I have never been a big Elvis fan. When we went to Washington DC we drove through Memphis and talked about stopping at Graceland. Although I didn't care for him, I thought it was a place that I should see, so we made plans to stop on the way back.
Graceland was smaller than I imagined and the decorating was not exactly my cup of tea, but it was pretty interesting. By the end of the visit I had a new appreciation for Elvis and we even tuned into the Elvis satellite radio station and listened till we hit Texas.
I had the Today Show on this morning before I went to the gym (ran two miles, woohoo!) and when they started talking about Graceland and Elvis, Abs got really excited and watched the whole segment pointing out all the things she remembered. She then told me that Elvis was "extinct". I think she has been reading too many dinosaur books.
When we lived in Germany, we had awful neighbors, three sets of them. I was pleasant to them in the beginning, but once I enrolled in school to get my MBA the remarks started flying. DH and I were just married and I had just finished up my bachelor's about a year earlier. We had no children and I was not working, so it seemed like the logical next step. Then I got an internship with the State of Florida in Frankfurt. So not only was I going to school, I was working for free. My neighbors made comments to me about how "your parents should have taught you how to keep house and raise children," "why would you waste your husband's money on something like school and who would be stupid enough to work for free?". The list was endless and they just got downright nasty. I hated stairwell living and learned to ignore them. (I did have one set of neighbors that we were friends with and were normal, lol)
Anyway, I continued working for free and going to school and then eventually I got a job with the American Consulate in Frankfurt and worked for them well over a year while I finished up graduate school and then had our first child. Stairwell living was our first experience living on post and I hated it.
When we moved back to the States we went to Fort Lewis where after 8 months we qualified for on post housing. I dreaded the thought of being in such close proximity of all those other people. We kept to ourselves and I was back at work after staying home a few years and we were plugging away staying busy. During this time our next door neighbor got in a fight and the cops had to be called because his "buddy" pulled a gun as was threatening to shoot because they were drunk and a window on the car got broken. They moved out and the other neighbors moved out and then Megan and Mark moved in. For almost a year I refused to talk to them or acknowledge them for fear they would lead to turmoil. Eventually I broke down and talked to them and they were wonderful! For the next year and a half Megan and I had the time of our lives taking Thai cooking classes, playing games, traveling with our families to Canada, meeting each other's parents and more. When she left we both cried. We are still halfway across the country from each other but we talk regularly and provide support for each other as we survive deployments and face being a single parent while supporting our Soldier.
I need a Megan here. Instead I have what I refer to as "the freaks". Thankfully though, a moving van came today and the "freaks" are headed to a new adventure and thankfully it is one that does not include living next door to me. I will breathe a sigh of relief that I do not have to worry about my car being boxed in, used condoms being thrown in my yard, their dogs running loose, strange men coming and going at all times of the night while her husband is deployed, etc. (Never mind that my husband found their two year old little girl wandering the street at 7 am in a diaper and a tshirt while it was cold and rainy while trying to see into a storm drain. DH picked her up and went to go to his car to find his cell and call 911 when she pointed to her house and he went up there and knocked and gave her back.) Anyway, I know the end is in sight and these people will soon be out of the way and making someone else's life miserable.
I need a computer armoire that I can shut the computer up in and Junior can't get to it. We currently have the computer chair wedged to the side with an ottoman and a Sam's size package of paper towels on the ottoman and the same size package of toilet paper on the floor wedged in next to the piano. It doesn't work. What it does allow us is a warning that he is near the computer and we can run and get him.
Em stayed with my mom last night and so it's just Abs and Junior and I. I didn't take a shower last night and that was my first mistake. Junior was up and down all night and when Abs got up this morning I asked if she could keep an eye on him while I hopped in the shower. That was mistake number two!
Our living room has gates up so that Junior can't get into the kitchen, but he can walk all over the place and down the hall until he gets to the bedrooms, where there is another gate. It's a pretty large area and besides the computer is totally childproof. I put on something I DVRed about dinosaurs for Abs and reminded her to listen for Andrew getting near the computer and just distract him with a toy and keep an eye on him. She's done it before when Em has been gone and we have never had a problem. Today though Abs found fingernail polish. I came out to find stuff everywhere, Junior had found a pen next to the computer and written all over his face--she did try to clean it up and did take the pen away, and there was Abs sitting on my relatively new couch wrapped in an expensive blanket painting her nails with hot pink nail polish. Since she hasn't painted her nails very often, she had painted her fingers pink. Luckily I found her before she had finished the first hand.
Everything is cleaned up but I am getting a computer armoire soon! I found one at the thrift store yesterday and thought about it, but we didn't have the room to load it and they were about to close. It would have needed to be sanded and stained and I am probably better off buying something new than trying to find the time to do that. They have one at the px, but it was over $800 and not worth that much. I checked IKEA and they didn't have anything that I thought would work or would fit in this area. I can't move the computer because there is nowhere to move it, so I am kind of stuck.
Maybe we will checkout the furniture stores today.....
We have survived four year long deployments--one to Bosnia and three to Iraq. We have been married for almost 17 years and have three children--Em, Abs, and Junior. Gunner is currently deployed for the 5th time to Afghanistan. We are fast approaching the year mark, and then we will focus on the prize--retirement!