Saturday, December 31, 2005


Short Flashback Photo

This is from Genessa and Murray's wedding in early December. Shane and Stacey just got the wedding site all put up before Christmas and it looks great!

Friday, December 30, 2005

Home Again, Home Again, Lickitty Split

Im back home, listening to the contemporary christian station and Obie yowling. As usual, he has decided that I have been home long enough to no longer receive the cold shoulder... but not long enough to be welcomed. No, it is now time for the yowling and the knocking over of things, and jumping on the counters and table where he knows he'll get yelled at, etc.

The trip home was long but uneventful. I got home around 215 and of COURSE I got my insomnia and didn't even get tired enough to turn the lights out until 330. hehe. Oh well, at least I was able to sleep in a bit.

It was a wonderful Christmas, and now there are only 2 weeks to put in before my new nephew arrives. I have begun counting the time until homecoming in weeks instead of months and that's thrilling, too. We had a small little Christmas morning at Nicole and Jason's house with Jackson. He was THRILLED with his wagon from Jason's Aunt Debbie. In fact, right up until the moment we left for the airport he would rather be in his wagon than anywhere else! After piddling around at home, we loaded the car up with the leftover gifts for the "other house" and took off for Westport (its only a 15 min drive, for the uninitiated). The Sikoras hadn't even begun with gifts, so we all gorged ourselves on homemade southern style biscuits, sausage gravy, egg gravy, fresh fruit, danishes and other pastry, tater tots, and a whole lot of other things Im probably forgetting. :-)

Gifts came after breakfast, and we all arranged ourselves either on the floor or in chairs, although the seating options were limited because there were so many of us. I think it was about 3 hours before everything was opened, and even then there was one gift that was forgotten and found the next day still under the tree! With Ash, Steve, Gracie, Travis, Peter, Mom and Dad Sikora, Mom and Dad Wickwire, Nic and Jas, Jackson, Grandma Conley, and me, it was really a full house! (Oh, I forgot the puppies!) We did have a scare in the middle. Holly loves the little doggy toys that roll and make noise and when they move right a treat drops out. Ash got the dogs a new one for Christmas and had loaded it up for Holly. Unfortunately, it was defective in some way because poor little Holly got her jaw caught INSIDE IT! She was yelping and alwasy does that with these toys so it was a few minutes before anyone realized that she was actually hurt. Poor baby.

The rest of the day was spent watching movies, playing with the babies, catching up with the family, and testing out our new toys. My only complaint was the lack of Andrew, when suddenly he was THERE! Well, SORT OF. He called. :-) We hadn't talked on the phone since mid November, and that had been only a 4 minute call or so, so this time we had nearly 45 minutes before we were cut off and it was WONDERFUL. Of course, I did go into the bathroom after we got cut off and sobbed for a good 20 minutes, but HEY! I DIDNT CRY ON THE PHONE! :-)

Ugh, I was going to try and be more than newsy with this post, but its late on a Friday evening and Im all relaxed from my bath. Tomorrow its off to church to see Matthew for the first time since he returned from deployment. Sadly, he won't have Lydia with him, she is still out of the country and won't return until later in the day. We're hoping to hook up before I head back east though. :-) In the evening, its off to DAve's Bistro with Queenie and her Hub-Unit and Wendy and Batman. w00t!

In the meantime... Happy Sabbath all, and Happy New YEAR!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Christmas in Connecticut

A great movie, and my life this year! Im here in CT at my sister's house (all of the house is asleep except me, and Im SUPPOSED to be working). I got in last night after a relatively uneventful but extremely drawn out day of traveling. Its strange to me that after 2 years away it still feels like home when I fly in over NY harbor. >sigh<

Was nice today to meet the girls for lunch, though, and G remembered me immediately this time! hurrah! Ash said she was in the car even talking about seeing "Aunt Cole and Aunt Kissy" :-) So cool. We all met up down at the Market near Nic's house. Its a little family run grocery and grill and antique store that is one of a kind and just wonderful. I got there a little early, walked down from the house while the girls were running errands, and read while I drank my coffee. I had one of my "moments" ... was reading and basking in the glow of the winter sun and the warmth of the fire from the fireplace behind me and then overheard a man say a simple phrase... "My wife called in the order". That phrase, combined with the Christmas music and already missing Hubband caused a small sniffling session. For some reason the casual hominess of the man picking up lunch for he and his wife just made me miss A even more... miss the CHANCE for those kinds of encounters I guess. Not long after, White Christmas came on the radio (the "real" version by Bing) and that sniffled me, too. Im such a sap.

Ash loved her bday gifts...especially the bulbous brownish/purply one with the blue splotches. I know that sounds DREADFUL, it is really a handmade vase with a really cool glazing technique. She has loved it for years (the glazing technique, that is), and I recently found out that the artist lives in my town! Who knew?! Went to his gallery with Q the other day and we were both dazzled. :-) I got Ash 2 pieces and she loved them both, but particularly was pleased with the one above.

Its 130 am ET, and Im supposed to be working, and here I sit tapping away to the inter-world and reveling in the "homey" sound of sirens in the distance. I think Im just a hopeless New Yorker. I mean, what other wacked out person would be blogging at nearly 2 am and get a sense of home from the sound of police cars? Of course, it could just be me...

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Check out my cute husband before he was my husband... this is on his first cruise with the TR in 2003. I think the pic was taken in Greece... but I could be wrong. hehe. You'll note that this is pre eye surgery. He's still wearing his glasses.

Ok, I already posted tonight, but then I decided to do an archival picture post of hubband and I saw this and HAD to share. Don't I have the cutest niece ever?

And my nephew... SO cute as a puppy this halloween. He's about to become a "big" brother! My sis is due on Jan 9!!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Kitchen Klutz

There are some who claim (right or wrong) to be the "Queen of the Kitchen", a "Kitchen Goddess", even a "Culinary Elf". I proclaim quite loudly, for all the world to hear, that while I have at one time or another been all of the aforementioned, today I was a Kitchen Klutz. Of course, today was also the day that I decided for some reason MUST BE THE DAY TO BAKE! So, I kidnapped Queenie from her comfortable home nest, whisked her through 2 grocery stores and one antique store (it was on the way! they had new stuff!) and we came home to my place to bake.

First up was testing our recently discovered "Easy Monkey Bread" recipe. We had been talking with MizL about it while we painted pottery (she and her husband, MrR, own the shop. HI GUYS!), and decided to make some. The recipe is based on your standard monkey bread, but instead of making a bread dough, letting it rise, punching it down, letting it rise, punching it... etc. it uses canned biscuit dough. We used Grand's biscuits, cutting them into pieces, coating with sugary stuff, packing them into my silicone bundt pan, and drenching them with sugary glaze. We baked it as directed, pulled it out of the oven, let it cool (with only a few TINY pieces finding their way... elsewhere), and then prepared to flip it over. Now, so far in the day, my klutziness had only appeared when I kept sloshing bits of glaze over the edge of my saucepan onto the hot burner. HOWEVER, when the time came to flip the monkey bread onto a plate, we carefully put the plate over the pan, each took half, and flipped.... and the silicone pan went sliding straight onto the floor. The bread itself never TOUCHED the floor, didn't even come close, the pan just sorta slid from our hands across the floor between us and came to a rest in perfect condition, right side up, about 2 feet away. Of course, since we didn't LOSE the bread (it even still had a lid on it. hehe), this situation cracked us up. We rescued the slippery pan, grabbed it with a towel to minimized the slip-n-slide action, and securely transferred it to a plate.

Next up was to make scotcheroos and holiday crunch to include in the Box 'O Baked Goodness that I am sending hubband. Scotcheroos are a family tradition for him, so they were a no brainer. In the course of the making of those 2 things, I burned myself twice, dropped the peanut butter on the floor, and somehow threw my whisk with melted karo syrup and sugar all over it across half the kitchen, where it came to rest squarely on the recipe card. Thinking perhaps I needed a break, we covered the still warm plate with the monkey bread and hauled ourselves over to MizL and MrR's shop, where they made all kinds of properly excited and awed squishy noises about the monkey bread we made for them. They kindly allowed us to taste it and we liked it so much we stopped on the way home and picked up ingredients for another batch, this one to KEEP.

We started the next batch (well, Q did. I did dishes) and then once it was in the oven (in a METAL bundt this time, since the silicone one... didn't work so hot with the slipping and the sliding and the overflooring juices during cooking and the center being a bit squishy when all was said and done) I broke in my new kitchenaid mixer and made a batch of chocolate chip cookies. By the time those were done, all the rest of our things were cooled to an agreeable temperature, so we called Q's hub-unit and made a pot of coffee and just continued with the tasting.

Now, if you read that last paragraph, it sounds mildly as if my klutziness had ended. It HADNT. During the course of all of that, I burned myself again, cut my finger on a stray bit of SOMETHING (Im not sure what), threw cookie on the floor, poured water all over the counter instead of into my coffee maker, set a cookie sheet down on the spoon rest on my stove and thereby coated the bottom of it with sugar sauce drippings from the spoons and whisks used on the previously cooked items, and dropped the first cookie of the day on the floor when trying to transport it to the cooling rack. After that, I was banned from cutting the scotcheroos into squares without supervision because I kept cutting toward myself and Q and H-U weren't quite sure they would be able to deal with the blood and trauma if I happened to cut myself. I also was not allowed to transport cookies, insteaad, Q brought the rack to me and then transported the full rack to the safety of the counter...taking a route that might have been a bit out of her way but steered VERY clear of me. Oh, and did I mention that I almost cut my own finger off while trying to clean up the flour I spilled all over the mixer when I tried to make the cookies?

So. Some women are kitchen goddesses, some are queens, and some are elves. Im just a kitchen klutz with bits of all of the above, and a nice dose of blood, sweat, and tears with everything produced. But it all tastes GREAT by GOLLY, because along with the klutziness, there are occasional moments of brilliance...

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Starry, Starry Night

Sitting in the living room with my computer on my lap and my cat tangled in my crocheting next to me, I had a flashback memory. I should preface by saying that yes, I do deal/live with depression these days. I combat the mild attacks, when they come, by either sleeping or thinking about happy memories. So, today, when it hit as I was sitting as previously mentioned. I was trying to find a good memory to cheer me up. The tv is on, and Im watching Ice Wars. Suddenly, this Hallmark ad came on for the new illuminations ornaments. The man in the ad asked his kids to "wish on a star" and with that phrase, I had my memory!

About 3 years ago now (November 2002), my husband came to visit me in Connecticut. We had been dating for only about 2 days "officially", though we had been on the computer and phone every day for the last 2 months. (For those of you who dont know, my husband and I have known each other for 10 years, and dated in college before going our separate ways. We hooked up again in 2002) ANYWAY, a meteor shower was predicted one night during his stay, so we all (Ash, Steve, Andy, Me) set our alarms and got up at 230 am or so, made coffee and hot cocoa, threw a few sleeping bags on the back porch, lay down, and covered up with a couple down comforters. It was really cold, but we had a blast. The stars shot across the sky, jokes were told, the Yorkies burrowed into the blanket pile... Sitting here thinking about how fun that night was, I was also struck by how our lives have changed in 3 short years. Back then, none of the babies was more than a gleam in the eye. Now, we have Grace (2.5), Jackson (1.75), JAcob (-1 month), and Jaime (-5 months). Andy and I had just started dating, and we have been married for over a year....Andy had just started the navy, and now we are almost done with our enlistment. The memory cheered me, but also got me thinking...

What will happen in the NEXT 3 years?

Genessa and Murray Pricter

So, the wedding last weekend came off with only the to-be-expected gliches (like no one remember where they had put the bride's ring when the wedding was 30 minutes away from starting...). Here is a great pic of the happy bride and groom with their wedding party from left to right: Lynnie, Stacey, Genessa, Murray, Jason, and then Derek and Ashley, the ring bearer and flower girl, in the front. As soon as more pics are circulating, I'll post em! Also, run on over to Genus Pooleyaticus for more of their story!

This wedding marked the first time that I was the overall coordinator. I had a blast, although I had thought going in that I would be mainly just dealing with the ceremony. I ended up running all over the place the day of the wedding, keeping Nessa from collapsing (although we both did have a breakdown when the seamstress thanked me for giving my husband to the service of our country), organizing people, being "nicely bossy" as I was told. It was a lot of fun, but boy was I TIRED when I got home! I didn't realize it over the weekend, but it was so nice to get home on Monday night and get into my bed... of course, that also probably had something to do with the fact that I drove home through horrendous traffic, got food poisoning from the restaurant I ate dinner at, and then stayed up until 2 am finishing some edits on the dissertation. YES! THE DISSERTATION THAT PASSED PREDEFENSE TODAY! HURRAH!!!!!! Ahem.

WOW I just realized that after my weeks of near silence I posted TWICE in one DAY. Perhaps that means that life is getting back to normal... I feel a nice long Sabbath post coming on for tomorrow, too...but for now...the kitties and I say--


Friday, December 09, 2005


There is all sorts of news to report today:

1. Congrats to Jen and Justin! They are pregnant with their first child. Woot! I heard the news yesterday and couldn't be more thrilled for them. Of course, they are saying that I am doomed to follow shortly because it MUST be in the air. hehe.

2. Congrats to Mama! My "2nd" Mom just passed her predefense for her PhD dissertation that I have been helping with. Hurrah! We just have a few minor changes and we're ready for Defense and then GRADUATION!

3. Andrew might be able to come home on the advance arrival det and would arrive a couple weeks before the rest of the squadron.

4. Judd and Pia are having a GIRL (not sure if I reported this one already, but its worth saying again!)

5. Jacob's arrival has been scheduled tentatively for the 9th of January!

6. Im almost finished with my Christmas cards!

Ok, so the last one is really only news for me, but I have a huge sense of accomplishment since I hand addressed them all this afternoon and they sit patiently in a bag waiting for the trek to the post office. Oh well...

My flowers from Andy still haven't arrived, so I called FTD today. He sent me a picture of what they CHARGED us for, but still haven't delivered. It was a beautiful bouquet of roses and iris. Turns out that THREE florists in town decided they wanted more money or they wouldn't deliver the flowers (which is actually supposedly against policy cause if they are an FTD florist, they agree to the FTD rates...), but FTD wasn't notified of the third one cancelling the order, they were told it had been delivered on the 7th. Also, one of the places said they had called and got the RECEPTIONIST so couldn't talk to me about the order. HELLO! I WORK AT HOME! I AM THE RECEPTIONIST! What a pain. The lady I talked to was very nice and ended up refunding our money and asked if they could send us an apology bouquet. She also read the card that was supposed to be on the flowers, which said "You are one year more beautiful than before. Love from Iraq, Andrew". That of course teared me up so I was sniffling through the rest of the conversation. >sigh<

There isn't much other news. Christmas shopping and creating is coming along, with about half the list completed. I picked up Ashley's bday presents yesterday and am quite pleased with them... hopefully she will be, too! Next Thursday or Sunday I'll go finish up the shopping, just in time for my departure to CT for Christmas on the 20th. Hoo-rah.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


Poor guy, he ordered SOMETHING to be delivered to the house today and it didn't come, so he feels bad. :-( It should come tomorrow... I have the feeling its FLOWERS. We'll see tomorrow. For now... Im watching one of my favorite old-school action movies, Toy Soldiers and should be going to bed instead. >sigh<

When will I ever learn?

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Happy Birthday to me...

Bananas Foster for the first time! Slept in until 10:30! Took a nap with my kitties!

All around a decent birthday. Just waiting to hear from husband for the icing on the cake...

Friday, December 02, 2005

The Queen's Consort

Shout out to Queenie's Hub-unit! Its his BIRTHDAY today! Happy Birthday, Queenie's Hub-Unit!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Hubband Update

An update, in the form of a picture! Here is our boy in full protective gear and camoflauge, standing by one of the base ambulances. :-)

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Here is the whole gang who was visiting over Thanksgiving! We spent Sabbath at Deception Pass State Park. This shot was taken by Dad's digi timer (can you see the blurrrrr that he made getting in place before it went off?) down on North Beach. We found a lot of great rocks, including some good quality Agates! Then...we went home for Flamboyant Flank Steak, steamed broccoli, and pumpkin "dump" cake. YUM!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Sympathetic Self

I have decided that I am a big sap. That is the only explanation... Im reading Jan Karon's Mitford series and so far have cried at least once in each of the 2 most recent books I read. I watched CSI this week, as usual, and had a good hard cry at the end. So where is all this coming from? According to my sisters, its always been around. I mean, I get choked up by commercials sometimes, so what's new about it now? they ask. I think the biggest thing is that I notice it now myself. I can't watch ads for certain tv shows, I read about things that are normal, happy, things and I end up sobbing. People tell me that its because of my stress and the separation from Andrew, or that Im just over tired (when I sleep upwards of 9 hours every night?!), or don't take enough time for myself (when I spend more time on "fun" things than housekeeping?), but I think not. I think Im just having a sympathetic pregnancy, experiencing what my sisters are experiencing.

Before anyone gets excited I am NOT PREGNANT, but my 3 closest girlfriends are (including both my sisters), as is my cousin, one of my husband's best friends from highschool, and another girlfriend (my boss's wife...and my ex-coworker...), AND both my sister-in-laws sister-in-law and one of my friends just gave birth within the last few weeks. I have experienced weird, morning sickness-like nausea attacks, weight gain, and fatigue. But Im luckier than most, cause when my "pregnancy" is over, I'll have 6 new babies to hold and cuddle and coo over...

Thursday, November 17, 2005

The Mustache: Photographic Proof

Proof of the MUSTACHE has been received. I actually really like this picture of him, although the mustache makes me giggle. I dont know why, he is quite handsome and all, but I just see it and start snickering. hehe. He's so CUTE. Like a mustachioed teddy bear. :-) Seriously though, just look at those EYES! >sigh< >flutter<

:-) He's doing well, being kept busy but not in a scary/sad way. What I can tell you is much depleted, as he is in a secure area. Just happy that he is safe, and God is caring for him. He shares his container barrack/tent with another guy, has found a few of his friends from corps school stationed in the same location, loves the food, and discovered that the local chaplain is SDA! All-in-all, he's doing well. :-)

And we now have photographic proof that although he always said he would never grow just a mustache... he has one. :-)

Hot digitty, I love that man!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Sibling Revelry

Siblings are great, I had an older sister for 12 years, and then I met my "twin" and got another sister (who is only 5 days older, so she can't lord it over me... much).

I know my older sister truly enjoyed having a little sis to teach and play with.... I could spell encyclopedia at age 2 and was quite content to go along with any scheme she might concoct. This included airplane rides when we were supposed to be sleeping (that one ended with me getting a dreadfully bloody nose when I sailed over her head into the headboard... again, age 2.), scaring ourselves silly over the "bloody mary" myth when we saw red lights reflected in her mirror (smoke detector test light), and having spelling bees where she tried time and again to remind me that we lived in Hooker County not Hookey Counter (I spelled by memory, not through knowledge until she taught me to read the following year). We also built a treehouse, a fort on top of the container garage in Tanzania, dug a cave in a gully, hunted up buried treasure, taught ourselves to walk barefoot on any terrain and to ride our bikes with no hands. We had competitions to see who could walk the tree branches without falling or holding on (more points the higher you were and the more twisted the branch), and with the arrival of Ashley we would do road trips, have read-a-thons where we did nothign for hours but sit and read books (confused our parents no end... why did we want to be together so much if we were just going to READ), film our own music videos (hilarious footage still available somewhere in Nicole's basement), lip sync, play dress up and Academy, and attempt to teach ourselves to knit (diastrous scarves still available in SOMEONE's garage).

Along the way, we learned how to relate to each other and the world, we learned to balance not just on a tree branch but on the sticky road of life, with all its ups and downs, and we learned that while there will always be someone who lets you down, there is also always a sister... who may hurt or disappoint you on occasion, but will never stop loving or supporting you, no matter what.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Mustaches and Mario Bros

I got another phone call last night! The Hubband TR Exodus has finally occurred, so his address will be changing. Also, a note to the family.... please use the navy-wide email address now, instead of the air group one. :-)

In other husband news... he's growing a mustache! I have requested photographic proof because he vows it will NOT HAPPEN STATESIDE! EVER! He said it just "seems to go with the camis(camoflauge)". I think he just didn't want to shave if possible. :-)

Overall, I had a great evening. Queenie and her Hub-Unit came over with pizza and we had pizza, soda, leftover halloween candy, and a 6 hour match-up on Mario Party 6. I actually came close to winning once! CLOSE! hehe. By 1 am we were all giggly, had sore eyes, and although we had planned to go for ice cream and come back to race Mario Karts we all agreed that it was time for bed. Then... I got my insomnia again and was up until 330. gar.

Friday, November 11, 2005

I ate too much

What a feast! I have found a new recipe to put in my favorites...its a beef roast that is absolutely DEEVINE! I had Queenie and her Hub-Unit over tonight to celebrate the forthcoming addition to their family and the fact that said Hub-Unit has a long weekend (He gets VETERANS DAY! I WANT VETERANS DAY!). The meal that cause me such over fullness was as follows:

2 beef chuck roasts rubbed with a mixture of allspice, salt, and pepper and then placed on a bed of onion and garlic and covered with more of the same. A tinfoil tent was placed over the top, and the meat was roasted to perfection. We also took some Fennel, Potatoes, and Carrots and marinated them in a touch of white truffle oil mixed with olive oil and seasoned with sea salt and cracked pepper, then popped them into the roasting pan with the meat when the beef was about 85% done. For dessert...a pumpkin pie brulee. Yes my friends... that is a pumpkin pie with all its whipped goodness that is topped not by whipped cream but a crunchy layer of carmelized sugar. Add a cup of hot french roast with a holiday appropriate creamer (your choice of eggnog, gingerbread, or peppermint mocha) and you have three adults who are just rolling themselves around town and not planning to eat again for at least 3 days. :-)

The day overall was a blast, too. Queenie and I took the afternoon after I got off work and headed into town where a few of the shops were doing an openhouse. We sampled goodies, drank mulled cider, sniffed enough candles to put a candlemaker to shame, and picked up a couple Christmas presents/ideas along the way. Came back to the house and worked on dinner together, then hollered insults at each other across the couch while playing Mario Party 5 on the Nintendo Game Cube. Let me just say for posterity that I have absolutely NO skill at the little joystick thingy, but I have incredible skill and speed when it just comes to hitting a button as fast and hard as possible. hehe.

In other news... I received word today that Andy will be offline for a few days as some transitions in location are made. Email me for deets...He also said he is shipping home the new rug (w00t!), a couple boxes of gifts he has picked up for the holidays, and all the things he won't be needing for the rest of cruise (ie, summer uniforms cause you know, its WINTER). We also got the Christmas cards in so the Christmas letter must be drafted and sent out shortly.

Oh! and GOOD NEWS! Murray (my future cousin-in-law) finally got his appointment with the proper people and may actually be able to STAY here after his wedding, instead of being shipped back across the water until such time as the red tape might be obliterated. AMEN! PRAISE! WWHHHEEEEEE!

Ok, as you might be noticing, Im a bit hyper. I know it must be the coffee because my mind is going a mile a minute and my eyes are blinky and shutty and yawny. So many projects to begin.. must... get... sleeeeeppppp.

So, with those words. Im off to toss and turn in bed with my eyes shut and my brain somewhere in January or February while the rest of me lags along here in lowly November.


Saturday, November 05, 2005

The ticker!

Check it out folks! We got a new homecoming date, and the ticker has been changed accordingly. It felt GREAT to see such a big drop! Means we're nearly halfway there...yippee!

Friday, November 04, 2005

Orders (my preciousssss)

We finally have our new orders! And they are.... to stay exactly where we are! hehe. I had to laugh at the irony of being told 3 weeks ago that we couldn't extend with our squad as we had requested and must find new orders and a new location ASAP! NEW! NOW! After looking everything over and putting in 2 requests, we were denied for both of them and placed ... with our current squad. hehe. Ah well, at least we are now STABLE and know such minor facts of life like where we will be living next month... :-)

Its been an interesting week for me (I know Ive been dreadful about posting ever since the summer traveling began, but I can't help it. Im posting at least weekly, count it a blessing, my dear readers!). What with work, and the orders dance, and trying to keep my house clean, and helping a friend who's marriage is falling apart, and finding out about the wedding of a buddy being set up (congrats matt and lydia, if you're reading this!)... oh, and that WONDERFUL, AMAZING, HURRAH factor this week? Andy was in Dubai, on land, for 2 full days. I got 2 phone calls and 3 long sessions on instant messenger, complete with voice and webcam! WHEEEEEEE! Made my MONTH I can assure you! He also bought us a beautiful, hand woven persian silk rug while he was there. I can't wait until it gets here!

Also on the fun side, I went to Doom the other night and loved it! I dont care what the critics say, its a fun movie. Especially if you play RPGs. The 1st person shooter sequence was like controlling the game yourself. It was awesome. Didn't hurt that the hero reminded me an awful lot of my handsome hubby. :-) Thursday night I went to Queenie's and was treated to a delish dinner of beef stew, green bean salad, and Autumn Cake. yum!

I was planning to drive down to Portland tomorrow and spend an evening of games with my mother-in-law before heading to Nessa's bridal shower on Sunday, but the weather is so nasty I had to cancel. The road reports are calling for extreme caution all weekend, saying to stay in if you dont have to drive. We're to have high winds, fog, rain... all of the icky nastiness usually arriving in JANUARY in the form of snow. Ah well, it'll be snowing in the mountains! They are predicting up to 30 inches this weekend in the cascades. THIRTY! The skiers are leaping for joy. Its said to be predicted as the best ski season in like 18 years. I just hope we get some snow on the island... Queenie told me they got 6 inches here in one storm a couple winters ago. Im crossing my fingers!

The Thanksgiving menu is almost completely planned. It looks like most of my guests will be arriving on Wednesday and staying until Sunday (hurrah!), so I had a good time planning out some fun meals. Queenie and her Hub-Unit are planning to join us on Sabbath for dinner (Queenie is going to help out so we can make her yummy steak roulade, and I'm using gluten to make a veggie version as well for all the non-carnivores who will be here!), and Saturday night we'll all put up the tree. I thought it would be nice to have the family help me, since Andy won't be here for it this year. I realized this afternoon that it is our first Christmas separated in 4 years... 3 out of 4 isn't bad, I suppose... especially when you realize we had only been dating a month at our first christmas! 'Course, when you factor in that we had known each other for 9 years before that... hehe.

Goodness, I got blabby, didn't I? Wow! Well, my fire is dying down, and the Brandenburg concerto is nearing its conclusion, so I'll sign off and let you rest your eyes. I'll try to post something more than an update tomorrow! You know... a post that contains actual analytical thought... then again, maybe not!

Good night!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

New Boyd's Nest Blog!

Hey all! Had to tell you about a new blog posted by my family... We're starting a whole Boyd's Nest family here! You all have seen my link to Genus Pooleyaticus (my sister-in-law) and now my Mom-in-law has started one! W00t! Go C-Mom! Her addy is

Check it out!

Also... another new link... I started contributing to a satire site called Eat the Rich. Addy is

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Normal life returns...after a fashion

So Im back to the normal way of life... too busy to do much of anything during the week, and too interested in relaxing to do much during the weekend. That said, this week I DID get the downstairs nicely scrubbed and polished,the laundry almost all caught up from being gone for 2 weeks, and my work is up to date. So this weekend, I've read, gone to church, seen Zorro with Queenie and her Hub-Unit, started trying to put together a budget/bills spreadsheet to help me calculate payoffs, and best of all... I GOT TO TALK TO ANDY ON INSTANT MESSENGER! He was able to log in from an internet cafe and later in the week we might actually get to webcam/voice chat! Wheee! I turned on the webcam today so he could see me open a couple of presents. He said it was GREAT to see me. :-) I miss him so much... it seems like my mood follows the weather to some extent. Fall is usually my favorite time of year, but this time I just wish it were over and Spring were here.

In other news, we don't have our official orders yet. I suppose that means there are still other places we could go, but VA didn't work out so for the moment we're planning to just stay here in Oak Harbor until our EAOS.

Im sittin' in the living room wathing Tremors while I write. For some reason its a "horror" movie that Ive always enjoyed, and I don't usually like scary movies. Its funny to me. :-) Of course, I've also never seen it other than on tv so there's probably pieces cut out that might bother me more. hehe. Ah well. The movie's ending, it's 10 pm, and work will start again in the morning...:-) Have a good Monday all you readers (hello? any readers out there?). :-)

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The Story of the Cameo (Andrew's words)

On our first day in Naples I went into town with 4 other HM’s. As we were walking around one of the covered Piazza’s shopping, this older guy came up to us and asked us in extremely untintelligible English if we knew what cameos were and that he could take us to a factory he worked for. He said that there was a trolley that would take us there for 1 euro. So after a little bit of debate between our group about whether we would get jumped in a back alley, we decided to take a chance and follow him. He guaranteed that we would not be disappointed. We followed him about 3 to 4 blocks to the edge of this steep hill and into a little strip mall and inside was a train station. It was an angled cable car that went to the top of the city at a 45% angle. At the top of the hill we hiked for about 1.5 miles up past a castle and a great view of mount vesuvious. One street up from the vista was the factory. The owner had a little window area that he showed how he carved the cameos they had some great pieces and there were even red carved agate necklaces and blue agate cameos. I almost went with the blue, but decided on more classic. As I was looking at what they had I asked if they did custom work… and the owner resounded,”Boot off coors! Late me shoo yuu som vedy spacial peeses!” So he pulled out a drawer and a couple of jewelry boxes with photos taped to them. Upon opening the boxes I noticed that they were exact copies of the photos for individual customers. He had portraits, landscapes, and abstract art paintings all reprocduced on cameos. They were so cool I asked how much… He kind of laughed knowing that we were sailors and said,”Axpenseeve.” I told him I was very interested. So he said 700 euro… I tried to get him down in price and he would not budge so I countered with shiping and chain and mounting all included and he accepted it. The only picture that I had of you was that one in my wallet. Luckily, it’s my FAVORITE. So how could I go wrong. I got all weepy kinda, thinking of you giving it to our daughters to wear in a wedding or otherwise. So I HAD to do it. 700 euros and month later, you have it.

Thus is the story of the cameo.

All the Happs of the Month: Condensed Version

October flew by like the jet in the old Clint Eastwood movie FireFox: fast, silent, and deadly! On its way by, though, the month has picked up some interesting things!

1. I flew out with about 12 hours notice to help out my sis who had been put on bedrest at the same time her husband was in danger of being hospitalized for SERIOUS flu. I was able to spend 2 weeks with them, helping during the bad week and enjoying the healthy one.

2. Andrew and I found out we were up for orders after all and tried out for a couple different options. It looks like we will be able to stay here until our EAOS after all, so that is nice! Keep your eyes on the ticker, as we MIGHT have a surprise there soon...

3. We found out my sister is pregnant with a BOY. James Richard Sikora is due at the end of April and brings the outnumbering of Gracie to a staggering 3 boys to her single girl-dom. Mama is encouraging Andy and I to have a daughter...just to even things up a bit. hehe.

4. I cut my hair off! I hadn't planned it to go as short as it is, but I like it. I got it cut the day I was packing for my lightening trip and wasn't clear in my instrcutions to the stylist. After 2 weeks I realized I HATED it, so I had Ashley cut it for me again. It ended up chopping off a total of about 9 inches. Web cam pics aren't great... but...

5. Andy and I celebrated our FIRST ANNIVERSARY! Of course, it was a little tough since we were on opposite sides of the world, but it was a good day. Andy loved his box that I sent, Ash and Steve took me out for a delish fondue dinner, and my gift from Andy (received yesterday!) is amazing. Check it out...

He had this cameo custom made using a picture of me from a few years back... its not necessarily something I will wear all that often, but its an AMAZING heirloom. :-) Think of the stories our daughter can tell about the cameo of her mom that her dad had commissioned... :-)

6. I have started my Christmas shopping!

7. I got an early bday/welcome home gift in the form of my OWN Ella Phlunt teapot, handmade by Queenie, and a bottleof white truffle oil. Yummy!

8. Dad got a new job in Las Vegas, thereby ensuring many more visits from the clan due to the massive availability of cheap tickets from anywhere INTO sin city.

9. I started planning my Thanksgiving dinner menu. Will be a fun day, with Celia, Caryn, Ethan, Dad, and Lori all here...

10. My diet is starting to work... I lost 4 lbs in a week before I left for CT. Course, I gained it back after Vinos, Fondue, etc. BUT! the diet WORKS! hehe.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Prayer Request

Im off to NYC for 2 weeks, helping out my family. Please keep us all in your prayers! We have pregnancy complications, really really bad flu, and orders all within the confines of the fam right now... could use all God's help on this one!

I'll try to post from the East...

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Sabbath with the Kitties

I made the educated decision yesterday that I was not going to get up and drive into church this morning. Instead, I would sleep in and get caught up on that whole sleeping thing, I would listen to Pastor Karl Haffner over the internet, and I would spend a nice relaxing Sabbath afternoon at home with my kitties. So far, all has gone even better than anticipated, since I slept until 930, ate breakfast, and realzied that Hubband was online! We chatted via email back and forth for about 3 hours. :-) so nice. My neighbors are now vaccuming, Titai is on my chest while I try to type around her, and Obie is curled up on the once-clean laundry at the foot of the bed but Im... lonely. and a little bored. Im thinking I will go out for a nice little hike this afternoon. The sun is shining, and we are definitely in the middle of an Indian summer!

You know, I came on blogger to try and be creative cause I was feeling creative... but I find Im just babbling! Im going for a walk. Talk to you later when my brain isn't being fuzzed by purring kittens and sunshine streaming through my bedroom window. :-)

Friday, October 07, 2005

My Dramatic Life

I have found that just when you think life is good, and you are settling in with your cats and coffee to ride out the winter in relative contentment.... something will go wrong. This is all from personal experience of course, just in case you doubt the validity of that statement. In my last post, I was missing my husband but enjoying quiet times. Since that day, NOTHING has been quiet.

On Tuesday night, I received an urgent call for help through instant messenger from a dear friend who had one of HER friends on the phone who was very depressed, drunk, and had been cutting himself to "feel something". Thereafter followed 3 hours of tension with me IMing her, her talking to him, me talking to a suicide hotline operator (they put me on HOLD before I even got to an operator. How WRONG is it that someone calling a suicide hotline is put on HOLD) and passing her tips along via IM, then calling the police department in the town where he lived so we could make sure he was taken care of and all right and having to relay all the stuff the dispatcher (who was relaying what her sheriff in the field was telling her) was telling and asking me through the computer to my friend who then relayed or asked the questions of HER friend. Very much with the tension. Thankfully, everything turned out ok. He was ok, needed minor treatment, and his mom was able to drive out and be with him, too. Oh, and did I mention that me, my friend, and her friend all live in different states and were at home at the time this was occurring?

On Wednesday afternoon, I got an email from hubband saying that our request to extend with VAQ-141 through the end of our enlistment had been denied and we were up for orders again with only a month until the transfer date. Again, STRESS.... and for many reasons 1) I could end up having to move the house while A is on the ship to whatever our new station is because they could move him from the ship directly to the new place 2) With only a month to go, our choices of places to go will be limited, etc etc etc. Of course, THEN I realize (with the help of Queenie, her Hub-Unit, and my Hubband) that all of those types of places are going to want him to extend his enlistment by a couple of years, which he won't do, and that his chief's want to keep him until the end of cruise anyway... so it was in a sense drama over nothing. BUT I still feel leery because of the unknown factor....

Add to that the fact that I have been having DREADFUL dreams all week and its been a true PNW fall....what a week. :-)

There have been fun happenings, too, though. Q and her HU took me out to dinner the night of my panic over orders, Q and I walked to the pottery studio and painted yesterday (Hi guys! Welcome to the world of blogging!), and walked downtown on Tuesday to wander the shops. Walking seems to help, so even though its a nasty misty day, I think Im going to make an effort. Q had mentioned maybe we'd trek to the library... I might just walk from here! Get a good 3 mile walk under my belt after work. :-

In the meantime, its nearly Sabbath, and that means that my Dramatic Life can be put on hold for at least 1 day.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Literary Minds

I ran out of Pumpkin Spice coffee today, and am currently thinking about how good the cup of fresh is going to taste in the morning since I got my new bag this am... This week has been so long, and its only Monday. Hard to believe that there actually was a weekend in the last few days because I pretty much either slept or worked the whole thing. Yes, I, who was so looking forward to an unencumbered weekend agreed to do a freelance project for a friend in need. Now Im sitting on my couch on Monday night with Luis Perez pouring out of the speakers on the tv and rejoicing in the fact that even when Im working I can be relaxing.

I have been playing a lot of online scrabble with my sister-in-law lately, and boy has that been a good exercise! We have actually tied a game and been very close on the bulk of the rest of them. Its nice to have someone to do such things with, in and around all else that is going on in life to be able to click over to a different window and instantly leave work behind is a blessing!

My little world has had many happenings lately, of which I have not spoken. For some of the little newsy bits, I was banned from mentioning them on the blogosphere until certain individuals had been told in person. Since that restriction is now lifted (Nicole found out yesterday), I can now say CONGRATULATIONS, JUDD AND PIA!!! Because they are pregnant with their first child! Wheee! Im surrounded by pregnant and soon-to-be or just-were pregnant friends. Even at church this week it was announced that Sarah and Jeff Rowland are pregnant (congrats to you guys, too!). Next spring is going to be exciting... of course, Jacob is due in January, so we all will have a couple of months to catch our collective breath before the April stork sweeps in.

Beyond the baby news, and work, and trying to keep my house relatively intact, there also has cropped up in my life the project of looking into schools for Hubband. We found out this week that Andy's replacement is coming to Oak Harbor while A is still deployed, so we have a good chance of being able to get early out as long as we are accepted into a good school. He has such intermittent internet access (say that 4 times fast!) that he has sent me the type of program he is looking at, degrees wanted, etc, and I am putting together documents containing all that I can find about said topics at different schools. Right now, we both are pretty excited about a program at the University of Memphis. Yes, that is Memphis, TN. I desperately would ADORE moving back to New York, but it appears that Ashley was right in saying I wouldn't live there again. HOWEVER, it is HER fault that Im not, so she has no right to hold it up to me for the rest of our lives. Its not like Im wearing boots with shorts or anything.... (sorry, had to slip in the joke there, even though none of you but Ash will get it)

Then there is my ongoing battle of the bulge... trying to get exercise into my day. Hubband worked up a great diet and exercise plan for me, but Im going to have to talk to him about some potential modifications because I can't do it quite the way he has it laid out. Well, maybe I could if there were someone else here to help me, but when its just me...

Anyway, these things have combined to make me miss my husband and long for quiet times to be more prevalent. Right now... well, if Hubband were here I would be as happy as the big black cat who just jumped in my lap threw himself down on top of my forearms and started purring. He's had a hard day of sleeping in the sun, annoying mama by throwing books on the floor and trying to bury her coffee cup, and now all that's left before his day is complete is a good ear scritching and snuzzle with Mom. If only Andy were here so I could do the same... snuzzle in, get a good cuddle going, and then just fall asleep, but I know that tomorrow is a new day, with new surprises and sorrows and joys, just around the corner.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Fall Memories

The last week has been absolutely crazy, full of dissertation editing and formatting, "real" work, and attempts at keeping my house out of the "condemened" status at the same time. I finally gave up on the house and decided to sleep instead, which I think is the only thing that got me through the week (although it has taken me yesterday and today just to find my kitchen counters and the bottom of the clothes hamper...). But Im not here today to talk about how crazy this week has been, or to thank Queenie and her Hub-Unit for feeding me several times and yanking me from the workmosphere of my home into the relaxed and cozy atmosphere of theirs for a couple of hours. No. Im not here to do any of that. Im here to talk about FALL. Not the tripping thing that I do often when Titania and I try to go down the stairs at the same time, but that lovely time of year when the leaves change color, the air gets crisp (most places, here it just gets wetter), and everyone starts shopping for sweaters and pumpkins. AUTUMN. I love it. It is without doubt my favorite time of year and as I was driving around in the pouring rain yesterday paying rent and picking up my retainer (I now "lithp"), I had this memory. Now, I may have shared it before, so if I have FORGIVE ME! and read it again anyway. :-)

Rainy Autumn/Winter Days at Shenandoah Valley Academy

Kristi Straw, a.k.a. "Audrey" and I, a.k.a. "Katherine" (we were/are quite enamoured of the Hepburns)used to LIVE for days like these. Kristi and I met... well, I dont remember how we met, but we became GREAT friends (still are, I think! Hi Aud!) during my Jr and her Soph year of high school. On days like this, we would get out of class and/or off work (since K was a year behind me our schedules were opposite with classes in the morning/afternoon and work in the afternoon/morning), throw on thick sweaters (Mine was navy blue with red and white squiggly lines on it), knit caps (red!), and tennis shoes, get town leave passes signed, and be off. We would hike past the beckoning doors of 7-11, shunning such juvenile pleasures as a SLUSHEE, cross under the highway and over the railroad tracks, past the Tastee Freeze and around the corner to the right (past the hotel where I think it was Grant stayed during the Civil War) and into the musty confines of Paper Treasures. We would browse until our time was nearly up, then make our purchases (usually a couple of books each, total cost: about $2.00) and head back out into the elements. On the way back to the dorm, we would stop off at the Johnny Appleseed (just this side of the railroad tracks and across from Tastee Freeze) and order cheese omelettes and french fries. The plates would arrive with the steaming omelettes oozing their cheese onto the crisp fries and we would drink our hot cocoa and feel so VERY cosmopolitan. Those times are one of the best memories I have of high school. In fact, I would say the memory ranks right up there in the best of all my memories ever. And whenever Im at home, and the weather gets all drippy and cool, and the trees are a million colors (or the branches are bare and the leaves swirling around the sidewalks), I still get a craving to go for a walk with my friend, buy a book, and eat an omlette...

Monday, September 26, 2005

A Watched Ticker ... Ticks on Unchanged

I know its ridiculous, especially since I put it there and know exactly what day it's going to change, but every morning I log onto my OWN blog just to look at the ticker for homecoming. It has become sort of a ritual for me, wake up, get coffee, log onto server for work, read Queenie's blog, read Heather's blog, check the family sites and my email, and then... then I click to Boyd's Nest JUST TO SEE WHAT THE TICKER MIGHT SAY TODAY. As if it will just magically change overnight when I KNOW that it actually only changes on Wednesdays and then it drops a whole week at once. Do I wait for that week to happne? No, I log on every day to see if just MAYBE it has violated its programming and decided to change TODAY. I have decided that this must be behavior related to being a Navy Wife and is in no way reflective of a decline in mental status with the departure of Hubband or onset of Crazy-Lady-Living-With-Cats-in-Small-Town syndrome. This syndrome is a proven problem among people who go from The City to Small Town and switch from being social animals at the office to working from home and talking to their cats or online friends more than they talk to REAL PEOPLE. Its true. I studied it online, and then I talked it over with Oberon and Titania and they agree....

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Naples, from Hubband!

Here are some pics from Naples, Italy, I paired it down from the 200 pics I have.
The first is from the top of the hill in town.

This is a little Plazza that was covered an has been there for about 200-250 years!

This was the full moon that evening.

This is Me in front of Mt Vesuvius.

This was the view from our Restaurant when we first arrived. TR in the Harbor.

Our Motley Crew HM1 Hardenburgh, HM3 Thomas HM1 Lowrey (she is the small one on the right... she took the "boys" picture mentioned earlier!) and HM1 Nicolson.

This train took us to the top of the hill� it�s a type of cable car, and its built on about a 30-40 deg slope. Very Fun time� I would show you more but it might give away the anniversary present�.

A shot of the "boys" taken by Tammy Lowrey as the TR steamed past the Italian coast on Friday evening....

Rome Day 2, again, in HIS words!

We went into the Vatican city, and the Pope happened to be Poping.

This was the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel. Lots of Pics.

This was the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel. Lots of Pics.

Lots of Marble�

I took Tons of shots in these to long halls�. I got a stiff neck.

The view from the windows. Gorgeous

I liked this painting�

I wish this one had turned out better.

The Vatican seal.

This shot was snuck. :-) Michaelangelo. So that was day 2... the camera battery was EXHAUSTED by the end of the chapel.
Maybe I should get another! hehe

Straight from the Hubband's mouth!

ROME. When in Rome do as the Romans do…


Here I am at the TOP of the ruins. They are down a long set of stairs to my right.

This is a cool set of pillars, don’t remember how old, but everything down here was pre renaissance, and most was about 50-100 years older than that.

More ruins, I think this was the senate.

The main arch in front of the senate that people would give speeches in front of to sway the people.
Hard to believe that there were about 1 million people living here at it’s height.
Looking back at the Coliseum from the Ruins… to the Right at the end is the Temple of Aphrodite to offset the death and carnage of the coliseum. ROMA backward is AMOR. Thus the balance...

Broken Marble Pieces from the time of Peter and Paul, now just Benches for the weary.

Coliseum. The Grey stone is from the time of Christ, and the Holes are where iron was fixed into the columns.

This was the arch in front of the Coliseum.

Important arch that I cant remember…. hehe

City of fountains… I threw a coin in for you. (He threw in a coin for me! A.... l'amore... Im SPECIAL! wheeeeeeeee!)

Italian Museum.

Museum entrance at ancient Rome site.

Supposedly the Tomb of The Apostle Peter.

This shows the expansion of the roman empire…

At the top of the ruins.

So this was day one in Rome....

(I'll post Day 2 in a little while... this took me about an hour to get the pictures in the right order with his comments!)