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Archive for June, 2010

Jun 17 2010

Zeke Helps Sing

Posted by Dale @ 10:51 pm in Family

Zeke helped me sing “Inright, Outright” in Children’s Church this week. He’s a little more animated when he sings than I am!

Jun 15 2010

A Hunting She Will Go

Posted by Mugs @ 12:24 pm in Family,Pets

There has been a racket in our laundry room over the last several weeks as two birds had decided to build a nest inside our laundry vent. I had assumed that there was some kind of grate between the dryer hose inside and the vent outside. I assumed the nest was outside, but we could hear it inside. This was a wrong assumption. Patches (the fat cat) knew better.

She had been listening and stalking the laundry room for the past week. Over the course of the last several days, the chirping had grown steadily louder and more urgent. It sounded like pleas for food from several baby birds.

There was such a ruckus in there yesterday morning, Zeke was afraid to enter lest a bird jump out and peck him. I do not understand how the birds were surviving the heat coming out of the dryer vent, but assumed they were above or below the direct flow.

Yesterday, I moved the dryer out a ways so Gabe could inspect the situation. He was convinced the birds were in the house, I was convinced they were in the wall. Patches was convinced they would make a good snack.

Moving the dryer back a bit was all the help she needed. She had been stalking for so long without action, we had all grown complacent.

I was at a meeting when Abby called in distress. “Patches knocked the dryer hose off of the wall! The nest was in the hose! We don’t hear anything anymore! We think she ate the baby birds!”

I told her to get Patches out of there and close the door until Dale got home and we could figure out what to do.

Patches spent some time meowing at the laundry room door, then relocated herself to the back sliding glass door. With her tail twitching, she watched the adult birds fly up to the glass and give her a scolding.

When I arrived home, Dale, Gabe, and I went into the laundry room to investigate. Dale pulled the dryer hose off the back of the dryer and carried it outside. He removed a fully constructed nest out from the hose.

Unfortunately, there were no longer any occupants. Gabe found one small feather as evidence against her.

When I asked her if she ate the baby birds, she just gave me a look. She gave the same look to Abby the other day when Abby got a tissue to smash a spider that Patches was watching. After Patches gave Abby the look, Abby backed away. Patches then snatched the spider off the wall and ate it for an afternoon snack.

Jun 12 2010

I’m Going To See A Guy About A Suit

Posted by Mugs @ 9:07 pm in Family,Work

The days are ticking closer to Dale’s official day when he will hear the following: “The people of the United States express their thanks and gratitude for your faithful service. Your contributions to the defense of the United States of America are greatly appreciated.”

He has not been too upbeat about this approaching date.

I, being the helpful wife, remind him often that if his orders didn’t say that, they would most likely say this: “You are reassigned and/or deployed as shown below and are to return to your permanent station upon completion of the duties in support of this operation.”

The Army has always been consistent in reminding Dale that they can certainly give him orders for something worse. Which is why he often volunteers for assignments he would not prefer.

In spite of this knowledge and in mourning for his occupation of the last 27 years, Dale has been dragging his feet in accomplishing tasks that will make his transition to civilian life smoother.

Over the last year, he has been forced to attend classes that teach him how to blend in with the civilian populous. One such class that he attended taught him how to dress like a civilian. The man who taught the class is a tailor and he makes suits. He guarantees if you buy one of his suits, you will get a job after you retire from the military.

When Dale told me about that class, I insisted that one day, he would be going to see the suit guy. I knew if he did not go to see the suit guy, the other alternative was for Dale (who is color blind) and me (who is lacking in fashion) to walk into the MCX and hope for the best.

Besides, I have always wanted to say “I’m going to see a guy about a suit.”

On Thursday, we went. We entered a small boutique and sat in a waiting area surrounded by ties, cuff links, and liquor bottles. After a few minutes, we walked into the suit guy’s office and he explained that he was also an image consultant. He concluded quite quickly that Dale’s image needed some consulting.

Dale had worn the only suit he owns to the shop and the suit guy immediately had Dale take off the tie. It was too ugly to tolerate. He told Dale that actually, he had not done bad in choosing this suit. It was the right color brown and had some texture. We considered “not having done bad” as a great success.

During his evaluation of Dale, he determined that Dale was once blond and that people would look him in the eyes more if he wore blue colors that brought out the bluish tint in his green eyes. I asked him why Dale couldn’t wear green. This shocking statement was met with complete disbelief. “And how exactly would that work with what we have here?” was his reply.

Dale had color swatches laid over the skin on the inside of his arm. He tried a variety of suit jackets on that we had to look at inside the shop and outside in the sun. The suit guy wanted Dale to wear suits that were a bit more flashy. I convinced him that Dale wouldn’t feel comfortable in a flashy suit. He didn’t like my opinion, but accepted the fact that Dale was more subtle, with the caveat that he could pull off more texture.

He had Dale try on a light silver gray old school (Dean Martin type suit) that I thought would certainly look ridiculous, but Dale actually looked quite good in it. We talked shirts and trousers, cuffs and pockets, fabrics and textures. Amidst all this back and forth, Dale sat there in a bit of a daze, chiming in on occasion, but wishing he were somewhere else.

Then Dale got measured for the suit and allowances had to be made for his “sloped shoulders,” “sunken chest,” and “flat rear end”. The suit guy asked what pocket Dale put his change in, if he wore boxers or briefs, and checked to see if he was bow legged.

When it was all done and the bill was signed, Dale staggered out.

Going to see a guy about a suit…Oh what fun it was…For me at least.

Jun 11 2010

Great Wolf Lodge – The Girly Version

Posted by Mugs @ 4:26 pm in Family

For her 14th birthday, I took Abby and two of her friends to the Great Wolf Lodge. Thanks to Abby, we were well prepared for the adventure. The week before, we had gone to the commissary to purchase both snacks and drinks and gone to the mall to buy new swimsuits.

My previous stay at the Great Wolf Lodge had involved death defying rides on the tornado as a result of unbalanced weight load, running back and forth and back and forth again trying to keep track of my children, standing in long lines waiting my turn, and getting caught in the waves of the boogie board machine.

With those memories firmly entrenched in my brain, I went expecting two days of full on adventure. Several people told me, “Hopefully, you’ll enjoy some relaxation time.” When they said this, I thought, “Relax…at the Great Wolf Lodge…I don’t think so.”

I had failed to take into account who I was traveling with: three fourteen year old girls.

We went to the outdoor pool. They swam, and dove, and chatted. We went to the indoor pool. They swam, and shot baskets, and chatted. We rode a few rides. They walked up the stairs, waited patiently and chatted. (This time, I was the sole cause of unbalance in the weight load and the only one screaming on the rides.) We went to the wave pool. They floated and chatted. We went to the boogie boarding. They gave it a go, smiled when they wiped out, and chatted.

Soon, I found myself reclining on a beach chair in the sun relaxing. How odd, I thought.

Then, I ran into a friend who was also there with her children. Unlucky for her, she was there with lots of boys. One of her sons ran up to me, full of energy, and asked, “Is Gabe here?’ Gabe’s friend had been in the water park all day, yet was bursting with energy as he ran from here to there and back again. When I told him “No, Gabe’s not here,” he took off. His mom followed him with a look of utter exhaustion on her face. I watched her walk off to her nonstop action and turned to see Abby and her friends walking over.

“We want to get some pizza and then go back to the room,” Abby said. They all showered off, ate pizza, and chatted. I sat in the room and read a book with my feet up. When I got tired, I went to sleep. They stayed up, but they were quiet and I did not here them.

The next day. I brought my book down and sat and read while they went on a few more water rides and swam again in the pools.

Great Wolf Lodge…the girly version…how relaxing.

Jun 10 2010

Twenty Years and Counting

Posted by Mugs @ 7:13 pm in Family

Yesterday, Dale and I celebrated twenty years of marriage. (Actually, celebrated may be too strong a term.) Fourteen years ago, two days before our sixth anniversary, a beautiful daughter was born to us, and this beautiful daughter loves a party. In fact, she loves a party so much that she does not simply celebrate a birth day, but a birth week. Her celebrations grow and expand, and as I scramble to keep up with all her fun ideas, our anniversary gets forgotten. By the time our anniversary arrives, I am too exhausted from the party week to plan a celebration.

Dale claims that we will celebrate our 25th anniversary with a big bang. We will make up for all the years of hurried dinners, ‘good for’ presents, Dale’s absences, and the many anniversary days full of family obligations.

Two days before our 25th anniversary, Abby will be turning nineteen. I think it would be a great idea to have her pay us back for all the years of birthday weeks and plan the celebration for us. After all, she does love a party.