Wednesday, July 31, 2013

He Survived, Escaped, Ran-Away, and Evaded

I don't think 'Ran-Away' is the right word that fits in the SERE acronym.  But it has something to do with survival.

Aaron took a three week survival training at Ft. Rucker.  During those three weeks, Aaron learned survival skills.  He had to march around the woods for several days, hunt for food, and use a map and compass to find his way back while it rained everyday.

During those three weeks, we could not see or speak with each other.  It was a long three weeks.

Aaron came home on Sunday, 10lbs lighter, worn out.  He was happy to see me, happy to have food, happy to sleep in a bed, and happy to be out of the rain!

My survior man... with his "SEREstache" (yuck).... in front of his sign.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Alabama - Apartment 132

Setting up an apartment for the first time is a lot bigger task than I ever thought it would be.  In the past, I would arrange the leftover furniture from the previous tenant, make do, or do without.  Now I am living in a completely empty apartment without anything to work with.  The options are endless on how to fix this place up.

With such an open pallet of options, I'm not sure where to begin.

I usually begin with the problems and dilemmas.  Then I try to work from there.

Dilemma #1 - Whatever furniture we purchase here will be moved wherever we get stationed next - which could very easily be overseas.  So is it worth purchasing lots of furniture now and get the house just the way I want it to then move it in a year?

Dilemma #2 - What kind of furniture do I get?  Particle board ($) that will last a couple years and two moves before it is destroyed by the movers -or- Solid wood ($$$) that will last a lot longer and ten moves before it is so dinged-up that I want nicer furniture.

Dilemma #3 - Ikea!  I love their furniture and they have the option of particle board and solid wood furniture for reasonable prices.  Perfect.  Unfortunately the nearest Ikea store is in Atlanta, GA, three hours away.  How do I get a bookcase from there to here without paying the $300 shipping charges?

Dilemma #4 - What if I make my own furniture (bookcases, end tables, etc)??  Then that will solve several dilemmas - Solid wood. I will know how to fix the furniture the movers break, ding, or destroy. Much cheaper to make than to buy at stores. And I don't have to go to Ikea to get it.  Sound like a plan to me!  But the dilemma is this... is this going to be one of those reupholster-chair-projects-that-look-horrible-even-after-48-hours-of-straight-work-but-I-am-to-stubborn-that-I-won't-stop?  If that is the case, maybe I should stop while I'm ahead.

Nonetheless, here is apartment 132:

My vision (pictured above).  My reality (several pictures below).

Who would've thought two boxes, a blanket-table cloth, and Chinese floor seating could lead to a romantic dinner with this great guy?

Don't let if fool ya, this is our three cushion sofa.  Notice the box at the end?  That is our end table, of course.

It is hard to invision, but this will be a fabulous shelving unit.  It will reach from one end of the boxes to the other.  And it is as deep as the short bookcase+two books shown.  It is all measured out.
[--bookcase--]<----sofa table---->[--bookcase--]
The lamp (pictured above) will sit on the sofa table.  The large world map (rolled up in the long cardboard box) will hang above the sofa table.  Then a tall bookcase (35w x77h) will sit on either side.
Nice vision, eh?

Looks good enough as it is, right? Wrong!
This is going to be my second favorite wall (following the fancy shelving unit wall).
This wall going to host my cedar chest and it will hold a tv stand (72w x 19h).  Again, the lamp will sit on top of the tv stand as shown, and the picture of Christ will hang above the cedar chest which is right next to the front door.
I thought the placement of the picture was perfect.  The picture of Christ is looking straight at the entryway and whomever leaves the apartment.  It is as if Jesus is saying, "Go and feed my sheep.  Remember who you are."  I love it.

Vision #2.  This is the headboard that I want to make for my bed that sits in front of a window.

And this is the wood to make that headboard.  Aaron and I will use the woodworking tools at the arts and crafts center on post to make it. Wish us luck!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


We took our first (but not certainly not last) trip to New Orleans!

I am in love with this city - so many cultures, traditions, food, and things to do and see in one city!

Jackson Square
Mississippi River before the firework show

So many spices

Sandra Bullock's house in the Garden district.
This was one of my favorite things to do in NOLA - the Cemetary/Garden District Tour.  So interesting.

Mardi Gras museam 
Props for floats.  They make floats year-round to prepare.

San Fransisco plantation house along the Mississippi
Jumbalaya and Red Beans and Rice, a NOLA favorite