I will post a pic when its finished.
I got a new camera! I haven't picked it up yet but I am so excited! I've never bought a digital camera before. I always borrow my parents camera but this new one is way better. It has so many neat features. I am going to have a lot of fun with it. I am going to be taking so many photos! I am a photography junkie. I hope this gets my enthusiasm about photography up, I really miss it. I used to have some great Film SLRs. I have a Roloflex and a Pentax, among others. They all have something wrong with them and although they take phenomenal pictures, I think that a newer digital camera will work for now. Its better then having nothing, like I have had for 3 years.
I almost didn't buy it. I have this complex about large purchases. I want the best one at the best price and I always find what I want, but that is when I get cold feet. What if this one isn't the best value or what if I find a better one tomorrow? Well, I need to get over this because I am too busy waiting for perfect, when something enjoyable and perfectly adequate is right in front of me. At least I don't have this problem with men.
I am picking it up at Best Buy as soon as my hubby comes home. I cant wait!
That night had some sad undertones though. Toms best friend of 15 years is going to Iraq for the 3rd time. We are all terrified he wont come back. They put him in command of a unit of misfits going into the heart of Baghdad. I am afraid I will never see him again.
What is this country coming to? Our president is a fool! Why is he still in office. The whole world hates him. Clinton got a blowjob at work and he practically gets fired but this fool sends thousands of handsome young sons and beautiful daughters to get killed halfway around the world. I have a lot of friends from the military who went to Iraq and are coming home and telling us that the news is lying. What they are telling us is not happening. It's much worse. On both sides. Our military is commiting war crimes every day we are there. And the conditions are much worse there then they are telling the general public.
I urge everyone to listen carefully to what you are being told. Free Press is a vision of the past.
Sorry about the soapbox, but I want my friends to come home alive and not dead for nothing more then some Middle Easterners who cant keep their act together. What are we the world police?
taken from the Antelope Valley Press, March 22nd, 2007
PALMDALE - He loved his bride of eight months, his family and friends, his music and the military. From all accounts of those who knew Army Sgt. John Allen, he simply loved life.
But the 25-year-old Army medic's life ended Saturday in Iraq, when a roadside bomb exploded near a vehicle carrying him and three fellow 1st Cavalry Division soldiers during the ongoing security sweep in Baghdad.
Private remembrance services for Allen, a 1999 Palmdale High School graduate who served in the Navy before joining the Army and had been on multiple tours in Iraq, are set for 4 p.m. Friday at a longtime friend's home at 2824 East Ave. Q-2, Palmdale.
Allen's funeral will take place at Arlington National Cemetery, where his grandfather is buried, said another longtime friend, Mandy Montgomery.
Montgomery said everyone who knows Allen will remember these things: him doing backflips over the neighborhood wall, him climbing light poles, him carrying cherry Chapstick everywhere and his ability to play piano.
Allen was always thoughtful, Montgomery said.
"John was known for being there for anybody. If he saw you coming home from the grocery, he'd be the first one to help carry the packages," said Montgomery, 22, who knew him since childhood.
Allen also had a passion for drawing.
"The last thing he was working on was a picture of his wife," Montgomery said.
Chris Blaylock, a friend since junior high school, said he "always kept everybody smiling."
"One of my favorite memories: John comes by my home and asks, 'Do you want to go somewhere?' I thought the pool hall or something like that. He tells me, 'Let's drive to Arizona.' He wanted to go visit someone. He always had time for a friend. It was raining. We were driving in my old Camaro," Blaylock, 25, said. "We had a great time."
Allen's parents, Richard and Kellie Allen, were away Wednesday from the family's Palmdale home, where he grew up with his twin sister Amanda and younger brother Adam, now also in the military and stationed in Alaska. A red and gold satin banner from Blue Star Mothers, a military support group, hangs in a front window.
Allen's wife, Aspen, whom he met when he was a senior and she a freshman at Palmdale High School and whom he married in July, is in Texas, where her husband was based at Fort Bliss.
Denver Shinkle, Aspen's brother, said Allen's death hit his sister hard. "She's barely sleeping."
Shinkle remembers his sister's excitement as she announced her marriage plans. "She walked in the door and said, 'You've got a new brother-in-law.' "
He added that July 7 will mark their first anniversary. Allen spent four years in the Navy before enlisting in the Army. While home Allen proposed to his high school sweetheart and she accepted.
Shinkle said this was Allen's third or fourth tour of duty in Iraq.
Aspen's aunt Karen Bosch described her niece as "numb and upset."
Bosch described Allen as "a great young man. He loved my niece and wanted to take care of her."
Shinkle equally admired his brother-in-law. "He was good to my sister and made her happy. That's all that counts. He was outgoing, a funny guy, made everyone laugh. Everyone loved him."
Allen's piano playing introduced him to Palmdale High choir director Mike McCullough.
"He would come into my room to play piano at lunchtime. That's what got him into choir. He came to me late in his high school career - around his junior year. But he was really, really determined to do well. He worked very hard at it."
McCullough said Allen was a baritone and liked spiritual and classical choral music.
"That year we sang 'Ave Maria' by Anton Bruckner. He really loved that," McCullough said.
McCullough called Allen "incredibly respectful - a person of very high character, polite, courteous and a strong young man. I was pretty confident he was going to choose military."
Elisa Clark, president of the Blue Star Mothers, Antelope Valley Chapter 14, said her organization formed to support the armed forces and their families.
At times like this, Clark said, "We do whatever (families) want. If they want us to do food for following the services, we will do that. If they want us to speak at the funeral, we will do that. If they don't want us to do anything, we just stay back. We also prepare a memorial book with prayers, letters and pictures."
"He was just a good kid," said Robyn, 44, a neighbor of the Allens for 19 years who declined to give her last name. "He hung around with all the kids, was always pleasant to be around. He loved art, was an excellent artist."
Kyle, 16, Robyn's nephew, looked up to Allen. Kyle, who also asked that his last name not be used, lived two doors down from the Allen household for 12 years. His most treasured memory is the Fourth of July, when neighbors from the entire block gathered at the wall, the one Allen used for backflips, and watched fireworks taking place at Palmdale High.Here is a photo of John and I in High School. I was in 9th grade.
John E. Allen was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq on Sat. March 17th, 2007. He was my brother and my best friend in high school and afterward. He was so much fun and so full of laughter. I knew the last time I talked to him that I would never hear from him again. John always looked at the bright side of things and I know that he is visiting each of us and helping bring a little laughter in. I love you John. Safe Journeys and save me a beer on the other side.
Week Two is the kitchen. Here are some before pics of my kitchen. The kitchen is actually a lot messier then usual.
This is the pantry. Really a mess. I can never find anything. I want to get some of those wire shelves that fit right in there. That will double some of my space.
The cupboards are all unorganized and they are full of things that need to go in the trash.
I am moving in September and I cant take all of this stuff with me.
I haven't been able to stop thinking about Santa Cruz. It is such a huge change for me. I mean, I have never lived anywhere other then here. Its going to be a huge change. I will enjoy it though. It has been my dream to live at the beach and in Santa Cruz we will probably live within walking distance of the beach. Can you believe that! There are some beautiful photos on flikr.com of Santa Cruz if you would like to check it out.
I have been doing a lot of thrifting lately. And I have a new Flickr.com page where all of my photos are. Of course I will still have them here too!
I haven't been able to stop thinking about Santa Cruz. In case you missed out on the news, I was accepted to UC Santa Cruz. I am going to miss my family and some of my friends but honestly I cannot wait to move away from here. I was born in this town. I know so many people here and I have had to many experiences, good and bad. But this place is my childhood and I am not a child anymore. I need to grab life by the horns and embrace it. That's what I am going to do! I have never moved to a place where no one knew me. It is a fresh start. To prepare I am loosing weight. I have already gone from 175 to 159. Its still coming off too! Yeah!
When we move we are going to have to get rid of a lot of stuff. I cant wait to go through my things with a fine toothed comb. I have so much stuff that I don't need. I really like that clean simple look. Its very relaxing. We are looking for a two bedroom apartment in Santa Cruz so we will have more space. Pumpkin will have her own room for her bed and her toys. She is already sleeping out on the couch. Right now her bed is in our room but she falls asleep every night on the couch and then we move her to her bed, but in the middle of the night she is moving back to the couch. I hope to put her in her own room when we move.
That photo is one of the beaches in Santa Cruz. Isnt it beautiful? I am so happy to be moving there. Its a dream city to live in. Hey, I grew up in the desert!
Oh Yeah!!!! BIG NEWS!!!!
I was accepted to the University of California at Santa Cruz. I am moving to the beach!! We are so excited! Our who lives are shooting off and we are having a blast!