Saturday, September 29, 2007

Slainte' !

Please wish my friend Contagion a Happy Birthday!

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I know this is the same thing that I got you last year; hope you like it!

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Coming of (Old) Age

Blech! Work!

For lack of anything worthwhile to post, I am going to let you, my loyal readers- both of you- make an important decision for me.

You see, next Saturday is my birthday. It is also the last birthday I will have that I will NOT be receiving a nice birthday card from AARP or getting a red hat for a present.
Unfortunately, next weekend also brings the bane of my existence, Autumn on Parade, to my hometown, the yearly infestation of Chicagoans that visit our quaint little burg in search of their annual arts and crafts fix. And their little dogs, too!

There is no Firemen's dance this year.

There IS an Alumni Dance, but good God, I couldn't stand those people thirty years ago, much less now.

I can't count on Old Sarge for any festivities because staying up past 8:00 p.m. would make his head explode.

SO...what's a gal to do for the 20th anniversary of her 29th birthday?

I'm open for suggestions!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Miss Direction

If only it was this easy every day...

As a dispatcher, I have to make sure that all my truck drivers know how to get to their jobs. The biggest problem that I have is, they will sometimes ask me, "Do I turn by the BP station?" or "Isn't that out by So-and-So's Restaurant?"

Seriously, now, guys. I. NEVER. LEAVE. MY. OFFICE. And when I do, I am heading west back to home and God's Country, not where our jobs are located. Nevertheless, 99% of the time I am spot on for getting them where they need to go. Thank goodness for Flashearth! And every once in a while I just get lucky.

This morning, I had a customer trying to give directions to a job that doesn't actually have an address, he can't remember the street names and really has no talent for giving directions. Then, out of his mouth comes the one little piece of information that just nails it for me.

RM: Hey, do any of you guys know where Black Jack's is in St. Charles?
4 drivers in unison: The strip club????

Honestly, if all of our jobs were either next to a strip club or a bar, they wouldn't even need me.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Stop everything you are doing, grab a hanky and head over to Bou's to read Wounded Warriors, Their Families and The Haley House Fund.

If you say that didn't just tear you up, I would say that requires a willful suspension of belief.

Bou, thank you so much for bringing this to everone's attention and thank you for all you do.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Tall Redheads...Mmmmmm

Because you can't have too much of a good thing when it comes to tall, redheaded men, a little more David Ball:

New Wheels

Baby's got a brand new ride...

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And Mama's pretty damn delighted about it!

The Thought Of You

I have been teribly weepy lately. Pre-deployment blues, I guess. But tears seem to find me when I am least expecting them, and I am getting less and less embarrassed about just letting them flow when they need to.

David Ball is, without exception, my very favorite country artist. This song, even though it is a love song, pretty much sums up these little sneak attacks of tears:

Last night after we had taken the granddaughter and Eldest Son to the carnival, we came back to house. I was starting dinner (with much aid of little hands), Son #2 walked in the door, Young SGT called and all was blessed chaos for a bit. Seriously, Old Sarge and I live for the times when the kids are around or call.

So...Young SGT has his orders and his departure date, so we wait. Son #2 swears back in this Friday and will be leaving for Ft. Bragg. Son #4 is still a question mark, although it is WHEN and not IF. Thus goes life in this military family.

Now excuse me, I have to watch that video again...

Friday, September 21, 2007

A POW's Prayer

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God, please grant me
The courage and endurance
To persevere at the hands
Of my enemies.

Please endow me with the presence
Of mind to always remember
Who and what I am.

Gift me with the needed fortitude
To resist all torture and deprivation
Be it mental or physical.

And most of all dear lord
Grant unto me the power and ability
To keep my soul and resolve,
American, to the core.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Must Read

Michael Totten has one of the most hopeful pieces about Iraq that I have read in quite awhile. Take a few minutes and read Anbar Awakens Part II for some absolutely amazing stories about Ramadi.

Monday, September 17, 2007


A woman went to her doctor. The doctor, after an examination,
sighed and said, "I've some bad news. You have cancer, and you'd best
put your affairs in order."
The woman was shocked, but managed to compose herself and walk
into The waiting room where her daughter had been waiting.
"Well daughter, we women celebrate when things are good, and we
celebrate when things don't go so well. In this case, things aren't
well. I have cancer. Let's head to the club and have a martini."
After 3 or 4 martinis, the two were feeling a little less somber.
There were some laughs and more martinis. They were eventually
approached by some of the woman's old friends, who were curious as to
what the two were celebrating.
The woman told her friends they were drinking to her impending end.
"I've been diagnosed with AIDS."
The friends were aghast and gave the woman their condolences.
After the friends left, the woman's daughter leaned over and whispered,
"Momma, I thought you said you were dying of cancer, and you
just told your friends you were dying of AIDS."
The woman said, "I don't want any of those bitches sleeping with
your father after I am gone.

One More Time...

"Oh, Dad, I almost forgot to tell you. I get my orders October 1st."

On the phone yesterday with the youngest son.

Ripping Off Veterans

There is something I have wanted to post about for over a month now, but I've been waiting to see how things are going to pan out. I'm still not sure, but I've been so angry over this, I just gotta go with it.

There is a man who makes his living, in large part, to supplying service organizations with patriotic shirts and hats, pictures, football gear for raffles, etc. Since Desert Storm he has made a very good living doing this. He sells to VF*n*Ws all over Illinois and Wisconsin.

This summer, he said he wanted to put on a fundraiser in appreciation for all the business we had provided him with, the proceeds going to Veterans Affairs Volunteer Services (VAVS). A very nice idea, we all thought. So dozens of us from various Posts across the state bought tickets to this show, an Elvis impersonator.

When Old Sarge and I got there, the reserved table we paid an extra $100 for was not available. The items they had displayed for raffles were CRAP! Or at least, I do not consider a buy one, get one half off drink coupon at some restaurant I would never go to anyway much of a bargain. We ended up at a table in the back of the room with our backs to the stage. It was Pathetic.

Now, two weeks ago, word leakes out from another VFW that this man had said that he went in the hole, there would be no money for VAVS.

Bullshit detectors went off all over.

For starters, several VFW members talked to the impersonator to see how much he usually charges, in case there came a time someone needed entertainment. He gave out his fee, but also said that he was making this appearance free for VAVS. So that was $2500-$3000 that was NOT an expenditure.

And as I said, the raffle table was CRAP. There couldn't have been a big expense there, and like alot of people, we still bought raffle tickets just because it was a fundraiser.

So at $15 per person with over 300 people, the hall is free, the entertainmemt is free, minimal expenditure on raffles- where in the hell did the money go?

My Post invited him to a board meeting to explain why there was no money for VAVS. Old Sarge said there was alot of screaming and finger-pointing and it's-everyone's-fault-but-mine and in the end, he got hisself barred from selling anything to our Post ever again.

Since then, he called a meeting at one of the bigger VFWs up north (which is not protocol, he is not a member) and threw the same tantrum, and called the commander of another Post an idiot.

Folks, I work benefits or fundraisers at least every six months, and I am usually the one who keeps track of the money. We KNOW the night of an event what we have made. This is a man that either by design or incompetence has taken money intended for our veterans and done who-knows-what with it.
I have heard that our Department Officers will be investigating.

Normally I am not a vengeful person-

Oh who am I kidding??!! I am furious over this.

His name is Joe Goyak.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Drugs Are Not My Friend

I am notorious for not going to the doctor when I am sick. I hate it, and I have no patience for waiting rooms. If you are already sick, who wants to be around a bunch of other sick people, right?

But, the boss informed me yesterday that I had better do something about this cough because it's making HIM hurt. So, I called into the doctor's office and request something to ease the coughing.

Them: You really need to come in. We have an opening in half an hour.
RM: I can't. I'm an hour away and I can't leave.
Them: We'll call you back.


Them: You really need to come in. We have an opening in 45 minutes, and after that Doctor is gone for the afternoon.
RM: No, I CAN'T come in, I'm still an hour away and I carpooled, so I can not come in.
Them: We'll call you back.

Them: Okay, we're calling in a prescription for you here in town.
RM: Thanks, that's great. (pause) Um, you remembered I have a bad codeine allergy, right?
Them: Oh dear. We'll call you back.

Much later...
Old Sarge: I tried to pick up your prescription, but they don't have it.
RM: What, it didn't get called in?
OS: No, it JUST got called in, but they don't have the product.
RM: Since I'm in XXXX can they call their pharmacy there?
OS: Yep.

OS: They don't have it there, so they're calling it into Walgreen's in XXXX.
RM: (sigh) On my way.

At Walgreen's:
RM: DO you have a prescription for Mrs. Sarge?
Them: No, we don't.

Fuck it. I went home and "self-medicated". My dear husband ran down later last night and got my drugs, which I took right before I went to work.
Now, when I got to work, I was deathly ill and getting a rash on my chest, so I googled the ingredients in these meds:

Hydrocodone or dihydrocodeinone (marketed as Vicodin, Anexsia, Dicodid, Hycodan (or generically Hydromet), Hycomine, Lorcet, Lortab, Norco, Novahistex, Hydroco, Tussionex, Vicoprofen, Xodol. Bekadid, Calmodid, Codinovo, Duodin, Kolikodol,Orthoxycol, Mercodinone, Synkonin, Norgan,Hydrokon) is a semi-synthetic opioid derived from two of the naturally occurring opiates, codeine and thebaine.

Honestly. It is easier to just deal with the pneumonia than it is health care "professionals".

Friday, September 14, 2007

Graduation Day

Someone who I am VERY proud to know has done something extaordinary today.

RSM of When The Smoke Clears is graduating from Basic training today.

Just say the word, my friend, and culinary yummies will be headed your way!

Collecting vs. Obsessing

Last night, Old Sarge and I went to the annual Whitetails Unlimited banquet. This is our fourth year there and much ritual has to be observed so that OS wins a gun every year.

First, we must stop at Arnie's Happy Spot Bar for a pre-banquet cocktail.

We have to sit with the same couples that we always have.

I must bid on duck decoys.

Then, and only then, will Old Sarge win a shotgun.


My brother was working late over by the Mississippi and had to meet us there, so no Arnie's for us.

We did find the couples we always sit with, though I'll be damned if I remember their names.

And I bid on decoys. Oh MY, did I bid on decoys. Silent auction and regular auction, I bid on every decoy I saw so that OS could win his gun.

Unfortunately, the end result? I have FIVE damn duck decoys, a shelf unit that looks like a boat, and a meat grinder. I have no idea how I managed that!

Old Sarge did not win a gun.

But he won a VERY nice bow!

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

More Wall News

Speaking of the Wall, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund has put up one of the traveling walls here in Sycamore, just about a mile up the road from where I work, at the Sycamore Community Park starting today through Sunday. Old Sarge and I will be out Friday night to see it. If you are in this area and have never had the opportunity to see the Wall, PLEASE try to get out here. It will move you like nothing else.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Language Alert- It's Bad!

Okay, this is more posting than I have done in a month, but in catching up on my blog reading, I found this article at Misha's.If you care for a more direct link to the pictures, it's here.

Back? Okay.

Some Goddamn fucking asshole has apparently thrown some kind of liquid to simulate PISS on the Viet Nam WALL!!!! What kind of a pathetic, cocksucking, motherfucking inbred pussy defiles a war memorial???

I do not give a rat's ass how anyone feels about any war. BUT...

Don't you ever let me catch you even putting a scratch on a monument to men and women who gave their lives for their country!! Only the worst sonofabitch can't realize, it's not about opinion, it's not about right or wrong, it's about people who have given the last full measure of devotion to our country and to each other.

You need something to piss on? Try pissing down your own leg, because that is what you would surely be doing if me, or someone who thinks like me, ever got ahold of you.

Another Question

Ooh! One more question for today.

I have had two vacuum sealers, one a Black & Decker and the other a FoodSaver. Neither one works anymore; in fact, the FoodSaver finally gave out at the end of OIFII. Since I imagine oatmeal raisin cookies are going to be demanded on a regular basis, can anyone recommend a decent vacuum sealer?

If You Have a Moment...

Son #2 leaves for MEPS in Chicago tomorrow, and Round Two in the Army. Please keep him in your thoughts.

And just for the hell of it:

Lighten up, Francis!

There is a Season

Our weather has turned very cool over the past fews days, and I really welcome it. Because baggy sweatshirts make one look thinner, right?? But not only that, it made chicken and dumplings sound perfect for dinner last night. I'd post the recipe, but you might just as well buy a Paula Deen cookbook, because that's whose recipe I used.

Note to self- when using all your cayenne pepper supply to keep the squirrels out of the bird feeder, (like that really helped) substitute southwestern chipotle seasoning!

Oh my, was that GOOD! Old Sarge had three helpings, although between #2 and #3 he changed into his sweatpants.

What's YOUR favorite fall fare?

Boxer Ears!

Well, damn it, I have been sidelined with a respiratory thingy since last Friday and have missed much. Although I see Tammi. has certainly been on the ball!

Let me tell you, I am surprised that I have not blown out what is left of my pathetic, abused little lungs after screaming at the TV yesterday. I was pretty much channel surfing between naps, sampling the 9-11 coverage, when I stopped on CSPAN.

Just in time for Barbara Boxer lecturing Gen. Petraeus.

And it was ugly. That petty old bitch being so condescending to one of the greatest military minds we will ever have the great fortune to encounter....She NEVER EVEN ASKED HIM A QUESTION!!! Just stood on her frikkin' soapbox, ran over her alotted time and tried to berated that honorable man like he was a schoolboy.

It was pathetic.

I watched a little longer; the next few questions were tough but fair, I thought. Ambassador Crocker gave good answers, but dear Lord, he's dry. Gen. Petraeus was professional through it all. I had to turn the channel again when Obama came on- Illinois suffers enough shame with its' Senators.

Can we all agree that militarily, the United States cannot be beaten? Yes?

Then this defeatist attitude that has infected so many must come from somewhere, and all I can think of is the old Pogo cartoon:

"We have met the enemy, and he is us!"

Well, some of us. Them, as I prefer to call them.

I'm with Tammi. And Jackass Acres just became a MILITARIZED zone!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Six Years

Six years now.

Six years ago, I was sitting at this same desk when the truck drivers started talking about a plane hitting the World Trade Center. Then another one. Then the Pentagon, and the plane crash in Pennsylvania. In less than an hour and a half, the world changed.

Six years ago, only my Eldest Son was in the military, a Marine stationed in Japan. I would not be able to talk to him for two weeks.

Six years ago, we gathered at the Pub, and I saw for the first time the footage from that day:

I asked my friend, a WWII veteran, “Is this how it starts?” He said, yes, this was how a war started.

Six years ago, we were sitting outside. The wide, blue Illinois sky was free of contrails. And then, a fighter jet passed over. In just two days, it had become strange to see a plane in the air.

Six years later, we are the only family for blocks that has an American flag out in front of the house.

Six years later, we are the only family in town with a Blue Star Banner that has three stars. We are preparing, (as if you truly can) for the fourth deployment of one of our sons next month.

Six years later, I get expressions of pity because I have children serving our country.

Six years later, I get rants of rage if I say that war was the best option of many bad choices.

What a difference one day can make.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Stormy Weather

I think I have mentioned that our weather has been a bit on the overly-exciting side this summer. This picture was taken just a few miles down the road during one of our big storms:

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Can We Call It Treason Yet?

From the Washington Times:

"The Bush report?" Senate Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin said when asked about the upcoming report from Gen. Petraeus, U.S. commander in Iraq.

"We know what is going to be in it. It's clear. I think the president's trip over to Iraq makes it very obvious," the Illinois Democrat said. "I expect the Bush report to say, 'The surge is working. Let's have more of the same.' "


There are days when I am SO embarrassed by Illinois' senators that I almost want to move to Wisconsin.

Oh wait...

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Living With Wild Life

Did you know these are territorial little bastards?

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We've been seeing quite a few hummingbirds in the neighborhood, so I put up a feeder for them. It's like watching a WWI dogfight- one bird will fly in for a drink with another one in hot pursuit to chase it away. To the Victor goes the Nectar.

I have had another bird feeder out all summer, and like Bou, cannot keep the squirrels out of it. I have it hanging from a shepherd's crook, and damn if those little tree rats can't climb it. I have tried cayenne pepper in the seeds. I have tried PAM and Vaseline on the pole. Nothing works. Open for suggestions here!

It's not that I hate squirrels per se. But there is so damn much for them to eat OTHER than my bird seed, it pisses me off. And then there's the Iowans.

Do you people in Iowa not have squirrels? Saturday, Old Sarge and I were coming home on Rt. 2, which, if you have never had the pleasure, is like driving between a rock and a wet place. Sandstone cliffs on one side and the river on the other. So if some moron with Iowa plates STOPS, mind you not slows down or swerves, but frikkin' STOPS right in the middle of the highway to let a squirrel get all the years I have known Old Sarge, I never knew an Air Force guy to know such colorful language! He had nowhere to go and almost rear-ended this idiot. Now who here thinks it's a great idea to jeopardize at least four humans for one squirrel?

Next time, Mr. Iowa Plates:

1) Just hit the damn thing- we have plenty OR

2) Stay home. You know what I.O.W.A. stands for, right?