21. November 2011 · Comments Off on NaBloPoMo FAIL · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , ,

Why I FAILED to post yesterday, and thus FAILED at the NaBloPoMo contest for this year.

1.) I was playing Glitch quite a bit on Sunday.  I was trying to earn enough money for a super-big new house and that took about 3 hours of my day.

2.) I was busy with Cub Scouts.  Timmy’s den took a hike at the Naval Live Oaks nature area and then I spent some time catching up with planning afterwards.  Here’s a picture to enjoy!

After our hike we did leaf rubbings with discussed the kinds of trees we saw.

3.) Dave’s parents took us to a nice dinner at one of the family’s favorite restaurants, Mandarin Moon, in Gulf Breeze.

4.) I have a lot of TV to watch on Sunday nights!  Amazing Race, Dexter, and Boardwalk Empire are all on!  Typically I do my blogging during TV time in the evenings, but last night I think I was vegging more than usual.

5.) I just plain forgot.  It had crossed my mind to write more about the Naval Live Oaks hiking, but simply didn’t get to it.  I might still later today, I have some nice pictures from other times we’d been there, yesterday I only got a couple pictures.

20. November 2011 · Comments Off on Apples to Apples — What Fun! · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags:

Jacob received several gift cards for his birthday.  Unfortunately, things were so hectic after his birthday, between my two reserve tours and then Dave’s surgery, we sorta forgot about them.

With Grammy and Grampy Vollmer visiting, we made a trip to Pensacola today so Jacob could visit Toys R Us and spend his gift card.  Jacob immediately chose the game Apples to Apples Junior and I am so happy about this choice.  He said they play it at school and he really enjoys it.

Tonight we played and it was SO MUCH FUN!  The winner is supposed to have won the round 5 times, but we just played still we didn’t feel like it anymore, so the winner had won 23 times.  Dave and I had played the grown-up version with friends in Nebraska and this version is tailored to 9-12 year olds.  There’s still some GREAT humor in the game even for this age group.

Over the past few months, Jacob and Timmy have been really getting good about playing card games, board games, and even chess together!  They typically will last a good 30 minutes before one of them either gets bored or else doesn’t get his way and stomps away mad.  I’ll take 30 minutes!

19. November 2011 · Comments Off on Hurlburt Spouses’ Club Charity Auction · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , ,

I just got home from the Hurlburt Spouses’ Club Charity Auction.  This year was the 25th year of the auction.  The auction is the year’s biggest fundraiser for the organization’s scholarship fund.

Being that this was my first HSC auction experience, I didn’t really know what to expect.  All the ladies said “It’s a really great time!” and they were right!  I saw dozens of planning e-mails (I’m on the Spouses’ Club board and I was privy to a lot of the planning information, although I wasn’t on the committee this year) and heard dozens of stories of everything that goes into a successful auction.  It was amazing seeing it all come together for a very successful evening.

A sampling of the items offered for auction.  The framed items on the table are tickets to attractions (such as Disney World), a pair of plane tickets for any day/anywhere in the U.S. on Southwest Airlines, and several weekend getaways at area golf resorts and casino hotels.

Dave’s Mom joined me tonight and she and I had so much fun!  Seeing the team spirit at many of the tables and the crazy antics during some of the more creative auction items was great!  (Such as the auction for the Wing Commander’s family cooking dinner for the highest bidder — which he then converted into TWO dinners and he turned one $500 bid into TWO $500 bids in an instant.)  Above all, the generosity was phenomenal!

One of the part of the event is the “Decadent Dessert” auction.  About 15 of the items are auctioned off early on in the program.  The winner has the option to serve up the dessert right there at their table.  Out of over 50 desserts, I was thrilled that my cake was one of the ones to be offered up for the tables.

Two boxes of Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate cake mix.  The icing?  Are you ready for this?  Whisk 12 oz. of heavy cream with 12 oz. of semisweet chocolate chips in a double boiler.  After it’s smooth, stir in 3 Tbsp. of Kahlua coffee liqueur.

I was tickled to see some of the first desserts bring well over $100!  They were definitely worth it!  The cake I made brought in $50 for the scholarship fund, but I will say that my cake plate was one of the less-elaborate ones.  Many got into bidding wars just for the pretty holiday platters that some of the cakes were on.

Even though I had my heart set on only one thing — a Keurig Elite coffee maker, which I won, yay — it was thrilling to see the bidding wars on many of the bigger-ticket items: over $600 for a Gibson acoustic guitar signed by the members of Sugarland!

I’m looking forward to hearing how much money was earned for the scholarship fund, and I know the spouses are incredibly grateful for the donations from around the community — actually, from around the country!  My hats off to the ladies of the club who worked so hard to make this evening a success!  I become more involved in the spring for our 2nd largest fundraiser: The Golf Scramble, which is scheduled in mid-April 2012!

A hand-knit American flag afghan, knit by a member of the Hurlburt community.  The stars were hand-crocheted also.  

A full house — nearly 200 people present!

18. November 2011 · Comments Off on A Cool Find at Our Local Commissary · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: ,

Today Dave’s parents came into town. I had to drive out to Panama City Beach to their relatively new airport to pick them up. It was a nice drive, about 90 minutes. Once you get east of the congestion in Destin, the highway really opens up and it’s a very low stress drive the rest of the way.

We’re looking forward to a nice weekend with Dave’s parents.

Dave continues to improve daily. Today he took his first drive in over 2 weeks, just heading over to Jacob’s school for a Thanksgiving lunch. 5 minutes.

I wanted to share this cool find from my visit to the Hurlburt Field Commissary last Tuesday. Apparently these retail for $25 or so, but I could have bought these for about $20. This set was released this past September with much fanfare among Pez collectors.  Note the shorter Hobbit and Dwarf and Gollum dispensers!

I didn’t buy it, but I might!

How many of you remember my Pez Peeve?  It was one of my very first blog posts!

17. November 2011 · 2 comments · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: ,


Dave’s 2 week checkup was yesterday.  He’s doing MUCH better now and both his neurosurgeon and primary care doctor (the military doctor who he sees more often) are both impressed with how well he’s doing!  We’re thrilled with the upward turn in his recovery compared to last weekend.  And Dave’s attitude is so great right now!

Today, after Dave’s primary care appointment, we headed over to our local Moe’s for lunch.  I hadn’t been to the Fort Walton Beach Moe’s in a couple months, so we were intrigued by this new machine there.

Just so you know, I was NOT the only one taking pictures of this thing 🙂  Dave was in uniform for his medical appointment on base.

This is called the Coca-Cola Freestyle machine, and it’s some sort of computerized machine that will give you over 100 combinations of Coke products!

Want Coke?  Diet Coke?  Coke Zero?  Sprite?  Diet Sprite?  Fanta?  Fanta Zero?  You can have all that!  AND you can add flavors on the spot…Dave and I were intrigued!

This is a touch screen.  Choose first the baseline Coke product you want.

Then that product will appear with several flavor choices: cherry, orange, grape, raspberry, lemon, lime…

And somehow it pulls it all together and dispenses it.  This was “grape Fanta Zero” and it was rather, um, BLUE.

16. November 2011 · Comments Off on Roses…Roses…and More Roses… · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , ,

I’m making a cake later this week for the Hurlburt Spouses’ Club Charity Auction.  I hope it turns out really pretty and yummy…the money earned from the auction will help provide scholarships for members of the Team Hurlburt family!

Tonight I decided to start on the roses, since I hadn’t made roses in several years.  2007?  2008?  I can’t remember.

Let me say that skill in making icing roses is NOT like the skills you develop riding a bike!  I had a hard time remembering how to do it and I really struggled with the icing temperature.  I got a little out of control.  Out of all these roses, I only need about 10 of them.

I’ll take a picture of the completed cake on Friday, I promise!

15. November 2011 · 2 comments · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , ,
This is from last May.  The boys did a 1 mile fun run, even though those running numbers say “5K”.  Jacob saw a classmate at this race who was registered to run the 5K itself and he asked, “Mom, why can’t I do that?”  Well, no one ever said you couldn’t!

Meet my new running partner, Jacob.

I invited him on a recent run, since I was just coming off a pretty nasty cold I wasn’t running for speed or anything.  Just to burn some calories and use up some pent up energy.  So Jacob joined me and ran about 1.25 miles on Saturday without stopping!

He asked if he could run a 5K race soon, so on Saturday, right after we came back from the 1.25 miler, we registered for a 5K on December 3rd right here in Navarre.  It’s a Jingle Bell 5K and registered runners will not only receive a t-shirt, but also a set of jingle bells to ring while running!  We can’t wait!

Know what else is cool?  This race course will be designed with “Shortcuts to Grandma’s House” so the younger ones can go back early.

Today I took him out for 1.5 miles.  I keep alongside of him and he can watch my Nike+ distance ticking on my iPhone strapped to my arm.  HE LOVES THIS!  For those who know Jacob, you know he’s a numbers/data kind of guy!

I am so incredibly proud to have this goal with Jacob — to run a race together!

14. November 2011 · Comments Off on I Love Men Who Can Cook! · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , ,
There are so many skills to be learned when cooking: math, nutrition, chemistry, physics!

Dave Update:  We had a rough couple of days.  Incidentally, we had read another Axia-LIF patient’s online blog/diary/series of forum posts that read rather similarly.  At about the one-week point, the patient was feeling better, he thought he could move around a bit more.  But that was probably not the best idea.  So then at day 9, this patient was struck with the worst pain of his entire life.  Things calmed down for him by the two week point though.

Dave had a similar experience.  So we ended up at the ER on Thursday night from the muscular spasm pain — described by Dave as “10 out of 10” on the pain scale, and on Saturday night Dave experienced the same pain.  He said it made the pre-surgery back problems nothing at all.  These spasms were happening at about the same time of the evening (around 10:30-11:00pm).  Instead of going straight to the ER again on Saturday night, this time I called Dave’s doctor and we discussed why these muscle spasms were happening.  He’s speculating that the muscles have been so traumatized by the 8 1/2 years of back problems, they’ll need their own healing process.

In the meantime, we elected NOT to go the ER Saturday night, Dave took some ibuprofen and that actually seemed to help things quite a bit.  Up till Saturday night, he had NOT been taking any anti-inflammatories and taking some might have made all the difference.

Today was much better for him, hopefully we’re over the hump and he can continue healing.  It was certainly a challenge keeping positive Thursday – Saturday and it’s nice to be thinking happy thoughts again.

I Love Men Who Can Cook:  Dave had this week’s Bear Cub Scout den meeting at our house, the boys had a cooking/nutrition requirement and their normal meeting location didn’t have a kitchen readily available.  So the boys took over my kitchen.  I set out the ingredients and helped get the cookies in/out of the oven, but that’s all I did.  While the cookies were baking, the boys made some trail mix — each scout brought over a package of one ingredient: M&Ms, peanuts, raisins, dried cranberries, and cereal.  It was really good!

Oh I wish I had our real camera so I could better capture that egg falling into the bowl.  This was with my phone camera.

Okay, not the most attractive oatmeal cookies, but they sure were yummy!  I think the boys were scared of them!

Homemade trail mix – yum!

13. November 2011 · Comments Off on Veteran’s Day Parade Revisted · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: ,

You know that picture from yesterday where I showed the kids getting interviewed for the Pensacola News Journal?  They led off on a small online story today!

Here’s the picture below, and here’s the story!  Enjoy!

And yes, the title really does say “Pensacola parade attracts hundreds.”  Hundreds.  Small town living we have here. 🙂

PS: I’ll give a Dave update tomorrow.  Hurrying to get this published before midnight!

12. November 2011 · Comments Off on Veteran’s Day 2011 · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , ,

Happy Veteran’s Day friends!  I am just getting this in under the wire for my daily post, trying to keep with my NaBloPoMo challenge!

Dave Update: First of all, it got pretty tough for us last night with Dave’s back.  He started getting some intense muscle spasms that weren’t resolving with the medications he had been prescribed.  So we ended up at the ER, he was so uncomfortable.  They were able to give him stronger muscle relaxers and that seemed to help him out.  We were only at the ER for 1 hour, 45 minutes, which has to be a record for us!

Today Dave took it easy, similar to how things were the day he came home from the hospital last week.  The doctor recommended some changes to his medications and how often he wears his back brace to help with the muscle spasms.  This seemed to help and today was MUCH better than yesterday.  The officer who’s acting commander for Dave’s squadron came by this afternoon — brought us a HUGE cheesecake variety sampler — and visited with him for a while.  It was nice to see Dave have visitors.

This morning the boys and I were part of their Cub Scout pack participating in the Pensacola Veteran’s Day parade.  It was a 1 mile march through historic downtown Pensacola.  The boys were very good, nicely taking turns carrying the pack and American flags.

After the parade, we visited Pensacola’s new Veterans Memorial Park, which includes the nation’s only replica of the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial in Washington, D.C.

The Scouts took turns carrying the flag.  I had my phone timer set for 5 minutes after every handoff (just to play fair) but the boys rarely lasted more than 5 minutes at a time.  Their arms got pretty tired….

Before we started…they were having fun!

This is a reporter from the Pensacola News Journal (local newspaper).  She interviewed the scouts about the parade.

We had to walk behind this giant Pinewood Derby car.  Yes, the boys noticed.  Yes, the boys asked “When do we get to ride?”  No, it wasn’t an option.

The replica Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial that’s now in downtown Pensacola.  It’s really nice…

These are the GEICO Skytypers, who were performing at the NAS Pensacola “Welcome Home” Airshow that the Blue Angels gives every Veteran’s Day weekend.  You see the words “Naval Aviation” here, they were writing “The Cradle of Naval Aviation”, which is what Pensacola calls itself.

Sorry this is upside down, but I thought it was cool.

Look what we found!
It isn’t very big,  I’m afraid.