20 December 2010

"PCSing...it's a Spouse thing!" now 25% off with publisher's discount!

Purchase PCSing...It's a Spouse Thing! at 15% off with coupon code RESOLUTION305. The book is currently reduced by 10% so that's a 25% savings off the full price!

Disclaimer: Use coupon code RESOLUTION305 at checkout and receive 15% off PCSing...It's a Spouse Thing!. Maximum savings with this promotion is $10. You can only use the code once per account, and you can't use this coupon in combination with other coupon codes. This great offer ends on January 15, 2010 at 11:59 PM EST so try not to procrastinate!

While very unlikely we do reserve the right to change or revoke this offer at anytime, and of course we cannot offer this coupon where it is against the law to do so. Finally, Lulu incurs the cost of this discount, so it does not impact the Author's proceeds of the book. 

~ j

23 November 2010

The First "Jenny" Book is HERE!!!

"Jenny" is on hiatus while we suffer through yet another PCS. Please feel free to browse the archives located on the main page of http://jennyspouse.com to get your weekly milspouse chuckle.

OR...You can order the very first "Jenny" book ever and get your milspouse chuckle whenever you want! Just in time for Christmas, the book is located at: http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/pcsingits-a-spouse-thing/13835448

Selling for $19.95, it's the greatest gift you can get for any military spouse you know. She/He will see themselves among these 120 pages more than once.

Help yourself to a handful of books this holiday season. Don't leave anyone out! ~ j

17 November 2010

Electronic Cigarettes or What to put in a care package...

The Great American Smokeout 2010 is tomorrow, November 18. (http://www.ucanquit2.org/facts/gaso/default.aspx) This is the perfect time to help your loved one quit smoking.

I know it's tough but they don't have to go cold turkey.

My friend, @Michal Douglas, owns an electronic cigarette company and sells to a lot of military folks. He placed a small ad on my site and, as I do with everyone who advertises on jennyspouse.com, I want to send him a lot of traffic.

But I mostly want to help people quit smoking. So this is a selfish plug on my part. I really believe in this product.

Michal's company is called "America's Best Buys" and you'll get a 10% discount at checkout when you use the code MILITARY. He's doing this just for us so I hope you get over there and take advantage of it. (http://americasbestbuys.com/home.asp)

Michal and his original business partner started marketing e-cigarettes because the business partner was dying of lung cancer, directly related to smoking. I knew them briefly right before he died. It was awful. But the one thing that has always stuck with Michal is that his friend told him, "I wish I'd known about these things a lot earlier."

I can't explain how they work but America's Best Buys will tell you everything you need to know. Do it. Now. Before it's too late.

16 November 2010

Why Should We Care About Prince William's Engagement?

Because Great Britain is our greatest ally and our best friend. In order to nurture a friendship, you must take an interest in your friend's children and family. A sure way to kill a friendship is to show utter disinterest in her family's joyful moments and to ignore their milestones.

Because we've watched this boy grow up and have held him to higher standards than we've held our own children, judging his life on a global level like no other. We should celebrate when he's happy.

Because we know that one day he WILL be the King of England and it is in our best interest that he possess sound judgment and above-average decision making skills. One day every decision he makes concerning Great Britain will directly affect our very best friend and so affect us.

Yes, we should be interested in this and pay attention. It's important.

~ j

14 July 2010

"Military Wives Matter" - Get Involved in a Study from Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU)

Militarywivesmatter.org is part of a nationwide study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and centered at Oregon Health & Science University. The goal of the study is to get a sense of what issues bother military wives most and to provide information about deployment and how it affects families.

From Dr. Celina Oliver, Department of Research Psychiatry, "We really appreciate anything you can do to help us spread the word. We are hoping to be able to use this research to encourage policy makers to support military families more appropriately. Thank you!"

Announcement from the research team:

Has your husband deployed (or will he)?

We don’t have to tell you how hard it is.? But if you would like to know more about what to expect and how to deal with it, there’s a new website that provides information about a variety of topics military wives have said worry them the most..

Note: They definitely want to know about your depression and/or PTSD but, even if you don't feel that this applies to you, you can be useful in other areas. To find out more, go to http://www.militarywivesmatter.org and sign up for the study. Help OHSU with their research and you might even affect policy for spouses everywhere.

24 April 2010

Hats Off to Volunteers! April 18 - 24 Ft. Bliss, TX

I've just returned from my trip to Ft. Bliss, El Paso, TX, where I spoke at a luncheon for the post's volunteers. The program is headed by Army Volunteer Corps (AVC) Coordinator, Tephanie Hopper, and her staff from the AVC office located in the ACS Bldg. 2494, for those of you who want to join the legion of incredibly motivated volunteers at Ft. Bliss.

The event I attended was called "WHATTAWEDNDESDAY" on April 21st. This was the second in a series of events planned for the volunteers throughout National Volunteer Week (April 18 - 24). The first get-together of the week was "Manic Monday" and featured a salsa class to help get everyone into the feel-good spirit of the week.

"WHATTAWEDNESDAY" took place in the Centennial Banquet & Conference Center and featured free massages, Reiki, makeovers, food and prizes. A local beauty school was in attendance to give free haircuts and manicures. They even did eyebrows and makeup!

The final event of the week was held Friday night at the Centennial. This was the official Fort Bliss Annual Volunteer Recognition Awards Ceremony. Awards presented by: Maj. Gen. Howard Bromberg. Their guest speaker was Brian McNamara of Lifetime Television's Army Wives.

Here is the information Tephanie sent me:

"Each year our nation celebrates volunteers during National Volunteer Week. The Fort Bliss community follows this great tradition established by President Richard Nixon in 1974. We have numerous activities to show appreciation for the volunteers who selflessly support our Soldiers, Family Members, and Retirees. The largest event is our recognition dinner hosted by our Commanding General. The recognition dinner is scheduled to be held April 23rd from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

Our theme is "Hats Off to Volunteers".

The following are some accomplishments of our installation volunteer

2350 volunteers

155,000 hours

3 million dollars worth of hours contributed to the installation.

Volunteer Positions include:

Supporting our youth through coaching sports.

Teaching our family members through Army Family Team Building.

Meeting Soldiers/ Families as they deploy or return from deployment.
Family Readiness Group support

Supporting our Junior Enlisted Family Readiness Group

Soldiers mentoring kids through Partners In Education

Support advocacy walks
Tax Preparation


How could I say No to an invitation like that? I had a great time, got to meet some no-nonsense Army spouses, and came away with a feeling that this is a group of strong women I could definitely be a part of. I would go back to Ft. Bliss in a heartbeat.

I hope some of them will be in D.C. for Spouse Appreciation weekend, May 7 - 9, 2010. I sincerely hope to see you there or back in Fort Bliss.

You ladies ROCK!

~ j

16 April 2010

Jewls' rules for Space-A travel

This is a repost from April 2008. A lot of people have found it useful over the years so I wanted to post it again. I'll try to add some updates when I get the chance.

Disclaimer: These are my own tips culled from my own experiences which may not be right for everyone. I can't answer all of the legalities involved in Space-Available travel (also called "Space-A" or "stand-by") right now but I'm planning on doing a show with Wendy and Marie of navywiferadio.com where we'll discuss everything in much further detail and depth.

If you're interested in joining the world of Space-A travelers, please check with your local AMC terminal for complete rules and regulations regarding your personal situation and traveler status. And please keep checking back here for the dates of the show. We'll want you to call in and participate with your questions and concerns. Hopefully, we can get enough interest in the subject that Wendy and Marie will be able to get a qualified representative to come on a future show to address all of your issues.

Let us now continue with

jewls' rules for Space-A Travel...

  1. Don't be a diva. In the Air Force, most of the airplanes available for Space-A travel are C-17s and KC-135s. Yes, these are cargo planes and air-refuelers. If you get one of these airplanes, for the next 8+ hours you'll be sitting in a jumpseat, most likely webbed canvas, straight-backed against the airplane's frame. You'll use the bathroom in a rudimentary version of an airline lavatory but without the amenities even that implies. For instance, the KC-135 we took to Hawaii didn't have a working sink in the lav but the crew was happy to supply alcohol wipes. Usually, one lav serves the crew and all of the passengers (we had about 44 men, women, and children on that flight, excluding the crew).

    No open-toed or high-heeled shoes are allowed in Space-A travel and I would think twice about wearing a dress or shorts. The planes fly very high and it's very, very cold inside. Carry a jacket and a small pillow.

  2. Travel light. Some airplanes have weight limits. Before leaving the house, my husband and I weigh everything, including carry-ons (laptops, cosmetic totes, etc.). Our magic number is 30 pounds total per person. Twice we've gotten the only two seats available on both a C-12 and a C-21 because the weight limit was 30 pounds per person (or 60 pounds total because we were traveling together).

    My husband and I bought backpacks specifically for our Space-A trips: they're lightweight and small enough to fit in the overhead bins but long/tall enough to carry all of our stuff. They have special wet/dry pockets as well as clips inside the compartments for keys, etc. We bring just enough clothes to be tourists in. If you're planning on bringing dressy outfits, the backpack option may not be for you. If you shop when you get to your destination (I certainly do...after all, isn't that the point of the trip???), you can mail your items and extra clothing back home via the USPS at the nearest military base. All that's needed here is a little planning and time management. You might even get to use the internal mailing system known as MPS and send your package back to your home base for free. Ask your USPS clerk.

  3. Be prepared to take lesser accomodations. Our trip last week was to Hawaii. We deliberately made no plans for a hotel because we wanted the freedom to take whatever was available. As soon as we landed at Hickam AFB, we started calling all of the military installations on Oahu, asking what billeting they had available. There were absolutely no rooms anywhere so we called a travel agency that ultimately got us a room at the Waikiki Resort Hotel located barely one block from Waikiki Beach (...and barely one block from Island Soap & Candle Works!). We stayed at WRH for three nights before deciding to branch out and see the other side of the island.

    For the next couple of nights, we stayed on the USMC post, Kaneohe Bay, on the Windward side of the island. One of those nights was spent in the BOQ (Bachelor Officers' Quarters) for $40 a night. The building was WWII era with hand-crank windows and thickly-painted closet doors but it was all part of the charm. (A lot of Hawaii's WWII military buildings are still in use and some of those on the Schofield Barracks Army post still have strafing marks all across the fronts and sides of them from the Japanese attacks.)

    Be aware that many military billeting facilities only have internet available in the lobby or "commons" areas. Don't be shy about showing up in your jammies, with your hair up in a towel...nobody expects you to be beautiful in these places (remember, they're all paying $40 a night, too!). Take your laptop and affect a look of deep concentration and nobody will look at you twice.

  4. Be prepared to take more expensive accomodations. Our last night in Hawaii was the worst for finding a place to stay. It seems Spring Break doesn't occur all at once in the U.S.

    The first week we were there, everything was booked because of Spring Break. The second week we were there, everything was still booked because of the second wave of Spring Breakers.

    So we decided to go to the MWR hotel - The Hale Koa - right on Waikiki Beach and take anything they had...even if it was a closet with a Murphy bed inside. Turns out, they only had one room, oceanside, overlooking the beach, the pool, and the courtyard. Darn the luck! Of course, we took it. It cost us $179 but ended up being worth every penny. At sunset, we sat out on our deck above the palm trees and the ocean and watched a flotilla of sailboats move lazily past. It was quite romantic.

  5. Be prepared to have NO accomodations. We met a young spouse who was traveling back to Okinawa from her Space-A trip to the east coast, stateside. She told us she and her baby had slept in the AMC terminal at Travis AFB because there were no rooms to be had anywhere. She didn't make a fuss about it. She knew the Space-A ropes and just shrugged her shoulders.

  6. The trip home. "Space Available" means just that: Space Available. Period. Military aircraft are not obliged to carry passengers. It's their perogative and our privilege. You may or may not get the flights you want, either coming or going.

    The military flights from Hawaii to Japan, or even to Guam, had dried up during the last few days of our stay. We finally had to buy a commercial ticket on Saturday to get out of Hawaii (we were sad to go but, after a week of tourism, our vacation money was running out). We flew back to Tokyo because there were no commercial flights to Okinawa for another week (fallout from the ATA closure). We checked into the Kanto Lodge at Yokota AB and started working on getting a Space-A flight home which means we packed our stuff and trucked over to the AMC terminal every single day until we got lucky on the third day.

    Old School travelers see it as a game. They laugh when they don't get a ride and then they stake out their position in front of the schedule monitors that hang from the walls of the terminals, telling each other which flight is likely to go and which "TBD" flight will drop to "0" under the PAX column.

  7. Space-A Speak. Some buzz-words to know when you're in the Space-A rotation are: Show-Time for Roll Call or simply Show-Time (this tells you what time they'll call the names of the lucky few chosen to be on today's flight...show up early and get yourself checked in or they won't call your name at all), Seat-Count (how many passengers will be allowed on the flight you want...this number is listed under the column usually called PAX on the schedule and more often than not says "TBD" - To Be Determined), and Weight or Weight Limit (how much weight you will be allowed...a combined total of your checked and carry-on baggage).

    When you're stranded in the terminal after your show-time of 0400 has been delayed, these are the topics that will be discussed over and over by everyone around you. Use your new buzz-words and join in on the conversations. You'll learn so much about how to be a successful Space-A traveler that you'll be "hopping" every chance you get.

My husband is somewhat of a guru on how to find obscure information on every subject imaginable so he gave me the following links to share with you:
  1. spacea.info - everything you wanted to know about Military Space-A Travel
  2. takeahop.com - how to sign up online and more.
  3. pepperd.com - Derk Pepperd's Space-A message board
  4. spacea.net - John D.'s Military Space-A Travel Pages
I hope you've enjoyed this article. Please share it with others and please keep checking back for the date of the upcoming navywiferadio.com show on Space-A travel.

~ jewls

16 February 2010

Attention Macon Residents! Vote for Comics!

The Macon Telegraph is running a comics contest.

They recently ran a "favorites" poll and only received 1500 votes, resulting in SSDD (Same Shit, Different Day). The favorites were:

1. Blondie
2. Beetle Bailey
3. Family Circus
4. For Better or For Worse
5. Zits
6. Garfield
7. B.C.
8. Snuffy Smith
9. Andy Capp
10. Hagar the Horrible

Now they'd like us readers to vote on comics to ADD to the line-up above. No word on whether they're keeping all of those golden oldies but I say "Let them go!". It's time to give the younger, more contemporary voices the exposure they deserve.

I commend The Telegraph on some of the new additions they're proposing: The Knight Life, Get Fuzzy, F-Minus, Frazz, Cul de Sac, Retail, and (my favorite and the only entry by a female cartoonist) Rhymes with Orange, but the examples they include don't show even half the talent and genius behind these strips.

For example, the Rhymes with Orange entries were notated "Hil is on vacation" and were drawn by guest cartoonist Mo Willems. Are readers judging whether they like Hilary or Mo? Hil's faithful readers will "get it" but newcomers might not. I fear these particular samples will knock her out of the running.

The F-Minus entries are dull and don't show Tony Carrillo at his best. I encourage readers to catch up on the F-Minus archives in order to get a better sense of Tony's very special style and humor.

The Telegraph gives us a total of fifteen strips to choose from but we're only allowed to select FOUR. That's right. Only 4.

If you live in the Macon area, go to this link from macon.com. Please read all of the entries and judge them fairly and wisely.

Help upgrade the comics pages from Same-Old-Thing to Smart, Progressive, and Finally Funny.

That is all.

~ j

: I don't know why they even held this contest. The only ones they chose from the list were Frazz, Get Fuzzy, and Rose is Rose. And those are only available online. They're not running them in the paper. Maybe they're going to insert them on Sundays or something. Still, they don't even have a link online to F-Minus or Rhymes with Orange. I don't get it. :-(

10 January 2010

This week's "Jenny" comic is UP!

This week's "Jenny" comic is UP!

"The Newness" from Chandra's Handbook. Enjoy!

Don't forget to go to the archives at jennyspouse.com and vote for your favorite Jenny Comics from 2009...