Monday, November 17, 2008

Update on life's been a long two weeks or week and a half...or however long.....the days are starting to run together to be honest. A LOT has happened, but the two biggest things are my dear mother in law (nicknamed Momchu) had a stroke a week and a half ago....on the night of the 6th (yeah we never did get to the MC birthday ball...or even our hotel suite, but that's ok) . We were told that night that she wouldn't make it and even if she did....that her quality of life would be so poor that we should let her go just to spare her. Of course we all love her so even the thought of doing such a thing was just we prayed....we told God we were ok with whatever He decided to do with her, but that we were asking for a miracle. Within an hour we began to see a turn around and almost all signs of paralysis began to fade with a restoration of movement and basic motor skills. She still has a long way to go, but she is alert, communicative and with proper rehab will make a wonderful recovery.
The second thing that happened is I started my new job (instead of the nickname of Deathstar like my last job, the new nickname for my job will be Sprout Central) and I LOVE it!!! The kids are great, a few behavioral quirks here and there....but overall...they are AWESOME!! Besides.....after 9 years of working at the deathstar.....nothing can phase me. LOL. So I am enjoying everything from wiping noses, changing diapers and getting the bottoms of my shoes sticky from spilled dancing around like a maniac, walking children to the park on a rope leash and reading the same page in a storybook 20 times because it has the picture of a snowman on it. LOL. I am really enjoying it too....I'm not just saying it either....I'm REALLY having a BLAST!!! Plus the other teachers are soooooo great to work's making the whole process fun. I think the worst thing I've had to deal with so far was sitting on a dried and crusty booger. Yeah that was pretty nasty.....but other than complaints. LOL.
So that's the 411 for's not every detail...but at least it catches you up on my last two weeks so I can start fresh with more amusing entries.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Once a Marine, Always a Marine

Now if you aren’t familiar with the Marine Corps or the Marine Corps Birthday Ball let me explain. The Corps is the only American military branch that has an ingrained pride so deep that they bleed honor. Everything they do is with fine tuned precision and with the utmost respect and protocol. They are gentleman warriors, fiercely proud of not just their service to God and country, but also to the brotherhood of the Corps. Due to this intense pride, they make a point of celebrating the birth of their beloved corps every year. Even when on the battlefield, the birthday is properly recognized and celebrated. During Ben's time in Vietnam they had thousands of steaks, (the kind that are as thick as roasts) flown in so that every Marine could have a proper steak dinner to celebrate. This is no small blip on the calendar…no, this is an EVENT.

We’ve wanted to go to the ball for years but it just never worked out so that we could attend, so this year we planned ahead. In January, Ben purchased the tickets and the hotel suite. In March, he ordered his custom dress blues and I shopped online for ball gowns but couldn’t decide which one I wanted. I made sure his sword was still in it’s case, polished and the scabbard unscuffed. His cover (his white dress hat for those of you who don’t know the terminology) fit perfectly and he had his white dress gloves. He made sure he had almost all of his medals and ribbons (although he’s still missing a few…long story for another post) and as we got closer to the date we both got more and more excited.

Then life happened.

A slow and steady stream of things began to creep in and take precedence over everything else and the checklist of remaining final things that needed to be done to prepare for the ball were quickly put on the back burner and all but forgotten….until last night that is. We went to our monthly MCL meeting and suddenly realized that we had COMPLETELY forgotten the ball was THIS weekend….Friday night to be exact. Immediately we realized the conflict it posed for the wake and funeral…..the ball starts around the same time as the wake and the funeral Saturday starts at around the time we would be checking out of our room, and it is being held at one of the big resort casinos an hour away. Ok, no big deal….we decided to arrive at the ball late….it would be going for hours anyway…and then we’ll just check out extra early the next morning and make the hour long drive to arrive by 9.

We rushed home from the meeting early last night (9:15 is WAYYY early for those meetings), stopping at the drug store where I picked up a box of “professional” hair color. I haven’t come anywhere near coloring my own hair in over 10 years, but I am sooooooo past due for a visit to Gerald and there is no way he would be able to fit me in with less than 24 hours notice so I decided I would have to do it myself. (Side note: when the retail boxed color brands say “professional hair color”…they LIE….they only say that because they add as many extra steps to the process as possible thus giving you more room to screw up, not because of the great quality of the final color.)

We raced home and I immediately threw on my pj’s and proceeded to follow the 10 page (no I am NOT kidding) manual for the hair color and glop myself up as well as I could while Ben tried on his dress blues to see how much last minute tailoring they needed. Next I pulled my evening gowns out of the closet and began trying them on. We go to a lot of black tie functions so I have quite a few gowns and cocktail dresses on hand “just in case” but last night nothing worked. **sigh** ok, still not a big deal….I would have time to go to my FAVE store (insert shameless plug for Macy’s here) and get one Thursday night after work. Meanwhile as my hair marinated in phase 1 of the “pro” color, I went to check my email and relax for a little while.

Suddenly I hear, “Babe…….???” Followed by Ben’s footsteps as he came down the hall to the living room where I was sitting. I looked up to see he had on his dress blue coat, “Wow…don’t you look handsome…” I said smiling. Then he held up his arm….and I sank. The sleeves were too long….not any amount that would be workable either……no…this coat was made for a monkey apparently because that’s how long the sleeves were. I took a look at them to see if my seamstress could shorten them in time….no go. The superior quality of the dress uniform was very evident….this would be a MAJOR, heavily detailed fix…….and no way would it be possible in the short amount of time we had. **sigh**

Ok, no problem…..we can rent a tux or something……noooo, my sweet Marine wants his dress blues, and rightly so….he looked freaking good in them. **sigh**………so then and there we realized that no matter how much we planned, we had still dropped the ball (no pun intended) and it looks like we won’t be going this year either.

After the initial disappointment, we decided to go to anyway and make the best of it. Instead of going to the actual ball we’ll just go and enjoy a relaxing evening in the hotel suite, far from home and anybody who would try to reach us. A sort of mini vacation. So Ben went to bed and I stayed up until around 1am and finished my home hair salon visit……which by the time I was done made me remember VERY clearly why I don’t do my own hair. **sigh** The lovely red highlights came out blonde and the amber highlights came out strawberry blonde….at this point I may as well just GO blonde….lol. Oh well, the first thing out of Ben’s mouth this morning when he saw it was, “Hmmm….THAT’S different…it looks pretty……YOU look pretty.”

AWWWWWWWWWWW………….score one for my bear!!!

So I decided that even though things didn’t go at all as planned for this weekend….it still worked out because I’m going to get to have a few quiet and romantic hours with my prince charming and there’s NOTHING to complain about there. As far as the ball…..well, there’s always next year…..but I think next Monday I’m going to surprise my Marine with a steak dinner and a bottle of champagne. LOL.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Gollum's Song - Obama Style

I feel like I’m living within The Lord of The Rings movies…….a few small brave ones trying to stand up to a wave of evil……..and it looks hopeless. Especially after last night’s election results…... I WON’T go into a political tirade though……although I had planned to, and I would like to….but quite frankly….why bother. People will believe what they CHOOSE to believe whether it’s truth or not…and I’m tired of trying to fight it. I'm just as frustrated and burned by the direction our country has gone under a president I helped elect. Promises broken and policies so OUT THERE that he left EVERYONE in the cold....I KNOW....and I agree we need change badly. HOWEVER.....when making changes for anything whether in our personal lives or in our politics, we MUST employ deeply educated wisdom and not just follow the crowd of popularity. I didn't like either candidate.....but one was CLEARLY a better choice than the other regarding policies if you actually looked deep enough and disected the choice. Unfortunately though the American presidential race has become more like watching a season of American Idol or Dancing with the Stars....many times the best choices are voted out too soon not because they failed, but because they just weren't popular enough. Then we wonder why our country is in such turmoil.

No I’m not giving up…and no I’m not handing in my Pollyanna certificate……..I just realize that sometimes people….and nations, need to learn the hard way. Especially when they no longer value or appreciate the freedoms and great abundance they have been handed free of charge, or worse yet, when they have become so accustomed to being spoon fed that they think they are owed EVERYTHING in life and don’t have to be accountable for or earn anything. Sometimes they need to go through a season of having all those things stripped away and go through a season of pain in order to value what they have lost. Personally, I don’t….for me seeing other people’s and other nation’s mistakes is enough for me to avoid those things….but others need to try it for themselves.

**SIGH** Sooooo…..that’s where we are right now.

Of course I will pray for my nation as I always have, I will pray for my new president and his cabinet and his family as I have always prayed for those things, and I will pray for the eyes of the people to be opened before it’s too late. I have no choice…….my faith mandates that I do these things.

So in true Pollyanna form…..what is the bright side of this? What is the good that could possibly come out of this? Several things actually.

1) As a nation we have FINALLY overcome the vast racial divide that has plagued us for generations. I do NOT like Obama OR his socialistic politics, but all that aside, we are long overdue to have a president of another race and it’s good to see that goal accomplished. So that is a good thing………even if it was/is the wrong man for the job.

2) As painful as these next few years will be…..the coming roller coaster ride should be horrific and oppressive enough that the silent right will FINALLY get off their mambi-pamby wishy-washy hindquarters and TAKE A STAND! So that's a good thing...even if we will have the battle scars to prove it when the time comes.

3) Lastly……..what good will come out of this…….? The media will FINALLY get their golden child and shut up as they wallow in the slop of victory at any cost. Then as the political honeymoon comes to an end and the rose colored glasses fall away….the almighty biased and oh so ignorant media can be stuck with the political diaper changes! And that is REALLY a good a child that cries and cries to touch a pan on the stove and when they finally grab hold of it no matter how much you warned them only then do they realize it is burning them.

4) The best news out of this however? For all of the Christians reading this........God is STILL bigger than all of this........and ultimately He has our best interest at heart if we just go to Him in prayer.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


No...that isn't a typo....I meant to write the title like that. I was IM'ing Rae to tell her about Lori's mom and mentioned how thankful I was that God had connectedtogether sucha great group of friends....and realized what an interesting typo that was. Then I realized how appropriate it would be here too.
So about a half hour ago now I got the phone call I knew would be coming. Lori's mom is gone. I had honestly hoped I could be with the family when the moment came, to just be there to serve any need that came up as they go through this.....but God had other plans....and I trust His judgment infinitely more than my own. So I sent out the notifications to the people in the circle and sat here in silence.....I told Rae,this is so hard for me because I'm a writer.....and there just are no words. she soooo wisely reminded me of something I knew, but needed to be reminded of, something Pastor Will said after his mom died too. Sometimes you just need somebody to shut up and be there for you as you heal. Sure I could prattle on with sweet and flowery words that sound pretty....but I refuse to be a WMC....(a Well Meaning Christian) you know the kind......oh they sound so holy and know all the Christian-ese words to say that "should" be said, but come on......connect with reality! The faith part..the spiritual part of us knows the drill.....we know what we believe and we know where we draw our hope and strength from and when faced with this, we WILL go to Him and He will meet us there.......but losing someone you love STILL HURTS!
So I am so thankful for the circle of NON WMC's that I know will just shut up and be there when I go through things like what Lori is going through now and those in this circle that will join me in being there for her now and I am so thankful that we are all connectedtogether.