Thursday, September 27, 2007

An Introduction to Me and My Family

I just wrote to a new lady that I've been emailing, she and I are trying to plan some time to get together, but she wanted to know a little bit about me. Here's what I wrote... I think it's an interesting Time-Capsule-Like shot of my life.
Next week Frank turns five (on Monday) and then Wednesday we leave for a two week trip home... to Phoenix, Arizona. We moved up here (to Rock Springs, Wyoming) at the beginning of the summer after trying to get a job in Lander/Riverton for about eight months. My husband and I are from Phoenix, Arizona, born and raised; we love the desert and our home, but decided that we wanted to get out of the "concrete jungle" that Phoenix had become (especially the crime and pollution). So, two years ago we started looking at the places where our family lived for a new place to settle and raise our boys... we knew we wanted to be near family, we just had to decide whom we wanted to live near and what area. Last summer we came to visit my GP's, Uncle, Aunt, and Cousins family (all in Lander). We kept extending our visit and just didn't want to go home. So, when we got home, we started trying to figure out what to do for a living. My husband was a Marine for 13 years and then went into the high-tech field of IC Chip production. He didn't really love it, but the pay was good. So, the fact that he's now retraining in a much more relaxed job is a great thing for us... even though we took a 45% pay cut to come to a comparable cost of living place (thanks to the Oil Boom!) I feel like I'm starting over again financially as well as location wise.

The hardest part of moving is that we left a LARGE circle of friends in Arizona, as well as my Father-In-Law and my Aunt, both of whom we are close too. One of my friend's birthdays in October 5th and her husband is helping to fincance my drive home so I can surprise her on her birthday (which she's figured out but I don't think she's planning to tell him that!)

I've always thought it would be neat to do what you do with homes... buy, fix, sell, but it's just never happened for me. Presently we're living in an apartment (which we are paying for with our retirement money) because our home sale in Arizona fell thorugh (on the day of closing back in June). We are eagerly awaiting a new buyer for our home (which is in Mesa, Arizona).

I worked for 10 years (basically as an admin assistant, then for a year as a professional photographer). Then, when I was pregnant with Frank (by soon-to-be-five year old) I quit and have been a SAHM since - although it seems I'm seldom "at home", we keep quite busy between social, educational, and family visits, I'm always out doing "something" with them.

That's funny about the "knocking back a beer" because while Tom (my hubby) wasn't alcoholic he did drink A LOT. His old friend Jack (Daniels) has ruined his stomach, so now he'll have an occassional beer or as a luxury a mild Jack and Coke from time to time. Just this year I decided to learn to drink wine... I needed to relax and red wine suppose to be very good for you. Mostly, I've found I enjoy Arbor Mist, which I understand is like kids' stuff, but since I've never drank, it's enough for me. ;D

When I was a new mom, I decided I needed something "just for me", not as a "mom" or a "wife", but a hobby of my own. I've sewn since I was five and made a few quilts, which I enjoyed, so, I decided to focus on that one hobby and have been quite passionate about it.

What else? We don't watch a lot of TV... actually we sold our TV before we left and presently don't own one. We do spend a lot of time on the computer (me working on pictures and surfing and my husband playing shooter or builder games and surfing). My husband likes to build movie prop replicas and he belongs to a professional costuming group (
The 501st Stormtrooper Legion) where he goes around dressed as Darth Vader doing charity work, raising toy donations which he then delivers to sick kids. I love this thing that he does and we are eager to start doing it again, although he's got to "recruit" a few stormtroopers to work with him for a better impact. He founded the group in Phoenix (Dune Sea Garrison) seven years ago with three other guys and when we left there were over forty members... that was hard to leave so many of those friends behind, but... oh well! Life moves on. Like I said, we are both eager to start costuming up here.

Well... I know there's more about me to learn, but, that should give you something to chew on while still leaving something for us to talk about!

I just realized that I didn't write about Jack... he's my curly-haired-monster-boy... who loves trains and pretending to be things (presently Superman is his favoirte thing to be followed by Buzz Lightyear and a Dragon).

Like I said, an interesting snapshot of our lives. Perhaps you've just learned a little tidbit that you previously didn't know about me!

Suzy :D

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Life in the Universe

My favorite science class ever was in college... called "The Search for Life in the Universe". The whole class was about the probability of intelligent life existing elsewhere in the Universe. (That's assuming we have intelligent life here on our planet!) Growing up, my family always looked to stellar objects as things of interest, so perhaps this class just continued that investigation. In any case, any time I see a news story about astronomy related topics, I stop to read it. (That and Egyptian / Pyramid / Mummy stuff... I always read that too.) Now, it's not like I get subscribtions to magazines, or constantly look for this stuff, but, if I happen to see it, I always stop to read it. Also, it's one of the interesting, "happy" topics that come across the newswires, besides that, I enjoy it.

Here's one I saw yesterday: NASA imagines Earth-like worlds: Computer models provide specs for 14 different planet types.

I think it's interesting to ponder the idea that we are not alone in the universe. It's such an enormous place with so many possibilities. I wonder if it will be in this life (as in life on this planet) or in another after-life that we will become aware of and interact with the other sentient-beings that must exist.

Suzy :D
PS: There are some AMAZING pictures in's Image Library. Take a look! :D

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Travel Time

I was thinking this week about the differences in traveling here in Wyoming versus in the city. Just about anywhere I want to go (in town) I get to within 15 minutes... with perhaps three to six stop lights. Versus inthe city, to go 15 miles I would easily encounter two-dozen lights! Out of the city, on a long drive, I'm out of phone range for most of it.
So. I used to have projects to do on the passenger seat, things like sorting papers, or crocheting, for in traffic. I can't do that now because there IS NO TRAFFIC! Also, I use to talk on my headset to people on the phone a lot... now, I either get places so fast there's no time for a phone call or their's no phone service. Either way, I spend a lot less time waiting on other cars and a lot more time visiting with my boys (not to metion listening to CD's).

I just looked at some pictures from our last two road trips (over the past two weekends). I've been taking time to enjoy the scenery. Also, Frank was playing with the camera... we forget how boring the back seat can be!

Front seat or back, remember to enjoy the ride!
Suzy :D
PS: I'm part of an email group that regurally writes to eachother about what we are grateful for... here's my contribution for today:
I am grateful for an enjoyable weekend spent visiting with my cousin and his family. What a pleasure to meet new family members and find you all get along and enjoy one another!

I am grateful for the INCREDIBLE rainbows we saw on our drive home and for following the prompt to stop and take pictures of them, and how just minutes after getting back on the road we were able to stop and enjoy the remenants of our first Wyoming snowfall while waiting for an accident to clear... if not for taking pictures of the rainbow, we very well could have BEEN the accident... so nice that we enjoyed the scenery all along the way home!

Thursday, September 20, 2007


September 7th we took possession of our apartment. I haven't lived in an apartment in a lot of years... it sure is different than living with others (in a house) or owning your own home!

We've been very busy fixing the place up (it was in quite a state when we got it) and moving in and unpacking. Tomorrow morning I'll be clearing the rest of the boxes out of the living areas (to storage / trash / donations). Then, I'll just have my room and the closets to go through / organize; at least the main living areas will be box free (and ready for some pictures on the walls). I wish I could find the portraits of my boys!

I wanted to show you a picture of Jack. Both boys have been having SO MUCH fun with their freshly discovered toys, but I'm constantly battling not being able to see their floor for the mess they create. They use to be quite good at putting away one thing before getting out the next... I've been thinking of putting a lock on their closet door to keep them out without my help, but I'm sure they'd start getting into other things. Anyway, tonight I said "why's your floor such a mess?!" and Jack said "'Cause I like it that way." He's been a little tart lately! I don't think he was being definant, just honest like only a two-and-a-half year old can be! Here's a picture of him in the said messy room.


Suzy :D

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Some Interesting Things

I just read this interesting article on The 10 Best Foods You're Not Eating. I thought I'd share it with you.

I've also been meaning to share (and Becky's post jogged my memory) that while I also have some great bags from Reusable Bags, they were very pricey (and are well built). I love how Becky recycled her old sheets into something new AND cute AND personal. Anyway, what I wanted to share was that I've recently found Home Depot to be carrying some nicely made reusable bags for just $1.99 each! The interesting thing about them is that they have plastic clips that: 1) keep the bag closed; 2) hang the bag on your shopping cart; and 3) hang the bag on the checkout stand bag racks. Pretty nice for such a low price! I just tried to find the bags online and it seems they are so new, they aren't online yet. You can try your local store though, ask for "Carryalls" with SKU 988941.

Let's see, they're are all sorts of special anti-spill "snack cups" on the market for toddlers, but I've found that just using a plastic drink cup from a restaurant (about 3-4" diameter and 6" tall) works best for my boys (2 and 4 yo). They can slip them between they're legs in the car seats or in cup holders. They are small enough around for them to hold, and they don't have to tip them to the side where (inevitably) crumbs fall out. They also stack neatly and store in the car easily.

On a road trip this weekend, with Jack potty training, he needed to poop out in the middle of nowhere. I had his potty seat (here's a similar potty seat to ours) with me and thought of bending over behind him and holding it up (a back-aching proposition), then I had a better idea. I looped the handles from a plastic bag on the potty seat handles, then stretched the edge of the bag around the seat frame. Then I set the potty seat between two matching height suitcases that I'd taken out of the van. It worked PERFECTLY! I know they sell "travel" potty seats, but this worked out VERY well and we will use it again I know. Oh. Obviously, I wrapped up the items in the bag and disposed of it at the very next stop (I actually held it upside down before tying it to let the pee drain out on the dirt instead of it leaking in my van. :D

Those are all the tips I can think to share presently.

Suzy :D
PS: One other article I just found interesting... on Aroma and Arousal: Scents that Turn Men On.