Wednesday, October 31, 2007


My husband went back to work less than four weeks after having open heart surgery. He's working just a few hours a day this week. He'll go back close to full time next week. Is that incredible or what? If he hadn't brought an ear infection home from the hospital he probably would have gone back to work last week.

Jorge will be released from the rehabilitation center tomorrow. We're getting together this weekend to welcome him home. It's been almost two months since his motorcycle accident. My husband and I haven't seen him in weeks b/c of my husband's surgery and recovery. It will be great to see him again --- and he's walking!

Austin had surgery last Monday (10/22) and is doing very well. He doesn't call his mother as often as I would like (he just called me after I wrote this). He should be headed this way soon and I can't wait to see my Baby! What a relief it is. Kris will be home in less than 30 days and then then my heart will finally relax. Until then, I'm 1/2 way there!

My new boss seems to be working out very well. Other than saying hello every day I haven't had much contact with her. My job is very autonomous and I "just do it." We're having inventory tomorrow and Friday and somehow it fell in my lap. Now that the witch is gone I really, really love my job.

My "Army Mom Times Three" association might fade away as my sons and daughter-in-law will no longer be serving in Iraq or under any kind of pending deployment. Kris and Katie will be in grad school and then teaching at West Point and hopefully making me some grand kids! It will be great to spend time at West Point again --- when Kris and Katie were in college there it was a really wonderful, prideful time for us as his parents.

It's starting to cool off here in Florida. Our electric bills have been around $300 a month and I'm ready for that to stop. Since we live in an historic house (old) and we're in Florida, we had to go to the state sponsored homeowners' insurance company. Our house payment just went up by $300 a month to make up the escrow shortage. Dang.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Austin is Back in the USA!!!!

Austin is at Ft. Lewis in Washington awaiting knee surgery and most likely will NOT be returning to Iraq; ever.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

This just gave me the best giggle.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Ding Dong the Witch is Gone

The boss from Hell has been escorted from the building!!!! I wish I'd been there to see it.

I'm working from home over a s-l-o-w connection that is testing my patience. I've also got a patient testing my patience. Actually, he's been really good for having had his chest split open 10 days or so ago. He's even got me cooking again. Now I'm going to gain weight. NOOOOOO!

Austin is in Germany! That means he is NOT IN IRAQ!!!!! Yeah! He sees the surgeon tomorrow and should know the plan soon (did I say "soon" about something to do with the Army?). He told me via IM today that he feels "weird and out of place" at Landstuhl. It's hard to imagine how that must feel, or any part of this war must feel, to actually be in it. I'm just glad he's out of the Sandbox, however temporarily.

We've been watching a lot of WWII history on TV; probably because of Ken Burns' latest documentary "The War." In my opinion, (and this is, afterall, my blog) what we've seen is NOTHING compared to what that generation went through. WWII seems like the "worst war," but it was probably the first war to be so well recorded, on paper, tape, film and in our parents' and grandparents' memory. It is hard to relate imagines of WWI Chaplineque soldiers running awkwardly from the trenches as being those of real people.

My parents and grandparents all died before I had an appreciation for history, especially family history. Like a lot of other people, they may have wanted to put it behind them and not talk about it. I never asked. My mother left behind love letters from my father (they were married in 1946). There may be some "history" there. I read ONE of the letters years ago and decided that was some stuff I did NOT want to know about (and it had nothing to do with war)!

Since I'm discussing history here, there is some investigating that I've always wanted to do regarding my mother. She never knew her father and we don't know if her mother and father were married when she was conceived or ever, which might have been quite the scandal in LA (Lower Alabama) in 1927. Her father's name was James Gamble (I always wished he owned Proctor & Gamble but apparently he didn't). My grandmother's family lived mostly in Dothan and Headland, Alabama. We used to go visiting "up there" when my grandmother was living. It was such fun to play in fields, feed the pigs and chickens. WOW could those women cook!

But we were never to speak of "him." To me he was more than "him," he was "them." He must have married (or remarried), had more children, and there were possibly relatives out there I'd never met. Once, when I lived in Alabama (for a very short time in another life), I traveled a circuit w/ a legal aid lawyer as her assistant. We'd go to all the little towns and provide legal services for the poor. I was filing some documents at a courthouse in a town I sure wish I could remember the name of, when the clerk said to me, "You're one of the Gamble girls, aren't you?"

I'm going to find some of those Gamble girls and see if I do resemble them. There could be cousins who look just like me! I'd love to meet one of my mother's half-siblings. After my grandmother died, my mother talked about finding her "lost family," but she never did even look, I don't think. So that is my next project. If you can help me, this is what I know:

Tera Smith (the person I want info on would be a Smith), my grandmother's maiden name
Tera Poe, her married name (1st? 2nd?)

My grandmother had at least three sisters, one named Cora who was married to Pleaman, a peanut farmer. When she was married to Mr. Poe (never met him, don't know his first name, most likely James), she had two other children, Barbara and James (who served in the Navy), who are both still living but aren't from the "dark side."

Lilly (or Lillian) Jeanne Poe, my mother's maiden name (did Mr. Poe adopt her?)
Jeanne Sciame, my mother's married name (Schamae; it's Italian--my Dad Joseph P. Sciame)
April 10, 1927, my mother's birthdate
Headland, Alabama, believed to be her birth place

In her quest to obtain a passport years ago my mother learned that the courthouse where her birth records and possibly her mother's marriage records were stored had burned down. . . or had it?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

We Have an American Flag!

We now have an American Flag flapping in the breeze on a tall pole at work! Yeah! A former Army Ranger raises it every morning and lowers it every afternoon. This is a huge step forward for patriotism -- the former owners' religion did not allow them to display the American Flag.

My husband is home and doing really well. Modern bypass surgery is really amazing -- "We have the technology." And WE have great health insurance!

Jorge gets better every day. He called my husband today and carried on a good conversation. He is very grateful for all the thoughts and prayers on his behalf.

As for me, I want to scream a series of profanities, hit somebody, collapse in to bed and stay there for a month! But all in all, we are a blessed family. So I will behave.

That's it for now. Sorry it's so boring, but I'm so very tired.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Will It Ever End?

Thursday morning my husband went to our local hospital before work for a routine stress test. He failed the test and was transported by ambulance to another hospital. After a cardiac catheter procedure we were told he needed bypass surgery, which he had the next day. He is doing really well and should come home from the hospital tomorrow. I'm going to be working from home for two weeks until he can stay by himself.

Which means --- I have a computer! Stef still has mine so I borrowed Kylee's (which she recently bought from Kris --- gotta keep them in the family).

Jorge is out of ICU and getting better every day. Tonight he made some good connections in his healing brain and said "you still make the BEST buns!" (I'm famous for my homemade yeast rolls at family get togethers.) Hopefully he will be able to leave the hospital in a week or so. Poor Stef has had to visit two hospitals: Jorge is in Tampa and her Dad is in Lakeland.

Austin will have knee surgery in Germany sometime soon. We're hoping the Army will just send him home. Kris only has 9-10 weeks left in Iraq! My husband and I want to make the trip to Kansas to welcome him home. What a relief that will be. I cannot imagine how lonely Katie has been this past 13 months.

This has not been a good year for our family. I'd never seen a person on a respirator. This year I've watched the rhythemic up and down of mechanical breathing on three people I love (Kenny, Jorge, Steve). We're still grieving the loss of Kenny. I've imagined over and over what Kenny would be saying to Steve during this ordeal. But Kenny is gone and I still have trouble accepting that fact. Of all the people in all the world, why Kenny?

Thanks for "listening", caring and praying.

Here We Go Again

My husband had triple bypass surgery Friday.