And as we edge ever closer to deployment date …

I was gone for a long time, wasn’t I? Something like 3 weeks? If I keep doing that, I suspect I will lost ALL my readers completely. I gotta apologize and beg your collective pardon. Things are a bit crazy here these last few weeks.

But for today, I’m just gonna tell you all about the last 2 weeks.

See, last 2 weeks was “block leave” – which just means that everybody was on vacation for 2 weeks. Company offices were empty. Usually, the army does leave the usual way – someone has to stay back and cover while others get the chance to go on vacation. Block leave comes just before the deployment and is normally supposed to used to spend time with family and friends before the big day.

Of course, we headed to Michigan. But before we did that …

*drum roll*

On Saturday, we had lunch with friends and then we decided we were going to have a look see at the Jeep vehicles since hubby and I had been considering getting one. I said to him “Hon?Let’s go look at Jeeps – I wanna test drive a couple – see how I like ‘em… see if I agree that’s what we’re getting next.”

And there it is. We are now a one-car family! Both the truck and the car are a-gone! And lemme tell ya … we both are happier than pigs in shit! That little baby right there is suhweeeeeeeet! Rides nice, drives nice, feels nice, sounds nice, smells nice …. /sigh

So, we had that baby for the drive to Michigan – which was fortunate in some ways … not so fortunate in others. We had wanted to register it there since that’s really our home of record for the time being … but they want us to pay a crap load of tax on top of what we’ve already paid … so that’s moot. The good news is that I am now a Michigan resident myself. Thanks to the new bill that passed, I can take and keep hubby’s home of record. I shouldn’t have to change my state residency again. Which is one less headache for PCS moves I shall have to medicate for.

So anyway – I had planned (and packed) for snow this MI visit. Especially since there has been so much all round this winter. Just my luck it all melted a week or so before we got there and never got cold (or precipitous) enough while we were there for more. Best we had was a little rain activity one night .. maybe 2. The coldest it got was about 40 degrees. The day of the picture above, it got up into the small 60s. Disappointment is an understatement.

We had a good time, as usual… and I’ve been thoroughly recruited into the whole idea of trading card games – started with Magic The Gathering and hopefully ends with World of Warcraft TCG. It’s an expensive hobby. Lot more so than WoW itself. But I am still trying to get that spectral mount.

Speaking of WoW, turns out we have a cousin who plays… on none other than my heroine’s server Mug’thol as a Tauren Druid (cat). Imagine my glee to find out that we could switch factions AND transfer servers all in one day. I live in hope that I shall see my heroine and be able to kneel before her and say “You’re my hero!” Frankly, I think I won’t be playing any other character after this … least ways not much. I’ve come to learn that no matter how much you THINK you already know, there is always one more thing you can learn about your character … and I think that for once and all I am going to actually stick to the one I currently play. To ensure this, the only other character I intend to transfer is my alchemist and what I call my “I-don’t-wanna-heal-anymore-right-now” character – the ever lovable warlock.

So anyway, to get back to the Jeep (and the vacation), it seems as if all I needed for extended drives was a car I was comfortable with and could control.  My boss at Digicel had once said to me that once you go SUV you can’t really go back to a car. I hate to admit it, but she was right. The car was VERY uncomfortable for me to drive and the truck was kinda too big. The Jeep is “just my size”

:D

Hence …

I drove almost the entire way back from Michigan … sans maybe 2 or 3 hours when the hubby took over and gave me a break. I enjoyed like I have never enjoyed driving before.  Of course, it can’t be ALL good – the heater broke on us on Wednesday night … turns out there seems to be a problem known with them … something about an additive that doesn’t agree with the heater core? I dunno … mech talk. bah! Should have it taken care of by Thursday evening – all things remaining equal.

Let me leave you with one more image ….

Ain’t she a beaut?

Reality checking in … like a kick in the chest

His orders are sitting on the table. It’s a reality then. I guess I was thinking and hoping that something would come up and the whole thing gets cancelled or postponed … stupidly. It was a go the minute we got orders to report to this duty station way back in June of last year. The reality of seeing it in print … is staggeringly sobering. It’s an instant smile-wiper.

He is definitely going.

Frankly, aside from all-of-a-sudden sober, I am not entirely sure how I feel. A little bereft, for sure. Apprehensive, ya. Anxious, most definitely. Aside from that … nothing else. Not yet. Part of it is the retreat this weekend, part of it is … I think that our “courtship” was a key preparatory phase for us … well me. While those separations were never more than 3-4 months at a time with full and complete telephonic contact of some sort the entire time, it helped. We already know what it is like to be apart for months at a time. A year – well that will be the challenge, but having gone months, I am confident that we will make it through the year.

Of course, there is the added very basic fact of WHERE he will be that changes the landscape a whole shitload more … but you know what? I am NOT going to worry. It’s what he’s been training for his entire military life. It’s sort of in his bones now.

As for me stateside, I’ve got my toys, I’ve got my friends, I’ve got my plans … I will be fine. And oh yea – I’ve got WoW. :D

It’s not time to bid him farewell yet. I just wanted to get that off my chest – seeing the orders. Right now, it’s time to continue the prep for block leave.

And as luck would have it (Man! My guardian angel is working overtime!) I found me a pet sitter – affordable, efficient, professional, likeable – Easy Case Pet Sitters right here in Killeen, TX. She’s been doing it professionally for 4 years and did it for a year or 2 before non-professionally. She hand picks her staff and she has paperwork up the yin-yang to protect both herself and her clients. A member of the local chamber of commerce and insured. And her personality is winsome. This time around, Nala will be in her own home, cared for and I won’t be worried sick for the entire time.

What’s better is that when it comes time to hit the Caribbean for a long overdue visit, Nala will be in good hands. Hell, she’ll even on a moment’s notice come check in on her if I wanna go drive to Dallas for a day or 2. I gotta remember to thank Maddy (FRG leader) profusely on giving me the link. She saved my sanity.

Drama and a much-needed weekend reprieve

Lawd whoee – what a stress!

I’ll tell you this, it’s heartening to know that SO many people want to be an authority on the fyr … I’m famous! Wewt!

I apologize to those who might have been working up the courage to comment (again?) and found that comments are now closed here – the reason is a sudden upsurge in the bitch content of my life which I am trying valiantly to quell and exterminate. So far, it seems to be working, but these things take a while – weeks, sometimes months. So please bear with me whilst I call in the exterminators.

In the meantime, here’s what my weekend looked like:

In true army style, we were summoned post haste to a married couples retreat of unknown content and to an unknown location for an unknown rendezvous time.  Oh yea, I was gearing up to REALLY not enjoy the weekend.

But it was a REAL NICE SURPRISE (THANK YOU CHAPLAIN ADAMS!) that greeted us on Friday afternoon. While it was called a “married couples retreat” the idea wasn’t to fix anything that was wrong, or help anybody with marital problems. In fact, the theme of the weekend was “Strengthening the bonds” and the idea was to equip us with the tools and tips to handle this deployment like pros.

I won’t go into the specifics of the weekend because … well, that’s kinda private *smacks hand away* but I will tell you this, the emphasis was on clear and genuine communication of feelings and expectations from this point onward. We got a list of things to discuss and a few things to think about and a few areas to work on. We got some ideas for communication while our soldiers are down-range and we got some stories about those have already been here. We got some tips on what’s the best way to deal with R&R and with homecoming … and while none of this is an exact science, I certainly feel FAR better prepared to manage this deployment.

The one down side to the weekend was suddenly realizing that “Hey! Block leave is already here and you haven’t done squat to prepare for it … DUDETTE!”

True to my organizer breeding, I wrote up my little month-long calendar we have on the wall by our desks and started to hatch out a plan on how to manage the week. I needed some comfy clothes for MI (post-surgery and all that jazz), I needed to get Nala’s rabies shot done and her fecal test and feline distemper registered on-post, I needed to find a sitter or a boarding house, I needed to organize what would happen with the mail …. you get the picture.

Thankfully, the shopping and organizing Nala’s shots and test results were knocked off in high organizational fashion on Monday thanks to a fellow-spouse who agreed to accompany my righteously indignant mug around town. She also helped reinforce to me what a downright waste of time it was mourning “the catastrophe” … “I don’t know you all that well, but that doesn’t sound anything LIKE you.

And to top it all off, hubby comes home and says “Ooh – FRG leader has a pet sitter name for us – she’ll email you tonite”.

Long and short of it … I now have a potential kitteh sitter who will care for Nala whilst we are in MI and get our mail and watch the house to make sure it doesn’t get stoned, or egged or tomatoed by the bully-defense-patrol.

I’m all set – or am I?

Damn – I still have to pack, don’t I?

Knowing when a mistake is just a mistake and moving on

For the second time in my life, (and funnily from the same source), it’s been demonstrated that no matter how much good I think I’m doing, someone else has an entirely different perspective. When I am speaking truths that need to be spoken but they aren’t ready to be heard – and probably will never be – what it results in is this: a complete and painful disconnect. So I face a choice:

Regret the time and effort and emotion given?

Or relief that no further time, effort or emotion will need to be given?

There’s a lot of both, and I hope over time I will end up with the latter more so than the former.

What does all this gobbledygook mean? Let me summarize the situation for you: a “friend” blindsided me almost 2 years ago to the day with some trumped up shit that floored me, made me righteously indignant and caused me so much stress so as to inhibit my functioning at the time. Same friend appealed and a second chance given. Yet, once again I find myself in the very same situation. I am the only one who seems to recall all that I have done and said and the whole world gets a completely different picture of me because said friend is broadcasting such to the world.

I am the bad guy, I am the bitch, I am the selfish angry wannabe. Hmph.

So I am telling myself “enough of this bullshit”. My REAL friends know better.

Besides, I know my husband is sick of this story already. We have our own shit to deal with now and this is just unnecessary stress that we don’t need. Tough call, but it has to be made. Time to move on.

Damn – but it feels like I was here just yesterday. Is that me being a fool? Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me? Oh yea – helluva lot of beating-myself-to-a-pulp. I must be an idiot – because I can’t learn that some people just can’t be helped.

A lot of people ask me why I am so introverted and closeted and this is the reason. Too often I have come across people who get so caught up in themselves that they fail to see what effect they have on others – and I get hurt. I guess it’s just my fault for being ultra-sensitive or an empath.

How ironic is that?

Well, if I have learned one thing in all this it is this: REAL friends take a lifetime of experiences and elapsed time to make. They don’t form overnight – no matter how much you think you have in common right away. Next time I am faced with a situation like this, I shall give of myself in a purely charitable manner. I shall remain detached and emotionless and completely uninvested – this way, I avoid this drama.

I hate drama. I really do. And I know my female friends will be appalled and my male friends will be cheering, but this level of drama seems to me to exist purely on a feminine playing field. I’ve never encountered anything like it in any male relationships I have had. Odd, but true. I hesitate to draw conclusions or make decisions, but it certainly makes me exceedingly wary.

And, finally, I leave you with this poem that my dear friend GH introduced me to:

After a while you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul,
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
And company doesn’t mean security,
And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts
And presents aren’t promises
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes open,
With the grace of a woman,
Not the grief of a child
And you learn to build all your roads on today,
Because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans
And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.

After a while you learn that even sunshine
Burns if you get too much
So you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul,
Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers
And you learn that you really can endure…
That you really are strong
And you really do have worth,
and you learn and learn…
With every good-bye you learn.

–Veronica Shoffstall 1971

And with that little positive affirmation in my head, I bid you goodbye … again.

Right when you thought it would never change again

Just when you thought I was sticking with the theme I designed for myself, I go and change it again – eh? Well, here’s the thing – 40milesfromKingston was making my own eyes blur when I read the posts – the white on black was killing me. That can’t be a good sign. It needs some work, and so until I find the time to work on it, I am going back to a simple white background theme so I (and whoever else was complaining silently) can read it without giving ourselves the worst headache of all time.

What have I been up to? Hurting myself again and again – stretching when I shouldn’t be, being energetic and doing things I shouldn’t be, and over-exerting myself when I shouldn’t be. What else is new? No worries, the doctor advised me that it was perfectly understandable, I FEEL good, so why not do the things I would normally do when I feel good – right? I got more meds and a hearty “You’re doing great” and I drove my way back home through the first snow I’ve seen in Texas.

Speaking of snow – you cannot imagine what a panic that few inches of snow (that didn’t even stick to the roadways) caused. It was amazing to see people being stupid on the roads. I thought this kind of madness was for the tropics, where people seldom see horrific weather. Nope – apparently, the psychology of odd and off-the-wall weather is universal. There were 3rd and 4th lines of traffic on roadways with only 2 painted lanes, there were people speeding down shoulders, lines of traffic backed up to beyond oblivion, stop sign breaking, stop light breaking (I wondered where the MPs or police were – so many blatant road rule breakers) and you-would-not-believe-the-number-of-stuck-cars-on-shoulders.

Snow in Texas

Snow in Texas!

It was a little sad, actually – because every single snow fall that I have experienced here (except for 1 many years ago) I have shared with the hubby and giggled with him about how “noobish” I get about snow. Like a kid in a toy store, I am. Being that he was in the field for days at this point, and not returning for another few days saddened me. Whilst this was only a small thing, it brought it home to me that there will be so many things like this that I won’t be able to share with him whilst he is down-range. So many things …

It’s part and parcel of being a military spouse, yes, I know.  And while I get that, it doesn’t make me feel any better. I’ve had 2 people tell me recently that they don’t know how I do it and that they wouldn’t be able to. Each time I hear sentiments like that, I smile because I know that were they in my position, they just might find what it takes to “do it” too. It isn’t easy, it certainly isn’t even something you might choose, but when faced with it, you find the strength. I don’t deny that love is part of the fuel. For me it is the greater portion being that I don’t have that inbred fire to “defend our freedom” – where I come from, freedom is taken for granted and there is no fever to defend it because it isn’t often threatened. In this case, my friends, love IS finding a way. ;)

In other news, it’s been a while since I mentioned WoW. I have rediscovered my priest, thanks to the Tankspot Weekly Marmots. Watching Aliena talk about priest healing just made me go pull Quae out of the archives, and level her almost exclusively in the new LFD tool to 80. In just about 8 weeks, she’s gone from level 71 to 80 and from a gear score of 2000+ to just over 5000. I am proud of myself and I have to say that as much as I love my other toons – the warlock, the shaman and the druid et al – my priest is still fun to play. I currently have almost 80 triumph badges and no idea what to do with them. Hubby suggested a PvP or a Shadow set – but frankly, I just don’t see myself being DPS on her.

I’ve been reading the posts over at Pugging Pally and I have to say that she makes me want to write a WoW blog separate and apart from this one – simply because there aren’t too many of my readers who play and when I go off on a WoW tangent I lose most of them. In fact, I may just do that… look out, folks, a separate blog may just spring up somewhere on fyrfli.net with my forays into Azeroth. Thanks for the idea and the motivation, Vidyala. =)