Saturday, May 28, 2011


I keep coming here with the intent to post and never finish it. So, I'm just going to ramble a bit and get off when I'm bored. Or someone interrupts me and I have to help them.

Wyatt is almost done with school. He's only got three days of actual school left, due to Memorial Day this Monday. Then, beach party Friday morning and graduation ceremonies that evening. And, we're done! I'm pretty excited to have him home all summer. We've missed having him around.

In order to keep the boys busy, as well as prevent brain drain this summer, I've got some things planned. We've got a set of Lego Robotics to delve into, a package with the beginnings of a trip around the world (basically, it follows two kids as they visit ten different countries - we'll get a package a month with a new country, but I'm also going to take the world map and plan some activities that will introduce them to other countries not covered), origami from an awesome package sent by a friend in Japan, and some other things.

I am doing this also because I've challenged myself to see if I have it in me to homeschool the boys. I am pretty sure I won't be sending them to public school when we go back to the States for a lot of reasons I don't feel like getting into right now. So, the only options for us are finding a good charter school or a private school we can afford, or homeschooling. Homeschooling is kind of a last resort, but I still think it is potentially better than public school if I can pull it off effectively.

So, I have to find that out and summer here is a great opportunity for that because of the lack of resources. It will challenge me to really work at coming up with stuff, so when we return to the States and I have the ability to go to the library (although, there is a reading program run by the Navy we're going to participate in in July), put the boys in sports, get music lessons, etc., plus museums and all that, it will hopefully seem easier. We will see.

In other news, I had a medical issue this last week and ended up having a blood test, EKG, and chest x-rays all on the same doctor visit. It was interesting because our dispensary is tiny. One doctor, a corpsman, and two nurses, plus a receptionist, run it. I remember the first time I needed to take one of the boys there. I called to get an appointment, and was told to just come down if I had the time. Turns out, no one needs an appointment. It's more like an emergency room, although you never wait more than a few minutes before you can see someone. When I had my tests done, I sat there and waited for the results with the corpsman and nurse. It was a weird thing to watch my x-rays come up on the screen and sent to the doctor who was down the hall to take a look at!

And in case you wondered, I'm fine. Got a clean bill of health. Just some freak thing that happened. The nurse said my heart looked very healthy, so guess the running is paying off.

And that's about all I got. Have a great weekend all!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Fire and Drought

It's odd to think about drought when you live on an island surrounded by water, but it happens. This has been a bad winter for us. Almost no rain, and everyone's "lawn" (mostly a collection of stiff grasses and weeds) is dead unless they water it. We have a nice little green circle going on our back yard because of the sprinkler I use to keep our garden alive.

This was more impressive a couple weeks ago - it was literally a green circle in all dead brown grass.

I remember our first winter here was full of freak, short lived thunder storms. I remember having to brave one for a dental appointment one time. I couldn't find the umbrella, so I bundled Oscar in the jogger with its weather shield, put rain coats on Wyatt and I, and then we ran as fast as Wyatt's five year old legs could manage. It's maybe a five minute walk, but we were soaked when we got there. I went inside long enough to find out the flight had been diverted due to high winds and the hygienist wasn't there yet. I walked back outside to sunshine.

This winter, though, nada. Every time we get a little shower, I pray it keeps raining for awhile, but it never does. The last couple days, it was all clouded over, and we even got some thunder, but the rain stayed away. I seriously could not have picked a more opposite place to live weather-wise from Washington State if I'd tried! I can fully appreciate a nice cloudy day here.

All this drought has lead to some problems, as you might expect. Andros has a lot of fresh water, and actually imports quite a bit of it to Nassau, so I'm not worried about that, but all the dry brush has meant a lot of fires. Every few days, I catch a whiff of smoke and know something is burning somewhere. About a week ago, I left to go pick up Wyatt and nearly choked on the smoke outside. There's very little in terms of fire fighting equipment in the communities here, so as long as homes aren't threatened, they let them burn.

We could really use some rain.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Hurricane Season is Almost Here

I'm in the middle of project today. I've got to go through our emergency backpacks and cycle the food, plus figure out what else needs to be put in there. I never really prepped them adequately, so it's going to be a bit of a job. It does, however, need to be done. Hurricane season is nearly here.

Luckily, the Bahamas is rarely hit, but it happens enough that I know we need to be prepared. While there is a chance we will have to weather it here, most likely we would end up evacuated if it was going to be a direct hit. Or at least, the boys and I would be sent off-island. Oliver would probably have to stay through it.

So, keeping that in mind, I've had to prepare a little differently than I would have before. I've got two backpacks, one for me and one for the boys' things. I have a separate bag for Oliver. I'm packing not only food and the usual emergency things, but with the idea that we will be leaving. So, things like our rarely used laptop are being thrown in, and I'm going keep a list of what would have to be thrown in last minute so we aren't scrambling too much if an evac order is made. His is also heavier on things like a camp stove and fuel than our backpacks are because of the different circumstances we will face if things go bad.

Here's the thing, though - emergency preparedness overwhelms me a tad. Not because I'm scared about whatever may come and this makes me think about it, but because it just seems like this huge job that I can't wrap my head around. There are a million different lists about what you should have, and they are all a little bit different. Then there are issues like, how can I possibly pack my kid's favorite toys when they are constantly used?

I'm determined to make myself finish, though. We got lucky last year and only moved to a condition 4 once, which basically meant we had to pick up outside things and stow them. The hurricane completely missed us in the end. Who knows how it will play out this year. I'd prefer to be overprepared than caught scrambling.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Separation Anxiety....Really?

I caught a show a few days ago on TLC that had a spouse redesigning a house while his wife and kid was put up in a hotel for three weeks. Was kind of fun to see his take on what he thought she'd like, but I really eye-rolled when they kept bawling over how they were going to be apart for three weeks. Really, three whole weeks? Do people actually get that worked up about such a short time apart? Three weeks strikes me as a little vacation where you get to do your own thing for a bit.

Clearly, my military lifestyle has changed my outlook on many things.

P.S. I feel the need to add that my marriage has always been about time apart, starting with right after we were engaged, so I have never not had that part of my life (until we moved here, however, but the damage has been done!). So, I just don't have the same perspective at all.

In an unrelated note, I spent some time perusing creative kids' bunk beds today. I've always wanted to do our kids' room up fancy, but have yet to live somewhere where that was possible (we might have done so in WA, but by the time Oscar showed up, we really didn't have any real time living there to make it worth it). So, when we return to the States, it will be a great time to do so. We'll be wherever we land for five years, so I can see doing it then. And they are both old enough to have opinions on what they want. I've got a whole space theme worked out in my head, complete with a black magnetic wall with glow in the dark star magnets, and a space shuttle bed, but we'll see if they agree by the time we move.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Osama Bin Laden is dead, ya'll. And it was the Navy Seals that took him down. Hooah!