I started to post this on Facebook, sharing a photo my husband uploaded today, but it got to be so long of a post that I decided I should just turn it into a blog. I haven’t blogged in a few days either….two birds, one stone. Also, this is one of those moments we will both look back upon and laugh with each other. Guaranteed….
There is never a dull moment for our family. This morning, we walked to post to catch the Saturday mail room hours, PX and Commissary. Taco hit the mailroom while Sid and I did the shopping. We found him at the bus stop next to Gate 4 pissed off at me with two giant boxes (The Boy’s homeschool materials already arrived!) and a Priority mail box (thanks, Mom!) and showed me where, for carrying sake, he had already opened my box of Scentsy Scent Paks and had shoved them in his pants, along with a DVD from his parents. Judging by the look on his face, he was pretty pissed at me, but all he said was to order in moderation from now on, and he’s never picking up mail for me again. When asked why he didn’t call a taxi, he said “it’s just down the street” to our house. So I struggled with a power transformer and two full hands of grocery sacks down the street with The Boy complaining that his bag from the PX containing his newly purchased DS game (bought with his own money that he has been saving from his allowance) and a bottle of water was getting too heavy. Apparently we are going to have to start some type of muscle building routine into his Homeschool/PE time.
Taco was offered a ride from one of his fellow Soldiers who saw us coming out of the gate, but declined as, “it’s just down the street.” We each stopped a few times, to readjust the weight around and give our arms a break, and I got far enough ahead of Taco that I couldn’t really see him anymore. Just as we reached the street corner of by our house, I met up with a new acquaintance – the pastor’s wife for a church that we have been invited to attend for Easter Service and potluck lunch. So I chatted with her for a while about the predicament and assured we’d see each other tomorrow morning. As I climbed the stairs to our house, I decided that it would be very kind of me to drop the groceries off inside the kitchen and return to help my struggling husband. One of these boxes weighed nearly 50lbs, and they were really big and awkward. I really did feel bad.
As I reached to put the key in the door, I saw a car drive up, it’s driver a Korean man smirking in what I assumed to be contained laughter. Then out climbs my husband from the passenger seat. He apparently was offered another ride home, and by then, he decided it was not worth declining a second time. As he unloaded the stash from his pants, I asked again, “why didn’t you get a taxi??” His reply, “because I only had two dollars in my wallet!!”
I had money on me, we could have called a cab at the bus stop, if only he’d said so before. But maybe he has learned now to always keep at least 4 Korean Won in his wallet at all times – it’s just enough to get you from post to our house.
I would also like to add that my husband knows how very much I love him and how very much I love to pick on him. Like my Granddad always told me, he most of all liked to pick on the ones that he loves most of all.
For the most part, this past week was one of those that I’d prefer to forget ever happened, rather than write down in any type of journal. I was full of all types of emotional instability, sprouting from a difficult start on homeschooling on Monday. Add in the fact that my husband was gone all week with work, our first week in our new home, and a whole lot of feeling lonely and sorry for myself. I was badly missing my friends that would always be there to cheer me up whenever he was gone. I’m not going to lie to you, I flat out lost it on Monday. I was a mess.
Finally, on Thursday, good things had started to happen and I was starting to feel mostly better. I also had something to look forward to that day: Pie Day! (March 14th, 3/14, aka Pi Day) For Pie Day, I planned to use my new Korean oven for the first time and bake a cherry pie. It required minimal effort, minimal ingredients – all of which I can find at our minimal commissary – and resulted in a whole lot of awesome. I even went the extra mile and bought some vanilla bean ice cream to go along with it. Hey, it was a rough week, I definitely earned the extra treat.
Now let me start out by emphasizing the fact that not only are things different here in Korea culturally, but stuff flat out works differently. For some reason, I was having some severe issues getting the oven to stay on. I knew it couldn’t possibly be that the pilot light was out, because in Korea they have a gas line that you manually turn on/off to your stove when you are/not using it – for safety! So there is no way a pilot light would stay on when the fuel supply is off…it’s got to be an electric starter. On this oven, you push the temp knob just like you do starting one of the stove top flames. I could hear it click, I could hear the whoosh of the gas catching fire, but as soon as I let go of the knob, it went out. So frustrating!!
I gave up, paced the house in disappointment, and told my son we weren’t going to have pie after all. I’m not sure which of us was more disappointed. I tried once more on the oven, willing the stupid thing to work – and like a gift from God, it stayed on! I danced a jig in sheer delight and began my pie preparations. I had already thawed my frozen pie crust, so I grabbed my $3.99 can opener I’d purchased in the commissary along with the cans of cherry. It was one of those cheap metal can openers that practically cut your hand as much as the can when you crank that awful metal handle. I didn’t want to buy a regular one for $6.99 when I have a perfectly good can opener coming with our household goods in just a few weeks.
One crank on the can opener, good. Two cranks – SNAP!!! It broke. Naturally. The small piece of metal that causes the can to rotate when you crank it had gone flying across my dining room. It was now completely useless to me. Naturally. It just completely fit in with the crappy week I’d already had. I was devastated. I really didn’t feel like going out of the house again to buy a new one, but 1) I really wanted that pie and 2) I couldn’t just leave the can with a 1/4″ hole punctured in it.
So I started looking around for my husband’s trusty gerber, which I have been using in the past two moonths to knife open cans since I didn’t want to buy that $3.99 can opener in the first place. I couldn’t find the gerber anywhere, Taco was still not coming home for two more days, and I couldn’t call to ask where the gerber was. So I tested out a butter knife. I really didn’t think I’d have much luck, but I actually sawed 1/3 of the way around the can before I started to wonder if I was getting aluminum shavings into the pie filling. Also, my hand was starting to seize in a cramp from holding the butter knife like that for so long. I gave up, told my son to get his shoes on – we were going to the PX for a $6.99 can opener. And, not wanting to risk house fire, I turned off the oven, praying it would start up again when we got back.
We went to the PX, got the can opener, made a last minute decision on a bottle of non-ration-controlled wine that I was going to drink all by myself dagnabit, and headed home. Before we even left post, I decided that the frozen lasagna I’d planned for dinner could kiss my you-know-what and we were going to have chicken fried rice and cheesy ramen at our favorite Korean restaurant instead.
Afterwards, we went home and I started the oven after the 4th attempt. I finished the whole bottle of wine before the pie was done. By then, it was way past our bed time, I was too tired to wait for the pie to cool off and decided that we would just have it for breakfast the next day. It was, after all, still Pie Day in America.
First of all: I live in Korea! WOAH! That pill has been swallowed, and – while bittersweet – the lump is starting to dissolve and we are slowly integrating into our new surroundings. Here is one of the experience I feel worth documenting as my first “In Korea” blog post.
Between 0730-0800 is one of my new favorite times of day. Here in our new home, our livingroom window faces the parking lot of an apartment complex. It is a little hard to see, thanks to the window fence and power pole. (Click it, make it bigger!) There are some cars that are parked blocking other cars into their parking spaces. This, of course, is because there are not enough spots for everyone that lives there. I have never seen anything like this before. Where I come from, if you blocked a car in, you’d have half the neighborhood having their doors banged down until someone finds you to over your car. In Korea, they park it in neutral and whoever is blocked in just moves the car forward/backward so they are no longer blocked. This leads to a pretty entertaining morning as everyone seems to be leaving for school/work at the same time!
Also, check out the small distance left between the cars parked in the middle. Not a lot of room to pull out of your space and be able to turn and drive out, right? They can take what would be a 15-point turn around and knock it out in 3 or less! Something I have noticed in my Parking Wars watching is that Koreans are excellent at backing up their cars. They may not have a positive reputation for many things when it comes to vehicle operation, but I’ve got to give it to them – these people can reverse like it’s going out of style!
So that’s it…my first of what I hope to be many documentations of our new life. So far things are actually going pretty great, aside from missing friends/family like always. But no matter where in the world we go, we know we’ve got lots of love coming our way – and just remember, there’s a whole lot of love coming right back at you from us! <3
My BFF MeganDubYuh is starting up a nifty little End of Year meme that I wanted to be sure to participate in. Here’s the deets for you to follow along:
“It is so easy to focus on the negative things in our life. Let’s all take a minute to talk about the best moments of 2010. In the five categories below list out your #1 from 2010. Post it on your blog and link back to this post (and post to Mr. Linky at the end of the post). We can use this as a blog hop and to review the beginning of the second decade of the 21st century.
Best song to sing along to in the car.
Best TV show.
Best website to waste time on.
Best memory you made.
Best song to sing along to in the car
hard to pick a Best song, but the most frequently listened to was “Boom Boom Pow” by the Black Eyed Peas – Sidney absolutely LOVES that song and would request it for each of our MANY road trips
Toy Story 3
Best TV show
What Would Brian Boitano Cook? (thanks @ajuribe for the super laugh-fest recommendation!)
Best website to waste time on
Facebook. Seriously, I couldn’t begin to tell you how much time I’ve wasted on there.
Best memory you made
There’s no #1 best but here’s a few amazing memories that were made: first official deployment ceremony, sending off my man;
becoming a Scentsy Independent Consultant;
road tripping from NM to WA w/ my BF MeganDubYuh;
the ups and downs of R&R;
visiting my high school BFF for the first time in 9 years;
seeing The Black Crowes for a second time – woo!;
meeting some of my Tweeps, @sara0120, @ajuribe, @tammymunson and @armywifebethany;
making friends with some of the lovely other spouses of Taco’s unit, and the Twitter MilSpouse community…and finding that we really can make it through one of the most difficult events of our lives
I must say, this year has not been a boring one!
Ahhh, the deployment cycle. That never ending process that looms in the back of the minds of Military Spouses. For your entertainment value, I made up my own MilSpouse version of the deployment cycle (seen at left).
I started thinking about the cycle tonight, remembering a few of my fellow MilSpouse Tweeps (wow, I really just used that word), who are gearing up to face a deployment of their own. It makes me think back on when I was getting ready for our deployment. Thinking of who was getting into their stages of Excited or Ooo La La. I think how I felt a little pang of jealousy at those who were welcoming their men home just as mine was leaving. I wish I hadn’t felt jealous, because I was so excited for them to be reunited with their men but still, it is only natural. As this deployment cycle clicks to the next stage for all of us, I’m going into Excited now and others are soon to be Emotionally Unstable. I will be doing my best to keep the excitement low-key and remain a support to those facing their hardest moments.
Please remember each and every one of our MilSpouse Family just as we remember their spouses who serve.
Pre-ramble: I have an addictive personality, and relish the thought of living in a virtual realm. RPGs are the bane of my existence and I forbid myself to touch The Sims again until The Boy (and future children) are graduated and out of the house.
Sometimes I wake up early (i.e. before The Boy) only so that I have quiet time while I feed my cows and geese on Frontierville. That’s right, I’m a Frontierville junkie and it seems to be the only thing that I look forward to in the day. As John Lennon put it best, “whatever gets you through the night, it’s alright.”
As sad as it seems, this is what gets me through the night. Once this deployment is over, I have full intentions on cutting the habit – cold turkey – and deleting the wretched program. Honestly, what is wrong with me that I would rather feed some virtual chickens and harvest imaginary potatoes than wash the dishes in my REAL sink? It’s such a waste but at least there is something I actually have motivation for.
It started on R&R, when Taco was home. Rather than going out of the house and doing things together, we opted to save money and have a stay-cation. (FYI: I hate that word.) Where did we stay? Our dining room table. It was a pretty sad sort of set up, I had my laptop and Taco had his netbook and we sat there for hours at a time feeding animals and harvesting crops on Farmville. I had tried the game before, but decided it was the biggest waste of time I’d ever made and let my animals starve and my crops whither. Taco, however, has been obsessed with it almost the moment his foot touched the South Asian sand. No, there must not be more gratifying things for him to do over there. But again, whatever gets him through the night.
Naturally, these crops of his could not be laid to waste for two weeks while he was at home, so I decided that if I couldn’t beat the addiction, I’d join it…temporarily…or so I thought. We sat there at the table together where we discovered a new addiction: Frontierville. Oh joy! Now there were TWO virtual wastes of time to harvest! I even became ecstatic when Zanga announced the release of the free Farmville application for the iPhone/iPod. Now I could harvest my strawberries while spending productive time on the shitter!
I have since deleted Farmville because it took up entirely too much time to plant, harvest, plow and plant again. Frontierville? Yeah it’s still there and my frontier is bigger than ever. I’ve strategically planted my crops not only where I know I’ll have enough energy to harvest at once, but also I’m planting for the most pay-out. Same for my animals: I will feed 50 Ox over 50 chickens because the Ox give out more food when you sell them.
Besides the mental distraction for myself, it has continued to be something that Taco and I are able to do together. It’s better than getting back into Word of Warcraft, and we don’t have to depend on his crappy internet connection. On the very rare moments that we are online at the same time, our conversations will always lead to what the other needs help with on their Frontier. What items do we need to complete missions? What crops do we need harvested or the likes? It’s quite ridiculous that this is how we are spending our precious time talking and of the things I look forward to the most, it’s the moment where I delete the application from my Facebook and put my foot down that he does the same thing. It’s bad enough how much time he spends on the Playstation, God help us if the Farmville/Frontierville addiction continues on top of that.
P.S. Anyone want to be my Frontierville neighbor?
Here I am almost a whole month since my last post and even a few weeks behind on Wifey of A Sailor’s MilSpouse Friday Fill-In. I have been dealing with what I’m going to call the Deployment Blues. Absolutely nothing tickles my fancy, especially sitting in front of the computer. I’ve mostly been reading books or knitting, which suits me just fine. There’s a “real” blog post brewing in my brain, I will probably post that here in the next week or so. But for now, you’ll have to be satisfied with another MilSpouse Friday Fill-In (I’ll do a catch up for the past missed weeks later).
This week’s questions…
1. What characteristic about yourself has either been strengthened or weakened due to your experience as a Military Spouse? (from The Albrecht Squad)
I would have to say that I have more confidence as an individual. I have never been the type to rely on other people or feel the need of being around people all the time. Yes, I miss my husband like you would not believe, but I feel accomplished at not being a sobbing ball of mess 24/7 with him gone. And let’s face it, girls/guys, but we’re pretty much on our own with our men/women gone. I am just super blessed to have an awesome support system that I know I can lean on when I am just having one of those terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days.
2. What is your favorite vacation spot and why? (from ‘Tis the Life of the Army Wife)
Well that’s a tough one. I am going to throw a generic answer out there and say anywhere with mountains and lots and lots of green trees. I have gone visiting a ton of people over the last year, but I can’t remember the last time that I had an honest to God vacation. i.e. no agenda, no responsibilities other than the daily Triple S (shit, shower & shave).
3. If you could have any fast-food restaurant in the food court on base/post what would you pick? (from The Only Pink in a House of Blue)
Like if I could name what restaurant to be put in place? Hmmm…that is hard because the Ft Bliss PX is going through a major overhaul and will contain a shit-ton of stuff already. I suppose I would pick something that you can only get back home, Taco Box.
4. Where did you go on your honeymoon? (from Pennies from Heaven)
Non-applicable. Still waiting for our honeymoon…maybe this coming summer?
5. If you could have any job in the world regardless of money, degree or experience, which job would you have and why? (from Proud to Be a Navy Family and The Calm Before The Storm)
I’m going to refer back to a previous question/answer from MilSpouse Friday Fill-In vol. 2, question #1
Holy cow, I’m actually posting the Q&A on it’s debut day! My apologies to those who read/follow my blog that I haven’t posted anything other than these fill-ins for the last several weeks. Trust me that there is a lot going on in my head, but unfortunately so much that I can’t seem to sit down and wrap my head around any one thing in order to blog it. So for now, this post is again dedicated to Wifey of A Sailor’s MilSpouse Friday Fill-In (which I am seriously loving, btw). Don’t forget to check out Mr Linky on her page so that you can meet/read about the other amazing MilSpouses who participate in this weekly meme!
This week’s questions are extra special since they come from fellow participants, whose blog links are included:
1. If you could be a fugitive from the law for whatever reason, what would your crime be? (from It’s a Hooah Life)
I can’t think of any reason that I would WANT to be a fugitive, but one that I probably SHOULD be in trouble for is speeding. I have a serious lead-foot and can easily shave off 30-45 minutes (minimum) from suggested arrival time on any road trip that I take.
2. How long do you think you will be a military family? (from Julie the Army Wife)
Forever and ever, amen. My belief: once a military family, always a military family – even if your family no longer actively serves in it. It is an experience that makes such an impact on your life that there is no way to erase it. Our plan is for Taco to retire from the military, but we will always be a military family and a part of THE military family as well.
3. What’s your favorite recipe? (from Keep Calm and Soldier On)
Good grief, that is a hard one to nail down! I am gonna have to go with good old rolled dumplings for chicken & dumplings. I really don’t need any chicken or veggies, just the broth & dumplings is enough to keep me quite happy!
4. What would you want your last five words to be when you leave this life? (from My Goal is Simple)
“See you on the flip-side!” (from Boondock Saints)
5. Where do you hope to retire? (from Pennies from Heaven)
I always said that I would like to retire in Colorado, even though I had never actually visited there until a couple of weeks ago. It is still very high on my list but now the glorious state of Washington is a prime candidate, after the trip I took there with one of my besties, MeganDubyuh. All I really want is to live in GREEN, pine tree covered mountains on a nice big plot of land in the middle of nowhere, but close enough to a fairly large city/community for good shopping fixes. I have recently been considering the idea of opening a small bed & breakfast somewhere as well.
Five years ago today, I married the love of my life and my very very best friend. I walked down a home-made aisle in my grandparents’ backyard to one of the most beautiful songs of all time – “Grow Old With Me” (originally by John Lennon, but we used the Peter Breinholt cover, which is BEAUTIFUL). My grandfather gave me away on behalf of my family. It was dusk and we had twinkling white lights surrounding the alter and yard (see pic, taken after the ceremony). We were in the presence of family and very close friends, but most importantly, God. I know He has a crazy way of dealing some of the cards in life but it keeps us on the edge of our seats, wondering what is coming up next.
I think that days like this are harder to face alone than the usual birthdays or holidays missed…everyone gets a chance at celebrating their birthday every year. Not everyone is blessed to celebrate their wedding anniversary, and I mean REALLY celebrate it. Also it’s one of those days that not everyone knows so they don’t call or text all day long to wish the day be happy. It really can give the feeling of being forgotten. So…I don’t really know what to say about today, since there’s a lot of obvious mixed feelings involved.
I’m sad because this is the second year (in a row) that we haven’t been together for our anniversary.
I’m sad because this is one of those milestone anniversaries that it would have been freaking awesome to be together for.
I’m sad because I have not been able to talk to him on our anniversary, my time – we chatted last night when it was our anniversary in his current time zone.
I’m sad because I don’t REALLY have anyone to make a half-assed attempt at celebrating it with while he is gone. There is only so much that a 4 year old can understand when you try to explain this kind of day to them.
I’m happy because wow, 5 years have already gone by! It partly seems like it zipped by fast, but then at the same time it feels like we have been together for forever.
I’m happy because even though we have had our share of roller coaster ups and downs, I know that we are in it for real and will do whatever it takes to come together and make it work.
I’m happy that I know he is missing me just as bad as I am missing him.
I’m happy that even though we don’t get to talk every day or even every other day, no matter how long our communication is gapped, we are okay with it and are strong enough to not need to talk every day.
I’m happy that we can live our lives together but still retain our individuality and not be 100% dependent on each other.
I’m happy that the card he mailed me arrived yesterday, so I got to open it first thing this morning (my card to him still hasn’t arrived yet).
I’m happy that he is MY husband!
If it hadn’t been for a prior agreement to help a friend out with childcare at her church during VBS, I probably would have spent the day on my couch crying and feeling completely sorry for myself (that’s still coming, don’t worry). I would not have answered my door or telephone, had anyone actually called. I also originally was to have company for the night with friends traveling through, but they are postponed for the time being, and a raincheck was needed for the dinner entertainment at Peter Piper Pizza with some other friends.
This evening on our way home, The Boy and I went to Albertsons and bought a small carrot cake (for supper, yes…I didn’t feel like cooking), the same kind we had for our reception. I also bought a pack of 7-UP and a tub of pineapple sorbet to make punch, also served at the reception. I think it’s a cute little tradition that we may be able to start every year, whether we are together or not. And hey for nights like this where my better half is on the other side of the globe, what better way to drown my sorrows than with cake and punch? Maybe I’ll even add a little rum to make me feel better.
Yes, I was a slacker last week and didn’t get around to posting for Wifey of A Sailor’s MilSpouse Friday Fill-In! Go on over to her page to catch up on her posts as well as check out the other lovely ladies who are participating in this fun weekly meme. If you participate, don’t forget to add yourself to Mr Linky so others can find you!
(last week’s questions) vol. 5:
1. Besides the horizontal mambo, what do you miss most when your spouse is deployed?
Entertainment co-op. He does a REALLY good job as a father, playing with The Boy. Especially video games, which are a big hobby around our house. Mind you, I love to game too, but there’s a big difference between gaming with other adults and gaming with a 4 year old. They see no sense of purpose in completing the missions on Lego Star Wars and don’t seem to see a need in collecting all the treasures.
2. What do you miss least?
Sharing a bed. We have a California King sized bed, but it doesn’t matter that much because he will always roll over onto MY side and take up MY pillow, and I find myself hugging the edge of the bed. He’s not only hott in the looks department, but he’s hott in the body temperature and I can’t stand to be sweating with him on top of me when I’m sleeping!
3. You only get three crayons to finish your picture… which three do you choose and why?
Depends on the picture, but if it’s anything I want I would choose green, purple and brown…because they are my three fave colors and I think they go pretty together
4. If you could have your own fragrance, what would it be called?
Victoria’s Secret’s Amber Romance should just be named after me, because it is my signature smell. I have used it for years and when I used to waitress, I would walk up to one of the computers to put an order in and another waitress would only have to sniff the air to recognize it was me standing next to her. She would just say “Hi Patty!” and not even have to look up.
5. If the shoes make the man (or woman), what do your shoes say about you right now?
Well…right now I’m barefoot, and that’s the shoe of preference. However when I am out in public, it has GOT to be the Rainbow sandals!! I got my first pair when I was in South Carolina visiting my BFF this summer and they are the ONLY shoes that I have worn since! I’m a flip flop fanatic, so bad that I have the $5 Old Navy sandals in practically every color, so that I always have something that match. But let me tell you, the pain my feet get in from over use of flip flops with no supports! Plantar fasciitis in both of my feet and I refuse to wear proper supportive shoes to correct it. But since the Rainbows came into my heart, I have had NO foot pain! Ok, I totally strayed from the question….I guess what they say about me is that I like no complications…it’s so easy to just slip on a pair of flip flops and get the job at hand done.
(this week’s questions) vol. 6:
1. What is your spouse’s best feature?
Oh gosh, that is hard…I will have to keep it PG also….I almost say his eyes, because they are gorgeous but I think I’m going to have to go for the torso. He’s not a hairy man (that’s the Puerto Rican blood in him, praise God!) so it is soooooooo soft and smoothe! I just don’t dig hairy dudes, and thanks to the Army requiring PT of him every day, he is getting chiseled and so so so so so delectable!
2. Mild, Medium or Hot sauce?
Depends on the sauce – if it is red sauce, like salsa, then mild (they tend to put jalapenos in salsa, and I don’t get along with jalapenos). But I REALLY prefer a salsa verdé (green sauce) made with the most wonderful chile on the planet – hatch green chiles!
3. What is the worst uniform you had to wear for a job?
The uniforms at my old job, when they eventually made uniforms mandatory. There was nothing at all about womens’ shaping in those uniforms and making me wear uniform black slacks and a button up shirt is just absolutely humiliating. I really can’t describe it, sorry. Just think “meant for men” on shapely women.
4. You have invisible powers… where is the first place you would go?
To sleep….nobody would be able to find me to wake me up!!
5. What’s left on your “to do” list for this summer?
One more summer road trip, to Colorado Springs where I will be doing a Scentsy party for my gal pals, Ashley and Sara!! Then summer break is OFFICIALLY over. Well technically, it is over this weekend since I’m switching schools for The Boy and the new one starts next week – two weeks ahead of all the other places!