Friday, May 30, 2008


Wow, sounds like you had a long day! I'm going to buy you a vineyard.

Nurse Ratched Will Take Care of You

Ah, poor poor Cricket. I think it was the beetle he ate. It was not a stag beetle or a pretty iridescent beelte of the kind he normally likes to chase and torment in the back yard. It was a wierd looking dull black and it came to a dull rounded point in the front. I know this because we have had a few in the back lately. The back was covered with grooves. It was ugly. Anyway, when Cricket is chasing something I normally don't intervene since any creature could easily outsmart him and get away.
I'm blaming the beetle yet it could have been something the neighbor's 18 month old fed him out in the courtyard. Whatever it was, we awoke to a very bad smell and lots of dried mess on the white floor of the living room. The festivities continued after we awoke and there was no denying it: Cricket was one sick puppy.
I called the Vet and she said to keep an eye on him and probably, since he would sit sit up and look at us when we called him name, he was not deathly ill even though he might not agree. We kept him in the kitchen with lots of newspapers when we left the house, but mopped up many a trail while he tried valiantly to make it out the door. Yes, this is not a pleasant image. He was throwing up as well. Ugh!!!
Later that day he appeared to have completely returned to his old self. I fed him a dinner of rice and boiled chicken, per the vet's advice. He ate great and started getting on my nerves with his demanding antics, just like usual. Another day of rice and chicken and we'll go back to his old food.
I know everyone would be very interested in all of these details.
I can only assume poor sweet Cricket has probably not learned anything from what he ate the night before!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Man Babies!

Ha! I just found this website through another blog. So cute. You must check it out.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Go on, you sexy thing!

Say, you look amazing. Why don't I clean the house while you go to the base today and buy a bunch of stuff at the NEX. Go on, you deserve it. Go on, you sexy thing!

Goodbye Old Friend

To us, having the Kitty Hawk around means longer lines in the NEX, no parking spots anywhere, the gym packed and smelling like old socks, not having anything to rent at the movie rental, and the commissary runnning out of steak and sour cream.
But this week, the Navy has sent the rusty ole pile of oily metal they call the Kitty Hawk, on its final voyage. Goodbye old friend! I hate to see so much metal going for scrap, and I'm not sure what the plans are for it are, perhaps to turn it into some sort of museum at its new permanent parking space on a coast back home. I have a few suggestions:

1) Put wheels on it and turn it into the new Kitty Hawk Bookmobile, and drive it through the economically disadvantaged neighborhoods of Minneapolis, taking care when rounding tight corners.

2) Turn it sideways and move it to Tokyo, turn it into the new Kitty Hawk Parking Garage, charge 1000 yen each half hour for parking, and staff it with recently retired salarymen in uniform and beautiful young ladies in kimono.

3) The new Kitty Hawk Bed and Breakfast, complete with narrow cots for the guests and its own Starbucks in the basement

4) Kitty Puppy Pet Board and Lodge

5) Move it back to the Yokosuka base and turn it into an ancillary classroom building for the senior high.

6) the Kitty Hawk Bar and Grill with extended kitchen space

7) Move it to Las Vegas and turn it into the Lady Kitty Luck Casino.

8) Move it to the state fair grounds in California and turn it into the Pirate's Lair Haunted House.

9) The Kirin Kitty Kitty Love Hotel, in the outskirts of Tokyo: 4000 yen for a "rest" or 15, 000 yen for overnight.

10) The Asahi Hello Kitty Hawk Love Hotel, same area, painted pink, 5000 yen for a rest and 20,000 for overnight

Just a few ideas.

boys and I took a trip

The boys and I took our first trip in Japan without Jose. I thought about him the whole time, because he loves Japan and would have enjoyed it so much. On the first day we toured Miyajima Island, by taking a ferry over from the main land. We stayed at a hotel in Hiroshima the first night and did our tours there, then went to Kurashiki the next day, Himeji by evening to stay in a hotel there, and saw the most magnificent castle the next day.
I learned that I really can travel and be independent without Jose. Especially for an MWR tour, where you take a bus ride there and they have a nice itinerary already laid out for you, complete with English maps. It could not have been any easier as a single mom, any better planned out or any more fun. Wow! A good Memorial Day weekend.

Aquarium at Miyajima

Miyajima Island was beautiful. Now, I'm going to tell both of my readers the truth here: I have lots of pictures of the glorious old shrine and the tori gate that seems to float in the sea. There is a fine misty rain falling that only adds to the ambience of this beautiful place. Unfortunately, these pictures are sideways, and I cannot for the life of me figure out how to turn them right side up without crashing the computer. I am sure the problem lies somewhere between the keyboard and the chair, and I'm to embarrassed to ask our neighbor who is a computer guy on the Shiloh.
So anyway, after the shrine we had lunch and then went to the local aquarium which is always a hit with the kids. Japan does have some very good ones. Here, they had two sweet, timid little penguins who parade around and get petted by people of all ages. I love penguins. We couldn't get out of there without getting Nate a penguin stuffed friend.

Buddhist Temple at Miyajima Island

We stopped by a temple and Frankie couldn't resist lighting a candle. He was very sweet and serious. He has said that he might like to study Buddhism. OK. Study. I have told him I think that is very good to learn about religions, but he is Catholic for now, until after we pass away quietly in our old age. He doesn't think this would be a very long wait, I'm sure. But seriously, I want him to have a good religious upbringing so he'll have something to reject later, when he leaves home and goes off to college. He's a very good boy.

Tame deer!

The boys really liked the tame deer on Miyajima Island. The place was full of tame deer pestering for food and treats. One of them tried a wee bite of Nate's shirt. I liked the deer too, even if they looked a bit scraggly and mangy out there in the misty rain. One shopkeeper chased a deer away from her baked goods, quietly scolding him. I believe it is a Shinto belief, that deer are messengers from the spirit world. They just don't have deer meat here, instead they have tame deer who are looking for things to eat.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Ugh, some Navy Wives....

Well, sometimes life gets a little too close over here on Stepford Lane, when I have PMS. One of my poor neighbors got on my nerves yesterday when she announced that Jose is not a "real" IA because he is just on a ship like everybody else. Well in my book, he is an IA if he came here for shore duty and got sent somewhere, via a ship, to locations all over the poorest part of South America, from May to December with a small break in between on two weeks, working long days and wearing bug spray all over to prevent dengue fever, eating MRE's. Don't read this post honey. I'm so proud of you.
I think I'll take my cross stitch and go in the house a I guess if Chris is going to make iced lattes I'll come back and hang out.....
Addendum: 8 hours later. She and I got over it. She makes awesome yakitori anyway, and homemade key lime pie. You just have to be friends with someone like that. I more than anyone, can understand running of at the mouth and accidentally offending someone.

Cricket's ancestor

Cricket's ancestors, guarding each side of the buddist temple on Miyajima Island.

Peace Park and the museum in Hiroshima

Hiroshima was a sobering experience. I'm glad the kids and I got to see it and learn from the museum. Their are still survivors of the blast in Hiroshima and the experience is still very much alive for them. It was so much worse than our 9/11. The scale of destruction and the long-reaching effects of the radiation on the citizens were staggering. Some American prisoners of war were also sacrificed in the bombing. One Japanese person was telling me that what they fear most about the George Washington, the nuclear aircraft carrier, coming to Yokosuka, is the secrecy and lack of control and monitoring the people say that the Japanese will have over the ship itself. A small fire has already broken out in the ship, according to the papers, and this does not help matters. Japan relies on quite a bit of nuclear power, but of course that is heavily regulated by the Japanese government. Of course, the Japanese government has agreed to having the George Washington, as long as it is at sea much of th etime and not actually sitting in Tokyo Bay. I can appreciate how some of the citizens are feeling. I feel for the people who are against the George Washington, and are holding the quiet, orderly protests around the base.

Okonomiyaki in Hiroshima!

Best dinner we had the whole time. While Nate sipped his coke and complained about the lack of anything good to eat in the restaurant, Frankie and I watched as a handsome, sullen young fellow make many okonomiyaki for the waiting customers. First, a round thin pancake. Then a huge mound of shredded cabbage with some mysterious powders and sauces. Then homemade yakisoba noodles. On tope of that, several thick slices of bacon. As if that wasn't enough, a thin egg layer with more pwders and sauce, followed by a topping of the most delicious melt-in-your mouth oysters and other miscellanous seafood, mostly squid. Yum! We could not finish a whole one, but we gave it a mighty effort.

Day in Kurashiki

Frankie took a break in Kurashiki to look at the koi. He has a couple of pigeon friends as well. Our afternoon in Kurishiki was busy. We went to a rural toy museum, an art museum, and the kids favorite, a small archeological museum with the findings of digs around the area. We saw fossilized acorns, horse chesnuts, walnuts and peach pits, along with the shells of the oysters and clams that ancient man ate. I hope the pots were not so dusty and chipped into a million pieces when they used them. I suppose not.

Gomez boys take Himeji Castle

After a good night of watching Son of the Dragon on DVD in the hotel and getting some sleep, the Gomez boys take Himeji Castle by storm. They were able to appreciate the magnificent several hundred-year-old castle against a bright blue sky. They were also able to make swords out of the castle brochures and have a good fight.

why should I?

Why should I? Does my head ever mind me?? Oh, the castle had many narrow little staircases. It was like a maze actually.

roof tiles

The edges of roof tiles showing the family crest of one of the prominent families in Japan, on the Himeji Castle. The family crests will be found on fabric, purses, keychains, stamped into cookies, etc, in the tourist shops.

Ice cream in Himeji

The tourist shops in Himeji have lots of ice cream flavors. Here are grape and mango, eaten by boys facing the castle across the street. I tried not to get my own cherry blossom flavor ice cream on the lens of the camera.

Nater's rest stop lunch

This is what happens when you give a ten year old boy a 1000-yen bill and tell him to go find some lunch at either the convenience store or the cafe, his choice, and bring back the change. Ha! There wasn't any change.

rest stop toilet, only in Japan

Sorry, but I couldn't resist. The toilets in Japan never fail to crack me up. I have been spotting more and more sophisticated toilet seats. That is the kind of thing that impresses a small town gal like me, from Minnesota. This one has two water features, a warming seat, music to disguise any noise you may want to disguise, and an air freshener as well.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

moths' balls

This is the piece of furniture we got in Japan for 5000 yen or around $50. Neat, except for the strong smell of moth balls that probably kept it in the second hand shop longer than it would otherwise be. My friend Saori said it "smell like a moth's balls." Ha! I guess she is right. We have had it for a year and a half and have tried a few things to get the smell out: baking soda, vinegar, airing it out, now finally I just took the drawers out and laid them in direct sunlight outside for a day, and guess what: the smell went away!

nice place to sit

Cricket found a nice place to sit!

boys day cross stitch

Well, I finished this cross stitch over two weeks, mostly sitting outside with my new friends, in a lawn chair. It has special Koi flags which the Japanese fly in early May to celebrate Boy's Day. If you have two boys, you would hang two bright, beautiful expensive koi outside your home. I got this pattern in Kamakura, the Japanese store. Fortunately, although the directions were in Japanese, the threads were regular DMC thread labelled by number. So I stitched by number. I put all of my mojo into it, you might say.
Tonight the boys and I are going on our 4 day weekend to Hiroshima and Himeji Castle, staying in two different hotels. Its our first adventure in Japan without Dad. Wish us luck!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

raising cavemen

I should have figured these boys were turning into cavemen when we were sitting around the bonfire and one of the Moms looked alarmed and said to me, "Do you want Nate running around with that stick? Should he be running with sticks?" That sounds like the type of question that the asker really doesn't want a verbal answer to, so I gaped at her for a bit trying to think of the answer. The first thing that came to mind was that Nathan has been running with sticks ever since he first learned to walk. To be honest, running with sticks, maybe 18 months old. But now he's 10 years old. His father is off to sea on a mission. Let him have a good run with a stick. I might as well try to stop the sun from shining. I think running with sticks runs deep in the ancestry.

The next thing that shocked a neighbor was that Nathan had developed a habit of swearing to alarm and upset the young girls his age who try to use the swings he is on. He enjoys teasing them, making them tattle, which forces me to hear about the events and dramas third hand, in hushed and incredulous tones. After a stern talk from me, he had stopped swearing out loud but then subsituted a word or words which sounded much like but wasn't the exact word. When that failed, he tried mouthing the word, careful that his male buddies could tell which word or name he meant to call the little lass who was bothering them. No, I'm sure he never mouthed THAT word, we don't even say that word. I can't think of where he hears such language. It can't be from going to school on a NAVY base, with NAVY children! Good gracious.
I was really feeling bad, bringing such the bad element into our fine cul de sac, until I saw one of the sweet little girls heaving old bike parts at the others and calling them all asses and #$&!ers. Hee hee!!! I love it when other people's children swear and misbehave just a bit more than mine.

Jose's New Closet

This weekend I bought a major piece of furniture at a mini bazaar at the middle school, without consulting Jose. I figure Jose being on a ship until summertime is a good time for me to do this. As a matter of fact, I thought it might be a nice place for him to keep all of the clothes we don't have room for in "our" large walk-in closet anymore. A couple of handsome young fellows delivered it to Ikego, and although I knew they were instructed to bring it to the door only, I asked if they could please bring it upstairs since my husband was IA and couldn't help me lift it. Now, I did try to play on the feminine whiles a bit but the "whiles" have not worked well since I hit about 30 and let myself go like I have. Anyway, they were very sweet and brought it all the way up the tall narrow stairway for me, and refused to accept an extra tip I tried to give them. I hope you like it, honey!

Boys and Bonfire

Well, over here on the Ikego base people drag out their fire pits and roast things in them. Things like marshmallows, sticks, and old Pocky treat boxes. The boys were in heaven. Back home in Minnesota, the fire pit was something we used to do with Dad, but this time our neighbors got theirs out and all the makings for smores, for the whole cul de sac. The smoke kept the bugs away so we were able to talk about our kids, our husbands, other people's kids and their husbands, and whatever neighbors weren't there. It was nice. The chair Nate is sitting in was from the Second Hand Rose. I dig the SHR, because I can shop all I want and be a greedy consumer, yet still feel like I'm recycling by getting things that might otherwise end up in a landfill somewhere, and also know that the profits go to various charities around the base. Anyway, I ate at least as many marshmallows as the boys did.

Tiny little strawberries!

I couldn't resist posting this picture of the tiny little strawberries I bought in the street in Ofuna today - so tiny, and yet so sweet! Isn't everything in Japan just little and cute??

berry bowl

Ok, so here is a blurry side view of the bowl I made in pottery class on the Yokosuka base. Every Monday morning, I take pottery with an adorable old Japanese man, Tetsuo, who speaks only a few words of English. The few things he says most, to me at least, are "no good" "I help" and "Oh, my God!" I just love him. :) Anyway, I am not very good at it but have been enjoying it very much, getting my hands in the clay, having an image in my head that I am just like Demi Moore in that movie "Ghost". Just like her. Now I have a good collection of odd mishapen bowls and platters. The beauty of them is that if they break, that's ok! I remember the color I glazed them with and how I did it, so can easily make another. Also, this whole drama takes place while the boys are in school. Frankie takes pottery with Tetsuo on Wednesdays after school, but Nate has lost the zest for it. At least we didn't go out and buy him a $200 uniform for it right before he lost interest. But then the Kendo is another subject.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Japanese Convenience Store Treats

Yet another convenience store treat which I have enjoyed here in Japan. These are, made by Nabisco actually, just like a light Ritz cracker with lemony frosting filling. The combination of sweet and salty is really good. Jose, if you are reading this, I have been laying around the house eating vast quantities of these crackers, letting the boys run rampant all over the base. :) When security brings them home, I just tell them that they are LCDR Gomez's boys.

Jose in Guatemala

Here's a picture of Jose treating a man in Guatemala! It was taken on May 8th, and will be in the next issue of "All Hands", so I'll have to scrounge up a couple of copies. I miss him so much! He is my calmer and more sensible half. Anyway, he sent me this picture to prove that he is really doing humanitarian work across the globe, rather than holed up in a nightclub in Roppongi all this time. Hi honey, I love you!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Time for a Sandwich

This was in the BBC news. One of the ships based out of Yokosuka, the destroyer Stethem, which Nathan has been on and has the hat to prove it, stopped at Vladivostok recently which is an East Russian port. They celebrated the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945 with a US Navy - Russian Navy sandwich making contest. the Russians won for best sandwich but the US had the most creative presentation. The prizes were Vodka, of course, hats and sweatshirts with ship stuff on them. Look at the cucumber sails the Russians made! Cute.

Mother's Day

Awww.....little Kotaro, Ko-chan is so cute I just want to take a little bite out of him!!! The kids had fun with his as well, and took turns holding him while he grinned. On Mother's Day, Saori and I were home alone with our kids whilst our husbands were off on different ships. We decided to go out for brunch with our kids, and met up at the CPO (Chief Petty Officer's Club) for their brunch. The food was ok, but the best part of the food was the coconut cake, which alone was worth going for. Ko-chan is such a content, jolly little fellow. They are calling me "Aunty Wendy," which I think is a great honor. I remember when he was just a twinkle in his parents' eye and Saori and I were working together at the thrift shop. Saori is a great friend. She is one of the families associated with the rusty old Kitty Hawk ship that is retiring this year, the ole dinosaur. She still does not know where her husband will go next or what will be come of her and the baby. She is Japanese and would love to be able to raise him here, and have him go to Japanese schools, but they might move to the States. They do have in-laws in the States after all. Or, he may end up somewhere without either of them for a year. Somewhere warm, and sort of tropical, with rum and cigars.
We ate to our hearts content and then I went home with our kids, then picked up another season of the show "Stargate" for Frankie who is a huge fan. I did not see him for the rest of the afternoon. Later that night Chris, one of our neighbors, made dinner for all of us Moms, including his wife who is an active duty person herself. He made grilled salmon, brats, and bulgur wheat salad and regular salad, and for dessert, his vanilla lattes that he always makes us. It was a wonderful day, except for missing Jose so much.

Connor's Birthday

Well, this was Connor's birthday on Saturday. Connor is the boy that Frankie tutors, who is moving back to the States with his parents including my friend Anne, who I am sad to see go. They had a great party for the kids, with tug of war, balloon swords, cupcake and cookie decorating stations and fun stuff to do. There was an awesome Korean barbeque with some of Anne's cooking and lots of potluck as well. Over time, the roomk was packed with friends not only celebrating his birthday but saying goodbye to the parents as well. The sound effects that would go with this are very loud and overstimulating, as only a first grader's birthday can be. :)

Yum Yum Worms and Dirt!

Here is the dish I made for the potluck at Connor's birthday: Worms and Dirt. The kids love this gross thing! It is just an oreo cookie crust, with an instant chocolate pudding pie, crushed oreos for the dirt, and of course our favorite sour gummies for the top. The boys actually liked it so much I made it for the neighbor kids as well, later that night. Wow, I can cook.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

My Dog Hearts Treats

I have been trying to get Cricket to go potty outside in his new backyard. I don't know what his problem is, the wet soggy ground, moles, snakes, beetles and centipedes of Ikego Hills - its a cornucopia of puppy-sniffing fun! But he has never consistently gone outside. He came to us as a tiny new rescue pup, perfectly comfortable laying in his own potty but trained to use paper if convenient. Now he will use paper consistently but I'm trying to get him to go outside. Yesterday I baked these treats which seem to be a great reward for him!
He gets tiny heart shapes and the neighbor's dog got bigger bone shaped treats. It is an old recipe I used to make for the Second Chance Animal Rescue dogs. Here it is:

1/2 cup shredded cheddar, or can use two tiny jars of meat baby food
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup dry milk
2 tsp salt
1/2 cup water

Roll out the dough and cut into shapes. Bake for 25-35 minutes. Best to let them sit in the warm oven for several hours after, to make them dry and crispy. They don't have preservatives, so I keep some on the counter and freeze some. Frankie has eaten some thinking they were cookies and actually thought they were good!

Good Ol' Amercian Flag

Well, I've never hung a flag outside in my life, and I don't think my parents have either. But there is something about being overseas for a while to make a person feel more patriotic. I may not like everything about the US, but it is my home. With Jose being sent on the Boxer, we agreed that the boys and I would hang a flag outside, sort of in his honor.
Well, Jose mentioned that the flag is supposed to be taken inside in case of rain, and every night. Wha??? Way to much work for me, plus the neighbors here on this base have flags and they never bother with all of that. Lo and behold a neighbor mentioned in the sweetest way, that it is indeed poor flag "respect" to leave it out after sundown etc. So now I have a new chore, which is ok.
I love the Navy folk. They are conventional folk, and they like you to be that way too!

Good Morning!

Good morning, sweetheart! You stay in bed and drink the coffee I made for you, while I let the dog out and feed him, and get the boys up and ready for school. After that I'll run the dishwasher and throw in a load of clothes....

Monday, May 5, 2008

Yuri Rocks!

My new pal Yuri is one rockin seamstress! Together we made this reversible tote bag, which looks simple but to me, was unbelieveably complicated. To be honest, I secretly wanted to quit and throw the fabric pieces in the closet. It took us two days and two sewing machines. Her $99 NEX special is far superior to our expensive, complicated one and works more consistently. Jose, if you are reading this from across the globe, I know you are thinking that the problem always lies between the machine and the chair, and I'm sure you're right! Anyway, we are going to make her a smaller but wider version for a "handbag", then later this week return to Kamakura to get more fabric for our next project, whatever that may be.

Stitching Instead of Bitching!

Well, my new neighbors are very crafty and like me, have some free time on their hands. They have inspired me to dig out this cute little kit I ordered last winter and have not really used. It is from called "Stitch-It Kit" by Jenny Hart. I thought this pattern of hers was a bit creepy and wierd and not at all matronly. So it was the prefect way to touch up this sweet, dull little pink t-shirt that I never wear and was about to donate to the Second Hand Rose. Her patterns are fun and quick to do, and she encourages people to have fun with things and experiment. So this was how I stayed out of trouble for a good hour.
As I sit here, Frankie is playing Club Penguin and whistling. It is always a good sign when Frankie whistles, a sign that all is well. Except of course, Dad being gone.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Frankie and Nate

Frankie and Nate have been handling this deployment thing like troopers. It seems like Nate tested limits quite a bit for the first few days, to the point where I was about to wring his sweet neck. This was always the point where I would call Jose over and let him take over with his low booming voice, and Nate would always straighten up. But just as my delicate lovely hands are clenched and moving towards him, I realize he is learning that he has to follow the rules even though Dad is gone. Especially now! Frankie spent a few days in his room doing top secret Frankie stuff, with the door locked. Since the computer is down in the kitchen, there is very little trouble he could get into there. They don't mention Dad unless it is very quiet around the house, at night before bed.
They are making new friends at our new house though. Twice this week I have had to go to the neighbors and fetch one of them at 8 oclock at night to come home. Last night Frankie went to the movie Iron Man with a buddy from the Yokosuka base, and Nate spent the afternoon back and forth between our house and the neighbors who had an X Box. We had pizza for the second time this week. I'm wasting away over here, Jose. Ha! Its their favorite meal. Little monkeys!

Thursday, May 1, 2008


Thankfully Starbucks has taken over the planet and we can enjoy our overpriced coffee drinks here across the globe. Starbucks has helped me more than I can say, to cope with our move here and the deployment. That is where we have our book club every month so noone has to clean their house and make snacks, that is where we meet when we have to bring the kids and let them run around the place while we chat. Here is one frappucino I won't be getting: yep, coffee jelly, just like it sounds. I have eaten many a dessert here that looks like a hot fudge sundae and there is the coffee jelly that looks like chocolate, surrounded by sugary red beans and topped with a scoop of ice cream. I imagine this would taste just like that. Mom, I only wish I could ship you one of these! :)

Japanese Convenience Store Treats

I think Japanese convenience store treats deserve their own special category in this blog. Here is some yummy (?) ramen we picked up for the boys a couple of weeks ago. Yep, UFO flavor. It was a mysterious seafood salty soy sauce curry mix. In the convenience store, it looks just like the inside of a gas station but without the gas pumps outside, and they are on every other street corner. 7-11 is here, now "7 and I holdings". They have a whole isle of different flavor Ramen noodles, a bath of mysterious fish cakes floating in sea flavored broth, fried chicken and "american dogs" rotating endlessly under warm lights, and refigerated sushi and things which actually have enough preservatives to go for weeks in a hot car and look exactly the same (guess how I know this...)

Navy Marine Corp Relief Society

This week I started training to be a caseworker at the Navy Marine Corp Relief Society. Although this has some social work principles involved and will be great experience, it does not require a degree of any kind. In fact, the best experience for the job would a being a military spouse who has moved around alot, heard the lingo, and kept a sharp eye on her husband's paychecks. Yesterday we went through doing a budget with a client and let me tell you, it was grueling even for someone with an MSW. I'll admit that I have never once looked at my husbands LES (leave and earnings statement), and my favorite way of budgeting is to go to the ATM and see how much money it says is left in the bank, then take some out. Balance a checkbook? Ha!
The Relief Society has scads of money donated by military all over the world to help service members in need. One example might be a service member who has a death in the family, needs to fly back to the states immediately, and doesn't have an extra $1300 lying around for a round trip ticket. One common problem is the Navy makes a mistake with your pay and you are stuck for a month with no pay - the NMCRS gives what they call a bridge loan repayable when you are reimbursed by the navy.
It is heartbreaking that there are women here, especially at a foreign duty station, who do not have jobs and are completely dependent on there husbands, who go to sea and who are able to restrict their access to the bank account and their pay. A military marriage takes faith in the other person and love, imagine being stuck with no money, three kids and no power of attorney. Unless Jose granted me the permission, I would not be able to get a job, buy a car, even sign the kids up for school!!! Since I know him and we've been married for 14 years, we laugh about this but it still pisses me off.
The woman still needs the husbands permission to get financial assist from the NMCRS, because it is set up to help the service member, not the spouse. After all, the assist might be in the form of a loan in which the repayment would be taken in allotments from his paycheck. Ay yay yay!
So many rules and policies to remember!
I think this, overall, will be a rewarding experience and certainly, service members and their families will be helped in times of crisis, so that is what to focus on.