Archive for July, 2009

A different POV

In the last few months I’ve been reading and paying attention to a couple of milbloggers.  They are reporting on the state of all things military including current events in Iraq and Afghanistan.  One of them is Bouhammer.  I have a great deal of respect for him and his call to service.  I am writing this post because I am looking to have a dialogue.  I will admit to being gun-shy about posting in his comments section because most of who comment over there are staunch supporters and feel strongly the same way he does.  I don’t want to be attacked for having a different perspective.

He asked the question of whether or not “victory” is important in Afghanistan.    He was “disgusted and disappointed” with President Obama’s statements earlier this week that victory isn’t necessarily the goal of the US in Afghanistan.  Obama’s opinion was that using the term victory gives people the wrong image.  That the word “victory” inspires the image of the Japanese signing the surrender document to the United States in WWII.  I happen to agree, and here’s why.

Al Qaeda and the Taliban are not a military institution.  They do not have a chain of command in the sense that our military does.  Yes, they have leaders, but my impression is that if someone wanted to act on their own volition that there wouldn’t be repercussions for not following war-time protocol.  Our military personnel is not allowed to make decisions that are against the Geneva Convention because they think something might work.  There are rules to followed in warfare and Al Qaeda and the Taliban do not follow those rules.

Even if the leaders of the Taliban and Al Qaeda were to throw their hands up in the air and ceremoniously wave the white flag, there would still be people in the ranks that would say “hell no!” and continue doing whatever they could to harm to Americans.  They don’t care if they die because they are fighting as individuals based upon a principal that the United States is evil, and being a martyr is better than allowing the U.S. to take over.  Our military goes to war because they believe that our country is worth fighting for.  But if one lone soldier or marine takes matters into his own hands, he/she would be condemned not exaulted.

Our leaders, military and otherwise, have yet to define what “victory” means for the scenario in Afghanistan.  At least I haven’t heard of a specific plan since 9-11.  What does victory look like when you are dealing with a group such as Al Qaeda or the Taliban?  Maybe someone in the military can tell me what they are being told victory looks like.  Even former President Bush never gave the public specifics on what victory looks like.  He used the word, but no expansion from generalities was given.

I am speaking from a civilian point of view.  What does victory look like in Afghanistan?  When will our soldiers on the ground say, “Yep, we’ve won this war. It’s time to go home”?  In my mind, THAT is victory, and I just don’t see that happening.

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You Capture – Friends

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So I was a great big slacker this week.  I only took one picture that could constitute as “friends”.

What do you do when you are feverish to 103 and mommy’s out of Motrin?

SANY4249You snuggle in with your new friendly snow leopard, Sparkles, for a morning nap.  That’s what friends are for, right? To be there when you aren’t feeling your best and need somewhere to rest your weary head.

(Don’t worry I bought Motrin after the nap.)

(The nap was was sponsored courtesy of acetaminophen and Sparkles.)

Not feeling it, but should be

I’ve kind of been in a rut the last week or so.  I was just twittering with Tiffany tonight about needing some quiet time after a few days of constant interaction with other people.  Take my trip to D.C. last month.  I had SO much fun.  I got to hang out in the company of ladies I really like and admire.  I got to do the touristy thing without the added weight of strollers and potty breaks and the mental weight of naps and bedtime.  It was fantastic.  I was gone for 6 days and I wanted to curl up in a ball on the last day of the conference and be alone. Luckily one of my friends was feeling the same way.  We did a quick dinner at Fuddrucker’s and then sacked out in the lobby and played on our laptops.  (Can you believe that there wasn’t free internet at our hotel? Frickin’ $14 a day – which I refused to pay!)  I needed that zone out time.  That time to just focus on stuff not surrounding me.

So that brings me to how I’ve been feeling lately.  We ended up having friends over for dinner Saturday night and then getting together for “brunch” with the same group.  (I use the term loosely because it was noon by the time we ate.)  It was fun, but I haven’t had a break from external stimulus in a while.  And the rest of the week isn’t going to be any better.  I have fun stuff planned, and I’m going to enjoy it, but it just makes me want to curl up in a little ball and ignore the world.  And Traveler will essentially be out of town for the next week and a half.  *sigh*

I guess I should be thrilled then with the fact that my fantastic, amazing husband – you know that one that never seems to be around? – well he arranged with my parents to watch the kids for 3 days straight.  He’s flying me out to Snowbird, UT where he will be all of next week.  He’s flying me out so I can get away, we can spend some time together, and celebrate my birthday a week from Saturday.  I should be shouting from the rooftops. But I’m just not feeling that internal joy.

Maybe it has to do with school starting again at the end of August and all the extracurricular stuff the girls will be involved in and wondering how the new platform at work will effect my days/nights and where for the love of Pete will I fit in my runs that I need to do in order to complete this half marathon in October.  *sigh*  Which Traveler, even though we’ve already paid and it’s non-refundable and non-transferrable, may not get to do because of drill and his pending promotion in October.

Anticipation.

When flying back from D.C. we had a layover in Chicago-Midway.  They have a Life is Good store right there in the airport.  I love their stuff.  I found this T-shirt.  I bought it, not because that is my view of life.  If you know me, I’ve always characterized myself as an optimistic pessimist – prepare for the worst, if it doesn’t happen, you’ll be thrilled, and if it does then at least you were mentally prepared to deal with it.  So the idea of half-full is not really innate to my personality, but I figure maybe if wear the shirt, the idea will rub off on me. Kind of like the shirt my own sweet mother bought me about 4 years ago. Here it is.

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Apparently SHE knows me just fine.  So anyway, I’m not a perky, shiny, happy person.  Although I have my rare moments of perky and happy (and the face is oily, so it is usually shiny).  All of this to say, sometimes I get overwhelmed by the anticipation of stuff to do.  I’ve been told by a certain adult someone who lives in the same house I do that I’m a little bit of a control freak.  I guess I am.  But I like my ducks lined up in a neat little row. What’s wrong with that?  It seems the control freak aspect does make it hard to enjoy chaos.  (I know, i know. I have 3 girls! Chaos is a certainty.)

The rest of this week holds: a financial audit meeting tomorrow morning, gymnastics followed immediately by swim lessons and then dinner at a friend’s who has a new puppy (OMG he is so cute!)  Then up and out the door early Thursday for a day at the lake starting with Shakespeare on the beach with friends and then home for a nap and swim lessons and work.  I’m hoping the weekend can be relatively quiet.

You Capture – Black and White

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Last Friday I was encouraged by friends on facebook to postpone my Friday run and head to the lake to play.  So I did.  It was the perfect day.  Just warm enough for the lake to feel good.  I must be doing something right with this whole picture-taking business because I took 150 pictures in about 1-1/2 hours. I used to be the person who would take one or two pictures for each event and then be disappointed with the results.  So here is a little synopsis of our day.

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The obligatory shovel and pail.

SANY4117As we sat on the beach this boat motored by.  No, it wasn’t using the sails.  There was not a stitch of wind.  But on Tahoe you have to be prepared for either lots of wind or none.

SANY4142Then these guys floated by.

SANY4225And then one turned his back and Bottoms Up!  (I was so happy I got this one.  One fault of my camera is it takes about 5+ seconds to get ready for the next picture. Hate that!)

SANY4195There was sunbathing by the one kid that needs to be coated in a permanent layer of SPF 100.  Unfortunately I missed a spot on one of her shoulders both times I put sunscreen on her and she did get a bit of a burn.  I love her freckles!

SANY4167There was much sand digging.

And then Sweet Pea decided to add water to the bucket and was having fun swinging it by the handle to watch the water splash out.

SANY4191 And then she did this…

SANY4207Sass asked to be buried in sand…Sweet Pea didn’t oblige.

SANY4163This was a Sweet Pea creation.  From this angle it looks like a sea turtle in the sand – made up of drift wood and rocks.  She spent about 30 minutes just picking up things on the beach and adding them.

SANY4176Sweet Pea had more fun this trip to the lake than ever before. I could have watched her play all day.

And I have to add 2 more pictures unrelated to the beach but ones that I liked anyway.

Traveler’s drums with the fantastic backdrop of two-tone wood paneling.

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And…

SANY4242a picture that I didn’t take.  T did, but I actually liked this picture of me, so I had to post it.

What did you capture this week?

7 Things

So I was over at Nanny’s and she was tagged for a meme and then proceeded to NOT tag anyone.  I suppose I am tagging myself because I am going to do it.  And probably “wimp out” as Nanny did and not tag anyone either.

The meme is to list 7 things about myself.  So here goes.

  1. I never wanted to move back to Nevada.  I thought it would be somehow failing to “move home”.  But I am quite happy here.  It hasn’t been anything like I thought it would be.  New friends, not many awkward run-ins with old friends.  I have my parents 10 minutes away for babysitting and arbitrary household repairs when T is gone.  I’ve got it pretty sweet.
  2. I walked on the Great Wall of China when I was 10 and had my eyes prayed over by Buddhist monks in a temple in Shanghai.
  3. I flew with my brother alone from Guam to San Francisco when I was 10 and he was 12.
  4. When I was 16 I was going through a typical rebellious stage and chose returning to public high school instead of staying in the private one and getting to take a trip to France over spring break.  Amazingly I don’t regret this decision.  (I do wish I could go now.  I wouldn’t have appreciated the trip back then and definitely would now.)
  5. I have known my husband since I was about 13.  He was one of my brother’s middle school friends.  We didn’t date until the end of my senior year of high school.
  6. I love having a dog in the house, but I don’t feel like it’s fair to have one.  We don’t spend nearly enough time with her and yet she has unconditional love for the humans in her life.  I also know that I am definitely not going to be ready to have a puppy in the house one day.  Even though I know it is important for the girls to have animals in their lives.  I don’t want them to be scared of big dogs because of lack of exposure.  And finally….
  7. I love it when my girls pick out their own clothes.  Sometimes I roll my eyes and wonder how I’m supposed to take them out in public looking like that, but then I’m happy that they like taking the initiative and showing their own sense of style.  (Unless I’m in trouble because I didn’t do laundry and the favorite piece of clothing is in the hamper.  But the older two know how to do their laundry, so I can’t take full responsibility for that anymore.  Empower those kids! It gives me more time to do the stuff I want to do.)

So like I said above, I’m not tagging, but feel free to meme yourself.

You Capture – Shapes

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The “X”


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The “star”

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The “triangle”

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The “sphere”

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And my favorite – the “wishbone”

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Next week’s challenge is black and white.

Not too shabby

Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans

I’ve been maintaining my level of exercise since last week.  I did not, however, get a run in on Saturday before the WTB like I was hoping.  Traveler’s step-great-grandmother passed last week and the girls and I ended up stopping by his grandparent’s house instead.  I figure that as good of a reason as any to not exercise.  I ate a little more than I should have at the party.  But I did get my 4 mile run in on Monday, and I’m hoping that I can make the 4-mile mark my new baseline.  (Now that I’ve put that out there, I hope I’m not doing any psychological damage to myself for my run in an hour.)  I am trying to get back into snacking on the carrots and fruit instead of looking for the bag of chips or just not eating anything because nothing sounds good.

So this next week I am going to continue with my runs 3 days a week.  I think come August I’m going to try and add another day in there – maybe a weekend day.  I know I need to be running more days than not.  I haven’t been able to get myself back to shredding.  I really think it harmed my exercise ADD.  I have finally broken through the boredom factor of running on the treadmill, and I don’t want to end up there.  Not that I didn’t love what shredding did for my muscle tone, but I am running a frickin’ half marathon in 3 months, I can’t afford to be bored with the treadmill!