Divine Secrets of the Blah Blah Bloggerhood: 22-28 June



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Prompt:  Places I’ve Been

Have you been somewhere interesting? Do you have a favorite vacation spot? Is there a local place you love to go? Are you a world traveler? A local traveler? A homebody that only dreams of places to go? (You can always make this about places you’d like to visit!)

One of the best things about having been in the Army myself and now married to it is that it has given me the opportunity to go a lot of places that I might never otherwise have gone to.  I have been to Europe and Southeast Asia and seen things that I certainly would never see in my hometown of Potsdam, NY.

Stonehenge is probably one of my most powerful experiences.  It was truly magical to see that ancient, magical place for myself.  It was a powerful experience.  I visited Glastonbury Abbey, too, another amazing experience.  The history there is so amazing and I want to go back some day.

In the US itself, I have lived all over the place.  I was born in raised in northern NY.  When I was 17, I “lived” for 2 months at Fort Dix, NJ.  I say “lived” because I was there for basic training, a whole new kind of living.  I spent the next two semesters in Albany, NY for college and then spent the next summer at Fort Jackson, SC for another 2 months before going back to Albany for one last semester.  Then I went active duty and the fun really began.  I spent the next year at the Presidio of Monterey in California, learning Polish at the Defense Language Institute.  From there, I moved to Goodfellow Air Force Base in San Angelo, TX for 6 months of AIT.  Then it was off to Fort Meade, MD to spend the next 2.5 years working at the NSA.  After that I moved back to DLI to learn Vietnamese for a year before my favorite PCS… Schofield Barracks, HI.  Hawaii was and is my soul home.  I have never felt more connected, more at home than I did in this place.  It is where my soul will always live.

But then my grandfather became ill and I had to end my Army time and go back to NY.  I stayed there for the next 2.5 years until I went back in the Army and headed back to Fort Jackson, SC for nine months.  Then I ended up at Fort Lee, VA, where I met my lovely husband.  After a few years, it was back to NY for almost 8 years while the hubs was stationed at Fort Drum.  Now we are here in the deserts of southern Arizona at Fort Huachuca, AZ.

And there ends the places I have been to date!!

Divine Secrets of the Blah Blah Bloggerhood: 15-21 June


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Prompt:  Summer Bucket List

What are your goals for this Summer? Don’t have any? Then this is a great way to think of some! They don’t necessarily have to be “goals” but stuff you’d like to during the warm weather, maybe a trip with your family, daily activities with the kids, a creative project or just a solo adventure?

Let’s see… This summer has really been about taking some “me” time.  It was something I really needed to heal and to rejuvenate.  Physically, emotionally, and mentally.  So my Bucket List has been mostly all about that.

Find my creative spark again.

I have definitely worked on this one.  I started art journaling, which I have discovered that I absolutely love.  I have never considered myself terribly good at arty things, being more of a crafter.  But I have learned that art journaling doesn’t require me to be perfect.  I find it relaxing and releasing and I love it!

I am also nearing the end of a writing workshop.  That is my end game, to write.  But the events of the last year have sapped that writing muse.  Until this workshop, I hadn’t written anything other than papers for school in more than a year.  So it is nice to have that in my life again.

Read, read, and then read some more.

I get so bogged down in school work and in life that I never seem to have enough time to read as much as I would like.  I run a book review blog (The Caffeinated Diva) and I get a lot of books through that venture so the majority of my reading during the semester is strictly for tours and requested reviews.  Summer is my time to indulge in other books!

Get fit and get healthy!

This has been a long time coming.  I have a few injuries that have made it hard to stay active.  To make it worse, for the better part of ten years, I have been pretty ill.  Ill enough that it drastically affected not only my day to day health, but my weight and physical fitness as well.  I am finally at the point where I can fix that.  Food has never been my issue, but activity has been.  Since the end of May, I have been working out 5 days a week and have been shedding the pounds and the inches!

There is an art challenge and a writing challenge that I am going to try to add later, but this is a start!

Divine Secrets of the Blah Blah Bloggerhood: 8-14 June


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Prompt:  Five Things You Didn’t Know About Me

Only five?!  I could probably come up with a whole lot more than that!

1.  I helped one of my best Army buddies, Dan, perform banana CPR in an elevator at the National Security Agency.  Yes, you read that right!  We were both cryptanalysts and linguists stationed at the NSA.  The NSA is rather notorious for its often rather socially awkward civilian “think tank” work force.  One day on the way back upstairs to our office, we found ourselves sharing an elevator with several of them.  Dan and I were irreverent and mischievous, to say the least.  He was carrying our tray of lunches and accidentally knocked a banana to the floor.  He immediately thrust the tray into my hands and dropped to his knees and yelled… “Stand back, everyone!  I know banana CPR!”  Then he proceeded to perform CPR while I rapidly assured the rest of the elevator that he did indeed know what he was doing.  Needless to say, the others exited the elevator at the next available stop, long before their actual destination.  FTW!

2.  I once shared a beer with the actor Richard Greico in a bar in Honolulu.  He is from a town in northern NY near my own hometown.  He was filming Booker in Hawaii then and he often performed with a local band at this bar.  He was there that night so I bought a beer and asked the bar back to send it to it with the message that it was from one northern NYer to another.  He sought me out and we hung out the rest of the evening.  He was actually really nice and down to earth.

3.  I joke that I am upstate NY’s version of Zsa Zsa Gabor, although she has been married a few more times.  Yes, I am that girl.  I regret nothing and own my mistakes, but I hate getting judged for it.  I finally got it right with my Soldier Daddy, as we just celebrated our 12th anniversary.  Weirdly, I am actually friends with one of my exes.

4.  I have trust issues with girlfriends.  I have had four really close friends completely turn on me in the last few years and it has completely destroyed my trust.  I am all about taking responsibility for my part, but in these cases, I can truthfully say I was not at fault.  I thought of them as sisters and it hurt.  Now I am starved for female companionship, but the trust thing has made hard for me to try to make new friends here in Arizona.

5.  I have never felt more at home or at peace than when I lived in Hawaii.  That is my soul home.

Challenge:  Flowers

This week’s writing and art challenges are all about flowers!

Writing Challenge

Our writing challenge is to write a haiku.  Okay, I am a writer, but not generally haiku, so please don’t expect a masterpiece!!

Lavender flowers in the wind
A spot of color in a brown desert
Spring in the desert

Art Challenge

I’ll update with this!

Divine Secrets of the Blah Blah Bloggerhood: 1-7 June

Current Mood:Happy emoticon Happy & Playful emoticon Playful


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I wish I knew then…

This week’s prompt is about the wisdom that we all gain over time.  What is that we know now that would have been nice to know back in a day?  If you could go back in time and tell the younger you something, what would that be?

I wish I had known a few things!  For one, I wish I had known that trust sometimes has to be earned, that giving it too freely too quickly can be problematic.  I don’t mean to say that one should be automatically distrustful of everyone they meet, but to be cautious.   So many hurtful times in my life might have been avoided if I had learned that lesson earlier.  The bigger “I wish I knew then” was how much a lack of confidence can hold you back.  There are so many things that I have always wanted to do and my lack of confidence when I was younger kept me from going for it.  Now I am sitting here, a couple months shy of 44, realizing that I should gone for those things years ago.  However, better later than never at all, right?!


This week’s writing and art challenges are all about quotes!  Quotes from anyone about anything.  Quotes that strike us in some way.

Writing Challenge

We accept the love we think we deserve.  -Mr. Anderson / The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

I absolutely love this quote because it is so very true.  I think that we all tend to do this.  It’s easy to say that we wouldn’t tolerate this or we wouldn’t tolerate that, but there are times in almost everyone’s life that this just isn’t true.  We fall in love, or think we do, and then we justify those moments and those situations that we always said we would never tolerate.  The fact is that most of us have been through times that have damaged our hearts and our souls and, as Julia Roberts says in her role as Vivian in Pretty Woman, it is always easier to believe the bad things.

If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.  –Katherine Hepburn

This is my motto.  For all the times I get picked on for my ink, my steel, my crazy hair… this is the quote I hear in my head!  You only live one time and I have come to realize that it is important to live it to the fullest as often as possible.  Life throws you curves, good ones and bad, and you really never know what is coming next.  You have to value each and every moment and enjoy it.  That is what my ink and steel and crazy hair is all about.  Feeling free, feeling creative, feeling happy!  I love the crazy colors in my hair and they make me smile.  I love the art on my body because it tells my story, even if I am the only one who can read it.

A’a i ka hula, waiho i ka maka’u i ka hale.  (Dare to dance, leave shame at home)  -Hawaiian proverb

For me, this quote is also about living life to the fullest, just a different aspect of that idea.  It is about making the choice to live in truth with what is inside your heart and your soul.  It is about pursuing those things that fulfill you, whether that be emotionally, spiritually, creatively, or physically.  It is about pursuing those things without shame, without the worry of others’ judgment.  It doesn’t matter what others think of us.  What matters is how we feel about ourselves, how the choices we make fulfill our spirits and our souls.

Art Challenge


Anniversaries and Army life

Current Mood:Happy emoticon Happy

I think that Army marriages should have some kind alternative numbering system.  I wrote a status about our anniversary on Sunday, joking about how rarely we are together for it.  Counting this year, we have been together for exactly one half of our anniversaries.  The balance is starting to tip in our favor! I mapped it out, curious…

  • 2002:  We got married at Fort Lee, VA.  It was one year to the day after our first date!
  • 2003:  Soldier Daddy spent our anniversary in Iraq and Kuwait, while I was in Virginia.
  • 2004:  We were in the same country, but he was at Fort Knox in Kentucky for PLDC, while I was hanging in VA.
  • 2005:  OMG!  We were TOGETHER!
  • 2006:  I was in New York, and he was here at Fort Huachuca in AIT.
  • 2007:  This year, we were together for 10 minutes, literally.  He had been at Redstone Arsenal in Alabama and flew in at 2350!
  • 2008:  Once again, we were together!!
  • 2009:  He was in Afghanistan and I was in New York.
  • 2010:  We were together!!
  • 2011:  He was back in Afghanistan and I was still in NY.
  • 2012-2014:  Holy Amazeballs!  Three in a row!

To be honest, we have been apart so much that the first few years are a little fuzzy so my order may be off, but you get the point!  It is a good thing that we don’t get overly crazy over anniversaries or we’d be in trouble!

Lesson learned… appreciate the time you do have because that is what really matters!