Tuesday, April 28, 2009


It was July of 1999. I wanted a dog. It was a time when I didn't have a dog I could call my own. So I called this number in the paper and went to look at this puppy. When I got there, I found this little tiny ball of yellow fur, only 4 weeks old. Her momma had been hit by a car. She was confined in a tiny dog run and her coat was covered with mud, feces, and God knows what else. She wasn't what I was looking for, but I couldn't turn my back and walk away from her. She was so pitiful and scared. She would flinch every time I reached out to pet her. Within a few days, she was sleeping in my bed... nestled up against my chest.

The years have not been kind to her. At about 12 weeks, she was hit by a car. She wasn't hurt too bad. Mostly it just tumbled her, scared her, and left a few scrapes. About 6 months after that, she somehow sliced the pad completely off one of her paws. Another 6 months after that, she got her left front leg caught in a coyote trap (we think). It scraped the flesh clear down to the bone and left her with a permanent limp. She was accident free for about 5 years when I left her with my mom. Since she has a tendency to chase horses, she got kicked several times, breaking several teeth. At some point, she was either kicked by one of the horses or hit by a car (we really never figured it out) but it completely shattered her right front let. At that point we were faced with the options of amputation or surgical repair. Since she had already had a serious injury to her left leg, the vet didn't know if she would adjust to amputation or be able to support her weight on that one bad leg. So surgical repair it was. Two steel plates, numerous screws, and $600 later, she has a gimpy right front leg, but she had two legs. Shortly after that she came back to me.

Now we are creeping up on her 10 year birthday. Two years past the life expectancy for her breed. Her body is starting to fail her. She has a harder time controlling her bowels and bladder. The poor girl feels so badly when she has an accident. She will just hang her head and look at me, and I know if she could speak she would say, 'I'm so sorry.' She has a harder time getting up these days, and I can tell she is in a significant amount of pain when she walks. Not only in her previously injured limbs, but in all her joints. Sometimes just the pain of getting up is enough to make her yelp. She isn't as content as she used to be and she doesn't always meet me at the door anymore. Most days she would rather just hide in my bedroom... where she is safe from the accidental owies that happen with two toddlers in the house.

I have always thought that as long as an animal has a good quality of life, then I would not make the decision to put them down. But now after 10 years, I'm faced with trying to measure how good her quality of life is. Is she still happy? Is she still content? How much pain is she really in? The vet is coming tomorrow. I originally made the appointment with the intentions of updating her vaccinations and doing a yearly exam. But I guess at this point I need to have the quality of life versus quantity of life discussion with him. Hopefully he can just give her something to ease her discomfort. I'm not ready to let go of her. She has been my protector, my faithful companion, and a part of my family. No matter how timid and terrified of people she is, she will always put herself between me and any stranger. Do I let her suffer for my own personal benefit? Or do I look into the possibility of easing her discomfort on a permanent level. It's heartbreaking and I'm torn.

Monday, April 27, 2009

What Is The Price of Freedom

Really. What does our freedom cost us? I just received a pretty depressing email. With pictures that would imply exactly what the price is for the freedom that we enjoy. Pictures of flag draped coffins. Pictures of soldiers in desert ABUs with their heads bowed, or kneeling around a fallen comrade. Pictures of a horse drawn hearse, taking a flagged drape coffin and the soldier that lays within to his final resting place.

These pictures really strike a raw nerve with me. After living at Dover for 4 years, I don't need to be reminded what the price is. Dover is the home of the Department of Defense mortuary, so all fallen heroes go to Dover first, before they go home. After seeing the processions from the flight line to the mortuary, time and time again, I know. After seeing hearses leaving the base or going back to the flight line to send these heroes on their way home, I know. After wondering every time a C5 landed, if it was bringing someone home, I know. After listening to Tim's accounts of missions that would ultimately bring these soldiers home, I know.

The reality of it is, when these soldiers leave to defend our country, they all walk on the airplane. The shitty side of it is, some of them come home in a transfer case. Some of them come home alive, but on a medical transport. Some come home on gurneys or in wheelchairs. But our military busts their butts to make sure they all come home, one way or another.

Along with the sadness and heartache that those pictures invoked, is anger. It pisses me off to no end, to know that these men and women are so bravely defending the values we hold near, yet back home they get little support or encouragement. So many people in this country take for granted their rights and they forget about those who protect and defend them. So many people have forgotten that it takes effort and sometimes life to protect our values, our freedoms. Yet they don't hesitate to scream if someone steps on those rights. It angers me that so many people expect their rights to be free. They expect it to just 'be'. And then in a time of war, they turn their backs on our troops and criticize them. Our troops are following orders and upholding the commitments that they made. Some of them may not like it or agree with it, but they are following the orders given.

As the military spouse, it's evident every day. From the African American in Walmart who said, 'Yo, look what white boy is wearing' to the people who protest and try to verbally attack him for doing what he believes in. But for those very few people who go out of their way to thank him and acknowledge the sacrifices that he has made, that our entire family has made.... Thank you. It is nice to know that some people remember (without reminder) what the price of freedom is. It is nice to know that some people still believe in and support the values that our military is fighting so hard to protect. It is nice to know that some people are still willing to stand behind our military and be proud of them. And it is nice to know, that there are still people in this world who remember what freedom is all about and what it takes to maintain and protect it.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Little People

By little people I in no way mean dwarf. I mean children. Specifically my children. These have seriously got to be some of the orneriest people on the freaking planet. These. children. are. after. my. sanity.

Last night, J boycotted bedtime. Again. Nothing new there. I thought they had finally settled down around 9 because things had gotten peaceful. Until I walked into my room. There was a 36" tall human in my bed. On my side of the bed no less. Using my pillow. He pulled the blanket over his eyes when I turned the light on and told me to be quiet, he was sleeping. Ooook. So I went back out to the kitchen and was diligently playing Mafia Wars... I mean working. Anyway, he comes out and gets this annoying little Lilly Leapfrog toy. I think his heart was in the right place, because he took it to his sister. Now I loves that toy. Taking it to her was where the good willed cuteness ended. That went way out the window when he dropped it on her sleeping head. So now two of my darling children were awake and it was pushing 10 at that point. So now, I needs to be held, cuddled and loved upon. J instantly gets jealous. Once I got her laid back down, he was willing to go lay back down in my bed. I swear the lights were off when I walked out of the room. I go to check on him 3o minutes later and imagine my surprise when the door is closed, light is on. Crap. Now you know this can't possibly mean anything GOOD! Little shit was sitting in my bed, on my side of the bed, on my pillow, reading my book. I'm not exactly where the can of Febreeze comes into his evil plan, but it was very... fresh smelling in there. And very wet. I didn't know I had a can of Febreeze in the bedroom. Hell I probably didn't have a can of Febreeze in the bedroom. Who knows where it came from. What was important at that point was, the 3-year-old was smelling very fresh and my bedding was very wet. Fun times. Fun times at 10:30 at night. Good news is, today is another day. Bad news is, today is another day and these children of mine are going to come up with something totally new and improved to drive me batty.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Time to Bury the Hatchet

I always thought, in reference to a certain ex of mine, that when I was finally ready to bury the hatchet I'd bury it right in his lousy backside. Heh. We were together for 364 days. Why do I know this? Because the weasel dumped me on Valentine's day. Dump isn't quite the word. He just never called again. No more lunches at the office. At that time, I didn't have a license so... well you can figure it out. We had met the day AFTER Valentine's day the year before. Looking back on that now, what the hell was I thinking?!?! We dated for a few months before we moved in together. THAT lasted exactly 18 days. It took exactly 17 days to find out that the schmuck was capable of picking me up by my forearms and hurling my 110lb (at the time) body across the room. Scrawny lil shit was tough! And mean! LOL Anyway, I moved out on day 18. A few days after that he did the requisite groveling that all men seem to be adept at and I did the gutless thing most women seem to be good at. The rest of that relationship went down much like day 17 of cohabitation. One particularly memorable fight involved a shovel. Don't worry he's still alive. Unfortunately. Anyway, he hit the hood of my truck with a shovel. I should have just walked away then, but in my brilliance I whacked him in the chest with the shovel. At which point he worked me over pretty good. Oops. Bad call on the whole shovel whacking incident. It was an on-again-off-again thing for 364 days.

So anyway, Tim is trading that old truck in. It still has the dent in the hood from the shovel incident. So it got me thinking. I can't remember this guys middle name, or if he even had one. I can't remember if Randy was short for Randall or Randolf. I can't even remember what color his eyes were. I do however remember his hair was brown.... with a decent amount of gray. I remember this because at some point we had a huge fight because I pointed out he was going gray. I may or may not have called him an old geezer but that's beside the point.

What is the point.... is when did I bury the hatchet? The one that isn't protruding from his back. Apparently it happened somewhere along the way. I've forgotten more about him than I remember. Hell I can't even remember his whole name. About all I remember at this point is... Randy was an old fart who lived in a trailer behind the car wash. Looks like I moved up in the world from those days.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My Life... One Box at a Time

As I'm preparing for this move, I keep stumbling over the decisions I have to make. Do I take it with me, or do I put it into storage, where I may not see it for up to a year. I never realized how much I've taken for granted. For me these aren't just things. They are memories, tokens of our relationship, gifts, and evidence of our life together.

I put my belly cast in a box for the second time. The first time was a little easier, because I knew that I would see it again in just a few weeks. This time was a little harder for me. To anyone but Tim or I, it's nothing but a misshapen hunk of plaster.


To us, it is a tangible memory of my pregnancy with I. It is a perfect likeness of my body at that time. Each time I see it, I'm reminded of those last weeks of the pregnancy when I couldn't wait for it to be over, but when I also wanted it to last just a little longer. I selfishly wanted to keep her all to myself just a little bit longer. So long as she was in my belly, I was the only one who could really touch her.

Then there's this picture.


What do you say about that? Really. It's just J and who he is, who he has always been. He's this little lump of happiness. But that picture brings back a flood of memories from a phenomenal family trip. The day after that picture was taken, we had our 3D ultrasound and found out for certain that Miss I, really was a Miss and not a Mr.


So it's not just things I'm packing up. They may be just things to most people, but to me they are little bits of my life. Granted I do have some things that are just things, but not as many things as memories. I have 'things' from all over the world. Things that Tim bought because they reminded him of me. Things he thought I would love. Things my children have made for me.

So here I am. Packing my life away... one box at a time. One memory at a time. What if I don't think about these things when I can't see the tangible evidence of them. The trips, the holidays, the laughs, the tears... our life together. I'm heading off into the abyss alone. Tim and I will be separated for at least 7 months, but possibly up to a year. I just feel like I need those things to be able to hold on to the memories.

The absolute worst hit me a little while ago, when I realized Tim's side of the dresser was empty. His side of the closet is empty. He's packed up his 'can't live without stuff' and gone off into his own abyss. He hasn't even been gone 48 hours yet, but we're both already feeling the void. The loneliness. There is a big empty spot in my day. He won't walk through that door after work again. By the time he gets back, he will be here long enough to help me finish loading things up, and then we'll take our cross country roadtrip to my next destination, the abyss. Where I will have to figure out how to stumble through my days without him.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Back to Serious

So he left again this morning. This time for 40 days... and 40 nights. It's like some twisted take on that movie. Except for the whole being married bit and having nothing to do with giving up sex for lent. I give up sex for the United States Military. How's that for patriotic!! Because of said military, my sex life is going pretty much belly up for the remainder of 2009. With the exception of the week here and there when Mr. Man can get leave to come... well perform his husbandly duties. Ha!

So 40 days and 40 nights. I have to manage to get this house packed up and ready to go. The Pod will be here on May 1. The man will be home on May 22 and we're leaving May 27. So that gives us exactly 5 days to get things finished up around here. Fun times. Or not.

Not only do I have to do all this packing, but I have to do all my other normal things at the same time. I have to make sure my children don't run rogue around the neighborhood. Well at least not I & J. C can run wild. He's survived my parenting, or lack of, skills for the past 9 years, he's earned a little freedom.

Once we finally get done here, we're driving to San Antonio to pick up my stepson H along with his Brother M and Sister C. They're going to go the rest of the way to AZ with us, where the other two kids dad is going to pick them up. Again, more fun times. Which brings me to, after May 27 or so, please begin sending all mail to the nut hut. I'm sure I will be spending more time THERE than with my outlaws.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Bring On The Tatas!!

So I've been thinking about getting them pierced for months. After breastfeeding or being pregnant for 3 years and 5 months straight, I needed to do something totally non-parental, non-functional with the ole funbags. So what better way to perk up a pair of old saggy, baggy, used up titties than poking holes in them! Since I have a fondness for self-mutilation by way of piercing and tattooing, I decided to go for it and got them pierced. I've got these very cute little hoops in them now.

I finally worked up the cajones to get it done last night. So Tim called around, found a place to get it done. I went. The old guy there was awesome. Made it seem like standing half naked in front of a perfectly good stranger (that wasn't a doctor) was a perfectly normal thing. I don't know why I was so worried about some stranger seeing the goods. Seriously. Once you see one you've seen them all. For the most part, unless there's some weird misshapen one, then you definatly should see. Anyway, he's cleaning and marking dots and talking about his 4 marriages to 3 women. That's right, he went back for seconds with one. You can figure how that one worked out for him. Anyway, he got it all ready, his stuff all out. He says, "Close your eyes and go to a happy place", and it was done. Well almost done. I did have a 3 inch needle pretty much skewering my nip but for the most part it was done. He slipped the hoop in and bada boom bada bing it was done. Left nipple done. Right nipple to go. Basically went the same, except this time the conversation turned to Tim, Iraq, and war in general. Blah.

In retrospect, I really wish I had taken a pic of that 3 inch needle. It was awesome, in a very morbidly awesome way.

And just in case my mother is reading this... Hey Mom! Sure I made you proud with this one! Heh.