Thursday, August 26, 2010

Operation Knit

For Christmas my aunt gave all of her nieces a pair of knitting needles as a stocking stuffer. I love to do needlework and have done a lot of embroidery, cross stitching, crocheting and latch hooking but have never tried knitting. She showed me how to use them and I was hooked. Immediately I looked for a book of beginner knitting patterns and worked on a few simple scarves and pot holders before trying a patterned scarf. It took me forever to complete, but I finally did last night. And here is the finished project.

K came up with the idea that I would knit hats for all of our nieces and nephews for Christmas. We have 5 so it gets a little expensive buying gifts for his grandma, our parents, his brother and sister and their spouses and the nieces and nephews (my side of the family was smart and we draw names between my sisters and my cousins and we all go together to buy the grandparents and parents a gift – much less presents to buy so you get better gifts!) I found a few very cute patterns and need to start the first hat tonight.

I know it’s early, but I am a planner so I have a few ideas for Christmas gifts for the women, I saw a moss wreath wrapped in a satin ribbon in a home d├ęcor magazine for like 60 bucks but I know that I can make one for around 10 so I think that’s what I’m going to do for my mother-in-law and sisters-in-law and grandmother-in-law. No idea what to do for the guys yet.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I'm a Godmother!

I am a Godmother! My sister-in-law called last night to ask if we would be their son’s godparents. Well, of course we would. I am so honored to have been asked. Want to hear the funny part – their son (our nephew) is going to be 4 years old in a month and has already been baptized, just didn’t have any sponsors. They were waiting for us to get married and then kind of forgot about it after we got married (we’ve been married almost 2 years) until they were planning the baptism for their new baby girl next week and realized we aren’t on our nephew’s baptism certificate. He is such a sweet kid and we love him to death so we were so pleased to be his godparents.

Friday, August 20, 2010

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

1.If you could be a fugitive from the law for whatever reason, what would your crime be? (from It’s a Hooah Life)
It'd have to be for robbing a bank or something where I would have a enough money to run away to some remote island and live there.

2.How long do you think you will be a military family? (from Julie the Army Wife)
Forever - or at least until we're 37,  he's doing at least 20yrs and then we'll see where we are after that.

3.What’s your favorite recipe? (from Keep Calm and Soldier On)
Hhmmm, This is a hard one to pick. It'd probably have to be my Grandma's Rhubarb kuchen recipe

4.What would you want your last five words to be when you leave this life? (from My Goal is Simple)
Our life was freaking amazing!

5.Where do you hope to retire? (from Pennies from Heaven)
Right here, or wherever most of our family is by then.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Where Has the Summer Gone?

Every year when August rolls around I always feel a little cheated by summer. I never feel like I have had enough summer yet and it’s already almost over. It goes by so quickly that it feels like there wasn’t enough time to plan any of those summer vacations, weekends at the lake and camping trips we always talk about. Now it’s the second week of August and the only trip we did was to see my sister.

I’m hoping to talk K into taking me to Hawaii in October before he leaves. Then we could layover in California and see our new niece too! I’ve heard about a military resort in Hawaii and I’m wondering if anyone has been there or has any information about it.

Monday, August 9, 2010


This morning I did some quick math and calendar checking and realized that K and I have now spent as much time together as we have apart. Amazing that after being together for 5 years it has taken this long for us to have spent equal amounts of time together as we have apart. Thank you Army! I haven’t told a “how we met” story so you should know that Soldier was already in the Army before we even met. We met in college after he started school after basic and AIT (which is actually a funny story that I’ll have to tell in full another time). K always knew he wanted to join the Army and was even in JROTC in high school, but wasn’t planning on actually joining the Army until after commissioning through ROTC in college. But after 9/11 and seeing so many soldiers leaving to fight he knew he wanted to serve his country and now was the time and he joined the Guard at the age of 18. I didn’t meet Soldier until he had returned from basic and AIT and was finishing up his first semester of college before deploying to Iraq. We were 19 at the time. Wow, looking back now we were so young! Now he’s been in the Army for 6.5 years and just 3.5 more to go on his current reenlistment. I'll enjoy the next two months that we will add to the time spent together column before K leaves again and we'll once again have spent more time apart than together.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

One Month

Today it has been one month since my friend's fiancee was killed in Afghanistan. As you can imagine it has been a very hard day for her. We decided to have a "slumber party" at her place so she wouldn't be alone tonight. The nights are hardest. She's still very much in the anger phase and i wish there was something I could do or say for her to make things right again. I know there isn't, but wouldn't that be nice if there was. I know right now the best thing I can do for her is the be there when she needs me, not to push, but to be there to listen or distract as needed. She'll grieve and cope in her own way and on her own time. It just breaks my heard to see her suffering so much. 
I found this poem a few months ago and I guess now is as appropriate a time as ever. My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who has lost a loved one to war. 

An Ordinary Man
 He was getting old and paunchy
And his hair was falling fast,
And he sat around the Legion,
Telling stories of the past.

Of a war that he once fought in
And the deeds that he had done,
In his exploits with his buddies;
They were heroes, every one.

And 'tho sometimes to his neighbors
His tales became a joke;
All his buddies listened quietly
For they knew where of he spoke.

But we'll hear his tales no longer,
For ol' Bob has passed away,
And the world's a little poorer
For a Soldier died today.

He won't be mourned by many,
Just his children and his wife.
For he lived an ordinary,
Very quiet sort of life.

He held a job and raised a family,
Going quietly on his way;
And the world won't note his passing,
'Tho a Soldier died today.

When politicians leave this earth,
Their bodies lie in state,
While thousands note their passing,
And proclaim that they were great.

Papers tell of their life stories
From the time that they were young,
But the passing of a Soldier
Goes unnoticed, and unsung.

Is the greatest contribution
To the welfare of our land,
Some jerk who breaks his promise
And cons his fellow man?

Or the ordinary fellow
Who in times of war and strife,
Goes off to serve his country
And offers up his life?

The politician's stipend
And the style in which he lives,
Are often disproportionate,
To the service that he gives.

While the ordinary Soldier,
Who offered up his all,
Is paid off with a medal
And perhaps a pension, small.

It is not the politicians
With their compromise and ploys,
Who won for us the freedom
That our country now enjoys.

Should you find yourself in danger,
With your enemies at hand,
Would you really want some cop-out,
With his ever waffling stand?

Or would you want a Soldier
His home, his country, his kin,
Just a common Soldier,
Who would fight until the end.

He was just a common Soldier,
And his ranks are growing thin,
But his presence should remind us
We may need his like again.

For when countries are in conflict,
We find the Soldier's part
Is to clean up all the troubles
That the politicians start.

If we cannot do him honor
While he's here to hear the praise,
Then at least let's give him homage
At the ending of his days.

Perhaps just a simple headline
In the paper that might say:

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Little by Little

My garden is growing, little by little. A squirrel got into my peas and beans so I have to replant those, but everything else is coming along.

Most of my cucumbers are this big - about an inch long.
But i found this guy hiding underneath the leaves.

I have a lot of peppers, one of them has even ripened to completely red, can't wait to eat it!

And then I saw that another one that had been ripening has some hail damage.

I have a tomatoe that is almost fully ripened

And I've been slowly picking off the cherry tomatoes as they're ready - yum!

But I'm most excited for the yellow squash to be ready to pick. I have one decent size squash and the rest are about the size of my little finger.

Looks like I still need to head to the Farmer's Market on Saturday to pick up some produce.

Monday, August 2, 2010

History Lessons

K and I recently saw the Tall Ships exhibit as they passed through on their yearly tour. We went on about 4-5 ships and even were able to go below deck on two of them. They were very neat. I thought they would be bigger, especially considering how many sailors worked and lived on each ship. Below deck the ceiling was only 5’6’’ so I really had to duck down when we walked around down there. The “living” area below deck was so cramped that sailors were sleeping in hammocks only 15 inches apart. I couldn’t believe when I read that these ships were used at a time when bathing was considered bad luck. Therefore no one on the ship would bathe for the entire 7-9 months they were at sea.

I also couldn’t help but think about their families left back home for those 7-9 months. I immediately related their separation to my separation from my husband when he was deployed. But then I thought, maybe it wasn’t as much the same as I originally thought. I think I just might have it easier.

When those sailors were gone there was no such thing as Skype, webcams, instant message, email and phones to keep in touch. They didn’t even have cameras to take pictures of each other as a memento during the long times spent apart. They couldn’t even right letters to each other. It was hard enough for me to not hear from my husband for an entire month at one point during his deployment, but to go 9 months without a single word from him would be too much. Most of us get a little reprieve (a year or more) in between deployments, these sailors get just 3-5 months and they’re gone again.

And if something were to happen while he was at sea, no one would know until their return date had long since passed and you are only left to assume they sank somewhere in the ocean. There is no life insurance, social security, survivors benefits, etc to rely on for income. Unless you have family who can take you in, you are now the sole provider for your family. What are your choices in the 17th & 18th century?

These women possessed great strength and I hope I can remember that each time my Soldier leaves me for the call of his country. It takes a special kind of woman to spend most of your life waiting for the one you love.