Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Wow!  It's been almost two weeks since I last posted anything.  I wish I could say it was because life has been so full and exciting I just didn't have time.   Life has been kind of busy since our household goods were delivered and Don came home, but busy with kind of routine mundane things.  Boxes being unpacked, another little tropical storm, car problems- things better suited for Facebook status updates and not paragraphs long blog postings.

Things are good though.  We only have 2 boxes left to unpack, but still have curtains and pictures to hang and furniture to buy.  Oh yes, there is some pretty fabulous furniture for sale in Guam.  I already have my eye on a buffet/side board for the dining room and am on the lookout for some bookcases.  We went to a store, Monika's, on Saturday and I am in love!  We may not have Target, but I might be able to come to terms with that (at least I tell myself this) since I am happy to go to Monika's and peruse the treasures there.

We are slowly meeting more people and doing more things, which is nice- we have plans every weekend until the end of November.  I think back to a few weeks ago and think maybe I was being impatient or just feeling lost at sea or something...  anyway, it's nice to feel more settled and at home.

On a different topic altogether... have any of you been following the story of Jessica Watson?  She is a 16 year old who is sailing around the world all alone.  I have become quite enamored with her adventure, although I have mixed emotions about it.   As a parent, I can't imagine letting my child sail around the world in a small boat through some extremely rough waters and unimaginable conditions all by himself.  But on the other hand as a parent, I can't imagine myself telling my child that he can't pursue a dream of his.  I also can't imagine a 16 year old girl wanting to be alone, by herself, with no human contact for 8 long months.  But on the other hand, as a sixteen year old girl, I remember there were days when I wanted nothing more than a day or two at a time to not have contact with anyone- no parents, no school, no siblings to bother me.  I know I couldn't have undertaken such a feat as she is attempting.  I am a little bit in awe, inspired and intimidated by her, but I hope all goes well and that she has smooth sailing.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


For all my mopey prognosticating complaining about the recent transitions in my life, one might think that I have forgotten how much I have to be thankful for and also how much my life DOESN'T stink.  I haven't, but I really love it when I am reminded how good life is and can be.

Today, I woke up early to make sure the house was ready for the first set of movers to come and take away our Boonie furniture.  Although happy to see it go, it wasn't that awful- the bed was super uncomfortable, but compared to where Don has been sleeping for the past couple of weeks, I really couldn't complain.

They left and a few of the women who offered to help me with the second phase of the move showed up.  Unfortunately, the movers did not.  Since my moving buddies are all pros at this PCS thing, they had me start calling to track down the movers.  Uh-oh, turned out some paperwork was mishandled and no movers were scheduled.  As I sat on the phone with my mouth gaping in disbelief, and tears welling in my eyes-  I was told that they would have a crew with my stuff here by 5:00 (this was after I had to play the my Boonie furniture is gone, I have a baby and my husband is TDY card).  The lovely ladies all said they would come back whenever I needed them too, but they would have kids in tow.

I decided to embrace the lemons that I had been given and decided, well I could be down about this or I can have a party of the NON-pity variety.  So, I headed to the Class  6, bought adult beverages and sent out an email for anyone who wanted to spend the evening with boxes, beer and pizza.  The movers showed up earlier than expected, the ladies all came back, a few additional folks came too.  The kids played with Price, we laughed and chatted and had a nice time getting to know each other better and the ladies dove in just tore the boxes up- and in 8 hours from start to finish- my kitchen is unpacked and almost completely put away, Price's room is mostly unpacked, the living room is unpacked.  It's amazing!  Of course we had some extra motivation- Don will be home very soon.

Thanks isn't big enough for how I feel.  I am overwhelmed (in a good way) and blessed and full of gratitude.

PS- sorry that there aren't any pics- I really wanted to take some, but it didn't seem right for me to stop working and take pictures of everyone else working

Friday, October 16, 2009

Random Rambling

Earlier this evening, as I was cleaning my kitchen for about the fiftieth time today,  (To those of you who know me well, I am not exaggerating.  I really do clean my kitchen from top to bottom multiple times a day- often wishing that I were Jane Jetson with Rosie the Robot and a self-cleaning kitchen.  Most nights, I won't even allow my fanny to meet the couch until the kitchen is completely clean after dinner.  No, I am not a victim of an invasion of the body snatchers, I am -as all of us on Guam are- a victim of the sugar ant.  If I leave one little crumb out on a plate or on the counter or under Price's high chair, we are visited by teeny, tiny little ants.  Therefore, I have become slightly nutso about keeping the kitchen clean 98% of the time) I was thinking about my blog and who reads it.  I wondered if anyone from Guam, not just someone living here for a few years courtesy of  Uncle Sam, had read it and what they would think of it.  I was mainly concerned about item 17 on my Guam list.  I wondered if that item might offend someone from here, thinking that we sit around telling stories about how weird Guam is.  I really hope not, because that really isn't what I wanted to imply.  I just think that Guam is just a unique place and living here allows us to experience things we probably couldn't experience other places, and the stories that come out of the experiences are part of the fun of living here.

I just saw this video on another blog and it made me laugh.

This is about all I knew of Guam when we found out we were moving here, and I know that many of you who read this blog probably know this much (maybe, hopefully from this blog you've learmed a little more).  Anyway, I though it might be fun to answer any questions you might have about Guam.  So, if there's anything you want to know, leave a comment, I'll answer as many questions as I can in a future post.

Oh, and things keep getting better around here.  Tomorrow, household good delivered and there is also an expected delivery from Indonesia sometime in the next few days.  Keeping my fingers crossed that all the logistics of everything line up.  It will be so exciting to have my bed and my husband back in it (blush).

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Guam, the list part deaux

17.  You know how the places that are crazy and weird and so unlike anywhere you've ever been, make for a great story because of the odd things (sorry for the upcoming inside joke- but to my UNT girls who read this- think  Up With Women Weekend '99)?  Where part of the fun of the experience is just telling stories about the crazy, weird things that you observed?  Well, this is Guam.  People enjoy telling stories about their Guam times and somehow it adds to the charm of this place.
18.  My neighborhood turns pink at sunset.  I can't get it in pictures, but it is one of the most magical things to witness.
19.  Rainbows abound in skies filled with fluffy clouds.
20.  Flies certainly may overtake my house.  I had a fly strip on my kitchen window.  i had to throw it out because of the magnitude of withering flies was disgusting.  6 died on it in a period of 2 hours.
21.  People (including my husband) wear Hawaiian shirts without any form of irony.
22.  It does not feel like fall.
23.  Tropical Storm watches are becoming a weekly occurrence.
24.  We get 12 hours of sunlight every day, so no excuses for getting the winter mopeys.
25.  Toting sandbags in one's car can apparently ruin brakes.
26.  A favorite mode of transportation (for the locals) is riding in the back of pick up trucks.  It's almost like a sport to see how many people can fit.
27.  Dodging pot holes is a great past time.
28.  Cock fighting is legal.
29.  I still haven't been snorkeling :(
30.  The chirping that we heard upon moving into the house was actually a lizard.
31.  We don't have mice, we have shrews. Shrew = ewww.
32.  I had to have the coconuts from our palm trees harvested so they wouldn't smash my car when falling off the tree.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I've Got a Peaceful, Easy Feeling

Don and I have a joke that every time he leaves for an extended period of time (which has happened once a year for the past three years- thanks Uncle Sam) he comes home to new friends and a full social calendar.  I guess when he's gone I can't use him as a crutch or maybe I look pitiful so people talk to me more, but I do tend to put myself out there more when he's gone.  

And although I'm not sure I've made any friends, I have spoken and socialized with ADULTS three times in the past 5 days.  Everyone said it would take time, and just to be patient, and it's finally happening!  

Sunday, as Price and I were heading out on our nightly walk, a neighbor invited us over for a movie and bbq.  I also saw one of my neighbor's mowing her grass and knew her husband was in Indonesia with Don, so I introduced myself to her.  We had a nice chat and then went over to the other neighbors' house and met them and some other neighbors.  It was an unexpected, much needed, way to start the week.

Yesterday, I found out we are FINALLY getting our household goods on Friday!!!  I can't wait.  We have not slept in our own bed in 60+ days.  I know Don will probably be even more excited than I am because he will have spent a fair amount of time sleeping on a cot in a tent and he'll be coming home to his own bed.  

Last night, I went to my first spouse's get together.  It was a lot of fun, and I met more people- many who live really close by.  Price went too and he was so good.  But the best thing about last night, and really the past week or so, is I do feel like I am starting to come into my own.  I am settling in and settling down.  As I have written before, I know people have done this before me, but I didn't realize how many of them would want to help me because someone had helped them.  There truly is a sense of community here that I always wanted to feel at our last base and never did.  Don's group here is awesome!  They invite me to office get togethers, they call to check on me and they offer to do things like mow my grass and babysit.  And then there is the sisterhood (my apologies to the men of this clan for lumping you into a sisterhood) of the military spouse.  Women who just met me and CAN imagine having to do this end of the move by myself with a baby in a "foreign" country (because they've probably had a similar experience) and want to help.

I have just been walking around for the past few days feeling like someone has thrown their arms around me and given me a hug.  I know that this is God answering prayers (mine, my family's, some of my friends').

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Just Another Day

When you don't work and your husband isn't home, days start to blend together (the crazy TV schedule here doesn't help either- since today's Today show was actually yesterday's and all the primetime shows come on a day later here- it messes with your mind).  Basically, the fact that it's the weekend doesn't mean a ton to me right now.

However, in an effort to stay in touch with the rest of the general population, which does recognize a weekend (especially a long one) I tried to make today feel like a weekend day.  I'm not sure how successful I was, but the day did seem to go by fairly quickly which was nice.

One of the great things about not having our household goods here is we have a lot of empty space, and much of that space is tiled.  I decided an empty, tiled dining room would be a great place to have splash time.  I filled up one of my big pots with water and threw in several other vessels for Price to splash and play with.  The first thing he did was pour a whole loaf pan full of water on the floor- but no worries, that was the point.  We had fun playing in the water, it was a great time killer before lunch!

Hmm... what can I do with this?

Oh, I can pour water on the floor and not get in trouble!

Or maybe I can wear it as a hat.

and show off my muscles.

Look- no hands!!  Show off.

It's impossible not to have fun playing with this precious baby.

Late this afternoon, I decided we should go to the beach and have dinner at the beach club.  We packed up and headed to the beach.  On the way down to the beach, I realized I had made a mistake!  My car has been making some weird noises lately.  I think the sandbags from last week's tropical storm prep did something to my shocks and every time I slow down  or come to a stop, there is noise that almost sounds like metal grinding.  I've listened to enough Car Talk  to self-diagnose a brake pad issue.  It's so bad that I have an appointment at the car shop next week and I also don't feel comfortable driving off base (well there's the brakes and also the fact that I need to get a Guam license, but I have bad brakes, so I don't want to drive off base, and I need to get a driver's license- it's a circle you see- soon there will be butter).  So what in the world possessed me to think I should drive down a mountain on a windy road with a baby in the back seat of a car with bad brakes?  I swear, for a reasonably intelligent woman who actually has common sense most of the time, I can be pretty dumb.  I have always been the passenger on the drive to the beach and I guess I was so busy looking out the window, I never truly realized what the road was actually like.  I went really slow and prayed really hard that we would make it, and we did, we were fine.  But I was so shaken by the thought that I was driving down a mountain with faulty brakes, I just drove around the parking lot, noticed that Price was asleep and that the beach club probably isn't the place for a "single" woman with a baby on a Saturday evening and headed straight back up the mountain.  I also figured it made sense to head back up while it was still light out and hopefully avoid having any jungle animals run out in front of the car causing me to slam on the brakes.  We made it home safe and sound, but I am definitely going to limit our time in the car until I get everything checked.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

I Love a Good Day

Today was so nice...

It started off a little wonky.  I had a hard time sleeping (even though I'm tired, I have a hard time going to bed when Don isn't home).  I think I finally hit the hay around 1:30 this morning.  Price woke up around 4:22.  I let him cry it out and he fell back asleep, but only until 5:30.  So, we got a head start on our day.  I was soooo dragging this morning, I was craving coffee and cursing our lack of coffee and coffee maker (I don't usually drink coffee at home, so I haven't missed it until today).  But, I just rubbed the sleepies out of my eyes and got to the business of the day.

Don's element threw a baby shower today and I rsvp'd that Price and I would attend before we knew Don wouldn't be there, but I am glad I had and that we went anyway.  It was nice to get out of the house and talk to adults and have a little help with Price.  He enjoyed flirting with people besides me and he got to play with a cute baby girl.  I really like the people Don works with, I think we are going to enjoy getting to know them better.  The best part is how welcome they make me feel (they even sent me home with coffee and a coffee maker).

I also got a call from the shipment office that leads me to believe our household goods ARE HERE!!!!  I am so excited!  I know it'll probably be late next week before we get them, but just knowing that I could be sleeping in my very own bed and have all of my stuff any day will give me something to look forward to in the short term, and definitely something that will keep me occupied while Don is gone.   I am seriously considering painting, so I may make that a project for the weekend.

But the best thing that happened is DON CALLED!!!!  I was soooo happy to hear his voice.  He sounded good.  He says that the first 2 days were rough, and he hasn't showered since he left (and Don is a man who likes to shower), but now they are set up and even sleeping in tents with a/c.  We didn't get to talk long, but it was long enough for me to hear his voice and know he's ok.

I am a happy girl!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

As Yet Untitled

Don is away.  Most of you already know this, but for those of you who don't, Price and I are currently hanging out in Guam, alone for an untold number of days.  Don is off doing his job, helping the victims of the earthquake in Indonesia.  I am really proud of him.  This is what he signed up to do, I know he is doing a great job.  I hate that he's gone, I hate that he isn't getting to spend his birthday with us for the second year in a row, but more than anything I am proud of him.  The whole time we were in Ohio, Don and I talked about how we hoped the next assignment was at a more traditional base, where we could experience "the real Air Force."  We are definitely getting what we wished for!

I am once again wearing my big girl panties and holding down the bunker while he is away.  Although, as my mom joked, I think the elastic is starting to wear thin- and I may need a new pair soon.  Things are going ok, we avoided being hit by two separate typhoons in one week.... what more can a girl ask for?


Since Don's been gone, I have come to (once again) really appreciate what single parents go through.  Price is a wonderful child, but my goodness!  I am so happy when I put him to  bed at night- just so I can take a breath and have some me time.  I also have discovered how McDonald's stays in business.  Last night (and again tonight if I'm being honest), I didn't know what to fix for dinner, was completely unmotivated and had it been just me, would have skipped dinner or had cereal.  I stood in front of the pantry and then the refrigerator and then the pantry and then the refrigerator  for 30 minutes thinking that maybe something new and inspiring and quick and easy to fix would have magically appeared, but alas nothing! (By the way, trying to wish ingredients into existence while fending off fridge/freezer diving kiddo is a good aerobic exercise- you should try it some time).   I wondered: Couldn't I just give him 2 bottles instead of one before bed?  Would I go to hell if I just threw him in the car and went and got a Happy Meal (I also understand the name now, it's not because the kids who eat them are happy, it's because the mother who gets out of making dinner is happy to have that and a screaming, tired child off her back happy)?  Couldn't he just eat some Cheerios and call it a night?  But no, I didn't trip over the line and settled on Velveeta Shells and Cheese with chicken and veggies mixed in (so much for my "From Scratch Project,"  that's shelved until Don comes back).  Simple enough, boil some water, add some stuff.  Apparently, I am either stronger than I think or they have started making the macaroni bags out of easy open plastic (I'll pick stronger since I am in Being a Military Wife is My Super Power mode these days), because when I went to open the bag it tore and the shells flew all over the floor.  Of course, my little helper stopped rearranging the pantry long enough to help me get the shells off the floor.  He did this by popping uncooked pasta shells into his mouth.  So there we are, Price and I crawling across the kitchen floor scooping up shells while I am simultaneously laughing and crying.  Oh the hilarity that is my life!

Pre-macaroni spillage.  Everything that is on the floor(except the Diet Coke) used to be on a shelf, until P-Man rearranged.

Don being gone has also turned up my internal pressure to get out and meet people.  I was so desperate yesterday, that had Price and I not been doing our best white trash impersonations been dressed in more than a diaper and dirty t-shirt holding a sippy cup (Price) and an inappropriately low cut t-shirt and grungy sweat pants (me), we would have walked across the street and introduced ourselves to a woman playing with her two dogs and son who looked close to Price's age.   But, I didn't want our appearance to be our first impression so we just stayed on the patio and watched the Thunderbirds practice their manuever's for today's airshow.  That was a neat treat- 3 days this week, the Thunderbirds have been practicing or performing right over our house.   We didn't make it to the airshow today because Price decided (THANK GOD) to take a long nap.  We did however, finally, make it to story time at the library.  It was not what I would call a success.    I was hoping there would be lots of other moms with lots of kids Price's age to meet.  Not so much.  Price is still too young for this story time.  Oh well, there's always the stroller strut class and the personal ad I'm planning on taking out in the base paper.

And we have a new pet!  We officially have a lizard living with us. He's cute, he's small and I hope he stays up in the a/c vent where I saw him.  I thought we had lucked out and gotten a lizard free house- I was wrong (I should have known better after all the carcasses we cleaned up when me moved in).  Oh well, I'm sure he's helping keep the insect population down.

Friday, October 2, 2009

A Wobble Here, A Pause There...

Well, for the second time in three days we are under a tropical storm warning.  Unlike the last time, it looks like we are actually going to feel some effects of this storm, the mighty Melor.  We have heard conflicting reports of what's going on- NWS says it is going to continue tracking to the northwest, but another source says it stalled and may be tracking more west- towards us.  I wonder why in such a large, vast open ocean this big ol storm has to knock on any of our doors?  Very selfishly, I am hoping that the NWS is correct (my discussion writers say all the forecast models agree that is what will happen) and head north to less populated islands.

It's funny, I always wondered what people who lived on islands did when a storm came their way since you can't really evacuate when you're surrounded by water...  I guess we'll find out.  My Tropcial Storm Hoarding disease started to rear its ugly head tonight when I found out the Commissary might be closed tomorrow, but Don talked me down from the rafters.  I still have 8 half gallons of milk and am freezing water like a mad woman and just praying that all goes well....  I'll keep you posted!

From Scratch

I love to cook.  I love beautifully photographed and wonderfully written blogs like the Smitten Kitchen and Pioneer Woman Cooks. Maybe one day when my blog and I grow up, we'll be as awesome as sites like these (a girl can dream can't she?)....  In the meantime, you get this latest post.

I do not, have not, nor will I ever claim to be a nut of the health variety (although, I have recently reacquainted myself with the inside of the gym), yet as a mom I have become a bit more in tune to what is in the food we buy.  I am really careful about what Price eats (ok, maybe not thhhaaattt careful- I let the kid eat cheeseburgers anytime we go out to eat because I am sick of packing his meal think he's old enough to eat off the menu sometimes).  I was really careful (almost to the point of being obnoxious) as I introduced solids to his diet.  But, so far (knock on wood) he hasn't really shown any sensitivity to anything, and he likes to eat.  These days, he's really into meat- but that's another topic.  Once we moved in to our house, I bit the bullet and started letting him eat what we eat, rather than making him a separate meal.  He's done really well and has packed on some much needed poundage.  Knowing that he's eating what we're eating has made me more sensitive to what I am cooking.  I am not talking about fat content or counting calories, but looking at ingredients in the food.

When reading food labels, one should really have a dictionary.  I don't know what most of the multi-syllable words are, but I know they are preservatives or additives or dyes or corn syrup.  And I don't know how I feel about all of these things going into my child's body.  I know that foods with a lot of preservatives are usually easier to fix, but they also usually have a lot of sodium.  I know many people think organic food is a crock, but at least you know (or at least you think you know) what's in it.  Unfortunately, in Guam organic isn't really an option.  So, I've decided to try and make much of our food from scratch.  I won't do everything from scratch (because I do hope to have a life at some point), but I just think if I can make 1 meal a week with foods that aren't overly processed I'll be doing a good thing.  So, tonight I started my project.

My mom sent me a new Pampered Chef baking stone for Don's birthday (long story, not to be divulged here) that I've been dying to use, so I thought I would make a pizza.  At first I was going to buy a pizza crust at the store and just add my own toppings, but after reading the ingredient list, I decided that this would be the "from scratch" kick off meal.

I found a recipe for pizza dough on  Gathered all my ingredients (for the crust and toppings) and was off.

Ok, so I forgot to take a picture of ALL the ingredients- basically my plan was to make a BBQ chicken pizza with black beans, pineapple, cilantro, mozzarella cheese and diced tomatoes.

Once I gathered all of the ingredients, I realized/remembered that I didn't send any measuring devices in our unaccompanied baggage (Note to self- pillows, measuring cups and spoons should be sent ahead!).  So, I improvised- I used baby products that, thankfully, had the capacity on the bottom.  And I used a bottle liner to measure liquid.  I can be pretty thrifty when I need to.

The pizza recipe I used did call for yeast, which I had on hand, but only called for the dough to sit for 5-10 minutes rather than waiting for it to rise.  The recipe also only called for 6 ingredients compared to the 8 million listed on the packaged crust.

After I made the dough, I put it in the oven to cook for 5 minutes and got the toppings ready:  chopped the pre-cooked chicken, rinsed the black beans, opened the pineapples...

Pre-cheese, and I forgot to add the bbq sauce- oops!

Cheese=yumminess, I could eat cheese all day, every day.

All done! It turned out really well.  The crust could have used a little more salt and sugar (but I didn't have measuring spoons, so for winging it, I think it turned out well). And the overall taste of the pizza would have been better if I had added the BBQ sauce before baking, but it worked out ok, because it was the most processed of all the ingredients, so I was ok that Price didn't get any sauce.  The main thing was, both the boys liked it.  It was inexpensive and only took about 30 minutes from start to finish.  Now that I know how easy the crust is to make, I'll be experimenting with toppings.
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