Friday, November 18, 2011

More new toys

I am the proud owner of a Kindle Fire.

 Lots of people have been  going back and forth: tablet, smartphone, e reader,  Ipad?!  they each have their pros and cons.   I had a plain ole regular Kindle 3G that I used and loved  being  just a tad bit obsessive over reading.   we probably have 5 full size bookshelves in our house all with double rows on each shelf.   and that does NOT count all the books we have gotten rid of over the last 15 years.

 My goal was to A: stop buying hard copies of books as I had run out of room  ages ago  and B to eventually do to all digital format( or at least as much as I could considering many of my books are out of print now.  Imagine my joy when I found this entire mega library full of classics.. books I had forever longed to read or had read as a kid.. now available as freebies in the Kindle universe!   Doyle, Austen, Stoker, Shelley( Mary, not Percy) Poe.. all of my longtime favorites now available in one  fell swoop!

well with ONE teeny exception( yes I bought  the Twilight Companion Book in hard copy.   so sue me) I am proud to  claim full success on Goal A with me picking up eversions of Bourdain's many books( have always wanted to read Kitchen Confidential) as well as some new  ebooks written solely for  that format.   I have even grabbed a bunch for John to read since he is getting my old Kindle now that I have my new toy.

Goal B is muchly more ambitious and I confess to not trying very hard although  at some point a few of the ones in more battered condition will eventually be replaced.

Countdown:   in eleven very long days I will be on a plane to Okinawa for  2 weeks of Squidspoiling.   me being spoiled by the Squid.   not the other way around   THAT comes in May on the cruise Bwahahahaha Oh the things I have planned for him

get your minds out of the gutter.  we are in our 40s and old and get tired easily.  sheesh.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

new toys...

I finally joined the 21st century.   got me a smart phone.    had planned on doing so in April when John returns anyway.  Apparently my old, plain, basic, flip phone had other plans.

started going haywire earlier in the week.   about every 90 seconds or so it would  reset itself like it had just been turned on despite having a full battery.

after some initial issues regarding the name the account was under( His) and the fact that  even though I was the one USING the phone I could not make any changes to the account as I was never added as an authorized person and a fight with the old one to stay functioning long enough to transfer my contact list I am now the proud owner of a Iphone 4 16 GB.   ( no 32 GB in stock although I highly doubt I will ever fill up the 16 GB anyway)

I am pleased and will spend the next few weeks playing with features like adding my Itunes playlist and a few apps.   yes I will DL angry birds.   just haven't decided if I will spring for the paid version yet.   wil hopefully be at least  proficient by the time the flight comes..... so I can bug everybody with real time FB updates in airport terminals....

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Petition to retire October

Seriously.  next to February( which sucks on general principals for a variety of reasons) October is every way possible.

 gone are the pretty sunny days of September.   instead we get rain.  and not soft gentle rains of April and May but freezing sleety type rain that  makes your bones ache.

have to get up at 0600?   well in July and August you could at least  have the satisfaction that the sun was getting up with you.  now?   you need every light in the house turned on just so you don't trip  over the cat as you stumble into the shower.

Work til 1700?    no more  early evening walks on the beach before enjoying a nice dinner watching the sunset.   you can put away the sunglasses, pal,  cuz by the time you get outta the office  Apollo has left the sky and the chariot has already been scrubbed down for the night.

and whose bright idea was to have  a holiday that requires you to dress up and beg for candy just as the weather turns to crap in a handbasket?   when you need to fit a costume over a snowsuit,  something is wrong  okay?  and the solution?  really?! trick or treating at 3 pm?! what's the bloody point if you can't get the socks scared off you by  having to walk down creepily lighted streets?!

That's not the whole reason of course. and there are one or two redeeming qualities.   Today, for instance, we celebrate the US Navy's founding.  but overall.. yeah. October has got to go.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Good news, bad news and an oopsie

Good news: we have a  tentative date for John's return!

 Bad news: it's NOT in March   *wahhhh* his replacement is taking a couple weeks of leave before reporting so  he will will not be cut loose until April although he is pretty confident he can fly home that first Saturday in April .   hmm Must find a nice 17 month calendar  so I can circle that date in big  bright  orange marker...

the oopsie:  This is a PSA to all persons who make  payments on cruises  and other vacation packages online.   When you screw up entering the CC number,  Make sure your other fields do not reset

Otherwise, instead of putting a nice manageable $500 payment on your cruise in May, you pay it off.  completely.  Yes I probably could have called RCI and stayed on hold for three hours  and then begged for it to be  reversed.  then I'd have to wait until it showed up on my CC statement before going back and making another payment attempt.   this way was easier I can still pay it off and not have to  pay interest.

oh well that's 2 of 4  planned major expenses in the next 6 months already paid off.   and we won't be buying a car til April.   and I will start the Disney project in January when I get back.

Bonus: I bought/pre ordered a Kindle fire.   I have been waiting for them to come out with a color ereader for ages and this just has so many extra features that I may not need to  spring for a smart phone next spring after all.  John has already claimed the old Kindle and I have begun looking for ebooks that he likes to add to it.   hey I can get  $50 Amazon giftcards through  my CC rewards program.   and since I just put a $4000 cruise on the cc, I have enough to redeem several GCs heheheh

Cat Update: Marley seems to be channeling Keke.  there has been actual cuddling( although not of Monster levels) and she has taken to sleeping not on the dresser staring down at me all night, but actually at the foot of the bed curled up behind my legs.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Anniversaries and other milestones

First,  a Happy picture.   These are the flowers John  had delivered to me on Monday, which was our 13th anniversary...despite me saying 14 on FB.. I was counting our year engagement since the only thing that STOPPED us from being married sooner was the fact that.well.. umm.. he was still married to  somebody else.  Long story, won't bore you with details.   It is very frustrating to be told that  a delivery IS coming on such a such a date( as opposed to  waiting for say Brown to show with a box of stuff you ordered and 'think' may be coming.   but yes I waited all day.. LITERALLY all day.   they were not delivered until 4:45 pm.    The basket was supposed to have chrysanthemums.   unless I forget what they look like, I don't see any, do you?  I know I know every florist reserves the right to substitute if the desired flower isn't fresh or whatever...  Luckily my neighbor across the street kept me company while I fretted the afternoon away.  Alas her daughter left Scouting so where am I gonna get my Thin Mints from now?!  Arrggghhh.

This, is Keke.   Her name comes from the fact that A's youngest N couldn't actually say Kitty.   Unfortunately this was taken just before the vet stopped by to put her out of her misery.   I only wish I had taken more pictures of her in her short few months with me.   This was her favorite spot in the house, on the spare bed close to the window and where she spent her last moments.   Luckily you cannot really tell how emaciated she was at the end.   Still cannot go in that room.....butI need to get over that.   The luggage is in that closet and I have a plane to catch at the end of November.

 MAJOR shout out/words of praise for the Calvert Veterinary Clinic in Pasadena.  the night she was brought in for her tests we were there a good 2 hours past closing and they did nothing but reassure me they would NOT skimp on her care or force us out even when they suggested additional testing  past closing that was going to  take a good 30 minutes.   and when they called the next morning to confirm the diagnosis,  the first thing the  Doctor did was OFFER to come to my house to perform the euthanasia.   this, from  a man I had NEVER met and had never seen any of my cats, professionally or otherwise.    So Monday last, about 2ish he and one of the techs came by.   we had a long chat about what was going to happen, and then they let me say good bye alone.  all through it, she never stopped purring.   they prepped her and gave me one last hug/kiss before injecting the pink stuff.   10 seconds later, it was over.  Again, they let me sit with her a while before taking her away

The Rainbow Bridge has another Traveler.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Reflections on Tragedies

For my generation,  September 11th has the same  meaning as December 7th did to our Grandparents.  a Day of Infamy.  one of those dates that 30 years from now you will still recall with prefect clarity  where you were and what you were doing when you first heard the news.  History books will devote entire chapters to this day and all that happened.

for some, the loss is deeply personal.  For others, a general feeling of sorrow and pain.   it was one time where the entre planet was united in grief as it wasn't just American lives lost.  and then, we got angry.   a Righteous indignation that someone DARED to  commit such a heinous act on OUR land.. in OUR back yard.  it was unheard of, intolerable, and by golly we were not gonna stand for it.

The entire Nation rallied.  Military enlistments soared to unprecedented numbers rivaling those of WW2 in the days following the attack on Pearl Harbor.  Patriotic songs by the dozens were written and sung  by musicians everywhere across all genres.  Congress passed the Patriot Act (hell that was probably the last time both sides have agreed on anything since) .  Promises were made regarding Payback

Here we are ten years later.    Lots of headlines are asking: Are We Safer?  

who knows.   Osama bin Laden, the mastermind,  has met his Maker and is facing whatever judgement awaits him.    Saddam Hussein was tried, convicted, and hung by a jury of his own people The Taliban has lost most of its vast control network and has been reduced to a shell of its former  power base.  Fre elections have taken place and both Iraq and Afghanistan are recovering from the horrors of war..  The military, once begging for people , is now turning away new  recruits left and right and basically kicking  many already in out.

things ave changed, certainly.   anyone who has flown commercially in the last ten years knows that intimately.   it is our new reality.

 and yet, on this day, I can't seem to give a damn about any of it.   there are tragedies, and there are tragedies.  and right now my personal one   is more important to me.  I really could care less about  all the tributes and photo montages and  moments of silence.

Tomorrow, I have to  euthanize  one of my cats.   I have only had KeKe a few months, but that doesn't matter,  she became my Cuddle Monster  the first day.  she has been a member of my family  and I love her.  I will cry buckets  when she is gone and I am not ashamed to admit it

so you will forgive me if my facebook status doesn't  list one of the ten billion different versions of "Never Forget".   You will understand if I am not glued to CNN all day reliving the fall of Tower 2 or the dedication of a memorial in a Pennsylvania field.

some things.. are more important.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Come on Irene...

its 80s Music fest!  wooT.   so the entire state is freaking out over Hurricane Irene.

 okay she's a Cat 2.   big fat hairy deal.   I say this as someone who has lived through Andrew and Isobel although I did escape Katrina.   and well I don't even count the two tai-fun I experienced in Yokosuka a bazillion years ago.

 yeah.. right.. the  grill is INSIDE,   there are several pitchers of filtered water and tonight before I go to bed I will be  filling the bathtub.  I studiously avoided eating things that required no cooking for the last two days.  (tonight I tried out my brand spanky new pampered Chef grill pan and press.. LIKE!)

do I really think we'll get slammed?  not particularly.   but.. better safe than sorry.  I do have a generator but no spare gas.   oh well, if it gets too bad I will offer the extra plugs to  anyone with a gas  can heheheh.

Am I worried?  not really, no.   although if I lose power during Doctor Who,  heads WILL roll. and yes tomorrow am I will purposely  schedule FB crops and what not  to come due/live on Sunday or later .  Priorities, ya Know?

 anywho:  the last , oh I dunno 6 -8 weeks or so I noticed something..  every once in a while I remember that my  Homeowners association kinda likes it when we maintain our lawns.  no biggie, it's not like I have an acre or anything.   but when I actually go to LOOK.. its all nice and neat.  hell the edge of the house and around the deck supports are like.. neat and trimmed and crap.  I do NOT do the weedwhacker, I just cannot operate it.  so for the last 18 months the side of the house and around the  supports crap.  worse even.    well today I found out my  secret mow-er.. the guy from 2 houses down.   Mind you I have never said 2 words to the guy before.  so yeah, when John gets back.. he has some lawn mowing to do.

It's nice to see the little things people do.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

We have ORDERS!!!!!!!!!

of course in typical Military NonSpeak there are no specifics :Detach March 2012.  report NSA/CSS COMSEC Ft Meade MD April 2012.   good friend of ours is the XO, too so we already have an inside track.

 bit of a leeway, what?!   hopefully the replacement guy gets there early in March so they can do turnover quickly.   plan is to take a week, maybe two to get settled, buy a car; perhaps deign to  physically show ourselves to various and sundry NY relations for a weekend.

 end of May is spoken for.. 6 days in Bermuda aboard Royal Caribbean Enchantment of the Seas.   put the deposit down earlier this week.  followed by 10 days at Animal Kingdom Lodge in September.  the rest of the time he can work.

Student Loans are paid OFF!   last payment went out this week.  5 years early, thankyewverymuch.   so nice to not have any monthly bills other than  the mortgage and the utilities for a while

 still going to Okinawa in December for 2 weeks.  can't not.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The long awaited Trip recap

well, mostly.   It occurred to me as I downloaded my camera this morning that MOST of the really good pictures are on JOHN''s camera.  and John.. just got underway for a month so there will not be any FB photo album downloads any time soon.
you will have to settle for my few paltry pics

This is a nest in one of the aviaries at the  San Diego Zoo.   you can sort of see Junior .

all the pics of ME  with a Lorikeet hat are on John's camera.  I can happily spend all day in this aviary just feeding the little buggers

Obligatory cute baby animal shot complete with big sister

Obligatory cute baby twin animal shot.  these are wild deer  roaming the Safari Park.

one posed very nicely at the edge of the road

Mom.   she was across the street where the noms were better but eventually managed to bring the youngsters over too

 CA condors.   lunch that day was cow spleen.   yum.   these will be released in the wild as soon as they have  grown up 

this is Gao Gao, the STUD.   his last three progeny have been conceived the old fashioned way and  number 4 may soon be on the way.  when you  factor in the fact that girl pandas only get frisky for about 3 days TOTAL every 24-36 months.. that's quite an accomplishment.  

This is Winston.   Winston is like  124 years old.   he is ALSO the a famous Hollywood star.   look closely.   he was the model/stand in for ET

okay this was way cool, and a part of the park that was not there when we lived in SD  10 years ago.   it is a mock up of the La Brea Tar pits and the level of 'tar' raises and lowers on a cycle so you can watch how critters got trapped and turned into  Shell's greatest asset.

This is Junior..and dammit but I forget his name.   he's almost 3 and will heading to China soon to start making babies of his own

Final obligatory cute fuzzy baby pic.   this little guy was only about 3 days old.  

There are other pics and I will most likely post them on FB at some time.   and  we realized long about dinner time our last day at Disneyland that neither of us took a single picture at all.  oops...

While the weather was  less than amazing.. 60s and windy every day, we did enjoy  the trip, I did NOT trip, fall, break or bruise a single square inch of my body and generally  was able  to forget he still has another 9 months before he can come home.   *sigh* we can do this....

Friday, June 17, 2011

Yeah yeah I know

it's been over a month.   I hang my head in shame.   but I have a good excuse. really.   well several, actually.

however.. I am NOT gonna tell you what they are.  so Nyah.

 Instead, I am going to update my Resolution List

1:(lose 35 pounds).  yeah, uhh.. not even close.   but I haven't gained so there's that...

2:( make holiday cards monthly) again, I suck.   no mojo for a long time now.  I am hoping to rectify that shortly

3: (blog updates)  not perfect, but not lousy either

4:(pay off student loans) I can actually claim progress here.. less than $2500 left on a $30K loan. paid off in under 6 years.

5: (no non essential craft spending) ..weeeellll.. I have kept it under $250 total.   alas the new SU! catty comes out next month...

6: ( use current supplies to craft)  well since I haven't actually crafted lately, this is a non issue.

Bonus:( no broken Bones) I can happily  share that so far, so good.. even ten days in CA with the spousal unit was relatively  uneventful as far as ER visits.

Next up.. once I get caught up with everything, is a trip recap of those ten days in CA.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Ding Dong the Witch is Dead

Score one for the Good Guys.   Bin laden is brought to justice.  of course there will be conspiracy theories abounding.. no he isn't really dead,   why wouldn't they release photos, why did they bury him at sea yada yada yada.

some questions are valid, others are just meant to stir the pot and still more are just plain ignorance.

My own personal opinion:

 we don't ever need to see pics.   I trust my government to not lie to  the American people about something so important.  I also trust that they did not stoop to the level of Al Qaida and the terrorists and  buried him at sea with all due respect for the Muslim faith.  Nor do we need to throw a ticker tape parade for SeAL Team 6 and the CIA operatives.   They know who they are, and they know we are grateful.  But for their safety, and that of their families, they should remain just as they are.. shadowy, anonymous and unknown.

Bottom Line: he's dead.   The nation has does as it pledged and followed to the ends of the earth to bring a murderer and terrorist to justice.   so it took 10 years.   Big Whup.   in the meantime we also liberated 2 oppressed nations and helped spread democracy.  we helped a nation bring it's oppressive leader to justice and he too paid with his life.. via an Iraqi system of justice.  we have restored basic  human rights to  hundreds of thousand of people.  It took a while, but we got it done.

Yay Us

Monday, April 18, 2011

It's never easy to say goodbye

Last Thursday I buried my 91 year old grandfather.    he and Mamaw had celebrated their 71st wedding anniversary a week earlier.   SEVENTY ONE YEARS!!!.   when you  consider that today, it is normal to be married and divorced 2 or 3 times before you are 50 the fact that they stayed together  for nearly 3/4 of a century says something remarkable.

I was lucky.   I grew up knowing 3 out of 4 grandparents.  I even had a close relationship with all of them. but even so,  even with the daily updates that got passed around among the cousins and the siblings on Facebook and via text message on his  continued downward spiral, it was  not easy getting the call at 630 Monday morning as my father and I pulled out of my driveway  about to head down to OH to what turned out to be  saying our goodbyes.

Papaw was larger than life.   cantankerous, ornery and always ready to pick on ya.  and we ate it up.  he was one of those people that shunned organized religion and refused to go to Church.   and yet he was a better Christian than  90% of those folks that proclaim themselves to be one.   he was ALWAYS helping out others, even as he himself started requiring assistance.

as we sat around the house trying to figure out what to add to the coffin, we got to thinking about what made him Papaw to us.

first thing: the crossword puzzle for the day he died.   he did it every morning, even  as he got too old to see the small print.   he just made somebody else read the clues to him.   and argued with ya until you conceded he was right.   then was the Cincinnati Reds pennant.   we learned VERY early on that when the Red's played, you stayed  OUT of his line of sight on the TV and you damn well better NOT be interrupting him for anything less than dinner.  or Euchre.

speaking of Euchre.   he played that game ALL.THE.TIME.   if you could keep up with him, you were golden.   we also found out, as we went through his deck of cards, that we had all been playing by Darby rules all our lives.   which  looked NOTHING like the official rules.  

In one hand we placed a stogie as he had taken to smoking them more and more after he gave up the pipe, which was in the other hand.  the cherry tobacco from his pipe is the one smell I remember most as a little kid at Papaw's house.

He was wearing his Fire Department Chief's uniform and his Masonic apron and his VFW cover, representing all the service to others he performed all his life.  if we could have found a pair of dolphins, that would have gone in too, to represent his days in the Navy during WW2 on submarines.

Throughout the week, there was much inappropriate humor from a cousin or two, our way of dealing.   Darby-isms were quoted ad infintum.   ones like... "take all you want, but eat all you take" and " three full bites before you say you don't like something".  gasps of horror at the frying pan with only a bare film of grease in the bottom as opposed to an inch thick.   Made the eggs taste better, he said.

and then Wednesday came.   and we had to face the coffin.   at least he looked like Papaw,and not pissed at the world like my mother did at hers.  Only then did I start crying uncontrollably.  but it was quick, and we got ourselves under control, mostly.  my Brother and my cousin, the other two Firefighters, debated the relative merits of  a windbreaker as Dress uniform.

Thursday was a bitch.   another trip to the church for a private viewing and ceremony, this time from the VFW Honor Guard.  and then off to the cemetery.   which is located directly behind the house.   all day Wednesday we watched them dig the whole and erect the tent.   well, those of us who  could stand to look out the back door.  now the Church was maybe 3 blocks away too so the whole transit time was 5 minutes.. and that included everybody climbing in, buckling up then getting in line behind the hearse.

at the entrance to the ceremony, the four of us in the car  completely broke down.   Crossed Ladder Trucks with flag displayed.  didn't stop there either.   we were Saluted by sideboys on our way in to the tent.   then the FD issued a Last call over the radio.   yeah, Joe( the cousin, )and Brian (the brother) gave up any pretense of manly control at that point.   Me? I had managed to get semi calm.   and then came Taps and the 21 Gun salute.  Last time I heard that?   my mother's funeral 12 years ago.   NOT the most pleasant of memories, you know?

Then it was over and we went back to the Church where the Ladies Aux fed us.   and we reminisced some more.  Friday night, the cousins that were left.. me, Laura and Joe(well he doesn't count, he's local)  went and hoisted a beer in Darby's name at the Hofbrau down by the Levee on the OH River.  He would have approved.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Yo. WTH is Spring?!

seriously.   it SNOWED last night.   granted nothing stuck but it's bloody freezing  out there.  Dear March: you came in like a lion.. you are supposed to go out like a lamb.   Pay attention dammit!

my poor Squidly dude.   working 18 hour days 7 days a week keeping the everyday crap  plugging along while everybody else  helps out with relief efforts.  It's been rough on him, in many ways, and I feel bad I can't be there in person to help.   June can't come soon enough.

More Adventures with Unaccompanied orders/home ownership.  Smoke Detectors.   Necessary evil.   My Brother is a firefighter so I know all about their necessity and how you should change their batteries every 6 months/changing of the clocks.  Last year they went off at 0200 (seriously I think they are PROGRAMMED to go off in the middle fo the night to make sure somebody is home to hear it)  not a week before John.. my lovely 6 Ft tall husband with no neck issues who can reach the ceiling on the step ladder.. left for Okinawa.    ( and yes I swear HE planned it that way too!)

at least this time they waited until 0730.   Thanks for that.   unfortunately, last year?    yeah I busted the swingy door thingy that is supposed to lock shut and keep the battery  attached to the leads.   so it has to be taped shut.  and if you don't get the tape  it doesn't latch.   and an hour later the bastard goes off again cuz it cannot detect the battery.

and uh WHY do I have one that is battery only while every OTHER one in the house is wired directly?! hmmm??!.   and that doesn't even count the odd ball one that uses these 2 midget batteries I have never seen before and have no idea WTF it is supposed to detect.   CO1?   Heat?   yet another smoke detector?

and yes I tried last year to leave the battery only one un batteried since I have a bunch of others but it gets most snippy with you when you leave it unplugged too long.   and I can't fully remove it anyway.  was tempted to get a set of wire cutters.. but with my luck I would have blown up the house.

at least I got outta the house yesterday.   card making day with Wonder Amanda.  she took a few basic supplies and made a bunch of different cards/projects.   and dammit now I want that stupid stamp set with the bird.  luckily I already had the embossing folders she used.. well the frame one and I have a close substitute for the basketweave one.   and depending how ambitious I get I may post pics although they are already posted in several other places.  oh yeah and I was introduced to the joys of Xyron.   like I need another gadget....

Monday, March 14, 2011

Earthquakes and Tsunamis and Squids oh My

I lived in Japan from  2000-2003.   on 9/11, when the base was on lockdown, the amount of  support in the form of flowers and candles and vigils outside the gates was overwhelming.  they are a wonderful people, quiet, reserved(unless its Karaoke Night)  and truly caring.

 both my husband and my stepson are involved with the relief efforts currently.   this is one of those times where you not only understand on a far deeper level why you won't be hearing from your loved ones as often,  but you also don't mind at all that it could be weeks before you speak again.

things like natural disasters, whether they hit close to home physically or emotionally, tend to make you step back and take stock.   all those little things like potable water and electricity to power the Laptop suddenly aren't so little any more.  Things we take for granted like  the roads..and the cell phone tower.. you gain a new appreciation.  even something as simple as having a blanket at night  becomes far more than mere necessity.

We have it lucky.   far luckier than most other nations.   we need to start appreciating that fact more.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Taxes: Ugh

now don't get me wrong, I fully expect a refund, and probably a large enough one to cover the June trip.  or pay off  my student Loans  even earlier than the current December Timetable.

But all those reports and documents you get (hopefully in a timely fashion after 30 January)?  It's a bear to keep track of the IRAs and the Mutual Funds and the Mortgage interest payments and the interest income from the savings account.  especially since  many places have opted to go paperless.. or at least to just email you a link to their website so you can waste your own paper and ink printing it out.

 which only helps if you actually HAVE ink in your printer.   or , more precisely, Black ink.   *sigh*.  It's always something.

 stuff you seldom use, but when you actually need it, it's not there.  Like black ink for your printer so you can print out tax info.  or batteries that fit into various and sundry household goods.. like..oh I dunno, the thermostat.   or the Elliptical machine.  or the smoke detector that chooses 0200 to remind you that it's there and needs a recharge.  stuff that you don't necessarily have stockpiled in the closet.  but when it goes, you need it replaced Right.Now.

  John has been officially gone  a year this week.   and Last Christmas seems like forever ago.  and June is Forever away.

I miss my Squid....

Friday, February 25, 2011

Spring is coming; let the doldrums be banished

 Plotting and planning for  June has begun.   Hotel ressies made, Plane tickets( for each of us) are bought.   all I need now is to figure out the least complicated way to rent a wheelchair for the trip.

I absolutely will need one for San Diego,  there is no way I could survive 2 days each at the Zoo and WAP( now called safari Park) and squeeze in a trip to Seaworld while we are at it.  I could admit that its my own fault due to lack of exercise, but that's not entirely true.   I really am in a bad way.   my hips just can't take the strain any more.  the local post office is about a 20 minute walkaway, and when I go there, I am done for the rest of the day, even factoring in  my usual routine of sitting down at one of the nearby eateries( I have a bounty to choose from,. Hardee's. KFC, Friendly's, even Five Guys if I really needed 5 pounds of deep fried goodness in a paper bag) all on the way.  and heck, the route flat!

Guess i really am old and will need to seriously revisit the doc's recommendation to  get a referral to an Ortho surgeon.   Oh, Joy.   Next year, when John gets back from Okinawa.

But that is tabled for the nonce.   first I need to make reservations at a few sit down places in Disneyland.   Thinking Napa Rose and ESPN Zone.  one romantic and one casual.   works for me.

Just need to get through the next 3 months.   if the snow is REALLY doen for the year, it will be a start.. a good one.. to ensure my survival.

Ten bucks says when he returns in Spring 2012 means for the next three years after that there will be NO significant snowfall accumulation.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Better Late than never: Birthday Cards!

Okay so this is hard to admit but I am not that tech savvy, and the Mac photo app isn't quite as intuitive as the other programs I have had.. as I am having the damndest time finding simple commands like delete for all my extra super fuzzy pictures.   so that's why my blog won;t have  large copious  amounts of entries brimming with picturey goodness.   hell the other day I tried to  take out the  card formt he camera, stick in in the Mac slot.. yeah, took ten minutes to get the stupid thing out, then promptly misplaced the battery( which must be removed first) and then for the life of me could not  get the bloody thing to actually  enter the slot on the Mac.  yay for external USB connectivity....

 so without further ado, just a bunch of cards my Meade Gang pals sent me:


 yes lots of creativity there.   and I have no idea why the top one won't show up..  shows up just fine in my album.. honest...

Maybe next time you'll get some  of my latest creations.. which admittedly have not been nearly as many as I should be doing.. or  have been.

 Confession Time: been seriously depressed.  And I am ashamed to admit that as I tend to be REALLY hard on those whiny wives that  do nothing but lament how haaaaaaaard it all is cuz their DH had to work overnight.  or the ones that  throw conniption fits because their BF in Bagram didn't call her when he said he would.   and Mine  isn't even IN a combat zone.   we talk daily for at least an hour over IM and Skype when necessary.   and we both agreed way back when that we would not  try and get the orders changed or shortened.  I am the biggest Hypocrite out there.  This June trip is the only thing keeping me going, and yet all it is doing is keeping me from sliding down even further into funkdom.  Not even the last few days of 60 plus degree weather is helping.

and although officially the Leave hasn't been approved yet( OPS went  to do so the other day and of course the computer system went down.. John and I plotted our itinerary and meals for DisneyLand at least( we will pretty much wing it in san Diego except for a MUST DO trip to Rock Bottom...mmmm steak stuffed with bleu cheese and garlic, how I miss thee.

Oh well,  maybe someday I will quit feeling sorry for myself....

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Warning: Sappy Romantic Crap ahead

Apparently my husband  forgot about our little unofficial  arrangement.   you know, the whole  No Flowers thing.  I Forgive him.

Oh yeah.  and we made hotel reservations for a week in LA and San Diego in June.  we decided that flying in to LA then driving the 2 hours to San dawg for the first half was smarter.   this way we spend a few days down there, hit the Zoo and  Safari Park( aka Wild Animal Park) as well as Sea World then drive back up and spend the last 2 days at Disneyland.    this way we aren't paying ridiculous return fees on the rental car.

of course  this assumes he will get his leave approved...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

so I am late. sue me

yes I admit I have failed horribly.   I had an attack of neat the other day and  I ended up filing all the cards.   hell I have mailed a couple out already.  I hang my head in shame.

Warning: Pity Party Ahead

So, my birthday is Friday.   I will be..over 40.  I have had many Birthdays from hell, starting in 1986 on my 18th.   for those of you not old enough to remember, that was the day the Challenger exploded, pretty much ending the United State's dominance in the Space Race.  other  equally 'fond' memories include being stuck in a  small apartment with the boy friend, his  estranged wife their young son and not a working car between any of us.  Then there was the day I had to pack out all our worldly belongings alone.. not knowing for certain whether or not John would  actually get back from the  so last minute it isn't funny underway( don't ask, long story) in time to actually detach from the command in Japan so that he didn't lose his San Diego Orders.  (side note. this was ALSO the time Sachiko ended up boxed and crated and halfway to Yokohama before rescue).  Birthdays tend to suck past 12 anyway.   I just prove the point pretty much on a yearly basis.

 to be fair there have been NICE ones.   dinner at Melting Pot is a highlight I look forward to as often as feasible.  yeah   not this year..or next for that matter.  Many years ago I pretty much told John to quit spending $100 a pop on flowers so I no longer get  even that when he isn't home.  Oh I expect I'll get a mushy card or three and a cute one or two but we've pretty much given up on the whole present thing.   if we like something, we buy it.   Like my Kindle.   we tell each other that the large expensive things.. like plane tickets from Okinawa are present enough .

 We lie.   We pretend that it's practical and presents on the actual date don't matter.. whether it's Christmas, or a birthday or an anniversary.  We tell tall tales about how we are fine with waiting until April to take a cruise and that 'counts' for Valentine's day and my Birthday and gives partial credit for (step)Mother's day.

We lie because we don't want to appear selfish, or vain, or petty.   We lie because it isn't seemly to want material goods.  But in our deepest heart, we feel sorry for ourselves.  We want our husband HOME dammit so that he CAN take  us out to dinner.   We want to be able  to open a gift wrapped package that he gave us with his own two hands, not  ordered from 7000 miles away.  Or said we could buy ourselves.

So yeah, we  crawl into a little ball and ignore the world for a few weeks and only come up for air if we are forced into it(or run out of eggs).  We put on a brave face to our friends and relations  so they don't see how much it hurts.  We don't want to appear weak.

We lie.   a LOT.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Stay tuned

 coming soon: all the cards we worked on at Saturday's shoebox swap.  maybe some gossip.  you never know...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Well whaddya know

it actually snowed enough to be worthy of the designation.  As someone who basically grew up in Upstate NY, that means at least an inch deep on all surfaces.  of  course we don't start really counting until  it's closer to a foot.  We laugh derisively when we read about them Southern States with their paltry 9 total snowplows for a moderately sized  population center.    growing up, my NEIGHBORHOOD had that many.  Everyone owned either a snowplow or had one of them mounted on their truck.. or knew somebody who did.  or in the case of my sister...married somebody who did.   Love had nothing to do with it, she just wanted lifetime oil changes( P is a mechanic) and to never have to shovel out a driveway again. ( she even went so far as to have all boys so that when P is otherwise not around she still has manual labor.   Smart chick)  

At some point I may decide to  shovel my driveway.   what's annoying is my side of the street does not get sunlight during the day in the winter, yet directly across?  all my neighbors have already had their driveways melted away with no effort on their part at all.  so unfair.  as long as there is no threat of icing over,  I'll be fine.  and I am getting picked up Saturday to go out for the day so I suppose that it would be nice if M had a place to park the car.

my GF A( Hi A!) is one of those insane people who actually likes this crap.  so much so that last spring/summer she bought like 4 or 5 snowsleds at the local Thrift store.  she spent at least part of the morning out there sledding on the hill behind her house.  (her only reason for having kids was an excuse to go sledding without getting funny looks from the neighbors. Don't think it would ever stop her though)

My Kindle adventures continue.   finished the first novel: Secret Diary of a London Call Girl.  loved the TV show.   Book was good too.    Now i am on a new series, another Vampire one.. but alas, no angsty boys with sparkles.   this is about a middle aged woman who becomes a Private Investigator after being attacked and turned, and struggling to keep her marriage intact and still be able to pick up the kids from school despite bursting into flame if she so much as steps outside in daylight.  So far, not bad.  her current client is a werewolf so I worry it will descend too far into cliche'.

Stay warm!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Christmas cards

Yes.  In January.   make 'em now, not rushing come Thanksgiving.

 This design was blatantly stolen from Mary G.   No glitter, but I did add the snowflake brads instead.   oh and I skipped the sentiment in favor of ribbon(* yes, ribbon!)  and went with DP instead of the CB folder.   The Felt snowflakes are from a few years ago  so yay me for using up stuff!
 Okay this looks terribly washed out but it's the least offensive picture.   This cute snowman couple  was the last of it's kind hanging on the wall in Amish Country.   Kathi wanted it, but I got there first.   I am letting her borrow it next weekend.
The inside of the snowcouple card.  It will be perfect to send to the spousal unit.

A week into the new year and I already have close to a dozen cards made.  Let's hope I can keep this up!

Yeap, Kindles ARE awesome

mine arrived not ten minutes after I bitched on FB about the fact that Brown had not yet seen fit to grace me with my delivery.   works every time.

want an endorsement?

 BUY A KINDLE.    seriously.   no worrying about losing your place.   hell you can even  channel my husband and read multiple books at the same time and it keeps your place automatically.  if you are terribly cheap( or just broke) there are hundreds of thousands of ebooks available freefernuthin'. and some of them you may actually read!   Ever wanted to read ALL the Oz books?!   now you can.  (what, there's more to Dorothy's adventures than the movie version?!.   yes, Scarecrow there is a whole series by L Frank Baum centered on the Emerald city and it's environs.)  Pick a classic that you were forced to read in school.. and all the ones you liked to read anyway.    They are available.   I started with Austen.. I have never read any of her works but have seen most movie versions.   I also have my perennial favorites Dracula and Frankenstein.  and soon I will break down and get my beloved Poe.   and if I can find some  ClassicGothic, so much the better.   Oh Castle of Otranto, where Art Thou?!

page turning is a joy.. one handed and no dealing with a cat who insists on getting in the way.  screen wipes clean.. no more spattered pages of spilt coffee.

My only half regret is I backed down from my original plan to buy the cover with the built in light as I had read several reports of it shorting out the kindle.   last night I could have used it although I was able to read without straining too much( bet the new glasses had something to do with that)

Squidward is going TAD next week.   he gets to finally  get back into the game.  he's all sorts of giddy at the prospect.   he'll never come right out and admit this to me, but he really misses sea duty and being underway.  he gets to  do his job with real time feedback.   I don't mind when he's gone, we both like our alone time.   2 years is a bit much, though.   luckily we have begin plotting for a 3 week jaunt to Okinawa around Christmas next year.   Hope my Cat sitter  is up for a long term gig.   but she'll be well compensated with Japanese goodies when i get back.

since we got twice as much snow today as we did the other day( an entire half inch, at least) it's kinda a grey gloomy day.   I have therefore resolved to do some laundry, make some cards and maybe, just maybe, start trying to  figure out how to load photos on the Mac.  The blog needs illustrating.

* had to admit defeat.  Loaded Chrome.   I may only use it for  Blog stuff since google doesn't seem to play nice with Safari.   Guess yesterday being able to sign in without issue was a fluke.  but it was either that or bail on the whole blog concept.   not quite ready to break a resolution this soon.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Kindles are awesome

and I don't even have mine in hand yet.   Due tomorrow.  We like it when Brown comes a callin'.   usually means good stuff in the boxes.

My Sister got an ereader(not Kindle) for Christmas and I had been already intrigued by them before.   saw a Kindle in person at a friend's  and decided they weren't redundant after all.   Hmm, load several hundred books into something the size of a paperback;  small enough to stick in your purse for airplane rides( hey I have one coming up in December soonest that will be like 12 hours long!)  FREE copyright expired classics like Poe and Shakespeare and Austin?!   HELLO~~~~ English Lit Major here!

Used up  all our CC rewards to buy $350 worth of Amazon gift cards.  that covered the kindle, the plain black cover( may get fancy someday but went basic for now) and I started buying a few books.   Yes I downloaded Twilight.  Sue me.   Also downloaded the three Doonesbury books that chronicle  BD and Toggle's injuries in Iraq/Afghanistan.   Yes  you can buy comics for Kindle.  and I even sprang for  the first in a new series that I found that looks to be half  Janet Evanovich- esque and half Angsty Vampire-ish.

and I still have money on the account for future purchases.  hehehehe.

Now if only Kim and and I can figure out how to swap books with each other.....

*Blogspot/Google/Gmail does not like me.   I am having to reset my password every day no matter what I do.  not sure how to fix it and the contact us button is completely useless.   whose bright idea was it to  force you to ask your question in a forum setting  then hope to hell some random person who does NOT work for Google can address the issue you are having that is specifically NOT addressed in any of the  FAQs and whose step by step instructions lead you right back to where you were already...having to reset a password that you just reset a day before, and WROTE DOWN to make sure you weren't futzing it up?  Do Not make me download Chrome for just Google related stuff!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


That may or may not actually be kept...

The secret is making realistic ones and then actually, you know, accomplishing them.  

I have a few this year.

1: lose 35 pounds on Weight Watchers.   I  joined it once before in San Diego  while John was deployed and  liked the concept.   what I didn't like was the in person meetings.. one part hard sell "buy this cookbook/scale/drink mix" and one part too damn chipper for your own good positive feedback.   This go round, I am doing it strictly online but have a few friends who are doing it too.   To that end we are  gonna share WW friendly recipes in a swap and  we are going to try and bring WW friendly  dishes to our swaps. I WILL learn to like veggies again.   I  make no promises in regards to salads.

2: make Christmas cards all year round.   Did it two years ago and it was AWESOME..  making  a few each month was soo much nicer than waiting until October and then panicking.   Also didn't get tired of the same card over and over.   the first year I ever got into card making, I made 100 cards.. the same design.  sure I did it in stages, but by the end of it I so loathed the stamps and punch I used that I sold them  immediately.   and now I miss them.   Go figure.   but now I have about 15 or 20 stamps that are holiday appropriate so I can vary my designs and keep form getting burned out.   I actually made some today.   And if I figure out how to add pictures to the Blog, well you'll get a sneak peek.  actually, lemme rephrase.. once I figure out how to add pictures to the new Mac i will add them here.

3: actually keep up with the Blog regularly.   Once a week minimum.

4: Pay OFF my student Loans.   This is well on track, I have about $9000 left of a $26K beginning balance.   This will be a two fold resolution.   by paying them off this year, I can  use the money set aside  to do so available next Spring when John returns and we have to buy a car.  The bigger the downpayment, the lower the monthly payment.   and with gas forecast to reach $5 or more a gallon by then we are gonna need all the extra cash we can get.

5: Rein in the crafty spending.  Hard to do when you live an hour from a Ribbon outlet and 2 from Amish country, have friends who sell SU!, are design team members of  other companies and generally suck you into the latest new toy.  Back in the fall, I looked at my Girl Cave and realized I had too much stuff and  had no idea what a good third of it was.   Every year, SU! has this big sale where you get free stuff for spending money.   I have promised myself that once I place that order, NO MORE  stuff that is not a consumable..  I can replace adhesive, cardstock and envelopes, but I can't justify buying another stamp set when I have 12  on my shelf that have never seen ink.  which leads me to...

6: Use what I have up first.    Last year SU! reorganized their colors and got rid of a bunch.   so I resolved to use up the discontinued colors.   I also will force myself to use all those cute embellishments  I have lying around, all that DP taking up space and I WILL use each new stamp set at least once.    can't quite bring myself to use ribbon on every card yet.   baby steps.

I'd also like to avoid breaking any bones this year.  You know, just because.

Monday, January 3, 2011

How to Stay Sane During Deployments or Unaccompanied Orders

Rule One: surround yourself with friends.   GOOD friends.   Don't limit yourself to on base.. or even the same Branch in the case of a Joint base like Ft Meade.  Find Civilian friends too.   they may not 'get' Military life but you are depriving yourself if  you surround yourself with only military spouses.  They don't have to all have the same interests.  Although it helps to find something in common.   You know, like Stamping.

Rule Two: do NOT sit around moping all day wallowing in self pity.  Worse.Idea.EVAR.  being gloomy is okay.. for like 24 hours.   Then suck it up, untwist your big girl panties and get over it.   (you only get 12 hours if you have kids. 6 if  they are in diapers)

Rule Three: do SOMETHING.. anything for YOURSELF ALONE.  at least once a week.   even if it's nothing more than locking the bathroom door for an hour to keep cats, dogs and kids out and you sit in the tub and read.  I recommend Janet Evanovich for a laugh.. and Stephanie Meyer for some adolescent romantic fantasy.  and Sparkle.  I am all about the Sparkle.

Rule Four: succumb to the inevitable: join Facebook or Myspace.  Now I don't necessarily  advocate  playing every stupid Zynga app offered, but  these social networks are a great way to stay in touch, reconnect and find new friends.  I have found  people I went to grade school and high school with, and  am still in touch with  friends from various duty stations.

Rule Five: Get OUT of the house.   sign the kids up for a play date.   sign yourself up for a playdate.   meet somebody for lunch.   Go shopping at Hobby Lobby together.    watch Twilight Marathons.. at home  and in the theater( only 350 some odd days!)

Rule Six:  Rediscover the fine art of letter writing.   yeah, emails and IMs are great.. but what happens when he is in the field for weeks at a time?   Handwritten letters( okay you have permission to type them on the word processor if your handwriting sucks)    can be carried anywhere.  and re read ad naseum.  Extra points if you send handmade cards.

Rule Seven: give back to the military community.. somehow.   Volunteer to watch the next door neighbor's toddler one afternoon so she can take a nap.   Donate your time at Fisher House.   Make a Welcome to the Command basket for the new arrival.  Offer to teach a class at MWR.

Rule Eight: be grateful when somebody helps you out.  and don't be afraid to ASK for help when you need it.  that used to be my biggest problem.. Since I don't drive, I can be stuck when it comes to basics like grocery shopping.

Rule Nine: don't take advantage of the kindness of others.  Pay if forward, or back.  Somebody fixes the laptop your husband screws up 30 minutes before leaving, bake him cookies.  His wife will love that she didn't have to.

Rule Ten: never let on to your spouse that you  are an emotional wreck.   he doesn't need reminding or the guilt trip.  He's not exactly thrilled either, you know. if you must vent, do so after you are done with the anger/depression.

Rule Eleven: set a goal for yourself.   It can be big or small.. Lose 30 pounds, read 20 books, run a half marathon,  Finish organizing the shoebox full of pictures of your wedding 15 years ago.  But something attainable  while your spouse is off saving the Universe.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New year, New Start

January 1st.  It's as good a time as any to begin something new, right? So, let's begin.

Hello, my name is Dawnmarie.

*crickets chirping*

Yeah, figured as much.   No biggie, I don't expect this to be the next big thing.   In fact I don't expect to have any subscribers at all except a few friends who also have blogs and the occasional pity one from a family member.

so even though the only people I expect to ever read this already know too much about me, I shall bore you all to tears with My Biography.

or at least, the reader's Digest Condensed Version.

Who am I?   not going to get all existential on you, I am not that cruel.   Suffice it to say I am mere weeks away from my 43rd birthday, am happily married to a US Naval Officer, have a degree in English Lit and am currently living alone.

other details include me being a crafter of sorts(mostly card making), a cat lover and new Mac owner(as of 2 days ago)

background: 2010 SUCKED.   no, really, it did.   I knew the year was gonna be hell when the BWA triangle got hit with Snowmagedden the week between Christmas and New Year's  last year and things went belly up  and never recovered.    I failed my over seas screening so John( the aforementioned Naval Officer) ended up having to move to Okinawa alone.   as in withOUT me.  or the cats.  for TWO YEARS.  Yeah I know, it beats being shot at in Afghanistan or Iraq.   he's done his time in the desert.. in fact he had just come back just a few months before having to go to Okinawa.

I will spare you the boring self pitying details, but highlights include breaking my arm when visiting him in Japan last October.

This Blog will attempt to chronicle  year 2 of our separation, interspersed with pictures of some of the cards I make all year( one personal goal is to make Christmas cards all year long so as not to be stuck  next holiday season with no time),  laments about living with Arthritis & without a driver's license, the cute stuff my cats do( and their annoying stuff too) and all my plans/hopes/wishes( like, say, losing 35 pounds, getting to Hong Kong Disney, taking at least one cruise and generally surviving the year)