December 29, 2010

sneeze sneezey sneezile...

I am not a fan of sneezing.  It makes me scared my eyeballs will pop out of my head.  How's that for a strange phobia?

My life feels extremely anticlimactic right now.  I don't have anything to look forward to right now.  I just got my license.  Christmas is over.  I guess there is always New Years...but I don't have any plans.  I am certain it will be spent the same as any other night.  Watching Angel or Buffy.  Which is okay but nothing to look forward to.

Being sick sucks.  My brain feels fuzzy.  I haven't been sick in such a long time it's weird to be sick now.  I've begun to get sick but it never turned into a full on cold.  This time it definitely is a full on head cold.  I am sneeze-y and swollen glands...all that.  I blame the fierce cold.  It's been cold before today, frigidly brrrrrr.  But this morning when I went out with the dogs it was -3*.  And I was wearing a hoodie and my new Christmas PJ pants and slippers from Grams.  But just a hoodie.  I'm dumb.  I'll never learn.  I have a warm coat...and 2 pea coats...and Danny's huge winter coat if I wanted to steal it...but I prefer to just wear a hoodie.  I have no explanation other than I feel claustrophobic in a big coat.  One day I will learn.

I painted my nails last night...first a coat of red glitter, then teal, and then purple.  It looks pretty cool.  And it matches my hair.  I also cut my hair last night and it was way cute...till I fell asleep.  Now I look like Alfalfa from Lil Rascals.  It's sticking up allllll over the place.  I just cut the back.  I held on as long as I could, not cutting it.  It was touching my shoulders.  But since the rest of my hair isn't even chin length yet I felt like I had a mullet or at very least the Carol Brady hair going on.  Neither are acceptable.  I just graduated the back some, over directed to previous on each section and now it's cute.  I really shouldn't cut my own hair but it did turn out cute so it's alright.

I guess I should go, really I'm just rambling.  I need to make my Cup O'Noodle and drink my coffee to get rid of the vitamin C taste in my mouth.  Then, I shall sleep. I won't.  But I can read!


December 28, 2010

I become legal...

I finally got my USAREUR license today.  So now I can drive slightly above the speed limit (and still get passed...have I mentioned how fast Audi's are?!?! Wow...when they pass me it's just a blur of rings) and not fear getting beaten by the police.  I liked all of the learning, especially the silly things.  Like that the Polizei can beat me up for...pretty much anything lol.  They can use force for a great many things.  It makes me very glad that I am a very boring law abiding citizen most of the time.  I also learned it's illegal to run over frogs.  And it's enforced.  Not that I'd run a frog over anyways.  I learned a lot.  Most importantly, I passed.  91%.  I was hoping to get a higher score but that just means I missed 9 questions...I guess that's not too bad since I only studied for about 45mins last night and there are a lot of weird laws (mostly right-of-ways and signs that are confusing...they have signs for EVERYTHING).  I can drive!!!!! I want to go to Czech like tomorrow.  But I probably won't.  Primarily because it won't stop snowing.  ARGH!

I got to talk to my Uncle and Dale last night, that was cool.  And good timing cause now I'm getting sick and won't want to talk.  My throat is closing up and I'm going to die cause I won't be able to breath...since my nose is also un-working.  I'm a tad dramatic.  I hate head colds though.  They are lame.  My neck and head feel like hell and I wouldn't be surprised, un-dramatically, if my head explodes.  Hmm, guess that's dramatic too.  I wonder if I started wearing a coat regularly if it would help.  I am more comfortable in hoodies.  Coats are overrated.  Except that I'm quite certain that a coat might help though.

So my awesome DC boots.  I still love them (though I shouldn't say "mine" since actually I ended up with Taylors and she took the ones I ordered for myself).  But.  Well...they aren't "quick on".  Okay, they're quick on but then hard to get off.  My foot does not want to come out.  I probably needed the size up.  And the liner thing just de-velcro's itself and comes out with my foot.  It's irritating.  If I'm going to wear them for a while they are amazing.  They are super comfy and obviously adorable.  But if I need to throw some boots on quickly to chase dogs or something (and I want to take them off quickly) they are not the boots.  So with my Uncle money I decided to get some easier to slip on boots.  I hope they work like that.  I hate not being about to try boots on.  My feet are too damn big.  Sigh.  It wasn't getting the boots.  They were $32 and the things I got Taylor and Danny were around $20 each.  But I also got one thing for all of hopefully they forgive me.  I am putting pictures of the items here.  Primarily because I see that Lajo is "following" me and she'll appreciate the shirts, but also because I may talk Pete into checking out the blog.  So here we go:
This one is for Danny.  He likes the slapping.

  this one is for Taylor.  She wanders around saying this.  Which could be disturbing because it might mean she loves Barney Stinson as much as I do...and that's bad for her.  Good for me cause I've loved Neil since he was playing doctor on TV the first time...anyways, yes, she will love this shirt.
 My boots! They are Doc Martens <3 I went with the bright sun yellow cause they will make me feel less cold.  It's a theory.  It might work.  We'll see lol they are amazingly cute either way.
And this is for all of us.  We love Chuck very much.  I love Chuck for obvious reasons, I think Danny loves Sarah for also obvious reasons as well.  And I haven't even mentioned John Casey yet.  Mmm.  Taylor likes the show cause it's action packed but mostly hilarious.  And probably slightly more appropriate than How I Met Your Mother.

So yes.  That marks the end of the Christmas shopping.  With the exception of Grams everyone sent us Amazon gift cards.  It was kinda fun to be able to pick stuff myself, and still a surprise for Danny and Tay.  They don't know about that stuff up thurr.  I told Danny I was going to buy expensive boots and that was it.  Muwahahahahaha! I like surprising them.  I hate surprises for myself.  It's a control freak thing.

Soooo.  I really need to sleep.  Jasmine is sleeping over with Taylor and I *know they will wake me up early.  I have to be coherent enough to make coffee and muffins in the morning.  Coffee being the most important part of that equation.  And even though I am beyond exhausted I know I can't sleep.

I just realized that I have had this hair color longer than any other...probably ever.  I have touched up the red, green and purple once...and that's it.  I haven't cut up the black.  It's been a month and a half.  I have about 1/2 an inch of new growth which drives me crazy but I don't have the desire to fix it since it's not obvious at all.  I don't have the desire to change it either.  I really like these colors.  Inside they're subtle if noticeable at all but outside you can really see them.  I like that.  At my advanced age a little subtlety is a good thing.  I did find a grey hair while I was doing my vivid color touch up.  In the spot of hair that turned white when I had a collapsed lung.  I am thinking that just one or two is an improvement from that spot so I'm not worried about it.  Except I do feel a little ancient.  But I feel that way without the grey hairs so it's really nothing new.

Welllllll...since it's 2am I should probably stop writing.  Even if I can't sleep, I shall try.  It will be a valiant effort.


December 26, 2010

time to re-start

It's been a long while since I've blogged and I miss it.  I pulled this up several times only to have something come up so I never finished a blog to the point I could actually post it.  I am determined today.  Taylor is out playing with Jasmine and her little sisters, Danny is doing laundry (yay, not me!) and the dogs are being quiet for once.  I should say Stella is being quiet for once, Charlie is always quiet unless she is hopping fences.  Stella, however, is not a quiet puppy.  She gets especially loud when Taylor leaves without her these days.  She's been spoiled.  Jasmine has an English Bulldog named Bella (Stella & Bella, awwwww) so they get to have play dates all the time.  They're good fat Bullys so they traipse after the girls without leashes on...lets face is, a 9 and 11 year old can run faster than either Bully could even dream to do.  Poor Charlie and Max don't ever get to do anything fun.  Max is a giant Doberman and the girls could *not run as fast as him.  Of course, as I was typing, they came to get Stella.  Now Charlie is pouting.  Doggy drama.

We've been here for almost exactly 3 months.  Sometimes it seems like much much longer and sometimes like no time has passed at all.  We have explored the little towns near out house and driven the hour or so to Regensburg for the Christmas market.  Aside from the parking lot (SCARY! we drove the Xterra sightseeing for the first and last's just too big!) it was completely awesome.  Like walking in a fairytale land.  I liked seeing the vendors and all they had to see.  I liked drinking the hot mulled wine, Gluehwein.  I loved eating at the delicious Italian restaurant in the center of town.  But the blows me away.  Regensburg has such a rich history and is truly a medieval town.  I felt the same awe I used to feel of more simple things as a child.  When I walked around the corner and found the huge beautiful German Gothic cathedral...I honestly couldn't breathe for a minute.  It was sheer euphoria and very dramatic.  I have pictures but they don't do it justice as it was snowing and dark, not a good combination.  We plan a trip back during the day when it warms up a little.

Right now we don't have major plans to visit anywhere else.  I'd like to go to Prague soon as it is closer than much of Germany, but even that isn't rushed.  We have 3 years to explore.  This summer the Xterra is paid off so that will free up quite a bit of money for travel.  It will be good timing for heading to Oktoberfest (in September).  We mostly plan on taking the trips that the Army organizes.  They provide transportation and arrange for most everything, all we will have to do is show up and pay.  That way we can enjoy the trip more than stress about the details.  That will all start next year, I am sure.  This year it's more about familiarizing ourselves with the immediate area and learning the language at least enough to communicate basic needs/civil conversation.

Christmas was yesterday.  It went rather well.  Taylor had a great Christmas, which is 99% of my reason for all the shopping stress haha.  One of Danny's gifts didn't make it, and neither did a couple of mine apparently.  So we'll have some more Christmas items coming sporadically.  I had a Very Harry Christmas.  A HP wallet, shirt, a Potter debate book, the HP cookbook...yay! I also got a map of OZ fop the map room and Tin Man.  A measuring cup set shaped like matryoshka's (the Russian stacking dolls)...some gauges...a Hatebreed shirt...and one of those electric picture frame'd think I'd know the name.  But I don't.  Ya know, ya shove a SD card in there, plug it in, and voila! Pictures slide show.  It's very cool.  Taylor got the entire world.  Too much to list.  The main part of her presents from us were the complete series of Buffy and well as the Ghoulia Yelps and Holt Hyde doll.  She's spoiled rotten.  Danny got a Kindle, a case for it, a skin for it (that isn't here yet) and the last 3 seasons of The Shield that he didn't have.  Oh, and a Reaper Crew (Sons of Anarchy) beanie.  All in all, it was a good day.

Tomorrow we are getting up bright and early to go to Vilseck so I can take my driving test.  I am not looking forward to it for many reasons.  One of which is that we have to leave at about 6:30am.  The next is that it's a test.  For driving.  In Europe.  No stress or anything though (right).  What I am doing right now is procrastinating studying.  I need to study a little, take the practice test and study the things I miss a little more, then take it again.  That's how I used to study at school and I never failed a test (except that one that we ALL failed but there was nothing to study for that test and it was on Laws, Rules, Regs and Safety/Sanitation).  There is also apparently an hour or two that they talk and go over things.  So I should be good.  Hopefully.  Apparently a LOT of people fail.  Sigh.

It's the day after Christmas and I already have the urge to put all things Christmas away.  It's not bah-humbug-gy when it's after Christmas, right? I hope.

I guess I should stop writing and get started.  I really don't want to though.  I really don't want to go sit in a room full of strangers, either.  Ew.  Oh well, I only have to do it once (unless I fail) so I just need to suck it up.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas full of magic, family, and good food!

October 13, 2010

just about time

We move into our place tomorrow.  TOMORROW!! We've been here for 2 weeks so it's not terrible.  But it's definitely time to get out of lodging.  It's been nice and it's been great to have a place to stay...I'm grateful.  But done.

We are thisclose to getting a car.  It's a 1997 (I think...heh) Mazda 626.  It's cute, 4cyl manual, dark blue.  It's very well kept.  The guy selling it to us is a retired guy DOD contractor.  He's very cool.  The car didn't pass inspection because of the tires so he's getting those replaced.  But as soon that's done it's ours.  He loaned us his other spare vehicle to drive in the mean time which is awesome cause we'll definitely be able to get all of our stuff to the new place in the van.

Every time I leave lodging and we're riding through the country side it reminds me...I'm in Germany.  It's so amazing.  We drove through Vilseck, the town, last night in search of Cigs (still no ration card).  I am always in awe.  The buildings have so much personality.  And history.  I can't even imagine how many generations of people have walked down those streets even before they were paved.  Germany and Europe as a whole I'm sure has a feel of history.  I know that the US has that, there have always been people there.  But Germany...I don't know, it's just different.

I have heard many stories of people emigrating to the US and stepping off the boat/plane and falling in love with it on first site.  I feel like that's how it was for me coming here.  I love every single part I have seen so far.  I adore where we are and I'm glad we didn't get put in a bigger city atmosphere.  It's very rural and the towns (Vilseck and Grafenwoehr) aren't huge but I cannot wait to explore them.  In between there are fields of corn and green.  Green everywhere.  After having been in the West US for so long green is a very different site.  CoS was practically the desert when it wasn't snowing.  Dry.  Brown and red more than green.  So it's very nice to be here where it's so green and pretty.  And the houses!! I can't get over the houses.  The farm houses, the city houses.  The churches!! Everywhere.  For someone obsessed with Catholicism it's amazing to see so many beautiful Catholic churches.  Bavaria seems very steeped in Catholic history.  Driving down the road there are crucifixes everywhere.  Just randomly where you would never think of looking, on a tree in the middle of nowhere.  On a street sign.  Everywhere.  I am going to have a great time collecting Rosaries all over here.  I am almost certain I will be able to find one every place we visit in Germany.  Now that we have transportation other than a bus that goes straight from the PX here to the PX there we'll be able to explore more.

There is a cemetery right down the street from our house.  It doesn't look like a family graveyard like the ones in NC so I am hoping I am able to visit it.  But it is kind of randomly on the side of the road so I'll play it by ear.  I am thinking the more graveyards I visit here the more really old headstones I will find.  I find a lot of peace in cemeteries.  No one is trying to get me to make decisions or talk to them or help them (since I am not the Ghost Whisperer I guess).  It's just peace and quiet.  Seeing personalities brought out in the choice of headstones and words.  Not that I'll be able to understand anything other than names and maybe dates...but if there are words I can take photos I can look up the words.

I need to learn German.  Even basic German.  All I know are the basic "good morning", "good afternoon" and "good evening".  That's about it.  I have picked up certain other words like wasser and pfeffer.  Just because they're fairly similar.  But unless I want to order pepper flavored water I'm screwed.  I also want to brush up on my French.  Then I could be tri-lingual! Or something.  We shall see.  I think I'll have a lot of time to learn these things since I probably can't get a job any time soon.  Maybe next spring after we're all settled completely.

I suppose I should stop blogging.  I need to get dressed and primp a little before we head to the PX for housey stuff.  Basics.  Blankets, sheets, paper plates.  I have no clue when our stuff will arrive but until then we have "loaner" furniture so we won't be sitting and sleeping on the floor at least.

Hope everyone has a great day!!

September 10, 2010

Another Day

Today is just a day on the farm.  We still have 17 days till we get on that bird and fly across the ocean to a whole other continent.  I am looking forward to the adventure but for some reason dreading customs.  I am guessing it's because I've never done it before.  The fear of the unknown.

Tomorrow we are heading to Atlantic Beach.  It's probably my favorite beach in North Carolina.  We are planning on souvenir shopping then laying on the beach for 6 hours.  My legs are going to burn up.  I have an awesome base tan on my arms/shoulders/face.  My legs are very pale.  After being burnt up quite nicely we are going to do a ghost walk.  None of us have ever been on one.  I don't know what to expect but if anywhere is haunted it's the South.  That particular area is where Blackbeard lived.  So there's gotta be pirates and "aye, walk the plank me matey!" victims about. 

Just a reminder.  Tomorrow is September 11th.  In my my Mom's generation...this is the worst attack on American soil.  Only comparable to Pearl Harbor.  But even that attack, while horrible, wasn't the same.  It wasn't CONUS.  It didn't kill 2,752 civilians.  It didn't even kill that many Service Members.  Pearl Harbor killed 2,400 people total, 68 civilians.  The ensuing war killed 418,500 Americans.  The wars stemming from September 11th have (so far) killed the 2,752 ON Sept 11th and 5,697.  That is a dramatically lower number probably due to technological advances.  Losing civilians vs soldiers doesn't make them more or less important but as the wife of a career soldier...well soldiers sign on knowing the risks.  Thousands of New Yorkers didn't go to work and sign a contract saying "I might be a war casualty".  No one boarded the airplanes thinking they'd be blown up, essentially.  Although I will allow that flying presents a higher hazard level than simply going to work we still don't have many plane crashes in a year and usually even fewer large planes.

That's just the facts.  The reality of it all is that it devastated our entire nation.  People with no ties to New York cried for days.  People in other countries were heartbroken for us.   The thought of all of the loss is simply too much for most people to bear.  Even now, 9 years later, all I want to do is cry.  If I see the footage it takes me back to that day in 2001 when I woke up to the news.  I can't remember it as if it were yesterday.  Until the day I die I will remember those moments.  Or until the day the dementia sets in, which ever happens first.  Sometimes I wonder if that's what hell is like.  Watching people so desperate and scared that they would rather leap to their death than burn to death.  Watching the person you worked with before you ran to Starbucks, people you know, go up in flames.  Watching people you've never met in a state you've never been to and knowing that someone loves them is in agonizing pain from loss.  Some people were in agonizing pain from being in/near intense heat.  People were trapped, still alive but facing uncertainty.  The terror, the fear, the pain.  It's too much to bear.

Never forget.  Don't let your children forget, even if they were less than 2 weeks old like my daughter was at the time of the attack.  Don't forget our soldiers still fighting to this day.

Never forget.

The N.C.

We are on our way to Germany.  We have 21 days till we get on the plane.  We decided to take leave at my Moms place because we had to drop off the Focus and Ollie here as well as take the Xterra to the port in Norfolk.  I am pretty sad about leaving Ollie but he really does love it here so that helps.  And there is just no possible way we can afford to take him.  He will be here waiting for us when we get back though.  My Mom and Michael are going to spoil him rotten.  The farm life suits his 93lb frame as well, he hardly looks monster sized here.

We've been here for a few days now so it's time to begin our adventures.  We have decided to try to do one fun thing a day.  It may not seem like great fun but here in rural North Carolina we don't have a ton of options.  Not a ton of free options, rather.

Tonight we were doin' some ghost hunting.  We decided to check out the Whirligigs at night.  Even though I know the reality, it's so much more fun to get swept up in the Urban Legend of it all, even if just for a little while.  I have been to the Whirligigs at least 5 times over the years, probably more.  But never at night.

We told the spooky stories until we got there and even drove by the family graveyard and other land the family owns and told those stories too (illegally shot "carpet baggers" buried in the field, etc).  The stories about the whirligigs go something like this:

Long ago (year undetermined, likely the 70's) a girl had gone to prom and had done a little acid (or drank) at the dance.  On the way home she lost control of her car while reaching onto the floor and picking up her dropped handbag.  She ended up wrapping her car around a tree and died instantly.  Her father was completely distraught and began putting reflectors up all over the area so that no other person would meet the same fate.  He had gone mad and began building many reflective surfaces, an entire park.  He left the destroyed car there at the tree to remind people of his daughters end and if you go now, you will meet the girl at night.  Your car will get scratched and you will hear the screams.  You may lose power to your camera or even your car.   (Google Acid Park, you will find many many other blogs of first hand experiences as well as some actual articles).

We took pictures of all of the reflectors.  At night with just the flash on my camera it really lit things up.  At some point I will post daytime pictures as well.  We also took a picture of the car and tree.  If you believe in orbs, there are some good ones.

The *real story that I know is that Mr. Vollis Simpson is the creator of these whirligigs.  He is an old old old man (91) and he has been doing this for years.  The first time I came to NC when I was 8 I saw them.  Whirligigs are basically ornate windmills, more or less.  His children are all still alive.  These things are art, pure and simple.  They have been featured places like the Atlanta Olympics, Bergdorf Goodman's, and several museums.  I met Mr. Simpson when I was about...15.  He was good friends with my Great Grandma and she took me out to meet him and his old scary dog.  We talked about animals and his awesome talent (he doesn't really see it that way).  If you Google Vollis Simpson Whirligigs there is  a ton of info, my fave article is cause when a Lucama NC boy makes it in the New York Times it's big news.  My family has lived in Lucama for generations.  Portions still live there and it's where the family plot is as well, not far from Mr. Simpsons.

But despite knowing the truth we all still managed to get very spooked very quickly.  I got some cool pictures and Taylor has yet another fun NC memory.

Nothing terribly exciting but it's better than doin' nothing on the farm!!