coast guard life

Fun decorative signs that I can’t wait to get my hands on

Coast Girl Designs is a sign-making business by a fellow coastie wife named Erica. I LOVE her designs and I can’t wait to get some.

This is my absolute favorite. I MUST have one.

woodsign-flipflops

And maybe this one too.

woodsign-drseuss

This one is sweet.

woodsign-wonderful

This makes me giggle.

woodsign-fantasy

I think of a few friends for this one. 😉

woodsign-bossy

This is a great one for fellow coastie families. So true.

woodsign-anchor

(All images are courtesy of Erica’s pinterest page.)

Erica will personalize signs with any quote or phrase you like. Visit her Esty Shop or Facebook page for more samples and pricing details. **I’ve not been compensated in any way for this post. I just love her designs so much, I wanted to share them. 😉

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.
~ C. S. Lewis

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Missions Accomplished

Well, we did it. We flew the boys up to Washington State and they are in good hands with family until we finish wrapping up our move from Louisiana.

It was a long day of travel for all of us but we made it with no unfortunate incidents.

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I was terribly worried about the process of going through security at the airport. I was prepared for them to ask us to remove the boys from their carriers but I was so nervous about how it would actually go. Leading up to the trip, I talked our travel plans over extensively with our vet and she gave us Acepromazine to help calm the boys during the long day. We gave the boys their first dose at the house before starting the 3 hour trip to the airport. By the time we reached the security checkpoint, they were groggy and docile and, thankfully, the Houston airport has private screening rooms which are completed enclosed, not just curtained areas. Both boys (one at a time) stayed quietly in my arms while their carriers were scanned through the x-ray machines. And for me, knowing that we were in an enclosed area where I wouldn’t lose them if they fought me was a huge relief. 

Once we got through that hurdle we had hours to wait for our plane. Shortly before boarding we gave the boys another dose of Ace. (The vet recommended every 4-6 hours.) We got on and settled fairly easily. We had upgraded our seats to Economy Plus that morning for a little extra room for us all and boy am I glad we did. We flew back sans kitties to Louisiana this week in Economy and the difference in space was significant. I think we would have had a massively difficult time maneuvering the carriers under the seats in Economy. Economy Plus was definitely the way to go, and might be our choice for all future traveling.

We were delayed almost an hour before take-off for a ‘maintenance issue’ and then the flight was 5 hours long, so about an hour before landing the boys started to wake up. They were starting to meow and scratch at their carriers in protest. I took each in turns to the bathroom and gave them one more dose of Ace which carried them through the rest of the flight, waiting for baggage, and then the drive to Don’s parents’ house.

Finally after about 12 full hours, we were DONE. No potty accidents. No lost kitties. What a relief.

Mission 1: Accomplished.

We were with the boys for a full week in their temporary home. They were a little uncertain at first but settled in fairly quickly.

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Olli kept his distance for the first day. His ‘stranger-danger’ sense was on high alert but eventually he came out to investigate the surroundings.

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He even remembered those strangers whom he had seen at his house a year or two before.

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Milo, ever adventurous, wanted to explore the outside.

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We allowed a few supervised visits. And even one unsupervised until he escaped the backyard and was found looking guilty on the FRONT porch.

Olli is not the adventuring type but he came out to sniff the surroundings. Just a little.

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Milo found a perfect lounging area, just his size.

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Of course, Olli stole it.

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Wait a minute, something isn’t right in this picture! 😛

With so many snuggle spots and a house twice the size of our apartment, the boys probably hardly notice that we are gone!

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But I MISS MY KITTIES!!! Thanks to the benefits of technology, I get photos every day or so by text. Thanks Jean! 😉

Mission 2 was also accomplished – we found a house! Cross your fingers folks. We close June 2nd if all goes well. It all feels very unreal and exciting at the same time.

Just when the caterpillar thought the world was ending, he turned into a butterfly.
~ Proverb

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In Case You Were Wondering…

This is me lately…

overthinking

I am prone to a bit of overthinking on any given day but lately, it’s escalated to a ridiculous degree.

With our upcoming move in late May/early June, we have a swarm of details to coordinate. I say ‘we’ lightly. I do a lot of the coordinating. Don does the heavy lifting when it comes to physically moving things, loading the truck, doing the driving, etc. Oh, yeah, we are planning to do it all ourselves. All 2,678 miles, give or take some miles depending on route.

In addition to the move, we are attempting to buy our first house. 2,678 miles away from our current location. We have a trip planned to visit and tour houses in person soon, hoping beyond hope that we will find ‘the one’ and be able to make an offer that is accepted, and that we’ll close in time with our physical trip with the moving truck approximately 45 days later. Talk about hoping the stars align and miracles happen.

We’ve also recently decided to bring the cats with us when we fly up to look at houses. This should help alleviate a lot of headache while packing, loading, and driving later. No having to find pet friendly hotels along the way, no worries about cats breaking out of vehicles or strange hotel rooms in strange places, or busting out on us while packing up and cleaning the old apartment. But it’s adding a lot of other worries and details to flying the cats – which we’ve never done before. New territory all around! Yippee. (Please let it go smoothly, please let it go smoothly.)

Olli in carrier

Here’s Olli making himself at home in his new in-flight travel carrier. It’s really encouraging to see him so accepting of it!

Milo-Carrier

Milo on the other hand, plays outside his, but he’s smart. He KNOWS what it’s for and isn’t going in there unless he has to.

So, amongst all these fast approaching activities, my thoughts look something like this:

  • Will we have issues with airport security? Will they make us take the cats out of the carriers?
  • Remember to make a list of all the things to bring (and buy) to help ease the stress: a piece of well-worn clothing that smells like us, some toys, their (small) beds, Rescue Remedy, Comfort Zone pheromone spray, extra sedatives, wee wee pads for accidents…is this all going to fit in our suitcases/carry-ons/in the carrier?!! (And list done. Check.)
  • What if we find a house and the financing doesn’t work out? I’m super nervous about the loan panning out.
  • How are we going to eat all the food (frozen meat = DEER) in the freezer before we move? I suppose we’ll give away what we don’t… Mental note: don’t buy new meat. Eat what we have!
  • Make another appointment to get the cats checked for their health certificates shortly before the trip.
  • Remember to get a VA certification letter. Figure out how to get a VA certification letter.
  • Remember to be checking job listings! (Anyone need someone with fantastic, and varied, administrative, financial, and editorial skills in Kitsap County, Washington? Check me out on LinkedIn. Seriously, if anyone knows of any opportunities they could refer to me, I’d be ever so grateful.)
  • Should I be packing tonight? What else can I pack this early? What else do we not need or use regularly? What can I pack and not make our home seem completely dull and minimalist? Does that even matter? LOL More boxes packed now means less later.
  • What should I be doing?! Am I wasting time today being unproductive?
  • What about all the things that need to get accomplished at work? Will I be able to finish it all? Will I be leaving them in a bind on anything? How will I fit it all in??!!
  • I am going to miss so many people…how do I spend meaningful time with them with such little time left?
  • We still need to pick a rental truck company…an auto shipping company…
  • How do I keep up the blog? Do I even try or just take a break?
  • Stop fretting about things you can’t control!!! Just make lists and take things one at a time.

themomentI’m trying. Really. I am.

All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.
~ Anatole France

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New Adventures Ahead

It’s that time again – transfer season. Our time with Station Lake Charles is nearing its end and we will soon be moving and starting fresh somewhere new. If only we knew where! We’ve been waiting for the official news for over a month. The suspense is dreadful. Are we going to go back to the NW? To the East Coast? Will we stay in the Gulf Coast Region? Maybe today will be the day. (This has been our mantra, every day for the last couple of weeks.)

We’ve had some good times in Lake Charles but we are ready to make the transition to the next adventure. Four years in one place has been hard for our rambling spirits that look forward to the variety and opportunity that comes with moving every few years. This was the longest stretch we had in one place and our feet are itchy to get moving again.

We are on pins and needles to hear where the next landing point will be so that we can start making plans. We’ve discussed so many possibilities over the last month that our heads are spinning with ideas from living in military housing (which would be a first for us), to renting a small apartment for one year to save money and to give us time to search the area to buy a house for the first time, to building our own house even. (Don likes to dream BIG.)

Despite our eagerness to make a change, we will be saying goodbye to many good friends and to many experiences and opportunities that this area has offered. For me, I will always remember Lake Charles as the place where I learned how to ride a motorcycle! I’ve been intimidated by motorcycles my whole life. I loved being a passenger with others: my dad, boyfriends growing up, and with Don over the years. But I never imagined I’d have the courage to ride alone. Our frequent trail riding trips have been a blast and I hope that wherever we move we will still have nearby options for riding off-road. Living ten minutes from a local gun range has also afforded us ample opportunity to go out for a day of target shooting, skeet shooting, or pistol practice. Hardly a week goes by without a trip to the range. It is something I know we will miss. I dearly hope we live near a range again or live near forest land or wilderness that is open to outdoor shooting. Don has been privileged to join some great hunting trips and we’ve enjoyed trips together to New Orleans and southwestern Texas. We’ve even done some fun things with the local community like the Beast Feast and the Color Run. Lots of great memories.

As for the people…so many of you have opened your homes and hearts to us, given us opportunities, and shared your Cajun culture with us during our time here. You’ve stamped our lives with the blessing of your friendship and we will carry the memories and experiences with us always. (Sorry to sound so sappy; we aren’t leaving yet!) I just want you all to know that we appreciate you and that we have enjoyed our time with you in this corner of the world. We’ll make a few more memories before we go. 😉

A single rose can be my garden… a single friend, my world.
~ Leo Buscaglia