Monday, May 31, 2010

A Memorial

My husband, Leland Sage, was named after his uncle who served as a Lieutenant in the Vietnam War. He thinks of him from time to time, despite the fact he never met him. He has a POW-MIA tattoo in his honor. Please read on and know his story.

Name: Leland Charles Cook Sage
Rank/Branch: Lieutenant/US Navy

Unit: Attack Squadron 144
USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31)

Date of Birth: 23 December 1943 (Chicago, IL)

Home of Record: Waukegan, IL

Date of Loss: 23 June 1969

Country of Loss: Laos

Loss Coordinates: 171759N 1054359E (WE779127)
Click coordinates to view maps

Status in 1973: Killed/Body Not Recovered

Category: 3

Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: A4E "Skyhawk

Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)


SYNOPSIS: The Douglas A4 Skyhawk was a single-seat light attack jet flown by both land-based and carrier squadrons, and was the US Navy's standard light attack aircraft at the outset of the war. It was the only carrier-based aircraft that did not have folding wings as well as the only one which required a ladder for the pilot to enter/exit the cockpit. The Skyhawk was used to fly a wide range of missions throughout Southeast Asia including close air support to American troops on the ground in South Vietnam. Flying from a carrier was dangerous and as many aircraft were lost in "operational incidents" as in combat.

On 23 June 1969, Lt. Leland C. C. Sage, pilot; launched from the deck of the USS Bon Homme Richard in a flight of A4E aircraft on a night combat mission against enemy activity in the rugged, jungle covered mountains approximately 7 miles northwest of Ban Thapachon and 21 miles southwest of the Lao/North Vietnamese border, Khammouan Province, Laos.

This area of eastern Laos was considered a major artery of the infamous Ho Chi Minh Trail. When North Vietnam began to increase its military strength in South Vietnam, NVA and Viet Cong troops again intruded on neutral Laos for sanctuary, as the Viet Minh had done during the war with the French some years before. This border road was used by the Communists to transport weapons, supplies and troops from North Vietnam into South Vietnam, and was frequently no more than a path cut through the jungle covered mountains. US forces used all assets available to them to stop this flow of men and supplies from moving south into the war zone.

Once the flight arrived in the mission area, Lt. Sage contacted the on site Forward Air Controller (FAC) for target assignment. The flight was cleared in to attack an enemy target and, after rolling in over his target, Leland Sage's aircraft was observed to impact the ground and explode. No rocket explosion from the ejection seat was seen, nor any other evidence of ejection. It was believed that the verified anti-aircraft artillery (AAA) fire directed at the Skyhawks was the cause of the aircraft loss. Aerial search and rescue (SAR) efforts were immediately initiated, but no further communication could be established with the downed pilot. The intense enemy activity in the area precluded a ground search of the area for Leland Sage. At the time search efforts were terminated, Leland Sage was listed Killed in Action/Body Not Recovered.

Lt. Sage is among nearly 600 Americans who disappeared in Laos. Many of these men were known to be alive on the ground. The Laotians admitted holding "tens of tens" of American Prisoners of War, but these men were never negotiated for either by direct negotiation between our countries or through the Paris Peace Accords which ended the War in Vietnam since Laos was not a party to that agreement.

While the Navy believed Leland Sage died in the crash of his Skyhawk, he has the right to have his remains returned to his family, friend and country. For other Americans who remain unaccounted for in Southeast Asia, their fate could be quite different.

Since the end of the Vietnam War well over 21,000 reports of American prisoners, missing and otherwise unaccounted for have been received by our government. Many of these reports document LIVE American Prisoners of War remaining captive throughout Southeast Asia TODAY.

American military men in Vietnam and Laos were call upon to fly and fight in many dangerous circumstances, and they were prepared to be wounded, killed or captured. It Probably never occurred to them that they could be abandoned by the country they so proudly served.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

HDH - 14

If you want to know what this is about click here.

When Leland and I bought our house 5 years ago, the home inspector told us that the existing central A/C unit worked just fine. A few days after we moved in the temperature hit over 90 degrees. No worries, we thought, we’ll just turn on the super convenient central air. It only took us an hour to realize that it wasn’t working. After calling someone to come and look at it, we got a quote for nearly $4000.00 to have it fixed. Apparently it wasn’t just broken, it was shot. There would be no saving it.

So we haven’t replaced it. For the past 5 summers we have sweltered in the heat, taken cold showers and brought ice cubes to bed. Naturally though, we were WAY too hot to even think about touching each other. When it was over 85 degrees sex was something that we never even considered. Now we just can’t afford to not be having sex.

We just installed a window A/C unit in our bedroom. Now we can actually sleep without waking up covered in our sweat. AND it is actually possible to do other things in our bed aside from sleeping. Like shagging. Lots and lots of shagging. Since the rest of the house is hotter than ever, I expect that we will want to spend a lot of time in our bedroom. And you all know what that means.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Random Stuff

I am back to work. I have been at work for the last week and a half, and though I am glad to be making money again, work is driving me nuts. Remember when I was so anxious to get back to work? What the hell was I thinking? It seems that in the time I was out, the entire work environment has changed. Aside from my boss who I rarely ever see anymore, the people I work with used to be so easy to get along with. Now it seems that everyone is bitchy and moody and now it is almost uncomfortable to be at work. I never know who is going to have an attitude one day and who isn't. I am minding my own business and getting my work done, but work was much more enjoyable when everyone was getting along. Now I feel like I just don't fit in anymore.


Summer has come to Chicago and we have been having 90 degree days. The sun is shining and all I want to do is go to a beach and swim. But instead Leland and I have been doing yard/house work. We spent last weekend powerwashing and sealing our deck. Usually we put off all house/yard work until the last possible minute, but we have been trying to change that. So we decided to do the deck work when it was a million degrees outside. Now that it is all done, the deck looks great.


My pelvis is feeling great and I almost have no pain whatsoever. Occassionally I'll get a little sore near the end of the day, but for the most part I am walking normally, can do some lower body exercises, and can go up and down stairs without any pain. This makes me all kinds of happy. Now that I am nearly back to normal I am working on being a productive human being again. My goal is to do one thing every day that makes me feel good about myself. Yesterday I did house work, and though I don't like it, I was glad to be able to help Leland around the house again. Today I plan on doing some more house work and also do some writing. Hopefully all of the little things will help to make a big difference in my attitude. Because I am a happy person. And even though I am surrounded by miserable people while I am at work, I really don't want to join their club.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Hump Day Hangover 13--I Day Late

If you want to know what this is about click here.

Apparently I can't keep track of the days anymore. Because we haven't been having a lot of sex for the past month, I really haven't had much to write about on this topic. Leland keeps telling me that we should stop trying to reach 700, that it is an impossible goal, but I refuse to give up.

Especially after last night.

Remember when I thought having shower sex was impossible? Well we finally figured out how to do it. I think that if we can figure out shower sex then we will somehow be able to figure out how to reach 700. Besides, I have quit to many things in my life, or said I would do things and never do them and I don't want this to be one of those instances.

I am not giving up.

Since I have been sitting around for the last month, I really need the exercise. Yesterday's shower sex was a great mini workout. I had to stand on my toes and use my arms to brace myself so I wouldn't fall forward. By the time we were done both my legs and my arms were sore from using my muscles. It felt great and the soreness I feel this morning is a nice reminder of what it was like when I was actually able to workout.

So the ticker is moving slowly, but at least it is still moving. And it will keep moving until you all see a big 700 on the ticker. We started this as a way to lose weight and now I need to lose the weight more than ever. It seems like the perfect thing to keep doing to help me look better and feel better about myself.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My Last Pelvis Post

Having a broken pelvis has really screwed up my life. Though I am feeling better and have been back to work this week, I still can't seemed to get things to go back to normal. So since I have been sitting on my couch, drinking a glass of wine and having a private pity party, I have decided to share with you all of the reasons having a broken pelvis SUCKS.

1. I hate not being able to take care of myself. When I was first injured I actually needed Leland to wipe me when I peed. It was a good thing that I didn't poop until 4 days after the injury because I was able to wipe my own ass. Sort of. I doubt it got very clean though.

2. I couldn't even take a shower by myself. I had to sit on a folding chair and Leland had to bathe me. When I took my first solo shower while standing Leland and I did a celebratory shot. Of course we waited till I was comfortably on the couch before we started drinking.

3. I missed 4 weeks of work. The doctor told me that a pelvis can take 6-8 weeks to heal. Lucky for me I am a medical anomaly and healed in just 4. But I still missed 4 weeks of work and have barely paid any bills this month. Now I have to catch up on paying my bills AND figure out a way to pay my medical bills. AWESOME.

4. I am getting more soft around the middle than I usually am. The very day I broke my pelvis I bought a new pair of jeans that are a size smaller than I usually wear. (high fives for me). Then I had to sit on my ass for four weeks and I am noticeably larger than I was before the accident. My smaller jeans still fit, and in fact they are a little loose, but my belly is definitely bigger. This does not make me happy.

5. Standing for long periods of time is still difficult. Today I stood for 3 1/2 hours at work. By the beginning of hour number 2 my entire body hurt. My feet were sore, my legs we aching and my pelvic area was on fire. When I got in my car to go home I melted into the seat of my car like it was the first time I sat in WEEKS.

6. It sucks feeling like I am not a productive member of society. Yes I am working again, but when I get home I have no energy to help Leland out around the house. He is like a single mother. He has to take care of me, take care of himself and the dog. He cooks, he cleans, he does the laundry. He mows the lawn and cleans up the dog poop. And he still goes to work and band practice. He does all of this with minimal complaining. I just wish that I can help to make things easier for him.

7. I feel like I have lost myself a little. I used to have so much energy. I used to want to write all the time. I used to be a better blogger. Now I only have energy to refill my wine glass and walk back to the couch. I wonder what happened to the spitfire I used to be. And I want to have her back. I am the most impatient person in the world and waiting to heal is the hardest thing I have ever done. I hope like hell that when I am all well and can workout again and have energy to do everything I used to do that the person I was will return. Minus the rollerblades, of course.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Hump Day Hangover 12

If you want to know what this is about click here.

Last night I went over to dinner at Jen from The Battle Book's house. She is back in the US after being in Germany for 3 years. At least I think it was 3 years. Anyway, we were having some beers and catching up and talking about everything. After a little while, two other girlfriends showed up. And these days, whenever I am in a room with girls, the topic of sex is bound to come up.

We talked about my new appreciation for 69. It makes having a trifecta so much easier and saves time (we need to be as efficient as possible). We talked about our sex drives, we talked about the sex drives of the men in our lives. What I heard from the other two women surprised me. For the sake of privacy, I'll call them Nutmeg and Ginger (I was just looking up a recipe for carrot cake and now all I can think about is nutmeg and ginger). Nutmeg and Ginger are both in their mid 20's, they are both in committed, long-term relationships and neither of them want to have sex.

This blew my mind until I remembered how I was last summer. I never put out. Looking back, I don't really know why I kept my legs closed. I tried telling Nutmeg and Ginger that I was the same way once, but that having a ton of sex just makes me want to have more sex. I told them that I am starting to turn into a guy. If I don't get enough sex I get moody, I can't think straight, it becomes difficult to function at all. I told them how not having sex made Leland feel, I told them how it put a huge strain on our relationship. Nothing seemed to matter.

I realize I am not going to be able to change people's minds about sex. And I'm not really trying to do that. I guess I was just trying to understand where they were coming from so maybe I could figure out what my problem was last summer. I think I had some sort of mental block or something.

I am not saying that the no sex thing is Nutmeg's and Ginger's fault alone. I learned too much last night to know that isn't the case. Nutmeg doesn't like 69 because her man gets off first and then never finishes her off. Ginger said her man puts the moves on by dry humping her leg, which she sees has a huge turnoff. And when they do have sex, her man wants to talk about it for hours afterwards, making sure she had a good enough time. In these instances, I don't blame them for not being in the mood to shag. And if Leland was the same way there would be no way in hell that I would 69 or even consider putting out 700 times in one year.

I know Leland isn't the only guy out there who wants to please his woman, so why aren't more men doing it? We all know plenty of men who only think with their dicks, but why do they have to be dicks about the way they treat their woman in the bedroom? And maybe if they were more attentive to what their woman wants they would be getting laid more often, instead of just being stuck humping a bedpost.

And is male maturity in the bedroom something that comes with age? Or is it something that women need to teach their men? Please help me, not necessarily for my sake, but for Nutmeg and Ginger. Because no one should have such negative experiences with sex.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

My Home Town

I have lived in the same town my entire life. Though I desperately want to move away and experience living in a completely different place, I love my town. I live in Woodstock, IL and it is the most charming small town I have ever seen.

Woodstock has a town square that looks like it is something out of the movies. The buildings surrounding the square are old, brick buildings. The shops inside them range from antiques to books to modern home decor. We even have a movie theater that plays new movies for only $5. The matinees are $4. The even hand out punch cards. Buy 7 movies and the 8th one is free.

I have always lived within walking distance of the Woodstock Square. Growing up, my sisters and I would often walk to the Square in the summer and spend whatever money we had at the local candy store. By the time we made it home, we had stomach aches and sugar highs.

When Leland and I bought our house, we looked for something within walking distance of the Square. Now I live even closer than I did while I was growing up. During the summer, Leland and I spend our Saturday mornings taking Bacchus for a walk to the farmers market that is on the Square. We'll stop at Starbucks and then buy fresh vegetables and yummy meats and cheeses. On Sundays we may walk back to the Square and have breakfast at our favorite restaurant in town, La Petite Creperie.

The Woodstock Square holds so many of my childhood and adult memories. I remember walking in the Christmas parade around the Square when I was a Girl Scout. The Homecoming parades always did a loop around the Square. I remember chasing fireflies with my sisters during the weekly orchestra concerts in the summer. Leland and I had our first kiss on the Square. It is where we got engaged and where we got married.

It is a rare day when I walk down a local street and do not run into someone I know. And even the people I don't know aren't strangers. When I fell and broke my pelvis, two women I had never met before were there to help me out. And then a third one came along to look for Leland. When Bacchus ran away last spring, a very nice woman did her best to take care of him until we made it to her house to pick him up.

As I was writing this, a census worker came to my house and it was actually someone I used to babysit for. Aren't small towns the best? (insert sarcasm)

Anyway, I love Woodstock. My parents and older sister are a five minute drive away. My younger sister is a five minute walk. It is my home and I love it here.

Most of the time.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Top Blog of the Week!

I am hanging out today at Speaking From the Crib where the awesomest Kelly has named me the top blog of the week!

Please click on the link above and give her a visit!

Kelly is a great blogger and a really good friend. Check out her blog and leave her some love, and follow if you aren't already!

Now I have to go and try to continue dealing with trying to get some disability benefits. I really cannot afford to be out of work for six weeks without any money coming in. I just got off the phone with the Social Security Administration to find that they will not be able to help me at all. Which I find very interesting because I pay into my social security account every week when I get paid. So technically isn't that money mine? I guess not. Apparently I need to be out of work for a year before I can see any of those benefits. This is not making me happy and I really have no idea what to do now. Hopefully the internet will point me in the right direction.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Hump Day Hangover 11

If you want to know what this is about click here.

Although the doctor said I could have sex at any time, I was in way too much pain during the first week after I broke my pelvis to even consider having sex. Plus, showering with a broken pelvis was extremely difficult, so I wasn't the freshest person on the planet either. I think I gave Leland one blow job during that week, just to keep him from getting cranky.

Last week I was feeling a lot better and I really needed to get laid. When I told Leland I was ready to fool around, I thought he would be pumped. Instead he told me no. He was still afraid that he would hurt me and didn't want to cause me additional pain or keep me from healing as fast as I should. After literally begging and pleading (I am sure Leland loved having me beg him for sex!) he agreed to give it a try. The only problem with this is that I needed to have a bed to have sex.

Since our bedroom is upstairs, I had been sleeping on the couch. Going up stairs was impossible right after the injury. And though we have had sex on our couch too many times to count, having a broken pelvis was very limiting. I needed a bed so I could lay down and have room to spread my legs. We decided that since I was feeling better maybe going upstairs wouldn't be so difficult anymore.

So I went upstairs. At first I tried to get upstairs on my crutches, but I have the worst sense of balance and it wasn't really working out for me. Not wanting to give up, I scooted up the stairs on my butt. A good 15 minutes later I was finally in our bedroom. When I made it to the bed, I collapsed, exhausted. But I still wanted to have sex. I had made it that far and I wasn't giving up.

A mere 30 seconds later, I realized I really had to pee. We don't have a bathroom upstairs. I tried to ignore it, but it just wasn't working. It turned into one of those moments when I had to pee RIGHT NOW. So Leland got me off the bed and helped me back downstairs. Going downstairs was a lot easier than going up and I think I made it downstairs in just under 10 minutes.

While I was sitting on the toilet peeing, Leland and I realized that we really didn't think the whole lets-go-upstairs-and-have-sex thing through. It was at that moment that we admitted defeat and we decided sex was going to have to wait a little longer.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Back in the Habit with Monday Minute.

I have been on hiatus for a while and am trying to get back in the swing of things. Since I have been broken and have been at home for the past two weeks, nothing all that interesting is happening with me. Since I want to start blogging again, I figured the easiest way to do that was to play along with Ian at The Daily Dose of Reality with his Monday Minute.

Here goes:

1 - How much would you have to be paid to eat a human cadaver's finger?

$30,000. I figure that would pay off my medical bills, student loans and all other debt except for my mortgage. I would eat a human finger to be debt free.

2 - Describe the worst physical fight you've ever been in.

I haven't really been in any fights. I have punched people plenty of times, but I was mostly defending myself from guys who thought they could touch any part of me that they wanted. They weren't really fights.

3 - Name one song that if you never heard it ever again, you'd be thrilled.

Anything by Miley Cyrus. When did she leave Disney Radio and infiltrate my regular radio stations?

4 - Describe the "drunkest" situation you've ever been.

A few years ago Leland and I went to Rocklahoma, a four day 80's hair band festival. We saw White Lion, Dokken, Skid Row, Warrant and Twisted Sister just to name a few. Anyway, there is something about 80's metal that makes me want to drink. And drink and drink and drink. I remember being out in the parking lot doing beer bongs with total strangers who had just become my best friends. The next thing I knew I was waking up in the car on the way back to the hotel. Apparently I passed out in the parking lot next to the car...only after flashing for the Howard Stern film crew and signing a release form that allowed them to use the footage.

5 - What's your biggest regret?

Getting my first credit card.

There you have it folks. Now that I can move around the house without having someone shadow me, I will be blogging more frequently and will start reading blogs again. I have no plans to catch up with everything I missed, because frankly, that is most likely impossible. Hopefully I won't have too much trouble picking up where you all left off!