Barley

Our 3-year old beagle mix, with a personality like none other.

Barley the Okinawan Explorer

I met up with some friends at a gorgeous little beach on Hamahiga island today, and Barley tagged along to do some exploring.

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Since he was a puppy, he has always loved the feeling of his ears blowing in the wind. He is such a goofy little guy!

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Since Barley loves the water but not necessarily having to swim, I tempted him with some carrots to come see me away from the shore. Watching him swim took me back to his puppy days in Pensacola, when we took him out on the bayou and tried to distract him from crab chasing so we could get him to swim.

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After retrieving his carrots, he promptly headed back to shore to relax on the beach. Shortly after, he made some Japanese friends and tried to eat some coral.

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Overall, it was a great time on the beach. This little dude brings me such joy, although the bath I gave him afterwards was much less fun (for both of us).

May you find new and wonderful things in your world today, and maybe even let your ears blow in the wind a little!

-A

Categories: Barley, Exploring | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Our Subtropical Winter

Alright. It has been over 2 months since I have updated you all on my life. I watched the days turn into weeks and then months, and have now learned my lesson. I have so much to say that it is difficult to say it all without scaring you away. I’ll attempt to summarize the last two months as briefly as I can, and I’ll save some of the better stories for later posts. 😉

In late November, we finally received our shipment of household goods. After 5 moves in less than 3 years, we have become quite efficient at unpacking. (It also helped that we left most of our belongings in storage). Two months later, I am still working on making our apartment feel more like home.
hops moving boxes
After unpacking, I launched into Thanksgiving preparation. This was my first Thanksgiving away from family, and I was determined to try and make up for that by cooking my first Thanksgiving feast. With Casey’s help (on the meat portions), I cooked a turkey, mashed potatoes and 2 types of gravy, rolls, cornbread muffins, 2 types of stuffing, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, and 2 pies.  It felt like a rite of passage into womanhood to pull that off, but I was exhausted and learned a lot about what not to do when cooking for 10+ people. It was wonderful to share the holiday with friends, but it was no substitute for hearing my baby sister say Grace back home.

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At the beginning of December, Barley gave me quite the scare. I came home one Saturday afternoon to find him shaking all over and lethargic. Getting him to a vet was a terrifying experience, as there was no one on base to see him. After multiple phone calls to vets out in town who repeatedly hung up on me because of the language barrier between us, I was able to get him to a vet clinic that could see him, where a fraction of the vet’s explanation was translated to me. Multiple appointments, many steroids,  and over a month later, Barley is fine. With Casey out of town, I could not have gotten through that experience without the support of a few friends out here and the kindness of the employees at the vet clinic who tried their best to communicate with me.

On the note of Casey being out of town, he has had a number of trips to mainland Japan, Hawaii, and Korea. His flights are more and more exciting, and he is truly loving his job. While I enjoy having him home with me, I am tremendously happy to see him finally reaping the rewards of all his (continued) hard work!

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In between Casey’s trips, we have enjoyed his days off for the holidays.  While again this has been our first Christmas away from family, we did our best to bring Christmas to Okinawa. The Okinawans have a fun conception of Christmas, which involves the quintessential bright lights, albeit in pinks, blues, and yellows. While most of the material components to Christmas were present, it did not quite feel like Christmas in the 70-degree weather or in our fairly empty apartment. It was still wonderful to share our first Christmas as a married couple together. We spent the morning opening our gifts and skyping with family, and then dove back into cooking a Christmas feast for a few of our friends out here. (This time we went for an easier menu). 😉

This month, we enjoyed a fun celebration of the New Year with our new found friends, and even had a visit from a good friend from the states, Farrah! I have been taking a Japanese class, and am fully enjoying my little interactions with the Okinawan people as I slowly learn the language. We look forward to all the new adventures 2013 will bring us!

In between those holidays and everything else I have left out, Casey and I have spent as much of our time as possible exploring everything this wonderful little island has to offer. In the coming weeks I will go over everything from delicious local food to underground caves, from aquarium visits to creepy tombs and beautiful castles…

I hope that all of you enjoyed your holiday season, wherever you are in the world.

Love always, Amanda

Categories: Barley, Moving, Okinawa Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Konnichiwa!

Hello, everyone! After 39 days of living in Okinawa, I have finally gotten the time to sit down and put this together. It will continue to evolve as I update it. Bear with me, as I was not blessed with web development skills! 🙂

Casey and I are doing very well here in Okinawa, adjusting to the change of scenery as best we can. I plan to write individual posts on the major things we have done so far, but I feel the need to do a quick update to fill you all in.

We arrived in Okinawa on October 5th (more on that epic journey here), and it took us less than a week to recover from jet lag. I think Barley had the hardest time, waking up at 2 and 4am every morning ready to begin his day! After a week of living in a hotel, we moved into our 3-bedroom apartment. This is our first apartment, so that has been adjustment… especially for this guy:


We have government furniture and a few hundred pounds of our own belongings which were shipped over to Okinawa in our express shipment, however most of our possessions remain on a ship somewhere on the Pacific. I am sure we will feel at home as soon as we get our things moved in.

We took our driver’s tests to get our Japanese driver’s licenses, learned how to drive on the left side of the road (more on that here), and purchased our cars. In addition to learning to drive a car again, Casey had to step out of the simulator and into the C-130J Hercules! We are so excited that he is finally getting to fly that beautiful beast! He has spent some time flying around on mainland Japan, while I have been busy back here in Okinawa.

In the short time we have been here, we have met some wonderful new people, and we are positive that we will develop some lasting friendships and some incredible stories to tell from the adventures we will have. These, of course, I look forward to telling you all later!

Categories: Barley, C-130, Okinawa Life | Tags: , | 4 Comments

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