Friday, April 27, 2007

Newport Rhode Island

I am back from my mini-vacation to Newport Rhode Island. Wes and I had a great time and the weather turned out to be absolutely beautiful. However, if you know anything about East Coast stuff, you're probably saying to yourself, "hey, that's the USS Constitution and it's in Boston." Yes, you are correct. Since my husband in is the Navy and we were only an hour away from Boston, we went to visit the oldest commissioned naval ship in the US (and the oldest one in the world that still floats). My husband is also working on a model of this ship, so we took about 50 pictures. Since I had never been in Boston, it was cool just to be there.

Since we were in Boston anyway, and just a few steps from the Bunker Hill memorial, we decided to go visit. I must say that Boston is a beautiful city and even though we didn't go far, I thought it was a great area. The memorial had been closed for repairs, but "lucky" for us, is had just opened the day before. I say "lucky" because we decided to go to the top. 294 steps up, a quick (less than 3 minutes) look around and 294 steps back down. We were hurting by the time we got back down. But it was worth it. The view of the city was amazing.

Newport is known for it's summer homes, of which we visited five. Newport itself was quite charming and even though the trees were still bare, I completely understand why people would want to summer there. The above house is called The Marble House and was built for one of the Vanderbilt families. The houses were elaborate, beautiful and ostentatious. The Breakers, another Vanderbilt home, was 138,000 square feet and took a whole acre of land. The Marble House was the fourth house we visited. However, our jaws still dropped when we walked in. This was the most amazing, most beautiful, most spectacular house I've ever seen (of a private citizen: I've seen palaces in Russia). The trip to Newport was worth it just to see this house (but if you're there anyway, see The Breakers and The Elms too).

The trip to Newport was wonderful. I got to spend time with my husband (it was so good to see him again), visit (drive through) 6 states I'd never been too (Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts), and see new stuff. I also got to eat a lot of really good seafood. The drive there was 13 hours, thanks to a few mistakes of mapquest and my husband (we also hit the New York area at 5:00pm on a weekday). The trip back only took me 11 hours. My riding companion was another officer's wife, but she doesn't have a driver's license. The only thing I will say about her is that her favorite channel is the Disney channel, her favorite books are kids' books, and she's excited because her family got her a leap frog game for Christmas so she can work on her math. She also spent ages 3 through 18 in foster homes. At least I had company.

Unfortunately my husband has to stay in Rhode Island for three weeks. But, I did have substitute teacher training yesterday and I hope to start subbing next week. I have been really tired but I don't know if that's from the Zoloft or because so much is going on that I'm really tired. I guess we'll find out. Things are going well and I'm happy.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

My husband's back!!!

Wes got back yesterday. I was nervous but everything went well. It's almost like he never left. He was a gentleman and didn't expect sex the second he arrived, which is nice because after him being gone for almost 5 months I needed to just be with him for awhile first. He ate like he hadn't eaten the entire time he was gone. He complimented me on how clean the house was (notice I said was: there is now a ton of his stuff everywhere). After we finally said "hello" (after a long shower on his part because he stank), I announced I had done my part in dressing up to pick him up and was reverting back to sweats. He laughed. He fell asleep at 8:30pm and was up at 5:00am. He took another nap this afternoon too. Hopefully he'll still be able to sleep tonight. Tomorrow we leave for Rhode Island. Monday I come back by myself. He'll be gone three more weeks, but at least I got to see him.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


I'm counting down until I can go pick up my husband. To waste time I've been reading all the news from Virginia Tech. I am saddened by what happened. I am sick for all the family and friends of those who were killed and wounded. I don't think the university was remiss in its actions. Nothing in history would suggest the outcome that occurred. Having been a student for too many years, I know the isolation, depression and despair that school can cause. Being an international student must have made things even more difficult. Obviously that doesn't excuse the shooter's actions, but his actions speak of a very troubled young man. I feel so bad for his family in South Korea. They may only be getting bits and pieces of the news, and in translation besides. I pray for everyone affected. I pray for comfort and hope and mostly that they can eventually feel peace. I pray that those who had contact with this young man don't blame themselves for what happened, but that they learn from this experience. I pray that all involved will learn to forgive. I mostly pray that people will reach out more to those who need friends. And I pray that something like this never happens again.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Something good

This has been a good weekend. In no particular order. . . .
Yesterday it rained and blew. I didn't really want to go to church, but the days have been long and I knew I needed to get out of the house. The church is right next to a river and as I pulled up a Great Blue Heron flew over my car. It was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen (there's a link to a picture somewhere around here). After church, even though it was still raining, I put on jeans and a sweatshirt and headed to my favorite park. There was no one around but I saw a White Egret and, not one, but two Great Blue Herons. I wasn't that far from them and they are beautiful, tall and elegant. I watched them walk on land, wade in the water and then fly. Amazing. That alone made it a great weekend.

I talked to my grandma this weekend too. She said that she finished "updating" grandpa's life story for the family. Now that she has written it she realizes that his health had been declining quite rapidly at the end. Realizing this has made his death a little easier for her. She seems more accepting of his death and isn't blaming herself for not doing more. Of course she still misses him, but she seems more willing to live a life without him.

Last night at church they talked about missions. The focus this year is Eastern Europe, specifically, the Ukraine. I know a little something about the Ukraine and half of its population speaks Russian. I think I'm going to try to go on a mission trip this summer. I'm a strong believer in actually doing something for the population too, so I was pleased that the focus of the mission trip is actually an English language school. Even learning a little bit of English could greatly help out the economic future of the students. Many of the students will probably know some English but have never met a native speaker to practice with. This is a great way to help out these people and I would be using the knowledge I've spent half my life learning.

Book review. The Master of Petersburg by J. M. Coetzee. Before I start ripping this book apart, I'd like to say that Coetzee is an excellent writer. The first book I read by him was Waiting for the Barbarians. Sadly, this book is so good that everything else of his tends to pale in comparison. However, I think everybody should read Waiting for the Barbarians, especially those people involved in the war against terror. I also think Waiting for the Barbarians will be taught in literature classes centuries from now.

Having said that, The Master of Petersburg suffers from one major problem. The book is a fictional account of Dostoevsky return to St. Petersburg after the mysterious death of his stepson, whom, according to Coetzee, he loved very much. To understand the story you have to know something of Dostoevsky, the political situation in Russia at the time and the underground terrorists groups in Russia. However, if you know anything about all that, you find the premise of the book to be simply unbelievable. Kind of a catch-22, if you will. The writing is excellent and I did enjoy it except I kept thinking that Coetzee would have done better to have made Dostoevsky a fictional writer. Only then the story wouldn't have made much sense either. Also, how much hubris do you have, Coetzee, to think you know what Dostoevsky would have felt and thought? My opinion, skip this book and read Waiting for the Barbarians.

I guess that's it for now. We are in serious countdown mode until Wes gets home. I have a few errands to run today and then just trying not to panic until he gets here.

Saturday, April 14, 2007


I saw a therapist yesterday and I know he's the one for me. He had bird sculptures all over his office. Half were three dimensional and half two dimensional, large and beautifully painted. It was a very happy vibe and I loved it. He said that it appears that most of my depression is situational and will work itself out. But because I have a personal and family history of depression he wants me to take the Zoloft for 6 months and see him about twice a month. It sounds doable and just admitting I needed help has really made me feel better.

Wes comes home on Tuesday. Knowing this, the weather got cold and my eye feel like it's getting a sty. Cause nothing says sexy like a bulky sweater and a swollen puss filled eye. And he's flying into the navy base. The largest navy base in the country. I asked him where I should pick him up. At the terminal. How do I get there? Follow the signs. I think it's on the other side of the base. Thanks. I'll try to get there by Wednesday. I'm going to finish cleaning the house today. Victor's legos are starting to look like they're playing in the snow. I hate dusting and he has so many of them. And they break easily. Oh well. And I guess that's about it. Hope everyone has a great weekend.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


I went to the doctor yesterday. It's one of those places that first come, first serve, so you sign in and then wait the rest of the day. Thankfully I also take reading material with me. The doctor was very nice. She listened to me and then gave me a 30 day prescription for Zoloft, which I was on in 2000 when I was suicidal. But I have to go back in two weeks to let her know how I'm doing and she wouldn't renew the prescription if I didn't go to therapy. I'm not thrilled about that part, but I also don't like doctors who prescribe anti-depressants without making sure patients go to therapy (studies show that you need both to really kick depression in its ass). She also encouraged me to get involved in local clubs to socialize more. So thank you doctor for doing you job correctly and with compassion.

I have so many wonderful friends (and I haven't figured out how that happened), but unfortunately they have all declined my suggestion that they move to Virginia Beach (but it's so pretty here!). So yesterday I pulled out the little Botanical Gardens calendar. There's a walk I want to participate in next Tuesday and there are 2 (two!) birding events in May. The gardens even have nature photography classes, as well as Tai Chi in the gardens. I think becoming a member was a very good idea. I think I could really meet people I like out there. And everyone could use more friends.

My husband will be home in a week. From yesterday. I'm nervous and excited. Yesterday I spent 1 1/2 hour cleaning our garage. It's not that he's going to look in the garage, but I couldn't even get the recycling can out (and it was completely full) and since I have read so many books lately, I wanted to unpack some more books. Now the garage is clean and organized (although you still couldn't fit a car in there). Today I will clean the 2.5 bathrooms (it feels like 3 full bathrooms when you're cleaning them) and the kitchen. Tomorrow the office and the kids' room, Friday the living room and Saturday our bedroom. Sunday and Monday I will just chill out and panic about forgetting about something (no, I don't know what yet, you'll just have to wait until then). I had gone out and bought several cute summer tops and some killer 4 inch sandals, but, of course, now it's too chilly to wear something like that (we haven't reached 60 in almost two weeks). He's going to freeze because he's been in Africa all this time. I guess I'll just have to keep him warm.

Monday, April 09, 2007

I love my husband

First I want to say thank you for all the supportive comments, e-mails and phone calls. I really appreciate it and it's nice to know I'm loved. Second, you know how every guy you've dated tells you no one could love you like they do? When my husband says it, I know it's true. Wes called today. The e-mail has been down on the ship and I haven't been able to communicate with him in a couple of days. He has noticed that I haven't been doing to well. Today the conversation began with me bursting into tears. I told him I'm depressed and I want to get on medication and I don't want to have a baby right now, I want to wait until next year. And I waited for the typical guy response: I'll be home in a week so you won't be depressed anymore and I want a baby now. What I got was: I love you so much and I'm so sorry you're depressed. I'll love you and be happy with you even if you decide you don't want any children. I'm just happy being married to you and your happiness is all that I want. If you think you need medication than go to the doctor and get medication. I'll be home in a week and I can't wait to just hold you and love you. I hope you didn't worry about what I would say because I would never be mad at you for telling me how you feel. We're married and that's what people are supposed to do. That response alone made me feel better.

I'm going to the doctor tomorrow. I went back and read my blog and realized I suffer from depression more often than I wanted to admit. When it was just me and my poor friends listening to me bitch, then I could suffer through it. But now I'm a wife and a step-mom. My depression has negatively impacted every relationship I have ever been in and I don't want to mess up my marriage too. Not only is depression a "normal" part of my life, but my life has changed significantly this past year. I got married, became a step-mom, moved across the country, where I haven't made any friends yet, left my life-long dream behind, and my husband has been gone since Thanksgiving. I think it's probably ok that I'm depressed. Now I just have to take care of it.

Sunday, April 08, 2007


by Toni Morrison. Wow, wow, wow. I have read other Morrison books, but this one is amazing. While reading it I couldn't put it down. After finishing it I dreamt about it for two nights in a row. While the story is centered around an all black town created and re-created in the early 1900s, giving an initial impression that the story will be white vs. black, the real issues are much more universal. The long standing members of the town are afraid of outsiders, change and especially afraid of the women who live at the Convent outside of town (also all black). However, as the story unfolds we quickly realize that the town members themselves have divided the town into insiders and outsiders, the older generation and the younger generation, and finally men against the women (both in the town and at the Convent). The women at the Convent are busy trying to free themselves from past demons while the men of the town are busy creating new ones for themselves. The slow tension of the story ends in a magnificent ending that is both triumphant and destructive. An excellent psychological novel about fear, courage and change. A must read for everyone.

Enough is enough

And I've had enough. I'm tired of this roller coaster. I'm depressed. I'm fine. I'm depressed. I'm fine. I've suffered from depression since I went through puberty. That was roughly twenty years ago (and where did that twenty years go anyway?). Twenty years of yo-yoing emotions. Of never feeling good enough, of feeling like all I did was feel sorry for myself, of wondering what was the fastest and most painless way to end it all. Twenty years of denial. I can handle this by myself. I just need to exercise more, sleep more, do more, feel more, live more and it will all be ok. It's not. It hasn't been. I'm tired of feeling like half a person. Depression, to me, doesn't feel like everyone else has deserted me; it feels like I have deserted myself. I can still see my dreams, goals and ambitions. But they're all over there and I can't figure out how to get to them. I can't figure out how to be me anymore. And it causes so many issues. I don't want to pass this on to my kids. I don't want to have kids right away either. How do I tell Wes that? Do I just pray I don't get pregnant until next January? He's so excited. I know because I talked to another wife and she already knew we were going to try to start a family. Everyone on the ship knows. But I just don't feel ready right now, even if he does. I need to work my way out of this depression. I don't want to be on medication. I guess it's a pride thing. But I think that would be best right now. And I need to start doing what I know works to get my ass in gear: a daily to do list split into 15 minute increments. Yes, it is a long list, but it works. And I'm going to start working soon. And I joined the botanical gardens. And I'm going to get a haircut (yes, that still works). But I've got to get out of this fog. I have to live again. I have too much I want to do. I have too much to live for. I have too much.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Hear that?

No, no you don't. Because there is nothing to hear. They are gone. No more screaming, fighting, begging, arguing or lying. And especially no more of the most annoying whining I have ever heard in my life. This week has made me seriously reconsider if I want to be a mom or not. I know that it's different having his kids. We don't actually get them that much and then when he's not here it's even harder. I feel impotent to discipline them. Afraid that anything I say will be twisted and passed on and twisted even further and then used as ammunition against my husband. And maybe because they're not mine to keep I tend to think in terms of a score card. One pleasant moment, three unpleasant moments and so on. And I allow the unpleasant moments to erase the pleasant ones. I try not to, but I feel like I'm trying so hard and all I get in return is "we want this," "why not" and "whatever." They wouldn't even hug me good-bye. Is parenting this thankless? I mean, I don't want kids just to have someone to love me and take care of me when I get old, but I already feel worthless, so do I want to add one more thing to feel like a failure about?

If you couldn't tell, I am seriously depressed. My husband will be home in about 10 days and I'm not even excited about it. Why? Because I feel like I haven't accomplished anything since he left. So the house is clean. Big deal. He doesn't even care about that. I need a job. I need to feel useful. I need to make money. I need to feel like I contribute more than my cleaning, cooking and pussy. I think I need medication. I hate depression. It keeps me from so many things. Like leaving the house. Making friends. Volunteering. Doing anything scary. And it makes everything scary. I'm so afraid of failure. I know I'm smart and can do so much but I'm so smart that I know I'm not smart enough to do anything. I feel paralyzed. I need my husband to get home. I need to find the courage to get off my ass and do something, anything. I hate this disease.