Monday, December 28, 2009

Happy Holidays

Whew, it's been awhile since I posted, I was caught up in holiday preparations. Our holidays have gone quite smoothly, almost surprisingly so. I decided to just make my homemade cinnamon rolls (made a few weeks in advance and frozen for Christmas morning), wine biscuits (easy recipe for a traditional Italian biscuit), and our traditional gingerbread men cookies, which we put out for Santa each year. This year we cut it close, making them a 7pm Christmas Eve., but we were not stressed over it, in fact, it made the evening go by quickly.
J man got everything he asked for on his list (he only asked for 6 things, and those were provided for by his relatives). We decided to get him a digital camera as our gift for him this Christmas. I was his age when I got my first 110 film camera. I remember taking picture after picture, then having to wait for the film to get developed. Jman gets instant pleasure from his. He loves taking photos and then modifying them on the computer, it is his artistic side coming out, and we like to encourage it. He did not ask for one, but he has been very excited using it. We did not realize that it did not come with a memory card, so he was panicking on Christmas when he could only take a few pictures. Luckily, memory cards are relatively cheap, and he was able to buy one with some babysitting money he had earned the day after Christmas (yes, if we had realized that it needed a card, we certainly would have bought it for him as part of his gift, but since it was after the holiday, we figured it was a way for him to realize that electronic items often have extra costs associated with them).
I got several great items, one of which was the Shark floor cleaner, which steams and sanitizes as it cleans. Yes, I am a dork and get excited over new cleaning tools. It started very early in life; when I was 7 I started asking for a dust buster every year for Christmas (never got one, I think my parents could not rationalize it in their heads).
We were able to Skype my family Christmas morning, and my folks "watched" us open presents, which is nice. It was the next best thing to being at home for the holidays. In fact, that was what they wanted for Christmas, to be Skyped each month, mostly so they can see how Jman is growing and stay connected in his life.
I hope everyone else had a blessed, peaceful holiday. Here is to a new year full of growth and promise.

Friday, December 11, 2009


*Caution* Depressing post ahead...don't read if already feeling miserable.

My husband and I saw "Brothers", the movie, starring Jake G. (don't ask me to spell his name), Tobey M., and Natalie Portman, . If you do not already know, it is a movie about a soldier (Tobey) who is going back to Afghanistan, leaving his wife and brother, (Jake) newly released from prison at home. Tobey is reported killed in action, Jake becomes part of Natalie's family life, Tobey comes back and tries to readjust to the world.
The acting was very realistic in this movie. So much so that I would strongly recommend that anyone in the military, married to someone in the military, or even someone ex military should not see it, it cuts that close to home. I cried almost the entire time.
As we left the theater, I looked at my husband, waiting for his response. It took him a bit, then he said "well, that was certainly not a comedy". He also agreed that no military person should see it, nor anyone interested in even joining the military, again, because it was too realistic.
It got me thinking. I've asked my husband before, who would they send if he was killed in the line of duty, would they wait until I came home from work, or would they come to my work. Way back when he first joined the military, I broached this topic, he was taken aback, but now, he understands it is my way of coping of what might be. I've asked that he arrange to have certain members of his squad come, since I would recognize them (I don't know all of them and really would not want this news from a "stranger"). I've debated whether or not I would stay in Texas, where my son has lived over half his life or if I would move back east to where most of our family is located I've mentioned that I would get a dog, since we can't have one now since he is allergic to them. He gets insulted at the thought that he could be replaced by a dog, but it is more that I would need something to distract me, to love me unconditionally without expectations during that trying time. Back when he was just coming out of basic training and they were deciding whether or not to send him to Iraq, Italy, or Germany; I remember taking long walks with my dog, since no one around me was involved with the military, so they could not offer me the comfort I needed. It was my dog who kept me strong.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Insurance runaround

My insurance company and I like to play a game every year, it's called "how many times does Dawn have to call the insurance company before they pay a claim".
My insurance company likes to keep me on my toes by denying my son's claim every year, even though it for my son's preexisting condition which they know about. It's quite frustrating, since every time I call, the rep will look at our account and agree with me that it should be paid, but she can't fix it, it has to go to her supervisor. OF course, none of the reps. give out their full names, they always insist their comments will be saved in the file. They never are, and I have to explain yet again what the problem is the next time I call.
It's funny, because when I call, I get the "you've been selected to respond to a customer satisfaction survey" request. One of the questions is whether or not I believe that the insurance company is responding in a quick and a caring matter. Sure they are, in fact, they care so much about him, they insist I fax them his medical records for the past x number of years (working on year 6 now)., just so they can review them and get to know him all over again.
I don't know where they are putting the old copies, perhaps they are using them as alternative fuel for their fireplaces; money's tight all over, even for them.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Quote of the day

“I know God would never give me more than I can handle, but sometimes I wish He didn’t trust me so much"

-Mother Theresa