Monday, December 24, 2007

It's A Wonderful Life, Sprout

This was a lot of fun. Here is my version of "It's A Wonderful Life", starring Sprout as George Bailey, Sproutette as Mary Bailey, Cousin Pedro as The Taxi Driver, Stoicdad as Clarence the Angel, Ole Uncle Joe as Uncle Billy and Shaggy the Dog as ZuZu. Go to to make your own movie. It's great.
Merry Christemas Bedford Falls!

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Happy 1st Anniversary, Mr. & Mrs. Sprout

Happy Anniversary, Sprout & Sproutette. I'm sorry you have to spend it so far away from each other but be happy in the thought that there will be many, many more. I love you both dearly.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Who Stole My Yeller Ribbons?

Okay, this is NOT funny. As you can see by the picture below in the previous post, my house is decorated with a "Support the Troops" theme. What you can't see in the picture are the two light-up yellow ribbons that are hanging on the two columns. They got lost in all the other lights in this picture. Anyway, I got up early this morning to finish my Christmas shopping. I didn't notice until I came home and was out on the front porch chatting with one of my many sisters on the phone, that someone had stolen the Christmas wreath right off the front door. Well, I wasn't too upset about's an old wreath and I need a new one anyway, but then I got thinking and walked out into the yard and turned and looked at the house and sure enough, they stole my two light-up yellow ribbons also. Now I am pissed. You can mess with me, you big green Grinch, but don't mess with my yellow ribbons. The stupid creeps even tried to steal the "Support Our Troops" sign but apparently they gave up when they realized it was tied down. Well, by sundown I had another wreath on the door (wired to the door for good measure) but I don't yet have another yellow ribbon. Sis bought a bunch of these ribbons on sale from ABC so she will replace my missing ribbons the next time she drives up to town. I'm thinking I will drive around the neighborhood and see which of my troop-supporting neighbors is a thief. I ain't in a good mood anyway so they better stop messing with me.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Christmas Without You

What a soldiers home looks like at Christmas while he is away.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Wise Bunnies Still Seek Him

The Little General loves it when I bring out the nativity set at Christmastime. It's like a long lost dollhouse for her. And while some would say it's wrong to let the child play with sacred items, I would say "whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein." BLAH!!!

Last year she added a nice touch to the nativity that I mentioned in this post a year ago. This year, as you can see, our Lord and Savior is still able to draw a crowd. Along with the shepards there is a family of people and a family of bunnies and Baby Jesus is even gracious enough to share his manger.

"Why yes, that is an elf standing behind Mother Mary. You were expecting, maybe, Oprah?"

Now everybody say "Awwwwww".

Monday, December 03, 2007

No Light Fight This Year

Even though my dear mother is probably turning over in her grave and my son away at war may never speak to me again, I have committed a mortal sin by purchasing an artificial Christmas tree. I just could not face another year of cussing at my Christmas tree and getting my panties all in a wad. All I can say is "what took me so long?" If arificial trees had always looked so real I might have done this a long time ago. This has been so easy and except for the lack of a Christmas tree smell, I can't tell it's not real.

Here is one of my newest ornaments this year and it's quickly becoming my favorite. It's from Hallmark and it is so real looking I could swear that was my green bean casserole dish on the bottom shelf.

Hopefully, Sprout and Mama will find it in their hearts to forgive me. I'm sending Mama's famous fudge to Iraq tomorrow to maybe ease the hurt. Sorry Sprout...but I had to do it.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Good Teeth

There are two words that I never like to hear in the same sentence. Those words are "root" and "canal". Today I had a surprise one of those.

Let me start this off by saying that I have good teeth. I go to the dentist twice a year for a good cleaning and even though I have had some cavities, the hygenist always comments on how good my teeth are. I have never smoked and other than chewing on ice constantly, my teeth get very little abuse.

Well, three or four days ago, I started having a toothache. I decided that if it should start keeping me up at night, I would go to the dentist. It kept me up last night so today I made an appointment. I was expecting to have an old filling patched up, nothing more, but "Surprise! Surprise! You're going to see Dr. Two-Words-Uglier-Than-Hillary-And-Clinton". And wouldn't you know it, he can squeeze me in TODAY. Don't give a person time to think or anything, noooooooo!

Anyway, I went and got the happy gas and of course, one of the nurses out in the hallway starts laughing about something which got me to laughing hearing her laughing and I couldn't stop. Hey, they don't call it "laughing gas" fer nuttin. I hardly ever drink or take mind-altering anything, so I get zonked pretty easy. By the time I left that place, I was drunker than Cooter Brown on a Saturday night after a good confession. I asked the girl at the counter if they always took checks written by drunk women...she said "yes Ma'am" and smiled just as pretty as you please. Then they let me drive myself home. Heck, even my right eye was numb. Are these people crazy? As soon as I get feeling back in my face and can smile with both sides of my mouth, I'm gonna sue them.

Somebody coulda got hurt. And I would have laughed till I couldn't laugh no more.

Monday, October 22, 2007

A Just Reward

And he groped in his pocket for his mobile phone, the one we had dared not use because it would betray our position. And then Lieutenant Murphy walked out into the open ground. He walked until he was more or less in the center, gunfire all around him, and he sat on a small rock and began punching in the numbers to HQ. I could hear him talking. "My men are taking heavy fire...we're getting picked apart. My guys are dying out here...we need help." And right then Mikey took a bullet straight in the back.

(snip) Only I knew what Mikey had done. He'd understood we had only one realistic chance, and that was to call in help. He also knew there was only one place from which he could possibly make that cell phone work: out in the open, away from the cliff walls.

from Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell

If there is one book that I should have avoided like the plague before my son deployed to Iraq, it was Lone Survivor. This is the story of Navy Seal Team 10 and the survival and rescue of the lone surviving member of that team after meeting Taliban fighters in Afghanistan in 2005. I had intended to post about this book as soon as I finished reading it a couple of months ago but it was too fresh and my son might too soon be among some of those same enemy fighters. It was just too hard to think about then. Today as Lt. Michael Murphy, who is mentioned in the passage above, is posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor by President Bush, it is a fitting day to write my review of this book.

I must admit that I began crying before I finished reading the prologue. But I read the book with an open mind. The first half of the book felt as though I were watching a rerun of G.I. Jane as it describes the Navy SEAL training. Not boring, but not captivating either. I mean, after the first thousand push ups, you sort of get the idea that it was hard. I had even begun to get a little mad at the author for starting his book sounding so...happy...considering what he had been through. The first half of the book is very upbeat as he describes becoming a SEAL. After reading all of the things they have to endure, I began to wonder what kind of wimpy soldiers we must be producing if they could all go through this rigorous training only to be killed off by a couple of Taliban.


Half-way through the book, the real story began. As Marcus Luttrell describes the fire fight and how he and his three comrades fought off over FIFTY Taliban fighters, it quickly became apparent that I was one of those "foolish women" described so often in the bible. My idiot opinions before reading all the facts are embarrassing, if not downright retarded. What those four men went through on that beautiful mountainside is nothing if not heroic. And to realize that they fought off so many men armed with AK-47's and grenade launchers and still one of the SEALS survived, is absolutely jaw-dropping. The sheer numbers are astounding. This book should be required reading by every high school senior in this country so that they all understand just how valuable and precious our American soldiers are.

And while the description of the fire fight is almost heart-stopping (and will make a helluva scene in the movie) the best part of the book is the story of the Pashtun villagers who decide to protect the lone survivor with
"lokhay warkawal, an unbending section of historic Pashtun-walai tribal law as laid out in the hospitality section. The literal translation of lokhay warkawal is 'giving of a pot'. (snip)Lokhay means not only providing care and shelter, it means an unbreakable commitment to defend that wounded man to the death. And not just the death of the principal tribesman or family who made the original commitment for the giving of the pot. It means the whole damned village."

I came away from this book with a profound respect for these soldiers and a better understanding of the people of Afghanistan. This is a book another military mom might not have read but I am glad I did. Lt. Murphy is deserving of the Medal of Honor. It's a shame he is not alive to receive it.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Don't Go Breakin' My Heart

Since this blog is about Sprout and his military adventure, I don't post a whole lot about the rest of my family but sometimes I have to. Sprout's older brother, Sir Duke, is in the midst of a divorce. Though I hate that this is happening to him and his wife (who will always be my DIL as long as she's the mother of my grandkids), I especially hate how it's affecting the grandkids, Sgt. York and the Little General.

The saddest description of divorce came to me resently from the six-year-old logic of the Little General. We were talking and somehow the conversation turned to her parent's divorce. As tears welled up in those pretty blue eyes she said to me "When I'm with Mama, I miss Daddy. When I'm with Daddy, I miss Mama."

Sometimes you just have to hold them close.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Well He's Gone...To War

Any mother who has ever done it will tell you that sending a child into a war zone is as far from normal as anything she has ever done before. Walking into church buck naked with a tricycle on my head would feel more normal. Like any other mother species, we humans never stop protecting our young and doing anything so completely opposite of that is just plain weird. And to be honest, I have not sent my child to war. He just got up and went and there was nothing I could have done to stop it. It was his choice. True, he probably hoped when he joined the Army that he might somehow avoid the war, but he knew what his job would be. He knew that for all the sitting around and waiting and pretending and practicing and rehearsing that the desired end result would be that he would one day put his newly taught skills to the use that they were meant win a war. While he hated to leave his new wife and the family he loves, he was admittedly excited about going. Finally getting to do what he is trained to do is somehow a relief. Now our long wait begins.

Since putting his boots on the ground, he has found that the land he is in is beautiful. Really hot, but really pretty. Joining the war five years after it began, his experience is a little different, so far, than that of his cousin who was there at the beginning of the war in 2003, the same cousin who was told to "guard the gate" even though the gate had yet to arrive. Things now are much better for our soldiers and I imagine they get better every day. Living quarters, bathrooms, dining facilites all are getting better. And Sprout is in a good place. I am not as terribly worried as I thought I would be. He has been in contact with Sproutette and she keeps us advised of his condition. So far, so good. To me, it seems as if he has already been there for fifteen months so the next year or so will likely pass by very slowly. As for Sprout, he says it is a lot of long, hard days but he has learned more about his job since arriving in Iraq than the entire three years he has already served. Last night, just before midnight he called us for the first time. I woke up from a dead sleep but gosh, it was good to hear his voice. It was good to hear for myself that he is okay, he sounds good and normal. Now, if I can just find some way to keep it that way for that next fourteen months.

I began this blog three years ago with a post titled
Well He's Gone just after Sprout left for basic training. I guess now we have come full circle. Hopefully the time will be short when I can finally post "Well, He's Home".

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Why They Fight

While I'm still trying to find the right words to blog about my son going off to Iraq, a sister sent me this picture. The caption will kill ya. Go here to find the site where she found this.
Photo couresy of David W. Gilmore Jr./U.S. Air Force

Comforting Embrace

Air Force Chief Master Sgt. John Gebhardt, of the 332nd Expeditionary Medical Group at Balad, Irag, cradles a young girl as they both sleep in the hospital. The girl's entire family was executed by insurgents; the killers shot her in the head as well. The girl received treatment at the U.S. military hospital in Balad, but cries and moans often. According to nurses at the facility, Gebhardt is the only one who can calm down the girl, so he has spent the last several nights holding her while they both sleep in a chair

Saturday, September 08, 2007

BobbleHead Bin Laden

(AP Photo)

Is it just me or does the "new" Bin Laden (on the right) look like a bobblehead doll?
And the clothes? What are the odds of anybody wearing the same exact outfit in two videos supposedly made three or more years apart?

Fatima, you got 'splainin to do.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

From Boy? to Man

When Sprout was in the first or second grade, he did not like to do his homework. He especially did not like to write sentences using his spelling words. One particular night, after having sat with him for a long time while he dilly-dallied and played instead of finishing his homework, I finally had had enough and I popped his little leg hard and threatened him with more harm if he did not finish writing his sentences by the time I returned. I then withdrew all my motherly help and began loading the dishwasher.

After a few minutes, I returned to check his progress, which was going very well due to a swift dose of corporal punishment. I forget now what most of his spelling words were, but they were simple words like home, from, came, with, wish, when, etc. He wrote his sentences and all was well until I read his sentence for the word "wish". As I read over his spelling homework, I realized that Sprout had gotten the last laugh. His sentence?

"I wish my mother would stop hitting me."

Even at that young age, he had a keen sense of come-back.

Very soon, that wise-cracking little boy-turned-soldier will be in a war zone. May he never lose his penchant for one-upism. May it serve him well when he needs it the most.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

M R Funnies

A long time ago, someone showed me and then read this to me out loud:

M R ducks.

M R not.

O S A R. C M wangs?

L I B, M R ducks.

I thought it was cute then and I've seen some others about snakes, mice, etc. Sitting at work the other day, while I was busy doing all the things I'm supposed to be doing at work, I somehow came up with these political M R's.

M R Democrats.

M R not.

O S A R. C M M T heads?

L I B, M R Democrats.

M R Republicans.

M R not.

O S A R. C M gre D I?

L I B, M R Republicans.

M R Communists.

M R not.

O S A R. C M I C stare?

L I B, M R Communists.

M R feminists.

M R not.

O S A R. C M E D B D T D?

L I B, M R feminists.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Here's a Funny List

I got a kick out of this list a cousin posted on our family website.

*** The Redneck "Book of Manners" ***

1. Never take a beer to a job interview.
2. Always identify people in your yard before shooting at them.
3. Its considered poor taste to take a cooler to church.
4. If you have to vacuum the bed, it is time to change the sheets.
5. Even if you're certain that you are included in the will, it is still considered tacky to drive a U-Haul to the funeral home.

1. If drinking directly from the bottle, always hold it with your fingers covering the label.
2. Avoid throwing bones and food scraps on the floor as the restaurant may not have dogs.

1. A centerpiece for the table should never be anything prepared by a taxidermist.
2. Do not allow the dog to eat at the table no matter how good his manners are.

1. While ears need to be cleaned regularly, this is a job that should be done in private using one's OWN truck keys.
2. Proper use of toiletries can forestall bathing for several days; however, if you live alone, deodorant is a waste of good money.
3. Dirt and grease under the fingernails is a social no-no, as they tend to detract from a woman's jewelry and alter the taste of finger foods.

DATING (Outside the Family)
1. Always offer to bait your date's hook, especially on the first date.
2. Be aggressive. Let her know you're interested: "I've been wanting to go out with you since I read that stuff on the bathroom wall two years ago."
3. Establish with her parents what time she is expected back. Some will say 10:00 PM ; others might say "Monday." If the latter is the answer, it is the man's responsibility to get her to school on time.
4. Always have a positive comment about your date's appearance, such as, "Ya sure don't sweat much for a fat broad."

1. Livestock, usually, is a poor choice for a wedding gift.
2. Kissing the bride for more than 5 seconds may get you shot.
3. For the groom, at least, rent a tux. A leisure suit with cummerbund and a clean bowling shirt can create too sporty an appearance.
4. Though uncomfortable, say "yes" to socks and shoes for this special occasion.
5. It is not appropriate to tell the groom how good his wife is in the sack.

1. Dim your headlights for approaching vehicles; even if the gun is loaded, and the deer is in sight.
2. When approaching a four-way stop, the vehicle with the largest tires always has the right of way.
3. Never tow another car using panty hose and duct tape.
4. When sending your wife down the road with a gas can, it is impolite to ask her to bring back beer.
5. Never relieve yourself from a moving vehicle, especially when driving.
6. Do not lay rubber while traveling in a funeral procession.

1. All the DNA is the same.
2. There are no dental records

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Big Blue Goes Yellow

The Yellow-Ribbonization has begun. I talked to Sprout last night and the pre-deployment stress is beginning to show. He has so many things on his mind and is trying to take care of every little detail before he leaves. He fears he is driving his pretty wife crazy. I offer words of wisdom and say I understand but I have to correct myself. I don't understand. I have never been burdened with the weight of getting everything ready while preparing myself for war and my family for waiting. He is having detail overload, I think. There seems to be so much to do in so little time. I wish I could make it all go away for him. All I can do is make myself feel better by slapping a yellow magnet to my car.

War is heck.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

What to Wear With A Yellow Ribbon

My 1992 Honda Accord is a great little car. She has 165000+ miles and she starts every time I turn the key. We bought her brand new fresh off the showroom floor fifteen years ago.

The years have been hard on her yet she chugs along. She has endured two young boys learning to drive; hours of unbearable summer heat sitting outside my office day after day; suckers, french fries, pizza and cokes plastered under her seats and deep in her carpet; she still runs even though she only has two hubcaps. She lost her antenna in a car-wash three years ago, her air conditioner quit five years ago and the cassette player started eating tapes about four years ago. She really needs a massage.

But more than that, she needs more space on the back to hold the yellow ribbon magnets I plan to plaster all over the car now that Sprout is headed to war. As I said before, I was hesitant about wearing the yellow ribbons on my car but now I am ready. The problem is that the old girl just doesn't have enough room on her rear-end for yellow ribbons. You either have to turn the ribbon magnet on it's side, or put it on the side panel of the car, which just won't do.

S00000000, how do you solve a problem like this? Well, you break down and do what Stoicdad has been begging me to do for years now. You go out and buy a better magnet holder. Meet our newest addition, Big Blue.

I love the old girl, but I gotta admit, I am falling hard for the big guy.

Now won't those yellow ribbons look so much better on the back of this Hunk-A-Hunk-A-Burning-Love? Ladies?

Friday, June 01, 2007

Picture Time

It's been a while since I've posted pictures of Sgt. York and the Little General and they are growing so fast it's scary.

Here they are looking sweet and innocent...photoshop, donchaknow.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Memorial Day - 2007

Mixed emotions as my son prepares for war on this Memorial Day

Executive Mansion, Washington, Nov. 21, 1864

Dear Madam,

I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant-General of Massachusetts, that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle.

I feel how weak and fruitless must be any words of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering to you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save.

I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours, to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of Freedom.

Yours, very sincerely and respectfully,

Abraham Lincoln

Monday, May 14, 2007

A Note From the General (NOT the Little General)

Michael Yon posted this letter from General Petraeus to the troops. It should be read by us all.

From General Petraeus:

Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen serving in Multi-National Force-Iraq:

Our values and the laws governing warfare teach us to respect human dignity, maintain our integrity, and do what is right. Adherence to our values distinguishes us from our enemy. This fight depends on securing the population, which must understand that we—not our enemies—occupy the moral high ground. This strategy has shown results in recent months. Al Qaeda’s indiscriminate attacks, for example, have finally started to turn a substantial proportion ofthe Iraqi population against it.

In view of this, I was concerned by the results of a recently released survey conducted last fall in Iraq that revealed an apparent unwillingness on the part of some US personnel to report illegal actions taken by fellow members of their units. The study also indicated that a small percentage of those surveyed may have mistreated noncombatants. This survey should spur reflection on our conduct in combat.

I fully appreciate the emotions that one experiences in Iraq. I also know first hand the bonds between members of the ” brotherhood of the close fight. ” Seeing a fellow trooper killed by a barbaric enemy can spark frustration, anger, and a desire for immediate revenge. As hard as it might be, however, we must not let these emotions lead us—or our comrades in arrns—to commit hasty, illegal actions. In the event that we witness or hear of such actions, we must not let our bonds prevent us from speaking up.

Some may argue that we would be more effective if we sanctioned torture or other expedient methods to obtain information from the enemy. They would be wrong. Beyond the basic fact that such actions are illegal, history shows that they also are frequently neither useful nor necessary. Certainly, extreme physical action can make someone “talk;” however, what the individual says may be of questionable value. In fact, our experience in applying the interrogation standards laid out in the Army Field Manual (2-22.3) on Human Intelligence Collector Operations that was published last year shows that the techniques in the manual work effectively and humanely in eliciting information from detainees.

We are, indeed, warriors. We train to kill our enemies. We are engaged in combat, we must pursue the enemy relentlessly, and we must be violent at times. What sets us apart from our enemies in this fight, however, is how we behave. In everything we do, we must observe the standards and values that dictate that we treat noncombatants and detainees with dignity and respect. While we are warriors, we are also all human beings. Stress caused by lengthy deployments and combat is not a sign of weakness; it is a sign that we are human. If you feel such stress, do not hesitate to talk to your chain of command, your chaplain, or a medical expert.

We should use the survey results to renew our commitment to the values and standards that make us who we are and to spur re-examinat ion of these issues. Leaders, in part icular, need to discuss these issues with their troopers—and, as always, they need to set the right example and strive to ensure proper conduct. We should never underestimate the importance of good leadership and the difference it can make.

Thanks for what you continue to do. It is an honor to serve with each of you.

David H. Petraeus,

General, United States Army


Sunday, April 15, 2007

God Bless The Military Spouse

I find it hard these days to talk about anything other than Sprout and war. I know my sisters are already getting tired of it but bless their hearts, they let me ramble. And when I'm not talking about it, I'm thinking about it. And always, always, in the back of my mind is that awful "what if". What if they come to tell us he is dead? It's a morbid thought and I was beginning to think that I was bordering on some psychosis by dwelling on it so much. I thought I must be the only fool thinking these things so constantly. The other day, Sproutette told me a story that made me realize I'm not alone and I'm not crazy.

Sproutette works with some other military wives with husbands preparing to go to Iraq or already in Iraq. One of her young co-workers, whose husband is in Iraq now, is pregnant. Recently, Sprout was working and sent one of his army buddies to Sproutette's office to pick up something she had for him, keys or something. Anyway, she said when the soldier walked through the door in his military uniform, her pregnant friend turned toward the door and on seeing the soldier, her face turned as white as a ghost. The girl just knew he had been sent to give her some bad news.

I hate that these young wives (or husbands) have to live in fear of being contacted by the Army that their loved one has been killed, but this story shows me that I am not the only one thinking constantly about this. Army spouses has been dealing with this fear since long before I came along. But to be so young and have this fear seems overwhelming.

Come to I think of it, my own grandmother had to deal with this when my uncle fought in Korea. Of course, back then it was much worse as far as news from the front is concerned. My uncle was wounded in Korea and my grandmother received a telegram saying only that he had been wounded. No details, nothing. For weeks, she tried to get some information from the Red Cross and the Army. It was three months before she finally got a letter from my uncle saying that he would be okay. Grandma was always a hand-wringer...maybe now I understand why.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Just as Sprout leaves his pretty young wife for a month of training, they announce this...Gates Extends Army Tours in Iraq to 15 Months. Well, if that don't just tan my hide. More than likely, he will still be in Iraq when we elect his new Commander-in-Chief. Lord, I hope we find somebody worthy.

It's going to be a long, long year (and then some).

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

I Need Suggestions

I am trying to think of something that I can give to family and friends while Sprout is gone off to war to help to remind them to pray for him daily. I know people tell you that they will pray for something or someone but I also know how I am...I sometimes forget. I'm thinking of something they can maybe wear with his name on it that will constantly remind them to think of him and to pray for him. I've thought of having dog tags made or maybe some of those POW type bracelets with him name, rank, deployed date and such. Is this idea terribly hokey? Anybody got any good ideas? I really want as many people as I can get to pray for him constantly while he is gone. I know that prayer works and more prayer can't hurt. Maybe I could get some of those plastic colored wrist bands printed with "Pray for Sprout" on them. Whatever it is, it has to be something that will instantly remind people to pray for him. I've found a couple of things like this or this...

The only problem with the bracelet is that I wore one when I was in high school during the Vietnam war and they all had names of MIA's or POW's. I don't EVEN want to think of Sprout as one of those.

Well, whatever it takes to remind people to pray for him...if wearing a bracelet does it, swell. For those of us who are forgetful, it may take something a little more obvious... like this

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Surprise Visit

I had just gotten home from work last night and was in the bedroom changing when the doorbell rang. I hollered to Stoicdad to "GET THE DOOR, I'M DRESSING" (in my quaint little southern drawl). I walked out to be greeted by my brand-new daughter-in-law, smiling and happy. My tone immediately changed as I wondered why she was here and not far-away from here tending to my son. We quickly talked over each other and she said that since Sprout was out on field maneuvers all week, her mother (who misses her) offered to fly her home for a visit. With her husband's permission, she came back to see us. What a nice surprise.

I grilled her good about Sprout and his state of mind on going to war. She tells me much more than he does. She also doesn't yet read him as well as I do. She said that he and his friends don't seem to be worried about going to war while she and all her friends talk about it all the time. She will learn soon enough that men don't voice their fears as much as women do.

All that aside, she sounds quite happy as does Sprout these days. They are a fit match. She did tell me something funny that the Little General said at their wedding which I had not heard before. The Little General is so full of funny. Sproutette (DIL's new official blog name thought up just this minute)said that after the wedding service, the Little General came up to Sprout and said "I'm so glad y'all got married. Now you will be my uncle for ever and ever." Ummmm...little girl...Sprout is your daddy's brother. That makes him a permanent uncle from day one, like it or not. I guess she was confused as to who became the "new" relative once the I do's were said. Anyway, it's good to see Sproutette so happy and to hear her talk about life with my son with such youthful glee.

Ahhh yes, I remember it well, that first year of marriage.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Prince & Him (Harry & Sprout Go To War)

Prince Harry ------------------- Sprout

Well, this is a little uncanny. Looks like Sprout and His Highness Prince Harry will be going to Iraq about the same time. I have always had a fondness for Prince Harry. He is only a couple of weeks younger than Sprout and I always thought that Sprout looked a lot like Prince Harry. You gotta admit they resemble each other. HEY! Maybe they were twins separated at birth. Maybe the queen thought that twins would be too much for poor Princess Diana to handle so they searched the world over and found a pregnant lady in the US who, unbeknownst to her, had lost her child during childbirth (even though she was wide awake and didn't miss a thing) and they left one of the royal twins for her to raise as her own. Maybe Sprout is really a prince. I knew it!!! The Prince and the Pauper. Hey? It could happen - they both have red hair and sly grins.

Princess Di and I were both preggos together, heck we might have even gone to the same breathing classes (if I had lived in England 22 years ago and if I were royalty and got to hang out with the crowns and if I had gone to any breathing classes anyhow). Anyway, Di and I bonded during our pregnancies. Well, I bonded. Di just hung out and did pregnant princess stuff. But we could have been friends. We might have shared the same dorca or whatever they call that lady who charges you $700.00 to come and tell you not to forget to breath while you are in labor.

But seriously, Diana died a few months after my mother died and I remember getting up at 3:00 in the morning to watch her funeral and sitting alone in front of the television in our dark living room, quietly weeping. All my sisters admitted to doing the same. Prince Harry was the one who broke my heart. He was so young and so sad. I've always had a soft spot in my heart for boys who lose their mothers young. At least Diana won't have to see him go off to war. Lucky for her.

Maybe Sprout will have an opportunity to save Prince Harry's life while they are in Iraq and the queen will be so grateful that she will make Sprout a knight and we will get invited to have dinner at Buckingham Palace and Sprout will be called Sir Sprout and the queen will let me wear her crown in swimming and everything. Yes, it does sound far-fetched, but it sure beats worrying.

Saturday, February 17, 2007


I've got a few words for those cowards in Congress and their "non-binding" resolution. Well - they aren't my words and they were spoken long ago at the opening of a cemetery for the war dead, but they are just as appropriate today as they were then, probably more so.

"It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us, that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion. That we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain. . . that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom. . . and that government of the people. . .by the people. . .for the people. . . shall not perish from the earth."

Abraham Lincoln, November 19, 1863

I just absolutely hate people who start something and never finish it.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Krispy Kreme Kids

Just some eye-candy to keep this poor lil ole blog alive. Nothing much to write about lately. I came across this picture of the grandkids while searching through some pictures tonight. Just call it free advertising for Krispy Kreme. I took this picture one Sunday morning during our after-Mass-doughnut-run. Now tell me the truth...ain't dey cute?

L to R - Sgt. York, Thonk (my nephew), and the Little General

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

A Hillary Observation

This past weekend, Saturday Night Live (Jan. 20, 2007) had an opening sketch that is to die for. It's a skit with SNL regulars playing Hillary Clinton and Chris Matthews. The comedian who does Matthews is perfect. I first saw the clip on and I tried to load it here from YouTube but apparently NBC has a problem with putting their clips on YouTube without permission. Well, that's okay. There is a good article and a link to the clip on this website. This clip is so funny...and sooooo true.

Parenting Test

It's been years since I've had small children living in my house, but those are years you don't easily forget. Today I got this funny Parenting Test in my email. I especially like the Grocery Store Test. God bless all you young folks with little children. Be happy in the knowledge that it won't last forever and an empty nest is just waiting for you to come and take a nap. Enjoy!

You're not ready to be a parent unless you can pass the following tests:

Mess test: Smear peanut butter on the sofa & curtains. Now rub your hands in
a wet flower bed & rub on the walls. Cover the stains w/ crayons. Place a
fish stick behind the couch & leave it there all summer.

Toy test: Obtain a 55-gallon box of Legos. (If Legos are not available, you
may substitute roofing tacks) Have a friend spread them all over the house.
Put on a blindfold. Try to walk to the bathroom or kitchen. Do not scream
(this could wake the little ones at night).

Grocery store test: Borrow 1 or 2 sm goats & take them grocery shopping w/
you. Always keep them in sight & pay for anything they eat or damage.

Dressing test: Obtain 1 lrg, unhappy, live octopus. Stuff into a sm net bag
making sure that all arms stay inside.

Feeding test: Obtain a lrg plastic milk jug. Fill halfway w/ water. Tie jug
to ceiling fan blade. Turn fan on. Try to insert spoonfuls of oatmeal into
the mouth of the jug while pretending to be an airplane. When finished, dump
the contents of the jug on the floor

Night test: Fill a sm cloth bag w/ about 10 pounds of sand. Soak the bag in
warm water. At 8pm begin to waltz & hum w/ the bag until 9pm. Lay down your
bag & set your alarm for 10pm. Get up, pick up your bag, & sing every song
you have ever heard. Make up about a dozen more & sing these too until 4am.
Set alarm for 5am. Get up & make breakfast. Keep this up for 5 years. Look

Physical test: (women) Obtain a lrg beanbag chair & attach it to the front
of your clothes. Leave it there for 9 months. Now remove 10% of the beans.

Physical test: (men) Go to the nearest drug store. Set your wallet on the
counter. Ask the clerk to help himself. Now proceed to the nearest grocery
store & do the same. On the way home purchase a newspaper. Go home & read it
quietly for the last time.

Final assignment: Find a couple who already have a sm child. Lecture them on
how they can improve their discipline, patience, tolerance, toilet training,
& child's table manners. Suggest many ways they can improve. Emphasize to
them that they should never allow their children to run wild. Enjoy this
experience. It will be the last time you will have all the answers.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Meet Anthrax, the Scanner Cat

Hey, a Cat Scan!

Tonight I introduce our cat, Anthrax. I've written about her here and here. Hey, it's a slow news cycle. Anthrax is five years old, born about three weeks before 9/11/2001, which explains her name. She is the only one on this blog who goes by her given name. She don't need no stinkin' screen-name (coincidentally, the other night I saw the actual movie that has the line "we don't need no stinkin' badges", it's a Humphrey Bogart movie. I never did see what the name of the movie was but the actor that says that line was perfect). Anyway, Anthrax is the perfect cat. She doesn't claw the furniture, all though, as you can see, she could if she wanted to.
She is quite proud of her God-given eye-gougers. She doesn't use a litterbox, she prefers to go outside. She stays outside mostly, unless it's cold. She does not do cold. She doesn't bite my feet at night and her only vice is that she likes to get up at 3:00 am and have a snack and then go outside. She prefers that you stand there and wait for her to finish 3:00 in the morning...aside from that, she is the perfect cat. Unlike the dog, who I seriously would pay a good hit-man to take out. The dog stinks. The cat is perfect. I'm a cat person.

We didn't intend to keep Anthrax or her pretty yellow brother. We planned to give them both away. Anthrax is not a beautiful cat. She is your usual gray tabby although the older she gets, the yellower she gets. When they were kittens, Stoicdad took them both to the local pet store on adoption day and sat for a few hours waiting for someone to come along and adopt them. A little girl came by and snatched up the male cat, which was the cat I would have kept if I had a choice. He was prettier. But we ended up keeping Anthrax and giving her that wonderful name and it turns out she is one of the best cats we've had. She has earned her spot at the foot of my bed. She sits and guards my scanner so no cat-burglars can get it. She really is a good cat. I 'spect I'll keep her.
My cat and my mouse.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

A Bittersweet Wedding

(Official wedding pictures are forthcoming)

This has been the hardest post for me to write. It should be the easiest one. Sprout and his bride had the most beautiful wedding. There was candlelight, Christmas trees, flowers, and a brass quartet. It could not have been more perfect. They spent Christmas in town visiting family and friends and then headed off to honeymoon their way across the country back to Armyland. Everything is good.

So why am I having so much trouble writing this? Why have I sat down five times to type only to get up and walk away on the verge of tears? I think because in my mind the order of my life lately has been -!!! Now that the wedding and Christmas have passed, my mind is focused on Sprout's upcoming deployment. I have to get ready. I have to prepare myself. This week I even bought this and have put it away to send to Sprout NEXT Christmas...his deployemnt tree.

I feel the need do something now to prepare myself for the time when my son is at war. I have always been one of those women who thinks of everything. When we travel, I am the one who makes sure we have the credit card, the maps, our toothbrushes. There are always spare lightbulbs and toilet paper in my house. I am always as prepared as best I can be.

But how am I supposed to prepare for this? How do I ready myself for a year of constant worry? How do I accept the fact that my son is going to a place where he must sleep with his rifle in order to protect himself? What I would really like to do is go to Iraq, find out exactly where Sprout will be living, check out his quarters, build a few brick walls around his temporary home and clear the entire country of bad guys and bad things. Instead I am stuck contemplating the useless junk I can buy to send to him while he is away.

When Sprout was home this time, he was excited and busy and giddy with wedding stuff, but under it all I could see his worry, his fear creeping in and out of his expressions. I know that having his wife with him now will do him a world of good. He will have someone there to talk to at night when the world gets quiet and the long days of preparing for battle have ended. I am so glad they decided to get married before he left for war. I would hate for him to have to go through all these hard preparations without a soulmate to help him cope.

Now, if I can just figure out how I will cope.