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Thanksgiving Day Tips November 22, 2006

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To properly thaw your frozen bird place it in a clean sink of cold water and change the water every 30 minutes.  This keeps bad bacteria from growing on it.

Cover the turkey breast with tin foil if it is cooking faster than the legs and is over browning.

-To crisp up the top of your stuffing place it under the broiler for a minute or two.  For stuffing that’s been baked inside the bird place it in a oiled baking dish at 450 degrees for 10 minutes or so.  Then broil it for a minute or two to crisp the top.

Burned gravy can be saved by adding a tablespoon of creamy peanut butter.  It will soften the smoky taste.

Over salted your gravy?  Add a peeled, cut up potato to the gravy and cook for about 5-10 minutes then remove potatoes.  They will absorb the salt.

-For dried dinner rolls, wrap them loosely in aluminum foil and heat in 300 degree oven for 15 minutes.  During the last 4-5 minutes unwrap the rolls slightly to crisp lightly.

-Save your disposable pie tins and cut out the bottoms.  You can then use them by turning them upside down and placing it on top of your pie to keep the crust from burning.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day!


The Secret Letter From Iraq- A Marines letter home November 8, 2006

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My friend had sent me this link this morning.  It’s a letter that a Marine had sent home to a few family and friends that ended up being passed around to retired general’s in-boxes.  It’s a profound account of this Marine’s reality in Iraq.  It brought me to tears.  Lets all pray that our troops can come home soon to their loved ones.   This article was posted on Time magazines website. ~ DMTigerfly

CLARIFICATION APPENDED Written last month, this straightforward account of life in Iraq by a Marine officer was initially sent just to a small group of family and friends. His honest but wry narration and unusually frank dissection of the mission contrasts sharply with the story presented by both sides of the Iraq war debate, the Pentagon spin masters and fierce critics. Perhaps inevitably, the “Letter from Iraq” moved quickly beyond the small group of acquantainaces and hit the inboxes of retired generals, officers in the Pentagon, and staffers on Capitol Hill. TIME’s Sally B. Donnelly first received a copy three weeks ago but only this week was able to track down the author and verify the document’s authenticity. The author wishes to remain anonymous but has allowed us to publish it here — with a few judicious omissions.

All: I haven’t written very much from Iraq. There’s really not much to write about. More exactly, there’s not much I can write about because practically everything I do, read or hear is classified military information or is depressing to the point that I’d rather just forget about it, never mind write about it. The gaps in between all of that are filled with the pure tedium of daily life in an armed camp. So it’s a bit of a struggle to think of anything to put into a letter that’s worth reading. Worse, this place just consumes you. I work 18-20-hour days, every day. The quest to draw a clear picture of what the insurgents are up to never ends. Problems and frictions crop up faster than solutions. Every challenge demands a response. It’s like this every day. Before I know it, I can’t see straight, because it’s 0400 and I’ve been at work for 20 hours straight, somehow missing dinner again in the process. And once again I haven’t written to anyone. It starts all over again four hours later. It’s not really like Ground Hog Day, it’s more like a level from Dante’s Inferno.Rather than attempting to sum up the last seven months, I figured I’d just hit the record-setting highlights of 2006 in Iraq. These are among the events and experiences I’ll remember best. Worst Case of Deja Vu — I thought I was familiar with the feeling of deja vu until I arrived back here in Fallujah in February. The moment I stepped off of the helicopter, just as dawn broke, and saw the camp just as I had left it ten months before — that was deja vu. Kind of unnerving. It was as if I had never left. Same work area, same busted desk, same chair, same computer, same room, same creaky rack, same… everything. Same everything for the next year. It was like entering a parallel universe. Home wasn’t 10,000 miles away, it was a different lifetime.

Most Surreal Moment — Watching Marines arrive at my detention facility and unload a truck load of flex-cuffed midgets. 26 to be exact. We had put the word out earlier in the day to the Marines in Fallujah that we were looking for Bad Guy X, who was described as a midget. Little did I know that Fallujah was home to a small community of midgets, who banded together for support since they were considered as social outcasts. The Marines were anxious to get back to the midget colony to bring in the rest of the midget suspects, but I called off the search, figuring Bad Guy X was long gone on his short legs after seeing his companions rounded up by the giant infidels.

Most Profound Man in Iraq — an unidentified farmer in a fairly remote area who, after being asked by Reconnaissance Marines if he had seen any foreign fighters in the area replied “Yes, you.”

Worst City in al-Anbar Province — Ramadi, hands down. The provincial capital of 400,000 people. Lots and lots of insurgents killed in there since we arrived in February. Every day is a nasty gun battle. They blast us with giant bombs in the road, snipers, mortars and small arms. We blast them with tanks, attack helicopters, artillery, our snipers (much better than theirs), and every weapon that an infantryman can carry. Every day. Incredibly, I rarely see Ramadi in the news. We have as many attacks out here in the west as Baghdad. Yet, Baghdad has 7 million people, we have just 1.2 million. Per capita, al-Anbar province is the most violent place in Iraq by several orders of magnitude. I suppose it was no accident that the Marines were assigned this area in 2003.

Bravest Guy in al-Anbar Province — Any Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician (EOD Tech). How’d you like a job that required you to defuse bombs in a hole in the middle of the road that very likely are booby-trapped or connected by wire to a bad guy who’s just waiting for you to get close to the bomb before he clicks the detonator? Every day. Sanitation workers in New York City get paid more than these guys. Talk about courage and commitment.

Second Bravest Guy in al-Anbar Province — It’s a 20,000-way tie among all these Marines and Soldiers who venture out on the highways and through the towns of al-Anbar every day, not knowing if it will be their last — and for a couple of them, it will be.

Worst E-Mail Message — “The Walking Blood Bank is Activated. We need blood type A+ stat.” I always head down to the surgical unit as soon as I get these messages, but I never give blood — there’s always about 80 Marines in line, night or day.

Biggest Surprise — Iraqi Police. All local guys. I never figured that we’d get a police force established in the cities in al-Anbar. I estimated that insurgents would kill the first few, scaring off the rest. Well, insurgents did kill the first few, but the cops kept on coming. The insurgents continue to target the police, killing them in their homes and on the streets, but the cops won’t give up. Absolutely incredible tenacity. The insurgents know that the police are far better at finding them than we are — and they are finding them. Now, if we could just get them out of the habit of beating prisoners to a pulp…

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My Paranormal Experience October 31, 2006

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So honestly you question everyone’s paranormal experience.  Some are believable some are not, but either way they are still intriguing.  So here’s mine.  My oldest daughter when she was younger around 8 years old would tell me how she had someone who would stroke her back, hair or squeeze her hand lightly.  She said it mostly happened when she was upset, but that it would make her feel better.  Concerned me somewhat, but I didn’t want to discuss it too much with her as I didn’t want her to get scared.  As the years went by it seemed the nice spirits that were there had been replaced with not so nice ones.  She didn’t say much, but when she did she said she felt scared.  When we moved to a new apartment I had thought that maybe whatever it was would stop.  After moving into the new apartment it seemed all was ok until she started complaining that she would feel people or things around her.  She told me one night she heard someone sit in the blowup chair that sat next to her bed and could hear them breathing.  She stated she was too scared to open her eyes.  Another time she explained she saw what looked like a soldier from like the civil war was in her room.  Another occurrence she had gotten up in the middle of the night to get a glass of water from the kitchen and had seen a little girl in a white nightgown run down the small hallway past her room.  She was too scared to go back to her room that she sat in the living room with the lights on for about 2 hours before she went back to bed. 


Now admittedly I had to begin to question it and wonder if her imagination was getting the best of her.  She was about 12 years old during this time.  But her complaints kept continuing and she didn’t want to go to bed anymore.  She was going to be with Rosary beads and my reassurance that it was nothing and she’d be ok.  Now as any mom would do with their child you want to beat the crap out anyone who wants to harm them.  So one night after putting her to bed and frustrated with my daughters fear I decided I would speak to this thing…whatever it was.  So in my head, I yelled “Leave my daughter alone!  If you want to mess with someone then you can come see me, not a little girl!”  I honestly didn’t think much more of it and went to bed.  Within minutes of settling in to bed I heard this very evil laugh right next to my left ear.  Fear instantly shot through my body.  I opened my mouth to say my boyfriends name (who is now my husband) to wake him up.  It was the weirdest thing cause I could feel my mouth freeze as I opened it along with the rest of my entire body.  I tried desperately to move something… anything.  As my mouth sat open I tried to vocalize a sound and I couldn’t get anything to come out.  My mind raced thinking what am I going to do.  Then something so simple came to my mind.  I thought, logically this doesn’t make sense to be sitting here frozen.  Instantly after that thought, my entire body released from its frozen state.  I had no more fear and my entire being was exhausted and I fell asleep within minutes.  I had never experienced something like that before or since.


Now you can take that for whatever you want, but I believe something truly did happen.  My daughter had not been bothered for a long time after that.  She is now 17 years old, and just recently found out that she still hears things, but chooses to ignore it.  Again, I didn’t discuss it too much with her as I don’t want her to get scared. After all she sleeps in the basement now.

OMG! I’ve got to get out of here. October 27, 2006

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Well it was another long boring day at work.  I’m being trained in a new area of business because what I was doing is going to another center.  I’m so not into learning anything new.  Nor do I want to do what I was doing before.  It was such mind numbing work I think I got stupider everyday because of it.  I use to work accounts, dedicated accounts.  I actually did real work, felt like I accomplished something throughout the day.  Interacted with sales people, customers, and the union member work center people – who because they are union often don’t feel they need to do anything.  Of which I don’t get as I use to live in Wyoming and they have unions.  But I didn’t see the majority of people slacking off because they were apart of one.

Any how, around 1:45 pm I decided to drag myself over to the desk of my co-worker to learn the new stuff I’m going to be doing.  Ugh!  I’m sitting there thinking I don’t care enough about this place to learn it.  Although I know when it comes to me doing the work I will work hard to do it well as my work is a reflection of me.  Doing it poorly is just not in my character.  But I do it for myself not the company I work for. 

As I walked to the printer I looked around at the decorated cubicles and Halloween themes of the teams.  I remembered back to the day that I cared about decorating for the holidays.  Back to the days when work was fun before they changed it all and took the fun out of work and broke my spirit.

As my training for the day ended and walked back to my desk/cubicle all I could think is… “OMG!  I’ve got to get out of here!”  Of course I’ve been saying that for 7 years now, but this year I really do mean it.  I’m more than this place.  I want more.  I envy those who have their dream job or enjoy the work they do or love the company they work for.  Some day…I will be that person.

My first blog! October 24, 2006

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Well this is my first blog.   I feel there is so much for me to learn, but I’ll catch on.  I like to think I’m a fast learner.  I already found a great blog I need to add to my blog roll (I believe that’s where it goes).  It’s almost 9:00 pm and I am exhausted!  I have a feeling this blogging is going to be addictive and may keep me up at nights of thoughts I need to add.  I don’t sleep enough as it is.  I’m a thinker and tend to think too much at times.  Causes me to lose sleep.  Hard to shut the brain off when you have so much you want to do and little to no time to do it… or so it seems.  I also tend to think faster than I type, so I leave words out or add an extra in.  I’ll have to try and watch that.  But no one is perfect eh?  Well I’m off for now.  Will play around with this some more and see what else I can learn.

Bye for now!