Saturday, February 28, 2009
Friday, February 27, 2009
Well we've made it to Greece! Specifically we are on Souda Bay Navy base in Chania on the island of Crete. We will not be here much longer. In about 2 1/2 hours we will be boarding a ferry on its way to Athens Greece. Thankfully we have a cabin reserved with 4 beds. The ferry ride is 9 hours long!! From the we switch ferries and head back down south (another 5 hours) to the island of Santorini. From here, there is no direct route, so we are going around our noses to get to our elbows so to speak.
So far all we have done since leaving Norfolk is travel, sleep and eat, not much else. Leaving your own time zone is very disorienting. We have not even set foot off of the base yet so we really have no idea what real Greece looks like. I have a feeling that our real challenges lay ahead of us in the next 24 hours. The language barrier alone is a bit daunting. I know we will be ok though. Near the BOQ where we are staying there is a little Rec center with a restaurant that we have put to good use. Needless to say though, our ping pong skills leave alot to be desired.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
We got about halfway through the tunnel and I was going about 40MPH being careful because there were workers standing in the other lane. Just after I passed them, I looked in the rear view mirror and what seemed like out of nowhere there were headlights approaching extremely fast. About 3 seconds later the car plowed into us from behind. The driver never hit the brakes. I stopped as quickly as I could, checked to make sure all of my girls were OK and then called 911. After the impact I looked into my rear view mirror and could see the car that hit us spinning while parts were flying off of it.
I got out of my truck after the 911 call and thought I'd go check on the other driver but realized that I did not have much strength for walking. The paramedics and police showed up quickly and got the situation under control. We soon found out that the driver who hit us was extremely drunk. He walked away from his torn up car without a scratch. The police handcuffed him and hauled him away. He is a 22 year old sailor who has a very long difficult time ahead of him dealing with the aftermath of this.
Some amazing things:
* Caitlin was not driving. The thought crossed my mind to have her drive us home.
* We were not driving our little Mazda. I almost drove it because it gets better gas mileage but decide at the last minute to go for comfort.
* There was no oncoming traffic
* We had already passed the workers standing in the other lane so they were not harmed. The workers told the police that they figured the other driver was traveling about 90-100 MPH when he hit us. They witnessed the accident and were very helpful in describing what happened.
* Our airbags did not deploy
* No one was injured! Amazing!
The girls and I are currently back in the Space A terminal about to board our flight.
Monday, February 23, 2009
Thursday, February 19, 2009
DAY 761 - Today my attempt to kill my captors by weaving around their feet while they were walking almost succeeded, must try this at the top of the stairs. In an attempt to disgust and repulse these vile oppressors, I once again induced myself to vomit on their favorite chair...must try this on their bed.
DAY 765 - Decapitated a mouse and brought them the headless body, in attempt to make them aware of what I am capable of, and to try to strike fear into their hearts. They only cooed and condescended about what a good little cat I was...Hmmm. Not working according to plan.
DAY 768 - I am finally aware of how sadistic they are. For no good reason I was chosen for the water torture. This time, however, it included a burning foamy chemical called "shampoo." What sick minds could invent such a liquid? My only consolation is the piece of thumb still stuck between my teeth.
DAY 771 - There was some sort of gathering of their accomplices. I was placed in solitary throughout the event. However, I could hear the noise. More importantly I overheard that my confinement was due to MY power of "allergies." Must learn what this is and how to use it to my advantage.
DAY 774 - I am convinced the other captives are flunkies and maybe secret agents. The dog is routinely released and seems more than happy to return. He is obviously a half-wit. The guinea pig, on the other hand, has got to be a plant. I am certain he was put there to taunt me. Due to his current placement in the metal room his safety is assured. But I can wait; it is only a matter of time......
Monday, February 16, 2009
Do you ever wonder what military life is like? I have friends tell me regularly that they do not know how I manage. Some days, I don't know either! By the grace of God, we make it to the next day and then the next and the next...
Feeling proud of your man when you see him in his dress blues.
Instantly connecting with anyone who has walked in your shoes.
Making family out of our neighbors because your real family is an ocean away.
Fixing broken doorknobs while your spouse is on the other side of the world.
Waiting for just one word to arrive from him when you get wind that there has been "an incident"
Hoping that his internet connection will hold out so that you can IM chat for just a few minutes.
Crying because he missed yet another anniversary, birthday etc... and you know he really wants to be there
Knowing there will be a steady paycheck but it will not likely cover all the bills and it will never be enough to cover what you had to sacrifice to get it.
Eating in the living room in front of the TV instead of at the table without him.
Fixing the leaky sink, the dryer door latch, the car battery and the broken step by yourself.
Telling your kids over and over that daddy loves them and misses them.
Counting days until Daddy is home with the kids.
Waiting on the pier watching the ship pull in.
Saying goodbye and being strong when you feel weak.
Telling everyone that asks that you are doing just fine thank you.
Knowing where a family has served just by looking at how their house is decorated.
Getting the itch to go after about 2 1/2 years in one place.
Watching as your worldly belongings are hauled away to who knows where.
Feeling the excitement and dread of getting a real hard copy of new pcs orders.
Making new friends.
Leaving old friends.
Making base housing look fashionable and homey.
Seeing the world.
Knowing that even though your spouse works hard that you really do have the toughest job in the Navy.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Traditional hot and sour soup is thick and almost gel like. This lower calorie version is more like a broth consistency but all of the same flavors are there. We've all been feeling the congestion and ills floating around lately, so instead of Chicken Noodle I cooked up a batch of this to help clear our heads without adding to our waistlines.
Hot & Sour Soup
1 piece of fresh ginger peeled and chopped fine (about the size of a walnut)
1/2 pound of lean pork cut into thin strips (I used a couple of lean boneless pork chops)
3 T soy sauce (use lite if you are watching your sodium too)
1 to 2 teaspoons pepper (I used white pepper)
1/2 C white vinegar
10 fresh mushrooms sliced ( I used the plain button ones that are in the produce section already sliced, you can add more if you choose)
1 cake of firm tofu cut into smallish cubes
1 can of bamboo shoots (8oz)
3-5 egg whites
If you don't mind the extra calories and carbs you could thicken this soup up by adding a cornstarch paste while it is simmering.
It serves 6 and each serving is worth 3 Weight Watchers Points, 8 net carbs and 25 grams of protein.
I hope you enjoy it!
Friday, February 13, 2009
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Monday, February 9, 2009
The Navy says the missing man is Bristow, Va. native Theophilus Kwaku Ansong. The Navy says the 34-year-old engineman first class from the amphibious transport dock USS San Antonio went overboard last Wednesday. Crews were lowering an inflatable boat into the water at the time.
The Navy says Ansong was not found after searchers looked for more than 24 hours. Two other sailors were rescued and neither was injured.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
I don't have a recipe to share today. It's been a rough week here at the Brown house. Most of you have already heard about the tragedy aboard Lee's ship this past week. I will post more tomorrow about all of that. Anyway, I have a different kind of food to share with you today. Food for the soul. A reminder that The Lord is sovereign and that He will provide. We sang this hymn today at church. I'd never heard it before, but I needed it. The Lord is Good.
Though Troubles Assail
Written by: John Newton
( the same man who wrote Amazing Grace)
Though troubles assail us and dangers affright,
Though friends should all fail us and foes all unite,
Yet one thing secures us, whatever betide,
The promise assures us, “The Lord will provide.”
The birds, without garner or storehouse, are fed;
From them let us learn to trust God for our bread.
His saints what is fitting shall ne’er be denied
So long as ’tis written, “The Lord will provide.”
When Satan assails us to stop up our path,
And courage all fails us, we triumph by faith.
He cannot take from us, though oft he has tried,
This heart cheering promise, “The Lord will provide.”
He tells us we’re weak, our hope is in vain,
The good that we seek we never shall obtain,
But when such suggestions, our graces have tried,
This answers all questions, “The Lord will provide.”
No strength of our own and no goodness we claim;
Yet, since we have known of the Savior’s great Name,
In this our strong tower for safety we hide:
The Lord is our power, “The Lord will provide.”
When life sinks apace, and death is in view,
The word of His grace shall comfort us through,
Not fearing or doubting, with Christ on our side,
We hope to die shouting, “The Lord will provide.”
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Just wait until July when we look super trim in our bathing suits. We may be blindingly pale but we WILL have thin thighs and at least a smaller gut.
The rest of us are just trying to catch up with her.
Holly can put me to shame with these incline sit-ups.
A funny thing happened in this spot a few days ago. See that machine all the way to the right of the picture? Well I was sitting on it working out and Abbie was where Holly is only she was lollygagging. There was an older lady on the machine beside me minding her own business. So I yell out to Abbie "Hey, give me 20 more and slower this time, no slower, slower, there you got it now. Keep it up, you can do it. That's good you're looking good now. 18 more..." I hear this little voice from the lady beside me say " Do I HAVE to do 18 more? I just did 15 and it was pretty hard...." I look over at her and she has this pleading look in her eyes, like she was saying "please don't make me do more, pleeeeaaaasssseee" I was so embarrassed, she thought I was yelling at her. I apologized and we laughed. Oh my. I guess being a mom is not too much different than being a personal trainer.
Caitlin is pressing 110 pounds worth of steel. Super Girl!
Caitlin and the elliptical machine are friends. She can burn at least 300 calories in 30 minutes on that thing. Oh to have that metabolism....
I love this picture because of the pony tail. You just can't capture how fast she was working that elliptical machine, but the pony tail gives you an idea.
Check out the runner in the yellow shirt behind her. Holly and Gracie are the only ones among us who can run. I have to resist the urge to yell out at them across the gym from my own torture machine when I see them running. "Ruuunnnn Foooorrrreesssstttt Ruuuuunnnnn"
What's a little dignity when you have sweat rings under your armpits?
I could run...if the place caught fire.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
I wish I had a better picture of her necklace. Lee sent her a Cartouche charm that he bought at the Bahrain gold market. One side says Gracie in English and the other side says it in Arabic. It is so pretty and she was so proud to get such a special gift from Daddy.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Monday, February 2, 2009
Sunday, February 1, 2009
The girls and I had a big cooking day yesterday preparing for our first Sunday of the month church potluck meal. I made a pot roast in the crock pot with a farm fresh tenderloin roast. Much to the girls disgust I also made a pot of fresh collard greens that came from the same farm where we got the roast. Holly and Gracie made homemade bread. Abbie did the deviled eggs (also farm fresh) and Caitlin made this not so diet friendly bundt cake from scratch.
2 sticks of butter
2 cups of sugar
Cream the above together until light and fluffy
Add: 4 eggs
Prepare dry ingredients by mixing together
3 cups of flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
Gradually add dry ingredients to the butter mixture alternating it with
1 cup of milk
mix well then add
1 Tbsp of vanilla
Pour into a prepared bundt pan and bake at 350 for about an hour
Caitlin used a homemade fudge icing but you may us whatever suits you. The cake is delicious just plain too.