Friday, July 30, 2010


I have no idea if this is a real story, but it was sent to me in an email and I thought it was worth passing along.

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The first day of school our professor introduced himself and challenged us to get to know someone we didn't already know. I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder. I turned around to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a smile that lit up her entire being..She said, 'Hi handsome. My name is Rose. I'm eighty-seven years old. Can I give you a hug?' I laughed and enthusiastically responded, 'Of course you may!' and she gave me a giant squeeze..'Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?' I asked. She jokingly replied, 'I'm here to meet a rich husband, get married, and have a couple of kids...' 'No seriously,' I asked. I was curious what may have motivated her to be taking on this challenge at her age. 'I always dreamed of having a college education and now I'm getting one!' she told me. After class we walked to the student union building and shared a chocolate milkshake. We became instant friends. Every day for the next three months we would leave class together and talk nonstop. I was always mesmerized listening to this 'time machine' as she shared her wisdom and experience with me.. Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon and she easily made friends wherever she went. She loved to dress up and she reveled in the attention bestowed upon her from the other students. She was living it up.  At the end of the semester we invited Rose to speak at our football banquet. I'll never forget what she taught us. She was introduced and stepped up to the podium. As she began to deliver her prepared speech, she dropped her three by five cards on the floor. Frustrated and a little embarrassed she leaned into the microphone and simply said, 'I'm sorry I'm so jittery. I gave up beer for Lent and this whiskey is killing me! I'll never get my speech back in order so let me just tell you what I know.' As we laughed she cleared her throat and began, ' We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing. There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy, and achieving success. You have to laugh and find humor every day. You've got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die. We have so many people walking around who are dead and don't even know it! There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up. If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don't do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old. If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything I will turn  eighty-eight. Anybody! Can grow older. That doesn't take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding opportunity in change. Have no regrets. The elderly usually don't have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do. The only people who fear death are those with regrets..' She concluded her speech by courageously singing 'The Rose.' She challenged each of us to study the lyrics and live them out in our daily lives. At the year's end Rose finished the college degree she had begun all those months ago. One week after graduation Rose died peacefully in her sleep. Over two thousand college students attended her funeral in tribute to the wonderful woman who taught by example that it's never too late to be all you can possibly be. When you finish reading this, please send this peaceful word of advice to your friends and family, they'll really enjoy it! These words have been passed along in loving memory of ROSE. REMEMBER, GROWING OLDER IS MANDATORY. GROWING UP IS OPTIONAL. We make a Living by what we get. We make a Life by what we give. God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage. If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.

'Good friends are like stars..... .....You don't always see them, but you
know they are always there.'

Saturday, July 24, 2010

I can see!

At home alone blogging on a Friday night. Don't be too jealous now! I am very happy to say that I found the cheesy bean enchilada recipe I lost. I'm super excited since I can now make them again :) You can go here to check it out.

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For as long as I can remember I've always seen an opthamologist yearly to check my eyes. My brother was cross eyed as a baby so the doctor (I believe) who fixed his eyes continued to be our eye doctor up until he retired years ago. We still continued to go to the same place, just new doctor. So an opthamologist is what I was used to. I new nothing else.

Last year while in Virginia I was due for my yearly check (I'd gotten lucky and was at home the year before when I was due, so I just went there). A friend had recommended this optometrist who she said helped her out with her migraines and other problems. I was nervous about seeing an optometrist but figured he must be good by what she had told me.

Boy was I wrong. It was the worst experience of my life! He was retired Navy and it practices were at least 30 years outdated. Not only that but he was extremely rude to me and made me feel like I knew nothing. He didn't check my eyes much which was making me nervous, and he came up and just took  my contacts out without asking. Now I don't mind if he wanted to do, he was fast and good at it, but really what a surprise. I would have been much more comfortable taking them out myself.  I had remembered to bring my glasses since I sometimes forget (for after getting dilated) but he never even dilated my eyes. He did however pretty much yell at me for not bringing a box of my contacts with me, I'd never had to before how as I suppose to know!

The biggest shock of all is when he took me down from a -4.50 to -4.00 I was not happy about this but he insisted that I don't need to be at -4.50. He told me to give it a few weeks and I'll be seeing better. Well it's been over a year and I have yet to see better. Not being able to see road signs while driving is not fun when you are suppose to be wearing the "right" prescription. I had thought about paying out of pocket to see another eye doctor, but couldn't afford it. So instead I suffered.

A few weeks ago I ran out of contacts since looking for an opthamologist was taking so long. I also found out that TRICARE will only let you see an opthamologist if you have a written referral from your doctor that you need to see one. Well I have no reason, I just prefer them. I finally gave up the search for either eye doctors and with my luck Mikey found an awesome optometrist that takes TRICARE! I was nervous when I went, but from what Mikey had told me everything this lady does is what I'm used to. The appointment went well, I was upset that I had to wait 40 - 45 minutes after my scheduled time even though I go there early. The eye doctor (I can't remember her name) was quite surprised to see that the meany from last year took me down so far. Once she checked me she said it's really obvious that I needed to be back up to -4.50. YAY!

I couldn't have been happier! I was a little annoyed that I couldn't get contacts right away though. She has this policy that she has you try the prescription out for 30 first to make sure it's right for you. And of course they don't carry my contacts in the store so they are having to order them. I know it will work for me, it's what I had and it was perfect. Either way I believe the 30 day trial pairs are free so I won't complain about that. So I'm still stuck wearing glasses. Boo.

All in all I am able to say there are some good optometrist out there. It just took me awhile to find one. And boy am I glad I did.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What's cookin?

I have a few good recipes to share, so I thought I'd do them at once.

This first one is a creation we made out of an accident. That accident being that we weren't paying attention when we picked a prepackaged salmon from Whole Foods. Instead we ended up with smoked salmon. Now I'm not complaining because I love smoked salmon, but I had a whole different meal planned and didn't realize my mistake until I put the salmon in the pan. The smell is what gave it away at first, so I looked at the package one more time to find I was indeed wrong about my purchase. I took the salmon off the heat where it had been for maybe a minute at the most. We decided to make sandwiches out of it and boy was it tasty! Having it on the stove for about a minute warmed it up just a little and made it even better. I'm happy just knowing that Whole Foods has prepackaged smoked salmon. It will be on my list in the future.

By the way, this is the BEST organic wheat flour! I'm not sure why it has a white tint since there is no food coloring or white flour in it. Either way, it's amazing.

Next we have some creamy pasta ribboned veggies. I found this over at Taste of Home. It was good, I substituted the pesto for spaghetti sauce and it turned out just fine. I didn't think it made good leftovers though, so I ended up throwing most of it away the next day. It's more of a eat at the moment kind of food.

Last.. my favorite. Cheesy bean enchiladas! Of course I can't find the recipe anymore. I will keep searching though, because I really want to make these again. They were unbelievably amazing, and extremely filling. I could go for some more right about now :)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Spicy sun-dried tomato soup

You ever get tired of all the receipts you have, even if they are amazing. You just need something new? I was feeling that way last week while coming up with our food schedule for the week. I went searching online and found this site called Vegetarian Times. You really don't have to be vegetarian to like some of this stuff, just avoid the tofu!

Trying to find a vegetarian meal Frank will like, is not easy. He'll try stuff for me, but it's usually 50/50 if he will actually like it. I figured I'd be okay with soup so I made Spicy sun-dried tomato soup with white beans and swiss chard.

Mmm I LOVE the smell of olive oil, garlic and veggies cooking : ]

It was pretty easy to make, which is always nice. Fast with little clean up. Turned out pretty good, Frank said it was just okay, but didn't want anymore.

I thought it was pretty good, but I filled up on bread quick so I didn't eat much. Normally I do a salad with every dinner, but since I was out of lettuce I had Frank run up to Von's to get us some french bread to go with. Now when we get french bread it's not a good thing. It's gone within minutes. We have a huge love for it. It's also why we don't get it except for every few months when we need to feed our craving. Tonight was one of those nights.

This is what our table looked like...

Sadly that wasn't even all the bread, we had eaten about a 1/4 (or more) of it before I cut it up. Again this is why we DON'T have french bread in our house! Mmm it was some good bread :]

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The plan

I'm not one to hide the fact that Frank and I have debt. We know exactly how it happened. We just weren't smart when we first got together. Surprisingly though, before we did start dating we both were doing okay with our money. I guess that fun stage really hit us hard! It also doesn't help when you move across the country and then make 4 cross country trips in 2 1/2 years.

In the past we're tried different "plans" to get us going in the right direction, they just don't seem to stick. For a few years now I've heard of Dave Ramsey and how much people loved what he had to say. For some reason I never gave him a second thought. About a month ago I decided to go look through his website to see what he had to say. I was hooked. One of the things I loved is that he reminds you over and over that getting out of debt is not easy! And it is not fast. I hate when I see advertisements to get out of debt fast, I know there is a catch to it.

Right now we are starting with Dave's snowball effect. The first step is to get $1,000 into savings. Seems easy right? Why on earth for us it's a challenge I'll never know. It seems whenever we get a good amount in there an emergency of some sorts comes up and we have to go to dip into savings. I'm praying that we can get through with this step soon. It's driving me crazy. The next step in the snowball effect is paying of debt. This is where are 3 year plan comes into play. We hope to have both our credit cards paid off and to pay my mom back. I also hope to have most of the truck paid off, but I'm not sure if it will happen.

In order to help us even more we are doing the cash to envelopes system. In a way we've been doing this for a long time, just not in the proper organized way. When you sit down and start giving every dollar a "name" you realize just what you are really spending your money on. It's a little sad if you ask me. This coming pay check with be our first time with the cash to envelopes so we're hoping it goes okay. We both know it's going to take a few months to figure out how much to budget for in each category, but we are really determined! There's no reason why we have to carry this debt around with us forever and just add on to it. We'd much rather have financial freedom and no worry.

I know there are a few bloggers who use Dave's methods, so...

What do you think of them? Have they helped you and your family?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


I can't believe I've gone this long without posting any new receipts! It was a mixture of being lazy and just plain old forgetting. For the last few weeks I've had to remind myself to document what I was making.. and as you can see, that didn't happen. What a good receipt to start again on. Pioneer Woman's mac & cheese.

I made this once before a few months back, and it turned out horrible. It was my fault though, I was substituting to many things and mixing soy milk with regular. Bad all around. It wasn't the mac & cheese's fault so I gave it another try.


{This is obviously NOT my picture! I borrowed it from Ree over at The Pioneer Woman. Make sure to check her out.}

You can go here to drool over it. There were a few things I still did differently. I never use whole milk, Frank drinks low-fat (I think, I never pay attention since I don't drink it) and it was just fine. I also did not use heaping teaspoons of dry mustard like she suggests. That's just too much for me, let alone Frank who doesn't even like mustard. It still turned out mouth watering good! I invited Mikey over since it makes so much. I had leftovers, I sent her home with some and I sent Frank to work with the largest container we have full for him and everyone on mid-check.

I seriously can't wait to make this again now that I've made it the right way. Ree never disappoints.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Catching up through pictures

Mikey's birthday dinner at BJ's. Turning the big 2-0!
Doesn't Frank just look so cute with his missing tooth ha. He got his tooth retainer the next week thankfully.

The Ferris wheel was the one thing I HAD to do! I mean who doesn't like it? Frank is still making fun of me and Mikey for wearing the seat belts. As my mom said, he was living dangerously!

We were dead tired at this point! We were just ready for the show to start :]

Who doesn't love a dead terrorist!?

I love this picture because I caught Frank mid laugh.

Frank decided to go super comfy for our mini 4th of July BBQ!

Waiting for the fireworks...

Happy 4th of July from The Longley's! (Let's just pretend it's the 4th right now.And no we did NOT plan on matching, we're just that good!)

Friday, July 9, 2010

One year

I'm a few days late on this so let's just pretend it's July 7! Today marks one year we have been in San Diego. One down two to go ; ] When I look back over that time it doesn't seem like much has happened...

For me the big things have been physical. For one I have my life back! That's huge in my opinion.

We've stayed in the same apartment for the ENTIRE year. That right there folks is a first for Frank and I.

We've made some amazing friends, another first, they are mostly our neighbors.

We've once and for all figured out a financial plan to get rid of the rest of our debt (more on that later).

We found a church we both love! That's a first for me.

We've been "pushed down" many times and have gotten right back up. We don't let low-life criminals scare us, we just keep on going with our lives.

There have been countless other things we have done or gone through this last year, but all I keep thinking about is how fast it went. Seriously, it's crazy ha. I'm hoping this next year is just as exciting, with lots of new adventures waiting for us. Nothings fun with the same old same old!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Weekend recap

I've been playing and waiting for the 4th of July weekend for a few months now. I can now say it was a great weekend :) Last year at this time we were finishing up the last few days of our move and we're in Arizona. We spent the 4th in Flagstaff then a day in Goodyear visiting family. I was so ready to be done, I was in horrible pain and a bad mood. Not a good mix when you add in a DITY move. One I didn't want to do in the first place. So this year I was doing the long weekend the right way!

Since Frank is on mid-check his 4 day weekend started Thursday morning when he came home. We took a nap after he got home then I convinced him to go do all the shopping with me. He normally doesn't mind, but since he was running on 3 hours of sleep he wasn't so happy about it. This was his first time shopping at Whole Foods with me.. funny how the little things can excite a person. One of the things I love about Frank is his heart. He noticed this guy walking around the produce section for a really long time grabbing handfuls of food to eat. He had a basket with one or two things in it, but was spending more time eating food without people noticing. Frank said he wanted to see if the guy needed money, so with $6 in hand he walked in the direction of the guy. Only he didn't even know what to say, he didn't want to offend the man if he really did have money. So he never did end up giving the man anything, but I told him he's awesome for even thinking about it and trying to do something good... only he froze with words. I don't blame him I would have done the same thing.

Friday Mikey and I went on base to see Sex and The City 2 for free.. our favorite pass time these days! Loved it!! I told Frank he would have even liked it, it was pretty funny. He's seen the first one so he'd even know the story line ha. Instead he was off selling the motorcycle boots. We both know that we won't be getting another motorcycle for a while since we have a plan for paying off the last of our debt. We decided to make a little extra cash and sell our all gear. That way when we do get another bike, we can get new stuff. I've been wanting a new helmet and jacket anyways. We sold Frank jacket to our neighbors friend for $100 then the boots went for $120. Not bad! That also ended up being our spending money for the weekend. Normally it would have gone straight to savings, but since we had such a busy weekend ahead it worked out perfect.

Saturday was the fair! We were all excited about this day. We got to see Jeff Dunham! Eck :] We headed up north to Del Mar a few hours before the show so we could stuff our faces in fair food and ride at least one ride. As soon as we got there I had to eat since I was starving. We didn't even make it all the way into the fair grounds before we stopped to eat. Mikey and I got the worlds best nachos supreme (in our minds) and Frank got a corn dog. We go to a fair and get Mexican food, made by a white guy. I guess only in San Diego! Thankfully Frank was still hungry because our nachos were HUMUNGO! I think I just made up a word.
After devouring nachos we walked around to see what the fair had to offer. We ended up going on the fair wheel and Mikey and Frank went on the zipper. It's sad that $30 (or $20 I can't remember) got us that. One thing we knew we had to do while there was get a funnel cake. Apparently Frank had never had one.. not sure how that's happened. The first funnel cake I see was for a Mexican funnel cake. It had strawberries and whipped cream on top and looked so good. We got just the whipped cream and some chocolate and caramel syrup. It was a churro cake if anything ha. Amazingly good. But not a funnel cake by any means.
By now it was time to go find some seats for the show. We were up top in general admission so of course all the good seats were taken. Pooey. We still had a great time. I can't wait to see Jeff live again!

After the fair we went and met up with Franks cousin and his family who were in town for the weekend. They were the ones we stopped to visit in Arizona last year so it was nice to catch up. We've been wanting to get out there way... but Frank has been lazy about finding a time that works. They had invited us to the zoo with them the next day, but we already had plans for soak city. I'm glad we ended up not going with them because my lower back kept giving me a few twinges of pain all day Sunday and walking the zoo would have been torture.

Sunday we slept in.. well I did. It took Frank an hour to wake me up. The weather wasn't as warm as I had hoped it would be, but it was still in the high 70's so it wasn't bad. The 4th of July was military application at all Knott's parks. Frank was free and I got in at a discounted price. It was pretty slow so I was very happy about that. I'm also pretty sure it was full of Marines. Not hard to tell since almost ALL the guys we saw had some sort of Marine Corps tattoo. I kept saying we were the lone Navy.

We spent about 3- 3 1/2 hours there going on almost every slide and ride we could (FUN!!) then headed home to clean up and have a mini BBQ with Mikey. It's not a good idea to host something when you all are tired. We forgot about the corn on the grill and Frank over cooked my veggie burger making it mush just about. Thankfully the corn still turned out good. I'm wanting some more right now : ] After dinner we headed out to North Island to watch the fireworks in the bay. I wasn't sure how many others would be going out there as well and luckily it wasn't too bad. We got there about an hour before the show started and were able to get a good parking spot and a good spot along the water. We were lucky enough to see 6 firework shows. Three were in the harbor and going off simultaneously, except for the one by Seaport Village that started a little late, and three were off in the distance that we could see. It was an amazing 4th of July! I hope to continue going out to base for the show while we're here, and maybe next year our BBQ will be a bit better.

I hope you all had a great weekend! Pictures to come, I'm too lazy to edit any and post tonight. It's late and I have a busy day tomorrow. Happy July to all!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

A moment of silence

For more on this day of silence for such a special little guy, go to send love to Cohen.