right now

right now

Apr 24, 2015

What it's like here…

This is it!


It's difficult to know where to start with updating you on the events of the past year, but I think starting out by giving you some photos of where we live is a good place to begin.  Although we still live in the Mid-Atlantic and we are only 90 minutes from Washington D.C., the difference couldn't be any more stark from the D.C. and Virginia Beach areas.  

I am absolutely in love with this area!  It has all of the water we enjoyed in Virginia Beach, but none of the development.  You can actually get to the water here, pretty much wherever you want.  We lived close to the oceanfront in Virginia yet couldn't get near it due to development and parking restrictions and crowds.  Here, you can pretty much pull your car over anywhere and launch a kayak or throw a line in and nobody thinks anything of it.

The Navy is the largest employer here due to the test base (all the newest technology is tested here), but historically this area is rural, with most making a living off the water or farming.  This is about ground zero for watermen and their legendary Chesapeake Blue Crab harvesting.  The result of this is that this place is heaven for seafood.  Everyone knows of my love of crab cakes so it's about perfect here.  All of Southern Maryland is a peninsula bordered on 3 sides by the Potomac River, Patuxent River and Chesapeake Bay, which effectively isolates us from the craziness that is the Northern Virginia/D.C. metro area.

This is part of "our backyard" - the pier where we fish on base, I was able to get up early and catch sunrise!  I refer to everything on the base as our backyard since we live right on base!


Another shot of the pier at sunrise.


This is the woods and trail that is behind our house.  


 We finally live among hardwoods and forest!  Our area is usually forested right up to the water line here, unlike the open areas and scrub of Virginia.

Many roads here look like this:


The result are these awesome secluded beaches all over that the trails just end at.


Water EVERYWHERE.


It's actually quite common here to keep kayaks at the ready and we don't look out of place!  In the spring through fall many people that work at the base just keep their kayak on the roof and actually manage to kayak or fish on their lunch hour.  This place is very outdoor oriented.  If you like the city you would probably not like it here!



Lots of fishing and hunting right on base.


This is one of our fishing spots, hubby and the kids always pack trash bags to pick up litter while they are there.


Marley & Sprocket love it here too!  You would never guess Marley is turning 14 years old this summer!


Hopefully you can imagine a little better the area we live in now.  We only have ONE road here that has all the stores, etc on it.  Just one.  It's awesome!

When you envision this area, it really is water and forest everywhere.  We have left the power boats behind in the south and here sailboats and crab fishing boats are king.  If you think of the old Chesapeake Bay photographs you have may have seen in books of watermen and their boats, it's pretty much still that way here. 


Crab pots everywhere here, on docks, boats and stacked behind barns!


For the uninitiated, this is the beautiful Chesapeake Blue Crab, it's Latin name Callinectes sapidus  translates to "Beautiful Swimmer".   Indeed.


It's also a hot bed of Revolutionary War history here, which is way more than I can blog about, but it's cool stuff.
*****
I'm off to the garden plot in 40 mph winds to plant.  It's always 40 mph winds, sigh…..  Challenging, but it should give you something to laugh at when you see me trying to grow things there!  Should have a garden plot update on the next post, it's all been fence building so far this week.

Apr 21, 2015

Back in the Game...

There is no graceful way to make a comeback, but here I am!

A lot has happened...



Our new home has about 300 sq feet in the backyard - no joke.  It felt a little ridiculous to blog about everything except a garden on a garden blog!

That has changed.

Meet my new garden…


Yes, it is a plot right on the flight line!  We are very fortunate that our base has a community garden, and you better believe I jumped at the chance!  I thought I might go crazy this summer with one tomato plant in a bucket in my little backyard but I am not only gardening, I am getting to garden like I never have before!

Yes, I am so excited to be doing a lot of hard work!  My Virginia garden was work in the beginning, but I always had raised beds and they are soooooo much easier than in-ground gardening.  As you can see in the above photo, I am truly starting from nothing!  Well, the good fortune of living on a military base that will give you a little plot of land is certainly not nothing, we are very blessed.



Below you can see my car next to my plot, and this is the water spigot, so I will be doing a lot of hiking with a mile of hose. Beyond my car is the flight line.  Yes, the runway for fighter jets and all manner of other really cool test aircraft on our base.  Hearing protection is a must in my garden!  The JSF F-35 takes off here and if you know anything about that, you know how loud they are.



Yes, you will find things like this in my garden.  One of those things that is fun and cool yet makes you wonder who said "Yes, I think we will just leave this here."


We got our plot finally marked off and water turned on just this week.  The plot is 30' x 75'.  HUGE  compared to what I had previously.  Scary, considering I was harvesting 500+ lbs of produce from a garden half this size !  First order of business was to lay down some pathways so I could envision the plot and actually reduce the amount of space to plant.   Child labor laws were then thrown out the window and we began tilling and erecting fences.


A friend of mine that moved here from Virginia Beach also has the plot right next to ours so I'm sure it will be a fun summer - plus that's even more kids to put to work!!

Below is a shot of the entire plot.


Now, the return of the famous SEED BINDER, and fun with garden design.


Last but not least, a few photos of our new home… more to come later on that.

Cherry Trees entering my neighborhood.  We actually live on base, inside the gates.



This is our home.  1941 former officer barracks.  The conversion was done so that each home consists of two row houses, and they are on the historic register of MD so limited changes could be made. The result is a pretty "interesting" floor plan.  We have the original wood floors though and loads of character.  We have 7 windows in the dining room alone, this house is ALL WINDOWS!  Pretty, but FRIGID in the winter!  Colder than I ever remember being inside a house, and I'm from Minnesota so you know that's cold.  I think I took this on 9/11/14 since I see my flag is at half staff.



Our back yard is tiny.  We have a "reel" mower!


Big enough for a fire pit though!


Who needs a yard though?  We have 3 campgrounds on base, fishing pier, we can launch our kayaks or fish from over 40 little coves and beaches.  This is on base right down the street…


Just to show we are indeed alive… and hubby is not deployed!


And because no post about Maryland is complete without a Blue Crab, I will just set this right here...



I have missed blogging so much, there was never a time where I was glad to not be blogging.  I think I just needed time to regroup and had a lot of changes going on, which I will periodically regurgitate as blog posts to bring you up to speed!  I still can't believe I am going to have a real deal, old skool in-ground garden this year!!!










May 8, 2014

Homecoming Day in Pictures…

NINE. MONTHS.  AGAIN.  Wow…

Things are settling down around here (besides the upcoming move!) and it's time to try and get back into a routine that involves Sailor Husband being present and accounted for…. for the next 3 years, believe it or not!  He has been on sea duty for 6 straight years, I don't even want to get too comfortable thinking about a 3 year tour of shore duty for him since I know it can be yanked out from under us at any time, but we have to try and think positively.  Homecoming Day is now a memory, so here are some long overdue photos of the event.

Weather:   Cold with 50 mph wind gusts, but no rain thankfully!


Bright and early, stuck in homecoming traffic!


An hour later, first glimpse of the USS Harry S. Truman


She is powered by a fleet of tugboats coming in, they are responsible for porting her safely from about a mile out at least.  This whole process takes hours.


A little closer…


closer…

 

Finn not remembering how darn big that boat is!


Close enough to see random sailors being really, really happy!


Quick video of "Shift Colors".  This is a big deal, when ship's colors (flag) goes up, they are tied up and officially IN PORT!


The boys looking small while waiting.  This is the worst part, waiting up to several hours for lines to be fastened and 5500+ sailors trying to line up by height to get off.  Just kidding, was checking to see if you were paying attention!  But they do disembark by rank, so we don't have to wait nearly as long as we did years ago!


Thanks to hubby snapping this pic onboard, you can see what goes on in the hangar bay onboard as they are also waiting, waiting, waiting…   Almost 6000 sailors… think about that for a second.  That's a big a$$ boat, that's what that is.


Fast forward to the good part!








I'm just glad nobody tripped and knocked out any teeth.


and everybody says "awwwww……"


I think this is Deployment #5 or 6 under our belt now, I stopped counting!  Roughly 36-40 months in total?  
WOW.


and CUT!  …that's a wrap!















Apr 17, 2014

Mail Order Brides must feel like this!

Seriously.  Tomorrow is the day!  This is my umpteenth deployment but there's always this feeling - mail order brides must feel a bit like this!  So much fanfare goes into these homecoming meetings…  will he even like me?

If he doesn't, too bad.  We have papers already!  :)

I know, it seems funny but a lot changes over a year.  Schedules have to be adjusted to allow for another person being physically here, not just an idea at the other end of a computer.  I have changed.  For the better, I hope!  

A big one:  I cut the awful hair!


Now I'm a blonde.


Another good change:  I lost 15 pounds.  That was a lot on my short frame, and I feel better - I just hope he notices!

The kids are HUGE.  They both had growth spurts while he was gone, and I'm afraid it will be like pouring salt in a wound when he sees them.  At least after so many deployments we both have the wisdom to expect these kinds of shocks and try to prepare for them.

Today went by really fast…

We were greeted by the sight of his squadron's pilots flying in, the scream of SuperHornets never sounded so good.  Quiet is overrated!


Next up was to get the house super cleaned.  I joked on Facebook that the first child to get Spiderman footprints on my fridge or cemented toothpaste left in the sink will be caned.  Maybe that's not a joke… I told them to eat over the sink LOL.

Then it was time for "the girls" to get their blowouts and pedi-pedi's.  Sprocket is super cute in her purple bows but those had about a 2 second lifespan.


Got my bling for my outfit…


Why the "75"?


Then it was off to the "Night Before" party near the pier in Norfolk.


Loch was at a birthday party so it was just Finn & me.  Finn is looking every bit of his status as surgery recovery patient, but he needed the fresh air.  Maybe not the 48ยบ temps and 40 mph wind gusts down there.  The weather is not going to cooperate tomorrow, but at least there is no rain forecasted.

My dad will love this one:  tonight's party was a typical D.O.D. event.  Scheduled from 4-8 pm, they ran out of food by 4:40 pm, although the Limbo and Electric Slide on the dance floor was going strong against a backdrop of a huge Security Briefing video being shown on a loop.  Pretty funny stuff.

Miles of cupcakes, however.  So that was dinner - because I'm not cooking!


It was really difficult to take a photo of the etching on the glasses we received tonight, but it has the ship and name on it.  Although I think these are pretty cool mementos to stash away, I'm pretty sure hubby will roll his eyes.  Not more ship….  !  Doesn't matter anyways I guess since they will get broken courtesy of our next government move :)


I saved the outfit for last!  This is bigger than prom, ladies.  You just don't divulge the outfit until the last minute!  Well, here it is…


And, courtesy of our current Polar Vortex I will most likely be covering it up with a trench coat!

If any family or friends are interested, this link will be active soon and will be streaming live the USS Harry S. Truman Homecoming tomorrow.

Welcome Home USS Harry S. Truman and Airwing
"Give 'em Hell!"
and especially

VFA-105 GUNSLINGERS
"Tonight, We Ride!"

 No sleep tonight… !