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A Boy, A Girl, and The Marine Corps: A Love Triangle: September 2009

A Boy, A Girl, and The Marine Corps: A Love Triangle

"I cast my lot with a Marine and where he was, was home to me." ~ Anonymous.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

14 things you should never say to a military wife

I stole this from from Little Rhody Girl.

taken from
True Military Wives Confessions

14 things you should NEVER say to a military wife!..
Unless of course you are willing to take that chance on catching one of us on a REALLY bad day and we end up kicking your ass........remember our husbands are trained to stay alive....do you want to bet that they didn't bring their "work" home when they knew we were going to have to live and take care of ourselves for a year at a time because you can bet your ass my husband did!!!!

1. "Aren't you afraid that he'll be killed?"
(This one ranks in at number one on the "duh" list. Of course we're afraid. We're terrified. The thought always lingers at the backs of our minds —but thanks brilliant, you just brought it back to the front. Maybe next you can go ask someone with cancer if they're scared of dying.)

2. "I don't know how you manage. I don't think I could do it."
(This is intended to be a compliment. Though, its just a little annoying. Here's why: it's not like all of us military wives have been dreaming since childhood of the day we'd get to be anxious single moms who carry cell phones with us to the bathroom and in the shower. We're not made of some mysterious matter that makes us more capable, we just got asked to take on a challenging job. So we rose to the challenge and found the strength to make sacrifices.)

3. "At least he's not in Iraq."
(This is the number one most annoying comment for those whose husbandsare in Afghanistan. What do they think is happening in Afghanistan? Aninternational game of golf?

4. "Do you think he'll get to come home for Christmas/anniversary/birthday/birth of a child/wedding/family reunion, etc?"
(Don't you watch the news? No! They don't get to come home for any of these things. Please don't ask again.)

5. "What are you going to do to keep yourself busy while he's gone?"
(Short answer: Try to keep my sanity. Maybe there's a military wife outthere who gets bored when her husband leaves. For the rest of us, those with and without children, we find ourselves having to be two people.That keeps us plenty busy. We do get lonely, but we don't get bored,and drinking massive amounts of wine always helps keep me busy.)

6. "How much longer does he have until he can get out?"
(This one is annoying to many of us whether our husbands are deployed or not. Many of our husbands aren't counting down the days until they"can" get out. Many of them keep signing back up again and again because they actually love what they do or they VOLUNTEER AGAIN and AGAIN to go back to Iraq b/c there is work that needs to be done.)

7. "This deployment shouldn't be so bad, now that you're used to it."
(We do learn coping skills. We figure out ways to make life go smootherwhile the guys are gone. But it never gets "easy" and the bullets and bombs don't skip over our guys just because they've been there before.The worry never goes away.)

8. "My husband had to go to Europe for business once for three weeks. I totally know what you're going through."
(This one is similar to number two. Do not equate your husband's threeweek trip to London/Omaha/Tokyo/etc. with a 6-15 month or moredeployment to a war zone. Aside from the obvious time difference,nobody shot at your husband or tried to blow him up with an I.E.D.,your husband could call home pretty much any time he wanted to, and he flew comfortably on a commercial plane. We do not feel bonded to you in the slightest because of this comment and, if anything, we probably resent you a bit for it. Comparing a 12 month combat deployment to a few weeks business trip is like comparing a crappy Hyundai Excel with a Mercedes convertible.)

9. "Wow you must miss him?"
(This one also gets another big "duh". Of course we miss our men. There are some wives who do not and they're now divorced.)

10. "Where is he exactly? Where is that?"
(I don't expect non-military folks to be able to find Anbar Province ona map, but they should know by now that it's in Iraq. Likewise, knowthat Kabul and Kandahar are in Afghanistan. Know that Muqtada al Sadris the insurgent leader of the Mahdi Army in Iraq and that Sadr City ishis home area. Know that Iran is a major threat to our country and thatit is located between Afghanistan and Iraq. Our country has been at war in Afghanistan for seven years and at war in Iraq for five years. These basic facts are not secrets, they're on the news every night and in thepapers every day —and on maps everywhere.)

11. "Well, he signed up for it, so it's his own fault whatever happens over there.
(Yes, ignorant, he did sign up. Each and every day he protects yourright to make stupid comments like that. He didn't sign up and ask tobe hit by anything, he signed up to protect his country. Oh, and by theway, he asked me to tell you that "You're welcome." He's still fightingfor your freedom.)

12. "Don't you miss sex! I couldn't do it!"
(hmmm, no i don't miss sex. i'm a robot. seriously…military spouses learn quickly that our relationships must be founded on something greater than sex. We learn to appreciate the important things, like simply hearing their voices, seeing their faces, being able to have dinner together every night. And the hard truth is, most relationships probably couldn't withstand 12 months of sex deprivation.)

13. "Well in my opinion….."
(Stop right there. Yo, I didn't ask for you your personal political opinions. Hey, I love a heated political debate, but not in the grocery store, not in Jamba Juice, not at Nordstrom, not in a bar when I'm out with my girls trying to forget the war, and CERTAINLY NOT AT WORK. We tell co-workers about deployments so when we have to spend lunch hours running our asses off doing errands and taking care of the house, dog, and kids, they have an understanding. We do not tell co-workers and colleagues because we are giving an invitation to ramble about politics or because we so eagerly want to hear how much they hate the President, esp. while we're trying to heat up our lean cuisines in the crappyoffice microwaves.)

Last, but not least….

14. "OH, that's horrible…I'm so sorry!"
(He's doing his job and he's a badass. Don't be sorry. Be appreciative and please take a moment out of your comfortable American lives to realize that our marines/soldiers/airmen/coasties/sailors fight thewars abroad so those wars stay abroad.)

Just because we are a strong does not mean we are impervious to thoughtlessness. Please thing before you speak to a wife with a deployed husband.

OH, and we could use a little support and understanding.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A good list

Well, after a big downer yesterday, I think it's time to make a list of good things in my life. Things aren't all bad. Yes, we are broke again. Yes, I have to give up horseback riding lessons for while, and yes, my husband is still not home. I still feel lost in life, but things aren't terrible. Things could be much worse.

So here's my list...

1. My husband is teaching me to play the video game Halo. He calls this "bonding time." I suck, but he is patient with me and is very excited that I have agreed to learn to play. He wants to move on to other first person shooter games. He is very cute about the whole thing. I love it. Quality time with my hubby.

2. My little dog has decided she wants nothing more than to sleep on me during the day. It's a great cure for loneliness. She is very affectionate.

3. I got approved for the Military One Source/Department of Defense money. I now have $6000 to go toward my education. This is about half of what my next section of schooling will cost. YEAH!

4. I have a big, gallon tub of ice cream in the freezer. We bought it to make Bailey's Irish Cream milk shakes... My favorite alcoholic beverage ever. But having a bowl or two with carmel sauce is also a great thing.

5. My husband gives me back rubs when he's home. He never makes me give him one in return. I do on occasion, but it is not mandatory. Man, do I love a good back rub.

6. I finally have my little dog's barking under control. She still barks a little bit, but she is very quiet when strangers come over now. A big change from her crazy barking and jumping at people. She's not perfect yet, but she is getting there.

7. I have 23 cans of Sprite in my fridge. It's the little things in life that make it worth living. :)

8. As of today, all of my jeans fit, with the exception of one pair which are extremely tiny. I have lost almost all of my post wedding weight. My shirts are starting to get a little big too. Soon, I will be the weight I was when I got married. YEAH!

9. In two weeks I will start school and will be just 10 months from finishing my degree. It may not be my dream job, but that is a huge accomplishment. I will finally have a good job and the education to back it up.

10. I will have read all of the books on my list by the time I go back to school. I set out to read quite a few books and will have them all read. Not every book on my "books I'd like to read in my lifetime" list, but all the ones I set out to read during my break from school. Not too shabby.

11. A couple of old friends have found me on Facebook. It's been so nice to reconnect with people. Some of the people who have found me, I could do without, but most of them have been a nice surprise to talk to.

12. At my husbands welcome home party, I really connected with a former Marines wife. We have always been nice to each other, but it was great to really get to talk to her. We want to get together more often now.

13. A good friend of mine wants to try to get together more often. It's always nice to have someone want to include you in their busy life.

14. I have been invited to a number of plays by a friend who has season tickets to a local theater. So that is a good Friday night with dinner and a show.

So, there you have it. 14 reasons that things aren't so bad. I'm sure I could come up with more, but I think 14 is pretty good.

Things could be much worse for me.

Monday, September 28, 2009

I feel lost

It's 11pm. I should be getting ready for bed, but why? I have nowhere to be tomorrow. I have nothing to do. I don't wan to get in the habit of staying up all night, but I'm finding it hard to force a bedtime on myself.

I feel lost in life right now. I don't know where I'm heading. Before my husband deployed, I worked for UPS. I loved my job, most of the time. I made pretty good money and had full benefits that I didn't have to pay a dime for. I worked part time and spent the rest of my time being a wife. I loved it. All I want from life is to be a good wife. I want to do laundry and clean my house. I want to keep my husbands schedule and pay his bills. I had that once. UPS was a low stress job. It didn't take any thought to do. It was easy... well, physically demanding, but no thought involved. No stress, and I was good at it too. I was one of the best workers they had.

But I started to grow disgruntled. Being a good worker at UPS means they pile more work on you. The harder you work, the more they give you to do. Most people are lazy workers for this reason. I was surrounded by slackers. I started to resent the people I worked with. I also changed shifts and was no longer surrounded by my friends. It gave me motivation to quit. Not to mention, there is no pride in the job. It's not something you tell people you do with pride. You say, "well, I just work for UPS." I had also risen as high as I could in just three short years. It was sorta a dead end job. So I quit, I was out on disability anyway and just told them that I couldn't get released back to work and walked away.

Now, I am going to school for something that I only have luke warm feelings for. I don't feel passionate about what I am doing. I enjoy it, but I don't love it. School is very stressful. It's an incredibly difficult program. I feel like I am drowning in all the work and I haven't even gone back yet. I'm still on my break and just the anticipation of going back is sending me for a loop.
I just want to go back to the way things were. I want to be content with my job again. I want to be a wife again. But I don't think I can ever go back. Even if I were to go back to UPS, things have changed there. It would take me five years to earn what I was making in three, now. I lost all of my seniority when I left, so I would start back at the bottom. I just don't think going back makes sense. But where am I headed now? I'm going to school for a job that I don't love. I like it. I can do it. I know I will enjoy doing it. I can even see myself doing it for long time, but only because that would be the easy thing to do. That was the trap at UPS. It was a dead end job, but staying there was the easy thing to do. And that is where I'm headed again. A job that I like, that is east to stay at.

I feel so stuck. I just want to be a wife. I just want to take care of my husband, but I can't. He's not here. He doesn't need me to take care of him right now, and by the time he comes home, I will be back in school and won't be able to take care of him. School will take up all of my time.

What am I doing with my life? I feel like I wasted that last 26 years. While I was floating through life and enjoying myself, I never stopped to think about my future. I dropped out of college, I left my good job, and now I'm nowhere. It feels a lot like a midlife crisis.

Am I ever going to find the place I belong? Am I ever going to fit somewhere? My only goal in life is to be a wife, but we need two incomes. Things are so hard right now, being a single income family. I need to have a job, but where? Where do I fit?

Am I ever going to find my place in life? Right now I feel like I never will.


As promised, here are some pics from my husbands homecoming:

He's the one in the sunglasses who just got off the bus

He's the one in front of the group, sunglasses again... He's looking for me in the crowd.

This is us, just after he got off the bus.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I'm so spoiled

So our pay got screwed up. We are missing like $30o from our last paycheck. It sucks. My husband looked into it and was told that they just didn't know why. Most likely, they over paid us at some point and are taking the money back. They can do that and do it without telling us.

So we had to do a lot of cutting back this month. It sucked. One thing, my horseback riding lessons. Luckily, I had to cancel them anyway because my husband was coming home. The other thing, my house keeper. I'm so sad. She was due to come the week we got paid and I had to cancel. She hadn't been here in a month, so my house was long over due for cleaning.

I just got around to doing it today. We are having our Welcome Home party this weekend and we have some people coming to stay with us, so I had to clean my little heart out. It made me really miss my house keeper.

In all honestly, I don't mind cleaning. I love to have a pristine house and if that takes a little work, so be it. But I hate cleaning my bathroom. Actually, I hate cleaning the shower. We have a stand up only shower and it is a pain to clean. Tubs, fine, but stalls- Yuck! We happen to have two bathrooms so we have one of each. Luckily, the guest bathroom never gets used, so all I have to do is dust it.

So, today, I cleaned the house from top to bottom. I dusted, vacuumed, moped, wiped, washed, disinfected and scrubbed every inch of the house. I didn't do the windows, but they never get touched. Here's the kicker, and it goes to show how long it's been since I cleaned my own home... I went to scrub the toilets and have no toilet bowl cleaner! So, I have a pristine house and dirty toilets. My husband comes home today and we are running to the store for the party so I can get some then, but what a disappointment.

All that cleaning made me appreciate how spoiled I am to have a house keeper. I used to clean my house every week and do the bathrooms every other week. When it was just me, I was too busy to clean because of school so I hired a house keeper. I didn't dirty the house that much so the house keeper only came once a month, but my house was always clean. Now my husband is home, making a mess and there are two of us dirtying up the place. We can't afford to have the house keeper come more than once a month and that's assuming we can afford her at all anymore with my husbands decrease in pay.

I wish being a responsible adult didn't include giving up luxuries when money gets tight.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Can I have a little pity party?

It's been a while since I threw myself a pity party. The deployment began to agree with me and I began living life fairly well without my husband. I got used to living alone and being the new and improved, independent me. I don't love deployments, but I learned to survive.

Now that my husband is home, we are encountering new problems. The first and foremost is readjustment. His reintegration into "normal" life is going to be a difficult one. My readjustment to married life, and living with another human being has also been difficult. I find that most of the time I am wishing I was alone again. I want to be with my husband, but my social skills are rusty. My marriage skills are rusty. In fact, my abilities to interact with the humane race are rusty. I have been alone for so long now and we all know that I was a homebody that never left the house.

But my main complaint is this: My husband is home, but he is not home.

There are options for reservists when they come home. There is some mandatory time that must be spent demobilizing. That's what they are doing this week. But after that, they have two options. Remain under contract and live on base until the contract is up, or check out early and take leave. My husband has opted to remain on contract until he will be forced to take leave. That puts him living on base until at least November.

He will be home most weekends, but he will not be living at home. He is neither here nor there. I am not living alone, but I am not living with someone either. We are in a weird state of limbo.

It's very hard, this in between thing. I have to start making decision with my husband, but he is not available to make them. I have to start considering him in the choices I make, but he isn't really around. I can't ask him questions or double check with him, I have to wait for him to call me. But the hardest part is the being alone. I have to work to get used to him being home for two and a half days, just for him to leave. Then I have to readjust to being alone all the time again.

This back and forth is very stressful. Maybe not "pity party" stressful, but hard none the less. This constant change is hard. I can't make a full adjustment to him being home because he is not really home, but he is not really gone either. When he was in Iraq, that was it. He was gone, but now he is just on the other side of the state. But he's not in my bed. I feel like this deployment will not be over for me until he is home, in my bed, every night. Until then, we are stuck in limbo, neither here nor there.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Puppy's Adventure

I took Puppy to the park today.  It's not a dog park. It's a baseball field/BMX course/parks and recreation daycamp park. It also serves as the local Park and Ride for our Metro system. It's a decent sized park. It's not too small, but it really is only as big as a baseball field with a little extra grass.

The dog park in our area is really nice, but Puppy doesn't really love it. She's not interested in playing with other dogs and won't run around much. She just walks around and sniffs everything. Oh, and marks her territory. (Yes, I have a female dog that likes to mark. Weird, I know.) The dog park has also had a number of attacks in the last few months, one of which ended with the death of a little dog. When it's crowded, I'm just not comfortable talking her there.

So I take her to the park that is walking distance from my house. We walk there, walk around the park a few times, there's a little walk way that is the circumference of the park, and walk home. This weekend, my husband decided that we should start letting her run through the outfield off leash. We did this with moderate success. She will usually come when called. I say usually, because she won't come to my husband when he calls and she gets distracted easily, but, all in all, she is pretty good.

So today, I decided to take her there to let her off leash and practice her recall. For about 10 minutes I let her run in happy circles all around me. She pranced and sniffed and smiled the whole time. She loves grass and loves to run. She ran in circles, usually around me. Big loops and whirls that are nearly impossible to watch it so dizzying. I couldn't catch her if I tried, she is lightning quick. I would let her get a ways away and call her back, then reward her with a treat for coming. Each time, I varied how far I would let her get and the time in between calling her back. She did great. She would joyfully run back to me as fast as her little legs would carry her, smiling and panting the whole way.

It was better than I could have ever expected her to do. That is, until we saw the crows. In a small section of the park, just off of left field there was a small murder of crows happily digging for worms. Pups caught sight of them. She pranced around as if not interested and happily came to me when I called her. Then one of them took flight, and it was over. Her prey drive kicked in, she zeroed in on the crows and took off after them. They all scattered to the wind and flew away, but they didn't fly up in the the air, they stayed low to the ground. Pups was able to track them because of this. She flew as fast as they did across the lawn and into the parking lot. She chased them all the way down the road.

Picture this, if you will: A six pound dog flying after a handful of crows in a small parking lot off a major road. Me, the owner, wearing jeans and shoes not fit for running, chasing after her yelling, "Puppy, Come Here!" as loudly as I can, but as nicely as I can because she won't come if she thinks she's in trouble. She leaps through a strip of trees, to catch the nearest bird. I sprint after her, only to find out the other side of the trees is a hill with a soggy, swampy, bank at the bottom of it. It promptly sucks my shoe off. So now, I'm shouting, trying to get her attention, while trying to free my shoe from the mud while it's filling up with water, all while trying not to actually step into the marsh.

Once I freed my shoe, she came back on her own. The birds flew up into trees, unharmed and she was as pleased as punch with herself. She danced back to me all proud of her accomplishment. She had successfully chased the crows into the trees. I, on the other hand, am now covered in muck, with a soggy shoe, wet socks and jeans that are dripping with mucky water. I did decide to let her stay at the park. I tried to let her off leash, but she began ignoring my calls, so I put her back on leash and we walked the circumference of the park and back home.

She got a lot of exercise, which was the whole point of walking her to the park to begin with, so technically, I'm calling it a victory. Or at least a tie. I don't know if we will attempt the off leash thing again or not. My husband will want me to give it another go, but without him there to chase after her, I just don't know if it's all that good an idea. Besides, my shoes need to dry out.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Our first fight

My husband and I had our first fight since he's been home.  So much for tip-toeing around each other.

It wasn't a huge fight.  It was more, we were both stressed and needed to vent.  I was angry that he opened the windows.  I had asked him not to.  It's not very warm around here anymore, at least not at night.  I get cold.  He opened them anyway and said he thought I said to not turn on the fan...  He was angry that I was angry.  It was a stupid fight.  

We survived it with very little pain on either of our parts.  I expected it to be much worse.  With all the stress we are under, I was expected a little thing to really blow up in our faces.  In our past life (pre deployment) that is what would have happened.  We would both be stressed and something small would turn into WWIII.  We would fight for hours about every little injustice that we have ever felt.  But while he was gone, we agreed to try to stop that.  We decided, mostly after spending the first half of the deployment fighting on the phone, that we weren't going to fight major fights anymore.   From now on, we are going to try to talk about things before they become an issue.  

I was irritated with him, but not irrationally mad.  He was frustrated, but calmly listened to me.  All in all, it was fairly productive.  We went to bed, he got and and drove to base to report for duty and 4 am, and still kissed me goodbye.  We have spent most of the weekend just laying around.  No more fighting.  

I'm sure it won't be our last fight.   I know we will argue again and I'm sure some of them will be big, but for now, we are keeping the peace.  I think we are actually getting better about fighting.  

Friday, September 18, 2009

Money Sucks!

Well, with my husband home two and a half months early, that means we miss out on two and a half months worth of combat pay.  There are a few different kinds of pay he gets that are specific to being at war.  This means that, while he is "in country" (in a combat zone),  we get paid more money than when he's not.  

While he was deployed we had a lot less money going out.  I wasn't paying insurance on his car, no cell phone bill, less food money and a whole lot less spending money, and no gas money.  So our income was higher and we had less output.  This meant that I was living fairly comfortably.  I never managed to save much money though.  As I have blogged before, things kept going wrong and it ate our savings.  But we have a little saved.

The trouble is, my husband is home now.  We don't warrant the deployment money anymore.  We are on active duty pay now.  We are making a lot less money with all those wonderful bills being reinstated.  We are paying insurance and cell phone bills ect.  So less input, more output.  This is making thing very tricky for us.

I do not work.  We are a single income family.  As it sits right now, that single income is just enough to pay our bills, but there is no money left over.  We will not be able to go grocery shopping more than once a month (if even that much) and we will have zero dollars to put into savings of any kind.  In fact, come the first of the month, I will be emptying our savings account to pay some bills.  

With my husband living away from home, he will need to eat.  The military is not feeding them over there.  So that is a lot of money going out just for his food.  Plus, he needs gas to make the three hour drive to base and back each week.  I wanted to get a job, but my husband insisted that I focus on school, but now I'm very worried about money.  We are supposed to get an extra $1000 a month, but we don't know when it will start arriving.  It all depends on when the paper work gets done.  So, until then, we are flat broke.  

I was very worried this would happen when we found out they were coming home early.  If they had stayed in Iraq, we would have a ton of money saved and at least one credit card paid off.  But, I guess being broke is a small price to pay to have your husband home and safe.  Life is a constant trade off.  We traded money for safety.  I'm sure it will all work out in the end.  I'm sure we will get that extra monthly check and finally be back in the black.  But until then, I think I will have to reinstate my grocery ban... Damn, I was just getting used to having food in the house.  I guess it's a good thing I have all that Top Ramen left!  :)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The stress of living together

Ok, so my husband got off the bus on Friday and had the rest of the day off.  But he had to work the rest of the weekend.  Originally they were scheduled to work five half days then get 96 hours of leave, but the powers at be said, "Hell No!  We want our leave ASAP!"  So they worked two full days and got all of their stuff done early.  

This is good and bad.  Good because I was able to stay in town all day Sunday and drive my husband home, instead of driving home just to turn around and drive back a few days later.  It's a three hour drive each way, so I'm super glad he came home Sunday.  However, it also means, I went from being by myself 24 hours a day, to having someone here with me 24 hours a day over night.  It's a big adjustment to make.  

I am used to doing things on my own time, when I want to.  I'm used to going to bed whenever I want and watching whatever I want on TV.  I read whenever I want.  With my husband home, I have to do it when we both agree.  I have to think of what's best for both of us.  I have to consider him in everything I do.  It's very hard to be alone, with very little contact with other people, to suddenly being around someone 24 hours a day.

We haven't started fighting.  My husband seems very understanding that this is a hard adjustment to make.  He is making his own adjustments.  It's not easy to come home from war.  So we are just sorta feeling it out right now.  He has to report back to duty tomorrow morning, but it's another half day because the CO wants the weekend off.  So, he will be home tomorrow evening.  I won't have a day to myself until Monday.  Man, I am looking forward to Monday.  

I missed my husband, and I'm glad he's home, but it is super stressful to have him around.  We are both having to be very careful with each other.  For instance, I'm not ready to hear about his dangerous missions.  I'm not ready to hear about what he did over there, but he seems to want to talk a lot about it.  He's not ready for me to tell him how to do things.  He wants to help me clean and pick up, but I do things a certain way and he wants to do them his way.  He's not ready to relinquish control of those things and neither am I.  I mean, it's been my house for nine months.  I like things a certain way and I'm not ready to allow him to come in and mess that up.  But our house is a mess.  We've been so busy since he got home and his stuff is everywhere.  

I'm sure this makes no sense to anyone.  I should be screaming that he's home and we should be totally blissful.  But the truth is, readjustment is hard for both people.  We are doing well, by all accounts.  I've heard horror stories, but it's very stressful.  I can't wait until this time is over and we are living together peacefully.  I look forward to a stress free home. 

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Finally , The Good News!

I am no longer bound by OPSEC.  I can now share my news with you!

Three weeks ago, we received word that the boys were coming home early.  Yep!  Early!  They told us we had a month and a half, which would mean they came home about a month early.  Then, a few days later, we were told that they were actually coming home in three weeks!

Needless to say, I was stressed. I went from having three months until he came home, to having a month and a half to having a few weeks!  I was scrambling to get ready for him to be home.  I was adjusting to the idea of him being home.  So much was going through my mind... Mostly, I was wasn't ready for him to be home.  I hadn't prepared emotionally or mentally or anything.  The house wasn't ready, my life wasn't ready.  Not to mention, we were counting on the deployment money to pay off some debt, so now we are not financially ready for him to be home.

It was a lot to take in, in a short amount of time.   But, once I started preparing, I began to get excited and anxious.  We got our window of this Monday through Friday.  Then the three day window of Wed through Fri.  I haven 't slept properly in a week.  Waiting for word of the exact day was horrible.  Then, Wed, we finally got it.  They would be home Friday around 6am.  So I packed up my bags, and heading to the town my husbands base is in, and got ready for them to be home.

They arrived 5 hours late!  We waited until noon for them to get there.  But it was worth it.  He got off the bus and I finally go to see him and kiss him.  It was amazing.

He doesn't get leave right away.  I am staying in town to see him in the evenings, but have nothing to do all day.  I'm hanging out with some wives to keep me occupied.  I have to head home tomorrow.  But he will get his 96 (four days of leave) some time soon, and will be home for a while.  I can't wait!

I have pictures of the homecoming, but forgot my cord to connect my camera to the computer, so I will post them when I get home.

YEAH!!!! My husband is home!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

People suck

I'm having a "people suck" kinda day.  

Not the worst day I have had, but I don't understand the human race at all.  Out there in the general public.  Why can't people just be nice. 

Is it so hard to smile at people and be polite?  Just because I'm having a bad day, I don't feel that that entitles me to be a...  Well, an asshole.  (pardon my swearing).  I mean really.  Is is so hard to be nice to the general public?  I don't know you.  I have never met you, but don't take your crap out on me.  

And what's with people acting their job is a chore.  I didn't make you work here, but you do, so how about service with a smile.  I'm not doing anything to you personally, I'm just asking you to perform your job requirements.  Is that so hard?  

Gosh, I am so tired of people being jerks in this world.  I, generally, try to be nice and happy to everyone I meet.  A smile goes a long way.  But today, I want to scowl at everyone.  If it were socially acceptable, I might even growl at people who look at me wrong.  

I hate feeling this way.  My optimism for the world it shot.  Hopefully it will come back tomorrow.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day was wasted on me

I am not gainfully employed, so today was a day like any other.  It was just another Monday, except for the fact that everyone I knew had plans, though I suppose, on a normal Monday, they would all be at work anyway.  So I sat, all by my lonesome, at home and read.  

I did go grocery shopping.  I bought yogurt, and two kinds of ice cream.  And don't forget the Peanut Butter Captain Crunch!  

But Labor Day, was wasted on me.  

What I wouldn't give to have a husband who is home and off of work.  We could have walked the dog together and gone and seen a movie, or something else totally mundane.  

Sunday, September 6, 2009

I miss my husband

My husband recently moved camps.  Before, I would go days without hearing from him.  He tried to call everyday, but often that meant short conversations.  Often, I would go four or so days without hearing from him.  Now, he can call all the time.  We paid to put internet in his room and he got a deal on Skype for unlimited calling for like $3.  So he calls me whenever he can.  Often times, he has nothing to do all day aside from the occasional meeting, so he calls more than once.

For a while we were talking for numerous hours a day.  It was hard at first.  Going from never hearing from him to hearing from him all the time.  I was used to not having to worry about him calling to rushing through my shower to avoid missing his calls.  And I couldn't get anything done.  I was always on the phone with him.  I know, it's a weird thing to complain about, but it was hard to do dishes and clean the house when he was always calling.  And we didn't have anything to talk about.  Often times, he would check his email and play video games while I read CNN.com.  I don't do anything all day, so I'm not exactly a conversational wizard right now.  So, we decided that he shouldn't call so often.

Today was the first day of that.  But I have gotten so used to him calling all the time and being able to talk to him that I ended up emailing him and asking him to call me.  Talking to him so much has made me miss him more.  I had a bad day today.  I have been having a lot of bad days.  And what I really need is my husband to talk to and to hug me and tell me it's ok.  When I can't let things go, he calms me down.  When I'm all fired up, he reassures me that it will be alright.  And I don't really have that now.  I have random phone calls, where we don't talk about much.  

I can't wait until he comes home.  I miss him so much.  And talking to him is making it me miss him even more.

Giving it up

I think I'm throwing in the towel on my grocery ban.

I have no food left.  I can eat pancakes twice.  I have one can of soup.  A bit of pasta and a whole lot of Top Ramen.

I have eaten almost everything in the house.  Not counting the Top Ramen, I only have food for about one more day, maybe two if I eat pasta for every meal.  Though eating Top Ramen for a week would have been a valiant effort, I just don't think I can do it.

I'm going out of town at the end of the week, which I will need to buy provisions for, and feel that it is as good a time as any to stop.  I don't know if I will go tomorrow or hold out until Tuesday, when the food really will be all gone.  I haven't decided.   

I feel confident that this is still a victory.  I went about seven weeks (maybe eight) without grocery shopping.  That is almost two full months.  I will be sad to still have copious amounts of Top Ramen in my house, I think I'm going to make a donation to the local food bank, but I still managed to eat everything else.  In fact, tonight, I am eating my final piece of chicken in celebration of having made it this far.  

I would have liked to eat all that Top Ramen.  It would have been a really sweet victory, but I just don't think the timing is right.  There are a few outside factors weighing in my decision;  I will share them with you some other time.  But given the current state of my affairs and things going on in my life right now, it is clearly time for me to go and get some food!

I wish I could have held out until next paycheck.  There is not much money for me to go and buy whatever I'd like.  I will have to be cautious with my spending, but there is not enough Top Ramen in the house to last until the 15th.  So, it is with great sadness, but a light heart that I abandon my quest for greener pastures.  

I can't wait to eat some yogurt... Man, do I miss yogurt.  And cookies.  Oatmeal cookies sound great right now.  But first thing I'm going to buy is some yogurt.  Oh, how I have missed dairy products!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

This sucks!

I start school again in a few weeks.  Like 5 weeks.  I start on Oct 12th.

I took a break because the stress of the deployment was killing me.  My husband living away from home for five month was horrible.  Then, to make matters worse, he left for Iraq the week before finals.  I took four of those five days off of school.  So, I spent a weekend playing catch up and had to make up three exams while studying for, and taking, finals.  It was horrible.  My brain wouldn't function.  I was reeling from his departure and couldn't handle school.  I had six more weeks left of the first portion of my schooling.  I just had to make it through those six weeks, and I did, but barely.  It took me twice as long to study for test or do homework because I couldn't concentrate.  I couldn't focus during class, I couldn't remember what we were learning.  

Somehow, I managed to pass with straight A's.  I don't know how.  It was sheer force of will, I think.  But I applied for, and was granted, a leave of absence (after my six week externship, which was, thankfully, a breeze).  I decided to take two sequences off.  That would be twelve weeks of school.  I was hard to think of what I was going to do for three months, but I was relieved when finals were over and I was done for a while.  

I enjoyed my first six weeks off.  I caught up on my shows, I read some books, I played with my dog.  But I missed having somewhere to go everyday.  I missed having something to do.  I started to get bored.  I wanted to go back, but circumstances changed and I was forced to wait my full three months. 

I decided to go back to night classes.  Getting up at 6am was hard for me.  I have always worked nights and I miss it dearly.  But, as you all know, I stuck to my day schedule and have continued to go to bed at 7pm and get up between 5 and 6am.  I am now faced with the challenge of changing that.

I have been doing it for so long now.  9 months to be exact.  Trying to stay up past 8pm is wreaking havoc on my nerves.  I don't know why.  I feel anxious trying to go to bed later.  School doesn't even get out until 10pm.  I have to be able to stay up until at least 11.  But so far I have only managed 9:30pm.  I, honest to God, start to have anxiety attacks after that.  I don't understand why this is so hard...

Well, actually, I do.  This is so hard because my schedule is what kept me sane.  I could keep busy in the mornings.  Doing dishes and laundry, walking my dog, talking to my mom on the phone, reading a book.  All these things kept me busy during the daylight hours.  But come evening, I would get bored and lonely.  I would feel sad and depressed.  And now, I have to face those hours head on.  I have to get on the night schedule.  I have to be ready to go back to school.  But I don't want to face the evenings.  

I'm already nervous about going back.  I have had three months to forget everything I learned.  It will be fresh in the minds of all of my classmates.  I'm going to be behind.  That is going to be tough.  On the bright side, evening students only go to school four days a week.  We get Fridays off.  So I am looking forward to having three days off a week.  But what do I do about this schedule?

I need to start getting ready to go back to school.  But I feel so anxious, sad and lonely at night.  I have been trying to read to keep me occupied.  I'm trying to re-read all the Harry Potter books right now and have a few other books sitting on my shelf that I would like to bang out before going back to school, but will it work in the long term?  I just don't know.  

I would give anything to be able to stay on my early morning schedule, but I know it will be healthier for me to go back to nights.  It will be better for when my husband comes home too.  I am happier on a night schedule.  I miss it.  I know it's for the best... in the long term.  But for now, I wish I could stay on my day schedule.  I wish I could continue to go to bed at 7pm.  

Friday, September 4, 2009

Protein Shakes

A few years back, I was a gym rat.  I worked out every day.  I had purchased some personal training sessions at my gym and was set up on a plan.  It worked too.  I was in great shape...  I also had a physically demanding, manual labor job at the time, so it's hard to say which put me in good shape, but I looked awesome.

Not one to work out and not eat right, I began eating healthier, and began supplementing my diet.  I took a multi vitamin every day and began making protein shakes.  Muscle Milk is all fine and dandy, if you are a guy and need 500 calories in just one sitting, but I am a fairly petite woman.  So my trainer turned me on to Isopure.  It has a ton of protein in it and it is super low in calories.  Two scoops is only 210 calories.  It has a ton of vitamins, most of which offer at least 50% of your daily need and comes in many great flavors.  I loved it.  So much in fact that I began trying all the flavors.

Well, I bought a big thing of mango and something or other flavored Isopure.  It is the grossest stuff I have ever had.  It has a horrible after taste and tastes nothing like mango.  I wish I had stuck with chocolate.  But, I have a huge thing of this stuff.  After a while, I had to leave the gym.  I went out of work on disability and couldn't afford my membership anymore.  But I still have the Isopure.

I would give anything to have a different flavor.  But I'm stuck.  I haven't drunk the stuff in at least a year,  it usually just sits at the top of the pantry taking up space.  I can't bring myself to throw it out because Isopure is not cheap.  It's a good value because you only need one scoop per serving, so it last forever.  But there in lies my problem.  It last forever.  

Well, with my lack of food has come a new need.  I need protein.  Carbs I have, but not much protein in the diet.  Veggies I can make up for later and fruit too, but protein is a must have.  Not to mention, I have eaten Top Ramen two days in a row now and am finding it hard to convince myself that I want to eat it again.  So I have decided to start drinking my horrible mango flavored Isopure.  I need the vitamins, and don't want to eat noodles for every meal for the next week.  

Blachhh!  I'm debating if protein powder counts as groceries.  In spirit, I think it does.  It's a meal replacement, so it counts as food.  Bummer.  I wish I could justify going out and buying a different flavor.  And I have nothing in the house to mix it with to make it taste better.  Oh, what I wouldn't give for a few bananas right now.  (Sigh)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I really did cheat this time

Ok, so I cheated... Big time.  

I bought eggs today.  I had to do it.  

I am out of breakfast food.  I tried to give up eating in the morning, but after six weeks of breakfast, my body just wouldn't do it anymore.  Weird.  I don't think I've eaten breakfast in 10 years, and six weeks did me in, just like that.  So, I can make it to about 9 am, but then the hunger strikes.  If I really wanted to push it, I could probably not eat until 11 am and have an early lunch, but that's really pushing it.

I found a couple things of cornbread mix.  I had three things of blueberry muffin mix.  They make six small muffins.  So, I've been making them and eating just three for breakfast.  Tomorrow is my last day of muffins though.  So, I figured I'd eat cornbread for four days, but I need eggs for the mix.  

It's not so horrible a cheat, if I was just buying eggs for the muffins, but I bought a dozen.  I couldn't help myself. 

Here's my justification:

I need two eggs to make the cornbread.  In a few days, I will be down to just Top Ramen to eat.  Top Ramen is not nutritious at all, but if I add an egg to it, it's got some good fat and protein in it.  Plus, when I'm out of cornbread, I can have two, scrambled eggs for breakfast.  

Yes, it goes against the rules completely.  According to the rules I set out for myself, I could not go buy food.  I had to eat what I have.  So, what I should be doing is eating Top Ramen for breakfast, or soup or instant mashed potatoes.  But I just can't do it.  Well... I could, but I don't want to.  I would have done just that, had I not needed the eggs for the cornbread.  And what I should have done was buy a pack of six eggs.  I only needed two, so the smallest amount I can buy would have been better.  It would only be breaking the rules a little bit.  But I got there and the eggs were on sale and it sounded so nice to have egg in my Top Ramen, so a dozen it was.

New rule:  I can buy eggs to put in my Top Ramen (and to have for breakfast).  

So the rules are as such:
No grocery shopping
I have to eat everything in the house before I can go grocery shopping again.
I must make a good faith effort to eat my 10 days worth of Top Ramen.
I can buy eggs.  

Ok, so maybe the last rule flies in the face of all I am trying to accomplish, but I think it's going to have to stick.  Eggs make 10 days worth of Top Ramen seem much more bearable.

So, if you are keeping track, I have gone almost six weeks (possibly seven) without grocery shopping, but have bought crackers and eggs in the last week.  I guess it's a small victory that I haven't completely given in and bought food.

I promised, last week, to post what is left in my house this week, so here it goes:

1 chicken breast
1/2 summer sausage 

10 eggs
2/3 carton of milk
1 package of Yaki Soba

1/2 box instant mashed potatoes
2 shake and pour pancake mixes
2 cup o noodles
1 box of crackers
2 packages of cornbread mix
1 can of soup
1 1/2 box of dried pasta
2 jars pasta sauce
21 packages of Top Ramen

That's it.  I have some things like peanut butter and such, but nothing to go with them.  I do have some packages of biscuits, but I don't eat those.  Those are my husbands and I have never liked them, so I have no plans to eat them now.  I think I have some instant soup packages, but they only make a coffee mug full, so I don't count them as a meal.  I might make them as a snack.  The rice has been my life saver.  A small amount is super filling and thus it lasts a long time.  I hope I have enough to eat with my Top Ramen!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Oh to be Active Duty

I'm getting kinda tired of being a reservist wife.  I love that my husband has a civilian job and can be home, but there are so many things that would be easier if he were active duty.

Housing would be cheaper.  We would be renting, but it would be nice to have a cheaper house payment.  And I would live near a base with a lot of other Marine Corps wives.  I would have groups I could join to make friends and would have people to talk to about the deployment.  The commissary would be closer too.  

We would have a steady paycheck that didn't vary too much from month to month.  Living on an hourly pay is hard when you only have one income.  It is never the same amount, it all depends on how much he works.

On the other hand, we got paid today and it was $300 less than usual.  That was really hard to swallow.  We really needed that $300.  All of our bills got paid, but we have nothing left over.  I couldn't go grocery shopping, even if I wanted to, there's not enough money.  I will have to put it on my credit card if I go, which I hate to do.  So, there are down sides to active duty.  Pay getting screwed up is one of them.

My husband doesn't want to go active, and I don't really want to encourage him to.  I don't think I could handle the constant moving.  I hate to move, it really stresses me out and moving every two or so years would really take it out of me.  But none, the less, there are times that I dream of a life in an active duty world.  For the camaraderie, if nothing else.

I did meet a new wife the other day.  She is brand, spanking new to the Marine Corp.  It was nice to talk to another newly wed.  I talk to her often and it has made the deployment more bearable.  It's nice to talk to someone who can really relate to you.  So, maybe my active duty dreams with cease to be an issue.