right now

right now

Dec 20, 2010

We've got him!

 Holy Windchill!  We spent 4 hours in single digit windchills waiting and waiting, but we got him back!

Below, organized Navy wives - the 5 of us followed each other and parked far away for an easy exit, and were able to keep warm in our cars for an hour or so while we waited for our first glimpse of the ship.

There she is!

Getting closer, this is still about 30 minutes from tying up, but it was time to head out of the warm cars and out into the cold!

Slowly, slowly approaching pierside

Finnegan looking cold but very happy!

The boys and I - good thing I didn't spend any time on my hair today, wind was gusting to about 25 -30 knots!

If you look closely, there's Santa under the jet canopy

BFF's boys - all our kids were real troopers out there in the cold today, but BFF is from Iowa, we must have passed on some good cold tolerance genes!  The only thing they complained about was being thirsty, but that's because I was rationing it out so we wouldn't have to leave our good spot to find a porta potty!

Then the P.A. system announced "Liberty Call, Liberty Call, All Hands".... and the flood started!

Classic Navy stuff below.... look closely at his "baggage"... this is "the bull" mascot of the VFA-37 Ragin' Bulls squadron - yep it goes on deployment with them!

 BFF & her hubby

playing with the B & W - I always love black and white for photos of sailors in uniform

Me & Hubby - and we barely got this photo, it all happens so fast. 

Shortly we will be on our way to Minnesota to celebrate Christmas and Homecoming, we have 1200 miles to catch up with each other - as of right now I am not agreeing with his new taste in music!  This too, shall pass... :)

All packed and ready to go!

I will admit that I am a horrible blogger while on vacation, I always envy those of you who can do updates, but I just can't seem to get my act together that much!  This will probably be it until after the New Year when we return.  I usually am able to read them on my iphone but it rarely maintains signal on the road enough for me to comment, but it sure helps pass the 24 hour drive home!

Thank you all for supporting the troops by making sure one particular Navy Wife got through deployment feeling supported and with sanity intact, you DO make a difference!

Wishing all of you Happy Holidays and New Year!

Dec 19, 2010

Am I ready?

As much as I can be! Kids were put to bed at 6:30 - I figure it will take them awhile to actually fall asleep tonight! I admit it feels pretty weird to be picking up a husband that you have only talked to via telephone 3 times in 7 months! Kind of like a Match.com hookup with no money back guarantee... "here's a husband for you, you have a 30 minute drive home to figure out this marriage thing again"! It's okay, it happens every time, I guess if nothing else it keeps things exciting!

This was Daddy & Finn saying goodbye 7 months ago...
AND seeing this now is the first time that I noticed that hubby and Finnegan's hair are identical in color! Does that make me a bad mom? :)

So here's how the drill goes tomorrow:

0500 Wake Up!
0615 Get everyone bundled up and in the car and head over to BFF's house
0700 At BFF's house to caravan with 3 other wives and 4 young boys
0815 High Tide, meaning they will be on approach in the Chesapeake Bay and we will be able to see them, OH glad I wrote that I have to pack my binoculars!
unknown time: The ship ties up, this takes HOURS. They have 5 brows to lower, but there are 5500 sailors onboard, so go figure how long this dance will take
1100-1200 Somewhere during that timeframe we will be seeing him!

All in all, we will be standing in the cold on the pier for close to 5 hours. Forecast is for it to be about 25-28º that time of day with gusty winds down at the waterfront. Winter homecomings are hard on kids, but what can you do? They will be bundled up and have lots of snacks and a thermos of hot chocolate if I have time, I also have to keep in mind that there will only be about 20 porta-potties for a crowd of over 10,000 people, so they can't have TOO much hot chocolate! Yep, lotsa fun with whiny kids, they are usually over it after one hour, since they can SEE the ship right in front of them, yet it will be a couple hours before they disembark. Fa, la, la, la, la.....

Tonight - I KNIT! Scarf totally NOT done yet, I spent the day packing for our trip and before I knew it, the day was gone.

I'm not too busy however, to be very upset about not being able to find my Christmas Tree in a Can - my favorite candle! - I wandered around and wasted a good hour looking for it.

Another thought: maybe I should change the way I've been dealing with each new day:


wait for it, wait for it...

 I can guarantee we'll be the only ones in the crowd of over 10,000 people with one of these!

No standard welcome home sign for me, they get lost in the crowd and they guys can't make out what's written on them anyways - the name of the game is for him to actually be able to spot us!  Whaddaya think?  Minnesota, here we come, just as soon as we grab him!

Dec 18, 2010

Too excited to sleep these days...

My house is CLEAN!  for now anyways....!  I spent all day getting the house spic & span for hubby's arrival.  I know he won't notice a bit, but I feel better anyways.  It's out on the newswire now so I can go ahead and say it:  he'll be home in 2 days!  With a clean house, I can now spend tomorrow just relaxing a bit and packing for our vacation, and knitting - always with the knitting.  

Yesterday I spent an hour standing in line during the Christmas rush at the post office, for what?

A beautiful beat-up box of dirty laundry from the USS Truman!

 The dogs are getting their first scent of Daddy in 7 months!  And what a bunch of random crap in that box!  Within seconds of opening the darn thing my whole house smelled like the boat, yuck!  I can't describe the smell really, it's a mixture of JP-5 (jet fuel), hydraulic fluid (both from hubby's job), mixed with a horrible "boat stench" LOL.  If any of you know someone in the Navy, they will know what "boat" smells like, it's not pleasant by any stretch of the imagination.  Even though I am incredibly happy at this box arriving because it means he's almost here, that box now resides on the front porch until I can deal with it.

We are getting close to y'all not having to hear about this deployment anymore, just a few more days... before I let you off the hook I'd like to share some of the photos I've gotten during the deployment.  Photos are courtesy of VFA-32's photographer and their Facebook album.

The above photo was shot as they transited the Suez Canal a few short weeks ago.  This transit means they are officially out of the combat zone and have turned around for home, and it shows in their faces!  Beautiful shot by photographer.

Below, probably why hubby's hearing is shot!

 Below, Neil Armstrong visited the aircrew while  deployed... very cool!

 Below, not so glamorous... those are chains around his neck that secure the jets to the deck, some of these guys carry them all day, and remember it's about 120º over there and they have to wear all their gear on the burning flight deck, ugh!

definitely more hearing loss going on here!  What???

Below, ordnance dept -"When You Care Enough To Send the Very Best..."

I liked this one, just walking to work looking like an everyday commuter ...

Keeping the hearing aid business "afloat"...

Today, I heard the unmistakeable sound of an entire squadron flying overhead and ran outside and sure enough, one of the squadrons was flying in formation, signifying the return of the aviators!  This is phase 1 of the return, as the jets need to fly off the ship while still out in deep water so there is ample room for takeoff.

Evening news tonight:  this is actually a video, sometimes the play button is small?

Hubby comes in with the ship and it's 5000 other sailors.  Can you believe 58 babies were born during this deployment?!  Sadly, a young Navy wife here was murdered during this deployment by a stranger who broke into her home and I can't get out of my mind how horrible this homecoming has to be for her husband and family.

And I better stop now before you start throwing things at the computer... can you tell we are proud of him?  One more day of random posting, then homecoming, vacation and then back to the homesteading & gardening & recipes posts!

I actually took a break from sock knitting to knit something for myself - a hat and scarf to wear to homecoming.  I will be closing up the hat right after this but am only about 7 inches into the scarf.  I am thinking of letting the scarf hang around my neck with the needles in it when I go to the pier - I will have about 6 hours of waiting on the cold pier, lots of time to kill so that way I can knit while wearing it LOL.

Dec 16, 2010

snow day! (post #2 today)

No School!

The kids got to try out their new duds for our trip to Minnesota.  It went like this, I threw the snowpants on the couch and their new boots on the floor and told them to get dressed, all the while I'm on the phone with BFF and not really paying much attention to them.  Finn starts crying and says he can't get his boots on.  While I'm showing them the fine art of pulling down the gaiter over the boots, I notice bare skin... "where's your pants, Finn?"  Loch says "they're over there"... both kids took OFF their jeans to put on their snowpants LOL!  So I told BFF I had to go and gave them the rundown on winter dressing 101.  I actually said "you better pay attention, what are you going to do when we get home"?

To which Loch says "we are home"!  Wow I keep forgetting that "I" am from Minnesota, but my kids are Virginians through and through!  We had to have a sit-down and go through all the gear and the correct order to put it all on LOL!


 I threw a plastic snow shovel out the front door and they both yelled "YAY!"
 Obviously they haven't been notified that this is work...

I promptly took the shovel away when they were done so nobody will steal it - we appear to be the only one on the street with one!

After 2 hours of play, what's next?  Of course, a round of hot chocolate!

Fun is done, now we are having freezing rain and I keep peeking out at the street light to look at the build up on the power lines.  One outage that only lasted about 3 minutes, otherwise I'm hoping for the best!


My mind is all over the place lately, homecoming is imminent, vacation planning, and now a snow day for school so I'm not getting done things that I NEED to get done!  Right now, however, I'm thinking of what someone said to me yesterday - they said that having a spouse deployed sounded so romantic!  Of course, I used to think this way too, before I was living the life, LOL!  I admit that when I heard that it did give me pause and was really nice to know that it at least appears that way to others when sometimes I feel like I am just constantly fixing things with duct tape and barely holding it all together!

Here's the real deal:  I'm just like everyone else!  Some would think that we write long emails to each other full of love and devotion, but really we use these forms of communication to talk to each other just as if we were conversing in person.  Here's a perfect example of a few that have occurred over the last week:
(from me):
"Hey do you have any of the OEM Subaru Super coolant left?  Not the little bottle of conditioner, I'm talking about the big gallon jug with blue Subaru label?  It's super expensive and I don't want to have to buy more.  I think we need to just top it off.
Here's the deal
on the Subaru forum lots of people say that the level should read "L" when the engine is cold  (ours does)
in the manual, it states to fill to the "H" when engine is cold and make sure radiator resevoir is full.... which is correct?  I'm kind of leaning to the owner/mech forum because say it was summer and you topped off both the resevoir AND the tank to "H" when the engine was cold... and then what happens when the engine is hot?  My take would be an overflow or gasket/cap failure.... BUT IM NOT A MECHANIC, I'm just a wife LOL...
So what do I do?  Our coolant reads even with the "L" mark"

That was copied as is, not even a signature on my part, LOL, romantic, huh?
Here's another when I had a frozen pipe burst yesterday morning:
(from me):
"I don't know but it flooded the area by the playset again, I'm freaking out now since I don't know whether to run a slow drip all night and keep the lines open, or will all that water running endanger the well pump?  Or will runnng the well pump all night like that keep it from freezing?  it's about 19 here now so I've got a few degrees before I worry, omg I'm sick of this already!  I love winter, but our house is NOT built for this!  Frigging pipes in a CRAWLSPACE???!!!!!"

I think the subject line on that one was "help" LOL.... even got the below photo of that particular event:

the yard will be open for night skate courtesy of a burst pipe!

Here's a standard one liner from him, this is usually the most I can coax out of him:
Wow that snow up north looks pretty… Pretty Treacherous. It's going to take forever to get up there. All I'm saying is their better be some cheese curds in it for me.
Love, Hubby

Cheese curd talk...more romance, although don't you just love that he signs it "hubby"?  LOL

Among other events this week were the tenants calling to say their p-trap under the sink had been leaking "awhile"... I'll say - the NEW cabinets are all warped!  I replaced that assembly and it appears to be all systems go again.  Also got the news that they are transferring to another Army base the end of January so I'll be responsible for two mortgages until we can get it re-rented.  There's never a good time of year for this.

So see?  I'm just like "regular folk", and as a matter of fact now that I look at this, I'm considerably less romantic than others LOL.  That will change on homecoming day though, I don't care how long you've been a military wife, homecoming never gets old - it is the most emotional event you could possibly have aside from the birth of a child.  It takes me by surprise each and every time, and I'm known for having a cynical and somewhat sarcastic personality and it affects me still!

Ok, so that was a "peek" into how things run on a normal basis, see why I don't like to write about it much?  Home destruction is my "white elephant" that it is better sometimes to move on quickly from one disaster to the next without dwelling on them... now it's on to some other things from the past week!

This was too awesome not to share... the winter gear section of our local Old Navy store, can you tell winter has hit Virginia Beach?!  The poor store personnel couldn't keep up.

Every year I forget to budget for this... probably because when I was a kid I only had ONE teacher!  These are for the kids' teachers and bus driver, and a gift exchange the kindergarten class is doing.  Teachers do a great job, but if they only had ONE each their present would be nicer hahaha!

Below, Finn with his favorite girl!  She has been Finn's "special friend" since preschool, but she is just outside the age window so she didn't move on to kindergarten with him so they don't get to see each other much.  Her birthday party was last month on the day Finn got so sick, so he couldn't go.  He finally got to bring her the birthday gift the other night!  Now I have to break some bad news to him, her family is being transferred to Japan, and he will not be happy about this at all!

In other news, I am still knitting and getting things "ready" in general - kids & I got our haircut, I detailed the dogs, we're getting close to the big day!  It just started snowing 5 minutes ago, so I hope we get enough that I can get the kids outside to play in it, school called a "snow day" today and they are driving me batty!  Now I know how my mom probably felt!

Dec 13, 2010

I'm SNOW excited... & a Holiday Message...

This has been going on since this morning, no signs of stopping yet!  To the people who don't believe in climate change, I say "hmmmpf"!  Used to be we would go 5-6 years without seeing so much as a flake, but for the past 3 years, we have had accumulation - but this is the first year it has happened this early.

I always love seeing the winter garden photos other bloggers post, I finally have some of my own to share!

This is a Dwarf Burning Bush (Euonymus) - I use that term loosely since my "dwarf" is 7 feet high by about 10 feet wide/

I had hope for some of my garden.... we had temps in the 20's at night that killed a lot, but then yesterday it was in the upper 50's so I thought I might be able to get rid of the outer limp leaves and go on, but today has sealed the fate of the fall garden.

Above are the peas, sadly they were still covered with blossoms.
Below, Cauliflower & Broccoli Beds.  I did manage to get a bit of broccoli harvested and eat many salads from the bed of greens before weather took its toll.

Frantic knitting... yes indeed that is FOUR different projects going at once.  Thankfully, this seems to be the only area of my life I suffer from ADD in, who knew?  And yes, that was an active decision by myself to bring the entire bottle of wine out, you never know...

This photo bears repeating in light of today's festive weather:

Last but certainly not least, I wanted to share our family's "perfect Christmas song" for this year.  I've been doing this military life for over 20 years now (not even counting my childhood as a Navy brat), and even I turn to a sobbing mess when listening to this!  We are very lucky in that hubby IS sailing home for Christmas, but I hope you can listen and watch the entire thing and keep those who won't be home and their families with an empty seat at the holiday table in your thoughts this year.  You probably all know someone, either a family member, friend, or just someone's family "down the street" who could use your good wishes and love this Christmas.  My brother is among them, he will be spending Christmas in a cold, mountainous place half a world away - we are thinking of you and will drink some extra holiday cheer in your honor!  Hope we get to hear from you over the holiday, we miss you, we love you very much, and are so proud of you.

Dec 12, 2010


I'm glad we haven't left for our trip to Minnesota yet!

My brother sent me these photos of his house this morning in Saint Paul, Minnesota...

Winter lovers, rejoice!  (and then get to work!)  I'm sure there would be a run on ibuprofen for sore backs today, if only they could get to the stores.

This one is my favorite!

I must admit, I'm feeling quite homesick right about now :)

And for those that haven't seen the collapse of the Metrodome roof yet caught on video, here it is...