8.31.2007

Final total for Fundraiser!

Here's the breakdown:

Hawaii orders total $618
Mainland orders total $573

Final total for party $1191...round it up to $1200....so....drumroll
please....the check I would usually write myself is $300...WAHOO! In
addition, D.M. from MA made a $20 flat donation.

I will make the final check for $320.....YIPPEEEEE!!!! Are you excited???
I am!!!



First, thanks SO much to my consultant for her generous donation! She decided to donate 100% of her profits to the homecoming fund. So, if you missed out on participating in the party, you'll have to wait for next time! The fall line of products comes out this weekend. I can't wait!


Second, thank you so much to all on the mainland who placed orders for this party! I appreciate it so much! And I'm sure the soldiers will too. A special thank you to D.M. of MA for the donation - that was too kind!



You all are wonderful and I truly appreciate all of the support.




Mahalo.




- hfs

8.30.2007

It's the little things

I had to re-register my car today. The state provides a military exemption for state taxes on car registration for military members who are not Hawai'i residents. So I went down to Rear Detachment and waited an hour for the RearD people to get out of a meeting so that I could get the form I needed to exempt us from the state taxes.


I took my registration, military ID, deployment orders, power of attorney, and military exemption form down to the Satellite City Hall today to get new tags for my car. I waited in line, double-checking that I had everything I needed. I get to the counter and the woman asks me what my rank is.


I have no rank.


I explain that my husband is deployed, that I have copies of his deployment orders, power of attorney, blood type, and anything else that the state might possibly need in order to consider me worthy of the military exemption for registration taxes. She again asks me what my rank is.


I. HAVE. NO. RANK.


Again, I explain that my husband is the servicemember and he is currently in Iraq but that I have deployment orders/power of attorney/marriage certificate/military ID/1st grade report card and all of that should take care of the fact that my husband is not currently on the island.


She looks at me and blinks. She then proceeds to ask me, "So you're not in the military?"


Um, no. I am a military spouse. Hence the lovely tan colored ID card, copies of deployment orders/power of attorney/marriage certificate/etc.


She then tells me that because my husband's name is not on the registration and title of the car, we are not eligible for the military exemption on state taxes when it comes to registering this car. "That-will-be-one-hundred-and-seventy-five-dollars-
plus-ten-dollars-for-a-late-fee-thankyouverymuchhaveaniceday-
pleasegopaythechashier."


Seems it doesn't matter that I'm married to a man in the military if his name isn't on the title. Grr. I could get ahold of the bank, have them add MacGyver's name to the title (I'm sure THAT would be a quick and easy process, given the fact that he's in a foreign country at the moment. /sarcasm).


Grr. It's the little things. Don't get me wrong. I understand that a rule is a rule and I'm not mad at the woman at City Hall for not bending the rule for me. It's basic algebra, really.

If A=B and B=C then A=C.

A: Military members and vehicles in their name are eligible for a military exemption on registration tax.

B: I am married to said military member and, were he here, I could have his name added to the title and registration of my car.

C: Marriage to said military member should extend benefits to me and the rest of his family.




On a related note, I was talking with a friend of mine about the attitude of entitlement. I try my best to avoid seeing the world or the Army as though it owes me something. Don't get me wrong - if I am due something, if I have earned something then I will demand it. It is rightfully mine. But I do not expect things to be given to me just because I exist.

A few months ago I attended a town hall meeting and listened to a woman complain that the Army wasn't doing enough to compensate her for the fact that her husband was being extended. She wanted the Army to provide her and her family with free plane tickets back to the mainland so that she could go visit family while her husband was deployed. I just shook my head. If you read our deployment orders, they read that the deployment will last "365 days or until the mission is complete."


The Army owes us nothing.


What would be NICE is this: in the event of a deployment and upon possession of said deployment orders, dependents of the deployed servicemember should be eligible to remain at a Category III status regardless of whether the servicemember is present. In other words, the deployment orders should act as a literal stand-in for the servicemember. It would be a wonderful gesture and an incredible help for families who do not live on the mainland during a deployment (or for those who desire a Hawaiian getaway during a deployment!). Flying my family to the mainland is expensive and therefore only happened once. It would have been great to have been able to fly (on a Space Available basis) back to the mainland to see family.


Another help would be to allow families to be able to fly SpaceA to any SpaceA destination on the mainland rather than just to the first mainland destination they come to. For someone whose family resides on the west coast, this is not a problem. The majority of flights from here go to either Travis AFB, McChord AFB, or North Island. Sucks to be someone whose family lives on the eastern seaboard.


I'm not looking to milk the system or the Army for more than I deserve. I just see ways that the lives of military families could be made easier by utilizing the system in different ways. The adjustments to the Category status of families of deployed soldiers would not cost anyone money. But it sure would make life easier.




Pau.




- hfs

8.26.2007

Fundraiser update

First, thank you so much to those who have placed orders!!! We're already up over $700 in total sales, of which 25% will go to our FRG for the unit homecoming party in December. Woohoo!


I'd love to see us surpass the $1,000 mark in terms of total sales so I am keeping the party open until COB on Wednesday. If you have not yet ordered, please consider doing so! There are several items in the product line right now that will be gone as of 9.1.07 as they introduce their fall product line (which I've seen and can't wait to get my hands on!).


If you're interested in purchasing any of their products, let me know and I'll give you the information!


So, if any of those are ones you like, jump on them now because they won't be back until Spring 2008. And 25% of your purchase goes to MacGyver's unit's Welcome Home party!


Thanks!!!




Pau.




- hfs

8.25.2007

But did you have the bread?

UPDATE Today is the party. I've received several orders from you all - thank you SOOOOOOOOOOO much!!! For those of you still interested, the party is still open. When you're done, drop me an email and let me know you placed an order and that it should be credited to my party. Thanks so much! The guys are starting to get excited about coming home :)





I am hosting a fundraiser to help raise money for my husband's unit homecoming party which is slated to be held in early December. I am opening up the party to outside (i.e. off island/mainland/"can't make it to the island for the party") orders.



This is a perfect opportunity for you to get some yummy treats (OMG, the bread is TO. DIE. FOR.). And a lot of the products ship well and would make great additions to care packages (hint hint Tammi...)!


I plan to leave the party open through the Sunday August 26, 2007 (the actual party is Saturday) to allow everyone time to get their orders in. I really appreciate you taking the time to consider this and the soldiers do too! Hopefully their homecoming party will be well worth the wait of the extension!


Do it! The bread is CALLING your name!


$50 or less in product total, the shipping flat rate of $5.95 + any
applicable sales tax in the state to which the order will ship.

$50.01 or more in product total, the shipping will be 10% of product total
+ any applicable sales tax in the state to which the order will ship.



Let me know if you have questions! And please, feel free to pass this along to anyone and everyone you know of. I'd love to blow my consultant's mind and have this be her biggest party ever! She's passing up the Chilifest to do this party for MacGyver and his unit so I can't thank her enough.


If you have questions, feel free to email me at:

homefrontsix-at-yahoo-dot-com



Mmmmm...beer (bread)...




Mahalo!




- hfs

8.24.2007

Army's Worst Day

UPDATE: I know that friends and family of the fallen have visited the site. Please, if I've missed something...if there is something you want me to add or take off...anything...please let me know. And for those who are hurting right now, please know that the prayers and warm thoughts of many are with you.


...


Army's Worst Day


The Department of Defense announced today the death of 14 soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.They died Aug. 22 in Multaka, Iraq, of injuries suffered when their helicopter crashed.

Killed were the following soldiers assigned to the 4th Squadron, 6th U.S. Air Cavalry Regiment, Fort Lewis, Wash.:

Capt. Corry P. Tyler, 29, of Georgia.

Chief Warrant Officer Paul J. Flynn, 28, of Whitsett, N.C.

Sgt. Matthew L. Tallman, 30, of Groveland, Calif.

Spc. Rickey L. Bell, 21, of Caruthersville, Mo.

Also killed were the following soldiers assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii:

Capt. Derek A. Dobogai, 26, of Fond du Lac, Wis.

Staff Sgt. Jason L. Paton, 25, of Poway, Calif.

Sgt. Garrett I. McLead, 23, of Rockport, Texas.

Cpl. Jeremy P. Bouffard, 21, of Middlefield, Mass.

Cpl. Phillip J. Brodnick, 25, of New Lenox, Ill.

Cpl. Joshua S. Harmon, 20, of Mentor, Ohio.

Cpl. Nathan C. Hubbard, 21, of Clovis, Calif.

Spc. Michael A. Hook, 25, of Altoona, Penn.

Spc. Jessy G. Pollard, 22, of Springfield, Mo.

Spc. Tyler R. Seideman, 20, of Lincoln, Ark.



* Corry Tyler was a graduate of West Point and the sole remaining male in his family which allowed him to avoid deployment. This was his third tour in Iraq.

* Paul "Josh" Flynn was a father to a 6 year old son and went through flight school with MacGyver.

* Matthew Tallman was a husband and a father. "He was a good father, good husband and good human being," said his mother-in-law.

* Ricky Bell was due to return from Iraq on September 13 for leave.

* Derek Dobogai was from Fon do Lac, Wisconsin and was a "very good student" according to a teacher at his alma mater. According to a statement released by his family, "Derek was one of the kindest people you could ever know. He lived life with honor, served selflessly and lived life to the fullest. Derek has always remained strong in his faith."

* Jason Paton was 25 and from Poway, California. He was due to get married in November and was on his third tour of duty to the Middle East.

* Garrett McLead "felt like his mission was clear that when it was his time, it would be his time," according to his uncle.

* Jeremy Bouffard was the only son in his family and leaves behind a wife and young son.

* Phillip Brodnick was the son of a police officer in Illinois.

* Josh Harmon was a combat medic and the son of an Ohio fire chief. He was a newlywed.

* Nathan Hubbard was one of three brothers serving in the military. His brother, a Marine, had been killed in Iraq in 2004. A third brother will be returning from Iraq to be with his family.

* Michael Hook was due to get married with a baby on the way. It was his first deployment.

* Jessy Pollard "was fighting for our American freedoms that we enjoy," said his stepfather. It was something he prayed about before joining the military.

* Tyler Seideman was a high school football player and acted in school plays, once playing the role of Daddy Warbucks in the play "Annie".


...


The oldest was 30. The youngest, 20. A mechanical failure at the end of a nighttime mission involving two Blackhawks. They came from locations in between and including California and Pennsylvania.


...


I heard the first bits of information about the crash Tuesday night. Word spreads quickly, even with communication blackouts. However, the bits I was hearing made it sound like there had merely been a precautionary landing and no casualties involved. I said prayers for the people on board and the families and drifted off to sleep.


When I woke up Wednesday morning, I was met with headlines that blared "14 Dead in Helicopter Crash". I was shocked, to say the least. Then reports started to come in that it had been OUR bird, our guys. I started monitoring several websites for information about the crash, about the units. And all the time I prayed. I'm not sure what I was praying FOR. I was just praying.


Emails began to pour in. It had hit national news. Like I said when Chuck's bird went down in 2005, there are small blessings to be found in times like these. I've heard from people I've not heard from in a long time. They heard the words "Hawaii" and "soldiers" and "helicopter" and "killed" on the news and worried instantly. It was good to hear from them, regardless of circumstances.


And then there were emails from our FRG. From the command. From Rear Detachment. From the higher ups in the Brigade. No, it was NOT our bird. No, it was NOT our Brigade.


BUT...


They were our soldiers on board. As passengers. All 10 of them. The bird was from Fort Lewis but the passengers were ours. All from the same company. All young. All with families and friends left behind to grieve and try to pick up the pieces and try to put one foot in front of the other. Friends in Iraq who still have months to go before they can come home and be with those who love them.


Someone that I was talking with today said something to the effect that, had the extension not happened, they would have been home already. And this is true.


BUT...


Then it would have been 10 other soldiers. Ten other sons/husbands/fathers/uncles/friends. Ten other families grieving. How do you wish that on someone else?


And not only are the families and friends of these soldiers mourning, there are those behind the scenes that feel these losses deeply as well. Commanders, superiors, Casualty Assistance Officers, first responders who did their best to save those who could be saved yet were unable to do so. They are all dealing with their own pain in their own ways. Do not forget them.


Do not forget any of them.




Pau.




- hfs

8.22.2007

And again

Task Force Lightning helicopter crash.



Word has it that it was not one of our birds (i.e. 25th ID CAB) but that we did have passengers on board. Not only could the families use your prayers but the people here - the Rear D people and the Casualty Assistance Office people - could too. It's a tough day all around.


Thanks.




Pau.




- hfs

8.20.2007

DNR

I'm afraid, after all of our efforts, my washer has died. We tried everything but she was too far gone.


Time of death, 10:52pm HST on 18August2007.


It looks like either the transmission or the clutch (sounds like a car, not a washing machine!) is shot. A rebuilt transmission would run me between $50 and $75 and cannot be found on island so it would take 5-7 days to get one in. A new transmission would run me about $150 which is 2x what I paid for the washer in the first place. Not to mention the fact that replacing either the transmission or the clutch is pretty complex and I have neither the time nor the patience to tackle something like that.


I'm good but I'm not that good.


So Little Man and I went on a search for a new washer. Smart boy that he is, he immediately zeroed in on the LG Steamwasher but I don't have that much money to drop on a washer unless it comes with someone to fold the laundry and put it away as well. But I like the way he thinks.


My parents have the same washing machine that they have had since I was a kid. It's the only one I ever remember and it is olive green if that gives you any indication as to its age. It works like a champ and I can only recall it having issues twice in my 35 years. Not bad for an appliance.


It's a Maytag.


So we went in search of a Maytag. I'm pretty low maintenance. I don't need lots of bells and whistles on my washer. Just give me hot/warm/cold temperature selections and a choice of cycle (normal, delicate, etc.) and I'm good to go. I don't need high capacity. There's only 4 of us and one of us isn't here at the moment. So we found a Maytag within budget that fit our needs perfectly. It will be delivered (for free!) on Wednesday. I think I have enough clean underwear to last until then. hee hee


My second major appliance purchase in a year. Maybe I'll get lucky enough next time around and won't have to replace ANY appliances. I can live without a dryer. I have clothespins and know how to use them. heh




In other news, the antibiotics and antivirals seem to be working. I no longer feel like one of the living dead nor am I begging people to shoot me and put me out of my misery. And my throat no longer feels like I swallowed shards of glass. Always a bonus. Thank you all so much for the well-wishes and prayers. Little Man seems to be recovering well from his ear infections as well and now we are taking bets on how long before Princess Trouble comes down with something.


For those of you interested in supporting MacGyver's unit, I am going to be hosting a Tastefully Simple party (think Tupperware or Pampered Chef) and the proceeds will be going to the homecoming party in December. I understand that Hawaii is a ways to go to come to a party such as this so I will be giving out information (via email) on how to place orders and have them shipped directly to you.


I have to tell you, the Beer Bread and the Almond Pound Cake are to DIE FOR and I have it on good authority that Jack Army is a fan of the Corn and Black Bean Salsa. Going to have to try that one!


Many of the products can be shipped overseas too! So a yummy bag of tortilla chips and a jar of the salsa sounds like the start of a yummy care package for a loved one! (hint hint hint Soldiers' Angels!) And the proceeds go to a great homecoming party. Drop me an email at homefrontsix-at-yahoo-dot-com and I'll shoot you the information on how to order so that it gets credited to my party!




Pau.




- hfs

8.19.2007

Free




Free

and She called...
Blacks, Whites...wait
African Americans and Caucasians, Asians, excuse me.
Vietnamese, Philippines, Koreans and Jamaicans or
Haitians, waitin', Hispanics, y'all.

Please be patient
Mexican, Puerto Ricans, Venezuelan, Cuban, v Dominican, Panamanian, Democrats
I beg your pardon, you partied with the late, great Reagan?
Republican, Independent, Christian, Catholic,
Methodist, Baptist, 7th Day Adventist, 5 Percenters,
Hindu, Sunni Muslim, Brothers and Sisters who never seen the New York city
skyline when the twin towers still existed.
But still She called.

From the bowels of Ground Zero she sent this 911 distress signal.
Because She was in desperate need of a hero,
and didn't have time to decipher what to call 'em,
so she called 'em all Her children.
The children of the stars and bars who needed to know nothing more than the fact that she called.
The fact that someone attempted to harm us
this daughter who covered us all with her loving arms.
And now these arms are sprawled across New York City streets.
A smoke filled lung, a silt covered faced,
and a solitary tear poured out of her cheek.
Her singed garments carpets Pennsylvania Avenue and the Pentagon was under her feet.
As she began to talk, she began to cough up small particles of debris
and said, "I am America, and I'm calling on the land of the free."
So they answered.

All personal differences set to the side
because right now there was no time to decide which state building the Confederate flag should fly over,
and which trimester the embryo is considered alive,
or on our monetary units, and which God we should confide.
You see, someone attempted to choke the voice
of the one who gave us the right for choice,
and now she was callin'.
And somebody had to answer.
Who was going to answer?

So they did.
Stern faces and chiseled chins.
Devoted women and disciplined men,
who rose from the ashes like a Phoenix
and said "don't worry, we'll stand in your defense."
They tightened up their bootlaces
and said goodbye to loved ones, family and friends.
They tried to bombard them with the "hold on", "wait-a-minute's", and "what-ifs".
And "Daddy, where you goin'?".
And, "Mommy, why you leavin'?".
And they merely kissed them on their foreheads and said "Don't worry, I have my reasons.
You see, to this country I pledged my allegiance
to defend it against all enemies foreign and domestic.
So as long as I'm breathin', I'll run though hell-fire,
meet the enemy on the front lines,
look him directly in his face,
stare directly in his eyes and scream,
"I AM AMERICA! WE WILL NOT BE TERRORIZED!
WE WILL NOT BE TERRORIZED!
I REFUSE TO BE AFRAID!
I'LL FIGHT YOU ANY COUNTRY, ANY CONTINENT, ANY TERRAIN.
I'LL FIGHT TO MY LAST BREATH!"

And if by chance death is my fate,
pin my medals upon my chest,
and throw Old Glory on my grave.
But, don't y'all cry for me.
You see, my Father's prepared a place.
I'll be a part of his Holy army standing a watch at the Pearly Gates.
Because freedom was never free.
POW's, and fallen soldiers
all paid the ultimate sacrifice
along side veterans who put themselves in harms way.
Risking their lives and limbs just to hold up democracy's weight,
but still standing on them broken appendages anytime the National Anthem was played.
You see, these were the brave warriors that gave me the right
to say that I'm Black. Or white.

Or

African American or Caucasian,
I'm Asian, excuse me.
I'm Vietnamese, Philippine, Korean, or Jamaican.
I'm Haitian, Hispanic

Y'all, Please be patient.
I'm Mexican, Puerto Rican, Venezuelan, Cuban,
Dominican, Panamanian, Democrat
I beg your pardon, you see I partied with the late, great Reagan.
I'm Republican, Independent, Christian, Catholic,
Methodist, Baptist, 7th Day Adventist, 5 Percenters,
Hindu, Sunni Muslim,

Brothers and Sisters We're just Americans.
So with that I say
"Thank You" to the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines,
for preserving my rights
to live and die for this life
and paying the ultimate price for me to be...FREE!




(h/t to Matty over at BlackFive even if FOXnews wasn't kind enough to give it out)




Pau.




- hfs

8.17.2007

Somebody shoot me

Just a warning...I'm going to throw one helluva pity party in just a minute. If you don't want to listen/read, close this out now and move on.




You've been warned.




It seems it is now MY turn to be sick. Of course *I* can't do anything half-way so I manage to come down with what looks to be both the flu AND strep throat. Freaking wonderful. Let me tell you, this is JUST what I need right now. (note the sarcasm)


Yesterday was my 10 year wedding anniversary and all I could do when MacGyver called was whine. I'm sure he was thrilled. He sent me the most wonderful letter and rather than enjoy it, all I could do is smile (on the inside because moving HURTS).


My teeth hurt. My ears and throat hurt. It hurts to yawn. My hair hurts. My eyeballs hurt. Every joint in my body aches. Motrin takes the edge off of it but this has all left me exhausted. Hard to take care of a rambunctious 3 and 5 year old when you feel like roadkill. Thankfully, they are wonderful and have been doing their best to "take care" of me. They make sure I have blankets and juice boxes and have done quite a good job of playing by themselves. Thank GOD for the television.


Really...I can't handle this. I've managed to hang on to shreds of my sanity through this god-forsaken deployment through determination and sheer will. I'm tapped. Literally. I am at the end of my rope. I have this overwhelming urge to simply curl up in a ball and sleep until this whole mess is over. I just can't do anymore.


I slept for 11 hours last night and yet I feel worse than when I get 4 hours of sleep. I'm sure I did this to myself. I've not eaten as well as I should have and I know I have not gone to bed as early as I should. And the fact that Little Man has been sick for the past 3 weeks I'm sure didn't help.


Ugh. Ugh. UGH.




Ok, I'm done whining for now. Hopefully this will be the last of it. Please, God, let this be the last of it.




Pau.




- hfs

8.16.2007

Update on the knot

The Chinook that went down near al Taqaddum air base southwest of Baghdad was a 1-52 AVN (TF 49) bird. That is our old unit. Our first duty station.


Names have not been officially released but they will be soon. Please keep the families of those lost in your prayers. I cannot imagine the hell they are going through right now.


Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket





Pau.




- hfs

8.15.2007

Me: 3 Deployment Gremlins: 0


I put a load of wash in the washing machine before I left for my church's Military Ministry meeting last night. Denim. And bath mats (and before any of you have coniption fits, it was 2 bath mats with no rubber backing and 5 pair of denim shorts so no, I did NOT overload the machine). I set it to wash with the expectation of it being done by the time we returned home. Then I could throw the load in the dryer before I went to bed and I would have clean shorts in the morning!


Yeah...No.


I came home to find the washing machine tub full of sudsy (dirty) water and wet clothes. It wouldn't drain nor would it spin. Lovely. Wrangling with the deployment gremlins was NOT how I wanted to wrap up a lousy Tuesday evening.


My first thought was that I would get to spend my Thursday (while Little Man was in preschool) shopping for a washing machine. Not really what I had wanted to do but a girl can only go so long with no clean shorts. Especially when she lives in Hawaii. I was whining to my friend Jen on IM and mentioned that it was probably just the motor. It's an old washing machine - bought second-hand when we were new at Mother Rucker - and MacGyver had already replaced the motor once before. In addition, handy pack rat that he is, he had scavenged a motor from the old washing machine our former neighbors had set out for bulk trash pickup a while back and it was sitting up on the shelf above the washer and dryer.


Jen's comment was, "If those damn Army Wives on Lifetime can deliver twins on a pool table, we can replace a washer's motor!!" I laughed and admitted that she had a good point. She said she'd call her dad (who is quite proficient at replacing washer motors) in the morning and see what he thought. I popped off an email to MacGyver to make sure that the motor was, in fact, a washer motor and to see how easy it was to get into the washer and replace the motor.


Both Jen's dad and MacGyver agreed that, assuming it WAS the motor that was bad, we could handle replacing it. Heck, I've already achieved my plumbers' and automotive a/c replacement merit badges so why shouldn't I be able to tackle this one? Right?


Right.


So I emptied out the tub in the washer the best I could with a pitcher that night. Jen came over in the morning and we emptied the rest of the water out of the tub with the Shop Vac and set to work.


The FIRST thing we did was to unplug the washer since water and electricity do NOT get along well. Again, my daddy didn't raise a fool.


Amazingly it was pretty easy to get into the washer and to get the motor out. The hardest part was getting some of the screws to come loose because, well, MacGyver is stronger than we are and uses more torque when tightening them down. But it was nothing a hammer couldn't fix! When all else fails, use a BFH, right?












We managed to get the bad motor out quite easily. Here is the culprit (and the proof for you doubting Thomases):















Getting the new(er) motor in was about as easy as getting the old one out. Jen did most of the work and managed to not even break a nail! I'm so proud of her!
When all was said and done, we plugged everything back in and held our breaths as we fired her up. The angels sang and the tub spun! We sat there and watched it run thought an entire cycle just marveling at our abilities. It was awesome. And, to reward ourselves, we went to Baskin Robbins for a 2-scoop sundae!!!




All in all, a very successful Wednesday morning! That THAT you Deployment Gremlins. Of course, this means that the Maytag Repairman is still going to be bored.







Pau.




- hfs

8.14.2007

The knot is back

5 Killed in Chinook Crash


No word yet on what unit. No news is good news, I suppose.


Please pray.




Pau.




- hfs

Round 2

Little Man is back with the sore throat, earaches, and fever. I wondered why he had absolutely no appetite for the past 2 days. Now I know. So I'll be on the phone first thing in the AM in the hopes of getting him an appointment.


I think it's about time for antibiotics. This is the start of week THREE of this. Poor Little Man!




*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*


Fires, floods, and earthquakes...oh my!


We have a Cat IV hurricane bearing down on the islands at the moment. Word has it that it will track south of us and the most we'll see is a fair amount of rain and gusty winds. We need the rain. My grass is thirsty. I'll be charging batteries tonight and making sure that both cars have full tanks of gas. We're well-stocked on food and water so I'm not worried there. Though I do plan to hit Costco tomorrow but I had planned to do that before the hurricane forecast. And thankfully we live toward the middle of the island.


In addition, there is a nasty brushfire up toward the North Shore. It managed to shut down the 2 major roads up to the North Shore yesterday which made for some difficulties but that's about it. No structures have been threatened and hopefully the rain from the hurricane will knock it out.


And, as if life weren't interesting enough...the Big Island was hit with a lovely earthquake this evening. 5.4 magnitude. No damage reported but someone pissed off Mother Nature. Whoops!


Always an adventure, eh?




Pau.




- hfs

8.13.2007

Ritalin, please?

I swear, I have ADD. Seriously.


I cannot focus on anything to save my life. I was telling my mother-in-law the other day that I'm amazed that I was able to shave both legs in the shower the other day without getting distracted.


I put my cell phone in the fridge the other day. Took me 1/2 an hour to find the darned thing. I had gone to grab some water and I guess I had it in my hand and set it down on the shelf without realizing it.


I locked my keys in the car (again) the other day too. Thankfully, it was while it was sitting in the driveway at my house and the front door was already open with the spare keys easily accessible to me inside. But still.


I have taken to writing everything down. EVERYTHING. Appointments, commitments, packing lists, schedules, lunch menus for the kids. I have to or else I will forget something. Every night before I go to bed, I write out the things I need to get done (errands) and the things I need to take in the car with me on a Post It note and put it on the front door.


I often feel like I am living the story, "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie". I'll go to get started on something and get distracted by something else. I get 1/2 way through the "something else" and get distracted yet again. And so on. And so on. I'm 1/2 way done with 100 things around the house. And it's driving me crazy. Then I started a list of the things/projects I need to finish up around here and was distracted yet again and never finished the list.


It's sad. Truly. Does anyone have any Ritialin? Oh LOOK! Something shiny...




Pau.




- hfs

8.11.2007

100 Things

100 Things


I'm only up to 40 and some of you may already know these things about me. But there it is. I'll move the link to the sidebar one of these days (see #8).




Pau.




- hfs

8.10.2007

Warning: Do not try this at home

Entirely too cool. MacGyver asked (when I sent him the link, before he watched it) if it were Princess Trouble doing the "stunt moto". Not yet babe. I'll let YOU teach the both of them that after you get home ;~)







Pau.




- hfs

Just enjoying the weather

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Sent in from a friend who is hanging out, getting a tan in Iraq. Right...



Pau.




- hfs

8.08.2007

It's been a long wait

Teacher ready to fly to space station


I was in 9th grade. Mr. Cooper's social studies class. We were watching a movie and the English teacher from down the hall came running into the room. She whispered something in Mr. Cooper's ear and his normally open and jovial face clouded over. He turned off the video and turned on the TV.


Every channel was playing the same thing. Over and over and over. We all just sat there and stared. I remember not comprehending. Not wanting to comprehend. It was hard to imagine that anything could silence a room full of 8th graders but it did. Some of us were crying but most of us were just sitting in stunned silence. It was like watching a dream die.


From the time I was about 10, all I had wanted to do was be an astronaut. I was obsessed with flying, with jets (as the avenue I would take to become an astronaut) and all things space-related. And then NASA announced that they would send a teacher into space.


A teacher.


A common person. Not an astronaut. Not a pilot. A teacher.


Several teachers from our district applied. One - who later became a teacher of mine in high school - even made it to the later rounds of selection. So this tragedy hit close to home on so many levels. And it devastated me.




And now, 21 and a half years later, it looks as though we have come full circle. I am conflicted. I am thrilled and sad at the same time. I have learned that it IS possible to experience both emotions at the same time and have done so on many occasions in the past, just as I am now. Part of me still grieves for the lives lost on that horrible day. I still have Christa McAuliffe's biography on my bookshelf and I cannot imagine how much her family still misses her. How much all of their families miss all of them.


And yet, the hope I feel, the glimmer of hope and promise is tough to resist. I pray this flight goes well. I pray that the sacrifices of the Challenger 7 are honored. I pray that they all come home safely. To do so would be like regaining a dream that died so many years ago.


Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket





Pau.




- hfs

Sweet

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Four F/A-18 Hornet aircraft from the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron the "Blue Angels" perform at the Seattle Seafair 2007 in Seattle, Wash., Aug. 2, 2007. Seafair is Seattle's month-long traditional summer festival, which includes parades, amateur athletics, air shows and boat racing. DoD photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seamen Charles Whetstine, U.S. Navy. (Released)




Just thought it was a cool photo. Those "zoomies" fascinate me in so many ways.




Pau.




- hfs

8.05.2007

Immune System Vacation

UPDATE: they sent us home with a SHOPPING BAG of meds. Here's Little Man's lineup:

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Seriously, it looks like he's doing shooters!


*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*


Yep. It's on vacation. Little Man has:

- tonsillitis
- possible/probably ear infection (in BOTH ears)
- pink eye in both eyes (that he was kind enough to share with his sister)
- a possible heart murmur


He's been toying with a 103* temperature that was stubborn as all get-out (wouldn't respond to the Motrin/Tylenol combo) and then last night pretty much stopped eating and/or drinking. So off to the Acute Care Clinic we went bright and early this morning.


Good thing we got there when we did. By the time we left, 3 hours later, the wait to be SEEN was 6 HOURS. Good grief. Yet the powers that be seem to only see the need to staff the ACC with ONE physician. Idiots.


Little Man's tonsils are almost touching. That might be why he's not eating a whole lot. Hmm. His ears are blocked (maybe THAT is why he's become so good at ignoring me lately!) and all of his glands are the size of walnuts. Poor guy.


On top of that, he has a slight heart murmur. So does his sister (it's benign) so this doesn't surprise me. They'll monitor it and if it's still present in 3 or 4 weeks, they will schedule an ultrasound and EKG to make sure it is benign as well.


Always fun around here. Always.




Pau.




- hfs

8.04.2007

Because I need something to make me laugh

Absolutely hilarious! Make sure you turn your volume up!







Pau.




- hfs

8.03.2007

Thank you, CPT Obvious

War Deployments Raise Risk of Abuse

CHICAGO - Children in some Army families are vulnerable to abuse and neglect by their mothers when their fathers are away at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, a large Pentagon-funded study finds.



Really. You don't say?


My cohort over at SpouseBUZZ, Love My Tanker, posted about this earlier today. I had read about some of these studies over the past few days but I was too flabbergasted to come up with anything articulate.


First off, it would have been nice if the Pentagon had decided to spend that money on other things such as more MRAPs for our troops, better treatment for traumatic brain injuries or post-traumatic-stress-disorder, or even digging up an ANSWER to my stinking QUESTION.


But no.


Instead, they fund a study that tells us something we already know. That deployments are stressful on those left behind and that stress often manifests itself in poor parenting/coping skills. Thanks guys.


Seriously? Did we honestly need a study to tell us this? Yes, deployments are stressful. Yes, our children often feel the effects of this stress. Yes, patience and tolerance are often the first things to go when you're doing your best to juggle the household chores, the childcare (the never-ending childcare), the meals, the bills, the yardwork, the car that dies when you most need it to start, the squashing of bugs in the middle of the night, the cleaning up of barf at 3am, etc.


Andi and I were discussing these studies via email the other day and she brought up a very good point in that none of the findings were a surprise. And they are not. It would make sense to see instances of abuse and neglect rise during deployments. Stress can add fuel to a fire and if a parent is already stressed and/or frazzled and/or coping with poor parenting skills, it would follow that removing an element of support from the situation could lead to negative outcomes.


Andi also brought up the question as to whether other high-stress jobs (civilian jobs) faced similar indices. I doubt it. I don't think the increase in neglect and abuse seen in these studies is a reflection of WHAT the job of the absent parent was. I think it's a reflection of the length of TIME that the absent parent is GONE. In addition, the fact that military families tend to be younger than civilian families and removed from support mechanisms that civilian families would normally have access to, such as extended family and close friends, most definitely play an integral part in the outcomes.


So my biggest question is WHY? Why waste the time, the money, the manpower, the brainpower, and the resources on studies such as these? Why? You're pointing out the obvious. You're preaching to the choir, no matter your intended audience.


The military families will say, "No shit, Sherlock."


Those who support the war will continue to do so and yell a little louder in their support for military families for a bit.


Those who oppose the war will use these studies and their stale knowledge to bang their "I-support-the-troops-but-not-the-war" drum a little louder.


And what have we gained? Not a damn thing. No one is better off because of these studies.


No one.




Pau.




- hfs

8.01.2007

New pictures

of the kids are up on their blog, A Princess and a Little Man.


Head on over if you want to see how much they've grown in the past few months. Or not.




Pau.




- hfs