Monday, August 25

Meow Monday: The latest in fashion.

"There's a fine line between genius and insanity. And I have erased this line." -Oscar Levant

It was a poopy day in the mental neighborhood last week when I forced myself into Target (a "level 3" in the ghetto to Stepford spectrum) and strolled around for anything that looked do-able in my cart. This cardigan was the bee's knees. And I also picked up a stylish mid-thigh trench for this season called "fall." I haven't heard of this season before. Is there a refresher course for it?

Saturday, August 23

The grass at the end of the tunnel.

"The grass is greener where you water it." -unknown

It's been over 10 days since the backyard went from a carefully orchestrated design of "This will be the grass," "Here's the turtles," "Brick pathway here," "You can plant things here," and "We'll figure out the Italian wedding lights later" into holyshitwe'rereadyforseed.

Now in this horrible Commonwealth with all four seasons, they don't believe in providing sod at any given time. No. You have to order it from sod farms, meet minimums, pay for delivery, and then WAIT until they harvest. Umm...what ever happened to 'the customer is always right?' I want sod, and I WANT IT NOW.

So after Mr. Wookie emailed the shocking, "It'll be over $500 for sod, (for 200sqft)" we agreed unanimously - grass seed it is, BITCHES.

Grass seed is totally the 'poor person' thing to do with the backyard. After living in California for almost 4 years, where sod is sold in literally all home improvement stores, we're very much spoiled. You could get liquor with your groceries, and sod with your power tools. Listen Virginia, you have a ways to go. In California you pay large amounts of money to live on the beach (thanks Uncle Sam), but you pay ZILCH for sod. And now I have to wait for my grass to come in like hairplugs on John Travolta. Patience really is a virtue that I didn't receive in my genetics.

So here's our baby blades in all their glory. It's been 10 days since their initial layer, and we've only fought one major rainstorm that slurried off a quarter of our coverage (thus the super sparseness). But now the damn leaves are falling. Virginia needs to get with the program. We're used to perpetual sunshine and don't believe in seasons (despite this article here). I just want to be able to mount my damn hammock on my tree and sway in the gentle breeze on a Saturday afternoon. I want sun tea a-brewin', Mr. Wookie in his shop tinkering with the latest "I'm a man with powertools" project, and Little Girl (in 8 days!) basking in her latest kill of choice. Oh wait, nope not in Kansas California anymore.

Tuesday, August 19

Oh, the Virginia storms

"The best thing one can do when it's raining is to let it rain." - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Mr. Wookie saw this rainstorm coming before it ever hit our house. I just sat in my office working until the world grew dark, the wind whipped the trees, and then the rain threw itself down the house...washing the new grass seed from the back yard (so close, but still so far from having a lawn). And now we're at 100% humidity this morning and the clouds still lingering, like a blanket fort without circulation. So I hunker inside until I have to leave at 5:10pm for my Tuesday night yoga class. California would never treat us like this. How rude, Virginia, how rude. 

Monday, August 18

Meow Monday

"What I love most about my home is who I share it with." -unknown

It's slowly ticking down the days until the house becomes a bit closer to a "home." We say we're still 'balls deep' into making this place 100%, but we'll settle for 90% until we need to start serious renovations. We're launching into a solid schedule of house guests starting with Baby Sister (and her transitting of la gatita), then our fabulous college friends, my parents, his parents, and probably more.

I hope she doesn't hate this place too much. Yes, it rains...but there are squirrels to chase, birds to eat, and an outdoor turtle pond to Meerkat from the corner while the strange reptilian children swim about for food. And let's not forget the plan for 2014: my (puppy) ovaries are bursting.

Friday, August 15

The great ol' pajama commute.

“A mind troubled by doubt cannot focus on the course to victory.” -Arthur Golden

In my 100 days in Norfolk, I've had 100 days minus all weekends to adjust to what's known as the great "pajama commute." My day typically starts with the Jack Johnson alarm clock crooning in my ear. Of course I hit snooze a million few times because I like the indulgence of a warm bed and cozy sheets before I drag ass downstairs for the IV of Oregonian Happiness (coffee). There are times where I bound up instead and make the cups o' joe for Mr. Wookie and I; he's gracious in his 'thank you' as I plop the cup on his nightstand. Other times, he's the body who traipses downstairs for the coffee duty. Most mornings, we lounge in bed with coffee, discussing each other's schedules, time frames for him coming home, my schedule for the day (work, yoga, new Knives Group meetings, etc.), and hankerings for dinner.

Of course, I complain that "I have to go to work." It makes me feel like I still matter to the work force. Though sometimes I forget what it's like to be an applicable member of my office. I come in 3 hours ahead of California and have no contact with coworkers until 11am EST. Then it's full-force busy as I make things happen remotely to my customers, vendors, and team. And the worst part: 4pm EST is my I.WANT.TO.STAB.SOMEONE. time frame because everyone is back from lunch in California and they need everything done before I'm gone for the day. It's like a sample sale at Kleinfeld's. Watch out.

But who am I to complain? I have the incredibly lucky position to be able to work from home, in my pajamas, with my customers and contacts, while earning $__,000/year + commission. My 'complaints' are no different than anyone working in a conventional office. I just happen to get the perk of lunchtime laundry, meal planning, crockpot prep for dinner, and nahnahnahnah nahnahnahnah Batman HAMMOCK TIME!

Thursdays are turning into my favorite for multiple reasons though. 

a.) IT'S ALMOST THE END OF THE WORK WEEK. I love weekends just like the next working gal.

b.) There's an amazing, West Coast-born yoga instructor who kicks.ass.and.takes.names.

c.) I get excited for DATE NIGHT in the 757. There are sooo many great eateries in our douche-y little neighborhood and there's never a dull moment of bad food, poor drinks, shoddy people watching, a few homeless making their way from one ghetto to the other ghetto, and the sometimes run-in's with his new squadronmates.

So here's to showering every couple days and the debate to purchase more pajamas. Life is rough.

Monday, August 11

Meow Monday: Where is Mittens?

Other things may change us, but we start and end with the family. ~Anthony Brandt

It was a mopey day when Mittens, aka "Little Girl," was forced into the cage and onto a roadtrip of many hours to the Great State of Oregon. In our decision to live bi-coastally until Wookie & Co. Remote Office was up and running, and knowing we didn't have an 'end date,' we knew I couldn't keep her in California when I was couch-hopping like a homeless person; and Mr. Wookie couldn't make the drive/pit-stops for skiing with her in tow. It wasn't fair to shove her into a hotel room for 12 hours while he was skiing with friends. So Baby Sister was a SAINT and offered foster love for this furbaby. Who knows? Maybe this would spur her to want her own furbaby to love?

Poor thing. She's been a little 'what the f**k?' in terms of her location. She's sniffed out every nook and cranny of her new-to-her-but-temporary digs. She's been on plenty of cartrips between other houses for when Baby Sister needed to be away (Middle Sister + Husband watched a few times, and my parents watched a bit too). And while there's only been a few Skype sessions with both of them (Baby Sister and cat), we're FINALLY nearing the end of her displacement!

In a few short weeks, Norfolk will welcome the resident feline into the Wookie & Co. house. This future 'big sister' will have a solid 6 months (at least) before introducing the next four-legged furchild into the house, so she's gotta figure out her beans before learning where the high perchs are so she can stalk the flatulating new member from afar.

Thankfully it seems she assimilated well for the short 6 months she's been living with 'Auntie' Baby Sister. She's proved an excellent mouse-r in the semi-country living in Oregon. She's splayed her goodies onto the sidewalk to anyone walking by...'Wanna pet me, big fella?' And she's had a few meal choice changes. So in these last few weeks of solitude, I'll need to pick up the pace though. She's got neither meal dishes nor pooping box since we've arrived on the Other Coast. So we'll hook her up. And a mad ton of tuna fish. Bitch, be spoiled.

Thursday, August 7

Work, Covergirl

"If we could make our house a home, and then make it a sanctuary, I think we could truly find paradise on Earth." -Alexandra Stoddard

This backyard has gone through quite the transformation. At first it was a pile of rocks, pieced together in despair and lack of creativity by a S(urface)W(arfare)O(fficer) family with too many kids for the space. So layer by layer the pea gravel, rocks, and dirt have been excavated for the aerial drawings of peace and serenity. The weather has been a little lackluster here for progress the past few weeks, but the mud seems to be drying out (our luck, storms will hit tomorrow). But the modified basketweave of brick patchway is being laid by the best gorilla-slash-naval aviator-slash-Mexican gardener and mason. Don't worry - you'll get invited to the party. It'll be soon.

Tuesday, August 5

Mrs. Wookie's Work v Life Balance

Ever since I unloaded my two bags into this foreign 1,800 square foot home, I've stared at the little projects that have surpassed his level of caring (i.e. the bedroom wall colors weren't on a compatible Pantone color level and it. drove. me. nuts.). So on an early Sunday morning, I pushed the furniture into the center of the room and put on Beyonce for my tunes. He was annoyed I sacrificed a pair of his boxers, but I made him coffee that morning so we were all okay. Plus the contact high that lingered with the heavy VOCs in the air suppressed his lack of enthusiasm for the "Ocean Breeze" on the walls.

It's been like that for most of this move-in process. He conquered the major projects like fresh white paint on the doors, frames, baseboards, and ever other surface that was covered in "almond" like it was 1988. He set up each of the rooms with solid faux-mosexual effort. And stocked the wine bar for my arrival and I love him for that. I showed up to a damn-near perfect house. And I started to feel guilty that I just skimmed through this move. I sat my ass in California for a happy 6 weeks while he tortured through a full unpack. So naturally I had to make up projects that NEEDED TO GET DONE. We need to paint the walls, we need a new rug in the guest room, we need to freshen up the paint on ______, we need to rearrange those pictures (these requests really drive him nuts).

But finally those projects are coming to a close and I can focus back on work. Because working from home is very difficult. I have to wake up and walk 20 feet to work. My commute is torturous. There may be flight boots in my path.

Monday, August 4

My first 100 days: Norfolk, VA [Part Duex]

“And the danger is that in this move toward new horizons and far directions, that I may lose what I have now, and not find anything except loneliness.” -Sylvia Plath

April 26th. Dulles connection. Redeye: LAX To ORF. Sad.

For some reason I always feel like the first 100 days into a new station will make or break your new situation. I was highly gun-shy in California since I was in very uncharted territory when it came to EVERYTHING. He was new to the squadron, and we were new to fleet life. This was the first introduction to the "Wives Group," and they were anything but understanding why we weren't married after like 56 days of knowing each other. Mix those welcomes with a terrible economy...I hated life. OH, and our condo we were renting sprung a MAJOR leak of sewage which forced carpets to be ripped up and later developed mold in the walls (so awesome).

So things have been interesting in my change back to the 757.

I've wanted to stall this move as long as I could. I didn't want to leave the life I built. I didn't want to leave the amazing friendships that developed over the years and distances of Uncle Sam's work-up, delayed deployment, work-ups again, and then (finally) deployment. I fought hard for the "Wives Group" to accept most girlfriends (there was one who faked a pregnancy for I kicked her to the curb). I fought hard for the timeline on my career. And I fought hard to go to Target for just sunscreen so my Ginger skin didn't fry like a pork rind in the South.

But now I'm here. In Virginia. And it feels like California never happened. Like it was all a dream.