Category Archives: Diversions

The stuff that didn’t fit elsewhere.

A personal insight into modern military history

Coley Tyler grew up in Western North Carolina and decided at a very young age to pursue a career in the military. He writes about that in his new book “Ghosts of Fallujah” — but I already knew that part.

I grew up with Coley, and while I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to be when I grew up, we all know what Coley would be doing: He was going to go to West Point, and he was going to serve his country. We knew it just like we knew that picking the stop-sign pizza in the cafeteria was a pretty good idea, that getting on Mr. Shields’ bad side was a very bad idea and that the cross country team was probably going to win state every year. It was just part of our collective local knowledge. It was known.

The part of the book that was news to me was just what he was doing after West Point. And let me tell you: He’s done a lot.

Coley served with the Second Battalion, Seventh Cavalry, in the Second Battle of Fallujah, which was the largest engagement of the Iraq War. His recounting of the battle itself and the days leading up to it give the reader a clear understanding of what a complex undertaking a U.S. military operation is and what the personal cost of it can be.

Coley’s respect for the military at large and for his battalion, commanders and fellow soldiers specifically is obvious throughout the book. I would recommend “Ghosts of Fallujah” to anyone looking to gain a deeper understanding of modern military history.

Documenting the everyday

Today is #OneDayHH day on instagram. It’s a thing Laura Tremaine, formerly of the Hollywood Housewife blog, came up with a few years ago in which you take pictures of what you’re doing all day long and post them to instagram, kind of like what we all do normally but on a more regular schedule and with a cohesive hashtag.

I love the project, and this is the fifth year I’d done it! In 2014 my day was mostly laundry and schoolwork with the kids, in 2015 we were fighting colds, in 2016 we watched my favorite baseball game of all time, and last year found us homeschooling, going to the library and introducing Poppy to “Stranger Things.”

What will #OneDayHH have in store for us in 2018? Let’s find out!

7am | Everything Old is New Again

9am | Jumping Through Hoops (Someday)

10am | Proud Mama Moment

11am | Pre-algebra

11am bonus | Dad vs. Autumn

noon | on the road

1pm | NaNoWriMo in the Parking Lot

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#amwriting #nanowrimo #inaparkinglot #onedayhh

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4pm | Meow mix

5pm | Dissent is patriotic

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Dissent is patriotic. #OneDayHH #protest #Asheville #protectmueller

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6:30pm | sustenance

7:45pm | Test prep

8:15pm | Blue steel

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A restful moment with #zobristHCat #onedayhh

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9pm | Cake o’clock

10:30pm | Good night, and good luck

Midterms matter

I was going to write something today about the midterm elections and why I think you should vote, and then in a Facebook post my little brother said pretty much exactly what I wanted to say.

Alright, y’all. Tomorrow is Election Day in America. Make your plan to go get it done.

Because there are a finite number of times in your life when your opinion really means anything.

Because it’s the only way you get to continue to be proud of living in a country that serves as a beacon for the democratic form of government.

Because it’s how you earn the right to complain when the government isn’t doing what you think it should do.

Because you will never regret going to the polls.

Because you get a great sticker.

Because it will make you feel part of something bigger.

Because I promise you that you will feel a great sense of accomplishment – and I’m not sure there is anything easier in the world that gives you a great sense of accomplishment.

Because most of you have the ability to use Google to find their sample ballot and then do ten minutes of research into the things that are on it. And if you can’t? Call me. I’ll help you.

Because you are a Patriot.

Go vote.

I also wanted to say this: I know the outcome of this election — even if it goes the way I want it to go — won’t make everything perfect. But it could make it better, and better is always good. Even if we just do a little bit better every day, that’s good. A lot of small, positive movements can add up to big, positive change.