Thursday, July 29, 2010

My Morning Walk

These are photos I took this morning as we walked our dogs right here around our house.

Canadian Geese. We scared them off the lawn right outside our house. They certainly can make some noise when they start honking!

As we walked on around the point this was the view off to my right.

This was the view to my left. This is the old "Fort Adams" from the Revolutionary War. It's a state park now, and my house is on this state park.

We walked on around on the water front and this was a shot I took from the road above.

This beautiful bush was right along the road. Does anyone know what it is? It has beautiful pink blossoms before they turn to these large berries.

There are beautiful wildflowers all along the road beside the water.

We walked down to this beach to look for sea glass.

We dig right among the high tide line which is easy to see because of the sea weed left behind. There are some beatiful smooth rocks on these beaches too.

The wiener dog who thinks she's a mountain goat. She's having so much fun exploring the rocks and beaches.

The sea glass we've found the last two mornings. I'm finding it very therapeutic to dig through the rocks and shells to find these treasures. I'm going to put them in a beautiful jar in my house when I finally get my furniture.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Murphy Needs to GO!

This move seems to be dragging on forever. We started packing our stuff in Hawaii on the 7th of June. Here it is the 27th of July and we're still camping out. It's enough already.
Overseas moves are a pain. You have dogs, cars, stuff and kids to think about it and none of it's easy.
We flew our dogs early to spend a few weeks with our son in Texas. That was over $600.00. Now that we're in our house, we were ready for him to fly them on to Rhode Island. Another $600.00. That's not bad enough, he gets them to the airport and the guys says "This dog can't fly, his crate is too small"  Really??  He just flew in that crate on your airline a month helped me unload it!  After going around and around with this guy, Max got to fly. Whew.
The Army ships one vehicle for you and you pay for any others. We shipped our newest car to RI and shipped the other one to Texas for the girl to drive while attending college. We paid for that one. Oh did we pay.
$1000.00 to put it on a ship from Hawaii to California. Then we hired a company to pick it up and drive it to Texas. Another $700.00.  But, this was a door to door delivery and she wouldn't have to go to a major hub to pick it up. Or so we thought!
The truck driver with the car had engine problems last week. He called to tell me he'd deliver on Friday. Granted, we're not in Texas, the boy is going to have to sign for the car. No problem. Right? He hasn't started any prep for school so he was off last week. We never heard from the driver until Sunday night when he said he'd drop it off first thing Monday at 7:00 AM. I stressed to him that the kid had to be at work at 8:00 so he HAD to be there on time. No problem. At 7:00 Texas time the boy calls and says driver has overslept and won't make it.
I could keep typing and go into details but let me just say we fought with the driver and the company ALL DAY LONG. Driver insisted JD refused to take the car (hello... he wasn't home!) Driver said either JD could pick it up at his hotel (an hour drive away) or he was throwing it into storage and we'd have to pay it.
So, an hour and a $70.00 cab ride later, JD gets to said hotel and driver isn't there. An HOUR later, he shows up and hands off the car. What an ordeal. Don't think we're finished with these people yet. Now that we have possession of the car, we can rip them up.
Our furniture is still somewhere in a warehouse because someone didn't listen when I told them what day we would be arriving. Nobody cares.
Furniture arrives on 3 August. My in-laws are scheduled to arrive on 2 August. We asked them to hold off a day.
So, I will have furniture and all my household goods delivered the same day my first house guests arrive. I'm so stressed and uptight it's making me sick. Nick's mom is a doll and said don't worry, I'll bring my work clothes. She said "I can't make beds and throw away boxes, or whatever"
 I wouldn't mind putting my own mom to work, why does putting his mom to work bother me? I always want to be such the hostess and I hate asking for help.
I need someone to push me and tell me this is ok.
Thanks blogging friends for letting me rant. Yesterday was a rough day.. which is way I'm up way before I should be. I can't sleep. That air mattress isn't helping.
On a bright note, I live in a beautiful place. Here is a photo I took two days ago from my back yard. A rain storm was blowing in and it was awesome!
I thought I left rainbows behind when I left Hawaii.

Happy Tuesday everyone! Today we shop for a second car and new cell phones. Shopping should make me feel better, right??

Friday, July 23, 2010

Water Taxi and Gulls

After Wednesday's humidity, when I thought I would melt and not be able to hang here, a thunderstorm blew through and washed the humidity out. Thursday was absolutely beautiful. We awakened to lovely breezes and gorgeous blue skies.
I sent my men out to run errands while I got caught up on trying to organize the few belongings we have here. I finished unpacking for Alex, because Lord knows he was in no hurry to do it. It gave me a chance to go through his clothes and weed some "undesireables" out. Yes, I'm picky about what my kids wear, it's a reflection on us. Let's just say that he left a family back in ND that was "red-necky" to say the least. I threw away t-shirts with holes and off color content, and jeans with more holes and stains that any kid of a senior Army officer should be wearing. What in the world was the woman doing with all that child support we were sending?
Anyway, off subject, let me re-focus.
The boys brought home a couple of plastic Adirondeck chairs (blue...not my favorite but all they had) and a loaner card table and chairs. At least now we're off the floor!
Yesterday evening we decided to take advantage of military appreciation night at the Newport Gulls baseball game.
They were offering free admission to military families and we figured it would be a great way to spend a Thursday night! We were right! It was such a wonderful home town event that we got into the spirit very quickly. I do love going to the baseball park, eating ballpark dogs, and watching a game. The Navy band was there to entertain us before the opening pitch and to play the National Anthem.

We live on the tip of this small island right across the bay from the main downtown area, which is a HUGE tourist gathering place in the summer. Parking and traffic are a nightmare so we decided to take advantage of the Newport Harbor Shuttle, which leaves just down the road from us. It was a total of $4.50 for the three of us to ride one way with their military discount and we didn't have to worry about traffic or parking! Very nice!!

The Newport Gulls baseball team is a made up of a group of college athletes from around New England (and even a few from the south) who join these collegiate teams during the summer to keep up with their game. It was so much fun!
One of the most touching parts of the night was when they made a tribute to our military heroes, past and present. They had a veteran from the Korean War as well as a War War II vet on the field. The commanding admiral here threw out the first pitch. As they were giving the tribute, they mentioned a young man playing for the Gulls who lost his brother two years ago as he was serving overseas. Every time that boy got up to bat, they played a snippet from Toby Keith's "An American Soldier"  I teared up every single time.
Good times, wholesome activities...I'm loving it!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The "New" House

Ok, let me preface this post by saying that I am not that high maintenance. I have lived in some very humble places and I really don't need much to be happy.
Sunday we drove down to Newport to check out the housing. We found our house, walked around outside, met the next door neighbor who's moving in a week, and found the door unlocked so we walked in.
Y'all..this house is small. It's plain and it's old. Oy... there is no way I can get all my stuff in here, in spite of it being a four bedroom house.
Yesterday, we signed the lease and got our keys. That was our sign to go to Wal-Mart, the commissary and the Navy Exchange to buy stuff. It's amazing how much stuff you have to buy again every time you move. We unloaded the stuff in the house, dropped off a few suitcases and headed back to the lodge to spend our last night.
We arrived back at our house this morning expecting our unaccompanied baggage, aka "hold baggage" and the cable guy.
Unaccompanied baggage, for those of you not familiar, is a small shipment of stuff you use when you move overseas to camp out at one end or the other. I kept it back in Hawaii so I could live while we had loaner furniture. Little did I know it would arrive in Newport before my big shipment that left on 9 June. Go figure.
So, hold baggage is here, cable is hooked up and we have internet and phone service.
I called the moving company about our main shipment. She calls me back in a bit with "Your stuff has arrived in the area and they have scheduled you for delivery on 3 August."  What???? 3 August??? My in-laws are coming on the second! Help me!
My sweet husband spent an hour on the phone going up the chain with movers and the advocates in the Navy here who are supposed to fight things like this for us. We got nothing. Oh wait, we're first on the list if someone cancels. Really? Someone is going to cancel their move? Give me a break.
I pouted, bitched and moaned for a while, then put my smile back on... I have a 15 year old watching me now and we went furniture shopping.
We bought a kitchen table set, a TV stand and some bedroom furniture for the boy. My husband knows how to knock me out of a funk.. shopping!
After a trip to the commissary and 200.00 worth of groceries we came home to make pizzas. Remember, we have no furniture so we sat on the block wall in the backyard to eat. It was cooler out there (it's so freakin humid here I may melt, but that's another post)
Guess what the view is from my backyard?  Here ya go:
I can do this for a year..right?
Here are a few photos of our house before anything was delivered. I'll post befores and afters when we finally get our stuff and get unpacked.

This is the view from my kitchen sink. It's our "cooling" system. Did I mention the humidity? Did you get how I'm melting? I have one of these in the kitchen and one in the living room right now. I'll be dragging those suckers upstairs into the bedrooms in a few hours.
The upside of this house? Besides the view? This bad boy:

I love cooking with gas. I'm very excited.
Until we get our household goods we are sleeping on twin sized air mattresses that we borrowed from Fleet and Family Services. God bless 'em for having a lending closet. Tomorrow I'll call to see about a couple of folding chairs. Sitting on the floor to cruise the internet and watch TV will get very old very soon.

Right now it's raining outside with rolling thunder and occasional lightening. I love a good thunderstorm. I should sleep well tonight. Well, if I don't roll off the air mattress. Pray for me y'all.. pray that someone cancels their move tomorrow!!!

Monday, July 19, 2010

I'm a New Englander!

It has happened.. we have arrived in Rhode Island. It is absolutely BEAUTIFUL here! I can't take it in fast enough. I can't believe the beautiful old buildings and towns. I'm in love. (ask me how I feel when the weather gets cold!)
We arrived on Saturday evening. Nick and I were thrilled to be starting this chapter of our lives. We were anxious to get Alex here to live with us and have him be a full time part of the family.. FINALLY!
We arrived around 5:00. We grabbed all of our luggage, the rental car, and checked into our hotel. Alex was due in around 10:00. We intentionally stayed close to the airport instead of driving down to the base so we could grab him that late.
As we're going to dinner, Alex called. He's delayed leaving Fargo. Mechanical problems. He had a total of 40 minutes between flights to get to us. I had a bad feeling. He ended up being delayed a full hour and we knew he'd never make the connection in Philadelphia. As luck would have it, he was booked on the very last flight of the day coming in to Providence.
Plan B: Re-route him to Boston and take our newly rented vehicle up north to get him. That's what we did. We snagged him right around midnight and got back to our hotel around 1:30. Of course his luggage wasn't with him. We were just relived that we weren't leaving a 15 year old in the Philadelphia airport overnight by himself. We contemplated driving up there, but by the time we would get there, he could've spent the night.
Sunday we drove on down to the base, checked out our house (the door was unlocked, I had to go in). The house is small. Smaller than the house in Hawaii and much more plain. That's military housing for you, at least the housing that was built 20 to 30 years ago. The stuff they are building now is much nicer.
I do have a view of the harbor from my back yard so I think I can suffer through for 10 months.
Today we drove down to New Jersey to pick up our vehicle. It was a 10 hour round trip drive but with the downpour going both ways, it was longer. We were supposed to go back to the housing office and pick up our keys but decided we would wait until tomorrow after that drive.
I'm looking forward to getting keys tomorrow, hearing from the movers on when our stuff will be here, and shopping for the essentials. I love getting new shower curtains, bathroom stuff and all those little things that you can use to start settling in.
I haven't taken a lot of photos yet, but here are a few. I will post about my trip to Arkansas in the next few days. It was mostly uneventful but we did do a few cool things and see lots of family.
I'm enjoying having Alex with us. It's a new experience that we're all loving!
The license plate from our rental car. I have to admit I didn't know Rhode Island was "The Ocean State" I'm so excited to be here!

This is where we had our first Rhode Island meal on the advice of the hotel staff. It was delicious!

Our appetizer at the restaurant. Stuffies! These are quahogs and they are so yummy!
We also had the best seafood chowder I've eaten and a calamari salad. I swore I'd eat lighter once we arrived. I am having a hard time with that so far.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Next Phase

This will be a short post as I am worn out! We left Texas on Monday to spend a few days in Arkansas with my folks. We had a great time, saw lots of aunts, uncles and cousins and sweated a LOT!
Today we drove back to Texas to drop Callie off with her brother, turn in our rental car and check into a hotel near the airport. We will take the shuttle in the morning for our flight to Rhode Island. Alex will fly in a few hours later and we start our new adventure. I'm trading one kid for another.
I'm a little sad about leaving Callie even though I'll see her again in a few weeks when she comes out to visit.
I will post pictures in a day or two, but tonight I'm just tired.
We have a very busy few days coming up. Tomorrow night we will stay in the Providence area since Alex flies in so late. Sunday we drive to Newport and check into Navy lodging. Monday we will get up early and travel to pick up our car. We will then head back to Newport to sign for our house. Wednesday we get cable, internet, and phone as well as our unaccompanied baggage. Fingers are crossed for our big shipment next week as well.
I'll try to catch up on blog reading soon. Right now that comfy king sized bed is calling me.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

More Adventures from Texas

We survived a couple of days of rain storms and are having a blast here in central Texas. Friday morning, as I posted earlier, was my hair appointment with my friend Jill. Jill was my stylist for YEARS when I lived here before. I was a single mom, just newly divorced when I found her. We were together through her second marriage, new baby, divorce, third marriage and another baby. My life went through lots of changes during those years as well. Like I said, I was newly divorced, then involved for four years with a man I thought I'd marry. There was that painful breakup that was almost like divorcing again, a series of small relationships with losers and some who were not so bad, then my courtship, engagement and marriage to this wonderful man I call my husband.
So, Jill did my hair. I'm blond again! We had a great visit then Nick and I hit the road running.
We had a list of food we wanted to eat while we were here. One was Crowe's Burger Shop. (There's no web site so I put their Yelp review here) It is a hole in the wall, walk up to the window and order your food kind of place. You will stand out in the Texas heat for a half hour waiting for your order because the burgers are just that good.
I mentioned the other day that my son and his future wife were headed out of town for a wedding. Guess where they stopped for lunch on their way through central Texas? Crowes. Guess who saw them while they were getting burgers? We did. I was thrilled to have all three kids in the same spot for a few minutes and I took photos!

How thrilled was I to have a chance to do this!?
Friday night we headed over to Las Casas for white wings.  White wings are chicken breast meat  stuffed full of cheese and jalapenos and then all wrapped in bacon. They are crispy on the outside, juicy and spicy on the inside. I have tried for four years to duplicate these with only satisfactory results. These were the real deals.
My friend Tammy joined us for dinner. I have known Tammy for years. We went to church together, worked at church camp together, had many nights of laughing, eating and crying together. One of my favorite stories about Tammy is the time she came to my house when I was going through my divorce. I lived in a tiny wood frame house with the smallest kitchen ever. I had no dishwasher and a sink full of dirty dishes. I had had a particularly trying day and she stopped by. She went straight to my kitchen, filled the sink with soapy water and washed all my dishes while I talked and cried to her. I will never forget her. I have never heard her speak an unkind word about anyone. Even when she hints about something negative she is sure to "bless their heart" first. I so love her.
Today we bowled.. It was odd to leave Target today and say "Come on girls, we're going to be late"  Do you know how long it's been since I've shopped with my of my daughters and said something like that? Too long.
I will be sad when we leave tomorrow and head back to the DFW area. I hate leaving my kids.
I took a couple of photos of the girls as they spent the day together
We load the dogs up tomorrow and ride north. We will spend the night at JD's apartment then get up early Monday morning to visit my parents in Arkansas. My folks are a few decades behind. They have no cable or internet. I'm not sure I'll be posting during that week. I'll be enjoying the heat and humidity in Arkansas along with some great fried catfish! I can't wait to visit my extended family as well.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

On the Road Again

We have finished up most of our time in the DFW area and traveled to the central Texas area today to visit with my oldest daughter.
Have I mentioned yet how hot it is here? The humidity is killing my hair. My hair is crap anyway.. another story. I've been waiting for weeks now to get my hair done because I knew I'd be here, in Central Texas where my friend Jill can do my hair. Oh how I've missed Jill. I made my appointment way before I left Hawaii so she could do my color and cut. But I digress. Back to the journey.
We went to see the Texas Rangers play baseball last night and had a blast. (besides the heat..I almost had a heat stroke) It was a great game and we cheered like maniacs. I forgot the memory card for my camera (left it right here in the computer) so I got no pictures. Meghan had hers so I'm hoping she'll post some on facebook I can steal.
This morning we loaded up the dogs and headed south. My son and his future wife are traveling this weekend as well and couldn't dog sit for us. We have both of them in a hotel room here. It should be an interesting weekend.
The kids' grandfather needed a favor and we were happy to help. He owns a great car and needed someone to drive it back down to central TX. I volunteered. It is an Infinity and it is NICE. Nick, Callie and the dogs were in the rental and I relaxed in the luxury car. Life was good...until this started rolling in.
It continued to get worse.

Until it looked like this:

I only wanted to be able to see the little silver rental in front of me and when I couldn't, my wise husband pulled off the road. We sat like this until it cleared up a little. I didn't endanger anyone taking these photos. held the camera up and snapped!
We are checked into our hotel now. It's not Waikiki. Check out the view from our room.

Yes, those are cows.
Here is the view when Callie is out with the dog.

We're off to eat Pizza again. So many restaurants to hit, so little time. Bostons, here we come!
Tomorrow morning.. hair appointment with Jill. Can you hear me cheering??

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Time in Texas

I know I haven't posted in a few days, but it's been a whirlwind!
Sunday, we spent the day with my future daughter-in-law's family and had a blast. They have a lovely home and it was very relaxing. Our boy cooked burgers and hot dogs and we enjoyed a feast. We played games after dinner and sat out on their deck and watched the kids throw a ball around. Almost a perfect day.
I took no pictures because I forgot my camera.. way to go, mom!
Monday and Tuesday found us back at TWU getting paperwork done and looking around more. We have now finished the process to get an appeal started for in-state tuition, housing applications are done, and the vaccination required to live in the dorm has been injected into my little girl.
Today we've relaxed for the most part. We are headed to Arlington later to watch the Texas Rangers play baseball. It's dollar hotdog night. I don't think that went unnoticed when my son bought the tickets. I'm looking forward to a baseball game. It's been years since I've gone to one.
Here are some photos from the last few days.

Monday night at BJ's brew house. This pizza was delish! I wish I had a slice right now.
Here are a few photos from last night's trip to the Fort Worth Stock Yards.

I had some, and they were delicious!!

My son with the Longhorn. He's a HUGE Longhorn fan.

My little girl on a saddle. Clearly, this is not a familiar thing to her.

Brisket? On a Taco? Oh yes it is!!  Callie ordered these and said they were SO good. Notice the jalapenos my little Texas girl piled on there!!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Independence Day

Never forget the sacrifices made to grant us our freedom!

Hot Summer Days!

We arrived in Texas the 1st of July. It's been a whirlwind since we got here. It was so good to see my boy, yes he's 26 years old, but he will always be my boy.
The first day we were here we checked into our hotel, rented our car, and dropped off some of our 6 bags at my future daughter-in-law's apartment. She seems to have more room than the boy so we took advantage of her second bedroom.
The boy took us to have Mexican food that night. I have been missing good Tex-Mex for years now. It was delish!! We went to El Guapos in Denton. Sooo yummy! I couldn't resist sharing mine and Callie's dishes.

I had the enchiladas with a taco. No, I couldn't finish it but I gave it a good shot.

Callie had a chimichanga. Do you know what's better than a burrito? A FRIED still my heart!
Yesterday we visited Texas Woman's University, the future home of my girl. She's staying here when we leave in a couple of weeks and that will be hard on me. I did love the school. It's a beautiful campus with gorgeous old buildings. It's small enough that it won't intimidate her, but large enough for her to enjoy the experience. Here are a couple of photos I took while we were there:
This building is used for banquets and other gatherings now. In the past it was the main dining hall. It was absolutely beautiful.

This is the outside of that building, I's been since yesterday! That's my son peeking around one of the pillars.
This beautiful dome with stained glass is in the middle of the library. I can't tell you how beautiful this building was. I'm afraid my photography skills (or lack thereof) doesn't do this justice at all.
Today we went to a great mall, I don't know the name, and I wanted to do some serious shopping. There were great sales, but I had pity on the men and we settled for a little window shopping. We ended up at Dave and Buster's for lunch and games. I had never been to one of these and oh man, did we have fun!
Here are a few photos from that trip:
This is J.D. and his future wife, Meghan. I heart her. She's a good girl.

Callie trying to shoot baskets. Too funny. She is NOT my athletic child.

My honey love "whacking the moles" You would have thought those moles were trying to kill him he was so intense.
I hear there are photos of me playing a game that involved a big machine gun and shooting my own baskets. Those haven't been revealed to me yet.
Here are a few other photos I snapped of the kids and one of my honey and me.
Tomorrow I meet my future daughter-in-law's family. They are having us over for a BBQ and I'm really looking forward to meeting the people who brought such a wonderful young woman into the world.