Insert dowel (E) into the top pre-drilled hole...

So we've been in this house for almost three weeks and we're STILL unpcaking and settling in. It's really not that bad and I could truly handle having guests come visit (and not go into a true panic about boxes being strewn all over and pictures not being hung and no towels to dry your hands with in the bathroom...yes, I'm OCD...) but there is still a nice, long list of "TO DO" taunting me from the front of the fridge. I stick my tounge out at it each time I pass it.

ANYWAY, when we were last at Lowe's buying our 9'x12' area rug to cover the vast expanse of linoleum that is my living room, I found a "Chestnut Mission Style Bookcase" on the display floor - between small appliances and lumber...because that's where you PUT furniture. It would look wonderful in the entry hallway and was not very expensive. And I love mission style furniture. Of course, at that time (while the Husband is schlepping the massive area rug around) I couldn't find one on the shelf (it SAID it was on aisle 45, column C, bay 1 but all that I found there was islands for the kitchen which would have been nice but it was not what I was after and were far beyond my budgetary limitations). So I decided to wait. I went back yesterday and, after 20 minutes of searching with one of the sales people, we found it. Yay! Aside from the island for my kitchen that I suspect I will simply have to dream about (or add to my Christmas wish list), that was the last piece of furniture that I "needed" (i.e. wanted) for the house. So I get it home and after getting The Benevolent Dictator (dear daughter - I needed a moniker for her besides "dd") down for her nap and ATTEMPTING to get Little Man down for his (didn't work - it's my lot in life to have children who do not nap at the same time...), I set to work on this bookcase. Everything was going well - no cussing, no throwing of hardware or tools - until it came time to set the top piece (with it's 4 wood dowels secured by Elmer's glue and it's 4 funky screws that are then supposed to be tightened down with cams, thereby tightening the top of the case to the frame) on the rest of the case. There are 4 holes on the left side of the case but NO holes on the right. WTH??? So I read the instructions again...I'm reading it properly. Maybe I put the right side of the case on upside down? No - it's on there right. I turned that thing six ways from Sunday, looking for those damned holes. Couldn't find them. They just forgot to drill the holes on the right side! Good grief! How hard is that?? These things are made by machines so how hard is it to make sure that all pieces are drilled properly? How did this one get missed?? What did they do? Pull it out of line to take it to lunch and forget to put it back on the assembly line? Ugh.

So my adult interaction that afternoon consisted of speaking to a customer service representative and having them send me out a new piece. She was quite helpful. I was kind of hoping that she would just send me a new case because the Husband is quite capable of drilling holes for me and could have fixed it up this weekend. But all they will be sending me is 1 side. Darn. AH, well.

AN UPDATE ON THE FRG SITUATION HERE : Last night was the "Ladies Night Out". I received a bit more clarification on the FRG situation. There IS no unit/company level FRG - only a batallion level FRG. And, during the last deployment, there really wasn't any cohesion/unity in that FRG. The FRG leader had some family problems and had to hand over control of the FRG to someone. An enlisted spouse really wanted to take it and (from what I was told) would have been great at it and had the blessing/backing of the majority of the other spouses in the batallion. They were going to give it to her and then, at the last minute decided not to because of her husband's rank. In my opinion that is (Melissa, cover your ears) bullshit. Instead they forced it on the 1SGT's wife who truly didn't want it and had already made that clear. So once that handover took place, the FRG kind of fizzled. I love decisions like that. Morons.

Now there are some changes taking place within the batallion and the unit. The unit that the Husband is in will consist mainly of warrant officers in the future and not a mix of crews (enlisted personnel), warrant officers, and officers. So the bulk of the unit will be warrants. I held my thoughts until the conversation had really gotten going and I saw that most of the people there wanted what I wanted - a unit level FRG in addition to anything that the batallion puts together for the next deployment. They agreed and we have already started planning things - a pool party, monthly nights out to get to know one another, etc. I must say I'm a little apprehensive about the new structure of the unit - I will miss having a mix of enlisted, warrant, and officer personnel in the unit - I think that mix gives a unit balance and keeps it from becomming tunnel-visioned. But we'll see.

There was talk about the usual FRG gripe-issues too. Some spouses saw the FRG and Rear-D (rear detachment...the people who do not deploy and who stay behind to keep things running at the installation...I'm sure that's a lousy explanation) as minions to do their bidding. They expected the FRG and the Rear-D people to come and mow their lawns, shovel their driveways, etc. Um, NO. That is not what and FRG is for. there was griping about how it was always the same people doing all the work for FRG functions, etc. It's almost nice to know that these same problems exist anywhere you go - we had some of the same issues up in Alaska.

Hopefully, if and when this next deployment rolls around, we will not only have a batallion level FRG in place to disseminate information but a company level FRG to provide that personal support that some of us crave. I'm not looking for anyone to mow my lawn or shovel my driveway or drive me to the commissary when I need to shop for groceries. I would like an entity that affords me the occasional adult interaction and reminds me that I am not the only one in such a lousy situation - you know...misery loves company. Seriously, there is a camaraderie to be found among people facing similar situations and I look forward to that. If I'm going to have to suffer through being separated from the Husband for a year+, dammit, I want friends! And I want friends who are suffering right along with me! Like I said, misery loves company.

This group of women seems to be a goo group. There were 10 of us there last night - 6 of us are fresh from flight school and 4 have been here a while (through the last deployment). This mirrors the makeup of the unit pretty well. There are 10 brand new warrant officers in the unit right now - pretty unheard of in the Army. But that's ok - only 2 of them lack any kind of military experience...they were either "high school to flight school" or came from civilian employment into flight school with no military experience. But the women there who had been here a while seemed very down-to-earth and likeable. Which is probably why they were there yesterday. We sat there for almost 3 hours chit-chatting which was wonderful. Funny thing is, you get 10 women away from their kids and husbands for a few hours and, inevitably, the conversation always winds up back at kids. Everyone there has kids (or will soon - one of the girls is due in less than 2 weeks) and the bulk of the warrant officers in the unit have kids as well. More playmates for The Benevolent Dictator! I found out that my daughter is NOT the most accident-prone child which was reassuring. One of the women has 5 kids and each one of them (even the 2 year old) has his or her own horror stories about blood and trips to the ER. She's a nice woman and I've met her kids (they were in flight school with us) but I don't think I'll be letting Miss Dictator play with her kids...one trip to the ER this year was PLENTY. And there wasn't even blood involved in our trip. I'd like to keep it that way.

So we'll see what the next deployment has in store for us. There is a Hail and Farewell coming up (a "Hail to the new commander, our "Hail", the old unit commander's "Farewell") so we will get to meet the new commander's wife (I've heard that she's very down-to-earth and energetic - both bode well for the future) and get a better picture of the unit as it stands. We shall see...

have a great weekend!

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