Wednesday, August 31, 2005

I love Southern Boys

I finally got my shirt I ordered! Ain't it cute?!? It's pretty bad how excited I get when something I order comes in the mail. I also want the shirt that says "Everybody loves a Southern Girl" but that may be just a little too much 'southern' attire.
My neighbor, Laura, invited me, Vanessa, & Pam (2 of our other neighbors) over for dinner tonight. We're gonna eat and watch Extreme Makeover: Home Edition again. Before I go over there, I've got to do a little bit of cleaning to get ready for Bryan coming home this weekend (barring any lockdowns!). I'm off to tackle the clutter!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

The American Soldier





I had this on the old site but a friend sent it to me again so I thought I'd put it on here.

The average age of the military man is 19 years. He is a short haired, tight-muscled kid who, under normal circumstances is considered by society as half man, half boy. Not yet dry behind the ears, not old enough to buy a beer, but old enough to die for his country. He never really cared much for work and he would rather wax his own car than wash his father's; but he has never collected unemployment either.
He's a recent High School graduate; he was probably an average student, pursued some form of sport activities, drives a ten year old jalopy, and has a steady girlfriend that either broke up with him when he left, or swears to be waiting when he returns from half a world away. He listens to rock and roll or hip-hop or rap or jazz or swing and 155mm howitzer. He is 10 or 15 pounds lighter now than when he was at home because he is working or fighting from before dawn to well after dusk.He has trouble spelling, thus letter writing is a pain for him, but he can field strip a rifle in 30 seconds and reassemble it in less time in the dark. He can recite to you the nomenclature of a machine gun or grenade launcher and use either one effectively if he must. He digs foxholes and latrines and can apply first aid like a professional. He can march until he is told to stop or stop until he is told to march.
He obeys orders instantly and without hesitation, but he is not without spirit or individual dignity.
He is self-sufficient. He has two sets of fatigues: he washes one and wears the other. He keeps his canteens full and his feet dry. He sometimes forgets to brush his teeth, but never to clean his rifle. He can cook his own meals, mend his own clothes, and fix his own hurts.If you're thirsty, he'll share his water with you; if you are hungry, his food. He'll even split his ammunition with you in the midst of battle when you run low.He has learned to use his hands like weapons and weapons like they were his hands. He can save your life - or take it, because that is his job. He will often do twice the work of a civilian, draw half the pay and still find ironic humor in it all. He has seen more suffering and death then he should have in his short lifetime.
He has stood atop mountains of dead bodies, and helped to create them.He has wept in public and in private, for friends who have fallen in combat and is unashamed. He feels every note of the National Anthem vibrate through his body while at rigid attention, while tempering the burning desire to 'square-away' those around him who haven't bothered to stand, remove their hat, or even stop talking.
In an odd twist, day in and day out, far from home, he defends their right to be disrespectful. Just as did his Father, Grandfather, and Great-grandfather, he is paying the price for our freedom.
Beardless or not, he is not a boy.
He is the American Fighting Man that has kept this country free for over 200 years.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Happy Monday!

I kept myself fairly busy this weekend so it went by pretty fast. Now I'm wondering where Saturday and Sunday went! Friday night I didn't feel like running so I was just lazy and did my regular frozen dinner and dvd - plus a nice glass of wine! I finally finished Band of Brothers. Although it was a great series, I'm glad it's over because I don't think this is the best time to be watching war on dvd. The cool thing is that I probably learned more about that time period and WWII from the series than in all the years in school.
Saturday I slept late, then went running to make up for Friday, and talked to Mama for a long time. Baumholder had it's Aldstadtfest (Old Town Fest) this weekend, and Kimberly and I also went to that Saturday night. We had hoped to eat at the good little Italian restaurant, but it was packed so we ended up with brats and pommes (fries) from the street vendors. Later, we went to "shake our tailfeather" a little bit.....
Sunday I slept even later than I did on Saturday and was just an all-around bum throughout the day - minus doing laundry and going to the commissary. I went down to my neighbor's apartment for dinner which was great since I wasn't looking forward to another frozen dinner last night. Four of us had dinner and talked the rest of the night before I finally had to head back upstairs and get some sleep since I'm a working girl. I hope this week flies by because Bryan is supposed to be home *sometime* this weekend!

We rarely get a chance to see another country's editorial about the USA. Read this excerpt from a Romanian Newspaper. The article was written by Mr. Cornel Nistorescu and published under the title "C"ntarea Americii, meaning "Ode To America") in the RomanianNewspaper Evenimentulzilei "The Daily Event" or "News of the Day".

~An Ode to America~
Why are Americans so united? They would not resemble one another even if you painted them all one color! They speak all the languages of the world and form an astonishing mixture of civilizations and religious beliefs. Still, the American tragedy turned three hundred million people into a hand put on the heart.
Nobody rushed to accuse the White House, the army, and the secret services that they are only a bunch of losers. Nobody rushed to empty their bank accounts. Nobody rushed out onto the streetsnearby to gape about. The Americans volunteered to donate blood and to give a helping hand.
After the first moments of panic, they raised their flag over the smoking ruins, putting on T-shirts, caps and ties in the colors of the national flag. They placed flags on buildings and cars as if inevery place and on every car a government official or the president was passing.
On every occasion, they started singing their traditional song: "God Bless America!" I watched the live broadcast and rerun after rerun for hours listening to the story of the guy who went down one hundred floors with a woman in a wheelchair without knowing who she was, or of the Californian hockey player, who gave his lifefighting with the terrorists and prevented the plane from hitting a target that could have killed other hundreds or thousands of people.
How on earth were they able to respond united as one human being?Imperceptibly, with every word and musical note, the memory of some turned into a modern myth of tragic heroes. And with every phone call, millions and millions of dollars were put in a collectionaimed at rewarding not a man or a family, but a spirit, which no money can buy.
What on earth can unite the Americans in such a way? Their land? Their galloping history? Their economic Power? Money? I tried for hours to find an answer, humming songs and murmuring phrases with the risk of sounding commonplace.
I thought things over, but I reached only one conclusion... Only freedom can work such miracles.
Cornel Nistorescu

Friday, August 26, 2005

The last Friday of August

Well, I did end up getting off work early yesterday. I ran some errands in the rain and finally found the motivation to go work out. I even shot basketball for a little while until my darn elbow started hurting. Bryan called and we were able to talk for a few minutes but he had another 12 hour duty last night so he was getting prepared for that. I was lazy the rest of the night. I just ate my Healthy Choice meal and watched One Tree Hill, The Real World Hook-Ups dvd, and another episode of Band of Brothers (I'm on the 5th disc already!).
On to the weekend!

IF I HAD MY LIFE TO LIVE OVER
by Erma Bombeck (written after she found out she was dying from cancer.)
I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for the day. I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage. I would have talked less and listened more. I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded. I would have eaten the popcorn in the 'good' living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace. I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth. I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband. I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed. I would have sat on the lawn with my grass stains. I would have cried and laughed less while watching television and more while watching life. I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn't show soil, or was guaranteed to last a lifetime. Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I'd have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle. When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, "Later. Now go get washed up for dinner." There would have been more "I love you's." More "I'm sorry's." But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute...look at it and really see it. Live it and never give it back. Stop sweating the small stuff. Don't worry about who doesn't like you, who has more, or who's doing what. Instead, let's cherish the relationships we have with those who do love us. Let's think about what God HAS blessed us with. And what we are doing each day to promote ourselves mentally, physically, emotionally. I hope you all have a blessed day.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Rainy Thursday

So I just typed up a long entry and it magically disappeard! I'll try to recreate it I guess...
It's another rainy, gloomy day here in Baumholder. I should get off work early because Thursday afternoon is supposed to be "family time" for the soldiers. The weather makes me want to go home and crawl under my blanket in the recliner, but I really need to go to the gym and workout. Maybe some time in the next few hours I'll find some motivation.
I found out yesterday that for our BMW to pass inspection (so we can sell it), it has to have the exhaust system replaced. That's going to cost us at least 300 euros so I'm not to excited about that!
Three girls that live in my building came over last night and we watched Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. We always talk when we see one another, but we had never all gotten together before. They are great girls and we had a good time so I hope we'll start hanging out together more often. It'll be good for us to have one another when the husbands are gone. Two of them are expecting their first children in December (baby girls), and I've already offered to babysit for them anytime!
Our friend Clint told me that he got engaged this past Saturday. Bryan and I are very happy for him. Congratulations Clint and Katie!
It's been a few days since I've talked to Bryan, but he left me a message this morning. He had just come off of a 24 hour duty and had been up for over 30 hours. He sounded extremely tired. He has another 12 hour duty starting this evening but if we're lucky I may get to talk to him sometime tonight.
Mama always tells me to share with her some of the recipes I talk to her about so I thought I'd put one on here. This is what I've been pigging out on all week!

Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball
Your guests are in for a sweet surprise when they try this unusual cheese ball--it tastes just like cookie dough!
Makes 1 cheese ball (about 2 cups) (16 servings).

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter (no substitutes), softened
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar

3/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup finely chopped pecans
graham crackers
Directions
1 In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla until fluffy. Gradually add sugars; beat just until combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
2 Place cream cheese mixture on a large piece of plastic wrap; shape into a ball. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
3 Just before serving, roll cheese ball in pecans. Serve with graham crackers.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Paul Harvey

This goes along with George Carlin although Paul Harvey is a little "nicer".


Paul Harvey says:
I don't believe in Santa Claus, but I'm not going to sue somebody for singing a Ho-Ho-Ho song in December.
I don't agree with Darwin, but I didn't go out and hire a lawyer when my high school teacher taught his theory of evolution.
Life, liberty or your pursuit of happiness will not be endangered because someone says a 30-second prayer before a football game. So what's the big deal? It's not like somebody is up there reading the entire book of Acts. They're just talking to a God they believe in and asking him to grant safety to the players on the field and the fans going home from the game "But it's a Christian prayer," some will argue. Yes, and this is the United States of America, a country founded on Christian principles. According to our very own phone book, Christian churches outnumber all othersbetter than 200-to-1. So what would you expect-somebody chanting Hare Krishna?
If I went to a football game in Jerusalem, I would expect to hear a Jewish prayer.
If I went to a soccer game in Baghdad, I would expect to hear a Muslim prayer.
If I went to a ping pong match in China, I would expect to hear someone pray to Buddha.
And I wouldn't be offended. It wouldn't bother me one bit.
When in Rome ..
"But what about the atheists?" is another argument. What about them?
Nobody is asking them to be baptized. We're not going to pass the collection plate. Just humor us for 30 seconds. If that's asking too much, bring a Walkman or a pair of ear plugs. Go to the bathroom. Visit the concession stand. Call your lawyer! Unfortunately, one or two will make that call. One or two will tell thousands what they can and cannot do. I don't think a short prayer at a football game is going to shake the world's foundations. Christians are just sick and tired of turning the other cheek while our courts strip us of all our rights. Our parents and grandparents taught us to pray before eating; to pray before we go to sleep. Our Bible tells us to pray without ceasing. Now a handful of people and their lawyers are telling us to cease praying. God, help us. And if that last sentence offends you, well .. just sue me.
The silent majority has been silent too long. It's time we let that one or two who scream loud enough to be heard .... that the vast majority don't care what they want. It is time the majority rules! It's time we tell them, you don'thave to pray; you don't have to say the pledge of allegiance;you don't have to believe in God or attend services that honor Him. That is your right, and we will honor your right. But by golly, you are no longer going to take our rights away. We are fighting back ... and we WILL WIN!
God bless us one and all ... especially those who denounce Him. God bless America, despite all her faults. She is still the greatest nation of all. God bless our service men who are fighting to protect our right to pray and worship God.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Bad American!!

I couldn't get Maxine to work right so I'll move on to George today. Many of you have seen this but I just received it again and it's another one that never gets old.
He's hitting the nail on the head with this one!

I Am Your Worst Nightmare. I am a BAD American. I am George Carlin.
I believe the money I make belongs to me and my family, not some mid level governmental functionary be it Democratic or Republican!
I'm in touch with my feelings and I like it that way, damn it!
I think owning a gun doesn't make you a killer, it makes you a smart American.
I think being a minority does not make you noble or victimized, and does not entitle you to anything.
I believe that if you are selling me a Big Mac, try to do it in English.
I think fireworks should be legal on the 4th of July.
I think that being a student doesn't give you any more enlightenment than working at Blockbuster. In fact, if your parents are footing the bill to put your pansy ass through 4 years plus of college, you haven't begun to be enlightened.
I believe everyone has a right to pray to his or her God when and where they want to.
My heroes are John Wayne, Babe Ruth, Roy Rogers, and whoever canceled Jerry Springer.
I don't hate the rich. I don't pity the poor.
I know wrestling is fake and I don't waste my time arguing about it.
I think global warming is a big lie. Where are all those experts now, when I'm freezing my ass off during these long winters and paying, paying, paying?
I've never owned a slave, or was a slave, I didn't wander forty years In the desert after getting chased out of Egypt. I haven't burned any witches or been persecuted by the Turks and neither have you! So, shut-the-Hell-up already.
I want to know which church is it exactly where the Reverend Jesse Jackson practices, where he gets his money, and why he is always part of the problem and not the solution. Can I get an AMEN on that one?
I think the cops have every right to shoot your sorry ass if you're running from them.I also think they have the right to pull your ass over if you're breaking the law, regardless of what color you are.
And, no, I don't mind having my face shown on my drivers license. I think it's good.....and I'm proud that "God" is written on my money.
I think if you are too stupid to know how a ballot works, I don't want you deciding who should be running the most powerful nation in the world for the next four years.
I dislike those people standing in the intersections trying to sell me crap or trying to guilt me into making "donations" to their cause. These people should be targets.
I believe that it doesn't take a village to raise a child, it takes two parents.
And what the hell is going on with gas prices... again?
If this makes me a BAD American, then yes, I'm a BAD American.If you are a BAD American too, please forward this to everyone you know.We need our country back!

Girls Night

I survived the weekend! Friday night didn't work out quite as we had planned but it was nice nonetheless. Kimberly, Magi, and I went to have chinese but we got there and the restaurant is closed for 2 weeks! We came back to Baumholder and ended up going to Hotel Westrich which is mine and Bryan's favorite restaurant. We had dinner and ended up missing the movie. HOWEVER, that gave us the perfect excuse to go down to the eis cafe! Both dinner and dessert were wonderful as always! The company wasn't too bad either!!
Saturday I drove over to the Kaiserslautern area to pick up a few things. I went to the Ramstein BX and the Vogelweh BX. I was most excited about getting a new pair of running shorts, a new workout top, and a long sleeve/ spandex style/ moisture wicking shirt for running. On Sunday, I did some cleaning and a lot of cooking! I made some Carolina Macaroni Salad for myself, some Sausage Cheese Balls to send to Bryan, and some White Chip Chocolate Cookies for my upcoming FRG meeting. Now it's back to the work week!
The picture above is from a few weeks ago. Our friend Kelly went back to the states while our husbands deploy. We all went out to a goodbye dinner at the Cantina Mexicana. Girls nights are few and far between while our husbands are here, but I expect that they happen a lot more frequently when a bunch of ladies spend a year living by themselves!

This "application" was sent to me by a friend!

APPLICATION FOR A NIGHT OUT WITH THE BOYS

Name of Boyfriend/Fiancé/Husband:
I request permission for a leave of absence from the highest authority in my life for the following period:
Time of return
Date: Time of departure: NOT to exceed:
Should permission be granted, I do solemnly swear to only visit the locations stated below, at the stated times. I agree to refrain from hitting on or flirting with other women. I shall not even speak to another female, except as expressly permitted in writing below. I will not turn off my mobile after two pints, nor shall I consume above the allowed volume of alcohol without first phoning for a taxi AND calling you for a verbal waiver of said alcohol allowance. I understand that even if permission is granted to go out, my girlfriend/fiancé/wife retains the right to be pissed off with me the following week for no valid reason whatsoever.
Amount of alcohol allowed (units) Beer Wine Liquor Total
Locations to be visited
Females with whom conversation is permitted
IMPORTANT – STRIPPER CLAUSE: Notwithstanding the female contact permitted above, I promise to refrain from coming within one hundred (100) feet of a stripper or exotic dancer. Violation of this Stripper Clause shall be grounds for immediate termination of the relationship.
I acknowledge my position in life. I know who wears the trousers in our relationship, and I agree it’s not me. I promise to abide by your rules & regulations. I understand that this is going to cost me a fortune in chocolates & flowers. You reserve the right to obtain and use my credit cards whenever you wish to do so. I hereby promise to take you on an unlimited shopping spree, should I not return home by the approved time. On my way home, I will not pick a fight with any stranger, nor shall I conduct in depth discussions with the said entity. Upon my return home, I promise not to urinate anywhere other than in the toilet. In addition, I will refrain from waking you up, breathing my vile breath in your face, and attempting to breed like a (drunken) rabbit.
I declare that to the best of my knowledge (of which I have none compared to my BETTER half), the above information is correct.
Signed - Boyfriend/Fiancé/Husband:
Request is: APPROVED DENIED
This decision is not negotiable. If approved, cut permission slip below and carry at all times. "……………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Permission for my boyfriend/fiancé/husband to be away for the following period of time:
Date: Time of departure: Time of return:
Signed – Girlfriend/Fiancé/Wife:



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- APPLICATION FOR A NIGHT OUT WITH THE GIRLS
Name of Girlfriend/Fiancé/Partner/Wife:
I’m going out.
Signed: (me) ______________________________________________

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Frog Week

Vince sent me this article from the Gainesville Times:

FROG freshmen jump feet first into cadet training
Weeklong camp helps students hone minds, bodies

By MATT STEWART
The Times

A pasty white, hairless head pops up over the edge of a mud-filled trench at North Georgia College & State University's Pine Valley training camp.
An onlooking noncommissioned officer spots the young cadet's bald dome and yells, "I could pick off that nugget from here!"
The NCO's warning falls on deaf ears as the incoming NGCSU freshman struggles through and heads for another mud pit. He's supposed to swing over the nastiness by using a nearby rope, but like most, he ignores it and yells "Airborne!" before doing a face plant in the murky mess.
It's day four of FROG (Freshman Recruit Orientation Group) week at the training camp near the Dahlonega college's campus.
More than 200 freshmen, including a few women, descend on the camp each year to participate in the six-day course one week before actual classes start.
Completion merits no class credit hours, just the satisfaction of rolling in the North Georgia mud and being a part of a ROTC program at NGCSU. It's one of only six four-year universities in the nation designated as a senior military college among the schools with ROTC programs.
"It's been a real good time," said first-year FROG cadet Randall Redfearn, 24, from McDonough. "I've had some prior service (in the Navy) so it might have been a little easier on me. We've all worked hard, but it's been mentally and physically challenging."
The obstacle course was only part of a torturous Friday for the FROG cadets. There were also low and high ropes obstacles, a leadership reaction course, rappelling and drill training.
"We tell them the only way they're going to make it through is if they work as a team," said upperclassman and cadet Staff Sgt. Patrick Allen of Kennesaw. "Everybody who quits will quit on the first day, and then all you have left are your friends."
Five cadets quit by Friday, according to an officer overseeing the training course.
FROG week culminates Sunday with a three-mile graduation run up Dah-lonega's Crown Mountain.
"I'm sure (the run) will be as tough as the rest, but this is a highly motivated, tight-knit company," Redfearn said.
After Sunday's run, the freshmen will have a day's rest before classes begin Tuesday.
"It's a challenge, but you tell yourself 'we could be out goofing off, doing drugs and alcohol,'" Allen said. "Here, we've all got goals."
FROG week introduces new cadets to a leadership-training program at NGCSU that is 132 years old.
The university enrolls more than 4,500 students, 600 of whom participate in the Corps of Cadets.

It doesn't seem like it's been 6 years since I knew 2 new FROG cadets. I remember I was scared myself when we dropped Bryan off and one of the upperclassmen started chewing his ear right off the bat! I may get in trouble with some 1LT's for posting these pictures but I thought it would be cute to see how far they've come since their FROG days.
Vince and Bryan at their military ball freshman year.










The day they graduated and were commissioned.














And now, Army 1LTs with 2 years in service.

Friday, August 19, 2005

And so it's Friday again

Would you ever think that you would rather have another weekday than a weekend? With work, the weekdays seem to go by fairly fast. I get up, come to work, go home, walk Misha, workout, come home and eat dinner, and then settle in for a few hours of tv or a dvd before going to sleep and repeating the cycle. On the weekends, I do laundry and go to the commissary. That leaves A LOT of free time! Tonight I'm going with some girlfriends to have Chinese (woohoo!) and then we're going to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Not a movie I'm desperate to see, but you've got to take what you can get with the selection around here! I'm sure it'll be cute.
Anyway, on to my forward of the day. Only a few of these may describe me, but I KNOW all of these women.
This is for the Army wives out there.
I would like to recognize these often underestimated, unseen, and unheard heroes. This is for the young women that are waking up at 6 a.m. every morning, laying out clothes and packing three lunches for those small precious children that they have been left alone to care for. This is for the pregnant Army wife wondering if her husband will make it home in time to watch their miracle happen. This is for the childless Army wife, living in a town or on a base alone where she is a complete stranger to her surroundings. This is for the women that feel like a third leg when they go out with their friends and their husbands. This is for the Army wife that canceled all her plans to wait by the phone, and even though the phone broke up and cut off every time you spoke to him you waited anyway. This is a pledge to the women that cry themselves to sleep in an empty bed. This is to recognize the woman that felt like she was dying inside when he said he had to go, but smiled for him anyway. This is for those of you that are faithfully in that long line at the post office once a month, handling 2 large boxes and 2 small children like a pro. This is for that woman that decided to remodel the house to pass time, and then realized that she had no idea what she was doing and sighed and wished she had a little help. This is for all the lonely nights, all the one-person dinners, and all of the wandering thoughts because you haven't heard from him in days. This is for the sad Army wives, the angry Army wives, and the strong Army wives. A toast to you for falling apart, and putting yourselves back together. Because a pay check isn't enough, a body pillow in your bed is no consolation, and a web cam can never compare. This is for all of you no matter how easy or hard this was for you. Our soldiers are brave, they are heroes, but so are we. So the next time someone tells you that they would never marry an Army guy, don't bother explaining to them that you can't control who you fall in love with. Just think of this and nod your head, know that you are the stronger woman. Hold your heads up high, hang that flag in your front yard, stick 100 magnets on your car, and then give yourself a pat on the back. Be proud to be the woman that you are, be proud to be an Army wife.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Georgia


This one makes me miss home. It was sent to me by Casey. I ordered me a shirt today off the internet that says "I Love Southern Boys". I can't wait until it gets here!!

I want y'all to understand one thing right up front. I'm a Georgian. Always have been and, the Good Lord willing, always will be.

I was raised in a small Georgia Town and educated in a large Southern university.

I have traveled in all fifty states and several foreign countries, including New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

I realize that we have been infiltrated with a number of Northern transplants, and they are all welcome, as long as they choose to live amongst us in peace without spending all their spare time telling us how much better things were back in Cleveland and how proficient they are at driving on snow and ice.

Nevertheless, I feel it is my civic duty to provide a primer of sorts for all the good people
who have recently migrated to the Peach State.

It might not hurt to remind some of the natives of a few points of pride as well. There are some things that all Georgians should know.

Coca Cola is ours, and unless you've had one in a green six-and-a-half ounce bottle, with a slight crust of ice on top, you don't know what the real thing is.

And you might want to try pouring about half a pack of salted peanuts into one sometime.

If it weren't for a Georgian, Crawford Long of Jefferson, open-heart surgery would hurt like hell.

True Georgians say "ma'am and sir" and call their mothers "mama" and their fathers 'daddy".

They know that "y'all" is perfectly good English and never means just one person.

"Fixin to" is perfectly acceptable, too.

And if y'all don't like the way we talk, Delta (which is also ours) is ready when you are.

Long before the Olympics brought the world's greatest athletes to Atlanta, we gave the world Ty Cobb, Jackie Robinson, Walt Frazier, Luke Appling, Johnny Mize, Fran Tarkenton, Bobby Jones, Wyomia Tyus, and Herschel Walker.

If you don't know who these people are, you ought to find out before you go to bed tonight.

Long after the Atlanta Olympics have faded from memory, the greatest tournament in golf will still be played in Augusta every April, with or without Jessie Jackson's and Martha Burke's approval.

And on autumn Saturdays, 90,000 or so Red-and-Black faithful will gather in Athens for a prayer meeting between the hedges.

No matter how many times the Braves play in the World Series, nothing will match the excitement of that first one.

The Stone Mountain carving is lots bigger than the one on Mt. Rushmore and the people etched into the side of Stone Mountain deserve the honor. It wasn't just about slavery.
Atlanta was called "the city too busy to hate," back in the sixties, because it really was, and we should be proud of that fact.

In 1864 Sherman burned Atlanta and much of Georgia in his March to the sea. Crack cocaine is bringing more harm to Atlanta than Sherman ever dreamed of.

We don't grow the most peaches, but we still deserve to be called the "Peach State" because ours are the sweetest.
That includes the Georgia peaches that don't grow on trees.

We do produce the most peanuts, pecans, and poultry.

Elvis wasn't ours, but Otis Redding, James Brown, the Allman Brothers, Johnny Mercer, Joe South, Ray Charles, Bill Anderson, Brenda Lee, Trisha Yearwood and Alan Jackson are.
So are Sidney Lanier, Joel Chandler Harris, Margaret Mitchell and Alice Walker.

And I still miss Lewis Grizzard every day.

Julia Roberts may be Georgia's prettiest movie star, but Holly Hunter is the most talented.
Dakota Fanning may one day surpass them both.

Gone With the Wind belongs to us. We own it.
Not only was it written by one of our own and is about us, but it's also one of the great novels of all time and an absolute film classic.
We shouldn't apologize for liking it.

WSB means "Welcome South Brother."
She ain't what she used to be, but she's not as bad as the Atlanta Journal Constitution has become.

The Brown Thrasher, the Cherokee Rose, and the Live Oak are our state symbols.

Proud, decent, honest people are our heritage.
None are as plentiful as they once were, but none are on the endangered list either.

The best barbecue in the world is Mitchell's in Barney. The best seafood was at Williams in Savannah, and the best catfish is at Ray's Pond in in Ray City. The best sausage is made at M&T Meats in Hawkinsville. The best fried chicken in the world is served at Joyce's in Hahira.

Grits is groceries and sugar doesn't belong in cornbread.

God intended for iced tea to be served sweet.

And lastly, Georgia ain't exactly heaven, but it'll do until I get there.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

L.A.R.K. Program

Another forward from my aunt Dale!

Subject: L.A.R.K. Program

A person wrote a letter to the Dept. of Defense complaining about the treatment of a captive taken during the Afghanistan war. Below is a copy of the response.

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, Washington, D.C.
Dear Concerned Citizen:
Thank you for your recent letter criticizing our treatment of the Taliban and Al Qaeda detainees currently held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The administration takes these matters seriously, and your opinion was heard loud and clear here in Washington. You'll be pleased to learn that, thanks to the concerns of citizens like you, we are creating the Terrorist Retraining Program, to be called the "Liberals Accept Responsibility for Killers" program, or LARK for short. In accordance with the guidelines of this new program, we have decided to place one terrorist under your personal care.
Your detainee has been selected and scheduled for transportation to your residence next Monday. Ali Mohammed Ahmed bin Mahmud is to be cared for pursuant to the standards you personally demanded in your letter of admonishment. We will conduct weekly inspections to ensure that your standards of care for Ahmed are commensurate with those you so strongly recommended in your letter. Although Ahmed is sociopathic and extremely violent, we hope that your sensitivity to what you described as his "attitudinal problem" will help him overcome this character flaw. Perhaps you are correct in describing these problems as mere cultural differences.
Your adopted terrorist is extremely proficient in hand-to-hand combat and can extinguish human life with such simple items as a pencil or nail clippers. He is also expert at making a wide variety of explosive devices from common household products, so you may wish to keep those items locked up, unless you feel that this might offend him.
Ahmed will not wish to interact with your wife or daughters since he views females as a subhuman form of property. This is a particularly sensitive subject for him. He has been known to show violent tendencies around women who fail to comply with the dress code that he considers appropriate, but I'm sure that over time they will come to enjoy the anonymity offered by the bhurka. Just remind them that it is all part of respecting his culture and his religious beliefs.
Thanks again for your letter. We truly appreciate it when folks like you inform us of the proper way to do our job. Take good care of Ahmed and good luck!
Cordially, Don Rumsfeld

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

A Soldier's Premonition

This is very sad but inspiring as the same time. Once you click on the link below, click on "A Soldier's Premonition".
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032600/

In my opinion, if soldiers like SFC Salie believe in the cause they give their life for, what in the world makes these protestors think they have the right to say "End the War! Bring the troops home!" It's just not their place.
But then again, Cindy Sheehan and the protestors, that's a whole different rant of mine....

Monday, August 15, 2005

The Ant and the Contact Lens

My aunt Dale sent me this forward, and I just finally got around to reading it. It's quite a coincidence how fitting it is after the morning I had!
My friend Stacie swears that when our husbands are gone, Murphy's Law ("If anything can go wrong, it will") goes into effect. Well, we've been trying to sell our 2nd car, which is Bryan's, before he deploys. It's been officially on sale for about a month. Nobody inquired about it until the day Bryan left. Then 3 days later somone offered to buy it. The catch here is that a car must be inspected before it can be sold. This car is a stick and of course I can't drive one so it's a little bit of a hassle to get it to the inspection place.
Stacie was kind enough to drive the car to the inspection place for me. We cut the car off while we waited and when it was our turn, the car wouldn't crank back up! We couldn't get any help and it was just us 2 girls standing there with no car knowledge trying to figure out what to do. (It wasn't the battery by the way.) Maybe about half an hour later, the car finally decided to crank back up. I got it inspected and there are 4 different things that now have to be fixed on the car before I can sell it! SO, I have to get the car that I'm incapable of driving fixed, and then inspected again BEFORE I can sell it! I'm a little frustrated and unsure about how to get all of this accomplished, but the I know it will all work out!

Without further ado, here's the true story of The Ant and The Contact Lens:

Brenda was almost halfway to the top of the tremendous granite cliff. She was standing on a ledge where she was taking a breather during this, her first rock climb. As she rested there, the safety rope snapped against her eye and knocked out her contact lens. "Great", she thought. "Here I am on a rock ledge, hundreds of feet from the bottom and hundreds of feet to the top of this cliff, and now my sight is blurry." She looked and looked, hoping that somehow it had landed on the ledge. But it just wasn't there. She felt the panic rising in her, so she began praying. She prayed for calm, and she prayed that she may find her contact lens.
When she got to the top, a friend examined her eye and her clothing for the lens, but it was not to be found. Although she was calm how that she was at the top, she was saddened because she could not clearly see across the range of mountains. She thought of the bible verse "The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth." She thought, "Lord, You can see all these mountains. You know every stone and leaf, and You know exactly where my contact lens is. Please help me."
Later, when they had hiked down the trail to the bottom of the cliff they met another party of climbers just starting up the face of the cliff. One of them shouted out, "Hey, you guys! Anybody lose a contact lens?" Well, that would be startling enough, but you know why the climber saw it? An ant was moving slowly across a twig on the face of the rock, carrying it!
The story doesn't end there. Brenda's father is a cartoonist. When she told him the incredible story of the ant, the prayer, and the contact lens, he drew a cartoon of an ant lugging that contact lens with the caption, "Lord, I don't know why You want me to carry this thing. I can't eat it, and it's awfully heavy. But if this is what You want me to do, I'll carry it for You."
I think it would do all of us some good to say, "God, I don't know why You want me to carry this load. I can see no good in it and it's awfully heavy. But, if You want me to carry it, I will."

Saturday, August 13, 2005

A Military Wife's Life...

"A Military Wifes Life is easier than you think...All you have to do is: Accept the impossible, do without the indispensable, bear the intolerable, and be able to smile at anything."

Friday, August 12, 2005

Pictures From Iraq That You Won't See On The News

These pictures are copied from a forward I received. I've seen them before, but each time I see them it still affects me the same way. This is the message from the email that goes with the pictures:
Sometimes in our everyday lives we tend to forget what's going on elsewhere in the world and that the brave men and women of the service are just like you. They have family and friends back home who love them very much and are praying for their safe return.
When you receive this, please stop for a moment and say a prayer for our troops (land, air, and sea) in Afghanistan, Kuwait, Iraq and around the world. Of all the gifts you could give the US Military, Prayer is the very best one.









Thursday, August 11, 2005

Vince - Our Favorite Firefighter!

Our friend Vince, an Army 1LT stationed in Hawaii, was called to help put out this fire. The picture on the left is Vince's "bird".
Below is the August 4th article from the Honolulu Star-Bulletin:

Makua Valley blazeburns an estimated300 acres

No apparent harm came to anycultural sites or endangered species, the Army says

By Gregg K. Kakesako

Army officials said they are investigating the cause of a brush fire -- the first one in two years -- that burned as much as 300 acres of the Makua Valley Military Reservation yesterday.
It appears the flames did not damage any cultural or historical sites or endangered plants or animals, Army officials said.
Army spokeswoman Capt. Juanita Chang said there was no training or Army operations taking place in the 4,190-acre valley. Police shut down Farrington Highway from 2 to 4 p.m. near Makua Cave.
"We have no reason to believe that any cultural resources or the heiau were damaged," Chang said.
The brush fire also was not to believed to have been near the habitats of 32 endangered plants, two endangered birds, one endangered bat and one endangered snail that live in Makua and along the ridge line.
A survey by Army environmental and cultural staff members will be conducted.
Chang said the fire is believed to have started about 12:50 p.m. yesterday and came close to jumping the fence along Farrington Highway. It was discovered by Army civilian workers and contained three hours later.
About six city firetrucks responded but did not go into the valley, which is on federal land, fire Capt. Emmit Kane said. The fire units were deployed along the perimeter of the military training area to monitor the fire.
Chang said a Black Hawk and OH-58 Kiowa Warrior helicopters were called in to drop water on the brush fire, along with the city Fire Department's Hughes 500 helicopter.
Chang said the fire was contained to an area adjacent to what is known as the "firebreak road," which runs through the center of the training area.
She said the fire climbed through the floor of the valley to the base of the Waianae Mountains. Only limited Army and Marine Corps training has taken place in the valley, a military training facility since the 1920s.
The last big blaze in the valley occurred July 22, 2003, when winds fanned a controlled burn that was lit by the Army to clear 500 acres. Instead, the winds pushed the flames across 2,200 acres.
In September 1998 a misfired mortar during a Marine training exercise landed outside a firebreak road and started a fire that burned 800 acres. There have been at least 270 accidental brush fires in Makua since 1970.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

See you in September.....

He's gone - again. Bryan left yesterday to go back to the field for just under a month. I hope to see him again for a short week right after Labor Day. Today is the 70th day we've spent apart this year and we're on day 222 of the year. This number wouldn't seem high if they were actually downrange, but they're just in the field a lot, playing war. I wanted to take a picture of him by his humvee with his name on it before he left last night. There were too many soldiers standing around though and he decided he didn't want me to take one. We kissed good-bye, with one of the soldiers jumping at the chance to say "No affection in uniform, sir!". I went back home to Misha, and I watched the end of A Walk To Remember. Of course they would show that movie on one of the nights we say good-bye.
Anyway, I'm still hoping I'll get one of those pictures of Bryan by his truck. Maybe in September...

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Bye, Bye BDUs


On Friday, Bryan had his ACU/RFI issue. ACU stands for Army Combat Uniform and this is the new uniform that will replace the current BDU (Battle Dress Uniform). RFI (Rapid Fielding Initiative) refers to all the toys/equipment the soldiers will need during a deployment. Our guest bedroom is slowly being taken over by uniforms and equipment! Bryan officially started wearing his ACUs today. There are some things about the uniform that I like, but the ACU gives me the DCU feeling(desert/deployment), and I'm not too crazy about that!

Monday, August 08, 2005

GUNNER PALACE

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GUNNER PALACE - Some war stories will never make the nightly news.
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Watch the trailers: http://www.gunnerpalace.com/trailer.php

Visite the official website: http://www.gunnerpalace.com/

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Synopsis
GUNNER PALACE reveals the complex realities of the situation in Iraq not seen on the nightly news. Told first-hand by our troops, "Gunner Palace" presents a thought provoking portrait of a dangerous and chaotic war that is personal, highly emotional, sometimes disturbing, surprisingly amusing ... and thoroughly fascinating.
Filmmaker Michael Tucker, who lived with 2/3 Field Artillery, a.k.a. "The Gunners" for two months, captures the lives and humanity of these soldiers whose barracks are the bombed-out pleasure palace of Uday Hussein (nicknamed Gunner Palace), situated in the heart of the most volatile section of Baghdad. With total access to all operations and activities, Tucker's insider footage provides a rare look at the day-to-day lives of these soldiers on the ground -- whether swimming in Uday's pool and playing golf on his putting green or executing raids on suspected terrorists, enduring roadside bombs, mortar attacks, RPGs and snipers.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

The Morning Joke

Why females should avoid a girls night after they are married:
The other night I was invited out for a night with "the girls." I told my husband that I would be home by midnight, "I promise!" Well, the hours passed and the margaritas went down way too easy. Around 3 a.m., a bit loaded, I headed for home. Just as I got in the door, the cuckoo clock in the hall started up and cuckooed 3 times. Quickly, realizing my husband would probably wake up, I cuckooed another 9 times. I was really proud of myself for coming up with such a quick-witted>solution (even when totally smashed), in order to escape a possible conflict with him. The next morning my husband asked me what time I got in, and I told him, "Midnight". He didn't seem pissed off at all. Whew! Got away with that one! Then he said, "We need a new cuckoo clock." When I asked him why?, he said, "Well, last night our clock cuckooed three times, then said, "Oh. shit.", cuckooed 4 more times, cleared it's throat, cuckooed another 3 times, giggled, cuckooed twice more, and then tripped over the coffee table and farted."

Navy Seal

Navy Seal
Two things Navy SEALS are always taught:
Keep your priorities in order
Know when to act without hesitation
A college professor, an avowed atheist and active in the ACLU, was teaching his class. He shocked several of his students when he flatly stated that once and for all he was going to prove there was no God. Addressing the ceiling he shouted: "GOD, if you are real, then I want you to knock me off this platform. I'll give you exactly 15 minutes!!!!!" The lecture room fell silent. You could hear a pin drop. Ten minutes went by. " I'm waiting God, if you're real knock me off this platform!!!!" Again after 4 minutes, the professor taunted God saying, "Here I am, God!!! I'm still waiting!!!" His count down got down to the last couple of minutes when a SEAL, just released from the Navy after serving in Afghanistan and Iraq and newly registered in the class, walked up to the Professor. The SEAL hit him full force in the face, and sent the Professor tumbling from his lofty platform. The Professor was out cold!! The students were stunned and shocked. They began to babble in confusion. The SEAL nonchalantly took his seat in the front row and sat silent. The class looked at him and fell silent.....waiting. Eventually, the professor came to and was noticeably shaken. He looked at the SEAL in the front row. When the professor regained his senses and could speak he asked: "What the hell is the matter with you?! Why did you do that!?" "God was really busy protecting America's soldiers, who are protecting your right to say stupid shit and act like an asshole!!! So he sent me!!"
ONE NATION UNDER GOD!!!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Too Long is Never Too Long

This was the response of another Army wife to the question of "How long is too long to deal with the stress and pressure of being an Army wife?" I was inspired by what she said and hope that if this life is our long term future I will be able to say these things in 20 years.
Funny as a career military spouse, I wonder if I can use that on a resume. There were times I wanted to run away and hide, slap the shit out of the Branch manager for the umpteenth time for changing our orders, coming up with reasons why my husband was the ONLY friggin soldier that could fill that job that had him gone for 2 of 3 years. I've been doing this my WHOLE adult life. Yes I have made more sacrifices then any civilian spouse I know, BUT I MADE THAT CHOICE WHEN I MARRIED A SOLDIER. I choose a career that would enable me to get a job no matter where I lived. I have given up friends, moved, geesh, I don't know how many times in 20 years, but you know, I love this man more than I love any THING I could do with my life. It boils down to what is more important to you. It blows my mind to hear spouses talk about how the deployments and separation are why they end up divorced, um that is a permanent separation, sort of a vicious circle. Everyone has to make decisions that fit their life and thier way of life, but for this military spouse, too long will never be too long. He is my soul mate, my match and I his. We are together no matter where he is, no matter how long he's gone, I pray all the time while he's gone that he comes back to me, but if it be God's will that he doesn't I then pray for God to give me the stregth to help me raise my children to remember what a great man he was and what he died for and what OUR sacrifices were for.

So here it is...

As much as I enjoy the internet, I guess I knew this would come sooner or later. I finally started a blog! I don't have any plans for this thing or have a clue what will come of it, but I figured I'd give it a shot. This will definitely help keep me occupied at work since it is soo slow around here!