Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Still Believing...

This past year has been a rough one for my crew.  We have all moved at least once, and there have been more than a few big bumps in the road.  But... 
My Sean has managed to balance an enormous workload, and time with his girls. Never complaining, always there for his family.

 Bailey, our chatter box, is doing much better.

Jacey has developed a real talent for soccer.

 Marymine went thru a big bump, and managed to keep her head, and be there for her kids with amazing strength and grace. 
Ali is the most focused young lady I have ever known. Lauren has a wonderful sense of humor.

 Colt is a steadfast heart that keeps things running.

Cody, the devil doc corpsman to his very soul, has been on two deployments down range, this year alone. 

It hasn't been an easy year for any of them. They are all kind, good, tough, and honest and honorable to the bone, and I'm proud of them.
To the rest of the world they may be ordinary people, to me they are the world.
I have written our troubles on scraps of paper to burn away in the New Year's Eve bonfire, still believing in a future filled with love and laughter and family. 


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

After Midnight...with P.S.

I went early to Midnight Mass, so I could listen to the choir sing before the actual service.  It was good for my soul to be back in that beautiful old church.  I took a seat in the back, and ended up in the ol crones row.  All dressed in black they were, glasses perched on partisan noses, short gray hair.
I like being in back, so I don't have people behind me, and to see what is going on. Old family friends across the way to wave to.  A couple: the man sporting a high and tight, his arm around his lady, kissing her hair, and smiling down at her.  An older gentleman a few rows up by himself, but comfortable with it.  A young couple with small fussy children and a baby that slept thru it all.
The music was beautiful, a great choir. Outstanding really, when you consider the size of the parish.
 They have a Filipino priest now, a gentle kind man, but difficult to understand.  Maybe I just miss when Father D was here: his wit, wisdom, and sparkling Irish eyes. His crafty council could make something good out of imperfection.
Many prayers were whispered for the Corpsman's safe return home. I wanted to shout them, for fear they otherwise would get lost in the crowd. 
While the crones were off for wafers and wine, a wee gentleman stepped up to me and said "Where's your husband?"  A bit taken aback, I just shook my head.  Whereupon he said, "YOU don't have a husband!"  The crones returned then and he retreated.  I so wanted to laugh, it must have been my wild white hair, red coat and red heels in a sea of black.

PS:  Sitting on my parents bed this morning, with Dad in his chair, and mom dozing, I was telling Dad about Midnight Mass when suddenly two sharp eyes pop open in horror, and Mom yells... "Oh My God, you're a Catholic."

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Wishing you and yours a Blessed Christmas.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Elephant tales and Laughter...

 Simply put, I made a remark to my father this morning, to which he said " That was a smart ass remark!"  
"I am my father's daughter" I replied.
He looked at me with that spark in his eyes, hugged me, and said, "You sure as hell are."  We understand each other well. 

We seem to run to a certain kind of women in our family.  The red headed twins, my cousins, dad's brother's kids, stopped by today. It has been way too long since I have seen them.  They were on the way from Oregon to Frisco to watch the Niners play.  We laughed, and the banter flowed freely. Pictures were taken, and stories were shared.  Tales of three women who have seen the elephant.*
* http://www.museumca.org/goldrush/fever11.html

Honor, Love, & Respect

The Best Gifts often come in ways we never imagine...

Happy 39th Anniversary
 Bern and Jody

Friday, December 20, 2013


I cannot stay out of trouble, it is a talent I have honed over a lifetime. I own it in its entirety.

Willie and I are settling in with the old folks. Dad is still pretty active what with golf, his cronies, and soundly beating me in our ongoing RC helos battles, mom is bedridden. 
I got the not so bright idea to use walkie talkies to communicate with them at night, as I'm on the other end of the house.  That fine little experiment in torture lasted about two nights.  Mom would push all the buttons and shout into it at dad, who was sleeping without his hearing aids next to her. Then someone in a two mile radius decided to practice with his gobbler call at o dark thirty.  Back to the store with the walkie talkies.  Not willing to give it up too easily, I got a set of baby monitors so I can hear them if they need me at night...  The monitors work really well, if you put them on as low volume as possible, and have gotten comfortable with short naps.  I spent too many night years listening for the Cowman's breathing to change, so any changes around me and I'm awake. Willie does not seem to have this ability and sleeps thru everything. Damn dog.  I was on the very verge of losing it, when a thoughtful friend called and said, "turn the damn thing off, and get some sleep!" 

Next came the bedpan saga.  They had a monster of a bedpan that was nothing but horrible to lift mom onto.  Then lifting her off wasn't much fun either, especially as she was screaming in my ear that I was killing her. And honestly...., well I went in search of a new slim line low profile bedpan, ordered that sucker, and waited for it's arrival, like only the delusional can.  Got it, she hated it, not because it didn't work 10 times better, no, because it was my idea.  As graciously as possible, (ahhh quit, it's my blog) I asked, ok, pleaded with the lady that comes in the mornings to slip it to her.  Now she is fine with it, because she thinks the caregiver got it for her.
It seems I bump heads with her everyday, and I'm so used to being on my own that I just don't seem to be good at toning it down.
Why just today, as I was picking her up to reposition her on the bed she said, "I'm too heavy for you to be lifting."  
And I said, "Damn straight you are, you old broad!"  and then the cackling started...     

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

I'm mad as hell...

Did your House Representative just vote to maintain welfare benefits for illegal aliens but cut VA and retirement benefits for soldiers disabled in combat?
Did they really just do that?
Did you vote for that person?

Saturday, December 14, 2013

a half smile...

Midnight mass on the mountain is Christmas.

Christmas, filled with laughter & joy, when all the extended family get together.

One year we got such a honking big tree the Cowman put it in a tire rim off the stock trailer and tied it down with guy wires nailed to the floor.  Geez, you had to step over the guy wires to get to the bedrooms. The kids thought it was a great giant jungle gym. A cranky ol' cowdog named Ernie, ate all the ornaments off the bottom of the tree, then proceeded to puke sparkly things for days.

Ol' Ernie was inherited from one of the cowboys, he was too old to work cattle, but still hell on cats.  What a cranky ol thing he was, but when he loved you he would protect you with all he had.  If you put warm bacon grease drippings on his dog food, he would positively Protect and Adore you.  Simple things made him happy: lying in the sun by the gate, one ear cocked for the unwary, chasing cattle in his dreams, and a half smile if the bacon grease provider chanced by.


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Please Understand...

Decorating is done, baking is done, notes for grandkids are nearly done, and the really old guy is still out flying me in the RC helos war games...
Boughs of evergreens adorn the house, lights glow, Christmas hymns play softly, and the fireplace sparks a thousand memories of the end of an era. 
All will surely be cheerful & light again, but til then please understand...

Monday, December 9, 2013

Outside In...

Since it's not the deer Season here, and the really old guy is pretty soundly destroying me in our pitched RC helo battles...

I should be decorating for Christmas, but I have not even started. I have baked pies,


 but can't figure out how to send them to the Corpsman...
Who by the way, said I could share some of the latest pics he has taken this deployment, so I picked three:

outside the wire

inside the wire

for a friend's wife and kids back home

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Beyond Words...

Stayed up late last night, standing outside, watching the snow fall.  No wind, so the flakes just drifted down, so quiet, so beautiful.  Loved every minute of it.


My grand daughter Ali, will soon be flying home from college for Christmas.  Can't wait to hug her.  

 Alison Ornbaun's photo.

I'm a hugger, and my crew knows it, since they have been hugged on from birth.  It's what I do, it's me, it's my I love you beyond words... 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Tis the Season...

It came to pass... 
this cold morning as I hunkered down in the brush with my wiley Jack Russell tucked inside my old barn coat.   Occasionally tossing oak leaves into the air to check wind direction. Mostly, because who wants to be down wind of a farting JR.  
 Longing for another cup of coffee from my favorite Back Off Athol Idaho thermos. Dad's old 30-06 at the ready, as I glass the far ridges. 

There, in the distance a slight movement... the telltale flash of early morning sun off a flicked ear...

Steady now, as I wipe the deer jerky drool from my hunter's safety red/orange lipstick.
Come to granny blue eyes... come a little closer so your in range. Steady, keep coming, your almost...

Ahhh, that's plenty close enough, in fact it would help if you ran off a bit, damn.

Now, the neighbors are going to complain.

Wait... I can improvise, I have one of dad's compound bows in the garage, or... 
What do you mean the season's over here?!   There are signs every where "Tis the Season".