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Here are a few photos from the Deployment Ceremony:

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Winter Wonderland

 
 

 

I have so much to be thankful for, but I’m especially thankful for good health, a loving husband, a wonderful daughter as well as great family & friends. Everything else is just the icing on the cake.

We woke up to a winter wonderland on Thanksgiving morning. I can only hope we’ll have a repeat for Christmas. Even though I’d much rather be closer to the equator, I plan on enjoying winter to the fullest. We were hoping to get a little skiing in this weekend but Snowridge only has one lift open which would be for 3 regular runs and one “bumps” run. I need more options when I ski 😉

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Bowling for Soup

 
Last week was eventful week here at Ft. Drum with a festival called Mountainfest and an Air Show. Lots of fun stuff. At Mountainfest, they had a three act concert which included “Bowling for Soup” ~ FM has two of their CDs and we love their songs “Come Back To Texas” ,”1985.” and “The Girl All the Bad Boys Want”

The concert was great and the band was very entertaining and funny. They had to clean up their act as far as language ~ it must have been written into their contract because I know there are a couple of songs I have to skip when FG’s in the car.

During the concert, we ran into a Lieutenant who works with FM and is all of 23 or 24 years old. He told us he used to see Bowling for Soup, at local Texas venues, when he was still in High School. Which I refrained from asking “When? Last year?”

We scored some backstage passes and invited him to join us to meet the band. As we were in line, we started talking about the type of music I like to listen to and I told him what FG said about my IPod selections which was ” Mommy, why are all your songs either listed as alternative or rock?”

Well, a little while later, I quoted a line from the movie “EurpTrip” which really shocked him and he said “You’re awesome ~ high five.”  You should have seen the look on FG’s face. I know she thinks I’m pretty fun as far as moms go, but I could tell she was thrilled someone “young” thought I was awesome and now her favorite thing to say to me is “You’re awesome ~ high five”

I couldn’t have paid for a better endorsement!

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Keeping it in Perspective

FM ran the Ottawa Marathon yesterday so we were out of town all weekend. We arrived back home today around 4:30 and found out about a BBQ at a friend’s house at 5:00 pm. They were hosting the parents of a fallen soldier who had come into town to attend their son’s “memorial ride.” Their son was a part of FM’s unit and was killed last year on 1 June. Although I was tired from the trip, it was more important for us to meet the parents who had lost so much and to offer whatever support we could.

I’m so glad we met them ~ they are an interesting and gracious couple. They told us about the Travis Atkins Inaugural Memorial ride which raised money for the children of fallen soldiers. We already spoke about next year’s ride and will make sure we stay in town to participate. FM may have to borrow his Dad’s motorcycle 😉

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Remembering

Being from Hawaii, Memorial Day was always considered a somber day with many observances for those who were killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor. My mom was a very young girl when Pearl Harbor was attacked and those memories lived on through the next generation (me).

Sadly, when I moved away from Hawaii, I participated less and less in those Memorial Day ceremonies and by the time I lived in Atlanta, Memorial Day became the “official start of summer” weekend. Everyone made plans to go boating on the lake, etc. Not much in the way of remembering our heros.

Being married to the military has certainly changed all of that. Military men and women would never forget their friends and fallen soldiers. They are honored on every military post across the nation. And here at Ft. Drum, the surrounding community is very supportive and there are many Memorial Day observances off-base as well. You’d have to live under a rock not to know the true meaning of the day. That’s not to say we don’t enjoy the time off, the BBQs or traveling but it’s good to know that those who made the ulitimate sacrifice will NEVER be forgotten.  

I personally know several soldiers, who, because of their willingness to fight for freedom, will never be able to spend the long weekend with their families and friends. So I will take time on Monday to pray for them and all those throughout the years who gave their all for our country.  My heart fills with gratitude when I think of them and I say “THANK YOU!!!” for all those brave souls.  They will never be forgotten…

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Desperate For Some Beach Time


We were a little too desperate for some beach time so we drove out to Westcott Beach State Park in Sackets Harbor, NY to get a little fix of the beach. Um…a little depressing. It was so cold with the wind coming off shore. We’d packed a picnic and I ate my sandwich so fast so we could get the heck out of there.

FG had the foresight to bring a blanket and a pillow just in case…and I’m thankful she shared it with me.

We’re going to give it another month before we try again ~ maybe it’ll be warm enough by mid-June. Surely by the 4th of July? Days like this make me miss Guam, and those picture-postcard beaches, a whole lot more.

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Doggie Tales

Yesterday, I finally volunteered at the Veterinary Clinic here on Ft. Drum. The clinic houses abandoned dogs and cats in their very small and limited kennel facilities. I applaud them for their efforts ~ there’s always a need since military bases have a higher than average pet abandonment rate due to moves (especially when moving overseas), deployments, etc. 

I only had enough time to walk two of the dogs but since I live only a couple miles from the clinic, it’ll be a very convenient place to pop in when I have an hour or two to spare. I picked the biggest dogs to walk and they were both so well behaved and SWEET. One was a pure-bred German Shepherd ~ gorgeous. I can’t imagine someone willingly giving up such a wonderful dog so there must have been some extenuating circumstances. So sad. And lucky for FM, there’s a two dog limit for on-post housing so I can’t be tempted to bring home an extra dog 😉

Since I’ve eaten way too many Girl Scout cookies over the last month, this will be a win-win situation. The dogs need time out of their small kennels and I need to get some extra miles in on my daily walk. 

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Guam or Us?

We’ve had several snowdays, snow delays and lots of shoveling. Surprisingly, all three of us are enjoying the winter a lot. The snow is so pretty and makes everything look beautiful. Despite the “performance” tires we still have on the car, I’m feeling more comfortable when I drive, but my palms still get a bit sweaty when I see one of those triple-wide snow plows coming my way, or worse, when I see one barreling down on me in my rear view mirror.

FM continues to run outdoors ~ he uses ice cleats so he doesn’t slip or slide.

FG’s oblivious to the fact that it’s cold and slippery outdoors. I still have to remind her to zip up, to wear a hat and gloves and to put on her boots. She loves all the winter sports and is starting to really enjoy her snowdays.

On the other hand, our four-legged family member, Maya , is having the most difficult time with the snow. It’s higher than she is now and she’s not able to roam the full length of the yard. I was feeling sorry for her the other day as I watched her attempt to break through the snow and when I said “Poor Maya, I bet she wishes she were still in Guam” , FG replied “Guam or us, which do you think she would choose?”

I was happy to hear FG put a positive spin on the fact that it’s not where we are that matters the most, but who we’re with!

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We went to the see the Flint Creek Band at the USO on Ft. Drum last night.

Not only are they a great country band and the dance floor was packed the whole time, but they have hearts of gold. The band sponsored a platoon in Iraq and they sent LOTS of packages with goodies, cds, and even miscellaneous medical supplies to help the locals. The band also made a CD of their original songs for the members of the platoon. I spoke with a couple of guys who were in the platoon and they said the band was a super sponsor!

FM said a few words on behalf of the Battalion, presented a certificate of appreciation and battalion coins then three of the soldiers who were recipients of the packages got on stage and presented the band with a framed US Flag which flew in Iraq. It was very touching…

I got goosebumps when the band’s manager, Shannon, said she was so relieved the guys were back home since she felt such a bond with them. But they weren’t allowed to call her “mom” since she’s too young for that 🙂 It so warms my heart when I meet such supportive and giving people ~ we hear so much negative on TV and in print but there really are lots of genuine folks out there like the Flint Creek band who make a huge contribution to the soldiers. 

A BIG thanks to the band from me!!

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Gotta Keep Moving…

Here in the North Country, during the winter, you gotta keep moving or you freeze up. I’ve kept my resolution of staying active by trying new things.

I started swimming at the indoor pool here on base. While swimming isn’t new for me ~ swimming in a pool is. I much prefer the ocean to a pool. Ft. Drum has two indoor pools but I prefer the one at Pine Plains Gym. They have women only hours M-F from 9-11. It’s very convenient for me to get a swim workout BUT the hardest part is actually getting in the pool. The water is soooo cold. I warm up as soon as I swim one length of the pool and the cold water is a huge incentive for me to get moving FAST. Initially, I was training for a team triathlon in May but we are short a bicyclist. I’m going to keep training in case we find one. Always good to have an exercise goal.

My second new thing this month is we, all three of us and a friend of FG’s, went to the Friday night USO Boot Scootin Dance lessons. Oh, my…I certainly got my exercise but it WASN’T pretty at all. They teach line dancing and have a mix of country and hip hop music. There were a lot of kids there and several adults as well. Normally, we are booked on Friday nights but I’ll certainly go back when ever we have a free night. FG will definitely go but I doubt FM will make a return appearance. He did a great job dancing but it’s really not his kind of music or his kind of fun.

Most of the adults passed on the limbo. See photo of FG below:

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