Monday, October 3, 2011

A Saturday Out With Vernon

From the top of the ski jump hill, lens on full zoom.
A day out with Vernon you say?  How is that possible with him being over 3,500 miles away? Well, sometimes I go places and sometimes I'll even force myself to go out so I can take pictures and tell Vernon about it later. Today was a beautiful Fall day so I wanted to go out and take pictures of the fall colors and show them to Vern. Unfortunately we aren't at peak colors yet, I'll have to go out again next weekend and see if they are any brighter, but I went out anyway and took some nice photos and went places I think Vernon would have wanted to go.  I also drove around town appreciating where I live,  and the beautiful day. I took pictures of things Vern might want to see. I think I was out for about three hours, throwing in a few errands here and there. I had a great morning, and then this afternoon was spent on an online video call with Vernon. It's like I spent the entire day with him. Here are the rest of the photos I took while out and about this morning.

Where do you like to go with your Sweetheart when he/she can't be with you?  Do you ever find yourself appreciating things you see every day when you try to see them as if you were experiencing it with that other person? I find myself doing this quite often.

From the top of the ski jump hill, lens on full zoom.

From the top of the ski jump hill. Observation deck to left.

Flagpole at Veteran Memorial at top of ski jump hill.

Mountaineer Stadium

Mountaineer Stadium

Mountaineer Stadium

Menominee River, the border between MI and WI

Menominee River, the border between MI and WI

Menominee River, the border between MI and WI

A small corner grocery store.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Party Like it's 1999.

This week will be 12 years. In the beginning I never thought our distant relationship would evolve into something so amazing and wonderful. Next to my daughter of course, Vernon is the best thing to happen to me. I can't imagine life without him, nor do I want to remember life before him. He is my soul mate, my partner, everything I didn't know I wanted in a man until I met him. To get more of our beginning you can check out My First Blog Post or the "About Us" tab at the top.

Other couples know exactly when their relationship started. They also know who said "I love you" first, and when. Some can even tell you the cute little story behind it. I don't really know how it happened with us?  It just happened. We started as strangers in two different countries who just wanted someone to talk to and now, 12 years later, we can't imagine life without the other. I do not regret one day, one hour, one minute or one second with him.

It was mid to late September of 1999 that I decided to write to him. And he promptly wrote back. Everything was so different back then. His youngest was 3 and both of the older kids were 7. It feels like a lifetime ago when Heidi was that young. Here is a bit of historical information from the year 1999.

*This list is by no means exactly accurate or verified. I simply Googled various websites to find this general information for entertainment purposes.

Gas: $1.25/gal   Petrol: 61p/ltr
Milk: $2.75/gal
First class US stamp: 33 cents
UK minimum wage: 3.60 pounds/hr
The Euro is introduced
WalMart buys the UK chain ASDA

Top movies: Matrix, Star Wars episode 1 - The Phantom Menace, American Beauty, American Pie, 6th Sense, Big Daddy, Office Space, 10 Things I Hate About You, Boondock Saints, Cruel Intentions, Notting Hill and the Blair Witch Project.
I feel 1999 was an awesome movie year. This is only a handful of them.

Best Picture: American Beauty          
Best Actor: Kevin Spacy
Best Actress: Hillary Swank

TV Shows: The Sopranos, Futurama, and The West Wing

Music: Backstreet Boys - I Want it That Way  
TLC - No Scrubs
Britney Spears - Baby One More Time
Cher - Believe
Ricky Martin - Livin La Vida Loca

Books on New York Times Best Sellers List:
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - JK Rowling
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - JK Rowling
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - JK Rowling
Hannibal - Thomas Harris
The Testament - John Grisham
Bittersweet - Danielle Steele
The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon - Stephen King

FIFA Women's Soccer World Cup-US defeats China in shootout
FIFA Men's Soccer World Cup-France defeats Brazil 3-0
Superbowl champs-Denver Broncos defeat Atlanta Falcons 34-19
NCAA Men's Basketball champs-Connecticut defeats Duke 77-74 (Michigan State was also in the final 4!)
World Series-New York Yankees defeats Atlanta Braves 4-0
Michael Jordan announces his retirement. (for the first time)

Technology I did a guest post on how technology has changed over the last 11 years and how it affected my long distance relationship. I'm quite proud of it. Feel free to check it out.

Businesses were starting to advertise on businesses online.
Online auctions sites were the new rummage sales where you could bid on other people's junk..
Chinese government restricts internet use, aimed especially at internet cafes.
The Melissa Worm infects MS word processing and email systems around the world.
The Blackberry was introduced but didn't reach a million subscribers until 2004.
The world was panicked and getting ready for the predicted Y2K crash when date/time reached 010100 00:00:00. I really wasn't too concerned. Nothing happened that I know of.  My sister sold generators at the time and it was a very good year for their company.

President of US: Bill Clinton
Prime Minister of UK: Tony Blair
President Bill Clinton begins impeachment trial in the Senate.
Pro Wrestler Jesse Ventura is sworn in as Governor of Minnesota

Other Major Events of 1999
Hurricane Floyd hammered North Carolina
Columbine High School massacre happened in Jefferson Co, Colorado
Millennium Dome opens in London.
Ladbroke Grove rail crash in West London kills 31 people.

Another big major event is worth mentioning here. On October 12, 1999 the world was able to proclaim "The 6 billionth living human in the world is born". Vernon made a beautiful post about us and it was titled 6 Billion to One, We met in September, and the world didn't reach 6 billion until October, but then One in 5 Billion 999 Million 999 Thousand 999 to One just doesn't have the same ring to it.

So many things have changed since 1999, including us and our relationship. We love each other more and more every day so after 4,380 days that's quite a lot of feelings we have for each other. Also, physically, I don't think we changed a bit... and I'm stickin' to that. 


Friday, September 16, 2011

Seven Posts of Past

Thank you Sarah @ The Ex-Pat Bride for nominating me to participate in this. I don't usually go back to my old posts and it was fun and enlightening for me to read past posts. I can't believe I have had this blog for over a year and I'm amazed at how much I've learned. I value the friendships I have made and the camaraderie amongst other bloggers. Most of all it has helped keep Vernon and I close over the 3,500+ miles that we have to face every day. Vernon enjoys my posts, and so do my family and freinds. I also hope I have given encouragement and hope to others in long distance relationships. Well, enough babbling, on with the meme.
The rules of this meme are as follows:
To unite bloggers (from all sectors) in a joint endeavor to share lessons learned and create a bank of long but not forgotten blog posts that deserve to see the light of day again.

1) Blogger is nominated to take part
2) Blogger publishes his/her 7 links on his/her blog - 1 link for each category.
- Your most beautiful post
-Your most popular post
-Your most controversial post
-Your most helpful post
-A post whose success surprised you
-A post you feel didn't get the attention it deserved
-The post that you are most proud of
3) Blogger nominates up to 5 more bloggers to take part.
4) These bloggers publish their 7 links and nominate another 5 more bloggers
5) And so it goes on!
6) The site Trip Base will be sharing the best posts from participating bloggers on their blog and everyday on Facebook and Twitter at #My7Links

1. Most Beautiful Post:  A Castle, Shopping and a Baby! 
During my most recent trip across the pond I got to see my first castle, go shopping with one of my dearest friends and a baby was born. I couldn't have asked for a better trip.

 2. Most Popular Post:  Happy Father's Day!
I was actually surprised at how well this one is doing. It is my most popular post and still going strong. I guess this is the day of the dad. I find Vernon's dedication to his children very endearing and very sexy. He's a wonderful father.

3. Most Controversial Post:  Are You Crazy?!?!?!
I don't really write about controversial topics, but this one was full of venting. I guess I can't expect everyone to understand or accept our relationship, but I don't like being made to feel like there is something wrong with it.

4. Most Helpful Post:  Dear Kimberly:
Someone from the Loving From a Distance site reached out to me asking advice about her long distance relationship. I replied and then turned it into a blog post. She and I are now friends and she is still in her LDR. It's a bit wordy, it's not a popular post, but if someone is looking for advice on LDR's this is the post to read.

5. A Post Whose Success Surprised Me: Monthly Milestones - June
This is another meme that I participate in and is sponsored by Sarah @ The Ex-Pat Bride. I'm surprised it has done so well because it is really short and basically consists of a to-do list for the month. Nothing exciting or earth shattering.

6. A Post That Didn't Get the Attention it Deserved: Three Very Special Children
Nobody likes to read about sick kids, but I was hoping this post would have done better than it did. Two of the three children have long journeys ahead of them and they come from such amazing families. The third had had his journey and has thankfully started kindergarten. I felt like I didn't do enough for these kids, like I didn't write the article well enough to catch the interest of readers or other bloggers. But then I thought if I got them at least one donation or caused a reader to donate their money or time to a charity of their choice, then I guess I succeeded.

7. The Post I am Most Proud of:  I Have Been Featured on "The Ex-Pat Bride"!
I was really excited when Sarah @ The Ex-Pat Bride contacted me asking if I would guest post on her blog. At first I was like, "why?" I don't have many readers, I'm not special. I don't even know what I'm doing half the time as I'm trying to post these blog entries. She is one of the sweetest people that I know and was really flattering and excited to see what I came up with. I decided to write about how technology has changed in the last 11+ years and how it has affected our long distance relationship. I figured Sarah's readers are pretty young and would find this article interesting. It was more of a structured researched article as I wanted to provide Sarah with a quality post. My posts are usually random and unorganized but I want my blog to be somewhat candid.

The bloggers that I am nominating are:

Sarah @ Crafting with Sarah
Christy @ Castles, Crumpets and Craig oh my!
Betsy @ Betsy Transatlantically
Yvonne @ Welcome to my World of Poetry
Brittany @ Tales From a Sailor's Soul Mate

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wish You Were Here

There are days when this long distance relationship is something that I am used to and have become accustomed to living with. Then I have days where I'm like "Damn! Damn! Damn! What I'd do to have you here." I miss you Honey.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday Five - My favorite "English" foods

I have taken a few trips to England to visit my charming English man and I have come to find some foods over there that I can't do without during my visits. They may not necessarily be "English" but I found them in England so to me, they are.

1. Curly Wurlys

I bring home several 5 packs every time I go. I found a bar hidden in my sock drawer today which prompted this theme and I can't wait to enjoy it this weekend!

2. Galaxy Ripple

OMG! I mean OMG! I wanted to try Flake Chocolate and Vernon said that I needed to try a Galaxy Ripple to get the "full experience" of having flake chocolate for the first time. OMG! I brought a bunch of these home too.

3. Black Pepper and Sea Salt Chips-Crisps 

I have to say that the chip selection is not what I'm used to. One year I picked up what I thought was a family size bag and when I got back to the apartment and opened it up IT WAS FULL OF A BUNCH OF LITTLE BAGS! HUH?!?! No wonder we're the fattest country in the world. Anyway... the selection has improved over the years, I can now find American pretzels! Woo Hoo! Anyway, while I was there one year I thought the black pepper and sea salt chips sounded good. I don't know if they were available here in the US, my city in Upper Michigan or simply in my store. Maybe they always have been and I never noticed. Well, I noticed them in England so they are "English" to me. When I am there, those are my snack of choice.

4. Jacobs Jam and Cream Biscuits (Cookies) 

I normally don't buy cookies at home, but these are amazing and I also bring several packages home with me. I've looked for something like this here at home and I have had no luck. I'm sure we have something like them but maybe it's best I don't find anything. That's all I need is cookies in my kitchen.

5. Potatoes

OK, I know what you are thinking... "Potatoes? Um don't you live in the United States? Home of the Idaho Potato?" Yes, and they are yummy! But, what is missing from this picture? Think. Look at it closely... DIRT! Yes! The potatoes in the grocery store where Vernon shops sells potatoes in these plastic bags and they are clean. I love this!! I really dislike scrubbing vegetables, especially potatoes. I buy a bag of potatoes and there is dirt everywhere because there are holes in the bag. If my grocery store sold clean potatoes I would buy them.

OK, so 4 out of 5 is junk food, but believe it or not I always lose weight when I go to England and I think I eat more. I don't get it but it happens. I have my theories but that is for another day and another post.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Guest Blogger: Sarah

I asked Sarah to write a guest post because I think she's awesome!  She too is in love with a very lucky, very charming British man. I think Chris and Vernon have to be the two luckiest blokes in England.  Sarah and Chris have been in a long distance relationship for over 3 years and they are getting married in a few months. I love keeping up on the wedding plans as she has kept her readers up to date during the entire process. I find Sarah to be very funny, intelligent and such a sweetheart. And no, we have never met, but it feels as if we have and I always look forward to reading her blog posts. Please show your appreciation for Sarah and leave some comments. She is very gracious and I consider her a friend and I know she would enjoy to read your feedback.

I also want to add that Chris proposed via YouTube video.  I lost count of how many times I have seen it, but  it always makes me cry. It won them a honeymoon to Thailand... such a deserving couple.
An American Girl’s Guide to British Men

Although Kimberly may be even more of a master on the subject, I fancy myself quite the expert when it comes to British men. I’ve lived in the UK for a total of about a year and a half and have been dating one for almost four years.

In my experience, I’ve found the American woman/Brit bloke combo works very well, and is actually more common than you may think. So for all you ladies out there thinking that you fancy yourself your very own Mr.Darcy, (that’s what I sometimes call my FiancĂ©) I’ve made a lovely list (list? whoops my American is showing) for you, of dos, don’ts, and things to expect before entering a relationship with one of those dashing and debonair heartthrobs. Just think Hugh Grant or Colin Firth circa Bridget Jones.

*Disclaimer: The use of stereotypes in this article are merely for humorous purposes and are based on the results of my own experiences. (i.e. FACT!)
·         DON’T get on the tube after a long walk through rainy London town and proclaim in your American voice volume standards that your pants are all wet. Pants, ladies, means underwear... as in panties. And on that note, DON’T engage him in an argument about whether or not Gerard Butler was wearing pants in 300. (That was seriously our first ever argument).
·         DON’T offer to make biscuits and gravy for breakfast. He thinks biscuits are cookies and will be thoroughly confused.
·         DON’T expect him to have a car, a degree, or a savings account. Although in America we may think these are essentials before dating anyone, they are simply not priorities in the same way in British culture.
·         DO expect to swoon after he says the simplest of sentences. For some reason I love the way he says “toilet” and “chuffed” and even “no” ... although I don’t like hearing that word too much.
·         DON’T be surprised when he drops a bucket in front of you when you tell him you are “sick”. That means barfing. You should say “ill”. And yes, no matter how used to it you get, saying the word “ill” will always make you feel pretentious, or like you are in a low budget period drama.
·         DO let him do all the navigating. He grew up riding trains and buses (both of which are still new and exciting to me) and is most likely never completely lost. Just make sure you do the actual scheduling, Americans have a better knack of time management if I do say so myself.
·         DO not feel bad for relying on him to pull you out of a sticky situation. After all, he knows how to “keep calm and carry on.”
·         DON’T expect him to help you write this post.
·         DON’T expect him to have perfect teeth. Their dentists don’t force them into braces at the slightest of over-bites.
·         DO expect to have to do math just to talk about the weather. (F/C)
·         DO expect to have different ideas of what constitutes clean carpets *cough, cough*
·         DO try not to judge when he wants to put corn on his sandwiches or pizza
·         DON’T try and drink him under the table. Even if he swears he “doesn’t drink anymore”.
·         DO expect that he will laugh when you have problems navigating the smallest of roundabouts. They are simply part of Britain’s natural landscape.
·         DO expect him to complain about any car trip that is longer than an hour (“5 hours?! We could’ve been in Scotland by then!”). Yet he can sit through an all day movie marathon.
·         DO expect that he will be whole-heartedly on board for celebrating Thanksgiving. To him, it’s basically like an early Christmas dinner that you’ll cook.
·         DO expect him to ask to use the “toilet”. He means he wants to use the sink also.
·         DO expect him to be able to write the mushiest of love letters and emails. (When he wants to).
·         DO expect that he will be willing to literally run to the store at “stupid o’clock in the morning” to buy you medicine when you have cramps. Or leave work to get a taxi and take you to the doctor when you are sick (ill).
·         DO expect that he will be willing to spend hundreds of pounds and cross the ocean to be with you, even if only for a few weeks.
·         ALWAYS expect that he’ll be able to vanquish your ever present doubts and insecurities to make you feel like the most beautiful girl in the world, (even if you are American).
·         DON’T take him for granted, he will be the best thing that ever happened to you.

Monday, August 8, 2011

How does one strim?

Strim: v. (UK) To use a strimmer. Um... ok? What is a strimmer? Vernon and I had this conversation. It is one of many conversations that we have had regarding a word that one of us uses and the other's reaction is "I beg your pardon?" or in my case, "huh?" Vernon has been working on his front yard, ("front garden" for those of you who don't speak American). He mentioned how he wanted to get a push mower of some kind. I felt his front yard / front garden was a bit small for a push mower so I suggested a weed whacker. I then heard, "I beg your pardon?". I giggled because I knew I'd get that reaction. I didn't know what they called a weed trimmer in the UK but I like to keep him on his toes. He informed me that they are called strimmers. I didn't really understand how that word came to be. I actually thought I mis-heard him. I Googled it and it's simply a merging of the words string + trimmer = strimmer. Pretty logical.

One of my favorite blogs, ameringlish has a word of the week. I don't believe this was one of them but I always look forward to her weekly word because sometimes it is completely new to me, and other times I laugh and can remember the conversation that Vernon and I had regarding that word as we learn each other's language through the years.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Monthly Milestones - July


Another Monthly Milestone post means summer is coming to an end. I'm dreading the snow already. It's been a crappy summer with my knee being all banged up but all I can do is keep on working on it and be very careful.

I had a few things I wanted to accomplish in July. It never happened. No cleaning out the garage or anything like that took place. I'm having enough trouble keeping up with my laundry. I also didn't sign up for a class. I have no money. I'm going to lose my spot in the program if I don't register for school this semester.  I really don't want to lose the progress I've made on my degree but I'm still trying to pay off the heat bill left over from the winter. I really need a class to keep me occupied in the evenings, especially right after Heidi leaves for school which will be the beginning of September. It was an emotional, difficult miserable month. I know I'm supposed to be looking at the positives but I don't see them right now.

What are my goals for August? I don't know? I'm sitting here thinking of the things I want to accomplish and I just want to stay in bed and do nothing. I have my business trip at the end of the month which I'm nervous about because my knee still hurts when I work out. My daughter leaves for college while I'm gone and then I wont see her until either Thanksgiving or Christmas. I don't want to cry as much as I have been lately. It has kind of been a daily thing for me so I guess that's my goal for August, to stop crying so much over nothing.

Maybe I should make a daily list. Nothing major, even if it's just one item I want to accomplish. (Is that still considered a list?) Then when I complete that task or tasks on that list or non-list I will feel a sense of accomplishment and not the miserable loser that I feel like today. I am also going to make sure I work out every day... I'm calling that "Operation Metallica" because I want to be able to stand for the entire Metallica concert at my conference unlike the Stevie Wonder concert at last years conference.

In a sense, I guess I did end up with some goals for August, which will include a trip to the doctor to help me get a handle on whatever is going on with me. My outlet for all things miserable is this blog so don't worry, I'm not going anywhere.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday 5 - What a Babe, Hubba Hubba

Today I am trying the meme Friday 5 which is being hosted by Living Like the Kings. I noticed it on The Expat Bride. I like her list of famous men that she "loves slightly less than her groom" and I thought that this would be a fun list to put together. So, here is my list of famous men that I'm quite fond of, but not as much as my sweet Englishman.


 Ok. anyone that knows me is now saying, "DUH", including Vernon.


Um... see a pattern here? I couldn't make up my mind which pic to post so feel free to enjoy both! ;)


God bless America!


He's just super charming and super funny.