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Ok folks, this is a BIG one…
(gathered from Army.Mil – WASHINGTON (Army News Service, April 17, 2013)
Beginning Aug. 1, 2013, every Soldier who elects to transfer their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to a family member will incur an additional four years in the Army, without regard to their time in service.
That news comes in a message to military personnel, dated April 15, 2013. The new rule largely affects senior officers and enlisted Soldiers who are retirement-eligible. As of now, these Soldiers may be able to transfer benefits to their loved ones with anywhere from zero to three years of additional service.
READ MORE HERE
One common misconception about military pensions is that some sort of pension will continue to be paid military spouses who outlive the retiree. While there is a provision to provide for spouses and other eligible beneficiaries, it is not a part of the military pension package but a separate program with its own rules, paperwork, and costs.
SBP provides monthly income to the beneficiary. The income is inflation adjusted each year and it continues until the death of the beneficiary. The amount of benefit is selected when enrolling in SBP as part of the retirement process
When researching the perks and possibilities of being an Army wife, I came across A LOT of negative complaints, reviews, advice, etc., etc. Interestingly enough, my Army Hubz has been off to field training to go blow up stuff with his tank for about three weeks and I have had the time of my life!
Before he left, I brainstormed on things I could do to keep me occupied while I whittled away at the days and lonely nights. I thought I had barely enough to fill the time. Then I did something wonderful…I jumped into a friendship with another Army wife. She is what one would hope for when trying to navigate the drudgery of Army Wife life. She has taught me SO MUCH. And we have laughed our way through it all. She’s a “hoot”!
My advice to ANY Army Wife is to jump into it! The Military “is what it is”, but hook up with some other wives and life seems much more fulfilling and FUN! All of us wives are in the same “boat” and we don’t have to explain so much to each other – which is fantastic. We know when to listen and when to help and when to just bust out the Margaritas.
This three weeks of what would otherwise have been a lonely drudge through the calendar, have turned out to be quite the adventure. I dare say, perhaps even some of the best days of my Army Wife life.
My husband shows me this video
Then informs me that he WANTS one. They are better than kittens. HA! That’s a pretty bold declaration there, hubby.
So I look up the Pygmy Slow Loris. Uhmmmmm…turns out they are poisonous! Yep, that oh-so-cute lil guy up there secretes toxins from a gland in its arm! Wait…a primate that secretes toxins?
From Wikipedia :
“When threatened, slow lorises may also lick their brachial glands and bite their aggressors, delivering the toxin into the wounds. Slow lorises can be reluctant to release their bite, which is likely to maximize the transfer of toxins.”
With disproportionately huge and sharp canine teeth (very fang-like) and powerful jaw muscles their bites alone can be absolutely agonising. However, the pain is compounded by factors beyond the simple tissue trauma caused by the mechanical damage from the powerful jaws. The lorises are actually toxic! On the inside of their elbows, sebaceous tissue secretes a toxin (like sweat pores, which is rather fitting since the toxic mixture smells remarkably like sweaty socks). The lorises take it into their mouth and deliver it in the bite. It is not the upper and lower jaw vampire like canine teeth that deliver this toxin. It is the innocuously small teeth in the front of the lower jaw which slope forward and help conduct the saliva into the wound. One time I was working with the large lorises in the research collection and a visiting vet student from Belgium saw me putting on big thick gloves. She asked why I was doing that and I told her about the viciousness of the lorises. She looked at them and said that they couldn’t hurt anyone and besides, it wouldn’t be any fun to use gloves. I raised an eyebrow and said ‘be my guest’. Two hours later, with her hand still painfully throbbing merrily away despite the many ice packs on it, I asked her if she was having fun yet!
As adorable and interesting as this thing is….the answer is NO, Hubby!
Its full on summer in Kansas. That apparently means an invasion of flies. Now, I don’t know if most people are like me – probably not –but there isn’t a measurable scale to indicate my annoyance with these furry, winged beasts. Ugh! Even the faint buzz of one’s approach is enough to put my irritation level into overdrive. They are icky and gross and have earned the nickname PESTS! One daybreak, upon my ritual awakening in the wee hours of the morning to start my day, I headed out to the garage with a cup of coffee for a smoke. Much to my dismay, the garage had become a fly haven. Curiously, I wondered where all those scary Kansas spiders had gone to. I was only onto my second sip of coffee so I groggily sat down to light up a cig. As the caffeine began to pump its way into my brain, I noticed that there had to be about 20 flies just hanging out with me during my coffee time. About halfway into my cup of morning manna, they seemed to have realized my presence. Slowly but surely I found myself swatting away the buzzing aeropests. When they started landing on me and I had to put down my cup to whirl-n-swirl my arms like a madman, I decided it was time for them to begone!
I traipsed into the computer room and went straight to Google. I was convinced that somewhere out there in the world wide interwebz SOMEONE had to have the cure for the common housefly. I read through I don’t know how many guaranteed remedies until I decided on one that sounded plausible. Pine Sol. I had plenty of that. So off to the kitchen I went. I poured a small amount into a plastic bowl and opened the door to the fly museum garage.
Cool beans! They all just lowered themselves to the floor. That was a neat trick. Now I opened the electric door to let them flee from the offensive yet fresh clean scent of Pine Sol. They didn’t move. Ok, I’ll just leave the door open while I go in to refresh my cup of go juice and start my morning over again in buzz and swat free peace.
I opened the door and in flew what had to be about a dozen buzzy beasts. Eeewwww. In my kitchen! Oh, I do not THINK so! It was ON! Super fueled by a stiff cup of coffee, my brain snapped. My home was being invaded by something annoying and not scary such as spiders, so I declared WAR! I stomped into the computer room once again and quickly downloaded The Ride of The Valkyries to my MP3 player. Oh yeh, I was THAT serious!
Not having a flyswatter, I chose my Grandmother’s weapon of choice. The dish towel. I’ve seen my Grandma wield a mean-ass dish towel. Hell, I still to this day have a small scar on my butt cheek where she swapped me for pilfering some Thanksgiving pumpkin pie. I knew well the damage this weapon could bestow. Feeling confident with the symphonic sounds of an assured victory blaring in my ears, I put a bowl of Pine Sol down on the kitchen floor and watched with bloodthirsty anticipation as the army of tiny enemies reacted by scurrying around on the tile floor. With the screech of an ancient Celtic warrior – or a bored housewife gone off her rocker – I rolled the dish towel and wielding it over my head. SPLAT! SMASH! PAP! SWOP! Over and over again I dwindled their numbers one by one. Swap! Pap! Left and right they fell to their hereafter. I was jumping and swishing and swapping with a graceful fury; skillfully knocking them right out of the air. I even reenacted some well known Bruce Lee type sounds and postures. Although I probably looked more like a crazed drunken epileptic than an accomplished and legendary martial arts warrior, nevertheless I was a Master Ninja Fly Assassin!!! As I crouching tiger-ed on the very last foe left abuzz in the kitchen, I yelled as I kapowed his lil guts out, “She who wields the dishtowel wins the war!”
I stood there, not immediately sweeping up the lifeless carcasses of my enemies, but gazing down on them in exuberant victory and breathlessly thinking to myself, “Hey, that was some good cardio!” Then I turned a determined squint to the door that led to my enemy’s basecamp.
Armed with my trusty dish towel I took my ninja-like assault plan to the garage. I closed the door behind me and hit the switch to the electronic door; sealing off any escape. I perused the battle ground and turned up my MP3 player. Then, with Bruce Lee flare, I began my assault. Swapping and papping and swirling and twirling. I was mad with squishy fly gut lust. They were no match for a Ninja with a dish towel.
As their numbers decreased, I noticed one particularly nasty enemy. His aeronautics were fast and furious. He evaded my every swish and SWAP. At one point, he even landed on my disheveled hair just to mock me. He was a crafty foe. I lost sight of him on several occasions as he took advantage of all the dark items in the garage as his camouflage. I was losing it. My frustration was encumbering my Ninja skills.
I retreated into the house to recalculate my assault tactics. When I opened the kitchen door, the brazen bastard followed me inside. Ah HA! Home turf advantage! Everything in my kitchen is WHITE: From the tile flooring and walls, to the appliances. He has kamikazed into his DOOM! I remustered my previous battle lust and began to swop like crazy. He still continued to out maneuver my every swish and swap! That BASTARD. That teeny tiny bastard! I will PREVAIL! I WILL have my VICTORY!
As I stood there scanning the white kitchen for my nemesis’ dark silhouette, tense and PAP-poised, I heard the engine of my enemy coming in for an attack. I whirled around with a half gymnastic jumpy thing move and snapping my dish towel knocked the “Black Baron” right out of the air. I listened intently. What was that sound? The buzzless silence of victory filled the air. I looked down and saw my nemesis upturned on the floor in front of me. I had won! I had won this battle of wills with the ninja wielding skills of my trusty dish towel. I stood over my fallen foe and inwardly gloated as he twitched sporadically; the annoying will draining from his soon-to-be lifeless carcass.
Suddenly, as if from a bad B horror movie, he attempted to roll over onto his side readying for another round of attack. I cocked my head to the side and, with a look of intense determination, whispered raspily, “Oh no you DI’INT!” Then I stomped him into smithereens. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed my cats peeking up from the back of a table; their eyes wide and dilated with horrified curiosity. When I turned my head towards them they made a mad dash in different directions. All I heard were the sound of their claws and all I saw was a blur of fur. Maybe I can make this work in my favor the next time the try to knock over things on the shelves or wake me up at midnight because their food bowl is empty. I should sleep with a dish towel! The End.
Something I didn’t expect when moving to Kansas is “Spider Season”. This part of Kansas has way too many spiders for my liking. In Texas, I got used to the occasional tarantula and scorpion, but they were few and far between. In Kansas, however, I believe I have discovered the birthplace of ALL spiders.
Everyday I wake up and find some new kind of spider skittering across the wall, floor, bathtub, car, etc. One morning I went out to the garage and found a smallish spider taking up residence on our shelf. OK, I’ll steer clear and it will be fine. Next morning I go out to the garage and find that a BIGGER spider had EATEN the smallish one and taken over habitation. EWWWWW! Cannibal spiders! If a spider doesn’t have a chance against a spider, what chance does my sleeping pinky toe have? For someone not fond of spiders in the least, such as myself, living with spiders proves to be challenging. You know that “icky creepy crawly” feeling you get when you spot a spider? Multiply that feeling by 10 times a day – at least – and there you have my Kansas experience. YIK!
Let me give you a quick visual example:
THIS is what most people see………………………….
THIS is what I see!!!!!
Oh, let’s just go outside…squealing in fear and disgust as we flee through the front door!
Oh HELL NO! Run back inside, flinging open the screen door with the force of a panicked She-Hulk.
(Unfortunately, the cat was attached and not amused at the cartoon-like smash and slam ride on the screen door or being left behind for spider bait. Sorry flat kitty, you’re on your own.)
OH DEAR GOD!!!