Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Good thing my teeth have skin!

The Ebola craziness has got to stop. After two weeks of totally stressing about getting screened at the airport, my trip through passport control and customs was a breeze. Where I got tripped up was at the doctor's appointment this morning. Here is how the conversation went.

Nurse: Have you been to West Africa?
Me: Yes.
Nurse: Recently?
Me: Last week.
Nurse: Have you had a fever?
Me: Yes. Wait! Let me explain!

I think she stopped breathing at one point. Because I did go to West Africa and I did come back sick with a fever and other symptoms that are similar to Ebola. But what I had was treatable with antibiotics and it would so mess up my life to be quarantined for 21 days to make sure I don't have a disease that I was never exposed to and couldn't have. I mean, 21 days on my own with room service and total freedom from The Dog does sound not too bad, but once I found out that poor nurse in New Jersey didn't have a shower,  quarantine lost most of its appeal.

I'm too tired to type any more, so here is a picture of an African chicken.

The Milka chocolate I brought back from Germany is better than a brownie, but I can't eat it.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


I'm so jet lagged, my eyes are crossing. I arrived yesterday morning. We decided to go to Rudesheim instead of sleeping like sane people. It was lovely and I discovered that German restaurants have lots of gluten free options. Thank goodness for pork and sauerkraut and potatoes.

Today was a full day of work and dinner in a bierkeller. More pork and sauerkraut. I've also remembered how much I like Schweppes bitter lemon. And to rop it off, I found chocolate tea for Child 1. And talking to Husband and then Chil 1is better than a brownie. Now to figure out how to talk to the other two children.

Sunday, October 12, 2014


I am leaving today for my two week TDY and am leaving Husband in charge. I am scared. Not that Child 3 will miss the bus like she did several times during the last TDY. Thankfully, her bus comes almost an hour later this year. No, I am scared because I am missing trunk or treat and Husband will be in charge! I am devastated that I won't be back in time to compete. We had a whole awesome Star Wars theme planned and we were so going to win! But no. It is not to be. Husband is on his own which means there might be a pumpkin or two that he throws in the trunk and the children may or may not have to make their costumes out of paper bags. I had better do something so they don't have to look like this.

So wish me luck! Or rather, wish Husband luck because he's never been in charge of Halloween before. And just in case you are wondering, missing trunk or treat is NOT better than a brownie. So not fair.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Fasten your seatbelts!

So Child 2 got her driver's permit today and Husband took her driving around our church parking lot. She drove around in circles for about 20 minutes. I'm not sure I'm ready for this. She says she only mixed up the gas pedal and the brake three times and that she can't be the only one that has happened to. True, but I don't want to drive with her until she figures that all out. Child 2, I never want to see this on my car.

But luckily, a solution to this problem is at hand and that is that I'm leaving on my trip tomorrow. I'll be gone for two weeks and by the time I return, Husband will have helped her learn that the big one is the break. No, the big one! THE BIG ONE!! STEP ON THE BIG ONE!!! It will be just like when I taught Child 1 to tie her shoes by taking a nap and letting Husband do it.

This week, I also learned what the rules are for "friending" your children's friends on social media.

  1. If you accidentally friend one of your children's friends on social media, you cannot take the request back. That is rude and will only prove that you are stupid and can't figure out which buttons to click. In reality, it only proves that the buttons on your stupid iPod are too dang small, but I am told this is the rule.
  2. Once you are friends, you should go to their home page and like all their photos.
  3. You must never, ever, ever comment on any photo they post. Ever. You may like it but not comment. No. Words. None. Resist the urge to comment or you will face the wrath of the child!
So those are the rules. I promise I am following them. I once commented "beautiful!" but I hear even that is not OK.

You know what is not better than a brownie? Chocolate covered bugs. And chocolate chirp cookies which are made with crickets. 

The Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium in New Orleans serves them and people apparently actually eat them. They also serve larvae toffee. I just can't. Nope. So very glad I'm allergic to chocolate right now. Seriously. Crickets?

Thursday, October 9, 2014

60 minutes to reboot. Yay!

Ugh, I so hate my computer. And you know what else I hate? Stupid football games that start at bedtime when I get so little sleep as it is. I really, really need to not be watching football right now. But I started watching the game because I needed to reboot my computer and that takes an hour. Yes, I know. Totally a first world problem and yes, there are people starving in Africa. But how am I going to learn about how to help the starving people if I can never get on the internet because my computer sucks? (And one answer about how to help them is here. Arlington Academy of Hope has been working for 10 years to make life better for Children in Uganda.)

So bidding is going well. If by well you mean that every post that I really wanted is turning out not to work and I might have to pull out the last resort which is the post I don't want but can get. See, it's like the Department has this ugly bird they keep handing me. It is a brown, boring, flightless bird (no, not a Kiwi. That would be a cool bird.) This bird isn't particularly bright and I don't really want to touch it, but it is alive and it is here in my hands where the Department keeps shoving it. And I don't want this bird. I want the one I can see in the bush which is colorful and new and so not boring and is dancing around and chirping not like this stupid silent lump of a bird sitting in my hand. See? The bird in the bush is the blue bird of paradise! That's what I want!

I know if I just stretch a little further, I can reach that bird. But then there is that little voice in my head that says you already have a perfectly healthy bird right in your hands. Just take it! Because if you let this one go, you're not going to get that blue bird of paradise and then you'll have nothing. No birds at all. So I will probably take the brown bird because it is safe and I have it and I probably don't deserve the blue bird of paradise anyway. But someday, couldn't the Department give me a bird that I want? Or even just a feather? Seriously, a blue feather would be nice. I could stick it on a plaque and pretend it was an award.

Speaking of awards, I accidentally learned today that in one of my previous jobs, I was actually nominated for a Meritorious Honor Award, and that the committee approved it. And yet, somehow I never received it. I know you are wondering how on earth could this have happened? And you are totally right to wonder who on earth would nominate me for an award? The answer, of course, is a really nice person. But another question would be then why did I never receive an award? If I was nominated and the committee approved it, where is my award? And I think the answer to that is in the same place with my promotion which is at the bottom of a deep, dark well into which I can climb down but then never get back up. So instead of an award, I'll just have to be content with the knowledge that I am doing good and making life better for people. Yep. The ones who complain about how lazy the federal government is and how little we do for them and then call their congress people and say how awful we are and tell them to fire us and take away our funding. Yep. Those people. That's who I work for. And you know what? I'm glad that I do because somebody needs to do my job and I'm very grateful that it gets to be me--ugly brown boring birds and all.

Child 3 getting into the Ensemble of the school musical is better than a brownie. I couldn't be prouder of her. She will be an awesome fish/crab/merperson/whatever.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Curse you stupid computer!

So my computer really, really stinks. I have no control over it any more. I turns itself on after I turn it off. It randomly blocks the internet, and the keys all stick. The first two things I'm pretty sure are a result of me buying it while we were in China. The last one, however, I'm pretty sure comes from one of the children eating something sticky and spilling it on the keyboard. Ugh. I would buy a new one, but since all of my money is going toward keeping Child 1 in Hawaii, I'm a little cash poor at the moment. So China, if you could just let me buy things off Amazon and post on my blog, I will be very grateful. I've run the virus scanning software a billion times and I can't find anything, so I assume it is either a very sophisticated program or I just have a crappy computer. It very well could be that last one.

And of course, the promotion panel looked at my EERs, shook the Magic 8 ball they use to determine promotability, and it said ask again later. So no promotion this year. And I would buy myself shoes as compensation, but Child 3 stole my Nikes, took them to school for gym, and promptly got them stolen out of her locker because they were awesome Nikes which of course they don't make anymore. So instead of lovely I didn't get an award or promoted shoes, I get to buy gym shoes for me. This was not my favorite week at all. I would much rather buy these boots than a stupid pair of Nikes.

However, at least I don't have Ebola. Now, just in case you think the government isn't doing anything to combat Ebola, you are wrong. Very wrong, because it's pretty much all we talked about this week, especially for people who work with West Africa like I do. There is a lot going on and a lot happening, but like all good works, that's not as newsworthy as pointing out what we did wrong. I mean, how many times did it make the news when crazy people didn't break into the White House? (Although, seriously Secret Service? You should hire The Dog and then no one will ever get through the front door again, not even the President because The Dog still hates men. Although the First Lady and Daughters won't have any problems. It's a thought. I will totally volunteer to lend her to you if you like.)

Another good news story that no one is talking about is how Nigeria completely stopped Ebola in it's tracks and totally crushed their outbreak.

I know you are thinking why isn't anyone telling Dallas authorities to ask Nigeria for help, and that is an excellent question. Because we are talking about a country that has much more limited resources than we do and yet they took action immediately and limited what could have been an exponential growth to 20 cases and completely shut. the whole thing. down. So all you people in Texas who are panicking, seriously start thinking about visiting Nigeria because they got this. And I am truly impressed, especially since I'm visiting there in two weeks. I'll let you all know just how strict their screening process is when I get back. Having Ebola eradicated from an entire country is way better than a brownie, just in case you were wondering. Way to go Nigeria!