Don't ask.

I was doing all right. Seriously. It's been 3 days and I think I've held it together quite well. The kids are doing just fine and so am I.

So why on Earth does one little innocuous question just about send me over the edge? Was it the tone and the look on the face of the person doing the asking that did it? Was it just a bad time of the day? I don't know.

But damnit, the next person that asks me, "So, how are you doing?" is going to get smacked. Especially if they ask it in that tone of voice and with that look on their face that implies that someone DIED. Good grief.

Ask me something else. ANYTHING else. Ask me how I slept last night (just fine thankyouverymuch) or how my list of things "TO DO" is coming along (see the posts below about the garage), or what book I'm reading now (see the "Interests and Obsessions" section above), or how my dad is doing with his radiation treatments (just fine according to my mother). BUT STOP ASKING ME HOW I'M DOING! Otherwise I just might tell you and I don't think you really want to know.



- hfs

The "Before"

AWTM mentioned being embarrassed about the state of her garage and how the only vehicle they could fit into it was a bike. I have no shame so I will post a picture of what our garage USED to look like :

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Granted, MacGyver sold the 1971 BMW 2002 that is buried somewhere in there (he wasn't going to have time to restore it like he had planned) so that opened up a lot of room but he's the type of guy that expands to fit a space so it only took a few hours before that space was filled with "stuff".

All joking aside, one of the things I love most about my husband is how mechanically inclined he is. In our almost 9 years of marriage, I have never once had to call a mechanic, a plumber, an electrician, a computer technician, or a carpenter. Ever.

It's not the top thing I love about him (we won't go into that here...) but it is definitely in the top 5. ;)


- hfs


A momentous occasion

Never before in the history of the MacGyver household have we been able to park a functioning vehicle in our garage. That's what driveways are for, right? That will teach MacGyver to deploy...heheheh...

I spent the morning tackling the garage and can actually PARK Stanley the little blue Honda in it! Someone should alert the media.

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More proof - otherwise MacGyver might not believe me!


- hfs


Sadness and honor

I have always known that military spouses are strong people. But I've not had the opportunity to witness their strength up close and personal until now. MacGyver left recently for Iraq. And while we sat at the send off, I was able to sit and admire the strength of these (mostly) women and families. Yes there were some husbands there too and they held up well too. But the overwhelming majority of spouses in our unit are women and to watch them today as they said goodbye to their soldiers was incredible.

Even though today was a sad day, I saw women smiling, laughing, and genuinely enjoying their last minutes with their husbands. I saw well-adjusted kids and parents who were holding it together for the sake of their children and their husbands. I saw people reaching out to others, knowing that we would all need a shoulder to lean on for the next year or so.

How incredible. I am honored to be a part of such a group. Sad, but honored.

Hopefully the days will get easier as we head through this deployment. Hopefully the knot that is balled up in my stomach will ease just a bit each day. Hopefully MacGyver will be bored out of his ever-loving mind while he's over there. Boring is GOOD, honey. Trust me.

MacGyver, if you're reading this...I love you with everything that I am and I miss you terribly. Stay safe and come home soon.


- hfs


Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore

Now, most people would not expect things like this to happen here on this island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. But we had a pretty nasty storm roll through Thursday and it actually produced what many are calling a tornado (some are calling it a "microburst" but I know of several people who were there that SAW a funnel cloud on the ground). It did some significant damage to the hangar that MacGyver works in (and was standing in at the time of the storm).

One of the spouses on a spouse board I belong to took some pictures of the damage:
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The hangar on the right has the damage to the roof.

Luckily there were no aircraft in the hangar at the time (one good thing about the deployment, I suppose).

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It tore a good portion of the roof clean off and messed up the hangar doors as well.

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It deposited pieces of the roof on top of one of the John Deeres that was sitting outside at the time and banged it up really well.

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Just peeled it clean back.

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DPW is going to be quite busy while the Hillclimbers are in Iraq.

And here I thought we'd be getting AWAY from all of that funky weather by moving out here. Never mind the fact that there are 2 or 3 hurricanes stacked up in the Pacific marching right towards us. I think one is a Cat4 at this point. Funfunfun!

This will be my last post for a while. We are down to just a short amount of time before MacGyver's departure and we're soaking every last minute up before he leaves. If there were only a way to slow down the march of time...


- hfs


Lebanon evacuation costs

I fail to understand why everyone has their panties in a wad over the fact that our government is expecting our citizens to foot the bill for their travel from Cyprus (or other "safe" spots) back to the U.S. after being evacuated from Lebanon.

Our military got them out of the warzone. And Congress/the Bush administration backed off on the requirement that evacuees foot the bill for the evacuation FROM Lebanon. Ok, fine. Not what I would have done if I ran the world but hey, not everything goes like I think it should go.

But why should I have to foot the bill to fly someone ELSE home from Cyprus? Where is the personal responsibility? I am sick and tired of this "entitlement-based society" that we appear to have become. I'm having to raid the couch and the ashtray in my car to scrape together the money to go back to the Southeast next spring to visit family but people who chose to vacation in Lebanon (who the hell "vacations" in Lebanon???) get a free ride home from Cyprus? How does THAT work?


Oh yeah...about the Israeli offensive...I think the IDF needs to bomb the heck out of Hezbollah and its strongholds and anything else in Lebanon that makes Israel unhappy and then it needs to move on to Syria. Time to send a message to all of the Islamofascists: You're through. Buh-bye.


- hfs


3 blocks

It's amazing how much of a difference 3 blocks can make. At our old house, we knew our neighbors but did not interact with them often. Waved in passing, said hi if we were out at the same time. But that was it. Not many small children on the street and the street was busy by residential standards so that prevented the kids from playing out front much.

But our new house is on a different street. Our street T's in to 2 cul-de-sacs so it's very quiet in terms of traffic. On one side are the Southside girls ages 7 and 9. Very friendly kids and they get along well with mine. On the other side are 2 children as well - smaller than mine but close in age. There are children (including the 3 year old neighbor who caused my headache last weekend) diagonally from us and across the street. And they all come out to play in the front yard and street on a daily basis.

It's great. It reminds me of my childhood. And I love that my kids are able to experience that. Last night I was able to sit and talk with my neighbor (mom of the Southside Girls) and she seems like a lot of fun. Fun in the sense that, when MacGyver is gone, I can put the kids in bed and then go sit out on the front porch with her and have a margarita. Which is great.

Maybe moving was a good thing. I think I will feel less isolated in this neighborhood. In my old house, it was easy to turn the kids out in to the backyard and hang out inside. Not here. My yard does not have gates so I have to be outside with the kids when they are outside. That will keep me from holing up inside my house.

MacGyver rolled the kids out of bed at 6am this morning to take them on a "Fun Run" with him (Why the words "fun" and "run" are in the same sentence is BEYOND me. Seems like a contradiction in terms.) They were NOT happy! They wanted to go with him but 6am was painful for them. Heh. Unfortunately, it was also painful for me. Ah, well. I'll get my computer time out of the way early and maybe actually get something done around here.

It's still hard to believe that this deployment is here. Still doesn't feel real. But that's ok. I'm sure it will feel real enough soon. A good friend of mine had to say goodbye to her husband today - he had been on leave with her (she has moved home to another state for the duration of the deployment) and had to head back to work. So sad. THAT is what is beginning to bring it home for me.

Two more weeks until life gets really hectic again once school starts. I still can't believe that my baby is going to Kindergarten. Seems like she was JUST born! And then AWANA starts back up. Little Man will start going to day care/preschool twice a week. And then we'll start to roll into the birthday/holiday season. God willing, this year will roll by relatively quickly. The kids are as prepared for this deployment as possible and I think they are going to handle it just fine. Probably better than me! And that's all I can ask for.

Ok - time to take advantage of the house being empty and go get something done.


- hfs


Slow motion

Do you ever get to that point in your life where things seem to be moving in slow motion? And you don't WANT them to but at the same time you do? Talk about being between a rock and a hard place.

Part of me wants this deployment to just hurry up and GET HERE. Mentally I've been preparing for this for 2 YEARS now...let's just get on with it already. I remember telling my friend Shannon that I would much rather have 48 hours' notice as opposed to a year. So part of me really would like a fast forward button on life. I want to get THROUGH the painful part and say goodbye and start working toward the WONDERFUL part of reuniting what all of this is done. I want to get my kids and myself into a routine that will sustain us for the next year or so. To me, there is comfort in routine and right now, I can SEE it but I can't touch it.

And then there is the part of me that would give just about anything to slow things down. There are only days left at this point and at times it feels like I'm dreaming that I'm falling and I can't quite shake myself awake. Having never been through a deployment, I have no idea how the send off will go. Will there be a mass departure? Will I have to take him to the airfield? Will there be other spouses there at the same time? Or will I be left to pick myself up off the floor alone?

Ok, time to stop contemplating this. I'm starting to lose control of my emotions.


- hfs


Emotional rollercoaster...not really.

Life has been understandably crazy for the past few months. Between MacGyver being gone for NTC, my trip to SoCal/Washington D.C., MacGyver coming home from NTC and being on leave, long holiday weekends, crazy pre-deployment work schedules, block leave, a move, a birthday party, and my in-laws visiting...yeah, life has been a little crazy.

For a while I seriously thought there was something WRONG with me. MacGyver's deployment will be upon us in a very short while. I should be panicking. I should be having panic attacks. I should feel SOME sort of trepidation/anxiety/dread/etc.


How weird would I appear if I actually admitted that a part of me is actually looking forward to this deployment? What kind of a FREAK am I??? Let me explain. The last time MacGyver and I faced a separation of any considerable length, we had been married just a short while. I uprooted from Colorado - my home for 4+ years and the place I desperately long to return to - and moved 1000 miles away to go live with my in-laws and take on the very first job in my chosen career. Just a wee bit stressful. And I didn't handle it well.

At all.

Let's just say I was the poster child for how NOT to act during a separation. That about covers it.

But THIS time, I have the opportunity to do it RIGHT. I have the opportunity to do a hell of a lot better this time around than last time. And I'm ready. When we left Fort Rucker for Fort Campbell 2 years ago, I was not ready. The idea of my husband heading off to a war zone for a year sent me in to horrific panic attacks. The idea of being a single parent to 2 small children for a year was enough to cause me to hyperventillate and lose my mind.

Not anymore.

I am sure that the chaos that has been my life for the past few weeks has been a blessed distraction from the oncoming train that is this deployment. But I have a peace about it all that I did not have even 6 months ago. Yes, I worry. Yes, I dread the goodbyes. Yes, I pray that they all will come home safely. But the overwhelming panic is no longer there. Why? I don't know.

For a good year after we moved here from Fort Campbell, I cursed the Army for uprooting us so quickly from a location that we both liked. But now I see it as a blessing and I realize that *I* was not ready to face the 101st's deployment and that coming here to Hawaii and having that extra year to mentally and emotionally prepare for it has literally saved me.

Now, my tune may change the day after MacGyver gets on the plane. But for now, I'm doing all right. Still seems odd but I'll take it.


- hfs


It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood

Won't you be my neighbor?

We've been in the new house for 5 days. Within the first 2 days, we met our southside neighbors. Military family with two girls ages 7 and 8. Friendly, well-mannered, pleasant girls. Mom's nice. Dad seems to be too. The girls play well with my kids which is a blessing.

On the third day, we got to meet the kids from across the street. A boy age 6 and a girl age 3. The day that we met them was the first day of serious moving. So here we are, schlepping boxes and furniture into the house and all of a sudden these children appear.

Notice I said children. No parents in sight. And, according to the 6 year old, the three year old was grounded. Yet there she was...on our front porch and weaseling her way into my house.


Now, I don't know about you but I do not let my children run around outside (i.e. not in the backyard) without my direct supervision. Call me overprotective. I like to keep eyes on my kids. I guess these parents have a different parenting style.

Fast forward to today. Our southside neighbors' kids had come home from camp and were over at the house playing inside and all of a sudden, a face appears at my door. It's the 3 year old. No parent in tow. Not even an older brother. Just her. She TELLS me she wants to come in and play with the other kids.

Yes, a 3 year old TOLD me she wanted to come in and play in my house. So I TOLD her she needed to go home and ask her mother if it was ok. She then proceded to ARGUE with me. Told me that her mother had already said she could (Um, if you didn't know where the other kids were, how could you have asked your mother for permission?). Told me it was ok with her mother if she didn't ask first (Might be ok with your mom but it's NOT ok with me).

She argued with me.

I explained to her that I do *NOT* argue with small children and that she was *NOT* coming in my house until she went back across the street and into her house to ask her mother if it was ok that she come over to play. She left and showed back up a few minutes later. While she was gone, the other southside girls informed me that this 3 year old is known for breaking toys and stealing things from other peoples' houses.


I let her in and made the rules known - no playing in the closet, no playing in the bathroom, and everyone will help clean up before they leave. Not more than 5 minutes later, I hear the 3 year old YELL at my son to "GET OUT!" of the play area under the stairs. I started in to say something but Princess Trouble beat me to it and told the 3 year old in NO uncertain terms, "You will NOT yell at my brother like that!" Good for her!

A few minutes later, she calls one of the other girls "STUPID" and made her cry. In I went again to explain that, in this house, we do not use words like that. Meanwhile I'm hoping she begins to think I'm the meanest mommy on the block and would leave. No such luck. A few minutes later, I hear that she has pushed one of the southside girls . That was it. I told her she needed to go home.

And as she left, I heard her say, "No one wants to play with me AGAIN!"

You don't say.


- hfs



Just a quick post. We're about 75% moved with only the remnants of the kitchen along with beds and the dining table left to go in the house. AND the garage but that is ALL MacGyver. Tomorrow we finish up the house and Thursday will be the day to do the garage. Then it's cleancleanclean. Blech.

Anyway, on to the meat of the post. Coming on post one day last week, we were stopped by one of the gate guards. Seems they had "read the reg" more thoroughly and decided that year long temp passes were no longer "within regs". We have a year long temp pass on our cars rather than a DoD sticker. There are several reasons for that; the primary one being that I do not like for my car to scream "MILITARY". The theft rate on the island is high and the thieves target military vehicles more often than local vehicles. So we have a temp.

So we are coming through the gate and the guard stops us and confiscates our pass. I was irked to say the least because not 4 hours prior, the SAME guard had NO problem with my temp pass.

Whatever. We did what we needed to do on post and then headed over to the Vehicle Registration office. Which, in a stroke of pure genius, is located OFF POST on a golf course. (*this falls under the heading, "things that make you go WHAT THE &%$@?). The person at the Registration office tells us that NO, year long temp passes are completely acceptable under the regs and the gate guard needs to pull his head out of his dark stinky place. And then issues us a NEW pass and writes the name and number of the Provost Marshall on the back in case we encounter any more problems.

Two days later, MacGyver is driving through the gate again and ANOTHER gate guard decides to confiscate the pass. Again. MacGyver argues with the guy and tells him to call the Provost Marshall. Of course, the PM isn't available but MacGyver puts up a good argument. And loses. So we're out ANOTHER temp pass.

Come to find out, there has been a change in the regs and year long temp passes are no longer to be issued. AND they are to be confiscated upon discovery. So there you are.

Fast forward to Sunday. We needed to bring a vehicle on post and drop it off. So MacGyver is in the car ahead of me (which had a DoD sticker on it) and I'm behind him in our other car which is still on a temp pass. As we're going through the gate, I see the gate guard give MacGyver a funny look and then wave him on through. As soon as MacGyver starts to pull away, the guard motions to his buddies and I hear him say "That's the guy! That's the guy I argued with the other day and confiscated his pass!" He was QUITE proud of himself. About that time I pull up in my car with my temporary year long pass and hand him my ID.

The ID that has the same last name as the guy about whom he was just joking.

The same last name as the guy from whom he confiscated the temp pass.

The same kind of pass that was sitting in the window of the car *I* was driving.

The LOOK on this guy's face was PRICELESS. I do so wish I had a camera with me. I about died laughing.

I. Love. Irony.

And we've poured over that damn reg and there is NOTHING in there about a year long temp pass being invalid. We'll be chatting with the Provost Marshall soon. As we drove back out the gate a few minutes later, we slowed down and waved. heh.


- hfs


Please ask the Honolulu Advertiser to stop

If you have a moment, could you please either drop the Honolulu Advertiser a note or give them a call and ask them to stop their attempts to contact The Ware family with regard to Carl Ware's death on 1JUL06? The Advertiser has been calling Mrs. Ware, the family, and friends (to include a 70 year old neighbor who has not seen Carl Ware in 5 years) in their attempts to write a story. This harrassment is doing nothing but compounding the grief that this family is having to endure.

I am asking you to be civil and courteous in your tone but please convey the message that the attempts at contact need to end, per the request of Carl Ware's widow.

The contact information for the Honolulu Advertiser is:


If you have a concern about the accuracy, fairness or
thoroughness of an item in The Honolulu Advertiser,
please call or e-mail our reader representative:

Anne Harpham
(808) 525-8033


Further contact information can be found HERE.

Thank you. This one is personal.

UPDATE: It seems to have worked. The Advertiser has stopped calling Mrs. Ware and her family. I appreciate all of your help. Carl Ware's funeral is Friday.


- hfs


Sad day

A friend's husband was killed by a "negligent discharge" in Iraq the other day. He leaves behind an 11 month old baby girl and a wife who is pregnant. They could use all of the prayers and good thoughts you could spare.

Sad day. Sad, sad day.


- hfs


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