A brown belt for Big Guy – not that it’s important
Mon, 12/03/12 – 12:49 | Comments Off

It was testing week in karate and, as usual, Big Guy was under the gun. Not as much as he used to be, when he didn’t have a clue and had to frantically cram, but …

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Food

Picky eaters and allergy-safe cooking — the two aren’t necessarily unrelated.

Girl Gone Wonk

From policy to politics, this rant’s for you.

News

The day’s events in a family way — unless something else amuses me.

School days

From preschool to kindergarten — so far

Simple Gifts

Inexpensive homemade gifts, creative parties and low-cost projects, for Christmas and beyond. Many are easy enough for children to help.

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Articles tagged with: military life

Let’s not do the backlash thing again
Monday, 25 Jul, 2011 – 12:39 | Comments Off
Let’s not do the backlash thing again

It’s reminiscent of what happened to military personnel during the Vietnam Era, except at least this time the vitriol isn’t violent.
But it’s just as uncalled for and almost as ridiculous. Even worse: It’s the direct …

‘Doing Daddy’s job’ – and other ways kids cope
Monday, 27 Jun, 2011 – 12:03 | Comments Off
‘Doing Daddy’s job’ – and other ways kids cope

It started out as a joke between a 7-year-old and his mom. A few weeks after his dad deployed, the boy sat down on the couch, grabbed the  remote and began flipping channels. “I’m doing …

The legacy of a life ended too soon
Thursday, 21 Apr, 2011 – 12:45 | Comments Off

The guys are not squeamish about the news – there’s really no way a kid can be growing up in a military community, where events continents away can flare and invade your life. So …

Happy birthday – please don’t die
Monday, 11 Apr, 2011 – 11:44 | 2 Comments
Happy birthday – please don’t die

I’ve never paid much attention to birthdays – not since I turned 18, at least, and was old enough to drink. Yes, I am that old. Being old doesn’t especially bother me most of the …

A pox on both your houses!
Friday, 8 Apr, 2011 – 14:31 | Comments Off
A pox on both your houses!

About a week ago,  Texas Republicans had a good idea – yeah, it’s been known to happen.
That’s when U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert introduced House Resolution 1297, the “Ensuring Pay for Our Military Act.” It now …

Reaching shutdown shutdown
Thursday, 7 Apr, 2011 – 14:09 | One Comment
Reaching shutdown shutdown

After a few hours this morning of watching various channels for word on the budget the way he usually watches for news from Iraq, Afghanistan or Libya, Dad had had enough. “Whatever happens will happen,” …

Home is where you make it
Monday, 4 Apr, 2011 – 15:50 | Comments Off
Home is where you make it

I’ve lived in nine different cities and towns in my adult life – journalism in the early part of your career is a lot like the military. Two or three  years and you’re out, except …

At home, at last
Monday, 14 Mar, 2011 – 11:19 | Comments Off
At home, at last

The only way to keep a secret in this house is if one of the beings that knows it can’t speak.
That’s why I confided only in the dog a few Thursdays ago when I found …

Epiblogue: Army morale spending and skyrocketing youth sports costs
Tuesday, 1 Mar, 2011 – 10:18 | Comments Off
Epiblogue: Army morale spending and skyrocketing youth sports costs

Just as I was in a mood to rant about proposals to cut Army morale spending anyway, they were handing out papers at last night’s soccer game alerting parents that registration is open for tee …

When PCS stands for “poor child’s sad”
Monday, 28 Feb, 2011 – 11:05 | One Comment
When PCS stands for “poor child’s sad”

Big Guy survived his BFF’s move last spring, and the relationship continues to thrive thanks to unlimited long distance and Skype. He teetered last week, though, when another friend – the first he’d made here …

If you think MWR spending is frivolous come spend a week with us
Sunday, 27 Feb, 2011 – 16:56 | One Comment
If you think MWR spending is frivolous come spend a week with us

Listen to Joe “You lie” Wilson, for the South Carolina congressman is speaking the truth.
“While demands for increased effectiveness and efficiency are to be expected, I fear that misperceptions about the absence of a …

‘I need a favor’ – see, that’s not so hard
Friday, 18 Feb, 2011 – 11:34 | Comments Off
‘I need a favor’ – see, that’s not so hard

I have a problem with asking for help. Part of it’s because of  due to an independent streak, but a great deal of the hesitancy has been learned. Why ask for help when you can’t …

The dentist – worse than driving down range
Friday, 11 Feb, 2011 – 11:58 | 2 Comments
The dentist – worse than driving down range

The surprising part is not that the Army is telling Dad he has to have his wisdom teeth removed – that’s pretty much pro forma, though I’m not sure why. A friend who used to …

Yes, the airplane comes – eventually
Monday, 7 Feb, 2011 – 13:27 | 2 Comments
Yes, the airplane comes – eventually

There’s a reason the acronym AMC – for the military’s Air Mobility Command – is jokingly translated to “Airplane Might Come.”
There’s also a reason that a popular prayer asks, “God give me the serenity to …

A soldier and his Samantha
Monday, 31 Jan, 2011 – 12:37 | Comments Off
A soldier and his Samantha

I have no idea who he is, but I’ve heard the voice before.
It’s the voice filled fatigue the likes of which those of us who haven’t been there can’t begin to imagine. It’s a voice …

Yes, girls can do that now
Monday, 24 Jan, 2011 – 11:27 | Comments Off
Yes, girls can do that now

He looks around among his friends and sees only a few women in green. It was inevitable that the question would come up.
“Mommy, why aren’t there many girls in the Army?” Big Guy asked.
There are …

You can’t beat ‘em so might as well join ‘em
Sunday, 23 Jan, 2011 – 19:44 | Comments Off
You can’t beat ‘em so might as well join ‘em

Looking for a social media strategist? There’s one particular group that recently did an exceptional job of compiling the important information, explaining without talking down, laying out policies and backing them up with salient case …

The myth of the benefits of the commissary
Sunday, 16 Jan, 2011 – 17:22 | Comments Off
The myth of the benefits of the commissary

The guys have an unfortunate addiction: Graham crackers and milk for breakfast. We could go through a box every three days, at $2 per “on sale” at the commissary.
I thought that price was bad until …

Dreaming of the future we can almost see
Monday, 10 Jan, 2011 – 11:53 | 3 Comments
Dreaming of the future we can almost see

A little more than a year after Dad’s departure, his return is getting close.
Tantalizingly close. Not close enough to order the balloons or bake the cake, but near enough that we can see that it’s …

The guys mark one off their bucket lists
Monday, 3 Jan, 2011 – 10:56 | One Comment
The guys mark one off their bucket lists

Big Guy had been looking for a do-over for two years, ever since his last winter wonderland adventure ended in tears.
Boots yearned with all the passion a 5-year-old can muster to again experience the heavenly …

Merry Christmas, Dad
Friday, 24 Dec, 2010 – 7:46 | Comments Off
Merry Christmas, Dad

My heart goes out to anyone who I think is going to have a less than spectacular Christmas.
I hate it for the soldiers I still see using the WiFi in Starbucks on post. I fear …

The Hickory Farms pizza gift pack
Monday, 13 Dec, 2010 – 14:44 | Comments Off
The Hickory Farms pizza gift pack

You’ve just received a Hickory Farms holiday gift pack – three weeks before the holiday, thanks to the stunning efficiency of both Hickory Farm and of the U.S. Postal Service.
Do you stash it under your …

Deadlines put others first at Christmas
Monday, 6 Dec, 2010 – 14:00 | Comments Off
Deadlines put others first at Christmas

We’d bought the Christmas tree just days after Halloween – a two-footer that took some bending to fit in a box that wouldn’t cost an arm and a leg to ship, but we did it. …

It turns out there was a reason to buy a turkey
Wednesday, 24 Nov, 2010 – 11:30 | One Comment
It turns out there was a reason to buy a turkey

I bought a turkey two weeks ago, and at the time I had no idea why. It was a 13 pounder, because the commissary didn’t have anything smaller, and I had to cram it into …

And then the roof falls in
Monday, 22 Nov, 2010 – 14:39 | Comments Off
And then the roof falls in

You hear the stories about women blasting the water in the shower to hide their weeping, and you think it won’t happen to you. You’re strong. You’re resilient. You can handle this.
And for months on …

Raise Tricare co-pays? Give us something to pay for first
Sunday, 21 Nov, 2010 – 20:03 | One Comment
Raise Tricare co-pays? Give us something to pay for first

Everyone loves to look at the military’s health insurance with envy. It’s free! They don’t pay an arm and a leg like civilians do!
And when the budget recommendations come, implementing Tricare premiums, deductibles or co-pays …

A SWAT for an offer that’s really not
Thursday, 18 Nov, 2010 – 19:09 | Comments Off
A SWAT for an offer that’s really not

I know drugstores.com. Know it well, in fact, since moving to Fort Irwin, a place where even over-the-counter kids medications can be hard to come by.
Several times a year I load up the cybercart with …

Teeth-cleaning gum? I want it NOW
Friday, 12 Nov, 2010 – 12:47 | 2 Comments
Teeth-cleaning gum? I want it NOW

Teeth-cleaning gum? Oh my God, is this ever the answer to my prayers.
It sounds almost too good to be true and I feared at first that it might be because most Google paths lead back …