Sunday, August 01, 2010

Why Afghanistan matters to me

This is my brother. His name is David.  He's my "not that little, little brother" and he is awesome. He is my hero.

Afghanistan matters to me because today (August 1, 2010), he ships out.

Afghanistan matters to me because I live in Seattle. Recently, two sailors went missing in Afghanistan - one was from here. I secretly prayed for God to spare him pain and feel guilty that he was found dead. I just didn't want him to be tortured.

Afghanistan matters to me because I'm military. My grandfather, my dad, my stepdad, my uncles, my brother. I never lived on post, but for all intents and purposes, I grew up on Ft. Bliss.

Afghanistan matters to me because I don't understand how you fight an insurgent, philosophical, non-governmental entity with conventional resources that expect/predict/plan for conventional results.

Afghanistan matters to me because, in some ways, I feel like if I had just done my job and cared back at NMSU, he wouldn't be in the military.  He would be an engineering college graduate with a decent, but probably not superstar athletic history to his name.

Afghanistan matters to me because I'm scared that this economy will take my life. Because we're severely underemployed in my household (I have my job, thank goodness, but I wasn't the main breadwinner here), I couldn't afford to go see my brother (and his son, whom I've never met) back home in El Paso before he left. If anything happens to him...I won't be able to live with myself.  Mostly because I know my husband won't be able to live with himself.  And if I lost both my brother and my husband...

Afghanistan matters to me because I voted for a guy who said we were in the wrong war.  And I wholeheartedly agreed.  And I constantly told all the peaceniks that he wasn't anti-war and promoted as a good thing that Afghanistan was going to be the focus.  It has been a tough year.  And my Hope Beacon has been flickering off and on like a Wii controller with mismatched batteries. Or a candle in the wind. Or that last flickering ember by the campfire. I don't want this war to squelch that Beacon.

Afghanistan matters to me because he's my little brother.
I'll be counting down the days until he comes back.

And then wrapping everything I have around him to make sure that "normal life" is tolerable. This Pentagon report on what is happening to our soldiers when they return (and why it is happening) is sobering.  The NYT article on soldier suicides breaks it down.

My little brother is not a statistic.  I won't let him be.  Not this time.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Two Months and some change

Two months ago, I was not a dog person.  At all.
Then Ashley came into our lives.

Here are some things I don't want to forget about these past two months:

She used to fit in the rock basket.  With room to spare.
She loves to hang out (and sleep) under the computer desk.
She is totally daddy's little girl.
Although she still gets super excited when mommy comes home from work.
But she will actually wait by the front door for him to come home...even if he just goes into the yard.
She loves that bright green frisbee.  Enough to lay in front of the slider longing for it.
She is SUPER smart - just ask the "Ashley gate" that she manages to get around all. the. time.
She used to be afraid of going onto the carpet.
But she skids across the hardwoods.
Even though she has finally learned how to sit on the floor without her hind end sliding out from under her.
My fave parts of Ashley - her puppy tummy, puppy tongue and puppy tail
In two months, she has grown about 3 inches in height and a whopping 18 pounds in weight.
She LOVES being sick and on meds...or maybe it is the hotdogs we feed her pills in that she loves.
Red is her color - especially her little red blanky
She crate trained in all of two nights. Day crate training is another story.
She usually has the run of the living level when we're out.
She hates being apart from us...or just being alone in general.
She is a water puppy - she swims all the time at Rattlesnake Lake.
She has a cute pink bone name tag. And I broke it trying to hook her leash to it instead of to her collar.
She is a garden puppy. She loves to eat grass and chew sticks.
She loves sticks more than balls.  The bigger the stick, the more she wants it.
She is super obedient.  Clicker training does a puppy good.  Positive reinforcement and all.
This Pacific Northwest puppy LOVES sunbathing on the deck.
She knows how to sit, lay, shake hands and be the cutest puppy ever.
She has the longest whiskers and eyelashes ever
When she wakes up (in the morning or from a nap) she s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-s a cat.
She is a THIRSTY puppy.  In the morning, we leave her downstairs to fill her camel hump up.
She gets a morning and an evening frisker where she is just all out crazy and uncontrollable.  It is the cutest.
Her tail is super waggy and awesome.

She is a super, wonder pup and I think her middle name will forever be Awesome.  Ashley Awesome Merikle.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Bad Daughter

Didn't call the most awesome woman ever today.  And it is her birthday.  So totally bummed and sad since I woke up and said to myself "self, charge your phone so that you can call mommy today".

That worked out great.

She's awesome and then some.  I wish we were not half passed broke and that I could go and see her (and my baby brother) later this month. And that I could make it out to my HS BFF's wedding in NY.  All that stuff is so contingent on so much that is out of our control - ie, Senate passing unemployment extension...job offer coming through...

Alas.  All to say the only piece of the master plan that makes me sad that has not happened was having completed the plot to move my mother up north by about now.  Or have her well on her way up here with some solid plans.  Would have loved to celebrate her birthday in person this year. 

Things will get better.  It will happen.  Not the memory thing because that is long shot.  but the whole getting back on track to world domination piece.

Love you mom.  Love you Dee. Wish I could do so much more to make both of your lives better.

Much longer delayed happy Bday to Q who I miss like my favorite shoe (because...well...that rhymes, I'm delirious from sniffing on the glue project I've been working on and I really really REALLY should just go to bed now.  Says the puppy.

Peace out.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Life Catchup

Don't you love how I blog like once a year and then dump a whole long post on you?  I know huh?  Awesome.

So what is there to catch up on?

Let's see:

Congrats to Rachel for finally walking that long aisle.  Looking forward to July 30 long have I been married again?  Pitiful
I love our house.  Especially now that we are in full project mode.
I love my job.  Especially because there is LOTS to do, lots of great exposure and so much...PROMISE.
I miss Liisa. Not enough to call her back obviously.  But enough to blog about her.
Finally made the jump to Photoshop cs4.  Can't believe how long I kicked and screamed and avoided...
DIY home crafty blogs are a huge time suck
But not as huge a timesuck as Age of Empires II (War Chiefs was way too easy until the end and now I'm on Asian Empires...way too tedious)
My flowers are blooming and I LOVE container gardening
Those paintings...still coming along.  yeah, maybe I should just finish something already
house is pretty much puppy proofed
brother is going to Afghanistan for his last tour. Please pray for him, cross fingers, whatever you do
this sister should get to El Paso this summer to see those folks I've always loved
and as usual, I should promise to detail this list more, but never get around to it.

of course.

Friday, May 28, 2010

World, meet Ashley Merikle

Wow.  I just can't believe it has only been 9 days.
The world got to meet Ashley on Facebook about 4 days ago. Seeing as I now function on all of like 4 hours of sleep a day, I've not fogotten how to use a camera but having the time to upload photos is a whole other story.  There's one of her on Facebook though and thank ya'll for the comments.

Here are ten things I don't want to forget about her in this first week of life together:

Ashley is perfect.  Almost too perfect.  So perfect that we think this is a phase. 
I could set a clock by her
I LOVE waking up in the morning (yes, at 5:30 now) and bringing her to bed to sleep another hour
She smells so sweet and feels so soft. I can't get enough of holding her
I adore watching him with her
She has the biggest, brownest most gorgeous eyes
I love rubbing her cute little tummy
She is so photogenic - you'll have to take my word on that one I suppose
Everyone thinks she is the most precious little girl.  I happen to agree of course (smile).
She doesn't cry when we put her down at night.  Remarkable!

I'll come back and edit with a photo.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Creative Day

Got a bit creative with it today. Been a while and felt really good.
Clink on the links to go to the online gallery and comment as you wish.

Life is good.  As always was and always will be.

Missing a special Christmas guest.

Fun at Disney.
 Thanks for looking and enjoy.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Happy Birthday!

To on eof the greatest, sweetest, most awesome people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting.  Something cheezy for the "don't make a big deal about this please" birthday boy:

R: Rooted.  You are strong, know what you want and just sway in the breeze.  Stay grounded.
O: Outgoing. No wallflower, you make and keep friends easily and for life.
B: Beautiful.  You tend to not think it, but you are all around beautiful.  Especially your soul.
E: Enigmatic. [i AM a Cornellian...big words = good]. everyday.  still a mystery that I love puzzling through.
R: Real. Never fake and showy...totally down home "what you see is what you get".  But also real sensitive.
T: Taken. (smile)  All mine.  Nothing makes me happier in this world

You are my world as I am your's.  If we live our lives by milestones, often, we fixate on what didn't happen and/or only remember the days of the big events.  So much of life happens between the milestones.  Don't forget to live that too.

Love you with all my heart.  Happy 40th!