Monday, September 15, 2008

For the Love of Artillery

So... one of the many pleasures of living on a military base (eyes rolling, exuding as much sarcasm as I can muster), is military training exercises. Especially when they come with no warning.

I woke the other morning vowing to knock on my neighbor's door and yell at her for slamming doors and stomping up and down the stairs. Or inviting a herd of wild bison into her house. Because that's what it sounded like. And I was ultimately annoyed by whatever was rocking the foundation of my little shanty, too.
Um, until I looked outside and noticed her car wasn't here. So I vowed to go yell at the other neighbors. Until I noticed that they were also not home.

Confused, dazed, and really irritated that the herd of wild bison had also woken dear little Beans, I stomped down my own stairs, bleary-eyed Beans in tow, to make some breakfast. And when I remembered that the smell of coffee makes me barf these days (which I forgot until I had it brewing and spent another 10 minutes over the porcelain with Beans laughing at me), I was even more annoyed at the world.

Well, I eventually (um, sort of) got over my bad attitude. Or at least managed to throw myself on the couch in disgust and glare at the world with a fresh cup of hot cider (which does NOT make me barf), and try to get my bearings.
After HOURS and HOURS of coping with earth shaking booms (and a phone call to my husband), I finally realized that the herd of wild bison running up and down my neighbor's stairs was actually compliments of the US Army's heavy artillery, being fired at some range.
My husband SWEARS the artillery is miles away. Swears that it might even be across the river.
I don't buy that. It sounds like they are in my back yard.
Not only did I WAKE to the sound of artillery at 0600 hrs, I went to BED to the sound of it, close to 10 pm! (2200 hrs, for you military sticklers.)
And I only got a slight respite, because the following morning, I again woke to what sounded like a much closer herd of wild bison running up and down the stairs. Like maybe even in my own house.
I even tried to escape the sound, which by this afternoon was driving both me AND Beans a little insane. I decided we needed a trip to Delta Junction, for a hot cocoa at Jitter Junction (my favorite stop for coffee, and if you ever go through, make sure to be really sweet to Sam and give her a nice tip! The girl works hard and makes great coffees! Oh! And ask her for the trivia question of the day, just for fun and to see how dumb you are).
Well, the whole trip into Delta was a bust. I got to Jitter Junction just moments after she had closed and locked up for the day, so no hot cocoa. And the ground was still shaking from the artillery, which very well COULD be across the river, now that I've heard it in town too.
We decided to head back to the house and sulk. And take a nap.


You know, ordinarily I'm not crazy about having to make a trip to the Big Town (Fairbanks). I mean, I DO love the drive, but like I've mentioned before, town is too noisy and crowded, and I always end up leaving pretty annoyed.
But in light of the artillery, um, maybe our trip to town tomorrow isn't such a terrible thing.

Yep. That's right. ANOTHER trip to town. That makes three weeks in a row. THREE weeks in a row.
Going to town always messes up our whole family's routine. It takes one of my husband's few and precious days off away from us (we don't count going to town as a "day off" because it's so stressful). It messes up my entire system of laundry, bread making, and general household stuff so that no matter what, I return home and we are very behind and swimming in a pile of stuff to catch up on, and then there's Beans. Town especially disrupts Beans, who is annoyed by the long drive, and even more put out by not getting her naps on time OR in her own bed. She's rather particular about things like that.
Not to complain about my sweet daughter, because I love her to pieces BUT...
None of my other kids were like that. My boys were always pretty flexible, for the most part. I thought my middle son was finicky (he's mildly autistic and routines are VERY VERY important to him) but, he's ain't got nothin' on Beans' need for routine.
Drives me a little batty, frankly. My husband and I are BOTH fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants types. The type that would be thrilled to throw the kids in the car and head out on the open road to go do something really cool.
Or I should say, I USED to be like that, until I tried to do that with Beans a few times. Let's just say that flexibility is not in her bag-of-tricks. The girl knows what she wants and she's gonna get it or else, buddy. And if she doesn't get it, she's gonna make EVERYONE miserable with her.
So, I suddenly became one of "those" parents, who's activities are dictated by a 10 month old tyrant who wants a nap in her own bed with her lovey ("baby") and her blankie, who only wants to nurse in her rocking chair and nowhere else, and who will scream her head off until you take her back home, even if it means screaming the entire two hour trip back home when you ignored her initial request to be there (home). Which she did the last time we came back from town past bedtime.

Ah, I digress....
So, tomorrow, we are going to town to finally butcher our chickens. The fun part will be visiting with my friend M, and trying not to throw up around gross chicken butchering. Hopefully I am successful in that endeavor. I would hate to barf at someone else's house. And get a taste of M's wild high bush cranberry butter that she has spent all week making and putting up. Mmmmm...

Oh, and to look for maternity pants because my belly is already expanding past my collection of "fat pants" that I owned from when I lost my pregnancy weight from Beans.
You know, I had JUST gotten back into my size six jeans, and now, for the second year in a row, I am going to be bound to pants with elastic in them. And I can say with confidence that I haven't seen a "real" bra in two years, between maternity bras and nursing bras. (You know, someone should really focus on a line of attractive nursing bras... things that make husbands happy, instead of dowdy mommy bras. Honestly.)

ANYWAY.... I'm supposed to be keeping this G-rated so I can still be linked to the Delta News Web, so, enough about undergarments. The fact remains that my ever expanding waist line needs pants with elastic in the waist, so I don't feel like I have a tourniquet around my belly button.

Yup, back to town tomorrow. As a concession for making me travel to town for the third week in a row, my husband has decided to take me to breakfast at the Diner on the way out of Delta Junction. Well, I do supposed a buffalo sausage omelet (with buffalo sausage, cheese, olives, onion, and mushrooms-um, hold the fungus) WOULD make me feel a little better.
And then after that, I am totally boycotting any more trips to town until October 1st, when a sweet friend celebrates a (5th) birthday, and we go to yet another doctor appointment.

Oh! Update for Family, again:
So, I hated our trip to the doctor so much that I finally took some advice from a friend and a few other moms. I'm looking into the Birthing Center (which is midwives and the whole natural child birthing stuff). Not sure if I will pass their intense screening process with my history of preterm labor, but I have an appointment with a midwife to find out. If I don't then maybe they can direct me to a doctor who's not a putz.
Um, also not sure I can handle the whole no-drug-child birthing experience, so I may have to really think about that. As much as we are crazy hippies, the whole water-birthing/home-birthing/no drug birthing thing really doesn't resonate well with me...
But the bonus is that they won't nag me about breastfeeding while pregnant, and won't mind if we can't find a sitter while we are in labor- or if Miss Have It My Way (um, Beans) won't stay with the sitter.
We have yet to leave her with a sitter because she can be so particular and irritable about things. Her daddy and I are going to have to be extremely comfortable knowing that the person watching her won't get too irritated and cause her bodily harm. Or sell her to the gypsies. (Oh, that was a favorite threat of my own mother!) Or call me in the middle of labor demanding that I pick up my Screaming Mimi. She could try the patience of a saint. Seriously.
As we used to say in the South, "Bless her Heart and God love her."
Anyway, the birthing center welcomes the "whole family experience" for the birth. Not that I really want my whole family there, witnessing it or anything (hey, we aren't THAT close, ya know what I mean?), but it's nice to know that Beans won't be kicked out either, should we need to bring her along.
Anyway, I should have an update on that for you guys after the 1st of Oct.

OK. So, a trip to town tomorrow, and hopefully an interesting wildlife and foliage report.
Rumor through town is that we are supposed to possibly get some snow. Still haven't seen it on the Dome though, so we'll see. meanwhile, temps are hanging in the 50s by day, 30s and 40s by night, and the wind has picked up a little more attitude lately, causing a lonely howl to rattle through the town. I LOVE IT!

Alright then. Off to lull myself to sleep with the sound of artillery (which is STILL going.) Oh, I will be so grateful to escape that for a few hours tomorrow!

Until next time,
Happy Moose Trails!


Tammy Kauffman said...

I'm sorry about the artillery. We know live in Kentucky next to Ft. Knox (about 8 miles away). In Early August I was in the bathroom and the toilet shook with me on it. I then found out that they were shooting artillery from the tanks on the base. It rattles the stained glass windows at the house and shakes everything. They start from 6:00 a.m. until about 9:30 - 10:00 p.m. every night. I just hope the new recruits know how to work the coordinates and don't send a blast my way. Take care. I miss AK also, too many people here in Kentucky.

Happy Housewife said...

You can throw up at my house I'd still be your friend! :)

nursing bras:

See you in two weeks!

Susan said...

I have a post coming up on 9/19 about our own homebirth experience. You are welcome to read it. I'm all for it and would do it again in a heartbeat (even w/ our end result as you will see if you decide to read abt. it) .. I believe in many ways Certified Nurse Midwives are trained to spot problems WAY before they happen, and not simply 'treat' the problem once it arrives. I have such confidence in the ones that have so much experience. I actually think many of them have more 'hands on' labor and birth experience than the Dr's.
Wish you well! (coming on 9/19)

Kay said...

If you are looking for blessings to count, then be glad that the notice on the News-Miner page, a couple weeks ago, was wrong. It said the training would begin on 13 Sept and run from 10 PM to 6 AM!. Sort of wondered why they needed overnight training.
Hope the mid-wives work well for you. Twenty-one years ago they started out as Interior Alaska Midwifery Services. IAMS for short. We had a full dogteam then, so were very familiar with the Iams brand. Turned out our oldest bitch gave birth to her last litter, just two pups, in the morning; then I call the the mid-wives out to deliver our "pup" in the late afternoon.
Great triplets!(but did we keep the right one...)