Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Family Day

There are so many things to write about at the moment. Lots of little stories I have saved away while I have been off gallivanting around the south, away from a stable internet connection. Today's story segment begins with today: Family Day for BLT 3/8. Before deployment they have a day of fun and food for the Marines and any of the Family members that can attend. BLT 3/8 decided to have their family day at the beach. It was a fun day with my husband and a few of our adopted family members. I took some great pictures of "my boys" out playing in the sand and surf. They had fun in the water wrestling each other and keeping their beer from getting water in it. I had a good time, but at the same time kept thinking that we keep getting one step closer to the big D-day. I have mixed feelings...knowing he is going to be gone for what seems like a terribly long time is dreadful, but also knowing that this should be his one and only deployment and his enlistment will be up shortly after he returns is good. (Although, once he is unemployed from the Marine Corps that will add some stress of job hunting...ugh, I'll worry about that later.) I trust that God has a plan in mind and I'll just hurry up and wait for things to happen. I've realized his hand at work in so many other plans so I'm confident things will work out just fine. I've been blessed with a wonderful husband and I trust that he will be in God's hands while he is gone from my sight and will return to me safely.

Ok, enough gloom and doom served with a smile and a hopeful outlook. Next story: 4th of July. We had a few of the guys over for the 4th. It was a rather small celebration, but was a good time. I, the DD, drove the guys to the two fireworks stands in J-ville where they perused the merchandise and had a hard time finding anything worth buying to blow up. We left with the grand total of 4 fireworks (I didn't ask how much they cost). Well, after the boys had happily burned the 4 fireworks they were bored. Marines love to blow stuff up, probably what makes them good at their job. I dug out the sparklers and that satisfied them for another few minutes. Then they began the search for flammable household items. They ended their search with rubbing alcohol and whiskey. These brilliant boys decided to have flame pools on the sidewalk. They're still pretty amused. Then one Marine decided that he might like to try breathing fire. He decided to get a mouthful of whiskey and breath it onto a flame. He can now join the circus, although his Marine buddies cannot say the same. They weren't quite as successful. So, once the whiskey was gone they turned to burning random bits of stuff on the concrete again. Finally they tired out and fell asleep so I could sleep peacefully knowing that nothing was going to burn the house down. (Editor's Safety Note: These young Marines did have the foresight to have a garden hose nearby and turned on whilst they were playing with fire and explosives. No one was harmed or injured during these 4th of July celebrations, but please do not try this at home.)

Picture Notes: The top picture is my husband and the only person he said he would room with again, Combs. The second picture is what the Marines were doing on the 4th of July.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Not Just Another Day at the Beach...

Yesterday, my husband came home at 10:30 am to find me sitting on the couch with my morning bowl of Lucky charms. (Hey, I'm 25 and we don't have kids, it's summer and I have no other job...what else should I be doing?) He says "get ready to go to the beach." Ok, no problem I need to shave first, but I'll be ready shortly. I proceed to get ready for the beach, find my sunscreen and apply so it will be absorbed into my skin by the time we hit the sand. We arrive at the beach on base (only 30 min or so from the house :) ) and proceed to hunt for the rest of the guys we are to meet at the beach. As the wife of a Marine without children I spend lots of time on my own with a bunch of guys. I'm a lucky wife though in the fact that I am "allowed" to be a part of the group and for the most part they treat me like I'm just another one of them (in a good way). Well, after some time soaking up the sun I head into the surf with the guys to cool off a bit. Nothing out of the ordinary just yet. I'm out in the water about up to my chest when there are no waves, which is kind of far out for me b/c I tend to go in far enough to get a little wet. I'm talking and laughing with my husband when this HUGE wave rolls in. I see it just in time to close my eyes. It pushes me inland a bit, knocks me down, sends my top up around my neck-which I manage to stay underwater long enough to pull back down into place. I have the moment of panic when I think "oh my goodness I hope no one saw me, especially the guys my husband works with." I don't think they did and if so they were polite enough to not say a word. It was at that point in the day I decided I needed a new bathing suit, I'm going back to my one piece bathing suits even if I have to look like I'm 40. (Mind you my two piece covers every bit of skin that a one piece would...it just flies up in a wave which isn't cool.) Yeah, flashing people at the beach when you are 5 is ok, when you are 25 you better be single, drunk, or both. So when I head to the big city of DC I am going to look for a suitable one piece suit that won't come off in the waves so I don't have to worry about flashing anyone, let alone my husband's co-workers.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Choclate Chip Cookies

I have survived just fine through college and even the first year or so of marriage with my limited cooking skills. I can follow a recipe and things seem to turn out as they are supposed to, however, I still am not very accomplished at cooking. Baking, on the other hand, is my nightmare. It seems no matter what I have to bake it comes out wrong...or just not like it is supposed to be. When we first moved to DC I had a lot of time on my hands and thought I would try my hand at making sugar cookies. No matter what I tried they just didn't taste or look like the best sugar cookies I have ever had, Jean M.'s sugar cookies. My next attempt at baking came in the form of a carrot cake. The first go around was lopsided I think. Then I had to go to the grocery store a second time to get more ingredients for the next layer. It tasted ok, but I haven't attempted one since living in DC. My latest attempt at baking has become chocolate chip cookies. (My husband just groans when I decide to bake something anymore.) It is the first time in my 25 yrs. that I have ever made chocolate chip cookies. The first batch was alright, but they are pretty flat, like pancake flat. They tasted pretty yummy though. I decided to get the great idea to try again and make enough to send in to the barracks for "the guys." While the guys enjoy my cooking I'm not sure what they will have to say about the cookies. Mom shared her "secret" with me about how she makes the cookies. (It has been several years since Mom has made cookies too.) I decided to do a double batch. After an hour or two of cooking I was finally done at 11 pm and I have enough cookies to feed a few platoons of Marines. They are still pretty flat, but I think they taste just as good as the first batch. I'm beginning to think that I'm just not cut out for this baking thing. (After uploading this picture of the cookies I baked and sent to the barracks they look rather yummy I guess.) Maybe I can bake, lol. I do have a recipe for a chocolate chip pie that I make every time there is any kind of potluck or gathering. It takes about 15 minutes to put together, and hour in the fridge, and everyone loves it. I look like I made this fabulous creation when all I did was mix a few things together and stick it in the fridge. I'll share it with you...

Chocolate Chip Pie (which can become any kind of pie you want)
1 container of Cool Whip
8 oz sour cream
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1 pkg. chocolate chips (or any kind of candy bits)
1 graham cracker crust (or whatever kind you want)

Mix cool whip, sour cream, cream cheese, and sugar together. Fold in the candy bits. Put mixture into crust and cool in fridge for 1-2 hrs.

*You can use any kind of candy/crust combo you want. Our personal favorite is graham crust and heath bits, but I only use about half the package of heath bits. You can also use a box crust or the pre-made crust. I prefer the pre-made simply because it takes away one step of the process.

The thing that got me on this cooking kick was the fact that my personal cook is going to be leaving for a cruise, at least that is what I call it, and I figured I better learn to survive. The whole time he was gone training I didn't really cook anything at all. I ate cereal, sandwiches, salad, and a frozen pizza. I realized if he was going to be gone for several months that perhaps I should cook something. Plus, I needed to see if I was able to bake cookies so I can include them in care packages. *sigh* I guess they will do. Marines will eat anything anyhow.

Why a Turtle & Butterfly?

<--- My butterfly tattoo.

A long time ago when I first started doing online things I used the name not_so_evil_angel, which at that moment in time suited me just fine. It was partly my mother's creation and partly a friends if I remember correctly. As change is inevitable my online pseudonym has evolved to TurtlesButterfly. I married a man with the nickname turtle and the turtles he has collected have taken over our house. I chose butterfly because of my butterfly tattoo. I knew for awhile that I had wanted a tattoo, but I wanted something tasteful, almost elegant, and something that suited me. About 5 years ago and after an hour or so of looking at flash I found the piece of art that screamed "I want to be on you forever." I think the butterfly has been an awesome choice for my tattoo. I added it to me after I was almost done with college and after someone very close to me had passed away and I was going out on my own. I think a butterfly is also a symbol of freedom, which I tend to enjoy. (I also have the tattoo on my foot and my mother has a tattoo of a ladybug on her foot that she added once the divorce was final.) So, I am a butterfly that belongs to a turtle. I never thought that the liberal woman in me would allow myself to "belong" to any man, but this particular man has won me over. I can't imagine life without him and God willing I won't have to experience that. I'm so lucky to have had him come into my life and the fact that my family loves him makes the deal even sweeter. One of my sisters told me shortly after we were married that Dave is now her brother and I am just his wife. My family (Mom, Katie, and Maggie) are the craziest ladies I know, but they mean more to me than anything else ever will.

Something Wikipedia had to say about butterflies:


According to the “Butterflies” chapter in Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things, by Lafcadio Hearn, a butterfly is seen as the personification of a person's soul, whether they be living, dying, or already dead. One Japanese superstition says that if a butterfly enters your guestroom and perches behind the bamboo screen, the person whom you most love is coming to see you. On the contrary, large numbers of butterflies are viewed as bad omens. When Taira no Masakado was secretly preparing for his famous revolt, there appeared in Kyoto so vast a swarm of butterflies that the people were frightened—-thinking the apparition to be a portent of coming evil.[42]

The Russian word for butterflies, pronounced "bah' bch ka", it also means "bow tie". It's a diminutive of "baba" or "babka" (= "woman, grandmother, cake", whence also "babushka" = "grandmother" in English, "babushka" = "a grandma-style headkerchief") and in Greek it means soul.[43] According to Mircea Eliade's Encyclopedia of Religion, some of the Nagas of Manipur trace their ancestry from a butterfly.[44]

In Chinese culture two butterflies flying together are a symbol of love. Also a famous Chinese folk story called Butterfly Lovers. The Taoist philosopher Zhuangzi once had a dream of being a butterfly flying without care about humanity, however when he woke up and realised it was just a dream, he thought to himself "Was I before a man who dreamt about being a butterfly, or am I now a butterfly who dreams about being a man?"

In some old cultures, butterflies also symbolize rebirth into a new life after being inside a cocoon for a period of time.

Some people say that when a butterfly lands on you it means good luck. The idiom "butterflies in the stomach" is used to describe a state of nervousness.