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An Army Graduation

Jul
28

One 2500-mile round trip later….. I’m back! Let me just state the obvious. IT IS HOT IN OKLAHOMA.
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Fort Sill is a huge, sprawling, and not very attractive base, but we were thrilled to see it, as if we had arrived at the Magic Kingdom. Weston was there! Army graduations are different from Navy graduations. When Ross graduated from boot camp at Great Lakes (see it here), there was one big show–and it was quite a show with marching and bands–while the Army spreads it out over two days and it’s a more low-key affair. Graduation actually started with a Family Day on the first day, which was held in an auditorium and included demonstrations of their various uniforms and combat training.
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Then we got Weston!

When we could find him!
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NO HUGGING!
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Til we got back to the hotel.
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We stopped by Wendy’s on the way because he wanted a Baconator. He had a short list of things he wanted to do on his leave time. He wanted a Baconator, tortilla chips and salsa, a reunion with his laptop, a new cell phone, and cookies and cream ice cream. We did all of those the first day except the last one because by the time we took him back to the base, he was too full for ice cream.

The next day was the actual graduation, which took place again in an auditorium. We found Weston seated with his platoon in this amusing “modified rest position” (or something like that) which makes you want to do something to make them laugh, but that would be mean because they would probably get in trouble if they moved a muscle or made eye contact.
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Weston is seated in the center of this picture (not wearing his birth control glasses).
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The ceremony included the national anthem, a recital of the soldier’s creed, a reaffirmation of their enlistment oath, singing of the Army song, and a brief video of highlights from their training.

They all came to the stage individually to state their name and where they came from and shake the drill sergeants’ hands. This is Weston.
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Then they all marched out reciting a rather amusing cadence about wanting the drill sergeants to go home. And we got Weston again! He was looking very official in his full dress uniform.
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Cousin Paola from Oklahoma City met us in Lawton for lunch, and the girls had fun making him not so official back in the hotel room.
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At the end of the second day, we had to take him back to the base again and he was out of Oklahoma before we were, on his way to his next school. He told us he’d get to come home for Christmas!

Oh, yeah. And last thing before we took him back to base?
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He got his ice cream.
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We have a soldier!

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Coming in Paperback!

Jul
11

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My book is coming out in paperback this October. Check out the paperback cover! What do you think? (I love it!)

In case you don’t know what it’s about, here’s the back cover copy from the hardcover.

It was a cold late autumn day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse–as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die.”

Thus begins former romance writer Suzanne McMinn’s wild ride into self-sustainable living halfway up a hill on one of the most remote dirt roads in West Virginia, with a cast including her children, an enigmatic partner, the “rural neighborhood” of quirky characters, and a whole slew of ridiculous and uncooperative farm animals. An unlikely adventurer, the suburban born-and-bred author tackles one daunting challenge after another on her new 40-acre farm, from hatching chickens and milking a cow to herding sheep and making her own cheese. Whether she’s trying to convince a goat to accept its baby or just get her ornery neighbor to move over and let her pass on the road, every page of her adventure is fraught with laughter, passion, drama, and the risk of losing it all before she figures out why she’s doing it in the first place. And when she does lose it all, she discovers a triumph she never expected–along with the truth for which she’d been searching all along.

Based on her long-running, wildly popular blog, Chickens in the Road, Suzanne McMinn brings country life to vivid color with all the candor, comedy, and danger of a rollicking good adventure.

Put on your chore boots and jump in.

You can see the video book trailer:






And get a free peek at the first chapter here.

You can read more about the book, including reviews, here.

You can Pre-order the Paperback Now!

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    July 5, 2014 - The Tractor and I

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    May 28, 2014 - Grown Up Girl

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The Slanted Little House

"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....



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