Friday, October 27, 2006
Already I was prompted by something suggested - and yes, we were a family who traveled the old Route 66 highway - back in the day. Now those are some photos I really wish we had - many of those old places are gone, torn down, don't exist any more. Another thing that doesn't quite exist any more is the way in which we traveled when we returned stateside.....before Interstate highways - back when travel meant 2 lane highways, some sort of tourist interest stop in practically every town and whistle stop along the way.
I really must try to write about the month long travel trip we took when we returned stateside - arriving in San Francisco, going north to World's Fair in Seattle and seeing the Space Needle, driving across Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Dakotas and then south criss crossing until we arrived at our new base assignment - Keesler AFB in Biloxi, Mississippi. It seemed we stopped at every natural vista and man made tourist attractions along the way. I might ask my two sisters and brother to 'remember when' to help me round out the details of this memorable trip.
Leaving an entry here more to quickly link to the page list of podcasts; Military Brats Registry Podcasts
It's here! The Military Brats Registry "Every Brat Has a Story" podcast is now available. The program can be downloaded to your computer or mp3 device such as the Apple iPod. And if you're using iTunes or iPodder you can subscribe to automatically download to your device. Click on "podcasts" in iTunes and enter "Military Brats" in the search box, then subscribe (free!). Each episode will be automatically downloaded into iTunes and to your iPod.
Along the years, I learned of dvd production in the works and waited and waited and waited. Finally dvd 'Brats, Our Journey Home' was released and I promptly bought a copy. Or I should say my dear husband promptly bought a copy as gift for me. We watched it together as soon as it arrived in the mail. And it resonated with me so strongly in so many ways. I took notes (that's my nature when I'm really interested in both capturing and remembering) and spent some time today revisiting some of those older military brat sites I remember from late 1990s.
I wanted to chronicle the links, websites, books, resources and I really didn't want to start a whole new blog to do it. So I looked around at all my blogs, and decided this one was the most logical place to spend some time chronicling my military brat history and building link connections. I'll be adding some link banners to the sidebar, and blogging new entries in what will seem my own homecoming exploration.
This is a bittersweet project for me to undertake for a multitude of reasons, yet it will also be strengthening to make the connections, all the 'aha' moments that tell me more about who I am to me. My parents divorced when I was about 14 which abruptly ended our connection to military life. Unfortunately, it was an ugly divorce that my father worked to obstruct. He could get quite mean in his effort to control or manipulate the circumstances. He kept and/or destroyed all the mementos, photographs, slides, keepsakes, etc that were our history over those years. As a consequence, my mother doesn't have much she can share visually, and neither do I except what I can recover from my spotty memory. It helps that other military brats are sharing their memories as it serves as 'triggers' for me in remembering and in what I hope to chronicle here at this blog.
Sunday, October 22, 2006
In afternoon I escaped to the kitchen, made some more bread and put more jerky in the drier.
Lietta still in paint mode but had phone conference that ultimately interferred with painting yesterday afternoon.
Saturday, October 21, 2006
I already have the E-book compiler on both Lietta's and my computers.
By late afternoon Lietta was ready to paint so we went downstairs to her new "painting studio" where she continues to amaze me with what I would term her confidant painting in which she completes her works more rapidly and seems to be creating more from memory than the picture model she still picks out and uses.
The ideas flow freely and her eyes and hands fill in the blanks. Yesterday's was an impressive autumn color painting that I in fact was dazzled just after she finished preparing the trees and the misty woods without adding any leaves to the branches. The effect was powerful.
I got caught up in working on muse stuff and poetry prompters so the next time I turned around she'd created a cabin, a dock and reflections on the water in front of the cabin and autumn trees.
Back upstairs for ad-lib supper. Ad-lib supper is where we each grab whatever wwe want. Lietta opted for homemade jerky, licorice and a large bowl of raisin bran. Earlier I'd made potatoes, onions, eggs, cheese and bacon - a breakfast I make quite often.
So neither of us were famished. I made a box of cheap (Western Family) macaroni and cheese and stirred in a can of green beans to give it more volume with the M&C was ready.
Watched some TV and went upstairs. Bored, I put on my Age of Kings game and got so caught up that when I looked at the clock is was after 1:00 AM. Went down stairs where I could hear the TV, thinking I'd find Lietta deep asleep on the couch.
Nope ... "Hi Honey, I could hear you up there.!"
She was watching National Geographic about insect swarms. Put the TV on in the BR and I know I fell asleep first.
Friday, October 20, 2006
Never happened thanks to reality checks and timely political intervention. However, staff continually reduced and our actual size is less than "foot-print." More like "toe-print" as Lietta likes to say.
Last week, my first week back from vacation has been a buzzing nightmare. Complicated by receptionist on vacation and leadworker's need to replace receptionist which moves me up the list to leadworker's backup receptionist. I work reception during leadworker's breaks and lunch hour.
Twas the wrong week. I never fully brought the vacation backlog up to currency, was constantly flooded with scheduled and unscheduled but unavoidable client interviews.
I'll be playing catch-up for another week or so. Makes me feel very reluctant to take any vacation at all - rather, spread time out to 3 or 4-day weekends as an alternative.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Well, when the druggist announced that Indomethacin was not available a few months ago, I just went without because I have two other gout medications and have not had an actuall attack now into the third year.
However, I have noticed a deterioration that has led to constant pain in back, knees, wrists and hips. Sufficient to slow me down, creat havoc for the hours immediately following physical exertion such as mowing the lawn and hip pain that stopped me from sleeping thru the night.
Anyway, when the pharmacy announced that they now have Indomethacin, I took my first tablets two nights ago and slept thru the night with much less pain, did not have to go to the lazyboy in the middle of the night, and woke up quite a bit more spritely. Same thing the next night.
Which tells me that the Indomethacin with its ability to suppress these discomforts - something I'm glad to have back - was also suppressing knowledge of my body's actual pain and discomfort.
A mixed blessing ....
Baked DiGiorno's Pizza by adding canned olive slices, mushroom slices, chopped onions and grated cheese before baking.
And I finished marinating the slices of roast. Put them in the food dryer for overnight drying. Watched discovery channel on origin of the Universe while chewing pizza.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
If you want to learn something rather than sit in front of the boob tube like a zombie in an opium den, go find LINK TV on your cable channel. Scary, but you might actually learn stuff.
Howard Zinn wrote, "The People's History of the United States," a few years back. Colleagues - historians who have traditionally defined history as all stars in all-star events like war, scientific breakthrough and capitalist success stories, pooh-poohed the book because it was unorthodox.
NY Times book review praised the hell out of it because it was readable, informative and truthful - with viewpoints rarely observed from the ivory towers of professional educators and their sponsors.
So last Sunday while in Portland, I went into Powell's and bought the two-volume edition. Last night, we curled up in bed, set a lamp behind the bed post and I commence reading to Lietta. Now this usually lasts about five minutes and she's out.
Not this time. She lasted for most of the chapter and when she finally gave up the ghost, I was ready to stop and go to sleep as well. It's fun reading a college text this way and for the first time in my life, when I come to chapter's end, the discussion questions will be useful cause she and I will want to talk before moving on.
Recommended: A People's History of the United States, Howard Zinn.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
I'll be playing catch up and treading water on current events for two weeks until it stablizes.
Come home ready to be home.
Monday, October 16, 2006
Busy all day and facing the worst fall-behind in the past 2-3 years of vacations where staff kept my stuff quite current.
Interviews were all rough in the sense of hard to use humor around the seriouness of illness, job loss and psycho-drama. In all this I need to figure out a way to work through another 6 years before eligibility to retire - or figure a way to replace the income with a job less emotionally draining.
Working on it.
Home to wife and companion ... a blessed return from work.
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Went anyway to visit stepson Chris Coy in his new apartment in Beaverton/Tigard area near Portland, Or.
All day visit including awesome buffet at Sweet Tomatoes which is in reality an all-you-can-eat salad bar with strong vegetarian emphasis since only meat was in salads.
Then drove to Portland State University campus where Chris is enrolled p/t while working for Standard Insurance.
Finally back to his apartment. For some reason his computer has no word processor and - per Chris - spell check (says he needs it most). So Lietta sat down at his computer and ...
(1) Got him a Yahoo email address.
(2) then sent him an invite to Gmail (which we both have)
(3) That allowed him to get gmail address AND open a google program for himself called Britely (an online word processor).
So now he has one.
We drove home in the rain and dark(125 miles), arriving at 10:00.
Oh, and vacation ended Friday. Back to work tomorrow.
Saturday, October 14, 2006
Up after sleep in and updating ourselves on the world situation via intenet until noonish. And reorganization of my favorites.
Burnt out on all the social-political babble and Babel and have spent the last three days unsubscribing from all the newsletters except one or two. Then reorganized my bookmarks, deleting an endless array of political blogs all talking about the same things.
Finally sated internetly, went down to kitchen to act like a rural property owner. Helped Lietta peel apples for making apple butter in crockpot.
Partially thawed a roast and then sliced into jerky strips. Then mixed ingredients for "Barbecue Jerky" marinate in blender. Combined and stirred the meats and left in fridge. Will dry jerky monday after marinate soaks in because we are gone all day Sunday to Portland to see son, Chris Coy.
Made 4 loaves of bread and watched two DVD's: Bush's Brain about Karl Rove and one on historian activist Howard Zinn.
Fell asleep in bed during 11:00 news.
Friday, October 13, 2006
I'm an older guy now flying around the hive trying to find the place where I want to fit in, where I want to make and store honey, and where I want to help make a more attractive and livable hive. Still haven't totally discovered what that is so I live in a constant frustation - exacerbated by weariness in employment and longing for the day I can retire.
My job is mentally and emotionally draining every day. Lietta says average career doing that one duty before needing to transfer to other duties is 7 years. I'm closing in on 14 years at it. Can't transfer cause nowhere in the office to transfer. Don't want promotions cause I'd end up promoting and monitoring the very poison I drink now.
So I'm cranky at home, flail about sometimes emotionally and smack Lietta on her emotional nose - which makes us both uncomfortable. Today I lost my temper and wew had a discussion that was long overdue. Wouldn't you know it would be on Friday the 13th?
She gave me insights witthout ultimatums and they hit me like a splash of cold water on a sleeper or a blast of extremely strong coffee on a drunk. "Thanks! I needed that!" wake up call. Like I was hypnotized and when she snapped her fingers verbally, I woke up.
New perspective on an old perspective that served us well when courting and early marriage.
Karl and Eve, our across-the-street neighbors arrived from Seattle Thu night. After going to town for groceries, we went to their studio and visited for a couple of hours while Karl made the report and showed us his album from his recent trip to France and Brtain where Eve joined him.
Then home to unload groceries.
Worked on my NBA fantasy which we both agree keeps my mind healthy with it's heavy demand on mental agility, math and imagination.
Watched Bill Maher, ate some supper, finally wearied out around 10:30. We fell asleep in bed less than ten minutes into the evening news.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
But then we both got caught up doing online picture programs. When her computer crashed two weeks ago, I had to scrub it clean and re-install Windows XP, erasing all content. Among what was lost was her photo collection.
I downloaded all the photos in my computer onto a CD. She also hunted down previous online sites where she had photos stored. Found new and better ones like Snapfish, Ringo and the like. Created a "room" at snapfish where all family members can upload their photos. It's kind of like a safety deposit box at a bank. You can keep your stuff online where crashed computers and space limitiations don't matter much. You access your collections by joining and using a password which theoretically protects your collections from the prying eyes of snoopers. Uh huh .... but I'm willing to live with that risk so as to not lose any more photos.
Anyway, we never painted or poeted because we spent most of the day photo collecting, moving around, building albums and storing.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Talked about breakfast but neither of us did anything.
Talked about lunch but neither of us did anything.
Finally went to the store and bought a couple of grinders, milk, and sweet stuff.
Came home after eating and back upstairs. Not for long. Power went out.
Drove to the beach, now about 7:00 PM and watched the orange and pink in the horizon with the sunset.
Came home, lit a few candles and the power came back on.
Evening watching TV police dramas Criminal Minds and CSI New York.
And to bed.
Blogging political activisim dying in my mind almost minute by minute. Went into bloglines and deleted everything. Then to a google search of blogs that talk about what I'm interested in and subscribed to just a few.
Also returned to ourstory.com to work more on life story/bio.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Made me decide to build a site-map for our site, simplify the navigation bar and generally do some editing of old stuff.
7 hours later I had myself a site map and other than taking 15 minutes to move some sod around the yard for Lietta, the rest of the afternoon and evening was dinner and some television.
Mind was fried by the tediousness of screening our entire chapter website for articles and stuff. My site map functions like an index at the back of a book but it was worth it.
Monday, October 9, 2006
The morning routine whether on vacation or not is always up fairly early and online. During vacation this means online until noon or later.
Lots of reading and writing that is so much pleasure!
Afternoon we finished reworking the kitchen. Now more shelves, more space and more functionality. I've promised Lietta to become more of a kitchen activist learning new recipies, activing my food drying for both fruits and jerky and making more homemade bread.
Supper was leftovers that were still excellent taste thrills. We then put in a Netflix DVD entitled The Fog of War which is a video interview with former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. Mostly commentary and film footage that was interesting and full of anectdotes we had never heard.
Bread machine chimed in having baked a Krusteaz box of white bread. I was not interested in storage and we ate hot fresh bread with butter during the McNamara commentary.
Lietta fell asleep and I was multi-tasking, listening to Robert and working on a computer basketball game in which I'm creating a 12-team league of teams made up of NBA all-time all stars.
Bottom line out of the McNamara DVD was a quote he made somewhere toward the end ...
"People have got to stop killing other people!"
The fog of war in which no participant is fully aware of the breadth of the on-going tragedy.
Sunday, October 8, 2006
More than 40 years of full-time employment
- perhaps with the exception of 1986 when
unemployment lasted more than six months
and I actually managed to write a 600+ page novel
in my spare time while seeking a job.
Today, leisurely, I spent all morning online
thinking about my writing activities in my new variation.
I've been to the blogging circus and blogged away.
I have blogs I'm proud of, but political blogging in depth
- with a self-imposed obligation to write every day
robs all other creativity of energy.
Combined with the blood-sucking drain on emotional energy,
which is the substance of my employment and my duties.
Too-tired-to-think blogging robs me of my ultimate
literary and intellectual pleasures. I have a book in progress;
had one now going on twenty years. And there are more
where that one comes from.
By afternoon I brake off the online stuff and return to reworking
the kitchen as sweetheart and I had discussed earlier in the morning.
Went to the basement, freed up bricks and boards, hauled the rattan
furniture down there and set up brick-and-board shelving in the kitchen.
Moved the pink table into the bay and plan today is to continue moving
dishes, pots and pans and cooking utensils into more accessible places.
Sweetheart in conference call with MFSO Washington State Chapter
leadership team while I cook potatoes, onions, green onions, mushrooms,
tomatoes, eggs and cheese into a supper to remember.
Filling even if overdue and worth the wait.
We went to bed and fell asleep during Without A Trace
Woke up, turned the TV off after midnight.
Ten Things You Can Do With Lavender...
Lavender straw is the leftover stalks and branches from processing the dried buds. It’s quite useful as a fragrant and effective insect repellent. Toss a handful of the straw onto the barbecue or picnic fire. It will repel flies and mosquitoes!
Vinegar’s Not Just for Salads
Bring one cup of distilled white vinegar to a boil and pour it over a half cup of fresh lavender flowers to make “Cosmetic Vinegar.” Cover and leave for twenty-four hours before straining and bottling. For a skin softening and restoring bath, add a half cup to a tub of warm water.
Cosmetic vinegar may be diluted by adding 2 T. to a pint of water. Used as a hair rinse, the vinegar neutralizes any shampoo residue and re-stores the acidic mantle.
Oil of Lavender
When using essential oil as a massage oil it needs to be diluted with light vegetable oil. Our recipe for Oil of Lavender can be used full strength. Fill a clear glass jar loosely with dried lavender buds. Top with olive oil and cap the container. Leave this jar in a sunny window for a few weeks shaking it every few days. Strain the oil into another container through a funnel lined with cheesecloth. Press and squeeze the flowers to extract as much of the scent as possible. For a more potent oil, repeat the process once or twice more. A few drops of this will scent a bath!
Lavender Sugar Process 1 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons lavender in a blender just until the flowers are crushed. (Be sure to use only culinary lavender.) Sieve out large pieces and store sugar in a glass jar at least one week before using. Sweeten a cup of tea for a fragrant break from your busy day. This sugar will keep for about three months.
Process 1 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons lavender in a blender just until the flowers are crushed. (Be sure to use only culinary lavender.) Sieve out large pieces and store sugar in a glass jar at least one week before using. Sweeten a cup of tea for a fragrant break from your busy day. This sugar will keep for about three months.
Lavender Fields Indoors
Place approximately ½ cup dried lavender buds into a small muslin bag. Firmly knot the opening. Toss the bag into your dryer when doing sheets. It leaves a light fresh scent. The muslin bag scent will last for 5-7 dryer loads and can be refreshed with a few drops of lavender essential oil.
Lavender Hair Rinse Lavender makes a good hair rinse especially for gray hair. Steep a handful of fresh or dried flowers in a pint of boiling water. When it cools, strain it and use as a final rinse water after shampooing.
Lavender Hair Rinse
Lavender makes a good hair rinse especially for gray hair. Steep a handful of fresh or dried flowers in a pint of boiling water. When it cools, strain it and use as a final rinse water after shampooing.
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Lavender’s on the Loose!
Lavender’s on the Loose!When you change your vacuum cleaner bag, sprinkle 2 tablespoons of dried lavender buds on the floor. Vacuum them up and you will gently freshen the room each time you vacuum.
Sweet Lavender Tisane
“Tisane” is a tea made from dried fruit, flowers, and/or berries. Be sure to use culinary lavender for this recipe. Place 3 tablespoons of fresh lavender flowers in a teapot (1½ T if using dried). Add 2 cups of boiling water. Allow the flowers to steep for 3 or 4 minutes, strain and serve with a slice of lemon and honey.
Saturday, October 7, 2006
Didn't sleep in this morning. Hip pain woke me up.
Made coffee and came upstairs to the lure
of the Internet. I'm an online addict.
I quit smoking a year ago and abandoned
that addiction successfully. But I also became
an online writer and political activist;
another addiction of dubious merit.
Political activism seemed to satisfy my desire
- participation in the enwakenment of an electorate -
shoving around voters made aware of how apathy has
afflicted this country. Now at my age, I see enough
youngsters who'll "take it from here." I can go back
to knowing how I'll vote, when to speak and what to say.
Cause more and better talents do the same many times elsewhere.
Yearning now at 60 for more
quality time at home
- not driven by anyone else's magic.
Almost I can look on, amused
at how all the ants in the pile are awake,
aroused and all over Republican grasshoppers
stuck in angry and aroused mandibles.
Early afternoon I went down, pulled up
the last of the carpet in the living room.
All our old wooden floor is now exposed.
Then moved shelving and my books around
so as to move one of our portable wardrobes
into the nook between
the living room and bathroom.
Back upstairs in the evening briefly
until sweetheart called me to soup
which left me drowsy within a few minutes.
I fell asleep back at the keyboard.
She woke me up with a call
from downstairs around midnight
of my first day off work.
Friday, October 6, 2006
I always like Friday nights;
the open, lazy moment
when work is done, nothing demands
and tomorrow there'll be no need
to rise early and start working
on my game face
not for two days.
Even better but less frequent,
next month will see the first night
of my week's vacation.
A week in April and a week in October;
never two full weeks because I can't
be gone that long in an office
My case load, after two weeks off,
would be too far behind.
The end of the first day
back at work
would leave me
ready for another
I'll stay up into the night because
I can sleep in tomorrow.
I read my regulars
as I do every morning
Tonight more leisurely.
Maybe ... Republican sexual follies.
My secret delight that they keep tripping over themselves.
In anxiety to grab money and power,
the're more clumsy
and morally vacant
than all other politicians
News from Iraq always bad.
But if it has to be bad,
that it's Bush's fault,
the Republicans' fault.
They deserve repudiation.
Damn you assholes!
No moral fibre,
no personal integrity,
no genuine concern,
mean spirited religion.
There's no pretentions to this home, it's pretty much salt of the earth kind of house and we live in pretty much as salt of the earth kind of people. Now, I'm not saying there haven't been efforts to get the house more upscale and we're grateful to PO who invested in giving the house more than a cosmetic face lift as the PO before them had done. As you read our blog and see our pics, you kinda see the down and dirty along with what we hope are some of the pretty.
Haven't done much 'remodeling' since we started this blog, and there is good reason for that, but moving on...end of summer 2006. We spent many happy, contented hours of the spring and summer months working on yard and garden.
End of summer 2006, and sad to see the season come to a close, but there will be another summer in 2007 and we look forward to watching all the new plantings grow next year. Planted a hybrid 3 kinds of apples on one tree - that should be interesting. Planted an ornamental Mt Fuji Japanese white flowering cherry tree.
We ordered ten bare root trees from National Arbor the second year we lived here and planted them per instructions. Bare root trees are really just twigs sticking out of the ground. Dear husband ran over several of them with the lawn mower - more than once. Accident, of course, not intentional. But they must be hardy because only about 5 didn't make it and 5 are still with us. We replanted them in 2006 season to their new permanent homes.
We planted two Eucalyptus trees, one is potted in whiskey barrell and the other in the front yard. That about does it for the trees I can plant in our limited yard space. And it's too bad, because I wasn't done with trees for our yard yet. I learned this year that where we live, we have a mini planting zone that permits some plantings that don't do as well in the regional climate zone shown on the climate zone maps as our 'zone'. We live on a northern bay on the Pacific Coast which creates a maritime climate zone for us. That can be good and not so good, but it does help me to realize that what my inland neighbors can grow is not the same thing I can as easily grow. Now, it seems in addition to apples (Washington - apples, you know), I can also grow peaches and apricots. Really! Okay, but sigh - no room in our yard. I'll just have to fit it in some way cause I intend to have one of each.
entry by Lietta Ruger - green thumb is shaping up