3.31.2005

I'm not sure if I should feel smart or scared

I do not usually watch the Jay Leno show - can't really stand him. But occasionally the TV gets left on after the local news and I catch part of it. Tonight, it was "JayWalking".

It is amazing how STUPID people (as a whole) are. How in the world do these people actually survive long enough to become adults? Where is the whole "natural selection" process???

The even scarier thing? Most of those people I saw on TV tonight will procreate.














God, help us.

3.30.2005

DO NOT DISTURB

What's the point of putting the flipping sign in the window if the damn housekeeping staff isn't going to READ IT?


The kids were about an hour into their naps. I had *JUST* put my head on the pillow for a short nap myself when Housekeeping Lady knock-knock-knocks on my kids' door (you know...the one with the "DO NOT DISTURB" sign on it) and yells "Housekeeping!" in order to make sure we had all the towels we needed.

DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT!

Now they're awake - still tired but awake. Tonight is going to be FUN.


Someone get me the hell out of here. Now.

I don't need a vacation, I need a JOB

Let me compare for you MY day versus McGyver's day...


MY DAY


Kids woke up about 2 minutes after McGyver headed out the door - about 7am. I got everyone fed, dressed, and ready to go to the library and then on to run errands and made sure the diaper bag was packed and ready to go.

Schlepped the kids to the library only to find out that Story time is Wednesdays NOT Tuesdays. Ugh.

Ran errands - went to 3 different preschools, the commissary, out to Honolulu to pick up the deposit on the house we were going to rent, and then back home.

Fed the kids lunch but didn't put them down for naps because it was too late.

Took kids to playground and made sure that Little Man didn't eat anything poisonous.

Came back and washed dishes, made dinner, cleaned up the rooms.

McGyver came home and we ate. Fought with Princess Trouble over how much she *didn't* eat and made the decision that she would get no ice cream (Tuesdays are $1 scoop nights at Baskin Robbins). Listened to her whine and moan.

Drove McGyver back over to the hangar to get his car - his key wouldn't work on the door so he had to use mine.

Came home, bathed kids, and got them to bed.

Worked a little more on Chapter 19 of my accounting class.

Collapsed into bed.*whew*


McGYVER'S DAY

Woke up at his natural wake up time of about 6am. Took shower (notice I did not find time to take one myself).

Left 2 hours earlier than planned (hence, no shower for me) to get new car registered.

Went to work - no kids around, no one to feed, clothe, bathe, entertain, etc. - and played around with boats because that's what a helicopter pilot DOES at work...

Drove up to the North Shore with the people from work and the boats to "test them out".

Came home almost 2 hours later than normal.


I tell ya'...I don't need a vacation, I need a JOB!

3.29.2005

Ah, so that's what you do...

Called McGyver today to see what his schedule was like for the rest of the day. Here's the conversation :

HIM : Hola!

ME : Hey there...whatch doin'?

HIM : Sittin' in a boat.

ME : Um, why?

HIM : Because that's what Chinook pilots do!

ME : AH, so that's what you do...


Silly man. He WAS sitting in a boat - not sure why - but he was. Must be rough to be him.

Our borders

Having grown up in Los Angeles and having seen what illegal immigration does to a community, this story caught my eye :

500 Agents to Be Added to Arizona Border

IT'S ABOUT FLIPPING TIME.

I'm sorry but our "border control" has been lacking for DECADES. We have something like 10 MILLION illegal immigrants in this country. TEN MILLION. Most work in jobs that do not pay into the tax system yet they use our social services that are funded by the very system they DO NOT PAY INTO.


I voted for George W. Bush and I would again in a heartbeat. But I don't agree with his politics when it comes to border security and immigration policy. I think he's weak in these areas. I have yet to see a mainstream politician be as strong in this area as I would like. I don't think there is one out there - the Hispanic vote is too important to mainstream policticians for them to take a hard-line stance on immigration. Which is unfortunate because their constituents are the ones paying the price.

What should we do? I'm thinking that we need to borrow the plans that Israel is using to build THEIR wall and build our own. Sorry if that sounds harsh. Sorry if that makes you angry. But I am sick and tired of seeing our social services (the ones OUR TAX MONEY FUNDS) go down the tubes because the outflow is more than the inflow. Too many people and not enough money. The answer is not to raise taxes and increas the amount of money going IN to the system.

The answer is to limit access to those who have a RIGHT to it - the citizens of this country.

I am not against immigration - LEGAL immigration. My ancestors became citizens of this country through legal immigration (and some were here already). There is NO reason that everyone else can't follow the same path.

Want to be a citizen of this country? Want to enjoy the liberties? The freedoms? The priviledges and rights? COME HERE LEGALLY.


Don't want to go the legal route? Get the hell out.

That's all I have to say.

3.28.2005

The upside

Tomorrow McGyver is going to call the bank and, using some of the money we have made off of this move (well, off of being stuck in temporary lodging), PAY OFF OUR CAR!!!!!


By the close of business tomorrow we will have 2 cars and NO CAR PAYMENT!!! Not to mention the fact that our insurance rates will drop because we will be able to drop comprehensive and collision coverage. Our car payment is not big - minimal by today's standards but it's still a check I don't have to write and money I can pay toward other debts.

Dave Ramsey would be proud. If I thought we could tolerate living in this hotel room any longer we would - just for the money. But money isn't everything, is it?

3.27.2005

Happy Easter, Happy Birthday

First, I meant to post yesterday but I never made it back to the 'puter. I wanted to wish my dad a happy birthday. I miss you and I love you!


Second, I want to wish everyone a happy Easter! We didn't make it to the sunrise service at the Punchbowl (though I was awake...) but the kids had a good morning. We're headed to a friend's house for lunch and an Easter egg hunt.

Good news on one front - McGyver has found a car. Not *quite* what he was looking for but it runs, it didn't cost much, and it fits all of us. We had a bit of a difference of opinion on whether he should get a little 2-seater pickup. He wants one. I don't think that having a 2-seater car as our second (read : backup) vehicle, given that we are a family of FOUR, was such a good idea. He seems to think differently. He says that, if my car breaks down, he will be spending his time working on it and not going anywhere. That's fine but with a 2-seater car as our backup, *I* won't be going anywhere either since I can't fit me AND the kids in the car together. We still aren't seeing eye-to-eye on this one but it's moot for the moment.

Now we just need to find a HOUSE. Nothing new in the Sunday paper or on the websites. Hopefully next weekend...

3.26.2005

Photo Friday and other thoughts...

PHOTO FRIDAYS

I've decided to get started on something called "Photo Fridays". I heard about it from my friend and I was interested. I've wanted to get more into digital photography and this will give me the kick in the butt that I seem to need in order to get motivated on anything these days.

So I've set up my Photobucket account. Problem is, ALL of our digital images are on the other hard drive which is not here. And I have *no* clue where the digital camera is so, until I find it (or buy another one...), I'm on hold in that department. Which, I suppose is a good thing seeing as how I don't know where to go to find the theme for the upcoming Photo Friday...

But when I do get things up and rolling, you'll be the first to know! I may even have to start ANOTHER blog...



VOLCANO JOE'S

I had read about the upcoming Dine For Life/O'ahu Dines event and checked out the website to see which restaurants were involved. These days, I'm always looking for a decent restaurant with decent prices. I saw that Volcano Joe's was one of the participating restaurants so I clicked on their website to see what their menu was like. Um, YUM! So we were headed down that direction this evening to check out the Down to Earth health food store and we schlepped on over to Volcano Joe's to try them. McGyver had the Chicken Guacamole sandwich and I had the Monterey Chicken Salad. Both were great! And their prices were very reasonable, especially given their proximity to Waikiki. Another one to add to the "Do Again" list.


PURSES

I have NEVER carried a purse. EVER. I'm not that kind of girl. At one point while we were in Alaska, I got tired of carrying around my wallet (meant I had to keep my hands outside of my pockets and therefore they got COLD) so I found a "wannabe purse" - it's more of a wallet on a string. That way, I have my essentials with me (military ID...never leave home without it...REALLY, debit card, and cash) without the hassle of a wallet you have to carry around and may, at some point in your day, leave on the roof of your car and drive away as it falls into the street (yep, done THAT before).

Anyway, I DO carry a backpack. It's our diaper bag. I've carried a backpack for YEARS. I feel naked without it. In high school, I carried my textbooks, swim gear, etc. In college, I carried my textbooks, munchies, etc. When I was teaching, I carried my textbooks (sensing a theme here? I'm a nerd...), munchies (a nerd with low blood sugar), my cell phone, etc. And now I carry diapers, wipes, sippy cups, snacks, Tylenol (for the kids), Advil (for the parents), kleenex, band-aids, changes of clothes, toys, Leatherman multi-tool, and my cell phone.

The other day, McGyver remarked that I should carry a purse rather than the wannabe purse that I have been carrying. I thought about it and decided he had a point so I bought a purse - big but not bulky. Then I found a wallet I liked. I got everything transferred over...














...and I can't STAND it.














It's not big but it's bigger than my wannabe purse. So it gets in the way. On top of that, it's one more layer to go through to dig out my keys, my ID, my debit card...what-have-you. Basically it's a PITA that I just don't need.














So it's gone. I'm back to my wannabe purse and I'm happy with that. It's not feminine but it works and right now, that is more important. I'll take function over form any day of the week.














So that's it. I'm off to bed so that we can get up early tomorrow and run more errands. We're hoping to get by a local craft fair (well, I am...I doubt McGyver is). Sunday we're hoping to witness Sunrise Service at the Punchbowl National Cemetery but I'm anything BUT a morning person so we'll see if it happens or not.


Aloha!

3.24.2005

Links are up!

I'm finally getting the hang of .html...well, I'm getting better at cutting and pasting. Regardless, I now have links over on the left. I tried to categorize them by subject. If you don't see yours there...well, sorry. Try to post something interesting on your blog and maybe I'll link to it.

I posted some kid-related links on my kiddos' blog too, in case anyone is interested.

More to come...

Kill them all and let God sort them out

85 Militants Killed in U.S. Raid in Iraq


BAGHDAD, Iraq - U.S. and Iraqi forces killed 85 militants at a suspected training camp along the marshy shores of a remote lake, one of the highest guerrilla death tolls of the two-year insurgency, officials said Wednesday. They said citizens emboldened by the January elections are increasingly turning in intelligence tips.



"What's really remarkable is that the citizens this time really took the initiative to provide us with very good information," Feleih said.



Works for me. And to think, the MSM would have you think that nothing good is happening in Iraq...

3.23.2005

A new blog!!!

I've created a separate blog about my offspring. I've tried to keep this blog and its posts primarily military-related (sometimes I succeeded, sometimes I failed) and I wanted a place to ramble on about my babies. So now I have it...


A Princess and a Little Man


I've only posted "Introductions" at this point but, trust me, there will be more...

Just so everyone knows...

...we have an appointment with JAG to get living wills drawn up BUT I want to make CRYSTAL CLEAR the fact that, should I ever find myself in a "persistent vegetative state" or anything that resembles it, DO NOT PROLONG MY LIFE WITH THE USE OF A FEEDING TUBE, RESPIRATOR, OR ANY OTHER MACHINE. It's one thing if my doctors have solid hope that I will recover enough to have a meaningful life. But don't let me lie in bed for FIFTEEN years while you scramble around to find ONE quack in the world who is willing to say, "Oh yeah, I think she'll even walk again!".

NO!

If the fight to keep me alive involves judges, courts, CONGRESS, AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, I should have been left to die a LONG TIME AGO!

Don't get me wrong - I voted (and proudly so) for George W. Bush. But he has NO BUSINESS in anyone's hospital room unless they are family or he is visiting them as they recover. NONE! He wouldn't leave his ranch in Texas to deal with the aftermath of the tsunami but he'll head back to Washington to intervene in the case of ONE person who NEVER WANTED TO BE KEPT ALIVE in this situation.

And Florida...don't get me started on that screwy state. They are more fouled up than the Left Coast. Idiots.


I hope this case illustrates the NEED for EVERYONE to have a living will that spells out your wishes. Get it done. NOW.

And Shepard Smith (FOXNews)...FIRE YOUR WARDROBE PEOPLE!!! You look like a PIMP! Good grief, man.

Seeing my name in lights...

Well, kind of. I've been quoted by one of my MilBlog associates, VFW Ladies and Mens Auxiliary. Yay me!

I've been meaning to sit down and discuss some of the blogs I read on a regular basis but my accounting textbook has buried me. One of these days...

In the meantime check out the VFW site.

3.22.2005

The Fish Bowl

That's the nickname/metaphor I came up with while lying in bed last night, waiting to fall asleep. This hotel/temporary lodging facility is a fish bowl.

There are some fish, like our neighbors, who have been here a while and are merely waiting to go to their new home - like fish who are waiting for their new owners to scoop them up, put them in a plastic bag with some water, and carry them off to their new tank. Our neighbors move into their new house tomorrow. Lucky bastards.

Then there are the fish like us. We swim around near the surface, waiting for feeding time. For us, feeding time is the Sunday paper at the end of the month or the beginning of the month, depending on how it falls. That's when the landlords, real estate agents, and property managers list the properties that will be coming available during the next month. Tenants give their 30-day notice toward the end of the month as they are paying next months' rent. Then the "For Rent" ads go out. Sundays when those ads first come out are like feeding times in a fish tank - lots of rushing around, commotion, trying to snatch the biggest piece of food (or, in our case, the best rental value).

Aside from that excitement, life in the fish bowl is pretty mundane. Same here.

3.21.2005

Prayers for a friend

I'm glad I didn't have any makeup on today. It would have washed off already.


I got an e-mail from my friend who is on bedrest here on the island due to problems with her amniotic fluid (she was 24+ weeks along). They had to do an emergency C-section this past weekend and the baby (a girl) didn't make it.

My friend seems to be handling this ok but I'm sure she and her husband and the rest of their family could sure use some prayers and good thoughts right about now.

Thanks.

3.20.2005

Unaccompanied Baggage - note to self

I'm not sure if this is advice for others who may be facing an overseas (aka OCONUS) move or simply a note to myself for the next time WE face an overseas move (since the Army seems to make moving SUCH a part of my life these days..."stabilization" my...anyway...). But here are a few things I have learned about what to pack and take with you for immediate use.

First, call the hotel/temporary lodging facility you will be staying at and find out what amenities they will have available. For instance, at Fort Campbell, we had a stove, an oven (in some rooms), a fridge, and a microwave as well as pots, pans, plates, utensils, etc.

Here at Schofield, the amenities are fewer but the per diem rate is higher. Because all we have in our room to prepare food with is a mini fridge and a mini microwave, the Army gives you more money with which to frequent local restaurants. But eating out 3 meals per day EVERY DAY gets old REALLY QUICKLY.

So, with that in mind, if I had to do this over again knowing THEN what I know NOW, here is what I would pack :

IN MY LUGGAGE (or in a box to be mailed ahead...parcel post rates aren't that bad) :
* toaster oven (you'd be AMAZED at what you can cook with a toaster oven)
* crock pot (ok, I'd probably just buy one when we got there like I did here)
* camping stove
* 1 skillet, 1 pot, 1 ladle, and 1 spatula
* my OWN pillow and comforter
* portable high chair/booster seat
* umbrella stroller

IN MY UNACCOMPANIED BAGGAGE :
* air mattresses and linens
* DVD player and DVDs (the Inn here doesn't have a DVD player...grr)
* more clothes (I'm so sick of the 5 shirts I packed, I could scream. And I can't really justify buying more because I have plenty...they are just PACKED)
* more toys for the kids (they are a bit tired of the few toys I did pack for them. Again, I can't justify buying them more because they had too many already)
* seasonal items for the area you are heading to. We have plenty of summer stuff towels, toys, chairs, etc) but didn't think to send them ahead)
* jog stroller and baby backpack - it's hard to get any kind of benefit from a walk when you have to go at the 3 year old's pace...
* cookbooks and/or recipes (actually these will be on our laptop next time we PCS)
* TV
* CDs - I have my CD changer in my car but my CDs are packed



I'm sure there are things I am forgetting - I can add more later. But I wish I had sat down and tought about this BEFORE the movers came. We've easily spent $250 on things we ALREADY OWN but don't have access too. I hate that. I'd rather spend $250 on things I don't already have!

Brunch on the beach

Waikiki used to host Brunch on the Beach each month. A while back, they downgraded it to a quarterly event and today was the first time this year that it has happened. Chefs from all over Waikiki come out and cook some of their best foods. The prices are very reasonable (considering the fact that it's Waikiki) and I had heard that the food was delicious.

So we trekked down and struggled to find a place to park and then walked down to Kalakaua Avenue for some brunch. Given the fact that it was past noon by the time we made it there, it was more like lunch but that didn't stop us from having breakfast. Works for me!

The first booth we stopped at was Tiki's Grill and Bar. The guy behind the table offered Belgian Waffles with banana butter, sugared strawberries, and whipped cream and that was all Princess Trouble needed to hear. She was so fired up about going to the "breakfast beach" when we told her about it last night that she stripped off her jammies, put her regular clothes and shoes back on and headed for the door...at 9p.m. Took us a bit to get her to understand that the "breakfast beach" wouldn't be open until the morning. So by the time we got there, she was raring to go.

We found a shady spot under a tree by some hibiscus plants and plopped ourselves down. McGyver, seeing that there wasn't going to be enough for anyone else, headed off in search of more food. Didn't take him long.

Two booths down was the Renaissance Ilikai Waikiki and they had a "Breakfast Plate" that included "crispy mango cream cheese stuffed french toast, scrambled eggs, sausage, and steamed rice". YUM. We plowed through our food and then went back for seconds - of both. It was delicious!

I'm not sure when they plan to do the next one but you can bet we'll be there. The food was wonderful, the setting was terrific (the weather was divine - warm but with a nice breeze), the prices very reasonable (the waffles were $4.00 and the breakfast plate was $6.00). Plus you're right on the beach in Waikiki so there is plenty to do after you're done eating, not to mention the fact that you can people-watch to your heart's content (and boy, let me TELL you...there was PLENTY to be seen...WHO lets these people out of their houses looking like that?!?).

Next time we go, we will go early. We will take advantage of the parking specials that are there (we didn't map out where they were this time). We will pack our own drinks (I REFUSE to pay $1.50 for a bottle of water. We will also bring towels and/or chairs and swimsuits (the beach is RIGHT there). And not only will we plan on eating breakfast there, we will stay and eat lunch there too (the grilled steak with morel cream sauce or the coconut-macadamia nut chicken with honey, pineapple, and mustard sauce both sound delicious!).

3.19.2005

Perspective

I know I'm like others in that I tend to get wrapped up in my own life and it's trials, tribulations, and blessings and I lose sight of the rest of the world around me.

Today, amidst my wallowing in my "woe is me" pit, I came across a link to THIS site about CPT Daniel Gade who was injured in an IED explosion in Iraq in January (thanks to Andi's World for the link). If you want to read about an amazing man, an amazing family, and God's power, read this site (especially the Journal History). It's amazing. Simply awe inspiring.

What an incredible country we live in to be protected by men of CPT Gade's caliber.

3.18.2005

It's time to admit it

This has been the (pardon the language) PCS from Hell. I've been trying to look on the bright side of things and been successful for the most part. But a backache, a teething, snotty 1 year old who won't sleep more than 2 hours at a shot, and losing the house have just about pushed me over the edge.

So I'm going to bitch and moan a bit and get it out so I can get on wth my life. If you don't want to listen to it, that's fine. No one is forcing you.

Here goes...


I'm sick and tired of being cooped up in this hotel. I'm tired of having to be (essentially) the sole entertainment for 2 children and not having 1 moment to myself. I'm tired of the crappy beds and this backache/neckache that I just can't shake. I'm tired of having to be so creative with our meal planning. I'd give my left arm for a simple meal of spaghetti. I'm tired of worrying that Little Man's crying at 2am is going to disturb the people next door.

I would kill for my own space right now. Just somewhere I could go and have a thought of my own that didn't involve driving (the only escape I'm getting these days is in the car, running errands). I tried locking the door to the bathroom but all I get then is 2 people banging on it and yelling. I'd rather just have the audience.

I miss my STUFF. I've been wearing the same 5 shirts for the past month and a half. I miss my bed (did I mention that already), my couch, and my kitchen.

I'm tired of being a 1-car family. The walls feel like they are closing in when McGyver has to take the car and we are left here with none. Yes, we can walk but there isn't a whole lot around to walk TO.

And I'm still a bit pissy about losing the house. I know we'll find something else and it may even be better but we haven't found it YET so I'm still pissy.

It doesn't help that I miss my friends. The adjustment period is always tough for me and not having a house to put together to distract me doesn't help. Add to that the fact that it's been cool, windy, and a bit rainy and my usual optimistic outlook is a bit dim right now.

I would give a lot in order to have a decent night's sleep and to wake up without stiffness in my neck and back.

I know it will get better - that's one thing that is keeping me from going over the edge. I just needed to whine a bit myself. I do have a bit of good news to report. My 12 year old car (with a V6 in it, mind you) is now getting 20 miles to the gallon! With the work that McGyver did, the mileage has gone UP! And he still has an oxygen sensor to put in that should help even more. Not bad for a 12 year old car with a V6 in it.

Ok - I think I've whined enough for now. I just needed to get that off my chest so I can get on with life. A friend of mine has been calling this the "PCS from Hell" for a while and I've really tried to avoid agreeing with her but I think that it is time to submit and be done with it.




AND AN UPDATE ON MY PREGNANT FRIEND WHO WAS ON BEDREST AT THE HOSPITAL...the baby's heartrate was erratic so as of last night, they were looking to do a C-section and take the baby. She's at 24+ weeks now so that is good but not as good as being 28 weeks. They could really use some prayers and good thoughts right now. I'll keep you all posted. Thanks!

3.17.2005

Blogs

I read a lot of blogs. Not as many as some people (I have 2 small children to raise and a life to maintain) but I read a lot of them. There are a few, in particular, that I read on a regular basis and really enjoy. One that I read on a regular basis simply disappeared a few months back. I had no idea why. It was one that a friend pointed out to me and the subject matter was something near and dear to me. And then he was gone.

Today, I found out why. I found out from a VERY reliable source that what the blogger had been posting on his blog was false. Maybe not all of it but enough of it that it made the people he was blogging about angry and it was removed from the web.

I'm very angry. I'm angry that someone such as this person (or any person for that matter) would feel the need to LIE on a BLOG. Yes, I know that is naieve of me. But deep down I am an optimist and I usually fail to recognize that mankind has that capacity - to lie, especially when there really wasn't much to gain. I'm angry that because of this person's lies, a blog that I truly enjoyed reading is now gone. I'm just angry.

I have access to this person if I wanted to pursue it. Part of me - the irrational, red-headed-Irish-temper-fly-off-the-handle part of me wants to find this person and slap them upside their head. But I know that is not wise and would probably land me in jail. So I'll just be angry.

Dumbass. That's all I have to say on the matter.

3.16.2005

We lost the house.

McGyver just called. Seems the owner has pulled the house off the market. She doesn't have any job prospects where she's headed so now she doesn't know when she's leaving. Crap. CRAPCRAPCRAP.

I REALLY liked that house.

At the same time, this may be a blessing for us. The commute was going to be a pain for McGyver. So now we can look a little closer to post. Still. I REALLY liked the house, the area, the price...everything. And now we're back to square one. On top of that, the market is kind of empty right now and there won't be a decent selection of houses again until the first of April which means we won't be able to move into a place until possibly May 1. Which means another 6 to 7 WEEKS in this hotel. Joy. Pray for my sanity.

And to think, I was about to sit down an write a post about how well we had been doing with meals, given that the only cooking implements we have are a microwave, fridge (not really a cooking implement), 1 bowl to cook in, and a ladle. I've smuggled in a crock pot and we are getting our Unaccompanied Baggage shipment which has our toaster oven in it late this week so we're able to do more than just microwavable meals. Guess we'll be doing more of that.

I'm off to search for a new house. Crap.

Can I get some cheese?

To go with the WHINE that we've had all day here??? Good GRIEF!

Princess Trouble must have woken up on the wrong side of the hotel bed this morning because she was super whiny and super snotty (she lost the priviledge of watching her newly bought Bambi DVD because she was snotty to McGyver) all day long.

Little Man was running a low grade fever and was snotty (not sure if it's from his vaccinations earlier this week or because he's teething) and pretty much wandered around the hotel room all day long yelling/screaming/whining.

McGyver was working until 6:30 am (the plane that was due in at 6:30 am was turned around less than 2 hours out...grr...those poor spouses...) and didn't get much sleep so he was less than his usual easy-going self.

Add to that the fact that it's STILL raining here, windy as heck, and COLD (well, by Hawaii standards...) and therefore we are pretty much cooped up in the hotel rooms and life just gets FUN.

SO I'd like to order a nice hunk of cheese to go with all of the WHINE we've had around here today. TOmorrow is another day but for now, my accounting homework is yelling my name...so I'm off to tackle Statement of Cash Flows. Joy.

3.15.2005

I found my "spot"

Last time I took an accounting class was in 1998. I was considering pursuing an MBA (don't ask me why. I just was.) and had to take some prerequisite business classes. Intro to Accounting was one of them. Do I remember any of it? Nope.


Not a DAMN thing.


Fast forward to now. I've found that I prefer teaching Health to Physical Education so I am taking classes in order to gain full certification to be HIRED to teach Health (right now, all I have is a PE certification so I can teach Health but I can't be HIRED to teach health...). But the university I am taking classes through (via distance education) wouldn't admit me to the Health Education program because my original bachelor's degree was too similar to their program. So my advisor enrolled me under a Business degree program (because of my previous Business classes) with a Health Education minor. Fine with me. I've been craving some math anyway (yes, I'm weird like that...I'd like to take another Calculus class and possibly Differential Equations for FUN).


So this term I am signed up for a FULL LOAD (what the HELL was I thinking???). Twelve credits - History of Substance Abuse (or something like that), Nutrition for Sport Performance, and Managerial Accounting. Again, it's been SEVEN YEARS since I took my last accounting class. I don't even balance my checkbook. Really. Well, I do...when I get to $0, I stop spending. Pretty easy.


Anyway, this class STARTS on Chapter 18. Joy. It starts off with how to create a "Statement of Cash Flows" from given financial statements using either the indirect or direct method. My learning curve is STEEP. I've made it through the first chapter and have to sit down tonight and start in on the practice problems.

Classes don't techincally start until March 30 but with our move coming up next month, I don't want to fall behind. Especially since it's going to take me a while to comprehend this stuff. Luckily, I have a friend who is a CPA on this island and I might be able to bribe her to help me.



In other news...


I'm sure you all have heard of what the cost of living is like around here. It's exorbitant. Gas runs about $2.40 downtown. Milk off post is up over $4.00 per gallon. Don't ask what rent runs. When we lived on the Mainland, our food budget was about $400 per month (to include diapers, cat stuff, paper products and hygiene products, etc.). My goal here is to keep our food budget as close to that $400 mark as possible. Basically that means that we will only shop for food at the commissary, Sam's Club, and Costco. We're also looking to get a chest freezer. We'll see how successful we are.

We have 1 month left until we move into our house. My back might be able to last that long. I need to find a chiropractor. Badly.

There is a wind advisory out for the islands and it's (relatively) cold here. I'm actually wearing jeans and a long sleeved T shirt. People who have lived here for a while are just blown away (no pun intended) by not only how windy it is but by how cold it is. Personally, I'm loving it! It's even snowing on the mountain on the big island. I'm dying to go!

And I've found my "spot". Up on the north shore, there is a beach town called Mokuleia. The beaches there are usually empty, if not deserted. The water is beautiful. You can camp on the beach. It's incredible. When I need a moment of sanity or tranquility, that's where you'll find me. If I want to be found...

3.12.2005

Saturday wasted and other musings

I am not a patient person (shock of all shockers to those of you who know me). Princess Trouble needed to go to Acute Care this morning. McGyver is working AGAIN so I wound up schlepping both kids with me in the rain to the Acute Care on post. Fun. I was smart - or so I thought - and made sure to pack juice cups for each child and made sure the snack box was full.


I didn't plan on being there for FOUR HOURS. Four hours! For a BLADDER INFECTION. They weren't busy. They were being LAZY. Four hours. I thought Little Man was going to lose his mind. We were about 2 minutes from walking out the door. Aside from the Cheerios and the juice, the kids had not eaten since breakfast (neither of my kids are big breakfast eaters). Neither had I. NOT a pretty picture, especially when you add to it the fact that Little Man had to be kept restrained in his stroller otherwise he would have eaten every germ on the floor. NOT FUN. The doctor that FINALLY came in to see us was almost as mad as I was. Said there was no reason for us to have waited that long. Said the docs on duty were taking their time.


Note to others : don't make the red head MAD.


I had plans today. Even though it was raining, I was planning to head to Costco, let the kids roam around a bit, possibly swing by a mall and grab lunch and maybe even stop by a beach if the rain let up.


Didn't happen. Damnit.


I have to give my kids credit - they did wonderfully. Other than Little Man fussing a bit and Princess Trouble being her usual 3 year old self, they were not out of control. They did not misbehave. They were not obnoxious. They listened (well, Princess Trouble did...Little Man is still working on it). I have good kids.


In other news, I got my textbooks yesterday. I'm taking a full load this term (what the HELL am I thinking???). Managerial Accounting, "Drugs, Alcohol, and Society", and Nutrition for Sport Performance. Twelve credits. It's been 7 YEARS since I took Intro to Accounting so I may have to bum some tutoring time off my CPA friend. We'll see. The other 2 classes seem to be within my capacity (and mostly stuff I've either learned already in class or by teaching it). I'll see how I do on this accounting class and then decide if I want to continue with any more of the business classes.




I was starting to have a pity party for myself last night as I lay in bed, trying to go to sleep. McGyver is working again this weekend and I'm cooped up in the hotel with the kids. Grr. Then it hit 11pm. Around here, at 11pm, they play "Taps".



Day is done,
gone the sun,
From the hills,
from the lake,
From the skies.
All is well,
safely rest,
God is nigh.

Go to sleep,
peaceful sleep,
May the soldier
or sailor,
God keep.
On the land
or the deep,
Safe in sleep.

Love, good night,
Must thou go,
When the day,
And the night
Need thee so?
All is well.
Speedeth all
To their rest.

Fades the light;
And afar
Goeth day,
And the stars
Shineth bright,
Fare thee well;
Day has gone,
Night is on.

Thanks and praise,
For our days,
'Neath the sun,
Neath the stars,
'Neath the sky,
As we go,
This we know,
God is nigh.



Puts it all in perspective. My pity party is over.


Monday there was a memorial ceremony for the 27 Marines and one Sailor from Hawaii killed in Iraq.


Ten were married.

One was engaged to be married.

Two -- Lance Cpl. Brian Hopper and Cpl. Sean Kelly -- have brothers who are also Marines.

Three Marines -- Lance Cpl. Joseph Spence, Cpl. Timothy Knight and Navy Petty Officer John House -- never got to see their newborn children.

Courtesy of Honolulu Star-Bulletin

I have a LOT to be thankful for. Like I said, that song puts a LOT into perspective.

3.10.2005

Check out my Net Rings!

Scroll down to the bottom! Do it!




I've joined a few web rings - mostly military related so if you're looking for some good reading material, feel free to browse on through these rings. There are lots of good sites out there!

3.09.2005

Little Man

He had his 12 month well-baby visit today. He's 22 pounds (slightly below average), 30 inches (slightly above average), and is about 4 months ahead in terms of his development (according to the Denver something-or-other test that he took). I like the kids' PCM (primary care manager). Actually they have two - one does the first half of the week and the other does the second half.

Anyway, Little Man got his TB test today. We go back Friday for the check and the rest of his immunizations. Fun.

But he's doing great! Yay!

Homeless a little longer

Looks like we're going to be in temp lodging a bit longer than we originally planned. Surprisingly, that doesn't really bother me that much. The owner of the house we are renting asked if we would mind waiting 2 more weeks to move in. Works for me. Every day we stay here is money in the bank. Not that I'm thrilled about being cooped up in 2 rooms for another 5 weeks but the additional $2,000 or so really helps to mitigate that fact.

We met with the owner tonight to do a walk through on the house and decide what furniture to have her leave in the house and what we didn't want to keep. WE've gone from "How are we going to furnish a 4 bedroom house?" to "Where the hell are we going to PUT everything??". I think it will work out but there are a few issues still to work out. I'm pretty sure she's hoping to avoid renting a storage unit and I just don't see that as feasible. She has personal items, knick knacks, dishes, and some furniture that we don't need (trust me...we have PLENTY of our own STUFF...). I think she's going to need a storage unit. But that's her deal, not ours.

The kitchen isn't very big but it's well-laid out. The master bedroom (downstairs) isn't as big as you would find on the Mainland but it will be plenty big for the kids. Add to that the fact that it has its own bathroom and it's going to be perfect for the kids. The other two bedrooms downstairs are small but will work for a guest room and an office.

We're making the upstairs a "sanctuary/kid-free zone". Upstairs is the loft and a 4th bedroom. Not as big as the master bedroom downstairs but big enough to accommodate us. The loft will be ours and the kids will not be allowed upstairs. The loft wall is low and I really don't want to have to worry about one of them taking a 20 foot header on to the floor downstairs. Nor do I want to have to worry about them on the stairs. So we'll gate the bottom and they can have the main floor to play on (as well as the little yard).

The owner seems really nice which is good. She's German and has a college-age son so she's at least aware of what it was like to have kids (thinking wear and tear on furniture and the house). Princess Trouble has taken to her which is good.

We did get a piece of news today - our household goods are here! Not that we can take advantage of that but they are HERE at least. Ah, what I would give for my bed...


Little Man's 1 year well-baby visit is tomorrow. I still cannot believe he's 1.

McGyver's unit is returning from Afghanistan this week and I'm so happy for their spouses. I cannot imagine what this past year has been like. I am thankful that McGyver has not been deployed yet but sometimes I feel like I'm not part of the "club". Not that I *want* to be part of the club - I'd much prefer that McGyver avoid deploying at all. But there is a "sister-hood" that seems to exist within groups of spouses (yes, there are some husbands in the unit but overwhelmingly they are wives so I use the term "sister-hood") who have endured a deployment (or 2...or 3). I am in awe of them. I only hope that, when it is our turn to endure, we do so with the grace that I have seen in others.

3.08.2005

Ramble, ramble, ramble

Well, we have paid the security deposit on our house! We pick up keys and sign the lease April 1. Hopefully there will be no correlation between the date and the house...


The waves have been pounding the North Shore for the past few days and will continue to do so through the weekend. They shut down Waiamea Bay yesterday - some of the waves reached 40 feet on their face. Holy COW! And there were people out SURFING them! The next big swell is supposed to come through Sunday and we're hoping to get up to see it.

Got a little turned around on my way back from dropping off the deposit on the house. There is a by-pass - H201 - and I accidentally got on it and wound up going the exact OPPOSITE direction I needed to go. Wound up at the end of H1 in Aina Haina. Oops. But I did find a nice little Bread Company that I hope to get back to soon - looked yummy! One of these days I'll learn my way around.

The car is essentially fixed. The squeal is pretty much gone although not completely. McGyver came back in, all proud of himself (which he has every reason to be - not everyone can do all the repairs he has done in the parking lot of a hotel with no tools...) and tells me it's fixed. So we get in the car to go to dinner and I start it up. I rev the engine right after starting it up and









it squeals.









I thought McGyver was going to beat the car with a stick. Seems to only do it on start up and he thinks it's just a belt. Then again, that's how this whole mess started...


We're off - doctor's appointment at 7:30 AM. I am SO not a morning person...

3.06.2005

Getting the hang of HTML...kind of...

I'm slowly learning how to install HTML code in my blog template - hence the new section on "Interests And Obsessions".

I'm getting the hang of this...slowly.

Simple pleasures in life...

To teach or not to teach

that is the question.

I have always said that I want to be a SAHM (stay-at-home-mom) until my kids are both in school full time.

BUT...




...I'd also love to be debt free in 10 months.




Assuming I meet all of the requirements for a teaching license in the state of Hawai'i, and assuming there is a teaching position available in a school that I would want to teach in, my starting salary (based on my past teaching experience as well as the classes I've taken beyond my Bachelor's degree) would be somewhere around $40,000 per year.

Things that make you go, "Hmm..."


40,000 x .75 (reasonable assumption of take-home pay) = 30,000

30,000/10 months = 3,000 per month

child care = $800/month
gas = $200/month
clothing = $100/month
food/lunch = $100/month


That leaves me with about $1800 per month in income after expenses.


The question being...is it worth it to put my kids in day care full time in order to bring home an extra $1800 per month?




Things that make you go, "Hmmm..."

Yummy in my tummy and I hate car problems

Those of you who know me at all know that I have a WICKED sweet tooth (thank you Dad...). If it is sweet and gets in my way, I eat it. I'm not a fan of sour things but when I was pregnant with Little Man, even sour things (sweet tarts, sour patch stuff, etc) were devoured.

Anyway, one of my favorite surprises in life (again, it doesn't take much to make me happy) was finding the occasional peanut M&M that had NO peanut in it. A solid chocolate M&M and bigger than the regular plain M&M. Well, I was at the commissary the other day and was picking up more M&Ms for Princess Trouble (rewards for going potty on the potty) and found M&M eggs - SOLID MILK CHOCOLATE M&Ms the size of peanut M&Ms. I'm in heaven.

Then, today, while taking a break from my life that is cooped up in our hotel room, I stopped by Borders to actually have a thought of my own. I was thirsty so I went into the cafe to get something to drink and found my newest obsession - Honey Vanilla Chai tea. It's YUMMY! I'm not a fan of coffee but I love tea and I love chai tea - again, it appeals to my sweet tooth. McGyver says it tastes like oatmeal. I don't really care WHAT it tastes like - it's YUMMY to me.

The car is down again...well, it's been on its way down for a while and now it's finally in need of repair. It's had a scream for months that we thought was a belt. So we replaced the serpentine belt (which needed to be replaced anyway) but that didn't do the trick. Then the starter went out on us - after we got to Hawaii and McGyver had no tools. So we replaced the starter but the scream was still there. McGyver deduced that it was a result of the alternator going out. So we located a new alternator and put it in.

Still, the car screams. In fact, the scream is worse. So now it appears that the scream is a result of a bad water pump. Nothing "catastrophic" according to McGyver. So we get the part but there's apparently no rush to put it in. Until now. Saturday night...









...when it's getting dark...














...and raining...














...and it's dinner time.














NOW it needs to be replaced.


Must be an inherent difference between men and women. As a female (and not being terribly mechanically inclined and having a SERIOUS distaste for car problems that leave you stranded on the side of the road and necessitate a call to Roadside Assistance) I like the idea of address and resolving car problems as soon as possible. But McGyver, being more mechaincally inclined and NOT really being bothered by car problems that leave one stranded tends to wait until a non-urgent problem becomes urgent.

Of course, the problem usually becomes urgent at the most inopportune time (say, when we are in a new place with no tools and no 2nd car to pick up the slack) and it usually happens when I"M driving the damn car.




LUCKY ME.


Aloha!

3.04.2005

I have a counter!

Recently, I've heard from several people that they read my blog. I'm literally shocked because no one really posts comments (which is fine - I didn't create this blog in order to solicit comments from anyone...I created it as a way to vent about my life) so I have no idea how many people actually read my blog.

So it dawned on me that there are free counters out there and that I could possibly add one to my blog site. NOVEL CONCEPT.

So now I have a hit counter. As far as I can tell, it doesn't give me individual stats on who visits - just how MANY people visit. Fine with me. I don't want to know any more about you than you want me to know.

It doesn't take much to make me happy.

Aloha!

We GOT it!!!

The 4 bedroom is OURS! As of April 1.

I'm doing a MAJOR happy dance right now!!!

Now we just have to decide what furniture of the owner we want to keep and what to have her put in storage and sell off our washer and dryer, BBQ, and futon because we won't be needing them for at least a year and I have better things to spend that money on.

I was also able to go see my friend who is on complete bedrest at 22 weeks into her pregnancy after starting to leak amniotic fluid. The leak has stopped, she's not having contractions, and she's doing well. But she could still use some prayers. Her fluid levels are low and it's not like a car where you can just dump another quart in and fill 'er back up. And that low fluid level can cause the baby distress and bring on the need to deliver her early. Every day that my friend stays pregnant is a blessing and every week that she remains pregnant is a huge milestone developmentally and reduces the negative issues that the baby may face if she comes early.

So keep praying please.




And, in a career change, I have decided that *I* need to run the Army. Yep, you heard it. I'm giving up teaching to run the Army. Because the ding dongs in any position of power seem to have lost all sense of common.

This post has had the bulk of its soldiers deployed to either Iraq or Afghanistan for over a year. They are JUST NOW returning. Some are back - some are not. Some LITERALLY just stepped off the plane...like yesterday.

So, what does the Division commander decide would be a nice "welcome home" gesture to these soldiers? A DIVISION RUN. Yep - you heard me. "Thanks for hanging out on the front lines for a year, slogging through sand, mud, and crap for a year. Now get together and RUN."


You HAVE to be joking me. What the hell are they THINKING?

Obviously, someone up there had some shred of common sense and the run was cancelled.

BUT...












...these same soldiers get to spend their Saturday morning picking up trash on the North Shore.

Unbelievable.

I'm all for giving back to the community. But these people just spent a YEAR fighting for their country. What the HELL are they THINKING?

Good grief.

So I'm applying for the job. Think I'll get it?


Aloha!

3.03.2005

A tough situation

Well, not really. It's a good kind of tough - either outcome is favorable.

Yesterday we went to look at a house that is currently being rented by a guy McGyver works with. He's getting ready to leave the island somewhere around the middle to end of April. His house is a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom older house with a 2 car garage. It's closer to post than a lot of the places we've looked at and the landlords are supposedly great. The biggest selling point of this place is the rent - currently McGyver's friend is paying $1400 per month. That is UNHEARD of around here. That is easily $800 below market value.

The drawbacks are that the house is on the small side, it is lacking storage space inside (the 2 car garage makes up for some of that). The backyard is not fenced and the covanents of the are may prevent putting a fence up. The kitchen is a little awkward and there is no separate dining area.

But it's $1400.

Then today, we looked at another house (actually we looked at 5). Four bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, AND A LOFT plus a 2 car garage. $2200. Not outside our budget.

But not $1400.


It's a wonderful house - definitely has that "WOW!" factor to it. Two bedrooms downstairs including the master bedroom. Two bedrooms upstairs along with the loft. The kitchen is nicely laid out, the rooms are big, it has central air conditioning and the owner says her utility bills average less than $200 per month. And, get this...

IT COMES FURNISHED.

For $2200.

The drawbacks are that it is further south than the other house which means more traffic and a longer commute. There is little yard space...enough to let the kids play in (once the overgrowth is cut back and we lay some sod) but not a lot. The parking situation is a little tight but that's pretty much how it is all over the island.

And it's not $1400 per month.

We're faxing our application TONIGHT.

However, if we don't get it, our alternative is the $1400 per month house and taking that one would mean that we would be COMPLETELY DEBT FREE in 2 years without breaking a sweat.

It's a tough situation we're in.

As we were out driving today and running errands today, we passed a strip mall. In the strip mall was a veterinary clinic.


And on either side of said vet clinic were (wait for it...)




















a Vietnamese restaurant and a Thai restaurant.


Not sure I want to eat at either or take my pets to that vet.


Aloha!