Thursday, August 23, 2007

New haircut! And other recent updates!

I got a new haircut today!

I've been meaning to get it trimmed since we got here, but hadn't quite built up the courage to brave a trip to the Italian salon. I talked with one of the Italian ladies that works on base, and she suggested a salon she thought was great, and I went there. The guy did a great job!
I just took in pictures (decided to get a little more than a trim), told him to do some combination of them, and he did exactly what I wanted! He was super sweet too, stopping frequently to ask if I was okay, if he was doing what I wanted, etc. I think he was a little concerned about the language barrier, and wanted to make sure we understood each other. They take their time, but it turned out really well, and even less than I used to pay in the States (random fact: they don’t tip here!).

That’s definitely not the best picture, as I had to take it myself, and didn’t realize there was a glare off of my glasses, but you get the idea. I’ll probably post another soon, once I have a chance to get used to doing it myself.

I love it! It’s so much lighter on my head, and has some character to it now. It’s also nice to get rid of all of those split ends! Neal loved it too. I went back up to base afterward to show him, and I think he was pleasantly surprised. He had another one of the guys laughing at him because he had to tousle and play with it. It was cute. After I got home, I had called him to let him know I was home, and he commented again on how much he loved my hair, and how cute it was! So I’m glad he likes it too.

Other updates: Janie's adventure in blood-draws! So I haven't had my cholesterol checked since last June, and I figured it was high time to check on it again. I had actually scheduled it back in July, but I had to go and sprain my ankle the day before my appointment, and I was not about to deal with a needle while in that much pain (I know, I'm a wimp). So I finally decided to get it done last Tuesday.

After fasting for twelve hours, I go to medical, and the tech just cannot get blood. She pokes me three times (including once in the hand - ouch!), and it doesn't even bleed after pulling the needle out! We finally decide to just stop,
and try again another day, after drinking tons of water the day before/of. So I pour the fluids down, and try again Friday. Different tech, same results. She just goes straight for the other hand, knowing how hard we had it last time. Nothing. She tries an arm - again nothing. Finally, she decides to go for the wrist. Oh so not fun! She finally manages to get some blood, but it is literally dripping down the tube. Halfway to what we need, it just stops! She maneuvers the needle deeper, has me flex my hand, and tries to physically pump it from higher up on the arm, but it will not give anything but a nasty bruise. Again, we decide to stop. The funny part of all this was that while I'm trying cleansing breaths and praying for help, the tech was actually praying for God to show her a vein, lol! She was seriously saying, "Praise you Jesus, just show me a vein." I couldn't help but laugh. She honestly felt so awful for inflicting so much pain. I'm not sure who was more relived that we stopped!

Neal has now nicknamed me "turnip." We finally decided that since Neal has a dental appointment in Naples this week, we'd see if their lab tech can fare any better.Fast forward to today. We tell the lab tech how much trouble we’d been having, and he took his time finding a vein to try, but he got it on the first poke, no problems! I barely felt the initial prick, then about 15 seconds later, he had all he needed. I told him he’s my new hero, and is on my Christmas list! I was amazed! Of course, I had been drinking water like it was going out of style, but I still think he was an angel sent from God! I'm kidding of course, but I was praying throughout the day that this would be successful. I'm so not good with needles, and though I'm cooperative, I was about to start losing it if someone couldn't get me to bleed! I told Neal that if they had trouble, I was just going to slice a finger open for them!Anyway, not so interesting maybe, but definitely a successful day for me.

Other notes: our garden is frozen in time, I think. After several weeks of amazing baby tomatoes, they have just stopped growing! We hit a bit of a cold snap, and it's really cool at night here, so I'm thinking that's the reason, but it's really frustrating! It's so hard to see all those lovely tomatoes on the vine, knowing that they're not quite ready to pick, even to ripen off the vine. We've been feeding them once a week, and we're praying that since the heat is back, they will buck up, but this may just be a lesson for next year. We may have lots of fried green tomatoes and green salsa on our hands.

Neal didn't end up making chief, but no one here in Gaeta did. There were about eight candidates I think. Apparently, it's not unusual, and only about 10-15% of the candidates were selected anyway. Neal said they call the Chief's exam "the annual meeting of the first classes." Some people never actually make it. Neal took it really well, and said it obviously wasn't God's timing. I think I took it worse than he did, but there's always next year.

We watched a friends dog last week. I just wanted to post her picture. Her name is Bella. She is an adorable little thing, though she's definitely still a puppy. She's very cuddly, and follows you everywhere. Mommy lives in an apartment, so she really enjoyed being out in our yard. Because we have the fence, we could just let her run loose. She would play fetch with a tennis ball for as long as we kept throwing it. And she even scared one of the stray cats away while she was here! This picture is of her crashing on our bedroom floor after we came inside. I think she liked the cool tile. Obviously, she's just a teenie little thing, but she has some serious energy!

I think that's about it. We're just living daily life right now. We're definitely looking forward to Neal's college buddy Chris and his friend from church, also Chris, coming to visit this fall. They will be our first guests from home, and we can't wait to just see familiar faces! And of course, we'll get to show them around. We're also really looking forward to football season, now that we have a satellite box to be able to watch American football! Right now, we're planning a trip just for us to Florence this fall too. We're still in the planning stages, but it's so much fun to research the area! We're really looking forward to getting away for a while and spending time together exploring!

We love you all, and hope everyone is doing well! As always, we miss you all dearly, and can't wait to see everyone again at some point or another!

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