Sunday, May 27, 2012

Movie nights...

Once the kiddos were in bed I put in I Am Legend...and only had to pause it once when I heard little footsteps coming down the stairs.  The boy needed to let us know he'd finished reading the chapter he was on and was now going to sleep.

After the movie the younger of our kitties was acting just a wee bit jumpy.  I guess Sprite. T. Kitty doesn't care too much for zombie movies.

Himself and I got to talking about the creepiest movies we've ever watched.  I think the first true "horror" movie I ever watched was An American Werewolf in London...stay out off the moors and out of the moonlight.  But the undead guy just got more and more comical looking, so by the end...meh, not so horrorish.  Or even all that suspenseful.

The summer I returned to Spain was the same summer the first X Files movie came out.  He wanted to watch it but had never seen any of the show.  So before the movie made it to the base theater we rented and watched the first couple of seasons of the X Files.  It seemed like a good idea at the time.  There was one night we watched a couple of episodes followed by watching Fallen with Denzel Washington.  Then went out.  Walking down narrow cobblestone roads.  In the fog.  And there were footsteps behind us.  Neither of us wanted to admit to the other one we were just a little freaked out.  But we were both very much relieved to reach the bar and get inside!

We recently watched Alien again for the first time in a long time.  And it reminded us of what a really good chilling horror movie is supposed to be.  It's not about how much blood and body parts you can fit in a frame, it's about the suspense and the intensity of a scene.  Quentin Tarantino movies have their plance, but every now and then it's just nice to sit down and watch a well done suspenseful movie.

So what's the creepiest movie you ever watched? And I mean creepy suspenseful...not blood and gore...but, hide-under-the-blanket-can't-watch-but-can't-not-watch creepy.  Anything by Nicholas Sparks is automatically disqualified because that's just a whole 'nother level of creepy.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Times change...

Once upon a time on a Friday night I could be found on a corner bar stool in a bar down a cobble stone road in the south of Spain.

The bar owners were dear friends...even stood beside us in front of the judge when we were "officially" married.  Translated for me when the Chief of Police threatened me with deportation.  Kept secrets.  Made us pull our own Fosters and sent us in back to make our own sandwiches when we got hungry.

Tonight...I still have a corner perch.  It's the end of a sofa.  Girls' night in...and I'm, once again, the last one standing.  Or at least awake.  I suppose that's what I get for hanging out with creatures who sleep 22 hours a day.

Times haven't changed all that much, really.  She can keep a secret.  And I'm pretty sure she'd tell me to go make my own damn sandwich as well.  

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

If we don't remember...

There's a Memorial Day parade and to-do at the Boy's school tomorrow.  They are all encouraged to wear red, white, and blue. Since he doesn't own any shirt like that I let him borrow one of mine.

I took up the hem of one of my EOD Wounded Warrior shirts.  A man's small still hangs down to his skinned up knees.  Jacob was admiring the eagle, the stars and the stripes on the front.  His dad and I were explaining where the shirt was from and why it was appropriate for Memorial Day.

He's fully aware of what the day symbolizes and why we have it on our calendar.  We've talked to him about friends we've lost in the wars and the countless others we didn't have the privilege to know.

Jacob is starting to realize that his dad's chosen profession isn't just about "locking up the bad guys" and helping people and supper time call outs.  6 years old is far too young to realize that your dad might not come home from work one day.  But in true old-soul fashion, he accepts it and carries on with his life.

Coming into this weekend, just take a moment and remember all of the ones who didn't come home.  And especially remember the families they left behind. A sweet friend of mine used the term "permanently deployed"...and that's exactly what it is.  Her oldest daughter was 4 when she found out her dad wasn't coming home.  Memorial Day is for them.  A day set aside to remember.  And then carry on.  Because that's what survivors do.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

That other thing that I do...

I take a pan full of cake like this...

Cut out circles in different sizes, stack them and trim off all non-skirt bits, cover it all in chocolate and create this...

When a 5-year old birthday girl requests a princess in a pink dress...

I do my best to deliver!

She got to keep the doll.  Bonus!
And wasn't in the least bit traumatized when I pulled her out shrouded in plastic wrap. 

Friday, May 18, 2012


I used to be really good at this On My Own thing.  Now? I should not be left alone without adult supervision.

Himself ended up being called out earlier this afternoon to what has evolved into an epic call out.  I'm sure he'll have words on it later.

Kiddos and I are on our own.  They helped me finish up a cake for tomorrow.  The boy and I wrapped a present for his of two birthday parties tomorrow.  (Both at the same time. Different sides of town.  One vehicle.  Fortunately, the mom of the boy's friend is a-MAZ-ing and told me just to drop him off.  Neither will she be stressed if I'm late picking him up.)

Then they start asking about supper.  Why? Why do they always want dinner? Every night.  Normally when it's just us three we go with Breakfast for Supper.  But I depleted my egg supply making tomorrow's cake.  Pizza delivery it was!  Online ordering...something he always does.

I typed our address in wrong.  Damn dyslexia. Good thing the other address doesn't exist.  And my phone number was correct.

Toy Story 2, pizza picnic in the living room.  That's how we roll around here when no one's around to tell us what to do.

And no one worried about Daddy.  While I may not be the Grown Up in this relationship, I don't project my fears on my children.  They will remain in their secure bubble of innocence for as long as I can keep them in there.

Me? I'll clean up the kitchen. Get my children to bed.  Then enjoy quiet time with either a movie or a book until my husband comes home.  Because we never, ever doubt that he wants to come home to us.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

When I'm not here...

Current Happy Places* on the world wide webs...

Cabin Porn...the night I found this site I shared it with my husband and we spent the next couple of hours going back through it and oohing, ahhing and sighing covetous sighs.

Text From Dog...I have no idea how I stumbled upon this one, but he updates it daily...multiple times some days...and it never, ever fails to make me snort beverage out of my nose.

Happy Opu...I've been informed that Jewel Straite and I are not allowed to hang out together.  I should be offended by that edict...but my liver and my marriage probably both thank me for listening.

My Drunk Kitchen...when I first found her I watched probably six episodes in a row.  And had tears rolling down my face.  She gets pretty raunchy as she gets more and more drunk, so I wouldn't recommend watching it at work or with kiddos in the room.  But she's hilariously talented!

Last, but not least...the amazing Bloggess.  I adore her.  I want to meet her and hug her neck.  Her posts get read out loud on a regular basis.  The world needs more people like her.

*This is not an encouragement to waste spend more time on the interwebz...please act responsibly and, if you must, interact with your family once in a while.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Fair wind and following seas...

Early January 1995 I stepped off a plane in the south of Spain.  After a year spent between Naval bootcamp,  A-school and C-school, I was officially at my first duty station...Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron Two.  VQ-2, or just "The Q."

Three amazing years of my life were spent keeping these ancient aircraft up and flying.  I could probably still find all of the grease ports in the wheel wells.  We knew which bird would always come back leaking hydraulic fluid and which one had a tendency to catch on fire (we nicknamed that one Christine).

I could fill out new tire requisitions in my sleep and direct the pilot to park this baby right on the mark.  As the smallest person in the Airframe shop I spent far too much of my time diving fuel cells.  I still have a scar on my upper arm from a chemical burn from paint stripper splatter one late night repainting the props.  

Our hanger welcomed various ship board squadrons.  It was a nice change of pace to help out with fiberglass repair on a Huey.  Or to come in at 2 am and paint our own insignia on another super secret aircraft. 

The squadron was a family.  We worked together.  Lived together.  Partied together.  Got on each other's nerves during 12 hour rotating shifts.  Deployments never went as planned.  There was the one three month stretch when we had four of our six planes on deployment (we typically deployed with only two) and our small crew kept all four planes up flying during one of the many Operation Save the World missions we were proud to be a part of.  Over the past several months I've heard stories shared by older generation "Q" members...tales of cold war spy missions when the aircraft flew without insignia and aircrew weren't allowed to wear squadron patches.  Even during my time flight suit patches were attached by velcro for fast removal.  

The relationships I made during my time with the "Q" remain strong.  No matter how much time has passed, the bond remains.  

Tomorrow the bell will be rung for the final time on the quarter deck of VQ-2.  Times are changing.  It's no longer worth the money to keep 40-year-old planes flying.  The missions formally carried out by the Eries P-3 Orions will continued to be performed by various manned and unmanned craft.  

Over our hanger bay doors was painted the statement, "Eternal Vigilance is the Price of Liberty".  No matter what or who her mission is replaced with, may we never forget those words.

Salute, VQ-2!  You stand relieved of the watch.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Shameless plug...

A couple of years ago I was introduced to a pretty amazing organization:  Sevenly.  They select a different charity to support every week.  Some are national, some are international.  One week, one cause, one t-shirt design.  The t-shirts sell for $22.  For every shirt sold Sevenly gives $7 to the weekly cause.  This week's cause is Together We Rise.  A non-profit organization that works to fund various programs set up to provide a sense of normalcy to foster children...a bike, a new book bag for school, clothing, Christmas presents, even something as simple as a suitcase or duffle bag to help them move.  Support for foster children is something that is near and dear to my heart.

Before my first birthday my parents, pastors of a small North Caroline church, stumbled into the world of being foster parents. I say "stumbled" because they didn't set out to become a foster family but there was a large family in the community that desperately needed an intervention.  The parents had already made their choices.  The children were reaping the consequences.

Three of the children (a 13-year-old girl and her two young brothers ages 2 and 4) moved in with us.  It was only supposed to be for a few weeks until the state could find a more permanent home.  Turns out, that home was us.  They lived with us for three years.  Their biological mother refused to release them for adoption and we were headed to Africa. That would have taken crossing state lines to the extreme.  But they did remain together as another family in the church took them in.

Every single abandonment issue I have stems from the moment we told them good bye.  I was three and a half years old.  No amount of reasoning would make a difference.  My brothers and sister were gone.  I can only imagine what it was like from their point of view.  I was the one staying with our parents, they were the ones being left behind. 

Through the years we've remained in touch.  I still claim them as my brothers and sister.  And I'll forever be their baby sister.  I can't say their lives have been easy.  But I can say they are happy, well adjusted, hard working adults and loving parents (and in the eldest sister's case...grandparent!).  I get to see them in a few weeks.  Last time we actually all got together I was 16.  Schedules and world traveling wreck havoc on family reunions.  This one is long over due!

I encourage everyone to go to Sevenly's website.  Look at the what they're doing, get on their newsletter.  If this week's cause doesn't strike that chord in you to help out, then maybe one down the road will.  They're good people and they put their money where they say they do.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Mixed up mixed tape...

I was digging through old cds this morning in search of something motivating for Scrubbing Floor day.  Came across a mixed cd I made for someone--no idea whom, it's simply labeled "Love, Dori" and a hand drawn frog (which gives me some clue, actually).  Figured I'd put it in.

Now I know why I never gave it to the intended person.  Sixteen carefully chosen break up/cheatin'/lyin' songs.  All that was missing was a pint of Chunky Monkey and a razor blade to cut her own wrists with.

By the third song in the player remote was on the other side of the wet living room floor.  Motivation to complete the job quickly? Oh, hell yes!

Now I can watch last night's episode of "Castle".  I'm relying on you, Nathan Fillion, to bring me back up from the pit of despair!