Saturday, March 29, 2008

Friday Night Was Fun Too!

When I got home there were two calls from the mom asking me to call cuz they were logged on and chatting with DA. I'm pretty good with a computer, but I was trying to get Yahoo Messenger set up in fast forward, I felt like I was all thumbs! Luckily I had Donut on the phone helping me. My biggest problem was the sensitivity of the keypad mouse. I kept accidentally moving everything to the background when I'd hit the mouse at the wrong time. Finally, I got everyone's webcam window, chat window and conference window all up in front. We had some good laughs and thanx for welcoming me to the 21st century, Scoots. Now, can you come here and help me with my iPod?

You look good - a little tired but I know it was the middle of the night for you.

Well, breakfast calls and so does a day full of projects and errands. I've got a mess to clean up in the garage. I had taken some garbage out the other day to get ready to go to the dump (excuse me, in Southboro we don't have a dump, we have a transfer station) but I forgot to close the garage door that night! Le's just say, the local vermin had a buffet! Tonight is the roast beef dinner at church ~ it's always a good time.

Great to "talk" to you last night; can't wait to do it again soon.

Love you and KYHD!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Wednesday night was the best!!

OK - so Wednesday evening I'm sitting in the family room watching the news and Chelsey calls me. She says that DA is online so I should get to my computer. (I've never chatted online before!) So I head upstairs to the kitchen, start up the laptop, sign in to Yahoo Messenger and then she walks me through getting onto my webcam and then VOILE' there is DA in Iraq at the internet cafe and I can see him and he can see me sitting in my kitchen thousands of miles apart! It was AWESOME. We chatted for about 15 minutes and then his time ran out, but he was able to get back on about 20 minutes later and we chatted for about an hour. While we were online, I called J&C and J&B. Neither of them had their webcams set up, but Jess got online and chatted with DA for a while. He even got to see the Dad and KL. I was SOOOOOO excited. My typing was horendous because I was trying to watch him and type at the same time...this from someone who cannot walk and chew gum at the same time!! He didn't seem to care, though.

Shennie - does your laptop have a webcam?? If so, I will let you know when we are chatting with DA next so you can get on. You need to have Yahoo messenger. I think he usually gets on about 5-6pm CDT. It is 0 dark early in Iraq, but it is when he has just gotten off work.

Technology is great - especially when you know how to use it! Thanks heavens for my kids and their techno savvy spouses!

Oh - he did say he should have internet in his room soon, like in the next week or so, so then WE will be able to contact him insted of having to wait for him to contact us.

Anyway - it was GREAT to see him and "talk" to him. I hope we can do it again soon.

Love you & KYHD,

the Mom

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Happy Easter a Little Late!

I'm up bright and early today - it's opening day for the Red Sox! Of course, they're opening in Tokyo, Japan. They may be playing at a normal hour in Tokyo, but the first pitch was thrown out at 6:05 a.m. EDT. So, I decided to get up, throw in a load of laundry, do a little knitting, catch up on my blogging, and pay a couple bills - all in that order!

Easter was a nice day - though the weather was very chilly. At least the sun was out. I went to the early service at church (9:00 a.m.) so that I could get on the road to Conn. I had been invited to Cathy and Scott's for dinner. It was fun. The ride down wasn't bad and the directions were very easy. It was actually on the way to Silver Lake.

I was the first to arrive and was greeted by Scott and Norman - their long-haired dachshund. Bailey, their tailless cat, was in hiding somewhere - fine by me. Bruce arrived next bringing his world famous recipe - shrimp cocktail! Sheila, Dennis and Lisa finally showed up and the food began to appear from all corners. As usual, there was way too much food, but it was all good: ham, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, green bean casserole, carrot puff, rolls, grilled asparagus, pickles, olives. This was after the shrimp and cheese and crackers. Then, Cathy had been up early and produced two bunny rabbit cakes - carrot cakes decorated with cream cheese frosting and coconut all on a bed of green coconut surrounded by small chocolate rabbits and jelly beans.

I left exactly at 4 and thought I'd be home before 6 - that was until I hit the Mass Pike at 84! It was all backed up. Why, you ask? Because there was an accident on the OTHER side of the road several miles up and everyone on my side had to slow down and check to see what was happening on the other side of the highway. Let's erect high barriers between sides of the road so this type of thing can't happen.

Anyway, we had a great time. Ate way too much.

More later on - it's a busy week. Tomorrow, Barbara Morgan is visiting my Challenger Center (JJ is very jealous), so we're busy getting ready for that. I'm busy knitting - working on a wedding present and then have to start on the first of MANY blankets for my great niece or nephew.

Hope you're staying safe. Is the weather warming up?

KYHD - Love you,

Sunday, March 23, 2008

What Everyone Needs to Read

Remember the book "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus"? Well, here's a prime example offered by an English professor at Southern Methodist University:

In-class Assignment for Wednesday:

Today we will experiment with a new form called the tandem story. The process is simple. Each person will pair off with the person sitting to his other immediate right. One of you will then write the first paragraph of a short story. The partner will read the first paragraph and then add another paragraph to the story. The first person will then add a third paragraph, and so on back and forth. Remember to re-read what has been written each time in order to keep the story coherent. The story is over when both agree a conclusion has been reached. The following was actually turned in by two of my English students, Rebecca [last name deleted] and Gary [last name deleted.] "

At first, Laurie couldn't decide which kind of tea she wanted. The chamomile, which used to be her favorite for lazy evenings at home, now reminded her too much of Carl, who once said, in happier times, that he liked chamomile. But she felt she must now, at all costs, keep her mind off Carl. His possessiveness was suffocating, and if she thought about him too much her asthma started acting up again. So chamomile was out of the question.

Meanwhile, Advance Sergeant Carl Harris, leader of the attack squadron now in orbit over Skylon 4, had more important things to think about than the neuroses of an air-headed asthmatic bimbo named Laurie with whom he had spent one sweaty night over a year ago. "A.S. Harris to Geostation 17," he said into his transgalactic communicator. "Polar orbit established. No sign of resistance so far..." But before he could sign off, a bluish particle beam flashed out of nowhere and blasted a hole through his ship's cargo bay. The jolt from the direct hit sent him flying out of his seat and across the cockpit.

He bumped his head and died almost immediately, but not before he felt one last pang of regret for psychically brutalizing the one woman who had ever had feelings for him. Soon afterwards, Earth stopped its pointless hostilities towards the peaceful farmers of Skylon 4. "Congress Passes Law Permanently Abolishing War and Space Travel," Laurie read in her newspaper one morning. The news simultaneously excited her and bored her. She stared out the window, dreaming of her youth -- when the days had passed unhurriedly and carefree with no newspapers to read, no television to distract her from her sense of innocent wonder at all the beautiful things around her. "Why must one lose one's innocence to become a woman?" she pondered wistfully.

Little did she know, but she had less than 10 seconds to live. Thousands of miles above the city, the Au'udrian mothership launched the first of its lithium fusion missiles. The dim-witted wimpy peaceniks who pushed the Unilateral Aerospace Disarmament Treaty through Congress had left Earth a defenseless target for the hostile alien empires who were determined to destroy the human race. Within two hours after the passage of the treaty the Anu'udrian ships were on course for Earth, carrying enough firepower to pulverize the entire planet. With no one to stop them, they swiftly initiated their diabolical plan. The lithium fusion missile entered the atmosphere unimpeded. The President, in his top-secret mobile submarine headquarters on the ocean floor off the coast of Guam, felt the inconceivably massive explosion which vaporized Laurie and 85 million other Americans. The President slammed his fist on the conference table. "We can't allow this! I'm going to veto that treaty! Let's blow'em out of the sky!"

This is absurd. I refuse to continue this mockery of literature. My writing partner is a violent, chauvinistic, semi-literate adolescent.

Yeah? Well, you're a self-centered tedious neurotic whose attempts at writing are the literary equivalent of Valium.



Happy Easter!

Happy Easter from southwest IL! Jess, Craig, Dad & I went to church this morning - 8:30 service. It was great! I really enjoyed going - unfortunately it had been a while.
On our way out from church we ran into Martha & Patrick with little Owen. It was my first time seeing him - what a cutie!! I can't believe he is 6 months old already!
Once we got home, I started in on dinner. We are having ham, homemade macaroni & cheese, sweet potato and apple casserole, coleslaw and squash with onion and tomato. For dessert we are having angel food cake with strawberries and whipped cream. There will be 8+ for dinner so I am certain there will be leftovers. Not a problem for me! Leftovers means I don't have to cook for a couple of nights!!

Hope all is well with you. Any Easter decorations? Maybe something like they did at Christmas in the DFAC??

If you can, give us a call on the home phone so we can all talk to you!

Love you lots & KYHD!!

the Mom

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Easter Sunday

DA - If the call center is open, how about calling us Sunday evening after 1900 hrs our time?? I know that is kind of late for you, but we will all be here for Easter dinner. J&B will be in St Louis for the afternoon, but are planning on arriving here about 1900.

It will be GREAT when you get internet in your CHU. Let us know ASAP when that happens.

Congratulations on passing your PT test. Good news is always welcome!!

All the work we had done on the house is almost complete. Just some odds and ends to finish up. The only "big" thing left is a light for the new deck. I decided that it would be good to be able to see when I am grilling out and since I grill all year a light would be nice in the fall and winter when it gets dark earlier.

Guess that's about it for was good to hear from you!!

Love you lots...KYHD

the Mom

PT Test and Lifestyle

Hey everyone. I have some great news today

For one, River City has been officially lifted (though they have yet to re-open the Call Center. Two, I passed my PT test this morning with flying colors (61 Pushups, 62, 14:25 2-mile). I also have been smoke-free for 72 hours. And finally. I am just waiting to hear back from my retention counselor that I have been accepted to PCS to Ft Carson in April of 09. Oh, and I kind of qualified expert on my M249 Squad Automatic Weapon today. So, as you can see I've had a pretty busy and productive day today. I wish I could call with this info, but I guess this works just as well!

I got your Easter Package today, Shennie, though I do not know when I will enjoy it since I am trying to slim down and bulk up at the same time. (Right now I am 72.5" tall, and 176lbs. and at 26 yrs old, that puts me at a mere 6% body fat(with a 30 waist and 16" neck). But my workout is going well still and I hope people will notice when I see you guys again! Well time is about up here so better finish this off and finish deleting the 600+ emails left in my inbox!!!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Happy Anniversary!

Today is the second anniversary of the kidney transplant! It's hard to believe that it's been two years. I'm still in great condition and so is Aunt Sher, so it must have been a good decision, huh?

Glad to hear that you're doing well. I am SUPER happy that you are quitting smoking!! That's AWESOME!!!!!!! Good luck on your PT test. It would be fun to come and visit you guys out in Colorado. I loved Colorado when I went there 10 years ago to visit Matt and his family.

Keep up all the good work that you and your fellow soldiers are doing! Love you and KYHD!

My PT Test

Hey Dave, I, too, am training for a PT test.

Actually, I'm training for a 5K. I started last week by running 2 miles on Wed, 2 miles on Friday, and 4 miles on Sunday (2 miles in the morning and 2 in the afternoon). I trained yesterday and did another 1.5 miles.

I'm following a program called "couch to 5k" and in 9 weeks, I should be able to run 5k in 30 minutes.

We'll see!

It's great hearing from you via the blog! Keep up the good work! A friend of mine emailed me the other day asking how you were! We're all thinking about ya!

Love ya!

Package on the way!!

DA - I got a package mailed out to you today (Thursday), but I forgot to put the movie in it!! SORRY. However, Chelsey says that she has to send a box out to you...something about some boots.....I will give the movie to her to include in her box.

Well - the american justice system is alove and well in southwest IL. I completed my jury duty yesterday. Without going into detail - let's just say that it was no Perry Mason courtroom!! It was a serious trial and I do believe that justice was served. I hope that it is a while before I have to do it again. This one was not fun.

BTW - we got a new recliner/loveseat for the family room. We will still keep the individual recliners here, but the dad and I still enjoy sitting next to one another (even after 33 years of marriage and 4 kids!) to watch TV so we went out and bought a dual recliner. I also got some new valances for the living room, but I have to wait for my decorator's (Jessica's) OK to put them up!!

It was good to see your post. Keep up the good work in giving up smoking and training for your PT test! I know you can do it. Colorado Springs is beautiful....though a little farther away than Ft Campbell! We have lots of friends out there so be prepared for us to visit frequently!!

Love you lots...KYHD!

the Mom
P.S. Many thanks to you and all your buddies for a job well done and for servng your country!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Hey everyone!

I guess it has been awhile since I last posted. But yes, I am still alive and still helping to catch the bad guys, one at a time. Things have been going good here. Things certainly have picked up, yet tapered off at the same time. Weird huh? Working out at the gym has had its ups and downs. I am in better shape than I ever have yet my run time suffered on my PT test.

I do have some good news though. The only thing stopping me at this point from getting Fort Carson, CO is my PT Test. Once I pass it entirely, I am eligible for re-enlistment for Carson! So I have been working hard on my run, and once I have been smoke-free for 2 weeks, I will retake the PT test, and get the damn thing over with!! Shennie, I have received your Valentines Day package, but havent received the Easter one yet. There was apparently a mail issue at the mail hub here in IRAQ, but it seems to have been worked out.

Anywho, its late and I am exhausted and have to get up in 8 hours for my 2-mile run. So I am outie but I will KMHD and try to be on more since I should be getting internet in my CHU soon...


Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sunday Morning, Part II

I just got home from church - Palm Sunday, you know. After almost getting our eyes poked out by over-enthusiastic kiddies waving palms, it was decided to send them off to Sunday School. I wish the weather would pretend that it's Easter ~ it's been cold and raw here this week. Even tho' they say it's been in the 40s, it's been raw.

I went to a craft fair with a friend yesterday ~ bought a couple things. One was a heart - painted in red, white, and blue ~ and Army green ~ that says "Proud of Our Army". It's now hanging in my kitchen window! Later we were looking for a place to have lunch and found a new restaurant in a new shopping center. It's called Ted's Montana Grill. Now, you may have them out in the midwest, but this is the first one in our area. It's sorta along the lines of a Ruby Tuesdays, Applebees, etc. but they specialize in steaks and hamburgers. Their steaks and/or hamburgers are either made of beef or bison. Hmmmmmmmm. Carol and I decided to share a hamburger platter and we got their C.O.B. ~ cheddar, onion and beef (or bison); we opted for the bison. It's a little different ~ a little "zippier". Not bad though. Probably an acquired taste. I can't say it was bad, but a little more tangier than beef. The one nice feature about the restaurant is that it is "green" ~ "tablecloths" are oil cloth covered with brown wrapping paper; cloth (reusable) napkins; cardboard/biodegradable straws; everything is made fresh on the premises; they have no microwaves (OH _ BTW - Do you have a microwave in your trailer?); none of the food comes frozen. It was quite interesting. The decor is simple. ...and they had the best pickles!!!!! know - the kind that almost taste like a cucumber - with just a little zip to them. Oh - and a huge bison's head hanging over the bar!

Then I went to the grocery store there and got butter because I had to make a double batch of shortbread last night to take to a reception at church this afternoon. Everyone at church likes my shortbread and it is so easy to make. Maybe I can get some made to send to you. Do you like it?

I agree with the mom ~ how 'bout doing some posting on the blog? I'd love to hear what you're up to. Good luck on quitting smoking. It took me a long time and it finally came down to being unconscious for the first 4 days ~ after that, the cravings diminish!

Dishes to do and time to clean out the stuff at the back of the fridge! Then, off to church to help with the reception; the choir is doing a requiem. YUK! Too much work for such ugly and depressing results. I'll knit downstairs.

Have you received either of my packages? ..Valentine's? ...Easter?

KYHD and love you ~


Good Morning

Well, it is Sunday morning and I am sitting here having coffee, reading the paper, and just taking it easy until I have to get ready for work.

DA - I just wanted to let you know I got the SG movie you requested. I will get a package out to you sometime this week. I have jury duty, so I am not sure what my schedule will be, but I WILL get it out to you. This could be interesting....Ben also got summoned for jury duty.I have done it in the past; actually got to sit on a jury. I think that all citizens should have to participate in the process once. But twice.......???

It was nice to talk with you on Friday. Hope you are feeling better...not quite as sore. Good luck with your next PT test & quitting smoking!!

Guess that's about it for now....

How about some news from you on the blog?? Maybe a picture or two??

Love you lots and KYHD!!

the Mom

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Lefty is Famous!

FYI: Lefty is famous. My donor story with Aunt Sher is being featured on Illinois' Donor Registry website. Go check it out: Donor Diary

Dave: Glad you're back safely! Sorry that it's been a while since I posted or sent anything, but I'll be better about it. I promise. KYHD and we love you!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Dinner's Ready!

It is 6:00 (1800 hours) and dinner is just about ready. The Shepherd's Pie is ready to go in the oven. The dressing is made for the coleslaw and the pan is ready for the crescent rolls. I'm having a glass of wine and waiting for all the guests to arrive. If they don't hurry, I may have to have another glass of wine!! Oh, the cake is baked and frosted: marble cake with rainbow chip frosting. Happy Birthday (a few days late),Chelsey. Wish DA could be here. We will be thinking of you, Bud.

Last night I watched a Extreme Makeover Home Edition. It was the one that first aired last Sunday just before Oprah's Big Give. Anyway, they built the dream house for a family from Virginia who's dad is in the Army National Guard and serving in Iraq. He is also a Civil War buff, so they also built him a special "home" for his Civil War memorabilia. The show was awesome! Needless to say I sat there with tears in my eyes the whole time! Luckily, I was home alone!!

Everyone just arrived! Talk to you later.

Love you & KYHD.

the Mom

Rain, rain, go away....

It is pouring here! We had rain overnight last night and then it tapered off this morning. When I left the house around 10:30 to run errands it wasn't doing anything ~ just cloudy. By 12:30 when I was going to Carol's house to pick her and Kathy up to go shopping it was starting to rain ~ not hard, but raining still. It had really started when I stopped to get gas. Then we started down 495 to go to the Wrentham Outlets and it was RAINING! By the time we got to the outlet it was pouring. A couple of times while we were in a store it POURED ~ you could hear it pounding it on the roof of the building. However, the place was still packed. The plaza is just that ~ a plaza ~ not an indoor mall so we did get a little wet going form building to building. But, at least I won't have to shovel this stuff tomorrow morning. I bought a few things - mostly stuff for the kitchen ~ but it was interesting. I had never been there though I passed it every time I went to see Grandma & Grandpa on the Cape. But I knew it was large and spread out and just couldn't bring myself to schlep around there ~ prior to my surgery. Even post surgery it was a chore. I'm going to have to go back a couple more times (at least) to get the full sense of the place. Donut would be in seventh heaven! We could drop her off on a Monday and go back on Friday and still get an argument from her about leaving.

On Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) they opened the stores at midnight to get a jump on things. I heard on the radio that they traffic was backed up onto route 495 at 3:00 a.m. waiting to get into this place that morning. Insanity!

Anyhoo, one of the errands I ran this morning was to deliver a package to the post office from the Easter Bunny! That should arrive about 10 days after the last one I sent.

Hope you're staying drier than we are.

Love you and KYHD!


Thursday, March 6, 2008


Just checking to see if the package arrived yet. Not a lot new here in New England - just a lot of rain and they're saying more for tomorrow night. I'll be doing laps in my cellar!

Talked to the Kitten last night - it was fun. She was shopping with the wife. When they got back to the mom's house I got to say hi to the mom and the donor. They were on their way to a concert.

Well, I'm off this afternoon - YEA. Except that part of the time I'll be at the doc's - just a yearly check up. How exciting. Next week I have to go to Lahey for a checkup with the kidney doc. I just know he's counting the hours until I arrive!

Hope all is well across the pond. More later.


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Winter is back!

Well - surprise, the weatherman got it wrong again! We were supposed to get 5-8 inches of snow between last night and tonight. Got up this morning and it was still sleeting - NO SNOW. Then they were saying the snow would start between 8 & 9 am........still NO SNOW! Radio DJ says, "snow is coming".......noontime - still NO SNOW. Finally, around 1pm it starts. YEAH!! I guess we probably got about 5 inches max here, but south county (St Louis) and St Louis city got about 10 inches. It is great snow for snowman building and throwing snowballs!! I would love this everyday....some people think I'm crazy, but nice, clean white snow looks alot better than brown grass, brown trees, dirty brown snow, etc. Right?? I think it is supposed to be cold until early next week when they are predicting temps in the 50's. Enjoy the snow and cold while you can- before you know it you'll be wishing for much cooler temperatures!!

Looks like we will be having Chelsey's birthday dinner this Sat. She has already put in her cake order. I am waiting for her dinner order. For those not familiar with our birthday dinners, each year each of our 4 children got to pick what they wanted for dinner on their birthday and what kind of cake/dessert they wanted. I would make this and we would have a family dinner and open birthday gifts after that. It is one of our family "customs" now and one that brings us all together at least 7 time a year now with 3 spouses added to our family! This way everybody gets their own special day with dinner, dessert and gifts. Until her death in 2005, their Grandma C would always call and sing Happy Birthday to them also.

Maybe DA can call Sat while we are all together so we can all say Hi!!

Until then, stay safe, thank your buddies for serving their country from all of us, and KYHD!!

Lots of love,
the Mom

Monday, March 3, 2008

Spring for a day!!

Well - if you were not in Illinois yesterday, you missed our Spring!! Today it is cold and wet and they are predicting 5-8 inches of snow sometime between tonight and noon tomorrow. This morning it was just wet, but as I was leaving the office (about 3:00 ~ 1500hrs) it was turning to sleet. Tonight it is supposed to change to snow - go figure.

Not only this, but then I learn that Daylight Savings Time starts this weekend! YUK!! It is still winter!!!!! It's not even Easter yet!! They'll probably be putting the Christmas decorations out in the stores again next week!! Time sure flys when the government gets involved!!

BTW, DA - I recharged your calling card problem. Not sure what happened yesterday when I tried to do it.

Hope Chelsey had a safe trip to and back from Colorado. I am hoping to have her and the rest of the fam over sometime this week for her birthday dinner. Will have to co-ordinate with all now that everyone is back from their travels.

Guess that's about it for now.

Stay safe and KYHD!!
Love you lots,
the Mom

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Is it spring??

Today it is absolutely beautiful here! The sun has been shining and the temperature is close to 80! I have all the sliding glass doors open and there is a nice breeze blowing through the house. I love days like this when they are not expected! I love opening up the house when it has been closed up for sooooo long. Yesterday was nice but only in the 50's. I'm sure this weather will be short lived. It seems to me that I heard something about the high tomorrow being in the low 40's with freezing rain possible.

Katie and I have been running errands and keeping track of Jet and Cooper. We stopped by to check on them both today. We had Coop outside for about half an hour and he was loving it! I was tempted to let Jet out, but didn't!!

I am also trying to get caught up on laundry! I still have not completely unpacked from the cruise. I guess I will work on that on Tuesday - my day off from my other job!!

Well - J, B, J, C, K, B & L (b's friend) are back from their cruise. I'm sure they had a great time and did not want to get off the ship! I'm trying to get another cruise planned, but the dad is not co-operating! As you know - I will cruise anywhere or better yet...NOWHERE!, but he is much pickier and wants to go some pace we have never been. I guess I'll have to look at different cruise lines - maybe they go places we have not been to already.

I guess that's about it for now. Laundry is calling!!

Hope you are well, DA. I will be adding minutes to your calling card tomorrow. I tried to add some yesterday, but was unsuccessful.

Love you. Stay safe and KYHD!!

the Mom