28 July 2006

Chaos Theory

Over the past few months there have been a series of changes happening within my life – work, personal, spiritual. It’s been scary at times, but overall in the end it has been for the best. Of course, it’s hard to see the best in the outcome while the change is still occurring.

See, I’m still going through these changes – man, it sounds like I have menopause or something. Or maybe I’m just pms-y since all this is impacting me pretty hard today. But I’m on a committee which desperately needs change and I see that and want to do it, but I need help from others as well. My fear is that while the changes need to be made and I want to help incorporate those changes that the wrath of others will be detrimental – perhaps not just to me but to the changes and newness being created. People here ‘fear change’ (to quote Garth Algar) and when someone like me comes in and wants to make change people then resent that person. (Does that make me Rob Lowe?)

Change is good though. I believe it. I live it. Of course it scares the bejeesus out of me as I do it but it’s good to have change. Otherwise you get in a rut. And a rut isn’t good.

My friend spoke of this on his blog the other day, but I’m going to quote him here as well: “…there are actually lives transformed through gathering experiences. i believe it is actually because it is time broken away from our everyday lives that there is transformation. and this makes me wonder if it is at all possible for our lives to be impacted in ways we would readily recognize if the changes didn't make us alter our routine.”

Ah, there it is…routine. I LOVE routine. I am a military girl and routine is what it’s all about. And when the routine is altered, that means something’s wrong. But how do you break away from that?

I think LA has it right: “. in order to break out of the rut we have to have our lives interrupted. events (like the gathering) can be interruptions that lead to positive spiritual transformation in our lives. … our lives are often filled with chaos and grace. it is navigating between them that seems to make life the experience it is. chaos and grace were there at the beginning of creation as ruach moved across the waters.”

The trick now is to get others to understand this. The fear of change runs rampant across these waters. And the path ahead is full of brambles.

27 July 2006

Pictures? We don't have no stinkin' pictures!

The last week is now a blur – a blur of goodness and happiness and just pure fun, not to mention some stress and tension. But first – a picture:

Here is JB sitting at my table I found when I cleaned a couple weeks ago. Look, Ma! I’m eating at a table again! Not just at a table, but an actual meal! Not just eggs in my yellow chair! WOOHOO! Quite a step up to adulthood, I think. (yes, it's about time, I know.)

Anyway... :)

It was the 60th Anniversary of my base last week. We’re working on a special edition of the paper we put together and 4 days was spent trying to track down who the SEA’s were and in what order they served, finding our commander’s and begging for a letter of thanks, scanning in photos, and sorting through history to put this paper together. It’s not done yet. It’s not even close, but I’m working on it. Each day we get a few more items to finish it off. I can’t wait. It’ll be great – it better be great or I’ll be ticked - I can’t wait for it to be finished.

Mixed in with all that I spent time catching up with fabulous people. Wednesday night I hung out with a great friend whom I hadn’t seen in awhile. Thursday I hung out with another great friend I hadn't seen since Christmas: Tre. She braided my hair for me. YAY! I know this doesn’t seem like a big deal, but seriously this was the first time I had EVER had my hair braided. Growing up with the short, short pixie style hair (usually permed no less…yes I did look like Annie on occasion) didn’t allow the braids to be an option.

Braids from the front – don’t I look cute? (go Ireland!)

Braids from the back – SWEET! I had always longed for this, and now I can do it! WOOHOO! Plus, this turned out to be mucho needed since the wind was wicked and the heat almost unbearable as we’re running around during the Air Show. It was an awesome event, I will say. Lots of fun.

Okay. I know you’ve all been waiting so here it is. Now is the time for the ever-waited-for pictures of pies: The first was here. The second is here:

The third is here:

The fourth is here:

And the fifth (and maybe final) is here:

Which do you think is best?

By the way, I’m not going to quit making the pies. I enjoy it too much. I just have to make sure to give them away. I can’t handle all that on my hips. EEK! Next step: cherry pie. Then maybe lemon meringue or raisin cream – I’ve had some requests and I actually did find a recipe for the raisin one. I didn’t think I would. Crazy.

17 July 2006

And the obsession continues...

Yes, I can’t get away from it. I made another pie Saturday. So that’s pie number 4 and I think the best one yet. Not as goopy, crust much better (but still need a bit o’ work) and it looked the prettiest. I’m taking pictures (to document it – just call me barry) but of course they aren’t developed yet. Another week, then you can see what they all look like. But that’s not all…I made yet another pie, yes, pie number 5, today. The crust looks great but I haven’t tried it yet. I will and we’ll see how it tastes.

But seriously: What the hell is wrong with me? This is the last one, I swear. I took pics of this one, too, but it’s the last one. I have to quit. My pants won’t fit anymore if I keep going.

I also gave up popcorn…again. I did! Really! I had half a bag left of ODCP, which I had bought in honor of my friend’s b-day, and I threw it away. Yep…just threw it away and gave it up, cold turkey.

Now I’m sad.


No, I’m okay. I don’t need the popcorn to be happy. I have other reasons to be happy. Anyway, I need to get back on SB – and Phase 1 will return next week (after the air show and 4 days of guards - ugh the horror of the food!). And this is all appropriate since about a year ago I started SB. See my other blog for that one.

Otherwise, I’ve also been taking photos of roses. Rainbow had a dozen on sale for $7 last week and to treat myself I decided to pick up some. They are the best flowers I have ever had. The opened up, they’ve stayed beautiful, and I love them. The textures of them were just great. If I had had a better camera I may have been able to pick those up more.

AND I bought a plant. The campus center folks decided to get rid of the contracted plants and trees and have them done in-house. I begged and begged to keep Herman and Elizabeth (pictures to come – see above) but to no avail. I broke down and bought Herman and I continue to pray and knock on wood each day that he won’t die. I love him!

So I’m becoming domesticated, I guess. What a weird feeling.

12 July 2006

OCD girl

Yes, I am obsessed with some things (mostly food, it seems): Mini Coopers, Old Dutch Cheese Popcorn, tgft, chicken, Lime Tostitos and of course baking with precision.
The precision is essential, because you (read: I) can’t promise the best chocolate chip cookies ever and then start messing with the recipe and making them taste different. Once you find that niche you must stick with it. I have accomplished the precision with these such cookies, as well as the PB crackles with Dark Chocolate kisses. Now, my obsession has turned to apple pie.

As you read earlier, I made my second ever apple pie on Saturday. The first was back in November and my third was last night. (Pictures to be posted once I get my throw-away developed) Pies can be finicky, especially if you’re making the crust yourself, which I am, because I just don’t like the taste of store bought crust and because I secretly strive to be Martha Stewart, but nicer. Besides I used store-bought for my mini-pies and they just didn’t turn out as well. (note to self: must try the mini pies again sometime soon) Last night’s pie turned out okay, except I had trouble rolling out the crust this time. I’m not sure why but I couldn’t get it to roll out. Grr. Plus once I did, I didn’t have enough to cover the pan and so I had to piecemeal it together. It worked and it tastes fine, but not quite like I’d like it to be.

So…of course that means I have to keep making apple pie until I can get the consistency right and have the precision with it that I want (i.e. being able to make it almost without thinking). Now I just need to find a handsome man to eat all these pies, because Lord knows, I can’t afford them on my hips. Anyway, anyone have any suggestions?

10 July 2006

Thank you, Anonymous!

This weekend was great. Seriously. Even though I was sick, things couldn’t have been better. Well it could have been but that wish is on hold right now. Anyway…

So Friday after work I went home about 5, crawled my sorry ass into bed and slept til 7. I woke up with a start, thinking it was morning and I was late for work. Luckily, that wasn’t true, so I got up and curled up in my chair and watched a movie. After that I was feeling a little better so I finished filing my magazine articles I had been ripping out all week and then went to bed again. Saturday was Productively Super! I washed clothes, I swapped my desk and table around (so I can actually eat at my table instead of just using it to hold mail and junk!) and even washed my floors. This I had almost all completed before 1pm. I’m even amazed at myself.

So once I had all that done, I decided to be Becky HomeEc-y and make a pie. I even made the crust and I must say, if I do say so myself, it was a damn good pie. Apple, of course, and the crust was even flaky, like I like.

JB came over around 5 and we grilled chicken and had supper. Then in our usual style we tossed back and forth the responsibility of figuring out what we were going to do next. We decided to stay in and watch a movie – a typical Moe evening. :)

Sunday was very relaxing. I went to church, then sat outside as recommended for about an hour. I was starting to burn so I thought it best to move back indoors. I basically reverted to my youth as I read all day long, taking breaks only to refill my glass of tea or blow my nose. Around 5 (maybe 5 is the witching hour!) I made up my breakfasts for the week and had supper – again at my table. What a concept! Then I did something I had done in quite awhile…while watching yet another movie, I began knitting a blanket. YAY!

The knitting is significant. My friend Debbie asked me if I would knit lap blankets for the residents at the home where she works. I, of course, agreed because I love to knit and it’d be a nice way for me to give back a little. Plus it’s a great stress reliever for me and soothing work. I’m very excited about it.

So my weekend was great – quiet and just about perfect. My cold is almost gone…I’m down to just a cough and occasional sniffle. Not bad, really. Maybe if I had tried the chicken soup I'd be over this now. Oh well, anyway.

07 July 2006

Anyone have a Kleenex?

Vacations are good. They are revitalizing, rejuvenating and relaxing. Usually. But then the inevitable ‘return to work’ moment arrives and you can feel your body tense up with the thought of the pile of work waiting for you. The pile of work can be taken care of quite rapidly, only if you’re not sick on top of it all. And, unfortunately, I am sick.

Somehow over the space of my awesome weekend I caught a cold. It started Tuesday night with a sore throat – I thought that was just from the awful salt & vinegar Pringles (which apparently you can buy here), I ate on the way home, but it stayed through Wednesday and added sniffing, sneezing and aching, with the occasional cough. I ignored it, thinking it to be allergies, but no…it has stayed with me pounding through my head and filling Kleenexes as fast as I can grab them. It hasn't helped that the OCC is colder than Antarctica either. I took some NyQuil last night to help me sleep, which did help me sleep – right through my alarm! I slept well, except I feel worse today than I did yesterday. What is going on?!

Summer colds are the worst. I sit at my desk with the glorious picture windows in front of me showing the beautiful weather, the sun shining, the birds smacking into the windows, kids playing outside, and all I feel is miserable. Oh well…I’ll fight through the day and then go home, finish cleaning and go to bed early. That should help, right?

06 July 2006

Look! A parade for my birthday!

These photos are a bit fuzzy. I need a new camera! Something more than a point, click and throw away. Grr… The first is Granny and Jake heading to ‘his’ parade. Then Jake took off running to his cousins. Running in flip flops, no less. Almost as bad as running with scissors.

05 July 2006

Back from SoDak

Holy cow…I think this is probably the most time I’ve taken off in a long time that wasn’t completely guard related. Granted the first one this month was guard related a bit, and this most recent one was also a bit guard related, but mostly was a true vacation.

Jake had his 3rd birthday on Saturday. It was also our hometown’s 125th Anniversary, so of course there was a parade. Jake was super cute, running down the street yelling, “They’re having a parade for my birthday!” Yeah, you betcha kid. Just don’t expect this next year. And being a typical small town SD parade, of course we had firetrucks and horses and tractors. Quite exciting for us all. Art was the Grand Marshal for the parade. Very cool. After the parade it was time for lunch at the moe house. Lots of food – mamwich, chips, tuna noodle salad (not my favorite), watermelon, and strawberries. Oh and of course the relish tray. It wouldn’t be a Norwegian party without a relish tray. The only things we were missing were red jell-o with fruit cocktail, those cocktail party mints – multi-colored of course, and the nut bowl. :)

Presents were opened and Jake got his Thomas the Tank Engine cake. Jake turned blue after eating all that frosting. Not sickly blue or choking blue – just blue, and of course he rubbed it all over his head. We almost had a Smurf theme instead.

But we all played and played. It really was a good day. After everyone left but Emmy, Zach and mom and I, we played TrakBall – a game we’ve had for years around the house. (the link isn’t a picture of us but the only thing I could find on the ‘net showing trakball) It’s a really old game – with plastic rackets, which kind of look like scoops. The object, if you really think games need an object, is to pass the ball back and forth without dropping it. The plastic ball does hurt if you get hit with it though. Mom and I were playing Sunday night and it bounced off her racket right on her nose at one point. Eek. I thought she was really hurt but when I got to her she was laughing so hard it was hard to tell if the tears were from the pain or from the idiocy of it all. And what a trooper – we kept playing after she iced it for a bit. Crazy lady.

Other highlights from the weekend:

  • Dinner Friday night with an awesome friend
  • Seeing SuFuDu perform
  • Going to Sioux City to see Mikey in Joseph – he played a pretty awesome Pharaoh, if I do say so myself
  • Eating at Texas Roadhouse – oh the bread! Mmmm
  • Hanging out at base watching the flyovers, taking photos of folks working on the holiday weekend – this is why we’re the best ANG in the country
  • Spending lots of time with mom – walking!, talking, hanging out
  • Seeing folks from the past I haven’t seen in a while – Eric, Steve, MaryAnn, Bobby, Shawn, etc.

It was definitely one of the best weekends. And now I’m back at work. Yep. Back to work.