Monday, June 25

When you wake up and see you missed his call.

I didn't believe it at first. My phone has got to be crazy - I couldn't have missed a call from him. I swore my subconscious was playing games with me. No, he can't call. He's somewhere on a ship. But after I picked the boogers from my eyes, I realized....he did call. And I missed it.

Are you kidding me??

His voicemail, "Grandma...are you in bed already??"

Umm, yes, I am. It's past 10:00pm and I've been hitting way too late of hours in the night, so for once I gave in to going to bed early and did just that. And I loved it. All 8+ hours of sleep. But then I kicked myself knowing I didn't give in to my past crazy sleep schedule. Blargh.

So along with his voicemail, I also got an image of their surroundings. Good thing I gave him my old camera. :) I wonder if those guys ever get sick of seeing water. I wonder if he'll actually wear all the uniforms that he was required to pack. Choker Whites, Summer Whites, Digicams, Khakis, etc. I wonder how many traps he has now? And I wonder what type of flights he's been scheduled. I wonder how many times the Internet has been down when he's gone to send me an email (I've had zero updates since connectivity is low). And I wonder what food he misses since being on the boat and we know it's not gourmet fixings (unless you're the CMC, XO, or Skipper).

I was a little under the funk last week since I was miffed that only so many days had passed since he left. But someone made a good point: The boys are now closer to coming home than they were when they left. Light bulb. Each day is a day closer to coming home. Why didn't I think of that sooner?? So I need to enjoy the ability to leave the house in a complete mess - I can live in filth. It makes me happy. :)

Oh, and let's not forget each day going to the gym makes the butt that much smaller.

Sunday, June 24

Finding motivation in the Sea of Lack

We're rolling into our third calendar week and I'm starting/searching for a rhythm for life that keeps me entertained, not constantly drunk from boredom, and not burning my debit card from the constant swiping (or online entry to,, and I' So far, "meh" luck.

As I mentioned in my goals in my June Reboot of Life, I'm attempting to rid the funk of no longer being a canine owner by making my ass a little smaller. I'm glad when Department Head wives can make me feel relate-able when it comes to Salty Time with the Navy. Most of our Department Head wives have been around since the college days, so they've experienced a handful of detachments and deployment without and with children - thusly they have millions of pearls of wisdom compared to my few years attached to the non-ROTC Navy. So when I say that my butt grew from wanting to just lounge on the couch with Mr. Wookie as opposed to being active, they knew exactly what I was feeling. They had butt-growage too during their Junior Officer years.

So last week I ventured the 1.5 miles from my work to get the Tour de YMCA since most of the wives already frequent that gym for kids' swim lessons and their own working out. I got my 3 Day Pass for trial, and gave myself a pep-talk before my first yoga class. You can do this. If the classes suck, no big deal. Find another gym. But seriously, I hope they don't suck. I'll be honest. It's been a year since I touched my yoga mat. Last year was the year of partially working out of home, partially working from home, so my running game was in gear. Now...not so much. While I do have an hour-long lunch, sweating it out on a 3-mile run in 85 degree weather doesn't sound like fun. So thank goodness for the above referenced classes at 5:30pm.

I guess my overall feeling is boredom. I've tossed the pity party aspect out the door since it didn't net me anything except an extra wine cork and cereal for dinner. But now I just feel like I'm going in circles without any real entertainment. Although today I did unveil some 'awesome.' After going to bed at 2am (after some quality wine time with a DH wife), I was up at 10 (I'm so proud of myself), mowing the lawn, trimming down the plant life, washing my car, and vacuuming that sucker out all before 4pm. And let's not forget the laundry that was back-burner'd since someone else needed things washed before the boat (let's not wait till the last minute - eh?).

Maybe I should pull the trigger on those jigsaw puzzles I've been eyeballing.

Thursday, June 21

Boat Update: Mr. Wookie is a flying mad man.

I sincerely hope this was a Senior Pilot since I don't exactly trust just anyone with a heavy crosswind. There's a boy in the back that I'd like to come back in one piece. While I'm the Keeper of his Shit should he kick the bucket this year (seriously - that'd be the worse year ever), I'm not ready to cremate him, fly to Scotland, go Scotch tasting on his behalf, then throw his ass off a cliff while reading a poem on Nordic baddassery.

But he's "adding traps" like it's going out of business. And his stateroom is shaping up thanks to wall-to-wall carpeting, a 2" fiberbed on his rack, and a plethora of videogame systems to keep the boys busy when they're not flying. Glad to hear he's settling in since we're still in June of this adventure.

Aviators definitely don't treat boat time like the prison sentence it really is...instead they bring in all the luxuries of home. Okay, okay, liquor is not allowed, but the rest of the legal luxuries are fair game. Some bring 1,500 thread count sheets and some bring pictures of the families. I send lengthy emails about life back home, my ever-growing collection of wine corks, and how I recently dropped money on Stouffer's lasagna, and other easy dinner ideas that way I don't starve since we've barely chipped into this detachment.

And as much as I want to hurry through this month and the next, and next, I'm enjoying the lack of making the bed, peeing with the door closed, and doing dishes every night. Plus, there's plenty of bonding to do with my fellow left-behind ladies. We've gone to the beach and out for drinks - the next thing on my agenda is convincing everyone to join me in trapeze school. :)

Wednesday, June 20

It's like he doesn't trust me or something...

Okay, okay, so I get it. I'm not exactly their real mother - I do qualify myself as more of a "stepmother" role since I wasn't there to really raise them from their young age when purchased at the pet store (please, no remarks - we were young, and we set the world on fire young). But it's true...they've been around us for a few months shy of how long Mr. Wookie has been in the Navy (5 years - where does time go???).

But just in case things weren't clear ...I need to feed them. Because "Mr. Friendly" would have it any other way. He obviously sees the camera lens near the tank and begins his shark-like stalking of me. Hey, little girl, come on, feed the turtles...we're starving. Yeah....starving...I can see your fat squeezing through the shell. You're anything but starving. No, children in some far off African country are starving because their parents are too poor to afford children. No, you're a novelty pet item - you don't get a say.

Mr. Wookie even wrote the "rules" of the water level. There are two horizontal markings. "Tank needs water" line. And "Tank full" line. Now if only he would have prepared the fridge in the same regards.

There have been two emails thus far in his boat time. According to official records, he's been either flying a lot or working on the Ready Room design (because HGTV was unavailable). And then when he has a moment, he emails to check in on my cereal supply. 


Does he know me or what?

Well so far it's been leftovers thanks to excessive eating out prior to his departure. Then, there was a joint dinner with a few of the wives in the area. And Monday night was taking leftover spaghetti noodles, and putting Mexican shredded cheese on it. Put in over for 30 minutes on 350. Call it good.

Yup...landslide already.

Last night was merely a step up. It was hot pastrami sandwiches on ...hamburger buns (I'm out of bread), and a fellow starving JO lifetime partner (although her relationship is Uncle Sam approved) brought over her sad can of lentil soup. So individually we resembled the bare scrapings of a food pantry, but golly...we're feasting like Kings.

At least we both have priorities in life. I had the wine. She brought dessert.

Tuesday, June 19

Uncle Sam is messing up my internal clock.

We're into our second calendar week of not having the guys home and I'm experiencing something I would call a folk lore'd occurrence. I hear horror stories of internal clocks getting screwed up, but I thought it was by people with too much on their mind or already plagued by sleep issues. It happens when you routinely go to bed at 9:27 each night (not a minute sooner or later) after giving a kiss to the boy who's still up doing whatever, if you have kids, they're in bed already, but life continues on when you wake the next morning rested and ready for the day.

Oh, goodbye boys.

Hello, insomnia.

What the heck? I don't have kids. I don't even have a dog to hang out with. How is my sleep getting screwed up just because half of the house left??? Oh, maybe that's it. Half of my house left. Half of my life. But on the upside, over half the food budget left. 

So now I'm plagued by the undesire for sleep in a timely manner. Where I was once ointmenting my bunions with foot creme at a reasonable hour now has me breaching Midnight watching Wonder Years on Netflix and the latest season of RHONYC (don't judge). Why? I have no idea. It's not like I'm cleaning....

Oh, wait, that might be it. Because last night I actually was cleaning (sit down people). The guys being gone means I'm more motivated to eat dinner with people than alone (I usually am a wretched homebody). And since people may be inclined to sign me up for counseling with the Chaps (Chaplain), I thought best to actually clean up the common areas of my home before people step foot within the confines of my little rearranged home.

I fear this weekend will include an insane drop in social schedule as I set off into a coma-like state for a Lindsey Lohan-like state of exhaustion. Bazinga.

Obviously this makes for an interesting morning as I shower, get dressed in clothes that aren't visible wrinlked (<--- see...tired) and smell decent, maybe put on foundation (really, I work in an office of mostly ladies - and in a very private sector - who cares if I look at my computer screen without the full Kardashian treatment?), and then enjoy cups of coffee and trail mix until the hours sweep past until it's lunch time or quitting time. Tick tock tick tock.

But then right when I should be scheduling to hunker down for some sleep, I get a reboost in energy.

And so those dishes get tackled, the vacuuming gets done, I take out the trash, recycle all the junk mail, check my email for the millionth time, schedule future dinners with other solo ladies in the squadron, and then finally crawl into bed much later than I should. Maybe I'm preparing myself for his arrival back home (but seriously, already? There's a long time to go) so I can hang out with him for more hours in the day. Yes, maybe that's it. Because it can't be the effort to clean. No, that bit just has to go.

Monday, June 18

The FAQs: How are we handling the reduction of our family?

Besides the physical losing of Sweet Pea, and the gathering of her things to put into the garage (for the moment), the hardest hit to our gut was the thought that our family of three...was now only two. And I hated that thought. While, yes, there are people who judge and criticize people that are 'merely dating' and jointly acquire a pet - that it's the worst decision you can ever make. When you break up, you can't just cut the animal in half. It's like a divorce - and someone needs custody. Well...when we break up, that's not an issue anymore, now is it?

This unexpected loss was literally the hardest thing we've ever had to do as a couple - and that's a lot considering our collection of years together. Mr. Wookie's theory was 'don't talk about it - just try and move on.' My approach was verbally reassuring us that we gave her the best home she could have ever had - even when I was in tears knowing that we couldn't have done any better.

What happened?

Sweet Pea passed away from old age - she was just much older than thought. And finding her was the saddest day of my life, there on the rug, looking just as adorable as when she was alive. Those floppy jowls. I can't help but look at her pictures and mentally squish her face.

Are you going to get another Bulldog?

Most likely never again. You can't replace the bumbling hilarity of Sweet Pea. She was not smart. But for a Bulldog, she was Einstein. She was the perfect built Bulldog - no hip issues, no breathing issues, no nothing. She had a double ear infection once, but I wrestled her for the daily drops. Her personality was the best. Yes, she was not dog friendly. But who cares. Minus the few dogs she snacked on (don't be a Maltese, mmmkay), she was a great companion of the house...despite her semi-annoying whining for attention. Hello.... I'M A RESCUE, GIMME SOME PITY ....mmmm... that's right...pat my head.

Are you going to get another dog then?

Yes, at some time we'll bring another canine into our home, but for right now...the timing just isn't right. Mr. Wookie is gone and we both don't feel it's right for a new canine to join the pack and not bond with the Resident Caveman. That and with a PCS on the horizon post-deployment, we'll have to judge our thoughts come that time about what type of dog we want and when we want it.

Someone pointed out the Rainbow Bridge poem about how pets  leave this world under perfect conditions (lest they be hit by a car, or something tragic), and for the owners to not grieve their exit - but to know that Sweet Pea left with a heart filled with love from us. She turned me from a staunch cat person into a holy shit, I'm a dog person now. Who knew?? Now I can't imagine not owning another dog. While I still talk to her box o' ashes and tell her we can never replace her, there will be a time where the stars will align and another dog is due their time in our house. And I can't wait. Some people are 'baby people' - we're definitely 'animal people.' That whole 'baby issue' is on a massive back burner, because the need just isn't there yet/at all.

We've had deep conversations about what we want next, what we don't want, and things that will never come up (the Corgi - Mr. Wookie hates them, so that breed is forever not considered *tears*). So for now, we'll continue to analyze the breeds that our friends have, think about the mutt-like combinations that occur from accidental breeding, and see where we move to next.

There was extreme worrying about my sanity level sans pooch during this summer's exercise.

Me: "Babe, I don't know if I can handle this by myself."
Mr.: "Don't be silly, you did fine in February." The boys were gone for just shy of a month.
Me: "I had Sweet Pea to hang out with."
Mr.: Silence.

So with a lot of thought, and the Rainbow Bridge poem in the back of my mind, I knew my heart is open to love again. We had further deep conversations about What if I adopt a cat mid-detachment? We'll give it a couple weeks to test out how it is being alone, would you be okay with that? I just don't want to not be okay being along? And a cat isn't the same commitment level as a dog - plus it's too soon to get another dog (I think). And a cat can't replace Sweet Pea. It would just be re-expanding our family to something that needs a home. It would be a companion and another heartbeat in the house. And he understood completely - to go from a house with someone to interact with to a house where the dog is in a cedar box were two different worlds.

But I'm a big proponent of Things will happen when they're supposed to. You don't have to be highly religious to understand this concept, but it's a nice way to buy off your own worries. Because going into an animal shelter and trying to choose a cat or dog just doesn't work - I'd rather let the animal choose me.

I'd love to expand our brood. Get a cat, maybe acquire a couple dogs with our next station. We have the turtles. All we're missing now is a couple penguins in the fridge and we're Ace Ventura. I love it. And I'm excited.

Sunday, June 17

For Father's Day, we skype. Then it breaks.

Thanks to the guy who gave up some chromosomes to make my siblings and I. Not to say we didn't cause grief and grey hairs in his younger years, but he did teach us a few things in life. Unfortunately being on time with gifts wasn't one that I soaked in (sorry!!). But he'll just join Mama Ging as gifts are still pending and I'd rather delivery in person than ship.

Little Man, as a wee lad in 2010

Like how good coffee is and that it won't stunk your growth. Seriously. We Oregonians start young with our love for all things drip, espresso, drive-thru, or sit down. Oh, and let's not forget the millions loans I've needed from my dad when I had to buy new tires (and pay day was a week away) - the Bank of Dad is always available with a flexible repayment schedule and the pension to hold the check for a week just to make sure I don't need that money in the interim. Thanks.

Now I'm going to lounge on the couch while I drink coffee out of my Vegas mug. Thanks for the Spring Breaks. Thanks for the rice puddings. Thanks for the vodka gifts (my dad, he knows me). Love you!

And to Mr. Wookie's Dad and Stepdad - he can't be here to wish you a great day also. So it's the Wookie & Co. PR team to the rescue! And when I say, 'team''s just me. Thanks for all the love and support you've given him and the welcoming I've experienced in all our time together.

Saturday, June 16

Lost in Los Padres National Forest

What does one do when their dog dies less than a month from 'boat time' and they don't want to be home at all? Well...during the week, it's pretty much 'suck it up,' shop to revamp the house and change the energy, enjoy wine, enjoy my handsome Mr. Wookie, then RUN FOR THE HILLS on the weekends.

We may have taken that last bit seriously. And as native Oregonians with a pension for nature, lesbian leg growth (me), throwing foliage (him), and the knowledge that Californians don't camp like we do...we set out to rough it for the weekend. As our second to last weekend together before USS Summa Summa Summa Time called Mr. Wookie's squadron aboard, we loaded up the trusty backpacks with Mountain House, gear, a change of socks, and a full bottle of wine (for myself).

Note to self. Pack a bladder of Franzia instead. It'll weigh less and last longer.

It's true. I killed a bottle by myself. Shocker. Right?

Oh, and what to mean about those Californians and their camping habits? It's called 'car camping.' And that's weak sauce. Anyone can roll in to a campground with their ugly ass Chevy Minivan, throw the soccer team of children out to 'collect kindling' (while you bought firewood from Vons), while you use your cigarette lighter to power the margarita blender (the one good thing).

Us crazy Oregonians pack everything you need into a ruffsack on your back and pound dirt for a couple hours until you find an unofficial rock ring and semi-flat land that'll host you for a bit.

Oh, sorry...did that sound douchey?

Okay, okay, I'm sorry. But you have to admit...(and if you've seen Portlandia), know where a different bunch of people. We'd rather hike, sweat, and pray for zero blisters in order to camp where the moon brightens the meadow at Midnight and you hear the trickling of the stream just 50 yards from your tent. It was glorious. And the perfect 'get up and outta the house' when you just don't want to be home.

I did learn a few lessons that weekend though.

I learned that Mr. Wookie is an amazing pack horse when needed. While I sufficiently carried everything I needed to survive, he did pack the "snug 2 person" tent. Please. Snug. We've slept in twin beds in dorm room twin beds. Like 2 people in that small as canoe of a sleeping arrangement. This might as well have been the Taj Majal of camping.

I also learned he prefers to hike in cotton shirts but technical shorts. (Scratching head).

Oh, and he thinks it's gross I didn't "shower" in the creek (i.e. splash water on my pits and change underwear). Umm...we're just going to be home soon, plus I'm not looking to pick up anyone on the ol' dusty trail. Besides my underwear are Exoficio - and they're badass. Please don't think I rock the granny panties of Exoficio. Please.

Second lesson: Get yourself a hammock. These things revolution the outdoor experience. Weighing less than a pound, it's a great way to get off the ground and lounge with a cocktail (or wine) in your campin' mug. 

Third lesson: You can rock BRAND NEW BOOTS and not get blisters. Shazam! I call it Mrs. Wookie's Instinctual Survival Guide to New Boots. What's the secret? I wore two layers of socks. So instead of the one layer creating friction with my skin, the two layers worked in tandem thus leaving me with zero hotspots.

And I know what you're thinking...Man, Mrs. do make a good lesbian.

I know. I've been told many a time over many a moon. Mr. Wookie even commented, "You go full lesbian when we go camping." Umm..yes..yes, I do. What would you prefer? Someone who asks where the outlet is for her hot rollers when camping? Or someone that'll actually take a dooce in nature.


I went there.

Fourth lesson: To avoid being lost with the scenery, wear Technicolor clothing.

Fifth lesson: Enjoy the boy that helps make your home what it is, because he's not going to be around for most of the summer. While I thought I would have a detrimental time at adjusting to him being gone, the 'goodbye' wasn't actually that bad. Maybe it helped that he started growing his 'boat 'stache' a few days early so I didn't mind saying goodbye to the caterpillar. He texted me from the plane before take-off and I wished my Tom Selleck-wannabe a great detachment and to send me a postcard from his one (and most likely 'working') port call. While this trip definitely isn't only "a few weeks," maybe it'll blow by like it was. Maybe.

Friday, June 1

time for a reboot. CRTL+ALT+DEL

I'd like to express the extreme gratitude we've received with our loss. Your kind words, thoughts, prayers, phone calls, texts, carrier pigeons, and flowers were greatly appreciated in helping us heal and move forward. We know Sweet Pea was loved beyond belief and had a great quality of life while with us. We only wish her unlimited Kong toys on the other side of the Bridge.

But seriously, could it hurt you people to care package some wine to me?  I mean, my dog just died. And you people are so stingy.

Sorry....trying to bring ol' Mrs. Wookie back. How 'm I doing?

I'm declaring a reboot on life today. June 1st will become my motivation, my chance to start 2012 over since it's been rather rough for my liking. I have the rest of my 28th year on this planet to enjoy and be prosperous.

First up: Nesting. No, there aren't any HCG levels rising, thank you. As Mr. Wookie has T-minus __ days until he literally flies off for the summer, I'm pampering and pimping out my home for the comforts I require to keep me from finding the razor blades and arteries. (I kid.) And since my social calendar has had the drool cleared from it, expected A LOT more blogging, bitches. (Slowly but surely I'll be back.) So I'll show off my semi-new digs...and my success in bargain shopping (why pay for Pier 1 when you can hit up ROSS like a champ??).

Secondly: EXERCISE YOU CHUMP! Riddle me this...what's more fun: Lounging on the couch with your adorable and snoring Bulldog watching Cheers OR running? Well if you look at my aerobic level, you know it wasn't the latter. So now it's time to clean off the ol' sports bras and get to moving! I need support (yes, in more ways than one - ha!), so I've decided to join the YMCA that all the other Knives go to (I'm banking on the safety in numbers routine). There's a perfectly timed 5:30 class schedule that will keep me social after work and sweaty with fitness. Yay, all that's missing is 9:30am park dates, minivans, and C-section scars and I'm a soccer mom. Oh joy...

Thirdly: Hobbies. With a Mr. Wookie on a boat, and a house without a pooch, I'm left to my own devices. I've already shockingly read 3 books in 7 days (so unlike me). I've worked on my cross-stitch that has been dusty for ages. And I'm about to Google "Star Wars puzzles." What's a better way to welcome back a Wookie than a Star Wars puzzle that's mounted in a frame on the wall?? Yes...girlfriend points right here. Ding, ding, ding.

So let's redo life right. Let's start now. Because there's only one way to go, and that's up. Or maybe I'll cheat and drink the soda from Wonka's factory. Either way, we're doing this.