Friday, May 30, 2008

BOOTS ON THE GROUND... for a short while at least.

Gabe finally made it home Tuesday evening.  Bad weather kept him grounded in various airports around the globe.  Because he was pretty much flying 'space available' we didn't have a flight number to track.  We had an approximate time but no other information besides an area code from the phone he called from once he landed in country.  Dallas, Texas.

That was where the fun began.  I pulled up the Springs Airport and found that the only airlines flying in from Dallas/ Fort Worth was American Airlines.  There were three flights.  One was due in at 5:15 after being rescheduled from 2.  Another, the one I suspected he would be on, was rescheduled from 4:25 to 7:33 pm.  The 7:15 flight was canceled.

I called American Airlines and got a recording.  After fighting with the millions of options I hung up in disgust.  Plan B, call the Springs Airport. 

Another recording.  This one gave me the address to the web site I had found the phone number on.  It gave me the phone number I had just dialed, and it gave the phone numbers to all of the airlines robotic answering machines.   It also gave me a warning that "ticketing fees may apply",  but good news, I can "pay by Western Union!"

I decided to try the American Airlines recording again.  After finally getting an option to wait for an agent I was warned that the wait may take up to 5 minutes.  15 minutes later I was greeted by a live voice.

'Are you human?  Because I don't want to talk to another machine.'    The voice on the other end laughed and assured me that she was in fact a human.  And this human spent the next 20 minutes trying to track down my son.  In the end she was unsuccessful but she tried and that meant the world to me.  When I finally hung up I was no better off than when I first began my little trip through the automated phone system but I had spoken to a compassionate human who ended the call with 'Enjoy your son's visit'. 

Two minutes later Kimmie called to say that Gabe was waiting at the airport. 

We had a nice family reunion over Philly Cheese steak pizza from Dominos.  I stood off to the side watching all of my children, my husband, my grandchildren and extended family members talking, laughing and acting like they had never been apart.  What loud, beautiful noise.

I have waited for what seemed like ages for this moment and now that it is here it is moving way too fast.  Suddenly 2 weeks doesn't seem like very much time at all.

Saturday, May 24, 2008


I spent the night up a mountain in a tipi with 3 giggling teenaged girls.  All 4 of us had gas real bad from my homemade Ghostrider Chili.  Fortunately for us the sides of the tipi kept blowing up so the smell never had a chance to settle in.  Near hurricane gusts of winds threatened to level our campsite but morning revealed that only the dining canopy suffered any real damage.

And I had a wonderful email waiting for me on my cell phone, which amazingly had a signal up on the mountain.

"Hey mom, well I leave for Kuwait tonight, please send money!"

So here I am in the quiet house after wiring some cash to Iraq for Gabe to travel home with.  I figure he will probably be in country within two days if all goes well.  At any rate by this time tomorrow he will be safely out of Iraq.

Time to head on back up to the mountain to rejoin the Oompas.  What a beautiful weekend it is, despite my injured foot.  Hope everyone has a safe and pleasant Memorial Weekend, and don't forget the purpose for the holiday.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Ouch Part II, and boxers or briefs?

Did you know that the handle of a pan left in a 350° oven for one hour is 350° ?  Did you know if you grasp the 350° handle of said pan with a bare hand covered only in charcoal dust from the BBQ grill that the charcoal will cook into your finger prints? 

Not to worry though, I'm sure the black particles will come off once the blisters peel.

I am beginning to think I should have come with a warning label.

"Caution, may be hazardous to yourself."

I went to the store last night, gimping in my clogs and wishing I had worn the fur trimmed forest green velvet house slippers.  I bought Gabe some Dickies pants to wear and would have bought him more stuff but I found myself stumped.

Boxers or briefs?  My own son and I have no idea.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


I have a broken toe.  I have never had a broken bone before.  Well, not officially.  I suspect that I broke my tail bone in the 70's during a fall at the roller skating rink but I never went to the doctor because modesty prevented me from allowing my butt to be X-rayed.  I haven't been to see a doctor yet about my toe either because it will most likely result in a 3-4 hour wait to see a doctor who may or may not X-ray the swollen digit, announce that it is in fact broken and then send me home with a prescription of Motrin.

I already have Motrin. 

How did I break my toe?  It doesn't get stupider than this.  I have 7 steps leading down to the lower level of my house.  I lost count at 6 and anticipated solid ground under my next step forward.  Nothing but air.  Being the graceful person I am I quickly regained my balance and landed in a perfect pirouette on my left big toe.

My left big toe is now bigger.  And its purple and black and red.  I can't raise it up or wiggle it.  It just sits there as I strain to get my toe muscles to respond to my commands.

I don't think Dickidoo is taking my injury seriously.  He didn't even examine it.  Mostly he just laughed at me.  He had one of the Oompas get me some ice to put on my toe.  The weight of the ice made me howl but the cold was soothing.  I hobbled to bed under the influence of Tylenol PM. 

I woke to Dickidoo's persistent kicking against my leg.  I glanced at the alarm clock... 4:44 am

4:44!  I was supposed to be at work 44 minutes ago!

I jumped out of bed, landed on my feet.  Then I landed on my butt as my toe and my mouth screamed out in pain simultaneously.  I immediately recalled my injury from the night before.

I dressed quickly in the dark, ran out to the hall bathroom, turned on the light, realized that my Mickey Mouse tee shirt and stained jeans would never pass the dress code, hobbled back into the bedroom and redressed in the dark again.  Back in the bathroom I decided that my black polo shirt and faded jeans were close enough to code, slapped on some face spackle and hopped as fast as I could to the foyer.  I tried one pair of shoes, used up a couple of my 'Cuss & Fuss For Free' coupons that Rocky had given me for Mother's Day, tried on another pair of shoes, used a couple more Cuss Coupons, and settled for my clogs. 

Even injured and running late I found the time to make a pot of coffee.

10 minutes later I was clocking in at work.

Hop A-Long, Gimpy, Weeble Wobble...  Co-workers are always so quick to supply new nick names at one's expense.  One of my friends went home and returned with a pair of fur trimmed forest green velvet house slippers.  Ahhhh! 

Its hard to be inconspicuous when wearing fur trimmed forest green velvet house slippers in the back rooms of the warehouse, limping like the Hunched Back of Notre Dame.  Fortunately today and tomorrow are my days off.  I'm supposed to go hiking with Becca this afternoon.  That's not going to happen.  I'm not sure how camping this weekend will work out either.  We'll have to see how my foot feels by Friday.

I am all out of Cuss And Fuss Coupons....  This is proving to be an expensive injury.


(A broken toe won't slow down a mother greeting her son home from Iraq!)

(edited... I lost track, its only 3 days and a wake up!  Woo Hoo!)

Monday, May 19, 2008


I'm serious, this is really icky, and it really bugs the stuffing out of me.  I can't tell you how many times I've sat on an automatic flushing toilet only to have it flush while I was sitting, splashing toilet bowl water all over my underside.

I KNOW what has been in that toilet bowl.  I KNOW that germs have GOT to exist even after the flush.  And therefore I KNOW that icky stuff is splashing all over my underside every time one of those automatic flushing toilets flushes prematurely.

With the price of gas orbiting the sun these days I don't drive home for lunch which means that I am at my work place for 9+ hours.  I cannot hold my bladder for 9+ hours, its just not possible.  I am going to petition my work place for at least one stall with a manually operated toilet.  I don't have high hopes in positive results but at least I'll know I tried.  And if my 'woohoowhatzit' falls off from gross contamination due to back splash from automatic flushing toilets, well, I think we will have grounds for a law suit of some sort.  (Enter exibit A)

Gabe flies out of Iraq in 6 days.  I can't tell you how stressed out I have been lately.  I'm a positive person.  I'm so positive that I pee happy thoughts (which is a good thing since my toilet at work splashes those happy thought right back at me!)  But lately I've had such bad thoughts that I can't even put them to words.  I don't dream.  I don't dare.  I talk so fast that people can't understand me, which is good because if they can't understand me then they can't ask questions. 


Please, no questions!

I just want my son home safe in my arms and sight, next to his fiancee and son... right where he belongs.

Dear God, please give me the strength to let him go back to his unit when the time comes.  Give me the strength to understand that they need him there more than I do.  Dear God give me the strength to let him go.

80 degrees today.  No snow, no ice.  No cold. 

Grrrr..... its too hot in here.  Why does it have to be so extreme here in Colorado?  Its either freezing cold or blistering hot.

Ah well, no matter.  I love it here.

6 more days and a wake up!

Monday, May 12, 2008

MOTHER'S DAY and Mourning Fest

I hope all the mothers out there had as wonderful a Mother's Day as I had.  I had to work but came home to loving hugs from all of the OompasGabe called from Iraq, and later we picked up his fiancee and the Grand-Oompas to have dinner with us.  I even remembered to call my own mother and had a lovely talk with her.

This is the last full week of school for the Oompas.  The following week consists of short days.  And of course, Gabe will be home for two weeks so I shall not be hosting the annual Summer Mourning Fest at the end of the school year for parents like myself who dread the chaotic summer months when Oompas run rampant like cockroaches destroying peace and routine without discrimination or conscience.  I can, however, tell you that there are just 98 days until school starts up again.  Woo Hoo!

Monday, May 5, 2008

SWEATIN' IT (finally!)

Its 74 degrees outside right now.  74 beautiful, sunny degrees.  I actually sweated for the first time in months as I sat in the truck during my lunch break.  Tonight calls for thunder showers, which we need.  But for now its 74 and sunny!

Our countdown towards Gabe's R&R is speeding right along.  I've been good during this deployment, not gluing myself to the TV or computer in search of news.  I've avoided public conversations.  I have learned over time that while their concern for our soldiers... my son... is genuine, most people don't like to hear about the war and it is too painful to watch that disinterested look wash over their faces after their initial inquiry into his well being.  At home Gabe is a constant topic, but my fears and concerns are dealt with in private.  I look forward to this brief reprieve.

I am already dreading the moment when I must let go so that he can complete his mission.  I cling to the thought that with each passing day spent over there he is one day closer to home.

Dickidoo is putting in a lot of over time to buy me a new vehicle.   Till then I am driving my left handed truck.  Did you know that he makes more in one weekend than I do all week?  Why am I even working?

Oh yeah, because I'm a shopaholic and I hate having to beg for money to buy stuff I want but don't need.

Like truffles.  I think it's truffle time again.  Oh yeah, it is definitely truffle time again.


Thursday, May 1, 2008


Hey, I almost forgot... okay, I actually did forget but then I remembered...

Happy May Day!

Did you know that May Day is Lei Day in Hawaii?  Right now all my family, friends and relations are getting lei'd in Hawaii.  Aya AyaYeeee haaaa!


IT'S WING TIME (thats winter + spring)

Or maybe its 'sprinter'.  Whatever....... Yesterday it was 73 degrees.  Today it snowed.  Notice the 'ed', following the 'snow', as in 'past tense' and 'no longer snowing'.  The sun is out and the thermometer outside the kitchen window reads 50 degrees.  I think I've figured out why they call this town 'Colorado Springs'.  Its so we can say that yes, Colorado does have a spring... located at the foot of Cheyenne Mountain, south of Denver and north of Pueblo.  But mostly we just have winter.

Rocky and I went for our hunters briefing on Fort Carson.  There was all of the usual ho-hum stuff they tell you every year, but this time they pointed out how hunting would be affected by the recent burn.  It was very sobering.  Over 10,000 acres burned.  Complete training areas were burned to the ground.  I recognized some of the locations as good hunting sites.  It will take years to regrow these areas, and if Mother Nature is kind, it will be a healthy regrowth.  Still, it saddens me to imagine all of the wild life and plant life lost to the fire.  And of course there was a human cost with the loss of the tanker pilot. 

Rocky wasn't too interested in the technicalities of the briefing.  She fidgetted.  And then she fussed because we were in an important meeting, in a fancy military board room with fancy leather seats, and her dad who was a speaker, was standing in the back of the room eating Reeses peanut butter Whoppers and drinking from a big pink jug.  She met another teenaged girl who lives in the next town over.  They exchanged cell phone numbers and would have texted each other right away if either of them could get a signal in the meeting room. 

Today I procrastinate.  I am waiting for it to warm up a little more so I can clean out Big Red.  Instead I find myself hoping it will snow a little more, making it too cold to work outside.  I know it is for the best, and I am tired of driving in left hand circles to get where I need to go, but Big Red is my chariot, my Cinderella carriage, my baby!

Okay Dickidoo you win... but no mini van!  Besides, I can't (won't!) take a mini van out hunting and I certainly can't haul and elk out in one!  Hey wait, Johnny went hunting in his Fiero.  I want a Fiero Dickidoo, yeah!  A Fiero!

Oh, oh, oh!  I've got a couple 'gotta tries' to share with you.  Hershey's limited edition Vanilla Yogurt Cream kisses are amazing!  They're not too sweet, but very rich so don't go thinking you can pig out on them.  Just a couple will leave you very happy.  And Coffee Mate has a new line of creamers that are worth investigating.  So far I have only tried the Tiramisu.  It smells good enough to drink from the bottle and makes the most luscious cup of perfectly flavored coffee.  Its liquid dessert!