Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Hot Now

Something Grandma's town here in GA has that ours back in VA doesn't? Krispy Kreme! Caitlin spotted the Hot Now sign from a mile away!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Medical Mystery

I'm just going to ignore the fact that I completely missed Sunday Suppers and Military Monday. Well... wait a minute, no I won't. I traded my mind as Caitlin used to say. We have been traveling and we were on the road on Sunday. We did however get to eat at one of the best BBQ places on the planet which is in North Georgia, Zebs BBQ. It was so yummy! Their brunswick stew was almost worth the 9 hour car ride.
As for news from my sweetheart, the only thing I have to share at the moment is that the San-An is repaired and back out to sea. The crew is relieved to once again be doing what they went to do.

The sign says Sunday Closed but they were as open as they could be. They even gave me a Zebs BBQ t-shirt to send to my brave sailor.

Gotta love a place with a loaf of white bread right there on the table!
Ok on to my medical mystery. I'm posting this on here in hopes of figuring out what in the world is going on with me. I really hope I don't need psychological treatment but you may think so after you read this. For about 3 weeks I have been smelling cigarette smoke when there is none to smell. It's not in the house or on my clothes or hair. Sometimes I smell it faintly or not at all and sometimes it is very strong. I was standing outside in the peanut field behind our house last week with no one and nothing around me. Suddenly the smell was so strong that it seemed like someone could have been right beside me chain smoking. Every now and then it is not the cigarette smell but something just off smelling. I ask everyone nearby if they smell it and so far not one person has said yes.
Any ideas anyone?
Please don't suggest I see a Psychiatrist!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday Funny

The girls and I have been giggling over this one all week.  Kids are so Funny! Happy Friday everyone.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Old Virginians

My dishwasher went kaplooey about two weeks ago so I put a call in to the landlord.  To my surprise I got a call back the next day telling me that some fellas would be out in the next day or two to install a new one.  Yeah Me!!!  So the two old Virginians show up on my back deck bearing the wonderful new machine.  I don't know if you've ever heard an old Virginian speak but it's unlike any southern accent I've ever heard.  Very entertaining to say the least.  
So these two ol boys (and I do mean old) were in the kitchen doing their thing all the while the girls are sitting around half listening to their entertaining conversation half getting their schoolwork done when suddenly the four legged chicken killer shows up in the yard.

Gracie sounded the alert and we took off out the back door in a flurry grabbing the trusty Daisy Red Rider on the way out.  We had been practicing and the 4LCK was going to get his due.  This new development greatly interested the old Virginians.  What southern man wouldn't be interested in 5 armed females in hot pursuit of a chicken killer?  Turns out the dog sensed his imminent doom and ran off before we could ping him in the behind with a BB.
After we got back in Gracie needed help with her math work and we got into a lengthy discussion about how to remember horizontal from vertical.  I was totally in my teacher mode talking about root words and the place where the ocean meets the sky yada yada yada.  It was impressive if I do say so myself.
Then one of the girls suggested that maybe we could feed the 4LCK and turn him from evil ways.  Make him sort of a yard/guard dog.  He was obviously hungry and in need of a home. According to our naive thinking, if a dog is well fed then he has no reason to go looking for a chicken dinner.  Made sense to us, so we contemplated the plan for a little while.  Our merciful sides were showing.
All of this finally proved to be too much for the old Virginians.  They could no longer keep silent and idly work on getting the dishwasher installed.  Something had to be said.  So the older one popped up from his spot on the floor and said " Young lady, you shore are smart. You set me straight on how to tell my horizontal and I shore do thank ye fer that. But chew shore don't know tha furs thang about a dawg.  Once sat dawg gits to eatin chickens you ain never gonna break him of it. You bes keep on takin out afta him with that gun evreh time he come aroun. I spec though you betta getcha somptin ta shoot so that dawg'll know he been shot.  That BB gun might sting him but a 22 would work a heap betta."
We now consider ourselves "set straight" by some old Virginian wisdom.
No more hand washing our dishes and target practice continues.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Military Monday

For some reason Gracie and Abbie love watching American Gladiators on TV.  When Lee sent them these pictures and  told them that Jet, Venom and Steel had come to the USS San Antonio for a visit, the squeals could be heard in downtown Suffolk.

After Lee heard about their reaction, he regretted not standing in the mile long line to get their official autographed picture.

We think the Marines look tougher.  The Gladiators my be strong but the guys here wearing camouflage are the true American Heroes.

Had To Share

I was browsing our local Craigslist a few minutes ago and came across this ad linked above.
It is so funny what some folks will do to get their items sold!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sunday Suppers

A childhood favorite of Lee's.  It does not have a name so we are going to call it Mexican Rice Bake.  While I was off visiting with my sweetheart in Italy, Lee's folks came up to stay with the girls.  Grandma made this for them and it was a BIG hit.  I guess you could say like father, like daughters.  The girls were definitely thinking of me though because they thought to take pictures of the process.  I've taught them well!

1 pound of ground beef
1 bag of Success Rice
1 can of whole kernal corn
1 can tomato sauce
1 packet of chili seasoning
about 2 cups of shredded mozzarella
1 can of water

Brown the ground beef in a large skillet.

Drain the corn and pour it in the round beef and stir.

Now dump in one bag of dry rice and stir.

Pour in the can of tomato sauce and stir some more.

Add one can of water along with the powdered chili seasoning.

Stir it all together and let it simmer for a little while.

Pour the mixture into a 9x13 casserole dish.

Cover with the cheese and bake on 350 until it looks like the picture below.

Ok now I've made myself hungry!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday Funny

My Friday Funny file is growing fatter by the day thanks to all of you sending it in.  Keep it coming!  It's getting harder and harder to choose what to post each Friday.  We start thinking about it pretty much right after I post the current week's FF.  We always feel bad for the one that lost out but we say "oh we'll post it next week".  When the next week rolls around we have a whole new crop of funny stuff to choose from.  My favorite this week was a cute little video that the girls and I have been giggling over all week long.  BUT I posted a video yesterday and I don't want to overburden you guys with too many hard to upload videos.  See I'm concerned about you poor souls who are still operating Yugos on the super highway.  
Here's some funny super highway signage for your enjoyment.

In case your horse needs a little pick me up.

Man I have totally been looking for some spare parts for my moose.

A wonderful career opportunity if your name happens to be Buford and you have a weight problem and you work cheap.  Turns out they're not an equal opportunity employer.

Holy Toledo Batman! Get off the cell phone you're about to miss your exit!

Honestly, what about the kids with clubfoot?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Morkie Moment

We interrupt this broadcast to bring to you this Marvelous Morkie Moment.  The amazing Wrigley has taught himself to play fetch without the aid of any human.  In an exclusive interview with Wrigley's favorite human, Abbie, she claims that he invented the game when her throwing arm was completely worn out.  "He has an overwhelming urge to play fetch and I got tired of throwing the ball, so he came up with his own fetching game."  says Abbie.  

Monday, November 10, 2008

Gracie Gitcher Gun

Let me start by saying that I ran out of time on Sunday to post Sunday Suppers.  It's all my fault.  I had my recipe and pictures all ready to post and everything.  Sunday a day of rest??  Ha! Not for me it wasn't!  Anyway, by the time I had a minute to sit down in front of the computer, my Sunday was already over.  So you'll just have to wait until next weeks edition of Sunday Suppers.  I promise it will be worth the wait.
Yikes, now the pressure is on.

Most of you know by now that someone's hunting dog killed our three hens.  I found out that the hunters around here starve their dogs before the hunt to make them sniff out the game better.  If a dog is not hunting well then the hunter will just abandon him.  Personally I think it's poor sport and just plain cruel, but who asked me right?

In case you need more proof that we've turned into country folks, here it is.  Yep that's my youngin totin a gen-u-wine Daisy Red Rider BB gun.  It's an antique, it belongs to her daddy who shot many a target as a kid, and maybe a cat or two.  He's repented and reformed now.

So here is our line of thinking.  If we learn to shoot straight, the next time the 4 legged chicken killer comes into our yard, he will regret it.  I'll let Gracie ping him on the behind a time or two and he won't be coming back!
Notice how she leans over to site with her left eye?  That's because she inherited her Daddy's bad right eye,  Caitlin did too and they are the two who can hit the milk jug target every time.  Go figure.

So far we have only seen the chicken killer come back one time.  We were too late with the gun to ping him with it.  Next time we'll be ready!  We have managed to do damage to plenty of milk jugs though.
It's fun being country girls.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Military Monday

Dear SAN ANTONIO Families and Friends,
Hard to believe over a month has passed since my last Familygram – time flies when you’re having fun!
First off I would like to welcome the newest members of the SAN ANTONIO family and congratulate their proud parents:
-          Michael William Horn – born 08Sep08 to FC2 Horn and his wife
-          Lucia Evelyn Lopresti – born 16SEP08 to IT1 Lopresti and his wife
-          Olivia Mae Thyng - born on 30 Sep 08 to CTT3 Thyng and his wife
-          Xavier Elijah Minan – born 02Oct08 to SK2 Minan and his wife
-          Sheniyah Kenise Williams – born 08Oct08to SN Williams and his wife
-          Kash Scott Swim – born 18Oct08 to ENFN Swim and his wife
Congratulations and best wishes to all of our new families.
Your Sailors and Marines have been very busy.  In early October, we left the Indian Ocean near the Horn of Africa and transited through the Strait of Hormuz into the Persian Gulf.  Along the way we hosted our first round of SAN ANTONIO Idol where we had about 15 contestants try to sing their way to idol status.  The judges were tough and we narrowed the field down to eight who will compete in the near future for SAN ANTONIO stardom and bragging rights.
Our first port visit in the Gulf region was to Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates (UAE).  Jebel Ali was a working port for us, but the crew did get to enjoy some liberty in the “Sand Box”, an MWR facility in Jebel Ali offering food and drinks.  Others hopped on a bus or taxi and headed to the world famous city of Dubai.  Dubai is a very modern city with an incredible skyline, a mall with a roller coaster inside, and a mall with a ski slope inside. 
We departed Jebal Ali and joined the rest of the IWO JIMA Strike group to conduct Exercise Red Reef, a bilateral training exercise with the Saudi Arabian Navy.  Our first official duty was to visit the port of Jubayl, Saudi Arabia to conduct engineering and damage control training with Saudi Naval Forces and host a reception.  We were the first Navy ship to pull into Jubayl in more than 8 years.  Rear Admiral Al khayal, Commander of the Saudi Arabian East Fleet as well as other Saudi Arabian dignitaries, US Navy dignitaries, and guests attended the reception.  Supply Department put on a nice affair complete with heavy hors’deuvres and an ice sculpture. We were pierside in Jubayl for two days; both the reception and training went well.
During Red Reef, your Sailors and Marines participated in an amphibious offload, field exercises, a naval gun exercise, flight operations, and other training exercises with Sailors and Marines of the Saudi Arabian Eastern Fleet. The training and exercises fostered a positive working relationship with our allies in order to enhance maritime security in the region.
Following Red Reef, we transited to our current location in Bahrain.  Along the way, the crew was allowed to grow beards for the male Sailors or let their hair down for female Sailors for a small donation to our Morale, Welfare, and Recreation fund.  It’s amazing how different everyone looks with a beard and their hair down!  We also conducted a “pirate day”, which was an opportunity to have some fun and dress up like old or new pirates.  All of these activities help us pass the time and break up the monotony of long days at sea.
On Halloween, we had a costume contest followed by trick or treating around the ship.  It is always amazing to me the originality and ingenuity that goes into the costumes. We had a mummy, an Incredible Hulk, a Michael Phelps, a pirate, some punk rockers, the rap artists 50 cent and DMX, and many others. We even had a “guest” Commanding Officer running around for most of the day. It was fun for all involved.
We are currently in Bahrain conducting maintenance and repairs. We will leave Bahrain and participate in another bilateral training exercise, Iron Magic, with the UAE Navy and Marines in mid-November.
I’d also like to introduce Mrs. Megumi Fuda, our new Family Readiness Group President. Look for a letter or email very soon inviting you to join our Family Readiness Group. The Family Readiness Group is committed to supporting not only your Sailors and Marines, but the families back home too.
SAN ANTONIO and your Sailors and Marines are having a great maiden deployment and have met or exceeded every operational commitment to date.  I am immensely proud of all of them!  We thank you for your continued support and for “keeping the home fires burning”; I recognize and appreciate the sacrifices you all make.  If you have any questions or feedback about the familygram, please send it to me at the address below or the Command Master Chief, CMDCM Tom Meglen
With respect,
CDR Kurt Kastner
Commanding Officer
"Never Retreat, Never Surrender"

Saturday, November 8, 2008


It's not Military Monday but I thought you all would appreciate a little news from Lee. 
It's kind of crazy to sit down at your computer and bring up the news, finding a story about your husband's deployed ship right there on the front page!   I figured that if they can publish this on the national news, then I can publish it here on the blog. 
 I have a brand new newsletter from the San Antonio to put out on Monday, so stay tuned.  

Navy ship San Antonio undergoing repairs
By the Associated Press
November 7, 2008
NORFOLK, Va. - The Navy amphibious ship San Antonio is undergoing repairs after it sprung oil leaks in its lubrication system during its first deployment.

Officials say the transport dock ship is in a Bahrain shipyard and will be sidelined for at least two weeks while engineers and workers assess and fix the problems.

A team of about 30 civilian and military personnel from Norfolk Naval Shipyard have flown to Bahrain to conduct tests and repair.

The San Antonio left Norfolk for the Middle East on its first deployment in August with the Iwo Jima Expeditionary Strike Group.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Did you realize there are only 49 shopping days left before Christmas?  Actually there are only 47 if you take away Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Eve.  You know that Christmas is swiftly approaching when you see the holiday flavored creamers and teas at the grocery store.  We bought this peppermint mocha creamer on Monday and it's already pretty much gone.  Go get yourself some, it's super yummy! 

God is Sovereign 

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

History In The Making

My sweetheart sent us flowers!  That is not what is so historical though.  I just thought I'd put the picture up here because they are pretty and they brighten things up a bit.

Speaking of bright, there was a complete lack of it here in VA today.  It was cold and it drizzled rain almost all day.  Yet in spite of the conditions, I along with hundreds of others stood in this line for 2 hours to cast my vote today.  You read that correctly, 2 hours!  It has never taken me more than about 5 minutes to vote in the past.  I can barely wait until the polls close to see the results.  Either way, history will be made in America today.  We will either elect the first black man into the office of president or the first woman into the second highest position in our nation.  Wow!  What a day!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Chillaxing Kitty Cat Style

Our VERY spoiled kitty Fraidycat, the ultimate lazy beast!

It's a cat's life.  Oh to be that carefree!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sunday Suppers

One of our favorite treats when eating out is the Wendy's Asian Chicken Salad.  This particular salad happens to be the very first salad that Lee and Caitlin EVER ate and actually enjoyed.  Obviously I had to be able to copy this one at home.  At over $5 per salad at Wendys our family was shelling out some big bucks so that each of us could have our own.  That does not even include the cost of a drink for everyone.  Yikes! 

Ok the salad has mandarin oranges, Craisins, oven roasted almonds and rice noodles.  To make it more of a meal I usually throw in some baked chicken or some Tyson Crispy Chicken Strips that have been cut into bite sized pieces.

Several companies have jumped on board and started making the Asian Sesame/Ginger dressing.  We like the Kraft variety.  Choose your favorite and toss it on for a yummy meal.

Check It Out!

Check out the new look here at Lovin' Life At Home!  I love it love it love it!!!  Thanks you so much Amy, it is exactly what I wanted and I didn't even know it.  You are the best!

I'm here to remind everyone that today is Fall Back Day.  Don't forget to set your clocks back an hour or you will be an hour early to church.  I had no idea when I woke up this morning.  My smart phone and my computer knew though!  I also got an email from Lee this morning, from the other side of the world, reminding me.  He knows me well.
Drat!  I just realized that I could have slept another hour!