May 2004

And boy is it hot! It’s funny…two days ago I had to shut the windows because the wind was too cold in the house to be in a short-sleeved cotton shirt. Today Tj got so hot before work, I don’t think the sun’s even completely up then, it’s just kinda twilight. And later I was on the couch watching something on TV and it was so hot…I wished I had a ceiling fan in the living room…we’re gonna have to pull out the box fan pretty soon!

Another big change…a couple of weeks ago I felt like I never had anything to blog. These last few days I’ve been blogging like crazy and still haven’t caught up! Whew!

Awwww…we had the cutest puppy in our yard these last few days! I saw it and pointed it out to Tj Friday. It was back on Saturday for a little while. Sunday we finally went outside to pet it for a long time…it was so well behaved, and cute! After we’d been out there a while (Tj mowed the lawn and I trimmed the roses [I think I’ve finally killed them!]) I brought out some water and chorizo…the puppy just sat still (only wagging his tail) while I fed him each piece! I was very surprised that he didn’t try to get the meat himself, but he was very patient. On a sad note there’s a cat that sometimes hangs out in our yard too…the puppy saw her and went up to her and the cat attacked the dog! The puppy hadn’t even done anything threatening and the cat scratched the puppy! He was ok, though, he just got a good bit more petting. I haven’t seen him around today…I hope he comes back.

I’ve got another confession to make…something I hate about myself.

I’ve never been very competitive. Ever. My family was never a game playing family (my mom claimed that it was because Papa doesn’t like to lose); but my best girlfriends’ family always played, and I always envied them. I loved playing games over at their house…they had a large family, and are the type of people who always had other people over at their house (as opposed to my family…I could probably count on my fingers and toes the times we’d had people over).

Since Tj and I have gotten married we’ve played games a bit, only every once in a while. The bad (depressing, embarrassing, etc.) new is that I can be a sore loser!!! I’m never a sore loser when I have a chance of winning…when we play gin rummy or Uno, things like that, I’m fine. I win some and I lose some. No problem. However…the first game that ever caused me a problem was You Don’t Know Jack…I never even got close to winning that! And Boggle is just as bad…Tj always has 30+ points and my usual number is 4. And instead of just calmly saying “Ok, I think I’m done with this game…let’s play another.” I get all huffy! I just don’t know what to do with myself! I want to conquer this problem, but the only way I know how to do that is to keep playing…and Tj’s not stupid…it’s not that fun to play with me when I’m like this.

The incident that prompted this entry happened last night. Jen and Jan gave us the Ebay game a while back and we played it for the first time last night. You’re given bid cards of various dollar amounts…during a bid session I placed a bid that was lower than the previous one…after that session was over Tj noticed my mistake, pointed it out to me, and obviously then won the item. I was annoyed at myself, and determined to do better. As the game went on I thought I was being more careful…my turn came up and I made another bid…I saw Tj staring at the card I’d placed a little, but I thought nothing of it…after that round was over he promptly pointed out that I’d done the same thing, and he won that item. I was so annoyed at myself for making the same mistake again; Tj just said “Well, it was in my best interest to just let you make that mistake” and obviously it was…I’d probably have done the same thing. The problem is that I was so annoyed that I snapped at him. Now I’d never have done that if we’d been in public, I’d have been too ashamed of myself. This is something I just have to work on…I don’t know how, but I don’t want to be like this. I don’t like this for myself, and I definitely don’t want my kids to think this is the way they should behave. But most important, I hate for Tj to think I’m a sore loser…but there’s no way for him to not think that if I continue behaving like this. We have played poker with some friends before, and one time I didn’t win even one hand…I completely blew that off…it didn’t bother me a bit. It’s just when it’s the two of us. Something’s gotta give.

I have a couple more subjects to blog about before I can get to blogging our Canary Islands trip. I can’t believe I haven’t gotten to it yet…but I’ve been blogging like crazy (for me, that is).

The talk is still that Gonzo’ll take the new house he’s found. I’m really glad they have that option…I’d like to see it; it sounds like a great house. The only bad thing I see about it is that the people who come to replace Gonzo might be screwed. We were the first Americans here who weren’t provided with a house. But a really nice thing is that the Gov’t did give us appliances. It was a crazy deal, and I’ll explain the whole thing here. Our servicing base in Spain is Rota…a Navy base. One of the guys who worked here before us (J Sanchez) had been stationed there before he was stationed here. He was a bit of a schmoozer, and worked out with the appliance guy at Rota to lend us what we needed (just like the Navy people at Rota get) even though we’re in the Air Force. When it came time to hand over those things from Joe and Dawn to us we tried to do everything by the book, and we ran into trouble. Apparently this deal hadn’t gone through proper channels, but through friends of Sanchez’s. We almost didn’t get the appliances, but in the end it all worked out.

We always assumed that we’d hand over these same appliances to the new guys…but their new house comes supplied with a refrigerator, washer/dryer, dishwasher (lucky jokers!), etc. If we send these appliances back to Rota there’s no assurance that if new people stationed here need them from Rota they’ll get them. They’ll just have to go out and buy European appliances, and then try to sell them when they leave. That’s not such a big deal…it’s just another hassle, having to sell stuff before you leave and possibly taking a loss because you don’t want to have to finish the sale when you’re in America and the goods are in Spain. Another thing…if they do need the appliances from Rota I’m not sure that Gonzo would remember that they were available, or would even know how to go about getting them. I hate to say, but he seems royally incompetent sometimes; Tj had to show him how to use an ATM…he didn’t even know how to put his card in!!! What’s up with that??!!!

Tj said yesterday that Gonzo’s dad is making plans to come out here. Gonzo asked him to wait until he had a car so he could pick him up from the airport and until he had a bigger place to stay (they’re in a small two-bedroom apartment…all three girls share a tiny room equipped with twin beds). The dad said he didn’t want to wait; I think he’s already driven to the nearest base and is waiting for the first available hop! Yesterday at work Gonzo asked Tj if he needed to get approval to go out to Rota over the weekend to pick up his dad…Tj said if it’s just the weekend he was free to go. Not two minutes later the boss walked into the room and Gonzo told him he wanted to go to Rota and asked him for clearance! I swear…if I’d been there I’d have said something I’d regret. I told Tj he should’ve asked Gonzo (as soon as the boss left, of course) why he’d bothered asking Tj what he thought in the first place. And then he should tell Gonzo to at least have the decency to let Tj leave the room before completely disregarding what he said. How rude!

Something else Tj told me awhile back is that the first day that Gonzo was at our house and Tj was showing him all around they were in the trastero and Gonzo saw the box that the fans came in. Tj’d told him that two were the Government’s and would therefore be passed straight to Gonzo when we left, and two we bought from Joe and Dawn, Gonzo would be able to buy them from us. Gonzo asked which ones came in the boxes; Tj said the Governmental ones. Gonzo then asked Tj if he could mark ‘Government’ on the boxes!! What’s up with that? Did he think we wouldn’t remember in six weeks which ones came in the boxes and which ones didn’t? Did he think we’d cheat him out of something??? I know it seems like all I do here is gripe about Gonzo, but with these kinds of happenings how else am I supposed to feel? I think Gonzo should keep his marker to himself.

He just never seems to listen to us. I don’t know if he thinks that just because we’re such Americans we know nothing about Spain…I guess, though, that it’s just his way. We told him several times when stores close…it’s a hard thing to get used to, we know. Almost everything closes from 2-5pm for siesta, and nothing’s open after 9pm…gas stations may stay open until 10pm, but even they probably close at 9pm. We’d told him that a couple of times since he got here. Then he was over at the house last Saturday using our computers…he’d said he come over around noon…at about 6 or 7pm he called and said he wanted to come over and the whole family wanted to come too…so I set out some chorizos/cheeses/olives/bread sticks and put on a movie for the girls. By 11pm Grace was really ready to go, and went back to the office to tell Gonzo so. She told him that they still had to get cat food before they got home. Tj told them once again that nothing was open at that hour. Maybe they learned that night that we really do know what we’re talking about. But I wouldn’t bet any money on it.

Today while washing dishes I was hit with a bit of fatigue. My arms felt a little weak, like I had the flu or something. It wasn’t even bad enough that I had to stop; they just felt kinda light.

Later when Tj came home I experienced a wave of emotion…argh, I really hate that. I don’t want him to walk in the door, sit down and take off his shoes and then have to deal with a teary wife. This isn’t the first time this has happened, so it’s not a 100% pregnancy symptom…just a female thing, I guess. But I always feel bad. The thing with him, though, is that he never minds holding me while I cry…he’s a real sweetie. And after a few seconds he always makes me laugh. He says it’s pretty funny that I’ve cried several times right after he came home, I must want him to go back to work…I just tell him it’s because if I cry when I’m alone there’s no one there to hold me. Ahhhh, hormones.

Anyway, as usual after I cried (I only shed about 10 tears…it wasn’t some long drawn-out thing) I was so tired…so I had a nap. I think the pregnancy napping has definitely begun.

I was just reading …adventures in parenthood‘s Grammie Spoons entry and it reminded me of the special spoons we had at Momee’s. I loved the red plastic-handled ones. I didn’t eat with them often, but when I did I thought I was all that.

I don’t know how it started, but when my cousin Josh was little my Uncles teased him about the gold colored spoons Momee had. He would forget about the spoon when he went home; and the next time we had a get-together at Momee’s he would be given a regular stainless steel spoon and one of the Uncles would take a gold spoon. It was always fun to see how long it took Josh to see that someone else had a gold spoon and he didn’t. Of course the Uncles could hardly wait for him to notice. I guess it’s an uncle’s job to torment their young nephews and nieces.

Ah, those were the days!