Sunday, June 24, 2007

Blog Design, Yellow Flies, New Friend, Back to School

I do not like my generic blog design. I'm going to hire a blog designer and hopefully the new look will be a more accurate reflection of my "style." I'm also considering changing the name to "Army Mom in High Anxiety." A better title would include Mother of the Bride b/c that new role brings on another level of high anxiety, albeit a more pleasant one. Any suggestions?

Yellow flies suck! Well, actually they don't suck, they bite! I'm trying to enjoy the great outdoors in my beautiful backyard while being circled for attack by yellow (deer) flies. Even though I think I'm completely covered in insect repellent, they will find a vulnerable piece of flesh on which to inflict pain and my bliss will be ruined. Last year I put up fly traps (btw, they smell like a sewer) and caught about 10,000 flies but not one yellow one. Any suggestions?

Yesterday I had lunch with a new friend -- Karen. Her son was in Iraq for 15 months with the 172nd Stryker Brigade out of Ft. Wainwright in Alaska. You might remember this Brigade as the one that had already begun sending soldiers home when its tour was extended, forcing 300 soldiers to RETURN to Iraq after being home for only a short time. Can you imagine?

We live about an hour and a half away from each other in Florida. It was GREAT to talk with another mother who knows exactly how I'm feeling right now. She also shares my concerns about the apathy of most Americans towards the war these days. "War, what war? Oh, that." is what I think non-military-related people are thinking -- IF they even think about it at all.

Another shared topic of concern is our own extended families either complaining about their 'little' problems or NOT caring enough about our BIG problems --- our sons' lives being in danger! I loved the story of her sister wanting her along when she left her daughter at college. "How will I ever be able to leave her and drive off by my myself?" Excuse me?

As for my experience with my brothers and their families, you'd think Kris and Austin are just on vacation or something. None of them ever call to check on the boys, and certainly never to see how I'm coping.

Another issue for me is that I work in an office of predominantly Jehovah's Witnesses (it WAS a family-owned business) and they don't even believe in the flag, government, voting, and "we choose to stay neutral" on issues of national security.
Don't get me wrong, they are very kind people and offer hugs when I'm sad; "we just can't talk about it."

Back to School - with the newest craziness going on over in Iraq, my initial fear level has returned, leaving me in need of a HUGE DISTRACTION. Light bulb -- Get a college degree!!! I spent a year at FSU 30-some years ago, got my MRS, he got is PhD, we got a DIVORCE. I tried to community college several times but it just didn't work.

Karen told me that Eckerd College in St. Pete has an accelerated Program for Experienced Learners with a lot of distance-learning courses. I looked online at the photos of the 2007 graduates -- it was like looking in a mirror! So I'm applying tomorrow hoping to start in August. Creative Writing degree, here I come!


liberal army wife said...

you go! a degree program would keep you busy and occupied. Glad you have a friend who understands.

As for the apathy.. yeah.


jan wesner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jan wesner said...

Yea, you go! I finished my degree at FSU 18 years after I started. Left there in 1991 with no paper, went back four years later for two semesters, still no degree, completed the last two semesters online in 2004. You can do it!
(P.S. Removed the first version of this comment due to a typo!)

Michele said...

Creative writing is right up your alley and that will keep you busy and you can also check my posts for grammar errors! BONUS! wooohoo! But seriously, that's great Jo Ann, I love the way you're taking the incentive to get on track and doing stuff. I'm so proud of you. You are such an intelligent lady and you deserve so much.
Oh, and I can't wait to see how you spiff up your blog when you get someone to do that.
Take care.

Sarge Charlie said...

go for it mom, i can imagine what those soldiers felt like, i had not left but was out processing when i was extended in Germany, Cuban Crisis.

Toni said...

Hi! I came over from ~ I will be back! Yay! For going back to school! I went back and just graduated in May. It was scary at first, until I realized that college isn't just for 18 yo anymore!