Saturday, July 28, 2007

Eating Local Foods

The last Sunday of every month is Potluck Sunday at Guam United Methodist Church. We really enjoy this because we get an opportunity to taste things we might not take a chance on and order in a restaurant or buy in a store. We also get to eat fruits and vegetables that are really different from what we might see in our local grocery store.

Today I got to taste a salad made with bitter melon, tiny peppers, and chopped shrimp. The bitter melon was simply too bitter for me. For the same reason, I cannot eat Brussel sprouts, even though I know they are very good for me (and despite going all gourmet on them). Pat told me bitter melon is good for lowering blood pressure. I told her my blood pressure would be elevated if I had to eat them.

I also tried a Chamorro casserole of taro leaves, coconut milk, spicy peppers, and mushrooms. The dish looked like cooked spinach. This was bitter too, but not unbearably so. I still wouldn't heap mounds of the stuff on my plate, but I could definitely eat it and be polite. Taro leaves are more typically noted for use in Hawaiian recipes, but they grow throughout the tropics.

Normally, someone makes Arroz Caldo, a Filippino chicken soup, redolent with ginger. Today we had a chicken broth with Chinese dumplings which was also very tasty.

I brought Rice Krispie treats and a bag of ripe bananas from our banana tree. Only half of the pan was eaten and I left the bananas there for others to take home. Pat promised me some lemongrass and I am looking forward to cooking some dishes with it. The mango season has been very good this year with optimal weather conditions. That means our freezer is full of sliced mango! It's also full of frozen bananas. We just ate the avocados and shared them friends until they were gone. I never thought I would tire of guacamole, but it's possible!

The fruits and vegetables selection may be limited but it's definitely a bounty to be shared with friends and family here on Guam.

Friday, July 20, 2007


This earthquake started almost as though it were a thunderstorm underfoot. It rapidly built up a crescendo and just kept going. I spilled my peppermint tea because my chair was moving so much. I heart something fall off a shelf but I'm not sure where it occurred because it looks like everything's okay.

This earthquake was not all that fun because I kept wondering when it was going to stop. I have no idea where the cats are---three black shadows disappeared and they won't come out from wherever they're hiding. Poor things.

I just filled out a report online at USGS Earthquakes Hazard Program and the intensity of the earthquake I felt was a VI---which means the shaking was strong and the damage was light.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Pre-Liberation Day Party

Tonight I had a mandatory function at the War of the Pacific Museum. I was okay with this obligation until I actually had to leave home. I am highly introverted and large groups or crowds really drain me. Gregg, however, is an extrovert and he derives energy from these events.

I talked with my ensign and his wife and fussed over their new baby. Then I went and pestered the psychiatrist about his workload. Finally I got to do what I do best: crowd observation. That didn't last long because they started the party. Anna would have been so excited to see the Liberation Day Queen from San Diego's Guam Chapter and the Guam Liberation Day Queen and her court. She could even have gotten their autographs, that's how intimate it was.

And we had marvelous fiesta food. The cucumber salad had a nice bite to it from the boonie peppers and I wished I had gotten more tuna sashimi. I sat at a table with a CAPT, her husband and their teenager, a husband and wife CDR team, the CMC and her husband, and the new XO. How's that for strategic positioning? The only problem was my mouth was full when I shook the XO's hand so he never got my name.

The secret to making conversation when you're not very good at it? Make someone else do all the talking---especially if it's a topic that they're passionate about. I learned a lot about ukeleles and I'm pretty excited about it, too. I think I'll look at taking a lesson or two.

And then, my ultimate favorite: we sang the Marine Corps Hymn and the CAPT's husband and I finished up with the Marines guarding the streets of heaven. The last time I sang this song with that much gusto must have been at my very last Marine Corps Ball in 1993. Wow, how time flies. Now I've been in the Navy longer than I was a Marine.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

What do I do for a living?

Click here:

Now exhale.

Miss Hobbs Will Be Traveling Back to the Mainland

You know what's bad about flying pets in and out of Guam? They don't get frequent flyer miles. Cargo doesn't count for anything. However, you CAN claim them on your taxes as unreimbursed moving expenses (if, of course, that's what you're doing). But don't take my advice; contact your own in-house legal counsel for information on your unique situation. Gregg and I had a big discussion over this when we did our taxes. I was convinced that I could count the money I dropped on these as moving expenses because recent divorce court decrees had decided pets were property, not children who required visitation.

Everyone will be going back to the real US (as opposed to the satellite US on which we currently reside) this Saturday. Well, everyone except me and the cats. Hobbs will go sometime next week when I've had a chance to get a health certificate for her.

Gregg will play golf with his dad, the family will grill on Grandpa's pontoon boat, and everyone will have a marvelous time. I think Anna intends to get a bowling ball. I don't know how they plan on getting it back here though. Wouldn't want to be on the airplane if they stow it in the overhead bins....

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

How To Be Unhappy

I found myself thinking ill of one of my co-workers and almost ready to talk to someone about it. Fortunately, the little angel that sits on my shoulder did some submission grappling with the devil on the other side and I was able to ask myself why I was thinking this, what I would receive from gossiping to someone else about this, and how others listening in would perceive me. I am so grateful to that little angel. I hope she gets her black belt soon....

I found this while I was cleaning up the clutter around my computer. I thought that you might appreciate the wisdom in it as well.

1. Make little things bother you. Don't just let them, MAKE them.

2. Lose your perspective on things and keep it lost; don't put first things first.

3. Get yourself a good worry, one about which you cannot do anything.

4. Be a perfectionist, which means not that you work hard to do your best, but that you condemn yourself and others for not achieving perfection.

5. Be right. Be always right. Be the only one who is always right, and be rigid in your rightness.

6. Don't trust or believe people, or accept them at anything but their worst and weakest.

7. Be suspicious. Insist that others always have hidden motives.

8. Always compare yourself unfavorably to others. This guarantees instant misery.

9. Take personally everything that happens to you.

10. Don't give yourself whole-heartedly to anyone or anything.