Tag Archive | Navy Spouse

A Navy Wife Question: And what do YOU do?

Note:  Not a dog post.

This is for the Navy (or other military) wives out there.  This evening I went to a friend’s house (was not a navy wife) for dinner and while the other guests and I were chatting before dinner the question of course came up about my occupation.  I don’t understand why but as humans, we must have some sort of social obligation to find out what others do for a living.  I do understand that it is a good general conversation starter but still, isn’t there something better to ask?  To me it just feels like that is the main way to judge someone.

When I was asked, the first time I wasn’t thinking and I said “well I was working at [enter workplace name here] but I just recently quit.”  The next time I was asked I was prepared and just said “I’m a Navy wife.”  The first time I was caught off guard, the subsequent times I was prepared.

To me there is a stigma in being called a “Navy wife.”  I know most Navy wives are patriotic, supportive, and willing to do anything for their service members.  There are also those that are so gung-ho about every single thing that it is irritating — I call those the cheerleader types.  I am not saying being positive is bad, I am saying the cheerleader OVERLY positive and OVERLY enthusiastic types are annoying and get on my nerves.  Those are the ones I want to just go away.  I also know there are the wives that love their husbands but do not love their husband’s job and cannot wait until their husband’s commitment time to the military (aka jail sentence) is up.

There are all these different “types” of wives but it still boils down to being a “navy wife” and if that is all I can say, then what is the point?  To me it says that I do not have an identity separate from my husband.  By having a job or being a student that says “hey, I’m doing something with my life!”  I already have a double major and a BA in History, so I can’t say I’m a student anymore… I am not trying to bash on housewives I am just trying to say that being a housewife is NOT my thing.  If you stay home with your kids, all the power to ya!  But I do not have kids so I don’t have an excuse to be at home doing “nothing” all day…

My question to you is how do you answer this?  I also posted this question on my personal facebook page and I have already gotten a few responses.  What do you say when someone asks “what do you do”?  When I answer “I’m a Navy wife” I feel awkward saying it and to me I feel like I am saying that I do not have an identity…how do you answer this and still sound like you are your own person?  I suppose with time it will get easier, but right now it is just hard and a bit weird.

 

And for those of you keeping track, once Andrew does get his dolphins they will be gold not silver. I still thought this was a fitting image.

P.S.  I do have a couple more posts that I am planning and/or have already written partially that I would like to follow this piece.  They are navy related but not quite as difficult as this topic was…I do have a couple Corgi posts that I would like to share too. Now to just keep up with this motivation that I suddenly have!  I have fallen off on blog posting quite a bit, mostly because all the time I have to write I usually put towards writing my emails to my husband.  Those emails are like novels some days!

Stay tuned for Gwen’s big news! 😀

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A Corgi-tude of Events and some Craftiness!

This is Gwen’s excited face.

This summer seems to have been packed full with things to go, do, and see!  Yet sadly some of us have to work during all those fun times.  😦  I missed out on a lot of fun things in July because I always seemed to be working the longest hours during the days of the Lavender Festival, the 4th of July, the Sailboat Race Week back home, and a few other things.  I also missed out on a lot of quality time with Gwen and Owen (my horse).  Now that won’t be too much of a problem anymore since I will have more free time since I am leaving my current job to pursue other opportunities.

When we moved up here I was looking to see if there might be any Corgi clubs or any Corgi events planned and I did find one in Renton (south of Seattle) which of course was written on the calender right away!  Just this last week I found out about another Corgi play day through one of the Corgi pages I follow on Facebook, The Daily Corgi.  They had shared a link to the 2013 Pacific Northwest Corgi Picnic to be held in Woodinville (also close to Seattle).  The picnic is this weekend on the 10th, but alas, work thwarts another afternoon of Corgi fun…  😦  I was really hoping to meet some new Corgi owners in the area too.  If you visit the PNW Corgi Picnic link that I posted you can find out how you can join in some of the other events in the area!

I joined a Corgi Event mailing list and also RSVP’d to the Corgi Fun Day happening at the end of August (31st).  If you are a Seattle-area Corgi owner, you should really come!  (Info in the previous linky.)

Gwendolyn and I are certainly looking forward to going to some Corgi Events and meet some more Corgi people.  Mainly I just love seeing a bunch of Corgis all together!  It’s just so adorable!!!!

The Non-Corgi/Navy Wife Life Section:

As you know, husband is at sea.  Before he left I made up and sent along with him a half-way package to open on their half-way night (pretty self explanatory:  celebrating half way through their patrol).  I told my friend Corgi Mum, also a Navy wife and Corgi fanatic, about the way I packaged his halfway package (ages and ages ago it seems).  I’m including it here because 1. I’m proud of my craftiness and 2. because I told Corgi Mum that I’d show her pictures and just have never done it.  (shame on me, I know.)

At one of the FRG (Family Readiness Group.  Basically it’s the PC way of saying “wives’ club”) meetings another wife from the boat told me some good ideas and about the size of what to send since space is obviously limited for the guys on a submarine.  Since we weren’t supposed to be able to send them anything we were encouraged to send their half-way package along with them before they left.  I took this as an opportunity to Corgi-ify mine, of course!

I used a gallon ziplock bag, decorated using a couple pages from last year’s Corgi calender, and filled it with some goodies.  I put in a couple goofy cards, one of which was a Hoops & Yoyo SINGING card, a cross-words book, and some candies.  Here’s a couple of them…they’re ransom note style! 😛

bonez

I also sent along some cards that I made (some I did buy) with dog pictures and goofy sayings in them.  Those I put “open when…” on the envelopes.  The one that says to open on June 29th was for Gwen’s Gotcha Day.  We have received a couple rounds of email (we get a bunch when we do get emails) and Andrew said that he is really enjoying opening the cards and he especially liked the one with baby Gwen on it. 🙂

Recently, some things have changed so now we are having a mail drop and are able to send things to the boat.  So of course all the wives are frantically putting things together and sending them to get them by the due date!  We have certain limitations as to what we can send.  A large, non-padded manilla envelope or a gallon sized ziplock bag; that is the size that we are working with.  There is not a limit on the amount we can send, we just have to keep in mind that a sailor is going to have to carry ALL of the packages, cards, and mail down a ladder on his back.  In other words, you cannot send a million things but you are not limited to one thing.  I was shooting for 2 packages and ended up with 3…I wasn’t the only one who sent three, a couple of my friends did too!  I Corgi-ified one of them too. 🙂  Below is a picture of both sides of Corgi-awesomeness:

side 1

I covered the addressee info since I didn’t really want that plastered all over the interwebz.  It almost looks cuter with the stamps/stickers from the collage maker app!  I really hope husband likes what I sent him…  I sent him the History Channel old school style:  history magazines!!, a car and a shooting magazine, some more cards/notes, and some candies.  I sent Nerds, Gobstoppers, Sour Patch Kids, some little granola bar thingies, and I saved the best for last:  Princess fruit snacks!  It’s amazing what you can fit into a couple envelope/baggies!  I told him to share with his friends if they were not as well off in the mail department.  Sharing is caring!  I also sent him another stick of deodorant so he wouldn’t offend anyone  by being smelly.  Officers need to smell good.

For those of you that know my husband, did you notice a theme in the candies?  Nerds…Gobstoppers…he’s a nerd and he likes to talk a lot…I doubt he’ll get it but that’s okay, I did that mostly for myself. 🙂

I found this when I was looking for some clipart to end with. Thought it was cool. I don’t know what “America’s White Spot” means. If you do, please enlighten me!

[EDIT:]  I did some googling and came across a webpage that said, “In 1938, as the nation struggled to emerge from the Great Depression, a series of advertisements in Time magazine promoted Nebraska’s business climate to attract more commerce to the Cornhusker State. The ads, paid for by the predecessor of the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce & Industry, proclaimed that Nebraska was “America’s white spot” thanks to its unique and positive qualities — low tax rates, a strong manufacturing base and top-notch labor force, and a balanced budget.”   Source:  http://www.omaha.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20101121/NEWS0802/711219967&template=printart   So it all comes down to taxes.  Good to know.

Living the Single-Wife Life

**Not entirely a dog blog post. You have been warned.** 🙂sub disapear

Lately I just have not felt like writing much. When I do write, I am penning emails to my husband who is at sea. More specifically, he is under water and out of touch with the real world. The sailors can receive emails and they can write them back but they cannot send them until they are no longer on patrol — you can’t be sending emails and be stealthy at the same time… This deployment we have heard from them a couple of times, which was more than we had expected. I felt like actually sitting down and writing tonight because I miss him. It’s not the same writing an email to him even if I know he is going to read it, it still feels like I am talking to a brick wall. I even told him that in an email and he thought it was funny. His response was, “even if I am a brick wall that you are talking to, I still look better than a brick wall so that has to mean something.” I’m glad someone has a sense of humor.

If he’s a brick wall, I’m a retaining wall. Those left at home have to hold down the fort and make sure to keep everything in working order while the other half is away. The retaining wall may get a couple cracks from the pressure it holds up daily but as long as that wall does not crumble from the strain, it will continue to stand there as long as it is needed. Living the Single-Wife Life makes me create these goofy analogies all day long…

Gwen is not amused. (She was really hot and miserable that day…Corgis don’t really like the hot weather and it was nicer outside than inside! ugh!)

I also talk to my dog. I don’t find anything wrong with this except for today I informed the dog that I was going to take a shower and then looked at her like she was going to say something to me. I seriously need to get out more!

Some of the things that I have done to keep myself busy have been work, work, and more work. I feel guilty not having enough time for either Gwen or Owen (or even myself!). I did take Owen to a horse show where we did pretty well for our first real show together in about 4 years! More on that later though. When I am home with Gwen she gets spoiled (of course!) and she now goes out to the barn with me every day except when it is too hot for her to sit in the car. I’ve been having to go and medicate my horse daily since he has a case of gastric ulcers but those seem to be heeling nicely.

Owen. At the horse show!

One day I went into a little thrift shop near where I work and I found the neatest thing! It’s a bread box! Like one of the old-fashioned roll top ones, so of course I bought it, intending to put my bread in it. I brought it home and cleaned it up and it sat on my counter for a few days until my mom came to visit at which point she put all of Gwen’s doggie treats in it. So now my bread box is a dog treat box but it is a great way to keep all those different kinds of treats hidden! 🙂

I have also started running again. I am not entirely sure why I quit in the first place (got lazy) but I did and now I have to work myself back up to the distances and pace that I previously enjoyed. It’s not easy but in the end it will be rewarding. The past few days I’ve been gimping around on sore feet and legs. I can’t wait for my legs to get stronger and no longer have to look and feel three times as old as I really am! Staying positive and working towards goals — looking at doing a 5K in August! — that’s what will get me through the rest of this stinking deployment!

One last parting word before I sign off: I ask that if you know me or my husband, please do not put any personal info in the comments ESPECIALLY if it pertains to the boat he is on. The submarine in the above picture is not his, it is just an image that I got from another wife who found it somewhere else. Any info regarding the coming or going of his boat is pretty much on a need to know basis so I do not put anything on this blog, facebook, or anywhere. After a certain period of time has elapsed, I am able to say “he’s gone!” but that is basically it. OPSEC (Operations Security) is a real thing and as subs are meant to be weapons of stealth, the only way to keep them and the loved ones on board safe is to keep it hush-hush. I have not had any problems with this to date but I don’t want it to become one. The following is a great little way to remember OPSEC…(click on the image to make it bigger if you cannot read it.) Enjoy! 🙂

opsec

We got da Bluez

01

Gwen and I have both been a little blue lately.  Andrew left on his first deployment with the “big Navy” not long ago.  I can’t say any specifics but I can say that this is a lot shorter than he would normally be out.  I suppose this is supposed to be a good thing, like being able to dip your toe in the water to test is before you dive on in…not that there is much choice in the matter.  What the Big Navy says, goes.

I took Andrew to the airport since he had to meet his boat elsewhere and just dropping him off there was easier than it had been when he left on his NROTC Midshipman cruises when we were still in college.  At least then I was able to go home and be with my parents and go to work.  Here, now, I’m not working, I don’t have any friends yet, and I’m not living with my parents.  The days leading up to his departure were not fun at all.  I can only hope it gets easier (doubt it though).

What does it feel like for him to be gone?  Painfully lonely and sad.  The only communication that we get is via email and even then it is not often at all.  For them to receive email on the sub, they have to surface and the messages for the whole boat as well as the communications and other official whatnot all get received and put through a “pipeline.” From what I understand, it is like using dial-up while trying to put a bunch of stuff through it while at the same time sharing with a bunch of people…slow and difficult.  So it is a real treat to receive an email from them, so far I have received two little emails. 🙂

*   *    *    *    *

After my husband left, Gwen was at first a little sad like she was when he was doing his training back in South Carolina but after being a little mopey she returned to normal.  I think she was figuring he would be back in the morning like usual.  When he was packing all his stuff she was following me around since I have always been the one to leave to go see family.  She didn’t understand.  The next day she slept in the chair that she and him both like to sit in…it is “her” chair since “her” blankie is on it…she didn’t want to move anywhere and the next couple of days she spent long hours laying in that chair or looking out the window.

I tried to keep her busy, giving her toys with treats inside, throwing the ball, tying her outside so she could dig holes in the yard, and going on as many car rides as she wanted.  We even went to Petco and picked out some new treats the other day!  I like to think that Gwen enjoyed that. 🙂

Gwennie has been a big help keeping me from being too lonely.  When I get sad or lonely she knows.  A Corgi can’t dry your tears but she can lick them away, clean your ears, and cheer you up!  If I’m feeling down she will bring me her Kong and will lick my ears until I laugh and play with her.  This little dog is going to be my saving grace. ❤

H-I-J: Hard to say Goodbye. Insanity. Juuuust…

I’ve missed a couple days so we’re going to do these three days together.  I’ve had these posts stuck in my head but just not been able to sit down to be able to write these.

H:  It’s hard to say goodbye.

Tuesday (H-day) was my last day at work.  It was also my longest day that I’ve had for awhile.  I really wanted/needed to go home since I had so much stuff to do to get ready for the movers to come the next day but as the time got closer and closer to the end I started to want the time to move a little slower.  To me it felt like that very last day of school before summer break or before Graduation; very sad and feeling guilty about looking forward to summer.  I know, I’m weird, but I’ve always hated the last day since that means I won’t see my friends again or at least for a long time.  I only hung out with a couple friends over the summers and they were mostly horsey people.  Since they’d understand about horse show time commitments.  Anyways, I digress.  It was sad to say goodbye.  I don’t like saying goodbye.

I’ve made so many new and great friends while working at Petco!  I don’t like idea of saying goodbye to them.  I didn’t get to say goodbye to some of them but I think I will most likely swing by the store at some point before we leave to say bye to them.  I’m glad that my first real, non-summer job was with such a great group of people!  🙂

I:  The Insanity of Moving

It was insane.  The movers showed up at about 8:30 (I think?) and were here until about 5:00.  They wrapped everything in paper

and boxed it up. The water was off, again, so they had to go to the gas station down the road to use the bathroom.  I fed them pizza and gave the water and soda.  They were really nice too which was nice, especially since it was my first PCS move.  I didn’t know what to do when they got here; I felt like a bump on a log!  Gwen went to doggie daycare at Charleston Dog House and they have a “Doggy Cam” where you can watch the dogs playing outside.  I’ll have to write about that later since I have some pictures I can post. 😉

Somebody got all tuckered out!

I had a friend, Alicia, come over who has done the PCS moving thing before (she’s a Naval Officer & we know her from college) as moral support.  She was a big help and even brought me a hot chocolate when she got here. 🙂  I was supposed to buy her donuts (America runs on Dunkin!) but I ran out of time in the morning before hand so I provided lunch and Lava Cakes from Dominoes which is an acceptable substitute, right?  She was a BIG help in helping me understand what was going on and the stuff that I had to sign at the end.  I think the movers were mostly done with everything around 4:30 but then they had to pick up all their stuff and sign papers, etc.

Packing up the washer and dryer was interesting.  The movers refused to unhook them since that “HAD to be done by a third party.”  At least I/we were not incompetent women!  Alicia and I ended up doing it all, well the young mover guy helped us start loosing the hoses because they were on so tight (manly men had installed our washer and dryer before) but then the overseer lady FORBADE him from doing anymore than loosening them!  She was like “we can’t do it because that would put water on your floor and we don’t want our company to be at fault for any damages!”  You could tell the guy really wanted to help us, but we did it!  I knew how to put the stabilizer bolts in the back of the washer (we’ve got front loader and you need them to be able to ship it and keep the drum from moving, etc.) all thanks to Youtube and my curiosity about these weird looking bolts before hand!  I also found the booklet and found that it says “DO NOT LOSE THESE!!!”  (…we’d temporarily lost the bolts at one point but found them, thank goodness!  Would’ve cost 70 bucks to replace the set of three!)  We figured out how to do the hoses without getting water everywhere, put the bolts in and tightened them, and she even pulled the door off since they didn’t know how to do one of the track doors.  See, girls can do this stuff!  I think we were both raised to be independent and be able to do stuff for ourselves.  I also think that does make a difference, helpless women are useless women.

I just thought this was funny

J:  Juuust a little more!

Gwen went back to doggie daycamp (or daycare – you choose) today.  This morning she did NOT want to get up but got super excited to go for a ride!  Once we got there she didn’t want to go with the lady.  I think she was still tired from yesterday, poor baby.  It’s 20 bucks for the whole day (over 7 hrs) (6 and under hrs is only 15) so it’s well worth it.  We’ve been able to go out to lunch, clean, and go shopping today without worrying or feeling guilty about the dog.  Our house is quite bare, minus the heap of junk stuff that is left in the living room and bedroom.  We’ve got to fit the rest of our stuff into my truck, the Challenger, and put some stuff in some boxes to send if we have to, which most likely we will since we apparently can’t pack well….

I bought two pairs of shoes!  Oh yeah and took some of my books in to the used book store to see if I could get rid of them but then I ended up coming home with more books…kind of counterproductive.  I apparently can’t get it right.  I’m supposed to be getting rid of things not adding more stuff to our load!  We also took some stuff to Habitat for Humanity and I found a little shelf unit that I wish I’d found two days ago!  It was PERFECT!  But of course we’ve already packed out and have absolutely no [projected] room in my truck.  Oh yeah and the truck leaves on Saturday bright and early with Andrew’s mom and grandpa who are driving my truck half way and then my parents are picking up the truck and driving the rest of the way.  Thank goodness for them!  We weren’t exactly sure what we were going to do with the truck at one point!

Everything is clean so we went shopping today and spent some time with Andrew’s mom and grandpa.  We are also staying here for another week because they said we can’t leave yet.  Stupid Navy reasons that we don’t understand of course.

*   *    *    *    *

I know I got a little off track with my A to Z challenge but I hope that y’all excuse me for my good reason:  we are moving!  I will try to keep up now.  I can probably just write my posts in the car. 🙂  I already have a good doggie related idea for tomorrow’s post!

Note:  All images found on Google images.  Except the ones of Gwen, those came from CDH Facebook page.

C is for Catching up and moving out!

WordPress, oh how I hate you!  You deleted my post that took me over an hour to write, edit, put in the proper links, and proof read it once more!  Now I don’t want to even write it again!  It was about catching up with why I haven’t written for almost three whole weeks!  Also about the challenge that I have already failed since I did not start on the 1st with the letter A.  My theme for today was Catching up.  Over all the stress of moving very soon and dealing with the idiocracy of the Navy while also working longer hours has given me reason to not write.  I’ve been drowning in housework since I haven’t had the motivation to do any of it since all I want to do is sleep when I come home.  I’m always hungry.  All I want to do is read — I read two books that I’d been waiting for to come out in the last week.  Both well over 500 pages!  Gwen has been going for long walks to keep her happy and to atone for us having to leave her in her kennel or in the kitchen while we are both at work.  She got a new Chuckit frisbee for Easter!

Super summarized version of what I’d written earlier:

  • My last day at work is the 10th.
  • Movers are coming on the 10th.
  • Andrew may or may not be there when the movers are here. Of course, right?  So I’ve asked a friend to come for moral support for a couple hours at least — I’ve never done one of these moves before.
  • Can you see the growing conflict with time and dates there involving April 10th?!?!?!
    • Tried to move my last day to the 9th, they said “we’ll see what we can do” after I’d said that I couldn’t work that morning but I might be able to work that evening but it would be better if I could just change the day.  There wasn’t even the possibility of being able to give them a 2 week heads up since we’d found out about it within two weeks of even moving.
  • Put in our moving out notice but had to rescind it at one point and then put it in again and this time they weren’t going to let us pro-rate it.
  • Moving out on the 12th.

So much stress!!!!!!!!!!!!!

99 cent Bully Stick Review:

  • Shipping:  Great price, very speedy!  We ordered on a Friday night (late) and they shipped Monday morning.  We had the bully sticks by Thursday!
  • Quality:  Very good quality, just like the 6” ones you can get at the stores like Petco only they are much cheaper!
  • Cons:  Stiiiiinky.  All bully sticks stink, that is a given.  Don’t expect them to not be stinky.  I kind of forgot how stinky they can be and I opened the package with my head over it and got a big whiff of gross!
  • Gwen’s Review:  Loved them!  She kept begging for them when they were sitting on the table after I brought them inside!  She didn’t want to wait until after dinner to munch on one of them!  The stinkier they are the better.
  • Click the section title if you want to go to the page with the bully sticks.

I have been a very bad blogger.  *hangs head in shame*   I have not written anything in weeks nor have I even taken any pictures of my dog, the main topic of this whole thing!  Shame on me!  I promise to do better in the future.  I am going to try to catch back up and keep up with the challenge but I can’t promise anything definite since we are in the process of getting ready to move and will be moving in about a week.  We have NOTHING packed up yet!  The movers will technically pack all our stuff for us but we haven’t even gotten through throwing stuff out.  I am in the pre-stages of hoarding so it is difficult…Andrew (or my mom) have to tell me THROW THINGS OUT!  for me to actually be able to do this successfully….  I was, however, able to go through the dog’s toys and throw out all the mangled and dead toys.  I reasoned that I was making room for new toys.  Andrew also had to make sure I followed through on throwing things out, especially if it had been cute or a baby toy or still had eyes.