Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sitting, Waiting, Wishing

That's the song title, and it seems appropriate right now, being that is all I am doing. Well, not much sitting. We are on day two of snow days here and I have used them to my benefit. Three extra set of hands for slave labor, I mean, help. Bug is convinced that we have the cleanest house in the whole world. Punx used the word sparkly for our bathrooms. I know Dan won't notice that the floorboards are clean but it sure does feel good.

Right now it is the only thing from keeping me from running around screaming and being all fidgety, although that is starting to come on regardless of the busyness. I seemed to have pulled some sort of muscle in my inner-thigh, that has slowed me down a little.

But anyway, do you guys see my donut of misery list? It already says 100%, while that bugs me a little that it says 100% when he is not actually home it is hopeful. I just need the weather to cooperate now and then maybe the army will give me back my husband for a while.

Please just let it end.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Last month I went to a redeployment briefing in anticipation of Dan's homecoming. That is what they call it when they come home - redeployment. Makes me think of an assignment. Alright boys, strap in, your going home, this is going to be the tough one. The army takes the fun out of everything. So at the briefing we were given all sorts of advice, from finance to relationships to the signs of PTSD. All very useful stuff. My favorite bit of advice I will share because it can benefit all marriages. We were handed this piece of paper with an except from a Ladies magazine from 1955 on tips for being a good wife. Now that I know all the areas that I have been lacking I will share so no one else will have to suffer like my poor Dan has been suffering these past ten years. Remember that this came from a real magazine and that this was real advice.

The Good Wife’s Guide

Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready, on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal (especially his favorite dish) is part of the warm welcome needed.

Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you’ll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people.

Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.

Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives.

Gather up schoolbooks, toys, paper, etc and then run a dust cloth over the tables.

Over the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering for his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.

Prepare the children. Take a few minutes to wash the children’s hands and faces (if they are small), comb their hair and, if necessary, change their clothes. They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part. Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer, or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet.

Be happy to see him.

Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him.

Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first – remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.

Make the evening his. Never complain if he comes home late or goes out to dinner or other places of entertainment without you. Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure and his very real need to be at home and relax.

Your goal: Try to make sure your home is a place of peace, order and tranquility where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit.

Don’t greet him with complaints and problems.

Don’t complain if he’s late home for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through that day.

Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or have him lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.

Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.

Don’t ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him.

A good wife knows her place.

Housekeeping Monthly 13 May 1955

I sent this to Dan and he shared it with all the guys in the office. So now I know that Dan knows what my responsibilities are. Can you believe some of that stuff?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Note Home

We have a notebook call the Study Buddy that the kids bring home everyday and that I sign and return. It has homework assignments, bad notes, and upcoming events. Leafing through Bug's book is an excellent glimpse into the life of a kindergarten teacher. There is not a week without one or two notes to put a smile on my face.

The one that tops the list came yesterday...

"He had about 5 pair of underwear today."

That was all it said, so slightly baffled I called to him to explain. Did you have an accident? Did you take them with you? No, I had like 8 underwears on. All at the same time? Yes. How did your teacher find out? I told her that my stomach was hurting and she asked why and I told her because I had a lot of underwear on.

This was one of those times where no poker face parent is prepared for. I just started rolling. I signed the study buddy with: that is like the funniest thing one of my kids has ever done and got the reply: it cracked me up, too.

Today, he tried to go to school with two t-shirts on. I think the boy is cold, I'm going to the store to get him some underclothes.

Monday, January 12, 2009

It's the Final Countdown!!

I am trying everything in my power not to get super over-the-top excited before it's time but Dan should be home soon. Dan should be home soon. Holy Cow, Dan is coming home! See how good I am doing holding down the excitement? I am torn between restraining myself and acting out in frenetic energy cleaning and organizing. What else would I do but organize something, right?

First victim was my pantry. Every closet in the house is painted with flat paint and the shelves are a not pretty plywood. So, over the Christmas break I emptied it out and organized. And primed and painted the beast.

Some befores:

The Afters:

The feature I like the most is the sound system that I installed so that every time you open the door an ethereal choir sings out heavenly soft ahhhs to serenade me to my pretty pantry.

I've already started on the bathroom. I got some matching organizer things for the cabinets and went through the thousands of items under the sink. I had no idea that we had that much medication, that much lotion, or that much junk. This coming from a person who doesn't wear product in her hair and hardly ever ears make-up. Where is all this stuff coming from? I got rid of a lot of stuff but I think I need to be more cut-throat. So much stuff that we hold on to because I might probably use it one day, possibly.

Last week was a great week for productivity. There is nothing like feeling like your husband is never coming home to depress me into action. On the flip-side, I also feel like there is not enough time to get it all done. This dichotomy was one of the shocking realizations this last week. But I think the most astonishing thing was finding out that it is no longer possible for me to be a depressed lump.

On Thursday last, I realized that morning that it had been over 36 hours since I had heard from Dan. That is very rare. We have been so fortunate that I normally hear from him twice a day. I didn't hear from him all Wednesday and his normal time to call in the morning on Thursday had come and gone. So I figured this was the perfect day to lay around and watch bad TV. I laid down for about twenty minutes and then got up and cleaned the kitchen. Went back to be pathetic and lasted only ten minutes before I was up and doing laundry. What?! I can't lay around and eat ice cream? What has this deployment done to me? It's so shocking. He called while I was folding the laundry.

Well, anyway, I am not wasting this energy. This house is getting clean and organized. The cars are getting oil changes, fluids checked and filled, cleaned and ready. One car down, truck next. All sorts of errands are getting accomplished. The list I got down last week makes me feel all gooey inside.

This week I look forward to more stuff getting done and one more week closer to the end. Also this week my new semester starts. Two classes, I switched to both online classes so I am home-schooled this semester. The kids were so jealous. The switch comes from me changing my major and deciding on a different path on what I want to be when I grow up. But that is for another post. Kind of burying a lead there, huh? Onto the mighty list!

Monday, January 05, 2009


Ah, the New Year. Favorite time of people everywhere to come up with ways to improve their lives, start a new talent, or meet some new goal. To put it bluntly I hate New Year resolutions. I think the whole idea that at this randomly marked date in the calendar year that now I will be able to stick to whatever goal I have in my head that somehow I wouldn't have been able to make, say, in July. I do believe in goals, making them, keeping them, and adapting as needs be. However, the whole country believing that now I will write that novel, exercise regularly, finally learn synchronized swimming because Auld Lang Syne played, hmmm. Well, now I believe you. Any goal that popped into your head then probably has been there for a while but you waited for New Year's. You mean you've been procrastinating putting into effect this life-changing idea of yours. Yeah, that's going to work. All this does is crowd up the gym for a couple of months and drive me bonkers. So Happy New Year anyway but...

This year I resolve to make no resolutions.

Oh poop, I already broke it.