Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Are you ready???

Gosh, I haven't posted in over a week!  I was up a pound at last weigh in anyway.  I'm not even going this week since I had a rough weekend.  I let myself get dehydrated and I'm still fighting the affects of that!

The kid had a dance competition and I swear the people at this school were the most evil hall monitors ever!  They wouldn't even let you take water into the auditorium.  Which wasn't too bad Saturday since Angel only had one dance, and only a few younger girls had solos / duets /etc. So we could roam around and such.  Sunday was the older kids - she had 5 dances of her own plus a vast majority of the rest of the studio.  So we stayed in the auditorium most of the day.  Plus I went out for a couple beers Saturday night = bad.  By the end of Sunday, I had the worst headache and my mouth felt like coppery cotton.  And it didn't help there was that one studio (there always is) that has what seems like 1000 kids which means 3000 dances.  Lots of dances mean lots of awards!   And this particular group had a lot of little girls who were extremely talented in that ear-bleeding / glass-shattering screech that little girls can do.  And they screamed every flippin' time someone went up for an award.  And when the emcee asked their names & studio when getting the awards, these brats would scream into the microphone.  Grr.

So anyhooo.  Oh yeah.  My kid got another injury!  First her knees.  Then her ankles.  Now her hip!  She partially dislocated it while midway thru the first of 3 dances within about 45 minutes.  I had no idea while watching her that anything was wrong.  She said with the adrenaline rush, she felt it pop but was able to keep going.  One of the other moms was able to help her get it back in and I took her to the doctor this morning where she got xrays and a referral to a sports medicine doctor.  yay!  Glad Spring Break is around the corner so she can rest a bit.

Kinda funny that the aquarium at the doctor's office has a skeleton in it!   Heehee!

So anyway, the A to Z Challenge starts tomorrow!!  I have most of my posts thru "L" written and scheduled already and some random other letters for both blogs.  I heard there's over 1500 blogs signed up - I'm sure I'll find a bunch more to follow!


Later!  Tonight we had the school's mandatory "Senior / Parent Meeting" so we can find out about prom dress codes and stuff about graduation and fun stuff like that.  I may cry!

Update on the kid...

I took her into the doctor this morning to get her hip checked out.   Since the dr. didn't actually see it dislocated, she just assumed it had been due to the residual pain, swelling & inflammation.  I had to laugh - she had clearly dealt with athletes before.  She told us that with "ordinary" people, she would tell them to stay off it, etc.  But since she understands the "not-ordinary" person mindset, she sent us for xrays and gave us a referral to a sports medicine guy.

The initial conversation was pretty funny, too.
Dr. So, how did you hurt your hip?
A. I did a kick during a dance and I heard it pop.
Dr. So what did you do?
A. It was hard to get up, but I finished the dance.
Dr. Then did you go find your mom?
A. No, I had a quick change.
Dr. Then what did you do?
A. I had to dance again.
Dr. And then?
A. Another quick change.
Dr. And?
A. Another dance.
Dr. And?
A. Then I went to find Mom.

So luckily, she only has classes tomorrow that she's going to tough it out for, then she's skipping Thursday's classes because of her best friend's 18th birthday party and next week is Spring Break.  So she's got some time to hopefully let it rest.

She's going to the sports medicine doc Monday and he will probably give her some exercises and stuff to do to help it out.  2 of her dance teachers expect all the girls to stretch every day - and text or Instagram pictures of them doing so, so it should work out.  I won't be able to nag her, since Tuesday she's leaving with another friend to spend the week in Georgia (they show their dogs so no big parties or beach shenanigans) and they won't be home til Sunday!

She was supposed to take segment 2 of drivers training over spring break, which is the last step before the driving test.  On her own, she told Brittney that she couldn't go to Georgia because of this class!  Ya know what - the class can be postponed - you only have 1 senior year spring break!  And since we weren't doing anything anyway - GO to Georgia!!  Sheesh.

Check out my yard today.  The first one was like 5am.  The second at 5pm.  I cleaned a good 4 inches of wet, heavy white crap off my car before going into work this morning.  Now?  Most of it is gone.  It never really got below freezing.

Alrighty!  The A-Z Challenge starts tomorrow!  Is everyone ready?  I have posts thru "L" plus some random others written for both blogs.  I was hoping I'd get some old pictures that a friend told me he found and asked if I wanted them - YES!  Now I wait.


Monday, March 30, 2015

I need a weekend.

Ugh, these competition weekends are killer!  I can only imagine how these kids who are actually dancing feel afterward!

So anyhooo, this one was the Edge Nat'l Talent Comp and yeah, our studio won't be going back to this one.  The adjudicated and overall scoring was stupid, they jumped all over the program insanely so you were afraid to leave to use the bathroom (or get a drink because the door Nazis kept a close eye to make sure you didn't take anything into the auditorium) and I don't know what they hell they were doing during awards.

But they did let you take your own pictures during routines, so that's a plus in my book.  If I'd known I would have taken my real camera, so these are off my phone.  My fave pics from each dance Miss Angela was in...

Contemporary "A Walk In The Park"
High Gold (based on points) and 1st place trophy but didn't place overall in the small groups.
The judges were clearly blind.  They were phenomenal. 

Jazz Duet "Cold Hearted Snake"
High gold (based on points) & 1st place ribbons
didn't place overall

 Jazz Solo "Sophisticated Lady"
High Gold (based on points)
 Of course I'm biased, I thought she did awesome.  Her first solo! 

 Small Group Jazz "She Bangs"
High Gold (based on points)
They were not happy with themselves - lots of mistakes.  
This is the only good pic I got since there was always at least 1 girl not with the rest. 
This is a pretty cool optical illusion, tho!
Small Group Hiphop "Bounce"
High gold (based on points) with a 1st place trophy, 4th place overall
 driving the bus! 
Small Group Tap "Grown Woman"
High gold (based on points) with a 1st place trophy, 2nd place overall
The ending pose - they're not flipping people off - they're supposed to be like Rosie the Riveter, hence the bandannas on their heads. 
The 4 girls kneeling are the graduating seniors this year.  I'm willing to bet $$ that this will be the last dance at the recital and Terina the studio owner will cry. 

Angel's hair cracks me up in every routine.  There's another I got from hiphop & her pony tail is straight up.  In her solo, it makes it look like she has horns!

The 16-19 age group for small groups didn't have that many dances, so they did these 3 all within 45 minutes or so.   I had left the auditorium to look for her, but heard one of the little girls was coming on soon to do her solo, so I went back in.  When Jaden was done, Angel appeared in front of me and told me she needed ice.  She partially popped her hip out of the socket....during jazz!  And she did 2 more dances after that!

Luckily my partner is crime Laura had that happen to her before and was able to tell Angel what to do.  But sometime before awards, she got it popped back in so she could walk with minimal limping.  She texted me from school this morning to say it still hurt pretty bad and to ask me if I could call the doc for her if it didn't feel better in a few days.  Pfft.  I called the doctor's office as soon as it opened!  But I'm not able to get her in til tomorrow.  I did make sure to email her weight training / fitness teacher to let her know - it's a good thing since they were supposed to run a mile today!

So anyhooo - she survived class tonight.  She did what she could and even her teacher heard her hip pop again.  In fact she just came in to show me a floor burn on her butt cheek (one of the many dance hazards! - this time from a game they were playing) and as she climbed off my bed, it popped again.  Still taking her in tomorrow.

OMG, we're starting summer plans!  Vacation to Virginia Beach, Angel's graduation party, etc, etc, etc!  Things to plan.   Randy texted me about something this morning and it made my day at work pretty much useless!  I wanted to start researching & making lists but I needed to actually WORK.  He's going to plan the route &  I will be putting my 2 cents in about where we stop to explore.  DC, baby!

I feel some puppy eyes staring at me and hot breath on my leg, so I guess I need to go take Jack outside.  Later!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Friend Makin' Monday - FOOOOOOOD

Happy Monday!  Hope everyone had a great weekend!   We had a few happenings this weekend, but it was mostly chill.  I had my Skywarn class Saturday morning, then we took Miss Angela to the park and Randy worked with her for 2 hours on parking the car and turns, etc.  She did really well.  Then Sunday we went out to breakfast and spent quality time at the studio.  I rhinestoned some costumes with another mom while Angel had extra classes.  We finally got done there around 3:30.  She's ready for dress rehearsal tonight and her competition this weekend!

I posted my A to Z Blogging Challenge theme reveal earlier today.  Pretty exciting!  Have you signed up yet?
I set up a "Twitterfeed" thingy so if I have a certain phrase in my post, it'll show up on Twitter.  However, I haven't used the phrase, so it shouldn't show up there.  We'll see!  This is all still new to me.  

Here’s how it works: you copy the questions, answer them and post them to your own blog. Then you come back here, and in the comments, post the link to your blog post with your answers to this week’s questions. If you don’t have a blog of your own, just post your answers in the comments.

Food - oooh.  My favorite thing - clearly!

1. What is your favorite food dish?   We broke out the grill for the first time in 2015 Saturday.  So just about anything grilled.  Meat / fish / veggies - yummy!

2. What is your favorite food type (Italian, Mexican, etc)?  Mmmm.  American!  I like BBQ, burgers, corn on the cob, etc.  I do like some Italian & Mexican & Chinese.

3. What is your favorite snack?  Yogurt.  Fiber One bars.  baby carrots & hummus.  apples. cheese sticks

4. What do you usually eat for breakfast?  Oatmeal.  I mix steel cut & rolled oats so I make it the night before so they can soften.  Then I mix in strawberries or PB2 or whatever the next morning when I get to work.  I can heat it if I want or leave it cold.

5. Do you eat your veggies? What are your favorites?  Love the veggies!  I think squash / zucchini is my favorite.

6. What is your favorite junk food/guilty pleasure? We do this thing we call a Taco Timmy run.  We'll park the car at Tim Horton's then walk 1/2 block to Taco Bell to eat, then stop at Timmy's on the way back to the car and grab a coffee & donut.  Yes - I (cringe) track them.  Most are 7 points.

7. Do you cook most/all of your own food?  I would like cooking more if I didn't have 2 picky-asses in my house with me.  They would be happy with the same boring food all the time.  They act like I'm feeding them arsenic or something if veggies are mentioned and Heaven forbid I try something new (quinoa, anyone?).  But I did get them hooked on whole wheat spaghetti noodles!   Let me tell you - it makes grocery shopping trips SUCK!

8. Are you vegetarian or vegan? If not, have you ever considered or tried it?  Nope and Nope.

9. If you eat meat, do you eat red meat, and if you do, how do you like it cooked?  Medium rare / medium.  I like it pink in the middle.  It seems more tender that way (steaks anyway).

10. Is there a food or a dish that you have always wanted to try and is there a reason you haven’t tried it yet?  I've never tried sushi or Thai or anything like that.  I think when I do (obviously I won't be with the picky family) I'd have to go to someplace who specializes in it.  If I'm going to try something new, I want it to be done right!  I just don't think about trying new stuff when I'm alone, which is why I haven't.

Theme Reveal !!

Drumroll, please!

Just kidding.  I'm linking up over at A-Z Challenge for this year's theme reveal!  This is my health & weight-loss blog but I'm going in a slightly different direction for my April A-Z blogging challenge this year.

I love to read about people who have done something amazing with their life.  I rather envy them, to be honest.

So my theme this year is women who have made a difference.  Who have done something exciting!  They're not necessarily famous, but they have left their mark on the world.  Ladies who deserve to be noticed and remembered. 

Just an FYI - I truly do know my alphabet, but this one is going to look jacked up.  Sometimes I'm going by first name, some by last name.

I'm also posting on my other blog, where I'm telling sea stories from my 8 year stint in the US Navy.  Check it out!


Theme Reveal and Timeline !!

Drumroll, please!

Just kidding.  I'm linking up over at A-Z Challenge for this year's theme reveal!   This is supposed to be my "delicious themed bait" to entertain current readers and draw new readers in - we'll see!

My theme this year is in honor of my 8 years spent in the US Navy.  They were among the best years of my life and I'm going to use the challenge to tell some sea stories!  There will be some pretty cool pictures, too.

I honestly had a hard time narrowing it down to just 26 stories, let me tell you!  And keeping them somewhat short was tough!!   I try not to live up to the stereotype of the foul-mouthed sailor but there are some swear words here and there (for color) and NONE of my stories begin with "This is a no-shitter...." because mine are all true!

I have attached a link back to this page on each of my posts, mainly because I want to clear up any confusion.  Due to the nature of the alphabet and because I'm writing about a specific and somewhat lengthy time frame of my life, there's a lot of jumping around.  So here's a list of dates to help keep my stories straight.

March - May 1992  * bootcamp, Orlando FL

May - September 1992 * Naval Technical Training Center, Pensacola FL 
(dropped out)

September 1992 - December 1994 * USS Canopus AS34 
homeported and decommissioned Kings Bay, GA
               May - July 1994 - Norfolk, VA

December 1994 - April 1997 * USS Abraham Lincoln CVN72 
homeported Alameda, CA, went into yards Bremerton,  WA, then homported Everett, WA. 
               April - October 1995 * WestPac
                        early May - Hong Kong
                        mid May - Singapore
                        mid June - Jebal Ali
                        early July - Jebal Ali
                        late July - Jebal Ali
                        late August - Jebal Ali
                        early September - Jebal Ali
                        mid September - Pollywog Day
                        early October - Pearl Harbor

April 1997 - March 2000 * Naval Station Everett, WA

Hope you enjoy my offerings and if you want to check out my other blog, the theme there is Women Who Have Made a Difference.


Friday, March 20, 2015

Happy Spring!

So spring has already begun!  Woohoo!  
March has totally come in like a lamb, so I guess we can expect a foot of snow for Easter. 
I put the Easter blowmolds out (under Jack's stupervision) and just the inside has been mostly Easter-fied.  So I'm good. 

More crocuses are popping up, too!  The lonely purple one & there's a bunch of white ones, too!  In the past years, they came up one color at a time, so seeing them all is pretty neat! 
I thought there was going to be a turf war in my backyard this afternoon.  There was a small flock of juncos (winter birds) under the feeder.  Then across the back of the yard came bopping a robin.  I almost expected to hear snapping!  Hopefully the juncos were fueling up to leave town!
Tomorrow morning I'm going to my bi-annual Skywarn training at the Oakland County offices.  I enjoy watching the weather videos they show and getting a refresher on all the severe weather terms & such.

Randy is supposed to take Miss Angela to work on some parking lot skillz while I'm gone.   Hopefully she'll take segment 2 of drivers training in the near future & her test soon after!  The poor Escort is sitting next to the driveway and I'm pretty sure it's sinking into the lawn.
This is entirely too true!
Ugh, don't get me started on cleaning! I get so overwhelmed I could cry. We have a case of too much stuff and too small a house. I have a hard time to put anything away. I'd just love to move everything out into the driveway, wash walls & run the vac, and put only things back in that actually have a place!
Next weekend is studio competition #1.  The seamstress has 2 of her costumes and may or may not have them ready for dress rehearsal Monday.  Oh well!  We have the rest and they're ready to go.  She has to weed thru her tights to see what all she has & in what condition before I fork out $$ for new ones.   OMG, she wants to wear fishnet tights with the rhinestoned seam for her solo - those damn things are tough to find!  Every website I checked had at least a 2 week backorder and the dance / skate place by our house had them....for $57 !!!  WTF!!  For $57 they better be tattooed on her legs and the rhinestones glued to her skin! My partner in crime, Laura called another place that I forgot about and they had them for $31.  Still a buttload of $$ for tights, but at least we now have them in our possession.  I could have found them at Party City or any number of "Lovers Lane" type stores, but I prefer to get ones specifically for dance, hoping they're more durable.

After getting the tights Tuesday, we went to the dentist to get our new crowns.  Wouldn't ya know, with her they popped off the temp, glued in the new, took an xray and sent her on her way in like 10 minutes?  And I had to be numbed and the new one popped off when the hygienist tried to floss around it, etc, etc.  And it still aches.  But at least I'm not popping aspirin every 4 hours like I was.  I'm able to go 10-12 hours now without needing any.  But once it starts to hurt - it HURTS!

Wednesday, Angel asked if she could get out of ballet early so she could go help out at school for curriculum night for the incoming sophomores.  So I went straight from my Weight Watcher meeting to the studio to get her and of course they got their costumes, and were running thru their dance.  So she went into the dressing room, and grabbed her stuff and went to the car - still in costume.  Then complained about people looking at her!   Um yeah.  You're kinda overdressed!  But man, is it a pretty costume!!  Can't wait to see it on stage!
And Thursday after classes at the studio, Angel comes out with an armload of costumes for half the girls in her class and dumps them on the table near I was sitting.  She told me that I and Miss Lynn were going to rhinestone them!  Oh really??  Then I thought about it....I did offer to rhinestone costumes before....guess my offer didn't expire!  So Lynn & I will sit there Sunday during the extra practices and do our thing.  At least there's only 8.

As I looked at that pic of the house, I realized I don't have the lighted bunny or egg hanging in the front windows, so I better go do so!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy St. Paddy's Day!

Hope you all have a great day!
Stay safe & enjoy "rounding up your mates from some Guiness"!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Friend Makin' Monday - St. Patricks Day

Happy Monday!  It was such a nice sunshiney weekend and the snow is melting rapidly!  I was so excited to be out putzing around in the yard and see....
a crocus!!!
I haven't even seen a robin in my yard yet! 

Here’s how it works: you copy the questions, answer them and post them to your own blog. Then you come back here, and in the comments, post the link to your blog post with your answers to this week’s questions. If you don’t have a blog of your own, just post your answers in the comments.

St. Patrick’s Day

1. Do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?  We do a Girls Night Out thing with the family.  Basically dressing up for dinner in all our obnoxious green and then hanging out at my sister's house.  She told the waitress at the restaurant we were celebrating Dad's birthday and St. Pats at the same time because it was his favorite holiday.  I sure don't remember him doing anything different for St. Pats, but if it makes her happy to think so.....have at it! 

2. Do you wear green on St. Patrick’s Day? If so, post a picture of what you plan to wear tomorrow or have worn in the past that is green.  I will, just for shitz & gigglez.  This is what we did Saturday. 
Even my dog wore a spiffy bowtie. 

3. Do you go out drinking for St. Patrick’s Day?  I had one green beer at the restaurant (we took our own food coloring because we're dorks like that!) and 2 small margaritas at Laurie's house afterward.   But we don't go out being crazy or anything.  Mom tends to be the one who misbehaves, tho!  She tried to order a Bud Light for my daughter and Angel's jaw just dropped! 

4. Have you ever had green beer?  Ooops - answered above.  Yes.  

5. Are you of Irish decent/heritage?  Nope.  I'm mainly Welsh & American Indian (can never remember if its Chippewa or Cherokee).  

6. Have you ever been to Ireland or do you ever plan to go?  That would be really cool, but no plans to go unless we suddenly come into some $$. 

7. Have you ever searched for a 4-leaf clover? If so, did you find one?  Yes, we have lots of clover in your yard and we can usually find one. 

8. Have you ever been to St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City?  Nope.  Never been to NYC. 

9. Have you ever been to a St. Patrick’s Day celebration like a Celtic music festival (or other)? No, but I'd love to go to Hot Springs AR to the World's Shortest St. Patrick's Day Parade.  That looks like a hoot!

10. Have you ever met anyone from Ireland or do you have a friend from Ireland?  Not that I know of! 

Sunday, March 15, 2015


I was messing around in the yard today - removing mulch from the flowerbeds so the daffodils & tulips & hyacinths could enjoy the sunshine (like I was!) and turn green.  As I raked old leaves up from the front flowerbed, something orange and glowing caught my eye.....  A crocus !!!!  I had to run around the house into the garage and get Randy to show him!  He was happy to see it, too!
I have these planted all over the front yard.  I used to rent a house that had them in the lawn and I loved it!  

Another thing I found was this neon green sprout of something.  It was totally buried in mulched leaves, so I'm sure it'll green up in the sun.  Curious to see what it is!  I ordered some bulbs a couple years ago from a coworker's kid's school fundraiser and they sat in a drawer in the kitchen until last fall when I planted them in this general area.  I don't remember what they were so it'll be a surprise! 

The problem with getting a lot of snow is the gross mold in the lawn.  It'll go away once it warms up & dries up.  But there was a lot out there today! 
It's supposed to be in the 60s tomorrow!  WOOHOOOOOO!  It's been nice (as in above freezing) the last few days and the snow is melting like crazy.  We just have piles where the BIG piles used to be.  I knocked a couple down with a rake today so they'll melt faster.  

Yesterday was the St. Patrick's Girls Night Out.  We got to sister Laurie's around 2:30 and sister Linda arrived with her dog Baxter about an hour later.   Laurie had picked Mom up after work Friday and took her home with her.   Baxter almost got his butt kicked by Laurie's cat!  They were on the landing so we didn't see what happened, but we heard Charly hiss and Baxter was cowering in the corner.  So I had to rescue him and let him hug on me until he felt better.  That dog just loves people! 

Jack chose to wear his snazzy bowtie instead of his bandanna. 

We had a nice dinner The White Horse Inn that has been running continually since 1850.  A beautiful place & the food was really good, and its supposedly haunted, too!   Way too many people asked if we were celebrating a bit early.  WTF??  St. Patty's is Tuesday!  There were parties all over the place and you can find (yuck) corned beef & cabbage just about anywhere!  Sorry if you're a stick in the mud!   Then we went back to Laurie's afterward and played the most drawn out game of Yahtzee that ever existed!
 Even the margaritas didn't help! 

This morning we helped Laurie out with some chores.  Putting her Christmas stuff away into the garage loft, carrying a saddle out to the barn, cleaning stalls, and miscellaneous other odds & ends.  She's still healing from having a lump removed from her breast.  Luckily it wasn't anything serious, but they're going to keep a close eye on it.  So she still has to take it somewhat easy.  I'm thankful I'm able to do the heavy work for her.

I'm afraid I'm getting allergies in my old age.  As the horses ate, I brushed them down enough to get the sawdust off their coats and loved on them.  Not long after they went outside, I started sneezing.  Same with being up in the loft.  It was really dusty up there.  I have to make sure I wash my hands after touching the cats before I put my contacts in.  My eyes will turn all sorts of red and itchy and watery.  This sucks!

We didn't stay long at Laurie's today.  Miss Angela had a class at the studio at noon.  Coach Jon had a group at a competition, so he asked someone to sub for him.  She couldn't make it, so they danced with a school JV team that was using the studio at the time.  They're nothing if not flexible!

They are going to have to rework their Movement Project dances after all.  The girl who hurt her knee at Nationals is dropping out.  She's just having too much trouble with that knee and her mom wants her to cut back on some activities.  She also runs track.  At least she let everyone know and she's really sad about it.  It's a bummer.  She's a nice girl and a great dancer.   Flexible!

There's less than 2 weeks til the first studio competition, so there will be some extra classes added in and a 'dress' rehearsal.  So yay, craziness!  We still have 2 costumes that need to be taken in to fit Miss Angela and several that need rhinestoning.   I'm sure rhinestones will be acquired tomorrow and I'll call the lady who did alterations last year and request her awesomeness.  She did a great job and was very reasonably priced - a big plus in my book! 

I don't know why I can't ever sleep well at Laurie's.  My air mattress is plenty comfortable and both dogs were quiet all night.  But I'm ready to crawl into my own bed and snooze!

oh wait....It's March Madness time!   Let me check out my bracket.
Yup.  I'm good with that!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

I Was a Sailor Once...

15 years ago today, I made my way to Naval Station Everett, WA for the last time...to pick up my DD214 (discharge papers).  It was the first step in my return-to-civilian-life adventure after 8 years of serving in the Navy.

In honor of that day (oh, all the feelz!!)....

I Was A Sailor Once 
by Pete Lembo

*** I liked standing on the bridge wing at sunrise with salt spray in my face and clean ocean winds whipping in from the four quarters of the globe - the ship beneath me feeling like a living thing as her engines drove her swiftly through the sea.

*** I liked the sounds of the Navy - the piercing trill of the boatswain's pipe, the syncopated clangor of the ship's bell on the quarterdeck, the harsh squawk of the 1MC, and the strong language and laughter of sailors at work.

*** I liked Navy vessels -- nervous darting destroyers, plodding fleet auxiliaries and amphibs, sleek submarines and steady solid aircraft carriers.

*** I liked the proud names of Navy ships: Midway, Lexington , Bunker Hill, Saratoga , Coral Sea, Antietam, Valley Forge - - memorials of great battles won and tribulations overcome.

*** I liked the lean angular names of Navy "tin-cans" and escorts - - Barney, Dahlgren, Mullinix, McCloy, Damato, Leftwich, Mills, Stickell, Noa, Paul, Coontz, T.C. Hart, Glover - - mementos of heroes who went before us.

***And the others - - San Jose, San Diego, Los Angeles, St. Paul, Chicago - named for our cities.

*** I liked the tempo of a Navy band blaring through the topside speakers as we pulled away from the oiler after refueling at sea.

*** I liked Liberty Call and the spicy scent of a foreign port.

*** I even liked the never-ending paperwork and all-hands working parties as my ship filled herself with the multitude of supplies, both critical and mundane in order to cut ties to the land and carry out her mission anywhere on the globe where there was water to float her.

*** I liked sailors, officers and enlisted men from all parts of the land, farms of the Midwest, small towns of New England , from the cities, the mountains and the prairies, from all walks of life. I trusted and depended on them as they trusted and depended on me - for professional competence, for comradeship, for strength and courage. In a word, they were "shipmates"; then and forever.

*** I liked the surge of adventure in my heart, when the word was passed: "Now set the special sea and anchor detail - all hands to quarters for leaving port," and I liked the infectious thrill of sighting home again, with the waving hands of welcome from family and friends waiting pier side.

*** The work was hard and dangerous; the going rough at times; the parting from loved ones painful, but the companionship of robust Navy laughter, the "all for one and one for all" philosophy of the sea was ever present.

*** I liked the serenity of the sea after a day of hard ship's work, as flying fish flitted across the wave tops and sunset gave way to night.

*** I liked the feel of the Navy in darkness -- the masthead and range lights, the red and green navigation lights and stern light, the pulsating phosphorescence of radar repeaters - they cut through the dusk and joined with the mirror of stars overhead. And I liked drifting off to sleep lulled by the myriad noises large and small that told me that my ship was alive and well, and that my shipmates on watch would keep me safe.

*** I liked quiet mid-watches with the aroma of strong coffee -- the lifeblood of the Navy permeating everywhere.

*** And I liked hectic watches when the exacting minuet of haze-gray shapes racing at flank speed kept all hands on a razor edge of alertness.

*** I liked the sudden electricity of "General quarters, general quarters, all hands man your battle stations," followed by the hurried clamor of running feet on ladders and the resounding thump of watertight doors as the ship transformed herself in a few brief seconds from a peaceful workplace to a weapon of war -- ready for anything.

*** And I liked the sight of space-age equipment manned by youngsters clad in dungarees and sound-powered phones that their grandfathers would still recognize.

*** I liked the traditions of the Navy and the men and women who made them.

***I liked the proud names of Navy heroes: Halsey, Nimitz, Perry, Farragut, John Paul Jones and Burke. A sailor could find much in the Navy: comrades-in-arms, pride in self and country, mastery of the seaman's trade.

***An adolescent could find adulthood.

*** In years to come, when sailors are home from the sea, they will still remember with fondness and respect the ocean in all its moods - the impossible shimmering mirror calm and the storm-tossed green water surging over the bow. And then there will come again a faint whiff of stack gas, a faint echo of engine and rudder orders, a vision of the bright bunting of signal flags snapping at the yardarm, a refrain of hearty laughter in the wardroom and chief's quarters and mess decks.

*** Gone ashore for good they will grow wistful about their Navy days, when the seas belonged to them and a new port of call was ever over the horizon.

*** Remembering this, they will stand taller and say,

Friday, March 13, 2015

Friday Funnies & stuff

Happy Friday!  I'm combining this with a real post today. It's my blog, I can do this if I want, dammit!

Since we're not Irish at all, I'm not sure why the females in my family started having a Girls Night Out for St. Patrick's Day.  So tomorrow night we're going out to dinner and we'll hang out at sister Laurie's house and have a few beverages, etc, etc.  It's funny that when we go out to dinner, wearing our green, the restaurant staff really keep an eye on us - I guess us riff-raff come across as party animals and just might bust the place up!

Does anyone else have the one co-worker who is just so annoying you want to punch them in the throat?  Yup.  Got one of those.  I could write a novel about how annoying this chick is but I'll spare you the boring details.  Grrr!  Why, if you work 12 hour shifts, would you ask to bring your 9 year old to work, other than so you don't have to pay daycare?  I felt sorry for this poor kid today.  He was bored to death! 

So Miss Angela's prom dress is finally safely at the tailor's.  We took it in Tuesday and when he first saw it, he ranted & raved about chiffon dresses and how they're so hard to work with, etc. etc.  I told him we had her shoes out in the car, but the length was good.  He just said "Whew!  I'll stop my bitching now!"  Heehee!  But the bodice is covered in tiny pleats and beads and it all needs to be taken in and other tweaks done.  Have fun, buddy!  He also accused me of never feeding her.  Sheesh!  She eats plenty, and junk food, too!  

This is the same guy who worked on my wedding dress and he claimed to remember me!  Maybe because I almost went bridezilla on him?  He'd had my dress for a month and when I stopped in a week before my wedding, he said it was hanging in back and he hadn't done any work on it yet!  My voice slowly rose higher & higher as I asked him exactly what he meant, that my wedding was next week, etc, etc.  Another customer, clearly a married man, started backing slowly away from me!  I did not care that his happy ass had to work over the 4th of July, either.  Shoulda had it done sooner. 

Last night was the last time EVER I had to go to conferences at school!  Woohoo!!  I walked right up to 4 of her teachers and only had to wait for one.  In fact I sat & chatted with her English teacher for about 20 minutes about non-school things!  I used to HATE going to conferences, since her grades were so crappy.  This year she finally saw the light and is doing fairly decent.  So I went in case her teachers gave out extra credit for parents attending.  

I couldn't resist putting this on FaceBook....

So Randy & I went out to dinner and had an amaretto sour to celebrate.  I will be having my chocolate wine here in a bit, once my dinner settles some.  

I'm not looking forward to Monday, but then I am.  Miss Angela and I are both currently sporting temporary crowns.  I go Monday to get my permanent one and she goes Tuesday.  Her teeth haven't bothered her, but mine has started to ache some.  Nothing that an aspirin doesn't take care of, but it is annoying.  I hate the dentist.  

I did my first Twitter chat about the April A-Z Challenge last night!  It was difficult, since we didn't leave the restaurant til about 8:15, Then I only had enough time to answer a couple questions and then leave to get the kid from dance.  So I chatted a bit more while waiting for her.  So I know I didn't get as much out of it as I could have.  Maybe next week I'll do the daytime one and just skate for an hour at work.   It's very fast paced! 

Can you believe that Angel changed her mind about going to a classmate's party tonight so she could stay home and eat my spaghetti for dinner?  The same kid whom her teachers have been saying is quiet & respectful???  Who is she and where is my kid??  I know it's not the only reason, since she said someone she really doesn't like was also planning on going.  That's OK.  I offered to pick up a friend or two on our way so she didn't have to go alone, but she still changed her mind.  I always tell her to use me or Randy as an out if she doesn't want to do something.  Tell them I have other plans for you, he said no, whatever.  

So Randy is gonna hang out with "the guys" tomorrow.  They're going to breakfast and then to a meeting.  Then they're going to the National Weather Service office to work on some radios there, getting them ready for severe weather season.   Ah, the life of a geek!   I can't complain.  He's not sitting in a bar somewhere and he enjoys messing around with radios.

So I'm ready to go get my wine now - have a great Friday the 13th!  

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Friend Makin' Monday - Hobbies

Happy Tuesday!  OMG - it's getting WARM !!  I took the dog out for a 2 mile walk with me just wearing jeans & a sweatshirt!  I think we overdid it, tho.  The park is an oval with a path thru the middle.  He kept trying to pull me down that middle path and today I hurt from wearing hiking boots (melting snow = lake-sized puddles everywhere).  He sure slept good last night, tho! 

Oh, and the kid had another dance competition Sunday - if you want, you can read about it HERE.  More trophies!

Alrighty - what do we have today?


Here’s how it works: you copy the questions, answer them and post them to your own blog. Then you come back here, and in the comments, post the link to your blog post with your answers to this week’s questions. If you don’t have a blog of your own, just post your answers in the comments.

1. What do you do for fun?  I read, blog, do cross-stitch, go for walks, go horseback riding when I can.

2. What do you do to relax?  Mainly read.

3. What do you do to waste time?  The Interweb.  'Nuff said!

4. What hobbies do you have that you do regularly?  Reading & cross-stitching.

5. Is your hobby something that could make you money?   Not really.

6. Do you make money from your hobby? Or would you like to?  I wish!

7. Do friends or family make fun of your hobby?  Nope.

8. Is your hobby expensive, moderate, or free to support?   Moderate. There's the initial purchase of materials or books.  Walking is free.  Horseback riding is $0, but costs in labor.  Meaning I usually end up cleaning stalls or helping out with whatever little chores my sister has around her house.

9. How did you first get started with your hobby?  Walking / reading / cross-stitch just happened.  My sister got her first horse when I was 2 and it evolved from there.

10. Is your hobby something that you can do with other people? If so, do you?  Depends on which one.  Walking & riding, yes.  In fact they are more fun with other people. The others, no.

Monday, March 9, 2015

U of M Dance Invitational 2015

So my friend Laura & I have decided that these competitions that the Movement Project go to are way more chill than the studio comps.  It's so nice!  I don't know if it is because we don't rush backstage after a routine to help with costume changes, or it's because there are a lot fewer girls, or less craziness in general or what, but I'm not complaining!

We braved the time change and were up at 0-dark-30 on Sunday getting ready.  We were on the road at 6:45 am and even with a couple stops - we were in a parking spot at the Crisler Center on the UM campus at 8.  Sunday mornings are definitely the time to be on the highway!  I looked down once and caught myself going 90 mph!  Whoops.  With nobody else on the road it was easy to do!
They were done with all 3 dances by 12:30 so we went out for a team lunch.  Luckily we didn't need to be back at the arena til 5 since Buffalo Wild Wings is really slow.  The last dance finally ended right at 6.   The scores were adjudicated so I have to assume it was like some of the other comps we've been to.  Anything below a certain # of points got a "superior participant" trophy and then the place trophies based on points above that #.  So the MP girls got their 2nd place trophy for jazz and their superior participant trophy (probably 2nd place also) for hiphop and then....awards ended!

Coach Jon went onto the floor and from where we were sitting, we could see 6 little concerned faces looking at him.  Then they trooped over to the table where the trophies were and asked about senior pom!  The lady checked the list and said oh yeah!  We forgot to announce it.  Then grabbed a big ol' first place trophy and handed it to them!

Funny part of that is...besides their routine being the only one in the category - there were some BIG mistakes....the most glaring of which is one of the girls had her sleeve on the wrong arm.  Ooops.  We just won't mention those little tidbits and concentrate on the 1st place! Woohoo!  And I have to say - they had the flashiest pom costume!  Everyone else had the basic cheer dress outfit.  Yawn!

a couple studios, quite a few high school varsity & JV teams and 2 college teams.
The MP girls are the little group in black on the top left/center area.
Out of a total 200 dances....ONE studio made up for 68 of the dances!  I think every kid did at least one solo, even if they shouldn't have (meaning it was painful to watch).  We could have been done by 2 if it weren't for them!
This is probably gonna be the team now,  The 7th girl was just filling in for Nationals last month and really didn't want to do this one.  At least they have time to rework the dances before the next comp if they choose not to replace her!

So now we get a break for a while.  The next order of business is the first competition for the studio!  It's not for 19 days (Miss Angela has the countdown going) and she still has 2 competition dances she hasn't finished yet so I'm sure there's going to be some extra classes here & there.  Yay!  I'm sure she'll get the rest of her costumes this week.  So far only 2 need to be taken in to fit her.  

Speaking of taking in costumes..... Saturday we took her prom dress into the tailor that did the alterations on my wedding dress.  The tailor had already left for the day and the guy we talked to told Angel she was just too skinny and needed to eat a cheeseburger or super size some Taco Bell!  Sheesh!  I sure wish I had that problem!