Not so Easy

When I was an enlisted Marine I never appreciated Military Wives. It annoyed me the amount of complaining my fellow Marines expressed about their wives discontent. It always seemed like the wives around us hated WM’s (Women Marines, now the PC term is Female Marine). Now that I am a military spouse, it makes sense.

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We have been at Fort Bragg for about three weeks now. We are still living in a hotel (until Monday, YAY!), and less than a week in, my husband is pulling 14 hour days. Their doing some training operations, we used to call them “backyard ops,” real world situational training on base, “in our backyard.” So here we are, the toddler and I, in our little cell, not knowing the area, or anyone in it. The people my husband works with sees him more than we do, which might account for the animosity I sensed when I was enlisted.

I thought since I have a military background this transition would somehow be easier, silly, silly, mistaken me. Most people say “Well at least your together,” especially since my husband is recently home from Afghanistan. Yes and No; this is a nice sentiment but as I explained to my MIL (mother-in-law), I went from 100% support to 1%. I had my entire family less than 20 minutes away, his family a few hours away, and knew my entire block of neighbors. From this great support system, I have 1, my husband, who is basically just here to sleep. It is not so easy being a Military Spouse. I am older and wiser then my 10 year ago self, and kinda wanna slap her.

slap

I know it will get better, I just need to get my sea legs. I will get used to the area, find friends, and make a home out of this Post. Life is full of peaks and valleys, right now I happen to be climbing a peak, a very, very steep peak, and it’s my first so I haven’t developed my endurance yet.

On a side note, why are Army bases called posts but are titled “Forts” (Fort Bragg, Fort Drum), but Marine bases are called bases but titled “Camps” (Camp Lejeune, Camp Foster) Weird….

army wife creed

Author Unknown

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Patriotic Infinity scarf

I am a self proclaimed knitter, I’ve been a knitter since my daughter was a wee one. It took me years to finally learn crochet, and now I can’t seem to step away from it. I feel so unfaithful to needles, I’m cheating on them with a HOOK!!! That hook is a dirty, dirty mistress that entices me with it’s brightness, pins on Pinterest and oh so many Youtube videos. Seriously, when I look up a possible project, there are way more crochet videos than knit. Plus my sister is always coming up with the cutest DIY’s and they’re all crochet. Oh woe is the double needles that have fallen into the peer pressure of the single with a hooked tip; AKA ME!  

Well enough of that….. I have made my first original crochet project, WOOT WOOT! 

Fayetteville is proclaimed as “America’s Hometown” (I didn’t make it up, it’s in their destination guide), so I’m pretty confident they take 4th of July celebrations seriously around here. I decided that I must be prepared to show my patriotism. Hence the birth of my Patriotic infinity scarf (trumpets playing)……

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It was a lot of fun to make. I used my new favorite inexpensive Red Heart With Love yarn. I first found it at Walmart, Joanne’s has a great selection also, and Michael’s started carrying it. It is softer than the regular Red Heart yarn, but the same thickness. I think it’s great!

For the body I used US L crochet hook (8.00MM), and for the area the buttons are on I used a US K crochet hook (6.50MM). The colors can be used in any way you like, my pattern was red, white, blue, white, repeat. For my scarf A is red, B is White and C is blue. I crocheted this piece in the round.

Chain 100 with color A, connect with slip stitch

Round 1: Color A, Single crochet across

Round 2: Color B, Single crochet across

Round 3: Color C, Double crochet in back loop only

Round 4: Color B, Single crochet across

Round 5: Color A, single crochet in back loop only

Repeat these 5 round until the desired length. I repeated 6 times on my piece.

Since the colors change so often I carried the yarns up with every new row, a trick I learned in knitting. The small piece I attached; chain 18 with smaller hook, and single crochet until desired length (The shorter the piece the more “scrunch the scarf will have); hides the carrying of the yarn.

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And there you go…  

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Cartoon voices recycled

Have you ever noticed that cartoon voices get recycled over the years? The industry must only have a handful of voice actors. Makes me wonder how hard it is…..or is it?

Where does this come from you ask? Well in my little cell of a hotel room, the only entertainment we have (besides jumping on the hotel bed) is the T.V., thank you “idiot box!” Me on the internet and my two year old watching Cartoon Network, and I hear the voice of the son from “American Dad.” I jump up, because although I love this show, and was watching it late last night, it is highly inappropriate for my little one. It was not “American Dad” but a kid show. Naturally I started thinking about all the different shows that have the same voices. Two come to mind as the most recognizable for me.

Cree Summer is the voice of the purple poodle, Chloe, from “Clifford the Big Red Dog” on PBS. I recognized the voice but it took me awhile to realize she is also the voice of Number 5 from “Code name: Kids Next Door” that I used to watch all the time. Number 5 was the coolest KND ever! She is on tons more, like Curious George, episodes and 2nd movie, and Elmyra from “Tiny Toon Adventures.”

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The best and most recognizable for me is the ever talented, hilarious, and OH SO HANDSOME (yeah I said it!), Patrick Warburton. His list of voiced characters is ridiculous! The Tick, Kronk (Emperor’s New Groove), Buzz Lightyear (the Disney series), Joe Swanson (Family Guy) , Rip Riley (Archer). I can’t even fit them all. Every time I hear his voice the channel surfing stops.

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Who is your most recognizable animated voice?

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A visit Downtown was a let down

Coming from California, I have certain expectations of Downtown living. Typically this is where all the quaint little shops are, restaurants for all cultures and maybe a farmers market with locally grown produce, or even local artists and their crafts. I was naive to think this was standard practice for downtown areas across the Nation, that was my first mistake, but certainly not my last.

As we drove into downtown Fayetteville I was excited, the buildings were beautifully historic and there was a clock tower smack in the middle. Hello photo ops!

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Enter my next mistake, it was a Sunday. Saturday and Sundays are pretty big shopping days since it is the weekend and the 9 to 5’ers are typically off. this being said, most of the smaller shops will close on Monday or Tuesday. Every single shop was CLOSED!!! But there were cars everywhere? There are two large churches, so I suppose I’d be categorized as a heathen; not going to church and wanting to shop instead?

I was super bummed. No farmers market, and I could count the number of eateries open on one hand. This does not bode well for my new residence.

Worse thing: There are some really COOL shops here. How do I know since they were closed you ask? I was not too proud to cup my eyes against the shop windows. There are adorable antic shops and artsy home decor shops. There is also a do-it-yourself bead shop where you can host “make it and take it” jewelry parties. Also a yarn shop, and a wine shop (Choir of Angels singing).

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Best thing: I can go back on an open day! Which may be tricky with my little one and a wide stroller. Not to mention they have an amazingly yummy coffee shop called “Rude Awakening” that also sells truffles. Until next time.

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It was a zipper kind of day

Recently I’ve lost some weight since I’ve had my son and have been able to fit into most of my pre-pregnancy shorts. Today I was super annoyed because my zipper continuously fell. All day it was unzipping itself. How annoying!!!!

My loving husband, in attempts to squelch my increasing moodiness and annoyance, took me to Old Navy and bought me some new shorts. On a side note, Old Navy gives a 10% Military discount everyday. (Before it was only Mondays.)

He insisted I throw away the offending shorts, NOT A CHANCE, I just got these suckers to fit. Internet to the rescue! This YouTube video is so funny! This is how I looked all day, zipping my zipper, and the fix is so simple I can’t believe I didn’t think of it. Just use a key ring to keep the zipper up, DUH! Hopefully the embed code works, if not just click on the link.

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Elegant Crescent Moon skinny scarf

Since it is summer, I’m always on the lookout for skinny scarf ideas. About a month ago I purchased The Complete Photo Guide to Crochet by Margaret Hubert, and it’s been a super resource in my new adventures of crocheting. It’s super easy to read, very direct, and if I do by chance get confused or turned around there’s likely a YouTube video to help.

It has taken me quite a bit of time to thumb through the entire book. Towards the end, Margaret has some great patterns for crochet edging. The one I like the most is the crescent moon edging. It is so beautiful I thought it could stand alone given the right yarn. Plus she categorizes each stitch, beginner, intermediate and advanced. This particular one is advanced so naturally I responded with “Challenge Accepted!

Then I happened upon some acrylic yarn blend with metallic colored thread, and it was only $1 at my local craft store. Hello experiment time!

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i love the color and the rainbow metallic undertones. I used the entire skein to make it nice and long for versatility of wear.

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Just goes to show you, even an extremely intricate pattern can be worked up by a beginner if it’s written clearly and easy to follow.

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Steps and Ladders stitch (Rib and Welt)

With our home not being ready till the first of July, thank you Army, we are staying at an extended stay hotel. It’s not too bad, unless you consider the zero privacy mommy and daddy have, the zero space for the little bit we brought with us, and the 2-burner electric stove (OH, how I hate electric burners), and the no oven which limits our menu greatly. Hey, it can always be worse, I mean we can be here during hurricane season, having thunderstorms and flooding, what a minute….AAAHHHH!!! (eyes closed tight, heels clicking) “There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home,” nope…still here.

Well taking it all into account, I have tons of knitting/crocheting, and blogging time. I thought I’d share one of my favorite stitches, steps and ladders. It’s very versatile, and a simple knit and purl series. Plus, I think it has a kind of masculine feel to it. I’ve made a few projects with this pattern, first a hat for my big Bro, in his favorite Raider color scheme.  Picture 166

A couple days ago I whipped up a toddler cowl for my little guy. He loves choo-choo trains so that meant a trip to Walmart for some novelty train buttons. They’re kind of difficult to button and unbutton, but oh so cute!DSC00275

It’s so difficult to get a 2-year old to stand still for a picture, they mostly end up blurry, or a huge shot of his face, lol.DSC00287

Once and awhile I can get a decent one, I discovered the secret is using continuous shooting.

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I got this stitch from Vogue Stitchionary Volume 1, hard copy. Luckily Lily Sugar ‘n Cream has it available for free =), this is a link to their new free pattern directory. It is officially called Rib and Welt pattern, just click the link for the stitch, but I like steps and ladders better, yes, I’m one of those that renames things.

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