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.