Sunday, May 1, 2011

Qatar

My trip to Qatar –


Yesterday morning I woke up with a mission… Get out of NKC. I did some checking and was able to get on stand by for a Helo flight to Bagram. Once arriving in Bagram (after a surreal – last time ride – across Kabul, I was able to get on the stand-by list to fly from Bagram to Qatar. Fortunately, I made it.. However, it still turned out to be a loooong day.


We had roll call and were told to wait – finally the time came to load in the plane.. so they marched us all out there (not literally, altho we were in ranks..but it was more like a casual walk) we got to the plane and were told to standby. So we did, to find out they had a hydraulic fluid leak, and we weren’t able to load yet – so, we were marched back to the waiting area.. to wait. After about an hour, we did this all over again, but this time, we were able to board! We actually got in, got seated and took off. After about an hour in the air – they noticed a fuel leak – so yes, you guessed it, we turned around. Now, I was sleeping throughout this, so imagine my disappointment, when we landed after about 2 hours of flight time (the flight to Qatar takes much longer) – to discover we were back in BAGRAM! OMGosh.. wow.. the landing was very scary.. you can tell there was panic, because the two Airmen were strapped in, and feverishly watching through the windows.. then you hear some bangs, and we landed.. hard.. I have to say, I was praying the whole time we were getting ready to land…asking GOD to not have taken me this far, to end it this way..


Obviously, we landed safe and sound, and were ushered off the plane ASAP – leaving everything behind.. After about 4 hours of waiting, we were once again taken out to the plane – to reload – only this time, it was a new plane. We got on board and were yet again, told they were having mechanical issues and there would be a delay. After about an hour – we went airborn.. THANK YOU GOD. We made it to Qatar about 2 am in the morning and were sent thru customs/immigration and the armory to drop off any weapon and magazines.


I was fortunately picked up by some of our guys and taken to billeting, given a room and was finally able to settle in about 5 am this morning. What a day!!
Today, I went to the CENTCOM building. This part is mainly for my Casualty Folks – so listen up..


Some things to know:
The wires were not run yet for the computers. Desks/computers were there, but not the wiring/cable. The office is as it is listed on the slide. Awesome.. Huge, compared to the closet we live in there. The space has tons of filing cabinets, a huge TV (will have to be moved, tho – for better viewing) and printers, fridge, etc. Now, the unfortunate part is that the couple of people that are working in there are not due to move out until next month – and with them they will take some of the stuff – what that will be, is anyone’s guess, therefore I could not do an inventory. Looks like you will still be good to go, though, even if they take half the filing cabinets, everyone will have plenty of space!


-things to note coming in to QATAR
-You can turn in your ammo here, at the armory, when you turn in ALL your magazines and weapons – do not bring knives (longer than 6 inches) brass knuckles, weapons of any sort…
-no magazines that could be considered porn of any type.. no pornography of any kind (CDs/toys, etc) – no shit they say this at the brief!


For the building you will work:
-No external devices allowed in the building: laptops, cells, CDs, iPods, etc. They are very strict on building security, cameras every where and if you breach it, you can bet your butt, there will be a lock down and they will find you..
-there are 8 desks set up including a Tamberg for Video Teleconferences (that is on order) you can set up in the CAS CELL area – Capt Trexler is ordering enough and I told him we would need one – follow up with him when you get here, to ensure you get one of them
-That space I was trying to figure out what it was – looks ilke a hallway –its actually a “customer service” counter that’s the area customers would be waiting, but that door – to that area- will be locked and you shouldn’t have to worry about it – it will be more like “dead space”
-MSgt Tate will need to come when all is set up – ensure now that the comms guys (talk to Mr B) know that we need to have a SHARE Drive – not just Share Point – no lines are up yet, therefore I could not check that out
-Ensure to add to the SOP that in the event of a USFOR-A death – at AL Udied – those reports need to be reported to us in the same manner we process for USFOR-A Kabul personnel BUT we also need to inform 357th I think it is - the AF personnel that runs the base here.. they need to be informed of any death that occurs on this base – verify the unit (357th or 359th.. something like that)
-Once MSgt Tate comes in, he will be able to inventory what Is left in the office, and then, order any thing else that is needed.. keeping in mind, what we do not order – will stay behind when the cell moves to a different building
-Our Cell is not with any other USFOR-A personnel. We are down the hall and around the corner.
-Couldn’t take pics inside the building – due to the security restrictions – but it looks as its laid out on the PPT
-They only have a couple vans – but its not too hard to sign out the keys – to make “pick-ups” etc.. you guys will have to coordinate that with Capt Trexler or MSgt Brooks- they have the keys (2 different vans)
There is a big white board in the office area – again, you guys will have to turn things around a bit – to make the most of it.. they are all set up like cubicles, so, you can move around, just keep in mind all cabeling is done from under the flooring, so you wont be able to move them too much, but you can atleast open them up to eachother – so everyone there can see eachother.. or, however you choose


For the billeting:
Rooms are 2 person rooms and every two rooms share a kitchenette/common area and a bathroom, as the pictures show
The rooms are cold.. and there is one big rug between the beds, but you will probably need runners and rugs in common areas- but there is an exchange here so you can do that then; definitely KEEP your heating blanket/etc – there is no “heat” option on the thermostat
No coffee pot in the kitchenette area – so you’ll need one (if you want coffee for your room)
There is a DSN phone in the kitchenette areas – but – you can’t call out on it, only receive calls on it
There is free WI-FI throughout and its good!
The beds are ridiculously comfortable.. not the skinny flimsy mattresses.. they are very nice!
There is a fridge and microwave in the kitchenette
In the rooms there is a sink with mirror and a closet across from it
These are the weird plugs – so you will have to get converters – they are not the same as the Afghanstan plugs (you can buy them here at the PX)
Billeting building is the most beautiful building here (on the inside) – it’s the most color you will see
The outside is very drab.. very grey.. NO COLOR.. you will be lucky to see a fake green shrub somewhere..
There is laundry facilities (to do your own) (I sent pics) at the ends of the halls
It’s a constant 80-85 degrees except during heat of day – which it has risen to about 100-105. I am sure it will get worse during summer
The wind blows and it smells like the ocean here.. love it!
The building is a 5-7 min walk to work, 5 min walk to the gym that’s the size of Crisostomo. It has racquetball courts, a pool and of course all other gym related equipment; across the street (about 5 min walk) is the PX that has a theater, pizza hut, starbucks, couple little shops, and of course a PX
Further down the road is the Coalition Forces side – which has another PX, other fast foods and the sports bar – its probably a 20 min walk or so – in that same area is what they call the “Bra” because it has two tents, with tips that stick out – making it look like a BRA – that is the hang out – music, sports bar, stores etc around it, to include karaoke, etc
There is a bizarre here, but I have no idea where..
The airport terminal – actually looks like one.. nice shiny floors, TVs, customer service desks – set up just like at a CIV airport, they are very friendly and helpful!
Across from the airport is the shoppette – it’s a 24 hour store – but you don’t have to buy anything – you sign in and make your selections and they put it in your bag, and off you go (sub sandwiches, chips, cereal, milk , pop, candy bars, MREs, pop tarts, etc.. you are allowed 2 sandwiches, 2 chips, 2 candy bars, 2 drinks, and then of course cereal/muffin milks, etc.. you can go stock up – at no charge


Okay, I think that is all I remember. Again, I could not get pics of the inside, but the PPT is a good replica. I wish the cabeling was done, I would ensure you had a share drive/network to move stuff too, but get with the comms guys (via Mr. B) to ensure that is being done and that they can transfer our files, etc
I hope this helps you guys! You will be happy here (even with the differences in security (no laptops, etc) it is a much nicer facility, much nicer billeting and amenities we just don’t have at NKC. I think you will be happy..


BTW – the 3 drinks a day – the beers (from what I hear) are in very big TALL glasses –probably the size of 2 normal beers in the states – so really – its more like drinking 6 beers.. rather than 3. I have not partaken in the alcohol consumption – told my mom I was going to wait and have my first glass of wine with her.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

One day..

When I was growing up, we had very little "extras." When I was growing up, my parents struggled just to put enough food on the table; we had powdered milk, corn bread and beans - more often than I care to recount. However, we knew no different and were appreciative that we had food, and clothes (even if they were from good will).

I didn't have Barbies, XBox, a Cell Phone, a color TV, DVD Player....

But what I did have (an old Buffet style stereo/record player), what I did have (my music tapes) - I treasured..

My mom more often said no, then yes. We had curfews and strict check-in times. We were seldom left to our own "running of the neighborhood" - and although we thought them too strict, and quite honestly thought they were the meanest parents ever - in fact, I am grateful that they were my parents

I appreciated everything I had. I always got good grades, started working at 14, and was buying my own clothes, snacks and "extras" - with my own paycheck. I appreciated everything - because not only did my parents work for what they had.. I worked for what I had..

It wasn't until I was a parent, that I understood and appreciated their efforts - beauase it was then I realized that is why I am who I am, that is why I appreciate everything I have, and know that it all came with HARD WORK.

I was never handed anything - I had to baby sit, mow lawns, rake leaves, work the drive thru, make pizzas, and grill fries - if I wanted something.

When I had kids, I had the opportunity to give them what I didn't. I lived with guilt that they didn't have a full time father - I was divorced (one too many times) and they suffered those consequences; I was deployed alot - so out of guilt, out of emotional guilt, I provided as much as possible - thinking it would make up for it;

Unfortunately, I think it had the opposite effect and my kids have never truly had to work for anything. Meaning, their appreciation of value - (physical or sentimental) is lacking. Now, I have taken a stand. Now, I have made it known that I will not suffer the emotional blackmail - the guilt, anymore. It will end.

I have worked my butt off to get to where I am. I am not a money tree - I am not an ATM - I have worked to get to where I am; and if they want what I have (in their futures) they will have to earn it. They will have to work for it. They will have to learn to appreciate each and everything they get - because they will have to work for it, save for it, earn it, or simply be told NO - until they can do it for themselves.

School and work are priorities. With as much as they have already - they have no right to ask for more from me - nor make me feel guilty when I say no.

I'm done feeling guilty. I have done all I know to do. I have done my best. I have worked my way from the bottom - I have earned where I am at.. its now time for them to learn these lessons.

They may hate me - each and every time I say no. They may hate the decisions and priorities I have placed in their lives

- but -

One day, my kids will understand the decisions I make. One day, they will understand that sometimes, things don't work out as planned. One day they will appreciate the fact that I tried; tried to make their lives as happy as possible, even when I wasn't there to share it with them; One day, when they have kids of their owns, they will love and respect me, and understand.

One day...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My journey

I've spent the last 12 months on a journey to the other side of the world
This journey has led me on amazing paths, discoveries, and spiritual reawakenings

Looking back, this IA couldn't have come at a better time in my life..
I was lacking in my faith with God
I was hurting over a love lost
And on a serious quest to find me...to discover who I was beyond
Someones girlfriend, a mom, an officer....
To discover who I was outside of all the other roles I play in my life

First and foremost, I am a mom
I know this...
I am a United States Naval Officer
I am a law school student
A tenant, a consumer..

All these roles and responsibilities come with a certain responsbility and stereotype to live up to
Standards of conduct, something that everyone has different expectations for you to meet..

I have never met Tanya...simply...Tanya
I was a young wife, young mother and very young sailor
As I got older, I was simply a divorcee, a little wiser, yet still busy, mother, and more seasoned Sailor
But thru it all, I was never able to decide on my own expectations, my own desires, me.

Don't get me wrong, I don't regret a decision one that I have made that brought me my children and the loves I have experienced,
BUT
There has to be something I am missing?

I have a driven ability to meet and exceed all these expectations, all these responsibilities,
But what I haven't done is figure out my own...
Me.. Who I am without a man..
What I am besides a mother
And what job I want beyond being a sailor

This journey, has been enlightening.
That's not to say I have all the answers, because believe me, I don't think we will ever have all the answers...
I believe I will still have a question of "why" at something.... On my death bed.
What I have gained is this

I am an individual, with my own needs, my own desires and my own expectations - beyond what others have of me
I am strong, independent and driven
I'm a workaholic, I am a perfectionist
A litle obsessive compulsive, cursed with anxieties that I try hard to tame
I love to be loved
I love to love..to make others happy..
I love to succeed, to meet goals,
I want what I want, and don't like anything to get in my way
I'm not materialistic, I'm simple
Give me the attention I need, the little things, little notes, little favors,
Things that you do for me, because you know that I would enjoy it...
It's the little things
I don't like gaudy things..
I am simple, I like small simple jewelry, neutral colors
I like to be taken care of, and vice versa
I like to make my own decisions, my own mistakes..
That's safer..then I only have me to blame, when I am wrong
My trip here has been rewarding careers wise, as well..
This is the first job I have had, where I really truly feel as if I led my team.
I was not micromanaged, I was left alone to be the leader, and led
I never failed my boss, so she never interfered in my office
She respected my opinion as a leader, let me have control of my personnel
And assisted me in breking the barriers my rank held with other senior officers
I was truly a dept head
She was my cheerleader, watching from the sidelines, with full confidence, that I had this...
 
As I wind up my tour here, I realize that this has been the most rewarding tour of my career
personally and professionally
I am thankful I was given the opportunity to experience this journey
to lead, like a true leader and to discover the realities in my personal life;
the truths about me, defining me as well as see where I need to make improvements;
again, both personally and professionally
 
This tour has allowed me to see how to become a better parent, daughter, leader and sailor
I have made a difference -
I contributed to the cause, leaving behind a better process in place and improving the job we do here
for Afghanistan
I have seen, through the eyes of my parents and their endless efforts - where I have strayed, and how
to improve my relationship with my children, and my role as a mother
 
Finally, I have improved me. 
 

Friday, April 8, 2011

4 April 2011 - The French Hospital

4 April 2011
It has been a rough few days here…
Friday I went to medical because I was having some pains, very symptomatic of a cyst, but a little more painful. It started Thursday night, and by Friday morning was giving me some pretty good pain, my blood pressure was up, my heart rate was high and I was very nauseous. I ended up throwing up, Anyhow, I went to medical, they immediately put me on IV’s and ran some blood tests to ensure it wasn’t my appendix. After a full exam, it seemed obvious that it was my ovary, not appendix. The Doctor here wanted to ensure I didn’t have a twisted ovary, so he sent me to the French hospital to get an Ultra Sound. So after about an hour, I was Medevac’d to KIA French Hospital.

Fortunately, Trisha came with me.. which was a blessing!! OMGosh..

When I got there, they took out the IV, and drew blood from the other arm.. (Maybe they don’t trust the US medical?? LOL) Anyhow, then brought in the Ultra Sound machine, after forcing me to fill my bladder (which would’ve been easier through the IV… just sayin..)

Anyhow, the diagnosis.. 3.5 by 3.5cm cyst that was hemorrhaging. Now, I have a history of cysts.. but never a history of bleeding cysts.. I had a cyst and it was bleeding internally to my ovary.. it was definitely painful – but fortunately, before I left my medical office, they had given me a shot of toradol and morphine. I was not in any pain… until several hours later, when the meds wore off..

Anyhow, after the ultra sound, the French Dr said he wanted to keep me in observation – I was originally told.. overnight.. but that changed to 2 nights.
Anyhow, I was taken back to a room (it was the isolation room; I can only assume I was back there because I was the only female patient? )

I was brought back there – dropped off, and not spoke to again for about 15 hours.. No Doctor came to see me, no nurse, no one to tell me what was going on, no vitals.. NOTHING. NOTHING for 15 hours. I had to go to the desk that night to try and convay I was in pain and needed pain meds..

I was given something that made me sleepy.. but did NOT take away the pain..
The next morning, the Doctors did their rounds at 0800 – that is when I found out I was being kept for (observation) for another night.. What kind of observation was this?? I don’t get it..

I woke up at about 440am.. after not having slept much.. being in pain all night. And basically woke up crying.. and in pain.. I ended up calling my boss to get some help.. these guys weren’t talking to me.. couldn’t understand me.. and it was extremely frustrating..

Anyhow, again, I was pretty much alone, until the next day. I was able to convey I wanted meds, and a blanket.. but.. that was about it..

Ultimately I was released the next morning – but they did not do a follow up blood test, no follow up ultra sound.. nothing.. I needed to get out of there.. those guys were only giving me Motrin and Tylenol.. and after having Toradol and Morphine at my base…

Fortunately there was an American Dr that came in and helped me out..

Finally, I was released Sunday morning, and came back here to NKC. My doctor here gave me some real meds, put me on 48 hours bed rest.. and here I am. I think the anti-inflammatories are working wonders and suspect I will be back to work tomorrow.. the pain is mostly bearable and not near as bad as it was the first few days..

Besides.. I am a horrible patient and hate to be strapped down to my bed, so to speak..

I am glad to be out of there and back at work!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

18 March 2011

19 March 2011

 

Last night, I went to bed about 2200.  But by midnight, I was woke up by mother nature – which really sucks.. because going outside, to go pee.. seems to instantly wake you up.. although, last night, it wasn't the cold air that woke me up. 

As I headed back in to my room, as I opened the door – my roommate sat up in her bed, yelled out "Who's there? What's going on? What are you doing?"

 

Now – let me tell you, when I left, she was fast asleep.. and I mean snoring.. when I walked back in the room – to be greeted like that – was the LAST thing I expected. 

I guess I shouldn't have told her about the rapes in Kandahar.. that had her on edge.  I truly think had she had her gun, I would've been shot.. I shook me up – her reaction. 

 

After that, I could not go back to sleep until bout 130sih/2.  Errrgh.. I tossed and turned, trying to get my adrenaline to unwind.  I finally did fall back asleep and was successful at getting up at 0600 this morning. 

 

I got up in time for breakfast, but as soon as I smelled the food, discovered my stomach was still nauseas.  It has been that way all day.. it kinda sucks.. 

 

After my MSgt pulled an "intervention" of sorts, I made an appointment with the Chaplain today.  Although it is no big surprise how I have been feeling, as I talk about it daily with the crew I work with.  If I can't talk about the issues I am having, how can I expect them to come to me, with the same?

 

It was actually good to talk to the Chaplain.  She gave me some good input and made me see that honestly, what I am going through, is normal for anyone having been put in my scenario, just like many others that are put in situations, and jobs which is full of death and injury 24/7.

 

I think we both agreed that no matter how much I have compartmentalized, my compartment is over flowing.. so, time to let go of some of the burdens I have been carrying – time to let go.  As she put it: Imagine the reports I have processed were like pebbles on the road – and as I have gone thru it, I have picked those up, some I have put right back down, others I have continued to carry with me; but – as she said, at some point, I need to be able to let them go.

 

Today has been another busy day – 3 people killed today.. 2 of them by trusted local nationals – that turned.. it's pretty sad, and definitely makes you leery.

 

Anyhow, not much else, had to do a bunch of statistics today for the casualties since USFOR-A stood up.. that literally took the whole day.

 

 

Well, its now 10pm, I have put in my 15 hour day and this girl is going to bed.

Night all, lots of love to all!

 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Friday - OFF

18 March 2011

Today has been a day off… An actual day off.. By that I mean, I have not stepped foot in my office, at all today. I know my guys would be proud.. will be proud. As a matter of fact, I think I can hear them singing my praises right now, for not showing my face..

Last night, I watched some more TV – as a matter of fact, I got to watch American Idol.. lol We discovered it comes on TV Thursday and Friday nights, so its been nice to see something that we would otherwise be watching at home.

I slept in until about 11 this morning.. after taking two Melatonin and one of my Celexa’s. It was nice to sleep in..

When I did finally get up, and have my first cup of coffee, I spent the morning packing up another Gorilla box, again minimizing my belongings here, in preps for (1) my move to Myers building and (2) my redeployment. I am now down to about a weeks-worth of things and only what I will need to get me thru until I leave here.

After I accomplished that, I sat and watched the rest of Mistresses (The TV series- much like Desperate Housewife – but an English version). I grabbed dinner to go (as usual) from the DFAC, (Steak and Baked Potatoes) – but couldn’t even finish that.. I haven’t had much of an appetite today, to be honest. I’m sure the 8 cups (total) worth of coffee that I drank this morning, didn’t help.

I’m not quite sure how I am feeling today, to be honest. It’s a mixture between loneliness and just kind of – blah? Not necessarily in a bad way – just simply – quiet.

I’ve said this many times, but it’s true – no matter how surrounded you are by people here (roughly 1,000) in a small confined Compound, I still find myself lonely. I think It’s more, just missing the family, normal life, the routine of home, the “normal” things for day to day life.

I have started to think about what the adjustment is going to be like when I get home. Doing my own laundry again, cooking, cleaning, doing dishes, buying groceries, wondering what to wear daily (after work, of course)… I found it odd when I was in Boston and shopped for a few groceries for my hotel room – it was weird to pay money for all the items I am getting here, for free (of course, at the price of being deployed) – but you know what I mean..

What life will be like to sleep in my own bed, to walk around in my house, to have privacy, to not be freaked out every time I hear an aircraft over head, to not have to hear helicopters in my backyard all day, to not hear the Afghan’s singing their praise over the loud speakers of Afghanistan 5 times a day.

How good it will feel to hold my kids again, to lie next to them in my bed and cuddle with them, like I did the night before I left.. to look into their beautiful faces and see the happiness, to feel their love surrounding me…

It’s not just an emotional loneliness.. it’s a physical loneliness.. (not sexually..) Just being hugged, holding my kids’ hands, there is so much more to love than the emotion of loving. That includes adult relationships, as well as with my kids.

I struggle today with trying to not feel depressed; silly as it sounds, sometimes too much down time, with nothing to do, leaves me feeling alone.. At least at work, I can stay busy, my day goes by quicker and I am that much closer to home.

I know lately, my mom has been worried about me. I know she worries, as I would if it were one of my children were here; it worries her more, though, when I don’t vent to her.. when I don’t talk to her.. although, there are some things, I have learned can keep – and should keep, until they have passed..

For example, the rapes that have been happening in Kandahar, the evening I panicked and thought someone might be breaking in (just to find out it was the damn broom and dustpan that fell) Well, instead of calling her that night, to calm my nerves (which I really wanted to do), I knew it should keep, until I was home. She was worried enough about me being in Kandahar – that was one less worry she needed..

Anyhow, enough self-pity.. LOL
I am going to sink into a movie (“Because I said so…” )
Just pretend I am home, sitting on my couch, sipping a glass of wine with my mom and dad - and cuddled up on the couch with George and the kids surrounding me.

49 days til I leave NKC.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

17 March 2011

17 March 2011

Happy St Patty's Day

 

Last night, I took my Melatonin – yay.. which means I DID get some sleep.. I was definitely tired after the last few nights of minimal sleep.

 

I think it was about 2300 give or take, before I laid down.  I watched an episode of Mistresses, then read some more of LUKE for about 15 minutes – and by the time I fell asleep is was after Midnight.  When I did finally get up, it was after 0900.

 

When I came in this morning, I finally decided to go to Medical.  I needed them to know about my lack of sleep.. Of course, when I told them the reason I was in there.. the first response was "Join the CJOA" (CJOA- standing for Combined Joint Operating Area Forces) basically, it was saying – Join the Club.

 

I sat and talked with the MAJ about what could be the cause, etc;  I  am pretty sure I know what triggered it – upon my return from my TDY – after I finally got my sleep pattern on schedule (8 days) – then; things started ramping up here at the Casualty Cell.  In a matter of 2 days – we had 2 suicides, about 4 KIAs and 1 Negligent Discharge – which cause a guy to kill his best friend.. just 6 hours prior to their redeployment.  Anyhow, I am usually pretty good at compartmentalizing, and really not letting these incidents affect me, but, that day – that particular 48 hours was pretty tough. 

 

The lack of sleep, coupled with the increase of incidents, just causes more issues.. and I was really starting to feel depressed..

 

I am so close to finally being home, and yet as exciting as that was; I was just continuously in a "funk."  So- today, I got all this documented, and checked to make sure the Melatonin I was taking is okay for me.

 

I also had them give me some Celexa.. its an Anti-Depressant/Anti-Anxiety.  I need something that will make my brain sleep at night; something that will stop the visions of this young boy (19 yr old) practicing his drills in his tent, when his best friend walked in – and the same young guy, pulled the trigger – killing his best friend.. just hours before their redeployment..  I just want t the visions of the young Soldier, walking back from a foot patrol, pulling his weapon out and shooting himself – out of my head..

The sad part is, I have done so well – in the last 10 months with compartmentalizing this, with not letting it affect me, but, unfortunately, those couple days were tough.. and have stuck with me.. There were really only 2 other incidents since I have been here that really affected me; but, not to this point.  Maybe it's just a combination, all of them, stacking up.. who knows.. but, hopefully, the Celexa will help put my mind at east and block the stupid visions that block my sleep.

 

It's funny because for the most part, while you're going thru this (while I have been going thru this) you put a smile on your face.. still say "Good Morning" to people, still answer back :Good, an you" when they ask how you are..

But on the inside, you simply feel in a bit of a fog, a bit depressed, and even with all those people around, a lot lonely.  Somehow, the closer to home I get, the more that loneliness seeps in.. Again, hopefully the Celexa will ease my mind, and put me back on track.

 

Don't get me wrong, people… I haven't lost my mind, I have not gone crazy, nor am I any danger to myself or others.. LOL I am simply venting about the things we go thru, the things we deal with, and the steps we have to take- to make sure we go home in one piece (mentally and physically).

 

So – first step, .. knowing I have a problem

(Which I have had now, and self-medicated for 3 weeks)

Next step – asking for help.. which I am getting.

 

Do I like advertizing that I have to take an anti-depressant.. or an anti-anxiety –

NO.. But, it's either that, or live the rest of my time here, miserable, depressed and non-functionable, I would rather not.

 

That's it.  That's all I have for today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Updates: 13-15 March

13 March 2011

 

After some long days and lack of sleep, I have been taking the Melatonin.  Tonight, for whatever reason, I had the urge to read… of all books, my bible . Yes, I flipped through my bible, until something stopped me, anything, a sign that  I was in the right place to read.. I spent about an hour reading a story – and then flipped thru one last time, to find some encouraging words..

I stopped at John 14: 1-4.  After bookmarking that page, I laid my head down and slept quite sound.

 

14 March 2011

Kandahar… again… again…

 

So, off to train yet another unit, in Kandahar.  I left for Kandahar, on what was probably one of the smoothest travel times.  I arrived in Kandahar and was put in the MOD berthing, which is far better than the tents!!! The Benefit – INDOOR PLUMBING!!

 

                It wasn't until after I arrived that I found out the water was out.. LOL of course.. J

Not only did I discover there was no water, I was informed by all the residents that there have been an influx of rapes lately, and reminded to lock my door, even when I walk down the hall to the bathroom. Nice..

 

I spent that day, after arriving, chilling out in my room and watching movies.  I wasn't due to go train until the following morning around 1100.  So I walked to the Boardwalk (across the street) and had some New York Style Pizza.. and then headed back to my room.

 

                Because I wasn't due to start until later in the morning, I did not take my Melatonin for the evening and stayed up until about 3 am watching movies.

 

 

15 March 2011

 

Training Day

 

I woke up about 9, and fortunately, by then, the water was back on.  I made it over to JSC-A/USFOR-A South building by about 10am.  I conducted the training, and was finished by about 1430. 

 

I walked back to the Boardwalk, picked up some more movies, and then headed back to my room for another movie night – solo. J

 

I watched LIE TO ME – Season 3.  At about 2300 last night, I heard jets over head, at what seemed an impossible low, and close vicinity.  I mean, so loud, it was a little freaky.  Just at that moment, I heard a big bang, crash, in my room.. Now, already freaked out at the low vicinity of the aircraft; this bang, in the darkness of my room, scared me.  I wasn't sure (since it was dark) what it was, or if it were someone trying to break in to my room, but I will tell you, my heart leapt out of my throat and I spent about 30 minutes adrenaline still pumping, trying to calm my nerves.

 

Fortunately, throughout the night, in between movies, I was reading, once again, the bible.  This time, I found a military edition, small enough to fit in my pocket.  I started reading LUKE; from the beginning, and the funny thing is, this chapter in the scripture, has reeled me in and I have not been able to put it down, during my free time.  I will say, that reading my bible, even if only for about 10 minutes a night, definitely puts my mind a little more at ease, before I sleep. 

 

Anyhow, fortunately, everything was okay last night; I stayed up til about 330am, watching the last of the Lie to Me,  and then woke up at 0630 to get ready for my flight this morning.

The flight went smooth, and my trip back to NKC was fortunately smooth, as well.  So, here I am – back at NKC for another 51 days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday, March 11, 2011

Finally, Germany & Boston Blog Completed

Day 6 – Garmisch / Wednesday
After a long emotional night, George and I had no tours planned, so we took a walk around Garmisch. We stopped at a local restaurant, and had some Goulash. It seems the Germans are not only partial to their Schnitzels; they are big on their Goulash. It was pretty good… for being something I had never eaten before. We took a leisurely walk around the area, but quite honestly, it all looks about the same as any downtown area. Lots of stores, little “mom & pop” restaurants and people out and about.

The one thing we did take note of was that the Germans are an active group of people. Between their walking around, and Cross Country Skiing everywhere, they stay out doors and active even in the coldest of temperatures.
It was a quaint little town and very much a relaxing day. That evening we ate at the restaurant down stairs where we had some great steak and Grilled Salmon. It was definitely a grade “A” dinner.

In preparations for the day to come we stayed indoors and relaxed for the upcoming adventure tomorrow, Nueschwanstein Castle. 

Day 7 – Walt Disney Castle/Church/wood maker / Thursday

Today, we were booked on a tour to the Walt Disney Castle. Enroute to the tour (which left about 0900) we stopped at a little Wood Maker shop. This is also a very big business in Germany. We stopped and picked up some souvenirs for my parents and Uncle Ron & Aunt Katie. Then onward to the Walt Disney Castle.

When we arrived, we arrived in this cute little town, that really, you could drive through it in a matter of minutes, but boy it was built “up.” Not only was the Disney castle way up on the hill, down below where we started was a great little Restaraunt, some souvenir shops and just to the right was another big castle, said to be the “Father’s Castle.” It was quite beautiful, although we did not get to tour it. It seemed as if it were just as large (at least looking at it from a distance) as the Nueschwanstein Castle.

Once we got off the bus (there was about 12 of us on this tour.. we headed up this long windy road, uphill the whole way to get to the top of the hill, and see the Castle. It was about a 20 minute hike up.. but once we got to the top, the views were immaculate. The Castle seemed smaller – up close – than it did from afar.. but was beautiful none the less. We took some pics.. and then finished our way to the entrance of the Castle. We visited several of the rooms in the Castle – to include the Galley area down below – but unfortunately, do to copyright laws, there were no photos inside, allowed. We snuck in a few photos here and there (flash off) but nothing compared to what it really looked like inside.

Following the hour tour, or so, we headed back down the hill, to eat at the local restaurant. Again, Schnitzels, Goulash, Lamb – the things I had seen most often at the local establishments.. It was pretty great! After lunch with 12 or so of our closest friends now, we headed back towards Edelweiss. It was definitely one of those places where it was a great tour – but just like anything else, it becomes a “Been there, Done that.” It wasn’t as grand as I thought it would be, but definitely beautiful and some awesome photo opportunities from the outside.
We arrived back at the Resort about 1600.. where the rest of the night was ours.
Now, because we had no other tours planned for a couple days, George and I put together a plan to take the train to Paris for a day. We had one more tour during this trip, but it wasn’t until Sunday morning, and here we were only Thursday.
So, tomorrow, was going to be a down day, until that evening, where we would try to make our way to Paris.. again.. the journey continues

Day 8/9 – laundry/PX/chill out /Paris - Friday/Saturday

Because we knew today would be a down day, we did some laundry, went to the PX to buy some miscellaneous goods and waited for the evening. The plan was to catch a midnight train from Garmisch to Munich, and then a 0300 from Munich to Paris – to arrive about 0930 in Paris. This was definitely going to be a test of our stamina, our communication skills, and patience. Neither of us spoke French.. All I could remember was some miscellaneous stuff Katrina taught me, since she has taken French in High school for the last couple years. I had already been tested on my German skills (which I took for 3 years in high school.. ) but.. coupled with the Spanish I took in college – it got a little confusing now and then, to separate which language I was using, at what time.. you’ll understand that more later.

Evening time came and George and I packed up a small overnight bag, and headed out by taxi to the train station.. excited, nervous and anxious. This was definitely an adventurous journey neither of us had ever experienced.. it would be great!
About 11 pm we arrived at Munich and tried to decipher our way thru the ticket machine, to get a ticket to Munich, and then the follow on ticket to Paris. All these machines are in German, so again, my skills, and memory were being tested to the max.

We successfully purchased our tickets and just waited for the train to arrive. When we finally got on the train to Munich – my language skills screwed me – but became a great joke for Geo and I both.. the Train conductor asked me something, to wit I replied in the best German I could, then he asked me a questions and I answered with “Si” vice Yes.. LOL – Yes.. Spanish invaded on my speech skills that day.. Geo got a great laugh out of it, as did I. BUT the best is yet to come.
Throughout this journey and week, Because George did not know any German (besides a few key phrases Uncle Ron and Aunt Katie wrote down for him, he created his own language.. it became one only him and I would get.. LOL
Everything he wanted to say in German usually began with Guten.. (the real German word for “Good”)

So, it became Guten Tired.. Guten Hungry.. you get the point.
Back to the story.. we made it, in about an hour and a half to Munich, where we had to wait for a few hours for the ICE Train to Paris (it’s just a faster, more comfortable train) since it’s a longer journey.

We went upstairs this HUGE train station (Central Train Station for them) where I ate the Burger King. He went to a little stand (downstairs) and grabbed a Snitzchel or something, then brought it up, where we sat and ate, waiting. As the night grew on, so did our weariness. We were tired.. it had been a long day, and here it was about 1-2am. This was going to be an “all-nighter” for us..

We went into a little waiting room, where there were several people sitting, sleeping and waiting, but it was in a confined space, so it was warmer – but also stinkier.. LOL As we both began to get overly sleepy, everything became funny, and we sat in that room for at least an hour, laughing at everything we said and saw.. (including the 2 young guys that walked in with some type of GOAT HEAD masks on? Yea.. we don’t know either.. but he dared me to walk by and go.. Baaa Baaa… yea.. we were really laughing our butts off at the Baaaa Baaa jokes.. which to no one else would even seem remotely funny.

You could tell we were getting loopy. Finally, the ICE train we would be taking arrived – where we could board, and wait for departure. This train, we would be on – I think for 3 hours, then we transferred to another train.. can’t quite remember if we were on that same train the whole time.. but somehow think we transferred somewhere in between..

BUT, for the best part of this train ride, and as the start of our loopiness started.. as the train departed, the conductor was making rounds, checking people’s tickets. George, in his habitual “Guten everything..” made the funniest remark of all time, without even thinking.. As the conductor checked our tickets, and started to walk away – the appropriate response would have been “Guten Tag” or “Aufweiderzehn” (Sp) for Good day or Goodbye.. What rolls off his tongue was “Guten Tight”

Yes.. we rolled laughing for hours on that one.. OMGosh.. and of course it’s the middle of the night, we are exhausted – and haven’t even began the day in Paris yet- so in our sleepiness, we laughed our butts off.

Once we could finally control ourselves, we decided to try and nap some, so we could enjoy Paris, without being overly tired. After some catnapping here and there, we finally arrived in Paris about 0930. OMGosh.. we were in PARIS FRANCE.. WOW! How awesome was that, we were able to just jump on a train, and end up in Paris.. it was unbelievably exciting.

So there we were… in Paris.. at their Central Station. We made our way to the front and hailed a Taxi.. simply saying – Eifel Tower.. Fortunately, our driver spoke a little English and took us straight to where we needed to be. We go to the Eifel Tower after about a 10 minute taxi ride, and were in awe at the beautiful site before us. We were standing now, at the base of the Tower.

We saw many beautiful buildings and structures enroute, but this took the cake. We got in the line to take the elevator up and go to the top of the Eifel Tower. It was cold, windy and unfortunately overcast that day in Paris. But, we made it to the top, where we took pictures all the way around. It was beautiful.
We were on a limited schedule that day – because our train home left at about 1530 that day.. and it was already 1000.

So, we got to the top and did our sightseeing. It, again, was like going to the Empire State Building, which George and I had done in 2002 – once you been there, seen that, the excitement was anti-climactic. But, beautiful nonetheless. We decided to head down, so we could do some walking around. We got in the elevator down, and about half way down from the top – our elevator slipped and dropped suddenly, before being caught by the emergency break. The bad part was, we were squished in to this elevator with barely any breathing room, literally. If you breathed, and your chest expanded, it would graze up against the person next to you – and unfortunately George and I were not next to each other in this elevator.. NOW, this was not the first time this had happened to us.. just the day before, in the elevator in Edelweiss, on our way to the laundry room, the elevator slipped, then stopped, then made its way to the basement.. it was quite the experience.. BUT being so high up, in the Eifel Tower, squished in like sardines, this was quite scary. As the elevator resumed, once again, it slipped, and abruptly halted, jostling us all, yet again; and now, we were a little terrified.. LOL

Finally, we slowly made our way down to the ground, with no more incidents, but thankful to be on safe ground. After getting off the elevator – we almost wanted to kiss the ground!

After our nerves got back in check, we made our way out and started walking back towards the train station, doing some sightseeing along the way. We didn’t quite realize how far the walk was, but, it was a great journey. We probably walked 5 miles back toward the downtown area, where there were plenty of shops to find some souvenirs and stop in the local Starbucks (for a pit stop). We ended up hailing a taxi, for the remainder of the way to Central Station after a whirlwind tour of the town back from the Eifel Tower.

When we arrived back at the station, by that time, my feet (being in my Paris Chique boots all day) were throbbing! So we stopped in a store in the central station (which was set up more like a mall..) and we found a couple pairs of shoes for me.. some cute little comfy boots and slippers (flats).. they were a GOD Send.. and of course, George found them, on the sale rack.. and now, not only could I let my feet heal from all the walking.. I would forever have two pairs of shoes from Paris France!!

Once back at the station, we had some lunch, and prepared to board our train back to Munich.

We boarded our train, exhausted, and ready for some sleep.. the train ride back to Munich was uneventful, and I think we slept on and off most the way. All in all, we didn’t arrive back to Edelweiss until about 1130/12 at night.
Tomorrow, a tour planned to the Dachau Concentration Camp was going to be the highlight of our tours in Germany. So, as exhausted as we were, we slept hard that night, in preps for another early morning tour.

Night 10 – Concentration Camp (Sunday)

Today, we made our way out early to the lobby, in preps for the tour to the concentration camp. There were only 8 of us on this tour today, which meant some great time with the Guide, to give us really good historical lessons.
We took the bus out to the camp, and when we arrived at the gate of the camp, it was definitely a little humbling.

I took German in high school, and got very interested in history while studying the Ann Frank Diary and the WWII history. This trip to Germany was one that I had longed for – for 20 years, and this, this concentration camp, the history behind it, is what sparked my interest in history.

We toured this camp, and discovered there were more than 500 camps like it (a bit smaller) all over Germany. We saw pictures, rooms, cells and monuments which both brought extreme sadness and empathy – for what those millions of people suffered through. It was definitely a slap in the face with reality.

We spent about 6 hours touring the camp, looking at the cells, looking at the Crematorium that was still there, the one they used all those years ago.. and the Gas Chamber- that was always denied – in its existence.

It was a surreal tour. We all left with a definite new knowledge of what really occurred there in Dachau many years ago. The tour was definitely worth it.
After we arrived back home, we had our dinner, and again chilled out. Uploaded our pictures, discussed what we saw and just relaxed.

That evening was the Super Bowl, so we got our junk food (pizza, hot wings, fries, etc.) from Zuggys Bar and Grill downstairs, took it to our room, and watched the beginning of the Super bowl.

Neither of us made it thru the super bowl, due to the time change, it was well after midnight before it kicked in to full force and probably about 230 before it ended.. I did, however, wake up in the middle of the night, clicked on the news – just in time to see the celebration of the Super bowl Champs!!

Night 11 – Chill out day

Today, was kind of a grim day. We both knew that tomorrow George would be departing. So we spent the day just chilling out, and packing up his stuff, to head out early in the morning to the train station. I decided to go out to Munich, to drop him off, rather than sending him out by himself. So, today was just going to be a day of spending some quality time together, and enjoying the last day of his vacation.

Night 12 – Geo departs – trip to Munich

We got up early (I think about 530) to head towards the train station and make it to Munich in time to get to the Airport for his flight. We arrived in Munich and took the train to the Airport, where we got him checked in, and then sat and chatted for a bit, before he had to go thru security. It was definitely bitter sweet, but George was starting a new job the next day, and so we had no choice but to get him back today. He was in for a long flight, (which those of you that know him.. he hates to fly) but I think he will agree, the trip was worth the flight!

After he went through security, I made my way back to the train station area to get to Munich Central Station and then back to Edelweiss. It was a very long journey home for me, by myself, with some great reflection time on the last week or so.
George and I have had many adventures in the last 10 years, but this by far, was the best. The best quality time, intimate time, and fun we had ever had. I think we both can agree to that. Barring details, we were able to reconnect, and renew our friendship, as well as the love we had for each other for so many years.

It was a great experience, and new beginning for second chances. One day at a time, we will see where this leads us. Hopefully, with the lessons learned, the history we have, and the past mistakes, we have learned from those mistakes and maybe make this second chance, far better than the first. So far, it’s off to a great beginning.

After a couple of days of really doing nothing, after George left – beyond trips to the exchange, and the post office to mail off most of my civilian clothes, I was heading to Boston, MA for a training exercise in Ft Devens.

I arrived in Boston, where I was met by Dirk. (ET1 Smith) from the Davis.. IT was nice to see a familiar face in the states, and very nice to be back in the US – if only for a few days. Dirk and Lidia both were supposed to meet me, but she was at home preparing for a wedding trip they were making, so it was just him and I. He met me not far from the gate, where we headed to baggage claim and then he went with me to get my rental car. That was a weird thing for me, as well. It had been 9 months since I had driven.. so it was a little nerve racking.. but exciting! Once we got my rental car – we went back to the airport (since he was parked there) grabbed some lunch, caught up on the last couple years– and then we headed our separate ways so I could make my way to Ft Devens.

As I made my way to Ft Devens, having no idea where it was, I had to call George to help guide me a bit, even though I had a GPS.. LOL But, it was nice to have his company while I was making this drive – to a place I had never been.

It took about an hour, but I arrived at Ft Devens, and fortunately, my hotel was literally 2 minutes from the base I would be going to – to teach at for Silver Scimitar (A Casualty Exercise for Army Personnel). After settling in to my room, I turned on the TV and was so happy to see that most all channels were in ENGLISH.. LOL Wi-Fi was fast, and my cell phone worked – and was not roaming!! LOL
It really is the little things in life.. A bedroom to myself, a TV with all the programs I am used to seeing, and the comforts of home.. in the states.
I spent 3 days at Silver Scimitar – about 10 hours or so day, teaching an average of 7 to 71/2 hours a day. I taught the active and reserve soldiers about Casualty Reporting in Theater – the reality of it. There are always by the book policies, but being in theater, and where I work, we are headquarters for Afghanistan reporting, so we set the standard and the policy. I taught them what we expect, what we see and the horrors of what you could be subjected to, if you worked at one of the major hospitals (Kandahar Role III or Bagram Role III Hospital). These are the locations were the most urgent, critically injured are sent, whether to get treated there, or to eventually move further out of the theater to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (LRMC) in Germany. This is the hub for US military members that are injured or deceased. They all move to LRMC enroute home (to the states).

Anyhow, I taught 3 lessons a day to different folks, and gave the realistic view, to include some emotional moments I have experienced, since being in theater. Fortunately, the leadership appreciated and enjoyed the lessons enough to invite me to Silver Scimitar lite in August.

On day 4 of my trip to Ft Devens, I was able to spend the day with two of my counterparts from Kuwait (my headquarters for Casualty Reporting) and walk the Boston Trail. This historical trail throughout town took us to many different sites – to include the USS Constitution. Our first venture in Boston that day, was the CHEERs though, y'know, the one from the sitcom.

It was a great tour and a great way to wind down my trip to Boston, before heading back to Theater.

The following morning, I headed back to Boston, to start my trip back to Afghanistan. I had to travel in uniform, because I would be traveling enroute Atlanta – where I would be picking up a rotator back to Kuwait, then onward to Afghanistan.

As I got to Boston airport, and sat in the waiting area, I was approached by a man, who asked me what seat I was in.. I told him my seat number and he explained that he wanted to swap seats with me. He then told me he was in First Class. WOW. I was amazed at the hospitality and the graciousness. He told me the only stipulation was that I had to drink (since drinking was free – for First Class).. of course, I agreed.

After my flight from Boston to DC– I caught a connecting flight to Atlanta. Once in Atlanta, I waited with several other military members for the rotator flight back to Kuwait.

Once in Kuwait, we processed our papers, grabbed our gear, and were booked on a follow on flight to Bagram the next day. Fortunately my travels back were pretty smooth. Bagram the next day.. then the following day back to NKC. Home sweet temporary home, again. What a great trip, overall, and nice to have time away from NKC!

After arriving back at NKC, it really took about 8 days to get my sleep schedule back on track. I had major issues with not being able to sleep or sleeping only until about 3 am.. this made for long days, and even longer nights. I was given some Melatonin pills by Trisha – which for those 4 days I took them, I slept so well, and woke up in such a great mood! It was amazing!! After I stopped taking them, though, my body went back to its horrible cycle, and although I was sleeping, I have been tossing and turning.

This last week has been the worst! It has been really busy in my casualty world with soldiers dying, due to suicides, accidental/negligent discharges, etc. The accidental discharge was done just 6 hours prior to both SM (the one who died, and his best friend that accidentally shot him) were due to be a on a plane home. They were done with their deployment. It is very sad and has haunted me.
This week, I have also found out that the owners of my house are moving back in, and therefore I need to move by July. This was our desire anyhow, but, now it’s a requirement. So, we have been house hunting (actually, my parents have been doing the research for me..)

I am on the downward slope.. less than 2 months.. and truly ready to be done. It has been a trying week, I am tired and all the casualties are starting to haunt me.. I’m just tired and ready to get home to my family! Can’t wait!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

My Letter to God...

Dear God,

I don't normally write to you, since I often have conversations with you, in which your replies are either thru scripture or undeniable circumstances, only you could be responsible for; however, I watched an inspiring movie last night, which prompts me to write down this conversation to you. Most will see this as a one sided conversation, others will understand that altho it may look as if it is one-sided, it is just like your Footprints in the Sand, and I will never be alone in your love and or presence.

Thank you for the life I have, the life I live and the love I have been able to experience in my short years. Thank you for the journeys and adventures I have experienced, my family and of course, my friends. I have been blessed many times over, and sometimes forgot those blessings came from you. I know, with you, all things happen for a reason, with the BIG picture in mind - and altho I may not understand it, or may feel as if you are not hearing me, you always prove me wrong, and show me that you are ALWAYS here, and always listening.

I thank you for my blessings and the continual guidance you provide, especially when I am in need of it; especially, when I am crying out to you for help. I have learned that with you, just saying your name in my heart, will ease whatever pain may lie within. I have counted on that, and on you moreso in the last year and a half, than ever - I often feel guilty for that, but I know that you understand and know that I, as well as you, altho may not be obviously present in my daily life, are always present in my heart...even when I am not speaking to you as regularly as I should.

I pray in my heart and in my mind and ask that you watch over me, provide me guidance and keep my family safe while I am away. I also ask that in times of confusion, you provide me with some clarity and light the path in which you have laid out for me. In your name I pray, Amen.

Friday, February 11, 2011

For my Grandmother... and the crappy CONTRACTOR work...





























PLEASE GO TO MY PROFILE PAGE ON FB TO SEE THE PHOTOS AND LINK:

Tanya Zinn

This is on behalf of my Grandmother! To all that read this... Please take the pic's of Kuhn Mechanical Inc. Arkansas City, Kansas, and pass them around so people can see what kind of work they do so they can't do this to anyone else. Now, they are threatening to sue her for slander. If they don't want bad publicity, maybe they should FIX THEIR WORK!! Pass this around, please.

Kuhn Mechanical Inc. Arkansas City, Kansas
Look what this company did to my Mother's bathroom. Leaving gaps for the cold air in the worst storms they've had in 50 yrs. Costing her an extra $1700.00 to fix it. She has a 2 inch gap at the top of the door. They promised her a new shower and a shelf at the end, but never put it in writing...

Tanya Zinn His Email to my Grandma after seeing these posted:

Mell H KuhnFebruary 10, 2011 at 11:06am

Subject: Your bathroom

Marilyn from USDA inspected our work job verifying that we had fulfilled our contract (the plumbing). You have been told many tim...es that the people who paid for your new shower (Friends of man, United Way, USDA, Rural Development and KUHN Mechanical Inc [who did this job for cost]) are sending a carpenter to do his part. You are looking a gift horse in the mouth. We will seek damages if you don’t stop these misleading and slanderous accusations.
Mell H KuhnSee

Tanya Zinn My Grandma's Reply: (with some grammatical fixes)

Kuhn, you did not hear what Lonnie told me, he said he would build me shelves at the end of my shower, he did not tell me it would be an unfished job. You knew this job was going to be paid ...by rural development. I begged you to come out and look at how they tore up my bathroom, you said you were not coming to Cedarvile. I said they left big holes in my bathroom floor, you still said you would not come out. I told you Im afraid of snakes coming up through the holes, you said you guarantee if snakes come they wont bite you, your men did $1050.00 in damages to my bathroom, that I have to pay out of my pocket, three carpenters came out to my house, and said, "Have you paid them yet, I should get a lawyer, no one should have tore your bathroom up like that." The bathroom was so cold, I had to put sheets down through the holes that you left in my floor, Lonnie didn't tell me I would have to hire someone to clean up his mess, until he was ready to walk out the door. I said, "I cant live with that mess" he said, "I would have to hire a carpenter to clean up his mess." I have proof of the damage they have done. I mailed you $1030.00 check yesterday. I told you I have to be satisfied with the work that you do, you laughed and said you don't have anything to do with me getting paid. Now go on my facebook and take a LOOK at my shower there are two sets to look at!
Patty Osland
Tanya Zinn: If anyone knows of anyone we can call to help her, that would be great. She is on a fixed income can NOT afford this, as well as trying to find an attorney. Any help would be appreciated, even if it is just sending this on to someone that could help!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Day 3, 4 & 5 Germany Trip




Day 3/4 – 30/31 January 2011 Sunday/Monday

George’s Arrival..

I think I woke up very early.. anticipation.. excitement..
For those of you that don’t know, George and I had not spoke in about 3 years (until last summer). We went our separate ways about 4 years ago. Although we had been speaking and getting along great via email and chat throughout the last 9 months or so, I was still unsure how it would feel to have him here.. yet excited, because I know this would be great fun, with him!

He was due to arrive at about 1300, so like any nervous person, I was ready by 10 am.. LOL I went and sat in the lobby.. then down at the front gate.. 1300 came and went, and no sign of George. Now, the bad thing is, his cell phone doesn’t work over here.. so there would have been no way for him to contact me, should something have gone wrong, short of a TMOBILE phone at the airport which charges $42.00 per minute.. yes.. $42. That is not a typo.

So – I sit at the front gate, for about an hour.. and then decide to come back to the room, after letting the gate know to call me when he arrives..
Fortunately, it was within an hour or so, when I received the call and COULD NOT get to the gate fast enough.. as I was walking down and saw him there.. he was just as I had remember (only a little grayer..LOL)

All feelings of anxiousness and uneasiness disappeared and we picked up, just where we left off.. as if no time had passed.

I got him back here to the Resort, we got him settled in, and then went down for dinner. He had a pretty long day of travels.. and train debacles.. I told you – it is confusing until you get used to it.. LOL). He fell asleep pretty early.. and slept most of the next day.. which was fine, because there was nothing going on the next day – no tours planned.. as I figured he may be jet lagged..
It was good.. he slept most of Monday and then it gave us time to talk, clear the air, deal with the emotional baggage we had both carried with us for the last 4 years.. it was a very emotional evening, but a much needed, and rewarding one, at that.

Monday Night we got a phone call saying that the tour we had booked for the following day was cancelled.. so we did some research and decided to set out on our own.. risk the trains.. and find the castle ourselves… Yet, another adventure..

Day 5 – 1 February 2011 / Tuesday

Linderhof Castle on our own

So, we figured out how to get to the Castle.. we think.. so we headed out of the Resort, caught a taxi to the train station and then checked out the bus schedule. We had to take a couple busses, but, fortunately, with little confusion, we made it to the castle. It was definitely an adventure, but exciting as well. We toured Linderhof Castle. The Castle was beautiful inside, a little gaudy in some rooms, but honestly, pics were not allowed to be taken inside.. I just happen to click a few off, inadvertently…

After the tour we sat and drank some Coffee with Baileys at their little CafĂ©, before heading back to the bus stop and catching a bus back. We were going to explore a little in the town, but we were cautious – as the sun was going down, and we didn’t want to be stranded in an unfamiliar location. Not understanding the bus schedule didn’t help. We were fortunate that all our busses arrived and departed within minutes of each other and we made it back to the Garmisch Train station safely. There is a little Cantina located there, so we decided to eat some Mexican food..

I know.. I know.. go all the way to Germany to get Mexican?? Okay.. give me a break.. I haven’t had real Mexican food in 9 months.. (and this was no where close to what I was craving, ultimately). One thing we have discovered is that Germany is VERY DOG friendly. Their dogs are allowed to go EVERYWHERE with you.. including restaurants. Yes.. they are even in the restaurants. Pretty neat.

After dinner, we made our way back to the resort to collapse from the long day. The following day we were scheduled to go to Walt Disney’s Castle..

Day 1 & 2 - Germany


Night 1 - 28 January 2011

Because I was early, my Junior Suite was not ready, so they put me in a temporary single room.. Which, at this point – did not matter. Seriously.. I was soo excited to be here… so exhausted from traveling that I just wanted to get in a room.. (The anal retentive side of me wanted to get in MY room and unpack…) but, I pushed that aside and enjoyed the temporary room. I took my bags to my room (which BTW – one of them alone weighed more than 60 lbs.. and let me tell you.. 60lbs is A LOT when you drop it on your toe (on the train)… Anyhow, I got sidetracked.. I went downstairs to the buffet and had a real meal…and a glass of wine – (which, BTW – did not really get me as buzzed as I thought it would..) got my belly full, then went back to my room.. and took a LONG HOT SHOWER.. with no flip flops on.. in a regular bathroom.. all to myself..

Seriously people.. it is the little things.
I went to bed after my shower and slept til about 7am the next morning!


Day 2 – 29 January 2011
I woke up early.. considering the travels I had just experienced.. but I didn’t want to sleep away my time here..  (Besides.. I can sleep when I’m dead… LOL..) sorry.. probably bad joke.. but you get the point.. “I don’t want to miss a thing!”
I took a wake up shower.. got dressed and then walked the 5 minute walk to the German base to get a few things from the PX.. yes.. because I forgot to tell you that SATO screwed me on my luggage. I was supposed to have authorized 2 bags.. max weight of 50 lbs each.. NO.. when I got to the Kuwait counter.. they told me my itinerary only authorized me 50 lbs TOTAL.. HA!! My ONE bag was 60 lbs (as I eluded to earlier)… so the 2nd bag, which was supposed to be checked.. was not.. and guess what.. yea.. that was my toiletry bag.. uuh huh.. you see where this is going??? Yes.. I was able to get thru Kuwait airport carrying on said bag.. but when I arrived in Frankfort and had to go thru security there, all my toiletries.. (more than $60.00 worth of hair products, lotions, etc.. were thrown out by security).. I wanted to cry.. I had to have all that stuff SENT to me in Afghanistan by Drugstore.com.. because they just don’t sell it there.. so not only did I lose the products and their values.. but just the fact that I had to order it, wait for it to arrive.. and it was good, expensive stuff..LOL)

Sorry.. sidetracked again.. anyhow.. SO – I had no toiletries.. no hair products for my naturally curly hair which gets really frizzy and AFROish if I don’t put some kind of product in it.. so – to the PX I went.
I bought some new stuff.. and probably a few things more than what I really needed.. but.. it felt good to shop in a real store again.. LOL

After my shopping excursion, I walked back to the Resort and checked at the counter to see if my room was ready.. fortunately, it was.. so I packed up my stuff.. and moved rooms..

I spent the rest of the day tooling around the Resort, unpacking, and chilling out in my room..