A thousand tiny cuts

To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscover'd country from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pith and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action. - Soft you now!
The fair Ophelia! Nymph, in thy orisons
Be all my sins remember'd.

Military life…to me is often a lot like enduring paper cuts. A paper cut is a minor thing. Slightly painful. Definitely annoying at times but tends to heal quickly. Usually there isn’t a lot of blood. Sometimes there is cussing. And sometimes a band-aid is needed but more often, it heals up just fine if you just leave it alone. They tend not to happen often but when they do they make a big, yet momentary, impact.

Deployments are now a part of military life like they have not been for decades, generations even. They don’t happen every day (unless you’re with the 101st) but when they do, they make a big impact. And, at the time, it seems like it lasts forever but in hindsight it is but a blip on the overall radar of life. The deployment itself stings much like a paper cut and then the pain tends to subside to something that resembles a dull ache until the cut heals and the soldier returns.

The nomadic life of a military family is another one of the paper cuts of military life. Friends come and then they leave. Moves are as much a part of military life as deployments. The initial departure – either yours or that of a good friend who is PCSing – is painful. It stings. And then it subsides to a dull ache. Sometimes that ache never really goes away and you never are able to cross paths with those friends again. Sometimes you are fortunate enough to be stationed together again and that ache goes away. But the initial separation stings like an SOB. (I told you there was cussing sometimes).

There are other parts of military life that sting…frequent TDYs (business trips that take the soldier away from home for a few days up to a few months), lousy work schedules, alert roster calls at o’dark thirty, friends who do not come home from a deployment. Many, many cuts. Very few are what most would consider to be life threatening but the cumulative effect of those cuts can be overwhelming. Hopefully the salves in life – faith, family, and friends – are enough to prevent deep scars from forming. Hopefully.


- hfs

cross posted at ArmyWifeToddlerMom


Advil and Lidocaine

A good combination when dealing with a nasty sunburn. Works pretty well. However I would suggest using the sunscreen to PREVENT the sunburn in the first place. Lesson learned.

Spent some time at Pupukea Beach which is on the North Shore yesterday. This beach has wonderful tide pools and snorkeling opportunities. I like taking the kids there because they are able to play in the shallow water without me having to hover over them. I bought them lifejackets the other day and now Princess Trouble can swim around and snorkel on her own. Little Man is happy just throwing rocks and sand around.

Yesterday I was able to spend some time on my own with my two friends before MacGyver and the kids joined us. It was nice to have some adult time. I'm trying to soak up as much of that as possible before MacGyver deploys as I know my adult time will be significantly diminished once he leaves. Which is ok. We did ok during the NTC deployment. We get into a routine and just plug along. It will be a long year but we'll get through just like everyone else.

We found a church and we're getting settled in there nicely. I am SO greatful to have found it. And I'm greatful to my friend from playgroup for pointing me to it. When were were in Alabama, we were blessed to have found our church there, thanks to MacGyver's brother. It was very hard to leave that. We weren't at Fort Campbell long enough to have found anything there and it took us almost a year to find this one. But it feels RIGHT. The kids like it which is the most important aspect. Princess Trouble will start with their kids' program in the fall which will be good for her. And I might have found a good volunteer opportunity with the same program working with the high school group.

ArmyWifeToddlerMom posted a few days ago about how much she misses it. Occasionally I find myself there too. The desire to go back to the classroom is strong on some days but it has yet to overpower the desire to be with my children as much as possible. Occasionally I will fantasize about going back to teaching and actually drawaing a paycheck and that fantasy lasts until I get to the point in it where I have to put Little Man in day care and that's where my stomach ties up in knots. So I'm not ready yet.

We're hoping to get back to Alaska after we're done here and if we do, Little Man will be school age at that point. I"ve thought about going back to teaching then but either in a part time position or as a substitute. We'll see.

One of the things I will miss about this island is the North Shore. There is a feel on the North Shore that is not present anywhere else on the island. It's not trendy. It's not Waikiki. It's laid-back and easy. There are places on the North Shore, like Mokuleia, that are usually either deserted or sparsely populated with visitors. I love that.

MacGyver is on leave for the next week or so so posting will be light. I have a few things to spotlight over the weekend so look for those but other than that, I plan to spend some time enjoying the family unit.


- hfs


This song spoke to me

Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol

We'll do it all
On our own

We don't need
Or anyone

If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me and just forget the world?

I don't quite know
How to say
How I feel

Those three words
Are said too much
They're not enough

If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me and just forget the world?

Forget what we're told
Before we get too old
Show me a garden that's bursting into life

Let's waste time
Chasing cars
Around our heads

I need your grace
To remind me
To find my own

If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me and just forget the world?

Forget what we're told
Before we get too old
Show me a garden that's bursting into life

All that I am
All that I ever was
Is here in your perfect eyes, they're all I can see

I don't know where
Confused about how as well
Just know that these things will never change for us at all

If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me and just forget the world?


D.C. Photos

It has taken me a while to upload pictures from my trip to D.C. and the Milblogging conference. I did not take many pictures of the people at the conference...for a few reasons.

First, I was too busy gawking. I literally walked around for 48 hours with my mouth hanging open. The fact that I was in the nation's capital in the presence of so many people that I have admired from afar for so long was incredible. I was so busy trying to keep my brain from falling out of my head via my mouth that I pretty much forgot to use the camera.

The second reason was that I wanted to keep part of the conference to myself. This was such an incredible experience and there are very few things in my life that are exclusively MINE. And that is not a complaint. Far from it - I give myself willingly to my family and my friends. But this was something that was mine and mine alone and that selfish part of me wants to keep one little aspect of it to myself.

I arrived in the D.C. area a day early and was able to spend time with my brother's family. My sister-in-law and I drove to Baltimore and went to the The Walters Art Museum and I did take several pictures there.

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The stained glass windows that they had on display were stunning.

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Sarcophagus with victories.

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The accompanying text.

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Corinthian type helmet.

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There was an entire room dedicated to armor which I'm sure SOMEONE would have enjoyed.

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Hall of arms and armor text.

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On my way to D.C. I was fortunate to have a layover in Colorado. Breathing in the crisp mountain air was pure heaven. I miss it so much. I grabbed a bite to eat at one of the local eateries at DIA and laughed when I found this table! Hook'em Rammies!

I am hoping to be able to make it to next year's Milblogging Conference but we'll see. If not, I will have some wonderful memories from this year's.


- hfs


Happy Mother's Day

The Difference
By Retired Lt. Gen. Edward J. Heinz

Over the years, I've talked a lot about military spouses...how special they are and the price they pay for freedom, too. The funny thing about it is most military spouses don't consider themselves different from other spouses.

They do what they have to do, bound together not by blood or merely friendship, but with a shared spirit whose origin is in the very essence of what love truly is. Is there truly a difference? I think there is. You have to decide for yourself.

Other spouses get married and look forward to building equity in a home and putting down family roots. Military spouses get married and know they'll live in base housing or rent, and their roots must be short so they can be transplanted frequently.

Other spouses decorate a home with flair and personality that will last a lifetime. Military spouses decorate a home with flair tempered with the knowledge that no two base houses have the same size windows or same size rooms. Curtains have to be flexible and multiple sets are a plus. Furniture must fit like puzzle pieces.

Other spouses have living rooms that are immaculate and seldom used. Military spouses have immaculate living room-dining room combos. The coffee table got a scratch or two moving from Germany but it still looks pretty good.

Other spouses say good-bye to their spouse for a business trip and know they won't see them for a week. They are lonely, but can survive. Military spouses say good-bye to their deploying spouse and know they won't see them for months, or for a remote, a year. They are lonely, but will survive.

Other spouses, when a washer hose blows off, call Maytag and then write a check out for getting the hose reconnected. Military spouses will cut the water off and fix it themselves.

Other spouses get used to saying "hello" to friends they see all the time. Military spouses get used to saying "good-bye" to friends made the last two years.

Other spouses worry about whether their child will be class president next year. Military spouses worry about whether their child will be accepted in yet another new school next year.

Other spouses can count on spouse participation in special events...birthdays, anniversaries, concerts, football games, graduation, and even the birth of a child. Military spouses only count on each other; because they realize that the Flag has to come first if freedom is to survive. It has to be that way.

Other spouses put up yellow ribbons when the troops are imperiled across the globe and take them down when the troops come home. Military spouses wear yellow ribbons around their hearts and they never go away.

Other spouses worry about being late for mom's Thanksgiving dinner. Military spouses worry about getting back from Japan in time for dad's funeral.

And the television program showing an elderly lady putting a card down in front of a long, black wall that has names on it touches other spouses. The card simply says "Happy Birthday, Sweetheart. You would have been 60 today." A military spouse is the one with the card. And the wall is the Vietnam Memorial.

I would never say military spouses are better or worse than other spouses are. But I will say there is a difference.

And I will say that our country asks more of military spouses than is asked of other spouses. And I will say, without hesitation, that military spouses pay just as high a price for freedom as do their active duty husbands or wives.

Perhaps the price they pay is even higher. Dying in service to our country isn't near as hard as loving someone who has died in service to our country, and having to live without them.

God bless our military spouses for all they freely give. And God bless America.

MySpace Pictures


Names released

NEWS RELEASES from the United States Department of Defense

May 10, 2006 Media Contact: Army Public Affairs - (703) 692-2000

DoD Identifies Army Casualties
The Department of Defense announced today the death of 10
soldiers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. They died east of
Abad, Afghanistan, in the Kunar province, on May 5, when their CH-47 Chinook
helicopter crashed during combat operations.

Killed were:

Lt. Col. Joseph J. Fenty, 41, of Fla.

Chief Warrant Officer 3 Eric W. Totten, 34, of Texas.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Christopher B. Donaldson, 28, of Ill.

Staff Sgt. Christopher T. Howick, 34, of Hamburg, N.Y.

Sgt. Bryan A. Brewster, 24, of Fontana, Calif.

Sgt. John C. Griffith, 33, of Las Vegas, Nev.

Sgt. Jeffery S. Wiekamp, 23, of Utopia, Texas.

Spc. Justin L. O'Donohoe, 27, of San Diego, Calif.

Spc. David N. Timmons Jr., 23, of Lewisville, N.C.

Pfc. Brian M. Moquin Jr., 19, of Worcester, Mass.

All those killed were assigned to the 10th Mountain Division
(Light Infantry), Fort Drum N.Y. Fenty, O'Donohoe, Timmons and Moquin were
part of the 71st Cavalry Regiment. Totten, Donaldson, Howick, Brewster,
Griffith, and Wiekamp were part of the 3rd Battalion, 10th Aviation Regiment.

This incident is under investigation.

For further information related to this release, contact Army Public Affairs
at (703) 692-2000.



- hfs

I am woman

hear me roar.

Before MacGyver left for NTC, I asked him to do 2 things for me:

1.) get a new temporary on post pass for Stanley, the Honda and

2.) get the safety check done on the SUV.

Neither one was done. No big deal. I can handle both. Head down to the office to get a new pass for Stanley and get turned down due to my Alaska drivers' license being expired. Something I didn't know. Ok, fine. So I add "get new drivers' license" to the list of things to do. Great.

So I go home and swap out the car seats from Stanley to the SUV. As I am swapping out car seats, I realize that the safety sticker is expired. I knew it was due to be renewed but I ASSumed MacGyver had taken care of it since he was the one driving the SUV. Not a big deal - safety inspections don't take long and I can get it taken care of easily. Right?


The first place I take the SUV to fails me due to an exhaust manifold leak that is inherent in most, if not all, of this brand of car on the road. One of the fan belts on the a/c is also squealing so that also counts against me (for what reason, I'm not sure...maybe there is a law against noise pollution here but if so, it's poorly enforced). Just not my week.

So now not only am I driving on a license that is technically expired but neither of my cars is completely legal on post or off. Great.

There isn't much I can do about the on post pass for Stanley. Until I get my Hawaii license, I'm stuck there. As for the safety inspection, I found a place that was...willing to work with me thanks to my spousal connections and VOILA! it's taken care of.

On top of that, I took and passed my written exam for my drivers' license without even seeing the handbook before taking it. I take my driving test next month (it was the earliest I could schedule it).

One of the biggest practical concerns I have when MacGyver deploys is that I will be without my personal mechanic for a year. Given the fact that we do not drive new vehicles nor ones that have warranties of any kind, I worry that one (or both, as they are wont to do) of our cars will have some kind of major mechanical malfunction. In the process of getting the SUV's safety check taken care of, I believe I have found a local mechanic I trust. He was straight with me on several things that I asked him about and his rates are fair.

Good to know.


- hfs


The Gamble House - Pasadena, California

When I last lived in Southern California, about 7 years ago, I had the opportunity to go on a tour of The Gamble House in Pasadena. My father is a woodworker and, growing up, the smell of fresh cut lumber and verathane were common. Today, a whiff of either can transport me instantly back to my childhood

Having grown up like I did - with woodworking and handmade furniture all around me - I developed a true appreciation for the American Arts and Crafts style of construction. And the Gamble House is a stellar example of that style. It has been a while since I toured the house and it remains at the top of my list of things to do when I go back to visit though my visits rarely leave time to actually do so.

The house was designed in the early 1900s by architects Charles and Henry Greene as a retirement residence for David and Mary Gamble of Ohio. The huose remained in the Gamble family until 1966 when it was deeded to the city of Pasadena in a joint agreement with the school of architecture at the University of Southern California. It is designated as a national historic landmark and is the only one of the Greene and Greene houses to be open to the public and it is the only one to contain all of the original furniture designed by Greene and Greene for the house.

The first thing I remember about the tour was the feeling I got simply walking up the walkway. The home itself is warm and inviting on the inside and that feeling is so pervasive that you feel it outside as well. I remember feeling like I was home. The outside lines are clean and symmetry is everywhere which appeals to my sense of style. The different colors and types of wood used on the exterior are amazing. And they all blend together as if God Himself had planned them for use in this home.

The front door of the house is remarkable in and of itself. Within the panes of glass set inside the front door, there is a picture of a tree called "The Tree of Life" that pays hommage to the materials used to construct the house. The leaded glass work on the front door is simply awe inspiring and really lends itself to the stunning natural beauty that radiates from the house. Many of the light fixtures within the house mimic the design on the front door as well as the decorative frieze in the living room.

There is a design element that is pervasive throughout the house yet completely unobtrusive in its nature. The "stepped" design that you see in the handrailing, the window designs, and other elements within the house unify the entire structure without being overwhelming. You can see that design in the windows in the dining room. Even the rugs in each of the rooms played into the symmetry of the house itself. It was so subtle that you probably would not have noticed had the docent not pointed it out.

Every piece of furniture in the house was designed by Greene and Green specifically for THAT house. The attention to detail is amazing and surprising - little details that would have NEVER crossed my mind are like hidden treasures throughout the house...just waiting to be discovered.

Even the dining table - one of the most utilitarian pieces of furniture in a house - exhibits Greene and Greene's incredible attention to detail. Look at the joinery and detail of that table and it's base! I literally walked around with my lower jaw just hanging from my face. I wanted to touch everything. I wanted to run my hand over every piece of wood in the house and feel its smoothness.

The attention to detail was carried out everywhere. The same quality of craftsmanship that was put into the house itself was also poured into each and every piece of furniture on the property. And recurring themes abound. In this picture, you can see the inlay in the doors and that inlay was repeated in several other pieces of furniture, including a fall-front writing desk, eight-drawer dresser, and bedframe.

This house is incredible and I regret the fact that I lived in Southern California for so long and yet only discovered this treasure in my last year there. If you ever have a chance to take a tour, I would highly recommend it. We took the 1-hour guided tour but I plan to do the "Behind the Velvet Ropes 2-1/2 hour tour" the next time I am in town. What a wonderful hidden treasure!


- hfs

Chinook down in Afghanistan

UPDATE 5.7.06: Fort Drum Soldiers in Afghan Crash

No word on names yet. They probably will not be released until next week sometime. In the meantime, we wait and pray and pray some more.

Barb, Teresa, and Angela ~ thanks for all of your help with information. I appreciate it.

UPDATE 5.6.06
: Military Helicopter Crashes in Afghanistan, Killing 10 GIs

Damn. I still can't figure out what unit it was so if you happen to know who replaced Big Windy in Afghanistan, can you e-mail me at homefrontsix @ yahoo.com (no spaces). MacGyver is worried and I couldn't give him any more information than what he saw on the news. Thanks.

There was also a UK bird that went down in Iraq and the bastards cheered in the streets.

I hate this.

Coalition Helicopter Crashes in Afghanistan

I'm numb. Don't know who it is but I'm numb. I'm praying hard for the families though and I hope and pray that there are no fatalities.



- hfs

Desert porn

MacGyver is enjoying himself at NTC (no, really!) and sent me a few pictures.

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Yeah - looks like a blast to me.

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Again - probably more fun than I could handle right about now.

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Ah...camping, Army style.

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MacGyver said that he is truly greatful that he did not select Blackhawks as his airframe. He's quite fond of his Chinooks.

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He says this is basically what he does all day. Rough life. Beats having to change poopy diapers...I think.


- hfs


Update on mayor that stole dead Marine's money

An UPDATE on a story I posted about a few days ago: Mayor Steals From Dead Marine

Sounds hopeful but I'm sure the Sepulveda family will not be satisfied until they have their money back.

"My personal financial issues have nothing to do with my job as mayor," Bostick said.

I disagree wholeheartedly. This incident, and the fact that he stole money from someone, speaks to his character and his ethics (or lack thereof) and I am pretty sure that is not who the voters of Fort Lupton want running their city. If I were a resident of Fort Lupton, I'd be pushing for a recall. IMMEDIATELY.

h/t Brain Shavings.


- hfs

A little bit of good news

MacGyver's cousin continues to improve - slowly but steadily. From her CaringBridge site:

Speaking of gifts from God, I just received another one today. Ashlyn and I were in the room watching a movie with Stacy. Suddenly Stacy took a deep breath, almost like a sigh, and she moved her shoulders and arms upwards. it was almost like she was stretching. I immediately jumped up, and turned off the movie, and asked Stacy is she just did that? She said she did, but wasn't able to re perform it on command. She clarified that she was cold, from the fan blowing on her, and said she was kind of stretching like you would when you shiver and just want to get your body moving. Either way, whether she can do it on command or not, Stacy had a huge smile! She saw how excited Ashlyn and I were, as well as her nurse, Danielle. Danielle actually got tears in her eyes, because she's really become part of our family, as several of the other nurses have over the past few weeks. Everyone is sincerely pulling for her recovery. We still have the primary issue of getting Stacy to do things on command, but this gives me even more hope. To this date, Stacy had not moved her shoulders or arms off the bed. Even when using pain stimulation, she didn't move nearly as much as she did today. God is continuing to answer our prayers! Each and every day I can see Stacy's happiness increase, which is exactly what I need. I love seeing her personality come back, slowly but surely. She's always been someone who smiled a lot, and I can see that each day she seems to smile more and more. I can't wait to update you all more on her progress to come. It's still one small step at a time, but each time something like this happens I feel that the Lord is comforting our entire family. Stacy believes she is going to get better, and knows that the Lord is with her each step of the way. It was great to see even Stacy get excited today.

She is making progress with speech therapy (she's having to relearn how to speak again which is made more difficult due to her tracheotomy) and physical therapy. One of the highlights of my evening lately is checking her CB site and seeing the good news.

For those of you who have inquired, thank you. And for those of you who are praying, thank you.


- hfs


Before and after

This is the "BEFORE" picture. Before MacGyver sold the 2002 and BEFORE I got in there to get things straightened up. I still have some work to do but I need to hit the BX and pick up some more Rubbermaid Roughtotes first as I have run out. I still need to tackle MacGyver's photo and darkroom gear, get rid of all of the stuff that is due to be disposed of (either sold on Craigslist or taken to the thrift shop or consignment store).

And here is the "AFTER" picture. Not bad for about 3 hours worth of work. I haven't really touched MacGyver's workbench - that's his territory and I don't want to mess up whatever system he has going (I say "whatever system" because, at this point, it's a mystery to me!).

I think at our next house, we are going to invest in some of those suspended storage racks for the garage. There is going to be a lot that I won't need access to while he's gone so there is no point in wasting floor space when I can loft it up.

Tonight I start attacking the office. I need to track down some boxes to hold books for the move (cardboard is ok here) but for the next few days I will just weed stuff out and get things organized. I'm telling ya...Martha Stewart better watch her back!


- hfs

Martha Stewart Living

What IS it about your spouse leaving and the organization bug biting you in the arse? Or is it just me? Is it a survival tactic - something to keep you busy so you don't go insane while he's gone and to give you something to "show" for the time he was gone?

Well, whatever it is, I have it BAD. Not only is he gone but we have a move that we are going to have to do ourselves looming over my head. To say I am motivated would be *quite* the understatement. We've been home almost a week and so far, I have:

- cleaned out the fridge and SCRUBBED it inside and out

- weeded through the kids' clothes and pulled out things that don't fit anymore and they are now sitting, SORTED BY SIZE, waiting to go to the consignment store or be listed on Craigslist

- sorted through all of the magazines and catalogs that were piling up throughout the house. Articles and recipes have been clipped and stored. Resources have been filed.

- paperwork (i.e. bills, papers to be filed, etc.) has been sorted and stored. I need to get a new shredder - I fried mine trying to shred a bunch of stuff.

- the backyard is tidy. I have pulled out toys that are either broken or too young for my kids and either thrown them out or set them aside to take to the thrift store.

- Both cars are clean on the inside. I'm waiting for a day without rain (yeah, right!) so I can wash them.

- the video/craft closet is tidied and organized. It was driving me NUTS.

- I started in on the GARAGE today! It used to look like this:

but not anymore. After MacGyver sold off the 2002, it became a LOT easier to move things around in there and today, I started boxing stuff up and really getting it organized. Once the battery on my digital charges and I take out the trash tomorrow, I'll snap an "after" picture. There is still a lot to do in there and it's not helped by the fact that the garage currently houses 2 washers and 2 dryers but we'll need our set at the next house. And then there is the stuff that the Army keeps issuing Macgyver for his deployment. Luckily we DO have a garage to house it all. Otherwise it would be in my LIVING ROOM.

Um, no.

There are still a few things on my list to tackle before he gets home. Namely the office our closet, and the kitchen cabinets. Much purging and organizing must take place. And to think...this is just an NTC rotation! Think of how incredibly organized this place will be once he gets home from his deployment!

Just call me Martha Stewart, thankyouverymuch!


- hfs


Your "customer service" SUCKS!!!

UPDATE: Well, it looks like I have straightened things out. Seems the manager (again, an idiot) was getting me "confused with another customer in Vancouver" which is why he thought there had been a shipment on 4/21. Once he pulled his head OUT of his dark, stinky place he realized that I am not (nor was I EVER) in Vancouver and told me he would issue the refund on the remaining $170 immediately. I thanked him and then proceeded to tell him that his company's delay in getting the parts to us caused my husband to have to sell his car since he would not be able to complete the project before he deployed to a WAR ZONE and that, should we ever buy another BMW 2002, we would NOT be coming to them for parts.

Word of mouth can be the best form of advertisement...or the WORST.

Last year, MacGyver bought a 1971 BMW 2002 and planned to restore it. It can be tough to find parts for a car like that but there is a place in SoCal called 2002 AD that specializes in parts for this car. So MacGyver ordered $280 worth of parts in early February and planned to have the car up and running by the time he left for NTC.

Mid-March rolls around and no parts. No phone call. No letter. Just the charge on the credit card for the order (in full). He finally remembers to call (they close at 4 and he often was busy in the AM and would forget to call) and they tell him that some of the parts are on backorder so they are holding the entire order. Um, no. Send what you have NOW and send the rest LATER.

So they finally ship what they had in stock (all 4 parts out of an order of 21 parts) and even managed to get one WRONG. Grr. Another few weeks go by and MacGyver finally remembers to call them to see where the rest of the parts were because no one from the store has contacted him. Still on backorder.

At this point, facing the move, NTC, and the deployment he decides to sell the car and send the parts he HAD received back and cancel the rest of the order. He was SO disappointed that he didn't get to get it up and running. He sends the 4 parts he received back with a letter explaining that he wanted the rest of the order cancelled and a full refund per their refund policy.

He called yesterday and asked me to check the account and the SOBs only refunded the cost of the parts he RETURNED! So we are still out $170 for parts we never received! I called today and talked to the manager (who is an idiot). Took me 5 minutes to get him to understand that I want a refund of the remaining amount on the parts that were backordered and never shipped. THEN he tells me that the backordered parts shipped out April 21.

I explain to him that none of those parts have EVER shown up here and I ask him HOW they were shipped. He's unsure. He thinks FedEx but "I don't have the shipping information in front of me right now." Bullshit. I tell him to go FIND it and he tells me it's going to take him a little while and he'll have to call me back. I give him my cell phone number and ask him when I can expect to hear from him. He tells me THURSDAY!

Um, NO!!! I'll be on the phone bright and early tomorrow at 6am and he damn well better have that shipping confirmation number in hand or I swear, I will get my ass on a plane tomorrow and fly back to SoCal just to kick his!!

There is NO reason that an order should take 3 MONTHS to fill when you are a parts place that specializes in these parts! It's not like we called up Wal-Mart and asked THEM to track this stuff down. And, if stuff IS on backorder, you had best be in communication with your customer and be as helpful and accomodating as possible while they wait for those items.

Don't charge up front for items on backorder OR for the shipping if they aren't going to ship for THREE MONTHS! And don't feed me a bullshit line that you don't have shipping information in front of you. That information should be on the fricking INVOICE.

For the love of GOD - how can people be so @()%&@#&*($&*%(#&(#* STUPID?!?!? He had best hope he has that info for me tomorrow or the FedEx man shows up on my doorstep this evening or I will send in letters to the editor at every BMW magazine in the world telling them how horrible their customer service was for a man who is getting ready to deploy to a WAR ZONE in defense of his country!

Just a friendly reminder : DON"T PISS OFF THE RED HEAD.


- hfs


Oh FuzzyBear...

Position: Deputy Director Government Relations

Starting Date: Immediately

Closing Date: May 19, 2006

Time Commitment: 40 hours/week Exempt

Position Description: Work for the Director of Government Relations, Alexandria, VA, for the advancement of the advocacy and education agenda of the National Military Family Association. This includes: the identification, study, research, and evaluation of issues affecting the families of the uniformed services; Articulate the concerns and positions of NMFA to those able to influence the quality of life for Uniformed Service families; assist in the development of department educational materials and web content. Issue areas to be addressed will include military health care, housing, military compensation and benefits and deployment.

Qualifications: Familiarity with NMFA, its mission and goals

Legislative interest, aptitude and knowledge

Excellent communications skills both oral and written, including public speaking.

Managerial and supervisory skills

Computer skills

Military spouse preferred.

Fax resume to 703.931.4600 or e-mail travis@nmfa.org

Fonta Footman-Mitchell

Director of Volunteer Services and Representatives

National Military Family Association

2500 North Van Dorn Street, Suite 102

Alexandria, Virginia 22302

phone number: (703) 931-6632 ext. 315

toll free: (800) 260-0218


You know you're finally local if...

MacGyver would be appalled but I would say that about 1/2 of the following apply to me...


You buy planny toilet paper in case get one longshoreman strike.

You don't understand why anyone would buy less than one 20 lb bag of rice.

You would serve spam as a meat for dinner.

You can taste the difference between teriyaki and kal-bi. (YES)

You know what "stink eye" is, and you bettah believe you know how for geev em (YES)

You can correctly pronouce Kalanianaole, Kalakaua and Aiea. (YES...AND LAIE)

You know what is in the big breakfast at MacDonald's. (YES)

You know what "huli huli chicken" is. (YES)

You can name 3 kine mango

You have at least one family member whose name is
"_____ boy" or "tita"

You have said "wat, owe you money?","karang your alas", or "dakine"

You know the difference between being hapa and being hapai. (YES)

You give directions using mauka and makai. (YES...AND EWA AND TOWNBOUND)

You know what is "hawaii pono'i" (YES)

You know what it takes to get into Kamehameha school,
(an Aunty name Lokelani!). (YES)

You can correctly pronounce "Likelike."(YES)

Someone says the word "UKU" and your head starts itching.

You raise your chin to say "wassup" instead of nodding. (YES)

When making "Shaka", the back of your hand is facing out. (YES)

You say, "Nori" not seaweed paper. (YES)


Your jokes are about Potagee not Portugese.

You laugh at couples with corny kine Aloha wear. (YES!!!)

You get one pair of "tata" slippers. (YES)

You e-mail people in pidgin. (UM, NO)

It's 70 degrees and you stay freezing. (YES)

You use "tako" or hotdogs and old bread instead of
worms or fluorescent pink fish eggs for bait.

You got lickins' wit "da rubbah slippah" or "da rice paddle".

You can walk through Waianae and not get mugged,
well, sometimes at least.

You know that one "Kukui nut" is not some mental person. (YES)

You call it "Saimin" not "Top Ramen", you know Sapporo Ichiban mo bettah. (YES)

The surf report is on your speed dial. (NO, BUT IT IS ON MY BOOKMARKS)

Dressing up means shorts and an aloha shirt and
da black slippah instead of da rainbow one! (YES)

You say "shave ice", not snow cone or shaved ice. (YES)

Rainbow Drive-Inn is a special date.

You go Kam, not Aloha swap meet. (I GO TO BOTH)

You know pineapples don't grow in trees. (YES - WE HAVE ABOUT #) GROWING IN OUR BACKYARD RIGHT NOW!)

You know what Li Hing Mui is and you put it on everyting. (KNOW WHAT IT IS. DON'T PUT IT ON EVERYTHING)

You ask for Shoyu and not Soy Sauce. (YES)

You call public transportation "da BUS." (YES!)

The Governor is your cousin's cousin.

You know what the H3 is but you scared drive cause you tink it stay haunted. (KNOW WHAT IT IS. NOT SCARED TO DRIVE IT BUT I'D RATHER TAKE THE PALI)

You search your car for pork before you go over da Pali. (HAHA!)

You always know what "da kine" means. (YES)

Mainland people no understand when you talk.

You eat spam musubi on regular occasions. (BLECH.)

You nevah wear shoes in the house. (YES)

You can wear slippers to almost anywhere (PRETTY MUCH)

You eat mango with shoyu, vinegar, and pepper.

You can be wearing boros and nobody tink nothin.

You never feel shame being the only one buying
Spam in CostCo on the Mainland.

You get one built-in space between your big-toe and dakine.

You like ume, daikon, and kim chee better than pickles. (EEWWW...KIMCHEE...)

On the mainland, you wondah
"How come nobody get "Plate Lunch ovah heah?".

When you go bathroom, you say "I going shi shi". (PRINCESS TROUBLE SAYS THAT NOW!)

You give directions by saying things like,
"oh yeah by where the STADIUM used to be....

You go Kalihi Bowl fo eat"OX TAIL SOUP".

You think BAYWATCH HAWAII is stupit, cause they no know how fo ack and Hasslehoff sounds supa lolo tryin fo say
"Eh, howzit,brah!" (actually, you jus jealous u not in da show!!)

The local Korean bars serve you a glass of ice
and large platter of pupu's with your beer.

Eating healthy means Spam Lite.

You never understood why adding pineapple and ham to one pizza
made it Hawaiian to the rest of the world. (YES)

When you say "Book" and a filipino gets all piss off. (HAHA!!!)

If u know how fo say ukulele right. (YES)

When all ur meals are wit rice, even if you eating spaghetti.

The fool-proof name for every woman you meet is "Aunty", if you can't remember their real name. The same goes for older males and "uncle." (YES)

You know dat rice iz mo'bettah den mash potatoes. (YES)

You still call dem RAINBOWZ not Warriorz.

You know how fo skank and you know when I say it I ain't using da haole slang.

When you make rice, you use da line on your fingah fo measure da water.

These are entirely too funny!

Pau (that means "done" or "finished").

- hfs


Progress in the housing situation and other updates

UPDATE: I just got off the phone with the property manager and it looks like the house is OURS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He's going to call me back tomorrow to let me know what the rent will be (it's incredibly low right now and I honestly don't really care what they jack it up to) and set a move-in date but it looks like we're good to GO! Hallelujah!!!

The people living in the house that we looked at a few weeks ago have finally received orders and have notified their property management company that they will be leaving. They let the property management company know that we are interested in renting the house and I have left a message with the property management company. Hopefully I will hear back from them soon and this will work out as smoothly as I hope. Granted, we may be spending MacGyver's block leave moving 3 blocks down the street but at least he'll be here to help.

We did get some disappointing news last week. A family that lives up the street and has kids the same ages as our kids have just recevied transfer orders (he's a cilivian investment banker) back to the mainland. I haven't broken the news to Princess Trouble yet - she's going to be devastated. Not looking forward to that one at all.

MacGyver's cousin is showing improvement. It's slow and arduous but it's progress.

Stacy's progress continues to be slow but steady. She is nodding "no" now, instead of blinking her eyes once. She's also beginning to mouth words. Today she mouthed the words "yes", "no", "kiss me", and "I love you". She brought tears to my eyes when she asked me to kiss her. I continue to see Stacy's personality coming back more and more each day, and her smile has warmed the heart of many visitors. I think those of you who have not seen Stacy in a week, will be pleasantly surprised at her progress over the past week. God has blessed us with many small steps in the right direction.

It is my understanding that she is off the ventilator completely now which is a HUGE deal, given the fact that the brain stem controls
Heart Rate
Reflexes to seeing and hearing (Startle Response).
Controls sweating, blood pressure, digestion, temperature (Autonomic Nervous System). Affects level of alertness. Ability to sleep.
Sense of balance (Vestibular Function).

(from TBI Resource Guide

She still has a LONG way to go but she has been blessed with a strong body and an even stronger family and faith.

Other than that, life is mellow. The kids and I are doing well while MacGyver is at NTC. I'm *almost* enjoying the time alone and have already been able to mark several things off of the "TO DO" list. Today, since the weather is beautiful, the cars will be washed and the yard trimmed up. Eventually I'll need to start boxing some things up but that's going to wait a bit until I get a better idea of a move date (and a signed lease - I'm not tempting fate this time!).

Have a good week!


- hfs


Wrote this six years ago. Nothing's changed.  One of my favorite movies is 'Bull Durham'. And one of my favorite scenes in ...