home at heart

To look inward and lead an examined life. To learn that "home" is not the place where I hang my hat but the warmth of my heart when it's at peace.

Location: Fort Irwin, Barstow, California, United States

wife of career soldier. aunt to six nieces and nephews. "mom" to two beautiful dogs.

18 January 2007


So it's late, and I'm a little bit drunk...

But let me say,
a parent calling to say that you make a difference in his son's life, well...it doesn't get too much better than this.

It's quite late. I'm hosting the monthly wives coffee tomorrow night. Because of said coffee, I'm up late baking various goodies from scratch. What goes best with late-night baking?? Why, wine, of course! Now, in truth, it took me about four times to type the previous line (as well as this one) because I've had more than one glass of said wine. So, please forgive any typographical or other errors.

I finally started my new job...a job that took me a mere three months to get, thank-you-very-much! I work with special needs students at one of the schools here on post. This, in itself, is a long conversation left better for another day when so many glasses of wine have left me better capable of typing without so many hits of the "backspace" bar. Let us just suffice it to say that I am ever-so-satisfied with this line of work. It's funny because so many people would fight tooth and nail to NOT have to serve any time in the special needs classrooms. I, me, myself, HOWEVER, find myself finding great peace and satisfaction and meaning of life and so many other things that I cannot mention this fine evening (again, under the influence of alcohol, here) in the daily routine of NON-routine in my classroom.

Not making sense to you?? Perhaps, this is a good thing. That means you understand routine to mean just that: routine. But to anyone who works in an SEC classroom (and oh-my-goodness, when did we start having to abbreviate EVERYTHING?!?!? I mean, really???), routine IS the unexpected.

Anyway, I inherited a system that was, quite frankly, unacceptable to say the least. I am working to change that. And today, amid the hustle and bustle, I recieved a call from a parent to say that, "You make such a difference in my son's life."

And I just don't know how much better than this it gets.

So tonight, with my husband gone, I stand in my kitchen baking for tomorrow night's wive's coffee, drinking some lovely red wine, and thinking I am exactly where I am supposed to be doing EXACTLY what I was mean to do,

and the only thing I would change,

is being able to drink under the influence without having to hit the backspace key so gosh-darn much.

Life is good.

03 November 2006

An Ode to my new friends

In the middle of the brown desert
so full of cactus and brown, brown stones,
you came into my life and offered
color. Amidst the scent of dust and
the neighbor's dried up dog poo, you brought
pomegranate and jasmine. You brought
sesame oil and shea butter to
quench my parched skin. You replace the sound
of coyote howls with the delicate
tinkle of water cascading past
the rocks of my new copper fountain
while the softness of your one thousand
thread count sheets cradle me in comfort.

The hope your friendship has brought to my
life is inspiring, and to you,
Pier 1 and Bed Bath and Beyond,
my new friends, I offer thanks.

30 October 2006

Almost settled in now. We've got all of our things in their final resting places and a few new ones on order. The past several years, we've been living in cozy but somewhat cramped quarters. Thanks to J's promotion, we are now entitled to a larger home. It's kind of fun decorating the new house. I get to pick out some new furniture and art for the extra walls. And even though it's now practically November, I am even planting flowers in my new yard.

I'm applying for a position with the local school district to work in the special needs classroom. God willing, I will get selected.

I've met a few people here. Most have been nice. J's unit is just about perfect. Maybe not overall, of course, but as a break from the mess that was his unit in Korea, this is a welcome change.

My best friend from Korea is also in California. Not where we are, but she is planning to come visit me next week. I'm quite excited. Plus, we have family members planning visits out here.

Up until last night at 8:30, I was so happy to be living here. Unfortunately, I came face to face with a desert inhabitant last evening that has left me rattled and frankly wishing to be somewhere else. I'm doing my best to get over it. It's not going to be easy.

23 October 2006


Well, this is it. We are moved in. We still have a thing or two to get for the house, but all boxes are unpacked and put away. This is home.

I like it. It's comfortable. And J seems content. I think this is going to be the nicest home we've had yet.

But there is something.

I don't regret for an instant the decision I had to have my surgery. My life is exponentially better than it was before. And truth is, surgery or no surgery, I wasn't having children. But it just feels like we are at a point in our lives when a child might be a welcome addition.

I guess what started it is my niece. We have a long history--too long to detail here. Just suffice it to say that she has a special place in our hearts. And while her home is not a. . .bad one, it's not the best place for her. I spent this summer in Michigan while J attended another school, and Kendall and I became even closer than before. And I want her to come live with us.

See, she is a completely different person when she is with us. Always has been. Mostly because J and I respond differently to her. We don't argue with her. We don't yell. We simply set rules and establish consequences ahead of time. And she doesn't often feel the need to challenge us. Of course, kids are kids. There are times when I could gleefully wring her delightful little neck. But mostly, things are constant--stable. This is what she needs. And it's not what she gets at home.

J and I have talked for years about wishing Kendall could be with us--mostly because we are much better suited to her than her own mother is. I'm not trying to beat J's sister up here, but it's no secret to anyone that she and Kendall are not good together. This summer almost broke my heart. It's an accident waiting to happen. So after J and I got to California and signed for our house, we bit the bullet. . .and told his sister that we would like Kendall to come spend some time out here with us.

It went much better than expected. But now I'm stuck in this political game. I have to watch my step and play these word games with his sister trying to set things up for my niece to come out here with us. We would like her until she's ready for college. But we can't say that. We have to say "for a little while" and play the pacifying game of "no, you're not a bad mom. she's very challenging. maybe this would give her the chance to see just how good she really has things at home." As if we really believe that.

I hate playing the game. It makes me sick. But I also see the bigger picture of this is what has to be done in order to accomplish the goal: providing Kendall the environment that she needs to succeed.

But then,

out of fairness,

I must question myself. Why do I want Kendall so badly? Is it because it's the right thing for HER, or am I trying to steal another woman's child because I can't have my own?

I want to believe in myself and my intentions. I truly believe--as does the rest of the family, because it has become a family discussion--that we can provide Kendall with the home that she so desperately needs. And we aren't trying to adopt her; we are only seeking an open-ended guardianship. We will still be aunt and uncle, and she will still have her mom and dad and have all the communication with them and holiday visits and whatever else--at our expense. So on the one hand, I can say unequivocally that I have the most honorable of intentions.

But I need to be sure. And there's always the "other hand" to consider. And that other hand holds the question of my motives to want to take on this responsibility. And it holds the fact that I will never have a child of my own.

Wow. My hands are full.

18 September 2006

(no title)

It's been quite a time. Moving from one part of Korea to another. Taking vacation to China. Saying goodbye to beloved friends. Moving to Michigan while J goes to school. Losing my dearly loved Cokie and Weezer. Being apart from J. Reintegrating back into the family. Trying to not kill certain members of said family. Getting J back. Moving to California. Now living in a hotel.

I'm not even sure where to start. It's been such a jumble of emotions that past few months. I'm sure that it's all going to hit me here soon. And I'm also sure that when it does I will spend not a few hours crying.

But life is what it is. It leads us to new places and situations. Unfortunately, we have to say goodbye to some people and things that we love. We have to readjust. So I wake up to a new day and a new opportunity, thankful that I have my health and my marriage and holding onto my faith. Although I am not certain what this day may bring, I am certain that it is a gift from God.

16 September 2006

picture website

I will be making a separate website full of pictures for family to view. That way, I can give them that address to view pictures without having to give them this one. There is no link from the California site to this one.

It's not that I'm hiding anything from them. It's just that I need a private place to write and ponder and vent...or whatever else I feel the need to do. And sometimes it will involve one of them. And I want to do so without having to worry about what one of them will say.

So, should anyone care to take a glance, the site for CA pictures is


I will also be updating the Korea site with all the wonderful pictures we took--including those of our visit to China!!

A New Chapter

Well, here I am in California, now. Just arrived. I've never been to California--and certainly never veen to the desert before. But as I truly believe, home is where the heart is and not just where I place my head at night. And since J and I are together here, this is home for the next few years...or however long the military sees fit to leave us here.

We are living in a hotel right now. We don't have a house yet, and we're not sure how long it will be. But we got a two room suite with a kitchen so I will be able to cook, at least. The manager of the hotel (Quality Inn & Suites) was quite kind to us. He is giving us a remarkable rate to say thank you for J's service. We're hoping we won't have to be here too long, but were told it could be as long as three months.

I have missed writing so much. During our move, I didn't have access to the Internet. It's amazing how a little piece of machinery can really make you feel more connected to the world. More so, I miss having my outlet. This was my little space to write and share and work things out. And I'm so glad to be able to have it back. I'm looking forward to being able to write about all that happened this summer and what all occurs in the days to come.

California is my new home, so Welcome home.

01 February 2006

This is why I smile


This is my own private paradise. And this is my own private angel. (Although, as John Travolta said in the movie Michael, he's not that kind of angel!)

This is J. This is my paradise. And this is why I smile.