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!