Friday, November 30, 2007


Last night while folding laundry I experienced an epiphany. A sudden vision of what would make J.R. truly happy flashed before my eyes and left me with the knowledge of what to give him for Christmas. As I sat on the bed I began to play the never ending game of match his socks. White socks lay all around me. Some with gray heals. Some with gray toes. Some with gray heals and red HANES on the toe. Some go together.. and some who knows. And that's when it hit me... A vision of J.R. in sweat pants and sweat shirt sitting on the floor next to the Christmas tree. A package wrapped in red paper in hand and a smile across his face. As he tears the paper off he sees a brand new package of socks. His smile widens and he thanks me for buying him a present that he truly needs. As he runs to the bedroom to store his new treasures he screams "how I can't wait to throw these old fellers!" The old socks will go, the new socks will stay, and I will fold laundry without matching games. Thank you laundry fairy for helping make my shopping a little easier this Christmas season.

Moving on...

Whatever virus I picked up is still hanging on. It just can't seem to go away. I finally have my voice back but it's still on the scratchy side. It's not quite up to singing standards yet. Ask J.R. and he'll tell you it's torture to listen to me attempt to sing Christmas songs right now. I am constantly coughing up more and more crud from my chest. My nose has produced and unnatural amount of mucus. The only plus side to the constant blowing is that my holiday kleenex box is going to be used up just in time to buy another one for this season. :)

School is winding down and the next couple of weeks are tense. I have a speech to prepare and I'm actually VERY excited about this one. I know I have a lot of prep work to do so pacing myself on this one is going to be a pretty big deal. I'm hoping this weekend I can get the big chunk of data figured out for it. Then I can begin to make my graphs and slide show. After all of that is done I can finally WRITE the presentation. It should be good.

Anyway, today is busy and my shower is calling my name. I still have to get my pay check, drive to Eau Claire, pay rent, deposit my check, drive back to Menomonie, go to Wal-Mart, and be ready to work at 3:30. Not fun.

As for all of you ladies at the spousebuzz conference.... you suck.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Here in Wisconsin it is cold. According to it is currently 16 but feels like 4. When looking at the ten day forecast the high for the week is 30 degrees. That's 30 degrees before adding in the wind chill and that is the high for the next TEN DAYS!

...... I'm moving to Fiji.

More Bambi

Not sure if I mentioned this or not, but J.R. got two more deer last Friday. I have more meat than I know what to do with. At least hunting is done for now and he no longer can tell me he needs the beard to "blend in with the trees."

I returned home to Wisconsin last night. My apartment... it's still messy. I was so hoping that things would just magically take care of themselves when I was gone but apparently that didn't happen. I'm hoping that with Christmas break approaching we can finally sit down and sort things and get the apartment back to normal. Wouldn't that be nice.

As for today, I'm spending my day in the public library catching up on homework. I've discovered the following about the public library:

1. Parking is free
2. It's a hell of a lot warmer in here than at Stout's library
3. It has a view of the lake which is relaxing
4. There is a never ending supply of interesting people to watch and think "what the hell were they smoking before coming to the library."

Very entertaining.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


This Michigan trip would be a lot more enjoyable if I had a voice. It disappeared on the car ride home and apparently it's enjoying the vacation as it's made no attempt to return. The timing couldn't be worse but such is life.

Now even though I may not have a voice I haven't been sitting around on the couch. When you only get home once or twice a year you have to make the most of it. I spent the last two nights out with friends... attempting to talk over the music at the bar. It didn't work very well but made for some very interesting attempts at sign language. Being from a small town I think I ran into half of my graduating class at the bar. It's always interesting when the question of "so what have you been up to since graduation?" comes back to me. Hmm lets see... I got married, I live in the middle of nowhere, Wi, and my husband got blown up. It's always an interesting reaction but it's the best way to sum up my life in the last few years. I did feel semi fortunate for not having a voice.. it was a great excuse to not go into detail about what life after war is like. I appreciate that my friends are concerned but sometimes a girl just needs a beer and a dance.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!!

I hope everyone has a supertasticfoodfilled (shut up Beth.. it's a word now) Thanksgiving day.

I'm leaving shortly to head up to Hayward, Wi to spend the day with J.R.'s family. J.R. will be joining me around "nine or ten." In J.R. language this is more likely midnight or later. :)

The guys will be hunting in the early hours of the morning. I plan on spending my morning either sleeping or watching the Macy's Thanksgiving day parade. We'll see if I haul my sick ass out of bed in time for that (yep.. still sick). After lounging about for most of the morning we will then head up to Grandma Mary's for some delicious food. Maybe at this family meal J.R. and I will behave and not throw food at each other. Maybe.

Later in the day I will be leaving and heading towards Michigan home. It's only about a gizzillion hour drive and I will be doing most of this at night so I can try to make my way through Chicago without holiday/shopping traffic. At least this time I can actually stay for a while at my parents which seems to make the drive more worthwhile. I'll be in Michigan through Monday and will head back north Tuesday afternoon. I think that's the longest chunk of time I've been able to spend at my parents house since moving to Menomonie in 2005. My siblings work all weekend but I will get to spend time with them so I'm excited. I wish J.R. was coming with but alas.. tis the season to shoot Bambi.

I'm pretty geeked about spending some time at home over the holidays. I haven't made it home in the same week of a holiday in a while. Being that I live so far away I rarely see old friends from school. My best friend Becca will also be home for one of the days I will be there. We rarely cross paths as she is busy in Ohio going to school and I'm living in the middle of nowhere. And even though we talk all the time nothing beats a hug from your best friend.

From bottom to top: Me, Becca, Paul, John, Katy (red hair), and Beth (brown hair)

This is an old picture of all of us but... let me give you the breakdown... Me, Paul and Beth are siblings. Becca, John, and Katy are all siblings. Together we are family.

Monday, November 19, 2007


As promised here is the picture of J.R. and Bambi. I finally gave up on getting the pictures from J.R. and went straight to his mother. It was a much quicker route. :)

Today has been boring. I hate being sick. I watched three hours of Cheerleading U on the WE channel. Now I didn't watch this because I enjoy cheerleading, but because the remote was sitting on the love seat and I felt crummy enough that standing up to get it just wasn't going to happen. So I sat there and tried to sleep. Unsuccessful.

After running a fellow student to Walgreens to pick up her prescription (she cried on the phone... I'm a sucker for crying), I returned home and decided it was time to crawl into bed. Relief at last. Three whole hours of sleep. J.R. even came into the room and checked on me a couple times and offered to get me a glass of ice water. I was pretty geeked about this. He's taken very good care of me. I even managed to get a short neck massage out of him!!

As the evening went on J.R. began to work on tech ed homework and the tv in the living room was distracting him. Taking his hint that I was driving him up the wall I drew a hot bath and moved into the tub. I also took with me my laptop and Nip/Tuck on DVD. Three episodes, two hours, and two smooth legs later (there is nothing like smooth legs when you don't feel good) I decided to emerge from the tub and make my way to the bedroom. I've been in the bed ever since. I'm hopeful that tonight some relief will come in the form of sleep. Good sleep. I have a feeling it's wishful thinking as my fever is starting to climb back up. Maybe tonight is a good night for some motrin and simply sleep.

Tomorrow J.R. has appointments at the VA. In my desperation to go but my guilty conscious about spreading a virus to senior veterans, I may make a fashion statement and wear the ever so sexy face mask. I hate being sick.
Strep test was negative. It's a virus. Gotta love it.

Super Sick

There is nothing worse than being sick. Especially when you get really sick, really fast.

Yesterday I spent my day working. I felt great when I woke up in the morning. I even had a great day at work. I laughed, joked around, and was energetic the whole day. Towards the end of the shift, a fellow coworker stopped in and asked if I would be able to cover part of her shift tomorrow so she could go to the doctor for a sinus infection. I agreed and told her to call me later in the evening to firm up what time I needed to be in. She called at six and feeling OK, I agreed to work.

Seven pm rolls around and I'm working on dinner. I started to notice my throat was hurting a little bit but blew it off as sympathy pain for Jacque. Eight pm and I'm eating dinner... definitely in pain. J.R. called and asked if I could come unload wood with him. It was snowing and cold and I felt miserable. Something told me to not push it so feeling guilty I sat on the couch and watched tv. By the time he returned home at nine I was in the bath tub with the water as hot as it could go yet still freezing cold. By ten my throat was swollen and covered in white gunk. My neck hurt so bad I didn't even want to be touched. I decided to make a bed out of blankets on the laundry room floor so that I could sleep without being moved. That didn't go over so well with J.R. He made me move to the bed at midnight. I tossed and turned all night long. Every move of my neck created a sharp pain. By two am my fever hit 99.7. By five am 100.7. I'm curled up on the couch in a pair of sweat pants, sweat shirt, big fluffy cashmere robe, two fleece blankets, one knit blanket, and I'm still cold. I don't even want to know what the fever is at now. When I stand my stomach is in pain. Almost like a pulled muscle kind of pain. Just moving from the bed to the couch this morning was miserable. Don't even get me started on the headache and how my eyes feel.

I HAVE to get an appointment today. If I can't find a doctor then I'm going to immediate care. In under twelve hours I went from perfectly ok to incredibly sick. This can't wait. J.R. has class all day today too. I guess this means I have to be a big girl and drive myself to the doctor. Shitty.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

A Big Buck

J.R. sent me a text message this morning at 7:30 saying he got a deer. I called him back right away to find out that not only did he get a deer, he got a big buck. He was pretty excited and kept telling me how he shot it left handed. I'm really glad he finally got his buck. Now I just have to figure out how to convince him that antlers don't go with any of our home decor... that could be a tough one.

Just one more reason why we need a house with a man room. :)

*And for anyone that is upset that J.R. shot Bambi, you just have to realize that here in the north woods it's a part of life don't cha know.

Home Alone

This weekend J.R. is doing his part in helping to keep my car safe from man eating deer. That's right... it's opening day of deer season tomorrow and he's going hunting. Keep your fingers crossed that he gets a deer!

With J.R. gone for the weekend I'm suddenly faced with two nights by myself. I'm paranoid, jumpy, and am having a few issues falling asleep. I don't understand this. I went from October of 2005 to December of 2006 living by myself and I did just fine. I even slept with all the lights off in that time. So why now am I freaking out over stupid stuff? Just for comfort I'm leaving the living room lights on tonight.

Anyway, my bed has clean sheets on it and I'm more than excited to slip under the covers. There is nothing like clean sheets.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Baby it's Cold INSIDE

I love coming to the library to study. Every time I enter the building I make my way up to the top floor where it's quiet and there are no cell phones and no talking allowed. It's fabulous. I also sit at the same desk by the window that overlooks campus. My only complaint.. IT'S FREEZING. Now I know that it's usually cold in the library so today I layered. I have on one tank top, one long sleeved shirt, one t-shirt over both of those, a thick hooded sweatshirt, and my jeans. I have also draped my winter jacket over my legs and I am still sitting here freezing. Seriously, I understand how expensive it is to heat this building, but how do you study when all you can think about is how cold your nose and hands are? I'm going to start wearing my snow pants when I come here.

I am desperately trying to catch up on homework from the last week. All of my teachers have been understanding that life got in the way a bit and have given me a few extensions. Which is great, except now I have piles of homework. Not so great.

I have to say thank you to everyone who is showing support over the last couple weeks. I feel as if I've been so down lately and so whiny but I can't help it. It's just one of those ruts I'm stuck in. I'm hopeful it will improve... soon.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Theme Song of the Week

This song really sums up life right now. There is so much going on but through it all I have to keep breathing and I have to keep pushing forward.

There are so many conflicts going on inside my head. It can be a challenge to push the thoughts and feelings to the back of my mind and move forward with my responsibilities for the day. If I wasn't able to find a way to bundle them up and hide them when I have to, then the stress that comes from these emotions would be completely debilitating and I would get nothing done.

In the last week, my stress was debilitating. What can I say... I'm not wonder woman (even though I like to think I am).

I hate what has happened to my family. This wasn't suppose to be my family. This was suppose to be the other guy. I hate that I have to sit back and watch J.R. struggle with everything. If it's not a physical struggle, it's a mental one. I hate that I can't help him. I hate that I can't comprehend what he's feeling.

I know that we are still in an adjustment phase and eventually we will settle in. It just seems as if it's taking forever.

*deep breath*

Keep breathing.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Words to Live By

"When life gets you down look at a fish tank. That poor fish has no place to go but back and forth. At least you know that no matter how shitty of a day you're having, you can still move forward."

Words to live by from a close friend.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


Things are going to be pretty quiet here for a while.

I need to disappear for a bit. Life has thrown a curve ball at me and I didn't exactly keep my eye on it. Such is life I suppose.

However, life moves on and with time things will be OK. Something always works out in the end.

Keep checking on me, I'm not gone forever.

Friday, November 9, 2007


Some days I look at our life and wonder why this has happened to us.

If this is destiny we were given to many shit cards and I would like us to get a new hand.

If one believes in karma than somewhere in life we really fucked up and now it's pay back.

If you believe everything happens for a reason, than WHY is this happening. I can't see the bigger picture just yet and I'm getting a little frustrated. What are we suppose to be learning from all of this besides life isn't always fair? What do we do with that knowledge? Make a sign and stand by the side of the road? That will take us far.

And if one believes in God than you have to stop and ask why has He brought us here. Are we being punished for not going to church? Are we suppose to be learning something and passing it on to the rest of the world? A little help here would be nice and I don't see Him handing it out like candy at the moment.

Why J.R.? Why me? Why our family? Why not someone else? It's such a horrible thing to say but it's such an honest feeling.

I want his arm back, and since I can't have that than all I'm asking for is his smile to return. His real smile, not one that he glues on for the world to see. I want him to see himself as I see him. As a husband who is capable of anything. As a complete man. As a whole person. As someone who is intelligent and has so much to give the world.

We've been to hell and we are exhausted from the climb back out. We're both frustrated, and tired, and moody, and pissed off at the world. We fight. We make mistakes. It's life and it keeps moving forward.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


Never again will I hear the words "but Jo, I can't wash the dishes... I only have one hand!"
Last week J.R. created his very own prosthetic attachment. It's the first one he's made and I think it's fabulous. And although I'm not a huge fan of sponges (I hate smearing germs around) I'll let him get away with using these if it means he'll wash the dishes. I'll just be obsessivly microwaving the end of the wand for five minutes everyday to kill the germs. It's an odd obsession.

In other prosthetic news, check out this video of Brian's new legs.

Brian and his fiance Mary lived at Fisher House with us at WRAMC. I'm happy to report that they are FINALLY out of D.C. and moving on to a more "normal" life. I can only hope he is making good use of his new feet and that Mary is learning to keep up.

Now as far as last night goes, we all made it home safe and sound from the bar. I even made it up in time for my eight am sociology class. Just thought I'd share a picture that was taken at the end of the evening.

Thanks to everyone that stopped by and wished me a happy birthday! It certainly was enjoyable.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Things That Make Me Nervous

Today was senior citizens day at the DMV. Now I'm all for driving for as long as one is capable... don't try to make me out to be a mean person here... but a few of these people made me nervous.

For example:

There was an elderly woman who slowly made her way up to the counter when her number was called. After approaching the counter, the DMV employee began to explain to her that she failed her written drivers test... AGAIN. She was also told that she only managed to correctly identify a few of the road signs on the test and that if she wanted a license she would need to study harder. Then they smiled and told her they would see her tomorrow at the same time. This makes me nervous.

I made it through the lines (it only took an hour!) and I finally have my HORIZONTAL license. I even have a nice picture on my license! J.R. can't figure out why I care what I look like on a stupid picture (men!). After twenty minutes of trying to explain to him WHY it was important I finally gave up and resorted to teasing him that some of us aren't ancient and still get carded. He didn't have much to say after that. Sometimes you gotta hit below the belt to win the match. And no, I don't think J.R. is ancient but when you're seven years younger you gotta poke fun.


Today is a milestone! Not only is it my birthday and I'm turning 21, but it's also my 100th post. I love it :)

Dad had knee surgery this morning. Mom called a while ago to report that everything went well. I made sure to quiz Dad down yesterday about his pain management plan (something I never would have thought of prior to J.R. being injured). The doctors agreed to give him a pain pump so hopefully that will help this time around.

Other than that no news is good news. Tonight we celebrate! We are having dinner with a big group of friends at a Mexican joint so it should be a great time. I'm sure there will be pictures... which I'm HORRIBLE about posting. I still owe you guys a post on prosthetic tinkering. I'll get to it someday.

Monday, November 5, 2007


Did you know...

When our men and women fight overseas their jobs back home are protected BY LAW.

Did you also know...

When a spouse or family member drops everything to care for a soldier injured in the line of duty that they are only granted THREE months of family medical leave.

After family medical leave is used up the employer no longer has to hold the employees position.

If you or someone you know has lost their job (or fought to keep their job) while caring for a soldier injured in OEF/OIF PLEASE contact me ASAP at

More to come on this topic... (I feel like one of those commercials on T.V.)

Friday, November 2, 2007

No Topic

A ton of people are adding J.R. to their "friends" list on various web programs since the ESPN piece. Nobody has even sent me a message. To add insult to injury... I keep getting J.R.'s stout e-mail (becuase his real first name begins with a D not a J and people don't realize this) and I have to READ people telling him how proud they are of him. Thanks guys.

Really... It's ok. I'm only a wife. I've obviously done NOTHING to serve our country.

Welcome to Friday Everyone

IT'S FRIDAY! My morning sociology class is done and over and the whole day is left for me to decide what to do with it.

I returned from class and allowed my stomach to think for me. I made a plate of fries, drowned them in cheddar cheese, and dipped in ranch dressing. All while drinking a beer at 9 am. Why? Because I live in Wisconsin and this is considered socially acceptable behavior here in the north woods. When J.R. asked me why I was drinking a beer at 9 am I informed him that it was "practice" for this Tuesday (my 21st birthday). To this remark he shrugged his shoulders and told me not to complain when I "have a huge ass." We're such a loving couple. :)

Only half an hour later I found this article waiting for me on foxnews. It provides yet one more reason to drink a beer. I love it.

As for the rest of the day, J.R. is currently working on making a prosthetic attachment that will help him move lumber. This shouldn't take very long. After he's finished we are leaving for Hayward where we will load up and move his storage unit back down here to Menomonie. I'm so excited (hear the sarcasm?). I remember very clearly what it took to move everything INTO that unit. My body hurt for a number of days.

Depending on what time we return home tonight I may get around to uploading some pictures of J.R.'s first prosthetic attachment that he made (it's for washing dishes!!!). I also have a video of Brian's new feet which show the wonderful advancements in prosthetic legs. Watch for the post tonight or tomorrow morning.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


Today was suppose to be my day off. One whole complete day off with no class and no work. I was pretty geeked about this as it is a rare occasion for me to stumble upon a day with nothing but free time. I slept until ten am, rolled out of bed and made my way to the couch, and there I sat. How wonderful to be there with just me, the tv, and the remote control. As noon rolled around I was starting to think about driving into town and settling down in a crowded cafe to observe human behavior. Just as I started to think about removing myself from the couch my cell phone rang.


"Hey Josie, I was wondering if you could work from 5-9 tonight for me. My dog is super sick and I need to get her to the vet."

Say no. Just say no. It's your day off. You can't say no. You have nothing actually on the agenda for today. If your dog was sick you would want someone to work for you. NO. NO. NO.

"Yeah not a problem. I'll work 5-9."

And with these words I peeled myself from the couch and took a shower. Now the sociology paper I had been putting off all week would really be crammed into my few hours of time.

I made my way to acoustic cafe. I positioned myself in the corner and tried to observe people in a natural setting. Yeah, this sucked. Normally I love people watching but when one has to write a paper about human behavior in public.. well it kind of takes the fun out of it. And so I sat for an hour. As I wrapped up my notes and made my way to the car I promised myself that I would go home and begin to write my two page rough draft that is due tomorrow.

Yeah, we all know that didn't happen. I blame J.R. Him and his stupid remote control care completely distracted me from starting my paper. This car is noisy, time consuming, and guzzles fuel. But it also goes 55 mph and is highly entertaining to drive around the field in the back of the apartment. I only crashed it four times!

I left for work with not even the opening sentence completed on my rough draft. So now here I sit, computer open, book open, notes all around me, and I'm writing in my blog. I have very little motivation to write this paper. Stupid class.