Opal Siren

My life in dreams

Whatch out for the creepy dolls!!!


So we made it to VA….YAY!!!! Thus far, the move has not been so bad. I love my new apartment. Everything in it is brand new, including the community where we now live. I like the area thus far. There are tons of stores and things to do. The people are not so bad either. My husband and I have been adventurous and decided to try most of the restaurants by us. The service has been great, the food not so much ūüė¶

In either case, the only thing that really has taken a toll is the unpacking. I am a bit of an obsessive compulsive, so the only thing we asked for help on are the furniture and bigger items. Everything else had to be inspected, cleaned and touched by me ūüôā ¬†By the way, thanks to Jen from newmommyconfessions.blogspot.com for her and her huzzy’s help on this move and the process.

Although we downsized a lot before moving, somehow there were so many things to put away and organize. Half of our wedding gifts from 2009 were still in boxes, so those needed attention as well. For the past decade anywhere I have moved to, whether as a bachelorette or married, I have taken my collection of antique dolls and other collectible toys with me. These are a real pain in the %&$#@ to move. I have collected them since I was 16-years-old, and it was a great hobby to keep me out of trouble, and I also like them because I am a freak LOL

Some of the dolls are so beautiful with their detailed Victorian gowns, hats, gloves and TEETH!!!  LOL I am not sure why, and I never bothered to look into this, but many antique dolls from centuries ago seem to have teeth, eyes that move, and leather bodies. They are pretty freaky to look at and I completely understand why some people are completely repulsed by them. On the other hand, I love them and all of my collectibles. I look past the creepy teeth and try to appreciate the craft that was put into creating these dolls. Back in the day, doll manufacturers did not have the sophistication and tools that our modern era possesses. Many of these dolls, with the exception of the porcelain that they are made from, were hand painted, had their hair, hands, clothes, and other accessories hand sewn. I also like to imagine who owned them, what kind of childhood they had, how did they play with them, and I also reminisce about my childhood. These dolls give me a safety net and a comfort zone. They remind me when I was little and would lock myself in my room and play with my dolls. I would comb their hair, carefully change their clothes and pretend I was a princess LOL. We all have something that bring us comfort, joy and peace. Well this is my little thing.

Unfortunately, I did not have the room to display all of them in my new place, so some had to be put away. Of course the creepiest ones were put away right away at the request of my dear husband ūüė¶ ¬†Some of these were my 1970’s Shirley Temple, my 200 year-old Armand doll, special editions Marilyn Monroe and My Fair Lady Barbie dolls, and a few other ones. But, I still got to display my wonderful collection of Disney princesses, Vera Wang Bridal Barbie, and other more modern ceramic dolls. As I was putting my antique dolls in a container¬†to go into our storage closet, I decided to write on the outside of the container:¬†Dolls and childhood toys. I kind of got a little melancholy thinking: “Wow my entire adolescence stored in a plastic container…(sigh)”. This moment probably should had happened way sooner, but mine happened at 30 years-old. It was time to say, kind of, good-bye to my wonder years. But in the meantime, I still have my other dolls on display. I can always go into my spare bedroom and stare at them, and get lost in the comfort and beauty they bring me.

Here are a few pictures of some of my collectibles(There are way more)….Yikes!

Besides family and friends, what are some hobbies or things that bring you joy and comfort? Do you have a childhood chest or storage container/bin?

Happy Reading!!!!

***Websites for images: http://www.itaggit.com/community/blogs/antiques/archive/2009/02/15/Antique-Dolls-Are-Valuable-Even-When-Damaged.aspx

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Confessions of an emotional hoarder


In a few days we will be packing our entire lives and moving to VA. It has been a very tumultuous ride living here as well as moving. We spent the first three and a half years of marriage here in PA, as well as so many ups and downs with both of our families. In a way, we are both looking forward to this move, although not so excited about the location.

The hardest part about this moving process was packing. I could not believe the amount of possessions both of us had accumulated over three and a half years. Most of our wedding gifts were neatly stacked in our closets, still unopened, staring at us.

This entire packing process has taken over a week to do and we live in a two bedroom, small apartment, with one bathroom may I add. I normally try to do a yearly clean out, where I take out any clothes we no longer use and I donate them to Good Will. This time however, the Good Will center by me was and is closed. The many possessions we no longer needed were placed in a corner until we decided what to do with them. For the remainder of the time, we continued to throw out bag after bag of trash. I was in awe at the amount of things I was holding on to.

One of the most difficult things throughout the packing/cleaning process was going through the pictures, mementos, achievement awards and dolls I had. Yeap, you read me correctly. At the proud age of 30, I had many, many, many dolls, teddy bears and other toys that we had to sort through.

Many of my childhood toys I had donated on a visit to the Dominican Republic a few years back. However, most of the toys I had recently, were collectables and gifts from those that know my fascination with dolls. We shall talk about this in another blog.

Anyway, some of the pictures were not good and I should had gotten rid of them long ago, like ex-boyfriend types of pictures. Other things were letters friends have written to me in the past, drawings from my childhood, cards people have given me, wedding invitations, and other stationary. My husband and I argued a lot about this category of possessions. He wanted to get rid of all of his childhood memories like report cards and trophies, along with all of my stuff. I was hell-bent on keeping them. But then he told me something very valuable. The letters I was holding on to are conversations I already had, I cannot have them again and I cannot bring a person or event back…Why was I insisting on holding on to a conversation from 15 years ago? The pictures….thankfully he is not the jealous type, are only a reminder of where I was at that time. Why was I holding on to something that already happened? Shouldn’t I be creating new memories? He was right, as he always is. I gathered my courage and got rid of all that stuff I was holding on to. I felt like and emotional hoarder. Holding on to a feeling I felt or an event that happened was not going to bring the past back, I need to just move forward.

I sorted through everything, keeping only the things that were important and that I may one day share with my own children. Things like SOME achievement awards, ONE wedding invitation instead of 30, TWO of my favorite teddy bears instead of 50, and a FEW of my husband’s trophies from his little league days. I was heartbroken, but deep down inside I knew I had to part from these things one day. It was not healthy to hold on to EVERYTHING, as if time never should had passed. It was difficult, but I knew I had to do it for my sanity and for much-needed space.

Perhaps I did not wat to let go of the good times I spent growing up with my grandmother, or a feeling of happiness I may have felt while a picture was being taken. However, I know that in order to move forward and start fresh, I needed to get rid of the past, physically and emotionally.

I must admit, it was very difficult to get rid of some of these things, a lot harder than I thought. I normally do not have a problem cleaning my closet, shoes or other things. This one category¬†of stuff…. was tough. Maybe it was because many of the past feelings and resentments resurfaced this holiday season? Or maybe it was because 2011 was a very difficult year for us and this was the icing on the cake? I am not sure. But, I did not know I would feel this devastated and relieved at the same time.

See you next week from our new place!!!

Happy Reading!!!! 

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When you wish upon a star…


So, we are moving to VA in a few weeks. Another military move…SIGH! Thus far, it has been a stressful experience. From finding a new place to live, to finishing up this semester at grad school, everything we have planned has not worked out. At this point, we are rolling with the punches and waiting to see what else is going to happen.

We took that long dreaded drive to VA last week, only to find ourselves driving endlessly and seeing over FIFTEEN apartments. Of course none were livable or even halfway descent. We drove to Portsmouth, Norfolk, Chesapeake,Virginia Beach, Suffolk and finally Hampton. Never thought I had to drive to SIX cities to find a place to live.

On the course of our journey we had a few mishaps. There was a fire drill in our hotel on our second night there. That was ¬†not fun! The next day we got stuck in the elevator of the hotel. This was also NOT FUN! Not to mention we drove around other areas and saw other apartments that were not on our “list”, and were also disappointing.

When we finally did find a place to live,  it was across a dreaded tunnel. I was trying so hard not have to cross a tunnel while living there; but ALAS, it was not meant to be.

Our biggest disappointment was in Virginia Beach. I always heard good things about the area and we thought we could not go wrong living there. To our surprise, the apartments were too small or too pricey .

The only thing that kept us going was a strange phenomenon that happened on our first night in VA. As we were returning to our hotel from a unsucessful apartment hunt, we heard our wedding song. We have not heard this song in three years. After the song finished playing, we got out of our SUV, and we both saw a shooting star. WHAT ARE  THE ODDS OF THAT??!!  This made us feel like there was hope and we would find something before the end of our journey.

And so we did. We will be living in….HAMPTON! I must say, even though it is a bit far from military life, I actually like the area where we are going to live and I LOVE my apartment. It is brand new and near a very nice mall. I am actually excited to be living there.

Now the dreaded packing and unpacking, and changing our entires lives. But after everything we went through, this should be a piece of cake!!!

On that note,

May you see many shooting stars and all of your journeys be fruitful!!!!

 

 

Happy Reading!!!

 

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The “Real” Housewife of the Navy


I am a U.S. Navy housewife. Sometimes I ponder, “How on earth that I get here?” I went to college, had a job in the financial services industry and had my place by the beach. Don’t get me wrong. I love my husband and I have gotten used to my life and my husband’s career. I would not trade it for anything !!!! ¬†I knew the advantages and disadvantages of being a military spouse. I know there are many other bloggers that are in the same circumstance as I am. For those of you that do not know, it is a big sacrifice for spouses and partners as well. It is an honor to support my husband in his career. However, there are times where I do not look forward to the Navy protocol or way of life.

Let’s start with the constant moving every three years or so. There are times when you know exactly where you are going, and then there are times where orders get screwed up. ¬†You may wind up in the state you knew you were going to, but not the city. Sometimes you can wind up in another state completely and all plans have to be re-done. I do like moving, I just don’t like the last-minute changes and the actual packing and unpacking ūüôā

Let me not forget the dreaded deployment that most service men and women must undertake. For the Navy wife this could mean 6 months to 1 year of not seeing your spouse. You may or may not be near relatives, as he or she may be stationed in a state that is not familiar to you. You will need ¬†the strength of Hercules, the emotions of a crocodile and the determination of a lion to survive alone. You will have to get out there and meet new friends, attend doctors’ appointments alone, tend to the children and manage the household all by your self. There are times when no one will be around to lend you a hand, and there will be times when you will not be in contact with your spouse. Therefore, you have to be creative, resilient and very independent.

Then there is the employment search. Military spouses have a far more greater challenge that just finding a job, it is also finding a career that can move with you. There are companies out there that have sites in other states and they may grant you a transfer. However, these days you would need to apply for another position in another state, and pray that you get chosen so that you can remain with the same company. If the company you are with does not operate in other states, then each time you move you will need to apply to a different place of employment. Therefore, some of us have to take a job that is not too serious or with too much commitment, as we know we are destined to be leaving sooner than later. It is important that we do our research and not just choose a job for the sake of having a job in this economy; we also need to ensure that the job is military spouse friendly. What does that mean?

1. The company must be reasonable and understand that if your spouse has orders to transfer to another state, they must allow you to resign and dismiss any contracts you may have with such company.

2. If you are the one with orders, the company must ensure that while you are away serving our country, they must have a position for you when you get back from your duties.

3. Military friendly companies hire military spouses and such, to use them as temps and temp to hire. This way they do not have to pay a temp agency to find them employees. Instead, they can hire military spouses without having to pay huge finders fees and still used them as temps. It is Win Win for all !!!

4. The company has a contract with a department of the military to provide services, and as such it provides jobs to military members and their families.

There are many other meanings of what a military friendly company is and what it provides, but I wanted to give you an overview. 

So besides the constant moving, the constant job search and the possibility that your husband may get deployed, there is the DRAMA. Yes! There is a lot of drama when your life revolves around the military. Not the kind that you act out in plays and motion pictures, but the kind that is REAL. There is my least favorite of all: family drama. Then there is money drama, spouse drama and many others. This can take a heavy toll emotionally, financially and health wise to any person. Family drama is the worse for me because is the one that I have been dealing with for the past three years, and it is the one that takes an emotional toll on a person. If you are emotionally drained and exhausted, it makes it more difficult for you to be able to cope with the loneliness, the hardships, and the day-to-day issues that arise in your household; especially if you are living in a military household. It took me a while to get over how many ¬†people simply do not understand what it takes to be in the military, yet alone a spouse to someone serving our country. If there is one thing that has always helped me is patience. If you are a military spouse you will need a lot of PATIENCE to deal with family members, your own family and the world. People simply don’t get it and they are only used to what they watch on T.V., or the stories grandpa tells them from WWII. The reality is that I did not even know all the details of what it takes to be a military spouse until I became a Navy wife.

On a side note, this is my last year in PA. We get to choose our next location soon. It is a temporary location, as the Navy may change these orders and we actually won’t know for sure until we are packing those tan/brown moving boxes again! My husband will be preparing to go on a deployment. Time to start preparing for this difficult time.

This post is dedicated to all the military spouses out there. May God bless us all!!!! 

 

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Happy Reading!!!

 

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