Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Living with Snipers

Go WATCH IT at Dollards


That is DH and I right now.

The strange anxiety and odd disconnect that takes place before a departure.

Both of us trying our hardest to get tasks at hand done, but feeling like the time could be spent better together...

It is for sure a strange feeling. Hard to describe. It seemed like I wondered through the house, not getting anything done most of the day. And when I called him at work to let him know, I was feeling this strange bit of anxiety and disorganization I was glad to hear it was him too.

The Collective are older, and this coming separation has caused Sir Rowland to be a little angry, and disobediant. Pink Ninja has been good, but when her Father broached her with the subject last night, explaining he had to be gone a while, but would return. She just broke, and the big tears came quietly. So I stood in the kitchen doing dishes staring in at the two of them on the couch. Huddled. Pink Ninja 3 and crying. And her Daddy unsure if she understood what he meant, or if she was confused.

I guess we really won't know until he is gone for a month or so.

And it is coming fast, it is like a train in the distance that gets faster, and I feel like I have my hand on a track and can feel and hear everything- everything.....and before I know it, I will be standing here with quiet...

And I realize he is in the U.S. and I realize it is military training. I realize it is only 5 months. He will be good. But I also realize that we are probably looking at an announcement of an actual deployment soon after this...that makes this a little harder to swallow.

There is never enough time...

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

If I were Emma Peel....

I might be able to stop time, the next few days are sure to be going to fast.

And the winners are.....

Here is a list of the favorite 2006 mil-blogs!! Congratulations to all of the nominess and participants.

As a diarist, I was thrilled to be in such fantastic company!!

To those of you that nominated and voted for AWTM...thank you!!

And now, without further ado, the 2006 Milbloggie Winners:

U.S. Army

Acute Politics

U.S. Air Force

Afghanistan Without a Clue

U.S. Navy

Doc in the Box

U.S. Marine Corps


U.S. Military (Veteran)

Blackfive - The Paratrooper of Love

U.S. Civilian

Soldiers' Angels Germany

U.S. Military (Spouse)


U.S. Military (Parent)

Some Soldier's Mom

U.S. Military (Supporter)

Fuzzilicious Thinking

Mil-Bloggies voting ENDS at 8:00pm TONIGHT

JP over at continues to be under some sort of technical flu umbrella. You can try and register today and put in your vote.

Thanks JP.

So go over and supprt your favorite blogger in the following catagories...

U.S. Army
U.S. Air Force
U.S. Navy
U.S. Marine Corps
U.S. Military (Veteran)
U.S. Civilian
U.S. Military (Spouse)
U.S. Military (Parent)
U.S. Military Supporter

There are some great new blogs available, and also some great old blogs...go over and participate.

Have fun.

and He was listening

We are safe. I have received many e-mails from people asking if Casa De Dust was wiped out by one of the tornado's that struck Arkansas the other evening. I appreciate your prayers and well wishes, we are safe. We were lucky enough to deal with thunderstorms, 3 power outages, and a little wind. Although those in the area of Dumas, are in need of prayer. The town was devastated.

The week was busy and a long one to be sure.

As many of you know from reading the blog, you will find that we have been looking for a church for our family. I actually have not been detailed about it, because it is a very personal experience for all people. We are Christian, despite my foul language, and not being the best example of a Christian. My Husband and I have been brought up in very different faiths, but are respectful of one another opinions and journeys. And although we include prayer, and other Christian practices in our home I felt it was time to introduce The Collective to building a foundation of faith that involved regular church attendance. Plus, I do love attending church, and having a church family. I want to provide my children with a similar experience, and hope they find comfort and strength in Christ. This current church provides our family with 3 opportunities to attend church on Sunday. If we miss Sunday, we can go Monday. They not only have Sunday School, but Children's Church. A special church service designed for children. It is wonderful, and The Collective are enjoying it immensely. There is even a 3 year old choir for Pink Ninja to join. I am pleased that this Church has not forgotten anyone.

Well, we have been lucky enough to find a a church that we agree on, and that is comfortable for us. I am sooo pleased. The Pastor has been of great service to us, and we enjoy him and his services. Upon his visit, we found out he is a Vietnam Veteran and served in the Marines, he also volunteers as a Chaplain to the Sheriff Department. His service to his community and Nation, was an added bonus to our family.

Upon the Pastor's visit, Sir Rowland came into the room, with all of his precociousness. And when the Pastor asked what grade Sir Rowland would be attending my heart sank. You see, I have been searching high and low for a school for this kid. Due to our current financial situation, it was looking like our local public school, which is a fine school, one of the best schools in the state. However, we are not talking about your average 5 year old. I do not like the way a couple of things are done there, and it is just not the place for Sir Rowland at this time. (remember, this is the kid who requested to leave a circus, because of the smell and noise. Also remember this is the kids, that could sight read some words before he was 2). The decision of school, was wweighing heavily on my heart.

The Pastor sat on my sofa, looked at me smiling, and said...

Pastor: "Did you know the church has an academy?"

AWTM: "no."

The Pastor tells me about the academy, 15 students per class, small rooms, individualized learning. The children are tested, and start where they need to in each subject. Each student is given opportunity to learn at his or her own pace. It is private, and there is a cost involved, but we can apply for assistance.

I visited the academy, it was quiet, relaxed, Teachers, Principal, and students looked happy. Sir Rowland liked it very much. It is the perfect place for him.

Sometimes we are at the right place at the right time, and it is no accident.

My heart is lighter, and Sor Rowland and I can hardly wait for the school year to begin.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Can I have some cheese with this whine?

In other overwhelming news.

DH's next military school was changed from 3 months (which we had planned for) to 5 months. I was ready to do it single handedly for 3 months, but we have been given a week to prepare for 60 more days. That week includes a drill weekend.

There are modifications that need to be made, and quick.

Lazy, overwhelmed, and busy...

Well first there was this piece of news. This is the second time this has been "announced in the last 2 months. Although local commanders are still calling it "rumor".

Bryan Whitman, a Pentagon spokesman, said Thursday that no such deployments have been proposed to Defense Secretary Robert Gates, but other officials have said the planning includes the possibility of tapping Guard units from Arkansas, Indiana and other states.

Well our family was expecting it, and counting on it, that is what my DH does, but I wish they would just tell us already. Because the "rumors" from the Pentagon, seem like they are too frequent to be rumors.

Just tell us, we are "big folks", we can deal with it. It is what my Husband does for a job, just give us consideration of not hearing it on National news AGAIN.....

Thursday, February 22, 2007

The battle continues

Some Soldier Mom, shares some very personal details with us.

She touches on the very taboo subject of PTSD, in the most gentle way, only a Mother can.

I cannot wear this

I saw this gorgeous icy blue cashmere cocoon sweater set thingy, and fell in love with it. I tried it on... only to note, it made me look like I was trying to hide under my clothing (which I was). Very unflattering.

So I have noted camoflouging only works if you are a size 5?

Someone needs to turn my ass in to that What Not to Wear Show. I have no idea how to dress my shape...

The Lady

Let the voting begin!!

JP from has announced the nominees for the 2007 milbloggies! He also announces voting begins today.

I was very humbled, and surprised that my readers put in 17 nominations for AWTM. SpouseBuzz, recieved 14 nominations! Wow. I am in great company to be sure. And there are several blogs that are missing.

Go VOTE NOW in these catagories. You must be registered, and signed in.

U.S. Army
U.S. Air Force
U.S. Navy
U.S. Marine Corps
U.S. Military (Veteran)
U.S. Civilian
U.S. Military (Spouse)
U.S. Military (Parent)
U.S. Military Supporter


*you must register to VOTE!!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Must read of the day

I have not spent enough time at Walter Reed to make any judements.

Chuck Z has, go over and read what he has to say.

beauty shop...

Last Thursday Pink Ninja and I took the time to do one anothers hair, she is adorable in rollers!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

OK, the brownies won

But I still may have to make the custard...

Look what Sir Rowland did while I was vaccuming the livingroom, so it would be presentable for the Pastors visit.

Yeah, nice manners. At least steal from the side of the pan. NOT THE MIDDLE!!

Here he is enjoying a legal piece out of doors...

BTW, it is 80 degrees out.

If you hate George Cloony....

You will love Pat Dollard. Watch him, in this interview here.
Pat will be on FNC Feb 20, at 10CST. You will not regret watching.

Monday, February 19, 2007


Coconut custard or brownies for a Pastor's visit?

I am in love with a liar or why I lurve Ann Taylor!

Saturday evening, we dropped in at the maul. Something we never do. I cannot recall the last time I went, it is in the blog. I rarely need clothing. I used to have a lot of clothing, and then well, life happened, stopped smoking, had babies, I gained weight, and sizes. So all of my classic clothing had to be replaced. They were replaced with clothing to camoflauge my body. I used to LOVE to shop, loved it. I have not been keen on shopping since I have given birth. It is hard to dress my new frame. It has effected me tremendously.

I have been working out for the last 2-3 years. Yoga, pilates, weights, walking, I rarely indulge in any snack food, we rarely go out to eat. And well the weight, I have no idea, I have not weighed myself since a laproscopy procedure last summer. Some of my clothes are too big, some still too snug. I have not "dieted". I like to eat, I have had to change the timing of evening meals, and watch my snacking. I LOVE FOOD, I am a good cook, and I will not go without. It is not right, or fair. I have had to learn to modify. (you see, I used to be able to eat and eat and was always underweight, so this has been hard for me)

So I went to Ann Taylor the other day, just to look, just to browse.

DH: "go try it on, I will watch the kids"

AWTM: "uhhhh, I am not in the mood."

DH: "oh go try it on, you need someting new anyway."

AWTM: "OK, gathering an arms worth of things."

For the last 3 years, I have learned to take 2 sizes of everything in the dressing room with me. This is so I do not have to tell the sales lady..."could you get this for me in a size larger, a size --?"

Anyway, guess what I got to do at Ann Taylor?

I walked out in the smaller black skirt to hear the sales lady, and DH tell me how the skirt was too big.

I got to go down a size.

The sales lady said this "let me go find that in a smaller size". And it fit, and I had room.

I stood in the doorway to the dressing room, and I swear I heard applause, and I saw the heavens open, and I felt a warm beam of light cover me. For a moment I was very proud. It was good incentive for me.

I do not care if Ann Taylor does not use TRUE SIZING. I do not care if the sizes are bigger than a true size. Because 2 years ago when my Sister and I were in Memphis, I had trouble fitting into anything in there and looking nice.

Having a simple black skirt fit on a random Saturday, made me smile.

I didn't even buy it, I walked out empty handed.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

like peas and carrots

*photo of Pink Ninja from daddy's cell phone.

Saturday, was spent at "the circus". I am a fan of the circus. I grew up not far from the baseball field in our little town. And every summer, American Legion baseball would come to a halt for 3 days, and the Shrine Circus would come to town. The neighbor kids would gather on bicycles, and we would head down to the field to watch them set up. Hoping to steal a glimpse of a tiger, a lion tamer, a clown without makeup. You know behind the scenes stuff. I must have spent 7 summers watching the circus set up behind a chain link fence.

So when DH told me the circus was in town, I was thrilled. We had taken The Collective once when DH returned from Iraq, and we haven't been back since. They were so tiny, I am still unsure if they recall any of it.

We ask The Collective if they would like to go. We get a hearty YES, and jumping up and down from Pink Ninja. Sir Rowland, gives a less enthusiastic version. So we, spend the morning, gathering up our things and we head out.

We find parking, and we get them unbuckled, and head towards the convention center. Pink Ninja announcing that she wants cotton candy. (I am still not sure how she knew they would have cotton candy). I note immediately I had forgot my camera in the TRUCK... damn.

We enter and find terrific seats, DH off to get cotton candy for Pink Ninja, popcorn for Sir Rowland, a pretzel for AWTM. The Collective and I sit and look at the three empty rings. Pink Ninja, then lets us know, "I do not like clowns". This is a pretty normal fear, so no biggie, but I wonder when this started, and why? Sir Rowland is sitting taking all of it in.

We watch kids taking elephant rides. I am prepared to go with them if they want. Its an elephant, of course they will want a ride. Nope, no dice. Pink Ninja wants a pony ride, Sir Rowland wants nothing to do with the animals, "they stink".

So DH returns, and the 4 of us enjoy the show. There are trapeze artists, and elephants, and clowns, which proved to be entertaining to Pink ninja, and "not scary at all". (Rockstar) She also consumes an entire wand of cotton candy. However, between the "stinky animals", the "VERY LOUD MUSIC", and after 2 hours Sir Rowland starts showing signs of OVERSTIMULATION. He can no longer buffer any of it. He is holding his ears, and he wants to leave. Pink Ninja is sitting on her Dads lap, clapping and bouncing to the music, she loves it. Sir Rowland, is cringing in pain.

So I gather him up, and we exit the arena. We are standing outside, and the wind is blowing, and he says "do you hear that? I answer "hear what?" and he sighs, and he says "nothing, it is quiet outdoors." I agree, and we head to the parking lot. Sir Rowland stops me to make sure we look at the city from the arena, and he says "I love the view from all of the way up here." "It is a great view of the city" I add. We walk holding hands across the parking areas, and it is quiet, traffic, birds, wind....

We see what looks like an antique mall, and head that direction, it is closed. We see abandoned railroad tracks, by the grain elevator. We walk along them to see that the overpass was removed, but the track over the river remains. "What a waste, I wonder why they took down this overpass? They could have used the existing route." I answer him, "I don't know buddy."

We get into the truck and I find Sir Rowland his steno book, and and ink pen, and he corrects the damage on paper, building the bridge once again where it once stood. Creating switches, and buffers for the trains.

I look out the front window to see Pink Ninjas bright red winter coat, she is sitting on top of her Daddy's shoulders smiling grandly. The truck door opens. "Mommy, I was not scared of the clowns, and I rode on a pony, I was not scared of the clowns at all....."

Saturday, February 17, 2007


I watched this last night on CSPAN, and I think every American should listen...



Friday, February 16, 2007

Mil-bloggie Nominations!! (which is the best clearing house for mil-blogs) is hosting the Second Annual Mil-bloggie Awards.

You must register to participate in nominating and voting, and I would love to see AWTM readers participate in nominating, and voting for your FAVORITE blogs.

I am pleased to note SpouseBuzz, and AWTM have both recieved nominations! Very exciting indeed.

So please GO HERE for DETAILS on how to participate.

The awards will be given out at the Second Annual Mil-blogging Conference in Washington D.C.

Note Branch Standings here

Have Fun.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


Yesterday, Pink Ninja woke thrilled to know it was Valentine's Day. Thrilled. She picked out an outfit for herself, which consisted of a red shirt, blue jeans, red and white socks, a belt with hearts on it. She insisted Sir Rowland and I also dress for the day. So we all had to have red on before she let us leave the house.

We spent the day painting hearts. Sir Rowland able to write I love you, and his name. Pink Ninja scrolling her name in scribble. We ate the cookies we made the day before, and went to the library to get special books about Valentine's Day.

Holidays are important to us, particulary in this day. When you are unsure when you will be able to celebrate the day as a family. I also simply love Holidays, and think of each of them as a way of marking time, and spending the day differently than we normally might. So I prepared a small fest of grilled meat, and champagne. Tokens of love exchanged. And kisses as well. I love Valentines Day, and the chocolate isn't bad either...

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentines Day

Let me not to the marriage of true minds

Admit impediments. Love is not love

Which alters when it alteration finds,

Or bends with the remover to remove:

O no! it is an ever-fixed mark

That looks on tempests and is never shaken;

It is the star to every wandering bark,

Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.

Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks

Within his bending sickle's compass come:

Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,

But bears it out even to the edge of doom.

If this be error and upon me proved,

I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

William Shakespeare

(1564 - 1616)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Week #5 Recipe

Dal (Indian Lentil Soup)
may serve with rice

2 cups red lentils
2 TB olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth
11/2 cups chopped tomatoes with their juice
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 TB minced fresh ginger
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, minced*
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp salt
Place the lentils on a clean, flat surface, preferably light in color to visually aid in the sorting. Sort through the lentils and discard any pebbles or chaff. Place the sorted lentils in a fine mesh strainer and rinse with cold running water, drain.

Heat the oil in a large heavy bottom 5-quart pan over medium-high heat, and sauté the onion until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the cumin seeds, cardamom, and garlic to the pan and stir until the spices are just fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the broth, tomatoes, lentils, cilantro, ginger, jalapeño pepper, turmeric and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring often, until lentils become soft, about 15 minutes.

*If you desire a less spicy dish, remove the white membrane and seeds inside the pepper before mincing.

I refuse to believe...

the old saying "When Mommas not happy, no one is happy".

Day one of illness. I woke at 7:23 to find The Collective dining in the middle of the livingroom rug, they were sitting in the middle of the rug watching cartoons. Pink Ninja dining on a sucker. Sir Rowland dining on a !/4 loaf of garlic bread.

No I am not kidding. 1/4 of a loaf.

I schlepped into the livingroom to see them, all smiles, Sir Rowland gnawing off bites of pure garlicy goodness, and Pink Ninja emjoying her sugary confection.

You should have seen they're faces when they finally realized I was in the room.

I went ahead and let them finish what they had started, in fact I didn't even say a word. I figured it served me right for not being up at 6:00am with breakfast on the table.

If you sniff Sir Rowland long enough, I swear he still smells like garlic.

And yes, he ate the entire 1/4 loaf.

Tis the measure...

I guess the cleaning fairies took some time off while I was down and out with the monster flu of 2007. Whodda thunk?

So I come out of my stupor this morning, with that awful Motherly obssesive compulsive need to have everything DONE NOW! I hate when I do that, I can hear my own Mother's voice echoing in the recesses of my childhood brain. in walks the voice of reason..

Fairy: You cannot get it all done today my dear. It will be here tomorrow, and the day after, and the next day (*giggle* snort*ha*) It will be here for eternity luv. So just take one thing at a time. What is driving you the craziest?

AWTM: All of it. The toys strewn about, the unloaded dishwasher.....ughhhh....

Fairy: Well get to it darling, and stop being so fussy about it, it is what you do. You are a Housewife, smile!

AWTM: I know, but for a moment I would like it all done at one time.

Fairy: *teee heee hhhe hheee*
It is Motherly illness this OCD.

Thank God I am feeling better, otherwise this compulsiveness would drive me to the edges of insanity.

I did manage to make Valentine Cookies with the Collective this morning. (I used to much almond extract for my liking. There are about 36 cookies frosted with light pink icing to prove I am no scrooge, and to give them something to remember.

I am off to finish a couple of things up.

Love Songs


We want to hear about your Love Letters at SpouseBuzz.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Monster Flu 2007

Am I better?

Not really, whatever sort of virus this is, is truly an ass kicker. Congratulations, whoever should get credit for creating such a disabling group of bacteria.

However, I must return to our regular scheduled programming.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

AWTM is so sick...

And stealing from Johnny Carson you are supposed to reply..

"How sick is she?"

Well AWTM is so sick, she woke at 11:30am. (seiously)

She is lying in her bed surrounded by crumpled up tissue, a tissue box, ny-quil, a refreshed glass of cranberry juice. I am wearing sweats, and am covered with a down duvet. I am watching what I think is The Firm, on A&E and reluctantly enjoying it. (reminder, I loathe Tom Cruise). I think it is The Firm, the keep saying The Firm, so I am guessing.

I must be sick.

I also have been reading Tactics of The Crescent Moon

Saturday, February 10, 2007

turn it around...

So here I sit all dolled up.

Hair done (btw, I love the color LOVE it, almost strwberry blonde), dressed, pearls on, face chisled out, I even replaced the vicks vapo rub with Chanel #5.

I guess my babysitter called when I had Sir Rowland in the shower, I didn't hear the phone, and didn't check the machine.

Yeah the sitter canceled.

I just listened to the message.


Part of me sad, we have not been out in while.

Part of me glad, I am exhausted.

DH all handsomed up, and went to go get a movie for date night at home.

Who would have thought I am at the mercy of teenagers? I thought I had a few years before that happened.

out of gas...

Almost every bit of laundry is done, some hamburger has "make me into a meatloaf" written all over it.

I will bathe The Collective early tonight, and have found a sitter.

Can I tell you I am just pooped out, tired. (Part of me loves being this tired.) As an insomniac, I love being tired. The only time I have slept decent in my life that I can recall.

-when I was pregnant
-when I had laproscopic surgery this past summer
-when I am sick

otherwise I do not sleep well.

I have decided against a cocktail dress, since I am really unsure what others will be wearing.

I am wearing a white cotton wrap blouse, and either black wide wool crepe trousers, or a black chiffon a line skirt. Pearls. Done. If I get bored, I will look like wait staff, and can clear tables.

I must get motivated to get my shirt pressed, it is a doozy, French cuffs, and 100% cotton. It really is a nightmare to iron.

*take to cleaners next time I need it.


Andi, has announced the venue for the 2007 mil-blogging conference!!

So get over there and book a room.

Chromed Curses has a message board up for those of you who may be interested in room sharing/ride sharing metro schedules/etc. Go over and take a peek!

What do you think this place is? A Hotel?

The Ladies of Casa De Dust remain under the weather, which means the Casa is dustier than EVER. OYE.

Days of AWTM, sick and held up with a tissue box in one hand, the exotic odor of vicks vapo rub wafting behind me, sniffing and snorting endlessly seem to have no direct end in sight. The good news is today I have mustured enough energy to tackle laundry. I also can bend and pick up things off of the floor.

I must prepare myself for this evenings Valentines Dance. I really must go, since DH took command, I have not met as many people as I would like. Thank God for Day Quil. The good news for DH, he has a built in designated driver tonight, so if he wishes to participate in a toast he can.

Wish me luck, I must go get to work, 3 days of house neglect sure adds up.

It appears as though The Collective might have been staging a coup of sorts.


My Mother In Law sent this to me via e-mail this morning, and I had not read anything about this. Thank you, for sharing, this is a great story.

The brand new assault craft with a capability of carrying around 800 marines and equipment is to be named the U.S.S. New York, in tribute to the almost 2,800 people who died in the attacks of September 11 2001.

The steel is set to be shipped to Northrop's shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi, for construction to begin in the middle of next year. The 684-foot ship should be ready for service in 2007. The ship will have the motto "Never Forget".

The recycled steel from the Twin Towers, if it meets quality standards, will be used to form the ship's "stem bar". That is part of the ship's bow, where the vessel cuts the water.

New York authorities have the awesome problem of disposing of the 1.62 million tons of rubble that went to the nearby Fresh Kills landfill from the World Trade Center site.

Some memorial sculptures made from recycled steel have been commissioned by the city, and tribute sculptures have now been erected in many civic, and private facilities throughout the country.

The projected 12 San Antonio (LPD-17)-class amphibious assault ships are the Navy's top expeditionary warfare priority. The USS New York will be LPD-21.
Operating forward, from the sea, America's Amphibious Ready Groups (ARGs) and their Marine Expeditionary Units (Special Operations Capable) [MEU (SOC)s] are multimission crisis-response "tools." They are a mix of highly-mobile air and ground firepower with self-sustainable forces, that can quickly project compelling power, withdraw rapidly, and then reconstitute to re-deploy for follow-on missions. The LPD-17 class will be a fulcrum for future naval expeditionary operations.

The San Antonio class is being designed and built to fight. Its warfighting capabilities include a state-of-the-art command and control suite, substantially increased vehicle lift capacity, a large flight deck, and advanced ship survivability features that enhance its ability to operate in the unforgiving littoral environment. The deployment of LPD-17s will provide each naval expeditionary force with greatly enhanced operational flexibility. The LPD-17 can operate as part of an Amphibious Task Force - the "workhorse" of a three-ship ARG - organized to accomplish a broad range of military objectives; or as an element of a "Split-ARG" that has the LPD-17 detached and operating as a single ship, supporting lower-risk operations.

The 4th USS New York

When built this will be the fifth USS New York, the previous one was laid down 11 September 1911 by Brooklyn Navy Yard, New York and launched 30 October 1912. It served in both World Wars.
During her World War I service, New York was frequently visited by royal and other high-ranking representatives of the Allies, and she was present for one of the most dramatic moments of the war, the surrender of the German High Seas Fleet in the Firth of Forth 21 November 1918. As a last European mission, New York joined the ships escorting President Woodrow Wilson from an ocean rendezvous to Brest en route the Versailles Conference.
In 1937, carrying Admiral Hugh Rodman, the President's personal representative for the coronation of King George VI of England, New York sailed to take part in the Grand Naval Review of 20 May 1937 as sole U.S. Navy representative.
From America's entry into World War II, New York guarded Atlantic convoys to Iceland and Scotland when the U-boat menace was gravest. Submarine contacts were numerous, but the convoys were brought to harbor intact.
New York brought her big guns to the invasion of North Africa, providing crucial gunfire support at Safi 8 November 1942. She then stood by at Casablanca and Fedhala before returning home for convoy duty escorting critically needed men and supplies to North Africa. She then took up important duty training gunners for battleships and destroyer escorts in Chesapeake Bay, rendering this vital service until 10 June 1944, when she began the first of three training cruises for the Naval Academy, voyaging to Trinidad on each.
New York prepared at Pearl Harbor for the planned invasion of Japan, and after war's end, made a voyage to the West Coast returning veterans and bringing out their replacements. She sailed from Pearl Harbor again 29 September with passengers for New York, arriving 19 October. Here she prepared to serve as target ship in Operation Crossroads, the Bikini atomic tests, sailing 4 March 1946 for the West Coast. She left San Francisco 1 May, and after calls in Pearl Harbor and Kwajalein, reached Bikini 15 June. Surviving the surface blast 1 July and the underwater explosion 25 July, she was taken into Kwajalein and decommissioned there 29 August 1946. Later towed to Pearl Harbor, she was studied during the next two years, and on 8 July 1948 was towed out to sea some 40 miles and there sunk after an eight-hour pounding by ships and planes carrying out full-scale battle maneuvers with new weapons.New York received 3 battle stars for World War II service.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Pink Ninja is sick too

Looks like the ladies of Casa De Dust are down with the crud. DH gone for part of the weekend. Sir Rowlands immune system kicked in and he is healed.

That means 2 fussy girls. One healed 5 year old boy.

We are in trouble.

Sick, but with caramel hair....

*yes, that is horrid fish wallpaper, that is awaiting me to cover it up, and the prior owners put it up not us*

Some sort of flu.

Achy, full of mucus, headache, can't breath, scratchy throat, I feel like I am 80 years old.


I make the worst patient on the planet.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

sick and tired

When you have a 3 and 5 year old with colds, and every kid in a 50 mile radius is also snotty and sick...

And Moms get sneezed on, and wipe noses, and coughed on....

Moms get sick.

I am sick.

I had been fighting it for over a week teetering on the line, of this is probably just allergies, or sinus trouble.


I ache. My sinuses are causing vertigo, my head is full of liquid, my throat is sore, it hurts to speak. My ears ache.

Last night, I was freezing, despite the 2 shirts I had on. I took a bath in boiling water. The water so boiling, it left my flesh red.

I took some night time cold medicine, and crashed out by 11:oopm.

*in good news the interview last night went well*

I am skipping yoga/pilates/weights today. My body does not have the energy.

I am still in my robe, and am hoping to remain it it, until about 2:30 comes, then I will have to carve out a face, and dress and go to the salon to be properly coiffed.

Now if I can convince The Collective, that it is in they're best interest to be quiet and good all is right in my World.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Week #4 recipe

I have some duck from a friend that is a duck hunter that must be prepared.
I have never made this, but do like either citrus, or cherries with my duck.

I will give it a try.

Duck A L'Orange

1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons Sherry wine vinegar
1 1/2 cups fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1 1/2 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
4 large oranges

2 1-pound boneless Muscovy duck breast halves, thawed if frozen

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons grated orange peel

Stir sugar and water in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat; boil until syrup turns deep amber, occasionally brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush and swirling pan, 8 minutes. Remove from heat. Mix in vinegar (mixture will bubble vigorously). Add juice and shallots; boil until reduced to 1/2 cup, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes. Add broth; boil until reduced to 3/4 cup, 30 minutes. Set aside.
Using small knife, cut off peel and white pith from 4 oranges. Working over bowl, cut between membranes to release segments. (Sauce and oranges can be prepared 6 hours ahead. Cover separately; chill.)

Using small knife, score duck skin (do not pierce meat) in crosshatch pattern. Sprinkle duck with salt and pepper. Heat heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Place duck breasts skin side down in skillet. Cook until brown and crisp, about 8 minutes. Turn duck and cook to desired doneness, about 10 minutes longer for medium-rare. Transfer to cutting board. Let stand 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring sauce to simmer. Add butter and 1 tablespoon grated orange peel; whisk just until butter melts. Drain orange segments and mix into sauce. Set aside.

Slice duck breasts crosswise on diagonal. Arrange on 4 plates. Spoon orange segments with sauce alongside. Sprinkle with remaining peel.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


The imitrex saved me today. I did spend the rest of the day with nasea, a dry mouth, and a feeling of being rung out. No headache though. However, it did cause a small setback. I will definately have to kick it into gear tommorow.

Not a huge day, but need some time to prepare for my first podcast interview!! How fun is that? I will be talking to relationship expert Dr. Andrew McAllister. Dr. Andrew will answer a couple of e-mails I have gotten. Wish me luck. Still trying to figure out audacity and the conversion of files from WAV to MP3. I will let you know when it is up.

We also must get to work on our Valentines Day boxes, and Valentines Day cards.

On a good note. DH and I have a date this week!! A dance of all things. A dance, supposed dress is semi-formal. (Which is currently being clarified. This could mean, my good realtree. We are in Arkansas.)

Must read

Please read Badgers Forward
he offers this as a warning

This post treads on sacred ground. I am well aware of that. It has been a week in the making and has been subject to editing and review by several people, including Soldiers that were there that night. It should be obvious, but I will make it explicit. The family of this Soldier has been notified. I beleive, from their comments to the news media, they would be OK with this story. The Task Force should be proud, in a dark hour, the leadership and the Soliders stood up. A final note, I find writing and reading in the first person compelling, but this is not my story, I am simply the camera.



I did make it to the gym for yoga/pilates. (had a bit of a headache) Went to pay water bill. Went to the library for story time. (Headache worsened) By the time we exited, I had a migraine.

And today is brought to you by the makers of Imitrex.

Imitrix, when your head hurts so bad you cannot open eyes, and want to puke.

No if I can convince the kids Mom doe not want to hear anything louder than a whisper...

Monday, February 05, 2007

I am not an orinthologist

*female cardinal (much more mohawky)


The supposed females cardinals from this post are actually....

"cedar waxwings", thank you to My Mother In Law, who's reward is getting to see her grandbabies.

I honestly love you

DH was gone a lot over the last couple of weeks. He did get a chuckle out of the "mole" post. UNTIL...

DH arrives home late last night, and the following ensues.

Pink Ninja climbs onto her Daddy's lap holds his face in her hands, she looks at him with adoration, and then.....

DH: "How was my pretty girl, I missed you sooo much."

Pink Ninja: "Daddy, you have a lot of wrinkles."

DH: "thanks". (smiling, but with a small look of devastation)

AWTM: "I told you, it isn't funny."

and so it continues.

Military videos wanted

Since the MSM, refuses to report news. Here is your opportunity.

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 19, 2007 – The Military Channel is asking servicemembers across the armed forces to submit videotaped stories about their service in the global war on terrorism for broadcast on television, company officials said.
“We want to give a voice to the troops to allow them to tell their stories,” Jill Bondurant, Military Channel publicist, said during an interview with American Forces Press Service today.

The Military Channel plans to use servicemember-submitted video for broadcast during nightly one-hour blocks of programming starting in early February, Bondurant said. The dates and times haven’t been specified yet, she said.

Video can be in digital or taped format, Bondurant said, and can be submitted via the following methods:

-- Online:;

-- E-mail:; or

-- Mail: Military Videos, care of Discovery Productions, 8045 Kennett Street, Silver Spring, Md. 20910.

All submitted video will be screened for appropriate content, Bondurant noted.

The initiative seeks to illustrate some personal stories of military service during wartime, Military Channel spokesman and former soldier Pat Lafferty told the Pentagon Channel in a recent interview. Most evening news programming on the military these days shies away from the personal and focuses on “big picture” events, he said.

“There’s only so much that the ‘normal media’ can get out as far as the stories (and) what’s going on,” Lafferty said. “And, oftentimes, that really isn’t the story about individual servicemembers and what they’re doing on a day-to-day basis.”

A component of Discovery Communications, the Silver Spring, Md.-based Military Channel was the first television media outlet to partner with America Supports You, a Department of Defense program connecting public and corporate support for the troops to servicemembers and their families.

If I were Emma Peel.....

I would look glamerous with my morning coffee!

Sunday, February 04, 2007


Well we are off to church sans DH, who is at drill. Pink Ninja is wearing sunglasses, I hope that it is not frowned upon. Very Rockstar. Sir Rowland is ill with sinus trouble. Another invasion of cold and flu.

Today is fried chicken Sunday, with potato salad as requested.

Enjoy the day..

Happy Birthday Old Man!

Happy 51st Birthday Dave!!

Go over and wish him well!

A Grateful Nation

I am currently in the middle of this book.

"Military Widow, a Survival Guide", written by Joanne Steen, and Regina Asaro

Joanne M. Steen, the widow of a naval aviator killed in the line of duty, is a nationally certified counselor and certified strategic planner, crisis responder, instructor, and speaker on military loss. M. Regina Asaro is a psychiatric nurse certified in death and bereavement and a crisis responder who worked with a team in Oklahoma City in the aftermath of the bombing and with the families of victims of the massacre in Srebrenica. She has presented many workshops on the impact of violent crime, grief, and traumatic loss.

I am unsure how to discuss this topic of death. I have seen a lot of death in my day. I am by profession an LPN, mostly in hospice care, and geriatric areas. I have lost every Grandparent to disease, and a Mother, 4 cousins, an Uncle, and the list grows. I have cared for hundreds of dying people. I honestly have always thought I was "good" at death. Part of it is based on my faith, the other is I understand death as part of life. It is the nature of things, and for some reason I think that is forgotten. I am not sure where the disconnect with death came in. Although I think we have separated from it as much as we can. We have sort of hired it out. There was a time when people took care of dying family in the home, cared for them, allow the body to be displayed in the parlor of a home. In some cases, a lot of families prepared a body for burial, built the casket. With medical advances, and changing lifestyles, this does not happen often.

However, when I was at Fort Hood, I had the chance to meet with a fellow blogger that I adore, this blogger also happens to be a pretty recent military widow. She and another friend invited me to dinner, and I declined. I declined, because I really did not know what to say. Part of me wanted to apologize for being lucky enough to have had a husband that survived, part of me wanted to apologize for my guilt for that, there was a part of me that was genuinely interested in her experience as a widow, and I wanted to know how she felt being alone at her very young age. The other part of me, tried to think of how I could avoid the topic, by ordering a lot of food, and just chewing. Instead I declined a lovely dinner with two lovely ladies, which one of these days I will correct. I regret this decision now.

I honestly, was shocked at my own visceral reaction, I thought I was good at death. But being a military widow is a unique experience. Since there have been wars, there have been war widows, but still until the release of this book in June 2006, there was no definitive book on the topic. That in itself is amazing. I can go to Barnes and Noble right now and probably find a million books on how to grieve my cat, but only one on being a military widow.

The Authors of this book, also do not simply focus on combat related deaths either. They talk about accidental deaths, suicides, friendly fire, illness after a long illness, and even sudden death. There are after all many kinds of military deaths. And each of these women and men left behind have a unique experience. This is different though. A military widow, is usually married to a healthy, and very able bodied youthful person, so a sudden death goes against our very core belief about health and mortality of young and healthy people.

So I am in the middle of a book, reading about one of my greatest fears. It is late, and I am still struggling with the idea of a widow in his or her 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's.

Realizing once again I am blessed. But there is so much to learn, and I am surprised at my attitude that is normally so eager to learn about bereavement and grief, is not so eager. And I know why, this is very personal.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Humility comes in heaps or Why I love foundation

*The following conversation took place all while I am zipping The Collectives coats*

(A too close photo of me as proof)

Pink Ninja: "Aww dhose pimpoos aww ovah youw face?"

AWTM: "Uh, no those 2 things are pimples, the rest of those things are moles."

Pink Ninja: "Dhose aww ugly."

AWTM: "Yeah, they are, and thanks."

Pink Ninja: "youw Wewcome."

(The Collective now start taking inventory of all of my freckles and moles, counting them aloud.)

Sir Rowland: "Mom, they really are ugly, you would be prettier without them."

AWTM: "I am guessing you will probably get them too, you already have freckles on your nose, and I think yours are cute."

Sir Rowland: "I hope not, they are distracting."

AWTM: "Thanks buddy, I think it is time to go outside."

I am really considering wearing foundation around the house.

Friday, February 02, 2007


Please go over to Gunnuts and watch THIS

As a wife of a Veteran, (and as an American) I have no problem with people protesting, or making opinions known, but this display made me SICK.

Evoloution of Dirt McGurt

Note the yard, I think we used almost EVERY bit of snow/leaves and dirt available for the snowman.

They were thrilled with the very dirty looking snowman...that melted by the time we got back in the house.

*also note I spent half of the spring, summer, and fall raking, and there are still a trillion leaves on the ground. We live in a forest.

*probably the most hideous looking snowman on the planet. SHHH do not tell the collective, they were very proud.

phonecall of the day..

AWTM: Hello

Sissy: Guess What?

AWTM: What?

Sissy: Guess who is going to see Bob Segar?

AWTM: I sure hope it is not fucking me, I hate him.

Birds of a Feather

*click on the photo to enlarge. They were adorable.

While we are out of door, making this very leafy snowman, we had about 100 female cardinals visit. They were everywhere. The trees, and in my holly bushes, everywhere. They were sweet.

Pink Ninja touching the snow for the first time.

*Pink Ninja's cheeks!

*Sir Rowland happy to be throwing a snowball at his Mother.

Heard at Casa De Dust when the blinds were opened.

Pink Ninja: "Look Mommy it is Christmas!!"

Sir Rowland: "Mommy, the Earth is covered in a blanket of white."

We woke yesterday to what appeared to be a light dusting of snow. However, the ground is still warm enough, that the dusting turned into a slush/ice. We literally had to go through the yard collecting snow from the surfaces of all things, until it was all gone. I am not kidding. A snowball was made out of EVERY available bit of snow. When we ran out, The Collective wanted to "go to the neighbors to steal the snow off of the car".

I was asked to create a snowman, and a snow fort. I tried explaining to The Collective, that snow was needed to do these things. They kept begging, and I could not produce anything, but snowballs.

After an hour and half or two, I convinced them that were hungry for a hot cocoa, and grilled cheese. It was very cold.

In other news, it snowed even more through the night, by 6:30am, all I could hear was begging to head out of doors.

*The Collective, finding every flake of snow, to throw at Mom.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words.

Please go over to HomeFront 6 this morning.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

The Buzz

This last month over at SpouseBuzz we tried our best to focus on EMPOWERMENT. It was an inspiring month.

Even more inspiring was our "What is Your Story?" contest.

Go over and read the entry!

Being a military wife offers its own set of challenges. But being a military Husband, is proven to be challenging as well. Congratulations Stephen.


My fellow SpouseBuzzer, HomeFront 6,tagged me with this little ditty:

THE RULES: Each player of this game starts with the 6 weird things about you. People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don't forget to leave a comment that says you are tagged’ in their comments and tell them to read your blog.

First off, I wish my DH were here, he would so be able to rattle a list of 50 things quickly. I on the other hand, I am in denial about my own strangeness.

1) I do not mind the smell of skunk.

2) I flush public toilets with my foot.

3) I check my butt in the mirror before I leave the house. (like I can shrink it, if I look at it)

4) I insist on arranging pillows for others. (I think this may have something to do with me being an LPN, on a pulmonary unit.)

5) I do not like drinking water out of a bathroom faucet.

6) I rarely take a nap, rarely, and when I do, I feel tremendous guilt.

Ok I get to tag 6 People, who if you have never read, I insist you check them out today.

Parkway Rest Stop


The Life of A Wife

When The Smoke Clears

Army of Mom

Thoughts by Seawitch

Welcome to Pussville

I grew up in Nebraska. It gets cold there, it is windy year round. It is flat, there are few trees it is the great plains. Nebraska has a history of blizzards. When you are from Nebraska, winter is not novelty. It is what you "used" to spend the Spring, Summer, and Fall months preparing for. I grew up wearing coats, mittens, boots. I do not think I ever owned a snowsuit. And I do not recall being cold as a youth. We would play in the snow build forts, dig tunnels. The mittens would get wet, and you would throw them into a pile with all of the other wet mittens. Thinking about that at this moment almost makes my hands ache. We would play out of doors for hours, and I am not exagerating. Hours in the wind and snow.

So the snow started falling here today at about 3-ish. DH is out of town on business. (yes again). I did not think much of the snow, there was not much of it. Tonight, I flipped through the channels after The collective were in bed and I heard all sorts of emergency warnings. SNOW-COLD-ICE-SLEET.

Tommorow was supposed to be gym day, commissary, and a hair appointment. Yeah, not going to happen.

You see, we live in the Mid south, it makes no sense for these people to own a fleet of snowplows, and service trucks.

I will not leave the house when conditions are icy. It is really dangerous. There is really no driving on ice. I grew up driving on "slick", snowy roads. I also grew up learning how to drive on loose gravel county roads. I have fairly decent driving skills. But ICE, especially when there are no removal, or gravel trucks, or chemical being put down, in a city where cold is a novelty. And no one knows how to drive in "weather" Dangerous. I am staying put. So I called a neighbor to watch The Collective while I ran to the Kroeger down the road. Even in my big Ford F150in a 4 WD was a slick and icy ride.

So we are staying here tommorow. I am putting a pot of chilli on, and we are going to make oatmeal raisin cookies.

It is FREEZING out to me. It is 26, 20 with the wind. COLD. After about 6-7 years I am climatized to warm weather, and a fair winter. My boday has given in to it. I officially loathe cold weather. There is no point in freezing to me. It is silly. DH still loves the winter. Me, I want the thermostat on 70, I want my down comforter on my bed. I want an afghan on the sofa.

My DH loves the winter, does not mind the cold temps. Must be the Austrian in him. He even is still riding his bike to work. 27 degrees on a motorcylcle? Do you have any idea how COLD that is? BRR....

The other day he pulled up to a pump, and the guy putting gas in his truck said to my DH who was filling his motorcycle tank. "Man how can you stand to ride in the cold?" DH replied, "well first, you have to stop being such a pussy."

Well DH, I am FREEZING. My relatives back home will be embarassed to hear I can no longer stand winter.