Etiquette guidance for attending a Regimental Ball..

Got this in my work email today and thought I’d share..     take notes in case YOU ever attend a ball of your own, if you do then you’ll be one step ahead of everyone else!


These guidelines are provided so all will be informed of what’s expected at a formal mess:

– No beverages in the receiving line.

– Receiving line is a time for greeting, not work or other related conversations.  Please be brief in order to allow all other attendees the same privilege and keep the line moving.

– Ladies go through the receiving line first (except for White House or diplomatic visits).

– Do not shake the Adjutant’s hand.  The Adjutant will be the first person in the receiving line, and their job is to introduce the members of the mess to the official party.  Provide title and name to the Adjutant (i.e., SPC John Doe, Ms Jane Doe).

– Remain standing in the mess (dining) area until the colors are posted.

– The youngest member of each table is responsible for charging glasses for the toasts.  This is best done well in advance of beginning the toasts.

– Distinctive unit insignia is not worn on shoulder boards of Class A/ASU when wearing the uniform to a formal function.  White shirt and black bow tie will be worn with the formal uniform.  For all of the formal uniforms, females must wear skirts.  Only color guard may wear pants.

– The traditional toasts can be with any beverage, but:

– The Toast for the Fallen should always be done with water.

– This is not the time to propose a toast to one’s significant other.

Remember to always be courteous to the speakers (narrators, guest speaker, etc.).  Keep private conversations to a minimum and low level while speakers are addressing the mess.

What it cost in 1931 to have a baby

Found this in my family items and just had to share.    It’s a hospital bill for what it cost to bring my mother into the world back in December, 1931.   Mind blowing, huh?     The price AND the fact that this paper is in such good condition after 83 years.


Spinning yarns vs just plain bullshit

This has been good therapy writing about things from my past that have taken residence in my memories all these years.  Just about every little thing you go through as a kid can be considered a life lesson,  and sometimes you learn things by watching other peoples’ mistakes.    In this case, it was my ex.

He was all about status and how he looked to others. It was that mentality that rocketed me to an eating disorder and made me think for many years that I wasn’t good enough for anybody except for him.   When you’re in a mentally and emotionally abusive relationship the days all blur together and it’s very easy to get into the mindset that the way you are living at that very moment IS going to be the rest of your life.    I know I could have left at any time and I should have left, but I didn’t.   Thus the life lessons that I learned while I was with him.

He was very insecure.   Like, VERY insecure.   Every human being has some form of insecurity inside them.  It’s normal. Everyone, whether they choose to admit it or not really does care what others think about them.    Some of us just hide it better than others.    X tried to impress others by stories.    Stories I heard a million times whether or not I was actually there at the time or not.  He had a twist though,  he would twist the truth and add details every time he told it in order to get more of a reaction from his audience.   At first I thought it was a unique creativity he had in telling stories… but later on I saw it for what it was.  A really sad attempt at making people think he was more interesting and mysterious than he really was.     After a while, out of morbid curiosity  I would purposely bring up a particular story for him to recant to those we were with just to see just how much more he would twist a story that was originally very normal. At the time I didn’t see it as mockery, but that’s exactly what it was.   He was so serious when he would tell about these ‘experiences’,  and I found it entertaining to see just how far he would stretch it.      This is an example of what I mean.

Original story:   (What I actually witnessed)

One day at Disneyland we were standing outside of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.    A girl who was smoking a cigarette and dressed in denim walked past us into line leading up to the ride.  As she passed underneath the arch that read “PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN”  she took her cigarette out of her mouth and flicked it at the wall near where the trash can was.   It bounced off the wall and landed nowhere near the trash can as she continued into the ride.

End of story

The story that it ended up to be:

We were at Disneyland standing outside of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.  Suddenly we heard behind us a ‘TIK TIK TIK’ sound.  We turn around and see this tall thin REALLY ANGRY chick walking past us.  Her hair was spiked up in several jelled spikes,  she had on a denim jacket with spikes and the “TIK TIK” sound we heard were the metal spikes on the bottom of her what HAD to be 8 inch, if not longer heels.   She was dragging long heaves on her cigarette and looked like she was ready to fight anyone that looked at her wrong.    So, there was a sign right next to the entrance of the ride that says “No smoking past this point”.    Without breaking a step she takes one last heave on her cigarette and flicks it (imitates a peeetoyyeeeee sound to enhance the fact she flicked it so violently from her hand )   It bounces right off of the part of the sign where it says ‘no smoking’ and sparks fly everywhere.   There were a group of tourists standing nearby that had to step back otherwise the cigarette sparks would have hit them.  Oh my god!  It was so crazy!

annnnnd  scene!

The second story captivated his audience and got more of a reaction so therefore while he told it he was the center of attention.   He did that all the time even with the smallest of topics.   Another example,  his cousin Rusty.. who I was terrified of meeting by the way he was described to me.   The day I met him I thought I would be meeting a guy that closely resembled Charles Manson.   Scars all over his body from the numerous fights he was in throughout his life.   He only had tunnel vision in one eye due to being hit by a rock by a group of kids while he was younger.  He barely spoke and had a wolf as a pet, oh.. and a squirrel as a pet too.

Rusty turned out to be the sweetest person I had ever met.   (Years later after I had long left the X,   he considered me a part of his family.   His mom had taken me under her wing and helped me get back on my feet since I had invested everything I had in my relationship.  I had zero money, no place to live and decided that being desolate was a better option than continue my life with X which was clearly going nowhere.  My mother had recently passed away and I had nowhere to go,  Rusty and his family were my saving grace… seriously, I can’t even begin to say how much I love and appreciate them. ) Rusty had a rough life and did have run ins with the law, served jail time and battled drug problems.  He loved his motorcycle..   Unfortunately he was in an accident several years ago that resulted in the loss of one of his legs.  Through the rough exterior and everything he had been through in his life the man had a heart of gold and fought his demons to the very end.   Shortly after getting out of prison he moved back in with his mother and committed his time to fixing up his motorcycle and reconnecting with old friends.   One day he told his mother he wasn’t feeling well and was going to go take a nap.   He never woke up.   I never wanted to know details,  but from what I heard from others that he had some preexisting  health issues that caused his heart to stop.  Living hard finally had caught up with him.    His death hit those that loved him the hardest…  I’m so thankful that I had the opportunity to know him and that he considered me family.    If I had listened to X and his ridiculous stories I may never have.

X is no doubt still telling outrageous stories to this day to anybody who will listen  in desperate attempts for attention.   Stories about how he’s a direct descendant from King Charlemagne and how his father’s job at TRW involved alien communication (I’m not making this up)    Being around him all those years ago taught me to be real with people.   If they don’t like you for who you are,  then making up a story isn’t going to make any difference at all.   In fact,  chances are if you do that then people will most likely laugh behind your back instead.   Which is worse?

RIP Rusty…  ❤

Everything happens in your life for a reason… good OR bad, it all has a meaning

I’m a huge believer of that.

Have you ever,  with morbid curiosity ever wondered how your life may have turned out if you had taken another path in your life?   Made a different life changing decision,  stayed in a situation where you knew it was slowly killing you but too afraid to make that first brave step to independence?   I did… recently.    And I can honestly say I have only ever done this once and this was the first AND very very last time I will ever do such a thing.

I wasn’t seeking it out hoping that I could have missed out on something great.  My life right now is fantastic and I wouldn’t change a thing.  I guess the curiosity mainly stemmed from wondering if karma had indeed made herself known to that person that I shared my life with for over 12 years.

This person I chose to share my life with during my younger years was in a word insecure.  Very very insecure.  I didn’t see it at the time but he desperately needed attention and admiration to deal with his life.    To be blunt,  he was more fucked up than he would ever dare to admit.    His parents weren’t the best of role models.   His dad was some bigwig stuffed shirt at TRW that had a lot of money (or so he said)   and his mother worked for a telephone company (I think)    From what I had gathered by what he told me his dad was a playboy from day one and lied, cheated and ran out on his mother more than once.   When he was very young his mother and father decided to leave one another at the same time, leaving him to fend for himself alone in his apartment.  He used to tell me that he stayed there for a few weeks alone before his mother finally came to collect him and his belongings but in the meantime  he would go to school,  come home right afterwards and only eat whatever was easily accessible in the kitchen that he could open with a can opener and cook on the stove.   Later on in his high school years his father would throw money at him and pat himself on the back calling himself a good and loving dad.   He didn’t know at the time that his dad was really just giving him the child support money directly to his son,  to spite his mother.   The times he lived with his father there were a revolving door of Asian women that would frequent his time, leaving his son to raise himself  (and soak in like a sponge what a pathetic pig player his dad was,   treating women like playthings,  telling his son to lie to the ‘girlfriend’ from the week before if he was asked if there was another woman in his dad’s life)

I met him during a chorus ‘field trip’.  I can’t remember exactly where we had gone that day but my friend and I sat across from him on the bus and I was instantly attracted.    He held himself as if he was THE shit..  rode to school in a limo that his father paid for and concentrated more on his bad boy image than anything else.  I think I just liked him back then because he was different,  and he distracted me from all the drama and shit that was going on in my own world.   My parents were going through a nasty divorce and I hated being home around all the negativity.   It was a constant reminder that the family that I grew up to know was all gone and all I had of the happy times were memories.  He was my ticket out of that place,  and I grabbed it as quickly as I could.     I started ditching school with him and spent practically every waking moment with him,  my mom would let him stay over pretty frequently  (after getting me on the pill, that is)   After his class graduated (he didn’t, because he felt he was too good for school) his dad got him an apartment  and I moved in with him.     We stayed together for 12 years and in those 12 years he cheated on me repeatedly (or ‘he gave them self esteem’ as he called it)   and finally I was just done.  I walked away from what was left of that relationship and never looked back.

I’m not saying he was the only person at fault for the demise of our relationship.  I know I was difficult to live with at times.  I wasn’t a great housekeeper and I was so insecure that I let him basically do whatever he wanted from the beginning.   Keeping a relationship together, especially as young as we were would take a lot of work on both parts.  Unfortunately we became too comfortable with our situation and started to accept that this was how our lives were supposed to be.  Looking back on all of now though, I don’t see how I did it.

I inherited some land!

All throughout my life I never really knew anything about my family history. I guess I never bothered to ask because I figured it wasn’t important. I’ll never forget though,  about my ex’s grandmother.   Everyone fondly called her “Nana” and she was the true matriarch of the family.  I loved that woman.   From the first day I went to one of their family functions she was so welcoming and friendly.       She was also really heavily into researching her genealogy and she had huge white binders all alphabetized and filed by date in her sun room.   She worked on it for years,  and this was before the internet.  I always respected her for all her hard work.   It would be amazing to see if she had access to the internet and what progress she would have made then.

All I knew about my family was that I am distantly related to Chuck Norris on my dad’s side,  and that on my mom’s side our family were prominent members of society in the early development stages of the City of Torrance.   That’s pretty much about it.    It wasn’t until after my mom passed away that I inherited boxes and boxes of old family photos and items which inspired me to try to piece together whatever I could about my mom’s side.   My father’s side though, I thought would remain a mystery indefinitely.   Mainly because he has long since passed on,  my two half brothers never speak to me and I wasn’t sure about the whereabouts of my step mother.    Well, since she recently came back into my life I have had the rare opportunity to get these unanswered questions finally put to rest and all I can say is wow..!     You know that question that is asked “If you could go back in time and confront your younger self what one thing would you tell him/her?”    Mine would be  “ASK MORE QUESTIONS”  I never realized how important knowing all of this was to me.   It’s strange enough picturing your parents as kids, let alone having the same rebellious nature that every other kid goes through while growing up.   Dad was the high school ‘babe’.   He has signatures in his yearbook from multiple girls that say  “To a swell guy!”   and “Have a great summer Casa Nova!”   before he was a heartthrob though,  he was born in Bakersfield, California to his parents Stelma and Frank Sr Norris.    The name on his birth certificate is actually “Frankie” Norris..  hehe!

dad's birth certificate

Grandpa Frank was a carpenter by trade,  and my grandmother a housewife.  They settled in Bakersfield in 1923 and bought several hundred acres of land for mining purposes.   I’m not quite clear how long they lived there,  but what I’ve found out so far is before they moved to Torrance they sold all of their land except for ONE (1) acre.    This land sat in our family untouched (but taxes kept current)  for maybe upwards of  70 years.   When my grandparents passed away, the land was supposed to have been split between my dad and his brother Jack (I think I only met my uncle once or twice and from what I recall he was really nice)    Since being in contact with my step mother she told me about the family land  (news to me).    She’s had the original deed all along and has been the one paying the yearly taxes on it.    She wanted to transfer it to me if I wanted it and said she’d get the quit claim deed drawn up and notarized ASAP.   Of course I said I would love it.   After all,  it’s been in this family for this many years and the fact my grandparents SETTLED there in the 20’s makes it all that more priceless and sentimental.   I’d like to ultimately pass the land to my nephew so he can keep it and pass it on to his kids.

Also,  how cool is it to have a deed that’s signed by President Calvin Coolidge?   For a piece of paper that’s so old,  it’s in damn fine condition.


Pretty cool,  huh?

Closure….. reopened (sort of)

Like I said before,  my stepmother and I have recently reconnected and a lot of old emotions have been resurfacing.  My dad passed away back in 2000 and even before then we had no contact for about 4 years before that.   Even before that our relationship was pretty strained… mostly because of what happened between him and my mother.  I blamed my dad and his new wife for everything and went out of my way when I was a kid to make their lives (well, mostly her life)  as miserable as possible when I was around.   My mom and dad had a very long and ugly divorce and so because of that my whole world was turned upside down.   Therefore I did what any normal teenager would have done.  I lashed out at everyone around me.

So, needless to say when my dad passed I knew he was in advanced Alzheimer’s  but really nothing more.  I was told in the form of a phone call from one of my half brothers.   All he said was “He’s dead”.   Both my half brothers which were dad’s sons from his first marriage had written dad off years ago.   They are off in their own worlds to this day and I never speak to them.  So as far as my father,   I had no contacts that could tell me anything more so instead of living a life of so many questions I started drawing up my own conclusions in order to feel some sort of closure.  One conclusion being that he went to his grave hating me.   My stepmother Donna’s reaching out to me online a few weeks ago was a total unexpected surprise.    At first I was really cautious with my wording with her because her and I had such issues in the past,  but now after talking to her several times I’m coming to terms with a lot of things.   The main one being is she loved my dad with all her heart,  and that they were in love back in their high school days.   Even when they both separated for a time and went onto other relationships Donna always held a torch for my dad.   Then when he started getting sick and showing signs of dementia she took care of him up until his final breath.    The fact my dad was happy is all that matters.  This is still an extremely hard thing to wrap my mind around and I’m taking it one day at a time (it’s hard not having my sister around to talk to…) .    I never thought this day would come… ever.

She recently sent me  a small package with the following letter.. I was home alone when I opened it so thankfully nobody was around when I sat and held the letter for an hour sobbing uncontrollably.  I hadn’t even peeked in the package yet.


I always thought my dad didn’t even give me a second thought after I lost contact with them.  What I had figured was my father was happy with his new wife and disowned me and my two half brothers.   When I was younger I felt abandoned by him and left it at that.  I mean, if I attempted to contact him then I would have also have to talk to ‘her’ and to me she was the enemy.   So I considered my father gone from my life.   In fact, I considered the whole “Norris” family gone from my life.   I didn’t want any part of being a Norris any longer.    It broke my heart but I never told anyone that.   Well,  I told one person, my sister.

Inside the little package was the following:

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The picture with him and the older gentleman is my grandpa Norris.   He died when I was very young.   I barely remember him,  in fact all I do remember is going to visit him shortly before he died.     We went to my grandparents’ house and he was laying in bed with an oxygen tank next to him.   I remember climbing up on the bed and saying “I hope you feel better grandpa”  and seeing his eyes well up with tears.  Later on in the car on the way home my father told me that what I said to him was very nice and it made him happy.   I wish I knew more about him… I’m hoping my stepmom can help me out a little bit as long as she’s still willing and able to answer questions.  From what she has told me so far though,  dad’s father was his hero and he grew up to be more like him, rather than his mother who was……  well, let’s just say people in the neighborhood used to call her ‘that mean old woman’.

The picture of the girl with the giant hair is me..  yeah…   1988.   They had those studios in the mall called “Headshots” and my sister took me there for a birthday present.  They tease, tease and spray your hair up as high as it could possibly go,  then they stick it to a board.    When you leave there you look like a peacock since the back of your head is flattened from the board.    I don’t even remember giving my dad this picture and I’m so surprised he kept it in his wallet all of those years.    It means a lot to know this..

As I’m getting to know my dad all over again I’ve been going through a lot of emotions.  It’s been hard to concentrate when my mind gets churning about all of this.   It’s like I’m trying to make sense of all of this information at once which is literally impossible!    Hopefully I can sort this out so it’s manageable soon before I go crazy but until then it’s one day at a time.     I’m grateful I have Donna to talk to though,  if you would have told me a year ago that I’d be in touch with her again I would have never believed it.     Maybe dad made this possible somehow from wherever he is so I’d have some real closure…maybe?

Pupperazzi photo 14 March 2015

Where I work we have an animal shelter on the premises and dogs and cats are brought in all the time found roaming alone.  This little one was found and she couldn’t have been any more than 12-13 weeks old.   We hold them for a few days to see if anyone claims them, then they go up for adoption.   It’s mind boggling that someone would let such a tiny puppy out on her own.    She was adopted the day she came available,  and I know she’s in a better place than with whoever had her last time.  ❤    Just wanted to share her picture.. she’s adorable!

IMG_0072   Their loss…. someone else’s gain!

VOPD 5 March, 2015- My grandfather owned a printing press

…and I am discovering also that he liked to take pictures.   He was pretty dang good at it too!    I’ve been doing a lot of research on him and am finding out he accomplished a lot in his life.    Sure wish I had been given the chance to meet him.   This picture is of my toddler mom and another little one sitting in what I think is the park across the street from our family home.   I like how my grandma made sure to write on the photos who is who for her albums.   No idea who the other girl is,  but she didn’t look as happy to be there as my mom.   Mom’s smile is precious in this picture,   she was such an adorable baby.  Just sayin… 😉

baby mom and friend

Teenagers in the late 1940’s-1950’s VPOTD for 2 March 2015

Judging by this picture,  my mom was a real happening chick with a classy chassis that liked to hang out at beach clubs with her friends.    She tended to steer clear of squares and instead would spend hours in the sun during the summer cruising for a bruising and possibly scoring a swell guy and playing back seat bingo with him at the drive ins   Whew… I had to google 1950’s slang in order to type that.   How odd would it be to be able to say those things naturally?

Still, my mom was a hottie wasn’t she?  No idea who the boys are in the picture but they certainly seemed like a wild bunch.

mom borrego bay

Borrego Springs must have been a real happening place to go to.   Definitely worth some research.

One of the many reasons why I love my husband

abbyplayingfetch missy and daddy l (18) IMG_1775


Animals are extremely meticulous judges of character.    When I was with my ex,  the two cats we owned together interacted with him over half of the time out of fear.   Chris lost his temper a lot and while he never physically hit me,  he would hit items such as walls and thermostat covers.   Once he punched one of our cats for jumping up into the back panel of his piece of crap car.   The panel was so old and worn out that Jolly fell through into the trunk and Chris hit him.   Piece of crap.   If you do that to an animal then you aren’t worth the air you breathe in my opinion.    When I met Mike,  I was a little apprehensive over how he would bond with my cats.   He had never had cats before and would tease me online about how cats were stuck up.  It made me worry that he would never see my two furbabies as the family members to me that they were.    Well,  he surprised me in the best way possible.   Jolly and Wazi both gave me their kitty stamps of approval and since then the new flufflings we have brought into our household all look to him as daddy.  It melts my heart to see an animal bond with someone so closely.   Sometimes he will make a comment that ‘oh finally Daisy is showing me some attention’.    Pttth.. look at these pictures and tell me that there is any doubt that the sun rises and sets in daddy to our furbabies. 🙂     This is why he’s the man for me,  my soulmate and the one true love of my life.



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