Sometime in the next couple weeks, Scattered Seashells will be moving to WordPress.

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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Day Sixty-One

Long day. I'm sitting here listening to Pandora on our surround sound, on the Norah Jones channel, and relaxing. It's been a long day!!

Thanks to a BOGO deal at ITR, Christina and I dropped the baby off at the CDC and went to Wet n Wild! We had so much fun! I don't think I've laughed (and screamed...) so much since Brandon has left. There weren't tons of rides, but since the park wasn't busy, we got to ride them several times. The worse part? Lugging those inner tubes up those stairs! Oh and the ground tore up our feet bad. Owie.

Here are some videos and photos:

(Um, sorry for my saying a few swear words and us screaming...)

This one is tamer.

Water slide!

Another slide!

Lazy river:

Love that lazy river!

Ok, so after that we had to rush to CostCo and then rush to the CDC to get Marcus and then rush to my house to drop me off. Tonight we had our Super Sign Up for the Schofield Spouses Club, the Hui O' Na Wahine. For the first half I worked the membership tables helping people sign up for membership, and then I spent the second half wandering around, eating and chatting. It was a fun night! Just super busy.

Oh, and tonight I had a wonderful moment that I needed to share with you. A few months ago I told the people at my book club that I was a writer finishing my first novel. One woman sounded very interested and asked if she could read it. So, nervously, I sent my unfinished novel (unfinished in the sense that the editing is incomplete) and waited. Well, I ran into her today and she told me how she felt. She really liked it. She really really liked it. She said she really got sucked in, really loved following the characters, felt sad at the sad times, felt excited at the exciting times. She liked it!

It sent shivers up my spine just hearing the praise. This is the only person other than my mom who has read my novel. The only outside person. Wow!! Such encouragement. In the next month, I'll be finishing this final edit on my novel and sending it off to some beta readers (if you're interested at all, let me know!). It makes me feel great!

Ok, I need to go to bed. :) Night night!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Day Sixty


El Gato. Winny-Poo. Winny-Woo. Mr. Kitty. Cat. Kitty. Sir Winston. That cat.

Please let me sleep. Don't walk on me at 2am. Don't scratch your nails on the carpet and mattress. Stop trying to reach the cable box in the dresser. Stop trying to climb the other dresser. I don't like you sniffing my face at 5:30am. I don't like you knocking stuff off the bedside tables. And when I lock you out of the room, stop sitting at the door meowing for hours. It's kind of annoying. Just please, let me sleep.

(In other news, it was a long day! Farmer's Market was good. Greek Festival was anticlimactic, but the gyros were good. Shopping at Ala Moana was good. It was a good day!)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Day Fifty-Nine

I started out today rough. I was angry from the night before (which, by the way, is resolved now!), and then I had to work. Work is fine, today was slow as most Saturday's are... I like slow days. But I had to look at my new September schedule. I just knew it wasn't going to be what I wanted. And surprise, it wasn't.

See, I asked for some days off. Those got granted. Then I asked for every Saturday off until November because of the dog training class. That shouldn't have been too much of an issue because we hired a few new girls who don't mind working a lot. It's just really important for me to do what I want to do, what's important to me. Dog training is one. It shouldn't have been too much of an issue. I'm a flexible/on-call person, so that means I don't have to work those days if I don't want to. If I'm not needed. Anyway, of course I got scheduled three Saturday's out of four this month.

It was a rough morning. I had to stop myself from crying. I was just so frustrated and angry. Why can't I do what I want? Why didn't they listen? Why do others get all the Saturday's off but I don't, even when I asked? I composed myself after some time and decided to text one of the girls who has most of the Saturday's off. Thank goodness she said she would switch, because she doesn't mind working those days. Thank goodness. Now I just need to talk to my boss.

Of course, this is one of the times where I wish I could text or call Brandon. Wow, he's so good at helping me out. When I'm anxious, when I'm frustrated, he can usually calm me down, unless he's the cause of it, lol. So I texted my back-up, my little sister Jessica. Then I texted my friends Courtney & Christina. They all answered me eventually. :P Thanks everyone!

After work it was off to Christina's for one of our weekly dinner with friends! All the girls (and all their boys) came over with a dish. I brought the meat - kalua pork. It didn't turn out the best, but it was still pretty yummy. Dexter sure loved the leftover fat. We talked and talked all night. They also helped me with my issue from the night before. Thanks girls!

So I've noticed an increase of blog fan pages on Facebook. I was pondering starting my own... good idea? Bad idea? Would you fan it and spread it around? Opinions?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Day Fifty-Eight

I'm feeling a bit worn down emotionally, but I don't think I'll go into details. It's just how I'm feeling tonight.

I had a good day, though, no real complaints. I had a work meeting at 7:30am and then right afterwards, I headed over to Christina's to babysit Marcus while she was at a doctor's appointment. She wasn't gone long, though! At 11 the spouse's club board members got together to get bags ready for our Super Sign Up event on Monday.

Living on/around Schofield and a military spouse? You can join the Schofield Spouses Club! We hold monthly luncheons, host events, and have tons of activity clubs. The Super Sign Up event is at the Nehelani on Schofield at 5:30 on Monday

Then I finally went grocery shopping and to the post office to send off one of Brandon's birthday presents, which is in a few weeks. Then the excitement began! Courtney called me to tell me her dog got out, so I spent the next hour or longer biking around the neighborhood in circles looking for her. On a water break at Courtney's, guess who rings the doorbell? Courtney's neighbor with her dog in hand... well, at least she's home!

Now I'm home. I finally got laundry done. I've been needing to do a lot of things and today I finally did them. I have more to do though. Never ending, huh?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Day Fifty-Seven

I've been communication-spoiled. The last couple of days, Brandon hasn't been on as regularly, and it's bothering me! Haha. It shouldn't bother me, I can't expect him to be online all the time, especially with the internet there, but I've been spoiled since he left. :P Oh well, it's just one more night. I just hate having things to tell him and not being able to! And then I totally forget what I wanted to tell him... (Oh, there he is!)

Right now I'm babysitting. Christina had a coffee to go to, so I'm watching Marcus entertain himself with a plastic bottle. He's been real good tonight, no complaints. I fed him, I played with him, and now he's keeping himself busy.

Today I got to do one of those great work training orientation things. You know, learning policies, sitting through stuff, spacing out, group activities, etc. It wasn't so bad and we got out early, so I can't complain too much. I just spaced out a lot and developed a headache as a result.

We hit 8 weeks today. It's been a good 8 weeks! Both Brandon and I agree that it's gone by quickly. I hate to wish away a year, but I keep thinking about when he gets home and I get so excited about it, I want the next 10 months to fly by.

Not much else to say tonight! Hope everyone is doing well!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Day Fifty-Six

This morning I had the honor of attending the memorial of the latest soldier who died in our brigade. I didn't know him, Brandon didn't know him, none of my friends knew him, but we went anyway. This soldier gave his life for our mission, our country, our freedom, and if I can respect and honor him in any way, I will.

The service was good. Several of the battalion leaders stood and spoke about him, his job, what he did and what kind of person he was. He was a fighter to the end. I especially loved the fact that, even though he was mortally wounded, in those last moments his main concern was the safety of others. Anyway, I posted his release when we found out, but here it is again: Sgt Jamal Rhett.

The rest of the day went very well! My friends and I had a mix up, so we all had to change our plans, but it turned out well. Christina and I decided to go down to the new Bed, Bath & Beyond that opened just a couple weeks ago. It's the first one in Hawaii and needless to say, we have all be anxiously waiting for it to be here. You'd think Hawaii of all places would have a lot of the stores you're used to, huh? But yeah, I came home with a sifter/strainer thing, containers for cereal and shoe rack that was on clearance (and makes my messy closet look oh so beautiful). I went for an olive oil dispenser thing... ah well. Maybe next time. ;)

Of course, dinner was at Christina's again (salmon and corn, yum!), and we watched Big Brother, as we do every Wednesday. It's kind of our guilty pleasure. Then a headache struck and I went home! I might play some Sims for a bit before bed...

I finished Outlander today. You know when you finish a book, you get a sort of empty feeling. Or is that just me? Thank goodness there are 6 more in the series! I need more Jamie! Haha. I usually have to take a break in between books in a series (with the exception of Harry Potter, I read those books straight through in 2 months), so I'll be using the next week or two to read our Book Club book: Saving CeeCee Honeycutt. Then it's on to Dragonfly in Amber! I can't wait.

Have you all attended a memorial service for a fallen soldier? How did it turn out for you?

Have you been reading this summer? Find any good books?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Day Fifty-Five

Sangria makes me sleepy!

I had dinner with all my friends and all their babies, after a long afternoon at Michelle's house letting the dogs play with each other. This morning saw me at spin class and taking care of the home. But dinner, oh lovely dinner, was at one of our favorite restaurants: Auntie Pasto's. They have this 2 for $25 deal, and thank goodness there are 4 of us! Man, are we stuffed. I got the Chicken Cacciatore, which I've never had before. It was good! It was a nice dinner all together.

Bad news for today: I've had horrible anxiety all day.

I have no clue what set me off. Since I woke up this morning I had this anxious feeling. You know, this clenching in your stomach, this feeling like you need to do something but you can't remember what. I had to keep taking deep breaths but they didn't seem to help. I half-assed spin class today because I just couldn't put the effort forward - my mind was telling me there was something I had to do.

I get anxiety, it runs in my family. Most days are good, some days I get hit like this. Today it lasted all day, something not very pleasant. I'm feeling better now, though I wish I knew what set it off. Probably nothing. I do get anxious when I feel guilty about stuff or when I feel like I might have made someone unhappy (I'm a people pleaser). That could've been the problem today for me.

Anyway, I'm feeling better now that I'm resting and watching TV. I hope tomorrow goes better for me!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Day Fifty-Four

I got to see Brandon today!

After some pushing, he signed up for internet. So this morning, he gave me a tour of his room! It's bigger than I imagined, but it's fairly empty. The biggest shock was seeing his new hair! Brandon has been growing it out a bit (ok, it's really not that long, but longer than I've ever seen). It's still regulation, of course, but it's a change. I told him I didn't like it ;), but I was just joking. He looks great. Oh, and I got to see his new wedding ring. He's been needing a new one for a bit and he got one there. It looks nice. :)

Anyway, seeing him made my day. And hearing his voice. If I can't have my husband here physically, at least I can have him here in spirit. Webcams and voice chats help so much.

I got so much done today. I love getting stuff done! Lots of cleaning, though I forgot the bathrooms, bathed Dexter, wrote, edited, read, watched TV... I spent the afternoon with Christina. We went on a nice walk and then let our dogs play with each other. Thank goodness Dexter is passed out right now!

So, here are some photos from yesterdays flight:

Our helicopter:

Looking towards the ocean (east):

Sacred Falls:

Looking south:

PS: For the member of the forums who quit today (and who also reads my blog). I don't know if you got my PM response, but you didn't offend me at all. I agree with you!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Day Fifty-Three

Let me tell you what I did today.

I took a helicopter ride!

I sell tickets to attractions around the island. We get to do familiarization (fam) tours for the different vendors to get a feel for things that we're selling. Today's was at Paradise Helicopters! We took a 15 minute, open door ride to see Sacred Falls. It was so awesome!

Remember how I don't like flying? Well, being in a helicopter is completely different. I loved it. It's the second helicopter I've been in but I don't remember much of the first. I got to sit beside the pilot in the front seat. I only got scared a couple times when the helicopter was making weird sounds... but the pilot didn't seem concerned, so it was probably all in my imagination. Anyway, I have photos but I didn't upload them yet, haha. I'll show you tomorrow! I want to be a helicopter pilot...

Side note... I haven't heard Brandon's voice or seen his face for a month now. Ever since he moved to this new place. We IM every day, but the lack of using the other senses is starting to weigh on me. My chest feels heavy. I'm sure some of you know that feeling, right? I just feel heavy!

Anyway, it was a good day, really. Seeing Oahu from that height was just fantastic. Sure, it was a bit windy at times, but I could've been up there all day. I wish we had a longer run!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Day Fifty-Two

Tonight was another dinner with friends! I love seeing Michelle, Christina and Courtney together with all their boys, Nolan, Marcus and Connor (respectively). We had shrimp alfredo, Greek salad, French bread and brownies! Yum. I have such a great support group and a wonderful group of friends. You all are great!

I think I'm getting some sort of blog-writer's-block. I sit down to write a blog and my brain goes blank. I want to describe my day, but then I don't. I want to come up with something clever, but then I don't. Today was kind of boring anyway, other than dinner. I worked, I downloaded a bunch of new games for my new phone (which I absolutely love), and worked some more. Drank lots of water. I love drinking my water!

So I forgot to mention my oldest sister, Jennifer, turned 31 on the 19th. Happy Belated Birthday, Jenny!

Brandon is doing well. He has his good days and his bad days, just like the rest of us. He likes where he is, has his own room and is getting it set up, has a job he likes fairly well, and is eating good food. Him doing well makes it so we do well. I keep a good eye on that calendar though and silently count down those days. I feel so great that it's gone so far but geez, can it be further? I'd love for him to be home!

I need someone to take care of this cat. ;)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Day Fifty-One

At work yesterday, we were talking about our schedules. My coworkers found out I'm only working 2 days this week and 2 days next week and they looked at me like I was crazy. One asked, "What do you do with the rest of your time?" Well, let me tell you what I do.

I read.
I write and edit my novel.
I watch TV.
I walk the dog.
I cook.
I clean.
I go shopping.
I hang out with my friends... A LOT.
I run errands.
I work out.

And soooo much more.

I'm good at keeping myself busy. From April 2009 to April 2010, I didn't have a job. I learned how to keep myself busy. I like not working, I really do, but given our circumstances and our future plans, I had to get a part-time job. Some days I'm ok with it, but most days, I just love not working. I feel more fulfilled when I'm crossing things off my list and relaxing and practicing my real passion, writing.

Today, I kept myself busy. I did most of the stuff on that list above. Then I had Chili's with Christina (I wanted some baby back ribs!). Now I'm watching Season 3 of Army Wives.

Anyway, back to the original topic. Yeah, I miss not working. But when we have kids, I'll stay at home with them. Won't get much writing done then, though! Haha.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Day Fifty

7 weeks.

It's the longest we've ever been apart. (Ok, close to the longest, we think it might have been 7.5 weeks... but we'll round). Yeah, it sounds kind of pathetic, huh? We lived apart for five months while he was at IBOLC, but I flew to Georgia twice during that time, so yeah, only 7 weeks.

Going into unknown territory now...

I'm kind of excited. We've gone 7 weeks and I feel good about it. We've had a few bumps, but nothing horrible. Nothing unmanageable. Am I happy that he's still there? No. But I know if I can do these 7 weeks so quickly, I can do another, and another, until he's home.

Thanks for the responses about the troops pulling out! I'm glad you all are understanding the situation and not really listening to the media. I appreciate your comments and would respond to them all, but I feel weird writing all these emails to my commenters. ;) Yeah, I get socially awkward. Anyway, thanks for being readers.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Day Forty-Nine

Hi from Christina's house! We made dinner and watching Big Brother, our not-so-secret addiction. She's my deployment wife lol.

Bad news: My mom had to go to the hospital again today. She's had chest pains and heart problems for over a year and a half, and last night she was having really bad chest pains, so they went to the ER. She had to get another angiogram and they had been talking about having to do a bypass. Luckily, I guess, they only had to put another stent in. No bypass! Anyway, she's tired and frustrated, but doing well otherwise.

I got a lot done today. Did some editing, cleaning, laundry, walking the dog, catching up on TV, writing, and so much more. It was a good day to get things done. Then of course, dinner here.

My work out today was Cardio Kickboxing! It's such a fun class. I absolutely love it. Maybe more than Spin...

BTW, all the combat troops left Iraq today! Yay! Um, not really. But I won't get into it. It's just ridiculous.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Day Forty-Eight

Ok, sent two of Brandon's packages today. It better get there on time with no difficulties!

Today was a typical day. Wake up, chores, spin class, watch TV and eat lunch. Then I went to Christina's and we drove down to see Eat, Pray, Love with Michelle and Courtney. It's called the Crybaby Matinee, designed for mothers to be able to bring their babies to the movies without guilt. Anyway, I don't have a baby, but everyone else does, so I go with them. The movie was good!

Since the theatre is near everything else, we went shopping. Lunch at the salad place, then Target, then Verizon, then Petco! It was nearly past dinner time by the time I got home. A busy day! I have a headache now though...

Remember Sunday I had dinner with my friends? Well, Courtney got a phone call towards the end of the night regarding this: Click Here. Anyway... I don't have much to say. It's always just much too close for comfort.

Alright, headache. I need to lay down.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Day Forty-Seven

What a day...

First, I wake up to a puking dog. Not the first time, but it's not like I enjoy it. I was sleeping soundly for once until I hear him starting to puke. My eyes shoot open, I rush over to hear yelling "No!" Poor dog gets scared, runs off a bit, pukes right beside my bed, of course. Once he finished, he started making puking sounds again, so I rushed him into the bathroom - because tile is easier to clean than carpet. Luckily, he didn't puke until after I put him outside later. After I cleaned up after him and got a little break... he poops on my carpet. Poor puppy is sick today. And yeah, he likes making messes on the carpet, not on the hardwood floor or tiles...

Then later, my card gets declined twice. Never happens. So as Christina and I were driving to see a movie (The Expendable's), I called USAA. I guess someone had my number and bought some stuff at Target in California. The same thing happened to Christina just a few days ago! So yeah, that was fun. Now I have to do some extra work changing our automatic bill pay on all kinds of things...

Later, when I got home I checked the mail - and there was one of the packages I had sent Brandon. We had no clue where it was, and I guess the guys in Iraq had no clue where he was, so they sent it back. At least I know where the package is now and can send it back to him!

Buuut I got a free book in the mail! I had won a contest off a fellow writer's blog, check her out at Kelly L. Stone. Anyway, it's a historical romance novel. Yay. Can't wait to get into it! Not until I'm done with Outlander though....

So yeah, what a day. It was a good day, all in all, but a ton happened!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Day Forty-Six

I love the greeting I get from Dexter when I come home. I opened the back door and he charged in, ready to play, and couldn't contain himself. He ran around for awhile before "calming down" a bit. I have one hyper dog!

Today was finally my first day off since I got home. I started the day off with my first work out! I took a bike ride and it felt amazing. I actually started working on one of those deployment goals I have: Bike up Kolekole Pass. For those who don't know what this pass is, it's a big big hill that starts on post and goes over the mountains to the other side of the island. It's steep, it's long, it's a big goal... and if I don't do it, I get a good work out from it!

I went grocery shopping nice and early, and then Christina and I went to the Farmer's Market like every Sunday. Afterwards I finally cleaned my floor and some of my house. It feels great!

Dinner tonight was with Christina, Courtney & Michelle (plus all those babies!). I brought the dessert, a yummy berry shortcake! We had tri-tip, salad and mashed potatoes. Love it. It's nice to hang out with my friends! We had a great time chatting and just relaxing, plus drinking some wine.

Anyway, it's past my bedtime. ;)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Day Forty-Five

Tomorrow, I will start a month of working out. I've been getting lazy (I'm sooo good at being lazy) but since I'm unhappy with my weight, I need to make some changes. Back to working out it is! I'm one for order and routine, so doing a month of working out will get me going. Of course, I won't stop after I month, but it's a good goal to look forward to.

Today was another day at work! Luckily I don't work until Thursday and I have a bunch planned. Lots of hanging out with my friends. I really like hanging out with them! Courtney and I took a walk with the baby and our dogs that ended up being more difficult than it should be, haha. I think we just need some practice, that's all.

Oh, I had my first deployment crisis. Last night, I was standing outside telling Dexter to pee when I heard the cat knock over something. He does this all the time, I wasn't worried - until I went inside and saw our unity sand all over the floor. I texted Courtney because I was just in shock, then proceeded to clean it up. Now our brown and blue sand is all mixed up and has cat/dog hair in it. Great.

And then Winston wakes me up at 5am! He was sniffing all around my head and he purrs so loud, I couldn't help but wake up. Then he starts chewing on my new phone cord. Dexter gets all riled up, so he starts chasing the cat, and then they're wrestling, and then Dexter is growling at me to get up... UGH!

Can I send Winston to Iraq?

Day Forty-Four

Oh, 44. Like my birthday, 4-4. :D

Today was a busy day at work. I'm exhausted!

I feel sort of overwhelmed. I jumped right back into work without a break to get settled in. I have so much to do, though none of it is terribly important. I need to clean the bathrooms, vacuum and mop the floor, do some more laundry, grocery shop, get back into my travel writing, take care of the Hui Lei (the spouse's club newsletter that I'm the editor of), figure out this new phone, go through emails, and watch all my TV shows... on top of all the regular things. There are not enough hours in the day!

I'll get to it eventually. I'm catching up on my TV shows slowly when I have time. Right not it's Design Star, then maybe I'll watch Army Wives, since I got the Netflix when I got home. Oh, another thing I need to do is write some short stories! I have contests I want to enter. Ah, not enough time!! I need to use one of these days off I have next week to just take care of things...

Hope you all are doing well. :D

Friday, August 13, 2010

Day Forty-Three

Flying is like giving birth, I thought as my sweaty hands gripped the armrests and the plane touched the runway. Not that I've given birth before, but from the stories I've heard, I can draw the comparison. I've asked people about giving birth and they say, yeah it sucks during, but once it's over, you sort of forget. Until the next one, anyway. That's how I feel about flying. As soon as the plane starts speeding up and we're about to become airborne, I'm freaking out. Then, right after we pull into the gate, I think, "that wasn't so bad." Yeah, until we take off again...

I'm so glad to be home. I've been missing my puppy, my friends and my house. It felt weird walking in, though. It felt sort of unfamiliar. I'm still exhausted (it's only been a day!) and I worked today, but it's starting to get back to normal again. I'm glad to be home.

On an exciting note, I met two guys today with the same birthday as me. We all laughed at the same jokes and acted the same. Isn't it odd how strangers can be the same with the same birthday? Brandon and my little sister have the same birthday. When you get those two together it's like the same person! Anyway, these other guys and I all said the same thing: Our birthday was the best day in the world. ;)

Today marks 6 weeks. Brandon and I were just talking about how fast it's gone for both of us. I'm so grateful that I get to talk to him nearly every day. My goodness, it helps so much. I love that guy! I hope the next 6 weeks goes by quick, and then the next and the next, until he's home again.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Day Forty-Two

Since I'm exhausted from traveling, I arranged a special guest post brought to you by Sarah (aka G.I. Joe's Wife) at G.I. Joe's Wife. She's also stationed in Hawaii and is going through the same deployment as I am! Check out her blog. Thanks Sarah!

Deployment Brain

You always hear of women saying, “Oh, I have pregnancy brain.” Or, “Stupid pregnancy brain. I keep forgetting things!” I think we milspouses need to promote awareness for the Deployment Brain. =)

It seems like since my husband has been gone, my brain has left me as well. Did he take it with him? I sure hope not! I’d like for it to return eventually! Not only have I forgotten to do a bazillion and one things, I have also done some new and weird things!

This one is pretty recent: I put food in the microwave to warm up and in the meantime, I was getting something to drink, fork, etc. Microwave beeps and I opened the fridge. Why on earth I thought I could get hot food out of the fridge I have no earthly idea. Thanks a lot, deployment brain!!

When Joe was first able to send me a list of things that he needed, I was bombarded with “needs” and “wants.” Two times now, I have forgotten to send him the laundry bag he requested. *sigh*

The first, and possibly the “best," thing I did after Joe left was locking myself and a friend out of the house. We’d been busy getting my house unpacked - Joe and I received our HHG one week before he deployed - and I was in the “trash it” mood. So, she grabbed this old printer and was hauling it to the garage. It’s a large one so I grabbed the door for her and instructed her where to put it. I stepped out into the garage, holding the screen door open. In that instant, a breeze blew and shut the back door. Which normally wouldn’t be a big deal, but that door locks as soon as it’s shut. It slammed shut, I gasped and so did she. I’m sure my eyes got wide, and I turned around and sure enough, we were locked out. We were both barefoot, no phones, no keys, and no neighbors home. Walking to housing was out. Calling housing was also out. We did what any 2 girls who grew up in the boonies would do. We broke into my wooden fence and crawled in. (I should note that one week before, I bought a padlock to lock the fence.) We got in through the fence, but the screen door wouldn’t open! I played the drama queen, shouting “My house!! It’s right here and I can’t get in!!” Finally, the good friend that she is, told me to just calm down. She attempted the back door one more time and we were in!!!!! Woohoo!!

Apparently, though I didn’t learn my lesson the first time. Last week, I decided to go for a run around the block. I was mad at my current situation, and desperately needed to work out my frustration. I would have gone to the gym, but I’m a weenie and don’t want to go to the gym here for the first time by myself. I know, right? Anyway. I decided that I didn’t want to lock myself out of the house again, but I didn’t want to leave the house unlocked or run with my keys attached to me. I devised a seemingly smart plan. I’d take the key to the padlock on the fence so I wouldn’t get locked out. Problem solved. Not. I got halfway around the block before I realized that I couldn’t possibly reach the padlock from the outside of the fence! Epic, epic FAIL!!! So, I broke into the fence again since the boards were still kind of loose. And I had to fix them again. But, at least I got back into the house right?!

So, what has your “deployment brain” done to you?!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Day Forty-One

An early post today! I stuffed my suitcases full (and I seriously mean stuffed. I hope they don't explode!) and am now ready to go. I'm still at my aunt's, but when she gets home, we'll be going to my Nanny's house for a goodbye dinner. I'm spending the night there but don't plan on going on the computer. And seeing as my phone has completely died (RIP Mel), I won't have any access.

Anyway, today my cousin and I went to Ikea (the first time I'd ever been there. So cool!) and the grocery store to get Brandon some care packages treats from Canada, then we went to the Museum of Science and Technology. That was fairly fun. We had some good laughs. We got hit by some exhaustion, though, so we headed home to rest. Now I'm here! All packed up and ready to go.

It's been a good trip. I've had some bad days, but in a span of two weeks, it was alright. I'm so excited to get home to my baby dog, my evil kitty, my new phone and my friends and their babies! I think I'm going to go check in now :D

Monday, August 9, 2010

Day Forty

So, I keep forgetting to mention... I'll be having a guest blog on Wednesday! I figured since I'll be traveling and my body will be in two time zones at once, it might be better for me to not blog that night. So keep an eye out on Tuesday for that!

This morning, I was chatting with Jeremy about getting Brandon some Canadian gifts for a care package. He suggested I go to the Canada souvenir shop at the Rideau Centre, a mall downtown. I said, sure! So I found Evangelia online and invited her along. It was a harrowing journey for me to find parking (I ended up driving in circles for half an hour...) but once I was in there, we had some fun.

After walking around the mall, we went on a stroll around the marketplace (which I had seen when I was lost) and I got myself a beaver tail - it's a pastry, don't worry, just click on the word and it'll explain everything. I actually got one at the same place as Obama is in that second/third picture! And the same type of beaver tail as that first picture. Huh.

Dinner saw me at Linda and Claude's house. These two have been family friends since forever... years even before I was born. So I grew up with them. They have a son, who is a year younger than me, and a daughter, who is a year younger than my little sister. We grew up with them too! We would play with them all the time. Anyway, I had a great time chatting and catching up. I know Linda is reading this blog right now, so thanks again, Linda! Haha.

Justin and I took a bike ride around the area. They built a new house out in the country. The area is beautiful and the house is really nice! It was fun catching up with Justin, too, seeing as we were really good friends as children. I stayed there pretty late and then drove home in the dark. The dark wasn't bad, it was the random fog everywhere that kind of sucked. But there were hardly any people on the road, so I took my time!

I did hate walking through the door because I knew the dogs would start barking and wake everyone up...

On another topic: You know when you're reading a good book and you just don't want to put it down? I've had many like this - Harry Potter, Pillars of the Earth, The Kite Runner, etc... - but it's been awhile since the last real good one. I started reading Outlander when I got here, and let me tell you, I'm sucked in! I love it! I think I might go read now before Brandon comes online...

Have a good night!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Day Thirty-Nine

Hm, sorry about that depressing post yesterday. Guess we all get like that, huh? That's just a prime example as to why you should stay busy on deployment!

Today, I did stay busy. Around lunchtime, I visited my dad's sister, Aunt Sue. I was a bit nervous because I hadn't seen her for a very long time and had hardly talked to her, except a bit on FB. I had such a good time! We just sat and chatted, it was great. I also got some information about my dad's genealogy, something I've been desperately wanting to know. Now I have info on his aunts and uncles, yay.

So after that, I drove around in the pouring rain, checking out the town I grew up in. It was familiar yet felt strange. I guess things change when you're bigger, huh? I saw my elementary school and then drove by my old house! I got home by 5 because my cousin was having a BBQ, which ended up being a basement party because of the rain, haha. I actually stayed upstairs and chatted with my other cousin, who had just come back from her honeymoon. Had a good dinner, sat around chatting more... and now I'm here!

Tomorrow, I'm not doing much during the day, but I'm having dinner with our family friends. Tuesday, it's another dinner at my Nanny's house. I'm not moving to my Nanny's yet because she's been super stressed because of my grandpa's ailments. He had to go back to the hospital :(. He has an infection now.

I can't wait to be home to my puppy and my new phone, since this one crapped out. Yay!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Day Thirty-Eight

I'm pretty good at being by myself. I used to be horrible at it. I needed that support, I needed someone beside me at all times. Sometimes I still do, and that person is Brandon. But lacking Brandon, I have to make due, so I do things by myself.

I've done well this trip. I've gone to museums, malls and people's places all by myself. I navigated through the city streets by myself, eaten by myself and taken pictures by myself. Not that I love it! But I make due. I don't eat at restaurants by myself, but I do order food and bring it somewhere to eat. It's kind of nice. It's so quiet, though, and I'm not used to quiet.

I'm homesick. I never get homesick. I'm sort of regretting staying for so long with not much to do. I guess it's my fault, though, and I should have planned more. There's only so much you can do by yourself. I mean, I am by myself. My aunts and uncles all left after the wedding, the newlyweds went on their honeymoon, and all my cousins left out of town or back to work. My grandpa has been feeling sick and my Nanny is stressed with that. My mom and stepdad left back to work too. My friends were busy. So it's just me. And I'm just wanting to get home. Back to my friends, my own bed, my house, my dog (geez, I miss Dexter terribly) and even that cat a bit.

This post is a result of me not doing anything today. I did go to the mall for a bit and then decided to visit my grandparents' graves (the paternal grandparents). Tomorrow I'm going to my dad's sisters house to visit, then will drive around the town I grew up in and check out my old house, then my cousin is having a BBQ party here. That will be my last night here at my aunts house. I'll go back to my Nanny & Grandpa's for a couple nights before I leave on Wednesday.

Ok, I have a headache, so I think I might try to sleep a bit... then it's up at 12:30am to talk to Brandon, the highlight of my days!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Day Thirty-Seven

Today went by so quickly! I'm glad for it too. I slept in a fair amount, mostly thanks to chatting with Brandon at 1:30am. I can't wait to be back in Hawaii time so we can talk at a reasonable hour! Then I lazed around for the morning reading blogs and reading books. For lack of food in the house, I went out to find some lunch, then after eating it, I went to start my day!

Today was the Museum of Nature. The museum is in this big castle-like building built 100 years ago. It's beautiful. Naturally, I spent more time taking pictures of the architecture than anything else. So here are my favorites:

Ok, that's more than a few... but I really like these photos!

Afterwards, I met up with Evangelia and our friend from elementary school Brittany for some dinner. After that, Evangelia and I met up with her boyfriend and their friends for drinks.... then we went to another bar haha. I had a couple drinks along the way (like in a span of 5 hours...) and they really weren't strong at all. I had fun!

Now it's 1am, I don't feel sleepy (too much sugar!!) and I'm chatting with Brandon... ah well, I don't have anything planned for tomorrow at all, so I can sleep as much as I want. Though I might hit up the Art Gallery... hmm...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Day Thirty-Six

Ottawa is beautiful, Ottawa is fun, but holy crap, Ottawa is hot. You wouldn't think Ottawa would be hot, huh? It was cold the first couple of days (and by cold, I mean a bit chilly compared to my Hawaii climatized body). Then we got hit by a heat wave. And goshdarnit, it feels like Georgia. Humid and gross Georgia. My back is sweaty (yuck) and my feet smell. Yeah, my feet smell.

I did have something exciting to look forward to during this trip - visiting old friends! Today I went to the Museum of Civilization with my best friend from elementary school, Evangelia. We've known each other since we were six years old and it's like nothing has changed. We are practically the same person. We like the same things and have the same views on a lot of things (not everything... but hey, we aren't perfect!)

The museum was fun, though we didn't really see much as we spent the whole time sort of walking around and talking. lots of talking. We saw an iMax called Sharks. Anyway, I don't have many photos today, because I didn't stop to take many!

I only have two pictures of us together and the flash was so bright, they didn't turn out well. I'll hopefully get some tomorrow, seeing as we're having dinner again!

My cousin invited me out to a bar tonight with friends, yikes. I don't drink (or really go out...) but I think I'll tag along. I was feeling depressed earlier, so I might as well go out and keep myself busy!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Day Thirty-Five

I'm like a grumpy old lady some days. I see couples kissing, hugging and holding hands, and my nose wrinkles in disgust. I see families, little babies or hear of births, and I shake my head. How can anyone be happy when my husband is thousands of miles away? Anyway, I have to check myself and push away that jealousy, because it isn't very productive. I can't be unhappy when others are happy. I should be glad that others don't have to go through what I'm going through, right?

Ok, back to what I did today. I went to Parliament! It was everything I remembered, and more.

(Not the best photo when it's small like this, but it'll do)

I was bathing in a historians dream ;). So I got there around 11am (slow morning, haha) and found out the next tour wasn't until 2:20! I had a mini panic attack until the guy told me you could do a tour of the East Block (there are three Blocks, the one in the picture is the Centre Block) in between and then do a self-guided tour of the grounds. Ok! He gave me the self-guide book and I set off before my first tour at 12:15.

Queen Victoria. They have statues of her and Queen Elizabeth II, as well as all the Prime Ministers and other important guys.

The outside of the library. It's neo-Gothic architecture. Amazing!

So the East Block was cool! Afterwards, I walked downtown to get some lunch. Then it was back for my tour at 2:20 of the Centre Block.

Inside the rotunda. The sculpting inside was fantastic.

I got to see the House and Senate rooms as well as inside the library. I was pretty excited. After the tour, I went up the Peace Tower. It started pouring rain so I couldn't see much of Ottawa and I had a bit of a panic attack when I realized I'd have to walk back to my car in the rain! I had a few panic attacks today, haha. Luckily when I exited the doors, it was starting to get sunny. Thank goodness!

It was a good trip. I had planned to go to the Museum of Civilization, but hardly had any time, so that's for tomorrow. I did have a horrible time driving my grandpa's truck. First, the parking break said it was on when it wasn't. Second, it said the door was ajar when it wasn't. I stalled out a couple times because the whole truck shook every time I shifted gears. Parking it was a b!tch... paying for parking was even worse, though I expected it, I suppose.

I did fine on my own, too! See? I don't need someone to go with me to still have fun. I could think about things, enjoy the sights and not worry about anyone but me.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Day Thirty-Four

Today, my cousin Candice and I drove south to the St. Lawrence (I could see New York!) to visit Upper Canada Village. This place was one of my favorite spots as a child. Hm, should have been an indication of my future History degree, huh? Anyway, it's a historic town from the mid-1800s. Of course, with a background in History and an emphasis in 19th Century America, I was giddy with excitement.

We spent three hours walking through the town, which has typical businesses (shoemaker, iron works, broom maker, etc), farms and farm houses, manors and people in period dress. I took so many pictures of the houses and rooms to give me an idea of how to describe them in my novels.

Speaking of novels, I was hoping this place would give me new, exciting inspiration for stories. Well, I got the setting just fine, but no story came out except for one I've had for years. Maybe it's a sign to work on that novel, huh?

Anyway, we had a great time together. I bought a red and white zip-up hoodie that says "Canada" on it, which I know I'll get made fun of for, but it's seriously comfy and was buy one get one free... I can't resist a good sale and a good zip-up hoodie! I almost bought some of the Artisan cheese & bread they make there in town, but seeing as my cousin only eats Gluten-Free stuff, that wasn't happening. Oh well. When we got home we were both super tired, so we watched TV and played on our computers. It was great.

Here are some photos for your viewing pleasure!

What you see as you walk in...

White chapel!

A study in a house

Big manor house

Canada Geese!

Standing at the top of the telegraph tower


A kitchen in a farm house