A Walk in the Woods

Lake Waccamaw on a rainy day

Lake Waccamaw on a rainy day

Our weekend adventure took The General and I to Lake Waccamaw State Park.  It was a rainy day, but we didn’t mind.  We hiked about 5 miles.  It was good for our souls to be back in the woods, even here in the coastal plain.


Lines in the sand

It’s official: I’m going to have a grand niece.

David and Sheba are having a girl!  Crazy.  I learned this when David posted the news on Facebook and told The General when I came home.  “I was kinda hoping for a boy, ” I said.  “Why?” asked The General.  “Keep the line going, even though it skipped a generation (David is the son of The General’s sister), although it’s not “pure” our last name, it’s still a line.”  “And that’s important to you?” he retorted.  “Of course!  I’m a genealogist!” I exclaimed.  I walked out of the room before we could get into a discussion – The General’s name dies with him on his branch.  “It’s archaic!” came his voice from the next room.

But it got me to thinking:  My family name is dying out on my mother’s side.  My father’s side is alive and well and will continue on and on.  The maternal line I was tracing, I realized, dead ends with all the relatives I’ve found thus far.  And by dead ends, I mean daughters.  Sure, my alleles are in a good portion of the white population of Detroit, but they’re lost by name.  It’s not anyone’s fault.  It’s a 50/50 chance and my line just wasn’t to be.  But with 5 sons who reached sexual maturity, there’s got to be a pure line.  I’ve got 3 more leads, I hope I find something.  A direct decedent of Grandpa August on my line!

It’s too bad we’re not Jewish: their lines are traced by mom.  Why?  Cuz you can prove yo mamma easier than you can prove yo papa.

Speaking of lines – tan lines to be exact – I bought a surfing bikini online.  I found an ad for it on Facebook.  I never click on ads, but this one called.  I’m bringing back the LBB this year!  I got the glam top (one word: hotttttt) and the hipster bottoms, an internet search assured me hipster bottoms are great for pear shapes like myself.  After a horrendous night at that coal mine that pays my mortgage, it was a welcomed surprise.  A surfing bikini is an athletic tight fitting suit: with my huge butt and non-existent boobs, I’m a target for ocean-induced flashing with regular suits.  The top fits perfect, as if it was custom made for me.  The bottoms?  Well, I got the largest size they offer.   I thought it fit okay, but The General thought otherwise.  “You need the next size up,” he said.  “You’re falling out of it.”  “There is no next size up, ” I sighed.  Apparently, surfers are jockeys of the sea and quite small compared to my 5’7 medium frame/large ass.”  So needless to say, I’m returning it.  I’m not sure if I’ll get a different style – like the one that ties, so I can adjust the butt:suit ratio – or if I’ll take The General’s advice and wear board shorts for the rest of my born days.  This is totally counterproductive to getting my bikini line lazered.  I’m keeping the top.  I look like I have boobs.  And it won’t roll up or move.  Maybe, just maybe, this will be my year where I won’t break any public decency laws at the beach (well………………maybe not, heheheh).

Lines in the sand for sure.

One ring to rule them all

A few months ago, The General lost his wedding ring.

A little sad over the sentiment of it, but it’s just a ring; very easily replaced.  I told him I would buy him another one, but I wanted him to pick it out because he’s the one who’s going to wear it.  I got the ring I wanted (a channel ring) and am quite happy.

He found one he really wants: a tattooed black band in lieu of a white gold one.

I’m all about tattoos, I have 2 of them (he has 5!) and I want more.  There’s just something about tattooing a wedding ring on that doesn’t sit well with me.  He really gave me a scare when he told me he got it done that night: after some conversation, he revealed it was just sharpie, but wanted to gage my reaction!  Agh!  He claimed I was accepting of it, but I only was because I thought it was the real deal: it’s not something you can remove.

In all honesty, I would like to get his signature tattooed on my butt – really!  But I won’t because in 10 years it will resemble a smudge and I’m really against tattooing names/faces.  Things change sometimes and then you’re stuck with this physical reminder of the past that will never go away.  Both my tattoos are very personal: I got them for me and no one else.

He’s really excited about this and even though we are married, it is his body and he can do it if he wants – I’m just not 100% sure how I feel about it.


Around the house

Some stuff has been going around the barracks as of late….

* We painted our living room.  We wanted a light barely there green (we call is a [my dad’s name here] green, because he is so adverse to color) and we found what we thought was perfect.  Well, it was perfect until we put it on the wall; our barely there green looked like a shamrock shake green.  Yikes!  And after we spend nearly $80 in the wrong paint, we did what only trained professionals would do: we mixed a 1:1 dilution with white paint.  Voila!  Perfect shade of green.

* Our next project is the kitchen, which doesn’t have a lot of open surface area like the living room, but does have many contours – lots of brush work ahead.  We spent all of 3 minutes looking at paint – a bright barely there yellow – until we found one we both liked and agreed on.  We got home and it is so not the right color.  It blends in too much with our neutral colored zones and it doesn’t pop or speak to me.  So now we’re going to go back and get a quart of some BRIGHT yellow to mix with what we have and hopefully the color will be what we want and not some weird highlighter green shade.  This could get interesting.

* When nothing else is on late at night, I’ve started watching Teen Mom 2 on MTV.  I know, why watch such trash?  I rationalize it as my job is so cerebral that it’s a nice break from actually thinking about what is happening.  And it features a girl who lives in the next county over — crazy!  I don’t envy those girls, but sometimes I wonder how I would be as a mom.

* I just got over the Carolina Crud, aka the common cold.  Throat Coat Echinacea tea and elderberry caplets kept the worse part of it to 72 hours (I don’t know why they work, but they do!).  Working a 15 hour shift back to back probably didn’t help matters: the glands in my neck swelled up so much I had a hard time swallowing.  I feel back to my normal self again today.

* Because of said cold, I have spent the last few nights sleeping on the couch because my coughing/nose blowing/tossing and turning kept The General from his beauty sleep – but he had back to back 12 hour shifts at the crack of dawn, so I could understand that.  It really sucked because for 4 days I didn’t see him due to our wake/sleep cycles being completely opposite.  Today we got to hang out by picking out the wrong color paint, making a fabulous dinner with red velvet cake for desert, and sitting outside by the firepit enjoying the weather and burning most of our brush!  It was awesome, we laughed most of the day about silly stuff and even had a plank off (to see who could hold the plank position the longest — he won.)

* With all the chaos surrounding the nuclear situation in Japan, I come to learn that the Japanese reactors have 23 sister reactors in the USA.  2 of them are located in Brunswick County in Southport, just across the way; and 2 others are located near my hometown.  I had no idea there were nuclear reactors near my hometown!  Wow.  I read all about it here.  I’m not worried nor am I taking any of this iodine stuff – but still, it brings that disaster a little closer to home.

My prayers are with those people – especially the rescue and medical workers.  There is no rest for them in those situations.

And so, life goes on.  Summer’s coming soon and I am so ready.

352 Months Old

Even though I have an amazing husband and a great life with him, I hate Valentine’s Day.  The romantic part of the day was ruined years ago.  My grandmother (Oma) died on 14 February 2003 after a long courageous battle with ovarian cancer (she made chemo look easy); we were close, so it made it all the more hard, especially when I couldn’t travel to her funeral.  The same night, my boyfriend at the time blew off a candlelit romantic champagne night with me for watching the movie “Fight Club” and hanging out in the dorm with his co-worker: a beautiful full-busted blonde.  He would eventually leave me for her, but at the time I was so beyond myself lost in the boyfriend….well, that’s another story for another time.

I was single for a lot of them and I stopped caring.  I got flowers once from the guy I was dating back in Illinois, but that was just a mere blip on my romantic radar.  And not a very good blip at that.

The General treats me so well the other 364 days of the year (he’s my sugar daddy — he brings me random chocolate throughout the year) and we do so much together and for each other, this just seems like a lame attempt of appeasement.

Exactly my point.  I put this holiday in the same category as Arbor Day, Casmir Pulaski Day (What’s that?  You didn’t attend public school in Illinois?  Grab a pierogi and check the link.), Kwanzaa, Secretary’s Day and Flag Day — holidays I don’t celebrate.  I would embrace it more if it was a holiday that meant getting the day off.  Or even better, time and a half.  Otherwise, meh.

Because of our crazy schedules, I haven’t seen The General in days.  We found ourselves both off this Tuesday, so we decided to out to dinner.  I blame my supervisor on the proximity to Valentine’s Day.  Through some random Arby’s-at-midnight conversation, we figured out that today, 15  Feb, I am 352 months old.  I always find it amusing when people refer to their kids ages in months when they’re clearly over a year old.  So I decided to be equally amusing and see how many months old I was.  Tonight is a birthday dinner of sorts.

Speaking of getting older, I do not find Justin Bieber attractive nor do I like his music.  I liked him on SNL and I think he’s quite talented, but as 352 month old woman, I just don’t see what the big deal about him is.  I suddenly feel like Don Draper on Mad Men when he talks about taking his daughter to a Beatles concert and he’s all ho-hum about it.  I don’t like sugary pop music, it grates on my nerves; maybe if Mr. Bieber released a song that was written in a minor key I would like it more.  I love a good dirge.  I also don’t find him attractive – he’s cute in the way a newborn baby is cute, not cute as in, “Take me now and let me bear your children.”  Maybe it’s my love for Led Zeppelin….or maybe I am just getting old to the point of where I roll my eyes at teen sensations.

I’m sporting a few gray eyebrow hairs – like white as snow gray.  The General laughs at me.  Then again, he’s 132.5 months older than me.

Looking ahead to 2011

The General and I have really enjoyed the holidays this year, so much in fact, we are both a little soft in the middle.  The General announced that 2 January our house will be purged of junk and it’s back to healthy eating.  (This is typical of him.  Last 2 January we packed up 1/2 of our belongings to stage our house to sell it.)  My body is not bikini ready.  And so, the changes for 2011 are already on the horizon:


Body sculpting.
I want to have a fit, toned body for the summer.  I’ve always strived for it in the past, but I never actually met my goal.  This time I’m coming at it from different angles.  I’ve started to do some yoga poses to help with my balance, flexibility, and strengthen the muscles that don’t get much attention from running (here’s looking at you, quadriceps!)   My arms have always been my trouble spot, so in addition to yoga, I’m using the Pilates method with 5lb free weights, and using a chin up bar (the General and I are in an “arms race” to see who can do the 1st dead man pull up). I’m going to up my milage and speed in running for cardio — and surfing once the ocean unfreezes.  It’s too cold even for my 4/3!  And of course, eating right.  My BMI currently, is 22.7 – I’m in perfect weight range for my 5’7 145 lb body.  My worry is that I’m constantly rationalizing my weight gain.  When I graduated high school, I was 130lbs.  College, I was 135.  I used to be 140, but now I’m edging closer to 150 on some days.  I’d love to be 130 again, but I would settle for 135.  No worries, this is not anorexia – I am not fat by any means – I just want to lose 10-15 lbs.  130 would be my absolute lowest I would allow myself to go.  During a rather stressful time in college, I weighed 123lbs and I looked terrible.  Ugh – I will not do that again!  This will be the 1st time I’ve ever lost weight the healthy way — so it will be a challenge for me.  I tend to be an all-or-nothing type when it comes to this, so I need to watch myself.  And the General is along side me in the venture (who likes me the way I am!).

Lots of friends shuffling all over this year. A good friend I made here (Miranda) is moving back to Texas for a short spell.  I am going to miss her so much, hopefully she will be back for good once the summer rolls around.  One of my best friends from high school (who is my opposite in every way, but is really an awesome person) is making plans to move to Wilmington!  Yay!  She’s gonna get her own place and scope out the job scene here in hopes of transferring through the company she is currently with up north.  Another friend and hubby who I haven’t seen here since our wedding might be coming this summer with their new baby!  Plans are still up in the air, but there’s a possibility!    One of my best friends from college is going to stay with us for a week or so before she leaves for a 6 month overseas mission trip!  I am so excited to have her stay with us! And the friends I haven’t met yet – it’s going to be a great year.

There’s a possibility some changes are coming to my career.  And that’s all I have to say about that.

I turn 30 this year and have decided the General and I are taking a trip to celebrate it.  I haven’t decided what: Las Vegas?  New York? A cruise?  Something I haven’t done or seen before!  I want to tour around Washington DC with my General.  Spend a weekend in Charleston, SC again.  I’m driving with Miranda back to Texas for the ultimate roadtrip through the southern states I haven’t been to and flying home.  There’s talk about the General’s side of the family renting a beach house in the Outer Banks – another place I haven’t been to – some random summer adventure for sure!  I still have not made it to the mountains of North Carolina – maybe this year will be that year!

There’s so much to look forward too, and of course, there will be surprises along the way.

I can’t wait.

Happy Merry Thanksmas

Due to the nature of our chosen MOS, spending the holidays with far away family on the actual holiday usually doesn’t happen.  It takes a lot of planing and some luck.  This year we were not so lucky.  Instead, the weekend after Thanksgiving we drove up the Cocaine Corridor (aka I-95) to see my husband’s sister in Virginia for our “Happy Merry Thanksmus” — The combination of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the new year all combined into 1 weekend of awesomeness.

My BIL and SIL are freakin’ awesome people.  I could not ask for better in-laws.  My 2 nieces (3rd grade and 6th grade) and nephew (almost 2) were a blast as well.  We played lots of games like a boardgame of Twilight (the girls are slightly obsessed, um, Go Team Jacob!), battleship, and Truth or Dare Jenga.  There are truths or dares written on the pieces so I was asked questions like, “Have you gone anywhere without underwear?” and “Imitate someone in the room” and “Ever gone skinny dipping?”  It’s one thing when you’re playing with adults, it’s another when you’re playing with small children.  And for the record, yes, I graduated from college without underwear because I packed it accidently, I can’t imitate the General very well, and I went skinny dipping by myself in a Lake Huron cove eons ago.

A game I played for the 1st time (which I found is quite infamous in this family I married into) was spoons.  Apparently, at Grandma’s house back in the day, this was quite the cutthroat game.  The General and his sister talked about how people would get hurt, tables would be broken, and the older cousin who always won because he could push everyone out of the way.  I had never played before.  It was a blast!  We were laughing so hard and had a great time.  I was the 1st person out, but since it was my 1st game, it was all good.  The General ended up being crowned champion.

The worst part of the weekend?  My sinus cavity.  I’m on cold/sinus infection #2 of the season, so I was quite miserable the whole time.  I have a box-a-day kleenex habit, a jar of cocoa butter for my sore nose, and I look like I have been out drinking all night.  I HATE BEING SICK AND NOT BEING ABLE TO BREATHE!  I’m willing to trade up (down?) for the stomach flu; at least I can breathe with it.  My “voo-doo tea”/herbal tea wasn’t working in the long term and I can sleep with diphenhydramine-induced dreams.  I have what the General had last week – it lasted 2 weeks for him!  I’m on day #4.  This can’t go on for 2 weeks, I will die (but if it does, buy stock in Kimberly-Clark because I will buy out the remaining supply of kleenexes).  Today it feels like it’s on it’s way out – or maybe it’s just gathering strength.  In any case,  I don’t want to be banished to the blue bedroom at 3am again because my nose-blowing keeps the General from his beauty sleep.

In 2 weeks, we ship off to the Rust Belt to see the General’s parents and the other nephew.  I’m excited, even though it will be cold.  My hope is that it snows a lot so we’ll be suck there for awhile and not have to go to work, ha!  I just hope my cold is gone by then.

I’m out of kleenex and it isn’t even lunch time yet.


While I am Christian and I believe that your soul goes to heaven or hell, I do believe sometimes some rouge energy remains behind.  I mean, the human body is nothing but a slew of a chemical reactions where energy is released.  I’ve had a few strange paranormal experiences in my day that my logic can not explain away although I try.

The day we moved in our house, The General was fiddling with the radio in the living room and I was on the landing of the stairs when we heard a muffled woman’s voice talking, unable to distinguish any words.  We both looked at each other.  “That wasn’t the radio, was it?” I asked him.  “No.”  It was the weirdest sound, like the person was in the room with us, but talking into a pillow.  There was a cable guy outside, but it was just us.  No woman was around the house outside either, we checked.  Where did the voice come from? No idea.

A day or so later, The General was out in the garage and I was upstairs.  He came back in and yelled, “What?”  “What?  I didn’t say anything.”  “You didn’t yell for me in the garage?”  “No.”  The hair on his arm was standing up.  Strange.  The phantom woman’s voice again.

Since then we haven’t heard anymore voices.  Our house is 11 years old and according to the deed, we bought the home from the original owners who are still living.  No one died in the house (my Bible study leader says they’re suppose to disclose at the closing in NC if someone did die in the house, but our closing was so FUBAR I wouldn’t be surprised if that part was missed.)  The General brainstormed that Confederate troops may have passed through our neighborhood during the Civil War (a major battle happened about 12 miles from here) – maybe someone’s buried near-by or some residual energy is still burning.

Last night, the General mentioned something that has brought up more weird stuff: closet doors will be randomly opened when he comes home from work at night.  The 2 guest linen closets, the front hall closet, and the walk-in utility closet in the kitchen all seem to be open.  I always figured it was The General who didn’t latch the door all the way.  He thought it was me.  Heh.  The doors latch well; they don’t pop open nor do they move in a vacuum, like when you open the front door and the air pressure changes. We can’t explain it.

So we’ve made a conscious effort to keep the doors latched to see if they move.  Perhaps it is all within the laws of physics.  Maybe it’s because we watch too many episodes of Ghost Hunters on SyFy and we’re just missing a completely logical reason.

But not everything can be explained logically in this world.


Search & Destroy – The Epic Battle of Drosophila melanogaster

Forget Star Wars.  Or Lord of the Rings.

I had the most epic battle scene in my house and I did not have a film crew on hand.

The past week has brought 20″ of rain to our region in 4 days.  With it being so yucky outside, we hadn’t been real good about taking out our compost bin under the sink.  I opened it the other day and let about 10 fruit flies out.  As soon as the weather broke, I was going out there.

Well, as we’re preparing for our flight to Illinois by cleaning up the kitchen, The General sneaks up behind me to put our tea bags into the compost bin.  Before I could scream, “Noooooo!” in slow motion, just like what I’m sure opening the Ark of the Covenant could only unleash, a CLOUD of fruit flies aka Drosophila melanogaster flies out in my kitchen.

The General released ~300 fruit flies.  In my house.  Oh.  My.  God.

So we went on a search and destroy mission.

The General was ordered by yours truly to go to the store and buy the cheapest Riesling wine he could find. (How embarrassing to have guests over and nothing to offer!)

I grabbed the only tool I could think of: a vacuum cleaner.  With the hose attachment, I was able to suck up tons of enemy troops with my VMD (vacuum of mass destruction).  The General laughed at me, but it was effective.

We left for the Cornfields of Illinois and returned to what I would I would call sweet victory: all 4 wine glasses were covered in dead fruit flies and after another round of VMD warfare, the fruit fly population in my house is at acceptable levels.  I’m hoping the few left behind find that glass of Riesling soon.

This trumps The Riesling Incident by astronomical proportions.

Final Score:
The General’s Wife: 280
Drosophila melanogaster: 20

355mL of heaven

…..with 30mL of some clear stuff from Puerto Rico….

After living in this AMAZING state for 4 years, I have never tried the patron cola of North Carolina:

I tried this beautiful cherry cola tonight.  I think I’m in love.  It’s like liquid red velvet cake.  Wow.  How did I miss this?

I’m not what you’d call a heath nut, but I do watch what I eat and I don’t drink pop.  Unless it contains rum.  And that itself is rare, so tonight I’m hanging out with my new best friend, Mr. Barcadi, and The General.

Live from Wilmington, it’s Saturday night!

Pennies from Heaven

I find pennies just about everywhere.  I always joke I think I was a raven in a past life because I love shinny objects and they always catch my eye.

I never thought much of it until my small group leader said that it’s a sign from God – He is thinking of us.  It’s a simple reminder that we need to trust Him.  After all, this shinny little metal coin has “In God We Trust” stamped right on it.

I always smile big when I find a penny with my birth year, my husband’s birth year, the year we met or the year I gave my life to Christ.

When we were thinking about selling our last house, right as the housing bubble collapsed on itself (I never had good timing – its genetic), because we found out a major highway was going to be 5 feet from our property line.  We found a timeline for said road on the DOT website; we had 7 years til construction.  I remember canvassing our neighborhood for flyers in our cookie cutter neighborhood to see what houses like ours were selling for.  They were  listed at prices far below what we paid.  My heart sank.  The math was obvious.  We’d have to take a massive loss on our house.  As I took the flyer with a heavy heart to show The General what we were up against, I found a penny right in front of me.  I smiled.  Yes, Lord, I know, you have it all figured out and it will work itself out for Your glory.  It’s not about me.  I know,  I know.  Thanks for the reminder.

We sold our house in 6 weeks, a couple thousand less than listed.  We still look a loss, but it was only several thousand.  A wash, I call it.  I’m now in my dream home.  Sometimes I forget that the Lord has the final say.  I get so caught up in my own little world and my logical “let’s fix it now” brain goes into overdrive which goes into worry – not good – I have to let Him take control and trust His timing.

Now I find pennies all over our neighborhood when I’m out running, especially when I’m thinking through something with my own strength.  The General finds them, too.  My in-laws gave us this crystal vase  that we keep on the foyer table and we keep all the pennies (and occasional dimes) we find in it.  You can’t see the bottom anymore.

I write this because I was picking up something for dinner and a snack later tonight (I shop like a German) at Food Lion.  As I’m walking down the main aisle by the cash registers, a penny comes rolling in right in front of my path.  CRAZY!!  I picked it up and smiled at God.  How freakin’ cool.  The year was 2001.

Anyone else find random pennies everywhere?

Wavey, with a chance of clams

I hit the surf today, which was minimal, despite having 3 major storms churning in the Atlantic.

It still kicked my butt.

Most of the waves broke hard and fast and about 3 feet….and I somehow always managed to be in break zone.

My next surfing feat is to go down the face of the wave while remaining on the board. So far, as soon as I realize I’m heading down the wave, I bail.  I curl up into a ball and protect my head with my arms from the seafloor or my surfboard (which sometimes thinks it’s a kite) – I look more like a grade school student prepping for a tornado than a bonafide surfer.  I’ve pearled really hard a few times (like today) and that feeling of being at the mercy of the wave with no control is a very scary thing for me.  I struggle cruising down waves on a boogie board – its much more terrifying when you’re on a 7’6 piece of plastic!  Maybe next year that will be my goal, since this year was all about getting comfortable in the ocean and with my board.

It may also help that The General and I are adding to our quiver — our 1st short board should arrive today: a 6’6 turbo fish.  It might be easier to take on those steep waves with something a bit smaller.

The General and I traded boards today, too – I got to try out his 8’0 longboard.  It’s so freaking stable and big compared to my narrow funboard, a very nice ride.  I really had a blast with it in the whitewater when I wasn’t being tossed about by the waves.

One of the many beach treasures I find once in awhile are clam shells that are still connected and open.  The organism has been long gone, but an intact shell remains.  I’ve only found one; I super-glued the ligament (I’m not sure what to call it….) and keep it as a knick knack.  I found one today and put it in my board short pocket and figured if it survived me surfing, I’d take it home.  It did.  Once I got it home, I saw it had a little baby clam inside it, hanging out.  It was still alive!  It had that cilia stuff on the outside of it and after while, it made itself at home, hanging from the top of the clam.  How crazy is that?

I’m debating on weather to take it back to the beach before work.

My name is Earl

Karma?  Or just cuz it’s been a long time?

Hurricane Earl is headed up the eastern seaboard as a Cat 3.

Hi new surfin’ buddy!

The surf was pretty crazy yesterday.  The outside was way too heavy/blown out/strong for me to make it to the outside to catch waves like a proper surfer, so I spent 2 fabulous hours riding the whitewater (the wave after it breaks, throwing my board into the current and just jumping on top of it).  I felt like a complete loon, but there was another guy out there on a longboard doing the same thing I was!  We appeared to be at the same skill level.

I fell a bunch of times, I had no balance.  I have a beautiful bruise on my knee and today I just feel sore, like a I was put together wrong.  I meant to go out this morning, but my blahness + work just didn’t seem right.  The General and I are hitting the waves 1st thing tomorrow morning and I am quite excited!

This weekend we’re going to the wonderful state of Pennsylvania for a family reunion (The General’s side).  I’m excited for a 10 hour roadtrip, The General is not.  I’m a little worried that this guy is going to hit the Cape Fear region when we’re not here….but at the same time, I am glad to get out of his way!

There’s a slight possibility that I will loose my hurricane virginity this week.  Oh boy.  I’m stocking up on the protection, nonetheless.

Also, Mad Men picked up some serious Emmy’s last night!!!!!!!  I wish more of the individual actors had received statues, they are so good at their craft.

Morehead? No thanks.

The General and I took our summer day vacation today to the Crystal Coast and it was pretty awesome.

We spent the 1st half of the day hanging out at Emerald Isle – the ocean was so much more blue-green than it is off Pleasure Island.  Despite the lack of industry (read: healthcare facilities), I would totally move to Emerald Isle.  We caught some decent waves via boogie board and saw a swarm of fish arrive with a swarm of seagulls and pelicans.  Stoke factor was high today.

Morehead City, however, just didn’t do it for us.  There wasn’t much there outside of a handfull of restaurants, art galleries, fishing charters, and fish markets.  We did manage to get some yummy ice cream at Captain Bill’s Waterfront Restaurant. We stumbled upon an art studio by this guy who had these fantastic oceanic photographs on aluminum canvas – the detail and the color were beyond anything we had ever seen before.  If I had about 4 figures worth of change lying around my dresser, I so would have bought one.  If you are the in MC, you have to check out this studio!

We left Morehead bound for Pleasure Island and grabbed dinner at The Ocean Grill and Tiki Bar in Carolina Beach.  Dinner was fantastic on the covered patio and we got drinks out on the short pier.  I highly suggest the Ocean Potion cocktail.  I could have ordered a whole pitcher.

After getting my butt handed to me in poker by none other than The General himself, I think I am going to call it a night.

Have fun in the sun, get laid in the shade

I’m a lil sad summer is winding down. All our summer guests have returned home and no one else is lined up to come hang with us at the beach. The days are slowly getting shorter and the cooler weather is almost here.  I love the humidity and 40C beach days in the sun. What can I say? I love North Carolina.  I am not excited for wetsuit season. I hate wearing it. It’s so restrictive and I can’t feel the ocean.

Summer wouldn’t be complete without a random roadtrip for the General and I.  We usually go somewhere around here, like Raleigh, but this year our summer day vacation is going to take us to Morehead City.  I laugh everytime I type/see/say Morehead City.  It’s the adolescent humor in me (hence the title of this post). ((I mean, really, how do high school students actually keep a straight face up there???))  The General’s been there many moons ago, but I have not, so we’re setting out to explore another port city.  I have no idea what’s there – a part of me just wants to show up and explore instead of researching.

I should be used to cities with weird names.  I lived in town called Normal for some time.  You have to laugh when you see “Normal Police” or “Normal Public Library.”

Ah, Morehead City.

This is going to be an interesting car ride.

Landing on Mars bars

“Do you have anything to declare?” asked the customs agent in Philadelphia, as The General and I arrived back in our home country after a week in Stockholm, Sweden last summer.  I had checked the “yes” box for food on my I-94 form.

“Mars bars,” I replied, opening my bag and showing him the mass of Mars bars – about 10 total – some fun size, some normal size.

He looked a little befuddled, but stamped us through.

Despite living in America, I have only been able to find Mars bars across the pond (they’re a candy bar, if you’re completely lost).  I discovered them in a train station the 1st time I went to England in 2004 and was hooked.  When I went back in 2005 with a friend, she tried to tell me they sell them in the States.  They’re not, I looked.

Every time I go back, I eat my fill to hold me over until I can get back across the pond.  We stumbled up on a candy store in Stockholm so I stocked up and brought some home to live in my freezer as my not-so-secret stash.  They lasted until autumn, which is saying a lot about my restraint.  I have what some would call a sweet tooth.  In every tooth.

Tonight I got out of work early to head to Wal-Mart to get some paint brushes for the finishing touches on my moulding project.  As I was standing in line, I looked down and saw Mars bars!  With almonds!  Wasn’t the same as in Europe, but they were Mars bars!  OMG!  For $0.64!  Wow!  So I got 3 (for now) and they are so good – just as I remember.

I was shocked to see them but it really made my night!

Now if I can just find WKD Blue and Briska (my favorite alcoholic drinks overseas), I would be set.

And the award for hiding spies goes to….

Meet the newest member of our family – she’s a tiger oscar and her name…..Rahab.

The General wanted something bibical, I wanted something edgy.  I tried to figure out how I could incorporate the Academy Awards into naming her (Best Fish?) and that didn’t work.  So being the ultimate libran couple we are, we compromised.  Isn’t that what marriage is all about?

Yes, we named our fish after an Old Testament prostitute.  She’s in the genealogy of Jesus and the mother of Boaz who married Ruth (there’s a book about her).  Our church just did a sermon series a couple months ago about Ruth, so it was still fresh in our minds and I didn’t realize til I searched the name that she was connected with Ruth.  Another weird part I just found, was that Rahab is also a sea-demon used metaphorically to signifty Egypt. (Psalm 87:4, Psalm 89:10, and Isaiah 51:9)

Tiger oscars, as we found out, are sexually monomorphic.  This means you can’t tell a male from a female, both sexes look the same.  The only way to tell is to get one knocked up.  So, Rahab might be a Boaz, but I will not know this side of heaven; The General decided that she was a girl.  They do best alone, so it’s her just in the tank.  We’ve only had her a week and already I can hand feed her food pellets.  Rahab is getting quite aggressive and will jump out of the water to get the pellet out of my hand.  It’s really quite neat.  She struts in front of the tank and responds to human/feline interaction.  She will get much bigger, too.

I think I will put a scarlet cord around her tank, tho.  Just to be safe, lol.

For the full story, check out Joshua 2.

A New Era

Today is the 1st day that the General is on a new platoon.  We’ve always been in the same company, and now that cute guy I used stare at from across the way has moved onto another assignment.  It still hasn’t sunk in yet.  The house is so quiet now without him here.

It reminds me of my 8th grade year when our school system went onto split shifts — class didn’t start til 1045.  I had the whole morning to myself, a beautiful thing in a chaotic household.  While I embraced it then, now it just seems lonely.  I love my General and I love my alone time – but I still wish he was here.  This will be a positive change for us and our marriage – it’s just something to get used to.

The in-laws were down from the great white north and we had a blast with them.  They are such down to earth people, I really enjoyed having them here. I now understand how my General got to be so freakin’ cool.

Had our housewarming party, which went really well.  I spent yesterday sick – all day, with most of the night.  I will stick with my General and less Captain.  Yikes.  I wore my alma mater t-shirt yesterday in honor of not being so stupid since my college days.

I need a beach day – perhaps tomorrow.  I hope the surf is good.