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We went on the Ghost Tour on post tonight. It’s a pretty chilly evening outside, so the hot cocoa stop about halfway through was appreciated. DH was bored, but I found the tour interesting. A bit of history along with many ghost stories. The fort has been around since the 1850’s, so there have been many deaths. In the late 1800’s there was a cholera epidemic that killed many people. During WWI there was a Spanish Flu pandemic that took many more lives. Add that to the usual deaths that happen and you get a place ripe for spirits and hauntings. Some of the people that told stories as part of the tour spoke from personal experience. Believe if you will. I personally believe that there is more going on in our world than we can see or hear.

It was good to come home for a cup of hot tea at the end of the night. And to take care of the infirmary duties around here. If we want a bit more scare, I guess we can watch Rt. 666 on the SciFi channel. I enjoy Halloween and this time of year.

Stress mess

Posted on: October 16, 2008

Wow. Do you ever have one of those moments when everything just hits you all at once. I’m having one of those right now. It sucks.

First, our dog Maddie had a weird looking thing growing on her back leg. It got even weirder looking. We joked that she was going through some sort of asexual reproduction process and we were going to end up with a mini-Maddie. Didn’t seem to bother her, but it changed, so DH took her to the vet. Maddie has a sarcoma. Won’t know until next week if it’s benign or maligned. (Yes, I know that’s not the right word.) Had no idea how much this actually worried me. (I was out of town while most of this was going on this week.)

Went on a job interview. Don’t think I’ll get the job. But it made me realize how horrid things really are where I am even though generally I deal pretty well. (Except when I’m complaining here or pondering leaving.) Top it off with the fact that I’m torn about changing jobs right now because it would likely mean another big move. Which means weekends at home would be out because it’d be too far to travel. This isn’t the best time to be contemplating that. So I’ve got to figure out some way to deal with this crap as it is in a way that will allow me to stay sane and not get sucked into the petty silliness. Maybe I’ll start my own committee of silly walks to ease my tension.

And LittleU screwed up my retirement pay. It was supposed to have started coming out of my check back in June. We are required to contribute 5.5% of our gross. Not a huge deal until you double that for three months to get caught up. At a time when we’re now facing vet bills. Not to mention Christmas. This financial fiasco is the main reason I opted not to go to CA for a conference. Not a good time to have a huge outflow of cash. They were apologetic about it, but an apology doesn’t come with money attached. Ah…

Add all this to the stress of two upcoming conference presentations that I’ve had little time to prep for, unexpected travel that ate up my relaxed time off, and a failing friendship with someone and you get one messy, teary J. You know it’s bad when I look forward to my next dental appointment because it means I have a whole day off. (I take whole days when they’re going to numb my face because it takes me hours before I stop biting my cheek and drooling. Not a pretty sight to share with other people. And I’m always super-cranky because I’m biting my cheek and drooling.)

Thanks for allowing me to rant. Meditating is helping me keep it together more than this shows. And heaven knows that my problems are really quite small compared to people with real problems like illness and true poverty and war. On occasion, I lose perspective. (I’m working on it.)

Despite this stuff, the week has had good points. I got to see my in-laws again. Always enjoy spending time with them. It’s another home away from home. The drive back to KS was beautiful today with all the fall colors popping out. Found a couple new pairs of jeans that fit well (length and other places) which is almost miraculous. Came home to dog and DH love after my trip. Get to teach tomorrow. The weather is finally cooling a bit so it feels like fall is here. The interview helped me get a few things in perspective in terms of what type of job I’m really looking for. And I get to be on a panel this weekend for one of the library school classes.

Tags:

I’m writing this in response to a request on FriendFeed to talk about what DH’s upcoming deployment means to me.

This is the first deployment for him (and hopefully the last since he will retire when he returns.) We are still a over a year away from the actual deployment, which means a year to worry and prepare.

I want to say upfront that I do not speak for every military spouse. In many ways, I’m not the typical spouse at all living a typical military spouse’s life. So, I can’t imagine that I speak for the thousands of other families out there affected by deployments.

My husband is in the Army band. Sounds like a soft life, huh? But he knows how to fire a weapon, has went through basic training, and basically is a soldier just like every other soldier out there. When he deploys, he’ll be going where the troops are, providing entertainment and support. This is an incredibly important job because morale is a huge thing for all those soldiers so far away from home.

To me it means that every day he is away I will live with worry and fear. Not just fear for his safety, although that will be there, but also fear for his sanity. I know that our soldiers see and experience things that most of us will never begin to understand and I hope that we’ll both be strong enough to endure the consequences. That I’ll be good enough, compassionate enough, kind enough to deal with someone who may be changed in subtle ways when he finally returns to me.

For me, it will mean dealing with all the responsibilities of a household on my own. We don’t have children and I’m even more grateful at this point that we don’t. I have a great deal of respect for all the spouses that have to be both mother and father. But my husband has overseen our finances for most of our married life, a responsibility I was glad to hand over. I have to relearn things like balancing a checkbook and develop a system to make sure everything gets paid on time and whatever else needs to be done gets done, like oil changes, lawn care, etc. I’ll admit that I’ve been very spoiled to have someone take care of so many of the details of daily life while I’ve pursued my career.

I will have to live without easy access to my best friend for a year. My husband is the one person I trust completely in this world. By nature, I’m shy and it is hard for me to make friends and even harder to get to that deeper level of trusting, safe friendships…particularly when one moves as much as we have in the past nine years. I hope that I can find a way to move closer to family because I’m going to need their support and love while he’s away. This is hard for me to admit and accept, because I like to consider myself independent. But all the things that I enjoy doing with him – going to movies, eating out, going for drives, talking, etc. – will be put on hold. My life as I know it, will wait breathlessly for the day when he is home safe.

Nothing will be the same when he deploys. Yet, I would never ask him to shirk his duty to his country. I will bid him good-bye with tears, but also with pride that he has served his country for the past 18 years. It has meant sacrifice for both us, but I have never once regretted marrying an Army man. While the military doesn’t define him or our lives, it still has offered me opportunities that I wouldn’t have had if I’d never met him.

When I say the Pledge of Allegiance or sing our national anthem or stand when the American flag passes in a parade, I am reminded of all that has occurred in our history and I am proud to say that I am an American. You will never see me at a war protest or find me burning our country’s flag. There are too many good, honest, decent Americans who have given so much to this country. I could never be so disrespectful.

So while I will worry, have sleepless nights, live with my cell phone in my hand, I am glad to do what little I can to support my husband and all the others who want to make sure evil will not be allowed to continue. Call me idealistic, but there is true evil in the world and we cannot turn a blind eye to it or attempt to negotiate with it. Neither will work. I hope and pray that someday there truly will be a world where people live in peace with each other. We’re not there yet and until we are, we must do fight against things like genocide, terrorism, cruel dictatorships, etc. If we turn our back we are no better than those who engage in such activities.

I end this post with this thought. If you know where it comes from, leave a comment. Although it was said more than 40 years ago, it is still true today.

We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution. Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans, born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this Nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.

It’s really been a good week. DH and I went bowling on Monday. He did well, I was able to get the ball in my lane most of the time. *laugh* It’s been at least three years since I’ve bowled. Hard to believe, but the last time was in Alaska and we came back to the lower 48 almost 3 years ago.

The library was closed tonight since it’s Fall Break, so I ended up coming back to BigUtown last night and scored a work at home day. I didn’t get as much accomplished as I wanted, so I’m also working tomorrow even though it’s technically my day off.

I got a message yesterday about a job in Kewanee. Yes, Illinois! We’re considering moving back as a possibility. It’s a job I’m very interested in (although I’m really not applying for anything I’m not interested in) and would be a good opportunity. I called them back this morning and have an interview set up for next week. It’ll be a super quick trip there and back, but I’m excited. Things seem to be moving a bit more now in the job search front.

And DH is off Friday. Looks like it should be another beautiful day. We plan to play a round of golf on the course here in the neighborhood.

A week full of good things!

Withdrawel

Posted on: October 5, 2008

I can tell it’s past time for my weekly recharge of DH and dogs. I had to work this weekend. Usually I’d take Thursday and Friday off, but I decided not to go back on Thursday since I had a meeting and was planning to attend a conference in Wichita on Friday. (I didn’t get to the conference since I ended up being sick with a migraine on Friday.) So, I’m overdue for some home time. DH is off tomorrow, so it’s a bonus! Maybe we’ll get some golf in if it doesn’t rain. If it does, we’re thinking about bowling instead. Then it’s back to work for two days and I’m off again on Thursday and Friday since I’ll be working next weekend again.

Got a rejection on a book proposal a colleague and I put together. It was for a book about distance education. Not too disappointed about it since it wasn’t directly related to librarianship. There will be other opportunities I’m sure. And according to those who matter, I’m doing fine with my tenure requirements and shouldn’t have any problems meeting them. (It’s almost review time for me already.)

Watched a few good movies this week; Mrs. Dalloway, The Fountain, and The Painted Veil. I can safely recommend any of them. The Fountain was a particularly beautiful and moving film. Mrs. Dalloway was nice although I imagine the book is richer. I should probably read it, but I’ve always had a hard time reading Virginia Woolf. I loved the scenery in The Painted Veil. The ending was very sad though. Our public library doesn’t have a huge selection of movies, but there are some very good choices. And I upgraded Netflix to get 3 at a time again. Not having a cable is fine with me.

At some point I need to update my books on the blog. There hasn’t been as much reading this month now that I’m busier with other things. I finally checked out The Yiddish Policemen’s Union. The one thing I’m having a problem with is dealing with the books descriptions of Sitka and my personal experience. It’s a very fictional Sitka and quite colorful. I have to keep reminding myself it’s fiction. *grin* Other than that, it’s okay. I’ve also been reading Light a Penny Candle. It took me a bit to get into this book, but now I’m finding it hard to put down.

And although I’m not knitting as much, I’m still knitting. We were digging around in the basement a couple weekends ago and I came across a project that I’d started over a year ago. I ended up having to frog it and start over, but now I’m almost done. It’s a string grocery bag. It should end up small enough (when not in use) to carry in my purse. I also offered to make some mitts for someone and am deciding which pattern to use. I’ll likely end up making myself another pair for work. And I have plans to cast on this week for a felt pumpkin now that I finally got the needles I needed. You’d think with all the knitting needles I have now I’d never need to buy another pair. *laugh* I also still need to finish my second pair of socks. I’ve turned the heel already and am ready to start working on the gusset. The weather is finally cooling off enough that I’ll be comfortable wearing wool socks soon. Yay!

I’ve been finding some good vegetarian recipes. This week I had a good dish made with spaghetti squash. I also tried a stuffed pepper recipe. It was pretty tasty with beans, corn, and tomatoes, but I think the next time I make it, I’ll just cut the peppers and saute them with the tomatoes and garlic and serve it with rice and shredded cheese. (I kind of ended up with something like that anyway.) A whole green pepper was just a bit much for me. Now I’m anxious to try some things with eggplant.

One amazing thing I’ve discovered since cutting out meat is that I can drink milk with no problems. Interesting! In general, I also feel healthier and have lost a few pounds. Nothing drastic, but it’s a start.

One thing I’ve noticed this week is that I do feel more centered, more grounded. It was definitely a week that could have felt chaotic and out of control since I came back to a full week of instruction and desk shifts. There have been few moments when I haven’t been multitasking. While I like being busy, this can often lead to exhaustion and feeling unsettled. Unwittingly, I set my alarm incorrectly last night and didn’t have enough time to meditate this morning. And I can tell that I’m not as calm today because of it. This helps reinforce my commitment to the 2 hours a day minimum. Already, I’m thinking about how I can add another hour into my days.

Another thing that came out of my time at the retreat is a desire to start really improving my overall physical health. This means exercise. We have access to personal trainers here at LittleU and I’m looking into working with one. Hopefully this will make me more motivated. Often, being accountable to someone other than myself is a good motivator. I also plan to start doing Yoga. This will actually help me improve my ability to meditate.

On the work front, instruction is now in full swing. Between teaching, I’ve also had time to start doing some book/materials ordering. One area that I really want to grow this year is our selection of DVD’s. To begin I’m using the AFI’s Top 100 list. I had written a grant request for this purpose, but haven’t heard anything yet. I’m also working on plans for the KS One Book. We’ll be doing some discussion groups and other events. And I’m partnered with a very talented colleague in this project, so it’s pretty exciting. Might even turn into a conference presentation at some point if things go well. Besides all that, I’ve also got two presentations to prepare for that are coming up in October and early November. So the fall will be productive and full.

Still, there is always time for knitting and football. I’m slowly working my way to finishing the second pair. I have about an inch of cuff left before I start turning the heel. As to football, we are playing one of our rivals this weekend, so I’ll be staying in LittleUtown Friday night so I can go to the game on Saturday. Next weekend DH and I are heading of to HugeUtown for a book festival. I’ll be working at it for a couple of hours in the morning. Then it’s off to lunch at the local brew pub and shopping at the Yarn Barn. Fun!

That’s probably what I smelled like when I finally got back to the country house last night. So I took a shower and got all clean.

I helped our student group selling concessions at the LittleU’s opening football game yesterday. Do people only go to football games to eat? Seriously! Not really complaining though because they get at least $150 for every game they work (and they’re doing 3), which helps pay for members to go to things like ALA in Chicago next year. Good cause and all that.

And, although I missed most of the game, it was actually pretty fun. I had a great time despite the rush of people from 6 pm to 9 pm. Kind of brought me back to when I worked at the Fairbanks airport gift shop and we’d have the huge groups of Japanese tourists come through. The shop owner always had extra people on hand for those times and we stayed busy for about 3 hours straight. It was nice for the commission part. Of course, I didn’t personally get paid for last night…unless you count some Dr. Pepper, a hot dog, and a pretzel.

I did see a one touchdown scored in the game after I got done working. And then I left. The score was 35-0 in the fourth quarter and unless some miracle occurred for Western Colorado State, I think LittleU won. Always good to open the season with a team you can definitely beat. Gets people excited. I’m looking forward to future games. I did buy a season ticket this year and plan to hit all the games that I can.

DH has a parade tomorrow in Chapman. Not sure if I’ll go or not because it’s in the afternoon and it’s supposed to be another hot one. Tuesday I make the trip to IL. Staying with the in-laws for a night. It will be nice to see them again and visit a bit.

…my husband.

Nine years ago today you bravely waited at the front of the church for me to walk down the aisle to you. In many ways, we barely knew each other. Yet, in other ways, because you were in Korea for most of our engagement problem, we knew each other well because we talked almost daily.

Corny as it sounds, I think our hearts recognized a like spirit from the day we met. It didn’t take long for the minds above to catch up and we knew there was no reason to waste time with something that seemed right and good.

We’ve definitely had our ups and downs. Thanks for sticking with it. You’ve shown that steadiness and loyalty that was one of the things I noticed at the start. And I like the laughter and fun that have always been there, even when things are tough.

Our life has changed over the years and I thank you for supporting my various endeavors. I would not be where I am today without your support and help. When I feel like the rest of the world is against me, you are always in my corner. Even when I’m off roaming the continent, I feel sure that you are thinking about me and caring about me.

I love you. I value you. And I look forward to whatever our future holds for us.

Happy Anniversary!

Almost over

Posted on: July 27, 2008

I’ve got that vacation-is-almost-over depression setting in. A bit worse than the usual Sunday depression since I’ve had a wonderful week at home with DH and the dogs (and other house guests as well.)

The next several days are going to be very busy. I still have to finish preparing for my presentation at the end of the week. And then I’ll be home with enough time to do some laundry and pack for the trip to Denver.

I’m looking forward to the workshop at the end of the week, although I’d gladly do without making a presentation. Fortunately it’s just a 1/2 hour workshop format, so not as painful. Reference Renaissance promises to be interesting and informative. I hope to bring back some good information to share with work colleagues.

Also on the to-do list for the week is planning the training session for the university’s ambassadors (the students who provide tours to prospective tours.) I hope to finish the planning for SWARM International and start rounding up volunteers.

What else? I’ve got a program proposal to write for an upcoming conference. There is a program that I’d like to see us try with incoming freshman and I need to get the proposal/plan written for that.

I’ve also got a few follow-up things to do for the Summer Institute before I can officially declare my job done with that.

Then there is the usual job stuff, like gift books, reference collection weeding, desk hours, etc. And I’m the person in charge of the department for the next few days since our head is still on vacation. Whee.

It’s likely I won’t get much sleep tonight (which is typical for Sundays) as my mind spins through all the things I need to do this week.

I do think I was pretty successful about shutting that stuff off in general this past week. For me, that’s a huge accomplishment. It bodes well for the upcoming meditation retreat.

Yes, this is my life.

DH and I celebrated our anniversary early (since I’ll be workshopping on the actual day.) We went to see the X-Files this afternoon and then had dinner at Famous Dave’s. DH gave me a pretty pair of earrings that I’d seen in a shop window a few weeks back. So far, I’ve not got his present. Although I did have an inspiration today. Fortunately I’ll be in the neighborhood later this week where I plan to get his gift.

And KS is hot. HOT! And humid. I’m all done with summer now. kthxbai

News

Posted on: July 27, 2008

DH is deploying sometime between December 2009 and March 2010 to Afghanistan.

That is all.


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Nov. 23 - Brother's birthday

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Dec. 26 - Dad's birthday

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