Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

Hi everyone! Just a quick post on this spookie holiday evening! I just got a hilarious card from Mike's parents that made me laugh out loud (thanks, guys!). It wouldn't be as funny if I just told you about it, so I've scanned it in below.

and then when you open the card up and....

Isn't that hilarious? I seriously laughed out loud when I opened it up! :)

Things are getting a bit crazy. I'm expecting Mike home for his leave soon (SO excited) and then my parents are also coming out to visit, which will be great, especially over the holiday! I'm trying to get the house ready for both. I can't remember if I mentioned our roof and back porch problem in an earlier blog, but that is still under major construction. I'm hoping it's done within the next week. I'm also trying to organize other parts of the house...lots of work (fun, but work)! We are also getting ready for two exhibitions at school, one for our students' internship and one for our semester-long project. Needless to say, the days aren't long enough to get everything done. Last week I took my car in for an oil change and $400 later, had it back. Today something else went wrong, so now it's back in the shop...go figure! On top of that, I've been dealing with the smog check on Mike's Jeep...totally a pain in the ass (sorry, but it is!). Because I haven't been able to drive both cars as often as I'd like, the Jeep had a dead battery. So, I put my neighbor put a new one in so I could get to the smog check place and evidently you have to drive it around for a couple weeks before a Smog Check...which I learned when our car failed one portion of it...so I bought a new battery, spent an hour and a half in the DMV to get an extension for our plates and will be taking it back to pay for yet another smog check at the end of this week!

Anyway, I'm not really complaining even though it might seem like it. Things are really going well around here...I've got nothing to complain about!! I hope everyone is keeping busy, enjoying the awesome Fall season and taking care.

Also, for those of you who know my Grandma, please keep her in a special place in your thoughts. She's going through a move right now and isn't really feeling her usual, spunky self (she's got a better golf game than most of us!). I wish I could be there to help cheer her up...but maybe sending some happy thoughts her way will help! Love you Grandma!

I love you Mike!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

ND v Navy

Wow, what a fun game day for college football! Penn State plays at Purdue but I'm not holding my breath for a Boilermaker win there. Sadly, I'm not going to be able to watch the whole ND vs. Navy game but, once again, I am taping it for Mike, so maybe I'll watch it later (depends on the outcome, I suppose). I didn't realize that Navy hasn't beat ND since 1963! My allegiances are torn today but I hope it's a great game! Enjoy the Saturday everyone!

I love you Mike!

Go Irish...errr...Anchors Away...

Friday, October 27, 2006

Mike's Fun Day

Yesterday we held our one and only battalion Fun Day. It was essentially a sports day geared towards taking a break from work, convoys and the caves everyone migrates to after their days are done. I played on our command staff dodgeball team. We got our asses kicked. Apparently I need to dodge more wrenches. Actually dodging wasn’t my problem. I was put out three times because I got lazy and threw floaters which the other team caught. Otherwise I was zinging them in pretty good, although I didn’t hit anyone in the face, which I was kind of hoping too. I’m glad Dad taught me how to throw a ball, both baseball and football, because some people really look ridiculous throwing anything. So in that sense I made out ok, but my team still got crushed. We were 1-4, but at least we didn’t get shut out completely. That was the only sport I played, which was a good thing because my arm was falling off afterwards. Thank God for Advil. I watched a little bit of volleyball and floor hockey, ate a cheeseburger, and was going to play basketball but a couple of rockets hit somewhere on the other side of base, so as you can imagine the fun was over. At least I got the cheeseburger in beforehand!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Ziggurat of Ur (from Mike)

I know it’s been awhile since I’ve last posted anything, but I guess I’ve been engrossed in work and really haven’t had much to write about. But, last week I took a tour of the Ziggurat of Ur, which is right outside one of our gates. A ziggurat is a temple, and Ur is the ancient town where Abraham and his family lived for a bit. The ziggurat itself is still standing, but most of the city is in ruins, although much of is has been excavated throughout the years. Our tour guide, who is also the site curator, is a third generation archeologist of Ur. He learned to speak English, as well as a few other languages, from reading the dictionary. Pretty impressive! We got to climb to the top of the ziggurat, which afforded us views of the surrounding countryside. A lot of sand and rocks, as you can imagine. Just beyond visual range is the Euphrates River running north-south down to the Arabian Gulf. Apparently in ancient times the Gulf came up to the shores of Ur. Anyway, after the climb up and down, we walked into the city ruins, stopping first at a small building which contains the oldest standing arch in the world. As far as you know. Inside the city we walked down into a couple of tombs, and also checked out some of the earliest forms of hieroglyphic writing on various bricks throughout the city. That didn’t take too long, as much of the city still lays unearthed. We continued our walk through the back gates of the city out to what was once an area of land in between the city’s inner and outer gates, where Abraham’s house was. Actually his father has built it (can’t remember the name, but I’m sure it’s in the bible) and after he died Abraham and Sarah lived there for awhile. The house and surrounding area has been rebuilt, which is cool in a way that you get to see what it was like, but kind of uncool in a way because it sticks out amongst the other ruins. Ah well. It was rebuilt in anticipation of the Pope visit in 1999, which was subsequently cancelled when Saddam couldn’t guarantee the Pope’s safety. After walking through the house, which was actually more like a large compound, we circled back towards the ziggurat, stopping at the palace which had once stood beside it. The square footage was as big if not bigger than the temple, but unfortunately it hasn’t survived intact like the ziggurat.

So that’s Ur and its ziggurat. I imagine one day Western archeologists will flock to the area once the country is stabilized, as they had in the 20s and 30s, but for now excavation will be slow and of course it will go unheard of while the violence continues.

Thanks for the post Mike. I love you!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Couldn't Resist

Hi everyone! Sorry it's been so darn long since I've posted. I was away for a while and then I've been super busy at work. I don't have much to say/post, but couldn't resist sharing this picture with everyone! I'm waiting for more pictures and a couple posts from Mike, but I thought this just could not wait!
Take care everyone!

I love you Mike!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Quick post

Hi everyone! I just wanted to write a quick post to say I won't be posting for several days. I am going on a boat trip, sailing from Long Beach to Catalina in preparation for the same trip we'll be taking the students on in November. I hope everyone has a great weekend and I'll write more when I return either Sunday or Monday!

I love you Mike!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Apple Cider

Wednesday is market day here in Ocean Beach, I'm not sure if I've posted that before. When Mike is home, one of our favorite things to do is walk up to the market, nibble on some humus samples and generally just walk around and look at what all the vendors are selling. You can get great fresh fruits and vegetables at the market, and we've done that once or twice too. While Mike's been gone, I don't spend as much time up there as we used to, but I still try and go. I try and pick up a little "treat" for myself (a little piece of homemade cheesecake is usually top on my list). I also like to get fresh flowers to liven up the house. Lately, this one stand has had the best selection and so I've gone there for the past few times. However, because of my birthday last week, I had flowers from Mike and my parents and my students so I didn't go to the market. Tonight I went back and the little old vendor was so sweet, he welcomed me back, thanked me for coming and gave me a big hug! It was cute! It's not like I'm his only customer, but it felt like it...and it was nice to be remembered, you know? Anyway, I bought a beautiful bouquet of fall colors, the oranges, yellows, dark reds...they are really pretty!

Tonight I also bought a 1/2 gallon of apple cider. I LOVE apple cider. It might be my favorite thing to drink (other than wine, of course). This cider isn't bad, but it makes me miss home (Grand Rapids), where you can find the BEST apple cider of all time at Robinettes Apple Orchard. Bold statement, I know, but I think it's true. I've tasted cider from several different places and states and have yet to find one that compares to Robinettes - honestly! So, as I am sitting here tonight sipping cider and waiting for the new episode of LOST to air, I find that I am looking forward to my trip home to GR in December during which I will spend some quality time at Robinettes drinking as much cider as I can!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

My own version of While You Were Out

When Mike gets home for his leave, I'm hoping he's going to feel like he's been on that TLC show, While You Were Out....an extended version! Today I had yet another great day of house work. Yesterday, on my Aunt Pat and Aunt Theresa's advice I went to one of the OB antique shops and asked them where I could find the bistro table I was looking to put on our newly carpeted (clear throat) back porch. I have been looking for weeks now and couldn't seem to find anything that was relatively inexpensive or the right size or even nice looking. Anyway, this store had a wood table that was very cute, but I wasn't really looking for wood since it was for outdoors. So, she sent me to this place called Classic Consignments that, for those of you who live in San Diego, is off the Washington Street exit on the 5 (if you are heading south, it's the exit after Old Town). This place is amazing...they pretty much have everything! And yes, they had the exact thing I was looking for. I found a little wrought iron table and two chairs, all the perfect size. The set was painted white and pretty old but I got it home, sanded it, primed it and painted it black and it looks PERFECT on the porch. I also found some garden lights and hung those up around the porch. In talking with my mom tonight, I think one of the final things I'd like to do out there is get some small planters to put along the wall, just to add a bit of color. I will need to get glass to put on top of the table and some seat cushions as well, but now that I've actually gotten the table, I'm happy!

Also on my list today: towels and a new shelf for the "guest" bathroom! I had one little shelf for in there, but actually did not like it at all, and this new one is much nicer and was actually the same exact price as the other one! That is pretty much all I did today. Sadly, I did not get enough school work done, but I did get some...so I guess I can't expect to get it all in on one weekend! I submitted a proposal for a conference in Boston for the spring of next year, which would be cool. I've never been to Boston, but my cousin Mike is there right now for graduate school so hopefully he'll be there and can show me around...or at least tell me some cool places to visit!

Well, that's about all I've got for now. I hope everyone had a great weekend and has a good week coming up!

I love you Mike!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

4 more hours

We are 8 hours into this LAN party and I'm ready for it to end so I can get some sleep. The kids have been great and we've had a good night (and morning) so far, but I am just not cut out for staying up for a whole day! I really thought my all-nighters were over at this stage in my life! I have four more hours to go until we start the clean-up and I'm feeling very zombie-like. I'm actually only posting this in an effort to stay awake! I'll try and post more when I've gotten some sleep and am more coherent...

I love you Mike!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

It's been too long..

Sorry, I know it's been a long time (too long) since I posted last. I was talking to my sister on the phone tonight and she reminded me I hadn't posted in several days...sorry about that. The good thing is I've been keeping busy, the bad thing is...I've been really busy!

I got some beautiful birthday flowers from Mike today and a nice package from my parents too. My mom asked me what I was doing for my birthday and I told her that I was spending a very relaxing evening at home watching some good television. Might not sound too exciting, but it's really nice to just relax for a night!

I just finished watching the season premier of LOST...it was really good, but I hate that I now have to wait until next week to see what happens next. I don't think I'm patient enough for this show even though I love it so much! I'm looking forward to watching Grey's Anatomy tonight too. These are two of my favorite shows (I also love 24 and The Unit and, of course, all the Law and Order shows!).

Mike is doing well even though he hasn't been able to post anything in some time. He's keeping busy and is finally over his cold. He said that it's starting to really cool down at night, but even though it's getting cooler during the day, the temperature recently went back up a bit. He's doing much of the same things at work (sorry, I don't know details) and is reading a lot when he gets "home" at night. I know that he's really looking forward to coming home on leave in just over a month - just in time for Thanksgiving! My parents are coming out to visit during that week too, so it'll be great to have everyone around for this holiday. We'll be eating LOTS of Turkey and hopefully have lots of leftover Turkey sandwiches as well.

Well, that's about it for today. Sorry I don't have more to post. I'll try and take a picture of the flowers Mike sent and post that too...just for fun! I have another all-night LAN party to chaperone tomorrow night so I may not get to post much this weekend (I'll be sleeping most of Saturday). That being said, I hope everyone has a great weekend!

I love you Mike!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

San Diego Fleet Week

I didn't realize it until I was driving downtown this morning, but SD Fleet Week is going on. This also means that, once again, the Navy Ball is coming up and once again, we will not be going. Last year I think Mike was in transition, the year before I think we were in San Francisco and I can't recall other times, but some year I will drag him, kicking and screaming, to this event...I can't resist! Anyway, lots of great ships in town right now and tons of people to remind me how much we owe our service men and women and how much we have to honor them for. All this reminded me, of course, of Mike and how proud I am of him and the work he's doing.

I love you Mike!

(next year, no excuses...Navy Ball!) ;)

Time Change

Just an update: Until we set our clocks back here in the US, Mike is one less hour ahead of us all...not that late night phone calls are an issue or anything, but I just thought it'd be nice to know. The blog time has been updated to reflect this.

Happy weekend!

I love you Mike!