Sunday, December 21, 2008

Our Soldier

226 lbs. of gear ~ without flack jacket and helmet

God Bless The USA!

That's Our Soldier!


Saturday, December 6, 2008

Welcome Home Slide Show

Two nights I'll never forget

Thursday night was wonderful! David Andrew made it home safely and I still get chills when I think back to the ceremony.

Since then, we've spent a lot of time together. We enjoyed a very late dinner at Applebees Thursday night, where several staff members stopped by our table to thank David. One of the waitresses, Michela, said her husband returns on Wednesday night. We're praying for a safe and uneventful return so they can enjoy the same wonderful homecoming we did!

Yesterday we grabbed some breakfast at Cracker Barrel and then did some shopping. David's lost weight and much of his clothes don't fit anymore.

He hasn't worn civilian clothes since Feb 17th, 2008 (when he was in the states for my grandmothers funeral). Each day in Iraq, he wore his uniform. He also was required to wear his vest and helmet and carry his gun. In fact, in order to get into DFAC (the dining facility), the soldiers are required to show their weapon, a magazine of ammo, and their ID.

At the PX (the shop on base here in Georgia), we picked up some shirts and sweaters for him, but he still needs pants that fit. He's tall (6'2") and now he's very skinny (30" waist) so finding pants that fit him well has been a challenge.

While at the PX, I picked up a new Vera Bradley Weekender travel bag. It's bigger than a purse, but smaller than a suitcase. Things are less expensive on base because they sell items for less than suggested retail and there's no tax. I love my new bag.

Last night, after a failed attempt at a Pizza Hut dinner (as we were being seated, the waitress informed us the wait for dinner was running about an hour and 20 which we immediately responded, "peace out!") we then started on our merry way to a local German restaurant. Prior to DA deploying last October, Jennie, mom and I came down here to visit him and we ate at this restaurant. Turns out the gal that owns the restaurant, her husband is in David's platoon. We had a really good time talking with her and the food was fantastic. So, after the failed Pizza Hut attempt, we headed towards the German place.

Unfortunately, due to the Hinesville Christmas Parade, many of the streets were blocked off and we physically couldn't get to the restaurant. Who in the heck has a Parade in the dark? Seriously! You couldn't see the people on the floats!

We pulled over and Chelsey came out of her car over to us and we decided to try the Japanese Steak house in town.

FANTASTIC idea! We had a ball! The Japanese chef was awesome. He must have been a comedian in another life because he had us rolling (my mom nearly fell out of her chair when, while packing the rice prior to serving, he was slapping the rice pack with the spatula and yelling, "oh Jessica! Oh, Jessica!"). He and Shennie enjoyed sparing back and forth all night (Sher was wearing a Boston Red Sox shirt). It was a really good time.

After dinner, we went out to the rental car (Cadillac CTS) and I turned the key and as the car started, the windshield wipers came on and the washer fluid cleaned the windshield. I thought, "OK, maybe I accidentally pushed the button." I started adjusting the mirrors, turned on the seat warmer, and the wipers started up again, as did the washer fluid. I'm thinking, "What the heck? I KNOW i didn't push anything."

OK- this windshield wiping routine continued for the next 10 minutes! I'm driving down the street and the wipers turned on randomly! It was hysterical! Finally, it stopped and we figured that b/c it was so cold outside, the caddy must have some programming that sends heated lighter fluid to the windshield to help defrost it.

The rest of the drive home was uneventful, except for the CONTINUED Christmas Parade! It was just wrapping up as we finished dinner and headed back to the hotel.

We called it a night about 9:30pm. DA is still adjusting to the time change and the 5 day trip from Kalsu to Georgia.

Today, Shennie left to head back to Massachusetts. Later, we're heading up to Savannah to get some pantelones for the Soldier.

We're so thankful he's home and we're enjoying every minute together!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Look at all that gear

"232 lbs of gear"


He looks good!

Wrap up

Sorry for no updates....

The ceremony lasted about 3 minutes.

Then everyone stormed the field to grab their soldier.

I got great video though.

Our soldier

He's home safe.

Thank You God!!

He's home!

And the music starts...

They just announced the busses are 30 mins out!

And, the 3rd ID band is starting to play.

The atmosphere is very fun....lots of little kids holding signs welcoming daddy home. A couple kids are very young. I'm sure for one or two families, a daddy will meet his baby for the first time.

Still waiting though!

40 mins!

The officer on the loud speaker just announced they've left Hunter Air Field (about 30 mins from here) on Army busses and they're on their way here!

Only about 40 mins until they arrive!

We're ready!!

Aunt Sher flew in from MA to surprise David!!

D.A. Phone Home

David phoned me tonight from U.S. soil!

In processing

Well, he turned in his gun and is "in processing." If you're not familiar with the military, that means he's signing in to let Uncle Sam know he's HOME!

The welcome home ceremony is still scheduled for 920 pm EST.

Pictures will be coming soon!


David has landed on US soil!!

Getting closer

He just texted and is about to land!

We saw the busses!

OK, so we're in savannah driving to dinner and we just saw the busses David is coming back to base on!! We almost followed them :)

They're picking up the soldiers at Hunter and driving them down to Fort Stewart.

Only a few more hours!

PS White Zinfandel is buy one get one free at Outback!!

This is the start of a very good evening!

Delayed ceremony

Tonights welcome home ceremony has been pushed back from 720 to 920pm. Two more hours doesn't seem like a long time, BUT IT IS!!

David should probably land around 6pm, then they have to load up their gear into trucks and head down here for the 920 ceremony.

We can't wait!
Hey everyone, just wanted to let everyone know that I have landed in Germany and we will be departing shortly. Flight wasnt too bad, though I took some Tylenol PM and another sleep aid and it didnt seem to help much at all. So hopefully I will be able to take something a little stronger for my flight home (and yes, I am using a EUR keyboard, so if I were to type normally it would like something like this: So zea, logging onto mzspace is a pain in the rozal Q$$. Cool stuff actually. Anywho, I am going to try to get a phone call in here a moment or two so I can officiallz call peeps and let them know Freedom One has landed. Take care and cannot wait to see everzone back home.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


He has landed. He's supposed to leave at 7:20, which is...I'm assuming in the evening. That gives him...a day and 8 hours to get from Kuwait to Stewart for the ceremony. The flight to New York should be about 13, and then he has to get to maybe he leaves at 7:20 in the morning of the 4th and then has 20 hours to do the trip. I don't remember, but maybe that makes more sense. I don't know what kind of layover they're expecting in New York. Wow! He's almost home tomorrow!

Monday, December 1, 2008

In the Air

Less than 4 days!!! According to David he should be on a plane to Kuwait now or soon. He said I could expect a call sometime after 3 AM, so hopefully he'll be able to get to a phone relatively quickly after arriving and I'll post on here when he's safely in Kuwait. Then from there he's on a flight directly to New York, from which he'll fly to Hunter Army Air Field in Savannah, and then they'll take buses to Fort Stewart. As of last night everything is still on track for him to arrive on time on the 4th. Weather is going to be in the 50s and 60s with potential rain, so not too incredibly bad, maybe having the ceremony outside won't be as painful as I thought it would be, but I think I'm still rooting for it being inside.

It occurred to me as I was driving home from Jennie's that in about a day and a half I'll be in the car on my way to Georgia, and then once I get there it'll be less than a day until David is physically in my presence. That's really the way I want it, because once I'm there I'm going to be in excruciating anticipation. Better to have as little time as possible sitting in a hotel room with Mom and Jessie twiddling my thumbs wishing it was time to leave. Heaven forbid they show up late, I think I'd eat someone.

Well that's the update, I'll let everyone know when I've heard from him!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Phase 1

Phase 1 out "Get David Out of Iraq" is over. Right now I am currently sitting in a cot that will be my bed for the next few days till we can move on to Phase 2. Like I was telling JL and JB, carrying around 226 lbs of gear left me sore as hell. I woke up this morning after an actual 10-hour sleep (thats after having been up for 20 hours) and I could barely move. Arms and chest are sore, shoulders are shot, have jell-o for walking legs(if stumbling around aimlessly is walking). Neck doesnt feel too bad, but is definitely stiff. Right now we are just kind of relaxed waiting for others to get up so we can go to chow. I do have internet in the tent so I can easily talk to people when they are online. Anywho, I think people are ready to go to chow so I need to get going. Talk to everyone later

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving 2008!

The turkey is in the oven. The potatoes are peeled. The sweet potato and apple casserole is ready as is the green bean casserole to go in the oven along with the extra stuffing when the turkey comes out!! Jess will be making carrot puff when she gets here and she is bringing a corn dish! No one should go away hungry today!!

Again this year I am tempted to call the Butterball Turkey Hotline and complain!! Why the #%*! do they have to put the extra turkey stuff in plastic bags INSIDE to turkey and then freeze it harder than a rock??? Every year I feel as though I should be on World Wrestling as I am trying to get the turkey to give up it's giblets, etc. again! Why couldn't the wizards at Butterball put the bag of stuff on the OUTSIDE????
I'm convinced that the genius who came up with this idea has never had to fight with a frozen turkey Thanksgiving or Christmas morning!! 'nuf said.

Today we will be celebrating out first Thanksgiving with our precious granddaughter/niece! I can hardly wait to welcome her to Grandma and Grandpa's house!
Today will be the first of many happy celebrations with her. How blessed we are!!

Last night, DA called. He wanted to wish us all a very Happy Thanksgiving! He is packed and ready for the flights that will bring him back to the good old USA.
We are ready to welcome him back and celebrate with him at Ft Stewart on Thursday - one week from today!!

So, to family and friends, Happy Thanksgiving and safe travels!


Monday, November 24, 2008

Happy Birthday, DA

Filename: j0156949.wmf Keywords: birthday cakes, birthdays, dining ... File Size: 50 KB


Hope you have a very special day. Congratulations on being a brand new uncle, too.

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving as well. Will they be serving you a huge turkey dinner this week - with all the fixings?

Have a safe flight back to the States, and in the meantime - KYHD!

"Great" Aunt Sher

Monday, November 17, 2008

Phone Calls

I've heard from DA more in the last month than I heard from him all year long! It's been nice though to talk with him. I'm so excited to see him when he gets back stateside. I know I won't get to see him until sometime in the new year, but by then his niece will be almost 3 months old, so she'll be a lot more fun to be around.

I've been doing more around the house today. Now that my doctor is back in town, I'm not afraid to put myself into labor by doing laundry and cleaning things up a little.

In fact, I'm now ready for her to come anytime. I'm so excited to see what she looks like and to not have her kicking under my ribs anytime I make the mistake of leaning too far forward. Being pregnant has been an adventure, but I'm ready for the next phase, mommyhood!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Happy Anniversary!

Today would have been G'ma and G'pa's 62nd anniversary! Though they are not with us today, we can learn alot from them by remembering how they spent 59 wonderful years together! Dad and I are well on our way to that milestone: our 34th anniversary will be here soon! I hope and pray that each of our children has found (or will find)the love of their life and that they will have many happy years together!

DA - It was good to talk with you again last night. It is less than 2 weeks now and you will be making your way back to the good old USA and we couldn't be happier! We all wish you and your buddies safe travels and look forward to seeing you in early December.

Love you lots & KYHD!!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Two calls in three days!!

Wow - I've talked with DA twice in 3 days. He called while I was at work on Friday and we talked for about an hour and then he called this morning to wish me a Happy Birthday. Needless to say I was surprised and very happy. He sounds well on the phone; upbeat and looking forward to getting back to the states. He has started packing and going through his "stuff". Deciding what to bring back and what to leave there or sell to someone staying there.

Today will be a quiet one. Dave is working and I will watch some football, do laundry and read until it is time to go to Jess and Craig's house for dinner. I think we are having chili, corn bread and apple pie...yum-mo! I know it will be delicious and I don't have to cook!! YEAH! I may even have some wine....

The nursery here is just about done. Ben and Craig came over yesterday and put the crib and changing table together and I washed sheets and blankets, etc. I still have some things to wash and some decorations to put on the walls and then we will be ready for baby Becca! I'll take some pics and see if I can get them on the blog perhaps tomorrow or Tuesday.

Thanks for the calls DA - it was GREAT to talk with you.

See you soon....KYHD

Love you,

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Redeployment Part 1

So, I know a lot of you have been wondering about when I am coming home, what the plans are for the holidays, how the deployment has been overall through my experiences, and just how things are. While I cannot unfortunately say here when I am leaving or when to expect to see me at stewart, know that I will be at Stewart within 4 days of leaving my FOB. The plan is to leave from here to BIAP, then take a plane to Kuwait. Once there, I will be processed as coming out of deployment status, and will then fly to Hunter AAF. Once the hugging grandmas and war veterans get done hugging us and thanking us for our service and welcoming us home, we will then bus to stewart in which we will have a Welcome home ceremony that will last approximately 10-20 minutes. Now mind you that the ceremony WILL commence the moment we get to stewart. So it could be at 1400 (2pm for the civilians), or 2am(just a heads up). Once the Commanding General (CG) is done with his speech welcoming us home and how we did an outstanding job accomplishing our mission, we will then be released to the more important hugs and kisses and tears from the families and friends and general loved ones. We will then receive sometime between a 24-48 hour pass to spend with the family. We will then go through a grueling, long and boring re-integration phase. Unfortunately, the Division has felt that in order for everyone to get get equal time, they will not be allowing people to go on block leave until after the first of the new year. This not only allows for everyone to get home, but to also get the re-integration training that they (the powers the be) feel is necessary for soldiers to receive since we are considered a high-risk after this drawn-out deployment (prone to drinking, reckless behavior, marital/relationships problems, and coping with post-deployment issues that arise). So unfortunately for us, you will not be able to see me after the welcome home ceremony and the time there until after news years day (they are preventing people from leaving new years day so that soldiers are not out on the road when people in the area have been drinking and driving (nothing good happens outside the house after 10pm, right?) So, that is that part.

Will tell more in my part II about my experiences (good and bad) in my next blog which will be closer to the end of the month.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

"Great" News, Part II

I just got off the phone with Aunt Janet. She got home from China last night. She's got a thousand stories to tell - and only about 3 of them make me want to go there for a visit. But, she is thrilled that she went. The best part was that her "roommate" didn't show up so she had a private room to herself during the whole trip. ...and she lost 5 lbs!

I laughed when she called because of your blog and when I told her about it saying she is going to be a great, great aunt, she laughed and told me that I keep reminding her of that! So, she's thrilled about the new baby as well. Be on the lookout for a package from Wallingford.

She couldn't talk any longer - she was going out to play cards!

Please tell JJ not to plan on blogging during labor - I'll think she'll have more on her mind than punctuation.

New Blog

Hey everyone! I thought it might be a good idea to set up a blog so Ben, Jessi, Mom and I can keep people up-to-date during the labor and delivery.


The hospital where I will deliver has wireless internet in the room, so we'll be able to let everyone know the progress of labor and delivery. Don't worry, I won't include the gross stuff.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

"GREAT" news!

Hey - I was just thinking about all of Becca's aunts and uncles, etc...Aunt Janet is going to be a great,great aunt when Becca is born! She is my aunt, so she is Jennie's great aunt, so she will be Becca's great, great, aunt! I hope they get to meet soon...what a wonderful picture that would make!!

Good Morning!

DA - Sorry I missed your phone call Saturday night, but we were in St Louis at the Bellinger family baby shower. My phone was in my purse in another room. It would have been great to talk with you while at the shower, though. I didn't see that you had called until Sun morning when I checked my phone.

Well - it looks like I will have the nursery ready for Becca by Nov 1. That was my goal when I started working on the room. Today they install the new carpeting, then I head to Babies R Us to get a crib and changing table. Then all that is left is putting up some decorative pictures and hanging the valance. Did you see the latest pictures of Jennie & Becca? Jennie looks like she swallowed a basketball!!!! I think Jess has some pics on her blog. The nursery at J&B's is pretty much all done. They have the dresser/changing table, crib and shelves all put together and organized. I think they are still looking for a rocker/recliner for the room. Becca is due 3 weeks from today!!

Hope all is well with you. Are you "getting short"? When do you start packing up all the equipment for the trip back to the states? Any new news about your return??

Please call again when you have a chance. It is always good to hear from you.

Love you lots & KYHD!


Monday, October 20, 2008

Sleep, per chance to dream...

Well, as you've probably heard by now the Red Sox will not be heading on to the World Series with Philadelphia. The Rays won that game. We just couldn't seem to bring our runners home - we've been stranding too many guys on base.

But, we've won two of the past four World Series, so I think we can let another team enjoy the spotlight. As much as I never have been or probably never will be a fan of Tampa Bay, I do have to recognize them for their climb from worst to first in the AL this year. Good job, guys. Now go away.

The one advantage of all this, I don't have to stay up any more watching games. I can go to bed at my normal hour. Ah, sleep!

As us Red Sox fans have been known to say, "Wait until next year!".

G O P H I L I E S!!!!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Red Sox

Red Sox Nation is on a major high today. We were down 3 games to 1 the other day against Tampa Bay and we are now tied 3 - 3. Tonight is the deciding game. Whoever wins, goes on to the World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies. I went to bed the other night thinking that I would not be going through sleep-deprived nights; after all, we were losing 5 - 0 in the 5th. I woke up to the wonderful news that we had come back and beat the Rays 8 - 7!!! How sweet is that. Last night I stayed up to the last out and we won - again - 4 - 2. The Red Sox don't make it easy for us fans, but we're used to it. After all, it was 86 years between World Series wins.

So tonight at 8:07 we begin game #7. Hopefully we will win again tonight. I just may have to be "sick" tomorrow.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Care Packages and Other Stuff

This morning, amongst the other things I had to do, I spent a couple hours at the care packages event packing for you and other troops. I managed to get 75 pocket prayer shawls finished with more in the works. I'll take them up tomorrow morning. Everything has to go into ziplock bags, so I packed some bags with coffees and teas and other bags with snacks: Oreos, doritos, peanut butter and cheese crackers, trail mix, peanut packages, 100-calorie packs, etc. It was much more organized this time than last but it was also a lot colder today than last May. But, it was good. Be on the look out, Scoots. You should be getting a couple of boxes. Please let me know when they arrive. I have no idea what will be in them, it's all random but packed with love.

There were folks from church, the private school in town, and some high school kids packing and hauling alongside soccer moms and dads and the likes of me and my friends. I had also requested pictures from the early childhood ed group on campus and the kids all drew pictures and put stars on them. I hope the troops realize that these are 3 and 4 year olds offering their best to them.

When I was leaving I had to pull out on to a major road and make a left hand turn. As I got to the end of the driveway I thought, "Great, one of S'boro's finest right here - I should have no problem pulling out." WRONG! He stood there with radar gun in hand aiming at all the folks coming down the road - out in broad daylight and never even took one step to go out and stop traffic so that I could pull out. I had to wait almost 5 minutes. What a bozo! When his raise comes up at the next town meeting, I may have to rethink things! The reason I had to go left was I had an appt. for my flu shot. Here's hoping it works.

I had a good checkup at Lahey yesterday. Numbers are all good and no one has called me in a panic after getting the results of my renal ultrasound. I guess Lefty is doing its thing quite well. Thanx, JJ! Oh, Marti sends her love.

The great surprise was when I stopped to get gas yesterday afternoon on my way home, it was $2.69/gallon! It hasn't been that low in AGES. It's usually more expensive at the place I went to, but that's the lowest I've seen it anywhere around here. It's also the same place where I get my heating oil. They sent me a "renewal" contract yesterday lowering my monthly budget payment by $162.00! I must be doing something right.

Last weekend I surprised JJ and the Mom and flew out for JJ's baby shower. Donut, Ben & Craig knew I was coming. I have NEVER seen the Mom so surprised ~ JJ as well. Of course, I spent the afternoon staying one step ahead of the Mom - dodging her all around O'F. It was worth it. We had a great time. It reminded me of an old 'I Love Lucy' episode.

I talked to Uncle Nick yesterday. He was between trips. He had just gotten back from a week in Arizona and was getting ready to head to the Berkshires for the weekend. Food for thought: Uncle Nick's full name is Hayden Albert Nichols, Jr. His suggestion for JJ's baby's name is either Nicolina or Alberta!!!! Don't laugh too hard.

Well, better get stuff cleaned up and think about supper. I need to be ready to sit down and watch the Red Sox. I NEVER thought I'd be doing that tonight after watching the first 5 innings of Thursday night's game. I went to bed then ~ we were down 5 - 0 and I had to get up early to go to Lahey. When I ever woke up Friday morning and heard that we had won 8 - 7, I almost fell out of bed! Can we win again? Here's hoping.

Here's JJ after the shower last weekend.

The Mom and Dad to Be. Chances are Becca will be tall. I'll call Gene Auriaumo (UCONN women's coach) and put her name in.

Proof of where Donut get's her napping trait.

The picture really doesn't do the color justice, but I wanted to include it anyway. This is taken at the reservoir here in town.

Same reservoir, different view.

Hope you're doing well. Can't wait for you to be on US soil. Until then, Scoots, I love you and KYHD!


Saturday, October 11, 2008

I'm dreaming...

Of a white Christmas... Just like the ones I used to know...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Fall in New England

I have to tell you that this is the best time to live in New England. The colors are beginning to pop and there are Kodak moments everywhere. By this time next week it will be picturesque here in Massachusetts. It's probably at its peak in Maine and northern NH and VT this weekend. The leaf peepers will be out in full force. This is the one time when it pays to stay home. The tourons (as we used to call them when I lived in VA) will be out in force.

I will probably be out and about on Monday - it's Heritage Day in town - so I'll bring my camera with me and will post them later on. The best shots are over by the reservoirs - the reflections in the waters are spectacular.

They say CO has color too - but not the variety we have here in NE. CO is mostly yellow due to the aspens. They used to tell me that there was a lot of color down in Virginia - if you wanted to drive 2 hours to the mountains! No thank you. I'm used to looking out my kitchen window at the myriad of colors.

Autumn in New England - You can't beat it!



Monday, October 6, 2008

I kid you not!

I don't know if you kids will remember, but whenever you would ask G'pa Carew what he wanted for dinner, or what he wanted to eat, he would ALWAYS reply, "fried bananas". The Dragon Palace here in town they have a lunch buffet that Dad and I go to frequently and they serve fried bananas! So now whenever you eat there from now on you can think of G'pa...I do! I chuckle every time I go through the buffet line! (I have yet to try them!)

How's everyone doing out there?? DA - haven't heard from you in a while. How's it going? Any more news about returning to the states?? I did get your e-mail about the deployment trophy. To be honest, I'm not sure I feel comfortable donating money for a gun. I'm still considering your request. I would prefer donating to a "cruise fund" for you and Chelsey for when you return. How about that??

Things in O'Fallon are fine. Not too much excitement here. They closed the pool last week so I guess summer is over. The hot tub is cleaned and ready to go if we would just remember to use it!!

Hope all is well with you. It would be good to hear from you sometime...

Love you lots and KYHD!


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Good bye Paul

Today we have lost a great man: Paul Newman. He was a great American, husband, father, grandfather, actor and director. Although he worked in Hollywood, he was not "of" Hollywood. He was classy and sassy. I did not always agree with his political views, but he was a "liberal" I could respect - he was a leader not a follower. He was not "all about him" as evidenced by his generosity to those less fortunate, but he did not make a big deal out of it.

I enjoyed watching him on the big screen because not only was he "easy on the eyes", but he was believable in each character he portayed. He made acting look easy even though he worked hard at it. The last work I saw him in was the movie Message in a Bottle and he was superb.

My prayers go out to his wife, actress Joanne Woodward, and his daughters and grandchildren.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


How arrogant can you get? I can't believe he actually said that!! He wants to be the President of the United States!!! Tell me DA - how far would you get in the USA if you told your boss, call me if you need me???

If I'm not mistaken, he is still collecting his salary as a United States senator and he tells is colleagues to call him if they need him??? I am so angry I could spit. First he says that we are in the most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression and in the next breath he tells "them" to call him if they need him!! His FIRST job is as a US Senator - THEN he can campaign for the presidency!!!! At the moment I am from IL and if he walked into my house right now I would kick him out! How dare he say that to the people who are paying his salary!! NO WAY is he ready to be the leader of the free world.

He wants to be Commander-in-Chief, yet he has never worn the uniform of any branch of the military. He wants to be CEO of the United States of America, yet he has never "run" anything.

If anyone reading this had any doubts as to whether John McCain could be the president, THIS ONE STATEMENT BY BARACK OBAMA should take care of those doubts. John McCain puts his COUNTRY FIRST. His campaign slogan is accurate: COUNTRY FIRST and he is leading by example.

Thank you, John McCain, for your service to your country. Keep up the GREAT WORK!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

So yea

Looks like Chelsey may have found us a more suitable place that will be just right for the two of us (and affordable!). And its located right outside of post. Course I am still looking forward to coming home and seeing everyone and just be glad to be back around civilization (and I stress the word civilization) I see Jennie is getting closer and closer to her due date. Wish I could be home for the birth but hopefully the whole family or most can be around for christmas (especially me!)

Anywho, things are definitely starting to cool off with the high this week only reach 108, which has already come and gone. The rest of the week is maybe a high of 100. And a storm appears to be rolling in around the weekend (needs reminding of what the word weekend means...) But things are going good. I am already passed the 1,000 combat hours in country and apparently I need to start hitting the books and getting some awards because promotion points recently PLUMMETED to a new 3-year low. So with a few classes and some better PT scores, I could be the next SGT... /ends dreaming.. D'oh!

Well, hope all is well back home and cannot wait to let you guys know when for sure we should be packing up, though we probably wont know for another month or so. At least for a solid timeline.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Boo Hoo

So, first I would like to with the Dad and the Jennie a happy but belated birthday(s). Yea, I would have to have called or been on line to send something, however, some ****bag decided to go postal at a Patrol Base and things got a little ugly. So yea, things are still the same here. Getting much cooler thats for sure (barely breaking 105 the last couple days, so its been nice). Reports are still pointing to sometime between december and January, but a sister UAV unit has already started to wind down and begin packing up since they will be out of here by mid to late November and we will be right behind them, sucking down their dust.

Well, not a whole lot is really going on in aviation world, except that one of our AVs was granted its wish... Its DEATH WISH... muhaha (its been nicknamed the exorcist bird because it does crazy stuff that defies aviation and real-world physics... it hasnt quite spun its nosewheel 360, not that it has a nosewheel anymore...But other than that, we are really just logging hours. Cant say much else really, but yea, thigns are definitely very quiet here.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Hello Out There

How are things where you are? Is it beginning to "cool" down over there? We're having typical New England autumn weather these days. One day it's warm and a little muggy; the next day there isn't an ounce of humidity and the temp is in the 70s and glorious. Nights are "chilly" - definitely blanket weather.

Apple season is starting. When you drive all around you see signs to "Pick Your Own Apples". Excuse me! That's what hired hands are for. In a couple weeks I'll have to make my annual trek to one of the local orchards and get the required bags of Cortland and Delicious. Great for apple crisp and fresh applesauce.

The leaves really haven't started turning yet. Every once in a while you'll see a red one or an orange one lying on the ground. I think it's going to be a red and orange year ~ not many yellows. It was a fairly moist summer so things should be good.

Pumpkins are everywhere. I stopped at the nursery yesterday and they had huge bins of varying sized "punkins" ~ as G'ma Mitchell used to say. I usually pick up a couple small ones to put around the house. I don't do the ones on the stoop any more ~ they usually end up smashed on the road. How thoughtless and inconsiderate.

It was a crazy week. I've been dealing with some new s/w at work that is "not ready for prime time" but we're expected to be productive using it. Add to that my boss is retiring and we're going through the transition process, party planning, and the jockeying personalities. I now know why some folks go "postal". Then, I had to spend an extended afternoon at Lahey and an extra day at S'boro Med to keep my docs from going apoplectic. So my potassium level was low. We're straighened everything out and all is well but have discovered that if you pose one question to three docs you get FOUR different answers and two shoulder shrugs. Let's just say that it was the week from hell and can only go up from here.

So, I'm enjoying the New England fall and I had a good time shopping yesterday. I'm finding all kinds of fun things for YOUR niece. Girls are such a treat to buy for. Wait til you see a couple of the outfits I got for her. I can't say any more ~ you never know who's listening.

So, Donut and Craig are in Sin City this weekend. I hope they're having fun. I think our gang here is planning our annual trek to Maine in November. We stay in York and shop in Kittery. Our hotel is right across the road from the ocean and we have a great time. Some of them even go to the Kittery Trading Post; you know, the place with way too many moose heads, flannel around every corner, orange hats and camo pants. People there go ga-ga over multi-colored kayaks, deep-freeze sleeping bags, and duck whistles. I get the hives just driving by! I stick to Coach, the Kitchen Store, and the Bass Store (clothes, not fish).

Well, I've been lazy all morning - I did do a lot of knitting and have some breakfast ~ but now it's time to shower, do laundry, and organize my life for the next week. Hope you have a great week.

KYHD! Love you lots!


Saturday, September 13, 2008

Good News!

When I posted the other day, Jennie had received news that she had gestational diabetes. On Thursday she saw her OB/GYN doc and he said NO that she does not have gestational diabetes. There was some confusion with her test results, but the good news is she does NOT have gestational diabetes. She has to watch her diet...reduce carbs and refined sugars, drink lots of water and get some exercise which at this point is easier said than done! She is getting quite big around the middle. Jess took some pics the other night so watch her blog for baby bump updates!

They are working on the nursery now. Rob painted it this week so all they have to do is put up the Winnie the Pooh border. He also painted our "nursery". Both rooms look great...he really does a nice job and is much quicker than us! We will be replacing the carpet in our nursery before Rebecca is born. I think J&B are going to have the carpet in their nursery cleaned. I would like to have our room ready by 1 Nov...we'll see!

Today we are having a belated birthday party for Ben, Jennie and Dad. Craig was supposed to be included, but he and Jess decided to go to Vegas for the weekend, so his will have to wait until Oct when we celebrate Jess' birthday. For their (J&B's) birthdays we are giving them a video camera. Ben will be picking one out. Hopefully we will have it for the Baby Shower on 10 Oct.

We were hoping to swim today.It is warm enough, but it is supposed to start raining this afternoon and rain thru Monday. Remnants of a Pacific storm and Ike. They are predicting 3-6 inches on Sunday. The sun is out right now, but the clouds are moving in.

J&B have started childbirth/parenting classes. Things sure have changed since I had you guys! Oh well....I guess I am getting old: my baby is having a baby! I LOVE IT!!

Hope all is well with you. Any news about anything?? Sure would be good to hear from you!

Love you lots and KYHD!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Hello out there!

Howdy! Sorry it has been a while since my last post....but then again it has been a while since your (DA's) last post!!

Not too much excitement here...just same old, same old. Working at the office and trying to keep up around the house.

Dad and I were in Nashville, TN for the weekend. He had a Memorial Hospital Executive meeting and I just tagged along for the fun of it. We stayed at The Opryland Hotel which is HUGE! We got lost many times and even the people working there did not know where some areas (meeting rooms)were located!! It reminded me of trying to find the way around a new cruise ship, except that at least the room stewards know where things are and can give you directions! The meeting went OK, I guess and I got to tour a couple of mansions. The mansions in Newport, RI are much more impressive, but it was something to do. The drive down was not too bad...we had rain about half the time and the other half was just cloudy. The drive home was uneventful.

Hope all is well with you. Anything exciting happening??

Jennie got some news today...she has gestational diabetes. She has a DR appt on Thursday at which thime she will learn more about what is going on and then on Monday she has an appt with a dietician. We will keep you posted. It is not really anything to get excited about. She will have to watch her diet (little to no refined sugars) and exercise more, like taking a walk in the evenings. She feels fine and everything with the baby will be fine also. Happy Birthday, Jennie!

Wednesday is dad's 57th birthday! Is he getting old or what?? Now that Jennie's birthday is here, they all start to come!!

In anticipation of Rebecca, I have joined the Children's Book of the Month Club. I got my first order today! I will have to get a bookcase for her bedroom here to hold all the books until she can read and be read to!

How's the weather there these days?? HOT?? I can't believe that it is almost time to close up the pool. We are having a family get together this weekend for birthdays and we were hoping to swim, but I don't think it will be warm enough. It is only supposed to be in the 70's. I will probably call the pool guy next week to get us on the list to close the pool. The hot tub is working though so maybe we can use that.

I guess that is about it for now. It would be great to hear from you by phone OR blog!

Take care and KYHD!!

Love you lots,

Saturday, September 6, 2008


Well, since no one else has posted since my last post last month ~ I figured I jot a quick one before I fold clothes then cook my lobster - YES, LOBSTER! I decided to treat myself tonight. I hope the end result is worth it because the process was harrowing!

In case you haven't heard - I'm sure it's not headline news in downtown Baghdad, Hurricane Hanna is crawling up the eastern coast. It would make news if it were a 20 mph gust of wind in the Gulf of Mexico, but a tropical storm in New England is relegated to the back page because WE can take care of ourselves. Anyway....

I had a bunch of errands to do today - my usual cram-my-life-into-a-Saturday errands - not OMG-there's-a-hurricane-coming errands. So I started out. There were lots of lines - the worst at the dump. Go figure. My last stop was the grocery store. I haven't seen anything like that since I lived in Virginia and they were predicting an inch of snow! EVERY cashier was open and they were 6 - 8 deep. I don't usually go to this store, but they had a good price on lobsters so I decided to brave the crowds. One of the reasons I don't is I'm usually the only person in the store who speaks English as their first language.

But, I made it through unscathed and I came home with 2 lobsters - one for dinner tonight and one to make lobster salad with tomorrow. Believe it or not it's my only lobster this season. I've seen it on several menus, but I don't enjoy eating it at a restaurant.

I learned from the BEST - G'ma Carew. As Uncle Nick says, when Helen was done with a lobster all that was left was the shell and the eyes! I don't quite go that far, but I can do a pretty good job. Uncle Nick once sat between your mom and me while we were all eating lobster. He vowed THAT would never happen again. He swears he almost lost 3 fingers.

Your mom passed your email along about some brass saying something that he shouldn't have about some groups going wherever. I think the bottom line was they you may be home sooner rather than later. I SURELY HOPE SO! But, as I've said before, can you translate into English before you hit "Send"? I only worked at the Pentagon for 14 months! I can't wait to hear that you're back on safe turf soon.

I'm off to a Red Sox/Tampa Bay game Monday night. Free tickets. A friend of a friend had them and didn't have anyone to go with. How could I turn down a Sox game with the D-Rays? We're chasing them for the eastern lead. We're smoking - they're fading. It'll be my 3rd game at Fenway this year. G'pa is smiling down at me. He's up there with Teddy Baseball enjoying my time at Fenway. I love it. (Oh good - they just said that it's supposed to be great weather on Monday.)

Peaches is going to be 31 on Monday. She is getting OLD! We won't mention how old Dr. D. will be on Wednesday - though he hasn't caught up with me. (I heard that comment, Scoots!)

Well, time to fold clothes and then get the lobsters cooked. Clear the decks - melt the butter - grab a stack of napkins - I'm coming in. The only disadvantage is that the dump doesn't reopen until Wednesday. I may have to find a local dumpster tomorrow afternoon in which to dump the shells.

Well, Scoots, hope you're doing well. Any requests for a care package? I haven't sent one lately - what do you need/want?

Remember, you're my favorite nephew so KYHD, I love you and come home safely - - - SOON.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Good Morning, Scoots

...although, I'm sure if I checked Donut's new website I would find that it's sometime later on this afternoon where you are.

I hope you're doing well. I think about you often and keep checking the Big Macs to see if you've had time to post a message or two - tho' I usually need an interpreter for your notes :,)

Things here are good. Had you been a fly on the wall here this week you would've laughed so hard at your technically-challenged aunt that you would have lost your grip and fallen off!

Last week I decided to get a new flat-screen TV (actually I had decided before hand but decided to wait until we had our tax-free weekend). (NOTE: The TV in the kitchen wasn't bad - it was the small one that G'ma and G'pa had. However, the bigger one I had in my living room is getting old ~ I bought it when I lived in Virginia. When it gets too warm, it shuts off. POOF! It's off. Annoying! I decided to replace that one.) So, I had checked out a couple different ones ~ I was into simplicity. 19", not hung on the wall, easy to hook up, no fancy bells or whistles. So, off I go last Saturday with 2000 of my closest tax-dodging friends to Wal*mart. I found a great little LCD WITH a built-in DVD. How cool. So I had the poor single-handed stock boy get it from out back and off I go to the checkout counter. Well, the barcode(s) wouldn't scan. They kept getting "Invalid number". Even manually punching in the # the poor clerk was getting completely frazzled. Finally a manager came over and did his voo-doo and it worked.

I got it home, assembled (installed the base) and got it hooked up then realized that my cable box did not support HD so I had to call Verizon and get a new box. No problem except that meant going through Customer Service Hell listening to this robotic maven who should be gagged. Luckily I must've hit it just right and hit the "O" key enough times and within about 2 min. I got this nice girl who helped me make all the arrangements to get a new box. She said I should get the box by Tues. or Wed. Sure enough; there it was on my doorstep on Wednesday when I got home from work.

Yippee! HD. Not so fast, Shennie! I got everything assembled and everything hooked up except the end of the HDMI cable that was supposed to so into the TV. Did you know you can't put a rectangle cable end into a round hole!? So I tried everything; I looked everywhere. No luck. There were scads of other connection points but nothing that would accommodate a flat cable end. I was convinced that my new nickname was going to be Dumb Dora. Then I looked at the box the TV had come in and it said everything on it but HD. Had I screwed up that badly?

Dejected, disappointed (I had hoped to watch the Sox in HD that night), I unassembled everything. Now the next problem. Getting the TV and its accessories into the box it came in. That's like putting 10 lbs. sh** into a 5 lb. bag. Re-folding a map is easier. I was in no mood to fuss.

So, yesterday I took the time and put everything into the box and headed back to Wally World. Before I took the old TV in, I went in and checked to see what they had. I was still confused. So there I was, in the electronics section of Wal*Mart with TVs flashing the same picture in 25 different sizes calling Ben for his help. I'm so glad your sister married a techno marvel. (If you had been in the same hemisphere I would have called you so don't feel dejected [you're probably really happy]!) Well, come to find out, my TV did support HD but just not with an HDMI cable. I could've bought a different connector, but the result would not have been as good. Thus, I decided on a different model that DID have a flat HDMI connector. Long, long story shorter - they were out of that model at that store. Is it 5:00 yet?

I went home, made some lunch and called another WW and they had 2 of those TVs. So, I went up there, got the new one (which was $14 cheaper but no DVD player) and came home. But, remember the hard time I had checking out with the original TV? Well, I had the same problem returning the blessed thing. It kept saying "Invalid Number". Somehow the clerk worked around it. I thought computers were supposed to make things easier! It's amazing how well everything goes together when all the parts fit! Then I couldn't figure out why nothing happened when I turned everything on. Desperate - I RTFM. Ah, call Verizon and have the box activated! An hour later I was watching HDTV from my new TV/cable box in my kitchen.

That was the crux of my week. Hope yours wasn't as exasperating! Is it cooling down over there? The weather here the past week has been PERFECT - in the upper 70s and NO humidity. Can we bottle this and save it?

One more week before the college kids come back and 3 weeks before missions start. The peace and quiet is over.

Well time to take a shower and run a couple errands. Then it's back home to do some laundry. As Grandma used to say: "I'm not sure if we're the cleanest people or the dirtiest people ~ I'm always doing laundry!" And, there's ONLY 1 of me.

Be well, Viya con Dios, and KYHD!

Love you,

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Hey - I'm sorry it has been sooo long since I posted...I just don't know where the time goes! It's not that I don't think about you because I do - every day, multiple times a day.

As you can guess, life has been busy but good. Hope all is well with you. It's been a while since we last talked (about 1 month). Chelsey says she hasn't been chatting with you as much recently, I guess your schedule has changed? Anyhow, it would be great to hear from you on the phone OR on the blog.

Dad and I will be heading to Nashville, TN for an executive meeting of the Memorial Hospital board and others. We will be gone the first weekend in Sept for that. Then in Oct we are going to San Diego for a MGMA (medical management) meeting. That will be for a week around the middle of the month. After that we are staying put until Rebecca makes her debut!

Jennie and Ben are starting to work on Rebecca's room. They have picked out the theme (Winnie the Pooh) and now have to pick out paint. Ben chose a wallpaper border yesterday so that will help with the paint selection. They have also registered for lots of goodies @ Babies "r" Us. It is lots of fun to walk through the store and just scan the things you want! Jessica is putting a baby shower together for Jennie and 'Becca for early Oct. Anything you want me to get for her to be from you?? Just let me know.

Jess and Craig are doing well. Their basement is done for all intents and purposes. It looks very nice and they are enjoying having a place to watch TV, etc... that is out of the way for company.

Any luck with your internet yet?? Do you think you will have service before moving back to the states?? Oh well.........

I guess that is about it for now. Just by way of reminder....Ben's b'day was yesterday, Jennie's and Dad's are in 2 weeks and Jessica's is mid Oct. By your b'day, you will officially be an uncle!! How about that?? Feeling old yet??

Love you & KYHD!


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Is it 5:00 Somewhere?

I have been suffering through 2 days of Red Sox - Blue Jays games. Let me put it this way ~ I could have pitched better than any of the Sox pitchers and I throw worse than the proverbial girl thrower!

And I've had the honor of watching these games on my new TV ~ sorta. Yesterday and today Gov. Patrick granted the Bay Staters a tax-free weekend. Anything less than $2500 ~ with certain exceptions ~ is tax-free until midnight tonight. So, I took part of my check from "W" and bought myself a flat screen for the kitchen. It's an Emerson 19" with a built-in DVD player. I got a pretty good deal on it and I didn't have to pay tax. (Note: Everyone is complaining because the state is missing out on all this revenue; think about all the income tax they're getting from all the extra help stores had to hire this weekend. It may not be even, but they're not losing out completely.)

My new TV will be even better when I get my new cable box that delivers hi-def! I called Verizon yesterday afternoon and actually got to speak to a live human being within the first 2 minutes of pressing buttons. How novel. She was really nice and we had a couple laughs. Her office was about 45 minutes south of here and it had just poured buckets there and we were enjoying beautiful sunshine. (Note: The weather this weekend was perfect - low 80s and NO humidity.) The box should be mailed out tomorrow and I should get it by Wednesday. It'll be great. I'm moving the TV (Grandpa's little one) that was here in the kitchen to the living room and then have to get rid of the big one in the living room. Don't know how. Our transfer station doesn't accept TVs or CRTs any more.

I wasn't quite sure about hooking it up, but you'll be pleased to know that I got it done without any problems. Actually, there was only 1 cable to screw in. I did have help - I read the manual - sorta. You'd be proud of me, Scoots.

Well, laundry beckons. I hope everyone has a good week.



Sunday, August 10, 2008


It has been crazy here the past couple weeks.

I don't think I can remember a day within the past two weeks where we did not have a horrific thunderstorm roll over our area in the late afternoon. During the day it'll be sunny and bright with some regular clouds. Then, about 3:00 in the afternoon everything changes. The sky will get very, very dark and ominous and the next thing you know the wind has kicked up, and the heavens open. Without any warning it will be pouring. There have been days when I was looking and talking to someone in my office with my big window behind them. Almost instantly I will see rain just pouring down behind them. Yesterday on our way back from the farm stand, we were watching the clouds and there was actually a huge rectangular formation up ahead of us. It was perfectly shaped. Don't see that very often.

Farmers are complaining. Usually about this time of year they're all complaining that they need rain and they're irrigating. This year it is just the opposite. Everything is too wet. They're even promoting drying agents for the plants so that mold and fungus doesn't grow on them.

We've even had a couple tornadoes. Up in New Hampshire. I think there was even a spout spotted in Barrington, RI, where the mom went to college.

Sometimes the thunder and lightening is scary! It'll be right over head. We've even had a couple crop up in the middle of the night. I hope this cycle soon comes to an end. I feel sorry for the poor folks who have tried to have a vacation the past couple weeks.

Nick and I had one or two storms while we were out at the cottage. Mostly it was HOT and MUGGY while we were there. Now, they finally have the shower back in order. Not while we were there. Oh well.

Wish I could send you some, Scoots. Sleeping has been wonderful. Think about you when I'm bitching about the heat. If you can do it, so can we!

Back to the Olympics.

Miss you! KYHD!


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Welcome Hannah!

DA - Just wanted to let you know that Lisa (nurse at the office) had her baby last Thursday night. Hannah was born @ 2037 by C section. She weighed 8# 9oz and is 18 1/2" long. Lisa and Hannah are doing well and already @ home. I am taking dinner to them tonight. Jessica set up a sign up calendar so we can all take turns taking them dinner. Tonight is meatloaf, mac & cheese, salad and brownies. On Thursday I am taking hamburgs, corn on the cob, potato salad & cupcakes.

We are back in the swing of things since returning from vacation. The St Louis summer weather has finally hit. I guess they had some hot days while we were gone, and it has returned! I know it is not as hot as you have it over there, but it is WARM & HUMID today. Maybe I can get in the pool after delivering dinner and getting my hair cut.

Well - Lisa just called and they are ready for me to deliver their dinner.

Hope all is well with you. Dad and I work this weekend, but he is not on call. I think it is supposed to be hot this weekend so we will be in the pool....probably will have company in the pool, too!

Love you & KYHD!


P.S. Ben had to rebuild my laptop. Lots of spyware, etc..It is working great!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

We're Back!

Hey everyone! We're home. We got back to O'Fallon about 3 this afternoon (1500 hrs for those military types!). We had a great vacation and saw lots of northwestern Michigan - The Cherry Capital of the World! I guess we just missed the Cherry Festival by a few days. There were cherry trees everywhere - still FULL of cherries! The two concerts at Interlochen Center for the Arts were good - the philharmonic was better than the World Senior Choir concert. The best was Jon Reep - the comedian we saw Monday night. Apparently he was last years winner on Last Comic Standing. He reminded me of Larry the Cable fact he said that he gets mistaken for him frequently. He was on stage for 90 minutes and we laughed the whole time!
In addition to seeing that part of Michigan, we read some, saw 2 movies, and just took it easy. Momma Mia! (the movie)is GREAT! It is the quintessential musical. We actually went to see it twice we enjoyed it so much. I would go again in a heart beat.
We also took advantage of many of the Michigan wineries. Who knew?? I guess the climate and soil there is great for growing grapes so there are several wineries. We brought home about 10 bottles of Michigan wine. I may even save some for when Jennie can drink again!!

It is back to work tomorrow - bright and early 0630!! Our next time off will be in September, though I am not sure of the dates. After that, who knows?? After each vacation we vow that we will get the next one planned within 6 months, but we have yet to keep those vows!! Maybe this time.

DA - It was so good to talk with you Monday afternoon. Thanks for calling. Sorry you missed the others, but maybe you can call sometime when we are all together. That would be great. How is the internet setup coming?? Hopefully you will have it soon and for a while before you PCS to the states!!

I guess that is about it for now. Hope all is well with everyone else!

Love to all and KYHD!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Hey there! We got your message yesterday. Unfortunately, we were both at work when you called. You sounded good though.

The baby is still growing and developing at a healthy pace. My health is also good. My weight is within what it should be, only my belly and butt seem to be growing! My blood pressure is good and all my other tests are within normal ranges.

It was great to hear your voice! Please try and give us a call over the weekend if you can.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

SpaceBalls: ****, Even in the future nothing works!

Check out the date...

Got a good laugh and hope you will too

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Hi DA,

Check out my blog to see some pictures from Sunday. We had a great time.

Miss(ed) you! KYHD


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Flag Ladies

I ran across this organization a couple weeks ago and have bookmarked them. I was so impressed with what they are doing that I even sent them a small donation and mentioned that you are currently stationed in Iraq.

I received a thank you note from them today:

Dear S...

Thank you so much for your donation. It will help more than you can know. 100% of any donation that we receive is used to support our troops. Your kindness really helps to lift our spirits. We will continue to do all that we can for as long as we can to show the men and women serving this great nation that we support them and their families.
Please thank your nephew for us. He is one of our heroes.
...With much love, The Freeport Flag Ladies

It may be worth a trip to Freeport (and thus LLBean) to see their work.

Thanx, Scoots. Any requests. Sorry you weren't able to check in Sunday night. We had a great time and WAY TOO MUCH FOOD!


Saturday, July 5, 2008

Better Late Than Never... (revision)

So I was going through my emails that i just got as of 0935 this morning and noticed it still showed I had one unread message, so I started scrolling down until I hit the very bottom and thats where i found this email... Like the title says, Better late than never right?? (Check out the date it was sent/received. Hope Al Gore doesnt find out that he didnt invent the internet, not with a date like that!



Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th of July!

Ditto Shennies post! It is a great day!

Bud - I wish you could be here with us but since you cannot, please know that you and all you buddies are in our thoughts and prayers this day.
We have nothing special planned for today - we are celebrating on Sunday when we can all be together. It looks like there will be about 20 here so pray for good weather!!!

It was so good to talk to you the other night! and for such a long time!! You sounded well even though it was the middle of the night for you! I hope the rest of your shift went smoothly. Hearing the sound of the engine from one of your birds reminded me of the sound of remote-controlled planes.

Have you got your internet up and running yet? It would be great to talk to you on Sunday when we will all be here. If you will be able to call, send me an email so I can be sure to have the Skype phone close by. Dad and I will be at work until 5 but all the others will be here earlier but will porbably be swimming. Just ler us know if you can.

Have a great Army day. I'm sure that there is something special going on on post.

Love you lots and KYHD!

Happy 4th of July

Today more than ever is the day to celebrate our soldiers and sailors.

Today more than ever is the day to appreciate the brave stance that our founding fathers took to stand up to King George and risk their lives and the lives of their loved ones.

Today more than ever is the day to not just relish in a day out of work, but to remember why we have the day off and why we can work without oppression.

Today more than ever is the day to thank God for our freedoms and blessings here in the United States of America and to thank God because we CAN thank God.

Today more than ever is the day to remember Bunker Hill, Normandy, CBI, Gettysburg, Verdun, the Alamo, the Tet Offensive and the Fall of Saigon, Operation Desert Storm, and 9/11 ~ at the very least.

Today more than ever is the day to celebrate the advancements in the arts and sciences that come from living and researching in our free country.

Today more than ever is the day to remember the soldiers, sailors, marines, pilots, and others that sacrificed time, lives, limbs, and souls for our freedom. From Navy nurses to Army Air Corps mechanics we remember and thank you.

And, to those who proudly wear our country's uniforms today, we walk a little taller, smile a little broader, sleep a little sounder, breathe a little easier because of you and we thank you and love you.

We keep you in our thoughts, prayers, and hearts daily. God bless you!


Friday, June 27, 2008


Well, we have gotten more done in the last week for setting up the internet than in the last 7 months. Virtually all the money has been turned in and will be submitted tonight. Ethernet cable is starting to pop up even more around our CHUs and people are definitely taking interest more closely on the progress. All thats left is finishing the running of the cables to individual rooms and submitting the money so that when the first packet is sent to our dish, my line will be the first to sign on!

Things are going OK at Launch/Recovery though we did have a minor incident this morning. But the AV was recovered successfully despite the human error/oversight. But due to the error, new changes have already been established and NO ONE is happy about it, especially the day shift. But we have all admitted to the mistake and took responsibility/blame for it, so all thats left is making sure it doesn't happen again.

Well, I am exhausted from the long night and running around the 100+ weather working on setting up the internet so I will say adieu but keep you all updated.


P.S. Make sure to all have your skype phones charged and handy. I could be calling one or all of you in the next4-5 days!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Hey Everyone

I guess its been awhile (again) since i last posted, so here's the latest. Our unit actually lost a bird. (Mechanical failure... Total...Total...TOTAL loss. lol) Luckily I didnt have to piss and bleed since it was predetermined that there was no fault of ours. So yea, that was fun. Anywho, I have officially turned in my share for internet in the rooms. So it looks like that within the next week or so, I will have net available to me 24/7. The monthly cost is $68 but provides 1.5Mbps to 2Mbps. That means I will be able to FINALLY use my skype phone and laptop when I want to.

So yea, I will try to update this more often. And some care packages with more Slim Jims and Teriyaki Beef Jerky would be awesome! Well take care everyone.

Love y'all!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Cookie Platoon!

Hey bud - check out It is a gal from Chester,CT whose son is deployed to Afghanistan and she makes cookies to send to him. This has grown to involve many volunteers and dozens of cookies AND many troops getting homemade cookies when they are thousands of miles from home! Aunt Sher's friend sent her the info and she passed it into me. Debbie and I have emailed a few times the past couple of days and I told her about our blog so she is going to check it out and maybe post a comment. I thought you might get a kick out of hearing from someone in Chester!
Technology is great! I hope at some point when we are back east to meet her. What she is doing for our troops is amazing. She must be a very special person!
If you get the chance, I'm sure she would love to hear from you. You can contact her through the website.

Well - how's it going? We are all fine back here. Keeping busy and out of trouble (for the most part). Dad and I have decided to travel to Michigan for our summer vacation. We certainly wanted someplace NORTH. We considered Ireland for a while but once we looked into the prices we decided against it.

Katie is still in O'fallon. She was going to leave yesterday or today, but she woke up sick yesterday so maybe she'll get on the road by Friday.
We don't have anything big planned for Father's Day this Sunday. I think we'll have a cook-out her at the house and go swimming. So far the water has been fine and the heater is working. Keep your fingers crossed!!

Gotta run - dinner is ready....

Love you lots,

Power - or Lack Thereof

At 11:45 p.m. last night the power went out (again) at my house. This time it was due to some terrific winds, I'm sure. I woke up just as the power went out - possibly because it was also thundering and lightening at the time. The house was all closed up because the temp had been up to 97 yesterday and I had the a/c on when I went to bed. Of course that went off when the power went out.

I got up, took a stroll around the living room and kitchen, watched as some police cars went by the house and then went around and opened all the windows. The temperature had dropped at least 20 degrees and there was a lovely breeze. I thought I'd log on and see what was happening but ~ duh ~ realized that even wireless won't work if the router doesn't have power!

I finally fell back asleep and woke up around 6:30. I had found a D battery for my clock radio and could listen to that. I still had no power; therefore, no coffee, no hot shower, no blow dryer, and most of all ~ no car to go to work. If I lose power, the garage door won't open and since I cannot get into the garage EXCEPT through the main car door, I'm screwed. So, I called work (using my 1980s vintage rotary trim-line phone), said I'd be late and went about doing what I could without electricity.

I folded clothes, knitted, sorted a dresser drawer, knitted, started sorting knitting needles, and knitted. I called the electric company and they had a recording that the outage affected 5 towns and they expected the power to be back on around 10:00 a.m. At 10:05 I began to hear click, click, hmmmmmmm, click. The hamsters had been fed and the power was surging again. The first thing I did was open the garage door - just in case the power went out again. At least then I could get the car out and go to work. After resetting all the clocks and making sure that everything that was supposed to have power and be working was, I took my shower and got ready to go to work.

I got in about 11:15 - only after stopping to get a Dunkin Donuts French Vanilla Iced Coffee.

This is the 5th time in about 2 weeks that I've lost power at the house. Don't know what caused the others, but this one was a doozy! I was hoping it wouldn't last too, too long; I didn't want to lose the food in the fridge. On the one hand I was hoping it didn't stay off too long so I wouldn't lose the food; on the other hand, I was getting a lot of piddly stuff done around the house and was on a roll. Oh well.

But, all seems well; the power is back on ~ at least it was when I left the house about 3 hours ago; and everything seems to be working fine.



Sunday, June 8, 2008

Start the Car

It's back ~ the IKEA commercial. Donut ~ I know you're moonlighting in that commercial. I have seen it at least a dozen time and I laugh each time. It is you!

For those of you who haven't seen it, go to:


Monday, June 2, 2008

Care Package to the Troops, Part II

Check out this url: 80527/NEWS/873165981/1101



There and Back Again... A Soldier's Tale

Well, the re-enlistment went well and got to see some cool piece of history, as well as hang out on a FOB that doesnt require me to carry my weapon around everywhere (lucky punks). But it was nice. Got to hang out with one of our HUMINT (human intelligence) translators for the day and play some table tennis, some pool, wanted to play darts. And got a major tease from the MWR personnel cuz the FOB we were at is run by State Department personnel, so State Department personnel are allowed to consume alcohol while deployed. So that sucked seeing all that alcohol and couldnt have a sip. Its like that old sailor saying. Water Everywhere but not a Drop to Drink. One question I have is who ordered the CH-47 model industrial strength blowdryer... Talk about some heat. For those wondering, a CH-47 is the nomenclature for a Chinook. and standing behind one with engines on is like having a 20' tall blowdryer blowing on your entire body (this plus the fact that it was still like 96 degrees at 2215.) So it kind of sucked. Had to stand there because they screwed up which flight it was. Was originally announced as Marne Express. But then they were like oh crap, its the AMR flight. But they had room to allow everyone to get on. So then they had to have everyone stand there with the chinook exhaust blowing on us while they read off the manifest roster. And once on, we lifted off only to do a roundabout to pick up yet another contractor. Was funny to see the rear crew-chief hop off and simulate a running motion to the contractor (course the flight scheduler thought he meant her, but when she started approaching, he waved her off, pointed at the contractor and again simulated the running gesture. Once all that was said and done, we were on our way back. It took all of like 10 minutes to get back and once there we downloaded off the chinook, signed back into the FOB, and went to our Battalion to sign back in there. Once that was done, we had a moment to relax and look at some of the pics from the day. Was funny to see the height difference between my old Platoon Leader/XO and myself. It was like A.S. and myself. But I left Battalion and headed straight to my room, downloaded all my gear, cleared off my bed and crashed for the rest of the night. But it was a nice trip, but it was good to be back in my bed.

Oh, I did get both the Autographed pictures and the Care Package. The pics were great, and that care package. Some of the food I still might be eating towards the end of the deployment...

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Happy Birthday and Farewell Katie (and Chelsey)

Happy Birthday a couple of days early to Katie and Farewell to Chelsey and Katie. Katie will be 21 on Monday (boy, my kids are getting OLD!)and Chelsey leaves for Colorado tomorrow, with Katie close on her heels(hopefully by the end of the week!) Katie is staying around here hoping for her tax refund and stimulus check, neither of which has arrived yet. She needs the money for he trip, so we are hoping "the check is in the mail."

The pool is just about ready....I think we will be able to swim this afternoon. All the numbers, pH, chlorine, etc are all good, but the water is still a little cloudy. They just opened it Thursday afternoon so it is looking very good for 48 hours out, but with the rain last night, the water is not as clear as I like it for guests so we will let them decide if they want to swim.

For her birthday meal, Katie requested Chicken Parmesan, pesto, coleslaw, & greek salad. For dessert we are having angel food cake with fresh strawberries and/or cheesecake.

Sure wish you were here, Bud...Hope your trip back from Baghdad was uneventful.
Thanks again for your service to your country. We think of you and pray for you and your buddies everyday. Everyone from the office sends their best to you along with their thoughts and prayers.

Stay safe and keep in touch.

Love you & KYHD!
the mom

Thursday, May 29, 2008

I, David, do solemnly swear...

Thats right people. I have formally and ceremonially re-enlisted in the United States Army. Six more years (5 once i get state-side again). The Re-enlistment ceremony went well. Flew out this morning on a Blackhawk and got to sit in the down-wash seat (trust me, its the 'best seat' to if you like rotor downwash (rush of air kicked down from the spinning of the rotary blades. Enough to make your uniform flap like crazy, and blow sunglasses right off your face if not careful. And good luck keeping your eyes open.

But going to the ruins of Babylon was quite the experience. It was the first (and probably last time, least for awhile) that i got to leave a military installation in a military convoy. weapons loaded, body armor, the works. But the area is very pro-america, (when Muqtada Al Sadr isnt ordering his militia to attack)... Got to see and be in the Palace of Nebe-chad-nezzer , as well as the Palace of Hammurabi. (Even got to see the holy palm tree that Saddam took one bite from the fruit). It was certainly warm, even at 1030 in the morning, especially when wearing IBA( Body armor), Kevlar (Helmet), and carrying around a SAW (my weapon) loaded with a full 200-count drum of ammunition.

Now planning was definitely jacked up. First, everyone knew I was trying to get the Green Zone, but the Battalion and Brigade weren't keen on the idea. And then even with plenty of notice, they couldn't arrange for one of my best friends to make it out for my ceremony (though having my old Platoon Leader was nice. She definitely understands UAVs better than most senior Officers. Plus my Battalion Commander and best friend since Ft Stewart was there, so it was definitely worth the trip. Well, I am going to go lay down for a little bit before heading back home later tonight

Monday, May 26, 2008


Happy Memorial Day to all those who have served and to those currently serving! We appreciate all you do. Also, many thanks to the families and friends of those who serve. Having been there and done that, I really understand and appreciate the sacrifices they make daily so that their loved ones can serve.

Last night I watched the Memorial Day Concert from Washington D.C.. I was proud to be able to cheer for 4 branches of the military as their songs were played: Army, Air Force, Navy, and Coast Guard. In the past when I have been asked if I came from a mlitary family, I said no because that usually means did someone in your family retire from the military. I will no longer answer no because I come from a long line of veterans, though none made it a career. I am proud of each and every one of my family who served and are currently serving and I know I am not alone when I say HOO-RAH!!

We have no big plans for today. It looks like it is going to be stormy most of the it was yesterday and all last night. DA - many thanks for your service and your sacrifice. We love you and miss you. Same goes to all your battle buddies and their families.

Love you & KYHD!
the mom

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Just a quick update....

I spoke with one of the gals this morning at church who is instrumental in the Packages for Troops campaign; her last count of boxes shipped out was just shy of 400 ~ but they still had a couple more to go.

We'll be meeting soon to plan the October event.

Happy Memorial Day to all our troops ~ past, present & future.

Good luck at your swearing in, Scoots! Bless you and your buddies.

Any packages arrive yet?

Love you and KYHD!


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Care Package to the Troops


Your package was put together with the ones that were finished on Saturday. I'm sure none of them were processed by the P.O. until Monday of this week (5/19/08). Would you please let me know when you get it and what you got? I didn't prepare it so I have no idea what was in it. The return address on it will say Lisa Braccio but I put Hi Scoots in the address part.

I'll find out on Sunday what the final count for packages was. When I left we had completed 284 boxes but there were still lots waiting to be taped, labeled and stamped.

Hope you're well. I went to the Red Sox/Kansas City game Monday night at Fenway and saw Jon Lester pitch his no-hitter!!!!!!! What a thrill.

Love you and KYHD,

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Armed Forces Weekend

I'll fill in more details tomorrow, but today was pack up day for Care Packages to the Troops. There's a gal here in town that's been doing this since 2004. Today there were 2 tents and dozens of workers sorting and packing and labeling and filling in customs forms. I did that. I'm on a quest to figure out a more efficient way to fill them in without getting writers' cramp! My knitsters and I completed 126 Pocket Prayer Shawls that will go to the troops for whom we have real names. Many of the packages go to folks on; however, we have many names of people to whom someone locally has a connection - like you, Scoots. There's a package with your name on it. Please, please, if you know of anyone who doesn't get the mail, phone calls, attention that you do who could use a little encouragement, let me know. Don't be shy about it. You can email me.

The packages contain amazing things from Twizzlers to crossword books to shaving cream to letters from local 4th graders. Please let me know when you get yours. It will say that it's from Lisa Braccio but down under your address I wrote, "Hi, Scoots!".

The Blue Star Mothers are going to do a mailing in July. I'll be working on that as well.

I was going to come home and contact some of the TV stations in Boston but 2 things stopped me: 1) my computer couldn't talk to the Internet; and 2) Teddy Kennedy was taken to the hospital so EVERY station within a 100 mile radius is camped out at Mass General Hospital. Gee, I didn't get that much attention when I was admitted to MGH!!!!!!

As you can see my computer is working again after 1 long call to Verizon and a long call to India (aka Dell). We finally did a restore as a last resort. THAT worked.

Well, attitude adjustment hour is 11 minutes old so I'll close now and go back to working on more Pocket Prayer Shawls and laundry. I lead such an exciting life!!! Aren't you jealous?

So, from all of us here in Southborough, MA, to all of you over there for us



Happy Armed Forces Day!

My heartfelt THANKS to ALL our brave men and women serving our country today and always!


What is this bright light??

Hey - Just wanted to let you guys know there is a big investigation going on in southwest IL to determine the origin of this very bright yellow light in the sky! Some "Ancients" say it is the sun, but is has been so long since it shined here, we just are not sure...will let you know as soon as I can what it is!!

Actually, it is the sun and it is sooooo good to see it again! I think we are actually supposed to have 4-5 days of sun! How awesome is that?

Hey was great to talk to you last night! You sounded good. I was a little surprised at the caller ID, but even more surprised when I answered and it was you! (he called using the military phone service so the caller ID said Scott AFB!)

I wish I had my pictures from Wednesday evening so I could post some. I will get my memory card from Jess this weekend and get some posted for you. Wednesday night was THE BEST! Gov. Huckabee and LeVar were personable, friendly, receptive, and great speakers. We have received several phone calls and emails from people who attended saying that it was the best forum of this kind they had ever been to. How about the timing??? ABC News and Yahoo have information on Vit D and breast cancer within 48 hours of the forum?? Also, channel 5 in St Louis did a health piece on Vit D and breast cancer research last night. This could not have been timed more perfectly. I just wish we could take the credit for the timing!! God does work in mysterious ways!

Well...going to have breakfast with the dad so ttfn.

Stay safe and KYHD!

Love you lots,
the mom

Sunday, May 11, 2008


First of all ~ Happy Mother's Day to the Mom and Happy Mother-to-Be Day to the Big Sis!

Keep your eyes out, Scoots, for several things. My friend, Carol, in Ct ~ and old, old friend from Silver Lake, has added your name and address to a cookie brigade. So, if you get some cookies some day ~ not from Illinois, you'll know where they've come from. Next, while working on the PPS's (Pocket Prayer Shawls) up here in Massachusetts and with all the emails flying back and forth, I got an email from the woman who is President of the Blue Star Mothers here in Massachusetts. She was writing to thank me for my efforts. She was even interviewed by one of the reporters from one of the TV stations in Boston and it supposed to air this morning for Mother's Day. Unfortunately, I have no idea how to tape a program. I asked her if I could be a Blue Star Aunt and she's making me an associate member of the Blue Star Mothers. How awesome!

Anyway, I've had all my knitsters plying their needles and yarn and, thus far, we have well over 100 PPS's made. We dedicated them this morning at church. We've got them in all colors and shapes and (small) sizes. Most have a cross sewn on them but several have a Star of David. Each is in its own little baggie with a card stating where and why it was made and that it was dedicated in our church. I gave one to a family whose son is in the USAF stationed in Pensacola. Another one went to a mom and dad whose daughter is being commissioned in the USA Corp of Engineers at the end of the month. After the service I had 2 people come up to me and each ask for one because they have someone in their family who is in the service as well. AND, I have one just for you that I will mail later on this week. It's small, it's personal and meant to either be carried in a pocket or put somewhere close. It's meant to let you know that you are thought about a lot and loved even more.

We're still collecting them; next weekend there will be an all out packing effort to send Care Packages to our Troops overseas. I don't think we'll have enough to put one in each package that we send, but we'll be able to send quite a few. I don't even know where the packages are sent, except that the woman who does this each year has been doing it for quite a while.

{Just an aside ~ I'm still getting used to 21st C technology. I've got the golf match on (yes, I'm Grandpa's daughter) and I was fussing that I should have waited to start this message until after the match was over cuz I was sitting at my desk in the dining room. Then, DUH, I've got a laptop and wireless! So, now I'm sitting in the living room with the laptop on my lap (how novel) and I've got the golf match on the TV.}

Back to the PPS's ~ The Blue Star Mothers will be doing a mailing in July and I've promised them as many as we can make, so ~ amongst all my other projects ~ I'll be making these for quite a while.

So, after a bunch of paragraphs and a lot of words and a promise here and there, suffice it to say that we love you, miss you and are praying for you and all your buddies.

Not much else exciting here in Massachusetts. Talking to the Mom so I'll close.


Love you ~


Saturday, May 10, 2008

Thank You!

To DA & Chelsey - Thank you so much for the beautiful flowers! They are gorgeous. They came while I was at work this morning, but our neighbor kept them safe and sound until I got home. What a nice surprise. As a mother and mother-in-law I am blessed with great kids who picked equally awesome husbands and wife!

Thank you again for everything!

Love you lots,
the mom

Thursday, May 8, 2008


Ok, so I managed to sign my soul over to the Army once, and that was ok. Now I've really done it. And voluntarily (NO GUN TO THE HEAD, new development eh? lol) So anywho, around the end of the month, I will be heading up North to be re-sworn into the United States Army for an additional 6 years... Wait!? Did I say 6? Damn, thats like more than a quarter of my life I will be giving (9 years in all. and thats almost a third. ) And I have 2 options, have my XO (executive officer: kind of like a vice commander) swear me in. Or have the AMC (The Mom and the Dad know what THAT IS) 4 Star swear me in. (and that would be at the Al Faw Palace (which i've been to before, but wouldnt mind revisiting especially since it would be on the exact day that i left for basic 3 years ago (damn, 3 years. Needs to wake up or something... That cant be right).

So, Chelsey (The Wife), when can ya post pics of the house (before we move in pics). I want to know what the house looks like:)

Well, anywho I am tired and hungry and want sleep then eat. So everyone have a great day!