Thursday, October 31, 2013

Weigh-In Success!!!

With combination crash dieting, killer workouts, weight loss supplements, compression belts and a LOT of prayer, Dave lost twenty pounds and passed his weigh-in this morning with two inches to spare!  So, he is safely employed for at least another six months (barring another government shutdown or the collapse of the entire system, of course).  Thank you, Jesus!!!

And thanks to everyone who sent prayers!  I'm sure they helped.  I'm going to go blow out the altar candles now before I burn the apartment down, and then go decompress in a lovely hot shower.  Oh, the relief!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Weigh-In Crisis, Part 2

Ok, apparently we have a week less time than we thought we had.  The weigh-in to end all weigh-ins will be this Thursday.  If that goes well, the actual PT test will be on Friday, but we aren't worried about that part.  All the hard work he's been putting in has been paying off, but we're right there at the borderline.

I'm trying not to freak out about it.  I know it isn't always a catastrophe when life doesn't go as planned, but I'd be lying if I said it didn't make me nervous.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Obamapocolypse Now

I hope all the Sandra Flukes of the world can rest easy knowing they enjoy free birth control at the expense of a young boy with a life-threatening milk allergy who can now barely afford his EpiPens, the family of ten who now live on ramen noodles with limited utilities in a futile attempt to afford medical supplies for their two children with Type 1 Diabetes, the self-employed chiropractor who can no longer afford his home and had to move his family of five into a friend's house, the families who are proactively quitting their jobs and declaring bankruptcy to qualify for Medicaid rather than face even more devastating financial ruin, the small business owners who are closing their doors because their healthcare plans will now negate their profits, the single mothers who now must work two part-time jobs because government regulations slashed their hours, and the doctors who are seeking early retirement or considering leaving the country because they feel the new government standards of limited care violate the Hippocratic Oath.

What a wonderful enlightened world we live in.  Many thanks to Matt Walsh for putting this compilation together.  People need to be aware of the real human cost.  For some reason, the Affordable Car Act has left millions of Americans out of work, out of money, out of options, and still unable to afford what used to be basic healthcare.

It used to be an option to just do without what you cannot afford.  Now if we try to do without, we are fined for our trouble.  They will get you either way.  Unless you actually quit trying to make ends meet, give up attempting to maintain a legitimate income, you will be hounded for everything you have.  I've been saying for a while that the real collapse won't come until the average American realizes he has nothing left to lose.  This could very well be the final ruin of the middle-class.

In the words of Emily from Iowa:
Recently our 2 year-old daughter had an ear infection. Went to the doc, got a prescription for an antibiotic. Went to the pharmacy to fill said prescription. I was expecting it to cost around 5 dollars because that’s what it cost the last time we had it filled. Wrong. It now costs 75 dollars. I paid 75 dollars for an antibiotic that used to cost us 5 dollars. When I asked the pharmacist, “Why the huge increase?” She replied, “Obamacare. And this is just the beginning.”
For more stories which will be detrimental to your blood-pressure, follow the link to The Matt Walsh Blog.  I read each and every one.  We're still covered by military health insurance, and I dread the day we'll have to face off with Obamacare.  With any luck, maybe we could join one of those religious co-ops if they're still exempt.  Shoot, at this point I'm considering settling in on welfare in an attempt to pull the whole edifice down sooner.  If we all give up at once, maybe we could just burn this administration to the ground and start from scratch.

This is one of the very few things that can make me stop and think, "Thank God we don't have kids."

America is essentially dead.  What on earth do we have now?

Friday, October 18, 2013

Andy's Raw Food, the Follow-up

So, after weeks of looking for a simple outdoor thermometer in all the wrong places, we have finally determined that our freezer has not been cold enough to render the raw food safe.  When I turned the settings down to make the freezer cold enough, everything in the fridge froze.  So, until we have a freezer and refrigerator that have independent settings, or enough disposable income to acquire a little chest freezer, Andy will have to make due with med-rare hamburger.  She's not a happy camper today, enduring the 24-hour fast between food types.  Fortunately, eggs are an ingredient in both types.  Maybe I'll scramble a few for her.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

October 15

"When a child loses his parent, they are called an orphan.  When a spouse loses her or his partner, they are called a widow or widower.  When parents lose their child, there isn't a word to describe them.  This month recognizes the loss so many parents experience across the United States and around the world.  It is also meant to inform and provide resources for parents who have lost children due to miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy, stillbirths, birth defects, SIDS, and other causes."  - President Ronald Reagan, 1988
 Until recently, I wasn't even aware there was an official "Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance" month or day.  Now of course I can't let it go by without posting something.  The good news is that our situation rarely upsets me anymore; it's just become a fact of our lives.  We have each other and the dog and three personal saints, and we're happy.  I do credit the dog with cheering us up until we can acquire children by other means.  However, the next best thing to fur therapy is music.

Over the years, I've been compiling a playlist of songs about loss which helped get me through some tough times.  Some are sadder than others, but I thought I'd highlight a few of the best ones today.  Someday I'll post a comprehensive list.

1. Daughtry, "Gone Too Soon"

2. Plumb, "I Want You Here"

3. RyanDan, "Tears of an Angel"

4. Canadian Tenors, "Watching Over Me" (because we don't want to end on a downer)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Everyday Dog Training

I used to think I was a decent dog trainer.  Now that my sister knows how to do it professionally, I realize I am actually pretty lousy at it.  Most of that is just laziness, or not being able to see around the seeming pointlessness of some of the standard tricks.  What really is the point of teaching a dog to roll over?  Is this a precaution against her ever catching fire?

Fortunately, we have a smart dog who catches on quickly.  We've had the best success in "everyday training," which is basically about learning to communicate.  She's picked up several vocabulary words in the short three months we've been working with her.

Basic tricks down cold, by voice or hand command:

  • sit
  • down
  • stand
  • "sit pretty" (like a circus dog)

What more do you really need?  Maybe "come" and "stay."  Both of those are still a little tenuous, but the foundation is there.

Extra words, phrases, and general communication:
  • get in your crate (works best at bedtime)
  • breakfast
  • hungry
  • food (a favorite)
  • eggs
  • eggs for food (the best of all worlds)
  • squirrel (actually looks where I'm pointing now)
  • in the chair (when her toy "disappears")
  • outside
  • inside
  • c'mon (she's a slow walker on leash)
  • baby (referring to her)
  • good girl

It's always exciting to see that glimmer of understanding when we talk to the little critter.  It makes me wonder if she draws any other conclusions about her world.  She knows what happens when she goes outside; does she assume that's what we're doing when we leave her here?  The jingly keys mean going outside.  When we leave with the jingly keys, does she imagine we're going for a car ride or taking a stroll around the neighborhood without her?  I guess we'll never know.  

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Thank you for all the prayers!  St. Joseph, St. Jude, and St. Joan of Arc have pulled through for us.  A desperate appeal to his chief last night has resulted in not just a week, but a month's grace for Dave's lettuce diet to work it's magic.  It's already had a significant effect, so he should be able to be boot camp skinny in a month.  If that doesn't work, there's really no helping it.

What a load of stress relief!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Urgent Prayer Request

If anyone can spare a few moments today, or tomorrow, or Thursday morning, we could certainly use a few extra prayers.

Here's the deal in a nutshell.  After several years of skating by in the spirit of the law, we've been caught by the new draconian regime in the PT office which has begun enforcing the letter of the law.  Despite being able to perform at Navy standards in the gym, Dave has run afoul of their ridiculous weight limits and neck-to-waist ratio.  The numbers say he is supposed to be under 200 pounds at his height, which would be borderline anorexic for his body type.  He's lost ten pounds in the past five weeks in an attempt to meet these requirements, and is now living on lettuce and apples and weight loss supplements, but the outcome is still uncertain.  The issue is that we've had this kind of trouble a few times before, and this would be the last strike.

If he passes, he gets promoted and we're set for at least another year.  If not, the Navy will disregard the rest of his contract and release him back into the wild.  Basically, on Thursday we'll know whether we're staying here or organizing a fire sale of our worldly goods and embarking on a new and exciting semi-homeless phase of our lives.

I know God has a plan, but right now I really wish He would let me in on a few details.

Saturday, October 5, 2013


Congratulations to my brother, who had enough ambition to leave home for a tiny apartment and earn a private helicopter pilot's license!  The picture is courtesy of his flight school's website. :)

Friday, October 4, 2013

This Month's Magic Number Is . . .

200.  It's been turning up a lot in this first week.

  • $200 for student loan
  • $200 for credit card #1
  • $200 for credit card #2
  • -$200 in pay while the government is "shut down"

and finally, the surprise of the morning .  .  .

  • $200+ in emergency veterinary care for vomiting and bloody diarrhea. 
Really, puppy?  Credit card #2 was just a fraction of the payoff for her spay, and now it's right back up there where we started.  Stop being sick!  :(

Fortunately for her, I was just reflecting yesterday on how much I like our dog and how great it is to have her around.  The expense is worth it in the end, but seriously, that's enough for now.  

With any luck, I can finish a few commissions soon which should be worth about $200.  Should be able to get a lot of work done while the doggie is sick/napping in her quarantine pen.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

I Want You Here

I am always on the lookout for emotionally powerful songs to add to my collection.  I found this one randomly on YouTube while listening to another Plumb song.  Based on the title, "I Want You Here," I assumed it would be just another one of those pining love songs.  To my surprise, I eventually realized I had stumbled upon a song about child loss.  Everyone who has ever lost a child should know about this.  It isn't often we come across music specifically tailored to our situation.

The first video is Plumb's live explanation of the song's significance, and the second is the studio recording for those who prefer it to the live version.  I'll be putting this one on my miscarriage survival playlist for sure.