Thursday, July 19, 2007

Another late/long update

So I've been horrible about updating our blog. Sorry about that. We've stayed busy, though there's not a ton of really interesting stuff going on, just day-to-day life. Neal is finally (!) back on days now. Wednesday was his first day on, and he has a long weekend this week. We're planning on getting out in the garden and doing some more landscaping. Little by little, it's really starting to look good! The basil and tomatoes have gone crazy just in the last week or so. They were doing really well before, but it seems they just about doubled in size in about a week, and the larger two tomato plants are monsters! I've been pinching the blooms to make them grow bigger before letting tomatoes grow, but I'm afraid I might run out of room at this point, so we're going to let them start producing. We've got about a dozen blooms on different plants, so the next two to three weeks ought to be interesting. I somehow have this feeling that we're going to be swimming in tomatoes and begging people to take them off our hands. But we're hoping to make some sauces, can some of them diced and whole, and I guess we'll be eating the rest! We also have two little plants growing among the tomatoes. I was weeding one day and noticed two very different-looking sprouts that I decided to leave and see what happened. They looked very much like vegetable sprouts. Right now, I'm still not sure, but I think they may be squash or something similar. How cool is that?!? I'm going to wait another week or so and see if I can tell what they are. Either way, I'll have to either pull them or move them, as the tomatoes are already crowding each other.

We have cleared about 2/3 of the area that we are working on, and we're going to do the rest this weekend. We are planning on expanding the length of the garden by another row, to allow me to plant my tomatoes from seed that are still potted right now. Then, we're going to leave a border on each side of the garden, place walking stones in, and put down some marigolds to keep pests away (we have a bad mosquito issue out there) and make things pretty. Eventually, we want to put some more flowers, maybe rose bushes along the back wall, and some smaller flowers below the wisteria tree. I'll attach a few pictures so everyone knows what I'm talking about. I'll probably take some before and afters this weekend too, and post them next week (P.S. I have an album of the entire garden and progress here:

Somehow, these...

...turned into these...

...and these...

...turned into these!

We went to Rome two weeks ago. We had a blast! We left Saturday morning, spent the day in Rome, then got back home around 10pm. It was a long, exhausting day, but it was loads of fun! We went to the Colosseum, then just sort of made our way around the area. We checked out a couple of churches, a monastery, a couple museums (including the Italian war museum), and a cute little cafe. We just snacked all day while walking around, then stopped for dinner before the train. The cafe was a quaint little place that has tables actually in the alley between it and the next building (very popular way of doing things around here). Neal had ravioli, and I had a pork chop. And of course, we couldn't turn down dessert, so Neal had a tiramisu, I had rum-soaked pineapples, and we split the two. Overall, the day was a blast, and we took tons of pictures! We have them all posted on the Shutterfly website because there are so many. We didn't want to overload the blog. I'll post a few here, but the entire album (191 pictures) is located at: (warning: there are several pictures in here that include nudes in the art. If you'd like a kid-friendly version, click here:

We're getting a new car this week. The BMW we bought has been difficult lately, and since we got it dirt cheap, we don't mind replacing it. The brakes had been acting up, and we weren't super happy about depending on it. We're buying an Alfa Romeo from another MA that is getting transferred. Apparently it's in great shape, so we won't have to worry about this one.

We're also anxiously awaiting Chief's results, which should be out no later than mid-August. Apparently, Neal is considered an early applicant because he has less than twelve years in the Navy, and they're only allowed to have 10% of the final group as earlies. So while that's not great news, if he makes it, that will just make it that much sweeter! Though we're both anxious to know, he's kept a very calm attitude about it, taking the "wait and see" attitude. I, on the other hand, am like a kid at Christmas! If there was a box to shake, it would be torn to pieces by now! I never have been good about waiting for things, hehe!

Mom and Dad Carcello sent us the Rosetta Stone Italian language program for Neal's birthday. We'd been wanting to try to learn the language, and we've heard that this program is the best. We just got it yesterday, so we may try it out this weekend too. We're super excited about it, as we're starting to understand, or at least distinguish, Italian words a little better. One funny thing that happened in Rome: when we were getting in line at the Colosseum, there were "tour guides" (they use that term loosely around here) that were trying to drum up business before we went in. There was one that was near us and started asking us in English if we needed a guide, and I didn't even realize she was speaking in English at first! I had been so used to being among Italian speakers, that it seemed odd to hear someone speak English anywhere off of base! It was hilarious!

We're both trying to lose some weight together, and I am finally back to working out on a daily basis. We're trying to focus on our diets, less processed and more fresh foods, and really paying attention to what we're eating. I am doing the Body for Life workout challenge, and it's been great so far! I can really feel my body getting stronger. And I've lost about 1.5 inches all over, which is nice given that it's only been three weeks so far! Though I still am not on good terms with the scale, I keep reminding myself that I'm building muscle, and the scale won't drop as fast that way. I'm also running, which is nice. I've finally been able to build up to the point that I can run straight through, albeit slowly, for 25 minutes. I usually get in about two miles, so I'm satisfied with that. I probably could keep going, but I'm doing so well, I don't want to overdo it. Neal is doing PT at work. There is now a requirement that he has to work out with the command, so unfortunately we don't get to work out together anymore. But he's doing really well too, and you can see the difference!

I believe that just about covers everything going on here. I will definitely try to update more often, and will do so if I think of anything that I missed. We love you all, and hope everyone is doing well! Ciao!

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