My plan was to update the blog last weekend, but that fell through for reasons that will shortly be explained.  Anyway, I'm going to start with the good stuff we've done since my last post.  

For Columbus Day weekend, Clayton and I both had a long weekend.  It also happened to coincide with our second anniversary.  For those of you who have known us all along, it's been ten years since we started dating.  We would have taken a little extra time off to head inland and enjoy the state fair and other exciting things in the rest of the day, but Clayton was supposed to be training in the field.  However, due to the previously mentioned funding snafoos, the field operation was canceled.  Instead of training in the field, he had to make a bunch of Power Points on what they would have been doing.  Since I'm an "Office Wizard" the Power Points were a team effort.

We had our usual crew over on Saturday evening, and I made Chicken Divan, one of Clayton's favorite recipes.  Sunday we did anniversary things.  Our anniversary was Tuesday, but I knew we wouldn't have time on Tuesday or Monday.  Clayton got us a hammock, because the internet told him about traditional anniversary gifts and the second anniversary is "cotton."  It is quite a nice hammock.  We set it up in the living room and watched Game of Thrones with the windows open.  Eventually we went out for dinner at a steak place that had been highly recommended to us, and had a very good time there.  Since the service was so fast and we got out earlier than planned, we decided to do a little shopping.  We walked around a new store, and then we went to get something for Merlin at Petsmart.  Why?  Because our little Merlin turned one year old on (we think) October 5th!  So we found good presents for our little Merlin.  He got a new toy and a backpack for quests. 

On Monday we went on a family quest on the walking trails that run sort of past our house.  Merlin wore his new backpack, and he felt very excited and important, carrying his treats and poop bags, and Clayton's phone and keys.  Twice Merlin stepped in front of me just in time to make me almost step on a snake.  I think it was the same snake each time, poor thing.  There are venomous snakes here, but this snake was a harmless tree snake, and a pretty green color.  When we got back from our quest, we spent the rest of the day picking up the house and preparing for work.

The work week was what it usually is.  On Friday I played a Halloween Jeopardy game with the While We Wait Club, a group for kids whose parents are deployed.  I was very impressed that the children knew about minotaurs and Darth Vader.  The week was looking pretty good.  Saturday morning started pleasantly enough.  I started cleaning the kitchen, and Clayton was folding laundry.  Then Clayton sneezed and dislocated his shoulder, again.  I'll spare you the details of the rest of that day, except to say that we spent the entire day and most of the evening at the Naval Hospital, where Clayton swore at, threatened, and apologized to a couple shifts of Corpsmen.  Sunday was spent grocery shopping and recovering from Saturday.  Hopefully this week will be better than last weekend.  In the meantime, here is a picture of a puppy with a backpack.
Literally hours after I published my last blog post, I was called back to work.  Communication was really lacking, so either we went back to work a day early, or we opened the library four hours late.  Oh well.  I'm so far at one end of the phone tree, if there's trouble coming from this, they'll run out long before they get to me.  Anyway, since coming back to work, we've been very busy in the mornings and really slow in the evenings.  I guess everyone who needs the library's computers are pounding the door down in the morning, and the ones who nip in ten minutes before closing assume we're still shut down.  Since we only have one person closing each day this week, slow evenings are fine with us.

On the other hand, I'm looking forward to a four day weekend.  This Friday, our building is getting some maintenance done that will probably deprive us of electricity for the day; we don't normally work Sundays anyhow; and Saturday and Monday are part of Columbus Day weekend.  Clayton was going to be spending his long weekend getting ready for a field op, but that appears to be on hold for some reason.  So MAYBE we'll actually get to do something nice for our anniversary this year.  Wish me luck!
If you pay attention to the news, you might be aware that we are currently in the midst of a government shutdown.  For most of you, this probably has little to no effect on your life.  I hope that's the case anyway.  For us, however, it has had a big impact.  Clayton is active duty, uniformed military; so he keeps working, and the legislators in Washington have been nice enough to let him keep collecting pay while they decide how to fund the rest of their activities.  I, Brianna, am a low-ranking civilian employee, and as a "non-essential"*  worker am currently furloughed without pay.  

Please understand, I'm not about to go off on some huge political rant.  Nor am I saying this to garner sympathy.  My pay makes our lives a bit more comfortable, but by and large we depend on Clayton's.  As long as he's still getting paid, I'm willing to forgo some creature comforts to give our country a chance to get back on track.  

So why do I mention my mandatory vacation?   Because it gives me more time to do things like this!  I wish I had my pay back, sure, but it's also nice to hang out in sweatpants all day and clean my house, get caught up on laundry, and upload pictures to share.  Last week on my days off, I went to the aquarium, a party, a wedding, watched the first season of Game of Thrones, organized our comic books, and painted a table.  Don't worry, I'm about to add the pictures from those things.  Well, not the laundry.  

My friend Ariel is about to move to South Korea with her husband, Nick.  So when they invited me to come to the aquarium with them and their friends, I jumped at the chance.  We spent the morning at the aquarium, then we went into historic Beaufort to have a quick burger and browse antique stores.  The next day, Nick and Ariel invited me over to their house for a going away party.  There I met a bunch of their other friends and we played Can Jam and Settlers of Catan.  It was a fun time, with good people and good food and drinks.  

Saturday, I went to my friend Brittany's wedding.  Brittany and her husband, Robert, are another couple who got married quickly because of the whims of the Marine Corps.  Their wedding was already paid for (Brittany was embossing envelopes) when they got the news that Robert would be deploying.  Now that he's back, they finally got to celebrate with their family and friends, over a year after their first wedding.  I was so honored to be invited to what might have been the most beautiful wedding I've ever attended.  If you know me, you know that I have been to a LOT of weddings in the last ten years.  I can't begin to describe it all here, but I will share pictures.  I'm done writing for now, so if you haven't seen my latest pictures, go chec

*This means I'm not essential to the immediate support and defense of the country.  In the not very long run, though, we are considered essential to the morale and welfare of our troops and their families.  Anything that contributes to morale is officially referred to as a "Combat Multiplier."  In past shutdowns, the library workers were brought back to work relatively soon compared to other "non-essentials."  Basically, please don't inundate me with the "So why does your job even exist?" questions.