Friday, January 30, 2009

America is sparkly!

When our long flight from Yokota to Seattle was almost over, I looked out the window of the airplane and said, "Oh my gosh...look at America! It's sparkly!" I thought it was night time in Seattle because there were so many lights on, but the Customs agent said "good morning" as we walked through his station. It was about 6:00 a.m. in Seattle, 11:00 p.m. in Okinawa, and we'd been on the go for about 17 hours.

Here's the first thing that shocked me about America... they use pennies there! In the past 3 and a half years, I've grown used to paying for something that rings up $3.12 with three dollar bills and a dime. If I paid for something that was $3.13, I'd have to pay with a three dollars, a dime, and a nickel and get no change. The Starbucks guy probably thought I was strange when I said, "Ooooo, pennies!"

When we landed in Chicago, we got to see snow in the grassy areas around the runway! And we could see our breath when we got out of the plane and stepped onto the (?? I'm at a loss for words... the thing that you walk on to get from the plane to the airport).
When I got out of the car at my mom's house, I got to stand in a snow-dusted driveway! It was so exciting! But now, I've seen the snow, touched the snow, and felt the I'm already ready for it to warm up!

Monday, January 26, 2009

No Vampires Here!

Last night, David & I went to Arin Krin, the garlic restaurant.
It's been coined the garlic restaurant because, well, just about everything on the menu has garlic. Baked garlic, garlic chicken, garlic fried rice, etc.
I've heard people talk about it and now that we're down to our last days on the island, I was determined to eat there. I like eating. I like garlic. So how could I miss an opportunity to try it out?
At home, it's not unheard of to head over the state line to Chicago for dinner. Or to drive across the county just to get some yummy yummy food at El Taco Real. The whole island here is 78 miles long and less than 18 miles wide, and everything is fairly crowded together, so long distance driving has become sort of foreign to us. Plus when you put a couple hundred thousand people on an island this small, there's bound to be some traffic. When I told David where the garlic restaurant is (over halfway to the airport...*gasp*) he was reluctant to go. I wanted to make reservations for Saturday, but he didn't want to sit in traffic. We decided to go on Monday. It took us about 30 minutes to drive down there and there was very little traffic, so score one David point for Arin Krin.
Arin Krin is sort of an izakaya, or dim sum style. Usually people will go in a large group, order food to pass around the table, and order more as the night goes on. Not us. We went, just the two of us, and ordered SEVEN items right away. I explained that we could order, eat, and order more if we were still hungry, but David wanted to do it his way. And it didn't turn out so bad...I wrote down what we wanted on a piece of paper I had in my purse (when you're eating 7 out of 70-something menu items, it's hard to memorize your order!) and we emptied 5 out of the 7 dishes!
We had Tuna & Avocado with Garlic & Cheese Salad, Garlic Pasta, Beef & Broccoli with Garlic, Gyoza Roll, Deep Fried Garlic, Garlic Pasta, Garlic Pizza, and Fried Pork & Kimchi.
The Garlic Pasta was the first thing brought to the table and it made a delicious first impression! The pasta was just tossed in an oily garlicky buttery sauce and there was tons of sliced fresh garlic in there. A couple cloves at least.
I believe the Beef & Broccoli with Garlic was the favorite for both of us. Oh my goodness it was so good! Again, chunks of garlic.
The Fried Pork & Kimchi was for David. He won a Kimchi eating contest when he was stationed in Korea. So proud. I took a bite, but I'm not really a fan of the kimchi flavoring, so I let David finish that one off himself.
The Tuna & Avocado with Garlic & Cheese Salad was so cute. It was not tuna like from a can, it was sashimi (?) style tuna...raw and tossed with creamy avocado, topped with this crunchy sprinkle garlic and served right in the avocado skin. I didn't taste or notice any cheese. We both enjoyed it.
I wanted to try the Deep Fried Garlic. I've heard that people like it, and I figured David would be into it because it was fried. It turned out, David wasn't interested...he suggested taking it off of our order when I gawked at the 7-item list. I insisted that it stay on (my rationale was that we probably won't see that item on many other menus). David tried it and loved it! If we hadn't gotten the Beef & Broccoli with Garlic, this would have been his hands-down favorite. I think we ate an entire head of garlic deep fried. There was a sauce to dip and then a garlic & salt sprinkle to dip it in.
The Gyoza Roll was David's least favorite of our selection, and had we not gotten the Kimchi, it would have been my least favorite too. Serves me right for daring to order something without "Garlic" in the title! They weren't bad though...they were HUGE, more like the size of a taco than a dumpling!
The Garlic Pizza was yummy too... crust like an Italian pizza, white sauce (or maybe no sauce at all?) and loads of garlic. I'll be having Garlic Pizza for breakfast. Yum.
I was hoping we'd go to the Big Dip afterward for ice cream, but after eating all of that, David said he wouldn't even be able to handle a "little dip".
So we just headed home, which is now a Japanese hotel room with FREE and lightning fast internet. No room at base lodging...but no internet in the rooms there either!

Shopping List-part 3

My mom said to limit the number of shoes I pack in my suitcase since they take up more room....and I limited it quite by accident:
They're all in there somewhere. Or maybe in one of the many many other boxes that look just like these.
I do have 3 pairs of running shoes... the ones that are old and I just walk around in them (will wear those on the plane), my newest ones that I currently wear, and a pair that's not new anymore but not new yet either which I decided to bring in case it is still snowy and my shoes get wet. I also have a pair of flip flops, but something tells me I won't be using those very much.

I couldn't resist buying myself a little welcome home present...some cute blue shoes!
Black, White & Blue
Black, White & Blue - by BeccaAgain on
Black & Blue
Black & Blue - by BeccaAgain on

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Shopping List- part 2

The theme for the next shopping list is DENIM:
Skinny black jeans.
Jeans. (Both David and I need new jeans...and I'm trying a new pants-buying strategy. When I find a pair I like, I'm buying 2 to hem for wearing with heels and one to hem for wearing with flats.)
Grey jeans. I have some grey pants, but I love the faded look of grey jeans.
A light denim jacket. Already have a dark one.

Possibly a cute yellow shirt...might have to opt for a different color because I'm not sure yellow is right for my coloring. I'll have to try one on!

Yellow & Black
Yellow & Black - by BeccaAgain on

Yellow & White
Yellow & White - by BeccaAgain on
The accessorizing here is pretty daring for me...I rarely remove my Timex Ironman sporty watch!
Grey & Yellow
Grey & Yellow - by BeccaAgain on
I have a cute pair of grey shoes...but these are so much cuter! love the bows & sparklies!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Our house echoes!

It was crazy to watch my whole house get packed up yesterday. It took me 3.5 years to make all that mess, and they had it all packed up in just a few hours! People had told me that they would pack "everything"...there's even a comic strip that shows a girl pouring herself a cup of coffee on moving day, greeting the movers, and coming back for a refill only to find the coffee pot wrapped in paper and ready to go. It's true! I went to blow my nose today and realized that I since I hadn't put the kleenex outside, it was gone!

Here are a few reasons why I think I would be a good mover:
1. I am small and it is easy for me to weave my way through a room full of boxes and packing materials.
2. I have legible handwriting for labeling boxes.
3. I can stand on our kitchen counter and have just enough clearance to not touch the ceiling. I wouldn't have to stoop to remove dishes, etc. from the cabinets.

Here are a few reasons why I think I would NOT make a good mover:
1. I don't think my visual-spatial awareness is good enough. These guys are off the charts!
2. I'm just not that great at moving heavy and awkward items. I would've gone for reinforcements when it came time to get the 61" tv off its stand, but the guy working in the living room didn't need to!
3. I'm not good at finishing one thing before moving on to the next. I would have half packed a box and gotten sidetracked by something that looked more fun to pack.
4. I like taking breaks.
5. I would probably have made loud comments like "Gross!" when finding all the dust when taking knick knacks off shelves and moving furniture.
6. When packing up the board games, I probably would've asked if anyone wanted to play a quick game of Yahtzee.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Shopping List--part 1

I have mixed emotions about moving... I would probably be more excited if my move were going a little more smoothly. The weather will be hard to leave behind (if I were moving in June [2008] like I was originally supposed to, I would be ecstatic to be getting out of the hot Okinawa summer!). There are still some new restaurants I want to try and some old ones I want to have again before we go. I'll miss the friends that are still here. And of course leaving here means that David will be leaving soon too...for a whole year. Now, I DO like my alone time (a lot) but I know that I'll miss having him around. I have to pack a month and a half or more's worth of my life into 2 70 pound or less suitcases. And I have to do that by Thursday or Friday, because that's when the movers are coming. Sure, I've known for a long time that I'd be moving this month, but you'd think I'd get more than 2 days notice when it's actually happening.

But of course I'm happy to be moving for lots of other good reasons, the most obvious of which is that I get to go home!! To my other home. My main home, real home, or as the military refers to it, my "home of record". My non-government issued home! I'm going to see my family and my mom will make me delicious dinners and I will cuddle with my kitties. I might even get to ride in a car that's going over 40 miles per hour!!!! I will be able to make a phone call without calculating a time difference first. I will play Uno with my grandma and see my new baby cousin. I will see snow!!! (Right?) I'll get to hang out with some of my BFFs and walk into a restaurant without wondering if it will have an English menu. And... I get to go shopping!!!!! There are stores here, and I have shopped at a few, but it's just not the same... fashion here is a little too edgy for me. Of course, there's always the BX, where you can buy something cute that EVERYONE else has, or something kind of ugly that nobody else wanted. Online shopping...blech. I'm totally over it. I want to go to a store and be surrounded by clothes. I want to spin the "rounders" (I still have a very expansive sales girl vocabulary from my days at the Limited Too). I want to try something on before I buy it and walk around with shopping bags.

I've been spending lots of time thinking about what I want to buy...and trying to pack my suitcase accordingly so I have room for new. Although my mom says I can have a garage sale with the old. In the past, oh...27 hours or so, I've become completely and utterly addicted to Polyvore where I've been browsing cute outfits people have put together, and making my own while writing out a "wish list" of things I want to look for while I'm home.
First on the list: Tall Brown Boots! I've been wanting these since we were in Australia and all the cute and fashionable Aussies were wearing them. Over their jeans, with skirts, with long shorts, under their dress pants.
So, here are some outfits I created centered around brown boots and a brown skirt:
Orange & Brown
Orange & Brown by BeccaAgain
Cream & Brown
Cream & Brown by BeccaAgain
Turquoise & Brown
Turquoise & Brown by BeccaAgain

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Lesson Learned

Even though I like our "transient" lifestyle, every now and then I think of how nice it would be to buy a house and live there for more than 4 years. I think how it would be to have the same neighbors for more than 4 years, and how nice it would be if they didn't live right above me or if their front door wasn't 5 feet away from my front door. Wouldn't it be kind of fun to buy furniture or choose a new wall color? To know all the people in the neighborhood and start traditions with them and have our (non-existent) children grow up with theirs and be carpooling pals and have those same (non-existent) children move away and bring their children to our house to sleep in their old bedrooms and marvel over the growth-chart marks in the pantry? (Too many ABC Family movies, I know). And of course, wouldn't it be nice to live somewhere and not have to go through the hassle of moving?

Moving from here has definitely an experience (and we haven't really even started yet!)... we still aren't sure WHEN we'll be leaving, but it could be in 11 days. Or, I suppose it could be in 4 days, because we haven't actually heard whether our request for the 11-days-away departure has been approved. I'm hoping for 11. David, it seems, is bracing himself for 4. Last night he cleaned out the fridge (which, I swear, I had *just* done before Thanksgiving!). Today he cleaned the oven. Next up: the freezer. It makes me sick to think of how much money we're throwing away. Here's the thing about moving across an ocean rather than across a county: there's a lot that you can't take with you! I sold half-burned Yankee Candles at the flea market because you can't move with candles that have already been lit. I considered not showering for 2 weeks, because what's the point of buying a whole new shower gel? No liquids allowed in the move. Spices might confuse the drug dogs, so those have got to go too (that's why I have 3 of each spice, because doubles have been "willed" down to us by friends that have moved). Obviously the fridge/freezer things shouldn't be packed up and put into temporary storage. But cabinet things aren't really supposed to go either (maybe because of agricultural reasons...bugs in rice, flour, etc. Gross!) and it's really difficult to plan a meal that David will eat just out of the items that remain in our cabinets: mandarin oranges, rice a roni, potato pancake mix, a large can of whole tomatoes, 4 varieties of hot chocolate mixes, Craisins, a can of beets, Ritz crackers, graham cracker crumbs, maple syrup and peanut butter--2 jars. Any recipe ideas? Please keep in mind that David has put a moratorium on dirtying more than 3 dishes (including those we'll eat off of) for any meal.

I suppose that the good thing about being required to move is that we'll have a good chance at a fresh start at our next place. At our next place, I hope to NOT find a package of ground beef in the back of the freezer and wonder if I might have bought it in one of my very first trips to the commissary 3 and a half years ago. Today I needed to unplug something from the surge protector our computer is on so I could plug in the external hard drive & back up some files...that was a disaster, so I know that at my next place, I should get those little cord label things so I know if I am unplugging the computer, printer, or cable box without following a bunch of cord trails! And I hope to do my hand wash/no dryer laundry more often so that I'm not stuck in a time crunch wondering if my clothes would be dry enough to pack by the time the movers get here!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Cold Feet

I know it's not really cold here, compared to every where else, but I'm really cold!
My feet are freezing! Yesterday I spent the afternoon at my friend Katie's house and at the base where she lives, they don't have heat!! My feet were freezing the whole time, and still freezing after I came back to our heated home after dinner.
When I was trying to fall asleep, I couldn't because my feet were so cold. I tried doubling up on socks, I tried warming my feet on David's legs (he's like a furnace!), I tried taking the socks off and rubbing my feet as fast as I could to produce friction...nothing worked. I thought I would never fall asleep because I was so distracted by how freezing my feet were.

But then I remembered this super gift that Santa brought... a heating pad! I fell asleep with my feet warming up under the heating pad (it shuts off automatically after an hour). It must have done the trick, because when I woke up, I was nice and warm...and on top of all the covers!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Going Nowhere Fast

I've been working on the Little Sister's Dress as a gift for the newest little member of my family. I was moving right along and SO proud of myself for following the directions just right. Even at the part of the directions where it just didn't seem quite right, I figured that the problem was with me, and not with the pattern and I decided I should just press on and surely it would all work itself out in the end.

By the time I realized that it would not work itself out in the end, I had been working for three days and this is what I had accomplished:
It is teeny-tiny yarn on teeny-tiny needles. I didn't especially want to un-do any of it, so I decided that since the problem was just that one of those little ridges had more rows/was longer than the other, I would just let it go. After all, this dress is for a baby and babies do not know how to count or use rulers.

I kept knitting and then came to the part in the pattern where it tells you how many stitches you should have on the needle. I counted my stitches, completely confident because I had been SO careful to not get my place mixed up at all, and was shocked when I had too many. I whipped out a piece of scratch paper and did some math.
65 (the # of stitches cast on) + 64 (8 stitches increased twice in each of 4 pattern repeats worked in rows) -1 (2 stitches knitted together at the join) + 64 (8 stitches increased twice in each of 4 pattern repeats worked in rounds)= 192...and that's how many stitches I had. I did it again and again, and again with a calculator just in case. I kept getting 192 and the pattern kept saying 178. I posted a question on Ravelry, mostly to make sure that I wasn't doing something crazy with my math and to see if there was anything that could be done. Of course, there were those who said I would need to start ripping back. I am terrible at ripping back, so I wanted to avoid this at all costs. Someone else explained the pattern differently than I had read it and sure enough, the pattern had been changed (corrected!) since I had downloaded my copy in June. I was happy that the error was nothing I did, but rather a problem with the pattern. I was still in the same situation back or not rip back? Someone suggested knitting the larger size (by adding 8 more stitches) and I decided to do that.
Until I realized that whatever mistake there was would effect the rest of the project, and I would end up having to purl for 12 inches instead of knit. I hate purling more than I hate ripping back, so I had my answer.
My Little Sister's Dress on day 5 is now half the size of the picture above that was taken on day 3. This is not good for project monogamy... I'm battling the urge to start a different project...and don't know how much longer I will last!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

12 of 12: 28th Birthday Edition

January is the only month I always remember to do my 12 of 12...January 12 is my birthday, and there's no way I'm going to forget about that, but most of the other months, the 12th just kind of passes by without much fanfare and very few pictures. I really am going to try to do better this year.
I have a lot of pictures to choose from (usually, I just have 12, even in January, so I think I'm off to a promising start for the year!) I took my camera out running with me and took...FIFTY-EIGHT pictures. Running here is really pretty and I'm going to miss it.

9:45ish/Mihama Sunset Beach. My favorite caution sign, ever. Some things need no translation.

9:50ish/Seawall walking path. A birthday greeting just for me on the seawall! (Well, it's actually not for me, since it's been there since 2001, but it made me smile!)

10:15ish/Araha Beach Park. Okay, so this is actually 2 pictures, which will bring my total to 13 instead of 12, but I think this park is the coolest thing! Had to turn around shortly after the pirate ship and head home because I knew David would be waiting for me for lunch.

11:30ish/Ono Kau Kau. For my birthday lunch, I choose a yummy Hawaiian restaurant. I had Kalua Pork & Garlic Chicken and it was SO good. I'd been looking forward to going back to this restaurant for the yummy food, but also for the grape soda...but I had to settle for orange. :(

1730ish/Rte 85. Thirsty? There are vending machines everywhere on Okinawa, which makes planning for long runs super-easy, just throw a couple hundred yen in your pocket and you're ready! This is a really terrible picture, but the vending machines are something I will never forget about this place...and they're always drink machines, never food.

1745ish/Marino's Gushikawa. These are our drinks at Marino's... looks like milk & beer, but it's really ginger ale (for David) and "White Water" for's this super-tasty soda that has this yummy flavor that I can't quite put my finger on. I get it whenever we're somewhere that serves it.

1800ish/Marino's. Our delicious food at Marino's. When you order the "Parmenara" (isn't that clever?) for 2, they bring it out and dump the noodles in that big round of cheese then cook it up with an egg in this pot. David commented on the super-huge pepper mill and we decided that it would be perfect for my Aunt Nim, who doesn't so much like pepper with her food but rather food with her pepper!
1830ish/Marino's. Besides the pasta, you get Cesar salad, pizza and THREE desserts. I was a little bummed that they didn't have the fruit tarts tonight, but enjoyed the desserts I chose: cream puff, yogurt with berries & what tasted like berry jello that just wasn't all the way set, and a green tea cake. I was surprised that the cake was filled with some kind of strawberry whipped cream...and even more surprised when I saw chocolate filling inside the strawberry filling...and even more even more surprised when I took a bite of the chocolate filling and found that it was actually beans.

1840ish/Marino's. On our way out, I wanted a picture of the guy who made our yummy prosciutto pizza. I think he doesn't like pictures...the first one that I took, he ducked down and disappeared right as the picture was taken. This one, he was looking right at us until the picture and then he looked down!
1945ish/Military Family Housing-Kadena AB. David always decorates me a cake on my birthday! He's so great...and his cake decorating skills have really come a long way (but I don't think he made the flowers!). I really thought he wouldn't have a cake for me, since we're moving and we're trying to empty the fridge and not make messes in the kitchen and David is extremely stressed out right now. Usually I am the stressed one and he's the laid back one, but he likes to have all of his ducks in a row and they're just not lining up yet. Anyway, he went to his office to check on the ducks and when he came back, he said he had a surprise for me. I got all excited...and he pulled out a bottle of water from his pocket for me. I was thirsty, so I wasn't too disappointed. I went into the living room to get ready to watch Rock of Love 3 and David wasn't in there. I thought he was in the bathroom, but then he came in the door with this beautiful cake all lit up!
1946ish/Living Room. Wow...I have that crazy cake look in my eye, huh? It's strange because I don't really even care that much for cake. I guess I just love my birthday.
1950ish/Living Room. I wasn't supposed to see when David came in, but I am the queen of finding out surprises before they happen, so I saw this present underneath the cake. I love that it's wrapped with the ribbon that they use to "flag bombs" or something and affixed with duct tape because that's all David had handy. And of course I love that it's How I Met Your Mother...seasons 2 and 3! We plan to not pack them in our household goods shipment and instead carry them in our suitcases so we can watch them once we get out of housing and into billeting. If we can wait that long!

Monday, January 12, 2009

My Sporty Saturday

I was so athletically successful on Saturday, I was practically Tim Tebow. It all started on Saturday morning when I ran to the gym to do the monthly 5k fun run.
I left the house and ran to the gym (since I traded my car for the step tansu and that wouldn't give me a ride). I thought I had it timed just right, it was so cold & windy (yeah right, so cold...probably 52 degrees!) that I didn't want to stand around outside for too long before the start of the race.
Seems that nobody else wanted to wait around for too long either, because they started 3 minutes early. I was still signing in at the registration table when they left, and I got to the starting line 40 seconds or more after everyone else took off. I tried to catch up quickly and miraculously ended up staying in "chase mode" the entire time. I passed the walkers and started making my way through the runners. I saw my friends G & P and they said, "There you are! We were wondering about you!" I had given G. a hard time a few days earlier when she didn't want to do this month's run. I kept on running and passing people up...I just wasn't getting tired! Then I found my friend V. and said, "I'm here...I was 40 seconds late!" It was so windy that it felt like I was on a treadmill and moving as fast as I could but going nowhere. I was actually HAPPY when I got to go up the monster hill that takes up about 3/4 of the last mile, because the wind wouldn't be blowing directly at me. Thank goodness I finally got that long sleeved running shirt that David "surprised" me with! When I reached the top of the hill and it was leveling out, I saw this girl and thought, "What if that's the 3rd place woman and I'm this close and she gets her name on the bulletin board instead of me?" I thought it was pretty doubtful, because I didn't know how fast I was running (my Garmin died on the way to the gym) and I was too focused on running to actually look at my regular Timex watch, but I just didn't feel tired enough to believe that I had run that fast. Also, usually I get an idea of how many people are in the crowd before the start and kind of gauge off of that, but I didn't have that opportunity, so I had no idea how many people had already finished. But even so, I just really wanted to pass this girl, "just in case" and I don't know where it came from, but somehow I summoned up enough competitiveness or speed or both and passed her up. When I finished, I was really surprised when someone said, "This is the 2nd woman coming in now" and handed me a little laminated #2... I had started in very last place! The woman who took my name on the 1st-3rd place clipboard had still been telling me to stick around for the raffle (a massage gift certificate) when everyone else started running! I was so surprised and proud and happy! My time on the clock was slower than my last month's time, but my time on my watch (without the 40-something second delay) was 28 seconds faster than December.

And then, on Saturday night, we went bowling with my friend Katie, her husband and her sweetie pie 3 year old daughter Elizabeth. Elizabeth was way more interested in climbing on the swivel chairs than bowling, but participated when it was her turn. It turns out, I am quite a talented bowler! I think I got 3 strikes! (And that is good, not like in baseball) I started out in a tie with Elizabeth, but then I started to pull ahead... I ended up bowling a 104, which I believe is my highest score ever. When I was 22, I bowled my age. Last time I went bowling, I think I scored a 35 and then a 70. So that was a really super accomplishment! I'm still much better at Wii bowling though.

Oh, and just keep in mind that although I only beat the 3 year old by 23 points, she used bumpers and I didn't!

Friday, January 09, 2009

(Fur)Babies on the Brain

I've been finishing lots of knitting projects lately! In the 9 days of January so far, I've finished 3 projects, and I'm just about to finish the Upside-down Daisy hat, all I have left is weaving in all the ends...there are a lot of them. I don't know what baby this will be for. It was going to be for my friend whose last name is Daisey...but she's having a boy. If your last name was Daisey and you had a baby boy, would you have him wear a BLUE hat with an upside-down daisy on it or do you think that would be too "girly"? The hat itself was fast and easy to make and once I sat down determined to make the daisy petals, that was pretty easy too. And, I even have an extra petal because the pattern called for 6, but I only managed to fit 5 on. David says NO to the blue upside-down daisy hat, but I say, "But his name is Daisey, get it, daisy hat on Daisey baby?!?" Plus he's a baby, so doesn't that make it cute? I was going to post a picture, but it seems that David has taken the camera today, or else I just can't remember where I put it.
I made the Petal Bib from One Skein the other day for my teacher's aide and his wife who are expecting in May.
As soon as I'm done with the loose ends of the daisy hat, I'm going to start on the Little Sister's Dress for my cousin's brand new little baby. She was born on Monday the 5th, another Capricorn in the family!
Despite what one might think, all this cute little baby knitting does not give me the "itch" to have a baby of my own. I am not so easily fooled. Baby clothes are cute...babies cry when you're sleeping and don't come potty trained. But it does make me want to provide for the babies that I already have:

Our poor babies haven't seen us in a long time and probably feel like we completely abandoned them (actually, they are probably thrilled that we abandoned them, since my mom spoils them rotten!) and what better way to earn their love than by showering them with attention and presents when we DO see them? I was doing my morning internet surf and came across this contest to win some cute little cat toys at The Funky Monkey. I managed 6 I hope I get lucky for Morgan & Moby! Mostly Moby, as Morgan isn't really as playful. There is a fun-looking spider toy with ribbon legs, although playing with ribbon might make Moby think it's okay to play with the ribbon in my mom's stamping room (I have a feeling he thinks it's okay to play with ANYTHING he wants anyway). There's also a kitty cell phone...which is just what Moby needs. Wish me luck!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Before I leave Okinawa...

That phrase has been the start of many of my sentences lately. Even though we are ready to leave, and many things (fuzzy phone line, squeaky car, cans falling out of the cupboard and narrowly missing my head, the handle coming off of the cold water in the bathroom and requiring the use of pliers to turn on and off)remind me that we are very very close to having worn out our welcome here, I'm a little bit sad to leave. I feel like I have been so focused on getting out of here lately that I haven't been very appreciative of this place.
Okinawa has been our home for 3 years, 6 months, and 14 days, and you know what? It's been good to us. Sure, we've had the occasional cockroach infestation and our internet connection is normally at least as slow as molasses, but we've had some good times.
Okinawa was our first home...the first place we lived together alone as a married couple.
This is where we met our first best couple friends, Jill & Scott.
It's where I held the brand-newest baby I've ever held (Grace).
It's where we made our first joint furniture purchase, and the first furniture that I wouldn't be willing to just open the doors of the storage facility and put a big "free to good home" sign.
Okinawa is the place that David decided he liked curry.
It's where I won my iPod!
It's the place where we bought THREE cars for a total of $2300.
It's where I got good at driving on the "wrong" side of the road...and car.
It's where I've been able to run in shorts and long sleeves, without fear of black ice 4 winters in a row, and run marathons in February without a chill in the air.
It's the first place where 4th graders that I taught as 1st graders have been able to stop by my classroom to say hello.
It's where I found ScrapVillage and got my Ravelry invite.

And even though we keep saying we're ready to leave, there are a few things I still want to do (again or for the first time) before we have to go:
1. Eat at Transit Cafe (again) for lunch or dinner right when they open and sit outside on the balcony. Preferably dinner because they have mojitos!
2. Run along the seawall (again)
3. Run on the path to Araha Beach (again) with my camera (for the first time)
4. Eat at the Hawaiian restaurant (again)
5. Go to Zampa Point (for the first time)
6. Go to Jusco (again) and get some bento supplies (for the first Jusco)
7. Get a pedicure at Cocok's (again)
8. Drink the tea at Cocok's (again)
9. Eat at Petit Voyage, The Loop, Sabani, and/or Neko House (for the first time)
10. Pick up some fabric at House of 66 Cents (again)
11. Get take-out Chili's (again!)
Edited to Add #12: Eat at Marino's (again) SO yum!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Welcome to my Pity Party

I love Charlie Brown/Snoopy & the Peanuts gang. Lately I find myself picturing this green wall-hanging in the basement of my grandma's house. It has a very frustrated Lucy screaming, "I'm frustrated, inhibited and nobody understands me!" I think that wall-hanging might be the thing that motivated me to learn to read big words. I remember trying to read it and trying to understand what it meant...and now I know.
We are going through a lot of red tape issues (and have been for months) as we attempt to move. I think I've done a good job being positive and hopeful. Even my psychiatrist (who is actually not my psychiatrist, he's one of my running partners who happens to be a psychiatrist) thinks I'm handling the situation unbelievably well. But, as our departure draws nearer and the issues just keep on coming, I have decided that it might be healthy to take a few minutes to vent.
First let me say that up until a few months ago, I was a big fan of the Air Force. When David was in Korea and feeling lousy about the AF, I talked it up and said it would be better when he was somewhere else, and when we were together. When I invited my young neighbors over for dinner and he said that he would probably just do his 4 years and get out, I encouraged him to stay in for all the good opportunities and job security and what-not. When David was deployed for 4 months, I went to a deployed spouse all-services dinner and knew that because I'm an AF spouse, the deployment would probably be easier on me than a lot of the other gals at my table. I would smile gently at my Marine Corps Wife friends when they complained and be glad to be Air Force. When my MC friend said her nephew was going to join the military and called to ask her what branch she'd suggest I said, "I hope you told him Air Force!" I even got a Proud Wife of an Airman coffee mug for Christmas...and didn't think it was a gag gift.
Second, let me say that I really try to make sure that I don't get all "I am Military Wife. Hear me be selfless and self-sufficient and strong" (although I don't completely disagree with the statement). I also don't want to come across as "I'm a Military Wife. You should feel sorry for me because I move a lot and live far away from my family and spend months at a time alone and every time I make a best friend she moves away and we get phone calls in the middle of the night calling my military man into work or to deal with some issue caused by someone he supervises" (but if you want to feel sorry for me every now and then, you're more than welcome).
And third, I think I must mention that David would probably be uncomfortable with the idea of me blogging about my current issues with the AF. So I won't mention any names or offices or specifics about anything which might make this kind of confusing for all of us.
And now...let me begin my vent.
When David volunteered to go on an unaccompanied assignment, we BOTH volunteered for it. We both decided that the benefits such an assignment could offer would make the sacrifice almost worthwhile. One of the supposed benefits was the chance to have a follow-on assignment, to know about it ahead of time, and to have it be one of our top choices of location. This benefit is fairly well-known, as every time I said "He's doing a remote", the first response was "Oooo, what's your follow-on?" But it turns out, this benefit is a real can of worms. We were originally supposed to leave TOMORROW. (Actually, we were originally supposed to leave last June, but that's beside the point.) Now we are supposed to leave TWO WEEKS from now. I have no idea what I'm doing, where I'm going, or if I'm even really leaving. The package that we submitted for approval over two months ago (which must be approved before we can get orders, which is the magical thing we need to start the process of leaving) has been sent to the wrong person, sent from the wrong person, unopened for long periods of time, lost, deleted. This is a whole new level of ridiculousness, and believe me, I'm familiar with ridiculous. Did you know that my own SSN isn't even on my ID card? David's is. It makes my place clear every time I look at it... I am Property of Property of the U.S. Military. But seriously, Air Force... I am a person!!! I am a human being and I don't think it's completely out of line for a human being who has willingly relinquished control of many of the most important aspects of her life to want you to make a decision in a timely manner, inform me of the decision, and stick with it.
Thank you. Vent over.
It probably would've gone on much longer, but my sensible and positive Marine Wife friend called and managed to bring me down a few notches.

Monday, January 05, 2009


(said in my best Barney (not the purple dinosaur) voice)

One of the blogs I subscribe to via Google Reader belongs to Ali Edwards. She does lots of scrapbook related projects that I always think are fantastic but never quite get around to making one of my own. Well, one of her other "projects" that she does each year is One Little Word. Since all you have to do is pick a word, I decided there was no excuse for me to skip this project.

I really wanted my word to be Legendary, because I am obviously obsessed with How I Met Your Mother right now. But I decided to go with "Accomplish" instead. I think my word choice might have something to do with the fact that I've been fairly lazy the past few weeks, living in pajamas or dirty running clothes. Sometimes I went straight from dirty running clothes back to pajamas. Daily personal hygiene routines are overrated.
I decided I needed to start accomplishing things around the house. Maybe the PCS Elves are not pushing the paperwork we need for our orders through because they've been sneaking into our house when we're sleeping and know that we're not ready! I wish they would be more like the little elves that visited the shoemaker though and clean up some of my stuff. But since they're not, I'm going to work each day on getting ready to move. It's not actually that hard to get ready for a military move, because you don't have to pack anything yourself. So I just need to sort, toss and clean up a little.
Today I got a lot of things accomplished:
-Cleaned up a huge mess in my "hobby room" which doubles as David's "dressing room". And triples as a "guest bedroom" when we actually have guests. And quadruples as the "hide all the other messes in the house" room when we host Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve dinner or other events.
-Changed out of pajamas.
-Ran 6 miles.
-Scanned a pile of files. Still have a few more scanning sessions to go. I am so happy that I will not be leaving here with any paper copies of teacher stuff--worksheets, notes from professional development workshops, etc. are all digital copies.
-Took a shower.

Here are the things I'm going to accomplish tomorrow:
-Wash dishes
-Scan more files
-Fold clothes that have been in the dryer since Friday.
-Wash sheets and towels

And because accomplishing is so much fun I want to do it morning til night, here are the things I'm going to accomplish TONIGHT:
-Finish the mitt part of my thrummed mittens (those fluffy brown & pink things)- thumbs will be later in the week.
-Watch the premiere of Rock of Love 3. Watching this show always makes me feel VERY accomplished.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

On the 10th Day of Chrismtas...

We finally got mail!
Christmas cards!
We were beginning to think that we were on some naughty lists. Before Christmas, I think we had gotten 4 Christmas cards. A few more arrived in the days after Christmas. We hadn't even gotten one from my grandma, who is the Queen Bee (heehee...her name is Bee!) of sending out holiday cards. And until yesterday, we had only gotten ONE handmade card, which is just crazy. But yesterday we got 7 cards I think--2 handmade (from Cyndi & Lisa) and then others from my mom's neighbor, two of my old co-workers (one from Edison ES and one from Kadena ES), David's relative (cousin, maybe?), and a family friend.
I forgot to check the postmarks before David tossed the envelopes, but I think that most of the cause for the delay is our post office. They've been getting a lot of mail this month (obviously) and I guess they had a hard time getting it all out. I finally got a package that I had ordered on Nov. 8 on December 30 or 31. It was a gravy boat. For Thanksgiving dinner.
We are still waiting on my last Christmas present from David. He already agreed that it would be a late Christmas present whenever it arrives, but yesterday he said that we might as well wait until my birthday. Sure, it's only 8 days away (well, 7 from the next time mail can come), but that's just mean, isn't it!?!? If a present I ordered for David got here a few days after Christmas, I wouldn't make him wait until July 27 to open it, now would I? I don't think I should be penalized just because I have a January birthday!
I am 99% certain I know what is in the box now. I mentioned before that I thought it was running clothes, due to David's reaction to me wanting to stop and look at running clothes at the tennis center. (there is no running center) Well, sneaky-me thought she'd test her theory. Yesterday I mentioned (after the mail came) that I wish I had more long sleeved running clothes, because I hate doing laundry and want to run more often. Then, confirming my suspicions, David blurted out, "Do you want to know what's in the package that's coming?" But he changed his mind before I could answer. But that's all the information I needed. Seriously...he makes it too easy.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Way back when it was 2008...

1. What did you do in 2008 that you hadn’t done before?
Got my foot x-rayed. Volunteered at Special Olympics.

2. Did anyone close to you give birth?
I don't think so. Or at least they didn't tell me about it!

3. Did anyone close to you die?
My great-aunt Mary. She was 101! She lived in FL and I saw her in 07, but when she lived in IN, I spent lots of time with her and my grandma.

4. Did you travel? Where did you go?
To China (well, to the airport in China!) and Australia.

5. Best thing you bought?

I'm going to say it was my step tansu.

6. Where did most of your money go?

7. What do you wish you had done more of?


8. What do you wish you had done less of?

Since I'm answering now, I might say eating Christmas cookies. Had I answered before the Christmas cookies invaded my house, I would have said wasted time on the internet.

9. What kept you sane?
Time to myself, running group, and the Real Housewives of Orange County. They make me feel so normal.

10. What drove you mad?
First graders, cockroaches, and the Real Housewives of Orange County.

11. What made you celebrate?
Presidential election...especially sweet because we were a house divided.

12. What made you sad?
Marley & Me, #3 above, issues with our PCS.

13. How was your birthday this year?
That was SO long ago! 355 days, to be exact. Or maybe 356, because wasn't it a leap year? Anyway, I think we went to Marino's, so my birthday was good! Oh, also I finished my Minimalist Cardigan, so it was great!

14. What political issue stirred you the most this year?

LGBT rights...the whole Proposition 8 issue made me angry. I know we all have the right to our own opinions on this one, but mine is this: is it really more acceptable for an abusive partner to marry than two men or two women? Or a couple who just met over lots of shots in Vegas, but not two men or two women who have been devoted to one another?

15. Were you in love in 2008?

Yes. I fell in love with that cute little koala I got to hold. ;) Kidding!

16. What would you like to have in 2009 that you didn’t have this year?

Visit the states & see my friends & family!

17. What date from 2008 will be etched in your memory and why?
July 6...Gold Coast Marathon.

18. What song will remind you of 2008?
Bleeding Love. It reminds me more of So You Think You Can Dance, not necessarily 2008. Oooh, and Always Be My Baby will make me think of David Cook & American Idol!

19. Compared to this time last year are you happier?

Yes...but also more stressed out!

20. Biggest achievement this year?

Convincing David to run a marathon!

21. Biggest disappointment this year?

Not doing as well as I wanted to in the marathon(s).

22. What is the one thing that would have made you more satisfied?

A better time in a marathon...or spending more time with friends.

23. Best new person you met this year?

My teacher's aide.

24. A valuable life lesson you learned this year?
If the military wanted one to have a family, they would have issued one. ;)

25. How was your health in 2008?

Good health, other than a still-unresolved foot issue that my doctor won't acknowledge.

26. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I kept my Knit Year's Resolutions. And I have made more. And I have also made some non-knitting related goals for 09.

27. What countries did you visit?
China (if the airport counts), Australia, and of course,'s been a loooooong visit.

28. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?

Motivation to do the things I need/want to do.

29. Did you suffer hardship in 2008?
I'm sure everyone has gone through some hard times this year, but I feel fortunate that mine weren't really hard enough to make much of a difference. I have so many blessings to count and I hope that those who suffered in 08 will be blessed in 09!

30. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My little friend Elizabeth. She learned to use the big girl potty this year ;)
And my new friend Taro. He was the special olympian that I was assigned to...I loved him and he did very well in the softball throw.

31. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
An acquaintance who got something many people are praying and hoping for and decided to give it up.

32. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Bob winning Survivor. So You Think You Can Dance. Our trip to Australia.

33. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? Happier
ii. thinner or fatter? Again, if you had asked me before the Christmas cookies, my answer might have been different. I'm running more than last year though.
iii. richer or poorer? richer

34. How did you spend the New Year’s?
Am I supposed to remember the New Year of 2008?? I know on the 31st we went to Tops in Blue and Macaroni Grill. Not sure what we did on the 1st!

35. How many one-night stands?
Zero. What kind of question is that?

36. What was your favorite TV program?
How much time do you have? Survivor, So You Think You Can Dance, How I Met Your Mother, Real Housewives of Orange County, Rock of Love (*hangs head in shame*), Still Standing reruns, Dateline/48 Hours/etc., Jeopardy, Dexter, I'm probably forgetting some...

37. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Hate is a strong word. But I strongly dislike my so-called-primary-care-provider, Dr. Captain O.

38. What was the best book you read?
I'll go out on a limb and say the Twilight Saga.

39. What was your greatest musical (re)discovery?
This might be lame...Taylor Swift. At first I didn't like her, but now I love her!

40. What did you want and get?
Step Tansu

41. What did you want and not get?
PCS orders! Also I wanted a running log/day planner and should have bought it for myself when I saw it at the BX the first time. It was gone when I went back.

42. What was your favorite film that you watched this year?, wait that was still 2007. I really loved Marley & Me! 27 Dresses, Nim's Island, Wanted, The Dark Knight, The Other Boelyn Girl. And because I'm usually a little behind on movies: Enchanted, Stardust, PS I Love You. Oh, The Shop Around the Corner (it's rare that David will sit and watch a movie on Turner Classics!)

43. What one experience do you never want to repeat from this year?

the Okinawa Marathon! I'm so glad I'm leaving before February!

44. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
Wear as much as you can before you have to do laundry.

45. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Wentworth Miller

46. Who did you miss?
My friend Stacy, after May. My friend & running partner Jill. My friends & family at home.

47. Quote that sums up your year:
"When I get sad, I stop being sad and be awesome instead. True story." I'm not sure this actually sums up 2008, but Barney says it in How I Met Your Mother and I like it.

48. Was 2008 a good year for you?


49. What was your favorite moment of the year?

Catching my first glimpse of the Opera House!

50. What was your least favorite moment of the year?

David telling me the first of what would become many many issues with our PCS.

51. Where were you when 2008 began?

Probably sleeping.

52. Who were you with?


53. Do you have a new year’s resolution for 2009?

Read more, run more, do more laundry and generally be tidier.

54. What was your favorite month of 2008?
July because we were in Australia and it was David's birthday and his present was a surprise and he actually liked it!

55. What was your favorite song in 2008?
Bleeding Love (Leona Lewis, maybe?), Our Song, Tim McGraw, Teardrops on My Guitar (Taylor Swift), You're Gonna Miss This (Trace Adkins) & Don't Blink (Kenny Chesney). Like You'll Never See Me Again (Alicia Keys), anything One Republic

56. What was your favorite record from 2008?
I don't think this was actually from 2008, but Carrie Underwood-Some Hearts.

57. How many concerts did you see in 2008?

I don't think we went to any concerts...not even Tops in Blue this year!

58. Did you drink a lot of alcohol in 2008?

No...but I did have that Fuzzy Nable the other night! Hahahaha...

59. Did you do a lot of drugs in 2008?
No...and not in any year before that either!

60. How many people did you sleep with in 2008?


61. Did you do anything you are ashamed of this year?

Forgot some birthdays?

62. What was the worst lie someone told you in 2008?
I don't remember, so it must not have been too terrible.

63. Did you treat somebody badly in 2008?
I hope not.

64. Did somebody treat you badly in 2008?
In my opinion, yes, but maybe it wasn't intentional.

65. What was your most embarrassing moment of 2008?

This is always the hardest question for me to answer...either I don't get embarrassed, or I repress embarrassment so well that I can never remember what embarrassed me.

66. If you could go back in time to any moment of 2008 and change something, what would it be?
I don't know...this is tricky because changing that moment in time could then change all subsequent moments, right? I'd not lose the letter I was writing to my grandma so she wouldn't have had to wait so long to receive one!

67. What are you most looking forward to in 2009?
Going to the US, seeing family & friends and eating at Schoop's. Knowing where I'm going and getting where I'm going. The return of So You Think You Can Dance.

OH MY GOODNESS...that was a lot of questions. Is it still 2009??

Thursday, January 01, 2009

4 Years Ago...

We got all dolled up, did a bunch of shots in a "party train", danced the Electric Slide & Hokey Pokey, and rang in the new year surrounded by a hundred or so friends & family.

Fast Forward to 2008:

I got flowers and How I Met Your Mother when I got back from a 7 mile run & sat around in my sweaty running clothes for a few hours. David played video games & we watched 3 episodes of HIMYM.
We went out to dinner at a cute little izikaya that was next to the restaurant where we actually wanted to eat since it was closed.
I drank a "Fuzzy Nable". It tasted a lot like a Fuzzy Navel.
After dinner we decided to go to the club.

Club Sega, that is.
We had a little friendly competition in Air Hockey. I started off strong, but lost 7-3.

In shoot-out, I was super proud (and David was quite surprised) when I scored 57 points.

David scored 96.

I lost at Mario Kart too.

But got a chance to show off my awesome Whack-a-Mole skills. I am not a total arcade loser. I rock at Whack-a-Mole!

Then we played 2 games of darts (David won both, but I did throw 3 triples in one turn!) and called it a night. It was about 8:30 and we were really proud of ourselves for staying out so late! We didn't even want to get ice cream when we got back on base. We watched Real Housewives of Orange County and were snoozin' before midnight.

I knew that getting married on NYE would mean a party every anniversary!
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