Friday, June 18, 2010

Thou Shall Not Compare

A few weeks ago I posted about a Grief Recovery class that I learned about.  True to my word, I signed up- and today was my third session/class.  I have to say that I have already started to change my way of thinking about many things.  I think the big lesson learned today was that we should not compare our losses.  While I did believe that everything is relative, I was still comparing my losses, my troubles, my- whathaveyou. No two losses are the same, even in similar circumstances.  For example, the pain of a woman's loss of her child is not the same as another woman's loss her own child.  We should never say to another "I know how you feel".  Why?  Because we don't!  It is well meant most of the time- thinking it will help the person to not feel alone in their pain.  But really when I think about it- someone telling me they know how I feel is not altogether true.  And really- it doesn't help one bit.  Basically it's a way for someone to change the subject.

That goes for deployments too!  I may have been through a few deployments, but honestly I don't know what it is like for another wife.  Everyone's situation is unique.  Maybe another wife (or husband) might have troubles back home, their child is acting up, or that spouse cannot sleep a wink and cannot function enough to do the basic things needed.  Just because a wife is new to deployment- it doesn't mean that her pain is less than mine because I have "been through more."

I have been SO bad about comparing my loss, pain, whathaveyou.  I realize now that I have expected other people to put up or shut up- all because they were new or young or inexperienced.  I didn't feel they should be whining or complaining.  After all- that is the military life- get used to it.  But that isn't the way I should act or feel.  Everyone's pain is relevant, and it is personal.  The best thing I can do is listen. 

I am so grateful for this class.  I think I was really beginning to become an old jaded Navy wife. 

That is definitely NOT a good thing!

On a side note- I realize I have not posted pictures or blogged about Japan very much lately- I promise the next post will have a little of both!


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Off With Their Heads! (warning- the following post is a long rant)

I raised a stink today.  That is something I rarely do.  I may bitch and moan to friends, but I have a tendency to not look for confrontations.  Well today I looked for one and found one.

The gist of the long story is this:
The vaccine clinic corpsman at Medical DID NOT record Brother's shots.  It is not on the medical record and not in the computer.  It is not on his personal shot card because it was lost at our overseas screening  some time ago.  Then the corpsman tried to tell me I was wrong, or that I was perhaps lying about  the fact that my son DID get his two required 11 year old shots.  Little punk- he thought I was stupid and could give me a run around.  Oh how I wish Hubby had been there with me! In fact, I saw someone that looked like Hubby from behind, and for a second I thought it might be him. *sigh*  No- he is on a ship out in the middle of the big blue ocean.

At first when I tried to get the error corrected, he (the corpsman) wouldn't even come out to talk to me in person.  He kept sending the poor E-2 girl at the front desk to talk to me.  Finally I asked to speak to him.  He was the one who GAVE my son his shots- in fact he did a poor job of re-assuring my son (who is scared to death of needles), while trying to give the shots.  He claimed he WOULD have recorded any shots given.  There was NO way he would have NOT recorded it.  Really?  Is that why the other shots that were given to both my kids were still missing from the medical records (luckily they were in the computer though.)  After he could offer me no solution and it became obvious he hoped I would just back down, I asked to speak to his Chief.

Although the Chief apologized to me, tried to re-assure me that the corpsman know their job well, and had the vaccine nurse dig deeper to see if they could find something, Brother still has to get his shots for the 2nd time.  The nurse is a really sweet Japanese woman, and she knew how upset I was (I was on the verge of tears by then.)  She agreed to give Brother his shots this time around.  Not only do I want her to do it because I think she will be able to calm my son down (seriously- he HATES needles), but I will not let that damn imcompentent corpsman touch my children ever again. 

I know I am not the first, and I do take responsibility for not having had a new shot card made out.  This was a hard lesson to learn- and I will pay for it when I have to tell Brother about the shots he has to get in a couple of days.  Oh I will pay, emotionally and perhaps financially because I suspect I will have to bribe him to get him into the medical clinic door.  I PROMISED him he would not have to get any more shots this year.  Second time I have let him down in a week's time.  I FEEL TERRIBLE.

The nurse did say we could get an MD to sign off saying he is exempt from the shots.  But I know that will not help in the long run as eventually someone else will require it regardless.  Besides the fact I don't know if an MD would agree to that anyway.

So in two days I head back with Brother, I am so dreading it.  Know what I would like to do when we get there?  Find the punk ass corpsman and have him explain to Brother WHY he has to get the shots all over again.  Do you think he will even feel bad about it?  Probably not- but he would probably be embarassed- that's good enough for me.  I still wish Hubby had been there today to tear him a new one though.

ICE ICE Baby...

*(For my civilian readers- ICE comments are  "how are we doing?" cards for us military folks, you either complain, or give praise.  It then goes to the Base Captain to read.)

If you have read down this far- thank you for listening to me rant.  I feel better now.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Sad Dreary Day

My sweetie got to come home last week for a short visit.  While I am on the fence about the ship pulling in and out and the many hello's and goodbye's, I am very grateful for the sweet short time we had together.  Last year I was still stateside when they pulled in for graduation, so I didn't get to see him then.
So he came home on Wednesday and left last night.  We made the most of our 5 days and spent our time together as a family.  

Friday Hubby was able to go to Sissy's class for her end of the year presentation.  She was so excited and happy to have her Daddy come to her class.  That little girl is so full of hope and enthusiasm, I hope she doesn't let anyone or anything break down that beautiful spirit.  Afterwards Hubby took me golfing for the first time.  Did I mention I have taken up golf?  I had THE best time (except for one or two frustrating moments).  Hubby enjoyed it too.  He even bragged to everyone how well I did- I surprised him.  I wish I had started playing before now.  I can see now this will be our "thing" we do together- especially when our kids are grown and out of the house.

That night we took the kids bowling and the next day swimming was on the agenda.  It truly felt like a vacation.

Yesterday was a sad day of course, we were anticipating the separation.   The last time he left- I knew it was probably only for a few weeks- so I wasn't too upset.  This time.. well, this time it will be a long time.  Does anyone ever get used to it?  This is our 5th deployment (not counting all the dets to here and there, I couldn't even count that.)  So I figure by now we have spent about 3 years total apart, if not more.  While I am independent and can take care of myself and the children while acting as a single mother- there is still a void in the house.  It is almost as if his not being here creates a negative presence.  I always think that when I look at his side of the bed and think "he was just here, how can the bed feel so empty so quickly?"  My heart is aching.  As always, I feel bad because I DO enjoy my independence.  But I think that is my coping tool.  We can't be miserable the whole time- it's not healthy and it's not productive.

Today is grey and rainy.  That seems fitting.  It matches our mood here.  I need to make a plan for our summer, give us something to look forward to. 

But in the mean time I will wallow in a little self-pity, get it out of my system.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I could KICK myself!!

Seriously, where did my brain go?  I could have had a very fun blog post for you today.  But nooooo, someone (me) didn't think to take any damn pictures!

The reason for the pictures?  I taught my first cooking class today.  I had three lovely Japanese ladies over and we cooked chicken piccatta and fettucine alfredo, made a salad and also strawberry shortcake for dessert.  I could have had some great pictures!! Darn darn darn.  Next time right?  Hopefully they will take me up on another lesson in the near future.

One of my regular students, a sweet lady who looks like she is in her late forties but I suspect she is probably 10 years older than that (Japanese women do not age at all)- Yoko, told her friends that I offer cooking classes.  So our last meeting she tells me she is bringing two friends for a cooking lesson.  Of course that stumped me.  I mean- I WANTED to teach cooking, and even put that on my business card, but I hadn't actually TAUGHT a class yet!  Of course I did not tell her that, though it would have been hard to make her understand anyway.

Easy enough, we decided on chicken- which she was going to provide as I can't find any good fresh chicken breasts around here.  Today she brought me fresh chicken she picked up this morning.  She asked the meat department to remove the skin since I told her skinless, boneless.  They wrapped it up with several ice packs.  I asked if that was the norm and the ladies told me yes.  Can you imagine the big chain groceries stores in the States doing that?

Oh wait!!  I can show you some pictures!  It won't be of the class, and the cute aprons they brought with them to wear, but the goodies they left behind...


Sweetio bananas.  It sounds like someone making a poor attempt at Spanish.

I love how the orange even gets his own little foamie jacket.

My favorite- pineapple- it's really good here.

What could be in the bag?

C'est le pan! (Did I say that right?  I only took one year of French...)

Le clean up.

What I learned:
a. I need to give myself more time for a thorough scrub down of the kitchen.  I was up until midnight last night giving everything a good shine.

b. I need to be SURE I have used that recipe before.  I have a binder with recipes that I have used before.  I must have accidentally put in a recipe from for chicken picatta.  I had not actually used THAT particular recipe.  As it turns out, it was a professional chef's recipe that had been scaled down for home cooking.  Hence the 2 cups of flour were NOT needed to coat the 4 chicken breasts.  The ladies gasped audibly when I threw out the left over flour (almost 2 cups worth).  But at that point I can't keep it as it had been in contact with RAW chicken.  Also I did not need all that olive oil- big waste there as well.  The chicken didn't even turn out that great.  The sauce was delicious, but the chicken was dry.  I may have overcooked it a bit though...

c. I need to go through my Japanese etiquette book again.  I think I should have served Yoko before her friends, but where she was seated I kept getting her last.  I am not sure?  I felt like a blundering idiot.

d. Itadekimas!  It is what you say before you eat.  It means- "it's a feast".

e. Teaching cooking is FUN!  Though it doesn't go like the shows because they don't show people sitting around waiting for noodles to boil.  Seriously, it was fun setting everything up.  They loved all my American gadgets (read- my KitchenAid and my Pampered Chef tools.)  And they were fasciniated by my big oven and the fact I have a dish washer.  Man- we Americans are spoiled for the most part eh?

f. I really really really need need need a DSLR.  Think of the beautiful pictures I could have taken (unlike the iPhone pics shown above.)

g. Be prepared for LOTS of dishes afterward.  Brother came home, saw the huge mess, and asked what had I been doing??

h. Left-overs!  It's what I live for.  No cooking tonight baby!