15 January 2010

Harvey's Grove

She sat on the cold ground, leaning back against the tree. With her knees drawn to her chest and her head in her arms, she silently wept. Sensing the sun peeking over the horizon, she lifted her head and stared out over her fields. Yesterday they had said it would be the fourth day below freezing, unusual for this time of year in Florida. She prayed to gods she didn't actual believe existed that the orange grove she nurtured from tiny saplings survived the night.

Hearing a sound over her shoulder, she glanced behind her and saw her husband carrying a thermos and the quilt his mother made for their wedding. He stopped short of her and lifted his eyebrow. Replying with a nod, she held out her hands to take the coffee he offered. A ghost of a smile crossed her lips as he sat down next to her and wrapped the quilt around them both. Any other time, she imagined, this would be romantic, enjoying each other's company in the morning light.

His voice broke the silence.

"What do you think?" 

She shook her head, unable to find the words to tell him their dreams were ruined by four nights of frost. He put his arm around her shoulders and she leaned in close. She didn't want to voice the truth.

Instead she answered him quietly, "I just don't know."

10 January 2010

Jack of all trades...master of none...

As I am initiating myself into this blog eat blog world, I am curious about how long I will actually sustain this one of mine.  I have to admit, I am one of those characters who seem to try everything, but never excel at anything.  My goal in life is to be really, really, really good at something.  However, I have yet to find what that "something" is.  I am a mediocre piano player - after 10 years of lessons I have no understanding of theory.  I tried to parlay my limited music skills into guitar playing.  I taught myself how to play and sing "Take Me Home Country Roads" in sixth grade, but have never excelled past that.  In the past couple years I have taken to learning Russian (which I have stopped and started at least 3 times, yet I still don't even know the Cyrillic alphabet), crocheting (after a three foot chain I put my "scarf" aside to work on later), cake decorating (I was fairly decent at this after an initial fiasco of flying cake and icing of which Brad had to clean up), dental school (which got waylaid after I realized that I would have to supplement my chemistry degree with additional biology courses), knitting (which didn't even get to the stage of buying the needles), a restaurant review website (which still has basic template features still in it), and racquetball (I didn't have anyone to practice with after I hit Brad square in the chest with a 50 mph ball).  I'm sure there are many things that I am fogetting, as it seems I tend to pick up something new at least once a month.  Currently, I am trying to: learn Russian (heh heh), learn how to sketch (which has actually been very interesting - I am following a book called "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" which breaks it down for this very left minded person),  teach myself guitar (again), sing in front of an audience (so far I have been able to sing in front of my roommate...when she is on the other side of the room...behind the closets....out of sight), and write the great American novel (or write anything for that matter - this is a start, I suppose).  I have read all those inspirational quotes and warm fuzzy books about living my life to the fullest.  I am very motivated for approximately 10 days.  And then it gets frustrating.  I suppose I am looking for that one skill where I miraculously have instant knowledge and become a master in 9 days.  Hasn't happened yet.  I guess that may be a little optimistic.  So, if you don't see a blog entry after 17 Jan, don't worry - I'm still alive...My attention span probably expired.

09 January 2010


As with many things here in Iraq, the mosquito population defies all reason.  In the middle of winter, when we are huddling in our CHUs from actual fleece wearing weather, the mosquitos have decided to invade.  With chilly temperatures, these nasty little buggers find warmth and solace in our spaces, biting us when we are most defenseless.  I fear that these mosquitos have taken lessons from the insurgents, as they are indiscrimant and ruthless.  You see them only for a brief moment and as you prepare to strike, they disappear.  You wake up with evidence that they were there, with red bites on your face and hands.  You share your battle scars with your buddies and tell stories of the 16 of them that you faced while trying to take a shower.  Personally, I have been an Iraq mosquito ace at least 5 times over...Your only hope lies in the kindness of KBR to rid your CHU of these vermin - but alas, KBR is not always reliable (a shocker, I know) and the population rears its ugly head when you are snuggled in your bed.  Your only hope the 50% DEET cream, military issue.  F-ing mosiquitos. And so the battle rages on...

08 January 2010

Everyone's doing it...

This whole blog phenomenon has just hit me...I seem to have spent the last 10 years hiding in a hole, as I am amazed at the diversity of the blog world.  I never thought blogging would be for me, but here I am, giving it a chance...mostly due to sheer curiosity...So here we are...traveling into this unknown world with what I believe to be a sort of writing blindfold on.  In theory, everyone could do it...the question is - should they?