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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Holy Crap...

It's the end of 2008 already... Wasn't it just February, or something?

2008 brought me mostly great joy, with a few "surprises" that we had to deal with. The outlook so far into 2009 is pretty good. We're still keeping our fingers crossed that we will be able to do our big trip next year to hit as many relatives and friends "down south" as possible in 2-3 weeks. If things go as planned, we should be able to (but when was the last time something happened as planned?)

On a great note, we now have a hanger for our plane. THANK HEAVENS! It has been a freaking winter wonderland the last few weeks, and if A hadn't been home, I would have been freaking out, what with the lovely experience I had sweeping snow of the plane while he was gone. It's not heated (yet), but we will be sharing it with only one other person (the owner), so that's good. Once it warms up above freezing, we can go out and continue to work on the plane, pulling the interior pieces out of it. And, now we have a place to store all the stupid plane crap, like seats and stuff, and get them out of my bedroom... Although, that probably won't happen right away...

A leaves tomorrow for Bethel. His schedule for the next few months will be varied, so he'll be home around the 12th again.

Someone gave us chocolate-covered espresso beans in a Christmas basket here at work. My stomach is upset after eating just one...

Oh, BTW... The airplane that now resides at the top of my blog is the current beast, as depicted on the ramp, covered in ice...

Sunday, December 28, 2008

What I Got For Christmas...

Doesn't that sound like a school report? Like the teacher said (after Christmas break), "I want you to write an essay on what you got for Christmas." The second report that would be written that co-exists with this one, is the "What I Did For Summer Vacation"... LOL... I'll try to keep it to 1000 words or less.

My lovely husband got me books. I know that sounds weird, and "why" and such, but it's what I asked for. I love books, especially Nora Roberts books, and he got me her 2 newest ones in hard cover, and one of them is signed. I read things so fast, that those 2 books are read cover to cover already...

I also got some kitchen stuff. In the moving around and such, I lost my cooling racks somewhere along the line, so I got a new cooling rack. I also got one of those really cool plunger-type measuring cups that Alton Brown uses all the time on Good Eats (one of my favorite shows too!). I've been wanted one of those for a long time.

I also got a bunch of stuff from friends and family, which I won't list everything here, but I will say thanks to everyone who sent me something! I love everything I got!

The person in our house who made out the most is our dog, Noni. She had the biggest stocking. She got 4 new toys and a bone. Then, when we went to dinner at the neighbors, they made prime rib and gave us the bones for Noni. I tell you, that dog is spoiled! She was in seventh-heaven on Christmas day, with all her toys. And, apparently, there is another box that is probably here, but I won't get it until I go back to work tomorrow, that is JUST for the dog... lol.

Well, I'm not going to count my words, but you can if you want. I hope you had as good a holiday as I did, or better :)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I love Christmas! We went out today and enjoyed a lovely clear, beautiful, bright day here in Juneau. We took Noni on a walk. She loves the snow. One of these days, we'll have to get some video of her romping in the snow. It always makes me laugh.

I'm not sure exactly how we'll be celebrating the holiday this year. Being so far removed from family, we will be dining at our neighbor's house for dinner. We had a great time for Thanksgiving with them, so Christmas dinner should be awesome.

Thanks to our lovely governor, I get 3 paid holiday days for Christmas, so I get a 5 day week-end. I couldn't ask for a better Christmas gift than that, getting to spend the holiday with my man.

Family is the main thing that is important, especially at Christmas. I am enjoying mine. I hope you enjoy yours.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

It's almost Christmas! - Random thoughts of the day...

One of the most annoying Christmas songs out there is "Santa, Baby"... I cannot stand that song. It glorifies being selfish in a time we should be giving to others.

A weird "gift" idea I saw out there on the internet is something called a "fundie"... I won't go into too much detail, but if you choose to google it, you'll see why I am wondering WHY WOULD ANYONE IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WANT TO GIVE/RECEIVE THAT?!?!

According to some website that I saw today, my close relationship with my female best friend could be considered cheating on my husband... The things people are coming up with now-a-days...

I REALLY want to start opening presents... It has been FOREVER since we've had anything under anything resembling a tree, and I want to see my husband open his gifts... I am pretty sure he'll like what I got him, but I want to see his face when he opens it... (at least that's what I tell other people while I hide the seven-year-old inside me that is excited to see presents with my name on them... he he he...)

"They" are calling for snow here, to start tonight and head to Wednesday. "They" are also predicting that Christmas day will be clear and bright, but too cold for any snow to melt, so it'll be a White Christmas! Bring it on! I wish I could stay home all week to enjoy it, but I guess I'll just have to put up with taking a half day on Wednesday, then having a 4 day weekend.

I can't wait for the 24 hour marathon to start! You all know of which I speak, so don't deny it! I TRIPLE-DOG-DARE YOU!!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

We are just flying fools!

One of my husband's hobbies is to make videos of what he does. Of course, most of his movies (with the exception of the one he made of the dog that I asked him to make) are aviation related. These are some ones that I'm fond of. He's got quite a talent for pairing the video with the appropriate sound track.

This first one is a movie he made of what he did for fun while we lived in Hawaii. It is one of his most favorite jobs he has ever had. He so loves to fly, and he had nothing but fun flying the bird-dog.



This second movie is one that he made from some old home videos he took MANY years ago, with an old video camera that sat on the dash of the plane. The first 2/3rds of the video is him flying his old Pacer, back in the time when I first met him. It shows a lot of the area that he flew in and the fun he had flying the old plane. The last third is some footage that he shot of me flying solo in my Tri-Pacer, on a day when I was practicing "touch'n'go's". The video quality isn't that great, due to most of the film deteriating while in storage, prior to being copied digitally. The footage of me is the only copy that we have of me flying, so you'll just have to put up with the green tinge to the video.



This last movie is one that he just recently shot while in Bethel on this last trip. This is what he does now, on a daily basis while away from home. It showcases the equipment that he flies, as well as the remote strips that he flies to.



I hope you enjoyed this little look into our lives. I may post some more videos that he's made. I think he's made one for every different job that he's had in aviation. I love them all, because his love of aviation comes out in the videos, and I am so proud of him. But, that'll be for another post.

Thank Goodness...

The Christmas stuff is out! Actually, it's cookies for some friends and family. I've been baking for 2 days, making approx. 13 dozen cookies to ship out to everyone. I hope they like them. I just put quite a dent in my pocket book mailing out the boxes of goodies from Alaska. Awesome...

I almost miss not doing anything for the holidays. When we would be moving (or planning on moving) around the holidays, we didn't really do anything. We would call the people that mattered on Christmas day, and request cash in lieu of gifts so we didn't have to pack anything (the cash would be donated to the moving fund). There was no stress... no crowds... no lines... It was lovely. This year, we aren't going way out of our way for Christmas, but farther than we have in the past. The added stress of the last few days has had A and I at each other since yesterday. Given the current state of the economy, and the fact that he's not used to putting anything out for Christmas, he's a little irrated with the money it costs to do stuff. I tried to tell him that what I spent to mail out cookies is less than it would have been if we were sending presents.

The cookie making process itself was fun. A helped me dish out the cookie dough. He was enamored with the disher... for a while, at least. LOL... I'm glad he helped out, because that makes our Christmas cookies that we just sent out "from the both of us" instead of just from me. I hope everyone likes them. I made my famous Oatmeal trio for everyone. I have Traditional Oatmeal Raisen, Orange-Cranberry, and Lemon-Blueberry.

As if that many oatmeal cookies aren't enough, I also made a batch of Chocolate Chip Cookies for A last night. I was a cookie-making fool the past two days, which is the reason I haven't updated my blog as promised.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy

Between work and getting the house ready for the man to come home today, I haven't had that much time to devote to my blog the past few days. Hopefully I'll be able to work on it tonight, but if not, look for something more than this tomorrow.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas Tag!

I've been tagged by ThePilotWife for a Christmas meme. Here goes :)

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Depends on the gift. If it fits better in a bag, I go with the bag. If it will easily fit in a box, then I go with the paper.
2. Real tree or Artificial? Artificial, with the lights already on it. (I HATE having to untangle, then wrap the tree with lights, it is my least favorite thing to do)
3. When do you put up the tree? I try to get it up the day after Thanksgiving, so you can enjoy it longer.
4. When do you take the tree down? Somewhere around Jan 1. Although, this year, it will probably go down before then, since the hubby has to leave before then. It's a 9' tree people, I need help.
5. Do you like eggnog? Not a big fan of it. I prefer cocoa.
6. Favorite gift received as a child? Lucky Bear. My pink teddy bear.
7. Hardest person to buy for? My Husband. He always wants something that we can't afford.
8. Easiest person to buy for? Me. I know EXACTLY what I want.
9. Do you have a nativity scene? Not yet, but I hope to get one next Christmas.
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? I "try" to mail them... (But I'm so bad that in the past, I have filled out, stamped and sealed Christmas Cards, and then found them under my bed 2YEARS LATER!)
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? I can't really think of one.
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Christmas Story (Fa-ra-ra-ra-ra -ra-ra-ra-ra)
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? I haven't shopped for Christmas for years. When I did, I would shop November/December and ONLY at 2 AM - I don't "do" crowds)
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Probably.
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Pie and Peanut Butter Fudge
16. Lights on the tree? Of course! What's the point of a tree with no lights?
17. Favorite Christmas song? I'll be home for Christmas and Silver Bells
18.Travel at Christmas or stay home? Stay home...
19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixon! Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen! But do you recall… the most famous reindeer of all… Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer! (can you tell I had to sing the song?)
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Red, Green and Gold spire.
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? In the past, we've opened on 12/24... But this year, we MAY hold out until the big day...
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? The Crowds
23. Favorite ornament theme or color? Red and natural.
24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
25. What do you want for Christmas this year? Exercise clothes, because I am under Doctor's orders to make a "lifestyle change." But it'll also help me with my "before I'm 29" goal.

I tag my SIL and my BFF! Have fun and Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 12, 2008

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas...

My Mommy gave to me... A little Brother!

My younger brother was born on December 13, 12 days before Christmas. Happy Birthday, "little" bro! We can now start the "count down"!

PS: I put "little" because he is so much bigger than I am now that we are adults. In fact, I think he passed me in height when I was 15 or 16... you know, back when it still kind of mattered...

I Love My Pilot...

I found a really great quote that I felt the need to incorporate with a photo I have of my husband (when he was younger) and share with you all...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I choose to be tagged...

In reading my SIL's blog, I got duped into me being tagged for a high-school meme. I prefer to see it as wishing to re-live a very weird time in my life... and share it all with you...

1. What school did you go to? Uh.... which year... Freshman year, I went to my beloved Park High School, in Livingston Montana... Where the school is small and you had the same teachers practically every year... Sophmore year, Butte High School in Butte Montana... Where my dad graduated, but we only lived in Butte for a year... Junior/Senior years were spent at Olympus Sr. High School in Salt Lake City, UT... I was involved in the school functions my freshman year, but did not find that I had the "spirit" at the other 2 schools...

2. Shy girl, outcast, wierdo... you pick... I was very much a "keep to yourself" kinda gal... My freshman year, I was still in the whole "pick on her" phase of my life that transferred over from middle school, so it wasn't that fun. I don't do well in new situations, so the schools to follow weren't much better for socializing... Come to think of it, most of my socializing has been done outside of school, excluding my BFF, who I met my Freshman year, of course... To her, I was "Bobcat" and to me she was "Fredneck"... I don't remember EXACTLY why we picked those names for each-other, but I think, at the time, it was "cool" to have "guy" nicknames for your girlfriends. We added the "cat" and the "neck" due to our proximity to MSU in Bozeman (the bobcats) and our obsession with all things Jeff Foxworthy... Seriously, we grew up in Montana, but we can both slip into a southern accent when we want... It's weird...

3. Driving... Who had the money for a car? I rode the bus (and was darn proud of it!!!) I'd bum rides from friend when I could. I didn't get my license until I was 19, so I don't get the whole "teenage driver" thing... I prefer to think of myself as having reached adulthood by that point (and legally getting over the newly-enforced teenage-driver rules introduced to the state of Utah)... Although I do remember a time (with my BFF, of course) where she "let" me drive and I took a turn too fast and ended up scaring the living s*** out of me and knocking the rubber tires off the rims of her wheels... I am still leery of sharp turns today... Oh, and I LOVED the "no day speed limit" in Montana when we were teens. She and I would get in the car and go visit relatives on the other side of the state, driving 90 miles an hour down the highway! It was GREAT! What would I have done without her...

4. Wrangler Butts Drive Me Nuts! I was a COUNTRY girl... I preferred my men to be tall, lanky, cowboys who drove pick-up trucks. I never dated one though... I usually got the shorter, more urban guy... My favorite birthday was when my BFF and I went to the Wrangler Rodeo when I turned 16. I felt that at that moment, I could die a happy woman... (and yes, at 16, I really did think I was a "woman") I listened to country music exclusively. I have since broadened my tastes for music. Although, I've noticed I don't really have a tolerance for country music produced after 1999... Usually, if I'm in the mood for country, I listen to "Prime Country" on Sirius radio... That's all the older stuff from when I was in high school...

5. Junior Prom... My grandmother made my dress out of burgundy velvet (I still have it). I had my nails and hair "done" for the first time in my life (and the only time, come to think of it). My date got a limo. We ate at Benihana's (my first time there too). We went to Prom, found it lame, and stayed long enough to get the standard pictures. We then went to "The Fun Dome" and played lazer tag (yes, we were still done up in our prom wear... I was wearing 3 inch heels... He was still in his tux...)

6. Senior Year... I broke up with my boyfriend (at Christmas time... the putz). Luckily my BFF was there visiting to help pick up the pieces. She came over from College to visit me. I met my husband, but back then, he was just a punk pilot. Too skinny for his own good. I probably made my parents crazy with me being out all hours of the night with him, but I was 18 and they trusted me. He was out of school and working graveyard shift at the time... We spent most of our dates at Denny's or Dee's at 2-3 AM... I loved being 18...

7. Graduation... If I had stayed at my first high school, I would have graduated with many friends in our school gymnasium (I think it was a class of maybe 80?). If I had stayed at my first high school, I never would have met my husband. But I graduated in the Rice Eccles Stadium (where the U of U play basketball) in a class of several hundred. I got in trouble for writing on my cap. Where I came from (in Montana), it is tradition to write something on your cap. Favorites were "See Ya!" or "Thanks for the Memories" or something corny like that. Apparently, (and here is where I was mistaken, because, see I bought my cap, so I thought that I could do with it what I wanted), in Utah, it's offensive and disrespectful to write something on your cap. You don't "fit in"... So they said if I wanted to "walk on the stage" that I needed to have a cap with no grafitti... Totally ruined it for me... I had something really cool written on my cap... I don't remember what it is now, but it was AWESOME! They picked really bad music for the ceremony. The choir singing "Seventeen" by Tim McGraw... Very weird choice people... Should have picked something like "Tubthumping" by Chumbawumba, because that would have been more appropriate. Class of '99!!!!

If you feel like participating, consider yourself tagged. Nothing too specific, just list 7 things from High School that are true.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I'm having a much better day...

It helps when you are pretty much caught up on your sleep and don't have any medical stuff to do... Although I wish I could have gotten everything done at work today. I didn't even complete a quarter of my to-do list... Man, it's frustrating... Oh well...

My husband did something with our spare universal remote and I can't find it. I looked where he said to look, but it isn't there... If he would have just left it where I last put it, I would know where it is...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Today...

It snowed last night. That means... I get to go sweep off the plane. Joy. I also had an appointment this morning to have my blood drawn again. I decided I'd hit the plane first, then to the hospital, since the airport is on the way to the hospital. Well... I should have forgotten about the plane and just went to the hospital. I made my way onto the airport. They hadn't started plowing my ramp yet, so I didnt' have car-hood-high burms of snow to try to get through... No, just some foot & 1/2 deep snow drifts that due to the lighting and such, you couldn't see until you got right on top of them. For anyone who doesn't know, I drive a Ford Focus... Not EXACTLY the BEST car to be driving around in the snow... Needless to say, I got stuck... Great... And the plane didn't have a bit of snow on it, just a little on the nose... So I got stuck in the snow at the airport for nothing... Great... And NO ONE came to help me. I discovered that even though I remember GRABBBING my cell phone this morning, it didn't make it into my pocket. A number of large trucks and other vehicles equipped with a snow plow on the front drove by watching me try to dig my car out with MY ICE SCRAPER and didn't stop... Thanks guys... No, don't pay any attention to the woman who is in knee deep snow, trying to kick and dig her car free while she cries... she has everything under control...

So I was over an hour late for work. I finally got the car free... My jeans were SOAKED up to my knees. I missed my lab appointment. Luckily, they were able to get me in just before noon. I went home first to change my jeans. By this time, I was starting to get really cold. I think I'm going to have to take a nice LONG bath tonight just to get warmed up again...

I handled this second blood draw better than last week. I didn't freak out last week and the lady today tried to make it as painless as possible. I was in/out in less than 10 minutes. They took another 3 vials, so that makes 6 within 4 days. I was a little woozy afterwards, so I stopped at the store on my way back to work to get some food in my system to help me boost back up.

I'll be working through what's left of my lunch. I'll be staying late tonight to make up what I missed this morning... Here's to a Crappy Day...

Monday, December 8, 2008

I was featured!

I was the featured pilot wife for the month of December. You can check out my interview here.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

In Honor...

In honor of the men who died that day, 67 years ago. In honor of all the men who fought on after them. In honor of all the men who still fight today...
We will never forget your dedication, courage and sacrifice.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

My Christmas Decorations

I am participating in the Pilot Wives Club Holiday Home Tour. I have decided to share with everyone who reads my blog, my Christmas Spirit :) I made this wreath this year. I've never had a wreath before, let alone made one. Actually, scratch that. In 3rd grade, we made these really cool wreaths out of old punch cards. I wonder if my mom still has a picture of it. Anyway, A decided that he wanted a very specific tree topper, but it has gold accents. I don't usually go for the gold accents, but I decided to go for it this year. So this wreath was the first thing that I made in our Red-Green-Gold color scheme. I love it because it has jingle bells on it so when I open the door, I'm greeted by bells :)

The tree is the first one we have had since 2001. It is so beautiful. Although, now we have to always live in a place that has high enough ceilings to accomodate it. It's a 9' tree.

The Ornaments are ones we've had for years. Some of them are old ones from when I grew up, handmade by family members. Some have been given to us as gifts. They are all precious.

The snowman was given to me last year. He came with a friend, who is on another shelf. This one is in a place of prominance. Next to A's beloved airplane-music box that his grandfather made. It plays "Fly Me To The Moon".

This is our menorah. A's family has always celebrated Hanukkah along with Christmas. This was given to us at our first Christmas, and like our tree, this will be the first year it will be lit since 2001. It is such a great tradition.


I hope you all enjoy our pictures! I know this Holiday Season will be the best we've had in a long time, mostly because we get to be together.

PS: A has a train set that goes under our tree, but he didn't have enough time before he needed to leave to pull it out of storage. It will be pulled out after he gets back... It's such a joy seeing him with that set that he has had so long. He's like a 7 year old again. :)


Friday, December 5, 2008

Sorta Sucky Day...

So I started out my day at the Vampire's - I mean phlebotomist's - to get some blood drawn. I am pretty phobic about needles, so it is never a pleasant experience for me. She asked me if I wanted to lie down while she did it, but I said no... Just don't be worried if I start swinging my feet or making weird noises while you're doing it... I have to admit that they were pretty fast with the majority of the tests they were running on my blood. I had most of the results this afternoon. Basically, my cholesteral is not great, but not bad. The most worrysome part is my "good" cholesterol is WAY low, which is driving up my "cholesterol ratio"... So I have to go in next week to discuss what we are going to do to correct that. They also said they were getting conflicting information on a few tests, so I have to go back next week (once the Doctor determines EXACTLY which specific tests she wants run) to have more blood drawn... They want to know if it is the actual result or if the lab screwed up... Is it my month to be crapped on? Just checking...

So, enough gross stuff... Other than that, the day went OK... I was pretty busy at work... It was one of those days where you know you aren't going to get everything done, so you wish you could clone yourself so you can have help but not have to take the time to train anyone... That was me today.... Although it's been like that for a long while now, so I am so far buried in work that I don't know where to start. I wanted to go in this weekend to get it done, but my "overtime" wasn't approved. As I'm the only one in the office that isn't salaried, I don't get to do it. Which, on the one hand, is pretty good because that means they won't take advantage of me... But on the other hand, with covering 2 positions (the one I was originally hired to AND the one they promoted me to a while back), I'm not getting everything done... I hope they hire someone in the next few months so I can focus on the main portion of my work.

I had a realization today that it is almost the end of the year... Which signifies Tax Season... Which means I have to find where I put all those receipts for the move to Alaska so I can deduct them... As this was our most expensive move to date, I'd really like to deduct it, so I guess I'll be organizing my office sometime this month...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

What I've done (and get to do tomorrow...)

I started cutting Noni's hair... The night before a snow storm... Call me crazy, but I think she'll be just fine. Besides, she's not outside for more that 20 minutes at a time. I'm just clearing the hair from her face so she can see (and not bite me as a result of not being able to see), and so she stops "eating" her face fur... You know what I'm talking about... There was always some girl with long hair who would "eat" or suck on the ends of her hair... (yeah, it's kind of gross)... She's been doing that because it's too long on her muzzel and it gets stuck in her mouth... The only problem with trimming her face fur is that the rest of her looks so bad with long hair and her face short... So that's when I started trimming the rest of her. I got about half of her back done. I'll finish the rest tomorrow. Oh, and I'm doing this with a pair of scissors. She broke the last pair of clippers I bought, and I can't afford to replace them just yet...

Tonight, they are calling for 2 inches overnight, with anywhere from 3-5 inches tomorrow. When I first heard this, I thought, "Cool, it's going to snow..." Then, I got a call from the guy we will be renting hangar space from this winter (it's not available yet) to say he had a friend that we might be able to use his hanger to get the plane out of the snow... Then it hit me... A is gone... That means it falls to me to take time out of my busy day to brush snow off the plane... So I had to go buy a "soft-bristled" push broom, because the other hanger has just been built, but hasn't gone through the final inspection, so we can't use it right now... Great... Although, I guess having to constantly sweep snow of a plane is better than having to replace a landing gear that collapses under the weight of snow...

I cleaned up the frozen dog crap in the front yard. Decided I should probably do that before the snow hits... You know how they have those robots that will vacuum and mop your floors for you (Roomba, etc...)? Well, I think they should make a robot that will pick up the dog crap. I mean, they have those automated cat boxes... Too bad the dog is too big for a cat box... That would be awesome...

Tomorrow I get to go see the lady doctor. Oh joy... Nothing like the yearly "poke and prod"... Man, I really can't wait for that to happen [dripping with sarcasm...]

Monday, December 1, 2008

Our Airplane Project

My lovely husband wrote up our initial progress on the airplane interior project. You can see it here, if you are so inclined. Be prepared...it looks gross...

He told me today that the company that is doing the interior for us had a fire, so they will be delayed in getting our interior out to us for an additional month while they clean up the smoke damage and restock their fabrics.

While I am glad that no one was hurt and there wasn't much damage except for smoke damage, I am exstatic that we are on hold for now. I thought I was going to have to strip 2 more seats and clean them up to prepare for paint before the 16th (when the hubby gets back from Bethel). Whew! I can be lazy (in that regard) and just focus on my Christmas. Getting my house ready for the holidays. We plan to have our neighbors over for dinner (to repay them for their lovely Thanksgiving dinner) and invite friends over for Christmas Eve. I started a tradition a while back of MAKING chinese food for dinner with a bunch of friends. I volunteer friends to fill and seal the wontons while I make everything else. As we get closer, and I finalize the menu, I'll post it. Then I'll explain how easy it is... I learned how to make chinese food living in the village, because getting take out involved a 2 hour flight... I couldn't believe how easy most of it is...

High-points of Monday

1. Dead mouse at the bottom of my stairs that I had to clean up before I went to work, causing me to be late. (Had to distract the dog while picking up dead mouse and while I disposed of the body in the woods, then clean up the gross area - it was not pretty - before she came back in...)

2. Teeth hurt from dentist... There is "some decay we need to address" (dentist's words) that will be spread out over another 4 visits... That's what I get for avoiding the dentist.

3. Dental work is costing me more than I anticipated, so my Flex Spending Account through work is exhausted before I got to order my contacts.... Maybe I'll be able to after the first of the year...

4. Way too much work to do at work... Covering for too many people who are still on vacation (read: stuck out of town due to cancelled flights), so not able to do any of my actual work...

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Getting into the Christmas Spirit

A had to leave this morning to go back to work, so we decorated for the holidays yesterday, so he could see the tree up. Part of our tree is my new background.

I love this time of year, and enjoy it especially when we can go all out. I love when it snows and everything is quiet. I love the lights that are all over everything. I love the feeling of selflessness that takes over, reminds us that giving is better than receiving.

I know it's not December just yet, but I couldn't resist starting off Christmas time with the change made to my blog. I hope you all enjoy it.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

One Happy Thanksgiving...

I know I'm late in writing about Thanksgiving, so I'll write about how good it was for me. First, I didn't have to cook a big meal. That was the original plan, but when our neighbors invited us to their place for dinner, we took their offer, on the condition that I would make dessert.

So I got up mid-morning, and started to make my pies. It is a family tradition to make the Pumple Pie every year for Thanksgiving and Christmas. In fact, the years I spent the holidays alone (like last year), I will make the pie, just for me. This year, I tried to make the apple part from scratch. I prefer it to the canned apple pie filling, which is good in it's own right, but making it from scratch lended such a nice flavor to the pie, not to mention, improved the texture. Sorry, Mom, but I gotta tell it like it is...

I will not make pie crust from scratch. Anyone who ate a pie where I made the pie crust from scratch, would not survive... It is traditional in my family to use Pilsbury pie crust, but I find I don't like to have to put it in the pie plate. So I buy Marie Callendar's frozen pie crust. It's already in it's own pan and it holds up nicely to any pie I make. Make sure to get the "deep-dish" kind.

The apple part was simple... The recipe I used is found in the Joy of Cooking, (Apple Pie II) but I had to modify it since I wasn't making an entire apple pie. I ended up using 4 Braeburn apples, 2 Tbsp of butter, 1/2 c. sugar, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. Peel and slice the apples (I quartered, then sliced into approx. 1/4" slices). I used my wok to saute the apples, but only because it was handy. The recipe calls for covering the apples while cooking, but I did not. Melt the butter over high heat and add the apple slices. Stir to coat, then cook for a couple of minutes. The apples should be starting to soften, but still be crisp. Add the sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Turn down the heat to medium and stir to coat the apples. Cook for 5-8 minutes. Turn the heat back up to high and boil the juices until it starts to thicken and turn syrupy, about 3 minutes. Pour the apples into a baking sheet (I used a pyrex 9"x13" cake pan) to cool to room temp. Spread out into one layer, if possible. - If you don't want to make apples from scratch, we have always used Wilderness brand apple pie filling.

Prepare your favorite pumpkin pie filling. If you have a really good "from scratch" pumpkin pie recipe, please let me know. I used the big-can of Libby's pumpkin, and just followed the recipe on the side of the can.

To construct... layer the apple in the bottom of the pie plate. (The above apple recipe will make 2 9" deep dish pies) Spoon some of the syrup on top of the apples. Pour the pumpkin on top of the apples until it reaches the top. Bake like a pumpkin pie, but make sure it's on a foil-covered cookie sheet. This is what it should look like afterwards... can you see the apple on the bottom?
I had enough pumpkin pie filling to make 2 - 8" pumpkin pies.

I took one Pumple Pie and one Pumpkin Pie to dinner. We got to meet some nice people in addition to our neighbors. Everyone loved the combination pumpkin-apple. Seriously, you should try this pie. If you don't like it, you are the only one. That is, unless everyone else is lying to me to spare my feelings and then to make me feel better, keeps asking for more of it.

Oh, and if you haven't figured it out yet, pie is my favorite part of Thanksgiving. Don't get me wrong, I ate enough Turkey and Potatoes and Stuffing to feed a family of 5, but I definitely left room for 3 pieces of pie...

I am thankful that I was able to share today with my husband and make some new friends. I am thankful that I was able to share my favorite family recipe with everyone. I am thankful for the comforts that I have in my life. I am thankful to all my friends and family, the ones who know and love me most, the ones I know and love the most. I am thankful for all the silly things in life, because if you can't laugh... what can you do? I am thankful to you out there who read my blog. You are a wonderful outlet for me, one that helps me maintain my sanity (such as it is...).

I can now officially declare it's Christmas time! (I can't stand it when radio stations and businesses start playing Christmas music BEFORE Thanksgiving... I mean, let's celebrate one holiday at a time here...)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Job Opening In Alaska

Got this in my email today... Made me laugh...


Position: Surveyor

Salary: $200 per hour (tax-free)

Qualification: Must be fast on your feet

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I Think...

I think that Monday forgot to look at the calendar and didn't know that it is really Tuesday, so is inserting itself today. Maybe Monday and Tuesday got together and decided to switch days. If they are going to do that, I think they should notify people that what is normally Tuesday is now Monday, and Monday was Tuesday...

If you can't tell, my brain isn't working at full capacity today, much like a Monday... but it's Tuesday... Or Thursday, considering I'm off work Thursday and Friday this week, so I guess it could be Thursday... But then I wouldn't feel like Monday...

Have I confused anyone/everyone yet?

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Good "Monday" Cure (but only if you live in Juneau)

We have a local convenience store/bakery here that makes really good doughnuts and sandwiches. Seriously, people who have to travel here regularly will make a side trip to Breeze In to get either or both of the above.

They make seriously good rolls. I sometimes will eat nothing but rolls for lunch. They make these "cheese" rolls that are to die for....

Today, A and I went there for lunch after running errands on my lunch break. They had some homemade soup, Roasted Turkey Noodle. Normally I hate their soups, but it seemed like a good idea today. I didn't sleep well last night and it's cold and crappy today. I've already made a "mocha" instead of my normal coffee, trying to clear out the chills.

The soup is really good. Add in the good rolls to dip in and a vanilla diet coke, I'm one happy camper, considering it is a Monday. So far, it hasn't been horrible, but I am horribly busy... One of my hospitals FINALLY decided to bill, for the last 3 months, so I have a lovely stack of bills to go though. Gotta love that job security :)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Crazy 8's

I've been tagged again, this time by Nicole.

8 Favorite TV Shows: (in no particular order)

-Gilmore Girls
-Heroes
-Ugly Betty
-Mythbusters
-How it's Made
-Robot Chicken
-Family Guy
-Full Metal Alchemist

8 Favorite Restaurants: (most of these are only available in one location...)

-The Hanger (JNU)
-The Zephyr (JNU)
-Applebees
-Aaron's atop the Ala Moana (HNL)
-Vito'n'Nicks (JNU)
-Wendy's
-Sourdough Mining Company (ANC)
-Piper's Restaurant (ANC) - for breakfast...

8 Things That Happened Yesterday - September 22, 2008

-Bought my first Christmas Tree since 2001... hopefully it will be the last Christmas tree I buy
-Learned that the Christmas Tree we picked would not fit through the trunk opening on our car, so we had to lash it to the top...
-Learned what M.E.K. (methl ethyl ketone) smells like (picture really strong nail polish remover)
-It rained (big surprise there...)
-Leared that MEK was melting the plastic rather than removing the adhesive on some airplane parts we are trying to refurbish.
-Chatted with a great group of women on The Pilot Wives Club.
-Got pretty tipsy.
-Went to bed.

8 Things To Look Forward To:

-Thanksgiving with my husband.
-Decorating the house for Christmas.
-Getting contacts.
-Christmas with my husband.
-Pilot Wives Club meet-up.
-Collecting a paycheck.
-Buying bedroom furniture.
-Going on a massively expensive, but fun, trip to see as many relatives as possible.

8 Things I Love About Fall:

-The Colors!
-The need to wear a sweater!
-The cool weather.
-The holidays associated with fall.
-The new shows on TV
-The night comes sooner.
-It means Christmas is just around the corner!
-Snuggling on the couch with a hot cocoa...

8 Places I Want To See Someday:

-Northern Italy
-Austria
-Germany
-Ireland
-Scotland
-Spain
-France
-Portugal

8 Things On My Wish List: (Most of which, I'm sure will never happen)

-KitchenAid Stand Mixer with lots of HorsePower
-Bedroom Furniture
-A Maid Service
-For the Dog Whisperer to come and teach my dog to not pull on her leash anymore.
-For the What Not To Wear people to make me over.
-For me to know inside and out, the Workers' Comp laws in Alaska...
-Office Furniture
-To see my family more often.

8 People I Tag - Friends and Family :)

My SIL
My Mom
My Father
My Husband
My BFF
My New Pilot Wife Friend
And the Blogs that I read: Musing's of Cpt J's Wife and It's a Pilot's Life for Me.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Oh, the joys of being an aircraft owner...

We had planned on re-doing the interior of our airplane this winter, so that it is done by the time we go on our big trip next year. Since A is home now, he started pulling things out of the plane to see what's what. I guess, now we are committed to the project. He started "dissecting" one of the back seats to see how big of a deal they are going to be. The seats are still upholstered with the original fabric, so it was sewn onto the frame. My job for when he's gone is to remove the old upholstery on the rest of the seats and get the seat frames cleaned up and ready for the new upholstery that he is ordering on Monday.

Hopefully the interior of the plane will look 100% better when we are done and it won't stink like "old airplane" which I'm pretty sure I'm allergic to... Oh, and that it won't be too much of a pain in the rear end to do it...

I'm not sure that I'll post too many pictures about the process, but I may post a before/after picture when we are done, or at least a link to my husband's blog, where I'm sure that he will have some posted.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Super Cute...

After seeing the previews for Wall-E, my husband and I were excited to see it. We never made it to the theatres, so we decided to go out and buy it. At the checkout stand, the cashier told us that she got to see it on the ferry with her kids, but didn't get to see the end of it. She said what she saw of it was really cute. That only reminded me of "Happy Feet," yet another super-cute movie that I hated the ending to, mainly because it makes you feel bad for being a human... So I was a little bit scared to spend 20 bucks on a Disney movie....

We bought it anyway, but not the 3 disc special... The extras were not worth an extra 10 bucks...

First... they need to give you a diagram of how to open the box without ripping it apart... I know they did it this way to reduce wastes and such, but man... I almost broke it... Oh, and if there are other boxes designed this way, I'm sorry, but this is the first one I've seen...

The movie was really cute. And didn't make me feel bad. It did make me laugh at the humans in the movie, who are all morbidly obese from living a completely sedentary lifestyle in space for 700 years...



A good movie will make you cry, and this one did that... I was tearing up towards the end... I won't say what happened, in case someone hasn't seen it yet, but it was well worth the money we spent to buy it...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

In the grand scheme of things...

I've decided that my stupid and crappy problems/issues are really not that important in the grand scheme of things. There are other people out there who have worse things going on and I am pretty self-centered to think that my problems are more important. That being said, I will not be writing about my complaints today....

I will share this story I found this evening... It's one that makes you stop and think...

Sometimes in the daily challenges that life gives us, we miss what is really important. We may fail to say hello, please, or thank you, congratulate someone on something wonderful that has happened to them, give a compliment, or just do something nice for no reason. Charles Plumb, a US Naval Academy graduate, was a jet pilot in Vietnam. After 75 combat missions, his plane was destroyed by a surface-to-air missile. Plumb ejected and parachuted into enemy lands. He was captured and spent 6 years in a communist Vietnamese prison. He survived the ordeal and now lectures on lessons learned from that experience.One day, when Plumb and his wife were sitting in a restaurant, a man at another table came up and said, "You're Plumb! You flew jet fighters in Vietnam from the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. You were shot down!" "How in the world did you know that?" asked Plumb. "I packed your parachute," the man replied. Plumb gasped in surprise and gratitude. The man pumped his hand and said, "I guess it worked!" Plumb assured him, "It sure did. If your chute hadn't worked, I wouldn't be here today." Plumb couldn't sleep that night, thinking about that man. Plumb says, "I kept wondering what he might have looked like in a Navy uniform: A white hat, a bib in the back, and bell bottom trousers. I wonder how many times I might have seen him and not even said good morning, how are you or anything because, you see, I was a fighter pilot, and he was just a sailor." Plumb thought of the many hours the sailor had spent on a long wooden table in the bowels of the ship, carefully weaving the shrouds and folding the silks of each chute, holding in his hands each time the fate of someone he didn't know. Now, Plumb asks his audience, "Who's packing your parachute?" Everyone has someone who provides what they need to make it through the day. Plumb also points out that he needed many kinds of parachutes when his plane was shot down over enemy territory - he needed his physical parachute, his mental parachute, his emotional parachute, and his spiritual parachute. He called on all these supports before reaching safety. His experience reminds us all to prepare ourselves to weather whatever storms lie ahead. As you go through this week, this month, this year... recognize people who pack your parachute!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Ugh......


Hopefully tomorrow is better...

He's home again...

He got in last night off the "milk run" about 7:15 pm. The milk run stops in 2 towns on it's way to Juneau, so it was a LONG flight home for him. But, it was the one with the most availablity for non-rev's so I guess beggars can't be choosers. At least he got home.

We went out to dinner last night to a mexican restaurant that has really good food but really crappy desserts. First, our waitress sucked... The restaurant was empty except for 2-3 tables. She was not attentive. She was pleasant, but when you have to go thirsty because your soda AND your water glass need to be refilled, and have needed to be refilled for the last 10 minutes, that's when you know you have a problem.

We decided to share an entree and then dessert. She gave us the options of Strawberry Shortcake, Flan and Mud Pie. The only one we hadn't tried yet was the mud pie. I should have taken a picture of it with my cell phone before we dug into it. Every other mud pie I've eaten has been ok. I'm not that big on ice-cream pie. This one sucked. They served it upside-down, with the oreo crust on top. It was like a layer of asphalt that you needed a jack-hammer to cut through. The ice-cream was nothing special. It was really cheap and gross chocolate ice-cream layered over really cheap and gross vanilla ice-cream. The only saving grace of this pie was the fun we had laughing over the hard time we had cutting through the crust on top. We tried sawing it, jabbing it with a spoon and a knife. The only way we could get through it was to jab a spoon into the top and twist.... "Congratulations... You are now dead..."

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Funny Funny Guy...

Last night, I was telling my husband about the pilot wives club. I told him that I created a sub-group for the GA wives, and I was going to "reprezent" (said in my best "ghetto-rap" voice, which isn't very good, btw) for GA...

He then promptly told me "Honey, we are commercial. This is my job..."

LOL... While I know this, I consider us still General Aviation, mainly because we have always been GA and we have always owned an airplane (except while in Hawaii...) AND he flies small planes commercially. In my logic, that still makes us GA. I mean, when the largest thing you fly is a Cessna Caravan? Come on...

He just laughed at me. Sometimes he indulges my little idiosyncrasies. This seems to be one of those times...

On another note, I just got a call from him and he is on his way to Anchorage to come home. Yay! He was going to try to get on the late flight back to Juneau, but he was informed that it doesn't operate on the weekends. So, he's listed on the first flight in the morning.

I can't wait :)

Friday, November 14, 2008

New - PilotWivesClub.com

Thanks to The Pilot's Wife for creating a new hang-out for, what else, pilot wives! I just found it yesterday via Cpt J's Wife. I've been there for extended periods of time ever since.

If you are a pilot's wife, commercial or otherwise, check it out! I started a sub-group for those who are GA Pilot Wives. I don't think it's intentional, but the pilot wife communities that I have seen so far tend to exclude GA wives and focus on commercial pilot wives. I'm not sure if that's because GA Pilot Wives are a different breed all together, but there is something distinctly unique about those who are married to the "hobby" and not reliant upon the industry for a paycheck. However, we are all still "pilot wives." This site is all about any pilot's wife (helecopter, jet, military, civilian, and now GA).

You can see my first contribution article titled Aviation in Alaska - An Introduction.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Splitting up the chores...

This may seem simple, but I just thought of it recently... With A away from home most of the month (and even when he's home, for that matter...), I find that I don't want to pick one day to clean the house like we did when I was growing up. It was fine then, when the chores were divided up between 4 kids and 2 adults. Now, I find that I get overwhelmed doing the chores all in one day. So I devised a simple chore chart for daily items. I only do the chores for that day. I ignore all else until that day comes. So far, it's made it easier on me, and the house stays cleaner. I hope that when A gets home, it will be easy for him to see what gets done on what days so he can help me keep the house up. My chore chart is as follows:

MONDAY: Pick up bedroom, do the dishes.

TUESDAY: Bathroom wipe down (with clorox/costco wipes - sink, toilet seat), do the dishes.

WEDNESDAY: All garbage in the house to the dumpster, pick up the office, do the dishes.

THURSDAY: Dust the house, Pick up the living room, do the dishes.

FRIDAY: Bathroom scrub (with bathroom cleaner - shower, toilet bowl), do the dishes.

SATURDAY: All garbage in the house to the dumpster, all floors (sweep, vacuum, mop), do the dishes.

SUNDAY: Laundry, do the dishes.

I do the stuff that takes longer on the weekends and I've scheduled garbage to the dumpster twice a week on the day after the dumpster gets emptied. With the exception of the kitchen, each room in the house is done on a different day, with the bathroom getting some attention twice a week. I found that each "chore" takes less than an hour (except for the laundry) so I have the rest of the day do to whatever.

Do you have any house cleaning strategies/tips?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Apparently, I'm not the only one who is excited...

When I spoke to A tonight, it was just prior to making my list of Thanksgiving dishes, so I decided to ask him what he wanted... His response: pie... While I love pie too, it made me laugh. I then asked him, "What kind of pie"... That gave me the following: "Pumple... Oh, and make a pumpkin too... Oh, and a pumpkin cheesecake... Yeah... A pumpkin cheesecake..."

LOL... He's really excited that we get to actually celebrate together this year. The last time we had Thanksgiving together was 2 years ago, just before he flew out to start working in Hawaii, and a few days before we had to be out of our house we just sold. That Thanksgiving was as quick and easy as I could make it. I made one of those Jennie-O Turkey Loaf things, with boxed mashed potatoes, Stove Top, and a store bought pie.

I'm glad that I can go all out this year. I will probably wrangle A into helping me prep, so that will be good together time. I'm glad he's not into football... If he were, I would be stuck in the kitchen all day cooking while he watched the games...

As much as I hate to disappoint my husband, we will be eating other things for Thanksgiving than pie...

Getting Excited...

I am so excited for the holidiays this year... Barring all possible weather and transportation problems, A and I will be together for both Thanksgiving and Christmas, which hasn't happened in about 5 years...

My mom isn't really helping to curb the excitement. She's been posting all the family holiday recipes on her blog. There are a few that I don't remember from growing up (she finally admitted that a couple of the recipes were new...) and some tried and true from way back when. I don't know if I will (or should) make all the tasty goodies. One of my favorites is Raisen Pie. It sounds really gross, and doesn't look too good, but my mom (and my aunt, and my grandma) would make this pie for Thanksgiving AND Christmas EVERY YEAR. It was my personal tradition to stay away from it the day of the holiday (in order to get more Pumpkin Pie in my system) and I would have a slice of Raisen Pie for breakfast the day after. I don't think A likes Raisen Pie, so it's not really worth it for me to make one just for me...

There is another family recipe, Pumple Pie... It's half apple, half pumpkin. It's AWESOME! It's A's favorite out of the pies (at least that I remember, it's been 5 years people...) It's pretty simple. If you are making an Apple Pie and a Pumpkin Pie, just get a deep dish pie plate and put a layer of apple down, then pour the pumpkin batter on top. Bake like a pumpkin pie, but put it on a cookie sheet, because the apple does bubble up. My mom uses a whole can of apple pie filling in her pie, but I use half. Although, this year, I will attempt to make the apple part from scratch (I found a recipe for apple pie that pre-cooks the apples, which is what this recipe needs). I'll let you all know how it turns out.

If you want to check out more of my family recipes, visit my mom's blog. If you have any holiday recipes that you would like to share, please let me know. I'm always on the lookout for good food.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteren's Day

Thank you to all the men and women in the service. Without you, we would not have the freedoms that we do. It takes a lot of courage to put your life in danger every day, and I know that I would not have that courage. God bless you.

(Thanks to Julie for creating the above graphic, and thanks to Danette for sharing it...)

Monday, November 10, 2008

In less than a week (hopefully...)

...A will be home until the end of the month (YAY!)

...I will get all caught up on my work

...My house will be spotless (50% done so far...)

...I'll have Thanksgiving Dinner planned

Sunday, November 9, 2008

I think I may have overdone it...

Noni has gotten used to going for a walk when I am home all day, like on the weekends. She expects it now, so when she doesn't get it, she usually whines and growls at me until we do...

Today was so nice. It was cold, below freezing, so the ground wasn't muddy. I decided that we would go on a trail that we've never been on before. The trail-head is just up the road from where we live, so we headed out.

It was a lovely walk. The trail was paved, but there were side trails that were not, like for horses and stuff. On the paved part, dogs are required to be on a leash, but not on the regular trail. Noni doesn't get to go off leash too often, mainly because she gets distracted easily and doesn't respond to commands. We walked out to the end of the trail on the paved part, which just so happened to be another trail-head. On the way back, we kept to the side trails and she got to go around off leash. She loves it and it makes my shoulders feel better (with her dog-sled breeding, she PULLS and no amount of training so far has gotten her to stop pulling...) She usually goes up a little way, stops and turns around to make sure that I'm coming, and then goes some more. She is doing better, and it was good that there weren't too many people using the trail today.

There is a trail that t's off the main trail that goes to Dimond Park, so we came home on that trail. I figured it would go on the other side of the river (which it did) but it also put us out in front of the new high-school, so we came home through the neighborhoods.

Man, were we tired when we got back... Based on my average walking speed of 3 miles an hour, we were gone for a little over 2 hours. (You do the math...) My feet and legs were so tired that I had to crawl up my stairs to lay down. Noni is currently flopped over on her side. She gets up when I do, then flops over again. I can only move now because I soaked in a nice hot bathtub with epsom salts. Oh, and the handful of ibuprofen I took.

This whole walking thing is good, but I think I'll try to keep it to 3-4 miles total for a while.

I wish I had batteries in my camera today to take pictures to post. The trees were all frost covered and the winter sun stayed low and golden over everything. Besides being tired, the walk was beautiful. It makes me thankful to live in such a wonderful place (and that the bears are going to sleep...)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

My new favorite thing...

I hate cleaning the house. Not because I like to live in filth, but because everytime I clean, I have a MASSIVE allergy attack from all the smells that I get inundated with. Shower cleaner is the worst. The shower doesn't get cleaned that often, mainly because that is the only thing I can usually get done before I am miserable.

I went to the store today to get some more shower cleaner. I picked up some Scrubbing Bubbles first, knowing they work well, but usually make me sneeze, and then I saw the new Clorox Green Works cleaning products. Their bathroom cleaner was cheaper than the spray can of Scrubbing Bubbles, so I decided to try it. OMG... I cleaned the whole bathroom with it (except the floor)and did not sneeze once. I couldn't believe it. I had to be leaning over a freshly sprayed bathtub to even smell the product, and it was so light and unobtrusive that I was stunned. My bathroom is now SPOTLESS and I feel like I can move on to downstairs to mop the floors without having too many problems.
I didn't buy anything on that line other than the bathroom cleaner, but when my other cleaners are gone, I will be trying the other products too. If they work just as well and don't make me sneeze, then I will be a repeat customer.

Times Gone By...

I requested "The Glenn Miller Story" from Netflix a while ago, with the intention that A and I would watch it together. Sadly, I forgot to change my queue to adjust for his absence and it came a few days after he left. I kind of set it aside, forgetting that it is going to be "a while" before he comes home again. I decided to watch it tonight.

This movie is special to us. There are several reasons. One of them is that neither of us have seen the movie together. We've both watched it seperately. But we both LOVE Big Band music and Glenn Miller in particular.

When A was first learning how to fly, he was living in Texas and flying out of an airport where a bunch of WWII pilots hung out. He enjoyed hanging around them, listening to their stories, and getting their advise on flying. I think he attributes his stick and rudder skills to them helping him. He has always been drawn to the 1940's, the era and the airplanes. When I met him, I was introduced to the time period, and I fell in love with it too.

When we were first planning our wedding, we wanted a 1940's themed wedding. He had a friend that had a War-Bird in a hanger, and we wanted to have the wedding there. Unfortunately, we were unable to, due to insurance purposes (or something like that). But I still think about it now and then. The clothes, the romance, the music moving through you... The kind that makes your chest feel like it's about to burst, like you've taken too much air into your lungs... The kind that makes you move... The kind that makes you think of the one you love... With A being gone, it is easy for me to pretend I am in that era, with him away at war, writing love letters to each other... Except, I am staring at a computer screen... And he's not getting shot at (that I know of)...

Our song is "Moonlight Serenade". I found this on YouTube this evening. It's a pretty boring video, mainly because it is just a video of a record playing... But if you close your eyes, you will be transported to another time. We have some Glenn Miller records that we purchased off of ebay years ago, but we don't have our record player working right now. This record is played on an old victrola. The sound is phenominal. You can hear every little nuance in the recording, something that is rare in a modern recording. Enjoy... I know I will...

Friday, November 7, 2008

Snake Oil Salesman

I was invited to a meeting sponsored by the company that handles our 401k at work, so I decided to go. Three speakers were scheduled to talk about 3 different items. The first one was presented by a law firm here in Juneau that specializes in setting up whatever is needed to plan for your beneficiaries (wills, living trust, etc..) She gave really good information on what you can do to set up for beneficiaries, the laws that work within the death benefits, as well as how to protect your children's inheritance from creditors etc... Really good information.

The second presentation was from one of the tax planners here in Juneau. He went over tax laws, what will only be considered for 2008, what will carry on to 2009, etc... He also speculated what could happen now that Obama has been elected, based on what is on his website.

The final presentation was to tell us our options on protecting our retirement accounts. Sounded great in the invitation. However, it pretty much stopped there. The guy presenting it was from AXA (who our financial company is under) and he decided to give us the high points of a special program that AXA does (that is not cheap, by the way) to give extra protection in today's economy. I felt like I was sitting though one of those dreaded time-share presentations. If I had gone by myself, I would have walked out, but I car-pooled, so I stayed for the whole thing.

That's the thing about those kinds of presentations, they have really good ideas for fixing the situation, for a nominal fee, of course. "I got this snake-oil here, great for this..."

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Arguments from 1000 miles away...

Without going into too much detail, (and with much embarassment), I will admit that I picked a fight with my husband last night on the phone... I had a really crappy day yesterday, and when I was trying to tell him about it, he said "I don't care that ..." Well, you can imagine how well I took that. I know he didn't really mean that he doesn't care about what I'm feeling, but it seemed that way last night. So I took HIGH offense and basically screamed at him (hangs her head in shame) over the phone... I was so mad that I didn't tell him that I loved him before I angrily hung up on him...

I'm not proud of those kinds of moments. I am seeing a pattern to our arguments though. Usually one of us keeps our wits about them and doesn't escalate the argument on their side. Usually it's me, but last night that was A.

In my defense (and yes, I realize it is an excuse...), I just wanted him to listen and not comment. It was one of those one-sided conversations that you need to get off your chest. When I told him that last night on the phone, he basically said, "I understand that, but I still don't care about ..." That just added to my meltdown. Arggh!!!

It's amazing what a night of sleep does to anger. I'm still upset at what he said, but I am much more reasonable this morning.

A - Since you will probably read this before I talk to you tonight, I'm sorry I screamed at you last night. I love you.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My feelings after the election...

Congratulations to President-Elect Obama... I do not agree with a lot of his policies and beliefs, but, as an American, I will support him as president, until he does something to take away my freedoms given to me by our founding fathers. I'm not too worried (at least at this point) about him following through with any of his campaign promises, mainly because, when was the last time any elected official followed through with one of their campaign promises...

I am not racist, so please don't assume that I am. What I am is very blunt and honest, and I have a tendancy to speak my mind (as if you haven't figured that out yet reading past blog entries). However much I acknowledge the importance of this historic election, I am tired of hearing the phrase "the first black president." I feel that the concept of race is being perpetuated by those who believe they need to qualify everything by adding labels to everything. I don't go around with the title "European-American" (because my ancestors came from Europe), so why do we still need the title "African-American?" Why can't we just be AMERICAN'S? We were born here... We live here... It makes sense to me.

On another note, unrelated to the election, but along the same vein, I am also tired of special observance months based on race. But by saying that, I know I'm inviting the hate mail of people who think I am a racist. If there can be a black history month and a latin-america history month, where is my caucasion history month? I want a month to celebrate my heritage. It's discrimination, it what it is...

I love our country. I love the freedoms that we have here. That we can vote for who we believe will represent us and our beliefs. That being said, I just have to mention a question I had earlier this evening... When the voter statistics came out on NBC, they said that 95% of the African-American vote went for Obama... Not entirely surprising, but my question is this... Did they vote for him because they believe in his ideals and values? Or did they vote for him because they wanted to see a "black man in the white house?" Either way, it is their freedom that gives them that choice, but I hope that the reason is the former and not the latter. I mean... If I voted for McCain just because he's white, or just because his running mate is a woman, I would be labeled as racist or feminist (of which I am neither).

I will close on a note to ALL ELECTED OFFICIALS: We the people "hired" you to do the job that you are or have been doing... We are equal opportunity employers... We can fire you at any time if we feel that you are not doing a good job. (If you can't tell, I'm tired of the incumbents thinking that they are the only ones who can get the job done, when they haven't been doing a good job for a while... Sometimes, you need to replace the staff to get a new perspective on things and get some new ideas flowing... "Vote for me because I've been here for years!" blech...)

On another note, I would like to thank the Democrats running in the State of Alaska for US Senate and the House of Representatives, Mark Begich and Ethan Berkowitz. Thank you both for running clean campaigns. I know the Democratic party ran ads against the incumbents, Don Young and Ted Stevens, but every advertisement I saw that was approved by you, was free of finger pointing and the blame game. It was quite refreshing to see a person running for office state what their vision for the future is, and not lay out all the bad things that the incumbent has done in the past. If only the national campaigns were run like yours, I might have had an easier time picking the lesser of two evils... (For all those not following the polls in Alaska, at the time of this writing, both challengers were behind the incumbents, which is sad, because it means that the majority of Alaskans feel the need to keep criminals in office - oh did I say that out loud?)

I VOTED!

I just got back from the polls. My boss and I are registered in the same district, so we went together, trying to beat the lunch rush. I was still on the registration list from when we lived here before, so I was given the full ballot, and not a questioned one, which is what I expected. I was so excited! Now I can watch the news programs tonight to see just how much my own personal politics falls in with the nation... I can't wait!

Monday, November 3, 2008

The priviledge to vote...

I'm pretty sure that voting is a priviledge and not a right, but correct me if I'm wrong... I say this because the priviledge to vote can be revoked, like if you commit a felony or something... I can't remember that much from my US Government class in high school, but I think that's right... Again, correct me if I'm wrong.

I will have to admit that I haven't exercised my priviledge to vote ever. When I was old enough to vote, I didn't know that much about what was going on in politics, so I didn't vote. I figured that if I didn't know what I was voting for, I shouldn't vote. As I learned more about what was going on, I was under the impression that my vote really didn't matter (this is after the elections with Pres. Bush...) The last presidential election, I didn't think I could vote, mainly because we lived out in the bush of Alaska and I didn't register to vote in that district.

This year, I still think my vote for president doesn't matter that much. The electoral college is supposed to take the population's vote into account for that state, before pledging that state for someone, but that doesn't always happen. Alaska is a red state, so I expect it to go for McCain. But, I will get out there and vote anyway. I know a lot of people who voted early this year, but that option was only available for absentee's here (at least as far as I know), so tomorrow it will be. I'll have to check what time the polls open. I'll probably try to hit the polls in the morning before work. I'm also hoping that they kept my old voter registration valid and when I renewed my driver's license at my birthday, they just updated the info. If that's the case, then I should be able to vote for the state elections as well. I am much more interested in our state government and Alaska's representation in Washington. Without saying who I would vote for, I will just say that I would like my opinion heard. If that doesn't happen, I will gladly exercise my priviledge to vote for the President of the United States.

Here's to November 5th, the day the nation can breathe a sigh of relief... It will all be over (unless we have a repeat of 2000 and we have to have a "re-count"... Oh no... did I just jinx it?).

I walked A LOT yesterday...

In keeping with my new plan to drop 4 sizes in 1 year, I took Noni for a walk again yesterday. I think we walked somewhere around 4 miles. I'm a little sore today, but Noni was definitely not used to going that far. I took pity on her and let her lounge around the house today. She was plum tuckered out yesterday. Not to mention DIRTY!!! I took her through the neighborhood that seperates us from the airport. We recently discovered that the street that ALMOST connects directly with ours goes all the way to the beginning of the walking trail that goes around the airport, along the wetlands. EVERYONE takes their dogs there, so I like to take Noni to get her used to socializing with other dogs, as well as get some exercise. So it's like a mile there, we walked about a mile on the trail, and then we walked home. It had rained the night before, and started to rain again when we were a few blocks away from home. She had a lot of mud on her by the time we made it back. I made her lay down on a towel by the front door until she dried off more. A lot of the dirt came off onto the towel (which was my intention). I wanted to get the bulk off of her before I gave her a bath, mainly because I didn't want her dripping mud up the stairs. It's easier to wash her later than it is to do her and my stairs. I guess part of me is just lazy...

So I found a pretty easy way to give her a bath, and to get all the dried dirt off of her. I put her in a full tub of water with me in it too. I let her sit for a bit, then drained the water out and washed her like normal, only I stayed in the tub too. It was easier to keep control of her, and I think I did a more thorough job than normal. She didn't really dig it at first, mainly because she doesn't like water. She will not go swimming. She gets mad everytime we try to get her to. She was fine once I drained the water.

I'll post any weight loss updates as I notice them. The first goal is to fit back into my size-12 jeans more comfortably. I don't have a scale, so I won't be keeping track that way. It'll just be when my clothes fit better.

At this point, I'm not really restricting what I eat, just how much of it I eat. That way, I figure I won't get those dreaded "cravings" that will de-rail any diet. I'm also stepping up my activities from a sedentary lifestyle. I'll walk with Noni as often as possible (please let the snow come soon this year to keep down on the mud... a wet dog is better than a muddy dog...) If I'm able to later, I'll probably start swimming, but we'll have to see.

My reward will be a new wardrobe for my birthday next year. I have lots of clothes that are size 10 that I've had in storage for years, but I realized today that the last time I wore any of that, I was between the ages of 16-20, so probably not very age-appropriate for me now.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

One of my favorite things...(OK, well, two)

I LOVE getting pictures of my nephews. I received this picture of my oldest brother's 2 youngest boys when they were dressed up for Halloween. The older one is a ninja and the younger one is Spiderman... I wish I got to spend more time with them than I do, but with me living in Alaska, and them living in California, it just doesn't happen as often as it should.

I have other nephews and neices scattered around the country, but so far, this is the first (and probably only) picture I get of dressed-up kids. My friend usually emails me pictures of her kids, but I will hold off posting them on my blog, as she has her own - Intermittant Ruminations. My SIL will also probably send me some of her boys, which can be found on her blog - Everyday Adventures.

I may or may not get pictures of my newest nephew (it's his first Halloween, and my brother isn't too speedy on sending me pictures, but I may get them second hand through my parents, oh, probably around Christmas...) So I will leave you with what I have so far... Enjoy the cute little faces... I just want to squish their cheeks they are so darn cute (and yes, I realize the whole "aunt" stereo-type with the cheek pinching and the red-lipstick kisses, but I just can't help it...)

Friday, October 31, 2008

I actually had trick-or-treaters...

I think I had like 6 different (or at least I hope different) groups of kids. The first group was the cutest. It was a group of like 6 kids, all under the age of 4 in THE CUTEST costumes I have seen. One was an elephant, there was a knight, complete with a shining sword (that was probably almost as tall as he was... too precious), an angel, etc... I was kind of moronic, though. Not having much experience with the whole holiday thing, all I could say was "How Cute!" the whole freaking time.... There was no "Happy Halloween" or "What do we have here?" banter. Thanks to the genes I inherited from my mother, I really had to try hard not to cry when I saw the cute kids in their cute costumes... Thanks, Mom...

The others were all older kids, like upper elementary to middle school kids. The last 2 girls were dressed up as "The Cheetah Girls"... I thought that was pretty clever. They had on ballet tutus and cheetah patterned tights...

The best part about the evening was I got rid of all the Butterfingers that were hidden in the miscellaneous bag I bought... So now I am left with the ones I like and will eat...

Oh, and honey, if you are reading this, we had so many kids come that I ran out of candy, which is why there won't be any left when you get home in 2 weeks.... Please ignore the commentary above...

My FAVORITE Halloween Candy is...


Mary Jane Peanut Butter Kisses, from Necco! Yum... So good... I've been in 7th heaven all day since I bought a bag for the office :)

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

There's one benefit to buying your candy last minute... It's on sale. I got 2 bags of Snicker Bars for like 4 bucks, plus a bunch of "fillers". I should be set... And if I don't get that many kids tonight, well then, it's a good thing I only buy candy that I like. I'll probably stash the leftovers in my desk at work for those 3:00pm sugar cravings...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Late Halloweener...

Well, I have waited until the last minute to prepare for Halloween. I still don't have any candy. I'll have to go out and see what I can find on my lunch break tomorrow. Hopefully, I don't end up with a whole lot of kids. It always seems like the art of Trick-or-Treating is being lost. Looking back, I don't remember more than 5-10 kids showing up for candy in like the last 5 years. So, I'm not sure just how many we'll get here... I guess I could ask my neighbor. They've lived here for a while now, so I think they would know... It's the same for my parents. My family has always gotten enough candy to fill my mom's HUGE tupperware bowl and I remember that she would let us pick first, to make sure we got some from it. Now, they might get a bag of candy and it'll still be mostly full... And that's giving out 2-3 pieces at a time.


I was going to go as Meg Griffen for Halloween, but I can't find my pink hat... So I don't think I'll be dressing up as anything this year. Normally, I'll wear A's old flight suit and go as a "pilot". It's pretty controversial. It has the old CAF patch on the back (from before they changed their name to "Commemorative Air Force"...) I wore the suit to an office I worked at where some people "of color" worked, and I got some really evil looks from some of them. I think that was the last time I wore it for a Halloween costume.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Apparently, I'm allergic to Christmas Cactus blossoms...

We have several Christmas Cacti at the office, one of which resides on a high bookshelf above my head. When we noticed blossoms on ALL of the plants, everyone was so excited! Mine is a lighter pink than the others and I was even more excited than the others to see mine blossom. I've inherited a black thumb from my mother, so I've never had a plant live that long before.


I noticed my blossoms opening up yesterday, so I moved my plant so I could see them better, basically placing the blossoms right over my main work area... Well, that apparently was a bad idea. I started having a "highly-suseptible to allergies" day today, since I didn't get as much sleep last night as I should have, and after I had been at work for about an hour, my allergies EXPLODED! Around lunch time, I noticed that my plant was putting out pollen, so I moved it into the other room. While that didn't stop my allergies (I have had many sneezes just writing this post), it did lessen them considerably.


So, for the duration of the blooms, my beautiful cactus will reside in our reception area. They don't seem to bother me, unless I am right up to them, so I will just enjoy from afar.
(This cactus is not mine, but it is similar... I forgot to take a picture of mine...)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Blackout... (aka Where is the flashlight?)

So, after I got home tonight, I realized that my power was out. At first, I just thought I didn't leave a light on or turn on my porch light. Then, after trying to turn on the lamp closest to the front door (which has a florescent bulb in it, so it doesn't turn on right away), I heard my battery back-up beeping. Crap... My power was out... And I didn't have a flashlight (that I know of... Honey, if one exists in the house somewhere, please tell me). I then had to stumble around upstairs to find my cell phone (which I forgot at home today) to use as a flashlight while I gathered what candles I could find. Then I tried to find my box of matches that I remember leaving on my bar in my kitchen. Drat... They weren't there. I must have "put them away." This instigated a search for my lighter, which I hid when the construction guys were here... Where, oh where, did I put the darn thing... Oh, in the medicine cabinet in the bathroom (good place for it).... Ok... Light the dang candles.... Where are the other 2.... Crap... I can't cook dinner... Call someone since I can't watch TV or go online... Hi, Auntie! Gotta go? OK... Hi A's mom! Gotta go? Hi Mommy! Gotta go? OK, power's back on now. Hopefully it stays on...

(Personal note: Go get a flashlight and emergency candles and matches etc... Maybe a battery operated lantern...)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Thank you Subway...

I've been sick all night and all day so far. I have a feeling it was something I ate, and the only thing "out of the norm" that I ate at all was a sandwich from Subway for dinner. I got what I usually get, without sauce (because I don't like it, and that's usually what makes you sick in the first place... If it didn't come from my fridge, I don't use it), and was up all night with nausea. I tried to get ready for work this morning and I "had" to sit down... So I called in, slept all day and then ventured out around 3 pm to go get some 7-up and crackers... Still pretty queasy... Not really looking forward to dinner, but I might try to make some chicken-rice soup (you know... make some rice, then add a bunch of chicken broth to it). We'll see how that goes...

Gosh... I hate being sick, especially like this.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

We're thinking...

...about getting another dog... But not just any dog... We'd get another "village" dog. One, I know we can get a puppy for free. Two, We'd be rescuing it from a life of no vet care and possibly getting shot later in life... That right, you read correctly... When we lived in the village, they routinely held "dog hunts" to help control the dog population, because they didn't get their animals fixed and they let the puppies go feral... Not a great situation. Needless to say, when we lived there, Noni was NEVER off-leash. Now that A is back in that area, I told him that if he hears that someone has puppies (and they aren't being bred to be a sled dog - which is still a way of life there) that he should bring one home. Noni would love to have a friend to share the day with. She misses her dog friends from "down south" in the "lower-48".

I can't wait to be a "pack" leader... LOL...

Saturday, October 25, 2008

My 28 yr old butt is too big...

I had to take a break from my NKOTB sickness and so I decided to take Noni for a walk. We had the first snowfall of the season last night, and there was still a little bit on the ground by this afternoon. Noni LOVES LOVES LOVES the snow.
I had an epiphany today... My 28 yr old butt is too big... You know it's bad when the really baggy jeans that you bought and realized later they were too big, but you were too lazy to take them back, are the only ones that fit you right now...

So, my goal is to be back to a size 10 by the time I turn 29. So I have a year to drop 4 sizes...

Step 1: Take daily walks with my dog... It's good for the both of us.

Step 2: Don't "diet"... Eat what I normally eat, just proper portions of it...

That's as far as I'm going to go right now... We'll re-evaluate next month to see if I'm starting to be able to fit back into my size 12 jeans...

Friday, October 24, 2008

OMG - NKOTB...

Thanks to Nicole and Friday-Night Boredom, my interest/obsession with NKOTB has been re-kindled. (I'm not sure if that is a good thing at this point or not...) I remember hearing that they were getting back together, but I didn't really think much past that. In fact, I haven't really thought about the band in probably 15 years, since the demise of my cassette tape and the fact that as it was winding down for them, they weren't looking too good (it could just be me, but back in the early 90's, it looked like Joey was on drugs or something... he just didn't look "right" to me).

So, with interest piqued, and nothing better to do tonight, I started down memory lane. The Rat-Tails... The shredded jeans... The baby-faced boys singing in falsetto... Jordan in his "OshKosh'B'Goshs"... The Black & Neon sweaters that EVERYONE was wearing (I have my mom searching the old photos to see if she has one of me wearing mine... it is similar to this one, but not exactly... It was striped and their names were repeated to create the stripes and NKOTB and hearts mixed in)... The "CHEESY" syncronised dance moves that became their signature (and still is) that has never been quite duplicated by boy bands since... Good Times...

So, I've been reliving my "pre-teen" years, when I was consumed by the NKOTB obsession that gripped most of the world. Looking back at the old music videos, I can't help but laugh... Mostly at ourselves, because "we" just looked silly. I mean, who could take you serious when you wore what we wore and did our hair the way we did... The music takes me back, though. Donnie's raps are refreshing, by todays standards. I think that was the only time I tolerated, if not liked, rap as a genre. "The Right Stuff" is still played on Sirius Radio, so I get to hear that song still, but the others went into obscurity in my brain. I can hear the songs now, and remember taking my "boom box" outside to the school playground (we lived across the street) and listening to those songs... Or I'll flash to my horrible attempts at copying the dance moves...








Looking at the boys who are now (very attractive) men, I can't help but get a little excited and nostalgic. They look better now than they did then (but that could just be that I've grown up along with them, and my tastes have matured). Looking at their new videos, I'm glad that the videos, at least, are not relying heavily on the weird syncronised dance moves. They are very good songs. I might actually have to by the single. I love how their voices matured. Joe sounds sexy now instead of just boyish...




I will admit, Jon was always my favorite. He was "the quite one," at least in my opinion. I've never been good at classifying personalities like that. To me, he was the cutest. He has the best smile. The grown-up version is not too bad either.

I guess I am going to have to come out of the closet and embrace what has been there all along... I totally love their single "Summertime". I've been sitting here listening to it play on YouTube over and over again while I type this. Too bad I don't live in an area that would allow me to see them in concert...