Friday, December 11, 2009

Another Funny Holiday Decoration

Some people have too much time on their hands.
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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Doh! Moment

I signed up for a daily digest from FLYLady. If you've never heard of her, go check it out. She's brilliant and gives you the daily tools of how to get out of CHAOS (can't have anyone over syndrome). It's a new perspective (to me) and tools on how to keep your house and life in order just 15 minutes at a time. It's not an elaborate system and you don't have to invest a dime. You start right where you are and develop new routines that will have your home always 15 minutes away from company ready......without killing yourself.

Anyhoo, I get a daily digest of e-mails with the Daily Flight Plan, inspirational stories, testimonials etc. I had an AHA moment today. The copied and pasted e-mail is below:

"procrastination is passive-aggressive behavior TOWARDS OURSELVES. When we procrastinate, we set ourselves up for failure, so then we beat ourselves up for having failed (whatever form "failure" takes in that context---maybe it's failing to make an appointment on time, or not picking our children up when we said we would, or not having enough gas to get somewhere.) When we procrastinate, we are engaging in passive-aggressive behavior towards ourselves. Now, I know a lot of us have experience passive-aggressive behavior from friends, family, and acquaintances, and many of us are able to spot the behavior in other people, but I'm not sure that we recognize it when we engage in that behavior towards ourselves.

I copied this definition:

Passive aggressive disorder is applied to a person who, when demands are made upon him for adequate performance, responds with some form of passive resistance, such as procrastinate, dawdling, stubbornness, deliberate inefficiency, pretended forgetfulness and unreasonable criticism of people in authority.

Passive aggressive personality disorder is a chronic condition in which a person seems to acquiesce to the desires and needs of others, but actually passively resists them and becomes increasingly hostile and angry.

So: when we procrastinate, we are setting ourselves up to become hostile and angry with ourselves. We put off doing things....why? to punish ourselves? To prove to ourselves that we're inadequate, failures? Or because we're martyrs, to prove to ourselves that there's no way that [all we need to do] can be done in [the amount of time we have to do it in]."

I tend to work well under pressure and deadlines. But....I'm a procrastinator. I never even considered that as passive aggressive behavior. What an eye-opener this is.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

In my E-mail This Morning


"Good news is that I truly out did myself this year with my Christmas decorations. The bad news is that I had to take him down after 2 days. I had more people come screaming up to my house than ever.Great stories. But two things made me take it down.

First, the cops advised me that it would cause traffic accidents as they almost wrecked when they drove by.

Second, a 55 year old lady grabbed the 75 pound ladder almost killed herself putting it against my house and didn't realize it was fake until she climbed to the top (she was not happy). By the way, she was one of many people who attempted to do that. My yard couldn't take it either. I have more than a few tire tracks where people literally drove up my yard."

The guy that did this has great imagination. I want to do it at my house now!
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Wednesday, December 02, 2009

He'll Be Home for Christmas

Bought PFC Berry's ticket home last night. He'll be home on the 19th and returning to Kentucky on the 2nd. That's the one thing I'm looking forward to. I'll try to take lots of pictures to post for you.

Son has been doing Air Assault PT in the mornings. I think it lasts 2 weeks - it's pretty intense and culminates with a 12 mile march with their 72 pound rucksacks. Yikes! The 4 mile run would put me in the hospital alone.

He'll be going to Louisiana in February for a few weeks. All in preparation for deployment.

Right now, it's just my son, my Mom and the critters that keep me going.

They are all I have in this world.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Your Warm Fuzzy For the Day

'Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine & a Miracle'

Categories: Dogs, Pets in the News, Hero Pets, Celebrity Pets, Adoption

Maj. Brian Dennis and Nubs today.
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

When Maj. Brian Dennis of the United States Marine Corps met a wild stray dog with shorn ears while serving in Iraq, he had no idea of the bond they would form, leading to seismic changes in both their lives. "The general theme of the story of Nubs is that if you're kind to someone, they'll never forget you -- whether it be person or animal," Dennis tells Paw Nation.

In October 2007, Dennis and his team of 11 men were in Iraq patrolling the Syrian border. One day, as his team arrived at a border fort, they encountered a pack of stray dogs -- not uncommon in the barren, rocky desert that was home to wolves and wild dogs.

"We all got out of the Humvee and I started working when this dog came running up," recalls Dennis. "I said, 'Hey buddy' and bent down to pet him." Dennis noticed the dog's ears had been cut. "I said, 'You got little nubs for ears.'" The name stuck. The dog whose ears had been shorn off as a puppy by an Iraqi soldier (to make the dog "look tougher," Dennis says) became known as Nubs.

Dennis fed Nubs scraps from his field rations, including bits of ham and frosted strawberry Pop Tarts. "I didn't think he'd eat the Pop Tart, but he did," says Dennis.

At night, Nubs accompanied the men on night patrols. "I'd get up in the middle of the night to walk the perimeter with my weapon and Nubs would get up and walk next to me like he was doing guard duty," says Dennis.
The next day, Dennis said goodbye to Nubs, but he didn't forget about the dog. He began mentioning Nubs in emails he wrote to friends and family back home. "I found a dog in the desert," Dennis wrote in an email in October 2007. "I call him Nubs. We clicked right away. He flips on his back and makes me rub his stomach."

"Every couple of weeks, we'd go back to the border fort and I'd see Nubs every time," says Dennis. "Each time, he followed us around a little more." And every time the men rumbled away in their Humvees, Nubs would run after them. "We're going forty miles an hour and he'd be right next to the Humvee," says Dennis. "He's a crazy fast dog. Eventually, he'd wear out, fall behind and disappear in the dust."

On one trip to the border fort in December 2007, Dennis found Nubs was badly wounded in his left side where he'd been stabbed with a screwdriver. "The wound was infected and full of pus," Dennis recalls. "We pulled out our battle kits and poured antiseptic on his wound and force fed him some antibiotics wrapped in peanut butter." That night, Nubs was in so much pain that he refused food and water and slept standing up because he couldn't lay down. Dennis and his team left again the next day, but Dennis thought about Nubs the entire time, hoping the dog was still alive.

Excerpt, "Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine & a Miracle,"
Little, Brown for Young Readers

Two weeks later, when Dennis and his team returned, he found Nubs alive and well. "I had patched him up and that seemed to be a turning point in how he viewed me," says Dennis. This time, when Dennis and his team left the fort, Nubs followed. Though the dog lost sight of the Humvees, he never gave up. For two days, Nubs endured freezing temperatures and packs of wild dogs and wolves, eventually finding his way to Dennis at a camp an incredible 70 miles south near the Jordanian border.

"There he was, all beaten and chewed up," says Dennis. "I knew immediately that Nubs had crossed through several dog territories and fought and ran, and fought and ran," says Dennis. The dog jumped on Dennis, licking his face.

Most of the 80 men at the camp welcomed Nubs, even building him a doghouse. But a couple of soldiers complained, leading Dennis' superiors to order him to get rid of the dog. With his hand forced, Dennis decided that the only thing to do was bring Nubs to America. He began coordinating Nubs' rescue effort. Friends and family in the States helped, raising the $5,000 it would cost to transport Nubs overseas.

Finally, it was all arranged. Nubs was handed over to volunteers in Jordan, who looked after the dog and sent him onto to Chicago, then San Diego, where Dennis' friends waited to pick him up. Nubs lived with Dennis' friends and began getting trained by local dog trainer Graham Bloem of the Snug Pet Resort. "I focused on basic obedience and socializing him with dogs, people and the environment," says Bloem.

A month later, Dennis finished his deployment in Iraq and returned home to San Diego, where he immediately boarded a bus to Camp Pendleton to be reunited with Nubs. "I was worried he wouldn't remember me," says Dennis. But he needn't have worried. "Nubs went crazy," recalls Dennis. "He was jumping up on me, licking my head."

Dennis' experience with Nubs led to a children's picture book, called "Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine & a Miracle," published by Little, Brown for Young Readers. They have appeared on the Today Show and will be appearing on The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien on Monday.

Was it destiny that Dennis met Nubs and brought him to America? "I don't know about that," says Dennis. "It's been a strange phenomenon. It's been a blessing. I get drawings mailed to me that children have drawn of Nubs with his ears cut off. It makes me laugh."

Friday, October 23, 2009

MIT prepares to welcome President Obama

It's a very exciting day here at work.
Of course I probably won't even see him.

How often do you get to say: The Prez is coming to my work?

MIT prepares to welcome President Obama

File Under Duh!

Will 'Balloon Boy' Be Scarred For Life?

Categories: Behaving Badly, In The News

Falcon Heene, aka "Balloon Boy," is a victim of his parent's desire for fame. And some experts are saying that the scars of this experience will stay with him for a long time.

The Daily News quotes a number of mental health professionals as saying that Falcon may face a "struggle" to create a life for himself outside of his family. By forcing their son to participate in this hoax, and then lie about it on national television, Richard and Mayumi Heene could be setting up the boy for a lifetime of "anxiety and depression." Others, such as DePauw University professor Jeffrey McCall, say that the explosion of children on reality shows is nothing more than "exploitation."

This is something that some of us have been saying for years. There is no reason to put children on reality shows. None.

Well, there is one reason -- money.

No matter what TLC wants to say now, "Jon & Kate Plus 8" was a huge money maker for the network. And the ratings got higher when things got worse for the family. TLC only pulled the plug after papa Jon Gosselin began making noise about taking the kids off the show.

It finally took a maniacal, fame-seeking faux-scientist to pretend that his son had floated away in an aluminum UFO catcher, and then watching said kid vomit on national television, for the big thinkers to notice that perhaps children who appear on reality shows are being exploited.

As for Falcon being scarred for life by the experience, let's not jump to conclusions. Things have worked out well for a lot of child stars in the past. But the title of a recent AOL Television article, "10 Former TV Child Stars Who Aren't Crackheads," pretty much says it all.

Falcon's case may be more dramatic; he did throw up on TV. Twice.

Let's not pretend this is a new problem.

None of this lets the Heene parents off the hook. What they allegedly did was disgusting. But at least this incident will probably spare Falcon and his brothers from appearing on their own reality show. With stories like this one, we have to take our silver linings where we can.

What do you think? Is a parent who puts their children on a reality show just using them?

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Proud of My Soldier!

Sent from my Virgin Mobile

Christopher informed me last night that he has been promoted to Private First Class!
His Sargent asked him: "How have you managed to do in 10 months what takes most 18?"
He must be doing something right. At this rate, he will make Sargent by the time he returns from deployment approximately April 2011.

Yes, he will be deployed sometime in the spring for a year and possibly up to 18 months. (Even though the Army just changed deployment length from 18 to 12 months.
He will be going to Afghanistan. I try not to think about it. My head will explode if I do.

For this moment, I'm so proud of him. He was so happy. I have to say, I haven't heard him say he hates the Army and can't wait to get out lately. He seems to be settled in to Army life now.

I've been able to chat with him on AIM recently - he got a laptop with a webcam. It's been wonderful to be able to see him & talk to him.

Keep it up Christopher!

Saturday, September 05, 2009


Sent from my Virgin Mobile

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Christopher's New Ride

Sent from my Virgin Mobile

He spent his entire bonus on it.
He's already taken it to the drag races.
He still can't manage his money so that he has gas money all the time.



Sent from my Virgin Mobile

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Friday, July 24, 2009

Better the second time around

Son came for a second visit July 2nd - 12th.
Total opposite from the previous visit.
Will post details.
Respect and love were much more evident in his "Family comes First" philosophy this go round.
So much so, that I really miss him for the first time since I threw him out last November.
He might actually be growing up! I even let him use my car this go round.

I had Lasik eye surgery today (Thursday). Had a couple of very painful, questioning my choice, hours earlier today. I'll have to use reading glasses now, where as before I would take my glasses off to read.

But, now it's Saturday and all is well.

If you've been living under a rock and haven't seen this yet. Go watch it. It's a wedding procession of a couple in MN. I've watched it at least 10 times. It gets better every time and gives me the warm fuzzies. I first got turned on by Stu, but just a couple days later and this couple has become a youtube sensation!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

My Broken Heart or This is How Not to Treat Your Mother

Christopher's leave has been nothing but heartbreaking. He has been hell bent on hanging out with his punk ass loser underage friends. That's all he wants to do. He caused a fight with me so he could storm out, stay out all night Saturday and get loaded. Then I drove him to my Mom's Sunday (he missed Mass with my Grandmother cause he didn't wake up until 11:15 AM - where ever he spent the night), I didn't want him at my house anymore. I told him not to call or text me anymore either. He treated me like shit and totally disrespected me.

When my Mom got home from work early Sunday - Christopher had a girl in his room that snuck out, only my Mom saw her. Mom told him if he was going to behave like that at her house he could just get out now. He apologized to her and was remorseful.

His Dad picked him up Monday so he could work today and he fucked off and complained and was on his phone all day.

His Dad called me tonight to find out the whole story and wasn't happy when he did. Christopher had plans to come down and stalk my neighborhood again tonight. While I was on the phone with his Father he's texting me saying "Thanks for causing trouble" His Dad put a stop to it.

Christopher has informed me that he hates me and is deleting me from his life.

I'm so glad I bought his plane ticket home and sent him all those care packages and lent all the support by answering his texts and calls and writing him every day and giving love and encouragement when he was in basic & AIT.

He's worse than when he left and I'm crushed.

When I texted him that I doubt any other soldier went home and treated their family like he has and that he should be ashamed. He said he's ashamed to be my son.

Nice huh?

He should be put on the plane to Kentucky now - before he gets into more trouble and causes more hurt.

Update: He did stop by last night and apologized. He admitted he has been a total ass. I got to say my piece. He knows he cannot stay at my house. I reaffirmed that he is on his own and responsible for himself. He's going to apologize to my Mom tonight. He said he loved me and I told him I love him, always will - I just don't like him very much right now. He tried to hug me, "I'm not ready to hug you - but you can kiss me on the cheek".

Friday, May 29, 2009

Almost home

His original flight was canceled due to storms in PA.

He spent 8 hours at Columbia, SC airport.

Ended up taking a prop plane to Charlotte and is now on his final leg to Manchester, NH where his Dad is picking him up at 12:30 AM. He will be staying with Dad for now.

By the, every 5 minute texting I'm receiving, I don't think he's too excited.

From Last Weekend

I petsat last weekend at my Mom's while they went to a wedding in Maryland.
Here are some pictures.
Julieta did not like that Keegan slept with me - this is how she showed it.

She got right up in his spot. As you can see, Keegan wasn't really phased.

Mom took this with her cell phone the day they got home.
He was so happy to see his Mama.

Beautiful boy.
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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Guess Who's Coming Home Tomorrow

Go ahead.


I bet you all get it the first try.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

To Kill a Mockingbird

I have, in my neighborhood, a mockingbird. He is either in love. or looking for love.

The Son-of-a-Bitch never stops.


Remember that Lionel Ritchie song, All Night Long?

Yea, it's like that.

We don't need no stinkin' full moon. A porch light will do.

I haven't put the A/C in yet, so the windows have been open at night.

I am an animal lover, you all know this. I have an English Budgie in residence. I love birds. "D" is amazed at my useless knowledge of pointing out different species and knowing mating habits.

I'm rather pacifistic at heart, unless you threaten those I love, you can go your merry way.

But this sleep deprivation terrorist has to go down.

Someone please tell me, why don't birds ever get hoarse?

If a human ever carried on like this fucker, they'd have laryngitis for a month.

He is the Energizer Bunny of birdom.....and I want him dead.

I'm not talking distant calling here. He bounces between three houses. All within 100 feet of mine.

I've always been against having a gun in my home....until now.

I'd like nothing more than to have a Dumb and Dumber version of this feathered friend duct taped to the top of the telephone pole (10 points to those that get the reference).

I pray that he either gets laid or stops bragging about getting laid before I go totally postal on his ass.

THIS is Why Music Should Not Be Cut From School Curriculum

I saw this video Thursday in work. I have a co-worker who is as big a Stevie Nicks fan as I am, (Leather and Lace was not only my Wedding song, but also the lullaby I sang most often to my son when he was an infant) he pulled me into another co-workers office to watch this. All the hair on my body stood on end and I got goosepimples listening to it. It brought tears to my eyes. It's beautiful. It's also hysterical watching the kids and their emoting.

Watch both versions - the guitar & accapella.

I just found out that this song came as a direct request from Perez Hilton. Check out the PS22 website. Stevie Nicks was so blown away by the performance she has asked the group to perform at Madison Square Garden.

I love this song, especially the Fleetwood Mac live version where Stevie says "This is for you Daddy". This song is on my "Daddy" playlist.

A very talented teacher and students.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Farrah's Special

I just watched the Farrah special. Talk about ripping your heart out...again. If you've never been touched by Cancer, let me tell you, that's exactly what it's like. The rollercoaster ride of ups and downs. You cannot help but grasp onto every straw of hope.

Hope is a powerful thing. If you lose hope....that's like giving up. Miracles do happen, every day.

The promise of recovery ripped away by metastases. Fighting the next battle only to be kicked in the nuts by it's persistence.

Watching the treatments that are supposed to kill the Cancer steal away the very life force they are trying to preserve.

Cancer will take her life, of that, I have no doubt. She has fought a courageous battle, just like my Daddy did. She has been blessed with more time than he had.

I do admire her for sharing such an intimate story, so openly, so brutally honest. She has very eloquently expressed her feelings.

I used to think she was bubble-headed blonde. Especially, when she was going through her crazy drug induced antics, as portrayed in the tabloids.

I saw a very different person with this special. I saw a beautiful, talented, humble, normal, parent, using her pop icon status for good. She is proving that being in the limelight doesn't exempt you from Cancer.

No one is immune.

All anyone afflicted with this wretched disease wants to do is LIVE.

I wish her the best. I hope there is a miracle and she does beat it, but the cynicism instilled within me from losing my Daddy whispers that the insipid fucker we call Cancer will steal another soul from our plane of existence.

If you get a chance to watch Farrah's special (I'm sure it will be available somewhere on line), do it. I believe Cancer will touch every soul on our planet, at one time or another, in one way or another.

I think Farrah wants to bring awareness, if nothing else. Awareness can bring action. Action can maybe, someday, bring a cure.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

At Least He Waited Longer Than I did

He got a tattoo.
I like it.
This surprised him.

He said to his buddies when I was on the phone with him, "She's not freaking out like I thought she would"
I said "What am I supposed to say? You're almost 19, it's your body, and I got my tattoo when I was 18. Just do me a favor and don't get sleeves."
"No way." He said "I might get one more on my other shoulder and that's it."

We shall see.
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Monday, May 04, 2009

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Recent Pics sent from Phone

Hello! I have been sooo busy at work since we came back from SC and so pooped at the end of the day I have been neglecting my blog!
Here are a quick few PICs that Christopher has sent to me with his new phone.

I like that he has his phone and can send me PICs!

Too Cool!

This is the first time I've seen him in his Class A's.
My Gawd he looks so handsome!
His nose is red because he got hit in the nose with an air soft rifle round while they were in the field doing some kind of exercise.
They camped out for 4 days, Christopher got kidnapped and sat in a hut with his hands tied to a chair for two hours until, he was rescued by his troops (He was Platoon Leader at the time).
He said he also had welts all over his back from being shot at by a Sargent while sitting in the bleachers.
They were lined up and shot with the rifle at point blank range to get a feel for it.
Sounds horrifying doesn't it?
He loved it, said it was a blast.

This is what happens when your bunk & locker are not up to snuff.
Sargents will toss mattresses, full drawers and whatever else right out the window.
Apparently, someones mattress got tossed out and then it was tied to a van roof and driven off.
No - this was not Christophers bunk. He was on door guard when this happened and he started clicking off pics.
Most don't even sleep in their beds. They have the bed made tight and sleep in their sleeping bags on top of the blanket cause they don't have time to make the bed in the AM.

I'll try to update more soon!
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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Finish Strong

I received this in an e-mail today and I have to share. If this doesn't touch you in some way, then you're made of stone.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Family Day & Graduation Video Slideshow

Please watch the completed slideshow in the above post.

BCT Family Day & Graduation version 1 from Michelle Berry on Vimeo.

This is an incomplete slideshow. I still have some pics on a roll in my camera I need to finish. I'm glad I brought my trusty Canon and thrilled they came out so well. In the slideshow you will see my son, my Mom, my Grandmother (Great-Grandmother to 8 Great-Grandchildren - Christopher being the oldest), and my ex.

1200 Soldiers Graduated Friday March 13th. Most of the pics are of F Company though (Christopher's Company - 1/61st Infantry Regiment).

He has now moved up the road from his previous barracks to AIT (Advanced Individual Training) and on to Bravo Company.

You can watch the Ft Jackson Family Day and Graduation Video here

What a Difference

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Monday, March 16, 2009

My Soldier

I'm back! It was a great time. It was amazing.

I'm going to be one of those annoying Mothers that expresses her pride in bumper stickers, decals and apparel. I have lots to blog about, but I just wanted to post a pic and let you know I got to spend lots of time with him and we had a blast!

He has gone from a skinny lil shit to brick shithouse! He put on 35 pounds of muscle. My Mom yelled at me "Will you stop touching him!".
I couldn't help myself. I had to keep rubbing and poking and squeezing and pinching all those muscles. He has always been lean and muscular but now he's bulked up with muscle on muscle and rock solid guns! No more pants falling down and his underwear & ass out for the world to see, or having to hold up his pants cause he refuses to wear a belt.

He's grown a lot, but he's still my baby and he still needs to cook some more to become a mature adult but, he's well on his way and on the right track.

He's my son, my soldier, my pride and my joy.
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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Counting Down

I'm counting down the hours until I see my baby....about 46 at this writing.

Leaving tomorrow AM, arriving at airport: noonish, hotel: 2ish, must be at Ft Jackson commander briefing 10AM Thursday morning, then.................he's all mine! Well, I actually have to share him with my Mom, Grandmother and his father (ugh). His father will be going home Friday though. If Christopher gets a weekend day pass then we get to spend the weekend with him too! He had said that was the case but I won't know for sure until we see him.

Got my haircut, did a bit of clothes shopping. Tonight I'll pack and buy some candy for him. Tomorrow it's bring the dog, her crate, food & blankets as well as the bird to Mom's. My Aunt & her BF have graciously offered to pet sit until we get back, which is awesome! I swear, the shit I have to pack up for the animals is as much as I had to pack up for Christopher when he was a baby. My neighbor will feed the cats for me.

Julieta hasn't been away from me for more than a few hours since I adopted her 4 years ago. I hope she fares ok and doesn't miss me too much. I know Iwill get the best welcome home from all the animals. At least Tabitha & Dusty have each other, although - Dusty is my SHADOW when I am home. I cannot pee, walk to my bedroom or go out the door without her being right there. She is a very special feline.

I haven't posted much 'cause I was home sick with a bug last Monday - Wed. I've spent the last few days trying to make up for that and get ahead at work for my vacation. I'm taking the entire week off work when we return. 12 days off - sweet!

My Mom is taking her digital camera, I think I'm going to take my 35mm. Digital is great but I'll tell ya, until I can afford a digital SLR - my Canon AE-1 still rocks. I'm telling you this because I plan on taking lots and lots of photos to share with you.

So, I'm checking things off my lists and hoping I forget nothing. The countdown is underway and I cannot wait to see my kid. This is the longest we've ever been apart and it was a lot harder than I thought it would be. Imagine that? I've gone from kicking him out and not wanting to lay eyes on him cause he was such a shit to practically foaming at the mouth in anticipation of seeing him again.

Found a penny when I got out of my car this morning at work. Thank you Daddy, I know you'll be there with us!

Friday, February 27, 2009

I'm the Happiest I've Been in a Long, Long, Long Time


Because Christopher passed his PT test with flying colors.


Because I booked the trip to his graduation.


Because I got a non-stop, round trip airfare from Boston to Charlotte, South Carolina for $157.50.


Because I can honestly be proud of my son and how he has turned his life around.


Round trip Airfare for 3 people $532
Rental Car for 5 days $301
Hotel for 5 days $400

Seeing my son Graduate from Army Basic Training......................................


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Lucky Me

I got to talk to Christopher 3 times Saturday. He is sounding sooooo good. He's till getting over being homesick, he doesn't cry all the time now. He's doing extra PT with a buddy cause he's having trouble with doing 70 push-ups in 2 minutes ( required to pass PT portion).
That's huge for my son. He's doing what he needs to do in order to succeed. He's changing, growing, maturing.

He's making me proud.

I cannot wait to get my hands on him at Graduation.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Stealing Hugs

I've gotten a few more letters and actually got to talk to Christopher twice on Sunday and once on Monday - all legal calls! His mouth was going a mile a minute. I actually had to cut him off on speaker phone Sunday cause I was going into the church for Mass. My Grandmother got to talk to him too and he called my Mom Monday (she was working Sunday). It was good to hear his voice.

He's still having ups & downs but he's doing it and excited about graduating. He has big plans about eating at the Texas Roadhouse, drinking Sprite, eating the homemade chocolate chip cookies he wants me to bring and a huge kit kat bar.

He told me he's going to be talking to me all day long on family day because he has so much to tell me. He sounded so much better. Now he's coming into Blue Phase where they will be putting everything they've learned into practice in an encampment:

Victory Forge

Victory Forge is a 7-day field training exercise combining all previously taught basic combat training skills. It is the culmination of basic training.
Soldiers are continuously challenged on all the skills learned throughout the nine-week training cycle.Victory Forge Here is a general description each day during Victory Forge.

Day 1 - Pre-Combat Inspections (PCI), prepare and produce an operations order (OPORD)

Day 2 - 10-Kilometer foot march, quartering party procedures, occupy a position and establish a defensive perimeter, conduct tactical feeding, introduction to night operations and rest plans

Day 3 - Conduct "Stand-To", undergo Nuclear, Biological and Chemical training, issue a squad-level OPORD, defensive operations, conduct troop-leading-procedures, go through the Teamwork Reaction Course, conduct squad-sized tactical exercises and a night tactical exercise

Day 4 - Same as Day 3

Day 5 - Same as Day 4

Day 6 - Recover from the defense, conduct PCI/stretch, issue squad and platoon-level OPORD, move to and conduct the Night Infiltration Course, execute the
Live Fire Night Infiltration

Day 7 - Conduct PCI and ensure personnel and equipment accountability, 15-Kilometer foot march, participate in an After Action Review, and after-operations maintenance which culminates with the Rites of Passage Ceremony symbolizing the transition from Soldier-in-Training to Soldier in the United States Army.

That's when he'll know for sure he's made it.

I got 6 letters yesterday! He thought I was spraying my perfume on the envelopes I sent (I wasn't) and he said it was like getting a hug so; I sent him a small swatch of fabric in a baggie with my perfume sprayed on it with 'A hug in a bag for you. Love, Mom'. It was his routine to catch a whiff in the morning, kinda like a hug to start his day.

Someone stole it out of his wall locker, that and $20 out of his wallet. Of all the things to steal - a 2 inch square piece of scented fabric.

I imagine that when all you smell all day is sweaty guys, a lil perfume can be a slice of heaven. (Although, I wouldn't mind smelling a sweaty guy occasionally)

My solution? I've cut up 90 pieces of fabric, soaked them in 4 different kinds of perfume or powder, put one each in a tiny envelope, slapped a label on it that says:

"Whether it be your Sweetie or, your Mom,
May the hug held inside, give you warm thoughts of home!"

Son can pass them out to whomever wants them.

I'd gladly give a free hug to every soldier I could, no need to steal one.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Update on Son

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers, they worked!

Son went and begged the Commander to let him stay. Christopher got docked some pay, was put on restriction for 14 days and had extra duties for 14 days.

He seems to have turned the corner though and basically done 180 degrees. He just had the opportunity to be squad leader! He's having fun now and said he's kinda bored. Yea, bored.

He sounds so much better in his letter now.

Halfway through it!

I cannot wait to see my baby again at graduation in March.

I got 12 letters Thu & Friday. His attitude has changed and he's really trying to think about things positively like I said in one of my letters. He's feeling much better about everything.

Thanks so much you wonderful Monkees - you've done it again!

Ave Maria

I stole this from Heart in Hands Facebook post.
I thought it was a hoot and very interesting how iTunes shuffled my answers.
Give it a shot if you like.

1. Put your iTunes, Windows Media Player, etc. on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
4. Tag 10 friends (make me #11 so I can see your results).
5. Everyone tagged has to do the same thing.
6. Have Fun!

Betty Lou's Gettin' Out Tonigh (Bob Seger)

You're All I Have (Snow Patrol)

I'm Lika A Bird (Nelly Furtado)

W^O^L^D^ (Harry Chapin) "Feeling all of forty-five going on fifteen"

Can't Get Enough of Your Love (Taylor Dane)

Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues (Neil Young)

Passage to Bankok (Rush)

Mississippi Queen (Mountain)

Back Off Bitch (Guns N' Roses)

WHAT IS 2 + 2?
There's No Place Like Home for the Holidays (Garth Brooks)

Wicked Garden (Stone Temple Pilots)

Hello Lonely (Theory of a Deadman)

I'm Going Home (Hootie and the Blowfish)

Can't Get Enough of Your Love (Barry White)

Mess Around (Ray Charles) hahahahaha!

The Angel Song (Great White)

Dancing with Tears in my Eyes (Ultravox)

More Than a Feeling (Boston)

Girls, Girls, Girls (Motley Crew) LOL - No, I am not a lesbian

Democracy (Dan Fogelberg)

YYZ (Rush)

Ave Maria (Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarati, Jose Carreras)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I Need a Laugh Today

I got a phone call from Christopher Sunday, when he wasn't supposed to be calling. He said they're trying to kick him out for inability to adapt (well then don't make phone calls when you're not supposed to stoopid) and he's having trouble keeping up with the training. It was a 60 second call. I told him to stick with it and get help - they will help him through it.

My stomach has been in knots since. He has to make it through this. I finally sent off my 6 letters and 2 packages (stationary, pics etc). I hope he gets them quick and can get support and encouragement from them. I read him the riot act a bit. He needs to 'adapt' follow orders 100%, give 110% and just keep going. I'm afraid if he takes the easy way out on this he will ruin the rest of his life, he'll always take the easy way out.

Say a prayer please.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Holy Icecubes Batman - It's Cold Out There!

Baby it's cold outside!

It's so cold even the dog only goes out to tinkle and races back in the house!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Swearing In

December 30th, 2009

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I got my Letters!

6 to be exact! Cried like a baby! He's finally realizing just how good he had it and boy does he miss me & Nana and his home.

He found a shiny penny, tails up during PT. That's a sign from my Dad. He now knows for sure that Grampa is watching over him.

Mom got her letters too, 3 of them. Could have knocked her over with a feather when she saw 'a bible' on the list of things he wants. I don't think he's ever even opened a Bible.

He's determined to make it. He wants Nana "To be impressed with the man I will be when she see's me".

I've printed up a small photo album & some return address labels for him. I've got envelopes and two legal pads to send out tomorrow too.

Even though he was driving me batshit crazy and pushed me to my limits, I miss my baby so much.

Again - anyone interest in Christophers mailing address can e-mail me. The link is on my profile page.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I got my DVD!

My DVD arrived in the mail Friday! I was so excited I watched it 5 times. He looks so good. I'm having problems uploading it to youtube though. I'll try and work it out cause I'd love to share it with you.

I got a 5 minute phone call from Christopher Saturday. He's struggling in basic but he's determined to make it, his head is really in it. He's not sure if he'll be able to call again until he completes basic. He finally has an address though and was able to mail out all his letters. I can't wait to get them so I can start sending him mine. He was planning on going to Mass today. It's so great that he's doing that. I think it's a connection to home and having some kind of spiritual belief will help him more than he ever thought possible.

As I type this, Dusty is in my lap laying across my right wrist. Doesn't make it easy to type. I put her down twice but she just keeps coming back. This is the only place where she will sit in my lap. She refuses to when I'm on the couch.

Bro went to the house in Maine for the weekend. Mom was worried sick about the pipes freezing and the place being out of oil. Bro could hear water when he came in the door. The odd thing is, the water was coming from the drain valve on the water heater. That's something that has to be physically opened, and it was only opened a smidge to keep the water dripping and the heater from freezing. It was 30 degrees in the house and some of the pipes had frozen. Nothing ruptured though and he managed to crank up the wood stove and thaw everything out. The oil man will be delivering tomorrow.

I think my Dad had a hand in that. He's still watching out for us.

We got another 6 inches of snow overnight. I'm aggravated with mew snow blower. The crank for the chute came loose and I found a gear on the ground, now I have to move it manually. The brush underneath came off when I was at Mom's too. I'm glad I spent the $75 extra for the 3 year service plan. I'm going to have to call and bring it in for service. I don't think they tightened things up enough when they put it together and a brand new blower shouldn't be falling apart with normal use! We're due for another 2-4 inches this week and then a deep freeze down to 0! At least it's not as cold here as in Canada where Rox lives.

I know family checks in here, so email me if you'd like Christopher's mailing address.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Survey Says

I haven't been very creative in the last couple years but I started getting back into it before Christmas.

I make jewelry: necklaces, bracelets, anklets, earrings & rings. I made a couple hundred bucks via the office mates before Christmas. They got some sharp but inexpensive handmade gifts to give.

Would any of my readers be interested in seeing what I have available? My prices are very reasonable. I could post some picks here, and if there is interest enough, even set up shop at Etsy.

For now I'd call it the "Please get me to my son's military graduation shop". Every penny would be going towards that trip I hope to take in 10 weeks or so.

Please give me your thoughts.

That's not the alarm

Woken up at 10:30 PM last night by the neighbors (from hell) stereo thump thump thumping. I think it was actually the car stereo. This went on for a half hour. Doesn't seem like a big deal until you factor in that I go to bed at 9 to get up at 5AM. I also usually arrive home at 5PM to the thump, thump, thumping of neighbors stereo (the 16 year old drop out that was hanging with Christopher).

I'm going to have to go talk to the Mom. I think I'll inform her that the boy is sneaking out at night (seen it) as well as her 12 year old daughter (caught her)..........She's such a wonderful mother, maybe she'll do something about it...........OK, you can stop laughing now.

I could fight fire with fire. I've got a bangin surround sound system with a big sub woofer. I could put on whatever the opposite of rap is and crank it up. I just can't seem to stoop to their level though. Pissing contests aren't my style.

What would you do?

I wish I could just hit the lottery and move far away from here.

Thursday, January 08, 2009


Gotta love New England weather.

My bod is sore from snow blowing driveways yesterday. I did Mom's & her neighbors (two elderly ladies). Then I went home in the afternoon and did mine plus my 3 senior neighbors. It was wet from raining part of the day on top of the two inches of snow and would be nothing but a sheet of ice once it froze. I drove Mom to work and worked from her house all day, then picked her up at 7:30 (12 1/2 hour day for her). I'm tired and sore and am working on a big grant proposal due in a couple weeks.

I'm so glad I splurged on a good snow blower a couple weeks ago. I needed something dependable with son being gone. If I had to shovel all that wet shit yesterday I'd be in traction today.

Is it Friday yet?

The bestest thing came in the mail to my Mom & Grandmother yesterday.....a DVD message from Christopher! He looks so bald and so handsome in his fatigues. I can see changes in him already. I'll get the disc from Mom and post it for you all to see.

For the first time in a very, very long time - I don't have to worry. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off me.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

What are the Odds?

Out of the 200 enlistees starting basic training with Christopher, only 80 will make it to graduation.



I have faith that he is going to be one of those 80. I know son might not think so, but I think he's going to shine in this environment.

He's going to be better than even he ever imagined for himself.

Monday, January 05, 2009

I Can Already See the Changes

I am certainly missing the daily text messages from Christopher. I did get to talk to him again last night.....

Did you feel hell freeze over? Did the Earth move? Did time stand still?

My son not only went to church, he went to confession...wait for it - BECAUSE HE WANTED TO. Took him a half hour since he hadn't been in 8 years. (I think I'd have to take a few days to do my confession, I cannot count how many years it's been). His buddies were a bit pissed cause they had to wait for him. He did what he had to do though.

Christopher had been going to Mass with his Grandmother & Great-Grandmother when he started staying there back at the end of November. I dropped that ball long ago, I should have kept him going to church and forced him to follow through with CCD & his confirmation. It was one of those things that got really tough, being a single Mom.

You could have knocked me over with a feather when he told me. I think it's awesome though. It's now a connection to home for him and I truly hope he is making a spiritual connection.

He did that on his own, if he were still home and had the choice - there's no way he would have gone.

He still hasn't started basic, maybe Tuesday or Wednesday. They like to keep them off balance and tear them down to build them back better. Whatever they're doing....I'm already impressed.

Hey, See That there clock on the Sidebar?

That old familiar clock has reappeared on my sidebar.

Yes, friends - Lost is almost back, just 16 days away.

The breaks between seasons are too long for me. I kind of lose interest until that first episode of the new season and WHAM! I am sucked back in again.

It's something to look forward to.

Friday, January 02, 2009

A Better Call from Son

Christopher just called again and he sounds like a different person. Gone were the tears and homesickness. I'm sure he'll have more of those tough moments, but at least he now knows they will pass. He only had 5 minutes but I could hear the excitement in his voice when he said he got his uniform (can't wear it until he leaves processing and goes to actual basic, Sunday or Monday). "Then I'll start feeling like a real soldier. Things will probably start sucking again then." I told him that will only be for the first couple weeks. He said he's sleeping better too. When last I talked to him he had gotten about 4 hours sleep total in two days. A buddy gave him a 160 minute phone card. He's sent out letters to me, my Mom & his father and we'll be able to write him once he gets a P.O. box in basic.

I'm so relieved that he's adjusting. He just sounded so.....GOOD.

K & Rox - your thoughts and prayers helped. And K, I promise, won't happen again.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Getting The Message

I struggled with the existence of an afterlife for some time after my Dad died. I've be given many, many signs - which is a singular post that's been rolling around my head for some time. I will eventually get to that.

I have come to believe, without a doubt, that my Dad is still with us, watching over us. It's not the way I want it to be, it is the way it is and it has to be enough. It's taken me a long time to accept that. I'm still grieving, and will for the rest of my life. I still have days when the grief storms hit and I rail at the universe. I also have days like yesterday, when I receive a gift from the other side that give me faith in a continued existence beyond life.

Case in point:

I have a bird feeder in my back yard. When I'm too lazy to close the back door when the dog comes in, birds occasionally fly in and hit the glass of the front door. Yesterday was just such an occasion. I saw a bird fly through and hit the front door. When I went out to rescue it, I heard a second fluttering under son's workbench. I managed to grab that Junco and released it out the back door. The second Junco was clinging to the screen of a storm window.

I gently cupped the Junco in my hand and went to the back door. I held my hand out the door but, the bird just hunkered down into the warmth of my hand. I figured it had been stunned by the impact and just waited for it to recover. It just kept sitting in my hand. It was snowing at the time, I was still in my pj's and it was bloody cold. I brought my hand to my chest and stroked the downy soft head, checked it's wings to see if they were broken and then extended my arm out the open door. The bird started chirping softly. I opened my hand and bounced it up and down a few times to see if it would fly away. It didn't. It hunkered down and chirped a few more times. I opened my hand and moved it up and down a bit more vigorously. The wild bird bounced from my hand to my arm and stayed there looking at me. I talked softly to it and it just kept eyeballing me. About 10 minutes had passed at this point and I was getting mighty cold. I told it to fly away, I got the message, and then it flew to the tire of the snowblower under the feeder.

Skeptics could logically explain this away. Was the bird just stunned and disoriented? Probably.

I choose to believe something else. I've posted before about my Dad's affinity with animals. This wasn't my first unusual encounter with a wild bird since he passed. The fact that there were two birds trapped on the porch was a first time thing too.

I've been asking my Dad to watch over Christopher and keep him safe.

I think he just let me know he got the message.

Thank you Daddy.