Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween, Girls!

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Because I was SO hoping there would be a full moon tonight!

Monday, October 30, 2006


Dax has posted a couple of perfect margarita recipes. They look pretty good in general. My personal favorite?
crushed ice
Patron Anejo tequila
Grand Marnier or Cointreau
juice from three lime wedges
just a splash of Rosa's
served in a highball glass
salt- take it or leave it.

What's your best margarita? And on a side note, blended or on the rocks? Me personally as a former bartender, blenders are for sissies.


Jack was not happy. Jack was, in fact, wet, cold, miserable and plowing through some very dense brush, looking for the buck he had shot with his bow an hour ago. He had been following the blood trail as best he could, but the light was starting to go and there was still no sign of his buck. And to make matters worse, he was now facing a barbed wire fence with No Trespassing signs every 100 ft., ruby drops of blood glistening on the leaves just on the other side.
Jack knew exactly where he was. The Slingerland Farm, where he had hunted every year since he was a boy, bordered another large estate. Set at the top of Kennedy Hill, Deerfield boasted its own water tower and two separate gatehouses at the road. What lay beyond the gatehouses was the source of much rumor and speculation. No one was ever allowed to hunt on the property, and the Hirschmorders were not close with their neighbors. Jack doubted whether old lady Hirschmorder had been out of the house in twenty years.
Still…shit. He and Diane needed that venison. Surely it was better to track down a wounded animal than let it suffer?
Well, Jack old, boy, he thought, surely it would have been better to put him down immediately. And with that, Jack climbed the fence into Deerfield.

Diane was not happy. Diane was, in fact, bouncing wildly between anger and worry. Jack was missing their first Halloween together as a married couple for hunting, and he should have been back by now. The trick-or-treaters were long gone by now. It was full dark out, way too dark to see anything if he was still hunting. And accidents happened from time to time. Should she drive by the Legion Hall like a jealous wife, to see if he had a big buck in the back of the truck and was inside, bragging over a beer? Drive up to Slingerland’s and see if his truck was still there? Unease was creeping in like a fog, obscuring the anger. Diane grabbed her keys and left the house.

Jack swore softly, a raspberry bramble catching him square across the face. Just ahead was a glint of moonlight on what he hoped was antler, laying down in the jing-sing. Quiet now, quiet, he thought, slowly pulling his bowstring back, hoping one quick shot would finish it. Damn, the buck looked much bigger than it had from his tree stand. Must be at least a twelve point. Jack took a deep breath and the buck opened his eyes, glowing red as…

Blood splattered everywhere, black in what little light there was through the trees. Jack fell to his knees. What the hell had just happened? He felt sick and dizzy, blood dripping in his eyes until he could no longer see. Was it his blood? Jack wasn’t sure, he felt hot and nauseated. More than anything he had to get up. Hands out in front of him, he tried to get his feet underneath him, only to find that, well, this was good. This felt stable. Like he had four legs instead of two and surely that was impossible, but yet he was standing. He shook his head; it felt heavy, but at last the blood cleared from his eyes. And he remembered that he was supposed to…what was it? He was looking for something, wasn’t he?

Diane sat in her car, crying, at the foot of Kennedy Hill. Damn, she had just made an ass of herself at the Legion. Seeing a few of Jack’s buddies’ cars out in front, she had gone in and, before she knew it, accused them of covering up for Jack. Why did she have to be so insecure? They had only been married seven months; times were a little tough, but it wasn’t anything they couldn’t get through, she thought. Diane wiped her eyes on her sleeve, and started the car again. As she was turning around in Slingerland’s drive, she spotted Jack’s truck. Diane stopped and got out to check the truck, but it was empty. Panic started gripping at her heart; it was nearly midnight, and there was no way Jack could still be hunting. He must have gotten hurt. Diane backed out of the drive and started up Kennedy Hill, looking for Jack..
High beams on, Diane crept along the shoulder, straining her eyes into the blackness. She stopped a few times to call Jack’s name, but it echoed back to her. Finally she reached the top of the hill, where the first gatehouse stood. No way Jack could be in there, she thought. Everyone knew you did not trespass at Deerfield. Diane pulled into the drive to turn around and start her search over when something glinted in the headlights. Once again, she stopped the car and began calling for Jack. As she stepped through the stone arch of the gatehouse, the woods parted, revealing not man nor beast, but a hellish union of the two. And it was not Jack, strictly speaking, that answered Diane.

Give it to her, thought the thing-that-was-not-Jack, give it to the bitch good. Damn complaining bitch, nothing was ever good enough, couldn’t keep her damn mouth shut, made him sit in the woods like a goddamned animal! He’d show her, by god, gripping her by the arms, lunging himself into her again, and again, and again. An unearthly scream ripped through the darkness.

Diane, on the other hand, said nothing, gored stem to stern by the thing-that-was-not-Jack’s vicious antlers.

In the dark of the night, in the pale moonlight, an old woman opened French doors leading out to a small clearing of the woods. She held out her hand filled with corn, and a large buck stepped out from the trees, antlers glistening. It nuzzled the old woman, and fed from her hand before stepping back. The old woman looked at her hand, now stained red from the buck’s velvet lips. She wiped her hands across her face.

“My, you have been busy tonight, haven’t you dear one?”

There is a phantom, they say, that walks the road on Kennedy Hill. Some may say she is a hitchhiker; some compare her to Resurrection Mary. The truth, though, may be that Diane is never leaving Jack in Deerfield.

She Lives!

Hey, still alive and kicking! Just been busy doing that WORK thing and...I do believe I promised a ghost story for Halloween.

When T1G were first getting to know one another, he had asked if I knew anything about the ghost up on Kennedy Hill outside of Byron. What I knew wasn't much, other than it is a damn creepy place, especially at night. Kennedy Hill is a steep one, with the Deerfield Estate at its crest. I don't know a thing about that place, other than it has two gatehouses on the property, fairly pretentious for this neck of the woods. And speaking of woods, that is all you can see of the place. No main house, nothing. The imagination runs wild.

It just so happens this stretch of road seems to have a resident phantom that makes appearances now and then. My brother swears she is naked.

He would.

So patience, please, Deerfield is in the works and will be debuting shortly.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

I'm A-Raging

The milk of human kindness flows very drudgingly through my veins at times. I know this, and usually am pretty good about hiding my blackened, shriveled heart. But I had an encounter last Friday night that has been bothering me to no end, and I am not sure I am right in how I reacted.

A few of us were meeting at the VF*n*W, putting the final touches on a fundraiser we were having on Saturday night, and there was also a fish fry going on in back, so folks were passing back and forth between the canteen to the kitchen. A woman stopped and asked if the Ladies Auxiliary President was in the building. I told her no, but I was past president, could I help her with anything? She said she was interested in joining the Auxiliary and starting a support network, since her son was in basic training.

I proceeded to tell her about the things our Post does for the troops, i.e. sending boxes constantly, our adoption of a local National Guard unit, helping a local soldier who has been at Brooke Army Medical Center for three years now, etc. The more I talked, the more of a funny look she gave me.
“Well, that’s not exactly what I meant,” she said. “I was thinking more support for me, being a mom and all.”
At this point, I leaned forward in my chair with my hands clasped in front of me on the table, and ask her what kind of assistance she needs.
“Oh, I’m just so worried about my boy! He’s never been away from home, and I can’t call him, and my God, they’re probably going to send him to Iraq-“
“-and I just can’t cope with this right now, he shouldn’t have joined the Army, this war is so wrong, I just know there are mothers that feel the way I do that I can talk to.”
There was more, but I couldn’t listen anymore.I didn’t say anything, just sat there feeling my ears turning red. One of the guys I was sitting with, a Gulf War vet, said, “You know you’re in a VFW???”
“Well, yes, your organization is supposed to give me the kind of help I need, right?”
At this point I laid my hand over Rob’s, and told the woman, yes, there were three of us that have sons in the military and that I would talk to them and see what they thought about starting a group.

Anything to get rid of her.

Well. We have been through three deployments, and will have a son deployed again by January. And never, EVER have I ever considered showing any kind of doubt or worry to a complete fucking stranger. And my two friends? Marine moms. Nuff said.

So…am I completely insensitive, or was my perception that this woman was whining about oh poor me right on the money? Because she never asked about us sending anything to her son if or when he deploys.

Oh…and she kinda looked like Cindy Sheehan, but more hippy-ish in her dress.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Monster of the Midway

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Yawn...Wake me up when we get to the Super Bowl.

Highlights of Low Lifes

In case anyone wondered, NO, I didn’t get thrown into jail for decking the ex-wife OR her nasty mother, though God knows they both had it coming. I’ve been sick since we got back, no doubt from being packed into aircraft with the unwashed masses.

It snowed the day we left; not much, just a ¼ of an inch, but damn, that is so wrong on the 12th of October! When we got to the airport, the lines were unbelievable. In the age of self-check in, this was a bit shocking. Our plane to St. Louis was supposed to leave at 5:40, but when our boarding passes were spit out, it was delayed until 6:57. Curses!! We were supposed to catch our flight to Jacksonville at 7:30, so no way was this going to work out for us. To the ticket counter we head along with 200 other travelers who were also having problems. When we finally made our way to an agent, Old Sarge asked why all the delays. The Sweet Young Thing behind the counter said it was because of the snow that morning. Now, folks, we are at O’HARE!!! You cannot tell me that little bit of fluff was enough to shut down one of the world’s busiest airports. Old Sarge isn’t buying it, and goes off on a tangent about getting B-52’s out in a blizzard at Minot, and I had to poke him because SYT apparently doesn’t know what a B-52 is or where Minot is- she is puzzled. She says we will have to fly out in the morning.

On Friday the 13th.

Now the Rage kicks in, and I am telling her, no, that is not acceptable because if I had fucking WANTED to fly on Friday the 13th, I would have booked a flight then, and since I didn’t, somebody had better get me on a flight or much plague and pestilence would be raining down on American Airlines.

Thirty minutes later, we were on standby for a direct flight to Jacksonville. I didn’t have much hope of being let on, but we were lucky and the delays that screwed us up so bad were widespread- the flight was only half full. AND we found out at the gate that O’Hare had been shut down for several hours while the President was in town. Why didn’t they just say so?

We made it to Jacksonville only slightly off schedule and made our way to our motel. I use the word motel with a lot of hesitation, flophouse might be a better description. This is a national chain of fairly good reputation, but damn! Just on the way to the room, I had a drunk guy fall all over me because he couldn’t figure how to open the courtyard door, and then as we got closer to our room, two heavily tattooed Latino gentlemen were having a go at a Cadillac with a slim jim and screwdriver.

We locked and chained our door.

Got our car the next morning and headed up to Brunswick. Son #2 wants us to meet at Wal-Mart with his mother and other assorted ex-in-laws. We had stopped for breakfast, I spilled all over the front of my shirt, and I am less than thrilled about the whole thing, much less being very messy. Old Sarge was good enough to let me run into Sears first to get a clean shirt, we met up with the entourage and headed out to St. Simon Island, where the wedding would be taking place.

The FIRST thing out of my husband’s ex-MIL’s mouth is, “So nice you could make THIS wedding.” A little background here: Old Sarge and I had four trips planned for this year. One to Georgia when Young Sgt and his bride settled into Ft. Benning, one for Son #4 and his child bride’s wedding in South Carolina, one for The Princess’s college graduation, and then this trip. An accounting of our finances. however, dictated that we could take two trips together, but would have to split up for the other two. I went to Georgia, Old Sarge went to South Carolina and apparently I am the Devil. According to ex-MIL. Bitch.

Discretion being the better part of valor, though not nearly as satisfying, I walked out on the pier, did some shopping and generally stayed away from the rehearsal cookout. Begging my son at. Ft. Benning and my daughter, who had flown into Atlanta, to please hurry up and provide reinforcements.

Finally it was time for us to get checked in over on Jekyll Island. My daughter-in-law had found us a very affordable place to stay, and it was right on the ocean. Our reservation had said there was no ocean view from our room, but all we had to do was open the patio door and it was there. (You did good, Diana!!) The Princess was extending her booty call in Atlanta for the night, but Young Sgt and his wife would be arriving shortly. We picked up some beer and reconnoitered the island while we were waiting for them.

For Northerners, it is quite an experience to sit outside and relax by the ocean. We sat around talking and drinking for quite awhile, then got a call from Son #2. He had escaped his mother’s clutches and wanted to party just a bit. By the time he got there, though, alas there was no more beer, but the resort just up from us had a lounge open until 2 a.m. Had I been twenty years younger I would have been delighted. But, I have a fine sense of duty and reveled with the best of them. Son #2 and his friend ended up staying with us that night.

Just an aside here, because it feels good to let it out. My biokids and I were pretty much ignored by everyone during the wedding part of the trip. I expected rudeness and I got plenty of it. Two things kept me from a-swingin’. One- Son #2 has been with us (except for his time in the Army) since high school. I like to think it’s because we don’t smother and badger him. I like to think we’re his comfort zone as far as parents go. Second- even though our kids aren’t terribly close, it meant everything to me to have Young SGT, his wife and The Princess and her date there. I miss them so much and it was a great opportunity for a little family reunion.

Okay, the day of the wedding?? In a word, FIASCO!! The Bride’s mother, man, there is no way to say it but white trash, rode hard and put away wet. And mother-of-the-bridezilla. This was surprising, because my new daughter-in-law is very sweet and soft spoken. Nothing was going right with the ceremony, which was to be held at the Lighthouse on St. Simon. We had to get there an hour earlier than we had planned for pictures, then had to leave again with Son #2 so he would not see his Bride while her pictures were taken. This involved going BACK to Jekyll to kill some time. Unfortunately, no one called when they should have to tell us to come back when pictures were done, so we ended up being late with the groom. By this time, Mother of the Bride has fallen off her ridiculously high heels- and I’m hoping that’s ALL that fell, I didn’t know the mothers were supposed to show that much cleavage- and cut her knee, we are getting dirty looks for being late and I am perilously close to telling someone, anyone, to go fuck themselves. The ex-wife is insisting on pictures of only the immediate
(i.e. “real”) family, and all I can think of is that I noticed a bar called Brogin’s just around the corner.
The ceremony was short and sweet. This kids looked wonderful, and happy, but as Young SGT said, you got the feeling of just going through the motions. Maybe being a Catholic I expected a little more, but who knows. Ten minutes and it was done. The reception was back on Jekyll, and we were the first to get there. As we walked into the room, we stopped dead in our tracks, looking at the Leaning Tower of Wedding Cake. With the Penthouse face down on the table. I am torn between being horrified and trying not to giggle. Young SGT, fortunately, has no sense of inappropriate humor and started taking pictures of the ruined cake with his phone and sending them to Son #1. He is also one squared away soldier, because this was to be a dry reception and if ever we needed a beer, it was before the rest of the party got there. We retired to his van and cooler for much appreciated libations.
The reception was blessedly short and we headed back to our rooms again for more relaxed conversation. (and beer) The next morning we gathered for breakfast in honor of Young SGT’s birthday, then headed out in our respective directions. I have decided that grits are quite possibly a perfect food- I liked them every way I tried them.

I really would like to go back to Jekyll Island again someday. It’s really beautiful there, not as pretentious as St. Simon.

Oh, I showed a few guys I work with a picture of Old Sarge’s ex from the wedding. They asked me number one, what had they ever done to me to scar them so badly and number two, how did Old Sarge stay drunk all that time?

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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Vacation Time

Posting's going to be light for a week. Son #2 gets married in Brunswick, Jekyll Island actually, on Saturday and we'll be leaving Thursday. I have no dress. I have no shoes. I desperately need a haircut. I DO have son #3 & #4's birthday presents. Be sure to wish Young SGT a Happy 25th Birthday!

I have never seen the Atlantic Ocean, and we'll be staying right on it. All I have to do to have a perfect weekend is not deck the ex-wife for being a stupid insufferable fucking cow and get to have drinks on the beach.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Semper Fi, Michael

Of all the great times this past weekend, the best of course was my brother-in-law's retirement ceremony.

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But then, it's always good to spend time in the company of Marines.

We stopped at the Arsenal's tiny PX to pick up a few things. Two Marines were waiting in line as the only cashier was trying to help us, and we let them go ahead as they looked pressed for time. One of them said, "We aren't really, we just need to get dressed for a damn retirement ceremony." Old Sarge just smiled and told them that's we were heading too, since 1SGT Mike is his brother. Damn, I felt bad for that kid!! He was checking out a bottle of Cuervo, and I told him I'd be meeting him at the parade grounds. He grinned and said it helped take the edge off.

It was an absolutely gorgeous day on the Mississippi, and I wouldn't have missed it for anything.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Rolling Victory!!!

Today's the day! To celebrate my 48th year of walking this earth, I'm doing this:

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Yep, no birthday cake today. It's finally my turn to say yes, I support our military AND their mission.

So right now I'm at work, full moon out my window, 1st Infantry Division coffee cup filled with the nectar of life, ready to do my part. I'll update this during the day to let you know how I'm doing.

12:00 noon:
My office has decided to take the money we would normally spend on lunch and donate it to the VF*n*W's Operation Uplink program, which provides phone cards to deployed and wounded service members.

3:00 pm:
Thanks to everyone who left the kind words over at Tanker Brothers. I'm offline for the rest of the day, but I've appreciated everything. If you don't do another thing worthwhile all day, say a prayer of thanks for our men and women in the military!


WOW!!! My daughter's 6th grade band just played me Happy Birthday over the phone!!!

Thank goodness she told me I was on speaker phone, since my second language is profanity!

Weekend in Hell

Yep, that's what we call Autumn on Parade weekend in our little town. It is a SERIOUS pain in the ass for those of us who live in town. Cars blocking your driveway, people from the city all over the place and WHAT in the name of God would possess people to bring their dogs? I swear, Sunday you will see me on my front porch with my BB gun, just waiting for the mongrel hordes that insist on shitting in my yard. I must have the most popular maple tree in northern Illinois.
Sunday is always chili day- folks stop in, grab a bowl & a beer, visit a little and go on their way. It's what we were doing five years ago, Sunday October 7th. Having a beer in the back yard when the radio announced we had started bombing Afghanistan...
Saturday will be good, though. My dear brother-in-law, 1SGT Mike, is retiring from the Marine Corps, so we'll be heading for Rock Island Arsenal for his ceremony.I really think he's ready; I've met his new CO and she is a real bitch. Be sure to raise a glass for Mike this weekend- he's a helluva a guy.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


I have had two or three people today tell me that I don't look well. All week, my throat has been bothering me, gots a little bit of a fever and just no energy. I took a good long look in the mirror just now, and holy crap! I look like I have two black eyes.
No idea.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


SGT Hook has an outstanding video he's put together over at his place. This will definitely give you your daily heartswell.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Bug Sex

Tammi , I feel your pain. I have a boxelder orgy going on outside my office!

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