Friday, November 30, 2007

How Old am I?

I do believe I can officially call myself an older woman. I can't say I'm all too happy about it, but you get the idea when you stop getting carded for anything. That's okay, I'll take the high road and call myself "seasoned with life experience", thank you very much.

I received a call a few weeks ago from a friend back home. Michelle ( I have a few friends with this popular name) called to tell me that her daughter had just been proposed to. Then she cried. Then I got choked up. Because this baby girl was, well, still a baby in my eyes. We reminisced about how I was there at the house when she brought her home from the hospital and I literally held that baby all afternoon. I was fifteen at the time and Michelle was the wife of my friend's brother. She was a young mother, but very much in love with her husband and new baby. We used to sit and play cards for hours while she waited for the birth of this baby.

Stacey is the name of this sweet baby that I held so close that chilly January day in 1986. Now the poot head is 21 years old and making me feel on the old side. I saw this sweet young lady grow from a baby to a toddler with the curliest hair and enormous big brown eyes. I've seen her struggle through being a teenager and trying to find her way in this world. She's always always always had the most beautiful smile. Even when she did her time with braces. The first time she stood up in church to sing, I just wanted to bawl because she was so brave and I felt like saying "That's my girl up there!" Sure, Michelle and Davie (Dad) can take full credit for creating and raising a woman who is beautiful inside and out. But, I changed a diaper or two and have always had a soft spot in my heart for Stacey.

Now, we gotta share her with Jay. I don't know about all of this. I've gotten nothing but good reviews about this fellow, but I might need to spend some quality time with the young man before I let go. He's only met me recently and I probably didn't make the greatest first impression when I informed him that Fred has connections with Navy Seals and, you know.......

Regardless, I gotta hand it to the guy. He did the beach proposal and is building my girl a house. He is adorable and the potential for beautiful babies for me and Michelle to spoil is a plus, too. He treats our girl so good and I appreciate that more than he knows. All I ask is that he keeps up the good work or there'll be Navy Seals involved. I'm just saying.

This is one wedding next August I will do everything in my power to attend. I want to be near the front with a good seat. I want to remember tissues as I know I will cry. I want to see Davie give Stacey away and know she will be taken care of.

It is with great pleasure and happiness that I announce the engagement of Stacey and Jay for all the Internets to see. This is my girl and I love her. I look forward to loving that Jay, too!

This is engagement night. Trust me, the ring is gorgeous!

This is at the USC game. Bite your tongue, it's UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA. We are in no way related to that other team who try to use our letters on a regular basis.


Thursday, November 29, 2007

What to Do

When pulling up to the gate of a military installation, make sure you move nice and slow. Because if you leave your I.D. in your wallet and start to scramble to get it out of your purse? It makes the guards nervous.

And if you haven't had a chance to clean out the vehicle after a road trip, you definitely don't want a surprise vehicle inspection. It could be embarrassing.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

What Not to Do

Do not write the family Christmas letter you put in your cards when you are pms'ing. It's just not a good idea. Wait it out a few days. Your outlook is bound to improve.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Hush Already!

I hear ya out there jacking my jaws about not posting anything. I did warn you I would be back at the original Edge last week. I tried, Internets. I truly did. I tried one time to get on that dial-up-hand-crank-holler-at-Mabel-to-open-a-line computer and I had to give up. Don't get me wrong, I'm not completely dissing dial-up internet service. It's how I started out (and I might just finish-ya never know). When I first started the Edge, I would sit late at night waiting for a good connection so I could tell you all about my life. I'd wait til late at night because if someone called, then I would get knocked offline and have to start all over again. You all have heard of the road rage incidents? Internet rage beats that hands down.

We did enjoy our holiday. A lot of work was done at Edge #1 and I am so glad we took the extra days to get that taken care of. It's not finished by a long shot but a vast improvement has been made. We were even able to get a Christmas tree up and decorated before we headed back to Edge #2. All is well and waiting for us to enjoy Christmas.

It was a busy week overall. I saw so many people I haven't seen much of since we moved last year. It was like we haven't been gone, ease of friendships fell right back into place. We had some excitement in that Makenna decided to play hide and seek with Vitt while we were working and hid in her bedroom closet. The door knob is missing on the inside and she was stuck in there for about 15 minutes before Fred found her. I'm thinking the child might need therapy now. The girls also declined their father's invitation to spend the holiday with him. They've gone to his house for turkey day since the divorce and they just had in their heads they didn't want to go this year. It got ugly early Thanksgiving morning, but they ended up with us. Also, the leaves were falling with each puff of wind that blew. All Thanksgiving afternoon, Paige would rake up a pile of leaves and the younger ones would have a ball playing in them. My Daddy said he was going to invest in a leaf pit instead of a sand pit. I also got to see a couple of cousins that I don't see on a regular basis. It's kind of weird now. I remember them being older and worldly when I was young (I can hear them laughing over that statement now). We had a wonderful time connecting on a grown up level and I'm so glad they came.

We took a day trip to Myrtle Beach to do some shopping Wednesday. I had to text my friend Mellie in Hawaii to let her know where I was. She called me back and told me I needed to repent because it was just wrong of me to rub it in. We took a side trip down to the water for an hour. The girls ( Paige, Makenna, and Trinity were with us) took off their shoes, rolled up their pants and promptly got wet. That's what it's all about.

Friday morning found us up and gone around 3 a.m. Des, Fred, and myself headed to Flo-town to see what we could get into. We met up with Lu, Tripp(my cousin), and Jeff (Lu's son) and did some shopping. Fred and I weren't in sync, so we didn't get our game plan in motion. There was one thing in particular I wanted, but it eluded us. That caused some disappointment because I'm competitive, so the letdown threw me off of my game. We weren't as successful as last year, but we did get some stuff accomplished.

One more thing. We've started a tradition of stopping at a Steak & Shake on our way to South Carolina for Thanksgiving break. I whipped out the camera phone as I am prone to do and took a few to remember the occasion. I had to, Vitt decided he was going to be a male model and I HAD to record it.

Of course, I'm going to leave you with a couple of photos from our holiday. I'm shopping around for a new camera phone that takes good pictures like the one I have now. If you have any suggestions, let me know!

p.s. uh....Stacey? I'm still waiting on that picture, girlfriend.

Introducing the new male model for Steak & Shake!

Note the leg up on the ledge as he poses. (We believe in comfort when travelling) (I wore pajama pants for the drive home Saturday.)

Every little girl needs a Dad/Uncle to carry them through the loose sand so their feet don't get nasty.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Give Ya Thanks

My year has flown by. I have no idea where it has gone. Each day that passes, I get more comfortable in this life I now live. It has it's ups and downs dealing with the military on a daily basis, but I have found that old dogs like me CAN adjust and make the best of a situation.

Last week found The Boy with a case of strep throat. I took him to be seen because he had a cold and quite a few very bad nose bleeds. I was more concerned over the nose bleeds than anything. Apparently, he has vessels close to the surface of his nasal passages and if it gets worse, then they can do some sort of laser surgery to hopefully rectify the situation. Back when I was growing up, it was called cauterizing. I think laser sounds so much better and modern. So, he missed the whole week of school. It was not a walk in the park for Mama to cooped up in the house with this active boy. I was so happy to have the initial 48 hours up so I could take him out in the fresh air.

Fred, Vitt, and I went to Mak's school Friday to see her class do a small Thanksgiving play. It was only about twenty minutes long, but very cute. They rehearsed for a couple of weeks before hand and I want to share with you a little bit about Makenna's thought process.

She was a Pilgrim in the play. (The teacher shared with us) She asked the teacher if the Pilgrims had accents. Well, the teacher was at a loss. She didn't know if they did or not. Makenna's reply was that they were from England, so shouldn't they have English accents? The teacher replied that she had never thought about it, but she would have to say that they most likely did. What did Makenna do? She read her part in an English accent. She was the only child able to do so because the other Pilgrims couldn't read and focus on doing an accent. I had to laugh. The teacher said she's done this particular play for 15 years and not once had she had a child who thought of this and went so far as to do the English accent. I guess the other parent's must've thought she was a foreign exchange student or something after she finished reading.

I thought about doing a post about all that I was thankful for. I might even still do it, but time is not on my side today. We are heading to the original Edge in S.C. for the holiday week. Our kids have the whole week off from school due to it being mostly military and that's when most of us are able to travel. Fred's taken a whole week of leave so he can enjoy not dealing with ignorant butts who haven't learned they don't need to drink and drive. We have intentions of doing some major straightening and cleaning at our home there because it's just driving me nuts. All our visits have been rushed, packed to the brim with things and places we have to go. Therefore, basic maintenance has been neglected. It's my ambition to rectify that.

I could promise that I will post if something happens that I need to share with my Internets....but I won't do that. My mother is unfortunate in that she has dial up internet connection. Not her fault, it's the luck of the draw and she got the wrong end on where the line ends for Internet connection goodness. But, I do know that I will go through withdrawals and my need for outside contact may give me the patience to fight a slow connection. We shall see.

We are getting our game plan together for Friday. You know....the bestest shopping day of the entire year? I think I'm looking more forward to that than Thanksgiving itself. Nothing better than getting up early, sipping on coffee while driving in the dark, freezing your butt off, fighting a mad rush, and having a long leisurely breakfast when all is said and done with your family and friends. That defines good living to me.

Take care, Internets. Have a wonderful week if you can. Travel safely where ever thou goest. Enjoy good food until you are stupidly full (have packed elastic waist knit pants for this!). Look twice at those around you and be grateful to have another moment with them in this life.

I'm off to have a wonderfully busy week!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Random Messages....

In this day and age of technology, there are bound to be times when user malfunctions combined with said technology can make for some fun times.

We've all read stories on the Net and in magazines where someone has left voice mail messages on the wrong phone or sent a text with someone in particular in mind, but it ended up on the wrong phone. Lives have been changed when things like this happen, I'm sure. Jobs have been lost over texts, voice mails, and emails.

On November 6 of this year at 5:51 p.m., I received a text on my phone from a number I did not recognize. And that's okay, but the message caused me to pause a minute before bursting out into laughter.

I did not even recognize the area code. The area code on my phone is from South Carolina. I've kept that number so that family and friends would have a local number to keep in contact with me. A mental note was made to look up the area code and see from whence this message came.

This morning I remembered this mental note and decided to look it up. Then I just KNEW I had to share with my Internets my findings.

Are you ready for this?

My random text came from area code 905. Apparently, that's not even in the United States. My research shows the following:

Canada: S Cent. Ontario: Greater Toronto Area -- Durham, Halton, Hamilton-Wentworth, Niagara, Peel, York, and southern Simcoe County (excluding Toronto -- see overlay 289 [eff 6/9/01], splits 416, 647)

Are you serious? Canada?? I know I got friends up Canada way, but I can't seem to recall giving any of them my cell phone number. I'm just stumped.

Now I feel bad. Because, you see, I responded to this random text in random style. Paige was so tickled at my response. She couldn't believe I even had the nerve to do so.

To whoever texted me from Canada? Dude, I'm sorry. I lied to you. But, I promise it was in fun. I hope you didn't wait too long....

Text from 905-xxx-xxxx:

We need u at the barn.

Reply from 843-xxx-xxxx:

I'm on my way.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Remember still.....

I want to share a little something with you. Our active duty military has been busy these past few years. While some are out there protesting our president and this war we're involved in....others have heard it so much they tend to become immune and no longer hear any details about what's going on or who is involved. That's understandable given how much our media has saturated our airwaves with it all.

The Navy is a little different in that they deploy for 6-9 months or go on patrols from 2-4 months. It is a cycle that is broken by ships and boats that come in for repairs or get put off course by things they need to check on out there in the ocean. Surface ships are luckier in that technology has given the aboard sailor the ability to send and receive emails and mail on a more regular basis. Submarines are better than ten years ago in that every once in a while they, too, can send and receive emails. I'm a little more familiar with the submarines and know that there are "black out" periods of time where there is no communication whatsoever. Even the Red Cross has a hard time getting through when things are tough.

Any way you put it, the sailors/submariners are gone for periods of time. And they are missed. Missed by wives, family, friends, and especially the kids. They are needed at home to get the oil changed in the car, or to help soothe the fevered brow of a sick baby. They miss so much serving our country and keeping our water boundaries safe. It is a way of life where I live.

Then there's today. A normal average Friday. Kids are gone to school and some husbands are playing golf. You go to run an errand with a friend and on the way back, you see something that just makes your heart smile. It may not be you experiencing the joy and excitement of seeing a face you've missed for so long, but you sure know how it feels. It's something, once felt, you never forget. For me, it never gets old. Every time I see this....I want to cry. Happy tears, mind you.

Please remember our men and women working for our safety this Holiday Season, would you? Not just those across the sea...but those who work day in and day out to secure our borders from those who wish us harm. Because while we may sit down to family dinners, open gifts, and enjoy the company of those we love? There are those who will be freezing out in the middle of nowhere watching a non-moving horizon. There will be those who will make sure your day is as safe as can be while missing their own families.

I'd like to say "Thank You" to the neighbor whose name I do not know. I know not if you are a Sailor, a Submariner or Marine, but I sure am glad you're doing your job.

Special thanks to Carla for tolerating me making her stop to take a picture of something we've seen so many times......

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Needs and Things

Miss Hope got her van back today. I am relieved to say that it wasn't a major thing like a whole engine replacement. Apparently, the van is a 6 cylinder running machine. One of said cylinders had a messed up coil so it wasn't firing correctly. Are you kidding me? That one tore up cylinder made everyone who rode in or heard this van think that the engine was going to literally fall out on the road or blow up. We were already shopping around for another vehicle because I'm not about having engines blow up or fall out. I got an issue with the whole thing, though. Six cylinders. I mean, come on here. If there's six, wouldn't it stand to reason that if one kicks out...the other five left can keep up the work? You buy a dozen eggs and normally don't use all twelve at once. Right? Just goes to show that man-made things aren't reliable after all. So, the oil is changed, I assumed tires rotated, two recalls fixed, and all SIX cylinders are working in harmony. I feel much safer thinking about driving four hours one way this weekend.

I need to find another day in the week somewhere. Preferably a day that is half weekday and half weekend. Why? Because that way everyone can go to school and work while Mama does her thing. I'm not such an ogre that I don't want the rest of the family to have something to enjoy, so make the latter half a weekend day. I think that sounds perfectly fair.

I also need to have a talk with clothes designers. They seem to think all women are at least 5'10" tall that wear pants. I am 5'6" and consider myself a woman of average height. I come from a family of shorties. Pretty much all the women are shorter than I am and have to buy petites. I am not petite in stature. Yet, all my pants seem to be 2-4 inches too long (forgive me for not converting to that metric system, my Canadian friends!) Designer Dudes? I am not buying a gazillion pair of chunky heels just to wear pants. That's just not right. Not when those cute ballerina flats are in style. And I love me some ballerina flats. They take me back to high school where we wore them with youthful abandon. I just wish I had hung on to them. My instincts told me those rockin' 80's styles would come back around. They were too cool not to. Anyway, I'm having issues with lengths of pants and thought I would use my personal forum to vent about them.

Now it's time to wake up the little sleeping bear who never takes a nap but decided to today because it's the one day of the week Mama has to go pick up the older kids from school because Dad has a stupid dipwad coming in that doesn't know how to hold his alcohol and walk in public.

Monday, November 05, 2007

And so it begins.....

And so begins another holiday season. I'm enjoying it already because thus far I haven't been stressed over the gift buying. I'm finding what I need as I go. I admit to finding some pineapple themed stuff at Cracker Barrel for 50% off that just thrilled me to pieces and I HAD to just get it because the deal was too good to pass up. Miss Hope loves collecting pineapple stuff.

We're also officially seeing a light at the end of the military life tunnel. My husband had his 18 year anniversary on November 1. I'm sad I haven't been with him for the whole ride, but maybe that's for the best. I have too many issues with authority to live this way for a long period of time. I am very proud of that man of mine for sticking with it and doing his best to make sure we got some extra medical insurance for our golden years. I know official retirement is two years away, but I've been warned to go ahead and start planning the ceremony. Good thing I know people that can help or he would be stuck with a handshake and a "See ya!" Nah, he knows I'll look out for him when the times comes.

I thought we were going to have to hurt us a teenager this past weekend when she went to a corn maze for a big birthday party. She was three hours late getting home and the farm was so far out, there was no cell phone reception. Fred and I were beyond anxious wondering where she was. I fear our ability to make it through ages 14-18. It ended well with a parent apologizing (they had a flat tire). Let's just say Paige understands now that if she ends up somewhere there's no reception? She's got no business being there and she better find a way to contact us to come get her. My nightmarish visions that I had do NOT need to ever re-visit me again. ~shudder~

Our weather has been cooler which makes me very suspicious. I refuse to pack up the summer clothes because I can recall in vivid detail how warm it was last Christmas vacation here with kids playing outside in shorts and flip flops. Don't get me wrong, I'm enjoying the heck out of it....but I still look around all squinty eyed, waiting for the heat wave to come out of nowhere and blast us good. Hey now, I'm all for wearing long pants and slacking off on shaving the legs. What person in their right mind wouldn't be???

I'm getting ready to launch myself into another busy week. It's different this time, because I firmly stand on the thought that it will be a productive one. I am taking my van to the dealership tomorrow to have the oil changed and see why that durn check engine light is shining so brightly. I am so ready for a new reliable vehicle that seats a lot of people in semi-comfort. How about send some good engine vibes my way. Mama can't afford to do some of that high cost maintenance that only seems to come around during the holiday season.

The laptop has been my friend today. As a result, I don't have access to my Halloween pictures. I'll try to get one out to you before week's end. I had the cutest Spider Boy in the South.