Friday, October 27, 2006

More promptings from stories of Military Brats Online

I seemto do a wandering among the links at Military Brats Registry and get myself tangled up as the links take me offsite to other links that take me offsite. Anyway, so that I can return promptly to Military Brats Online, where there is a list of Brat stories, I'm blogging a quick entry. I will revisit Military Brats Online and the Brats stories posted there will prompt me with my own memories.

Already I was prompted by something suggested - and yes, we were a family who traveled the old Route 66 highway - back in the day. Now those are some photos I really wish we had - many of those old places are gone, torn down, don't exist any more. Another thing that doesn't quite exist any more is the way in which we traveled when we returned stateside.....before Interstate highways - back when travel meant 2 lane highways, some sort of tourist interest stop in practically every town and whistle stop along the way.

I really must try to write about the month long travel trip we took when we returned stateside - arriving in San Francisco, going north to World's Fair in Seattle and seeing the Space Needle, driving across Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Dakotas and then south criss crossing until we arrived at our new base assignment - Keesler AFB in Biloxi, Mississippi. It seemed we stopped at every natural vista and man made tourist attractions along the way. I might ask my two sisters and brother to 'remember when' to help me round out the details of this memorable trip.
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Promptings from Podcasts at Military Brats Registry -

I plan to listen to the series of podcasts placed at Military Brats Registry, and then write some thoughts about them.
Leaving an entry here more to quickly link to the page list of podcasts; Military Brats Registry Podcasts

It's here! The Military Brats Registry "Every Brat Has a Story" podcast is now available. The program can be downloaded to your computer or mp3 device such as the Apple iPod. And if you're using iTunes or iPodder you can subscribe to automatically download to your device. Click on "podcasts" in iTunes and enter "Military Brats" in the search box, then subscribe (free!). Each episode will be automatically downloaded into iTunes and to your iPod.
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Exploring my history being raised as a Military Brat - 1950s and 1960s

Back in earlier days of internet, a website called Military Brats Registry came into being. I found my way there somehow and I truly don't remember and registered. Remember this was the 'early days' of internet, so formatting websites, forms, signing up and security looked a little different then. Later I heard media reporting on Military Brats Registry and how it was gaining in popularity. It was good to hear, cause it meant many 'military brats' were interested and glad for this new found home on the internet.

Along the years, I learned of dvd production in the works and waited and waited and waited. Finally dvd 'Brats, Our Journey Home' was released and I promptly bought a copy. Or I should say my dear husband promptly bought a copy as gift for me. We watched it together as soon as it arrived in the mail. And it resonated with me so strongly in so many ways. I took notes (that's my nature when I'm really interested in both capturing and remembering) and spent some time today revisiting some of those older military brat sites I remember from late 1990s.

I wanted to chronicle the links, websites, books, resources and I really didn't want to start a whole new blog to do it. So I looked around at all my blogs, and decided this one was the most logical place to spend some time chronicling my military brat history and building link connections. I'll be adding some link banners to the sidebar, and blogging new entries in what will seem my own homecoming exploration.

This is a bittersweet project for me to undertake for a multitude of reasons, yet it will also be strengthening to make the connections, all the 'aha' moments that tell me more about who I am to me. My parents divorced when I was about 14 which abruptly ended our connection to military life. Unfortunately, it was an ugly divorce that my father worked to obstruct. He could get quite mean in his effort to control or manipulate the circumstances. He kept and/or destroyed all the mementos, photographs, slides, keepsakes, etc that were our history over those years. As a consequence, my mother doesn't have much she can share visually, and neither do I except what I can recover from my spotty memory. It helps that other military brats are sharing their memories as it serves as 'triggers' for me in remembering and in what I hope to chronicle here at this blog.
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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Appeal for Redress by U.S. Troops to Congress - The Call of US Troops for Iraq Withdrawal

Our troops are speaking, and this time directly to Congress. In campaign 'Appeal for Redress' the numbers of active duty troops signing the appeal is increasing daily, if not hourly. How many U.S. Troops killed in Iraq this month - 91 - and the month is not yet over.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) More than 200 active duty U.S. armed service members, fed up with the war in Iraq, have joined an unusual protest calling for withdrawal of U.S. troops from the country, organisers said on Wednesday.

The campaign, called the Appeal for Redress from the War in Iraq, is the first of its kind in the Iraq war and takes advantage of U.S. Defence Department rules allowing active duty troops to express personal opinions to members of Congress without fear of retaliation, organisers said.

"As a patriotic American proud to serve the nation in uniform, I respectfully urge my political leaders in Congress to support the prompt withdrawal of all American military forces and bases from Iraq," states the appeal posted on the campaign's Web site at

Convergence - something people in the Pacific Northwest know about when it comes to weather. I sense convergence in the growing discontent with Iraq invasion/occupation coming together from different factions.

U.S. Troops speaking strongly on their own behalf - 200 today and will be more tomorrow, and more the next day and more the next day:
Appeal for Redress
An Appeal for Redress from the War in Iraq

Many active duty, reserve, and guard service members are concerned about the war in Iraq and support the withdrawal of U.S. troops. The Appeal for Redress provides a way in which individual service members can appeal to their Congressional Representative and US Senators to urge an end to the U.S. military occupation. The Appeal messages will be delivered to members of Congress at the time of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in January 2007.

The wording of the Appeal for Redress is short and simple. It is patriotic and respectful in tone.

As a patriotic American proud to serve the nation in uniform, I respectfully urge my political leaders in Congress to support the prompt withdrawal of all American military forces and bases from Iraq . Staying in Iraq will not work and is not worth the price. It is time for U.S. troops to come home.

If you agree with this message, click here.

The Appeal for Redress is sponsored by active duty service members based in the Norfolk area and by a sponsoring committee of veterans and military family members. The Sponsoring committee consists of Iraq Veterans Against the War, Veterans For Peace, and Military Families Speak Out.

Members of the military have a legal right to communicate with their member of Congress. To learn more about the rights and restrictions that apply to service members click here.

Attorneys and counselors experienced in military law are available to help service members who need assistance in countering any attempts to suppress this communication with members of Congress.

Several members of Congress have expressed interest in receiving the Appeal for Redress.

Click here to send the Appeal to your elected representatives.

Growing number of US Soldiers speaking out in Resistance Actions taken by troops directly - Seven since Lt. Ehren Watada, Fort Lewis, WA, refused in June 2006 to deploy to Iraq citing his belief of illegal orders to an illegal war in his press conference in Tacoma in June 2006. Read more of his account, the charges against him and the progression for Lt. Watada since his first press conference at website; Thank You Lt.Ehren Watada

Spc Suzanne Swift (2)June 2006; Spc Suzanne Swift arrested at her mother's home in Oregon June 2006 for being AWOL and missing movement.Suzanne cites repeated sexual harrasment by her superior officers. Now confined at Fort Lewis, WA waiting court martial. Read more at website

Sgt Ricky Clousing (3) Aug 11, 2006; Sergeant Ricky Clousing, who grew up in Sumner, Wash., south of Seattle, served in Iraq as an Interrogator, returned, deserted, turned himself in at Fort Lewis, WA after giving press conference at Veterans for Peace conference at University of Washington in Seattle, WA on August 11, 2006. Read more of his account at Seattle Draft and Military Counseling Center website. Sgt Ricky Clousing

Spc Mark Wilkerson (4) Aug 31, 2006; Army Specialist Mark Wilkerson,held press conference to announce his plans to turn himself in to Fort Hood in Texas, after being AWOL (Absent Without Leave) for more than 18 months. Wilkerson, served in the 720th Military Police Battalion in Iraq from March 2003 to March 2004, went AWOL when his request for ‘Conscientious Objector’ status was denied by the Army in November 2004. Read more at his blog, Red, White & Blurry

Spc. Augustin Aguayo (5)Sept 26, 2006; After a two and a half year struggle with US Army to be recognized as a conscientious objector, Agustin Aguayo went AWOL (absent without leave) on Sept. 2, 2006 in order to avoid a forced (second) deployment to Iraq. On September 26th, Agustin, after holding press conference turned himself in to Ft. Irwin Army base. Later that day Aguayo was taken from the Frankfurt airport to the U.S. Army Confinement Facility-Europe in Mannheim, Germany, where he will be in pretrial confinement while Army officials review the evidence to determine the status of his case, according to 1st Armored Division spokesman Maj.Wayne Marotto." Read his blog account at blog

Darrell Anderson (6) Oct 3, 2006; Darrell Anderson, who deserted to Canada last year after being wounded in Iraq, wants to come home. Darrell Anderson,who sought refugee status in Toronto has decided to return home and face a possible court-martial. Oct 3, 2006 he turns himself in to military custody; on Oct 5, he was released from Ft. Knox with an "other than honorable" discharge without facing court martial.

article published by Kevin Tillman 'After Pat's Birthday' (7)Oct 19; 2006; Kevin Tillman, US Army veteran, brother of Pat Tillman who was killed in Aghanistan publishes article 'After Pat's Birthday' which gets reviewed by Randal C Archibold in
New York Times
excerpts from Mr. Archibold's Oct 23, 2006 review;
“Somehow the more soldiers that die, the more legitimate the illegal invasion becomes,” Mr. Tillman wrote in the 660-word essay

“Somehow,” Mr. Tillman added, “American leadership, whose only credit is lying to its people and illegally invading a nation, has been allowed to steal the courage, virtue and honor of its soldiers on the ground.”

In what are apparently his most expansive public remarks since the death of his brother at age 27, he also does not spare the American public, which he suggests too often relies on superficial gestures to support the troops instead of holding politicians accountable.

“Somehow back at home, support for the soldiers meant having a 5-year-old kindergartener scribble a picture with crayons and send it overseas or slapping stickers on cars or lobbying Congress for an extra pad in a helmet,” he wrote.

Mr. Tillman ended with a suggestion that the elections on Nov. 7 are an opportunity for people opposed to the war to send a message.

(Kevin Tillman joined the Army with his brother Pat Tillman in 2002, and they served together in Iraq and Afghanistan. Pat was killed in Afghanistan on April 22, 2004. Kevin, who was discharged in 2005, has written a powerful, must-read document - link )

Also see information provided at Iraq Veterans Against the War (
IVAW supports war resisters and conscientious objectors. Learn more about service men and women who are presently refusing to participate in the occupation of Iraq.
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Iraq - 'After Pat’s Birthday' by Kevin Tillman

Reprinting published article by Kevin Tillman on his brother Pat Tillman's death in Iraq.

After Pat's Birthday
By Kevin Tillman

It is Pat's birthday on November 6, and elections are the day after. It gets me thinking about a conversation I had with Pat before we joined the military. He spoke about the risks with signing the papers. How once we committed, we were at the mercy of the American leadership and the American people. How we could be thrown in a direction not of our
volition. How fighting as a soldier would leave us without a voice... until we get out.

Much has happened since we handed over our voice: Somehow we were sent to invade a nation because it was a direct threat to the American people, or to the world, or harbored terrorists, or was involved in the September 11 attacks, or received weapons-grade uranium from Niger, or had mobile weapons labs, or WMD, or had a need to be liberated, or we needed to establish a democracy, or stop an insurgency, or stop a civil war we created that can't be called a civil war even though it is. Something like that.

Somehow America has become a country that projects everything that it is not and condemns everything that it is.

Somehow our elected leaders were subverting international law and humanity by setting up secret prisons around the world, secretly kidnapping people, secretly holding them indefinitely, secretly not charging them with anything, secretly torturing them.

Somehow that overt policy of torture became the fault of a few "bad apples" in the military.

Somehow back at home, support for the soldiers meant having a five-year-old kindergartener scribble a picture with crayons and send it overseas, or slapping stickers on cars, or lobbying Congress for an extra pad in a helmet. It's interesting that a soldier on his third or fourth tour should care about a drawing from a five-year-old; or a faded sticker on a car as his friends die around him; or an extra pad in a helmet, as if it will protect him when an IED throws his vehicle 50 feet into the air as his body comes apart and his skin melts to the seat.

Somehow the more soldiers that die, the more legitimate the illegal invasion becomes.

Somehow American leadership, whose only credit is lying to its people and illegally invading a nation, has been allowed to steal the courage, virtue and honor of its soldiers on the ground.

Somehow those afraid to fight an illegal invasion decades ago are allowed to send soldiers to die for an illegal invasion they started.

Somehow faking character, virtue and strength is tolerated.

Somehow profiting from tragedy and horror is tolerated.

Somehow the death of tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of people is tolerated.

Somehow subversion of the Bill of Rights and The Constitution is tolerated.

Somehow suspension of Habeas Corpus is supposed to keep this country safe.

Somehow torture is tolerated.

Somehow lying is tolerated.

Somehow reason is being discarded for faith, dogma, and nonsense.

Somehow American leadership managed to create a more dangerous world.

Somehow a narrative is more important than reality.

Somehow America has become a country that projects everything that it is not and condemns everything that it is.

Somehow the most reasonable, trusted and respected country in the world has become one of the most irrational, belligerent, feared, and distrusted countries in the world.

Somehow being politically informed, diligent, and skeptical has been replaced by apathy through active ignorance.

Somehow the same incompetent, narcissistic, virtueless, vacuous, malicious criminals are still in charge of this country.

Somehow this is tolerated.

Somehow nobody is accountable for this.

In a democracy, the policy of the leaders is the policy of the people. So don't be shocked when our grandkids bury much of this generation as traitors to the nation, to the world and to humanity. Most likely, they will come to know that "somehow" was nurtured by fear, insecurity and indifference, leaving the country vulnerable to unchecked, unchallenged

Luckily this country is still a democracy. People still have a voice. People still can take action. It can start after Pat's birthday.

Brother and Friend of Pat Tillman,

Kevin Tillman

Truthdig - Reports - After Pat’s Birthday

Truthdig Editor's Note; Kevin Tillman joined the Army with his brother Pat in 2002, and they served together in Iraq and Afghanistan. Pat was killed in Afghanistan on April 22, 2004. Kevin, who was discharged in 2005, has written a powerful, must-read document.
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Sunday, October 22, 2006

More bread, more jerky, and online stuff

Completed preliminary work on two new blogs to replace two current blogs eventually. Idea is creation of new blogs more amenable to commercial intent with blogads, amazon books an downloaded E-books and or PDF files created by me and sold via PayPal.

In afternoon I escaped to the kitchen, made some more bread and put more jerky in the drier.

Lietta still in paint mode but had phone conference that ultimately interferred with painting yesterday afternoon.

Nice weekend.
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Saturday, October 21, 2006

Saturdays always fun. Sleep in and get creative.

Dallied with online blogs in prep to creating one or two commercial blogs with an attempt at ad revenue, marketing things and books thru Amzaon and prepping to put together E-books and/or pdf files of my writings. These would be available as downloaded PDF or E-Book files for a price.
I already have the E-book compiler on both Lietta's and my computers.

By late afternoon Lietta was ready to paint so we went downstairs to her new "painting studio" where she continues to amaze me with what I would term her confidant painting in which she completes her works more rapidly and seems to be creating more from memory than the picture model she still picks out and uses.

The ideas flow freely and her eyes and hands fill in the blanks. Yesterday's was an impressive autumn color painting that I in fact was dazzled just after she finished preparing the trees and the misty woods without adding any leaves to the branches. The effect was powerful.

I got caught up in working on muse stuff and poetry prompters so the next time I turned around she'd created a cabin, a dock and reflections on the water in front of the cabin and autumn trees.

Back upstairs for ad-lib supper. Ad-lib supper is where we each grab whatever wwe want. Lietta opted for homemade jerky, licorice and a large bowl of raisin bran. Earlier I'd made potatoes, onions, eggs, cheese and bacon - a breakfast I make quite often.

So neither of us were famished. I made a box of cheap (Western Family) macaroni and cheese and stirred in a can of green beans to give it more volume with the M&C was ready.

Watched some TV and went upstairs. Bored, I put on my Age of Kings game and got so caught up that when I looked at the clock is was after 1:00 AM. Went down stairs where I could hear the TV, thinking I'd find Lietta deep asleep on the couch.

Nope ... "Hi Honey, I could hear you up there.!"

She was watching National Geographic about insect swarms. Put the TV on in the BR and I know I fell asleep first.
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Friday, October 20, 2006

End of frenetic work week

My office is tiny. At one point years ago there was talk of "foot-printing" the office which meant reducing staff to a size where one or two workers would accept applications and forward to a parent office in Aberdeen.

Never happened thanks to reality checks and timely political intervention. However, staff continually reduced and our actual size is less than "foot-print." More like "toe-print" as Lietta likes to say.

Last week, my first week back from vacation has been a buzzing nightmare. Complicated by receptionist on vacation and leadworker's need to replace receptionist which moves me up the list to leadworker's backup receptionist. I work reception during leadworker's breaks and lunch hour.

Twas the wrong week. I never fully brought the vacation backlog up to currency, was constantly flooded with scheduled and unscheduled but unavoidable client interviews.

I'll be playing catch-up for another week or so. Makes me feel very reluctant to take any vacation at all - rather, spread time out to 3 or 4-day weekends as an alternative.

Seriously ...
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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Jerky, Pizza & Pills

For the past 6-8 months, I have been going without one of my prescription medications, Indomethacin, for help with gout. This is a potent anti-inflammatory drug that is used to combat a gout attack as well as help regulate inflammation in the joints and keep it down.

Well, when the druggist announced that Indomethacin was not available a few months ago, I just went without because I have two other gout medications and have not had an actuall attack now into the third year.

However, I have noticed a deterioration that has led to constant pain in back, knees, wrists and hips. Sufficient to slow me down, creat havoc for the hours immediately following physical exertion such as mowing the lawn and hip pain that stopped me from sleeping thru the night.

Anyway, when the pharmacy announced that they now have Indomethacin, I took my first tablets two nights ago and slept thru the night with much less pain, did not have to go to the lazyboy in the middle of the night, and woke up quite a bit more spritely. Same thing the next night.

Which tells me that the Indomethacin with its ability to suppress these discomforts - something I'm glad to have back - was also suppressing knowledge of my body's actual pain and discomfort.

A mixed blessing ....

Baked DiGiorno's Pizza by adding canned olive slices, mushroom slices, chopped onions and grated cheese before baking.

And I finished marinating the slices of roast. Put them in the food dryer for overnight drying. Watched discovery channel on origin of the Universe while chewing pizza.
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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Wednesday and we started reading

Earlier in the week Lietta and I watched a bio-video of historian Howard Zinn on link TV.

If you want to learn something rather than sit in front of the boob tube like a zombie in an opium den, go find LINK TV on your cable channel. Scary, but you might actually learn stuff.

Howard Zinn wrote, "The People's History of the United States," a few years back. Colleagues - historians who have traditionally defined history as all stars in all-star events like war, scientific breakthrough and capitalist success stories, pooh-poohed the book because it was unorthodox.

NY Times book review praised the hell out of it because it was readable, informative and truthful - with viewpoints rarely observed from the ivory towers of professional educators and their sponsors.

So last Sunday while in Portland, I went into Powell's and bought the two-volume edition. Last night, we curled up in bed, set a lamp behind the bed post and I commence reading to Lietta. Now this usually lasts about five minutes and she's out.

Not this time. She lasted for most of the chapter and when she finally gave up the ghost, I was ready to stop and go to sleep as well. It's fun reading a college text this way and for the first time in my life, when I come to chapter's end, the discussion questions will be useful cause she and I will want to talk before moving on.

Recommended: A People's History of the United States, Howard Zinn.
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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Tuesday and backlog at work

The reason why I take only a week's vacation at a time is because even after a week, when I return I'm swamped with backlog. Office severely understaffed and unable to cover each other's caseloads completely.

I'll be playing catch up and treading water on current events for two weeks until it stablizes.

Come home ready to be home.
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Monday, October 16, 2006

Monday: Back to work

Moody morning but off to work on time. Within 15 minutes of arrival and I feel like I lost 9 days of rest to 5 minutes of a familiar grind.

Busy all day and facing the worst fall-behind in the past 2-3 years of vacations where staff kept my stuff quite current.

Interviews were all rough in the sense of hard to use humor around the seriouness of illness, job loss and psycho-drama. In all this I need to figure out a way to work through another 6 years before eligibility to retire - or figure a way to replace the income with a job less emotionally draining.

Working on it.

Home to wife and companion ... a blessed return from work.
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Sunday, October 15, 2006


Sunday visit to Portland, originally planned as day trip to see autumn colors. But the agenda was rain rain rain.
Went anyway to visit stepson Chris Coy in his new apartment in Beaverton/Tigard area near Portland, Or.

All day visit including awesome buffet at Sweet Tomatoes which is in reality an all-you-can-eat salad bar with strong vegetarian emphasis since only meat was in salads.

Then drove to Portland State University campus where Chris is enrolled p/t while working for Standard Insurance.

Finally back to his apartment. For some reason his computer has no word processor and - per Chris - spell check (says he needs it most). So Lietta sat down at his computer and ...
(1) Got him a Yahoo email address.
(2) then sent him an invite to Gmail (which we both have)
(3) That allowed him to get gmail address AND open a google program for himself called Britely (an online word processor).

So now he has one.
We drove home in the rain and dark(125 miles), arriving at 10:00.

Oh, and vacation ended Friday. Back to work tomorrow.
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Saturday, October 14, 2006

Saturday - Apple butter, making jerky, baking bread and Howard Zinn

The kind of Saturday we moved out here to have.
Up after sleep in and updating ourselves on the world situation via intenet until noonish. And reorganization of my favorites.

Burnt out on all the social-political babble and Babel and have spent the last three days unsubscribing from all the newsletters except one or two. Then reorganized my bookmarks, deleting an endless array of political blogs all talking about the same things.

Finally sated internetly, went down to kitchen to act like a rural property owner. Helped Lietta peel apples for making apple butter in crockpot.
Partially thawed a roast and then sliced into jerky strips. Then mixed ingredients for "Barbecue Jerky" marinate in blender. Combined and stirred the meats and left in fridge. Will dry jerky monday after marinate soaks in because we are gone all day Sunday to Portland to see son, Chris Coy.

Made 4 loaves of bread and watched two DVD's: Bush's Brain about Karl Rove and one on historian activist Howard Zinn.

Fell asleep in bed during 11:00 news.
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Friday, October 13, 2006

Friday the 13th. Devil shows up at our house.

So we;'ve been busy every morning of my vacation chasing our internet priorities and the afternoons continuning or working around the house or yard.

I'm an older guy now flying around the hive trying to find the place where I want to fit in, where I want to make and store honey, and where I want to help make a more attractive and livable hive. Still haven't totally discovered what that is so I live in a constant frustation - exacerbated by weariness in employment and longing for the day I can retire.

My job is mentally and emotionally draining every day. Lietta says average career doing that one duty before needing to transfer to other duties is 7 years. I'm closing in on 14 years at it. Can't transfer cause nowhere in the office to transfer. Don't want promotions cause I'd end up promoting and monitoring the very poison I drink now.

So I'm cranky at home, flail about sometimes emotionally and smack Lietta on her emotional nose - which makes us both uncomfortable. Today I lost my temper and wew had a discussion that was long overdue. Wouldn't you know it would be on Friday the 13th?

She gave me insights witthout ultimatums and they hit me like a splash of cold water on a sleeper or a blast of extremely strong coffee on a drunk. "Thanks! I needed that!" wake up call. Like I was hypnotized and when she snapped her fingers verbally, I woke up.

New perspective on an old perspective that served us well when courting and early marriage.

Karl and Eve, our across-the-street neighbors arrived from Seattle Thu night. After going to town for groceries, we went to their studio and visited for a couple of hours while Karl made the report and showed us his album from his recent trip to France and Brtain where Eve joined him.

Then home to unload groceries.
Worked on my NBA fantasy which we both agree keeps my mind healthy with it's heavy demand on mental agility, math and imagination.
Watched Bill Maher, ate some supper, finally wearied out around 10:30. We fell asleep in bed less than ten minutes into the evening news.
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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Thursday - Putting off painting and poetry to

do online pictures. Lietta was going to paint downstairs in her studio and I was going to be there and be quiet - perhaps working on poetry.

But then we both got caught up doing online picture programs. When her computer crashed two weeks ago, I had to scrub it clean and re-install Windows XP, erasing all content. Among what was lost was her photo collection.

I downloaded all the photos in my computer onto a CD. She also hunted down previous online sites where she had photos stored. Found new and better ones like Snapfish, Ringo and the like. Created a "room" at snapfish where all family members can upload their photos. It's kind of like a safety deposit box at a bank. You can keep your stuff online where crashed computers and space limitiations don't matter much. You access your collections by joining and using a password which theoretically protects your collections from the prying eyes of snoopers. Uh huh .... but I'm willing to live with that risk so as to not lose any more photos.

Anyway, we never painted or poeted because we spent most of the day photo collecting, moving around, building albums and storing.
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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Wednesday Online photos, websites, blogging and the power goes out.

Today turned out to be reading, writing, designing, updating and candle lighting when the power finally went out.

Talked about breakfast but neither of us did anything.
Talked about lunch but neither of us did anything.

Finally went to the store and bought a couple of grinders, milk, and sweet stuff.

Came home after eating and back upstairs. Not for long. Power went out.

Drove to the beach, now about 7:00 PM and watched the orange and pink in the horizon with the sunset.

Came home, lit a few candles and the power came back on.

Evening watching TV police dramas Criminal Minds and CSI New York.

And to bed.

Blogging political activisim dying in my mind almost minute by minute. Went into bloglines and deleted everything. Then to a google search of blogs that talk about what I'm interested in and subscribed to just a few.

Also returned to to work more on life story/bio.
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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Filmstrip of progress in our yard

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Tuesday: Website Remodel

During morning online I thought I'd see what the other MFSO state sites are putting up.

Made me decide to build a site-map for our site, simplify the navigation bar and generally do some editing of old stuff.

7 hours later I had myself a site map and other than taking 15 minutes to move some sod around the yard for Lietta, the rest of the afternoon and evening was dinner and some television.

Mind was fried by the tediousness of screening our entire chapter website for articles and stuff. My site map functions like an index at the back of a book but it was worth it.
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Monday, October 9, 2006

Monday, the Kitchen and Robert McNamara

First actual day of vacation.
The morning routine whether on vacation or not is always up fairly early and online. During vacation this means online until noon or later.

Lots of reading and writing that is so much pleasure!
Afternoon we finished reworking the kitchen. Now more shelves, more space and more functionality. I've promised Lietta to become more of a kitchen activist learning new recipies, activing my food drying for both fruits and jerky and making more homemade bread.

Supper was leftovers that were still excellent taste thrills. We then put in a Netflix DVD entitled The Fog of War which is a video interview with former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. Mostly commentary and film footage that was interesting and full of anectdotes we had never heard.

Bread machine chimed in having baked a Krusteaz box of white bread. I was not interested in storage and we ate hot fresh bread with butter during the McNamara commentary.

Lietta fell asleep and I was multi-tasking, listening to Robert and working on a computer basketball game in which I'm creating a 12-team league of teams made up of NBA all-time all stars.

Bottom line out of the McNamara DVD was a quote he made somewhere toward the end ...

"People have got to stop killing other people!"
The fog of war in which no participant is fully aware of the breadth of the on-going tragedy.
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Sunday, October 8, 2006

The "BRATS FILM TOUR - Our Journey Home" is underway!

The "BRATS FILM TOUR - Our Journey Home" is underway!

"BRATS - Our Journey Home" is the first-ever documentary about us - about growing up BRAT - and how that has profoundly affected our lives.

Welcome to the official "BRATS Film Tour: Our Journey Home!" If you don't see your town on the tour schedule below, but think you have a large audience that wants to see the film, let us know and we'll do our best to accommodate you. Just so you know - we are scheduling additional dates, but we're only listing the confirmed screenings below!

If you are a community group, alumni organization, educational institution, or other group who would like to organize a screening, drop us a line and we'll see what we can do. The director and some of the cast are available for public appearances. You can also purchase an institutional copy of the film to show to a large group, but you can't charge for attendance. Please contact us about specific rights.

Link to view the trailer or listen to a radio interview,

Upcoming BRATS FILM TOUR Dates

September 28, 2006
San Diego Film Festival,
Pacific Gaslamp Theatre, 701 5th Ave., San Diego, CA (phone 619.232.0400) - 8:00 p.m. (may purchase tickets online or at the door)

September 29, 2006
Oceanside Public Library at the Civic Center,
330 N. Coast Highway, Oceanside, CA 92054 (760.435.5600) - 7:00 p.m. - sponsored by Friends of the Oceanside Public Library (FREE Screening)

October 7 and 8, 2006
Tacoma Film Festival,
Performing Arts Auditorium, Stadium High School, 111 N. E Street, Tacoma, WA 98405 (253.571.1325) - Saturday 10/7 at 7:00 p.m., Sunday 10/8 at 2:00 p.m. (tickets on sale at The Grand Cinema, 606 S. Fawcett, Tacoma, WA 98402)

October 25 and 29, 2006
Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival,
Malco Theater, 819 Central Avenue, Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas 71901 (501.321.4747) - 10/25 at 5:05 p.m., Sunday 10/29 at 2:00 p.m. (tickets available at door)

October 22, 2006

Academy Women's Symposium -
Arlington, VA (private screening)

October 27 and 28, 2006

Overseas Brats "Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati Gathering" - The Drawbridge Inn, 2477 Royal Drive,
Ft. Mitchell, KY - Friday 10/27 at 10:30 a.m., Saturday 10/28 at 3:00 p.m.

November 2, 2006
Colorado Springs
Community Screening - Time and location to be announced!

November 3, 2006
Peterson Air Force Base Screening
- Time and location to be announced!

November 3-5, 2006

Rocky Mountain Women's Film Festival,
Colorado Springs Fine Art Center, 30 West Dale Street, Colorado Springs, CO 80903 (719.634.5581) - Time and date to be announced!

November 6, 2006

Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival, Cinema Paradiso, 503 SE 6th Street, Fort Lauderdale, FL (in the heart of downtown, on the south side of the New River) - 6:00 p.m. - (purchase tickets at door or online)

What people are saying about the movie:

'We must aggressively support this film."

John Hardy, Air Force Brat, Producer "Sex Lives and Video Tape" "Erin Brockovitch" "Ocean's 11" "Ocean's 12"

" It was the most wonderful trip HOME!"

Katie Villlani, Navy Brat

"The first true, sometimes brutally raw telling of the lives of dependents... should be classified as required viewing."

-Steve Eisenbaugh, CIA Brat, Taipei American School

Let's support this film and fill the house.

Q & A session with writer-director Donna Musil follows each screening.

Questions? Call Tim Wurtz - 310-914-1702

Short Synopsis

U.S. military BRATS share intimate memories about their unique childhoods - growing up on military bases around the world, then struggling to fit into an American lifestyle with which they have little in common. Narrated and featuring songs by Kris Kristofferson. Interviews include General Norman Schwarzkopf.

Medium version Synopsis

It's hard to imagine a military BRAT'S childhood. Moving from base to base around the world, they are at home everywhere - and nowhere. There are 1.2 million children being raised in the military today. An estimated 15 million Americans are former BRATS. They include actors Jessica Alba and Robert Duvall, Senator John McCain, and basketball star Shaquille O'Neal.

BRATS is the first cinematic glimpse into a global subculture whose journey to adulthood is a high-octane mixture of incredible excitement and enormous pain. Make no mistake - BRATS is not about the U.S. military - it's about their children, who grow up in a paradox that is idealistic and authoritarian, privileged and perilous, supportive and stifling - all at the same time. Their passports say "United States," but they're really citizens of the world.

Singer/songwriter and Air Force brat Kris Kristofferson leads us through the heart of their experiences, sharing intimate memories with fellow BRATS, including General Norman Schwarzkopf and author Mary Edwards Wertsch. Their stories reveal the peculiar landscape of their childhood, the culture that binds them together, and the power it exerts over their lives.

A seven-year work of passion by independent filmmaker Donna Musil, BRATS features rare archival footage, home movies and private photographs from post-war Japan, Germany, and Vietnam.

Longer version of synopsis

BRATS: Our Journey Home is the first feature-length documentary, narrated by singer/songwriter Kris Kristofferson, about a hidden American subculture - a lost tribe of at least fifteen million people from widely diverse backgrounds, raised on military bases around the world, whose shared experiences have shaped their lives so powerfully, they are forever different from their fellow Americans.

Using archival film sources, home movie footage and provocative first-person interviews, including General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, author Mary Edwards Wertsch, psychotherapist Stephanie Donaldson-Pressman, and West Point sociologist Dr. Morten Ender, BRATS tells the story of children raised under a very unique set of circumstances, including:

* living on the edge of history-in-the-making - attending the Nuremberg Trials and studying in the shadows of Dachau and Hiroshima;

* growing up in integrated schools and neighborhoods 20 years before the civil rights movement took hold in America;

* moving around the world, rarely knowing one's extended family, and losing one's friends, identity, and social status every couple of years;

* living on a series of "hometown" military bases with no permanent members, often in the middle of foreign countries;

* living an almost socialistic existence under an authoritarian structure that espouses democracy;

* suffering the prolonged absence of one's father (or more recently, one's mother or both);

* growing up in a patriarchal society constantly preparing for war; and,

* being exposed to art, history, and culture most American children only read about.

This unusual combination of experiences has created a cultural identity so powerful, it crosses all lines of race, gender, age, and class. Most brats, however, don't even know they belong to a separate subculture - they just feel "different" somehow, from their fellow Americans. Then the Internet surfaced a few years ago, enabling many to reconnect, reunite, and compare notes.

The similarities they've discovered are astounding - from seemingly innocuous personality quirks to major values, choices, expectations about life. Some of these psychological legacies are inspiring, others bittersweet. But for many, reconnecting with their fellow brats and recognizing their unique heritage has been the first time they've felt like they belonged, the first "hometown" they've ever known - each other.

As author and Marine Corps brat Pat Conroy says so eloquently in his introduction to Mary Wertsch's book, Military Brats: Legacies of Childhood Inside the Fortress:

I thought I was singular in all this, one of a kind. From Mary's book I discover that I speak in the multitongued, deep-throated voice of my tribe. ...[I]t's a language I was not even aware I spoke... a secret family I did not know I had. ... Military brats, my lost tribe, spent their entire youth in service to this country, and no one even knew we were there.
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Reworking the kitchen

My heart yearns for the freedom of retirement.
More than 40 years of full-time employment
- perhaps with the exception of 1986 when
unemployment lasted more than six months
and I actually managed to write a 600+ page novel
in my spare time while seeking a job.

Today, leisurely, I spent all morning online
thinking about my writing activities in my new variation.
I've been to the blogging circus and blogged away.
I have blogs I'm proud of, but political blogging in depth
- with a self-imposed obligation to write every day
robs all other creativity of energy.

Combined with the blood-sucking drain on emotional energy,
which is the substance of my employment and my duties.
Too-tired-to-think blogging robs me of my ultimate
literary and intellectual pleasures. I have a book in progress;
had one now going on twenty years. And there are more
where that one comes from.

By afternoon I brake off the online stuff and return to reworking
the kitchen as sweetheart and I had discussed earlier in the morning.
Went to the basement, freed up bricks and boards, hauled the rattan
furniture down there and set up brick-and-board shelving in the kitchen.
Moved the pink table into the bay and plan today is to continue moving
dishes, pots and pans and cooking utensils into more accessible places.

Sweetheart in conference call with MFSO Washington State Chapter
leadership team while I cook potatoes, onions, green onions, mushrooms,
tomatoes, eggs and cheese into a supper to remember.
Filling even if overdue and worth the wait.
We went to bed and fell asleep during Without A Trace
Woke up, turned the TV off after midnight.
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Ten things you can do with Lavender

courtesy of Lavender specialists at Labyrinth Hill

Ten Things You Can Do With Lavender...
Without Sewing, Gluing, Nailing or Painting!

Mosquito Repellant
Lavender straw is the leftover stalks and branches from processing the dried buds. It’s quite useful as a fragrant and effective insect repellent. Toss a handful of the straw onto the barbecue or picnic fire. It will repel flies and mosquitoes!
Bud Denuding Device

Vinegar’s Not Just for Salads

Bring one cup of distilled white vinegar to a boil and pour it over a half cup of fresh lavender flowers to make “Cosmetic Vinegar.” Cover and leave for twenty-four hours before straining and bottling. For a skin softening and restoring bath, add a half cup to a tub of warm water.

Cosmetic vinegar may be diluted by adding 2 T. to a pint of water. Used as a hair rinse, the vinegar neutralizes any shampoo residue and re-stores the acidic mantle.

Oil of Lavender

When using essential oil as a massage oil it needs to be diluted with light vegetable oil. Our recipe for Oil of Lavender can be used full strength. Fill a clear glass jar loosely with dried lavender buds. Top with olive oil and cap the container. Leave this jar in a sunny window for a few weeks shaking it every few days. Strain the oil into another container through a funnel lined with cheesecloth. Press and squeeze the flowers to extract as much of the scent as possible. For a more potent oil, repeat the process once or twice more. A few drops of this will scent a bath!

Lavender Tea Bread With Lemon Glaze

Lavender Sugar

Process 1 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons lavender in a blender just until the flowers are crushed. (Be sure to use only culinary lavender.) Sieve out large pieces and store sugar in a glass jar at least one week before using. Sweeten a cup of tea for a fragrant break from your busy day. This sugar will keep for about three months.

Lavender Fields Indoors
Place approximately ½ cup dried lavender buds into a small muslin bag. Firmly knot the opening. Toss the bag into your dryer when doing sheets. It leaves a light fresh scent. The muslin bag scent will last for 5-7 dryer loads and can be refreshed with a few drops of lavender essential oil.

Lavender Hair Rinse

Lavender makes a good hair rinse especially for gray hair. Steep a handful of fresh or dried flowers in a pint of boiling water. When it cools, strain it and use as a final rinse water after shampooing.

Sage and Lavender Aftershave
Thought lavender was only for the ladies? Think again! Combine 2 cups witch hazel extract (it’s available at most drugstores) 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 1 ounce (about 1 cup) dried lavender flowers and 1 ounce (also about 1 cup) dried sage in a large glass jar with a lid. Close the jar and let the mixture steep for one week, shaking it daily. Then strain off and discard herbs and bottle the lotion. What a treat for your Sweetie!

Wedding Package

It’s Wash Day
Plant a lavender hedge near your laundry room door. When the sun shines dry your pillow cases or lingerie over the bushes. Also use muslin sachets filled with lavender, placing them between the folds of freshly laundered sheets, in your linen closet.

Lavender’s on the Loose!

When you change your vacuum cleaner bag, sprinkle 2 tablespoons of dried lavender buds on the floor. Vacuum them up and you will gently freshen the room each time you vacuum.

Magical Lavender Wand

Sweet Lavender Tisane

“Tisane” is a tea made from dried fruit, flowers, and/or berries. Be sure to use culinary lavender for this recipe. Place 3 tablespoons of fresh lavender flowers in a teapot (1½ T if using dried). Add 2 cups of boiling water. Allow the flowers to steep for 3 or 4 minutes, strain and serve with a slice of lemon and honey.

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Saturday, October 7, 2006

I love October and stay-home-all-day leisure

I love October and stay-home-all-day leisure

Didn't sleep in this morning. Hip pain woke me up.
Made coffee and came upstairs to the lure
of the Internet. I'm an online addict.
I quit smoking a year ago and abandoned
that addiction successfully. But I also became
an online writer and political activist;
another addiction of dubious merit.

Political activism seemed to satisfy my desire
- participation in the enwakenment of an electorate -
shoving around voters made aware of how apathy has
afflicted this country. Now at my age, I see enough
youngsters who'll "take it from here." I can go back
to knowing how I'll vote, when to speak and what to say.
Cause more and better talents do the same many times elsewhere.

Yearning now at 60 for more
quality time at home
- not driven by anyone else's magic.
Almost I can look on, amused
at how all the ants in the pile are awake,
aroused and all over Republican grasshoppers
stuck in angry and aroused mandibles.

Early afternoon I went down, pulled up
the last of the carpet in the living room.
All our old wooden floor is now exposed.
Then moved shelving and my books around
so as to move one of our portable wardrobes
into the nook between
the living room and bathroom.

Back upstairs in the evening briefly
until sweetheart called me to soup
which left me drowsy within a few minutes.
I fell asleep back at the keyboard.
She woke me up with a call
from downstairs around midnight
of my first day off work.
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Friday, October 6, 2006

Quality Time On Vacation

Quality Time on Vacation

I always like Friday nights;
the open, lazy moment
when work is done, nothing demands
and tomorrow there'll be no need
to rise early and start working
on my game face
not for two days.

Even better but less frequent,
next month will see the first night
of my week's vacation.
A week in April and a week in October;
never two full weeks because I can't
be gone that long in an office
so understaffed.

My case load, after two weeks off,
would be too far behind.
The end of the first day
back at work
would leave me
ready for another
week's vacation.

I'll stay up into the night because
I can sleep in tomorrow.
I read my regulars
as I do every morning
and evening
after work.
Tonight more leisurely.

Maybe ... Republican sexual follies.
My secret delight that they keep tripping over themselves.
In anxiety to grab money and power,
the're more clumsy
and morally vacant
than all other politicians

News from Iraq always bad.
But if it has to be bad,
I'm pleased
that it's Bush's fault,
the Republicans' fault.
They deserve repudiation.
Damn you assholes!

No moral fibre,
no personal integrity,
no genuine concern,
no compassion
only greed,
avarice and
mean spirited religion.
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Summer's End 2006, was a great spring and summer

There's no pretentions to this home, it's pretty much salt of the earth kind of house and we live in pretty much as salt of the earth kind of people. Now, I'm not saying there haven't been efforts to get the house more upscale and we're grateful to PO who invested in giving the house more than a cosmetic face lift as the PO before them had done. As you read our blog and see our pics, you kinda see the down and dirty along with what we hope are some of the pretty.

Haven't done much 'remodeling' since we started this blog, and there is good reason for that, but moving on...end of summer 2006. We spent many happy, contented hours of the spring and summer months working on yard and garden.

End of summer 2006, and sad to see the season come to a close, but there will be another summer in 2007 and we look forward to watching all the new plantings grow next year. Planted a hybrid 3 kinds of apples on one tree - that should be interesting. Planted an ornamental Mt Fuji Japanese white flowering cherry tree.

We ordered ten bare root trees from National Arbor the second year we lived here and planted them per instructions. Bare root trees are really just twigs sticking out of the ground. Dear husband ran over several of them with the lawn mower - more than once. Accident, of course, not intentional. But they must be hardy because only about 5 didn't make it and 5 are still with us. We replanted them in 2006 season to their new permanent homes.

We planted two Eucalyptus trees, one is potted in whiskey barrell and the other in the front yard. That about does it for the trees I can plant in our limited yard space. And it's too bad, because I wasn't done with trees for our yard yet. I learned this year that where we live, we have a mini planting zone that permits some plantings that don't do as well in the regional climate zone shown on the climate zone maps as our 'zone'. We live on a northern bay on the Pacific Coast which creates a maritime climate zone for us. That can be good and not so good, but it does help me to realize that what my inland neighbors can grow is not the same thing I can as easily grow. Now, it seems in addition to apples (Washington - apples, you know), I can also grow peaches and apricots. Really! Okay, but sigh - no room in our yard. I'll just have to fit it in some way cause I intend to have one of each.

entry by Lietta Ruger - green thumb is shaping up
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Monday, October 2, 2006

Sharing an audio photo story - thanks SnapGenie!

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Sharing an audio photo story - thanks SnapGenie!

by Lietta Ruger

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