Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Tuesday is a beautiful day in the neighborhood; it's the day the Thrift Store is open. I haven't had a babysitter since we returned from our trip so I haven't been able to go until today. Today, I swapped childcare with one of my friends and toodled off to seek my destiny.

As luck would have it, it was a bag sale day: all the clothes that fit in a bag for $7. My bag of joy was filled with a pair of Columbia capri pants, the diamond checked coat, three shirts, and a skirt, plus the stunning orange satin gown in the picture.

For an additional $11, I got the giant stack of books, a pair of ugly but strangely comfortable garden clogs, the tin roaster, some silverware and a viewmaster/binocular toy. The books were an excellent score for $0.25 each, and can we talk about the dress for just a minute?

Isn't it gorgeous?!!? I mean, if you ignore the glazed look, the scabby shins and the crew socks. It's deliciously silky and very Cinderella-ish. And if anyone can channel Cinderella, I can: Cinderella, Cinderella, do the dishes; sweep the floor; feed the fishes; make the beds; cook the supper; find my toy; fold the laundry; all I ever hear is Mommy Cinderella. Whew, it makes me want to curl up in the fireplace ashes with the rats just thinking about it.

I have a question, though: does it make me look more like Cinderella, or more like the pumpkin? I can't decide which one is more appealing: Cinderella slaves away for years doing menial chores for a bunch of ingrates that hate her, only to have to marry some clown that only likes her for her shoe size; while the pumpkin gets chopped up and made into pie after its outlived its usefulness as a magic carriage. Where's the happy ending, dammit?

Monday, July 27, 2009


I've read blog posts titled 'Pieces' before; they're always very poignant and chock-full of greater emotional truth about something or other. Well, not on Stories from Korea; No, Sir! I try to steer clear of all that boring self-important crap.

Nope, my 'Pieces' is all about my... pieces, and how they are falling apart. Seriously, if I was a car I would be a rusty, dented-up '68 VW bug. A sort of beigish, pasty-looking one with a dragging muffler and a bashed-in door. If I were groceries I would be a soggy, brown, smooshed-up banana, fit only for muffins and fruit flies. If I were clothes, I would be the last grimy pair of granny panties crumpled up in the back corner of the drawer; the ones you wear when you are desperate because everything else is piled up in a stinking heap on the laundry room floor. No? Well, maybe it's just me.

I'm pretty healthy: I drink my quota (and possibly yours) of red wine, I exercise a reasonable amount (the wine store is SO far away!), I take my vitamins, I eat tons of fruit and vegetables, I floss my teeth and I wear sunscreen every day. And a fat lot of good all that stupid stuff has done me, I will tell you what.

Right now, as I sit here, I have a rash of unknown origin all over my neck and chest, some sort of toddler carrying injury in my left arm and a pulled ligament in in my left foot from... are you ready for this? GETTING OUT OF BED. I know, it sounds totally ridiculous, but it's true.

Clearly, I have been going about things in completely the wrong way, so I'm turning over a new leaf. Goodbye floss, hello Coke mouthwash. Goodbye vitamins, hello Red Bull. Goodbye fruits and veggies, hello Crisco and Twinkies. Out with the old and in with the new! Well, except for the wine. A girl can't totally abandon her health, right?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

You're going where, now?

The other day, Lloyd put on his gas mask and his battle gear for some training at work. Inspired by his bizarre appearance, or suffering from a lack of oxygen, he told the boys that he was going to Venus to meet with the Planet Heroes and needed the get-up so he could breathe there.

Weston, not an easy sell, peppered him with questions about how he was going to withstand the heat, fire and lava on Venus. Lloyd convinced him that his outfit was suitable for visiting the hottest planet in the solar system, whereupon Weston requested some Venus rocks. Lloyd headed off to work and I had to field the questions all day:

Will Dazzle be there? Will Daddy bring me some pink Venus rocks? Is he going to all the planets, or just Venus?

Now, the whole time, I was clenching my jaw to keep my mouth shut because I have a major aversion to lying to my children. I guess I can live with Lloyd doing it for 'fun', because I can tolerate our parenting differences, but I am unwilling to be an accomplice. This stance of mine has gotten me soundly mocked for years. You would think I would learn my lesson and just shut up about it, but I've never been shy about sharing all my ridiculous ideas and hare-brained schemes. I got to thinking about it after I got an extra helping of ridicule from my old nemesis, Facebook, when I posted about it.

I got all the same responses I normally get when I mention my discomfort with lying. The most common one is, 'But what about Santa?' Because Lloyd does not share my unease with filling our childrens' head with falsehoods, my Santa policy is one of compromise. I don't mind Santa 'stories', and my answer to all the questions is, 'What do you think?' Then, whatever the answer is, I say, 'You might be right,' 'Maybe so', or 'Hmmmm'. So far this has worked well, so you don't need to worry about Weston telling your kid on the playground that Santa, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy are evil-minded inventions perpetrated by a society bent on controlling and manipulating the vulnerable minds of children for its own benefit not real.

Now, just let me reiterate up front that I said I do not believe in lying to MY children. You mess up your kids your way, I'll mess up mine my way, m'kay? I could post some links to sites that discuss the disadvantages to lying to your kids, even about Santa and the Easter Bunny, but that's not really my point.

My point is this: I post things all the time about my less than stellar parenting skills. I talk about how they eat butter and coffee for breakfast, snack on flour, wear the same clothes for days, and bathe with dishes. Not once has anyone criticized me in any way for any of those things, but as soon as I take on betrayal disguised as a fictional fat man in a red suit Santa, I'm Satan in capri pants and sensible sandals. And while we're talking about Satan, have you ever noticed that Satan and Santa are anagrams of one another? Coincidence? I think not. I'm not very smart so maybe that's why I can't figure out why feeding a kid caffeine and animal fat (they were both organic, I swear!) in place of the most important meal of the day is okay, but telling him the truth is not. I'm open to enlightenment, so fill me in, if you please. And maybe next time Lloyd feels like taking a long journey, he can head up to the North Pole and kick some jolly red ass.

And, if you haven't voted in the poll in the upper right, please read this post, then vote. I'm formulating a theory and I need a few more data points, not that I'm opposed to making up my theory out of nothing at all. I don't mind lying exaggerating to YOU, after all.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Normal or not? Guest post and poll!

As military spouses, we do all kinds of crazy things for so long that they seem normal. Then, when we re-enter the real world, it's sometimes hard to tell if everyone else is crazy or if we are. So, let's try to help out my anonymous guest poster who is befuddled by a recent situation she faced. Read her account, and then vote in the poll located in the upper right corner.


A young girl is having her tonsils/adenoids out on a Friday and her grandparents are not only taking off work on Friday but driving to the granddaughter's house to spend the night through Sunday night. (note: granddaughters's house is in a different state. A neighboring one, but a different one.) Also, the said granddaughter's two other siblings are staying at another relative's house through the weekend as well. Then on Monday, the grandparents are taking the two siblings (the ones staying with the relative) back to the state THEY live in so the parents of said granddaughter can tend to her some more.

So there will be 4 adults (two who live out of state) to tend to this one child who is having very minor surgery for 3 days. And then two adults tending to the one child for even a few more days.

So, is this what most families do? Or am I too jaded as a military wife to know how much 'normal' family gather? Or am I jaded as my family is integrated with many healthcare professionals and I realize that a tonsillectomy is very routine?
Realize I got several e-mails leading up to this procedure to remind me and several e-mails on the day of, to let me know how everything progressed. (The procedure is only about 10 minutes long).

And it just drove me crazy! I'm thinking, oh my goodness - she's just having her tonsils out! Is it that big of a deal? Under normal circumstances if I had just been told about the surgery I would have called that day and told her to "get well soon" but this made me not even want to call..which is wrong I know. But I was afraid to feed the mania!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Desperate Groundhogs

So, have I mentioned that we're back at Osan? I think I might have. Osan's a nice little place, if possibly a bit strange; the people are friendly and the sky is always blue, except when it's yellow or black. I've written plenty about it, you can click here and here for some brief descriptions of life here if you like.

On of the many odd things about it is that every day is the same. My friend Lauren describes the Osan standard day perfectly in a recent post titled 'Nothing': BX, Post Office, wine store*, commissary, wine store. Well, that's my version. She probably makes a few more trips to the library for educational tomes and a few less stops at the wine store, but she's sort of snobby that way.

The whole routine is a vicious mobius strip; sort of like a loop or a vicious circle, only you can't get off, and it's not round, especially after your wine ration. All you can do is shuffle off to the side once in a while for another bottle to check the mail again. It's sort of like 'Groundhog Day' meets 'Desperate Housewives': Desperate Groundhogs! I totally smell a reality show in the making, and I look smashing in brown fur!

* On my recent trip, my sister one of my many loyal readers informed me that SFK makes it sound like I drink a LOT of wine. This is not actually true. While I like my wine, I am not a complete lush; I simply don't have the time to drink as much as I'd like. Just so you know, once in a while there might possibly be a slight exaggeration or teeny tiny obfuscation. Hardly any lies, though.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Well. Back at Osan. Yep, here we are. The flight was about what you'd expect. Long, and, ummm, LONG. We had a great trip but it's nice to be home, too. I had considered staying a few weeks more while Lloyd came back alone but I don't think my parents could have taken it, since we had pretty much already sucked them dry.

We came home to a bunch of great stuff we inherited from some friends that moved: new toys, some furniture, plants and chocolates. Outstanding.
And, it's monsoon season here! I'm pretty enthusiastic about it because last year we didn't get a single monsoon and I was very disappointed. The sandbag dikes around the buildings were high and dry all summer. But now we're having a proper season. The ground is soggy and the worms are out. My friend Heidi was a little alarmed when she saw a little old Korean man building a boat in front of her building, but I say unless he's got a pompadour and funky glasses, everything is perfectery rovery. Pass the oars! And the rum. Yo ho ho, me hearties.

Unfortunately we have yet to get adjusted to Osan standard time. This is the third morning and our wakeup times have gotten progressively earlier each morning. I was optimistic the first day when we got up at 4:15, but yesterday it was 3:08 and today it was 2:45 am and I am barely functional.

Well, that's all the latest. I have to go throw the kids in the washing machine and toss the recycling in the oven. TTFN!

Thursday, July 2, 2009


So, okay. I haven't REALLY been spending ALL my time at the thrift store, even though the thrift stores here are GLORIOUS. And, it is true that I am sore and aching all the damn time but it's probably not as a result of my strenuous shopping habit. Here's a fascinating more detailed rundown:

The raspberries here are ripe and we have been picking them to freeze. And eat: One for the freezer, one for my mouth. One for the freezer, two for my mouth. Weston and Shane have both quickly become accomplished raspberry pickers. The dog is also surprisingly adept at picking, though he is pretty stubborn about giving up his booty for the ziploc freezer bags.

We went to Remlinger Farms, which is a very nice little farm with a petting zoo, working train and kid-sized rides. The boys loved it. We have also been going to the park, the playground, the Target, the Starbucks and the wine store regularly. We have been traipsing around the countryside looking at real estate, and waiting for the Air Force to ream us yet again.

Today I took Weston to the movies with his cousin Paloma. We saw 'Madagascar 2', which was entirely ridiculous, even for a kids movie. While we were there, I saw the most shocking breach of parenting skills ever. A little tiny kid, maybe around two, stepped onto a down escalator, alone. He went down a couple of steps, turned around and started scrambling back up to the top, then tripped and fell on his face. About the time he got halfway down, still sprawled out on the ground, the rest of his family finally got on the escalator. There were two adults there, presumably his mother and father, and apparently neither of them was worried at all that he might be ground up in a giant metal conveyor belt of death. I try not to criticize other parents, because hello, I sometimes feed my kids butter on a fork and leave the same clothes on them for multiple days (no more than four, of course, I have substandards), but come on, people!

Finally, for my favorite heckler, the fabulous burnt orange cords are from my sister's swap party stash. The party isn't til Sunday but I got a sneak preview and I could hear them singing my name from their hefty bag home: 'Annnnnnnnnaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, we are deliciously snug yet compellingly baggggggggggggggggggggyyyyyyyyyyy. Put us on and have some beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr......... You cannot resist ussssssssssssssssssss....'

And, they were right.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Yeah, yeah, yeah

I know, I know: no new posts AGAIN. Sorry, AGAIN. Sincerely, I have been running myself ragged with all the thrifting. No lie, I am actually sore. My thrifting muscles must be in real disrepair. I'm not really sure what that says about me, but I'm thinking it could be a new sport. My sister has gotten interested in 'chi running' and I totally think I could invent 'chi thrifting'. It would be very cool, all zen and jedi master-ish, my basket would be full of effortless bargains and there would be no pain.

No? Well, then, just check out my latest scores! Is this not the most awesome coat you have ever seen? Five bucks, baby! I just can't wait for that Osan winter.