Stanzas

DH has a poetic soul and a way with words that I will never achieve no matter how much I write.  And when he’s home, we like to listen to our favorite poets.  Because I’m missing him and anxious to have him home, I wanted to share a few.

Rives always tops our list.  His poems like “Kite,” “Gorgeous,” and “Girls with Guitars” are filled with humor but are such unique love poems.  His site, shopliftwindchimes (no relation 🙂 ) is neat too.  He calls him self a paper engineer because he makes pop-up books, which I think is so clever.

Taylor Mali’s poems like “On Girls Lending Pens,” “The Impotence of Proofreading,” and “What Teachers Make” show his teacher-by-day lifestyle.  “Labeling Keys” is a touching tribute to his father.  “Entire Act of Sorrow” and “For the Life of Me” are for his wife and are the most honest sentiments I’ve heard from someone who only witnessed depression.

Shihan is another poet that has beautiful love poems.  His partnership with Poetri and Black Ice is just plain funny.

Anything by Willi Perdomo is also a regular on our playlists.

But nothing sounds as good as when he reads Pablo Neruda’s “Tonight I Can Write the Saddest Lines” to me, especially in Spanish.  These poets are good, but my baby’s voice is all I need to make anything sound wonderful.

Hospital Woes

Track back a few months…my specialist, my lovely, kind specialist, is out on medical leave for an unknown period of time.  Turns out he had a stroke.  He’s doing well and is coming back to work at least part-time in the near future.  In the meantime, I have been transferred to the care of his PA.  She’s a nice lady, but she’s not a doctor and certainly not a specialist.  I’m sure she’s very capable, but I want my specialist.  I suck it up and drive on…

She put in a referral for me to go to a surgery.  Because of TriCare, I had to go see my PCM to officially get a referral for surgery.  I was frustrated because my family practice person doesn’t know much about my problem–hence the specialist.  Why should she have a say in the final decision?  I suck it up and drive on…

I make an appointment with my PCM.  She’s out, but I got an appointment with someone on her team (another PA).  Why do I have a PCM if I don’t actually need to see her and I can see anyone?  Now another PA, not even a specialized PA, is making a call in my surgery?  I suck it up and drive on….  She puts in the referral but not before noting that my test results were not bad enough for surgery even though my specialist thought otherwise.

I go to my surgical consult.  The surgeon says that my test results are normal.  She gave me new medication and scheduled more tests for a completely different problem.

No more straws and no more keys.  I don’t want to suck it up and drive on anymore.  This is ridiculous.  Why did I go to the specialist at all?  Why not let the hobo on the corner contribute to this decision?  I’m not against hearing other opinions, but at some point I want to rely on actual medical knowledge from a trained individual.  That’s what they’re getting paid for.

I don’t care anymore about what the tests say.  I’m sick of taking medication that doesn’t work.  I’m sick of going through tests that say I’m not really sick at all.  I feel bad all the time.  I’ve felt bad every minute of every day for over ten years.  I want to fix the problem now.

Homecoming Potpourri

I think the end is harder than the beginning…

I am so over waiting.  I want to be done and want to be done now.  I know it’s just a handful of weekends more, and I’m busy or working most of those weekends, but can this just move a little faster please?

We’re so close that we’re talking about “after”.  We’re making plans for block leave and wistfully talking about the first meal back.  I’m talking to my boss about days off and changes to the schedule.  I’m mentally starting to clean and straighten up the house.  I’m doing all this and I really don’t know for sure when all this will occur…I’m just guessing around a general time.  But I want whenever it’s going to be to get here now!

I’m surprised at how weepy I am.  I had my moments where it all caught up with me, but the end–the happy time–isn’t when I thought the tears would come.

The FRG meetings are coming out of the woodwork!  I haven’t met any of these women before.  We’ve actually had very few meetings, at least that I’ve been told about.  They’re here now though.  My first “coffee” was Friday night.  Socially, I’d consider it a bust although I did meet one other lady who’s as lost as I am.  I also learned how to make those fluffy yellow bows.  I didn’t think I’d care.  I didn’t think I was this nervous.  The head ladies, all who have multiple deployments under their belt and go to all unit homecomings, were talking about their banners and how they decorate and all that stuff.  I’d thought about it awhile ago, and that stuff just wasn’t important to me.  It just needs to be me and him in that hanger.

But then I made a bow.  And I saw her unfurl her hubs’ banner.

I am a little ashamed and a little excited…I bought a banner.  BuildASign.com is doing a wonderful promo for military families.  They’re giving away free signs.  You just have to pay shipping.  They’re super customizable, heavy-duty, vinyl signs.  You can upload pictures and it comes out clear.  I saw one on Friday.  I took one of their pre-designed banners and deleted just about everything on it to write my own text, so don’t feel limited to what you see.  I also bought an obscene amount of ribbon today.  I’m going bow crazy.  When you drive up to my house, you actually see the back fence first, so I think I’m going to hang the sign and decorate the fence with a ton of bows.  I want my hands free for hugs at the homecoming, but who doesn’t love a huge, embarrassing sign that all of traffic will see as they leave post?

We’ve done a lot of long distance in our relationship, so this is not our first separation.  But this is not the usual absence.  I didn’t think until Friday’s FRG meeting that this is a time to celebrate an accomplishment.  These aren’t just “We Missed You” signs.  They are “Congratulations” and “We’re Proud of You” signs.  I’ve been coming at this whole event like we were simply back to living under the same roof again.  It’s so, so much more than that.  I think that’s what makes this suddenly so overwhelming.

This post is rather disjointed, but it’s how I’m feeling right now.  I look at the calendar a dozen times a day and the time is slowing to a crawl, but my mind is racing.

And I can’t stop smiling. 🙂

J’Adore Les Francais

I just finished Bonapartists in the Borderlands; French Exiles and Refugees on the Gulf Coast, 1815-1835 by Rafe Blaufarb.

I know what you’re thinking…”Quoi?  There were supporters of Napoleon on the Gulf Coast of the U.S.?  These people weren’t from New Orleans?  Sacrebleu, je ne savais pas!”  I didn’t either, and that’s why I picked it up.  I also clearly have a soft spot for French culture and dabble in the language.  Spanish, however, I simply can’t pick up much to the frustration of DH.  But I digress…

Blaufarb examines a small group of French exiles and refugees who received a land grant in what is now Alabama to plant grape vines and olive trees in the early nineteenth century.  I had never heard of this colony before–because it was short-lived, failed miserably, and arguably never really got started.  Most of the members had very little interest in ever staying and being farmers, and the experiment was a disaster and financial ruin for most involved.  Who knew that grapes and olives wouldn’t grow in the South as well as cotton?  The ex-soldiers also had ulterior motives that involved fighting for Spain…or whomever would take them…and clearing acres of land to plant very expensive seedlings from Europe didn’t factor into their plans very well.  Surprisingly, they didn’t associate with the French in New Orleans to a significant degree opting instead to congregate in Philadelphia.  The Bonapartists came and went fairly quietly, just as they intended. 

Exhaustive does not even begin to describe Blaufarb’s research on this topic.  I don’t doubt that he talked to every archivist in France and Spain.  The appendices for the text are lengthy and thorough.  He even includes a bibliographic sketch of every person associated with the colony.  This project was clearly  near to Blaufarb’s heart.

But the same details that make Blaufarb’s research so extensive and were obviously meticulously gathered and organized tend to swallow the significance of why this group of French citizens mattered.  It wasn’t until the last paragraph of the regular text that it is clearly and directly stated.  The book tends to read more like an economic or business history more than anything else.  That left me a little lost and wanting more.  I was in it for the military connection since the French soldiers who fought with Napoleon, disgraced and turned away from their homeland, saw opportunity in the Spanish-U.S. friction along their Western borders.  I think Blaufarb over stressed the Bonapartist connection, or perhaps he was simply trying to correct a common assumption, but he spends a significant amount of time stressing that many of the members were French from the Caribbean island of Saint-Domingue and had no connection to Napoleon at all.

Bad land, bad plan, bad farmers, bad luck…no Napoleon.

Odds And Ends

The clock is ticking down, and I’ve been staying busy as usual.  I tried so hard not to think about DH coming home, but I broke down and now I’m getting impatient.  No amount of busy work can keep my mind off the end at this point.

The Sick of Being Sick Challenge is…going.  I’m finding it easier to eat vegetarian than to get to the gym.  I’m not feeling as better as I’d hoped by these changes, which makes being active hard.  I had a doctor’s appointment today and got a referral (or more accurately with TriCare–a referral to get a referral) for a surgeon.  Ugh.  I don’t want to go down this path, but it’s looking like I must.

I’ve had lunch and dinner dates with a few ladies over the past few weeks.  It’s been lovely to socialize over a good meal.  It’s amazing how much better it can make you feel just to be surrounded by other people who really get it.  I don’t have to look at only my lonely dinner dishes afterward either.

On that same general topic…I’m sick of people who don’t get it.  That look of pity they give you when they find out your hubs is overseas is infuriating.  Don’t pity me.  I’m doing this mess and I’m doing it well.  And I really don’t need to be reminded just how hard/sad/painful it is.  Especially when it’s closing in on being over with, I’m excited now, not sad.

I’ve been working on redecorating my bedroom.  Is it redecorating if it was never really decorated to begin with?  Either way, I’ve been sanding and painting.  I’m determined to have this room done by the time DH comes home.  I have learned that I have an extreme hatred for sanding and painting in the process.

I thought I had more say.  Maybe I was just missing you all.  🙂  Until next time…

Dear Friend…

I know we were best buds in college.  We shared many an Easy Mac meal while lamenting our plight as geographically single girlfriends and then fiances to military men.  I miss you dearly.  We were bridesmaids in each others’ weddings, and you have gone on to have an adorable, chubby baby boy.  I wish we lived closer…I really do.

I don’t want one more letter, though, about how you can’t wait for me to have my own bundle of joy.  I know you love your baby.  I love your baby.  I don’t want my own baby right now.  It’s inappropriate to keep saying it over and over, especially when my husband is half a world away.  I can’t do anything about it, it’s a personal choice, and your letters are down right boring because all I hear is about is that I have to do it as soon as possible because it’s going to make my life pure bliss.

Please, leave my uterus alone, and I’ll just enjoy your cute, wiggly baby for now.

Did I Hear You Correctly?

Oh, my sweet man.  I thank you for worrying.  It’s adorable.  But this woman is hard as nails.

Red and I are planning a girl’s weekend away for her birthday that’s coming up.  We don’t live near each other at all, and we want to make sure and see each other regularly.  Her birthday is just a convenient excuse.  We want to meet up in a big city, see a concert, do some shopping, and then come home.  It’s going to be quick trip, but I think we’ll have plenty of time to recharge our batteries.

It happens to fall shortly after DH gets home though.  The last time we talked on the phone I brought it up because I think he’d have a valid reason if he wanted to spend time mano e womano.  Red totally understood, and we were going to wait to book anything until after I cleared it with DH.

He wasn’t upset that I was leaving exactly.  But he did have reservations and concerns that I was going off to a city by myself.  You know…I could get taken advantage of and all.

After living alone all these months in a strange city I’d just moved to– After having the car break down multiple times and dealing with mechanics–  After getting a job, meeting people, and making friends he’s never met–  After dealing with a broken air conditioner and a flooded basement–  After planning, traveling, and attending my graduation thousands of miles away–  this quick trip to a city I’ve been to before with my best friend in the whole world is worrisome.

It must have been a bad connection.  Static on the line perhaps.  I just know he did not assume I couldn’t do this one vacation.  He’s going to be meeting a whole new rock solid woman when he comes home if he thinks he needs to worry about this.