Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Pox on Your Arm

Thursday night, our conversation before bed...

NavyGuy: I got my smallpox vaccine today.

NavyWife: Oh yeah, in which arm?

NG: My left - see right here (pointing).

NW: (Reaching to touch it) Does it hurt?

NG: No! Don't touch it.

NW: Jeez big baby, I wasn't going to jab my fingernail into it.

NG: No, it's that there's live virus on it.

NW: Huh?

NG: They stick a needle with live cow pox virus into your arm several times, and that's how the vaccination works. It's like any other vaccine, you know, so there's a little bit of the virus on my arm. Hence the bandaid.

NW: WHAT! Agh! Pox on my hand! Pox on my hand!

NG: Oh dear God.

NW: So wait, does that mean you're gonna have small pox on your arm?

NG: Well, a scar from it.

NW: OH MY GOD! I'm gonna get the pox!!! You let me touch your pox arm! You're like a human smallpox blanket! Shouldn't you be quarantined?!? My GOD!

NG: This is why I don't tell you things.

I'll spare you the rest of the conversation, but it went on with me making irrational claims and predictions for some time. (For instance, I may have suggested that all NavyGuy needed was a vaccine against dysentery and he'd be set to travel the Oregon Trail for life!)

But now, three days later, his small pox arm doesn't look right. There's no pox scar. And there should be. So now I'm a little worried that the U.S. government is testing some crazy drugs on naive junior lieutenants in the Navy. I shared my theory with NavyGuy, that perhaps much like how the U.S. Public Health System tested syphilis on unsuspecting African-Americans in Tuskegee, Alabama, now the government is using the guise of smallpox vaccinations to test god-knows-what on Navy officers who just get told, "show up here, at this time, for a medical thing."

Now NavyGuy says I'm not allowed to answer the phone if a FBI agent calls to do NavyGuy's background check for his security clearance. Which must mean I'm on to something...


Saturday, February 27, 2010

Well that was a lot of thinking...

I spent this morning in Bellingham, taking Washington state content tests in order to get a teaching license.

And in other news, I'll probably be working at Starbucks for a good long while...

No, well, maybe, but those tests were tough. I took the history test and the general social studies test, so that I can get certifications in each and ostensibly be more marketable as an educator. But I'm really not confident that I passed either test. Each was 110 multiple choice questions; the social studies one actually had repeat questions from the history exam - so I either got a whole bunch right twice, or a whole bunch wrong twice. Some of the questions seemed legitimate, but too many of them were poorly worded, or had such vague answer choices that arguments could be made for almost any of the answers.

But the bigger question is, what do the tests really tell the state of Washington about my potential in a classroom? No one can argue that we don't want our teachers to have some content knowledge in the subject they're teaching - I mean, duh, you need to know something about what you're teaching in order to create appropriate lessons, activities, and assessments for students. But the tests I took today don't measure any of those skills. Whether or not I can rattle off the main causes of the Russian Revolution has little correlation to whether I can adequately describe those causes in language appropriate to a 15 year old. Or help that 15 year compare the causes of Russian Revolution with the causes of the French Revolution. Or (even more tricky) persuade a 15 year old that the Russian Revolution is a) something he needs to learn or b) something that has any importance, relevance, or usefulness nearly 100 years after the fact.

Perhaps I'm just bitter at the possibility that my college degree in history and four years of teaching history, may count for nothing compared to 220 random social studies questions administered on a random February morning.


Friday, February 26, 2010

Photos from Wisconsin - Part 3

Heavens to betsy! I'm beat from my late night skating excursion. (But how good did they all skate?!?!? Personally, I think Rachael Flatt got screwed somehow - 7th place? - but I love that the Canadian skater got the bronze, and Kim Yu Na was awesome... and actually showed emotion after she finished! Unlike that poor Japanese girl who took the silver and as NavyGuy would say, "You have dishonored the fatherland!!")

Anyway, let's just look at a few more cute baby photos, shall we?

NavyGuy and I spent a few days in St. Paul during our Midwest tour, visiting high school friends, college friends, and friends from my days of blue plastic glasses. (Yep, that's how I rolled in the 4th grade.) TWP and her hubby and daughter FG were kind enough to put us up for the duration.

In return, I spoiled FG...

Lots of play time

New monkey pajamas from Old Navy

The random purple ball she became obsessed with at Old Navy (which kept her entertained long enough for her mom to find a couple maternity tops)

And chocolate pudding. Cuz FG gets whatever FG wants when Auntie M comes to town :)


Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Glimpse Into My Friendship with HistoryGirlie

I found photos of HistoryGirlie and I!

Here were are doing the commentary on a History Channel documentary. We feel our insights are best shared when wearing authentic clothing from the time period. For our first special on the anniversary of women getting the right to vote, we opted for patriotic regalia from 1920. She made me wear the hat.
Oh, so many hours spent at the copy machine in the break room at school. HG always wears her best heels to work.
We didn't know each other as little girls, but I picture us as fast friends, who would have spent many an hour reading books, doing needlepoint, and retying our hair bows just so (or trying to tight-roll our jeans just so).
HG and I chaperoned Prom at the high school several years in a row. It was quite the scandal when we arrived in nearly identical dresses - with matching umbrellas! I swore I told her I was going to be working my parasol...
A casual afternoon at the bookstore. You NEVER go to the bookstore without your gloves. It's unheard of. And our Catholic mothers would have had us excommunicated. They were already horrified when they saw the great heights we'd achieved with our hairstyles.
A photo of our future. Scrunchy sunken apple faces and sensible clothing. Possibly living in some sort of craft commune on the East Coast, so we can take advantage of all the nearby historical sites for our afternoon outings.

Miss ya HG! We have to remember to take some actual photos of us the next time I'm home :)


Best Part of the Games

It's finally here!!! The women's figure skating is on tonight, which is awesome. The ladies did their short programs on Tuesday night, and tonight's free skate is going to be even better. I've watched the recaps, slow-mo replays, analysis, Kristi Yamaguchi's predictions, and pretty much everything NBC has shoved down my throat since Tuesday. My thoughts?

1. The female commentator for the skating events irritates the crap nuggets out of me. The two guys (Scott Hamilton and the other one who's name I've forgotten) are awesome. They tell it like it is, but also root for people and act like normal humans. The female y>akker though is a WENCH! Everything she says is negative or pessimistic. Listen to her tonight - a skater can have the best performance of her life, no falls, no mistakes, and this chickee-poo will snootily remark, "well, the skating was good, but I'm just not sure her essence was up to par." Seriously?!?! Half the stuff she adds doesn't even make sense! Argh.

2. The South Korea girl (Kim Yu Na) is supposedly unbeatable, and while I would be happy if she won (cuz she seems fun in her interviews, and oh yeah, she's pretty good at the skating stuff), it would also be fun to see an underdog give her a run for her money. At least have everyone do really well so Kim has to actually pull an amazing performance and not just stay upright for four minutes.3. Joannie Rochette (Canada) is currently in third place, and is the sentimental favorite. Her mother passed away Saturday of a heart attack, and the 24 year old opted to go ahead with her performance because that's what her mother would have wanted. I saw an interview with Dan Janssen yesterday (who competed in the Olympics hours after learning his sister had died), and he was amazed at how well she performed. Rochette would have been a big story merely for being from the home country, but her courage, determination, and humanity make her even more exciting to watch (if you didn't tear up watching her finish her performance on Tuesday, when she finally allowed herself to break down, you should see a cardiologist to figure out how blood is pumping through your body without the benefit of A HEART!).4. Apparently, we are to focus on the edges of the skates and the amount of turning once a skater lands her jump. Kristi Yamaguchi brought her skates on the Today Show this morning and attempted to explain the nuances to Meredith Viera (who really keeps getting sassier and sassier, no?). Anyway, according to Kristi, watch to make sure the girls land on the outer edge of their skate; that's what all the jumps have in common. Also, they can't rotate more than 1/4 of a turn when they're landing, or they lose points. I think. Basically, I'll still be watching to see if they land upright, and then let Scotty Ham tell me what's really going on. (Thought - why can't Kristi do the commentating instead of cranky wench?)

5. Found this awesome 2010 Olympic Figure Skating Drinking Game. Might be the only way I can get NavyGuy to participate in my Olympic madness.

Seriously, I'm so excited. Because we live on the stupid West Coast though, the TV coverage of the skating doesn't start until 8pm. Which I don't understand. The events are happening literally two hours north of us (presumably in the same time zone). Yet my mom, in the Central Time zone, will get to start watching her evening Olympic coverage at 7pm. So are the events actually starting at 5pm my time? I don't get it. All I know is that I have to stay up until midnight to see the finish, so I'm preparing to nap this afternoon and hog the tv all night (I have no clue what NavyGuy plans to do but he's been warned that the tv will not be available... and that his snarky comments about skaters or random exclamations of "It's Johnny Weird!" will not be tolerated).

Are you as excited as I am? Or are you anxious to return to regularly scheduled programming? (Whoa - Jim and Pam have their baby on The Office next week!!!)


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Photos from Wisconsin - Part 2

For 27 years I have tried to get my mother to take photographs. Aside from a 24 hour window surrounding my wedding in which she agreed to leave her camera-phobia at home, she has always refused all paparazzi attempts, using physical means if necessary. However, all NavyGuy has to do is hold a camera and ask nicely once. Mom'll plaster a grin on her face without so much as a single complaint. God damn him and his magical powers.

HistoryGirlie's daughter Kitty. Not typically so solemn, she was playing shy when NavyGuy and I arrived at their house to get ready for a Valentine's Day dinner. (Kitty finally started opening up later in the evening, pointing at NavyGuy and saying "Guy!" "Guy!" to which all of us were eternally amused.) I'll have to get some better photos from HistoryGirlie, because I swear Kitty normally looks more like a happy-go-lucky-toddler. (P.S. She's totally drinking from an UNCOVERED big girl cup now! Such a sophisticated lady.)

I realized that HistoryGirlie and I have almost no photos together (probably because our favorite activity - sitting in her basement talking and watching Grey's Anatomy - isn't conducive to photo shoots). I'm doing some searching though - stay tuned.


Photos from Wisconsin - Part 1

MOH's baby, Lily, at a family dinner our first night home. She's 8 months now, and still a little peanut size-wise (excluding her 90th percentile noggin').

Lily's obsessed with pulling herself up on things, a skill she mastered since I'd last seen her two weeks prior. Her older "cousin," Shea-Lynn, checks up on her at day care every day once Shea arrives afterschool, so they're old buds.

I hadn't been drinking. That's just my "dear-god-take-the-photo-before-the-baby-blinks-or-cries-again" look.

Awwww. I'll spare you all the instructions, hints, directions, rules, and admonitions MOH and I were blasting NavyGuy with while he tried to peacefully give Lily her bottle.


Technology Coup

Guest Post from NavyGuy...

Well, folks, seeing as our dear NavyGirl is taken with a deathly illness, I'm writing one of my sporadic guest posts. When NavyGirl gets sick, her resolve weakens, and this is when I spring my "New Technology" traps on her. This time, there were two!

First off, I got her using the PS3 as a media client. She can now watch all of our saved DVD's on the TV, including the first 4 seasons of our new favorite comedy, How I Met Your Mother. But I digress. The reason for this post was to primarily talk about a new avenue through which you can read this blog.

For Christmas, I got a Kindle, which is awesome, I love it, but it allows you to subscribe to blogs and then have them automatically delivered wirelessly to the Kindle. The nice thing is, the blog author gets a bit of money for each subscription. The only issue was getting NavyGirl to set up. After weeks of pestering and pleading, I took advantage of her momentary weakness from illness to ninja her blog into Kindle. After shouting for her to bring her checkbook down (she had no idea why) and rummaging around her wallet to get the info I needed to set up the account, is now available to all you lucky Kindle readers out there.

So, the lesson to take away from this is: don't allow your husband to set up new electronic things while you're sick, I guess.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

God I hate being sick!

Seriously, that's all I have to say. I can't even form other coherent thoughts to share with you.

NavyGuy had a cold for two days while we were traveling, and I thought I was in the clear. But then on Thursday I woke up with a sore throat, by Friday it had traveled to my nose and head, and now it's taken over my entire upper half. Coughing and schnerking and generally feeling miserable. I'm not terribly grown-up even when I'm feeling 100%, so imagine how pleasant I am when I'm less than tip-top shape... (NavyGuy has to physically restrain himself once I start the dramatic thrashing and moaning and chants of "I'mmmmm dyyyyyyyiiiiiiiing...").

My entire head feels like it could tip slightly one way or another and fall completely off my neck. Each day I've tried a different cocktail of cold medicines, chased with buckets of orange juice. Apparently, moving out West has depleted my once hearty immune system, and I'm cursed to suffer week-long colds. Ugh. Blarghy.

And worst of all is the remaining Catholic guilt in my body that's exploding with the worry that I've gotten others sick while I was home. Like my opera singing Sister-in-Law who depends on her health. Or my two-year old goddaughter who (if she's ill) will most certainly wring the remaining life out of her exhausted mother.

Anyone else suffering from any maladies or ailments?


Monday, February 22, 2010

Home Again Home Again, Jiggity Jig

Is there anything more comfortable than your own bed after an extended vacation? (Typing from said location, I'll simply say, ahhhhhhhh)

NavyGuy and I arrived back in Washington Monday night, many pounds heavier from all the wonderful eating, revived by all our family and friends, and one of us nursing a vicious cold (apparently my immune system has lost its previously powerful Midwest winter strength and made me susceptible to anything and everything). NavyGuy has to go back to work right away tomorrow morning, but I'm looking forward to slowly easing back into regular life. Aside from tackling the vacation laundry, I have little on the schedule. Rest, catching up on my Google Reader (151 unread posts!), and savoring the comfortableness of home.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Starbucks Shenanigans

I warned you that the blogging would be light while we're home in Wisconsin... and I'm nothing if not good on my word. Today is our last full day in the cheese state, so hopefully this week, things will be back to normal around here, with lots of my postings and rantings.

To finish up our air travel here, I promised a Starbucks story. We all know I've become a bit of a coffee snob. I like my tall, non-fat, no whip mocha from Starbucks, and other mochas just don't cut it. They don't have the same dark chocolate flavor that I've come to crave, and frankly, I can't observe non-Bux baristas and know if they're making my drink up to standards (whereas I now torture Sbux employees by hovering near the handoff counter to make certain that they add the milk to the espresso shots within the required 10 seconds - so the shots don't burn and taste bitter). Anyway, NavyGuy and I had arrived at the Minneapolis airport after our first leg of the trip from Seattle. It was 5:30am central time, which meant it felt like 3:30 in the morning to me. And I hadn't slept. And I was cranky.

We exit the airplane, and immediately see a 'Bux. Our next flight boards in about thirty minutes, and is conveniently in a different far-away terminal. So what would you do in this instance?

Let's pretend this is a Choose Your Own Adventure Book - I loved those as a kid. So you've come to the bottom of the page, and you have two options:

Option A: Get your mocha from the Starbucks directly in front of you. It could be a stressful rush to your next flight, but you'd be assured of your caffeine.

Option B: Go directly to the next terminal where your flight is, and then search for a 'Bux. This option guarantees you'll be on time for boarding, but there's a slight risk the other terminal may be Sbux-less.

As you can probably guess from the title, NavyGuy encouraged Option B, while I pleaded (to no avail) for Option A.

We chose the wrong option, and like an adventure book, came to the last page in the story very quickly. The entire walk over to our next terminal I whined, moaned, threatened NavyGuy with certain death, and generally played the obnoxious wife, should we arrive at our next gate without nary a Starbucks in sight. And of course, our terminal had none. There was a Caribou Coffee, but by this point, I had gotten worked up enough that nothing - NOTHING - short of my Starbucks mocha was going to satisfy me. And it wouldn't have been such an issue had we NOT PASSED RIGHT BY ONE AND HAD SOMEONE LISTENED TO HIS WIFE WHO'S ALWAYS RIGHT!!!!!

NavyGuy offered to go get me anything in the current terminal, but by now I had joined the Hall of Fame of passive aggressive women and was playing the martyr as if I were up for an Oscar. The "no, I'm fine" game, wherein I'm anything but fine. Finally he gave up and let me sit there stewing in my crankiness.

With about twenty minutes until boarding, I decided to take matters into my own hands. Glaringly, I grabbed my purse, stared down NavyGuy, and said, "I'm going for coffee." He looked bewildered but knew better than to try and reason with me at this point.

I started off, having decided on secret Option C - find a different 'Sbux somewhere and get my mocha! Well, by the time I power-walked through half the Minneapolis airport and found a random 'Bux, I was sweating so profusely I had to settle for an iced mocha, and do a walk-sprint back to the gate so we could board the plane. NavyGuy thought I had run all the way back to the original store, and merely shook his head at my pigheadedness determination as we boarded our flight to Milwaukee.

All's well that end's well, but an important lesson was learned that early morning in Minnesota - do not tangle or cross a sleep-deprived NavyWife... and go to the first Starbucks you come across!


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Getting there is half the battle...

Our journey to Wisconsin this past weekend was one long list of debacles. I'll say that in the end, everything worked out fine, but along the way...

~ I didn't have a seat when we tried to check in for our red-eye flight, so we had to wait for the gate agent to assign me one

~ NavyGuy set off the security alarms several times because he failed to remove his belt, and he became ThatGuy slowing up the entire security line

~ the gate agent decided not to show up until twenty minutes before the flight

~ and the computers wouldn't work at the gate, so the cranky passengers without seat assignments had to wait even longer

The whole situation was full of heightened drama because it was midnight, and everyone was exhausted and dreading a night flight. I got assigned a seat several rows behind NavyGuy, and was counting on sitting next to him (as he was going to serve as my makeshift pillow so I could sleep during the red-eye). Well, that plan fell through with the overbooked flight mess. So we boarded, NavyGuy strolled to his exit row seat (with ample leg room), while I headed back twelve rows and squeezed between two giant guys into my deadly middle seat. Well, a girl has to take matters into her own hands...

I loudly announced to my seatmates, "Hey! My husband has an exit row seat several rows up - either of you want to switch and get the extra leg room?!?!" Yes, I will throw NavyGuy under the bus for my own comfort on a long flight.

The aisle guy jumped at my offer and scurried up to tell NavyGuy he'd been boosted. By the time NavyGuy got back to my row, I was doing that cowering girl thing in my seat, like, aren't I cute, don't hate me, you love me, remember? He was cranky, and truth be told, I couldn't sleep for most of the flight, so the whole debacle was moot anyway.

Coming up - NavyWife is always right about Starbucks, and arriving in the wonderful cold of Wisconsin...


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

May your day be filled with lots and LOTS of chocolate :)

A kitty cat valentine (which NavyGuy thought looked like a mouse, so I had to label it for the recipient)
And a little puppy dog!


Friday, February 12, 2010

Inbound Hot!

And we're off! Wisconsin here we come. 10 days of running around like fools trying to see anyone and everyone that we love. NavyGuy and I are on the red-eye out of Seattle tonight, and are due into Wisconsin early Saturday morning. Who knows when I'll be able to post again amidst all the running around like fools, but I'll do my best.

Can't wait to see many of you!!!


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Deployment Prep: The Big Meeting

NavyGuy's squadron had a big meeting for all of the sailors, chiefs, aircrew, and officers, and everyone's spouses and/or families were welcome as well. Oh, sorry, NavyGuy would want to correct me and say it was not a meeting, it was a "brief." The word brief in Navy aviation can mean many things and can be used as several parts of speech.

"I have to go plan for the brief." (Noun, meaning, I have to go prepare to give a big speech.)

"I brief at 1600." (Verb, meaning, I will be the one doing the talking during the big speech... at 4pm.)

"The brief was brief." (Adjective, but completely untrue statement. Briefs are never brief in the Navy. But the boys do wear briefs... okay, tangent is running a little amuck.)

Okay, so the pre-deployment brief ended up clocking in at just over two hours, plus a twenty minute pizza break. I took copious notes, which I'll share below, as well as my snarky opinions on each of the speakers and agencies that presented:

1. Chaplain - Emotional Cycle of Deployment
Oh good, let's start with the awkward stuff. Actually, the chaplain was concise and gave useful information that basically amounted to - "you are not going crazy, you are going to act weird for the next month until your spouse leaves, and then it's going to be hard while they're gone. Oh, and it's going to be hard when they finally do come back cuz you'll have just gotten used to living your life without their daily presence. Call the church to talk about anything - we're a confidential service so we can't tell your spouses' commanding officer that your family is stressed about finances." He showed a great emotional cycle graphic (I'll talk more about this in a later post), and offered a deep question for us to tackle: how will you grow your relationship during the deployment?

2. Fleet and Family Support Center - Paperwork and Resources
The representative from this base group was also an excellent speaker. She highlighted a lot of the paperwork that we'll have to address before deployment (everything from wills and power of attorneys, to budgets and military ID cards). She also highlighted several useful websites, and stressed the end-all-be-all word of deployment: communication.

3. MWR (Morale, Wellness, and Recreation) - Keep Busy
MWR is the activities and events office - everything from base bowling leagues to cheap tickets to DisneyWorld. Their rep missed the meeting, but the office is closely associated with the Fleet and Family Support Center, so that lady talked for them. Basically, her message was: this group is great at helping you keep busy, become a fan of them on Facebook because their own website is down at the moment, and keep busy. Did you get that? Keep busy. Cuz that will make everything okay...

4. Education Services Facilitator - women's brains are like spaghetti...
I have no clue what this guy was supposed to be. I think he's part of the Fleet and Family office, and is some sort of unlicensed psychologist, but I think he thought he was auditioning for Second City, because his whole 15 minute schpiel resembled a really uncomfortable stand-up comedy routine. He was ostensibly focusing on couples communication, but somehow he used an analogy that women's brains are like spaghetti (in that every various topic in life touches another, and therefore we jump from subject to subject confusing the hell out of men), whereas men's brains are like storage containers (in that various topics in life are separated into individual boxes, and they only deal with one box at a time). Baloney Sausage! Let's just start with the fact that spaghetti is a terrible food to use as the metaphor - it only involves noodles and sauce! That's not a cacophony of different things touching - that's two things! And I'm sorry, but NavyGuy is just as random during conversations as I am, jumping from topic to topic as ideas pop into his head. The whole spaghetti vs. storage thing lost my interest, and luckily the speaker wrapped things up fairly quickly (while also explaining his lack of using a microphone by saying it was too complicated... sure - he can handle my emotional well-being, but a microphone with one button is just too much...)

5. Family Readiness Group (FRG) - Sassy Wife Zings the Navy
The FRG is sort of a spouses' group for the enlisted and officer spouses (who do not traditionally interact much). The speaker for this portion of the brief was an officer wife who felt perfectly comfortable telling it like it is. But not in a good way. She started off the presentation poorly by announcing that the Navy is the enemy, our husbands are the enemy, and basically some days "we all hate you." AWKWARD! Of course some days I hate the Navy, but that's not something you tend to want to scream in front of 200 people... who are IN THE NAVY! It's one thing to be honest, but it's another to be condescending and sarcastic in front of people who don't really know you. Anyway, she wasn't even really prepared - she only had a few packets printed up, so most of us didn't get any of the handouts, and truthfully, I have no clue what the FRG can really do for me.

6. Legal Department - she said NCIS!
What a doozy. Obviously, talking about wills and legal matters is never going to be riveting for a group of non-lawyers, but the woman sent by the legal office on base had absolutely no public-speaking skills, couldn't keep a coherent thought in her head for two seconds, focused on the most inappropriate aspects of their job (spending ten minutes talking about divorce one month before a deployment is not inspiring...), and merely managed to confuse many of us who thought we understood the process for getting a Power of Attorney. The only fun moment was when she said "NCIS" and the Navy wife I was sitting next to turned to me and was all, why couldn't they have gotten DiNozzo do give the brief? Word.

At this point we took a break for pizza, and many of the younger enlisted guys snuck out the back. I think the legal brief was the last straw for them.

7. Naval Hospital - Pregnancy Rocks
The hospital rep basically reminded us of the important phone numbers and hours of the hospital and urgent care on base. Then she went on to list like 4000 free programs, benefits, and giveaways that pregnant ladies can get... I wonder if I can crash the "Budgeting for Baby" class to get the free tote bag... maybe I could claim I'm not very far along, not showing yet? (Or just eat a huge lunch and call myself 5 months...)

8. Navy Marine Corps Relief Society - ????
I must have blanked out during this guy. My notes literally say "Red Cross card" and "Thrift Shop 10-2, Tues, Wed." Hmmmm.... maybe NavyGuy was listening during this part...

9. Lt. LoveBug - General Overview of what the guys do
LoveBug, one of the other guys in the admin office that NavyGuy works in, got up to give a basic overview of what the deployment is like for those deploying. We got a five minute blast of where they're going, what they'll spend their day doing, how much they fly, and the calendar of dates when they'll be leaving... which is subject to change at any point in time (up to and including six seconds before they board the planes). I have to clarify with NavyGuy what information I'm allowed to share with the world at this point, so I'm going to err on the side of caution and leave this topic vague.

To wrap things up, the Command Master Chief (head of the enlisted guys), and the XO (executive officer... second in command for the squadron), each got up, said nice things about the spouses, encouraged communication, and thanked us all for coming. I helped NavyGuy clean up pizza boxes, we dropped some things off at the squadron, and then stopped for ice cream at the McDonald's on base.

I'm not sure if this pre-deployment brief is common for other squadrons or areas of the Navy - any other spouses out there who have gone through a similar meeting?


Almost Meeting Time!

Tidy every room in the house? Check.

Make cranberry bliss bars? Check.

Force NavyGuy to vacuum? Check.

Make mini cookies? Check.

Make chocolate covered strawberries? Check.

Hide all remaining junk in closets and under the bed? Check.

Display fancy flower arrangement to impress fellow Navy wives with my style, grace, and flower-arranging abilities at our meeting tonight?

BlaZOW. Check.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Even the stupid customers can teach you something...

Did you know why people sometimes drink their hot coffee drinks with a straw? To keep the coffee from staining their teeth!

I know! I always thought they were dumb-asses who were just out to burn the back of their mouth instead of the front. I mean, how ridonkulous does it look to stick a giant green straw in your tall-sized mocha? But, thanks to my most moronic customer to date, I actually learned something.

Wait, I haven't told you about Ms. AnnoyingWench? Ms-I-bring-my-tiny-dog-that-looks-like-a-hairless-cat-into-Target-because-I-have-no-real-friends-who-will-shop-with-me? Ms-Over-nourished-and-under-showered-jerky-jerk? Ms-lets-see-if-I-can-blame-all-of-my-problems-and-issues-on-the-innocent-Starbucks-employee-today?

Yeah, so Ms. AnnoyingWench strolls in, with her scary hairless dog in the seat part of the cart, and her chip firmly attached to her shoulder. First up, she wants to know if we have any more tumblers. Well, there's lots on the shelves there, or gosh, see all those baskets right in front of you? With the cups inside? Those'd be tumblers too.

Well, then she was upset that all the Starbucks tumblers cost more than $10. (Ma'am, you're buying snobby coffee cups... if you want to spend $3.99 for a tumbler, head to Walmart.) She finally picks out one she wants. Then, Ms. AnnoyingWench proceeds to tell me her coffee order, which she prefaces by saying she's on a diet (good idea Ma'am). She orders a white mocha (one of the highest calorie drinks on the menu), made with half-n-half milk (more fat), with real caramel sauce mixed in (definitely encouraged on all diets), and then topped with more real caramel. But no whipped cream. Cuz, ya know, she's "on a diet." (I had to physically freeze my eyeballs in place to keep them from rolling back into my skull permanently.)

So, my boss is on the espresso bar, so she makes her drink for her (after Ms. AnnoyingWench yelled at me four times to rinse out her new tumbler, and "no, I don't want the stupid paper inside the cup, I don't care if it has the washing and usage instructions"...). So, we serve her her drink, she heads to the condiment bar to futz with it, and I think the hell is over. Ha!

Ms. AnnoyingWench starts pitching a high holy fit because she purchased a tumbler that has a lid without space for a straw. And she "never ever EVER drinks her coffee without a straw because you know, it STAINS your teeth"... (and I'm standing there trying not to think about the fact that stained teeth are the least of her worries). So what does she do? She violently slides the tumbler back across the counter at me and wants to exchange it for a different one. Which of course is more expensive than the original one she picked out, so I have to re-ring the whole transaction, my boss has to remake the "diet" drink, and she continues to stand there glaring at me, and bitching about how anyone would make a tumbler without a straw hole, and what kind of operation are you running here that you can't even do a return in three seconds or less, and...

At this point I had literally stepped out of my body and was simply going through the motions, lest I lose my shiznit and throw her goddamn tumbler at her ugly hairless dog. Ms. AnnoyingWench had now cost us an extra drink, a $15 tumbler (cuz we couldn't sell the original one she'd bought now that there had been a drink in it), and most of my sanity. Oh, and did I mention that the original ruined tumbler was our last Valentine's one? Wench.

When she FINALLY left the area, I gave my boss one look and walked into the back storage room to breath and blow for a second. My boss applauded my stunningly calm performance... and luckily, I've never seen Ms. AnnoyingWench at work since.

But the best part? Besides the fact that Ms. AnnoyingWench finally explained to me why some people use a straw to drink their hot coffee? My boss called her boss, and sent me home at the end of my shift with the ruined Valentine's Day tumbler!!!! (Washed, sanitized, bleached, and exorcised, of course.) And justice is done :)


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Guest Bathroom After...

You can refresh your memory of the before photos here, and then check out the new and improved version below!

First up is the new shower curtain (the axis around which the rest of the bathroom revolves). I opted for a clearance Kohls number in pear green. According to HGTV, you should always leave your shower curtain halfway open, to make the bathroom feel larger. :)

A matching hand towel (mixed with one of our basic white towels to shake things up). The framed "art" above is three retro Seattle postcards.

More Kohls finds. The three square blocks have been up for a while (and worked extremely well to showcase Christmas knick-knacks), but I haven't completely finished decorating.

Mom provided the cute brown basket in the corner, which works well to hold the other new hand towel. I still need to add some art work on that wall by the door, but I'm torn. Should I go with a photograph? Stick with the Seattle/Washington theme? Make something with paper in the green color scheme? For now, it's going to remain blank.

The only thing not pictured is the new bath mat on the floor by the shower. (It's light brown.) Overall, I'm quite pleased with the results. And think - I got it done with NavyGuy gone for just two weeks! Imagine what I can accomplish throughout the whole house with NavyGuy gone for at least six months... :)


Deployment Prep: Learn How to Change a Tire

NavyGuy will be deploying in March. Tonight, we have an extensive pre-deployment meeting with the entire squadron (officers, enlisted sailors, spouses, families), where we'll get tons of information. I expect it to be long, informative, overwhelming, half-boring, half-terrifying. As part of his job working in the administration department of the squadron, NavyGuy has been in charge of organizing and executing this huge meeting; he's a wee bit stressed. But because he's in charge, I got a sneak peek at the booklet we're going to get tonight, and it does have a lot of useful information...

...such as, "teach your spouse how to change a tire."

(Because the process will result in one of you killing the other, and then the whole deployment issue will be moot?)We got the "opportunity" to check this off the pre-deployment list unexpectedly on Sunday night, when someone drove over a bolt. (Not my fault.) NavyGuy was a shockingly good teacher, and now I could TOTALLY change a tire if the situation arose. And if the car was on concrete. And it was daytime. And the weather was nice. And there was adequate lighting. And I had a ponytail holder. And if someone strong came along to lift the tires, and break the tension on the lugnuts. Hmmm...

Pre-Deployment Advice #1: Get AAA.

Wow... those lugnuts are really on there good and tight...

Maybe a new angle... oooo... not a good look...


Monday, February 8, 2010

Oscar Watch

NavyGuy and I typically aim to see all of the Best Picture nominees before the Academy Awards. Even as movie freaks fans, we consider this a challenging task. And the now the bar has been raised, because instead of five movies, there's 10 Best Picture nominees to see!!

Here's where we are so far - the movies in bold are ones we've both seen:

1. Avatar
2. The Blind Side
3. District 9 (available on DVD)
4. An Education
5. The Hurt Locker (available on DVD)
6. Inglorious Basterds (available on DVD)
7. Precious
8. A Serious Man (out on DVD on Feb. 9)
9. Up (available on DVD)
10. Up in the Air

Halfway there. Technically speaking, NavyGuy has seen Inglorious Basterds already, so I just need to watch it some day while he's at work (we own it), and then we'll be batting 60%. I think we can do it. The Oscars are on March 7th, so we've got just less than a month. We have several factors going in our favor (one film we can rent, two of the three left are still in wide distribution), but it's going to be a challenge. However, I'm way determined. We will see all 10 movies. Bring it Academy. Bring. It. On.

Has anyone seen any of the ones we haven't? Are we going to be irked at wasting money, or happy with our use of two hours?


Weekend Update

*NavyGuy's back from Red Flag! He returned on Friday night, so we went out to dinner, and then he promptly crashed. Two weeks of night flights and the Vegas lights had taken their toll, and poor NavyGuy was worn out.

*With Tally pup off at training, we could spend Saturday out and about (without having to rush home to let puppy out). Thus, we planned to go to Lynnwood and do some shopping at the big mall, catch a movie, have dinner, and generally relax. Well, we made it as far as the highway when NavyGuy got a call that he had to head down to Oak Harbor and take care of some admin business for the squadron, since all of the higher ups were still in Vegas. 90 minutes after we'd planned to leave, we finally hit the road and made it down to the big city. All in all it was a fun Saturday - some scrapbook store time, a movie, dinner at Macaroni Grill, and some quality time with my NavyGuy :)

*SuperBowl Sunday! NavyGuy and I headed over to a friend's house for a low-key super bowl afternoon. I brought chocolate chip cookies (which I made with slight supervision by NavyGuy... I neglected to soften the butter initially, so then I wanted to microwave the metal bowl it was in to make the mixture a little easier to stir... that's when he got all nervous and felt compelled to babysit my cookie project), and we snacked on wings, taco dip, cookies, and beer. Not even a little bit healthy, but oh-so-footbally. Hooray for the Saints (and Betty White's awesome commercial). Our trip home was more eventful than expected though... we got a bolt in the rear passenger tire. So, I got a tire-changing lesson in the garage at 8:00 at night...

(photos and NavyGuy's commentary to come...)

What's on tap for this week? Tuesday night is a massive pre-deployment meeting for the entire squadron, Thursday is our wives' club meeting (at our house!), and Friday night we jet back to Wisconsin for a week of visiting friends and family! Lots of excitement to come...


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Not to make the rest of you feel bad on a Monday...

... but Sister definitely spent her Super Bowl Sunday running a half-marathon.

And finishing.

In two hours, twelve minutes.

(I know, we'd all hate her if we didn't love her so much.)

Here she is minutes before the race, when disaster - her iPod (with her specially designed running mix) stopped working! AGH!!!!

(This is Sister's I will kill look... I was occasionally on the receiving end of it when we were younger and it still haunts my nightmares...)

Luckily, her hubby managed to fix it before race time, so she was off and running (pun INTENDED)...


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Guest Bathroom Before...

Wanna know the secret? I don't have the after part done yet.


My thinking is, if I put the before pics up on the blog, enough of you will bother me/guilt me into getting the project done quickly, instead of leaving all the supplies in the Kohls' bag on the bathroom floor... for another four days... at least.


So, that's where we're at right now. An old shower curtain that (while cool in its day) has seen better. Lots of potential, but it's all too white and blah.


Stay tuned!


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Birthday Medallion

This stamp from Stampin' Up has been one of the most popular, universally loved stamps they've come out with in some time. It's a huge background stamp called "Medallion" and it's so versatile. Here I paired it with a birthday sentiment in purple; one of my best friends from high school should be opening it tomorrow on her birthday. :)


It's totally going to become one of my go-to stamps for all occasions...


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

My baby's growing up!

Saturday was a big day for Tally (and a sad one for her mama). It was her first day of school.

(She refused to wear her backpack in her first day of school photo on the front porch, but I'll photo-shop it in eventually.)

Many of you are likely wondering what in the world I'm taking about. Well, Tally pup has gone off to boarding school, or summer camp if you will. She's currently three hours away at an obedience and hunt training school. Even though it means Tally will be away from us for three months or so, NavyGuy sold me on the idea with lots of sound logic and reasoning (I hate when he does that - irritates me to no end.).

Tally is at the prestigious Ivy League academy known as the Long Hollow Retrievers Dog Training, where she'll learn to become a talented bird hunting dog, and a well-behaved, people-pleasing, even more adorable puppy. (I didn't read the specifics of the brochure.) And of course, per life with the Navy, it fell to me alone to drive her the 3.5 hours away (the trainer is in Ellensburg, WA, east of Seattle).

So Saturday we set out early, me in the driver's seat, Tally buckled into the passenger seat. She has become such a good little traveler; while I navigated and listened to my book on CD, she curled up and rode like a champ.

We stopped for lunch at Burger King, and Tally had her first french fry. (It was a road trip afterall - what kind of road trip have you ever taken that didn't include french fries?)

(Ooooo. I don't know what that is, but I am intrigued...)

She scarfed it down (and hopefully that small bribe will be what she remembers about her mama... instead of the fact that I was the one who ditched her at school for three months).

We arrived at the school right on time, and the trainer, Ryan, was outside to meet us. He seemed like a very solid kindergarten teacher, and he showed me Tally's bunk (as it were). She gets her own fenced-in area, and because she's still a puppy, she'll get extra play time. I panicked slightly when I saw another black lab that Ryan said was also Tally's age... the other dog was twice as big! Tiny Tally is gonna get eaten! Even Ryan took one look at Tally in the car, and was, "oh, she's a little squirt... what a cutie!" Both true statements, but he better keep a watchful eye on his littlest student... (Yes, I'm a nervous helicopter puppy parent already - I've made my peace with it and it's high time the rest of you did as well.)

So now I'm temporarily husband-less and puppy-less. No cute little face waiting for me at the door when I come home. No puppy sitting on my feet at night keeping them warm. Sad face. It's very tough to think rationally and know that we're doing what's best for Tally pup (and the rest of us) in getting her trained and well-behaved... when I just want to snuggle with her! (Consider this post your personal invitation to my pity party, no RSVP necessary. Gifts are not required, but are always encouraged.)

The only solace at the moment is that NavyGuy comes home this weekend, and we can go visit Tally every couple of weeks. Is this weekend too soon? I don't want to embarrass her in front of her new friends at school. Maybe I should just send a care package...


Monday, February 1, 2010

My final say for the day...

Whew! A very productive blogging day if I do say so myself. There are a few more stories from the weekend that need their telling, but I've made a significant dent in the list. I'll leave you with a few random snippets...

*I have to go back to work tonight. In fact, I'm probably steaming milk or cleaning dishes while you read this. It should go without saying that I'm not happy about this fact. I've been off since last week Thursday and it's been blissful. The only coffee I've been in contact with has been sipped out of my own cup while standing on the customer side of the counter.

*Tally pup doesn't have worms. The vet called NavyGuy today and little girl is a-ok. Guess the $80 in tests and medicine was totally worth it.

*There will be bathroom re-do photos coming soon. I got bored already with NavyGuy gone and me home alone, so I decided to redecorate the upstairs guest bath (not a good precedent to set I know, but such is life). It's going to look super awesome, just wait!

*I'm hosting my first spouses' club meeting next week. Very nerve-wracking. Luckily I can put NavyGuy to work helping me get the house ready, but I still need to create an evite, come up with some food ideas, and decide on an outfit that screams, "casual, sophisticated, and effortlessly gorgeous, yet won't show sweat stains or any possible food spills."

*Is it wrong that I'm already really excited to go back to Wisconsin in a few weeks?


Book Review: The Art of Racing in the Rain

The Art of Racing in the Rain
by Garth Stein

The Least You Need to Know... told through the perspective of a thinking, tv watching, waiting for reincarnation as a human, dog.

Reminds me of... Marley and Me; Timbuktu by Paul Auster.

Pros... I read this one in a little more than twelve hours. It's arranged in short chapters than lend itself to, "oh, I'll just read one more," and the story sucks you in quickly. Being a dog person, I loved the conceit that the narrator is Enzo the dog. Enzo tells the tale with great insight, and hilarious bits (and the dog himself is very likeable), even though much of the story is quite sad and depressing. A satisfying, if unbelievable, ending.

Cons... Somewhat predictable plot lines. Even though I found myself wanting things to resolve in the way they did, it was very unrealistic and felt like a bit of a throwaway when everything wraps up very neatly at the end.

Quotable... Enzo: "I've always felt almost human. I've always known that there's something about me that's different than other dogs. Sure, I'm stuffed into a dog's body, but that's just the shell. It's what's inside that's important. The soul. And my soul is very human."

Bottom Line... It's a dog book, so it should be no surprise that you'll need a box of tissues by the end; that said, read it.


Goddaughter Update

Little Miss M is two now, and up to more trouble than ever (according to her mom, she went nuts for Lady Gaga on the Grammys last night... lord help us all). Her mom (TWP) sent some recent photos, that I know many of you will appreciate...

A girl after my own heart... well done M

A rare outside playground day between the months of October and April in Minnesota...

Rockin' out, Boston style...

What I can only assume is the typical end result of a meal for Miss M.

Miss M is a rabid Wonder Pets fan, so of course her fairy godmother promised her a Ming Ming cape for her birthday in December... what was going to be a home-made gift turned into a last minute gift... but I think Miss M loved it nonetheless!

Mama TWP and Miss M at her Wonder Pets themed birthday party in December. So grown up! (P.S. Love the hair cut TWP!)


A Special Valentine for the Parents of Toddlers...

Paper: white cardstock, purple cardstock, brown shimmer text paper
Accessories: ribbon (JoAnns dollar bin); flower (unknown)
Sentiment: printed from computer (quote is unattributed)


Dinners, Sans Hubby

While NavyGuy's off playing war games (and losing us money), I'm enjoying my chance to eat some meals that he wouldn't necessarily deem suitable for human consumption. Like a box of frozen chicken empanada appetizers. (Judge me not.)

Last night's menu was my own recipe: Frito Taco Nachos. What? What's that you say? Your stomach is growling and your mouth is watering at just the name? But of course. Just wait for the ingredients! (Many of you will probably recognize this as a walking taco, but hear me out.)

You pile Fritos Scoops on a plate. I recommend the "scoops" variety for reasons forthcoming. Then cook up some hamburger and season it with a taco seasoning packet. Then, pile the hamburger on top of the Fritos, and add cheese, lettuce, salsa, tomatoes, or any other taco accessories you enjoy. Grab a stack of napkins and dig in! The scoops make nice little boats for all the taco-y goodness. If you're a real fan of nachos, you could melt nacho cheese and layer that on as well, but I prefer to focus on the meat aspect.

While I find this perfectly acceptable as a dinner, NavyGuy would likely have balked. Other meals I enjoy for dinner that he may question...?

- a bag of popcorn

- two or three bowls of cereal

- any breakfast food (with chocolate chips added for fun)

- taco dip and chips

- couscous

- bagels with peanut butter

and last but not least, cheerios and ice cream. (Separately of course. Don't be ridiculous.)

Time to 'fess up - what weird meal do you love that you can't possibly convince your significant other to consume?


Red Flag... (aka, NavyGuy in Vegas)

NavyGuy has spent the past week in Las Vegas, with his squadron, completing Red Flag training exercises. Here's your brief (and simplified) military/history lesson for the day.

Red Flag is advanced, aerial combat training exercises that are held at Nellis Air Force Base, outside of Las Vegas. During the Vietnam War, the U.S. military recognized that it was not adequately training its pilots and flight officers for actual combat missions. An Air Force study discovered that a pilot's odds for survival dramatically increased after participation in 10 combat missions. The Pentagon decided it needed to provide more combat mission experience for pilots, in a controlled and safe environment.

Thus, Red Flag was born. Pilots, flight officers, air crew, and others spend two weeks completing flying missions in the desert outside Sin City. There is a "good guys" Blue Team, comprised of the visiting squadrons, and a "bad guys" Red Team, made up of Air Force and Navy pilots trained to provide realistic threats (in other words, trained to be the enemy). It is a huge, complicated event. Upwards of 50 different aircraft can be participating at one time - all in an attempt to simulate real combat conditions.

So, that's the general gist of what NavyGuy has been in Las Vegas for. Of course I can't just leave it at that - I have to add my own impressions of what Red Flag entails...

~ Okay, let's begin with the fact that my (and your) tax dollars are paying to put him up in his own room at the Embassy Suites for two weeks. Yes, he's serving his country, sacrificing, etc., so it's a small price to pay that he should be comfortable. But really? Couldn't he have shared the room with one other guy?

~ Red Flag is somewhat of a bonding experience for the squadron. Most squadrons participate pre-deployment, so it's a chance for all the guys (and gals) to get to know one another better, and gain each others trust in the airplanes. Weekdays (and nights) are filled with mission planning, flights, briefs, debriefs, and occasionally sleeping. Hence the weekends are filled with fun and frivolity (and more sleep). They are on the Vegas strip after all. NavyGuy has been to many of the major casinos, seen the fountain at the Bellagio, eaten at some great restaurants, visited Hoover Dam, and proven once and for all that he's a terrible gambler.

~ Along those same lines, Red Flag is often when people who are new to the squadron get their official call sign. After what I'm sure must have been "spirited" debate amongst the squadron, NavyGuy will forevermore be known as Ginger. Because of the red hair. And possibly because of a stretchy red dress that he wore at one of the social events soon after the group arrived in Vegas. Allegedly there are many photos of the ensemble... I'm glad the call sign is something I can explain to children and the elderly without embarrassment or shame, but I have to admit it's a little predictable. So I think we'll still call him NavyGuy around here. (Sorry HistoryGirlie, we can't petition to have his call sign changed to Maverick. I already asked.)

~ NavyGuy has this week left, and should be home sometime over the weekend. So far he's been doing primarily night flights, which means he goes into the squadron around lunchtime, and gets back to his fancy hotel room between 2 and 3am. I think he has one more night flight tonight, and then switches to days for the remainder of the exercises.

Perhaps we'll get NavyGuy's perspective on the whole thing when he returns. From the wife side of things, it's annoying having him gone for more time, so soon before he's going to deploy. He's perpetually tired while he's there, and in my case, I wasn't able to fly down and visit him at all. But you can't argue with the Navy, and increasing his odds of being effective, successful, and safe when he is flying missions with real enemies is worth the annoyance.

If you want to know more about Red Flag, there is a good video series on YouTube. Each part is about 10 minutes long (they resemble History Channel type documentaries, but I'm not 100% sure on the source). I haven't watched all of them yet, but they will definitely give you a good look at Red Flag, plus the perspective of many of the participants.

Red Flag Video, Part 1
Red Flag Video, Part 2
Red Flag Video, Part 3
Red Flag Video, Part 4
Red Flag Video, Part 5


...And oh good grief... puppy woes

Why is it when one parent is away, that's when the kids get sick?

I got back from the Wisconsin escapade and picked Tally pup up from the kennel. Apparently, everyone loved her, she has a wonderful disposition, she made a new best friend in the few days she was there, and blah blah blah. BUT, the owner informed me that she may have seen worms in Tally's poop that morning. (Oh, sorry - should there have been a "graphic content" warning at the start of this post? Don't worry - there's no poop photos.) Continuing... oh good grief, I thought. I have no clue what I'm supposed to do to deal with this, and the dog has to go to the trainer on Saturday, and great, this is JUST what I wanted to have to monkey with on my first full day back.


So, anyway, I take pup home. I call NavyGuy and we decide that the two of us searching "puppy worms" on the internet probably wasn't the best solution. After a quick call to the vet, I came away learning way too much about dog bowel movements, but apparently, a) worms are fairly common, b) we didn't do anything wrong (whew), and c) it could be treated with no harm to Tally, even if it turned out she didn't have worms.

Well, complicating matters, I was supposed to be taking one of the other Navy wives to the airport in Bellingham that afternoon (this is all happening Thursday of last week), and the vet's office was only open from 2:30-5pm, and they don't take appointments, you just have to show up and wait your turn, and oh good grief.

So, I pick up the Navy wife early, get her up to the airport, and get back to Anacortes in time to throw Tally back in the car (and back in her cute little seat belt!) for a trip to the vet. Fresh poop in hand, we clamor into the office and take our seats to wait it out (well, I sit while Tally desperately tries to sniff and greet every other person in the place). Some time later, we go in to the exam room, pup gets a quick shot to kill one possible strain of worms, and I leave with two unmarked pills to shove down her throat the following day to kill another possible strain. Yeah - so now I have to figure out how to give a dog pills. I can't even swallow pills for god's sake, how am I going to get them down her throat?!?!? Oh good grief. That's tomorrow's problem, I thought.

So we spend the rest of the night relaxing at home. I force Tally outside to use the bathroom every hour, and the neighbors and passers-by are treated to a nice sight of me in my raincoat (because of course, it's raining) wandering around the backyard with a flashlight examining everything that Tally eliminates, searching for signs of worms or who knows what. (Say it with me now... oh good grief.)

The next morning we face the pills. Trusty internet sources suggest hiding it in some people food. Of course I haven't been to the grocery store since I'd returned so we have few options. The only viable scenario involves a hunk of cheddar cheese that's been in the fridge since Christmas. There's nothing green on it, and it still smells like food, so I smush the first pill in a bit of it, and settle on the kitchen floor preparing to do battle (another great visual that you'll all have to imagine for yourself). All the internet sources recommended shoving the pill-food-ball as far back in the dog's throat as possible, then slamming their mouth shut, and massaging the throat to push the pill down. Um yeah.

Luckily, Tally will literally eat anything (hold this thought for later), so I just shoved the cheese at her, she gulped it into her mouth (why bother wasting time with the whole chewing thing) and down the gullet it went. Bless her little heart she swallowed pill number two even faster. And now she thinks cheese is awesome.

Well, after all this shenanigans I decided she needed a treat (and I needed a ten minute break), so I got out her rawhide bone for her to chew on. Under my supervision, she gnawed for a bit, and then I took it away from her. I noticed though, that she still seemed to be chewing on something in her mouth. Fearing she'd gotten a little hunk off without my knowledge, I fished around to see what she was gumming.

Oh good grief. Out fell parts of a tooth. PARTS. At first I couldn't even figure out what it was. I'm 94% sure now that it was just a puppy tooth (which are prone to fall out anyway), but all I got out of her were parts of it... meaning she must have eaten the other part of her tooth! Yes, people, our dog will eat anything. Even her own body parts. Just to make me lose my mind.

Oh good grief.

(Who, me? I'm an angel...)


Love Grows

Inspired by a Starbucks mug and a card I saw online, this is my go to design for Valentine's Day 2010.

And I finally found a white pen that will actually show up on dark paper!!!! (insert Hallelujah chorus)It's the Uniball Signo White Gel Pen, and I am totally buying them in bulk now. I first spotted them at Archiver's, but have since seen them at other specialty scrapbooking stores (and would maybe guess you could find them at Office Max or Staples? Don't hold me to that, but if anyone spots them elsewhere, please share with the group). Anyhoo, the pen rocks - the ink is solid white, shows up on all dark paper, and flows very smoothly. The brown paper I used for this particular card even has a slight shimmer to it, and the ink popped off the page without a single smudge.

Okay, pen gushing over. The card was made very simply with just little punched out hearts, and the white pen. I outlined all the hearts, drew in the stems, leaves, and sentiment, and that was that! I used a thin glue pen to attach all the small hearts, but you could also throw them through a Xyron sticker maker machine and achieve the same solid hold.

How's that for getting the most out of my three dollar latte!

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