Monthly Archives: November 2010

Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

1.  One of the highlights of my trip to Phoenix, AZ was going out to Charlie’s with my FIL and the guncles.  Charlie’s is a gay bar…a gay country bar!  Just my style!  We actually went out two nights – the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and on the night of Thanksgiving.  On Tuesdays they do two-step lessons and Thursday was line dance night.  Only at a gay bar does a man approach you and ask if you lead or follow.  Awesome.  Tuesday night kinda sucked.  The DJ was not really familiar with the music and picked some of the slowest, most boring songs ever.  Thursday was much better!  The dance instructor was also the DJ and he picked some great songs and had endless energy.  I got a ton of dancing in prior to us leaving and hitting the outlets for midnight madness shopping!  Good times with the FIL!

2.  DH finally got his truck debacle sorted out today.  He was able to do the emissions test again – it passed – and then he went to get his plates.  I was expecting the typical Colorado plates, which are green, or maybe the Marine Corps plates.  I pull into the house and DH is rocking – wait, what?! Army plates. DH is not the super-hooah type, and is quite the shit-talker, so I never expected this in a million years.  Go Army!

3.  DH has been super snuggly lately.  We’ve had some great couples time at home, just hanging out and being with each other.  I’m really thankful that we have had a few extra days together before he leaves again this week.  He’s going to be gone for five weeks for training with his transportation company.  He’s definitely going to be gone for the holidays and he’ll probably miss my birthday, which I was expecting.  He will be coming back in time for WLC at the beginning of the new year, but we’ll get active duty pay for that, which is much appreciated right now.

4.  My best friend Trinnie rocks, she really does.  I really couldn’t have been blessed with a better friend. I can count on her for anything.  She’s incredibly thoughtful and is truly my partner in crime.  <3

5.  After getting home from a sixteen hour drive on Saturday, the house was a disaster area!  It was really overwhelming, especially since I was going to have to go back to school today.  I had to unpack, do my usual Sunday chores,  and not to mention clean up the Christmas decorations that I had set out before we left.  Thankfully, I put away most of my stuff and got unpacked fairly quickly.  I still have more to put up around the house (the aluminum wall trees!) and the tubs need to go back in the closet.  I’m definitely ready for this coming weekend and some down time!  

Sunday Funday? Hardly!

Sunday Funday” – have you heard of this phenomena?  I see people posting on Facebook’s about their Sunday Fundays.  I don’t know about you, but Sundays are hardly fun around my house…

Sundays at our house consist of me finalizing laundry, making sure I’ve vacuumed the floors (and possibly Swiffered the solid floors), cleaning my makeup brushes, cutting and sorting coupons, going to the commissary, and trying to mentally prepare myself for the week ahead.  Does that sound like fun to you?  Me neither.  I try to squeeze in a nap, but it’s hit or miss, and depends on how long it took me to get out of bed and get going in the morning.

I don’t have a lot of fun on Sundays.  Lately Sunday is the day that DH leaves me for the week, which is never fun.  Thankfully he’s not leaving this weekend – just yet.  Sunday is never a lot of fun because I’m always preoccupied with everything I have to wrap my mind around for the week at school.  I never really want to do a whole lot on Sundays, because I’m always worrying about getting home and into bed at a decent hour.  I don’t ever want to start a week without enough sleep.

So, I’m renaming this “Oh Shit Sunday,” which is much more appropriate in my household.  Oh shit, I completely forgot that I have a meeting with so-and-so on Monday.  Oh shit, I have three IEPs to write this week.  Oh shit, I didn’t get half of the stuff done around the house that I had wanted to accomplish.

What about your family?  Are you part of the Sunday Funday crowd or the Oh Shit Sunday bunch?

I know I should be more thankful…

Here I am on the eve of Thanksgiving (well, technically it’s Thanksgiving already), and I’m feeling mopey. Browsing the Facebook profiles of my high school chums usually results in me feeling bad about myself, sad to say.  I went to a college-prep high school where the majority of the graduates became doctors, lawyers, etc.  A large percentage became teachers as well (shout-out to Kevin!), but I conveniently forget these folks when I’m in a mood like this.

Everyone seems so successful, and I just can’t say I feel the same way about myself.  What do I have to show for the last thirty years of my life?  I certainly don’t have a lot of money or assets.  I don’t own a home.  I have more bills and loans than I’d care to admit.  I’ve found love, but it took a failed marriage to get there.  I don’t have any children.  Yes, I have a Master’s degree and a teaching career that I’m proud of, but I don’t think that’s the end for me.  At least, I hope it’s not the end.

Where’s the excitement in my life?  Where’s the adventure?  I love normalcy, I love stability, but I want more.  I can’t say I know what it’s going to take – what’s going to make me feel fulfilled.  I don’t know where I want to go in my career, I don’t have a final destination in sight, although I have some faint aspirations.  

I know in the milspouse world, I’m doing fabulously in terms of the career I’ve carved out for myself.  I’ve managed to finish my education in a timely fashion and get some good experience and references under my belt.  That’s a very difficult thing to achieve as a milspouse, living such a transient lifestyle.  But I can’t help but compare myself to those I grew up with.  In comparison with those folks, I feel so behind in my accomplishments.

The only one who can make me feel successful and accomplished is myself, I know that.  Do these thoughts constantly plague my mind?  Of course not.  But they do make their way in there from time to time and make me question myself.  I want more for myself and I want better for myself.  I want to live life to the fullest, give of myself, and use all of my talents.  I don’t want to feel like I didn’t take chances or that I missed out on opportunities for greatness.

Not so Wordless Wednesday…

Most of the time when I do Wordless Wednesday posts, there’s always a back story to go along with the photo.  I can’t resist sharing this one.  Instead of going home for Thanksgiving in 2009 (it was too expensive), I went up to Norfolk, VA to visit my brother (he’s on the Enterprise).  I hadn’t seen him in at least a year, and we were finally stationed within four hours of each other.  We made plans to spend the holiday weekend in Washington, DC.  I’d never been, in all of my 29 years, so it was a first and I was really excited.  DH was still in Afghanistan, so it was just my brother and I.

Thank you Cracker Barrel!

We went out the first night in Norfolk, to a local country bar.  In my world, you’ve always gotta hit the local country bars!  🙂  The next day (Thanksgiving), we headed up to DC.  Along the way we stopped at Cracker Barrel, where we had our Thanksgiving dinner – gotta love Cracker Barrel!  No traditional fare for me, I opted for Chicken and Dumplings, my favorite!

We drove straight on through to DC, and after checking into our room at Fort Belvoir, we did the DC monuments at night.  I can’t tell you how beautiful it was and I am so thankful that I got to see them like that.  Yes, it was cold and a bit rainy, but it was peaceful and crowd-free.  It was just my brother and I, wandering our nation’s capitol, with so much history illuminated only by spotlights.

Prior to this trip, we discussed my must-sees, since my brother had already been there before, multiple times.  I wanted to see the monuments, the Holocaust museum, the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), Arlington, and the Marine Corps museum (which I put off until DH got back from A’stan).

On day two in DC, we spent the morning wandering around, going through NMAI (a little too fast, but I’ll get back there), and spent the bulk of our time in the Holocaust museum.  That night we dined and danced at the O Club, something my brother wanted to experience.  

I had to have my picture taken in front!

The last day in town we went to Arlington.  We really got lucky there.  A HOG friend of mine has a husband who was buried there and when you are there visiting someone, they give you a pass to drive through the gate.  That made our trip a lot more efficient.  I took pictures of her husband’s grave to share with her later.  I was able to go to Section 60, where all of the new veterans and KIAs are buried.  That was a really moving setting, especially when I spied a younger woman who was clearly crying and spending time with a loved one.

Thanksgivings tend to blend together in my memory, but this one never will.  My brother was able to gift me with such a memorable trip and I am eternally grateful for the experience.  May you all have a wonderful holiday this year, surrounded by loved ones!  If you should be without your servicemember, I hope that you are able to make new memories with your family and friends!

Let’s take a trip…

…back about five to eight years ago.  I was in the height of my lock-a-beery [read: rockabilly] vintage days.  You know the drill – car shows, antique malls, eBay, weekenders, etc.  Although I’m not nearly as cool as I used to be, I have some first loves that’ll never die.  Luckily, FIL is a big antiquer and used to own an antique mall.  He’s always game for antiquing and usually it’s his idea in the first place.

We set out today to visit the 
Linens are another weakness of mine, particularly printed tablecloths.  I actually own this Christmas tablecloth already – it’s one of my favorites – but this one is in better shape and was only $16!  I bought it just to have it around in case my other one takes a crap.  Plus, the gold metallic paint is always the first thing to go on vintage tablecloths and this one is still sparkly.  The second tablecloth isn’t one I’d necessarily snatch up, but it pink and turquoise are my kitchen colors and pansies were my mom’s flower.  We really couldn’t be the price and it’ll fit my longer table, which has been increasingly difficult to do.

Oh yeah, the cool pink and gold swirled vanity jar is courtesy of FIL, who picked it up after I admired it.  I joked about having to wrestle it from him.  Not sure what I’ll put in it, but it’s a great piece.

BTW, if you ever want to get lost in another blog that chronicles a girl with an amazing collection of mid-century vintage, check out Mary Deluxe!

What I miss about California…

Do you hear the angels singing?  Because they are!

It isn’t often that I really miss things about home.  I’m pretty good about adapting to new environments and “blooming where I’ve been planted.”  Coming to Colorado from Fayetteville was a big step in the right direction, since it has more resources [read: my favorite stores].  Unfortunately, Trader Joe’s hasn’t made it to Colorado yet, due to issues with suppliers and liquor laws.  I got used to not having a TJs when I lived in NC (the Raleigh one is a long drive), but trust me, it’s not by choice.

FIL forgot to stop by TJs the last time he was here in Arizona, so we made it a point to put it on this week’s to-dos.  This is the best time of year to pick up their goodies, since all of the holiday foods are out.  Of course, I called Trinnie ASAP to make sure she didn’t need anything, since she always stops at the Santa Fe one for me.  This picture came from my BB because, of course, I messaged her a photo from my cart.

When I live in proximity to a TJs, I do all of my shopping there, aside from a name brand item or two that DH requests.  The pricing is great, since they have house labels on most items.  Here’s some of my must-haves that I picked up tonight:
  • Spanish Olive Oil – This stuff has a better flavor than the Italian stuff to me.  Working at Williams-Sonoma, I got to sample a lot of premium olive oils.  I preferred Spanish because the flavor is more buttery and less grassy than the Italian varieties.
  • Basmati Rice – I think basmati has a much better taste than Jasmine rice.  I picked up two bags tonight.
  • Bar Soaps – I tend to prefer bar soaps over shower gels, and I like splurging on a nice soap.  I buy the TJs Tea Tree Oil, Oatmeal and Honey, Exfoliating Oatmeal, Green Tea, and Lavender soaps.  These will last me for a while, thankfully!  
  • Caramel Corn – TJs makes a fat free caramel corn that’s to die for!  Yummy snacking!
  • Stilton with Apricots – One of my favorite cheeses.  This is absolutely amazing on Wheat Thins.  I bought this even though I’ll have to finish it before I leave.
I also grabbed some holiday stuff – some new to me, some old favorites.
  • Advent calendar – Despite the fact that I can get these sorts of calendars at the commissary, I grew up on this calendar.  I used to pop the piece of chocolate in my mouth while I got ready for school in the morning.
  • Peppermint Joe’s Joes – Imagine an Oreo cookie with peppermint filling, as well as candy cane pieces in it.  Um, yum!
  • Peppermint hot chocolate – For FIL and I, since we enjoy a good cup of hot chocolate together!
  • Gingerbread men – These are on the harder side, so they’re awesome to break off a limb and just let it melt in your mouth.
  • Dark chocolate stars – Little star-shaped cookies dipped in chocolate and those little white nonpareils.  Please and thank you!
  • Peppermint Whoopie Pies – Seriously, if you don’t hear the angels singing now, you’re not listening hard enough.
What about you?  What holiday treats and goodies do you get excited about?

Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters
1.  I’m sitting next to an Italian Greyhound named Squeakers.  She’s quietly whining to herself, although I’m not sure why.  She won’t come closer so I can hold her.  She’s a lover though, and loves giving kisses!  We have to tell her to stop or else she’ll lick my whole face.  She’s a good dog, not too small, not too large, short hair.  One day DH and I will have a pet of some sort, other than FIL.  🙂

2.  My guncles are huge Christmas people.  They have a tree in every room and we’ve been watching Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel all day long.  The tree in my room is a cowboy/western tree, done for FIL.  Definitely feeling pretty lazy about now, since we’ve been lounging around all day.

3.  FIL has been talking about going to New York for the holidays, since I’ll be in Mexico and DH will most likely be driving.  I overheard FIL talking about being gone through early January, which means he will be gone for my 30th birthday.  I’m a little bummed to think that I may be home alone for my birthday, although Trinnie has been talking to me about what we should do.  My dad has also asked about what my plans were.  I don’t reckon we’ll have a lot of money, but I definitely don’t want to be home alone.  =/

4.  I need to summon all of my willpower tomorrow, as FIL and I are going to some local stores that aren’t readily accessible at home, namely Sephora, ULTA, The Body Shop, and In ‘N Out!  FIL’s been wanting to hit the outlets (he’s a Ralph Lauren label whore), so I think we may do a walk-through to check out their stock and see if it’s worth the hour drive on Thanksgiving for their sale at 10 PM.  I wouldn’t mind finding some more winter clothes, especially for work.

5.  The guncles have a 6th grade son with multiple disabilities.  Per his IEP, he has an iPad as a piece of assistive technology.  I had him show it to me this evening and it was pretty awesome.  I don’t have a good handle on his abilities, so it was cool to play Hangman with him and see him self-select a word for me to guess.  He did really well too!  He gave me words like “Arizona” and gave FIL “decorations!”  It was pretty impressive!

Always better together!

Alas, I’m not talking about DH and I here.  🙁  If you’ve followed my story, I’m pretty used to being on my own and not having DH around to help me.  FIL came to live with us in September and lives in our basement.  I know some people are really hesitant about moving their in-laws in with them, and even my dad and his wife questioned the move.  I never thought twice about having FIL come live with us, as he and I get along fabulously.  He and I traveled from CA to Missouri for my wedding and to watch DH graduate from BCT.  We’re great travel buddies and have similar vacationing styles.  We like to go with the flow, we enjoy seeing the same sights and tourist traps, and we enjoy each other’s company.  FIL is retired Air Force and has owned multiple small businesses over the years, including antique malls.  Walking down into our basement is truly like walking down into his house, since it’s so different from our spaces, design-wise.

When I was putting up our Christmas stuff the other day (more pictures soon, I promise!), it was so nice to have FIL around to help!  DH isn’t huge on holidays and I’m typically on my own when I end up decorating.  This year FIL was here to carry boxes in from the garage, wipe down the boxes (which hasn’t happened in years), help me put the tree together and string the lights.  FIL is awesome around the house.  He is so easy-going and pretty much does what you ask of him (not that I put him to work on unreasonable tasks).  It was nice to have much of our Christmas decorations go up quickly and easily with his help.

Fast forward just a bit to Thanksgiving.  FIL’s brother (and partner and son) live in the Phoenix, AZ area and FIL comes down quite a bit.  FIL’s brother-in-law has a background in culinary arts and cooks up a storm, so we had been planning to spend the holiday down here and get our grub on.  Since I had a week off for Thanksgiving (go teaching!), it made for a nice chunk of time to get out of town.  This drive would’ve been a two-day excursion if I did it alone, but with FIL we drove straight on through!  He even took two four-hour shifts to my one.  The drive was pretty uneventful, as we did 90% of it at night.  We thought at times we were going to get some snow, but thankfully it never materialized.

That’s about all for now.  After arriving at 0500, we only got about five hours of sleep, so my brain is kind of fried.  We have plans to go outlet shopping, hit a local country bar, stop by Trader Joe’s (Colorado doesn’t have any), run down to Yuma to visit my Grandma (and uncle, dad, and dad’s wife), and hopefully jump on base to do some shopping at the MCX.

Busy week ahead of us!  I already know I’m going to need a vacation to recover from my vacation!  Hope you all are enjoying this short week!