Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Another net theft

Seriously, if someone could give me the idiot's guide to the correct way to do this (and by 'this', I mean that whole trackback credit thing), I'm all ears (eyes)...

I'm speechless right along with this one:

To say that I was shocked, appalled and dismayed on hearing the "volcano monitoring" comment in your speech following President Obama's address to Congress would be a massive understatement.

You, and anyone who thought that including that comment in the Republican rebuttal was a good idea, are guilty of the dangerous and pervasive attitude of willful ignorance about science that has sadly pervaded the government of this country in the past eight years. It is extremely frightening that you, the governor of a state that recently experienced a major natural disaster, think that the paltry amounts spent on volcano monitoring in our country are a waste of money.

It is simply appalling that you cannot be bothered to educate yourself about some of the most basic knowledge that geologic science has to offer. Volcanoes are extremely dangerous and costly phenomena. The people of states like Hawaii, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and California, depend on volcano monitoring to preserve their lives and livelihoods.

Perhaps you think that $140 million is too high a price to pay for the thousands of lives that were saved by volcano monitoring during the 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption? Or the millions of dollars in commerce and countless lives that are preserved by monitoring Alaskan volcanoes which lie in the flight paths of major shipping and passenger airlines? Are you the least bit aware that a major volcanic eruption could produce enough ash to reach even Louisiana, disrupting or shutting down air traffic for thousands of miles and crippling our country's airline industry? Or that an eruption or collapse of Mount Rainier could kill or displace tens of thousands of people with ash falls, pyroclastic flows and mudflows?

Lack of monitoring and communication caused the needless deaths of 23,000 people in the 1985 eruption of Nevado Del Ruiz volcano in Columbia. Would you prefer that we, a technologically rich country with the expertise and resources to prevent such a disaster, should eliminate the very monitoring programs that enable us to do so just because politicians like you can't be troubled to learn about why they're so important?

Your attitude toward volcano monitoring as a representative of our country's government is irresponsible and potentially deadly. If you suggest that we should discontinue volcano monitoring simply because you refuse to make the effort to understand it, then you are making yourself personally accountable for the lives, property and money that will be lost in volcanic eruptions. I am sure you will be happy to explain to the American citizens who will suffer from your recommendations why your state deserves funding to monitor and mitigate the hazards associated with flooding and hurricanes, but their homes and lives are unworthy of protection.

$140 million is a small price to pay to prevent the millions, possibly billions of dollars in property and commerce and tens of thousands of lives that will be in danger in the event of a volcanic eruption in the United States. Even now, Redoubt volcano in Alaska is showing signs that it may soon erupt, and the effects of such an eruption will not only impact the people of Alaska, they will affect the oil, fishing, and airline industries as well. Saying that we should discontinue volcano monitoring in the midst of a potential volcanic crisis is stupid, irresponsible and ignorant.

Blind adherence to politics is one of the reasons that America is in the middle of an economic crisis today. Don't make it worse by adding natural disasters to the mix.

You have, in your callous, ill-educated and ill-considered words, grievously insulted the men and women of the geologic community who have dedicated their lives to protecting others from natural hazards such as volcanoes. They do their work for the sake of ordinary Americans who, on their own, have no way of understanding or preparing for volcanic eruptions. You show enormous disrespect for the scientists who safeguard the safety of those who live in the shadow of active volcanoes.

I am truly frightened by anyone who claims to represent American citizens in public office by making such irresponsible and, frankly, stupid statements about scientific endeavors that he has made no effort to understand. You, and anyone who supports you in this statement, are unworthy of being responsible for the safety of the American public, and I hope that those in charge of our nation's budget will rightly ignore your hideously bad ideas.

From here.

ETA: And he's standing by his idiotic remarks:

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's swipe at federal spending to monitor volcanoes has the mayor of one city in the shadow of Mount St. Helens fuming.

"Does the governor have a volcano in his backyard?" Royce Pollard, the mayor of Vancouver, Washington, said on Wednesday. "We have one that's very active, and it still rumbles and spits and coughs very frequently."

Jindal singled out a $140 million appropriation for the U.S. Geological Survey as an example of questionable government spending during the GOP response to President Barack Obama's address to Congress Tuesday night.

The governor, a rising Republican star, questioned why "something called 'volcano monitoring' " was included in the nearly $800 billion economic stimulus bill Obama signed earlier this month. 

"Instead of monitoring volcanoes, what Congress should be monitoring is the eruption of spending in Washington," Jindal said.

But Marianne Guffanti, a volcano researcher at the U.S. Geological Survey, said, "We don't throw the money down the crater of the volcano and watch it burn up."

The USGS, which received the money Jindal criticized, is monitoring several active volcanoes across the Pacific Northwest, Alaska and Hawaii. One of those is Mount St. Helens, about 70 miles north of Vancouver, Washington, and neighboring Portland, Oregon.

The volcano killed 57 people when it erupted in 1980 and sputters back into action periodically, most recently in late 2004 and early 2005, when it sent plumes of steam and ash thousands of feet into the air.

USGS researchers are also keeping a close eye on Alaska's Mount Redoubt volcano, about 100 miles from Anchorage, which is predicted to go off again within a few months. Its last eruption, in 1989, disrupted air traffic and forced down a commercial jet that sucked ash into its engines.

"If we can give good information about what's happening, that system of diversions and cancellations all works much more efficiently," Guffanti said. "And fewer people are delayed and standard business is resumed quickly."

Louisiana is no stranger to natural disasters itself, having been devastated by hurricane Katrina in 2005. But Timmy Teepell, Jindal's chief of staff, said the governor stands by his statement.

"That was just one example of wasteful spending in the largest government spending bill in history," Teepell said. "The governor made it clear that we need to grow jobs, not government."

The $140 million line-item for the USGS includes not only monitoring, but also replacement of aging equipment "and other critical deferred maintenance and improvement projects."

The spending could provide new jobs "no different than the amount of money you would spend on building a street or building a bridge or something," said Danny Boston, an economist at Georgia Tech university in Atlanta, Georgia.

Pollard, a former Army officer who has served as Vancouver's mayor for 14 years, said USGS equipment used to keep tabs on volcanoes is frequently damaged or destroyed. He said he wasn't sure how many jobs the money could produce, but, "For us and the people who live closer to it than Vancouver, it's important."

"We lost lives the last time, and we could lose them again," he said.

Found here.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Making of a Military Wife

Not sure about the netiquette for this, but I read this here  at today and found it post-worthy:

Making of a Military Wife

What does it take to be a military spouse? The answer is much more complex than the superficial “attractive” card or the absurd “gold digger” judgement. It takes a lot to be one of the few, the proud, the military wives…

Perhaps one of the most crucial characteristics in a military wife is her strength. She has to hold down the home front when her better half is deployed, often taking care of a house, children, pets, school, and a career. As a Marine wife, I am accustomed to hearing that I have “the toughest job in the Corps”. I don’t know if it’s any harder than being in a war zone, but being a military spouse certainly isn’t an easy title to bear. You have to be emotionally, mentally, and even physically strong (to help carry all that gear to and from the family car)!

Financial savvy
When the family unit is together, the military spouse is often responsible of the budget. She pays the bills, puts money into savings, buys the groceries, buys what the children need, allots money to her spouse, and-if by some chance there’s money left in the bank- she may buy something on sale for herself. When her husband is deployed, it’s even more important for a military wife to have financial savvy. With all the special duty pay coming in, she needs to be able to keep it straight and put her husband’s hard-earned money to good use (i.e. savings, paying off debt, buying necessities).

Shopping smarts
A military spouse can often be found cutting coupons, comparison shopping, and searching for sales. This is because she has shopping smarts. Being on a budget, like many military families are, requires one to research and scout out the best bargains for food, clothes, household goods, entertainment items, etc. The smart shopping military wife may also be spotted buying groceries at the Commissary or things for her family at the Exchange, because she knows how to use these savings-centric stores to her advantage.

Another important quality for a military spouse is to be independent. It’s almost a necessity, really. Being clingy is futile, because sooner or later, her husband must go fulfill his call of duty in a country far, far away. But it’s not just in times of deployment where a military wife must be independent. She has to find her own interests, instead of becoming so wrapped up in her husband’s career that she loses her own identity. She also can’t rely on friends and family as easily as civilian wives, because family is often far away and friends PCS often.

Organization is a key trait to being a true military spouse. When her husband calls frantically explaining how much trouble he will get in for losing his weapons cards, she must be on QRF (Quick Reaction Force). Bounding into action, the military wife will find exactly where his beloved weapons cards are -due to exceptional organizational skills- and drive like mad to deliver the goods before SSgt. Anonymous finds out.

A military spouse must also be flexible, because almost everything in the military is “tentative”. She might have a romantic Friday night planned, babysitter in-place, and find out her husband must work late again. This requires flexibility, and a healthy dose of patience, not to get upset at her hubby, the government, or “The Man”. It is important for her to keep in mind that plans change, and there’s nothing that can be done.

A Personable Demeanor
It’s beneficial to the military wife if she is personable, because she will more easily make friends. She can talk to anyone about anything, is friendly and welcoming, and is eager to help. All of these traits are important in a world where every two to four years, an entirely new circle of people comes into her life. In order to gain and maintain a support system, a military spouse makes new friends easily and quickly. She finds other moms and arranges play-dates, chats up the newly married neighbors for a double date night, and bonds with her husband’s co-workers so when planning a party, she knows exactly who he’d like to invite.

The ability to be creative is another survival skill in the life of a military wife. It arises in many situations from whipping up a quick dinner recipe from scratch to planning a special birthday for her child with homemade decorations and cute, creative invitations. Because of her need to be thrifty, quick-thinking, and flexibile, the military spouse’s ability to be creative is almost instinctual. I know plenty of spouses that find creative ways to work from home, redecorate for little money, and plan the sweetest things for their husbands during special times (like Valentine’s Day and homecoming).

Military wives come from all walks of life and pursue many different interests; but they certainly have these traits (and trust me, many more) in common!

This entry was written by Brittany Landers, posted on February 24, 2009 at 2:17 pm

Thursday, February 19, 2009

It feels great to be productive

I have one last class before graduating in May.  Actually, I don't need it to graduate, but I do need it for an additional grad certificate I'm working on.  The instructor agreed to let me undertake an independent study due to our move.

He's assigned five rather large assignments.  I finished the first one today.  Hopefully he'll get a chance to look it over soon so I can get started on the second while I'm still motivated.

Ahhh, it feels good.  I can't wait to be DONE with all of my lingering K-State responsibilities.


I had to take a break this morning to find a book in all the moving boxes.  I tore through the garage, the master bedroom, anywhere, looking for it.  No dice.  Darrell comes home for lunch and finds it within the first three minutes of looking.  Hmph.

Anyway, the book was found, the project was completed, and I already know what I'm doing for the next one.  Works for me.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Almost a week?

It's been a crazy busy week:

Wednesday - packed up the little extended stay apartment, J's parent-teacher conference, we sign for our keys to the new place
Thursday - the movers are here!  Woo!  E comes to stay for the weekend
Friday - Darrell and I play musical cars dropping K and E off at day care, the three of us (Darrell, Justin, me) drive all over town getting errands done
Saturday - all the kids are home, Darrell babysits and organizes, I go out shopping for random organizing stuff and new window treatments for the boys' rooms
Sunday - see Saturday

E has been a joy to take care of these last few days.  Sure, she and Kaden go after the same toy occassionally, but Kaden has been very brave sharing his room and his things.  We've been having Justin and Kaden sleep in Justin's room, giving E her own space to sleep.  I know Justin is looking forward to having his room to himself, and I am positive Kaden wants his room back.  But, all three of them have behaved themselves wonderfully.  It's been fun getting to know E a little better.

Tomorrow, I have to get to work on stuff for school.  No more excuses.  I'll be so glad when all of my K-State responsibilities are OVER!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Another 'typical' military hardship...

I got a call an hour or so ago.  My best friend's stepmother died suddenly.  Setting aside the tragedy for a moment, this normally would have been logistically difficult for her.  She and her husband have three kids at home, one a very young toddler.  The drive to the funeral is about seventeen hours.

Fortunately, she and I are living in the same town again.  We met in Kansas while our husbands were stationed at Fort Riley and were in the same english composition class at Kansas State.  Our friendship strengthed while the guys were on their first Iraq deployment.  After that, she and her family left for Alaska; we went to South Carolina.

Amazingly, we're back together again.  Rather than take the toddler on the long road trip, she's able to leave her with us.

One of the reasons I left the Army was that Darrell and I were required to have a 'Family Care Plan' as we were a dual military couple.  An FCP requires both a short-term and a long-term care provider.  The short-term person is the emergency "ack! we're deploying in three days!" provider.  The long-term person would then travel down to our duty station and take over or transport the kid(s) back to their own home.  I'm guessing that most families had the same problem we did - the only people I knew and trusted well enough to watch my child were also in the Army and would be deploying along with us.

Having friends and family at 'home' is rare.  My best friend and I are very aware of how special it is that we're stationed together again.  It's times like these that make us both so thankful for our friendship and our close proximity.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Not all about military moving is as easy as unpacking, though...

The down sides of moving often aren't as easily handled as the physical move.

Our kids are getting older.  This is the first time Justin has moved in the middle of the school year.  He's handled it quite well, fortunately.  And as he continues to get older, his friendships will be harder to maintain over distance.  For now, a few phone calls and emails work for him.  Kaden is too young still to be concerned about keeping in touch with friends, but he still has to deal with adapting to a new daycare.

Also, employment for me.  Last time, I was going back to school at Kansas State University.  They welcomed me back with open arms.  This time, I don't have a clue how long it will take to find a new job.  Fortunately, we don't need me to work in order to pay our bills.  However, I'm going to go insane if I don't find something regularly productive to do with my days.

For now, I have my thesis to write, a project to finish, and one last GIS course to work on.  If all goes well, all three of these will be done by May.  I hope I'm not still unemployed by then.

Military moving

Contrary to popular belief, military moving isn't that bad.  In fact, we usually make money on it.  If you choose to do all the work yourself, you could actually make quite a bit of money on a military move (ie: DITY moves).

We've done that and unless we find ourselves in a financial emergency, we're not likely to do it again any time soon.

Instead, we'll let the professionals handle it.  

They came and packed up all of our stuff in one day.  All we had to do is dismantle the electronics (TV, computer, etc) and set aside stuff we didn't want packed.  They do the rest.  In fact, it's better to NOT do any packing yourself, as they Army won't pay for any items that are damaged if the owner packed them.

So, you basically just sit back, stay out of the way, and watch the movers pack for you.  Bliss, I tell ya!

On the receiving end, they'll unpack the truck, putting everything where you want it, and unpack as much or as little as you choose.  They'll even take the boxes and packing paper with them.

I generally choose to have them unpack the kitchen and the boys' rooms.  I like to do the rest myself on a slower pace.  My best friend had them unpack EVERYTHING on her last move, to force her to find 'places' for everything quickly.  Both methods work quite well.

I love figuring out where the easy stuff goes (forks, bowls, and pots for example) and despise figuring out where the hard stuff goes (random stuff that's been in the garage for the last few moves).  But it's all part of moving with the military.

Financially, we're still making some money.  Combined with my scholarship money, our tax return, and the last bit of Iraq pay, our last credit card balance is about to take a steep nose dive.  Hopefully by our next PCS (permanent change of station), that'll go to our future (investments) instead of our past (debt).  I'm pretty sure that'll be the case.

Moving often disrupts our dining life...

One of the silly yet most challenging parts of being a military family and moving a lot are our dining choices.  We love a good Chinese buffet and a Mexican restaurant with fantastic cheese enchiladas.  Finding these diamonds in the rough can be expensive, as we try one place after another in our desperate attempt to find the new favorite places.

So far, we've been to one Chinese buffet.  Horrible.  Very few choices.  Not very tasty.  More expensive than it should have been for such a limited number of entre choices.  And so the search continues...

Now, I happen to be a member of a wonderful message board with ladies all over the country (and a few countries around the world).  I've recently hit a local gal for suggestions.  Score!  Now we can hopefully reduce the time and expense of finding some likely places to fill our 'favorite restaurant' category.  Thanks Elaine!

Kaden might be hitting his wall...

Kaden has been rather cranky lately.  I wish I could explain to him what's happening so that he'd understand.  Just a few more days and he'll have his bed and his couch and his toys back.  Soon, kiddo!

He's been stuck on the movie "Cars" lately.  He watches it on D's laptop and as soon as it's over, he's yelling for more.  *laugh*  We're hoping to find some of those Cars wall stickers for his new room.

Justin, too, could use a bit more space.  He's hanging in wonderfully through all this upheaval.

Darrell's battalion is redeploying from Iraq currently.  I love seeing all the "Welcome Home Daddy!" signs.  I get teary every time.  Unfortunately for Darrell, that means he doesn't have anything to do.  He'd rather have something to do.

I, on the other hand, have plenty to do and no motivation to do it.  I have no excuses.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

No major plans for the day

Justin wants to go to Target and get a big Bakugon with his allowance money.  I also need to return a baby gate we recently bought there.  It's floppy!  Who designs a baby gate that flexes?  All you have to do is push on it and it pops out.  Odd.

At some point, we need to go to the commissary for some food shopping.

That's all we have planned.  It's been years since we've had 'normal' weekends and we don't know what to do with them.  *laugh*

Friday, February 06, 2009

Love it when a mistake ends up in MY favor!

I called all the utility companies today for the final payoff info since our mail is in forwarding la-la-land.  Took care of getting those payments set to be mailed out (love online banking!)

While I was making phone calls, I figured I'd find out what our last vehicle payoff amount is.  We have this loan through a pretty small old-school bank.  I actually was given a payment book when we bought the car.  They don't have an internet account system where I could check the balance along the way, so I've been estimating.  We've made several large payments over the last couple of years, so really, I only had a vague idea what the balance was.

Well, was I WAY off!!!  It's about $2500 LESS then I was expecting.  And oddly enough, it's within $200 of our tax refund.  Sweet!

Thanks to the extra money from Darrell's Iraq deployment, we've been able to pay off four of our six credit/loan accounts in the past 16 months.  If I get a job in the next couple months, it's conceivable that we could be out of consumer debt this year, and possibly even pay off my last student loan soon after that.

I.  Can't.  Wait.

We have nothing invested for retirement, other than the years Darrell has with the Army.  We're way behind the power curve, but I'm hoping 2010 will turn that around.  And, if things go according to the Army's current plan, Darrell will be back overseas again some time that year (*cue rolling eyes here*) which means we'll have a few more dollars to throw at a retirement fund.


D and I dropped by the new place again this morning.  The living spaces look so small without furniture in them!  *laugh*  We were looking through windows still, haven't been able to get inside...  The bedrooms upstairs are bigger than we've ever had, though.  Well, the master bedroom is a bit smaller than our South Carolina house, but the boys rooms are much bigger than they're used to.  Here's hoping we can contain most of their toys UPstairs.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

A bit of good and a bit of blah...

The good: Kaden is doing MUCH better.  Woo!

The blah: I stopped by the new place this afternoon.  They've ripped out all the carpet!  Now, this is good as we'll get new carpet in the bedrooms and the stairs.  It's also good because we'll have laminate wood floors on the upstairs hallway and the whole downstairs.  However, it's bad in that we have two young boys who make a lot of noise.  We're going to be sharing walls (it's a townhouse) and I have a feeling our neighbors would have prefered us having wall-to-wall carpeting.  *laugh*

Also, my job stuff appointment didn't go as well as I'd hoped.  Basically, I had a crappy paying GS-3 job at Ft Jackson.  Even though I'm qualified up to a GS-9 (depending on the job), they can only offer me the equivalent of a GS-3 with this spousal priority placement thing they have going.  I have to apply and compete for anything better.  Uh, yeah.  That will definitely be happening.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Took a drive over to the new place today...

And it was open!  Score!  Let's go take a look!  Or so we thought. 

Turns out it was being painted.  Normally, I wouldn't care, but they were using the professional sprayers and I'm wearing purple (the walls are the usual rental boring white).  Bummer.

Anyway, we took a look around the building.  The gate in the backyard fence needs to be adjusted/fixed.  There's a cool playground directly behind the place (Kaden's going to LOVE it).  There's even a small basketball court with normal goals on two sides and shorter goals on the other.  I think we'll get Justin a basketball for his half-birthday in a few weeks.

We get the keys in just over a week.  I plan on going back and checking again over the next few days.  Maybe we can catch the carpet cleaners or something so we can take a look around.


Darrell and I also dropped by to see how Kaden is doing.  He calmed down in just a few minutes after I left this morning and has been doing fine since.  Even went outside without his blanket!  He's never been one to need his blanket, but it's sure been helpful for this transition.  A few more days and we won't even bring it with him any more.  Yay!


I should be getting a phone call from the guy at CPAC today about my job stuff.  *crossing fingers*  Darrell should be getting his unit info today.  *crossing fingers*  In reality, I doubt we'll have either happen...

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Carried over from my facebook:

25 Random Things About Me

1. I love being a mom. But staying at home with the kids would be torture for all of us.
2. I feel like my thesis isn't rigorous enough to earn my degree. But, if my committee thinks otherwise, who am I to complain?
3. I hate looking for a job when I don't really care what job I get. (Not entirely true, but the chances of me getting the job I really DO want are slim to none...)
4. I would love to get a dog, but it'd have to be the perfect dog (doesn't chew or slobber, is completely house trained, etc) - but, we're moving on post and they have a two pet limit. And we already have two cats, so I guess no dog any time soon.
5. I'm more of a homebody than I ever thought I'd be. I do enjoy spending time outdoors, but I hate bugs. I've heard there aren't as many mosquitoes in Colorado Springs, so I'm hopeful. LOTS of beautiful places to experience here!
6. I don't like to sit down and watch a movie. But if someone else puts one in, chances are good that I'll watch it with them.
7. I can't decide which type of pickle I want on my tuna sandwiches, so I usually do half sweet and half dill. If I'm really hungry, I'll make two sandwiches, one for each pickle type.
8. I would happily exist the rest of my life eating only pasta, fruit, and ice cream.
9. I love learning. I'd much rather watch some show on Discover Channel than watch the latest "reality" show or prime time drama.
10. I'm not big on phone calls. But I'm completely content to IM people all day.
11. I can't seem to find a pair of jeans that fit right. I've spent way too much money on pants that end up disappointing me. Who had the brilliant idea of putting stretch into jeans? They fit fine when I put them on, but 15 minutes later, they're saggy. Gah!
12. Haagen-Daas Chocolate Chocolate Chip ice cream is by far my favorite. Green mint chocolate chip (with chocolate shavings) is a distant number two. Followed by a rich plain vanilla. Yumm.
13. I misspell "ya'll" all the time and I don't care. Yes, I know it probably should be spelled "y'all" but it looks dumb that way to me.
14. I've recently fallen in love with honey crisp apples.
15. I've been craving steak lately. Wonder if it's the altitude? I know I need more iron...
16. My achalasia is getting worse again and I'm sticking my head in the sand about it. "Terrified" is too strong a word, but I'm more than concerned about the treatment that I'll probably have to have done to help it.
17. I love Mt.Dew. I try to cut back or *gasp* give it up, but I can't honestly tell you I hope I'll be successful some day.
18. I love my kids. I feel like I don't give them equal attention, but it's hard to be "fair" with a toddler that just needs more than my 3rd grader.
19. I can't seem to keep my blog updated. I try, but I haven't found the right balance between maintaining enough anonymity (should I even bother to try??) and giving more complete updates on what's happening in my life.
20. Most of my best friends are people I've met online. I've met most of them in person since then. I love it, they're friends I can take with my when I move and maintain the exact same relationship.

21. Speaking of moving, I really love not staying in the same place all the time. I love moving into a new house. I love the excitement unpacking the boxes. However, I don't love learning to drive around in a new town.
22. I bought a GPS for my husband for Christmas. I use it more than he does.
23. I never wear my engagement ring. Instead, I wear my $50 wedding band. It's worth more to me than the rest of my material possessions combined.
24. I never again want to live without wireless high speed internet.
25. I still hope one day to experience being in space. I'll never be able to live without gravity (do a Google on #16), but I still want to see it in person.

A much better day for Kaden...

Thank goodness.  

I stayed with him for about an hour at drop off time.  He wasn't happy about me leaving, but at least he was smiling and enjoying himself there before I told him I was going.

I stopped by at lunch and he was eating happily.  I got a big *thumbs up* from the lead teacher.

When I picked him up, they said he didn't cry a bit once he calmed down after I left.  He's still hanging back a little, but I'll take it!  Whew!


Darrell and I both had incredibly frustrating days.  Nothing that can't hopefully (eventually) get fixed, but irritating nonetheless.  We should find out his unit tomorrow.  I should find out what jobs I'm qualified for in the priority placement program (spousal preference for federal jobs on post).


I am SORE.  I went to the gym and ran/walked for five miles yesterday, and another run/walk/elliptical/lunges five and a half today.  Tossed in some crunches and modified pushups for the heck of it as well.  My legs are going to be screaming tomorrow.  It already hurts to sit.  Yeow!


While this extended stay apartment has been serving us nicely, I can't wait to get our stuff back and be living in our new place.  Next week!

Monday, February 02, 2009

So much going on...

I have all intentions of reviving this thing.  If you read it, please leave comments from time to time so I know I'm not talking to myself.

The latest news...

Darrell should find out his duty unit today or tomorrow.  This will determine when he deploys next.  It shouldn't be until 2010 at the earliest.  By that time, President Obama's withdrawal timeline may play into when Darrell leaves (and to where).

I'm unemployed and hating it.  Yes, we can go quite a long time on just Darrell's income alone.  However, I've never not worked unless I've been a full time student.  Yes, I have my thesis to write, an individual study class to work on, and a project to finish, but I need to work.  For ME.  I should be finding some information out tomorrow about how I fit into the 'spousal priority placement' program.  Here's hopin'...  While I'm looking for a civilian gig, I'm hoping to find something within the federal government I can make a career out of.  The best case scenario would be to get involved in the geospatial intelligence community, but I doubt that will happen at this duty station.  Until then, I want something I enjoy that has some upward mobility potential.

Justin is enjoying his new school so far.  He's going to school on post, so all the kids are used to being the 'new kid' at school.  He makes friends so easily (although he's terrible with names) that I'm not worried about him.  We signed him up for the after-school program; luckily one of his classmates goes to the same place so J's all set there.  

However, all is not well in Kaden's world.  So far, he absolutely hates his new day care.  I know he'll learn to enjoy it, but for now it's a painful experience all around.  He's hardly eating, he cries off and on all day, and it breaks my heart.  Still, he'll have to get used to it eventually, as I do plan to be working full time soon.  I'm very surprised he's having such a hard time.  It's only been a couple of days, and Darrell and I are hoping he adjusts sooner rather than later.

For the time being, we're staying at an extended stay place until we sign for our on-post townhouse.  It's essentially a small apartment.  They allow pets, so we only boarded Cammi and Mo for one night.  Thank goodness, as I imagine we'd have been murdered in our sleep if we'd had to leave them there the full three weeks we thought we might have to.  Cammi especially was not pleased when we picked them up the next morning.  She even growled at me.  And I'm her favorite!

It is absolutely beautiful here.  We love living near the mountains!!  We've had a little snow, a few warm (60+) days, and a lot in between.  Every morning, I take a moment to admire our natural surroundings; it's a heck of a lot different from Kansas!!