One of those days…

You know those days where everything seems to go haywire?

Yep, having one of ’em today!

Let’s start with the morning shower…I see my husband off to work and head to the shower.  I crank up some music and put on my rock show!  Yes, I normally sing in the shower, at the top of my lungs.  Halfway through the shower, Psycho Killer by the Talking Heads begins to play.  I freakin’ love this song!  So as a result, I sing even louder!  I am putting on a serious rock show!  Ya’ll, our foster puppy Bridgette began to make this horrendous howling noise.  It sounded like a cross between sheer pain and mourning a loved one!  I peek out of the shower curtain and she instantly gets quiet and tilts her head to the side while her ears do this sideways thing.  She looks like she is so damn confused!  I giggle and go right back to singing.  She starts howling again like I am torturing her!  LOL  Needless to say, I had to cut my concert short and hurry out of the shower before she gave herself a heart attack!

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About 20 minutes later I was on the phone with my sister catching up.  I was in the kitchen fixing a cup of coffee.  I guess I was so into the conversation that I wasn’t paying attention to what I was doing, because 30 minutes later I was scouring my kitchen trying to find the coffee creamer.  It is supposed to be in the refrigerator.  I check and recheck the fridge.  I check the countertop next to the coffee pot.  I check the rest of the counter space.  No luck.  How do you lose coffee creamer?  After about 3 minutes of rechecking these “normal” places, I began checking everywhere else in the kitchen.  I had put the damn creamer, that is supposed to be refrigerated, in the cabinet with the coffee cups!  What the hell?!?

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The next “crappy” part of my morning also happened in the bathroom!  I had cleaned the tub, sink, and countertops.  I was in the process of cleaning the toilet, which is my least favorite part of cleaning.  I was wiping down the toilet seat rim when out of nowhere comes a sneeze.  Holy shit!  My whole right arm, up to my elbow, ended up in the toilet!  Now even though I had just cleaned the toilet, it still makes me cringe.  I was gagging and dry heaving all over the bathroom!  I got my arm out to side like it is crawling with the plague!  The amount of hand sanitizer I used after washing my arm was probably enough to clean the bodies of four adults!  Ugh!

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And the last tragedy of my morning happened on the staircase.  I went upstairs to my daughter’s room to inspect the disaster area.  That room looks like a tornado went through it.  Clothes, toys, art supplies, etc. are everywhere.  I decided I wasn’t going to gather up the clothes.  She can clean that room up today!  Anyway, I checked her bathroom and such and was heading back down the stairs.  Now I’m guess my socks have zero traction cause that fourth step happened to be a doozy!  My right foot slipped out from under me and my hands didn’t make it to the banister.  My left foot decided it needed a turn next.  I hit my ass and bounced down eight steps.  I bounced hard too!  When the terror ride was over I just laid there.  I figured it was best not to move too quick!  Haha!  I’m pretty sure I’m gonna be black and blue tomorrow.

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I’m gonna take it easy for the rest of the day.  It might be best to wrap myself in bubble wrap.  At least next time I fall I will be entertained when the bubble wrap pops!

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Women in Combat (part 2)

Well, this ban being lifted has ruffled quite a few feathers!  I have been trying to keep up with the opinions being voiced, especially from active duty military and vets.  I don’t care too much about what the politicians think!  The majority of the men’s opinions are against women in combat.  Now, that is the majority of what I have read…I’m not trying to step on toes here, just being honest.

The opposite is the opinion of most women, of course!  Most, not all, of the women are screaming for equality and saying that they have already endured the complications and hardships of combat.  Let me tell ya something…I don’t truly believe that for a second.  Not to say it hasn’t happened, but I haven’t heard of a woman soldier being outside the wire for 72 hours or more on a mission.

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I came across an article called “Five Myths about Women in Combat”.  This article had me shaking my head and rolling my eyes.  I know some won’t agree with me and that’s fine.  But I’m gonna break ’em down and give my opinion…of course!  Haha!

1.  “Women are too emotionally fragile for combat.” –  Women ARE more emotional than men!   I don’t care what the cause, but I really believe women are more emotional.  Hell, blame estrogen!  We all know estrogen makes us a little kooky!  Testosterone at least has the advantage of producing aggression and more muscle mass.  Aggression and strength are needed on the front line.  Being emotional only causes issues.  Putting your emotions to the side is essential.

2.  “Women are too physically weak for the battlefield.” –  This is true as well.  I have yet to meet a woman soldier that has the upper body strength to carry a 180-200lb man or the overall strength to drag a man of that size to safety in the event of injury.

3.  “The presence of women causes sexual tension in training and battle.” –  I don’t even know where to begin with this one.  Look, humans are sexual beings.  Stressful situations heighten sexual tension.  Those are scientific facts.  Now, am I saying that all men cheat?  No.  Am I saying that all women are homewreckers?  No.  I am saying that the stress and hardships of war do cause sexual tension.  Lots of women want to complain and file actions dealing with sexual harassment, yet many of them make sexual comments and actions toward men.  It seems to be ok for them to act that way towards the men but not ok for the men to make comments and such.  That’s bullshit.  You wanna act like one of the guys but can’t handle being treated like one (even though you are screaming EQUALITY!)???  Women, during a deployment, proposition men too.  Don’t be fooled and think the women are all innocent.  Men and women both make those decisions and both have to exercise will power.

4.  “Male troops will become distracted from their missions in order to protect female comrades.” –  I agree with this “myth” too.  Most of the male soldiers have expressed their opinions on this statement.  The majority agree that they would be more focused on protection of female soldiers…kinda like the whole damsel in distress thing.  The mission sort of becomes second on the list due to the fact that they are trying to keep an extra eye on the women and their safety.  If this is how the majority of male soldiers feel…then isn’t it selfish to put them in that position while in a combat zone?  It is risking their lives and the mission at hand… all for that female’s ego.  I know that sounds harsh, but I don’t want my husband’s life to be in even more jeopardy than already present in a combat zone.

5.  “Women can’t lead men in combat effectively.” –  Here again, I agree.  The main reason goes back to emotion.  I also think we should all consider the fear women should realize pertaining to the possibility of being captured during war.  The torture women would endure would be so heinous.  The emotion, stress, and fear of that torture if caught would greatly affect the woman’s ability to lead the men.

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Here are a few opinions from a woman veteran that I’ve seen…these were sent to me with no name attached to them.

I saw the male combat units when I was in Iraq. They go outside the wire for days at a time. They eat, sleep, urinate and defecate in front of each other and often while on the move. There’s no potty break on the side of the road outside the wire. They urinate into bottles and defecate into MRE bags. I would like to hear a suggestion as to how a woman is going to urinate successfully into a bottle while cramped into a humvee wearing full body armor. And she gets to accomplish this feat with the male members of her combat unit twenty inches away. Volunteers to do that job? Do the men really want to see it? Should they be forced to?

 The few integrated units in the IDF suffered three times the casualties of the all-male units because the Israeli men, just like almost every other group of men on the planet, try to protect the women even at the expense of the mission. Political correctness doesn’t trump thousands of years of evolution and societal norms. Do we really WANT to deprogram that instinct from men?

When you’re going over a wall in Baghdad that’s ten feet high, you have to be able  to reach the top of it in full gear and haul yourself over. That’s not strength per se, that’s just height and the muscular explosive power to jump and reach the top. Having to get a boost from one of the men so you can get up and over could get that man killed.

I would have loved to be in the infantry. But I would never do that to the men. I would never sacrifice the mission for my own desires. And I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if someone died because of me.

This ban being lifted is going to cause major problems…mark my word!  I know we all have different opinions and I respect that.  Thanks for taking the time to read my opinion.

Women in Combat

 Lifting the ban on women in combat

HUGE ISSUE!

This issue has been causing an uproar online!  People are battling over whether this is a good decision or not.  Some say it is a great idea and that women should be allowed to do the job they want.  Some say women can’t do the job as well as the men do.  You got a lot of men and women saying that women are not physically strong enough to do the requirements demanded in combat.  I have seen several people state that a woman‘s emotions would cause issues in combat as well.

Well….I’m pretty sure I’m about to make some people really upset!  My opinion is that it is a bad idea.  I don’t agree with lifting this ban.  Yes, I know there are and have been women in infantry units and such…I still don’t agree with it.

I know several woman are proposing the “equal opportunity” side for this argument, but that gets blown out of proportion.  They set standards and tests that have to be passed in order to be able to serve in combat, but just as soon as one misses the mark and is turned down it becomes a huge battle!  It has happened in the past and it will happen again.  “They were too strict, they weren’t fair, they were too judgemental, they intentionally failed me due to my gender.”  Not all, but a lot of women would “milk” those excuses when in fact, they just weren’t physically fit enough or whatever to pass the tests or the standards put in place.  Bottom line…A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE TO PASS THE SAME PT TESTS AND SUCH AS THE MEN IN ORDER TO FIGHT IN COMBAT.  If a man has to do 70 push ups within a two-minute period…so does the woman!

The physically fit part bothers me too.  I have to admit, I agree with the women that have stated most women just aren’t strong enough to be dependable in combat.  You got a 200lb man needing to be pulled to safety…a 120lb (for example) woman probably wouldn’t be able to handle that situation.  I would think the men would feel better knowing their guys have their back and would have no problems physically pulling them out of harm’s way.  Just my opinion…so don’t take offense please.

Next on the list…emotion.  Yea, I know some are probably rolling their eyes right now.  But the truth is, women are more emotional.  I’m not saying men are all stone cold or anything, but men tend to be more “act now, think later”.  I think that is a good quality in combat.  I would think most women would be more likely to freeze up or hesitate.  Those two reactions are definitely not good in combat zones.  Stress levels run high during a deployment and being in combat raising that stress way above the bar.  Here again, I think men handle high levels of stress a little better.  I know several people are probably thinking about PTSD right now.  And yes, PTSD is a huge problem resulting from deployments, but I still side with men handling their stress and emotions better.

I’m gonna catch hell for this next one!  But here goes!  CNN just published an article called “Unplanned pregnancy on rise in military.”  This is a problem folks.  A unit trains together and prepares for deployment together.  It’s damaging to a unit when women have to stay behind, after training and preparing together, due to unplanned pregnancy.  It is irresponsible.  Yes, I know it takes “two to tango”, but being responsible for your part within the unit is necessary.  Also, this is an issue during deployments.  Here again, completely irresponsible.  It costs the military, as stated in the CNN article, around $10,000 to send a servicewoman home from overseas due to pregnancy.  You get sent home, your unit is down a soldier due to this issue.

So, there you have it!  I know lots of people will disagree with me and that’s ok.  I stand firm on my opinion.  I am more old-fashioned and I was raised that way.  I’m proud of that.  Women can do lots of things that men can…combat just isn’t one of them.

P.S.  I just have to add in this little funny tid bit!  I just ran a spell check and “servicewoman” was underlined in red.  When I clicked on it, the word that popped up (since red means misspelled) was serviceman!  LOL  Damn!!!

Money Saving Tips

We all know money doesn’t grow on trees…

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Saving money is something everyone wants to do.  The problem is following through with it, thinking it’s too hard, or not believing you have enough time for it.  We get in such a rush and continue with the same old routine.  Saving money is actually not that hard to do and is pretty simple.  It does take a few changes and discipline though.

Here are a few tips to help ya get started…

COUPONS-  Don’t get bogged down by those coupon shows or the stereotype that comes with using coupons.  Coupons are an excellent way to save money and once you learn how to do it…it’s a piece of cake!  Visit coupons.com, SmartSource, SouthernSavers.com to get printable coupons and a list of store’s weekly sales.  There are several phone apps for weekly sales ads as well.  You can also check your local area to see if anyone sales inserts weekly and order from them.  That is a great way to get inserts fairly cheap and tons of coupons.

BUY IN BULK-  You don’t have to buy everything in bulk, but you know what your family uses the most of on a regular basis.  It may not seem like it at first, but buying in bulk will save you money in the long run.  Those times you run out of those items you use the most and have to make a quick run to the grocery store…no more!  No more quick trips to the store and spending way to much.

USE CASH–  Using cash makes saving money so easy!  Only take cash with you to the grocery store and other stores.  MAKING A LIST goes along with this tip too.  Make a list before you go to the store and stick to it!  Only buy the things on your list.  Also, before you leave the house, tally up what those items will cost and take that amount in cash.  It will amaze you to see the savings at the end of the month.

PACK A LUNCH-  Yes, I said it!  Brown bag it folks!  Taking a lunch will save sooo much money.  Buying fast food really adds up and isn’t very healthy anyway.  Drinks and lunch stuff can be bought in bulk too.

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LOOK DOWN-  When you are doing your grocery shopping, look down.  Lower priced items are actually below eye level at most grocery stores.  You don’t always have to buy brand name items or items just because they are on sale either.

SMOKING AND DRINKING-  I am not gonna waste time telling anyone not to drink/smoke .  That is a personal choice for everyone.  But quitting smoking will save your health and tons and tons of money.  And if you are going to drink…drink at home.  It is way cheaper to drink at home versus drinking at a bar.

CREDIT CARDS–  Yes, credit cards help build credit but they also get you in hot water!  Trust me…pay off that credit card debt and only use that thing in case of emergencies!  Don’t cancel the credit card though.  Canceling a credit card will damage your credit…even if you have paid the due amount every month on time.

NETFLIX-  Cable costs way too much nowadays.  It is much easier to cancel it and get Netflix.  Netflix will only cost you about $8 a month and the Xbox gold card (if you’re using the Xbox) is $60 a year.  Look at the spending there…~$150 a year for that compared to paying for cable every month.  Some people I know spend $150 a month for cable!  You could be saving over $1600 a year!!!

PHONE–  Depending on bundle packages, (house phone and internet) canceling your house phone and just using your cell phone will save money as well.

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ENTERTAINMENT-  Instead of buying movies all the time, try using RedBox to rent movies.  It is pretty cheap and they are in convenient locations.  Museums and parks are free for your family too.  There are several history museums and lots of city parks that will provide weekend treats for your family.  Hikes and picnics are cheap ways to fit in valuable family time.

HOLIDAYS-  Do your holiday shopping throughout the year.  Make a list of the people you will be buying for and keep it with you.  I have a small flip pad that I keep in my purse.  I put that list of names on it and a gift idea, if I have one, next to their name.  When I’m out shopping, I keep an eye out for those gifts and such.  It saves money at the end of the year and there is no rush right before the holiday.

MEALS-  Making meals at home is great for your bank account.  It is a lot cheaper than eating out.  And when you’ve got a few couples that want to get together, do a cookout!

BUDGET–  Make a budget people!  It sucks and it’s a little time-consuming at first, but totally worth it.  Keeping that budget and tracking your spending will discipline you.  You’ll get a better idea of how miscellaneous spending kills your account and which things are easy to cut out.

Well, there you have it!  I hope this helps.  Feel free to comment any other ideas you may have and let me know if you have any questions.

Outside the Army Wife Club…

The dreaded Army Wife Club…

We know what that is and what it means, but how many of us have been kicked out and avoided like we are aliens?  For those who aren’t familiar with this “club”…it’s basically the “accepted” status a lot of wives depend on.  For example, your husband just began working in a new unit and you don’t know anyone.  So, you may go to one of the unit’s functions or attend a FRG meeting.  You may begin taking your child to same park that some of the other wives go to.  Plan cookouts and get-togethers to become acquainted with the new bunch.  Whatever.  Once you’re accepted into the group, the game kinda changes.  That’s an entirely different post though!  Haha

Anyway, now you know the club is basically like a clique in highschool.  Not all are bad, trust me.  I know I make it out like that sometimes, but there are a lot of really good women out there.  They are smart, funny, dependable, honest, sympathetic, etc.  The list could go on and on.  Then there are the ones that treat friendships like damn clubs and once you’re out….you’re out!

Deployments tend to bust up these little clubs…which sucks because that’s when you need each other the most.  But I’ve seen a lot of posts on Facebook and blogs the past week discussing this issue.  Generally, the stories have been the same.  The top two have been…

1.  During the deployment, I have been ignored constantly by the other wives.  They were my friends and now they don’t acknowledge that I’ve walked into the room.  Once the deployment began most of them were going out together on the weekends to bars and stuff.  I chose not to go.  I have a child/children and preferred to be at home.  The moment I didn’t agree with what they were doing, I was basically kicked out of the “club”.

2.  My husband came home from deployment due to an injury.  (I’ve seen this one quite a few times, just within this past week.)  Once he got home, the other wives have completely ignored me.  They refuse to talk to me, hang out, or even answer my phone calls now.  I don’t understand what I did so wrong.  My husband was injured…so why hate me?

Look, these Army wives are not worth a damn!  They will judge you and talk about you till no end.  You will find wives that tend to party and shop like crazy once a deployment starts.  Those women, if you decide, are not worth your time.  Personally, those women are the ones responsible for the crappy reputation we get.  Don’t let it get to you and be glad you don’t associate with them.  Just because you don’t head to bars and party doesn’t mean you are not worthy.  It just means that they can’t handle someone pointing out what they do wrong and choosing to be a better person.  (And before anyone goes nuts…by partying I mean partying hard!  That could be every single weekend, all weekend long and/or drinking it up during the week at bars and such.)   As for the husband being injured and sent home early issue…those women are just jealous.  They still have months to go before their husband comes home and just wanna find a way to distance themselves from you.  They look for an excuse to hate you…and most tend to make shit up.  You’ll find that a lot of them even go as far to say that your husband faked his injury!  Who would want to be a part of that damn club anyway???

Yesterday was a prime example…I was skimming through a Facebook page and came across an active post.  The post made it clear that this was from an anonymous woman who had emailed the page admin.  It simply stated that the woman had fertility issues and that her doctor had offered the suggestion of an Army wife being a surrogate.  Now, remaining open-minded, there are several reasons why the doctor could have suggested this.  The woman was simply asking if anyone would be interested.  Anyway, there was this one woman who went on a hate spree…aiming hateful remarks toward Ms. Anonymous.  Hater woman was claiming that she was just trying to misuse Tricare blah blah blah.  Several other women pointed out that Tricare, or any type of health insurance, was never even mentioned.  This woman was only doing what her doctor had suggested.  Not once did Ms. Anonymous talk about using Tricare for the surrogate.  Hater woman got a lot of comments from people wanting to know why she was creating drama and being so judgemental.  See???  Prime example of how some women just create drama out of nothing just to create problems and cause issues.  Some of these women will simply look for any reason/excuse to hate you.  They live for drama and will go as far to make shit up just to keep right on talking.

If you find yourself in these situations, sit back and think for a second.  Do you really wanna stress and worry about what these women say and do?  Nope!  Find friends outside the unit if you need to.  Find friends that aren’t tied to the military too.  There is nothing wrong with going outside the “norm” and just finding good people.  And keep in mind…there are some really awesome Army wives out there.  I know it seems like an endless search sometimes, but trust me, they are there.

People always leave…

Finding friends in the Army can be very difficult for spouses.  There is so much gossip, drama, and other crap among Army wives these days.  I have figured out, over the last several years, that many people you meet will become acquaintances and a select few will become actual friends.  Those friends will become so special and the bond will be unbreakable.  Between the deployments, struggles, and stress, you learn to lean on each other in hard times.  You each share the good times and precious memories.

But…you soon learn the bitter part of Army life and friends.  We all have to move away.

A very dear friend of mine is moving at the beginning of the year.  We both knew it was coming, but being prepared for it is another thing.  It happens to all of us, but it never gets easier I guess.  We keep in touch with the friends we’ve made and dread having to start over making new ones.  I know I dread it.

I have a few tips on keeping in touch and making the distance fun though.

1. Phone calls.  Keep in touch on a regular basis and continue to share each other’s struggles and good times.

2. Set aside a coffee date.  For example, Tuesday mornings at 0800 you pick up the phone, fill your coffee cup, and settle in for your weekly date/catch up phone call.

3. Face time/Video calls.  You get to see each other and the kids can also “visit” with each other.

4. Depending on distance, plan a get-together once a year or so.  Renting a cabin or something is a great weekend getaway to relax and catch up.

5. Penpal journal.  One journal shared between the two of you that you mail back and forth.

6. Crazy competitions.  Include your husbands and kids in little competitions throughout the year with Halloween contests and such.  It’s a good way to swap photos and the kids will have fun dressing up.  Each month could be a different theme too.

Anyway, those are just a few little ways to keep in touch and keep it fun.  Friends don’t let a little distance get in their way.  Be creative and take the time for one another.  It’s really worth it in the end!

Attraction…how is it measured?

Today, with all the magazine ads and popularity contests and pressure….damn, looking good has become a major headache.

Society plays a major role in appearance today.  Magazines push for the perfect skinny shape with all their clothing ads.  Weight loss companies make a fortune dishing out empty promises and their get skinny quick schemes.  Mean ass women make overweight women feel ugly and gross.  The list goes on and on with the negativity aimed towards overweight women.

We’ve all heard it before…your hair can be curly or straight, but never frizzy, flat, or unkept.  Your face must be free and clear of acne and makeup perfectly applied.  Accessories are a must.  Earrings, rings, bracelets, and necklaces must match the outfit.  Oh and the outfits.  Clothes should be fitted and clingy in all the right places.  The more skin you got showing the better.  Jeans must flaunt your figure and your butt has to have that flattering upside down heart look going on.  Shoes…damn shoes!  Heels, boots, flats…gotta have all different kinds and coordinating them with outfits is a necessity.  And let’s not forget body shape!  It never seems to matter how tall or short a woman is, just the size of her clothes.  Size 0-2 seems to be the going thing.

But do all those things really matter that much?  I mean, my hair usually does whatever the hell it wants to do.  My face has tons of freckles and I rarely wear makeup.  Makeup just seems to be unnecessary to me.  My face needs to breathe dammit!  I don’t wear any jewelry except my wedding rings.  Clothes…just jeans and t-shirts for me.  Yea, sounds lame I know.  Have I wanted to wear those cute designer clothes before?  Sure.  But at the cost of not being myself or trying to fit in just doesn’t appeal to me.  I think I only own three pairs of shoes.  Bodyshape…UGH!  Well, let’s just say round is a shape!  I’m not the skinniest chick and I’m not the biggest, but I’m me.  Shouldn’t that be good enough?

Losing weight is a priority for me.  I admit, I do seem to struggle with the motivation part, but shouldn’t health be the main focus?  Instead of outward beauty being such a main concern, shouldn’t being healthy matter more?

And besides health, what about the idea of who a person really is?  What about their personality, their feelings, their compassion for others?  These qualities make a woman beautiful as well.  Outside looks shouldn’t be so damn important.  So many women and young girls go through hard times battling their weight.  Lots of women don’t feel worthy just because they are the wrong shape and size.  It’s high time everyone stops putting so much focus on those things.  Being happy and healthy need to be priorities.

So, in closing, please throw out the mind paralyzing idea of having to look a certain way to fit in or make someone love you.  Be yourself, whoever that may be.  Make health a priority in your life.  Being healthy will keep you around for a long time and will make you feel better than being a part of any “clique” ever could.

Love yourself.  When you do that, you shine!  That makes you attractive!