Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Giving thanks

Yeah, I've been a little neglectful around here. I've been busy doing the same thing day after day. Searching for a job is the toughest job I think I've ever had. You see, our house in Middleville is still unsold. No offers have been made. And we are running out of savings to keep paying for it. We are already talking to our banks about this. This is a very depressing situation.

But I am working on looking at the bright side of things. Jack Bauer is home with me. We live in a big spacious house with gorgeous views all around. I've met some wonderful people here and the area is very comfortable, homey; I feel at place here. We live close enough to my parents that we can drive to see them, my sister, my nephew, my 99-year-old grandmother, my uncle, my cousin, and his wife later today for Thanksgiving. I even get to see my old hairstylist, who still cuts my mother and my sister's hair, to come in special on Saturday just to tackle the hair that was cute in July but needed some up keep that I have neglected. And to cover inches of gray. (I'm 36 and my temples have gone completely gray. I shouldn't have this much gray!) Of course, I am most thankful to have a loving, healthy, and supportive family.

So I am also working on letting go of what I can't control. And having a little faith that things will work out. Two signs that I needed to have faith have come into my life in the last week. First, I was at the spouses' club luncheon last week when I sat next to the woman who is in charge of employment readiness on post. I spent three hours with her yesterday learning how to make my Army civilian resume work to get a job on post. Her middle name that is part of her email address? Faith.

The second was this past Monday when I was attending a Tastefully Simple home party. I've never seriously considered doing direct sales until I came across this company. Part of the consultant's email address? You got it, faith. So I am taking a little leap of faith -- little only because Tastefully Simple doesn't require much of a buy in -- and signing up to be a consultant.

Focusing on having faith and being thankful for the abundance I already have is going to save my sanity through this difficult time.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Friday, November 21, 2008


Job search continues. But today I have an interview. I am very excited!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Commissary

After six weeks here in this active duty life, I finally went to the commissary. I know, I'm slow.

Here's what happened. Yesterday, I went to another Cav Canyon Spouses' Club luncheon and then stopped by Jack Bauer's office for a few minutes, 'cause I could. On my way home, I needed to stop by the grocery store for four items: Crack Coke Zero, yogurt, frozen veggies for Moo dog, and fresh sage. Jack suggested I go to the commissary just down the street from his office. I would need to pass by it on my way off post anyway.

After making a few faces of hestitation, I ran through all my excuses not to. I was already on post. It was not payday. It was not close to payday. And it was just after noon. I could always go in and then turn around leave if it was too busy. (But I got to say, the local grocery store we frequent is always insanely busy, too, so "too busy" as an excuse doesn't hold much water here.)

So I went. The parking lot wasn't overflowing. Good sign. I was warmly greeted by some man in the parking lot pushing a cart. "Must be one of those guys I gotta tip," I thought.

While I do like to think I am of above average intelligence, this exercise may have proved otherwise. First, I had trouble finding my way inside. There were many doors, not all of which opened automatically as I approached. Once inside, I couldn't find a central cart area, but luckily there were a bunch of carts haphazardly pushed aisde, tucked into corners, and what have you. I took one hoping that I wasn't taking someone else's cart when they stepped away early in the shopping experience when a hot deal was spotted three aisles over.

Anyway, cart acquired, I pushed on. The Coke Zero immediately jumped into the cart. An easy find. One of the first areas I came to had the all-natural/organic shampoos, conditioners, lotions, deodorants, etc. That was a surprise. Some of the products there are ones that we use already. Might have to check that out further.

Then onto the produce area. A reasonable selection and variety of products. I hate to admit it, but I am not one of these people who can tell you the price of items right off the top of my head. I don't know how much I pay for bananas at the local grocery store, I don't know how much a gallon of milk costs (I have no need for a gallon of milk), and I couldn't tell you what a basic loaf of bread costs (I have a thing for the really good, fresh baked bread that costs at least $3.50 a loaf and can easily disappear in an evening). I do know what limes cost though. The cheapest I have seen limes on the free market in the last several years is $.25 a lime. At the commissary? $.21 each. Good deal. So while not on my list, I did add four limes to my cart.

I toodled around the produce area some more looking for fresh herbs. Just about when I was about ready to give up and ask the stocker, I saw she was standing right in front of all the packets of fresh rosemary, thyme, mint, chives, basil, and yes, sage. I was thinking if there was one thing on my list I couldn't find, it would be fresh sage. That showed me.

Produce conquered and two items crossed off my list, I moved on. I was in a bit of a hurry so I didn't peruse every aisle. I barely glanced at the extensive meat counter and completely ignored the aisles in the middle. I headed straight for the yogurt. We've been eating Yoplait Light for breakfast, and I needed to get a few more for Jack in flavors he likes. Unlike the grocery store on Sunday afternoon, I found the selection at the commissary to be extensive and well stocked. And at $.50 each, a deal (as opposed to $.69 on super sale). So instead of getting three to get through the rest of the week, I bought 20. I think we're good on yogurt for a few days. And another item was crossed off the list.

Onto the frozen veggies. Here, my expectations were still super low. I was expecting, if I were lucky, to find some frozen carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower mixes. Yeah, I found those, but I also found frozen asparagus, shelled edamame, and frozen sweet potatoes. I picked up Moo's favorites of edamame, aspargus, and broccoli. Spoiled girl.

All the items, plus a few limes, collected, so time for the line. Jack had been into the commissary recently for some something and said the line was so long that he turned around a left. I was expecting some time waiting in line as well. I was wrong. There was no line. I walked straight to the cashier, emptied my items, and paid all in about one minute. Nice.

I had heard, from you all, that the bagger takes your bags out to your car and then you tip him/her. So before I shoved my wallet back into my purse, I grabbed a few ones (miracle that I had any cash whatsoever). A quiet Asian woman helped me out to the car with my three plastic bags and soda refrigerator pack. I spent $33.19. How much would you tip? I gave $3 and thought I would check with you.

So there is the story of BW's first trip to the commissary. And I might even go back.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Valor-IT Needs Your Help

Soldiers' Angels has a great program that enables our military wounded to better communicate. Think about how much time we spend on the Internet, whether it is chatting with friends in gmail chat or updating our Facebook status or connecting with our family members scattered around the country or around the world. Now imagine that is all gone, or trying to have someone else do that connecting while trying to recover from wounds. A few days away from the computer and I am batty. It is hard to imagine how it must feel for our injured soldiers, marines, airmen, and sailors.

Project Valour-IT has stepped in to fill that void by providing voice-activated software to get our guys and gals back online. And they need our help. Even as budgets are tight, there is usually a few dollars to be spared. So consider foregoing that venti nonfat, extra foam, pumpkin spice latte for a few days and reach down and send those dollars to Project Valour-IT instead. If this out-of-work desperate job seeker can find a few bucks, maybe you can, too. I promise you'll feel better. So click on that little donate button above to make it happen.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Milspouse Top Chef?

Jack Bauer and I just sat down to watch the new season of Top Chef. And with most shows, we wondered who we'd be routing for. Well, it didn't take long to figure it out. One of the contestants is a military wife and her husband is deployed. (What a great deployment project!)

Less than 20 minutes into the show, Lauren got kicked off. I think it is a reality show-deployment conspiracy. Remember, Kristen from Cycle 10 of America's Next Top Model? No? Oh, that's right, she got kicked off before the Top 13. Hmmm.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day

No sales. No annoying ads on TV. Just a simple day to remember all who serve and those who continue serve.

So today is a perfect day for thanking the veterans in your life. I think kissing and hugging is acceptable if you know them well enough.

I'm going to go enjoy the day with the veteran living with me. Do some things he wants to do. Might even make him a special dinner.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Training Holiday

I like these training holiday thingies. As someone who never gets days like Columbus Day and Veteran's Day off, nice to make them into a four-day weekend. We've been about a month and this is our second four-day weekend.

How come no one told me about these? Surely sweetens the deal.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

6 months

Last night I was lying in bed reading a trashy novel when I realized that Jack Bauer has been home for six months today.

Gosh, a lot has changed since then.

In some ways it seems like he just got back. In other ways it has been like he never left.

Friday, November 7, 2008

This is exhausting

This job search thing tiring. Everyday, I check about 15 different websites for potential jobs. I've been networking the best I can. I've been following up on leads. I even made the most of a Quality of Life event on post, talking to each and every booth to see what possibilities their companies have for employment. I did luck out by coincidence of timing to be there when a fairly high up HR guy on post was bringing lunch to his worker at a booth. He and I talked for probably 20 minutes. He reassured me that I am doing everything right, and it is just going to take some time.

I've made this job search my full time job. I've applied or otherwise inquired about some 22 jobs. It just feels wrong to not be working when that is what I am supposed to be doing here.

So I keep on doing what I can. But it is a frustrating, emotionally draining process.

And note to self, next time I'll start this process at least two months before I move.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Red Day

I am so excited about this election day. From my perspective, we are all arguing about details of governing. And unlike many countries around the world, the vast majority of our citizens are fiercely committed to this idea of democracy and the concept of our constitution, so much so that it seems to get lost just how much both sides agree. Regardless of the outcome, we will have a peaceful transfer of power in 2 1/2 months. These are the things that I need to keep in mind for the potentially close outcome.

So what am I doing today?

When I get dressed, it will be blue jeans and a white top. With red undergarments.

I am watching Fox News all day. The amount of information on the screen now is almost overwhelming.

Since I already voted absentee for Middleville (in a battleground state), I don't need to worry about voting today. I am going to make some famous BW everything cookies. Yum! And we can use them this evening for consolation, if needed.

A long bath and a night will probably be in there somewhere, too. Need to conserve energy for a long night of watching returns.

For dinner we are having red, white, and blue burgers with red, white and blue chips.

The doggies are having their own election. They are competing for silliest doggie of the house. The humans of the house will be voting on the issue. Should a tie result, a wrestling match will ensue to break the tie. :D

No matter how you vote today, the more important thing than the outcome is that you exercised your rights.

Monday, November 3, 2008


Naturally, the toaster oven was located in a box labeled "Basement: Christmas." And there were in Christmas items in the box. At least it is found.

Jack Bauer is threatening to do a real AAR regarding this move. Perhaps, he can do the next one on his own while I go off to a spa.

On an unrelated note, remember to vote tomorrow if you haven't already.