right now

right now

Apr 8, 2011

can't think straight...

Warning, I need to rant to get on with my regularly scheduled day...
I'm trying really hard to not dwell on things I cannot control, but it looks like we will need the garden more than ever this year, and maybe a tent!  An agreement has not been reached on the spending bill as of right now, and it appears to be too late for the military pay due to us on the 15th.  I just checked, it's already been submitted to our banks and is less than half the amount due to us.  The latest news coming in is that the survivors' death benefit to our fallen service members will not be paid either.  I am angry, worried, stressed and now distrustful and ashamed of the government that my husband and I spent and are spending years to protect.  It is unbelievable to me the feeling that comes from putting your life on the line for NOTHING, truly nothing - no pay and a government that we no longer trust for allowing this to happen.  The average enlisted member makes between 20-45K a year, and has a one-income family, let that sink in.  Not because the spouse doesn't "want" to work, but who wants to hire a military spouse when they may be leaving soon or has an upcoming spouse deployment and must be available to raise the family?  Most jobs that will hire spouses are in the high turnover retail and service industry and only pay minimum wage, certainly not enough to pay for daycare and still allow the extra care and attention that children of deployed parents need.  I have never complained about this, nor do I know many other spouses who have, it's simply what we do and we accept it and make it work and even love supporting our spouses by being at home so they can concentrate on whatever task is at hand for them.  I am so tired of hearing about how people with family incomes of 40-60+K a year have such a hard time making ends meet, I would feel rich if I had money like that!  Our service members put their lives on the line yet many are on public assistance programs as well.  

Here is the bright side of things - we have family that will love and support us whatever the future holds, we will never be homeless - but I can't help but think of the thousands of military families who for whatever reason joined the military to get away from family/childhood/relationships that were destructive, they joined to make a new life for themselves and do not have the same people they can rely on that we do.  At least I can pack up the kids and go home, not sure how my parents would feel about the crowded house LOL, but I know they are there in any way we need.  As for hubby, well, he'd be sleeping on the ship, I would think that's the least the government could do to keep him working for free is to give him bunk!

I understand many of you are affected in many ways, I can only muse about our thoughts being  a military family, and the fact that there is no furlough for us, no daddy being home to take care of the kids while I go try to find a job, only that he has to go to work tomorrow morning and every day after that, surrounded by hazmat, weapons, a dangerous flight line and possible deployment for no pay...

I hate hearing the news reports but can't seem to switch off the t.v....

One more thing and I'm done ranting... if I hear ONE MORE person interviewed complaining that they are having to cancel their vacation because of this I'm going to scream!  I feel badly for our park service employees this is affecting, but I am tired of the wanna-be vacationing morons on the sidewalk they are interviewing.

Okay, I feel better now...  on to another subject!

the seedlings really need to be planted - I'm kind of rushing their hardening off!

Below, the Hosta are up!

I can't wait to stop pacing long enough to catch up on some of your blogs, I really need some good news and pictures of farm babies!  :)

Just heard of a free concert at the Performing Arts Center here this evening put on by our area's youth... we'll be there!  Sounds like an excellent coping strategy for the time being - music, kids playing music, listening to music with my family, and free!


  1. I am so sorry Erin, I just read from a friend they only received half a paycheck as well. I think it is despicable and disgraceful to treat servicemen and women that way. Being in the military, raising a military family is hard enough as it is and now to not even receive the pay that is owed is just insane. To bad the military can't go on strike...

  2. I've been thinking about you all morning, Erin. My heart goes out to you -- and all the military families out there. This is mind bogglingly disgraceful.
    I can relate somewhat... on a financial level, at least. My husband was once the IT manager for a company in financial trouble and he was told, "Sorry, we can't pay for the next few months,but at least you still have a job." It's a tenuous comparison, given that he wasn't putting his life on the life, but it caused us a lot of stress. Hang in there, lady. We're here for your rants any time! xo
    P.S. The seedlings look gorgeous!

  3. All I can say is that I am so very sorry. It is just unbelievable what is going on these days. These are the things that get me very worked up, and I dont want to leave a 353 page comment on your blog. RRRGGGHH!

  4. Thanks, ladies for your kind thoughts and words! I know many of you can relate on different levels, and it's nice to know there are others as mortified by the government's actions (or lack thereof) as I am!

    Jane, I know what you mean, I don't like getting all political since hubby is military and all and I don't want to turn into one of "those" bloggers, so I set a timer for my post LOL!

    For a somewhat humorous thought: I'm now wondering if hubby will actually come home from work tonight, or if they will make them all stay for fear that they won't come back LOL! No worries about my hubby, he's as dedicated as they come :) Me, not so much today!

  5. Erin, for everyone in your position and for our country, I'm crossing my fingers and hoping for the best.

    Question about your seedlings (tomatos?) above. Are they in peat pots? Will you be transplating them with the peat pots assuming/expecting them to auto-degrade in soil? I just read some stuff about how the Jiffy peat pots don't degrade as well as they're supposed to, which worried me because all my tomato/pepper seedlings are in those Jiffy pots this year.

  6. Yea, my brother is serving in Afghanistan right now. Very maddening.

    I have pictures up of my 2-year old's birthday party.

    Not exactly a baby anymore, but it might be cute enough to pull a smile out of you.

  7. Erin, you used the word I was going to in this comment regarding the current situation: Mortified. I simply can't wrap my brain around a government not paying its military. I had actually given thought to what else you said . . . that the powers-that-be should start to worry about a mass AWOL. You were joking, but I don't think I am. This all certainly isn't doing much to make a stint (let alone career) in the military look desirable. In these already difficult financial times, how can you be expected to survive without pay??

    Continue to rant all you want as it's totally justifiable and understandable. All of us out here in your own personal Blogland support you fully. Sending love and hugs.

  8. Erin, thanks for the kind words you left behind on my blog. It is a stressful time. I couldn't have put it into words better then you did. My hubby is close to retirement and thinking about getting out because of all the events slamming home all at once. I keep telling him to hang on for brighter days, but it's hard. I'm thankful that I have a loving home to return to (even though I feel like the biggest loser at the moment), a place for Phil to bunk on their dime, and doubly glad we've spent wisely so that we hopefully can weather this latest crisis with grace. Hang in there, we are all in this together. I'm rooting for your family! :)

  9. Oh no. I was hoping this wouldn't happen. What can you even say? It is pathetic really, and I am sure it will invoke more violence and pain for families that already take on more than their fare share. (((hugs))) I REALLY hope the rest of the pay comes due to all who are waiting for it asap, what a disgrace. :(

  10. I really don't know what to say to you except that hopefully it will be over very soon. I do have a lot to say to our elected officials though!!! Shame, shame, shame for not caring about those who you are supposed to be representing!! It's unbelievable that our military will not get paid! OK, I'm going to shut my mouth now.

  11. Rant away! It's so ridiculous what is going on, congress is posturing with people's lives. Feeling like a pawn in someone else's game is no fun. I can relate on some level, I work for the state and our budgets are getting slashed to the bone. If the state senate & house get their way I might be 'furloughed' as well...but like you said, there's no use dwelling on it until everything is said and done, 'cuz it'll just drive you crazy. Chin up girl!

  12. Everyone, thanks for the well wishes!

    Thyme, I always remove the peat pots before planting, otherwise they act like wicks and take way too long to break down. I tend to use whatever I have on hand, so I recycle and wash my cell flats every year and plastic pots, and use the peat for some things and not for others, it's kind of random, LOL!

    Jennie, our thoughts are with your brother and your family, it's hard to have them over there, my brother just got back and hubby's safe and sound in the living room, so at least there's that! :)

  13. Mama Pea, advancement has been so awful and the military has been so overcrowded the past few years due to people not wanting to leave in this economy, I admit the cynic/conspiracy theory gal in me wondered if this was a below the belt way to get people to get sick of the military and get out LOL! At least the breaking news now is that Obama has "cancelled his family vacation in Williamsburg this weekend"...

  14. The author, we have to try our darndest these days to find the bright side of things, don't we? Well, at least they aren't currently deployed! I can't believe this whole thing has been hinging only on the women's health/PP issue since 10 am!

    Robin, I know, it's hard not to rant, sometimes a girl's just gotta let it out so she can get back to hauling flats of tomatoes :)

    Jo, chin is up! If I pack it up here and move home I'll take the long way and honk when I come through and you'll know I'd had enough LOL

  15. I'm not even sure what to say about what is happening to you guys. One would think it's against all labor relation laws to expect people to work for no pay. Maybe all the military people need to walk off their jobs until the gov't does the job they are being paid to do?

    You rant away Erin. I'd be beside myself with anger if it were happening to me. Hang in there it can't last long.

    Boy your plants sure look healthy.

  16. Dammit . . . just wrote a LONG response and then lost it!

    In (very) brief: WHY would your hubby or ANYONE go back to work if there's no paycheck to equal the hours worked??????

    Sending LOTS of xoxoxoxox to you four!

  17. Hugs. That's about all I can offer. Even Justine is ranting about our government acting like a bunch of spoiled three year olds. And she's that insightful at 16! sigh.....
    Sending all good thoughts your way.

  18. Breaking news: Budget deal reached!

    And your plants look great, too.

  19. Erin-Ditto on all of the above. I think this is absolutely disgusting and just a continuation of MY rant the other day of how screwed up everything is now. I'm so very very sorry that our military should have to be the "pawn" of a government that does NOTHING but fight amongst themselves rather than work for the people. It's really a power play and we are the unfortunate victims of it. The rich get richer.......and the little guys pay the price.
    A very huge hug from me to you.....

  20. I am the wife of a retired military member (not the kind of life for everyone to be sure!!), an Army brat, and an ex-service member myself. I would be in the same state as you should we still be active duty....it's difficult for people who have not walked the military road to understand the sacrifices that the families make...especially financially - with children there is only one option in a military family..that is to stay home and keep the family together. God bless you, your family, and your husband...I am thankful that he has chosen this career and I pray that you receive much support from your military community as we did...something we miss terribly here in the civilian world.

  21. Relieved to see you and all other military families will be seeing a paycheck. I read there was a bill waiting to pay the military if there had been a shut down for weeks straight, but of coarse it has to get passed first. And it would have left other government employees with empty bank accounts.

  22. Erin, I will totally understand if you do not aprove this comment. You rant all you want. Yes, I agree it's shameful that they will aprove funds to PP (the real baby killers IMO) but not pay our troops. At least the $1 Million a day trip to Williamsburg was canceled. I just got up, so I don't know yet if a resolve was found, but I say if we did shut down, turn the lights out in the White House too, and as Comander in Chief he should not get paid either. He said even if a bill to pay our military passed he would not sign it. This Army National Guard mom, who's son is preparing to train to leave for Afghanistan (where he won't even get combat pay) is pissed.

    Know this at least 75% of the country is behind you, I would estimate more. Those who are not, just are not properly educated. On January 1 of 1951 people marched through the streets of Cuba wanting change and hollering "Any body but Batista", look what they got. Change for the sake of change is never good, and I was always told be careful of what you ask for.

    Chicken Mama, if the military does not show up they are AWOL, and could face prison time, and dishonorable discharge, which goes on your permanant record.

    I just read the comment that says an agreement was reached, guess I'll shut up and go read about it. Again, you are in many many prayers, and America is behind you.

  23. Chicken Mama, he would show up to avoid jail LOL!

    Judy, Gran, Sue, Kelly, thanks for the kind words and well wishes! Since our pay amount has already been transmitted we can just hope for the best that they do our back pay quickly! The accounting center that processes military pay had to transmit what they could before closing yesterday since they too would have been shut down, so I'm glad for at least that :)

    Danielle, welcome and thanks for commenting! I always love hearing from another military spouse, you are right, this life isn't for everyone, but for those of us that make it work, we wouldn't have it any other way! (govt shutdown aside, anyways :)) I too am a military brat and was military myself before I had kids, so I really appreciate the sacrifices you and your family have made along the way. You are right, at least in this community we are in, there's something to be said for safety in numbers! 90% of the area is in the same "boat" so to speak !

  24. Hi Valerie! I think what has so many people fired up in our situation is that it came down to troops not receiving pay due to a women's health issue, and they two shouldn't be tied together. Like you said also, the fact that the governmental leaders this was all hinging on were getting paid regardless of when/if a decision was reached, so the incentive to work together instead of being stubborn under a deadline kind of loses it's luster when the pay field is not equal. You hit on a good point, just because people feel it's time for "change" doesn't mean a thing if they are unclear on what "changes" are good for our country. Best wishes to your son, and you as you go through this deployment. I think the biggest disappointment to me is that 2 months ago I was supportive and pro everything in military life, but the past several weeks have kind of disillusioned me. I'll still support my husband and all the troops as usual, but will now have to question and listen more closely to "promises" made to us as military families. Okay, I'll stop now - have a great weekend!

  25. Wow (again!), Valerie & Erin . . . not showing up for work (for a job for which you wouldn't be getting PAID) would be considered going AWOL?! Geez, they sure have ya by the short & curlies, don't they? (Not to be vulgar, but it seems like the best description.)

    Thank goodness it did go thru at the last minute!