Jul 09

Happy News

Uncategorized 2

My husband FINALLY got approved for travel by my company, which means in less than 3 weeks he will be here and we’ll be moving into an apartment!!!

Words don’t even express how happy and excited I am right now. It’s been over a year since we’ve lived together. I know it won’t be all sunshine and roses, there’s always an adjustment period after people come back together…but we’re committed and we’ll work through it. Maybe it’ll be easier since it’ll be a new place for both of us, instead of me coming back home to a place already established. I hope so. Should be interesting too, since all the stuff we’re shipping over won’t even be here until September some time…ugh. We can rent the essentials till then, but…I want MY things! I want to make our place OURS, make it a home for us.

Oh well. Guess we’ll go take the Korean beaches by storm until then. 😉 Also, since my posting a countdown on FB drives the man crazy (“It makes it seem longer! Time slows down…”) I guess I’ll post my happy countdown here. 😀

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Jul 05

Happy 4th of July!!!

Life 0

This is almost my favorite holiday of the year. I have a lot of good memories of it, from growing up all the way up till now. Last year was probably my worst, but it was still the brightest day in the middle of a very long string of VERY BAD days! This year was better…I’m still not with my family, but I spent it with some new friends, in a new country – and still got to celebrate with fireworks! One of these days all the people I love will be in the same place again.

In the meantime, I was playing with my new camera, and I’m pretty excited about some of the pics I got! Hope you all enjoy them too.

July 4th 026 July 4th 013 July 4th 018 July 4th 015 July 4th 029 July 4th 030Too bad there was that annoying pole in the middle of practically all of them. We tried but there was just no where that had a clear view. Also the second from last one just reminds me of the giant droid things from Star Wars, haha!

 

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Jun 20

Swapping Stuffs

Books/Writing, Crafting, Life, Random 3

I started doing some swaps on Swap-bot again, after a long absence of ANY kind of swapping. I’ve received some postcards (yay for my collection…still at home…sigh), and then this week I got some awesome packages of notecards and stationery stuffs! I’m slowly building up to bigger swaps (as most of them have requirement of completing smaller ones before you’re allowed to participate). Here are some pics…most of the swappers I’ve experienced have been lovely, generous people that sent awesome stuff.

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A beautiful collection of notecards from Debbie as part of the Note Card Lovers swap . I really want to know where she found some of these!

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An awesome postcard, delicious tea, and beautiful papers from Cindy in the Pick 3 Things swap. And look at the amazing handmade card she sent! I wish I was that creative.

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Then my other package from the Note Card Lovers Swap arrived today! From Charlie. Owls are my favorite, and I love the colors in the square cards. The card on the right was made from an old book.


I’m trying my hand at ATCs, mostly through Zentangling. Here is the one Zentangle ATC I’ve received so far. Isn’t it pretty? I’ve stuck to patterns only on mine so far, not tried to make a picture of anything.

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These are the two ATCs I’ve made so far. Really simple, but I’ve had fun playing with watercolor paint (my first time ever) and different inks.

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Here are some of the packages and letters I’ve sent out, all ready to go on their journey! I hope the people getting my swaps are as happy with them as I’ve been about the ones I’ve received.

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May 26

Book Baristas’ Birthday Challenge

Books/Writing 1

Book Baristas is having a little 10 day challenge over on their Instagram, in honor of their one-year anniversary. I’m having so much fun I decided to post my pics for the challenge over here too! Because of course, the obsession continues. I had another book arrive in my mailbox today!!! 😀 😀 😀

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Day 1: Book and a cafe drink…because what else would you be drinking while reading?

012Day 2: Books that made you cry.

I don’t have all my books, so the only other real tear-jerker I can think of isn’t here. I’m not counting books that just made me tear up a little, but the ones that actually had tears coming down my face. The list is pretty short, actually.

Rules of War:

Rule #1: Good men will die.
Rule #2: Not even Doc can change Rule #1.
Rule #3: For his brothers, Doc will die trying to change both Rule #1 and Rule #2.

I really don’t have anything else to say, other than this is where my heart is. I may not be in a combat arms position, but that doesn’t change the fact that my job is to conserve the fighting strength of my brothers and sisters, and if and when the time comes, to look Death in the face and say, “Not today. Not on my watch.”

Or so they tell me. We’ll see if I pass the test when my turn comes.

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May 25

The Obsession Returns

Books/Writing 0

116It never really left, but it definitely had to take a back seat for awhile.

I have a lot of mild obsessions, so you might wonder which one I’m referring to THIS time. However, I can honestly say I’ve only had TWO lifelong obsessions, or at least two that quite literally date back to my very earliest memories. This one, rather inconvienient for someone who moves as often as I seem fated to do, is books. Not just reading them. Collecting them. I haven’t had all my books unpacked in almost 3 years now. When I moved the last time (to a permanent – or so I thought, haha – residence), one of my bookshelves, of course the largest, broke in transit so I literally had no room for them all, and I never replaced the shelf because…well, you know. The best laid plans of mice and men.

But now I’m in a new place. My place. Where I can collect MY things. Because when I move again, I’m paying someone to move my stuff. I swear I will. So I’m allowing myself to collect books (and other things…but that’s neither here nor there) again. I feel like I deserve it. I even had my longsuffering husband – he doesn’t quite understand my love of books but he puts up with it and appreciates that they look nice on the shelves – mail me a box from home that I thought I really just couldn’t live without any longer.

I’ve been here for a little over 3 weeks. The picture above was what my “collection” looked like when I got here. The picture below is what it looks like now. Some of those are the box from home. Some are courtesy of a couple Amazon late-night impulse purchases. I might also have about 10 more, purchased used from various places (most through Amazon), on their way to me. But goddamn if surface mail isn’t the slowest thing ever to an APO box. That said…I love looking at them. Isn’t that silly? But I do.


Also, I’ve been reading like there’s no tomorrow. I finished my 25 books in 2015 Challenge over on GoodReads. I have one book left of the stack I borrowed from the teeny tiny library here, and I’m halfway through that. I’m not borrowing any more books from the library until I’ve read all the ones I haven’t read up there on that little shelf. I’m not, I’m NOT!

I also updated (and reorganized, and regrouped, and retagged) my library on LibraryThing. Since I can’t physically shelve and organize the books, might as well do in virtually. I hadn’t been on there for awhile and didn’t realize I’d left some of X’s books on it…oops. That has since been remedied, and I actually don’t have nearly as many books as I thought. 256, not counting audiobooks or e-books. See, plenty of room to expand, right?

I think the postal clerks are tired of seeing me already. Oh well. Maybe I’ll make them some cookies. 😀

 

 

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May 09

Change of Scenery

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No, I promise I didn’t actually disappear again. Just, a lot of things have happened in the last month and a half. I’ll keep it brief and illustrate everything in bullet form.

I graduated.

I got married!! I can’t even start to say how happy this makes me, so I’ll just let everyone imagine. 😉

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I visited the ocean for the first time.

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We visited friends in Charlotte, NC, and I got thoroughly, thoroughly drunk and enjoyed every minute of it.

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I moved to Korea.

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I started a new job.

We’re still waiting to see if my company will let my husband join me.

Yep, I miss him like crazy and am trying not to be depressed at the idea of maybe spending a year away from him…but I’ve been trying to enjoy having my OWN space again (no more room sharing, yippee!) and stitch in my (suddenly very copious) free time. I’ve been reading a lot. So more on all of that in a different post. Just trying to catch up on life happenings here. 😉

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Mar 08

Dragging

Life 1

The weather has been perfectly rotten the past week or so. To the point it took me FIVE days – yes, five – to walk to the post office to mail a stack of letters. Some of which were Valentine’s cards that will be very, very late now. But it was so cold, and so windy, and so rainy, and by the end of the day I am so tired! It is almost a mile to the box, so…yes, I was lazy. The day I ended up going was still horrible but I just couldn’t stand not having them mailed any longer! I didn’t get anything – ANYTHING in the mail this week. It was so sad. 😛

School has been…blah. Dragging on and on and ON…even though there’s actually only a few weeks left. I feel depressed. There, I said it. All I want to do is sleep. I drag myself out of bed in the morning, drag myself to class, drag myself through class, then drag myself back to my room in the evening. Half the time I don’t go eat dinner. I just feel so exhausted. Part of that is probably because I’ve had some kind of sinus or respiratory bug for over a month now, that nothing seems to help.

I. Miss. Home. And by home I don’t even mean a specific place. I miss the people. Sure, I talk to them on the phone and text them all the time. But it’s just. not. the same. Most of all I miss being with my babe, doing things together and just hanging out. I miss our 2 am runs to Dunkin Donuts. I miss laying my head on his chest and his arm around me as I go to sleep. I miss him tickling me till I scream. I miss making dinner and always getting a hug and a kiss and a thank you (no matter how much of a flop it might be or if it’s only a frozen lasagna!). I miss getting on the bike and riding for hours, just the two of us and the wind. I miss rubbing his shoulders after he’s worked all day. I miss him grabbing me and kissing me and calling me his sexy lady. I miss making things for our home, food, quilts, gardening, decorating…all of it.

You’d think with time rapidly dwindling I’d be happier. But I’m having a lot of trouble pulling my head up. I’m scared of all the uncertainty that the next year holds. My heart breaks because I know the man and boy I love probably won’t be spending it with me. I feel like I’ve let them down, even though this assignment wasn’t my choice. I don’t know what to do about it. I think that’s what bothers me the most. I simply don’t know what to do. I’ve tried everything I know to change my assignment, but unless there’s a deus ex machina moment waiting on me out there, it’s pretty much set in stone.  So deal with it, suck it up buttercup, and drive on. I can do that. I just hate feeling like I’m full of lead. That’s not me at all. And I don’t know what to do. I have no plan other than just getting through one day at a time. It drives me crazy and makes me wonder if this was all one big mistake. Maybe I should have never signed up for this. Too late now though I guess.

I try to keep doing the things that make me happy. Writing letters, stitching, reading. Sleeping. As much sleep as I can get. I wish I could just go for a walk. By myself. But no alone time is allowed here. Meh.

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Feb 08

Back in the Stacks

Books/Writing, Life 0

Well, I didn’t sleep that much over the weekend. Guess my body didn’t need quite as much as I though, or maybe I’ve just learned to function on 5 hours a night and 7 feels like overkill.

I actually spent a lot of time reading. Some hard copy, a lot audio. I finished Curtsies and Conspiracies, which was fun. Worked on Becoming Odyssa a little, and started Waistcoats and Weaponry.

 

Curtsies was a pretty little light-hearted YA novel and just the kind of mind fluff I needed. After studying till facts and numbers and vocab were all coming out my ears I needed a break. No sex and not much violence, so it’s not exactly mind candy, but definitely fluff. I really enjoyed it, and I did something I haven’t done in ages…started the next in the series right away!

I really miss reading. Reading for hours at a time, just losing myself completely in a book. I’ve done most of my recent reading via audiobook, just because I can’t stand to not be multi-tasking with such limited free time. I had an Audible subscription for a long time (which is a GREAT deal for larger books, by the way…little ones, I’d just use the discount that comes with the $15 a month membership, because otherwise you’re actually paying more for the smaller ones!), but I had such a backlog I cancelled it until I can get caught up on listening. I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t constantly checking my watch as I read/studied/took a shower, worrying about when I needed to next be somewhere. But, I’m still doing happy things! Reading, stitching, writing letters…which reminds me, some mail posted in a DIFFERENT drop box actually made it to its destination. Apparently all 7 postcards/letters I put in the first one have gone AWOL. I’m slowly getting to re-writing the letters. Anne and Sarah, my replies to your lovely letters were among those lost…replacements are forthcoming, I promise!

I realized when I started Turncoats that I have SO MANY book series started. Do most people read all the way through one, or at least get caught up through the publishing, before they start a new one? I remember plowing through series at the speed of light as a kid, then biting my nails till the next one came out. But I haven’t done that for a LONG time. Now I have tons of series started that I intend to finish (not going to even begin to go into how many I started and have no intention of finishing)…it’s going to take awhile! My book list is ever growing.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon – So. In. Love. Scotland. Medicine. Sex. War. Passion. Time travel. This one just pretty much pushes all my buttons.
Temeraire series by Naomi Novik – The only alternative history books I’ve ever read, I think. Love these too, not as passionately as Outlander, but still love them.
China Bayles by Susan Wittig Albert – Cozy mysteries. Fluff books. Good to relax.
Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich – Guilty pleasure mysteries, I laugh till I cry with almost every one of these.
Women of the Otherworld by Kelley Armstrong – I’ve actually only read the first one of these, but I liked it and want to read more.
Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear – again, only read the first one of these, but I loved the psychological mystery aspect without too much gore. Still on the cozy mystery side of the spectrum, I think. Sense a pattern yet?
Amelia Peabody series by Elizabeth Peters – more history, more cozy. Also funny. I love Amelia.
Discworld  by Terry Pratchett – the only sci-fi on this list. But OMG Vimes! and the Watch! and Rincewind! I giggle and smile and cry through every one and I’m so far from being finished.
Chief Inspector Armand Garmanche by Louise Penny- not so cozy but still not thriller type. Also only read the first in this series but I really enjoyed it.
Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series by Anne Perry – dramatic Victorian mysteries. Different than what I usually read but I like them…just not in large doses?
Meg Lanslow series by Donna Andrews – hysterical. Improbable. Cozy mysteries.
Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes series by Laurie R. King – also only read the first one of these but fully intend to read them all. I listened to this one.

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Jun 21

Places to Go

Uncategorized 4

My list of places I can reasonably hope to go is rather short this summer. I’ve got something coming up I need to save some PTO for, and gas prices haven’t come down much anyway. There are a few places in daytrip distance I’d like to go, but I can never seem to remember them when we have a “What’re we gonna do today?” moment. So…I’m making a list. Including prices for admission and approximate distance from Roanoke because that figures into the choices as well.

Natural Bridge (and caverns)- both, $29 a person, bridge only $21 – 40 miles, less than an hour drive
Monticello – The suggested Presidential Itinerary sounds really interesting, but also out of budget. Monticello day pass and tour is $24 per person. 2.5 hours.
Virginia State Capitol Building – free so far as I can tell from the website – 190 miles, 3.5 hour drive
Edgar Allen Poe Museum – not sure how exciting this would be, but I love Poe. $6 a person, ~3 hour drive.
Haunts of Richmond Ghost Tours – Yes, please, in spite of the cheesy freak picture on the main page. I love stories of ghosts and hauntings. They also do haunted pub crawls, and one of their tours departs from the Edgar Allen Poe Museum. $15 a person, ~3 hour drive.
Library of Virginia – enough said, yes? Huge library, lots of historical documents and collections. Free. ~3 hour drive.
Historic Jamestown – obviously. $14 a person but good for 7 days and includes the Yorktown battlefield. 4+ hour drive, Yorktown an additional 40 minutes.
Science Museum of Western VA – honestly, I just want to see the butterflies. $4 a person after July 1, and it’s right here in Roanoke.
Smith Mountain Lake State Park – everyone keeps talking about it, but I’m iffy because the lake is man-made. However, apparently there is quite a little network of hiking trails that no one mentioned, so a day scouting the lake and boat (jetski!!) rental prospects wouldn’t be entirely wasted. $2-3 parking fee. ~1 hour or less.
Assateague Island National Seashore – because I was enthralled with the Misty books as a kid, and it looks beautiful. I think this would have to be an overnight trip though or we would just be miserable. Price depends on if you decide to rent a kayak, see the lighthouse, etc. $5-75 a person, 380 miles ~6.5 hours.
Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center – pushing the limits of a daytrip with this one, too. But I’m sure we could find something else to do in Virginia Beach if we decided to stay all night. $22-28 per person depending on if you choose the Imax option. Boat trips in conjunction more. 4 hours 45 minutes.

There. Now I have a long list of possibilities. Looks like the list leans heavily on the Richmond side though…hmm…

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May 28

Figuring It Out

Life, Musings, Pets 0

Still working on that after the last few stressful months. Hopefully in the next few weeks I’ll make some headway. I’ve been looking at my list of goals for this year, posted back in January, and feeling kind of bummed. I don’t foresee many of those happening now. Maybe I just wasn’t realistic. But, if everything goes as I’m hoping it will it really won’t matter. Anyway, I will stop attempting to be cryptic and bore you with pictures of a now very grown up looking Alfred. Until I have something better to say.

Please ignore the laundry.

Alfred does yoga.

I love that he has whiskers that are part black and part white.

“What do you mean, ‘your’ pillow?”

 

 

 

 

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