Suzzanne’s Corner

During 2009 I did a family web site. I gave up in January since I wasn’t receiving any pictures or feed back from most family members.. It was a lot of work.. ONE member of the family – Suzzanne who is my niece sent photos as requested and recipes when requested and Updates… I love her updates and with her permission, since I’m no longer doing the web page, I’ve added a page of  Suzzanne’s “Ramblings”…

Suzzanne is the mother of three of Kathie’s grandchildren and the wife of an Air Force Captain.  Suzzanne will drive 5 miles past the Walmart to shop at Target. Suzzanne tells you like it is.. Suzzanne has had me laughing so hard I pulled a muscle in my stomach… with things she says to Kathie.  Suzzanne was in Tucson for a while, before moving to Germany for several years. She is now in the Mid West.  Her stories keep me laughing and they cry out for repeating..

So…  I’ve added her Page here and her last three updates….

Suzzanne’s Corner   –

February Update!

February was not quite a dull as I anticipated. I did something that I thought I would never do – I went to a rodeo. That’s right; an honest-to-goodness-real-bucking-bulls-with-real-cowboys-riding-them-for-money hootin’ anny. I went with my partner in crime Alia because she, like me, has decided to experience all things Midwestern. It was on a Saturday night, and I even went so far as to buy tickets in advance because as I had heard from the folks at Farm & Home that it is a popular event and will sell out. Now, let me digress for a moment…

For those of you who know me, I am not a salt of the Earth kind of gal. My idea of roughing it is spending the night in a hotel room that does not have room service. But, since I have moved to the Midwest, my overwhelming curiosity has got the better of me (aka – the severed deer head in the back of a pick-up truck incident). I find myself in places I thought I would never venture. And Farm & Home is one of those places. There is a bridal registry, T-Mobile dealer, cow ear tags, Carheart onesies for men, combine harvester replacement teeth, and hey bales all under one roof. There are things like Udder Cream that draw me in like flies to a light. I cannot help myself. I have to know what it is, how much it costs, and on occasion, I have marked a bottle or two with a ballpoint pen to see how quickly it sells. (In case you are wondering, the inventory turns over weekly). The cashiers know everyone by name, and talk about seed prices. I am now there at least once a week, and there is always something new to discover. (Today, I found pearly blue shampoo for horses.) Anyway, back to the story…

The doors opened at 6:30pm with the event starting at 8:00pm. We were so excited we got there at 6:00, and waited in the parking lot for 30 minutes before the doors opened. We were sitting in my car which was parked next to the other couple who was so excited they got there before us. As soon as the trash cans were moved from in front of the doors, we jumped out the car and ran in. We then spent the next hour looking at everything the vendors were selling. Let me tell you – there was a lot of stuff that was marked “professional riders only, please.” Remember how my curiosity gets me in trouble… Well, I had to touch stuff. I decided a long time ago that the filter that helps people decide if something is or is not appropriate behavior is completely overrated, and I have therefore completely turned mine off. I was touching gloves and ropes and other related professional bull rider gear. I figured since I spent $11 whole dollars per ticket getting into this show that I was not going to be denied the opportunity to experience all of the action. Luckily, I only garnered a few scowls and did not get chased away from any stall with a broomstick or cattle prod. I did buy a special calf-roping lasso for Alia because I bought her a cow head for Christmas. We are going to learn how to rope cattle, and eventually work our way up lassoing men at backyard barbeques.

The first clue that the evening was going to be more than we bargained for came when we went to buy a beer before the show started. Now, I was not dressed the part of a rodeo groupie. I had on dress boots and a rather sheek black sweater. Although Alia had on Justin boots, they were leopard print which matched with her leopard scarf. We so looked like posers (aka – nan and tzatzkiki tailgating debacle before a Chiefs game incident). We saunter up to the beer cart which could not be confused for anything else. Besides the three taps, there was a huge poster of a scantily clad woman holding a Budweiser hung behind said cart. The beers on tap were Bud, Bud Light and Coors. The beers were $4.75 each. As we were waiting for our beers to be poured, I noticed the only other things on the cart were a chart with numbers on it and in huge numbers “$4.75.”. The chart was numbered one through 20. And beside each number was a dollar amount “1 – $4.75; 2 – $9.50…” While I can understand referencing the chart when people are ordering seven beers, my “bartender” referenced it when I told him I was paying for only one of the beers.

Next, we deiced to sit directly above the bull pit. We wanted to see where all of the action was taking place. There were about 20 huge bulls divided amongst five stalls. There was one guy who was responsible for moving the bull from the pit to the staging area where the cowboy was waiting to ride it. Earlier in the evening, the riders drew the names and/or number of the bull they were to ride that evening. The boys have no idea who they will ride. It was really interesting watching some of the guys size up their opponents. I do not profess to understand the finer intricacies of bull riding. Apart from the differences in the bulls’ coloring and markings, they were all really big, very smelly, and not cuddly. One of the bulls was raised by a ten-year-old buy whose bio claimed he “told his daddy he wanted to raise champion bulls for the rodeo.” (The only thing my eight-year-old son raises is my blood pressure.) This particular bull bucked his rider off in less time than it took to say the cowboy’s name and where he is from. We noticed after the festivities began that the entire arena was packed except the section where we were sitting. We thought that we, along with the few others who were rooting for the bulls, were the only people brave enough to sit above the bulls. As it turns out, you cannot see what is going on from our section. All of the action takes place right in front of the gate, and you cannot see anything through all of the stalls. Now, the guy who wrangles the bulls plays this elaborate game of opening and closing gates; poking and prodding said bulls until he coaxes the one he wants out. There was one time he forgot to close a gate, and the bull left in there casually strolled around until he figured out there was not anything between him and the other stalls. The bull saunters over to a stall and tries to mount one of the bulls stuck inside the stall. The wrangler notices the commotion, quickly runs over, and pokes the perpetrator with a cattle prod. The bull did not like that; but nonetheless succumbed to the cattle prod and allowed himself to be corralled back into a stall. This was our second clue.

Clue three came about from something called “Cowboy Poker.” Apparently, four men with nothing to lose sign up to see who can sit the longest in a chair in the ring with a bull charging them. If you are the last one in the ring, you win $1000. One particular man was playing in hopes of donating his winnings to a local cancer charity. He was specifically playing for a woman who signed up as a caner survivor, but she was not allowed to participate. So, they set up a card table in the arena with four chairs and our would-be heroes strut into the arena and take their seats. They are all very cocky until the bull is released. Within the first nanosecond, the man playing for charity and some other bloke jumped out of their seats and ran out of the ring. I do not recall seeing footprints in the dirt behind them. This left two brave souls in their chairs. Now, by this point, the bravado is gone, and I swear you can see wet spots on the front of their too-tight Wranglers. Time lapsed – five seconds. The bull comes charging at them, and they both decide to run. No one won the cash, and the whole thing was over in about seven seconds. I was very disappointed for two reasons: one, they were pansies and should have allowed the cancer survivor to sit in one of the chairs. And, two, they didn’t even have a deck of cards to play poker.

All in all, it was a hilariously good time. We learned a lot about the local culture and its rituals. In April, we are going to a goat show and a poultry show (ssshhh… Alia does not know about the poultry show cuz it is a surprise). We are also going to the Bon Jovi and AC/DC concerts. I cannot have my senses overwhelmed with animals without a good dose of rock music. I have also drank a healthy dose of Kool-Aid. I have joined the Officers’ Spouse’s Club as the incoming secretary, and I am on the auction committee design the program, paddles, desert menu and advertisements. I decided since there are reindeer games to be played, I am going to be Santa Claus!

Love to all – Suzzanne

January’s update

Why, you may ask, did Suzzanne email me without pictures? Well, I was too busy to take any this month. I turned 39 this month. Which, in and of itself, may not be a good enough excuse. But, with my birthday this month I scored periodontal disease, a ganglion cyst, and restless leg syndrome. That’s right, my body – the temple which endures hours at the gym every morning breathing other people’s sweat for the sake of staving off “maturing” – turned on me and sold me down the river. Ungrateful!

With the periodontal disease comes this fabulous (not) medicated mouthwash called Perioguard. It kills all of the bed germs in you mouth which if left unattended will lead to full-blown gum disease. While I was enduring the first of two dental appointments which requires sedation in order to finish (I S*** you not – they had to numb the entire left side of my mouth to clean my teeth), I contemplated if false teeth would really be all that bad. After all, my teeth have never been white even before I took up (and subsequently quit) smoking, drinking tea and coffee, and drinking gallons of cranberry juice (like the anti-oxidants in it are really going to make me live longer. But hey, a girl can dream). I can take them out after a hard day of consuming staining products, drop them in a effervescent bath of fizzy tablets, and viola they are white and pretty for me the next day. I can take then out of my mouth if I find myself conversing with an especially dull person (like my husband talking about the virtues of purchasing a boat) or at a boring party. Hey everybody – watch this. I could even throw them at a bartender if I have had too much to drink (a la my husband, Texas 2002). I would never have to worry about getting popcorn stuck in my teeth again and not being able to reach it no matter how much I shove my pinky finger into the nether regions of my mouth. I would never have to floss again. And, by the way, what is it with the floss manufacturers? Can’t they agree on one name for their products? And why would anyone purchase orange flavored satin floss tape (oops – that was me. Note to self, do not do that again.) I am going to have to seriously consider this course of action over the next few months. Unfortunately, my dental hygienist has her metal tool-like claws entrenched squarely in my mouth and does not plan on leaving anytime soon.

Now, the ganglion cyst is not so bad as long as I do not attempt to put any pressure on it. I am talking mental pressure here folks, not physical. You can’t even see it. Turn your palm over, and out your thumb right where your middle finger meets that part of your hand that gets blisters from too much yard work. Now, imagine a hard lump the size of pencil eraser squishing around in there and that, my friends, is my bit of medical oddity. So, why mental pressure? Because other people in my family have died three times and lived. And, what does that give you? A family standard that no one can live up too that’s what. Really, what can a girl do to top that? Sew on my own foot after a chain-saw mishap? Nope, there is nothing anyone can do to live up to that standard of medical drama. I mean, there was a moment for a few days when I thought it might have been a fast growing cancer taking over my body that they would have to cut out only to realize that my entire body is riddled with it. Then, in a move worthy of a Hollywood blockbuster, I would have my body completely remade in top-secret bionic parts. But, really, did I die three times? Nope – bionic body parts are still not even close to meeting the standard. Then, I find out it is a common cyst. Do you see the pressure I am dealing with here?

But, one ray of shining medical drama in my life this month was my diagnosis of restless leg syndrome. I thought RSL (that’s what we call it in the biz) was a made up disease like arachibutyrophobia or bogyphobia. Alas, RSL is as real as these diseases and it sounds so much better. I take this medication that essentially increases the dopamine levels in my body forcing the muscles to relax. My muscles relax, and I do not twitch anymore interrupting my sleep patterns. Do you know what else increases dopamine levels in the body? Alcohol, that what! No wonder it feels like I am drunk after I take this medicine. Not that I am complaining or anything. The drugs are free for me (one of the many benefits of having a husband in the military), so who am I to argue.

So you see, it has been quite a month for me fraught with mentally challenging, potentially life altering experiences. Most of which are Aunt Betty’s fault because she has set the standard so high that there is no possible way of meeting it. And, I bought a new camera and haven’t figured out how to use it. Hopefully, February will be better.

Love to all – Suzzanne

November’s Update

Well, November was quite interesting. Experienced rural life at its finest when I discovered a severed deer’s head in the bed of a truck; just laying there with its tongue in a pool of its blood. This was ON BASE in the gym parking lot at 0800. Because I am a trouble-maker, I get my work-out buddy to look too. She is fascinated with it and takes a picture. Who would believe me if I said there was a deer head in the back of someone’s truck? Like – isn’t that a red flag to the security personnel that there is something awry with this dude? Anyway – I tell her to hurry up because a man who – no s**t – looks like Bluto from the Popeye cartoons is coming and I bet it is his truck. Guess what – it was, and we were totally busted. I ran away – because that what I am trained to do. Anyone with a deer head in their truck has to have a gun in there, too. He has camo t-shirts as seat covers and I was not taking any chances. I totally left my friend in the dust – there were my foot prints on her back and everything. He kept saying “Ma’am” to which we ignored, then he got stroppy – I don’t know why. I am not the one with a severed deer head in my car. My friend finally told him she had never seen anything like that before, threw her camera in her car, and proceeded to catch up with me. Needless to say, we cannot go to the gym at 0800 anymore. We wait until 0810 and do a sweep of the parking lot first before parking our cars.

Victoria has her first swim meet of the season with her new team. They practice six times a week, but the Slaughters only go four times a week. She came in first place in the 100M freestyle, and second in th e100M breast and 50M backstroke. She has another meet coming up. She also won a pie eating contest sponsored by the base in honor of the military family festivites happening across the country. She won a gift card to Wal-Mart. i do not know when she is going to ever use it as I will not go to wal-Mart unless it is a midnight tampon emergency.

I have finally got involved with the squadron stuff, and I have inserted myself into the Christmas party c**p. And, by c**p, I mean c**p. They just started fundraising in mid-October, and just secured a venue and caterer within the last week. Because it is humanly impossible for me to be quiet, I keep opening my mouth with silly questions like, “Do you have a budget for prizes?” and “Do you know how many tickets you need to sell at each price point in order to cover the cost of food?” and, my favorite “Since we are having the party in the at the Fairground Exhibition Hall, do we know what event was in there before us?” That particular question raised many eyebrows, and not in a good way. More in a a “why do you want to know that” kind of way. Oh – I dunno – maybe since there are livestock auctions in there every month, I thought it would be nice to know if the place is going to smell like cow manure during our party. Just a thought…

Did an insane amount of baking for the squadron Thanksgiving party. A few of the pictures of the crime scene are included. I made a chocolate cheesecake covered in fresh blueberries, flourless chocolate torte, pumpkin cheesecake with a gingersnap crust, peanut butter pie, and the best tiramisu I have ever made. The pie in Andrew’s face was a fundraiser for funds for the Christmas party. whoever got the most votes got the pie in the face. It was five votes for $1 – I gave them $20. We also went to our first Chiefs game – and they won. We were in the fifth row just beside the goal. Most of the action was on our side of the field. We did learn a valuable lesson. See our tailgating picture? One does not tailgate with tzatziki, naan bread, vodka coolers, beer in a bottle and the biography of Andrew Jackson while he was in the White House (a fascinating book – everyone should read it). Apparently, one looks like a poser if one does that. I guess red meat and beer in a can is the standard fare at these events. I did not know. Next time, we will definately be more prepared.

Love to all – Suzzanne

August Update Here’s what’s going on…

Well, we finally have Internet in the house that actually works. Here’s what’s going on…

We have all of our stuff from both storage and from Germany. The stuff we had in storage was not processed until after we got here even though Andrew put the request in before we made the appointment for the movers. Apparently, it was miscoded in the computer and didn’t “take.” The thing that really chaps my hide is there were multiple people looking at his record online, saw this error, and never attempted to contact Andrew about it. At any rate, unpacking was a furious mess of flying paper and boxes for three days and now it has come to a grinding halt. There just isn’t any room left until we clear out the “what the f&*k is that and why did we keep it” piles and the boxes and packing paper.

The kids have seemed to settled nicely. The neighborhood has lots of kids their ages to play with. Unfortunately, of the 15 or so houses in my immediate vicinity, 12 of them are military related. I thought we were living off base now, but apparently it is an extension. It is quiet except for all the  birds and crickets. They are noisy and have no sense of common courtesy. They are chirping away at 5:00 am, and let’s not forget the frogs. They are a loud bunch, too. And, they have no idea if it is 2:00 am or 2:00 pm. There is nature everywhere; squirrels, raccoons, and even snakes. The spiders are outrageous. But, the flies aren’t too bad.

We were in the state park in the fifth-wheel for a week before the house closed. I took the dogs for a walk one morning. As I was walking by the dumpster (with its closed lid), I heard scratching and snorting. I thought “WTF,” and me, being the pretty girl I am, did not suspect anything sinister was lurking in there. I thought it was a dog. So, I walk up to it, and then I hear grunting and snarling. There was something in the back of my brain, something instinctual, which told my feet to move. Which, I do – rapidly. I went to get Andrew and told him I think there is a bear in the dumpster. Well, because he is a manly man, his face lights up like a kid at Christmas. He gets dressed, puts his shoes on, lights a cigarette (because one cannot face danger without a cigarette – it could have been his last) and walks casually to the dumpster. Here is where boys and girls differ – I ran away, he lifted the lid and peered inside.

Staring back at him the biggest raccoon nature has produced along with eight of its furry friends. Apparently, they are quite adapt at climbing the recycling bin next to the dumpster, lifting the lid, and diving in. But, they haven’t figured out how to get out. My feeling was leave them there. If they cannot figure out how to get out, then they shouldn’t have gone in at all. Apparently, this is a regular occurrence as there is a six-foot fence post behind the dumpster. At this point, the amount of noise has drawn the coffin-dodgers and other RV dwellers (think of the scene in “RV” where everyone takes out their lawn chairs to watch Robin Williams dump the RV tanks). Andrew is conferring with one of them, lifts up this fence post, opens the lid AGAIN, and puts the post inside. The second the post hits the bottom of the dumpster, the B R runs up it, jumps down to the ground and runs up the neatest tree. It was the size of a cocker spaniel. Then a few of its mates decide it is safe and they do the same thing. Andrew and his new BFF’s are standing there watching this whole thing while I am a safe distance away watching from the window inside the fifth-wheel. No thank you…

The roads are rolling hills which induces copious amounts of nausea if you are not driving. They are plastered with billboards for “Get Er Done Plumbing” and “The Lord hath yadda, yadda, yadda…” There is a Super Wal-Mart, Lowes and Office Depot. Which, despite my self-loathing every time I drive there, I find myself frequenting because I can get a gallon of milk and rechargeable batteries at the same time. The base is small but has all the amenities one would hope for. The library is nice, the gym offers a lot of free classes, and the commissary is well stocked. The BX even seems to have a nice selection of items. I have learned that if you want to buy anything on Sunday, it is best to go before 11:00 am. After that, everywhere is crowded. I did see a real-live Amish person at Wal-Mart. I tried in vain to find the horse buggy, but I bet it was parked around the back. People told me that I would see it, but I did not believe it.

Our new address  …

That is it for now. Will get pictures as soon as I find the magic cord that connects the computer to the camera.  Love to all – Suzzanne

April 2009


Went on the webpage, and I got an error message that the musings cannot be access because “the webpage I have requested is unavailable.” Is that a Mac thing?

As for April doings… Got word that we are indeed moving to Knob Noster, Missouri. Hopefully, we will have orders in hand by the end of April with a date as to when we will be back in the states. I was selected as the volunteer of the quarter (Jan – Mar 2009) for the 52 MUNSS (that means I was the group winner – ask Paul – he’ll explain what that means). It was kind of cool because Andrew only submitted me because he was sick of seeing the same people winning it over and over again.

Ethan made our local swim team. He is quite pleased with himself. He is very focused during practice, and wants to swim pyramids like Victoria (50 meters, then 100 meters, then 150 meters, then 200 meters, and back down again). I do not understand why he wants to do that – I would rather drive.

Victoria’s piano teacher went on terminal maternity leave, so Victoria has been self-teaching with music downloaded from the Internet. Something about a lullaby from Twilight and recognizing the keys. I don’t get it, can’t explain it. I just nod my head and look pretty.

Devyn got a summer internship with NIST (I think that stands for National Institute for Standards and Technology). Sounds boring, but is a very job. She said it will look really good on her resume. She is currently my favorite until she asks for money for fails a p-chem test (again, don’t understand it, just sound parental when she tells me she flunked it).

I think that is all – Love Suzzanne


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