It’s here – the 2011 Milspouse Holiday Blog Swap!

I’m not so good at sharing … and I have trust issues, both of which play into why I’ve never had a guest blogger on my site. But all of that is about to change.


For the first time ever, someone else’s words will appear on this page and I am very happy to introduce you all to Wife on the Roller Coaster, who writes the Riding the Roller Coaster milspouse blog. The following post is all hers and I hope you will become a fan of hers, just like I have.

And since this is a SWAP, my words will also be appearing elsewhere. You’ll find me over at Witty Little Secret today, another great Milspouse Blog.

So, without further ado…

Just one more day…

…until you get to read a fresh voice here.

I’m participating in a holiday blog swap with a bunch of other MilSpouse bloggers. Basically, we will all be writing elsewhere tomorrow and others will be posting on our sites.

My words will be on WittyLittleSecret, a very funny blog written by Lori Volkman. And (drumroll) this space will be treated to the amusing musings of Riding the Roller Coaster.

Be sure to stop by tomorrow to read what Roller Coaster has to say, and be sure to check out all the other blogs in the blog swap!

Hankdini and his lovely assistant hit the town

It’s been awhile since I wrote anything about Hank, my 105 pound yellow Lab lap dog. It’s not that Hank has been boring, far from it. It’s more that I have been largely successful in my attempts to completely ignore him.

But maybe he caught wind that CityView  (that’s my dayjob, FYI) is doing a story about pampered pets. Maybe he heard me discussing it on the phone. Maybe he heard that there are dogs out there who get facials, massages and treated to $100 a night luxury suites when their owners go out of town. Perhaps Hank heard there was a better life out there, one currently being enjoyed by his peers, and he decided to go looking for it.

(Cue booming instrumental music here.)

Whatever the case, Hank escaped yesterday. Twice.

The first time was in the morning and I got a call on my cell from a  neighbor who said he’d found Hank roaming the streets. I don’t know this particular neighbor, but my cell number is on Hank’s collar. I told the kind man that I was on Fort Bragg and would get there as fast as I could, but that if he didn’t want to be stuck with Hank while he waited on me, he could just walk Hank over to our yard and put him out back, where we have a tall fence.

Actually, I should backtrack a bit to say that when the neighbor told me he had my dog, I thought for sure he meant Mazzy. We leave Mazzy outside in the day time because she likes to destroy things when she’s inside. We just pulled out the Christmas decorations last weekend and already two Snowmen have been executed, their poly cotton entrails left stretched across the living room. Hank, however, we leave inside all day, precisely because he likes to escape. So I assumed that the roaming dog was the one who had the benefit of not being confined by brick and mortar. And then I realized that Mazzy’s collar doesn’t have my number on it. You see, we haven’t quite decided how much we’d actually want her back if she were to go missing. We’ve speculated that maybe if she got out and some sweet family found her, well maybe that would just be God’s plan. Unlike with Hank, whom we had microchipped the very same week we adopted him, after a year and a half of owning Mazzy, we haven’t decided if Mazzy is chip-worthy.

So the roaming dog was Hank and it still remained to be seen just how it was that Hankdini had managed to escape. When I got to my house Hank and Mazzy were both (thankfully) in the backyard, but the front door to the house was standing wide open. Hank, like the dignified house dog he is, had simply opened the door and walked out. I should have guessed. This is the same dog who, back when I attempted to crate train him, not only managed to unlatch the crate and let himself out, but managed to unlatch the crate and get out even after I tied six bungee cords  around the crate in an effort to keep it closed, hence his nickname Hankdini. Of course a deadbolt was no match for Hank.

So I went to the back door to let Hank inside and what did I find? My dogs had decided to create their own doggie door. Somehow one or both of them completely shredded the lower part of the storm door. I suppose it had seemed like a good idea to them, and I have to admit that it is sort of convenient.





Later, while I was at the dentist for what seems to be my weekly visit (I have one tooth that is probably now worth more than my car), I missed several calls on my cell phone. Turns out they were from our veterinarian and the message left by a very nice woman in the vet’s office said simply, “Mrs. Sanderlin, we have Hank. Someone found him roaming the streets and couldn’t reach you so they brought him here because our name is on his rabies tag.”

I called her back and asked if they would give him some shots while he was there. She told me he was up to date on all his shots and didn’t need any. So I asked if they’d just poke him with an empty needle or something, you know, so he’d associate opening our front door and walking out with pain. She laughed. I wasn’t kidding.

It’s mildy (but only mildly) amusing to consider that one of the reasons we have dogs is to protect our house and act as a burglar deterent, when the truth is that a potential burglar is far more likely to reach our door and have Hank hold it open for him while he carries out our TV.

And then there’s today. Mazzy didn’t seem to want to go outside this morning so, since it’s winter and I was only going to be away for about an hour, I left both dogs inside and then double checked the lock before leaving for the gym. I had been gone a scant 30 minutes when my husband called to say that a third neighbor had called him to say she’d found Hank. This neighbor has a beautiful backyard where she often hosts garden parties that are nothing short of magical. Apparently Hank had found her koi pond and was having the time of his life terrorizing the koi.

I rushed home and got there just as my husband did, with a sopping wet Hank in the back of his truck. The front door was again wide open and Mazzy was nowhere to be found. We spent an hour driving around the neighborhood calling out for her and we’re going back out again in a bit. And we’re really starting to regret not microchipping her. So if you see this dog (the one in the lower left corner, with the pink collar), probably rooting through your garbage can, please let me know:












1 P.M. UPDATE: The vet’s office called again a few minutes ago. They said a fourth neighbor (at least we’re not bothering the same people every time!) had found Mazzy and called them. The office manager had volunteered to pick up Mazzy from the man’s house because he said he was in a rush and trying to leave town. I got his address and arrived just as the office manager had claimed Mazzy and was about to load her in the car to take her back to the vet’s office. This is the point in this post when I owe a HUGE shout out to Cape Fear Animal Hospital, who not only have great vets and techs, but who are nothing short of amazing at customer service!

Mazzy is home now … and she and Hank are shackled to the water heater in the basement. Just kidding. But it might not be such a bad idea…



Discounts, just in time for Christmas

Great news if you’re in the Fayetteville area: The Army’s Army has launched a blog to guide you to all the military discounts in town. (a very appropriate name, if you ask me — which you didn’t, but this is my blog so I get to pretend that you did…) has listings and links to the deals being offered to milfams in the ‘Ville. (yep, I just wrote ‘the ‘Ville’. Nine years in this town and I’d managed to avoid ever having said that. Drats!)

The discounts are listing in running blog style, with new listings posted often, but the discounts are also divided into categories like Art, Amusements, Dining and Golf — so check it out:

And if you’re not in the Fayetteville area but you are in a military family — and particularly if you happen to live in the Hampton Roads,  San Diego or Washington, D.C. areas — check out Troopswap is similar to Groupon in that merchants on the site offer limited time deals to potential customers, the only difference is that the customers have to be in a military family to take advantage of the deals. Troopswap’s motto is: “Because a life of service should have its perks!” — and what’s not to love about that?

And, just in case you’re wondering (and you probably weren’t, but again — this is my blog and I get to pretend that you were) Troopswap says that they  plan to expand into other military towns, including Fayetteville, someday … so maybe if more people in the Bragg-area beg them to, they’ll make our area next on their list. (hint, hint).

Anchors aweigh!

So I think this is pretty hilarious. Apparently I’m best off as a squid.

The other night my husband and I were talking about the ASVAB, which I never took, and he told me that a person’s ASVAB score determines which military jobs they’re qualified to do. Score on the low end and you’d better like grunt work. On the higher end, be ready to put your brain to good use.

Intrigued, I Googled “sample ASVAB” and found a test I could take on the website. It looks like a recruiting tool and, in order to take it, I first had to fill out a bunch of info about myself and agree to being contacted by a recruiter. I marked that I was most interested in joining the Army ( afterall I already live at Fort Bragg and already know the acronyms) and then I joked my husband that if they offered me a good enough deal, I was going to join as an officer just so I could officially boss him around.

Before you ask, I couldn’t make heads or tails of the results, so I still don’t know which MOS I’m best suited for. But, according to this reply I got last night from, it looks like I’d be better off the Navy. Whatever that means…


Dear Rebekah,

You recently requested free information about joining the military at

Based on your profile, you might also consider service in the Navy.

Receiving free information about joining the Navy is simple. Just click here to get started.


Foster care for blogs

If this blog were a child, someone would have reported me to the social workers and little Bloggie would be living in foster care. For neglect, people, not abuse. It’s not possible to abuse a blog, but it is incredibly easy to neglect one. In kid terms, I’ve basically checked in on the wee little blog just often enough to make sure the TV is on and to drop off a box of dry Lucky Charms for Bloggie to eat right out of the box. And I’m sorry about that, Bloggie. I love you, I really do. Mommy is just really busy right now…I’ve got this job, and these volunteer commitments, and this whole other family… (which is why the blog-as-child analogy doesn’t really work).

So, I’m not your real Mommy, Bloggie. You were adopted. So there. Leave me alone.

…Except that I am your real Mommy, I made you exist and fed you just enough dry cereal to keep you alive. You didn’t ask to be born, Bloggie. I get it. Your existence is on me. And I know you miss the good old days, the days when my husband was gone and I just had the one kid and the one dog. Back then, you and I, Bloggie, we rocked, didn’t we? We had long nights together. We shared our deepest thoughts, often over red wine. We ruminated and solved the world’s problems. We looked at pictures together, and sometimes videos. We shared links to other websites and invited other people to join our conversations…Then another kid came along, and another dog and then my husband came home, and I got a real job — and now I just … I just pencil you in for the odd free moment here and there.

(Insert Telemundo soap opera background music and intense sobbing here)

I’m sorry, Bloggie. I really am. And I don’t know how to make it right — especially not now that I’m (cringing) pregnant again. There, I said it. I’m having another baby. There will be yet another drain on my time. I’m sure we can find a way to get through this, Bloggie, we always do. I just need you to be patient with me while I figure something out…

No, wait, sorry, I have to go… the other family is calling. They’ve forgotten that you exist and, let’s be honest, they never really cared about you anyway. And I think they may have run out of cereal…