Saturday, December 24, 2011

Sockmonkey's last vacation post

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house not a creature was stirring... Well that's actually not the case at our house especially because Sockmonkey is busy getting last minute holiday things done and wants to gift all of you with the final chapter of his visit to the eastern seaboard. We woke again to a bright shiny D.C. day and got the circulater bus heading for a day full of tourist sights. We headed to a souviner shop first thing and got a t-shirt for our little house sitter/cat grave digger Brie since I felt like I owed her something more than just a keychain. Visited our two Smithsonian museums that we had chosen before we left California since we knew it was impossible to see them all. Dave picked the air and space museum, it was awesome! He even got to go in a simulater of a plane that would be taking off from an aircraft carrier. Then headed down the street to mine and Sockmonkey's choice, museum of American history. So much fun in there to see the gang from Sesame St. and Julia Childs fridge complete with fridge magnets! Walked a lot and saw the Washington monument which was closed to visiters because of damage during that fluky earthquake, then the reflecting pool which was a nonreflecting dirt pit due to construction, then the Lincoln monument. Walked a lot more and stumbled across the Vietnam Wall, so somber that Sockmonkey thought it would have been disrespectful to take his picture there. In fact wished we would have brought something to leave as a momento. By now we are pretty sure we are late to meet Michelle O. for tea but hurried off to the White House and stood as close by as we could get with all the secret service around. Anyhow such a super day and still beautiful weather so we walked all the way back to hotel on Rhode Island Ave. along with hundreds of others workerbees and tourist enjoying the early evening. That night had to pack up and get a good nights sleep in preperation of Wednesday being all about getting back home. Next morning Sockmonkey and I made sure on the transit map where we would get off subway to catch bus to Dulles, piece of cake except for the excalator from our stop. It was so steep I was afraid to look back and was so paranoid that I was going to fall. Swear it was like going up the Alps!Caught the right bus and didn't even have to pay the $6.00. While getting on asked the driver if that thingy there was where I put my dollars and he said "Thingy ain't working, have a great ride!" Had to wait a couple hours at airport but not too many travellers so very peaceful time to read a magazine and reflect on the last eleven days. Even made a friend on the plane when we had to change in Chicago. So crowded Dave and I couldn't sit together so Sockmonkey sat by a really nice couple who were on the way home to Palo Alto from their little grandson's 2nd birthday. We hit it off and even were on the same anti anxiety pill to get through the flight. Thanks to Brie the house was still standing and we could relax from Sockmonkey's whirlwind adventure on the eastern seaboard. Looks like the inhabitants at Gannimal house will be living back there for awhile so look forward to another visit in a year or so. Thanks for being such a great audience, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Sockmonkey visits our Nations capitol

I know what you are saying to yourselves, doesn't this so called creative writer know how to end a story? Well I last posted that we had gotten to our room and were relaxing with our own large bed and shower after a week at Gannimal house. Decided I should check my v.m. and had a sad message from Brie, she had found our old cat (16 years old so do the math in human years) dead in the garage. Poor little girl was a trooper though, after talking to me found a nice spot in the flower bed to bury Gallagher without too much hysteria. Guess I was going to owe her more than a key ring from Sockmonkey's travels. We had a good nights sleep then were up to a bright and beautiful day to start our touring after continental breakfast. Caught the circulator bus for a dollar to take us right over by the capitol. Had been told that October is a good month to visit the Eastern seaboard and being in teeshirts found that to be the truth. Had a great tour of the capitol, Sockmonkey and I were impressed that in the rotunda among the fancy portraits was a painting of Pocahontas (see earlier post regarding getting educated on her at Jamestown). We then took a tour of the Library of Congress, Sockmonkey and I being library junkies were giddy. Dave was pretty excited because he was sure that if we would have had time to visit the reading rooms after we got our readers cards that we would find a copy of the anthology we have been published in, Vintage Voices. The day was wrapping up, caught the circulator bus again to take the reverse trip from this morning so we could get chinese buffett dinner. As we were approaching our stop an interesting thing happened. A blond woman had gotten on and while looking over at her was so amazed that she was the twin of a woman I knew in R.P. As we are about to reach our stop I overhear a comment about the upcoming stops from her. I turn to get a better look and when we both saw each other said "I know you"! It was Desiree! There came my stop with giving me only an instant to say "OMG well take care" and give her a hug then we had to get off without me giving her my phone number or being able to ask what the heck she was doing in D.C. Isn't life funny? To be continued...

Friday, December 2, 2011

Sockmonkey bids adieu to Gannimal house...

Although Sockmoney and I with Dave in tow were leaving Gannimal house, that did not end our awesome east coast trip. We finally watched the sunrise over Chesapeake Bay while on the Amtrak bus heading to Newport News Virginia to catch the 8 a.m. train to D.C.! As I last posted, the household partied in the mancave celebrating the end of having the old folks couch surfing for the past week. Needless to say when the alarm went off at 5 in the morning no one was in any shape to drive us to the bus stop. No worries, cab showed up within 15 minutes of my call and off we were to begin our Sunday of leisure traveling through Pochantas field and forest to see our nations capital. Saw a couple cute little towns from train window during our 4 hour ride. One was Ashland Virginia, the train went right down the middle of the main street with darling old victorian homes on either side. Guess you would get used to trains in your front yard. Got to D.C. right at lunch time, still needed to negotiate the subway but luckily since a few years ago in N.Y. we became old pros at this sort of thing or at least didn't have a lot of anxiety about it made it to the stop we needed to then hoof it to our hotel on Rhode Island Ave. a few (long!) city blocks away. (Boy that's a run on sentence.) The afternoon was wearing on and we were pooped so decided to forgo the touristy stuff till the morning. Subway early dinner and jammy time. Oh and caught up on some of our shows after the week without cable at Gannimal house. To be continued...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sockmonkey visits Gannimal house day 8

The week passed full of fun and frivolity, seeing the Chesapeake area and helping the kids with running around and household things. It is our last day here, tomorrow we catch Amtrak and head for a few days in D.C. It's a breezy but beautiful day and we head out to a local park for an impromptu bbq with other sailor buddies and letting Juno have some time at the dog area. Later Zack comes by with his new friend Megan and party time in the man cave begins, Sockmonkey and I even indulge with a little rose box wine. Dave and I get ourselves packed up and say good night to the kids, the train will be leaving at the crack of dawn Sunday a.m. I'm suprised that I'm not feeling too sad, I think because during the Truman deployment last year cried out all the tears I had but mainly being able to watch Gannimal house in action makes me feel good to leave knowing how well they are all taking care of each other. And I will finally get a good night's sleep, LOL! I'm just too old to do couch surfing. Too be continued...

Friday, November 25, 2011

Sockmonkey visits Gannimal house day 7

Day 7? Day 7 right? Is the travellog dragging on or is it just me. Friday morning we were awoken with the alarm system of Gannimal house loudly announcing "Front Door Open!" It was sailor Dan getting home from his overnight duty shift at the Truman. There weren't really any set plans for the day so Sockmonkey and I finished up reading the book about Pocahontas that we had found earlier that week at the 2nd hand store. She was a real American and it gave me a whole other way to look at the Chesapeake Bay area we were traveling around. I might try to follow up on more of her history when we get home. Dan woke up later in the morning after a little nap to refresh from his long day the night before and discussed taking us to the NEX and touring around the Naval Base. Got to the NEX and bought lunch at A & W, chili dogs, then went shopping. Sockmonkey had never seen so many military personnel in one place and it was all we could do to keep him from trying to get his picture taken with everyone of them, pretty sure his heart was bursting with proudness to be among genuine heroes. After shopping drove through the base, it was my first time to see where the ship had come home from Dan's deployment since the others had been there in December as his welcome home committee. Out of the base on a Friday afternoon right into commute traffic. The sluggish highway screwed up our moving into position to take the off-ramp we were needing and as I lamented under my breath, Dan remarked that if we just stayed in the traffic heading east we would come out at Virginia Beach. Sockmonkey and I would finally make it to the Atlantic shore and the bonus was sticking our toes in the dampened sand right at sunset. Just to let you know, being a west coaster it is kind of an odd sensation to be looking at the beautiful water of the ocean with the sun going down at your back. We would be heading to Golden Corral for all you can eat dinner which I was really looking forward to. Sockmonkey on the other hand wanted to make sandcastles, even the prospect of a chocolate fountain could hardly pull him away. Give him a beach and a sunset, just a silly old romantic. To be continued...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sockmonkey visits Gannimal house day 6

Another lazy day for Sockmonkey and the household, except for Sailor Dan who left early and would not be home til Friday due to his guard duty for the night. With everything starting to be in order at the house talk turned to decorating for the Gannimals favorite holiday, Halloween. Costumes arrived in the mail and were showed off. Time for the Nissen Versa to make tracks to the local Walmart for accessories and decorations for the party that would be happening soon. Made our way around Chesapeake to take Juno for her ear cleaning and nail grooming at local Pet Smart, got Starbucks then found a Goodwill store. Lately I've allowed my hair to fade from bottle brown to it's natural color, white. Had it brought to my attention by a clerk while shopping at Goodwill that it was senior citizen discount day, 55 and over. Told her had another month for that and also would be back in California by then but thanks anyway! While inside the store heard loud noises coming from outside and looked through the picture windows to see a downpour of rain that was like a sheet of water that lasted for an hour. Tiff had warned us that's how the weather was in Virginia, sun one minute, pouring rain the next. Got to have a Gann dinner delicasy, Tator Tot Casserole, yumm! Sailor Dan was so jealous when he found out he missed that for dinner. To be continued...

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sockmonkey visits Gannimal house day 5

One thing I forgot to mention in last posting was that when Sailor Dan came home from work on Tuesday he had very sad news about one of his shipmates, she had been in a domestic dispute with her boyfriend and she ended up dying from her injuries. So terrible, also ironic as before we went east I had just finished a 40 hour training with my local YWCA on how to be a domestic violence volunteer. Such an unnecessary loss. RIP sweet sailor. Anyhow back to my travel-log. Wednesday Sailor Dan went off to dry dock to do more scrapping and sweeping on the Truman. Sockmonkey and all the household wrangled up the loads of laundry and headed off to the laundromat. It was going to take awhile so we wandered down the street to a second hand store. Sockmonkey had the idea that we might find something interesting to bring back and sell at August Moon. Dave really got excited over some antique salt and pepper shakers, tiny and cute and a bargain at $1.50. We also found some neat metal plaques that were wine themed and advertising Sonoma and Napa which went great with the other wine pictures and plaques Tiff is decorating her kitchen with. By this day almost starting to feel like locals with all the driving around we did in the Nissan Versa, what a great little car. Although Sockmonkey still didn't feel quite brave enough to wander out on his own without someone from Gannimal house to direct us. Laundry finished, almost dinner time by now so home to have another great evening with everyone. To be continued...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sockmonkey visits Gannimal house day 4

Tuesday, Sailor Dan had to go back to work as an ABH (currently stands for Advanced Broom Handler!)on the Truman in drydock where it's going thru a complete refurbish in order to deploy in 2013. Sockmonkey and the gang slept in awhile then it was housekeeping and furniture re-arranging at Gannimal house. There had been a new (well sort of) sectional couch brought in on Saturday just hours before Dave and I arrived. Eric was nice enough to pick it up in his truck and the sailors brought it in and kind of just dropped it in the living room without much sense of feng shui. Tiff had a great idea of restaging the old piano and couch to give more leg room while t.v. watching. So with Sockmonkey in charge we cleaned and pushed furniture around. Before we knew it, time to pick up Sailor Dan after work. He was pretty impressed by how great it all looked. We were all bushed so got dinner going, put our feet up and called it a day. Sockmonkey really thought we did a good job too. Too be continued...

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sockmonkey visits Gannimal house day 3

Day three arrived clear and balmy (or at least I think that's how it was.) It was Columbus Day so sailor son had the day off which was great so we could do some touristing out in the Historic Triangle which is Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown. The drive out there was beautiful, not quite the autumnal foliage but still pretty. Got to Williamsburg which does Colonial re-inactment over lots of acreage but once we got into the visitors center and were told it would cost $40 per person decided that was pretty pricy so got into the Nissen Versa and headed to Jamestown. The entrance there was only $15.00 so thought that was a great bargin, paid and went in to wander through a wonderfully impressive museum and then got to take a walk to the James River where there were replicas of ships that had originally brought the colonist from England. Those ships were small! Very nice view of the river and got a real feel of what it might have been like. Sockmonkey didn't want to go on board with the rest of the fam, claustraphobic you know so he hung out on the dock to wait. Super fun day and very educational. Sockmonkey was very impressed by  the story of Pocahontas, she pretty much saved those Colonist. We might have to watch that Disney movie about her again. After the tour of Jamestown headed back to Gannimal house for a bbq dinner. A good time was had by all. To be continued...

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Sockmonkey travels to Gannimal house day two

After our long day flying to Norfolk, the next day we decided it was a good day to just hang about Gannimal house. Tiffany, Crystal and I went to the local smoothie shop for hangover smoothies for the kids who had overindulged on their Saturday night. The weather was nice for hanging out in the back patio and getting to know two of Dan's sailor buddies, Eric and Zack. Oh and can't forget little guy, new sailor in the pack who's name I kept forgetting and it turned out to be Dan! haha! We took the Nissen Versa rental car out for a couple of errands and pretty much called it a lazy Sunday. Sockmonkey liked the couch in the garage where all the guys like to be and of course upstairs is the mancave but it was kind of stinky from too much beer and smoking the night before. So we sat in the sun and breathed in the fresh Chesapeake air, just happy to be spending time with the Pacific Posse. To be continued...

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Sockmonkey Travels to Gannimal House

It's all my sister's fault, she started taking her sockmonkey on trips and posting pics etc. So when we were going on our trip to VA and D.C. she and Chadd were going on vacation to New Mexico, it became a battle of the traveling sockmonkeys. It was a long first day on the way back east beginning in S. F. at 10 a.m. At a stop in Orange County California the text on my phone was letting me know that Brie had no way into the house since her purse was in someone's car, was any door or window open that she could break in. Ally to the rescue since she has a key. Next stop, Chicago where we waited awhile for the connecting flight to Norfolk. By then I knew I was glad I had gotten anxiety pills from the doctor, took one after boarding and promptly fell asleep waking up at 10 p.m. eastern daylight time in Norfolk. Sockmonkey napped most of the trip too. To be continued...

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Indian Summer or what?

Will have a bunch to tell about my trip east to visit sailor son and the Gannimals but first want to tell you about having a very nice time with two awesome ladies up in Mendocino County last Wednesday. Was invited to the family ranch of Leigh Anne with all her siblings and their families from all over the place who were out for the annual grape harvest. Well as it turned out the harvest was on hold for that week but toured all over the beautiful property on west side of 101 between Redwood Valley and Willits. Another friend who came was Robbi and I'm so glad because I had wanted a chance to get to know her better. We chatted and roamed in a 4x4 into the boonies just like we have been friends for years. Had a chance to sit on a wonderful deck at the family guest house and soak up the sun and eat cabernet grapes right off the vine. It was just a fantastic day. Am invited back this week for when the harvest is really going to happen but alas have other things on the agenda. Hopefully though between the three of us brainstorming about a writers retreat that Leigh Anne would put on, will be back up there soon and get a whole weekend stay. So enjoy this beautiful weather and don't let any spooks get you on Monday. Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Job hunt

A lot of you might be interested in an update of how the job hunting has been going. Well almost 3 months and not until today did I want to cry. Had been doing well, 70-80 resumes going into cyberspace with a few responses. Excited about a job interview this morning, filled out paperwork and then a short math test to be done only with your brain. I knew I didn't do too well but for heavens sake who does math without technology now days. A greying man with an accent motioned me to a chair across from him at his desk, looked at answer to first question involving percentages and yes I suppose a sixth grader knew the answer but I didn't. After still answering it wrong when he asked me, he stood up and thanked me for coming by but unless I could do better on the test he wouldn't waste anyones time further by conducting an interview. Well I hope he gets bad karma because I would have made an awesome employee and maybe I don't do math but I can out proofread probably this entire planet, so there. Ok well you now have my latest update on job hunt. Not going to let that get me down and since my trip with the hubby out to Virginia is just about here will give Craigslist a rest until we return. Anyhow, enjoy your October, I know I will seeing the sights out along the Atlantic and a train ride to D.C. as well. Take care, I'll send you a postcard.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hurricane Irene

Had my eyes glued to the t.v. last Saturday as I watched Hurricane Irene bearing down on the Atlantic seashore. Was just getting over the hilarity of my sailor son telling me about how freaked the folks were over a tiny 5.9 earthquake while he was wondering why they didn't seem all that concerned about the soon to arrive "tropical storm". But we at least get a warning about hurricanes, they told him. So after a few back and forth text from the Pacific Posse commenting on no power and making them promise to stay indoors, I am happy to report that Gannimal House seemed unscathed. I also was very relieved that we had decided against going to visit them in August due to everyone telling us how bad the humidity would be. No one warned me there might be a hurricane...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Not here, in Virginia! And Mrs. Sailor said she didn't even feel anything. Guess growing up a west coastie and living through a lifetime of rocking and rolling, etc. But the news also says a hurricane a comin'! So hope Gannimal house and Sailor Boy battin' down the hatches.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Mid-month, Mid-week meltdown

Ever have one of those days when you think if you don't let yourself burst into tears your chest is going to explode. Or your throat or your head. And to top it off just got to a sad part in my latest read The Help. Of course I haven't got enough to distract me since I'm still unemployed, guess I'm feeling a little stressed because also wheezing and over-eating. Those are the sure signs of me being on emotional overload. I am also missing Mr. and Mrs. Sailor, three thousand miles away. But the good news is that this weekend get to have the annual AMIGAS (August Moon Intelligent Girls Adventure Spa) in Redwood Valley with my bff. It's two days of hanging our feet in the doughboy pool, drinking champagne with a blackberry floating in it and crafting til all hours of the night. Just seeing that in print is already perking up my spirits. Maybe I'll just go get my hula hoop and put on my favorite oldies station and hope nobody decides to drop by without warning!

Monday, August 15, 2011

New week

I had a pretty good weekend. Friday drove topless with hubby in our friend's Ray and Ofelia's Benz. A fantastic lunch was had by all at The Tides. Got to hear all about their trip to Italy earlier in the summer with their newly graduated kidlet and his friend. Weather was chilly at the coast but the ride back was beautiful through the redwoods along River Rd. Saturday would have seen The Help with Steph but she wasn't feeling well so gives me time to read the book now before seeing the movie. Sunday dropped Brie off at her job at Abecrombie & Fitch. Here's a question about that store... What does the canoe hanging in the middle of the ceiling and a stuffed moose head behind the checkout have to do with the posters of the half naked people in their advertising? Just wondering. So after almost dying of the over perfumed, music blasting time in the store headed to my RWC meeting where we had an awesome speaker Linda Joy Myer who is a specialist on memoir which being my genre I was very attentive even though I have heard her before. Today will once again be checking craigslist for jobs every 30 minutes and might even find time to practice ASL from the new book I bought, cheaper that taking a class for it at JC. May be useful once I'm a bonafide, certified legal assistant in a couple years. Have a great day, more later.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Bad War

Not dealing well with the news over the weekend of the downed helicopter with Navy Seals. Very sad and depressed. Keep wondering why we have to spend so much in loss of lives and dollars on this war. Time for it to come to a close and bring the troops home.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Back to Cali

Had a whirlwind trip last week to Oregon. Took along my old friend from childhood, Carolyn H. who I reconnected with at her 80th birthday last May. Her sister and my mom live in Jacksonville so had a nice companion to help keep the highway hypnosis away. Pretty uneventful, the usual photo shoot with the Davis girls and Rob and Andy. Pretty commical with Rob hiding, Andy giving us his butt in the shot and me doing the lavender dance. Then headed home Sunday, got a cool lightening show and summer rainstorm through the mountains before reaching Mt. Shasta. All good, now back to the job hunt. Anyone out there with helpful hints on making money on the side til my dream job comes along? "-)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wednesday already?

Today had a big excursion to the dollar store, put in my avon order, got bbq hamburger dinner with hubby. Tomorrow have to get oil changed in CT (Chick Truck), pack a few things, leave house in some semblence of order then take off for points north. So unless little sister has her laptop with her will be w/o wifi for a few days. Have a good weekend, don't do anything I wouldn't do. TTFN...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Still job hunting

Got a call from the company I had an interview for thanking me for taking the time to come in but they had decided to hire a more qualified candidate. Well, what can you do. The applicants are swooping in on job ads as quick as they get posted. I know because I've got the timer set to check craigslist every 30 minutes to see if anything new shows up. I'm not going to be brought down though, the right job is out there waiting for me. In the meantime there is more time for writing! Oh and reading, getting through the book my bookclub chose, In the Garden of Beast by Erik Larson. Jammy time, have a good night all. "-)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Rock and Roll!

Had a little shaker today right before 11 a.m. Just a 3.4 and no aftershocks. So much time goes on between earthquakes that when I feel one I'm in denial. I tell myself, "that couldn't be, could it?" But with facebook it's instant confirmation in cryptic terms no less. "Hey felt that" someone posted within minutes. I'll deal with this though before I would deal with the kind of weather the Gannimal house and Sailor son are having in Virginia. Won't get me to Tornado Alley or Hurricane Land, I'll stay here in California where every so often I just shake my booty!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Breakfast with the Beatles

These are the types of Sunday mornings I like. Put on my fav local radio station, read the paper while listening to all the good oldies. This early a.m. would be nicer if the sun was shining but you can't have everything. And I decided I'm taking a break from perusing craiglist job postings. It'll be a lazy day for sure.

Saturday, July 23, 2011


Yes that's right. I am unemployed. Had a great interview, hope it leads to something. Have a great weekend. Tag you're it...