22 April 2014 – Eighteen days


Only 18 days left….

My prediction is that I will leave this place with no hope of coming back…and that’s not a bad thing.

I also predict that the UN won’t be here come this summer…let’s see what happens. All indicators point to the fact that their mandate may not be renewed…just a gut feeling.

More and more deaths this past week….even with rainy season here, it’s not slowing anyone down from the slaughtering.

18 days left….

soldiermomma signing off

21 April 2014 – Crow


Well vacation is over….not really a vacation but a couple of days out of the office anyway. Saturday I locked the door and played hermit….if I don’t lock the door, it becomes a revolving one and I just wouldn’t have had any peace and quiet.

The past couple of days have been spent in my room, chatting with people back home, watching movies and relaxing.

Update on Fluffball…I think I misnamed him….he is 4 times the size he was just a week after hatching. He has lost most of those soft downey feathers and now looks more like a porcupine with his adult feathers coming in. He has turned a dark color and has lost the white at the end of his beak that was present when he hatched. Mom and dad are spending more time together away from the nest….Junior is just too big to sit on anymore. I actually heard him “peep” for the first time yesterday!

I have tried getting pictures and have had no more luck with that netting that is in the way…although I must say, as much as I wish that netting wasn’t there, it almost wasn’t yesterday! This fellow decided that after he sat on my ledge and talked with himself for awhile, that he would fly over and land on the AC that the nest is behind.

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When I got there, he had the netting and was pulling on it, trying to get it out! Poor little Fluffball sits on that netting as part of the nest…not sure what would have happened had that crow been successful. Anyway, mom and dad weren’t there so I shooed the crow away and saved their little one from what might have been a nasty fall or worse! I hope that mom and dad appreciate what I do for them when babysitting!

Last night was spent at a house BBQ….chicken and lots of other really good side dishes were the fare…and some yummy coconut cake at the end!

Other than that, nothing much to write about today…I haven’t thought of any other good stories yet!

That’s it for today

soldiermomma signing off

20 April 2014 – Chicken Tour


Okay, so I took you back in time to Bosnia in 2003-2004, then skipped ahead to Nijmegen in 2006. Today I want to go to the year 2007 and share something a little funny.

As I mentioned earlier, my Nijmegen adventure was where I first thought about becoming a flight attendant for the military. I was talking with some of the crew on the way over and the seed was planted.

This was a job I thought would be awesome! I could work, travel, and get to see things all at the same time!

So I did my application up, got all the approvals and off we went to another posting….I do have to interject in here that during all of this, I had a very supportive family and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without them. 🙂

Leading into this story, we have to go back to Bosnia to understand the idea behind this adventure. Our camp Sargeant Major at the time had brought an egg head into theater…it’s like a potato head but was an egg instead…anyway, you get the picture.

Someone decided to play a prank on him and “obtained” Mr. Egghead and proceeded to travel around the country, taking pics of him in different locations doing different things. It was the big joke of the tour and quite funny.

My girlfriend, who was on that tour with me, although based in another area, may have gotten her inspiration for the chicken tour from this…I’m not sure. Tanya, feel free to correct me on any of these details!

She approached me one day asking if I would take a rubber chicken that she had “obtained” from her boss (??). I thought it would be fun, so I got the chicken and off I went with him. The following pictures and commentary are from a trip I did that took Team Canada over to Dubai where they then went and performed for the troops in Afghanistan.

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Since chickens can’t fly, he needed a little help from KLM…on the way to Germany.

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And of course, nothing but the best for Mr.Chicken…business class all the way!

When we got to Germany, I took Mr. Chicken on a sight seeing tour and ended up running into some of his relatives in the mall! How fortunate for him!

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And much to his surprise, he was able to get in on the wedding of his distant cousin!

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In preparation of taking over the airbus out of Germany to head into Dubai, Mr. Chicken thought it would be cool to try and pilot the plane…I think he had a “no-fly” complex or something!

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And Mr.Chicken certainly had to prove he wasn’t chicken at all…that he was quite the brave traveller…this wasn’t a bird strike!

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When we got to Dubai, Team Canada headed out to Afghanistan and we were left for 5 days to tour the area and wait for them to come back so we could take them home. Mr. Chicken, after all the excitement of meeting his long lost relatives, thought that a day on the beach would be good for his complexion…he was looking a little pale.

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He wanted to go gold shopping at the Suq, so we took him on a little cruise to get there..

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We went to Wally’s World Waterpark where a girlfriend tried to steal him from me!

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And where he thought it would be fun to do the tourist thing!

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We didn’t always do what Mr. Chicken wanted….I had to put him away to do this! Can you believe I completely forgot about this until I saw the picture! I guess I was a latent birder, even back then!

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Mr.Chicken wasn’t discovered by Mr.Falcon, so it was all good (he was tucked safely away in my purse).

This was a great trip…he got to hob nob with some of the hockey greats!

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I can’t remember his name! Mark somebody or other! Arrrgh

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Mr.Chicken with our CDS at the time, Mr. Hillier and with Nylund I do believe.

And yes, we hung out with Blue Rodeo for this trip!

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Don’t be jealous….;) Since we were on strict orders not to touch the cup, I didn’t…see my hand!

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At the end, we flew into Edmonton and Mr.Chicken was exhausted, so we decided to chillax and listen to a little music….

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Have a little drink….

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And get some well deserved rest!

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What a laugh we had getting these pictures…the crew was awesome and got on board with it all. Once Mr. Chicken was returned to his rightful owner and the pictures revealed, he thought they were all photo shopped…I don’t think he even knew Mr.Chicken had left the building!

That’s it for today.

soldiermomma signing off

 

19 April 2014 – Reality


So I’ve been going back in time putting pen to paper (what an irrelevant cliché in this age of keyboards and screens) in an effort to keep my posts from being too boring. 

At present, I am still counting down the days until I leave (which is only 21 as of today!!). Nothing really happened this week although I did get to see my Rafiki at the grocery store (for those who remember that Lion King story). He was very happy to see me and we made arrangements for me to go back and we will get a picture of us together with our Canadian flags on our shirts.  They call me “Sgt” when I go in and Philip (that’s Rafiki’s real name) even went so far as to do a little drill for me! Seems as though he spent some time in the military at some point in his life. Such wonderful people…I wish I had more time to spend with them.

We’ve had three huge storms here in the past week which translates into mud holes in the road so deep you can’t tell if it’s safe to drive through and not get stuck…the lightening here is incredible…I think it’s because you can see it so well since there aren’t any lights in the city itself at night. And the wind! Whew! I just wonder how long it will take for those that are in the UN camps being taken care to get to the point where they don’t want to live that way anymore…and I wonder what will happen when that decision is made.

When I say nothing really happened this week, I mean that nothing really happened to me….however, that’s not the case with one of our guys who has less than a week left before leaving. If you think I have a black cloud hanging over my head, I’ve got nothing on this guy.

He’s all packed up, only a couple hours from leaving, taking a walk around his UN camp with another guy who is getting ready to go, when all of a sudden the bullets started flying and they had to do the duck and cover dash for about 500 yrds to reach safety. Once the dust settled, he had to help with getting the dead and wounded ready for a Casualty Evacuation Flight (which he managed to get on so he could back here to finish getting ready to leave) and when he showed up here, he had blood on his combats and was telling us what happened. I won’t get into details…I’m not sure what’s been made public….but let’s just say, he went out with a bang. I’m not sure if I would be able to sleep at night with pictures like that in my head….especially since the casualties were mostly women and children. It breaks my heart.

Such is life  in South Sudan.

That’s it for today.

soldiermomma signing off

18 April 2014 – De 4 Daagse


First of all, I would be remiss if I didn’t start this blog by wishing my wonderful son a very Happy Birthday! He pushed his way into this world 18 years ago today…a day that I will never forget and it was a day that promised to be the start of the biggest roller coaster ride of my life. I have cried and laughed, shouted and whispered as his parent for these past years, and my life would not be complete without him. He has made me proud and as he enters what I truly call adulthood, I am confident that I have given him all the tools he will need to get started….he still needs more tools in his toolbox and I will be there to provide them when required. I love you son, don’t ever forget it. 🙂

So what is that title all about you ask? That, translated, means the 4 days march. I am going back in time again today and pulling out another story to put down on paper. Grab a coffee…it’s a long one.

History- Every year in July, people from all over the world gather in a little town in Holland called Nijmegen (ny-meg-en). It is considered to be the oldest city in the Netherlands (according to Wikipedia) and hosted the International 4 Days Marches for 98 years. In celebration of it’s liberation in WWII, Canada, US, Britain and other European countries send teams of military personnel in to march through the towns.

The event consists of 4 days of marching 40/day for a total of 160kms….and I did it! Well sort, of. And that’s where my story begins.

I was stationed in CFB Borden in 2005 and the following year I heard there was a team being put together. Now if anyone knows me well, they know that I hate running…just as some people have a passion for it, I have a passion for hating it and coming out of Petawawa, that’s all we did was run and march, run and march. I always said that I would rather march for 13 km than to run for 5. God forbid we did something I liked, say, laps in the pool. But I digress.

I had often wondered whether or not I could do something like this and where I was working was pretty slow paced…when I heard about the team, I got permission to do the training to see if I could make the cut. I decided it was time to put my money where my mouth was.

I could write a whole other story about the training…but I’ll summarize here. Long hot days starting in the wee hours of the morning, hours of marching on seemingly endless stretches of road; hills, hills and more hills, legs cramps, blackened toenails, blisters, wet feet, thirst, shin splints and lots and lots of singing to pass the time….to qualify, each team consists of 11 people that have marched a total of 600kms each with a final 2x40km march back to back. One day maybe I’ll do a whole blog about the stories on the road.

So you wonder what the heck drove me to such craziness? Well, I tell you, as a clerk, I see and deal with making travel arrangements for people going to all of these exotic places which because of my lot in life, I will never get to see. I am always on the lookout for ways to get somewhere different, see the world. At the time, I thought this was a good way to get to Holland! Sad but true…and more true than I had ever expected as it turned out.

I had no problems completing the training…just a couple of days I had to nurse a really bad blister on my heal so it didn’t get infected. We started with over 30 people trying out, but by the end we were only one over the number that was needed for the team. After all that hard work, it didn’t seem right to leave him behind, so they were able to finagle a spot as an independent marcher and he ended up going.

Part of the whole experience included a trip to Vimy Ridge…what an awe inspiring place that is and if you can ever get there, it is worth it! Unfortunately they were working on the monument getting it ready for the following year for the 90th anniversary celebrations…which means that it was all covered over while work was being done on it. Still an awesome experience.

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Once the tour there was done, they bussed us to Nijmegen and into the camp named Huemensoord (hoo- me- zoord) where over 5000 military personnel stay during this event from all over the world. Our housing was a huge domed building with rooms housing about 12 people each room. We spent a couple of days getting acclimatized to the time change and then finally the first day was upon us.

It begins with someone coming out over the loud speakers yelling “GOOOOD MORNING HUEMENSOORD!!” at 3am followed immediately by loud booming techno music…just to ramp us up! Talk about psychological warfare!

Each team had a different start time  and if I remember correctly, we were due to step off at about 5am. Plenty of time to get dressed, get our feet wrapped, double check our kit and get formed up and ready to go. The neat part was that I was chosen as the pacesetter back in Canada prior to leaving. The trick is to march in step and I had a pace that was good for us to do this (about a 10 min km).

 This is us getting ready for the first day of marching.

Getting ready

Crossing the Bridge

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Here’s the kicker…the start line of the 40km is 2.5 km away! So by the time you’re finished, you have done about 50km in a day.

My god, but it was hot that day! We had done our training in some pretty hot weather, and it’s a good thing we did. After that first fateful day, we found out that the temps coming up off the road registered at 50C!

Here’s how it works. Each day there’s a different route that must be marched. During the time you are on the road, they have rest stands set up. We were accompanied by a medic, a supply tech and other staff in our support…they didn’t march, but were there to help out where needed.

After about 10km, we hit the first rest spot. That’s where we met up with a team of Cadets, some no more than 13yrs old, doing this march! Unreal.

It’s also noteworthy that we hung out with one of the British teams and met up with them on at this first site. At some point this whole thing becomes a competition and we were joking around with them about how slow they were etc even though they made it there first. They walked by on the way out and made some jokes about eating their dust….HA! Once we got finished there, we headed out and not even 30 mins later, who did we pass?? Yup, I picked up the pace and we raced by them…I think I heard the term “bitch” (not in a bad way) being flailed about as we passed. 😀 Suck it up buttercups!

As that long day wore on, we passed every other Canadian team and but it was so hot that we ended up taking more breaks as we went to combat the heat.

As you walk through the towns, some of them cheer you on…this is a huge event for this town and people put their chairs out days in advance to reserve their spots to watch. Some of the townsfolk have hoses running for us to walk under to cool off, some of them run out and give you water and if your country helped liberate that particular town, they go nuts. One small town we passed through, it was obvious that we had some part in their history, for they cheered and shook our hands as we went by. It was funny at one point, this one very tall guy came running out and ran beside me…he looked and I quote “Little Canadian Girlie leading the team”. So funny!

Still looking healthy!

On the move

By the time we pulled back in at the end of the day, we were the second Canadian team in having completed the march in just over 8hrs 20mins…here’s what we looked like at the end!

The end

The stragglers

As you near the finish line, the locals hand out Gladiolas, another tradition that has survived the years from back in the days of WWII.

What a day. We unloaded our gear and thanks to the foresight of our team leader who had done this same event 3 times previous, we had a place to soak our feet at the end…even though there was no cold water, it felt good!

Hot feet

I mentioned earlier that this was a fateful day…and here’s why. Later that evening when all the teams were in, an announcement was made that the next day’s marches would be without rucksacks, only water. The country was in the midst of one of the worst heat waves on record and just an hour after this, the marches were cancelled outright. This was history in the making…they had never been cancelled before. We didn’t understand until we heard that there were heat related deaths on the roads that day (non-military) and rather than risk any more lives, they stopped the event. There were thousands of people scattered across the country’s hospitals for heat related injuries, and it was reminiscent of the war where they were trying to track down everyone and account for their whereabouts. Really scary.

So when I said that I wanted to see Nijmegen, I got to do just that…more so than I had ever planned but at a high cost. We ended up staying there for the full time we were supposed to…they couldn’t get us out because the planes were being used to evacuate Lebanon at the time. Some of the teams thought this was a riot and joked about the aging equipment and how they couldn’t come get us because the planes were too old..here’s what they did.

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They were taking donations to help fix the planes. LOL

Traditionally on the second day, the Canadians teams all meet at the cemetery where many Canadian soldiers are buried that died in the war. Before I left, one of my friends had asked me to take some painted rocks, flags and pictures to her father’s grave. I was honored and I was afraid we wouldn’t be able to go. But instead of marching there, we got a bus and drove and had our ceremony remembering the fallen in a parade. Once that was done, I searched out his grave and to my astonishment, the Cadet’s were there taking pictures! I thought I had the wrong site, so I asked what they were doing…turns out this Cadet team had some members that go to the school that is named after him and were taking pictures to go back to Canada with. What a great thing to do! My pictures have since been lost, but that moment lives on in my memory banks.

The rest of the time there, we toured the town, went to some of the oldest churches there, ate well, drank some beer (a very common pastime there!) and got to see more than we would have had we marched.

We ended our trip in Eindhoven where the movie “A bridge Too Far” was based (which we watched as the inflight movie on the way over I might add)…I got to see the bridge and go up in the clock tower from the movie and just soak up the atmosphere.

All in all, a great experience. I sacrificed a toenail for the whole trip which was a small price to pay for the memories it gave me. Would I ever do it again? Nope! Like giving birth, it was a painful experience, and one that I choose to endure only once! 🙂

I hope this story has piqued your interest in some of our country’s military history and contributions we have made over the years to help other countries enjoy the lives they have today. I was so moved by Vimy Ridge, that the next year I made the trek there as a flight attendant (this was the trip that gave me the inspiration to do that job)….but that’s another story.

Oh Canada

That’s it for today

soldiermomma signing off

 

17 April 2014 – Still counting


Yup, I’m still counting the days until my departure. My replacement is getting his flight booked so it looks as if I will be able to book mine out and I won’t be delayed for any reason! WOOT!

Yesterday was hectic, picking people up, dropping them off…lots of comings and goings!

The baby pigeon (I shall name him Fluffball), is doing well from the looks of things. He seems to be shuffling around better on his own volition and before you know it, he will be flying! Still a little ball of nothingness right now, but I can see a difference, however slight, already.

I was sitting out on the balcony last night before bed. What a surprise I got when I heard a “screech” and looked front and center to see this ghostly spectre of a bird flying out of the dark toward me! It took me a few moments to realize what was happening (not something you see all the time, so it’s surprising). The owl flew up over the house and when I went to find where it landed, it was on the water tower. By the time I got the binos to look at him closer through the window, he was gone. I am holding to my ID from the first sighting of him as being a Barn Owl…medium sized, all white underneath in flight…it put me in mind of the Snowy Owl to see him. So cool! I haven’t laid eyes on him since early December I think it was.

It’s a long weekend back home coming up which means it will pretty quiet here due to nobody being at work. Not sure I will blog everyday unless there’s something cool to blog about or I think of another story to tell from my vault.

What I can’t get over is that UN shuts down on Easter weekend???? Really??

That’s it for today.

soldiermomma signing off.

 

16 April 2014 – Bosnia


I sat here wracking my brains for something to write about today. It’s all so routine here now that it’s difficult to find anything that is noteworthy. Not saying it’s a bad thing, just sayin’, as the phrase goes.

However, yesterday, I was sitting on the balcony and my mind wandered back to my tour in Bosnia and how different it was to this one. And then my mind skipped to a story that not many people know…usually because as a clerk, no one thinks to ask or thinks that I have any…and normally, that would be true. Let’s go back to November, 2003.

I was stationed in Velika Kladusa, Bosnia during almost the same timeframe as I have been here.

On November 17th, my boss came to me and asked if I wanted to go on a morale flight. We had a helicopter pad right in the compound and they would often take people  for trips to get them off the camp and get a break.

My reply was “yup!!”. I was told that I only had 20 minutes to get ready for departure, it was supposed to be a day flight and that I would need this this and this. I scurried to get everything ready and then went to the spot that was pre-arranged.

I had never ridden in a helicopter before, so I was quite excited….we were heading to Sarajevo to transport some personnel etc. There was a postal clerk and  a meteorologist that came with us that day as well.

Everything went well on the flight in, the scenery of Bosnia is beautiful…high mountains, lush valleys, shepherds tending their flocks…you get the picture. A far cry from the landscape here!

Now my memory is a bit shaky on some of the details, so you’ll have to bear with me. I am really reaching here to capture what happened over the next 24 – 48 hrs after landing.

As I was saying, things went well, we landed in Sarajevo, then toddled off to check the base out. It was considered freedom to be there…there were no restrictions on movements, they had a bar, you buy booze in the PX, you go out into the city and shop if you wanted. If my memory serves me correctly, it was a UN Base which would make sense that it was like this. I didn’t have much knowledge of these things at the time..I was a young Corporal with not much time in when this happened.

When it came time leave however, that’s when things went astray. Turns out we couldn’t get back to our base due to the fact it was socked in with fog…those birds don’t navigate in the fog. We ended up staying the night on the base and I had no go-bag with a change of clothes, toiletries etc! My lack of experience was definitely showing that day.

Okay, I think this is where I have to tell the story about the attempt we made to get that one guy to base…this would have been the next day now that I think about it.

We took off and headed out but by this time, the fog had moved into that part of the country. When I said that those birds don’t navigate well in the fog, that’s the truth…they also don’t navigate well when one of the navigation panels the pilots use aren’t working! I didn’t have a head set to hear everything that was going on that day which might have been a blessing. On the way, the fog was so thick, they made the decision to use the landscape to navigate…or contour flying although I don’t think we experienced this to it’s full effect. Let’s just say we weren’t far off the ground while flying.

As we went on, the fog got worse and at one point I believe we almost hit a mountain. When you fly like that, there’s a condition that causes optical illusions and in this case, the co-pilot didn’t realize how close to the mountain we were and we had to make a last minute turn to avoid it.

After this close encounter, they then decided to get through a mountain pass, they would have to follow the road through, so we dropped to 50 ft above the road and the Flight Engineer in the back opened the door to make sure the rotors didn’t hit the power lines…OMG, you could see drivers in their cars looking up at us in shock and the shepherd on the hill with his mouth hanging open. If that wasn’t scary enough, the pilot decided that he needed to take over the controls because we couldn’t go any further safely and we needed to turn around…so he executed a perfect 180 right over the road and we headed back. At one point the Flight Engineer indicated that he wanted to know if I was okay…I just put my hands together as if in prayer and nodded yes as a response!

Now if that wasn’t bad enough, half way back to the base, the flight engineer noticed that we were burning fuel at rate that was by far a rate that was too quick to get us back. So the decision was made to land in the Italian base to re-fuel. Unfortunately when they put the call through to do this, there was a parade happening to honor some of their soldiers who had just recently died and we couldn’t land. The Sarajevo airport was just a hop away, so we decided to put down there and try to get fuel. Unfortunately there, they wouldn’t accept a credit card to pay for it. So, back we went to the Italian base where they had finished their parade and were ready to re-fuel.

For anyone who caught the date, it was now 18 November and my 36th birthday! Once we got on the ground, the crew told us to go into the waiting area and have a cappuccino or something…all the while ribbing the postal guy who looked green around the gills! After a little bit, the crew joined us in the café area and the co-pilot let it slip (yeah, right) that it was my birthday. The next thing you know, the Italian guys are bringing me a bottle of wine and singing “Happy Birthday” in Italian to me. They joked about the fact that I was the only female there and then let me sign the clock on the wall…I have been immortalized in that café far across the seas in Bosnia. I still have that bottle of wine today.

So now, if memory serves me correctly, we abandoned getting back to base and secured accommodations for the night there. I was lucky in the sense that I was housed with a really nice American lady who loaned me her toiletries for a shower and the rest I was able to purchase at the PX. You know that saying about wearing your underwear inside out? Well…..

Somewhere in here, we did a night flight as well…it was the first time I had the opportunity to try out night vision goggles. That was extremely neat!

The next morning wasn’t much better…the fog had left our destination in VK, but it was still thick in Sarajevo, so after a few hours of waiting for it to clear up, the pilots decided that they would fly to the Sarajevo airport and take off from there…not sure why, but that’s what they did…they figured if they could get up past the ceiling, it would be smooth sailing.

I’m not sure if you’ve ever seen a helicopter take off with it’s nose down and taxiing like a plane, but that’s what we did here! Cool!

And once airborne, and free of all the fog, we burst through the clouds and wow! How breathtaking!

We got back to base in one piece, with no further issues after this. Once I got back to the office, my boss had a birthday cake waiting for me…I couldn’t eat it because it had nuts, but it was the thought that counted.

For all those that wonder about my obsession with birds….it’s because I love to fly!

That’s it for today.

soldiermomma signing off

P.S. – A couple of weeks later, the Flight Engineer and I were chatting, and he let slip that after we left the tarmac that day to go for a coffee, the crew, who had remained extremely calm and professional that whole time, broke out and were  “OMG we almost died!” Thanks guys, for keeping cool heads during that whole thing! LOL

15 April 2014 – Chick


For those that aren’t following me on FB, we have one very healthy little pigeon chick in the nest. Ken discovered yesterday morning that it had hatched sometime in the night Sunday!

I tried getting pics, I tried to set up video, but there’s just no way to do it justice in the area they are nesting. So I will have to get descriptive, and you will have to get imaginative.

Imagine a little body no bigger than an egg, with flappy, barely controllable wings, all  of which is covered in the thinnest layer of tiny pin feathers; a tiny little head on a neck barely able to support it, which, by the way, looks to be made of two big black eyeballs that are still shut, and a huge beak in proportion to that head. That little body is in the nest, all cuddled in with mom, and as he sticks his head out from under her protective breast, he pokes at her beak looking for food. She opens up her beak and brings up the nutritious mixture of breakfast for her new little one, which he hungrily goes in after. As he lays in the nest while mom is preening, all you can see is a little blob, his back not completely covered with feathers yet, so it looks pink and shiny in places. All in all, a very ugly little creature, but cute at the same time.

I sat and watched for quite some time yesterday in awe that this fragile little bit of bones, skin and feathers would eventually turn into a lovely pigeon…I actually can’t wait to see what color he will be when he gets bigger…will he be white and black with that purple sheen on his neck and spats, looking dapper like his dad, or that charcoal gray with nary a marking, all svelte and dignified like his mom. Pigeons are so varied in their plumage, it will be fun to see the final results.

Other than that, my day was pretty routine. Got a lot of work done, but still quite a bit to go yet. I am pacing myself so that it doesn’t all get done at once and then there’s nothing to do.

I will try to update the pigeon nesting experience and describe the stages as it progresses…and I will keep trying to get a good picture…once he’s bigger, it may be easier.

That’s it for today.

soldiermomma signing off.

14 Apr 2014 – Confidence


“I wanna know where my confidence went, one day it all disappeared. Daytime’s a drag, night time’s worse”… Blue Rodeo

I think my age is setting in and with that comes a sense of mortality. I guess that’s normal at some stage in life. But I hate it. I used to feel like I could take on the world…now I’m just tired. Where ever it went, I hope it comes back at some point.

The same holds true with courage….what is it and how does one measure it? These are thoughts that have been floating through my head these past couple of days. I don’t have answers yet. I think I will wait for some therapy to discuss these issues in greater length and try to figure it out.

Until then, I will try to push those thoughts aside and concentrate on getting through the next 26 days until I can get back to where I feel truly safe.

Yesterday papa pigeon left the egg unattended for a time, so I was able to get a half decent picture of it. They say it takes a community to raise a child…well, I hope that I am considered a part of their community because yesterday I had to scare a crow away from their nesting area. He had landed right on the top of the AC where they are residing and started calling out to all those who would listen. I banged on the window and off he went…I haven’t seen him back or near there since. Let’s hope that he got the message….and I hope the pigeons get that I helped out.

Papa has been out on the ledge the last couple of days, doing what I would consider the courting dance…cooing, puffing up, circling…wonder who he is trying to woo…the rest of the flock of pigeons aren’t around anymore, so I can only assume they have gone off to nest as well. It’s interesting to watch and a good distraction for me to say the least. I watch them take a bath everyday on the kitchen window ledge, then a couple of times I’ve been able to watch them changing shifts. It’s really neat how they manipulate that egg so it fits in their brood patch. I have noticed that their nesting area is getting pretty messy though…wonder when they will do some housecleaning.

I am going to try to use my laptop to hook up the webcam and monitor things. That way any footage I get will be easily accessible and I can keep an eye on them without disturbing them too much…I really don’t want to miss the egg hatching if it’s possible.

Off to start another week, but this one will go quickly.

That’s it for today.

soldiermomma signing off.

13 April 2014 – Blah


Another uneventful day yesterday. Not even much to write home about really.

I worked, I played computer games, I worked some more, called home, watched the pigeons once in awhile and then at the end of the day, read my book and fell asleep…in fact, it was the best sleep I’ve had since getting back.

I am lost without my camera! I refuse to kick myself in the butt for not bringing it….but everyone here is very surprised I didn’t. I just didn’t want the hassle of toting it all around the world again…so home it stayed. I think Tim is getting use out of it though…he’s been trying to get pics of some of the birds in the yard for me when he can. Sweetheart! 🙂

I think today I will go out to AFEX (African Expedition Compound) for a change of scenery. It’s like another world in there…right by the Nile and beautiful, typical African setting. I just don’t want to see any new birds, or I WILL kick my butt for not bringing my camera!

I realized yesterday that some of the paperwork I need for next week’s influx of personnel needing tweaking so I got that done yesterday as well. I am working ahead to get it all prepped so that everything runs smoothly.

That’s it for today

soldiermomma signing off