Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Of All The Hare-Brained Things...

Again, sometimes Life just throws you a curve, and things that you had no intention of doing one moment become fact the next.

We bought a boat.

We have never talked about getting a boat. Not once. My major purchase this summer was going to be paint for the house. Not a boat. I have three sisters and a brother that have boats, and they are much more affluent. Why would we even NEED a boat?

No clue, but we sure as hell have one now.

I haven't found Old Sarge his yachting hat yet, but I'm sure I will soon. Hmm. Old Sarge has been Army, then Air Force. Now a mariner???

Friday, May 26, 2006

Have a Great Weekend, You'uns

Mine is already off to a fantastic start with a phone call I got today- Tammi got the good news she was waiting for, and I got the good news that she gets to stay here!

Plans? Clean, laundry, garden, etc., family quality time at the farm on Sunday, and a parade and cemetery duty on Monday. I hope it's as warm as they predict; for one thing, maybe I can burn this crap out of my lungs, and for another thing, fat doesn't look nearly as disgusting when it's lightly browned. Or so I tell myself.

Y'all have a wonderful weekend- and please take the time to remember WHY we have this time off.

Memorial Day Post

On the front page of the local paper this week is a large color picture of Mr. B, an Army veteran who was in Europe, proudly displaying his medals from WWII, with an article about Memorial Day. And for some reason this bothers me. ME, of all people!

Many years ago, when Old Sarge and I were new to the VF*nW, we were more or less mentored by another WWII veteran. I’ve written about him before, but for now will call him Poor Sharecropper. PS was a Marine in the Pacific, and was at Tarawa, Saipan, many other nasty spots. He’s in his 80’s now, very small and wizened, but very sharp. And he has issues with Mr. B.

We were having a breakfast at the VF*nW one Sunday, and Poor Sharecropper and I were taking the money. Mr. B comes, all his medals with him as usual. He never goes anywhere without them, it’s like that is all he has left in his life. I remarked to PS that it was a little sad, and I never expected the reaction I got.

“It’s bullshit, that’s what it is,” PS said, and I had never seen him look so angry.
“Why do you say that?”
“Look,” PS said, starting to wave his gnarled hands now, “You know I have a Purple Heart too. When they lined us up to receive our medals, I was never so embarrassed in my life. I had some shrapnel in my legs, same as B, and here I was standing up there with guys who were missing arms,” waving his hand, missing several fingertips, at his other arm, “missing legs,” now gesturing to his own legs, “guys who had it so much worse than I did, and here I am, a little shrapnel, no big deal. I didn’t deserve to be up there with those men.”

I honestly didn’t know what to say for a moment.

“But..but PS, you were ALL heroes! At least you are to me!”

“Let me tell you a little something about heroes,” PS replied. “Those guys who didn’t come home, those are the heroes. The guys who came home and had to live with their injuries everyday for the rest of their lives, those guys are heroes. The rest of us, hey, we were just doing our job. Doing what we were supposed to.”

I think about these two men, so different in how they view their service. Mr. B will continue to carry his medals with him wherever he goes, wanting to tell his story. I still think that now, near the end of his life, it really is all he has left. I would never judge him for that.

And Poor Sharecropper? This little 5 foot-nothing man enlisted at the start of the war, and never came home for four years, carrying a BAR all across the Pacific. When he did come home, he married, had a family and milked his cows until his boys took over the farm. His family and friends adore him.

Poor Sharecropper, you know, you ARE one of my heroes. Thank you.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Ear Worm Alert!

Need any more proof of man's inhumanity to man?

I have the theme song to "The Courtship of Eddie's Father" running through my head.

Kill me now, please.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Sick Again

Sorry, I have my second bout with bronchitis in as many months, and I feel like hell.

The Military Ball? Absolute success- people STAYED after dinner and danced. Many I had never met before. I'll write more on this when I'm not a-huffin' and a-puffin'.

Friday, May 19, 2006

I got your bubbles

This Ball is going to kill me. I am supposed to bring the beverages to toast with, and since we are overbudget already, one of the gals suggested just getting some Arbor Mist Exotic Fruit wine instead of champagne; she thought people would like it better anyway. So Old Sarge picked it up for me this afternoon, and I called my best friend to let her know.

Me: Hey, we got the wine. Damn, a whole $3.19 a bottle!
D: What is it, Boone's Farm?
Me: Probably close, but W seems to like it.
D: As long as it's wet and bubbly.
Me: (blink)
Me: Um, it's wine, I don't think it's bubbly.
D: I want bubbles.
Me: I'm sorry, but this isn't bubbles.
D: I don't care, I want the G_d damn bubbles.
Me: Suck it up, Princess, there are no bubbles!
D: I demand you provide me with my bubbles!!



You know what's coming, don't you?

We Got Trouble, Friends

It seems like everyone is having critter trouble- Andi has bats, Silent has a whole army invading the Fortress, and it seems that T1G is always battling varmints or evil stinging flying critters. Dang, I almost feel bad for everybody.

Except, I have problems. Much bigger problems.

There is TESTOSTERONE oozing out of the walls at Jackass Acres.

My home looks like a friggin' bachelor pad. I live with three (*cough*) adult males.

I've never been much of a girlie-girl- I work construction fer cryin' out loud! -but I am seriously thinking of taking a weekend up at Sundara Spa or something. Maybe have my toenails painted red.

Please Critique

As President of the Mess, I have to do quite a bit of speaking tomorrow night. I have no problem with that, have done it many times, but I would like to say something meaningful without blathering on and on. Here are my closing remarks, and I would REALLY appreciate comments, good or bad.

My closing remarks:

We are assembled here this evening, united by a common thread- either by military service, or for the love of someone who has served. This Armed Forces Day, this evening, was chosen to honor our veterans and to show our appreciation.
Although over 60 years has passed since our World War II veterans answer their call to duty, the accomplishments and sacrifices of the Greatest Generation will forever echo throughout history. You saved the world. We can never say thank you enough.
Korea has been labeled the Forgotten War. Within this hall, Korean War veterans will never be forgotten, and we will never forget to thank them.
Viet Nam veterans returned home to a country that seemingly was ashamed of their service, and a media that was all too willing to portray them as drug addicts, psychotics and much worse. Their honor was stolen. It is incumbent upon all of us to combat that perception always, and we begin by saying Welcome Home, and thank you.
Many of our veterans saw their service in places like Grenada, Libya, Lebanon, Somalia or El Salvador. Their service in the world’s hot spots equals all others, and we thank them.
The veterans of Desert Shield and Desert Storm liberated Kuwait in a most awesome show of American firepower, speed and resolve. For the first time in far too long, our military was seen for the heroes they are. Thank you.
Today, our sons and daughters are fighting in the Long War, and once again our country seems divided about the necessity of ridding the world of terrorism. What is not open to debate is that here, we welcome you with open arms, and thank you for your service to our country.

Thank you all for coming this evening. I sincerely hope that this is an event we will be able to repeat every year. And because it can never be said enough, thank you all for your service to this nation in the armed forces, and again as members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Too long? Not long enough? Relevant or stupid? No way I'm going to get through it without crying??

Thursday, May 18, 2006

So True

I wish I could remember which one of my children said that I was a travel agent for Guilt Trips.


Pack your bags, folks, it's going to be a loooong flight!

Senate Bill 1144

If you don't live in Illinois, this might not mean much to you. Hell, even if you LIVE here you might not know what this Bill was for. But...yesterday, the Illinois State Legislature passed the "Let Them Rest in Peace" Act, which forbids protesters from coming any nearer than 200' to a military funeral. Bill at Small Town Veteran has more on this and it's a must read, but here is one little excerpt:

“No grieving military family should be subjected to vile epithets and disruptive protests at the funeral service of their loved one who has made the ultimate sacrifice for our country,” said Lt. Governor Pat Quinn, who has attended every funeral of fallen Illinois soldiers from the War on Terror in Iraq and Afghanistan. “The Let Them Rest in Peace Act protects the First Amendment religious rights of families to bury their dead with reverence and dignity, and everyone in the Land of Lincoln believes in this fundamental principle of human decency.”

I KNEW it had to be Pat Quinn behind this!!

Now, most people may have the (narrow) view that I am a staunch Conservative Republican. That's pretty true, but I swear, if our LT Governor ever decides to run for Governor, I will risk giving my Dem in-laws a stroke and campaign for the man. He has done so much for Illinois veterans and their families, he's just incredible.

Illinois, you did good yesterday. It's a good start in kicking Fred Phelps and his inbred bunch of sociopaths' asses right back to Kansas.

President of the Mess

Yep, that's me alright.

What? NO, not just at home- we're having a military ball/dining in/mess night at the VF*nW this Saturday, and I am the ersatz Mistress of Ceremonies. Does snyone have any suggestions for ***appropriate*** toasts to the services? I have them for POW/MIA and fallen comrades, but was hoping to end the toasting with something a little lighter in tone before we start the entertainment.
Can I get some help here??

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Unfriendly Skies

No. I'm not talking about the storm clouds gathering AGAIN this afternoon. This was about my recent flight experiences.

When did "carry-on" become "big suitcase"? It seems to me that the airlines used to be much stricter with what was considered carry-on luggage; maybe a tote bag or an overnight case, but nothing bigger. But the last couple of times I've flown, I've noticed people are stowing away honest-to-pete suitcases with wheels and everything. Why? Did folks get tired of having their luggage lost? Hate going to baggage claim? Think they're going to get off the plane sooner??

I can sympathize with carrying all your wordly possessions with you if you think your suitcase will end up in Airline Limbo. Nobody likes to have their stuff lost. But I gotta tell you, when you're standing in the aisle, patiently waiting for everyone that is ahead of you to unload their junk, when you could have been off the plane by now, well, that really and truly pisses me off. The only consolation I have is that by the time I do get to baggage claim, there hasn't been any kind of wait for my modest little duffel bag because it was the only piece of luggage checked in on the whole frickin' plane!

So, how about you? You okay with getting smacked in the head by someone struggling to get their behemoth carpetbag out of the overhead storage, or do you check your bags?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Four Bears

I swear to God, no one in this household has caught on to the fact that we all have assigned sleeping space! It's like musical beds around here!

Son #2: I don't know what happened, me and my buddy were up at the Brass Rail, and I went to bed in my room and set the alarm, but when I woke up I was in (#1)'s bed and I don't know how I got there!

It's called alcohol, baby. Thank God your brother was in Arizona because I don't think he'd have appreciated your company.

I used to affectionately call home Poverty Flats. No more. Jackass Acres it is!


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Yep, still hate her. Bitch.

The Obvious

Found over at The Coalitions's :

Get Your Drunk Personality at LiquidGeneration.com!

But of course! What else would someone with this much rage be?

Monday, May 15, 2006

Paradise Lost

Here’s the whirlwind recap of our trip to Arizona, which, believe me, was a whirlwind!

At Sandy Coor VFW Post 1433 in Glendale, absolutely one of the friendliest posts we have ever been to! Thanks for the Friday hangover, guys!

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The main event- our Princess graduates from Northern Arizona University. Here she is hanging out under Lumberjack cock- guess she needed the shade:

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Old Sarge has never seen much of the sights when we’ve been out west before, so we stopped by Montezuma’s Castle at Camp Verde. We also left with $45 worth of elk and buffalo jerky, and I got a copper spinner for the patio- shiny pretty!

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Saturday was our last, and my sister and her husband were staying at the Pointe at Tapatio Cliffs Resort. Instead of hanging out at Luke Air Force Base with our $27 a night room, we spent the afternoon and evening over at Tapatio, poolside, with absolutely decadent beverages. God bless my sister, she picked up the tab on this party!

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100 degrees and almost no humidity. How could I have forgotten how great that can be?
Bumper to bumper traffic and block fences, smog and freeways. How could I even consider wanting to go back?

I'm back...

And I'm buried!

We did get to see the Princess properly matriculated, Indian ruins visited, a VFW taken by storm, pretty sure my ex-husband and sons were seeing green fairies after someone busted out with the Czech absinthe....

For me? Behaved. Had an absolutely decadent afternoon at the Pointe Tapatio Cliffs resort, poolside Anejo margaritas, mmmmmmm.

More later, but it's good to be home!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Out There

In case anyone noticed I'm not around, I have not worked less than 14 hours a day this week. Bitch doesn't even start to describe it!

But, tomorrow I'll be on a plane to Phoenix for my Princess' graduation from college. Almost the entire Rage family will be there.
On the agenda:

Head to Flagstaff for graduation ceremony, then head back
Montezuma's Castle
Much shopping at the PX at Luke Air FOrce Base
Margaritas and Mexican food at El Encanto
Pat Tillman Memorial VFW Post 40 (I didn't know there was one!)

Friday, May 05, 2006

Stinko De Mayo

Somebody thought it was a good idea for Bob and I to have Mexican food for lunch two days in a row.

I assure you, it was not.

Lt. Dan Band

Who doesn't love Gary Sinise?? I love love love love LOVE him, not only as an actor but as a very caring human being. Today at 12:30 pm eastern time, Gary and the Lt. Dan Band will be performing at the Pentagon. Should you wish to watch it, this link at America Supports You will take you there.

Happy Cinco De Mayo

When my sisters and I lived in Arizona, this was a biggie for us. Our Cinco de Mayo celebrations were the stuff of legends. Every year our friends would be waiting to see what we would do to top the year before. Authentic food, Dos XX, Tecate, the annual taste test between Sauza Conmemorativa, Cuervo Centennario and Viuda de Romero tequilas....ah, the good old days. Never again will we be seeing my brother-in-law passed out half in, half out of his car with his head near the gutter from projectile tequila vomiting. ( hey- I DID put a blanket on him! ) No more falling off retaining walls, falling into the lake or drunken wanderings through the streets of Phoenix with no shoes on, peeing in people's oleander bushes.

Thank God.

This year, we're having the very traditional fare of steak sandwiches, fried potatoes with onions and pasta salad. If I get really wild and crazy, I might pick up a six pack of my beloved Negra Modela and a lime. It may suck getting older at times, but, trust me, this isn't one of them!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

In The Interest of Fairness...

I suppose it's not right to poke fun at one child and leave the other unscathed. So to prove that I am an equal opportunity mocker, we have THIS story:

Our younger son is occupying the small bedroom upstairs. Since he left for basic, it's been kind of a catch all for Christmas decoration boxes and the like, so we've had some work to do. This weekend we got an armio..armoir?...a thing to hang his clothes in and a nightstand, moved all the boxes out and let him clean up. I was in the kitchen when he yells down the stairs, "Hey! Somebody PUKED up here!"
Me: Yeah, it was you!
Him: No way!
Me: Yep, sure was. Right after I put the new carpet in there for you, you puked right beside the bed. I know because I had to clean it up.
Him: Man, I don't remember that.

Later....he comes downstairs with a barf-covered petrified T-shirt.

Him: I guess it was me, I found this under the bed.

WHAT?? My house cleaning skills have deteriorated to the point that for the enitire four years he was in the Army, I never noticed a barfy T-shirt under the bed?? Well halle-fucking-lujah, because that was ONE piece of hidden treasure I wouldn't have enjoyed unearthing.

And Chaos Still Rules

Last night, we went to my brother's place to celebrate the 44th anniversary of him screwing up any chance I ever had of being an only child. Much 4-wheeling was done, many beers were drank and I think we may have solved the Iraq situation, which is another post for another day. To sum it up, a good time was had by all and Raging Mom had just a bit of a buzz going on when I went to bed last night.

Getting up was a less than joyful occassion this morning, and I had to sit with my coffee for awhile before I could face the shower. After that ordeal, I started up the stairs and see that the curtains on the window at the landing have been torn down. Shit, I'm thinking, I must have been bouncing off the walls on the way downstairs this morning, though I don't remember being all stumbly or anything. Then I turn on the light in the bathroom and the contents of my makeup bag is scattered all over the floor. SHIT, I'm thinking now, what in the hell did I DO? I'm starting to feel pretty embarrassed by getting that messed up from 6 beers. I walked into my bedroom- the same room I was occupying not more than 40 minutes ago- and see the bed. Holy shit, it looked like a bomb hit it. All the covers were in a big pile, and while I do tend to toss and turn, I never do that much damage to the general alignment of sheets and comforter. By this time, I am mortified, ready to enroll in rehab, swearing off Demon Alcohol because I would have sworn I wasn't drunk when I went to bed. But, as they say in CSI, the evidence doesn't lie.

So I bent down to start making the bed when I realize that the big pile of covers is actually our oldest son. Apparently after a Nature Call he must have decided it was easier to pass out in my bed than walk back to his own. Thank God Old Sarge was already downstairs before this. It mighta gotten ugly.

Good Lord, I feel like Mama Fucking Bear- someone's been sleeping in MY bed!

Off Limits

Princess, you are not allowed to read this. Scoot!

Is she gone? Okay.

Need some help here. What is an appropriate gift/dollar amount for your child who is graduating from college? I don't have a clue.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Now I've Done It

Remember here a week or two ago when I said my back yard was gonna get tidied or heads would roll?

Well, that marginally happened. When my newly arrived son started giving Old Sarge a raft of shit about how bad the house looks, he got pissed. And told ME to shut up. (Memo to males- not a good thing to talk to me that way, unless you LIKE picking your balls out of your tonsils) But, some mowing and straightening up and sweeping did get accomplished- by me. But the fridge and lawn mower still remained.

Now my former Favorite Truck Driver has started a small engine repair business on the side. He was the one who originally tried to fix our mower three years ago, without putting much $ into it. And there it has sat, one maiden voyage and the rust and the bad carburator took over. Since our weather is crap at the moment, I jokingly asked him if since we were having a rain day if he'd want to go pickup the mower.

Oh dear, he did. Right at Old Sarge's lunch hour.

So the lawn mower is gone, Old Sarge is having a grand mal hissy and now all I have to do is get the fridge moved into the spot in the garage where the plow attachment to the mower was.

In my defense, Favorite Driver said he ran it through the car wash before heading home, and he blew out more dead leaves from underneath the mower than he had in his entire yard last fall.

May baskets

I suppose I should have some riveting commentary on the illegal immigrant protests that are happening today. Or I could ask if anyone knows that today is Loyalty Day, and that this US holiday came about as an anti-Soviet/Marxist alternative to May Day.

But what I am remembering is May baskets.

This was a Big Deal when I was growing up, this making and delivering of May baskets. The night before, I would be sitting with colored construction paper and rounded-tip scissors, marking carefully on the paper where I should cut so that, with the help of a stapler, the paper would fold up into a perfect basket with handle. Mom would make popcorn and I would fill my baskets with that, Indian candy corn and what ever other little treats we could afford. After school the next day, the finishing touch of violets for decoration would be added, and off I would go to deliver them to my friends, all the while wondering how many baskets had been dropped off at our house for me.

Does anyone else remember doing this?