Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Sorry.  Crazy has sort of taken over.  It happens when I'm outnumbered for any length of time. 

I actually did manage to sit down at the desk and attempt to take care of paperwork today...a job reference for a friend, the wee girl's pre-k application (she's in, the application is a mere formality really).  Then this cheeky little girl decided she had been neglected long enough...

After I snapped the picture I realized that it's actually like an "I Spy" picture of geekery and nerdness...

I spy a shirt that is Brown, 
with a quote by a pilot who never let Serenity crash down.
He was a leaf on the wind,
His wife's very best friend.

A print from a movie made from a comic about a boy
she read when all life held was pure and simple joy.

Chatting with a kitty, acting just a little batty.
Just this close to being a Crazy Cat Lady.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Technology. We like it.

Years ago, living an ocean away from family members, the only time we received an overseas phone call was when someone died.

At boarding school we were allowed one phone call home a week.  There were only so many phones on campus we could use for international calls.  Because others were waiting, we were on a time limit--or until we got cut off.  Pre-war crank phones...first request was the local operator who then rang the international operator to "book" our call.  Then it was back in line while we waited for the operator to ring back. 

The house we lived in my senor year in high school didn't even have a phone.  When I went back several years later, it was a shock to hear a phone ringing! Our number? Oliotokitok 81.  I had to put that on my "next of kin" paperwork for my Navy enlistment paperwork (along with a map to find the house...Turn off the Nairobi road, head up the mountain, turn right at the gate before the border post.  Be sure to honk and the guard will come answer.)

My children are among the first generation of video phone calls.  They've always had Skype.  My mom would read bedtime stories to my son from an ocean away.  My daughter's first steps were witnessed via Skype.  For them, it's a perfectly normal way to communicate!

Tonight they got to chitchat with their dad who is currently elsewhere.  Nothing can replace daddy hugs and snuggles, but this certainly makes the separation more bearable. 

Monday, July 16, 2012


Last night's thunderstorm struck right around Bedtime.  Snuggling for a bit with the wee girlie, doing my best to convince her that the thunderstorm was harmless, she asked me if I was scared of thunderstorms when I was little.

I told her that where I grew up we didn't really have thunderstorms.  The climate along the equator just didn't lend itself to creating thunderstorms.  I explained how we didn't have winter and fall either.  Basically just one long mild summer.  It would be dry for a long time, broken up by a short rainy period then a long rainy season.

In a matter of days, our "roads" would go from this...

To this...

The last trip I took in this faithful Land Rover was during the short rains.  I had taken four weeks leave and went home for Christmas.  It started raining and the road down the mountain quickly turned into a mudslide.  A crowd of family and old friends had gathered at our home for the holidays and we all left together.  I was snoozing in the back seat (one of my Superpowers is the ability to sleep anywhere, any how...honed on these very roads) when I was rudely awakened by my mom screaming.  The last "puddle" sent muddy water sloshing over the hood and in through the open vents.  My initial concern was over the pecan pies she'd been holding in her lap.  

My mom still hasn't let that one go.  I maintain that she's washable, delicious homemade pecan pies are not.  

July is Juvenile Arthritis Awareness month...

My wee girl is 4 and she was diagnosed with Pauciarticular Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis when she was 2 years old. There is no cure. It will progressively get worse. As a mother, as a human being, I find that unacceptable. 


The more of these amazing children I've met, the more I realize that we got of kind of light.  We only have an hour's drive to her specialist.  Other's drive all day.  We also have the benefit of the Virginia Eye Institute for her eye exams.  

Kyleigh will be on medication for the rest of her life.  But for right now it's simply Naproxen.  Her immune system is compromised.  Any illness over mere sniffles earns her a trip to the doctor's.  We just can't take the risk and "wait it out".  But she's active.  She has yet to find an obstacle she can't get around or over.  There are many days when it's all I can do to just keep up with her.  There are also mornings when she struggles to walk down the stairs.  

She still inspires me to conquer my own fears and blow past previous limits.  I wouldn't change her for anything.  But, if I could, I'd take away her pain.


Sunday, July 15, 2012


We've had stormy weather keeping us indoors lately.

The Boy asked if he could watch more of Lord of the Rings.  He had watched The Fellowship of the Ring already.  So we started with Two Towers.  Last night we finished Return of the King.

As he's sitting, watching the end scenes and it dawns on him that Frodo is also leaving with the elves, his eyes welled up with tears.

Frodo's leaving too? 


But he's never going to get to see his friends again...

I took the time to sit with him for a bit and explained that with everything Frodo had been through, physically and emotionally, it just wasn't possible for him to go back to being a normal hobbit in the Shire.  But this gave him a chance at a whole new adventure.

I also made sure he knew that it was perfectly OK to cry at movies.

He's read The Hobbit (and very much looking forward to the movie, as are we all).  I think it's time for him to own his own copy of The Lord of the Rings books.  Our household copy is a massive bound book of all three.  It might be a wee bit daunting, not to mention heavy, for a 7-year-old.

Monday, July 9, 2012


I first took the Myers-Briggs* personality type indicator test twenty-some years ago.  And in all of the times I've taken it since, the results have never changed.  Until today.

Somewhere along the years I've morphed from a solid INFP to a just-over-the-line ISFJ.

I think anyone who has known me for more than a minute will agree that I didn't need a personality type test to tell me that I'm an Introvert.  Or that I tend to let my emotions lead my thinking.

But I'm fascinated by how I've crossed over from being more process driven, thinking things through than impulsive, "winging it" and going where my emotions lead me.

Don't get me wrong.  My emotions and "gut feeling" have lead me into some wonderful and amazing directions and adventures.  I wouldn't be married to the man I fell in love with the night I met him if I hadn't taken a chance and followed that hunch.  Neither would I have a handfull of expired passports full of entry and exit visas.  Or a resume that reads like the yellow pages, for that matter.  Okay, so the last example shows room for improvement.

I'm still far more Pooh than Christopher Robin.  But I do also like this slightly wiser Me.  Certainly a lot more than I like the Me I was ten years ago.  Even if I am slightly more cynical.  Can't really see there's anything wrong with that.

*Just in case you were curious but not curious enough to follow the link, here's what Myers-Briggs has to say about me.  And, yep, reads an awful lot like the police wife I am...except all bets are off on "Quiet" when I'm being called out on something I strongly believe in.

Quiet, friendly, responsible, and conscientious. Committed and steady in meeting their obligations. Thorough, painstaking, and accurate. Loyal, considerate, notice and remember specifics about people who are important to them, concerned with how others feel. Strive to create an orderly and harmonious environment at work and at home.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

It's so hot...

Even the kitten is melting...

The rest of us cooled off with a family movie (The Pirates! Band of misfits!) at the $2 theater.  It may be the oldest movie theater in town and a historical landmark, but there's nothing wrong with its air conditioning! It's been a long week for all of us.  It was nice to have time together out as a family.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

With Liberty and Justice for All...

A few years ago there was a quote by one of our former presidents regarding immigration making its way around the blogosphere.  It included the word "assimilate" which always seems to make the little hairs on the back of my neck stand out.  Especially when in the context of that particular president whose idea of assimilation was for everyone to be like him...white, male and militant.  If you weren't, you were beneath him.  Native Americans and Blacks suffered greatly under his presidency.

After seeing the quote multiple times, I spoke up.  It was on blog I'd been reading and commenting on for a while.  The knee jerk reaction to my comment against the quote? A list of every single other country in the world and an invitation to move to any of them.

So...I don't agree with the views expressed by a dead president and I'm shown the door?

"Let's create this brand new country and only let the ones who agree with Us, look like Us, believe like Us live here!" said no Founding Father ever.

Our founding fathers couldn't even agree among themselves.  That's one of the reasons they created the Constitution.  It wasn't to give the American people rights they didn't already have.  It was to limit the government in what it could and could not do because the one thing they did agree on was that no government should have as much power as the one they were fighting against.  They were human and they admitted it.  They also had no idea they were going to win the war.  But they still wrote and signed the damn thing because they believed in liberty for all.  Sure, at the time "All" meant ones like them...white and male.  Again, they built the Constitution to be amendable as we grew as a country and as humans beings.  Today? All means All.  All colors, all genders, all beliefs.  All.

I've lived under dictators.  I've lived in countries void of religious freedom.  I've lived under socialism.  I've lived in countries claiming to have freedom of speech except when it came to speaking out against the ruling party.  When I hear people claim this country is heading in one of those directions, I calmly and respectfully disagree.

This is still a great nation.  Still worth fighting for.  Still worth celebrating.

Happy Birthday, USA.  Lookin' pretty good for 236!

Monday, July 2, 2012

In tonight's "Oh, that is so getting blogged" category...

The lad was caught in the act of imprisoning the kitten in a box and then denied his involvement when questioned.  Being a repeat offender with regards to his inability to leave the kitten be, he was dismissed to his room with a firm bottom swat. 

After a while, he came back downstairs and rather slyly handed his father this note:

"You might want to think of a better punishment then sending me to my room because it is fun in my room because all my toys are up there"

Please bear in mind, the boy celebrated his 7th birthday just last week.  I'm really not sure they actually make Smarty Pants big enough for him to fill. 

We did explain that being sent to his room was more of a separation tool (You need to be out of my sight now sort of thing) and less of a punishment.  But there was really no arguing the boy's logic!

I did, however, use it as an opportunity to go over the difference between then and than.  Because, really...who am I to waste such a golden Teaching Moment?