Monday, August 27, 2012


Today is the first day of "back to school" for many. I'm seeing many FB posts of everyone's kiddos in their cute new clothes, backpacks full of new school supplies. I'm monitoring my daughter's FB account for her while she's gone (so I can send her the all important updates in my letters to her), and many of her friends are posting about their first days of college.

If you have kids going back to school, or are going back to school yourself - I hope you have an amazing first day!

Well, we aren't doing that back to school thing. At least not yet. Once my daughter is done with basic and AIT, then we'll get into the back to school thing. But it's all bittersweet.

I'm feeling more than a little nostalgic today. I remember her first day of kindergarten. I cried when I left her there, but she was happy as a lark to be doing something new and meeting new people. I remember it like it was yesterday, but in reality, it was 18 years ago.

I'm missing her like crazy, and counting down the days til I get to see her graduate from basic training (36 to go!). Her letters tell me she's doing great, and even having some fun and kicking ass, but the momma in me worries about her just the same.

In other news, Mr 2A started Round 2, Part 1 of his chemo treatment last night. It's mid-morning as I write this, and he's already napping. I hope that's not a sign that this treatment is going to kick his ass early and often. But if it is a sign of that, I'll take it over the tumor.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Nudity is the Theme of the Day

As I perused the GBBL this morning, the word "Nudity" caught my eye. (Hey, don't judge, you do it too and you know it.) So I click through and see what this is all about.
Don't worry, totally safe for work and/or around kids - so clicky clicky!

If you've read any of my previous blog entries, you know that this subject is near and dear to my heart. We live it everyday, and it's just recently launched another offensive.

What Flier389 is doing for his friend Bob is an absolutely amazing show of support. Treatments are freaking expensive, and it doesn't take long to rack up some seriously astronomical medical bills. Even the smallest donation helps.

So get on over there and donate whatever you can. Flier389 has quite the show in store as the donations accumulate, so please help spread the word as well!

Friday, August 24, 2012


Several weeks ago, Mr 2A and I were in a local gun store looking for various things, and as I always do, I wandered over to peruse the handguns, just to see if anything was desperately looking for a new home. As I'm browsing, I hear one of the sales guys talking to a woman who seemed to be brand new to gun shopping and gun ownership. She was looking for something for home defense, and started off looking at semi-automatic pistols. She held several models and was asking questions.
The sales guys says to her:
"You really should consider a revolver. They require no maintenance, whereas a semi-auto requires very regular maintenance and cleaning. You have to replace the magazine springs every three months."
She says "But that's only if you use them, right?"
Sales guy: "No, that's whether you use them or not."

I'm thinking.......UHM.......WHAT?!?

Here's where I feel like I did something irresponsible. I didn't say a word.
I wanted to step in and say something, but I didn't want to come right out and call the guy a dumbass. Nor did I really want to embarrass him. But what he was telling her was NOT correct, and I'm really hoping that she has since gotten better information somewhere else.

I left the store, and sat in my car for about 15 minutes, watching to see if she would come out. If she had, I was going to introduce myself to her and just let her know that what the sales guy said was not accurate, and even offer to let her try out some of our pistols if she wanted to take a trip with us to the range at some point. Unfortunately, she didn't come out of the store in that 15 minute time span, and we had somewhere else we had to be.

It still bothers me. I should have said something.
How would you have handled it? Would you have said something?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Birthday BRM

Baby girl had a birthday this week! Before leaving for basic training, she requested "NO BIRTHDAY CARDS!" (It really was more of a demand, than a request.)

She didn't want to get smoked or draw any extra attention to herself, which I understand. But this Mama was more than a little sad about not being able to send a birthday card filled with some twisted humor. I asked about sending cookies or something and the response I got was "Only if you send enough for everyone, and even then the drill instructors will smoke me and eat them all themselves." There are over 200 soldiers in her unit, and that's a LOT of cookies, so I dropped that  as fast as I thought of it since she didn't think she'd get one anyway. ;)

Turns out, she got to do something kinda fun on her birthday! Her unit hit the rifle range and started their Basic Rifle Marksmanship training - and Mama got to see a few photos. I think it might have been a better gift to me, than to her, but at least I know it wasn't an unremarkable birthday. :)

Checking out the targets
Not sure which makes me more proud; the uniform, or the handful of ammo! :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Like the Freaking Terminator.....

....a brain tumor says "I'll be back." It's not a matter of IF, it's just a matter of WHEN.
And the when is now, unfortunately. And, we've named it Arnold.

Hubs says he knew something was off. He'd been having some weird things going on, and somehow, he just knew that the tumor was growing again.

When he came home from his a, I said "SO?!" And when he said "Do you want to come sit down?" I knew what he was about to tell me. But I saw his prescription for chemotherapy drugs before he had a chance to say another word.

After breaking down and crying for about twenty minutes, I gathered my wits about me and started asking questions about the game plan.

The good news:
The growth is tiny. 3mm. So tiny that it's only visible on one slice of the MRI. We caught it early.
Chemo treatment is for two months to see if that helps wipe out the new growth, with monthly MRIs to monitor. The last round of chemo was once a month, for an entire year, and that was after a surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible. This kept it at bay for over two years.

If these chemo drugs don't do the trick, there is a cocktail of drugs he can try. But that one involves being hooked up to an IV for treatments (the previous treatment, and the current one, are pills, taken by mouth every day for seven days, then three weeks off, then another seven days).
Another surgery could be on the horizon, depending on what happens with the chemo.
Radiation therapy is not on the table at this point, as we've decided that is a tool of last resort, since you only get one shot at it with a brain tumor.

Thanks to those of you that emailed to check on me. We went and blew off a little steam at the range this morning with our nephews and my FIL. I should've made some brain tumor targets to take with us.

So. That's where we're at. Motherfuckingbastardbraintumor. I want you gone. For good.
I want my husband back.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Memory Dump & Prayer Request

Good grief. It seems all my blog posts are "catch up" posts. Perhaps that's a sign that I need to try to slow down and make a real effort to write a little something every day. A daily memory dump, so to speak. Because right now, I can't really remember all that's been happening in the last few weeks!

*Car is finally out of the shop, good as new. Well....almost. When we went to pick it up, we pointed out some scratches and a crack on the driver's side mirror, and the insurance adjuster tried to tell us those were already there. they weren't. You will fix it, because it happened as a result of the accident. He bumbled for a moment, and then said he'd get the shop to order in a new housing for the mirror, and we could call today and set up an appointment to get that repaired. I'm hoping we don't get any resistance on that, and that when they DO begin the work on it, it doesn't take a week or more. This body shop took 2.5 weeks to fix the front quarter panel and replace the door and paint. Did I mention they had it for a week before even starting the work? Why didn't we take it somewhere else? Our insurance said this was the only place authorized to fix it, and it would've had to have been towed elsewhere. Grr. Time to shop for new insurance? I think perhaps!

*Baby girl seems to be adjusting to her soldier-in-training way of life! At first I was very concerned, she was SO homesick. I talked to her three times while she was in reception, and all three of those phone calls were filled with tears and "I miss you momma." I have very little Army experience, but I knew that once she was out of reception and got started on her training, things would improve. Or at least, she'd be so damn busy she wouldn't have time to think about missing anyone.
I've received a couple of letters, and might be getting another phone call in the next week or so when she moves from Red Phase to White Phase. She kicked ass at Victory Tower, and even said in one of her letters that it was "Frickin' cool!" :) That made me proud, and even a little bit jealous. I would love an opportunity to conquer Victory Tower too, just maybe without drill sergeants yelling at me.
Her unit has a Facebook page, so I've been very fortunate to be able to see photos of some key training events along this journey so far. I found one of her hanging from a rope on Victory Tower - that one will get printed out poster size and hung on my office wall. <3 I've also seen photos of her unit at the gas chamber as well, and found a few of my girl. Most of the soldiers coming out of the chamber have tortured looks on their faces, with snot and drool streaming everywhere. My girl? The look on her face is "Just handlin' my bidness." :) With minimal drool. (She'll be pleased about that! LOL)
As of tomorrow, she will have been gone three weeks. The house is eerily quiet without her here, and I really miss her. I miss her goofy antics and her witty comments. But I am enjoying coming and going as I please, and not having to worry about what she might be getting into. She is safe, and she is learning to be a soldier. <3

*Shooting! We had sorta slacked on hitting the range since returning from Colorado. We just had so much to do to get baby girl ready to go, and then The Week From Hell happened - and we needed some serious stress relief. So we joined a new gun club. :)
Most of the ranges around here have some pretty strict rules about how you can shoot, and what you can shoot. Which is fine, safety first, right? But standing still and shooting holes in paper can get boring. This gun club is in it's early beginnings, so it's really not that developed yet, but it's outdoors (REALLY looking forward to fall/winter shooting there) and you can actually move/shoot, draw from your holster, and shoot pretty much whatever you want in terms of targets (as long as you clean up the mess afterwards!). So hubs and I are looking at buying some steel targets to take out there for fun. In the meantime, we've been shooting the standard silhouette targets, but we're able to practice different scenarios. One thing is clear. I need more training and a helluva lot more practice.
We have a couple of training schools lined up! One we're going to hit before the end of the year, and the other we're hoping to get to in February or March of next year. In the meantime, I've found a local instructor and will be taking a Defensive Handgun class (and maybe some private instruction) in the next month or so.
I'm looking into changing up my EDC. I'm currently carrying a Ruger LC9, and while the size is just about perfect for me to conceal, I'm looking for something with a higher round capacity and a trigger that isn't quite so loooooong. It's currently a toss up between a Ruger SR9c (hubs has one of these, and I like it, and can conceal it ok) and a S&W M&P9/M&P9c. But I need to rent/borrow one to see how it shoots before making the final decision. Hoping to do that this week. Based on just handling them both, the M&P's slide is easier to rack, the sights are a little better, and it weighs just a couple ounces less.
Dallas Area Blog Shoot! A date has been set, and hubs and I are going to try to make it! Looking forward to meeting a bunch of new people and trying out some new toys!

 *Reloading! Hubs has thrown himself into reloading. We've made more than a few trips to "Big Box Hunting/Fishing/Outdoor Sports Store" for equipment and supplies. I think if we totaled up all the receipts, I'd probably choke at the amount of money we've spent, but I do know that in the long run, it will be more cost effective for us, and we'll be able to actually shoot MORE. :) Once he gets all the basics down, he's going to teach me. He's been showing me things along the way, and I get it for the most part, but put that technical data and all those numbers in front of me? Well, my eyes glaze over and I start to drool like *I* just came out of the gas chamber! It's gonna take me a while to wrap my brain around that part.

*Physical fitness. I suck. I have totally fallen OFF the wagon here. I haven't seen the inside of the gym in weeks. And weeks. And I'm feeling the effects. I've put on a little weight (which is not a big deal for me, I could use the extra pounds, but I'd prefer it was muscle instead of this little spare tire I'm developing!). But more importantly, I'm starting to feel crappy. I can't seem to get enough sleep lately, and I get grouchy pretty quick. I kept thinking it was the Texas heat, and while that may be a contributing factor, it's the lack of physical activity that is the biggest fault. SO, the home exercise equipment is getting dusted off, I'm making myself a workout calendar, and I'm calling the Krav Maga school too. Today. Oh, and my running shoes? Ha! Just found them yesterday, after not seeing them since Colorado. So that's something else I need to get back to.

And finally.......Prayers? If you're so inclined, I would really appreciate any prayers and good mojo you could send our way today. Hubs left a little bit ago to go do his "quarterly MRI."  That's in quotes, because he sorta skipped the last one. I protested, and nagged, and bitched, but nothing I did or said would make him pick up the phone and call to make an appointment. He was sure he was fine and didn't need to spend the money.
However the last couple of weeks he's had some odd things happening (which he just told me about YESTERDAY. Ugh.), and now he's worried that the tumor may be rearing it's head again. He didn't actually tell me that, but he did say "I'm afraid the results won't be good." :(

MRI days make me crazy. The time at the MRI clinic is usually 1.5-2 hours, and then from there he goes to his oncologists office, and that usually takes at least two hours. We love her and she's fantastic - she gives each patient as much time as they need, appointment times be damned. But that means lots of waiting. So MRI days are typically that - a full day. A stressful, worrisome, hand wringing day for me - waiting for an update.

So, with that, I'm going to dig in on today's ToDo List to keep my brain busy. God help me.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Looking Up!

So the spider bite is not going to rot my flesh off. Whew! It's still REALLY ugly looking, still about the size of a half dollar, still angry reddish purple, and still itchy off and on. But it IS getting smaller.

The car should be released from the hospital early next week. It will be nice to have a car with good working AC in it again. Driving around in 100+ degree heat with AC that barely blows.....well.....blows!

I had a "soldier girl" sighting today!! I'm lucky enough that my daughter's training unit has a bunch of volunteers that are taking photos of various training events and putting them up on the unit's Facebook page. I found three photos of my girl, and it really made my day. :) First time I've seen her in ACU's!

That's my girl conquering Victory Tower!

AND, I was also lucky enough to win a little something in a contest I entered. I never win! LOL

Maybe I should go buy a lottery ticket today......