Monday, September 18, 2006

Ain't no sunshine when he's gone....

I know the song says "she" instead of "he", but that was how I was feeling for the past few days. Now I am the happiest girl in Saipan! My DH is home!!! I didn't post about him being gone because, well...there are just some things that shouldn't be put out there when you are eleventy thousand miles away from everything and everyone that you know.

DH had to go to Hawaii for a class for his job. Waikiki to be exact. Rough life, I know. But he got back last night (Sunday) safe and sound and I was delighted quite frankly. We have been married for 2 1/2 years but it doesn't seem like that long. Still in the honeymoon phase, I guess. We are the couple that where you see one of us, you will see the other. Some call it connected at the hip.

We met 4 years ago on Sept 14, 2002. Got engaged on October 21, 2003. Got married on March 20, 2004. We were married on the black sand beach at Anse Mamin, near Soufriere, St. Lucia. The staff at Anse Chastanet was fantastic and arranged everything. Our only guests were DH's parents. We also stayed at Ladera and Ti Kaye. Trip of a lifetime.

DH brought home tons of stuff for me from Hawaii. My Nivea Soft lotion, some floss that I needed for my Mother's Tree (now to just get started), some yarn I needed for a project, some sewing thread, a pretty jar candle for my sewing room, some bath bombs and a bubble bar from of my all time favorite stores (I highly recommend the "All that Jas" bath bomb), some "tummy butter" that he thought I might like for my growing belly, a carseat & stroller combo for the baby which is very cute (Evenflo "Aura") and half the price that we would have paid here, and about 10 older dvd's that he found on sale. We have watched "Jumanji" and "Cocoon" so far.



Saturday, September 16, 2006

Oh no she didn't!!!

As I was talking to my Mom on the phone today, I heard a car stop in front of our house. We don't have a lot of traffic and live on a dead end gravel road. The usual noises that we hear are the chickens that roam free (who do they belong to anyway and how do you know which one is yours?), and an occasional cow in the distance. Oh yeah, and the yapping dog behind us that likes to take a dump in our yard. He's lucky he's quick.

Of course, I had to check because the car was a little noisy. It was a nicer car...maybe a Nissan. But it had one of those exhaust pipes about as big as a soup can on it. As I was looking to see what was going on, I saw the driver (female) reach into the backseat, unstrap the baby from it's carseat in the back, haul the baby to the front and proceed to stand the baby on her lap with the baby's hands on the steering wheel and drive away. I assume that the baby was about 18-20 months old.

I realize that we live on a dead end road (one lane btw) and there isn't much much traffic or risk of accident.

But that is just wrong. I was so mad I stood there with my mouth open and Mom chatting away. They make rules for a reason, people!


In about 26 hours I will be the happiest girl on Saipan. You just wait and see!


I like to visit some of the pregnancy message boards, just to see what is going on with others that are in the same boat and compare what I am feeling/thinking with what they post. I don't post to these boards, I am more of a lurker.

Today was "Friday Confessions" (since most of the posters are back Stateside). You wouldn't believe what these women were fessing up to! And without any self restraint. Some of the posts included:

*"I am so sick of being pregnant"...not me honey, I am loving it (said without sarcasm)!

*"I haven't taken my prenatal vitamin in weeks"...I remember mine every night. I've been taking them since November so I should remember by now.

*"We haven't had sex this whole pregnancy and I don't feel badly"...ummm, a little TMI, but thanks for sharing!

*"Is it wrong that I am more upset about breaking my B.O.B. than not talking to my DH for the past 3 days?"...again with the TMI, ladies! I don't want to know about your B.O.B. habits. (I only recently learned what B.O.B. stood for from a dear friend that was telling me about an acquaintance, ask your friends. If your friends don't know, ask me and I will tell you.)

*"I am not drinking enough water...I have probably only drank one bottle this whole pregnancy."...seriously? What are you drinking? I know I don't drink enough water, but I do probaby drink at least 4 or 5 glasses a day along with my chocolate milk, glass of orange juice and copious amounts of the forbidden fruit...sweet tea with lemon.

I could go on, but these were the ones that stuck out.

I have been working on a quilt top for the past few days. I really need to remember the importance of maintaining seam allowances that are the same with EVERY seam. Arrrgh. If I could trust this P.O.S. computer, I would post a picture. Just gives you something to look forward to.


Since I won't bore you with my Australian Bra shopping adventures (let's just say that I didn't realize that bra sizes aren't the same on every continent). I will tell you another funny story. Thank goodness for the lady at the Myer Department Store is all I will say about that.

We flew from Saipan to Guam, had a layover in Guam and then boarded a Continental flight to Cairns. Let me just gush about how much I love love love Continental. We were upgraded to Business Class. Now I hate flying, but there is something to be said about flying First Class! Makes it a whole lot easier. No big deal for DH, he is used to First Class. Mr. Big OnePass Elite superstar.

Towards the end of the trip, we get our customs forms from the friendly flight staff that called us (and everyone else in business class) by our names. On it, you have to *ahem...should* declare items being brought in. Well, before we left, DH made a half gallon of trail mix with sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, peanuts and raisins. We also packed a few packets of instant hot chocolate, microwave popcorn and an unopened bag of sunflower seeds. So I told him that we should check the box saying that we were bringing food into the country. He did and we were stopped by customs. We had to turn over the said food items to the inspector and he looked up each thing on his computer to see if they could be allowed in. Wouldn't you know that we ended up having the unopenend bag of sunflower seeds, the trail mix ("I don't think that either of you want to stand here and pick out the sunflower seeds"), and the microwave popcorn CONFISCATED!!!

So let this be a PSA to people traveling to Australia:
DO NOT bring sunflower seeds or microwave popcorn with you!

We just wanted to eat the stuff while out and about, not intending to plant sunflower or microwave popcorn plants throughout the Australian countryside. I know, microwave popcorn doesn't grow like that but it is a funny visual.

I know DH was peeved at giving up the trail mix, but I think that I was more heartbroken about the microwave popcorn. At least they didn't mess with the hot chocolate! Rat bastards.



Friday, September 15, 2006

Bookworm checking in!

Did I mention that we have turned our cable tv off? The day we left for Australia it was disconnected. Man, life without tv is a bit strange. We don't get any local channels, well, because there aren't any. The cable tv is a feed from California and it is 3 weeks behind the mainland. I think that they must ship over VHS tapes via USPS mail or something for it to be 3 weeks behind. So, we decided that we were sick of it. Not to mention that sometimes they don't show what they are supposed to (probably because a VHS tape got lost in the mail) so they show a re-run or something else. It got old. So now we save $50 a month on that.

Our DVD collection is growing slowly so maybe we aren't saving that $5o like I originally planned. :)

When you don't have tv to watch, you get alot more accomplished. Like reading.

We got back from our trip last Monday (9-4) and I have read 6 books and am on my 7th. I was a little concerned that I would run out of books soon, but I counted the ones on our bookshelf and we have over 300. But half of them are DH's and focus on hiking, the theory of evolution, etc. so I don't think that I will be reading those. I do think that Mr. Darwin was brilliant and I can see where his theories can be applied to some situations, but I have my own beliefs. That still leaves at least 100 books that are mine. Plus we have a library here that is pretty decent, considering.

Here is what I have read so far this past week:

  • Finished up "Snow Falling on Cedars" by Dave Guterson. This one was kind of slow for me. I really had to work to stick with it. The end turned out like I wanted it to. The writing was very detailed and made me feel like I could see the landscape and the settings. The characters just weren't that great. I would like to see the movie now.

  • "The Quilter's Apprentice" by Jennifer Chiaverini. This was a fun, 24 hour read. Made me wish that I had my own quilting teacher (ahem, Kim) to show me the ropes. My brain really didn't have to work hard with this one. I wouldn't mind getting the others in the series., here I come!

  • "Rural Renaissance" by John Ivanko & Lisa Kivirist. This is published by Mother Earth News and is written by the owners of a B&B near Monroe, WI (about 45 mintues from where we are from). They have commmited themselves, their family and their business to protecting the Earth in all that they do. Very informative book about ways to incorporate being "green" in your lifestyle even if you aren't ready to put up the solar panels, the wind turbine and ripping out the sod in your yard and planting native plants. They have alot of ideas that I would like to incorporate into our lives once we get back into the States, buy our house, and start our business. Some of the things that they discuss are things that we already do. I do admit though, I will start using their "7th Generation" mantra as well. Basically it is making decisions that are the best and knowing what effect it will have down the line to the 7th generation. Based on an old Indian saying. Many people go through this life only thinking of the first generation, themselves.

  • "So That's What They're For!" by Janet Tamaro. A book about breastfeeding. I would recommend to a woman that is considering breast feeding and doesn't know much about it. Especially since, like the author points out, our society in America is trained to think that breastfeeding is a freakshow. It is a natural experience and instinct that women have un-learned over the years. I know that I grew up in a family with 5 aunts and 4 of them had children, granted one of the 4 had her child 5 years before I was born so that doesn't count. I never saw any of them breast feed. People learn by watching and by experience. Enough said.

  • "Buster Midnight's Cafe" by Sandra Dallas. This was a cute book. Took me more than 24 hours. I love the characters, Effa Commander and Whippy Bird. Not to mention the tortured May Anna. I felt like I was part of their circle and they really set the record straight. I would recommend this one.

  • "Little Altars Everywhere" by Rebecca Wells. This is the first book in they Ya-Ya's set. We watched the movie again this weekend for the eleventy thousandth time and I though as we were watching that I wanted to re-read this book series just to see how close the movie is to the originals. The movie does take some liberties and combines many aspects but we can't have everything. I love this author and these characters. Even more so after living along the Bayou in South Lousiana for 2 years. I appreciate the characters so much.

  • "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood" by Rebecca Wells. The second book in the series. I am almost half way done with it. Again, a re-read.

After that, I am going to finish off the set with "Ya-Ya's in Bloom", a gift from my DH a couple of years ago. Another re-read. Then I am moving on to unchartered waters. The beheamoth of "The Chronicles of Narnia" is calling my name. It may be an epic journey for me since it has like 5,000 pages or something. DH read it as a kid and was surprised that I hadn't. Never read the "Hobbit" series either. Sorry.


Thanks everyone for the messages! I really have missed my blogging friends and seeing your gorgeous works of art. Truly inspiring.

Heather - you can be sure that I will be getting in touch with you. You made my day yesterday!

I tried today to leave a comment for Jo & Carolyn but I couldn't. Maybe it is because of the beta blogger thing. Anyway, here is what I wanted to say:

Jo I just love love love pictures of Miss Emma. She is so adorable, she makes me want to get another puppers, only just like her. And the bag is coming along so nicely. The colors are fabulous! Do you use circular needles or dpn's on something like that?

Carolyn Your second set of letters looks great! I am working on finishing up mine this weekend and then starting on E & F. I really like your template as well. Is that one from beta or is it one that you got from a free site? Looks good.

I was thinking of switching over to beta, but I want to wait until some more of the bugs are worked out.

I am going to publish this now since who knows how long this P.O.S. computer will cooperate. Yesterday it froze up on me a couple of times and I had to re-start it and it took almost a half hour each time to start. Makes me miss our old whizzer 'puter.

Next time maybe I will tell y'all about the Australian bra shopping adventure that I had. If I'd only known.



Thursday, September 14, 2006

Better than nothing!

I am still alive!

We have borrowed a computer from a co-worker of DH's until we get ours sorted out. I am hoping that our renter's insurance covers the repairs for the old computer. I think that we are still going to order a new laptop anyway.

The reason that we have been dragging our feet on the computer issue is that the problem happened 2 days before we left for AUSTRALIA for 2 weeks!

We are now back (came back 9-4-06) and I have to say....Australia is so fantastic! I wish that I could have stayed instead of coming back to Saipan. Not considering my allergies here are insane until I get used to it here again. Yes, I look like a puffy eyed freak for now because of allergies.

We spent a couple of days running around Cairns, Kuranda, Townsville, Magnetic Island and then took a flight (so not ready for another one of those) to Melbourne. We got another rental car (DH did great driving on the opposite side of the road while figuring out how to shift and signal with the opposite hands as well...not to mention the fab roundabouts that I think should be in every city), and drove south to Bellbrae where our timeshare is. We had a great condo for a week and every day we took off to do day trips.

While down south, we went to Otways, Split Point, Loch Ard Gorge, 12 Apostles, Phillip Island to see the "Little Penguins", Victoria Market in Melbourne, Torquay (home of RipCurl, Quicksilver, etc...big surfing place), Geelong, Barwon Heads.

And let me just say that even though it sounds pathetic, one of the highlights of the trip for me was the grocery stores! Real deli's in the stores! Fresh dairy products! (I am from the midwest, y'all)

I could have lived on the fresh European style yogurt, fresh milk, Schweppes Lemon Lime & Bitters soda, lebanese bread & feta dip and greek olive mixture that we bought a couple of times. D-E-L-I-S-H! And those chocolates made by Cadbury. Time Out was my favorite, hands down. Cherry Ripe is okay...not sure what the hype is about. I also liked the Crunchy. I wanted to try a Violet Crumble but it didn't come in my mixed bag of trial sized bars and I was not about to shell out $2.75 for a regular sized candy bar. Some of the prices there are worse than Saipan! And gas...over $4 a gallon. I think that we paid on average $1.30 per litre. I did love the little ice cream cone from Happy Jacks (Burger King in the US). So rich and creamy and only 30 cents. Just the right size too! They looked at us like we were bonkers when we ordered them. It was our first day in Aus and we were starving so we stopped and got sandwiches and ice cream cones. It was probably only 15 degrees C there at the time.

We have tons of pictures to post, including one of me holding a baby Koala at the Billabong Sanctuary just south of Townsville. What a sweet baby she is! Alas, I do not risk trying to upload my pictures to this computer since it likes to freeze up and restart at any time. I will save that for later.


4 years ago, I met the man I married and my life has forever been changed. This has been the best 4 years of my life and they seem to keep getting better!


The baby is doing well. I had another appointment last week and really liked that doctor. I am hoping that I can stick with him for the duration. I pray that he won't be sucked into the revolving door at that hospital and disappear forever. At least not until after January 2007. I feel the baby moving around all of the time. I still think that it is a girl. My tummy has grown. Now you can tell that I am pregnant, just a little bit. About time since I am on the cusp of my 6th month. I had gained 6 pounds since my last appointment but since we have been home, I have lost 2 of them. It is just too stinking hot to eat here. I about make myself sick forcing myself to eat at least 2 meals and 2 snacks a day. Most of the time I am just plain worn out to eat anything significant for dinner. Last night's dinner for me was a bowl of Edamame (soybeans). Those things are like crack for me...too addicting.


I haven't done any stitching for 3 weeks! I will get back into the groove soon. I need to get caught up with my commitments.

One of my goals for our trip to Australia besides seeing Koalas (check), and Kangaroos (check, even petted them), was to get a sock knitting kit. I am obsessed with learning how to knit socks, even though it is eleventy billion degrees here and I have no need to wear any. We went to the Wool Museum in Geelong and I thought for sure that they would have somthing there. Nope. We even went to "Stitchery Blue" in Geelong. It is a nice little stitchy / knitty shop in the downtown area. "Sorry, we just sold our last sock pattern book yesterday." BAH!!! So, I am going to ebay. I have heard about "socks that rock" on another I may hunt those down as well.

Off to get this posted and read up on some blogs before the computer decides it is tired and shuts down.

I've missed y'all!