"It is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all." -Laura Ingalls Wilder

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Dodging Bullets

So I've meant to write in here but external circumstances (ie; Stacie's mini meltdown) seemed to keep me from tapping on these keys. For those who don't know, my husband returned from a combat deployment in Afghanistan at the end of September. Then comes the trials and tribulations of re-adjusting yadda yadda, but we've been doing well and loving each other and all that jazz. Unfortunately, my dear husband came home with news this week that he would be redeploying as soon as February 15th as a combat replacement for another battalion.

Commence breakdown. Now, it's not that I can't handle deployment. This last one I survived on 9 letters (stupid Afghan mail) and an amount of phone calls I can count on my fingers. C'mon, I'm a badass grunt wife I can handle a lot. Unfortunately, that does not include last minute, "honey I'm home, honey bye bye", unplanned for combat deployments. I don't know how to explain it, but I just had a bad feeling in my gut about it. Fortunately he came home Friday afternoon to tell me he was off the roster because his EAS date is TWO DAYS before the cut off. By "tell me" I mean he came in trying to hide his grin and then proceeded to start hand me my POA but then grabbed it back and ripped it up. He's oh so theatrical, isn't he?

Anywho, here I am again bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and mentally stable! Aren't you so glad? Hee hee. Well, that's all for now. I've got a craving for cinnamon rolls I just can't resist so I think it's time to get out the flour and start cooking while my husband snores away (snicker).

Until next time,
xoxo Stacie

Friday, January 28, 2011

Milspouse Friday Fill In #29

1. If you were a famous movie star, what types of movies would you star in?
Definitely crazy action movies so I could do all sorts of cool stunts. I'd probably enjoy comedies too, but I doubt I'd be able to hold in my laughter long enough to try to act.

2. What is a vacation you would like to take if money were no object?
Book me a flight to Ireland, baby, STAT! I'd definitely bring my Mom too since she's always wanted to go. I want to see all the sheep and green hilly pastures, and drink at a pub....sounds like heaven to me. Oh, plus I'm red-haired and freckled so it'd be nice to be among my people (just kidding).

3. Did you have pets growing up?
Lots and lots and lots of pets. Iguanas, a snake, hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits, chickens, ducks, cats, dogs...my family really loves all kinds of animals.

4. What do you do for exercise?
Sometimes I'll go to the gym with my girlfriends (it's easier to go with someone else, though I've been know to go alone). I love walking and I do it often whether it's with the dog, my friends, or my husband. My husband and I have also started jogging and some strength training at the nearby park on the weekends. Oh, and gotta love the Wii Fit (I'm a hula-hooping rock star!).

5. What is the best piece of advice you've ever received as a Milspouse?
Since separations are so frequent and (sometimes) for so long, make every second together count. Don't bother with silly fights or bickering. Just spend the time together you have in peace and love.

Well that was a welcome distraction from life right now. Things are stressful on the prairie this week! Anywho, thanks Wife of a Sailor for another great Friday Fill In!

Until next time,
xoxo Stacie

Monday, January 24, 2011

Meatloaf Memories...

Have your ever noticed how powerful food is in recalling memories? A certain scent of a dish simmering on the stove or one bite can take you back to a different time and place.

Today I have delved into my awesome recipe box (thank you to my pal Molly, who hand-painted it as a wedding gift) to take out a tried and true family favorite; my Nana's sweet and sour meatloaf. While my Nana passed away almost seven years ago the smell of the meatloaf cooking in the oven brings me right back to being ten years old in her kitchen, helping her make Sunday dinner. My husband has heard many stories about Sunday dinners at my Nana's house (probably so many times he's sick to death of hearing of them) simply because they are some of my favorite childhood memories.

The week of your birthday my Nana gave you the choice of Sunday dinner. We all got together around the big wooden table and ate, laughed, and spent quality time together. Almost every year I chose boiled dinner as my dish of choice (something my uncle and grandfather were both proud of and excited for) and she cooked it in a big old pot on the stove, letting it simmer the day away. When finally finished it was put out onto the big serving tray usually used for the Thanksgiving turkey and I honestly could not get enough. Even now when I cook boiled dinner I smile thinking of those long ago days filled with family and togetherness.

Along with many other things my Nana taught me that food has the power to call people together, to comfort, to show affection and love and that the kitchen table is a sacred place. One of her favorite things was to see her family together and happy. Every time I dig in and taste one of the dishes she passed on to me I know I make her proud. Even though my husband never had the chance to meet her I know he feels the love she taught me to put into every whisk, stir, and spoonful.

Here's to you Nana! Thanks for all you taught me. I wouldn't be the woman I am today without your love and your inspiration. I hope that you're enjoying drinking iced tea and playing cards in Heaven with your mom, Ruthie, and Auntie Jeannie.

Until next time,
xoxo Stacie

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Milspouse Friday Fill In #27...

...Only it's Saturday...whoops! Here it goes...

1. What do you usually want to know about someone when meeting them for the first time?
If it's a Milspouse, usually where they're from and how long they've lived down here, etc. "Regular" people I usually ask if they have any pets, hobbies, and if they like to read. When they do like to read, my eyes glaze over and we talk about books, haha.

2. Would you rather know everything about your spouse, or be regularly surprised?
Oh, I love to be surprised. Last week we discovered how much we both miss and love fishing. (IE; hello taxes, how about you go towards some fishing poles?).

3. If you could live in one city for the rest of your life, where would you live?
I suppose I could live anywhere I had some friends and some family. Oh, and the city wouldn't be a city at all but a big ol' farmhouse in the country with lots of acres and critters.

4. When you go out of town, what one material thing do you ALWAYS take?
Always, without fail, I take a book. Sometimes even two or three.

5. Using no more than 10 nouns, and ONLY nouns, describe yourself.
wife, daughter, friend, nature, Gerber daisy, dirt, animals, books, flour, and COFFEE!

I'm not going to lie, that last one was pretty tough!

Until next time,
xoxo Stacie

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Pickle, pickle, who's got the pickle?

This summer while my husband was in Afghanistan I went a little canning crazy. Bread and butter pickles, pickled beets, jams, and fruit butters now fill my cabinets. The problem is I didn't realize my husbands insane and illogical pickle obsession and after making two batches of bread and butter pickles (roughly 14-16 jars) I only have two jars left! I am also a pickle fiend and the thought of my husband polishing off the last of the pickles with cucumber season so far from sight makes me a little depressed. So, I thought to myself, maybe he'll like my Asian quick pickles and leave the others alone. I think I got this recipe from an old issue of Energy Times, but I'm not sure.

Asian Quick Pickles
1-2 cucumbers, peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
(if you're using English cukes, feel free to just give 'em a scrub and use them peel and all)
fresh ginger, a piece about the size of your thumb, peeled and roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
a pinch of salt and pepper

Find yourself an old pickle jar and wash it thoroughly. Throw in all your ingredients and let sit in the fridge 4-6 hours. Technically, you can eat them immediately but the longer you let them sit the more the flavors mate together. I usually give the jar a shake every time I open the fridge just to keep everything mixed. All of the ingredients are a rough estimate and can be changed to your taste.

If you've never tried rice wine vinegar before you're missing out! It has a subtle sweetness that works great in marinades and salad dressings. I found my husband eating them out of the jar as a midnight snack so thankfully the last of my precious bread and butter pickles and safe and sound. You may find yourself addicted to these as well!

Until next time,
xoxo Stacie

Friday, January 14, 2011

Milspouse Friday Fill In #26...but my first EVER!

Staying on task with writing in here is being helped along by this great fill-in from Wife of A Sailor
Here it goes...

1. What are you looking forward to most in 2011? from Jessica Lynn Writes
Well, it's looking like it's going to be a year of a lot of changes and that excites me! My husband is retaking the ASVAB to open up more re-enlistment opportunities (no more Grunt's wife) and then most likely re-enlisting...although there is still the chance he decides not to. Also, there are plans in the works for purchasing a house (maybe) and the sound of chubby little feet frolicking (definitely). Time will tell!

2. What is something random you do on a boring night when your significant other is away? from Lovin Ma Soldier
I totally watch mind-numbing TV. I'm talking, the housewives of anywhere, teen mom, etc.. I get "the look" when I put it on when he's home (hee hee) so I enjoy it while my husband is gone.

3. What has been your greatest adventure as a MilSpouse?
Definitely moving from Maine to North Carolina and not knowing anyone. I definitely feel I could pack up and move somewhere else (but please not California, UGH) and be fine with it.

4. What is the ugliest fashion trend you ever bought into (I’d like to make fun of you, so can you please provide a picture as well)? from More Than An Army Wife
In junior high I let my aunt put pink Manic Panic streaks in my hair. Thankfully, there is no picture evidence. Honestly, red hair + pink streaks = not a good combo.

 5. What was the high point of last month?
Oooh definitely Christmas! It made me realize that we can create a holiday ourselves without our family (although we do love and miss them). We're nearing the realm of the grown-ups now!

Thanks again, Wife of a Sailor, for posting and allowing all us Milspouses to participate!

Until next time,
xoxo Stacie

Monday, January 10, 2011

New Year...New Goals.

Hello and a (belated) Happy New Year to all! I find myself, despite my hatred of them, always making some new year's resolutions or "goals".

This year I've crossed off the typical goal of losing weight. I'm not going to get into it now, but my weight and I have always been in a death match battle that is detrimental for both my physical and mental health. We'll call it an unhealthy obsession and perhaps someday I'll talk about it here, but right now is neither the time nor the place.

Without further ado the goals I go have go as follows;

1.) Write on this blog more!
I'm afraid I've been ignoring this cute little page for nobler efforts (ie; reading insane amounts of YA novels...no, seriously, I cannot stop) and that's something I'd like to stop doing in 2011 (not the reading, of course, but the ignoring).

2.) Get hookin'.
My mom taught me the basics of crochet when I was still living with her. Unfortunately, for one reason or another, I left my yarn and hooks by the wayside and have neglected to touch them since I've lived in NC. Well, until now. I picked them up just before the New Year and have hardly been able to put them down since. So, I would like to continue to crochet in 2011 as well as learn more stitches and conquer more difficult patterns.

3.) Find some class.
Craft class, that is. I'm vowing to take find some classes to take this year. I've found a place in Richlands that does spinning classes and I'd love to try that. The community college also offers a basic quilting class that I'd love to try. Just honing my crafty skills is something I'm looking forward to this year.

4.) Sell out!
I also want to find some way to get my crafts (or baked goods, or jams and preserves) "out there" in the world. Whether is be at a craft fair, the farmer's market, or Etsy, if I want to make some sort of living doing what I enjoy I've gotta bite the bullet and take some sort of calculated risk.

It seems I have quite a few craft related goals this year. If you do what love, it isn't considered work, right?! A girl can hope. Well, I'm off to make some tea for the hubby and I and get down to business crocheting some "wristers" for my best friend's mom. To all those in the Jacksonville area, I hope you're having a wonderful snow day and keeping warm and dry!

xoxo Stacie