Thursday, April 25, 2013

First World Problems Out of Control

I was going to go lay out in the sun on the balcony today.  When I say I was going to go lay out, I mean I was going to lay out like a ginger.  I spend 15 minutes in direct sunlight, turn over for five, and then spend the rest of the hour in the shade poking myself to see which body parts are overly pink. 
On my way outside I stopped in my tracks because I was immediately thirsty.  Maybe my body just wanted to prepare for the oncoming burn.  So I walked into the kitchen to get a glass of water.  I noticed how there are many less actual glass glasses now that Shylee has started doing the dishes, and that the floor was seriously gross. 
So I sat my empty glass on the counter and went to get a mop and bucket.  I filled up the bucket and mopped the floor.  I mopped my way to the edge of the kitchen and noticed I left my glass on the counter, I was still really thirsty and there was no way to get to any drink without walking though the clean, wet floor. 
There is too much gingy in myself to just give up that easily.  So I grabbed a towel and throw it on the floor, step on it, and scooted to the glass, then scooted to the fridge.  I filled up my glass with cold water and shut the door.  Then I thought, what if I get thirsty again while the floor is still wet?  I didn’t know what I would be thirsty for, so I grabbed a Rockstar, juice, and the rest of the water pitcher and started scooting toward the balcony quickly so I could get out there before the sun went down too far.  That’s when Brian walked in.
Brian - What are you doing?  (He had been sleeping all day, so he was a little groggy, but his usual level of judgmentalness.)
Me - Don’t mess with me right now, my first world problems are getting out of control.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Bad Man in the Neighborhood

There have been a few cases of child molestation and abuse in our neighborhood within the last year, so when my five year old daughter, Shylee, told me she saw a bad man out by the street it got my attention.  I asked her if she saw him again, would she be able to point him out.  She said, without a doubt she would.  She was certain that he was still out there, so I held her hand tight while we walked back to where she had seen him last. 

Yep, he was still there. 

I don't happen to think he is a threat at the moment, you know since he's on a sign and all. 

There was also this guy, who while he looks similar, he is a good guy and is out there to watch the bad man...according to Shylee. 

Just another day on Neighborhood Watch here in Germany with my favorite kindergartner.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Westboro Baptist Church has a New Look

You may know who of the Westboro Baptist Church, but did you know that their Facebook page has been hacked into and taken over by Marilyn Manson, Anonymous, and Captain Crunch.  Currently the WBC has no control over their page, and they haven't had as much attention as they are having now. 

Here are a few of the newest photos up on their page;

And my all time favorite...

Check it out for yourself here.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Anything but a Romance Novel

I want to write a book, but it’s not going to be a romance novel, because they tend to make me more judgmental of my husband.  In fact every time I read a romance novel, I give him dirty looks and judge him for not having super powers, having a billion dollars, or have fighting skills better than anyone in the state. 
When I read Twilight, I judged him because he has zero super hero abilities.  Is it really too much to be picked up after work (literally) and have him throw me on his back and race up to the top of a mountain for a picnic?  Apparently it is. 
When I read Fifty Shades of Gray, I was let down that Brian wasn’t a multi-billionaire who wanted to take me up in his private helicopter.  Is it really too much for him to be over protective to the point of craziness and try to make things better by spending thousands of dollars on me?  Apparently it is.
I just got done reading Beautiful Disaster, and have been giving Brian dirty looks for the last two days.  When Brian saw me mean mugging him, he said, “Can I help you?”
I said, “Have you ever thought about fighting in the UFC?”
He would laugh at me and say, “Ha, no.”
Not only does he refuse to fight in a ring with a stranger to near death, covered in blood, he won’t even beat the crap out of some guy just for talking to him.
And believe me, I tried.  I told him, “I talked to a guy today.  I think he thinks I’m pretty.”
He said, “Ahh that’s sweet.  You are pretty.”  He obviously hates me!
So one of two things are true, either Brian is the least romantic man ever, or I should stop reading romance novels.  Luckily some of my friends and I are getting together for our new book club.  Actually we are just getting together to drink wine and wear fancy clothes, and are just happening to read the same book at the same time.  My friend Chandler chose the book A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard.  Brian will probably start looking good, considering he isn’t a maniac with a little girl stored away in our back yard...either that or I will start suspecting he does. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Through Her Eyes

It’s hard for me to see my five year old make the change from little kid to young lady.  Shylee stopped me in my steps the other day when she burst out crying as we were about to walk out the door to walk to spring break camp.  I asked her what was wrong, and after a few failed attempts to understand her, she told me that she just wanted to wash the dishes like every other family.  My first reaction was to laugh, but I could see that her feelings were seriously hurt. 

Brian walked her to spring break camp, and I left to run some errands that I had to take care of.  I thought about what she had said, and tried to see it from her point of view. 

Since I got out of the Air Force I have made it a priority to make sure that the house is clean, the dishes are done, and laundry is washed and put away.  Since I no longer work outside of the home, I took it on as my job to work hard at home, but sometimes I forget who is watching and what that means to her.

Shylee took my new found role as selfish.  She saw me cleaning and working around the house and felt like I was pushing her away.  She didn’t understand why I would be only feet away, but not allowing her to participate in my day.  I never thought about it like that.  Its funny how there really is two sides to the story.

After I was done running my errands, I picked Shylee up from her day camp early and took her home because we had some cleaning to do.

Shylee helped me do the dishes,


Mop the floors,


Fold laundry,


And was a part of my day.

Bill Cosby said, “You know the only people who are always sure about the proper way to raise children?  Those who’ve never had any.”

So the lessons of the day are to see something new through someone else’s view, and to never let a kindergartener wash the nice glasses, because they will break them and you can’t yell at them because they may be having a hard day already. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Ginger is a Terrible Thing to Waste

My husband, Brian, has been working nights, but has been sleeping in really late.   With the girls going to bed around eight, and Brian not getting up until 9:45, I get a little bored, and a bored ginger, is a thing to fear. 
I walked into the bedroom once and gently asked Brian if he was ready to get up so we could hang out a little before he had to get up.  He told me to go I played it a little differenltly the second time around.

I ran in and yelled, “Brian!  There’s a giant leak in the bathroom!!!”

He jumped out of bed and ran to the bathroom.

Excuse me, I meant to say there’s a giant leek in the bathroom.  But on second glance, it appears to be a normal sized leek. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Tuxedo Cats

In my new-found free time, I have been shopping on the internet and have found some amazing stuff on Etsy.  I’m going to have to say that Brian’s opinion isn’t important on this one.  If you know me, you know that I temporarily get OBSESSED with things.  Not long ago it was reindeer, now it is tuxedo cats.  Like a penguin with its ass up in the air, these cats come dressed for any occasion.  Here is what I found...

by TaraFlyArt
by ArtDesignsAmerica
To be honest, I just like this spoon because I think you could freak people out with it if you just hold the spoon over your nose and let the cat spoon stare at them.

by federicofantasyart
To be followed by an art peice of a cat ear.

by TaraFlyArt

 by TaraFlyArt
by WaterInMyPaint
Gingers are always stiring up trouble!


While I was on etsy, I ran across a shop named TaraFlyArt.  She had this to say about cats.

“Have you ever wondered what your cats DO all day long, while you are at work?
I'm sure you've been tempted to install a cat-cam to catch them clawing the furniture or jumping onto the table.... But your cats are too smart for such pathetic animal antics.

“They wait patiently for you to leave each morning, so they can raid your closet and dress themselves in your clothes. They dig through your wardrobe, trying on pajamas and stockings, and attempt to walk in your shoes.

“In the kitchen, they make chicken salad sandwiches and sip milk from wine glasses. They even do the dishes.

“They watch the Travel Channel on television, e-mail their friends from your laptop, and play Facebook games. Yes, they have their own Facebook profiles too. ;)

“Your cats are cultured, and attend plays at the local theatre, visit art galleries and museums, and participate in jazz music festivals.

“They write opinion pieces for the local paper, volunteer at shelters, and teach beginner bellydancing classes.

“They lead rich, rewarding lives that you know nothing about. Where do you think those smug expressions originated?

“I have caught my cats reading Jane Austen and Dickens, found their collection of BBC period drama DVDs... and a mysterious stash of Earl Grey in the bottom cupboard.

“I've indulged them with tiny Regency suits and dresses, and allowed them to host a monthly book club at our house for their feline friends. With tea and orange scones provided by me.

“In exchange for this, they willingly model for my paintings. My tuxedo cat's preference for dressing like Mr. Darcy inspired me to create "The Regency Cats Collection".  Although I enjoy painting them in any attire they decide to wear, from Asian kimonos to military regimentals.

“All together, they are quite a sight to behold!  I do recall being introduced to your cats at the last soiree, and very elegantly dressed they were. :)

“And just in case your cats haven't confided in you, they are most eager to get their own portraits painted.”

- TaraFlyArt

This pretty muched just sealed the deal.  I am now obsessed with tuxedo cats.  I will be getting a tuxedo cat when we move back to the states, and will probably be decorating the entire house with proper cat art in the meantime. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Our Trip to The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg

To celebrate my military service, and because we live in the middle of Europe, I wanted to go see a historical military site.  After talking with my husband Brian about different places we could go (and him suggesting stupid stuff like, “I’m pretty sure WW2 soldiers raced cars around the Nurnburg Ring and we should too”), we settled on going to Luxembourg, the country, state and city of Luxembourg.  It is also known as the grand duchy of Luxembourg which is tricky for me since I have only read that and have never heard it.  So everytime my brain tries to pronounce "duchy", it gets confussed.  Doochy, dutchy, douchy, dookey?  I don’t know.  I could be here for awhile.
So we drove to Luxembourg, turned around and went to Germany, then back to Luxembourg and back to Germany a matter of hours.  Brian had loaned his GPS to a new guy in his shop, but he assured me that our map apps on our phones would work no problem.  (Take guys are good at getting you somewhere fast, not at getting you to the right spot.)
We left the house and went to the gas station to fill up on gas and fruit gummies.  At least the gas lasted the whole hour and a half to Luxembourg.  I like to feed the girls gummies because it keeps Shylee from talking for hours, and keeps Kaydance from crying.  I even stored one pack for an emergency quiet button for the trip home. 
Our first stop was the American Military Cemetery.

Best stop of the day.  It made me proud of where I come from and what I have accomplished.  I thought it would be more difficult to explain to my five year old where we were and why it was so important. 
Shylee at the grave site of Gen George Patton
She got it though.  Love her!  It was super cold out walking around the cemetery so after we thought that we had seen enough, we hopped back in the car and got everyone buckled up.
Brian put his phone in the phone-holder-thing-that’s-strangely-attached-to-the-window-thing and waited for the map to come up.  No map.  Our phones had service in Luxembourg, but no data so we had no GPS.  Car guys.
Brian said, “Where’s your map?”
I said, “Of Luxembourg?  I keep it in my other purse.  I thought you said we would have our phones.”
Then he said, “Well I thought we would but we don’t have data.  No data, no maps.”
“I know what we can do.  Let’s drive back to where we know we have data.”
He said, “We haven’t had data since Germany.”
“Yep, let’s go back to Germany.”
He said, “That’s a dumb idea.  We are not driving back to Germany to get directions to our hotel that is ten miles away.”
So we drove back to Germany.
Luckily Luxembourg is the size of Old Mother Hubberd’s Shoe so we were only 20 minutes from the border of Germany.  As soon as we crossed the border near Trier we got data back and could program the directions to the hotel in, so we did, and back to Luxembourg the country, state, and city we went.
We arrived at the hotel and parked the car, checked in, unloaded our bags, used the restroom and were on our way to discover the capitol. 
We decided to just hop on the city bus and take it downtown so that we wouldn’t have to drive back to Germany twice to get there and get back to the hotel.  I have to give it to Luxembourg, the people there are NICE!  It may be because I have spent the last three years living in Germany, but it was a wonderful feeling.  Once downtown we walked around and saw the palace, the Notre Dame Cathedral, and everything else there was to see.
I wanted to take my picture with this guy, but Brian wouldn’t let me.

We found this awesome chocolate haven.  I had been dying to go here after reading about it online.  They serve you a warm cup of milk and you pick the kind of chocolate you like and melt it and stir it into your milk for hot chocolate.  We found it, but were disappointed that there was only one table inside and it was full.  Since it was thirty degrees out and the girls were getting grumpy (I assume because they were out of gummies), we decided to keep going. 

After walking the whole city we thought it must be time to head back to the room.  Maybe we could put the girls to bed and watch a movie and order drinks to be sent up to the room.  By the way, that's what happens when you have little kids.  You get lame. 
When we checked our watches it was 3PM.  This was a problem.  We had seen the all there was to see, it was literally freezing outside and we were faced with spending at least six hours locked in a room with two animals foaming at the mouth for gummies, which we were almost out of.  We decided to ditch the hotel and go home early. 
On our way home Kaydance started crying so I went to give her the emergency pack of gummies that I saved for her.  I couldn't find them so I looked up at Brian to ask him if he knew where they were.  He couldn't answer me because his mouth was full of gummies. 
So we drove back to Germany....again. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

No No I'm Not Hairy!

I may need to change the name of this blog to “Shylee Makes Her Mother Drink”.  

The other day Shylee and I were watching TV when a commercial for NoNo came on.  Have you seen this commercial?  It’s an electronic hair remover that promises to make your face and legs feel as smooth as a baby’s skin.

Shylee - Hey, you should get that NoNo thing.

Me - Oh thanks.  I don’t think so though.

Shylee - Why not?  You’re kind of hairy.

Me - No I’m not!

Shylee - Hmmm.  Well, the older you get the more hair you get.  I’m just saying. 

Thanks to my little sunshine, I can no longer walk past a mirror without checking to see if I have a hairy face.  Thanks Shylee. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Meet Mr. Bateman

If you read my other blog, With Me For Thirty Days, I apologize for the replay, but today was too good of a day not to share with the people who I know read My Ginger Riott.

Yesterday was my last full day on active duty in the Air Force.  I have made sure to not have an affiliation with the Air Force in my blog until now, not because I am ashamed in any way of my service but because my first few stories with Agent 5 had some real dorks, and I didn’t want to portray the rest of the Air Force in their light. 

Anyway, yesterday was my last full day at work, and this morning was my final out-processing appointment before I hung up my hat...and my uniform, forever.  My day started out with a huge feeling of disbelief.  I paid attention to the small details of lacing up my boots.  Today I wore green sued combat boots.  Eight years ago I laced up black leather combat boots that I shined with a little bit of water, boot polish and enough elbow grease to put WD40 out of business. 


My whole morning felt surreal knowing that it would be my last day.  That was, until my career was put in perspective.  Don’t get me wrong, I have done some truly amazing things with even more amazing people, but today I met a real hero, then I gave him some cupcakes.


At my final out appointment I was sitting at the desk of the woman who was going through my paperwork, making sure everything was ready to go.

Lady:  You seem to be missing your ID card paperwork.  Can you take this form down to the ID card office and have them fill it out and sign it?  Then bring it back up here.

I walked downstairs and signed in.  The person who was signed-in in front of me had been waiting for an hour and a half.  This was not going to be a quick process.  I sat down in a chair two chairs down from a chaplain.  About twenty minutes later, an older gentlemen sat down in a chair across from us.  I later found out this man’s name was Mr. Bateman, and he would mean a lot to me. 

Mr. Bateman said, "Well kids, what’s on TV here?"

I looked up from my iPhone game and the chaplain answered him.

The chaplain said, "I don’t know.  It’s some movie about an opera."

Mr. Bateman said, “Ahh, I miss operas.  People don’t appreciate them like they used to.  There is so much heart in operas.”

I went back to playing my game while these two started a conversation.  Mr. Bateman talked about the house he still owns back in Illinois, and how he wants to move back there soon, because he hasn’t lived there in 60 years.  The chaplain told him he’d be more than happy to take it off his hands if it was close enough to Chicago.  He was creepy.

Luckily, the chaplain was the man who was signed in above me, and it was his turn to go back. 

Mr. Bateman said, “Is your name Lott, or is that an I?”

He was looking at my name tape on my uniform.

I said, “It’s an I.  It’s Iott.”

Mr. Bateman said, “ Oh, I’ve been alive for a long time, and I've never seen that name.  Where does that name come from?”

I said, “I believe it’s French Canadian.”

It’s funny how “old” people are willing to start a conversation with anyone over anything.  For all of our progression our generation is making, we seem to forget that there’s other people around us.

We started talking about our home towns, our families, and our kids.  My kids being five and one, and his kids being in their 40s and 50s.  He was in the Navy from 1953 to 1983. He had completed thirty years of service, three years before I was even born.  He told me about being a helicopter pilot in the Korean Conflict.

Mr. Bateman said, “Well I spent most of my time in North Korea.  They didn’t like us much, but that’s alright.  Those guys kept punching (ejecting) out of their planes, so we’d stroll over and give ‘em a lift back south.  So many of those guys kept asking for a lift that I volunteered to stay over there for two tours and give them a hand.  After that they asked me where I wanted to go, so I said EAST!” 

So they transferred him to a naval base in Spain.  When he got there, that base was closing down so they were going to transfer him again.

Mr. Bateman said, “They asked me if I wanted to move to Iceland.  I said, ‘Where’s that?’ they said, ‘I don’t know, but it sounds cold’.”

He did two tours there, later moved back to Europe, then northern Africa, and back to Europe, working decades as a helicopter pilot. 

He told me he now works at the golf course on base, and if I’m ever there to stop by and he would buy me a cup of coffee.  He leaned in and said, “I get it for free”, with a wink.

The ID card office called me back so I stood up, shook his hand and walked to the back to get my paperwork signed. 

Later today I came home, hung up my uniform for the last time, ate some lunch, packed up a dozen cupcakes that I baked yesterday and went back to base.

I am doing a 30 day challenge with cupcakes where every day for thirty days I’m sharing cupcakes with people for my blog With Me For Thirty Days.  So I decided if I was going to give anyone cupcakes today, it was going to be Mr. Bateman.

I drove over to the golf course and walked in to the pro shop.  It’s weird how vulnerable you feel carrying a tray of cupcakes to a total stranger in foreign territory.  I walked up to the counter and asked the girl if she knew where Mr. Bateman was and if I could speak to him for a moment. 

She said, “I’m sorry.  Mr. Bateman was furloughed months ago and no longer works here.”

My heart sank. 

Mr. Bateman seemed like all of his marbles were still in the jar, but he is in his 80s.  Maybe he meant to say he used to work at the golf course. 

I said, “Are you sure?  Could you please call back over to the maintenance barn?  That’s where he said he works.”

The lady behind the counter said, “I don’t think he’s here, but I can call over I guess.”

She reluctantly picked up the phone and called over.  She was wrong.  He had been furloughed, but he had come back to work this week.  He was out in the maintenance barn. 

“Where is the barn?” I asked.

“It’s down the hill, behind the golf carts by Hole 18.”

I practically floated down the hill towards the barn.  Knowing that he hadn’t been let go and that he was still here, and he wasn’t losing his marbles gave me a sense of hope that just pushed all that vulnerability out of the way.  I met him in the office attached to the barn.

I walked in, now wearing jeans and a hoodie, not in uniform.

“Mr. Bateman, do you remember me from this morning?”

He said, “Well hello, Chelsea.  What a nice surprise.”

I said, “I brought you some cupcakes!”

He said, “What are these for?”

I said, “Well I write this blog.”  I stopped there thinking of how I was going to describe a blog to someone who was born before there were computers, much less the internet.

“A blog is a...”

He interrupted me and said, “I know what a blog is.  How old do you think I am?”  This is why he is my new hero, among other things.

We talked for a little bit, he kissed me on the temple and gave me a hug.  He told me to stop by again and we would get that cup of coffee.  He also told me to stop by his hometown in Illinois if I am ever in the area. 


We took a picture together and he said, “Now you better hang up this picture in your barn in Michigan.”  I promised I would.  As I was walking out he said, “Hey.”  I turned around.  “Thanks a million, kid.”

No.  Thank you, Mr. Bateman. 

She Knows Who Says Bad Words

My five year old daughter, Shylee doesn’t have a potty mouth, but she knows someone who does!

Shylee - Mom is fuck a bad word?

Me - Yes, please don’t say that word anymore.

Shylee - I would NEVER say fuck.

Me - Shylee!  Don’t use that word.

Shylee - Hey, guess what happened at school today.

Me - What? 

Shylee - Eric said fuck.

Me - Shylee, I told you not to say that word!

Shylee - I didn’t say fuck.  Eric said fuck.

Me - Don’t say that word!

Shylee - Don’t say what word?

Me - You know what word!

Shylee - Oh, don’t say fuck?

Me - Seriously Shylee!  No more saying fuck.

Shylee - Ooooh momma said a bad word!

Shylee raised her eyebrows and walked out of the room.  Parenting is fucking stressful.