Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Settling In 2011

Well I am getting worse about writing. Not like there isn't anything to blog about. Being a Military Spouse and all the things that have gone on this year, there is plenty to write about.

The Military has taken us onto our next adventure. We are back on the east coast and back in Virginia. We had a great month of October visiting family during our move. It was much needed time to spend with our family.

My siblings and parents are doing well. It is never a dull moment at my parents house. It took us 2.5 days to make it to my parents. We weren't in a rush to get to their house this time so that was a nice change.

Our next stop was here in Northern Virginia. It took us two days to get here from my parents.

The couple of days we were in Northern Virginia to house hunt we did stay in a hotel with a kitchen in the suite. It was great. I was able to feed us for the week on about $20. Yes I know that doesn't make sense or add up but breakfast was provided by the hotel in the morning and then three nights during the week the hotel actually provided supper. Did I mention we really enjoyed our stay in the hotel?!

From there we stayed in Boston for a couple of days. My grandmother had  a triple bypass and heart valve replacement. I needed to make sure she was doing ok. Back in March Papa had passed away and I feel a little more protective or maybe it is just a little more worried about her.

From Boston to Vermont for two weeks. We were able to spend some time with Nathan's brothers, parents, and my sister.

After two weeks it was time to head back to Virginia to prepare for Nathan to go back to work. We stayed in the same hotel as we did during our house hunting trip. We still had another couple of weeks before we could move into the house.

It has taken me about a week to get us unpacked and some of the house cleaned. I still have more cleaning that I need to get done but a little break is needed as it is nearly Thanksgiving.

We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Best laid plans

As we passed the Monterey county fairgrounds a few weeks ago I saw on their LED sign that a Steely Dan tribute band was playing at the fair. Steely Dan being the band that performed the song "Rikki don't lose that number" which is the source of my wonderful wife's name. She's had that song as her cellphone ring tone ever since we learned to hack into our first cellphones. I looked up the band Aja Vu and shot them an email via their contact page to their manager. I really wasn't expecting a reply but I asked if they could dedicate their most famous song to my wife. A few days later I get an email from Ron, the lead guitarist, who would be more than happy to dedicate it. He was even nice enough to let me know which showing and in what order the song would be. As the fair approached Rikki of course wanted to go on the "free military" day which was not the day they were playing. It was pretty easy to work around that and instead convince her to power wash the house that day because of the good weather. But, I wasn't sure how I'd convince her to go on Monday for the 3:30 show (song #4). Monday turned out to be really nice so I convinced her to head to the fair around 2:00. We walked the entire fair passed infront of the stage as Aja Vu played their first song but after their introduction so Rikki would not know who they were. I could tell Rikki recognized it was a Steely Dan song but I wanted to wait a bit longer before sitting down so she wouldn't be sure. We made one more loop before sitting down right before song 4. I had timed it perfectly, Rikki didn't suspect a thing as they started to play the song and... Ron forgot to dedicate it to her. We stayed around for a little while and I was hoping he would remember but we had to get home by 6 so we left before they finished their set. That night I received an apology email from Ron and I politely replied back "it happens" and it was the "thought that counts." He said he did try to find us after the set and apologize. I did tell Rikki it wasn't just coincidence that we sat down right when her song was about to play. It just goes to show "the best laid schemes of mice and men go often askew," (Robert Burns)

UPDATE: Ron emailed us and offered to put us on his guest list for one of their next shows in Oakland or Santa Cruz. Unfortunately, we can't make either, but it was a generous offer.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

2 Others Have Passed - RIP

This has been a horrible year! Two other people I know have passed away this year.

Carol E. Stephens of Northfield, VT passed away on July 30th. Prof. Stephens was a faculty instructor at Norwich University.

Brian R. Bill of Stamford, CT passes away on August 6th. Navy SEAL Petty Officer Brian was a classmate from Norwich University.

Prof. Stephens is the second to have passed from cancer or complications from cancer.

I really don't like the "C" word. It impacts more families than it should.

RIP Prof. Stephens and Navy SEAL Brian Bill

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

3 Months

It has taken me a while to write this because of the catch up work I have been trying to get done from my trip but I did want to post about it.

I had a very interesting May. I left home on May 11th and didn't return until later in the evening of June 4th. I went to Kansas to visit my siblings and parents. One of my brothers was graduating from High School. It was cold in Kansas again. I say that because last May it was freezing for the big double college graduation and parents surprise 50th. I was actually happy this time I brought my warmer suede jacket.

From Kansas I headed to Boston for a one night wait until Nathan arrived from California. That weekend was spent in Vermont in celebration of my BIL's (Brother-in-law) wedding. It was a beautiful ceremony but a little buggy.

Then a trip back to Boston until the end of the month. I was home to try to help Nana and to finish the grieving process. I tried to help her in any way that I could. We did some clutter cleaning, went through bills, sorted through some of Papa's stuff and tried to get out or run some errands every day.

Can I just saying taking time to go through the putting someone to rest/grieving process is very hard. Maybe I should be more clear. As a military spouse being far away from home is the pits when you loose a close family member. I had to deal with getting used to the horrible "c" word, deal with the rapid growth and deterioration of a loved one because of the "c" word, and then finally being able to visit their grave; that is the pits. It took me nearly three months to do all of that. Can you believe that?! The worse part is I really don't feel like I 100% came to reality on the "c" word.

I remember the last time I saw my Papa. He didn't look sick. He didn't seem sick to me. I think this is horrible but I question how long he had the "c" word and I/we never knew. It just isn't right. Was the "c" word growing inside him the last time I saw him? Could it have been caught then? Would he have been given a chance with radiation/chemo therapy?

I even did research on alternate forms of treatment for the "c" word. I would have maybe even have liked for him to have that option over radiation/chemo therapy. Here are several links. Note a majority of the links I am posting are on LiveStrong.com.
  1. http://www.livestrong.com/article/268700-vitamin-c-treatment-for-skin-cancer/

  2. http://www.livestrong.com/article/431926-why-is-vitamin-c-important/

  3. http://www.livestrong.com/article/304705-zinc-vs-vitamin-c/

  4. http://www.livestrong.com/article/437166-vitamin-c-hypercholesterolemia/

  5. http://www.orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v03n12.shtml

  6. http://www.cancertutor.com/Cancer02/VitaminC.html

Okay I realize that some of these links are in reference to Vitamin C for the skin "c" word but I still think that there is something there.

Nathan was able to bring home some of Papa's stuff that would fit him. I brought home some of Papa's notebooks due to family history information and he had some drawings for the silly wood carvings he used to make. I brought home some of the things that I also had sent to him before he passed. They were things I was hoping would help him or that he could enjoy while he was recovering.

I did break down and cry on Nana when I found the notebooks. I was happy to find some family history I know he had been working hard on and to just see it in his writing. It made it a little bit hard.

All in all in was a good trip all the way around. It was a little sad, yes but it was needed.

RIP Papa and Thank You to all those that took care of me while I was traveling!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

7 Weeks &/or Nearly 3 Weeks

7 weeks ago now Papa passed away. It has been a struggle. Part of me is holding out hope that Papa will be there when I arrive in Boston on the 22nd. Another part of me is trying to prepare for the fact that I am just not going to see. I then proceed to tell myself that I need to get over the fact that the last time that I saw him was 2 years ago. That hurts! It all hurts!! It is horrible that I have to mentally "talk" myself into reality.

If that was hectic enough my other grandfather (my dad's father) passed away almost three weeks ago. I feel guilty because I didn't know him. My other siblings knew him or had an opportunity to get to know him. It is horrible watching your family suffer and not know what to do.

To go through 2 deaths in the family, within 30 days, both passing very suddenly; is ridiculous. I really don't know how else to even explain it. I am not a very good writer either. I can't write creatively, I just say what comes to mind. Anyway, I just keep telling myself what are the odds? Why did we have to suffer these losses so close to each other.

Here is a letter that I wrote to Grandpa Tyner. I hoped he would get this before he passed. It was something I wish I had done for Papa. Actually I wanted to put together a DVD slide-show of some house photos for him. It was something he had been asking me for a little while. I just wanted to wait until the house was done before I sent them, for the big "WOW" factor. I still feel a little cruddy that I never did that for him. I think I really wrote this letter with the both of them in mind.

The other thing that gets me is being so far away from the east coast. It didn't help any. I ended up spending a significant amount of time on the phone and sending texts. I am not on the phone nearly as much lately. I think everyone needs their own space and time to "deal" with things.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Two Weeks After Papa Has Passed

It has been two weeks since Papa passed. It isn't any easier. I think about my next trip back to Boston, in May, and I get a little anxious and queasy. I worry that when I go home the reality of him being gone will set in. I fear of having a break down in front of Nana. I fear that I will forget that he has passed and will walk in and say "Nana and Papa I am home." That will in turn upset Nana. The queasiness is from thinking about going home and seeing all of his things but not him and remembering the last time that I saw him. ARRGGG it is just unfair!

I wasn't able to make it home to go to the funeral. There were so many things to try to figure out and Nathan was gone that week, it was just difficult. In order to not feel guilty and still go through that closure of losing someone, I thought that it would be a good idea to have a conference call with the siblings and have a separate service.

I put together an agenda on the the 10th and e-mailed it to everyone. On the evening/afternoon of the 11th (depending on what time zone everyone was in) we had the service. A one minute tissue break was needed but it went pretty well.

I am back into running. It is really walking/jogging as running is just not something that I can handle. I have an injury to my right elbow that I am trying to let heal for as long as possible. When I was doing the weights or body weight I was aggravating it which would make it worse. Not working out wasn't helping my stress level either so I starting jogging with Nathan and Angel.

Natural disasters have not been a major issue. There was the 8.9 earthquake in Japan which caused a tsunami. California saw high surf but didn't suffer a tsunami in magnitude like Japan.

It has been off and on gloomy weather the last two weeks. We have seen less of the sun and more cloudy weather and in the last week more rain.

I went crazy one day and tore the house apart looking for a DVD I was sure I had. It was a DVD of Papa's surprise 50th birthday. I swore I had it because I transferred the VHS Tape to DVD for Nana and Papa. That was when we lived in VA. I don't know how I misplaced or lost that but when I go home in May I will make it a point to copy that DVD (if I can find it).

I also head to my parents in May. I will go through mom's photos and see what I can find and save of Papa. When grandma Tyner passed I realized I didn't have any pictures. Papa has passed and all I have are my wedding photos. It is sad and I did talk to Nathan about it but we have never really traveled or gone someplace worth taking pictures with Nana and Papa.

Some days are okay and other days are worse even after going for a walk/jog. I am able to do some volunteer work again which has helped keep my mind occupied. I am also trying to prepare for a move at the end of the year if the budget for 2011 ever gets figured out.

I guess all we can do it just take it one day at a time.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Papa's Spirit With Me

On Saturday the morning of the 5th, it was a clear and sunny day. Nathan and I had an open house for the NPS Running Club. I spent some time this morning preparing for the breakfast party. I was receiving updates from Aunt Maria & Christina this morning before our guests arrived.

At 8:05 AM I took Angel for an hour long walk while the NPS Running Club went for their run. Halfway through the walk, Angel and I reached the top of the hill and stopped to look out at the welcoming arms of the warm, blue sky. An airplane took off from the airport to our left. We watched as it disappeared behind the mountains. As we looked down in front of us we couldn't see our house but we know that it is in there somewhere.

We started to descend down the hill. We reach the Seaside, Fire Department. As Angel and I walk past, I chuckle. For a moment it reminds me of Papa telling his story of how he taught Mister Ed, the talking horse, how to talk. I was young so I never questioned him. I think I did ask once, if he could set up an appointment for us to meet Mister Ed. But Papa stated that Mister Ed was too busy. I chuckled because for that moment I was having a slight disagreement with him in my head. I think that the postal workers or firemen probably taught Mister Ed how to talk. They rode horses and spent a lot of time with them. I am not sure if Papa ever rode a horse.

As Angel and I continue down the hill we reach the park. I know he would love the view here. You can see Downtown Monterey and Pacific Grove across the ocean.

We make it home and I almost start to cry. All of my conversations with Papa the last year and half have mostly revolved around the house. What Nathan and I are working on and/or what we plan to do next. He always asked me for pictures but I hadn't sent him any because I thought that it would be a better "WOW" factor to show him all the before and after photos together.

Once inside there are bagels, orange juice, fruit, milk, chocolate soymilk, homemade ice-cream and any condiment you could think of to put on a bagel. I think he would have loved a banana shake made with homemade ice-cream. I served a few of those for brunch. Although he would have been wanting coffee and all I have in the house is decaffeinated and it hasn't been opened since I bought it a year and a half ago or in other words when we moved here.

A tour was given of the house. He would love it. I am sure he would be asking more questions but that is okay. There is always plenty to talk about and share with others when it comes to house renovations.

After a tour of the house everyone took their brunch to the back yard. Soaking up the warm sun and showing off the pizza oven. He would have loved the pizza oven. The pizzas from the oven are wonderful. The next time Nathan and I make pizzas we will make one cheese and one pepperoni and have extra pizza for him.

As everyone is eating I think about Papa's gravy. For those of you that aren't Italian gravy is the same as spaghetti sauce only with a lot more meat. He would always want to have gravy ready when we were coming home. Or if we were coming home during the winter season he and Nana would make chicken noodle soup. YUM!! Actually slight side track thought but Papa's gravy would probably be good to use for Pizza sauce.

At 12:49pm I get the text message followed by a call that Papa has passed. The rest of the afternoon is spent in a whirl of emotions. Which include everything from laughing to crying to being just angry.

Before going to bed that night I let Angel out to do her business. It is raining. It is so interesting how the weather changes so quickly here on the Central Coast of California. Anyway, I think that all the tears that everyone has shed over the last couple of days are finally falling back onto us.

7am on Sunday and there is a bird outside my window chirping. I wanted to tell it to be quiet but then thought that it was strange that the bird just happened to be so close to our bedroom window. The birds don't usually do that especially since the grape vines have not grown down that far on the fence. After the bird stopped chirping it had me thinking that was a sign from Papa. Papa always stated he could tell when we had been bad or good because the little birdy told him so.

It was a warm, cloudy day. I think mother nature is sad today. It didn't rain though. I totally can relate. This is how I feel.

At 11am Nathan and I head out to go shopping. Oh Papa doesn't like shopping. He would either sit in the car and wait or he would sit outside the store in the mall.

The sun has started peeking through the small patches of blue sky this afternoon. I think Mother Nature is not as sad.

Monday morning it is very gloomy outside and very windy. I think Mother Nature is mad today. Upset at the loss of a caring and fun loving man. Upset with cancer. Upset with how quickly his life here has gone by. I understand her here. I am glad that if she is going to be mad she is taking the anger out in this form and not in the form of a typhoon, that is what hurricanes are called on the Pacific Ocean. While I am at it I would like to Thank, Natural Disasters for being calm and silent. I don't think I could handle an earthquake right now.

The dark clouds make way to a partly cloudy sky in the afternoon.

I have been doing a lot of reminiscing today. Lots of great memories with Papa. My wedding day and being able to dance with him. His stories - another one he loves telling is that he taught Wayne Gretzky how to skate. His questions or thirst for knowledge - working on his family tree or watching WWI and WWII movies. His laughs - when I tell him about Angel or his love for watching MASH, The Simpsons, Two and a Half Men, etc. His love & kindness - he never said to Nathan and I, we couldn't stay at his and Nana's house and he would always get a little teary eyed when Nathan and I would leave after a visit. His love of the Christmas Holiday - specifically the food or Seven Fishes of The Sea. His lack of fear when it comes to technology - he loved doing research for his family tree and he was great at using e-mail. His unique form of quality one-on-one time - he loved to have his back or feet rubbed; especially in between the toes. Exercise - walking with us to the bakery in Roslindale Square or taking us to Bustoff's for chocolate. And so much more.

We are all hurting including mother nature. We know that these wounds will take time to heal. We know that he is no longer suffering and is enjoying all of his favorite foods. We all have our own special memories and none of those can be taken away from us even though he was. Rest now Papa! We Love You!

Sunday, March 06, 2011

My Beautiful Papa

Monday, February 28th, Papa went in for surgery. He was going to finally be able to have a stent put in so that he could eat. He was originally scheduled to have the surgery on Wednesday, February 23rd but he had a mini stroke or TIA on Tuesday, February 22nd. So instead of the surgery on Wednesday he had an MRI. The MRI didn't show anything that would be cause for an alarm. Papa will be awakened and monitored every 2 hours throughout the evening.

I didn't mention that the results of the biopsy came back and Papa has cancer of the esophagus, lung & liver. 3 months was Papa's prognosis.

The surgery went well and took about two hours. Papa will no longer need to be on a liquid diet. He can start off with softer foods and a soda. Yes, the carbonation in the soda will help break down the food and prevent any blockage on the mesh of the stent itself. He will no longer be able to lay flat, either for eating or sleeping.

On Wednesday, March 2nd, Nana asked that Papa be sent to Rehab in West Roxbury upon his release from the hospital which should be within the day or two.

On Thursday, March 3rd, Papa's kidneys were failing. His kidneys were functioning or operating at 10%. (Chaoticness commences.)

On Friday I called and talked to Papa. I had a very short conversation with him. I asked him how he was doing and he told me not so good. I asked him why and he responded but it was difficult to understand him. Not sure if it was because I was overwhelmed or because he was weak. I asked him if there was anything that I could do for him and he told me no. I then told him that I loved him. He told me that he loved me. I asked him again if he was sure there wasn't something that I could get him and he again told me no. I said I love you again and he said he loved me.

Christina (my younger cousin) took the phone and talked to me. She let me know that he had stated that his kidneys were failing. That was the part that I couldn't understand.

I feel so silly because any other time I call and talk to him, I can chat for a while. That moment, it was difficult for me.

Papa is septic or sepsis not too long after I talked to him. Because the liver isn't functioning the kidneys were working harder to make up for what the liver couldn't do. But now the kidneys can't keep up.

They weren't expecting Papa to make it through the night so my aunt and a close friend of the family stayed with him through the night. He had plenty of people visit him through the day and some people stayed as late as they could.

Saturday early in the morning Papa struggled for a little while. He was uncomfortable and was in some pain. On Friday night the drs. reinserted the IV for the morphine shot but it took the drs. three attempts because Papa's veins were collapsing. Between 4am and 6am EST Papa didn't talk anymore and closed his eyes. He was able to turn his head when people talked to him.

Around 12:50pm Pacific time I get the call that Papa took his last breath.

The rest of the day was difficult. A lot of off and on crying. It is hard thinking and knowing that when I go home now he won't be there. I will miss his laugh. All his coffee cups. The tons of questions about the house. His goofy stories and watching him take a nap in his chair.

I want him to know that the door to the house is always open for him to come and check it out. My heart is open to all the great memories. And I am happy that he is at peace. We will miss you but we know that you are still watching over us and that the little birdies are still going to tell you when we are bad. Love you!

Monday, February 21, 2011

My First Attempt At Applying For A Grant

I should say we are at least going to try. I have been doing some research for MSBA on trying to figure out how to apply for a Cooperative Agreement with SBA. A colleague with MSBA was noticing that some of the websites we use for reference, for fellow Military Spouse Business owners, are partially funded with SBA through a Cooperative Agreement.

I called SBA to try to find more information on how to apply for a cooperative agreement and was confused by the answer that I got. I thought that I would then look up contact information for SBA's Corporate Office. Oddly there aren't many e-mail addresses for the various departments. I turned to Google in hopes to find an e-mail. I was having no luck.

Silly me then thought that I would go back to the SBA website and search the website for SBA cooperative agreement. In that search I found a word document on a grant that was currently open to apply for. I was pretty sure that from my understanding of what I was reading, we qualified to apply for this grant. The scary thing is that it closes in 5 days.

In further reading of the grant application I am understanding that in order to apply for a cooperative agreement with SBA you were really applying to a grant and awarded monies in the form of a cooperative agreement through SBA. I think I get it!

The magic will be to see if we can try to gather information that we need submit a request to this grant. Well if we don't make it this time we know we have the information for a future grant and to help us in applying for membership with The Military Coalition.

MSBA's current priorities:
1. Website reorganization
2. Grant submission
3. Future Grants and The Military Coalition application

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Taxes 2010

OOOOOHH does my brain hurt! It takes me a day to gather all the paperwork. Another day to verify with my excel spreadsheet. Two days to input all the information into the tax system online, with our tax accountant. We wait to hear from them that they received all that information. Another day to fax over paperwork.

This is of course only after I make sure we have all the bills in for the 2010 year. I don't usually get all the bills in until the end of January of the following year. It will take me time to put this into my excel spreadsheet.

Next week I am sure we will have a couple of questions and the tax accountant will have a couple of questions. I don't stop biting my nails until we get the taxes in the mail, sign them and forward them to the appropriate departments.

Last year we sent taxes to California and to Virginia. Virginia has taxes because of the business and California because of the house and we currently reside here. When we lived in Virginia it was just Virginia we had to send taxes to. Pretty much it changes based off of where we live. If we live in a state other than California or Virginia I am afraid it will be a little more complicated.

Have you started you your taxes yet? My guess is maybe not unless you own a business.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Update On Papa

Papa has been having some difficulty swallowing and keeping food down. He was taken to the emergency room 2 weeks ago. After some trouble Nana had with the initial ER doctor a wonderful nurse performed a small test. Papa had to try to swallow a small pill and some water. He wasn't able to; everything came up. A GI Specialist was called in to look at Papa at this point.

The GI Specialist immediately scheduled an orthoscopic procedure for Papa. He wanted to look down Papa's throat to find and determine if there was a blockage. There was approximately 10 to 11cm of food stuck in his throat. The GI Specialist cleared that out. After clearing out the lodged food the GI Specialist found a mass. He was concerned about the look of the mass. He wanted to remove the mass but since Papa is on coumadin there was a concern of not being able to stop the bleeding.

At this point there was nothing else that the GI Specialist could do. Papa needs to be removed from the medication so the mass can be removed. He also would be on a liquid or soft food diet.

I am not sure what happened next but before Papa could be scheduled for a biopsy he needed to be seen by his neurologist. Since Papa suffers from complications under anesthesia due to his cardiovascular dementia he needs to obtain an okay from his neurologist.

Two weeks later an appointment is made to see the neurologist. An appointment is made for the following day for a biopsy.

Today was the day for the biopsy. Papa did well with the anesthesia. The total time for the procedure today was about 2 hours. As far as the mass is concerned things are not looking good. The GI Specialist that Papa saw in the ER two weeks ago performed the procedure today. The mass had grown so the GI Specialist stretched Papa's esophagus. He then proceeded to pull a sample from the mass and then from the lining of the stomach where the stomach meets the esophagus. It was made clear to Nana and to my Aunt that it is very possible that Papa has cancer.

Cancer is something that was mentioned two weeks ago and that I have been trying to prepare myself for. Papa smoked for the first 13 years of my life. Mom told me he smoked longer than that.

Every family has there complications and stories. Mine isn't any different. I just hate seeing family torn apart and all struggling separately.

Getting off on a tangent. But the biopsy results will be in, in two weeks. Tomorrow Papa has an appointment for a CT Scan. Mom says to check and make sure that there aren't other masses.

Papa has been home now 3 months since the complications with the knee surgery. I don't know what may be ahead if this is indeed cancer.

Just since I started writing this mom gave me a call to let me know that the hospital called Nana to tell her to bring Papa back in. Papa's potassium is too low and they are worried about him having a heart attack.

January House Projects

The Garage
This is really the last remodeling project that we have.

Rip out the old base boards
Hired next door neighbor to epoxy the garage floor. Clearing out the garage to prepare for that work.



Completed floor after clear coat finish

Paint garage and install rubber cove base moulding that our next door neighbor gave us.

Move everything back in.

Finish the Living Room
Install the crown and base moulding

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Beautiful Weekend

This winter is already making me a happier person. Hopefully it will help turn around my negative feelings regarding the weather here. Last year it was very wet, rainy and cloudy. This year we have less rain and it is actually reaching into the 70's. I tell Nathan, I would truly be a happy camper if it stayed in the 70's every day.

About a week ago we had 70 degree weather for the entire week. This weekend we only had a day or two of 70 degree weather. I have been able to sit outside and work on my summer tan :)

Yesterday I spent the afternoon doing some yard work. I swept, transplanted my first potted plant, pruned the rose bush in hopes to have new buds this year, pulled a few weeds and watered the lawns. Nathan mowed the lawns and sprayed the weeds for me.

Today I was able to take Angel out for a walk, played fetch with the ball at the park and then finished our walk. We were gone over an hour. That had me thrilled. It is like a battle to get her out to even go for a walk every day. The one day a week I can get her out is on Saturday when she and I join the NPS Running Club for their Saturday morning run. Angel and I just walk though. My guess is she missed that walk yesterday and so she didn't put up too much of a fuss in going out today. FYI the running club didn't meet yesterday because they are running in the San Francisco Half Marathon today.

Too bad we are going to drop down into the 60's for the week :( I guess it could be worse though it could be snowing, YUCK!! I am not looking forward to that come the end of the year when we move back to the East Coast. (That is not set in writing yet. Once we have orders I am sure I will post to let everyone know.)

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Resume and Cover Letter Craziness

I applied for some jobs when I moved here to CA. Of course I got some of those nice letters saying "Thank You for applying but...." I also heard nothing at all from others. I did work a part time seasonal job for low pay. I don't think I will be doing that again. But at the time it was great to just get out of the house. It did all kind of work out for the best. All the house work had me pretty busy. There was always something to work on.

Now that the house work is done I am trying to get caught up with the business, the organization I volunteer with, preparing all the paperwork for taxes, trying to complete what I hope will be Christmas gifts and then the other "normal" every day stuff.

Yesterday in my attempt to catch up on e-mail a message came through for MSBA (Military Spouse Business Association - the organization I volunteer with). It was an announcement for a telecommuting job. I didn't think anything of it until a response from one of the organization's co-founders suggested that I apply for the job. Because I didn't absorb the content of the message and just skimmed it, I didn't realize that was what it was for. It really went to the spam/junk folder in my head.

After some pondering and a quick e-mail exchange with hubby about whether or not it would be a good fit for me, I thought why the heck not. So I spent a couple of hours yesterday trying to re-edit/update my resume and cover letter.

It was what followed after that I find interesting. Since Nathan wasn't home yet I sent a text message to my family and asked who was available to proof. I get responses for those that were available, thanks to snow storms hitting from the Central US to the East Coast most people were snowed in. I send off, via e-mail, my resume and cover letter. I then proceeded to receive texts when people had edited and proof read and sent them back to me. I answered with Thank Yous.

The part that is so interesting is that a year ago I didn't have text. Nathan and I talked about it, after it was requested I get it and me feeling left out of the family, it was agreed. Technology is so interesting. Between text messages and e-mails there is no need to call someone. At least there wasn't last night.

When hubby got home late last night he then went over my resume and cover letter with me. More editing.

I sent my resume and cover letter off this morning to apply for the job.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011


It seemed to be a constant battle to keep the house clean for the last year and a half with all the remodel and renovations. Now that we are done I spent the last two days giving this old house a real decent cleaning and some reorganizing. I can't believe what a difference that made. Great so now you all thinking that I am lazy and a major slob. I am the exact opposite. Hubby doesn't like it when I clean because I "get into a zone" and seem to have OCD tendencies.

Some of the major factors for the constant dirt were:
- No lawn, but we have that now
- An unorganized garage but we have that now
- Drywall dust that never seems to go away
- And no central air.

The last one we can't do anything about at least not right now. We don't have the appropriate attic space, as it is seriously a crawl space - I know hubby will tell you how much he loves going up there. The second to last one will just take time. But I am hoping that the cleaning frenzy of the last two days will help that tremendously.

Now my house is fit for public display. Let the entertaining and open houses begin. Well after this weekend. I am still waiting for the new frig and oven.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Up Close And Personal.....

with the garage floor. I know that is strange. I had to get on my belly in order to sweep one corner of the garage floor. This is due to the stand/shelf that the hot water heater sits on. Trying to sweep up all the drywall and dust from around that shelf, YUCK!!

The insanity of cleaning out the garage today is in preparation for the epoxy coating that will happen tomorrow. A very happy note - Nathan and I don't have to do that. WOOT WOOT!! Our wonderful neighbor is doing that for us. NO, not for free. This is what he does for a living.

Nathan explained that the process will require a grinding of the cement floor in order to level it and clean it. This "cleaning/grinding" process will allow the epoxy to stick. The epoxy will be applied, some chips added (for color) and then a sealer (something similar to polyurethane, I believe). I don't know how long this will take but it should be interesting and will most definitely prolong the life of the floor.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

December 2010 Projects

We are getting down on the list of projects. There are fewer of them. It is nice but it is sad too. In just another 8 months we will be preparing to move again. Yes, that would be the wonders of a military lifestyle.

The Kitchen
A picture of the mess from after painting

Tiling the floor

Installing the island

Grouting the tile floor
Seal the grout
Add a shelf to the island which will hold my recipe magazines and support the two new additional outlets.

Install granite
Grout the granite
Install the sink
Install the faucet

Start to install the wall cabinets

Finish installing the wall cabinets and the last base cabinet along with granite

Seal the last of the grout and the granite

Before Current After

The kitchen is not scheduled to be 100% complete until February when our new stainless steel frig/stove arrive.

Add an electrical circuit for the fireplace

Paint, install the granite, grout

Side note the granite is Blue Pearl. It matches the granite used in the master bathroom. The floor tile is Tampa Gray.

Update: A few more photos to show the wall we tore down and the 5 layers of linoleum and 2 of plywood we tore out.