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Travels with Wolf

It was 39 degrees, cold and rainy, so Hannah and I decided to make lemons out of our lemonade so to speak.  (FYI ...Dearest husband you might want to quit reading  now, we kind of desicrated the Man Cave with girlie activity.)  Here are the ingredients we used:

Graham crackers, marshmallows, a Hershey bar and a fire!    Yes, we made S'mores in the fire place in June.  It was that cold in the basement that we could comfortably have a fire in June.  Hannah had mentioned a while back that she'd never had S'mores before, I am a bad mommy, I have never taken her camping yet.  This was supposed to be the summer for that before deployment changed our plans.  Anyway she's roasted marshmallows at her Dad's place but hadn't made a S'more.  The next time I went to the store I bought of the ingredients, but that was in May and it got too warm to have a fire so I just kept them in the back of the pantry to wait for fall.  Well it might as well be fall this weekend. Dang the weather stinks.  Cold rainy and miserable, they got snow that actually stuck on the ground to the south of us.

Anyway here are the rest of the pictures:

We were impatient and didn't want to wait til the fire got super hot, so our marshmallows weren't quite melty enough---- well other than the one that Hannah caught on fire.  I didn't think about how to put those out, can't exactly throw them on the carpet to burn out!  But we figured it out, though there is a little bit of goo on the fire place screen LOL.  Gee J'ana and Jen thought we might hurt ourselves with the darts and we didn't even get to them we were so busy having fun with the s'mores.  We had a great time though and it was a good way to entertain ourselves.  Don't worry I worked out a little extra hard on my elliptical first so I have not calorie guilt either.   To finish our girlification of the Man Cave we put on Prince Caspian and watched til we got tired and trooped up to bed.

The puppies were feeling especially cuddly last night (we might have given them each a marshmallow ha ha ha) so when we got to bed this is how they ended up.  Sooooooo cute!

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Here I am as promised.  I never got to Walmart, but I got everything else done.  Work is going well, the first week was a little frustrating because I couldn't actually work at anything, it bothered me to feel so useless.  The second week was better, I got to start taking a few phone calls and get to start the cases in the data base.  I won't be doing the paralegal aspects for some time yet, but it is nice to be doing something useful and interacting with clients.  Here is a picture of my office on my first day, my bff J'ana sent me flowers just like she did on my first day at my last job all those years ago in Vegas.  I hope this job lasts as long and that I get as good as I was at my old job.

I have a lot of bare wall space to fill up, I am keeping my eye out for some sales on some stuff for my walls, in the meantime I have plenty of pictures on my desk and credenza to make it a little homey.

Last weekend I didn't get much of anything done, I had the Service to the Armed Forces stand-by phone and had to do several death verifications among other things.  Between that and yard work I didn't get much else done.  Hannah and I did enjoy some time on the deck reading though on the one nice day we had.  It was a little bare out there, but I was too tired to run to Menards and get plants to make it look like it did last summer.  Memorial Day weekend and still hardly any leaves on the trees.

Thursday was Hannah's last day of school.  I forgot to take a picture in the backyard to match to the first day of school picture, but I did manage to get a quick shot on the camera phone while we were wating to turn into the parking lot.

This weekend I got more done in the yard and I made it to Menards.  I finally figured out how to use the Weed Eater and I did the fenceline as well as about three feet down the backside of the hill to keep the bugs down.  This city ought to be mowing down there soon, but I am tired of ticks.  I got two hanging baskets of Impatients for the deck.  There are three colors mixed into each basket, I think they are pretty and they add some color.

Still don't have too many leaves on the trees, and if you look at the bottom of the picture you can see I still have sandbags to haul down to Dan's fishing hole.  I am waiting on the city to mow for that though I don't want to trudge through all those weeds.  Still not a lot of leaves on the trees, but there are more every day.  They can't fill out fast enough for me though, it is so hot right now, my house is 80degrees even with my air conditioner going all day set to 68 and fans in every room.  The roof just gets soooooo hot with no shade and that makes the evenings almost unbearable. 

I picked up the flowers at Menards yesterday, I also got a tub of pansies for out front, I forgot to take a picture though.  I bought some geraniums for the big planter but was too tired to transplant them last night.  I got it done this afternoon after I mowed the front yard.


I almost missed out on the geraniums altogether, the selection was so picked over that I barely made it home with any flowers last night.  As it was only one of these had any actual blooms on it, so I will get a surprise as to what colors I have when the five plants start to bloom.  In the middle I planted a Mosquito Shocker citronella plant, Hannah was insistant that it will work.  I have another one to put at the other end of the deck.  It says if you rub the leaves it will release a lemony scent and keep the suckers away.  I hope so, I forgot my Off when I mowed yesterday and have a few bites to show for it.  I need to get my tiki torches refilled with oil so we can sit out there in the evenings when it is so hot in the house.

After I mowed today I came in the house and it was so warm upstairs that I decided to watch the race on the big screen downstairs where it is much cooler.  I got in Dan's chair and quickly found myself the target of the cuddle puppies.  I couldn't get a good shot from my vantage point, but you can see my lap is full.

Good news is that between my job and keeping up with Dan's chores plus the regular stuff I always do around the house the time is flying by.  One more month down, four to go.  Miss you dearest.


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Hubby is bugging me to update the blog, I want to, but can't seem to find the time or motivation with my new schedule.  It should get easier for me to get online in the evenings now that Hannah is out of school.  Yet I still feel guilty when I sit at the computer.  I  should be mowing, or cleaning or ironing my clothes for the next day , et cetera, et cetera, etcetera. (Said in the voice of Yule Brenner.)  SO in the end I just opt right out of computer time. 

So after church, after I mow the front yard, after I pick some things up at Walmart then I will sit down and do a catchup. ::::sticks tongue out at Dan:::::
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So my busy week culminated today with a second interview.  I am now among the gainfully employed. :)  I start on Monday.  It is part time for now, but can be full time if I want to, they even solved my dilemma with how to get Hannah home from school.  I guess there is a bus that goes right by the office and already drops off the child of one of my co-workers.   The kids can then wait in one of the offices for you to get off work.  I'm like, did somebody open my head and pick out the perfect scenario where I can work and still get Hannah from school without having to leave early?  I think to start with I will stick to the 9-3 and as things progress if Hannah is adjusting well I can work my way up to full time.  How amazing is this?  Did I mention benefits?  Insurance, retirement, vacation, sick days, the works even if I just stay part time.  Family friendly, five minutes from my house, nice co-workers and better pay than I though was possible from a non-profit outfit in ND.

Oh yeah, get this...... relaxed dress code..... I. CAN. WEAR. JEANS!  There are no more beautiful words for a girl who is in between sizes and can't afford a whole new work wardrobe.  I can already fit back into some of my old work skirts too, so I have a good start on clothes, but at least I don't have to go out a buy a bunch of expensive dressy clothes.  I can wear all of my favorite button down shirts and jackets with nice jeans and my boots. :) :) :)  Somebody needs to pinch me because I think this has to be a dream.

I can thank my Red Cross connections for this position, because I only heard about it by word of mouth.  They never even advertised it.  If all of the jobs around here go like this it is no wonder I never see any positions in the paper.  I will be working for an office that does legal aid for low-income and elderly folks, so I even get to know that I am going to be helping people every day who really need it.

Okay, enough about me, Dan has good news too.  He is getting promoted to Master Seargent soon.  The testing results came out yesterday and he made it.  He was so in shock, he really didn't think he had done well on the test, but I guess he did.  :)   :)   :)  So it was a pretty exciting day all around yesterday to start off with that news and then head into an interview for this great position to have them call me in for the second interview and now I am employed!

Here are a few shots of Dan hard at work. 
He is second from the right in this one.

 He is the one with the tape measure here and in the next one too.

They are keeping him busy as always, twelve hour shifts, six days a week.  Not too much time to get lonely and miss home, but I know he misses the puppies, so these are for you dear.

Thanks to their summer hair cuts, they shiver like mad when they come in on cold days now, today it's only in the 40's here and this is how they like me to warm them up when they come inside.

And here is our little red mustached girl giving the camera a hairy eyeball:

I know you miss those hairy eyeballs dearest. :)

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Current Mood: chipper chipper

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Our week started out with Hannah coming down with a sinus infection which kept us home from church on Sunday and her home from school on Monday.  She got to go to an off base doctor who is only a few blocks from the house, so that was nice it saved us a trip to base.

Tuesday I did something never done by Crystal before........ I mowed the yard!!!!!

I didn't want to track grass in the house to get the real camera but if you look at the corner closest to the garage you can see I had already mowed the corner.  Luckily Dan bought an electric mower which is blonde friendly.  It wasn't so bad.  (Dearest I made sure to get your baby in the shot too.  I know you miss her. ;)

Hannah has spent a fair amount of time resting in bed, she was being silly and imitating Murf in these shots:

They are very silly!  Wednesday I finally got my missing filling replaced!  Yay, I can chew on both sides of my mouth now and I get to have gum again!!!!!!  (Yes that calls for many exclamation points in my book.)

Today I had a job interview!  I think it went pretty well as they are bringing me in for a second interview tomorrow! This job will be a god send if I get it.  Nine to three, five days a week plus benefits.  So I hope things go well tomorrow.  I let you know.  I have even more good news, but I will share that with you tomorrow. :)


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My scruffy puppies were acting as grass magnets ever since the snow melted and the yard was clear.  Their fur is like velcro, picking up every blade of dead grass, old leaves and twigs.  I was needing to vaccuum twice a day!  Plus on the days it is a little warm they were getting hot really fast.  So I got their summer cuts a little early.  Here are some before and after shots.  Murf is up first:

And Eb:

It's like having two whole new dogs!   I do love them when they are a little scruffy, but it was way past that point.  So $90 later here they are.  Too bad they don't have some magic shampoo that would help with their orange beards!  The water here turns that color when it dries, I imagine it's the mineral content.

One more set of my good looking elegant pups.
Murf's beard keeps twirling up on the sides like a frenchman's so we've taken to calling him "Murf Pierre".  It is still a little cold for them in the evenings considering they have very little fur, but soon enough they will be loving how cool it keeps them. 

Current Mood: accomplished accomplished

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The first time Dan was in Iraq I got lucky and the gal that was in charge of his unit set up a website and posted pretty regular pictures of the guys at work.  So I could peruse the website and save any pictures with Dan in them.  The next time he went to Iraq I wasn't so lucky.  I think I got one picture from the whole six months he was over there. This time I am in luck again.  There is someone running around taking pictures of everyone at various times and they make them available to the guys to forward on to their families at home.

These first two are of him getting his unit coin.  For those not familiar with this practice, every unit has a special coin made usually with their unit symbol on one side and a motto on the other.  The commander usually has to present you with the coin.  I will take some pictures of some of his other coins when I get a chance and post them.

The next two are just ones of him at work.  In the group shot he is the one in the middle and in the shot with the two guys he is on the left. 

These are both of the inside of the building they were framing out.  He is onto another project now, one where he gets to work outside.  He was thrilled of course, he loves the desert heat.  But the other guys are human (like the rest of us) and couldn't take it, so he is moving to a night schedule.  We already only get to talk once, sometimes twice a week, now I don't know when we will talk if I get the part time job I've applied for.  He did find one computer with AOL on it so we can IM sometimes when the phones are busy and I am home.  I am used to not getting to talk every day, but I will be annoyed if I lose my once a week!

Time is going by at a decent pace for me.  We only have five months left.  I can say the first two have gone by pretty fast.  I really can't believe it is May already, April just flew past with all of the flood that never was (for me at least) preparations.

Current Mood: content content

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This isn't what I had planned for today, I still have flashback pictures to post that Nancy scnanned for me before all of the flood craziness.  But today I was in the mood to share this picture.  Another one of my faves, it was taken at our friends Jen and Brad's wedding.  We never saw it with the wedding album though because they surprised us with a framed copy for Christmas that year.  Sadly, to the best of my knowledge they are divorced now, but at least one wedding picture from that day will still be cherished!  I was a bridesmaid hence the updo and the fancy dress.  For once it is one I will probably wear again someday, maybe to an Air Force ball or something.  Heck I might even fit back into it by now.  I could be wrong about the date, I'll have to really think about it but I think it is November 2002.

PS  I think I was in the mood for this picture because today is a countdown day, 2 months down 5 to go! 

Current Mood: complacent complacent

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Mom and my brother Carl came for the weekend.  It was a quick turnaround trip for them, but we got so much done.  I'm glad they could come.  My handy brother put my elliptical together!!!!!!!! Woooooo!  I can step up my work out now.  He also fixed a toilet, changed out my storm door for the screen door, reattached a door stop Hannah accidentally pulled out and carried my heavy water pump for the sprinkler system up from the basement. 

We also got some shopping done for him and my mom.  They don't have great shopping where my mom lives and my brother lives in Gillette where prices are ridiculous.  I also was able to help Carl set up his new laptop so he can join the computer generation.  I hate that they had to drive so far for so little time, but I'm glad they did. 


We barely rembered to take the standard parting shots!  Then my camera battery dies just as we get enough light going and to top it off my cell phone memory was full!  So we are lucky to have these shots at all.  

More updates later, I have pictures that Dan sent me from Iraq to share and some other odds and ends.  I am playing catch up because I have been volunteering in the Red Cross front office the last two mornings to get some fresh office experience back on my resume.  My good old phone skills came back in a hurry, I wasn't as rusty as I thought.


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I am so behind!!!!  I hoped to get a regular flashback post up, but we'll have to settle for pictures of the high water on Monday April 13.  I can normally look out my bedroom river and see nothing but grass (or snow) along the dike.  I woke up on Monday morning and could see water, fast moving water that looked like it was rising by the second!!!  As you can see the hose that is normally laying on dry land is now floating and the water has risen just to the bottom of the white pipe that holds my electrical cables for my sprinkler pump.  If you scroll back to the previous entry you can see how much dry land is normally there.

Here is the southward view and you can see how high it has climbed in the rocky parts. If you look at the previous pictures you can see bushes which are completely covered, they would normally be on the bank closest to me on the left.

I don't think I really captured the idea of how much  it had risen, I was a little scared.  That day we thought it was going to rise another 3-4 feet, so it was a scary feeling knowing that a rain storm was heading our way. I felt somewhat better after I measured and found there was still about 17 feet between my yard and the water. I am super glad none of that came to pass and now it's back down to near normal levels, so the current bits of rain we are getting shouldn't hurt a thing.  Now I have the fun task of removing all of the prcautionary sandbags!


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