Thursday, April 27, 2006

159

Southernness



Only a Southerner knows the difference between a hissie fit and a conniption fit, and that you don't "HAVE" them, you "PITCH" them.
_____

Only a Southerner knows how many fish, collard greens, turnip greens, peas, beans, etc., make up "a mess."
____

Only a Southerner can show or point out to you the general direction of "yonder."
_____

Only a Southerner knows exactly how long "directly" is, ... as in:
"Going to town, be back directly."
_____

Even Southern babies know that "Gimme some sugar" is not a request for the
white, granular sweet substance that sits in a pretty little bowl in the
middle of the table.
_____

All Southerners know exactly when "by and by" is. They might not use the
term, but they know the concept well.
_____

Only a Southerner knows instinctively that the best gesture of solace for a
neighbor who's got trouble is a plate of hot fried chicken and a big bowl
of cold potato salad. If the neighbor's trouble is a real crisis, they also
know to add a large banana puddin!
_____

Only Southerners grow up knowing the difference between "right near" and "a
right far piece." They also know that "just down the road" can be 1 mile or
20.
_____

Only a Southerner, both knows and understands, the difference between a
redneck, a good ol' boy, and po' white trash.
_____

No true Southerner would ever assume that the car with the flashing turn
signal is actually going to make a turn.
_____

A Southerner knows that "fixin" can be used as a noun, a verb, or an adverb.
_____

Only Southerners make friends while standing in lines, ... and when we're
"in line," ... we talk to everybody!
_____

Put 100 Southerners in a room and half of them will discover they're related, even if only by marriage.
_____

In the South, yall is singular, .... all yall is plural.
_____

Southerners know grits come from corn and how to eat them.
_____

Every Southerner knows tomatoes with eggs, bacon, grits, and coffee are
perfectly wonderful; that red eye gravy is also a breakfast food; and that
fried green tomatoes are not a breakfast food.
_____

When you hear someone say, "Well, I caught myself lookin'," you know you
are in the presence of a genuine Southerner!
_____

Only true Southerners say "sweet tea" and "sweet milk." Sweet tea indicates
the need for sugar and lots of it -- we do not like our tea unsweetened.
"Sweet milk" means you don't want buttermilk.
_____

And a true Southerner knows you don't scream obscenities at little old ladies who drive 30 MPH on the freeway. You just say,"Bless her heart" ... >and go your own way
_____

And to those of you who are still having a hard time understanding all this
Southern stuff, ... bless your hearts, I hear they are fixin' to have classes on Southernness as a second language!
_____

And for those that are not from the South but have lived here for a long
time, all yall need a sign to hang on yalls front porch that reads "I ain't
from the South, but I got here as fast as I could."
____

Bless your hearts, ... yall have a blessed day.

Monday, April 24, 2006

156

Friday was a really pretty day here in Baumholder. My boss was nice enough to give us the "59 minute rule" which made me pretty happy. When we get 59 minutes, that means that we can go home 59 minutes early. Per regulation, we can't be given a whole hour, but we can get 59 minutes.
When I got home, Laura, Vanessa, Pam, and their children and dog were all outside. I got Misha and all of us hung out outside for a while. Pam wanted to cook out so she grilled us kebabs and pototoes for supper.
I got up at 3am the next morning to go to Holland. The Outdoor Recreation office did a bus trip. We went to the Keukenhof Tulip Gardens and to a family's farm where they made wooden shoes and cheese. The tulip garden was very pretty but there were a lot of people there. It would have been much more enjoyable had there been less people there, but I'm sure it's never like that. The gardens are only open from March to May so I guess it stays crowded the whole time.
The farm may have been even better than the gardens. We watched how they make wooden shoes and then they told us about how they make cheese. We also got to sample a lot of their cheeses, which were really good.
The bus got back to Baumholder around midnight Saturday. It was a fun trip but I was tired. Yesterday I cleaned my house and made my weekly trips to the PX and commissary. I also prepared Bryan's weekly care package before I went downstairs to watch Desperate Housewives and Grey's Anatomy at Laura's like we do every Sunday.
I put all the pictures I took online but I can't access them from this computer to put one on here. They can be seen at http://cristin-fanning.fotopic.net They are under the April link. It was cool and overcast on Saturday so that's why my face was red and I was wearing my fleece in most of the pictures!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

152

We have officially hit the 5 month mark!
I got this "donut" from an army wives website and have had it since the deployment began. It's actually a spreadsheet that recalculates as each day passes. I've been trying to figure out how to post it on here, and I finally got it to work!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

150

I got this from my aunt and like it says, it is pretty profound. I wish we didn't need a 'forward' to remind us to enjoy life!

READ THIS VERY SLOWLY... IT'S PRETTY PROFOUND.

Too many people put off something that brings them joy just because they haven't thought about it, don't have it on their schedule, didn't know it was coming or are too rigid to depart from their routine.

I got to thinking one day about all those people on the Titanic who passed up dessert at dinner that fateful night in an effort to cut back. From then on, I've tried to be a little more flexible.

How many women out there will eat at home because their husband didn't suggest going out to dinner until after something had been thawed? Does the word "refrigeration" mean nothing to you?

How often have your kids dropped in to talk and sat in silence while you watched 'Jeopardy' on television?

I cannot count the times I called my sister and said, "How about going to lunch in a half hour?" She would gas up and stammer, "I can't. I have clothes on the line. My hair is dirty. I wish I had known yesterday, I had a late breakfast, It looks like rain." And my personal favorite: "It's Monday." She died a few years ago. We never did have lunch together.

Because we cram so much into their lives, we tend to schedule our headaches.. We live on a sparse diet of promises we make to ourselves when all the conditions are perfect!

We'll go back and visit the grandparents when we get Steve toilet-trained. We'll entertain when we replace the living-room carpet. We'll go on a second honeymoon when we get two more kids out of college.

Life has a way of accelerating as we get older. The days get shorter, and the list of promises to ourselves gets longer. One morning, we awaken, and all we have to show for our lives is a litany of "I'm going to," "I plan on," and "Someday, when things are settled down a bit."

When anyone calls my 'seize the moment' friend, she is open to adventure and available for trips. She keeps an open mind on new ideas. Her enthusiasm for life is contagious. You talk with her for five minutes, and you're ready to trade your bad feet for a pair of Rollerblades and skip an elevator for a bungee cord.

My lips have not touched ice cream in 10 years. I love ice cream. It's just that I might as well apply it directly to my stomach with a spatula and eliminate the digestive process. The other day, I stopped the car and bought a triple-decker. If my car had hit an iceberg on the way home, I would have died happy.

Now...go on and have a nice day. Do something you WANT to......not something on your SHOULD DO list. If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say? And why are you waiting?

Make sure you read this to the end; you will understand why I sent this to you.

Have you ever watched kids playing on a merry go round or listened to the rain lapping on the ground? Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight or gazed at the sun into the fading night? Do you run through each day on the fly? When you ask "How are you?" Do you hear the reply?

When the day is done, do you lie in your bed with the next hundred chores running through your head? Ever told your child, "We'll do it tomorrow." And in your haste, not see his sorrow? Ever lost touch? Let a good friendship die? Just call to say "Hi"?

When you worry and hurry through your day, it is like an unopened gift....Thrown away.... Life is not a race. Take it slower. Hear the music before the song is over.

"Life may not be the party we hoped for... but while we are here we might as well dance!"

Monday, April 17, 2006

149





First, I want to wish my brother a Happy 22nd Birthday! I can't believe he's this old! It's also my friend Sarah's birthday today. I don't think either of them read my blog but I wanted to recognize them today anyway!

Mondays are always funny. People will ask me how my weekend was and what I did. Most of the time I can't even remember. How sad is that?!? Today I was just going to blog about my weekend, but I'm having to really think to remember what the heck I did...

Friday was a USAREUR (US Army Europe) training holiday. The soldiers always have those off in addition to federal holidays. I don't usually get training holidays but I guess the higher-ups were feeling generous this weekend, because they let most of the civilians in our detachment have Friday off. I just spent most of the day being lazy and enjoying having a week day off. That night Stacie and I went to dinner at my favorite German restaurant. We are having our 2nd annual Cinco de Mayo coffee in May so we're trying to make plans for it. It was a hit last year, so this year we're trying to make it even better!
I didn't do anything spectacular on Saturday. Since Laura feeds me dinner so often, I decided to return the favor. She and Tally came over for dinner and Laura and I had agreed that we wanted a "southern" supper. I fixed meatloaf, macaroni salad, and broccoli casserole.
On Sunday I got up and went to church. Our chapel on post has been undergoing renovations for quite a while but we were able to move our services back in to it for Easter. It was nice to have church in a church again, rather than the fellowship hall-type place we were having it. After church I got Tally and babysat her for a few hours. I'm definitely getting PLENTY of baby practice since I have a 5 month old and 4 month old for neighbors! Later on in the day, I went to another friends' house to eat. I made a Strawberry Punch Bowl Cake to take. It was pretty good, but the recipe can definitely use some improvement in my opinion. It was nice to have a real Easter dinner. There were more kids than adults at her house though, so by the end of the day I was glad to get back to my house where it was just me and Misha.
While I was talking to my family on the phone last night Bryan tried calling me. I didn't get the voice mail from him until MUCH later. It is always SO frustrating when I miss a chance to talk to him. We're going to try to talk tonight though so I'm excited. I've been looking forward to it all day! 13 more minutes until I'm off!

Friday, April 14, 2006

146



Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

145

So, my information was correct. I just can't do math! Dale and Chris have been married 20 years! Congratulations on 2 decades!!

I got the following sent to me by another Army wife. Obviously I had nothing to do with putting this list together but some parts of it are cute!

TOP 20 REASONS WHY IT IS BAD MY HUSBAND IS DEPLOYED
20. (Many) more months of waiting in line at the post office.
19. I have to fix all of the things that break all by myself.
18. I have to do all of the cooking and I can't remember how to boil water.
17. My car will only get washed when it rains - let's pray for snow.
16. I still haven't found our drill, and if and when I do - I am sure I don't know how to use it!
15. Postage is getting expensive, but not to worry because we know how much you love getting mail!
14. I'll have to hang up the outside Christmas lights myself and I don't do heights.
13. He can't stop by Starbucks for that surprise cup of coffee for me on his way back from PT.
12. I don't know if I can find the furnace, much less remember when I am supposed to change the filter.
11. I actually have to read the owner's manuals to figure out how to work the electronics in my house.
10. I have to take all of the trash out.
9. I have to change all of the diapers.
8. I can't figure out how to use the gas grill and I really want to eat a nice grilled steak.
7. By the time (he returns) my vocabulary will have regressed to that of a 3 year old.
6. I have to talk to the in-laws all by myself.
5. I am sick of eating kid food for dinner.
4. I find myself watching "Elmo's World" and laughing.
3. The only name I have now is "Mommy".
2. The dog does NOT respect my authority.
And the number one reason why it is bad our husband's are deployed is…
NO SEX…Need we say any more?

TOP 20 REASONS WHY IT IS GOOD MY HUSBAND IS DEPLOYED

22. The economy should start to pick up now with all of the packages we send to Iraq - think of how many jobs we are creating at the United States Post Office, Gatorade, Star-Kist…
21. I get to add to my shoe collection.
20. No cereal bowls left on the computer desk.
19. I can put up flower pictures all over the house and take down the ones he likes (Bud Lite neon).
18. Unlimited shopping on EBay, no questions asked.
17. Unlimited Internet time, no sharing required.
16. I haven't had to spend money on beer in months.
15. I don't have to put the toilet seat down.
14. I can have a chick flick marathon any time I want.
13. I am going to look like a Baywatch babe when he gets home.
12. There are no dirty brown t-shirts and black socks lying all over the house.
11. I can watch The Wedding Story, The Baby Story, and Trading Spaces as many times as I want.
10. The TV will stay on one channel for more than five seconds.
9. I don't have to listen to him tell me what a good driver he is.
8. I don't have to shave my legs.
7. It will take me until (he gets home) to clean up the mess I've made out of "his" garage.
6. I can't hear him snore from Iraq.
5. I have my king size bed all to myself - that is until my two girls moved in.
4. I don't have to explain why my trip to Target for a new frying pan cost $100 (you know - along with the frying pan I also needed new utensils, plates, burner covers for the stove, a new cookie jar, laundry detergent was on sale, and toilet paper, and Ziploc bags, and…)
3. A 30-day NTC Rotation will be a minor inconvenience.
2. There are 21 Sundays and so many Mondays that I don't have to watch football this year.
And the number one reason why it is good our husbands are deployed is…The "Honey-Do" list has turned into the "Honey-I-Did" list.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

144


I'd like to wish my aunt Dale and uncle Chris a Happy Anniversary! If my sources are correct, today is their 19th wedding anniversary! Congratulations and I hope y'all have a great day!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

143

Yesterday afternoon I went to the memorial ceremony for SFC Clay and SGT Devora-Garcia. When I got back to my office I decided to see what was going on in Shelleigh's blog. One of her posts led me to SGT Hook. He had written a great post that was so fitting since I had just returned from the memorial. I'd like to think that SFC Clay and SGT Devora are now saying the same things as the soldiers in this story.

Monday, April 10, 2006

These links really DO work!

Alpha Battery
http://www.projo.com/cgi-bin/extra/terror/tribute/view.cgi?id=14802


Bryan
http://www.projo.com/cgi-bin/extra/terror/tribute/view.cgi?id=14801

142

During the last deployment, some of my friends had tribute pages for their husbands. Since Bryan is now "up north" I thought I could finally get away with doing one for him. I know he wouldn't have let me before. A Rhode Island newspaper site, The Providence Journal, was so awesome to make a section of their site specifically for tributes to the troops. I made a tribute for both Bryan and his whole battery. If you would like to post a message, it's VERY easy.
Here are the two links:

Bryan's Page
http://www.projo.com/cgi-bin/extra/terror/tribute/view.cgi?id=14801

Alpha Battery's Page
http://www.projo.com/cgi-bin/extra/terror/tribute/view.cgi?id=14802

Friday, April 07, 2006

139

Are they forgotten?

Even though we reside in another country, those of us in military communities live in our own little bubble of Army life. Everyone is so proud and patriotic. When our "sponsor" (as we call them in the Army) is deployed, we are thinking of them and praying for them around the clock. We certainly never go a day without missing them, and more importantly, appreciating them. Even when our soldiers come home, we remember those who are serving in their place.
Last night after Bryan got back to his room from his night patrol, we were instant messaging. I sent him the link to some pictures from Libby's wedding that I was in last month. Once he started to look at them he became a little upset and frustrated. He was happy that I was able to have a good time and take my mind off of things a little. However, it was hard for him to see so many people having fun, without a care in the world, while he was "trying not to get blown up". There was not much that I could say in response to that. I tried to tell him that people are able to experience good times like those because of soldiers like him and the others who have gone before them. Even though it is the truth, we know that his fear is justified. Thank God I'll never know that it's like to live in a country where I am oppressed, and I'll probably never see or experience anything like that. I am a lucky one and I am lucky because someone, somewhere was willing to make the sacrifice to give me such a gift. I feel even more blessed that I am married to a man and know many people who are capable of something so special and extraordinary -serving their country.
Bryan was right though. They have been forgotten.
Since Bryan went on active duty and even more so since we've lived in Germany and he's been deployed, we've learned who cares. We have been delighted at the people who have reached out to us, but we have also been disappointed by those that we thought cared about us. The latter significantly outnumber the former. This isn't a pity party about the people we've lost touch with or the people who have hurt us. This is a small view of a bigger picture. Some people we thought would be there and support us haven't been. Thank goodness for our family and friends that have been. What about the soldier that has no one outside his Army "family"? Who's there supporting him? Who's remembering him?
You rarely hear about the troops anymore unless you're listening to someone criticize the government. People say you can support the troops without approving of the administration. I question that, but I want to see it put into action.
I would love to see more people walk the walk and separate our military from politics.
These are the men and women who have offered to serve our country.
Let's remember them and support them and appreciate them.
You may even "remember", but what are you doing to remind others that there are still soldiers out there every single day willing to put their lives on the line??
The soldiers not only need to hear that they are supported. They need to feel it.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

138


It seems like most of my blogs lately have been about sad things. That's one reason I try to post jokes on here, so that it's not totally depressing. It has been hard to find happiness in the past few weeks though, so those jokes will have to be it.

There was more bad news this week but it's not as bad as it could have been. One of Bryan's soldiers, SGT M was wounded on Monday. He was shot in the leg while out on a patrol. He went into surgery right away and should be back in Germany by now to begin recovering. Bryan wasn't on the patrol with SGT M, but it was hard for him to know that something had happened to one of his guys. I look forward to visiting SGT M when we are officially informed that he is back here.

Overall, Bryan is doing very well. His platoon is very busy, but their morale is so much better now that they are out there really doing their jobs instead of more training.

R&R leave has been postponed for a while so it doesn't look like I'll be seeing Bryan in July like we had hoped. We picked July so that we could be together for our anniversary but now it looks like he may not get here until August. That is frustrating, but I can't say that I'm totally shocked.

The weather is slowly getting better here and it's starting to get pretty and green again. I'm also planning to start traveling a lot now that I no longer have basketball tying me down. Hopefully that will help the latter part of the deployment fly by!

Monday, April 03, 2006

135



The world lost two more heroes this weekend.



SSG(P) Darrell P. Clay
and
SGT Israel Devoragarcia

Please pray for their loved ones and our community.


Also, here is the article about CPL McKinzie that was in the paper recently. We had a memorial ceremony last Wednesday for him. Obviously it was very emotional, but the ceremony was really nice and I think he would have been proud.

Baumholder-based 1st AD soldier is killed in Iraq

Stars and Stripes
Mideast edition, Thursday, March 23, 2006

A Baumholder, Germany-based, 1st Armored Division soldier was killed Tuesday during an attack in western Baghdad.

Spc. Antoine J. McKinzie, 25, of the 4th Battalion, 27th Field Artillery Regiment, was killed by small-arms fire Monday about 1:10 p.m. when his patrol was attacked.

McKinzie’s family was notified of his death Tuesday, according to the Indianapolis Star. His stepfather, Dwight Adams, is a Star editor.

McKinzie was manning a weapon in the turret of a Humvee when he was shot in the head and shoulder, possibly by a sniper, according to the Star. The attack took place on Route Irish, the road between downtown and Baghdad International Airport.

McKinzie was born Feb. 25, 1981, in Des Moines, Iowa. He was on his second tour of Iraq, having been deployed in 2004 with the 1st AD.

In addition to his stepfather, McKinzie is survived by his mother, Zyvonne Adams, a brother and a sister.