December 30, 2003

30 December 2003

My final period of active duty as a Naval Reservist is almost at an end. It has been a good one..........with a lot of liberty! My efforts were not required from 24 December until 29 December and this will probably be a short week also. Still, I am getting a lot accomplished here in the Reserve Liaison's office addressing the needs of demobilized Reservists relative to evaluations, fitness reports, awards and letters of appreciation/commendation.

I spent Christmas with Eileen and her family for the third year in a row. On Christmas Day, we went to the Floto's Open House - an annual event. The hostess was in a panic when I arrived because the guest who is usually responsible for the turkey gravy wasn't there. I was asked if I knew how to make gravy. Since I usually figure that I can do just about anything, I answered in the affirmative while culling deeply into my memory and remembering Mother during her gravy-making process. I called for an empty mayonnaise jar - no other kind would do - and some flour. MaryAnn's flour was really nifty and dissolved in the water in a flash........NO LUMPS!!! To my complete and utter amazement, the gravy was perfection! Thank you, Mother!

Last trimester's grades are in - I could not have done better - go figure.
Since surviving enduring stress beginning in mid-November, I have done a lot of relaxing here. Have enjoyed, or at least seen, four movies so far. Lost in Translation, Calendar Girls, Something's Gotta Give .......and another one whose title escapes me. Something's Gotta Give was really funny as was Calendar Girls although I don't think the critics were as enamored as least in the case of Calendar Girls that is based on a true story..............after talking to Rita, I checked the newspaper and remembered that I had also seen Mona Lisa Smile. It was a pleasant bit of fluff.

I had to buy another suitcase to accommodate all of the 75% off stuff that I bought at the Exchange. It is better to pay for an extra suitcase than it is to pay an overweight charge at the airport and the suitcase cost less than would the charge. United Airlines permits two checked bags at 50 pounds each.

I am thankful daily that Mother's "episode" has resulted in no apparent damage. In vain, I have been trying to have a conversation with her doctor. Have left countless messages and have had two talks with his office staff. He is supposed to return my calls - nothing yet. I feel as though I have failed the rest of the family in my position as "family medical contact". I'm not giving up and will phone again this AM.

In the meantime, some award citations need my attention...................

Posted by leah at 07:12 AM | Comments (8)

December 16, 2003

16 December 2003

It's been seven weeks since I last visited my journal - seven weeks that I doubted, at times, I would survive. My next-to-last trimester is a done-deal though I don't know my final scores yet. Still, I'm surprisingly confident of a respectable showing. We'll see.

Bryan and I enjoyed Cynthia's last visit so much......and C and I really enjoyed Faust. A lot of critics pan it but Faust remains my favorite opera. Because her visit was a special occasion, we celebrated it with a box of Krispy Kreme dough nuts. I never knew Cynthia is a sugar-lovin' girl and was surprised by her positive reaction to the confection. Unfortunately, the stock is not doing as enthusiastically but I'm in it for the long haul. Cynthia will return in February for Lucia ......... Not sure of the spelling of the complete title. I am sorry to have discovered how painless it is to enjoy Lyric Opera's wonderful offerings so late in my Chicago years. Even when we had the most inexpensive tickets in the house for The Marriage of Figaro (last row of the top balcony), the music was superb. One of Lyric's chorus members is also a member of the Naval Reserve. I am excited to learn from him that, not only does he have a minor solo role in Lucia, but that the production is predicted to be the best of the season. I'm wondering if Cynthia thinks that Bryan might enjoy this particular opera. Lucia is the only opera my mother was ever exposed to - she was not particularly impressed.

Now that the trimester is over, I am serving three weeks active duty in Bethesda at the National Naval Medical Center. It seems fitting that my first duty station is also my last. Last weekend, at Reserve Training, I submitted my application for retirement with a date of 15 June 2004. In order to retire at my present E8 level, I have to hold the rate for two years from the effective date. The effective date was 16 June 2002 (my 58th birthday) so the two years are satisfied 15 June 2004. And I am precluded from participation as a drilling Reservist past the age of sixty - which will be the day following my retirement date. Couldn't have timed it better!

Bryan is holding down the home front for the three weeks that I am away and taking care of, not only my two cats, but two others in the neighborhood. My young nephew is doing so wonderfully and, I know, is equal to both the challenge and the responsibility. He told me that he has a date for Recruit Training in the Naval Reserve for 3 May 2004. His seabag, for the most part, has arrived. I can hardly wait to see him in uniform! Bryan has completed two drill weekends and three correspondence courses. Go, Bryan!!!

I'm committed to maintaining this journal in a more consistent manner so this concludes today's offering.

Posted by leah at 07:10 AM | Comments (4)