 April 2009

MEH Magazine

MEH Magazine, originally uploaded by shammonds.

This is how I feel today... come to think of it, this is how I have been feeling for a while. Just Meh. At least there is a magazine for gals (or guys) like me... Silver lining and all...

27 April 2009

Teh Randomness.

It is still cold and rainy here. It was 90 on Friday. I am having withdrawal. Please bring the warmness and the sun back!

I had shrimp and curry couscous tonight for dinner and it was yummy.

The list of things Fletcher is terrified of now includes thunderstorms along with sirens and whistles. That is one odd mutt we got.

Actually hearing Swiss's voice makes everything SO much better! I know that sounds sappy and corny but it is true and I am not ashamed to admit it.

I am waaaay too fond of my television. And Ty Murray has some GUNS on him! woo! And I might be in lurve with Castle.

Okay, that is all for now. Sorry I am so boring!

26 April 2009


Okay, this is one happy girl you are talking to (um, er, reading?). Swiss got phone service yesterday and we got to talk not once, but TWICE! And the last time for an hour! (of course it helped that it was 0300 there so everyone else with a normal sleep schedule was slumbering) Anyway, I am super happy and I feel relieved and joyful and can I just tell you how good it was to hear him laugh? le sigh.

Anyway, it is rainy and cold here, so I am staying in, painting and chilling out... and waiting for Swiss's next phone call. Squeeeeee!

23 April 2009

10 more things...

I don't have anything of consequence to share today, but I feel compelled to post. So here you go, 10 more random things about me that you will undoubtedly find completely unfascinating. That is a lot of un's.

Here we go:
1. I have a birthmark on my forehead and it is like a mood ring. It is usually hardly noticeable now that I am 'grown up' (whatever that means) but when I am upset or stressed it is b-r-i-g-h-t pink an square in the middle of my forehead. Sexay.
2. I have creepy double jointed fingers.
3. My last meal would include BBQ, sushi, a Chipotle burrito and a big bowl of corn. Possibly mashed potatoes.
4. I want to get a tattoo but think I am too old. I know I am not, but I am weird like that.
5. I am have a very strong bond with my eye liner. Won't leave the house without it on.
6. I am a whiz at getting stains out of anything, and I have my Grandma Ethel to thank for it.
7. I sneeze in pairs.
8. I dance in public and gauge loyalty/friendship by one's ability to put up with it and/or join in.
9. I love post cards.
10. My favorite city in the whole wide world is Venice, no wait, Paris... or maybe Madrid? Ugh, that was a horrible one to end with. I'll go with Madrid... but reserve the right to change my mind starting now.

22 April 2009

You are special and make everything better.

Well, at least that is what Matthew said to me when he and his brother and Mom stopped by our house last night. Matthew belongs to my wonderful and amazing friend Val and he may be the sweetest child I have ever met. I adore him (and his brother Sam) to no end and have considered kidnapping them both.

Anyway, he invited me to brunch on Sunday with his family for strawberry pannekoeken and told me it was because I was special and make everything better when I am around. (Val tells me he came up with that all on his own) Don't you love it when a 9 year old makes you melt? So here's a big, heartfelt THANK YOU to Mr. Matthew, for making my day, making me feel special, and inviting me to brunch. You are a doll and have no idea how much that meant to me.

I would also like to extend the same big, heartfelt Thank You to all you wonderful readers who gave me great advice and super support yesterday. Things are better today, all because of y'all and a sweet 9 year old. Well done!

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day!, originally uploaded by Christine (is in summer mode!).

21 April 2009

How Lord of the Rings is like a deployment.

Admittedly the past few days have been rough. Generally, I think I am doing pretty darned good job of dealing with this deployment, staying positive, going on with life and doing my best to thrive in this new situation. But lately I'm feeling kind of like I'm just going through the motions, like I am on auto-pilot. I suspect it has much to do with the month of nonexistent phone service and not being able to hear Swiss’s voice. I suspect it also has something to do with feeling like we've only just reached Rivendell in our epic journey to Mordor... in other words we haven’t even finished the first movie. Yes, I just referenced the Lord of the Rings trilogy and compared it to this deployment. I think it is oddly fitting. The Precious? Totally the end of this deployment. I loves the precious. Must have the precious!

I think it also has something to do with being here in the civilian world… it is starting to feel like Swiss and this deployment has been forgotten by all but a few. No one asks. No one talks about it. We talk about everything else, but somehow this deployment and how we are doing seems to be verboten. Maybe they are just afraid to talk about it. Maybe they think I will have a meltdown if it gets brought up (I won't... I haven't had anything even resembling a melt-down yet, at least not in public!). Maybe they don't know what to say, so they don't say anything at all. Maybe they think I am doing perfectly fine and don't need anything. I don't know. I just know I'm feeling sort of invisible. If I have a bad day, no one asks. I don't have very many bad days, so it is sort of disappointing that it doesn't register that I might need some support or a kind gesture.

Now mind you, this isn't everyone in my life (thank God!). I have a few great friends who aren't afraid to ask or talk about it and still genuinely care about us. And I am so thankful for them, but a good portion of them are not here, they are scattered to the four corners and not physically present in my day-to-day life (I heart you ladeez!). And I know those are the folks I should focus on, but I am feeling a tiny bit lost at sea right now and I am terrible at asking for the kind of 'help' that would go so far in making this easier. I don't want a pity party and I don't need help-help. I just need someone to ask "how are you doing?" or say "let's go get dinner some night". I don't want to seem weak because I feel like I should be able to do this all on my own, but this hasn't exactly been what I would call easy. It would be nice though if someone came up to me and asked if I am doing okay. I don't want to have to say "I'm having a shit time right now, can you ask me out to dinner or drinks or come over to just hang out?". Maybe that is silly of me.

I know I will get over this soon. I know it will pass... I will put my Big Girl Britches on and get over myself. I will keep on trucking to Mordor and focus on getting to the Precious. But man, this really sucks sometimes.

19 April 2009

Not fair.

Nope, this isn't a rant against Commo Guy (though he still hasn't done his job... aarrrgh). This is me wondering if the universe really does come together to point it's finger and laugh at you. You know, taunt you with all the things you want but can't have in really, really large doses? Like a Cosmic Bully taunting you with the lunch money he just stole from you. Yeah, Cosmic Bully... do you think those exist?

You see, in the span of just one day, I have seen no less than 46 passionate kisses on television. Okay, so maybe that means Network TV is conspiring against me and maybe that I watch too much television. But still, thanks for the not-so-gentle reminder that I won't be getting any passionate kisses for another 6 months. But really, once was enough. I get it. 46 times though? That's just plain mean. Because believe me, I am acutely aware of this fact, so STOP BEATING ME OVER THE HEAD WITH IT! Please?

Thank you.

2 cents.

So I was putzing around the interwebs this Sunday morning, sipping my coffee (mmmm hazelnut) and letting the plethora of links and stories lead me where they may. Sort of like a grown-up Choose Your Own Adventure book (I looooooved those as a kid). Anyway, I came across this story, which then led me to this story. And you know what struck me, well, other than that I was reading OpEd articles about American Idol? This:

"Which brings up the elephant in the room: Adam's gayness. (He has not actually come out, but pictures of him kissing men and a video of him saying that women are not his preference are all over the Internet.) No gay man has ever won "Idol," which raises the sociopolitical stakes of the show's finale considerably. If Adam loses, will it be because of homophobia?"
SERIOUSLY? This is beyond ridiculous... and this isn't even about AI. This is about someone who is insanely talented by any measure. His sexual orientation doesn't affect his talent and it shouldn't preclude him from the success he rightfully deserves (not that he won't have success if he doesn't win, heck my Mom is in love with the kid and would by his album). But is America really this shallow? Are we really that concerned with the sexual preferences of its artists? Are we willing to shortchange someone just because of who they may or may not like to kiss?

I guess there is only one way to find out and American will have its say in a few short weeks. I'm hoping for the best and that eyeliner and internet photos aren't the only things he is judged on. You can do it America! I have faith in you!!!

18 April 2009


Okay, let me preface this statement/vent/whine with this: I know there are some of you MilSpouses out there who hardly ever get to talk to your significant others during the course of a deployment (you can feel free to tell me to suck it and shut up). I know it was worse in WWI, WWII, Vietnam, Korea, et. al. I know we have computers and e-mail. I get it, it could so be worse and some of you deal with this all the time. With that said:


We are moving into week 4 of no verbal communication. The SPAWAR station is set up though... the phones are in, the tables are made, the cable is laid. All we are waiting on is some civilian contractor (aka Commo Guy) to get their ass out to BFE and point the damned satellite in the right freaking direction. That's it. But the civilian just hasn't shown up in the past week and no one really knows when he will be there. So we sit in radio silence and rely on hotmail to communicate.

And if one more civilian tells me "well, at least you have the computer" I will likely punch them. Then I will likely spew forth something ineloquent about how they would feel not seeing their husband for almost 3 months and relying on freaking e-mail to talk and not hearing his voice and then start crying. And then I will have no more civilian friends because they will all think I am either a bitch or insane... or both.

See what you are doing to me Commo Guy? Just get out there and point that thing in the right direction and I will regain my sanity. Is that so hard??? Throw me a freaking bone here dude... Poor Swiss would prefer nothing more than to wring some necks over this, but has resigned himself to the fact that most of the folks in his unit are inept and beyond help. Oh woe is us. Just please, make me sane again and get those phones up and running. Please?

Thus ending my rant.

Oh, and I swear I'm not usually this surly! I just really, really, really need to hear Swiss's voice.

17 April 2009

Sitar Hero.

This is for my ladeez. (Though it totally needs like 60 more buttons/notes)

16 April 2009

I heart the Sound of Music.

Can I also say that in a bout of cosmic synchronicity, the piano lady in the subway at work was playing Edelweiss. It made me want to twirl and sing along at the top of my lungs. Yes, I heart the Sound of Music. This is a dirty little secret of mine and now you all know.

PS- I forgot to give a Shout Out to LopsidedMom for passing on this goodness. She rocks!

14 April 2009

Nerd alert.

aka: The Joy of Science.

Okay, so I am a nerd. I fully and willingly admit this, dare I even say I am proud of it. As a Biology major (Ecology, Evolution & Behavioral Biology to be exact- even nerdier, right?) I spent a fair chunk of college holed up in our science building (Oh Chamberlain, how I miss you and your musty corridors, odd murals and clunky, green elevator) or working on lab assignments. But far and away the coolest thing I ever did in college was meet Jane Goodall. Yes, THE Jane Goodall.

I was taking a primate anthropology course (ugh, the memories, that class was h-a-r-d) my Junior year and she came to our wee college to talk to the whole campus and community about her experiences and her project Roots and Shoots. Our class was lucky enough to get to have lunch with her, chat and get her to sign our books (A Reason for Hope, it is a great read by the way, go read it!). She is so amazing, so wise and patient and kind and adventurous. Passionate. She is a pioneer- for scientists, for women, for educators and advocates. As Stephen Jay Gould said, "Jane Goodall's work with chimpanzees represents one of the Western world's greatest scientific achievements." She is what science is all about... not stuffy professors who sit behind big desks, tenures and grant money. She is 'boots on the ground'... She is the real deal and she is everything that I wanted to be when I was in college.
Anyway, the point of this whole post is that today I saw an article about her at salon.com... I read it and I could feel the excitement building in me again. (By the way, go read it because her story is fascinating as is she... it isn't overly scientific, I promise!) I started thinking about how important all of this is, how important it is to teach future generations about their world, remembering how fun and thrilling science can be... discovering new things, putting the big picture together, understanding how and why our surroundings are like they are. I got excited about science and biology and all the things I loved about my degree in college again.

Yes, I know, the nerd sirens are going off. But here is the point: I am going to quit my job when Swiss comes home and go be a high school biology teacher. I am crazy, I know. But it has always been one of the options on the table... having such a visceral reaction to this article stirred up all sorts of 'emotions' that working in a clinical lab under government regulations had stifled. I can pass on this excitement and passion to at least a few kids, I can share knowledge, be creative and teach kids to think critically, to appreciate their surroundings and not be afraid to challenge the established dogmas. I know there are all sorts of issues that surround teaching and working with high school kids, I'm not naive. But I am excited about this and I have Jane Goodall to thank for it.

Thanks Jane, and happy 75th Birthday!

13 April 2009

Books and their covers.

Please go watch this. Seriously, do it now.

And then move to England with me so I can vote for this woman a million times over.

I can't tell you how much I needed to see something like this, witness something so unexpected and beautiful and heartwarming.

I wish her all the best in this world and certainly all the success she deserves with a voice like that (and maybe a big, juicy first kiss with Daniel Craig). Go watch it, I guarantee it will make your day, make your heart swell, teach you a wonderful lesson and possibly make you cry*.

Mother Jones was spot on: Susan Boyle, Curing Cynicism Since 2009. Oh, and Thank you LopsidedMom and LAW for essentially making me watch this and thus making my Monday.

*In the interest of full disclosure, it totally made me cry.

08 April 2009


So I am in the middle of reading "I Love a Man in Uniform" by Lily Burana (which is excellent and super engaging BTW) and I just came across a nugget of wisdom and insight that had me instantly running over to my computer to post about it. Here it is:
"The weirdest thing about West Point? No one discussed the war. ... In my "civilian" friendships, your opinion is like your fingerprint, a critical marker of your identity. We talked about the war all the time, pro or con. It was a political football tossed back and forth in constant conversational play. But at West Point, I never conversed about the political or moral ramifications of the war. ... The depth of candor surrounding the domestic ramifications of the current conflict was astonishing. But what we thought of the war itself? It never came up. Not even once." -Lily Burana

YES! That is the problem! That is why we have LeftFace! That is why we are trying to open up the dialogue about what it means to be a military spouse and how to reconcile personal opinions (and politics) with our husband's careers and the culture of the military.

It isn't about bashing one view or extolling the virtues of any given political party. It is about SHARING. It is about the exchange of thoughts and ideas. It is about openly and honestly talking about the very issues that our loved ones must enact. We SHOULD be talking about this war. We MUST be questioning policies. We NEED to engage each other about these topics! Why? Because every last bit of these policies directly effect us, the 1%. I refuse to just take what someone (especially our government, regardless of who is running it) tells me at face value. I was taught to think outside the box, to analyze the situations, problems and resolutions in front of me. I was molded into a critical thinker, not only by my parents, but by my educational institutions and my life experiences. None of that changed when I became an Army wife.

Just because we are military, doesn't negate our ability (and right) to be critical, challenging and open minded. It doesn't renege our right to question and debate the policies, politicians and government who we are inextricably tied to. And engaging in these thoughtful, open, honest and critical debates does NOT make me unpatriotic, it does not make me a bad military spouse and it most certainly does not lessen my pride in our armed forces, our country or my husband. Thankyouverymuch.

07 April 2009

The other D.

Distance. They say it makes the heart grow fonder, right? But the cynic in me knows that distance can do a lot of other things... those are the things that worm their way into my head when I can't sleep...

Distance can make us drift apart. Distance can make us weaker. Distance can make us different. Distance can create tension or worse yet temptation.

Please don't take this wrong right off the bat. Swiss and I are doing great (aside from the ongoing weeks of no phone calls). We are happy and communicating and still madly in love and without drama. Thank Gawd. We aren't struggling with any of these things, and lest you think I am trying to create issues, you should all know that I am a planner. And I generally plan for the worst case scenario.

The thing of it is that Swiss and I have such a stable, normal, affectionate, honest and fun relationship. It is the most normal relationship I have ever been in. We are so happy and we are so good together. And yes, we had to the whole long distance thing for 90% of our relationship so it hasn't all been cupcakes and fairy tales. But we've had it good. We communicate and we are open and we've gotten through many an issue together, without yelling (neither of us are good fighters), all while being as supportive and understanding as we can.

But I wonder what all this time apart will do to change that. I am not naive enough to think that he will come home and everything will be just as it was when he left. I worry that things won't be as smooth as they were before. I worry that we won't be as good at reading each other, that we won't know how to be like we were before. I don't feel like I am changing, but I can't see how I couldn't. Same for Swiss. And I don't know what weeks and months on end of conversing only by computer screen & keyboard or phones alone does to the communication skills you established before. I don't know what kind of complications it could create.

In short, I wonder if things will ever be the same. Lord, I hope so, because we only had 3 months of 'normal'. We had 90 days to live together full time, to be us. And I can't help but wonder how far reaching the effects of this deployment will be on our relationship. How long will we pay for this? And what will the cost be?

I hate to sound melodramatic about all of this. We really are doing fine and I'm not seeing any red flags. But I guess it would be weird to not think about all of this, no? Anyway, at the end of the day I am going to put my faith in us and in our love. Faith that we will work through any issues that do arise... I can only hope that they are minimal and easy to deal with.

And at night when I am laying awake, I will think of this, think of how strong our love is, and rest easy. "And ever has it been that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation." -Kahlil Gibran


I am still here. Things are fine-ish. I am working on a post that is hard to write, so have patience with me. In the meantime, go check out LeftFace... there are some great resources, stories and a serious on MilSpouse employment. I am so impressed by all you ladies!

05 April 2009

Mystery solved.

So funny story... a few weeks ago Swiss got a text message on his cell phone (which is here at home with me). It came at 11:48PM on a Wednesday night and read:
"Thank u Swiss-u r the epitamy of what a Soldier should be!"
Note the excellent spelling and grammar... It was from a number neither of us knew so I just ignored it rather than call/text back a 'stranger'. I chalked it up to a drunk buddy who got sappy at the bar... or something like that.

Well today the mystery of the random texter was found out, thanks to my brother in law. It was P, Swiss's ex-wife who is engaged to be married. Drunken engaged ex-wife texts are my favorite! We haven't had one of those since waaaay before we were married... oh how I've missed them! I'm sure she was either a) trying to rattle my cage thinking that I had his phone or b) trying to suck up to Swiss assuming that he had his phone with him in the Sand. Either way it made me laugh when I found out who it was... I still can't figure out the reason behind it- she usually isn't that nice!

But no matter, it is just another entertaining tale to tell in the saga of The Ex-Wife. Do y'all have any crazy ex-wife stories to share? I have more, but this is as much as I am willing to tempt Karma!


So the massive snowstorm that we were doomed to endure never really showed up to play. You could say that it didn't bring its 'A' game because wispy bits of snow that melt immediately upon impact hardly counts. Well, I guess the 'storm' did show up, but it only brought its 'G' game, maybe. Those meteorologists can't be trusted! But color me happy because instead of shoveling I am just having to clean muddy paws (which I have become OCD about since I just mopped all the floors yesterday).

Anywhoodles, I've spent the morning painting which is 84 shades of awesome and thanks to the lack of snow I can complete the shopping for the latest items Swiss has requested (including, but not limited to: a AA battery powered alarm clock, Guitar Hero Metallica, shelf brackets with adhesive and baby wipes). And I am making homemade granola bars to send him too. Yum. So, that is all I have for my Sunday update. You can all rest easy now that you are up to speed on my thrilling life...

03 April 2009

FU, Snow.

This is the top local news headline (yes, it is verbatim): "Sorry, but 6 inches of snow en route".

Not cool Weather, not cool.

But on the plus side, this site (warning NSFW or kids) makes me laugh until I snort and hopefully that will pull me through this crappy bout of weather. It also makes me want to get this shirt for my dog. Not that I am a big fan of dressing up pets, but come on, that is funny. "I am part of the problem" heh.

On the down side, rumor has it that it will be another week or so until the "commo" guys get the SPAWAR phones up and running. Why yes, wait until the entire unit is out there before you even being working to get the phones up and running. No sense doing it before now, like when the advon went out a month ago. That would be silly.

But back on the plus side, I got all my art supplies so this weekend will be filled with painting, sangria (I'm in charge of finding the best recipe for Beth's wedding party- suggestions?), and apparently snow.

So I don't know where that leaves me, but here's wishing a Happy Friday to everyone and enjoy the lack of snow wherever you are.

02 April 2009


So, I got a call from my sweet FRG leader the other day. (God bless her- she has 6 kids all under 10, a deployed husband and is heading up the FRG. I don't know how she does it.) She asked me to be a POC (don't I sound all Army-ish with my aronyms?! Oh, POC=point of contact.) for a few other ladies in the unit. Anyway, I am really glad to help and I know she is happy to have some other folks to do a lot of the calls, plus it helps me feel connected to the unit which I hae been sorely lacking. But I can't help but wonder what these poor women are going to think of me when they find out that their POC is a) a newbie at ALL of this and b) right around 1,200 miles away. Am I insane for doing this or will all the detials not matter?

And for those of you who either have been a POC or have had a POC: tips? Crib sheets? Cliff noties? Please!


First off: THANK YOU! Thank you to all of you who sent me well wishes yesterday, for all the support, kindness, wisdom and kind thoughts. This deployment would be so much harder without all of you, so thanks a million! I'm doing much better today thanks to you all.

Second, we gals over at LeftFace are in a bit of a competition for best new MilSpouse blog. If you like us, please, please go vote for us here. Thanks!

Third, I just found this organization, Operation Dreamseed, via research for this blog post about Kids in Afghanistan. Wow, they are an amazing organization with a presence in not only Afghanistan and Iraq, but also Nicaragua and Colombia. Here is their mission:

"Operating within the values of freedom, democracy, education, and self-betterment, Operation Dreamseed will develop and support education initiatives in the schools and education systems of underdeveloped countries in order to foster and facilitate the access to and process of learning."
If you can, go check them out and see if you (and your peeps) can get some donations together to help the cause. Thus ending this PSA.

Lastly, I really want to watch Grey's Anatomy tonight and put up another post about the status of Owen's PTSD, but alas, I will be in art class. So y'all will have to wait a twee bit until I can watch the episode online and pull a post together.

So go vote and have a super Thursday everyone!

01 April 2009

Deployment Math.

Do you ever have one of those moments when something you know suddenly becomes something you realize? Does that even make any sense?

Here's my point. Just yesterday I was all proud of Swiss and I because we got 2 whole months down... only 10 more to go! Hooah! But then all the deployment math started running through my head, especially the equations about how much longer it will be until I get to see my man.

That's when it hit me. Even though we have 2 months down (which sadly seems like an eternity), I am still going to have to wait 6 more months to see his face, touch him, be near him. I knew that, we had talked about it numerous times before. It will be Fall before I see him. Most of 2009 will be over by that time. For some reason today all of it really sunk in. 6 more months of this. It sort of makes me wan to cry (and by sort of I mean really).

6 more months of no kisses, no hand to hold, no one to curl up next to in bed, no handsome man to come home to, no normal couple-ness. It makes these past 2 months feel like 2 days. Like we haven't really accomplished anything in getting this over with.

I know that isn't the case... 2 months is not nothing. And I know that the flip side is that once he is home on R&R, it will only be a handful of months until he is home again. But today that knowledge doesn't help... it doesn't make me any less lonely and it doesn't make this any easier.

I just really miss him. And I am really ready to have him home again. If anyone finds or has a Fast Forward button please pass it my way post haste...