Sprechen Sie Awesome?

My lovely friend Rell and I have recently reconnected (what’s better than reconnecting with a dear friend? Seriously, nothing!) and out of the goodness of her amazing heart, she decided to send me an awesome German care pack!

Yes, Germany.  One of the fun and wacky aspects of good ole military life is living abroad, and right now Rell and her family live on an Army base in Germany.   Her kids are having an amazing time learning the language and traveling so much, she and her husband have also really liked the experience.  Hearing about the plans for jaunts they have in store, and seeing the pics of how they’ve spent their time there so far: I’m uber jealous.  She’s having the real fun, but there’s still some rollover awesome that affects those she knows.  Having a friend who is stationed abroad comes with fringe benefits – this care pack being a major one.

my friend rell. this pretty lady sent ME a care pack!

when i saw this had arrived, i was downright giddy

You see, I got new doctors here in Western New York.  And the process of doing so was a DOOZY.  It was pretty rough, actually.  All the red tape and paperwork, all the hassle, it was a logistical nightmare.  Then, once I finally got on board with a new doc to manage my porphyria – he did what all new docs on a case loooooove to do: change up all my meds and make my body freak out.  So yeah, there was a period of time that was pretty craptastic.  It was right around this time that my pal Rell and I reconnected, and knowing that I was feeling the stress and dealing with some stuff – she decided to send me a sweet box of pick-me-ups.

When a box from Europe comes for you, and you know there are treats inside: it’s a super exciting time!

And this box of treats did NOT disappoint, neither now.

all mah goodies

Why is it that the German flavor of gummy bears taste so amazing?  They’re ridiculous.  My actual theory is because of the food coloring.  In Europe they’re way more progressive and awesome, and actually aware that food dyes are basically poison – and thus, the foods and candies of European countries usually do not include Red40 or Blue Lake Whatever… they include this crazy stuff, natural flavoring and coloring.  (So weird!).  But seriously, I think it’s the lack of dyes and the clever use of real flavors that enhances the quality.

She also packed in this tea that I certainly can’t get enough of.  I’m actually drinking a nice warm mug right now, but after a looooong day of work I look haggard and am not using a snapshot from this minute.  (Instead I’m using one from yesterday in which I also look really weird and not so cute, but it’s sadly better than now).

the worst ever pic of me, drinking the best ever tea

this tea is to die for

Rell also has beautiful penmanship and the handwritten note she included is so lovely!  I wish I could do cursive that well.  She packed in all kind of thoughtful lovely items, even a blankie for JJ – just… what a SWEET friend she is!  Thank you so much Sherrill, you’re the best.   Here are some more bragging pics of my sweet care pack:

she even included a blanket for jj!

jayjers all snuggled in his soft lil doggie blankie

side one

the b-side

Have you ever gotten an awesome box of goodies?

If you were to get a care pack from Germany, what would you want in it?

And now… what American goodies should I make durn sure to include in a care pack I send over to her?

As always: thanks for reading!!  


What I Did On My Summer Staycation

I’m writing to you in recovery mode, trying my hardest to type with sore hands and wrists from a very wacky week indeed.

this is me, enjoying some alone time


Great news, huh?  Shipping the car from Hawaii to NY/NJ took about five weeks? Was it more? I can’t keep time straight anymore.  Anyways, we got an email that our car was due in, and then I was struck with a brilliant idea: why don’t you make it a boys’ trip to NYC to go get the whip, and I’ll stay here with the doggies and work, etc.

Are you reading between the lines dear friends?

As a Marine wife, going through deployments and all that long distance junk… you learn this wonderful appreciation for when your husband is actually home.  I feel like our time apart via circumstance has led to all the more cherish our moments together.

But like all things in life, there’s a flip side too: you learn to become quite independent and don’t so much mind some alone time.  I’ve always been pretty self-sufficient when it comes to the entertainment department, I can keep myself busy for days with all my hobbies, interests, books, projects, running and what not.  So it’s not like I flounder and freak out if left to myself for a bit.

And quiet? Oh I relish the quiet.  The peace.  Ahhh.

So yeah, I basically booked their airfare, schlepped them to the nearest plane harbor and said “don’t let the door hit ya…” as I gazed upon two-point-five days of sweet, sweet loneliness. Yes, I still had to work- but I’m calling it “my staycation” because I got to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted.

Real Housewives of NYC, OC, and NJ?  I’m all caught up.  Don’t Be Tardy For The Wedding, too.  I even had time to squeeze in some documentaries AND watch the Bravo marathon of last season’s Million Dollar Listing LA.

Glorious, right?

I slept on the couch.  I stayed up very late, and then slept in – just the way I like it.

one man’s couch is another hippie’s bed.

I went running, did my yoga, worked out at home- all whenever I wanted to do.

I ate microwaved s’mores for just about every meal.

aww yeah.

You think I’m kidding?  It’s no joke.  (New diet starts this upcoming week, so I say s’more ’em if you got ’em).

I ATE AS MANY BANANA ICE POPS AS I WANTED. I enjoyed each and every one without the stink eye from Duggs-the-cheapo as he frets about the cost of my recent addiction to these crazy good popsicles.

i call it “chain popping,” it’s better than using your almost-done hot smoke to light up the next

i’m laughing because the joke is so funny. “why couldn’t the baker buy a new car? he didn’t make enough dough.” zing-er.

I am even so B.A. that I went out and bought another, secret, box – married the two – and went nuts.  No holds bar.

when two become one.

In college (and for a while thereafter) I used to always calculate things in beer-math, all money was divisible by $5.99 – the cost of a Natty Light 12pack back then.  Now a days, it’s ice pop math.  How many pops can I get for that? 

And the chores.  Oh the chores!!

This house is so clean, so spotless – I just went nuts.

my battalion of cleaning supplies. fret not at the chemical stuff – i’m home brewing some hippie stuff, and i’ll share about that next week when it’s all ready to go. i promise, promise.

I worked so hard yesterday that I did like three and half straight hours of work, and I was dripping with sweat and exhausted afterwards.   I literally went around the whole house scrubbing, washing, dusting every surface.

I cleaned the floor Cinderella-style.

oh sing sweet nightingale…

getting my scrub on

it’s really hard to take an arial shot of yourself cleaning the floor. like, really really hard!

I washed the walls! THE WALLS! I scrubbed the toilet and the tub, did the dishes till there weren’t any left.  Then I cleaned out the fridge and washed all of the tupperware.

yeah, we have a lot of junk – but at least it’s nicely arranged junk

cleaned out the fridge, all that mio lined up all nice and organized

clean tupperware is my zen

Oh how I love a neat and tidy home.  It just feels so calm.

i love the site of vacuum lines on the carpet. think it looks wacky and weird? rocky had an accident, so i also did some carpet shampooing by hand.

spotless, tidy, ahhhhh!

I had to work during the day, but because it was quiet I was super productive.  I worked on a weird schedule too, and I used every table in the house to spread out…

one lappy for shows, one compy for work, social media, blog drafts – you know. and yes, that’s the glee project. love it!

my “work table.” oy… hot pink clipboard, sudoko, coffee, juice, wallet (ebay, oops), meds… post-its everywhere, 25 to-do lists, hope chapel pen from hawaii ❤ i’m a mad scientist, what can i say?

The only downside?  My two and a half days of me-time came and went all too quickly, and there was still half a to-do list I didn’t even touch.   It’s probably for the best though, I’m whooped and tired as it is.

And even though I love my quiet and love being a reclusive loner when I get the chance… it is great to have the house full again and for everyone to be here.  Okay, I LOVE having my husband back home, and being the smitten little love birds we are, we both randomly woke up at 5am and ended up staying up for an hour, giggling and chit chatting as he told me about the fun they had in NYC… and yes, I ate that middle-of-the-night pop I had a hankering for.

evidence that a banana pop has been had in bed

Staycation is great, but having a packed house with a weekend of fun things to do is the best!  Speaking of- I do believe we have a Crazy-80 birthday party to get going to, so I’ll sign off for now.  Hope you’re all having lovely, happy weekends.

As always, thanks for reading!! xoxo, hhr


PS: Am I super lame that this is how I choose to spend my alone time?  I mean… it was the middle of the work week.  At least give me that!

Guest Post from a Veteran: Please Have Fun On Memorial Day

To all of happyhippierose’s readers, Happy Memorial Day!

My wonderful wife Rose has asked me, as a veteran, to write this guest post, and I am both honored and humbled to do so.

our wedding day, april 17 2010

Together, with teachers and missionaries, Blacks from Charleston established a “May Day,” in 1865.  Memorial Day was established following the Civil War in 1866 to honor the fallen soldiers.  It was then known as Decoration Day.  Later on, in the twentieth century, the honor of this day was extended to American veterans of all wars.

Today, I write from my own experience and opinion.  Over the last six years, I have had the luxury of a wonderful support system not limited to, but comprised of family, friends, and my loving wife!

may 12, 2009: leaving for afghan – saying goodbye

afghan homecoming ’09

Having served as a Marine infantryman in Iraq, and twice in Afghanistan, my fellow Marines and I have endured the worst of the worst.  Terrible conditions, and unthinkable losses have been our experience.  The funny thing is that we have all been more than happy to do so.  As service members it is the reason why we decided to sign on the dotted line.  I now understand why “old people” watch their war movies, and silently reminisce.  It has been, overall, a completely life changing and (no matter how much we have all griped at times) positive experience.

echo 2-2, cax 2008

2nd platoon, echo company in iraq: 2008

In the days leading up to this holiday, it has been my observation, that some of my fellow Marines harbor feelings of anger and bitterness towards people who they feel might not fully grasp the meaning of the holiday.  With posts like “*$%& all the people who think it’s just another day off of work,” and “*$%& your bbq’s,” that I have seen on Facebook, I find it disheartening.

this one and many others have been passed around the interwebs this past week – some are nice, some are just negative and miss the point

I say enjoy your time off!  Live, laugh, and love with your friends and families!  Enjoy your BBQs, and drink your drinks!  I sure know that I will.  I will also ensure that I hold Rose a little tighter and kiss her a few more times during the day than usual, for I am grateful.  I am grateful to all veterans who have paid the ultimate price, those who have made that ultimate sacrifice for the precise purpose that we all have the freedom to enjoy our lives and loved ones all the more.  It is the gift that they have given us, and it would be in vain if we did not make the most of it.

smooching on memorial day ’10

afghan homecoming ’11

I hope that all of you out there have a wonderful Memorial Day holiday, and that you are near your friends and families!


From Rose: Special thanks to my hubs for all his service, dedication and for writing this post!

It’s with immense gratitude that I want to thank ALL service men and women, past and present for protecting all of the wonderful freedoms we know here in the USA.  Thank you!!  And to all the service families out there too – I know y’all do a lot on your ends, give up a lot, go through a lot too, so thanks to you all too.   To my cousin Chad and his fam, my Great Uncle John, my Aunt Edith, and all my dear friends in the military community: it is with so much love that I say Happy Memorial Day and thank for fun days like today!

Duggs does have a blog of his own, too.  He just hasn’t updated in a long, long time… go check it out and heckle him into posting more often (he’s a great writer, huh?).

I Am Rose’s Keeper is his blog.

As always, thanks for reading! xoxo, hhr

Mold, Maggots, Moving, Medical Maladies and Miscellaneous Misadventures.

Man oh man! (is that enough alliteration for ya or what? wow! that’s impressive, even for me).

I actually drafted this post back before we even left Hawaii, and just didn’t have time to polish it, upload the pics and get it online.  But for the sake of continuity and explaining a little bit of what the heck happened to me (when I fell off the face of the blogging earth), I figured I’d go ahead with it anyways.  So keep in mind this here blog wraps up our last days and weeks in the beautiful tropical paradise of Oahu, a place I’ll always love and already miss dearly.

What happened to the rest of April 2012?  We were overcome…

Mold, Maggots, Moving, Medical Maladies, and even more Misc. Misadventures!

I really really thought I could keep up with the 30 Days of Blogging Honesty Challenge. I really really did… but clearly I did not.  (My last day was day 12, that’s hardly a noble effort.  Sheesh!)  And I’m bummed, and disappointed in myself. I’ll admit, sometimes I have a hard time finishing through with projects.  And I try really hard to manually get into my brain and change my ways, try to do better- but I’m human, and I long ago abandoned my perfectionist ways and the obscene pressure I used to put on myself to do everything to the letter; I’ve learned when to walk away, or ask for help, or admit I’m not hacking it. So as far as blogging diligently these days?  Keeping up the 30 Days challenge?  I’m so not hacking it.

I did not hack it!

Perhaps it’s a case of bad timing?  Most likely a case of taking on WAY TOO much at a time when I knew I shouldn’t have.  When real life gets super duper busy and something has to go – personal blogging and other just-for-fun hobbies have to get cut before working, or eating, or cleaning do.  So with everything we had juggling, the happy hippie rosieness I add to the Interwebs had to take a backseat (sadly).

A big thanks to the gang that let me play along for the meager days I did, and to all of those who read the entries and had fun with it all.  Here‘s where I found out about it all, over at the fab Tom Baker‘s blog. Maybe next year I’ll try again, and in the very least I have a lot of new blogs that I subscribe to now.  So that’s fun!

Before I get into the super gross stuff, I had better point out – April 17th was our SECOND WEDDING ANNIVERSARY!

april 17, 2010 – the best day of my life

So Duggs took the day off, and so did I, and we both stepped away from the compies and the Interwebs and celebrated by spending a lovely, peaceful day together.  We had some lofty and fancy plans, and in the end just opted to relax and be together.  My Dad and Step-mom did gift us the edible arrangement (yummy!) and we got some very nice cards in the mail too.  So- for all the anny love, THANKS Y’ALL!

thanks viper and anna, it was soooo yummy!

We had a great anniversary, and we’re so very blessed to have spent two wonderful years of marriage.  Here’s to many, many, MANY more to come!!


Onto the gross:


looks appetizing, yeah?

They really really did find mold in our house on base.  Oodles of it, gross stuff.  All kinds of colors and colonies.  At first they tried to lie about it and tell us it was dust.  But I’m no fool, no sir-ee, and I pushed and insisted to have them act as if it were mold.

What came of it?  A couple measly attempts to clean out our A/C ducts and not much else.  The sad part is that a new family will move into that very same house (they may already be in there now) and who even knows what can and will happen to them and their health.

a moldy air vent, lovely!

duggs has way better pics, way more documentation… but there are the ones i snapped the day the housing guy told me that our vents were just “dusty” and he didn’t see any mold.

Yes, they’re tearing the street of houses down sometime in 2013 and building fresh brand new ones.  But a year or so is still a long time to dwell in a poisonous death trap.  And who knows what other houses are full of what other kinds of spores and methods of slow respiratory suicide?


I’m really hoping that the longer I’m away from Bordelon Loop, the better I’ll feel.  I want my lungs to get rid of the gunk and the nastiness that’s embedded into my body.  I truly hope that both Duggs and I see some restored health in the near future.  What if all my face pain and ear ache troubles were mold caused from the jump?!  Getting a “cure” out of moving would be utterly epic.


This wasn’t my first encounter with household maggots.  Sad, but true,  Exactly a year ago they plagued me and had me on the edge of my sanity.  There’s just something about maggots squirming all over my home that just horrifies me.  They’re just SO. DAMN. GROSS.

Gross = such a severe understatement.  I hate them!!

eww. eww. eww. eww. EWW!!!!

Now, we didn’t have a massive abundance of maggots crawling all over the place. It’s not like they were covering the walls and ceilings, etc.  But every day we’d find them… four, six, ten at a time and it seemed like each day there would more.  Always congregating in the same area of the house, but I was never able to find an exact source.  And talk about hard to kill. They so difficult.  You have to use bleach (which we were out of) or you have to literally squish them so hard they pop to death.


If you just threw up in your mouth a little bit and never want to even ever read my blog again, I don’t even blame you.  That idea is so nasty to me I even hate myself for just typing it out.  Now imagine that I had to live it.

maggot vid of the super yucky crawly guy!

Last year when the maggots came, I prepped this whole crazy blog post about it all, complete with lots o’ pics.  And then, I decided not to post it.  With the use of bleach and hard work, sleepless nights and Carly’s steam cleaner I was able to combat the nasty crawlers in a few days… and well, I had just started my tie dye ‘biz and I was worried no one would want to buy a shirt from the maggot house.  I mean, rightfully so.  And Duggs hates people thinking that he has me living in squalor, it’s embarrassing.

from the 2011 invasion – they came in by the front door.

okay, so looking at this (another ’11 pic) i remember that last year’s batch was actually way way worse than this year’s. the 2011 influx just scarred me so badly, i’m now a huge weenie when it comes to maggots and i’m totally fearful and icked out and just can’t hardly handle them.

last year i had bleach on hand. come 2012, my hippie green ways have so evolved, i didn’t have any available.

same species this year and last, that’s for sure though

last year, i was all no-nonsense. i needed to re-find my old 2011 badassery for this year’s dilemma. i mean, actually… i was kinda badass in my own right after the first couple days. i got over the initial fear and started going rambo on those little bastards. i’m not all shrinking violet, ya know.

look at how tough i was a year ago (and tan, jeals!!), i’m gonna be this gal again!

But we keep an immaculately clean home, that’s just the tropics for you!  It has nothing to do with our cleanliness or hygiene, or the caliber of provider my wonderful husband is… it’s just Hawaii!


At time of press I’m already in the great state of New York.  But managing such a big move isn’t just a hop, skip, and jump.  So during the last half of April (especially) our lives were really up-ended as the moving date got closer and we had more to do.

my final look at our pink house on the hawaiian hill – so many mixed emotions, so much joy and some really challenging times all went down within these walls. i’m excited to move forward because that’s the direction of life. but i’ll always have a special place for the first home i shared with my husband and all the experiences we shared there.

Shipping the dog = getting his health certified, shots and records updated, making sure his crate is the right kind and all good to go.

Shipping the car = special letter from Honda since it’s a leased vehicle, getting it all cleaned and properly prepped to go, not to mention having to turn it in so we didn’t even have a whip to get ourselves around.

Shipping the goods = movers came and packed, so at least that part is taken care of.  But there’s still lots to plan and accomodate, lots of organizing to do.

there’s all of our worldly stuffs, all packed and crated up

good bye goods, see you in ny!

Prepping the house = painting, cleaning, fixing, mowing.  Just getting the mold, maggot, rat, ant, spider, infested death trap into suitable condition to turn in the keys was such a joke.  The place was such a mess! And yet they had us spit shine the whole place top to bottom as if we were turning over the taj mahal. sheesh!

duggs, the wonderful good man he is, did most of the painting

when i say “most,” i mean like 95% of the painting… i helped do the first coat in a room and a half… he did all the rest + all the final coats on his own

i don’t think duggs slept for two weeks straight with all the prep we had to do to move

Taking care of getting all my meds refilled and stocked, getting in all my last appointments and securing records.  It’s this kind of stuff that you don’t even think of!

what’s a goodbye tour of o’ahu without a trip to good ole tripler army hospital? hahaha. oh, of course.

duggs and i at the pharmacy together, a task we’ve done so many, many times together… and this one was our last

Not to mention planning work, finances, arrangements, figuring out where to go and how we’re getting each step of the way… etc. etc. etc.  There’s a lot that goes into such a move.  Especially considering that Duggs is transitioning from military to civilian.  Not only are we changing continents (kinda) and location, climate, and timezone – but our lifestyle is totally changing in so many ways too!

Duggs had epic amounts of paperwork to do, signatures to get and all kinds of running around to make sure we were all squared away.  Once the packers came and nabbed all of our stuffs, we moved to a hotel 30-40mins away from base (based on traffic) and that’s when things got even wackier!

Limited and low quality Internet, limited access to anything, me and pooch living in a tiny room.  And oh the horror… no more cable! No DVR! I can’t even continue discussing the hardships I endured.

(I’m being sarcastic.  Other than being in a nosy, weird part of town with the pool closed for repairs and the Internet super craptastic, it was perfectly fine.  The staff was lovely and I had a nice enough time.  And pooch-friendly!  Who can ask for more?!?!).

But seriously, what’s a move if nothing goes wrong and all goes smooth?

-Duggs got in a fender-bender, won’t get into the details here – but as it all worked out, we REALLY lucked out on all the technicalities of that one, although for a day or so it was a huge source of stress.  Thank God no one was hurt!

-The shipping company didn’t take the car the first time we went to go ship it – some mess about having wheel locks on and not having the key available to take them off (the key got packed when the movers packed up the house, oopsies!).   So figuring that out made us sweat a bit.  A lot a bit.

adios honda! see ya in new jersey, sooner hopefully than later!

ahh, the thrills and good times we had here.

-The prescriptions for my final day of med pick ups were all messed up, and thankfully we were able to sort it out, but the day we left we spent three hours un-doing that whole mess.    Driving around to the pharmacy and the doctor’s, cabs and all kinds of stuff.  Oy! Mess!

-We had so much packing to do, we were cramming it all into our bags right up until the last minute possible…

jj standing guard over all the crazy mess that we had to pack up. yikes! (we unpacked it all, so that we could re-do the most efficient packing job possible).

When Duggs went to give JJ a quick bath, and the hotel room’s bathroom door malfunctioned, and locked JJ in the bathroom!  Thankfully the tub wasn’t plugged (although the water was running, and it was such an awful waste).  We had maintenance come as quickly as they could and try to break open the door, but since something was broken with the knob and lock, it took them like 15 minutes to bust him out.  Poor guy was so scared – and poor us, so stressed having all this go on while our flight count-down was ticking right in our face.  We didn’t have time to burn!

the crazy bathroom door that self-locked and trapped poor jayjers in there all alone

if you look to the left you can see the pooch in there. i layed on the floor and he put his nose under the crack and sniffed me, gave me little smooches. he gets so scared so easily, i had to go wait with him and stand a vigil.

the maintenance guy who came to free our pooch!

I’m sure more went wrong, it felt like at the time that everything was going out of control.  But then we made it… we made it to the gate, we boarded the plane (the last ones on), JJ made it too, we all got to NY safe and sound and in one piece and well, that’s all we could even ask for.

Moving can be such a colossal pain in the bum, but starting a new chapter of life is such an amazing experience.  It’s so cool to get to start something fresh with Duggs and set out into together and see what will come and figure our way together.

Medical Maladies

Sickness. Yes, I have been violently ill.  AGAIN.  This time it was a stomach bug.  Luckily for me, it hit me the hardest right on moving day and I was rendered useless while trying to pack our house and get everything together to move from Hawaii to New York.  Perfect timing, right? I was vomming and so sick to my stomach I could hardly move.  THANK GOD it has let up the past few days and I’m cautiously optimistic about referring to myself as “feeling better.”  (I wrote this part from the hotel in Hawaii, on one of the last days of April – at the time of press I can tell you that my stomach bug totally cleared up and I’m feeling much better on that front, but of course since traveling to NY I’ve picked up new germs, a new cold, and I’ve had a dreadful sore throat and head aches!  It’s just been back to back to back illness for me, it’s been awful!  I’ve had a “cold” or a “bug” almost nonstop the past two month.  What’s up with that?!?!)

my dear sweet neighbor made me this super delicious soup earlier in the month when i had a dreadful respiratory infection. how kind of her! thank you amber, i’ll miss having such a sweetheart neighbor!!

Back in April when I had the tummy bug, oh man there were some awful awful days though… like, I don’t remember feeling that ill during chemo, honestly. HUGE thank you to everyone who checked in and sent love + prayers + well wishes.  Many, many thanks!

my first attempt at “food” after a couple fierce days of stomach bug

Besides my health, life has just been nutty!

Misc. Misadventures! 

Work is nuts.  Life is nuts.  Leaving Hawaii and the USMC and our lives as we knew it and starting totally anew is nuts…

But it’s nutty in a hectic way as well as a great, wonderful way.  I’ve taken lots of pics during our trip so far and I’m excited to share with y’all the wonderful time we’ve had so far.  I’ve been the recipient of so many well wishes and love, and it’s been such a delight to have a loud and great cheering section, encouraging us along every step of the way.  On some of our bonkiest, most stressful days – getting an uplifting and happy message just meant so much.

The zany crazy days of April are behind us now, and embracing this new life has been an activity sought with zeal.

I’ll wrap up this April Hawaiian catch up by saying this…

Spending our last Hawaiian day in a busy blur, we had so much going on.  I took a minute to chronicle (because of course, I love chronicling as much as I can) and here’s what I pecked out right before we had to pack up the compy:

What can go wrong, will go wrong. Murphy’s Law, right?  It’s so all over this move.  But as it does, Duggs and i just keep repeating our marriage’s mantra: we can get through anything together.  And really, we can. Done: car is shipped. Meds have been (finally) picked up after an uber crazy pharmacy-Tripler ordeal of running around. Rental car is donezo and out of our hands.  House is packed up.  Snacks and sudoku have been purchased.  Movies have been downloaded to mobile devices.  All we have to-do now is finish packing up this hotel room and we’re outta here.  It feels like a lot to do, but after all we’ve been through in the past few weeks – painting, sickness, the maggots, the mold, paperwork hiccups, so much running around, pooch getting a boo boo on his arm – we’ve been through it all together, as we can anything.

And as we get through it, we come out with smiles and funny stories to tell.  So long as I have that Duggs to hold my hand, I’m not intimidated by all this wackiness and manic messiness that’s been our lives as of late.

So now, I’m off to shove some clothes into my suitcases and make that flight!

after saying such sweet sappiness, i had to post a couple pics of me and my duggs being mushy… so here are some that i’ve never posted online, they happen to be from st. patty’s

oh i love this man with all my heart!

The way it all worked out we’ve been able to go on a New York state road trip and spend some much-needed time with family and friends.  Our tour de loved ones has thus far been amazing, and we still haven’t even made it to the Buffalo-area yet – where there’s so much family left to reunite with!

a strange mid-sentence snapshot of me and the duggs being lunatics in the rental whip, riding around new york! stand by for more of our moving antics to come…

As always, thanks for reading!  I’m glad to have made this big ole long post and hopefully it’s been a way to catch everyone up and give somewhat of an explanation for my weeks of no-showing.

We’re still on the road and in the midst of the moving process – so I’m not sure when I’ll be in a place to start posting regularly again.  But I sure do hope its soon.  I love working on HHR and I so do love each and every reader who takes the time to follow my ramblings and see what’s been going on and what we’ve been up to.

When I sign off each post with “thanks for reading,” please know that I truly mean it.  So thanks for standing by and thanks for your patience with all the shuffling we’ve been experiencing lately.

And really: thanks for reading!! 

xoxo, hhr

Moto Friendship Bracelet Making How-To

Dommie, one of my most bestest friendests and I looooove to make friendship bracelets.  It’s a rad craft that I’ve mentioned here a time or two before.  Back in ’09, Dommie and I invented these cute moto bracelets, we posted pics and then all of our forum pals wanted to know how we did them.  The how-to portion isn’t incredible, but it’s enough to get the idea.

I copy and pasted both of my own posts from 2009.  The original content was all mine, so why not re-use?  Go green.  I had to re-vamp the formatting and I used new links, otherwise the content is unchanged (hence the weird punctuation and grammar).

It’s easy-peasy to Google bracelet making instructions, there are even a few links in the second post.  While Dommie and I were missing our deployed boys, we made ourselves “moto bracelets” – some were desert colored, others patriotic (we’re all about the YRN: Yellow Ribbon Nation!) to wear while they were in Afghan.

If you make any of your own, share some pics, will ya?

Moto Wrists (post one):

so dominique and i have gotten a BIT carried away with the friendship bracelets …. we look like 12 year old girls who have been at summer camp for WEEKS.

but, its so awesome! we can’t stop… the ankles are next. what’s rad is we’ve learned and figured out all kinds of wacky stitches and ways to mess around with them. we’re getting pretty good at this.


rosie (me):

what started as one deployment bracelet has turned into my MOTO WRIST. i got some USA patriotic action, some yellow ribbon stuff, desert digi, 550cord in woodland camo, and some random regular camo-ish in there too. dommie is trying to catch up on her moto wrist… we’ll see how far she gets.

The How-To (post two):

okay… so lotsa ppl keep asking “how” we (me and dommie) make the camo friendship bracelets. here’s a super detailed how-to thread just on this.

we just make regular kind of friendship bracelets… i found some sites to show you how to tie if you don’t already know. we get the string from crafts stores, and its a REALLY cheap hobby!





i used REALLY simple knots/stitches. i use variations of flat or twisting chinese stair cases (the stitch where you make a “4” and tie it around the other strings in your bracelet):

step one: choose a string you want to show. make a “four” on top of the remaining strings (these will get tied in the middle):

feed the end through the loop:

pull it TIGHT. holding tight the strings in the middle:

the only string that will be visible for that stitch is the one you made the four with. if you make the four in the same direction (point to the right for example) the subsequent knots will twist. if you alternate directions (right, tie. left, tie. etc.) the subsequent knots will be flat.

you can also do a double version of this stitch:

the green and the brownish strings on the side will BOTH show on this stitch.

the green is the first “four” on top. then make a four with the brown going under and feeding into the green’s loop:

pull tight and you have a double chinese staircase.

to twist, keep the same SIDE on top (the top string will alternate bw the two you are using, ex: one with green on top, one with brown on top – the result will look like green and brown stripes, one stripe is each stitch, the middle is twisty and harder to see) … to make it flat, use the same STRING on top each time (it will switch sides with every stitch, green on top every time – green will be on the outside of the finished stitch, brown in the middle, its flat so the middle is easy to see).


an idea i made up that i am in love with is braiding the string before i make a bracelet. instead of using just individual strings, i make braids and then use them as if a braid was one string.

to make desert digi i made several braids first.

1. tan, tan, brown
2. tan, tan, black
3. tan, tan, creamy beige

bc of the way a braid looks, just little specs of the black, brown and cream show, and the majority of the bracelet looks tan. it seriously looks EXACTLY like desert digi.

i’m pointing to the finished desert digi:

next to that is my red,white, blue and yellow.

for my red, white and blue… i also made a blue and white braid first, 2 blue, 1 white – so the white would be small specs like stars in the flag. then i used solid red and solid white for the stripes of the flag. the yellow is just a single string wrapped around after each “flag.”

for the woodland camo i made four braids first:

1. black, black, cream
2. brown, brown, green
3. green, green, cream
4. black, brown, cream

then i did a mix of flat and double chinese staircase stitches, mixing up the two visible strings all randomly.


my pic quality is kinda crappy bc its just my webcam that i’m using, but IRL the “camo” effect is pretty awesome.

As always, thanks for reading, and happy crafting!  xoxo, hhr

PS, they original posts were on good ole msos – the mil spouse craziness that i totes owe my life to!  (i should so blog about that someday).

february, eff yeah!

February is hardly here, and it already is so super rad.

1. As of 1-February both Duggs and I saw promotions! 

His was long-in-the-making (he won’t go out a Terminal Lance afterall, woohoo!)… and I saw an hours increase in my part-time writing job.  So rad.  What awesome blessings, we are so happy and grateful and glad!

hooray duggs!!

this dreadfully creepy photo totally encapsulates my experience as a paid writer and marketer. ... (cool it, i'm kidding. this IS so creepy though, yeah? yeah.)

2. I’m thisclose to getting my student loans consolidated.

This is so hardcore awesome, really.  Student loans are both amazing and terrible, great when you’re riding high on ’em and awful when it’s time to repay the man.  Luckily, I think I may be able to get in at a nice interest rate and bundle ’em all together.  This is the month it can finally happen!

3. The January workout goal was MET and SURPASSED!  

I won’t disclose the embarrassingly meager requirements of said goal.  But hey, a goal is a goal, and meeting a goal is awesome.  Goal goal goal.  Did I say GOAL enough?

yeah, i did blur it out. and what? (isn't our workout log cute, btw?)


We did it! Eff yeah!

I’ve even lost a couple lbs in the process, which makes me happy.

collar bone says to cheek bone, "don't call it a comeback."

4. Some things are coming together with our move.  

No, we don’t have any details… we have NO CLUE what day or date we’ll be moving on.  But, some of our more personal arrangements and what not are coming together nicely, including a good phone call I got today.  I’m feeling confident, more ready, more okay with it.

5. It just rocks. It’s just awesome! 

Life is just good.  I’m happy and blessed and cheerful, optimistic.  Ole Stinky Duggs is in good spirits too.  We’re happy folks, by nature.  November and December were some stressful times, lots of blah (like so serious blah ick no bueno).  And January, the new year, just breathed some nice fresh life into things.  New goals, new perspective – I have kinda pulled around the bend a bit with my health (which greatly affects our daily lives)… New job, new med routine, new workout – and things are just falling into place nicely.

6. Valentine’s Day Brings out the ROMANCE. 

Nothings says romantic like, “oh hey I got you one of those weird hologram bracelets.”  At least it does in our house.  The Duggs finally caved into my incorrigible insistence that those bracelets are magical and make you awesome.

i've got the power.

So here’s to being stretchier than ever.  Heh.   Interpret that as you will in light of the looming holiday de St. Valentine.

So, Happy February everyone!  

For all of my gals and pals enduring deployment, the turning of the cal page is ALWAYS a big ole deal – one more month down!

It’s Leap Year, which is fun and weird… and it means a spring and summer of campaigns (which has me fired fired fired up already).  And to readers and friends in general: Have Fabulous Fecking February!

As always, thanks for reading! xoxo, hhr

something more important came up… pray for hmh-363

I was going to write a post today about something banal, like my diet or maybe about some silly story.  I don’t know.

Then something way more serious came up.

Pray for HMH-363

It was announced that six Marines dies in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan, yesterday. The crash is being investigated and notifications of family are happening now.  (by the time you read this, the families should already know).

The news story, here.

No, this isn’t my husband’s unit.  And no, I’m not personally or directly affected by this tragedy in a way that will shake every minute of my life.  But for so many people – this will.  I’m so sorry for them, and I offer so much respect for the six men who gave their lives.

It makes me sick to my stomach to think about being notified.  Just the fear of being notified is just too awful for words.  I can’t stand the idea of someone knocking on your door or calling you to give you the worst. news. ever.

When it happens in a movie, I can’t watch it.  I’ve been having a hard time even when there’s a military funeral on a TV show or movie, it hurts me.

This story broke BEFORE the families knew.  And that is not okay with me, it’s awful and it’s unfair.  To think of the families and loved ones, riding out this deployment, doing their best to manage day-to-day, they heard that six men from this unit had passed – and they didn’t know which ones yet.

I can’t imagine those minutes and hours.

I don’t even know what to type here.


The news of this tragedy makes me want to clobber my husband the minute he walks in the door tonight and thank my God so fiercely for all that I have.  The news of this crash makes me cry, and it makes me think of that ever-looming fear you carry with you during deployment, the one you push to the back of your mind and don’t ever give any thought to.  I refused to give that notion, that terrible fear ANY of my energy, to give it any power.

But even still, it rides with you all the time.

Silently weighing you down.  Subtly stressing you out.

I honestly didn’t even realize it was there.  That’s how good I am at pushing it away and going about my business.

Then, the second I knew my Duggs was home, safe and sound, that weight broke right off me.  It cracked and unleashed itself from me and I turned into jello.  Unbeknownst to me, It had taken so much effort to hold it down that once my husband was home, I felt like I was so out of strength.

It’s the weirdest thing, it’s hard to describe.

Yeah, I turned to mush for a while there.  I felt fragile.  I had used all my glue to hold myself together, to ride out that deployment with grace; so once I didn’t have to anymore, I came undone.

And slowly, you build back up again.

Probably all the stronger for having gone through it.  Probably a better person, now.

With the help of my loving husband and with my focus on so much to be grateful for, a really wonderful life, I build back up again.

But then the news of today’s tragedy knocks me down a peg.  It reminds me of everything we go through in connection to this war and these deployments.  My emotions are stirred up.

And I’m not trying to make a mountain out of a molehill, and play this out like I’m a hero or some amazing being.

I assure you I view myself as just a woman, a civilian lady who loves her husband, a U.S Marine.

But today’s news just makes me think, a lot.

There’s a common thread that ties so many of us together.  I know so many spouses, and girlfriends and boyfriends, so many family members, friends, best friends… and even acquaintances to some degree – if you know someone deployed, we all know that creepy little fear thought that has to be smashed down so life can be carried on.

And we’re all united by that feeling, that experience. Our common thread.

And today, that little sick feeling, that heartbreaking sadness ebbs at us – reminding us of its realness.  Reminding us of the preciousness of life and the seriousness of war.

For so many people, today, that fear will come true.  They will get a knock on the door. They will get the call they never wanted to.  And they won’t be able to un-do the minutes and go back to a time when it was okay.

For six men, their lives have ended in a hero’s death. 

To those men, I offer so much gratitude.  So much respect.

And to all the loved ones going through this, I just offer prayers, and love, and my thoughts are with them.

So right now I’m just tugging on that string, the invisible thread that loops through so many of us, and I’m giving it a little pull to ask everyone to just pray, or if you don’t pray to just send some kind thoughts, and as I tug a little … I feel like it somehow brings us all closer.

To everyone in the line of danger for our country, thank you. 

And for everyone who waits for a brave one to come home, thank you too. 

i like balls

I like balls, Military Balls that is!

If you’re still thinking dirty (I mean, my husband is a Marine so I see where you could be going with this):  I’m talking about Military Birthday Balls! 

My hubs and I have had a busy Ball Season, attending a Navy Day Ball last month and his unit’s Marine Corps Birthday Ball this month.  We had a good time at both events, but for very different reasons.

The Navy Day Ball was at Turtle Bay, a beautiful and epic venue with amazing views and such good food.  We were also there with our great friends, the Tanners, and we stayed the night in the resort.  We just let loose and had so much fun.

The USMC Ball was nice, too.  It was our last one, ever, so it was a landmark event.  The venue wasn’t nearly as nice as the Navy Ball… the food not nearly as good, and there wasn’t any birthday cake at all. Ugh.  We didn’t stay all night and dance or party down, we just basically came for the ceremony and the dinner.  But, that said, we still had a nice evening and got all dressed up and enjoyed being out and together.

So here’s a random mishmash of ball pics, enjoy!


rest in peace, grandpa lyle

Lyle Lawrence Stanbro: February 24, 1937 – September 1, 2011

As this September started, the world got a little less funny, a little less opionated, a little less sweet: My Grandpa Lyle passed away and with him went a lot of wise cracking, jokes, a little bit of unsolicited advice, and a ton of LOVE.  He was a man who loved so very much.

As this is my blog, I can only write about him from my own point of view, tell my own story of him.  I don’t know too much about his childhood, or really much about his life before he moved to Florida.  I know he served in the Air Force, that he raised his children in Western New York, and that he was always a character, a strong personality, with a strong presence.

My mom told me he even died wearing one of the white shirts that was just so typical of him.  He had a wardrobe that I can remember forever.  These tight jeans, and his white muscle shirts with the rolled up sleeves.  His western wear, he’s a cowboy branded into my memory forever.

You Need A Grandpa?  You’ve Got One.

In 1993 my Aunt Sheila married my Uncle Tim.  A few months before the wedding we went up to Western New York for my Aunt’s bridal shower.   The road trip was just me, my sister Anna, our Mom Kathy, and the bride-to-be Aunt Sheila.  The trip was a hoot, I still remember little snapshots of it, and as a result Aunt Sheila got a wedding shower, and Anna and I got new Grandparents (I also got a CB Handle of my own, but that’s a different story for a different day).

You see, my sister and I haven’t really ever had grandparents on our Mom’s side, seeing as they passed way before we were born or too little to know them.  We’ve heard so many stories and we share a familial love for their spirits, but we’ve never had a Grandma or Grandpa on that side.  While we were in WNY for that wedding shower and this grandparentless issue came to the attention of Lyle and Moni, the groom-to-be Tim’s parents… it was decided for us!

I literally remember Grandpa Lyle declaring he would be our Grandpa.  And ever since then, he has been.

It’s why we’ve called him, “Grandpa Lyle.”  He asked us to.  He came up with the moniker and we happily complied.  To have a new grandparent was a special treasure, it was this exciting, lovely thing.  And it just stuck.  He adopted my Mom right in there too, and in the spirit of love we were all family.  And as we all got older together, it just became a thing that was known.  We didn’t explain it or talk about it, he was just our Grandpa, and that’s that.


I remember a year or so after the wedding, we spent Christmas up north and we actually stayed with him instead of other relatives on our side of the family.  His house was so fun! He could draw pictures of anything you called out, he had a motorcycle he could take you for rides on.  He’d order fried fish from the local bowling alley for dinner, because it was the best; the local tavern for wings.  He and Grandpa Moni gave my sister and I gold earrings for Christmas, I still have them.  He was funny and charming, and wore his hair like a 50’s greaser.  He was the coolest, and he just loved us like we were always his.

anna posted these on fb today, the top is gpa lyle holding justin as a baby... and anna with gpa lyle on his motorcycle! ("motor-sickle")

I will never forget that.  Sometimes, you don’t need blood to just love someone.  Anyone married knows that.  But it sure works in other sorts of relationships too.

As we got older, he moved to Florida to be with my Uncle Tim and Aunt Sheila.  And he just became part of our little family unit.  My Mom, My sister and I (and sometimes my Dad too), would just celebrate every holiday and special occaision with my Aunt, Uncle, cousins and Grandpa Lyle too.  It was just normal for me, he was just my grandpa.

He always spoiled us at Christmas and did too much.  I know he loved to do that.  He was kinda hard to shop for, I remember that.  I remember being maybe 19 or 20 or so and fretting about what to get him for Christmas every year, never sure what he was into or what he needed.  He was always one of those guys who seemed to already have what he’d like and anything frivolous didn’t make sense for him.

grandpa lyle on the morning of christmas 2007, holding up the gift from anna and me

When my cousins, Justin and Nicole, were younger and loved to color all the time, you could name anything and Grandpa Lyle could and would draw for you.  He was an artist. It was always a fun game.  He’d always point out paintings and say that he could do better.

I’ll always remember his hands.  Big, strong hands, with caluses, and wide fingers.  He has the hands of a lumberjack.  Given his trade it made sense.  Not only could he draw and paint, but his life’s work was building.  Houses, buildings, cabinets, anything.  He could build anything with those big strong hands of his.  Standing in my Aunt and Uncle’s house, one that he and my Uncle built with their hands (which happen to look very similar)… it always was a marvel to me when Grandpa Lyle would draw something delicate or dainty. It was a clever oxymoron to see his Herculean hands draw little flowers or some cute animals for Nicole to color in.

His love for Nicole was special, and very sweet.  I like the way she says the word “grandpa.”  Grond-pah.  Maybe that’s how it sounds? I’m not so good at phonetics, but I can hear it in my head.  It was a very matter-of-fact word to me, the way she says it, in her own Nicole way.

grandpa lyle and nicole

When Nicole was little and she was starting to like music, she would tell me about these oldies or country songs she listened to with grond-pah in his truck.  It was cute the way they did that together, their special bond.  I can just hear her voice saying that word, her name for him, and it makes me smile.  It’s a sweet, sincere term of endearment, grandpa.   Maybe she’s outgrown that way she used to say it.  But I can still hear it my head, and I like it.

I have my mom on the phone now.  She’s saying she loved how Grandpa Lyle always wanted to go out west and look for treasure.  He knew where it was and he had a plan for it.  I think my Mom and Grandpa Lyle should have done it, gone out west.  They’re both a bit kooky and the two of them together was usually trouble.  Especially if booze was involved.  They’d get silly and get to talkin’ about wacky things.  Perhaps one would say, carried away.

My Mom remembers when Lori told him he was going to be a Grandpa, he was over the moon.  Mom remembers that he was at her house, in Ormond, when he got the call and he was just totally excited. He loved having grandbabies.  His Sweet Babies.  There are seven of them, not counting my sister and I, who will always miss their Grandpa.  He was such a good Grandpa, so into it.  He loved spoiling the little ones and bouncing babies on his knee.  When I was pregnant, he told me I was going to look like a rope with a knot tied in it. It didn’t happen, but I wish it would have and that he could have seen it.


We’ll miss him.  We’ll miss his wacky stories and his silly ideas.  He liked to watch the History Channel and documentaries and really get into conspiracy theories.  He loved them, stuff about aliens and everything.  It would be funny at family get togethers to see him talk someone’s ear off about all these ideas he had.  When my husband Matthew was first going to meet Grandpa Lyle, I told Matthew that he should go ask my Grandpa Lyle about one of these things, maybe about Pyramids and ask who built them, knowing that Grandpa Lyle would go on and on, and my husband would get stuck in the conversation for a while.  Perhaps that’s malicious, but I really mean it a lovingly, sweet, way.  A funny way.

my husband and gpa lyle talking on the porch, that's my stepmom sunning in the foreground

There is such a strong memory of him burned into my memory.  The way he dressed, walked, talked, carried himself.  Like an Elvis Cowboy with a toolbelt on, squared back shoulders and an incredibly handsome face that aged with nobility and charm.

gpa lyle and anna

I wasn’t around him much during his final year, seeing as I lived in Hawaii and he was in Florida.  I didn’t see him get sick, really.   I’m sad for that.  I mean, I had cancer some years ago.  I should have been there for him, to relate to him.  I talked my Aunt a lot.  She kept me in the loop about his health and how he was doing.   I was sad that he was sick, of course.  I was proud of my family for taking such good care of him.

After he passed a couple people said that maybe it was nice that I didn’t see him ailing, I didn’t see him change.  Maybe they’re right.  Instead of knowing how he looked ill,  I have that indelible imagery of him that I’ll carry forever, the strong handsome Grandpa Lyle that I know.

justin and gpa lyle

But there’s part of me that wishes more than anything I could have given him a proper hug goodbye.  To hold his hand.  You know.  But that’s not how it happened.  And now I’m writing this in his memory.  I’m glad that he was so surrounded by family in those last days, so many people came to hold him and say goodbye.  After he took his last breathe, my Mom held the phone to his ear and I told him I loved him, and that I will forever.  That’s my sweet, final memory of him, my end of this story.

My Mom told me his death was beautiful.  My sister said the same thing.  The two of them, my Aunt and Uncle all around him, just the four of them.  After Nicole went up to bed, he stopped fighting and let go.  One final, sweet gesture for his special Nicole, he waited until she had gone to bed.

It’s funny how you can live such a long life and know so many people, and then have your death be such a point of interest.  I’m sure if we could ask him, he’d have other stories he’d prefer we focus on, perhaps.  But the story of his passing is a reflection of him: sweet and dignified, beautiful and loving,

It’s always sad when someone passes, it’s hard to say the right things.  Maybe I overstepped some lines with my honest reflection? But honesty is love, and this is my reflection of him.  I had such a good cry writing this.

This is my take on my Grandpa Lyle.

Grandpa Lyle was a strong man, a bold and brave man, funny, a bit wacky, often silly, very charming and full of love.  He will be greatly missed. 

gpa lyle at the head of the table, where i've seen him sit for countless family dinners

mom and gpa lyle, christmas 2009

gpa lyle at a sushi bar, imagine that?!

Memorial services will be held this weekend at the American Legion in Forestville, NY.

I send my love and my regrets for not being able to fly there and be with everyone this weekend.  I pray for peace for my Granpda Lyle as he’s in Heaven now, and when I pray for him I smile as I think about him hugging his parents and brother, his sweet welcome home, and being with the many other loved ones he’s now reuinted with.  I’m happy for him to be in God’s arms now.

Rest in peace, Grandpa Lyle. 

scams on servicemen/women and their spouses – be aware!

Scamming Military members and their spouses?  Oh no way, not if I can help it.  Let’s pass this word on and help each other be on the look out for terrible scams like these.

Friends: BE AWARE!

(As many of you know) My husband is a US Marine (and a grunt at that, sexy), we live in Hawaii where he’s stationed.  The FRO of his battalion just sent out this email warning of us a couple scams going on, specifically out here in Hawaii.

So heads up to my mil spouse friends, and to any Hawaii military spouses that happen to stumble upon this blog.


1. A company called Epic International, Inc. is selling CLEP/DSST exam prep materials at Pearlridge Shopping Center.

For our active duty service members specifically, this program is a scam.  Usually, these companies simply repackage free materials provided by SOC and DANTES, market to our service members (e.g. “Operation College Education”), and sell them at substantial cost.  It was reported that the company currently selling at Pearlridge charges around $2,000, however, these companies often sell various “packages” ranging from $2,000 to $4,000.  This is not new (see attached).

PLEASE PASS THE WORD: no Marine should pay for CLEP/DSST prep materials!  Between the Education Center and Base Library, our personnel get everything they need free-of-charge!

CLEP — the College Level Education Program — gives students the opportunity to receive college credit for what they already know by earning qualifying scores on any of 33 computer-based exams.  They can earn college credit for knowledge they’ve acquired through independent study, prior course work, on-the-job training, professional development, cultural pursuits, or internships.  DSSTs — DANTES Subject Standardized Tests — are similar in nature to CLEPs.  We offer both CLEPs & DSSTs at MCB Hawaii every Monday and Thursday in Bldg 219, Classroom 5.  Contact the Education Center at 257-2158 for more info.

2. One of our sister battalion’s families was contacted a few days ago by an individual claiming to be a Marine. He stated that the Marine had been wounded in action and he needed the Marines’ social security number to verify everything. He did not provide a call back number or much other information. The Marine was NOT wounded!!!!

I am providing you with a brief overview now so you have an understanding of the process.

a. If your Marine is seriously injured or wounded.  Yes, you will receive a phone call from HQMC(not the FRO or the Battalion Command) however you will NOT be asked to provide his SSN. HQMC will give you as much information as they have at the time and they WILL provide you with a number to call back (usually a form of the 800 number) to get more information or just to confirm that it was them that called.

b. You can call the FRO or the OOD to confirm however we are generally the last to the get the information so we may have to call someone to confirm. We are NOT provided medical information.

Thanks everyone.  Pass this along, keep an eye out, and report any funny business you detect going on to the proper authority.