I thought I’d post a little update on what’s been going on…
I finished my tour on board the LINCOLN and I’ve moved to Rhode Island. I’m here by myself for a couple of months while I go to school. The rest of the family is still in WA and will join me in August when I finish this school.
Speaking of this school, it’s tough. I’ll just say this, I get mega awful cold sores when I’m stressed, and I’m getting one the size of Rhode Island on my lip. Rhode Island, this state isn’t big enough for the both of us.
Because of our situation of being separated, I’m temporarily living in Single Sailor housing while my family finishes their time in WA. B will pack out the house (soon!) all by himself, and I will unpack and settle everything in before they get here. My plan has been that everything will be done before they get here so when they do show up, it really feels like they’re home as soon as they step foot in the house.
This has been a hard move so far for Isak. He has really enjoyed his school in WA. He made friends right off the bat and has a very nice circle of friends that he doesn’t want to leave - and who can blame him? Coming from the school he went to in Spain where the kids were horrible and he had to deal not only with bullying but also a school who talked the talk but would never walk the walk when it came to disciplining bullies. Here we’ve enjoyed a school where there is a feeling of respect from the other students. I understand his not wanting to move, but hopefully he’ll enjoy his school here next year.
This is a beautiful time of year in Newport. America’s Cup is this coming up weekend so there are a lot of tourists here. I’ve been enjoying hiking here, although I’m trying to play catch up in school so there won’t be any hiking for me this weekend.
I just got back from emergency leave for a funeral for my uncle/Godfather. It was sad, of course, but it was nice to honor him and to see our family that I hadn’t seen in about 25 years? He was buried at Great Lakes National Cemetery with military honors and it was a very short but poignant ceremony. I was very grateful that I was able to be there with my family for it.
It’s nice to be on terra firma for the next couple of years (possibly for the rest of my career). I miss my family but it is kind of nice to be able to scope out the place a bit before the family gets here so when they do come, I’ll be able to show them a lot of the fun stuff there is to do here. I’m also doing a little gardening; I usually have a black thumb but so far I’ve been able to grow a few things pretty successfully. The first challenge was to weed - there was a very neglected garden in front of the house that was thick with weeds. You can see the two back corners where I haven’t gotten the weeds up - imagine the entire dirt area looking just like that. I have a big pile of the weeds that I pulled up:
I planted some coriander seeds to grow cilantro, in two different areas. One of them is actually in the above picture on the right in the foreground, you can just barely see a couple of leaves coming up. That area isn’t doing as well as the other patch I planted - those are doing much better:
When the cilantro gets a little hardier, I’m going to transplant it to a shallow bowl-type planter I have so I can move it to my new place when I move in in August.
I also bought some starters for basil and rosemary that are thriving in my kitchen window:
I’m quite surprised, because I’m really usually quite terrible at growing anything and leave that up to B. Both of these plants have grown a LOT and are doing just great. The basil started out as just a couple of leaves and has shot up. I’ve been diligent about watering it, turning to it, encouraging it, and pinching off the buds before they flower. It is doing really great. The rosemary is a lot smaller but it’s also a lot hardier. I’ll plant the rosemary outside when we move but I think I’ll keep the basil in the kitchen and see how it does through the winter. It is really pretty in the window, too.
Last, I have a tomato plant that I bought when it was just a wee little thing and was looking frankly pretty sad. It was the best looking one and it was really wilty and pale. I transplanted it and within about a week it looked like this:
Now, 11 days later, it’s already looking like this:
There are a few buds on it already where the tomatoes are going to start. They should be ripe before the family gets here which is good. Back many years ago, we had a tomato plant and couldn’t figure out why we never got tomatoes on it. It turned out Anja would sneak out the front door (she was about 2) and pluck all the unripe, green tomatoes off the vine and eat them and then sneak back in. She had an awful rash on her chin that we finally figured out came from all the acid in the tomatoes. Ah, my girl - always up to mischief!
The kids finished the school year pretty strong. Anja got pretty great grades overall (they’re not getting letter grades yet, but she got mostly “+” grades which is great!) Isak finished his last semester with a 3.83 GPA…this year was quite a rollercoaster with him, but he managed to finish it with pretty good grades. I’m disappointed because he could have easily gotten a 4.0 if he had just done and turned in his homework. Hopefully next year will be better for him; I’d be happy with a 3.0 if it meant he completed and turned everything in and just had more challenges with his work.
Well, that’s pretty much the gist of what’s been going on with us. I don’t have a card reader or Photoshop to be able to post nicer pictures so I’m just making do with my ipad/cell phone for now until August. But come then I’ll have better pictures to post.