Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Today the kids and I go to Kingham Hill school and check out the place for ourselves. Which reminds me...time to get ready as we leave in a little over an hour. I'm bringing my camera and I hope to be able to take pictures while there. I'll report more after my return (hopefully with pictures).

Quote of the Day

You can not teach people anything, you can only help them discover it within themselves.

Monday, June 29, 2009

I love being an Air Force spouse

No matter how many different change of command ceremonies I attend, they are never boring. I attended the CE change of command this morning with my husband, as I've said favorite part is when the military member gives tribute to his/her family for their unwavering support throughout the years. Both incoming and out going commanders gave very good speeches, and so did our Group/Base commander Col. Holmes. It's dedicated servicemen and women such as them that make me proud to be an Air Force Spouse.

I've been here 6 days and love it! Believe it or not, but I've not taken a single picture- been way too busy. But today I am going to make a real effort to get the camera out and take some pictures of the house etc and share it with you all- I need something to put into the scrapbook ;-)

Quote of the Day

He who is of calm and happy nature will hardly feel the pressure of age, but to him who is of opposite disposition, youth and age are equally a burden.
-Plato,429-347 B.C.E

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sunday Shopping

We started off the day by attending Catholic Mass at RAF Croughton, we to the family social afterwards and my husband introduced us to more folks from the base. After church we went to Castle Quay (a shopping mall) in the town of Banbury. It's a mall in every sense just like back in the states. Now I was rather taken back by the number of cell phone stores in the mall. Being that we're new here, we're unsure of which cell phone company to go with. Buying a cell phone and picking out a calling plan is going to take a bit more research, so can wait until next week.

We did mange to get some nice dress shoes and a few more ties for Andrew (school stuff). Bought lunch from a Pasty Shop (I can't believe how cheap and yummy it was £10 or $16.50 US for 4 including bottled water) and we ate our lunch sitting at a bench underneath of a huge oak tree. After lunch, we went back into the mall and did a little more shopping- went to The Clarks Shop where I found a cute pair of red leather sandals- Hannah made me promise to let her wear them from time to time. We actually went there to find shoes for Hannah for school, the red sandals were a bonus :-)

After that shopping trip I thought that we were on our way home but Lucien had other to buy room darkening curtains/drapes (it's light from 4am until 10pm out here) and a fan for Hannah's room. Bought said items and then back to home. "Tops in Blue" is at RAF Croughton and off my husband went to go greet them- the kids and I are staying home to take a little nap before dinner.

It was a great afternoon out and about in our little part of England.

Quote of the Day

If you haven't found something strange during the day, it hasn't been much of a day.
- John A. Wheeler

Saturday, June 27, 2009


We've had something to attend every single day since we here, today is no different. I knew that I would be busy when I got here but this has been nuts!

I was supposed to go to Kingham Hill School in Chipping Norton this morning with my husband, but I opted to stay home with the children. I'd like to be able to bum around here at home and relax. Our house is a disaster area- you see we opened up an insane number of boxes (15) that we sent to ourselves. I've got packing paper, bubble wrap and cardboard boxes strewn around the dining room, living room and hallway (reminds me greatly of Christmas). There's still plenty of items that need to be put away and the carpet desperately needs to be vacuumed.

All 4 of us were up past 2 am- you see, there were bees in Andrew's bedroom. Here's the scoop... there's a nest of bees in the walls of this house (perfect for me since I'm allergic to bees- yes I'm being sarcastic). My husband had called housing on this BEFORE the kids and I came out but apparently they never took care of the situation. Now they are buzzing and humming away on the side of the house. The screen situation here is different than what we are used to the in the USofA. I'll have to take pictures to show you rather than trying to explain in detail about something that really needs to be seen. Basically the screens pull down on the inside of the house (kind of like roll down shades but different) and the windows open outward. As I was upstairs putting things away that we unpacked from the boxes we had opened I heard buzzing sounds coming from Andrew's room- loud noisy buzzing like a bunch of bees were hanging out in his room. I look into his room and I almost had a stroke! Bees lots of bees flying around in there like crazy! I quickly closed the door, went downstairs and got my husband and son. This is the part when I suddenly appreciated the fact that British homes have doors closing off rooms- doors to kitchen from hallway and dining room, door from hallway to living room. I stayed safe in the kitchen with the doors to that room closed! My guys took care of the situation but guess what- more bees got into our house. How did they get in? Apparently the screen (I'll have to take pictures and post them later) doesn't entirely seal off the out of doors insects from entering your home. I was just informed that our daughter had a bee buzzing in her room last night after her dad and I went to bed. She got her brother to take care of the situation. I'm going to be getting some caulk from self help first thing on Monday! I personally will be sealing up any and all bug entry ways! For now, we'll stuff paper into those holes and seal out the bees and other little bugs!

Quote of the Day

A woman, especially if she has the misfortune of knowing anything, should conceal it as well as she can.
-Jane Austen

Friday, June 26, 2009

Jet Lag?

Jet lag- what is this "Jet Lag" everyone speaks of? I've not had a moment to turn my head to it, Jet Lag...I don't have time for Jet Lag. And it's not as if anyone else is giving ME time to have Jet Lag either. It's been go go go since the moment our plane touched down in London.

Tuesday -we arrived, and got to our house, dropped off the bags, changed out of our clothes and went out again. First for a meal at The Acorn- quaint place, okay food and service. We enjoyed sitting out of doors in the garden area. The weather was perfect for being out of doors too! Went to the base and picked up a few grocery items at the commissary. It's a small commissary but it has all of the basic essentials and I can work with that. That evening I made dinner for Hannah since she didn't like her meal at the restaurant, I couldn't blame her for not eating it as I had tasted it and yes, it was nasty. So for her first meal at home and the first meal I made in our new house it was "Curried Chickpeas". I couldn't believe how much Hannah ate (she must have been starving).

Wednesday -we attended a Taco Dinner hosted by the Family & Airmen Readiness Center for the Hearts Apart group (those who have a military spouse away on deployment).

Thursday -was go to work with your husband (it was for me anyway). In the morning we attended a change of command ceremony. I love going to these things because this is when the military commander gives thanks to his mentors and his family for being there for him, they almost always bring a tear to my eye. We came home for lunch and for me to make more phone calls about finding a reasonable quarantine kennel for our cat (more on that story later) then back to the base for the Volunteer Award ceremony and an ice cream social. After spending an entire day away from the children (they were still sleeping when we came home for lunch and our round of phone calls to quarantine kennels) I called them to let them know that we'd be home in 10 minutes and to be ready as we were going out to dinner.

Had dinner at Pudding Face, one word...YUMMY! Check out the link and it'll tell you a bit about the place. It's charming to say the least and the food and service was excellent! This was the first time in ages where our food has been "too hot" to eat when it served to us, LOL! You know how it is at most restaurants, food comes to you lukewarm at best. This is a restaurant that I know will become a family favorite! Just reading the menu last night made it hard to choose a pie- I plan on going back and trying many of the other pies! YUM! At this restaurant, everyone enjoyed their meal And best of all, Hannah left feeling full and happy!

Came home and I had to put on my pj's and crawl into bed. I remember trying to read a little and I got through a paragraph or two and then I was OUT! I was woken up at 6 am by my husband who was getting ready for work trying to make small talk with me. I was too darn sleepy to understand anything he said. All I wanted to do was to sleep. I crawled out of bed at 6:40 am and here I am. I have a feeling that I will have to take a nap this afternoon if I am to make it through the entire day. I like the idea that I have no where to be today and that I can concentrate on getting a few thing set up around here. I'm having Hannah change bedrooms as I like the other bedroom (this is a 4 bedroom house) a little more for space arrangements and so forth. Her room and the guest room are the only rooms that don't have ceiling fans and I want to buy her a stand fan for her room for better air circulation.

Friday -no outings planned for today. I do have a to do list though as I plan to reorganize the kitchen and change Hannah out of her current bedroom and into another, arrange my crafty items that I sent to myself and to explore the neighborhood some more.

Saturday- that's already booked for me, it's a full day of events to attend. Yup, my time is no longer my own.

Time for more coffee and to get started on the rearranging of furniture upstairs for Hannah.

Quote of the Day

Be a first rate version of yourself, not a second rate version of someone else.
-Judy Garland, to her daughter, Liza Minelli

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

my poor kitty

I'm rather miffed right now- you see, my cat has to do some time in the kitty jail AKA the Quarantine Kennel. Apparently my vet back in South Dakota got the dates wrong, quarantine time starts the day the blood is drawn for the rabies titer test- NOT the day that the rabies vaccine was given. So now Kitty has to stay 9 days in a boarding facility that also houses animals doing quarantine time that are coming in from other countries. I am less than pleased with how this all turned out. Here we were getting ready to drive to London to get my beloved furry child and Bam! I'm told that I can't pick her up and that she has to do 9 days in the kitty jail- I'm just sick about this!

Now after all of my calling around, I find out that there are no quarantine kennels in our area, not even in our county! Talk about an all around sad situation for us and our cat. She'll be in a kennel I don't have my UK license (yet) and I wouldn't feel comfortable driving that far away yet- even with a GPS. I feel awful about this entire situation.

Home Sweet (temporary) Home

Okay, so we're in the house... and this morning I've been keeping myself pretty busy with unpacking suitcases and putting away clothing. Then there's putting away all of the stuff from those boxes I've been shipping over here. for the past 2½ months.

I made myself stay up for a very long time so I could beat the jet lag- does that make sense? I woke up at 6am local time and I feel okay, but I could still use a little more caffeine.

Our house albeit a temporary house for us, it's a nice house, small but nice. The dining room is quite large and the living room is of a good size too. There's a decent sized laundry room that's probably the same square footage as my last one but this one is of a better shape (square instead of rectangular) and it has a window! The bathrooms are all much smaller as well BUT they all have windows that open!!! I can't begin to tell you how much I've missed having bathrooms with windows(especially ones that open) It's been 10 years since we've lived in a house that has windows in the bathrooms! Some quirky things...the stove that hums, oh yes it hums. But that was the trade off for having a self cleaning stove. That's right (I hope my military girlfriends are reading this) it's a SELF CLEANING stove in military housing! NO more having to use Easy Off for me! WooHoo! Lots of cabinets and counter space in the kitchen which is very nice!

The bedrooms are rather small, okay they're really dinky! But after all, they're bedrooms- a place to sleep. I can tell ya right now my children will be downstairs hanging out with the folks versus hanging out in their rooms watching TV or playing on their computers only because there's no room for those things in their rooms- besides we gave away the TV's before we left (they wouldn't have worked here anyway).

Our drive way is super skinny, no garage to speak of and we have a very small storage shed in the backyard that's more of the size of the coat closet. The house is a lot closer to the street than we are accustomed to, not to mention that we're a lot closer space wise to our neighbors. Our backyard here at this house is triangular in shape (weird) but it's got a cool fence that my kitty won't be able to squeeze under, nor will any other cats for that matter!

We're going to the airport today to pick up our kitty. I hope that the trip wasn't to traumatic for her. I miss her terribly and want to get her accustom to her new home- even if it's only for a few months.

Speaking of home... I saw our other house and compared to this one, it's huge! Oh my word it looks lovely from the outside (I adore brick houses). We should be moving into it in October.

I look forward to us having numerous adventures while we are stationed here in England. My darling husband called me this morning and we're already filling my calendar with functions to attend. My first function will be tomorrow- good thing that I packed dressy clothing and heels!

I better get dressed for the day before one of our new neighbors comes by for a meet and greet while I'm still dressed for bed, LOL!

Quote of the Day

For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbours, and laugh at them in our turn?
-Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, 1811

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

We're in England!

We made here to out house in Bicester, tired but excited. It's beautiful here, everything is green, flowers are in full bloom everywhere!

We had lunch at a charming local pub- we sat in their garden area and it was lovely! I was looking at this one rather large bush and then it dawned on me what it was- the biggest Rosemary plant I ever did see! My thought was...So is what they look like when they are grown in a mild climate-WOW! I wanted to take a few twigs off and bring them home with me (so did Hannah).

Our beloved little kitty should be here tomorrow. I sent her off yesterday via Continental Cargo (the shipping guys were so helpful in the Denver office).

Oodles of boxes have arrived (the ones that I've shipped via USPS) and I've been busy organizing where where everything will go. The rooms are small but cozy in this house. I look forward to entertaining guests and making new friends.

Quote of the Day

I wish you well and so I take my leave,
I Pray you know me when we meet again.
-William Shakespeare

Sunday, June 21, 2009

One more day

One more day until we leave for London. I'm excited and nervous at the same time. This is such an exciting venture for all of us, something new and different.

Our house is empty of things but not of memories. This was such a wonderful house to live in, I'm sure the next family to live here will think the same way.

Kitty had her last vet visit and she's good to go on this trip. All of her paper work is in order and now for us to have all of our bags packed and get the boxes shipped and we're off!

Quote of the Day

Change your thoughts and you change your world.
-Norman Vincent Peale (1898 - 1993)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

I survived 5 days of movers at my house!

I'll have to get myself a t-shirt that says that very thing! We officially sold our boys car today (gave them the title and they gave us money).

We're now cleaning the house a wee bit- carpet cleaner will be out here next week which is nice that we aren't doing it.

Took my husband to my favorite day spa and we had a couples 30 minute massage- talk about a much needed treat! My neck, back and shoulders feel so much better now. I was so tense when I went in and felt great when we left. The only way it could have been better would have been for it to be longer :-) But alas, we had things we had to get done and 30 minutes was all the spa could squeeze us in for.

Now for us to box some things up and get them ready to ship out on Monday morning before we board the plane. I'm going to miss this house and the great friends that I've made out here. I'm going to have to find some speaicl treats to send to them from England- once I get over the jet lag and figure out what places have the kinds of things I want to send to my girlfriends.

alright now for me to help my's not fair to have him cleaning while I'm checking e-mail and such.

Quote of the Day

We could never learn to be brave and patient, if there were only joy in the world.
-Helen Keller

Friday, June 19, 2009

Moving Day #5

Day #5 of the move

Here we are, it's crating day. I've got to be on the other side of town at a Doctor appointment when we start the crating process- so Lucien will be in charge of things this morning. My next posting will be most likely from Hannah's laptop since we will be boxing up this puppy and shipping it off to ourselves.
Please keep me and my family in your prayers as we have the last part of the packing process to go through today.

Moving Day #4

Day #4 of the move
I prayed a lot the night before, I asked the Lord to let me get past my anger and to be able to deal with the situation. He answered my prayers. He sent a woman as part of the crew and she re-packed some boxes that old man ray had packed. The guy in charge of this crew "Ron" helped me go through several boxes in the kitchen to find the things that Ray packed that actually stay with the house. It was a calm crew, no loud obnoxious music playing like there had been the day before. Everything was finished being boxed up by about 2pm, the rest of it was taking apart things such as the patio furniture, the garden bench, wheel barrow and things of that nature. Almost all of the boxes have been tagged with inventory stickers.
I've got kitty's paper work sent into the pet transportation people at London Heathrow international airport. Another thing to check off of my list. My ring appraisal faxed off to the insurance company- after my ordeal with Zales last year I thought that I better had get it inspected and appraised (you know, it's that peace of mind thing). So that's done and checked off of my list of things to do.
We ended our day with showing our house to a prospective home buyer. Boxes are everywhere and this guy was spending his last day in the area and wanted to look at ours. I hope and pray that his wife likes what she sees on the internet as she is down south at their current assignment (yes, they too are Air Force folks). We love Air Force people as they can relate to our house being covered in boxes.

Quote of the Day

Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb.
-Sir Winston Churchill

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Quote of the Day

Associate with well-mannered persons and your manners will improve. Run around with decent folk and your own decent instincts will be strengthened.
-Stanley Walker

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I need to vent about the movers today

Alright I've got to say something before I explode...

The 3 moving guys that have been here these past 2 days have been great...then there was today. A couple more guys were called on to pack up our house. Next thing I know, things are being broken, no apologies just "where's the shop vac ma'am?" One guy broke an Ott lamp light bulb a large $35 one in my bedroom on the floor (by my side of the bed no less). Glass shards are EVERYWHERE -still! What did he say? "oh, I thought I got it all"- still no apology for breaking it. Talk about doing a crap clean up job, my kids could have done a better job in the dark than this guy did with the lights on and the blinds open in full daylight!

This same dork also stuffed my dresser drawers full of items that I specifically told him that I wanted packed into boxes. To say I was angry is an understatement. I opened one drawer in my husband’s chest of drawers and found all kinds of other items...decorator pillows, pictures in frames, clothes hangers and more. I'd like to know what the Hell is going on these days with the moving companies? Are they not training these guys or what? I go into the kitchen and things we had tagged "don't pack" have been packed. No pot holders, no spatula, no knives...we're freaking lucky we had the 4 bread plates to eat off of and 4 cups to drink out of. If my husband hadn't of had those items in the dishwasher we probably wouldn't have had anything. Heaven knows we didn't have any paper towels because the guy packed them away too! AUGGHHHH!!!! I'd have a glass of wine and try to relax, but he packed away my corkscrew and my wine glasses! I think there's a vein throbbing on the side of my head.

These guys came with ratty used boxes to pack up our household goods...boxes that should have been in the recycle bin if you ask me. I understand about making a buck or two but come on, the military pays top dollar for these clowns to come pack up our lives and everything we own and hold dear to us and move them across the USA or to another country. I'm here shaking my head (and a fist) in anger and I’m ready to beat someone with a stick and at the moment it's an old man named Ray. Grrr! The guys don't give a rats ass about your stuff, all they want is their daily wage. Well I've got news for's called 100% replacement value for anything that is damaged, and trust I'm filing a claim!

My Scrapbook Nook

My husband came upstairs and told me that My Scrapbook Nook is been packed up. Care to guess how many boxes? And to think that I had donated a virtual TON of stuff to charity, the total number of boxes is 42. I'm going to go take some pictures now so I can post them later.

Moving Day #3

Day #3 of the move
The moving guys are due here soon. I got up at 3 am, started packing more boxes to ship to ourselves. The weather has sort of been cooperating- only raining intermittently. It (the rain) seems to start pouring after the guys have left- which is very convienitent.
I'm starting to feel a little more at ease about seeing everything we own packed up and being shipped off. A cross country move is so much easier, if the item or items can't be packed, then we would just put it into the minivan and that's it. No minivan to put things into this time, just lots and lots of suitcases and USPS priority mail shipping boxes. I've got one suitcase that's full of my family members shoes. Hiking boots, sneakers, dress shoes, sandals high heels and more! Boy oh boy are those customs folks in London ever going to get a good laugh...a suitcase full of used shoes, LOL! I almost didn't let Andrew put his hiking boots in the suitcase as Hannah and I have a "NO Stinky Shoes" policy that is being strictly enforced (can you see it now, one pair of stinky shoes makes for stinky shoes for everyone- eeewww).
I've been taking pictures every day of the moving process. It's amazing how my Scrapbook Nook has taken the longest to pack...then again I do have quite a bit of "stuff" in there. The guy packing up stairs was amazed at my fabric stash, I let him know that my stash is nothing as compared to let say the more "seasoned" quilter.
Now for some coffee and to get ready to drive to the post office and city hall.

Quote of the Day

Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead.
- Benjamin Franklin

I feel this way about my scrapbooking, stamping and quilting supplies. I may have to kill the moving company guy after he's done packing my scrapbook nook...just so he doesn't blab to my husband about all of the stuff I REALLY have in there, LOL!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Moving Day #2

Here we are at day #2 of the move.

This morning I'll be taking my beloved kitty to her 2nd to last appointment with her veterinarian. Today is for her health certificate that gets sent over night to the USDA and back again the same way. I love the place where we go, my kitty's appointment is at 7am, perfect! It gets me in and out of there first thing so the vet's off can get the paper work shipped out first thing and I can also get back before the packing folks arrive for round #2 of packing up everything we own.

To say I'm tired and overwhelmed is an understatement. I try to be as organized as I most possibly can but that doesn't prepare you for the wave of emotions that sweeps over you when you see everything you own being packed up into boxes, hoping that everything makes it there in one piece. I have doubts about the big screen TV being in one piece when we get back State side in 3 years, but that's not really at the top of my concern list right now.

Crate #1- all of the things I'll need but really won't be able to get until some time in August. Can you say pack everything in my Kitchen? Pack everything in my closet? Pack everything in my husband and children's closets? I'm feeling a little overwhelmed with it all. I'm sure the feeling will pass as soon as the moving guys step into the house. It's just that I'm full of second guessing myself right now, trying to figure out what items we'll need and when we'll need them. It's especially hard when you don't know how to predict the weather, especially when we're moving so many thousands of miles away and to another country too! I figure that we'll all need to buy ourselves some lightweight jackets after we get there.

I'm going back to bed for an hour...then to start my day for real this time.

Quote of the Day

Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.
J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, 1997

The feared name here is "moving" and a lot of military wives cringe when they hear the word.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Day #1 complete

Today went very smoothly, no hitches or hang ups of any kind. All items have been packed and are off of the premises.

Now for us to get ready for day #2 this should be for items going into crate #1...the crate of items that we will have acess to while in our temporary house. So as fun as it may sound it's going to suck a litle too because...tomorrow all of my pots and pans leave and so will glassware, stemware etc. This is making me laugh more than you know. It's all rather funny when you stop and think about it- still in the house but can't cook a darn thing, LOL! Hmm, wonder if my husband realizes this yet. I may have to keep a few things here for us to use. Some situations in life are just too darn funny! At least I still have my sense of humor and wit :-)

I better get some laundry done, I don't want to have to start pulling stuff out of suitcases after I got them so nicely packed.

Moving Day #1

My husband set the alarm to get up at 4:30 am, ugh! I went to bed after midnight (closer to 12:30) and I know that he came to bed closer to 1 am. We're up and running, getting things done in preparation of the move. My house looks like a bomb went off in it. I'm going to take some pictures before the movers come so I better hurry up and get my blog entry done.

I've got to think up a witty e-mail account name for my British e-mail address. I thought of checking to see if I can use the same one I have here (just a different server), then I thought of using my name (how boring is that) and then I thought up a few other witty ones...

*Noodles & Co. That's my user name on some of the foodie message boards/groups I'm a member of

*Sew-n-Scrap From the hobbies I love

*Sewmuchfun- totally says how I feel about quilting

*Sandie & Co that's how I sign my letters

*okay then there's Lambie Pie (just for fun)

Do I really need to have a more serious professional approach to my e-mail address? I don't think so. I'm going to have to think some more on this, but not too much longer as my hubby has been asking me for almost 3 weeks to pick out a new e-mail address!

Quote of the Day

The more things change, the more they remain... insane.
Michael Fry and T. Lewis,
Over the Hedge, 05-09-04

This is how I feel about all things leading up to this very moment of packing up for the move.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

what they (the movers) will and won't pack

There's been this thing about moving companies...what they and what they won't pack. The big issues have been about; spices, candles, body wash, lotions, cosmetics and food items.

Here's what they WILL pack

*all of my spices
*dry foods such as pasta (damn, just gave it all away)
*rice (gave it all away too)
*body wash, lotions and cosmetics

Here's what they WON'T pack

*Candles of any kind. They won't even pack candles that are in a jar (which irks me). Which makes me have to ship 19 large jar candles (I've been stocking up for a while now and I only buy them when they are $10 or less).

*Extracts (IE; vanilla, raspberry, mint, almond etc) Since I have a small fortune wrapped up in them I might was well ship them to myself.

All in all, I'm doing quite alright! Well minus the expense of shipping a boat load of Yankee Candles to myself, LOL! But hey, it's soooo worth it! I will try to put a few in our luggage and save a few $hipping $$ that way.

Did you know...on international flights you are allowed 3 suitcases each? Being military we're allowed up to 70 lbs per suitcase, pretty cool!

Toss, Keep, Donate, Ship and Pack

Those are the 5 words that are constantly going through my mind. These pact few days. And I thought that I was done on the donate line and yet here I am, getting stuff ready to take to the Salvation Army (again). I had called a local shelter thrift shop on recommendation of a dear friend who knows that they pick up furniture. Well they do IF you reside within Rapid City city limits. If you don't, they want a $20 pick up fee...for picking up donations, come on! So if I'm going to do this, I might as well take it to a place that gives tax receipts.

I never was able to sell my cable ready TV's, how sad is that? So our big screen TV will go into permanent storage come tomorrow and the rest are outta here! Donation CITY! Along with a chest of drawers and a books shelf. I've also got donations of food items (can't pack it or take it with me) and I need to call up one of the ladies from the Quilters Guild as I've also got items to donate to them (we can't take or pack aerosol cans).

Now to finish getting everything set out for packing and putting into permanent storage -just thinking about it makes me have butterflies in my stomach.

Quote of the Day

Character is like a tree, and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.
-Abraham Lincoln

Saturday, June 13, 2009

getting ready for the movers

I'm so delighted to have my husband back home here in SD to help with the move. The big push is on to get things organized for each day of the packing. We've got non-temp storage scheduled for Monday aka- permanent storage. Well be organizing everything that goes into storage- and that's a lot of stuff for us to go through and to consider putting into storage. I'm so glad that my DH is here...I don't know how I would have gotten through this without him here.

It's nearly 6:30 am...time to start pulling stuff out of the storage areas and getting them ready for the movers! Who knows, we made decide to donate more stuff as we go through it all.

Quote of the Day

The older I get, the greater power I seem to have to help the world; I am like a snowball-the further I am rolled, the more I gain.
-Susan B. Anthony

Friday, June 12, 2009

Skin Cancer Sucks!

I be that title got your attention. Apparently all of the years I spent sun worshiping 1978 through 1990 (my teens and twenties) have now come back to bite me on the face (I bought you thought I was going to say ass, didn't you? come on admit it).
The dermatologist checked me out to make sure that I didn't have any more of these lovely precancerous spots, there were only the 2 and that's more than enough for me! Some liquid nitrogen artfully and skillfully applied and there, taken care of. I am going to set up a follow up appointment with a dermatologist in the UK. I want to make sure that my precancerous spots are gone and stay gone! What I have is called "Actinic Keratosis" and it's the most common form of precancer. Check out the link highlighted in red to read more about it. About the liquid nitrogen, it didn't hurt when it was applied on my cheekbone but damn if it didn't burn like hell on that spot right next to my lip- OUCH! So it's #70 to #85 SPF for me this summer!

Here's something that most folks do not know about sunscreen...or just never realized...

*Sunscreen needs to be applied 20 minutes BEFORE going out into the sun or into a pool.

*Sunscreen needs to be applied at least every 80 to 120 minutes throughout the day to remain effective.

*If going into the water, it needs to be reapplied after toweling off. Why? Because you just rubbed it off with your towel that's why.

*Sunscreen needs to be applied more frequently if you are swimming or are sweating- because the excess water/moisture is washing it away.

*Wear a hat and stay in the shade whenever possible!

10 days to go...but who's counting

Today's list of things going on is long (as usual). First stop, the dermatologist. I'll have to tell you all how that goes later on.

I sold my son's car yesterday :-) Now for me to get the house sold one thing at a time right?).

Hannah is doing well this morning, she's up and hobbling around.

I pick my husband up from the airport this evening...I'm seriously excited to have him back and helping with the move. Maybe he'll mow the grass this weekend :-)

Ooh, look at the time, I need to gobble up some breakfast and head out to the doctors office.

Quote of the Day

I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much.
-Mother Teresa

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Surgery day for Hannah

It's early, too early to wake Hannah yet. We leave in and hour and a half, I'll wake her 20 minutes prior to leave time. She can hang out in her jammies if she likes, its not as if anyone will see her :-)

My prayer for my daughter is that this growth is finally gone from her body and that she may walk without pain. I know that Hannah is ready to get rid of this thing once and for all! Hannah went with the laser treatment versus using a scalpel because of the quicker recovery/healing time plus there's vitually no blood/bleeding.

On a lighter note...Have you seen the movie Shallow Hal with Jack Black? It's a truly hallirious movie. The reason why I mention it is because there's this one part where Hal and his friend Mauricio have to concoct some stupid reason why Jack left his date at the restaurant. So they come up with "CC" Contagious Conjunctivitis (which is what I have)...and they blop on the Vaseline all over his eyes (I'm cracking up as I write this). You see, I have Erthythromycin ointment to put into my eyes at night...and it's not quite as bad as that scene when Hal answers the door and Rosemary is looking at him wondering what on earth is going on...but it's close, LOL! I have to put a 1 inch ribbon of this ointment in each eye, no eye make up for a week and well my eyes are still looking pretty red on a good note, there's no green goo in the corners of my eyes this morning :D

Quote of the Day

With our children who thrive on simple pleasures, our work and our entire society can be renewed.
-Sara Wenger Shenk

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Going out with a Bang!

Nothing is ever simple. It seems as if the Lord wants to keep me busy right up to the moment we get on the airplane. Hannah is having a minor surgery tomorrow morning to finally rid her of this growth on her foot. Then we show the doctor Hannah's toes (the ones with the 2 freckles) and the guy immediately wants Hannah to see a dermatologist because one of them just does not look right. He said that if it was him, he'd remove both of them (the freckles not the toes). I'm going to have Hannah checked out by a dermatologist first thing when we get to England. Skin cancer is nothing to mess with.

Speaking of skin cancer, I've got news of my own...tomorrow I'm seeing a dermatologist about a couple of precancerous spots on my face. It was during my facial on June 4th that these were brought to my attention. I went and made an appointment with my doctor right away, told him what was going on , he looked at the spots and BAM! I had an appointment that day down town to see a specialist. Now of course I couldn't get an appointment until the 12th but at least I'm getting it taken care of now.

Here's more.. it will either make you laugh or make you wonder how I'm getting through all of this. I've now noticed 3 spots on my right hand that need to be looked at by the dermatologist. Can you say #85 sun block? I can, LOL! Sunless tanning cream and spray on tans are looking better and better these days. And to top all of this FUN stuff off, yesterday after Hannah's physical- my eyes started getting this green goop in them. By 10 pm last night I was absolutely miserable. My eyes are various shades of pink moving on to red, green stuff collecting in the corners of my eyes and in my eyelashes. Could I have pink eye? On top of all of the other stuff I have going on??? Sheesh!!! I'm making an appointment to be seen this morning to take care of it. Only 45 more minutes until someone will be in the doctors office so I can make an appointment- ugh!

Now to have some coffee, pack some boxes with things that we will be needing on the other end of our journey. The fun never stops!

Quote of the Day

The length of a film should be directly related to the endurance of the human bladder.
- Alfred Hitchcock

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

It's Tuesday Gromit

Does it happen to you- you set out to do one thing and end up doing something else? I had wanted to sew but what did I do? I put together more "kits" for me to make at a later time. I love pulling out fabrics and matching patterns and colors. This latest endeavour is for some new patterns I purchased from one of the Vendors at the Quilt Show and they are sweet! It's not quilts but my other passion....tote bags and purses. Who doesn't like a nice tote or handbag? Now I get to use some of those large floral print fabrics I bought earlier this year :-D I have been lucky enough to find some terrific patterns! Now to buy some zippers, toggles, a couple more spools of thread (parakeet- what a cute name) and a few yards of fusible fleece batting.

One of the first things I plan on doing when I get to England is to buy myself a new Janome sewing machine. I'm putting my beloved HT2008 into storage along with my Serger. I don't want to mess up my machine because of the voltage difference so I'll buy myself another one instead. I've been looking up addresses for Janome Stockists located where we live in England and I'm surprised that I have so many to choose from. Here in South Dakota we had 1 store and the owner was a jerk- and because of that I bought my sewing machines (all 3 of them) on line and saved myself several hundred dollars in the process. So if any of my British friends are reading- please chime in if you know of a good reputable stockist for Janome sewing machines.

Quote of the Day

And life is what we make of it.
Always has been, always will be.
-Grandma Moses

Monday, June 08, 2009

Glorious Monday!

We had rain, rain and more rain yesterday and throughout the night. I look outside and see a very green lawn that needs to be mowed! Now to let the ground dry out before I even attempt to get the kids out there on the ride on lawn mower.

I've got crafting on my mind! Now that I'm DONE with having open houses, I am no longer afraid of making a mess in the formal dining room with my quilting. I'm going to work on finishing up my flannel baby quilt, I want to make some tote bags and finish up those camera straps! I've got things that I want to get done and I could care less how much thread is on the floor and how much fabric is spread out on the table! I also plan on finishing up a chipboard tissue box cover, modge podge, patterned paper and the words "Bless You" spelled out from letter I cut out with my Sizzix or my Cricut...oh yeah this will be FUN!

Quote of the Day

Obey the voice within- it commands us to give of ourselves and help others. As long as we have the capacity to give, we are alive.
-Kirk Douglas

Sunday, June 07, 2009

last things...

There's something to be said about things that one does that are the "last" of something.

*I'm going to miss the wonderful ladies that make up the Black Hills Quilters Guild. They are some of the nicest women you will ever meet. Each and every one of them is friendly, helpful, caring and willing to help you with all of your quilting questions; and trust me I had about a million and one questions when I first started quilting. I'm going to miss being able to participate at guild events, this really was something I enjoyed doing with all my heart.

*The last open house while we still live here...I'll be honest, I'm not going to miss those, LOL! There's nothing like trying to get your teenagers motivated to mow the yard, edge the yard with a weed whacker, pull weeds, mop floors, clean windows, scrub toilets and vacuum- talk about mission impossible! But somehow through it all I've managed to not make my kids hate me- which by the way is a huge miracle! Having my kids on stand by to scram at a moments notice if a realtor brings by a potential interested party, well it's enough to make us all batty. So in all honesty, I'm not going to miss having open houses.

*The last HOA (home owners association) meeting went very well. I think that after all my harping that I finally do have people interested in really making the HOA a priority, I've been able to fill all of the spots including President. I do feel that the Lord was watching over me and he has answered my prayers. Part of me is going to miss being involved in the HOA, but to be honest if I were to be here longer I still would have been done this year. It's time to get some fresh new faces in there and with that some new ideas. I feel very blessed to have such wonderful neighbors that have taken an interest in their community.

So not all last things are to be dreaded, not all last things are terrible and not all last things are to be feared. I can now check off 3 major things off my list of things to get done before I leave, I feel very good about that!

My Birthday...

Nothing special happened or out of the ordinary happened. I cleaned out the garage, rearranged things in there, sold the beer fridge and an old bicycle at the neighborhood garage sale (the American version of a boot sale).

It was in the 40º's plus it was raining all day long. Kind of a blah day really. I do plan on celebrating my b-day, but after I get to England :-)

Today is the last open house while we are still living in the house. The last day of the quilt show and my last HOA meeting.

Now for me to get on with getting the house show room ready (need to vacuum the down stairs carpet then it's time for a cuppa!

Quote of the Day

No endeavour that is worthwhile is simple in prospect; if it is right, it will be simple in retrospect.
-Edward Teller,Physicist

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Quote of the Day

Age...doesn't matter, unless you're a cheese.
-Actress Billie Burke

Friday, June 05, 2009

Black Hills Quilters Guild 2009 Quilt Show

I made this truquoise and brown quilt

here's my Mary Englebreit themed Friends are Flowers quilt

Ocean Breeze is the quilt that I made for my daughter Hannah. I love the muted colors of cream, yellow, blue and green.

Explore Dream Discover

These 3 simple words are the basis of who I am and what new things I have accomplished over the past few years. I've always been open to trying new things, exploring new places, dreaming of things I want to accomplish and discovering the artist within myself. Be it with fabric, food, paper and ink or with plants, I'm always creating something new and exciting.

Quote of the Day

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do then by the ones you did do. So, throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover.
-Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Feeling Blessed

I feels God's blessing every single day. Yesterday was a great example.

I talked with a girlfriend in the morning -a military spouse who I've know for what seems like forever. I wish that we both had time for more lengthy conversations but we both grab the few minutes here and there that we can.

I spent 3½ hours at the spa yesterday- it was wonderful! Getting a facial is something every woman needs to try once in her lifetime. What an experience!!! I could not believe how relaxed I felt after it was done, I couldn't tell you which was better, the massage or the facial, both were that good! Manicure and pedicure- again it's an indulgence , but one that every woman needs to try at least once. I've got foot prob elms, we all know that- after getting a pedicure my feet look and feel great! I got myself a french manicure and love it! Talk about making my stubby fingernails look terrific! I felt so good leaving the day spa that I could have come home to a totally trashed house and I wouldn't have cared! Yes, my time at the day sap was that good, LOL!

I dropped my quilts off at the civic center and today I'll be volunteering with the quilters guild to get the quilts hung up. I'm bringing my camera because it's going to be something that others will want to see that's for sure! A behind the scenes look so to speak. It's such a blessing to be involved in a group that does so much good for a community.

Dinner with my children was great! We sat and talked about all kinds of topics, all of which made us laugh. I'm continually amazed at the progress that my son has made at accepting the fact that we (his father and I) will not let him stay here while we move to England. He was really giving us some serious grief over this issue and it all seems to have faded away into oblivion (I hope that it remains that way). Our daughter has always accepted the move, it was the two of us (me and Hannah) that suggested to my husband that he apply/try for an assignment to the UK in the first place last August. Talk about God listening to prayers :-) And here we are, just a couple of weeks out from being packed up and getting on an airplane.

Today is another day that I have been given to do with what I like. I can't begin to tell you how refreshing it is not to have demands put upon me that stress me out! Indeed, this is another blessing from the Lord!

Quote of the Day

Thank You Father, for loving all of the little children of the world- no matter how old we are.
-Marion Bond West

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

It's about me

It's so rare that I take time out these days for myself but's about me. My husband the darling thoughtful man that he is gave me gift certificates to use at a Day Spa...18 months ago. I never felt as if I could spend the entire day at the spa getting pampered, that was until now. The past couple of months alone with 2 teens finishing up school for the year, trying to keep a house show room ready 24/7 (in case a realtor brings over clients to view it), selling off our other 2 cars, and doing all of the things that I need to do to get a pet ready to ship to the UK...well I feel worthy of being pampered a bit now.

On Monday Peg's (check out her blog for great paper crafting ideas) we made some darling cards and a scrapbook layout- I'll be posting mine AFTER my birthday this weekend as it is a birthday layout (so to speak). The tools and the accessories we use are fantastic! Everyone puts their own spin on things and it's amazing to see how they turn out. I saw Sarah doing something on her layout and I wanted to try it and so I did and WOW! Each layout looks different because of our color choices and the little spin each of us puts on it and so forth.

After spending a couple or 3 hours at the day spa I'll then go over to the civic center to turn in my 4 quilts for exhibit for the big quilt show this weekend. Please go and check it out if you are in the area. You just may be greeted by me when you come to buy your tickets!

This is going to be such a good and positive day, I can feel it! I hope that the manicurist can do something with these stubby fingernails of mine :-o as my nails are worn down to nubs!

Quote of the Day

God doesn't require that we succeed; he only requires that you try.
-Mother Theresa

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Day #2 of my busy week

I've read that the kinds of music you listen to says something about you...then what it is saying about me with my wild choice of music? I'm rocking out this morning to Devo, Depeche Mode, Thompson Twins and the B-52's and am loving it!

I received a call last night that left me with 3 more items on this weeks list, but it's not to be said that I'm cringing at the thought of having more going on, in fact it's the opposite! I'm excited to be working at the Black Hills Quilters Guild quilt show this week! So look for me, I'm the one with the big smile on my face because I'm volunteering with a wonderful group of ladies!

Quote of the Day

"Then let us, one and all, be contented with our lot;
The June is here this morning, and the sun is shining hot;
Oh! let us fill our hearts up with the glory of the day,
And banish ev'ry doubt and care and sorrow far away."

- James Whitcomb Riley

Monday, June 01, 2009

Tragedy touches our town

It's heart breaking to find out that a child has died, but somehow even more so when you know that the child attended school with one of your children and that the deceased child has a sibling that went to school with your other child. Here's the news story at the local news paper- Rapid City Journal. Please keep both families in your thoughts and prayers. The child that survived the horrible accident is friends with my sons girlfriend. My heart goes out to everyone...from the land owners whose property was destroyed/damaged in the accident, to those who found the young girls, to those in law enforcement who had to tell the parents of these teen-aged girls about the accident and especially the ones that had to inform the young girls parents of her death. As I was telling my children of this story is when I found out how much more I was connected to it all. Andrew really put it into perspective for me and drew all of the lines together for all of the connections.

And earlier today my dear friend Donna was telling me about the death of someone whom they were connected to but did not know personally. Donna...if you're reading this, THIS is exactly how I feel, it's that very same way about these 2 teen girls. Although I didn't know them I knew many others that were connected in other ways. It's like something that Clarence the Angel said in the movie "It's a Wonderful Life" to George when he (George)realizes just what his life is about...isn't it strange how one life touches so many others. In case you didn't know's something that is very real and life does touch so many others. So please, hug your children, tell them they mean the world to you and hold them tight...because we never know when their lives can be cut short to be in heaven with our Lord.

Got to love Mondays!

I love Mondays, it's such a fresh new start to the week! For me it kicks off a new count down- 3 weeks, 21 days to go until we board the airplane leaving Rapid City for the last time. It also kicks off another round of "what's on my list".

Here's a glimpse of my week

*crafting group (this is my last get together with those wonderful Ladies)

*Change of command for the Base Commander

*Hannah's last orthodontic appointment

*The 2nd part of my spa day package...facial, manicure and pedicure appointment

*Black Hills Quilters Guild Quilt Show June 5,6 and 7th drop quilts off on the 3rd pick up in the late afternoon on the 7th

*organizing items for the neighborhood garage sale

*My neighborhood garage sale that I organized for June 6th starts at 7 am until ?

*My birthday on the 6th- don't know what I'm doing for that yet

*Open house on the 7th

*HOA meeting on the 7th

and of course there's the 1001 errands and phone calls I have to make in relation to our move...going to the post office and shipping boxes to ourselves, having luggage tags made, picking up the kids school transcripts and so forth. For me, the "being busy" never ends.

I'm calling the TMO office (doing that right now as I type) to find out which moving company is packing us up, making sure to let them know that we will need crate #1 as an early release and to make a complaint about how the company who packed my husbands unaccompanied baggage shipment wrapped our shoes in my skirts and blouses instead of using packing paper (nice huh?).

And to think that I've been able to maintain my sanity though all of this, WOW! Yes it amazes me too! Now to have some more coffee :-)

Quote of the Day

A friendship can weather most things and thrive in thin soil; but it needs a little mulch of letters and phone calls and small, silly presents every so often - just to save it from drying out completely.
-Pam Brown

this seems to be very Mary Engelbreit-ish don't you think :-) I can easily see her using a quote such as this one (if she hasn't used it already).