Sir Isaac Newton: The Universal Law of Gravitation

AppleGravity…and other Laws of Nature.

  •  What goes up must come down.
  • The sun rises in the east and sets in the west.
Sextant (source-Wickimedia.org)

Sextant (source-Wickimedia.org)

  • The earth revolves around the sun, which might be true for you and me, however, in my husband’s world of celestial navigation, the SUN revolves around the EARTH. 

That’s right! A paradigm shift! Just for you!

With regard to celestial nav, you would take the opposite view–you see the sun move from left to right–or right to left–depending on one’s perspective.

In order to properly take a celestial sight of the sun, you need to treat the sun as if it were revolving around the earth! (The captain used to teach celestial nav, so if he says it–it’s true.)

My World

And in MY world–as you’ve prolly realized–in this world that revolves around ME,  there are my very own Laws of Nature.

  • Just like the tides ebb and flow, my tugboat man will come and go.
  • As Archimedes‘ Buoyancy Principle is true for water and solids, it’s also a truism that a tugboat man who comes home must go out to sea again.

All the things that were new are now done in reverse.

The welcome home becomes the farewell.

That first apple pie becomes the last apple pie.

veuve clicquotThe first flute of Veuve Clicquot to toast the end of a journey becomes the last glass raised of leave-taking and hopes for a safe voyage.

The hello kiss becomes the goodbye hug, holding tight as long as possible.

It’s that time once again–being the wife of a tugboat captain–one half of a married couple who are apart as often as they’re at the same latitude and longitude.

Sigh…

“…We sail tonight for Singapore, don’t fall asleep while you’re ashore” Tom Waits

Here’s today’s Daily Prompt Challenge: Hindsight.  Now that you’ve got some blogging experience under your belt, re-write your first post.

This is MY deja vu–my first blog re-do–obviously my life is a deja vu redo Groundhog Day repeat. The captain was gone again, I was alone for a very long time…I’ve learned to use tags since then–maybe THIS time it’ll get read! 

My First Blog Post

“…We sail tonight for Singapore, don’t fall asleep while you’re ashore” Tom Waits

Day 60: Alone again! It’s 8:00 p.m. on a Sunday evening and I just completed a copy editing assignment for a brilliant young neuroscientist. Since my first pink lock and key diary at the age of eight, I’ve filled notebooks and journals with my thoughts and observations, and even minored in creative writing in college, but the hardest thing in the world for me to do is to let go of my own words. (I’m a word hoarder. Hah!)

Update: Now I’m a word spewer–since I started blogging, I can’t STOP writing!

Although I easily re-write and proof and edit the work of others (and love to do it), my own words seem to be trapped somewhere; I am never quite satisfied with the finished product; I always feel that one more re-write is always needed—just one more, and then another and another–and I am determined to overcome this obstacle by blogging about my life as a wife of a Merchant Mariner. To other MM wives, I’d love to share our experiences, problems, frustrations, and solutions. There are thousands of us around the world—let’s create a community and help one another. What do we all do when our guys are gone? In what ways do our lives change when they’re away on assignment and when they’re home? How do we cope with the work-related absence of a spouse, whether it’s due to the military, MM, or any other career that involves a lot of travelling? Are you sad? Maybe relieved sometimes, if you were to be completely honest?

Update: Still hoping to create the community of Merchant Mariner Wives. I’ve met Snipewife who’s awesome, but there has to be others! Come out and play! 

Also, from time-to-time, I will review either a product I’ve used or a book I’ve read and share my opinion. I have great things to say about Sally Hansen Smooth and Perfect nail polish. I have it in Satin 04. It claims to hide ridges and imperfections with a “breathable porcelain-smooth finish.”  The website says it’s enhanced with ginseng, camellia oil, and lotus to promote stronger, healthier nails. I was really impressed with the finished product and it really does give a professional look. I’m going to try it in other colors and will let you know. Update: it worked great, very shiny, lasts a decent amount of time, and is inexpensive.

Here’s a mini-version of my back story: I’m a (was a) stay-at-home mom; when my son left for college, I stayed home. Don’t you think that’s funny? I do. That’s my standard joke/response when I’m asked what I “do”. Some people think it’s funny, some people think I’m obnoxious. Story of my life.

I’ve been married to a Merchant Mariner tugboat captain for about eighteen years, nineteen in February 2013. For the first fourteen years or so, our life was pretty ordinary and except for a few assignments that took him away for a week or so, his schedule kept him working in local ports.  In 2009, he changed companies and became the kind of Merchant Marine who goes out to sea for extended periods of time and travels to the four corners of the globe. When I tell people that my husband is a MM, most either think he is a “Marine Marine” or they don’t know what a Merchant Mariner is or what they do. My guy is an academy graduate (he won’t let me say which one ‘cos he’s paranoid that someone will figure out who he is) and has been working in the industry since graduation.

merchant marine sealWhat exactly is a Merchant Mariner?? For those of you who don’t know, the United States has a fleet of  Merchant Marine vessels,  ships which are owned and registered in the US and fly under our flag, but are separate from the military. (We are proud supporters of American-flagged vessels.) For example, car ships carry cars (obvs!), container ships hold cargo of TVs, bananas, soda ash, or even sand and gravel.

tug barge

NOT the captain’s tug, but a good photo of a tug pushing and pulling a barge. Tugs are hard little workers. I think I can, I think I can…

The Merchant Marine supplements the military in times of war, transporting goods and equipment to areas where it is needed. The people who crew Merchant Marine vessels are known as Merchant Mariners. Perhaps you remember hearing about the Maersk Alabama, a container ship seized by pirates a few years ago? Tom Hanks stars as the captain in the soon-to-be released film of the Navy Seals’ rescue of the ship and her crew. People who work on tugboats are called Merchant Marines. My guy is a tug and tow Master, although he has decades of experience on yachts, passenger vessels, and just about every type of boat, excluding fishing. No Deadliest Catch stories here! Tugboats pull (or push) barges all over the world, assist all types of ships in and out of their berths, and work in marine construction and the oil industry. It is really more complex that than, with a rich history and great anecdotes, but I am only the wife of, and my perspective is a different one.

Update: I begged and pleaded and guilted and flattered my captain to get him to audition for the Tom Hanks pirate film–they liked his initial video audition so much the casting director even sent sides (that’s a script to those of you who are NOT in the know like I am), but he didn’t get the part. He really should have. I was totes planning to go as his personal manager to Morocco where they were filming.

Back to my story…this lifestyle has been quite an adjustment. When he’s home, he’s a 24/7 at-home husband, just like being retired, and a different routine ensues–one of compromise and diplomacy. When he’s away at sea, I become a sort of “grass widow” (a woman whose husband is away from home frequently or for a long time, as on business) and have learned to structure my time alone to stay occupied while waiting for my best friend to come home. We modern mariner wives are really no different than wives of a few hundred years ago whose husbands went out to sea. We might have email access and satellite telephones, and are able to stay in touch more frequently than the occasional letter posted from faraway ports, but we are essentially on our own for a great deal of time. We have to be completely independent and solve problems and fix broken washing machines and cars and take out the trash and mow the lawn by ourselves, unless we have kids still living at home on whom we can foist these chores.

My confession du jour? I fully rely on retail therapy to help me cope. That doesn’t mean I actually PURCHASE a lot and spend a lot of money, rather, I am an accomplished fashionista BROWSER, (which should be an Olympic sport, as far as I’m concerned.) I have endurance and I possess stamina. I’m a hunter AND a gatherer. A shot of wheatgrass and I’m good to go for hours in my quest for a treasure, a good deal, or something I just have to have, and can’t live without; the next get. You know that Shopaholic film? I’ve seen it about a dozen times; it’s like a training film for me…  A day or so after my MM leaves, I fortify myself with a protein drink, a double shot of wheatgrass, and lay out my itinerary with quasi-military precision. I first make the rounds of my local stores; TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Ross, Target, Homegoods, just like a warm-up in my boot camp class, and then move on to H&M, Anthropologie, White Market/Black House. After that, I venture further away to the Nordstrom Outlet, DSW (yes!!!), and then our local mall for BloomiesNieman Marcus, and the boutiques-Tory Burch, Hermes, and the holy grail at South Coast Plaza in the OC…Chanel…Chanel…Chanel. I want/need a Chanel 2.55, the original black quilted bag with the chain strap. I am saving for a pilgrimage to Paris to pay homage to Coco at the original location. I. can’t. wait.

Update: I just can’t do it to y’all again, I know I’m probs on your last nerve with the whole Chanel thing, but it was cool for ME to tell myself, “Hey girl, your dream DID come true! Way to go to think it, believe it, and it will happen!”

Today, I was on the hunt for another blazer; blazers are super trendy and forever a classic fashion staple,  but it has to be the right blazer in the right color and cut. I ended up at a local consignment shop and while I didn’t find the desired blazer, I discovered the treasure of a Tory Burch sweater with gorgeous logo buttons. I found a similar style for around $250, and I got it for $40. It’s in perfect condition and looks like it’s never been worn. The pic doesn’t do it justice; it’s a rich cocoa brown with TB logo buttons and totes adorbs. Update: This is the same consignment shop where I just scored the vintage Valentino.tory burch sweater

Well, it’s back to editing for me and building my Etsy store where I can sell all the ropework jewelry and beachy décor we create. I hope you’ve enjoyed this first glimpse into my world.

Update: STILL working on that Etsy store! Almost done tho, hopefully so I won’t completely miss the holiday season…

Thanks to one and all who’ve read me and followed me and commented and offered guidance and humor and friendship. The world still revolves around me, I suppose it always will…alas, that’s the cross my long suffering tugboat captain must bear…And if you’ve un-followed me, don’t forget that Santa could leave a lump of coal in your stocking, so maybe y’all need to rethink that decision. Right???

 

50 First Dates and Groundhog Day…the story of my life

You know in Groundhog Day how the same thing happened over and over again and in 50 First Dates, every day is brand new for Drew Barrymore‘s character and she can’t remember Adam Sandler from one day to another? Well…I feel like that’s me in both cases! I don’t suffer from short-term memory loss….but I am only 5 ft. tall, so that’s short, right? So here I am going to pick up the captain from the airport AGAIN, baking his faves AGAIN, picking out a cute outfit to wear AGAIN, and in general commencing to become his SLAVE (I mean tug boat captain/surf wife) AGAIN. Am I doomed to live the same day over and over again? The reunion at the airport is 5o First Dates all over again; sometimes I actually drive right by him and don’t know it ’til my cell phone rings and I stop to answer it and he says, “You went right by me…AGAIN! Didn’t you see me?” “Ummm, sorry, I didn’t know what shirt you were wearing and I didn’t umm….see you.” “How could you not see me?” “I don’t know-uh- I forgot what you look like?” What’s a good answer, quick, if it happens again tomorrow!

Once again the baking marathon has commenced. I have pretty great time management skills and plan to be all finished on my sofa in my lovely silk dressing gown with a glass of wine at 9pm for GOSSIP GIRL! I don’t really give a rat’s ass if the show’s demographics don’t include me; I am a devotee, a fan, and I totes crush on Chuck Bass! Holla!

Captain always tells me not to go to such trouble for him, he is just glad to be home, blah, blah, blah, but you know how guys are-if I didn’t make a big deal out of his homecoming, he’d be all mopey and sad and then he’d be all like, “What do you do with all your free time while I’m gone, the least you could do is make some granola or sumpin!” They are such big babies. Gotta love ‘em. Plus, it helps to butter him up (literally) to get that Chanel 2.55 I’ve been drooling over. Christmas and Hannukah are right around the corner and we celebrate both!

The oatmeal cookies are my standard recipe from a previous post, only I used a bit of lemon zest and a teaspoon of lemon juice in addition to vanilla ‘cos I’m out of oranges, which I usually use. The lemon is a good substitute; balmy and odorous, and is spectacular with a cup of Yogi Antioxident Green Tea.

For Maracella’s Book Ends who commented about my lack of description of the pastry from yesterday, (which in all honesty, I ate so fast, I don’t even remember what it was) here’s my impression of the oatmeal cookies. With my eyes closed, I inhale the aroma of warm oats and raisins tinged with a fresh lemon fragrance enhanced by the loving embrace of cinnamon-y overtones. I’m salivating as I contemplate the cosmic crisp but chewy roundness so evocative of autumn;  coming home from school with rosy red cheeks and starving, to be greeted by my smiling apron-wearing mom and plate of freshly baked cookies accompanied by a glass of ice cold milk. Nothing like getting the juices flowing and remembering that I have a  minor in Creative Writing! I may not be able to write a dissertation mostly auf Deutsch about Walter Benjamin, but I have my moments.

I also made Overnight French Bread, granola, and a One Bowl Chocolate CakeThis is the recipe I used but I just noticed that I totally forgot the oil which I had already measured out and the cake is incredibly delish, so maybe the oil’s not needed??

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil (or not:)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg

Add all ingredients in one bowl. Mix at medium speed for about two minutes. That’s it! Too easy. Pour into 9×9 pan or one cake pan and bake at 350 degrees for about thirty minutes.  I topped mine with Chocolate Frosting.

Anyone want to volunteer to help clean my kitchen?