Sunday, March 28, 2010

Simple & Tasty Potato Salad

Earlier in the week, I made a bunch of baked potatoes (intending to take them for my lunch, but forgetting them and having a sandwich instead). So, I decided that I needed to do something with them before they spoiled...
First, I'll start with my treatment of the potatoes...

My mother always smeared butter on the skins before she wrapped them in foil and baking... I love that treatment, but I wanted to try something a little different. So I seasoned some olive oil simply with salt and pepper (you could use whatever you like) and I brushed some olive oil on the potatoes just before baking. After they cooled, I left them wrapped in foil and put them in the fridge(it worked out to 5 medium sized potatoes, in case you were wondering).

Today, I decided I would try to make some potato salad with the baked potatoes. So I made some hard-boiled eggs (6 of them... I really like eggs in my potato salad). Then I cut up the potatoes, leaving the seasoned skin on the potato chunks. I cut up the eggs into big chunks. I also had some celery in my fridge so I chopped that up and added it to the bowl. You can dress your salad however you like, but I'm a strictly Miracle Whip kind of gal when it comes to potato salad. Sometimes, I'll add a little yellow mustard if I have it, but it is usually just Miracle Whip. Mix to combine well.

For seasoning, I added salt, pepper, rosemary/garlic blend (finely ground), and smoked paprika. It makes for a really great lunch!

My Personal Play-list

I love almost all forms of music ([c]rap, heavy metal, etc - anything demeaning is excluded from my appreciation). My personal play-list of life varies with my mood.

When I'm frustrated, I have found that Alternative Rock speaks to my soul, specifically 30 Seconds to Mars. I have three 30STM songs in my iPhone and I will listen to those songs all day long when I'm irritated or frustrated with something.

When I am calm, I listen to classical/piano/new age music, depending on what I have access to.

When I am happy, I will listen to some other kinds of music... I guess you could call it Contemporary Adult? (Although, when listening to the radio and Taylor Swift comes on, I get frustrated and immediately switch to 30STM).

When I am upset or having a crappy day and want to cheer up, I love Los Lonely Boys. Their harmonies reach into my soul and elevate my consciousness. (OK, I know I got a little deep with that one... here, let me shovel some of that away, lol). Seriously, though, I really enjoy the way their voices blend.

Today, my play-list is from my childhood. My mother passed on an appreciation for groups like The Carpenters and The Beatles, and artists like Barry Manilow and Neil Diamond. I don't listen to them all the time, but on days like today, nothing else will do. So, I share with you some of the songs that speak to me today. I hope you find them as uplifting and motivational as I do.

Great advice from Paul... There will be an answer... Let it be...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Without going into too much detail, I've been experiencing some pretty weird symptoms over the last few days... Weird enough to prompt me to contact my doctor to discuss these symptoms... It could be normal (from what I've been reading about online), but it has me concerned... I hope I'm just over-reacting and isn't what I think it is... But, it's better to be safe than sorry... Keep your fingers crossed!

Monday, March 22, 2010

One of my guilty pleasures...

I really like watching Dancing With The Stars. It's just about the only "reality" show I watch consistently. I like so many of this season's contestants, so I was super excited to watch it tonight... Here's my recap:

It is nice seeing a "macho" football guy actually shake his hips!

I'm disappointed that they put another hottie with Derek... Last season, he got a little too graphic for my tastes with his hottie partner... I hope he has the sense to tone down the overtly sexual dance moves... Even though his partner was a Pussy Cat Doll, he doesn't need to turn every dance into a strip show, or do a move out of the kama sutra. (I'm not saying he did any of this tonight - hard to do when dancing the Viennese Waltz - but this is for future warning/observation.)

I truly enjoyed watching Buzz Aldrin dance tonight, but I fear he will be the first to go.

There are so many attractive men on the show this season!

I almost threw up when Jake Pavelka's first dance was to "Kiss from a Rose" (In, fact, just writing this and reliving it in my mind, I kind of did a little)... I really want to like Jake, as he is a pilot, but dude, come on... And when he wore his black leather flight jacket WITH CAPTAINS EPAULETS, I laughed hysterically! Isn't he an FO on reserve (or possibly furloughed)?

I enjoyed Shannon's performance, but unless she conquers her anxiety of dancing live, she will be sent home early.

Pam was spastic... and her partner copped a feel...

I enjoyed Niecy's performance. I thought she was putting it out there. I hope she stays for a while. She has such a refreshing personality.

I'm a Kate Gosslin fan, but I didn't care for her dance. She was too much in her head. You could see her thinking "Arm flick - here, leg lift - there, etc" She won't last long in the competition. She received the comment "unique vulnerability about the dance" from Carrie Ann, which is the EXACT same comment Carrie Ann gave to Macy Gray last season, who was sent home first... Just an observation!

I know that Edyta is known for skimpy costumes, but tonight's costume was a joke... She was dancing the Cha-Cha with her partner, Aiden something-or-other, and wore something with fringe... About 6 or 7 rows of fringe starting from her cleavage line to just inches below her crotch area... The color of the costume behind the fringe was EXACTLY her flesh color, so you had to wonder what they were thinking. Initially, she was wearing a coat - which I hope I'm not the only one who found that odd - and when she took it off, the fringe was parted around her breast ala Janet Jackson... Seriously, this is family TV... I really hope she goes... too bad for Aiden though, he's pretty hot!

The rest were not memorable... sorry, but you weren't... Maybe next time?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Another Beautiful Day!

I am amazed that we got 2 days in a row with nice, sunny weather! I'm feeling so spoiled right now. I took a break from housecleaning and writing a paper (due today) for school to go outside and enjoy it.

We went on a trail that is close to home (the trail head is about 2 blocks away) and goes along the Mendenhall River. This seems to be my usual trail, as it is paved the whole way and pretty easy. Because I had errands to run afterward, I drove to the trail head. About 8 minutes into the trail (I don't know the distance, but I've been timing myself), there is another unpaved trail that goes to the left. I think this is part of the horse trail, but I decided that we would take that trail today. The biggest benefit is that I don't have to have Noni on the leash when we aren't on the paved trail. So, we followed this trail through the woods, the beautiful dappled forest. It was so peaceful! The trail met up with the paved trail again just about where a bridge crosses a creek. This is when my timer went off... So I know that if I take the unpaved trail, it is about 20 minutes to walk out. As I didn't care too much about getting back too fast (who wants to get back to homework?) we took the unpaved trail through the woods on the other side of the paved trail to get back. This trail goes closer to the river. I took this picture:

I didn't get any pictures of the forest part of the walk. This part was more strenuous than the normal trail. More uphills/downhills. Much more of a workout in the same amount of time. I think I'll take this trail more often.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Busy Day!

After a very fitful and sleepless night last night, I woke up fairly early (9am, but I didn't fall asleep until around 5:30). I had breakfast and lounged around my bedroom, reveling in my self-proclaimed day off. I have been focusing on my school work so intently lately that I don't remember the last time I actually cleaned my house... You know, laundry and dishes done as needed (nothing else to wear or nothing else to eat off of) and basically ignoring everything else. Yes, I know, I tend to live like a slob...

So, I took a few baby steps today and starting cleaning my bedroom. When Aaron is home, this room is our bedroom/family room/dining room/etc. We tend to watch movies or catch up on shows on Hulu using our computer up there... Which also means that this room is usually very messy... I'm talking McDonalds bags stacked on top of the dog kennel (Aaron uses this in place of a night stand), dog hair and flying magazines all over the floor, etc... So, while watching one of my guilty pleasures, I started cleaning...

Then I did something for myself. Recently, my wardrobe has declined to maybe 4 shirts that I can wear and 1 pair of jeans (that fit right), as I am currently in-between sizes right now. I know I could just wear the pants that I have that are too big, but when you are a little thick in the middle, you don't want to wear tapered-leg pants... So a friend of mine went shopping with me at the local consignment store. We actually came away with some really cute things. I picked out 4 skirts for work, a nice sweater, a nice top, a jacket I can use to go walking with Noni, and 3 pairs of shoes... Quite a haul on a small budget.

When I got back from shopping, I had a snack and took Noni for a walk (you know, to try out the new jacket... oh yeah, and because I have a goal to go walking with Noni for at least 30 minutes per day for the next 2 weeks). It was a gorgeous day here! I decided that we were going to walk the Dike Trail (a walking trail that goes around the airport). So we started heading that direction and found out they are doing construction on the access road to the trail and that the trail was closed... Bummer... So we took the long way home to get my 30 minutes in. I'm hoping that tomorrow is going to be nice again. The trail is open on Sundays, so I think we'll try it again! Get an hour walk in!

Then, for dinner, I made some chicken-rice soup. I've been on a kick to just throw what ever I have on hand in the pot... I stopped short of adding my frozen brussels sprouts to the pot (don't judge) but I think when I reheat the leftovers, I'll add some frozen broccoli. I didn't want to add the broccoli to the whole batch, because it gets nasty the longer it is in the cooking liquid. I want it to be warmed through and bright green, not gross green looking. I think a variation on this soup will be a staple for me, especially when Aaron is gone. It'll be the "clean the freezer and pantry" soup. I just add whatever I have on hand. Today was canned chicken, carrots, celery, onions, garlic, a couple handfuls of brown rice, a bunch of chicken broth, and seasonings. I thought I had some frozen corn in the fridge... I was going to add it, but I didn't have any...

Another outlet!

Technically, this has been in cyber-space on the PWC private site since I joined over a year ago. But, with the wonderful addition of our public site, I felt I needed to share it with everyone, not just my ladies on the private site. So, click here if you want to read what I wrote about living and flying in Alaska (at least an introduction to)...

Keep checking back there for more installments. I plan to write about all the fun things (or sometimes not-so-fun things) that we do with the plane here in Juneau.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


This PARODY was brought to my attention on the PWC, and I just had to share it with everyone! Keep in mind, it is a PARODY... I have no idea what the translation from German to English is, and pretend you don't either... It's funnier that way!

To set the scene... Remember those Northwest Pilots that overflew MSP? Let's see how Adolf Hitler takes the news of a similar situation...

"...take away their precious hats..." - The Funniest Line EVER! (at least in aviation parodies)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Turkey Chili

I am slowly integrating some gluten-free items into my diet. I have been on a really big soup kick lately and Aaron doesn't really like to eat it for dinner. So, since I put him on an airplane back to Bethel this morning, bring on the soup!

I picked up veggies and meat to try to make soup tonight. I decided I would try to make some Turkey Chili. I have another soup planned for St. Pats that requires beef, so I didn't want regular chili. I also don't like chili. I avoid eating it every chance I get. So, this is the big trial... Can I eat something that I don't normally like because it is gluten-free...

So here is my recipe for Turkey Chili... I didn't really start with one, I just started throwing stuff in. So far, it tastes pretty good!

1-2 lbs. Turkey (I used "strips" because that is what I found at the store... you could use ground...)
roughly 2 tbs. flour seasoned with salt & pepper (I realize that I said earlier that this recipe is gluten-free... I don't have any flour in the house that isn't wheat based, so I used what I have... I'll experiment later with gluten-free flour, or omit altogether if I use ground turkey)
2 tbs. olive oil
2 stalks of celery, cut in approx. 1/4-1/2 inch bits
2 carrots, cut about the same size as celery
1 white onion, roughly chopped
3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 jalapeno, finely minced (I minced the garlic and jalapeno together in a slap-chop type device)
2 orange bell peppers (I used orange because I like orange, use whatever kind you like)
2-3 cups of chicken stock
1 6 oz can of tomato paste
1 can of red kidney beans
1 can of cannelloni beans

I also used the following seasonings, to taste (your taste preferences may differ)

So, I started by prepping the veggies. When I was ready to start cooking, I dredged the turkey bits in the flour mixture, heated the olive oil in a crock pot, and browned the turkey. When the turkey was cooked, I added the jalapeno/garlic mixture to the pot and sauteed a bit. Then I added the other aromatics to saute for about 5 minutes. Then I added the orange peppers. Once the veggies start to soften, add the seasoning mix. I didn't measure the seasonings... If I were to guess, I would say that I used about 1-1 1/2 tsp of each of the New Mexico Red Chili and the Cumin. Salt, pepper, and the other rosemary mix were added to taste. Stir the veggie/meat mix to disperse the seasonings throughout. Mix some of the chicken broth with the tomato paste and add the the rest of the chicken broth and loosened tomato paste into the pot... Simmer for about 10-15 minutes. Drain, rinse, and add the beans. Keep simmering for a while. I also added some steamed rice from my fridge that was left over from some Chinese take-out a few days ago. It worked out to about a cup of pre-cooked rice... The finished product looks like this:

I'll be taking some for leftovers tomorrow for lunch, and freezing the rest. I'll let everyone know how the fridge/freezer effects the chili.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

New Public Site!

After many months of frustration, the public site for Pilot Wives Club is up! If you haven't done so already, check it out at We have resources available for our pilots, blog posts written by pilot wives for pilot wives, and contact information if you would like to advertise on our site or sponsor our upcoming meet-up. You can also go to the Pilot Wife Gouge and see a list of Pilot Wife resources and other blogs.

If you have any suggestions for what you would like to see on the Pilot Wives Club website, you can either comment here or send a message through the site.


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Healthy Ways to Blow Off Steam

After a really crappy day, I have the need to blow off some steam... Yesterday was just such a day... I was caustic and vile and irritated and a whole lot of other adjectives... My husband helped me through my afflictions by providing me with the necessary liquor and awesomely-destructive movies to help get me throught the funk... I enjoyed watching the justice and violence of Boondock Saints (and really want to watch the second one now) while drinking a couple of margaritas and a long-island iced-tea. Being the responsible person that I am, my imbibing happened at home. This combo definitely did the trick...

I'm not saying what I did last night to deal with my frustration was healthy... in fact, far from it. Due to my RA, everytime I have more that 1 serving of alcohol, my joints become extremely stiff and sore the next day (I don't get hangovers unless I really take it over the top... I'm talking about being sick-drunk... never again...). I drink massive amounts of water the next day, so that helps. I try not to do this more than once or twice a year... You know, everything in moderation...

Which brings me to my question... What do you do to relieve stress? Do you go running? Do you kick a punching bag? Do you scream? Do you cry? What are considered healthy ways to work through issues? I'm not being rhetorical here, I'm really asking... I have a feeling that I will have many more of those kinds of days in the future and I would like to mix it up a bit... I can't always run to the bottle for my outlet and I don't want to. So comment and tell me what you do to blow off steam. I look forward to reading the responses I get :)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Schitzophrenic Psycho...

In my continuing boycott of all things Taylor Swift, I have switched my online radio station to "Big R Radio-Alternative Rock". I enjoy alternative rock, but I usually listen to "Solo Piano" as my desk is in the front office and alternative rock isn't very appropriate for everyone to listen to...

However, lately, I've been listening to alternative rather than piano. I've been doing tasks that do not require a whole lot of thought, so I can listen to songs with words.

This brings me to the point of my post... Big R Radio has been playing a song where the lyrics go "Maybe I'm the one who is the schitzophrenic psycho..." I don't know who sings this song, or even the background behind it. The first time I heard this song, I kind of chuckled and my co-worker couldn't believe that there is a song with such lyrics. Every time I've heard it since then, I proclaim that I am a schitzophrenic psycho and we all laugh... Good times... (This post in no way is making fun of such people who are aflicted with schitzophrenia... just the song)

So, these are the things that I have to listen to because I refuse to listen to Taylor Swift. I wish I could listen to other stations, but she is EVERYWHERE! I'm still working on building a Taylor Swift-free iPod, but I'm not quite there yet. Until then, my options are alternative rock or classical... She has yet to infiltrate those genres so far...

Thanks for reading this really pointless post. :)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

It is done...

With the help of my lovely husband, Noni has been given a full haircut. Poor baby had twigs and pine needles stuck inside the hairballs on her feet... She feels much better now. Behold! This thing I shaved again! (2 Points to the first person who can tell me what that reference is from... Aaron, you don't count)


She also got a bath tonight. Who doesn't smell like dog-ass? Noni doesn't smell like dog-ass!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

10 Years Ago...

... I married the love of my life. We were very young. We were very naive. We've had trips, stumbles, and falls. Our first year of marriage was far from being "roses". Through it all, we've learned, we've loved, and we've lived (and yes, I realize how corny that sounds...)

I'm looking forward to a lifetime with Aaron. I feel that after 10 years, we are finally coming in to our own.