Today on Guantanamo Bay

It is Day six on Guantanamo Bay.

We are enjoying our time with McDaddy and are thankful for this time together as a family.

Several of you have asked what its like here at GITMO. Or at least two of you anyway, I really can’t remember. Anyway, I’ll get to that in a minute.

Yesterday, I decided it would be a good idea to organize all of my photos in my photo bucket account. For those of you who have been using photo bucket to post pictures to your blog for the last four months, you know what a dumb idea mistake that was. It took less than ten minutes to sort the pictures into files that I named Just Julie, McDaddy, GITMO, Saturn Sky, Both boys and Nonsense, but it took me the better part of eight hours to go to every. single. post. and. remove the old link and replace it with the new link.

Clearly not one of the smartest decisions I’ve ever made.

I THINK I’m done. I could be wrong. You can let me know if you click on a post to find a stupid white photobucket box.

Let me just give some advice to anyone out there who thinks it might be a good idea to sort photobucket pictures.


Resist the urge.

Start a new account.

Start folders for everything posted in the future. But whatever you do, leave those stinkin’ pictures alone.

You’re Welcome.


Tuesday Night was the finale of Dancing With The Stars.

I missed it.

Immediately after live blogging American Idol, we headed out to watch McDaddy’s squadron in a softball tourney here on base. It did not matter to me that I have faithfully watched each week as yet another contestant danced to the end of their DWTS journey. Nor did it matter that my girl, Shawn Johnson who was my clear favorite since week one was competing in the finals. Really, I was fine with it and I look forward to watching it on my DVR once I get home.

Hooray Shawn! You go girl!


Oh, and American Idol? Sweet mercy, it was fabulous! I was thrilled to watch Kris Allen win. I rooted for Danny from day one but Kris quickly became a favorite of mine. I think he has mad talent on the piano and the guitar and on top of that his cute little face will be a marketing goldmine for Simon and his AI cohorts.

I hate to admit that due to the phone restrictions here in Cuba, I was not able to cast one single vote for the American Idol finals. I’m glad that Kris was able to pull it out in spite of my phone circumstances. I can’t wait for Danny and Kris to release their records. Both of them have huge careers ahead of them.


Aside from DWTS and American Idol excitement, there is no real news to report unless you count the fact that I am sitting in a little, blue, bloggy chair in Windward Loop on Guantanamo Bay with The Fairly Odd Parents playing on the television.

President Obama gave a speech just this morning about the Detainee Prison that is located mere miles from where I blogging from. McDaddy drove us through the prison camp on Tuesday evening and I’m sad to say there are ginormous “NO PHOTOGRAPHY” signs posted every three or four feet. If you’ve spent any amount of time around the hallowed halls of Inmates, you know I have a truckload of quirks and that I used to work in corrections.

If given the chance, I would have toured the joint, but sadly, the US Marines were a little too busy to give a quirky girl from WV a tour of the facility. Maybe next time.


We saw a scary, long boa constrictor stretched out across the road as if he owned the place last night. Since it is illegal to run over them, we sat and waited as it slivered off of the road and into the grass.

Shivers? anyone.


Some other really neat facts about GITMO.

  • Ariel pictures of the island are prohibited.
  • The US Naval Brig located here at GITMO may not be photographed. Not sure how true this is, but last night there was sign on the BRIG that read “NO VACANCY”
  • The snakes and iguanas are endangered and may not be harmed or ran over.
  • A new release movie is shown every night at an outside movie theater. The Star Spangled Banner is played before each movie.

I’ll leave you with a few pictures from our time here. Especially since they are all organized in a nice, neat folder called GITMO in my photobucket account.

This is a picture of Glass beach. It is called glass beach because the “shells” look like glass.

This is a picture of the bay. In the distance, you can see the run-way and the opening for the ferry.

The water here is beautiful. Just to the left of this picture is Camp Iguana.

We head home tomorrow.

Sweet Stuff

This week’s You Capture theme is sweet.

There couldn’t be a more fitting topic for the pictures that I’ve captured this week.

For instance, look at the sweet look on the faces of my fellas.

Those sweet smiles are the result of spending 107 days apart.

And this sweet capture?

It makes me smile.

See that hand with the pink nails? It is happy because it is back where it belongs.

In HIS hand.

It doesn’t get much sweeter than that!

Visit I Should Be Folding Laundry for more SWEET captures.

Next week’s challenge: FAMILY

Thursday Thirteen – The Letter O

It’s Thursday and that means another clever edition of Thursday Thirteen.

It’s time for the Letter O.

Let’s get this thing going.

1. OLIVE GARDEN – One of my favorite restaurants. I ALWAYS order spaghetti with meat sauce. And, I always eat more salad and bread sticks than I should.

2. OCEAN – The McFamily is currently in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The water is breathtaking.

3. OFFROADING – One of McDaddy’s favorite things to do in his heap (ahem, I mean Jeep).

4. OATMEAL – Brown sugar and cinnamon please, with a piece of toast to dip in it.

5. OUTLAW – As in the Dancing Outlaw. If you have never heard of the Dancing Outlaw, I would suggest you go to YouTube and check him out. He is from wild, wonderful West Virginia. He is definitely wild, but not sure about the wonderful part.

6. OFFICE – The Longaberger Home Office is one of the most unique buildings I have ever seen.

7. OCCUPATION – Before becoming pregnant, I was a correctional counselor in a jail. This was my last day in that capacity. I miss my jail friends.

8. ORTHOGNATHIC SURGERY – Otherwise known as Operation-fix-my-overbite – When I was a senior in high school, I had corrective surgery to fix my overbite. My jaws were broken and wired shut for eight weeks. Sweet mercy, can you believe I survived? The first few days after surgery were tough, but it was worth the pain.

9. OUTBACK – I love to eat at Outback. Unless I’m feeling frisky and try something new I always order Victoria’s Filet. That Victoria sure knows how to make a mean filet. And, I love, love, love the side salad. Their croutons are delightful!

10. OLYMPICS – I am an Olympic junkie. My favorite events are swimming, gymnastics, ice skating, beach volleyball, trampoline, diving, speed skating and bobsledding. I wish they were held every year. Oh, and just in case you hadn’t heard, Michael Phelps is my boyfriend.

11. ORGANIZATION – I am big on organization. Yesterday, I made the mistake of attempting to organize all of the photos in my photobucket account into individual folders. I should have left well enough alone because once you move a photo from its original location on photobucket, the link changes and it leaves a big white “IMAGE HAS BEEN MOVED OR REMOVED FROM PHOTOBUCKET BOX” in the place where the picture was. If you are looking at Vintage Inmates To Playdates and you see the big white stupid box instead of a real picture, please bear with me. It will take me a few days to restore all of my photos into their respective posts. GRRRR….

12. ORANGES – Not worth the mess.

13. ORGAN – I hope to save a life one day. If all else fails, I am an organ donor.

Rain Drops Were Falling On My Head

It’s Wednesday and that means another fine edition of Works For Me Wednesday.

You may recall that I am on Guanatanamo Bay, Cuba this week with my sweet McDaddy who is here on a six-month sentence deployment.

Unfortunately, the only thing I can think of me that would have really worked for me this week is a huge umbrella, or maybe a canoe, because it would have come in handy last night McDaddy took me and our sweet boys to watch his squadron play in a softball tournament.

The good news is that the game didn’t start until 9pm which meant I got to watch the American Idol before heading out. [I know, I know! I’m still missing Dancing With The Stars, but I am nothing if not a team player and so I was willing to pass on the DWTS finale to be with my sweet hubby!] The bad news is that in the third inning, it began to rain a bit. By the fourth inning, a tropical storm hit – no I am not being dramatic, just ask your weather guy – and the darn electric went out at the field.

If you happen to be keeping score, there are four of us. At a softball game. In a tropical storm. With no electric.

Not prime conditions for a princess.

And, I still have no earthly idea who won Dancing With The Stars.

By the time McDaddy and I carried both boys to the truck, we were all drenched, the boys were shivering and crying, my pedicure had seen better days and I was hoping with everything in me that the rain would not ruin my beloved fossil watch.

On top of that, we arrived back at our house to discover the electric was off there too.

So, I hope you’ll forgive me because I can’t think of a single new thing that works for me this week. I’m digging in my archives to pull out something that will hopefully work for you.

If you’re like me, you love to eat a good recipe.

This recipe really works for me because it fits my criteria for a successful recipe.

  • easy
  • quick
  • fail proof
  • delicious

You can certainly thank me later, especially after you have wowed your circle of friends and co-workers with this delectable delight.


  • 1 box of ice cream sandwiches
  • 1 large container of cool whip
  • 1 jar of chocolate fudge or Hersheys’ syrup
  • 1 jar or butterscotch topping

Layer 9X13 baking dish with ice cream sandwiches.See full size image

Next, spread a layer of cool whip.

Drizzle with Chocolate syrup and butterscotch topping.


Freeze until ready to serve

Top with crushed Butterfinger or heath bar. (Or your favorite topping such as pecans, sprinkles (for holidays) oreos, or your favorite fruit.

Head on over to We Are THAT Family to find more things that may Work For You!

And here’s a free-tip: If it’s raining outside, take an umbrella.

American Idol – The Finale

I am so happy to be live blogging the finale from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

For the past 11 weeks, I have live blogged alone in my living room after the kids have gone to sleep.

Typically, I pause it in the middle because McDaddy calls me.

Tonight, McDaddy is sitting two feet away from me on his lap-top tuned into and I couldn’t be happier.


This is the final performance show and THIS is American Idol.

The Guy next door verses The Guyliner.

Adam and Kris will be singing three songs each tonight. Their favorite performance from the season (personal pick) a song chosen by American Idol Creator Simon Fuller and a song co-wrote by Kara Diowhateverherlastnameis.

ADAM LAMBERT – “Mad World” – Adam chose this song as his favorite performance from the season. He is descending the steps in horror flick fashion. Not a fan the first time and not a fan this time, but I’m sure the Adam delegation is going nuts about now. – Randy says the performance gets an A+, Kara says he is an incredible artist, Paula is yammering on about being proud and said he did a brilliant job, Simon says the performance was over-theatrical (yathink?).

KRIS ALLEN – “Ain’t No Sunshine” – I loved this song the first time he sang it. He is rockin’ it as always. The only thing that would make this song any better is if he were sitting at the piano without his shirt. He is such a cutie patootie. His voice makes me smile. – Randy says that was one of his best performances, Kara is being her dramatic self complete with finger pointing and spitting, Paula calls him a true artist and Simon says that last week he wasn’t sure America had made the right choice, but that after THAT performance, he takes all that back.

[Is it just me or does Randy look like a clown in that get-up? I didn’t know it was fashionable to put polka dots and plaid together but then again, what do I know? Even McDaddy uttered, “What is he wearing?” which is weird because McDaddy really couldn’t care less about the American Idol or its judges. Much less their wardrobe choices.]

ADAM SCREECHER LAMBERT – “Change Is Going To Come” – Not sure I’ve heard this song but I like the bluesy spin Adam is putting on it. Is it possible he can do a whole song without the screech? NOPE. I thought not. Besides Play That Funky Music, this might be my favorite performance of his though. – Randy says he can sing his face off and was unbelievable, Kara says it was his best performance (I agree), Paula says the best it was the best she had ever heard him and said he looked like a superstar and Simon says that after that Adam is 100% back in the game.

[Love Paula’s green shirt by the way.]

KRIS ALLEN – “What’s Going On?” – I like it, A-LOT. I love the way he works the guitar. This little cat is so talented. I can’t wait to hear his first record. It will, without a doubt be wonderfully soulful. – Randy says the performance was a little light, Kara says Simon picked a great song for Kris, Paula said he made Marvin Gaye proud and Simon says it was like three friends in a bedroom strumming a Marvin Gaye song and that it was too laid back (Oh hush, Simon!). LOVED IT!

ADAM LAMBERT – “No Boundaries” – I cannot be sure but I think I heard a bad note or ten. I like that he is holding back a bit. Its a nice change for him. I think all in all he did a pretty good job on this song. I miss the luxury of rolling the performance back on my TiVo to hear it all again. – Randy says it was just alright for him, Kara says he did a great job on the song (hello, she wrote it what else is she supposed to say?), Paula says she is a forever fan of Adam’s no matter what he sings, Simon says he has been one of the most original contestants ever and that he is an all-around star and you can almost see the dollar signs in Simon’s eyes.

KRIS ALLEN – “No Boundaries” – A much different better version than Adam’s. I would totally download this version. What a great last song for cutie Kris. I. LOVE. IT!

[Kris wins. That is all.]

Randy says he should be very proud and that he is an amazing competitor, Kara says he is a compelling artist, Paula says he did an amazing job and Simon says he deserves to be on the stage tonight.

Now go vote for Kris!

What I Learned This Week [In Cuba]

For some reason, I was not able to copy and paste Jo-Lynne’s cute What I Learned This Week graphic. Instead, I had to save it to my pictures and download it to photobucket. Also, Internet Explorer is not working on my laptop and therefore I am forced to use Firefox. (I see you smiling, Jo-Lynne!)

I don’t really mind using Firefox. It’s just that I am not used to it and don’t really understand some of the quirky things that the Firefox does.

Nevertheless, I am thankful for the internet here even though it is s-o-s-t-i-n-k-i-n-s-l-o-w.

If your one of my three loyal readers, you know that me and my sweet boys happen to be in Cuba with McDaddy.

I thought it might be fun to share what I’ve learned this week about Cuba.

  • There is no 1% milk anywhere on the island in the commissary.
  • The internet is much slower at night than it is during the day.
  • There are “NO PHOTOGRAPHY” signs everywhere.
  • There is a McDonalds, a Taco Bell, and A&W, and a KFC on the island.
  • The water is absolutely beautiful.
  • The high school has two football teams so they can play each other.
  • A new release movie is shown every evening at an outdoor movie theater
  • The NEX (Naval Exchange) has Coach Handbags marked 50% off right now.
  • I had never heard of a banana rat until I came here
  • It rarely rains here, but has rained for two days (apparently, we brought the rain with us)
  • There is a putt-putt course, a bowling alley and a go-cart track here.
  • There are iguanas everywhere and they are endangered.

We are having a great time!

Head over to Musings Of A Housewife for more Things I Learned This Week posts.

Here We Are!

I am sitting in a little, blue, bloggy chair listening to Stevie and Alex play Monster trucks on the stairs.

We are here.

With McDaddy.

We are very excited to be here. It has been 107 days since McDaddy flew off into the wild blue yonder on that cold, snowy January day.

Nine hours, 2 plane rides, and a drug search later (apparently the drug dog was not interested in monster trucks, fruit snacks or blood pressure medicine) here are the boys seeing McDaddy for the first time.

We saw this while driving around yesterday. He refused to look at the camera.

And this too… it happens to be a turkey buzzard and it is one, big, ugly bird.

Unfortunately, there are many “NO PHOTOGRAPHY” signs posted all over the island. The iguanas and the turkey buzzards however, are fair game.

Enjoy your Monday, ya’ll.

Where Am I?

Three guesses as to where I am.  (If you happen to know where we are because I’ve told you, please do not ruin it for the rest of the folks playing along at home!)

Our “day” started at 2:00 AM

We arrived here just after noon.

My hot hubby is here.

It is hot here.

The wind blows constantly.

My location is constantly in the national news.

We needed a passport to enter.

I saw a huge iguana when we got off of the plane.

And a drug dog.

Stay Tuned…..

27 Hours and Counting….

In 27 short hours – if all goes well and we don’t have another emergency room disaster – me and my sweet boys will be with McDaddy.

Two weeks ago we left our home and drove to Washington, DC in an attempt to fly out of Baltimore. That trip turned out drastically different than what he had hoped and so you can imagine why I am a tad-bit nervous.

The nerves?

I must admit they get me sometime. We are close friends, me and my nerves.

I’m trying to stay calm and collected because I have so many loose ends to tie up before we head out at 2pm. BUT, WHAT I REALLY WANT TO DO IS SCREAM FROM THE TOP OF MY LUNGS THAT I’LL GET TO SEE MY SWEET, DEAR HUSBAND WHO HAS BEEN GONE SINCE JANUARY 30TH AND WHO I MISS LIKE CRAZY!

But, I’m pretty sure none of you are big fans of screaming, so let me just quietly say, “Internets, we are on our way to see McDaddy!”

I am praying for a uneventful drive to DC and an even more uneventful, on-time flight from Balitmore to where we’re going. Your prayers are appreciated!

McDaddy, I can’t wait to see you. My heart has ached since the day you left! I love you!

A Beautiful Sky

When I found out this week’s You Capture challenge was colors, I knew exactly what I’d be posting this week.

Internets, I’d like to introduce you to the 2009 Saturn Sky – in canary yellow and chili pepper red.

The Saturn Sky makes me smile. I even wrote to the fine folks at Saturn asking them for a free one to let them know about my love affair with their sweet little ride. I actually took the chili pepper red one out for a test drive some time ago. It drove like a dream and I looked fabulous in it! If I hit the lottery tomorrow, the Saturn dealership would be my first stop. It’s not so practical for a stay-at-home-mom with two kids but it sure is sexy. That sky is beautiful!

And, this next one is a picture I took earlier in the week from my back deck. After 15 days of rain, it is a welcome sight around these parts. The sky is beautiful!

Head over to I Should Be Folding Laundry for more You Capture posts.

Next week’s challenge – Sweet

(Next week’s challenge should be easy since next week, me and my sweet boys will be with my sweet hubby at his deployment locale!)