31 May 2009

Something to ponder...

Go read this over on eHow: How to Date a Military Man.

And then explain to me why there isn't a tutorial online on how to date Teachers or Construction Workers or Chefs. Heck, it is the interwebz, maybe there is. But golly, that sure would have helped me land Swiss a whole lot sooner! And by that I mean not. Seriously, why are people SO DUMB? (That was rhetorical, I think blogger would crash if you commented with all the reasons, no?)

30 May 2009

Bring on the allen wrenches and sweedish meatballs.

You got it right Ladies (and gents).... Beth and I are off to IKEA today. Heck, she even brought the truck which I suspect indicates that she means business! We will also hit up an insanely large mall and try to find some Chipotle. You can never have too much Chipotle (I'll savor mine for you Swiss!)!

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! Catch y'all on the flip side!

29 May 2009

Meet Swiss.

The hubs, originally uploaded by Tucker&Swiss.

So Swiss and I were talking just last night about my little blog and he asked me why there weren't more photos of him... I was all... um, well isn't that an OPSEC thing? He said not likely, unless he was in uniform with all this snazzy patches and ranks and names and blood types and so on. So, here I go introducing you all to Swiss.

This is the guy who writes me poetry, then goes and kills a deer so we have venison in the freezer. He is the man who once brought me flowers that were attached to a pint of Ben & Jerry's Crem Brulee ice cream and 2 spoons. He is the guy who wants to go on a hunting trip as much as he wants to go to Barcelona to sip wine and people watch. I could go on and on about how awesome he is, how amazed I am by him, and how funny and clever and sweet and sexy he is, but you all don't need to hear all of that right now. All you need to know is that he is my Happily Ever After. swoon! I love you Sweetheart!

Someday I will tell you how we got our nicknames of Tucker and Swiss... but for now I will just wish you all a Happy Friday! Cheers!

28 May 2009

On blogging.

Recently a few friends have been talking about their blogs, if they are going to continue them, what material they want to share, reader reactions, perceptions and whether or not it really is the outlet it was intended to be. Heck, by the looks of it we are losing another MilSpouse blogger too (you probably already know of who I speak). And I can't help but wonder how this all happened... all these questions about what will people think if I write X, maybe I should water it down and write Y, and so on.

I guess I have never really shied away from writing about all of the crappy stuff, mostly because I needed an outlet for these emotions, and I never let myself worry about what other readers thought. I figured if they didn't like it, or thought it too moody or depressing, they could just move on. If they could relate or had something they wanted to share, then pull up a seat and let's talk. Is it fun when someone tells you your opinions are lame? No. Does it make you all fuzzy and warm inside when someone posts a mean or snarky comment? Heck no. Is it a great feeling when someone slanders you on their own blog? Not at all. But also, if someone is willing to behave like that, then I just plain don't care about their opinion. That isn't someone I would ever invite into my life, so just because (s)he may be trolling the interwebz looking for something to take a poke at, I won't let her (or him) stop me from saying what I need to say.

Because after all, regardless of public perception or opinion, this is MY AO, MY blog, MY place to put it all out there. And yes, I am taking that leap because I am putting it out there... literally... rather than journaling or keeping a diary privately. I am welcoming public opinion, but I don't think any of us should have to sugar coat, water down, or hold back on what is going on in our lives just because someone else is reading. I need a place to say that usually in the morning when I get out of the shower and see the message Swiss wrote to me in the steam filled mirror before he left (I ♥ Tucker!) I smile, but today it made me bawl because I can't stand being apart from him, not for this long. I need this place, this blog, because I can't say it at work, I can't say it to someone who doesn't get it, I can't admit how miserable I am sometimes because no one wants to hear that. But if I can vent about it here, somehow I feel better. It isn't always pretty or happy or filled with rainbows & butterflies, but it is real, it is honest and it is what I am feeling.

So I guess the point is that to any of you ladies contemplating stopping for any (or all) of the above reasons... don't do it. Not unless it is what you really want. Say what you need to say, put it out there in all its raw, honest glory, nothing you have to say is trite or harsh or unwelcome- it is YOUR space to say whatever it is you need to say- regardless of what is going on with those around you. And screw anyone who doesn't understand. Because I promise to understand, I promise to listen(read) and I promise to still find you all utterly charming and amazing no matter what you blog about.

The end.

27 May 2009

Puppy paws and eyeballs.

They do not mix. Let me tell you!

Yep, I get to go to the Opthamologist today because Fletch managed to poke/nick/claw my eyeball last night while playing. I'm thinking that my contact lens took the brunt of the assault, but we will know for sure later today. So the moral of the story, in true OSHA fashion, is to wear protective eye wear when roughhousing with your dog on the floor.

And in other news, I am super pumped that there are two (2!) different series going on in the blog-o-sphere about reintegration and post-deployments: SisB over at Veritably Bare and LAW & The Army Wife over at LeftFace. I feel like, though 'far' away still, our reintegration is a final exam that I have no way of studying for... and it ain't open book either. So I am thrilled that these awesome ladies are going to share their experiences, advice, tips and really put themselves out there in such an open and honest way... I'm hoping I can glean some insider tips and at least show up to my final exam slightly prepared! Anyway, go check them out and share your experiences (mostly so I can glom off of your knowledge!)!

That is all I have for today. I do wish it would stop raining though... Happy Wednesday everyone! Off to get some caffeine!!!

UPDATE: The eyeball is fine, though now both eyes are dilated and I am stuck at work with enough fluorescent lighting to land a UFO. Mah eyez! They hurt! Anyway, that is all. Carry on!

26 May 2009

For the record.

I don't like e-mails that end with "I love you gotta go quick stuff is happening".

I don't like snarky co-workers who are mean because they aren't happy with their own lives.

I don't like Spring when it is muddy and raining all the time.

I don't like that I don't know how to build a transporter or teleporter or one of those "Beam me up Scotty" things.

I don't like being a geographical Bachelorette. It sucks. For reals.

The end.

Odds and ends.

Aaaah... back to reality after a super swell long weekend at home- ugh. I love Wisconsin. I mean, really love it. It is all hilly and green and there are cows and big red barns and there is cheese and beer and brats and cranberries and Madison and Summerfest and family and friends and cheese and lakes and the Badgers and Brewers and the art museum and cheese. Yeah, I miss it there. Lots and lots.

I spent the weekend hanging out with Mom & Dad, Fletch got to play with Sally & Miller which is always comical... three English Setters in one place is a lot of dog and a lot of energy to contend with. We had a party on Sunday and I got to see all the friends and family from the Milwaukee area and catch up... most of which I haven't seen since our wedding in October. They all got to shout "Hi" to Swiss when he called too... is was awesome because those folks can be LOUD when they want to be!

Monday my Mom and I went down to our little town and watched the Memorial Day parade. It was so sweet and quaint and so quintessentially small-town American. The members of the VFW marched by and I got all misty... I applauded them as they marched by and quickly everyone along the street joined in. I was so proud and honored and humbled in those minutes as the WWII era war planes flew overhead and the local high school marching band played "God Bless America". At that moment, it was all that is right with our country. (Though to see what is wrong with it, read yesterday's post)

On the drive home Monday night, as Fletcher slept in the back seat, I thought long and hard about where Swiss and I will be in the future, about him coming home to Fort X, about retiring and finding a job, about family and priorities and getting on with our post-Army life. It is all so surreal sometimes... it is so liberating to know we can go anywhere we want... but the pull of family and friends is so strong. I'm still not sure how to reconcile these things, or which ones are more important. I know Swiss would go anywhere, and he would never balk if I said that a specific town was where I wanted us to live. He just wants us to be happy. And of course that is what I want too. I just don't know how to find OUR happy medium, not just one happy medium that the other is okay going along with.

There is a JROTC job at the (swanky) Military Academy very near my parents home. Not that it is necessary for me to live uber close to the parental units, but it would be a GREAT job for him (and it is one that he is already interested in). We could find a home 20-30 minutes away, and we would be SO close to the people who help make me, well, me. Beth would be an hour away, we could be near my 91 year old and completely wonderful Grandfather, my parents adore Swiss and are so much fun... all of my family and our friends are such amazing people and all of them are completely in love with Swiss. But I know deep down that all of these things are about ME. Not Swiss, at least not directly. All he wants is to make me happy, get a good job (preferably at a military academy) and have 10 or 20 acres to run around in. But where is that line? Where is the line that we can both stand on, both be happy with? Where is the middle ground that makes us BOTH happy? I don't know. I guess we have to figure that out for ourselves.

Anyway, this got to be reeeeeeeeal long. Sorry. But that is all the news here that is fit to print. Swiss is doing well, we are getting there. So here's to another week down. I'm crabby today, but I think that is only because people are dumb, which I'm afraid can't be helped. ugh.

25 May 2009

Memorial Day rant.

Monday my Mom and I went down to our little town and watched the Memorial Day parade. It was so sweet and quaint and so quintessentially small-town American. The members of the VFW marched by and I got all misty... I applauded them as they passed me and quickly everyone along the street joined in. I was so proud and honored and humbled in those minutes as the WWII era war planes flew overhead and the local high school marching band played "God Bless America". At that moment, it was all that is right with our country.

And then I came home, hopped on the web, and witnessed all that is wrong with our country. I got all kinds of surly with the commenters over at Pioneer Woman today... it seems that Memorial Day, to many, isn't about the military or the sacrifices of those men and women specifically that allow us the freedoms and liberties we have. It seems that for a lot of folks it is about remembering their families, their lineage, their ancestors. While I think it is great to remember your family history, I can't help but be annoyed that so many folks ignore, forget or disregard the fact that this is the ONE day a year we specifically set aside to remember those who sacrificed EVERYTHING for our freedom. I guess I feel like we have every other day of the year to remember those loved ones who have passed, Memorial Day isn't that day, at least it shouldn't be that day. Plus this lady really torqued me off:
"repmogirl said: Thanks for reminding folks that Memorial Day is about more than barbecues…It seems to have become another military holiday, but in my family it’s more about keeping track of family history and passing it on to the next generation..." (emphasis is mine)
WHA? ANOTHER MILITARY HOLIDAY??? There are only 2 major ones lady. Two. 2 days a year to stop for a damned minute to say THANK YOU. Thank you for putting you life on hold, for fighting with all you have, for giving up your life to make this country what it is. 2 days. Quite frankly, it doesn't seem like enough. Anyway, thankfully a poster named Deb got it right:

"Thank you for sharing from your heart about your Memorial Day, which is centered on your family cemetery. As the wife of an Air Force officer who has selflessly served our country for over 20 years, including two tours in Iraq, I was really saddened to hear that your Memorial Day doesn’t focus on what Memorial Day is really all about. (But thanks for including the paragraph on cowboy “Sam” who served in Vietnam, and mentioning the military in the last paragraph.)
Please know that Memorial Day is a day to honor and remember the brave military men and women who died while in military service. You & I would not enjoy the freedoms we have today without the military folks, past & present, who are willing to give their lives in order to secure our freedom.
Thank you to all of you out there who serve in the military! May God bless America, land of the free…because of the brave."

YEAH. What she said.

So that is my rant. I don't mean to sound sanctimonious, it is just that I get so fed up with the people of this country who forget about our military, who shrug off their daily sacrifices as inconsequential, who don't care to remember or honor them, who look at the military with disdain or disgust, who flippantly blow off the remembrance of the people who DIED so that you can have your white picket fences and an internet to spew your stupidity on (repmogirl, not Ree). I get annoyed that people feel the need to make THIS holiday about them, about their own tiny bubbles, not the National Day of Remembrance for the strangers that died for your freedoms, this year, last year, and every year before. What those men and women died for was your right to be an outspoken moron and not have to reap any consequences for it. So at least be thankful for your right to be an idiot, you ungrateful twit.

Hhmph. Rant over.

UPDATE: I was over at The Big Picture (go check it out, they have some beautiful Memorial day photos) and while there is plenty of drivel in the comments, there are a few from European readers who thanked our WWII troops for all they have done, all their sacrifices so that they too may be free. So that the French and Spanish and all the others can still be just that, not part of a German empire (see # 35, 37, 41, 84, 88). These folks made me tear up because they don't even live here, the troops weren't their countrymen, it wasn't their sacrifice and yet, they GET IT. They get it in a way that clearly so few Americans do.

22 May 2009

Memorial Day

I am off to the motherland this weekend, back to Wisconsin and home. But please remember what this weekend is about... remember those who gave everything so that we may have what we do today. Let this weekend be about them... not just BBQ's, sales and a day off from work.

The Memorial Day Order:
"The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country ... and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land.

We are organized, Comrades, as our regulations tell us, for the purpose among other things, "of preserving and strengthening those kind and fraternal feelings which have bound together the soldiers, sailors and Marines, who united to suppress the late rebellion." What can aid more to assure this result than by cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead? We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. All that the consecrated wealth and taste of the nation can add to their adornment and security, is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders. Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.

Let us, then, at the time appointed, gather around their sacred remains, and garland the passionless mounds above them with choicest flowers of springtime; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledge to aid and assist those whom they have left among us a sacred charge upon the Nation's gratitude—the soldier's and sailor's widow and orphan." —General Orders No. 11, Grand Army of the Republic Headquarters

21 May 2009


Fletcher, originally uploaded by Tucker&Swiss.

I share this picture because it is the ONLY one I have where he doesn't a) look insane or b) appear as a white & black blur. He actually looks quite distinguished and stately.

Don't be fooled though, in reality he is much more like a toddler on meth, a la Coco.

Their wedding video is cooler than yours. Sorry.

Brian & Eileen's Wedding Music Video. from LOCKDOWN projects on Vimeo.

This should totally make you feel inadequate about your wedding and also make you feel really uncool because you didn't think of it. At least, that is what it did for me. But still, AWESOME. (Thanks Jenny!)

19 May 2009

An observation.

Once you have officially decided to leave your place of employment (but haven't actually TOLD anyone yet) it is amazing how much less tolerant you are of the ridiculousness. I mean, like, WAY less tolerant. I am ready to pull my hair out.

Can't I just quit now and eat bon-bons, watch Daniel Craig movies and paint?




P.S.-I am SO totally in love with Glee!

(and yes, you are welcome for the gratuitous eye-candy.)

18 May 2009

Teh randomness.

Yeah, so I went AWOL this weekend from the blog-o-sphere. Sorry.
I’ve been in a sort of quasi funk… not that things aren’t good, because they are… just that Ugh, are we done yet?
(HA HAHAHA Ha hahahahahhaaaha AHAHAHAHAH! NO. We are not.)

I coached the U12 girls in a tournament this weekend. We were 1-3. But somehow we still got 2nd place in the “Bronze” Bracket. Also known as the LOSER bracket (and I say this with utter confidence as we lost both qualifying games). I love how we are sugar coating everything for kids now days. Anyway, this coaching gig has been an interesting observation and study in the results of parenting methods… and I totally made 2 girls cry. One told me she didn’t like the position we put her at so I said if she didn’t like it she could sit on the bench. Tears. The other told me she wasn’t cheering for her teammates because she was bored, to which I said, if you are bored then go home. Tears. Heh… I sound like such a hard-ass. The thing that blows my mind is how some of these 11 & 12 year old girls have no idea what the word respect means. They don’t come out of the womb like that, right? Someone made them that way. And those parents? I want to kick them in the shins and whip them the bird. Mature, I know.

But I digress. Fletcher and I have reached a happy compromise that involves him sleeping in his kennel in the basement so that I am no longer awakened at 5:09 am and grumpy as all get out. It is good! Plus I think Fletch is waaaaay cuter at 6 am than he is at 5. Everyone wins!

And in other super exciting news, I just booked my first paying job as a photographer. (ahwehewyeysrusdiufydsiuhg!!!!) It will be a family photo shoot combined with 9 month baby pictures. The baby girl? She is adorable! This family? They are beautiful. And we are doing it in their garden, which is more like a botanical park. I can’t wait! I think this means I might need to come up with a logo or something. Hmm. Should I stick with Tucker & Swiss as a name or branch out? Do I go with my real name? Make something random up? What do you all think????

14 May 2009

A favor.

To any of you who read this who don't have husbands (or wives or boyfriends or whatever your flavor) deployed: Do me a favor, please? Hug him (or her). Hold him tight and talk to him, for more than your allotted 30 minutes per day. Do it because I can't. Do it because you can. And savor every second of it. Okay? Good.

Thank you.

Us and our craptastic timing.

So part of our big Post-Army plans include getting Swiss a ROTC or JROTC job. He votes JROTC because the pay is better. I vote ROTC because he is SO good at teaching and would be a huge asset to any program. And college towns are usually way cooler than regular towns. And the other thing is that we are sort of picky about where we retire to (rightfully so in Swiss's case- dude has EARNED it). We have a few states that we think are part of our "wheel-house"... states we are pretty sure we would be happy in, places we aspire to live in, places we hope beyond all hope will have jobs when we are done with Lady Army.

That bit about our craptastic timing? We are about 15 months out. And guess what? Six (6!) of our "Dream" locations popped up on the ROTC job posting site this week. Yeah, we (meaning Swiss) can't apply for them yet because his retirement isn't approved (actually he can't submit the paperwork for another 4 months) and we are too far out right now. Madison? Check. Missoula? Check. Minneapolis? Check. And a few others that are smaller towns, but in states we like. Well, feck.

Feck. Feck. FECK!

Why couldn't they wait a year? Madison? Ohh, it would have been perfect. PERFECT!!!! Twin Cities? Wonderful. Missoula? I love that town. Washington? Utah? Yes please!

What sucks the most is that likely none of these positions will be open by the time Swiss can apply. And that makes me SO sad... it makes me wonder and worry about where we will end up. It makes me sad that we likely won't be able to live in Madison... which was my perfect, make my heart skip a beat, master plan. So yeah, I am sort of mourning that dream's death... lamenting the loss of the "You really CAN have it all" Utopia I had created in my mind for us. le sigh.

I know something else will come along, I know there is an outside chance that this position will stay open. I know everything will work out okay, but, you know, DAMN.

12 May 2009

Stephen Colbert reports for BCT.

I heart you Stephen Colbert. Oh, and nice bag...

(And just in case you are reading this... ha!... I do not count you or the lovely Jon Stewart in my list of "The Media", just so you know...)

11 May 2009

Why the media sucks.

So this latest event… you likely know which one I speak of… brings into sharp focus why the media sucks. I can hear the calls of “Free Speech” and the “Right to know” and those lauding the Information Age where we all get our news as it happens. And in many situations I agree with all of that… but not this one. NOT ANY LIKE THIS ONE.

I loathe that the “media” (read this as ALL media, liberal, independent, conservative, TV, radio, internet- all of it) places more value on a hot lead than what their partial news may do to the families and loved ones involved- be it 2 or 2,000. They are more worried about getting the story out first, whether it is complete or not, than thinking about the fact that (pardon the caps lock fit I am about to have) PEOPLE’S LOVED ONES DIED AND THIS IS THE FIRST THEY ARE HEARING ABOUT IT. No, they didn’t name names. But that is because they can’t… Why? Because likely the military hasn’t been able to notify the families of these deaths yet.

So I ask you to imagine how many wives, husbands, moms and dads are sitting around work or home today wringing their hands because they haven’t heard from their soldier. Imagine how they feel seeing it on every internet news site, the local news, the nightly national news, probably on the radio, even overhearing it at the proverbial workplace watercooler. And all they can do is wait. Wait for the phone call or e-mail that will fill them with relief, only to be flooded with guilt at feeling relieved someone else’s loved one died. Or wait for the life changing knock at the door. Wait for the soldiers in Class A’s who have been trained to tell you your life will never be the same because (s)he won’t be coming home. Wait. Worry. Fear. That isn’t news. That is agony. And it is inexcusable.

But for what? What did anyone benefit from getting all these incomplete stories? A sensational news tale from war-torn Iraq? Military scandal? High drama more befitting a movie script? Something to casually chat about over lunch? Maybe for someone, but not me, not for thousands of military families. That story broke my heart. That story caused so much worry and angst and mind-numbing fear for so many people. And I cannot forgive you media for putting the almighty dollar and a sensational lead before common courtesy, respect and the sanity of families who sacrifice and deal with so much already. Shame on you.

10 May 2009

Happy Mother's Day, Military Spouses Day, apologies and ramblings.

First off: HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY MOM! You are the best... you were the best mom, the best advocate, the best supporter, the best caregiver and now that I am all growed up... you are my best friend. Thank you for all you have done, thank you for all you do, and I'm sorry we couldn't be together on this day.

Second: Happy Military Spouse's Day (a day late). To all you MilSpouses out there: YOU ROCK. I could go on and on, but you know the gist of it... so keep on truckin' and thanks to all you wonderful MilSpouses who have become so much more... my friends.

Third: Yo, I am sorry I have been much of a Debbie Downer these days. There has been a toxic cloud of PMS, loneliness, uncertainty and blah hanging over me lately and this stage of the deployment falls squarely in between "Look! We are a quarter done!" and "Balls. 5 more months until I get to see him. Seriously?". It isn't a fun place to be. But, I think the winds are changing... hopefully this funk will blow right on out of here soon. So yeah, I am going to give myself a "Do Better" and do just that. Thanks for sticking by me even when I am not what anyone would call fun.

Lastly: You know those times when folks tell you that you, in fact, cannot have it all? Well, I say PISH-POSH! We, Swiss and I, ARE going to have it all. Why? Because I said so, and because I am going to put my mind to it, and dammit things are going to work out for us because (by the time he gets home) these 3 years of long-distance dating, insane 'family' drama, moves, and a deployment have been effing hard and we have earned it. We are going to get great jobs someplace we would like to live, we are going to be near (but not too near) family... one way or another, we are going to have that house we always wanted to build, we will have our 20 acres, we will travel to exotic locales and we WILL have it all. Our happily ever after. So there.

07 May 2009

Long weekend.

Trout stream, originally uploaded by Tucker&Swiss.

I am off this afternoon for a long weekend hanging out with my Dad. That picture there? Yep, that is where we are going... purty isn't it? I'm excited for the day off of work, excited to get out of the house, excited to hang out in the woods, and excited to see my Dad. It should be a nice break from all the sameness around here.

Last night I had my 2nd softball practice as coach for my U12 girl's fastpitch team. Like wrangling cats... that talk back... and think they know everything. But on the plus side, I have finally been able to use some of the great one-liners and coach-isms I learned over the years. What time is it coach? Don't worry about it, it's practice time! Heh. I am turning into a coaching cliche as we speak. Anyway, it is fun and gets me out of the house and it was a b-e-a-utiful day yesterday.

Next week's agenda? Get a hair cut (or all of them). Clean the house. Sign dog up for obedience classes (and purchase sedatives... just kidding. Sort of.). Purchase items for kitchen renovation. Force Brother In-Law to pick a date to install said kitchen items. Revel and bask in new kitchen glory.

I hope you all have a super weekend and enjoy the good weather if you've got it!

05 May 2009


Day 68 :: touch, originally uploaded by Meredith_Farmer.

This is one of those days when all I can think about is his touch. And not in an X-rated, dirty way... I crave the simplest, most banal, everyday touches. I miss the way my feet find their way under his legs when we sit on the couch. I miss the way he always reaches out to hold my hand. I miss how my hand always finds his leg when we sit next to one another. I miss his hand on the back of my neck. I miss curling up behind him in the middle of the night. I miss his forehead against mine. But mostly I miss his arms around me. I miss how safe and loved I feel when I am in his arms, how all the bad things melt away and how I can feel what we share, what our relationship is all about. And I would do anything just to feel his arms around me right now. Even for just one minute. Sigh.

5 more months.

Rain, rain go away.

Rain Rain Go Away..., originally uploaded by Lisa Photography.

We are in day 1 of a 5 day stretch of rain/thunderstorms. I know my plants will love it. I, however, do not. You know, just in case Mother Nature is listening.

04 May 2009

Maybe the best reason ever to move to Europe.

Tuileries, originally uploaded by chris_catford.

According to this article, the French spend the most time eating and sleeping of all 'wealthy' nations of the world. I knew there was a reason I loved France so much... do you think I could talk Swiss into moving to Paris??? (hint: NOT A CHANCE.)

...le sigh...

Near... ...far.

Yes, Grover has taken over Tucker & Swiss. You know… near… …far. Remember that? Yeah, Grover was cool. Gaw, haven’t even started this post and I am off track already.

Okay, so my point: lately the hot topic in the house has been the “where” portion of our life post-Army. As in where are we going to get jobs? Where would we want to live? Where do we not want to live? Where can we have/afford/find the happily ever after we’ve decided on (this includes at least 20 acres of land, chicken coops, a garden, a studio for painting, a cozy house built just for us, and ideally the ability to hunt on said 20+ acres for Swiss)? Where, where, where? And all of the where’s lead to all the obligatory issues regarding proximity to family, current jobs versus new careers, autonomy & privacy, etc. Fun, right?

See, currently we (and by we I mean me) live in a mid-sized town in the upper Midwest. Swiss’s ex-wife P lives in the same city which we will call M-town with Swiss’s son. Swiss’s brother also lives in M-town. And 30 minutes down the road in S-ville reside Swiss’s parents. Me? I have a good job and own the house we live in here in M-town, but my family lives 4 hours away in P-town. I am super close with them, they adore Swiss and we don’t get to see them near as much as we would like, which sort of sucks. However, Swiss’s parents, while great folks, like to put monopolies on our time and P usually collapses into her “The Sky is Falling” routine when we are in M-town. Long story short? Even though I have been told by my Boss’s Boss (a retired Naval MD who I adore as far as bosses go) that he would hold my job for me for the year we go back to Fort X after this deployment, Swiss and I aren’t staying in M-town. We decided last night. This is a pretty huge decision for us.

So then what does all of this mean? Do we stay in the mid-west? Do we just find someplace ‘near’ here, but far enough away from everyone to have some privacy, autonomy and space? Do we run ‘far’ away and just do what makes us happy and run for greener pastures (read: Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Washington, Oregon) and hope family follows us out there or is willing to make visits despite the distance?

Granted, all of this is a little premature since we don’t know which jobs (ROTC or JROTC hopefully) will be open to Swiss when he retires. And these decisions are most certainly going to hinge on where we can get hired and therefore paid. But y’all, I am a planner. I cannot sit here after we’ve decided NOT to stay in the place we currently call home and not think about the vast oceans of cities, towns and states that could possibly await us. East? West? Middle? Small town? Big city? Suburbs? Damn, why is this country so effing big??? So, I am super interested to see where y'all plan to settle once military life is over... where and why?

01 May 2009

Give me your Money!

Okay, not ME. Give THEM your money. And by THEM I mean military kids. Sounds like a better idea now, right?

Anyway, check out this post at LeftFace (Great work LopsidedMom!) and then go here: Donors Choose. Stephen Colbert is wicked awesome and I am super stoked that he is championing this cause. I donated to a high school at LeJeune... mini-computers for field work and environmental testing. That is the coolest part, you get to pick the Service Branch you want to support (Go Army!) and then you get to pick the specific project you want to donate to. And all of them help military kids. Wicked cool.

So go give a little money that will really help, so support the military by supporting their kids. And like Mr. Colbert, I too believe the children are our future, so let's start sucking up to them now, okay? Thus ending this PSA.

3 months.

Also known as 1/4 of the way done with this beast. Can I get a w00t? Only 5 more months till I get to see Swiss... and he ain't gonna know what hit him. hee!

This month will forever be known as the Month Without A Phone. And it sucked. But hey, at least I got to watch Lord of the Rings. I took art classes, I started coaching U12 girl's softball, and finally got my dog to act quasi-normal*. I don't really have much more to say about this month, other than is sort of sucked. Yes, it could have been worse, but no sense sugar coating it. These are the months that really show you who your friends are and help you realize how lucky you are to have those kinds of people in your life, real or imaginary.

Swiss still loathes his unit and is frustrated with wimpy command decisions and wishes there was a steady, reliable supply of toilet paper in the middle of the desert. And you know, of all the things that are REALLY IMPORTANT in a war zone, it is wearing your combat patch. Totally. But he did get a sweet new iPod that I will promptly steal when he gets home and has been inundated with care packages not just from me, but from my aunt, his mom, my mom and a family friend. I think we've already made up for P's measly 1 package last time. I win. (Yes, that is totally juvenile. I don't mind.)

My parents visited this month, which was cool, though their dogs taught my previously mute puppy to bark. Awesome. On the other hand mine taught theirs to incessantly go to the door because playing outside is waaaaay more fun than sleeping. Heh. Score one for Fletcher. I finalized my decisions for the big kitchen remodel... now I just have to get my handy brother in-law to get over and do it. Free family labor is the best kind. Cannot wait for the new, shiny kitchen... and a dishwasher that actually works. My art classes were good, I got much better at portraits and drawing figures. That shiz is hard, yo. But I am getting better. And I am painting a lot. Also, good. I am sadly addicted to TV, but also getting my butt off the sofa to work out now that I have a buddy (Awesome.). Otherwise, it is Spring (finally!) and I got new sidewalks. Thrilling, I know.

So that is all that April held for the Tucker and Swiss household. May is full of Father-Daughter bonding time (Our annual fishing and hunting trips to the bluff country. Yes, I kill stuff. And then I eat it and it is yummy.), softball tournaments (and therefore whole weekends spent with 12 year old girls, God help me!), and a visit from my bestest friend Beth (can you say IKEA? Sweet.).

Thanks to all of you who made this crappy month better. You Ladies ROCK. Here's to a good May, healthy Sprinkles, safe deployments and great friends!

*Subject to change at any given moment.