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Judith Van Atta Roenke. I am a Navy Submariner wife. Triathlete. I am the proud mommy of Henry the Fifth and Peter Tristum. Welcome to my Blog...

Monday, February 20, 2006

Mike the Dog portrait

Excerpts from emails between us and artist Jackie Ehle, who painted Mike's portrait for us.

"Hi Jackie –

We definitely want to commission you to paint Mike the dog’s portrait. We would like him to be in a sitting pose. He tends to ‘side sit’ on his hip rather than sit directly on his butt. We tried to capture the look in the photos and would like the portrait to show this pose. He was a little excited during the photo shoot so please omit his wiener if it is showing in the picture you are referencing. J We included some facial photos to show his grey fur on his chin. The rest of his coat is very shiny and soft like a younger dog. (Mike is 11 but plays like he is 2. Arthritis does not slow him down.) Mike wears a royal blue collar which currently has several dog tags on it. Please do not include his harness in the painting. We would love the background to be reminiscent of the dog park on Union street near Wilkes. Mike misses that park.

We are really excited. This is our wedding gift to each other. Henry (my fiancé) has adopted Mike and Mike has adopted Henry. -Judy"

"HI –

We are excited about the portrait! We think we want his legs to show in the painting – we like the way he sits and he has a cute butt. He is graying on his chin and a little around his wiener, other wise he has a beautiful shiny black coat. (Henry is embarrassed that I mentioned Mike’s ‘you know what’ – but Mike could care less.) - Judy "

"Hi Jackie –

It was nice to talk to you tonight. We are looking forward to having the portrait displayed. One thing I forgot to mention is to please avoid any red paint in his wiener area. Our Navy friends are big jokers and will tease Mike if he is immortalized with any suggestion of immodesty. If this gets to you too late don’t worry about it. Our house was a mad house of toddlers, both sets of parents, sister in law, and Mike the dog trying to hump the kids.

Talk to you soon - Judy"

"Judy and Henry,

I had added just a dot of red, a small joke, but I will over paint it! I think you will be thrilled. he came out really nice. I hope your wedding is wonderful, soon mike may be having toddlers of his own to hump, I got pregnant on my honeymoon. Thanks Jackie"

Here is the rough draft with the red penis. Click the bars at the top for links to the final.


I thought I saw a sea cucumber

email to my co-workers

Today Mike the Dog and I went to the dog beach at Hickam. I saw this long skinny thing that looked like a snake. I poked at it with my net and then I scooped it up. It was like 2 feet long and red and black striped and very smushy. It looked like it might be sucking itself inside out. I Googled sea cucumbers, but mine didn't look like any of them, but I think that's what I found. I carry a red net from the NEX and scoop stuff up like a 5 year old.
Catch and release only. I also scooped up a crab, a blue shrimp (I think that's what it was), and I almost caught a puffer fish hiding in the mangroves but he kept squishing himself under my net. Anyway, since sea cucumbers came up at lunch the other day, I thought you all might think this was funny.

-Judy PS - my Google search produced quite a few recipes for sea cucumber soup if you ever want to eat one.

Henry Underway

These are excerpts from emails to and about Henry during his short underways...

Hi – (to the in-laws)

Just writing to let you all know Henry was able to call from the boat the other night. He actually called twice, but the first call was:

Hello hello?

Henry? Hello?

Hello hello?

The second call was much clearer. Things seem to be going well on the boat. He was in good and said they got some things done that they needed to do. That’s good because that means they weren’t spending time fixing broken stuff, they actually made some progress.

Mike waits for Henry by the window each night.

Hi – (to Henry)

Went to the dog beach at Hickman today. The tide was low so we waded out past the banyan trees. I followed Mike all over the area. I wore my new wading shoes and carried a net, but I didn’t catch anything. Mike swam a little bit when the water got deep. We were there like 2 hours or more. Mike was heading back to the car when another dog showed up, so he took off thru the water back to the sand bar to play.

I had to pee so I backed into a banyan tree and squatted and peed in the water. Are you embarrassed? You married a gross girl.

Hi – (to Henry)

I broke down and ordered Papa Johns yesterday. This morning, I heard noise in the kitchen and when I went to check it out, Mike was carrying the garlic butter cup to his bed to open and drink. I am anticipating a greasy poop later today. Yippy!!!

I am off to recycle now. See you soon.

Hi - Mike is doing well. He found a Papa Johns box (that I stupidly set on the floor next to the trash can) and drank the cup of garlic butter, but he seems to have survived the fake butter influx.

(Sometimes I forget what I already wrote...)

The Mystery Box

The following is an email I sent to my in-laws about a mystery package I received in December of 2005. This is another post that has been sitting in my edit box waiting to get posted.

"Hank and Lois-

We received 2 packages today which resulted in one big mystery. According to the order invoice from Macy’s, we expected to get and have now received in completion the following items for Christmas:

Lemon zester

2 wine goblets

Oxo pizza wheel

Ice cream scoop

Calphlon stainless steel skimmer

Stainless utensil crock (came today)

The following is a copy of the email I sent to the USPS. The short story is that 2 packages came today with labels from Lois, but only one contained a gift…..the other box is a mystery box…..

Here is the story I sent to USPS…

“OK - this is a strange one. We have been waiting for a completion of a shipment from WeddingChannel.com ordered by Lois Roenke well before Christmas.

Today, I received a very mangled box that had obviously been retaped and bound with yellow straps. It had label from WeddingChannel addressed to me with a shipping UPC dated 1/28/06 and the note Purchased by Lois Roenke. Naturally, I was expecting the utensil crock we had been waiting for.

When I opened the box, inside I found some torn papers and a stack of binders and papers. Upon looking at them to figure out what they were, I found that they are legal and medical documents belonging to an individual person or the court system in Georgia.

Upon closer inspection of the box, I discovered that the piece of cardboard with my shipping label was cut off of my box (I assume) and taped to this box over the original mailing label. The box I received was truly addressed to US Attorney's Office in Atlanta Georgia with a return address from the Social Security Administration in Falls Church, VA. I did not read the enclosed material any further because I could tell it was likely confidential.

I will be contacting the SS administration and the intended recipient tomorrow. My concern is that someone at the USPS cut apart my gift box, took what was inside and then sent this box to me to maintain the appearance of a shipment being delivered..

The really strange thing is that I received a second package today that has the item that I was expecting. SO maybe an item was stolen and then re-sent to us by Macy's? Or maybe Lois sent us something more, and it was stolen. I don't know. I can't call Lois tonight due to the time difference, but I will call tomorrow to find out if any other items were supposed to be delivered to us.

Thanks for your help. I would love to know how this mystery ends.

-Judy Roenke 808-676-7650”

So, that is the weird story for the day. I CC’d myself, and Henry as well as my brother just because I was on the phone with Charles as the mystery unfolded. --Judy

PS – Thank You’s finally went out today before the mystery packages arrived!! PPS- I think I will bring the mystery box to our local post office to send to the rightful owner."

The end of the story is that I called the Georgia court system to tell them they lost a package. Then I delivered the box to the main post office in Honolulu. I never heard what happened to that box after I put it back in to the USPS system. The good news is that we got all of our presents, and that's all that really matters, right. Who cares about some dude in Georgia and his workers comp suit.

Flat Stanley (orginally written Feb '06)

My cousin's son Josh sent me a Flat Stanley when I first got to Hawaii. I didn't have any friends there,and Stanley was my first visitor, so he got me out of the house and touring the island.

We went in the ocean.

We saw the blowhole.

I made Stanley an Aloha shirt and he bought a puka shell necklace to match.

We went to the commessary where the baggers carry your groceries to the car. This guy got a big tip.

Flat Stanley learns about Poke.

We went in my hubby's submarine USS Honolulu. This is a photo taken in the ward room with a couple of the JO's. My husband is on the left of the photo.

Stanley went thru a re-lamination procedure at the local UPS store and got a big Shaka from from the UPS guy.

I got Josh’s Flat Stanley added to the official site. If you go to www.flatstanley.com and scroll to USS Honolulu you will find him.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Mike the Dog

This is our 14 year old black lab, Mike.
is the best dog in the whole world.
He loves to lay in the sun, on the couch, on our guest bed.

I started this post when we were in Hawaii...
Now that we are in Washington, we snuggles up in the comforter and sits by the fire.

And since we
moved to Hawaii, his favorite resting place is the guest bathroom.

Mike loves to go
to Hickam AFB to wade in Pearl Harbor with my husband and I.

Kissing in the Dark, Big Island, Hawaii

This is my husband and I on the Big Island in the Thurstan Lava Tubes. We turned off our flashlights so it was pitch black. I set my camera on the ledge made by the lava and programmed it to auto.

Newbie Blogger

This is my trial post on Blogger!

I have a lot to say, so stay tuned as I learn the ropes!