Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tornadoes, First Sgts and babies.

It's been quite a 24 hours, y'all.

First, I came home yesterday afternoon to hear the sirens going off on base, advising us a tornado was approaching and to take cover immediately.

I pulled all my plant container in from the patio (it's an emergent situation, but I take the time I get my plants. I know, I know....) then the kids and I grabbed the dogs, some matches and candles and went into the little tool shed/utility room on the ground floor. As the roar of the storm got louder the lights started to flicker and then went out completely, leaving us in total darkness. All we heard was the roaring and pinging as the hail hit the roof.

I was okay until the lights went out, then I began to get scared. I didn't want the kids to know, so I twittered from my cell phone where we were and what was going on and pretended that everything was cool for the kids. I'm not they bought it, to be honest, but nobody freaked out....not even when we felt the walls shake and tremble.

After 45 minutes or so the roaring and rumbling subsided and an eerie quiet came down on us. I sat there, telepathically telling Urbaner to call home, to please call home because I needed someone to talk to, someone to tell me that I did the right thing, was doing the right thing and that it would all be okay.

He didn't call. So much for my telepathic powers.

After about 15 minutes of total calm, I ventured out of the shed to see sunshine coming from the west and the blackest sky I have ever seen out to the east.

The yard was a mess. The chairs were everywhere, a two-thirds full bag of potting soil I'd been working with (it was a 2cu bag) was against the fence - not spilled, not upside down, just against the fence as if I had leaned it on there - and there were a couple of shingles and some styrofoam blocks from the construction site 3/4 mile away all over the lawn. In the front there was debris everywhere and people were out, picking things up.

We waited for a little while and when the power didn't come back on (the base is usually pretty good about getting us hooked up again) FTS and I decided to take the dogs for a walk.

Now is a good time to tell you about the neighbors and the trouble we're having, I think. It's relevant.

We have had out sleep disturbed regularly since the start of the year. There are three families in particular that think it's okay to sit in the middle of the road - with a firepit going - at all hours of the night, playing music and laughing and screaming. If they're not in the road, they're in someone's driveway raising hell. A couple of weekends ago they woke us up at 1230 with their noise. FTS went out the front door to see what happened and she got cursed at. She came and got me and I went out there - still on my own porch, mind you - and I got the same treatment. So, I called the police. Urbaner and I turned out the lights and sat inside in the dark and heard them - one in particular - daring each other to "go over there". I can't say for sure what the plan was, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't to do good.
The next duty day, I spoke to the housing office and sent them an email detailing all the noise and the commotion. Apparently some military members got briefed about it, because the wives of the three families have made a point of making very loud comments about me whenever I'm outside, calling me a bitch and generally being miserable and rude. (the parties are still going on, btw)

Yesterday, as we stepped outside, all 3 of them were across the street. As soon as we became visible, the comments and snideness started, and this time I heard my daughter mentioned. We walked down the street, and as we approached them, the comments stopped. After we had passed by they started again, and again my daughter was a target as well as myself. They won't say anything TO me, they'll say it about me, but that's not the issue: they're now fucking with my kids, and mama don't play that game. Don't call my 16 year old a bitch and give her a hard time. Just don't.

I know that my confronting them will only end badly, so I decided to go a different route: I used the military chain of command EXACTLY the way it's designed to be used. I know that the ringleader's husband is a cop, so I went to the SFS First Sgt. I told him what was going on and that I didn't want to have to escalate it to an official level and get the civilian authorities involved, but that if it didn't stop, I would. I mean it, too. Whenever I'm in the yard I have my cell phone in video mode so that if shit starts I can record it and have evidence. I find it incredibly sad that I feel like I need to do that, but hey....I am NOT going to take this crap. I shouldn't HAVE to take this shit. If I knew who the other people's 1st Sgts were, I'd be in their offices, too, saying the same thing.

The 1st Sgt said he'd talk to the military member. I don't hold out much hope for any resolution.

It's not just us, half the other families on the street have complained, too. I'm starting to wonder what it takes to get these people either to stop what they're doing or asked to leave military family housing.

You want to know the REAL kicker for me? One of the very active participants has a home daycare in her house. Nice, huh? I wonder what the parents of her charges would do if they knew the crap that goes on around here in the evenings and on the weekends?

So, I am fully expecting there to be some repercussions from this. There were repercussions from my talking to the housing officer, so I expect the same again. This time, though, I am ready for it.

So, Numbah Two's rats, the pair that were supposed to be males? Yeah, not so much. I was sitting on the couch eating lunch and I kept hearing this really high pitched squeaking. I wondered what it was, so I went and peeked in the rat's cage....

...and saw Brennan the 'male' rat with a good dozen or so squirmy pink babies under her.

Brennan is a girl, and Brennan is now a mom.

I don't know ANYTHING about rat husbandry. Nothing. I don't know nothin' 'bout birthin' no rat babies, so I am slightly freaked out about this. I'm doing some reading and hoping for the best.....but I do know that we are NOT keeping them.

Anyone want a fancy rat?


la isla d'lisa said...

Are momma rats as bad as momma gerbils (cuz they eat their young)? May take care of the problem for you.

I feel for you with the neighbor situation ... it's horrible to feel unsafe in your own home. BJust keep up with the documentation and don't initiate or instigate.

nickopotamus said...

I'm not sure how pet shops manage to consistently mis-sex rats. I mean, some animals can be tough (hamsters for example), but male rats have absolutely massive balls...

pseudosoldier said...

Ah, the joys of on-post housing. Best of luck.