14 November 2008

I have seen the enemy

and he is tiny and furry.

We've known there were mice. My dudes, in fact, have a rather robust and interactive population in their hooch (interactive as in they're so visible it was like having additional roommates). It got bad enough that my sergeant has taken to trapping them in water bottles using peanut butter and a string. He's gotten ten. In three days.

But the infestion in our hooch has been more understated. Oh, I've seen a couple from time to time while I've been drinking coffee at night. And I've heard them in the walls. But out of sight is out of mind. Or it was. Until last night.

Mom sent me, among other things, a bag of those little Snickers bars. Of course, I'd opened it and sampled a few. Then I closed the bag and set it on our table.

Long about 0100, I was racked out with a book and flashlight. When from the table, I heard a rustle. A mouse rustle. A mouse rustle among my goodies.

Like a ninja in Army PT gear, I hopped out of bed and turned the light on the table. Sure enough - I had movement in my Snickers bag. Some sort of blunt force was in order, so I survey the whacking potential of object I could grab without making any noise.

Axe - overkill. M4 carbine - plastic. Full can of M240B ammo - would definitely wake the roomie. Loaded 30-round PMag - that's the ticket! So I snatched up the magazine and hurled it, from a couple of feet, at the Snickers bag.

Being the ninja I am, it was a direct hit. There was sporadic movement, then stillness. Being kind of wimpy ninja when I am barefoot, I stepped into my combat boots and reached for the bag.

Which promptly tore, releasing a dazed-but-truly-terrified mouse. Which promptly ran away through a hole in the wall.

Mouse - 1, Abby - 0.

But, ladies and gentlemen, now that my candy has been threatened and my space invaded, it is on. There can only be one species eating from our Table of Snacks.

Stay tuned - I'll warn you if the pics are too grisly.

12 November 2008


The best day of any given period is mail day.

Letters from family...letters from family with pictures... That's the good stuff right there.

I brought a laptop, of course, and these days most of my pictures are digital. So a real highlight of today's mail call was a note from my grandmother in which she enclosed a picture of me and the Mister.

Further, I have noted that my mother and my husband (both Virgos, and both displaying several of the associated traits) share an approach to taping boxes. That is, there is no chance, under any circumstances, that boxes they pack will come open. Ever.

So I'm good on candy and soap and candy and trash bags and candy and razor blades and candy and all that stuff. And, best part about mail day, all my Soldiers got stuff, too. So we all feel loved.

09 November 2008

More daily living

On those not-outside-the-wire days, I knock out NCO bidness. I wander around and talk to the guys who have stuff I need, shoot the breeze with the other "attachments" (those of us not assigned to this particular battalion, but who are nonetheless here to help), struggle to make phone calls (DSN to VOIP? VOIP to cell? Cell to DSN?) and generally handle the small stuff.

Once that's done, I drift back to AO Abby, fire up the coffeepot, dig out something I haven't read yet, and settle in.

Yep. That's my chair, on my porch. In front of it is my coffee cup, and immediately to the right is my ammo can ashtray. I like my porch, which is fortunate, because I think I shall be spending a lot of time there.

Of course, there are some drawbacks. Those of you who've been there know what's coming, right?

Yeah. Those are my pet flies, just chillin' on my clothesline. Ugh. Please note that I do not soak my clothesline in sugared water, or any other substance to attract them. They are simply that friendly.